Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hungry Man Tested Black Bean Veggie Burger

Black Bean Veggie Burger on Toasted Bun

So my handsome son is home for winter break and has announced that he is eating a more plant based diet - this from the person whom lived to argue vegetarians down about the value of meat,  even though our meat was limited to poultry and fish. I was quite pleased that he has taken the first steps towards more humane and environmentally friendly eating. My uncle likes to tease that me and my dad eat like goats. LOL! One more to add to the herd, I guess. The problem was that my son is very tall and requires some filling food on a college budget and with beginner cooking skills, so I knew veggie burgers were the answer. Being the loving mother that I am, I searched high and low on the web for a simple, budget and man friendly veggie burger recipe. Alas, pictured above is the black bean burger recipe that I felt worthy of this momentous occasion. I added some of my own touches, including, spices, mustard and Worcester sauce.The plan was that we would prepare the veggie burger together, so I could teach him the basics. He had other plans. :(  Being that I was hungry, I commenced to whipping up this recipe on my own. The first hint that this was a success, was the comment, "That smells good". They were quite beautiful, I must admit. After a few bites he exclaimed, "These are really good." Ya Yuh! The final test of a man friendly burger is when the hungry one departs from the couch and the Internet to come into the kitchen and utters these words, "Now how do you make these?" VICTORY IS MINE!!!! It was a great day in my household. We discussed veggie burger basics, variations and eating strategies. I put another batch in the frying pan, while he watched and did the flipping and he ate a second one. That is when you know it's getting real in here....

Hit me up with your favorite vegetarian college food recipes.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Another Reason To Eat Your Greens To Kick Off The New Year!

Preventing Breast Cancer Risk By Any Greens Necessary? Watch This! |

Perhaps our ancestors thought we should eat greens on New Year's Day is not only to hope for some ends in the new year, but to also be prosperous in health. By Any Greens Necessary is sharing the above article in the hopes that we eat leafy greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, throughout the entire year! What are your New Year's Day traditions?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Have A Very Vintage Holiday Season!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Signs of Light? Climate Change Caucus Forms in Senate

Signs of Light? Climate Change Caucus Forms in Senate

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Push for World's Clothing Manufacturers to Clean Up Global Supply Chain

Push for World's Clothing Manufacturers to Clean Up Global Supply Chain Until this happens you can always follow my suggestions in my blog post on shopping ethically and consciously from earlier this week.

Great vintage and mostly Made In USA dresses from a Georgetown thrift boutique in Washingon, D.C.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eight Budget Friendly Ways to Shop for Fashion, Ethically and Consciously

I read a heartbreaking article in the New York Times about the factory fire in Pakistan, that took over 262 lives in horrific ways (burning, boiling and suffocation). Sounds like something that would have happened in western countries at the time of the industrial revolution, when there were wild, wild west conditions in factories and laborers were the Native Americans. The entire article was basically an indictment of auditing systems that are supposed to be in play by large retailers to prevent these situations, governments that don't give a crap about poor people, poverty, greed and human indifference. I could go on, but in response to a commenter on the article who wanted to know what her options were around putting her money where her values were, I have developed this list of eight ways to shop ethically and consciously with your wallet and still look gooood. Wanna hear it? Hear it goes:

  1. Shop Your Closet - clean/organize your closet and find awesome stuff that you totally forgot about! Take pictures of various clothing combinations and store in your smartphone for ideas on those days when you feel you have nothing to wear. This would be a great project for a teenager to do for you. Donate items that you don't, can't or shouldn't wear to a friend or non-profit organization.
  2. Catwalk with Friends - have a fashion show with friends featuring some of those clothes from your closet that are still in good condition, but you just don't love anymore (or they don't love you...).
  3. Go Thrifting - you will be amazed at what you can find at thrift and consignment shops. Great and unique jewelry, coats, formal wear, amazing shoes and designer fashions for a fraction of the cost of retail. Checkout The Thrifyshopper website for stores near you. Once you experience consignment shopping, your life will not be the same. Even well paid celebrities find vintage and retro clothing add value and zest to their wardrobes. eBay is a great source for thrift, vintage and gently used finds. My son purchased a very nice designer shirt there for $.99! Patagonia, one of the world's most ethical brands, even sells it's gently worn and lifetime guaranteed outdoor wear on eBay. Who knew?
  4. Buy Fair Trade - most of us are blessed to have access to some retailers in our communities that sale fair trade goods. There are dozens of shopping sites dedicated to promoting fair trade fashions and even fair trade cities (Chicago). The problem is fair trade can be prohibitive for many of our budgets. It helps to think and shop for long term usage. How can an item be used over multiple seasons and with multiple outfits? Putting my banker hat on, I make a cost per usage calculation ($90/30 uses per year minus the cost of human suffering vs. $25/10 uses per year plus the cost of human suffering, is a pretty good deal to me). The value of eco-ethical shopping sites is that you can often get some really good deals. I recommend, JP Selects, SweatFree Shopping and Eco Fashion World to start. A caveat is that eco doesn't always mean fair trade, so be sure to look for ethical and fair trade in your filters. Another site for great scarves, hats and gloves is Ten Thousand Villages - I volunteer occasionally at the Cleveland store. I often purchase work appropriate dresses, tops and skirts from Revive. If you are in the UK, support African Fair Trade fashionistas by visiting the new Sapelle's online store.
  5. Hire an Image Consultant - No really. I invested $50 for one hour with a wonderful image consultant on a color consultation and it was one of the best investments of my life! Armed with a booklet of my optimal colors, I now save time and money by investing only in colors that look great on me and work well together. AICI is the best source for locating an image consultant. If you are in Cleveland, Dawn Waldrop of Best Impressions is the best!
  6. Buy Made In The USA - Now I know that there is an argument for supporting imported items as our purchases impact impoverished and disadvantaged people. But at what cost? Enough consumers will continue to purchase cheap imported goods to ensure job security for most overseas factory workers. It is however, essential to be part of a growing chorus of conscientious consumers that send the message with our wallets and our letters, that we can do better. What brands are still made in the USA? Spanx, American Apparel, some New Balance and some Lane Bryant. In addition to one of my favorites, Texture Clothing, Business Week compiled some not so familiar made in the USA brands to consider.
  7. Learn How to Sew - easier said than done, but many craft stores and community centers offer sewing classes.
  8. Think Minimal - Have a little fun with yourself and do this exercise. You are going on a trip in which you would be engaging in a variety of activities - meetings, partying, gallery hopping, people watching, community service - and can only take 15 items of clothing. What would you take? You may find that you really wear a small percentage of your clothes the majority of your time. So why burden yourself with buying so many clothes when you can keep life simple with 15 items that you absolutely love? You keep it fun and fresh with accessories like scarves and jewelry! I have a skirt that I can wear five different ways, including as a dress. Most of my dresses are worn year round via layering up or down, depending on the season. What would be on your list of 15? 
So there you go. No excuses for not redirecting more of our fashion dollars for the love of strangers. Tis the season!

This is one of my favorite dresses. It is from Texture Clothing and can be worn year round, dressed up or down, is very forgiving and extremely comfortable! I wear it with tights, sandals, sweaters, tees, turtlenecks, blazers, ankle boots, knee high boots, barelegged, you name it. Go to and to purchase one for yourself.

Zinnias To Brighten Your Day

Thought I would share the last of my zinnias with you. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

20 Best Colleges for Socially-Conscious Students - Best Colleges Online

20 Best Colleges for Socially-Conscious Students - Best Colleges Online

Kudos to the colleges that made this on the list, though I may have some pause sending my child to some of them due to their remote and non-diverse locations. I would add DePaul University to the list, what college is missing from this list?

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Vegan Mocha Angel: Raw Key Lime Pie

The Vegan Mocha Angel: Key Lime Pie This recipes looks simple and delicious! I would use a macadamia nut crust to keep it truly tropical.

ACGA and Gardener's Supply Grant Program Application

Win $1000 for your established or developing community garden by applying for the Gardener's Supply Grant. You will need to submit an application, a budget, a description and photos of your project. Deadline is January 18, 2013.

2013 Growing Green Awards | NRDC: Today Last Day to Nominate!

2013 Growing Green Awards | NRDC

Monday, November 26, 2012

Great Green Gift Idea: Knowledge

Hue-Man Bookstore | A SKU For Every Hue
My dad just hipped me to this amazing bookstore. True to its slogan, books for every hue. This kind of knowledge could be dangerous - to my wallet! Seasons greetings, folks. Give consciously.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! I am nuts about you! Sharing a shadowy picture of a squirrel in my front yard feasting on a very large piece of fruit. Getting his Thanksgiving grub on. Enjoy your day and count your blessings!

Friday, November 16, 2012

USDA Awards First Grants for Farm-to-School Programs

USDA Awards First Grants for Farm-to-School Programs

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Walgreens Launches Green Product Line

Walgreens Launches Green Product Line

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Results Help US Move Forward, Not Backward

Election Results Help US Move Forward, Not Backward

Monday, October 29, 2012

Raw Thanksgiving Recipes

Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!): November 22, 2009: Okay, here is a menu of holiday recipes from another Blogger vegan chef, but she is a raw vegan. Not the heartiest of Thanksgiving fares, but the cranberry sauce and mushroom loaf look intriguing. You can even serve them with your cooked Thanksgiving meal as appetizers to give them a test run.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Frakenstorm Poses Risks for Coastal Cities

As I listen to the forecast of disasterous conditions for cities in the eastern coastal areas, I am reminded of a 2008 post I wrote for emPower Magazine on why African Americans should care about climate change. What was not considered at the time was the impact of rising tides and extreme weather on nuclear facilities in those areas. The short term solution is to check in with your local officials and/or FEMA to determine the best steps to take to protect you and your family/neighbors. Once this storm has passed, I urge you to make your local, state and federal officials accountible for solutions which address, prevent and/or mitigate risks associated with climate change. To get started, read this article from Sustainable Business on politicians that vote green or not and let them know that African Americans do care about climate change and it's negative impact on our communities. Kudos to publications like emPower Magazine for trying to keep these types of issues on the forefront of conversation in the black community!

Doctors Say Eat Your Organic Fruits and Veggies

Docs Say Choose Organic Food To Reduce Kids' Exposure To Pesticides : The Salt : NPR I've been saying this all month as emails about the Stanford "non organic produce no different than organic produce study",  started to make the rounds. At the very least avoid the non organic "dirty dozen". This is  why I love public radio!

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes: Black Eyed Pea Nut Loaf with Sweet Potato Gratin &...

A Profound Hatred of Meat: Black Eyed Pea Nut Loaf with Sweet Potato Gratin &...: Another great meal from the prolific vegan chef, xCarly of the blog, A Profound Hatred of Meat. Of course she is from Portland! I gotta visit that place one day. Anyway, back to the meal. It features my favorite eye peas, nuts, fruit and sweet potatoes. The vegans at your Thanksgiving meal, will really be thankful if you surprise them with this feast! Could be a great Christmas, Kwanzaa or New Years meal too.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Contaminated culture: Native people struggle with tainted resources, lost identity — Environmental Health News

Contaminated culture: Native people struggle with tainted resources, lost identity — Environmental Health News

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cool Green Job: Communications Manager Womens Enviro Group

Communications Manager, Rachel's Network Rachel's Network is a non-profit organization for women environmental funders. Looking for someone to help the world know that women's voices are loud and clear as it relates to stewardship of our beautiful planet.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Amazon Farmers Seize Chevron Assets or Life Is Not Always Black and Green

Amazon Farmers Seize Chevron Assets A reversal of fortune for some multinational oil companies, as Latin American and African countries attempt to hold them accountable for environmental hazards. I was first exposed to the type of environmental degradation taking place in these countries (and our own) in 2008 when I read the eye-opening book, "Building the Green Economy, Success Stories from the Grass Roots", by Kevin Danaher, Shannon Biggs and Jason Mark. I was truly shocked and dismayed by what I read, yet encouraged by the tenacity of activists fighting to preserve their land and their health.The pictures in this post are from a report I found on the tropical rainforests of Ecuador and the stories of inhumanity are just as shocking as my readings in 2008. While I'm sure that Ecuadorians were thrilled with the prospect of jobs and a boon to their economies when these drills and pipelines arrived, I don't think they could have ever imagined the long term costs to be paid with lives and communities that will be impacted for generations. So the debate continues in the United States today, what is the priority - a flush of cash and wealth to support struggling and economically dying communities now or making some temporary or permanent sacrifices of economic gain for long term sustainability of the community? As economic options become increasingly limited for today's citizens, in this knowledge based and global economy, it's difficult to not feel compelled to go for the precious gold ring. Kind of not unlike many of the high risk and literally life threatening choices folks in poor communities have to make everyday. Life is gray folks, not always black, not always white, not always green.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recycled Food And The Green Start-up Economy

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Green Your Halloween or Harvest Day Activities

Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays. I reveled in the eerie celebration and thinking up ways to scare people, baking themed treats and really enjoyed trick or treating! Then came church. We are discouraged from celebrating Halloween and to replace the scary themes with celebrations of the harvest bounty(which in itself has some connections to pagan traditions, but I guess you have to replace Halloween with something). Enough about me, let's talk about you and your families. A big issue for those of use that try to be socially and environmentally responsible is how to have fun with your Halloween or Harvest Celebrations and reduce the impact on our family's health and the environment. Green America, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to "harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society" has developed a great and comprehensive guide to greening your late October celebrations. A few highlights from the article:
  • Replace candy treats with non-food treasures (homemade bracelets, pencils, stickers, cool looking pebbles decorated as eyeballs, interesting knick knacks, mini pumpkins, hair accessories, dried mini-floral bouquets bundles, bouncy balls, acorn or monkey ball crafts
  • Instead of buying costumes - create your own from stuff around the house or swap with neighbors and family members, there are lots of great ideas online
  • Have a neighborhood celebration in the community garden - you could encourage everyone to bring some homemade baked goodies for a harvest tasting
  • Hand out fair trade goodies in place of non-fair traded chocolates, include with tags that promote and educate on fair trade
  • Avoid non-toxic face paints
When my son was younger, we would have Harvest Parties with his little crew. There was usually a video game tournament, a Beyblade tournament, lots of goodies, leaf  pile diving and given that I was entertaining boys - a good ole pumpkin smashing contest to work off all of that energy and sugar to cap off the night!

So whether you celebrate Halloween or Harvest Days, there are lots of fun, green options to do so in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ocean Trash As Raw Material For Soap Bottles

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cool Green Job: Climate Change and Health Specialist, Engility

Climate Change and Health Specialist, Engility

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fossil Fuel Lobby Targets Matt Damon's New Film About Fracking

Fossil Fuel Lobby Targets Matt Damon's New Film About Fracking

Outreach & Communications Coordinator, Midwest Environmental Advocates

Outreach & Communications Coordinator, Midwest Environmental Advocates

Monday, October 8, 2012

US Supreme Court Takes Up Monsanto GMO Patent Challenge

US Supreme Court Takes Up Monsanto GMO Patent Challenge

Research & Publications Intern, Environmental Law Institute

Research & Publications Intern, Environmental Law Institute

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Breast Cancer Rates for Military Men & Women on the Rise | The Afro-American Newspapers | Your Community. Your History. Your News.

Breast Cancer Rates for Military Men & Women on the Rise | The Afro-American Newspapers | Your Community. Your History. Your News. Could it be exposure to toxic chemicals and extreme stress?

Latinos a ‘Core Conservation Community,’ Poll Finds - New America Media

Latinos a ‘Core Conservation Community,’ Poll Finds - New America Media Muy bien!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Soul Food Vegan Black Eyed Pea Meatballs

A Profound Hatred of Meat: Chipotle Tomato Soup, Black Eyed Pea Meatballs wit...: Soup again!? Yes! Get into it! Spicy tomato soup with chipotle peppers, garlic, black eyed peas and red onions served with tender meatballs...

Okay, here is one more meatball recipe from the blog, A Profound Hatred of Meat. It features black eyed peas and kale greens! Couldn't pass this one up. With the bounty of kale from my garden pictured below, I must prepare these meatballs this fall.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vegan Spaghetti & Meatball Recipe

A Profound Hatred of Meat: Spaghetti & Meatballs: This list is long for these little meatballs but the flavor is huge and well worth it.

I love this site. She has the best vegan recipes and great photos. Tonight, I made a delicious vegan spaghetti using leftover gmo free chorizo by Tofurky, the last vestiges of a bag of frozen peppers and onions sauteed with leftover baked beans that had been staring at me everytime I opened the fridge. Added to this, leftover Paul Newman's spicy spaghetti sauce. Topped over whole wheat spaghetti. It was a wonderful, easy to prepare late night dinner. Best part is that I have enough for lunch tomorrow....very appropriate for a meal made from leftovers!

Debate Attacks Green Jobs

Washington Post Check out this article highlighting the attack on green jobs during the debate last night. Interestingly, green jobs are actually growing faster in conservative parts of the country. Guess someone didn't get his talking points from the many conservative employees that are benefiting from these new economy, innovative, green jobs. It's okay for old economy companies to continue to benefit from "job creating" subsidies, but not okay to provide subsidies to develop the American jobs of the future. There will be some winners and some losers, but subsidies are supposed to provide capital to encourage growth and investment and build knowledge in new, riskier industries that have great potential. This is what SBA loans and SBIR grants do to support entrepreneurs that show potential, but may not be attractive enough to get capital from banks or even equity investors, given their risk profile. Many successful businesses have benefited from that early boost that an SBA loan or government grant provided and have grown to become job and wealth creators for their communities. I'm pretty sure that Big Bird wasn't the only one making the famous Scooby Doo sound..."RRRR?", during last night's debate.

Hershey stuns critics with commitment to source 100% certified cocoa by 2020

Hershey stuns critics with commitment to source 100% certified cocoa by 2020 

Growth in Fair Trade Chocolate Market Share in Brands like Divine

This is great news folks!!! Note that Hershey's was starting to fall behind it's competitors. Not sure if there is a causal relationship between this and people like you that were voting with their pocketbooks to not buy unethical chocolate, but it certainly had to be a factor. As much as we can feel that one person can't make a difference, the growth in organic, local, sustainable and fairly traded goods, demonstrate that change starts with you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fair Trade and Green Job Opportunities

More green and fair trade job opportunities for you. Check them out here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Say It Out Loud! I'm Green And I'm Conservative?

New Groups Make A Conservative Argument On Climate Change | WBUR & NPR
Good to see that greener living is being embraced by folks on both sides of the political spectrum. Guess folks are realizing that we only have one habitable planet.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cool Green Jobs in Fair Trade

Fair Trade Resource Network » Fair Trade Jobs You know that I like to post cool green jobs on occassion. One of my volunteer activities is to work at a fair trade retail store called Ten Thousand Villages. How cool would it be to work fulltime in the fast growing and dynamic fair trade industry? Click on the link to see what's available.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

RIPE! Fun at the Botanical Garden

This weekend marke the third annual RIPE! Food and Garden Festival at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. I decided  to embrace the autumnal chilly temperature and rain to check out the festival for the first time. I couldn't be a respectable green and garden blogger without making an appearance at such a wonderful festival, right? I had a great time, learned a lot and stumbled upon a few unexpected Black and Into Green treasures. Thought I would share some of what one can find at a botanical garden, for those of you that haven't crossed visiting such a wonderful green wonderland off of your bucket list. LOL! (These are only just a small sample of stimulating sights and scents you will find.)
Tons of unique and native plants

Hummingbird feeders
Gorgeous flowers - zinnias featured here.

Workshops and gardening classes. I attended a lecture on incorporating fruit in your front garden.

Goodies! These are cookies passed out at the workshop filled with current preserves. Yum.

Fanciful seasonal decor.

Delicious food at the cafe. This was served at the workshop. Salad with ground cherries. An easy to grow annual fruit to put in your garden.

Toys for kids of all ages. These are cutie little insect banks, for those of you that aren't into pigs.

Great gifts at the gift shop and lots of tea accessories for sipping in the garden!

Amazing cookbooks. I purchased this one today. Check out the book below that I found at a used book sale in the garden library. Great find! "Lil brown baby with sparkling eyes."

Lots of material on going green.
Great garden and natural themed accessories for your home. I want all of these lamps below!

Cute seasonal decorating ideas.

Old school classics with new school themes.

Ipad accessories. LOL!

More decorating and landscaping ideas.