Earth Day is just another day to anyone who cares about the environment the other 364 days of the year. The truth is, today should be no different. Here are 10 things you should be doing all the time to help your Mother Earth. They are so obvious that it’s nuts anyone needs to be reminded. Yeah, I mean you!
1. Turn off lights when not in the room
2. Shut off water while brushing your teeth. Water should be left on for rinsing only.
3. Same goes with washing dishes.
4. Laundry and dish washers should only be run with a full load.
5. Recycle! Recycle! Recycle!
6. Vintage clothing is way cooler than that new made-in-China crap. Second hand thrift shopping is the way to go.
7. Unplug electric “vampires” that suck power even when electronics are off. That means all battery chargers, TV’s, power strips and pretty much anything else that’s plugged in.
8. Take public transit instead of your car.
9. Stop overlooking the impact of your meat based diet. You don’t want to think about how animals are tortured and killed everyday? Do you realize the natural resources that go into producing that bloody hamburger? Grains and water for feed crops, land and deforestation, methane gas produced by animals and fuel for production and transport. Yes, all that is needed for vegetable crops too, but research how many people can be fed on the resources it takes to feed one single cow.
10. End the paper trail! Does anyone still get paper bills that they pay by check? If so, you’re a total dinosaur. It’s 2013. Everything is online, man.
posted @ 9:54 am Comments (1)
posted @ 5:54 am Comments (0)
Forget Spring. Summer is here. And with summer comes backyard barbeques and poolside entertaining. (If you have a pool, invite me.) Since this is a green blog, the use of disposable anything should not be promoted. However, some of these products are biodegradable or can take a good few uses before crapping out.
The VerTerra palm leaf plates above are made from fallen leaves. They are biodegradable and chemical free as well as microwave safe. The 6×6 plates as shown run about $152 for a 300 count. The company makes matching cutlery as well.
Wasara makes some beautiful products from bamboo and recycled paper. Love the cutlery! A party kit as shown would run $249 for service for 50 people.
Non-eco friendly plastics can look nice too. The 9″ wavy plate from EMI Yoshi costs 68 bucks for 120 plates over at Wasserstrom Restaurant Supplies.
As for the bargains, check out Amazing Savings and National Wholesale Liquidators first. Also, never forget your local dollar store! And of course, y’all know that Ikea and Target have fun outdoor dining option. Oh, and you can always buy inexpensive vintage wares at any second hand thrift shop. I know, I know. Then you have to wash it.
posted @ 5:48 am Comments (0)
Curious about green building technology and home maintenance? Well, here’s your chance to learn more! City Tech is offering their “Anatomy of a Green Brownstone” course this Saturday. Four hours for sixty bucks. It covers green roofs, solar and more.
posted @ 7:51 am Comments (1)
This is a few years old, but I’ve just discovered it so it’s new to me.
Hollywood is full of environmentalists. So you would think the movie industry should be green, right? Well, a film production company tried to shoot a movie that was entirely green and it didn’t go so well. Check out the trailer for “Greenlit“, a documentary on the eco-filming of “The River Why”.
posted @ 8:24 am Comments (0)
posted @ 7:53 am Comments (0)
Of course I don’t really believe that recycling old building materials can ever go out of style. It’s just that….I’m having difficulty finding my own materials this time around!
I’ve been hitting up the usual suspects religiously and have come up with bupkas. Build it Green’s inventory in both Brooklyn and Queens is low. Shite, in fact. Vaccaro’s has some decent stuff, but none of it worked for me in regards to this reno. I only found some louver doors at Eddie’s to make a wall out of. He told me that a lot of new restaurants and bars come by to shop.
Which brings me to the point that every new restaurant opening in Brooklyn is decorated with salvaged materials.
Enough already! Leave some for me.
Oh, even Upstate was a bust. Hoffman’s Barn was packed when I was there on Saturday. No lie. Totally Hipsterville. WTF?
I used to do well on Craigslist too. Now? Nah.
The good news is that I’ll be exploring new places to shop this week or next. I’ll head over to CT, NJ and PA.
So take that, people stealing my reclaimed thunder!
posted @ 6:06 am Comments (0)
Sheetrocking too expensive and time consuming? Answer = Yes. One alternative is to build a wall with doors. Much more interesting than sheetrock and takes a minimal amount of skills.
posted @ 7:50 am Comments (3)
posted @ 6:55 am Comments (2)
Want to take a drive to the country for the weekend? Beach for the day? How about obtaining a van for renovations? Car rental companies can be pretty pricey in New York, so it’s no surprise that car sharing options such as ZipCar have gained in popularity.
Disclosure: I’m just doing some internet research because I’ll soon be needing a van for renovations. I’ve never actually tried a car sharing company. If you have, please comment with some feedback!
It would seem that the daily price of car sharing is comparable to rentals; however, gas and insurance are included in the share. We all know that insurance is what can double the price of that rental. Let’s also remember that location, location, location is everything. Looks like car sharing may be a tad more convenient than schlepping to a rental company to pick up a car. Also, if you only need it for an hour to two, that’s cool.
If you only intend to use the car once or twice a year, car sharing may not be worth it as there is a membership fee involved.
Let’s have a look at some local companies, shall we?
ZipCar is the best known. You’ll be spending $85 to participate. $60 for the annual fee and $25 application fee. Hourly weekend rates are $14 or $125 per day.
Hertz didn’t get to where they are by making bad business decisions. They’ve entered the game with Hertz on Demand and it’s pretty competitve. There are no membership or application fees. Insurance and gas are included and weekend rates run from $8 per hour or $108 per day.
Mint Cars on Demand waives the membership fee for the first year and charges $40 annually after that. Weekend rates for an economy car are $12 per hour and $107 per day with the first 180 miles free, then .45 cents per mile after that. As with the other companies, gas and insurance are included.
Carpingo just launched in Brooklyn. Like this month. Since they are quite new, the information isn’t really out there yet, but here’s what I came up with: The founders are Brooklynites whom have been in the NYC car rental industry for 30 years. They do have cargo vans as well as cute little cars like the Fiat 500. Don’t know if this is a start up offer or they are keeping these rates, but membership is free and the application fee is waived. Gas, insurance and 180 free miles included. I see $8 per hour on a postcard I received but I don’t know if that’s weekday or weekend. Also, the postcard announces $75 in free driving if you join now. Coupon code CPG100.
Then, for my purposes, there’s always UHaul or big box hardware store truck rentals starting at $19.95 per day plus expenses. Or….man with van including a helping hand. The problem with that is getting someone reliable enough.
There are also ways to earn money by sharing your own car and of course you can rent from the following places as well. Personally, I’d feel kind of awkward messing around with someone’s privately owned vehicle rather than a large faceless company.
If you are interested in offering your own car or renting someone’s private vehicle, check out these companies:
posted @ 7:30 am Comments (0)
World Water Day is coming up. The annual event is held every March 22.
Much of the world faces a global water, sanitation and hygiene crisis. The UN and the global community participates in World Water Day to remind us that it is everyone’s obligation to pitch in. Let’s try to reduce poverty, disease and hunger by helping to improve sustainable access to safe drinking water and better sanitation for millions around the world.
How can you help? Here’s a list of events by region. You can also donate your voice by linking your Facebook or Twitter accounts to World Water Day.
posted @ 6:13 am Comments (0)
The Water Tank Project is coming to an NYC rooftop near you for three months in the spring of 2013. Word Above the Street’s public awareness campaign aims to inspire millions of people to be more responsible with their daily water usage.
Select rooftop water tanks across the city will be temporarily wrapped with original artwork, the subject matter being water. Students, emerging and established artists will take part in the project.
The Water Tank Project will also promote New York City’s high quality drinking water and highlight the role of the world’s major cities in leading the way to responsible stewardship of water.
How can you help? Donate here. Or…on March 1st shop at Whole Foods as 5% of the sales will be donated to the project. Or…got a tank? Let them use it!
Via Cool Hunting
posted @ 8:53 am Comments (0)
Spent a romantic Valentine’s evening at the Woodstock Sanctuary B&B, not with my husband but with my friend Deb. We went upstate to look at some properties and although we didn’t get to spend too much time at the sanctuary, we got to see what it was all about.
The B&B is a fairly new addition to the sanctuary. Because of it’s non-profit status, you have to be a member to book a room. The profits go to the care of the rescued farm animals, so go early and go often! Membership benefits include discounts to some serious vegetarian restaurants both upstate and in the city.
The farmhouse is a lovely restored pre-Civil War home. Because of the newness of it, I was afraid to touch anything, but it was definitely comfy and homey. Images of the farm animals hang from the walls and even the claws on the tub are painted like a rooster.
Two of the rooms share the two hallway bathrooms and there is one room that is en-suite. We’re talking about $120 for a room but it was higher for Valentine’s. The vegan breakfast served in the morning gives you a selection of bagels, muffins and cereal with fresh fruit and non-dairy options. There’s a newly updated DVD collection, some books and of course, wifi.
The sanctuary asks that you remain respectful of their cause and refrain from bringing in any animal bi-products. This means leave your fur coat and Ugg boots at home. And don’t bring your McDonald’s in for lunch and say you couldn’t go a day without meat. Not that people staying here would do that, but you get my drift.
The owners live in this gawgeous home. Wins my award for “Best New Construction Evah”.
The sanctuary is located just off of Rt 212, somewhere between Woodstock and Phoenicia. We had dinner in Bearsville and made it back in one piece within ohh, maybe 15 minutes?
Great guest house but of course it’s all about the animals! We got to visit them and meet the farm staff the following morning. We hung out in the goat pen a bit and we were greeted by the pigs in their pen. We got to meet Dylan the giant grown up veal calf and the chickens and roosters.
So, if you’re looking for that perfect B&B in the country and you happen to be an animal lover, this is THE place. I’ll be back for sure. Perhaps I’ll even bring my husband for a real romantic evening.
And now….meet the animals! (Full set on Flickr)
posted @ 10:23 am Comments (5)
Missed the Mulchfest this weekend? Do not fear. As long as you get your tree curbside by January 14th, it can still be recycled. Who wants to schlep their tree to a park anyway when you can just put it out with the trash?
The Department of Sanitation is asking residents to remove all stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments before placing trees out for collection. Don’t place trees in plastic bags or tape them. Just-the-tree. They will be chipped into mulch that will be distributed to parks, playing fields, and community gardens throughout the city.
Get ‘er done. You really don’t want that thing up in your house until Easter, now, do you?
posted @ 9:37 am Comments (1)
This past weekend I participated in Build it Green’s Crafted at the Canal in Gowanus. ‘Twas really nice to take part in a show where all of the goods were made out of recycled materials. Not only that, but it was my first time in BIG’s new Brooklyn location. OMG, it is huge! I’d say that have it only about 30% filled with used building merch as they only moved in about a month ago.
Anyway, back to the craft show, which will be happening again this weekend: Dec. 17th & 18th. 10am-5pm.
WoodKnot Design is a couple of extremely talented guys who know how to work old wood. It’s obvious the photos depict items made out of antique shutters and doors, but the medicine cabinet above was once an old swing set. Always impressive to hear about the past lives of objects.
Bespoke Glass Tile gets a percentage of it’s glass through a commercial recycling resources, including Build it Green. They are a green company, right down to their shipping supplies and web host. Ellen and Lesley create beautiful glass tiles for backsplashes and house projects, but I love their gifty tile creations made out of cabinet doors and sewing machine drawers.
I was severely crushing on these recycled t-shirt pillows by Tura Lura. This talented chick does gaw-geous crocheted and embroidered jewelry too, but she had me at hello with the old shirts. Darth Vader? Awesome. Superman? Who doesn’t want a Superman pillow?
So, y’all should swing by this weekend to support these and many other upcycled vendors (including myself). Need more persuading? Check out what Build it Green has on hand….
posted @ 9:44 am Comments (0)