Lucid Food arrives, already a present, gorgeous with scrolling artwork and vibrant images, wrapped and ready. I am enamored. Also, I am hungry. Thumbing past photography for Chickpea Cakes with a verdant green Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce, Fall Fruit Focaccia succulent with apple wedges, Crispy Yuba Rolls that look toasty brown and crunchy, ready to dip, I […]
Review: Green Mama
A compelling, well-written book for aspiring environmental mommies, Green Mama manages to fulfill its “guilt-free” promise with solid, simple advice that’s easy — for even the busiest moms! — to implement. “Leaving things better than I found them even started to seem, well, a little like something Jesus would do,” says Bianchi. Bianchi’s appealing slice-of-life […]
Social and Environmental Inspiration
In the past month, I’ve been traveling — it is summer, after all — and reading a great deal, both on paper and online. I’ve stumbled across some dedicated environmental groups and thought I’d share my findings. If you’re looking for inspiration to start your own neighborhood project or just want to throw a few dollars at someone with a great idea, visit a link or two below.
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Cutest (and Most Enduring) Reusable Bags
People ask me where I bought my reusable bags. They really do, all the time. That is, those who are not annoyed and/or threatened by them. I’m not sure where I originally found Envirosax, but at the time they were a tiny Australian company exporting handfuls of bags to the US at very dear shipping prices. I bought myself a bag o’ sacks — it’s a real thing — and then dozens more for everyone on my shopping list that year. The thing is, they were adorable! Sweet, printed florals or bold, sweeping graphics gave each bag purse potential. While the company has bloomed, I, along with the original recipients of my holiday 2005 buying spree, still carry the bags from my first Envirosax order. That’s how durable they are, and mine have been sorely tested with everything from heavy canned goods to weekly farmers market runs. One bag has holes poked through the center after a loose artichoke prickled through two years ago and he’s still going strong, though I’m careful about the artichokes these days.
This year I supplemented my fraying, tired collection with two newbies from Envirosax. (Now that I live in the country, I need a few extra bags for stocking up.) Yes, there are plenty of other reusable bag manufacturers. But I like to adopt the second and maybe even fourteenth cousins of my current bags and think of them all giddily catching up on family business when I’m asleep.
If I think about how many plastic bags I’ve avoided by using these five bags on nearly every outing for the past four years, I’m proud of the tiny dent I’ve made. I’m down at least 1,040 bags, at five bags per week. Scoff if you must, but it’s more than a few bags.
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Grrr. I admit it — I was angry. Walking along the gardens that flank my porch, I was aghast to see all my hard work transplanting seedlings and starters had been ravaged by pests. And large pests of the fuzzy bunny type chew straight down to the core. Squash, zucchini and cucumber were indistinguishable without leaves. Totally armless, stick figures of tomatoes, eggplant and pepper waved in the wind. I had to start again, losing weeks from my growing season. What could I do to keep the rabbits from eating my second efforts?
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Non-toxic Products—Worth the Scrub?
With spring around the corner, I find myself stuck aboard the cleaning wagon. When I first started making homemade cleaning products, I’d occasionally find it challenging to get an area completely spotless. It can be frustrating to scrub twice as hard, when a chemical-laden spray used to eat through the grime in seconds. Using all the tips I’d learned, I was always able to get it clean, but not without some effort.
The good news is that there’s an easy way to spare myself the intense, muscled scrubbing: the monthly onceover. When I stay on top of things, revisiting each room weekly, the cleaning isn’t more than a basic wipe. Such a relief.
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