Country Living: My Summer of Love and Learning to Let Go

Cheryl Terrace by Cheryl Terrace | September 7th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Eco Decorating, Eco Travel, Green Living, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: community, control freak, control issues, eco party planning, eco-design, green parties, happiness, happy, home, hospitality, humanely raised, Leonard Cohen quote, letting go, local farms, love, meat, nature, neighbors, perfection, perfectionist, summer, sustainable, the country, the unexpected, upcycling, vegetarian, vegetarianism, welcome

Cheryl and AndyThis summer I’ve spent a good deal of time upstate in the Catskills where my boyfriend manages a 2,000-acre estate. (Two and a half times the size of Central Park!) This Gilded Age estate includes a once grand 20,000-sq-ft mansion and riding stables. Needless to say, it’s paradise for me, Nature Gal. The abundant wildlife (including bobcat and bear), fresh air, pure spring water and total lack of light pollution has me ‘blissed out in the boonies.’ I believe nature is our ultimate healer, which is the reason I incorporate all things natural into my design work. And I have never felt healthier or happier in my whole life than I have this summer, enveloped in this magical kingdom.

Gourmet Is a Good Thing

Bevin Wallace by Bevin Wallace | January 31st, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: breakfast, childhood obesity, children, clean your plate, diet, dinner, environmental, food, force-feeding, fresh produce, fruits and vegetables, fun, gourmet, health, healthy-eating, hunger, hungry, in-season, ingredients, junk food, kids, local farms, lunch, meals, mother, organic, parenting, picky eater, processed, recipes, soup, sugar, sustainable, weight, whole grain

Boy eating dinner at a restaurantI know it might sound obnoxious at first and that I sound a little like Martha Stewart with that headline, but I like the idea of raising gourmet kids. By “gourmet,” I don’t mean kids who demand white tablecloths and truffle oil. What I mean is simply someone with an appreciation of good food. Here’s how Webster’s defines it:

Eco-Travelers: Help World Wildlife Fund Protect the Planet

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | January 26th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: 50th anniversary, animals, charity, conservation, donation, Eco Travel, ecology, endangered-species, energy, environment, extinction, facebook, fundraiser, natural-habitat-adventures, nature, pollution, preservation, renewable, resources, sustainable, threatened, travel, trips, water, World Wildlife Fund

Kodiak bear fishing for salmon

Anyone who has ever watched a brown bear fish, or an elephant wallow in a water hole, or a curious sea lion come face to face with a snorkeler, knows that one of the highlights of eco-travel is close encounters with wildlife in natural settings.

Handmade Holidays — Who’s With Me?

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | December 13th, 2010 | 1 Comment
topic: Giving Back, Green Living | tags: art, Buy Handmade, christmas, crafts, crocheted coffee cup cozy, eco-friendly presents, etsy, fair-trade, gifts, green gift guide, hand painted, handcrafted, handmade, Hanukkah, holiday, holidays, homemade, jewelty, paint, photo book, posters, prints, recycled, silver pendant, Small Business Saturday, sustainable, wooden iPad stand, wooden school bus

Knitted coffee cosy

With the creation of Small Business Saturday (and its huge following!), there’s another movement taking shape this holiday season: Buy Handmade. People around the world are pledging to buy handmade gifts for loved ones this holiday season and ask that others do the same for them.

The Path to Love and Sustainability

Annie B. Bond by Annie B. Bond | November 15th, 2010 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living, Inspirational Media, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: Annie Bond, autumn, biodiversity, Deepak Chopra, emotions, fall, farming, food, Green Living, healthy-eating, heart, heirloom, local, love, loving, meal, organic, Relationships, soil, sustainability, sustainable

Bucket of cornThe Path to Love

Our materialistic worldview has reduced love to a haphazard flow of hormones coupled to psychological fantasies. The spiritual truth is very different. Once the walls fall down, we discover that our real problem is that there is too much love around us, not too little. Love is eternal and unbounded; it is only we who take tiny sips from its infinite ocean.

Planning a Wedding that Won’t Break the Bank or the Planet

Jessie Lucier by Jessie Lucier | April 8th, 2010 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living | tags: Clothing, favors, flowers, food, green, inexpensive, invitations, simple, sustainable, transportation, weddings

wedding in the woods

Weddings are expensive, both to the pocketbook and the planet. If you’re lucky in love and planning a wedding this year, why not make it simple and sustainable?

Here’s a few money-saving, eco-ideas to get you started:


Buy simple invitations printed on 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper. Before ordering them from a large-scale company, research printing shops in your local community. You’ll get the personal attention and detail that you won’t through a commercial company, and your dollars will support a local business.

Beyond Material: What Makes Eco-Furniture Sustainable

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | November 4th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: bamboo, carbon offset, eco-friendly furniture, eco-furniture, efficient shipping, FSC certified, furniture, green design, green furniture, home furnishings, multi-functional, recyclable, sustainable, sustainable furniture, transport

When I saw Artek's 10-Unit System, I also started to think that one piece of furniture is enough.

Artek's 10-Unit System Chair raises the cool factor (and wow factor) of sustainable design.

Think of sustainable home furnishings, and the words bamboo, recycled soda bottles and FSC-certified probably come to mind.

Makes sense. I mean, the material of a product is the easiest eco-criteria to evaluate. But lately I’ve been curious about the not-so-obvious qualities of a product that could make it a more sustainable choice — things like function, transport and recyclability.

Sustainable Eating, Year-Round

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | April 21st, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Healthy Eating | tags: Earth Day, eating, Food for Thought, sustainable, year-round

I like Earth Day because it puts the environment front and center, at least for one day. But every year when the organic cotton "Earth Day" T-shirts are put away, the festivals and celebrations are shut down and put away, and the lights are turned back on, I hope that the message of Earth Day will sustain us for a little longer.

For instance, at my daughter’s school, her teachers asked us to pack their lunches in waste-free, reusable containers, and to include whole grains, fruit and vegetables. The latter was easy enough, that’s typical of my daughter’s lunch every day (and, I’m pleased to see when I’m parent helper, is the norm in most of her classmates’ lunch boxes as well). But as I was packing Sadie’s lunch up, I realized that I’d gotten pretty wasteful about what I use to pack her lunch. I’ve long since lost the lids to many of my reusable plastic containers, so I often just cover the containers with plastic wrap. Worse, I’ve gotten into the habit of buying little individual containers of applesauce and yogurt, instead of buying a less-wasteful (and more economical) larger package and doling out servings into reusable containers. I found myself reaching automatically for a zip-top bag to use for Sadie’s veggies, but stopped myself and instead put them in a container that could come back home with her. And although I normally wrap her sippy cup of milk in a layer of aluminum foil to keep it cool, I instead just put an ice pack into her lunch bag.

Being more aware as I was packing her lunch was a good exercise, and I hope that I can keep it up through the end of the school year, maybe even digging through my cabinet to find the lids to all those containers, and retiring my plastic wrap and baggies in favor of containers that can be used again and again. Some people I know even rinse out and reuse plastic bags.

portant as reducing waste is being more mindful of how you eat, and how this impacts the food industry. I recently came across the Sustainable Table’s list of 10 Steps to Eating Sustainable, and was eager to see how many of these tips I already followed. Some of them are no-brainers, but many of the suggestions offer easy, minimal ways that you can incorporate more sustainable choices into your everyday eating habits. For instance, one suggestion is to cut out meat consumption one day a week (Americans already eat far more meat than the recommended daily allowance) to improve our health and help the environment. There’s even a campaign afoot, Meatless Mondays, that encourages people to refrain from eating meat every Monday. We rarely eat meat for breakfast and lunch, and typically two to three dinners each week are meatless, so I can check that tip off my list. The tips also suggest reducing consumption of bottled water. I took a "Water Footprint" test and was pleased to see that although I do occasionally buy bottles of water in a pinch, my water consumption is still below that of the average American.

My favorite tip is to eat as much as you can of your favorite foods when they’re in season, gorging on them, so that you’ve gotten your fill of these foods when they’re at their tastiest, and you won’t necessarily crave it when they’re out of season and no longer as delicious. I’ll certainly do that this summer with corn, tomatoes, watermelon and other fruits and vegetables that just aren’t nearly as good when they’re not in season. If my daughter is anything like me, she won’t mind seeing watermelon packed in her lunchbox day after day.

Hopefully by Earth Day next year, I’ll be able to reflect back on the year and realize that from the realizations I made this week, I’ll have changed my habits for good.

Hook, Line and Supper

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | September 28th, 2007 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: bass, cod, fish farming, fisheries, mercury, omega-3's, salmon, seafood, sustainable, tuna

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about the fishing industry. I love fish—it’s so good for you, and easy to prepare, and incredibly versatile. But I can’t help but feel guilty about wolfing down tuna nigiri at my favorite sushi restaurant, or seeing the huge bags of shrimp at Costco and thinking about the havoc that might have been wreaked to get them to these sterile sacks in the freezer case.