Tag Archives: eco-friendly

7 Telltale Signs You’re A Hardcore Greenie

max-R Outdoor Recycling BinGoing green is a great way to show your love for the environment and to promote a sustainable lifestyle that really helps the planet. It’s also incredibly addictive, so after the first few steps you might find yourself engaged in an increasing number of green activities. You know you’ve become a seriously hardcore greenie if…

You Look for Recycling Bins Instead of Trashcans

Recycling is one of the easiest, most essential ways to go green. It only takes a little effort, it’s great for the environment, and it’s becoming much more widely accepted. If you’re becoming a hardcore green-friendly person, you likely start looking for recycling bins before you ever look for trashcans, because you realize that practically everything is recyclable. Whether you’re out shopping or visiting a friend, you’re loathe to throw away your paper cups, soda cans, or newspapers, and secretly you feel a little appalled when you discover that there aren’t any recycling bins available.

Your Have Reusable Bags Hidden in the Car

You can’t remember the last time someone at a store asked you if you wanted paper bags or plastic ones because your reusable bags are always at hand. You’ve been known to turn around without shopping if you arrive at the store and realize you forgot your fabric bags. To avoid that in the future, you started squirreling reusable bags away in your car.

People who carpool with you (of course you carpool—it’s better for the environment) are likely to find cloth bags in the side pockets of the door, the glove compartment, the trunk, under the seats, and in the hidden cubby console between the front seats. You now use them for everything, from carrying around your gym clothes to carrying your shopping. In fact, you have enough reusable bags that sometimes you lend them to people at the grocery store who insist on using plastic bags.

You Unplug Without Thinking

Many people don’t even realize that their appliances and gadgets still suck up energy even when they’re turned off—but you do. You’ve long suspected that your electricity bills are high and your appliances are wasting energy even if they’re turned off, because they’re still plugged into the wall sockets. Now that you have proof, unplugging is second nature to you.

When you’re a serious greenie, your routine changes. Where once it was enough to simply walk through your home turning off the lights in empty rooms, now you go around unplugging those big energy vampires. You make sure to unplug your computer and all of its components because you know your favorite tech-toy is one of the biggest culprits. You gleefully unplug kitchen appliances, especially the microwave, and you always pull the plug on the TV too.

Of course, if you’re really green, you likely have smart power-strips as well, to save energy even when you’re using your favorite devices.

You Take Marathon Showers

People waste so much water every day! Long baths and showers aren’t special treats saved for stressful days, they are daily occurrences. But you know better. Not only do you turn off the faucet as you brush your teeth so you’re not needlessly wasting water, you’ve turned showering into an Olympic event.

You’ve timed exactly how long it takes you to do everything you need to do in your shower. You don’t waste one single second—or a single drop of water. In addition to installing a low-flow head for your shower and a shower timer, you’ve equipped every faucet with an aerator to conserve energy, water, and heat. You know, as you get all clean and fresh, that you’re doing your part to save water.

You Wanted Solar Energy for Your Birthday

After long dreaming of using solar energy, you finally decided that was all you wanted. You saved up, looked around for the best deals and the most quality work, and decided that solar panel energy was the best choice for you. That’s because you know how efficient solar energy really is. You understand the joy of relying on the sun to give you heat, power, and even hot water. While your panels were your biggest birthday present, you still insisted that anyone who got you a present used recyclable paper, of course.

All Your Gadgets Are Solar-Powered

It wasn’t enough to install solar power on your roof, though. You want everything powered by solar energy because, again, you realize how powerful the sun is. So your kitchen is fully outfitted in appliances powered by solar energy. The fridge uses solar power and all of your other appliances are completely energy-efficient. You’ve got a solar-powered watch and the charger you use for your phone, tablet, and other mobile gadgets is also solar-powered. All your friends are jealous of you when the power goes out because you’re still connected. How cool are you?

You’ve Got the Best Compost Pile on the Block

If you’re a hardcore environmentalist, you’ve been composting since long before it was cool. You’ve discovered a way to compost almost everything. As a result, your grass is lush and all the drought-tolerant plants in your garden thrive. You can easily sustain yourself on the food you grow and you routinely share with your neighbors because you want them to eat healthy too.

Composting is part of your routine. Almost everything that comes out of your home either gets recycled or composted. You try to reuse everything for a good purpose and it works for you. Not only do you know you’re doing your part, but you help to erase your carbon footprint every single day. You even offer to start compost heaps for the neighbors who compliment your lifestyle, your commitment, and your gorgeous greenery.

If you’re a serious greenie who takes the eco-friendly life seriously, then you are unquestionably awesome. You’re kind to the Earth, to your family, and to your neighbors because you know that what you’re doing matters.

 

Image via Flickr by max-R

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Electric Cars

Tesla Model SAdvocates of the gasoline engine point to the high costs, low speeds and the unproven track record of the electric car as its caveats. However, the facts are clear: electric cars are drastically falling in price, are competing with ordinary driver vehicles for speed, entail far less maintenance and are proving even more reliable than cars using petrol. Bet you didn’t know these astounding facts.

1. Electric Cars Aren’t New Kids on the Block

In fact, electric cars have been around for more than 170 years. Robert Anderson of Scotland is credited with creating the first electric carriage in 1832. Electric cars have, of course, progressed significantly since then, as the technology has improved by leaps and bounds. You now have the option of controlling many of car’s functions from your smartphone. So if it’s cold outside, use your smartphone to start up your car and save yourself some freezing discomfort. Some of the best cell phones of 2013 now have the technology to seamlessly interact with your smart car.

2. Once Upon a Time, Electric Cars Were More Popular than Petrol Cars

Before the twentieth century, there were more electric cars on the road than gas-powered ones. Until the Model T was invented and petrol became readily available, that is. In 1897, all New York City taxis were electric-powered, built by Electric Carriage and Wagon Company in Chicago.

3. Ironically, Electricity Made Petrol More PopularKarma at speed in the fog

At first, petrol cars were less popular because they had to be hand cranked. When the electric starter was installed, it made starting petrol engines easier. So, electricity is what bolstered gasoline engines into popularity.

4. Electric Cars Need Almost No Maintenance

Other than replacing windshield wipers and buying tires, there is virtually no maintenance in owning an electric car. Even the brakes last longer due to the design of electric cars. The Mars Rovers have worked continually for over seven years with no mechanical issues at all.

5. Electric Cars are Speed Demons!

In 1899, the world speed record on land was made by an electric car from Belgium called La Janais Contante. It made history at 68 mph (109 km/h). Today, the world’s fastest electric car reaches speeds of 305 km/h and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in a mere 2.8 seconds.

6. Electric Cars are More Available, Less Costly All the Time

In 2009, a consumer paid £21,334 for an electric car. Today that price has fallen to £10,990. By 2015, consumers are expected to pay a mere £6,500. Not only are the prices falling, but more vehicles are becoming available. Almost every major auto manufacturer in the world is expected to offer an electric vehicle within two years. Thirteen models are currently available, with 18 to come. The Tesla Roadster, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are just a few of the currently available electric cars to choose from.

7. Charging An Electric Car is Easy

Many consumers fear that charging the car will be difficult, expensive, time-consuming or impossible. However, charging electric cars is cheaper than buying petrol at today’s prices and most owners charge their cars overnight and lose no time at all out of their busy schedules. In fact, as your smartphone charges, so can your car! Increasingly, petrol stations are offering fueling stations for electric cars to meet customer demands.

8. Electric Cars are More Efficient With Less Pollutants

Eighty percent of the energy in an electric car goes toward powering the vehicle, while only 14-26 percent of the energy used by a petrol car does so. Additionally, electric cars introduce no pollutants, while petrol vehicles produce nitrous oxide, particulates and many other air pollutants.

Clearly, there is much we can learn about electric cars. Are you in the market?

 

Image via Flickr by Al Abut

Image via Flickr by Fisker Auto

Healthy Travel: 5 Things to Look For When Choosing a Hotel

[ 29th Floor Pleasures : Studio Queen Suite ] The INNSIDE By Melia @ THE EUROTHEUM Frankfurt Am Main, Germany

Travel brings power and love back into your life. ― Rumi

Traveling brings a mix of adventure, invigoration, relaxation, and appreciation to our lives – I love it. However, more often than I care to admit, I return home feeling bloated, tired, and in need of a long overdue sweat session.

Can you relate to missed workouts, consuming way less fruits and veggies than normal, eating unhealthy foods in general (it’s not like you can cook your own meals), maybe having a few extra cocktails (or desserts, or both), and only getting so-so sleep? These are the not-so-fun parts of traveling that most of us don’t think about before the trip (afterwards our bodies won’t let us stop thinking about it).

The great news is that the hotel industry finally realized that many travelers want to maintain their healthy habits while on the road, and some hotels are now giving the whole guest experience a healthy makeover (thank you, thank you, thank you!). We thank you hotel gods.

Below are 5 things to look for in a healthy hotel:     

1.       Healthy Food Availability: Make sure the hotel offers healthy food options such as fresh fruit and vegetable juices, a variety of fruit options, fresh smoothies, or gluten-free and vegan meal options. Also, check to see if the hotel rooms have mini-fridges – it’s the perfect place to store healthy snacks you can bring with you our buy locally.

2.       Fitness Options: Many hotels are ramping up their guests’ fitness experiences by creating larger and better-equipped gyms, offering group classes, providing in-room yoga mats, or showing free on-demand fitness TV programs. They’re giving you everything you need to get your sweat on while away from home.

3.       Eco-Friendly Cleaning: Toxic cleaning products (still commonly used) can create a host of problems for our health. Health and wellness focused hotels understand this and choose to use eco-friendly cleaning products – to keep your room both clean and toxic-free.

4.       Hypoallergenic Bedding: We all need a good night’s rest (it’s not just for toddlers and kids), and being away from home often makes it more difficult. With hypoallergenic bedding, you don’t have to worry about itchy skin or any allergic reactions to the detergent or softener and can just focus on getting your beauty sleep.

5.       Healthy Extras: Some hotels provide some cool, healthy extras such as Vitamin C showers, aromatherapy, air filtration systems, and lighting designed to maintain your natural circadian rhythm even when you stay up late (you are on vacation, after all).

Next time you’re planning a vacation, check the hotel website or read customer reviews to find out which hotels keep your health and wellness in mind – and are worth your money. Then sit back and make the most of your well-deserved vacation.

Where are you planning or would like to travel next? Share in the comments below.  

 

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18154748891333272199Are you ready for a healthy Vegas vacation?

The first of their kind in the world, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Vegas are furnished with a number of amenities designed to maximize health, wellness, and relaxation. From dawn simulator alarm clocks, to state-of-the-art air and water purification systems, to aromatherapy, Stay Well rooms provide an unprecedented opportunity to have a healthy travel experience — even in Las Vegas. Designed by real-estate pioneer Delos Living, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Stay Well will change the way you think about travel and hotel rooms. Learn more or book your reservation here.

 

5 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

 

Kairos ~ 151It probably doesn’t surprise you that poor air quality affects lung function, upper respiratory function, breathing, and can create a host of allergy problems. However, if you are like most people, you don’t automatically think that spending time in a smog-heavy city like Los Angeles could be a risk to your heart. While researchers have known for years that poor air quality and cardiovascular disease (the number one cause of death in the world) are connected, they have only recently started understanding how much that relationship impacts our health.

Here are a couple of recent findings that might surprise you:

1. A study released in April showed that high levels of air pollution increase the development of atherosclerosis – a condition where artery walls thicken and a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

2. In addition to developing thickened arteries, breathing polluted air can immediately increase your blood pressure and keep it there for up to 24 hours. This prolonged hypertension is also a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

There is no denying the serious effects of polluted air on our bodies, especially our hearts. But unfortunately, air pollutants are all around us and they don’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Common causes of air pollution include exhaust from cars, buses, and planes; use of fossil fuels for power or heat; gas and vapors from industrial businesses; chemical pesticides used in agriculture; and various indoor pollutants such as chemicals, smoke, and other substances.

While scientists have not yet figured out how to remove these pollutants from the environment altogether, there are things we can do to improve the quality of air we breathe indoors. Here are a few ideas that you can implement to keep you and your family healthy.

5 Tips to Improve Air Quality:

1. Save energy.

While trees help with outside filtration (one reason it’s so important we protect them), as individuals, we should do our part to lower outdoor pollution by saving energy. Make sure you turn lights out when you leave a room, take public transportation or carpool when possible, and walk or ride your bike to your destination (plus, you’ll get some good exercise too).

2. Keep indoor areas ventilated.

It’s also important to increase the quality of your indoor air. According to the EPA, the average American spends 90% of their time indoors and indoor air pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor pollutants. Since indoor areas are typically enclosed spaces with low ventilation, poor indoor air quality can be a serious health concern. Increasing ventilation with fans and keeping windows open, as well as investing in an air cleaner, will help.

3. Don’t smoke or use toxic cleaning products. 

The best way to decrease indoor air pollutants is to reduce or eliminate source pollutants (I know, a no-brainer right?). Some common culprits include cigarette smoke, toxic cleaning chemicals, and gas emissions from carbon dioxide and radon. Luckily, you can easily address these issues by not smoking inside your house (and not allowing anyone else to either), using eco-friendly cleaning products (they’re super easy to make), and regularly checking carbon dioxide and radon levels.

4. Be a smart traveler.

Of course, reducing and eliminating indoor air pollutants becomes harder when you have less control over your indoor environment in places like your work, restaurants, and hotels. Luckily, many states have laws banning smoking in public locations and in some offices. You can also talk with your employer about using eco-friendly cleaning supplies or investing in an air filtration system.

If you’re traveling in a city with high air pollution, ask your hotel to give you a non-smoking room as far away from the smoking rooms as possible. Also find out if they use eco-friendly cleaning products or have air filtration systems in their rooms. Some hotels, such as the MGM Grand Hotels in Las Vegas, offer special air filtration features to support guests’ health and wellness. The Stay Well rooms rooms have an advanced HEPA-standard air purification system designed to reduce allergens, toxins and pathogens. It’s important to choose facilities that regulate indoor pollutants while you are away from home.

5. Eat right, exercise, and don’t stress.

While we should all do our best to reduce air pollution in our environments, many of the toxins are simply out of our control. So beyond merely regulating what is going on in your external environment, take measures to bolster your internal defenses against poor air quality. Activities like eating healthy, exercising, and practicing stress reducing techniques will reduce the negative effects air pollution can have on your heart health.

The quality of the air we breathe (both inside and outside) affects everyone — ourselves, our children, our pets, and our neighbors. While air quality is a serious 21st century world problem, you can do your part to improve air quality and keep you and your family healthy and strong.

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18154748891333272199Are you ready for a healthy Vegas vacation?

The first of their kind in the world, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Vegas are furnished with a number of amenities designed to maximize health, wellness, and relaxation. From dawn simulator alarm clocks, to state-of-the-art air and water purification systems, to aromatherapy, Stay Well rooms provide an unprecedented opportunity to have a healthy travel experience — even in Las Vegas. Designed by real-estate pioneer Delos Living, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Stay Well will change the way you think about travel and hotel rooms. Learn more or book your reservation here.

 

Photo credit: Angélique Hayne

6 Creative Ways to Green Your Life in Time for Summer

First out of the trapThere’s a lot of pressure these days to be sustainable superheroes with canteen-packing totes, perfectly organic diets, and pricey hybrid cars. Most people are lucky to have access to a grocery store that even stocks local, organic foods, let alone at a price that’s amenable to the average income. These issues aside, sustainability and environmental decline are real issues that every individual should feel it within their power to combat with simple measures in their daily lives. That’s why we’ve collected 6 online resources that will hopefully inspire you to green your home, live healthier, and feel confident in the contribution you are able to make toward a sustainable world. Have fun!

  1. Start composting: An oldie but goodie, if you haven’t joined the compost bandwagon yet then now is your chance! It requires a bit of effort in the set up, but once your compost is up and running, sustaining it will be a breeze. And you don’t need a big backyard or garden to make it happen. Here is the ultimate guide to urban composting.
  2. Make an alternative energy source: You probably never even thought it within your power to create your own alternative energy. But think again! Here is a super simple, efficient DIY video on how to make your own backyard wind turbine. Even if you don’t feel like building a whole wind power generator, consider the ways you can reduce electricity – make use of natural light, look into energy-efficient shower heads, etc.
  3. Try backyard farming: Please don’t buy a $1,300 chicken coop (unless that’s what you’re into.) But do let this fascinating article on chic backyard farming inspire you to try your hand at raising chickens, growing vegetables, making preserves, or whatever you have the time and energy for. You don’t need to spend exorbitant amounts on boutique tools and tailor made gardening gear – a bit of space, time, and love are the most important ingredients.
  4. Recycle creatively: Recycling isn’t just about throwing bottles and cans in the proper bin. Explore ways to get creative with your recycling, like by making gifts and household products out of broken bike chains, old clothes, empty jars, and more.
  5. Make your own clothes: You don’t need a degree in fashion to start making your own clothes, but let this new sustainable fashion program, recently launched by Buckinghamshire New University, inspire you to work good eco-habits into your wardrobe. Thrifting is a great place to start, or have a clothing exchange party with your friends!
  6. Green your office: Whether you work from home or in a big office, there are lots of ways to reduce your footprint (and save money) at work. This can include switching entirely to Googledocs and electronic files to cut back on printing, using recycled paper, instituting communal office lunches, and more.

We hope you feel inspired and empowered to incorporate some green practices into your home and work environment! Summer is a particularly great time to get outside and plant those backyard gardens, start biking to work, take a thrift store outing, and the like. What tips do you have for green living? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below!

Spiritual Solutions #8: Find Harmony, Sanctuary

2010-09-23-harmony.sanctuary.jpgBy Deepak Chopra and Annie B. Bond.

Find Harmony

When mind, body, and spirit are in harmony, happiness is the natural result. Signs of the absence of harmony, on the other hand, are discomfort, pain, depression, anxiety, and illness in general. Unhappiness is a form of feedback. It signals that disharmony has entered the field somewhere–either in mind, body, or spirit. Awareness has become disconnected. Only when we look at the situation in this holistic way can we link health, wholeness, and holiness, for all three share the same root word, and all three share the same state of harmony or disharmony. Adapted from The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2009).

Find Sanctuary

The deepest gratification in living a less toxic way of life is that our health is protected from unnecessary chemical overload. Our bodies are under less stress and home is a haven, a natural sanctuary, a place to fully rest and recuperate. The quality of our lives is improved. In addition to causing cancer, many synthetic chemicals affect our central nervous systems, and that can leave us cranky, irritable, or with a headache. By contrast, fresh, clean air renews and rejuvenates, improving our well-being. Adapted from Better Basics for the Home, by Annie B. Bond (Three Rivers Press, 1999).

Something you might not know about green living…

…is that it is easy! 

When people hear “green living” or “eco-friendly products” people assume it will cost them money and time to become part of the trend. The truth: it won’t. Not only will green living save you money in the long run (even if you go to the higher level and install solar panels across your roof), but it will save the environment so your children will be able to enjoy it.

 

Here are 10 simple tips for reducing your carbon footprint and greening your life.

 

1. Recycle. EVERYTHING from paper, cans and bottles to ink cartgridges.

2. Adjust your heat/air conditioning settings a couple degrees lower or higher

3. Use less toilet paper. Surprisingly, just being aware of how much of something you use can make you use less.

4. Unplug appliances, electronics and other products when they are not in use. Even products that are “turned off” continue to use power, so un-plug them to not waste precious electricity (or money for that matter).

5. Start your own compost. Not only do you waste less, but for those avid gardeners out there, you might see a bit more life in your plants by creating and using nutrient-rich soil

6. Do not open your oven or fridge longer than you need to. Every second reduces/increases the temperature and your appliances will need to work extra hard to get the temperature back to the set degrees

7. Reuse half-full notebooks or pads for note-taking or messages

8. Print double sided and use the draft setting whenever possible to conserve ink and paper

9. Pay your bills, bank and do whatever else you can online to save the paper and time

10. Donate or re-use old products instead of throwing them away.

 

See. I told you it was easy! Just 10 simple steps and you have already reduced your carbon footprint and proven that green living is not only possible but easy. 

Leilani Munter: Life is Short. Race Hard. Live Green.

 by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, www.EcoStiletto.com 

 

 

 

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Leilani Munter encapsulates the ecoista’s dilemma: It’s all well and good to want to live sustainably until you work in an industry that doesn’t share your views. What are you supposed to do, quit your job?

Leilani takes this concept to an extreme most of us can’t even imagine. That’s because she is—if you haven’t already guessed from the photos—a racecar driver. Not just any racecar driver, mind you, Leilani has serious on-track cred. She’s the fourth woman in history to race in the Indy Pro Series. She set the record for the highest finish for a female driver in the history of the Texas Motor Speedway when she finished fourth in 2006. Sports Illustrated named her one of the top 10 female racecar drivers in the world.

The girl really can’t drive 55. More like 200.

But all that speed takes a serious environmental toll—and Leilani knows it. When we asked her what her eco-sin was she answered, “That’s easy: My racecar.”

Leilani also sees her profession as an opportunity to inspire positive change in the 100 million fans that make racing the number-one spectator sport in America. “If I was just another vegetarian, tree hugging, biology graduate asking people to give up meat and stop using plastic bags, I don’t know how many people would be listening to me,” Leilani told us. “But because I drive a racecar, I have an ability to reach a new audience of people that most environmentalists are probably not talking to.”

leilani-munter-helmet-car-shawn-mahoney-250x150.jpg

In addition to talking the talk with 100 million people, Leilani walks it: The longtime vegetarian and self-proclaimed “Carbon Free Girl” adopts an acre of rainforest for every race she runs. She regularly races in alternative fuel vehicles, like the Ford hydrogen fuel cell car she drove in last year’s VS Viking Rally in Norway. After the BP spill, she went down to help clean up—and produced an amazingly compelling video statement about what she found. And she’s the first Ambassador of the National Wildlife Federation.

But according to Leilani, “We don’t move the needle at all by talking to a bunch of people who already agree with us. The way we create change is by starting a dialogue with those who don’t.” With that idea in mind, she created a very visible on-track “Eco Dream Team” to promote her activism to fans.  And she repeatedly heads to Capitol Hill to speak on behalf of clean energy and climate change legislation—no choir there.

For more on Leilani’s surprisingly ecolicious life–including her thoughts on vegetarianism and her favorite sustainable fashion and beauty picks–check out EcoStiletto.com‘s exclusive interview and sign up for the free newsletter for a chance to win $600+ in eco-swag this week!

 

Racecar photo by Douglas Murray; all others by Craig Davidson

 

 

 

 

Start a Crop Mob

There’s a lot up for debate in the realm of agriculture these days, but there’s one thing no one can dispute: farming is hard, often lonely work. But something happened one fall night that is helping to make it just a little bit easier- and certainly less solitary…

In the fall of 2008 a group of 11 young farmers living and working in North Carolina’s Triangle Region got together to talk about issues facing young farmers- things like healthcare, wages, access to land. As they talked, one young farmer, Adah Frase, squirmed in her seat before deciding to speak up. “I’m tired of sitting in meetings just talking about things. It feels like a waste of my time. Why can’t we go out and work while we meet rather than just sitting around a table?”

Frase believed you could build stronger relationships with people by working side by side rather than just sitting around a table talking. Her fellow farmers agreed. “The idea emerged that we’d come together to build community, help each other out, and share a meal,” explains Rob Jones, one of the farmers in attendance that October night. “We decided we’d call it the Crop Mob.”

That month, the farmers had organized their first mob with 19 people digging, sorting and boxing 1,600 pounds of sweet potatoes in less than three hours, an effort so successful that it became a monthly event. “There has always been a spirit of cooperation in agriculture because it is a lot of work,” says Jones. “We’ve just found a slightly different way to manifest it. It is a part of making sustainable agriculture personally sustainable for the farmers. Certainly, we are seeing a lot of young people that aren’t interested in being “the farmer” on a farm.  They want to work cooperatively and collectively with others as part of a community.”

As word began to spread of Crop Mob’s efforts- and the New York Times’ Sunday Magazine sung its praises- other farmers have started their own regional versions of Crop Mob- as have aspiring farmers and what New York City’s Crop Mob refers to as the “ag-curious.” Volunteers might build a fence, clear a field, or harvest a crop, all based of course, on the needs of the farm being “mobbed” that month.

Interested in getting your hands dirty? Crop Mob suggests a few basic principles:

1) Keep that wallet holstered. No money is exchanged.

2) Scale it down. Work on small-scale, sustainable farms and gardens.

3) Break some bread. A meal is shared, often provided by the host.

4) Reciprocity. This is not a charity. We crop mob for crop mobbers.

Crob Mobs are popping up all over the United States. Crop Mob’s website has an interactive Google map so you can find a nearby mob (you can also search for groups on Facebook). Or go to this link to start your own.

Photo by Emily Millette

 This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or to submit your own idea today.

The Foodie Goes Greener (And is Inspired by Old Hollywood) Project – Day 11

 I am in search of doing anything organic that helps me be my best while honoring my environment and those around me. I want to be a giver, not a taker.

I am also realizing that getting older is simply an invitation to do better and feel better, because we know better. 

Another luxury of getting older is being able to set boundaries and declare who you want around you. When you surround yourself with organic, inspired friends and family, you empower each other to be your best and the energy of the planet vibrates at a higher frequency. 

Yeah. I said it. 

When you surround yourself with like minded souls, those who want to inspire and be inspired in their lives, transformation happens. Big things get done.

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My biggest source of inspiration is my husband and best friend, a man who has gone through the labor pains, and continues to go through the labor pains, of getting films out there that make us feel better about being human. 

Watching Somewhere in Time, What Dreams May Come or films from The Spiritual Cinema Circle, is like sitting down to a feast of your favorite comfort foods with your most beloved family and friends…..but without the calories. You leave the table comforted, inspired, and feeling better about our humanity. 

Stephen is the man you experience in the Spiritual Cinema Circle discussions. He is charming, generous, well spoken, intelligent, uplifting, caring, sensitive and funny. He is also way too talkative and upbeat at 5 AM (even without his first cup of coffee), tells absurd “jokes” that aren’t even in the same zip code with funny, dances like a clown, can’t carry a tune, and often behaves like a younger brother to our son Carter. But no one is perfect and I adore him. 

Stephen’s stories about growing up in Old Hollywood are “sitting on the edge of your chair” fun. Stephen Simon is a special soul who was planted into an incredible family and place in the industry, so he could bring some of that Old Hollywood energy back to those of us who starve for simple, organic, inspirational fare during complicated times.

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Stephen actually is “Old Hollywood.” He loves the finer things in life but delights in the real and the organic. Being married to my best friend Stephen is nutrient-dense and heart-healthy. This Saturday, we will be having a luncheon with many like minded friends who live in Oregon, belong to The Spiritual Cinema Circle, and enjoy receiving four unique films each month on a DVD that is theirs to keep. 

In honor of them, and my dear husband, here’s an inspired heart-healthy dinner of fresh halibut picked up at Whole Foods. Walking Whole Foods, Market of Choice, or any farmers market, is an incredible way to get inspired to create a meal with a story. Food always tells a story. The goal is to leave someone better for “experiencing” it. 

Halibut’s firm white meat and delicate sweet flavor make it a perfect pairing for a robust tomato puttanesca sauce that you can make with ingredients from your pantry.

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Old Hollywood Inspired Halibut with Puttanesca Sauce feels like a dish that might be served in an intimate, family owned Italian joint formerly frequented by my husband’s unofficial godfather, Frank Sinatra. (Stephen’s new book about Old Hollywood will be out in November.) 

Old Hollywood Inspired Halibut with Puttanesca Sauce

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1 can quality plum tomatoes such as organic Muir Glenn (28 ounces) or 2 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic 
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
4-6 cloves garlic, minced 
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced 
1/3 cup oil-cured black olives, halved and pitted 
or green olives if you prefer 
2 tablespoons capers 
3 tsp anchovy paste 
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 
4 halibut steaks (about 6 to 8 ounces each) 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley 

Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Seed and coarsely chop tomatoes. If using diced tomatoes, use entire can, no chopping and seeding required. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and cook until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion, and cook, until transparent, about 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium high; add tomatoes, reserved liquid, olives, capers, anchovies, and rosemary, and cook, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside. 
Heat remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of halibut steaks with salt and pepper. Cook steaks until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. 
Reheat sauce until it simmers. Stir in parsley. Serve halibut with a little sauce on each steak. Top with fresh basil (optional). Serve with a nice bottle of wine, fresh warm baguette to dip in the puttanesca sauce and your favorite Frank Sinatra tunes. 

*Adapted from and inspired by a traditional Martha Stewart Recipe 

When I shared with Stephen what I would be making for dinner he said, “What? You’re cooking fish just for the Hal-i-but?” Like I mentioned before, no one is perfect. 

La vita è deliziosa! Life is delicious! Especially when surrounded by family, friends and rich traditions! 

Check out The Spiritual Cinema Circle at www.spiritualcinemacircle.com 

Photo above of Stephen and his sister (movie critic) Susan Grangers’ mother Harriet Deutsch, dancing with Frank Sinatra. 
 

 

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