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From The Persnickety Palate

Photo From The Persnickety Palate

I love pie crust more than pie, so here is my favorite organic pie crust recipe. This recipe makes two 8- to 10-inch crusts.

What You Need

1 cup (about 2 sticks) unsalted organic butter, plus more for pie plate
2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon organic sugar

What You Have To Do

  1. Cut each stick of butter into eight pieces, and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and mix to combine.
  3. Add the chilled butter. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture; the mixture should resemble coarse meal with small pieces of butter, the size of small peas, remaining visible.
  4. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over the flour-butter mixture, and blend. Repeat with an additional 2 tablespoons water. At this point, you may have to add more water: When a handful of dough squeezed together just holds its shape, you’ve added enough; if the dough crumbles, continue incorporating water, 1 tablespoon at a time, checking the consistency after each additional tablespoon.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide into two equal pieces, and place on two separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  6. Lightly dust a clean, dry work surface with flour. Place the chilled dough in the center of the work surface, and dust the dough as well as the rolling pin with flour. Position the rolling pin on the center of the disk, and begin rolling the dough away from you. Give the disk a quarter turn, and roll again. Continue turning and rolling until you have an even 1/8-inch thickness. Turning the dough as you roll will prevent it from sticking to the work surface. A dry pastry brush is handy to remove any excess flour during and after the rolling process.
  7. Lightly butter the pie plate. To minimize stretching when moving the dough, roll it around the pin, lift up, and unroll over the buttered pie plate. Using your fingers, gently pat the dough into place. Trim any excess dough with a paring knife or kitchen shears, leaving a 1-inch overhang; then fold dough under to reinforce the edge.

I love pie crust…

-Cara

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I like to do a shout-out to my city every once in awhile. Today, I am taking it to a more local level, my neighborhood health food store. Well, it’s not in my neighborhood of Spanish Harlem, but it is the closest, super-freshest health store to me, Food For Health.

I really like this place and the familiar faces that keep the store running. They have coupons on their web site, which I just discovered and love! If you are around 3rd Avenue and 92nd you should stop by. They have reasonable prices, a juice bar and solid products.

Shop local.

-Cara

Marine is designing a crazy cat palace of some sort, so we went to Home Depot yesterday to look for stuff and get ideas. One of the materials Marine wanted to use was PVC…

I almost fainted. :) Marine this entry goes out to you. :* You’re welcome!

There’s an awesome documentary, Blue Vinyl (Netflix has it…just saying…), I watched a million years ago, that schooled me on the evils of PVC.

The most informative site on PVC. – http://www.pvcfree.org/

PBS TV’s “Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report“, a documentary that exposes workplace, and environmental poisoning. Some stuff about PVC and other such things in this one.

And last, but not least, a good read, PVC- A Health Hazard From Production through Disposal.

It’s a shame, I love the new shower smell, the smell of a new car. I can’t tell you how many times I inhaled that smell…deeply.

No PVC for us!

-Cara

Eco Bunnies in flash, spreading their carbon footprint message to the world. I can always use another carbon foot calculator, who couldn’t? Travelocity put this one together.

One day I hope to be named the official “Blog with the Most Carbon Calculators”…one day….

I love bunnies!

-Cara

I am all wrapped up in this cat condo business. In doing some research today I found this attractive cat, functional, object of art, scratching post, cat tree, a hiding spot, and condo all in one. It is on the pricey side for something my cats will drool on and destroy, but I still think it’s hot. It’s designed by Warren Lieu for One Form Design.

Specs

Dimensions:

Exterior: approx. 28″L x 21″W x 15″H

Interior cavity: 25″L x 18″W x 13.5″H

Materials: 83 laser-cut double wall corrugated cardboard shapes, hand-laminated into the final pod.

Scratch it up.

-Cara

I thought it would be cool to put up some of my pictures once and awhile, that go along with this blog’s point, theme, mood, or whatever you want to call it. Not only just that, but my pictures and photography web site will get some exposure, which they both could use! :)

Sometimes I will include commentary and other times, like now, I will leave the photo for you to deconstruct.

This is the view of the building across the street, from my roof, in NYC.

Unplug.

-Cara

Rainforest Action Network has 25,000 stickers, a database of household products containing the not-so-awesome palm oil (which they compiled with the help of people who love the rainforest) and a date: August 13.

Bring all three together by signing up for RAN’s August 13th Stick it to Palm Oil Day of Action.

Sign up online and you’ll get a Day of Action packet including “Warning: Product May Contain Rainforest Destruction” stickers and a step by step guide to taking part in the action. I hope the stickers are made from recycled stickers and not new paper, which comes from trees…I’m just saying.

Rainforest Action Network is also sending letters to every company that uses palm oil encouraging them to be responsible by joining forces with RAN to put pressure on agribusiness giants ADM, Bunge and Cargill to stop destroying rainforests for palm oil. They should send emails instead of letters, every piece of paper we can save is fresh…that’s right I said that too.

Help stop global warming, and support the rights of frontline communities across the world, by going here and doing what you can.

Stick it to ’em.

-Cara

Bio Pets

I have written about BioBags before in my 100th post, concerning some composting ideas I had.  I really think their concept is a good one, but I have still not actually tried them. :) Anyway, I came across these Biobag Dog Waste Bags and BioBag Cat Pan Liners and thought they sound like great ideas.

I don’t have a dog, but live in NYC where everyone has to pick up after their dogs. I always think about how many plastic bags these people must go through, just to throw away dog poo. This bag is a great idea. It would also be a great idea in New York City to have by every other garbage can be a compost can. Just for dog owners to throw their dog poo in, instead of throwing it into the regular garbage cans. Then the Parks Department could compost the dog poo and use it as fertilizer in all the City Parks. You’re welcome New York City Department of Parks and Recreation! :)

Here’s some info about the Biobag Dog Waste Bags from the BioBag’s site:

BioBag Dog holds the distinction of being the first biodegradable and compostable “plastic” pooper bag in the world.

[When] pet owners put 100% biodegradable dog waste into plastic bags that can take over 100 years to decompose. (I read on another site that BioBags will degrade within 45 days.)

BioBag dog pooper bags are to help divert all naturally biodegradable waste from entering our landfills.

The best solution for disposal of pet waste has always been to separate it from the bag or paper and flush it down the toilet. Using BioBags…the waste and the bag can be thrown in your backyard compost, where both items can decompose naturally; the waste and bag can be buried, where micro-organisms will quickly eat both; the waste and bag can be set at curbside with other yard waste where communities collect biodegradable waste for composting. Please check with your community for disposal options.

I think the cat liners are another great idea for people who use them. I myself do not as I have scoopable litter and then the litter pan itself gets clean out fully. I guess a bag would make it easier to clean…we will think about it.

Here’s some info about the BioBag Cat Pan Liners from the BioBag’s site:

Cat waste should not be composted, as its composition can be quite toxic (What? Toxic…I had no idea. :P). Cat waste should always be scooped from the litter box and then put in your trash. There are a number of new biodegradable cat litters on the market. We also do not recommend flushing it down the toilet because cat poop may endanger sea otters.

Using these biodegradable cat pan liners to dispose of the remaining biodegradable litter makes good environmental sense.

Biodegradable cat pan liners are non-allergenic. Cats can be allergic to plastic and other known allergens. Allergies usually build up over time from constant contact with the allergen. Calicos, Tortiseshells, Black cats and Siamese cats are more prone to allergies than other breeds.

If you suspect your cat has an allergy (red, itchy rashes), consult your veterinarian to determine the source. It is best to use hard-fired ceramic bowls, instead of molded plastic, for serving your cat food. Using a biodegradable cat litter made naturally from renewable grain crops may protect your cat from certain chemicals. Using BioBag non-allergenic liners is an environmentally safe way to further protect your pet.

Eco-pets rule!

-Cara

We all need a calculator now and again, most of which contain replaceable batteries or are disposable. As I have said before there is no such thing as disposable, so here is my calculator solution, a H2O’s Water Powered Business Calculator.

To maintain a constant supply of energy simply refill as the water evaporates, they say typically every 2-3 months. The H20 water-powered battery is eco-friendly and all the components of the calculator are recyclable.

I haven’t tried this yet, I will update when I do, to whether it rocks or not

Water powered is fresh.

-Cara

Babeland is going to think this is some sort of miracle. They sent me some products awhile ago (because of a Valentine’s entry I wrote with them in it) that I said I’d review…fast forward a hundred years later to the first of a few reviews I intend to do for them.

One of these products was the soy wax, chocolate hazelnut, massage candle. I love it. The candle wax, when dripped on your skin, has a soft, smoothness to it. It possesses a sweet, warm, nutty smell. The smell reminds me of growing up in Miami, and the fragrance of the women who surrounded me. When done you are softer and smell sweeter, as do your sheets and your lover’s hands.

As far as the packaging, I say lose the red and orange box (even though it’s cute). Candles already in a glass votive like that don’t need a box I would think, just a cover of a biodegradable film of some sort, if anything. Thus you reduce unnecessary packaging and have more of a sustainable product.

I also like the matches they include with the candle. I think they are more romantic than lighting a candle with a lighter. It made me think, I’m not sure which is worse buying a “disposable lighter”, matches or fluid for a refillable lighter. I say send the matches and counteract it with planting a tree or two every month for all the paper/wood products the company uses. Just an idea.

To wrap up this review, I think the product itself is great and I’m glad to have been introduced to it.

Thanks Babeland.

-Cara

Cat and Dog

This is a great idea. I think I first saw stapleless staplers at the Whitney Museum. It’s fun and important to not waste staples and who doesn’t love to staple things?

Staple

Good times.

-Cara

According to the company, Intelligent Forms Design, Inc. (I.F.), who manufactures three laptop pillow designs, “Each laptop pillow is constructed using sustainable materials and methods.“, which is why it made it into Friday’s shopping entry.

My favorite visually is the Terrapin Pillow. The Terrapin Pillow’s stats, according to I.F. are as follows,” [The pillow is] supported by the recyclable polyethylene panel – a felt and foam sandwich – the Terrapin Pillow provides comfort while maintaining a flat and firm work surface for stable computing while reclining. Aluminized felt deflects heat while the quilted work surface offers improved cooling and air ventilation for the computer.

This is an entry that will be helpful to Marine, who owns a laptop that within 5 minutes is hot enough to cook an egg on. She has tried many things, and nothing has worked. This laptop pillow could be the answer to all her problems.

As far as I can see, the pillow is not for sale yet, but you can give your name and email to be contacted when available for purchase in Canada! :| I don’t know if I can wait that long. I might make one for Marine.

I will keep you updated.

-Cara

g a

In previous Friday shopping entries I would list three items you could buy, but I have decided I would rather focus on just one product per shopping entry. The reason is it’s easier to focus and provide more information one one product, in comparison to three. OK, now that we have discussed the changes, lets move on.

Here is a really cool idea from Desert Sweet Organic.

In a pristine high desert farm in Arizona, 141,000 certified organic apple trees (Choose from Gala, Red, Golden, Granny Smith, or Fuji apple tree) are up for sale.

You can send 10-lb gifts boxes that contain certified organic apples from your very own apple tree to whoever, for $11.50 plus shipping, plus the one time cost of the tree and yearly horticulture. Prices of the trees range between $200-$250 depending on the tree and yearly horticulture is $45 a year.

Simply send them your gift list and they’ll do all the work for you. They take care of your tree and send the apples to your gift recipients every year it produces fruit, for as long as it lives. These trees have approximately 20 more years of fruit producing life.

If anyone cares I love Gala apples. ;)

-Cara

Nelsons Tea Tree Cream

Flip-flop season is upon us here in New York City, well at least it was last week. This week it has gotten a bit colder and rainy. None of this matters of course, except that last week it was warm enough for me to wear my flip-flops out. I walked for about three hours in them non-stop. My left foot was not ready it seems for such a long journey and served me with a blister where the strap rubbed it one too many times. I needed some first aid fast!

I got home and discovered we were out of topical antibiotic ointment or first aid cream (like Neosporin or Band-Aid cream), call it what you will. Anyway, I wanted to get a natural cream instead of a chemically based one, but was worried, I had tried Bach’s Rescue Cream based on a recommendation that it healed cuts with its blend of “six Bach Flower Essences“. I like the regular Rescue Remedy, so I tried it. It turned out to do nothing for me. This is why I was worried about trying another natural cream. My other struggle was I knew Neosporin worked and worked fast…but at what cost???

This other gentleman recommended I use Nelsons Tea Tree Cream (they make Bach’s Rescue Cream as well), over this other cream specifically designed for cuts and blisters. I was weary and had yet another struggle over trusting a box or a person. In the end I chose the person and took the Tea Tree Cream.

Here’s what happen, the first day (after two applications) I did not notice much improvement. The second day (I think I used it once) maybe it was a little better…well not worse for sure. Then suddenly by the third day…magic…no red around the wounds and it scabbed up really well. :-O It’s great now and if I had used the cream everyday, it would have healed faster, but that’s not me! :)

I am glad I listened to the human.

Humans – 1 Boxes – 0

-Cara

It’s a theme within a theme day. This shopping entry is going to cover green bath products, so let’s get started.

soap pouch

I remember when I was a kid and my Nana and Papa’s house they always had a soap pouch in their shower. They didn’t use it for a new soap bar, but you know when the soap gets so small you can’t do much with; well they would take all the small slivers and keep them in the pouch. This way no soap ever went to waste. My Papa grew up really poor and lived through the depression, so he knew how to make every penny count. He taught me a lot in this aspect. I remember sticking my finger into every pay phone slot we walked by and jingling the handle. You’d be surprised, I got a lot of money that way growing up. He is the best.

wash me

Fair trade, 100% organic cotton and dyed with natural, metal-free colors frog washcloth. I just think it is so cute.

tip this

I think q-tips are the greatest invention and yes I throw caution to the wind and stick them in my ears every morning after my shower. I think they are great and organic.

Don’t be dirty.

-Cara

Since we learned so much about what makes bamboo eco or not in yesterday’s entry I decided to list three “Certified by Cara” super ecological bamboo products.

T-Shirt

OK, finding eco bamboo clothes I have decided is like the search for the Holy Grail. I mean no one is mechanically pounding bamboo into yarn, thread, or t-shirts for that matter. If they are their marketing/PR team is lacking the skills necessary to promote said bamboo products. Everyone who makes bamboo clothes is close, but no cigar. The best company I found so far is, Bamboo Body.

They state, “The bamboo in our fabric is grown in the Yunnan Province in China without the use of any chemicals or pesticides. The plantation is managed in strict accordance with the international organic OCIA/NOP standard.

Bamboo yarn is produced by pulverizing the bamboo stalks and then regenerating the fiber. This process does not use harmful chemicals. Our fabric is dyed using azo-free dyestuffs. Our factory operates in conformity with ISO9001:2000 quality standard and is committed to the environment by reducing emissions and recycling waste. The factory pays all workers appropriately and does not employ staff under the age of 18.

While bamboo is grown organically, without the use of pesticides or chemicals, bamboo fabric is not certified organic. The process of converting bamboo to yarn does not meet the strict criteria for organic certification.

Our bamboo fabric is certified by oeko-tex 100 standard which confirms that it is environmentally sound and does not include any harmful chemicals.”

Everyone else either states that oeko-tex 100 is not all it is cracked up to be or “that it is impossible to be 100% ecological, but as technology advances they hope to be”….technology…for all the companies waiting for the future to arrive, here is the past, what I like to call the anti-technological way, also known as the “mechanical way”. The mechanical way is done by crushing the woody parts of the bamboo plant and then use natural enzymes to break the bamboo walls into a mushy mass so that the natural fibers can be mechanically combed out and spun into yarn. This is essentially the same eco-friendly manufacturing process used to produce linen fabric from flax or hemp. Bamboo fabric made from this process is sometimes called bamboo linen. Very little bamboo linen is manufactured for clothing because it is more labor intensive and costly.” What that means is it messes with these “green” companies bottom line.

Chop It Up

The next company that makes the “Certified by Cara” seal is Totally Bamboo. I really like the twist chopstick set they sell. According to Totally Bamboo they had a chemist develop a high grade, non-toxic formaldehyde free food grade glue which they use exclusively on their cutting boards. Also. they do not use artificial dyes or stains. Their factory is ISO 9000 compliant which is a rating system covering non-polluting environmental issues and employee welfare, safety and minimum age. There are 2 colors, light and dark. The light is the natural color of bamboo. The dark is “cooked” to perfection, literally, a result of the heating process. The natural sugar in the wood is caramelized, producing the beautiful honey color. This is permanent and will not wash off. This allows the boards to be sanded if needed. They have other cool stuff on their site as well, like bamboo director chairs, for those eco Hollywood directors…lol.

Solid Horizontal-Grain Bamboo Flooring, Amber

Next to finding truly eco fabrics, eco flooring was the runner up as far as hard to locate. One company that receives the “Certified by Cara” seal, is Eco Timber.

This is what they have to say about how they are super awesome bamboo flooring rock stars, “EcoTimber bamboo flooring is made from bamboo plantations — not from wild habitats. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource, harvestable only four to six years after being planted. Its low moisture absorption properties make it ideal for humid climates and applications where moisture might pose a challenge for other types of flooring.

EcoTimber Bamboo flooring is made with a Low-VOC adhesive that easily meets the strict European E1 standard for indoor air quality.

There are currently dozens of bamboo flooring manufacturers, some of which have flooded the market with poorly-made products. Click here to see what sets them apart from others. ”

The business of greenwashing is becoming an art form these days as the big players are joining the “green” game. I expect it from them, but am sad to see some small business jumping on the greenwashing train to nowhere.

I thought this blog entry was going to be easy, but I was wrong.

Keep it real.

-Cara


Reason 98 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Every year, 24,000 fishers die on the job, making fishing the most dangerous occupation in the world, according to the FAO/UN. Meatpacking has the highest serious injury rate by far of any occupation. Repetitive stress disorders and knife cuts are rampant in meat plants. Poultry processing workers earn wages that are, for a family of four, below the poverty level. Full-time contract poultry growers clear incomes of only $21,000 annually.

Bamboo

I am on the “buy bamboo bandwagon”. I have been for awhile. I was thinking about it today, I have an idea why bamboo is considered a sustainable, environmentally-friendly substance, but just an idea. I decided on this lovely day to become informed and discover the truth behind bamboo.

Let’s start out with some interesting bamboo facts, one, bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on Earth. It has been clocked surging skyward as fast as 121 cm (47.6 inches) in a 24-hour period. It can also reach maximal growth rate which exceed one meter (40 inches) per hour for short periods of time. After harvesting, bamboo does not require replanting, it has an extensive root system that continually sends up new shoots, naturally replenishing itself, making it one of the most renewable resources known. It has also been around since the prehistoric era, which I just think is cool.

Next, there are 91 genera and about 1,000 species of bamboo, found in a number of diverse climates and you don’t need to spray them down with gallons of pesticides or fertilize them for them to thrive as they do so naturally. These variables make this plant more like a super weed, than a member of the true grass family, Poaceae and this is also what makes bamboo a renewable resource.

Fabrics made from bamboo have an extraordinary water absorbency quality. This characteristic makes bamboo fabric three times more absorbent than cotton. Bamboo fibers also keep moisture away from the skin, speeding up the evaporation process, keeping the wearer naturally drier and more comfortable. The fabrics made from bamboo are known to be extremely soft, breathable, hard to wrinkle and possess antibacterial properties! I also heard something about bamboo blocking out a large percentage of the Sun’s UV activity, but I could not find any solid facts on that, so wear your sun block, not your bamboo shirt, because skin cancer is a horrible thing to have!

There is one major man made issue which makes bamboo clothing either an eco product or not. It is the process it goes through before becoming the final product. There are two ways to process bamboo to make the plant into a fabric: mechanically or chemically.

To quote Organic Clothing’s blog, “The mechanical way is by crushing the woody parts of the bamboo plant and then use natural enzymes to break the bamboo walls into a mushy mass so that the natural fibers can be mechanically combed out and spun into yarn. This is essentially the same eco-friendly manufacturing process used to produce linen fabric from flax or hemp. Bamboo fabric made from this process is sometimes called bamboo linen. Very little bamboo linen is manufactured for clothing because it is more labor intensive and costly.

Chemically manufactured bamboo fiber is a regenerated cellulose fiber similar to rayon or modal. Chemically manufactured bamboo is sometimes called bamboo rayon because of the many similarities in the way it is chemically manufactured and similarities in its feel and hand.

Most bamboo fabric that is the current eco-fashion rage is chemically manufactured by “cooking” the bamboo leaves and woody shoots in strong chemical solvents such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH – also known as caustic soda or lye) and carbon disulfide in a process also known as hydrolysis alkalization combined with multi-phase bleaching. Both sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide have been linked to serious health problems. Breathing low levels of carbon disulfide can cause tiredness, headache and nerve damage. Carbon disulfide has been shown to cause neural disorders in workers at rayon manufacturers. Low levels of exposure to sodium hydroxide can cause irritation of the skin and eyes. Sodium hydroxide is a strong alkaline base also known as caustic soda or lye. In its dry crystalline form, caustic soda is one of the major ingredients of Drano. This is basically the same process used to make rayon from wood or cotton waste byproducts. Because of the potential health risks and damage to the environment surrounding the manufacturing facilities, textile manufacturing processes for bamboo or other regenerated fibers using hydrolysis alkalization with multi-phase bleaching are not considered sustainable or environmentally supportable.”

What I learned today is bamboo alone is a renewable, sustainable, and abundant resource that grows organically in its natural habitat, but before you go and brag or even buy your bamboo clothes you need to ask the company what is their manufacturing process to make said bamboo fabric. Look for the Oeko-Tek certification. Oeko-Tek certification identifies textiles that are free of processing chemicals, although it does not ensure the environmental soundness of the entire manufacturing process. The same thing goes for your bamboo floors, bamboo cutting boards, your bamboo everything.

You’ve been schooled.

-Cara


Reason 97 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

To produce foie gras, male ducks are force-fed a stomach-gorging cup of corn pellets three times a day with a 15-inch feeder tube. This torturous process goes on for 28 days until the ducks’ livers, from which the pâté is made, miasmatically bloat to 10 times normal size. Mortalities are high due to the disease, intense stress, and burst stomachs. For days prior to slaughter, each bird will pant for air. So cruel are these practices that foie gras production is now outlawed in at least a dozen countries.

This recipe my friend Lexi gave to me like a hundred years ago when we were just kids working at Whole Foods. This was before Whole Foods became a publicly traded company [I am a Whole Foods stockholder as when we worked there we were given stock and/or allowed to buy it cheaply. I just want to be honest and above board. ] and sold out. John Mackey, what a joke. I can say this as I experienced it firsthand. I never had such a great job before they went public. It was the best work environment and best people to work with. We all loved our jobs so much that it positively affected how we treated Whole Foods customers. It wasn’t a hassle or annoying, as we were respected and treated so well that we want to excel at our jobs and do what was right for the company. We were paid really well and had amazing benefits. It is the simple theory of treating your employees well and not only will they work hard, but you will make more money and a have a better life yourself. We were a true community and since that time I have never experienced that type of job.

The issue was to get the real big money they decided they needed to go public and it became no longer about us, it was about the stockholders and their happiness. Everyday, things changed more into a factory environment with dress codes, piercing policies, green aprons, whatever the stockholders wanted Mackey gave them. It became a place where if you did not agree with them they would fire you based on untruths. The place is not a good place to work anymore. I guess caring about what you do and how you do it doesn’t pay for a 720-acre ranch in Texas. Sorry, to get all up in it that way. January 1992 was just a sad time in history for all of us that worked there. If you don’t believe me here are some links I found from others like me who worked for this company and saw Whole foods devolve into what it is today.

Whole Foods Fight

Unconscionable Capitalism: How Whole Foods Values Policy Over Employees Well-Being

Good company to work for? (applying, business, change, part-time) [scroll down on this one to see some ex-employees of Whole Foods opinion.]

The Whole Foods Cure For Herpes

That’s enough for now, but if your not convinced do a search and you will find thousands of articles on what it is to work for a company with a nice exterior, but not so clean an interior.

To quote an ex-Whole Foods employee south2nd:

Ugh, stay away from Whole Foods. Before they became a publicly traded company, they were pretty great to work for. It has completely changed. They have eliminated most of the programs that made them different. The associates are not treated well, the pay is low, and the the atmosphere is very clique-ish and cutthroat. I would not recommend it unless you hate yourself.

01-19-2008, 08:57 AM

OK, I really got sidetracked from my recipe…sorry…bringing it back now. This recipe was originally Lexi’s but since then I have changed it a bit, it is now Lexi and Cara’s Special Organic Yam Yams or Sweet Potatoes recipe.

What You Need

as many organic sweet potatoes or yams you want to eat

as much organic unsalted butter you want per potato (I usually put like two tablespoons cut into squares and put along the potato)

as much organic brown sugar as you want per potato (I usually do about two tablespoons or less depending on the size of the potato)

as much organic honey as you like (I usually use a tablespoon)

a tablespoon of organic beer

What To Do

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Wash your yams/sweet potatoes

Cut them into quarters

Place them on a sheet big enough to wrap up said yams or potatoes

Add butter, brown sugar, honey, and a bit o’ beer.

Wrap them in their original shape with foil.

Put on a baking pan or may I suggest a dish with some depth as the juices will leak out of the aluminum sometimes and you don’t want to waste any of the good stuff.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until they are nice and soft.

Put them and all the juices in a serving pan and enjoy.

I want some now!

-Cara


Reason 92 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

It is estimated that 30 percent of the world’s fish catch is non-target species, or “bycatch.” Fishers–typically in the cruelest most expedient ways–separate out the discards, only to dump them overboard, dead and mutilated. Bycatch from driftnetting is estimated at 85 percent of catch; despite a U.N. moratorium, Italy, France, and Morocco continue the hugely destructive practice. Shrimp fishing alone is responsible for over 27 percent of the world’s bycatch, despite producing less than 2 percent of global seafood.

Lindsay Smith CEO and President Dan Joyce VP Sales and Marketing

Lindsay Smith CEO and President Dan Joyce VP Sales and Marketing

The first thing we will talk about is not something you would necessarily buy for yourself, but more for a public space. It is rubber sidewalks.

Rubbersidewalks are high-density paving tiles made with recycled California tire crumbed rubber combined with polyurethane binder and colorant, then molded with heat under compression. This produces a strong and durable part that meets all requirements of sidewalk-worthiness, including stable grade, non-vibration in compliance with ADA requirements, and high coefficient of friction for non-skid both dry and wet. Rubbersidewalks are available in various sizes and colors, and are reversible. Known life per face is minimum eight years. Actual life per face is not known but is expected to exceed 12 years.

Here are some reasons to use then,

  • Diverted over 1 million tires from landfills
  • Saved over 2,000 trees in cities’ urban forests
  • Removed 78,000 pounds of CO2 each year
  • Captured over 4 million gallons of water each year

What a cool idea…

Next, yes it is another bag, but these two ladies have a slightly different spin. Here is what they have to say about themselve,

We are proud to say that BaggyShirts is a sustainable enterprise, in that we:

  • Purchase recycled men’s shirts obtained from warehouses of surplus goods collected from charitable organizations – no petroleum-based materials.
  • Use the entire shirt – absolutely no waste.
  • Prevent clothing and tens of thousands of paper and plastic bags from going to the landfill each year.
  • Employ local artisans to fabricate bags at home, slashing carbon emissions by 80% to 90%. No overseas manufacturing.
  • Pay our fabricators a livable wage that is above average for the industry.
  • Operate with the least possible amount of negative environmental impact – we ship Internet orders in recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Donate a portion of our proceeds to organizations that work to stop global warming.

The cool thing is they were inspired to start this business after watching, An Inconvenient Truth! Sounds familar.

Last but not least, this is a shout out to Marine, as these recycled glasses are made from the bottom halves of Bordeaux bottles that were “rescued” on the way to the landfill. A beautifully etched branch design is accompanied by the phrase ‘Protect Our Earth’ in four languages: English, Spanish (Proteja Nuestra Tierra), Afrikaans/South African (Bewaar Ons A Arde) and French (Proteqez Notre Terre). They look beautiful.

Well, these were good ones. I hope you liked them as well.

Enjoy.

-Cara


Reason 91 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When food-safety inspectors in New York City make the rounds, they often come upon merchants selling just about anything: the meat of armadillos, iquanas, primates, turtles, frogs, and even rats. Some of the meat comes from endangered animals. Other cuts, if not intrinsically illegal, fail to derive from licensed inspected facilities and so put consumers at risk. The sellers of such contraband (most is imported) tend to be ignorant of U.S. laws, sometimes conveniently so. They don’t seem to comprehend the dangers to which they expose their customers and even the city as they raise the risk of outbreak. Over one recent 21-month period, a single inspector shuttered 138 city stores.

People might be getting annoyed with my solar power obsession, but I could not pass this one up when I found it earlier this week. It is the LightCap 200!!!

This small, lightweight (just 2.6oz) cap fits on any ‘standard’ water bottle (2” wide mouth) such as Nalgene®, Camelbak®, GSI® and most others, turning your bottle into a solar-powered lantern. With clean, green solar energy powering your lantern there are no more burned out batteries to worry about or replace (adding to our already toxic landfills).

I love it! You can put colored water in them as well….super fresh!

Next we have Wola Nani Papier Mache Bowls, which are made by women living with HIV/AIDS. In Xhosa, Wola Nani means ” we embrace and develop each other.” These eye-catching bowls are made of papier mache using over-prints from canning factories in Cape Town. You can use them to put your keys in, mail, etc and it supports a great cause. You will also have a story to tell people when they comment to you how beautiful and interesting it is. It is not meant for food storage or eating purposes, so don’t eat out of it.

Last but not least is the Aptera a high-efficiency vehicle currently in development by Aptera Motors, Inc. They claim fuel efficiency of 230 mpg at 55 mph, which would make it one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the world.  Because the Type-1 has only three wheels two in front and a single drive wheel in the rear, most states in the United States would classify the vehicle as a motorcycle.  Design elements such as recessed windshield wipers and rear-view cameras instead of mirrors contribute to the low aerodynamic drag. According to the pre-order page, Aptera Motors has set the price at $26,900 for a an electric version with a 120-mile range, and $29,900 for the diesel-electrical series hybrid. If you want to learn more check out their site.

Charge it!

-Cara


Reason 84 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In America, essentially all farmed animals will be trucked around at least once in their lives. Filthy, crowded, cramped, noisy, and terrifying conditions over extended periods are the norm. Truckers may legally deny the animals food and water for up to 36 hours. And such “protections” do not apply to poultry. Many animals are traded internationally. About 4 million live sheep are transported from Australia to the Middle East every year where Islamic law dictates throats be slit without stunning. In one recent year, a ship full of 58,000 sheep was rejected because of widespread infection. Before finding an import destination, nearly a tenth died.

Two eco-green-super fresh shopping entries in one week, stop it. It’s your lucky week. Well not really. I didn’t think it would be responsible of me to promote more consumption, so instead I will put together some tips on how to be more environmentally conscious when you do shop. Even better. :)

According to Earth 911,

A family of four [I wonder if this is a family of four people or two people and two cats or one person and three dogs…] can save $2,000 a year in the supermarket by choosing large sizes instead of individual serving sizes. Small sizes use more packaging for each ounce of product than larger sizes. So, if you buy large sizes, you save money, reduce waste, and help the environment.

Here’s some Earth 911 tips:

  • Buy cereal in a large box instead of in individual serving sizes.
  • Buy large packages of sugar and flour.

I think the best thing would be to buy local products, like at your Farmer’s Market. That way you may avoid any packaging and you’ll be supporting your local region and a small business. That’s a lot of good.

Another thing you can do to help out is make sure whatever it is you are buying, that the packaging is recyclable through your local recycling program. If you go to this link on Earth 911 you can find that information.

Do not buy disposable products. We do not live in a world that can survive all this junk filling landfills and polluting the earth. In fact take all the disposable products you have and invent something new. There’s a cool project. Then if you want you can sell it on Etsy, make tons of money, quit your job and work for yourself, protect the world, and enjoy your life…easy.

Here are some ways to do your part,

  • Use rechargeable batteries in everything that needs batteries [May I suggest purchasing solar powered products, or water powered or kinetic instead…]
  • Do not use disposable cameras [Unless you are at someone’s wedding and they give you one. I mean at that point it’s too late.].
  • Use cloth napkins, sponges, and cloth towels or wipes to clean up. [I’m working on that one right now.]
  • Use washable plates, cups, and silverware for parties and picnics instead of disposable products [Come on really who is still buying paper or plastic plates???].
  • Use an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors. [Whoops.]
  • Use a washable commuter mug for your morning coffee and eliminate a Styrofoam or plastic cup every day [Funny, I was walking around just the other day with my Starbucks’ disposable coffee cup in my hand, thinking just that. I’m embarrassed….tell no one.].

I hope you have enjoyed this Friday’s shopping tips.

Enjoy your weekend.

-Cara

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Reason 77 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
The population explosion should not be thought of exclusively in terms of people–not when one considers the ecological footprint represented by the world’s 3.2 billion cattle, sheep, goats, and domesticated bison across the globe. About 20 percent of the world’s pastures and rangelands, with 73 percent of rangelands in dry areas, have been degraded to some extent, mostly through overgrazing, compaction, and erosion caused by livestock.

On Fridays I usually do a shopping or a recycled object making entry, then Saturdays a recipe entry and Sundays are a game or quiz entry, but two Fridays ago it was my 100th post, so I didn’t do the shopping/recycled entry until Monday. This Friday I was into tips, so I guess and forgot to do my regular entry. Today I will make up for missing said entry.

Here are three cool products I found. I mention places to buy the things I talk about, but I suggest trying to find products locally whenever possible.

On siliconsolar.com I found for $24.95 the Solar Battery Charger AA AAA C and D. It has the ability to charge AAA, AA, C and D batteries using solar cells. The company has one complaint in 36 months at the Better Business Bureau, which they resolved. I worked for the BBB here in New York City for about six years and that is a fine record for an online company…in my opinion. I think this charger is a great idea.

Alright, I am not sure how many people grill, but my dad does and smokes food. He makes me a mean, marinated, smoked portobello sandwich like you wouldn’t believe. Anyway, his grill light uses batteries I think, so I found the Maverick SOLAR LED Grill Light, Stainless Steel GL-04 for $48.99. Happy Father’s Day!!!

Last but not least, we were talking about brining your own water bottle to work instead of using disposable cups. I like the Switzerland company Sigg’s water bottles. They aren’t too big, and have a clean fresh look and feel to them. They are fashionable and sustainable.

I will update this entry with any reviews once I’ve tried any of these products. Please leave a comment if you’ve tried any of these contraptions, as I would love to know what you thought of them

Enjoy.

-Cara

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Reason 73 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Grass-fed beef is more eco-friendly than corn-fed, but supplies of it could never sustainably meet current consumer demand. Several guides are available to help seafood consumers “eat with a conscience.” But the species that are recommended would quickly run out if everyone ate them. Legally, “free-range” and “cage-free” designations are dubious to outright meaningless. At least one humane certification program was officially debunked. “Organic” has gone strangely industrial and is rightly tagged “ethically challenged.” Ultimately, to “eat green” and to “be kind,” one needs to go vegan. [Opinion of Pamela Rice only. I feel that to not validate free-range and grass-fed animals/farming is to tell meat eaters, that their choice does not matter between industrial farming and free-range, when of course it does make a difference. -Cara]

Since Friday was my 100th post, we missed the weekly shopping entry, so thank you Monday, for picking up Friday’s slack.

Sometimes I commit sins against green. It is true I still sin. One example of said sinning is my desire to dry the counters with clean, pristine, white, recycled [:)] paper towels. I have a sponge for the counters, but it always seems to get dirty so fast, that I can’t bear to “clean” anything with it. Thus, the paper towel dilemma.

I decided to research this issue of mine and find a solution. Here is what I will try, the European Sponge Cloth. I think it might be a winner. I will let you know, and if anyone reading this has tried it, please review as I am curious.

Second sin…composting. I’ve done tons of research on composting…for whatever reasons, I will not get into now. Nevertheless, with all I know of what makes what type of compost, and what to do to keep out the bugs, how to make it not smell, plenty of room on my fire escape, food byproducts everyday, plants that need to be re-potted and fed…I still don’t compost. What I will do is buy these BioBags [100% biodegradable and 100% compostable bags and films made from the material, Mater-Bi. All of our products contain GMO free starch, biodegradable polymer and other renewable resources. No polyethylene is used in the production process. BioBag products meet ASTM D6400 specifications and California SB 1749 requirements.] and line this old wooden wine box

and compost away. Again, I’ll let you know…

And last but not least, to begin to make up for all the paper and whatever else I have done, I will give to The Arbor Day Foundation’s, Rain Forest Rescue Program.

I like having “to-do” lists.

-Cara

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Reason 66 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
The meat industry doesn’t treat the causes of its problems, only the symptoms. When it imprisons massive numbers of animals in cramped stress-inducing cages, it provides the perfect breeding ground for deadly bacteria, which later infect the meat. Technologies to kill meat pathogens are now very big business. We have acidic-solution carcass misting, alkaline-solution sprays, steam/vacuum technology, high-temperature carcass washes, steam pasteurization, and chlorine applications, etc., ad nauseam. Some bug-fighting methods, such as food irradiation and sprays of antidotal viruses and probiotic bacteria, pose risks in themselves. And in the end, the meat still isn’t safe

I was wondering the other day if there was a film distribution company that dealt with predominantly or only “green” films, as I love films and “green” is a good thing. If this company did existed, what and who defines what a “green” film is? This is how my journey began to find the greatest green film company…

Here’s my fresh find, Green Planet Films. Their mission, according to their site is,

Green Planet Films is a non-profit distributor of nature and environmental DVDs from around the globe. We promote environmental education through film. We seek to preserve and protect our planet by collecting and distributing documentaries that can be used to educate the public about the science, beauty, and fragility of the natural world. Our mission is to grow our web-based DVD library, which provides a channel that connects these films to schools, organizations, businesses, and individuals worldwide.

I, being weary of people calling anything “green”, went to investigate this company and their film selections. First, let me just say that not only am I very impressed with their selections, but I am also impressed with the company and the people who work there. Here’s why, Green Planet Films is a nonprofit organization that caries only environmental and nature films from around the world, which after researching is true. Not only that, but the twelve people that work there are volunteers. That leads me to believe they are doing this out of love more than profit, something I respect.

To give you an idea of what types of films they carry, here is, The End of Suburbia.

Now that I no longer have satellite TV I will invest in a few of these DVDs. I figure I will buy them in support of their organization, watch them, and then pass them on to friends. I will also encourage said friends to pass them on, and on, and on as well. It’s a plan.

See, no TV just keeps getting better everyday.

Start popping the popcorn!!!

-Cara

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Reason 59 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Genetic manipulation has created monsters as well as monstrous suffering for farmed animals. Cloning threatens to jack up the misery yet another notch. Its general use is probably a ways off, provided it becomes commercially viable at all. Meanwhile, as the scientists tinker, their cloned creations will suffer from premature deaths and deformities, and the resultant meat and milk are sure to enter the human food supply.

Spring Cleaning

It’s Spring people and that means it’s Spring cleaning time. Usually Fridays is about buying stuff, but today I thought it would be a fresh idea to make good cleaners, instead of recommending good cleaners. That’s my idea!!!

Drain Cleaner – Try a plunger first, if that doesn’t work pour 1/2 cup baking soda down drain, add 1/2 cup white vinegar, and cover the drain. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into the soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. Do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener–the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.

Scouring Powder can be made from baking soda or dry table salt.

Window and Glass Cleaner is easy with these tips: to avoid streaks, don’t wash windows when the sun is shining. Use a vinegar-and-water solution, cornstarch-vinegar-and-water solution, or lemon-juice-and-water. Wipe with newspaper unless you are sensitive to the inks in newsprint.

Floor Cleaner and Polish can be as simple as a few drops of vinegar in the cleaning water to remove soap traces. For vinyl or linoleum, add a capful of baby oil to the water to preserve and polish. For wood floors, apply a thin coat of 1:1 oil and vinegar and rub in well. For painted wooden floors, mix 1 teaspoon washing soda into 1 gallon hot water. For brick and stone tiles, use 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon water and rinse with clear water.

All-Purpose Cleaner can be made from a vinegar-and-salt mixture or from 4 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in 1 quart warm water.

I think that should be enough to kick start you into the joys of Spring cleaning…enjoy.

-Cara

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People who eat a lot of fish are increasingly falling victim to the debilitating effects of mercury poisoning. Women, in particular, are putting their babies at risk for irreparable brain damage when they eat seafood high in mercury while pregnant and even beforehand. According to the EPA, about 630,000 newborns in the United States every year–roughly 15 percent of all–may be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury in the womb.

Today on April 10th, 2008, I welcome the Official Web Site of Me, CaraReynolds.com into the world. Firstly, I would like to thank Marine Boudeau for all the work and time she put into creating this fantastical place and making it more than I ever expected. It has been a long journey, but we did it!

What is CaraReynolds.com all about you may be wondering? It is about me wanting to have a space for my photography that goes beyond Flickr, a place that not only showcases my photos, but my life as well. I think this site turned out amazing. It is as I say ALL the time, AWESOME!

So, sit back and enjoy the show… and remember, just like me, CaraReynolds.com will continually evolve, so come back sometime and see me again.

– Cara

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Between 1980 and 2004, meat production in the developing world tripled, today amounting to well over half of the world’s output. Dense concentrations of corralled industrial livestock, which create vast quantities of manure, now skirt the edges of major cities in Asia and Latin America, causing severe environmental damages.

Kiss

I have been dreading doing the reviews of stuff people have sent me. It isn’t that I am not opinionated, because ask anyone around…opinions I’ve got! I guess I feel pressure to say good things, because I received the stuff for free or maybe because I was raised to be thankful for whatever anyone gives you…or because it feels like….who knows what…it doesn’t matter because I need to do these reviews as I said I would, so here we go…

I’ll start with Eco Lips organic lip balm. I selected the vanilla flavored hemp 98% organic lip balm. The 2% that is non-organic seems to be D-Alpha Tocopherol [vitamin E] and the Rosmarinus Officinalis [rosemary] leaf extract. It is interesting that they can’t get organic rosemary leaf extract or organic vitamin E. I will see what I can find out about that. This product is also cruelty free, non GMO product, and petroleum free. Made in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. GBA! ;)

Let me give you a little bit of history about me and lip balm. I love it. I can’t get enough of it. I have tried a million different types of lip balms. I think it started when I was the Body Care buyer at Whole Foods for a few years. One of my duties as a Body Care Buyer was to sample all lip balms and bring in the best ones for our consumers. I feel as though my experience in lip balmery makes me an excellent candidate to review said lip balm. :)

I like the green label with the silver packaging of the hemp Eco Lips lip balm. It is a throwback to futuristic movies in the 70’s with a hemp leaf square in the middle. :D The vanilla smells like high end vanilla extract you use while baking. Then when you put it on your lips, it is a silky softness that stays. I am really impressed with it. Out of the three different Burt’s Bees lip balms I have and a plethora of other such brands right now Hemp Vanilla Eco Lips is my favorite and that’s saying a lot.

So of a rating of 1 to 5 I give this a solid 4 and it would have been a 5 but for the 98% organic shaved off a point.

OK, review one done and I feel good. Stay tuned…more to follow.

Best.

-Cara

UPDATE:

I have learned from an employee at Eco Lips after asking, Why do you all make it 98% organic instead of 100%…” that “Vitamin E can be extracted in a 100% NATURAL process, but not organic. This is very complex and has to do with chemicals and molecular bases, but it is just the way it is at this point in time.” and he also wanted to make sure I knew, “that Burt’s [Bee] is not at all organic, but only 100% natural.” I think both are important points, so I am sharing them here with you. You are welcome!

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Animal agriculture routinely mutilates farmed animals for its own convenience and often simply out of habit. Debeaking, branding, castration, ear notching, wing and comb removal, dehorning, teeth clipping, and tail and toe docking are ever-present tasks on today’s farm and ranch. Laborers, not veterinarians, perform the surgeries, employing restraint, not anesthesia.

I found this link the other day and took the “Quiz” to see if I could win a free tote bag…Earthbound Farms, champions of organic salads and other organic, pesticide-free produce is giving away the earth-conscience shopper’s ultimate must-have: a free reusable shopping tote for those who can answer 9 out of 10 questions correctly in their Conservation Quiz!!

I will not give away anything, but I have a feeling everyone might win a tote!

So, Test your Conservation knowledge! Take the Earthbound Farm Conservation Quiz and try your hand at winning a free shopping tote! Good luck!

Also, spend some time on their site. They have some good stuff on there.

Enjoy.

-Cara

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About a decade ago the government began imposing manure-handling controls on the nation’s confined animal feeding operations. The rules, which now regulate only 40 percent of the nation’s largest feedlots, have not only been laughably overdue in their implementation but have amounted to nothing more than permits to pollute as usual. And the vast majority of the nation’s mostly moderate-sized livestock operations are simply urged to follow recommended guidelines voluntarily. In 2004, the EPA granted a sweetheart deal to 130 companies representing thousands of mega-feedlots when it allowed them amnesty from the Clean Air Act in exchange for scientific monitoring. Other facilities across the country are now in line for exemptions from Superfund lawsuits.

My mom sent me this link today. It’s perfect for earth day shopping. Thanks Mom!

Green Coupons and Discounts: 30 Money Saving Deals Good All Month Long! An Earth Day Month of Saving Money on Organic Foods, Paints, More!

Save money on everything you need to go green this April with this exclusive collection of coupons, discounts and deals from some of America’s best eco-friendly manufacturers. From organic foods, low VOC paints, earth-friendly fashions…even gifts for the green pet…we have 30 great finds here on one page. Many of these deals are exclusive to readers of The Daily Green. All together, they’re a recession-busting way to celebrate Earth Day all month by going green. Enjoy…and, Happy Earth Day, everyone!

-Deborah Barrow, Founder, The Daily Green.com.

Who is this Deborah Jones Barrow you may ask? I found via the “About Us” page on The Daily Green.com, Deborah Barrow herself states,

“I had gone to the country to live. After years of the media wars in Manhattan, I was ready to raise heirloom roses in my organic garden. And to volunteer. It was that kind of time.

But then the climate in my garden began to change. And then I saw An Inconvenient Truth. And then one day, my husband Peter said, “Honey, somebody ought to invent a great green website for regular people.”

So, welcome to TheDailyGreen.com.”

Nice…I like her style.

-Cara

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A study of 49 island countries found 55 percent of their coral reefs overfished. To sustainably harvest the million metric tons of fish taken annually from the islands, 30,000 square miles more of reef–or the equivalent of nearly four Great Barrier Reefs–would be needed. Demand for reef fish is largely coming from Hong Kong traders, who are now supplying a burgeoning market in Mainland China. Reef fish take 5 to 10 years to reach breeding age and so are particularly vulnerable. Fishers capture the fish, live, using cyanide, destroying coral in the process; 75 percent of the fish die even before getting to their market destinations.

I started out this entry looking for search engines whose search results are solely female owned and operated web sites. You know sometimes you just want to support a sista. The sites I found were super ugly and overrun with Google ads and such. I don’t even want to give you the links to any of these sites, as they are super disheartening. Here is one link to see for yourself. This site is called Femina and no it does not make me proud to be a woman.

Ironically, Yahoo just got started their Womecentric site Shine today. I went to it and it is much more aesthetically pleasing then Femina and the like, but it is not about empowering or powerful women, it is just about targeting the female consumer base who love to buy their Procter & Gamble Crest White Strips [It seems Crest White Strips are their main advertiser, P&G who makes the Crest line refuses to stop testing its products on animals, despite the fact that these tests are not required by any law, and despite the fact that more reliable and humane alternatives do exist.].

Undies

This site is not about women supporting women, with their top story of the day being, “Lingerie hunt: Fancy panties that don’t cost $80 (for a piece of string )”. LOL. This is not a serious issue any woman is facing. I know I must sound like a crank, and I don’t think inherently there is anything wrong with nice lingerie, but when you have a voice that can reach so many people like Yahoo does, is this what we, as women, should be discussing? Instead, maybe we should discuss all the female genital mutilation that is going on in the world? Women globally are being mutilated against their will, so yes, I think it is socially irresponsible to have your main story be about g-strings, but maybe I am the minority [I do not really believe I am the minority. I believe more women do care, but people are told…sorry, this is another topic for another time…I have A.D.D.].

I guess again it is left up to us who want better, to create better. My next project [in line behind two other secret projects soon to be released into the world] will be the greatest Female Search Engine ever!!! I will make the commitment to use only truly sustainable advertisers if need be, but if that is not possible, I will do it for free out of love for my sistas and the brothers who support them.

Take back the night!

-Cara

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The 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham challenged the world about animals with his famous quandary: “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”. Curiously, science is every day discovering that in fact animals do all three: reason, communicate, and suffer. The differences between animals and humans are being blurred with every revelation. Man’s closest relatives share over 98 percent of our DNA, and all animals, including man, are related by a common ancestor. Today’s question must now be, can we humans use our known capacity for logic, communication, and empathy to take animals off our plates?

It is Friday again and time to look for three fantastical eco/green/recycled gems in this World Wide Web of ours.

The first thing I am going to show you are three different things, but due to their similarities I am going to list them as one gem out of three. They can be purchased on Recycled Planet Store, Inc..

fr

Recycled Maps Frogs made from discarded and misprinted New York City Subway Maps.

My Opinion: Who are you person who created such an awesome thing??? Thank you! :D

cir

Recycled Maps Beads Bracelet made from discarded and misprinted New York City Subway Maps.

My Opinion: Super cute, love the color of the blue beads in the pic.

sq

Recycled Maps Square Beads Necklace made from discarded and misprinted New York City Subway Maps.

My Opinion: Looks art deco, love the squares.

Bag

Number Two comes from a cool store , Bibelot. They carry a great line of ecobags made from recycled candy wrappers, recycled plastic bottles, recycled aluminum, recycled Coca Cola cans from Vietnam, and recycled newspapers.

My Opinion: I like anything that’s shiny and good for the world!

ellie

Last, but certainly not least is the elephant dung paper product site, Mr. Ellie Pooh. According to their site,

Mr. Ellie Pooh is a new eco-friendly, innovative company that sells 100% handmade journals, stationery, crafts, scrapbook/photo albums and various grades of paper made of 75% elephant dung (Ellie Pooh Paper) from Sri Lanka. Mostly, elephant orphanages supply the our Pooh, while Maximus makes a our exotic paper. Mr. Ellie Pooh distributes throughout the US and Canada.

All of our paper products are 100% recycled, 75% Pooh and 100% fun.

There are no toxic chemicals used in our paper-making process. Only basic bonding agents such as alum and rosin, along with water soluble salt dyes for coloring are used. No bleach. No Acids. As no alkaline or acid solutions are introduced during manufacturing, our handmade papers are of an ideal pH value for photograph preservation.

My Opinion: Why not! I love anything handmade and recycled. :)

OK, that’s all for today.

Charge It!

-Cara

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University research asserts that the feeding of approximately 10 million tons of poultry litter to U.S. cattle and other livestock every year is safe. But the mere presence of wasted feed in the mix, which otherwise includes excreta, carcass parts, bedding, and feathers, could include the stray remains of cattle. This would seem to violate the 1997 USDA rule that no cow is to eat the flesh of other cows, instituted to thwart the spread of mad cow disease. Also, poultry litter needs to be properly composted to neutralize microbial toxins–in practice not always done. Furthermore, livestock, so fed, need sufficient time to flush out veterinary medications that might have tainted the litter. Finally, feeding poultry litter to livestock provides one more vector for the spread of bird flu.

Kiva

What is Kiva? According to their web site,

Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. By choosing a loan on Kiva, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the entrepreneur you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

They seem to be a broker of microloans for small businesses in up-and-coming lands all over the world. You pick a person/business, pick an amount to loan them, then Kiva supplies you with all sorts of graphs and charts to show you how your money is being used. You can also request emails from the companies you have given a loan to.

For myself it would be a good way to not have money in my pocket to burn while doing something good for the world.

Good idea it seems…let’s see how this effects the global economy in the next few years.

I’m out.

-Cara

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Bestiality is integral to pork, turkey, and dairy operations. Numerous Web sites instruct in the craft of artificial insemination. Sample excerpts follow: click here to read more.

Frame

I was thinking of what to write about for Friday’s Eco-Shopping entry, when I remembered this frame I got working as a buyer at Whole Foods. The frame is made out of an old car radiator. The company’s name is J Line Design out of San Diego, CA. I searched all over the World Wide Web and found nothing. :( They are the inspiration for today’s blog entry. I looked for three products made out of some sort of recycled auto parts. As a side-note if anyone knows what happened to J Line Designs please let me know.

Chess

The first thing I found was a chess set made from recycled auto parts. The artist who created this chess set is Armando Ramírez. Ramirez collects the leftover metal pieces off a die machine and shapes them into the pawns, horses, and parts of the kings, which also feature cogs from a car’s electrical system. The queens are made from screws, cogs and bearings from a car’s electrical system. The bishops are shaped from sparkplugs and the towers from cogwheels. The board is made from a metal sheet and features ornate iron wires and bendix caps taken from a car’s electrical system.

It looks pretty cool and is on sale for $98.95…That’s a steal in N.Y.C. and it is a green choice. I don’t need a chess board as I spent my childhood playing chess, striving to beat my father, the smartest person I know…and the day I did I never played again…I’m like that.

Martian Lady

She’s a Martian made from a muffler!!! Excited? If so check out Muffler Art by Quick Stop Muffler Shop and Auto Service in Decatur, Alabama. There are all sorts of creatures and Aliens. I would call first to make sure they are still in business before placing an order or stop by 1303 6th Avenue S.E., Decatur, Alabama 35601 and tell them Cara sent you. ;) Maybe I’ll call tomorrow and ask if they are still open. UPDATE: I called today and they are still open. I also found an email…I should be a detective! :)

Nice

Last but not least, Simple a nice little shoe company out of Santa Barbara. A company that uses recycled tires on the out soles of their super fresh looking ecoSNEAKS… For now there is free shipping which is always a sweet deal. :)

Shop right.

-Cara

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By some assessments, the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which originated in Asia and is now spreading across Europe and Africa, has the potential to disrupt life on planet Earth second only to global nuclear war. Others predict that if the strain mutates, perhaps just slightly, a bird-flu pandemic could kill more than 140 million people and put a halt to [U.S.]$4.4 trillion in world economic activity. Influenza pandemics generally come three times per century, and we’re overdue for our next. Any strain of influenza that humans contract, including H5N1, would scarcely exist if people had never domesticated poultry.

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