Archive for January, 2010

Following is just a tiny snippet of examples of the benefits of recycling. Please do your part to chip in. Think about not only your generation, but the generation of young people who deserve the quality of life that we are so accustomed to; the quality of life that frankly we often take for granted.

Most cities have curb-side recycling programs. If not, there are many drop-off recycling centers all over the country. Check Earth911.com to find your nearest recycling center or sign-up for the program in your county.

  • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!
  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.
  • Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper. All of these jars are recyclable.
  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.

  • The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
  • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution.
  • The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.
  • Recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source, bauxite.
  • An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
  • Recycling one PET bottle can conserve enough energy to power a 60 watt light bulb for 6 hours or a 15 watt fluorescent bulb for a day.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
  • To produce each week’s Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
  • Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.

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top 5: tea parties

Top 5 Tea

photo by shelterrific

In the midst of chaos: the news, paying bills, running errands, working, laundry, email, and organizing your life in order to keep it on track, it’s important to take some time out to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. I love tea and drink it every day. Sometimes for the boost it gives me in the mid-afternoon; later in the day to relax; to treat whatever ailment I’m feeling. Here are five of my favorite teas:

  1. The fragrant notes of the tea leaves in Gypsy Rose are punctuated with the aromatic petals of roses which give the brew a soft pink hue. Certified 100% fair trade and organic tea. 
  2. I visit Lucile’s Cafe whenever I’m in Colorado and their New Orleans Spiced Tea is awesome. Luckily you can buy the tea to make at home.
  3. Licorice root and eucalyptus in Breathe Easy tea helps cold and congestion symptoms.
  4. Yogi DeTox is a gentle way to help the body cleanse itself by aiding the two primary filtering organs, the liver and kidneys.
  5. Honest Tea, organic green tea, is packed with EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) the most potent antioxidant around. I love this stuff and drink it practically every day. I find that it’s a great substitute if you find yourself craving a soda.

This summer, when the weather warms up, I’m dying to try the cold brew of iced tea and coffee. The technique is to add coffee or tea to a large amount of water and let sit at least eight hours. Strain, then refrigerate. I’ll post the results once I try it.

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Step aside Martha Stewart

About six years ago, I ran across this Clean Sweep Assessment, a checklist of life goals in four areas: Physical Environment, Well-being, Money and Relationships. I printed it out and put it in my desk drawer. Every now and then, I revisit the list and calculate my score. Since 2004, my score has gone up which is a good sign since I guess it means that I’m becoming more organized, content and happy in my life. The point is to check off each one of the 100 items that rings true for you, noting your score and focusing on getting up to a 100 over the next few years in order to, well, make yourself perfect and wonderfuLLLLLL…!

The true/false statements range from the obvious like “I live in the geographical location of my choice” to smaller things like “My hair is the way I want it”. Several of these points could be up for debate, like, does your hair really have the power to make you happy? Actually, YES! I’m one of those people who thinks hair is important especially since my husband is a hairstylist. Anyway, you’ll notice some questions seem a bit trivial, but overall it’s a fun quiz to take to see how you rate quality-of-life wise. Personally, I scored 45 points in 2007 and I just took it again and scored 56 points. Hmmm… what gives? I guess my bangs need to be trimmed, I still need to get settled in my new home back in San Francisco and I have yet to file my 2009 taxes. And if I owe you an apology, by all means please let me know so I can cross #7 off in my ‘Relationships’ category.

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irene_adler wardrobe_remix

photo by irene_adler via wardrobe_remix

Sometimes I can’t help but think that the popularity of shopping is absurd… Buy! Buy! Shop! Shop! The mentality of US consumers needs a heavy dose of inventiveness and originality. Not to say my wardrobe is the most original because it’s not, but I really do try to mix and match my wardrobe and decor with things that are both new and old. I love new, shiny things just as much as the next person, but I find more pleasure in finding treasures at a flea market or Goodwill than shopping at a department store. Everyone needs to buy second-hand and resist artificially created fashion cycles and step out in your own hybrid fashion of new & old. If people realized the pleasure of second-hand, they’d be at the mall less often.

These are just a few of my fashion-inspiration sites, the places I go to feel inspired about my current wardrobe and get fresh ideas of how to put pieces together. By utilizing what you already own and combining it with something second-hand, you’ll consume less by giving new life to something old and invent an entirely new wardrobe at the same time.

  1. wardrobe_remix, is a “DIY street fashion community,” that was created by Tricia Royal in September of 2005.

    “I believe the best stylists walk the streets, not the photo sets, nor the backstage of the runways. The real style innovators are you and me: real, fashionable people, men and women alike.” — Tricia Royal

  2. Beth Jones of The Vintage Society, has an innate ability to make any thrift item look expensive.
  3. There are ton of street fashion blogs, but hel-looks remains my favorite because of it’s sheer diversity and daringness.
  4. Copenhagen Street Style is my muse for inspirational looks.
  5. From the city I call home, the SF fashion blog: fashionist.
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ornj bags

Ornj Bags

Ornj bags are created out of recycled construction fencing, pulled out of abandoned fields and building sites.

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top 5: donate

Haiti Earthquake Donations

Image via Doctors Without Borders

Be in service and support those in need during the disaster relief in Haiti.

  1. American Red Cross has people on the ground in Haiti providing immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support. You can also text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts.
  2. Haitian native, Wyclef Jean organized the Yele Haiti Foundation. Text “YELE” to 501501 to donate $5 to Wyclef Jean’s group.
  3. Doctors Without Borders has a long and deep relationship with the people of Haiti. Even after the current disaster, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) will continue to serve the people of Haiti.
  4. As the devastation comes into focus, Mercy Corps has deployed an emergency team to assess damage, and fulfill immediate needs to quake survivors.
  5. Due to certain endowments, Direct Relief are in a somewhat unique position of being able to ensure 100% of your donations go to those in need. Since 2000, Direct Relief has provided more than $60 million in medical and material aid to Haiti. Over the past year, Direct Relief again has received among the highest ratings of any U.S. nonprofit from the American Institute of Philanthropy (“A”).
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Ditto Hangers

Ditto Hangers are probably one of the most innovative product designs I’ve ever seen. I love companies like Ditto, those who think and care enough to create a product with significant environmental benefits. Ditto Hangers are made from two of the most recycled materials world-wide, 100% Recycled paper and 100% Recycled PET Plastic, the same material water bottles are made from. Even the springs in the CLIP Hangers are made from Recycled PET. Ditto Hangers are printed with vegetable inks and environmentally friendly starch adhesives. Yes, a truly amazing product inside and out.

Adding to the problem of an overabundance of hangers in landfills is the growing garment industry. Many clothing companies ship their clothing overseas on plastic and wire hangers. Once the item sells, the hanger is disposed. An example of the disposable mentality of our culture where a hanger, with a lifespan of a week to a couple months, ends up in a landfill taking over 1000 years (40 generations) to degrade. A great waste of time, energy and natural resources. Ditto Hangers are designed to replace the 8 billion hangers that end up in landfills, of which less than 15% are typically recycled. That’s a sad ratio of recyclability.

Most municipal recycling programs will not accept the typical wire and plastic hangers because of the low-grade materials they are made from that deem them un-recyclable. My advice is to keep the old hangers you already have in use and incorporate Ditto Hangers into your closet today and for your future closet needs. Heck, why not get really innovative and reuse your hangers for something innovative and functional, such as a Hangelier?! (via Ditto Blog)

Organelle Design Hangelier

I’ve seen Ditto Hangers in action and you’ll love them. Their slim design takes up less space and will actually give you more room in your closet. Ah, perfection from design –> production –> use –> recycle –>.

Ditto Hangers Closet

Buy Ditto Hanger 10-Packs.

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