Tag Archives: green

San Jose, CA, Bans Single Use Bags, Including Paper! Read The Treehugger Article Here!

Wow. San Jose doesn’t usually strike most of us here in the Bay Area as forward thinking. (I’m allowed to say that, as I grew up in Almaden Valley.) But San Jose has just put every other plastic-bag-using city to shame with their new and exceptionally strict legislation.

Bags in San Diego from the Christian Science Monitor http://www.csmonitor.com

Going into effect January 1, 2012, stores in San Jose will no longer be able to give away bags; plastic or paper, with exception of some restaurants and thrift stores. San Jose is the largest city in the nation to ban plastic bags.

For all the great details, read Treehugger‘s, The Mercury News‘s, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal‘s or The Contra Costa Times‘s take on the ban.

So do your part this Christmas and take your own bags to the stores.

-Jocelyn Broyles

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Mechanized Insects, Please Buy Me Something Green and Rent A Living Tree

Grasshopper by Mike Libby

Plaid pants aside, I really have found the perfect gift for the man who has everything. Because he most certainly has never had, doesn’t currently have and should definitely have one of the amazing creations by Mike Libby. In Libby, I have found yet another genre-bending artist who takes design, creativity and reuse to an entirely new level. Libby takes real (not live) insects and crustaceans, intact, and mechanizes them. Yep. Puts moving parts in and about and on them to make them, well, really cool. Read an article on his work from 1800recycling.com, where I learned about Libby, or check out Insect Lab and his entire collection and read more about his extensive body of work. I think he and Edouard Martinet should have a show together. In my living room.

Speaking of my living room, there is a sweet little *plastic Christmas tree in its corner, thanks to the generous offer of my neighbor. But I know some of you don’t have tree-giving neighbors and haven’t yet done the one thing everyone expects you to do: (besides go to college, get married and have kids) Put a Christmas tree in your living room. Here’s a new find, a place out of San Jose, where you can rent a living Christmas tree, and if you are so inclined, they’ll tag your tree and you can get the same one year after year. How cool is that?

Now, you’ll need presents to put under that tree. Treehugger, inhabitat, 1800recycling, The Daily Green, and uncommon goods all have fabulous green gift lists, so check them out. Jessica Bates of 1800recycling.com gives us a few tips on eco-friendly gift wrap and Green Halloween made a video on wrapping with fabric, that quite frankly, makes me think twice about ever using tape and scissors again – and I like tape and scissors.

For a gift that needs no wrapping, give a tree dedication from treepeople.org: “A Tree Dedication gift starts at $25 for one tree and the recipient will receive a personalized greeting card. Multiple trees can be dedicated, or for a gift of $100 a special certificate announcing a grove of trees will be sent to the recipient.” I want a grove of trees in my name!

For gifts that give back: often times a buy one and one will be donated scenario. How can you not?

For gifts that don’t require wrapping or the giving of stuff. This is a Jocelyn favorite.

For the kiddies: Green gifts for children from Treehouse gifts in Berkeley.

*Remember how I said that living trees and even cut-down trees are better than plastic? Well, they are, but anything second-hand trumps anything new.

-Jocelyn Broyles

Home For The Holidays: California-Made Vodka, Gin, Rum and Whiskey To Help Make It Go Down Smoothly

 

So you’re home for the holidays and you’re trying to go green (and stay sane) during all the hoopla. In an effort to help you along with both of those goals at the same time, I have compiled a list of California-made vodka, gin, rum and whiskey. So next time you need to take someone a hostess gift or find yourself wondering what to order in a bar (or what to put in your flask for the trip to aunt Caroline’s), go green and ask for one of these locally-made spirits:

VODKA:
1. Roth California Vodka, by Roth Distilleries
2. Hangar One, by St. George Spirits
3. Charbay by Charbay

GIN:
1. No. 209 by Distillery No. 209 – The story here is intriguing, take a break and read it.
2. Junipero by Anchor Steam

RUM:
1. Charbay by Charbay
2. Agua Libre by St. George Spirits
3. Eurydice by St. George Spirits and exclusive to San Francisco’s Smuggler’s Cove
4. Sergeant Classic by Essential Spirits Alambic Distillery of Mountain View

WHISKEY:
1. St. George’s Single Malt Whiskey by St. George Spirits
2. Old Potrero by Anchor Distilling, the makers of Anchor Steam beer
3. Charbay by Charbay

And to answer your next question: All scotches, bourbons and whisk(e)ys are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are scotches or bourbons. Are you feeling like you’re in a gray area the color of charcoal? Never fear, I’ll explain it here so that you can actually remember (or at least have somewhere to go look it up and sound smart next time someone asks you the difference). First off, the spelling thing. Whisky is from Scotland only. WhiskEy is from anywhere else. Whiskey (since I’m American, I’m going to spell it with an “e”) is a spirit made from distilled, grain mash, usually barley, rye wheat or corn. Scotch whisky comes only from, you guessed it, Scotland, and Kentucky and Tennessee whiskeys from their respective states. Bourbon whiskey has to be made from at least 51 percent (and no more than 79 percent) corn, must be no more than 160 proof and must be aged for at least two years (most are aged for at least four years) in a charred oak barrel. That’s it. Simple as pie. There are myriad differences in each type of whiskey, based on proof, age, malt and type of barrel, mix of grains, etc. If you’re interested, Wikipedia has the most comprehensive article on the differences between Scotch and Whiskey and Bourbon I found.

Now that you know what kind of booze to order, what drink should you put it in?

GIMLET RECIPE:

“A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else,” declairs Terry Lennox in Raymond Chandler‘s The Long Goodbye. Today, the standard is 3:1 – three parts gin to one part Rose’s Lime.

HOT BUTTERED RUM RECIPE:

Three measures dark rum, two measures spiced light rum, 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning, 1 lemon twist, 1 cinnamon stick. Boil water. Into a glass mug, pour rums and spices. Stir. Add six measures hot water, a tab of butter and the cinnamon stick.

MARTINI RECIPE:

a la James Bond in Ian Flemming‘s Casino Royale:
“Three measures of Gordon’s [gin], one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.
Got it?”

HOT TODDY RECIPE: Six ounces organic apple cider, two ounces whiskey. Heat the cider, pour into glass mug with handle, add whiskey.

If you’re looking for another type of green drink, you might have a good time at San Francisco’s Green Drinks, a monthly meeting of green-minded folks who come together in a social setting to talk about cool green stuff. Order yourself a gimlet with No. 209 and start a trend, or at least do Marlowe proud.


Green Your Christmas Holiday with a Living Tree

Photo http://www.christmastree company.com

When it comes down to how you’re going to green your Christmas, you’ve got about seven gazillion options, but the one thing nearly everyone does first, is go get a tree. And there’re definitely opposite sides of the fence when it comes to the sustainability of living trees, versus cut trees, versus plastic trees.

Having done my research, as I am wont to do, when you’re considering your green Christmas tree, plastic trees loose. Hands down. They’re generally made of PVC (nasty, old-format plastic made in China that off gasses toxins left and right) and even if they’re made of newer, less toxic petrochemicals, the trees often contain lead that flakes off over the years and their cores are often PVC.

Photo from lulu.com boots by schu

So what’s a girl to do? Put on some all natural mascara, some non-formaldehyde (among other things) vegan nail polish, some animal-friendly boots and go decorate the tree in your front yard – and don’t be tree-ist! Any tree will do, whether it’s got piney-type needles or not. Just ask the folks at SF Environment, where for $100 they will loan you a non-traditional, San Francisco-friendly potted tree, pick it up at your home after the Holiday and plant it for you somewhere in the city!

There are also mini-tree options if you live in a small space, want to give a tree, or just want to simplify your life. The Pinery, out of So. Cal., offers a variety of trees and tree-like options.

-Jocelyn Broyles

The Greennii Blog Greens Your Thanksgiving With a Local Food Finder and Organic Sweet Potato Pone

Thanksgiving in Costa RicaOh boy! Thanksgiving is just down the road and I’m so excited! In years gone by, we’ve usually been on a boat in the Pacific on Thanksgiving – one of the things you just have to put up with when living in Costa Rica!

But this year, for the first time in a decade, my husband and I are back in the US, not in Costa Rica, and I have to say, it feels a whole lot more like Thanksgiving when it’s 45 degrees out and the streets are wet from the weekend’s storm and the trees are all cinnamon, orange, mustard, salmon, plum, olive, peach and cherry colored.

But enough about me and my tday dreaming. Today is all about you and what you need to make your Thanksgiving healthy, local and green! Local Dirt is a great resource for seeking out local producers of all manner of food from meat from Ferndale Farms to organic produce and flowers from Rodoni Farms (okay, they’re not food, but they sure are pretty on the Holiday table), to herbs and soap from Cow Track Ranch. (Okay, okay, but ya gotta wash too, right?)

If none of these places has what you need, you can always hop on over to Whole Foods, who try to buy locally and certainly have a good selection of organic, free range products.

And not to leave you without a recipe three days before Turkey Day, here’s a great one for Sweet Potato Pone (or pudding or casserole or souffle – depending on how fancy you want to sound). This recipe is a family recipe and in looking up the definition of pone I found two other great sounding recipes that include more spices, different sugars including molasses, and different types of milk.

sweet potatoes

Photo from epicurious.com by Lara Ferroni

Sweet Potato Pone (updated to be organic and free range!)

What:
2 organic, free range eggs
1 C organic sugar
2 C grated organic sweet potato
1/2 tsp. organic nutmeg
1 C organic hemp milk (the original calls for condensed milk, but I am unable to find it organically, and the hemp’s texture and flavor I believe to be better – it lets the spices and other flavors in the dish show through.)

1/4 C organic butter (You can also make your own butter from organic heavy or whipping cream with this easy recipe from kiss my spatula. Yum!)

How:
Beat eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Add all else. Pour into buttered pan (9″ cake pan or pie pan will do) Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. When brown on top, stir and brown again. Serves Six.

-Jocelyn Broyles

ACE WINNER!

Well, it took us a while (we had a little Halloween Fete get in the way of all else for a couple of weeks) but we finally randomly drew our ACE Hardware gift certificate winner! And the prize goes to Jessi, who would like to see biobags for dogs in her ACE Hardware store. Jessi, we’ll see what we can do! Thank you all for your participation.

Green Your Halloween Fête

Gift Bags given to the first 200 people who RSVP via facebook!


Image by TwistEd Design

Please join Greennii, livegreene and Green Halloween® for this inaugural Green Your Halloween Fête!

Event Details
When: Thursday, October 14, 2010, 5pm to 8pm
Where: livegreene, 158 University Avenue, Palo Alto

Green Tips on throwing a Big Kid’s party, alternatives to high-fructose corn syrup candy (organic! made with juice!) and non-disposable/upcycled decorations and costumes!

Eco Fashion Show by Empire Vintage. One of a kind costumes for everyone in the “Be Green – Wear Vintage” Fashion Show! Showings at 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7:30pm!

Costume Exchange by Costume Bank. Bring gently used costumes, adult or child size. Exchange for one brought by another guest!

Raffle Prizes from Autopia Biofuels, Reclaim, Live Greene, Palo Alto Ace Hardware and EO Products.

Complimentary Organic Wine provided by Vino Locale
Non-alcoholic beverages by The Willows Market.

Gift bag for first 200 guests full of fun coupons and kid-friendly Halloween goodies provided by EO Products, Glee Gum, Luna Organics, Mama K’s, O’Bon, Recycled Products Glob and Surf Sweets.

Larabar and Cascadian Farm products available for sampling at the event or taking home to put in lunches.

Adults and children of all ages welcome! Remember to bring your gently used costume to participate in the costume exchange!

Event Sponsors
We thank all of our sponsors and partners for their participation, for without their support this event would not be possible!

Green Halloween, Empire Vintage, Vino Locale, Reclaim, EO Products, Palo Alto Ace Hardware, Autopia Biofuels, The Willows Market, Luna Organics, O’Bon, Glee Gum, Surf Sweets, Plum Organics, Larabar, Mama K’s, Kiwi, HGTV, Cascadian Farm, Recycled Products, EcoMom, Glob, Local-Foodworks, Dr. Bronner’s, Costume Bank and Revolution Foods

In anticipation of our event, we’re posting tips, recipes and fun ideas for a greener Halloween:

10 EEK_O_Friendly Tips
5WaysToGreenYourBigKidsHalloween-1-1
5WaysToGreenYourKidsHalloween
FacePaint_Recipe
IsophenesShortPieCrust
PumpkinCupcakes
PumpkinPieRecipe
RoastedPumpkinSeeds

A Day in the Green

I had a fabulous day Friday, and part of what made it incredible was the realization that I was just going about my business, which happens to be the business of Green, both professionally and personally. It occurred to me how easily I incorporate small measures that reduce or reuse or recycle, half the time without even thinking about it, and that led me to realize that a decade ago I didn’t do any of this stuff on purpose, much less by habit. That thought led me to the realization that we can change the world and we can educate enough people to make a difference.

Upcycled Shopping

So what was all this Green stuff I did, you ask? It wasn’t really all that much actually, just a few things scattered throughout my day, that over the course of a decade do and have made a difference. I drank coffee from my own coffee pot, not from a shop, and I dumped the previous day’s grounds in the compost bowl on the countertop. I work from home, so I get non-commuting points everyday (that’s just sheer luck on my part.) We had a business meeting at Prolific Oven and we rode our bikes – fun! It was a lovely humid-for-No.-Cal. day, overcast and warmish out. Later in the afternoon, I took myself on a little fall shopping spree, Jocelyn-style, which means I drove (I know, take away some Green points, but my car does get 33-39 mpg.) to the local Saint Vincent de Paul thrift shop and gave myself a no-time-limit browse session. Now, let me say a couple things about SVDP, Redwood City: the bags they put your purchases in? They are often from Nordstrom, Saks, Bebe and other chic, expensive, local boutiques. I happen to live in the fifth wealthiest city in the states (don’t ask me to quote the source, I’ve long since forgotten, but I’ll tell you from the prices on real estate, food and gasoline, that it’s true) which does provide me with great thrift-store finds. Like the never-used, fitted down vest or the also never-used BCBGMAXAZRIA skirt. I had to pass up the Theory pants – too big and the Velvet top – too small, the Juicy sweatshirt and the Baby Phat jean jacket – not my style. I did walk away, however, with a nice little collection for fall, including an orange Nine West purse, which I’ve been looking for since August. I threw the stuff in the wash and hung it to dry. (More Green points and such a habit. Once I stopped using the dryer, it’s like nails on a chalkboard when I do.) And now I’m stuck with the question of which cute outfit do I wear first?

Bay Area WetlandsThe weather was perfect out, by afternoon the clouds had drifted off and it was a lovely California fall day, all slanted light, blue sky and fog rolling in from the west over the hills. I persuaded my husband to leave his aquarium and its brand-new inhabitants alone (no small feat) and to accompany me out to the baylands for a walk. Another plus to the Bay Area is its proximity to, well, you guessed it, the bay. We drove (again, I know, but think about that mpg) about ten minutes to the southern end of the bay where there are numerous trails and miles and miles of wetland with the gorgeous backdrop of the east-bay foothills. Bay Area WetlandsWe took the dog, which makes all of us happy and walked for a good hour or so, enjoying the quiet susurrus of the grasses, the plop-plunk of ducks diving for food, the loud fwop of a pelican landing (who knew, but yes! there are pelicans out there on the bay) and the amazing sight of hundreds of birds in singular flight, shifting one direction and then the other, catching the light on their wings; at once black, then brilliant white. It was so beautiful, I’ve been back everyday since.

Women In Green Forum

Mariel Hemingway

Mariel Hemingway

The Women In Green Forum, held September 1st and 2nd in Pasadena, CA and produced by Three Squares, Inc. will prove to be an industry leader and most sought after speaking engagement, mark my words. This inaugural Women In Green Forum proved to be inspiring and motivating, with speakers as diverse as Mariel Hemingway, Author, Actress and Activist to Vonda Lockwood, Director, Operations Support and Sustainability, Walmart, but with parallel goals of environmental and humanitarian stewardship. I was not only humbled and impressed by the speakers and panelists, but by every attendee. I was empowered by the voices, hope, ambition and determination of these new leaders of sustainability, business and the world.
Gloria Reuben

Gloria Reuben

Sarah Backhouse

Sarah Backhouse

Judith Mitchell

Judith Mitchell

Senator Fran Pavley

Senator Fran Pavley

Bonnie Reiss

Bonnie Reiss

Vonda Lockwood

Vonda Lockwood

Debbie Burnes

Debbie Burnes, Sumbody

Sandra Berg

Sandra Berg

John Picard

John Picard

Jan Perry

Jan Perry

ATFR Revisted and Remember to Comment to Win $100 of Green Products

The family reunion turned out to be great fun, and instead of using compostable silverwear and plates, we opted for reusables. All the dishes fit into one dishwasher load, and for 31 family members, including kids, there was one bag of trash (I admit, someone else brought Solo cups that had to be thrown out and stuff comes wrapped in paper and plastic). Even so, I still found this event to be a good motivator for a pat on the back and more eco-friendly maneuvers at my next group event.

In other news, we are still running our comment-to-win contest, so stop reading and go comment on the product you’d most like to see in your local ACE store. For details read the greennii blog from August 24.

-Jocelyn Broyles