Tag Archives: Green Living

A Tiny Retreat

I absolutely love this little cottage in the woods!!! The New York Times featured it on Thursday in the Home and Garden section. [here] I would love to even have a place as little as this for an escape from the city.

I’ve always dreamed of having a beautifully decorated tree house in the woods.  I remember when I was young my neighbor had a tree house.  It was always our meeting point where he and I would map out the days events of tree climbing, hiking, bike riding and whatever else we could conjure up.  After I became a teenager and Ryan moved away, my tree house became the canopy bed past down from my mother.  The feeling of having an enclosed retreat always seemed to fulfill my nesting needs.  When I first moved to Brooklyn, I bunked with 4 other roommates in a built-up a loft apartment.  The space was about 1,000 sq. ft broken up into 6 different living spaces and my bedroom was 8ft by 8ft.  It was tiny!  But so cozy.  My father built me a lofted bed where underneath I could store my clothes and above I could nestle into my bed.  I guess that’s why living in a 450 sq. ft apartment now feels like the plenty of room.  Seeing the little cottage reminded me of the piece Domino did a few years back.

I searched through my archives for it, and couldn’t find that issue. (I hope I have it somewhere) but luckily other bloggers have written about Linda Aldredge’s woodsy escape (Thanks Spirit Cloth).  This tree house if I can remember correctly, the Aldredge’s built themselves.  The eco-friendly house also runs on its own, as they added solar panels on the roof.  Doesn’t this place seem like a wonderful getaway!

Tree houses have really been on my mind lately, I think it’s because I am reading the novel Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.  It’s a fictionalized story about Mamah Borthwick’s love affair with Frank Loyd Wright.  Although I heard stories about how he was stubborn and in some cases a bit of a tyrant about his designs, this book brings a lighter note to his personality.  His love of nature and organic architecture really wasn’t such an abstract concept,  I think everyone wants to live in a home that brings in the outside in.  Even in Manhattan, having a place with natural light is a high priority. I’m so thankful of how where I live, we can hear the birds in the morning.  Sometimes, we’ll even have the occasional mourning dove visitor on our fire escape.

NYT photo credits: Trevor Tondro – Tree house: if anyone knows the photographer, please tell me. I can’t find the name on the blogs that posted the pictures.

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Filed under Interiors, New York

What did you do for Mother Earth today?

photo credits: The Conservatory Garden in NYC by Lauren Gries

I’m all about the lists today so hold your horses and get ready:

1.  Today I ate at a vegan organic restaurant . .  . . fantastic by the way, its new, Terri Vegetarian, please check it out. Please eat the ‘Bacon Chick’n Cheddar Ranch’ Sandwich or the ‘Meatball’ Sub. They’re so delicious!

How does eating vegetarian help the environment?

  1. It takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat. According to Newsweek, “The water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer could float a destroyer.” In contrast, it takes only 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat.
  2. Upwards of half of the water used in the U.S. is used for animal agriculture.
  3. Feeding a person who eats no food derived from animals requires only 1/6 acre per year
  4. Since so much fossil fuel is needed to produce it, beef could be considered a petroleum product. With factory housing, irrigation, trucking, and refrigeration, as well as petrochemical fertilizer production requiring vast amounts of energy, approximately one gallon of gasoline goes into every pound of grain-fed beef.
  5. It takes twenty pounds of soybeans to feed to a cow to make one pound of meat. Those same amounts of soybeans could help fed all the starving people of the world.

Vegan Outreach: if you’re interested in more information

2.  I used less motorized transportation by walking across town.

3.   I just got off my but to turn the lights off in the kitchen.

I’m sure I could have done more eco-friendly things on Earth Day, but the big thing about going green in life is to take baby steps.  I think the magic number of days it takes to break a habit is 21. Thats not so bad, right?  Think about it, if you decide to take one step at a time on your quest for the “greener” you it can happen in only 21 days! That is less than a month!

photo Credits: The Conservatory Garden in NYC by Lauren Gries

A few months ago I bought the book Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life by Sophie Uliano through a recommendation from the author of the blog Green Your Intentions.

This book is great, it is so helpful and so inspirational.  As the title suggests, its broken down into eight chapters that lead you in your path to becoming greener. Through such ways as diet, beauty, clothing (soulful shopping as she calls it), fitness, making your home more eco-friendly, eco-friendlier vacations and entertainment.  What I really enjoy about this book is how there are quick checklists that you can use as you make your life a little bit greener.

I’ve already changed over all of my beauty products to being paraben, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES) free.

Another great book I have been absolutely in love with is The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

This book is more focused on your diet that results in a greener lifestyle. Its awesome! I love her tone of voice and the way she writes.  I have learned so much while reading this book and lets just say, I will not allow myself to be “addicted to cheese” anymore!!!  If you want to figure that part out you need to read the book. I haven’t even started cooking yet.



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Filed under Home, New York

My V-Day

Valentines Day was my six year anniversary of being a vegetarian. I can still remember that last time I sat down to gorge on fried chicken, buffalo chicken and chicken parmesan. I thought chicken would be the only animal that I would miss eating. Thankfully, I have plenty of meat substitutes to eat so I don’t miss chicken all.  But being vegetarian is something that is very near and dear to my heart.  I became a vegetarian for the main reason of the disaster that is our nation’s meat industry.
This photo is from my sister’s flickr page she also has a blog called: Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

There has been a lot of talk about food recently. So much so that Oprah did a show called Food 101, where she featured a few inspiring individuals who’s have made a point to better their lives as well as many others.  Her guests included the author Michael Pollan, Chipotle’s Steve Ells and the actress Alicia Silverstone.

Michael Pollan gave the viewers some simple food rules to follow (He recently wrote the book called “Food Rules”.  He says that the food on the shelves in our super market is NOT really food!  He likes to call it, “Edible Food Like Substances”  Our Western diet is what’s causing many of our food related diseases and Pollan goes into this further on this clip from Oprah.com and the full list of his rules are found in his book.

• Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

• Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third grader could not pronounce

• Eat only foods that will eventually rot. Food is alive and it will die.

One great thing I took from watching the film Food Inc. is to eat as much organic and local food that you can. Also eating according to season will help you to be so much healthier. I mean thats what the French do!  Another thing I try to do is to not eat anything that comes in a plastic bag, which is actually very hard.  I have to remind myself everything I go on lunch break and begin to grab that bag of potato chips (even if they’re natural).  But anyways I’m not trying to preach or teach I just wanted to voice my opinions. I have plans to order the following books and I would encourage any reader to check them out as well:

Food Rules by: Michael Pollan

The Kind Diet by: Alicia Silverstone  (Silverstone is a vegan and here diet is very much based on the macrobiotic diet as well She calls her diet “The Kind Diet” because not only is it kind to the earth, but to your body as well. Plus it has some great recipes in the back!)

Gorgeously Green by: Sophie Uliano (This book goes much further into living a green life than just food, but there are a lot of helpful hints on eating)

Master your Metabolism by: Jillian Michaels (the biggest loser)

Lastly, I hope everyone in America and even the rest of the world will watch the film Food Inc. It is amazing and so insightful!  Its also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

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Speaking of Earth week!

I’ve noticed that Bravo’s been playing episodes of Project Runway that are based around innovation and recycling of materials. I thought that was nice, but if they’re going in the same direction with the Shear Genius episodes my question is: How do the dogs getting haircuts relate? I thought that was kind of amusing, however I did miss the beginning so they may have had to use natural products.

picture-7

I spent my entire work day shredding papers!  I used 4 giant garbage bags of shredded paper. Thank god my job recycles though.

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