September 28, 2007

Weekend Reading: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Bittman-how-to-cook.jpgWe've said it before - vegetarianism is the new prius. (Well, actually, the folks at Treehugger said it, but we totally agree.)

In another sign that eating less meat has become mainstream, Mark Bittman, author of The Minimalist column for The New York Times offers up How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

We're big fans of Bittman's How to Cook Everything cookbook, which features tasty recipes using minimal ingredients and prep time. Bittman offers up simple recipes and easy-to-follow instructions, followed by numerous variations. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian includes more than 2000 recipes and variations.

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian ships October 15th. We can't wait to pick up our copy.

Order How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

September 27, 2007

Pacific Shaving Oil: Big Things Come in Small Packages

2ozbottle.gifA while back, our friends over at Shaving Stuff did a feature on shaving oils. "You should check these out," Russ said. "Think of all the shaving cream cans you're keeping out of landfills."

Well, we did think about it recently, when we came across a tiny bottle of Pacific Shaving Oil. According to the packaging, a tiny 2 ounce bottle contains up to 400 shaves. You apply just a few drops of the oil to your face for each shave, and go from there. According to the folks at Shaving Stuff,

Shaving oils work by applying a thin layer of lubricant to your skin, so the razor glides over the oil and can cut the hair without damaging the skin. This is similar to the way creams and gels work, just without all the extra junk which gets caught up in the razor. Think of it as a back to the basics shave. The fundamentals. You're only applying to your face the bare essentials of what's needed. It's a good philosophy.

We like Pacific Shaving Oil because it's made from all natural essential oils like Sunflower, Tangerine Peel, Grapefruit Peel, Avocado, and Kukui Nut Oil. Plus, for each bottle you purchase, Pacific Shaving plants a tree. Best of all, because you use so little of it for each shave, you won't be purchasing too many of those little bottles.

Speaking of which, about the landfills: Pacific Shaving Company estimates that sales of its shaving oil have already helped eliminate 18,000 pounds of shaving cream cans from landfills, enough to span five miles if laid end to end. If you haven't been shaving, it's almost enough to make you want to start!

Available at Pacific Shaving.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

September 26, 2007

SkinFree Skincare Products: All Natural and Petroleum-Free

dpp_0053.jpgMany thanks to the folks from SkinFree Skincare Products, who recently sent over samples of some of their moisturizers and soaps for sensitive skin. I wish I'd discovered them sooner!

SkinFree products are all natural, fragrance-free and petroleum-free. SkinFree owner Julie Hilton, a practicing pharmacist, designed the skincare line in response to customer requests for recommendations on products for difficult skin conditions, especially fragrance allergies. Her products are recommended for individuals with skin allergies, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. They're also ideally suited for pregnant moms, babies, diabetics, renal patients and people undergoing radiation therapy. I can understand why.

When I was pregnant, I developed a sensitivity to petroleum-based ingredients in my regular skincare products. My skin was dry and itchy, but I couldn't stand the petroleum smell in products containing mineral oil or petroleum jelly.

SkinFree has three products I'd recommend for pregnant women, or anyone else with dry, sensitive skin: their Super Moisture Body Balm, their After Shower Moisture Spritz, and their Niaouli Butter Stick. These products are so gentle, I'd even recommend them for babies!

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Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

September 25, 2007

6 Bottle Eco Friendly Wine Celler

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The compact Eco Friendly Wine Celler/Refrigerator stores 6 bottles of your favorite wine at just the right temperature, and is very eco-friendly. Because of its thermo-electric cooling system, which involves very few moving parts, your wine will be protected from unneccessary vibration. Thermo-electric cooling is not only good for your valuable wine collection but also for the environment. Using absolutely no ozone depleating chemicals such as CFC's or HCFC's you will be sure that you are doing your part to preserve the environment.

At 6 Bottle Eco Friendly Wine Celler

Blogpire Productions Permalink social bookmarking

September 24, 2007

React To Ozone and Get Climate Relief

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Nearly 200 governments have agreed a faster timetable for phasing out chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and contribute to global warming. The schedule for eliminating hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) comes forward by 10 years under the agreement signed at a UN meeting in Montreal.

We think this is a very very very good thing. Speed it up and perhaps we can save those pesky polar bears.

Read BBC NEWS

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September 21, 2007

Volvo Unveils A Plug-In Hybrid

Volvo Hybrid Plugin

We like rechargeable cars and can't wait for more options in the coming years. The ReCharge Concept is a specially designed Volvo C30 with individual electric wheel motors and batteries that can be charged via a regular electrical outlet. When fully charged the Volvo ReCharge Concept can be driven 62 miles on battery power. You can also expect really good performance with 0-62mph in 9 seconds and a top speed of 100mph. WOOSH!

Via MetaEfficient at Jalopnik

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September 13, 2007

How to Recognize Bisphenol-A in Plastic Bottles and Containers

250px-Bisphenol_A.svg.pngWe've been reading up on the risks is Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in hard plastics that has been linked to cancer and hormonal disruption.

EWG, the Environmental Working Group, offers the following tips for avoiding exposure to BPA:

* Cut down on canned foods. To keep food from reacting with the metal of the can, a plastic coating made from bisphenol A is commonly applied to the inside of the can. This coating appears as a solid color on the inside of the can, and can leach into the food stored inside.

* Avoid eating or drinking from polycarbonate plastics – used in such products as hard plastic baby bottles, 5 gallon water cooler bottles, hard plastic water bottles, plastic silverware, and Lexan products. You can check for the type of plastic on the bottom of the bottle – polycarbonate bottles may be labeled with recycling number 7 ("Other" type of plastic) or may contain the letters "PC" below the recycling symbol. Bisphenol A may leach out of these types of bottles into your beverage or food. Alternatives include bottles and other materials made from glass, stainless steel, or polypropylene bottles labeled number 5 on the bottom (translucent, not transparent).

So, you may want to think about replacing your Nalgene bottles and your plastic sippy cups and baby bottles, and looking for alternatives.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

September 12, 2007

Timberland Environmental Commitment: Carbon Neutral by 2010

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The new Timberland catalog arrived this week. Russ was psyched to check out the new shoes; I was psyched to see its headline -- "Committed to the Environment. Right Down to our Feet."

The company is promoting its new Earthkeepers Collection of clothing, which is introducing new boots made with organic cotton, recycled linings and reclaimed rubber outsoles this October. Clothing and shoes with the Earthkeepers label is made using natural and recycled materials, as well as earth-friendly processes, to minimize its environmental impact. According to the company's website,

This collection represents a commitment we’ve long held to help protect the environment as well as a way to inform, inspire and engage people to do all they can.

Check out the Earthkeepers boots and enter to win a free pair at Timberland.

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Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

September 10, 2007

Safe Alternatives for Baby: New Site for Parents

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Sandra Blum just wrote in to let us know about the launch of a new site for parents concerned making safe and healthy choices for their children - Safe Alternatives for Baby. She writes:
With this blog, we wish to shine the light from potentially harmful or toxic choices we may unknowingly make for our children, onto safer alternatives. We hope to inspire parents to become as aware as possible.

Initial entries focus on sunblock, water filters, baby wipes and pacifiers.

Good luck to Sandra and her partner Samantha on the new site. Sandra and Samantha, welcome to the blogosphere! Keep us posted.

Read more at Safe Alternatives for Baby.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

September 7, 2007

Erbaorganics Review Coming Soon!

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The folks at Erbaorganics just sent along a care package containing samples of their mommy-to-be and baby skincare products. The company's products are worth checking out because they're free of parabens, pesticides, artificial colorings and fragrances and many are USDA-certified organic. Look for our reviews in the next week or so!

Get more info at Erbaorganics.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

Weekend Reading: Adventures of an Italian Food Lover by Faith Heller Willinger

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Admit it. Summer's over. Time to head back to school, back to work, back to everyday life. But that doesn't mean you can't dream about being somewhere else.

Personally, I'm headed to Italy, with a copy of a beautiful cookbook and set of stories from Faith Heller Willinger called Adventures of an Italian Food Lover.

Willinger, a contributor to Epicurious who lives in Florence, has compiled stories and recipes from friends across Italy into a sophisticated and highly readable book that pays tribute to warm, talented people, fresh local ingredients and the meals you can enjoy when you bring them together. With listing information for restaurants and buying information for products as well as recipes, it comes off as part cookbook, part guidebook, and part love letter to a country that Willinger has gotten to know through its cuisine.

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Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

Weekend Reading: The Costs of Green Architecture

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Inhabitat has a great article on how much it costs to create those amazing green buildings we all know we want around. Though green buldings are more expensive - isn't it worth it? Find out.

One of the key issues that plagues green architecture proponents worldwide is how the cost of green building compares to conventional construction. After all, if a green building is more expensive than a standard one, what incentives do the developers and moneymakers have to go green? Despite what you may think, thanks to a new study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we can safely say that building an environmentally-friendly building is not as expensive as commonly thought.

Read the entire article at Inhabitat

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September 4, 2007

Desert Essence Organics Red Grape Conditioner

g_2_02.gifJust got back from a week-long vacation on Martha's Vineyard. While there, I had the opportunity to sample a product that recalls a different kind of vineyard -- Desert Essence Organics Italian Red Grape Conditioner. And absolutely loved it.

The sweet-smelling conditioner is suitable for both color and non-color treated hair. It contains the antioxidants resveratrol and red wine extract, which act as antioxidant UV filters to protect the hair from environmental stresses like sun and saltwater. Other key ingredients include grape seed oil, Vitamin E and Vitamin B5.

But the best thing about it is the smell, which folks I was with described as "real grape", "an afternoon in Tuscany in the height of autumn", and "like grape Hubba Bubba, only better because it's organic and makes your hair look good."

Like all Desert Essence Organics products, Italian Red Grape Conditioner uses organic ingredients wherever possible, is 100% vegan, and is wheat and gluten free. It's paraben-, silicon- and petroleum-product-free, and is not tested on animals.

And it makes your hair smell amazing. Yum.

Buy Desert Essence Organics Italian Red Grape Conditioner online or at Whole Foods.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking
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