Sunday, September 28, 2008


Jen and I would like to invite our green diva friends to jump into the blogsphere here with us. Because we still hear from so many of you and you all have such great ideas, we want to use this blog as a forum to create an ongoing conversation about how we can live the low-stress green lifestyle and have fun together doing it.

We are taking a NO-stress approach and hope you will jump in and let us know how you are, what you are up to and help us get this conversation going. Write about any aspect of sustainable or green living - and what area of our lives is NOT touched by this crazy, conscious way of being?

Be a Green Diva guest blogger, and blog about:

  • food (recipes, your favorite farm market, growing it, sustainable agriculture issues, etc.)

  • family (whatever shape it takes - kids both young and everlasting)

  • eco-fashion

  • eco-style in general

  • eco-home

  • sustainable & socially responsible business

  • alternative energy

  • buying local

  • getting creative

  • cool fuels (if you understand biodiesel, please share more with us!)

  • new transportation (hybrids, electric, cars)

  • musings on simply living

  • humor

  • politics (yes, let's not be shy about this)

Our traffic is increasing and we encourage the use of social networking media. If we get this thing cranking, we can start selling serious advertising and everyone will get a piece of that pie

Blog posts should be between 300 - 500 words. Try to include relevant links. Send one JPEG image to go with your blog. Let us know how you want your name to appear and if you want your email or website to be listed in your signature.

Write me @ if you are interested in being a Green Diva blogger.

Eat. Blog. Be Merry!

GD Meg

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week-Ender: Sustainable News Highlights

Farmy News . . .

Check out Farm Aid 2008!

Didn't get there this year. If you didn't either, we can watch it any time from our computers anytime!

Organic Valley Whips it Up
Organic Valley offers tubs of their awesome whipped butter. Yum! Met my local Organic Valley farmers last year - I love their butter. Who are your regional Organic Valley Farmers?
The Earth Times

News Close to Home - Mine Anyway . . .

Corzine May be First to Install Offshore Wind Turbines
The gov is ready to launch a pilot to install dozens of turbines 'down the shore'.

International Green News. . .

What do Boeing, Virgin, UOP Honeywell, The World Wildlife Fund and the NRDC all have in common?
These and other powerhouse organizations form a sustainable aviation fuel user group.

Biofuels Digest

Chinese officials push for more sustainable manufacturing

News from Paris is that Japanese textile manufacturers are benefiting from the eco-fashion boom

Eat. Blog. Be Merry!
GD Meg

A Nobel Peace Prize for Pete Seeger

Wow. We could use a healthy dose of Pete Seeger right about now. After watching the wonderful documentary about him, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, for the 4th or 5th time, I still felt a powerful mix of emotions - inspired, empowered and lazy primarily. I cry every single time I watch it. Mostly because I see how one simple, steadfast man could keep his vision of hope clear and unadulterated by his own ego and the threat of the imposing world and in the end, his simple messages, songs and way of being is one of the most powerful examples of being true to yourself, your inner ideals and the song we all inherently carry.

Watching an 84 year old Pete Seeger on stage singing with passion alongside Arlo Guthrie and his son-in-law or standing in the cold protesting the war, or making maple syrup at his home in the woods of NY state, or singing with a classroom of children, or cleaning up the river . . . All of it beautiful. All of it incredibly inspiring. All of it makes me feel like I should get busy - after all I’m already nearly halfway to his age. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

There is a movement afoot to nominate this peaceful singing activist for a Nobel Peace Prize. I would love to see his life be illuminated for more people to see how powerful one person can be without big money or glamour to spin.

You can sign the petition to nomiate Pete Seeger for a Nobel Peace Prize on and learn more about the tremendous support behind this beautiful idea.

Eat. Blog. Be Merry!

GD Meg

Green Standards for Eco-Style Stuff

As I review more and more ‘green’ products these days, I’m kind of baffled that there isn’t more of a standardized rating system. I googled ‘green product standards’ and I found the Green Seal of course, which is great for paper products and cleaners. The EPA even has a database for information on environmental products and services - if you go there and you can figure out what the standards are and actually find product lists, please let me know! It’s a little confusing.

What about standards for all the wonderful eco-style stuff? What about clothing manufacturing, which by the way is traditionally a pretty harsh industry on the environment? What about other textile products, great green designed kitchen gadgets, and what about all those awesome accessories - green bags/purses, belts, jewelry, shoes!?!

I found one promising standard system . . . seems to have a rating system that works. It is a flexible system and offers an opportunity to become more educated about certain types of products and their inherent characteristics in terms of their basic product life cycle. It also seems to lend itself well across a very diverse range of products from clothing, to toys and yes, accessories! They even offer office products.

The four main categories are designed to rate a product from ‘cradle to grave’ and represent a product’s ‘basic lifecycle’. The categories used are: source material, manufacturing, use, and disposal. Every product offered on their website uses a rating box, which has all four of these categories represented by an icon. If the product meets or exceeds that categories requirements, it will be displayed in color. If not, it is there, but in grey.

There is also a number rating for overall green attributes 1 - not so many: 100 - lots of good green attributes.

You can see an example of this on the image at the top of this post. Note that this hemp blouse has a fairly good rating. The ‘use’ icon is not highlighted. Not really sure what that is about exactly. But, if you want to learn more, you can go to their extremely informative standards page and understand what their rationale is.

I’ve seen some very rudimentary attempts to rate products, but this one is by far the most detailed and perhaps most useful one I’ve come across. Go!

Eat. Blog. Be Merry!
GD Meg

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stylisth, Sustainable Suede

This is the real thing. And while some might argue that any use of leather is not within the bounds of sustainable living, I’m going to put that debate aside and address my experience with this fine jacket.

I’m not a fashionista, wasn’t before this wonderful eco-fashion revolution and I seriously doubt anyone would label me such now. However, I have my own somewhat colorful sense of style at times and find that the key elements to my fashion sense are about what makes me look good and feel good - comfort is king or queen as it were.

Perhaps it is because I’m at an age or a place in my life where I am less self-conscious and hate to put on anything that makes me feel like I should sit up straight, suck in the gut or be careful not to raise my arms or make any sudden twists. I also am someone who hates to have stiff, scratchy, hard or inflexible clothing restricting me. I love soft, mobile clothes that really make you forget you are wearing them.

Bernardo Fashions has developed a sustainable clothing line, called Bernardo Green, which is an eco-friendly suede collection made of biodegradable materials. One of the things Bernardo Fashion is known for is being the innovator of washable suede. Bernardo sticks primarily to outerwear.

I LOVE this jacket. It is very similar to one I lost about 12 years ago and have been mourning ever since. It is soft, comfortable, flexible and features a good cut and great details.
The tags are not only biodegradable and made of recycled materials, but are embedded with poppy seeds! Also, of importance is the tracking ‘code’ used to trace the origins and manufacturing process involved in producing the garment.

Transparency in Manufacturing

Similar to my recent adventure with Icebreaker’s Baacode, which offers a transparent view of the entire manufacturing process of a garment - back to the sheep in New Zealand that shed wool for the cool (or warm) merino hoodie, Bernardo Green offers a similar ‘code’ which allows trackability of the garment and its entire journey. In the case of my jacket, it involved the origin of the raw materials, which was kind of whacky - Hormel - yes, SPAM! Aside from the unbelievably silly Monty Python tune rambling through my brain . . . Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam . . . Spam, wonderful Spam . . . my first instinct was to see this as icky and incongruous with where I WANTED this garment to come from. However, with some brief contemplation, I was glad to know that the leather bits that weren’t being consumed (by who, I dare not think) were being utilized.

All bad Spam jokes aside, it was interesting to learn about how the suede fabric was produced in the tannery in Slovenia and what makes it Eco-Vel washable material. This jacket has burned a bit of carbon in travel as the materials started in the Hormel plant in Minnesota, went to Slovenia for eco-tanning (?), then off to China for production, and finally back to US for distribution (Nordstrom’s is one retail outlet). I know it helps keep the cost down, but there’s got to be a better way.

However, all that written, I have to give them credit for being willing to open up their entire manufacturing chain. While it isn’t perfect, Bernardo Green’s efforts are a big improvement on an industry that needs to start somewhere to move towards more sustainable practices. Go Bernardo.

Eat. Blog. Be Merry!
GD Meg

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Find the Source of Your Cloth Fiber Through Baacoding

This is a follow-up post to one I did a couple of weeks ago about an innovative sustainable outdoor clothing company in New Zealand - Icebreaker- and their clever Baacode, which helps owners of their garments to track down where the fibers from the garment came from. It is a little ‘meet your sheep’ thing.

I was so excited to get my ‘Quantum Hood’ midweight outer layer from New Zealand. No. That is not a picture of me in the coveted hoodie. I’m not quite as intense (or young) as this svelte model here.

I couldn’t wait to meet my little merino friends who endured shearing and I suppose quite a breeze for a little while for the sake of this amazing hoodie. It was remarkably ‘high-tech’ and smooth - not what you would expect when you see the farm and pictures of the family who runs it and of course the woolly beasts themselves.

Meet my sheep!
My groovy sweatshirt came from a farm called Irishman Creek Station in South Island, New Zealand. This of course is utterly perfect as I am of Scots/Irish decent and if you read about this farm and the family that started it, you’ll see.

I was nervous because I am HIGHLY allergic to wool - IN ANY FORM. But, they convinced me their merino was amazing and smooth and non-irritating. I went with an outer layer just in case. I wore it with a short sleeved t-shirt underneath for a day and it was slightly irritating, but not so much that I took it off, which is saying a lot. Usually, I have to remove it immediately. The shape of it, the hardware, the awesome thumb-hook holes make this a very stylish and high-tech version of the good ole hoodie that after all these years is still a favorite and staple in my comfort clothing collection. I’m not ready for merino socks or undershirts yet, but for anyone that is NOT highly allergic, I am jealous. Check them out!

“Baa-ram-ewe, baa-ram-ewe.To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true.
Sheep be true. Baa-ram-ewe”
Sheep, Babe (1995)

Eat. Blog. Be Merry!

GD Meg

Friday, September 5, 2008

Week-Ender: Sustainable News Highlights

Seinfeld of the Future . . . How We Might Laugh About Global Warming


Sara Palin - Animal, Mineral, Viking, VP?
and Just a Heartattack Away from the Oval Office!

We've heard about her hard-line stances on . . . well on most things (including abortion, although as John Stewart reported, she did say regarding her daughter's decision, that it was "her choice," which does seem a bit contradictory). Guess we know where she stands on animal rights . . . or at least the fox or wolf or whatever is around her neck does!


U-Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers . . .

Wonderful U-Pick farm in New Mexico offers alternative way to get a variety of vegetables and fruits extra fresh. Their specialty is peppers.

Eat. Blog. Be Merry!

GD Meg