Monthly Archives: April 2011

Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable

Looking to go green in more areas than just recycling? Don’t neglect your love life! In her forthcoming book, ECO-SEX: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable (Crown Publishing/Ten Speed Press), Stefanie Iris Weiss (one of the Saturn Sisters) shares earth-friendly tips on how to date and mate. Here’s your sneak peek…

*These excerpts have been reprinted from the forthcoming book, ECO-SEX: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable from Crown/Ten Speed Press with permission from Stefanie Iris Weiss.

You drive a hybrid. Your home recycling system is state of the art. You’re oh-so-good at being green—but is your sex life? Sex can be one of the lowest carbon impact forms of entertainment (and exercise) on the planet, but only if you do it right. It’s time to make your love life truly sustainable…

Sure, eco-friendly sex is good for the environment. But that doesn’t mean a thing if it’s not good for you.

Here’s a crash course in how you can be green even while getting dirty. Eco-Sex is divided into three sections. We start with courtship in part 1, move on to seduction and finally explore eco-sexual adventure in part 3.

First Date: Getting Adventurous with Seduction, the Eco-Sexual Way

You’re not a freaky nudist (not that there’s anything wrong with that). You’re just a free-stylin’ single on the make for a fellow greenie, or you’re an environmentalist in the throes of a new relationship, or perhaps you’re dating three people at once. Wherever you find yourself on this spectrum, you want to spice things up before the two of you fall into bed.

The most obvious, natural choice for an eco-friendly first (or second or third) date is anything in the great outdoors. Go hiking, biking, to the beach (even in winter), a local park, or just for a nice long walk.

Don’t get caught up in the idea that you must spend money on a date; you’re not that old-fashioned, are you? Besides, you’ll get to know your soon-to-be lover a lot better strolling through a beautiful, natural scene than you would in a loud bar or at an intimate dinner when you’re nervous as hell and on your best behavior.

A simple walk gets your blood moving, takes the pressure off, and creates instant subject matter about which you can chat. If you really want to impress another eco-sexual, set up a volunteering date. Pitch in to clean up a blighted community, help paint a school with low-VOC paints, or plant a community garden.

Next week: The second date. Stay tuned.

Article excerpted from www.lifescript.com

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10 New Eco-Friendly Travel Gadgets

1. Water-Powered Travel Alarm Clock

Photo: Courtesy of Bedol

From: Bedol

Price: $16

Why It’s Green: Tells time by using salted water; the device’s electrodes harvest energy from the liquid to fuel the nightstand-friendly gizmo’s simple digital LCD.

Why Buy: No batteries necessary, it’s small enough to stuff into any carry, and it’s especially easy and cost-effective to keep going the next time you’re cruising the coast of Sicily.

Practical Applications: Ensuring you’re prompt for massage appointments, walking tours, and naturally, dinnertime at Chateau Elan.


2. Solar-powered Battery

Name: Solio Magnesium Edition from Better Energy Systems

Price: $169.95

Why It’s Green: Fan-shaped solar panels can juice the portable power supply’s 3.7V rechargeable lithium ion battery. Long-lasting storage capacity provides an instant jolt up to one year later.

Why Buy: Universal adapters offer additional compatibility with digital cameras, cell phones, iPods, and PSPs, making it an all-purpose refueling solution.

Practical Applications: Keeping you from keeling over with boredom on transcontinental flights, on-call in emergency situations, and always just one GPS query away from a shortcut to Edinburgh Castle.

3. Photo Memory Card

Photo: Courtesy of Eye-Fi, Inc.

Name: Eye-Fi Explore from Eye-Fi Inc.

Price: $129.99

Why It’s Green: Shunning traditional prints and their chemical byproducts, this 2GB SD memory card stores hundreds of digital images instead. Automatic uploading to PC/Mac or picture-sharing sites via home network or Wayport Wi-Fi hotspot also nixes shipping waste, plus saves the time and energy you’d expend sorting and uploading manually.

Why Buy: Just turn on your camera to transfer scenes to desktop, online album, social network, or blog, and let friends and relatives ride shotgun on scenic detours. Optional location tagging adds geographic info when photos appear on Picasa or Flickr for quicker cataloguing.

Practical Applications: Eliminates film costs, saves time and energy.

4. Biodegradable Laptop

Photo: Courtesy of Asus

Name: Bamboo U6V-B1 from Asus

Price: $1,999

Why It’s Green: Clothed in resilient, biodegradable bamboo-wood trim, this svelte soon-to-be-released laptop will make an instant eco-fashion statement. Energy-efficient innards reduce CO2 emission and boost battery life without sacrificing environmental awareness.

Why Buy: Beyond its earth-conscious industrial design, it has a 2.53Ghz Core 2 Duo T9400 Processor, 256MB RAM, a GeForce 9300M graphics processor, and a 320GB hard drive suitable for Web surfing, word processing, and editing vacation snaps.

Practical Applications: Stows away easily on any voyage, letting you catch up on correspondence on the road, upload video diaries to YouTube, or play Peggle Nights from the veranda of your suite at the Four Seasons.

5. Ultimate Rechargable Battery

Photo: Courtesy of Moixa Energy Ltd.

Name: USB Cell from Moixa Energy Ltd.

Price: $20

Why It’s Green: These USB-powered rechargeables last for 500 charge cycles, so say goodbye to the 15 billion disposable alkaline batteries produced annually, and their toxic runoff.

Why Buy: Functions like your standard everyday AA battery. When empty, though, just pop the top to expose a USB connector, then connect to a laptop or other portable device to enjoy a quick refill.

Practical Applications: Powering in-flight movie marathons, mobile alarm clocks, and the odd automated German-to-English translator, so you need never again ask locals how to say, “Dude, where’s my bratwurst?“

6. Energy-Efficient External Hard Drive

Photo: Courtesy of SimpleTech

Name: [re]drive from SimpleTech

Price: $159.99

Why It’s Green: Built from bamboo and lightweight, recyclable aluminum, this external hard drive with Energy Star–qualified power adapter keeps files safe and guzzles less electricity. Its holistic approach even extends to recyclable packaging.

Why Buy: Virtually zero noise output, Turbo USB 2.0 speeds, and 500GB of archival space in which to cart along precious data or smuggle HD videos of wild times at Carnival.

Practical Applications: Avoid leaving home without your precious music collection, maps for your GPS, or all those episodes of Mad Men you’ve been meaning to see.

7. Solar-Powered Media Player

Photo: Courtesy of MediaStreet

Name: eMotion EM-SOL2GIG from MediaStreet

Price: $169

Why It’s Green: Harnesses the sun’s rays to enable music, movie, and photo playback; video game playing; and e-book reading. Plus, it acts as a portable charger for digital cameras, cell phones, PDAs, DVD players, and other lithium battery-powered electronic devices.

Why Buy: Makes a welcome pocket-size hub for all your multimedia content, provides emergency power relief and light, and even runs classic NES and GameBoy games.

Practical Applications: A Swiss Army knife’s worth of simultaneous functions. Example: recline by the pool to Coldplay’s dulcet tones while reading The Da Vinci Code before breaking to enjoy a couple rounds of Tetris or screen last week’s reality shows.

8. Solar-Powered Headset

Photo: Courtesy of Iqua

Name: 603 SUN from Iqua

Price: $69.99

Why It’s Green: The world’s first solar-powered Bluetooth headset translates sunbeams into infinite standby time and hours of active conversation given minimal exposure to natural light.

Why Buy: Stashes easily in your slacks, makes hands-free calling a snap, and presents an excellent excuse to get out and roam more.

Practical Applications: Phoning home to check on the kids while wandering Rome’s winding avenues, or leaving belated answering machine messages like “Call back next life—I’m on permanent vacation.“

9. Portable Eco-Friendly Speakers

Photo: Courtesy of Fashionation

From: Fashionation

Price: $14.95

Why It’s Green: Made from recycled cardboard, these minuscule 3.25-inch cardboardlike cubes let you blast music sans batteries by siphoning power from MP3 players themselves.

Why Buy: The lightweight, portable party-starters fold flat for easy transport and come in a rainbow of catchy colors. Connect them, and voilà—your digital music player immediately becomes a mobile boom box.

Practical Applications: Airing the perfect soundtrack for a lazy day by the beach or a romantic waltz beneath the tropical moonlight. It also makes a smart gift for the audiophile in your life.

10. Green Cell Phone

Photo: Courtesy of Nokia

Name: 3110 Evolve from Nokia

Price: $349.99

Why It’s Green: Not only is the phone constructed from more than 50 percent renewable biosourced plastics and sold in 60 percent recycled cardboard packaging, its efficient charger consumes up to 94 percent less power than Energy Star minimums.

Why Buy: Accidental tourists and hipsters alike will appreciate the tri-band GSM phone’s slick aesthetic and workmanlike design. Features include a five-way navigation key for easy control; 262,000-color screen; 1.3MP digital camera; microSD card storage expandability; FM radio; digital music player; and Bluetooth connectivity.

Practical Applications: GPRS/EDGE speeds enable brisk data and video transfer, with unlocked devices ready for calling in both North America and Europe.

Top 10 courtesy of www.travelandleisure.com

Vegan Burger

Vegan Burger

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice (measure uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced finely
  • 2/3 cup carrot, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground coarsely

Instructions:
In a large saucepan bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Cook rice until is a bit dry. If it is too sticky and damp, dry it by spreading it on a tray for awhile.

After the rice cools, add the other ingredients, mix well, and knead the mixture a bit until it feels sticky. Form into patties about 4 inches round and about 1/2 inch thick (not too thin).

Place on a nonstick baking sheet, and put into oven preheated at 450 degree F. Bake for about 25 minutes, flip and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

You can also cook the pattie in a frying pan coated with cooking oil.

Note: If the mixture is too wet or too thin, the patties will not hold.

Serve on your favorite bread or buns with lettuce and tomatoes, and sprouts, etc… Enjoy.

Serving size:
5-6

Prep time:
60 minutes
Recipe courtesy of www.happycow.net

Nissan Leaf Crushes the Car Competition With Eco-Kindness

 nissan leafLooks like the auto industry is having a happy Earth Day! At this year’s New York International Auto Show, the Nissan Leaf became the first electronic car to win the 2011 World Car of the Year award. The car beat out the short list of three finalists that included the Audi A8 and the BMW 5 Series (drool — I love me some Beamers).

As jurors made their case for the eco-friendly ride, they explained that they loved the Nissan Leaf for many reasons:

The Leaf is the gateway to a brave new electric world from Nissan. This 5-seater, 5-door hatchback is the world’s first, purpose-built, mass-produced electric car … It feels just like a normal car, only quieter.

For you car nerds, some of the awesome stats on the Leaf-mobile include its 108hp and 206 lb ft of torque (generated by its lithium-ion battery modules and electric motor), which can speed the car right up to 60 mph in 11.5 seconds (oofah!) and get it up to 90 mph. It has a range of over 100 miles on a full charge (or so says Nissan), and takes around 8 hours to recharge.

What’s more, the Leaf has something called a Carwings system, which connects all Nissan Leafs to a network, wirelessly feeding their energy economy statistics to a central server. The “Regional Rankings” system compares the driver’s energy economy to other Leaf drivers in the region, and the winner receives a gold trophy icon on the Carwings dashboard control center. The second, third, and fourth place winners can also win a place on the graphical podium, receiving icons depicting gold, silver, and bronze medals.

That sounds hella cool! I want a nifty little trophy icon on my dashboard control center!! I wanna be queen of the green road!

Sounds like the Prius may have some serious competition. The Nissa Leaf is the car of the future! Given all of its cool features, I’m surprised that it won the top honors at the Auto Show. Oh and if you’re thinkin’ of picking one up for yourself, the list price is $32,780, about $8,200 cheaper than the Chevy Volt.

Would you consider owning a Nissan Leaf?

Article excerpted from http://thestir.cafemom.com

Related articles:

Don’t Idle Away Your Car’s Gas
Surprise! Not All of the Most Eco Friendly Cars are Hybrid or Electric

Kids can help family go green

Many Canadians are empowering their kids to develop and oversee eco-friendly household habits by teaching children to have a green conscience around the home.

From planting organic backyard gardens to harvesting rainwater, young “chief environment officers” are sprouting up across the country and working with their parents to reduce the size and impact of their household’s carbon footprint.

“Going green as a family can be easy and fun. Even small things like switching to energy-saving light bulbs and non-toxic cleaning products can make a big difference to your local environment and your wallet,” says Mary Desjardins, executive director of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

“Why not hold a family meeting to elect your own chief environment officer and brainstorm some creative ways your whole family can improve your household’s carbon footprint.”

Your carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon dioxide, produced as a result of your lifestyle. For example, every time you use your air conditioner or drive to the grocery store, you emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

One of Canada’s longest-serving environmental charities, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation offers six simple ways to lower your household’s carbon footprint:

– Complete an audit of toxic cleaning products, dispose of them safely and replace them with environmentally friendly ones.

– Take shorter showers and turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth.

– Avoid using the dryer and only wash full loads of laundry and dishes, preferably with cold water.

– Make sure everyone in the family understands which household products can be recycled and which cannot.

– Start a compost pile for food waste, and use it to nourish the soil in your vegetable and flower gardens.

– Unplug appliances when you’re not using them to avoid phantom energy use.

Article excerpted from www.delta-optimist.com

Plastic Water Bottles Shunned By Travelers, Airports

travelers turning away from plastic water bottles
Getty Images

Travelers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious, with many travelers and travel properties lessening their reliance on plastic water bottles.

In green gung-ho California, passengers at San Francisco International Airport’s refurbished Terminal 2 are being encouraged to refill their own water bottles at “hydration stations.”

That’s very nice of them, considering you can’t bring bottled water through security anyway.

The glorified water fountains, located after security, will dispense city tap water from “pristine Sierra snowmelt,” reports USA Today.

But the eco-friendliness doesn’t stop there.

Beginning last fall, visitors to Italy’s Cinque Terre were asked to pay one euro for reusable, metal flasks that could be refilled at public water fountains – with still or sparking chilled, filtered water. As The Telegraph reported, two million plastic bottles are discarded annually by the region’s 3 million visitors, with 400,000 being discarded in August alone.

Hotels, too, are going bottle free.

Chilean travel company Explora purifies and treats its own water, also providing guests at its three adventure lodges with refillable metal flasks. The flasks can be filled with filtered water available in guest rooms and on daily excursions.

At RockResorts, guest rooms are stocked with refillable glass bottles of filtered water thanks to the “Water on the Rocks” program. Guests can also purchase a reusable BPA-free plastic or stainless steel water bottle to fill at water stations around their resort. The program is expected to eliminate the waste of 640,000 plastic bottles.

Article excerpted from http://news.travel.aol.com

10 Genius Vegetarians

Albert Einstein
Einstein in Western culture is synonymous with genius. Reports say he was vegetarian just for the last year of his life. However, he had a guilty conscience about eating meat, and agreed with the vegetarian outlook, “Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”

Leonardo Da Vinci
One of the greatest inventors in all of human history, it is believed he was also a lifelong vegetarian who chose such a diet to avoid killing or injuring other creatures.

Nikola Tesla
He invented at least 700 devices, and was both an engineer and visionary. The form of electricity you are using right now to power your computer (alternating current) resulted from the work of Nikola Tesla.  Most accounts say Tesla moved gradually towards a vegetarian diet, first by eliminating meat but still eating fish, and then by quitting that also. He wasn’t vegan though, as he used dairy milk as his main protein source, after abandoning meat.

“It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarous habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory, but a well-demonstrated fact.”

Srinivasa Ramanujan
One of India’s greatest mathematicians, he was also a strict vegetarian.

Gandhi
The man is iconic enough that no description here is required. He was vegetarian most of his life.”If we are to be nonviolent, we must then not wish for anything on this earth which even the meanest or the lowest of human beings cannot have.”

Vincent Van Gogh
He is considered one of the world’s most original fine art painters. Although various websites list him as a vegetarian mostly, there are some references to his accepting meat once in a while. This may be because of his lifestyle and living in conditions where other people were trying to take care of him, and he didn’t want to offend them.

“In the afternoon, at the table, the three of us would eat with the appetite of famished wolves; not he, he would not eat meat, only a little morsel on Sundays, and then only after being urged by our landlady for a long time. Four potatoes with a suspicion of gravy and a mouthful of vegetables constituted his whole dinner. To our insistence that he make a hearty dinner and eat meat, he would answer, To a human being physical life ought to be a paltry detail; vegetable food is sufficient, all the rest is luxury.”

Thomas Edison
Mr. Edison was credited with over 1,000 inventions.There are some references to him having stopped eating meat for health reasons, “During the recent illness, from mastoiditis, of Mr. Thos. Alva Edison, the famous inventor ceased using meat and went for a thorough course of vegetarianism. Mr. Edison was so pleased with the change of diet that, now he has regained his normal health, he continues to renounce meat in all it’s forms.”

There are also a number of quotes attributed to him indicating a love of animals and condemning violence towards them.

Pythagoras
This Greek philosopher and mathematician was also a vegetarian. In the writings of Ovid, he was depicted as having said, “Alas, what wickedness to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death of another.”

Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was one of America’s most beloved writers. He is listed as a vegetarian on various sites such as About.com and Wikipedia. He was also against using animals in research and for educational purposes.

“I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.”

Franz Kafka
A writer of some of the most memorable German-language fiction, Franz Kafka was also a vegetarian. He is believed to have said this when visiting an aquarium, “Now at least I can look at you in peace. I don’t eat you anymore.”  That was after he became a vegetarian.
Article excerpted from www.care2.com

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