Monthly Archives: September 2011

Go Green with Envy!

Go green with envy!

Green is amazing. It is next to nature and an eco-friendly colour. Imagine decorating your home with green. That simply means you are transferring nature into your home. How and where do you start the green revolution?

Restroom/bathrooms: They are always a good place for inspiration. You get refreshed and revitalised when you have a shower or heed nature’s call in a green environment.

Kitchen: From your kitchen shelves to appliances, you go all green and enjoy brightness everywhere especially when they are in the bright hue.

Accessories: Why not decorate the walls of your home with different green accessories? Mind you, you should allow your theme match perfectly.

Pillows and wall art: When pillows and wall arts are in green colour, they transfer a sense of well-being and energy into the home. Try mixing the colour with yellow undertones too.

Nursery/children’s room: By now, you should know that green is kid-friendly. When mixed with other nursery colours, green could blow the mind! Sometimes it is the children’s favourite, so try and creatively turn their rooms to green.

Men’s room: The good thing about green colour is that it is not gender specific, unlike the pink, black or blue. You can choose the masculine one for some of your men’s rooms.

The bedroom: Imagine a green bedroom! You will sleep well, be more relaxed and live next to nature.

House plants: Don’t forget the green environment which starts with plants. Have a collection of more green plants in your garden and as indoor plants.

Article excerpted from www.nigerianbestforum.com

This is interesting!! “Go Green” can actually create a beautiful living place, that’s really a brilliant idea. Start decorate your house or comfort zone with juicy and creative ideas of “Go Green!”

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Pull plastic from the holiday picture

Did you know 20 million Australians use around 4 billion bags every year?” – Flip Byrnes

When you’re swimming on holiday, the last thing you want is a mouthful of plastic. Likewise, exploring an ancient ruin, the unwanted discovery of a heap of disintegrating supermarket sacks would kinda … suck. But there are towns all over the globe that are plastic bag free (wahoo!), so spend your green tourist dollars and keep not-fantastic plastic out of the picture. Just don’t forget your canvas shopper!

The war on plastic bags is being waged and communities from the UK to Australia are being declared plastic bag free. Currently, 20 million Australians use around 4 billion bags every year. Four effing billion. With each bag taking 15 — 1000 years to break down, it’s no wonder tourism authorities can see the light in stemming the tide on plastic.

Modbury, a small town in south-west UK, lead the charge in becoming Europe’s first plastic bag free town in 2007. But when plastic eradication was just a twinkle in their eye, Coles Bay in Tasmania had already gone gangbusters on the concept all the way back in 2003.

Coles Bay, population 250, was Australia’s first plastic bag free town. Located next to Freycinet National Park, the town was well aware it was in their interest to protect their best tourism lure — nature.

Not only is there not a single eyesore sack to be found in town, but disposable knives and forks are all wooden, straws are made of paper and recycle bins dot the landscape. Picture an entire world of greenies — utopia!

Sandra Kain, founding member of the Going Plastic Free association, said tourists are complimentary about the state of the town and plastic ban. “The response has been fantastic”, she says. “They are all impressed, especially that it is a little place like us down in Tasmania. Nature is our draw card down here, so we’re protecting it.”

Likewise, don’t expect to bag up your groceries in plastic in Zanzibar; the picturesque island on the coast of Tanzania, Africa. Renowned for diving, snorkelling and marine life, the island banned plastic bags in 2006.

“We have to put the environment above everything,” Zanzibar’s Director of Environment Ali Juma said. “Besides being an eyesore, plastic bags are very damaging to land and marine life and we are already threatened by the rapid pace of development.”

Where else can you travel plastic-neutral? The Irish and the Germans are currently forced to pay for plastic when hitting the shops, and similarly Denmark and Switzerland are places where people put plastic last. And closer to home, South Australia has just won the war on unsightly rubbish and been declared plastic free.

What are your thoughts on going plastic free? Would you feel better spending your tourism bucks in a community of enviro-friendly shoppers?

Article excerpted from www.travel.ninemsn.com.au

Many countries are participate on plastic bag free campaign and there are charges if you want to get plastic bag from your purchase especially in supermarket. This is a good idea so that everyone could aware and take action together.  We could make a big different and save our earth from getting worst by a simple action. Let’s do our part!

Vegetarian delight: An interview with Lacey Sher

The Oakland chef, caterer and restaurateur is the author of the recently published “You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine.”

What’s the origin of the book?
I had a restaurant, Down to Earth, in New Jersey. My partner and I decided to put together the recipes of all of the food we served there.

Are you a vegan?
I’ve been a vegetarian for 13 years, about nine of them, vegan.

Does the book offer a particular philosophy?
We promote whole foods and eating close to the foods’ source — and far from the package.

Are there misconceptions about the vegetarian diet?
People think you need a lot of protein, but it’s really about balancing.

How do you feel about soy?
It can be major for beginners, but you don’t necessarily want to be a “soyatarian.” Choose soy in whole form, such as tempe or beans.

What’s your favorite recipe in the book?
The chocolate cake; it’s simple and awesome. I also like the Blue Corn Hempeh, a Southern-crusted blue corn tomato pudding.

What’s next for you?
I’m going to open a vegetarian wine-bar-cafe called Encuentro with Eric Tucker of Millennium.

Do you ever eat potato chips or a Snickers bar?
Of course! I eat chips, the natural ones. And I eat chocolate — good chocolate.

Article excerpted from www.sfexaminer.com

Top 3 Homemade Organic Tomato Facial Masks

Have you ever wondered what tomatoes can do for your skin other than adding pizzazz to pizzas? Tomato offers many amazing beauty benefits that go beyond its distinctive red skin and appealing taste. It holds the secret to radiant youthful-looking complexion, thanks to the presence of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

One study reported volunteers who consumed 5 tablespoons (about 55 grams) lycopene-rich tomato paste daily for 3 months had a lower risk of sunburn. The team of researchers found significant improvements in the skin’s ability to protect itself against harmful ultraviolet rays in these individuals.

Lycopene, a carotenoid pigment which is also found in other red fruits – watermelon, pink guava, and pink grapefruit – is able to neutralize free radicals that can accelerate aging and protect the skin from photodamage (or sun damage). Excessive UV exposure will result in fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration and textural changes, and even skin cancer.

Another benefit of eating a lycopene-based diet is that it helps boost collagen production. Collagen is a protein that keeps skin strong, smooth and supple. Without enough amount of collagen to support structures of the skin, your face will begin to show signs of premature aging – dry, dull-looking, saggy and wrinkly.

That said, studies also show that lycopene is better absorbed by the body from cooked or processed tomatoes (for example, tomato sauce or tomato soup) than from raw tomatoes. And, because lycopene is fat-soluble, your body absorbs lycopene more readily if you add a little oil.

You can also benefit from lycopene by applying it directly to the skin. There is a wide range of lycopene-enriched skincare products in the market that you could purchase, but they don’t come cheap. The next best solution is make tomato face masks at home. These homemade tomato facials will help to minimize the appearance of creases and wrinkles, plump up the skin while restoring your complexion’s radiant glow.

How to Make Tomato Mask

Note: Always use organic tomatoes and select the redder ones as they contain more lycopene. Also, make sure you don’t have a tomato allergy.

Tomato Honey Home Facial

Nourishes and rejuvenates aging skin, or dry skin. Also help fade dark spots and blemishes naturally to reveal brighter and whiter skin.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon organic tomato pulp, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon plain yogurt.

1. Wash your face with a mild facial cleanser. Make sure to remove all traces of makeup, dirt and grime.

2. In a small bowl, mix together all the above ingredients until well combined.

3. Apply tomato paste on your face and neck. Lie down and relax for about 20-30 minutes.

4. Wash off thoroughly with lukewarm water. Tone and slather on your favorite moisturizer.

Tomato Cucumber Face Mask

Soothes sunburned skin and reduces skin pigmentation caused by sun exposure. Also refreshes tired skin and add a healthy glow to your complexion.

Ingredients: ¼ peeled and seedless organic tomato, 3 teaspoons unflavored yogurt, 1 teaspoon peeled and grated cucumber, 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel and 3 teaspoons of finely ground oatmeal.

1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl, and mix until well combined.

2. Spread tomato mixture on your face and leave on for about 10 minutes.

3. Rinse off with lukewarm water. Apply toner and moisturizer.

Tomato Sugar Facial and Scrub

Ingredients: 1 organic tomato and 1 teaspoon fine granulated sugar

Deep cleans pores and helps remove black heads. Also double up as a gentle face scrub, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth.

1. Slice the top off tomato. Sprinkle sugar on a small plate, and dip tomato slice into it.

2. Use the sugar-coated tomato slice to gently exfoliate your face, in a circular motion. Pay extra attention to areas prone to blackheads – T zone (forehead, nose and chin).

3. Once your face is evenly covered with tomato scrub, relax for 10 minutes before rinsing it off completely with water.

4. Pat dry with a soft towel and follow up with an astringent and moisturizer.

Article excerpted from www.nichetopics.info

This is an interesting topic and I can’t wait to share with all of you after I read it. It is a good idea to make a handmade mask because it is cheap and easy to do. Try at your own risk because each different skin type will have different effects. Let us know if this this mask is useful to you.

Interesting Eco Hotel Products

As we become increasingly aware of the fragile ecosystem and the effect that we have on it, hotels are introducing new ways to conserve and protect the Earth. The following are a few highlights of some of the more interesting products that are new for the industry.

Sustainable Cards: Wooden key cards have been used in Europe for a few years, but are just starting to gain wide popularity. The Democratic National Convention in Denver this coming month will feature exclusively these sustainable cards for hotels. While it does not seem like such a small item would make a big difference, switching from plastic cards to biodegradable wood can reduce plastic waste equal to the volume of seven 777 airplanes in one year.

Pre-Fabricated/Modular Design: Prefab buildings and modular units are being integrated into hotel projects more and more every day. Prefab housing is not new – in fact, simply having components that are manufactured in off-site industrial facilities constitutes the basic definition of prefab, and has been a part of home construction for decades. However, in recent years, a new movement has sprung up which ties prefab almost inextricably to modernist aesthetics, and also increasingly purports to have an inherent upper hand where sustainability is concerned. Advantages of these projects can include eco-friendly LED lighting, sustainable and recycled wood, solar power, and eco-conscious water filtration systems, among other features. The following image is the Q-bic Hotel system which features technology from Philips, Hästens, and Philippe Starck.

Sustainable Mini-Bars: Fair Trade products and Organic food products have also managed to find their way into hotels´mini bars. Products like 360 Vodka hope to establish new sustainable product development and packaging standards in the distilling industry and hotels are eager to promote these aspects of their vendors.

If there are any additional products you have come across that are particularly interesting with an eco-friendly perspective, please comment!

7 Cheap Ways to Go Green

One of the myths of being eco-friendly is that it takes a lot of money. While some large-scale changes may require a chunk of change, such as buying a tankless water heater or adding solar panels to your roof, the majority of going green choices don’t have to cost a fortune. Here are 7 ways to go green on the cheap.

Be a Friend to Farmers
The best prices on organic produce are usually close to home at your local farmers’ market. Organic is best for your body and the planet. By shopping more directly with the organic producers you can not only save money but also put more cash in the farmers’ pockets and support local food production. Find out more about living and eating organically.

Clean for Under a Buck
Did you know that you can clean most of your house with a non-toxic cleaner that usually costs less than a dollar? That magic bullet is baking soda. A little water and baking soda makes a terrific cleaning paste for tubs, sinks, stoves, and other surfaces. Its whitening effect is great for cleaning grout. Add a handful to your whites in the wash for brighter clothes. Baking soda is also a great deodorizer, and it won’t irritate your lungs.

Fertilize with Garbage
One of the great benefits of eating is that there’s waste. Seriously. Put your food scraps to work in an at-home compost and voila! You’ll have a free supply of soil amendment and mulch from the compost that can also be used as fertilizer for your lawn and garden. Compost is organic and non-toxic, extremely healthy for plants and the soil, and gives back to the planet with minimal effort from you.

Super Sun Savings
Open those blinds and curtains and turn off the lights. Sunlight is free … and completely renewable. You’ll save on electricity. And sunshine is better for your body. The sun’s rays are just the right brightness and spectrum to give you more energy, better regulate your sleep patterns, and improve your mood. Sun equals smiles.

Well-Contained Lunches
Opt for reusable containers for lunches whenever possible. You have a one-time investment on the containers that can save you a boatload – throwaway baggies and individually packaged lunch items (like juice boxes and applesauce cups) are much more expensive than if you filled up reusable containers at home with juice, fruit, and a sandwich. And that means less goes to the landfill too.

Old News is Good News
Have a package to send? Avoid the expense and waste of bubble wrap. Instead, reach for yesterday’s newspaper as packing material. It might seem old fashioned, but what was good for grandma is still good for you.

Save Money and Miles
Put on your thinking cap next time you plan errands and schedule them together on a miles-saving route. By strategically combining errands and avoiding unplanned trips to the store, you’ll save gas and make your wallet a little fatter. Plus, you’ll be spewing less pollution into the air from your car.

Article excerpted from http://family.go.com/

Go green is a very common topic, and there are actually so many ways to go green. How about you? Have you done your part?

World Car-Free Day September 22, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: Could city folk, particularly those in congested business districts, be willing to do without their cars for only one day — the World Car-Free Day on Sept 22?

Although awareness of environmental concerns brought about by emissions and the need to ease traffic congestion seemed to be on the rise, little efforts to garner public involvement towards solutions have been in place.

The Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) is calling attention to the World Car-Free Day from the public and the authorities.

“This is now a global effort, but so far, Malaysia has never been part of the World Car-Free Day, let alone organise our own car-free days,” said MNCF deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad.

The World Car-Free Day was initiated in 1994 upon a presentation by the EcoPlan team at the International Accessible Cities Conference in Toledo, Spain.

The project states that car-free days should generally be held on Thursdays as they demonstrate the effects of doing without cars on a regular working day.
This has resulted in cities around the world, even some of the most congested like, Jakarta, adopting the project, either on a once-a-year basis, or with more frequency.

Jakarta holds car-free days on Sundays fortnightly, where a triangular connection of the city’s three busiest roads are closed to motorised vehicles.

Millions of the city’s inhabitants swarm those streets to cycle and jog on those car-free Sundays.

“A car-free day is when people do without cars and find other means of commuting, be it by public transport, bicycles or a combination of the two,” said Naim.

He added that the MNCF had been part of discussions to conduct programmes with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall and other government agencies to promote bicycles as a healthy and environmentally-friendly means of commuting.

“Nothing has been done before, but we can start with this year’s World Car-Free Day. The government, too, has to take notice.”

Naim said the MNCF’s Cycling For All Committee was willing to work with the government and the public to draw up plans to ensure cities were made more conducive for those willing to commute by bicycles.

“The public transport system needs to be more bicycle-friendly.

“We need to find out what the barriers are and propose projects to solve these issues. The public needs to be heard and the government needs to listen.”

The MNCF has monitored the growth in the recreational segment of cycling and believes there is room for such an idea to be developed.

“A number of corporate figures and even politicians are avid cyclists who cycle for fitness,” said Naim.

“We have respected figures who can set the example, but whether they see their bicycle as a suitable mode of commuting remains to be seen.”

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek will begin his quest to lead by example today, when his entourage rides from his office in Putrajaya to Bukit Jalil, where he will evaluate the progress on the ministry’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house venue.

Article excerpted from www.nst.com.my

Do you think you can ditch your car, for just one day? Well that is the aim of the World Carfree Network, in hopes that people will embrace alternative modes of transportation on a bigger, more indefinite scale.  Thursday, September 22nd is World Car-Free Day and people are organizing events all over the world to help. I’m sure this is one of the method to travel eco too.

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