Archive for the ‘Going Green’ Category

tegansaraheader1Since our readers seem to be in love with Tegan and Sara and particularly their new kicks for Macbeth, I thought I’d give you a small update.  Macbeth finally launched the Quin’s own page on their website.  Where you can enter to win:


One Grand Prize winner will receive a prize pack featuring some signed rarities from Tegan and Sara along with a pair of each of their Studio Project shoes from Macbeth and Artist Direct.

Two runner ups will receive a pair of the Tegan or Sara Studio Project shoes.

Check out their ad picture too which ran this month in Alternative Press.  Ryan Russell took the ad shot.  I love it!  They really look like each other in it.  For those less in tune; Sara’s in the jean jacket.



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Plant this seed in your head- That stuff you’re cleaning your house with, it’s all toxic!

For so long all of the mainstream cleaning products were so new and so splashy with the claims of “99% disinfectants” and “anti-bacterial” agents in them. Yeah, keeping your kitchen salmonella free is good, keeping your whites white is good, but now, we know better. At least most of us do.

  1. Is anyone sick of hearing national news stories about people dying from peanuts? Me too.  If I remember correctly it was only in the past, oh, 5-6 years when kids started becoming DEATHLY allergic to certain foods- peanuts included. In my non-scientific findings as a child care provider (and I mean in that in the strictly camp counselor/babysitter way) I notice that kids aren’t allowed to do the things that I got to do as a child. Like, you know, play outside in the dirt. It’s OK to get a scratch from a tree branch, it’s OK to fall and scrape your knee and it’s OK to hold another child’s hand who just picked his nose. This, my friends, is how children build immunity and PREVENT DEATH from tiny little delicious peanuts when they’re adults! There was a study done in England recently, where they gave people who were deathly allergic to peanuts small doses of peanuts or peanut powder slowly over a period of time and – voila!- they became LESS allergic to the bloody peanuts! (sorry, my “British swear words” are fun to use).
  2. Did you know that the cleaning agents that you essentially put in your body (dish soap) and on your body (laundry detergent) is all extremely toxic? Phosphates found in dish soap pollute the ground water. Bleach in your laundry detergent is corrosive.  For years major companies have been pulling the wool over consumers eyes and using gimmicks like “99.9% cleaner than the other guy” ad campaigns. I’m done. And you should be too.

Here are some fun little facts about our daily household cleaners. (thanks www.worldwatch.org) WARNING: They are scary!

  • Cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10 percent of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers in 2000, accounting for 206,636 calls. Of these, nearly two-thirds involved children under six, who can swallow or spill cleaners stored or left open inside the home.
  • According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the typical home is on average 2-5 times more polluted than the air just outside—and in extreme cases 100 times more contaminated—largely because of household cleaners and pesticides.
  • The Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project reports that 6 out of every 100 janitors in Washington state have lost time from their jobs as a result of injuries linked to toxic cleaning products, particularly glass and toilet cleaners and degreasers.
  • In a 2002 U.S. Geological Survey study of contaminants in U.S. stream water, 69 percent of streams sampled contained persistent detergent metabolites, and 66 percent contained disinfectants.

If you can’t get away from commercial cleaners but want to try to keep your kids healthy outside of a bubble try these:

Seventh Generation– These are AMAZING products that works so so well and smell even better!

Method– You can get these at Target stores, they come in a variety of scents and even have plug in room fresheners!

Mrs. Meyers– You’ll recognize her bottles anywhere! I love her stuff.

I encourage you to read the labels of your cleaning supplies and compare the ingredients in those to the ingredients in one of the three brands I listed. You’ll be amazed.

Have a healthy home!


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So you don’t have enough money to travel, but you know that if you don’t go to some places around the world fast, they’ll be a melted glacier or a trash filled coastline. Well, all I can say is do your best to SAVE SAVE SAVE. Because according to scientists and CNN there are 5 places that you’d better get your behind to soon or there will be no point- global warming is going to ruin them.

  1. THE GREAT BARRIER REEF- Warming temperatures can spell disaster for coral reefs, which depend on a delicate balance of ocean temperature and chemistry to bloom into colorful displays.Many of the world’s reefs already are experiencing “bleaching” in which algae living in the coral die and leave behind whitened skeletons.

    The Great Barrier Reef — which is composed of about 2,900 individual reefs and is off the northeast coast of Australia — is seeing limited bleaching now, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority expects the problem to grow in coming decades.

    Henson said the reefs’ colorful displays are not to be missed.

    “It’s a feast for the eyes in terms of color, texture variations — it’s just amazing to see,” he said. “It’s wonderful to be enveloped in the warm water and look down just a few feet below at this amazing spread of ocean life.”

    Boats of people with snorkels typically launch into the reefs from Cairns, Queensland. If you go, tread lightly, Henson said. Visitors can damage the reefs if they get too close.

    How much sea levels will rise as the world warms is one of the trickiest parts of the climate change equation. If huge hunks of ice — such as parts of Greenland and the western shelf of Antarctica — melt, then the rise is expected to be more dramatic.

    “Nobody knows whether they’re going to completely melt or not, but we do know it’s not going to happen in the next 10 years,” Henson said.

    But for cities near the coast such as New Orleans, which already sits below sea level, rising waters could spell trouble for tourists and residents alike, even in the relative near term.

    “In the next several hundred years, life there may be difficult, and the cities may become impractical unless we can build large structures to keep the waters at bay,” he said.

    Henson doesn’t expect New Orleans to be underwater anytime soon. But travel to the Louisiana city may become more difficult in the future, he said. Scientists expect floods to become more frequent.

    “It’s sobering to be in New Orleans and look up at the levees that sit above you and keep out the Mississippi River,” he said. “You’re standing below the level of the river, looking up.”

  3. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK  – ESTES PARK COLORADO Herds of tiny pine beetles are munching away at Colorado’s forests, turning the evergreens a sickly red and destroying large patches of trees.Cold snaps — which, in mountain terms, mean about five nights of minus-30 temperatures — usually kill off the native beetles. But winters are warming, and Henson and others said they worry the beetles can’t be stopped.

    The beetle infestation “has reached epidemic proportions as a result of climate issues,” said Kyle Patterson, spokeswoman for the Rocky Mountain National Park.

    The beetles are causing problems all over America’s mountainous west, but the issue is particularly visible at Patterson’s park, northwest of Denver. Henson recommends visiting the park this decade to ensure you can still see the dense forests in decent shape. Some of the reddened forests look beautiful in a strange way, Henson said, but visitors should note that the color isn’t natural for pine trees.

    “Come soon. It’s happening quickly,” he said.

    Visit in the summer or early fall and take a breathtaking drive to 12,183 feet, Patterson said. Or, come in the winter and enjoy snowshoeing and nearby skiing. Many of the park’s 355 miles of hiking trails are open year-round.

  4. ALPINE GLACIERS, SWITZERLAND- The European Alps sit at a lower altitude than the Rocky Mountains, and their glaciers and ski resorts are therefore more susceptible to melting, Henson said.A climate expert in Austria recently told National Geographic that the Alps’ famed glaciers will disappear entirely between 2030 and 2050. A 2006 report had said they would melt by the end of the century.

    Henson said he once took a train through the Alpine glaciers. They’re worth seeing before they go — whenever that happens, he said.

    “They’re beautiful; the light blue quality of the meltwater is really stunning,” he said. 

  5. AMAZON FOREST, BRAZIL  -Deforestation continues to be the major environmental issue in the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rain forest. But as locals and corporations chop down the Amazon’s rich forests to create farmland and to harvest biofuels, climate change may make things worse.”The fear is that there will be kind of a feedback where trees are cut down, and it gets warmer and drier” in the forest until it can’t grow back, Henson said.

    The best way to visit the forest is by boat, Henson said. That way, you’ll leave less of a mark on the struggling ecosystem.

    Of course, getting to a boat on the Amazon is not simple, and the long trip can create a lot of heat-trapping pollution. Henson said the destination might be one of those better left alone by tourists.

All of this information comes from cnn.com


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I was recently made aware of a video by my friend Margi, it’s called “The Hidden Cost of Cashmere”. This video is short and extremely effective, outlining all of the issues that hit the rest of the world, when we (consumers) demand something that doesn’t replenish by itself.

This video made me remember a longer more in depth documentary that I saw in one of my film classes in Chicago years ago. It’s called “Ilha das flores” or “Island of Flowers”. Again, this documentary explains how complex we’ve made our world with modern inventions and conveniences.

Of course, we’re not going to stop buying sweaters when it’s cold or flip flops when its hot but I hope that this will make you think twice about buying 4 different colors because they’ll match your other clothes better.  Does matching your clothes mean more to you than the lives of others or the environment? Ask yourself that when you make your next shopping trip.  And please, watch one or both of these videos.

“The Hidden Cost of Cashmere”

“Ilha das flores” (yes it’s subtitled, I wouldn’t do that to ya!)

Part 1

Part 2

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Now that the inaug ( I like to abreve…) is over and you have an Obama hangover I have the best way to nurse you back to health! Also, if you’re just plain sick from it being winter or traveling (like moi), the best thing to do it watch what you put in your body.  There was a time in my life when I would make my own smoothies and a time ever father back when I would make my own juice.

My life now, is not so uprooted anymore. I don’t rent a room and use my roommates dishware anymore, so I feel more comfortable with actually using my kitchen.

I must admit though, I wasn’t inspired by making my own juice again until I was in Israel a couple weeks ago. Near the open air market there are bakeries and corner stores a plenty, AND one more amazing place- a juice shop. You walk in and ask for one or more of just a few kinds of juice Pomegranate, Orange, Carrot, Apple, Blueberry to name a few.

Now, I should’ve asked for a combo of Carrot and Pom, but I only asked for carrot and DAMN was it only carrot.  For most of us, it’s not sweet enough, just carrot juice in the raw, so I’ll zero in on how to best make Pomegranate and Orange juice.

You can buy the most low tech juicer out there.

Or go for a slightly higher tech version

I swear, they both work even for Pomegranate! But make sure the put an old rag under it, because it will inevitably splash and pom juice is muchas hard to get out of clothing.

In closing, I want to say that this only takes a few minutes to do and there are so many reasons why it’s a great idea:

  • You get natural vitamins
  • You get natural sugars (which are GOOD for you)
  • You get a natural energy
  • Fruits and vegetables give you amazing strength for the day and fiber (which isn’t only for if you HAVE to poo, it’s great for overall intestinal health)
  • You save the earth a little more each day but opting out of buying juice in that plastic bottle
  • YOU SAVE MONEY! Think about it, at almost $4 a bottle for the healthy juice, let’s just say you get one a day for each work day, that’s $20, roughly. If you go and get a couple pieces of each fruit on Sunday at the market that will probably only cost you $15. Add that up and you’re saving $20 a month! I can get a manicure for that….

TIP: When they’re in season, try making Blood Orange juice. It’s got a really nice, different flavor and it’s fun to make because it doesn’t look like regular orange juice!

Go and be healthy!


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UPDATE:  Just announced both pairs will be available for purchase on February 15th. 

I had to share this because 1. I love Tegan and Sara (um duh.) 2. Macbeth makes awesome tennis shoesMacbeth Ad including all Vegan ones.  3. The combination of the two was just too much and the video is just fun.  Macbeth just launched a side website for the duos new tennis shoe which allegedly will be available to buy starting in February 2009.  Watch the video here.

The “Sara”

From EE Storey Designs











The “Tegan”, worn by Tegan

Photo from www.teganandsaraclothes.blogspot.com













Photos courtesy of www.teganandsaraclothes.blogspot.com


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Once upon a time there were small towns with ma and pa owned businesses that didn’t exceed past the city limits. Then there was a McDonald’s and Macy’s and Sears. It was great when the family was just expanding and prospering but then it got, oh what’s the word? Evil.

Let’s dissect why a monopoly is evil. When store X grows, the family doesn’t run it anymore, they have to hire people who they hardly know and can’t manage or train properly; enter incompetence, lack of commitment, corruption and stealing. The supply and demand isn’t equal. More product needs to be made/ordered; enter outsourcing for cheaper goods/labor.

On top of these things are health issues. For restaurants, they ship in frozen foods and use a fantastically large amount of butter, bad fats and preservatives to make them addictively delicious. This makes you fat and severely unhealthy. (see post about healthy skin- John Mayer was right, your body is a wonderland and everything is connected. You put shit in your body, you body will look like shit, plain and simple)

On an earth friendly and sustainable level, buying locally reduces your carbon footprint.

Carbon footprint: [noun] A “measure of the impact that human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide”.

Local bakeries bake their own bread and get flour from local mills. Local groceries use local farmers to sell fruits, vegetables and milk and egg products. There is no need to ship in the goods when it’s made not farther than 10 miles from where you live! Food tastes better when it’s fresh-I swear!

Each year 6 million Americans fall ill and 5,000 die from food borne diseases. That means that (a) the food became rotten en route to the final destination/your stomach (b) the harvesting and/or growth or slaughter of the food was improperly administered.

Look, I’m not suggesting you join PETA and become a vegan, hell! I LOVE meat. What I’m saying is that you cannot turn a blind eye to the process in which your food gets to your table! There are so many missteps that can be taken in the slaughter process that can kill you. YOU. Improper blood drainage, improper treatment of the animals BEFORE the slaughter, animal feces’ improper clean up- that’s right, you could be swallowing some meat that was marinating in it’s own feces. Just think before you buy the cheapest slab of meat, it’s for your own health.

For the most part local farms don’t use toxic chemicals or pesticides that can seep into the vegetables or fruits and subsequently into your body. For the most part local farms don’t useunethical treatment of animals in order to produce more milk. Animals on family farms actually have human contact, not the cold unforgiving clamps of milk extractors.

Your local economy will grow too, if you support it. Since 1935 4.7 million family operated farms died- that’s staggering! And we can change that. Just imagine for a minute, if 15 years ago we had just half of those dead farms in more local markets, maybe American toddlers wouldn’t weigh the same as a 16 year old.

The atmosphere of locally-owned establishments is yet another reason why they’re better. In locally owned coffee shops (like the Central Perk in “Friends”) or record stores or clothing stores, they post items about local cultural events, art shows, galleries, music/theatre. By promoting and supporting local artists and farmers it creates a community- a community in which you wish you would have grown up in; and that we have the power to create for our children.

If you’re not savvy to all your local places, www.yelp.com, www.dailycandy.com and www.idealbite.com are great websites to help with that.  Also, most cities have farmers markets when the weather permits for you to get the best and most fresh food in town!


Eat, drink and shop locally!


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