Archive for December, 2009
Recently I went on a “Singles in Support of Humpback Whales” sailing expedition (AKA the Singles Hump Cruise for short) and met “Kip,” the man of my dreams. Kip’s a marine biologist dedicated to preserving the endangered Tahitian Squat Lobster (which helps equalize the ocean’s ph balance). Poachers capture these little creatures, cross breed them with Sea Monkeys (to make them even smaller) and force-feed them Pico de Gallo so their shells metabolize into a creamy membrane that ironically tastes like cocktail sauce. They’re then passed off as pre-marinated Languistino to discount restaurants in the Midwest. The whole process is cruel and inhumane (but yummy – or so I’m told). Kip assured me that his job had turned him completely “green,” as well as made him a staunch vegan. That’s when I knew we were soul mates since I also can’t bring myself to eat anything that comes from an animal or wear anything except organic cotton.
However, lately I’ve noticed a strange odor on Kip’s breath that resembles Shrimp Scampi and capers in a garlic-enhanced pinot grigio reduction sauce (which is delicious, by the way, with an oaky sauvignon blanc – or so I’m told). Then the next time we were together he smelled of Coq au Vin (the Julia Child version, not that crappy kind you get off a soup can). But the clincher came when I noticed cocktail sauce on the collar of a polyester shirt I found in his apartment when I dropped by unannounced to borrow a cup of algae for my compost pile. (He wasn’t home.)
Jade, I’m fairly certain Kip is cheating on me with poultry and fish, and for all I know, red meat. But worse yet, when I searched his apartment (looking for the algae) I found out not only has he been secretly wearing synthetic fabrics when we’re not together, but he washes his clothes in fabric softener, doesn’t sort his recyclables, and has cupboards full of plastic food storage containers.
I want it to work with Kip, but now feel like our once green relationship has been soiled to a muddy brown. What do I do?
-Hungry for Love in Pocatello
Dear Hungry for Love,
Lying about one’s “greenability” is not uncommon among people who became green late in life. When did Kip leave the dark side? Maybe this is just a temporary setback. To find out, discuss it with him and give him a chance to explain. (And speaking of explanations, you might want to come up with a better excuse as to why you were searching his apartment.) If he’s truly gone off the wagon, there are several good 12-step programs you can look into together, Polluters Unnamed (PU) being a good place to start.
image via statianzo
Dear Aunt Gaia,
My girlfriend and I are strangely competitive. We are both female lawyers for a prestigious firm in LA, and not only are our politics and gender similar, so too is our sense of fashion. We both try to keep it simple, buying high-end vintage clothing whenever we can, but in this situation, there is typically only one outfit. We are the same size (7) and we often have our sites set on the same piece of clothing. Both stubborn, we often leave the boutique frustrated and empty-handed. If one can’t have it, the other one won’t buy it. But we both lose out, and we both feel bad. What makes this worse is that we’re both in mediation.
Stubborn Lovers in LA
Now both of you listen up. You’re not the first upper-class lesbians to face this and you won’t be the last. Share the outfits! It’s a win-win-win. You get to wear it, she gets to wear it, and you’ve only purchased one outfit for two people. It sounds like the problem lies deeper than just fashion. Rivalry is not uncommon in relationships—in any intimate relationships. Mothers and daughters can be rivals. The same goes for a husband and wife. Perhaps you would benefit from couples’ therapy or, dare I say, someone trained in mediation? You must have peers who could offer some advice. In the end, you both can look good and cut down on consumption.
image via Etherhill
Dear Aunt Gaia,
My boyfriend and I are strict vegetarians, but whenever we have sex he likes to call me his “bacon” or his “veal.” I know this should make me mad, but I love it. He drives me crazy when he talks like that, and the sex has never been better. Is it appropriate for people who concern themselves with the humane treatment of animals to bring meat-talk into the bedroom?
-Coital Carnivores in Sacramento
Dear Coital Carnivores,
There’s nothing to be ashamed of here. Exploring sexual fantasies with your partner is healthy and encouraged. In fact, it’s through this exploration that many couples come to understand one another in a better, more complex way. Always make sure that each of you is comfortable within the confines of your fantasy, then have at it. Sometimes the things that we deny ourselves push our buttons the most. In this case, meat is the great aphrodisiac. Eating bacon after sex is an entirely different matter.
image via Rennett Stowe
Dear Aunt Gaia,
I can’t prove it, but my neighbor is stealing my compost worms. She started her own compost bin after having dinner at my house a couple of months ago. I’ve recently seen her compost and it’s good, too good. I asked her if she was using compost worms, and, blushing, she denied it. I have a 400-gallon compost drum outside by my garden, so I can’t bring it inside. My husband won’t install a padlock because he thinks I’m overreacting. But it took me years to get my compost where it’s at. She needs to earn that. What should I do?
Robbed in Portland
First of all, you’re right to feel violated. You just don’t touch another woman’s compost. Period. The fact that your husband doesn’t understand is irrelevant. That’s a typical response. Secondly, you need proof. You may have to go “cloak and dagger” on this one. Have a friend dress up as a compost inspector from the Organic Foods Bureau and get a sample to match against yours. Or install a surveillance camera. You don’t need your husband for that. Finally, you might have to go get it yourself—at night when she’s in bed. Confront her by all means, but make sure the proof is on your side. Bitches like this need to be put in their place, and that means doing it right.
image via mrmole
1) Buying Recycled saves energy, conserves resources.
Mass production using conventional, virgin materials is a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Buying recycled means fewer resources and less energy consumed. Instead of being part of the problem you are being part of the solution.
2) Buying Recycled reduces waste.
Buying a recycled product keeps garbage out of our landfills
3) Buying recycled inspires others.
When you wear or use a recycled product, it shows the world that you think for yourself and act on your beliefs, and inspires others to do the same.
4) Recycled stuff is: Fresher. Quirkier.
Big companies won’t commit machines and factories to make quirkier, non standardized things. To be “efficient” they need to produce big volumes at low cost. But that is exactly what is best about limited edition stuff… Unique colors and combinations may not be commercial but they sure are more interesting.
5) Recycled gifts make for more meaningful giving.
If you are the giver, you get the satisfaction of engaging in an eco friendly act. The recipient of your recycled gift gets something that is frequently limited edition or one-of-a-kind, and therefore made with care and attention that can be seen and touched. It is the result of love and craftsmanship that is absent in the world of large-scale manufacturing.
6) Because recycling is what your Grandma used to do.
And granny had wisdom, not just knowledge.
7) Recycled sets an example for our children.
It teaches them to love and appreciate the unique and the imperfect. It makes them think about where things come from, how things are made, and the impact of their actions on our planet. And it inspires them to do their own creating as well.
Because in the end, when our children and our children’s children look back on us, “we will be defined not only by what we created, but by what we refused to destroy”
(Paraphrased from a quote by John Sawhill, former President of The Nature Conservancy.)
By Martha Cook, staff writer
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing into a rainbow of reds and oranges. The breezes are blowing against our cheeks. And the cucumbers and zucchinis are growing long and thick. Just one look at those veggies strewn among the leaves and female gardeners everywhere start thinking OMG.
Because there are so many possibilities. Whether you get down in the dirt and grow your own or browse the produce section of your local grocery, there’s nothing more enticing than a good-looking cucumber to those who like it raw. Succulent and juicy, cucumbers offer a variety of pleasures. I prefer to peel and seed mine, then take it whole. But a dash of freshly ground black pepper and some drizzled virgin olive oil do make for a salad to remember. Or get really wild by slicing up some imported prosciutto for an exotic threesome. It’s a perfect party appetizer, and with a dish like that, your guests are sure to come.
Zucchini is an equally good choice when you want to please. This experienced vegetable has dallied in a number of cuisines. From the light batter of Japanese Tempera to the spice of Indian curry, zucchini is always up for a good romp in the kitchen. If you’ve not tangoed with zucchini before, never fear. With this veggie you’ll always hit a homerun.
The more adventurous of you, of course, might just sail past the cucumbers and zucchinis and head right for the butternut squash. It takes a whole lot of woman to handle these large vegetables, but the effort is well worth it. The best way to begin is by warming up your oven. Let the butternut squash roast until tender. Then cream it for a hearty meal that’ll take your breath away.
So get out there and starting filling your cart with cucumbers, zucchinis and squash. I think you’ll agree fall is a great time for getting cozy with autumn vegetables. And you might find that this seasonal fling, becomes a yearlong obsession. It surely has for me.
image via tiny banquet
Plant 10 trees for every purchase.
As part of our commitment to sustainability, we support Trees For the Future.
Trees for the Future promotes the practice of Agroforestry. Agroforestry combines agriculture with forestry to create integrated and sustainable land use. In other words, no slash and burn, no deforestation, no clear cutting of trees to create a moonscape of single crop agriculture. An example of Agroforestry is “alley cropping,” where an agricultural crop is grown simultaneously with a long-term tree crop to provide annual income while the tree crop matures. Agroforestry is an environmentally-friendly farming practice because it promotes the growth of trees rather than clear-cutting. It is a smarter, more sustainable ecosystem-based approach which promotes biodiversity.
Agroforestry techniques are tailored to the needs of the community. In communal forests, tree planting programs focus on large-scale reforestation and the promotion of non-timber forest products. In agricultural fields, fast-growing multipurpose tree species are integrated into the agricultural system for specific functions such as a windbreak, firebreak, woodlot, living fence, contour-planting for erosion control, and alley-cropping to improve soil fertility.
Makes a whole lot of sense to us.
Image © Trees for the Future
The process of recycling vintage Saris into scarves starts with collecting old Saris from homes. “Sari Wallah” women go house to house and barter for old Saris. This negotation pictured here looks pretty civil, but don’t be deceived. Some of these women can make a used car dealer look like Gandhi. In the end a housewife gets some new items for the home and the Sari Wallah woman gets a pile of lovely old Saris she can then sell into a bigger market. Sari barter takes place all over India, in big cities and in small villages.
GreenSewn creates unique, eco-chic one of a kind scarves from recycled vintage saris. If you don’t know what a sari is, it’s a long (usually 15 feet or more) garment worn by women in India. They are colorful, intricately patterned, and sometimes have lovely gold “zari” work hand woven into the borders. We collect the softest and prettiest old saris and lovingly recycle them into luxurious, ultra limited edition, and gloriously colorful sustainable fashion creations.
Unlike typical mass produced products made from virgin materials, we recycle what’s already available and process it artisanally by hand to create one of a kind scarves that are stunning in their color and detail, eco chic, and totally sustainable.