Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Green Thanks


I am so thankful that you read my blog week after week!

I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to write this blog!


I am so thankful for my health, my family, and my friends.

And it wouldn't be me if I didn't provide some green tips for tomorrow...

Avoid paper plates, cups, utensils, etc.
If you have nice china, use it! What good is it sitting in the china cabinet!

Buy organic or local.

Compost if you can.


Recycle your cans, boxes, bottles and aluminum foil.

Peace and love on this special holiday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pollute What You Wish, But You Must Pollute Something

Recently, my dad came to New York for a visit and we decided to take him to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It was very crowded so we immediately headed to a ticket counter.

We were greeted by a young girl who quickly took our money and gave us a receipt and a handful of coupons. I kindly said, "no thank you" to the coupons. Barely looking up, she gestured her head to the side and said, "The trash is right there."

I gasped. I'm actually gasping again as I write this.

I gained composure and said, "Can't I just give them back to you?" She stared at me blankly. A sarcophagus in the Egyptian wing had more life than she had in her eyes. I stared back at her and said "We can't waste all that paper! What about the poor trees?"

She was not amused by me. She had other people to deal with, other coupons to give out. Without looking up, she snatched the coupons from my hand and threw them back into her pile.

I walked away feeling agitated. My day at the Met was ruined. It was all I could think about. How many other people had wanted to give the coupons back and wound up throwing them away because she wouldn't take them?

A few hours passed and we were ready to leave. I couldn't possibly leave without saying anything or at least inquiring about their recycling policies.

I went to the information desk and the following conversation took place:

"Hi. I'm just wondering...does the Met recycle?" I asked.

"Um. I'm we recycle?" said a woman.

A man answered, "We print all of our brochures on recycled paper."

"That's great! But I'm wondering, do you recycle?" More sarcophagus stares.

Feeling frustrated by their non-response, I said " is what happened..." and I told my story. Neither of them seemed interested in the fact that those tiny coupons made of trees almost wound up in the trash, needlessly.

But then, I discovered what got their attention. I mentioned that the girl had been rude.

"Oh ma'am! We're so sorry! Please, fill out this form and return it to our customer service department." All of a sudden, they were as attentive and full of purpose as George Washington Crossing the Delaware.

I took the piece of paper and left the Met, making sure to recycle my little metal "M".

Here is my message to The Met. Let's save paper for something better . . . like artwork that my father will see hanging in a museum the next time we visit. Or how about this...the coupons were for discounts to the gift shop. Since everyone gets a coupon with their paid ticket, why not just discount everything and save the paper!

I have sent my complaint to their customer service department. I'm hoping that they realize that being rude to a patron is one thing, but being rude to the planet is pretty bad too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Project: 350

When I was a kid, my mom used to say to me, "If your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it, too?"

On Saturday, October 24, my answer was, "Jump, no. Follow them across? Yes!"

My friend Jen and I were walking to stop global warming. This was an environmental action day sponsored by

From their website:

And what does this 350 number even mean?
350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide—measured in "Parts Per Million" in our atmosphere. 350 PPM—it's the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.

People from all over the globe put groups together to show their commitment.

Some groups formed themselves into giant "350's" while others stood in large groups with signs and took pictures. Some went skydiving while some surfed. And some, like ours, marched in peace, not protest, to show our concern for the condition of our planet. I've posted some photos of our walk but check out the website as well...some of the pictures are amazing!

There was definitely a sense of pride walking over the bridge and hearing the cars beep to show their support. Some of us chanted things about saving the planet while others of us talked about what our government was going to do to help this problem. Regardless of what words came out of our mouths, we were all united for one cause.

Despite the rainy day (and trying not to look down between the grates at passing cars), we made it across the bridge and into the park to take a group photo.

Now I'm hoping that the NEW parental cliche will be, "If your friends marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to save the environment, would you do it, too?"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Choosy Peanut Butter Shoppers Choose Less Packaging

I love grocery shopping! My two favorites are Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

It brings back memories of Saturday mornings with my dad. Back then, grocery shopping wasn't about organic foods and local produce. It was mass market and whatever was on sale. He'd hand me a bunch of coupons and I'd set off on my journey to collect all of my items. Apples were from New Zealand or some other country. It was all about meat and potatoes, Lucky Charms and Skippy peanut butter.

Today, grocery stores are still filled with those brands that I would not likely touch anymore, but they are also developing their own lines of organic foods and labeling local produce.

When I'm in Whole Foods, I feel good. Healthy. It's clean and there is such a wide variety of wholesome foods to choose from. And these days, I focus more on the outside aisles than the inside ones stocking all of the processed foods. Not only are most processed foods not healthy, but they also carry a lot of packaging.

On a recent shopping excursion, as I looked down my list, I was pleased to see "peanut butter." My favorite part of Whole Foods is the peanut butter station. They have machines that grind the peanuts right in front of you. I love watching the peanutty goo pour out into the cup and feeling the warmth of the freshly grounds peanuts. Plus it tastes great.

The other day I was enjoying my zen peanut butter experience when a girl came up and started to use the machine next to mine.

She reached under the shelf, but instead of pulling out the container, she only pulled out the lid.

I tried not to stare as she began pouring the peanut butter onto the lid. And then she licked it. She made a face, threw away the lid, grabbed another one and repeated the process on another machine filled with honey roasted peanuts. Same pour. Same face.

I removed my container from the machine and slammed it down on the counter to distribute the peanut butter.

But really to make a point.

She looked at me and I glared at her lid. She looked at it, too. Then threw it out and walked away.

As I became increasingly annoyed I thought about how many other people have just "tasted" the peanut butter. Or the ice cream. All of those little plastic spoons and cups that we all gravitate toward at Trader Joe's and Costco.

We are using so much energy to make things we care so little about.

On my way out, I walked by the peanut butter station again. There was a dad holding his little boy who was thrilled at the idea of flipping the switch and watching the creamy peanuts flow. I looked at them and hoped that by the time the little boy could reach the machine on his own, he would know what the peanuts tasted like so that he wouldn't need that extra lid.