Monday, March 31, 2008

A Birthday Haiku for Al Gore


To my noble Al.
Oscar loved you. So do I.
I use CFLs now.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Grrrr . . .Another Frustrating Trip to Sephora

So, anyway, allow me a small rant. This has been bothering me ever since I got back from the mall yesterday.

I went to Sephora in Pentagon City AGAIN to try finding a foundation or a tinted moisturizer that didn't have a million preservatives that have been linked with cancer (i.e., parabens). I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had recently bought a foundation from Clinique, being hopeful that it was less toxic than most. Unfortunately, after finally forcing myself to read the label, I saw that it not only had ONE paraben, but ONE OF EACH paraben (methyl, ethyl, propyl and butylparabens!!!). Do they really need so many?

So back to Sephora it went. While there, I thought I would try the Bare Minerals line. Yeah, I had seen the info-mercial and was intrigued. The transformations were really inspiring. Plus, I had recently read an article in Elle Mag about the company's founder,
Leslie Blodgett, and it was filled with interviews with women who said their lives were changed by the stuff. The very nice make-up lady "buffed" it on, and, well, I have NEVER seen my pores look at big as they did with that stuff on my face! Plus, hell, can't they make the lighting in Sephora a LITTLE more flattering and the mirrors a little bigger? My face looked absolutely caked with power and I had those little sparklies all over . . . um, yeah, that looks natural . . . my skin is naturally sparkly! Okay, so maybe this make-up is a miraculous cure for all those ladies out there with horrible skin-tones so they take the trade off. But, um, it did not look at all natural on me and I think I still have at least a few years of not being forced to cake myself with make-up.

Another annoyance: I was excited to read in Lucky Mag about the new Korres all-natural line of make-up and wanted to try the
Ginger & Vitamins Foundation.

But, of course, they weren't carrying it in the store. WTF??? There are, like, two natural foundations out there, why not carry one of them in the store? And I just looked on the Sephora web-site and half the shades are already out of stock. GGRRRR . . .

What do I have to do around here to get a natural foundation??

Have a pleasant weekend.

Tonight!! Turn Off Your Lights for Earth Hour!

Do it DC!!!

On March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m., join millions of people around the world in making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights for Earth Hour, an event created by the World Wildlife Fund.

Earth Hour was created by WWF in Sydney, Australia in 2007, and in one year has grown from an event in one city to a global movement. In 2008, millions of people, businesses, governments and civic organizations in nearly 200 cities around the globe will turn out for Earth Hour. More than 100 cities across North America will participate, including the US flagships–Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco and Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

We invite everyone throughout North America and around the world to turn off the lights for an hour starting at 8 p.m. (your own local time)–whether at home or at work, with friends and family or solo, in a big city or a small town.

What will you do when the lights are off? We have lots of ideas.

Join people all around the world in showing that you care about our planet and want to play a part in helping to fight climate change. Don’t forget to sign up and let us know you want to join Earth Hour.

One hour, America. Earth Hour. Turn out for Earth Hour!

Earth Hour en Español

Learn about Earth Hour events around the world.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why It Pays to be an Eco-Packrat

Being "green" often means keeping things around even though you may not need them NOW - just in case you need them LATER. It saves natural resources, saves money, too, and keeps things out of the landfills. Plus, with a little effort, your old things can be turned into awesome new things. (Just make sure you have the organizational thing down pat - or your closets will make you a bit insane.)

Case in point: I am by no means a slave to trends - especially since you will find me on most days wearing biking leggings and sneakers as I rocket around DC on my bike. (Or, you know, sweats, since I work from home). But, I do love a reason to go out and dress up.

Last night, Mark and I were heading to a benefit at Palace of Wonders, a cooky little place on the "new H Street". It was a night of belly dance and fire play. All great fun. (If you have not been to the Palace of Wonders, definitely check them out soon!)

Anyway, since my recent outings have been limited (busy busy busy), I was excited for a reason to dress up. At about 5PM, I was flipping through an US magazine - which I had taken from my gym and saw some pix of the whole skinny leather pants thing. And I thought, wow, that looks great. It reminds me of Grease (one of my favorite movies evah! "Oh Sandy!"):

Plus, the designers really showed some great looks for Fall (thanks to Style Bytes for pulling these together last month. Check out her blog - she has really great style and the cutest pet pig!).

So, after browsing through US, I remembered that I have been packratting a pair of boot-leg faux leather pants for like, 15 years - just knowing, that someday they would 1) be back in style, and 2) would fit me again. Well, ladies and gentleman, that day was yesterday. Whipping out my 100-year-old Singer sewing machine (that I "borrowed" from the President of a company that I used to work for - and never gave back because he managed our poor little solar start-up into the ground . . . bastard), I looked up this great tutorial on how to turn boot-leg pants into skinny leg pants and, one hour and a few sewing machine jams later, voilà!! My very own leather skinny jeans. This is what I wore last night:

(Yes, that is Yoda peeking out from my shirt - any reason to give a shout out to Star Wars!
And, yes, that is a log in my sitting room.)


PS - Do not, under any circumstances, Google "leather pants" without your ick filter on . . . eeewwww.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

And Fun Was Had By All - Greendrinks DC

A few weeks back (before I disappeared again to write cover letters and re-arrange my resume for the billionth time), I attended the DC version of Greendrinks. Greendrinks is a monthly meet-up that happens in almost every major US city and in some international locations as well. It is meant to give "green-minded" folks an opportunity to meet each other, chat, share ideas and, hopefully identify synergies that will result in building a strong local green presence. I met some very interesting folks and Mark took some pix (although the lighting was kind of strange). There was a nice mix of people - different backgrounds, different ages, different reasons for attending. Some people were there for job networking opportunities, some people came to meet others that care about their personal environmental impacts, some came just to see what it was all about. There were probably 50-60 people there at one point.

For all the pix, go here. For more info on the next event (although the website has not been updated recently, go here. Or, you can check back here for an announcement. Greendrinks DC happens every 2nd Tuesday of the month.



Monday, March 24, 2008

A Wedding Gown to Save the World

Ceremonies to celebrate and initiate the commitment of marriage have changed over the centuries, just like the people who participate in them. In our consumption-focused Western world (with the rest of the planet running hard to catch up with our spending frenzies), wedding ceremonies have become lavish, resource-intensive affairs. From the carbon emissions that come from getting everyone (including, it seems, even your mom's high school ex-boyfriend's sister) to the wedding, to the pesticide footprint of the hundreds of flower decorations, a wedding - meant to be a moment of intimacy and celebration - can turn into an "eco-debacle" that would embarrasses the most casual of environmentalists.

There are many things a person can do to reduce their wedding's impact. If you are in the DC area, there is an event coming up that will help you make your wedding just a tad bit more environmentally pleasant. The Goodwill of Greater Washington will be selling hundreds of designer and vintage gowns, some never worn before (donated - and saved from the landfill- by a leading bridal store), some as gently used as, well, one short walk down the aisle. They will all be less than $400, and many less than $125. Here is some info:

What: Wedding Gown Sale Extravaganza
When:
March 30th, 12-4 (or until the last gown is sold)

Where:
Wheaton Plaza
(more details below)

Check out these sites for some additional ideas on a greener wedding:

Portovert.com - Praised by Martha Stewart as the web's best green wedding site (the dresses here are amazing)
"How Green if My Wedding?" (NYT Article)
Treehugger's Guide on Greening Your Wedding
Sierra Club's Guide to A Green Wedding
"Hottest Wedding Trend is Going Green" by msnbc.com


More info about Goodwill event . . .

“Filene’s Running of the Brides”? Goodwill Can Do One Better!

Goodwill to Hold Very Low Cost Once-a-Year Bridal Sale
of New and Donated Gowns

Washington, DC – Every year hundreds of brides-to-be descend on Filene’s Basement for its annual “Running of the Brides” big bridal sale featuring discounted bridal gowns. Well Goodwill Retail Stores can do one better. Goodwill will be offering a big bridal sale of its own featuring hundreds of donated wedding and bridesmaids’ gowns at rock bottom prices far below even what Filenes charges; and all proceeds benefit Goodwill’s job training programs for the disadvantaged and disabled.

The Once-a-Year Goodwill Bridal Sale will take place on Sunday, March 30th from noon – 4PM, or until the last gown is sold; in an empty store front inside Westfield Wheaton (formerly known as Wheaton Plaza) in Wheaton, MD.

Over 200 gowns of all shapes and sizes have been donated to Goodwill. These gowns have been cleaned by Zips Dry Cleaners and will be available for sale to any bride-to-be looking for a very inexpensive, quality dress. Prices will range from $400 to less than $125.

Some tuxedos and men’s suits will also be on sale.

“We expect hundreds of future brides to attend this sale looking for great bargains, and we’re certain that every shopper will find one”, says Brendan Hurley, VP of Marketing & Communications for Goodwill of Greater Washington. “These gowns are in excellent condition and the prices are much more affordable than even Filene’s can offer. Plus every sale helps fund Goodwill’s job training programs for the disadvantaged and disabled. Everyone wins!”

The doors for the inaugural Once-a-Year Goodwill Bridal Sale will open at noon on Sunday, March 30th. The store front is located on the lower level, near entrance 1, next to the Ashley Stewart store.

For additional information, visit www.dcgoodwill.org.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drink and Be Green

Do you care a lot about the environment? Or, maybe just a little? Either way, come and meet other people who are thinking about the green (including yours truly) at GREEN DRINKS.

Via GoingGreenDC:

Green Drinks on Tuesday, March 11 at Lillies inside the Carlyle Suites Hotel. In addition to the usual schmoozin’, this month’s event will include a short talk about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and the chance to sign up for a cooking class on seasonal eating with Inspire Nutrition. Oh, and there will be free apps so get there early (starts at 6 PM).

Leanimal: Gathers and Pleats and Folds! Oh my!

Thanks to Coquette for highlighting this new eco-friendly designer: Leanimal.

The first thing I thought when I looked through Leanimal's current and past collections was: "Gathers and pleats and folds! Oh my!". And then I thought, "Wow. That's some mad skills pulling a design like that together." And then I thought, "What kind of fashion designer lives in Portland?" Ah, reading further it became clear - a fashion designer that "strives to use hemp, bamboo, organic cottons, and other eco-friendly materials as much as possible in her work". The designer is Leanne Marshall and you Etsy-lovers out there may know her from her Etsy shop where she has already sold hundreds of her designs. (Her Etsy shop doesn't have anything new for sale at this point - seems like she is overwhelmed with boutique orders. Good for her.).

Her theme for the Spring collection is "Haphazard Origami". Here are two designs that I LOVE! The lighter dress is from her Spring 2008 collection; not sure about the navy one.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

ShopBop.com Adds "Eco-friendly" Category!

It is very exciting to see important, mainstream fashionista outposts taking note of the "eco-friendly" trend in fashion. It is also exciting because I assume that they would not have added these designers if there was no demand for it. [Yeay for demand and supply!] And the last exciting part is that designers are choosing to make hip, trendy fashions with more environmentally friendly materials and processes. [I am very excited!]

Who has ShopBop added to their roster?
Beau Soleil
C&C California
EDUN
Foley + Corinna Handbags
Simple
ZOOEY and Love & Eight

Hmmmm . . . after looking over the options, I say . . . there sure are a lot of t-shirts (sigh). But, they are cute. Made from organic cotton and bamboo. They also have some pieces from Beau Soleil, a new label (two seasons and counting) by Anne Salvatore Epstein, whose background includes stints at Marc Jacobs (love him) and IISLI. Her Spring line is . . . um, interesting. But, I much prefer her pieces from Fall 2007 (many of which are on sale on her website and at Shopbop (like the dress pictured, which is made from 100% organic cotton and is now $88).

So, in summary, go ShopBop. The progress, the progress . . .

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Want to Be a Caped Crusader!

Quirkier than your average activist.
More interesting than an environmental textbook.
Able to use the words "fashion", "recycle", "Prada" and "Ebay" in a single paragraph.

Look! Up in the blogosphere!
Is it a vintage coat? No! Is it a hemp/silk blend evening gown? No!
It's Righteous (re)Style!


Um. Anyway . . .

Ever since I saw Posh spice a few months ago sporting a cape, I was hooked.
Although this was a trend that was highlighted in many "Fall Fashion" lists, I guess I missed that part of early winter weather when the cape made any sort of sense (i.e., I can't stand drafts).

But now is the perfect time for a cape! Not too cold, not too warm.

I was further inspired by Ms. Spinach's totally cute black and white version (vintage!!) that she just highlighted on her blog:


So, if you are in the market for a cape to ward off the early Spring chill (and you should be!), check out the capes I rounded up below from Ebay. (Click on the pic for buying information and more pictures).
Happy Shopping, my little super-heroes!

Awesome Lion Head Clasp

Orange! Hot hot hot color for the Spring!

Plaid is always in!

Love the gold buttons!

This is just such a great color!

A little Sherlock Holmes with your high fashion?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cheap Fashion: Making the Best Choice

As anyone who has read my blog for a second knows, I love to shop for clothes. But, I am also increasingly sensitive to how my choices end up impacting the world around me. Consequently, I have recently been a bit wary of shopping at my favorite cheap fashion outposts like H&M and Target (even though I really love Target's goal to bring unique, way-expensive-in-real-life designers to the average person - hello Jovovich-Hawk! -and H&M is always good for a work outfit or that slightly goofy piece that looks really weird on the hanger and, well, sort of weird on, but sets you apart from the crowd).

What I would LOVE LOVE LOVE, is ONE objective source (not dozens of sources) where I can get an idea of the best place to go if I need a last-minute outfit. If I was at Tyson's Corner, didn't have a lot of cash and and needed a little black dress in less than two hours, what store or brand name would be the best to buy from in terms of their social and environmental "footprint"?

I am working on a project that may answer this question in the near future, but, for now, here is an article from Low Impact Living on this issue. You can read my comment on the article at the end.

And, if you are so inspired, here are some places to go to look for information on a company's eco and social position:

  • First, check out their Corporate Social Responsibility or Environmental Sustainability reports on their website. These are usually very helpful.
  • You can always check out the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, where you can search for a company by name.
  • CSRWire is a news service that collects news related to CSR. You can search by company name.
  • Fair Labor Association - Since 2003, the FLA has publicly released data on its reviews of specific factories (associated with named companies like Nike, Adidas, Eddie Bauer, etc.). Find the tracking charts here.
  • For UK based companies (and a few US-owned ones), Let's Clean Up Fashion is an interesting resource.
There are many other resources out there, but this is clearly a good start. Happy info. hunting.

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