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Archive for the ‘eco-friendly’ Category

Okay so I must admit, I am the anti-gardener. In fact, I believe I repel all plant life forms to the point where flower buds snap shut at the site of me.  However, I still hold this insatiable dream that one day I will be able to create and maintain a little Eden of my own. One that’s free of pesticides, and unnatural chemicals, but is full of beautiful flowers and maybe even some edible fruits or vegetables.

The concept of seed bombs really appeal to me. A mobile projectile…awesome…combined with an all natural life form that will grow on its own…even more awesome. Seed bombs first began in the 1970’s with the Green Guerrillas in New York and in 1992 by artist Kathryn Miller.

Guerrilla Gardeners did some damage...in a good way...in the 1970s in NYC (photo: https://i2.wp.com/static.flickr.com/15/22221481_625179325c_b.jpg)

Guerrilla Gardeners did some damage...in a good way...in the 1970's in NYC (photo: http://static.flickr.com/15/22221481_625179325c_b.jpg)

Now, seed bombs have become a fun and accessible way to put a little green in your day.

Dutch stamps tht contain seds...blooming postage! (courtesy of inhabit.com)

Dutch stamps that contain seeds...blooming postage! (courtesy of inhabit.com)

The Dutch postal company TNT have created, get this: Seed bomb stamps! They will not actually bloom in the mail box like above, but when you peel back the plastic off the stamp and plant it, it will grow!

Sprouting business cards? so creative! (courtesy of ihabit.com)

Sprouting business cards? so creative! (courtesy of ihabit.com)

Jamie Wieck (click here) designed these little guys for professionals to help their cards stand out. The cards convert into little houseplants when the recipient waters them. It’s an eco-friendly way to network!

We’ve all heard of the concept of a “seed bomb”…but here all the work is done for you!

garden gnomes grace the biodegradable balloons that carry Dutch Studio Txs Seed Bomb

garden gnomes grace the biodegradable balloons that carry Dutch Studio Tx's Seed Bomb

One company is making it a piece of cake, and fun, for people like me…The Dutch Studio TX have created biodegradable seed balloons!

Pre-packaged seed bombs! Would make a great gift, as well!

Pre-packaged seed bombs! Would make a great gift, as well!

I love the idea of becoming a Naturalist Ninja– covertly going on missions to reclaim overlooked, overused pieces of land to its natural beauty. Buying these pre-made seed bombs would be perfect for me. I would simply carry the bag around with me everywhere and, ready…aim…fire! Kinda fun, right? Only $6 per bag and contain a myriad of flowers! Contact “Outside in the city” for more info here.

combating desertification, one seed bomb at a time

combating desertification, one seed bomb at a time

A total hippys dream: raining seed bombs and not real bombs

A total hippy's dream: raining seed bombs

And maybe one day, this design will actually come to fruition. A biodegradable capsule, by Yanko Designs, that includes a seed bomb to combat desertification! For more info…click here.

make your own seed bombs...click the link below (photo courtesy of orignauxmoose.com)

make your own seed bombs...click the link below (photo courtesy of orignauxmoose.com)

For information on how to make your own see bomb, click here.

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Pirates and yoga...interesting...(photo: tropicyoga.com)

Pirates and yoga...interesting...(photo: tropicyoga.com)

Being a New Englander…one of my favorite midsummer activities is sailing….well, that’s a stretch. I like watching other people sail who know what they are actually doing, while I just wait to be given a simple task, like skirting the mainsail in a lazy Saturday race, or making sure everyone’s beers are full.

my friend, Brian's boat, Blitzen, before a race...i think I may ave more than a liability than help in this one

before a race...I think I may be more of a liability than help in this one

the high side

the high side

I have some friends that are fantastic sailors, and who’s lives consist of  living aboard ships, small and large, and are therefore at the whim of mother nature and their own instincts.

Sailing 'Nirvana' to Nantucket last Summer overnight my friend dave up there)...dawn...perfect time for some yoga

Sailing 'Nirvana' to Nantucket last Summer overnight (my friend Dave up there)...dawn...perfect time for some yoga

When racing, core strength, leg strength, balance, and arm strength are essentials. You must be quick on your feet, perceptive, completely aware of what’s around you at all times, calm in times of utter stress, and you must be able to think extremely quickly in dire situations. Sailing well depends on your understanding the environment, your relationship with the elements of wind and water, and letting go of the idea that you can control the outcomes of your endeavors.

As an activity, it is environmentally friendly, if you don’t use the motor at all, and can humble your entire being.

although it doesn't look liek it here, my brother, Andre, is a much better sailor than I would ever be

although it doesn't look like it here, my brother, Andre, is a much better sailor than I would ever be

love those cold mornings on the water...my friend James (left) surveying the sea...

love those cold mornings on the water...my friend James (left) surveying the sea...

Yoga can help calm a sailor’s mind, get him/her in tune with elements that determine his/her course, and prepare his/her body for a race, or a casual sail.

My main fear when sailing, especially racing, is going overboard because I am so awkwardly tall and clumsy. Also, I know many of you get nauseous just at the thought of boats in the water, but I may have a few curing poses.

Even for the casual sailor, or guest on a boat, I have a few poses in mind that may be great for before, during and/or after your sail!

Wheel is great on a boat!

Wheel is great on a boat!

1. Chakrasana (wheel)strengthens legs, arms, core and increases balance and clarity of mind. Learn more from my previous post on wheel, here…

probably one of my favorite spinnakers I've seen, well at least the one that related to my life the most...saw it at a race outof boston two summers ago

probably one of my favorite spinnakers I've seen, well at least the one that related to my life the most...saw it at a race outof boston two summers ago...

2. Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Dog)…great for the core and arm strength. Also reduces nausea and increases clarity of mind. Learn more here.

3. Balasana (Child’s pose)…calms the nerves, rejuvenates and reduces nausea. Learn more here.

4. Bakasana (crane pose)…fantastic pose for arm and core strength! Make’s you feel like you can conquer the world after conquering this pose.  Learn more here.

Tree by land or by sea!

Tree by land or by sea!

5. Vrksasana (Tree pose)…my balancing favorite…great on board! Learn more here.

Warrior III is great for balance and core strength

Warrior III is great for balance and core strength

6. Virabhandrasana (Warrior III)…also great for balance, leg, and core strength. Learn more here.

7. Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose)…increases balance, hip strength, core strength and leg strength. Learn more here.

Walk the Plank!

Walk the Plank!

8. Plank…one of the best for core and all over body strength. Helps energize the entire body and get you centered for a long sail! Also try side plank. Learn more here.

9. Matsyasana (fish pose)…just because of the name….learn more here.

Boat pose

Boat pose

10. Boat…see Monday’s post here!

11. Malasana: Yogic squat

I also like the idea of using some recycled products while sailing and reusing ripped and old sails that typically would go straight to the landfill after use.

Go local to find recycled sail products in Gloucester, MA with Second Wind Sails…

Love this recycled sail wine bag from Secon Wind Sails...who doesnt love a great glass of organic pinot on the deck at dusk...

Love this recycled sail wine bag from Second Wind Sails...who doesn't love a great glass of organic pinot on the deck at dusk...

thats a baby in a sail bag...who does their marketing? they should get a raise...

that's a baby in a sail bag...who does their marketing? they should get a raise...

The Gloucester company, Second Wind Sails,  makes everything from Christmas stockings, to dog collars, to shower curtains, to wine bags, to pillows, to duffel bags using recycled sails.

Recycled sail yoga bad from seafevergear.com for only $19.95!

Recycled sail yoga bag from seafevergear.com for only $19.95!

Seafevergear.com also has great recycled sail products including a yoga bag for only $19.95 and is located both in San Diego and Cape Cod…

ReSail doesnt just make the typical tote-they make everything from duffels, to garment backs, to change purses and can customize any bag with your company or boat logo

ReSail (predecessor to the popular Sea Bags) doesn't just make the typical tote...they make everything from duffels, to garment backs, to change purses and can customize any bag with your company or boat logo

Although I posted earlier about “Sea Bags” recycled sails into bags…ReSail, of Newport,RI, claims to be its predecessor in style and purpose, has much more variety and is actually cheaper!…The line began with using recycled sails, and now includes any recycled material from a working sail loft (Dacron, Kevlar, etc.) using sail stitching techniques. They even make recycled Kevlar dog collars, recycled sail bean bag chairs, and recycled sail sailing jackets/vests! Check the website out here.

Yoga Onboard

Yoga Onboard

In the, why didn’t I think of this? category:

Kim Hess of Miami has created a book called “Yoga Onboard”. Kim, an avid sailor and yoga teacher, created a system of poses she believes would work well for sailors and live aboard’s. She also charters sailing yoga retreats and vacations for small groups! Find out more here.

Kim Hess, of Yoga Onboard doing some downward dog action

Kim Hess, of Yoga Onboard doing some downward dog action

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Now that the weather is finally becoming pool/beach suitable (we’ll forget about the hiccup yesterday), I have been on the hunt for the perfect combination of a pool and beach…and a little eco-consciousness might help to!

Well I think I found a new favorite pool that I would die to visit…if I ever win the lottery

The infinity pool at the Huvafen Fushi Resort in the Maldives.

Huvafen Fushi resort and spa in the Maldives

Huvafen Fushi resort and spa in the Maldives

The freshwater infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean at the Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives

The freshwater infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean at the Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives

Have your cake and eat it too...at your room: a private infinity pool, hot tub, expansive deck, and a private portion of ocean (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

Have your cake and eat it too...at your room: a private infinity pool, hot tub, expansive deck, and a private portion of ocean (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

Named the best beach resort by Harper’s Bazaar and featured in Conde Nast Traveller, the resort is located in the North Male Atoll area of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Arrive by plane to Maldives International airport and either take a 30 minute speed boat ride, complete with complimentary champagne, or a sea plane out to this man-made, but nature conscious, paradise.

Map of the resort...

Map of the resort...the Maldives are located off of the South West coast of India

The hotel created an underwater spa and organic raw restaurant as part of their sustainable luxury endeavors. They also take part in fair trade practices of local goods and conservation of their local island reef and the greater reefs of the Maldives.

The freshwater infinity pool, surrounded by day beds, the private pools for each of the 43 rooms, the sustainable reef and the healing floating saltwater pool, all combine to give this resort the title of holding the best quality pool:ocean:guest ratio.

ariel view of a portion of the resort (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

Ariel view of a portion of the resort (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

Every room comes with either a private plunge pool, or if your are willing to pay the really big bucks…a larger private pool.

This particular room even comes with a telescope for prime romantic star-gazing in the middle of the Indian Ocean....ahhhh (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

This particular room even comes with a telescope for prime romantic star-gazing in the middle of the Indian Ocean....ahhhh...the rooms also boast 7ft x 7ft beds (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

green saltwater therapeutic spa pool  (3.bp.blogspot.com)Lonu Veyo is a “green” saltwater floatation therapy pool…the first of its kind in the Maldives

The resort also boasts a “green” saltwater pool, called Lonu Veyo, that has “special healing techniques”.

The resort has its own area of reef for SCUBA and snorkelling that is preserved by the hotel

The resort has its own area of reef for SCUBA and snorkeling that is preserved by the hotel, complete with rays, turtles, and on occasion, even sharks...

I just melted when the website states they have complimentary SCUBA out of their PADI dive center…I would probably find myself fully addicted again, doing 2 dives a day…spending all my time in those glorious waters looking at rays, exotic fish and sea turtles, that are abundant and viewable even from some of the decks of the resort.  The resort also boasts sunset fishing, deep-sea fishing,snorkeling safaris and boating trips.

The hotel even has an “in-house” reef, and a spa, Lima (by the Per Aquum group),  immersed under water surrounded by the reef! Even if you aren’t a swimmer, you can enjoy the reef while experiencing the resorts spa treatments which include all natural spa treatments and remedies, spa cuisine, aromatherapy massage, and yoga massage, among a slew of other treatments that can be customized for you. The spa boasts “chromotherapy” lighting and an indigenous treatment known as crystal therapy. Wooden tools for massage were created by locals specifically for the spa, while the virgin coconut oil was purchased in a fair trade, sustainable way and is used as a staple in  signature treatments for guests.

An organic spa paradise in the Huvafen Fushi resort (photo: maldivedigst.com)

An organic spa paradise in the Huvafen Fushi resort (photo: maldivedigst.com)

Even though you are on a private island, it does not mean you go hungry…far from that, actually. As I mentioned before, there is “spa cuisine” and fresh fish plucked from the ocean at the resorts many restaurants and bars. The main bar, UMbar, has been frequented y some of the world’s top DJ’s,while serving designer cocktails.

There is also an underground wine room/restaurant called Vinum and a more casual restaurant called Fogliani’s.

Meanwhile, for a healthier stay, the restaurant, Raw, serves that aforementioned spa cuisine and even raw cuisine for optimal health benefits. Celsius and Salt are also options for deliciously fresh food on the island,or take a break from the resort and explore other restaurants in the Maldives through the resorts speed boats or plane, along with “destination dining” at private locals around the island.

Yoga pavilion at Huvafen Fushi

Yoga pavilion at Huvafen Fush...picture doing yoga out there at dawn...mmm

I must admit, the element of the resort that really got me hooked was its perfect yoga pavilion…completely separated from the rest of the resort, jutted out into the Indian ocean…your yoga practice here is sure to bring you to new levels physically, spiritually and mentally. You can even experience the resort through a yoga retreat through teachers such as Annoushka Hempel.

The reosrt boasts a yoga therapy sessions as well as numerous yoga retreats from world-renowned gurus

The resort boasts a 'yoga therapy' sessions as well as numerous yoga retreats from world-renowned gurus

The pavilion is not the only delgated yoga spot...you nca practice practially anywhere...even in the underwater lounges, surrounded by fish! (photo courtesy of blog.360dgrs.nl)

The pavilion is not the only delegated yoga spot...you can practice practically anywhere...even in the underwater lounges and spa, surrounded by fish! (photo courtesy of blog.360dgrs.nl)

The resort is expensive, I am not going to lie.

It can range,depending on season, from about $1100 per night to about $8000 a night if you are one of those people who just absolutely needs the larger private pool.

For me, I think I’d be happy just working as a concierge here, or maybe as a visiting yoga teacher…hint,hint, Huvafen?…sigh…

I think I would easily find paradise atthe place where ifinity meets the ocean

I think I would easily find paradise at the place where infinity meets the ocean

For more information on sustainable tourism in the Maldives click here.

For more information on the Huvafen Fushi Resort click here.

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Kayaking in my used kayak called "Perception"...how appropriate

Kayaking in my used kayak called "Perception"...how appropriate

Now that the weather is finally cooperating, knock on wood, I’ve been able to do a lot more of one of my favorite summer activities…kayaking.

Heading down to kayak in the Putnamville Reservoir...my dog Magic loves to kayak too and follows me out to the water everytime I go

Heading down to kayak in the Putnamville Reservoir...my dog Magic loves to kayak too and follows me out to the water every time I go

Kayaking can be an intensely athletic and competitive endeavor for some, which is wonderful,  but for me, I kayak simply for the pleasure of getting my blood flowing and putting my mind at ease while  escaping from land for an hour or two (or an entire day when allotted the time).

The original Kayakers

The original Kayakers

Kayaking, which was originally developed by the arctic Inuit people, and brought to mainstream recreational trends in the 1850’s, is a wonderful avenue to utilize mindfulness, pranayama, meditation and yoga to maximize one’s kayaking experience and performance.

Connecting with water physically, mentally and spiritually has been emphasized in every culture and religion. It is widely known that water has an extreme calming effect on the mind and humbles the spirit. Religions such as Islam use water in rituals to purify the soul, while water is regarded as holy areas of the natural world in Shinto. The fact that our bodies are also made mostly of water means that being close to the water would have wonderful therapeutic effects on us.

A Shinto shrine marks the gateway to a holy place...water... (photo courtesy of touchnote.com)

A Shinto shrine marks the gateway to a holy place...water... (photo courtesy of touchnote.com)

Here are some tips on how to incorporate yoga and your kayaking experience, physically and mentally.

I. Yoga, the physical body, and kayaking:

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water…yet nothing can resist it” -Lao Tzu

Even if you are not “into yoga”…taking ten minutes to stretch certain muscle groups will increase your maneuverability of the paddle, kayak and yourself, while decreasing the likelihood of injury and post-kayaking soreness.

A. Lower back pain and tension in the shoulders and neck are common problems associated with kayaking. Some poses to help included…

Cobra pose before a morning kayak out back

Cobra pose before a morning kayak out back

1. Cobra, Bhujangasana (click here for details or view the photo above)

An early Monday morning Chakrasana (or Urdhva Dhurasana) Wheel pose out in the backyard...mid-modification with the heels off of the ground

An early Monday morning Chakrasana (or Urdhva Dhurasana) Wheel pose out in the backyard...mid-modification with the heels off of the ground

2. Wheel, Chakrasana, is a great shoulder opener and supine pose (above)…click here for my previous post on this pose, and here for the post on a more advanced version… Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana

Twists and binds, especially in the Warrior II sequence, are great shoulder openers, which is necessary when getting ready to paddle for a few hours...

Twists and binds, especially in the Warrior II sequence, are great shoulder openers, which is necessary when getting ready to paddle for a few hours...

3. Warrior II modification with a bind, Virabhadrasana.

3. Cat/Cow pose: Marjaryasana (click here)
B. Your hip flexors and groin also have a tendency to get tight while kayaking, as well as your glutes. Some of my favorite stretches for these areas are

1. Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward-facing Dog, with the hip open to the sky (click here for some instructions)

2. Warrior IIVirabhadrasana (click here)

3. Pigeon, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (click here).

C. And the most important part to tie these all together is strengthening your core.

Plank is great for your core...Dolphin pose is a similar pose where the elbows are lowered to the ground

Plank is great for your core...Dolphin pose is a similar pose where the elbows are lowered to the ground

1. Plank pose (click here)

2. Full Boat pose, Paripurna Navasana (click here)

Sirsasana on the back porch- great for core work and calming the mind before heading down to the water

Sirsasana on the back porch- great for core work and calming the mind before heading down to the water

3. Headstand pose, sirsasana…click here for my previous post on this

Eagle pose....a favorite of mine for shoulders, lower back, core, leg strength and balance (great before sailing too)

Eagle pose....a favorite of mine for shoulders, lower back, core, leg strength and balance (great before sailing too)

—> Eagle Pose, Garudasana,  is one of my favorite poses that addresses all three of these areas (the upper body, core and hips) plus increases concentration and balance, which is much needed when kayaking (especially in the ocean). (Stay tuned for a more thorough Yoga Pose of the Week feature on this pose!)

—->  Upward-facing Dog, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, is fantastic for the lower back, core and hip flexors....click here for my previous post on this.

Cultivate mindfulness in a meditation practice before heading out to kayak, even if only for a few minutes, i promise you'll notice a difference!

Cultivate mindfulness in a meditation practice before heading out to kayak, even if only for a few minutes, i promise you'll notice a difference!

II. Meditation, breathing and kayaking:

“Give up your selfishness and you shall find peace, like water mingling with water, you shall merge in absorption…”– Sri Guru Granth Sahib

One of the wonderful things about Kayaking is that it allows you to escape from the noise of land for a little while to calm your mind. We can all find answers to our questions and concerns in nature, we just need to open our hearts and free our minds to find the answers.

Before, and even during a kayaking trip, I suggest trying a little meditation to calm the mind and open the heart to receive all the benefits of being alone, on the water, with just you and a small vessel.

A good meditation I like to try is as follows:

1. Take a comfortable seated position on a mat/pillow overlooking the natura destination you about to kayak across/down. Align your shoulders, neck, back and hips over one another, close your eyes, inhale and exhale deeply…

2. While breathing deeply, scan through the body, relaxing hips first, than consciously relaxing body part by body part up through the abdomen, spine, chest, shoulders, jaw, space between the eyebrows, top of the head, the head as a whole, the body as a whole…

3. Chant the mantra “Om” three times. The first “Om” will connect you and your physical body, the second, to connect you and the outside world, and the third will connect you and your inner spirit and mind. Notice and perceive the vibrations of mantra “Om” filling up our whole body, harmonizing it.

4. Focus on a light in your third eye, let this become a ball of light, becoming bigger and bigger in you sight until it encompasses you and you are a part of it. Let the light soak through your entire body, rinsing your body of negative thoughts, feelings and emotions.

5. Next, set an intention for your day, repeat a personal mantra (always a positive one) for your journey…such as “I will be aware of the natural world around me”, or something even more specific…repeat this as a command to yourself three times.

6. Take a few more deep breathes and let the mind settle. Thoughts will come and go, but do not judge yourself for having random thoughts because “you aren’t supposed to in meditation”. Let the thoughts come in and pas through as they came, not dwelling, just noticing them being there. Let them pass over like clouds in a windy sky.

7. Take a few more deep inhales and exhales, slowly open your eyes, and begin your yoga practice and/or kayak adventure!

–> It is also important, after Kayaking to do a few spinal twist poses, some stretches like the one’s above and then finish with a savasana pose and more meditation to fully receive the benefits of your adventure!

Meditative thinking before and during Kayaking can increase your ability to flow your paddle strokes more freely, consistently, and with more ease than normal. You become less focused on your destination, time limit, or external worries and focus simply at the task at hand and the vista surrounding you.

Becoming conscious of each stroke and the present moment… the feel pressure of the water against your paddle, the sound of the droplets of water falling of the paddle as you raise it out of the water, the smell of the ocean salt beginning to speckle your skin, and the panorama of the natural world around you…all of these sensory gifts can be utilized to enhance your mood and your kayaking flow.

“Kayoga” or “Yogak” has been catching on along with other yoga-sport cross-training methods because the benefits are undeniable.

If you simply google the terms “yoga” and “kayaking” together, a slew of programs will show up and one is bound to match your skill level, desired amount of either yoga or kayaking involved, and ideal location.

Even my dog loves to kayak!

Even my dog loves to kayak!

Kripalu does a “Yoga for Kayakers” workshop, as well as any other yoga retreats, while adventure and outdoors expeditions are now incorporating yoga into their kayaking trips. There is actually one coming up on July 17th at Kripalu I believe…and more are available through the summer and early fall led by Greg DiLisio and Johnny Snyder…click here for details.

You can also customize a ocean kayaking-yoga trip in Mexico with a company called “Sea to Sky Yoga” (based in Canada)…click here.

To go it alone, and locally…check out this Kayak Route website (here) which lists kayak routes in your area and beyond!

My kayak is also not the most innovative and fancy kayak in the world, but it does the job and was bought used from a friend…no need to buy new. So I feel satisfied that this big hunk of plastic at least wasn’t a brand new purchase. However, there are actually ways to “green” your kayaking trips…

The Walden Vista Expedition Kayak at earthfriendlykayaks.com is made with recycled plastic

The Walden Vista Expedition Kayak at earthfriendlykayaks.com is made with recycled plastic

Aside from buying used kayaks instead of new ones like I did, it is pretty difficult to find eco-friendly kayaks. However, I did find some and there are also eco-friendly kayaks for sale through companies like Walden Kayaks.

The Walden Kayaks are made from recycled HDPE (plasctic code no. 2) and sold via Earth Friendly Kayaks…click here

Now, go get your paddle on!

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heading to oldies with my garlic and my new basil plant

heading to Oldies Flea Market after the Newburyport Farmers' Market with my garlic and my new basil plant

Sunday was a perfect day for renewing myself and my energy…so I decided to head up early and beat the crowds at the Newburyport Farmers’ Market at the Tannery in Newburyport with my mom. We left at about 9:30 (it opens at 10); perfect timing to go and and get our morning coffee at one of the stands selling delicious locally made organic Plum Island Coffee.

I haven’t been up to the Tannery in a long time, which is located right next to downtown Newburyport. I had forgotten all the cute cafe’s and interior design shops, as well as luxurious spas located there.
The Tannery wraps around the Farmers’ Market, so I guess my mom and I were technically forced to go into to a few stores…

Gentry's Consignment Boutique- what a find! www.gentrysconsignment.com

Gentry's Consignment Boutique- what a find! http://www.gentrysconsignment.com

Lo and behold…the best Thrift Store ever: Gentry’s Consignment Boutique!

This re-sale store sells brand names at a fraction of the price. It is eco-friendly because things are reused, no need to buy something “new”. The store is also socially responsible because everything that is not sold is donated the Community Action, Inc. in Amesbury to those in need of clothes.

I found a pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans with the original tags still on them…perfect fit (which is hard since I am 5’10”)…for..get this…$54!
I also found two summer dresses…one from Anne Taylor and another from BCBG…each for only about $20!

After my coffee, and an exciting a splurge in Gentry’s, I decided it was time to actually get to the Farmers…

But again, we were welcomed with some more recycled goodies…

Fabulous Recycled Glass creations by Jane Lang...email ejanelane@comcast.org for details

Fabulous Recycled Glass creations by Jane Lang...email ejanelane@comcast.org for details

Jane Lang makes “Recycled Glass Creations” out of Wine and Liquor bottles. She melts down wine and liquor bottles and creates either cheese boards or appetizer bowls.

My favorite stand at the market...Jane Lang's recycled wine and liqour bottle cheeseboards and bowls! Only about 20 bucks! Here is a Beringer one

My favorite stand at the market...Jane Lang's recycled wine and liquor bottle cheeseboards and bowls! Only about 20 bucks! Here is a Beringer one

The bowls are so fun and unique and can be made out of any glass bottle from a Grey Goose bottle to a bottle of Yellowtail.
She also can insert, instead of a wine label, a Playbill, or Wedding Invitation to preserve a memory or personalize a gift.
The bottle sold there ranged from only $10 to $20! The artist was also super friendly and kind!
To find out more, e-mail ejanelang@comcast.net.

ill take one of everything......Garlic from Heron Pond Farm

Giant heads of garlic...extremely fresh and inexpensive!

Moving on…we found some great fresh garlic from Heron Pond Farm, but missed out on a great bunch of scallions…next time.

We also picked up some fresh herb plants…including a gorgeous little Basil plant (I’m a little obsessed with Caprese salad lately).

White Heron Tea makes fantastic organic and fair trade tea, and it is a local company. The stand also had a grill set up and was making delicious open faced sandwiches on organic naan (including a Curried Carrot Naan) and organic paninis made with fresh local veggies…mmm….

White Heron Tea has amazing organic locally made tea, and they set up a sandwich bar with unique  and delicious sandwiches!I'll take that one...my new basil plant was looking for a home...I was happy to provide

(above) White Heron Tea has amazing organic locally made tea, and they set up a sandwich bar with unique and delicious sandwiches! (below) My new basil plant was waiting just for me..

We also discovered a fantastic artisan who sells her jewelry, weaving, and homemade oils at a store called the Riverwalk in Amesbury…I fell in love with the Buddha necklace made with intricate beads…

Gorgeous handmade jewelry using beads from all over the world...the artist was so nice as well and she sells her work at the Riverwalk

Gorgeous handmade jewelry using beads from all over the world...the artist was so nice as well and she sells her work at the Riverwalk

We also spent some time scouring a very unique Interior design store called Red Bird. It had some gorgeous antiques and artisan pieces for all price ranges…

Red bird Trading Co.

Red Bird Trading Co...

Love the antique headboard and lush comforter of this bed at the Red Bird TRading Co.

Love the antique headboard and lush comforter of this bed at the Red Bird Trading Co.

Browsing the Red Bird Trading Company...

Browsing the Red Bird Trading Company...

Some great Shadow puppets from Barong at the Red Bird Trading Co...used to tell stories of the Gods and Goddesses

Some great Shadow puppets from Indonesia at the Red Bird Trading Co...used to tell stories of the gods and goddesses in the 1000 year old tradition of Wayang Kulit. These particular puppets may be Javanese...they are flat and used by seasoned masters in Wayang Kulit, who manipulate the hand made puppets behind a lit screen to create plays on local folklore and tales of spirituality for audiences in local villages...knew those theater history classes would come in handy 🙂

My mom and I decided to walk down memory lane and go across the street to a well-seasoned Oldie’s Marketplace. It is a HUGE flea market, filled with treasures, that my mom used to bring me to when I was a kid. I had a blast scouring some of the more absurd items…such as antique diver’s helmets…while she found some true treasures.

Oldie's flea market in Newburyport...one of my favorites to explore since I was a kid!

Oldie's flea market in Newburyport...one of my favorites to explore since I was a kid!

Flea markets are a great way to find reused items and you can haggle, as well!

just a portion of the "Book Corner" at Oldies Flea Market...so many unique treasures in there...

just a portion of the "Book Corner" at Oldies Flea Market...so many unique treasures in there...

It is more eco-friendly than buying something new or importing!

For more info on the Newburyport Farmers Market click here.

Patchouli...god bless you

Patchouli...god bless you

For More info on Oldie’s click here.

Holy Smokes! Where to begin? Inside Oldie's Flea Market

Holy Smokes! Where to begin? Inside Oldie's Flea Market

To find a Farmers Market in your area…just google “Farmers Market” followed by your area code!

Hoarding some fresh garlic....

Hoarding some fresh garlic....

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This Saturday is obviously our country’s independence day…and hopefully New England weather will cooperate in the spirit of what we are celebrating…if it does…here are some ideas on how to wake your July 4th party eco-friendly…including cocktails and wardrobe!

Your wardrobe for July Fourth can be a way to do your part in aiding the planet…try checking out Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal Line which recycles old clothes into new ones!

Urban Outfitters Cotton floral skirt from the Urban Renewal line

Urban Outfitter's Cotton floral skirt from the Urban Renewal line

I love this red and white skirt from the Urban Renewal line ($48)…its patriotic in color…yet feminine in pattern  and style…pair it with a simple white organic tank.

Urban OUtfitters Urban Renewal denim Jacket is eco-conscious...yet a bit pricey at $148

Urban Outfitter's Urban Renewal denim Jacket is eco-conscious...yet a bit pricey at $148

Add this Urban Renewal Denim Jacket to an organic cotton white tank or dress for a true Americana look. It will keep you warm as you hang out at a cookout or on a rooftop in Boston watching the fireworks!

White organic cotton skirt from Indigenousdesigns.com

White organic cotton skirt from Indigenousdesigns.com

Pair the denim jacket with the above white skirt frmo IdigenousDesigns organic clothing.

Adina top from Eco Skin

Adina top from Eco Skin

Another adorable eco-friendly Adina top from Eco Skin. Pair with light colored jeans or a skirt, and some sandals from ecosandals.com (below)

The Safi sandle from ecosandals.com...great for the entire summer

The Safi sandal from ecosandals.com...versatile and great for the entire summer

Ecosandals.com is a non-profit e-business derived out of Nairobi, Kenya and is completely run by volunteers dedicated to reusing waste in a city that’s being over run with pollution. Buying a pair of sandals helps!

Joes Jeans is now going green with their popular Socialite jean...now made with organic cotton...

Joe's Jeans is now going green with their popular 'Socialite' jean...now made with organic cotton...

Joe’s Jeans are also taking their Socialite line and using organic cotton for it! check it out here.

Another great chouice from Urban Renewal

Another great chouice from Urban Renewal

I also love this Urban Renewal “Super Lucky Tank Dress” that was sewn together from vintage fabrics. It’s a bit of a splurge at $78 but it still reatins that  pretty and  yet patriotic motif…

Habitude bikini is eco-friendly

This DeuxFm bikini is eco-friendly because it is made from remnant fabrics and organic cotton rope ties!

This red DeuxFm Mystique bikini  is perfect for a July 4th pool/beach party!

People Trees organic waterfall dress

People Tree's organic waterfall dress

For something more formal…check out this gorgeous red dress from Peopletree.com. the site is a UK site, but it offers 20% shipping and its clothes are not that expensive to begin with. They have won numerous awards for their ethical clothing endeavors.

Empress dress from peopletree.com

Empress dress from peopletree.com

Another beautiful dress.the blue empress dress from Peopletree.com

Worldofgood.com

Worldofgood.com

To accessorize try checking of the World Of  Good site on Ebay. I found the above real turquoise necklace with red orchids on it, and the below blue necklace there. Both would be great with a simple organic black or white tank or dress.

Handcrafted beaded necklace from worldofgood.com

Handcrafted beaded necklace from worldofgood.com

I also love these bags made from recycled sails! Great for carrying all your July 4th picnic/barbecue needs! Find them at Seabgas.com.

For a cheaper version, that’s made from organic cotton instead of actual recycled sailcloth, try reiter8.com version.

REcycled sail bags

Recycled sailcloth bags from seabags.com

iWood sunglasses come in a variety of chic styles

iWood sunglasses come in a variety of chic styles

iWood sunglasses are a great sustainable fashion choice for the summer!

ORganic cotton beach towels...lay them out on the grass while you watch the fireworks...

ORganic cotton beach towels...lay them out on the grass while you watch the fireworks...

Don’t forget your organic cotton beach towel…these great and inexpensive patriotic colored towels are from seaglassorganics.com

And for all you men out there….

The Splaff mens sandal

The recycled tire Splaff men's sandal

A pair of Recycled sandals to spend the weekend in comfortably from Splaff.  They are made in California  from recycled tires and inner tubes! They are apparently very slip existent and are much classier than a more casual hemp or Chaco  sandal.

All of Patagonias polos adn t-shirts are made with 100% organic cotton adn are very reasonably priced...and comfy...try a crisp white for the 4th of July!

All of Patagonia's polo's and t-shirts are made with 100% organic cotton and are very reasonably priced...and comfy...try a crisp white for the 4th of July!

Patagonia’s clothing is all made by 100% Organic Cotton. Try their Polo’s or Graphic T-shirts…there’s even a Patagonia outlet nearby in Freeport, Maine.

ORganic cotton AMerican flag t-shirt from cafepress.com

Organic cotton American flag t-shirt from cafepress.com

This simple American Flag t-shirt is also made of organic cotton from cafepress.com

Loomstate organics..some items frmo their new menswear line- the look on the right would be perfect for the fourth

Loomstate organics..some items from their new menswear line- the look on the right would be perfect for the fourth

Some items frmo Loomstates line for Target

Some items from Loomstate's line for Target

For a casual look, try Loomstate‘s new organic cotton  line (above)…click here. Loomstate.org is also now designing their organic clothes for Target! for the Loomstate line at Target click here.

Peopletree.com also makes great menswear!

Peopletree.com also makes great menswear!

Here’s a great lightweight summer shirt from the aforementioned People tree.com.

Organic jeans from organic-matters.com

Organic jeans from organic-matters.com

For jeans…these Yaletown Jeans are certified organic and look great! Levi’s also makes organic cotton jeans now!

Organic sunscreen from Seaglassorganic.com

Organic sunscreen from Seaglassorganic.com

For some protection from the sun…try this organic sun screen, dubbed “Green Screen“,  from seaglassorganic.com.

Maines Wicked Good Charcoal makes grilling extra green!

Maine's "Wicked Good Charcoal" makes grilling extra green!

Grilling can be green if you use the right ingredients…and that includes CHARCOAL. Try the all natural  “Wicked Good Charcoal” from nearby Maine, and it is available at many local stores…including Whole Foods.

The biodegradable party kit from Branch

The biodegradable party kit from Branch

Branch also makes their party kits in sustainable bamboo

Branch also makes their party kits in sustainable bamboo

For the Party…Branch makes great biodegradable disposable plates and cups that are stylish and sustainable.

REcycled fabrics from previous fourth celebrations, or in patriotic colors are a great way to be sustainable and chic at you fourth of July party...

Recycled fabrics from previous fourth celebrations, or in patriotic colors are a great way to be sustainable and chic at you fourth of July party...

A great use of recycled Mokum textiles i foudn through otto-otto.com

A great use of recycled Mokum textiles i found through otto-otto.com

These recycled outdoor fabrics from Mokum textiles would be great to make a table-clothe or festive pillows for your patio/deck or to bring to the esplanade for a picnic!

Recycled glass votive lanterns from loghome.com

Recycled glass votive lanterns from Westelm.com

For decorations try using these recycled glass votive lanterns….stick some soy tea lights in there as well! Hang them up or leave them on a table for some great atmosphere.

Keep drinks cool in these trendy serveware items from West Elm...

Keep drinks cool in these trendy serve ware items from West Elm...

Also, to chill drinks…try this set from West Elm.

And if you really want to embark on some environmental hedonism

Tru organic vodka comes an array of flavors...maybe not the most holistic stuff to drink...but, everytihng in moderation!

Tru organic vodka comes an array of flavors...maybe not the most holistic stuff to drink...but, everything in moderation!

Tru” makes a line of Organic Vodka’s…not only are they certified USDA organic but they also are one of the world’s most  carbon-negative product! Tru has planted over 50,000 trees in response to the purchase of its products!

Mix with some organic cranberry juice and you have yourself an July fourth appropriate  “Cape-codder“!

And for you Tequila-lovers out there…there’s also Casanoble Tequila

Casanoble tequilas...

Casanoble tequila's...

Recently USDA certified organic, there are no additives in the tequila. Also they operate out of a 200 year old farm distillery in Mexico.

Try a cocktail with some organic tequila, a little organic orange juice and pineapple juice, some lime and ice!

Add some organic grenadine to make it red to be patriotic!…yes they even make organic grenadine at Naturesflavors.comclick here.

Learn more about the plight of the Tibetans by clicking on the links listed below...

Learn more about the plight of the Tibetans by clicking on the links listed below...

Now it is also important to remember this weekend all the countries that are not afforded the same liberties as we are. After living in Dharamsala, the Free Tibet campaign is very close to my heart.

To learn more about freetibet.org...click here. Or for savetibet.orgclick here.

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So you may have “bow hunting skills…nun chuck skills….” but what about Mongolian warrior skills…aka shooting a bow and arrow off of horseback while riding across the Steppes?

I didn’t think so.

Mongolian warriors were the fastest most tactful warriors in their time. Led by Genghis Khan (name given in 1189), who united rival clans , and by the mid 13th century,  the Mongol Empire extended from Beijing to the Caspian Sea.

TRain to be a Mongolian Warrior in Mongolia...for vacation

TRain to be a Mongolian Warrior in Mongolia...for vacation

Now you can learn what it takes to be a Mongolian warrior through Mongolian Warrior training….one word…AWESOME.

Mongolia, or “The land of the blue sky”, is one of the last places on earth where one can explore an untamed natural world in a dynamic landscape. Travel on horseback with nomads, who learned their skills from their ancestors, through ominous snow capped mountains, down through lush and calm green meadows filled with wildflowers and edelweiss, galloping towards a barren desert until you reached a pine-tree filled forest reminiscent of an Asian warrior film.

Mongolian lanscape...traditional Mongolian huts

Mongolian landscape...traditional Mongolian huts

Movie Still from Genghis Khan...filmed in Mongolia

Movie Still from "Genghis Khan"...filmed in Mongolia

A Mongolian travel adventure is responsible travel because it furthers the idea of “Fair Trade Traveling” by supporting the local culture, traditions and arts, while not exploiting it.

mongol warriors  (photo courtesy of nomad.com)

mongol warriors (photo courtesy of nomad.com)

BBC did a piece on this travel adventure entitled “Tasting Warrior Life”. Mongolia, as well as being great for adventurers, is a great place to show your support for the local flora and fauna which carries some rare animals…including the argali sheep, przhevalsky horse; Asiatic wild ass, wild camels, snow leopard and ibex. Dinosaur remains have also been found in the area!

A sample sleeping situation for one of the Mongolian warrior tours..they are surprisingly luxurious

A sample sleeping situation for one of the Mongolian warrior tours..they are surprisingly luxurious

Depending on the tour company you travel with, and how much you are willing to pay, groups can range from 2-12 people and are usually around 9 days long and cost around $2000, not including airfare.

Tours include an itinerary in which you are completely taken care of. Think of it as Mongolia’s version of a safari on the steppes.

Activities include, and are not limited to, learning how a warrior would live their day, riding horses and taking care of them at the end of the day, learning archery skills,  Mongolian cooking, taking part in Mongolian shaman ceremonies, Mongolian traditional songs…and…my favorite…learning Mongolian wrestling tactics and skills. Training progresses over time, and in between you travel to different parts of Mongolia, and can opt to visit museums and monasteries.

Nomad Tours does an expedition…click here
So Does Responsibletravel.com, who also donate to climate care for each person who signs up for the tours…click here

If you do not want to do a full tour, but want to stay at a truly Mongolian hotel that is only $60 per night…yes only $60 per night…try the Hotel Mongolia Resort (click here)

Hotel MOngolia at night...looks like a minitaure Mongolian city...and operates like one as well

Hotel Mongolia at night...looks like a miniature Mongolian city...and operates like one as well

A Ghen Room at the Hotel Mongolia

A "Ghen" Room at the Hotel Mongolia

Entrance to Stone Ghen room

Entrance to Stone "Ghen" room

The Resort is equipped with all modern essentials but you will feel like you are stepping right back in time to the Mongolian empire…you even have your own “tent” which is actually furnished with a full bathroom.

Hotel Mongolia

Hotel Mongolia

Entrance to a Temple Room at the Hotel Mongolia

Entrance to a "Temple Room" at the Hotel Mongolia...

There are different types of rooms, and the most expensive (from $80) is the Temple Room located in the stone building.

Temple room at the Hotel Mongolia

Temple room at the Hotel Mongolia

The Resort is only 40 minutes from the regional airport and 20 minutes  from Ulaanbaatar city. It has facilities  and services that include a business center, restaurant, room service, pool tables, boating, archery, beach volleyball on the river beach, massage…any modern hotel amenity.

The Hotel strives to the standards of Fair Trade TRavelling by enhancing its guests cultural experience of Mongolia throuhg traditional performances and cultural experiences

The Hotel strives to the standards of "Fair Trade Traveling" by enhancing its guests' cultural experience of Mongolia through traditional performances and cultural experiences

For more information on the Hotel Mongolia...click the link below

For more information on the Hotel Mongolia...click the link below

For more info, click here

Now…If you are in the mood to splurge in your trip to Mongolia after a long hard adventure-packed tour through the Steppes…then you have to check out Mongolia’s premier luxury resortThe Terejl Rsort and Spa

Entrance to the Terelj Hotel at night

Entrance to the Terelj Hotel at night

The hotel is located next to the gorgeous Terelj National Park...where you can go hiking, horseback-riding, etc.

The hotel is located next to the gorgeous Terelj National Park...where you can go hiking, horseback-riding, etc.

The resort was recently named one of the top luxury hotels in the world. It only opened in 2007 and is the first luxury hotel in Mongolia. The design reminds me of a 19th century palace and yet fits well into the Asian landscape.

The hotel functions as any other luxury hotel, catering to every need (including pick up from the local airport and organized tours of surrounding areas of interest), and even has an outdoor wedding garden!

The resort has eco-friendly initiatives and “Fair Trade Traveling” initiatives that include utilizing local fabrics (like cashmere and camel hair) for its linens and decor, and employing local artisans to make furniture, sculptures and paintings for the hotel.

The Presidential Dining includes exquisite serveware...

The "Presidential Dining" includes exquisite serveware...

Suite at the Terejil

Suite at the Terejil blends traditional and contemporary elements as well as an East meets West design

Spa at the Terelj Hotel

Spa at the Terelj Hotel

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