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Michael Amaral Furniture

It's refreshing to see handmade eco-friendly furniture in a day where flimsy, particle board furniture is the norm.  I'm excited to be profiling Michael Amaral Furniture, a furniture designer and builder based out of Rhode Island.  

Why it's Keen: 

I'll let a picture of Michael's beautiful furniture speak for itself.  


'Nuff said, right?... read more

Knowing Our Food, A Summer CSA Adventure

This summer my family and I purchased a share in a CSA. Shared Bounty CSA, to be specific. The experience has been fabulous in more ways than I could have ever expected. In fact, I have multiple blog posts about them (and my culinary experiments from the summer) just waiting to be written. This week, though, I realized just how fortunate we have been to be part of the Shared Bounty family. 

Shared Bounty CSAShared Bounty CSA... read more

Critter Help!!!

I'm going crazy here. I've had this mouse or two sharing my house with me for far too long.

I've tried ammonia in little bowls, so they'd think there was a cat around--worked for an hour or so.

I've tried those little sticky traps--they actually eat them.

I've totally redone my dog's eating schedule so there's no excess food around--frustrated dog, no effect on mouse/mice.

The other day I went to get my dog a treat from the TOP OF MY REFRIGERATOR and found a mouse had gotten up there and chewed through the bag.... read more

Concord, Massachusetts: the First U.S. Town to Ban Bottled Water

I'm not quite sure how I missed this tidbit of news, as it came out back in April.  

Concord, Massachusetts, home to Walden Pond and the original concord grapevine, has banned the sale of bottled water starting in 2011.  The measured will only allow the sale of refillable containers of water, which could still be sold and delivered in Concord.

The effort was lead by Jean Hill, an 80-something-year old activist.  She lobbied neighbors and officials on the serious environmental consequences of plastic bottles filling landfills and creating more pollution. 

The International Bottled Water Association released this statement about the ban.   I didn't even KNOW there was an International Bottled Water Association!  Their entire website made my blood boil.   Additionally, Joe Doss, president of the IBWA said:  "We obviously don’t think highly of the vote in Concord. Any efforts to discourage consumers from drinking water, whether tap water or bottled water, is not in the best interests of consumers. Bottled water is a very healthy, safe, convenient product that consumers use to stay hydrated." [source]  Oh, okay, Mr. Doss.  ... read more

Kick the Paper Habit, A Challenge for September

Too much paper?Too much paper?

While clicking through random postings to WordPress' green tag tonight I stumbled upon a brilliant idea by Shawn, a UCF student who has made the pledge to go paperless this semester--or as paperless as his circumstances will allow. As he points out, we have the technology now, so why wait for the world to catch up? I concur.

I'm going to make September as paperless as possible, and I challenge each of you to be keener and greener by doing the same.... read more

Start Your Own Gardening Co-op!

homegrown pumpkin

Even though our garden is small, sometimes it's a race against time to eat everything that we grow before it rots. We do try to freeze and can things (we canned our own marinara sauce with homegrown tomatoes for the first time this week -- but that's for another blog post!). If your looking for ways to use all of your homegrown fruits and veggies and try varieties that you don't grow yourself, try a Gardening Co-Op!  Have a "gardening swap" party with your friends an neighbors. 

I love to meet with local gardeners in our neighborhood at the end of the winter, and form a co-op.  Each gardener can plan to grow different things, and then meet a few times a month to swap their fruits and veggies.  This year we had raspberries galore...wouldn't it have been fun for us to share those raspberries and get some, say, blueberries in return?  ... read more

Green Book Club

Green Book Clubs

There has been some discussion of using ‘Green” books like the kindle or using the local library.  I have another perspective and that is the green book club. I think discussion with others is a great way to expand your knowledge of topics.   To help people better understand or to just grow in appreciation for the environment I would suggest a book club.  Instead of discussing the most recent fiction best seller why don’t we concentrate on sharing the knowledge of the world around us with our friends and neighbors and talk about a real life issue?

... read more

Don't Throw Out Your Old Shoes

Nike Reuse-A-ShoeNike Reuse-A-ShoeI was at the outlet mall this weekend and, while waiting for a friend to finish shopping at the Nike store, I perused their literature display. Now, I'm not going to pretend I am up-to-date on Nike's social practices, nor am I going to deny that their shoes work best for my proluxating feet when I work out. Social politics aside, what I saw in their literature case made me very proud to be a working out gal with Nikes on her feet.... read more

Eating Locally at Restaurants

I'm going to Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts for dinner tonight and I'm pretty excited.  Aside from their tasty beer, they serve food featuring local ingredients.  Their menu changes seasonally.  Looking at their menu right now, I'm thinking about linguini with Wellfleet clams or the local steak served with an onion marmalade made at a nearby farm.

As the knowledge spreads about the importance of eating locally, more and more restaurants are making efforts to serve local food.  Even as part of Boston's restaurant week, you can search by restaurants serving local food.  

Luckily,, (already my one stop shop for finding farmers markets, CSAs, and more) has a function where you can search for restaurants by zip code that serve food made from local ingredients.... read more