Entries in Eco Living (13)


DO GOOD World Rivers Day

“The land is our mother, the rivers our blood.” –Mary Brave Bird

This Sunday is World Rivers Day, a global event dedicated to celebrating and protecting the world’s beautiful waterways. The event brings attention to a wide array of issues surrounding rivers, including the decline of fish population and the construction of dams that harm wildlife.


Volunteer or donate this Sunday! There are great organizations that support rivers in the U.S. such as the American River Conservancy and the Western Rivers Conservancy. No pennies to spare? There’s a ton that you can do to protect your local rivers. For starters, avoid washing your car near storm drains or pouring any kind of chemical or pollutant into the drains. If you live near a river, organize a cleanup crew for its banks, or work with a local group to plant vegetation to avoid erosion.


ECO TIPS Fab Floras

Fact. Fresh flowers actually improve your mood and chase away anxiety and depression. Plus, nothing instantly brightens a room like a beautiful bouquet or a pretty plant. Here are our tips for doing flowers the eco way!

Buy Local: Did you know the majority of flowers in the US are imported? That’s a huge carbon footprint for a few tulips! Ask your fave flower shop if they buy local. Chances are, they might have a mix of domestic and imported flowers at different times of the year. Buy what’s local and in season to keep your arrangement earth-friendly.

DIY!: Who cares if your flowers aren’t perfectly clipped, snipped and sorted. Pick your own favorites from what’s growing in your backyard and throw it in a vase! Or, if you don’t have a bunch of blooms in your yard, ask your florist for some of the leftovers from her arrangements. You might get a few crumpled petals, but you’ll have an eclectic mix of colors and textures that looks perfectly bohemian.

Be Creative: Don’t limit yourself to roses and ranunculus. What else do you have on hand? A few sprigs of dill or rosemary add delicate bursts of green to your arrangement and smell so yummy. Or fill a vase with kumquats before adding your flowers. Just don’t forget to compost your leftovers.

Images via:

Style Me Pretty

Oh Hello Friend

Delightfully Engaged


ECO TIPS Shopping

Even though I'm huge on reusing and recycling and going easy on consumption, I'll admit it: every once in a while, I love going shopping with my girlfriends, too. Apparently it's not just me. I just read an interesting article that says the female love of bargain buys comes from caveman/cavewoman days, when women were the family's gatherers and foragers, searching through forests to find the best-looking berries, and climbing into trees to snatch up the plumpest plums. That gives us a great excuse to throw our hands up in the air and say "Shopping's natural! We can't help ourselves!",  but showing love to Mother Earth means being aware of consequences. My solutions? Read on.

1. Buy Used

Instead of heading to the department store when something new strikes your fancy, first try to find it in a more eco-friendly way—from a thrift store, a vintage boutique, or on websites like Craigslist and Ebay. Most of my favorite clothes are vintage or used treasures. Buying that way makes it easier to create a style that's all your own, and keeps you from looking like you just stepped out of a store window. 

2. Sell Used

If you're over that pair of brown clogs or that purse you paid too much for, consider re-selling them to a consignment shop or on Ebay. If selling’s not your style, you can always donate your cast-offs to a worthy charity like Dress for Success, which provides professional attire to women for job interviews. Or have a clothing swap with a bunch of friends. Your rejects might be someone else's fave.

3. Share It

On the rare occasion when I rev up to cook a big meal for my family and friends, I often have the annoying experience of discovering, mid-soufflé or mid-marinade, that I don't have the right tool for the job. I finally figured out that instead of going out and buying something I wouldn't use for another year, I could check with a friend (or my mom, who lives down the street) to see if she has one. When we pool our resources, we usually find we have everything we need. 

4. Cast Your Vote

As I always say, when we buy we vote for what we believe in. So take a through look at who and what you're supporting. Look for companies that use eco-friendly materials and ingredients, and give back to charities. When you shop with your conscience, you're doing good for others by giving yourself a treat.   

With love,


Images Via: Lovely Clusters Forever Cottage Sadite


BABY LOVE Diapers, Shampoo, & Swaddles

Now that Miss Indi has arrived, everyone's been asking me about my fave mommy must-haves, so I'm going to start blogging here as I discover them. 

In the six years since I was choosing diapers for Rumi Joon, a whole lot of great eco baby-care options have been invented. One of my new favorite businesses is The Honest Company, which was founded by Jessica Alba & Christoper Gavigan. I’ve been using their chlorine-free, biodegradable diapers on Indi.  A bonus? They give you a choice of super-cute diaper prints—gingham, pink stars, ice cream cones—to keep that baby bum eco-adorable.

Honest also makes shampoo. I tried it on Rumi and Indi and we love its yummy vanilla-tangerine scent! It's gentle on Indi’s tender newborn scalp and Rumi’s usually-tangled hair.


To keep Indi snug, I swaddle her in Aden + Anais Bamboo Muslin Swaddle Blankets. The fabric's an incredibly soft combo of muslin and bamboo, so even during the humid Pennsylvania nights, Indi stays cool. The blankets come in packs of three coordinating prints. My favorite is the Mela collection—it has a peacock print that Rumi and I both love. We're pretty sure Indi approves, too.

With baby love,



JOSIE'S PICKS Summertime Essentials

It’s been scorching in Pennsylvania, so Rumi Joon and I are spending hours splashing around in our pond, trying to cool off. Gotta love that summer heat! To help you enjoy the steaming season, here are some of my must-have summer products from sunscreen to snacks.

What makes your summer wonderful? Share, please.

With love and sunshine,



Whole Foods Recipe for Peach Mango Popsicles

byMart Orange Striped Tote Bag

Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40

Free People Salena Crochet Texture Hat

Gazillion Bubbles Non-Toxic Bubbles

Havaianas Flip Flops


Other images via:


Christa in New York


DO GOOD World Arbor Day

We've all said it. "Hey, I should volunteer to plant some trees sometime."

Well guess what? This weekend is your chance. In celebration of World Arbor Day, you can find plenty of opportunities to green the world by volunteering to plant in your city. The day was first observed in Nebraska in 1872 when it is estimated that a million trees were planted! And now, it's celebrated globally. How can you help?


Volunteer with organizations dedicated to tree planting. You can find opportunities here: 

Arbor Day Now is a website dedicated to connecting willing tree planters with opportunities to plant in any corner of the U.S. 

At the very least, if you can't make it out in your community to plant a tree, why not plant one in your backyard? Any greening is good greening! 


JOSIE'S PICKS Spring Picnic

With all the sunny weather we've been having, I can't stop thinking about having a nice spring picnic with my family. What could be better? The strawberries are coming into season, and the wildflowers have bloomed. I'm thinking I'll pack some yummy quinoa salad and vanilla pudding into some mason jars and we'll be off! Here are some of my favorite picnic picks from Etsy, including one of my favorite vintage books for me to read to Rumi Joon as we lay in the grass. 
What are you picnic must-haves? Any delicious recipes to share? 


AM Radio Vintage Woven Picnic Basket

Handmade Therapy Rutic Linen Tea Towel

Crickets Home Turquoise Mint Chocolate Brown Throw

The Art of Jam Strawberry Jam 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Rouilly Vintage Metal Thermos


WHAT WE'RE EATING Earth Day 2012

Happy Earth Day everyone! We try to be good to Mother Earth all year round, but Earth Day is a great reminder to live in a sustainable, eco-friendly way that ensures the success of our amazing planet. A great way to be good to the Earth is through one of my favorite activities: eating! In honor of Earth Day, try to go to the farmer's market and buy local organic produce. If you don't have time to go, a great alternative is a local CSA box. If you're a meat eater, try to buy organic, hormone-free meats. And, I always try to be nice to the chickens and buy organic, free-range eggs. Delicious and eco! In honor of Earth Day, here are some of the yummy things we're eating in the office this week. What's your favorite Earth Day recipe?

Healthy Green Kitchen Alana's Vanilla Pudding

Deliciously Organic Kale Salad with Currants and Walnuts

Food and Wine Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

The Italian Dish Blog The Collinzano Cocktail

Smitten Kitchen Shaved Asparagus Pizza

Kitchenist Chopped Tusanesque Salad



Since Earth Day is coming up, I thought it was a great idea to kick off my new feature, Eco Tips! I'll be giving you some of my favorite tips on how to stay green. 

With the launch of Model Citizen, I've been in planes, trains and automobiles this week. So what better topic than travel, right? Here are my three tips for making your excursions easy and eco.

1. Pack Lightly! 
When I am traveling around the world, I try to pack as lightly as possible. The heavier the airplane, the more fuel it takes to get airborne. Plus, I am happier and more energetic when I'm not weighed down by my bags. To cut down on the bulk, I try to pack lightweight clothes like maxi dresses and cardigans that are in the same color family to make mixing and matching easy. I also try to limit the pairs of shoes I bring to three: one comfortable pair for walking and wearing on the plane, one elegant pair for fancy dinners, and a third pair I just know I can't resist bringing. If you're worried about running out of clothes, bring a travel size bottle of laundry detergent. You can wash your clothes in the sink and hang them to dry in the shower during the day!

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 
Air travel can really  dehydrate your body. To make sure that I'm drinking enough water, I bring my favorite refillable water bottle in my carry-on.  It needs to be empty to get through TSA, but as soon as I pass through security I go to an airport restaurant and ask them to fill it. Then when I'm on the plane I ask my flight attendant to fill it for me again. It's a great way to keep track of how much water you're drinking. When you reach your destination, you'll be less fatigued and jet lagged.  

3. Think local!
One of the best things about traveling is getting the opportunity to experience new environments and cultures. Get out of the hotel and check out the natural wonders around you. Go to the beach, the forest, or the hills. Check out life beyond the city center. It will give you a new understanding of your destination. You should also try to eat locally when you're travelling to get the most out of your trip. If you're in a city with a food specialty, go check it out! If you're experiencing a new country, swap out familiar imported foods for local fruits and vegetables. And visit restaurants run by locals! You'll have an entirely new set of sensory memories to bring home with you, and you'll support the local infrastructure of your vacation spot.  

Photos from Simply Bloom, Klean Kanteen, and  Ika Bags


DO GOOD World Forestry Day


I part the out thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
there is singing around me.
Though I am dark
there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.

-Wendell Barry

It's a big week in the world of environmental causes. Today is World Forestry Day and tomorrow is World Water Day. No matter who you are, trees and water affect your life. 

World Forestry Day took root in 1971 at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture. Gaining traction, it became recognized as a day to spread the awareness of the importance of the Earth's forests, the need for sustainable solutions and to advocate on behalf of preservation. 

Volunteer or donate to organizations dedicated to protecting forests. I suggest:

American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the United States that advocates for the protection and expansion of forests.

Plant A Billion Trees, an organization that helps protect the Amazonian rainforest. 

Tree People, a nonprofit working to make Los Angeles greener one tree at a time.

Million Trees NYC, a citywide initiative that greens New York by planting trees. 

If you have a chance this weekend, take a hike and sit among the trees! Not only will it remind you of the beauty of the world, but it will remind you how fragile the planet is and how we must do our part.