Monday, June 17, 2013

Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program Will Host a Free Florida Friendly Butterfly Gardening Class

Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program will host a FREE Florida Friendly Butterfly Gardening Class on Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Concord Branch Library located at 3882 SW 112 Avenue, Miami, FL 33165
Miami-Dade County Extension Agent Guillermo Salazar in collaboration with Master Gardener volunteers will teach participants about Florida friendly butterflies and their host plants thriving in South Florida landscapes.  In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to exchange their old showerheads and light bulbs for new more efficient ones as part of the water conservation efforts of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. 
WHO:            Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Service
WHAT:          Florida Friendly Butterfly Gardening Class
WHEN:          Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE:       Concord Branch Library - 3882 SW 112 Ave. - Miami, FL 33165
For information, visit the University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension website at
It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, materials in accessible format or other ADA accommodations, please call 305-375-3677 at least five days in advance.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Getting Paid for Recycling

We know it's important to recycle. But how about getting paid for items you no longer use. Before throwing it into the trash, trade it in for a a gift card.

Amazon's Trade-In store will give you credit for sending in eligible items--from Blu-ray discs to videogames, books and electronics. You simply search their database for the item you're thinking of getting rid or, and they'll tell you exactly how much cold, hard gift card you can get for turning it in.

It's good for the environment and great for your pocketbook.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saving the Planet with itsy bitsy BIKINIS

A necklace of fabrics barely cover the breasts

This past weekend, I was prepared to do battle to fight off the head cold that would prevent me from attending THE event in July.  Swim Week in Miami. So this beleaguered body took a three hour nap, ingested a handful of echinacea vitamins and drank green tea until I regained my strength. A big night lay ahead. It's about saving the planet, one itsy bitsy bikini at a time. No super powers required.

As a local blogger, I received an "invite-only" to attend Haute Natured at the swanky Setai hotel in South Beach. The event touched on three cornerstones--fashion, drilling down to bathing suits and incorporated eco sensitivity. Haute Natured is the first annual sustainable swimwear show featuring innovative swimwear collections ranging from recycled and repurposed fabrics to solar-powered bikinis—all to benefit the Seakeeper’s Society and raise environmental awareness. They thought of everything!

Outdoor courtyard dotted with palm trees.
 Over 500 of Miami’s A-List and eco-conscious influencers were in attendance for the carbon-neutral event, as well as executives representing top environmental lifestyle brands and media.

As one of the first guests or media to arrive, I was escorted to the "green" carpet for my photo opp. (What on "earth" am I wearing? Dull and boring--sorry the cough medicine  drowned by fashion brain cells. But at least I wore all black for the slim look).

Christine with Miss Earth Florida

Christine meets other attendees
Then I sashayed over to the courtyard where a 50 foot “walk-on-water” runway shone a spotlight on designs made from recycled bottles, upcycled fabrics and repurposed military parachutes. What stood out? They trend is "transparency". Not the bathing suits but the caftan and leg coverups.

Fabulous use of repurposed parachute material
Eco designers shared that using sustainable materials poses a lot of challenges. In fact, according to Jenni Saylor, from Eco Swim, she thinks it’s impossible to make a suit that will appeal to women without at least a little spandex, AKA lycra, which is the stuff that makes a suit cling in the right places.
However her swimwear line is breaking the barriers.

“Eco-cell’’ foam bra cups, made with biodegradable plant oil, are one of Eco Swim’s big features. The suits are made from recycled nylon, polyester and cotton. Saylor stressed fabric isn’t picked from old clothes bins but comes fully processed and cleaned from manufacturers.

Bathings suits are typically constructed of man-made materials specifically designed to dry quickly or hold shape. That often means they contain chemicals and are nearly impervious to the forces of a compost heap. Polyester is actually made from the same stuff as many plastic bottles, polyethylene terephthalate.

Designer Linda Loudermilk (from Luxury Eco) debuted what she billed as the world’s first fully compostable bathing suit. It’s fashioned from a plant starch, she said, that has been turned into a fabric so new she just got her hands on it five days before the event. She said the suit won’t dissolve on a woman’s body, but bury it under dirt, like in a land fill, and it would break down within 180 days — leaving not a single spandex strap, blot of chemical dye or foam bra cup insert behind.
The show signaled a shift from the hippie era where the cluncky Birkenstock sandal defined environmental fashion. The swimsuits covered the gamut of a modest 50's one- piece polka dot suit, to the traditional two piece to Miami risque.

Below are the highlights of the more ecclectic and risque swimsuits  plus my favorite.

The first one is the barely-there loin cloth and cut out triangles covering the nipples. I call it the "Jane has Jungle Fever" bathing suit.  Will add this to my "when I'm stranded on deserted island" survival kit along with my eyelash curler and ziploc bags (Hey if I want to be rescued I better look decent!).

Jane has Jungle Fever; Wants Tarzan!


The unrecycled trash that hurts the ecosystem is used instead as decorative hardware. Below is a bathing suit adorned with plastic bottle caps and the plastic liner that holds a six-pack.

Now at my grocery store they offer suggestions on how to reuse the plastic grocery bags. They need to add one more usage. See below.

Bathing suit made of plastic bags

You can't have a fashion forward show about the earth without one gesture of anti-fur.

Unfortunately I could not read the "fine print" on those bottoms nor did I try.

Designers from Eco Swim, Luxury Eco, Meadow and MAE

So which was my favorite? The olive green number below but with the accessories! But is the jewelry sweat proof? Ocean proof? Who cares! It looks great!

The eco-couture lifestyle is for women who want to balance health and sustainable living and redefine luxury. These designers are answering the demand of women who want a lifestyle choice they can be proud of when choosing what to wear.
So now are you convinced that Going Green can be SEXY? Share your comments below by clicking on "Comments".

To view videos of other brands and runway models at the main hotel, The Raleigh, click here.

Runway Photos are courtesy of Mogul PR. All material is copyrighted.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Biodegradable fishing line is next in Green Fishing

Summer is in full swing so that means fishing season. Well in Florida it's always fishing season I suppose. What type of fish is your preferred catch? Bass, trout, kingfish, catfish?

Whatever your fish fancy, one thing I remember in my fishing outings with Dad, the fishing lines I found tangled in seaweed and underwater brush or mangroves. My fishing was straightforward cast the line and reel in. Nothing complicated.

Now news of a biodegradable fishing line is reaching tackle shops across the US. According to a recent article in the Dallas News:

Because monofilament, the dominant line used for nearly 70 years, stays around a long time. Fishing line is tangled in brush beneath the water's surface and in trees along the river bank. It's a hazard to boat propellers, birds and other animals.

If fishing lines are breaking, then what about the hooks and worm weights that drown in fishing waters? Are they green too? Most worm weights were made of lead. But according to the same article:

Bass anglers like David O'Keeffe are willing to pay premium prices for tungsten weights, but it's not because of the green bandwagon.

"I catch more fish using tungsten sinkers," O'Keeffe said. "Tungsten is denser than lead, so you get a smaller profile. When a bass tries to eat a soft plastic bait, the fish gets the whole bait, sinker and all, in its mouth. The hook set is a lot more effective when you're jerking a small, hard sinker out of the fish's mouth rather than a larger, soft lead sinker."

Fly fishermen are considered stewards of the environment. Not only did they pioneer the barbless hook so fish could be released with less stress but also set the example of cleaning up after their day of fishing, ensuring no trash, or plastics are left floating in the waters and surrounding landscape.

Would you agree? Which sport do you think is most green? Share your comments below!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chef Charges $5 for Tap Water

Just from reading the title, and before I even read the Reuters article, I knew the point and the ensuing outrage.

An Australian chef started charging $5 (Australian Dollars) for a glass of tap water? Why so much?
Well to quote the article:

"Mark Best, chef and owner of Marque Restaurant in Sydney, turned years of environmental consciousness into action by splashing out on a $6,000 Italian-made water system that filters, chills and carbonates tap water, the first of its kind in an Australian restaurant.

He now charges A$5 (3.3 pounds) for water -- but this includes unlimited refills. He previously charged A$10 for 500 ml of boutique bottled water.

Not only did the move lighten his carbon impact by cutting down on refrigeration and transport needs for the bottled water, it also helps reduce the amount of plastic bottles clogging up landfills, he said."

Initially I can understand why consumers may be upset. But once they learn the investment to filter, chill and refrigerate the tap water, then perhaps they'll realize it's a repackaged water--but even better with a system that requires less space in the kitchen. More importantly, it means less plastic bottles filling up our landfills. I say BRILLIANT Chef Best!

If customers pay money for bottled water, why not for better water?

This confirms that most people still do not know that bottled water is often no cleaner, better than tap water. Obviously they haven't read my posting, Is Bottled Water Really Tap Water?

CLICK HERE for the complete article.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

S'well Bottle

S'well Bottle
(photo provided by S'well. Copying not permitted)
I came across this company by accident and it immediately caught my "green" eye. 

First, it saved me time from the homework of researching the number of plastic bottles in the ocean, hurting our ecosystem--that number is 88 billion bottles. That's Billion with a "B"! Just their homepage photo is captivating. Who would want to destroy our clean source of water by purchasing PLASTIC bottles?

What are they selling? The S'well Bottle  is both functional and stylish, and well insulated that holds temperatures both hot and cold for long periods. The site encourages us to reuse our bottle instead of picking up a billionth plastic bottle of water.

Another description to quote the website:

"Your camping canteen went to the big city, and got a serious makeover. S’well bottles are elegant and useful. Portable and chic. Double walled, vacuum insulated construction allows beverages stay hot or cold for a long time."
S'well has thought of everything and partnered with WaterAid to help families in developing countries receive clean water.  Often family members travel for miles to obtain a small bucket of clean water that serves for cooking, a washcloth bath, and little else.

Next time you're shopping around for that new favorite "cup" to hold your Starbucks coffee, cool, clean TAP water, or even some warm soup, try S'well!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day 2011

Earth Day is here which is resembling more like a green Christmas with businesses giving away items, admission and contests to educate residents of the need to recycle and keep our earth and ecosystem clean and free from toxic plastic and other trash and to promote other green habits.

In Miami for example, the Fairchild Tropical Garden is offering free admission to the public along with a galore of activities for both adults and kids. Earth Day Yoga, Everglades Poetry Reading, free native plants and interactive discovery stations are just a few slated activities for adults. Kids can learn about the people of the rainforest and participate in the Recycle Relay and make a pledge to mother earth. Good habits start early!

If you know of any offers or contest related to Earth Day--please share it in the comments section below.
(Reminder: comments must be approved by moderator before they appear live)

Just a few celebratory offerings nationwide include:

At participating Starbucks, you can bring in a reusable mug on Friday April 22 to get free brewed coffee or tea.

Lowe's is giving away one million trees on April 23.

Origins is offering a trade-in program on Earth Day. Receive a free full-size face cleanser when you bring one of your empty skin-care bottles (from any brand) to an Origins retail store or department-store counter for recycling. Choose from A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser With White Tea or Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash.

Evos is giving away free organic milkshakes on Earth Day. The healthy fast-food chain has locations in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.

At the Disney Store, you can trade in five disposable plastic bags for recycling and receive a free reusable shopping bag on April 22.

Kmart is offering discounts on everything from air conditioners to TVs on April 22. is giving up to 60% off on green and natural products through April 22.

 All 394 U.S. national parks have free admission now through Sunday, April 24.

Travelocity has green hotels on sale for up to 40% off. You can also enter to win two round-trip Virgin America tickets and a couple of nights at an eco-friendly hotel.

The Yoga Journal offers a free digital download of the May issue.

The Sierra Club's Earth Day contest gives a chance to win a trip for two to Vieques Island in the Caribbean -- you just add a green pledge to the map.

On Target's website, you can enter the Refresh Your Nest sweepstakes through the end of the month. The grand prize is a home makeover that's valued at up to $50,000. You can also win a trip to Napa Valley, a Nikon camera, products from Burt's Bees or Tom's of Maine, and more.

 Feel free to share your green habits, and efforts to champion the cause.