“How we treat the environment begins with how we treat each other”
John Francis
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Posts Tagged ‘sustainable’

Next month my daughter will turn four…just in time for spring! To honor this special day, she is allowed to share treats with her classmates at preschool. After much thought I’ve decide to green up her birthday by providing each of her classmates with a seedling starter kit!

Each goody bag will contain a starter pot ( has ingenious and affordable biodegradable poo pots), potting soil, radish seeds (small radishes will germinate in 3-5 days and can mature in 3 weeks) and instructions for getting those little hands dirty!

I am so excited to be “giving” spring a head start this year! Why not give it a try yourself?


Well, it’s been an exciting month having the new website up and running. We’ve been working out all of the kinks and have just a few things to remedy.

While you are having fun diving into the new site, you’ll find that each of the Divas offers a different view on sustainable living within their blogs.

My intention with the TerraChic blog is to bring awareness with regards to being an Urban Homesteader, living stylish and sustainably, as well as fun and trendy ways of being green. I will also be sharing this space with guest bloggers from time to time. I’m looking forward to bringing you so many fun and exciting aspects of green living.

So, get ready…get set…and bring on the Chic!

So many things I’ve wanted to blog about in the past months, but haven’t had the time.  I promise it will be more often in the coming months.

An email came across my desk with an interesting video attached.  I received this from my mother and thought I should share it with you all.  It amazes me the things we are still learning about our planet and energy.


It’s been awhile since I’ve written a new blog entry.  I have to say that I often thought of writting something here and there, but I just couldn’t find the time.  (Time being totally my issue at the moment.)

Anywho, I thought I would give you an update on the status of my latest endeavour.  The cookbook is coming along slowly but surely.  We have defined the sections of the cookbook and listed multiple dishes that we are going to convert into healthy/vegan/easy recipes.

Being the person that I am, my brain has fast forwarded to the book design and title.  I definitely know that I am jumping the gun, but it’s fun to dream, so I tell myself that I’m visioning.  I told my writing/cooking partner that she needs to keep me on the ground throughout this process.  To that, she just laughed.

We’re heading to the next step, which is the fun creative portion of the process….the cooking and taste testing.  I think that we are going to try out most of the recipes on our friends and family within the next few months.

I have also decided to include an old wives tale/home remedy/quick tip in each issue of the Terra-zine.  I think it will be fun to answer peoples questions, provide a new/old way of doing something and give tips on greening your lifestyle that can be done in less than 10 minutes.  If you are interested in these concepts, make sure to register on my website to receive the weekly Terra-zine.

I will blog more frequently and share what’s happening with me and TheEcoDivas.

Traceyclean Natural Products
I’ve been talking about the health effects that conventional cleaning products have on our bodies and our homes in recent Diva-Zines.  I found that all of my conventional cleaners that I use on my food prep counter, cook top, sink, dishes, pots & pans, floors and even wiping down the table, all released volatile organic compounds and other toxins into the air in my home and remain on all surfaces.  I learned that because of these conventional cleaners, the air quality in homes is 5 times more toxic then outside.  Several of the chemicals used in products like bleach, have been found to contribute to cancer, hormonal & reproductive disorders, neurological problems, acute asthma, respiratory & immune deficiencies, skin rashes and are poisonous if ingested.  WOW!  I’m not only cleaning but I’m creating a completely unhealthy toxic environment in my home.  Think about it for a moment…..Yikes!

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Tracey Hiner, owner of local favorite TraceyClean Natural Products (  Her product line is produced in Indiana by Tracey and her husband, Steven.  Tracey is a wife and mother of two, who finally got fed up with the commercial cleaning product industry enough to begin creating her own line of natural non-toxic cleaners.

Tracey says, “My products are for people who want the benefits of natural cleaners but don’t have the time to do the research, gather the materials, and make the products themselves. I have tested different ingredient combinations found on websites, in books, and talking with chemists. The products I developed are what I feel are the best mix of ingredients for each product.”

You can purchase TraceyClean online or if your in Indiana she has several drop points and sells here products at local farmers markets.  Her products are fantastic!  Give them a try and make sure to tell her you read about her products in TheEcoDivas Blog.

Cup Couture is Fun, Funky and Fresh!Cup Couture is Fun, Funky and Fresh!

Next time you stop at your local coffee shop take a moment and think green.

  • Fair Trade Coffee, Please!- Ask your Barista for the Fair Trade Coffee instead of the conventional pour.  Fair Trade Coffee is certified and exported from developing countries with the help of international organizations.  This organized social/market-based movement helps to regulate fair pricing, improve social and environmental standards, promote sustainability for producers and workers, increase economic self-sufficiency. Impoverished countries and societies are empowered by this development aid.
  • Say NO to the Sleeve- Before you take one of those handy cardboard coffee sleeves think about your impact on the forestry industry.  Instead of grabbing that cardboard sleeve, you can slide on your own customized “CupCoat”.  Cup Couture sells the most amazing insulated sleeves that fit 12oz, 16oz and 20oz coffee cups.  Using a reusable sleeve will save 6-10lbs of paper waste per person a year.  I own the Mint Chocolate Design and am the envy of my local coffee shop.
  • Think before you Pour- Forget about using that plastic stir stick.  Add your sugar or sweetener of choice before you fill the cup with coffee.  This will naturally melt the sugar and allow you to conserve energy, oil and reduce waste by not using the stir stick.
  • BYOC - Bring your own thermal refillable/reusable cup for the road.  Think of all of the waste you’ll be reducing by just supplying your own personal mug.

Taking these 4 quick and easy steps will drastically reduce your global footprint making you Eco-Chic in every way!

I was talking with a friend this week about Family Farms, Co-op and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) offerings located in our area.  I gave her a few local references to look into for the coming season and other options for healthy organic farming.  We talked a while about the positive aspects of being a part of a CSA and my own experiences.

I believe that purchasing organic foods, grass/grain feed meats and locally grown/farmed foods is key to a healthy sustainable lifestyle.  I was surprised to learn from my friend that there is a movement sweeping the nation to revitalize this “homegrown” style of agriculture that I had not yet heard of.  So began my introduction to The WHO Farm (The White House Organic Farm Project).

This non-partisan, petition based initiative is being led by two young men,  Daniel Bowman Simon and Casey Gustowarow.  Their vision is clear with a five part recipe for success.   They would like to have The White House as a model for healthy, economical and sustainable living.  They are designing the project as an educational tool and economic aid for our nation’s capital.  Check it out!

Can you decorate your tree with eco-friendly ornamentation?  This year I’m making it a point to use anything and everything that I have at home.  My garland is a recycled paper chain draped around the tree.  Another option for easy garland is to pop some popcorn and string it with cranberries to create a beautiful biodegradable garland.  The paper chain can be recycled and the popcorn can be set out for the birds for a winter snack.

I’ve used fresh organic local fruit and ribbon to make ornaments.  My favorite is the orange/clove ball.  The smell is one from my childhood that everyone will enjoy.  Of course, I’ve pulled out all of the ornaments I’ve collected over the years, along with some from my childhood that my mother gave me.  If you need more sustainable holiday décor, try cutting snowflakes out of paper and hanging them in your windows.  There are so many fun and easy eco-friendly ways to decorate for the holidays you just have to think like a child again, but isn’t that the whole point?

Paper Garland

Step 1: Cut 1”thick strips out of recycled paper.
Step 2: Take the ends of one strip of paper, put them together to form a circle and staple or glue the ends.
Step 3: Take another strip of paper and thread it through the middle of the first paper ring, put the ends of that paper together forming an interlocking ring and staple or glue together.
Step 4: Repeat steps 2 & 3 until you have a chain long enough to drape around the Christmas tree.
Step 5: Drape your fabulous garland around your tree.

Thinking about Christmas in a sustainable way has been driving me up a wall. My dilemma this year is the proverbial tree. As an icon of the holiday season, the Christmas tree is a symbol that everyone celebrating the holiday recognizes and brings into their homes. However, the Christmas tree has caused debates throughout the years. It comes down to the one and only question: Real or Fake????????????? Weighing all of my options, I like to put it all on the table.

  • Put up my hand-me-down artificial PVC laden tree, off-gassing through the holiday season, but saving a tree from the lumberjack’s ax?
  • Buy a cut tree that smells fantastic and can be replaced by a sapling in the intent to re-populate the tree farm and recycled into mulch, but the growth rate will take years?
  • Buy a living tree comes with the root ball attached so I can plant it after the holiday, but will it fit in my bungalow living room and do I have the yard space?
  • I could buy a PVC-free tree, but what would become of my current artificial tree?

PVC-free TreeSo many things to consider, what’s a girl to do? I finally made a decision that I think I can live with this year. I decided to put up my hand-me-down tree in the spirit of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I figure that my sister got good use out of it and now I’m reusing it to its fullest extent, while reducing land fill waste and recycling it as my tree.

That said, if you’re looking for a PVC-free tree, this one is as close as you’ll get. I’ve seen it in person (see left) and it’s fabulous!

I had a friend ask me recently, if I knew what the most eco-friendly way of cooking was. My response of course was an organic raw food diet, which caused us both to bust out laughing. But then I took a moment to actually think about that question. What is the best way to cook when trying to live a sustainable lifestyle? Being the cook that I am (or think I am), I can’t imagine living without an oven. I started thinking of ideas on how to cook while being green. I came up with the notion that gathered wood from the ground that had fallen naturally (No cutting) would be the most environmentally conscious fuel. Then would it be better to cook over a bonfire/campfire, in a fireplace or wood burning stove? I have a friend that is always talking about making hot chocolate on his wood burning stove. Is he ahead of the game as aCool Cuisine Cool Cuisinesustainable cook? I headed out to my local library branch and started to do some research on the subject. I found that between the refrigerator, oven and (shutter) the microwave 3,975 pounds of carbon emissions are released annually per household. Wrap your head around that! This is just the beginning when it comes to the costs of food with regards to global warming. I happened upon an exciting cookbook which addresses this question and my growing concern for the environment. I’m still reading the cookbook and becoming more and more aware of not only what I put into my body but where it comes from and how it’s prepared. If you have any interest in taking your green lifestyle a step further, I recommend “Cool Cuisine: Taking a Bite Out of Global Warming” by Laura Stec. To purchase your copy of this sustainable cookbook click here!

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"The diligent farmer plants trees, of which he himself will never see the fruit"
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