August 31, 2008

Christie Matheson’s thoughts, my thoughts, cool thoughts… on Cars, CO2, and Fatalities

Back to the book…green chic by Christie Matheson. Christie points out an interesting fact…for every mile you don’t drive (assuming you’re the typical 21 MPG driver), you keep almost one pound of CO2 out of the atmosphere. You can have fun helping our dear mother earth shed pounds of CO2! I make a game of putting my planet on the “green diet”. Significantly more amusing than that cold, steel scale tracking my pounds and counting my Ben and Jerry’s by the spoonful …at least mother earth is my friend.

I have more good news. Last week the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan reported that because of the high gasoline prices, people are driving less and fatalities will hit the lowest level since 1961. The Federal Highway Administration said Americans drove 12.2 billion fewer miles in June than a year earlier, the biggest monthly decrease in a downward trend that began in November of last year. Mother earth is smiling. Understandable, considering that she didn’t put on another 12.2 billion pounds and more of her little human children are staying alive.

Track pounds with your kids to practice math homework and find interesting new ways to get someplace. A carpool can be a bonding experience (or not), trains can be an adventure, commuter rail systems are great for catching up on work or reading, try biking, or walking, or how about that golf cart? I’ve heard some cities are having issues with golf carts driving down Main Street. I’d be lousy at parallel parking a golf cart but it sure sounds like fun.

Enough thoughts for today Pedestrians. Put mother earth on a green diet. Save lives. Walk.


August 24, 2008

Some Green Chic Thoughts


Sometimes the newspapers, the scientific studies, evening news, and magazine articles about global warming, miles of garbage piled high, and swirling trash in our ocean…can all get a little depressing and overwhelming. I know that I am selfish and don’t want to give up my nice disposable lifestyle. I should be doing so much more. Well I found someone who shaded me a little “greener” and made me laugh out loud.

While in Chicago meeting green suppliers we were thrilled to meet Christie Matheson, writer of green chic: Saving the Earth in Style.

Her book is the perfect antidote for the newly greens who don’t like taking themselves too seriously. The book has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Boston Globe, and Boston Herald. According to Us Weekly, green chic was being read by Leonardo DiCaprio. I wonder if he gave up his disposable shavers? According to Christie, two billion disposable razors wind up in landfills every year. She suggests the reusable handle types where you change only the blade.

Her section on antiperspirants and deodorants is hilarious. In the end Christie chose not to give up her antiperspirant, but she gives the honest facts and tests all options. One of the options made her smell very manly (according to her husband) and no matter how much slower she walked and tried not to sweat…after three hours with a natural deodorant she was not pleased with the smell. I did learn that if your odor and perspiration levels aren’t too bad, you can go semi-green with aluminum and paraben-free Adidas 24 hour Control. I like semi-green…a new word to use in my blog.

Remember in the old days the party with the most trash in the morning wins. Not anymore. Christie pointed out that 25 percent of the food produced for humans in the United States gets thrown out---that’s almost 50 million tons of food annually. That number made me cringe when I thought of the hungry people lined up at food banks and soup kitchens. This percent does not include all the booze bottles and cans…think about it. She suggests NOT making so much food. Buffet-style set ups are the biggest food wasters since you have to make enough of every single dish for every single person. Personally I pick my way through a buffet and then come back for seconds seeking that one favorite choice. I do recommend plenty of chocolate desserts…they always get eaten.

Christie’s book is printed on recycled paper, with a portion of its proceeds going to a green cause.

Enough semi-green thoughts for you, my green hearted friends. Until next time…

Sign up to win a copy of Green Chic

August 18, 2008

Organic Cotton Showing Up Everywhere


Cotton is King…Scarlet O’Hara thought so, for a while anyway, until she went for the velvet green curtains.

Have you noticed all the top designers and models that are championing “clean cotton”. The Environmental Justice Foundation, a nongovernmental group hopes to call attention to the cotton industries alleged connection to pesticide poisoning, child labor, environmental depletion and thousands of deaths a year. The foundation enlisted the help of designers to create organic cotton t shirts with something to say. Luella Bartley, Betty Jackson, and Katherine Hamnett all showed off their designs at London Fashion Week. I’m sure Scarlet would have been the first to buy one…after daddy started growing organic cotton.

On that note, did you know (according to the associated press) that Wal-Mart is now the biggest seller of organic cotton products world-wide?!

And or course my old friend Barbie. You can always count on her to be on the cutting edge. Her latest t-shirt, “Think Pink Live Green” was shown at the International Toy Fair in New York. Mattel is making an effort to make up for the lead filled toys…so they cleaned up all the plastic scraps off the factory floor and recycled them to created a new line, Bcause Barbie. A recycled plastic t-shirt on Barbie…plastic, dressed in plastic. Okay Pedestrians, let’s give Mattel a hand, they are trying…a plastic hand maybe…did I say that?

Oh, and did you hear about the Duke University’s Basketball fans. They won’t give up their blue shirts, but to show how seriously they are taking the climate change they wore “Bleed Blue. Live Green” t-shirts in an effort to raise awareness around sustainability. Even the mascot was wearing his green t-shirt. Duke University purchased carbon offsets equivalent to the electricity, steam and transportation consumed by the game, working in partnership with the renewable-energy company NativeEnergy.

More on organic t-shirts and King Cotton on another day….

August 11, 2008

Greenest of the Green Alternative

Hello Celery Street Pedestrian,

I am so not a crafty person. When I was in a MOPS program (Mothers of Preschoolers) the craft leader always ended up

finishing my craft project, since I was too thrilled enjoying my hour and half of adult

conversation. When Julie handed me the completed project I was amazed and proud by what I had accomplished…thank you Julie. I would carry my prized craft home in Audrey’s diaper bag to become a regular functioning part of my household. Tonight at dinner we used the salad serving set that I had decorated in 2003.

What is my reason for bringing this up? If some of you have not found the greenest of green perfect thing that you were looking for on our web site then I have another suggestion for you. Crafting is another way of going green.

Kathy Cano-Murillo with the Arizona Republic did some research on Recycled projects and came up with a very clever and functional idea. A recycled grocery bag tote… Now promise me you will use those last left over plastic bags on this project. The plastic bags you still had tucked at home before you said “paper please” or started using your styling new shopping bags.


Take all the those plastic shopping bags from the store or mall, cut them up and sew them together to make sturdy totes that you can use at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Make several of these so you can keep them around for your next food run.


About 36 plastic bags (if you are going to be a walking billboard, I would use your favorite and hottest stores’ bags)


Sewing machine

Canvas tote (to use as a pattern)


Flatten the bags into stacks of six. Cut across the top to remove the handle portion. Cut the stacks of six into strips or squares, and sew up all the sides. For a quilted look, sew lines in the center.

Make enough of these thick squares or strips until you have plenty of pieces to create a bag that is the same size as the tote, and sew the pieces together. For handles, cut the thinner strips and sew inside the top panel on both sides.

There you go! As for me, I don’t sew and I don’t do crafts…but I love this idea and wish I were more artsy and not afraid of my mom’s sewing machine.

If any of you attempt this cool green project send me a picture and your comments.

I promise I won’t have any more craft projects on this space for a while.