Greek yogurt is revolutionizing the dairy industry with it’s thick creamy texture and high protein, but it also comes at a price. Whey waste.
Due to the unexpected popularity and increase in production, a glut of whey is being produced with no process of disposal or recycling. True traditional style Greek yogurt is made by straining the liquid out until it reaches that nearly cheesecake density, 75% of it’s total weight is removed as whey. Some companies have tried to get around this by adding thickeners to achieve a similar texture. › Continue reading
Charity Water has come up with a concept I love, donations for your birthday! A pretty simple concept, but Charity Water allows you to create your own custom birthday donation page with goals to share with friends called the Birthday Donation Project. Wonderful!
What is this Charity Water you may be asking? Their mission is to bring clean water to the world, particularly developing countries where they need it the most. This can mean anything from drilling wells to water treatment.
90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old.
-World Health Organization
Walking and Trekking place to place has long been a pastime for many Europeans. It is embedded in their culture. Germans and Brits especially enjoy getting out the walking stick(s) and ambling in nature with friends and family. Multi-day long distance trips are now popular with active people in many countries. Today you can choose a wide range of comfort – from self-serve huts to one room guest houses, to luxury Inns. The most popular and established Inn to inn walks are in Europe, but some are sprouting up in the Americas. There are now walks in Vermont and walks in California.
While I was working as a naturalist in the Marin Headlands (the wild protected land just north of the golden gate bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area, California), my father and his new wife started to fall in love over their walking vacations. Their honeymoon was a 2 week Coast to Coast walk in England. The following year, they headed to Ireland for the 7 day Kerry Way combined with 7 day Dingle Peninsula walk. Then they trekked for 14 days on and near Mount Blanc in France, Switzerland and Italy. Fully enamored, they decided to explore Scotland’s Great Glen Way and West Highland Way. This followed by England’s Southwest Coast Walk, Offa’s Dyke in Wales and Cotswold Way. For their next trek, I’d like them to pilot our next new offering – 12-14 days walking the coast from Monterey to › Continue reading
This past Friday was World Water Day, and I was lucky to attend Whole World Water’s launch party in San Francisco. A perfect venue to showcase an innovative new way to look at bottled water in a ‘green’ way.
Whole World Water‘s premise is simple. Provide high quality onsite filtered water in reusable glass bottles to those who would otherwise choose bottled water. The target market for this product is primarily hotels, restaurants, and the hospitality and tourism industry, but could really be expanded to any number of businesses who normally provide bottled water.
Today nearly 1 billion people don’t have access to clean and safe water. WHOLE WORLD Water is a Campaign designed to unite the Hospitality and Tourism Industry on a non-competitive platform to eradicate this issue.
Who else is excited for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s expansion plans? Recently announced is a huge vertical garden or living wall of native plants expanding the entire block. Not only that, we can also expect:
- The largest public living wall of native plants in San Francisco
- 130,000 sqft of gallery space covering indoor and outdoor exhibits
- 15,000 sqft of free access public space galleries, filled with art
- A new ‘Live Art’ display area with state of the art sound and lighting know as the White Box
- LEED Gold certification for the new building resulting in a 30% reduction in water use, 15% reduction in energy costs and 20% less wastewater produced.
- Expansion of 5th floor rooftop sculpture garden with a new seventh floor outdoor terrace
- New conservation studios to preserve and care for the SFMOMA’s growing collection
I love the idea of re-purposing discarded trash into art and functional pieces, just as Oxyd Factory has done with junked automobiles. The idea of repurposing and upcycling is a common topic here on The Chic Ecologist, primarily because I love the creativity and reduced environmental impact born out of the transformation. You may have seen other recycled automobile tables and even recycled aircraft furniture here, but I was really drawn to the uniqueness of Oxyd Factory designs.
The factory is up and running, albeit very inefficiently laments a native Keralan turned fortune 500 CEO turned self-help writer (who happened to be touring around with us, viewing the facilities). He ran Phillips, the appliance/TV company and quit after working to outsource production of Phillips products – and seeing the negative effects his work was having locally and globally. He explained to me the Indian mindset that he came from: “Indians are not thinking of the future -besides marriage and home construction. The mindset in village is: let’s pay off today, lets enjoy today, then we will worry about tomorrow.” He offered his consultant services to URAVU on his visit home next year, to help increase productivity in the factory.
Uravu sells bamboo crafts within India and demand is high for the quality handmade products. This is only one aspect of the Bamboo Village. The next phase is a large guesthouse (Completion Goal: Dec 2013)- being built with – you guessed it – bamboo. This will house tourists – primarily groups and families, however dorms may be available for backpackers. Currently there is a home stay program that Romarie and I enjoyed. We stayed comfortably in Mary’s families house, experiencing the day to day – even the early morning noises from the chickens (one of which we ate for dinner), and even the family scuffles. Half of the cost went to Mary (money is given to the woman of the household, who runs the homestay), and half is reinvested into the community through › Continue reading
The mission at Bamboo Village is to preserve a way of life (agriculture-based) in the face of a changing world where local village economies are subject to global economic changes. Much more than that – it is to create something for this area to live sustainably and healthily and to prevent brain drain; to keep young people there, rather than running off to the city to work as a tech customer service representative. URAVU meaning “Spring” or “source of life”, was started in 1996 by a group of Indians who had met in college and were politically active who wanted to help make a change (fun fact Kerala is the only state in India that democratically voted a Communist Government). When I pressed, Sivaraaj pin pointed the two main reasons for starting this work here – to break the caste system and to address environmental concerns that were coming about at the time. I asked him what changes he has seen since starting, and he said that “we have gotten women out of the home, and we have been a pacifier for the religious tension that boiled over a few years ago.” He indicates that the organization has gained a lot of respect for hiring all types of people (all religions) especially tribal people and women, and helping the community in an › Continue reading
Keep up with us on Twitter and RSS!
You can find us at: