May 11, 2010
02:43 PM

Earth Mama

Earth Mama

Eco, organic and sustainable are common in contemporary conversations. They are today’s basics, your eco ABC’s. You need to know them and understand them in order to navigate your way through the modern world. Green has long been the new black. So get in gear, in fashion and take responsibility for your actions.

This is clearly no passing fancy as every sector of business has adopted some form of eco-practice or set an industry wide standard or example that has forced others to follow suit. In some cases, it is government regulated, subsidized or merely given a community or Hollywood nod of approval. From Melissa to Cheryl many sexy celebs have gone green.

Yet often individuals could not care less about their carbons nor what kind of a legacy or footprint they are leaving behind. One can hardly point a finger as it often comes down to the almighty dollar and many of the financially challenged see going green as losing way too much of their own green to get with it. It can be cost prohibitive, but with progress comes options. So, exercise them. Green is cheaper than you think.

Do your homework, learn your ABC’s and make smart choices. Look at the big picture of your life from the food, wine and spirits, to your beauty, fashion and travel. Whatever direction you head in; there are endless eco options along the way. So think before you drink, dress or jet set. It’s about taking responsibility and it’s what your mother would want. So behave!

 

A Moveable Feast
The big buzz on today’s culinary front is farm to fork. It’s all about sourcing locally from produce to meats and dairy. Portland, one of America’s premier foodie capitols has long been on the cutting edge of eco and sustainable practices. They adhere to the F.L.O.S.S. lifestyle of fresh, local, organic, seasonal and sustainable. You too can put this in to practice.

The idea is to not buy-frozen produce shipped in from China, but rather fresh seasonal food from your neighborhood shop, the one that champions the little and local. Farmer’s markets are a great source and the perfect way to shorten the distance between farm and fork. Get to know your local farmers. There are countless markets dotted across the city of Angels. In L.A., hit the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, the crème de la crème of the So Cal market circuit with a long history and an eco savvy presence. Once in any market in your home town, you can quickly find out the 411 on all of the others. Find the full city schedule as many farmers play the field. You can too. Go wild.

 

Vino Chic
These eco-practices are as prevalent in the wine and spirits industry as well. In 2003 Napa Valley’s esteemed winery Domaine Carneros installed the largest photovoltaic solar collection system then existent on any winery in the world.

In 2006 the winery completed its second phase, adding 392 additional modules (a 56 percent growth). This is comparable to planting 161 acres of trees or removing 115 cars from the roads for a year. Today, the winery produces an impressive third of all its energy used, through solar power.                        

In addition to the larger commitments of organic viticulture and solar power, Carneros takes advantage of Mother Nature and her many free contributions. Carneros natural energy facilities at the winery include lighting by skylights, night cooling systems to maintain cellar temperature and building into the earth for natural insulation. She set an industry standard that many have since replicated. Mother would be proud. (domainecarneros.com)

 

Let the spirit move you
Burgeoning wine regions with boutique wineries have spared none in their eco commitment. Jack Rabbit Hill vineyards in Hotchkiss Colorado is just one of those chic boutiques. Their organically grown wines are grown on 22 acres of certified Biodynamic vineyards. Their other brand, Peak spirits makes CapRock Organic Gin, CapRock Organic Vodka, Peak Organic Eaux de Vie, and Peak Biodynamic Grappas, all made from the ground up as they grow, ferment and distill at the farm and source their water for the spirits from Cap Rock, a bubbling brook at 11,000 ft atop Grand Mesa, a high mesa lava rock formation a mere 20 miles from the distillery.

It’s not all smoke and green mirrors as Jack Rabbit and Peak Spirits will have your lips a smacking. It’s that good. They will wow you on the palette and in the pocket, as their prices are incredibly competitive. With gins classic appeal suddenly back in fashion, their CapRock Organic Gin is sure to take center stage on the spirit scene. Bravo! (jackrabbithill.com, peakspirits.com)

 

Eco-Couture
In the early years of eco awareness, all we heard was reuse and recycle. We don’t hear it as much. We simply do it. Be it bottles or bags, paper or plastic, we think hard before we discard. Same is true in today’s fashion. Reuse and recycle is as eco chic as it gets. 

Joey-D, A mad ex rocker now crazy couturist in Edinburgh, Scotland creates clothes in his shop, no two pieces alike. Like a painter, if you walk in, you will catch him mid-creation cutting his canvas. Taking a page out of fashion forward Westwood’s book of re-construction, he too recreates beautiful, yet edgy skirts and fitted jackets made out of pristine pieces of Scottish tartan plaid mixed with old Levi’s and German military uniforms. It’s head stopping haute couture that mad mix of masculine and feminine.

He sells in the UK to Mr. and Mrs. Becks being two of his top shoppers. (joey-d.co.uk)

 

Swiss Bliss
In 1993, sibling eco duo Marcus and Daniel Frietag were Zurich based graphic designers on the hard lookout for messenger bags that cold withstand the rain and protect precious designs on the back of an urban bike. A whipping wind rolled a truck tarpaulin across the highway to the foot of heir flat. They took what the universe delivered and cut one bag out of the sturdy material. The rest is eco chic history as an empire was born.

Today the bags are a pop culture phenomenon and are still storming across the globe. You can hit a flagship store if shopping and globetrotting in Zurich or simply slip in to their online shop. (frietag.ch)

 

Waste not, Want not
A trend is here to stay once it hits Hollywood. This past award season R.E.U.S.E jeans hit a Golden Globes suite. Hot Hollywood bodies were only too happy to slip in to a pair of the recycled denim. 

According to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Americans generated more than 11.8 million tons of textile waste in 2006 alone, amounting to an average of 10 pounds of waste per person. In our world of overflowing landfills and global warming, recycling in all ways is more relevant than ever. This season you might want to slip in to a pair of R.E.U.S.E.’s Reborn, Rehabilitated or Renewed denim. In the land of excess, you will feel refreshed. You might even feel 10 pounds lighter. www.reusejeans.com
 

 

Beauty is in the hand of the beholder
The it concepts in eco and organic beauty are free of paraben, sulfates and animal products. That’s just scratching the surface with Seattle based Uspa. Uspa remains free of animal cruelty, testing and ingredients and uses green energy and recycled water in their Melbourne plant.

Uspa is a full service beauty company, providing top of the line beauty products for skin hair and body for both men and women. They even have Color Therapy, otherwise known as lipstick. This line has quickly become the go to line in many haute hotels and spas. Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood and their newly opened New York hotel in Wall St utilize the line in their regenerative oxygen facials in their on site spa. At first touch, it immediately feels good, a true quenching of your dermis thirst and already a fave of New York’s downtown fashion savvy and business sect. 

For Earth Day treat yourself to Uspa’s hydrating elixirs for the face, or perhaps organic wild thyme foot pumices for the feet or make your hair happy by treating your tresses to Uspa’s Supernatural Wheat grass or Kashmir shampoo or conditioner. (uspa-usa.com

 

A Sand Castle
Feynan Eco Lodge set in the heart of Wadi Feynan is one of Jordan’s many gems.  If the dusty, rugged ride in to the rustic lodge doesn’t slow you down, the sunset walk through the pristine canyons capped off with herbaceous sage tea, over an open fire served by local Bedouins is sure to slow the pace and soothe the soul.

The level of integrity at this arabesque lodge is unrivaled. Feynan’s recycling, composting and solar powered panels are but a few of the initiatives put in to place to create an idyllic space with as little impact to the surrounding environment as possible.

One doesn’t have to be eco savvy or even aware to simply enjoy the seductive immersion in to this soul-sating place lit on the inside by a stream of goatskin covered candles and outside by an endless blanket of shooting stars. It’s nature’s cinema.

As you nip off to sleep in your candlelit room or in the open Jordanian air on the lodge’s rooftop you’ll be clicking your sandy desert feet saying, There’s no place like Feynan. There’s no place like Feynan. (feynan.com)

 

An Urban Oasis
CityCenter, Vegas’ city within a city, is one of the world’s largest sustainable developments from design and construction to operations and amenities. The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded CityCenter a LEED Gold certification, the highest LEED achievement of any hotel, retail district or residential development in Las Vegas. CityCenter is eco cutting edge, moving far beyond existing green practices to empower industry-wide initiatives and innovations.

From a guest perspective it is a true urban oasis providing guilt free luxury where guests can have an indulgent over the top lavish Las Vegas experience in an environment that was built sustainably from the ground up. Because of City Center’s size and buying power, they had the green and luxury of literally inventing new products and services that would be eco-friendly while fulfilling the needs of the world’s most demanding and discerning guests. It’s a big win in Vegas.

Guest’s experience is enhanced from the use of organic ingredients in restaurants and paraben-free products in spas and hotel rooms to better indoor air quality, a pedestrian-friendly environment in the urban enclave, energy efficient initiatives, water conservation, cooling systems on casino floors that cool guest from the ground up versus wasting the space above, large scale recycling, lots of natural lighting and a fleet of stretch limos that are powered by compressed natural gas, to name but a few of the initiatives.

In this case, what stays in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas. It should be recreated on large and small scales across the globe. That way there is no more gambling on the environment in Vegas or elsewhere. (citycenter.com

 

Blogger Bio: Karen Loftus is a Comedian, Writer, Producer and Travel & Lifestyle Writer focused on Fashion, Food, Wine, Spirits & Golf.
After globetrotting through The Middle East, Europe and Asia, entertaining Expats, execs, US troops abroad and theater savvy audiences around the globe at international theaters and festivals, award winning playwright, Tennessee Williams Fellow and international comedian Karen Loftus took a break from touring, slipping in to journalism, putting on the page what she once delivered onstage. www.karenloftus.net
As a journalist, Karen found her definitive niche in travel writing, covering vino trends in travel and culinary and cocktail tourism. It was a coming home as her Irish grandparents ran a speakeasy, distilled their own spirits and ran many a famous pub. This fashion forward foodie takes great risks and goes to extreme journalistic measures on the global road, parasailing, bungee jumping, four tracking and canyoning in search of the story. Karen is a travel addict and is most at home when she is away from it. 
Follow Karen on Twitter: @LAKarenLoftus or find her On Facebook.

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