Fall 2015 Almanac

It’s officially back to school time for many of you and I wish you and yours a fantastic new school year!

My end of the summer hit a very special high note, following my book reading of LOLA at Book Soup in Los Angeles, where it became a best selling book. I couldn’t be prouder. You can follow all the news about LOLA at blog site, where I publish resource-filled newsletters every month.

A dear friend of mine has an incredible eye, and I especially appreciate what he creates with natural resources, so I published a blog about him called A Gentleman Caterer and Naturalist, and I really enjoyed being given the opportunity to share my thoughts with Mom’s Clean Air Force’s Ronnie Citron-Fink, which was featured on Huffington Post Green and as well with Sarah Lonsdale of REMODELISTA.

I came across this bit of wonderful news: that France has passed a law where all new buildings that are built in commercial zones must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels. Hope that other cities do the same.

Are you concerned about fluoride? Then you really should read this, as further studies have found it has serious health risks, so much so that 97% of western Europe has rejected fluoridated water.

Out & About in this issue is absolutely charming! A post about figs, and then, a magical walk in the French countryside. Thank you Karin and Caroline for sharing your stories.

News about the Pacific Garbage Patch, Boyan Slat of Ocean Cleanup (profiled previously here in sustainable design and as a gamechanger) is part of a group of scientists and volunteers who have been gathering data this past month, which will be more extensive than what has been collected in the past 40 years. It also will give a better estimate of the how much plastic waste is in the Pacific Ocean. I do look forward to reading the report, as I have no doubt will be very enlightening,

While we are the topic of plastic, which is not only the featured story in Sustainable Design in this issue, but I also offer 3 of my favorite tips on ways you can reduce your exposure to plastic, and ultimately the planet’s as well. Treehugger posted their list of the 10 worst plastic offenders. Let’s all strive for as much as a plastic free life as we can!

I shared this fabulous story on my Facebook page but in case you missed it, here it is again. What is so great about it is that something is actively being done to make things better (not just talking about it). The National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration are bringing together a dozen federal agencies to restore landscapes altered by natural disasters or global warming, through a network of native seed collectors, who will supply seedlings to restoration ecologists who know how to put the right seed in the right place at the right time, and replant as soon as possible with the right species. Yes!

Have you heard about the Cornucopia Institute? They published a piece about why organically grown and produced Maple Syrup is healthier for you, the maple trees, and the environment. Need some organic maple syrup now? It’s available here.

Schools need to change what they are feeding our kids. The Fed Up crowdfunding campaign aims to do just that by educating schools. By helping this campaign we are helping our kids.

And since we are on the subject of food, I just got an app from Forks Over Knives, which offers step-by-step directions for 180 plant-based recipes from 20 “leading” chefs. I can’t wait to try some out!

And for something completely different, I’m also fascinated with bird’s eggs, and particular their diversity of color, so it’s not surprising that I found the story,
Cracking the Code on Egg Coloration, particularly interesting.

Some dates of note coming up:

    • September 19th is International Coastal Cleanup, where 16 million pounds of trash was collected at last year’s event. Click here to learn how you can participate.
      October 4th is World Animal Day. Support organizations that are dedicated to protecting and preserving precious wildlife around the world: wwf.org, nature.org, janegoodall.org and oceana.org
    • October 18th is when the Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972 over President Nixon’s veto.
      The fall marks the worldwide migration of fish where sturgeon flow from the Selenga River into Siberia’s Lake Baikal, striped bass move into the Chesapeake Bay’s tributaries, and cownose rays glide in formations called fevers from Florida’s Atlantic Coast into the Gulf of Mexico.
      Find out information for the October #FOODJUSTICEMARCH happening around the world, here march-against-monsanto.com.
    • November 1st is Daylight savings time. Set your clocks back one hour.
    • November 15th is America Recycles Day. Find out where you can participate americarecyclesday.org.

and… to get all my latest news, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful fall, including Halloween and Thanksgiving!

All the best


  • Fall 2015 Almanac, Recipe

    Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas & Chard

    This is a very easy recipe to make that also happens to be delicious! I have made it several times these past few months and it’s always a hit. It never fails to satisfy, plus it’s nutrient rich.

  • Book, Fall 2015 Almanac

    Hickory by Palmer Brown

    A grandfather clock makes a lovely home for a family of mice — if you don’t mind the occasional clang.

  • Book, Fall 2015 Almanac

    Nocturne: Creatures Of The Night by Traer Scott

    Traer Scott takes the viewer on a journey through nighttime in the animal kingdom, revealing some of nature’s most elusive creatures.

  • Book, Fall 2015 Almanac

    Roots: The Definitive Compendium With More Than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan

    Discover the fascinating history and lore of 29 major roots, their nutritional content, how to buy and store them, and much more.

  • Fall 2015 Almanac, Recipe

    Zucchini And Pistachio Cake

    This cake is delicious and easy to make.

  • Fall 2015 Almanac, Recipe

    Ikarian Longevity Stew With Black Eyed Peas

    This is a savory dish that is full of rich flavor and health benefits. Make it on a rainy day (or any day).

  • Artist, Fall 2015 Almanac

    Chris Drury

    Chris Drury is an environmental artist, who creates site-specific nature based sculpture, often referred to as Land Art.

  • Eco Cinema, Fall 2015 Almanac

    Salt of the Earth

    For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastiao Salgado has been traveling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity.

  • Fall 2015 Almanac, Sustainable Design

    Original Unverpackt

    Since plastic waste from food packaging is an issue close to my heart, I’m so happy that a zero-waste grocery store has opened in Berlin, Germany. Called Original Unverpackt, it’s a German concept store selling groceries without the packaging.

  • Fall 2015 Almanac, Gamechanger

    George Monbiot

    George Monbiot is a British writer known for his environmental activism. In summer 2013, he published Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life.