Winter 2014/15 Almanac


I launched 6 years ago today! I had no idea that my work would have such a positive influence on my own life. Though my business has evolved and grown over the years, it’s always had the same message: if I can learn to live a more sustainable lifestyle by saving energy, wasting less, paying closer attention to what I eat and reducing my exposure to toxins by the products I use at home, I hope that others will be inspired to try and do it for themselves as well. Honestly, I have never felt better!

My brand has given me a voice and my store is the vehicle through which I provide sustainable living choices that are good for you and the planet. Use your buying power to change the world!

If you want to go green in 2015, have a look at the latest products I’ve added to my store from my favorite natural and unbleached cheesecloth, to a PVC free yoga mat, white envelopes made from 100% recycled paper, all natural soap made from desert calcium Bentonite clay, bee’s wax reusable food storage wraps and BPA free food thermos’s (I gave my daughter one of those for Christmas!) See my Pinterest board.

I’m looking forward to the New Year and the completion of LOLA, my first book and one that is very close to my heart. LOLA is a book for young women about how to live a sustainable lifestyle and make healthy choices.

To get the latest news about LOLA visit

Out & About this month features a post from Karin Labby about forcing bulbs indoors during the winter; Farmer Kevin’s winter greenhouse in Maine; Lisa Hedley’s tips on caring for your nervous system.

I love the Little Free Little Library I installed near my house 2 years ago! Little Libraries are very popular and there are thousands around the world. The concept of lending books has even spread to tool Lending Libraries for farmers.

I had an especially proud moment recently: I returned one of my trashcans back to the city because I didn’t need it anymore. Yes! My household’s trash has decreased so much through recycling and reusing, as well as reducing food waste, that we barely even need one trashcan anymore. I’m passionate about reducing waste because landfills everywhere are overcapacity. We are making too much trash! On the other hand, we need to learn some tips from Sweden, which doesn’t have enough trash and has to import it from other countries. Read about it here.

While we are on the subject of waste, did you know that there are 5 species that eat pollution? They are the coolest plants around. Read more here.

If you love vegetables, fruit, flowers, seeds, pods, leaves, cactus, trees, shells, and all sorts of natural treasures, follow me on Instagram.

I wish this wonderful event happened at schools everywhere: January 6th, the Green School Movement in India is planning a record-breaking tree planting! 450 schools are participating and each one plans on planting 2,000 trees, for a total of 900, 000 trees. Wow! Schools are creating a green consciousness among school children by involving them in sapling production and planting and teaching them environmental conservation that is deeply imprinted in each child’s mind rather than curriculum based.
For more information or to get involved with the Green School Movement, please contact
Use your buying power by choosing organic, pesticide free foods when shopping for yourself or your loved ones. Herbicides used when growing food are the leading cause of autism in children, which is expected to affect half of all kids by 2025. Be empowered by being informed.

In 2015, I want to do more to help the bees by planting native wildflowers because bees have pollen preferences, and we’ve wiped out many of their favorite flowers. I’ll be planting lots of seeds in my garden come spring.

I love how this small garden in England became a food forest. It took Graham and Nancy Bell 25 years to develop their mature permaculture food forest and you can find out how they did it and what they grow.

If you love keeping in touch via Twitter, you can find me there…or if you prefer the Facebook platform, you can also follow all my news there as well.

A constant inspiration is my friend Dr. Jane Goodall, who gave an interview where she shared her 5 reasons to have hope for the planet. “We should have respect for animals because it makes better human beings of us all.”

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

Peace, Love and Happiness



I’ve decided to make the almanac a quarterly, starting in March. This will hopefully allow me to develop some other projects that I have been considering. The next iteration will be the Spring issue, which will cover March, April and May, and include the garden calendars for each of those months. To be followed by Summer, Fall and Winter issues. I will continue to have the page ad free and to the point. I’ve recently reactivated my blog and will be posting regularly about what I’m up to, from living a more sustainable lifestyle, to featuring the work of artists and designers, art projects and nature related stories. I don’t have a set schedule for when my blog goes out. I’ll strive to keep you interested.

This past month brought me closer to the finish line of my book LOLA (, which is all very exciting. I did manage to leave from LOLA headquarters for a most wonderful visit of Christina Kim’s world at Dosa. Her love and respect for nature and all things relating to it shows through her beautiful work.

I went to several Sunday morning flea markets, an excellent “green” and entertaining resource, where all manner of things are perpetually recycled or repurposed. Another resource closer to home and which happens to be a favorite trick of mine to reduce the amount of waste my household creates: composting all the plant based kitchen scraps and adding them to my Valentina composter. I revisited the whole process in a blog I wrote. Let me know if you have any questions regarding composting. I’d like to be of help if I can:

In Out & About this month, learn from Karin Labby how to preserve lemons; Lisa Hedley explains how to ferment coconut meat (excellent source of probiotics), and Caroline Gladstone forages for rose hips and chickweed with which we makes some delicious jelly and syrup.

The world can live better and fight climate change, according Global Calculator. This free and interactive tool helps you to understand the link between our lifestyles, the energy we use, and the consequences for our climate. We must use energy more efficiently, shift away from fossil fuels, protect forests and make smarter use of land to ensure that our living standards continue to improve.

Great news! Maryland County bans polystyrene aka Styrofoam food containers and packing peanuts and will require the use of compostable or recyclable alternatives. Styrofoam is a blight in the waterways across the nation and has been found to be a human carcinogen.

Profiled in this Almanac last year, the Warka Water project captures potable water from the air by collecting rain, harvesting fog and dew for rural communities in Ethiopia. The designers are ready for the 1st field test. They need our support to make it happen. Please join and support their crowd funding campaign here.

If you love keeping in touch via Twitter, you can find me there, or if you prefer the Facebook platform, I’m there as well and I also post images regularly via Instagram.

Wishing you a wonderful month!

All the best


  • Book, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Find Momo by Andrew Knapp

    Thousands of Internet fans play hide-and-seek with Momo the border collie every day, and now you can, too.

  • Book, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindhal

    David and Luise tell the stories of their family kitchen, affirming just how easy it is to create nourishing, well-balanced dishes on a daily basis.

  • Book, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Rainforest by Lewis Blackwell

    Rainforest opens our minds to the breathtaking beauty of these remarkable ecosystems, with their verdant plant life and diverse animal species.

  • Book, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Secret Garden by Johana Basford

    Appealing to all ages, the intricately-realized world of the Secret Garden is both beautiful and inspirational.

  • Book, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    On Good Land by Michael Ableman

    Ableman brings the reader into the everyday world of a small farm. With him we prune peach trees, harvest peppers, journey to the farmer’s market, and fight city hall.

  • Book, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    More Than Human by Tim Flach

    Award-winning photographer Tim Flach has spent years inquiring into the essential bond we have with animals.

  • Recipe, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Farro, Green Olive and Feta Salad

    This recipe is so easy to make and delicious. Farro is a hearty nutty flavored whole grain that is fairly new to many of us, but Italians have been eating it for more than 2,000 years.

  • Gamechanger, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Stella McCartney

    Designer and environmentalist Stella McCartney partnered with the Nature Conservancy and Ovis 21, a network of over 160 farmers in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile…

  • Artist, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Jenine Shereos

    Sculptor and installation artist Jenine Shereos stitches and knots human hair to create pieces of art that resemble leaves.

  • Eco Cinema, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Happy People: A Year In The Taiga

    With Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, Werner Herzog takes viewers on yet another unforgettable journey into remote and extreme natural landscapes.

  • Sustainable Design, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Goodfluence Tour

    I love this story. This grassroots movement plans on spreading food gardens all over America and making food free for everyone.

  • Recipe, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Cauliflower Cake

    This recipe is easy to make and, delicious with just a salad on the side. Perfect to bring a slice to work, or add it to your child’s lunch bag.

  • Eco Cinema, Gamechanger, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    H.R.H. Charles, Prince of Wales

    The royal radical, H.R.H. Charles, Prince of Wales has been promoting environmental ideas for most of his adult life.

  • Artist, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    Rachel Sussman

    Rachel Sussman has been researching, working with scientists, and traveling all over the world to photograph continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older.

  • Eco Cinema, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    CSA By Lexicon of Sustainability

    What if you could buy fresh fruit and vegetables each week, grown by a local farmer?

  • Sustainable Design, Winter 2014/15 Almanac

    The Jellyfish Barge

    Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto of Studiomobile created a floating modular greenhouse that sits upon 96 repurposed plastic drums.