My account of creating a greener life.

Tips for Buying Sustainable Flowers

Sustainable Flowers (2)

Back when I wrote this post, I made a small note about buying flowers at your farmers market to support local businesses and buy seasonally. I don’t buy flowers often, so I have rarely given this issue more thought! However, I’m home in California this week and have gone on a flower-buying rampage. I struggle…

Green Restaurants in Chicago: XOCO

My quest for green restaurants in Chicago continues! I talked about Backlot Coffee last week, but this week I tried out Rick Bayless’s Mexican restaurant XOCO. This place epitomizes farm to table: it actually started out as a salsa garden for Rick Bayless’s other restaurants! Now, they continue to grow their own tomatoes along with…

How to Recycle Two Types of Trader Joe’s Packaging

One day, I dream of having a kitchen completely free of plastic. In the mean time, with a small budget and no car, I will continue to buy my groceries at Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s finds a way to package most of its produce. Brussel sprouts, broccolini, garlic, citrus… They wrap so many products in plastic…

The Best Utensils to Take on the Go

I have recently become obsessed with avoiding plastic utensils. I try to bring my lovely bamboo utensils everywhere with me, not just because I want to avoid using single-use plastic, but because they are beautiful! Last night when out at dinner, I  became “crazy utensil lady.” I had forgotten to bring my bamboo utensils and…

Green Coffee Shops in Chicago: Backlot Coffee

I do the vast majority of my studying and working in coffee shops. However, I know that–on the whole–the coffee industry represents an unsustainable industry. Unfortunately, not a lot of resources exist that detail all the green coffee shops in Chicago. I have decided to start a personal quest to find and catalog as many…

Biking Sustainably: Kali SAHA Helmet

Lately, I have really embraced biking around Chicago. Whenever I’m heading somewhere less than five miles away, I try to bike! Unfortunately, up until a few days ago, I did not actually own a bike helmet. Chicago has pretty safe bike lanes for the most part, so I wasn’t terrified, but I knew I needed to find…

My Efforts to Make a TEDx Conference Greener

Last April, I had the opportunity to co-organize a TEDx conference. I have loved TED events since high school, so having the chance to orchestrate one myself really felt like a dream come true. I had visions of a sustainable and green conference like my school had never seen. Of course, real life got in…

Organization Spotlight: Zero Hour

              The news cycle on climate change and the environment often leaves me feeling despondent. Sometimes, feeling very sad about the state of our world inspires me to take action. Usually, hope inspires me better. The organization Zero Hour gives me a lot of hope about the future of our planet. In…

Simple Steps to Make Laundry Greener

Zero waste living really inspires me. I wish I could get to a place in life where I make my own detergent from scratch and store it in a mason jar. Then I’d air dry all my clothes instead of using a dryer. Unfortunately, I’m not quite there yet! As this is my greener project and…

Coral Reef-Safe Sunscreen

As someone with pale, freckly skin, I go through a lot of sunscreen. I wear it every day (yes, even in the dead of a Chicago winter!) and compulsively reapply every few hours in the summer. This means that I go through a lot of sunscreen. I’m disappointed to report I didn’t give much thought to…