My account of creating a greener life.

Sustainable Grower Profile: Diamond Mountain Ranch

As I’ve mentioned before, I try to avoid eating meat but will eat it if I know it comes from sustainable, ethical farms. I love Homestead Meats in Evanston, but when I’m visiting home in California, I love Diamond Mountain Ranch! I discovered Diamond Mountain Ranch at my local farmers market. They sell every time…

How Companies like Bon Appétit Support the Green Movement

I have followed Bon Appétit for a long time! I love their recipes, and getting their magazine in the mail always feels like a treat. Often, I wish popular magazines and websites would use their clout to broadcast messages of sustainability to their large audience. Most magazines don’t, but some, like Bon Appétit do. Admittedly,…

On the Hunt for Sustainable, Ethical Chocolate

One of my favorite bakeries has a display of their favorite sustainable chocolate brands, with descriptions of what makes each company great. Obviously, I walked away with a fair bit of chocolate! More than that, I started thinking about how unsustainable the chocolate industry really is. Hunting for eco-friendly chocolate has been one of my…

Honest Thoughts on “If You Care” Garbage Bags & Parchment Paper

My roommate recently surprised me by bringing home the most eco-friendly garbage bags she could find. She and I constantly try to replace everyday products in our apartment with more eco-friendly alternatives. She had brought home “If You Care” garbage bags. I was delighted: the package advertised compostable bags free of plasticizers and polyethylene, wrapped…

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…