Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One of a Kind, Spring 2010

{repeat organic fabric}

I'm heading off to the One of a Kind show in Toronto tomorrow...a small collection of those I'm excited to see.  Keep posted.

{billy would}

{Marie-Claude Girard}

{Benoit Royer}

{Alexandra Ratte}
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Monday, March 29, 2010

{eco} style: Jack & Marjorie

Such a treat today!  I came across these lovely bags for the first time at the Christmas One of a Kind show in Toronto this year, and have been dying to post about them ever since.  The bags are made by Jack & Marjorie, and are constructed using recycled army surplus items: "Our bags are constructed primarily out of recycled military surplus materials. Among the items we currently use or have used in the past are: military tents and cotton tent fabric, wool blankets, duffle bags, parachutes, rifle sling straps, webbing, ammunition pouches, suspenders, zippers, buttons, and parachute cord."  Any additional materials used are constructed with vegetable tanned leather and hemp/organic cotton.  You'll love the irregular but brilliant designs, along with all the thoughtfull embelishments...stash your stuff in a little piece of history.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

{what will you be doing during Earth Hour? image from The Moore's flikr stream}

Earth Hour 2010 is here, and, as stated by yesterday's Globe & Mail, it has become the largest social movement in history.  That's pretty great, especially as participation climbs globally every year, as more people unite in a stand against climate change.  Here's the thing though...lets not limit our stand to just one night.  While I would say our progress in the last few years has been substantial, like the omnipresence of they recycled logo, or the reusable shopping bag, that ever-evolving fashion accessory must-have, I'm left with how far we still have to go, and how quickly we have to do it.  So, turn your lights off tonight at 8:30 (local time) for one hour and let it inspire you to keep it rolling.  Oh, and if you're going to light a candle, make it beeswax, which is healthier for you and the planet.  What will you be doing during Earth Hour?  Make it a family tradition...take the time to spend time together...oh, and I'm still trying to figure out how to make smores carbon free, cause you can't beat family get-together's that involve smore making. 

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

{eco} design: Andrew Maynard

Andrew Maynard Architect (AMA) doesn't really require much introduction.  He's had his fair share of great press...just check out his 'about' page and cruise the long list of awards and recognition he's received.  Well deserved, may I add.  Andrew is high on my list of top ten sustainable architects, mostly because he is NOT AFRAID, period, of pushing the envelope and seeing what comes of it.  The Australian architect's designs are radical, unusual and nothing short of spectacular.  Many of his projects are remodels, and perhaps my favourite thing about Andrew is that the new section of the house is seamlessly integrated while radically different at the same time.  How many times have you heard a designer say..."I want the addition to look like its always been there", or something similar?  Not this guy.  Andrew acknowledges the heritage of the house by keeping the basic architectural structure, and then creating something entirely new and incredibly unique.  Oh, and by the way, its wonderfully modern and organic too!  Take the following, The Barrow House, and you'll see what I mean.

"The Barrow extension appears as an arrangement of timber boxes, each independently rotated and subjected to varying amounts of extruding and manipulating forces." AMA

{lovely wood, layers and layers of it, and someday, I'm going to have glass bifold doors like that too...}

{simple...yet effective.}

{enjoy the contradictions.}

{am fanatically obsessed with this.}

{i included this shot so you can see what I mean...the original house is visible at the back.}

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Monday, March 22, 2010

{eco} style: Coco Eco Magazine

Happy Monday!  I really love my job, so Monday's make me happy, as does a new week of stories for Pure Green.  I'm kicking this one off by introducing to you Coco Eco Magazine.  If this is old news to you, I'm apologize for the repetition.  To me, however, this is a totally new find that I am radically in love with!  Coco Eco is like Vogue for green girls: fashion, beauty, great green stuff, even celebrities grace the lovely virtual (Coco Eco is only available online...save a tree or two) pages.  You can feast your glam apetite and still be green. However, I feel it's important to mention that the ladies at Coco Eco really know their stuff... they address greenwashing, point out that buying more stuff is not a solution, and stress that we vote for a green economy every time we spend an organic, fair trade dollar:

"Unbeknownst to us, we have enormous power and it’s not through petitioning local government. It’s women who buy the groceries, clothing, household items, skincare, and make-up, even cars. Need I go on? Through our choices we have enormous purchasing power and the ability to shift standards and implement change. Influence more stringent regulations in the everyday items that affect our lives. Commit to a healthier standard of living. Money is power and we spend a lot of it so it makes sense to start spending it well. And it comes with the additional bonus of whilst helping the planet; it’ll be good for you too. Don’t kid yourself that those pesticides in your skinny jeans are only bad for our water supply?
We’re not suggesting you accumulate new eco-friendly things to replace the conventional items you already own. In fact, quite the opposite! Being eco aware calls for a review on how we’re living and how we’re spending. Take inventory of your life and choose what you can live without, and be brutal with yourself. Realize that everything you purchase came from somewhere and has to go somewhere. And in that new space, start choosing something positive. Make your money count and put it back so it can reap more. Recycle, reuse, restore, and reinvent. Purchase organic. Support local, sustainable and fair trade. Get creative! And don’t get overwhelmed! Even if you only do one or two things, it all counts."
Anna Griffin, Editor in Chief
Coco Eco Magazine

So, sit with a cup of fresh, organic & fairtrade cuppa joe, and enjoy.  And hey, the plus side to being behind on catching up with Coco Eco, you have 10 glorious issues to browse through!  Next issue coming in May.

{get your fill of high fashion...}

{...organic beauty...}

{...great, green travel guides, city by great city...& much more.}

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Green Traveller: Postcard Inn, St. Petersburg

I don't know why, but I'm finding myself pining for a surf vacation these days.  I've only ever surfed a few times in my life, but its an art I'd really like to somewhat 'master', especially since I'm always joking with Jonny that my goal in retirement is to be a super rad 60 year old surfer chic!  With that in mind, I came across the Postcard Inn, in St.Petersburg, FL.  I used to live in Florida (for a short while) and never really spent much time in St. Petes, although this is giving me a nudge to make a point of revisiting.  So, why is this green?  Well, its a neat story really - hotel conglomerate purchases old, run-down motel with plans to demolish and rebuild a new hotel, devoid of personality and remincent of 10 other identical establishments lined up on the beach.  After some protesting from locals, however, the new owners decided to keep the original structures, and renew the motel with a sense of boho chic.  In fact, the new hotel, which make use of existing infrastructure, has spurred a new movement of reclaiming day-begone establishments, which, in my humble opinion, does nothing but add personality and a sense of history, enrichening the average hotel experience.  What else befits the Postcard for the Green Traveller?  Well, just look at the virtual plethora of vintage goodness!  The hotel is almostly completely furnished with vintage finds, further creating that unique, bohemian feel.  Plus, located beachside, the hotel is affordable, $99-189, and is located in less pretentious St. Pete's, more 'old world' Florida, as described by Travel & Leisure, with fewer Escalades and more pink flamingos.  Wanna go?

{breakfast eatery}

{the critically acclaimed Wildwood BBQ}

{movies, al fresco...love it!}

{rooms with personality}

{& vintage goodness abounds}

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

{eco} design: Paul Massey

Paul Massey is so brilliant, I'm sure you've seen him before, in fact, he's been mentioned on PGD before, and if you're a fan of Living Etc., you'll have seen some of these photos before.  However, that said, I wanted to feature more of his work because it is so beautiful, but also as a study in eco design.  While I have no idea if the projects he's shot are eco, I do know that eco decorating principles can easily be applied.
First, is minimalism.  The spaces shown are simplistic in nature, but don't lack warmth or personality.  The lesson, you don't need more stuff to create a considered home.  Work with what you have, downsize, or keep your eye out for the ONE perfect thing, without letting your impatience get the better of you.

The second principle is the use of natural materials, like this bed, the rough dresser, the pine floors, the seagrass floor pillow, the linen on the bed.  Not only are these materials renewable, they create a chic and organic appeal.  The use of pale colours also showcases the raw appeal of the wood.

Again, natural wood siding is allowed to age naturally.

Making a feature of firewood is one of my favourite tricks.

The last principle I wanted to mention was the use of vintage, or repurposed items.  These photos really show that you can have a sense of modernism, calm and balance with your reclaimed peices, without falling into the 'shabby chic' category.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Organic Kitchen: Handmade Pierogies

Hello all!  Welcome to PGD's first Organic Kitchen post!  Jonathan and I have been wanting to do this for a while now, so I'm really happy to be finally delivering.  What is the Organic Kitchen?  Well, first a little history: Jonathan and I love to cook, well, he does in particular, and I love to partake!  It's fair to say we both love food.  One of the many ways we try to live green is to eat good food, grown by good people, using good farming practices.  Our desire to share this experience with others is what has prompted the Organic Kitchen.  In all truth, my husband Jonathan is the author of this column (I took the pictures) - he is witty and smart, I'm sure you'll enjoy reading his column, and hopefully feel inspired to try a few of his recipes!  So, without any further hoopla, here is Jonathan, with the first installment of the Organic Kitchen (I know this is more lengthy than the usual PGD post, but bear with him - brevity is not his strong suit - you'll be glad you did.

'I have a passion for food. Making it, eating it and especially sharing it. I love to cook for people. It’s rarely well planned and always interesting – most of the time I can’t tell you what goes in a dish until I make it, and unless Céline writes it down I generally can’t tell you after either. I’m working on that so that I can share some of my favorites with you – but just a brief disclaimer: my recipes are more like rough guidelines (as are all recipes in my opinion) so adjust ingredients to suit your taste.
My goal is to share with you my favorite recipes, most epic blunders, foody anecdotes and topics ranging from eco friendly cookware and cooking techniques to great wine discoveries to gastronomic chemistry lessons to the always popular ‘zen meat’ debate. There will not be discussion or recipes that involve tofu – I’m convinced it will cause prostate cancer (at least, that’s what I tell my wife)...ya ya Jonathan, we all know that tofu, while prepared properly is delicious, is not for you....and no, it doesn't cause prostate cancer, but I will give you that it isn't good to eat too much!
So what do I know about cooking? You be the judge. Am I a Chef? Hell no. I’m not socially maladjusted enough for that, LOL, (*read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain if you want some insight into the culinary underbelly). Actually, that was not a fair statement – I know many great Chefs and at least one of them isn’t socially devolved. So no, I am not a chef, though I have trained a few. I have been a restaurateur for the better part of my adult life, I have a genuine passion for food and I have cooked and experimented with food for as long as I can remember. I know what tastes good, what makes a good meal, how to have fun in the kitchen and how to love food that loves you back.

If I were ever to be a restaurateur again – here would be the first menu item:

Pierogies – My way
Makes 24 – serves four seriously hungry people. Serves six with a side dish*. Takes 1 hour. 


Sour cream – 1 tub 500ml (if you can’t get organic use full fat because low fat is full of nasty chemicals)
3 potatoes, large white (top 10 item to buy organic),
Extra old cheddar, 2 cups (if you aren’t going to put bacon buy the strongest cheddar available)
Flour, organic all purpose
Onion, white or Spanish
Cider vinegar, organic, preferably with mother
Salt, your favorite, organic sea or Himalayan
Rosemary, dried is fine for this recipe but start growing one in a pot – you won’t regret it
Seasoning salt
Bacon – 1 Lb. locally sourced and traditionally raised “zen” bacon

Pour a glass of cold, sauvignon blanc, something with bold citrus notes, anything New Zealand will do or Fetzer makes a nice organic one.
Peel and cube potatoes and boil until soft. Drain and mash.
Cut bacon strips into squares and sauté to medium (still a bit floppy), remove from pan and drain away fat.

Sauté 1 piece whole and quaff it before Céline sees!

Dice (not too fine) 1/3 of the onion and sauté until golden and translucent. Hint: throw it in the pan and wait – stop shaking it!

Grate cheese and add to potatoes along with bacon and onion.

Add ¼ cup of cider vinegar and a ½ tsp of salt.
Pour sour cream into a large mixing bowl and knead in flour until the dough is no longer sticky, even a bit stiff.

Dust your countertop with flour and roll the lot out to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Use the sour cream container like a cookie cutter and cut out as many rounds as you can. You should get 24.

Line the circles up and get ready to stuff. At this point you should have a small finger bowl of water handy.

Pour sour cream into a large mixing bowl and knead in flour until the dough is no longer sticky, even a bit stiff.

Dust your countertop with flour and roll the lot out to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Use the sour cream container like a cookie cutter and cut out as many rounds as you can. You should get 24.

Line the circles up and get ready to stuff. At this point you should have a small finger bowl of water handy.

Because the dough is a bit elastic you will want to squish each down with you palm as you go. Add filling, about a golf ball sized dollop, wet the edges with your finger (hence the bowl of water) stretch the dough over the filling and press seams together. You may want to fold the seam over like a hem to make sure it stays together. Alternatively you can use egg white instead of water but I find it’s not necessary. Now you should have something that looks like a mini calzone.

Repeat until done.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Slip the pierogies in one at a time. Make sure they do not stick to the bottom. As they star to float lift them out with a small strainer or slotted spoon and put on a rack to drip dry. They should be firm when they are done.
In a large cast iron skillet heat up grapeseed oil or high quality organic canola oil on medium high heat. Once hot add a tbsp of butter (*hint: the oil stops the butter from burning, the butter adds the flavour).

Fry your pierogies until brown and crispy (make sure they are dry or they will spit hot oil at you). While frying sprinkle generously with rosemary and some seasoning salt. If you want you can use course mineral finishing salt instead – but we like the seasoning salt.

Serve on plates and drizzle liberally with pure Canadian maple syrup. The salt, rosemary and syrup are nothing short of genius together. Accompany with another glass of that sauvignon blanc. Bon appétit!

*For the Carnivore: some good quality locally produced grilled pork sausage is good with this.

*For the veggie lovers: Coleslaw!!!!! Cheat and buy some broccoli slaw which has red cabbage, shredded carrots and shredded broccoli stems or use green cabbage, carrots, red cabbage for your base. Add paper-thin slices of onion, slices of tart apple, raisins and sunflower seeds. Add a pile of fresh or dried dill, and mustard seeds or grated ginger for the spice lovers. Mix up a dressing with one part olive oil, one part maple syrup and 1.5 parts organic cider vinegar. You can stretch it by adding some apple cider or juice. I recommend using Herbamare or Spike to season the dressing to taste, but your favorite salt will do. Mix it all up in a bowl and let sit for a couple hours in the fridge for best results, but it can be eaten right away. Make lots ‘cuz this salad lasts a week!

Alternatives: Desert. Try this recipe with marscapone cheese, figs and vanilla for a wonderful desert.

Leftovers: Freeze ‘em and reheat in the oven. If you know you won’t eat them all freeze them before they are cooked (make sure you separate them so they don’t stick) and boil them from frozen. If you have leftover filling, in the morning grease a cast iron pan with butter, smush the filling out into a big patty and pop in the oven at 400 until brown. Serve with your favorite style of eggs, your favorite condiment (PC steak sauce or Ketchup) and a fresh sliced tomato with a little finishing salt.

Health Tip: Organic Cider Vinegar cleanses the liver, alkalizes your system and is an all-around awesome health tonic! Cooking in cast iron gives you your daily iron – no joke.

Stay tuned - next time I'll be doing French toast - à la Céline & Jonathan


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