Monthly Archives: March 2009

Musings on Green Fashion, Part 1: Buy Used!

As much as I care about being green, focusing specifically on green fashion is relatively new to me. In recent months, I’ve started trying to reduce my purchases – buying less, and repurposing what I already have. However, I’m definitely a girl who loves clothes, and I often get sick of what I already own. Don’t we all? In fact, I’m planning on organizing a clothing exchange party for my girlfriends soon, because I know we all have cute stuff in our closets we’ll just never wear again and might as well pass along to a better home!

Anyway, I’ve started looking for clothing that is made from sustainable materials and/or made in America – extra points if it’s made locally. This is quite a daunting task, as you might expect. It is so, so difficult to find clothes that aren’t made in China. Now I haven’t done tons of research on this subject, but I’m willing to bet the working conditions in many of the places where this clothing is made are not the best, nor are the wages. Caring about the environment also means caring about the people on it, and I don’t want to support sweatshops. Again, I haven’t done extensive research on this, but in general, I am steering away from clothing and other products made in China, whenever possible.

In addition to being hard to find, eco-fashion tends to come in two different options: affordable and hideous (think hemp, hippie-style), or cute and trendy, but expensive. Now, I don’t mind paying a bit more for well-made clothing that’s in line with my values, but ya know, the economy is not doing so well right now. We’re all broke, and it’s simply not an option for many of us to buy fancy green fashion, even if we want to.

One solution I’ve come up with, that I’m liking a lot, is to buy used. Sometimes when I think about how much “stuff” is already in the world, I freak out. It’s pretty disgusting, actually. Buying used is a great solution, leaving a very small carbon footprint. I’ve been shopping at Crossroads lately (locations in CA, Seattle, Portland and Chicago), which tends to have current, cute, trendy fashion. I’ve also recently discovered Plato’s Closet, which I’m loving! I’ve picked up some great stuff in the past few weeks – a few dresses (for under $10), cute sunglasses (LOVE that I don’t have to buy “new plastic”), a zip-up hoodie that I’ve got tons of compliments on, a Weston Wear shirt (made in the USA, a local company AND used – triple score), and Joe’s Jeans that were $40! It looks like they have locations all across the country. I highly encourage you to check them out – you might have to do a little digging through a lot of teeny-bopper stuff, but there are some great deals to be found! Today, I’m wearing this cute dress I got there for $10. I haven’t checked out Buffalo Exchange yet, but they’ve got a ton of locations as well.

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I feel really stupid modeling this, but cute dress, right?

Some stuff I’ve picked up thrift!
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Velvet shirt (the brand Velvet, not the texture, which I hate, ha), C&C Organic hoodie shirt, Weston Wear shirt, Zip-up hoodie, “I Need a Hug” shirt, Joe’s jeans, the dress from the picture above, Little Black Dress ($8!)

I’ve also been doing a lot of eBay window (heh. Windows?) shopping. One problem with eBay is it seems to have been taken over by the resellers, which defeats the purpose of trying to buy used! But you can look under the Conditions filter and choose “used” or “pre-owned.” Sometimes “New w/o Tags” is also an option, but make sure they are not resellers. You’ll be able to tell if they have multiples of the same item. I bought the C&C California Organic striped-shirt in the picture above for $8, including shipping. It retailed for $98 – ridiculous! There are also some great eBay consignment shops that sell lots of cute, gently used clothing. If I find an item I like, I’ll check out the seller’s other items, again making sure they’re not a big reseller. One thing I like to do, when I’m not sure what I’m looking for, is search for a term like “Anthropologie,” which will serve up lots of clothes in the style I like.

I definitely encourage you to try thrift if you’re looking to be green while saving some cash. You – and the planet – deserve it!

Coming in Part 2: Shopping online for ecodeals, and buying American-made!

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Pretty Green Tip: Get it “For Here”

I had some time to kill late Friday afternoon while I was waiting for a friend to get off work. I had a long night (comedy show and drinks with friends) ahead of me, so some coffee was in order. I walked by this super cute new coffee place called The Creamery (shouldn’t they sell ice cream? Ah, oh well) and stopped in for a cuppa iced coffee. Since I had time to spare, I got it “for here,” saving a plastic or paper cup. If you have the time, why not sit down and enjoy yourself with a “real” cup?

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Short on time? Don’t forget to bring your own super-cute reusable cup to fill up! Check out this one I spied at the salon the other day. Looks like paper, but it’s porcelain! Yes, I totally asked the girl next to me if I could “take a picture for my blog.”

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If you can’t find them for sale in your own city (hint: try a museum gift shop), check out Uncommon Goods. It is – unfortunately – made in Taiwan, but we can’t win ’em all, right?

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Baby, When the Lights Go Out

I have a secret. Well, actually, if you know me at all, it’s not so much of a secret. I love boy bands. Love them. In fact, I’m cleaning my room and listening to *NSync Pandora right now. I’m totally dancing around to a BBMak song. Maybe I shouldn’t share these things with people.

Anyway, when I found out tonight is Earth Hour, this song from UK Boy Band Five popped into my head. Anyone remember them? Oh, this kind of music totally brings back fun college memories for me!

Anyone can participate in Earth Hour by turning out the lights from 8:30-9:30 pm, your time, wherever you are. Though the effect is mostly symbolic, I love the idea and will definitely be participating. And singing this song. Baby, when the lights go out…

For some reason, the embedding is disabled on all the official music videos, but here’s a live version. The music vid is on YouTube if you just can’t get enough! 😉

Are you participating in Earth Hour? What’s your favorite boy band/boy band song? You know you love ’em!

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Seasonal Pizza and Good Folk(s)!

Last night, after carpooling with my boss (yay for carpooling!) home from work, I took BART over to the East Bay to meet my sister for dinner and to see my friend’s concert. I have to say, I really love taking public transportation, and I always forget that! Taking BART, or Caltrain like I did to work on Tuesday (post in the works), makes me feel like I’m on vacation in another city. I just love it, and need to do it more often!

Anyway, my sister picked me up at BART and we headed to The Cheeseboard Collective for dinner, a worker-owned, independent pizza place. Each day they have one kind of vegetarian pizza, and it’s delicious! There’s always a line around the door. On the menu last night: pizza with asparagus, gremolata, Shitake mushrooms, mozzarella , Montalban Manchego Cheese and garlic olive oil. YUM! I never would have thought to put asparagus and gremolata on a pizza, but it was great. We also had a yummy salad, and I was just really in the mood for a beer, so I had a Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale. Half a pizza is $10, and we both took leftovers.

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Pizza with compostable forks (for the salad)!

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My cute sister eating pizza! Trying to come up with a good nickname for her, because she is my green inspiration. Extra Green Girl? Pretty Green Sister?

Then we headed over to the Freight & Salvage, a coffee house/music venue, to see my friend, the ultra talented Laura Cortese, perform. She’s an amazing fiddler/singer/performer. Definitely check her out! I was listening to her CD Even the Lost Creek this morning, and it’s so good! I definitely got some weird looks from other drivers because I was totally singing along! One cool thing they mentioned at F&S – they are in the middle of building a new eco-friendly venue with blue jean insulation and a living roof. Three cheers!

During the concert, Laura had a contest/raffle, including questions about how often you take public transit or walk instead of driving. Three days a week for me – soon to be four, I hope. I work from home Fridays, try not to drive on the weekends, and am hoping to start taking the train to work one day a week. We didn’t win, but we had a lot of fun with our entries.

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We had to write down a word to identify ourselves on the cards. My sister picked snorkle (snorkel?). I picked, naturally, green. I also drew a really horrible picture of a tree, but luckily for you, the photograph didn’t come out. 😉

Also, here’s proof that keeping scratch paper in your bag is always a good idea.
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My sister wrote “Janet Smells.” I made it “Janet Smells Good,” which became “Janet Never Smells Good,” which I turned into “Janet Never Smells Good Except Always.” Ahh, siblings. 😉

We then headed over to a local bar and had fun catching up with friends I hadn’t seen since high school. Lots of reminscing about all the drama back in the day, ha. We have some fun plans in the work for a writing project!

Finally, check out this awesome sign we walked past. I’m getting more comfortable saying, hang on, stop, I have to take a picture for my blog! I’m hanging on to this picture as a reminder that while recycling is great, reducing and reusing come first in the chain for a reason.

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PS: Super thanks to Hallie for helping me link up my blog to my Twitter. You rock, girl!

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Lunch in the Park

What a nice lunch break I just had! First I went to the San Mateo Farmers’ Market and got a bunch of great stuff – a red bell pepper, a yellow bell pepper, asparagus (which will apparently be in season until May, head’s up. Get it while you can!), Brussels sprouts, apples and hummus & jalapeno red pepper jelly/sauce from the Afghani food stand. The girl that works there is always so nice and generous with her samples that I feel like I have to buy something! She got me again!

Then I assembled my lunch and walked to a little park nearby to enjoy it. The weather is so great today that a walk and eating outside were totally necessary! Here’s my lunch, posing with my slightly obnoxious “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” bag (especially because it was made in China. Ironic, huh? Grr). Sliced apple (darn braces! I can’t wait until I can bite into a real apple again!). Leftover cold local broccoli. My latest yogurt obsession, Straus Vanilla with Stahlbush Farms sustainably farmed frozen fruit. Hate that it’s packaged, but it’s good in a pinch. I reused this yogurt container that I bought when I needed a starter for my homemade yogurt. An English muffin sandwich with Mendocino Hot & Sweet Mustard, the red pepper jelly/sauce from the Farmer’s market, Diestel honey turkey, avocado from my CSA, and thinly sliced local apples. Also pictured: my Sigg water bottle. Funny, their website actually is “My Sigg.” Heh.

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Lunch

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Me in my walking hat

Lunch was great, as was getting outside. I read Body & Soul while I was eating, which had TONS of great eco-friendly tips. I know, getting eco-friendly tips from a magazine is like the height of irony, but I’ve drastically cut back on my magazine subscriptions recently, and always make sure to hand them off to friends, and make them promise to pass them along once they are done!

Speaking of magazines, check out this Us Weekly (I have to – I write celeb gossip trivia for work) peeking out from under my Farmers’ Market produce. I love how it looks like Jason, the Bachelor, is very pensive about produce. Also note the Envirosax bag with a big stupid ink stain. Grr!

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Tweet

After resisting and proclaiming “I don’t get it” for so long, I’ve decided to Twitter. Yeah, I know. I’m obsessed with updating my Facebook status, though, so why not? (By the way, how cool am I? I even have a Google Doc called “Future Facebook Status Updates.” I know. Not cool! ;))

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Follow me at twitter.com/prettygreengirl.

Do you Twitter? Do you *get* Twitter?

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Here It Goes Again

Oh man, I just found out I got a spot in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I didn’t get the official notification yet, but they charged my card, so I guess I’m in! I’m excited for the challange, and the Mile-of-Chocolate and all, but man… does this mean I have to train again? 😉 At least it’s not until October! I totally didn’t think I’d get picked.

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Actually, this will give me a great opportunity to be greener. I’ve been sticking to the treadmill lately (bad green girl!), but this will spur me to do more outside runs. I have an easier time doing speed work on the treadmill, but I’ll push myself to work on this outside. Anyone have any tips for outdoor speed work? I’m thinking I’ll pick some landmarks to sprint between!

By the way, my title was inspired both by the fact that I’m going to have to start training for another half (I did 2 last year, despite not being able to run 5 miles straight last January!) and the best running/sprinting song ever. Also, another green thing that I’ve been meaning to post about – I still have the same iPod mini I’ve had for 4-5 years. It works great, though I had to get a new battery once. Keeping what you already have instead of buying new stuff – totally green!

While we’re talking running, here’s a pic of me and some friends doing a Mock 5K last year. A friend’s friend was in a coma, and they organized a 5K in LA, so we were the honorary SF chapter! I’m in all black. Way cuter than any of my official race photos, anyway! 🙂 Those are always the worst, agreed?

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