June 2009


4th of July Fireworks Photo By deltaMikeIn honor of the upcoming Nation’s Birthday: the 4th of July we thought we would highlight a great feature on Green and not-so-Green Presidents. The Daily Green wrote a couple articles a while back : 10 Greenest Presidents and Presidents with the Worst Environmental Records. Both these articles highlight the Presidents who have given the most to the Green movement and those who have done the least. In order to rate the Presidents, the Daily Green has identified those that have done either the most or least amount of work with environmental policy and protection. Of course it is hard to compare all the Presidents as obviously America has gone through massive change and evolution. However, these lists highlight some of the greatest, well and worst environmental Presidents.

Seal of the President of the United States Photo By JoshBerglund19Its always good to start with the positive, so we want to feature some of our favorite Green Presidents and highlight what they were able to accomplish in their term. The Daily Green’s list, as we mentioned above, contained the Top 10. We will feature four of the Greenest Presidents, but to get the full list, check out their feature.

1) Teddy Roosevelt: He is often thought of as one of the forefront environmentalists, as far as Presidents go. In his time in office he was constantly pushing Congress for environmental protection, including setting aside 150 million acres timberland and turning it into public domain. He also was able to create 50 wildlife refuges and 5 National Parks and initiated the US Forest Service.

2) Jimmy Carter: Carter was wise beyond his years and definitely ahead of his time, as he not only instituted Green Acts, but he lived by example. For instance he installed solar panels on the roof of the White House and kept the Thermostat at 68. He created the Department of Energy which he hoped would create National use of alternative fuels.  Also, he signed into law several acts such as Soil and Water Conservation Act, Endangered American Wilderness Act, and Superfund Act.

3) Richard Nixon: Although being most infamously known for his role in the Watergate scandal and his bombing of Cambodia, Nixon is also known for some great Green moves. He created the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act. During his Presidency he signed several eco-acts including the Endangered Species Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Ocean Dumping Act.

4) Woodrow Wilson: Wilson may not have accomplished as much in the Green world as the previous people on this list, however, the Green items he did complete are incredibly important. In 1916, he founded the National Park Service, which is incredibly treasured throughout the US. Also, he pushed forward the Smith-Lever Act of 1914.

Other Presidents on the Top Greenest Presidents list included Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton, Franklin D Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon B Johnson, and John F Kennedy.

And as many great eco-friendly Presidents that have come through history, there are some equally as terribly green Presidents. These Presidents have chosen to either ignore environmental policy or have left a path of destruction. The following are only four we have chosen to highlight from the Presidents With the Worst Environmental Records. To see the full list, check it out here.

1)  Dwight D Eisenhower: Eisenhower’s Presidency begun during the Post World War II Era. And with that era brought expansion to the suburbs. Eisenhower actually really promoted the move to the suburbs and he constructed many projects that lead to the Interstate Highway System and funding and energy moved away from mass transit. From these movements suburban sprawl and car culture really took form.

2) Ulysses S. Grant: Although Grant was able to make Yellowstone the first National Park, he has huge black mark on his record. This mark is the 1872 Mining Law, which changed  how mining worked. With this law large scale and destructive mining begun on public land with no payback to the taxpayer. This Law is still being fought by Environmentalists today and causes many battles.

3) Ronald Reagan: More than any other Administration in history, Reagan gave leases to oil, coal, and gas development on National lands. Reagan appointed anti-environmental leaders to head the EPA and Department of the Interior which caused such laws as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to be rolled back. He also scaled back Carter’s CAFE standards for gas mileage and slashed funding for alternative energy. Furthermore, he once famously or infamously said  “trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.”

4) George W. Bush: This probably comes as no surprise to anyone: that Bush makes this list. It is well known at this point that the Bush administration is known for their denial of Global Warming and their refusal to fund alternative energy. Bush has huge ties to the Oil Industry and under his terms, they reaped the highest income ever. On top of this he scaled back laws protecting air and water pollution, opened the Arctic Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for drilling, pushed logging, and promoted mountain top coal mining. Possibly the worst impact he had was on his denial of Climate Change and the setbacks he caused to the country.

Others that made the worst list include: William McKinley, Richard Nixon (although he appears on the Green List), Andrew Jackson, Herbert Hoover, and Warren Harding.

Windmills at Middelgrunden Photo By andjohanThis lists should serve as not only a lesson to future politicians, but a great way to get to know the history of the Green movement. Its a glimpse at how politicians, specifically Presidents, have shaped the Nation’s environmental policy. So let this be an eye opener for Obama (after all who wants to be on any worst list) and to us as a nation. The environment is a precious thing, and we need to remember to treat it kindly. So this 4th of July, while you are drinking beer and watching the fireworks, take time to reflect on the environment.

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Ipanema Cafe Richmond, VAOn our road trip to Richmond, VA we couldn’t help but take in all the local scene. And of course this means satisfying our palate with some tasty vegan foods. We were trying to figure out which restaurant to try from the list of many  and came across a recommendation from the Richmond Vegetarian Society for the Ipanema Cafe.  I have to say this right now: I believe this to be one of the best vegetarian restaurants I have ever experienced, well at least in my Top 5. The food is American, yet healthy style with a little International flair! The cafe is located near the VCU campus in quaint little spot with an outdoor patio. We arrived pretty late in the evening for dinner, so the bar crowd had already moved in. The cafe is a perfect mix of bar life, vegetarian restaurant, and local meeting place. In fact the night we were there, it felt as if everyone knew each other with all the hugs being given.

At first glance the atmosphere of the place is this seedy, kitschy, thrift store decorated bar. But really the place is quite hip and vibrant upon further investigation. The decor is something worth mentioning as it literally looks like a flashback to the late 60’s; in fact the whole vibe of the place was very 60’s, including the patron’s style. The only thing that was a bit tough, if its your first time, is the menu. It is written on a chalkboard in the entrance. So you have to take turns getting up to read the menu before placing an order. This inconvenience is actually hardly one after you realize what is on their menu, which I believe changes day to day. It was a bit cluttered and a tad hard to read in the dimly lit bar, but the choices (not all vegan but easily could be)  seemed all around enticing.

Vegan Ceaser Salad

Vegan Ceaser Salad

We decided to start with a salad as an appetizer and my eyes were drawn instantaneously to the Vegan Cesaer Salad! I must say it has been years since I had the chance to indulge in a truly satisfying Ceasar. This one lived up to my expectations! In fact, I didn’t want it to end. Their Ceasar is topped with the typical croutons but also grilled marinated tofu that was simply delightful! I can only recommend this appetizer as I didn’t have the chance to try more. But they also offer such tasty treats as Zucchini Fritters, Polenta and Grilled Vegetables, and Foccaccia. I hope to try more of their selections on a return trip to Richmond.

Fried Green Plantains

Fried Green Plantains

Next up, the entrees! There wasn’t a whole huge list to choose from but we settled on two great dishes: Crispy Fried Green Plantains and the Cantonese Noodle Bowl. The Crispy had the perfect mix of Caribbean and Southern flair. It included fried plantains, tempeh, sautéed sweet potatoes and zucchini with Caribbean spices. This dish was a flavor explosion in my mouth, its too bad I accidentally left the leftovers on the table. We also tried the Cantonese Noodle Bowl which consisted of wok seared noodles, crispy tofu, and garlic soy covered vegetable.  This was beautifully arranged with a side of dipping sauce next to it. The tofu in this dish was perfectly cooked and we were impressed with their seasoning style.  They also offer sandwiches and plenty of other entree choices such as Grilled Tofu Hummus Sandwich, Black Bean Burrito, Honey Gingered Tofu, and Cajun Crusted Seiten. They all seem pretty tasty sounding if you ask me.

Cantonese Noodle Bowl

Cantonese Noodle Bowl

We did not have the chance to try any dessert on our visit, as we were stuffed from all their delicious and hearty food. But they do offer some vegan desserts. However, we did get a chance to try a local bottle of wine, which was surprisingly good and fruitful! They also have a pretty comprehensive and delicious sounding Brunch menu where they offer standards such as Tofu Scramble and French Toast but also some unique dishes like Vegan Blitzes, Tempeh Benedict (with a vegan citrus bearnaise sauce), and Spicy Soyrizo Wrap! If we had more time in Richmond, we would have stopped back by to partake in this breakfast. On top of this delightful brunch menu they also offer a pretty large Lunch Menu, which is similar to dinner but with more options including Vegan BBQ, Grilled Eggplant Panini, and Vegan Chicken Wrap.

This restaurant (and full bar) is worth checking out if you are ever in the Richmond area and no doubt I will be returning there the next time we come into to town. I mean, really, I have been salivating at the thought of their Vegan Ceasar Salad for a week now. Check out some of their other reviews and this quote from their home page sums it up perfectly: “A comfortable, funky spot where both the tragically hip and the hopelessly uncool can leave carnivorous temptations at the door and forage instead in the great green world of vegetables.”-Style Weekly

Ipanema Cafe
917 W. Grace St. Richmond VA 23219
PH: (804) 213-0190

Beats for peace flyerOn Friday, June 26th, in the quaint but rockin city of Boston a celebration of summer and life is to be had! That’s right, the FREE Beats for Peace Block Party is going down. The party is put on by Critical Breakdown, a youth run non profit which works to end inner city violence through socially conscious art. The organization was founded in 2000 and provides safe environments and opprotuities for youth in Boston.  

This Friday they are throwing a Block Party to celebrate the start of summer. The party will be located in the South End and is chalk full of fun! The party includes Live music by Jungle Club and Zumix,  Fashion Show, Free BBQ, Free Product giveaways, Product information (including good ol’ AP), Hip Hop Goes Green Tour, Live Graffiti, DJ Turntable Trick Show by Turntable Anihilists (DP One & DJ G.I. Joe), Break and All Styles Battle, and Children’s Activities!

It seems like it will be a total blast and we are really excited to attend! Please come out if you are in Boston this weekend and we hope to see you there. 

WHEN: June 26th, from 6pm-10pm, 

WHERE: Blackstone Community Center-50 West Brookline St in the South End 

 

Delaware

Somewhere in Delaware…

We have now safely arrived back in Boston but boy did we have a blast! Anne and I (Gina) packed our bags and drove straight down to Richmond, VA (it took nearly 10 hours).  As soon as we were there, we had a chance to go out on the town! We stumbled upon a great Vegetarian restaurant and local bar and then found our way to a bar with a live reggae band. It was a terrific way to really feel out the city and get to know the locals. I must say, we really dig Richmond.

AP Booth @ Richmond Veg Fest!

After a night on the town, we awoke to get ready for Richmond Vegetarian Festival. We set out to conquer the festival at the hour of 9am! The festival was held at the beautiful Bryan Park, which had this Southern feel with a huge white caretaker’s house  and rolling green fields. I was incredibly  impressed with the helpful, laid back feel of the festival. After setting up our booth we finally relaxed and soaked in the 96 degree sun!

Vegan Funnel Cake

Vegan Funnel Cake

The festival was filled with great music and fantastic people and of course terrific vegan food. We experienced VEGAN FUNNEL cake with strawberries! I don’t think I have had funnel cake since I was a child. It was absolutely satisfying….espeically after a night on the town. For lunch we were excited to experience all the wonderful vegan food surrounding us. It was SO hard to choose…and we ended up on avocado sushi, Pizza Fusion vegan cheese slices, and vegan Southern BBQ! We definitely enjoyed the treats.

Monticello

Monticello!

But beyond all the delicious food we enjoyed the people we met there. Everyone seemed really excited to experience the festival and all our products, including our new T Shirts. Check back soon to the site where they will be available. You will definitely want to check them out, especially if you love bikes!

Although sad to leave Richmond behind, we headed out to Monticello to enjoy Thomas Jefferson’s compound (we are at heart history nerds) and  then off to New York! What a wonderful weekend. 🙂

Richmond Vegetarian FestivalAutonomie Project is backing her bags as we speak and heading out on the open road once again! That’s right, we are headed on a road trip down to Richmond, Virginia for the annual FREE Vegetarian Festival. The Festival is put on every year by Vegan Action and the Vegetarian Society of Richmond. This year proves to be super exciting and includes live local music such as  ANTERO, Workingman, and many more; plus some terrific speakers, cooking demos, and a raffle with a grand prize of a weekend getaway at The White Pig (an all vegan bed and breakfast)!

And if entertainment wasn’t enough to tempt you, there is a HUGE vendor fair including yours truly, Dharma Clothing, Arbonne International, and Honest Tea. And of course, there will be tons of delicious vegan restaurants and food giveaways! Everything from vegan cupcakes to Indian food and even Italian ice! We are looking forward to spending the day in the warm summer heat, talking with all the people we meet, and of course trying all the snacks!

So if you live in the Richmond area, we hope you can make it out and enjoy the day with us. Please stop by, say hi and check out our BRAND NEW T shirts! Get them now before they’re online. See everyone Saturday.

WHEN: Saturday, June 20th  12pm to 6pm

WHERE : Azalea Gardens in Bryan Park: 4308 Hermitage Road, Richmond, VA 23227

Golden Gate Photo by aslakrSan Francisco, home of the Golden Gate, the Giants, Sourdough Bread, and an environmentalist’s dream! The city has been known for years as a progressive haven and for its dedication to the environmental movement. In the past few months they have certainly been living up to their name!  A few months ago they  passed the first Do NOT Mail Resolution and a few days ago they instituted the harshest recycling laws in the country. This is incredibly inspiring and exciting to see such great moves in this great city. Hopefully their moves will come as an example for the rest of the country and for their own state.

At least my junk mail is sophisticated Photo by orphumThe Do Not Mail Resolution, as we mentioned above, is the first of its kind in the country. Back in March, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution that urges the state of California to create a Do Not Mail List, similar to the Do Not Call List. This list would allow residents to sign up and stop annoying junk mail from ending up in their mailboxes. Even though this is merely a resolution, if put into action people can choose to end the annoyance of junk mail and cut down on paper use. The environmental impact of such a bill would be tremendous as the majority of Californians would likely sign up. Several other states have attempted similar resolutions only to find them fail at the urgency of advertising companies and the Post Office. For the city to pass the resolution not only makes history, but it is a small step in cutting down useless waste of paper.

At least my junk mail is sophisticated Photo by orphumAnd just last week San Francisco, took their recycling and composting laws a step further. The new bill states that one can be fined up to $1,000 for not properly separating their trash, recycling, and compost. Residents will now be given bins for all three requirements. Although the fines are meant to be an incentive to cut down on trash in landfills, some residents are annoyed at the Big Brother tactics. Although installing fines is a like a little police state, the city says that it will help them reach their zero waste to landfills goal by 2020. Currently the city diverts 72% of waste away from landfills and much of the compost is taken to the wine vineyards in Napa. Hopefully these harsher fines will help San Francisco meet their zero waste goals and also encourage other cities and states to follow in their footsteps!

San Francisco should be looked upon as an inspiration for the state of California and for every city in our nation. It is great to hear of change in the positive direction and we hope other cities will adopt their high standards soon. Its no wonder San Francisco tops the list of the Greenest Cities.

I love my father as the stars - he's a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart. Photo By pipitdapo (popping in in slow installments)Father’s Day is just around the corner and its time to decide on gifts. But what to get him? Why not choose a green gift?! Whether your Dad is a seasoned Green enthusiast  or if you are trying to introduce him to the eco-friendly world, a green gift is the way to go. There are hundreds of great eco-friendly gifts that are perfect for Dad, check out World of Good or  Inhabitat’s Father’s Day Guide for some ideas. We have also put together a short list of our favorite Father’s Day gifts below. So celebrate the Father in your life with some Green gifts! Happy Father’s Day!

Solio Mio Photo By: moria1) Solar Powered Charger: From laptops to cellphones to ipods, most Dad’s have several gadgets to tote around. And when he is on the go, he is going to need to stop and recharge. What better way then to use a solar powered one, heck, even the President uses one. Solio, makes a range of solar chargers that provide power anywhere! This is a perfect gift for a Dad who travels or who is constantly in need of his electronics. 

2)  Recycled Wallet: A simple and cheap gift is this great recycled tire Fair Trade wallet. The recycled rubber comes from discarded car and truck tires. Every man needs to replace his wallet once in a while  and this recycled tire option will last a while. Every wallet has its own shape and markings, so every one is one of a kind!  

The Nectar of Kings!! Photo By: k.ivoutin3) Organic Beer Kit: Almost every Dad enjoys a cold one after a long day. But what they might enjoy even more is brewing their own. Seven Bridges Cooperative provides an easy and beginners organic beer brewing kit. Not only is this kit organic, but home brewing cuts down on shipping emissions that purchasing beer causes. Also, your Dad can take pride in his own brew. 

 

Where's the Meat? Photo by deb roby4)  Eco Grill: If you have a little extra cash around we suggest you get your dad a Hybrid Grill. These are the most environmentally friendly grills around. You can cook with a combination of wood, charcoal, and gas. This will still provide your food with a smoky flavor but can switch over to natural gas!. But these grills are really pricey so if you want to go for something a little more wallet friendly, you can purchase your Pops a bag of organic charcoal and BBQ him a delicious vegan meal! 

MoBikeFed retreat in West Plains Photo by MoBikeFed5) Spend A Day Together: And possibly the best Father’s Day gift you can get your Dad is to spend time with him! We suggest a local outdoor activity such as a bike ride, canoeing, or  a hike. You can enjoy the great outdoors while spending time with your old man. And if you travel close or by bicycle, you can cut down the impact on the environment. And remember, be sure to leave nothing behind!

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