EcoWings India recycled treasures!
EcoRenovation! David Alan Basche & Alysia Reiner on their Harlem Home
Sahar Simmons and her passion for
Exclusive Interview with Actress & Activist Erica Hubbard
The Celebration of Bloom S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y
H E A LT H
A FOOD DEMOCRACY REVIEW OF FARMER D’S “CITIZEN FARMERS”
The Eco Review Magazine is a prestigious full color eco magazine dedicated to keeping our global readers informed on how to be sustainable at the office, on-the-go and at home. We are passionate about creating change in our readers’ lives in order to save our communities. Our Eco Magazine covers everything from the hottest EcoTrends to the basics in being sustainable”. The Eco Magazine provides solid industry features and compelling stories while introducing products and educating our readers on what it is to live a
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TER CONTRIBUTING EDITORS (CLOCKWISE) HELENA SPEIGHTS—Editor-In-Chief PAIGE NATHAN—Contributing Editor DENISE QUARLES -Contributing Editor DR. LATORIA WHITEHEAD-Contributing Editor CHRISTINA COLEMAN-Contributing Editor TINA HART-Contributing Editor CRYSTAL DAVIS-Contributing Editor KWABENA NKROMO-Contributing Editor TESS VISMALE-Contributing Editor STACEY TAYLOR-Contributing Editor
CELEBRATION OF BLOOM
Spring Issue 2014 HAPPY EARTH DAY
On The Cover
Energizing Georgia’s “Clean” Energy Industry 8 EcoWings of India The Lean Coach
Green Meeting Standards
Springtime Reading: A food Democracy’s Review of Farmer D’s “Citizen” Farmer”
My Contribution to the Environment Celebrating Earth Day
You Are Not Your Circumstance
City Leads The Southeast in Energy Efficiency Best Practices
Going Green In Harlem 24 My Happy Place
Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk with Chef Dorit EcoStar’s Favorite Recipes
Access to the Fountain of Youth
Going Green with the Atlanta Hawks and the National Black and Latino Council 37
Greetings From the Publisher IT’S A CELEBRATION It‟s April and we are celebrating Earth Day! This month is our 2 year anniversary for The Eco Review Magazine and it has been the best decision to spread a message of sustainability, love for the environment and the importance of health and wellness. In December, I made a personal commitment to myself and my family to live a healthier life style. In the last four months, I have become a pescetarian, started working out on a regular basis and getting more rest. I feel the best I have in years. It has allowed me to be more productive and enjoy life to it‟s fullest. I want to encourage each of you to make a decision that puts you first. It will be the difference you need and desire to be the best you. It‟s finally Spring! This was the longest winter I can remembered experiencing here in the South for some time. We witnessed weather patterns and winter storms across the country that had never been seen before. Thousands were affected and it is my hope that people truly understand the effects of global warming on our planet and begin to educate themselves on how to be the difference. I‟m excited to bring this edition of The Eco Review to you our readers. This issue features an exclusive interview with Actor David Alan Basche, his wife Actress, Alysia Reiner and their beautiful daughter Livia. Learn how this environmentally friendly family has turned their Harlem home into an eco-wonderland. You‟ll also get to meet Actress Erica Hubbard and her commitment to her community as well as the environment. We love to celebrate our eco-warriors like Celebrity Chef Dorit who is the personal chef to tennis champion Serena Williams. I love this issue and I hope you will too. All the Best EcoWarriors,
Felicia Phillips Publisher
Energizing Georgia’s “Clean” Energy Industry
t’s not too often that a state-led program helps establish a new industry, but in Georgia, the Center of Innovation for Energy is doing just that.
The Center of Innovation for Energy, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development has been providing solid business resources and growth strategies to Georgia-based companies while assisting in the recruitment of the state’s newest industry. At the helm of this center is Costas Simoglou, a former technology business manager who has found great success in the recruitment of alternative energy companies due to his holistic perspective he refers to as the “energy ecosystem”. This ecosystem focuses on four primary areas of energy generation, energy transmission and distribution, energy storage, and energy consumption and Simoglou works with companies, research universities and government and industry associations to facilitate a successful environment for energy companies to locate and grow in Georgia.
“Innovation improves our standards of living and in the process creates wealth. All the trends show that the next decade is going to be all about localizing the energy and food models,” said Simoglou. This Center’s core focus is to help Georgia’s existing businesses find ways to connect to the right resources in order to solve problems, remain competitive and in the end grow their operations. The Center’s model of economic development is the collaboration between private industry, academia and government for the purpose of innovation. Simoglou acts an industry middle-man liaising between government resources, academic experts, and private industry partners in order to give them the appropriate connections to develop new technologies, access new markets and customers, or simply remain competitive in an increasingly global economy. Particular areas of focus include solar, waste to energy technologies, and deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure. Through the Center of Innovation and their partnerships with other economic development and industry associations, Georgia is now home to over $2 billion in investment in solar energy with nearly 900 MW of solar energy coming on board by the end of next year. What was a non-existent industry just five years ago, has now grown to include over 2,000 employees leading the way to Georgia becoming the 3rd ranked state in private solar portfolio. This is a testament to the collaboration between the solar industry, electric utilities and the Public Service Commission. Working collectively with partners like the Georgia Solar Energy Association, Southface, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and others, Georgia is now home to major solar brands like Suniva, Mage Solar and Sputnick Technology USA. When Swiss-based Sputnick Technology, parent company of the SolarMax brand and maker of solar power inverters was looking to locate their first North American office, they chose Georgia simply because of the way the Center of Innovation could instantly plug them in to the industry and university research network found here in Georgia. Simoglou not only convinced them that Georgia was the right place to locate their office due to the international access Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport provides, the first-class talent found through Georgia’s extensive university system, and the opportunity to share office hours with their corporate headquarters in Switzerland, but helped them select the right location to build their office and testing facilities as well as connected them to some of the available talent in Georgia. Outside of the solar energy industry, the Center has taken the lead on many leading edge innovations like “waste to energy to food” and energy storage technologies. Additionally, by working with organizations like the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Plug-In-Georgia, and Clean Cities, the Center has helped position Georgia as the 4th best State for electric vehicle sales. All of these designations can be traced back to the partnerships the Center of Innovation for Energy has helped create staying true to its mission of helping Georgia’s energy industry connect, compete and grow. Learn more at Energy.GeorgiaInnovation.org
Costas Simoglou is Director at The Center of Innovation for Energy and has more than 25 years in the technology industry. His achievements include more than $500 million in direct and indirect investment by recruiting more than 300 technology companies. to Georgia Helped create the Georgia Center of Innovation program
ARE YOU DOING YOUR PART TO INFLUENCE SUSTAINABILITY? In my line of work, I have had the pleasure of visiting a lot of manufacturing operations around the world. Many sites have very aggressive Lean and Green initiatives, while others, have made little to no effort. My primary focus at these sites is to provide guidance in Operational Excellence leveraging Lean Six Sigma methodologies to deliver significant business and productivity results. However, in my experience, Green principles are incorporated with continuous improvement efforts. Lean Six Sigma principles eliminate process waste and variation, and Green, of course, eliminates waste to our environment. Dr. Keivan Zokaei states, “lean – change for the better; green – tomorrow better than today”. While I am pleased that progress continues in Green initiatives, I am concerned that individually we could be doing more to influence progress. (Insert Lean and Green Waste Images) I‟m concerned because it seems to me the progression lies with us as individuals, rather than simply at the corporate and leadership levels in the organization. Remember years ago, when job safety was the big push? The message was that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Not just that of a safety counsel or governing body. I feel that same way in some regards to sustainability efforts, as I‟m sure most of you do as well. So what prevents some of us from using our influence? Last fall, I was working at a site leading an improvement initiative. After having a beverage, I asked, “do you recycle?”, as I didn‟t see receptacles. Nowadays, one would think a recycle program should be commonplace. However, that was not the case; I was in a small town in Virginia. The person proceeded to explain that in their opinion, the site should be recycling. I stop short of asking why they don‟t for fear of embarrassment. I found it very interesting that several people within the site felt strongly that more should be done. Yet, they didn‟t feel empowered to initiate activity or a movement. Why is that? Is it a matter of leadership? Is it a matter of personal responsibility? One could argue that it‟s both and more. In my opinion, the issue begins with a shift in our mental models. All movements started with people passionate enough to drive and lead change. And I get it, not everyone wants to take on that level of responsibility, but they would still like to be involved. So how can we shift the paradigm to empower more people with tools for them to feel empowered to leverage their ability to influence change within their organizations and even communities? Here are three (3) simple mental models you can start to practice today to influence change. 1. Involve Everyone – As I stated many people may believe that more should be done, yet they may not want to bear the full responsibility of driving change. However, one could solicit those interested to launch a committee with the office. Set reasonable goals to start and get more aggressive over time. Image the day, when every organization and household, pledged to strive toward zero waste to landfills. 2. Define the value created – Create very simple messages or campaigns to illustrate the impact. Many companies believe that Green initiatives will actually increase their expenses. There are several case studies that illustrate huge profit potential when companies undergo sustainability efforts. Be prepared with data and facts to support your ideas when you approach leaders and managers. 3. Partner - Partner with businesses focused on providing solutions to Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Conserve. You don‟t have be an expert, when you can leverage other experts to assist in your movement. It takes courage to speak up, but you can do it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the number of people within your circle that have very similar values regarding the sustainability that would be willing to help. You have the power to influence change. Editorial provided by Crystal Davis, CEO of The Lean Coach Crystal Davis is an experienced business management consultant with twenty years of experience in the design, development, and implementation of Lean Business System solutions. She has accumulated extensive domestic and international expertise in the design and implementation of solutions for automotive and healthcare manufacturing, and consumer packaged industries. Crystal has assisted clients in formulating comprehensive business and logistics strategies and in re-engineering distribution and manufacturing
Greenpreneurs Sahar Simmons, a native of Brooklyn, NY, is the author and creator of the Briana’s Neighborhood children‟s book series and brand. “There weren‟t enough images for young girls from multi-cultural backgrounds that were living real life scenarios,” according to, Sahar Simmons, a Hampton University graduate, with a degree in Mass Communications. In the series, Simmons created a positive and lovable character, perfect for commercial usage, which focuses in on the undistorted African American experience. “Briana lives in a household comprised of the wisdom of three generations, together with her mother and grandmother. Her mother is a successful career woman, and her grandmother is full of common sense and sagacity,” describes Simmons. Simmons‟s own background plays a great role in the development of this story line. Like her character, Simmons also grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her family is the guiding force behind her determination and accomplishments. "My family means everything to me and they have always supported my talent, creativity and growth to be the woman that I am today," according to, Simmons. Simmons started her career in the sports industry working for the US Olympic Committee and continued on to, TNT Sports, the NBA (Atlanta Hawks) and NFL (Atlanta Falcons). She has organized and executed special events for the NBA All Star games and professional athletes; Alonzo Mourning and Carmelo Anthony‟s foundations. Simmons later transitioned into film as an Associate Producer and worked on major Hollywood films and television productions such as: Collateral, Be Cool, Roll Bounce and MTV Punk’d. The enthusiasm of Briana’s Neighborhood has been supported by major partners. Her community involvement includes maintaining literacy partnerships with corporations such as: McDonalds, Carol‟s Daughter, Macy‟s, Chick fil a the WNBA and NBA Leagues. Simmons was a featured author on green initiatives at the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC. Simmons latest partnership is with Wal-Mart Simmons dedicates her time to giving back to kids. She volunteers and conducts writing workshops and empowerment programs for youth which include financial literacy, self empowerment and green initiatives for kids. Her community involvement has been recognized by Rolling Out Magazine as one of the 25 “Most Influential Women” and Who’s Who of Black Atlanta Publication. Simmons was also the 2010 Wells Fargo Entrepreneurial finalist and the 2012 Echoing Green Business Leader finalist.
Simmons, founder of the Briana's Neighborhood Dare to Dream Foundation, a nonprofit organization serving youth from multi-cultural backgrounds who “dare to dream” and achieve success. The foundation‟s mission is to provide literacy components which include: innovative programs, book readings, writing workshops, forums, and seminars that assist in the personal growth of minority youth and provide leadership opportunities that will focus on their growth and community involvement. In addition, Dare to Dream is organized to promote self empowerment, health and physical fitness within the community.
G REEN M EETINGS : S TANDARDS ? Where Do I Begin? According to the Convention Industry Council (CIC), a green meeting or event incorporates environmental considerations to minimize its negative impact on the environment. So you may be thinking, I get that our industry generates significant environmental impacts but why do you think standards would help? Meeting and Events are wasteful! Can you believe, the average conference attendee uses and consumes much more when they meet, and they produce more garbage than they do at home? Let;s check the facts. The average conference attendee: Produces 61lbs of solid waste over a 3 day conference (USEPA, 2000) which equates to roughly 20lbs per day. This amounts to 2 large garbage bags of trash. The average American generates about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year – or about 4.5lbs per person, per day (USEPA, 2003), amounting to 100 large garbage bags per person. Uses 846 gallons of water (USEPA, 2000), or roughly 262 gallons per day. Regular home use of water by the average American amounts to about 86 gallons per day (World Bank, 2000). Produces 1,418 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions (USEPA, 2000) This is roughly the equivalent of operating your car for one month. Imagine a world without standards. Paper may not fit in the printer, plugs may not fit in the socket and communications may fail. Developing standards keeps our lives safe, productive and sustainable. Who knew there where standards for planning green meetings? Well, the concept began with a conversation between the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Green Meeting Industry Council in 2007. The Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) was engaged to develop them. Through this partnership with GMIC, the CIC‟s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX )initiative and American Society for Testing (ASTM) International came the meetings, exhibitions and events industry‟s first and only comprehensive standards for environmentally sustainable meetings. Why are they important? To ensure the industry is performing against the same expectations - balancing the impacts of meeting with the triple bottom line – planet, people and profit. So, if one organization is claiming they plan a green or sustainable meeting, the industry has the ability to compare apples to apples. Government agencies are also beginning to require standard compliance for meetings to satisfy their own purchasing policies. And governments aren‟t the only ones to be looking a consistent sustainable performance. In the US, nearly all the Fortune 1,000 companies have or are developing purchase policies. The standards are also a response to industry demand for consistent practices. We often hear industry professionals asking what do I need to do to implement a green or sustainable meeting? From the suppliers we hear a need for consistent, define specifications are needed for them to know what they should be implementing. Suppliers say more and more planners are asking for green practices, but what they‟re asking for isn‟t consistent so they are struggling to meet expectations. The goals of the standards are to provide: Goal 1. Industry-wide accepted standards for a green meeting Goal 2. Road map for planners and suppliers who wish to implement sustainable practices Goal 3. Enhance sustainable practices with communities, venues, clients, attendees, exhibitors and vendors, engaging all stakeholders
The 9 Sectors The standards were divided into 9 sectors covering key aspects of event planning and execution. They include: accommodations, audio visual/production, communications, destinations, exhibits, food/ beverage, meeting venue, onsite office and transportation. Each sector is separate and can be reviewed and implemented separately, independent of the others. For example, if your meeting involves AV, F&B, and a venue, but no exhibits, communications or transportation, etc., then only those three sectors need to be the focus. MYTHBUSTERS:
Editorial provided by Tess Vismale. Tess is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and member/contributor of the Association of Conference Collegiate Event Directors International, National Black & Latino Council and Professional Convention Management Association(PCMA). She is a board member of the Green Meeting Industry Council Atlanta Chapter (GMIC), CoChair of the Curriculum Committee for Meeting Professionals International â€?Georgia Chapter (GaMPI), founding member of the T.J. Perkerson Elementary School Foundation and served as a board member of Hospitality Industry Professionals of Atlanta (HIP-Atlanta).
Global Urban Agriculture Springtime Reading: A Food Democracy Review of Farmer D’s
the season begins to change towards spring in Atlanta and many other parts of the world, the Global Urban Agriculture section of The Eco Review Magazine is preparing by cultivating the mind and spirit of our readers as well as the soil. To this end, we chose to review a new book written by Daron Joffe of Farmer D Organics fame. “Citizen Farmers: The Biodynamic Way to Grow Healthy Food, Build Thriving Communities, and Give Back to the Earth” is part autobiography combined with a practical organic gardening/farming guide, but mostly a spiritual call to reimagine our world civilization towards a more ecologically just and sustainable future. Joffe (also known as “Farmer D”) has bared his soul as both a successful green industry entrepreneur and generational visionary to produce a veritable manifesto of social change. Reading Citizen Farmers is an excellent way to open up ones hands and heart to the new growing season upo us. For Joffe, gnrowing food is a deeply personal experience. The book opens by revealing an Apostle Paul-like experience he had through eating a turkey sandwich of becoming aware of the need to know where his food came from. From this quirky beginning, Farmer D goes on to share an engaging and inspiring story of a journey in following his discovered life purpose and vocational call to service. While the surface of his career gleams with accomplishments in the business world, it becomes clear from the author‟s passionate prose that he is moved to work by something quite deeper. He writes, “I hope this book inspires you to be a steward, to plan to plant something, to grow food, to heal yourself and the earth, to reap the bounty, to share it with others, and to help foster a more sustainable future.” While there is lots of useful information about Joffe‟s favorite growing method of biodynamic agriculture within Citizen Farmer, the book is perhaps most unique in its treatment of the larger issue of how we as individuals function in society. By carefully and intricately weaving a narrative connection between foodcentered ecological stewardship and our identity as socio-political beings, the author challenges readers to view their citizenship through the gastronomic lens of our stomachs and a horticultural prism of our environment. Essentially, Joffe points to a paradigm shift in which we do more than put on our local food or sustainable agriculture hats when gardening or shopping at a farmers‟ market. A higher calling, he demonstrates, is to live our good food values in the many big and small choices we make every day. For instance he notes, “Composting is a daily reminder or our individual tasks as citizen farmers: contributing to a healthy planet and being a responsible steward of the land. … I hope to inspire you to make composting as essential to your daily routine as brushing your teeth.” Food democracy and civic agriculture are terms often used to describe the intersection between agronomic issues and citizenship. The latter was was coined by the late Professor Thomas A. Lyson and referred to the trend towards locally based agriculture and food production that is tightly linked to a community's social and economic development. Professor Lyson expounds on his ideas in a book he wrote called Civic Agriculture: Reconnecting Farm, Food, and Community (2004), arguing that because of the interlocked relationship between the food economy and consumers people have a civic duty to support important agricultural engagements.
by: Kwabena Nkromo Joffe continues in this tradition when stating, “Growing, harvesting, and sharing food are perfect catalysts for cultivating community. I strongly believe that through collective farming and gardening we can solve some of the greatest economic and social problems of our time”. One of the most potent avenues to express these values is through urban agriculture in particular, as Farmer D came to realize himself:
“… I started to lean toward becoming an ambassador for social change through urban agriculture. I wondered how I could bring the farm to the city and start influencing the masses to think more critically about their food choices and how they affect the environment, the economy, and human health.” Since the title of Citizen Farmers advertises well two of its core tenets, it is a bonus to discover the consistent thread of casual spirituality and practical economics that is also woven through the text. Toward the latter part of the book, Joffe writes, “In my opinion, long-range success is measured by our impact on society and the earth, creating meaningful jobs, and being able to take pride in what we do. It is truly an honor to do something you believe in that can provide sustained health, happiness, and fulfillment.” A wonderful gem to be found in Chapter 1 is the “Compost Meditation”, which poignantly illustrates Joffe‟s gift for adding deeper meaning to even the most mundane horticultural tasks. He shares, “Composting for the soil is the process of breaking down organic materials, while composting for the soul is the process of breaking down personal struggles (grudges, frustrations, stress, anger). … I use composting imagery frequently to dispel the mental clutter that may be holding me back in areas of my life beyond the garden.” Citizen Farmer is a tour de force that is would be a tall glass of cool water to anyone thirsting for more guidance and motivation to join or become more engaged with the food justice and sustainable agriculture movements. By squarely anchoring his first publication at the nexus of citizenship and farming, Farmer D has boldly contributed to the genre of literature dominated by intellectual greats such as Michael Pollan and Mark Winne. The startling difference with Joffe is that he writes from the perspective of an active grower and practitioner of his craft. For those of us also inextricably bound to the soil through our minds and souls, this makes all the difference in the world.
“You do not need to trade in your urban clothes for overalls and move to the country to grow food. You don‟t even need to own green space. Across the nation, organic growers and consumers are bound by a common striving to leave the earth the way we found it - certainly no worse, and preferably even better. … This is what the „citizen farmer‟ movement is all about: taking actions that foster a healthier, more sustainable food system and passing on these values to the next generation. It is about honoring the place where you are now, believing in yourself and supporting others, sharing your wisdom and passion, and following your dreams. The steps outlined in the chapters that follow will help you create abundance in your garden, kitchen, classroom, boardroom, or farmers‟ market, I like to think of all of us as potential citizen farmers: each making a contribution to a better and more sustainable world.” Editorial provided by Kwabena Nkromo Kwabena Nkromo, is Founding & Lead Partner , Atlanta Food & Farm, LLC (AF2) . Kwabena has more than 10 years of experience with strategic planning, organizational development and agricultural planning. He has served as a voice for underserved communities in Southwest Atlanta. Kwabena has provided his environmental expertise to the City of Atlanta while on the Atlanta Planning and Advisory Committee as well as being a founding member of the Atlanta Land Trust Collaborative Steering Committee.
ving in a big hustling and bustling city like Atlanta I was under the impression that there was very little that I could do individually to help the environment. I thought that my insignificant contributions wouldnâ€&#x;t mean very much. I believe that this might be the thinking of many of us. I found out that not only could we help individually, as a household, but that we could also teach others and help collectively. I did a little research and found that there were three key areas that we made changes in. The results have already been tremendous in saving money & energy and also helping the environment.
LOW FLOW TOILETS Did you know that in Georgia some counties will pay you to replace your older toilets with Low Flow options? Low Flow toilets use less than 2 gallons of water per flush. As opposed to the over 7 gallons that can be used for any toilets that were made prior to 1994. In our county we were reimbursed up to $100 per toilet (limit 2 per household) and have saved over $40 per month on our water bill because of it.
ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES It was a no brainer to swap out our washer & dryer for more efficient options. Our high efficiency washing machine has a LOT of perks that allow us to save energy and money! 1. It uses minimal water by automatically weighing each load to determine the appropriate water levels. 2. It uses concentrated High Efficiency detergent which means we use and buy less. 3. Itâ€&#x;s computer driven and uses minimal electricity. CONTAINER GARDENING Who knew I had a green thumb!? In the spring of 2012 I started a container garden. Container Gardening is simply growing plants and vegetables in containers. Minimal space is required. All you need is buckets, seeds and sunshine! There is no better way to teach your children about the environment, sustainable growth and urban agriculture than a container garden. It was a fun activity to do with my child and other kids in the neighborhood. We grew cucumbers, bell peppers and carrots just to name a few veggies. The best thing about it is eating the results! Not to mention the fortune we are saving on produce. Once you eat a vegetable that you have grown you will never want a store bought one again! Check the internet for tips and tools on the best times to plant in your region. There are many other ways for city dwellers to contribute to to environmental protection. It may not seem like much, but every little bit counts and we are all responsible for the future of this planet.
Editorial provided by Stacey Taylor Stacey Taylor is the CEO and founder of The SistahChick & Co. LLC, an Atlanta based social media management company that is also the parent company for her business entities which include: TheSistahCafe.com (blog), Our Natural Kids (website) and Sistah Buttah (natural product) Since 2009 Stacey has used her voice to spread the word about natural hair and skin care, social events in Atlanta, Black Marriage, Family and Life. Stacey is also a freelance writer contributing to major websites, printed and online publications. TheSistahChick@TheSistahCafe.com
EARTH DAY & ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE On April 22nd the world will celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day, founded by former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin), was created to raise awareness of the environment and protect the planet. One may say that Earth Day set the tone for advocacy of the environment. Nelson describes the idea of Earth Day as evolving over a period of seven years starting in 1962. The climate of the 60s marked a time when former President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the War on Poverty through Great Society programs to assist poor families. This era signifies historical events, where the War in Vietnam took precedence; a time where the fight for civil rights characterized activism against injustice, brutality, and dehumanization; a time where Woodstock represented a peace and love generation. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s work Silent Spring, received public attention by challenging the practices of agricultural scientists and the government, on the misuse of synthetic chemical pesticides and the ecological impact. Although some would describe Carson’s work as an ecological focus this period was also described as one of environmental crisis. Silent Spring set the tone for the way many would view the environment. Following the work of Silent Spring, various environmental policies became important to the country, and as a result statues were created in response to addressing environmental protection, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and numerous other environmental laws. The thought of the environment and human health would come at a later date. Capturing the consciousness of populations around the globe, the United States began to connect human health and environmental safety. As Earth Day and other monumental movements have created a way for us to be more environmentally conscious, one may say those who are implementing environmental policies have not valued the human lives of vulnerable populations. The burdens and the benefits of the environment have not been equal for all. Low-income and minority populations have received more environmental degradation and less environmental protection. Is it a celebratory day if we’re not all getting the same distribution of benefits and burdens as a result of environmental hazards? What is earth day symbolic of if vulnerable populations are not indeed receiving equal environmental protection? The movement of Earth Day is intrinsic to the environmental justice movement. The same manner, in which millions of Americans stood against toxic waste, pollution, and extinction of wildlife, is similar to the First National People of Color summit where a yearning for democracy, and environmental protection took place. On October 24 – 27th, 1991 leaders from around the world attended the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held in Washington D.C., creating and embracing the historic document, the Principles of Environmental Justice. Since then, the 17 principles have been used to characterize the environmental justice movement. Advocates came together to stand against the destruction of the land, community, and the environment.
As the first principle so elegantly states “Environmental Justice affirms the sacredness of Mother Earth, ecological unity and the interdependence of all species, and the right to be free from ecological destruction.” The premise of the environmental justice movement underscores many of the same principles of Earth Day; protection from environmental hazards, honoring the environment, and honoring human health. The Principles of Environmental Justice are parallel to the principles of Earth Day. These principles assert protecting the sacredness of mother Earth, while respecting different cultures, languages, and beliefs. The principles mandate responsible utilization of our earth, in the interest of sustainability while honoring the human population. The principles affirm and demand the right of inclusiveness at every level of decision making. The principles state that Environmental Justice requires that we, as individuals consume as little of the earth’s resources as possible, ensuring a healthy earth for present and future generations. The historic document reflects on protecting what environmental justice advocates call Mother Earth. Protecting Mother Earth while protecting our communities, our children, our families, and our health. As we celebrate Earth Day around the world, let us not forget our vulnerable populations in many communities who are bearing more than their share of environmental hazards. Join me today in celebrating Earth Day, but know that every day is earth day. The environment is you, it’s me, and it’s ingrained in us. The environment is the air you breathe, and the food you eat. On April 22nd lets recommit to a conscious, collective responsibility, to the earth and remember that as we celebrate the symbolism of Earth Day, environmental disparities continue to exist for poor communities. We have a responsibility to the planet that we have inherited, we also have a responsibility to assist communities and address environmental injustices that not only contribute to degradation of the earth, but also contribute to degradation of millions of populations around the world. One Planet. One Earth. This is our common ground. Happy Earth Day!
Dr. LaToria Whitehead is the founder and director for the LS Whitehead Group (LSWG), LLC. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and a Masters in Public Health. Dr. Whitehead is also a public health professional, and an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Spelman College. Dr. Whitehead‟s research interests include environmental justice and sustainability, public/urban policy, theory and methods, and American government.
Moo-ve Over Leather! India’s got a Brand New Bag! Kapil Sharma is the savvy Founder and President of EcoWings India. Out of a growing desire to save India’s bovine wildlife, the former product designer decided to combine both his skills and his environmental passion to make a difference. Thus in 2012, EcoWings India was born. The Company harvests truck tire inner tubes and creates sustainable fashions: wallets, bags, purses and laptop cases. After graduating with his B-Des in Product Design from Symbiosis International Deemed University, Pune, India, Kapil spent 5 years in his field. Then I realized, he states, I should do something for nature, wild life and environment as this is a global problem and people are not bothering about this concern. You [would] be surprised [that] in our region every month, one animal gets killed by humans.
As our products are replacing leather, so we are saving wildlife and unnecessary killing of Cows to get the leather. Kapil explains that in India, the Cow is the symbol of Lord Krishna. All the cows are not slaughtered, he says, but if a cow is not being used it goes for slaughter; meaning, if the cow no longer provides any milk, then it is deemed useless. Enter EcoWings India! I asked Kapil to briefly take me through the process of producing his enviro-friendly products, soup to nuts. I used to experiment with tire tube earlier during my academics. Then afterwards, I made my own team and developed some raw concept. Those [prototypes] were not very good in the beginning, but later on, the real good stuff came out. The waste tire tubes are collected from truck drivers and facilities with which Kapil has formed relationships. The tubes are washed multiple times and dried under the sun. The next step is to cut the material according to the design draft. After the stitching, the products get polished, and then the last step is the brand tagging for final packaging.
By: Helena Speights
Let me count the ways in which EcoWings is a completely green business, and doing more than just saving precious wildlife. 1. Aside, from the design team of 7 designers in his Bee Labs studio, Kapil employs several other people to collect the tire tubes. This is providing economic stability and wages. Initially I used to collect personally from all the national highway puncture shops, he admits, but now we have good network and through this way we are giving good employment opportunities to poor people. 2. Reusing and upcycling the tire tubes is reducing our carbon footprint and keeping materials out of landfills. 3. The product production itself is done entirely by hand! There is no machinery used, not to wash, dry, cut or stitch! Kapil says it takes his team roughly 7 to 10 days to make 100 lady’s bags, and that each and every single product draft is done by our highly skilled craftsmen and done by simple hand tool. 4. By making his beautiful products, EcoWings is transitioning society away from leather goods and more toward sustainable products.
endeavors to be embraced, he is very committed and passionate, and will carry forward with this mission. Kudos to Kapil and his fabulously enviro-conscious company, EcoWings. Did you know that each product is named for an animal that is either on the endangered species or under threat animal list? And to sweeten the eco-deal, that a percentage of each sale is also donated to WWF (World Wildlife Fund)! Be sure to visit EcoWings online at www.ecowings.in. You’ll be doing more than just purchasing a fashionable product, but the trickle-down effect of your purchase is priceless and immeasurable!
YOU ARE NOT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE Erica Hubbard is truly an inspiration to both men and women, young and old alike. Like a flower sprouting up from a crack in the pavement, raised on the Southside of Chicago, she has blossomed into an actress, philanthropist and author. You may remember her as Jasmine in Save the Last Dance, as Madison in A Cinderella Story, Cassie in Lincoln Heights, or even as Kita in BET‟s long-running series, Let‟s Stay Together, but children around the country know her simply as Erica, their mentor and their inspiration. Through her foundation, The Erica Hubbard Foundation (TheEricaHubbardFoundation.org), Erica travels throughout country, meeting, greeting, speaking and inspiring today‟s youth at church, schools and conferences. With affiliations such as the Boy‟s and Girls Clubs of America, Red Cross America, A Place Called Home Youth Center, and now the latest in her repertoire of organizations she supports, The Yellow Tractor Project, no request in need is too small or too challenging.
“the rib shacks, the pizza, Pepsis and hotdogs; that’s what I was exposed to” Erica recalls the hardships growing up in Chi-town, the drugs and the gangs, an even the unhealthy food choices that were available. Before I can even ask the question about her eating habits as a child and exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables, Erica busts out laughing. She recalls the rib shacks, the pizza, Pepsis and hotdogs; that‟s what I was exposed to. Current day, we would label these areas as „food deserts,‟ with limited or no access to fresh food or vegetables. That‟s why Yellow Tractor is important to me, because they teach you about putting your garden together and growing your own fruit and vegetables, organically. The Yellow Tractor Project is an organization, based out of Chicago, Il, that assists businesses, schools, communities and individuals in establishing and maintaining gardens, giving a sense accomplishment, pride and ultimately, access to freshly grown foods. Be sure to visit their site (theyellowtractorproject.org) and see the Erica‟s PSA (public service announcement)! “I created my foundation because I wanted to target children that come from poverty, and I felt like it was coupled with low self-esteem. And to mentor the youth that came from these at risk communities, and let them know that they are victims of their communities, [but] you are not your circumstance.”
By: Helena Speights Through her mentoring, Erica emphasizes that mindset is key. The means to physically move may not be readily available, but research is. If you want to be a doctor, find out what steps you need to take, she says. Look for mentors that are in the field that you‟re interested in. I grew up in the same area as you, down the street, in the same area code, the same zip code, she tells her mentees on Chicago‟s Southside. She explains to them how she got a mentor and kept focusing mentally on who I wanted to be, where I wanted to live and who I wanted to become. And that took me out of my environment. “I grew up in the same area as you, down the street, in the same area code, the same zip code” Erica recalls one of her trips to a school in Detroit that caters to pregnant teenagers. Daycare facilities are on site to allow students to focus on their grades and studies. But when she posed the question to them, what do you want to do after this? Erica had to put her money where her mouth is, so to speak. She took the extra time to speak with and nurture the proverbial wounds of these girls; showing that someone cares, that she is rooting for their success. Erica beams that many of these same girls stay still in touch with her today via social media to keep her posted on what they are doing - This is the heart message of The Erica Hubbard Foundation. Erica is also an author, just finishing up her second book of the YOU, SHE, HER HIM AND I collection, illustrated by Mark Irby. It teaches life-long important lessons through the interaction of neighborhood friends, Justina, Shara, Suzy, Sara Lynn and Omar. Her passion for inspiring youth prompted Erica to begin this educational collection. It not only continues her mission, but also gives something tangible to leave with the youth she mentors. You can see her books at BooksByEricaHubbard.com and also stay updated about her book tour, coming soon! As a mentor and in the public eye, Erica also realizes that you have to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk of the positive message that you are spreading. Children (and some adults!) emulate what they see, hear and are exposed to. In having family members stricken with cancer and high blood pressure, Erica decided to address her own health needs and began exploring the benefits of kale, and the benefits of celery, and the benefits of drinking certain teas. She even admits that alkaline water is now a must and gives her a muchwelcomed boost of energy. Erica shares that she also goes vegan for three months out of the year to help her body detox and restore, and that she also has been partaking of herbal medicine and holistic therapies. She jokes that on set she does her own stunts during her vegan days, feeling like superwoman from replenished health. Though she admits that she began cooking only about two years ago, Erica boasts that her veggie lasagna with spinach has turned some of her meateating family members into veggie lovers! Be sure to check out her recipe in this issue of The Eco Review! Kudos to Erica, her accomplishments as an actress, mentor and author, and for exemplifying the true meaning of philanthropy. Anyone can give their money and lend their name to a cause, but it takes a pure heart and true dedication to lend their time. If we don’t teach the youth, they don’t know, she says. For more information on Erica and her accomplishments, you can visit her website at www.EricaHubbard.com.
Erica helps plant trees for ABC Family, Lincoln Heights and The Erica Hubbard Foundation
CSO CORNER City leads the Southeast in Energy Efficiency Best Practices Mayor Kasim Reedâ€&#x;s first-term proved to be four years of sustainable success thanks in part to a small strategy team known as the Office of Sustainability. Purposed with implementing sustainability best practices across municipal operations and the community, this five person office has earned the City of Atlanta recognition from the Atlanta Regional Commission all the way to the White House. 2013 was our first year on the general fund. We took that opportunity as a challenge to provide value to the funds allocated our office and to dive deeper into policies and partnerships that would ultimately provide our office a strong footing expand our capabilities. From the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, to the City Energy Project, to the Energy Data Accelerator, we were called upon by the White House multiple times last year to provide insight on improving municipal operations as well as to be recognized for our wins large and small. The City was recently selected to participate in the Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator Program and the City Energy Project. Independently, the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge is now entering its third year with over 120 commercial buildings committed to the voluntary energy and water use reduction initiative. The CEP is a joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). It is funded by a partnership of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation. Through the CEP, the cities will develop their own locally tailored plans to advance energy efficiency and reduce waste in their large buildings, which can represent roughly 50% of their citywide square footage. These plans, which will include multiple integrated strategies, can make more progress in each city than any one program or policy could alone. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge; a national initiative of the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Energy, the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge has a goal to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020, while accelerating private sector investment in energy efficiency projects. In 2012, the Atlanta Civic Center became Atlantaâ€&#x;s first building to complete the challenge and reduce its energy consumption and improve water efficiency. Once an all-electric building that ranked in the top 12 out of nearly 750 City of Atlanta buildings in terms of total energy consumption, the Atlanta Civic Center, a 230,000-square-foot facility, underwent a complete energy overhaul with improvements including the installation of high-efficiency, individual-zone-controlled HVAC systems utilizing both natural gas and electric power. Additional installations include web-based automation controls of space temperatures, shutdown/startup, and demand-controlled ventilation; high-efficiency natural gas-fired water heating systems; the replacement of inefficient lighting with high-efficiency LED and florescent lighting; and the installation of controls to prevent operation during unoccupied periods. The building dealt with these critical inefficiencies: The exhibit hall air-handling systems and domestic water heating equipment were all the original 1967 systems, and were in very poor condition, having exceeded their rated service lives by over 20 years. Only three of the original eight 1967 air handlers serving the exhibition hall were still operational. Rental fees for temporary HVAC systems needed to support special functions were $13,500 per month. These temporary systems were inefficient and not meant for permanent installation
by: Denise Quarles HVAC system controls were obsolete and could not be used to turn systems on and off, or control space temperatures. Energy use in the exhibit hall section of the facility tripled in fiscal year 2009 as compared with previous years. Annual energy costs for the entire facility in 2009 were over $500,000. To date, improvements made under the SEED program having reduced utility costs by $200,000 annually. The Civic Center is currently home to numerous long-term television productions and awards programs including Family Feud (pictured below) and the B.E.T. Hip Hop Awards. Local Recognition as a Green Community Earlier this year, the City of Atlanta was one of seven local governments to be recognized by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) for leadership in implementing policies and practices that contribute to efficient and sustainable use of resources in metro Atlanta. Atlanta was one of the first communities to be certified in 2009 and reaffirmed its commitment to being green in 2013 by recertifying, this time at the Silver earning 40 points up the ranking scale while doing so. Among this administrations first term sustainability achievements: In response to solicitations by leading automotive manufacturers seeking markets for the new generation of electric passenger vehicles, the Mayor‟s Office of Sustainability created the Metro Atlanta Plug-in Electric
Vehicle Readiness Task Force. Its focus is to build comprehensive infrastructure for consumers who become electric vehicle owners in Atlanta. The permitting process for electric vehicle supply equipment has been streamlined to aid residents who want to install charging equipment. The R.M. Clayton Wastewater Treatment Plant is now equipped with a combustion engine that can convert waste biogas into nearly 13 million kWh of useful energy annually. From 2010 to 2012, City Government has seen a 29.7% decrease in water consumption both in part to retrofits and employee behavior change. A growing number of public parks in the City of Atlanta are harvesting rainwater in addition to our Fire Stations harvesting rainwater and hosting rain gardens. In 2013, the city reached a record 69 miles of bicycle facilities and we are working actively with the bicycle and pedestrian communities to double that number. Atlanta is home to more than 120 community gardens, providing local, healthy food to our residents who have embraced this administrations charge to eliminate food deserts. Through collaboration, Atlanta Public Schools and the Captain Planet Foundation have added organic learning gardens to our schools. Now half of all APS schools have gardens, and all have Farm to School programs. The future looks bright as the Office of Sustainability has laid out its objectives for the next four years in the city‟s sustainability initiative, Power to Change. Geared around 5 stakeholder groups and 10 impact areas from Air Quality to Water Management, the Office has charted the next four years of green through short, mid and long term progress metrics. For more on the Office of Sustainability and Atlanta‟s sustainability initiatives, visit p2catl.com. Editorial provided by Denise Quarles, Director of Sustainability for the City of Atlanta Denise Quarles serves the as Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor‟s Office of Sustainability under Mayor Kasim Reed. Ms. Quarles is responsible for ensuring the goal set by Mayor Reed for Atlanta to be a top tier city and is also responsible for the Atlanta Better Buildings Campaign.
EcoStars Photo Credit: JSquared Photography
Going Green In Harlem You may recognize this talented husband/wife couple from their latest series on TV Land‟s hysterical comedy, The Exes, and the acclaimed Orange is the New Black. Who am I referring to? Why David Alan Basche and Alysia Reiner, respectively. After almost 20 years of marriage and feeling cramped in their West Side 753 square foot apartment, David and Alysia decided to purchase their first home and join Harlem‟s upscale makeover. With a whopping five floors, their newly acquired, circa 1909 brownstone was spacious enough room to play, work, and start a family. Well, not so fast, as it actually took them two years, start to finish, to complete their dream home. From a partially missing roof, moldy drywall and drug paraphernalia littering the floors, the place was going to take a LOT of work. David cites the building triangle: Time, Quality and Money. Something has to give, to be sacrificed. Fortunately, their schedules allowed them the luxury of time, which made their dream more affordable and of the highest quality. But never fear; enter design-build team Green Street, who with diligence and a great deal of ingenuity, not to mention David and Alysia‟s serious elbow grease, made the Basche -Reiner brownstone a reality. As far as their brownstone was concerned, the goal was to build their home as green as possible, within their budget, spreading as much efficiency and sustainability as possible across all facets of the construction and design. For example, the bamboo flooring they fell in love with was covered with an eco-friendly resin, but it was manufactured and China. There is always a tradeoff.
by: Helena Speights The most hands-on project with the brownstone was where David rolled up his sleeves with the radiant flooring. This type of flooring is essentially a radiator, or sorts, with pipes snaking back and forth on the underside of the sub floor, carrying hot water. David admits to personally stapling several thousand aluminum plates (brackets) to hold over a mile of tubing in place throughout his home. Thank goodness he only did the radiant for the three floors they occupy, and instead used high efficiency radiators and tankless water heaters in the rental space on the bottom floor. Nothing in the cellar. “It’s like the best hotel suite ever and I love it to death” So what is the favorite room in the house? For David it‟s the bedroom. From BOC-free paint, to organic linens, natural light, and wonderful air quality, hands-down, his bedroom beats any spa he‟s been to the world–over. Alysia says that the first floor is her favorite for company, and of course the deck for entertaining. But she too says that their top floor, the master suite, which has a master bath and deck/meditation room, is a sanctuary. It‟s like the best hotel suite ever and I love it to death, she says. As with any the green investment, it takes a while to see a return, as the bulk expense of going green is usually upfront. You won‟t see it within a year‟s time, but you will see it. Before having their daughter, Livia, who is now 5 years old, David and Alysia transformed their corner lot backyard into a Zen garden with black Chinese bamboo. Now that their daughter is more mobile, their 20‟x40‟ backyard is fully enclosed with Trex decking and fencing, and artificial turf. Yes, artificial turf, David says, and pauses. He sites that this was another trade off. Because the soil in their yard was horrible, as with most abandoned properties, they chose to put down Forever Lawn, with recycled plastic for padding. Hence, no watering, no fertilizer or pesticides, and it stays green – even in the winter. And when you‟re finished with it, the Company comes and takes it away for you! He wasn‟t raised with any eco-awareness, but that all changed when he met Alysia. David attributes his current greenness to his wife, Alysia Reiner. He wasn‟t raised with any eco-awareness, but that all changed when he met Alysia. She, on the other hand, has always had an affinity for the greener life. Alysia says it breaks her heart that there is so much waste in the world, and that so many people are simply not conscious of it. As far as healthy lifestyles, Alysia calls a Vegicuaruan – eating primarily vegetables and some wild fish. David is on board, willingly, after his father suffered a heart attack at the age of just 46 and his mom having a triple bypass in her late 60‟s. They cook with lots of garlic, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and even belong to a CSA to get fresh, organic vegetables every week.
Other facets of green in the Basche-Reiner household? As they are always seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, David and Alysia look to organic and natural clothing, and collaborate with Marci Zaroff from Under the Canopy, selling luxurious home textiles and clothing. Alysia also greens her perfume, shampoo and make-up. Mom and Dad both marvel at Livia‟s awareness, as all their greenness has rubbed off on the little. She asks, Momma, does this have chemicals in it? And if Mom says yes, then baby doesn‟t want it. David even recalls Livia coming home troubled from school at the age of 3, saying that the hand soap at school felt like it had chemicals in it. Precious! “I just wish I was a MEGA STAHR to help spread the word even more.” Neither husband nor wife feel like their green devotion has had an adverse effect on their career, as Hollywood whims and trends tend to come and go on a whim. Alysia insists on recycling receptacles when she‟s on site, and has been well received. She just wishes she was a MEGA STAHR to help spread the word even more. David‟s travel coffee mug has been an inspiration on the set of The Exes, and has encouraged others to opt for reusable mugs instead of toss-away ones. David and Alysia both have long-standing careers on stage, television and film, and continue to be green forces with their personal commitments to not just talk the talk, but by walking the walk. Alysia is on the board of The Broad Collective, and is involved with many charities including The Cancer Support Community, Actors For Autism, The Young Women‟s Leadership Network, Amnesty International, Our Time Theatre Company, Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research, Joyful Heart Foundation, GEMS, and Circle of Health International. While David is also involved Photo Credit: Chris Cayten with many charities including The Cancer Support Community, Habitat for Humanity, Our Time Theatre Company, Actors for Autism, and the Joyful Heart Foundation.
For more information on this talented, green couple, visit: www.AlysiaReiner.com and www.davidalanbasche.com. Also see the renovation of their brownstone, titled: BUILDING GREEN IN HARLEM: DO IT YOURSELF at www.dwell.com.
“It Takes hart” Health Beat Bulletin”
reeting‟s Eco Review readers and welcome to “It takes Hart”. This is my wellness corner for the Eco Review. My name is Tina Hart and I am a Brand Ambassador for the National Black and Latino Council. I am also a Lifestyle correspondent and coach who is a very passionate advocate for health and wellness issues, particularly in the minority communities, where the need for health awareness and education is very strong. I am a proud Latin American women of Mexican and Puerto Rican decent and the mother of two beautiful children. I joined the NBLC to get involved with empowering our communities on health and wellness issues and start health initiatives. I believe true personal success starts with excellent health and eating habits. My motto has always been “When you feel well, you do well” and that begins with empowering and arming ourselves with all the knowledge we can to take care of our personal health. By doing this we learn what it takes to give our bodies the best nutrition possible. Good Health is the gift we give ourselves and to those we love which includes our communities. When you are at your optimal health it will feed into everything you touch and do in your life. It is an undisputed fact that we are exactly what we eat! What we put in our mouths and bodies is what we are made of and the stronger we build our personal health the better we build our personal wealth. So every month I will challenge readers to empower themselves and change the way they view their health, wellness and fitness attitudes and educate readers about food and exercise. I will give monthly challenges to try every 30 days to improve your health and wellness lifestyle. So let‟s begin the month of May with “Gratitude”. In honor of “Mother‟s Day”, we‟ll start with gratitude for our mother‟s and the fact they brought us into this world and then gratitude for our bodies by taking care of them. Let‟s start with a “May label reading” challenge. I ask readers to examine the ingredients in all the foods you buy. For example; if there are more than three or four ingredients in a food item you desire and you can‟t pronounce what these ingredients are or need a chemist degree to know what it is, PUT THE ITEM DOWN. If you don‟t know what those preservatives and chemicals are neither does your body and you probably don‟t need to eat it. Put the products packed with unknown chemicals and preservatives down. A good example to use when buying foods would be vegetables. For example; what are the ingredients in celery? Do we even need to ask, its plainly just celery. Foods should be real with little or no additives in them, this will simplify your shopping and eliminate many aisles at the super market that are lined with bad foods that pack our bodies with unknown junk, chemicals and preservatives. Simply put, eat real foods that pack you body with the vitamins and nutrients you need to achieve the success you desire! These foods can start with fresh fruits and veggies and lean meats. On my Website, I will provide a myriad of health food dishes that fit every budget and you can substitute the old bad food choices with excellent delicious and extremely healthy new choices. You demand the best in life and your body needs the best foods to help you achieve your goals and fuel you for the long and happy ride. Keep up with “It takes Hart” for more health changing challenges to apply to your health regime and more lifestyle coaching so you may live the healthiest most successful lifestyle you can. “We are only as successful and wealthy as we are healthy” “There is NO Wealth without true optimal Health”.
Tina Hart is an enthusiastic health & beauty ambassador + lifestyle correspondent based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has most recently become an official Amabassador for Bodyology and the National Black and Latino Council, as well as participated in ad campaigns for 2t water, Orkin and the American Heart Association.
Food with Purpose! Eat Local and Eat Healthy I love going to local farmers markets. It‟s my happy place. Armed with my recyclable shopping bags, my dog and my coffee, I have found them to be a rich combination of adventure, party and feast for the senses. I love connecting with all the farmers, interacting with the shoppers, seeing and tasting the bounty of the season, and learning new ways to prepare these delicacies. It‟s a bonus when an area chef joins in on the action! But mostly it is such a joy to become an integral part of the local food chain. Indeed, I am fortunate to live in Georgia, a region with an abundance of agriculture, along with an everexpanding circle of folks committed to living and eating more sustainably. To keep it simple - sustainable foods are real foods that our bodies were designed to consume; are healthy for the soil, the animals, and us; do not harm the environment; are humane for both the workers and the animals; provide a fair wage to the farmer without the use of government subsidies; And support the local economy instead of large corpora -tions. For the past year, I have visited more than a few farmers markets and been introduced to a variety of new places, produce and people. But equally as significant, I have connected with some truly amazing organizations dedicated to promoting access to local and sustainable foods. In addition to my personal interest in eating healthy, I believe that everyone should have that opportunity – which is why I want to share the work of a few of the many organizations I have had the honor and privilege of getting to know. Last fall, I volunteered at Chef‟s Southern Potluck, an event at Serenbe (a sustainable living community outside of Atlanta) that raised more than $100,000 to benefit a wonderful organization called Wholesome Wave. In an idyllic setting, 70 chefs from Atlanta‟s top restaurants served homemade side dishes, pickles and desserts alongside White Oak Pastures meats from Jim N‟Nicks Bar-B-Que. Wholesome Wave‟s mission is to empower people in underserved urban and rural communities to make healthier food choices, by increasing affordability and access to fresh, locally grown food. And in fulfilling its purpose, the organization‟s programs now reach across 28 states, working with more than 60 community-based organizations, which manage nearly 400 farm-to-retail venues, and impact as many as 3,200 farmers. According to Wholesome Wave‟s President and CEO, Michel Nichan, “In countless communities in nearly thirty states, tens of thousands of Americans, struggling with poverty, are proving they can be a powerful force in supporting local farmers and food producers. Wholesome Wave Double Up programs enlist community-based organizations to raise private money to double the value of Federal food assistance, benefits like WIC and Food Stamps, when spent on locally grown foods at farmers markets.” Change Menus, Change Minds is the new tagline for Chef’s Collaborative, another terrific venture that promotes food sustainability by focusing on the restaurant community - which by the way isn‟t limited to chefs. It also includes advocates, foodies, scientists, farmers, and corporations. I know this firsthand because I attended their annual summit in Charleston, SC, which was deliciously rich in content, networking and of course, coastal cuisine. Chef‟s Collaborative is the leading nonprofit network changing the sustainable food landscape through the power of connections, education and responsible buying decisions.
BY: PAIGE NATHAN So by using a grassroots approach, it has assembled a network of 12,000 friends and like-minded groups throughout the country. As the organization‟s executive director Melissa Kogut is quick to point out, "Our food system is broken. Chef‟s Collaborative, a national network of chefs [and food professionals], cultivates a more sustainable food system through programs that inspire and celebrate change. Chefs influence what we eat with their menus and through their own buying decisions." And for the past ten years, Chef‟s Collaborative has furthered its cause, by hosting local dinners in partnership with Organic Valley. It has also recently published a cookbook in honor of its 25th anniversary of service. What‟s more, with Earth Day approaching, look for information on their upcoming dinner series. Global Growers is close to me both geographically and in my heart as a world traveler. Launched in 2009, this amazing non-profit connects international farmers who now live in Georgia with agriculture, through food production, training, and economic opportunity. With this dedicated mission in mind, its dedicated team works primarily with metro-Atlanta's refugee community, made up of people who have been forced to flee their home countries due to war, genocide and persecution. To our great fortune, a significant number of these individuals were farmers back home, who will have a chance to use their skills when Global Growers hosts a dinner series this spring. Believe me, it will be a great way to enjoy local produce, international cuisine and new friends. Executive Director Susan Pavlin explains: “When you buy food from farmers at Global Growers, you are giving expert farmers the opportunity not only to share their produce with you, but also to share their cultures, traditions and stories. You are building the local economy by working with local farmers, and you are discovering how food can build global bridges, right in our local community. Knowing and working with your local farmers creates a wealth of opportunity - to find and preserve the tastiest varieties of food, to cultivate the best of growing traditions, and to build a stronger community by sharing fresh meals. It doesn't get much better than that.” As a foodie, entrepreneur and advocate, I will continue to network in my commitment to advance both the promise and the practice of eating healthy and local. I hope you will too. Here is a list – just a taste - of resources that I have come across: Chef‟s Collaborative: chefcollaboative.org Georgia Organics www.georgiaorganics.org Good Food Jobs www.goodfoodjobs.com Global Growers www.globalgrowers.net Michael Pollan http://michaelpollan.com Slow Foods USA www.slowfoodsusa.org Wholesome Wave www.wholesomewave.org Paige Nathan is founder of Food with Purpose providing event planning, business development and fundraising services to organizations and companies interested in accessing and supporting the local food movement. Food with Purpose also plans and implements farm to table, culinary team building and other unique dining experiences. Paige can be reached at email@example.com
Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk with Chef Dorit By Helena Speights Meet Dorit, Founder of the Green Lifestyles Network (GLN), owner of Serenity Spaces, raw vegan, Certified Living Foods Chef and when in Los Angeles, Dorit is the personal chef to tennis pro, Serena Williams. Over the last five years, Dorit and her impeccable staff, have skillfully crafted the nonprofit to include the Green Lifestyles Film Festival, the EcoSalon Film Series, Green Lifestyles TV (internet), podcasts, blogs and even an Eco-Fashion & Beauty Show!
She maintains the position of Creative Director of GLN and serves as a guide to keep the 501c(3)‟s mission and vision intact, though Dorit aims to free up time to nourish and pursue her other prized possession, Serenity Spaces. Serenity Spaces may be the name of her website, and although it has nothing to do with interior design, it has everything to do with how to holistically live one’s life, and how to live one’s life to return to the serene spaces within us, Dorit says.
Why a Green Lifestyle Films Festival? This facet of GLN evolved through Dorit‟s realization that people are captivated and influenced by film and media. Her goal is that by harnessing the positive message of mentorship and selfelevation in film, people will begin to emulate and embrace positivity within their own lives.
So many people do not realize how much every aspect of their life is affected by their food choices, she claims, prompting the change of her company‟s name from Serenity Spaces to Serenity Foods, and eliminate any confusion about what her main objective is: food.
Why an Eco-Fashion show? Dorit maintains that every thing has it‟s own energy and residual energy; from the food we eat, to the water we drink, and even the material that our clothing is made from. She aims to show people that sustainable fashion doesn‟t mean having to wear a burlap sack, or spend ridiculous amounts of money. Conscious and sustainable fashion can be span the gamut from haute couture to yoga pants, costing thousands of dollars to a mere double digits.
Food has tremendous energy. There’s food that’s relaxing. There’s food that stimulating. The energy is accumulating. Most people’s lives are out of control. People are restless. Listless. People are overlystimulated. The over-stimulation is huge, she maintains.
While Dorit has seen GLN grow from an idea to an innovative icon in Southern California, she is passionate about teaching and sharing of her knowledge of the food-mind-body connection that so many of us are disconnected from.
Her workshops premise that everything in our lives should take us back to the place inside of us that’s serene. Where we will only be attracted to foods that create serenity in our lives. Food has tremendous energy. Most people’s lives are out of control. People are overly-stimulated.
We tend to attract whatever energy we are at the moment, that’s why most people are attracted to food that over-stimulates them. Such a spicy foods, but people rarely reach for the bitter.
Dorit‟s teaching includes some Ayurvedic thought, in accordance that there are 6 different tastes: astringent, pungent, sour, salty, sweet and bitter. Pungent (spicy) being the most popular, I would guess.
Dorit says that many people are attracted to the raw food [lifestyle] because of the initial energy it gives them. But people must remember it is the rain from which the flowers grow, not the thunder and the lightening.
Bitter foods include dark leafy greens, and certain herbs and spices. Calming foods are astringent foods (legumes, raw fruits and vegetables, herbs) and sweets (fruits, grains, sugars, dairy products). While stimulating foods are pungent, including chili peppers, garlic, and certain herbs and spices.
Chef Dorit is a firm believer that we have to nourish our own selves internally, daily. Not only is it garbage in, garbage out, but also toxic in, toxic out. Things we watch, people we surround ourselves with, the clothes we wear, the music we listen to, and the list goes on. Meditation, spirituality, quietness, yoga, etc., all help to complete the puzzle that brings serenity and peace into our lives.
In putting together 2+2, when you‟re depressed and reach for a candy bar or a half-gallon of ice cream, it‟s really the sweet taste you‟re attracted to, to calm your nerves, which just further makes you teary-eyed and miserable! Or you reach for the starchy „comfort‟ foods, such as pastas, breads and grains. Who knew this? Apparently Dorit does! She also maintains that in order for the body to achieve homeostasis, a healthy balance, we have to eat a well-rounded balance of all 6 tastes, not according to caloric intake and not according to what works well for other people. Dorit is of the thought that each person has his or her own vibration, and what works for one person, may not work for another.
The main thought that Dorit wants people to take away from her workshops is not necessarily be more aware of their surroundings, but be more in tune with their own internal dialogue; by changing the way you think and prioritizing the things in your own life, the way outward way you respond and view the world will also change. Nothing is wrong with the world, she says. The world is perfect. It is fine as it is. We have to change. Interested in learning more in one of her workshops, or attending GLN‟s film festival or fashion show? Be sure to visit Chef Dorit at both SerenitySpaces.org and GreenLifestyles.org to live your life to its highest vibration.
Food cannot do for us, what we will not do for ourselves. Food cannot do for us, what we will not do for ourselves. Food cannot calm us down. Food cannot heal us by itself. Food cannot energize us. We have to do it. Meaning, if one‟s lifestyle is angry in thought, language and lifestyle, then there is no Helena Speights is founder of Green City Listings a global online directory for eco-friendly businesses. Helena fell in love with what she call a “earth-crunchy” lifestyle while living in San Francisco. She is a vegan and loves to share all types of delicious recipes with her followers. Her commitment to the environment is tireless as she is now the Founder of the Atlanta Vegan Food & Beer Festival.
EcoStar Recipes Pinkalicious Muffins: By Alysia Reiner
4 Layer Veggie Lasagna: By Erica Hubbard
1/2 c mashed roasted butternut squash
Spinach (3 bags)
1/2 c cubed roasted beets
Tomato Sauce (2)
1/2 c organic flour ( I use a great gluten free one from bob’s mill)
1/2 c organic quick oats 1/2 c organic flax meal 2 -1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt cinnamon & ginger & nutmeg to taste ( depending on how spicy you like it) 1 tbsp melted organic butter 3/4 c organic milk 1 organic egg 1/4 c of Goji berries (very pink once cooked!) Topping: Trader Joes reduced sugar organic strawberry jam Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the dry ingredients Beat the egg, then stir in the milk, butter, beets and roasted butternut squash (I then used my magic bullet to whip them to a pulp & make um super smooth) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and DON’T MIX TOO MUCH (will make your muffins heavy and they are already pretty heavy), just until they are combined Pour into greased or papered 12-muffin pan-top each with a nice dollop of strawberry jam Bake for 20 minutes. These muffins will look done on the top, but may need a minute or two more to bake - you want them fully cooked on the inside since they are sort of rich and heavy. If you take them out too early they will be a bit rubbery (though still yummy) Let them cool completely before eating.
Mozzarella Cheese Cheddar Cheese Parmesan Cheese Ricotta Cheese Garlic (diced) Onions (chopped) Basel Oregano Parsley Salt (to desired taste) Pepper (to desired taste) Lasagna Noodles (2 boxes) Ground Turkey (Optional) Have fun layering your lasagna's ingredients!!! Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
by: Helena Speights Artichoke Salad: By Chef Dorit
Sesame Grilled Tofu: By David Alan Basche
2 Lemons, juiced
My wife Alysia and I love to grill outdoors - even in Winter in New York City - and yes I wear a parka out on the deck but it's worth it for this Sesame Grilled Tofu with a Korean flare! It's gluten free too.
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp organic toasted sesame oil
Celtic Sea Salt/cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 c organic wheat-free Tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp organic rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 bunch Basil, chopped
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 bunch chopped scallions
Cut artichoke heart in pieces. (For cooked version, steam artichoke first). Place in a bowl.
1/2 tsp honey
Put the garlic salt, pepper, bay leaves, the juice of 1 1/2 lemons, vinegar, the basil and mint in a blender and blend on slow speed.
1 tsp finely chopped or ground ginger
12 Artichokes, stems removed 1 bunch Mint, chopped
Drizzle the olive oil in the mixture and blend again. Check for desired taste with salt and pepper and make adjustments if necessary.
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 lb extra firm organic (and preferably local) tofu 1/4 c sesame seeds Directions:
Pour over the artichokes along with rest of lemon juice and allow 2-3 hours for it to marinate before serving.
Combine all the ingredients (except tofu and sesame seeds) in a shallow dish. Save half of the chopped scallions to use later as a garnish.
If this is too "raw" for you, then either marinate overnight or place in an Excalibur Dehydrator at 105 degrees for 4-6 hours before serving.
Drain the tofu, pat dry and cut into rectangular pieces about 1/4 inch thick and about 2 inches wide by 4 inches long.
For a warm winter's dish, choose the latter option.
Put the tofu in the marinade and toss it gently to cover all the pieces. Cover and put in your fridge for a few hours. Save the marinade for a sauce for later. Later take the tofu out and press the pieces into the sesame seeds to cover all the sides. Preheat your grill and then cook each tofu piece about 6 minutes, then carefully turn over and cook another 5-6 minutes. Put tofu on a plate when cooked - brown with grill marks! Warm the rest of the marinade in a pan and pour over grilled tofu, sprinkle on the rest of the scallions and enjoy!
Access the Fountain of Youth Rejuvenate the Mind and Body Would you like to know the formula to live a long life filled with health, vigor and the energy to accomplish your dreams? Did you know that stress is the leading cause of dis-ease? The stress in our lives leads to heart disease, asthma, cancer, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer's disease, premature aging, wrinkles and early death. How many of us are leading a high stress life thinking that we will deal with it when we have the time. Learn the formula to tap into the Fountain of Youth. The time is now! Success is realized when preparedness and opportunity meet. This is your opportunity! There are resources available to help us identify the stress in our lives and eliminate it. You may wonder... what causes stress? There are many contributors to stress, we will focus on two that if remedied we will be well on our way to accessing the Fountain of Youth. Diet and Mental well being. Bring these crucial life style choices to heart with these quotes: What we think about we bring about and Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. With all of the media pointing us in different directions, how do we know for sure that we are making the right decisions when it comes to the foods we consume. RegalOrganicSynergy.com created the Wisdom for My Wellness: Wise Food to help educate and guide on how to easily identify and eliminate toxic food items from our diet. Access this powerful video by going to: http://tinyurl.com/W4MW-WiseFood. We highly recommend the Food Matters 2014 Detox Guide: http://tinyurl.com/DetoxWellness as well. For the time restricted individual, Regal Organic Synergy offers wellness audits to help make this detoxification process fast, easy and cost effective. The name of the game is to reduce stress in our bodies and our minds. What we think about we bring about. Visualizing peace and wellness in our lives is a gift we can give to ourselves every day. We can eat, breathe, meditate and rest our way to vitality! How we talk to ourselves daily, which effects our choices, can be guided through meditation and visualization techniques. As a reader of The Eco Review magazine you have a unique opportunity to try the Ask, Believe and Receive visualization techniques that can dramatically aid in your relaxation and rejuvenation efforts. Visit http:// www.daretorelax.com/go/WisdomWellnessRX to get your complementary guided visualization MP3 download that you may enjoy at your leisure. The body has an amazing ability to heal if it is given the right nutrition, adequate rest and the right mind set. May love, peace and prosperity find you all the days of your life! The Wisdom for Wellness Series is written by Organic Enthusiast Christina Coleman. Christina is a passionate advocate for a greener, closer to nature way of life. Detoxification from chemicals in our bodies and the planet is her ministry. Although Christina has always been a tree hugger, her unwavering desire to heal stemmed from a need to heal her daughter from autism. www.regalorganicsynergy.com
The National Black & Latino Council Going Green Business Mixer with NBA Atlanta Hawks The National Black and Latino Council kicked of their Black Brown and Green Initiative in style with the NBA Atlanta Hawks. The grand event took place at Philips Arena in the Philips Experience area. Sam Crenshaw of 11Alive News along with TERâ€™s Publisher Felicia Phillips co-hosted the well attended event. During the Mixer the audience of business owners were educated on the importance of sustainability. The event brought out Atlantaâ€™s best environmental supporters like Rutherford Seydel, Co-Owner of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, Denise Quarles, Director of Sustainability for The City of Atlanta and former Atlanta Hawks Players Dikembe Mutombo and Theo Ratliff. There was also representation from The National Resource Defense Council and NBA Green. TER congratulates the National Black and Latino Council for brining awareness to minority businesses about the importance of being GREEN!
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