Archive for the ‘Tips & Resources’ category

7 Topics to Tackle This Earth Day

April 22nd, 2014

1. Food Access

Global Green USA Food Access Food Deserts(click image to enlarge)

The big picture: 

Food Desert: A low-income census tract where a significant number of residents live more than one mile from the nearest supermarket.

23.5 million Americans live in food deserts—areas that are often inundated with liquor stores and fast food restaurants, but offer little or no access to fresh produce.

Urban agriculture presents an opportunity to take food access issues into the hands of residents. From home gardens to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), urban farming can be an effective method of bringing fresh and healthy produce into food deserts.

Global Green’s role:

Ever noticed those barren patches of land in the planter strips in front of houses? Our Green Urbanism team saw them all over urban areas, and reimagined the dead space as productive areas for growing fresh food. This Saturday, we’ll be out in Elmhurst, a neighborhood in East Oakland, building planter boxes in these spaces.

The planter boxes are all designed to fit in these spaces and be low-cost and easy to assemble. This pilot project is part of a larger effort to develop a series of pre-cut planter kits that can be quickly installed by residents of food deserts.

Take action:

Take matters into your own hands and build your own planter boxes! The designs presented here are all made with 2x4s, 4x4s and untreated plywood, and they can easily be customized to fit your location’s constraints. Be sure that the structure does not encroach on the sidewalk or impede pedestrian access. The square foot gardening method is a proven, effective method of food production in urban situations.

PlanterBox Global Green(click image to englarge)

2. Food Waste

Global Green Food Waste Infographic(click image to enlarge)

The big picture: 

Food Scrap Emissions: Every year, Americans send 34 million tons of food scraps to the landfill – 95% of all the food scraps produced. According to EPA data, diverting those food scraps from the landfill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to shutting down seven coal-fired power plants with no loss of energy.

After construction and demolition debris, food scraps are the largest municipal waste stream in the country, typically accounting for 30-50% of a city’s landfilled waste. When food scraps go to the landfill, they release methane, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than CO2.

Composting not only diverts food scraps from landfills, but also returns nutrients to soil and helps soils, especially sandy soils, retain water.

Global Green’s role:

To help increase food scrap recovery, Global Green USA assisted the NYC Mayor’s Office with the Mayor’s Food Waste Challenge and hosted an influential workshop session with several NYC city officials to discuss the nearby Massachusetts DEP and the Connecticut DEQ food scrap landfill bans, which require major generators of food scraps to implement recovery programs.  Less than a year later, NYC passed a citywide food scrap landfill ban.

Currently, we’re working with city agencies to implement composting in multi-unit residences in the San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles areas. Get in touch if you live in any of these cities, and you would like your residential building to be included in the pilot!

Take action:

Beginner:

  • Start composting your food scraps at your home or business!
  • If your city provides curbside food scrap collection, review what is accepted and make sure you are composting as much as possible (and not putting anything in that doesn’t belong).
  • If you aren’t sure if composting is available in your town, call your waste hauler and find out if they can offer it to your home or business.
  • If you live in a multi-family building, tell your building managers you would like them to implement composting.
  • When you go out to your favorite restaurants and grocery stores, ask them if they are composting. Customer feedback can make a huge difference!

Intermediate

  • Wherever you work, it’s likely that you are generating some waste. Explore ways to increase waste diversion at your workplace, or ways to purchase more recyclable or compostable materials for use by your customers.
  • If you have a yard, consider composting in your backyard or with a worm bin.
  • Ask at your kids’ schools and find out if they compost in the cafeteria, and if they are using compostable/recyclable lunch trays.

Advanced

  • If you live in a multi-unit building, volunteer to be the composting coordinator and help your fellow residents divert their food scraps.
  • If your city doesn’t have composting now, call your local policymakers and tell them that you want to see your food scraps turned into energy and soil.

3. Bike Share

Global Green USA Bike Share For All (click image to enlarge)

The big picture: 

Bike share programs encourage more bicycling and promote a healthy lifestyle by engaging users in an enjoyable, low-impact and active form of physical activity. 

Bike share is an innovative transportation option that enhances urban mobility through the shared use of bikes. It’s a concept that has been deployed in over 500 cities across the world, and has been a successful way to get people out of their cars and address the problems of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Global Green’s role:

Global Green has been working closely with the City of Santa Monica over the past two years to develop a bike share program. In the past year, there has been a growing interest in creating a regional bike share system that is integrated throughout Los Angeles County.  Metro Los Angeles (MTA) is currently undertaking a feasibility study to better understand how a regional system could be implemented in a sprawling county with 88 municipalities.

We will continue to work with the City of Santa Monica, and with the County and City of Los Angeles and MTA, to help create an integrated, equitable, and successful program for Southern California. Follow fun news and updates on Twitter #BikeShareForAll.

Take Action:

Find out where bike share programs exist. If your city has one, go use it! If you’ve got a bike at home, pull it out of the garage and use it to replace one car trip today.

Ready to take it step further? Commit to going car-free at least one day per week, and explore what alternative transportation options your city has to offer!

4. Clean Energy & Energy Efficiency

Global Green Renewable Energy Efficiency(click image to enlarge)

The big picture:

Shifting to a cleaner, more efficient energy economy is crucial in the fight against climate change.

Climate change is no longer a distant threat – we are already feeling its impacts across the country and the world. Last year alone, there were 11 different weather and climate disaster events with estimated losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. Taken together, these 11 events resulted in over $110 billion in estimated damages, which would make it the second-costliest year on record.

Global Green’s role:

Global Green is working across the county to support programs and policy that promote clean energy and energy efficiency.

In New Orleans, we developed the NOLA Wise energy efficiency program as a method of helping homeowners finance home energy efficiency retrofits, and our Holy Cross Project serves as a practical demonstration of the benefits of utilizing clean energy (solar and geothermal) and energy efficiency.

In California, we’re working to implement the first statewide energy efficiency upgrade program in existing buildings through AB 758. In Los Angeles, we’re pushing the city to support a comprehensive clean energy policy. So far, we’ve helped the city implement the nation’s largest feed-in-tariff program at 100 MW, which is on track to displace 2.7 million tons of GHG emissions from the environment annually.

Take action:

  • Install Energy Star appliances in your home; they use 10-50% less energy and water than normal appliances.
  • Consider switching to renewable energy. See which tax credits/incentives you qualify for that may make renewables such as solar PV more affordable for you.
  • Change your behavior:  Reprogram your thermostat, turn off your lights when you leave the room, unplug electronics that aren’t being used and more.

5. Outdoor Water Use

Global Green Water wise (click image to enlarge)

The big picture:

30% of water consumption in households is devoted to outdoor water use, and as much as 50% is wasted due to poor watering methods.

Shortening showers and installing low-flow fixtures definitely helps conserve water, but shifting your focus outdoors can also make a big difference! Upgrading watering and irrigation systems or installing water catchments is a great place to start.

Global Green’s role:

Global Green has developed the Water Wise program in New Orleans as a means to address water management. Our team hosts community Water Wise workshops to showcase ‘do-it-yourself’ rainwater management practices. The Holy Cross Project model sustainable village also uses serves as a practical example by employing native vegetation as a means to reduce water needed for irrigation and collecting rainwater in a rain barrel to be used for outdoor watering.

Take action:

Irrigation

  • Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems and other watering methods.
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best).
  • Set sprinklers to water only the lawn or garden – not the street, house, or sidewalk.
  • Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs.
  • Collect rain water and use it to water your garden.

Vegetation

  • Next time you add or replace any vegetation in your yard, choose a native plant that 
thrives with the area’s natural water cycles.
  • Keep shrubs, trees, and garden plants mulched to reduce evapotranspiration from soil surface and reduce pests and weeks. Pine straw mulch is best; avoid cypress mulch.

Miscellaneous

  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps rather than hosing them off.
  • Cover your spa or pool to reduce evapotranspiration.
  • Never leave hoses or faucets running.

6. Food Choices

Global Green Food Choices Infographic(click image to enlarge)

The big picture: 

Livestock contributes 14.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Food Emissions: A “high consumption diet” (33% animal products) can be responsible for about 3x more greenhouse gas emissions than a “low consumption diet” (10% animal products).  Learn more.

Food Water Footprint: Fruits, veggies, and grains have a relatively low water footprint when compared to meat. Check out these numbers – as reported by Treehugger:

  • Beef: 2,500-5,000 gallons
  • Pork: 1,630 gallons
  • Chicken: 815 gallons
  • Rice: 403 gallons
  • Tofu: 244 gallons
  • Avocado: 220 gallons
  • Wheat Bread: 154 gallons
  • Corn: 107 gallons
  • Bananas: 102 gallons
  • Apples: 83 gallons
  • Cucumber: 28 gallons
  • Tomatoes: 22 gallons
  • Lettuce: 15 gallons

Global Green’s role:

To help spread awareness about the environmental benefits of vegetarian and plant-based eating, Global Green served organic, vegetarian cuisine at our high-profile Pre-Oscar Party and featured renown artist and vegan Moby.

Take action:

Eat local and vegetarian on Earth Day, and make a concerted effort to reduce your meat consumption throughout the year. One great way to stay on track is by choosing one – or more – days a week to go meat-free! Meatless Monday is a popular one, but here’s a bigger challenge: Try a “flextarian diet” and only eat meat on the weekends or special occasions!

7. Green Schools & Education

Green Schools Infographic Global Green(click image to enlarge)

The big picture:

We spend more money on energy costs for schools in the United States than we do on textbooks and computers combined. 

Green schools offer natural daylightling, better ventilation, improved acoustics, and healthier building and cleaning materials. They also reduce utility costs by 20% on average—and that means a big reduction in carbon emissions as well. What’s more, green schools help students learn first-hand the value of living in a sustainable environment.

Global Green’s role:

We have been working on greening schools for more than a decade, helping more than 55,000 students and teachers thrive in high-performance schools that save money and improve test scores. In California and New Orleans, we have created model green schools, and our annual Green School Makeover Competition is helping more schools make green upgrades.

In addition, we partnered with EnergySmart to pilot an in-class education program that provides a kit with energy efficient fixtures for practical demonstrations on saving energy. As part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Schools Challenge, Global Green also partnered with Hynes Charter School in New Orleans to teach a class of third graders to become ‘Recycling Rangers’ and help their school improve its recycling program.

Take action:

Get to work greening your school and incorporating green living fundamentals into your day-to-day home routines.

Check out our checklists:

 

Want more? Check out our new Pinterest boards for ideas and inspiration.  Join the Earth Day conversation online and tell us how you #domoregreen!

Help us continue to tackle these issues year-round: Give to Global Green.

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Showtime Gets Real: Years of Living Dangerously

April 4th, 2014

Years of Living Dangerously

On Sunday, April 13, Showtime will premiere a new documentary series that promises to bring climate change to life like we’ve never seen before.

In short, Years of Living Dangerously will chronicle how human activities impact global climate change, and in turn, how climate change impacts all of humanity. From deforestation to extreme droughts, superstorms to civil war, correspondents such as Harrison Ford and Matt Damon investigate the human stories behind a changing climate—demanding the truth and exposing the harsh realities that have come to bare.

Powered by a passionate team of executive producers—including James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub, and Arnold Schwarzenegger—the show deems climate change “the biggest story of our time” and reminds us that it’s not just about melting ice and polar bears: climate change is a people story.

With the recent release of a new report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the current and future effects of climate change have never been clearer: human-caused warming is impacting lives and livelihoods.

We also know that poor and underrepresented populations will be hit hardest by these impacts, and Global Green continues to engage these communities in the fight against climate change through inclusive policy, green building for low-income housing, and resiliency initiatives in disaster-stricken neighborhoods.

After 20 years of working to implement and advance smart, scalable solutions to climate change, we applaud Showtime for sparking the conversation through this powerful medium.

Climate change is about people—and it’s time for people everywhere to step up and take action. Join us on Twitter and Facebook and support our work here.

Watch the first full episode free starting Monday, April 7 on yearsoflivingdangerously.com.

 

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This Valentine’s Day, #ItsTheLittleThings

February 14th, 2014

#tisthelittlethings

Global Green USA supports smart, scalable solutions to climate change. From sustainable neighborhood development to green schools to forward-thinking legislation, we champion the projects and policies that will help ensure a more sustainable and secure future.

But today—on Valentine’s Day—it’s all about the little things. It’s the small smile you share with a stranger, helping someone cross the street, or surprising a friend with a favor that shows others that we care. And while Valentine’s Day is dedicated to celebrating the people we love, we’re taking some time to celebrate the little things that show our love for something we all share—our planet.

Here are a few little things you can do—today and everyday:

  • Recycle and compost
  • Plant a garden and learn—or teach someone—about growing food
  • Bring reusable bags to the super market
  • Ride a bike to work
  • Walk instead of hailing a cab or driving
  • Take public transportation whenever possible
  • Turn off or adjust the thermostat when you leave the house
  • Switch to more energy efficient light bulbs
  • Buy products with recycled content
  • Take shorter showers (or start taking showers if you currently take baths)
  • Buy organic and local produce
  • Switch to reusable water bottles
  • Minimize disposables
  • Unplug your phone and laptop chargers when they’re not in use
  • Get outdoors!
  • Give to Global Green USA

Each little thing you do makes a difference.  Thanks for being part of the global value shift we need to create a more sustainable and secure future.

Tell us what little things you do! #ItsTheLittleThings

School Garden Design Charrette with The Captain Planet Foundation

January 31st, 2014

green team 2

Over 450 schools entered our Green School Makeover Competition last year, with an exceptional list of finalists! Northwest Collegiate Academy, a top 10 finalist, has been awarded a school garden thanks to the generous donation of a “learning garden” from the Captain Planet Foundation.

Global Green staff is now working to facilitate the planning and building process with Northwest Collegiate Academy’s student Green Team and Captain Planet Foundation’s Kyla Zaro-Moore. Last week, we hosted a cyber design charrette to help the Green Team brainstorm potential partners, outline goals for the garden project, and learn about garden design specific to their school site.

Madeline Ruzak 2Kyla helped guide the Green Team students through this process, including her “steps to creating a school garden”:

  • Seek admin approval
  • Create a support network
  • Identify goals and curriculum links
  • Design the garden
  • Identify supplies and funding needs
  • Obtain supplies and funding
  • Plant the garden
  • Maintain the garden
  • Sustain the garden

Here are a few tips we picked up for our Global Green followers:

current potted plants1. Sunlight is an important resource to keep in mind when planning the location of your garden. Kyla suggests tracking sunlight in a potential location using chalk lines every hour. This will help to estimate how much sunlight and shade the plants will receive.

2. Raised beds are a great option for many schools because they can be installed directly over pavement. The beds must be at least 18” deep and can utilize recycled or reclaimed materials to build walls.

3. Rain barrels can help capture and store rain water for watering your plants. Schools can often find low-cost or free barrels from local manufacturing facilities; however, you will want to ensure the barrel is “food grade” (no harmful chemicals stored in them previously). If you capture rainwater off of a tar roof, you’ll want to make sure you use a “first flush” device that will prevent contamination of your stored rainwater.

4. You can create a low-cost temporary/movable garden by clustering several 5 gallon buckets with a variety of plants. This process will help you determine which plants will thrive in your location, and serves as a good “test” method before garden installation.

5. Northwest Academy’s Green Team will engage their elementary school partners to create a peer education program using the Captain Planet Foundation resources. The Captain Planet Foundation features lesson plans for elementary age students on their website here and a great list of resources here.

Recycling Rangers: Global Green Serves as Mentor in USGBC Louisiana Green Schools Challenge

January 9th, 2014

Global Green Recycling Ranger starAs part of USGBC Louisiana’s Green Schools Challenge, Global Green USA’s New Orleans office is serving as a mentor for Hynes Charter School.  Each school participating in the challenge selects an environmental issue (i.e. energy usage, waste reduction) and receives help from a mentor organization to develop a project that addresses the issue while involving students and educating them about environmental stewardship.

For third grade French immersion teacher Alex Lelarge, high paper usage has been a key concern in his classroom. So, we partnered with the Hynes Charter School teacher and his students to promote reusing and recycling paper, as well as other recyclable materials the school normally sends to landfill.

Step 1: Train Our First Class of Recycling Rangers

During our first visit to Mr. Lelarge’s classroom, we gave an introductory lesson about waste and recycling by explaining what can and cannot be recycled, and why we should care – emphasizing the “4 R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect. (Or, since these students speak French, en francais: Réduis, Réutilise, Recycle, Respecte.) Next, we asked the students to create rough draft posters showing what they learned.

Global Green Recycling Rangers

The lesson culminated with the entire class pledging to serve as Hynes Charter School Recycling Rangers:

“I pledge to do my part to recycle at home and at school.

I also pledge to reduce waste and reuse items.

I know that the Earth’s resources are limited, and that by recycling, we make sure there will be a future where there will be trees, clean air, and clean water.

I also pledge to help my family and friends recycle as much as they can and to tell people about how important it is to recycle.” 

Global Green Recycling Rangers 2

Step 2: Check In With Our Recycling Ranger Recruits!

Two weeks later, Global Green returned to Mr. Lelarge’s classroom to sort through the recycling and trash bins and to answer any questions the students came up with. Overall, they did pretty well!

After this refresher, the Recycling Rangers broke into groups to create final drafts of their posters – making large, colorful versions that will be posted throughout the school to remind other students (and teachers!) how to recycle.

While we were working with the students, Mr. Lelarge worked with administration to negotiate a recycling contract with their current waste haulers. As a result, Hynes now has school-wide recycling pick up twice per week, plus a waste contract that costs less than their original landfill-only contract!

Step 3: Recruit more Rangers!

Now trained Recycling Rangers, Mr. Lelarge’s class took a leadership role and trained the other two third grade classes about the “4 R’s” and the environment.  After presenting their posters and answering their peers’ questions, the Rangers helped the other third graders make additional “how-to” recycling posters that will go up around the school.

These two classes then took the Recycling Ranger pledge and were given their badges. Hynes Charter School is now home to 75 Recycling Rangers ready to train the rest of the school on how to recycle!

Global Green Recycling Rangers 3

Global Green’s New Orleans office will continue to work with Hynes and the Recycling Rangers throughout the USGBC Louisiana Green Schools Challenge to facilitate the implementation of their school-wide recycling program.

A huge thank you to Mr. Lelarge and his class for their dedication and hard work.  Go Rangers!

 

BigApps for the Big Apple

June 20th, 2013

Global Green Advises on “Green” Mobile Apps for NYC Competition

Can mobile apps reduce food waste? Maybe

Can mobile apps reduce food waste? Maybe

Can mobile apps reduce food waste? Maybe! Matt de la Houssaye, from Global Green’s Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR), advised on the development of mobile apps that would reduce food waste in the New York City’s BigApps Competition. It is the fourth annual contest from the New York City Economic Development Corp. for software developers and members of the public to create web or mobile applications using City data to solve big issues that affect New Yorkers. Matt advised on the development of apps designed to help the over 100 restaurants participating in New York City’s Food Waste Challenge measure and track their food waste, as well as the broader “Cleanweb: Energy, Environment, and Resilience” category

“It is great to be working with experts in mobile technology and software,” said Matt, an expert advisor in the competition. “We’re one of the subject matter experts advising on the competition. This helps provide the connection from the virtual world to the real world.”

In the commercial food waste challenge, announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg April 25, more than 100 New York City restaurants have pledged to reduce the food waste they send to landfills by 50% through composting and other waste prevention strategies. Matt advised the MintScraps app, which calculates the financial benefits of reducing food waste, and another app called WasteCheck that provides improvements in the ease of data collection. WasteCheck facilitates this goal through an online log that allows restaurants to enter their daily records for food waste by specifying type and quantity of waste, and to then view graphs indicating waste trends.

“Our app makes it very easy to record and track data – in this case your waste stream – whether it’s measured in bags, pounds, or cubic yards,” said Mike Brown, who is one of the developers of the app. “The use of a mobile app eliminates the extra step of having to remember or record data back at the office. Moving forward, we’d like to add the ability to attach pictures along with your data.”

Within the broader “Cleanweb: Energy, Environment, and Resilience” category, Matt advised the teams developing the Biketrain and Sparkrelief apps. Biketrain would connect bicyclists to each other and allow them to create and join bike trains. Sparkrelief aims to notify people of environmental disasters anywhere in the world and connect them to disaster relief centers. He familiarized the team with Global Green’s Solar for Sandy project, which aims to install solar-powered systems in community centers in areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Global Green’s first Solar for Sandy partnership was with the Rockaway Beach Surf Club in Far Rockaway, New York.

Teams were solving marketplace inefficiencies, improving resource-related data collection, and even using sensors to make web connected hardware,” said Sameer Rashid, a founding team member of the Cleanweb Initiative, an organization that aims to spread the use of information technology to address resource challenges, such as sustainability, and a partner at Pure Energy Partners. Both were organizers of the Big Apps Competition.

Matt explained some advantages of apps, which he called “the ultimate data collectors,” in implementing medium and large scale projects, such as ones relating to engaging in composting and solar energy. He said they help engage the critical number of participants needed, provide an easier way to collect data, can connect the user to larger web applications, and create greater transparency.

“Apps and web-based interfaces can take large amounts of data and provide them on one’s cell phone,” he said. “Does the restaurant I’m eating at compost their food waste? Is the food local? With the right data sets and the right user interface, large sets of information can be just one click away.”

CoRR is showcasing the best apps on composting and recycling at its monthly teleconferences. WasteCheck has won a cash prize sponsored Action Carter Environmental Services, a CoRR member organization, as the best food waste app in the competition. The winning app of the“Cleanweb: Energy, Environment, and Resilience” was Solarlist, an app that provides students and young entrepreneurs with a tool to inform homeowners about their options for using solar power. The homeowners are then subsequently referred to a network of solar installers.

“We believe the Cleanweb will create better value and choices for consumers and businesses that also happen to be cleaner,” said Sameer Rashid. “We’re very pleased that the New York City Economic Development Corporation and excellent partners like Global Green are working to realize this potential.”

Your Green Corner: Sprouts Growing Sprouts

March 12th, 2012

sharon_grandkids_planting_seedsShowing by example and sharing are among the best ways to teach kids. Sharon Williams from our Santa Monica office shared this photo of her grandchildren, whom she teaches lessons on taking care of Planet Earth when they visit her.

“I showed them how to plant seeds and start their own garden. A week later, it’s spouting and they are so excited,” she said. She’s teaching them to eat right too; they’re watering organic lettuce in this photo.

The next lesson, she says, is: “Why we should not use plastic bags and the dangers they cause.”

Green Oscar Party Planning Tips

February 24th, 2012

bl_organic_winesIf you’re throwing an Oscar-viewing party, make it green one. We had our annual Pre-Oscar Party this week and made it eco-friendly with food, drinks, decor, and more. Here are a few things you can do to green your own party.

Pop it right. You don’t need to buy those microwave popcorn laced with chemicals that are not good for you or the environment. Pop your own microwave popcorn with this Alton Brown recipe or use a good old-fashioned air popper.

Prepare film-inspired food: We have foodie friends who serve bites or full-on meals inspired by the nominated films. You could make Southern food for “The Help” with Food & Wine recipes inspired by the film; organic hot dogs for the baseball flick “Moneyball” (in California, we’re lucky to have delicious Let’s Be Frank dogs); or French bistro food (hard to go wrong with Julia Child) for “Midnight in Paris” — you get the idea. Adapt any favorite recipe by using organic and locally sourced ingredients.

Toast without toxins: Choose beverages made with organic ingredients and without artificial colors, flavors and other bad-for-you-and-the-planet fillers. (Hint: look at the label and see if you recognize what’s listed.) Pictured, organic and biodynamic wines we served at the Global Green Pre-Oscar Party this week. We also prepared a specialty cocktail at our Pre-Oscar Party using organic vodka (recipe here).

Make it a party for a cause: Our friends at Inlu have an electronic invitation tool and created a special invite for us that lets you ask invited guests to make a contribution to Global Green to help fund our projects.

Valentine’s Day: Flowers To Keep

February 14th, 2012

valentines_orchid_ginaGina at work received this beautiful orchid today for Valentine’s Day. We crowded around to see, like co-workers do whenever flowers arrive, and she told us how she schooled her fiance on the sustainability of flower-giving — after he sent her roses last year. He chose sustainably this time with an orchid that was locally grown. And it will last. Lovely!

Green Gridiron: Organic Super Bowl Food & Drinks

February 3rd, 2012

bl_football_chips_bowlSome people watch the Super Bowl for the game, others for the commercials and half-time show, still others for the opportunity to nosh on delicious and often decadent food and drinks. Me, I’m watching for all of the above. I’m hoping the Giants kick butt, Madonna gives us “Holiday,” at least one commercial makes me laugh out loud — and I get a seat at my friend’s Super Bowl party within easy reach of the food table. Below, a couple of recipes to help you green your Super Bowl party menu.

Chips and Salsa
Green salsa, coming right up. Try Jerry James Stone’s Kiwi and Jalapeno Salsa with organic, non-GMO tortilla chips.

Wings
My friend Spencer is a chef and has a delicious recipe for spicy wings. Be sure the chicken you use is free-range and organic.

Chili
I’ve worked on fine-tuning my chili recipe, which is hearty and always a crowd-pleaser. It can be made without the meat for vegetarians (just double the beans).

Sweet Treats
To show my allegiance to the NY Giants, I’m making an apple dessert (you know, the Big Apple?). Here’s a recipe for a simple baked apple dessert I make with organic apples from my local farmer’s market.

Beverages
Local and organic choices are always best. In LA, The Bruery is a nearby brewery with a selection of bottled beers available in Whole Foods. Good options for organic California wine come from Sunstone, Alma Rosa, and Casa Barranca. I also love Santa Cruz Organic juices and sparkling drinks.

More
Find more Super Bowl recipes and food and drink ideas from The Daily Green, Inhabitat, Ecorazzi, and Mother Nature Network.

It was pointed out that guacamole was left off this post earlier (egads!) and Jerry James Stone kinded tweeted us his grilled avocado guacamole recipe.