Sarah Backhouse

Sarah Backhouse

Ethnically ambiguous with the accent to prove it, I’m thrilled to be on the cutting edge of this brave, new green world.

Alabama Chanin | A Quintessential American Fashion Statement

fashionrings Alabama Chanin | A Quintessential American Fashion Statement

In an age of homogenization and mass production, it’s refreshing to stumble on a rare gem like this one.

Alabama Chanin is a curious collection of limited-edition jewelry, clothing, home furnishings, accessories, furniture and fabrics for interiors made by locals artisans using a mixture of new, organic and recycled materials. The brainchild of owner/designer Natalie “Alabama” Chanin, she conceived the idea back in 2006, after returning home from many years living abroad.

fashionnecklace Alabama Chanin | A Quintessential American Fashion Statement

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British Airways | Altruism in the Skies?

british airways1 British Airways | Altruism in the Skies?

British Airways is so generous. So much so that they’re loaning one their planes to researchers at Cambridge University in order for them to gather data on the hidden impact of air travel — which could result in higher ticket prices due to Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Greenhouse | Green Nightlife in NYC

greenclubbing 01 Greenhouse | Green Nightlife in NYC

Green is about to become MK Olsen cool with the launch of the world’s first eco nightclub in NYC. The not-so-imaginatively titled Greenhouse is expected to open this winter at a so-far “secret” location — somewhere in the vicinity of West 21st Street and Tenth Avenue in Manhattan Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Shakira | The Youngest Ever Goodwill Ambassador

shakira Shakira | The Youngest Ever Goodwill Ambassador

Shakira. This two time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter is arguably best known for shaking her booty and non-lying hips with much alacrity on MTV. Lesser known are her philanthropic endeavors. In her role as UNICEF goodwill ambassador, this Latin lovely recently visited cyclone-ravaged Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Solar Chandelier with Foliage

solar home tech Solar Chandelier with Foliage

It’s all about multi-functionality these days: cell phones take pictures; car seats massage (Lexus GS hybrid); and photocopiers (occasionally) fax. The green space is no exception. The latest gadget to hit the market? A solar powered LED chandelier that doubles as a pollutant-killing plant Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

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Sarah Backhouse | Day 20 | Curse of the Blinis

backhouse 02 Sarah Backhouse | Day 20 | Curse of the Blinis

I’m happy to report that I’m getting close to reaching my goal of 30 days subsisting solely on plant-based foods. Truth be told, it was nearly over on day 16, when a platter of smoked salmon blinis almost got the better of me. It happened at a swanky work-related cocktail reception, where I foolishly turned up famished. I didn’t realize just how hungry I was until platter after platter of these exquisite morsels tempted my stomach and my resolve.

Blinis are pretty much the perfect food, as far as I’m concerned: light fluffy buckwheat pancakes topped with succulent smoked salmon, a dollop of creme fraiche and garnished with caviar. And these were as delicious as they looked. I know this because, like an ex-smoker trying to get a hit of secondhand smoke, I masochistically watched as my friend consumed several before demanding he that describe the experience to me in explicit detail.

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Dr. Hauschka | Healthy Winter Must-Haves

hauschka skincare 02 Dr. Hauschka | Healthy Winter Must Haves

Winter. Snow flakes. Roaring fires. Hot cocoa. And Santa, of course. Well, that’s the fantasy anyway. The reality? Dry skin. Chapped lips. Nasty colds. And localized flooding. (Or maybe that’s just our offices.) Fear not, itchy, flaky & sniffly ones. Luxury holistic skincare brand, Dr Hauschka is coming to the rescue with their winter must-have products that will keep you looking and feeling your best during this punishing season.

Founded in 1967, Dr Hauschka is a German holistic skin care company that believes beauty can be drawn from the healing, therapeutic properties of plants. They rely exclusively on ecologically and socially responsible sources for their ingredients, obtaining many from certified Biodynamic and organic sources. “Biodynamics is a holistic, sustainable form of agriculture that dates all the way back to the 1920s. It takes into account everything from the cycles of the moon and stars to the soil, plants, animals and people, with the ultimate goal of making each garden or farm a healthy self-sustaining ecosystem.” But their holistic approach extends beyond ingredients. They encourage Biodynamic farming in developing countries, support international fair trade and their iconic packaging is all eco-friendly. Natch.

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Only in LA | Drive-By Art

revisions Only in LA | Drive By Art

Art curator Peter Schulberg is reworking, rethinking and recycling the PVC billboards once again for this weekend’s launch of ReVisions. From January 12th to February 9th, LA’s skyline will be dotted with what appear to be a dozen 14’ x 48’ new billboards, which are, in actuality, old advertising billboards made new with works of art by some of the city’s most talented artists.

In a city where arts and culture often take a backseat to movies and plastic surgery, the idea of drive-by art is as eye catching as it is effective. Peter estimates that “in the first day, 750,000 Angelinos will experience the art – more than attend all of LA’s major museums in a month. By the exhibit’s end, the works will be seen an astounding 40 million times.”

The idea of turning billboards into art came to Peter after some discarded billboard vinyl literally landed on the doorstep of his Pico gallery. This heavy, inky material is usually tossed into a landfill by the truckload, where it’s left to rot (or not, since PVC can take up to a thousand years to decompose). ReVisions not only keeps this toxic PVC out of landfills but provides eye candy for those stuck in that most quintessential of LA experiences — traffic.

Brad Pitt Rebuilds New Orleans Because Someone Has To

In an interview with Charlie Rose on the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt says, “I wish it was taken care of at a federal level, state level, even local level. But if this be the case where we got to hit it at a grassroots level, so be it.” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Gold Diggers | Hollywood Loves Toby Pomeroy

eco gold 011 Gold Diggers | Hollywood Loves Toby Pomeroy

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit many moons ago, I was struck by the beauty of 18 carat gold earrings worn by all the Nepalese women and girls. The flashes of gold in the sunlight were almost as brilliant as the owner’s smiles. Rather than ubiquitous machine-made hoops found in the West, these handmade earrings were perfectly imperfect; it felt as if the soul of the artisan who created them was somehow embodied in its design.

Perhaps that’s why I feel an infinity with acclaimed jewelry designer Toby Pomeroy. Pomeroy grew up in India on the foothills of the Himalayas where he found inspiration in the nature-influenced designs of local artisans. Flash forward many moons, and now not only does Pomeroy create beautiful jewelry favored by many A-listers – Sheryl Crow is a fan and Cameron Diaz wore his earrings in “Charlie’s Angels” – he does so without harming the environment.

eco gold 02 Gold Diggers | Hollywood Loves Toby Pomeroy

“The jewelry industry is one of the worlds’ worst polluters,”says Pomeroy, “and we’ve simply been pretending that we aren’t. We’ve been ignoring the fact that mining and extraction of precious metals is one of the world’s most toxic and polluting industries”. The statistics are startling. “For every one ton of gold the U.S. produces, it also generates 3 million tons of waste rock” — not to mention a host of toxins, including cyanide.

That’s why in 2005, Pomeroy approached Torry Hoover, President of Hoover and Strong, the nation’s largest gold supplier and refiner, to request a program to provide reclaimed or recycled silver and gold. Hoover agreed and the resulting EcoGold and EcoSilver are the basis of Toby Pomeroy’s exquisite designs.

So, now you can adorn yourself in jewels, safe in the knowledge that your beauty doesn’t take away from nature’s.

eco gold 03 Gold Diggers | Hollywood Loves Toby Pomeroy

15 Below Jacket | Warmth For the Homeless

15below 15 Below Jacket | Warmth For the Homeless

We all know that Christmas is a time to reflect on others less fortunate than ourselves. But should that reflection stop now that we’ve rung in the new year? Ingenious Toronto ad firm TAXI doesn’t think so; they’re ensuring that Canada’s 3,000 homeless will receive more than just kind thoughts this winter. The 15 Below Project — so-called because cities issue a Cold Weather Alert when the temperature drops to negative 15 degrees Celsius — is also the number of years TAXI has been in business. “We’ve survived 15 years, now we’re going to help others survive the night,” says executive creative director Steve Mykolyn, who enlisted the help of designer Lida Baday to create the 15 Below Jacket.

The anorak style jacket is lined with pockets that can be stuffed with newspaper to provide insulation from the cold. It’s being described as a low-cost lifeline for the nation’s homeless. The jacket is waterproof, windproof, breathable and durable. The lining consists of multiple pockets – two in the hood, four in the chest, one the back and one in each sleeve. Scrunched up newspaper provides the adjustable temperature control.

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Green Gadgets | For Geeks Who Love Green

green gadgets 01 Green Gadgets | For Geeks Who Love Green

If mobile phones, computers and Japanese robotic dogs make you feel all funny inside, then I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’re a geek. But if you care about the fact that these items (and IT in general) contribute to 2% of global CO2 emissions, then you’re also green. Which is a good thing.

If I haven’t lost you yet, be sure to mark February 1, 2008 on your calendar Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

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