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.

Post Ranch Inn | Environmental Getaway

post ranch inn1 Post Ranch Inn | Environmental Getaway

A weekend getaway can be extravagant — both for your pocketbook and for the environment. But it doesn’t have to be that way. But it is possible to a good time and remain safe in the knowledge that you’re not doing a nasty number on Mother Earth.

If you live in or near California, the Post Ranch Inn is a luxurious, yet socially conscious option.

Situated on the breathtakingly beautiful Californian coastline, Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn is just a six-hour drive north of Los Angeles and a mere three hours south of San Francisco.

The Post Inn Ranch meets the strict guidelines of the Big Sur Land Use Plans and utilizes California’s first commercial greywater system. So, it’s no wonder the resort is ranked #6 in Trip Advisor’s Best Hotel For Romance in the U.S., as well as coming in #1 in Travel and Leisure’s 2007 Best Hotels in California.

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SLUT Now Working Seattle

slut electric train 01 SLUT Now Working Seattle

With an acronym like SLUT, the city of Seattle must be expecting ridicule. But what’s in a name? And what are YOU doing to save the planet? Probably not more than Seattle’s SLUT.

Besides, the South Lake Union Trolley is no joke. Trolleys, as we know, are a more fuel efficient option than cars and buses, which is good news for the environment.

Developed by Paul Allen’s company, Vulcan, this sexy modern streetcar made its maiden voyage last week. It runs a 1.3 mile route, connecting South Lake Union, the new waterfront park, the Denny Triangle and the Downtown Retail Core/Westlake. Before you balk at the modest route, understand that it hooks up with light rail, regional buses and the monorail at Westlake. The streetcar stops every 2 – 3 blocks and can carry up to 140 passengers at 15 minute intervals. Ridership is projected at 330,000 in the first year, growing to over one million as the area develops.

You’d think a streetcar named SLUT would be undesirable, but it might be working that maxim of “no publicity is bad publicity”. At the Kapow! coffee shop in the old Cascade neighborhood, 100 T-shirts bearing the words “Ride the SLUT” sold out in days.

Hmmm, perhaps the City should adopt that as their official slogan. Kurt Cobain certainly did.

slut electric train 02 SLUT Now Working Seattle

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Save the Planet | Ride a SLUT

slut electric train 01 Save the Planet | Ride a SLUT

With an acronym like SLUT, the city of Seattle must be expecting ridicule. But what’s in a name? And what are YOU doing to save the planet? Probably not more than Seattle’s SLUT Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Forward Mociun | The Fine Art of Sustainable Style

mociun 1 Forward Mociun | The Fine Art of Sustainable Style

If you’re looking for a slice of sustainable style that stands out from the crowd, you’ll find it in the one bedroom Brooklyn apartment of designer Caitlan Mociun. Her eponymous label (which is pronounced “motion”) has gorgeously graced the pages of Nylon, Elle and Anthem, and her best selling mumus are favored by young & famous fashionistas like Mischa Barton.

A graduate from Rhode Island School of Design specializing in textile design, Caitlin is self-taught in garment construction and pattern making. Not bad for someone whose front tie dresses are often credited with having the “perfect fit”. But what sets Mociun apart are the prints. Her quirky textiles could stand alone as works of art, and each garment is hand printed by the designer. Cailtin favors sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo, but is looking into other eco- textiles like “a synthetic fabric that is made from recycled airbags. It’s a beautiful and interesting fabric, which simultaneously cuts down on waste”.

mociun 2 Forward Mociun | The Fine Art of Sustainable Style

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Live Earth CD Helps Climate Crisis

live earth concerts 01 Live Earth CD Helps Climate Crisis

Remember Live Earth, the massive rock concert on July 7, 2007, organized by Al Gore and Kevin Wall, featuring 150 musical acts at eleven locations around the globe? It was broadcast in over 130 countries on television, radio and internet and viewed by a global audience of 2 billion.

Of course, you remember. If not, you should probably keep that to yourself.

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Japan Takes Humpbacks Off The Menu For Now

humpback whale 001 Japan Takes Humpbacks Off The Menu For Now

I’m pleased to announce that in Japan, humpback whales are officially off the menu — I mean, off the research list, as the country has euphemistically termed their annual slaughter. At least for a year. Surely, Hayden will be pleased.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said across the board.

Bowing to pressure from Australia, Japan will stop slaughtering humpback whales — at least for this season. The country’s leading spokesman, Nobotaka Machimura, confirmed: “Japan has decided not to catch humpback whales for one year or two, but there will be no change in our stance on research whaling”. Japan had originally intended to kill 50 humpback whales, which prompted a furious backlash down under, where an estimated 1.5 million tourists take part in whale-watching excursions each year.

humpback whale 002 Japan Takes Humpbacks Off The Menu For Now

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Solar Paint | Paint On and Power Up

solar paint 02 Solar Paint | Paint On and Power Up

The biggest impediment to adopting renewing energy sources has got to be the cost. I mean no individual can afford solar plant power in their backyard, right?

Not necessarily.

In fact, a recent scientific breakthrough could allow you to do just that. In what is quite possibly the coolest concept to come outta Jersey since The Sopranos, researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have developed inexpensive solar cells that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets.

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Kate Spade & Stefan Sagmeister | Material Luxuries in Small Doses

katespade 01 Kate Spade & Stefan Sagmeister | Material Luxuries in Small Doses

Eco totes are de rigueur these days. Aside from the obvious benefits — ridding the world of the peril of plastic — they are fast becoming status symbols in the world of style. Speaking of which, style.com’s item of the week is the limited-edition Kate Spade Material Luxuries tote designed by Stefan Sagmeister.

Before you balk at the $145 price tag, consider the bag’s lineage: behind it are acclaimed New York handbag and accessories designer Kate Spade and preeminent graphic designer and author Stefan Sagmeister. (In case you’re not in know, he’s the brain behind the World Changing book, The Talking Heads box set, Rolling Stones Babylon CD cover and body in the AIGA Detroit campaign – ouch.) Guests at his recent book launch, Things I Have Learnt in My Life So Far, received a “Material Luxuries Are Best Enjoyed in Small Doses” bag upon departure. The rest of us will have clamber for the remaining 100, which will be divided up equally between the Wolfsonian Museum and Kate Spade.

Those already holding an Anya Hindmarsh “I Am Not a Plastic Bag” bag, need not apply. Two designer eco-totes is just plain greedy. And greed is not “G”.

katespade 02 Kate Spade & Stefan Sagmeister | Material Luxuries in Small Doses

AUM Line From Red Flag Design | Shop Don’t Sail

redflagbag 04 AUM Line From Red Flag Design | Shop Don’t Sail

Personally, I can’t stand sailing. Sperry top-siders, sun damaged skin, Rod Stewart’s 1975 hit — it’s all hideous. And I’m not just being glib… I’ve had my fair share of bad boating experiences to back it up: a ferry cancellation resulting in a four hour trip between Greek islands with some crusty German seafaring types< (think “Dead Calm”); a snorkeling trip gone awry in Sri Lanka with our banana boat capsizing over a shallow reef; and a yachting-obsessed ex- who would take me on “fun” yacht rides on Sydney Harbour (from which there was no escape).

redflagbag 01 AUM Line From Red Flag Design | Shop Don’t Sail

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Adrère Amellal Ecolodge | Berber Digs In Egypt

sustainable historic hotel 01 Adrère Amellal Ecolodge | Berber Digs In Egypt

Take it from Herbert Ypes, the creative force behind the The Hip Hotels series. He ranks Egypt’s Adrère Amellal Oasis in his all-time top 20. This from a man who out jet-sets Paris Hilton. And with one glance, you can clearly see why.

The Adrère Amellal Oasis is the destination for those looking for a luxurious getaway in a unique, ecological and cultural setting. Situated in Western Egypt, the resort is “Nestled at the foot of a majestic mountain overlooking ancient olive and palm groves, Siwa’s largest salt lake and the dunes of the Great Sand Sea.”

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NYC | Global Green USA and the 8th Annual Sustainable Awards

globalgreen awards 01 NYC | Global Green USA and the 8th Annual Sustainable Awards

There should be awards for award shows. For example, the coolest music awards? The Brit Awards, natch. Best schaudenfraude awards? The Razzies. (Now we’ll never forget “Gigli”.) Most irritating? The CMT awards. All that crooning and yodeling gets under my skin Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Nihiwatu | Socially Responsible Tourism

luxury eco resorts 01 Nihiwatu | Socially Responsible Tourism

Traveling to developing countries need not be a bittersweet affair; it is possible to get some R&R AND make a difference in the lives of others who are desperately in need.

Indonesia is a country close to my heart — it’s a place I’ve been fortunate enough to visit on several occasions. The thing that strikes you about the country, apart from its inherent natural beauty, is the people. You’re blown away by their kindness and generosity of spirit. Sadly, despite their winning smiles, many are not able to afford basic human necessities like medicine, education or even fresh water.

So, while I applaud efforts towards eco-tourism, when it comes to developing countries, ecological and socially responsible tourism are the order of the day.

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