Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tips to Travel Green

Whether it be a staycation or an actual trip it's hard to be Green while traveling. For example I was fortunate enough to visit the Carribean a few weeks ago which has spectacular views and scenery.

That being said, it was also difficult to find any recycling bins for the basics (bottled water, paper, cans, etc.) and when I did find recyle bins they were ONLY for cans. I even took all the paper home from our trip (maps, info guides, etc.) home with me in my luggage to recycle it all when I came back to Beantown.

My sister informs me that I no longer have to pack my recyclables, but I can also be green when I travel as well. Here are some helpful sites to help you plan your trip!
You can keep your hobbies, such as traveling, and still maintain your sustainable life-style! Have you heard of any other Eco-Friendly Traveling tips?

Picture of my trip to St. Thomas

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sing Sing Sing Sing

You are about to have a fantastically hysterical time... That is, of course, if you come out this Thursday night to our Karaoke party at LimeLight. Arrive between 8-9 pm and your full cover charge will go towards supporting Friday Night Supper Program (FNSP). Bar drinks will be available in case you are in need of liquid courage.

Singin' for Friday (Night Supper Program)
Date: Thursday, July 16th
Time: 8pm
Location: Limelight Stage & Studio
204 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
(across from the Boylston T-stop)
Partner: Friday Night Supper Program
Cost: $10

Anyone you know have a birthday, wedding, anything coming up? Want to just spoil yourself? Why not win a gift!

Raffle will include prizes like:
Red Sox Tickets - August Game
Limelight Gift Certificate
Boston Center for Adult Education Gift Certificate
Wine & cheese
Frequent Flyer Miles
Framed Photographs
ImprovAsylum Tickets

Friday, July 10, 2009

Go Blue!

When I attend the OYFP Speaker Series event two days ago, I was really struck by a point made during the lecture. Boston spent 15 Billion on the Big Dig project, making sure people who drive have a better trip into the city, but does little if anything for those who rely on public transportation.

Just imagine, Boston, what kind of public transportation we could have currently if even half of that amount of money was used to create a better public transportation for the City of Boston. We would have new train cars that won't break down or become disabled and delay your trip home every day. When you are waiting for the bus you would actually know how much longer it will be until the next bus arrives because of the electronic sign above you. The Green line would go underground and you would no longer have to stop at every intersection because of street traffic and could actually get you to work on time.

Sigh, okay back to reality. Instead, those of us who rely on public transportation to get to and from work, or even navigate Boston are facing a possible 20% increase in prices to ride the T. If the city really is trying to be more green or more blue as John, our speaker, likes to say (the earth is 70% made of water), than shouldn't our government make public transportation a priority?

If public transportation was more reliable, and made Boston more accessible, than we could take more cars off the road and reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide we release into the atmosphere, thus less pollution for the ocean! Win-win!

Do you think the state should spend money upgrading its public transportation system?

Picture Courtesy of: http://herokids.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In Search of Dignity

This is just too thoughtful and thought provoking not to re-publish. And there is certainly an argument to be made for reviving dignity (or establishing a new sense of social dignity) through civic engagement, public service, time spent at the benefit of others. Thoughts?

Op-Ed Columnist

In Search of Dignity
Published: July 6, 2009

When George Washington was a young man, he copied out a list of 110 “Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” Some of the rules in his list dealt with the niceties of going to a dinner party or meeting somebody on the street. “Lean not upon anyone,” was one of the rules. “Read no letter, books or papers in company,” was another. “If any one come to speak to you while you are sitting, stand up,” was a third.

But, as the biographer Richard Brookhiser has noted, these rules, which Washington derived from a 16th-century guidebook, were not just etiquette tips. They were designed to improve inner morals by shaping the outward man. Washington took them very seriously. He worked hard to follow them. Throughout his life, he remained acutely conscious of his own rectitude.

In so doing, he turned himself into a new kind of hero. He wasn’t primarily a military hero or a political hero. As the historian Gordon Wood has written, “Washington became a great man and was acclaimed as a classical hero because of the way he conducted himself during times of temptation. It was his moral character that set him off from other men.

”Washington absorbed, and later came to personify what you might call the dignity code. The code was based on the same premise as the nation’s Constitution — that human beings are flawed creatures who live in constant peril of falling into disasters caused by their own passions. Artificial systems have to be created to balance and restrain their desires.

The dignity code commanded its followers to be disinterested — to endeavor to put national interests above personal interests. It commanded its followers to be reticent — to never degrade intimate emotions by parading them in public. It also commanded its followers to be dispassionate — to distrust rashness, zealotry, fury and political enthusiasm.

Remnants of the dignity code lasted for decades. For most of American history, politicians did not publicly campaign for president. It was thought that the act of publicly promoting oneself was ruinously corrupting. For most of American history, memoirists passed over the intimacies of private life. Even in the 19th century, people were appalled that journalists might pollute a wedding by covering it in the press.

Today, Americans still lavishly admire people who are naturally dignified, whether they are in sports (Joe DiMaggio and Tom Landry), entertainment (Lauren Bacall and Tom Hanks) or politics (Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King Jr.).

But the dignity code itself has been completely obliterated. The rules that guided Washington and generations of people after him are simply gone.

We can all list the causes of its demise. First, there is capitalism. We are all encouraged to become managers of our own brand, to do self-promoting end zone dances to broadcast our own talents. Second, there is the cult of naturalism. We are all encouraged to discard artifice and repression and to instead liberate our own feelings. Third, there is charismatic evangelism with its penchant for public confession. Fourth, there is radical egalitarianism and its hostility to aristocratic manners.

The old dignity code has not survived modern life. The costs of its demise are there for all to see. Every week there are new scandals featuring people who simply do not know how to act. For example, during the first few weeks of summer, three stories have dominated public conversation, and each one exemplifies another branch of indignity.

First, there was Mark Sanford’s press conference. Here was a guy utterly lacking in any sense of reticence, who was given to rambling self-exposure even in his moment of disgrace. Then there was the death of Michael Jackson and the discussion of his life. Here was a guy who was apparently untouched by any pressure to live according to the rules and restraints of adulthood. Then there was Sarah Palin’s press conference. Here was a woman who aspires to a high public role but is unfamiliar with the traits of equipoise and constancy, which are the sources of authority and trust.

In each of these events, one sees people who simply have no social norms to guide them as they try to navigate the currents of their own passions.

Americans still admire dignity. But the word has become unmoored from any larger set of rules or ethical system.

But it’s not right to end on a note of cultural pessimism because there is the fact of President Obama. Whatever policy differences people may have with him, we can all agree that he exemplifies reticence, dispassion and the other traits associated with dignity. The cultural effects of his presidency are not yet clear, but they may surpass his policy impact. He may revitalize the concept of dignity for a new generation and embody a new set of rules for self-mastery.

A version of this article appeared in print on July 7, 2009, on page A23 of the New York edition.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My guilty concience: Vegetables

I have guilt.

Oh the guilt!!!

It's not about leaving OYFP (yes, after three years I'm resigning, and like Sarah Palin, I'm not sure what my future volunteering plans are).

It's about all the vegetables in my fridge.

Oh the vegetables!

Daikon turnips, kale, radishes, cabbage (two kinds), three bunches of cilantro, two bunches of parsley, ten cucumbers, garlic scrape, regular garlic, onions, tomatoes, and more. It's CSA time, and I have plenty of veggies again. The harvest has been bountiful despite the overly rainy and cloudy season, and my fridge is bursting at its seams. How quickly I forgot the pressure of the veggies in the fridge --- "eat me! cook me! I'm organic and natural and going to go bad unless you do something!"

I have extra pressure this year because my brother -- my own flesh and blood -- has grown these vegetables.

Don't get me wrong - these veggies are out of this world delicious. I want to eat them. But there are some unusual veggies in the mix, and there's only so many stirfry dishes a girl can stand. Or cabbage soup (yuck). I've been on the search for a Few Good Recipes, and I think I've found them.

My easy seasonal recommendations, which even those of you who don't belong to CSAs can use:
Let me know what you think! My guests have been more than happy with the results...

Related Posts: PSA for CSAs; Not Wasting Food; Patio Gardens; Find Local Food Locally
Photos courtesy of Red Fire Farm. You can buy their veggies bi-weekly at the South Station Farmer's Market.