ECO
ALMANAC
WINTER
2015/2016

 
Priscilla Woolworth - Winter 2015

You can change the world by what you buy

-Priscilla Woolworth

Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

My quarterly Almanac Blog Newsletter shares information about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle at home, in the garden, at school or at the office. Learn about innovative businesses, entertaining and enlightening movies, inspiring books, artists, gamechangers, and organizations that are all involved in some way in helping to sustain our environment and its precious resources.

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Winter 2015/2016 Almanac

January 2016 marks the 7th year of www.Priscillawoolworth.com! My message over the years has always been the same: if we can learn to live a more sustainable lifestyle by wasting less, paying closer attention to what we eat, eating a more plant based diet and reducing our exposure to toxins by the products we use at home, I hope that together, we can inspire others to do it as well. Continue to use your buying power to change the world! Recently, I shared some of my thoughts about my lifestyle and my work with Brandettes: brandettes.com.

I’m so thrilled that my book LOLA Lots of Love Always is hitting a nerve with so many readers. It speaks to all of us who care so much about our children and their choices, their future and the planet’s. LOLA is the perfect gift for a young woman in your life and is available in these stores, at Stories Books and Café in Echo Park/CA, deKor&Co in Ojai/CA and in New York City, at Mcnally Jackson Books, as well as in my own store online and on Amazon.

Come and join me on Saturday, December 12th, at Rumba at 1740 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica! I’ll be signing LOLA books from 2 to 5pm!

When it’s the holiday time of year, I have often found it difficult to get inspired about what to give a loved one, because there are just so many choices! To make it easier for you and myself, I just posted the latest products I added to my store. I would like most of them, so that should make it easy for anyone whose list I’m on! Visit pinterest.com.

The gorgeous Mandala on the cover of this issue is just one of the beautiful mandalas in a 2016 calendar available right here.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is happening right now in Paris. Until December 11th, environmentalists from around the world will be there to give their voices in support of a true emission-reduction accord from this gathering of world leaders. To get the latest news visit here.

I read several interesting articles recently. One of them titled “To raze or recycle: the challenge of recycling buildings” discusses the merits and challenges of saving historic buildings such as gasworks, silos and even public toilets, that can be repurposed into homes. If you are interested in reading more about ruins reborn, this piece from Bridgeport, CT visit here.

I always find it so inspiring to read news stories about how polluted areas are being cleaned up and reborn. This story is about a floating garden that cleans as it grows in one of most polluted waterways in US, the Gowanus canal in NYC.

This start up in Oakland, California is so fantastic! They sell ‘imperfect’ produce to reduce waste, such as the six billion pounds of produce that ends up in our overfilled landfills. Imperfect Produce has a home delivery program of fruits and vegetables at 30 to 50% less than grocery store prices.

Feeling the risks due to climate change, this Danish city, which is surrounded by water, is taking steps to reduce flooding but also to be free of carbon emissions in 15 years. They are following a plan called Project Zero, an aggressive master plan that will see the city shift away from natural gas and oil and toward renewable energy sources and wind power.

The bad news: plastic waste is making its way into our seafood, The good news: you can help reduce your exposure when filleting the fish, by removing the gut because it’s where plastic and fiber waste is found.

Find out 3 highly effective ways to help the hungry this and all seasons, at the end of the Almanac, found in PW’s Tips.

Mark your calendar! December 30th on PBS, watch In Defense of Food. Join fascinating and entertaining author Michael Pollan on a journey to find out what we should eat to be healthy.

If you enjoy keeping in touch via Facebook, you can find me there or on Twitter, or follow my regular posts on Instagram.

Wishing you and all your loves ones a wonderful holiday season and the happiest of New Years for 2016!

All the very best

Priscilla

Sustainable Design

Eco-home inside a Greenhouse

Eco-home inside a Greenhouse

naturhusWhen it gets cold and dark during the winter months, people find creative ways to stay warm, but perhaps one of the most unusual approaches is building a greenhouse around your existing home to heat it up. That's exactly what this family did near Stockholm, Sweden, by renovating an existing summer home and adding a greenhouse structure outfitted with 4-millimetre single-pane glass around it. The concept was first proposed by Swedish architect, Bengt Warne back in the 1970s. It's called the Naturhus ("Naturehousing").

Warne's original intention for the Naturhus was to create a home that is a "sun collector" of sorts, where the cyclic flows of nature are utilized for producing energy, cleaning water, air and generating things like compost, in the Scandinavian climate. The greenhouse also allows them to lengthen their gardening season, growing Mediterranean plants like figs, while also helping them to cut down on heating.

It's an innovative, out-of-the-box and under-the-greenhouse idea that not only keeps the house warm, but also protects it from weathering due to the elements. It would not work in extremely hot and sunny climates, but for the colder, northern climates it may be a viable alternative to cut heating bills and to extend your growing season.

Watch an in-depth video tour takes us inside to see how this self-sustaining home works.

Read more on treehugger.com.

 

Eco Cinema

Racing To Zero

Racing to Zero

Racing To Zero is a quick-moving, upbeat documentary presenting new solutions to the global problem of waste. Directed by Christopher Beaver and produced by Diana Fuller, it shows how by simply substituting the word RESOURCE for the word GARBAGE, a culture can be transformed, and a new wealth of industries can emerge.

Three years ago the mayor of San Francisco pledged to achieve zero waste by 2020. Racing to Zero, tracks San Francisco’s waste stream diversion tactics and presents innovative new solutions to waste. This film documents a surprising and engaging race to zero. Thoroughly interesting and inspiring!

Watch the Racing to Zero trailer.

Click here to purchase a DVD, find a screening near you or to organize one.

Special mention: The movie HUMAN, which I have been looking forward to seeing ever since I heard about it last year, is available for immediate viewing. It’s an intense politically engaged work that allows us to embrace the human condition and reflect on the meaning of our existence. The images are stunning. The movie is on the long side and can be watched in stages.

Watch the Human trailer.

Watch the Human movie.

Artists

Peter von Tiesenhausen

von Tiesenhausenvon Tiesenhausen

I would love to walk through artist and eco activist Peter von Tiesenhausen’s land, where artwork emerges as if summoned from the ground up. He’s built ships and nests made of willow branches, which appear along well-worn paths, along with this sculpture (featured here) made from beetle-kill lodge pole pines. The pieces are purposed built specifically for the landscape and all the resources he uses are harvested from his land in Alberta, Canada. 

von Tiesenhausen

In the 1990’s, oil companies tried to force him to allow them to drill on his farm. To protect his property, he registered his land as a work of art, which falls under copyright protection. This in turn succeeded in keeping the oil companies away. 

Read more here.

Previously profiled artists in the news:

Maya Lin was awarded the Smithsonian's Portrait of a Nation Prize this past November 15th, 2015

Jamie Wyeth has a show at the Denver Museum of art till February 7th, 2016

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest is at the Peabody Essex Museum till January 3rd, 2016

Christiane Lohr has a show at the Jason Mccoy Gallery in New York City, NY till January 15th, 2016

Giuseppe Penone’s first U. S. museum exhibition in more than 30 years is at the Nasher Sculpture Center till January 10th, 2016

Wolfgang Laib received the prestigious Japanese art award Praemium Imperiale this past October 21st, 2015

Edward Burtynsky has a show at the David Brower Center/Berkeley, California till February 4th, 2016

Andy Goldsworthy talked with NPR’s Terry Gross this past October 9th, 2015

Kate Mccwire’s work is featured in a show at St.Barnabas, London till January 31st, 2016

Gamechangers

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo

Like most eco activists, actor Mark Ruffalo didn’t grow up as one, but became one when he found out about possible hydrofracking happening near his family home in upstate New York. His fight against hydrofracking and the water uses around hydrofracking, led him to found in 2011, Water Defense, a New York-based organization dedicated to banning hydraulic fracturing in the Empire State, and that same year, he also founded the Solutions Project, which shows people from state to state, how they can go to 100% renewable energy today.

Mark RuffaloThis past June, New York State banned fracking, due to overwhelming concerns for the public’s health!

More recently, I met up with Mark Ruffalo at a screening he was hosting in Los Angeles, to raise awareness about the environmental consequences fracking has on the state of California. “California is the third-largest oil producing state in the nation. We produce over 200 million barrels of oil each year.  Every day fossil fuel production is polluting our clean water and food with toxic chemicals, emitting carcinogenic pollutants into our neighborhoods and pumping our atmosphere with more climate-altering greenhouse gases. We've entered this entirely new era of energy extraction that happens to put water at great risk.”

As Norman Lear said that evening: “California can’t be a leader in climate change without dealing with our oil-drilling problem. Oil drilling is California’s dirty secret, and we have to bring it out into the light."

Let’s all join Mark Ruffalo, Norman Lear, and many others in the fight to protect our air, our water and the land where our food is grown, by getting involved: hollywoodunited.org.

P.S. He very kindly agreed to pose with a LOLA card after I gave him a copy of my book LOLA Lots of Love Always, for his family.

Eco Garden

Did you know that there is a connection between the Moon and the tides, and planting and gardening? Planting according to the phases of the Moon is the oldest form of gardening known to man. When planting your garden, the Moon’s position has an impact on how well your seeds will germinate, grow and develop based on how much moisture is in the soil.

Understanding this and timing your gardening chores according to the phases of the Moon is the basis of Moon gardening. Calendars are available here for December, January and February, including what to buy in season at your local farmer’s market and suggested vegetables to plant.

 

Books

Eco Books - Winter 2015/2016

Ephemeral Works by Andy Goldsworthy

Ephemeral Works by Andy Goldsworthy 2004-2014

On an almost daily basis, Andy Goldsworthy makes art using the materials and conditions he encounters wherever he is, be it the land around his Scottish home, the mountain regions of France or Spain, or the sidewalks of New York City, Glasgow, or Rio de Janeiro. Out of earth, rocks, leaves, ice, snow, rain, sunlight, and shadow he creates works that exist briefly before they are altered and erased by natural processes. They are documented in his photographs, and their larger meanings are bound up with the forces that they embody: materiality, temporality, growth, vitality, permanence, decay, chance, labor, and memory.

Ephemeral Works features approximately 200 of these works, selected by Goldsworthy from thousands he has made between 2001 and the present and arranged in chronological sequence, capturing his creative process as it interacts with material, place, and the passage of time and seasons.

Ephemeral Works is available from my store.

Do Unto Animals

Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better By Tracey Stewart

The more we know about the animals in our world and the better we care for them, the better our lives will be. Former veterinary technician and animal advocate Tracey Stewart understands this better than most—and she’s on a mission to change how we interact with animals. Through hundreds of charming illustrations, a few homemade projects, and her humorous, knowledgeable voice, Stewart provides insight into the secret lives of animals and the kindest ways to live with and alongside them. At home, she shows readers how to speak “dog-ese” and “cat-ese” and how to “virtually adopt” an animal. In the backyard, we learn about building bee houses, dealing nicely with pesky moles, and creative ways to bird-watch. And on the farm, Stewart teaches us what we can do to help all farm animals lead a better life (and reveals pigs’ superpowers!). Part practical guide, part memoir of her life with animals, and part testament to the power of giving back, Do Unto Animals is a gift for animal lovers of all stripes.

Do Unto Animals is available from my store.

 

The Animals of Farthing Wood

Children's Book of the Season: 

The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann

Farthing Wood is being bulldozed and a drought means the animals no longer have anywhere to live or drink. Fox, Badger, Toad, Tawny Owl, Mole, and the other animals band together and leave their ancestral home and set off to move to a far-away nature reserve. The animals must unite in adversity. This is a story about tolerance, and cooperation. Both heart-wrenching and heart-warming, this classic story continues to appeal and capture children's imaginations.

Farthing Wood is available from my store.

 

Shop

Recycled Wrapping Paper

Did you know... that we use an estimated two million tons of wrapping paper over the holidays each year in the US alone? Assuming 15 trees per ton of wrapping paper, this amounts to 30 million trees cut down just to wrap our gifts! Where Does The Wrapping Paper Go?  The good news is there are many lovely holiday wrapping papers made from recycled paper!

Look from them when you are out shopping or order them here: http://priscillawoolworth.com/store/christmas

wrapping paperwrapping paper

Recipes

Cream of Butternut Squash Soup with Lemongrass

Cream of Butternut Squash Soup with Lemongrass

(It should be called: The Ultimate Cold and Flu Fighting Soup! )

Butternut squash isn’t the easiest vegetable to peel. It’s a beast, which thankfully is available already cut up from several markets. This type of winter squash is a rich source of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega 3s and beta-carotene, which are important for building up a strong immune system against colds and flu. Lemongrass is literally packed with nutrients and is so rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants, the list being so long, please read more here: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-ben...

-All ingredients are organic-

3 Tbs of lemongrass, with just the tender white ends chopped
1 organic vegetable bouillon cube
4 cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup of low fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp. mineral salt
Fresh pepper to taste

  1. Heat 3 cups of water, with the vegetable bouillon cube.
  2. In a pot, add olive oil, butternut squash and shallots. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add the heated vegetable broth and lemongrass and stir.
  4. Cook for 20 minutes, or until squash is tender. Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients until smooth.
  5. Add the coconut milk. Salt, and pepper. Stir.

Ready to serve!

* This soup freezes well in glass/Pyrex food containers.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Meyer Lemon and Quinoa Salad

Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Meyer Lemon and Quinoa Salad

‘Tis the season for Meyer Lemons and Brussels sprouts! Did you know…that Meyer lemons are native to China and were primarily used as a decorative houseplant. Brussels sprouts are an outstanding source of glucosinolates and sulfur-containing nutrients, which help the body’s detox system. Brussels sprouts are also a source of many vitamin antioxidants and most importantly, provide special nutrient support closely connected to cancer prevention. Eat them raw as often as you can for added nutritional benefits!

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

Mineral salt, like Real Salt

1 Meyer lemon

1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil

10 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced (use a mandolin)

1/4 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  1. Place quinoa and 1-½ cups of water in a small saucepan with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, until grains are tender and water has been absorbed, about 16 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool.
  2. Peel 4 long strips of zest from lemon with a vegetable peeler; thinly slice. Juice lemon into a bowl (2 tablespoons) and whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream.
  3. In a serving bowl, add quinoa, lemon zest, Brussels sprouts, walnuts, scallions, and red pepper flakes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and drizzle with vinaigrette. Stir to combine. 

Serve immediately, or refrigerate. Good for up to 3 days.

Source of recipe: MarthaStewart.com

 

Winter Spice Gluten-free Cake

Gluten-free Cake

-adapted from a recipe by Mina Stone from Cooking for Artists-

“This recipe creates a cake that is dense, orangey, and spicy with cinnamon and cloves. It’s not light on the olive oil and that is really the way it should be”-Mina Stone

3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups organic granulated sugar, plus one tablespoon to sprinkle on top
1 1/4 cups of milk
1/4 cup of fresh orange juice
zest of 1 orange
2 cups of gluten-free flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F

  1. Lightly oil a ten-inch round cake pan and dust with flour
  2. Whisk the eggs with the olive oil in a bowl until combined. Add the sugar and whisk well to incorporate. Add the milk, orange juice, and orange zest and whisk again.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the other dry ingredients (gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt), and make a well in the center.
  4. Pour the olive oil mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk, starting from the center and working outward, until the batter is smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle another tablespoon of sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The cake is ready when the top is crusty and dark brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
 

Eco Tips

Plant more than you need

The Garden Writers Association encourages individuals to grow extra food for soup kitchens. Since 1995, the group’s efforts have yielded more than 20 million pounds of donated produce. To get involved, contact: par@gardenwriters.org

Give what you grow

http://ampleharvest.org

Donate surplus crops you have grown to AmpleHarvest.org, which maintains a registry of more than 7,500 local food programs where gardeners can donate.

Reduce waste by harvesting leftover crops

Reduce waste by harvesting leftover crops

A whopping 133 billion pounds of conventionally grown food, deemed too unsightly for supermarket shelves, never makes it out of the fields. The Gleaning Network mobilizes volunteers to hand-harvest leftover crops, scavenging 18 million pounds of free food for pantries from farms last year. To learn more: endhunger.org

Priscilla WoolworthHello! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit this page. In case you don’t know me already… I’m from New York City originally, grew up in France, England and Maine and currently live in Los Angeles, California. I’m the mother of two daughters and the founder and CEO of PriscillaWoolworth.com, an online eco-centric General Store and quarterly Almanac newsletter, where I encourage a lifestyle of environmental awareness and sustainability, with the goal to inspire systemic change and create a better world.

Named “New Green Pioneer” by Time Magazine, I have just released my first book, LOLA Lots of Love Always.

(A longer bio is available here.)