While the energy monitor tells me how much an electrical item is using, this product helps me to do something about it.
It’s so simple to use, yet it has the potential to conserve so much energy.
To use the socket, you simply plug it into an outlet, plug your appliance of choice into the Socket, and set the timer for 30 minutes, 3 hours, or 6 hours.
After the designated time, the Socket turns off and your appliance automatically stops drawing electricity from the outlet.
I use the Socket all of the time when I’m charging my phone or computer, but it would also be great for people who rush out the door in the morning and forget to turn off the toaster oven or curling iron.
If you plug your appliance in and set it for 30 minutes, it will turn off even if you forget to unplug it.
For under $20, you can make your home more sustainable and safer.
Why get a power monitor
There really aren’t many ways you can deliberately save money on major ongoing household bills, and utility bills can really be high, especially at certain times of the year if you don’t live in a temperate climate.
Here’s a real chance to do something about them.
You don’t have to be at the mercy of your appliances and the electric company!
After reading this energy monitor review you can see how gadgets like these are long overdue in the US.
Now they’re widely available, easy to use, and inexpensive.
If you plan on doing a substantial amount of traveling within the country, you may want to consider getting a France Rail Pass.
These are only available to non-European residents before your departure abroad, so be sure to plan ahead.
You can get a ticket for 3-9 days of travel within a month.
If you are only going to be taking the regional trains, all you need is your rail pass to board.
Any TGV train, however, will require you to buy a seat reservation in addition to your pass.
Tip: if you can, buy these reservations within France rather than through the Rail Europe website.
When I had my pass in fall 2010 it cost 3€ to get a seat reservation at a French train station versus $11 to buy it through the website.
If you only plan on taking one or two day trips, you can buy your ticket through many online websites.
The TER ticket prices remain stable, but the TGV ticket prices increase the longer you wait.
If you book your ticket about a month in advance you’ll be privy to “PREM” prices—a significant discount.
Travelers aged 12-25 who plan to be in France for a few months should strongly consider buying the Carte 12-25, which gives discounts of 25-50% on all train travel.
The card is good for a year after you buy it, even if you buy it on the eve of your 26th birthday.
What to Do at the Train Station
Plan on getting there 20-30 minutes before your train is due to depart.
Unless you’re taking the Eurostar or another international train, you won’t need to go through any security measures.
In the main lobby of any train station there will be a big board that has all the trains by number, hour of departure, the name of the stop at the end of the line, and the platform number.
You’ll see a lot of people congregated around it, looking up.
Oftentimes, the platform number won’t appear until a half hour or so before the train is due to depart.
So don’t fret if you don’t see one listed right away.
Just watch for it to appear as your departure nears.
If you’ve chosen an e-ticket option, you’ll need to print that out at one of the yellow kiosks using your six-letter e-ticket number and your last name.
You can choose to use the kiosks in English.
How to Validate Your Ticket
Before you board the train, you’ll need to stamp your ticket you just printed, or “composter le billet” (/com-pos-tay luh bee-yay/).
There are yellow machines outside the entrances to the platforms where you must insert your ticket to stamp the date and time on the edge.
This is to ensure you don’t try to use the same ticket on multiple journeys.
Here is a picture of the machine for stamping the ticket:
How to Board the Train
After you’ve arrived on your platform you can feel free to board the train.
On the right side of your ticket it will say what voiture (car) you’re in.
This is written next to each door of the train.
Your seat number will be under that.
The train cars usually either have a big “1” or “2” on them– this is to demarcate whether it’s a first or second class car.
There are luggage racks at either end of a car, and sometimes in the middle as well.
If you’re able to put your bag on the ledge above your seat, do that.
There have been some instances of theft on the trains.
If you can’t fit it above you, just saunter by nonchalantly every now and then to check on it.
Don’t be too conspicuous about it or you’ll make your bag a target.
What to Expect on the Train
While you’re on the train, an employee will come around to check tickets.
Present him/her with your composted ticket, along with any other pass or discount card.
If everything is up to snuff the employee will punch your ticket and move on.
TGV trains will usually have a food and beverage cart where you can get a snack.
Be sure to pay attention for your stop, as not all conductors will announce the name of the town when you arrive.
Gare (/gar/): train station
Voie (/vwah/): platform
Arrete (/a-RET/): stop
Composter (/com-pos-TAY/): to stamp
Billet (/bee-YAY/): ticket
TGV (/tay-zhay-vay/): train à grand vitesse– high speed train
TER (/tay-euh-air/): regional train
Guichet (/GEE-shay/): ticket counter
Voiture (/vwah-TYUR/): train car
Place assise (/plahce a-SEEZ/): seat
Je cherche (/juh sherche/): I’m looking for…
Parlez-vous anglais? (/par-LAY voo an-GLAY/): Do you speak English?
This post is part of a series about France and teaching abroad, written by our dear friend Nina Petersen-Perlman.
Nina Petersen-Perlman has visited Paris on 13 different occasions, eight of which were during the last year when she was an English teaching assistant in a small town in Burgundy.
Paris In a Day ~ How to See Paris in 25 Hours
It’s not hard to see why Paris is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Europe.
You get slapped in the face with charm and whimsy just taking a stroll practically anywhere in the city, what with all the boulevards and the quaint boulangeries and the riverboats and the amour in the air.
Navigating the city, especially on a tight time-frame, can be a bit of a nightmare, however.
There are simply so many incredible and worthy things to see that you may feel discouraged before you even begin your weekend jaunt.
The following itinerary is one I made for my friends visiting France for the first time who were going to be in Paris for a mere 25 hours during a quick stopover from England.
It was whirlwind and hectic, to be sure, but I think I gave them a good taste of what the city had to offer.
Paris In a Day
I picked my friends up at the Gare du Nord when the Eurostar train came in.
They had a large suitcase and carry-on apiece, which we heaved up and down multiple sets of stairs on the métro.
I must reiterate: Paris was not built to accommodate the weak-kneed.
We found and checked into our hotel in the St. Germain des Près neighborhood.
We took a stroll down the Boulevard St. Germain des Près, stopping for some savory crêpes on the way, and then poked around in the quarter’s eponymous church for a look-see.
Crêpes are a ubiquitous—and cheap—street food in Paris. You can get them savory or sweet (or one of both).
Even though my friends would only be there for a short time, I needed to give them a taste of my favorite French pastry: macarons.
In my humble opinion, there is no better place to get them than Ladurée, also known as my happy place.
Please get the salted caramel and then get ready to swoon with ecstasy.
We took our loot from the St. Germain shop on Rue Bonaparte and then headed down to the banks of the Seine while we waited for a riverboat cruise to dock.
Tea and pastries at Ladurée
We paddled in our Batobus toward the Ile de la Cité and the Ile Saint Louis, made a loop around them, and continued west until we stopped at the Eiffel Tower, passing the Louvre and Musée D’Orsay on the way.
These bateaux mouches are a great way to get your bearings when you first arrive in the city.
Thankfully my guests heeded my pleas not to waste their precious time climbing the tower, but were content to snap some photos in front of it and take a peek beneath it.
Be extremely aware of your personal belongings when you’re around big tourist traps like this, or you’re bound to leave lighter in the wallet than when you came.
After they’d had their Ei-fill of wandering about, we got back in line to take the Batobus to the Musée D’Orsay.
This was apparently the perfect time to go to the Musée D’Orsay, home to works by Van Gogh, Dégas, Seurat, Manet, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin, Renoir, and others.
Unlike every other time I’ve gone, there was absolutely no line to wait in.
We gazed upon masterpiece after masterpiece until the museum shut its doors for the night.
To reward my friends for agreeing not to mount the Eiffel Tower, I took them up to Montmartre for an aerial view of the city.
We got off at the Abesses métro stop (tip: take the elevator to avoid the billion stairs to the top) and headed up the hill to the Sacré Coeur basilica. The church features beautiful mosaics.
By this time we were exhausted from all the wandering and the stairs and the crowds, so we just plopped down at the first good-looking restaurant we happened upon.
We feasted upon escargots as a starter, duck with honey sauce and boeuf bourguignon as a main course, and crème brûlée and mousse au chocolat for dessert.
We shared a bottle of Bordeaux.
Most restaurants will have a menu, a fixed-price, multi-course meal.
If this is going to be your only real meal in Paris, go all out!
Try something a little scary but delightfully French.
I hatched a plan to take mes amies on a forced march through nighttime Paris so they could see some of the important things we wouldn’t have time for on Sunday.
Our first stop was the Moulin Rouge, which is on a very lewd streets with sex shops as far as the eye can see.
We then took the métro to Opéra, so they could see the magnificent rococo opera house in real life after seeing the model of it in the Musée D’Orsay.
We walked down the Avenue de l’Opéra to the Louvre, the gigantic palace that is now one of the world’s most important art museums.
We arrived just as lights on the Eiffel Tower began to sparkle.
Which it does every night starting at 10:00 for five minutes on the hour.
We strolled along the Seine until we reached Notre Dame, and paused to watch a group of buff French rollerblading make magic with their limbs along a course of overturned cups.
We got a bit lost on our last leg of the trip, but we made it back to the hotel safe and sound, and promptly passed out.
Notre Dame at night
After breakfast at the hotel, we set out for Notre Dame.
My friends toured the cathedral while I waited in line to go up the towers.
This was a perfect plan, because by the time they were done exploring the line had stretched down the block.
We climbed the tight spiral staircases to the top, and were rewarded with magnificent views of the city.
View of Montmartre (and Sacré Coeur) from the top of Notre Dame
We trucked over to Saint Chapelle cathedral, which is a hop, skip and a jump away from Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cité.
It’s home to beautiful stained glass windows.
We were properly awestruck, and glad we went.
Stained glass windows at Sainte Chapelle
I took a slight detour so I should show the bibliophiles Shakespeare & Co., a Left-Bank, English-language bookstore where Hemmingway used to hang out.
We got some panini sandwiches at a nearby street stand for lunch, and then hightailed it back to the hotel so we could catch the métro in time for our respective trains.
25 hours in Paris: c’est possible!
Travel in Paris: Top 6 Tips
Paris is an enormous city with delicious food and wine, museums for every taste, and thousands of years of history.
If you don’t have much time to spend there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
These tips should help you get where you need to go with the maximum amount of time for soaking up the magic of Paris.
Wear comfortable walking shoes
Yes, the underground métro network is extensive, but you are still going to need to hoof it up and down more flights of stairs than you ever dreamed possible to get to and from the stations.
Buy Your Tickets in Bulk
Buy your métro tickets in carnets (CAR-nay), packs of 1
Split it with your travel companion if you don’t think you’ll use them all yourself to save a few Euros.
Go in the Off-Season
The best time to travel is October through March if you want to avoid the gigantic hordes of tourists.
Going Green This Summer is officially here and it’s the perfect time to think about ways to reduce your environmental impact.
From food and shopping to traveling and entertainment, we’ve got you covered with tips for going green this summer.
What is going green exactly?
Read on to find all about the benefits of going green and going green facts.
The buzz word of late seems to be going green.
Everyone from automobile makers to mobile phone makers seem to be flaunting their green credentials.
But what does going green mean for you and me?
What are some of the smaller things that we can all incorporate in our lives and encourage others around us to make those choices?
What is ‘Going Green’ to the average person?
It basically means maximizing your finite resources by utilizing only as much as necessary.
Here are some of the things that all of us can do and proudly join the going green wagon.
This is the simplest thing that all of us can aim for in our lives.
Get of that couch!
Walk that small distance or ride a bike.
It will help cut down on the automobile emissions and get you in shape.
Chances are that all your bills are available online so there really is no sense in having all those bills delivered to you every month.
Contact your utility companies, your phone companies and the rest and tell them that an e bill will be sufficient for you.
Water conservation is going to be one of the big struggles ahead of us down the line.
Using low intensity showers, switching off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving are all small but extremely useful things that all of us can incorporate in our daily lives.
Reuse what you ask?
Reuse everything that you can.
Use reusable coffee mugs, reuse the packages and shopping bags, glass water bottles…. You get the idea.
It is now mandatory in large parts of the country and the world to have a green rating on all your appliances.
Look for the ones that have a good energy rating and try and buy that one please.
It may cost a little more but it will pay for itself over its lifetime of use in energy savings.
A lot of appliances are available that help you save energy.
The Nest thermostat is one that has attracted attention over the last year or so that is ‘intelligent’ enough to understand your energy needs to adjust itself accordingly and save energy.
This is just one example of the most popular one, however there is no dearth of other companies offering similar advantages.
You may ask what is going green in that?
Well, it’s the transportation cost to the environment of shipping food across the world that needs to be cut down rather than ‘organic’ food.
Take an interest in where your produce is coming from and try and buy local.
Shopping at your local farmer’s market is a useful way to go green: Traveling Locavore
It is old school and not as glamorous as filling your car with vegetable oil but it works.
And everyone can do it.
Make sure you distinguish between what can be recycled and separate your trash accordingly. Does your recycling make a difference?
All of these things do not require any investment on your part other than an interest in saving the environment.
Or, at the very least, not worsening it.
All about the benefits of going green
The benefits of going green lie in the well-being of our planet earth.
“Going green” is the new catch phrase that we find in everywhere; be it a TV commercial, or a poster or a book or in our favorite TV shows.
Its existence everywhere has somewhere reduced the very importance of its purpose in our minds.
Let’s have quick refresher on the benefits of going green.
Commercial Benefits of going green:
Reduce in expense:
Any green activity causes reduction in use of energy, money and other resources which in turn helps organizations to reduce on their expenses
Any organization following green measures are looked up as a reliable and responsible brand to go with.
Hence it enhances the brand value of the organization.
It is observed that workforce in an eco-friendly work place produce better output and reduces absenteeism.
5 Simple Ways to Recycle Your Electronics
Appreciation of building:
The value of green workplace has minimum depreciation and in fact it appreciates with time and tenants are also more attracted to get such places for happier and productive workforces
Natural Benefits going green:
Benefits of going green activities results into betterment of air and water quality that we consume every second.
That is a pollution free environment for a healthy society
It helps to reduce the huge waste a society accumulates over time.
And promotes recycling of the same to be reused.
By using alternative energy sources like solar electricity, hydro electricity, wind tunnel etc and reduce the waste of electricity consumption green initiative helps us conserve precious energy resources.
Reducing, reusing and recycling; the three pillars of green initiative prompts to reduces the use of all the resources.
Conservation of water & forest eco-system:
By cutting less trees to make papers, stopping animal hunting and recycling water we can establish the ecosystem of forests which is currently under threat.
Go-green measures to increase the benefits of going green
Reducing means cutting down on waste by using less in the first place.
For example, we could use less packaging. Some food are wrapped in plastic, but instead we could buy them without packaging.
Also, while going for shopping if we carry a shopping bag with us, we would reduce the use of a plastic carry bag for or shopped items.
Or for instance, we can reduce a huge load of papers available online by not printing them.
We can always read and share those papers online by email etc which will in turn save a lot of tree to remain alive.
Reduce the use of water for bath by just turning the tap off in the right time.
We can use things again instead of throwing them away.
We can promote reusing as a practice starting from our homes.
There are god examples to get inspired.
You can donate your unwanted clothes, books, toys to orphanages or other social centers for under privileged people.
You can start having an exchange program within your friends.
If you are done reading a book, you can exchange it for a book that you have not read from your friends.
Instead of buying containers for kitchen ingredients, you can reuse the bottles of empty ingredients to store the new ones.
After the consumption or use of the material it can be reformed to be used again.
And the Importance of recycling is huge when it comes to the well being of our planet.
There are several ways we can do recycling at home.
For example, we can keep our kitchen organic wastes in a pot to reform it to become organic compost for our garden plants.
Another way of recycling could be to use hard boxes and colored wrapping sheets to be used as handicraft items.
Benefits of going green is holistic and makes things better and healthier all around us and for generations to come.
It surely worth that one extra step to go ahead and do our bit to give it back to the nature.
Going green facts
There is a lot of misinformation that is floating around everywhere when it comes to facts about the changing environment.
Everyone seems to have an agenda and a propaganda that they want to further.
So in a situation like this what are the facts that you and me can rely on?
Keeping this in mind we have compiled some essential irrefutable going green facts.
Climate Change is the gravest threat to humanity.
You know all the movies which show some space rock coming in and destroying the world.
Yes it seems scary and it is.
But is also highly unlikely that such an even will ever occur.
There is a mathematical chance of course but there is not really much we can do about it.
On the other hand there is environment change which is slowly progressing to irretrievable levels every single day.
It is the slow and insidious nature of this threat that has kept it from capturing public imagination till now.
All scientists agree on this fact now.
Climate change is a reality that we will all have to face, quite possibly within our lifetime.
Every little counts
There is a feeling that what little we can do is probably insufficient to cause any change whatsoever and so probably not worth doing it at all.
No, that is definitely not the case.
Small changes that all of us incorporated in our lifestyles will add up to real and significant lessening of strain on our resources.
Take that small walk to the convenience store, carpool, take shorter showers and reuse as much as possible.
You are making a difference, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Environment change affects all of us.
This is not something that anyone of us can run from.
Not the richest or the strongest or the most politically well-connected.
Environment change will affect all facets of industry and all levels of society.
It is up to the educated ones among us to make the others aware of the danger.
Changing weather patterns have already emerged.
Everyday you read something about bizarre weather patterns in some part of the world.
This is not just coincidence and is not something that will go away.
Change in temperature, rainfall and other such local weather conditions affect the crops, vegetation and animals of that area.
All of these changes directly affect us.
These are signs of more significant things to come.
The sad part however is that we fail to learn even after repeated warnings.
Our ecosystem is unstable right now, and there is no way that it can sustain this level of imbalance over a long period of time.
These are some of the going green facts that no one in the world can argue against.
The difficult part is to impress upon people the danger that lies ahead of all of us and our generations to come if drastic and immediate changes are not made.
Future generations will look at us as the ones that failed them if we do not act now.
Now that you know what is going green, all about the benefits of going green, and some going green facts, you surely can do your part to help the world.
All About the Benefits of Going Green This Summer
Go to the Farmer’s Market
Eat local this summer by getting your produce, meat, eggs, and baked good at your local farmer’s market.
That squash from the farm 20 miles away will have a much lower environmental impact than a grocery store
Bought squash that was shipped across the country.
Plus, fresh, local food tastes better.
Shop at Garage Sales
Tis the season for scavenging for used goods.
Garage, rummage, and yard sales abound.
Take advantage of them and buy what you need there.
Not only will it save you serious money, you’ll be able to re-use perfectly good items.
Plus, your find will be free of the excessive, wasteful packaging that accompanies new items.
Get Outside and Save Electricity
Spend time away from the TV and computer and wile away the summer gardening, reading outside, and walking around the neighborhood.
You’ll save electricity by turning off the TV, turning up the A/C, and shutting off the lights.
Avoid airports, congested roads, and crowded resorts.
Instead, have a family “staycation”.
A vacation without leaving your home.
Set some ground rules (no work for the entire weekend, no friends/just family time), plan your itinerary, and get started!
Grow Your Own Food
There’s no need to trek to the grocery store when you have lettuce growing in your backyard.
Your meals can be made with fresh, organic, local produce — grown by you.
It’s easier than you might think to start a home garden.
It will save you trips to the store and time.
How to Start a Greenhouse
Stay in the Neighborhood
Instead of driving to the fancy park across town, spend time in your neighborhood park.
Opt for restaurants and grocery stores that are close to home.
You’ll reduce your environmental impact and save time because you won’t have to travel as far.
Bike and Walk More
Now that the weather is lovely and sunny, opt to bike or walk to your destination instead of hopping in the car.
It might take a little longer, but you’ll get exercise, spend time outside, and better experience summer.
Search Out Local Entertainment
You don’t need to travel far to find good summertime entertainment.
In the warmer months, music festivals, neighborhood art shows, and movies in the park abound.
Take advantage of your neighborhood’s offerings.
You’ll meet new people and have experiences you would otherwise miss out on.
Best of all, most of these offerings are free and nearby.
What is Going Green – Significance of Conserving Energy
So what is Going Green? Going Green is a popular term used by environmentalists today.
You may also have heard the term in the news or must have read it in your newspaper.
You must have also seen a group of people protesting against industries and the pollution they create, in the streets holding slogans that say “Go Green or Go Home!” or “Protect Our Environment”, etc.
But have you ever really thought about what is going green?
What is Going Green
Well for starters what is going green?
Going green refers to actions which result in the promotion and protection of the environment and the climate.
Do not forget about the protection of endangered species and other animals.
For example, due to global warming, the arctic ice is melting and the climate is getting warmer by a few degrees each year.
This directly affects the habitat of that region.
Many polar bears die each year due to lack of food and warmth.
Another instance can be the endangerment of honey bees due to increased use of pesticides.
Pesticides kill honey bees and that can be increasingly dangerous for the planet’s biodiversity.
Without honey bees pollinating the plants, almost 80% of the planet’s plant life will disappear which will directly affect the global populace as agriculture will suffer.
Without honey bees there will be no honey and without honey many medications and treatment will cease to exist.
Going green is an important thing but what is going green without knowing anything about it?
People often say that they want to participate wholeheartedly in cleaning up the environment but do not know where to start.
Well, you can start going green right from your home.
Going green involves developing systems and processes which work in harmony with the environment and to reduce the use of chemicals and toxic substances which pollute the climate all around you.
The ozone layer is slowly depleting due to increased industrial activity in the world.
China, for example, is known for its mass industrial power and the pollution that is destroying people’s lives.
Majority of the Chinese population have to work wearing breathing masks to avoid inhaling smog and smoke.
What is going green if you do not implement necessary measures?
Everybody can start giving something back to the environment.
After all, there is hardly any person who can say that he/she does not pollute.
This planet is your only home.
Unlike in sci-fi movies where when earth is destroyed by man, colonies of men are shifted to another planet; that is not going to happen with you.
If the planet ceases to be the way it is and the environment deteriorates further, the future generations would suffer.
Moreover, the Earth will become uninhabitable to a large extent.
Going green means discovering and implementing alternative energy sources and preserving fossil fuels so that fewer pollutants harm the air around you.
What is Going Green: Global Awareness
Governments all over the globe, along with nongovernmental organizations, propagate and circulate public awareness regarding what is going green and what each individual should do to protect the environment.
Note that the pollution which was a direct result of the industrial revolution was the first cause for concern regarding the environment’s survival.
Today, due to urbanization, globalization and industrialization, the environments is suffering a painful blow resulting in extreme weather conditions and global warming.
Governments all around the world are trying to find ways to promote the health of the environment by cutting down industrial pollution but so far nothing positive has come out of the efforts.
There are still trees being cut down in numbers reaching thousands each year for the production of various industrial and common use products.
With fewer trees around, there will be deforestation and with deforestation, millions of species of animals will go extinct.
It is their natural habitat which is being destroyed.
Without trees there will be no circulation of clean air, trees have the ability to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Once a tree is cut down, a source of clean air is killed which could have served its purpose for many years to come.
How is the Planet Being Affected?
The planet’s eco-system is affected in a number of ways as a result of man-made pollutants.
Previously, when there were no major regulations or laws against chemical waste disposal, various companies used to dump their chemical waste into rivers to dispose them off.
This resulted in the marine life of many water bodies going extinct.
People who used the water from these sources also suffered as a result of the contamination.
But nowadays, industries are regularized and are legally bound to set up water treatment systems to convert and treat the waste water from factories and households into more pure and usable water.
In many cases, the water that is treated can be recycled and used for other applications, or the waste can even be recycled to be used as applications for industrial purposes.
For example, you can recycle glass, paper, plastic, etc. Recycling is a major part of what is going green.
In what is going green, the major source of pollution is the heavy usage of oil, gas and other fossil fuels mostly used to power industries.
These fossil fuels will someday run out (adding to the damage).
The use of these fuels directly results in the emission of dangerous fumes and gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrousoxide.
These are known as greenhouse gases which pollute the air and the environment.
If you want to know what is going green, then it is imperative that you understand that burning fossil fuels in order to harness energy from it also produces a lot of carbon dioxide.
According to research done recently, it is indicated that the total percentage of carbon dioxide which is produced by burning fossil fuels, the environment can only process half of it.
This percentage is expected to decrease with each passing day due to deforestation.
The other half of the carbon dioxide produced is left unprocessed and that is what damages the environment and increase health risks.
This is in turn damages the planet’s ecosystem and thus results in global warming which pertains to drastic changes in the climate of the planet.
But there are steps that are being taken to prevent this damage and other forms of renewable and alternative energy are being implemented.
What is Going Green and How can You Help Save the Planet
Replenishing the Damaged Environment
Just knowing about what is going green won’t do any good.
You have to practice and implement ways to lessen the burden on the environment.
If you live in one of the hotter areas of the country you can learn more about heat tolerant plants in Gilmour’s article.
You can go green starting with your house.
Tell your kids and spouse to switch off the lights when they are not in use.
Try and avoid switching lights on during the daytime to conserve energy.
Walk to work or school if it isn’t far away.
Otherwise, take the bus instead of driving there.
When you go to get groceries, ride a bike.
Taking a car means burning fuel which means more emissions on your part.
Following these simple steps can help reduce your carbon footprint.
Secondly, you can actively participate by planting trees and other forms of flora and fauna in your backyard or your lawn.
Reforestation is important if you want to help combat the harmful effects and damages caused by logging.
Try to do some reforestation in both urban and rural areas.
Did you know that the major causes of floods and landslide is heavy logging and deforestation?
Widespread flooding and huge landslides which wipes off entire cities and towns off the map, killing and displacing thousands of people in the process, is the result of logging and heavy deforestation.
Trees also act as nature’s shield against landslides and flooding due to heavy rain.
Taking down the shield will no doubt result in destruction.
And because of this, some species have already gone extinct and many are on the verge of extinction.
In what is going green, the trash you throw on beaches and in the water affects marine life.
Each year thousands of birds who come to get fish from the waters are killed due to major oil spills and other contaminants in the ocean.
The fish that they eat also suffer because of the rampant pollution.
To combat this, conservationists have developed a routine to clean up beaches all around the world on a daily basis.
Oil spills, on the other hand, cannot be controlled.
It is surprising to discover what is going green and the different ways in which you can give back to the planet.
All you need to do is play your part in any way you can, big or small it doesn’t matter.
But it is your duty to do your bit to preserve the environment and prevent further damage.
Many people are aware of what is going green and they know that some things are good for the planet and yet they do not do anything about it and instead turn a blind eye to it.
Going green is healthy and it can be a really noble cause.
Knowing more about what is going green can save you money and lead you to a better and healthier life.
A cleaner environment today will lead to a cleaner future tomorrow.
Going green is all about restoring nature and conserving resources.
It is imperative that you save resources so that the future generations can use them to go about their lives.
At the rate the world is going, it is not impossible to state there will be a scarcity of natural resources in the years to come.
When in need of a shower, try not to waste a lot of water by taking long showers.
When washing your face with soap or brushing your teeth or even shaving, it is a good idea to turn off the water.
Get all the leaky faucets fixed so that there is no dripping water, which only ends up being wasted.
You see, going green is all about replacing your old habits and adopting new ones that not only result in your satisfaction but also help save the environment.
Each time you decide to do something about saving natural resources, you take a step towards helping make the world a better place.
Recycling is an important and fundamental way to promote environmental protection.
Recycling involves the process of turning waste into reusable products.
For example, empty glass bottles or plastic plates or rubber can be recycled.
Glass can be recycled into a new glass bottles, ready for reuse, and so on.
The process of recycling ensures the conservation of scarce resources and also reduces harmful emissions.
You can reuse some of the things that you intend to throw away.
For example, you can reuse old clothing as cleaning rags.
You can turn containers into pots and plant some flowers.
You can even donate old clothes to a church or charity so that they can be used to clothe the needy.
Change Your Lighting
You can switch to using fluorescent bulbs which use less power and are long-lasting.
Bring Your Own Grocery Bags
When going out for grocery shopping, you can Sachi Insulated Market Totes, Set of 6 with you so that you don’t have to take plastic bags.
If everybody starts bringing their own bags, there won’t even be a need to manufacture more bags.
Try to grow your own food through homesteading.
Considerable greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided this way as there will be lower demand of processed foods.
Ride a Bus or Carpool
You can also reduce your carbon footprint by carpooling or riding a bus or a bicycle.
Pick your co-workers if they live nearby so that fewer cars are used.
For example, these houseplants can reduce the amount of formaldehyde in the air by 90%.
As an extra bonus, plants release oxygen by a process called photosynthesis.
With little care, they will continue to purify the air for your family.
Living a Green Lifestyle
Even though living a green lifestyle while being a busy mom may seem like an impossible task, it doesn’t have to be.
There are many things you can do to incorporate good environmental practices into even the most hectic day.
You can feel good about taking care of your family and for modeling a healthy, environmentally-conscious lifestyle that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
New Year’s Resolutions for Green Moms
If you’re making New Year’s resolutions for 2013, why not make them green?
Below, we offer ten easy green tips to get you started.
Don’t worry: we’re not suggesting you try to tackle all of them (although if you do, let us know and we’ll send you a shiny gold star!).
Take an ‘Eat Local Challenge’
For one month, attempt to eat all local foods, including all groceries and prepared food.
Or do as my sister did in Northampton, MA: try it for a year, eating 70 percent local.
Make your home as efficient as possible
Even if you can’t afford to complete remodel your home to include geothermal heating or solar panels, you can have a home performance for energy efficiency conducted by a heating and air professional, saving you money as well as help the earth.
Make 2013 the year you buy used
Can you do it? Buy only used and recycled items for a year?
If you take on this huge challenge, remember there are a few items families should never buy used, such as bicycle helmets, car seats, cribs, and computers, unless refurbished.
Make your local farmers’ market a routine weekly stop
If you divide your regular grocery shopping between a number of stores, add the farmers’ market to the list, and consistently shop there.
It takes time to get to know what foods are regularly offered and to get to know local farmers and artisans.
Leave your car parked at least one day per week
Pick a day of the week that works for your schedule, and vow to not drive.
Maybe a weekend day is best, during which you’ll ride a bike, walk, or just stay home.
Maybe a weekday works, on a day your kids don’t have obligations or are picked up by others in a car pool, or you carpool to work.
Recycle more than you throw away
In the past year, my recycling bin has consistently been fuller than my trash bin, and I couldn’t be happier.
Check your local garbage service details to make sure you’re taking advantage of all you can recycle.
I didn’t realize so many items were eligible for recycling until I asked for a full list.
This is on my personal New Year’s list!
Composting is inexpensive and easy once you get the hang of it, and even if you don’t have space or time for a garden, many local nurseries and farms will buy your compost to take it off your hands.
Many cities, such as Seattle, now have composting service.
Hang clothes to dry
I’ll admit it: this is one that seems like way too much work.
However, with three school-aged boys, we go through a lot of laundry each week, and it seems like the dryer is always turning.
We’ll switch to a low-energy dryer such as those sold at Laundry Alternative or hang clothes on a line in the spring and summer.
Volunteer with a local outdoor effort
You don’t have to wait until Earth Day to plant a tree or build a trail. Parks and Rec departments and local forest services also run programs in many areas.
Ban processed foods from your house
Once you’re trying to avoid them, you’ll be shocked to see how many of the foods we buy are heavily processed.
Not only are processed foods terrible for us, but they almost always involve extensive packaging that is harmful to the environment.
Replace snack food purchases such as granola bars, fruit leathers, chips, and store-bought frozen waffles with their homemade counterparts for healthier options.
What are your eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions?
We’d love for you to add to this list in the comments!
What Makes a Home Eco Friendly
So you wanna reduce your global footprint and learn more about eco friendly home?
Not only is your decision great for the environment, it can reduce your monthly expenses and be great for your wallet.
Taking the steps to live more eco friendly is easy if you know where to start.
Let’s begin with some background on this catchy “eco” term.
What the Heck is Eco?
Is eco short for environment or economics?
Nope. In fact, eco is short for ecology which is the science of studying the earth and environment.
Since ecologists have been pushing for a “greener” environment, the term eco caught on and now is used for the whole green movement.
Not to mention the Green Party was once named the Ecology Party.
Costco’s laundry detergent is phosphate-free, dye-free, and perfume-free.
What’s more, the container is made from 25% or more recycled materials.
Vaska Laundry Detergent:
This brand of detergent contains plant-based surfactants and conditioners, lavender extract and filtered water.
It does not contain: “NPE’s carcinogenic ingredients, chlorine, phosphates, petroleum products, alcohol, optical brighteners, synthetic scents, animal ingredients, EPA priority pollutants, or materials listed by ACGIH as hazardous.”
Makes you wonder what’s in your detergent – doesn’t it?
How to make your own laundry soap
There is always the option of making your own laundry detergent.
It is like baking a cake or bread from scratch: You will know exactly what is in it.
With some simple washing soda, Borax (which is made from naturally-occurring ingredients) and an unscented and natural bar of soap, you can be on your way to a more environmentally-friendly and green laundry detergent.
Living more green
For more information on environmentally friendly and eco living:
Green Spring Cleaning Checklist: 8 Tips for Your Home What Makes a Home Eco
The best green laundry detergents don’t necessarily cost more and you will have less irritants and toxins in your home and on your skin.
It’s a good idea to research on the Good Guide to learn more about the laundry detergent in your home.
Green Laundry Tips to Save Energy and Money
Since the new year, I’ve been doing my best to live green according to my top resolutions for green moms.
I’ve cut several energy-wasting activities from my daily routine, but laundry remains my nemesis.
With a family of five (including three growing boys who all play sports daily!), large quantities of laundry will be a reality for me for the foreseeable future.
Laundry is probably a reality in yours as well.
While household laundry can’t be avoided, there are ways to reduce energy, water-consumption, and reduce your environmental impact with the following five green laundry tips.
Green dish soap – When Whole Foods announced their new 365 household products, including for laundry, household cleaning, and kitchen, we were thrilled.
Whenever possible, we seek out green options.
They provided us with some samples to review for their eco-friendly and green dish soap.
Until recently, when it mysteriously disappeared, I was loyal to my Method Dish Soap in Pink Grapefruit.
Sure – the bottle was a little awkward – but a bottle would last a really long time and was relatively inexpensive.
I would have preferred dye-free dish soap, but I loved the pink grapefruit smell.
But it’s gone, and we were in search of another green dish soap when Whole Foods told us about their new line: 365 Dish Soap.
365 Dish Soap Review of green dish soap Whole Foods
Green Dish Soap Price
The 365 Brand Dish Soap comes in three options: unscented, Mandarin Ginger, and Citrus.
Strangely the Mandarin Ginger was priced higher than the other two for the same quantity so we opted for the Citrus.
Whole Foods picked up the tab for the bottle, but since I wouldn’t likely spend more of my own money on a different scent I wasn’t going to spend theirs either.
It was priced competitively with the Seventh Generation dish soaps.
Dish Soap Scent and Texture
The citrus smell has a slight citrus smell to it and is not overpowering in anyway.
It’s much closer to being un-fragrance than to being over-fragrances.
It is dye free and doesn’t leave the hands too dry.
Crucial for those of us living in cold and dry winter wonderlands.
I do not want to have to slather my hands with lotion — more chemicals oftentimes — every time I do dishes or scrub a pan.
How Well Does the Dish Soap Work?
The 365 Dish Soap is extremely effective.
It removes both the grease and eggs from our stainless steel cookware as effectively as any other green dish soaps we’ve used.
My only complaint is that the soap is either extra runny or the hole is too big.
Resulting in more dish soap coming out of the bottle in one squirt than is actually needed.
When you turn the bottle over the soap comes pouring out without even having to squirt.
This reminds me of when I buy certain salad dressings and some of the brands and lids have a small hole from which to dispense the dressing and it comes out slowly and others do not have any plastic covering over the lid/hole and out pours more than you could ever eat.
I like that the bottle is not overly large because I don’t like, nor do I have room to store, large quantities of anything in my modest-sized home.
I am never someone who is going to mix together my own “recipes” for chemical-free cleaning products or buy a large quantity of the solution and have to dilute with water.
So when I can find some eco-friendly cleaning products that work, I’m happy.
I’m doing whatever I can to eliminate chemicals and toxins from my home so it is important to consider products you use most often, and then get the best and “healthiest” of those products whenever possible.
Update since reviewing this green dish soap Whole Foods:
One way to find healthy products is to look for the Environmental Protection Agencies’ new “Safer Choice” logo on the product.
After a lengthy and thorough process by EPA scientists, over 1,000 products have been deemed safe from potential health and environmental risks.
Most of the time, the products we use are ones we have bought for years, routinely — never questioning, much less thinking about — the hidden toxins and ingredients in them.
We go to the store, and we put them in our cart without ever thinking about their chemical makeup.
Personal care products like deodorant, toothpaste, makeup, and shampoo are very loosely regulated in the US, which means they often contain harmful chemicals.
The fix: Do your research with Good Guide and Skin Deep and buy products with fewer (or even better, no) harmful ingredients.
Or, if you have the time or interest, make your own personal care products.
Two surprises for me were two of my favorite products:
Dove bar soap and Off! insect repellent.
I love the white, unscented Dove bar soap.
I like that it doesn’t contain perfumes and dyes, and it always seemed hypo-allergenic as I never experienced any symptoms after using it.
I fully expected it to score at least an 8 or a 9 out of a possible 10 points for health/safety on Good Guide and was surprised to discover it scored a meager 4 points for the health concern of the ingredients.
It contains butylated hydroxytoluene, which they consider to be a “medium health concern.”
I usually buy Off!
insect repellent and was surprised to learn that within the same product line there so many differences when it comes to the “Health” of the ingredients.
Surprisingly, this was true of most brands of products I use.
For example, Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent Towelettes scored an 8/10 in Health.
However, the Off!
Family Care Insect Repellent Towelettes with Aloe Vera, Light & Fresh scored a frightening 0/10 in the Health category for the following reason: “This product contains problematic, banned, or contaminated ingredients.”
I would have assumed the “family” version was safest choice.
Going forward, I plan to check Good Guide for all of the healthcare products my family uses. I want to find out which ones score “10.”
If they don’t, I will look for alternative products.
More about looking up products on Good Guide
What is also very helpful in the Good Guide site is that they rank the health and safety of the products’ ingredients.
They also take it steps further by giving each company an overall grade to include the company’s environment and society rankings.
As stated above, it is remarkable how many differences there are in ingredients within the same brand and same type of product.
Do your research!
Have you ever considered what you may be drinking and cooking with every single day?
Another everyday toxin in homes may be your water.
Your tap water might be contaminated with dangerous pollutants.
Note that bottled water is not the answer; it’s often just tap water put into a wasteful plastic bottle containing BPA.
Bottled water makers don’t fully disclose the source or purity of their water.
Filter your water, either with a simple filter like a Brita pitcher, or with a reverse osmosis system.
Chances are when it comes to baby, most of the things you are buying you have purchased new.
Many, if not most of them, are probably made from plastic.
Even more alarming, most of these newly purchased, plastic items are made in China and other countries with less-strict regulations.
When it comes to babies and children, it is so important to eliminate toxins in homes.
Teething toys and bottle nipples can contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates.
Bottles are often made with BPA.
Baby shampoos, diaper rash ointment and lotion can be chock full of harmful chemicals.
Formula cans can be lined with BPA.
Do your research.
Buy products made in the United States.
Buy natural baby toys made of wood, silicone, and rubber.
Use glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free baby bottles with silicone nipples.
Seek out options other than the standards sippy cups and plastic straws.
Look up your baby’s lotion, shampoo, and other personal care products on Skin Deep or Good Guide.
Another side note that cannot be overlooked: It is important to realize there can be BIG differences in the products you choose.
When I looked up Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly Jar for Baby, Creamy Formula, Enriched with Vitamin E, it scored a 10/10 in the “Health” category.
Yet Vaseline Baby Pure Petroleum Jelly Jar, Fresh Scent, scored a 6/10 for Health because of “insufficient ingredient information.”
More info: Best Natural and Green Baby Products
Pillows and Mattresses and Carpeting
The situation: When considering this category, I would have thought the hidden toxins in home pillows and mattresses would be the fact that I’ve kept them for too long, and that they would be filled with dust and dust mites.
Little did I know….Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other toxic chemicals are widely used to prevent the spread of fire and are likely to be found in dozens of products in the home.
They have been used in products since the 1970’s in plastics; fabrics; foam in cushions, couches, beds and pillows, padding under the carpet, etc.; and electronics, including TV screens.
Since 2005, the PBDEs in foam furniture is no longer legal in the US; however, if you have products from before then — and most everyone does — you could be at risk.
Again, these would include everyday items that aren’t generally replaced, including mattresses, mattress pads, couches, easy chairs, pillows, car seats, carpet padding, and more. PBDEs were also used in vehicle seating, car seats, and office furniture.
The threat: Not many of us have replaced our mattresses and couches since 2005.
These, and our pillows too, all can contain PBDEs, which are chemical flame retardants linked to thyroid problems.
Exposure can be especially bad for babies and kids. PBDE can be passed to a baby through breast milk.
The fix: Buy and use pillows made from natural foam, wool, natural latex, buckwheat, organic cotton, or another natural material.
Buy an organic mattress.
Buy a new crib mattress.
Research the materials used before purchasing new couches and upholstered furniture.
Look for carpet pads that are certified for low VOC emissions and made with 100% new materials.
Ask about PBDEs and other hazardous materials.
Many carpet pads are made with waste and scrap materials so it is important to get information from a reputable source.
Natural fibers such as jute, horsehair, and felt and 100% sheep wool are generally safe.
Use caution when removing old carpet, and clean afterwards with a mop and quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
More info: Shopping Tips for Green Products
Household Cleaning Products
We use them to make our home and living environment cleaner and healthier.
How can it be that this is another area that we have to wonder about and even worry about?
Have you ever thought about what you are spraying?
What are you and your family breathing in when you clean?
Cleaning products from dishwasher and laundry detergents to all-purpose cleaners are virtually unregulated.
And companies that make those products aren’t required to disclose their ingredients.
Which means that many contain harmful chemicals.
Buy natural cleaning products from eco-minded brands you trust.
Use the Guide to Healthy Cleaning and Good Guide to check your products.
Or learn to make your own green cleaning products.
It is fairly easy to do.
Easy to remove most hidden toxins in homes
The remedy for most of these toxins is education.
Research your favorite products, buy glass storage containers, buy a water filter and a stainless steel water bottle, make your own cleaning products.
When you are armed with information, it will become easier to almost permanently remove the harmful toxins.
Overhaul your home with simple changes
Make a list of what you can change and start to remove hidden toxins in homes.
Others you may not be able to change as easily, like the carpet padding.
However, perhaps you can purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Overall, the goal is to live healthier.
Make simple changes like using a stainless steel or glass water bottle instead of buying plastic throwaway bottles; buying safer and more environmentally-friendly health care products, like toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo; and using glass storage containers instead of plastic for leftovers.
Remember that many hidden toxins in homes can be easily replaced with safer alternatives.
Sustainable Restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul – When we moved away from Washington DC, I knew I’d miss two things above all others: excellent public transportation and amazing restaurants.
I began my quest to find the best sustainable restaurants in Minneapolis – St. Paul.
What did I learn?
Although the public transit in the Twin Cities is comparatively lacking, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the restaurant scene and especially by the top-notch eateries dedicated to sustainable seafood.
What makes a restaurant sustainable?
It is important to make going green a lifestyle. But what makes a restaurant sustainable?
Due to the higher costs involved in going fully organic, it is difficult for most restaurants to compete.
But there are a lot of factors to consider, and it’s important to support restaurants that do even a few things to support our earth, animals, and the overall health of their consumers.
Before you dine, find out where they source their ingredients.
What do they offer that is organic?
Do they buy their produce, dairy and meat from nearby sources?
Depending on where the restaurant is located, it may or may not be possible.
Do they offer vegetarian options?
Find out if the meat they source uses best practices regarding Animal Welfare Standards, including no cages/crates and no crowding; outdoor access; and being pasture centered.
With these restaurants and others that are organic, buy local, support their community, work toward conserving energy and water, recycle and compost, and strive for sustainability, it is easy to make an earth-friendly choice. Food Quotes
What are the best sustainable restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul?
These are our top five sustainable restaurants to try in the Twin Cities.
Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market
289 East Fifth Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
My favorite Twin Cities dining experience happened at the chef’s table in Heartland’s St. Paul location.
Locally sourced meats and vegetables, freshly baked on-site breads, and delectable desserts — all paired with delicious wines.
Their nightly changing menu supports artisanal producers and small family farmers and sources organic and sustainable local ingredients.
From their grass-fed roast beef to their many salads, Heartland Restaurant is a place you will want to return to again and again.
3311 East 25th Street, Minneapolis MN 55406
We absolutely love that this restaurant sources from over 40 local producers.
Not only that, Birchwood Cafe actually lists all of these places on their website, with links to those farms, etc. when available.
They list where they get each of their categories of food, including meat and fish; dairy; growers; beverages; and their distributors.
They support local organic farms in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Birchwood Cafe is where I go when I want a spicy black bean burger accented by fresh veggies and served with a cold Surly beer.
They have excellent soups and desserts, too, and a dedication to sustainability.
Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Specializing in organic and local foods, Reg Stag was the first LEED-CI certified restaurant in Minnesota and the first facility in the United States to use only LED lighting, which use 90% less electricity than their incandescent bulb competitors.
They also compost and recycle.
I love the vibe at Red Stag.
It is warm and traditional with a contemporary edge.
Everything I’ve had there is fantastic.
It’s one of my favorite places to meet for a business lunch.
We love their support of non-profit and community organizations that support hunger, education, social justice, arts, the environment, sustainability and more.
When you are in the area, check out the Red Stag Supperclub.
4300 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406
I had the best rabbit of my life at The Craftsman on my birthday two years ago.
Then a few weeks back, I tried their locally-sourced charcuterie plate and loved it, and I’m not a big meat eater.
The Craftsman just feels classy, a throwback to another era.
I’d recommend it for a full dinner or just wine and appetizers.
We love that their menu changes with what is in season, offering The Craftsman the opportunity to choose the best in organic produce, artisanal cheese from local co-ops and farms, and humanely raised poultry, seafood, and meat.
Brasa Premium Rotisserie
600 E. Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414 and 777 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Brasa is the perfect place to go with friends who like to eat.
Their sandwiches are fantastic, but I would recommend opting for a few sides and one or two meats.
The slow roasted pork and braised beef are my favorites, but everything is fantastic and local.
Locally produced, natural and organic….
If you have a taste for flavors from southern US, Caribbean and Mexico, Brasa Premium Rotisserie is the place.
Many of their ingredients are locally sourced.
They offer 100% natural eggs, meat, and dairy products, and they offer many organic ingredients as well as offering fair trade coffee and tea.
We love that they offer vegetarian and gluten free choices as well.
Why eat organic?
It is important to learn more about where your food comes from.
Parka in Minneapolis Review: Delectable Dining in Longfellow
Ever since I heard about the impending arrival of Parka in Minneapolis, a new restaurant near my home, I have been impatiently awaiting its opening.
Wednesday night the wait was over, and I was thrilled to experience the fantastic atmosphere, delicious food, and tasty beer on Parka’s opening day — all of which I’ll cover in this Parka Minneapolis ;review.
When you arrive, be sure to take in the laid-back, hip atmosphere of the restaurant, which gets much of its decor (chairs and cups, for example) from Forage Modern Workshop, a cool shop with unique furniture and a modern vibe and atmosphere.
Start your culinary journey with one of three beer choices from the Minneapolis-based Indeed Brewing Company.
We imbibed a Day Tripper pale ale and a Stir Crazy winter ale, and both were delicious.
We absolutely love that this restaurant serves local beverages.
Appetizers at Parka
If you’re tempted to skip the appetizers, don’t.
The succulent rabbit meatball hoagie was the best dish of the night.
The moist, flavorful meatballs are served on brioche-like bun from Rustica Bakery — another local source — and topped with a divine apricot mostarda and pistachio aioli.
The salt and vinegar beet chips that accompany the hoagie are a winner.
This food was unique as I’ve never, ever eaten rabbit much less in a meatball; nor have I ever tasted beet chips.
I love trying new things, and this is the place to do it.
Main course at Parka restaurant
For my main course, I ordered the beer can chicken.
The chicken was moist and tender and served on a bed of popcorn grits.
Being from Texas, I’m picky about my grits, and these were really good.
The salad with roasted red peppers was a nice touch and well put together.
The one thing I didn’t love about this dish was the bitter flavor of one of the sauces.
Another minor point was that the chicken could have been more flavorful; it was a bit plain.
But overall, it was still a tasty dish.
I think I just expected a little bit more given how impressed I was with the appetizer.
My partner in crime loves ribs so she ordered them.
Parka’s glazed spare ribs did not disappoint.
The kale was sparse but tasty, and the vermicelli pudding was basically a fancy mac and cheese — in a good way.
It was put together nicely.
Dessert at Parka in Minneapolis
For dessert, we ordered the apple cobbler with cheddar ice cream.
Check out that presentation.
The cobbler had good flavor and wasn’t too sweet, which I appreciated.
The cheddar ice cream had a good texture, but I think it would have been even better if it were cheesier.
Overall, a tasty dessert.
I never even heard of cheese ice cream before.
It was so interesting, and we would both definitely order it again.
Have you tried Parka Minneapolis yet?
What was your favorite dish?
Parka in Minneapolis address
4021 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55406 http://parkampls.com/ Hours: Weekdays 7AM – 1oPM and weekends 8AM-10PM
We enjoyed visiting Parka in Minneapolis.
It was decently priced, the service was excellent, and the wait time minimal.
Since writing this piece and having been to Parka two more times, it has closed, and is now Dogwood Coffee Bar.
If you’re heading somewhere extremely cold and want to pack socks that are warmer than Thorlos, buy Smartwools.
For both men and women Smartwools are the best travel socks for winter that you can find.
They are insanely warm, cute, durable, and comfortable.
Disposable Underwear: this may be the most un-green traveler thing I have come across in a long time.
And it’s just a little too ridiculous not to post about.
I wish I had found them in time for April Fool’s Day (and the joke would have been that they are real.)
That’s right – they make disposable underwear for travel.
Perhaps the commentator /reviewer with the most helpful disposable underwear review said this:
These are a life-saver for people going on extended trips. They can be washed and dried several times if you choose to be economical and environmentally conscious. They dry much faster than conventional underwear. Since they are lighter than conventional panties, they save a small but useful amount of energy by making your suitcase lighter. I also find them comfortable. I often find conventional panties chafing; these are very kind to my body. If you are going somewhere just overnight, you might be able to save the inconvenience of carrying a suitcase simply by tucking a pair in your purse — not a discreet option with conventional underwear. They look like a little cotton roll and are wrapped in plastic.
Other reviewers also noted how light they are and that they are better because there are no dyes in them.
Besides for travel, it seems people also buy disposable underwear for maternity and hospital stays.
And men have the option of disposable briefs or disposable boxers.
They are relatively inexpensive – $20 for 30 pairs of panties or briefs or $7 for 10 pairs.
The cost of the men’s boxers are $20 for 18 pairs.
Given that they are washable, it makes them perhaps an understandable choice for for extended travel.