In The Emerald City, Sustainability Is Second Nature

I just returned from a quick vacation in Jet City, as they also call it, where I visited a good friend and native Seattlelite.  Jen did a stint in Philadelphia: Law School, law firm, then high-tailed it out of here and back to Seattle as soon as she could.  Who could blame her, it’s a gorgeous and breathtaking city.  Waterways everywhere, great restaurants, a dozen neighborhoods with charm and character, the REI flagship store…

Seattle is now in a statewide drought emergency.  And, abnormally high temperatures have only made the problem worse.

Yet, I saw lots of ‘greening’ in that town. It’s a city where long-standing sustainable practices are a way of life.  Here are 5 examples that really stood out.

Bicycles Between all the bikes, waterways and legalized marijuana, you might think you’re in Amsterdam!  Seattle launched its bike share program earlier this year and almost everyone has a commuter bike it seems.  There’s designated bike lanes, bike paths and there’s too many bike shops to count.

canComposting In 2014, Seattle passed a mandatory Composting Ordinance wherein homes and businesses can no longer put food items in the trash.  Did you know that 33 million tons of food makes its way into landfill each year? “Every ton of food wasted results in 3.8 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.” You can see why my friend says they take this very seriously, policing and ticketing without a second thought. In addition, only 2 bags of regular garbage is allowed per household per week.

playgroundParks and Recreation Seattle boasts 400 parks and open areas for sport, entertainment and good old picnics! For a city known for its rainy days and chilly months, there’s certainly a lot of outdoor activity going on.

Grasscycling Yep.  Nothing escapes this city’s composting craze.  Not even the blades of grass! Recycled grass turns into natural fertilizer.  Homeowners use modern mulching lawn mowers and the city utilizes massive mulching techniques to keep those 400 parks thriving.  Sustainable reasons for promoting this practice include reducing the need for pesticides, as grass is a natural fertilizer, and cutting back on the growing grass’s watering needs.

seattle-bag-banNo Plastic Bags Allowed I love this law!  Why oh why don’t we do this in Philadelphia? Seattle’s plastic bag ban was enacted in 2012.  In addition, retail stores must charge 5 cents for every fully recycled paper bag they give to you.  This prohibition makes so much sense and hopefully other ‘one-use’ items will follow suit.

Have you visited Seattle and noticed its progressive and sustainable ways?  Let me know your 5 if I haven’t highlighted them here!


13076804_10154187499043566_8109828010719498757_nFind Your Fall Energy!

There’s a change of season happening, bringing all sorts of new energy – think crisp, sunny, Saturdays at the park or hiking in the woods.

Being outside in this beautiful Fall weather is the Best! I almost can’t wait for the weekend and spend my weekdays tossing ideas around with my family and friends for what would be the best thing to do or where to do it: Hay Maze this weekend!  It’s these new activities, Fall activities, that always drag me out of my Summer rut and magically re-energizes me both physically and mentally.



Hand Made in Philly!
Hand Made in Philly!

Yes, right here in my row home in the heart of Philadelphia, I have the sweetest backyard garden.  Not too big, not too small, just green and lush, with flora and fauna changing with every season.

My hardy Boxwoods and Evergreens are making way for the Tulips and budding Japanese Wisteria.  The bulbs and bushes are always there, but never dominate.  They are nonetheless, an irreplaceable part of mon jardin beau!

juju is my work garden so to speak.  It dawned on me that the products I stock for the salon and the way I procure them reminds me a lot of my sweet home garden.  Oh, and both gardens smell terrific!

This spring, I’ve ‘planted’ some Locally Made in Philly Products from 2 great companies in my work garden: Stinky Girl Beauty Co. and gracefullyNoted.   In common: these small businesses make beautiful home-made goodies.  Yes, hand crafted, natural deodorants and hand-cut greeting cards need to live side by side!

Locally made, means I get to know the artists and artisans who make their goods.  Meghan H.  designs, cuts, and assembles her stationery, prints and other paper products in Olde City.  She is as sweet as her designs that spread love and joy.

Carly D., from Stinky Girl discovered that she could make a deodorant that was safe, natural and the clincher……actually works!  Yes, it does.  period.  Oh, and her Sauerkraut rocks too!  West Philly, be proud of this little gem of a company.

Come see my work garden, and pick some locally made ‘flowers.’ There’s so many good reasons to support our local artists, businesses and garden!

Hand Made in Philly!