Don't Buy This Jacket

I adore Patagonia. This company not only knows its brand and stands by its ethics, they scream it out loud for the world to hear. They make an impact and don't care about the cost - literally. Here's an excerpt from the below full-page ad which appeared in the Black Friday installment of The New York Times:

[This jacket] required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product. This jacket left behind, on its way to Reno, two-thirds its weight in waste. And this is a 60% recycled polyester jacket, knit and sewn to a high standard; it is exceptionally durable, so you won’t have to replace it as often. And when it comes to the end of its useful life we’ll take it back to recycle into a product of equal value. But, as is true of all the things we can make and you can buy, this jacket comes with an environmental cost higher than its price.

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Take a minute and read the rest of the ad's text here.

Via Visual Armory

Fire Escape Farms

I took up an interest in urban gardening after I moved to Florida, since I haven't had the space for an actual yard garden while living here. I researched what crops could survive in this insane heat, bought a book called Grow Great Grub, and began to utilize our small porch to grow tomatoes, bell peppers, herbs, and other veggies. I wish a place like Fire Escape Farms, a new pop-up shop in San Francisco's Mission District, would have been around to help get me started out right. Spacial limitations like mine are common in city living, and even more extreme in densely populated cities like San Francisco where the only suitable location for a garden to grow MIGHT be your fire escape. Maybe you don't have the space or money for a raised bed, but all you really need is a window sill, a rooftop, a fire escape, or a porch. Fire Escape Farms can fix you up with everything you need to transform your urban space into a lush and thriving garden. The shop offers local organic soil, adorable eco-friendly garden accessories, and even carries their own line of carefully purveyed seeds. They also offer delivery via bio-diesel wagon for all San Francisco orders!

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Fire Escape Farms is the brainchild of the lovely and multifaceted Naya Peterson Fross, a San Francisco native who fell in love with gardening while living in Napa a few years ago. Also an uber-talented barista, Naya worked with my sister to help open the Oxbow Market location of Ritual Coffee Roasters. After moving back to the city, she began considering ways to make her country fantasies a reality while remaining in the city and came up with the pop-up shop concept.

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Fire Escape Farms will be open at its current location (3041 24th St. in San Francisco) through August. After that, the website and Facebook page will remain active resources as Naya considers locations for her next pop-up shop, most likely in the Mission. If you're thousands of miles away from California like I am, get your fix at the online shop!

[All photos courtesy of Daniel Dent]

A Few Reasons I Love Telluride

Telluride, Colorado is an incredibly picturesque and unique little town. Here are a few of my favorite things about it.

1.) The mountains.

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2.) Other people's dogs.

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Matt and I estimate that two out of three people that pass us on the street in Telluride have at least one dog. And they bring them EVERYWHERE. Which means that I constantly get to hang out with cool pups while their owners are inside restaurants, etc.

3.) Progressive Environmental Attitude.

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The wind-powered gondola is the first and only free public transportation system of its kind in the United States. Even cooler, the city of Telluride is working towards a solar-powered gondola system (check our the Green Gondola Campaign). Did I mention that there are bike racks on all of the gondolas? Virtually everyone rides their bikes as their preferred mode of transportation in Telluride; in fact, I noticed almost everywhere we went that bike racks were not only full, but the majority of bikes were left unlocked. Bicycle theft apparently isn't an issue in this forward-thinking city.

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Every restaurant we dined at was focused on sustainability and utilized as many local and organic ingredients as possible. Honga's Lotus Petal was my favorite place to eat - best pad thai of my life.

And as if the place could get any cooler, there is also a plastic bag ban in Telluride.

4.) The wildlife and not-so-wild flowers.

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We saw grazing elk on the edge of town daily. And marmots, gophers, and deer, too! There were lovely pansies and colorful tulips popping up all over as well.

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5.) The preservation of what once was.

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I'm a total nerd for all things vintage as most of you know. Numerous historic buildings have been preserved, restored, and are still in use today.

And one last thing that makes Telluride an amazing place to visit: the people. Though I didn't get any photos of the dozens of smiling faces we encountered every day that never failed to say hello to us (total strangers) as they passed by, it surely didn't go unnoticed. What a change of pace!

Vintage Car Nerd/New Car Owner

My boyfriend has turned me into a card nerd, plain and simple. On more than one occasion, I have found myself aimlessly meandering through vintage auto auctions on the internet. Here are some of the cars that I fantasize about driving and/or owning some day (in my little dream world).

VW Bus Westfalia Camper—Escape Artist (circa 1967)

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Fiat 500 (circa 1968)

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Porsche 356C (circa 1965)

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Fiat 600 Multipla Marbella (circa 1957)

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Fiat 500f Berlina (circa 1965)

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Yes, I really like Fiats. That being said, for an everyday car that embodies practicality (affordability, safety, and mileage considerations top my list), year after year my favorite car has continued to be the Honda Fit. After having to replace the fuel pump in my car four times in three years, both the alternator and the starter crapping out (exactly one year apart), and then epically breaking down in the middle of rush hour traffic about two months ago, I have been in the market for a new ride. I test drove the Ford Fiesta, and though I absolutely loved the lime green color and it was pretty fun to drive, I felt claustrophobic and wasn't a fan of the interior or dashboard set-up. So, long story short...I am now the proud owner of a beautiful blue Honda Fit Sport!

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I will probably be paying it off for the entirety of my existence, but dang life is good!