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EcoPlum Green Living Blog

Ten Great Green (Last Minute) Holiday Gifts

by Gia Machlin, December 15 2015, 0 Comments
Hanukkah is over and there are only 10 days until Christmas, but for many of you (you know who you are), gift shopping is still very much on your to-do list.  For us treehuggers, it would be nice if we...

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Winter in the City - Snarbage

by Gia Machlin, February 24 2015, 0 Comments
I love living in New York City. I love the people, the food, the shopping, the convenience, the walkability, the culture, the shows, the diversity, and most of all, the energy. But there is one thing that really bums me...

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Welcome to the New EcoPlum Blog!

by Gia Machlin, December 04 2014, 1 Comment
Seven years ago, when I started EcoPlum, green blogs were still somewhat new to the scene (and eco friendly boutiques didn't really exist). We launched EcoPlum in 2008 with a team of writers and articles about green living and environmental...

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Buying Eco Friendly Products Pays Off

by Gia Machlin, October 22 2014, 0 Comments
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of being a guest on CS Wurzberger's podcast: Greener by Choice. CS, also known as The Green Up Girl, is on a mission to provide you with the inspiration, motivation, resources and the...

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Being a Part of Something Big

by Gia Machlin, September 17 2014, 0 Comments
I was born in the 60s and often think about how crazy that decade was.  President Kennedy was killed when my mom was pregnant with me, our good family friend Andrew Goodman was killed in Mississippi right around my birth,...

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Beautiful Jewelry from....Trash?

by Gia Machlin, July 10 2014, 0 Comments
You may have seen our article series here at EcoPlum called The Stories Behind our Products. Well reading about our creative and talented artisans is certainly interesting, but how about a close up look at the products on video? Today...

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Fifty is the New Thirty: Finding my True Calling

by Gia Machlin, May 28 2014, 0 Comments
Photo Credit Andrew Leonard www.UtterApparel.etsy.com As I approach my 50th birthday, I’ve been doing quite a bit of self-reflection. In my personal life, I couldn’t be more satisfied: my husband and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in October;...

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Who Says Beauty is Only Skin Deep?

by Gia Machlin, March 19 2014, 0 Comments
When I was a little girl, my mom used to tell me not to write on my skin.  “The ink is like poison,” she would say, “and it goes directly into your blood stream.”  While I’m sure that my mother...

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Crave Luxury Consignment: An EcoFashionista’s Dream

by Gia Machlin, January 30 2014, 0 Comments
 When my high schooler was a tiny two-year-old tot, he went wandering over to the next table at Starbucks to play with the cute girl sipping warm milk with her mom. As I ran over to get him, I...

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Using Technology to Empower the Consumer in Beauty and Fashion Purchases

by Gia Machlin, November 20 2013, 0 Comments
  Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunshinecity/ I was so excited to see that the Environmental Working Group has come out with an iPhone (and Android) app for its Skin Deep database. For those of you who may not be familiar with Skin...

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An Inconvenient Truth about our Shopping Habits

by Gia Machlin, October 16 2013, 0 Comments
If you have ever watched Seinfeld or any other comedy based on Jewish humor, you know that we Jews are not generally the most optimistic people. Remember the Nanny’s mother and her constant criticism of her daughter, or Don Rickles’...

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Being a Conscious Consumer Need Not Consume You

by Gia Machlin, September 25 2013, 0 Comments
By now you probably know that I was not always a conscious consumer. To be precise, in the days Before EcoPlum (B.E.), I was quite an unconscious consumer. I used to shop for anything, anytime, with little to no regard...

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Fast Fashion has to Slow Down

by Gia Machlin, July 11 2013, 0 Comments
A few years ago, those checking labels for chemical ingredients in their food, buying organic produce, or looking at the sustainability ratings of seafood were in the vast minority. Organic and natural foods were only available in “health food” and...

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A Trip to the Farmer's Market with Smelly Scraps in Tow

by Gia Machlin, May 13 2013, 2 Comments
    Three years ago (oh my how time flies!!) as I approached my 46th birthday I wrote all about how I was going to get a composter and start composting at home.  Well as it turned out, I never...

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EcoPlum Salutes Green Moms

by Gia Machlin, May 01 2013, 0 Comments
It's almost Mother's Day! Yay! One of my favorite days of the year! I recently attended an event about food waste, moderated by Ron Gonen, the Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation and co-founder of Recyclebank....

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Gia's Tips on Safe Cosmetics

by Gia Machlin, February 01 2013, 0 Comments
I like this vlogging thing. It's much easier than writing. I'll continue to use the excuse that I have a broken finger as long as I can to make these videos instead of writing a post. ;-) This month I...

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Top Five Reasons 2012 Made Us Pay Attention to Climate Change

by Gia Machlin, December 29 2012, 1 Comment
It's that time of year when we look back and reflect on the past year and make silly lists. Well this list is far from silly - it is quite sobering news for many of us to accept. In 2012,...

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Eco Friendly Gift Ideas

by Gia Machlin, December 08 2012, 0 Comments
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! If you could take 6 1/2 minutes to watch this video of me showcasing some of my favorite eco friendly gift selections from EcoPlum - I would greatly appreciate it! The self produced video is completely amateurish and...

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The Sound of Silence - In the Wake of Another Extreme Weather Event

by Gia Machlin, October 31 2012, 1 Comment
It's amazing how the absence of something can have such a profound impact. The absence of noise. Not ALL noise is gone (this IS New York City after all), but one particular type of noise is missing. That earth rattling,...

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The Itsy Bitsy Spider

by Gia Machlin, July 16 2012, 1 Comment
As a blogger and publisher of a green media site I get a lot of emails from people sharing their thoughts and asking for my advice (for whatever it's worth). One email I got recently from somebody I'll call "Jane"...

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Power to the People

by Gia Machlin, June 27 2012, 0 Comments
Professor Meredith Hill and Gia in the CSS Community Garden A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to speak about my career along with some other sustainability professionals at a 7th grade sustainability class at Columbia Secondary School in...

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The Three Rs of Green Living - Revisited

by Gia Machlin, May 07 2012, 1 Comment
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. So cliche. Yet so ignored. Dare I say that it almost goes against what we are taught from day one in our consumer driven society? Poopy diaper? Throw it out! Make a mess? Clean it up with...

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It's Biodegradable, I Swear! Part II

by Gia Machlin, April 16 2012, 0 Comments
Last time I wrote about how easy it is for marketers to "greenwash" by claiming their products are "eco friendly," "green," and "natural" with very little regulation and enforcement around these claims. I introduced the importance of the ecolabel: a...

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It's Biodegradable, I Swear! Part I

by Gia Machlin, March 21 2012, 1 Comment
  So after years of making fun of dog owners in the city, I became one myself: a city dweller with a canine friend. Meet Pepper. Of course now I think having a dog in the city is the best...

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Slow Food - Where Have You Been?

by Gia Machlin, February 15 2012, 1 Comment
Wow. Life really can get in the way of blogging, eh? After three months of dealing with a very ill mother, I am back, and I'm thrilled to say - so is she! It's amazing that my 86 year old...

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Make Halloween Less Scary for the Planet!

by Gia Machlin, October 03 2011, 1 Comment
Halloween is such a fun holiday for kids and adults alike - who doesn't like dressing up in a costume and eating candy?  Unfortunately, it's one of our more wasteful days: Halloween costumes alone account for at least 6250 tons...

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Ten years later

by Gia Machlin, September 10 2011, 1 Comment
Ten years.  Ten years since the most terrifying day of my life.  A day that filled me with fear and shock and horror and unbelievable sadness.  A day that brought loss and grief to so many fellow New Yorkers.  I...

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A Lesson from Mike on Getting Things Done

by Gia Machlin, August 31 2011, 0 Comments
I hope those of you living on the East Coast all came through hurricane Irene without any damage to your homes and property and of course hoping all your loved ones are safe as well!  We were quite lucky here...

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We're all in the same boat!

by Gia Machlin, August 03 2011, 1 Comment
photo by Gerry Thomasen Flickr Creative Commons Did you ever hear the one about the group who goes out in a small boat together? One of the passengers pulls out a drill and starts drilling a hole underneath his seat....

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Calling all Social Entrepreneurs

by Gia Machlin, June 22 2011, 1 Comment
Last weekend I went to my 30th high school reunion (yes, I'm that old).  I was blown away by how good everybody looked.  Earlier this spring, I went to my 20th business school reunion and I have to say that...

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A Shift in Thinking

by Gia Machlin, June 01 2011, 0 Comments
Last weekend was my son Noah's Bar Mitzvah (that would explain my infrequent posts over the last year). It was AWESOME!!!! But I'm not here to boast or bore you with my personal feelings of pride and contentment. No. What...

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The Dirt on Compostable Dinnerware

by Gia Machlin, May 02 2011, 1 Comment
  You would think that it's a no brainer to replace plastic, styrofoam and paper disposable dinnerware with bagasse or another compostable kind - the latter doesn't sit in a landfill forever, right? Well, it's a little more complicated than...

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No Nukes!

by Gia Machlin, March 25 2011, 0 Comments
I haven't really thought about nuclear power for a while.  Aside from the occasional goof about how President Bush would pronounce it "NUKE-ULAR" - the past couple of decades have been somewhat free of any thoughts about "Nukes".  I can't...

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Sy, Can I Steal Your Tag Line?

by Gia Machlin, March 08 2011, 1 Comment
In case you haven't noticed, we are an e-commerce site. We sell stuff. Our tag line is "Where it Pays to Buy Green." EcoPlum started out as a place to buy eco-friendly products and earn rewards in the process. But...

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Party Like it's 2099

by Gia Machlin, February 03 2011, 1 Comment
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with gadgets. I remember going to the Science Museum in Boston and playing with a really cool calculator that made clicky noises when you pressed the buttons - my parents had to...

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Time to Invite Others to the Party

by Gia Machlin, December 19 2010, 0 Comments
As I've mentioned frequently, a few years ago I was clueless about environmental issues. I didn't even know about the effect of cow farts on climate change. But then I had my "AHA!" moment and became keenly aware of the...

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Black, White and Green

by Gia Machlin, November 06 2010, 0 Comments
Kids tend to see things in black and white: You don't like me? You must hate me. He's not smart, he must be stupid. For many of us, the tendency to present a False Dilemma carries forward into adulthood. Big...

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Did you know 1 in 8 people lack access to safe drinking water??

by Gia Machlin, October 15 2010, 1 Comment
It's Blog Action Day and this year's topic is WATER. To get the conversation started, I will share some facts about water (many of which, I must admit, I was unaware of prior to this post) and they are shocking:...

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Spam Spam Spam Spam - Wonderful Spam

by Gia Machlin, September 22 2010, 0 Comments
...or How Big Cities Will Transform the Way We Eat I'm not talking about the kind of spam you get in your inboxes, I'm actually talking about the canned meat of Monty Python fame. Why? Well, I don't know exactly,...

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Video Killed the Radio Star

by Gia Machlin, August 03 2010, 1 Comment
Do you remember where you were when MTV debuted on August 1, 1981? (If you're too young to remember, then hurray for you). I was at a sleepover at my friend Allison's apartment on West 95th Street in Manhattan. I...

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Busting the Green vs. Clean Mentality

by Gia Machlin, July 07 2010, 1 Comment
So I have this dear friend who just won't give up the bottled water habit. I have told her about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, about the fact that it takes 700 years for a plastic bottle to begin to...

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The Spill, Personal Stories, and an Easy (and not so Easy) Way to Help

by Gia Machlin, June 25 2010, 1 Comment
It's been almost a month since my last post. Why the radio silence? Well at first I was just overwhelmed by the Gulf Spill and I wasn't quite sure I could write a post that would do justice to the...

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All I Want for my Birthday is a Composter...

by Gia Machlin, May 27 2010, 1 Comment
Not sure if you've noticed, but the subtitle to this blog is "Confessions of a Reformed Consumer." Well it doesn't get much more reformed than this: just a few years ago I was longing for shoes, handbags, and lots of...

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Green Design, Not So Green Implementation

by Gia Machlin, May 18 2010, 1 Comment
I have to share something that has driven me absolutely crazy for a while. At the risk of exposing too much information, I'm letting you know that am still taking the birth control pill at age 46. Anyway, I get...

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Would you like a receipt with that coffee?

by Gia Machlin, May 04 2010, 1 Comment
Every day I walk into Starbucks and get my Decaf Grande Americano in a personal cup. And every day Wendy asks me - would you like receipt? Not to pick on Wendy, she's the best, but why would I want...

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The Growing Group of Green Guardians

by Gia Machlin, April 19 2010, 1 Comment
This past Saturday, I spent the day with actor Matthew Modine and 1,000 other parents, educators, students, vendors, facilities managers and community leaders at the Green Schools Alliance Resource Fair here in NYC. OK, I didn't really "spend" time with...

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Message in a Bottle

by Gia Machlin, March 22 2010, 1 Comment
It's World Water Day - a day sanctioned by the United Nations to bring awareness to the fact that by 2030 two-thirds of the world will lack access to clean drinking water.   While this sounds alarming, it may not appear...

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It's Snowing! Global Warming, Global Weirding, Whatever!

by Gia Machlin, March 02 2010, 1 Comment
Last Friday I had started to wake up my kids for school, when I looked out the window and thought better of it. I checked my text messages and there was a notification from the NYC Board of Education that...

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