Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

jen curley
Jen Curley

Many people do what they can to reduce the amount of household waste they produce through the three R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle.

Jen Curley of Ithaca, NY takes it to a whole new level. She has managed to reduce two weeks of waste coming from the house she shares with her husband and two dogs to an amount that would fill a small paper bag.  And if you’re wondering what that looks like, take a look at this:

jen curley trash

Composting all of her food waste and recycling her recyclables isn’t enough for Jen.

“If you simply want to recycle–just make sure you REALLY do it. Just give every piece of garbage literally 3 seconds of your thought. Can I or someone else reuse this? Can I compost this? Can I recycle this?”

Her entire wedding was waste free. All the utensils were made from potato starch and the guests used paper plates.

She brings her own containers to restaurants when ordering take-out, uses tin foil many times over and even uses scrap paper to clean. Bread bags are used instead of baggies, rags replace paper towels for cleaning and she has had lots of success re-homing her unneeded belongings to people she finds on Craigslist or to Salvation Army.

Jen focuses chiefly on reducing and repurposing her waste. “I put more thought into reduction than I ever do recycling. Anyone can recycle,” she said.

When she was a teacher, she saved the school district over $5000 in landfill tipping fees by selling instead of recycling over 10,000 pounds of paper. The money was then used to pay for field trips, supplies and prizes for the students

Jen cheerfully and enthusiastically lives this way and treats it as a challenging game. A game everyone can play and one that benefits all of us living on Planet Earth now and in the future.

Foodie Friday! Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Tabouli from The Great Life Cookbook

This recipe feeds a crowd but can easily be scaled down for a smaller family or bring it to the office to show everyone how delicious gluten-free vegan food is!  I was blown away by it at the macro vegan dinner in August!

Quinoa Tabouli

5 cups quinoa

10 cups water
2 bunches red radishes
1/2 cup olive oil (optional)
1 large bunch mint leave, finely chopped (~1/2 cup)
6 lemons, juiced (~1 cup)
1 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbl. umeboshi plum vinegar
6 Tbl. raw pine nuts
6 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced small
1/2 bunches fresh parsley, finely chopped (~3 cups loosely packed)

1.Rinse quinoa and strain.  Add water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for     20-25     minutes.     Allow to cool.

2.  Prepare radishes.  Finely dice, quickly blanch and cool.

3.  Mix olive oil, mint, lemon juice, salt and vinegar.  Add this mixture to the quinoa. 

4.  Toast pine nuts in a small skillet on a low flame for a few minutes, stirring frequently. 

5.  Fold in blanched radishes, cucumbers, pine nuts and parsley. 

6.  Serve chilled.

A New Day Vegan White Chili

I made this chili for a fundraiser put on by the Democratic Women of Broome County to benefit their Education and Scholarship fund.  I promised they would find the recipe on my website so here it is!

Vegan White Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 (16 ounce) cans Great Northern Beans

1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth


In large skillet, cook onion in oil for 4 minutes or until transparent. Add chiles, flour and cumin; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add beans and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Cook until hot.

Giving Back-Ecuador Style


Edith Wharton said, “One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.”  Those words were never more true than when we serendipitously found our way to an Italian eatery while visiting Ecuador in February 2015. Continue reading Giving Back-Ecuador Style

Amazon Smile



Did you know you can help your favorite animal lovin’ charity by simply shopping on Amazon?

Amazon Smile is a program which by using a special link to their site a portion of the money you spend goes to a charity of your choosing.  And with over a million charities to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

I have my link set to benefit Our Hen House but you can choose from others such as PETA, Mercy for Animals, Farm Sanctuary, or Catskill Animal Sanctuary.

Check out this link to find out how 0.5% (don’t worry, it adds up!) can be put to good use for a vegan charity close to your heart.