25 April 2007


According to MSN Fashion and Lucky Magazine, vegan clothing is becoming the new must-have closet-space waster. The new trend, started by designer Stella McCartney, is called "eco-chic." According to the MSN article, to be designated "vegan fashion," the clothing or accessory cannot be made with any animal products, including animal-based glues and dyes.

But what does that leave? If you look at the websites cited, you'll find a lot of naturally-tinted organic cotton. And you'll also vinyl and other "faux croc" and "faux leather" products--in other words, petroleum-based synthetic materials.

So, if you have to choose, which is more eco-friendly? Wearing the hide of the cow you ate steak from last night and, thus, closing the circle? Or eschewing the cow altogether while wearing vinyl created from the same fossil fuel production that eats up most of our planet's natural resources?

Buy organic cotton, buy hemp, buy natural fibers with as few intermediate steps from plant to pants as possible. That's cool. But vinyl? Plether? PVC? These are not acceptable substitutes if you want to be conscientious in your idealism.

I'll take the cow any day. At least it's a renewable resource--just add bull.

20 April 2007

Earth Week Opens Today

April 20-29 Earth Week 2007 Events

More info at www.earthweek.org

  • April 20-22, Earth Day Weekend Tree Plantings, City Parks. A great activity for all ages and groups, especially schools studying our watershed.
    Four planting sessions: Friday afternoon 3-5pm, Saturday 10am - noon and 2-4pm and Sunday 2-4pm. Call Susan Pleiss at 970-3585 or email pleiss@charlottesville.org to sign up.

  • April 21, Schenks Branch Clean-Up, LEC, 9-11 am. Prepping for the City's Arbor Day celebration on April 27. Meet by the McIntire Recycling Center and be done in time to enjoy the Dogwood Parade! Bring gloves and waterproof footwear. For more information, call the Living Education Center at 971-1647.

  • April 22, Abrahamse & Co., Builders' Grand Opening--ALA Healthy Homes Project, 1-4 pm. A very special open house event is at 1012 Druid Ave., Charlottesville. Discover the difference in air quality an ALA home can make!

  • April 22, Earth Day Tree Planting, 2 pm. Celebrate Earth Day w/ the Sierra Club by helping to plant a shade tree on the beach at Chris Green Lake in northern Albemarle County. Meet on the beach. Call John at (434) 973-0373 for
    more information.

  • April 22, Larry Gibson, of Mountainkeeper.org, Gravity Lounge @ 2 pm, a special presentation & discussion on mountain top removal. Free/whatever you can give--all donations to benefit Mountainkeeper.org

  • April 26, Kate Starr Rocks Gravity Lounge, 8 pm, CD Release party -- $1 of each CD purchased benefitss Earth Week! The Naked Puritans open.

  • April 27, Arbor Day Celebration & New Trail Dedication, City of
    Charlottesville. McIntire Rd., 11 am.
    Celebrate Arbor Day by attending the
    ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new trail along McIntire Rd. between the
    Recycling Center and Cville Coffee.

  • April 27, Earth Day at Fridays After Five, 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm, we'll be pulling the taps with both hands to benefit Earth Day. Stop in for a brew and listen to the soulful tunes of King Wilkie and don't forget to pick up some green info at our literature table!

  • April 27, Arts for Bike Paths Art Show at The Bridge, 7 pm - 10 pm, 209 Monticello Rd. Opening night reception with silent auction. All proceeds will benefit a community fund managed by ACCT for biking improvements.

  • April 28, Earth Day Festival at McIntire Park, 10 am - 5 pm, our annual eco-fair with tabling, booths, and activities led by local environmental groups and agencies, featuring a solar panel exhibit, hot-air balloon rides in the morning, an open drum circle led by Drum Call at 2 pm, and trail adventures with RTF. For more info, see the separate flyer.

  • April 28, Robin Wynn Band Takes Starr Hill -- CD Release Party -- $1 of each CD purchased benefits Earth Week! The Dirty Dishes open.

  • April 29, Natural History Day @ Ivy Creek -- 1-3 pm, Ivy Creek Natural Area. Ivy Creek Foundation's celebration with informational tables and the
    Virginia Native Plant Society's annual spring sale!

  • April 29, Stream Daylighting Tour in the Dell with Kennon Williams of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects -- 1:30 pm, The Dell next to the pond across from Newcomb Hall parking garage. Come learn how a empty field and a stream buried for many years were brought back to life using modern sustainable design techniques. There will be a drawing for free plants to start your own wetland garden.