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Stef McDonald

Eco-Friendly Wooden Postcards from Night Owl Paper Goods

Sending a good old-fashioned note in the mail is so unusual in this time of e-mailing, instant messaging, texting and online social networking. But I still like to send notes and am particularly fond of the postcard (bonus: no wasteful envelope).

I discovered products from Night Owl Paper Goods at an event with eco-friendly merchants and fell instantly for the postcards made of sustainably harvested yellow birch with sweet and simple designs of birds, flowers and butterflies (pictured). I bought a couple but they sat on my desk, where I admired the designs for a while—then I finally went ahead and framed them. Now I plan to go with my original intention of sending them by buying a few more.

Organic Toasts

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the most tried-and-true plans include dinner with a good bottle of wine. Who can resist a toast to love? Even before this latest wave of awareness for the virtues of eating and drinking organic food and beverages, European wine makers were producing wine made with organic grapes and didn’t even consider adding toxins.


courtesy of Swirl

Rockin’ Green Days

I’ve read a lot about artists going green, with tour buses run on biodiesel fuel and other steps taken to reduce their carbon imprint. Heck, Sheryl Crow even toured with Laurie David (“Stop Global Warming Now”). It’s always great to hear about the newly enlightened and good to know that they can lead by example.


photo courtesy of Radiohead

Out with the New, In with the Old

It’s a few weeks into the New Year, and while many people have already broken new year’s resolutions, I’m adding new ones to my list. If I understood or believed in astrology, I would guess that the stars are aligned in such a way that I am now compelled to embrace self-improvement. Whatever the reason, I’m going with it.

A Greener Apple



I've got a tech geek inside of me that comes out on occasion—usually when a friend gets a new gadget or I read a news report on that latest and greatest release on the market. Often I exhibit self-control and hold out. (Do I really need a new cell phone when the one I have works just fine—even if the newest model is so slim and cute?) But sometimes I find myself pulling out my credit card before I can reason with myself.

Reusing Old Buttons



I’ve written about how my inner crafter comes out from watching Project Runway. I’ve reconstructed all of my ill-fitting and ordinary tees and have moved on to adorning tank tops with use of old materials: buttons. I’ve long had a love of vintage buttons and like to replace boring ones on jackets and cardigans with glass and wood ones.

A Faux Glow


photo courtesy of Bare Escentuals

Closet Cleaning … and Greening

I love to pack for trips—it’s the unpacking that’s always a big drag. When I returned home from my holiday visit back East, I left my suitcase unzipped for a day. I opened it once to retrieve my toothbrush and toiletries, but closed it right back up. The next day I opened it but realized I had no empty hangers—or room in my closet—for anything new. Santa brought some clothing and accessories but I couldn’t fit them in my crammed closet. What’s a girl to do but take stock and clear out undesirables from her closet?


Time to Give Back

We did not have a “best of/worst of” roundup on the Greenopia website, but the oil spill near Ocean Beach would have made the “worst” and the Kill the Spill effort would certainly have been on the “best.” The volunteers who rallied to clean the coastline were definitely an inspiration. Officials who seemed slow to respond and clean the mess had frustrated many Bay Area residents. How great that this civilian crew was able to mobilize with their blog and take charge to get things done.


New Year’s Resolutions: Living Greener



It’s that time of year when we look back, and ahead, and make those New Year’s resolutions. Before the holidays, I asked everyone in the office to share their green resolutions for the New Year, and I expected a few sighs or some eye rolling, but everyone was forthcoming and enthusiastic about their do-good goals. (You can see the list here.)
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