Saturday, April 23, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day Everyday

 Yesterday was Earth Day although events were held all week in the Florida Keys, my destination to celebrate was the Help Yourself Cafe in Key West.  This lively cafe sits on a corner and its outdoor seating area is filled with beautiful plants and fragrant herbs.  It was mid-day and a warm 85 degrees out and my first stop when we arrived was to a booth serving fresh coconut water where I was given a large cold green coconut and a straw to enjoy its  refreshing benefits.  Fresh coconut water is available everyday at the cafe bottled for a quick pick me up but there is something extra fun about drinking it straight from the coconut. This popular beverage is filled with electrolytes, vitamins and minerals and is considered a natural energy drink.  I usually buy it pre-packaged in health food stores and various markets around the country and enjoy some before or after exercise and to re-hydrate. As with anything else...nothing beats fresh!

Recycling, reusing and reducing waste are important steps to maintaining a healthy planet and as consumers we can also reflect our personal beliefs by supporting handmade art, local business, fresh organic foods and natural home and beauty products in our choices. 
Enjoy Life and Celebrate the beauty in this special place we call home...Earth.

Earth Day event at Help Yourself Cafe in Key West

Help Yourself Cafe in Key West
 Help Yourself Cafe
829 Fleming Street
Key West, FL

A restaurant providing Key West with delicious organic food in their garden setting cafe seven days a week from 8AM-4PM.  
To re-inspire the passion for eating food as it should be:

 With a mission to inspire and nurture people and communities to help themselves through food and lifestyle choices, Charlotte (Charlie) Wilson opened Help Yourself Café in October 2008.

Enjoying fresh local coconut water in Key West

Lurey Taylor, Key West Artist
I visited the other booths while listening to some live music and met an artist selling her designs using beach glass, driftwood and shells as mosaics and beautiful wind chimes.

 Adam Russell from Honest Works Island Pottery

I also met Adam Russell from the southernmost pottery company in the United States, Honest Works Island Pottery demonstrating the process of turning a pot on the wheel in front of the Help Yourself Cafe.  His friendly manner and colorful pottery have inspired me to visit their website and Key West gallery to choose something to take home to my cottage by the sea.

Kelly Lever and Adam Russell, co-founders of Honest Works, are ceramic artists focusing on making a positive impact on culture with their beautiful functional ceramics and attitude.
As stated on their etsy site..."Artwork is our time out of time, meditation. It is our way to bring forward a tangible version and a viewable collection of thoughts and ideas."

I look forward to keeping up to date following their blog which is filled with gorgeous words, descriptions and photo's of their pottery and Key West lifestyle.
Organic Foods:

Help Yourself Cafe Organic Market in Key West is open on Mondays 11AM-5PM offering a delicious assortment of fruits and veggies in front of the cafe.  Bulk items such as grains, nuts, seeds, beans and dried fruit are also available any day by bringing you own jar or containers.

Crested Butte Farmers Market in Colorado

Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry at the Crested Butte Farmers Market 
 I am spoiled by living part of the year in a quaint ski town nestled high in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado where I became involved in starting an organic market four years ago. The Crested Butte Farmers Market, has grown each year to become a vital part of the community providing artisan cheese and baked goods, sustainably produced heirloom vegetables, grass-finished and pastured meats and hand-crafted art and jewelry. 

The Crested Butte Farmers Market in Colorado

The Crested Butte Farmers Market is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of sustainable agriculture within Crested Butte. The market is open Sunday 10AM-2PM June through October and soon will announce the week night the market will be open.

A bounty from Annie's Organic Buying Club in South Florida

Annie's Organic Buying Club in South Florida

Annie's Organic Buying Club in South Florida

Two weeks ago I joined an organic buying club Annie's Buying Club, which delivers amazing fresh produce to the Fla Keys.  Each week I am delighted with the beauty, assortment and taste of the produce I receive in my order.  One week there may be strawberries, pears, lemons, asparagus, romaine, grape tomatoes, fingerling potatoes and carrots and the next will be pineapple, white radishes, apples, bananas, kiwi, artichokes, broccoli, zucchini and yellow squash. I order the full selection and receive plenty of delicious produce to last throughout the week.

 The Good Food Conspiracy Market on Big Pine Key has been offering healthy foods and fresh soups, sandwiches and juices for decades and the back yard patio is a charming place to enjoy your lunch.

Food for Thought in Marathon, Fla Keys is a vegan raw cafe nestled in a beautiful healthfood/bookstore offering a variety of smoothies, fresh juices, coffee, espresso, tea as well as daily raw specials, soups, salads, wraps and grain bowls. Most items are gluten/soy
free.  It is a great atmosphere to shop for groceries, enjoy a delicious soup or salad for lunch and pick out a new book or two for yourself or a gift.

 Green Lodging in the Fla Keys:
Parmer's Resort, Little Torch Key
The Gardens Hotel, Key West

HAPPY EARTH DAY !!!! Here are 10 things you can do NOW to make the world a better, safer, cleaner place ! ~ ~ Sharon Conners
1. Walk or Bike to work
3. Change your lightbulbs to LED's (CFLs contain Toxic Mercury!)

4. Get rid of toxic cleaning and personal care products and replace with all-natural, biodegradable, non-toxic and/or organic products.

5. Go MEATLESS 2-3 days a week ! (Reduces greenhouse gasses, petroleum consumption and groundwater/soil contamination from factory farming)

6. Go ORGANIC ! It's not as expensive as you think. You ARE what you eat. If you EAT healthy, you'll BE healthy !!

7. Plant a garden ! If you don't have land, a patio or porch containers will do. Make sure you use ORGANIC soil, fertilizers and SEEDS !

8. Get rid of toxic things in your environment /house : plastics, vinyl, particle board/MDF, carpeting and replace w/natural eco-friendly, non-toxic alternatives like solid wood, tile, ceramic, glass, woven grass (jute,hemp, sisal), wicker, bamboo, cork, recycled glass, natural stone.

9. Invest in an air purifier for your home. (Make sure it DOES NOT create ozone) 

10. Invest in a whole house reverse osmosis water filtration system. Almost all city water is contaminated with highly toxic fluoride and chlorine which cause serious health problems as they're breathed in as gases while showering, absorbed through your skin or consumed while eating/drinking. Not to mention 100's of other dangerous chemicals that contaminate water hexavalent-chromium 6, arsenic, barium and more.

Now that you have a list of things you can do right away... GET TO IT and have a HAPPY EARTH DAY.... EVERY DAY !! 

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