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October 21st, 2014

5 Websites to Visit This Week

Groovy Green Livin Websites to Visit

There are a lot of websites out there. Sometimes, because of lack of time, I find it challenging to visit all the sites I want to check out. I’ve been trying to expand my horizons and explore websites that might not fit squarely under a green umbrella. There are so many talented writers providing an incredible service to their readers. I think I could spend days or maybe even weeks hunting them all down.

I thought you might like to check out a few that I stumbled upon this week.  These are new sites for me and I’m looking forward to spending some time browsing around over the next few weeks.

5 Websites You Won’t Want to Miss

Minimalist Baker

This website is run by John and Dana, a husband and wife team currently based in Kansas City. Here’s their about section: “We share simple, delicious recipes that require 10 ingredients or less, one bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare.” I’m hooked.

TimeLapse

If you have time to kill head on over to Timelapse . Watch how climate change has impacted the earth from 1987-2012 or see how a place has changed over a period of three decades through a series of satellite images from Google Maps. Warning: it’s addictive.

A Good Movie to Watch

How many countless hours have you spent searching for a movie? A Good Movie to Watch can help. It’s a movie suggestion website which directs you to a selection of little-known,good movies! I haven’t spent enough time on it yet to know if their suggestions are a good fit. Let me know what you find.

Healthy Slow Cooking

The author of Healthy Slow-Cooking, Kathy, has been eating meatless since 1983. She has a passion for teaching people how to eat better with less effort. Her recipes are simple and doable. Check out her recipe for Harry Potter’s Curried Pumpkin Burger -it looks mighty tasty.

The Lean Green Bean

The author of The Lean Green Bean, Lindsay, is a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio.  Her website shares her  passion for nutrition and healthy living, including healthy recipes, nutrition tips and workouts.

What are your favorite websites this week?

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc

October 7th, 2014

10 Things I Learned at ShiftCon in Los Angeles

Groovy Green Livin ShiftCon

I’m back from ShiftCon in LA! ShiftCon is the very first international social media conference focusing on wellness, health, and the environment. What a fabulous experience. There’s so much to share, so I thought I would start off with things I learned (or realized) while at the conference.

1. I love my peeps. No, I mean I really love my peeps

Photo courtesy of Paige Wolf

Photo courtesy of Paige Wolf

We are not all the same. We have different opinions within a movement that’s making corporations stop and listen. We come from different places and different backgrounds. But we’re all working towards one goal: to make a difference and to make the world a better place for us all.

2. Meeting IRL makes a difference

Groovy Green Livin ShiftCon

 Trina from O’Boy Organic and Sarah from Mindfully Frugal Mom

Blogging is kind of a funky profession. Many of us collaborate online and have never met in real life. Heading to a conference like this and having an opportunity to hug a person with whom you’ve worked with for years is an incredible experience.

3. Together we can change the world

Groovy Green Livin The Food Babe at ShiftCon

After hearing Robyn O’Brien and Vani Hari, the Food Babe,  give keynotes and feeling the brilliant and inspirational energy in the panel rooms, I have no doubt that together we can change the world. There are smart women and men out there (and I mean really smart) working tirelessly to make sure that happens and I have no doubt that it will.

4. Competition is out and collaboration is in

The profession of green and sustainable blogging thrives on people working together towards a few goals. Rarely have I encountered someone within the green blogging sphere who wasn’t willing to share information.

5. I love speaking in public

Groovy Green Livin ShiftCon Social Media and Blogging for Change

Social Media and Blogging for Change Panel presented by Lindsay Dahl of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, Trina O’Boyle from O’Boy Organics and me.

A few years back, when I was practicing law I used to get physically sick before a trial. I was always well prepared, but the thought of speaking in public took hold and did a number on me. Over the past few years my public speaking opportunities have increased. At first I was hesitant to take any on for fear that I would become physically ill. Slowly I’ve been accepting more and more and I’m finding that I love speaking in front of an audience. Whether it’s in front of television cameras or speaking on a panel, I can’t get enough. I finally figured out why-because I’m speaking about something that I’m passionate about and it’s coming from my heart.

6. We need more men to show up at ShiftCon next year

There were a token few. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike, The Green Dad, who bravely decided to come to this conference among a sea of mainly women. We need more men. Their reach is different and their voice is needed to bring this movement to all.

7. We each have a unique perspective to bring to the table

It always amazes me that although we have so much in common we can also have so much diversity. Some of us come from conservative religious backgrounds and others from the left of left. But it doesn’t matter. That’s how we reach everyone.

8. You won’t be alone if you decide to wake up at 6:30 am to practice yoga or run a 5k

Coming from the East Coast,  it wasn’t bad waking up at 6:30 for an exercise fix. Thankfully I wasn’t alone.

Groovy Green Livin Shiftcon Yoga and 5K

 Penelope Jagessar Chaffer from Toxic Baby, Margie Kelley from Breast Cancer Fund and Paige Wolf from Spit That Out!

9. It’s possible to have delicious, healthy food at a conference

I’ve been to quite a few conferences and usually the food is nothing to write home about. The food was fabulous at ShiftCon- fresh, non-GMO, organic and healthy.

10. Green brands are where it’s at

When I first walked into the exhibit hall it was incredible to see all the brands and organizations that believed in and invested in this conference. I saw so many familiar faces including my Stonyfield crew, Organic Valley, Applegate, and Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. It’s not an inexpensive endeavor to set up a table at a conference. Thank you to each and every one of them for taking that leap of faith.

A special long distance hug to my friend and colleague, Micaela of Mindful Momma who wasn’t able to come to ShiftCon this year. Our thoughts go out to her and her family.

What were your top takeaways from ShiftCon? Who’s planning to go next year?

 


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September 30th, 2014

ShiftCon: Shift Happens. Be a Part of It. I’m Speaking!

Groovy Green Livin ShiftCon

The eco wellness community is many members strong. Our bonds have been strengthened by our online connection and an occasional meet face-to-face. Our friendships and collaborative efforts continue to grow, but there’s something missing in our tight and powerful community. We’re lacking a space to exchange ideas and information in real life. There are countless blogging conferences out there to choose from, but none of them are designed specifically for us.

Until now. Finally someone’s decided to step up to the plate to change that.

We all know there’s something much more magical that happens when we collaborate face-to-face.

A little over a year ago I was at BlogHer, a blogging conference in Chicago, and I had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Segedie (third over from the left in the photo above), the founder of Mamavation and the powerhouse behind a new conference that’s launching this coming weekend in Los Angeles called ShiftCon.

During that conference last summer ShiftCon was only a dream, but it has blossomed into a reality. Through the hard work of Leah Segedie and her team at Mamavation this conference is happening and I couldn’t be more excited.

This weekend I’ll be hopping on a plane to Los Angeles to collaborate with so many of my colleagues in the green world, many of whom I’ve never met in real life.

ShiftCon is the very first international social media conference focusing on wellness, health, and the environment. This conference blends workshops, networking, parties, and intense collaboration of changemakers all over the United States and Canada in one place.

Stay tuned for photos and updates. This one below is from one of my favorites from the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Stroller Brigade.

Groovy Green Livin Safer Chemicals Healthy Families

I’m Speaking! If You’re Headed to ShiftCon Come Join Me!  Social Media for Change

Not only will I be spending time with so many green colleagues, but I’ll also be speaking at this conference! I’m on a panel called Social Media For Change alongside two of my friends and colleagues, Lindsay Dahl (in the middle of this photo) and Trina O’Boyle (on the far left in the top photo).

The panel will be happening on Friday, October 3rd at 1:30 pm PST. Be there!

If you’re interested in using your writing and your leverage to make a difference in the world, here’s why this panel is for you!

We’ll be covering some important questions when it comes to a successful social media campaign.

  • How can my writing fit into a larger movement and have the highest impact?
  • How can I start and run a successful petition? And do they matter?
  • Is there a best practice for taking social causes with out being too political?
  • What is the best social media network to break out of the “echo chamber”?
  • How to run a successful campaign.

Enter our raffle!

If you attend our panel in person, we’ll be collecting business cards for a live raffle.

The prize:

You’ll get the chance to work one on one with our panel after the conference to help analyze opportunities to make your social impact stronger. Are you interested in running a petition about an issue you care about? We’ll help you craft that petition and create a successful campaign. Want to take on topics that may alienate some of your base? Get expert messaging advice how to build the movement without offending people. Want advice on which non-profit partners are the best to work with on the topics you care about most? We’ll help recommend the best organizations in the field.

Let me know if you’re planning to be at ShiftCon! I’d love to connect with you. 

 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 

September 5th, 2014

Writing for The Huffington Post and Other Groovy Green Updates

Groovy Green Livin Huffington Post

This week The Huffington Post in partnership with NRG launched a new section called Generation Change. This launch is very exciting for many reasons, but one that is super exciting.

Writing for The Huffington Post

My BIG news: I’m going to be writing for this new section of The Huffington Post! My first post went live this week: How Climate Change Could Affect Your Breakfast. I’m thrilled to be a part of this exciting and important addition to an already fabulous publication.

This new HuffPo section is dedicated to creating awareness of and fostering a conversation around climate change and clean energy with the goal of preserving our planet. It will explore everything from clean technology options for homes and businesses to breakthroughs in climate legislation and the latest developments at the forefront of renewable energy.

Through a mix of news articles, slideshows and instructive content about sustainability, along with opinion pieces from thought leaders on the topics of climate and energy policy, Generation Change will be a prime resource for educating readers about the realities of global warming and the importance and impact of our individual choices, as well as those of society as a whole.
I would love for you to check it out and comment if you feel up to it. Better yet, if you’re on social media please give it a share!

Here’s a Tweet for you:

Featured on everydayhero

I’m also honored to be featured on everydayhero, a company that helps people give back to causes they are passionate about. everydayhero, it is an online platform that helps people fundraise for any cause they choose. The platform is integrated with MapMyFitness, VolunteerMatch, Facebook and Twitter, so that people can see how everything they do (fun for charity, volunteer at the SPCA, share their stories on social) contribute to and count towards giving to a cause. All this information is calculated into your Giving Footprint that grows with your activities over time.

Stay tuned for more from me on The Huffington Post.

And while you’re waiting have a fabulous weekend! Any big plans?

~Lori

 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 

photo credit: IllinoisLibrary via photopin cc

May 5th, 2014

Sticky Notes, Toilet Paper and Writing

Groovy Green Livin Sticky Notes and My Writing Process

The ideas never come to me when they should. Sticky notes are everywhere and I never remember their intended order.

When I write a blog post the final piece somehow ends up organized, but certainly doesn’t start off that way. There are nights when ideas hit and are preserved in a dark bathroom on a single piece of toilet paper or on a stray sticky note by the side of my bed.

Running also seems to bring on random ideas for articles. They come fast and furiously once I’m in a running groove. The problem is there’s no toilet paper or sticky notes-just me and my forgetful brain, trying desperately to remember each and every idea for 6 miles. Many are lost by the second mile.

I share this with you because I’ve been invited to participate in a blog tour called “My Writing Process“. Thanks to my lovely friend, Maggie, the author of the fabulous blog Maternal Dementia, for reaching out to me and asking me to join.  Maggie writes about motherhood from the heart and everything that goes along with it. Her honesty and eloquent writing style is refreshing and always welcome in my world. She has given her family adorable pen names such as De-facto for her darling partner and Short-pants and Buddy-roo for her beautiful daughters. Maggie and her family lived for many years in Paris (where I last saw her) and have now made the move to Barcelona. I’ve known Maggie for quite sometime and am honored to call her a friend on-line and in real life.

As part of the blog tour I’ve been asked to answer 4 questions about my writing process.

What are you working on?

This was probably the most challenging of the questions to answer since my work changes daily. This is also what I love most about my career change.  There’s certainly no room for boredom. Right now I’m working on finding time to write my book. I just can’t find the time. Or is it that I won’t make the time? While struggling with this,  I’ve also taken on quite a few clients for various exciting projects. Stay tuned for more details.

How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?

Many writers bring a unique and powerful voice to the blogging world. I feel very fortunate to be part of a strong and passionate group of bloggers that write about green living. Each of us is unique, and the green living umbrella is wide providing space for many of us. I’ve been saying for quite sometime that our collective voices are what can and will make a difference. When we join our unique voices together and write about similar topics we show a united front. The issues we tackle are real – climate change, product and food safety, GMOs, keeping our families safe and healthy -these are issues that affect each of us in many ways.

Why do you write what you do?

After practicing law for many years, I realized that I had outgrown the fast paced and stressful lifestyle. My body and health were starting to show signs that it was time for a change.  I slowly shifted my focus towards a creating a green and clean lifestyle and began to educate myself about chemicals and other toxins that were going into and on my body. I was amazed at what I found as I continued to dig. A few years later, two of our children developed life threatening food allergies.  My commitment to living as toxin-free as possible became even stronger as a way to gain some control over their allergies. Blogging offered a venue to share information and connect with others interested in a green lifestyle. When my youngest went off to Kindergarten I decided to trade in my suits and focus on writing.  I was inspired and continue to be inspired by the incredible community of like-minded people I have found. Blogging has provided me with a space to find a voice that I didn’t know I had and an opportunity to stand beside many remarkable people who are making a difference.

How does your writing process work? Sticky notes and more.

Over the few, short years that I’ve been blogging there’s actually a writing process that takes place before each post is published.  In addition to the sticky notes, toilet paper and random running thoughts, I try to settle on a topic the night before. Finding the perfect photo takes up a good chunk of time. When I write I use my laptop and carve out time to write without social media distractions. After I’m finished I don’t hit publish. I let the post sit and then go back and read it with fresh eyes. I’m almost guaranteed to find a few errors that would have otherwise not been caught. Once published it doesn’t stop there. The post is shared throughout social media- Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest. I also have a weekly newsletter used to share my writing and other special offers with subscribers.

My last task was to find two bloggers to join the blog tour and share stories about our writing processes. 

Micaela from Mindful Momma will be joining on Monday, May 12th. I’ve known Micaela for quite sometime. She was one of the first bloggers I connected with online before I launched my blog. I’ll never forget her wise advice: “Write from your heart”. After connecting we discovered that we both grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, went to the same high school and graduated a year apart. We are certainly proof that it’s a small world out there.

Lindsay Dahl will also be participating. Lindsay is the Deputy Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and the founder of  LindsayDahl.com. I’ve been working with Lindsay for many years on various projects fighting for the health and safety of our families including the Stroller Brigade and the Mind the Store campaigns. She is an amazing leader, advocate and friend.

Feel free to follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #mywritingprocess.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by.

Do you have your own writing process?

photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc

April 25th, 2014

Groovy Green Updates and Other Green Goodies

Groovy Green Livin Green Updates

My plan was to take this week off from writing, but I have a few green updates and other info to share. Before I dive in, I can finally say “happy spring!” The weather has been gorgeous and I’ve really been able to enjoy it since this week is our spring vacation. Hope you’re able to do the same.

Home Harmony Class

Thank you to Christa O’Leary, MA, MFT, founder and CEO of Home in Harmony Lifestyle for inviting me to be one of the speakers in her Home In Harmony Master Class. Christa pulled together experts who are successful at creating an inspired life to share how they’re doing it. Christa is an Interior Designer, Marriage & Family Therapist, and Green Living expert. She teaches people how to ‘Design Inspired Living’ and has been featured on CBS, NBC & Dr. Laura.

There were over 20 of us who participated, each with our own take on what has worked for us. If you want to check out the interviews (including mine) you can sign up HERE.

Named one of the Top 10 Green and Eco-Friendly Blogs

I’m honored that voiceBoks, the Voice of Parenthood, has named Groovy Green Livin one of the Top 10 Green and Eco-Friendly Blogs. I’m in some good company-some of my ‘green’ favorites made the list too!

In the Hot Seat at The Collective

Thanks to The Collective for the exclusive interview feature! I was in the hot seat for a few great questions. Check it out HERE.

My Manilla Makeover Makes its Way Over to The Huffington Post

Helping college student, Annie, transform her kitchen into a lean, green, eco-friendly kitchen was a lot of fun. If you haven’t had a chance to watch my Manilla Makeover: Green Kitchen Edition you can now check it out on The Huffington Post.

Green Tips to Celebrate Earth Day from thredUp

In honor of one of Earth Day I was interviewed over at thredUp along with Diane MacEachern from Big Green Purse, for simple tips to incorporate into our daily routine that can benefit the environment. If you’re not familiar with thredUp, it’s a great way to save money on great Women’s and Kids’ clothing brands and sell clothes for cash. They’re like a consignment store, but online. What a great concept!

Green Update: BIG News on the GMO Labeling Front

On Wednesday Vermont passed a law requiring the labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. This is HUGE! The good news is that there are no real strings attached…except the law won’t go into effect until July 1, 2016. I understand that it takes a while to get labeling into place, but this seems like an extraordinarily long time to wait. Don’t you agree?

Green Update: Eco-Warrior Makes an Appearance on The Queen Latifah Show!

The amazing Kristina from The Greening of Westford was asked to fly to LA for an appearance on The Queen Latifah Show! This was quite an honor for all of her hard work to make the world a better place.  And there’s more….she was given a gorgeous red Ford CMAX Energi. Read all about it HERE. Congratulations Kristina!

That’s it for groovy green updates for now. Enjoy the weekend!

Do you have any groovy green updates to share?

 

photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin cc

February 26th, 2014

Where I Lived Wednesday: The North End Boston

Groovy Green Livin North End

The apartment wasn’t anything special, but the location was amazing.

The North End of Boston was a happening place. At any moment of the day or night people were roaming the streets with a fresh cannoli in hand. The locals and the yuppies were constantly competing for space. It wasn’t uncommon to see a random chair in the street as an attempt to save a parking space for later use. We all knew not to mess with that spot. It’s been a few years, but I’m guessing things haven’t changed much.

The apartment belonged to my boyfriend at the time (now my husband). We were both in school and I spent most weekdays and weekends living there, although I had my own apartment not too far away.

On a cold and windy Thursday night I was sleeping alone in the apartment while my boyfriend was up in Maine doing an externship for school. My plan was to head to classes the next day and then drive up to Maine to meet him for a weekend of skiing.

Early Friday morning, while I was still deep asleep, someone yelled “fire” and began pounding on the door. The apartment was on the first floor, directly across from a famous North End restaurant where the customers could easily look across and wave (which they often did). The photo above is the actual apartment building.

I’m a deep sleeper so someone yelling “fire” didn’t register for a few seconds. Once I realized what was happening I grabbed what I could, which happened to be my ski gear, and ran through thick smoke to the street outside.

There I stood, along with the other residents of the building and several onlookers, for what seemed like an eternity watching the building burn.

Everyone made it out.

I remember a very kind woman taking me into her home and giving me shoes to wear. The ski jacket, hat and gloves worked, but the flip flops on my feet weren’t going to cut it on this cold and wintry day.

My boyfriend’s sweet mother (now my mother-in-law) drove to the North End at an ungodly hour. We sat in her warm car together watching the building continue to smolder.

Thankfully everyone was fine.  Our possessions were not. The flames impacted the upper apartments the most, however everything was severely smoke damaged. Virtually nothing was salvageable.

A kind firefighter escorted me back into the apartment after the flames subsided to help find my car keys and a few important pieces of paper. It was a crazy scene. Everything was covered in soot and the walls were ripped apart. It was hard to imagine that we had lived there just a few hours before.

To this day I still love heading to the North End of Boston. The North End has some of the best people watching in the city and the restaurants are fabulous. The apartment building has been rebuilt and now looks like something special.

Now I’ve become one of those parents who points at the building, makes her kids stop talking to look at the building and then tells them the same story over and over.

I didn’t ski that weekend, but I survived a fire and I thank my lucky stars.

I felt inspired to write this after seeing the #WhereILivedWednesday prompt over at Ann’s Rants. Head on over to Ann’s wonderful site to see where others have lived.

photo credit: Michael Kappel via photopin cc

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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Lori on ABC World News

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