new ways to know where your food comes from


Even if you’re not a committed locavore, it’s downright interesting to learn how far food traveled to your grocery store. Springwise, my go-to source for cool discoveries, recently covered two new food tracking technologies. One is Chip Tracker, Frito-Lay’s app that lets you see where your chips originated. Another is HarvestMark, a new system that lets you track produce. Kroger stores (they own QFC in the West) have already partnered with the service. Of course, knowing where your food comes from doesn’t mean it’s local. Would you be more likely to buy if it was? — Mary T.

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child’s play: crayons rocks

crayon rocks

There are all sorts of high-end wants on my wish list (a week at a Tahiti spa, a pair of those incredible Prada striped heels from spring/summer 2011 and a vent-less electric fireplace ) but I’ve found that the things I enjoy the most are simple things. Like coloring. Man, nothing beats coloring. Grab a bag of these Crayon Rocks ($16 from Spoon Sisters) and a couple of coloring books from the local Dollar Store and I guarantee that you will be totally relaxed after an hour. Have a particularly stressful week? Pour yourself a glass of milk, warm up some cookies in the oven and color until you feel like your old self again. Works every time. –Katie D.

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kinda genius: water pebble


I chuckled at this “trend alert — stop showering” at Jezebel, but the reasoning behind it (use less water) is sound. And right on schedule, Springwise posts about the Water Pebble. This little invention from Priestmangoode senses how long you shower the first time you use it. After that, it blinks just a little sooner as you shower, giving you a hint to wrap up your water usage. You can buy it in the US at Uncommon Goods and in the UK at places like Amazon, and we’re sure more locations to come. — Mary T.

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help! how do i recycle my fluorescent bulbs?


Kermit the Frog was right: it’s not easy being green. Case in point, I’ve had a rather large, burned out fluorescent tube bulb hanging around my apartment for about a month now and not a clue as to where to drop it to be recycled. I’ve Googled, I’ve Binged, and to no avail. It seems like most places that offer recycling (either mail back programs or drop off locations) only cater to smaller, household bulbs. Any advice, dear readers? –Katie D.

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post off: do you buy food locally?

local foods wheel

Though it’s not a new idea by any means, the local foods movement is gaining momentum. We’ve posted before about joining community supported agriculture programs, and here in New York, our grocery delivery service has been promoting nearby farms with special shopping sections and discounts for buying locally. I’ve also had my eye on the Local Foods Wheel for the region. Available for the San Francisco Bay Area, the New York Metro Area and most recently the Upper Midwest, the wheel is an illustrated guide that details foods that are grown locally by peak season, so you can tailor your local buying to your taste. As a resident of a congested city it’s hard to know where my food originates, but these incentives have inspired me put more thought into the issue. What about you? Do you buy with local farms in mind? – Sarah C.

Each wheel is available for purchase on the site for $12.95, or you can also find yours locally (of course!) by consulting the “Places to buy” section on each region’s page.

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