With cold, snowy days and chilly nights, winter is the perfect time to break out those comfort foods we all know and love. From warm brownies to creamy soups to scrumptious grilled cheeses, we simply can’t get enough of those toasty, comforting foods the longer we get into the winter season. As health-conscious folk, on the other hand, it can be difficult to feel healthful and nutritionally sound when scarfing down these delicious goodies.
Here at PlanetShoes, we love partnering with green companies that are truly making a difference in protecting our planet. From their product to the climate, decreasing waste to helping the community, The North Face has truly committed to helping this earth in more ways than one.
The North Face utilizes the bluesign standard to measure the sustainability of their production process. This standard requires factories to address harmful chemicals and meet demanding requirements for consumer and worker safety, efficient resource use, and environmental protection. This rigorous system takes into account water, energy, chemicals, and recycled content to hit all parts of the production process.
The North Face partners with a variety of organizations fighting against climate change. They have partnered with the Extreme Ice Survey, an awesome research organization that places high-quality cameras around various arctic areas to document melting ice and glaciers. By providing them with free gear, the EIS has been able to document the most incredible shots of melting ice. They also consistently work to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while offsetting the emissions they cannot reduce.
In order to combat the waste that emerges from the clothes production process, North Face has adopted various recycling projects. Their Clothes the Loop program provides a way to drop off worn-out and unwanted clothing at their stores. To reduce waste created by shipping bags, they’ve created the Terracycle program, where you can bring back shipping bags to participating stores to be recycled. Their Loop Tote is made from excess material from their backpacks, jackets and tents, an adorable way to upcycle!
From climate change education to providing outdoor exploration opportunities for kids, the North Face has committed to helping children appreciate the environment. One especially awesome program is their Hot Planet, Cool Athletes teaching program, in which professional snowboarders and skiers travel to high schools around the country to highlight the effects of climate change on the winter sports world. A little extra appreciation can go a long way for conservation and protection!
Exciting news: PlanetShoes has added a new line of eco-friendly slippers! Giesswein, a German company recently moved to the USA, has perfected the art of making wool into a comfortable, warm, healthy substance that is perfect for your feet! Although wool may sound totally undesirable during the summer months, Giesswein has found a way to make wool totally breathable and cool, creating their slogan, “Wool is Cool”.
This breathability stems from Giesswein’s boiled wool technology, a feature unique to the brand. This soft, uniquely-durable boiled wool, coupled with amazing foot support, is designed to keep your feet healthy, energized and comfortable all day long! Many of these slippers are appropriate for both outdoor and indoor use, so there’s no reason to confine Giesswein to indoor lounging.
Of course, we wouldn’t wax lyrical about these slippers if they didn’t come with an eco-friendly backing. Inspired by the Tyrolean Mountains surrounding their headquarters, Giesswein holds nature and the environment dear to their hearts, a sentiment reflected in their design philosophy. Using nature’s most renewable, recyclable ingredients (wool, water and natural rubber), these slippers are eco-friendly from creation to production to the packaging in which it’s shipped.
Just another example of a company we love and respect for their commitment to the earth and the health of your feet. Check out our new selection here!
Our shoe giveaway this week is sponsored by Wolky, a footwear company we love for their commitment to creating comfortable, environmentally friendly shoes. Nothing says “Planet” like great shoes for a great planet! Their slogan, “Wolky: Designed for Walking” has inspired us to get out and walk; whether it be during our lunch breaks or an after-work high-intensity power walk around the closest reservoir, getting out and walking allows you to grab some fresh air while getting in some feel-good exercise.
Oftentimes, it’s difficult to find the inspiration to get out and move. In Boston right now, for example, we’re experiencing a serious heat wave; temperatures are going to be in the 90’s with high humidity for the rest of the week. With stifling, oppressively hot days like these, it’s difficult to convince oneself to leave the air-conditioned haven that is one’s living room, or the chair in front of the fan that offers a bit of respite from the heat.
However, we know how important it is to walk. I’ve been getting my exercise in at dusk, when the sun is setting, to avoid one aspect of the heat. Getting outside, or to a treadmill, a couple times a week is vital for physical health, as we’ve outlined in previous blog and social media posts. Wolky has simply reminded us of this fact; it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to fit in what’s most important: your health.
Perhaps the Wolky style will inspire you to walk today. You don’t need to get suited up in spandex and sneakers to work out. Wearing comfortable shoes throughout your day keeps you active without you even realizing it. We know style is important, though. And the environment. Wolky, for example, makes their footwear with leathers tanned without chrome extracts, making them healthy for the environment and for your skin. So check out our Wolky selection, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a free pair!
Ever heard of food deserts? A food desert is a term used for districts or areas with little to no access to grocery stories, fresh produce, and healthy, affordable foods. In place of nutritional substances stand fast food restaurants and small convenience stores carrying prepackaged foods with few health benefits. These areas are typically lower income, urban, and polluted.
For these reasons, it’s difficult to entice large supermarkets to open in these areas. With little real estate available in the inner city and less opportunity for growth due to the low-income status of these food deserts, it doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint for large chains to open in such neighborhoods. In the end, the little access to healthy food leads to disease, obesity, and many other health difficulties for already struggling populations.
So what do we do? Luckily, there have been great strides made concerning the eradication of food deserts in this country thanks to the grassroots efforts of some majorly caring, intelligent people. Ron Finley, a charismatic, vibrant Los Angeles native, is a perfect example. “South Central Los Angeles,” he states, is “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by. Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys”. His vision of a healthy neighborhood, abundant in healthy foods, started with a small veggie garden he grew on a strip of dirt in front of his house. From there, he became the head of a urban gardening movement called LA Green Grounds, bringing small gardens to arid parts of the city most in need. These gardens act to beautify run-down areas while also providing free, healthy food to residents.
Often termed “guerrilla gardening”, this movement of planting fresh flowers and food around cities has become a subtle sort of civil disobedience. As Ron Finley says, “Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus, you get strawberries”. Utilizing abandoned lots and decrepit medians, guerrilla gardeners use the power of growth and seeds to bring cheer, health, and community to the places that need it most. It’s a smart, sustainable solution to a growing problem, proving that small changes truly can make a difference.
Want to make an impact? Try making seed bombs and throwing them around the city! Place some fertile soil and seeds on top of a flat piece of clay, then roll the clay into a ball so the dirt and seeds are in the middle. It only takes a minute to make; bring your seed bombs with you on your daily routine or travels around the city, throwing them where you see fit. It’s that easy to make a great impact on the city you know and love!
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and fire up the grill. There’s nothing better than the smell of barbecue and a bonfire coupled with the warm nighttime summer air to have a truly perfect summer night. It’s easy to limit grilling to hot dogs and hamburgers. But why limit yourself when there’s a whole world of summer grilling to explore? Start off with our top 5 grilled summer veggie recipes to kick-start your creative grilling juices!
- Enjoy a blend of protein and vitamins with a Grilled Veggie Quinoa Salad. Choose a variety of different colored veggies to maximize vitamin intake, drizzle with olive oil and the spices of your choice (we like sea salt, pepper and garlic to keep it simple but tasty), and place them in a grill basket. Cook until crispy and comfortably blackened. Toss the veggies in your pre-made quinoa (seasoned with thyme, salt, pepper, or the spices of your choosing) and enjoy!
- Having company over? Make this crowd-pleasing Grilled Corn Dip as an appetizer. Simply grill corn husks until tender and cut the kernels from the cobs. Combine with sautéed onion, jalapeno, butter and garlic. In a separate large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream and chili powder with the corn mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes and enjoy! For a full recipe, see here.
- Try a new take on Portobello mushrooms with a Grilled Portobello Mozzarella Salad. Grill mushrooms over medium heat for six to eight minutes. In a large bowl, combine cut grape tomatoes, fresh cubed mozzarella cheese, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. When the mushrooms are grilled to perfection, take them off the grill and scoop the tomato salad inside. The fresh taste of the tomato salad perfectly complements the smoky mushroom texture!
- Looking for some grilled lunchtime fare for sunny weekend barbeques? Try creating some unique grilled sandwiches, like this Rhubarb Barbeque Sauce Grilled Veggie Sandwich. You can find the recipe for the Rhubarb Barbeque Sauce here. Pick your favorite grilled veggies (zucchini, bell pepper, tomato… the list goes on and on) and stack them on toasted or grilled fresh bread. Simple and delicious!
- A recipe list wouldn’t be complete without a pizza, right? Try this Individual Grilled Veggie Pizza recipe for a combination of smoky and fresh flavors. Using an array of veggies of your choice (eggplant, bell pepper, and zucchini work well on pizzas), combine the selection and place on a grill-safe baking sheet. Grill the veggies until crispy. Place stretched pizza dough, brushed with olive oil, on the grill. Flip when browned. When dough looks fairly crispy, spread sauce, veggies, and cheese on top. Grill for three more minutes until cheese is melted and serve. Find specific measurements in the recipe here.
And there you have it: five simple, nutritious grilled vegetable recipes to make your summertime at the grill that much more fun. Serve, share, and enjoy!