5 {easy} steps towards being green

living a ‘greener’, more socially and environmentally responsible lifestyle isn’t the easy way out, and it takes some effort, i know…but there a lots of super easy little things you can do that will add up over time. i truly think that what i do makes a difference (even if some people roll their eyes and scoff at that). if even only just one millionth of a sliver of a difference. but it’s something.

let’s say that today, you don’t do anything more than casually recycle but don’t consciously make big changes or efforts to help the environment or to reduce waste. it happens…i’m not judging, but just don’t tell me you don’t have time. because i’m going to give you 5 easy things you can do to work towards a ‘greener’ lifestyle that don’t take any extra effort at all.

#1 – stop using paper napkins.
my hubby and i cook dinner and have a sit down meal everyday. we used to use paper napkins or paper towels  – until about 3 years ago when we ditched them forever. we now use only cloth napkins…and we don’t necessarily wash them after every meal, or everyday, but probably once every week or so (we have a lot) – so it never causes extra loads of laundry. it’s like a couple of extra pairs of socks in the laundry. no biggie, right?

#2 – don’t buy bottled water.
i drink a lot of water at home – and on the go. i’m hate to admit it, but we used to buy those gigantic packs of water at costco all the time. we always had water on hand chilling in the fridge. i cringe just thinking about it….we are now total Brita converts. just try it out. i promise you’ll like it, it isn’t any extra work, really, it becomes an easy routine!! i fill the Brita pitcher without even thinking about what i’m doing half the time, it just happens now…and the filters are 100% recyclable (in partnership with Preserve). and go out and get yourself a beautiful sigg stainless steel water bottle for on the go!

#3 – buy tree-free or 100% recycled toilet paper.
this one literally takes zero effort. many tree-free paper products are made out of sugarcane pulp (called bagasse,  it’s the residue left over after the sugar is extracted – not only is it a by-product, it’s a 100% biodegradable byproduct – a double whammy!).  and it’s easy to find, duane reade sell a 75% tree-free toilet paper. yeah, it’s not the softest stuff ever, but why cut down trees and use virgin wood for your ass? …and for something you use for less than a minute and then immediately throw away? you know i have a point….

#4 – use reuseable shopping bags.
this one takes minimal effort – actually the most effort is actually in remembering to bring the bags to the store in the first place. i hate it when i forget. but it’s not like anyone is asking us to remember and recite the constitution or anything….get cute ones from baggu, envirosax or muji (my favorite) or make your own! most tuck away and fold up easily so you can keep one stuffed in the bottom of your bag or in your car…easy peasy, right?

#5 – go paperless.
are you still getting paper bills in the mail? you are, really? (i’m not judgin’, i’m just sayin’!…) …along with all the other junk those companies send out (that we immediately dismiss) we don’t need a physical memory that we owe someone money. you know and i know, we have to pay them regardless. so stop cutting down trees! most banks / credit card companies offer paperless billing these days and easy 24/7 access to your bill online. my bank even has what they call a ‘green’ checking account – which i use and love…it’s entirely paperless, no bills, statements, paper ads, notices, nothing. in fact, i don’t receive any paper bills from any companies at all in the mail (although i think my neighbor is making up for it with the amount of crap he gets daily and abandons on the floor…make it stop!!).

so what do you think? it’s an easy enough start, right? …it’s always better to do something small than nothing at all. maybe there are other things you may find easier to incorporate into your daily life, and that’s great!
we all have busy schedules and no one wants to make life more complicated, but i think these 5 things are pretty simple, and can be very impactful.

want to learn more?
these websites can help you get you going:
national geographic green guide
the green living blog
eco chick blog
planet green
tree hugger

reduce, reuse, recycle!

puppy love :)


ella, our (almost) 1yr old rescue pup loves the snow. when i hear people tell me ‘my dog hates the snow’, i have a hard time believing them…people will find all kinds of excuses, huh….?

taking ella to the park is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend. off-leash at prospect park – bring it on! ….if only it didn’t start and end so early, 5am – 9am isn’t exactly easy for this slumber-loving human. even though it’s difficult for me to crawl out of bed, it’s always worth it…i love seeing her turn into a clumsy goofball out there in long meadow.  like a deer she hops over mounded snow, swooshes it around, bats at it and eats it. the world is her oyster…

on the lazier days, we stick to our backyard – not quite the same as prospect park – but for her, just as fun…and somehow, every time, she manages to find a new stick.  why do dogs love sticks so much? it’s too funny…..i swear someone is hiding (more like hoarding) them. i’m still not sure where they all come from…that little sleuth.



and at the end of the day, this energetic pup is exhausted…..time for a snooze, eyes almost closed :) sweet dreams little puppy…..


hey, you!! ya gonna recycle that?

i hate throwing things away. (let me rephrase that so you don’t think i’m a crazy packrat…)

i hate throwing away things i know will end up in the landfill. i think about it every single time i throw something into the garbage. i wish i didn’t have to throw anything away. but that isn’t realistic, so i recycle everything i can. and when i can’t, well – it just makes me sad.

i have pretty much always thought this way, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that i took some steps to permanently change my habits. i guess i realized that if i really did care about it, i’ve got to do something about it. so over the past few years, i have made various adjustments to my daily habits and purchasing choices, working towards being a more responsible consumer. and let’s face it, we all consume.

when i created my handbag company, sans map, i embraced this viewpoint and interweave it into everything i do. from the materials i use for my bags, right down to how i dispose of my fabric scraps. i hate to say it, but sewing creates waste.  fabric scraps, tiny unusable pieces and thread ends and random fluffy edge pieces. i cut and sew in the most efficient way i can and am conscious not to waste…but there are always some scraps in the end. normally these would get tossed into the garbage.

i recycle mine!

thanks to  wearable collections. all i have to do is drop off my fabric scraps and they do the rest. easy peasy.

among many other locations throughout the boroughs and manhattan they pitch a tent every saturday at my local greenmarket at grand army plaza at prospect park. they say that a recent study showed that ‘386 million pounds of textiles enter the NYC waste stream annually, representing close to 6% of total waste’.  that’s a shit ton of stuff. they accept all types of (clean) used clothing and textiles including curtains, towels, hats, belts, shoes, and more. they don’t list ‘fabric scraps’ on their site but i’ve not been turned away yet. wearable collections works with non-profits so the usable and wearable clothing goes to those less fortunate and several local charities.  whatever cannot be re-purposed, sold or donated gets shredded up and recycled – used for upholstery, new textiles and more. this is where i’m assuming my bag of fabric scraps go. well, i’d hope so.


photo courtesy of wearablecollections.com

so in the upcoming weeks, i am going to share with you what i do (and don’t do) in order to consume and dispose of more responsibly.  i’m not perfect, and am working on ways to do more – and maybe i’ll inspire someone to change – even if one habit.  i sure can’t change the way the world consumes, but i can change my own actions, and perhaps a few other minds along the way…

….and for me? i’m trying something new this year – – composting.  my soon-to-be veggie garden will be so happy :-)

reduce, reuse and recycle

xo c

10 things that make me happy…

of course there are more than just 10 things in life that make me happy, but here is a random list for this sunny saturday…….

just because…. :-)

1.  the 5 minutes in between my snooze alarm and the next ring

2.  reaching into a winter jacket pocket on it’s first time out of the closet and finding a $20 bill

3.  how excited ella is when we come home. and she’ll be just as excited the next time too…

4. a clean apartment

5. the flicker of lights on the subway tracks after waiting for 20 minutes for a train

6. sewing endlessly on my pink vintage necchi

7. prospect park. just can’t get enough of it!

8. my backyard in summertime

9. all things french (including my hubby of course :-)

10. the holidays!!!

happy saturday, i can hardly believe that thanksgiving is next week! how time flies when you’re having fun (oh, and also when you’re busy ;-)

xo c

save the date ~ handmade holiday market!!


Come and celebrate a winter shopping wonderland with more than 50 of the area’s amazing artists, designers, and crafters. This year’s Holiday Cavalcade will be filled with handmade clothing, home decor, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, toys and bath & body products, all designed and produced locally.

So mark your calendars now for December 5, 2010 from 11am-8pm. This year’s Holiday Handmade Cavalcade will take place at OpenHOUSE Gallery in Nolita, New York.


Photo from last year’s ~ 2009 Second Annual Holiday Cavalcade


photo courtesy of The {NewNew}

This third annual holiday market ‘The Handmade Holiday Cavalcade” will be a spectacular offering of the best handmade goods around! Stay tuned for my sneak preview of some new Sans Map designs. I’ll have all new colors and special holiday accessories – – the best for gift giving (and, go on – for yourself!)…..more to come!!

check out The {NewNew} blog, updated daily!!

The Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is an event sponsored by The {NewNew} – an eclectic group of etsy sellers in the New York metro area. We are solely vendor run and this will be our third consecutive year bringing you this amazing celebration of handmade talent designed and produced locally!

inspirational piles….

see! i told you i would post more often….so far, so good, eh? :-)

on the weekends especially, i have these extended periods of inspiration where i’ll end up with tons of ideas and subsequently work so quickly jumping from project to project that i end up with piles and piles of fabric, leather, zippers and more.  surprisingly still organized, in a ‘corey’ sort of way….it’s amazing…but it’s when i’m the most productive and it’s a system i’ve come to realize just works. so i thought today would be a good day to share with you a couple of quick peeks into my workspace, while i’m actually working…..

one of my many piles of fabric today is filled with soft mustards, blue and brown plaid, grey and teal….totally autumn colors, totally sans map. don’t you think that this is one of the best times of year for finding inspiration from nature?

today ella and i went for a fantastic run in prospect park – – she even got to romp around like crazy with a group of  off-leash dogs (shhh, it was outside off-leash hours…i won’t tell if you don’t). since it gets so dark so early now, when i run with ella during the week it’s always at night and the sun has already set – not merely as beautiful and relaxing as during the day when the leaves and lakes are shining their beauty!!


a work in progress:

instead of piles of zippers, i have rows of zippers!….i keep a tiny photo of emma when we first brought her home on one of my corkboards…i must have been only 15 years old….she was probably just a couple of months old and so tiny! always makes me smile…


the holiday season is upon us and i’ve much work to do….! i hope to share more of my work and process in the coming weeks…i always love seeing how my favorite artists and designers work in their studios, and i hope you do too!

….happy daylight savings (we get an extra hour of sleep :-)  yay!