Just Cause for Earth Rights

My pals Nancy and Sheryl have started a great group caused “Just Cause,” which is basically your typical happy hour with a twist. Each month, they host a happy hour and donate part of the proceeds to a charity. This month, that charity is Earth Rights International.

Earth Rights International documents human rights and environmental abuses in countries where few other organizations can safely operate. The organization also organizes human rights and environmental communities around earth rights issues such as protecting the Amazon.

On April 23, to coincide with Earth Day, Just Cause will be held at Current Sushi (formerly Dragonfly), 1215 Connecticut Ave., from 6-8:30. The cover is $10, which all goes to Earth Rights International, plus there will be a raffle with goodies from CakeLove, Tranquil Space Yoga, Even Keel, Health Bites, and more.

So, come on out, have a drink (or two), and support a great earthy-friendly cause!

DC Green Gift Guide

The holidays are upon us. And for many, that means a rush to the megastores to stock up on gifts. Why not zig while everyone else zags by buying from local businesses that offer eco-friendly goodies? By considering these gifts, you’re not only supporting small local businesses, you’re also contributing less to the environmental problems that go along with shipping goods from afar. Here are a few of our local faves:

Be a Soap Star
Stock up on handcrafted balms, salves, bath salts and massage oils made with natural and organic ingredients packaged in adorable recyclable containers from Herban Lifestyle. Owner Mary Kearns never uses chemicals, preservatives, synthetics, artificial fragrances, artificial colors, or GMOs in her products, and she donates 5% of gross sales to the Sierra Club and Herb Research Foundation. The Organic Holiday Cookie Sugar Scrub smells like a yummy dessert but won’t add to your waistline during the holidays, and lip balms in flavors like Tangerine Dreamsicle and Mint Chocolate Chip are all natural and (almost) good enough to eat. Products can be ordered directly from Herban Lifestyle or at Holeco Wellness Medi Spa.

Get Curdied Away
Who doesn’t love a hunk of creamy, tangy cheese? Luckily there are two great cheese shops in the area including Del Ray’s Cheesetique, where you can find Appalachian cheese with shitake mushrooms and leeks from Virginia, as well as selections from around the world. In Penn Quarter, saddle up to Cowgirl Creamery for a divine selection of artisanal cheese from small-scale producers around the country.

Strike a Pose
Infuse your favorite yogini’s practice with pizazz by giving her yoga wear from DC-based Even Keel Yoga. Founded by local yogini Liz Matthews, Even Keel is the place to find comfy, fashion-forward pants, shorts, and leggings made from organic cotton and bamboo in an array of styles and colors. Buy online or at local retail outlets such as Boundless Yoga, Flow Yoga, Caramel, and Inspired Yoga.

Choc Up
Give the chocoholics on your list a box of rich hand-crafted truffles from Alexandria-based Krishon Chocolates. Owner Eric Johnson makes decadent artisanal chocolates using high quality ingredients such as Michel Cluizel Chocolate and organic cream and butter. He can make anything from chocolate, including chocolate ruby slippers and a chocolate likeness of your, um, favorite body part. For traditionalists, a box of five truffles, in flavors like pomegranate and Fair Trade Latte, will set you back a mere $17.

Heel Yourself

Okay, chances are you’re not going to give the gift of shoes to anyone but yourself. And that’s fine….you deserve them. At newly opened Simply Soles in Columbia Heights, you’ll find some shoes that are made either with recycled materials or in a manufacturing method that uses vegetable oils and dyes, instead of petroleum based products.