Deborahmclaren's Weblog

Sustianable Tourism, Buy Local, Rural-Urban Connections

Archive for January, 2011

Traveling songs

Posted by deborahmclaren on January 28, 2011

Music to live and travel by; music about travel. I’m compiling a list of great travel songs – send me your ideas over the weekend. I’ll post the list on Tuesday.

Posted in music, travel | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Responsible Travel Photo Contest

Posted by deborahmclaren on January 25, 2011

Do you seek adventurous travel that enables you to learn, have fun and help others? Responsible travel offers all this and more.

The choices we make when we travel can either help or harm the people and places we visit. We’re seeking photos to illustrate this.
There will be one quarterly award by Responsible Travel Australia for the best photograph received by March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1 each year.

Visitors to this site will be invited to vote for the best photograph for each quarter. So the earlier in the 3 month voting period you enter your photo the more chance you’ll have of receiving maximum votes! Tell your friends and family to vote for you!

The prize for the winning photo each quarter will be a copy of the Ethical Travel Guide, Tourism Concern 2009 – an excellent resource for Responsible Travellers.

The overall winner each year, (selected by the Responsible Travel steering committee) will be chosen from the winning photos in the quarterly competitions for that year. The winner will receive the Responsible Travel Photographer of the Year award (the prize will be notified early 2011) and published in various appropriate media.

To download an entry form.

To vote!

To contact Tourism Concern.

Posted in art, award, photography, travel | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

“Unconference” 2011 Responsible Tourism Week: Feb 14-18

Posted by deborahmclaren on January 18, 2011

2011 Responsible Tourism Week: Feb 14-18

Fall in love with responsible tourism. The dates are set for our next Responsible Tourism Week. Our unconventional, online unconference takes place Feb 14-18, 2011. Details:

Background: Responsible Tourism Week is a fun mash-up exploring down to earth applications of noble concepts including responsible tourism, the local travel movement and ecotourism with practical and inexpensive Web 2.0 technologies. Take a peak at what we accomplished this year via the Planeta Wiki and on Slideshare.

We are seeking partners and financial sponsors.

Simply put, this online unconference is an excellent way to broaden and deepen our dialogue about sustainable practice and tourism. The event encourages participants to articulate their core values and the way they put noble ideas into practice. It’s an opportunity to introduce new events, tours and research projects as well as an opportunity to summarize recent events. Yes, it’s a high-tech, but we also promote the foam board. For those who can keep track of a hashtag, it’s a new window to the world!

How to participate? You can start now by documenting the stories you’d like to share. In particular we will highlight photos on Flickr, tweets on Twitter, videos on YouTube and recommended blogs and wikis. This year we will start to feature tours using Gowalla and Foursquare. Check out the toolbox!

The talking points for RT 2011will be updated on the wiki. Of special interest in 2011 will be the role of responsible tourism in forests and cities. Join us!


Posted in Buy-local, climate solutions, conference, ecotour, green travel, Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, Technology, travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The favorite taste stuck between my teeth!

Posted by deborahmclaren on January 4, 2011

I absolutely HATE getting anything stuck between my teeth. It feels like a giant tree or something wedged in there bothering me until I can get it out. There’s nothing worse. My son has huge gaps between his teeth so he has no idea what I’m talking about. I’m like a dog with fleas, a cow with horse flies, a cat in water. I can’t stand it!

In my obsessive search for all things natural, organic and local I have pondered how one can take care of their teeth and not clear forests to do so. This is what I’ve discovered:

Toothpicks Made in USA by Preserve about $4.50 for a two-pack of 35 picks each
These picks are sustainably harvested, natural birch wood grown in the USA and then sealed in natural, breath-freshening flavors to provide great, long-lasting taste. Packaged in a pocket-sized canister made from 100% recycled plastic. All Natural Flavors include
Mint with Tea Tree with peppermint, spearmint, menthol and tea tree oil.
Cinnamint: Cinnamon, peppermint, menthol, wintergreen and clove.

Preserve toothpicks

Taste-T-Picks Twin Pack of All Natural Gourmet Birchwood Toothpicks are infused with Natural Oil of Peppermint. About $5 will get you 75 fresh & natural peppermint flavored toothpicks in each pocket pack. All natural ingredients: Virgin Birchwood and Natural Peppermint Oil.


Tea Tree Therapy is a company in New Jersey that sells birchwood tea tree and cinnamon toothpicks. I picked some up recently and like them – they are pungent but only one end is usable for cleaning your teeth. They run about $6.50 per 2 packages (aprox. 100 toothpicks in each package).

Tea Tree Therapy

That’s about all I can find as far as USA made. There are lots of picks made of tea tree oil from Australia. Let me know if you find out more. Seriously. I’m obsessed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Black Salt or Kala Namak

Posted by deborahmclaren on January 1, 2011

Several friends have recently been searching for black salt. What the heck is it? Where do you buy it? Why would you want it?

Apparently it is used a lot in Indian cooking. Kala Namak or Black Salt is a special type of Indian mineral salt. When ground into the small crystals or powder, it actually changes color to pink. It has a very distinctive sulfurous mineral taste (like hard boiled egg yolks).

Black Salt or Kala Namak

Its smell is mainly due to sulfur content. Kala namak consists primarily of sodium chloride and trace impurities of sodium sulfate, iron sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide.

Sodium chloride provides kala namak with its salty taste, iron sulphide provides its dark violet hue, and all the sulphur compounds give kala namak its slight bitter taste as well as a highly distinctive smell, with hydrogen sulphide being the most prominent contributor to the smell. Vegan chefs have made this salt popular for adding in eggy flavor to dishes like tofu scrambles. Kala Namak is used in authentic Indian cooking, and popular in mango smoothies.

Indian black salt is not to be confused with Hawaiian black salt, smoked sea salt or “black salt” used in Wiccan ceremonies (for jinx removing). Black rock salts are mined in several parts of the world, including Hawaii, Utah, Bolivia, the Murray-Darling basin of Australia, Peru, and Poland are marketed as Himalayan salt or pink salt. The color results from iron oxide.

Indian black salt comes from the Himalayan Mountains and has been used for centuries in Indian cuisine as cooking and finishing salt. In addition to the supreme taste it also has some exceptional health benefits. In India black salt is recommended for people with high blood pressure and to people who are on low-salt diets, because it is lower in sodium and does not increase sodium content in the blood. It is also know for comforting intestinal gas and heartburn. It is believed to help with indigestion. It is also considered a cooling spice in ayurvedic medicine which uses this salt as a digestive. Great on: yogurt and cheese Exceptional on summer favorites such as cucumbers, watermelon and mangoes.

It’s about $4 dollars per 6 ounces.

More recently, large crystal rocks are also used as Salt lamps. A salt lamp is a lamp carved from a larger salt crystal, often colored, with an incandescent bulb or a candle inside. The lamps give an attractive glow and are suitable for use as nightlights or for ambient mood lighting.

salt lamp

Ayurvedic Properties: It pacifies Vata and increases Pitta and Kapha. It contributes the salty taste and has a heating quality.

In ayurveda, black salt is considered an aid to digestion. Ground with ajwain and lemon juice and eaten, black salt helps balance the digestion. A couple of pinches of black salt and 1/8 tsp. dry-roasted ground cumin can be used to make digestive lassi. Black salt, with lemon and cliantro, is used to make a dressing for spicy fruit salsa or chick-pea salads.

Posted in food and wine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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