Turn the lights off to party! 

I had initially heard of dark parties when Entourage star, Adrian Grenier, was blogged about for hosting the “no distraction, no light” get-togethers as an attempt to conserve energy and redirect the party fun towards each other. I chuckled at the kumbayaness of it but now I realize that it actually is the best way to party! Not only are you saving on high electricity bills that come from keeping your lights on all night, but it also presents the opportunity for people to connect with one another instead of electronics. And let loose in the dark!

Dark parties range from glow parties to dinner parties set up for singles to mingle in the shadows instead of the light, breaking the mold of the mainstream dating scene into a less is more mentality. All of those distractions that catch your eye and eventually your attention are gone. At a dark party, it’s all about embracing your fellow party goers instead of losing them in the environment!

I thought that dark parties only took place around Earth Hour but it seems like the trend has spread way beyond its aim to conserve energy to conserving chemistry! Host the next dark party and you’ll see that it doesn’t always take electricity to heat up a room!

Written by: Gloria M Camacho

Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 11:25AM by Registered CommenterMTV SWITCH | CommentsPost a Comment | References4 References

Hot into Iced 

Brewing homemade coffee in the morning has saved me loads of money. Not only does it save cash, but time too; it takes one minute to throw in a filter and the grounds while getting ready for work.


Still, running out the door, I find myself pouring out half the coffee I just brewed because I’ve made too much. It’s not a ridiculous amount of waste but pouring it out every morning? It adds up.


Arriving home from work, I’m always scrounging around for a cold drink. Usually, I end up filling my glass with tap water, feeling unsatisfied.


Lately, however, I’ve had a new idea. Instead of pouring out the brewed coffee from the morning, I throw a plastic plate over the top of the pot; put it in the fridge, and at the end of the day I finish off the coffee from the morning creating a fresh, free, iced coffee beverage.


Quick, simple, thrifty, and refreshing. Doesn’t sound too bad? Try it out!



Posted on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 12:36PM by Registered CommenterMTV SWITCH | CommentsPost a Comment

Don’t Trash Those Ties!



The collection of discarded ties my dad owns has sat in his closet for more than just a few years. It’s hard to sell ties or give them away because people are very particular about what color and kind they like. Personally, I have never found ties useful because I would rarely ever wear one. As a matter of fact, because women don’t usually wear ties, the population of people that would re-wear a discarded one is cut in half, wasteful?


Recently, however, I attended the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, New York and passed a vendor that was upcycling ties. Upcycling is component of sustainability where waste materials are re-used for new products, a reinvestment in the environment. The designs, hand sewn by Nicole Deponte, were super chic, trendy, fresh, and edgy. The styles varied from wrap around waist belts to neck kerchiefs.


Nicole Deponte, the mastermind of the lilian asterfield collection, upcycles vintage neckties and hand sews each one into a new and innovative design. Her collection includes ascots, scarves, necklaces, belts, cuffs, and more. “Neckties aren’t just for suits anymore” says Nicole Deponte. She’s calling out to all eco-conscious fashionistas, that’s you!


Inspired by Nicole’s eco-friendly fashion accessories, as I walk through the city, ties have begun to attract my eye. I can’t stop myself from imagining how a certain business man’s tie would look as an upcycled accessory on me, the opposite sex, purely fabulous with an edge of femininity.





Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009 at 03:27PM by Registered CommenterMTV SWITCH | CommentsPost a Comment

The Soap Scoop

Why in a recession would we choose to buy fresh-cut, organic soaps when we can go to the supermarket and buy 6 bars of soap for the price of 1 handmade soap?

Believe it or not, the substance that we believe is cleansing us is actually hurting us by polluting our environment. According to Green Living Magazine, mass-produced soaps contain lots of chemicals and synthetic ingredients like tallow- a lower grade ingredient rendered from animal fats.

So why should we choose essential oils over the synthetic ones? In the long run, handmade, natural soaps are better for our skin and our environment. Handmade soap is made with natural glycerin, a key ingredient that moisturizes our skin.

Natural soaps won’t irritate sensitive skin and our water will no longer be congested with chemicals. So indulge, and for the first time feel seriously clean.


Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 11:31AM by Registered CommenterMTV SWITCH | CommentsPost a Comment

A Clothesline Comeback? 


Clotheslines are making a comeback in not only rural, but urban societies. With the economic recession and a growing number of energy-conscious citizens, more and more people are taking advantage of this old-time, affordable creation.

As it used to mark tenement living, clotheslines are now a sign of summer, and a message of how frugal hipsters in urban society are making a statement for energy conservation.

Recently spotted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn- a woman using her clothesline as a pulley system for her cat! It seems like a good idea…who wants to keep their pet inside all summer when you can let them out in the backyard via a basket/pulley-system for some summer sunshine? How else can we make use of this simple invention?


Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 11:26AM by Registered CommenterMTV SWITCH | CommentsPost a Comment | References2 References

Building With Beer

If you’ve ever volunteered to help pick up litter, you may have noticed that beer bottles are second only to cigarette butts in their abundance. But all that glass has the potential to be more than trash.

In China, a farmer took 66 bottles of beer and set them up on his roof as a solar water heater. And Heineken once producedsquare beer bottles that could have a second use as bricks for housing. Now that’s thinking out of the bottle!

Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 11:13AM by Registered CommenterMTV SWITCH | CommentsPost a Comment

Worst Job In The World? Try Professional Landfill Sniffer



















In what is yet another reason to recycle and reuse, the aroma from one landfill in Massachusetts has created a very interesting job opening.

According to Environmental Graffiti, the town of Northhampton, MA has hired a “sniff squad” to determine whether the odor from their landfill is too much for the surrounding homes to bear.

Sensitive noses only need apply.

Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 at 03:10PM by Registered CommenterMTV SWITCH | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference