Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eco-Friendly ‘Green’ Tires

I just got a new set of summer tires for my car. They’re green. No, not the color but the way they’re made. They’re eco-friendly tires by Nokian.

When I started looking for tires this Spring I had no idea that eco-friendly tires even existed. The concept wasn’t even on my radar. So when I was researching tires to replace my Pirellis, and learned that they had a line of green sports tires, the Pirelli Cinturato, I was excited.

Then my tire shop told me about Nokian, who is entirely green. According to their website, “Nokian Tyres is the world's first tire manufacturer to introduce a production method using earth-friendly oils. Our birch leaf insignia guarantees the complete absence of toxic chemicals.” That was pretty intriguing and definitely fit into my lifestyle of living green.

But to be sure I was making a good decision I spoke with a few tire-savvy friends who shared that they had been riding Nokian’s for a long while, one for over 15 years. They both spoke favorably of Nokian’s performance and handling and highly recommended them.

By running on new Nokian eco-friendly tires, I feel like I’m being a responsible and accountable global citizen. The bonus, is that the high-performance Nokian’s and 17” rims look great on my Saab Convertible. They’re a sweet ride. Go green.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do You Twitter?

Like so many other technology second adopters, I have finally been caught up in the social media avalanche that has become know as Twitter.

I call myself a technology second adopter because I wasn’t the first wave of online computer pioneers to catch the tweeting bug. I actually waited in the online wings to be sure I could discern the hype from the value before jumping in with both feet.

But now here I am, up to my eyeballs in tweet talk and loving it. To an education junkie and long-time marketer like me, its heaven. An information explosion with countless resources and boatloads of people willing to share what they know. It’s like finding the golden ticket to the chocolate factory and winning a never ending supply of everlasting gob-stoppers.

As the world’s top microblog, Twitter grew 1,382% year-over-year in February 2009 (Nielsen Online) and shows no signs of slowing down. It will be interesting to watch as more main-stream users and businesses jump on board in search of online opportunity through non-conventional channels.

If you’re interested in taking a peek at my peeps and what it’s all about, follow me on Twitter at @dvautier. Now, if only I can figure out how to add the link button.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lavender Cookies

Yes, you can use lavender in food! Adding a touch of lavender to cakes, lemonade, jellies, and cookies makes for an unexpectedly pleasant tasting surprise. It’s a delicate flavor that smells as good as it tastes.

But when using lavender beware. The old adage that “if a little is good, a lot is better” doesn’t apply here. Too much lavender in foods turns an elegant essence into a sudsy mouthful by making foods taste a bit like hand soap. So go easy on the measuring and enjoy the fresh-from-the-field flavor of lavender.

Here’s a recipe that’s fun to make and share. It’s from The Complete Book of Herbs by Andi Cleavely and Katherine Richmond. Enjoy.

5/8 Cup butter plus more to grease baking sheets

½ Cup granulated sugar

1 egg beaten

1 tbsp dried lavender flowers

1 ½ Cups self-rising flower

Assorted leaves and flowers to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350º. Cream the butter and sugar together, then stir in the egg. Mix in the lavender flowers and the flour.

Grease two cookie sheets and drop spoonfuls of the mixture on them. Bake for about 15–20 minutes, until the cookies are golden. Serve with some fresh leaves and flowers to decorate. Makes about 30.