OPINION: Put. The Phone. Down.

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Editor’s note: Green Philly Blog co-founder and editor Julie Hancher has a message for you. In her words, “Put down the damn phone.” Inspired by my intentional two-week vacation from email, she decided to challenge herself (and others) to break their smartphone addiction—both because constantly checking your phone is really tacky when, say, you’re out to happy hour, but also because it’s not good for your brain to be multitasking quite so much. Check out her rant post below. 

When did going out socially turn into isolation?

Have you been out lately and looked around? Maybe thought, “OMG, everyone is on their goddamned phones.”

I’m not being sadistic. I’m talking about the inability of anyone to communicate without a damn phone in their hand. And not just online – I mean, like always being preoccupied with someone else. Or somewhere else. Or someone else’s lives on Facebook, Instagram or email.

Statistically, Americans are using their iPhones more than ever.  It’s not just an observation walking around… uh… anywhere. In January, more Americans accessed the internet from tablets and smartphones rather than their good ol’ computers.

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The Commuter Biker’s Survival Kit: 7 Essentials to Keep In Your Bag

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Nothing is better than the freedom of dominating the city on two wheels, especially after the polar vortexes we’ve had, preventing us (sans the very brave) from hopping on our bikes.
And now that you’ve busted your bike out of storage, biking the city shouldn’t be limited to your workouts and errands. But here’s the million-dollar question: How can you get to work and networking events without arriving as a hot, sweaty mess?

Beyond the bike locks, spare tubes and house keys, keeping a few extras in your bag will help you freshen up almost as much as nice long shower. Here, the seven essentials every biker needs in their bag:

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I Tried It: 3 Fitness Apps for My Apple TV

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My crack-like addiction to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman enticed me to buy an Apple TV earlier this year. But once I blew through all five seasons of Breaking Bad, I wondered, Could I get a decent at-home workout with help from my Apple TV? Turns out, yes—if you know where to look.

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What to Do with a Surplus of CSA Veggies

A group of community green thumbs have brought urban agriculture to the Fishtown section of Philadelphia through the establishment of Greensgrow Farms, which includes a nursery, a farm market and a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. // Photo by M. Kennedy for GPTMC

Fishtown’s Greensgrow Farms includes a nursery, a farm market and a community-supported agriculture program. // Photo by M. Kennedy for GPTMC

Community-supported agriculture programs have so many benefits: They give you access to fresh veggies delivered straight to a neighborhood near you, they can help you save some cash over grocery-store produce, and they give you a direct way of supporting local farmers.

Yet one of the main problems of joining a CSA is this: You end up having a mountain of veggies—often, ones you’ve never heard of—in your fridge at all times. While it’s amazing to have an overflow of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes as a salad base, what on Earth do you do with piles of kohlrabi, rutabaga and lacinato kale? Here’s a diary of how I handle a week with my CSA veggies.

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5 Unique, Cheap (and Green!) Summer Date Ideas

Ah, summertime. There’s nothing better than walking outside without layers of coats, mittens and hats, eh? Another advantage of the warm weather is that it’s SO easy to have a fun date—and it’s really cheap, too.

Here are five cheap and green date ideas you can try out this summer (or, you know, tell someone to plan for you. Whichever.):

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10 Tips for Conquering Philly’s Farmers’ Markets

Clark Park, located along Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia’s Spruce Hill neighborhood, hosts one of the largest and most populated farmers'€™ markets in Philadelphia. More than a dozen vendors offering organic fruits, heirloom vegetables, milk, eggs, cheeses, meats, pastries and breads, honey, cut flowers, dried herbs and chocolates.

Clark Park Farmers' Market in West Philly // Photo by J. Fusco for GPTMC

Warm sunshine, shopping, and fresh, local produce—what’s not to love about farmers’ markets? With tons of new markets popping up around Philly and the ‘burbs, the place to go for the most delicious ingredients is a few steps away from your home.

Before you head over to your neighborhood market, it’s best to have a game plan to get the cream of the crop. Here, 10 tips to ensure you dominate the produce stalls like a seasoned pro.

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