HighLights from Telluride

I just got off the plane from a two-week working vacation in my adopted hometown, Telluride, Colorado, where I attended my 19th consecutive Bluegrass festival–my 10th year as a Trash Boy, hucking the recycling and compost for 10,000 festivarians and artists including the Dave Rawlings Machine, Mumford & Sons, Del McCoury, Josh Ritter, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Eddie Sharpe & the Magic Zeros. Four days of music and some intense high-altitude sun with the Telluride family…the best way I can think of to celebrate the solstice. Big thanks to Planet Bluegrass and Big Jon and Big Rich and Denise and Kris and the Sustainable Festivation Volunteers, as well as my partner in polycarts, Justin. (We miss you, Scottie…trash just isn’t the same without you.)

Once the dust had settled, it was time to spread some GoodLight in the San Juan Mountains and its most picturesque valley–after all, there would be no GoodLight if it weren’t for Telluride. I’m pleased to report that, at the end of a week of meetings, several of Telluride’s most distinguished restaurants have told us that they want to replace their disposable oil lamps and paraffin candles with GoodLight. We’re still awaiting final word on some of those, so I’ll wait to start naming names…

Except for one: La Cocina de Luz.

Chef/owner Lucas Price told me that he has been wanting to create a cozier atmosphere for dinner; so, starting next week, Telluriders will be enjoying their fish tacos and margaritas by candlelight for the first time. Jon and I are pretty psyched that our favorite restaurant in our favorite town is the first Colorado eatery to bring us in. We appreciate the local support, Lucas.

The Kitchen of Light now lit by GoodLight. How perfect. This is going to be a great summer.


Alpenglow on Ajax




It’s Like Eating Dinner Next to a Tailpipe (Chew On This)

Well, at least that’s how I feel when I eat dinner at a restaurant that’s burning a paraffin candle on the table–0r worse, one of those little oil lamps…might as well be sitting out on the curb outside with my plate in my lap, sucking down some diesel exhaust in between bites.

I’m not kidding, those paraffin candles are made out of the toxic waste of oil refineries, and their fumes have the same compostion as diesel exhaust. Studies show that the chemicals in paraffin candle fumes are linked to cancer and birth defects and asthma. We keep coming back to this point because it was one of the driving inspirations for Jon and I to start GoodLight. We wanted to finally give restaurateurs (and everyone else) an affordable, non-toxic candle so they could finally ditch the paraffin nasties.

And now we’ve done it. Of course, we can’t totally match paraffin prices (it’s kinda hard to compete with a waste product from a subsidized industry), but we’ve come severely close–GoodLight’s clean-burning palm wax votives cost a nickel more than the same paraffin votives.

Anyway, it seems like a no-brainer to us.  A nickel more per table per night to get the petroleum pollution out of guests’ faces, and out of the air that the staff is walking around in every night. Some still can’t seem to find it in their budgets to make the switch to GoodLight. And we understand…I mean, times are tough, and we’re all just trying to make ends meet. read More

Delivering the Goods (aka Positively 4th Street)

On the way to meeting a friend for dinner in the West Village on Tuesday night, I happened by the counterintuitive intersection of West 4th and West 10th streets. The corner looked more familiar to me than it had in the past, and I quickly realized why. First, let me back up and start from the beginning.

About a month ago, when our New York-bound shipment of inventory had finally arrived to our upstate warehouse, I drove six hours to greet it, spent the day helping get it organized, and then brought back a station wagon full of candles to drop off at the first three New York city restaurants that were making the decision to replace their toxic paraffin candles with GoodLight. Arriving back to the city after a fun 24-hour round-trip to Olean, I ducked through the Lincoln Tunnel, zig-zagged down Manhattan, and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, looking out into the dark harbor at the glowing torch of the Statue of Liberty.

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