Christopher Gabriel

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I was extremely honored to be asked recently to be a part of Sheaffer Pen’s #LifeStories campaign. Sheaffer Pen’s and I go way back. In middle school, I really became interested in calligraphy and hand lettering. My uncle, an amazing artist, gave me a Sheaffer Calligraphy Set to get me started. He was such an inspiration and I miss him dearly (he died when he was only 38 years old). So Sheaffer Pen has since been a reminder to me of him and his talent.

Sheaffer Pen #lifestories

Christopher was also asked to be a feature in the campaign. I’m so proud of him and the way he has completely immersed himself into talk radio for all the right reasons. He opens his heart and mind to his listeners every day and he does it with humor, intelligence and respect.

Sheaffer Pen #lifestories

This was another one of my favorite Sheaffer Pen #LifeStories, Mindy Lockard, The Gracious Girl. Mindy is an amazing woman who lives and breathes gracious living at it’s most authentic.

Sheaffer Pen, #lifestories

For more of Sheaffer Pen’s #LifeStores, check out their site at, Twitter feed at and Instagram at


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Ronald McDonald House Charities are near and dear to our hearts. Christopher’s father was one of the original founders of the nation’s first Ronald McDonald House, located in Philadelphia.

We know that families are stronger when they are together, and their presence helps a sick child heal faster and cope better. ~Ronald McDonald House Charities

Christopher was the fundraising games host and auctioneer for the 2011 Sweetheart Ball, benefiting Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley (Fargo) and I was honored to be his date.

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by Wendy Gabriel

One of my number one concerns in my everyday life is the health of my family. I believe that healthy eating is oneEating at the MN State Fair of the best preventive steps we can take to ensure our bodies remain illness free. But how can I pack a healthy meal and send it off filled with disposable paper and plastic wrappings? This scenario isn’t good for my family or the environment. When I’m packing a healthy meal to go, I want the containers to be as good for the health of my family and the environment as possible. And, as I mentioned in a previous Green Tip, we strive to buy reusable products instead of purchasing disposable products that contribute to our waste stream.

Enter Litter Free Lunch.

Litter Free LunchI haven’t done a lot of reviews at My Green Side but when Felice Farran, co-owner of Litter Free Lunch, contacted me I was more than happy to try their products. Primarily because the Litter Free Lunch mission is to provide creative, fun products that help reduce daily waste. Fantastic! 

They kindly sent me a set of their cotton lunch box napkins and a matching reusable sandwich bag. My husband, Christopher, was the guinea pig… and I was more than a little curious to get his reaction. He’s not a huge fan of change and he’s very picky about his food and the presentation of his food. I figured if he liked the Litter Free Lunch products, chances are they’re awesome. The reusable sandwich bag is big and expandable, large enough for a man-sized sandwich but able to accommodate a normal one as well. The cotton napkins are the perfect lunch size and have a tag on them with a spot specifically for writing a child’s name. Well, it was unanimous. I loved them for the ease of use and their eco-friendliness and Christopher loved them because he was getting a lunch every day. He thought they kept his sandwich fresh and enjoyed actually having a napkin while feeling his lunch was not adversely impacting the environment (or our budget). Now when our oldest starts bringing a lunch next fall, I already know where I’m getting her containers, napkins and reusable sandwich bags. Thank you Litter Free Lunch!

Little Free Lunch NapkinsDid you know: A household of four that replaces paper napkins with reusable cloth ones could save $70 per year or more on napkin costs while reducing their waste by up to 40 pounds per year. If every household made this shift, we could prevent 1.5 million tons of paper napkin waste from entering the landfill each year.


Litter Free Lunch will be having a Earth Day promotion starting in April — 15% off code will be EARTH40. It will run April 1 – April 30th, 2010.

Litter Free Lunch also has some great Litter Free Lunch tips for us:

  • Replace brown paper bags with a reusable lunch box or bag.
  • Swear off plastic bags and use stainless steel food containers.
  • Switch from disposable paper napkins to reusable cloth napkins.
  • Give up the habit of disposable water bottles and replace it with a reusable stainless steel water bottle.
  • Skip disposable plastic cutlery and pack a reusable spoons or forks.
  • Save money by avoiding individually wrapped or packaged items like yogurt, cheese, cookies or crackers. Buy larger sizes and pack portions in reusable containers. It’s green and saves green!

Check out Litter Free Lunch online at You can also follow them on Twitter.

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by Wendy Gabriel

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The The PumpkinChristopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a different favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at

GREEN TIP: Make your Thanksgiving a little greener this year. Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner or traveling to celebrate the holiday, there are many things you can do to have a greener Thanksgiving.

  • If you’re cooking, try to find ingredients that were grown locally. Do your shopping at farmers markets or your local co-op. To find out where they are, look in your local newspaper or search the Eat Well Guide.
  • For food you buy from the grocery store, choose items with minimal packaging. And be sure to bring your own bags with you.
  • Serving turkey? Choose an organic bird.
  • Provide cloth napkins and reusable dishware and utensils. You won’t be sending napkins, plastic plates and cups to a landfill and you’ll save money.
  • Adjust the thermostat down a couple of degrees. All that cooking and the body heat from your guests will surely compensate. You’ll save energy and that will save you money.
  • Compost all the waste you can.
  • If you’re traveling to enjoy dinner at someone else’s house, carpool with family or friends. And of course if you’re bringing food, follow the tips above and pack your dish in a reusable container.
  • Remember to give thanks.

Source: Smithsonian National Zoological Park

BONUS TIP: If you have any leftover turkey, try this awesome Turkey Pot Pie Recipe from Robin Shreeves at A Little Greener Every Day.

My Green Side’s weekly website pick:

Local Harvest

Use the Local Harvest website to find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.


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by Wendy Gabriel

It’s a surreal experience to be driving down the street and see your husband’s face larger than life smiling down at you. I couldn’t be prouder of him. Not because he’s on a billboard, but because he followed his heart and didn’t let anyone or anything deter him from achieving his dream. 

Opportunity is often difficult to recognize; we usually expect it to beckon us with beepers and billboards. ~William Arthur Ward

The Christopher Gabriel Program


Christopher Gabriel is a multimedia artist who wears the hats of radio 
Christopher Gabrieltalk show host, writer, humorist, voiceover artist and classically trained actor. Christopher is also the host of the cleverly named Christopher Gabriel Program on AM 970 WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota. You can hear him weekdays from 11am to 2pm.

Note: Christopher is also married to me. Our 16th wedding anniversary is July 16th so it seemed fitting to run this interview today.

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

It all comes down to the little things. For example, at work I try to be conscious of how much paper I’m using. Specifically, doing two-sided copying and making sure to throw away all used paper in my recycle box under my desk. We use a lot of paper for show prep and it’s all too easy to just toss it in the garbage when a particular story is finished. Well, it’s just as easy to carry it back down the hall and toss it in the aforementioned recycle box. Even things like water – using my Sigg bottle rather than buying up every plastic bottle of water in sight.

Your website,, is powered by Taproot a green web host. How important is renewable energy to you?

It’s very important. Again, it’s the little things…but all these little things add up to big changes both in the way we live and the quality of life we improve around us. Renewable energy is an investment in our future that will pay off down the road in ways Bernie Madoff couldn’t understand. That is to say, everyone makes out in the short run and everyone makes out over the long haul. No one gets duped and no one ends up bemoaning anything. A company like Taproot – they do things the right way for the area they’re based (Portland, OR) in. By investing, as it were, with them, I’m helping sustain them. They, in turn, are allowed to maintain as a company and subsequently increase their own clean and green footprint thereby lessening another company’s carbon footprint.

You’ve had some amazing guests on The Christopher Gabriel Program from Bob Costas to James Denton and all points in between. One of my favorite environmentalists, Adam Shake, was on earlier this week. What are you hoping your listening audience takes away from a segment like that?

Knowledge, and a more willing attitude to see things from a different point of view. A willingness to consider…merely consider…the possibility that trying to do even just a little bit will go a long way toward making this a healthier planet. One that is better for us in the present, and one that is better for our children in the future. If we don’t strive to find common ground – “we” meaning both skeptics and believers in things like climate change – we’re no better off than a couple of feuding families that carry on being disagreeable with one another out of misguided principle.

As you aspire to live a more sustainable lifestyle, what has been one of your biggest challenges?

Following the 37 pages of green rules and regulations you’ve left more me in every imaginable location of our home. Ok, I’m exaggerating. It’s 32 pages. The biggest challenge for me trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle is weening myself off of plastic. I grew up with plastic…it’s long been my friend, my pal, my comfort. Late night snack? Grab a plastic plate so I don’t have to wash a dish. How about a beverage to go with the snack? That lovely plastic cup is smiling at me saying “Come on baby…I’m cool…nothing wrong with using me to hold a little refreshing iced tea…and you know what…you can just toss me out, I’m good with that…” One man’s plastic is another man’s cocaine. It may seem silly, but getting over my addiction to plastic has to be tantamount to quitting smoking.

By the way, Happy Anniversary.


By Wendy Gabriel

Starting today, Friday’s at My Green Side will be Photo Friday! 

I’m going to feature a photo that makes me smile, gives me a chuckle or just forces me to stop and think.  My hope is that it will do the same for you.  And to that end, I want you to share your own thoughts about it – did you smile, did you chuckle, did it make you stop and think or . . . did you sigh and say “well, there’s always next Friday.”

The inspiration for Photo Friday came from Adam Shake’s Photo Sunday at Twilight Earth and Wordless Wednesdays at Drive Fast Take Chances.  Thank you.

Our Favorite Park

Our Favorite Park


The Greek and the Goddesses at the Park

The Greek and the Goddesses at the Park

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