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Activist and filmmaker Katherine Lo envisioned inclusive gathering places for creatives to collaborate and inspire a better future for planet Earth. Her new hotel brand, Eaton Workshop—part lodging and wellness center, part coworking space and media development company—opened its first locations in Washington, DC, and Hong Kong (Seattle and San Fran are up next). Here, Eaton Workshop’s experts in DC share tips for fostering sustainability, insight, and social justice at home.
Eaton workshop’s sustainability-focused chef Tim Ma loves making tangy, gut-healthy fermented foods, such as kimchi, and incorporating them into his menus. His brined veggies (those submerged in salt water) have a shelf life of up to six months, which can equate to less food waste. We love the floral undertones of the peppercorns and the zesty cabbage in Ma’s simple brining recipe: Fill 2 quart-sized glass jars with 1 head napa cabbage cut into 1-inch cubes, 2 sliced garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns. Then, dissolve 4 tbsp salt in 4 cups water, and pour over the cabbage. Leave at room temperature for 2–7 days. (The flavor becomes more pronounced the longer it sits.) Refrigerate 24 hours, and serve as a side dish.
Harness Moon Energy
During each full moon, Eaton partners with art consulting firm Latela Curatorial to host gatherings that include yoga, dance, Reiki, journaling, and reflective listening. “It’s a great opportunity provided by Mother Nature to either tune in personally or gather in community once a month,” says Latela Curatorial founder Marta Staudinger. She invites participants to check in and identify where they’ve been holding back, how they’ve been showing up, and if negative thoughts have taken hold anywhere. The next full moon, try this writing prompt to help you let go of things that aren’t serving you: When/where/how do you feel shame throughout the day? Noticing and listing specific things that trigger this kind of response can help you reconnect to a truer compass based on self-love. “Usually when we allow ourselves enough space and time to write freely, the truth begins to come out,” Staudinger says. “After writing, you can throw away the pages or even burn them, especially if it’s about something want to leave behind.”
The minibar in each room of Eaton DC contains an “activist toolkit” with posterboard, letter stencils, and a megaphone. To create more engagement on your home turf, try enlisting your local libraries and yoga studios to host community gatherings aimed at taking on timely concerns. Sheldon Scott, director of culture, recommends bringing in speakers who are directly affected by the issues you want to address and ending each discussion with an action item. “Saving the environment, eradicating lead in infrastructure and soil, or committing to social justice are big ideas. Start with something accessible to do today,” he says. For example, at Eaton events, attendees have been asked to forgo plastic straws, been tasked with making phone calls to congress, or made aware of emerging volunteer opportunities.
See also 6 Ways Yoga Can Help the Planet