Posts tagged kitchen

The Wonders of Olive Oil

You know you’ve heard good things about Olive Oil. You’ve heard that it is an unsaturated fat that does not lift bad cholesterol levels and is good for your heart. You’ve heard the mediterranean diets cause less weight gain than western diets and that they attribute this to the use of virgin Olive Oil. Actually, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, also known as EVOO, is the very best oil to use.

But they are always researching these things and finding exciting new benefits from many of the good things in our diet. And they have recently found one more excellent benefit to be derived from Olive Oil. It is good for your tummy.

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The Dirt on Dish Detergent

Most people don’t think much about dish washing detergents. What matters is if the dishes get clean and then what else could it matter? But there are many things you should be considering about using this stuff and when you realize how greatly it affects you, I think you will start thinking about it when you shop

As a person who was allergic to detergents at a very young age, I have since been forced to find solutions. My mother, who was a nurse and noticed the reaction first, did not cease having me wash dishes or clean house, she simply bought me gloves. But this problem extended well beyond the kitchen and reared it’s ugly head everywhere, from the shower to the laundry room. I was always itching, always red, always stuffed up and sick. There just weren’t any solutions to my problem back in the day

But what does this have to do with me, you say? Well, you don’t have to be allergic to something to have it affect you and, in fact, I have since come to discover that my reactions were not always allergic, but actually SENSITIVE, and this to chemicals and toxins in the products I was forced to use. In my search for solutions to all of these seemingly unsolvable problems, I came across a plethora of facts and solutions that I would like to share with you.

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How to Detox your Kitchen

I have written posts in the past on how to green the kitchen but not everybody is ready to take every step in that direction. So even if you’re not going to go all the way green, you should at least consider detoxing. That means getting the dangerous stuff out of your kitchen and making it safe as well as clean and accessible.

Many of the products that are used in the kitchen, from cooking to cleaning, can affect your central nervous system and cause symptoms that make you think you’re going mad. When you get on edge or feel irritable, it’s not always menopause or that you lack sleep. Sometimes it’s the toxic chemicals you are spraying all over the place in pursuit of bacteria. Consider lightening the chemical load through a simple detox. Here are the steps:

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More Ways to Green the Kitchen

The prime object of greening the kitchen is a plan to reduce waste. This will make a significant contribution to saving this planet and reducing the carbon footprint of our industrial society. However, going green does take a commitment, it isn’t something that can be done will watching TV or taking a bath, although you can make those activities greener, too. But going green may take some research and planning. At the very least, it will take thought. And your thinking should be about changing up the kitchen first because it is the most waste producing room in your home.

The best way get started is to just do it slowly, making changes when they’re painless and making easy, budget friendly choices. The whole idea centers around sustainability which means you should only make changes you can sustain over a long period. If it’s too expensive or difficult to repeat, then don’t even go there. If you want to get started today, I have some easy, simple steps you can take to get the ball rolling.

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Make Your Own Compost

Making your own compost helps get rid of household waste that might otherwise end up in the landfill, uses garden debris as a supercharged fertilizer for your garden plants and saves you a lot of money, too. It’s a no brainer when it comes to being eco friendly and penny wise. Everything from fallen leaves, grass cuttings, plant prunings to spoiled vegetables, canned fruit and bread can make fertilizer and mulch. I want to give you a guide you can both read for education and use on a daily basis as a sort of “how to”.

Generations of gardeners have consistently come up with the same idea: a fertile soil is the key to growing garden vegetables and compost is the key to a fertile soil. The first step in the four-season harvest is learning to make good compost. It’s not difficult. Compost wants to happen. It doesn’t take a lot of effort or creativity on your part to make this wonderful mush that your plants are eager to devour. Just think of how great your garden will be next year! Nature makes plants and when they die, they are feed for more new plants. It’s as simple as that.

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Your Green To Do List

I have been thinking about all the little ways that we can go green in our day to day lives without any pain at all. I have mentioned some of them before on the blog under titles like water conservation and recycling. But I think it might be nice to put them all together in a little “to do” list so that they can be looked at and practiced. So I sat down and went through all the ideas I have seen and the ones I came up with myself and compiled a green to do list that people can use every day.

I promise you that these are valid ideas that do not require a lot of work or sacrifice. In fact, most of them are simple and easy and save you money as well. They are ideas we should all have had already and much of what you do is stuff you should do anyways. Take a look. I think you’ll like the list and find it easy to follow. If you do these simple things, you are a big step towards making a difference and leaving a much small carbon footprint as you go.

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Herb Up Vinegar and Oil

I know this was like a little craze a few years back, to make or go out and buy herbal vinegars and oils. Then there was a case of poisoning because of rancid garlic in oil and this craze just fizzled out. But the products that came out of the momentary fad were really fantastic and there is no reason to avoid these great items. You can make it yourself and do it carefully so that no one will get sick. And some the recipes make such good vinegars and oils that once you eat them you won’t want the grocery store stuff again.

So just for the fun of it I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes and see how you like them. They are really easy to make, they only need a few common ingredients and they are worth the wait as they age. My personal favorite is Raspberry Vinegar. It is so good that I’ve drank it down by itself, like it were a sauce or a fruity wine. Seriously. So get out the pots and pans.. and bottles! It’s time to make some very cool and very delicious homemade vinegars and oils.

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Recycling Glass Is A Must

I read an interesting article by Glen the Green Guy. It is informative and, in my opinion, shocking. I had no idea so few people were recycling glass! Shame! I hope you’re not one of the slackers. Hey, it’s easy. And it’s such a great thing to do.

According to Glen the Green Guy, only 25% of the glass we use is recycled. The other 75% is ending up in the landfill! Why on earth is this happening? You can just toss your glass into a milk crate and put it out with the garbage. Heck, if you don’t want to buy the crate, just put the glass out in any cardboard box or paper bag and next week they will leave you a free crate! I mean, really, guys.

Every single piece of glass is recyclable. No matter what shape, size or color. And can you imagine our world without glass? It’s one of the most useful products around. It’s totally green to begin with! It’s made of all natural ingredients, such as sand, soda ash and limestone, and can be recycled eternally. I mean, you can recycle glass that is made into glass that is also recycled and made into more glass. It never loses it’s purity. It’s absolutely perfect.

It’s also extremely easy to recycle. Like I said, just put it out with the trash, separated from the trash, of course, and watch it go bye bye. And not only is glass used only in making bottles and containers but is also used to make fiberglass, matches, ammunition, watches, eye and sun glasses, TV and monitor screens and many other useful, indispensable items. They even make reflecting paint that they use on our highways by adding glass to the compounds.

And here are the motivating facts: one ton of recycled glass saves ONE TON of raw materials. And it takes less energy, as much as 40%, to use recycled glass instead of making new. Because of this, a large part, often as much as 70%, of EVERY glass container made is made from recycled glass. So, the need is there. The ability to use this stuff is in full on mode. All you have to do is do your part.

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Eating and Using Garden Weeds

I have written posts on eating and using weeds before but I thought maybe a list would be a good way to make it all clear and easy to follow. I was going through an old gardening book of mine, one that was a bible for me in my early days of learning. In the back there was a section of several pages listing common weeds in the yard and how to eradicate them. Many of the weeds pictured I now know to be useful in many ways and some are even edible. I recall when I first got the book, over 15 years ago, I went over that list like written law and spent weekends chasing and killing these weeds. I remember the names of all of the weed killing preparations I spent hours in WalMart investigating and buying. I thought of a weekend afternoon pulling weeds as a part of a workout. I lived in a nice waterfront house in those days and the yard was perfect: manicured, weed free and green.

But I also recall that about 10 years ago, when I first started investigating herbs, I was doing my usual routine in the yard and pulling up weeds. I lived in a small apartment at that time and had a yard that looked like a rubble patch dotted with what I recognized as weeds. During my weed pulling exercise I suddenly realized that I had a handful of Shepherds Purse in one hand and a pile of Chickweed next to me. In my new learnings about herbs I knew right away that these were useful herbs and not really weeds after all. I had just learned how to make Dandelion tea for a diuretic and had had my first salad with Purslane. So I stopped cold in my tracks and haven’t gone to my mindless weed killing routine since. Oh, I know that some of those nasty little plants are indeed weeds and these should be killed and tossed. And not into the compost, please! The useless ones include Goosegrass, Crabgrass and most grasses you don’t intend to grow as your lawn; Sedge; Reed; Clover; Buttercups; Carpetweeds; and a ton of others that you know are a problem. However, look my list over carefully and make sure that you don’t destroy the good guys in the process and then check out the post that follows each plant to find out what to do with them when you get lucky enough to find them.

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Suggestions For A Greener Diet

In our efforts to become more earth conscious and natural, the most gratifying has to be making changes in the way we eat. Not only does it help the planet, lower our carbon footprint, take some of the heat off of animals but it also helps local markets, adds variety to our lifestyle, is fantastic for our overall health and takes some pressure off the wallet. I’m not kidding when I say it has measurable positive effect on us all the way around.

Now, this is an age old diet and approach to eating that has worked for previous generations. You’ve probably heard a lot of it from doctors in the past, without realizing that it is not only good for you but for the planet, too. And since it is age old and was developed in slower times when society was smaller and less complicated, I have made some adjustments to fit modern day lifestyles. My suggestions are simple and easy to follow. Why not start today?

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