Friday, December 26, 2014

Re-use Old Pickle Juice, Make Refrigerator Pickles With Kale or Chard Ribs & Stems

refrigerator re-use pickles made from kale stems & ribs
I love pickles and usually save old pickle juice to use in homemade salad dressings, marinades, or sauces, but I recently took minimizing food waste to the next level when I decided not to compost the ribs and stems of the kale leaves I'd just made a salad with and instead snapped them in half quickly and submerged them in the juice of two different leftover pickle juices I'd combined (one of them from beet pickles). I can't believe how satisfying and easy it was to economize, conserve and create in the kitchen! It took not more than two minutes to complete the operation. I will wait two weeks before opening and eating.

I also use kale and swiss chard ribs and stems as a crunchy vegetable akin to celery and bokchoy in cooked dishes, and I freeze it, too, to use later in fruit smoothies, but I still become overwhelmed with how much we accumulate over time, and find myself periodically dumping some of the frozen stems in our backyard compost pile to make room in the freezer, so I'm pleased to add one more way to use this healthy vegetable.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Swedish Door Harp, Door Chimes, Feng Shui for Home Entryway Front Doors to be inspired by the Chinese feng shui tradition of hanging bells on doors and windows to act as simple, common sense safety alerts, wooden door harps are of Scandinavian origin going back about 700 years.

Tunable if you've got that knack, they usually have 3 or 5 strings. Mounted on the inside of your front door, the instrument serves dually as art sculpture while gently chiming as you or guests enter and leave. The soothing song adds an inexplicable feeling of warmth and assurance to homes.  And they make unique home warming and wedding gifts.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Eco-friendly Pet Care for Dogs and Cats ~ Green Lifestyle Tips

Many of you will scoff at these ideas, but for those interested there are simple changes we can make to lighten our pet's carbon footprints on the earth. Here, are just a few ideas. We'll likely explore this topic again in the future.
  • Leave it to the birds - After brushing your pet, instead of pitching the collected fur in the trash, which ends up in the ocean, a landfill, or is incinerated (creating toxic pollution), simply leave it outside in your yard or a park. Birds will find it and incorporate it into nests, or it will blow away and eventually be recycled by nature. 
  • Get Crafty - Instead of buying pet toys, which are often made of synthetic materials, re-use and up-cycle packaging and other items in your home instead of pitching them. Think about using yarn and fabric scraps, cardboard boxes, plastic containers. A few scissor snips and knot-tying and voila, you have a fun cat toy!
  • Natural Pest Control - Fleas and ticks are real concerns for the pet owner, so finding alternatives to the highly toxic formulas most of us have grown accustomed to using on our animals is a big step toward making healthier pets and planet. Consider using essential oils, homeopathy and anti-pest formulas with less-toxic ingredients. And according to holistic veterinarians, making sure your pet's diet is wholesome and nutrient-rich is the best defense against these pests.
  • Healthy Food, Healthy Pet, Healthy Planet - Though preparing high quality food for your pets may seem up front more expensive and time-consuming than scooping up kibble for them, over time it results in a good investment for your pocket since having a healthy pet with a strong immune system will save you on vet bills. Commercial pet foods, even the best, whether wet, moist or dry, are highly processed, nutrient-sparse. Moreover, preparing their food turns out to be comparably-priced to the natural, high-end commercial prepared pet foods. And it benefits the planet in various ways. The environmental cost of packaging, shipping, storing, and distributing pet food has to be tallied, along with the convenience of using them. Commercial pet foods bear little to no resemblance to the diets that dogs or cats would naturally choose for themselves in the wild, so it goes without saying that they can't be good to be for them, and therefore not good to introduce them into our environment (what goes in, must go out!). Whatever you do, try to favor pet foods made from chicken and rabbit meat and avoid those containing red meat and fish which, by comparison, have a much higher environmental impact.
  • Unplug - If you're able, avoid using electric-powered watering and feeding dishes, and self-cleaning litter boxes. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

How To Make Natural Linen Spray, Room Freshener, Face Toner With Essential Oils & Witch Hazel ~ Eco- Green DIY

I  was dazzled recently by a natural linen and room spray my mom and I bought at her local farmers market.

Misting them on all her linens, fabric blinds and upholstered furniture I effortlessly turned her abode into an aromatic, mood-balanced confection of lavender, rosemary, sandalwood, and tangerine.

Imagine my glee when I finally read the labels and learned the aromatherapy sprays do double duty as hydrating face mists.

Intrigued by their short, sweet ingredient lists, I was inspired to research how to make the sprays on my own. And now you can, too, if you've the time and are so inclined! They make great gifts for housewarmings, bridesmaid parties, and other occasions.

Add all ingredients to glass spray bottle, shake well. VOILA!!! 

Oil Combinations to Try:

It really is anything goes as far as combinations of scents, so have fun, but DO make sure you purchase REAL essential oils and NOT perfume oils. 
  • rosemary and lavender
  • tangerine and sandalwood
  • lemon and vetiver
  • pine and orange
  • vanilla and lime
  • rosewood and patchouli
  • rose absolute and benzoin

*photo credits: sandalwood by flickr member sunphlo, witch hazel by flickr member zimpenfish
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