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Thursday, April 22, 2010

eGreen Tips: 20 Things to Do Even After Earth Day

Here are some tips we posted on Twitter this morning and more will be added as the day continues:
  1. Just say NO to meat today! (cattle industry being one of our biggest polluters).
  2. Use your own reusable container for water or coffee today (maybe make this a habit).
  3. Do some spring cleaning and donate your old items to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.
  4. Get those recycle bins out and fill them with all the items from your trash you can possibly recycle (look up your local recycling rules for more info).
  5. Watch a documentary that is educating you and your family on the environmental issues.
  6. Go to a local Earth Day event, many cities have them even this weekend.
  7. Say lights out today and pull out the candles
  8. Plant trees and or a garden
  9. Go shopping at a reuse store to get what you need for summer
  10. Read you local government policies on recycling and see how you can improve them
  11. See how much you can reduce your garbage find ways to reuse and recycle
  12. Go to the Farmers Market for your groceries
  13. Save a flush on that toilet.
  14. Don't let the water run wastefully.
  15. Turn off the AC and wear lighter clothes.
  16. Hang your laundry to dry.
  17. Walk or bike instead of drive.
  18. Try some eco-friendly products like Seventh Generation for your cleaning and laundry.
  19. Change your paper napkins to cloth ones (found 25 pack ones at Sam's Club)
  20. Don't use the paper towel grab a towel or rag instead
Don't forget to submit those ways you are celebrating Earth Day to win an amazon gift certificate!

Thank you for loving God's creation!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day Giveaway ...

We are giving away a $20 Gift Certificate in honor of Earth Day. Here are the rules to qualify:
  • All entries must be submitted by Friday April 23rd, 2010 at 10pm EST.
  • Retweet or Tweet the following: @Experiencegreen Earth Day Giveaway - win a $20 GC, #change #green #earthday
  • You must be a follower on the experiencegreen twitter page.
  • You will get an additional entry if you are a fan on our Facebook page too.
  • Post below an idea to celebrate earth day (or you can post on our Facebook page.)
  • We will pick only one winner on Friday, it will be announced on Twitter, Facebook, and our blog.
Thank you for your entries ... Reduce Reuse Recycle ... make it a habit one step at a time!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

eGreen Kids: Making Recycled Paper with Your Kids

Don't throw away your old newspapers. Try making your own recycled paper!
Recycled paper can be made from old newspaper, following the instructions below. Recycling paper uses cellulose (plant fibers) over and over again, it uses less electricity, less water, a lot less pollution, and it saves trees from being cut down!
You will need:
  • a food processor or an old blender
  • an electric iron
  • an old wire hanger
  • an old pair of panty hose
  • newspaper or other paper, torn into 2-inch squares
  • white glue
  • water
  • an insect screen or strainer (optional)
  • food coloring (optional)
  • a big sink or tub filled with 4 inches of water
  • Make sure you have a place to work where you can make a big mess!
Step One:
Make a frame out of the coat hanger. You'll need a frame for each piece of paper you make. Stretch the hanger and bend it into a rectangle/square shape. Take one leg of the panty hose and stretch it carefully over the hanger frame. Make sure it is tight and flat.

Step Two:
Put a handful of the torn up paper and some water into the food processor or blender. Blend the mixture on high until it becomes mushy. Keep adding paper and water until you have a big gray blob. You may have to add a little more water to keep things moving smoothly. Keep the food processor on until all the paper has disappeared. Then leave it on for 2 minutes.

For some color, add a handful of brown or red onion skin (not the onion itself, just the papery outer skin).

Step Three:
Put 2 tablespoons of white glue in the sink water and add all of the paper pulp you just made. Mix it really well. Use your hands.

Step Four:
Scoop the frame to the bottom of the sink, then lift it slowly. (Count to 20 slowly while you are lifting.) Let the water drain out for about a minute.

Step Five:
Hang the frames on a clothesline or put them out in the sun. Wait until they are completely dry with no dampness at all. You can then gently peel off the paper.

Step Six:
Use the iron, set on the hottest setting, to steam out your paper. You can keep making paper until the pulp is all strained out of the sink. Mix up the sink every time you make a new piece.

Try other things like using in insect screen over a wood frame, or a strainer instead of the pantyhose and hanger. Try adding lots of food coloring, for colored paper, or try adding lint or leaves to the food processor. Your paper will have an interesting texture.

Making your own paper can be fun, and it's a great way to re-use old paper. You can recycle all kinds of paper for re-use. Sometimes paper printed from color-inkjet printers will run, that is, the color will bleed off and become part of your new paper, but that can make for an interesting effect!

Monday, April 12, 2010

eG Recipe: Sweet Meatless Spinach Noodles (vegan)

8 Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs or any vegan meat substitute
1/2 pkg of Fettuccine Noodles
Big handful of Fresh Spinach
1/2 yellow onion
1/4 cup of dark soy sauce
1 tbs of maple syrup or honey
2 apples (peeled and cored, cut into chunks)
1 tbs of olive oil

While cooking your noodles, get your large sauce pan. At medium heat, heat up the olive oil, then add in the meatballs, onions, and the honey; drizzled it over the meatballs and onions. Continue to stir those around while your noodles are cooking about 10 minutes. Crush your meatballs in half with your spatula. Drain your pasta add it to the saucepan, in addition add the apples and the dark soy sauce. Stir and toss around for another 5 minutes. Time for the spinach, add that as your last ingredient, stir it around so it cooks down a little bit and mixes nicely with the rest of the dish. Serve immediately.

Time: 20-25 mins with prep
Serves: 2 (full meal) or 4 (side dish)

© Copyright 2010 All recipes on this site are creations by Cheale of Experience Green.

Meatless Monday Giveaway ...

Did you have a Meatless Monday? Tell me how it went for you, if you struggled or did it full on; existing vegetarians can enter too. Submit a comment on this page of how meatless monday went for you or if you picked a different day this week to go meatless, just tell us about it. Make sure to tell us your twitter and/or facebook name in your comment. We post the winner Friday April 16th, 2010 at 11pm EST. Rules below to win a $20 iTunes Gift Card:
  • All entries must be submitted by Friday April 16th, 2010 at 10pm EST.
  • Retweet or Tweet the following: Go Meatless for a Day: @Experiencegreen is having a Meatless Monday Giveaway - win a $20 iTunes GC, #vegan #green
  • You must be a follower on the experiencegreen twitter page.
  • You will get an additional entry if you are a fan on our facebook page too.
  • We will pick only one winner on Friday, it will be announced on Twitter, Facebook, and our blog.
Depending on how this goes more meatless monday giveaways will be coming so start planning future weeks to go veg!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Must See Movie - Food Inc ...

Food, Inc. Movie Site - Hungry For Change?

I saw this amazing and informative documentary four times now. Please tell me your thoughts on the movie ...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Move over paper towels we have dishcloths to save our planet ...

I raise my hand and say "I, Cheale, am a paper towel addict", but I had to look at my vice closely and find ways to reduce the amount I use. Continually using paper towels and those "oh so" convenient disposable cloths, that have been filling our markets for the last several years, are obviously not eco-friendly. You can switch to eco-friendly paper towels (I do keep them around for occasional use), but that will still fill our landfills. We have lovely dishcloths to replace that are very eco-friendly or you can also go with rags or sponges, but how do we insure that our dishcloths or sponges stay sanitary for our health.

To properly disinfect your dishcloths or sponges, you should toss them in your washing machine with bleach and hot water. You can dry them in your clothes dryer. However, if you want to sanitize your dishcloths even more, hang them in strong sunshine. You can do the same with your shaggy mop.

But of course you don't want to have to throw them in the washing machine with every use, that isn't being very green either. The best way to kill 99.9% of the bacteria that's present on the dish cloths is to disinfect them in your microwave oven. To do this, according to a 2007 study from the Journal of Environmental Health, dampen the cleaning tools. Then, place it in your microwave oven on "High" power for 2 minutes.

Do you have any other methods to sanitize your dishcloths or sponges?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

eGreen Tips: Getting off the Bottle

Speaking from a connoisseur of bottled water and turning up my nose at even the thought of drinking from the tap I have to say this was a very challenging change for me. Water bottles fill our landfills and our recycling centers. Recycling plastic releases harmful toxins. So skip the section of the water in the grocery aisle and try one of these alternatives and take the water from the tap:
  • Buy reusable bottles from the store
  • Save a glass bottle from going to the landfills (I saved a few glass bottles that I just reuse with tap water)
If you don't like the taste from the taste of your tap water invest in a water filtration system. Read about the different options out there for home water filtration systems. I personally add a lil cranberry juice to my water to offset the flavor of the tap water. What do you do to get off the bottle?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

eG Recipe: Spring Fiesta Mix Salad (raw, vegan)

2 Apples with skins, cubed (pictured is golden delicious apples)
1-1/2 cups of Papaya, cubed
1/4 cup of Raw Sesame Seeds
1 stalk of celery, diced

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Optional addition would be drizzling some raw honey or maple syrup before mixing. Serves 4.

This recipe was made entirely with organic items with exception of the papaya, which is very difficult to find organic.

© Copyright 2010 All recipes on this site are creations by Cheale of Experience Green.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Scratch the Surface: Whole vs. Processed Foods

Whole food eating is not just a health issue, its a green one. We need to get back to basics again with our food. First off the most obvious reason to eat whole foods is our health. We need to cut way back on the processed foods we take in. This is another case of convenience foods being the determent of our health and environment. Processed foods are created through manufacturing methods to transform ingredients into convenient little packages which we can cook up quickly and consume. Most are filled with artificial flavors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, fillers and artificial sweeteners. In the end of all this processing we end up with a product that yes can taste good, but not so good for us; nutritional value has been processed out to a very low level, but they have a long shelf life. On the flipside whole foods are grown in orchards, gardens, or greenhouses. They are unprocessed, unrefined and have a shorter shelf life. These foods are richly flavorful from nature, straight from the earth like God meant them to be for us.

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. Genesis 1:11-13

God sure didnt grow a box of au gratin potatoes from the earth, did he. Whole foods are filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. They do require longer preparation times, for us to do the unthinkable ... cook from scratch? Isn't that what we used to consider home cooking? Loving from the oven? I have to say I am one person that even before this journey I love cooking from scratch. Food tastes better, richer, honestly I feel the time is worth spent because its a way for me to show my love for my family. Now I am even cooking more than before for the health of my family. We have almost eliminated fast food, eating out less, buying as much organic as possible and happily I am cooking more since this journey started (I will get into more details on these changes in future posts). It is truly amazing how these green methods truly reduce our waistlines.

The other reason to cut back on processed foods is waste. Look at any box of processed food, you have the box, then you have plastic wrap inside, some even have a tray insert, all of that is building up in our land fills. Packaging materials make up more than 30% of all consumer waste, according to the EPA.

Ways to Cut the Waste

  • Cut back on processed foods, especially those with overdone packaging
  • Be a connoisseur of packaging, watch close and be aware of all the packaging things you buy have
  • Always find ways to reuse or recycle if possible
  • Reuse your bags for fruits and vegetables or buy eco-friendly ones to reuse
  • When buying packaged items, buy the glass or tin ones so you can easily reuse
  • Buy bulk, reuse the bags when possible or buy eco-friendly ones to reuse
  • Take eco-friendly shopping bags to carry all of your purchases

Remember, we vote at the register!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

eGreen Tips

What do I do with all of these books? I am a huge book lover, but like many people I have many books I am done with and can't store, here are eco-friendly ways to eliminate those extra books:

  • Library
  • Goodwill
  • Used Bookstores (get extra cash for books that are in demand)
  • BookCrossing is earth-friendly, and gives you a way to share your books, clear your shelves, and conserve precious resources at the same time. Through our own unique method of recycling reads, BookCrossers give life to books. A book registered on BookCrossing is ready for adventure.
  • Garage Sale
  • Ask friends if they have any interest in books you have