Walk More, Drive Less

June 21, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Green Living, simplicity :: Comments Off

LOOK Both Ways
Creative Commons License photo credit: >>>WonderMike<<<

Or hold house was in the perfect location. Three blocks from the park and library, a couple more blocks to the shops downtown, and if I felt snackish a little further to a Subway. Only if the weather was bad, or we were going to the grocery store, did we need the car.

Here, we are not as lucky. Though the park is semi-close, it is still too far for the kids to make it. There is a Walmart almost walking distance, but A) again, the kids can’t make it, and B) it’s Walmart. All around us are fields and cows and wide open spaces. Cut through by a couple well-traveled mini-highways. Great for scenery, not so great when we need to go somewhere. Read more…

Tips For Buying Organic Food on a Budget

June 07, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food, Green Living, Shopping :: (1) Comment

Rows of Veggies

As the cost of food continues to rise, many people find themselves needing to choose more carefully what they will buy. Buying organic foods is often the choice that we want to make, yet the higher costs make it seem impossible. However, with a willingness to make a few simple changes anyone on a tight budget can enjoy organic foods in their kitchen.

If you want to find organic foods at lower costs, the first step is to stop shopping at your local grocery stores. Many of the foods found grocery stores, even in the organic sections, have been imported from around the world. This is how they can offer fruits and vegetables out of season all year long. The cost of shipping and transporting adds to the cost that customers must pay. Instead, look for local producers who will more likely have a lower price. Read more…

When Green Things Appear Right Before Yor Eyes

May 28, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Garden, Green Living :: Comments Off

green onion bulbs

Sometimes you just know something can be reused, even if you don’t just how yet.

We like green onions around here. They go in soups, in rice, in casseroles, and pretty much anything I think to toss a handful in. But silly me, I’ve always tossed the bulbs into the compost and bought a new bunch. Then yesterday, I stood holding the bulbs in my hand and had a thought. What is cutting them up isn’t killing them? Read more…

I’m Back! And Greener Gardening

May 20, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Garden, Green Living :: (2) Comments

container gardening

Wow, has it been a long, strange several months! Things happened, like moving again. This time across the state, and into a much smaller townhouse. My big backyard has been replaced by a tiny patch of dirt that doesn’t seem fit to grow anything.

So as I waved my garden goodbye, I made plans to grow a new one. A greener, smaller one. OK, so I won’t be feeding my entire family on everything I’m growing (sorry Backyard Homestead), but I can at least make a mean salsa from the tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. Read more…

Are Cloth Diapers More Environmentally Friendly?

February 08, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Green Living, Parenting :: (5) Comments

Ring of Cloth Diapers
Creative Commons License photo credit: tiffanywashko

Cloth diapers have been the only choice mothers have had for centuries. With the arrival of the disposable diaper in 1940, parenting was turned on its head. Parents were freed from the constant need to wash and dry diapers ever day, instead they could simply toss out a used diaper and put on a fresh cleaning one. However, many parents are now returning to cloth diapers for environmental and health issues. Are cloth diapers really better than the disposable ones?

The average child will go through almost 6,000 diapers in their lifetime. That is a lot of dirty diapers, all of which will eventually find their way into a landfill. These diapers can take up to 500 years to fully decompose, slowly leaking chemicals into the ground as they do so. Cloth diapers, however, are washed and reused several times before being retired. Less trash and fewer chemicals making their way into the world is always a good thing. Read more…

Gnats In the Compost

January 25, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Green Living :: (3) Comments

beijing wom compost bin prep week 1
Creative Commons License photo credit: kafka4prez

I have a small, ceramic, kitchen scrap bin that I use for collecting compost material. Normally I dump it out every evening and wash it out. This system has worked great, up until now. Suddenly there are gnats flying all over the kitchen.

Since the Mr. isn’t the compost and gardening type, he’s suggesting that i ditch the whole thing. He was willing to put up with it until now, but bugs in the house crosses a line for him. For me too, but I’m certain there is a way to keep kitchen compost scraps without gnats or other bugs. There has to be a way, because no one else is talking about the little flying things in their houses. Read more…

Weekly Menu 1-17

January 17, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Green Living :: (1) Comment

Creative Commons License photo credit: Fergus Randall

I missed posting my menu last Sunday, but that’s not something I plan to do this week. I’m looking forward to trying some new recipes this week, stepping out of my comfort zone to try some hopefully exciting flavors.

Vegetables are hard to come by cheap right now. I keep hoping to find a good greenhouse near me that is selling, but so far no luck. Instead I’m skipping some of my favorite outside treats to afford a few extra vegetables. I also skipped the fresh fruit for bags of frozen. Not as delicious, but much cheaper. Here’s what I’m making for dinner this week: Read more…

10 Green Things

January 11, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Green Living :: (1) Comment

Creative Commons License photo credit: Samuel Mann

What if everyone vowed to do just ten green things this year. Big or small, simple or hard, once or repeated. Just made a list of ten things and began checking them off. Even if it took all year, even if the list didn’t get finished, there would still be a lot of good done.

I keep thinking about the things that I’m doing, and the things that I want to do. I’ve given up store bought shampoo for the no-poo method, but I still buy soap from the store. What if I switched to buying handmade soap from someone locally? What if I learned to make it myself? I’m making my own bread, but there are still a lot of boxes of food in my shelves that I could be making at home. Sure I recycle, but what if I didn’t buy the stuff to begin with? It feels as if there’s always something more to do. And honestly, it’s that feeling that sometimes stops me in my tracks. Read more…

Creating Simple Living Goals

December 15, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Green Living, simplicity :: Comments Off

Creative Commons License photo credit: lululemon athletica

If I had a basic family goal, it would simply be to live greener. But what exactly does that mean? Breaking it down into chunks I want to live more naturally, to live simpler, to live more sustainable. Can I break those goals down even more? Sure. I want to garden, to have more homemade than store bought, to want less, to smile more, to be happier with what I have.

I could keep going, breaking it down smaller and smaller, crafting out a real agenda for what I want from this life. But I haven’t. Because for some reason, in my head just saying “greener” was good enough. It isn’t.

If you want to get something out of life you have to know what it is that you want, you have to set goals. Small goals and big goals, goals for today, goals for next year, goals for fifty years from now. I need to focus on my goals. Read more…

Trash Or Food?

December 02, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food, Green Living :: Comments Off

Creative Commons License photo credit: sciondriver

Imagine this scenario:

You are at the grocery store picking up something for dinner. Suddenly a store clerk comes along, empties the shelves of their food, and tosses the packages into the trash. Then proceeds to refill the shelves with new boxes and cans. You look over to see a huge garbage can filled with boxes, bags, and wrapped packages of food, food that is now going to rot in a dump somewhere.

What would you do? Read more…

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