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What to do with those pumpkins after Halloween?

We hope everyone is having a nice Halloween!  

You probably have some pumpkins sitting on your porch and you might be wondering to do with them now.  Don't just throw 'em out!

Here are some tips.... read more

5 ways to cook with pumpkins

Jack-o-LanternsJack-o-LanternsWho here is planning to carve some jack-o-lanterns this week?  Who here is also tired of using the pumpkin meat to cook the same old pumpkin bread and same old pumpkin pie?

We all know the importance of not wasting the inside of the pumpkin, so here are 5 different things to try out:

1.  Pumpkin Ice Cream.  Try this recipe from Williams-Sonoma.   You will not regret it.  It is delectable on its own or is also tasty on top of a slice of homemade bread pudding.  ... read more

Green Tomato Ideas

Tomato gardening season is nearing an end for us, as the threat of the first frost is appearing in the ten-day forecast.  This means it's time for us to pick all of our tomatoes before the frost ruins them.  

What are some fun things to do with green tomatoes?  

Let them ripen inside.  Sitting them on the window sill to ripen works well.  You can also put them in paper bags to let them ripen...but we've also forgotten about them this way, and wound up with a bag of nasty, rotten tomatoes that had to be composted.

Make salsa.  This green tomato salsa verde will use up a lot of green tomatoes.  You could can it, too!  

Make chutney.  We made this amazing green tomato chutney last night (pictured right) and dipped Trader Joe's garlic naan in it.  Fantastic!  ... read more

Change starts in the classroom: benefits of composting programs in schools

Food waste is a chronic issue; nearly one-third of our landfills are piled up with scraps of leftover grub from home kitchens and larger producers like restaurants. While not all of this refuse is actually recyclable, diverting the portions that can be transformed into nutrient-rich fertilizer for gardens and lawns, makes a significant difference. And there’s no better time to get the ball rolling than during the early years of a child’s schooling.

 

When it comes to saving the planet, today’s younger generation is most definitely our future. Schools are the perfect forum for teaching young people the importance of composting organic waste  Lessons on composting allow them to see how  their lunch scraps can have on the landscape. Let’s walk through the ways composting programs can enhance school education, especially in elementary grades.

 

Schools should utilize resources to get students engaged, such as Team Compost.... read more

10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

plastic bottlePlastic is a HUGE problem for the environment.  Yes, some of it is recycled, but they’re technically downcycled. Instead of a milk jug being recycled into another milk jug, it gets turned into lower quality plastic which is not recyclable.  Not all plastic is readily recycled, and it ends up just sitting up in a landfill.  And another enviornmental problem with plastic is that it’s made from oil.  

We can reduce our plastic usage easily.  You may not realize how much plastic you use on a daily basis, but here are 10 tips to reduce how much plastic you use:... read more

Eco-Friendly Barbecuing!

One of my favorite summertime activities:  BARBECUES!  Who doesn't love sitting in the backyard with their friends and family, sipping some cold lemonade, and chowing down on corn on the cob grilled just so?  

It's actually really easy to throw a green barbecue!  If you want to make your barbecue a little more eco-friendly, here are some tips:... read more

Green Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is just a few weeks away!  I wanted to give some green gift ideas to our readers from a fellow eco-minded mom.  (Me!)  I would also love to hear your suggestions!

For the coffee-drinking mom:

Buy a membership to a coffee CSA through CoffeeCSA.org.   Coffee CSA is 100% owned and controlled by the farmers that they feature! Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to get involved with the farms.  You can even pay to plant a tree on a small coffee farm as an extra gift!  The coffee is organic, fair trade certified, and all proceeds go directly to the farmer! The best part?  The coffee will arrive at mom's doorstep via UPS.

For the soda-drinking mom:

Help her green her soda drinking habits with a SodaStream!  You can pick up the machine and the syrups at Bed Bath and Beyond.... read more

Pepper Guide

Earlier this week I posted about beginning to prepare your garden for the spring.  One thing you can do - even if temperatures are still freezing and there's still snow on the ground! - is to start deciding what to plant and order your seeds.

Right now, I've got peppers on the brain.  Last year we grew jalapenos, and it was awesome.  We canned salsa galore, threw the peppers into all sorts of yummy food we were making, and we even did pickled peppers.  This year, I'd like to grow even MORE peppers!  But, sometimes it's kind of confusing.  Which peppers would best suit our needs?  Spicy?  Sweet?  There are so many kinds!... read more

Candy wrappers cannot be recycled

Candy wrappers are not recyclable. Now before someone jumps down my throat, yes they are reusable and upcyclable. There are a couple of places that collect and make stuff out of the candy wrapper material. TerraCycle does this. They actually have a program set up for candy wrappers specifically.

That being said it doesn’t mean people can throw them in regular paper or single stream recycling. The discarded candy wrapper won’t magically find its way with his other candy wrapper friends to their specific recycling program somewhere.

Most likely anyone reading this blog wouldn’t throw his or her empty candy wrapper in the wrong bin. Many of you reading this though, would be very surprised how often people do toss these wrappers into recycling bins instead of trash bins.... read more

Coffee CSA: Review

coffee csaPreviously, I blogged about Coffee CSA.  More recently, my family has had the opportunity to try coffee from CoffeeCSA.org.  And what a fantastic experience it has been!    We received a medium roast from farmer Mario Davalos Bustamante of Peru.  The whole bean coffee arrived fresh via USPS Priority Mail.  The coffee is delicious.  We have also served it to various houseguests and everyone has complimented us on what fine coffee we served.

How does Coffee CSA work?

CoffeeCSA.org lets you sign up for coffee shares from coffee farmers. The organization is 100% owned and controlled by the farmers on their website.  ... read more

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