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krissy's blog

Don't waste those Thanksgiving leftovers!

Previously, I wrote a post about how much energy is used on wasted food.   With the beginning of the holiday season arriving, it's hard not to end up with lots of leftovers.  The green thing to do is to make sure you use up those leftovers!   Wasted Food says:  Be Thankful, Not Wasteful!  

First, don't make more food than you don't need.  Here's a chart of how much food will feed how many guests.  

Second, try to give as much to your guests to take home as possible.  Put together little doggie bags for everyone so they can enjoy the leftovers as well.

Even so, you might still end up with leftovers.  After your green Thanksgiving, you may choose to stay home on Black Friday instead of braving the crowds while enjoying all of that leftover turkey, pumpkin pie, and sweet potatoes.   But by Saturday, you might be tired of the same old turkey and mashed potatoes.  Time to get creative!... read more

Make Black Friday a Little Greener

Black Friday a.k.a. the day after Thanksgiving a.k.a. one of the biggest shopping days of the year.  Stampedes, traffic jams in parking lots, and BIG sales.  I've never been one to brave the shopping crowds; I always devoted the day after Turkey Day to alternating between stuffing my face with leftovers and lying on the couch in a carb and tryptophan coma, but Black Friday is incredibly popular.  Over recent years, there's been a Black Friday backlash and Adbusters dubbed the day Buy Nothing Day

Obviously, shopping on Black Friday is not the eco-friendliest way to spend a day.  But, let's say you wake up the morning after Thanksgiving, pumped up on adrenaline and ready to shop 'til you drop, that's cool, too.   How can you make your Black Friday shopping spree a little greener?

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Green Your Turkey Day!

Less than three weeks 'til Thanksgiving!  If you're having Thanksgiving right now, you might be thinking about ways to make your Thanksgiving dinner a little greener.

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  • Look into getting a local free range turkey.  You may need to order one in advance, so start making calls now!  Lower your Thanksgiving's carbon footprint and support a local farm!

  • Make as much at home as possible.  Things like cranberry sauce often come in cans, creating more waste.  Find some fresh cranberries and make your own sauce.  (And if you're near cranberry bogs, get some yummy local ones!)  

  • Use up the whole turkey.  My husband loves those giblets, but I can't stomach them.  You can always use them to cook things like gravy.  As for the bones and stuff, consider making some soup the following day.  My husband is half Chinese, so his tradition is to make jook (Chinese porridge) the next day with the turkey carcass.  Check out this recipe.  

Fun Fact Friday - Stop Junk Mail

junk mailAre you sick and tired of coming home from work and seeing that your mailbox is full of with unsolicited mail, including those particularly annoying preapproved credit card applications?  Well, for today's Fun Fact Friday, I'm here to tell you that there's a way to put an end to that - or at least to lessen the stacks of junk mail you receive.  ... read more

Eco-Friendly Goody Bags

eco-friendly goody bagIf it's your kid's birthday party and you don't want to fill up a plastic bag with little plastic toys and Tootsie Rolls, there are fun, practical, and eco-friendly alternatives to typical party favors.  Unfortunately, a lot of items marketed as a green party favor are prohibitively expensive.  Who can afford to spend $7 on a wooden toy car for each kid?  Before you know it, you'll be spending over $100 on party favors!  My ideas are much cheaper.  Plus, the kids will love them and they're not too expensive, either!  

1.  A craft.  It's a party activity AND something fun to take home.  For my son's party, we bought plain tote bags and fabric markers.   Kids can reuse the bag over and over again, so it's useful, too!  Another fun idea is decorating pillow cases...especially if it's a slumber party!  

2.  A book.  Little Golden Books are a perfect party favor!  They're inexpensive, but they have classic titles that we grew up reading, like The Poky Little Puppy, to more modern tales starring favorite characters, like Thomas the Tank Engine.  ... read more

Fun Fact Friday: Upcycling the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

Irockefeller center christmas treet's not Christmas in New York City without the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree.  The 2014 tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, December 3.  It's free and open to the public or you can watch on TV.    This is a tradition that's been going on for over 80 years!

But here's a fun fact for your Friday -  Afterwards, the 20-foot-high tree is upcycled for an awesome cause:  Habitat for Humanity.   This will be the eight consecutive year that the tree is donated to Habitat for Humanity.  ... read more

Are Biodegradable Bags Really Biodegradable?

plastic bagOver the past few years, I've wound up with an occasional green "biodegradable" plastic bag, usually when taking home leftovers from a restaurant.    But are they actually biodegradable?  

As it turns out, no.  Alas, it's more greenwashing.  

Last month, the FTC sent warning letters to 15 additional marketers, informing them that their claims might be deceptive.   The FTC requested “competent and reliable scientific evidence proving that their bags will biodegrade as advertised."  The companies that manufacture these bags call them "oxo-degradable," meaning they supposedly break down after being exposed to oxygen for a while.  But the FTC isn't buying it and neither is Joseph Greene, the department chair and professor in the department of mechanical and mechatronic engineering and sustainable manufacturing at California State University, Chico.... read more

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

Fun Fact Friday - Upcycle Your Candy Wrappers

upcycle candy wrappersHappy Halloween!

Today's Fun Fact Friday is perfect for Halloween.  Tonight we'll be trick or treating, like lots of other families, and probably accumulating a lot of CANDY!   However, it creates a lot of waste and some people make the mistake of recycling candy wrappers.  Keen For Green's resident recycling expert Rob explained that he sees a lot of candy wrappers mixed in with recyclables on a regular basis.  He wrote:  "One, candy wrappers cannot be recycled in regular recycling programs and two, there is an amazing amount of waste created from enjoying candy bars, especially around Halloween."... 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

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