Friday, July 27, 2012

Tips on Harvesting Your Rainwater

 

Every time it rains you’re missing an opportunity. Hundreds of gallons are going into the soil. They’re saturating plants that don’t need any more hydration. The water is funneling down the community drains and sewers. It’s being wasted. However, if you harvest your rainwater, you can put it to great use. Harvested rainwater can be used to water your garden between rains, to wash cars and for other uses.

Harvesting your rain water does more than help the environment. It can save you money too. According to estimates, a typical garden consumes about forty percent of your household water bill. Harvesting your rainwater can save you thousands of gallons of water and hundreds of dollars. A simple rainwater harvesting system is easy and inexpensive to install. You’ll earn your money back in no time.

Tips and Ideas to Harvest Your Rainwater

Decide what type of system you want to utilize. A few simple rain barrels in your yard will capture rain. You can use this water to tend to a garden, water your lawn and other basics. If you want to get a bit more advanced you might create a system to collect the rain from your rooftop.  That is our plan since we have such a large area of roof.  We are still in the deciding stage, but we are certain this is what we want to do.

Again, this system can be quite basic. You might simply position rain barrels under your downspouts. Thus the water from your rooftop will go into the barrel rather than the ground.

You can simply place a rain barrel under each downspout. Or you might choose to reroute the water on your roof to one large collection barrel. You might choose to use an old barrel to collect the water. However, they do make rain barrels that have a number of features. Many barrels designed specifically for collecting rainwater have;

* A mesh top to reduce debris. Debris can wash off of your rooftop into the barrel. It can also fall from trees or be blown into the barrel. This debris can rot or block the faucet attachment.

* A faucet attachment. Some rain barrels have a faucet attachment or two. This makes filling a bucket quick and easy.

* A hose attachment. A hose attachment is helpful for two reasons. The first is that you can run a hose from your barrel to your garden for easy watering. No need to haul buckets of water. Secondly, you can attach a hose to the barrel to prevent overflow. Once the barrel is full, a hose attachment at the top of the barrel can prevent it from flowing over. This helps reduce erosion around the base of the water barrel and your home.

You can also get quite elaborate with your rainwater collection system. You can feed the rainwater you collect from your rooftop into an underground tank. This type of system requires a bit more expense and maintenance.

Collecting rainwater is simple, cheap and an effective way to save money and protect the environment. In a few hours you can have your rainwater collection system up and running. Check out your options today.
Going green is good for the earth, but it is also good for us!  Let's challenge ourselves to do more to save the planet, shall we?  How have you been greening your life?
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Huge Green Hugs,
Pat

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tutorial ~ Veg Out iphone App


If you’re vegetarian, vegan or prefer to eat at health conscious restaurants, VegOut is a must have app for your iphone. VegOut is a comprehensive directory of all the vegetarian, vegan and health-centric restaurants, laid out in an intuitive and user friendly manner.

You can easily find restaurants you’re looking for in your area as well as place the exact location of the restaurant on a map. You can access reviews of the restaurant with a click of a button.

VegOut allows you to share a restaurant with your friends to make planning group meals easier. You can also bookmark your favorite restaurants to come back to later.

Here’s how to use the VegOut app.

Step 1: Finding Restaurants Near You


Finding restaurants near you is easy peasy: All you need to do is open up the app. It’s the first screen you see.



Each listing has the restaurant name, the average review score and the type of food served.


Step 2: Restaurant Details


Click on any restaurant in your search results to bring up a list of the restaurant’s details. Here you’ll see a brief description of the restaurant, as well as links to other pages within the app that you can click on.


Step 3: Reviews


If you click on the “Read Reviews” button, you’ll be taken to all the other user reviews of that restaurant.


Step 4: Map the Restaurant


If you want to see exactly where the restaurant is, just click the address on the information page. A map will be generated, with a pin on where the restaurant is.


Step 5: Sharing the Restaurant


Want to share the restaurant name, the restaurant address and the restaurant phone number with a friend? Just scroll down and click “Share.”




The email with all the pertinent information will automatically fill in. All you need to do is add the recipients and the subject.



Step 6: Favorites


To add an item to your favorites, click the star button in the top right corner of any restaurant.


To access your favorites, click the “Favorites” button in the lower navigation bar.


To change the order of your favorites or to remove an item from your favorites, click the “Edit” button.


Finding restaurants near you is that easy with VegOut. Not only are all the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants pooled together all in one place for you, but the app even makes it easy for you to research reviews and map out your route.
Are you hungry yet?  Let's make a lunch plan!
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Huge Green Hugs,
Pat

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WasteLESS Wednesday ~ Homemade Finger Paints

Perfect Cure for Summer Boredom!

I love how simple this is!  I would love to give credit to whomever originally posted this, but I saw it on facebook with no credit.  Give me a shout-out if you know the source!  Thanks!


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Huge Green Hugs,
Pat

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ginger Peach Ice Cream with Chocolate Fudge Nuggets

This is just too yummy not  to share!  It is another use for coconut oil and was posted on FreeCoconutRecipes.comhttp://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/index.cfm/2012/7/20/ginger-peach-ice-cream-with-chocolate-fudge-nuggets today. 
 More information can be found at Tropical Traditions website.  They are one of the best sites for coconut information that I have found yet.


Ginger Peach Ice Cream with Chocolate Fudge Nuggets

Ginger Peach Ice Cream with Chocolate Fudge Nuggets Recipe photo
Ginger Peach Ice Cream with Chocolate Fudge Nuggets Recipe
photo by recipe author
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Be sure to soak your cashews. This will soften them, which in return will help them blend nice and creamy. After soaking, drain and rinse well.
Put all ingredients into the blender and blend for 3-5 minutes. Process till nice and creamy.
If you have an ice cream maker, after the mixture is blended, chill for about 1 hour in the freezer and then pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour into a container and place in the freezer. Be sure to stir it a few times an hour until frozen.
You can also pour it into ice-cube trays and freeze. For serving just pop the ice cubes out and using your blender, blend until it is a soft serve ice cream.
It is best to take the ice cream out of the freezer for about 10 minutes ahead of time so it can have a chance to soften. Did you know that softer ice cream has more flavor than hard, frozen ice cream? Test it for yourself.
Recipe submitted by Amie Sue, Hood River, OR


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Huge Green Hugs,
Pat

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WasteLESS Wednesday ~ Organizing

Here are some marvelous ideas for organizing pantries and such..thanks to Pinterest!

Source: orgjunkie.com via Pat on Pinterest

Emergency preparedness



Turntables in the corners!



Amazing!



Neat & tidy!



To die for...

Have a wonderfully WasteLESS Wednesday! 

If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,
Pat

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How To Regrow Store Bought Celery



Here’s a great tip on how to make your money go further. Go to your grocery store and grab a package of Celery like in the picture above. Once you’ve gotten it take it home and cut off the bottom of the Celery about one inch up. The picture below shows you about where to cut it and what it should look like.


Your next step is simple. Take the cut off piece and place it in a shallow bowl of warm water. After that either place it in the window or take it outside.



In a couple days after placing it in the bowl you will start to see new leaves growing on the top and roots growing out of the bottom. At this point you can now transplant the Celery into your garden or a growing container. Just plant the whole thing in the soil with the leaves just above the soil.



In about a week the Celery should look similar to this. Remember to water your plants on a regular basis but don’t flood them. Some plants might not make it and some will that’s just the rule of nature!



In a couple more weeks the plant should be striving and growing like a weed. It will start to look like this at that stage.



Once the plant fully grows you can cut the stalks off as needed. The plant will continue to grow the entire growing season. After that you can transplant it indoors and continue to grow it all winter as long as you have a sunny enough area.



You may want to also consider using fertilizer, compost, or manure for the plants because they require a lot of nutrients to grow. Also get rid of any weeds around the plant because they will steal all the nutrients from the plants around them causing stimulated or no growth at all.

The last step in the growing process is to take a soda bottle or milk jug and cut the top and bottom of the containers off and place it around the plant. You do this because it will force the Celery to grow straight up instead of branching off and taking up a lot of room in your garden or growing container. Here’s a photo to show you how to do that.

That’s pretty much it! Enjoy saving yourself some money at the grocery store and also enjoy your healthy food that you grew yourself!

Original Post From Lisa Telquist On rawfoodrehab.ning.com

My thanks to The Truth Source for giving permission to repost this post in its entirety.  The original poster is apparently no longer available.   I was so intrigued after reading this article that I had to try it myself. 

I started mine in a bowl of water.  After two weeks I planted it in the pot shown.  Next I added a plastic bottle as suggested, to encourage upright growth (not shown in photos).   Here are my first photos.  I am eagerly awaiting my first bite when it gets full-grown!
My first attempt...It looks so cute sprouting out of the middle!

Approximately two weeks growth and, soooooo exciting!
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Huge Green Hugs,
Pat


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WasteLESS Wednesday ~ Recycle / Repurpose!

Thanks to my addiction (Pinterest), I am finding a never-ending supply of recycling and repurposing ideas!  Here are some of my favorites this week...











Source: robomargo.com via Pat on Pinterest


Source: webdoc.com via Pat on Pinterest

Have a wonderful wasteLESS Wednesday today! 


There's another giveaway going on at Green Living Thrifty Frog blog! Hop to it - enter to win "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting" book!




Book Giveaway 7/2-7/15


If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,
Pat

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Four Steps to Organic Chemical-Free Gardening



Every year, thousands of chemicals get into the environment and millions of gallons of water are needlessly wasted.  How?  One simple answer - by growing plants.  Yes, it's true, most of this is done by large agricultural producers, but some of it is also done in our smaller personal gardens.  Now that you know that, you can make a difference by changing your gardening practices.   Many agricultural producers  have done it, and you can use the same steps to help your own garden, and the planet.


Pick appropriate plants.  Not all plants are appropriate for the area where you live.  You can’t control the temperature, humidity, and rain conditions in your garden like you are able to do  inside your house .  By picking adaptable plants for your climate and zone, you may be able to avoid using fertilizers and save on water as well.  Do some research.  Find plants  that are native to your surrounding areas and try planting them in your own garden.  Like wildflowers, for instance.  They are just that - wild - and they can pretty much be left alone to thrive in most areas.


Pick natural repelling plants.  By selecting the right plants, you won't need to rely on poisons to keep away garden-ruining pests. Many plants produce chemicals that repel these animals naturally.  By putting them in or around your garden, you can keep your garden safe with little effort and no chemicals.  Plus, you can pick parts of these plants and use them to make homemade products to keep pests away from you, too.  I am all for using homemade solutions when at all possible! 

Even if you don’t want to plant natural repellents in your garden, you can still use them to spray your plants without  causing harm or adding artificial chemicals to your garden.  Try hot peppers, vanilla, and /or lavender to repel insects from your garden.


Pull weeds.  We’re all looking for a quick and easy way to safely get rid of weeds without chemicals, but the good old-fashioned way is still most effective.  It you take time every day to pull the weeds you can find, it will  only take a few minutes and seem like less work.  You can even get the kids involved.  Just be sure they know the weeds from the good stuff and that they don’t spread the weed seeds around.  There are even some common weeds that are edible,  just make sure there  no nasty pesticide residue on them.


Crop rotation. Farmers all over the world use crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants. The concept is to change what crop you’re putting in a certain field each year. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. If you rotate crops that replace the nutrients the other plants use, you will have to fertilize the soil less.  You can use this same concept in your garden by planting different plants every year, or just rotating where you put specific plants in the garden. 


Okay.  Now you’ve made all these changes and have a low-water, chemical-free garden.  Now what?   Well, there is one important thing yet to do: pass it on!  One garden can make a dent, but many gardens can make a huge difference.  Tell your friends, teach your kids, maybe even visit their school and teach your kid's friends!  Every little bit helps make a better world.

There's another giveaway going on at Green Living Thrifty Frog blog! Hop to it - enter to win "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting" book!



Book Giveaway 7/2-7/15
 
 
If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,
Pat

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Homemade Foot Detox


In my travels around the Internet, I have found some totally awesome blogs with very interesting tutorials on how to make just about anything!  I love it when those totally awesome bloggers are willing to share their information with me so I can pass it on to you! 

April Patel is one such blogger.  On her blog, An Apple A Day Wisdom, she posted about homemade foot detox that caught my attention.  I am reposting it here with her permission!  The photos are mine, but if you'd like to see April's photos, just click on the link above and check them out.  She does a nice job of packaging hers for gifts!




Within reason and limit, I try to do natural things that are naturally good for my body. When I can find something really good for myself that I can do inexpensively from home, I get so excited. This homemade foot detox bath is one of them. The ions in the salt work as magnets to draw toxins through the skin of your feet out of your body into the foot soak water.
I love this recipe so much I have made up individual pouches and 3 time use jars of the mix to giveaway to friends and family as gifts.
Here is what you do:
Ingredients:
1 Cup Sea Salt
1 Cup Epsom Salt
2 Cups Baking Soda

You mix all the dry ingredients together and store in an airtight container. When you are ready to use, measure out 1/4 cup of mixture and add to hot water. The water should be as hot as you can comfortably stand. Leave your feet soaking for 30 minutes. Periodically keep adding hot water to the bath.
After the thirty minutes are up, dry feet then wash with warm soapy water, dry again then brush the bottoms of feet with a natural fiber foot brush. Only use 100% aloe vera after you are finished. Lotions with additives will leech impurities back into your system after a foot detox.

This detox should be done daily for one week. Then twice a week for 30 days. Then once a week for regular maintenance.


HB (HoneyBunny) and I have used foot pads for detoxing and even sold them on eBay for a while, but it got expensive and he had some side effects that he didn't care for.  So, when I saw April's recipe, I decided I needed to give it a try!  After all, it couldn't be easier to mix up, it only takes 30 minutes of soaking and it is definitely cheaper than what we used before!

I am not a medical expert and make no claims that this will perform any magic on your body, but I did mix up a batch for us to test drive and expect it to work just fine to get the nasty toxins out of our bodies.



There's another giveaway going on at Green Living Thrifty Frog blog! Hop to it - enter to win "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting" book!


Book Giveaway 7/2-7/15
 
 
If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,
Pat

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

WasteLESS Wednesday ~ Fun Recycling!

Exploring Pinterest again...admittedly my obsession...
                             I found some amazing fun recycling ideas!


Source: etsy.com via Pat on Pinterest









Source: google.com via Pat on Pinterest



There are so many good ideas for "greening" our lives just on Pinterest, alone!  I hope you are following me there...I'll follow you back.  I can get lost for days here if I let myself!



And, one final pin to celebrate the holiday...


Have a safe and fun 4th of July (US)!


There's another giveaway going on at Green Living Thrifty Frog blog!  Hop to it -  enter to win "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting" book!

Book Giveaway 7/2-7/15

Be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,
Pat


Monday, July 2, 2012

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting - Review & Giveaway





The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting
Chris McLaughlin
May 4, 2010
·        Paperback: 208 pages
·        Publisher: Alpha; Original edition (May 4, 2010)
·        Language: English
·        ISBN-10: 1615640088
·        ISBN-13: 978-1615640089  

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting” is my kind of how-to book!

This is written in easy-to-understand terms, covering every aspect, and answering all of my questions before I even know what ones to ask!  There is enough humor tossed in to make it enjoyable at the same time it is educating the reader.  Chris McLaughlin offers up several types of composting ideas and breaks them down into easy pieces…easy peasy, as I like to say!

My reasons for wanting to learn to compost late in life is partly due to my daughter’s example of diligence in maintaining a compost bin, my (finally) realizing that it is our responsibility to care for our planet, the need to enrich the soil in our backyard, and my  quest to “go greener.”  I knew the basic concept, but the details were very simply spelled out in this book, allowing me to at long last get my system in place.

The three chapters on vermicomposting (using worms) were very interesting and humorous at the same time.   Not that I am fond of worms, but I can definitely see the benefits to having those critters munch up my kitchen waste in days, and creating rich castings for my plants.  Ms. McLaughlin even gives tips for overcoming the “Eek” factor by naming your worms.  My kind of gal!

I recommend this book and this author to anyone wanting to learn in easy-to-understand terms the art and benefits of composting, vermicomposting and mulching.  It could be the only book you would ever want on these subjects!

Disclosure of Material Connection: “I received this book for free from the author and publisher for this review”.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  Our Giveaways are in no way sponsored or promoted by Facebook.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


 Book Giveaway / The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting
by Chris McLaughlin





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Huge Green Hugs,
Pat
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