Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easy Money Saving Tips

I'm all for saving money any way I can   You've probably got the basics already.  We've all heard the scolding since we were young. Turn off the lights when you leave the room.  Close that door when you come inside.  Turn that thermostat back to 78.  How about a few everyday tips that may not seem so obvious?  Are you truly ready to reform to a few basics to help maintain the family budget?  There are a few easy tips that will help if you are willing to make the commitment.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Industry Landfill Instigators

One Of America's Overworked Landfills
It is estimated by the EPA that landfills around the world are 17% consumed by food waste.  It seems there are more and more "going green" remedies popping up every day.  So why isn't there a logical solution to one of the largest garbage contributors?  Over polluted landfills supply dangerous levels of methane and other gases to the universe.  The results on our environment effect each of us.  These gases cause what is referred to as the greenhouse effect by holding heat into the atmosphere.  This is similar to the effect of heat retained by a glass object on a hot day.  Methane gases also displace oxygen which may be contributed to the increase in respiratory conditions in society today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't Throw Out The Produce

We've all been there.  You find a great sale on your favorite produce but you hesitate to take advantage of it.  A great sale isn't so great if you wind up throwing most of it into the compost.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could take advantage the savings and still use your purchase? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Top 10 Most Useful Items to Stock

I will admit that I have more than one reason for using safer products for everything from cleaning to gardening.  Not only is it better on the environment, it is also beneficial to my pocketbook.  Previously I've covered several items and their constructive uses.  Your cupboards and fridge carry potential solutions to many every day challenges.  Several are so versatile they are useful in vast areas of everyday household chores.  I've picked some items that in my opinion are the most valuable staples you can keep on hand.  I've chosen these ten based on their effectiveness, as well as their variety of use.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Better Way To Eliminate Weeds

It seems the warmer weather and abundant rain this season have elevated the weed level.  I don't know about you but I can feel the effects.  Weeds are not only unsightly and drain vital nutrients from soil, they also reek havoc on allergies.  Most people will use the first line of defence and grab some chemical weed killer.  There are better ways to tackle a weed infestation.

The most amazing coincidence is that the safer products available

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More Pests To Eliminate

I wrote earlier about ways to eliminate a few garden meddlers.  With the tiny green leaves of my spring garden peepeing through I need to be a lot more proactive. Even the most sophisticated gardener will be caught off guard with intruders that can destroy your harvest.  Commercial insecticides can be detrimental to the efforts of gardening.  Chemicals can truly damage the nutritional benefits of fresh grown crops.   So how do you save your output without doing more harm?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some Gardening Don'ts

Gardening is so many different things to so many people.  It can be relaxing, fulfilling and constructive.  It is one of the best ways I know of to be self sustaining.  The main requirement for gardening is to love the outdoors.  You must be committed to the care and attention your garden will require.  An ignored garden will not be a productive garden.

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Summer Break

Spring break is hitting most areas during the next several weeks.  Does the economy dictate that you stay closer to home this year?  Aren't quite sure what to do to keep the kids happy?  Maybe you are a working parent and just can't get any time off of work.  Your not alone.  Due to rising fuel costs the number of travelers this spring is expected to decrease.

If you are a working parent promote a neighborhood club of other working parents.  Develop a schedule based on every ones available days off and take turns finding activities to keep the little ones entertained.  Three things to remember, do not overwhelm any one with too many participants at one time.  Second, be prepared to take

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Healthy Skin and Hair the Right Way

Home use beauty products
With the soaring cost of health and beauty aids have you ever wondered if there is a better way?  Did you ever tried using product right out of your own kitchen to help keep your hair and skin looking fresh and vibrant?  I was aware that several items in the cupboard could be used for beauty refinement.  As I did more research I was surprised at the number of staples that are beneficial for their allurement straight out of my own kitchen.  Not only will you find the results evident, but the economical value is exceptional.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Advantages of Rain Barrel Water

Catching Rain Water on my Patio
It doesn't really matter what you use to catch rainwater. Don't be fooled into thinking you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a expensive barrel. You can find several items in your own home that will work as well, if not better. The three main requirements for harvesting showers are that your chosen receptacale is sturdy; preferably plastic, have a tight storage lid and be clean. Rain water is typically trapped using a container placed beneath a gutters down spout. Place what ever utensil you plan to use beneath any area where rainwater over pours. Balconies are good for gathering rainwater pour off, as well as a steply slanted roof with no gutter.
The EPA estimates that the average household utilizing natural resources could save 1,300 gallons of water during the summer months alone. The warmer months tend to optimize water usage for lawn and garden irrigation. Many states are experiencing drought like conditions. Cities are opting to place homeowners on watering restrictions which place vegitation in danger of dehydration. Not only does rainwater help economically, but imagine how much it can help the environment. Rainwater can even be more beneficial to gardens and lawns since it does not contain tap waters required chlorine, fluoride and other minerals. Chemicals and minerals which can possibly reduce a harvests production. Don't neglect the indoor plants. They enjoy a healthy does of rainwater too.

Harvesting rainwater doesn't have to be a major chore or expensive task.  I simply use 5 gallon buckets that are placed in spots I know will fill have a rush of water during rain.  If you don't have any buckets no problem.  Check the bakery counter at you local grocer.  Many of the items such as icing and lard come in these buckets.  Since they have no use for them and typically throw them out they will be glad to donate them to you.  You can also check any donuts shop.

If your gutter system is clean and your gatherings clear enough there are even more uses for rainwater. Use rainwater to wash a vehicle and the typical residue left behind by tap water disappears. Another beneficial use of rainwater is to wash your dog. Rainwater tends to be less harsh than tap water so you are more likely to see a shinier coat. Grab a bucket of water and your mop. Those leftover streaks on your tile won't be a problem any more. You may even want to try adding rainwater to your washing machine for more savings. It has been recommended that rainwater be used for drinking and cooking. However you would need to spend money on a specialized filter for cleaning the trappings. To me contradicts the purpose of saving money so I stay away from this in favor of more practical uses.

Avoid trapping more rainwater than is necessary. Place your filled container in a fairly dark place. Direct sunlight attracts unwanted toxins. Kept over a long period of time rainwater tends to become stagnate and can appeal to mold. Take advantage of your rainwater as often as possible and clean the container between uses. Once the water is contaminated it becomes ineffective. Always keep the waters container tightly sealed. Any standing pool of water attracts an enormous amount of bugs which can be difficult to get rid of. Mosquitos tend to breed aggressively and are harmful around pets.

Another point to keep in mind is the environmental impact of harvesting rainwater. The rain you trap is not flooding your yard and damaging plants. When needed the most the nourishment your garden needs will be available using your own resources. If we all found the benefits of rainwater it would make a great impact. Once you see the savings and realize the environmental vale of harvesting rainwater I think you will find it a habit that is hard to break. For more information on this and other "green" topics visit http://epa.gov/.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Benefits of Compost

Composting is the process of recycling organic materials to create a rich, nutrient high soil.  Weather you create your own compost, or purchase from one of the many distributors popping up it's worth your time to do some research  The benefits of compost on the environment and your garden are numerous.  Although I do compost in my own back yard I won't profess to be an expert of the process.  If you would like to learn more on composting I find http://www.compostjunkie.com/ to be a great resource.  I do believe in the advantages that composting provides.  Composting is a natural, economical means of using our own resources to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A More Natural Way To Color Easter Eggs

I always looked forward to Easter growing up.  Anytime the family could get together was something to celebrate.  My grandma, mom and aunts can cook dishes that will always make you come back for more.  Years later I would pack up my own girls up loaded down with colored eggs and pumpkin rolls.  We'd head off  to someones house knowing it would be a fun Sunday. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Isn't It Time To Go Green?

Is it too late to save our environment?  I don't think it is, but we all need to get involved.  It is estimated that the average American contributes 1600 pounds of trash to the environment every year.  It is up to all of us to take control of the amount of debris we add to overcrowded dumping grounds.  There are so many simple, conscious efforts we can all work toward every day to reduce the amount of waste that pollutes our cities landfills. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Don't Have That? Use This.

We've all been there.  You want to try out a new recipe, or make a family classic for dinner.  You look at the recipe and realize you just don't have that one ingredient.  Don't give up on trying a new dish because you may not have everything you need.  Many items can be substituted for something similar that will not alter the taste of the dish.  Here are a few of the items I use, but for a complete list of substitutions visit http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Do You Garden?

South Texas Wildflowers
What is it about gardening that gets you hooked?  Everyone has there own reason, but I have many.  I don't know which one I would fine the most prominent.  Being outdoors in the sunshine and feeling an early morning breeze is a great way to start any day.  There is satisfaction in nurturing something and watching it form into a beautiful part of my landscape.  Eating the vegetables that have been cultivated with my own hands is an enjoyment.