Posts filed under ‘How-To’

Tips on Freezing the Harvest

It’s that time of year—the garden is bulging with fresh produce and you’re spending lots of time in a steaming kitchen preserving it all. I find freezing preferable to canning for a number of reasons.

For one, when it’s time to prepare a meal with my preserved garden goodness, frozen foods tend to be brighter, fresher, and all-around tastier. And relatively speaking, it’s fast and easy.

Over the years, I’ve come up with a few tips to make freezing even easier. Use these freezing hacks to help the environment, too.

Read Tips on Freezing the Harvest by Carole Coates at Mother Earth News.

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September 12, 2018 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

10 ways to get the most from walking

From frequency and stride to what to do with your arms, here’s how to get the world’s easiest fitness fix.

There is so much fetishizing of exercise. What with the gadgets and gear and just-right outfits – the Lycra! The Lululemon! – at times fitness is more like maintaining membership at an exclusive club.

But the beautiful, gentle act of walking, that’s different.

Walking is not about gear or clothes or expertise; it’s easy, cheap, and exceedingly kind to the body. Walking for the sake of taking a walk is emotionally as well as physically pleasing; walking for the sake of getting somewhere is cheaper and easier on the planet than driving. And for whatever reason you find yourself walking, it’s a great form of exercise. Walking is a win-win-win-win.

With the CDC recommending 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, walking is a wonderful way to fulfill the quota. The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) has a good list of tips for maximizing a walking workout, from which I’ve expanded upon here.

Read 10 ways to get the most from walking by Melissa Breyer at Treehugger.

August 29, 2018 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

10 plastic items you can give up right now

Plastic is one of the most enduring materials we make; it takes an estimated 500 to 1,000 years for it to degrade, but 50 percent of the plastic we produce is used once and then thrown away. Eight million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year.

Facts like this are plentiful, but you get the idea. So, a call to arms. Here are some very easy things to give up in order to curb your contribution to the problem.

1. Coffee cup lids

Giving up take-out coffee cups all together is ideal, but at the very least, give up the lid (and the sleeve and stir stick while you’re at it). A reusable coffee cup is the way to go, but if you’re getting coffee without one, skip the wasteful accessories.

2. Things in plastic when there’s a paper option

Think eggs in a paper carton instead of ones in clamshell packaging, toilet paper wrapped in paper rather than plastic, anything in a box instead of a bag.

Read10 plastic items you can give up right now by Melissa Breyer at Treehugger.

August 22, 2018 at 10:20 am Leave a comment

12 Ways to Stop Wasting Money and Take Control of Your Stuff

In my work as a consumer psychologist and author, I’ve read countless studies about consumer behavior, and I’ve conducted plenty of research on my own, interviewing hundreds of shoppers about how, when, and why they shop. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to avoid piling up too much stuff and how to stop making unnecessary, excessive, and ultimately unsatisfying purchases.

Read12 Ways to Stop Wasting Money and Take Control of Your Stuff by Kit Yarrow at Money.

August 13, 2018 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

10 overlooked low-tech ways of keeping your home cool

Summer is here and the air is full of the the sound of whining air conditioners, all seriously sucking kilowatts. Yet much of that air conditioning load could be reduced or the air conditioning season shortened if we did simple things, many of them common before air conditioning was common in North America. Here are some low-tech tips for keeping cool.

The best ideas are those that keep the heat out of your home in the first place, rather than paying to pump it out after it gets in.

Read 10 overlooked low-tech ways of keeping your home cool by Lloyd Alter at Treehugger.

August 1, 2018 at 10:14 am Leave a comment

Seed Saving 101: 10 Things to Know If You Want to Start Saving Seeds

Image result for home seed saving

Beans. That’s right. If you want to start saving seeds, we recommend beans. Or peas. Why? Legumes are by far the easiest seeds to save, and among the easiest to germinate. You can’t go wrong. With that, let’s learn more about the basics of seed saving.

In order for a plant like lettuce to produce seed, you must wait for it to send up its gangly flower stalks, which eventually produce tiny seed pods. By this time. the lettuce leaves are becoming yellow, shriveled, and bitter. It’s the same with most crops—you don’t get to eat it and save the seed; it’s either one or the other. The good news is that a single plant produces many seeds. So you usually need to grow only a few extra for seed-saving purposes.

Read Seed Saving 101: 10 Things to Know If You Want to Start Saving Seeds by Modern Farmer.

July 23, 2018 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

5 Tips For a Bountiful, Water-Saving Vegetable Garden in a Time of Drought

Many are wondering whether there is room for a vegetable garden in a drier future. Some are looking at ways to conserve water, and others are looking at vegetable varieties that have adapted to growing in hot and dry conditions.

Below are some suggestions for vegetable gardening in times of drought that I’ve gleaned from research and these conversations.

Read 5 Tips For a Bountiful, Water-Saving Vegetable Garden in a Time of Drought by Ramon Gonzales at Treehugger.

July 9, 2018 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

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