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Monthly Archives: November 2010
Clutter can be an ongoing problem for many modern households. A problem that can seem overwhelming, it can sometimes can be difficult to fight the urge to simply shovel the whole mess into the garbage can and start anew. While this may remove the clutter from your kitchen counters for the short term, it is not usually the most effective way to deal with the clutter problem on a long term basis. Fortunately, there are ways to get control of the clutter that has invaded your home without taking such drastic steps as trashing it all.
1. Sort: The first step to removing clutter is to determine if an item is trash or if it can be placed in another, more appropriate category. Can the item be recycled? Or is it something that can be donated? Or does the item simply need to find a new permanent place to reside within your home to keep it out of your way?
2. Recycle: Many communities offer at least some type of recycling program. When trying to declutter, it is likely that some of the clutter can be recycled. You can either send the paper and appropriate plastics off to the recycling center or you can find new ways to extend the life of unused items. One example of recycling would be reusing a tired and frayed bath towel by cutting it up into smaller pieces to use for those hands on cleaning jobs such as dusting, cleaning the bathroom, or washing the car.
3. Donate: There are some items that are just collecting dust on your kitchen counter due to not being used, for example, but they work perfectly well. The bread machine that your husband bought you for your birthday could be an item that someone else will get lots of use out of. Instead of simply throwing the bread machine away, you could donate it. You will be helping to keep working items out of the landfills while also supporting your favorite charity.
4. Relocate: You can find new places for those items that seem to constantly clutter up your counter. Install a few hooks in the wall next to the front door and hang your keys and umbrella there for easy, yet out of the way, access. Designate a bin or other container as the home for backpacks and briefcases so that you can keep your counters free of clutter but still allow unfettered access to these important items that are needed on a daily basis.
you can make a pumpkin pie using canned or fresh pumpkin. Here is a recipe for a 9-inch pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin, but you can substitute canned if you like.
-1 pie pumpkin, 6 to 8 inches in diameter (you can substitute a butternut squash if you can’t find a pie pumpkin)
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon each of ground cloves and allspice
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 large eggs
-2 cups of soft, cooked pumpkin
-1 12-ounce can of nonfat evaporated milk
-1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and insides. (Save the seeds! Dry them and feed them to the birds, or roast them and eat them yourself.) Place the pumpkin halves cut-side-down onto a casserole dish with a cover (you can use 2 casserole dishes, one for each half, if you need to). Poke the skins of each half with a fork several times. Cover and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about an hour.
When the pumpkin is baked and cool, pour off any excess water and set it aside. Then scoop out the soft flesh and puree in a blender or food processor. Add any pumpkin water as necessary to get a smooth, creamy texture. Alternatively, you could use a food mill.
In a mixer at medium-high speed, mix 2 cups of pumpkin with the evaporated milk, vanilla, and sugar. Add the eggs and mix well. Then add the spices and salt and mix. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. When the pie is done, a knife inserted in the middle will come out clean.
Hybrid cars continue to elicit excitement, awe, and intrigue as they are rolled out. This is true even as the number of available models continues to climb. Indeed, there are more hybrid models to chose from these days than ever before. Although their command of the new car market is still just a slim margin, their numbers continue to grow on an almost daily basis. With the choices in hybrid cars growing, it can be difficult to keep track of all the offerings that are available. For a brief comparison of some of the choices in hybrid cars, read on.
• Ford Fusion. The Ford Fusion hybrid sedan offers you plenty of room with a smooth ride and responsive handling. The dash instruments provide a wealth of information including the amount of battery power that is left and how efficiently you are driving car. It comes with a robust entertainment and navigation system that more than justifies its title as one of the most expensive hybrids.
• Honda Civic Hybrid. Honda’s hybrid combines the reliability that everyone has come to enjoy from Honda with solid performance that is befitting a hybrid. The Civic hybrid features excellent gas mileage as well as plenty of pep to take you wherever you need to go. It also features a roomy trunk with a stylish and sporty look.
• Mazda Tribute. This stylish sport utility vehicle is Mazda’s entry into the hybrid arena. It has many of the same features of their regular Tribute. However, it does feature a hybrid power train which adds many environmental benefits. The gas mileage that you will enjoy is in line with other hybrid SUVs at around 34 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway when used in the front wheel drive mode.
• Toyota Prius. This is the little car that started it all. Indeed, the Toyota Prius is the image that instantly springs to mind when most people think of a hybrid car. The car with the iconic shape, Prius is great on gas mileage and practical as well. It has a number of features that help to ensure the comfort of its passengers and driver. The innovative gear shifter, for example, puts the controls right at your fingertips.
• Nissan Altima Hybrid. This hybrid utilizes a electric/gasoline power train that allows for smooth transitioning between the modes. The Altima features a high performance, environmentally friendly engine nestled inside a sporty body. With a respectable 34 mpg range, the Altima is an impressive midsized hybrid sedan.
You and your family want to become more environmentally friendly and be kinder to the earth. It can be difficult, however, to implement. This is particularly true when you factor in how busy people are these days. There are some simple ways that you work together to become a more green conscious family. If you need some pointers, read on.
• Get Back to Nature. Sometimes it is hard for people, especially children, to understand why it is important to conserve water and to throw litter in the garbage can instead of on the ground. By taking them to a park, you can point out its beauty. If there is trash on the playground or the trails, you can point it out to your children and ask them to help you pick it up. By doing so, you will be setting an example of how to take care of the earth.
• Find a Source of Water. If your neighborhood park has a stream or creek, use it as an opportunity to explain how all of the water that you and your family drink and use, comes from the same source as that stream or creek in the park. By turning off the water faucet at home while you are brushing your teeth, you and your family can help contribute to the conservation of this awesome natural resource.
• Tour a Recycling Facility. If you live in an area that supports a recycling facility, call to arrange a tour. Most children will be fascinated by learning the process that takes an item from being used and recycled to something new and different. Conversely, you can also take your family to a plant that processes both recyclables and garbage. You will be able to learn what happens to the trash and how the recyclables are sorted and processed as well.
• Make an Earth Jar. Sometimes everyone needs a little incentive to be more earth friendly at home. You can make a small Earth Jar that everyone contributes a small fee to when they throw away an item instead of recycling it or leave the lights on when they leave the room, for example. A nickel is a good fine amount to start with. When the jar is full, take the family out to ice cream.
• Designate an Earth Officer. At home, you can designate one of your children as an Earth Officer. This child will be responsible for reminding everyone to turn off the water while brushing their teeth or to turn off the lights when they leave the room. Violators will be reminded to put their fine money in the Earth Jar. Choose a new Earth Officer every week.
In today’s environmentally friendly world, it is now possible to have a sustainable home office. In fact, due to a wealth of creative ways to use, and reuse, items, it is not only possible, but quite easy to do so. You can make your home office more sustainable through your every day choices as well as when you stock it with the necessities. Indeed, here is one area where that old adage, reduce, reuse, recycle, rings loud and true. Read on below for some tips to get your creative juices flowing as you work to make your home office sustainable.
1. Start with the basics. It is the ideal time to think about sustainability when you are first setting up your home office . With careful planning, you can choose to repurpose your desk and office chair. Thrift stores, and other secondhand stores, often have well made options for desks. You might also find an office chair in good condition as well. You could recover the seat with some extra fabric that you have lying around your house. Instead of covering the floor with new carpet, consider bamboo flooring. This flooring is highly sustainable due, in part, to its quick growing nature.
2. Buy quality. If you are not able to find any furniture to repurpose, make sure that you buy high quality furniture made from eco-friendly materials and using eco-friendly practices. When you purchase high quality items, you will likely not have to replace them as much due to breakage. Pay particular attention to where the materials are sourced from and the processes that are used to make the furniture. You also need to be aware of how the furniture manufacturer treats their employees by ensuring that they are being paid a sustainable wage, for example.
3. Conserve resources. Once you have your home office set up, it is time to turn your attention to how you can carry your sustainability choices into your every day life. Opt to back up your important files to your hard drive rather than printing them out on paper and filing them away. If you also work out of your home office, consider printing out the necessary paperwork for clients only on an as needed basis. When it is time to print out documents, print out only one page at first. This helps to ensure that everything looks the way you want it to. Once you are pleased with the printed results, then you can safely print out the rest of the documents without the possibility of wasting paper.
Where to buy: http://wabisabigreen.com
Cotton bags have become more and more stylish and fashionable, with increasing numbers of people thinking about reusable bags as a way of reducing waste. Cotton bags are very useful for your everyday needs, they are stronger than plastic bags, they won’t rip easily and can carry quite a load. They can also be used for a long period of time.
The Tortuga Eco Art Bag is a very attractive cotton bag printed in the USA. It is made from high quality organic cotton canvas with a teal colored turtle design on the front, printed with eco-friendly water-based ink.
I certainly love the bold design of the bag, which is very eye-catching. It combines elements of green living with modern chic. I am sure that you will find good uses for this beautiful bag. It would also make a great gift for eco-conscious friends.
Where to buy: www.ecodiscoveries.com
The Good Travel Company is all about sustainable and responsible travel to beautiful places of the world. Obviously, when traveling, you will create a carbon footprint, The Good Travel Company tries to reduce the impact you, as a traveller, have by sourcing green hotels, green transportation modes, which includes Hybrid car rentals and carbon offsetting projects.
The website offers a lot of information on green traveling and how to be a responsible traveler. You can chose just to book a room in an eco-friendly hotel in lots of different countries or to book a carefully selected eco trip. These exciting trips include luxurious but eco-conscious beach escapes, i.e. Luxury Eco-Camp in Baja California. You can also book fully organized train trips (a greener way of traveling), such as Bangkok to Singapore (an almost 2,000 km trip), or an unforgettable trip on the Trans Siberian Railway.
Other exciting packages include eco safaris to various part of Africa, exploring the most amazing wildlife and scenery. Or how about visiting a festival and experiencing local cultures in Morocco (the World Music Festival)? Or a bareback horse festival in Siena, Italy?
The company offers a carbon offsetting scheme. On the website, you can use the carbon calculator to calculate your flight emissions and find out exactly how much impact you will have on the environment in terms of CO2. You can then buy carbon offset credits to go towards the company’s very worthwhile green projects, such as the Hebei Wind Farm in China. If you want more information on this project, go to The Good Travel Company’s website and look under the carbon neutral section.
Overall, I think if you love traveling and are interested in sustainable travel options and possibilities, go to The Good Travel Company website.
Music is a powerful force. It can evoke memories and induce all kinds of emotions. This is why music can be an effective remedy for dealing with negative emotions like anxiety. The healing power of music is not a new discovery. It is an ancient remedy for various maladies, going back to Biblical times. Here are some ways you can use music to relax and reduce anxiety in your life.
1. Combine music with deep breathing. Use the music of your choice, and let the rhythm guide you in deep, deliberate breathing.
2. Stretch while listening to calming music as well.
3. Choose music that has repetitive sounds like drum beats. Maybe you long for the beach; use CDs or download music with ocean waves in the background. You can also just get a recording of ocean wave sounds.
4. See a music therapist. These individuals are trained to work with each individual and work out a music-based program to help. Writing, composing, playing, and listening to music are all aspects of music therapy. There is a great deal of evidence to support the effectiveness of music therapy. Practitioners and therapists have seen positive results among their clients – pain relief due to bodily relaxation, calmer states of mind in Alzheimer’s patients, and reduced anxiety.
5. Choose music that reflects your culture, beliefs, and taste. Studies show more positive results in people who listen to music that suits them as individuals. Don’t listen to what you think you should listen to; choose music you like. For example, recordings of whale songs are said to be very soothing and relaxing. But if you really dislike the sound, it won’t help you relax at all.
6. Engage in regular exercise while listening to soothing music.
7. Play calming music in your vehicle as you commute to work, drive your kids to school, or run errands. Keeping calm on the road is sometimes a challenge for anxiety-prone individuals, but having the soothing music in the vehicle can build associations between calm thoughts and driving.
– give ideas, also briefly talk abut music therapy