12 November 2010

Shrewd Shopping List

Chemicals, yum??!  Do we really need these hazardous compounds in our lives?  Male fish have eggs; the frogs have eight legs; and the Peregrines die.  The same is happening to us and we do it to ourselves.  Well, we allow corporate America to get rich off our brain-been-washed need to have all sorts of drugs and potions just to feel clean. We are ruining this great earth we call home. ‘Black is Green’ urges you to cut it out!  Cut and paste this list and take it with you to your local organic market; healthier grocery stores; or online stores. Use this list as the foundation of your new ‘Black is Green’ pantry. 

Baking Soda – gets rid of odors and dirt and is a mild abrasive.
Castile Soap – multi-purpose cleaner; gets rid of grease and bacteria.
Cornstarch - absorbs oil; gets rid of odors and oil; window cleaner.
Hydrogen Peroxide – disinfectant; gets fresh blood out of clothes.
Lemon Juice – disinfectant; gets rid of grease; and is a natural bleach. 
Olive Oil – wood polisher; skin and hair moisturizer.
Salt – Mild abrasive; absorbs liquids and oils
Vinegar – gets rid of odors; is a disinfectant; kills germs, mold and bacteria; and is a rinse agent.   Caution: do not use on marble.
Washing Soda – disinfectant; deodorizer; dissolves stains.  Caution:  do not use on aluminum or no wax floors.

Also, boiling water kills weeds; melts solids; and can be used as a cleaner.

There are other green cleaning ingredients, but some are harmful to skin and can cause serious illness if ingested.  These are borax and ammonia.  I think I’ll stick to the list above for now.  Food grade citric acid is another green ingredient, but is hard to find in stores and when you do find it, small quantities are expensive.  It’s tough to get away from the conglomerates, but at least corporations sell us a few reasonable things.  I’ll take them and will have change left in my pocket.

The list above can be mixed and matched for the dishwasher; washing machine; dryer; floors; windows; furniture; and bathroom and kitchen fixtures.  Add your favorite essential oils for fragrance and do your thing.  I’ll test some recipes and share my experiences in future posts.

“Just got paid, Friday night; party huntin’, feelin’ right; body shakin’, all around…,” screamin’ on the way to the store.
Thanks: publicdomainpictures.net

07 November 2010

Be Green, Save Some

It’s chilly outside and warm inside.   Energy costs are rising and our incomes are falling. Oh, what shall we do? Higher crude oil prices leads to higher prices all over the consumer spectrum and we are headed for some serious pain with the expected colder winter this year.  It’s now time for preventative remedy before we get too comfortable in our cozy homes.  In our house, the heat stays off until our bones start to ache.  Just kidding, but we do let the indoor temperature drop in the late afternoon to about 62 degrees.  The kids go to bed early, so we do not worry about them being cold.  They have a hard time getting to sleep if they are too warm. At night, the heat stays off.  In the early morning, we warm the house to about 65 before we turn the heat off again.  Once the kids are up and running around, in shorts and t-shirts, they complain about the heat, never mind that their feet are cold as ice!  Whiny  voice, “I don’t wanna wear socks!”

It all started when we got married.  My husband likes it cold.  I did not, but then I realized the savings on the utility  bills.  I just threw on some sweats, socks and slippers and I was ready to go.  Over the years, we got used to ever chillier temperatures.  The kids were born into it.  You can do it too!  Over the next few weeks, allow your home temperature to drop about two degrees from your normal per week until you get to the low 60’s temperature.  No point shocking your system, unless you really want to. Add warmer clothes and an extra blanket if you must. 
Wash and rinse your clothes in cold water; take cooler and shorter showers; and after you bake something yummy, crack the oven door a bit to let the heat out to warm the home (warning: do not use your oven to heat the house!).  Be sure to drop the temperature of your hot water if you have not already.   In rarely inhabited rooms, cover the air vents and close the doors; use the heat for the occupied spaces.  A humidifier is a less costly solution to keep your noses moist.  Keep your window coverings closed and place towels at the base of the drafty doors. I do not advocate spending too much money to save some, especially when it comes to the $19.99 gadgets that are equal to stuff you already have at home.
Check out U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's/U.S. Department of Energy Home Advisor Web site www.energystar.gov/homeadvisor for tips to reduce your energy bills. 
Once winter sets in, we usually do not allow the temperature to get below 62 degrees.  We are saving money, but will not jeopardize our health or the structure of our home.  Being too cheap, can cost serious cash if your frozen pipes burst!
Reduction in use of energy resources is a green thing to do.  Let me know what you are doing to save our planet and your $$s!

Thanks: publicdomainpictures.net

01 November 2010

Chunky Funky Veggies

We normally see folks snacking on the regular after lunch duo of celery and carrot sticks with a ranch dipping sauce.   Let’s turn that, “I’m on a diet,” snack into a powerful healthy meal.  There is so much more to the world of raw veggies.  Let’s get chunky funky with tasty colorful chopped organic veggies.  Okay, grab a bowl, cutting board, peeler and a good knife.  Peel stringy or thick skinned veggies and rinse with water .  If you can, compost the scraps.

Chunk up some or all the following organic veggies:
raw beet
grape or cherry tomatoes
broccoli florets
cauliflower florets
green, red and/or yellow pepper
large mushrooms
rainbow carrots yellow, orange and/ or red
snap peas
baby corn

Try each veggie by itself and take in the flavors; so much better than pesticides and waxes.  You can actually taste the natural salts in the celery; the beets will stain your fingers a bit, but they are really good; the yellow and red carrots have a milder flavor than the orange; and the radishes have that zing.  I feel like I can eat the skin of the cucumbers and not worry (much) about the soil on the mushrooms.  The tomatoes are simply delicious!  These veggies are best served chilled for a refreshing crisp meal. You can also spoon a huge scoop of organic roasted red pepper hommus/hummus onto your favorite dish as the dip.

You don’t have to be a raw foodie to enjoy the benefits of fresh vegetables.  Raw foods are balanced and higher quality. They are also filling.  Eating veggies of different colors gives your body a wide variety of valuable nutrients and natural substances that help maintain health.  Vegetables are an important part of your weight loss and disease prevention strategy.  They also help you maintain your true natural beauty, inside and out.  The extra plus is that eating Chunky Funky Veggies is an environmentally sound way to go.  

 For dessert, have an organic Gala apple!  Try it and let me know your feelings.  Chunky Cheers!