Home magazine offers readers information on what it calls "earth-inspired
Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the magazine's
editor-in-chief, has these suggestions for homeowners:
Collaborative, a national network of more than 1,000 members of the
food community who promote sustainable cuisine by celebrating the joys
of local, seasonal, and artisanal cooking, list some of the ways they run
their restaurants sustainably that could be applied in the home kitchen:
Vacuum the coils on the back of your refrigerator
every six months. This will keep the compressor pump from having to work
Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent
bulbs. They will use only three-quarters as much electricity to produce
the same amount of light and last four times as long as incandescent bulbs.
They will pay for themselves in two years.
When boiling water for pasta, put a lid on
the pot to bring it to a boil more quickly. Save the water in which you
boil pasta or corn to water your plants.
If your stove has burner pans, keep them clean
so they will reflect more heat.
For your refrigerator to be most effective,
keep it three-quarters full.
In the morning after you make coffee, pour
it into a thermos to keep it hot and unplug the coffee maker.
Buy chemical-free products. Use your grandmother's
techniques, such as baking soda to clean, borax to disinfect, and vinegar
to cut grease.
Don't use antibacterial products to avoid
building up super-strains of germs.
Use Web sites such as Seafood
Choices Alliance or Monterey
Bay Aquarium to guide you to sustainable choices in fish. Use the Internet
to research options for meats. Check out local butchers and ask questions:
Has the animal been given antibiotics and hormones? What is it fed? Is
Learn to cook with the seasons; use available
local ingredients whenever possible. You can also switch recipes
to use those that are timely. Compromise a
little if you have to, depending on where
you live. For example, don't give up if you can't find organic. Try to
find pesticide-free. Sometimes farmers are in transition or don't want
to pay the fees to be certified organic.
Composting is probably the biggest difference
you can make. It reduces your contribution to land fills and feeds
your soil. Use the Internet to learn how to compost at home. Reuse plastic
containers from yogurt and other purchased products. At home we use
Ziplock bags when necessary, but you can use them more than once.
Butts! from Planet Ark: This article from
the site offers some in depth information regarding cigarette butts and their
footprint on the environment.
Share's Spring 2003 Tips included the following:
HOW TO TREAT HOUSEHOLD STAINS —
WITHOUT SOILING THE EARTH
Got a nasty cleaning problem this spring?
Spots on carpets, couches, or clothing can require heavy-duty cleaners
to remove. Some of these cleaners contain ingredients that can pollute
the air and water — and endanger your and your family’s health.
Many stains can be easily and safely removed
from clothing and household furnishings, increasing their quality and prolonging
their useful life. Often, the only ingredients you need to remove stains
are common household materials. Below are few examples of common
stains and the ingredients to remove them. When treating any stain, try
testing a small portion of the stain first to be sure it works.
"GOING NATURALl" - from Home
Composting Made Easy by C. Forrest McDowell, PhD & Tricia Clark-McDowell
Adhesive tape: Freeze with ice; scrape off.
Candle Wax or Crayons: Cover with brown paper
bag and iron at low heat.
Chewing Gum: Freeze with ice; scrape off.
Chocolate Stains: Club soda.
Coffee Stains: Moist salt.
Coffee Pot Stains: Mix ice and salt.
Cola Stains: White vinegar.
Grease: Borax on a damp cloth.
Ink Spots: Cold water, one tablespoon Cream
of Tartar, one tablespoon lemon juice.
Mildew: Equal parts salt and white vinegar.
White chalk rubbed into stain before washing.
Perspiration: Vinegar or lemon juice.
Pet Stains: Warm water with a drop of liquid
Porcelain Stains: Baking soda.
Rug Stains: Club soda. (Treat immediately!)
Rust Spots (on clothing): Lemon juice, salt,
Rusty Bolts: Carbonated beverage.
Scorch: Grated onion.
Upholstery Spots: Club soda. (Treat immediately!)
Water Marks: Toothpaste. Also try: rubbing
toothpowder on wood; or spraying with a water mist, then putting a paper
bag or towel over it and ironing at a low heat.
Wine Stains: Salt.
It is possible that not all your
yard waste can be recycled in a compost bin - you may have too much or
your bin is already full and in use. Important alternatives (if allowed
in your municipality) can be characterized as "natural systems" - letting
raw nature help out. These techniques especially increase worm life
in your soil - that's good, real good!
Also called trench composting. The
basic premise is simple: BURY YOUR WASTE!! This can be done
for kitchen waste or other yard debris. Just dig a trench 10 - 12"
deep, throw in items, chop & mix with soil, then cover with remaining
soil. In a few months the rotted materials will have been incorporated
into the soil and you can plant above them.
This mulching technique is useful for copious
amounts of leaves, clippings, etc. (No food wastes) Simply
lay them down throughout the garden, or rototill them into the soil (late
autumn is best or at least 2 months before planting time.) Mulching
is critical in helping to retain soil moisture, and in erosion and/or weed
Definitely a worthy alternative to composting
grass clippings. Grasscycling is the practice of leaving grass clipplings
on the lawn or using them as mulch. It is a simple, natural approach
to lawn care. Grass clippings are 75-85 percent water, so they decompose
quickly and release nitrogen and other nutrients back into the lawn.
Covered Wind Row
This heap-like pile is generally long,
narrow, and high (up to 4-ft or higher). It is very simply layered
as waste materials come available and kept covered with plastic.
Decomposition occurs within its own time and speed but eventually happens.
(If disposing food scraps in this pile, make sure they are well covered/buried