You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Gardening’ category.

Day 33 - Vines

Shoes Vines

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 33rd of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

I don’t know the street name, but this place is on a small side street on the way to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. I’ll look next time I walk by it.

Check out the rest, Day 33 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Recycle, Reuse.

-Cara

Advertisements

Do not fear. There is a way to avoid the assassin…at least if you live in the Northeast.

Here is a cool link for the seasonal fruits and veggies in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also use this interactive map to see what’s fresh in any area, by month.

Eat fresh.

-Cara

I have put together a schedule of what is in season or well at least the harvest times of fruits and veggies I like in the New York/Northeastern area last night. It is always good to buy local and helpful to know when you can.

Enjoy.

-Cara

fruits-and-veggies1

Living in NYC, it is strange to wrap my mind around all that nature and chimpanzees swinging around everywhere. I think any of those jobs would be cool. The coffee sniffing, the chimpanzees studying and the farming, but maybe not on such a large scale. I’m more of a fire escape gardener than coffee farmer.

I love organic coffee, chimpanzees and fair trade!!!

-Cara

With that said…

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth via e-mail, a gift from me to you.

You’re Welcome. :]

-Cara

The Place

The Place

On our way to Connecticut’s Stonehenge, Marine and I passed an amazing solar powered house in the middle of a wildflower field, while in Sachem Head, CT.  One of the best parts of road trips I think is finding these types of hidden places. Marine threw the car into reverse, and I snapped some quick pics. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

The Studio

The Studio

Right Section

Right Section

Panels Close-Up Shot

Solar Panels Close-Up Shot

There were these cool bird houses that seemed to grow out of the flowers, one of the houses I saw had the word “VIEW” etched on it. It makes me wonder, with all this crazy art and such, maybe I have stumble upon an alien colony right here in Connecticut. Someone call Art Bell!

Bird Houses with the Sun Behind Them

Bird Houses with the Sun Behind Them

Bird Houses

Bird Houses in the Sun

View

View

It turns out that it is not a house, but an art studio and garage, built by Eileen Eder, a local artist, and her husband, Andrew, located in the back of their house (which I never noticed). The two completed this barn like studio in November of 2007. It looks like a crazy sort of dark, futuristic barn in the middle of a wild field.

The Field

Part of the Field

According to Solar Connecticut’s web site, the solar panels were installed on the studio’s 60-foot long roof by Aegis Electrical System of Branford. If you’d like to read more about the studio’s solar set-up click here.

It really is beautiful.

-Cara

On Saturday’s I am the site manager at a farmer’s market in Manhattan. I really like the job. You meet cool people and are around great food. Anyway, here are some picture’s I took at the market on July 19th of this year.  There was a chef’s demo going on that day.

Eat local.

-Cara

Bio Pets

I have written about BioBags before in my 100th post, concerning some composting ideas I had.  I really think their concept is a good one, but I have still not actually tried them. :) Anyway, I came across these Biobag Dog Waste Bags and BioBag Cat Pan Liners and thought they sound like great ideas.

I don’t have a dog, but live in NYC where everyone has to pick up after their dogs. I always think about how many plastic bags these people must go through, just to throw away dog poo. This bag is a great idea. It would also be a great idea in New York City to have by every other garbage can be a compost can. Just for dog owners to throw their dog poo in, instead of throwing it into the regular garbage cans. Then the Parks Department could compost the dog poo and use it as fertilizer in all the City Parks. You’re welcome New York City Department of Parks and Recreation! :)

Here’s some info about the Biobag Dog Waste Bags from the BioBag’s site:

BioBag Dog holds the distinction of being the first biodegradable and compostable “plastic” pooper bag in the world.

[When] pet owners put 100% biodegradable dog waste into plastic bags that can take over 100 years to decompose. (I read on another site that BioBags will degrade within 45 days.)

BioBag dog pooper bags are to help divert all naturally biodegradable waste from entering our landfills.

The best solution for disposal of pet waste has always been to separate it from the bag or paper and flush it down the toilet. Using BioBags…the waste and the bag can be thrown in your backyard compost, where both items can decompose naturally; the waste and bag can be buried, where micro-organisms will quickly eat both; the waste and bag can be set at curbside with other yard waste where communities collect biodegradable waste for composting. Please check with your community for disposal options.

I think the cat liners are another great idea for people who use them. I myself do not as I have scoopable litter and then the litter pan itself gets clean out fully. I guess a bag would make it easier to clean…we will think about it.

Here’s some info about the BioBag Cat Pan Liners from the BioBag’s site:

Cat waste should not be composted, as its composition can be quite toxic (What? Toxic…I had no idea. :P). Cat waste should always be scooped from the litter box and then put in your trash. There are a number of new biodegradable cat litters on the market. We also do not recommend flushing it down the toilet because cat poop may endanger sea otters.

Using these biodegradable cat pan liners to dispose of the remaining biodegradable litter makes good environmental sense.

Biodegradable cat pan liners are non-allergenic. Cats can be allergic to plastic and other known allergens. Allergies usually build up over time from constant contact with the allergen. Calicos, Tortiseshells, Black cats and Siamese cats are more prone to allergies than other breeds.

If you suspect your cat has an allergy (red, itchy rashes), consult your veterinarian to determine the source. It is best to use hard-fired ceramic bowls, instead of molded plastic, for serving your cat food. Using a biodegradable cat litter made naturally from renewable grain crops may protect your cat from certain chemicals. Using BioBag non-allergenic liners is an environmentally safe way to further protect your pet.

Eco-pets rule!

-Cara

g a

In previous Friday shopping entries I would list three items you could buy, but I have decided I would rather focus on just one product per shopping entry. The reason is it’s easier to focus and provide more information one one product, in comparison to three. OK, now that we have discussed the changes, lets move on.

Here is a really cool idea from Desert Sweet Organic.

In a pristine high desert farm in Arizona, 141,000 certified organic apple trees (Choose from Gala, Red, Golden, Granny Smith, or Fuji apple tree) are up for sale.

You can send 10-lb gifts boxes that contain certified organic apples from your very own apple tree to whoever, for $11.50 plus shipping, plus the one time cost of the tree and yearly horticulture. Prices of the trees range between $200-$250 depending on the tree and yearly horticulture is $45 a year.

Simply send them your gift list and they’ll do all the work for you. They take care of your tree and send the apples to your gift recipients every year it produces fruit, for as long as it lives. These trees have approximately 20 more years of fruit producing life.

If anyone cares I love Gala apples. ;)

-Cara

This recipe my friend Lexi gave to me like a hundred years ago when we were just kids working at Whole Foods. This was before Whole Foods became a publicly traded company [I am a Whole Foods stockholder as when we worked there we were given stock and/or allowed to buy it cheaply. I just want to be honest and above board. ] and sold out. John Mackey, what a joke. I can say this as I experienced it firsthand. I never had such a great job before they went public. It was the best work environment and best people to work with. We all loved our jobs so much that it positively affected how we treated Whole Foods customers. It wasn’t a hassle or annoying, as we were respected and treated so well that we want to excel at our jobs and do what was right for the company. We were paid really well and had amazing benefits. It is the simple theory of treating your employees well and not only will they work hard, but you will make more money and a have a better life yourself. We were a true community and since that time I have never experienced that type of job.

The issue was to get the real big money they decided they needed to go public and it became no longer about us, it was about the stockholders and their happiness. Everyday, things changed more into a factory environment with dress codes, piercing policies, green aprons, whatever the stockholders wanted Mackey gave them. It became a place where if you did not agree with them they would fire you based on untruths. The place is not a good place to work anymore. I guess caring about what you do and how you do it doesn’t pay for a 720-acre ranch in Texas. Sorry, to get all up in it that way. January 1992 was just a sad time in history for all of us that worked there. If you don’t believe me here are some links I found from others like me who worked for this company and saw Whole foods devolve into what it is today.

Whole Foods Fight

Unconscionable Capitalism: How Whole Foods Values Policy Over Employees Well-Being

Good company to work for? (applying, business, change, part-time) [scroll down on this one to see some ex-employees of Whole Foods opinion.]

The Whole Foods Cure For Herpes

That’s enough for now, but if your not convinced do a search and you will find thousands of articles on what it is to work for a company with a nice exterior, but not so clean an interior.

To quote an ex-Whole Foods employee south2nd:

Ugh, stay away from Whole Foods. Before they became a publicly traded company, they were pretty great to work for. It has completely changed. They have eliminated most of the programs that made them different. The associates are not treated well, the pay is low, and the the atmosphere is very clique-ish and cutthroat. I would not recommend it unless you hate yourself.

01-19-2008, 08:57 AM

OK, I really got sidetracked from my recipe…sorry…bringing it back now. This recipe was originally Lexi’s but since then I have changed it a bit, it is now Lexi and Cara’s Special Organic Yam Yams or Sweet Potatoes recipe.

What You Need

as many organic sweet potatoes or yams you want to eat

as much organic unsalted butter you want per potato (I usually put like two tablespoons cut into squares and put along the potato)

as much organic brown sugar as you want per potato (I usually do about two tablespoons or less depending on the size of the potato)

as much organic honey as you like (I usually use a tablespoon)

a tablespoon of organic beer

What To Do

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Wash your yams/sweet potatoes

Cut them into quarters

Place them on a sheet big enough to wrap up said yams or potatoes

Add butter, brown sugar, honey, and a bit o’ beer.

Wrap them in their original shape with foil.

Put on a baking pan or may I suggest a dish with some depth as the juices will leak out of the aluminum sometimes and you don’t want to waste any of the good stuff.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until they are nice and soft.

Put them and all the juices in a serving pan and enjoy.

I want some now!

-Cara


Reason 92 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

It is estimated that 30 percent of the world’s fish catch is non-target species, or “bycatch.” Fishers–typically in the cruelest most expedient ways–separate out the discards, only to dump them overboard, dead and mutilated. Bycatch from driftnetting is estimated at 85 percent of catch; despite a U.N. moratorium, Italy, France, and Morocco continue the hugely destructive practice. Shrimp fishing alone is responsible for over 27 percent of the world’s bycatch, despite producing less than 2 percent of global seafood.

I collected some stats on drink consumption from, The Good Stuff guide, produced in 2004 by the Worldwatch Institute that I thought might be of interest to people.

  • People in the U.S. consume more packaged drinks per capita than in any other country—about 350 aluminum cans per person per year, compared to 103 in Sweden, 88 in the United Kingdom, and 14 in France. [Go France!]
  • Making 1 million tons of aluminum cans from virgin materials requires 5 million tons of bauxite ore and the energy equivalent of 32 million barrels of crude oil. Recycling the cans, in comparison, saves all of the bauxite and more than 75 percent of the energy, and avoids about 75 percent of the pollutants.
  • Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a laptop computer for 4 hours.
  • Making 1 million tons of plastic bottles from virgin materials (petroleum and other fossil fuels) generates an estimated 732,000 tons of climate-altering greenhouse gases.

Again I say, that’s crazy!

Eco-Cycle Media did a piece called, Zero Waste Systems that gives you an idea of how messed up our production/consumption/recycling system is right now. Then they wrap it up with some simple solutions you can do to reverse this doomed process.

Zero Waste!

-Cara

—————————————————

Reason 75 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Okinawa has the healthiest and longest-lived people in the world, boasting the highest percentage of people who live to be a hundred years old. The super-seniors who inhabit the island tend to retain their mental keenness, and few need to live in nursing homes. Not surprisingly, they eat very little food of animal origin, according to a 25-year study on the island. Genes could take some of the credit, although today’s old folks are projected to outlive their children who have adopted Western eating habits.

Since Friday was my 100th post, we missed the weekly shopping entry, so thank you Monday, for picking up Friday’s slack.

Sometimes I commit sins against green. It is true I still sin. One example of said sinning is my desire to dry the counters with clean, pristine, white, recycled [:)] paper towels. I have a sponge for the counters, but it always seems to get dirty so fast, that I can’t bear to “clean” anything with it. Thus, the paper towel dilemma.

I decided to research this issue of mine and find a solution. Here is what I will try, the European Sponge Cloth. I think it might be a winner. I will let you know, and if anyone reading this has tried it, please review as I am curious.

Second sin…composting. I’ve done tons of research on composting…for whatever reasons, I will not get into now. Nevertheless, with all I know of what makes what type of compost, and what to do to keep out the bugs, how to make it not smell, plenty of room on my fire escape, food byproducts everyday, plants that need to be re-potted and fed…I still don’t compost. What I will do is buy these BioBags [100% biodegradable and 100% compostable bags and films made from the material, Mater-Bi. All of our products contain GMO free starch, biodegradable polymer and other renewable resources. No polyethylene is used in the production process. BioBag products meet ASTM D6400 specifications and California SB 1749 requirements.] and line this old wooden wine box

and compost away. Again, I’ll let you know…

And last but not least, to begin to make up for all the paper and whatever else I have done, I will give to The Arbor Day Foundation’s, Rain Forest Rescue Program.

I like having “to-do” lists.

-Cara

—————————————————

Reason 66 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
The meat industry doesn’t treat the causes of its problems, only the symptoms. When it imprisons massive numbers of animals in cramped stress-inducing cages, it provides the perfect breeding ground for deadly bacteria, which later infect the meat. Technologies to kill meat pathogens are now very big business. We have acidic-solution carcass misting, alkaline-solution sprays, steam/vacuum technology, high-temperature carcass washes, steam pasteurization, and chlorine applications, etc., ad nauseam. Some bug-fighting methods, such as food irradiation and sprays of antidotal viruses and probiotic bacteria, pose risks in themselves. And in the end, the meat still isn’t safe

I remember when I was a kid growing up in Miami my Nana and Papa had the best backyard. In it, to name a few of the million plants, were mangoes, guavas, avocados, papayas, bananas and sea grapes. I remember helping them make guava and sea grape jelly in their small ranch house. We always made less of the sea grape jelly, so it made it more of a treat.

Here is my Nana’s Sea Grape Recipe given to my mom, then given to me.

2 to 3 quarts of sea grapes

8 cups fruit juice from sea grapes

8 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup lime juice

Select ripe and partly ripe sea grapes. Wash and place in large pot, add water to not quite cover the fruit. Bring to a boil and soak until tender. Squeeze juice out by hand or strain through jelly bag, then measure juice.

To each 8 cups of juice obtained, add 8 1/2 cups sugar and 1/3 cup lime juice.

Cook to 225 degrees, which will take about 27 minutes. When it reaches the jelly stage, skim and pour into sterile jars and seal. Makes eight 1/2 pound jars.

It’s been a long time since I’ve made sea grape jelly. I need to find some wild sea grapes again.

-Cara

—————————————————

Reason 64 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Want the omega-3s in fish but would rather skip the mercury, PCBs, and dioxins? Well, push aside that fish altogether, and rediscover flax. Two tablespoons of ground flax daily give you all of the essential fatty acid you need with several bonuses: Flax seeds contain iron, zinc, and high-quality protein, plus almost all of the vitamins. They’re loaded with soluble fiber and are the best source anywhere of phytonutrient lignans. They ease symptoms of diabetes and even promote healthy brain growth in utero and in infancy.

Scotch B

Summer is coming up, which means for me, it is time to make my Jamaican jerk sauce. Unlike most commercial jerk sauces, this one is not over sweetened and under spicy. This is the real deal. I have yet to make an entirely organic recipe as I have not found organic scotch bonnet peppers anywhere. I e-mailed a few companies today asking if they sold any organic scotch bonnet peppers or seeds. I will let you know what I find out. If you do find the organic peppers you can have an organic version of this Jamaican jerk sauce, which is how I will write it…I am just warning you if I can’t find organic scotch bonnet peppers anywhere in New York City, it might be hard for you as well. :)

Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup organic ground allspice berries [you can use organic allspice berries, if available, but use enough to give the equivalent of 1/2 cup ground.]
  2. 1/2 cup packed organic brown sugar
  3. 6-8 organic garlic cloves
  4. 4-6 organic scotch bonnet peppers [to control the temperature you can take out some of the seeds for less heat]
  5. 1 tablespoon organic ground thyme or 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves
  6. 2 bunches organic green onions [also known as scallions or spring onions]
  7. 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  8. 1/2 teaspoon organic nutmeg
  9. Organic salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 tablespoon organic tamari [or Bragg Liquid Aminos if you’d like] to moisten

Tools

Food Processor

What to do!

Place the allspice, brown sugar, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and tamari in a food processor and blend until smooth!

Once you are done put it in the refrigerator to chill. This sauce, if kept in the refrigerator, never goes bad. I usually rub it on my homemade organic seitan and leave it for a few hours to soak in, then cook it in a pan with a bit of oil for a few minutes on both sides till it’s warm enough. Then throw it on a roll will lettuce, mung bean sprouts, raisins [mine soon to be made in solar powered food dehydrator], and carrot shavings. It is the best, filling, and puts some pep in your step!

Scotch Bonnet Peppers are very tasty and one of the hottest peppers [a heat rating between 150,000–325,000 Scoville Units], some say it is the hottest, others say the habañero [a heat rating between 200,000-300,000 Scoville units] is. I say as far as heat I can tell no difference between the two, but I think scotch bonnet peppers are the best.

While doing my research on scotch bonnets I discovered this guy Neil who runs www.thehippyseedcompany.com. He created a YouTube channel dedicated solely to testing the effects of consuming a variety of hot peppers. In his own words, “Hey, ill test all my varieties, put the vids here, People can see my review buy the seeds if want and mabee get a laugh if its a Hot variety..”

His test rules are as follows,
1. Eat a whole chili
2. Chew a minimum of ten seconds
3. Swallow it (if can)
4. Wait sixty seconds
5. Note results

Sounds simple enough, but watching him go through it all is an experience in itself. If anyone has seen a friend in a bet eating a hot pepper or the millions of other YouTube videos where British guys are crying in pain as they eat their peppers, they are in for a surprise with these videos. This guy, he is serious…see for yourself below where he eats a whole scotch bonnet pepper and discusses in real time the effects it is having on him. Sometimes I really like the World Wide Web and what it brings to the table.

There are health benefits to eating scotch bonnet peppers as well. The active ingredient in scotch bonnet peppers [and all chili peppers] is Capsaicin. It has been said to be a miracle drug. I take it to increase my circulation, especially in the winter, in capsule form.

Here are some other ways chili peppers are healing according to SixWise.com,

1. Fight Cancer

A study published in Cancer Research found that capsaicin caused cancer cells to commit suicide. The substance caused almost 80 percent of prostate cancer cells to die in mice, and prostate tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of those in untreated mice.

“Capsaicin inhibits the growth of human prostate cancer cells in petri dishes and mice,” says lead researcher Dr. H. Phillip Koeffler, director of hematology and oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Further, researchers say capsaicin pills may one day be used to prevent the return of prostate cancer.

2. Provide Pain Relief

A topical form of capsaicin is a recognized treatment for osteoarthritis pain, and may also help alleviate pain from diabetic neuropathy.

Capsaicin is also known to inhibit Substance P, a neuropeptide that is the key transmitter of pain to the brain. Substance P can cause swelling of nerve fibers, which may result in headaches and sinus symptoms. Studies have found that capsaicin both relieves and prevents cluster headaches, migraine headaches and sinus headaches.

3. Prevent Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion

Capsaicin has potent antibacterial properties that fight and prevent chronic sinus infections, or sinusitis. Because it is so hot, it also helps to stimulate secretions that help clear mucus from your nose, thereby relieving nasal congestion. This phytochemical may also help relieve sinus-related allergy symptoms.

4. Fight Inflammation

Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It works by inhibiting Substance P, which is associated with inflammatory processes. Capsaicin is being looked at as a potential treatment for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy.

5. Soothe Intestinal Diseases

A Duke University study found that capsaicin may lead to a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The substance can also help to kill bacteria such as H. pylori, which can help prevent stomach ulcers.

6. Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Capsaicin is a thermogenic agent, which means it increases metabolic activity. This, in turn, helps to burn calories and fat. Many popular “fat-burning” supplements on the market contain capsaicin, as the substance may significantly increase metabolic activity for over 20 minutes after it’s eaten.

7. Protect Your Heart

Capsaicin may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. It may also help the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Further, cultures around the world that use hot peppers liberally in their meals have significantly lower rates of heart attack and stroke than cultures that do not.

Eat well.

-Cara

——————————-

Fish make vibratory sounds with various “calls” that researchers have identified as communicating alarm and aggravation. They possess fully formed nervous systems as well as complex social behaviors. They are also capable of learning complicated tasks. British researchers discovered in 2003 that fish have the cerebral mechanisms to feel pain. As one animal activist once put it, “Fish are not merely vegetables that can swim.”

No Impact Man

I found this blog the other day called, No Impact Man. I forget what I had googled, but it came up. It is written by a man named, Colin Beavan.

I read the header which states, “A Guilty Liberal Finally Snaps, Swears Off Plastic, Goes Organic, Becomes A Bicycle Nazi, Turns Off His Power, Composts His Poop and, While Living In New York City, Generally Turns Into a Tree-Hugging Lunatic Who Tries to Save the Polar Bears and The Rest of the Planet from Environmental Catastrophe While Dragging His Baby Daughter and Prada-Wearing, Four Seasons-Loving Wife Along for the Ride.” . I could go no further at that moment, I was already exhausted and delving deeper into this blog seemed as though it would be a momentous endeavor to take on, so I bookmarked it for a later day.

Today was that day. I went to the site and started to read his entry, How I Don’t Blow My Brains Out and already, just with the title, I thought this might be good. It turned out it was an awesome entry. :) It has been a rough week and it is a dark and rainy day in New York City, it is what I needed at this moment. It is about the importance of being positive.

My favorite part is when Beavan writes, “So when I think of catastrophes, I try to think about all the wonderful people who are trying, against all odds, to help. When I wonder where God is in the horrible mess, I try to think that he/she/it resides in their hearts.

That’s what I’m talking about.

-Cara

——————————-

Results from two major studies involving tens of thousands of subjects–one in the UK (University of Leads, 2007), the other in the U.S. (Nurses’ Health Study, 2006)–suggest that the more red meat a woman eats the more she is at risk for breast cancer, regardless of her age. Suspected culprits include saturated fat, growth hormones fed to cattle, heme iron (only in red meat), and heterocyclic amines (carcinogens produced during the cooking process).

tbs

 

I wrote a blog entry on Recycline toothbrushes last month. I sent the entry to the them to share my super fresh writing [ :) ] with the company that inspired it all. Justin from Recycline got back to me. He was cool and offered to send me a toothbrush to try if I hadn’t already picked one up [He also said, “…I can attest that, with the 12 employees of Recycline all squarely behind the company mission, I feel lucky to be able to work here.”. See the original entry to understand what he is talking about.].

I got the toothbrush yesterday, it is a cool black shade with soft bristles and I swear the handle feels like a yogurt container, but that may be more psychological than anything else. I tried the toothbrush this morning and love it so far, but like a lot of things in my life I get excited way too soon. I will use it some more then give my official review. That is not what this entry is about…it is about what am I, like millions of others, supposed to do with my regular, non-green toothbrush. I don’t want to just say too bad and throw it out. I got on the case and here’s what I found…

According to www.freshfromthefarm.us, “some 50 million pounds of toothbrushes are tossed into America’s landfills each year. “. That isn’t even the number if everyone switched their toothbrush every three months like is recommended!!! What??? That is crazy.

There are also other green alternatives besides Recycline like, the TerrAdent line of toothbrushes from Eco-Dent. They came up with this solution to be more green, replaceable heads.

Here’s what they say about it, “The most commonly available toothbrushes require you to throw away the handle every time you need to replace your toothbrush. Hundreds of millions of these plastic handles pile up in land fills all across the country, taking up space and not breaking down. At the same time, enormous resources have to be used to create more and more plastic handles to replace those in the land fills! The cycle goes on without an end–until NOW. TerrAdenT Replaceable Head toothbrushes provide the best solution by allowing you to keep the handle and simply replace the heads, quickly and conveniently, when the time comes. Others who have tried to address this problem, while well-intentioned, have not worked through the solution quite as well. TerrAdenT is a far better solution than mailing a handle back to the manufacturer for recycling, when one looks at the ecological and monetary costs involved in transporting the handles back to the manufacturer, and then going through a recycling process which requires tremendous amounts of energy to re-use the plastic, and then having to transport the new “recycled plastic goods” back into the marketplace.

Then of course there is the original old skool eco tooth brush, Radius. The ones who cared and did something about it first.

Here’s what they sell,

The Original

The wide oval head, thumb grip and large comfortable handle available in right or left orientation makes this a classic toothbrush – now in its 22nd year of production.

The Scuba

The wide oval head flexes back and forth to remind us to reduce the pressure of brushing – large soft handle for sensitive brushing. Now in its 18th year of production.

The Intelligent Toothbrush

The Intelligent Toothbrush monitors your brushing time to 2 minutes. After 90 days of brushing it advises you to check the bristle wear and possibly change the head.

The Source

Replaceable head toothbrush with renewable resource handle – reduces environmental impact. Radial bristling – first toothbrush in the world to have it. Makes brushing easier and more effective. 3,080 Tynex nylon bristles – available in soft or medium. Reversible for right or left hand.

Replaceable heads reduce environmental impact. First toothbrush in the world to have “Radial Bristling” making brushing easier and more effective. Soft or medium.

They have also reduced their packaging recently which has lowered the shipping cost 30%.

I could not find any way to recycle toothbrushes for people who can’t find these options in their local store and don’t have the money and/or time to order toothbrushes on-line. What I did find was toothbrush crafts and other useful ways a toothbrush can be used after they are no longer cleaning your pearly whites!!!

Carol Duvall from HGTV came up with a cool solution make bracelets out of them. It is pretty basic system, but a little imagination and who knows what you can come up with. Maybe paint them or while they are malleable carve cool designs in them, or use stickers, etc.

Below are some ideas for toothbrushes after their original use is over. If you have anymore let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

  1. Use for polishing your shoes. This is especially useful for where the shoe meets the sole.
  2. Use for cleaning threaded mechanical parts.
  3. Use for cleaning greasy auto parts.
  4. The artistic type can use one as a coarse paint brush.
  5. Use for cleaning combs.
  6. Melt the handle until soft enough to bend at a 90 degree angle (with bristles pointing out), and use it to clean coffee makers, etc.
  7. Use old ones to clean the grooves between the tiles in your bathroom or floors.
  8. Using a permanent marker, you can make vegetable/flower ids for the garden.
  9. Use them to hold up plants in the house.
  10. Children can use them for splatter painting, or puppets.

That’s it for now. If anyone hears of a way to recycle everyday toothbrushes, let us know.

Keep it real.

-Cara
——————————-

Governments try to regulate fishing gear, catch size, species, and fishing season, but usually without success. Perhaps the biggest single threat to global fish stocks is illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing, which, it is estimated, amounts to about a quarter of the world’s catch. In some locations, IUU fishing has been documented to amount to four times the legal catch. Efforts to combat piracy are fraught with obstacles, not the least being feverish world demand for fish. For pirates, the return on investment is well worth the risks of side-stepping fishing conventions, skirting surveillance, off-loading fish to other boats that “launder” the catch, and docking at complicit ports. Because when pirates are actually caught, the penalties tend to be inordinately light.

I dedicate this entry to my Papa who’s Birthday it is today.

RAIN BARRELS!!!

Rain Barrel 1

When I was growing up in Miami my Nana and Papa always had rain barrels, buckets and other rain catching devices outside of their house. They were there to water plants and anything else you may have needed rainwater for. I always thought the water from the sky was purer, realer than from a hose or sink. That rain contained magic that eluded processed water. That’s why my Papa collected water from the sky, while neighbors used their sprinklers. My Papa, he has always been close to the earth and a bit magical.

I was thinking last night, after a day of driving in the rain, I have a million plants I need to water a week, I also have a fire escape, and rain, so what am I waiting for. I can save natural resources by watering my plants with rainwater and also infuse some of that magic into their lives. :D

Below I will list steps on how to build your own rain barrel system for people who live in a house and where to buy them as well. For now, I’m going to cut off the top to a couple of soda bottles and put them on my fire escape, until I come up with a better way. I want to see if I can use stuff I already have instead of buying more stuff. As I look out my windows right now it is a gorgeous, sunny day. Watch, it probably won’t rain for weeks! I will build my first system today. I already have an old, wooden box on the fire escape to use as my base.

Wood Box

I will update with more photos when done…

Southwest Florida Water Management District’s web site has a great how-to rain barrel your life section. There’s even a video. :)

Rain Barrel

Building your own rain barrel

Decide where to place the barrel — many people put them under a downspout for easy attachment. Also consider the distance to your plants, gardens and flowerbeds.

If you don’t have gutters, put the barrel under a valley in the roof that sheds a lot of water. Be sure to put a screen over the open barrel to keep out debris, small animals and insects. This will take a lot longer to fill, but may be more practical for your location.

Step 1. Clean the barrel

Use food-quality containers, not ones that held harsh chemicals. Rinse the inside of the barrel with vinegar or lemon juice [Thanks Sue] and 5 gallons of water to wash away food or juice remnants.

Step 2. Install a hose spigot

To install a 3/4″ hose spigot, drill a 15/16″ hole for the spigot threading just a few inches from the bottom of the barrel. This will provide a few inches of clearance for attaching a hose or filling a watering can and allow for debris to settle below the outlet to reduce clogging.

Step 3. Build a platform

Concrete cinder blocks provide a strong, stable and level platform for your rain barrel. If you use more than one layer of blocks, stack them in a crisscross pattern so they won’t tip over.

Step 4. Connect downspout to barrel

Position the barrel at its set height and measure where you need to cut or disconnect your downspout. Often you can disassemble the downspout at the gutter by taking out screws or drilling out rivets. If you do have to cut it off, use a fine-toothed hacksaw blade or tin snips.

A flexible downspout extender makes an easy transition from the downspout to your barrel lid and eliminates the need for exact measurement because it bends and stretches to the length you need.

Step 5. Cut barrel opening

Place the downspout connection in the barrel. If your barrel comes with a lid, or if it has a sealed top, you will need to cut a hole in it.

Overflows and multiple barrels

You may want to connect an overflow pipe or link multiple barrels together. An overflow pipe will carry excess water that would normally overflow the barrel to another part of the yard or into another rain barrel; this is a great way to reduce water around the foundation of your house during rain.

I also found a cool alternative to downspouts, Kusari Doi [rain chains]. In Japan, Kusari-Doi or “rain chains” have been used for hundreds of years, copper rain chains can be found on homes, gardens and temples throughout Japan.

Lily

According to ValesGreenhouse.com,

“Rain Chains replace the traditional downspout on a typical household gutter system. They are a unique decorative accent to your house, while maintaining the functionality of a traditional downspout. With rain chains, you can actually see the water as it clings to the chains, or funnels through the cups, as it makes its way to the ground. The look and sound of the cascading water is mesmerizing. Rain Chains have been in use in Japan for hundreds of years. The Japanese name for Rain Chain is Kusari Doi. The copper variety will gain a rustic and timeless verdigris patina colour as it ages. They are a perfect accent to any home, and they are an endless conversation piece. Let a vine climb up for the summer and be amazed when you see the ice on it in the winter.

Rain Chains are 8 feet in length and attach very easily from the hole where the downspout was. All you may need is a screwdriver. Each chain is provided with a hanging hook that adjusts to fit virtually any gutter hole.”

I think they look beautiful. There is even a site I found where you can build your own “Globe Link” Kusari Doi.

Globe

I love new projects.

-Cara

——————————————————————————

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 70 percent of the world’s commercial fish stocks are fully exploited, overfished, or collapsed. To supply surging world demand, fishers use rapacious techniques, such as sonar, driftnets, longlines, dredgers, and leviathan fish-packing vessels. In the case of longlining, 4.5 million hooks are launched daily. A third of the world’s harvested fish go to feed livestock or farmed fish. The ocean’s interconnected ecosystem simply cannot keep pace. Now, 90 percent of the coveted top predator fish are gone. Consequently, fishers have moved down the food web to species once considered “trash.” These species, of course, are the food source of the fish that were initially overfished. In 2006, a report published in the journal Science gave the world until 2048 for all wild commercial stocks to be wiped out. The world could be left to fish nothing but jellyfish and bait.

del.icio.us

Days To Do Something Good

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Our Super Fly Site

Mushpa y Mensa Site

Mushpa y Mensa Site

All About Me

I start many things with good intentions, many, many things. This time I intend to stay focused. This time I will not leave behind what I started. This time it is larger and more important than my obsession with Martha Stewart, all design shows, and Teresa Witherspoon. :P This time it is about the greater good...this time I am serious.

Wanna cool, original, organic cotton, handmade, super fresh t-shirt? Yes you do...

Super Fresh Hits

  • 318,484 Enlightened Ones

Chronicles

%d bloggers like this: