Looking for Sustainability ideas

I thought I find a way to keep costs down while still trying to stay eco-friendly. Trying to keep striving for sustainability. This a record of that journey.

Sometimes blunt and straight forward then sometimes sarcastic

This frugal crunchy hipster single momma is doing what she can to save Mother Earth while not breaking the bank!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Writing on the Wall!

 We have a dry erase board that we leave messages for each other on.  Sometimes they are simple messages, like grocery lists, schedule reminders and happy birthday wishes.....
Sometimes they are sappy and say I love and will miss you if someone is gone for a vacation.

So I saw this and thought oh yea they are getting it........ I know sometimes to them;  I come off as a mad crazy woman. But this brought a smile to my face..........


Rainy Day Fun

Yea it's raining here but hey maybe it will end before the cook-out in my backyard. Oh well it's a day to remember the brave men and women that gave their lives for our country not just a cook-out day...

So I am on line reading my email and surfing the net.

I land on Planet Green (yea who would think that would happen?? LOL)
 I find the craziest things sometimes. But tomato haikus?

So I had to make up one of my own Humm maybe I should have put this blog on my recipe blog:  The Sassy Semi-Vegetarian!!

Simple summer treat
Sliced ripe tomatoes on plate
Present as side dish

My parents, grandparents, and even my daughters' fathers' family did this is the heart of summer for a side dish. Nothing tastes so good on a hot summer day. For extra zing you can drizzle some Italian dressing over the tomatoes and chill before serving. 

Miss Animals Rights wrote her own tomato haiku but doesn't want it here on my blog. Oh well be that way....... LOL. This is the young woman that loves to eat tomatoes like a apple, whole!

Oh no!!   Another haiku?

Eating tomatoes whole
Enjoy the taste of summer
Fresh juicy goodness

Ok I have to stop... I like writing  haikus- one more crazy fact about me....


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ahhh Spring!

I was playing ball with the dog and noticed something fluttering around my raspberry bush. I am very impatience with waiting for the berries!!! But I see this beautiful butterfly. The wings look so brighter in the sun but this picture didn't do it justice!

It fluttered around and even was still there after I ran in to get ny camera.  The dog was so good when I told him to sit while I waited for the butterfly to land. He got a treat for that....  

So the berries are many but still white and small.  Can't wait for the red berries...  told I was very impatient 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Goodwill deals!

My new favorite drink is lemonade.
I squeeze a lemon into some water and ice. Then I add about a tablespoon of sugar. And shake just like they do at the carnivals!
I even do some orange shakes like that too. Very refreshing on a hot spring day.... Yea it's around 88 degrees and it is still spring...
I went to goodwill the other day I and I found a old fashion glass juicer.  I get more juice that way... and if you notice there is a pouring spout on the side...... Very happy with my find.

It was only a $1.00!

Plus I got another loaf pan seeing how we always seem to need another. 


Thursday, May 27, 2010

I am Having Nightmares!

So if you live in Ohio you have seen the video that is giving me nightmares. It been on the news. I saw it first on line last night from reading the newspaper online. Cleveland.com. It was a undercover video of a Ohio dairy. A guy undercover for group called Mercy for Animals shot the video.

I am telling I have seen animals butchered, helped my grandmother pluck feathers and more. She used to tell me that I should respect these animals for they give their lives for us to eat. Or they give of themselves so we have food, their milk or eggs. But  OMG! But this video really had me shocked. If you think you want to watch it you can find it here. Warning it is so disgusting the way they treated these animals.

Really I had nightmares! I dreamed that I was one of those animals but I was still a woman. And was treated like that as they abused me and my family. I guess I do have to wonder if someone can be that sadistic and cruel to an animal how do they treat people???? Gee if I didn't like PETA I send them my dream as a idea for a controversial commercial they like to do.

But even after one of my co-workers freaking out asking someone "please, please change the channel I can't watch this" today at lunch. Something good is coming out of the video. The guy that did the "bragging" of abuse is now in jail. He is charged with 12 counts of cruelty to animals. Farm animal abuse is a misdemeanor in Ohio, punishable by 90-days in jail. 12 times 90, might not be enough!The owner released a statement saying he knew nothing of this treatment and plan to cooperate with the authority's on the investigation and are planning a  internal investigation. But I read that he is in the video also......  I just saw on the late news a company and  I didn't catch the name is now canceling their contract with the farm due to this video..  I tried  to google it but I just got links to the video on tons of newspapers and TV stations around the world! 

But talk in the lunch room turn to how could someone tape that and not say anything, or do anything... I agreed.  I will not let Miss Animal Rights see it......... She the type that crys at movies when animals get hurt. I can't let her see this video. She really doesn't want to anyway! I wish I never did!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Making beads

Flour Beads
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (helps keep from cracking)

Mix flour and salt together. Slowly add water. If too dry add more water, too moist add more flour.
Knead for 15 minutes. Cool in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Pinch off a piece of dough form a bead and poke with a toothpick, straw, stick, skewer or nail.
Bake at 350 for 2 or more hours.

Add different flours for different effects.
Can add Unsweetened Kool-aid, paint or food coloring to the beads before baking. Can paint after baking.

Jewelry Clay Beads

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 flour
1/2 salt
1/2 cup water

Coffee Dough (the dough kinda drys to look like stone)
1 cup flour
1 cup coffee grounds (cold)
1/2 salt
1/2 cup of cold coffee

Can add some small flower petals,  ground herbs or flowers to any bead recipe for beads that smell nice.

Sawdust  Beads
2 cups sawdust
1 cup flour
1 cup water

Knead  until mixed.
Pinch off a piece of dough form a bead and poke with a stick, skewer or nail.
Can be sanded after dry.

 Paper beads.
news paper, magazines, catalogs, colored paper, copy paper, junk mail,  brown paper bags, gift wrap (not heavy or shinny) or scrapbook paper.

You cut the paper into strips some may be triangles, Different sizes will make different size beads, Have fun making all sizes and shapes.

Paint glue on the wrong side of the paper.
Roll  up the paper from the widest end; with a toothpick, straw, stick, nail or skewer.
Add a small drop at the end of the bead.

Can be painted if wanted.  To help protect the beads use  paint the bead with clear/top coat nail polish or a clear glossy varnish.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Helpful plants for the garden

Banana peels and lemons are good compost for roses. Bury them around your rose bush. It is said they will help your rose smell stronger. Onions planted near rose are said to be sweeter. In turn the rose smell stronger. Plant parsley near by for the same effect.

Plant basil to keep away fruit flies. Perfect for in the kitchen. In the garden it repels many pests like aphids, mites, and mosquitoes.

Three sister planting. A Native American way that is corn, beans and squash. The corn acts a the "pole" for the beans and the squash (watermelon, cantaloupe or cucumber) acts a ground cover to keep in the water.

Mints are said to help repel many pests. But you might want to use containers for the mint they love to take over your garden. I am doing the container gardening so no problem for me.

Marigolds (also help keep the soil free of pests) and garlic are smells pests don't like. I just pick up some at Home Depo for 99 cents for 6!

Rue helps keep pests away from roses fruit trees and raspberries; humm I have to get some for my raspberry bush. Plus keeps away cats and other thieves from your garden.

Peas help your soil by adding nitrogen and can grow well by anything.


Monday, May 17, 2010

So glad my family has gardens!

And the fact I can get many wonderful things at the farmers market!

A new study came out and it has proven that a pesticide is linked to ADHD; known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  The fact that they didn't study the children diet was the most convincing part.  They found the  pesticide byproduct in their urine! Out  of all the children tested;  they found 95 percent had at least one byproduct in their urine.  And many were diagnosed with ADHD. They are twice at risk for the condition with higher levels of the pesticide. The urine was collected by the CDC. 

These pesticides, known as organophosphates,have been tested before on farm workers.  They have been banned from termite extermination and lawn control by the EPA. 

Found on the CNN Health site the facts of the percent of the exposure: Quote:  28 percent of frozen blueberries, 20 percent of celery, and 25 percent of strawberries contained traces of one type of organophosphate. Other types of organophosphates were found in 27 percent of green beans, 17 percent of peaches, and 8 percent of broccoli. :Unquote. Scary!

Even more scary is when researching this blog I found that the USDA Agricultural Chemical Use Program was shut down in 1990 and they have testing the effects of pesticides for years and really when was anything going to be done to protect us consumers?  They were testing around 120 different kinds of fruits, vegetables and crops.

Read more at Suite101: Pesticide-Testing Program Killed by USDA: Industry and Universities Doing Research Protest Shutdown

These pesticides work  by attacking the nervous system of pests. SO it can have the same effect on mammals.  Our elderly, disabled and  children are more at risk to the effect because of the sensitive immune systems.

How do we reduce the exposure of the pesticide? First thing is to eat more organic and locally grow fruits and vegetables.  But I know that is sometimes hard to do! the cost is more expensive. The EPA suggests washing and peeling fruits and vegetables using a vegetable brush to clean hard skinned vegetables also helps remove the residue.


Spring cleaning

I do spring cleaning by getting rid of clutter. Cleaning out closets and cupboards.  I have 3 boxes already of stuff in my mud room waiting on going to Goodwill. Stuff that has been connecting dust in my kitchen was the first to go.

I had a couple days off and just got bored with the TV and the net. Restless I guess. I was going crazy with the things  I use being too high to comfortably reach.  With my new found love of baking and cooking from scratch, my mixer being on the top shelf wasn't  working for me.  Seeing how I only stand about 5 feet tall... it was getting to be a chore to get what I needed out.  So I rearranged the cup boards finding things I forgot I had and really never used....  Into the boxes things went. Really don't need a blooming onion plastic thing. A ugly punch bowl hand me down, that I used to hold smaller stuff I never use, but did find my potato masher in there. I have been looking for that for months!! LOL

I have room at the top of my cupboards now for storage of things that I get in bulk. Carry and go things.  And those egg holder thing that I only use for Spring holidays...  Plus my storage containers are neatly stacked.. Yea if you ever saw that commercial of the plastic containers flying out and knocking down that woman I felt like my containers could do that at any minute... I have a few left from before I said I would cut down plastic (why not use them but replace them if damaged with glass when I need to). Plus they are a recycle code 5 meaning no BPA and light weight for lunch bags. So they stay. Better in my kitchen then the land fill. 

I found this beautiful stainless steel platter awhile ago and when I found it in my cupboard I noticed 2 small rust stains.. OH NO!! I really don't want to get rid of it... I put it on the table thinking I could maybe cover the platter with a tea towel  or something  when serving from the platter.  It kinda bummed me out.  It has these very delicate designs around the edge.

So when I moved to my bedroom to clean up clutter I noticed my dresser with many things just thrown on there and it hit me! I could use that beautiful  platter on my dresser.  I could use finger nail polish for the rust spots.  Maybe if I can find some... I really can't stand the smell and it is full of toxin ingredients..  But the simplest thing I did was place the candle holder and the black goodie case over the spots.  You can't see them, but you can see the designs in the platter.  Plus I love the look with my wrought iron candle holder.   I give to goodwill but I also shop there! I know I feel kinda classy with my beautiful dresser now... Plus I got to keep my platter that I really like and keep stuff out of the landfill
Not bad for being bored one afternoon!!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting rid of pest

Tomato Leaf Spray 

Two cups of tomato leaves

Two cups of filtered water

Cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer

Chop up the tomato leaves and add them to the water. Let it sit overnight to steep. Next day remove the leaves and add one more cup of water.

This spray can be sprayed on plants to help get rid of aphids and mites.

Soap spray

1 tablespoon  dish-washing soap
Gallon of filtered water 

Add the dish-washing soap to a gallon of water and spray the mixture on the pests. Simple and effective.

This spray will get rid of aphids, scale, mites, and thrips.

Beer for the Slugs

Citric Rinds  for Slugs

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hair and fur clean up the Gulf Coast oil spill!

How cool is that? Animal hair and human hair being used to soak up the oil spill in the Gulf.  A
is taking donations of hair, fur, wool and nylons to help the clean-up efforts in the Gulf.
Plus it doesn't matter if the hair is dyed or permed so salons can easily donate! One site I found  while looking for the organization that was taking donations of hair;  a gentleman replied that he works at the main office for Petsmart and would have the stores collect the hair from their grooming departments. 

   A hair stylist; Phil McCrory, came up with this idea after the  Exxon-Valdez oil spill! Then the group Matter of Trust joined  forces to help the oil spills and cleaning up the oil on our beaches.  McCrory also manufacturers mats for gardening that  helps keep down weeds between rows. Plus they are used with oil changes or companies that work with oil products. Wow one idea turns into a environmental masterpiece. Great work!!! 

The hair also can easily become fertilizer for the ocean floor. The booms as they are called are  totally biodegradable.Talk about composting. 

So at the church council meeting Miss Animal Rights brought this idea to the floor. We have a couple hair stylist on the board. they are looking into their salons adding  to the donations to Matter of Trust. 

Most of the oil that is in our water ways comes from used motor oil. About 50% of us cahnge our own oil but only about 33% recycle the oil. Used motor oil can be re-refined into base that can be used for a lubricating oil. Plus it can be burn for energy with minimum pollution. You can find out where in your area you can recycle your used motor oil at Earth911. Many car repair shops will take your used oil. I had searched my area and got 6 pages of places.

So I thought I do this blog, you never know someone could know someone that runs a salon out of their home or a animal grooming business! Help clean up the gulf spill.  PLUS recycle your used oil.....

The crazy thing is I also learned of other oil spills that aren't as big as the BP gulf coast spill but to think all this oil that is getting spilled in our oceans makes you wonder is this really worth it. 

PLUS if you use DAWN dish-soap please go to the  Dawn website and activate a donation of a dollar for every bottle you buy.  I can't use Dawn dish-soap... I use 7th Generation dish-soap.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I love this quote:

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never.

Some more to share:

There was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.
Jill Churchill

Ah the mornings of being served breakfast in bed. I really miss that with a grown daughter...

The cups, cards or whatevers they made for us at school... I still have a candle holder from 1993, a drawer sachet, a bowl and pencil holder from years back............... that my "little  girl"  made at school or scouts for Mother's Day
This is for the Mom's left with a huge mess in the kitchen after breakfast in bed.......
Something to make you laugh!!


Friday, May 7, 2010

The Give Love Foundation

The Give Love Foundation is something that I heard about from the wonderful actress Patricia Arquette.The Give Love Foundation is working  with displaced communities and Haitian partners to build container housing. They are using the shipping containers that the supplies are shipped over to Haiti

 Buy this beautiful necklace and all the processes go to the efforts of  Give Love Foundation. I should have had more than 2 girls... LOL I like that necklace but my finances right now are shaky.

Have you seen shipping  container housing?  It not like what you think. It can used to make some very different or very conventional. See many different prefab or container houses here. But the coolest one I saw on Planet Green . I forget the name of the show, sorry. But the house was a prefab house, that can easily be containers, and they over lapped that right in the middle of was a open area with a tree growing there. And outdoor living spaces even on the second floor. Like balconies off the bedrooms, dinning rooms, and living room...

Shipping containers have wooden floors, instillation, and are very waterproof. Windows can be added and modern appliances.  They first their green make-over as storage sheds.There are roughly 17 million  not in use!  But many architects and building designers saw a easy way to build house for less money while reusing materials. There seams to be a architect in many areas, from the West Coast to Japan.

I love the idea of the cabin. Think that could help many areas with a camping area for the girl  and boy scouts camps. Or even quick housing for places like Haiti. Where they need shelter fast.  Second homes in warm climates..... I could go on and on......

The average size is eight feet tall, eight feet wide and either 20 or 40 feet long but many times there number of containers placed together. They are place beside or on top of each other.  To help make the home that seller wants. There is even some free 3D CAD Design Software to help you if you want to explore this eco-friendly housing. Shipping Container House Plans 1.1


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Los Suns

So today is Cinco De Mayo! So yea most of Mexico doesn't celebrate this holiday but we Americans like too. the sales of pinatas, tequila and Mexican food go up.

But after Arizona's controversial new immigration law has many people protesting, the Phoenix Suns a NBA team will be wearing jerseys that will say Los Suns. "to honor [the] Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation." Yes.... While many think that a basketball team should stay out of politics, they went ahead and said what they believed in.... Robert Sarver asked the team and got unanimous support from his players.

AND they were not the only ones that would have different jerseys tonight. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich treid to get "Los Spurs" jerseys. But it was to late to order and have them by tonight!

Click here to read more:  about this story!

I give them a shot out for the fact they are standing up and saying this is wrong. In a nonviolent way.... Kick Butt Los Suns!! (I don't follow basketball or sport for that fact) But do cheer the team for the effort on this controversial immigration law


I heard that!!

The other day while shopping after work I heard a young man tell the woman with him, "Oh no we can't get this.  It has high fructose corn syrup."  I was getting something close to them  not right next to them.  As the couple picked up a few more things the woman said, "Dang almost everything here has high fructose corn syrup!"  I had just started to walk by them when she said that. I smiled and replied "wait til you get to the salad dressing isle."   They smiled, shook their heads  and walked away..... 

Today at work at the warehouse club, I heard a older gentleman tell his wife, "Did you check for
high fructose corn syrup on the label?" He began to read the ingredient label looking for
high fructose corn syrup.  The older woman with him said "Gee honey if it isn't listed near the top it isn't in there." I laughed and told her, "You got that right!."   But the gentlemen reminded me that the fake sugar is sometimes at the bottom.  Oh yea that is true!  I should know that for all fake sugar stuff gives me migraines!

I think this is great that more and more people are understanding that  high fructose corn syrup
while yes might not be "all that bad for you, used in moderation" as their commercials tell us.  That reading labels and seeing what is in our food is a growing tread....  

Guess more people are hearing that  Princeton University released a  study that proved  the link between high fructose corn syrup and obesity.

I keep telling Tech that.  I tell him to let Miss Animal Rights cook for him.  He has lost weight! Not much  but he did lose some weight. 

Miss Animal Rights and I are tiny women.  AND we have lost inches on our waist lines from cutting out most of the high fructose corn syrup and making many things from scratch.  So ketchup is one of the things we have that still has  high fructose corn syrup.  We got a huge bottle and still have it.  We really don't eat too many things that need ketchup!  Wow my little girl has grown up! LOL. She use to have to have ketchup with many things when she was little.

I know that there is ketchup  out there that is high fructose corn syrup free but I will buy it next time I need it.  But that huge bottle is still over half full.... guess it might be a while before that happens.

Now I have to get rid of my soda addiction.  It is kinds crazy.  I open a can.  Drink half then tell myself this isn't good for you, pour it down the drain  and recycle the can.   Plus it is something I can get in the machines at work.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Virtually Impossible? More like Environmental Disaster

I am sure many of you have heard of the BP explosion in to the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

British Petroleum when pitching the idea for the off shore drilling said,
"unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."
Even after a 2009 exploration plan and environmental impact analysis they still didn't' think that anything could happen. They argued that "due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected." They proclaimed it would be virtually impossible....... BUT it happened.

Their latest statement:
"The sort of occurrence that we've seen on the Deepwater Horizon is clearly unprecedented, " BP spokesman David Nicholas told The Associated Press on Friday. "It's something that we have not experienced before ... a blowout at this depth."

Talks turns to the company that did the drilling, oil services contractor Halliburton Inc. There are lawsuits that calm they improperly capped the well — something known as cementing. Halliburton denied it.

Since the April 20 explosion , 1.6 million gallons (6 million liters) of oil have spilled. A oil slick more than 130 miles (200 kilometers) long and 70 miles (112 kilometers) wide. Experts estimate that 42,000 gallons a day are now spilling in to the gulf. Some estimate that number is closer to 200,000 gallons A DAY! that's a lot of oil.......
It could take up to three months to seal the leak!

Oysters and shrimp fishing is going to be hit the hardest. Many family owned business will lose their sole source of income. Plus the affect this will do to the local market, many restaurants serve the local caught sea food.

With the warm currants and water flow they expect the oil to reach the shores of  Louisiana and Florida.  I have family that live in Florida and worry about the burning seasons.  Add oil to the area that burns easily,  dangerous...

Now the plan is to burn the oil off. they are going to light the oil on fire. They expect that this will get rid of the oil spill up to 75% to 99%. BUT there will be a huge cloud of black smoke and tons of ash that will fill the air.......... Yea that what we need more air pollution.

I feel for the people of the south that have this burden.  And our environment that is already dealing with the problem of modern live........

More reason to get over our dependence on oil....


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dogs can recycle too!

When I saw this on Care2 I thought what a great way to help little ones learn about going green. Well I know my daughter loves puppies. My grandbaby loves puppies... Whose name is now the stumble machine... LOL yea he is a walking, not the best but he is walking....

Enjoy a sweet video!



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