"tips & tricks to help you live a healthy lifestyle without putting a big impact on the earth"

25 August 2010

22 uses for lemon peels (by Melissa Breyer)

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what to do with all those lemon peels? Don’t toss them; put them to work. Lemon juice is about 5 to 6 percent citric acid and has a pH level of between 2 and 3. This low pH acidity makes lemon juice a great ally in breaking down rust and mineral stains, but gentle enough to not dull finishes. There is generally sufficient juice left in used lemon halves to tackle small tasks, and it all comes with its own applicator (the rind itself). Plus, the oil in the peel is perfect for clever culinary applications, and not bad in the beauty department either. Here’s what you can do:

Around the House

1. Clean greasy messes
Greasy pans? Splattered stove tops? Messy counters? If your kitchen has been the victim of some sloppy sauteing, try using lemon halves before bringing out possibly toxic chemical cleaners. Sprinkle some salt (for abrasion) on a juiced lemon half and rub on the greasy areas, wipe up with a towel. (Be careful using lemon on marble counter tops, or any other surface which may be sensitive to acid).

2. Clean your tea kettle or coffee pot
For mineral deposit build up in your tea kettle, fill the kettle with water, add a handful of thin slices of lemon peel and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for an hour, drain, and rinse well. For coffee pots, add ice, salt and lemon rinds to the empty pot; swish and swirl for a minute or two, dump, and rinse. Hello, sparkly.

3. Clean your microwave
All it takes is one exploding bowl of food to render the interior of your microwave officially gunked, sometimes gunked with cement-like properties. Rather than using strong chemical cleaners, try this: Add lemon rinds to a microwave-safe bowl filled halfway with water. Cook on high for 5 minutes, allowing the water to boil and the steam to condense on the walls and tops of the oven. Carefully remove the hot bowl and wipe away the mess with a towel.

4. Deodorize the garbage disposal
Use lemon peels to deodorize the garbage disposal (and make your kitchen smell awesome at the same time). It is a great way to finally dispose of spent lemon peels after you have used them for any of these applications.

5. Polish chrome
Mineral deposits on chrome faucets and other tarnished chrome make haste in the presence of lemon–rub with a squeezed lemon half, rinse, and lightly buff with a soft cloth.

6. Polish copper
A halved lemon dipped in salt or baking powder can also be used to brighten copper cookware, as well as brass, chrome, or stainless steel. Dip a juiced lemon half in salt (you also use baking soda or cream of tartar for the salt) and rub on the affected area. Let it stay on for 5 minutes. Then rinse in warm water and polish dry.

7. Clean a stainless steel sink
Use the same method described to polish chrome, applied to any stainless sink.

8. Keep insects out
Many pests abhor the acid in lemon. You can chop of the peels and place them along thresholds, windowsills, and near any cracks or holes where ants or pests may be entering. For other ways to combat pests naturally, see 7 Steps to Chemical-Free Pest Control.

9. Make a scented humidifier
If your home suffers from dry heat in the winter, you can put lemon peels in a pot of water and simmer on the lowest stove-top setting to humidify and scent the air.

10. Refresh cutting boards
Because of lemon’s low pH, it has antibacterial properties that make is a good choice for refreshing cutting boards. After proper disinfecting (see: How to Clean Your Cutting Board) give the surface a rub with a halved lemon, let sit for a few minutes, and rinse.

To eat

11. Keep brown sugar soft
If your brown sugar most often turns into brick sugar, try adding some lemon peel (with traces of pulp and pith removed) to help keep it moist and easy to use. (For all recipes using lemon peel, try to use organic lemons–and scrub the peel well to remove any residues and wax.)

12. Make zest
Zest is the best! Zest is simply grated peel, and is the epitome of lemon essence–it can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. If you don’t have an official zester, you can use the smallest size of a box grater. (If you know you will be using lemons for zest, it is easier to grate the zest from the lemon before juicing them.) To dry zest, spread it on a towel and leave out until dried, then store in a jar. To freeze, use a freezer-safe container. Use zest in salads, marinades, baked goods, grain dishes, etc.

13. Make Vegan Lemon Biscotti
Once you’ve made some zest, make these Vegan Lemon Biscotti cookies. De-li-cious!

14. Make twists
Strips of peel, aka twists, are good in cocktails, sparkling water, and tap water. Use a vegetable peeler to make long strips, or use a knife and cut the peel into long strips, cutting away the white pith which is bitter. These can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container or bag.

15. Make lemon extract powder
Make zest or twists (above) making sure to remove any of the white (bitter) pith–and dry the strips skin-side down on a plate until they’re dried, about 3 or 4 days. Put in a blender (or spice grinder) and pulverize into a powder. Use the powdered peel in place of extract or zest in recipes.

16. Make Lemon Sugar
You can make lemon extract powder (see above) and add it to sugar, or you can use fresh twists, put them in a jar with sugar and let the peel’s oil infuse the sugar.

17. Make Lemon Pepper
Mix lemon extract powder (see above) with freshly cracked pepper.

18. Make candied lemon peel
Orange or grapefruit peel can be candied too. Yum. Candied peels are pretty easy to make, and can be eaten plain, or dipped in melted chocolate, used in cake, cookie, candy, or bread recipes. These recipes for candied citrus and ginger use Sucanat, the most wholesome sugar you can buy.

For Beauty

19. Lighten age spots
Many folk remedies suggest using lemon peel to help lighten age spots–apply a small piece to the affected area and leave on for an hour. You can also try one of these 5 natural ways to lighten age spots.

20. Soften dry elbows
Use a half lemon sprinkled with baking soda on elbows, just place your elbow in the lemon and twist the lemon (like you are juicing it) for several minutes. Rinse and dry.

21. Use on your skin
Lemon peels can be very lightly rubbed on your face for a nice skin tonic, then rinse. (And be careful around your eyes.)

22. Make a sugar scrub
Mix 1/2 a cup of sugar with finely chopped lemon peel and enough olive oil to make a paste. Wet your body in the shower, turn off the water and massage sugar mix all over your skin, rinse, be soft! You can also try any of these 5 simple homemade sugar scrubs as well.

By Melissa Breyer

link: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/22-uses-for-lemon-peels.html?page=5

20 August 2010

Make Your Own Natural Body Lotion (owned by Michelle Schoffro Cook)

If you’re tired of all the chemicals and synthetic fragrances in most store-bought creams and lotions, you might want to consider making your own. Most people think that making creams and body lotions is difficult but it’s actually fairly easy. I frequently make my own and give them as gifts to friends and family members who seem to love them.

If you can, I recommend that you keep an old blender, a small- to medium-size glass bowl, and a spatula that you use solely for making natural aromatherapy products. While you can use your kitchen blender, the beeswax found in natural creams can leave a residue on the blender and utensils used.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup of pure oil (I like sweet almond oil since it absorbs well and doesn’t leave a greasy film. It’s available in most health food stores
  • 1 cup of pure water (or you can use rose water–available in health food stores)
  • 2 Tablespoons of shaved beeswax (most health food stores sell plain beeswax. Be sure to avoid other types of wax since they are made of petroleum byproducts)
  • 30 drops of essential oils (like lavender, ylang ylang, bergamot, or other oil. Make sure you avoid “fragrance oil” since it is synthetic. Lavender is a great one to start with since it is aromatic but also soothes sunburns, other types of burns, and is healing for most skin types).
  • a glass jar or small glass jars for storing the lotion

    How to make the lotion:

    Pour the oil into a Pyrex measuring cup and add the shaved beeswax. Set it in a saucepan of water that reaches about halfway up the side of the Pyrex container. Heat over the stove until the beeswax dissolves and remove from the stove immediately. Allow to cool for a minute or two but not longer than that since the beeswax will begin to harden.

    Pour the water into your blender and begin blending it on high speed with the lid on (with a hole left in the lid for pouring the beeswax-oil mixture). Slowly pour the oil-beeswax mixture into the water. It will begin to emulsify as you continue pouring the oil. It normally begins to thicken after about three-quarters of the oil has been incorporated. Continue adding the oil until you’ve incorporated all of it into the water.

    Add the drops of essential oils you’ve selected. Blend them into the lotion.

    Pour the lotion into the glass jars you’ve selected for storing the cream. Use the spatula to remove any remaining lotion from the blender.

    The lotion lasts for about 6 months and is best kept at cool temperatures to prolong shelf life. You can store it in the fridge if you choose to keep it fresh.

    That’s it. It’s not as hard as you might think and your skin and the rest of your body will thank you for giving it healing natural lotion rather than the harsh chemicals that are found in most creams and lotions. Enjoy!

election day

who are you voting for?
(no judging other people)

13 August 2010

Ditch the Plastic: DIY Knitted Shopping Bag

Hey, where’d you get that great shopping bag? Oh, it’s so cute. Can I touch it?” Did you ever carry a little puppy around? If so, strangers clamor for a touch and to ogle the precious pup. If you needed any more incentives for ditching the plastic bag (Melissa’s got a bunch of them here), this DIY knitted bag will elicit the puppy effect at the grocery store, farmers market and food coop.

Those of you who read my blog EcoNesting DIY know that knitting is my favorite DIY addiction. I have been following Mason-Dixon Knitting authors Kay Gardiner and Ann Meador Shayne since their first book came out. In an editorial review about the book at Amazon, the authors, are considered “the rock stars of the knitting community.” Kay and Ann are so witty, opinionated and chatty that I feel like I have a knitting group inside of my computer every time I click onto their blog. I highly recommend checking Mason-Dixon out. I suspect non-knitters would also find plenty of inspiration on this site.

I spoke with Kay and they have agreed to pass along the knitting pattern for a hand knitted reusable Monteagle Bag here. Kay says this pattern is one of their favorites, but they seem to coddle all their knitting patterns like puppies.

Kay and Ann encourage you to make a batch of these, which will accomplish several things:

1. You will learn some totally insane new stitch patterns.
2. You will use up some linen or cotton yarn that has been lingering in your stash.
3. You will wave goodbye to that drawer full of plastic grocery bags you didn’t much know what to do with anyway.
4. You will get to talk to people at the grocery store who envy your bag and want to know where you “bought” it (the puppy effect).

Kay says, “One ‘eco’ thing about the Monteagle Bag is that it can be made in almost any linen or cotton yarn (including the cheap-but-tough dishcloth cotton brands), and it looks great made of several leftover colors. So it’s a way of using yarn that would otherwise be wasted or (shriek!) thrown into the landfill. On our blog, we have posted links to YouTube demonstrations of the two novel stitches used in the bag, Veil stitch and a double-wrapped twisted stitch. These two stitches are new to most knitters, although they are not truly new at all.”

Want to join me in cranking out some reusable bags for groceries, laundry, gifts, the beach and maybe even to carry puppy food

i do not own any of this, all rights reserved to Ronnie Citron-Fink

link: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/ditch-the-plastic-bags-diy-knitted-shopping-bag.html

11 August 2010

jodie the mustang of courage

This is Jodie, she is a 14 yr old BLM Mustang Mare. Jodie was almost a statistic in that the eventuality of her going to slaughter was a real possibility. Then she would have become one of the 100,000 horses that do go to slaughter annually. She has been starved, abused & beaten (whip marks on face). She is but one Wild Horse rescue and this is her, story…

08 August 2010

what to grow in august 2010 (AUS)

Warm climates
Before the Full Moon, cabbage, open-headed Chinese cabbage, grain crops, lettuce, mizuna, silver beet, spring onions, tatsoi and dill can be sown or planted out, and rocket and a green manure crop of wheat can be sown directly into beds. Sow chickpea, nasturtium, and sunflower when soil feels warm to touch.
During First Quarter phase, bush and climbing beans, and rosella can be sown. Capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, rockmelon, summer squash, tomato, watermelon and zucchini can be sown in a cold frame or warm, protected area.
During Full Moon phase, carrot, Jerusalem artichoke, potato (Brisbane and areas south), and radish can be sown directly into beds. Asparagus seed, beetroot, rosemary, thyme and watercress can be sown or planted out. Avocado, citrus, macadamia and potted grapes can be planted.

Warm climates
Gardeners in very warm areas have time to sow late crops of many varieties.
Before the Full Moon, cabbage, lettuce, parsley, and spring onions can be sown or planted out. Grain crops, NZ spinach, silver beet and sunflower can be sown directly into beds, as well as a green manure crop of wheat or lablab.
During First Quarter phase, capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, rockmelon, rosella, summer squash, sweet corn, tomato, watermelon and zucchini can be sown or planted out. Bush and climbing beans and sweet corn can be sown directly into beds.
During Full Moon phase, carrot, radish and sweet potato can be sown direct. Avocado, banana, banana passionfruit, citrus and passionfruit can be planted.

Temperate climates
Sowing and planting this month will depend on whether your area is prone to frosts. Gardeners in Temperate areas with access to a cold frame can get an early start this month with some warmth-loving varieties.
Before the Full Moon, grain crops and mizuna can be sown directly into beds, as well as a green manure crop of clover, field pea, barley, or wheat. Dwarf peas and chamomile can be sown directly into beds in colder areas. Celery, leek and lettuce can be sown in a cold frame.
In frost-free areas, Chinese cabbage, rocket, silver beet, spring onions, tatsoi and coriander can also be sown directly into beds.
During First Quarter phase, capsicum, cucumber, leek and tomato can be sown in a cold frame.
During Full Moon phase, Jerusalem artichoke and potato can be sown directly into beds; also carrot in frost-free areas. Asparagus seed and beetroot can be sown in a cold frame. In frost-free areas, rosemary, thyme, avocado, and potted grapes can be planted.

Cool climates
August is still too cold and frosty for most plantings.
Before the Full Moon, English spinach can be sown directly into beds, as well as a green manure crop of broad bean (Faba bean) or field pea. Celery, leek and lettuce can be sown in a cold frame.
During First Quarter phase, dwarf peas can be sown directly into beds. Tomatoes and chamomile can be sown in a cold frame. In very cold areas, broad beans can be sown. (See post on when to sow Broad beans and peas for your local climate.)
During Full Moon phase, Jerusalem artichoke and potato can be sown directly into beds, and late season onions can be sown or planted out. Asparagus seed can be sown in a cold frame. Herbaceous perennial crowns can be planted. In very cold areas, deciduous trees, shrubs and vines can be planted.

This content has come from http://aussieorganicgardening.com/?p=828 i do not own it.

stop killing dogs petition

Over 2 million dogs are brutally killed in South Korea every year.

That's over 5,000 dogs a day who get strangled, burned, electrocuted or beaten to death for their meat.

The South Korean government has accepted Animal Protection Laws which make animal torture illegal, but those laws have never been properly enforced in the country. The dog meat industry continues to thrive and the officials are reluctant and indifferent to ban it.

please, Please, PLEASE visit the stop killing dogs petition to stop this disgusting truth!

06 August 2010

Another Performing Elephant Dies

Another Performing Elephant Dies
End The Use Of Elephants At Southwick’s Zoo And Flea World

Throughout her life, the elephant Dondi was forced to give performances, photos ops, and rides, spending her summers in a small and utterly inadequate display at the Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts, and her winters at a flea market and amusement park called Flea World in Sanford, Florida. Last week, Dondi died unexpectedly from unknown causes, ending her sad and unnatural life.

Elephant DondiIDA immediately filed a complaint with the USDA, urging an investigation into Dondi’s death, which raised a red flag because at age 36 she should have been in the prime of life. Elephants have a natural lifespan of 60-70 years.

We also sent a letter to Southwick’s Zoo President Justine Brewer, urging the zoo to publicly release Dondi’s veterinary records and autopsy reports, and to end the practice of displaying elephants, as its tiny exhibit fails to meet elephants’ complex needs.

The Southwick’s Zoo has a history of using elephants for performances and rides during the summer months, and apparently wasn’t too picky about its providers. Before Dondi, Southwick’s used an elephant named Judy, whose handler originally leased her from the notorious Hawthorn Corporation (one of the many elephants the company was forced to relinquish due to serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act). She died in 2007, and was found to have tuberculosis.

At Flea World, Dondi gave rides and performed circus tricks designed to elicit laughs as people watched her shimmy to throbbing dance music and sit upright on a pedestal as her trainer stood atop her head. These performances were called “educational.”

Dondi was “owned” by Phil Schacht, who obtained the elephant from Thailand in 1975. Though he claims she was a beloved part of his family, he unfortunately did not do what was best for her. Dondi was held alone, which is extremely detrimental to elephants because of their highly social nature, confined in cramped pens, and trucked back and forth across the country. She performed with Circus Flora in 2007.

Please help give Dondi’s death meaning by ensuring that the Southwick’s Zoo and Flea World do not replace her with yet another suffering elephant.

Please visit helpelephants.com at https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1585 to take action

01 August 2010

eco-freindly recipes!

Hi everyone! This is my new blog, and I thought, what other way to start it off than with food!
Who doesn't like food? So, anyway here a
re a couple of organic (healthy and eco-friendly!) recipes!

Organic Green Garlic & Broccoli Orzo Pasta Recipe

Serves 3-4


1 cup orzo 1 head of broccoli
1/2 - 1 cup of green garlic (depending on how strong or mild the garlic is)
1/2 stick of organic butter
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon capers, finely chopped
3 anchovy filets, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemon)
1/4 cup of fresh herbs - marjoram and Italian parsley , about 2 tablespoons of marjoram and 1 tablespoon of Italian parsley, roughly chopped Grated parmesan cheese for garnish


Follow instructions on package to prepare orzo pasta.

Bring a medium size pot of salted water to a boil (water should taste like the ocean). Meanwhile, remove stems from broccoli crowns, and slice crowns into bite size pieces. Prep an ice water bath to blanch and shock broccoli crowns. Once water has come to a full rolling boil, place broccoli crowns in water and cook until they are just under fork tender and bright green. Remove broccoli and place in ice water bath.

Wash green garlic and remove tough outer skin. Trim root and cut away tough upper portion of green leaf. Cut lower tender part into thin rounds.

In another medium saucepan over medium heat, bring butter, olive oil, green garlic, anchovy fillets, capers, lemon zest, juice to a simmer and reduce to low. Simmer about 10 minutes.

Toss with broccoli and pasta, taste for seasoning and adjust with a little salt and pepper. Serve immediately and garnish with parmesan if desired.

Easy Lentil Salad with Radicchio and Veggies Recipe

Serves 4


1 cup French green lentils
1/2 head radicchio, sliced thin and chopped
3 tablespoons of shallots, finely chopped
2 radishes, sliced thin and chopped
1/2 cup of carrots, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of roughly chopped parsley and basil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper


Place lentils in a medium size sauce pan and cover with about three inches of filtered water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until just tender about 20-30 minutes, do not overcook or they will become mushy (add more water if necessary). Drain lentils.

Toss lentils with red wine vinegar, salt and fresh ground pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes. Toss with olive oil, shallots, radicchio, radishes and fresh herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning for flavor. Can be served chilled or room temperature.

Organic Heirloom Carrot Salad

4 large heirloom carrots (shop your local farmers market), or carrot of choice
1/2 cup of raisins
1 - 1" piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of crème fraiche

Peel and cut carrots into batons about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch square.
Whisk together ginger root, lemon zest and juice, salt, carrots and raisins, taste and adjust seasonings. Chill and serve.

please note all these recipes came from the wonderful website "organic authority"