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Monday, April 25, 2011

Don't Throw Away Those Egg Shells

  •  Compost for Naturally Fertilized Soil
Eggshells quickly decompose in the compost pile and add valuable calcium and other minerals to the soil in the process.

  • Nontoxic Pest Control in the Garden
Scatter crushed eggshell around your plants and flowers to help deter plant-eating slugs, snails and cutworms without using eco-unfriendly pesticides. Also, deer hate the smell of eggs.

  •  Less Bitter Coffee
Add an eggshell to the coffee in the filter, and your morning coffee will be less bitter. The spent coffee grounds, eggshell and bio-degradable filter are then conveniently ready for the compost pile.

  • Seedling Starters
Fill biodegradable eggshell halves with potting soil instead of using peat pots to start seedlings for the garden. And an egg carton on the windowsill is the perfect way to start a dozen tomato seedlings in shells before transplanting to the garden in the spring.

  • Eco-friendly Household Abrasive
Shake crushed eggshells and a little soapy water to scour hard-to-clean items like thermoses and vases. Crushed eggshells can also be used as a nontoxic abrasive on pots and pans.

  • Natural Drain Cleaner
Keep a couple of crushed eggshells in your kitchen sink strainer at all times. They trap additional solids and they gradually break up and help to naturally clean your pipes on their way down the drain.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pale Blue Dot ~ Beautiful

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 Tips for Recycling Coffee Grounds

By Green Living Tips

Here's 10 quick tips for reusing coffee grounds:
  • If you have a worm farm, dump the grounds in - I swear the caffeine jolt makes the worms chomp through more. But seriously, it doesn't seem to do them any harm; but I'd recommend mixing them through the pile so the worms don't overdose on any residual caffeine.

  • Use coffee grounds as a plant fertilizer. Sprinkle the grounds around the base of the plant then dig them in a little. They can also be sprinkled directly on your lawn.

  • Add the grounds to compost piles to enrich nutrient content - the grounds contain Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur. Phosphorous is becoming scarce, so we need to conserve it as much as possible.

  • Add water to the grounds and allow to stand for a day or two. Drain off and then use as a liquid plant fertilizer - cold coffee that you'd usually toss down the sink can also be used in this way.

  • After drying the grounds thoroughly, add them to an old stocking. Tie off the ends and then use in cupboards and your refrigerator as an odor absorber. Alternatively, you can just place the dried grounds in a container of some sort.

  • Rubbing your hands with used coffee grounds will remove strong smells such as onion or fish.

  • Grounds can be used as a scourer for greasy pots and pans

  • A ring of coffee grounds around sensitive plants can discourage ants and some other pests.

  • Use as a wood stain. Allow them to soak in a small amount of water overnight (or hot water for a shorter period), then drain off. The amount of water you use will determine how dark the stain is. Also good for touch-ups to mahogany furniture.

  • This one's interesting and I can't say I've tried it. Dry out the coffee grounds in a warm (not hot) oven; then add equal weight of fresh coffee grounds and then use that mix to create another brew. After that brew, try one of the tips above - I wouldn't recommend repeating the cycle :).
By the way, a good tip for how *not* to use coffee grounds. Don't try to get rid of them via your kitchen sink. They'll stick to grease in the drain and form the basis for further build-up. Over a period of time this will totally clog the drain.

With all these wonderful re-use options for coffee grounds; perhaps hit your local coffee house and ask them if you can collect theirs on a regular basis. They'll reduce waste and you'll have a useful product - everyone wins! You might want to get in quick; since the time this article was originally published it seems many people have been doing just that, so used coffee grounds are becoming quite sought after.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

30 Uses For Cereal Box Linings

The humble cereal lining bag

A great planet saving recycling tip from a member of the 'Living Frugally' web group I belong to:

1. Snip off the bottom corner of a liner and you have a funnel for filling
those little containers like salt shakers or soap dispensers without the mess.

2. As a sandwich baggie. Slip your sandwich into the liner and wrap it up
to take it with you.

3. Prevent your shoes from getting crushed when packing or storing them
away. Bunch up the liner and stuff the shoe.

4. Packing material: Either use the liner bunched up as padding in a
shipping box or make your own air pillow by blowing air into the liner using a
straw and taping the liner closed.

5. Keep your fresh herbs fresher longer by storing them inside the liner
before putting them in the fridge.

6. Keep your wet pool clothes from touching your dry clothes in your gym
bag by slipping them into a liner first.

7. Snip off a small corner of the liner and add an icing tip (with or
without a coupler) then add the icicing and decorate.

8. A prep surface for foods, fresh fruit, you name it!

9. Use as a tray liner when making candies, dipping chocolates or making
chocolate covered pretzels. Lining a cookie sheet or tray first, the sweets can
cool on the tray or easily be transferred to the freezer for hardening, then
easily be peeled from the liner.

10. Use as an excellent zero-cost alternative to the store-bought kind of wax

11. Storing portions of frozen meat.

12. Rolling out cookie dough. (wet counter before putting liner down, this
will prevent slipping)

13. As pooper-scoopers for your pooch.

14. Lay the liner out on a surface to protect your table/furniture when

15. Reuse it as freezer strorage bag.

16. Use them as a disposal bag for dirty diapers.

17. Instead of using a Ziploc bag when you’re making a shake and bake type
item, shake your food in a cereal box liner.

18. Crush crackers or nuts in them.

19. Use, instead of Ziploc bags, to pound/tenderize meat.

20.Use a cereal liner over your hand to pat down and spread warm rice crispy
treats in the pan when making them.

21.Cut into a circle to line a cake plate before placing cake on the plate.

22.As tracing paper to trace patterns.

23. Use to store fresh baked cookies or fresh treats, simply fold and clip the
top in place.

24. Sit in bowl near sink when peeling vegetables or preparing foods – use to
carry cuttings to compost pile, or transfer messy items like meat trimming to
trash can.

25. Cut to size for a shelf liner under such things as honey or syrup,
refrigerator bin liner, or drawer liner for kitchen, bathroom, office or vanity.

26. Separate layers of meat, hamburgers, cheese, pancakes or other foods when

27. Use to cover pies. Open the bag halfway, slip the cover over the pies with
the opening on the bottom and fold it over. Then label with a marker.

28. Reuse with vacuum food bag sealer. Saves on buying new rolls.

29. Put them at the bottom of the kitchen garbage can, saves time cleaning the
can as it catches drips.

30. Place the large ones at the bottom of the drawers of the refrigerator to
catch spills.

Do Not allow them to come in contact with food you are reheating in the
microwave, because the plastic can emit chemicals.

Cereal box liners are usually made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), the #2
plastic when comes to recycling. That means that most curbside recycling
programs that take #2 plastics will take cereal box liners. Double check with
your community's recycling rules before adding them to your recyclables.

Thrift Store Treasure: Three Royal China Jeannette Pie Plates

Friday, on my way home from doing errands ( my son & nephew's Banking, a little grocery shopping, Pharmacy for me)  I stopped at our Community Thrift Shop and found exactly one of the items I needed.  This was an exciting find. a At $2.99 a piece I thought that they were just a wee bit pricy for a thrift shop  -but-  even so they were still priced  considerably less that if I were to buy them new.  I knew I was getting a huge bargin but little did I know how much of a bargin!!  I did a little research online discovering that Royal China Jeannette  are Collectables.  Should I sell them or keep them? Decisions, Decisions......

priced at $45.00

Priced at $35.00

Priced at $35.00

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Groovy Kitchen Composter

I think I've finally mastered it.  Last year and the year before that all I got was a stinking (and I do mean 'stinking') mess.  This year, thanks to this video: http://denbeath1.blogspot.com/2011/02/easy-indoor-composting-video.html   I have compost that smells like dirt and not rotting garbage!!!  I am so impressed that I feel the need to brag...I mean ...'share'.

This is my compost just after I've mixed it for this week.  I was shocked that it smelled like dirt, fresh dirt.  I dump my used coffee grinds in here every morning so I never need to add any water.

I know this might sound odd but I use scissors to cut veggie scraps up into tiny pieces, I also tear up paper scraps into strips then cut them strips up as well. They incorporate easier and degrade faster.

My onion that went bad is going to be beautiful compost

All mixed. I think I might need to start another bucket.

Covered with a dish towel to discourage bugs

My groovy, handy-dandy compost mixing spoon stands ready for the next mixing