Going Green on Shopping

Saving Money and Energy on Shopping

Shopping is a favorite pastime of everyone. We have unparalleled opportunity to be greener and save money on our shopping spree. But we usually don’t practice our opportunities in this respect.

We can’t just blame merchants for their wasteful acts. They will sell anything that is in demand to consumers. But if consumers insist on being green and ecologically friendly, merchants will sell products that conform to that also.

This is where the great opportunity lies. We have a power to choose what we are offered whenever we go shopping. Therefore, choose products that are friendly to the planet and that also offer great value.

Tip 1
Buy locally produced food so you’ll be helping the local economy. You’ll also be helping to reduce the hidden costs in food production, transportation, and distribution.

Tip 2
Buy in bulk to help prevent unnecessary packaging and small containers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 80 million tons of wastes from packaging, labeling, and empty containers are generated by Americans. When you buy in bulk, you can save in packaging, labeling, and containers. it will help save you money too.

Tip 3
Are you collecting coupons? Use your coupons wisely. Coupons may make you look like a penny pincher, they can really help. Even if you earn a good wage, coupons can be very helpful. Only cut out coupons for goods that you are interested buying and perhaps give out the other coupons that you don’t intend to use in the first place.

Tip 4
Create a list before going to the supermarket or local store and stick to that list. Avoid impulse buying.

Tip 5

Leave kids when shopping. Most of the time, kids do unnecessary shopping that could add up to your list.

Tip 6
Take your own shopping bag as you go shopping or when you do your groceries. Close to 4 trillion of plastic shopping bags end up in landfills every year.

Tip 7
Don’t buy water in plastic bottles. Millions of plastic bottles end up in landfills. Tap water is still safe. You can also get a filter unit if you don’t like tap water. Americans buy 2.5 million plastic bottles of water every hour and only 25,000 of them will be recycled which means the other 2, 2475,000 empty bottles will end up in landfills.

Going Green on your Leisure Travel and Vacation

Saving Money and Energy on Your Travel and Vacation

We all love to travel. It takes away our stress. It makes us relax and it is the best time to unwind. We prefer flying in faraway places which means flying on gas-guzzling jets. Whether you like it or not, we’re just creating another problem for our environment.

But it doesn’t mean we’re going to stay at home forever. We can still enjoy the perks of traveling but we need to do it in a more eco-friendly way.

There are many ways of enjoying your vacation but reducing the negative impact on our environment. You just need to be willing to explore them.

Tip 1
Plan a ‘staycation’ instead of a vacation. You don’t have to travel very far away and pay the expensive costs of hotels, planes, and etc. The idea is to stay closer to home. All you need is a break from boring work and chores. You could travel 50 miles or even 100 miles and you’ll still find something really exciting. It will also help save you a huge amount of money and you won’t be responsible for tons of carbon emissions while enjoying your vacation at the same time.

Tip 2
If you need to travel far, you could reduce your ecological footprint in many ways. Instead of getting those glossy brochures and maps of the location that you plan to visit, search the internet instead. You can print it off in black and white. You don’t need color and you don’t need pictures. You could get information from travel websites than buying those expensive guide books.

Tip 3
Travel light. Most people pack twice and they really don’t need half of it. You could save money by not having extra baggage charges. If you’re traveling by car, you’ll save fuel by having a lighter load.

Tip 4
Buy a solar charger for your phone and other devices. You’re going to need one when you travel. It will also help save on electricity and carbon emissions. It also feels good being green!

Tip 5
Plan trips where you could stay with your family and friends. It will help save you on costly hotel bills. Plus, you get to bond with them again.

Tip 6
Home exchange is also very convenient. It’s a way of enjoying a far away vacation without paying for costly hotels. It’s actually a popular idea which relies on families exchanging homes with each other. Ecologically, it’s a good idea. You have to become the other family for several days. The savings made are considerable and the experience of local immersion in the culture and way of life is priceless.

Tip 7
Travel by train instead of planes. Trains are the most environmentally-friendly means of transportation available. Traveling by plane is also cheaper than traveling by plane.

Tip 8
Rent out a small economical car if you feel the need to rent out a car. Here’s a better and exciting idea: rent a bicycle one for every family member.

Tip 9
Visit protected areas like parks and nature reserve to ensure they stay maintained. There is a charge to help with the maintenance but usually it’s very reasonable.

Tip 10
Buy local souvenirs and handcrafts to support local craftsmen and artists.

Tip 11
Bring your own refillable water bottle to save money. The number of empty water bottles ending up in landfills will also be reduced.

Tip 12
Explore one place than doing country hopping and trying to cram in half the world in just two weeks. The idea here is known as slow travel which means slowing down and enjoying every last bit out of the place you are traveling to. It will save you money and keep your negative ecological footprint to a minimum.

Tip 13
Before leaving your home for vacation, make sure you have unplugged every electric appliance.

Read Go Green Tips on Shopping

 

Going Green at the Office & Workplace

The Office and Workplace

The office and workplace are places of unnecessary wastage. Just because it belongs to a company that employees are working for, employees don’t care at all if they are wasteful. We can do better in the workplace and learn not to be wasteful. We could take positive steps to help reduce and eventually eliminate our wasteful habits.

Tip 1
The biggest cost in an office or workplace is electricity bill. You can help reduce your electricity bills by installing compact fluorescent lights or CFL. They are more efficient and they use less energy.

Tip 2
If you want to replace your printer, you can consider getting an all-in-one device that already has a printer, scanner, copier, and fax. Each component in an all-in-one device will work as good as a dedicated one. It also saves you money than having four separate machines.

Tip 3
Telecommute as much as possible. More and more companies are already seeing the benefits of having their employees work from home. It will help reduce the overhead costs. You just need a high-speed internet connection, a computer, a printer, and a fax perhaps.

Tip 4
Ask your customers if they want to receive their bills through email instead of sending them out in paper bills.

Tip 5
You can reduce the need for business meetings. Instead, you can have an online conference instead of paying for expensive business travels and sometimes unnecessary. Today’s computers are very fast and efficient. There are programs that allow you to virtually talk and start your online conferencing for free.

Tip 6
Print double sided (duplex printing) and recycle used paper. 21 million tons of paper gets thrown away by businesses every year. Think whether you need a printed copy of a document or not. You could save the trees by saving it on your computer instead.

Tip 7
If you’re thinking of replacing your office equipment like your printers and computers, ensure to find a good home for them. A lot of the machines you have at the office are still in working condition and are just being upgraded. You can also donate these machines to charities or low-income families.

Tip 8
If a business travel is really important, you can put employees on trains instead of planes. It may take longer to reach their destination, trains are ecologically friendly than planes. You’ll also save money and carbon emissions.

Tip 9
Advertising for a job? Let the applicants submit their resumes and other documents online. Therefore, you applicants don’t have to print their applications on paper. Save money. Save trees. Provide online job applications.

 Read more Go Green Tips On Your Leisure Travel and Vacation

 

How to Save Money and Energy on Cars and Fuel

Saving Money and Energy on Your Car and Fuel

Our love affair with cars started more than 100 years ago and it has continued unabated since then. People are always looking for solutions to go faster using more power and panache, ignoring the cost to us and the planet. But it just couldn’t go on forever.  We are eagerly waiting for the day for a clean, cheap, and reliable source of energy powers our vehicles. Though there have been some exciting developments through electricity and hydrogen as well as other technologies yet so far the internal combustion engine powered by gasoline or diesel fuel is accountable for majority of the cars on the road all over the world.

But in the meantime, we owe it to ourselves and to everyone to practice driving habits to reduce the harmful impact the vehicles have on the environment. When we start driving in a way that negative footprint of our vehicles is reduced, we pay less at the same time. The problem is that not many of us are doing it. You can take the lead today so others follow.

Here are some tips on how to use your car efficiently while saving the environment:

Tip 1
Don’t drive especially if you are living in a rural part of the country. But if you live in a town or city, there’s a bus service that you could take or you can just walk. You may also consider getting a bicycle to provide you with transport as well as a good exercise and a huge amount of savings in your pocket.

Tip 2
Be a smooth driver which means someone who breaks gently and accelerates gently. Driving smoothly puts lesser stress on your car, making it consume less gas too. The car parts will also last and the gas will get you further ahead.

Tip 3
Plan your driving trips. If it’s been a routine driving to the local store every day, go once a week and stock up. Think of ways on how to reduce your driving and you’ll save on fuel and resources.

Tip 4
Reduce your speed. Instead of driving at 70 miles per hour, 55 miles per hour is a much more efficient speed for the average car. With the reduced speed, you can still head on to where you’re going and you’ll burn less fuel also.

Tip 5
Get rid of the excess weight inside your car because a vehicle burns more gas with ever pound of increased weight. Therefore, check your trunk. You may probably have unnecessary stuff that need to be thrown out. It will help increase your mileage considerable and saves you money to over time.

Tip 6
Give your car a tune up. A car works at its best when everything’s working at its best also. Your vehicle will consume less gas and go further. Thus, it will help save you money also. It will also lessen its harmful effect on the environment.

Tip 7
Carpool when you go to work. To do this you don’t need to be working at the same place. You just need to be going in the same direction. There are more than 130 million workers in the United States and more than 80% of them drive by themselves when going to work. Carpooling can help save everyone a good amount of money.

Tip 8
Check your vehicle’s recommended fuel octane level. If you don’t need a higher fuel octane, then don’t get it because they’re expensive in the first place.

Tip 9
Tire roll resistance accounts for about 20% of your vehicle’s fuel consumption. This is the amount of energy needed in order to get the tires rolling and keep them rolling. Tires work best when they’re in good condition. Thus, ensure they are properly inflated. Check the pressure and keep it only at the recommended pressure. Check the wheel alignment as well. Wheels that are badly aligned will cost you money.

Tip 10
Never sit with the engine idling for over a minute. Restarting the engine can consume the same amount of gas that an idle engine consumes in one minute.  You’ll save gas and money if you turn the engine off.

Tip 11
About 16 million gallons of gas is wasted each year from vehicles that are waiting in line at drive thrus. Why not cook your meals at home? It’s healthier and it will cost less. You can also save gas by cooking at home and staying at home.

Tip 12
Anticipate ahead. This would help prevent those last minute hard braking events that scare your passengers and consume unnecessary gas and also putting strain on your car’s parts.

Next time, keep thinking ahead. Anticipate bends so you’ll have plenty of time braking gently. See the red light ahead of time so you won’t have to screech to a halt just because you didn’t expect it.

Tip 13
Replace old and worn gas cap. Check gas cap for wear particularly the seal. If you notice any signs of wear and tear, it’s time to replace it.

Tip 14
Remove an overhead luggage rack that you don’t use all the time. It just adds drag which means more gas is going to be used. Only put it in place when you need it most.

Tip 15
Wear your seat belt even before you start your car’s engine. If you start your engine then wear your seat belt, this can waste money and lead to more wasted fuel every year.

Tip 16
Reverse in a parking space instead of driving straight because you could drive straight out on a cold engine than maneuvering on a cold engine. It’s more efficient and also greener.

Tip 17
If you need to replace your car, get a fuel-efficient car. Smaller cars are more efficient. You may also want to check out new hybrid cars.

Tip 18
Change your vehicle’s air filter on a regular basis. It helps improve your gas mileage by as much as 10%.

 Read about Going Green at the Office & Workplace

 

What to Look for When Buying a Pasta Cooker

Pasta is one of those foods that could be incorporated in many recipes. A pasta cooker is a must-have in every kitchen whether you’re cooking pasta for a cool pasta salad or a warm winter meal. Cooking pasta is easy. But there’s certainly more to it than adding it to boiling water. Therefore, you should know what to look for when buying a pasta cooker.

To help you get the best pasta cooker, you may want to consider a few things to consider:

Construction

Plastic and stainless steel are the most popular construction materials of a pasta cooker. Depending on the method of cooking, you may want to buy one of each type.

Cooking Method

If you are planning to make plenty of cool pasta salads especially during summertime, you may want to consider buying a microwave pasta cooker. For cooking pasta during the fall and winter months, you can choose to have the stovetop method because the hot water adds moisture to the air and warms up the kitchen a bit.

Clean-up

Cooking pasta is not a messy task. In fact, cleanup is very easy. But depending on how fast you like to finish and just relax after, a dishwasher-safe pasta cooker may be on top of your list.

Features

Though pasta cookers are simple to use, there are some features that will make pasta preparation easier like serving measurers, steamer baskets, and straining lids.

No matter what the season is, there’s a huge selection of pasta recipes to surely entice your taste buds. It’s important that your pasta turns out right to not ruin the whole meal. This is the reason why getting a good pasta cooker is crucial.

Things to Look for When Buying a Potato Baker

If you want to make a quick meal, you may want to include baked potato on your menu. An undercooked potato could ruin your meal. Therefore, it’s important to purchase a potato baker that will suit your needs and your cooking style. You should know what to look for when buying a potato baker.

Before buying a potato baker, you may want to consider a few tips:

Cooking Method

When you think of baking potatoes quickly, you think of using the microwave. The stove-top method is a good idea.

Construction/Finish

There are three types of finishes that you may want to consider for your potato baker: non-stick finish, sturdy graniteware finish, and the plastic finish.

  • The non-stick finish is reserved for the metal-base, potato baker which could be used using an electric or gas stove.
  • The graniteware finish is versatile and could often be freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe.
  • The plastic finish is a very common type and mostly used in microwave method of cooking.

Size/Servings

Depending on the potato baker that you have, you could cook from a single potato up to 4 potatoes at a time.

Whether you prefer to use the microwave or the stove top when baking your potato, it’s important to know what things to look for when buying a potato baker to save both time and money.

 

How to Choose the Perfect Potato

Do you know the perfect variety of potato in making mashed potato? What about the right potato for baking? Does it really make a difference which type of potato to use when preparing a particular recipe or are all potatoes created equal?

It may be surprising to know but it really does make a difference in what type of potato to use when cooking. Using the perfect potato for the recipe could result in a dish that’s comforting and very delicious. Use the wrong type of potato and it will result in a dish that’s edible but not as good as you know it could be. It could mess up your entire meal.

Which types of potato is used best in different methods of cooking? Here are some tips to help you in choosing the perfect potato for your dish:

  • For hundreds of years, mashed potatoes have been a comfort food. If you choose the right potato, it will give you smooth and creamy potatoes with the right amount of lumps. The best type of potato to use is one that is waxy. Yukon gold, white rose and red rose potatoes are also good for making mashed potato. They aren’t as starchy. Don’t use russet or Idaho potatoes because they are too starchy. They may result in your mashed potatoes becoming mealy than smooth.
  •  Potato salad is another dish that many people love. Since the potatoes need to be boiled, you may want to use the same variety of potato that you use when making mashed potato. Choose one that’s less starchy and you’ll have a perfect potato salad.
  •  Baked potatoes have a crisp outside but they are white fluffy on the inside. Unlike mashed potatoes or potato salad, you want baked potatoes that are starchy and that will result in fluffiness in the inside. Russet potato is a perfect choice to make baked potatoes.
  •  If you want to make homemade French fries, choose potatoes that are very starchy like a russet or Idaho.

Not all potatoes produce the same texture when cooked. Therefore, you should spend some time and effort in choosing the right potatoes if you want to make your dish perfect.

Different Ways of Using Radishes in Summer Recipes

Radishes can be found in stores all throughout the year. But often, they could be found in gardens around the country. Many people enjoy eating it raw but there are also other ways of using radishes in summer recipes. Continue reading and you’ll learn more about how to use radishes in your meals.

Did you know that radishes have been cultivated and eaten for thousands of years? Radishes were originally found in China and they spread and enjoyed both in Egypt and Greece. In 1629, they were first cultivated in the United States. They were first grown in Massachusetts.

There are different varieties of radishes that include California mammoth whites, daikon, black, red globe, and icicles, and many others.

Cut the radishes into slices. Then, add them to your next tossed salad. You could eat the fruit and leaves of the radish. Its leaves don’t taste as spicy as the radishes themselves.

Stir fries are also a good way to use radishes. Slice the radish thinly and add scallions. Sauté them quickly until they turn light brown. These could be added to your fish tacos or spooned over your favorite dish.

For quarter larger radishes, coat them with olive oil and you favorite seasoning. Roast them in an oven and set it at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until fork tender. Then, add the radishes to the roasted potatoes and make a potato salad. You’ll have a potato salad with a twist.

Make a sharp and peppery relish using radishes, orange zest, lemon, butter, salt, sugar, and pepper to taste. This could either be added to fish or meat. You may even use it as bread spread and serve with your favorite cheese.

Are you looking for an alternative to your usual potato chips? Slice 10 radishes thinly and place them in the microwave and steam them for about five minutes. Season them with 1 teaspoon of chili powder, ½ teaspoon o garlic salt, and ½ teaspoon of paprika. Transfer them to a baking sheet and bake them for 10 minutes. Flip the radish chips and return it to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. You’ll have a delicious and crispy radish chips.

There are other summer recipes that use radishes as ingredients. Read your favorite cookbook or search the internet and you’ll surely find something interesting and tickle your taste buds.

Peaches Are Not Just Perfect for Dessert

Nothing beats a homemade peach ice cream or a peach cobbler. But there’s probably so much more about peaches that you don’t know. Not only does it make perfect desserts.  Peaches can be added to create savory dishes.

Most of the peaches that are sold in the United States come from Georgia, California or South Carolina. It’s best to get them while they’re in season and use them immediately. But you can also dry or freeze them so you can use them any time you like to. Peaches are a good addition to any diet and they do not have to be eaten just for dessert.

To enjoy peaches, peel them and cut them in half. Brush them off with olive oil and season to taste with a bit of salt and pepper. Place the peaches on a preheated grill. Grill both sides of the peaches for about 3 minutes. Then, remove them from the grill and place them on dish. Grate fresh parmesan cheese over them. Serve and enjoy.

If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, you could try grilled peach salsa. It’s prepared exactly as above but without putting any pepper. When both sides of the peaches have been grilled for about two minutes, remove them and allow them to cool. Then, slice the peaches and add some red onions, finely chopped. To complete the grilled peach salsa, add chopped mint and freshly squeezed lemon.

If your family enjoy pasta salads especially during summer time, roast their favorite veggies along with halves of peaches and place it in a 450 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Toss with vinaigrette and add your favorite pasta. You’ll surely have a savory peach dish that your family will always love.

Though most people think that peaches can only be prepared as desserts, there’s no reason that they’ll be prepared that way. You can try it with a twist. Try something new that your family will love. There are so many ways to use peaches in every dish. Just use your creativity and the entire family will surely enjoy the dishes just as much as they enjoyed your peach cobbler.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

Asparagus Pasta Salad

Asparagus has an interesting and unique taste. Most people either love it or hate it. If you haven’t tried eating asparagus yet and you want to try making a dish with asparagus as the main ingredient, it’s pretty easy. You could make a delicious recipe even if it’s your first time to try it.

Like most fruits and veggies, asparagus is best eaten when fresh. But before buying asparagus, there is one very important thing that you need to consider. Make sure to look for young shoots because they are tender. When an asparagus matures, you may not really like the taste because it may taste kind of like woody. But if you have bought a mature one, it’s simple. Try removing the portion of the stalk and base before using it. If you can’t find fresh asparagus, you can also use the canned version.

This recipe is good as it is but if you want a twist, you could dress it up by adding some sun dried tomatoes, cooked chicken, pecans, snap peas, or other ingredients you prefer to add.

If you prefer a unique flavor, you can roast the asparagus instead of sautéing it.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

Ingredients  

 

½ c. olive oil

1 lb. fresh asparagus (1 can if fresh isn’t available)

2 tbsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. onion powder

1 lb. penne pasta

2 tbsp. dried rosemary

2 tsp. seasoned salt

1 c. mayonnaise

Directions:

Cook the penne according to the instructions on the package. Then, drain and transfer it into a serving bowl.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

Remove the woody parts of the asparagus and cut the remaining parts into 1 inch pieces.

Heat the oil using a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is heated, add the asparagus and sauté it at about 5 minutes until crisp. Add the garlic and onion powder and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

Add the cooked asparagus to the pasta. Then, mix.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

To prepare the dressing, add the mayonnaise and the seasoned salt and rosemary in a small bowl and mix well.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

Pour the pasta and fold until everything is well-coated.

Refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.