Eco-Friendly and Money Saving Tip #3: Reuse Plastic Bottles

25 04 2010

So now you know to reduce, reuse, and recycle (in that order), and to clean a microwave with just water, and 15 ways to reuse plastic bags. Today we will talk about all those plastic bottles.

I try to use filtered water when possible, but sometimes, bottled water and convenience drinks are just easier. However, I usually wash out the bottle with warm water and soap (sometimes I put them in the dishwasher). Then I fill them back up with filtered water and put the fridge.

Reused plastic bottles are easy to grab out of the fridge on your way out the door. I also do not feel bad if I leave them somewhere (like I would an expensive reusable container). However, there are a few warnings you should heed about plastic bottles. Make sure to recycle them once they have been in contact with heat. Heat breaks down the plastic, potentially releasing chemicals into the liquid. If I leave my plastic bottles in the hot car, I do not use them again.

Bonus tip: Fill up your washed milk, juice, and any other large plastic bottle with water. Place in freezer and use in your cooler for a cheaper and better way to keep food and drink cool.

Once again, reusing everyday items saves money and the environment. Hip Hip Hooray for that! Namaste.


Eco-Friendly and Money Saving Tip #1

19 04 2010

Tired of trying to get the dried, yucky food off the inside of the microwave? If you heat a cup of water (in a microwave safe container) in the microwave to boiling, the food particles will come off with a wipe of a sponge. This method is not only quick and easy but environmentally and budget friendly too. No need to buy harsh-chemicals and you can reuse the sponge.

Here’s a bonus tip: Clean and disinfect the sponge by rinsing with water, then microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Stay-tuned for more Eco-Friendly and Money Saving Tips! Namaste.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: In that Order

18 04 2010

The Recycling Princess by urbanwoodswalker on Flickr

What an exciting time to celebrate Earth Day! Forty years ago, when the first Earth Day was officially celebrated,  few people knew or even cared about the state of the earth. Even a decade ago, when I received my Environmental Science degree, I was often ridiculed for my views on being kinder to the earth. Today, more people are recognizing that to stay healthy and save money, we must find new ways  to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Reducing our consumption (and our waste) is the number one way to help the Earth and frankly, our own pocket books. By saving energy, buying less, driving less, and using less, we are conserving our natural resources and saving money at the same time. The next best way to reduce your footprint on the planet is to reuse.

Reusing items to save money and the earth is somewhat of a family tradition. My parents were frugal and aware of their impact on the environment. Our family found ways to throw less in the trash by finding new uses for items or reuse items when possible. Finally, when all else fails, recycle.

Recycling, although toted as an easy way to save the environment, is your last resort. Recycling costs money, increases carbon emissions and gas, uses chemicals to breakdown the material, and often has unwanted by-products. As technology finds new and cheaper ways to recycle, this option will increase in value, but will never surpass the need to reduce and reuse.

In honor of Earth Day, and in the name of saving money, I will be posting a new Eco-friendly and budget friendly tip each day this week. I can’t wait to share with you all the easy and budget friendly ways to celebrate Earth Day EVERYDAY. By taking care of the earth, we take care of ourselves and our children. Namaste.

Budget Savvy MD Style Crab Cake (without the crab)

15 11 2009

One of the hardest things about creating an ideal work/life balance is eating healthy. It is so much easier to pick up the phone or turn into a drive thru. In my search for  meals made from more simple and fresh ingredients (that do not put a dent in my pocketbook), I came across a recipe for cauliflower fritters. As I was making the recipe, I noticed the fritters were looking alot like a crab cake. Being a MD native, I love a good crab cake. So I altered the recipe and think I have a winner. Not only is it more economical than using crab, it is also better for the environment, as crabs are overfished and populations (especially in the chesapeake bay area) are dwindling. Let me know what you think.

Ingredient List:

  1. Large head of califlower (about 2 1/4 pounds) trimmed and chopped (or buy pre-chopped bags for convenience)
  2. At least 1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat flour)
  3. 1 large egg, beaten
  4. Old Bay seasoning (to taste), at least 1 Tablespoon
  5. 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)- I used more for a deep fried approach
  6. Horseradish and Ketchup (or store bought cocktail sauce)

Steam the califlower until tender. Mash and let cool. Stir in flour and egg (I added more flour than the recipe called for). Season with salt and pepper and Old Bay. Return to fridge for 15 minutes. Roll 1/4 cupfuls into balls and flatten into patties, it will make about 12. Heat EVOO over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the patties until-golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with cocktail sauce and Old Bay on the side. To make your own cocktail sauce, simply mix equal parts ketchup to horseradish. This is pretty spicy, so you might want to add more ketchup.

Happy Cooking! Namaste.

Wine on a Dime

23 02 2009

Wine and wenches empty men’s purses, so the English Proverb goes. But hark! Wine does not have to send you to the poor house. There are plenty of good wines in such frugal times. One such wine I had the pleasure to drink twice in the last couple of weeks is Barefoot Pinot Grigio.

Now, I am no wine aficionado (maybe a wanna be) and I am not a trained sommelier, but this is tasty stuff.  Barefoot’s webiste uses the description  “refreshing as an ocean breeze, Barefoot Pinot Grigio is light-bodied, elegant and flavorful. Tart green apple flavors harmonize with notes of luscious white peach, floral blossom, and citrus.” This wine makes me want to sit on the beach and bury my feet in the sand!

If taste and price are not enough to lore you to take off your shoes,  Barefoot wines have created the Barefoot Beach Rescue Project, designed to clean up beaches and ensure they are “Barefoot friendly.” This project is supported by the grass roots non-profit, the Surfrider Foundation. In these days of corporate greed, it is important to become an educated consumer by buying from companies who care about our world. I’ll drink to that!

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