Greenbird’s Blog

Go green with greenbird

Sweet & Sour Zucchini Salad August 27, 2016

Filed under: Cooking,guides,Homes,Uncategorized — misscilicia @ 6:19 pm
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This recipe is inspired by my mom. She gave it to me the last time we visited and gave me a serving of this salad. Since I have more zucchinis than I can possible eat or even give away, I made a big ol’ batch. I’ve modified this recipe slightly and cut it in half, so you can easily double it if desired.

Ingredients:
½ of a large zucchini-cut small
½ red onion-diced
Minced jalapeno, to taste
2-4 cloves garlic-diced
½ green pepper-diced
1 tablespoon organic sugar
1 tablespoon agave
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon tamari-optional
1 tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Dice the veggies, put in bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
This is even better the next day, after it has marinated.

Enjoy!

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Potpourri November 30, 2009

Filed under: guides,Homes,Uncategorized — misscilicia @ 1:27 am
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The year has fled by yet again and now it’s time to think about making some gifts for the holidays.

This year I’ve decided to give some potpourri. Potpourri is usually a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant material, used to provide a agreeable natural scent in houses. You can place it in bowls or small cloth bags, or as I did, in glass jars.

I prepared it today, but really I started it last summer when I picked and dried roses and lavender.
I chose to use the glass jar because it shows the pretty dried flowers. The jar held a candle until recently, so it was also a good way to recycle the jar. When the candle was done, I took out the leftover wax and put aside for remaking into candles. I then cleaned the jar thoroughly.

This is a before and after photo of the candle jars.

I mixed rose petals, a dried orange peel and some lavender in the jar. I then added some vetier root powder as a fixative to keep the scent strong. Orris root can also be used.  I added some rose and some lavender essential oils to the mix and gently stirred with a wooden spoon. I put on the lid and tied on a pretty ribbon. Wala!  A finished gift ready to go. The cost was minimal and it only took a few minutes. Also it made my home smell nice while I was making it.

I have all the ingredients assembled.

Time to mix in the scents and the fixative.

The finished product!

I save pretty jars and interesting containers throughout the year. I also collect flower petals, pine cones and whatever I come across. Then when it’s gift time I have lots of material on hand to work with.

There are many things that can be added. Allspice, cloves, cinnamon bark, mint, any kind of sweet smelling flowers are all great additions.   A winter themed  one could have small pine cones mixed in and scented with wintergreen, for instance. You are only limited by your imagination

I really enjoy making small gifts for friends on many levels. I enjoy planning what I am going to make each year.  I put on some good music and spend an peaceful quiet afternoon having fun creating presents for my loved ones. I also like not driving to a mall and fighting the crowds to purchase mass produced objects that are most likely made in China.  And of course, I like to recycle and reuse whatever I can, remaking what would be trash into something useful and attractive.

I hope that if you try it you will enjoy creating gifts as much as I do.

 

Measure Your Carbon Footprint. February 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — misscilicia @ 7:12 pm
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Check out this cool site I found.

I took this test and measured pretty low, but want it reduce it still more.

http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator/

 

Global Warming- Make A Change November 13, 2008

Filed under: News — gogreenbird @ 11:36 pm
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What is global warming? Is it just some crazy conspiracy theory, or is it something that will affect the blue planet we call home?

Below is a article and some facts about global warming from nationalgeographic.com.

Is It Happening?

Yes. Earth is already showing many signs of worldwide climate change.

• Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

• The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century’s last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.

• The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004.

Are Humans Causing It?

• Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.

• Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana’s Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. In the Northern Hemisphere, thaws also come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a week later.

• Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered the worst bleaching—or die-off in response to stress—ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect these sorts of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as sea temperatures rise.

• An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts.

• Industrialization, deforestation, and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric concentrations of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, all greenhouse gases that help trap heat near Earth’s surface. (See an interactive feature on how global warming works.)

• Humans are pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than plants and oceans can absorb it.

• These gases persist in the atmosphere for years, meaning that even if such emissions were eliminated today, it would not immediately stop global warming.

• Some experts point out that natural cycles in Earth’s orbit can alter the planet’s exposure to sunlight, which may explain the current trend. Earth has indeed experienced warming and cooling cycles roughly every hundred thousand years due to these orbital shifts, but such changes have occurred over the span of several centuries. Today’s changes have taken place over the past hundred years or less.

• Other recent research has suggested that the effects of variations in the sun’s output are “negligible” as a factor in warming, but other, more complicated solar mechanisms could possibly play a role.

What’s Going to Happen?

A follow-up report by the IPCC released in April 2007 warned that global warming could lead to large-scale food and water shortages and have catastrophic effects on wildlife.

• Sea level could rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 to 59 centimeters) by century’s end, the IPCC’s February 2007 report projects. Rises of just 4 inches (10 centimeters) could flood many South Seas islands and swamp large parts of Southeast Asia.

• Some hundred million people live within 3 feet (1 meter) of mean sea level, and much of the world’s population is concentrated in vulnerable coastal cities. In the U.S., Louisiana and Florida are especially at risk.

• Glaciers around the world could melt, causing sea levels to rise while creating water shortages in regions dependent on runoff for fresh water.

• Strong hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and other natural disasters may become commonplace in many parts of the world. The growth of deserts may also cause food shortages in many places.

More than a million species face extinction from disappearing habitat, changing ecosystems, and acidifying oceans.

• The ocean’s circulation system, known as the ocean conveyor belt, could be permanently altered, causing a mini-ice age in Western Europe and other rapid changes.

• At some point in the future, warming could become uncontrollable by creating a so-called positive feedback effect. Rising temperatures could release additional greenhouse gases by unlocking methane in permafrost and undersea deposits, freeing carbon trapped in sea ice, and causing increased evaporation of water.

Below is a video about global warming.

You as a individual can make a change. If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. If a simple light bulb can make that big of a difference just think of how many other minor steps you could take to make a BIG change!




 

Earth Ships- “Off The Grid” November 12, 2008

Filed under: Homes — gogreenbird @ 11:15 pm
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Take a tour through a unique community in Taos, New Mexico. It features eco-friendly homes that are built with discarded materials, and they’re also “off the grid.” That means they’re totally energy independent. How cool is that? Earthship founder Mike Reynolds is the man behind this new crave.

Earthship Biotecture, based in Taos, NM, USA is a global company offering proven, totally sustainable designs, construction drawings & details, products, educational materials, lectures / presentations, consultation & guidance toward getting people in sustainable housing. From single family to colony / community / city complexes

Go to there site at www.earthship.net


 

EASY WAYS TO BE GREEN November 11, 2008

Filed under: Cooking,guides,Homes — misscilicia @ 9:31 pm
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I’ve been green since before the term was invented. I have always enjoyed the challenge of trying to do everything in the greenest, most efficient and cost effective way I can.

Finally, being cheap is fashionable!

As a result, I know how to make do with very little, and how to live lightly on the Earth.

I am sharing some of the things I have learned over the years.

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Following are some suggestions:

Turn off the television. Use to time to read a good book, learn a new skill, make gifts, do yoga, play cards and board games with your family. Have a family game night once a week. Allow each member of the family to pick the families entertainment for the night.

Unplug your television and all appliances that are not in use. Or, better yet, put them on surge protectors, and keep them off when not in use. Most appliances draw energy even when they are not in use. This is called vampire energy and uses an incredible amount of energy. This can save the average household up to $200 yearly.

Pick up a good book.  Snuggle up under a cover on the couch and read away a lazy afternoon. Read aloud as a family activity. Pick a thick book you have always meant to read, and read a chapter a night.

Turn your heat down. This not only saves energy and money, but it is healthier. Lower the heat at night and when you are gone. Install a programmable thermostat. Use it.

Instead of getting coffee while you are out, buy a nice thermal cup and make your own.

Grind fresh coffee beans. Keep a couple of different flavors around for variety. Use a French press. Or, use a canning jar, a kettle of boiling water,  and a tea ball filled with coffee, or put the ground coffee in the bottom of the pre-heated jar  and pour it through a strainer. I came up with this method several years ago when I got tired of replacing the French presses when they broke. It looks funny, but it makes good coffee, and it takes up no counter space.

Get a kettle and nice tea pot. Buy teas in bulk and a tea ball. A cup of tea can brighten a dreary day.

Buy a good water bottle and use it. Wash it out often. Deposable water bottles are filling up the dumps and will take many generations to decompose.

Carry cloth bags for shopping.  Keep them where you can grab them easily.

Learn to bake. It’s a lot easier than most folks think, and tea and scones make for a very enjoyable afternoon.

Use cloth table clothes and napkins. They are elegant as well as frugal. You can often find them in thrift stores.

Shop in thrift stores. Not only can you find great deals, but also much more variety. If you don’t like the current fashion that is all the new stores are carrying, try thrift stores and garage sales. You never know what treasures are awaiting you.

Use rags instead of paper towels. If it’s just a spill or something minor, grab a rag. I play a game with myself to see how long I can make a roll of paper towels last. I have made it to 4 months, so far, by saving the paper products for gross stuff, and using rags for the rest. I throw them in the washer whenever I do  a load.

Speaking of washing clothes, use a clothes line. Using the free solar power not only saves energy, but also makes your clothing smell much better than any artificial fragrance you can add. In the winter, or you can’t put up a clothes line, you can use a clothes rack.

Give your house a thorough cleaning every spring and fall, and a weekly one on a smaller scale. This is a great workout-who needs the gym! Make your own cleaning supplies. As an example, I keep a squirt bottle of ½ vinegar and ½ water in the kitchen and bathroom.

Compost. Why throw away free fertilizer? Compost your garden leaves as well. Burning them pollutes the air.

Recycle everything. Reuse first. For instance, I bought some spice bottles at a yard sale and labeled them. I buy spices in bulk and refill my jars whenever needed. Bulk spices are less than a quarter of the cost of buying a new bottle each time.

Save plastic containers to reuse I wash and save yogurt, sour cream and other containers to store leftovers in and to freeze food. I call them hippy tuperware.

Buy organic. Even if it costs a bit more, it’s so important for your health—and the health of the planet.

Buy on sale, local and in season. For instance, buy a flat of strawberries in June when they are ripe and abundant. Wash and freeze them for winter, when strawberries are expensive.

Learn to can, dry and otherwise preserve food. It’s a joyous feeling to behold your pantry full of jams, jellies, salsa, and other wonderful food that you have put up yourself. Plus, it makes you look forward to winter, when you can enjoy it all!

Plant a garden. Even if it’s just a pot of lettuce or a tomato plant on your porch.

Go to your local farmers market. Support your local farmer!

Go vegetarian, or at least eat less meat. Research has proven the health benefits, and it also benefits your wallet.

Get a bike. Ride it. Invite a friend or two, and go on a picnic.

Leave your car at home and walk if you live in or near town. I like to leave a shoe print, instead of a carbon footprint. When you do need to drive, drive smarter. Plan ahead and get all your errands done at one time.

When it’s time, buy green appliances. Don’t update unless you need to. Get full use of your current one.

Have an energy audit done on your home, Follow the suggestions. Love the earth. It’s the only one we have.

Take time to notice what a beautiful home we have. We hope you have enjoyed this, and perhaps found a little inspiration to help you make your part of this world bit of a better place.

We encourage and look forward to your questions, comments and feedback! Thanks for allowing us to share with you.