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Tips-to-go-green-at-home

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Tips-to-go-green-at-home : http://theartofsimple.net/tips-to-go-green-at-home/

40 ways to go greener at home …besides just recycling.

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by Tsh OxenreiderBeing intentionally eco-wise is about celebrating the Creator’s creativity, being good stewards with what we’re given, and passing on those values to the next generation.

The thing I love most about practicing good green green habits in our home is that nine times out of ten, they’re also the more frugal option.  And I love being frugal. Being environmentally-friendly is just good economics—in our home and budget, and with the earth.

There are tons of little things we can do in our homes to play a small part in reducing landfill waste, cleaning the air, and preserving the natural landscape. But we double our efforts when we get our kids involved, helping them understand the why to our what.

When they get it, it’ll be second nature when they’re adults—and that much easier to pass it down to their children.

Here are some small, easy, green choices we can make in our homes. Choose three that you’re not already doing, and make them a habit this year.

40 ways to go greener at home (besides recycling)

40 easy ways to go greener at home—besides recycling

1.  Plant an herb garden.  It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates, and this one is super easy.

2.  Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few).

3.  Create a homemade compost bin for $15.

4.  Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label).

Photo from Flip & Tumble

5.  Stop using disposable bags. Order some reusable bags—my favorites are Flip & Tumble. Or, make your own—they’re insanely easy.

6.  Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles (my favorite is theKleen Kanteen with the sport cap.  Then watch The Story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena.

7.  Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.

8.  Turn off lights when you leave the room.

9.  Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can—open your curtains and enjoy natural light.

10.  Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.

Photo by Kamyar Adi

11.  Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.

12.  Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.

13.  Turn off your computer completely at night.

14.  Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.

15.  Pay your bills online. Not only is it greener, it’s a sanity saver.

16.  Put a stop to unsolicited mail—sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.  While you’re at it, if you’re in the U.S., go ahead and make sure you’re on the “do not call” list, just to make your life more peaceful.

17.  Reuse scrap paper.  Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.

18.  Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.

19.  Subscribe to good eco-friendly blogs—I dig Keeper of the Home, Kitchen Stewardship, and Live Renewed.

20.  Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.

21.  Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.

22.  Fix leaky faucets.

23.  Make your own household cleaners.  I’ve got quite a few recipes in my first book, Organized Simplicity.

Photo by Kasia

24.  Line dry your laundry.

25.  Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills (I don’t love some of their politics, but I can overlook it when watching).

26.  Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world.

28.  Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.

29.  Unplug unused chargers and appliances.

30.  Repurpose something. It’s fun.

31.  Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.

Photo by Lori Ann

32.  Switch to cloth diapers – or at least do a combination with disposables. Even one cloth diaper per daymeans 365 fewer disposables in the landfill each year.

33.  Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label.

34.  Use a Diva Cup for your monthly cycles. At the risk of TMI, I’ve been using mine for more than five years now. (Update: Eight years and counting.)

35.  Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make these rags out of old towels and t-shirts.

36.  Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.

37.  Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and be utterly inspired.

38.  Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.

39.  Watch the myriad documentaries on Netflix about the food industry and environment. Some of my favorites are Food Inc., Amazing Planet, Discovery Atlas, and Food Matters. My daughter was totally mesmerized with that last one—it’s insanely important that our kids understand where our food originates.

40.  Donate to—and shop at—thrift stores.  You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, you’ll be supporting your local economy, and you’ll be saving money.

Which of these do you already do?  Which ones are you going to focus on this next year?  And what can you add to the list?

Eco-Friendly Household Cleaning tips.

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Mini Bio-gas System – for homeowners

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Taken from the wonderful world of http://www.instructables.com

Sahas Chitlange, aging 14, from India. here is my homemade cheap and easy to build mini Biogas plant. It burns for approx. 20-30 mins on a bunsen burner. you can add anything from your kitchen waste ( Except Onion peels and eggshells). In 12 hours the Gas is ready for use. It is very easy and cost effective to build (only 2-3 dollars) and gives many useful products.

Biogas at home- Cheap and Easy  by Chitlange Sahas

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http://www.instructables.com/id/Biogas-at-home-Cheap-and-Easy/

the end products of this system are:
1) Methane : (Can be used as a fuel)
2) Slurry     : (the spent slurry is excellent manure)

The main components of this system are:

1)  Inlet pipe
2) digester tank
3) gas holder tank
4) slurry outlet pipe
5) gas outlet pipe

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You will have to choose a correct size container which will act as a digester tank. My one is 50 litres tank. I got it from scrap.

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Make holes in the tank for Inlet and outlet. For this I took a old iron rod and heated it to make holes. CAUTION: rod is really very hot.

Or use core-drill bit with e-drill.

Step 3: Fix the inlet and outlet pipes

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Glue the Inlet pipe and the Outlet pipe with any water proof adhesive.

Step 4: Making the Gas holder Tank

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I took a paint bucket of 20 lts for making a gas holder tank. This tank holds the gas produced. The tank is overturned and fixed with a valve used for plumbing purposes.

Step 5: Time to mix the cow dung !

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Mix the cow dung in proportion of 50/50. add 50% water and make a fine slurry. Now put the slurry in the digester tank.

Step 6: Almost finished!

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Put the gas holder tank overturned in the digester tank after adding the slurry . REMEMBER: open the valve while putting the gas holder tank. the mini plant takes 10-15 days for the first time to get output. For the first time, the gas in the tank wont burn as it contains Carbon Dioxide gas, if fortunately it burns then good or wait for the second time. You can detect how much gas is there in this system, the gas holder tank will rises up as the gas is produced.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Biogas-at-home-Cheap-and-Easy/

 

DIY – Fly Trap

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Fly Trap – or feed the fish !
Description; Original article; http://chestofbooks.com/home-improvement/woodworking/Community-Shop-Projects/Fly-Trap.html

This section is from the book “Shop Projects Based On Community Problems“, by Myron G. Burton. Also available from Amazon: Shop Projects Based on Community Problems.

Fly Trap

Materials

Basswood (Chap. III., Par. 31).

8 pcs. 3/8″xl”xl2 1/2″ S 2 S Sides. 8 pcs. 3/8″xl”x 7 1/2″ S 2 S Cross pieces. 5 pcs. 1/2″x3/4″x9″ S 2 S Top pes.

8 pes. 1/4″x3/4″x9″ S 2 S Trim. 3 dozen 1″ brads.

3 dozen 1/2″ brads.

1 1/2 dozen 3/8″ corrugated nails.

1 yard 24″ screen wire.

9 dozen small tacks.

1 piece 5/32″ Bessemer rod 8″ long.

2 screw eyes No. 114.

1 pair 3/4″x3/4″ brass hinges. 1 small clasp.

Introductory Statement

Recent investigation has proven that the common housefly is a very dangerous enemy to human life. The fact that it spreads disease and is in every way undesirable is sufficient reason why everybody should be as careful as possible to prevent its increase. One of the most successful ways to wage war on flies is to screen our homes so as to shut them out, and then leave no uncovered garbage pails or any other feeding places for them.

In cities where everybody has been interested in disposing of flies the results have been very encouraging. School children have helped wonderfully by engaging in fly-catching contests.

You can do a great practical good for your own home and community by making this flytrap carefully and using it throughout the fly season.

References:

The House Fly as Disease Carrier, L. O. Howard. Published by F. A.

Stokes Pub. Co., New York. U. S. Bulletin No. 459, and U. S. Bulletin No. 679, House Flies. Insects and Disease, Doane. Henry Holt & Co. Our Household Insects, Butler. Longmans, Green Co. Household Insects and Methods of Control, Bulletin No. 3, Ithaca, N. Y. U. S. Bulletin No. 155, How Insects Affect Health. Fly Traps and Literature. International Harvester Co., Chicago. Winter War on Flies, Willard Price, Technical World, February, 1915. Our Insect Friends and Enemies, John Smith. J. B. Lippincott Pub. Co.

Fly Trap

Suggestions For Original Design

Glass Fruit Jar

WlTh Opening In LlD

Fly Trap Specifications

The Side Strips

You will probably have to rip your material from stock; select the best surface of your stock for a working face (Chapter II., Paragraph 2); plane one edge for a working edge (Chapter II., Paragraph 4). With the marking gauge, gauge the width of the strips on both surfaces of the stock (Chapter II., Paragraph 6). Rip just outside the line; plane to the gauge lines. Prepare all the side strips in like manner. Saw them the required length. Notice that on two sides of the fly trap, the side strips are narrower than on the other two sides. This is done so the four sides will be equal when assembled. Miter the lower end of each strip, as shown in the drawing.

The Side Cross Rails

Rip out and plane the side cross rails in the same manner in which you have made the side strips. Cut all these rails the required length, as shown in the drawing. They may be easily and accurately sawed in the square cut of a miter box.

Assembling The Body Of The Trap

Each side is merely a rectangular frame. Lay two side strips flat on your bench top with the two cross rails in such position as to form a frame; make the angles square and fasten with corrugated nails(Chapter II., Paragraph 23). Assemble all sides in like manner. Cut screen wire the proper size and cover the inside of each frame; fasten the screen wire in position with small tacks. Assemble the four frames box fashion; they should be joined with a plain butt joint (Chapter II., Paragraph 60) at each corner; fasten with brads (Chapter II., Paragraph 21).

The Lid

The lid is a square frame (with a cross bar in the middle for the handle) joined at the corners with plain butt joints (Chapter V., Paragraph 60), fastened with brads. Square the stock for the lid (Chapter II., Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4); cut each piece the required dimensions; assemble as explained; cover with screen wire. Strips of wood 1/4″ thick are to be used as a trim on the lid, to cover the tacks and add to the appearance of the work; miter this trim at each corner (Chapter V., Paragraph 64); fasten it on with brads.

The Inside Wire Pyramid

In order to cut the screen wire for this piece you should make a pattern of paper; if you will draw fourtriangles (each of the size of one side, as shown in the drawing) adjoining each other, you will have a correct pattern. Allow about an inch to make the lap; bend into proper shape; with a piece of the wire weave the open corner securely together; place in position and fasten with tacks. These tacks may also be covered with a trim just as you did the lid.

The Handle

Bend the wire to form the handle; attach with two screw eyes. Fasten the lid in position with two small hinges and put on the fastening. Plane off uneven places if there are any. Stain some dark color (Chapter IV., Paragraph 54).

Optional and Home Projects Employing Similar Principles.

1. A very satisfactory and convenient fly trap may be made of any ordinary glass fruit jar, as shown in the Suggestions. The entire central portion of the lid is cut out. A slender cone is made of screen wire with a small opening at the point. This cone may be attached to the lid by having a number of small holes punched around the opening in the lid, through which a small wire can be so woven as to bind the cone securely. A thin piece of wood, with four tacks or small nails, so driven as to extend slightly above the surface, will make a satisfactory base. In a trap of this kind the flies may be easily killed by pouring in boiling water.

2. An all-metal fly trap can be made from the lid of an old paint bucket, a few scraps of heavy fence wire and a piece of screen wire. The screen wire is rolled into a cylinder just as large as the bucket lid, which is to form the top. The screen wire cylinder is woven to the rim of the lid through small holes, as indicated in the drawing. A hoop of fence wire of the same diameter as the lid is attached to the other end of the cylinder, to hold it in shape. The inside cone of screen wire is attached to a second hoop of the same size as the first. The cone is placed in position, and if properly made will fit so closely that it will not require fastening. Small pieces of wire may be attached to form legs about a half-inch long. A sheet of tin, or an old pie tin will answer for a base.

San Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof

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PV tilesYale Environment 360: U.S. scientists say that emerging photovoltaic technologies will enable the production of solar shingles made from abundantly available elementsrather than rare-earth metals, an innovation that would make solar energy cheaper and more sustainable.<br />
http://bit.ly/Px7bv7</p>
<p>San Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof</p>
<p>The Ross’ family-owned business, Ross Electric Co., was chosen to connect Powerhouse below the rooftop. The family was able to see the installation hands-on, and decided to be one of the first in the country to install this total residential roofing solution that not only protects like a standard asphalt roof but also generates solar electricity, turning the roof into a source of value and savings. Said Ross: “I am proud to invest in my home with such an innovative and good-looking product. I expect that my Powerhouse roof will reduce my utility bills by about 40 percent and will increase my home value overall.”<br />
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/06/19/local-san-antonio-family-first-in-texas-with-dow-powerhouse-solar-roof/</p>
<p>Newswise — PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21, 2012 — With enough sunlight falling on home roofs to supply at least half of America’s electricity, scientists today described advances toward the less-expensive solar energy technology needed to roof many of those homes with shingles that generate electricity.</p>
<p>James C. Stevens, Ph.D., helped develop Dow’s PowerHouse Solar Shingle, introduced in October 2011, which generates electricity and nevertheless can be installed like traditional roofing. The shingles use copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic technology. His team now is eyeing incorporation of sustainable earth-abundant materials into PowerHouse shingles, making them more widely available.</p>
<p>“The United States alone has about 69 billion square feet of appropriate residential rooftops that could be generating electricity from the sun,” Stevens said. “The sunlight falling on those roofs could generate at least 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, and some estimates put that number closer to 100 percent. With earth-abundant technology, that energy could be harvested, at an enormous benefit to consumers and the environment.”<br />
http://bit.ly/NlGWJF</p>
<p>Image text: "The solar tiles can generate a potential 500 watts per 100 square feet, and they’re basically ready to go from the day they’re installed."
Yale Environment 360: U.S. scientists say that emerging photovoltaic technologies will enable the production of solar shingles made from abundantly available elements rather than rare-earth metals, an innovation that would make solar energy cheaper and more sustainable.
http://bit.ly/Px7bv7San Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof

The Ross’ family-owned business, Ross Electric Co., was chosen to connect Powerhouse below the rooftop. The family was able to see the installation hands-on, and decided to be one of the first in the country to install this total residential roofing solution that not only protects like a standard asphalt roof but also generates solar electricity, turning the roof into a source of value and savings. Said Ross: “I am proud to invest in my home with such an innovative and good-looking product. I expect that my Powerhouse roof will reduce my utility bills by about 40 percent and will increase my home value overall.”
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/06/19/local-san-antonio-family-first-in-texas-with-dow-powerhouse-solar-roof/

Newswise — PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21, 2012 — With enough sunlight falling on home roofs to supply at least half of America’s electricity, scientists today described advances toward the less-expensive solar energy technology needed to roof many of those homes with shingles that generate electricity.

James C. Stevens, Ph.D., helped develop Dow’s PowerHouse Solar Shingle, introduced in October 2011, which generates electricity and nevertheless can be installed like traditional roofing. The shingles use copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic technology. His team now is eyeing incorporation of sustainable earth-abundant materials into PowerHouse shingles, making them more widely available.

“The United States alone has about 69 billion square feet of appropriate residential rooftops that could be generating electricity from the sun,” Stevens said. “The sunlight falling on those roofs could generate at least 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, and some estimates put that number closer to 100 percent. With earth-abundant technology, that energy could be harvested, at an enormous benefit to consumers and the environment.”
http://bit.ly/NlGWJF

Image text: “The solar tiles can generate a potential 500 watts per 100 square feet, and they’re basically ready to go from the day they’re installed.”

DIY Chainmail.

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This is a direct lift from Instructables;  (http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Chainmail-Shirt-1/)

I’ve spoken to various members of our Living History Society (Waterford Vikings, Ireland) who have made their own chainmail which is good – but this young lady is an inspiration. I thinks it’s great that any young person will take on such a commitment (1 – 2 years) of hard-tedious work and then work at getting good clear photos and text. Well done girl.

                     ———————————————————

How to Make a Chainmail Shirt by mythbuster1633

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 In this instructable (http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Chainmail-Shirt-1/)  I will teach you how to make a shirt of real chainmail. It will take a lot of time and patience but is a very rewarding project when you finish. To do this project you will need: • 1-2 years of time • A very strong will • 1200-2000 feet of wire (6000-10000 links) • 2 pairs of small blunt nose pliers • A drill (with a chuck) •  ½ inch or ¼ inch metal rod • A dremel or other cutting device • A vice or strong clamp • Some 2 by 4s • 4 screws

Step 1: How to Make a Chainmail Shirt- Step 1

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    The first step is to be able to make the links of the chainmail. If you have some money you can buy them at theringlord.com as well as other jewellery stores. If you plan on buying links you can skip this step and the next.

    First with the 2by4s you need to build a rig to support the rod (fig 1) that the links will be made on. Attach the 3 pieces together with the screws.  Drill a hole in both sides of the wood, big enough for your rod to pass through easily. Now drill a small hole through the rod that your wire can get through. For wire I used a multi-purpose galvanized 16-gauge wire from Lowes. It is sold in 200ft lengths for around $8.
    When you have all this assembled put the rod and drill into the jig (which should be clamped on a table) insert the wire into the hole and start the drill turning slowly. The wire will wrap it’s self around the rod making a nice little spring. Use pliers to pull the wire out of the hole and slide the spring off the rod.

Step 2: How to Make a Chainmail Shirt- Step 2

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     Now that you have the spring, it needs to get cut into individual links. When I started I was using a hacksaw, which did not work very well and took a long time. Then I got a dremel, which is a rotary cutting tool, and it got the job done very quickly.
     To cut the spring, slide it on to another rod of the same diameter and put both in the vice or other clamp. When you are cutting it with the dremel be sure to wear safety glasses and do it in an area with no combustible gasses.
     Depending on the length of the spring it should take around 5 min to cut and then you will have roughly 40 links that you can start using.

 Step 3: How to Make a Chainmail Shirt- Step 3

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     Now that you have links to start working with you need to know the pattern to attach them in. It is a very simple pattern, called 4 in 1 European mail; basically it means that every link is connected to 4 others. This makes a very strong and, depending on the size of links, a very dense fabric. For my chainmail I used 3/8” links, which are really too big to be protective or historically correct, I would recommend using ¼” links instead.

     You will need a pair of blunt nose pliers that preferably do not have teeth. First take 4 links and close them so they will lie flat on the table. Then take a fifth link and open it so that you can slide the 4 other links on to it, then close the fifth link. This is the building block of your chainmail. (Fig 1, 2, 3)

     Now that you have the basic building block of the shirt you will need to make many more. To attach them together line the 4in1s up so that the pattern matches. Then take another link and connect the 4 rings that are in the centre. This makes another 4in1 within the first 2.

Step 4: How to Make a Chainmail Shirt- Step 4

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     Now we can finally start making our shirt. I warn you this is a very long step and will require the most time and patience. First you will need to make a strip that is one 4in1 wide and the length of you waist. Once it is finished find the middle and put a link there to mark it. Now measure about 4” over on both sides. This will be your head hole, so 8” may be too big or too small, a good way to find out is to measure a t-shirt; but remember chainmail doesn’t stretch so bigger is always better. Mark both sides of the head hole with links and remove the centre link. On either side of the head hole you will add rectangles that will be the shoulders. I would recommend that the head hole be around 20 links or 6” deep so that it will not slide around too much when you bend forwards.      Now comes the longest part. You have the head hole and shoulders you need to make the front and back pieces. I found the best way to do this is to make strips of the correct length 7-11 rows wide. Just keep adding on rows until it is as long as you want it, probably just past you waist. When you are done it should look like a tunic that fits over your head but has no sleeves and is not connected at the sides.            

This step will take around 1-2 years (depending on the size of the links and length of the tunic.)

 Step 5: How to Make a Chainmail Shirt- Step 5

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     Now that you have your chainmail tunic you need sides and sleeves. I would recommend doing the sleeves first. I made my sleeves 7in wide to make sure that they would not be too tight. A good way to estimate your width is to measure a t-shirt the fits loosely and then add 2-3in on that. Now you have to decide how long you want your sleeves to be: 6-18”. I made mine t-shirt length of around 6in but it is completely your choice.

     Once you have these 2 dimensions you need to double the width so it goes back and front. Now take a ruler and stretch out part of the mail and count how many rows are in 1” so that you will know how many rows you will need for the sleeves.

     You are now ready to make to identical rectangles that will become the sleeves of your shirt, once you have them attach the centre of the sleeve to the centre of the head hole. Do not connect the sleeves at the bottom.

Step 6: How to Make a Chainmail Shirt. 

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     Now comes the final step; attaching the sides. This step varies for everyone so I will give just basic instructions. Put on your chainmail tunic and with the help of a friend measure the distance between the 2 sides don’t pull it too tight across your body or you won’t be able to get it on (or off). Depending on how loose you want it to be you can add rows to the initial measurement.
     
     Make 2 rectangles that are that wide and long enough to reach from the bottom of the sleeve to the edge. Go ahead and connect your sidepieces.
     
     Finally you will need a small piece to connect the sleeves at the bottom if they do not already meet. Once again measure and add more if necessary.
     
     When you have these pieces connected all you have to do is attach under the arms. Unfortunately the pattern does not match up here so just improvise: it is not too critical.
     
You’re done!!!!!!

 

 

DIY; 20 uses for leftover fruit and vegetable peels.

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20 uses for leftover fruit and vegetable peels
The skins of fruit and vegetables are full of flavor and vitamins — and they’ve got a lot to give.

By Melissa Breyer

Original article; http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/stories/20-uses-for-leftover-fruit-and-vegetable-peels 

Related Topics: 

Photo: fdecomite/flickr

Don’t throw your kitchen scraps away; put them to work. The outer skins of fruit and vegetables are filled with flavor and vitamins, and most often have enough matter left in them for another go-round.
Some people are peelers, some people aren’t. Some people swear by the nutrients and fiber found in produce skins, others shy away from the taste or texture, or prefer removing the outer layer to reduce pesticide load. Regardless of your peeling preferences, citrus rinds, potato and other root/tuber peels, scooped-out avocados, and even cheese rinds all have more than one life.
Aim to use organic produce in these applications, and make sure to scrub well. And if you don’t have time or need for them at the moment, most of them can be frozen for future use.
Home
1. Clean greasy messes: Before bringing out the big (toxic) cleaning guns in the kitchen, try lemon. Sprinkle affected area with salt or baking soda (to act as an abrasive) and then rub with juiced lemon halves. (Be careful using lemon on sensitive surfaces such as marble.)
2. Shine your coffee pot: For the old diner trick to make glass coffee pots sparkle: add ice, salt and lemon rinds to an empty coffee pot; swirl around for a minute or two, dump and rinse well.
3. Clean your tea kettle: For mineral deposit build up in tea kettles, fill the vessel with water and a handful of lemon peels and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for an hour, drain and rinse well.
4. Dye fabric: Pomegranate peels make for great coloring material. Use a stainless steel pot large enough to cover the fabric, fill with hot water and add peels, let it sit overnight. Simmer the water and peels the next day and then remove peels and add wet fabric. Simmer gently for one hour and allow to cool overnight. Remove the next day, rinse in cool water — from thereon, wash with similar colors.
Food
5. Make zest: If you’ve juiced lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruit but don’t have an immediate need for zest, you can make it anyway and dry or freeze it for future use. Zest is a versatile item to have on hand for a bright boost in any number of dishes. If you don’t have a microplane or zester, you can also use the small side of a box grater. Try to scrape just the outer layer, the white layer of pith is bitter. Freeze in an airtight container. To dry, spread the zest on a towel and leave until dried, then store in a clean jar.
6. Make citrus extract powder: Make zest or twists (lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruit) being sure to remove the pith and allow to dry, about three or four days for twists, less for zest. Put in a blender (or spice grinder) and pulverize into a powder. Store in a clean jar.
7. Make citrus sugar: Make citrus extract powder and add it to sugar, or you can use fresh twists, put them in a jar with sugar, let the oil from the peel infuse the sugar and remove.
8. Make lemon pepper: Mix lemon extract powder with freshly cracked pepper.
9. Make citrus olive oil: Pound citrus peel (pith removed) in a mortar and pestle with some oil added. Place in a jar with more oil and let rest for six hours. Strain into a clean jar.
10. Make infusions: Infuse honey or vinegar with citrus peels by placing twists and letting the flavors seep. Strain the liquid and store in a clean jar.
11. Make potato crisps: Mix potato peels with enough lemon juice and olive oil to evenly coat. Spread the potato peels in a layer on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees, stirring once, until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Season to taste.
12. Make stock: Boil potato peels, onion skins, carrot peels, leek ends, etc. for vegetable stock. (Also save fresh herb stems for this!)
13. Boost soup and stock: Cheese rinds (sans wax) can be placed in soup stocks for an awesome secret boost of flavor and texture.
14. Add “meat” to greens: Cheese rinds can also be added to braised greens for added depth of flavor.
15. Keep brown sugar soft: If you regularly fall victim to the brick in the pantry known as hardened brown sugar, try adding some lemon peel (with traces of pulp and pith removed) to keep it moist and pliable.
16. Make vanilla sugar: If you use fresh vanilla, after scraping the bean, add the pod to sugar to make vanilla-infused sugar.

Beauty

17. Make a banana sugar scrub: Sprinkle sugar on the flesh side of banana peels and use as a soft, exfoliating loofa. Rub gently all over your body and then rinse in the shower.
18. Refresh your face: For a skin tonic, rub orange or grapefruit peels on your face (avoiding your eyes) and then gently rinse with warm water.
19. Moisturize: Rub the fleshy part of an avocado peel on your face for a rich moisturizer.
20. Relieve your peepers: Potato peels can reduce puffiness around eyes; press the moist side of the fresh peels to the skin for 15 minutes.
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20 household things you can clean with salt
Add this kitchen mainstay to your arsenal of natural cleaners.
Thu, Jan 31 2013 at 3:52 PM

Photo: Nenov Brothers Photography/Shutterstock

As an enthusiastic green-cleaning connoisseur, I’ve tried almost every DIY solution on the Internet. Vinegar, baking soda, washing soda and castile soap are my mainstays, but black tea, lemon juice and peppermint oil are tucked into my arsenal as well. My cleanser of choice is vinegar — I use it to clean almost every surface in my home, from carpets to counters, and oh but I love its cheap and powerful nontoxic goodness. And, I recently learned that I could pump up the potency of this antibacterial maverick with the simple addition of table salt. Amazing! An easy paste made from 1 part vinegar + 1 part salt will do double duty on those extra-tough stains, tarnish and mineral deposits. And that got me wondering: What else salt can clean? As it turns out … a lot!
cast iron skillet1. I love my cast iron cookware and I’m going to use this method next time I need to deep-clean it: fill the bottom of the pot/pan with oil, heat it up a bit and then add a few tablespoons of course salt. This will form a paste, which you can use to scrub-a-dub-dub. Rinse with hot water and then wipe dry.
2. To clean enamel cookware, a paste of equal parts salt and vinegar will do an excellent job.
3. For those burnt crusties on the bottom of pans, apply a sprinkling of salt as soon as you’re finished cooking. This will help the sticky stuff come up later.
4. To deal with extra-greasy pans, add a bit of salt and then use a piece of paper to buff. Follow with a normal wash.
5. Clean oven spills with a mixture of mostly salt and a dash of cinnamon. Keep this mixture on hand so that you can cover spills (both inside and stove top) as soon as they happen. The salt will absorb the liquid and both salt and cinnamon will fight any odors. Wait to cool completely before wiping away with water.
coffee pot6. To clean your automatic coffee maker’s coffee pot, add a few tablespoons of salt to the water and bring the whole thing to a boil.
7. To remove stubborn coffee stains from cups, use a sponge to rub them with a paste made from salt and vinegar. Rinse with water.
8. To shine most metals (steel, silver, gold, pewter), make a paste from equal parts salt, flour and vinegar. Use a cloth to rub it on, let it sit for an hour, then rinse with water and wipe dry.
9. Shine up your chrome (sink faucets and other fixtures) with a mixture made from 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Buff with a rag then rinse with water and wipe dry.
10. To shine up copper and brass, take half a lemon, squeeze out the juice, then sprinkle salt inside the rind. Rub this all over the brass/copper, then rinse with water and wipe dry.
11. To remove the tarnish from real silver flatware, put a piece of aluminum foil over the bottom of a pan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda, fill with water and drop the silver in. Bring to a boil and watch the magic happen. After 5 minutes or so, remove from the heat and let cool before rinsing.
12. To remove rust from metal, make a paste from salt, cream of tartar and water. Apply the paste and then let the item sit in the sun to dry. Buff clean.
sponges13. Keep your sponges fresher, longer, by soaking them in a saltwater solution after cleaning with them.
14. Clean out your refrigerator with a simple mixture of salt and soda water. It works, and there’s no strange smells to infiltrate your food.
15. Buff and brighten your cutting boards once in a while after using them. Just rub with a damp washcloth dipped in salt.
16. To deal with water cup rings or other marks on the surface of your wooden furniture, make a paste of vegetable oil and salt. Use a rag to rub it in, then use a clean rag to wipe it off. This can also work for treating nicks and dents.
17. Treat your carpet stains with a paste of 1/4 cup salt and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Rub it in, allow to dry and then vacuum clean.
18. To treat mildew stains on cloth, make a paste of equal parts salt and lemon juice. Apply this to the stain and then hang in the sun to dry. Follow with normal laundering.
19. Freshen and whiten your faded or yellowed linens by boiling them in a salt and baking soda solution. In a washing tub or large pot, add 5 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Boil for 15 to 30 minutes, then remove and rinse in cold water.
20. Remove soap scum from bathroom tile by scrubbing with a solution of 1 part salt in 4 parts vinegar. Wipe clean with a damp rag.
Sayward Rebhal originally wrote this story for Networx.com. It is reprinted with permission here.
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