One of the things we missed after going vegan was cookies. I mean, without milk, eggs and milk chocolate, it is impossible to make good cookies right? Wrong! Thanks to the Burlap Bag, we found an awesome and simple vegan cookie recipe made with only two ingredients and then whatever mix-ins you want to add to have the cookies suit your (or your kids) tastes.
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It is hot these days and getting hotter every single year. Fortunately, there are many different ways to beat the heat. But, if you don’t have air conditioning, a pool or live near high-elevation mountains, your options are a bit more limited.
One of our favorite ways to beat the heat is with a cool drink. Sure, you can grab an ice cold soda, but as we have seen, sodas are not very good for you. You could also grab a milk shake, but who wants all of those calories and fat? No, the best drink we have found to cool you off in the heat is a smoothie.
Not only are smoothies cool, but they can taste great and be packed with nutrition as well, if you make them right. We started making smoothies about a year ago and now make them pretty much every day. During that time, we have tried many different smoothie recipes, including some that are very bad and some that are so good that you won’t believe that it is a smoothie and not a shake.
Below are our favorite 3 recipes. We come back to them time and time again as they are healthy and delicious.
Canned foods. They are a staple of life nowadays. They provide a convenient way to store food so that it can be made quickly and easily.
However, we are all apparently paying a heavy price for that convenience, as the liners of most of the cans used for canned food contain Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is a main building block for polycarbonate (PC) plastics and is a known hormone disruptor. In fact, you may remember the big controversy about plastic bottles containing BPA, especially baby bottles, that happened a while back. Due to the huge public outcry after that discovery, most manufacturers stopped using BPA in their plastic bottles. However, when it comes to canned foods, most of them still contain BPA.
So, what does that mean in terms of your health and what can you do to protect yourself?
It’s that time of year again. The Holiday season is winding down, which means that it is time to ring in the New Year. However, traditional New Year’s Eve parties can be pretty damaging to the environment. From glitter and noisemakers to disposable plates, cups and silverware, to plastic tablecloths, most New Year’s parties generate a lot of trash.
In fact, in 2009, the New York City New Year’s Eve party generated about 40 tons of trash. When you stop to think about how many cities and towns hold New Year’s Eve parties, and then include all of the corporate parties and the smaller friends and family parties, you can start to see how huge of an impact New Years parties can have on the environment.
However, it does not have to be that way. There are many easy ways to reduce the environmental impact of your New Years Eve party so that you can have a green New Years. Read more on Green New Years Eve Party – 5 Tips…
It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and most of us are busy making preparations. Although Thanksgiving can be a great time for most of us, as we get to see our families, relax and eat some good food, like most holidays, Thanksgiving can be a nightmare for the Earth.
Carbon emissions grow tremendously as millions of people travel home to see their family and other loved ones. There is also a huge uptick in the amount of local travel people do as the major holiday shopping season kicks into full gear. Most of us also cook huge meals made from ingredients that come from all corners of the earth, which takes extra energy to ship. Finally, we usually overcook and end up throwing a lot of the leftovers out, so our landfills fill up faster.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to make Thanksgiving more green with less impact on the environment. Here are our top 5 easy tips to make your Thanksgiving more green.
Read more on Green Thanksgiving – 5 Easy Tips…
Ok, this is a bit of an embarrassing post, but everyone gets constipation now and then right? We just don’t like to talk about it. I mean, no one likes to tell people that they have had to deal with constipation, but we all do. I recently had to deal with a bout of constipation and found myself looking for remedies.
Like most people, my first thoughts went to traditional laxatives available at your local drug store. However, I had never had to take a laxative before, so I was not familiar with them. To get more familiar with them, I started doing some research.
After doing a bit of research, I was taken back a bit by what I learned and thought that it was worth sharing.
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We quit drinking soda a while ago (see our post on the dangers of soda as to why we quit). When we first quit, it was a real struggle to find soda replacements. We had been drinking soda for a long time and were used to drinking beverages that had some taste, so switching to plain water was not very viable for us.
So, we set out to find some good soda alternatives. We researched and tried hundreds of different drinks to find ones that we could drink regularly as a soda replacement. We wanted to find drinks that were healthy and natural, but that also tasted good. I mean, what is the point of replacing soda with something else full of nasty chemicals?
So, to evaluate all of the drinks we tested, we used a specific set of criteria. All of the soda alternative drinks we tested had to:
- Contain all natural ingredients. Organic, non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) and fair trade ingredients are even better.
- Not contain any artificial sweeteners.
- Have a reasonable amount of sugar.
- Taste good!
After trying out hundreds of different drinks, here are the 4 drinks that stood out above the rest and have become part of our daily rotation. Read more on Soda Alternatives – Our Top 4…
We love eating out as much as any other family. However, eating out while still trying to be green and eat local foods can be very challenging. Most restaurants depend on the modern food industrial system, where they buy their ingredients from several different suppliers, who buy their ingredients from other suppliers, which are often located all over the United States, if not all over the world. So, when you eat a hamburger with french fries at a fast food restaurant or a regional or national chain restaurant, you are probably eating bread made from wheat that was grown in the middle part of the United States, beef from cows that were fed by corn that was grown in the middle of the United States and that were raised in the Western part of the United States and potatoes that were grown in the Western part of the United States. But that is not all. All of the wheat, corn, and potatoes had to be planted, fertilized and harvested using machines that use oil and gas or coal and the cow from which the beef came from had to be transported and slaughtered by machines that use oil and gas as well. Finally, all of it had to be processed as well, so it is all shipped from point to point around the country until it eventually ends up on your plate at the restaurant.
This process of creating, processing and shipping food emits HUGE amounts of carbon dioxide into the environment, so your simple hamburger and fries ends up having a pretty hefty carbon footprint. A 2000 report from Stockholm University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, called Energy Use in the Food Sector (PDF), calculated the carbon footprint of the average cheeseburger and found that it is between 3.6-6.1 kg of CO2-equivalent emissions per burger (the difference mainly depends on how much oil and gas was used versus coal in the production of all of the component parts of the burger). If you calculate that the average American eats 3 cheeseburgers per week, the total amount of carbon emissions generated just by the cheeseburgers Americans eat in one year is the same amount emitted by 19.6 million SUVs in one year. Wow.
So, if you want to go out to eat, but you don’t want to generate a huge carbon footprint when you do so, what can you do?
Memorial Day is here, which means the unofficial start to summer and the backyard cookout season. This weekend, millions of families across the U.S. will fire up their grills… and those who don’t will most likely be at someone’s house who does.
We will be one of those families that is firing up their grill this weekend. We love grilling out. It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend quality time with friends and family. However, backyard bbq’s can be a disaster for the environment as well. Charcoal grills can belch tons of carbon into the atmosphere and disposable plates, cups and silverware fill up trash cans and end up in landfills.
Here are 5 ways to green your bbq and help reduce the impact it can have on the planet. Read more on Green BBQ – 5 Ways to Green Your Outdoor Celebrations…
We had our first real local food meals last weekend. We picked up our first CSA basket on Saturday, which had a bunch of great local produce in it. Also, Steph’s parents were in town visiting from North Carolina and brought a bunch of food that they bought from local roadside stands with them. Finally, we were also able to use some vegetables from our backyard garden, making a good portion of the foods we used come from within about a 100 mile-range. Here are the details on what we had: