In our 17 summers of buying a share in a community-sponsored agriculture farm, we've developed a 5-step plan for making good use of our weekly veggie crate--but our long-range planning still isn't perfect. When I put "carrots" on the shopping list in late summer, Daniel bought the 5-pound bag because it was the best value … Continue reading Can you eat carrots that look like THIS?!
Many things in our home previously belonged to our relatives. I claimed many books, dishes, pieces of furniture, and framed artwork from my grandparents' homes after they died. Daniel's parents and grandparents have given us household items that they don't need anymore but that are still useful. Making use of these things in our home is a way … Continue reading The Dishwasher Ladybug
It happens to us all at some point: When we least expect it, our normally reliable toilet lets us down. A few flushes and a poke with the toilet brush often will be enough to get things moving again, but when that isn’t enough, here are some great suggestions to tackle the problem easily with … Continue reading 6 Ways to Unclog a Toilet without a Plunger or a Plumber [Infographic]
Happy Earth Day! What is your Earth Day Resolution? I hope you've already switched to greener cleaners and started drinking better milk, and now you're ready for something new! There are many ways you could change your habits to reduce your environmental impact. Let's talk about the stuff you use to clean and care for … Continue reading Go Green in 2017: Clean Up Your Hygiene Routine!
We've never established a traditional Easter dinner for our family. Partly it's because we don't eat lamb or ham, but the biggest reason is that for the past 15 years I've been heavily involved in the Easter celebrations at church. The Easter Vigil service is late Saturday night, followed by a festive reception, and then … Continue reading Why we had Banana Bread and Black Bean Soup for Easter dinner
I'm writing a 3-part series on composting over at Kitchen Stewardship; here's how to get started with my composting system using 3 ordinary flowerpots, and I also mention two FREE composting systems my family members have used. Here, I'm explaining my general approach to the garden I nourish with my compost. The idea and the … Continue reading Darwinian Gardening
It's getting harder and harder for me to believe that the majority of Americans who work outside the home commute by car. I understand that many small towns and suburban and rural areas have no public transit at all, and that many cities have inadequate public transit providing infrequent service to just a few neighborhoods. … Continue reading Public Transit and Convenient Commuting
Smoky, salty, greasy, crispy! Nobody will think it actually is bacon, but it fits that culinary niche better than anything else you can make out of garbage in 5 minutes!
This is a guest post by Jackie Waters. Ms. Waters believes balance and diligence can help you achieve a beautiful, clean home. She runs hyper-tidy.com, providing advice on being...Hyper Tidy! If you’re not an attorney, accountant, or financial planner, you may have anxiety about life planning and making the right decisions to secure your children’s … Continue reading How to Approach Life Planning to Secure Your Children’s Futures
My son Nicholas is 12 years old and often tells us about meals and snacks he enjoyed in his friends' homes. Last month, when we were shopping at Target, he pointed out a package of sauce that was the exact type his friend's mother had used on the delicious fajitas. I told him I wasn't … Continue reading How to make it from scratch instead of a package: Chipotle Simmer Sauce
Tired of spraying your home with carcinogens and neurotoxins? Here's our complete guide to cleaning a typical Earth dwelling.
Are you good at following recipes but wish you had the knack for just throwing together a meal from ingredients you happen to have? The way I got started on developing that knack was to learn to make a basic sauce from scratch. Over at Kitchen Stewardship, I explain how to learn 4 sauces and … Continue reading 4 Easy Homemade Sauces for Instinctive Cooking
Photographs by Nicholas Efran This is a handy tip I learned as a Girl Scout that I still use in my home today. It's a great project for Girl Scouts (or any group of kids) as a follow-up to soap carving: kids can put their soap scraps in the Soap Saver and then add any … Continue reading Make a Soap Saver: neat, clean bar soap with no waste!
The United States Food & Drug Administration banned 19 antibacterial chemicals from hand soaps and body washes. By September 1, 2017, manufacturers need to reformulate their products or remove the products from the market. If you've been using an antibacterial soap, you may not be able to get it anymore. Don't despair! The reason for … Continue reading Has Your Favorite Soap Been Banned?
This guy in Panama is building a village of houses whose walls are insulated with empty plastic beverage bottles! Click through to watch the video. This is a really great idea for making use of garbage, reducing construction costs, and building well-insulated homes that will require less energy to cool or heat. BUT! This is … Continue reading Houses Built from Plastic Water Bottles!
This rare glimpse into an actual Earthling habitat shows you what foods we keep on hand and how we organize them! Get all the details in my article at Kitchen Stewardship! Exclusively in The Earthling's Handbook, play "Find the differences between these two photos!" The one on the left was taken first, but then I … Continue reading Peek Into My Pantry!
It’s dinnertime on a Wednesday, and you’ve just been handed 10 pounds of fresh, organic, locally-grown, assorted vegetables! You’re eager to get some of them onto your family’s plates tonight and make sure you use every bit as wisely as you can before next week—when another load of vegetables will arrive—and you never know what … Continue reading Drowning in Veggies? 5 Steps for Using a CSA Farm Share
HVAC=Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning--the system of ducts that brings hot and/or cold air to the rooms of a building. The advice here applies to systems that deliver only heat or only AC, as well as those that do both. This is a guest post by Ryan Martin at Home Improvement Leads, who connects quality contractors … Continue reading HVAC Hacks: Energy-Saving Improvements You Can Make Yourself
I've seen many recipes for cake frosting that require separating eggs, using ingredients unfamiliar to many people (like cream of tartar), cooking for 7 minutes whisking constantly, using a double boiler, or some other complicated technique. It's no wonder that so many people have the idea that homemade frosting is very difficult to make! Even … Continue reading 3 Super-Simple Homemade Frosting Recipes
This is a story my cousin Tiffany recalled during a recent family gathering when my mom asked us what we remembered from the summer my parents were away a lot, leaving me and my brother and cousins to fend for ourselves. As soon as she mentioned the dust, I remembered that picnic too, and we … Continue reading That Time We Ate Million-year-old Dust