Monday, June 7, 2010

Being More Earth Friendly

Every year I swear I am going to start a compost pile. That I am going to recycle more. That I am going to start growing more of my own food. I have planted a few cherry trees, grow my own onions, pumpkins and strawberries, baby steps. But here are a few simple things we can do to be a more responsible citizens of Earth, without feeling like we are sacrificing much.

1. Change a light: Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

2. Plant a tree: A single tree with absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.

3. Drive less: Walk, bike, carpool or take metro transit more often. You'll save one pound of carbon dioxide for ever mile you don't drive.

4. Adjust your thermostat: Changing your thermostat down just 2 degrees in Winter and up 2 degrees in Summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

5. Recycle more: You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling half of your household waste.

6. Use less hot water: It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Use less hot water by installing a low flow shower head (350 pounds saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year).

7. Check your tires: Keeping your tires inflated properly can improve gas mileage by more than 3%, I know that sound small, but every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere.

8. Avoid products with a lot of packaging: You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down on your garbage by 10%.

9. Turn off electronic devices: Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo and computer when you are not using them will save thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Go a step further and unplug the ones you can, some appliances become vampires and suck electricity when they are off.

10. Buy locally: Every mile your food doesn't have to travel saves a pound of carbon dioxide. Plus it stimulates your home economy and supports your neighbors.

There are many ways we can be more Earth Friendly. You can dry your clothes on a clothesline during the warm months, or you can bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store. Every little bit helps. Even if you aren't a believer in global warming, being wasteful isn't beneficial. Every little bit we do now, helps our planet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Best Bubbles EVER

Summer is right around the corner and I am taking out some of my recipes for warm weather fun.

I have found that making bubbles that are large, and last more than a millisecond is vital for keeping your kids actively interested in participating in the activity.

It is frustrating when you get the bubbles out and after a few minutes have grumpy kids on your hands because the bubble mix isn't holding it's end of the bargain.

Simple bubble recipes call for water and dish soap. Which works. But for great big bubbles, follow the recipe below.

2 Cups of Water

1 Cup of Liquid Dish Soap (I've had success with Dawn and Joy)

1 Cup Glycerin (which is sold in drug stores)

1 teaspoon Corn Syrup (you can use a teaspoon sugar instead)

Slowly mix all ingredients in a shallow pan.

If you want super bubbles, make this the day before you plan to use it and store it in the fridge in an air tight container overnight.

You can bend a wire hanger, use a loop of string or use saved bubble wands to create bubbles.

Feel free to double the recipe for more fun!