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8 Simple Steps to Start Your Own Organic Garden

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With an increased focus on pesticides and contamination, many people want to incorporate more organic foods into their daily meals. Sometimes, these organics are priced significantly higher than the conventionally grown counterparts. If you have the space, start your own organic garden to help save money!

 

1) Prep the Soil

soil preparation - Start Your Own Organic Garden

Healthy plants need healthy soil. Your organic veggies and herbs will need tons of nutrients from the soil and chemical treatments can deplete the soil. Other chemical fertilizers can harm helpful bacteria, microbes, and worms.

If you’re super serious about getting your organic garden done right, get a sample of soil and have it tested by your local agricultural office. You can let them know you plan to go organic and they will be able to help you tailor your gardening program based on what’s needed in the soil. Any nutrients you need to add should be added before winter.

Finally, make sure your soil has lots of humus. Humus is a mixture of plant materials that have decomposed. Add in some composted manure and you’ve got a recipe for success! When using manure in your gardening and composting, be sure it’s exclusively from plant eaters like cows, sheep, goats, and chickens. Never use manure from meat-eating animals.

 

2) Composting

composting

Composting is one of the best things you can do for your garden, whether its organic or not. Compost feeds your plants, helps to eliminate weeds, and keeps food waste out of landfills. In order to make a good compost pile, you’ll need a minimum of 3 square feet, lots of  “brown material” (leaves, grass clippings, garden trimmings, etc), and lots of  “green material” (kitchen scraps and manure).

Fill your compost bin with these types of materials and make sure it’s topped off with about 6 inches of soil. Each time you add a new layer of green or brown material, toss your compost pile to make sure things are mixing and decomposing evenly. You should toss it with a pitchfork, hoe, or shovel. In 2-3 months, you’ll have lush compost ready for your garden!

 

3) Choosing Your Plants

garden herbs

No matter how great your soil is, if you don’t have the right plants for your area, they won’t grow. It’s important to check the USDA’s Hardiness Zone map to find out if the plants you want will grow well. Once you choose your plants, you can begin to outline your garden and where each type will be planted to ensure its sun, shade, and moisture needs are being met.

Be sure to seek out certified organic plants and/or certified organic seeds. You may be able to find them at big box stores, but you’re better off at your local garden shop or an area farmer’s market. Most of your herbs and vine veggies grow best from the seed, so be sure to start your seedlings in late winter or early spring.

 

4) Planting

herb gardens planting

After you’ve chosen your plants, be sure and plant them in a way that is well suited for each plant.

Raised beds are preferred for anything you’ll harvest such as cutting flowers, herbs, or vegetables. Plant vine veggies in long rows so they have lots of room to spread out. Plant your herbs in rows, but in closer clumps to discourage weed growth.

 

5) Watering

watering

Of course, you’ll have to water your plants. Whether you water by hand or set up an irrigation system, the best time to water your plants is in the morning. It’s not very hot and there usually isn’t much wind, so the plants will be able to absorb the maximum amount of water.

Be sure to water the roots and not the leaves. If leaves have water droplets on them when the sunlight shines on the plant, it can create a magnifying glass situation where the sun will burn the leaves.

Water your plants with lots of water, but only 1-2 times per week. To save water and help the plants keep their temperatures regulated, collect rainwater and use it to water your garden. If you don’t want to use collected rainwater, try using your filtered water so as not to reintroduce any contaminants back into the soil (and into your plants).

 

6) Weeding

weeding

Want to get some exercise? Get out in that garden and weed by hand or use one of these methods to kill weeds naturally! Hand-weeding is the best way to remove weeds because you’re not using any kind of sprays or chemicals.

To cut down on the number of weeds, use your compost and if needed, use organic mulch on the top of your beds. Organic mulch will decompose into the soil. In a pinch, you can also use burlap fabric between the plants.

 

7) Protect from Pests

pests

Bugs are a part of everyday life. Some will be beneficial for your plants, others won’t be. If you need to protect your plants from little critters, encourage predators like frogs, lizards, birds, bats, and ladybugs to hang out in your garden.

Also, the more you diversify the plants in your garden, the less chance for a mass of bugs to hurt them.

If you do need to spray your plants, look into Neem oil or make your own Neem oil pesticide. Neem oil comes from the Neem trees in India and is a powerful bug repellant. Other plants (and their oils) like Citronella and lemongrass will help to repel bugs.

 

8) Harvesting

harvesting

Finally, your hard work paid off and you get to reap the benefits of your labor. During the peak season of your various plants, you’ll need to check your garden everyday. Check the plant information for the best times to harvest your herbs and vegetables.

If you have too much for you and your family, give some away or freeze and/or can your veggies. You can also fill ice trays with olive or sunflower oil and put fresh herbs in the oil. Freeze the oil cubes and this will help keep herbs fresh for a long time.

As you start thinking about warm weather, don’t forget to start planning your garden for spring. You’ll have tons of fresh, organic veggies all year at fractions of the cost. Happy planting!

Tomato and Herb Macaroni and Cheese

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Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

We’re finally easing into that part of summer where tomatoes are ripe and sweet and plentiful. Which to me is a blank check for cooking. In the winter, you’re lucky to find a good tomato at all – which makes me stingy with them.

And when you put the pressure of knowing how they’re grown into the equation – well, let’s just say that it’s rare for me to cook with them from November through May.

But now it’s late summer! There’s tomatoes aplenty, and it’s time to play.

So on a recent overcast and delightfully chilly day, I decided to use the bounty of August to create a fall comfort food – macaroni and cheese.

The creamy cheddar sauce was filled with fresh herbs and the whole thing was topped with summer tomatoes and crunchy panko.

Hello, Tomato Season. It’s nice to see you. (Also, don’t forget you can freeze tomatoes too!)

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
Yield: 8 servings

Tomato and Herb Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Passive Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

The creamy cheddar sauce of this macaroni and cheese dish is filled with fresh herbs and the whole thing is topped with summer tomatoes and crunchy panko.

Ingredients

  • 1 box of elbow macaroni, 12 oz.
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 bag extra sharp cheddar cheese, 8 oz.
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until just al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  3. While the pasta cooks, saute the onion in butter over medium heat in a small saucepan until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, and stir constantly until hot but not boiling. Add the cheddar one handful at a time and stir well. When the cheese has melted add another handful, and continue until all of the cheddar is gone. Add ½ cup parmesan, and stir well until melted. Add the mustard and herbs and stir well.
  4. Spoon the pasta into a casserole dish, and pour the cheese sauce over it. Top with tomatoes, panko, and the reserved parmesan. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

What is Whey Protein and Do I Need to Take It?

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Naked Whey Review

From children to adults to seniors, everyone considers milk a wholesome food. For decades, all ages have consumed milk because of its numerous benefits. Until the 1940s, almost all cattle in the country ate grass. Everything changed as the demand for dairy products and beef increased. 

To improve beef and dairy production efficiency, most producers feed cows a grain-based diet. They were also treated with hormones to fatten them quickly, a strategy by the producers, which was neither ideal for the cow nor for the consumers who took whey supplements.

 

Let’s first understand what whey is!

You may have heard several fitness enthusiasts talk about the benefits of whey. Several brands are available in the market with attractive packaging that may induce you to buy and use. But unless you understand the content, you will not reap the benefits.

Cow’s milk contains two primary proteins, namely whey and casein. There are five types of casein, and it constitutes about 80% of the milk, while whey constitutes around 20%.

When you separate the solids from the liquids in milk, the liquid part is the whey. It is spray dried into a powder and filtered. The result is a whey protein isolate or whey concentrate.

 

What is whey protein?

There are nine essential amino acids vital for healthy living. These amino acids are sourced from eggs, meat, high-protein vegetables, and cheese.

These sources contain different amino acid profiles and hence consuming each of them becomes necessary. Unlike non-essential amino acids that your body can generate, you cannot build essential amino acids independently. You must consume them in your diet or as a supplement to build or maintain muscle, repair tissues, make hormones and neurotransmitters etc.

Whey protein is derived when casein is separated from the milk. Whey also occurs as a by-product in cheese making. Did you know that whey protein contains all nine amino acids, the building blocks of life? It is considered a complete protein low in lactose content and includes the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine that are not found in plant-based protein.

Whey is also rich in other proteins that include lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin, and alpha-lactalbumin. These proteins are antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal and can help improve immune function and reduce inflammation.

 

What is grass-fed whey protein?

grass fed cows

To meet the rising demand for dairy products and beef, producers adopted conventional farming practices where cows are kept in small spaces with zero access to fresh air or grazing. 

The system was designed to produce the highest amounts of milk and beef in the shortest span possible. The cow’s diet includes hay, grains, corn stalks, cottonseed meal, preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics.

Consequently, proteins such as whey and casein obtained from milk also come from hormone-induced cows’ milk under conventional farming practices.

Considering the ill effects, several manufacturers started to offer milk from grass-fed cows because of its numerous health benefits. Whey protein derived from grass-fed cows came to be known as grass-fed whey.

 

Types of grass-fed whey protein

There are three types of grass-fed whey protein as given below.

  • The raw grass-fed whey protein is the hardest to digest and is derived from unprocessed raw products.
  • The regular or concentrate grass-fed whey protein contains some amount of carbohydrates and fats. It is 100% grass-fed whey, not so hard to digest, and is derived by mild processing.
  • The isolate grass-fed whey protein requires lots of processing to produce. It is very easily digestible but involves a lot of processing. It is pure grass-fed whey isolated from concentrate or raw grass-fed whey.

The three types of grass-fed whey are far more superior compared to whey protein derived from conventional farming.

 

What are the benefits of grass-fed whey protein?

whey protein shake

Popularly known as a muscle-building supplement, whey protein is vital to increase muscle strength, power, muscle protein synthesis or growth, and tissue recovery. It is a popular supplement in the fitness and weightlifting communities. But wait! It is not just for bulking up. It offers several other benefits, including the following.

  • Grass-fed whey protein provides a higher amount of vitamin E, CLA, beta carotene, and iron.
  • Whey improves heart health by preventing heart diseases as it contains higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA and MUFA).
  • Prevents various diseases such as PCOD as it is not made from milk from hormone-induced cows.
  • It is made from non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). It is rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormones) and rBST (Recombinant Bovine Somatotropins) free.
  • The enzymes and taste are intact as the milk is cold-pressed or pasteurized at low temperatures. So the whey produced also contains enzymes and tastes better.
  • Compared to regular whey, the amount of nutrition such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and antioxidants is more grass-fed whey.
  • As it is cold-pressed, the loss of nutrients is less than conventional whey.

Grass-fed whey protein is used in the same way as conventional whey protein, but you can reap more benefits from grass-fed variants. Have some grass-fed whey protein post-workout to reap the supplement’s benefits.

 

Top 10 Apps for Green Living

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While going green and living more sustainably are noble goals, getting there isn’t always easy. With endless strategies, tips, tricks, and advice from professionals, it gets confusing and overwhelming all together.

Luckily, technology is changing that one strategy at a time. As more green innovations come down the line, you’re now one phone swipe away from easing yourself into a truly sustainable lifestyle.

Indeed, smartphones have become an indispensable part of our daily lives and can now help us make better choices towards living greener and protecting the environment. With these incredible apps for green living, you can start making the right choices in going green and living sustainably.

Here are the best going green apps to help you on your journey.

Best Apps for Green Living

1. JouleBug

JouleBug - apps for green living

JouleBug is one of the best apps for green living. It makes sustainable living simple and fun through social interaction. Essentially, the app helps you learn better ways to save money and cut down on your environmental footprint.

The fun part? You earn points and badges every day when you participate in everyday sustainable activities like cycling to work, reducing water wastage and conserving energy.

Furthermore, you can challenge your friends and family to a sustainability contest through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

 

2. PaperKarma

paperkarma

Tired of receiving unsolicited mail and catalogues in your mailbox? Junk mail is not only annoying but an environmental nuisance. According to one estimate, Americans receive more than 100 billion pieces of junk mail every year.

For that, more than 100 million trees come down to make the paper. According to the EPA, more than 60 percent of all junk mail ends up in the landfill.

PaperKarma seeks to solve that. With just a photo of your junk mail, this free mobile app will help unsubscribe you from all those unwanted catalogues, magazines, and credit card offers.

Snap a pic of the offending mail, select your mailing address and let PaperKarma do the rest.

 

3. ThredUp

thredup

With sustainable fashion on the rise, apps like ThredUp lead the charge, inspiring shoppers to give a second hand a thought. The online consignment and thrift store helps people buy and sell high-quality secondhand apparel. ThredUp has over 2 million items across 35,000 brands, making it one of the largest online thrift stores.

 

4. Tap

findtap

As countries worldwide continue to tackle the menace of plastic bottles, a crowdsourced mobile app is looking to change the situation. Tap is an app that helps you find nearby refill stations, reducing the agony of buying bottled water and new water bottles.  

Billed as the world’s first search engine for water, the app shows you a station’s location with the option of choosing from a Water ATM, a drinking fountain, among others. Likewise, depending on a person’s preferences, you can opt for chilled, sparkling, filtered or flavored water.

 

5. HappyCow

happy cow - apps for green living

HappyCow helps you find vegan restaurants from across 175+ countries worldwide. With over 120,000 vegan-friendly restaurants on its database, you have plenty of options to choose from based on your nearest options.

Going vegan has never been easier.

 

6. Olio

olio app

Food wastage is a perennial problem in many parts of the world and more so in the U.S. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), at least one pound of food per person is wasted, equating to 103 million (81.4 billion pounds) of food waste nationwide.

This is in stark contrast to the number of Americans going hungry. One in 8 Americans struggles to put food on the table, with the situation made worse by the COVID19 pandemic. With the Olio app, you can help reduce food wastage by sharing surplus food with vulnerable neighbors.

Simply take a photo of the food commodity you want to share, and an alert will be sent to other people using the app.

 

7. Giki

giki badges app

Giki app helps you shop for sustainable products in U.K. supermarkets. Using the app’s built-in scanner, consumers can determine if the product is environmentally friendly and healthy.

Each product earns a badge based on how sustainable it is, so the higher the number of badges, the safer it is for the environment. The app goes a step further in offering an alternative to any product which scores poorly.

 

8. Too Good To Go

too good to go

Similar to Olio, Too Good To Go is a mobile app that hooks up users with leftover food from restaurants, bakeries or supermarkets. Though not fresh, the food is considered too good to be thrown in the trash and hence the name of the app.

With over 28 million users across fifteen countries, Too Good To Go plays a crucial role in fighting food waste. Currently, the app is saving 130 000 meals per day.

 

9. Oroeco

oroeco app

Based in the U.S., the Oroeco application lets users track their carbon footprint. It puts a carbon value on an individual’s daily decisions — from food choices, retail purchases, electricity consumption and leisure activities.

Even more impressive is the fact that you can compare your carbon output with friends online.

 

10. HowGood

HowGood - apps for green living

Are you the type of person that is mindful about what you eat? Well, with the HowGood app, you can make a more sustainable choice on the food you buy. A consumer will only need to scan the barcode of a food product to reveal its sustainability score based on HowGood’s database.

The ratings consider several factors, including the food’s manufacturing process and even the company’s labour conditions.

 

Conclusion

These apps for green living provide a great start to living more consciously. While you won’t solve environmental degradation and climate change alone, collectively, and with a little help from technology, we can start moving the needle to living sustainably.

7 Critical Environmental Concerns for 2021

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top environmental concerns 2021

From rampant deforestation to unprecedented global warming, the environment’s health has undoubtedly been on a downward spiral. The planet has gone through extreme environmental changes over the years. Some have been detrimental to different species and their natural ecosystems.

2021 looks no different. There’s a lot at stake protecting biodiversity on the planet. Here are some of the top environmental issues that lie ahead of us in 2021:

 

Top Environmental Concerns

#1. Climate change

climate change - top environmental concerns

In a recent address to Member States, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described 20201 as a ‘crucial year’ tackling climate change. He called on countries to be more ambitious and committed to cutting carbon emissions per the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The 2015 Paris deal proposes limiting global temperature increases to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and at best 1.5 degrees. Still, the world is way off the 1.5-degree limit target – threatening a critical climate threshold.

Countries are scaling efforts to decarbonize their economies and meet the 2050 net-zero emissions target. And with the US returning to the Paris accord, there is renewed hope in tackling climate change by the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter.

 

#2. Air pollution

air pollution

Air pollution remains one of the world’s largest environmental health threats.  A 2019 World Health Organization (WHO) report shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air. It further reveals that 4.2 million people die every year due to outdoor air pollution. Industrial sources and motor vehicles remain the major pollution contributors.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic brought attention to the role air pollution plays in spreading the virus, with studies showing a positive correlation between the two.

That said, experts are calling on countries to implement measures to reduce local emissions from airports, industries, and ports. They foresee the possibility of mass human migration to less air polluted areas in the near future as more people become more health-conscious.

 

#3. Loss of biodiversity

red-panda

Close to 1 million animal and plant species face extinction, according to a UN report, making it one of the top environmental concerns this year and beyond. Indeed, biodiversity is experiencing an existential threat, with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning that it’s declining “at a perilous rate.”

During a recent address at the UN Environment Assembly, Guterres sensitized the global need to prioritize nature-based solutions for sustainable development. The natural world is deteriorating, and scientists have warned that unless countries take drastic action, humanity could be headed towards a ‘ghastly future.’

 

#4. Loss of tropical forests

forest fires

2020 presented tough challenges for tropical rain-forest conservation efforts. The year saw a vast swath of the Amazon rain forest, considered the “world’s lungs,” burned to the ground.

The situation was further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to reduced spending by major forest conservation funders. Likewise, conservation livelihood models that depend on ecotourism fizzled out while NGOs withdrew from field projects. Still, deforestation pressure remains high in areas with tropical forests.

According to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, over 420 million hectares of forests have been lost since 1990, with the global cover standing at around 4.06 billion hectares.

2021 doesn’t look promising either for rain-forests. Several tropical countries are likely to carry-out mega-infrastructure projects that could accelerate deforestation. In Peru, for instance, several companies involved in logging received stimulus money aimed at reviving the forestry industry post-COVID.

The likes of Brazil and Cambodia remained mum on illegal logging and encroachment.

 

#5. Continued plastic pollution

plastic pollution - top environmental concerns 2021

Plastic pollution is no doubt one of the gravest top environmental concerns of our lifetime.

Currently, close to 11 million tons of plastic end up in oceans annually, causing great harm to animals and their habitats.  A strategy report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked the US as the leading generator of plastic waste globally; producing about 42 million metric tons in 2016.

Experts estimate that the amount of plastic waste could hit 29 million metric tons per year by 2040 if countries take no action to curb the menace. Even as countries pledge to reduce plastic waste, the COVID-10 pandemic might hamper these efforts. The pandemic has fuelled an increase in single-use plastics, with more people ordering takeout at home.

 

#6. Global warming

global warming

Global temperatures continue to rise each year primarily because of increased greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Global Climate Summary , annual temperatures have surged at an average rate of 0.08°C per decade since 1880 and over twice that rate (+0.18°C) since 1981.

This rise brought about extreme weather events in 2020, including unprecedented bushfires in Australia, locust invasion in several African countries, a record-breaking heatwave in Antarctica where temperatures rose above 20°C for the first time, crazy wildfires in California, among others.

The US formal return to the Paris Agreement could well mean that 2021 is shaping up as a tipping point in tackling the global warming crisis. The nation is the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and now seeks to recommit its pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Under the 2015 Paris accord, countries committed to limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

 

#7. Coral reef die-offs

coral reef

Another of the top environmental concerns that needs to be addressed immediately is the risk of extinction of coral reefs. Scientists have allayed fears of a possible wipeout of the world’s reefs by 2100, adding that activities such as overfishing, ocean acidification and climate change contribute to the reefs’ death.

Australia’s Great Barrier coral reef has mainly been affected by rising sea temperatures, losing more than half of its corals since 1995.

With reefs providing livelihood to an estimated 500 million people through tourism and fishing, countries must protect their bio-diverse ecosystem for the sustainability of coastal communities.

Some scientists are looking at setting up coral farms as part of reef restoration efforts.

The Cost of Wasted Food [Infographic]

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The cost of wasted food

When you throw your leftovers or spoiled food in the trash, you probably think to yourself that you could have saved some money if you hadn’t bought that extra food.

If you multiply those leftovers by all of the times you’ve done it, and the number of times others in your household have done it, across an entire year, the results are a bit staggering. In fact, 1/3 of all food that is produced is wasted!

This infographic outlines the cost of wasted food and will hopefully encourage you to buy less so you don’t end up wasting more!

 

The Cost of Wasted Food infographic

Walnut Stuffed Squash Recipe

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Walnut Stuffed Squash

Walnuts are one of my favorite foods because they are rich and satisfying but not overwhelming in flavor, so they blend well with many dishes. I also try to use walnuts whenever possible because they’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which my family needs to get through plant sources because we don’t eat fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for proper brain development. Studies have shown that children with good omega-3 intake do better in school and have fewer behavioral problems. Omega-3s are also instrumental in promoting cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, and help to protect against certain kinds of cancer. They are an imperative part of our diet.

Walnut Stuffed Squash
Yield: 4 servings

Walnut-Stuffed Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, plus more for greasing
  • 4 whole acorn or butternut squashes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup peeled and finely chopped parsnip
  • 2 apples, firm and sweet, such as Gala, Fuji, or Pink Lady
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a small baking sheet generously with grapeseed oil.
  2. Cut 1 inch off the tops of the acorn squashes, and reserve the tops. Scoop out the seeds and all but ½ inch of the flesh from the inside. Discard the seeds and finely chop the flesh; set aside. Put the squash shells cut-side down on the baking sheet and bake until tender, 35 to 37 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, parsnip, apples, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and reserved squash flesh and cook until lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley and walnuts. Set aside.
  4. Turn the squash shells right side up on the baking sheet and spoon the filling into each. Place the reserved tops on the baking sheet beside the filled shells.
  5. Bake until tender and the stuffed squashes begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot, with the squash “lid” next to the squash on the plate.

Notes

Veronica Bosgraaf, founder of healthy snack brand Pure Organic has put a twist on your traditional Thanksgiving with recipes from her Pure Food cookbook. Veronica has used her creative cooking expertise to create healthy, plant-based recipes that are still incredibly tasty (and the whole family will love!)

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 468Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 0mgSodium 542mgCarbohydrates 57gFiber 12gSugar 31gProtein 7g

Did you make this recipe?

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The Latest Technology Trends To Reduce Your Eco Footprint

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green-apps-for-mobile

Sustainability has managed to find a place at the table thanks to trends in greener policy and changing requirements from industry regulators.

Traditional industries are realizing the potential for a more eco-friendly approach, whether in manufacturing, retail, business, agriculture or other services.  

They are making headway into energy-efficient appliances and home systems, eco-friendly building, harnessing solar and wind power, biodegradable materials, biofuels and encouraging individuals to track their own environmental impact.

The latest technology trends are smart appliances and smart applications.

 

smart-home-appliances

Smart, Very Smart

Home appliances are increasingly being designed with intelligence in mind.  

People want stuff to work hard and save costs at the same time, and they are getting it.  

Zero energy homes are as a way of reducing carbon emissions and adding power back to the grid (aiming to effectively end on ‘zero’ net energy used in a year).  

Along with solar power, wind power and shared renewable resources within eco-conscious communities, zero-energy homes are also being built to include automation of lights and water systems (like sprinklers), controlled by an app.

These smart appliance ideas are also greener than usual:

 

smart-washing-machine-LG

Smart Machines

LG was one of the first to unveil their line of smart appliances, including a washing machine that could plan the heaviest washes for during downtime on the power grid, for example.

It works off a smart meter which gathers information about energy usage as it goes.

Panasonic is not far off its tail, either, with plans to invest in lithium-ion batteries, solar technology, and electric cars.

 

smart-thermostat-hvac

Very Smart Thermostats

It is not just the run-of-the-mill thermostat on the market anymore.  

It is a learning, eco-friendly thermostat which ‘remembers’ data settings, adjusts itself with the seasons and is easily accessible via an app.  

The two most popular ones are the Nest Learning Thermostat and ECOBEE4 (with remote sensors).

 

green-apps-for-mobile

Application Approved

With new applications for smart devices being developed every day, ‘green’ apps are a dime a dozen.  

Whether you are an environmentalist, a budding recycler or someone who wants to make a difference in the world, there is an app for it.  

On the plus side, even if you are trying to persuade someone only mildly interested in saving the environment, most of these apps can also save time and money!

Most apps use tracking functions, like tracking habits and measuring how eco-friendly they are or tracking the carbon footprint of a daily commute.  

Other apps offer advice, tips, reminders or steps to a greener home or lifestyle. Still, others give suggestions on an environmentally-sustainable building, organic produce, nearby recycling depots, and indigenous plant life.

Here are a few worth adding to the download list:

 

1. Sustainable Homes

This app provides a platform for updating, renovating or building an eco-friendly home.  It includes tips for energy systems, design and materials.

 

2. Energy Consumption Analyzer (ECAS)

ECAS tracks the efficiency of utilities. Track the average usage figures for water, gas, and electricity. Available in 14 languages, which is awesome!  Use this in conjunction with the Green Outlet app and estimate your carbon footprint based on this usage, too.

 

3. Green Charging

This app helps develop greener habits by reminding you to disconnect appliances when not in use.  It makes your iPhone vibrate when fully charged, and gives estimated talk time remaining at current battery levels.  

 

4 Light Bulb Finder

Light Bulb Finder suggests lightbulb replacements by giving you information.  It logs the type of lightbulb, where you might purchase one, and which replacement bulb is recommended as the greenest option.

 

5 Waterprint

This app tracks your water footprint – exactly how much water you use during the course of your day.  It helps to make better choices by identifying water-sapping appliances or routines and may give you ideas for making eco-friendly changes within your home.

 

6 Rippl

Rippl reminds you about living green by giving you a gentle nudge in the right direction throughout the day.  It offers handy tips for a greener lifestyle, and small changes to make at home or at work. Go Green app is similar in that it encourages small changes around the house by taking you through 52 steps to a greener, healthier you.

 

7 GardenAnswers

GardenAnswers is for use outside.  It is an easy way to identify plants around your garden (and to check your indoor plants are save, water-saving choices).

 

8 Climate Counts

Climate Counts identifies large corporations and ranks them according to their eco-friendliness.  You can find information about their environmental policies and contributions. Should the company rank low on the app, the aim is for environmentalists to take their business elsewhere.

TIP: If you find these apps limited to certain service providers, like Apple, don’t be discouraged.  There are similar apps popping up all the time which are compatible with various devices. Take this list as a guideline so you know the type of apps to look out for on your next Play Store search.

 

The Age of the Technology is making massive advancements on an environmental front, using its power for the good of Mother Earth in new and exciting ways.  There is a rising tide of consumers voicing concerns about green initiatives and embracing forward-thinking innovation. Add your voice (by steering your feet and your wallet towards “greener” pastures). Change the world.

What Happens to Our Waste? [Infographic]

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Did you ever stop to think about where all our waste goes after we’ve finished with it?

Once it’s collected from our homes, it might find a new lease of life by being repurposed into another product, or perhaps it is sent to landfill if it can no longer be used.

This infographic from Cleaning Services Group outlines the disposal process for several different categories of waste and, from reading through it, it’s good to see that the amount of waste ending up in landfills has decreased drastically.

As consumers become increasingly familiar with recycling and environmental issues, it would seem that most of our household waste is recycled or repurposed. Almost all food and drink containers are recyclable, something that was certainly not true only a generation ago.

Waste disposal can get a little tricky when it concerns hazardous or healthcare refuse, as these require specialist treatment.

For example, empty ink cartridges must be disposed at tightly-controlled specialist sites under careful supervision, while surgical needles and doctors’ gloves are incinerated at searing temperatures.

Similar treatment is given to information stored on electronic hardware such as USB drives.

Find out more about what becomes of our waste in the infographic below.

The Power of Green Investing – Infographic

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green investing

Most environmentally conscious people know that every purchase they make has an impact. The products you buy and the companies you support are a small way to make a difference in the world. That’s why many people opt for more sustainable options, choosing responsibly-sourced goods and recyclable materials whenever possible. Where we put our money matters.

On a larger scale, investing directly in environmentally friendly companies is a powerful way to support the initiatives you believe in. Green investing has always been around but has risen in popularity in recent years as sustainability has become more and more important to the average consumer.

Yet just as it’s not always clear how eco-friendly a single product is, it can be hard to determine which companies qualify as “green.” There are no broadly-accepted standards for what a green company should be. As such, there is some gray area when it comes to green investing.

Pure-play options are almost always regarded as green, and cover businesses whose mission or main source of revenue is derived from products, technologies, or research that directly benefit the environment. This would include companies that manufacture solar panels or work towards the conservation of the rain forest.

There are also businesses that are in other industries, but whose eco-friendly practices make them a great option for green investing. Companies like clothing manufacturers who source sustainably grown and fair-trade cotton could be on this list.

Since there is some room for gray area, what ultimately makes an investment green enough is up to you. That’s why it’s important to fully research the practices and history of the companies you support, both with investments and everyday purchases.

To learn more about green investing and how to get involved, check out this infographic by Turbo

the-power-of-green-investing-ig

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