Sustainable Living

Mobile Greenhouse Teaches Kids To Grow Food

“If you can grow food in the back of a truck, you can grow it anywhere!” ~ Compass Green

Prepare to be inspired by this sustainable farming/teaching project:

via: Treehugger

Repurposed Over-Dyed Rug Sling Chairs

I am awestruck by the beauty of these sling chairs. The chairs are handcrafted with over-dyed repurposed rugs. The custom designed chairs from Still + Co. for Sit and Read in Brooklyn, are hemmed and hand-stitched onto welded wrought iron frames.

Check out the rug-dying process via Design Sponge. Gorgeous.

Still & Co. for Sit and Read from Sit and Read on Vimeo.

A Kitchen Revolt – Recycled Appliances To The Rescue

My kitchen was out of sink. A while back, I was convinced my appliances had gathered around the triangle conjuring up ways to drive my family crazy. The collapse of the appliances ran the gamut from deranged to deceased…all in one agonizing week.

Here are the sorted story highlights and how it led me on a path to find a sustainable option for a major appliance purchase.

The Kitchen Conspiracy

The nozzle on the faucet sprayed me down every time it was time to clean the pots and pans, depositing water and grease all over. The refrigerator was particularly frisky and wouldn’t shut, leaking precious energy and melting down the freezer in its wake. There were two broken wine glasses in the dishwasher, making emptying a treacherous landmine.

You get the drift, my appliances were as unruly as inanimate objects can get…all but the gas stove, that just up and died at the ripe age of 22.

The Lifespan Of Kitchen Appliances

How long should a kitchen appliance last?

“The life expectancy of a typical appliance depends to a great extent on the use it receives. Moreover, appliances are often replaced long before they are worn out because changes in styling, technology and consumer preferences make newer products more desirable. Of the major appliances in a home, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy: 15 years. Dryers and refrigerators last about 13 years. Some of the appliances with the shortest lifespan are: compactors (6 years), dishwashers (9 years) and microwave ovens (9 years).” ~ Do It Yourself

The Attempted Fixes

The fridge, faucet and dishwasher had their requisite repairs. But, the stove was truly deceased. After cooking on my woodstove for about a minute, I realized we were faced with a major, major appliance purchase. I had been coveting a professional gas stove for a long time. Have you seen the price tags of one of those beauties? Astronomical. So, I searched EBAY and Craigslist for a gently used professional stove and got nowhere – shipping costs would have been prohibitive anyway. I had read about an organization called Green Demolitions. I knew they sold used salvaged kitchens and baths, and I knew they were connected to a charity. But I had no idea they would save my kitchen from imminent demise.

Green Demolitions To The Rescue

Green Demolitions Recycling Luxury for Recovery is a non-profit organization that provides recycled luxury kitchens and baths at 50%-70% off new retail prices. The appliances and fixtures are donated from estates that are demolished or renovated.

To sweeten the pot, the proceeds of the sale go directly to their “entrepreneurial charitable enterprise” which supports outreach programs for AAA (All Addicts Anonymous). The obvious benefit for the buyer is clear; recycled quality appliances for a fraction of the cost. Green Demolitions connects people who want to give, with people who need something, for people in need. The donor gets a tax savings, reduced labor and/or disposal, while the reduction of landfill waste from all those otherwise tossed appliances is a win for the environment.

The knowledge that a charitable contribution goes to self-sustaining funds for a highly effective addiction recovery program was the icing on the cake for me.

Back to the battlefield of my kitchen…

A New Old Stove

From my new hero, Green Demolitions, we purchased a shiny, 2 year old 30″ professional stove that looks just like this. We got it for a song (much less than a lesser new model). It is the focal point of my kitchen, and the object of my foodie family’s affection. And now, thanks to Green Demolitions, the rest of the revolutionaries in the kitchen triangle are on high alert.


Holiday Waste…Holiday Win


Holiday Win: 10 Ways To Reduce Holiday Waste

Fascinating or Bah Humbug?

Infographic via Green Upgrader

Keeping The Peace With A DIY Peace Wreath

As someone who blends holiday traditions, believe me, peace binds it all together. The universal message of peace is always in season.

Throughout the holidays we speak of Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards…Men!?!

OK, here’s a good place to start.

Isn’t it about time we ditched the men-only lingo?

Now that we have that straightened out…

What do you do about family members who don’t exude those peaceful, easy feelings?

Last year, I wrote Steps For Creating Peace…Someday. Embedded in this post is one of my favorite holiday songs–Stevie Wonder’s, Someday At Christmas. Don’t you love that song?

Becoming Minimalist addressed the gift of creating overdue family peace…

5 Steps To Create Peace At Home

1. Determine to be responsible for your attitude, not others. (I’ll let the over 90 yr-old relatives off the hook on the…Good Will Towards Men thing.)
2. Embrace humility and forgive. (Not touching this.)
3. Accept disagreement and put it behind you. (Easy. Done.)
4. Take the first step. (Here you go…)
5. Create a Peace Wreath

Let’s share peace, even with those who push non-peaceful buttons. Create a handmade spin on the traditional holiday wreath. This easy DIY project uses fallen branches, repurposed wire hangers, and a few tools.

DIY Peace Wreath

What you need:

4 wire hangers or a wreath form
floral wire
wire cutters
evergreen branches

What to do:

1. With the pliers straighten two coat hangers and form them into a circle.
2. Hook the ends together by twisting the wire.
3. Bend the other hanger wire into a circle making sure it is about 1″ smaller than the first one.
4. Hook the ends together, forming a circle.
5. Take the fourth hanger and cut and wrap it to form a peace symbol in the inside circle
6. Cut branches to 4-6″ lengths.
7. Gather the branches into bundles.
8. Secure the bundles with the floral wire.
9. Lay a bundle on the form and tightly wrap it with wire.
10. Without cutting the wire, add another bundle so that it overlaps the bottom half of the previous one.
11. Repeat around.
12. Cover peace symbol in the same overlapping manner.
13. Make a wire loop on top or use the hanger hook to attach.

Don’t forget to add a note and include one of these quotes:

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means at which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace is its own reward.” Mahatma Gandhi

“All we are saying is give peace a chance.” John Lennon