To our brave service members past and present: We thank you for your service and dedication. This Memorial Day we are thinking of you and the loved ones we have lost.
Category Archives: Inspiration
With Earth Day fast approaching, now is the time to start incorporating some eco-friendly ideas into your everyday life. In my search for fun ideas I came across several great ways to not only celebrate Earth Day, but keep the eco-friendly ideas going throughout the year.
- Plant a tree
- Clean up a park, lake, trail, river, beach, or other natural site
- Go for a walk
- Plant a garden
- Start a compost pile
- Make an indoor herb garden
- Implement a recycling system, or ensure that your current system is the best it can be
- Pay bills online
- Stop paper bills and bank statements
- Limit your water usage
- Reduce energy consumption
- Lower your water-heater temperature to save energy
- Visit a farmers’ market
- When shopping, bring your own reusable bags
- Ditch the plastic water bottles and use a reusable bottle instead
- Bring your own coffee mug when visiting a coffee shop
- Check your home for water leaks
- Plan a vegetarian meal once a week
- Skip the baths and take a shower
- Take a shorter shower
- Adjust your thermostat one degree higher in the summer and one degree lower in the winter to save energy
- Eliminate excess junk mail by removing yourself from unnecessary lists
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Unplug appliances when not in use
- Wash laundry in cold or warm water
- Have a picnic
However you decide to spend Earth Day, be sure to try to lessen your impact on the planet by changing one thing you do. Be sure to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature!
If you work in an office, have a busy schedule and drink coffee everyday… then there is a good chance that you used a share of the 9 billion Keurig K-Cups that were sold last year! And who could blame you? In our fast-paced society, it’s hard to resist the opportunity to have hundreds of beverages available at the touch of a button (and without all the hassle of cleaning out yesterday’s pot of coffee).
A few weeks ago I came across an article on The Atlantic website that confirmed the fear that had slowly begun to creep in as I brewed my coffee every morning: eventually these K-Cups are going to take over! I had already noticed the waste building up in our office, but James Hablin’s article, A Brewing Problem, really opened my eyes to just how big this issue is becoming. If we were to line up all of the K-Cups that were sold in the past year alone, they would circle the earth at least 10.5 times! Not only that, but the K-Cups are made using a type of plastic that is not recyclable in the US…which means that the only home for those 9 billion K-Cups is the landfill.
This knowledge is worsened by the fact that several competitors have successfully designed a recyclable or biodegradable version of the K-Cup…and instead of embracing it, Keurig has trumped the competition by launching a second-generation machine that only works with Keurig-brand cups. Last year, Keurig promised to come up with a fully-recyclable version of its K-Cup by 2020. However, that promise was not enough to stop Egg Studios from producing a theater-quality horror movie about the impending “K-Cup Apocalypse.” While it may be a little far-fetched, this video has certainly gotten people thinking and has lead to the #KillTheKCup movement on Twitter.
By the end of this article, you may find yourself considering giving up coffee entirely (I know I was), but wait — there’s still hope! Somewhere in the course of the past few weeks, a lovely little box (like the one below) showed up in our kitchen. Turns out, there is a way to recycle these things after all! Click here for more information about Keurig’s Grounds to Grow On program.
There may still be room for improvement, but I can honestly say that my Keurig-brewed coffee takes a little sweeter now that I know that the K-Cup can be converted into something useful!
Before you rush out and buy those last-minute Valentine’s gifts from the grocery store, here are a few ideas to keep your Valentine’s personal and eco-friendly.
Homemade Cards are the Best!
Use recycled paper to create a unique and one-of-a-kind heartfelt card. You can even add some flare with objects from around the house, like buttons and ribbons, or add a list of things that you love most about the person.
Choose Potted Over Cut Flowers
Chocolate Makes a Delicious Option
Skip the Restaurant
Avoid the crowds and create a delicious dinner at home together! This is a fun way to spend the evening, and you can even pick your own menu, music, and entertainment.
Pick a Unique Gift
However you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, be sure to make it special!
With the crisp Fall weather here, it’s time for all the delicious Fall favorite treats! I love all things pumpkin, but I needed to add a new recipe to my usual lineup. So after searching high and low, from the Internet to good old-fashioned cookbooks, I came across this delicious Pumpkin and Bourbon Cheesecake recipe. The original recipe comes from Epicurious, but I changed the recipe slightly to make an organic version. This cheesecake was such a hit with my family and friends that I will be making it again!
Makes 12 to 14 servings
1 1/2 cup organic graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated organic sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) organic unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 can (15 oz) organic pumpkin
3 large organic eggs
1/2 cup packed organic light brown sugar
2 tablespoons organic half and half
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon
1/2 cup granulated organic sugar
1 tablespoon organic cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated organic nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground organic ginger
1/2 teaspoon organic salt
3 (8-ounce) packages organic cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups organic sour cream (20 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated organic sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon
Stir together crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press in a single layer on the bottom and up sides of a springform pan. Chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur in a bowl until combined.
Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes.
Make topping: Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.
Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.
Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.
Enjoy this yummy Fall dessert!