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You don’t need green fingers to regrow these kitchen scraps – Some tips on how to save money on groceries in the long run

Categories: Green Tips
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Whenever our fruits and vegetables start showing signs that they’re sprouting, we end up tossing them in the bin because it “looks” inedible. Is it because people just refuse to believe that this produce has a life of its own? A lot of hard work goes into growing a mere potato, and  all the other kitchen scraps that we throw into the bin without a second thought. We do this because its been ingrained in us that food that looks imperfect is inedible. We would not throw a houseplant out because it has one brown leaf, why should we throw out a garlic that has started to sprout?

Here are 7 types of kitchen scraps that we should start upcycling instead of tossing them in the bin – they are just far too valuable and wasteful to be thrown away.

1. Garlic

For those who love garlic enough to keep vampires away, you don’t have to spend time picking the best looking garlic bulb at the grocery store anymore because you can grow them with just a little soil and water at home! Click here to learn how you can do this.

2. Onions

Onions are like garlic’s cousin. They are both a kitchen staple and can be added to almost any main course to further elevate the taste. They are also one of the easiest vegetables to regrow from scraps. First, cut off the root end of your onion, leaving a 1/2 inch of onion on the roots. Place it in a sunny location and cover the top with soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist by watering when needed. Onions also have other uses besides adding flavor to food. They are rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties, and can be useful for promoting hair growth. Simply blend the onion and massage it onto your head at least twice a week..

3. Romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce is the main ingredient for Caesar salad and can also be used for taco toppings, or lettuce wraps (a low-carb alternative to a burger bun, too!). Did you know that you do not need to put Romaine lettuce in soil for it to grow? Find directions here.

4. Pineapple

We are not going to lie that this will take a whole lot of patience. A pineapple can be regrown from its crown. It takes a full year to yield a sweet-tasting fruit but they are generally easy to care for as they do not need much water. You just need to understand what kind of conditions pineapple do and do not like. Research is probably the hardest part of the growing process but after that, you can sit back and relax while your pineapple grows. Read about it here.

5. Green onions, leeks and scallions

A staple in any Asian household, these vegetables grow quickly and will save you the most money in the long run.  All you have to do is place the roots of your green onions, leeks or scallions in a jar of water, and place the jar near the window, as they need a good amount of sunlight to grow. Remember to change the water every other day. You should have a new green onion, leek or scallion in just a week’s time.

6. Avocado

The world has become obsessed with this superfood. Avocados show up in salads, toast, smoothies, and even ice cream! There’s a good reason for this and that is because numerous studies had proven this fruit’s powerful health benefits. Learn how to grow your own so that you do not need to worry about your supply of avocados in the future.

7. Potato

Of course, we cannot leave out the beloved potato. Use small pieces of potatoes with 2-3 “eyes” and place in the sun for two to three days until you notice them sprouting. You can then plant it into a pot of soil and harvest continuously once the leaves turn yellow. Read the detailed steps to plant potatoes here.

Extra bites:

Watch this Buzzfeed video on how you can grow vegetables from scraps.

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Sustainable practices not only help the environment and the community, but also help to cut down on cost. A little bit of effort and small investments can give long term benefits. Here are some tips to help you transform your guesthouse into a sustainable haven.

Save Energy

  • Install LED lighting where possible. These are more energy efficient, safer, and last longer than regular bulbs.
  • Use an outdoor clothes line to naturally dry linens.
  • Use daylight to keep common areas well-lit for as long as possible.
  • Utilise energy efficient appliances.

Save Water

  • Install low-pressure shower heads and high efficiency toilets.
  • Plant flora that requires less water to flourish.
  • Encourage guests to reuse towels and linens.

Invest in Green Products

  • Utilise refillable shampoo, shower gel and lotion bottles.
  • Switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products. They are less harmful for both humans and the environment.
  • Use reusable cups instead of plastic ones. Say no to single use plastic bottles and opt for ones made of glass or ceramics.
  • Use napkins instead of paper towels.
  • Ditch plastic kitchenware for dishes and metal cutlery.

Recycle

  • Separate waste into categories upstream so it is easier to divert waste from landfill.
  • Donate, compost, or reuse leftover food so that it does not go to waste.
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Green your ways to go to work!

Categories: Green Tips
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How do you go to work?

There are so many ways to commute. But, is your way of commuting eco-friendly? ‘Green’ commuting can make a big difference to the environment. It not only reduces your carbon footprint but it also you can save time, money and even help to lose weight!Green your ways to go to work

Close to 90 percent of Americans drive everywhere they go and driving accounts for the average annual production of six tons of carbon dioxide per car. The average driver in the US spends just over $2,000 every year on gasoline. In comparison, heating a home for a year produces four tons of carbon dioxide and costs, on average, US$1,800.

How can we commute in an eco-friendly way that helps to save money and our planet at the same time?

Carpooling or ‘slugging’
Carpooling is now a familiar concept for travel to work, to school, to sports events and more.
Check out Carpool, BlablaCar – sites where you seek other people going in your direction.

‘Slugging’ is a way to get into the HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicle) without having a formal carpooling arrangement. Sluggers go to a designated pickup area to meet people looking for a ride. You get matched up with people going to the same location, and share the ride. The driver gets to use the HOV lane, and the sluggers get a free ride.

Telecommuting – What is ‘Telecommuting’?
Telecommuting basically means that people can work from any other place and do not have to be present in an office. Telecommuting stands for an electronically established working environment, through which employees can interact, work and communicate.
American workers spend an average of 47 hours per year commuting through rush hour traffic. This adds up to 23 billion gallons of gasoline wasted in traffic each year but, by telecommuting, you can avoid the rush hour and no gas is wasted.
There are other benefits to telecommuting, e.g. more privacy than your cubicle, a more peaceful and quiet work-environment, and, of course, no commute is shorter than one to another room in your house. If you cannot do telecommuting, try to adjust your working hours to leave earlier or later than the masses.

Public transport
Switching daily driving to using public transport saves, typically, more than $800 a year in travel expenses and decreases the household carbon footprint by 10 percent. It may take a little longer to get to work by public transport than by driving but being able to skip the traffic jams, avoid parking fees and carbon emissions in favour of a more relaxing journey may well be worth it.
Use your time effectively whilst travel by bus, train or metro.
Of course, walking or cycling is the ultimate ‘green’ commute. Electric-powered bicycles are becoming increasingly popular – but always wear a safety helmet.

Try some green ways of commuting and reduce your negative impact on the environment! Visit Greener Pittsburgh  and The Nature Conservancy to get more green tips about commuting.

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