15 Uses for Baking Soda

(ref: armandhammer.com, about.com)

How many of these money saving applications do you already know about ways to use ordinary baking soda?

  1. Causes dough to rise in recipes (making it lighter and more porous)
  2. Deodorize a wastebasket, garbage can, or sink
  3. Make a homemade modeling clay (with addition of corn starch, water, and food coloring)
  4. Use as a fabric softener
  5. Make your own water color paints (with addition of flour, sugar, dry drink mix, and water)
  6. Clean greasy dishes
  7. Make your laundry detergent go farther and clean better
  8. Polish silver
  9. Use as a fruit and vegetable scrub
  10. Freshen upholstery
  11. Use as a personal deodorant
  12. Freshen your breath
  13. Relieve heartburn
  14. Deskunk a dog (with addition of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap) [Editor note: we have much personal experience with this one!]
  15. Take care of a carpet spill

FYI: There is a difference between baking soda, washing soda, and baking powder. Baking Soda is made of 100% Sodium Bicarbonate. Washing soda is made of 100% Sodium Carbonate. Baking powder is around 30% baking soda with the addition of an acidifying agent (usually Cream of Tartar) and a drying agent (usually starch)

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12 Principles of Permaculture by David Holmgren

(ref: http://www.permacultureprinciples.com )

Permaculture iconsPermaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimics the relationships found in natural ecologies. It was first developed practically by Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer on his own farm in the early 1960s and then theoretically developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications.wikipedia.org

Central to permaculture are the three ethics: care for the earth, care for people, and fair share. They form the foundation for permaculture design and are also found in most traditional societies. Here are the 12 principles of permaculture as described by David Holmgren. Continue reading

6 Ways FairTrade Makes Chocolate Sweeter To Eat

(ref: Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International )

What can make a chocolate bar more wonderful than it already is? Answer: Making the bar from cocoa beans where the farmer was paid a fair wage for their product, where no slave labor was used, and where earth-friendly and sustainable growing standards were adhered to.

That’s what you get with a certified FairTrade bar of chocolate. An estimated 14 million people in the developing world depend on cocoa production for their livelihoods. FairTrade helps ensure that they can make a real living and we get a better and safer product. Sweet!

Continue reading

12 Companies Offering Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Products

(ref: Greenpeace Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide, greenpeace.org)

Recycled tissue products help protect ancient forests, clean water, and wildlife habitat and it’s easier on the Earth to make tissues from paper instead of trees.

Greenpeace created a product guide ranking various tissue products based on three criteria:

  1. 100% recycled content
  2. At least 50% post-consumer recycled content
  3. Bleached without toxic chlorine compounds

Green Forest, 365, Earth Friendly, April Soft, Atlantic, Cascades, Natural Value, Seventh Generation, Fiesta/Fiesta Green, Trader Joe’s, Marcal Small Steps, and CVS Earth Essentials are companies producing at least one product meeting these three criteria. Here’s the breakdown of these companies by product category.

TOILET PAPER

  1. Green Forest
  2. 365
  3. April Soft
  4. Earth Friendly
  5. Fiesta and Fiesta Green
  6. Natural Value
  7. Seventh Generation
  8. Trader Joe’s

PAPER TOWELS

  1. Green Forest
  2. 365
  3. Earth Friendly
  4. Natural Value
  5. Seventh Generation
  6. Trader Joe’s
  7. Marcal Small Steps
  8. CVS Earth Essentials

PAPER NAPKINS

  1. 365
  2. Atlantic
  3. Cascades
  4. CVS Earth Essentials
  5. Green Forest
  6. Marcal Small Steps
  7. Natural Value
  8. Seventh Generation

FACIAL TISSUES

  1. Green Forest
  2. 365
  3. Natural Value
  4. Seventh Generation

Founded in 1971, Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Check out the book Low Carbon Diet: A 30 day program to lose 5000 pounds available at Reach and Teach.

9 Ways That A Hybrid Car Can Make Economic Sense

(ref: Green America’s RealGreen Newsletter, Spring 2009 www.coopamerica.org)

"A lot of people get sticker shock when they look at the price of a new hybrid… the added expense won’t pay itself back very quickly on fuel savings alone… But this quick analysis misses a number of hybrids’ other economic benefits." — Bryan Palmintier, "Rethinking the Cost of Hybrid Cars", blog post.

  1. Federal Incentives — New hybrids may entitle their owners to federal tax credits ranging from $250 to $3,400. Check out http://www.irs.gov for more info.
  2. State and City Incentives and Perks — Some states offer incentives for hybrid drivers, including tax credits and ability to drive solo in "HOV" (high-occupancy vehicle ‘diamond’) highway lanes and even free or discounted parking privileges.
  3. Employer Incentives and Perks — A growing number of employers are encouraging their workers to commute in hybrid vehicles… [offering up to] $5,000 for purchasing or leasing a hybrid. See www.hybridcenter.org for a list of companies offering incentives.
  4. Loan Discounts — Many banks, especially credit unions, offer preferential loan rates for hybrid cars.
  5. Insurance Discounts — Farmers, Geico, and Travelers are among insurance companies offering discounted insurance rate to hybrid drivers in some states.
  6. Repair Costs and Brakes — Technology that a hybrid uses to recoup energy during braking can actually result in that hybrid car’s brake pads lasting three times longer than a conventional car.
  7. Resale Value — Hybrid car owners have been delighted to find that their cars have held their value better than non-hybrid versions of the same model. In California, only a limited number of "Clean Air HOV" stickers were made available. Those are transferable when the car is sold adding to the car’s resale value.
  8. Gas Savings — Even if gas prices have dropped temporarily, they will be going up again as we continue to reach the limits of our world’s oil supply.
  9. Benefits Beyond Money — Don’t you feel better driving a more fuel efficient car for those times you need to drive a car? (Along with other things you are hopefully doing to lower your carbon footprint on the planet)

Become a member of Green America and learn ways to live healthier, save more, invest wisely, and make a difference. Reach and Teach is proud to be a Green America certified green business.