How to make vegetable broth with scraps to reduce food waste

May 22, 2020 by  
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Food waste is a major dilemma in today’s world, and throwing out even vegetable scraps contributes to the problem. Not to mention that throwing out unwanted food is also a huge waste of money. Here’s one small way to do your part —  make your own  vegetable (or meat) broths and stocks from scratch. It’s surprisingly easy to make broth and relies on bits and pieces of  veggies , meats and even odds and ends like cheese rinds, all of which would otherwise be thrown in the landfill. Plus, you’ll save money and create a much more flavorful broth than you can find at the store. Each time, the broth will taste slightly different, too, depending on the combination of scraps you have on hand. Get ready to make flavorful, comforting recipes with this tutorial on how to make your own broth to reduce  food waste . Related: Your guide to preserving, storing and canning food The first step is to find a large, freezer-safe container to store your scraps until you build up enough to produce a rich broth. Of course, much of the internet will say to throw it in a  plastic  resealable bag, but here at Inhabitat, we strongly encourage finding a glass jar or silicone resealable bag instead. The hardest part of the process is remembering to save those stems and peelings for the broth. If you are accustomed to tossing unwanted bits, like pepper stems or onion skins, straight into the garbage can or  compost bin , it will take a conscious effort to train your brain and hands to grab up those scraps and throw them into the freezer container. The freezer will preserve the scraps until you are ready to make a broth. Another good candidate for your scrap container? Veggies that are on their last leg at the end of the week. If you didn’t finish those carrots and celery, chop them into smaller pieces, and toss them in the freezer.  Wilting herbs , cheese rinds and meat bones are also fair game, depending on your dietary needs and what you have available. After a few weeks (or less depending on how many people are in your home!), you will be left with a full container packed with flavorful bits and pieces. It’s time to get cooking! Break out a stockpot and  start sauteing  those frozen vegetable scraps with oil and salt. Cook for just a few minutes before adding several cups of water (about 10 cups should do, but add more if you have more scraps and a larger stockpot). Then, simmer away! Simmer those scraps in water for 30 minutes to an hour; then be sure to let it cool slightly. Don’t forget to taste the broth — add more herbs, salt or even nutritional yeast if it needs a flavor boost. Next, remove the vegetable bits for composting. Strain the broth into another pot to make sure all of the scraps have been removed. Once the broth has completely cooled, pour it into airtight containers — glass jars work well — and store in the freezer for up to a month. Then, anytime you want to make an easy soup for dinner (we recommend these  vegan slow cooker soup  recipes) or even more complex, brothy meals, you can grab your own flavorful, zero-waste broth as the base. Images via Monika Schröder , Hebi. B , Rita E. and Snow Pea & Bok Choi

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How to make vegetable broth with scraps to reduce food waste

LEED-seeking apartments house formerly homeless families in San Francisco

May 22, 2020 by  
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David Baker Architects has completed 222 Taylor, an affordable housing complex in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Designed with more than 100 affordable housing units for low-income households and families and individuals who formerly experienced homelessness, the development is a champion of humanitarian architecture. The project also embodies sustainable principles, including high-density living and energy-efficient design. The nine-story mid-rise building is on track to achieve LEED for Homes Mid-Rise and EnergyStar Multifamily High-Rise certifications.  Located in the heart of San Francisco, 222 Taylor replaces a surface parking lot with a mixed-use building comprising ground-level retail as well as studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units on the upper floors. Of the building’s 113 affordable homes , approximately one-fourth of them are permanently reserved for families who previously experienced homelessness. Because the building sits just two blocks from the BART & Muni Station and the Market Street corridor, no parking is provided; instead, the development offers 114 secure bicycle parking spaces. Related: The Union Flats is a LEED Platinum-certified housing community David Baker Architects designed 222 Taylor to respond to its site context in both appearance — the variegated brick facade references the local masonry — and orientation, which is informed by solar studies to maximize access to natural light. Ample glazing along the ground level also activates the street edge to build a connection with the neighborhood. The project cultivates a sense of community with the design of a flexible central courtyard , complete with ample seating and play zones. The courtyard serves as a hub to the bike parking room, laundry, community room and shared kitchen. Walls in the airy entry lobby are decorated with super-graphics made from enlarged watercolors by a local artist. The building will eventually be topped with a roof farm for additional outdoor community space. + David Baker Architects Photography by Bruce Damonte via David Baker Architects

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LEED-seeking apartments house formerly homeless families in San Francisco

The future of energy on islands

March 2, 2018 by  
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Islands are places of exceptional biodiversity and economic value, not to mention their great natural beauty. However, because of their isolation from the mainland, they are also difficult to power. This fact is particularly poignant as Puerto Rico , several months after Hurricane Maria, struggles to turn the lights back on. To prepare for a world in which climate change continues to energize super-storms and sea level rise, islands, on which 10 percent of the world’s population lives, must rethink their energy systems for future success. Read on for several solutions that will allow island communities to thrive in the 21st century. Islands currently receive most of their energy from fossil fuels , with some using imported oil, an expensive energy source, to power their electrical grid. With their costs dropping every year, solar and wind could provide cleaner, localized, cheaper energy. Since islands must contend with a limited amount of land, large-scale wind farms may be the preferred utility-scale option. However, neither option will be particularly effective without a battery storage system. To serve this need, Tesla is rolling out battery systems in Puerto Rico , Nantucket and other island communities in hopes that they may someday become ubiquitous. Related: The sinking island nation of Tuvalu is actually growing For islands with the appropriate natural resources, such as Iceland , geothermal power is an attractive energy option. New drilling technologies, such as those developed by  GA Drilling  and  AltaRock Energy , could enable geothermal prospectors to dig deeper and ultimately provide greater energy output. While it has drawn criticism from some environmentalists in the past, nuclear power may also be an effective energy source for island communities. The incredible energy density of nuclear fuel translates into a much more effectively shipped power source than fossil fuels, while the newest Gen IV nuclear reactors are passively safe . Nuclear power plants could even be established on ships, similar to nuclear-powered ships and submarines in the United States Navy, allowing power generation to be moved where it is most needed. Via World Economic Forum Images via Depositphotos   (1)

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Scientist warns Elon Musk’s Starman could be a bio-threat to Mars

March 2, 2018 by  
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Starman, the “driver” of Elon Musk ‘s Tesla Roadster as it cruises through the cosmos, may be carrying the largest collection of terrestrial bacteria ever sent into space. “Even if they radiated the outside, the engine would be dirty,” scientist Jay Melosh said in a  statement . “Cars aren’t assembled clean. And even then, there’s a big difference between clean and sterile.” SpaceX has not yet commented on whether Starman and Musk’s Roadster were sterilized before being sent into space. Starman is not scheduled to land on a planet nor are most bacteria species able to survive in the extreme conditions of space. Nonetheless, life will find a way and, if certain circumstances arise, Starman may be the potential vehicle for bacterial colonization of Mars. When scientists send objects into space, they adhere to the most strict precautions to ensure that no terrestrial organisms could potentially stowaway onto another planet. NASA operates an  Office of Planetary Protection for this very purpose. Scientists are particularly concerned that Earth life could establish a foothold in Mars, then either colonize the planet or be mistaken for Martian life by researchers. “Would Earth’s organisms be better adapted, take over Mars and contaminate it so we don’t know what indigenous Mars was like, or would they be not as well adapted as the Martian organisms?” Melosh said. “We don’t know.” Related: NASA just unveiled a tiny nuclear reactor for future Mars residents While most terrestrial life would perish in the harsh environment of space, species like the tardigrade, which can survive in space and go up to 30 years without food or water . There is a very small chance that Starman and his Roadster will ever arrive on the Martian surface. Therefore, Starman is less an invasive Trojan Horse, more a curator of an interstellar museum of terrestrial life. “The load of bacteria on the Tesla could be considered a biothreat—or a backup copy of life on Earth ,” astronautics scientist Alina Alexeenko said in a statement. If life on Earth ever becomes extinct, there is a chance that Starman, crash-landing back on his home planet, could get the party started again. Via Motherboard Images via SpaceX and NASA

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Scientist warns Elon Musk’s Starman could be a bio-threat to Mars

Proximity Button is an affordable way to protect people living with dementia

June 3, 2016 by  
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After having watched her own mother care for people with dementia for over 15 years, Natalie Price wanted to create a device that would keep people living with dementia safer. To that end, she is launching an Indiegogo campaign to manufacture the Proximity Button. The device is the first of its kind in the dementia market, and uses innovative technology to provide carers with an affordable solution to protect people living with dementia from wandering. The smart Button sensor, worn by a person with dementia, connects to a carer’s iPhone or Android device and alerts them when the wearer wanders too far. The Proximity Button is not a tracking device, and therefore does not rely on expensive technology. James Ashwell, Founder of Unforgettable.org, said, “There are a few tracking products available in the market, but they use expensive technology. I’m excited about Proximity because it’s unlike other products out there; it’s a simple solution to help keep people safer at a much more affordable price point.” + Proximity Button

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Proximity Button is an affordable way to protect people living with dementia

The Lay family transforms an old backyard tool shed into an adorable children’s playhouse

January 25, 2015 by  
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Families often shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a children’s playhouse , but Joni Lay of the blog Lay Baby Lay decided to go the DIY route for a much more impressive and cost-effective result. With help from her husband and father, Joni transformed a decrepit backyard tool shed into an adorable, all-white playhouse for her two young girls. Read on to see all the marvelous details of this dainty child-sized home, from its reading nook to a solar-powered light. Read the rest of The Lay family transforms an old backyard tool shed into an adorable children’s playhouse Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: children’s playhouse , diy playhouse , Joni Lay , Lay Baby Lay , playhouse , playhouse from scratch , renovated tool shed , tool shed

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The Lay family transforms an old backyard tool shed into an adorable children’s playhouse

Europeans Fear Climate Change More than Economic Crisis: New Poll

October 10, 2011 by  
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Photo: out of ideas via Flickr/CC BY Europeans seem to understand the severity of the threat posed by climate change a bit better than we Americans do. A new poll shows that the majority of Europeans consider it the second gravest problem facing the world, right after poverty. Those crazy Euro folk evidently think global warming is even more of a threat than the current economic crisis — and remember, Europe is in the throes of what could potentially be a much more calamitous financial meltdown than the one we’re facing on this … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Europeans Fear Climate Change More than Economic Crisis: New Poll

Planned Solar Projects Swell from 17GW to 24GW Due to Falling Prices

September 13, 2011 by  
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While anti-solar distortions continue to proliferate , solar itself is looking like an increasingly serious player in the world of energy. And even though tumbling solar prices have seen some manufacturers go under, most notably the high-profile Solyndra bankruptcy , it’s a much more positive environment for project developers. We’ve already seen, for example, plans … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Planned Solar Projects Swell from 17GW to 24GW Due to Falling Prices

For Old Wine Bottles, a New Life: Works of Art from Reblown Glass

February 19, 2011 by  
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Photo: Alex Davies It’s a given that the French are among the best at making, and drinking, wine. But what to do with all the empty glass bottles

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For Old Wine Bottles, a New Life: Works of Art from Reblown Glass

Fellowship Contest Gets $100 Million to Solve Climate Change

February 18, 2011 by  
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Throwing good money after good, StartingBloc brainstorms green investments. Photo by Yomanimus via Flickr It’s called SIC – the Social Innovation Competition

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Fellowship Contest Gets $100 Million to Solve Climate Change

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