How to Remove Labels and Odors from Food Jars

March 27, 2017 by  
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In the realm of upcycling, empty food bottles are definitely rock stars. Use them to tote salads to work or as stylishly offbeat drinkware at a party. If your rolling pin is out of reach, pick up a bottle to flatten your dough. Even with no fuss,…

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How to Remove Labels and Odors from Food Jars

Top 3 Natural Acne Remedies

March 16, 2017 by  
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Nothing destroys my resolve to live a natural, chemical-free life like a giant angry pimple. When I have clear skin, it’s all flowers and rainbows, paraben-free this, phthalate-free that. But when acne strikes, I’ve been known to go…

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Top 3 Natural Acne Remedies

5 Fun Ways to Recycle Your Jeans

February 6, 2017 by  
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Clothing is probably one of the easiest things to avoid putting in the trash, yet Americans throw away 13 million tons of textiles every year, which is about 85 percent of our clothes. There’s no need for this. Next time you’re staring…

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5 Fun Ways to Recycle Your Jeans

Inspiring Arkansas mom built a house for her kids using YouTube tutorials

February 1, 2017 by  
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After fleeing her second abusive marriage in 2007, Cara Brookins needed four walls that made her feel safe. But she didn’t have the money to buy the kind of sanctuary she felt her four children, then aged 2 to 17, deserved. Driving past a tornado-ravaged house on the way to a cabin she had rented outside Little Rock, Arkansas, Brookins had a flash of inspiration. “You don’t often get the opportunity to see the interior workings of a house, but looking at these two-by-fours and these nails, it just looked so simple,” she told CBS News . “I thought, ‘I could put this wall back up if I really tried. Maybe I should just start from scratch.’”

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Inspiring Arkansas mom built a house for her kids using YouTube tutorials

Army Corps ordered to approve Dakota Access Pipeline

February 1, 2017 by  
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It seems like President Donald Trump is determined to get his way on the Dakota Access Pipeline . Senator John Hoeven and Congressmen Kevin Cramer, both of North Dakota , said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will give the final approval necessary to move forward with the oil pipeline after an order from the acting secretary of the Army. But the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the move is illegal, and they’re not backing down without a fight. Hoeven said acting secretary Robert Speer informed Vice President Mike Pence and him of the impending approval. He said in a statement the pipeline would be constructed with safety features to provide protection for the Standing Rock Sioux. Related: 8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation But the tribe says there’s an environmental study going on that must be finished before the Army can grant the easement, and they’re planning to resist. In a statement posted on Facebook they said, “We stand ready to fight this battle against corporate interest superseding government procedure and the health and well-being of millions of Americans.” You can make your voice heard as well. The Army is currently gathering information for the environmental impact statement which includes a “public scoping phase.” Members of the public are invited to share their concerns with the Army until February 20, 2017. You can mail your comments to Mr. Gib Owen, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, 108 Army Pentagon, Washington DC 20310-0108. You can also email Owen at gib.a.owen.civ@mail.mil. The Army requests you include your name, return address, and “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline” on the first page of your letter, or if you’re sending an email, put “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline” as your subject. More details can be found here . There are still hundreds of people camping near the proposed pipeline route in North Dakota. Reuters reported at one point there were over 10,000 people in the camp; veterans and activists stood alongside Native Americans. Law enforcement has made over 600 arrests. Indigenous Environmental Network organizer Dallas Goldtooth said on Twitter Cramer was ” trying to incite violence ” by stating the Army gave their approval before it’s official. Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Army Corps ordered to approve Dakota Access Pipeline

$70 DIY acoustic tractor beam moves objects with sound

January 13, 2017 by  
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Tractor beams may soon be no longer fictional tools under the command of starship captains, as a team of researchers at the UK’s University of Bristol has managed to create a simple tractor beam out of easily obtainable parts. Check out the video above to learn how you can build your own for just over $70. https://youtu.be/6YV0lou4L4c According to the University of Bristol , the concept for this tractor beam is much simpler than a recent sonic tractor beam that uses sound waves to trap and manipulate tiny objects. According to the recent paper published in Applied Physics Letters, this tractor beam design uses just one electric signal and a passive wave modulator. As the University of Bristol notes: “The passive wave modulator is a type of acoustic lens that can alter the transmitted or reflected waves. The research team’s passive wave modulator can be made in various different ways. In one example it’s a collection of tubes with different lengths and in another it’s a carefully contoured surface. In both cases it can be 3D-printed using an off–the-shelf printer. Using a single waveform a static tractor beam can be created. If two waveforms are used then up and down manipulation of objects can be achieved.” Related: This revolutionary new paper battery is powered by bacteria According to research assistant and lead author of the paper, Asier Marzo, “The technique can generate an acoustic tractor beam using only a single electrical signal, this will reduce the cost and complexity of tractor beams making them a more affordable technology for manipulating and analyzing levitated samples. With our new research now everyone can have an acoustic tractor beam.” The device is so simple, the university has released a YouTube video showing people how they can build their own tractor beam at home for just over $70. That’s a far cry from previous tractor beam technologies, which required phased arrays of more than 50 sound channels, with each made up of a signal generator and an amplifier. Via University of Bristol Video and image via University of Bristol , YouTube

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$70 DIY acoustic tractor beam moves objects with sound

14 Smart Ways to Repurpose Food Packaging

January 13, 2017 by  
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Just a second — before tossing an empty Froot Loops box, butter tub or soda bottle into the recycling bin, determine if it offers redeemable qualities. Pantry staples and take-out orders yield lots of disposables, but some are deliciously versatile…

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14 Smart Ways to Repurpose Food Packaging

6 sustainably crafted cocktails for New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2016 by  
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Start 2017 off right by serving up one of these sustainably-made cocktails on New Year’s Eve . We’ve got drinks perfect for dinner, hot beverages to keep you toasty, and even cocktails for the morning after to help you recover. Whatever your flavor, check out these 6 great cocktail recipes and make them with organic and local ingredients for a more sustainable New Year’s Eve. HOT SPICED WHISKEY CIDER Stay nice and toasty with some hot spiced cider mixed with whiskey. Choose organic apple juice and whiskey or pick your favorite batch made nearby. This recipe from Joy of Kosher takes you through the steps to make your own spiced cider, but no one would judge you if you used pre-made cider. Image © Ralph Daily COWGIRL KISS The Cowgirl Kiss is a signature cocktail at the Highwest Distillery in Park City, Utah made with their locally produced Vodka 7000. See the cocktail made on etté studios using vodka, pomegranate juice and sparkling wine for a super classy drink perfect for NYE. WATERMELON-SHAPED JELLO SHOTS Who doesn’t enjoy a good shot at the year’s best party? Clossette gives a great DIY tutorial for how to make jello shots that look like little watermelons using fresh limes. For a vegan version, check out this recipe at Vegan Baking . ROSEMARY GIN FIZZ A sophisticated take on a slow gin fizz, the rosemary gin fizz has a clean, crisp and wintery taste. This recipe by Sassy Radish mixes gin with a rosemary simple syrup that is sure to be the belle of the ball. WHITE SANGRIA WITH POMEGRANATE Make a bubbly and fruity white sangria with a dry organic wine and in-season pomegranates. Replace the Sprite/7-up with the same amount of club soda plus 1/4 cup of organic cane sugar. Recipe by I’ll Have What She’s Having . MORNING AFTER BLOODY MARY On New Year’s Day, you might need some hair of the dog to get you through the effects of your end-of-year celebrations. Bloody Marys, like this one from Over the Hill and on a Roll , provide that kick and sustenance in the way of veggies and tomato juice. Pick organic veggies and vodka for a healthier remedy. Lead image via Shutterstock

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6 sustainably crafted cocktails for New Year’s Eve

How one family thrives in the Arctic with a cob house inside a solar geodesic dome

December 31, 2016 by  
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Life inside the Arctic Circle is by no means easy, unless you’re a Hjertefølger. We first heard about Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefølger four years ago when they began building Nature House , a three-story cob house wrapped in a solar geodesic dome . Located on the island of Sandhornøya in northern Norway , the ultra-green home was designed to enable the family of six to eek out a sustainable existence despite challenging climatic conditions – they even grow most of their own food. Inhabitat recently caught up with the Hjertefølgers, who have now lived in their home for three years, to learn about their challenges and victories. The Hjertefølgers, which translates to Heartfollowers, live in Nature House with their four children – they’ve added one to their number since Inhabitat last wrote about them . After constructing their cob home topped with one of Solardome’s single-glazed geodesic domes with the help of friends and neighbors, the family moved in on December 8, 2013. Related: Gorgeous Solar Geodesic Dome Crowns Cob House in the Arctic Circle “The house works as we intended and planned. We love the house; it has a soul of its own and it feels very personal. What surprises us is the fact that we built ourselves anew as we built the house,” Ingrid Hjertefølger told Inhabitat. “The process changed us, shaped us.” The family had to design their home with extreme temperatures and wind in mind. It’s impossible to grow food in the dome in winter – Hjertefølger said there are three months without sun at Nature House – but the design does enable the family to grow food five months longer than they could outside. They grow apples, cherries, plums, apricots, kiwis, grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, squash, and melons. Growing their own food is just the beginning of sustainable living at Nature House. Hjertefølger said all of their grey and black water is reused for fertilizing and watering the plants they grow. The family composts food scraps. They make sure to use clean, biodegradable household products, as elements in those products could end up in the food they eat. The home will have a long lifespan too – Hjertefølger said cob “lasts forever if you keep it dry,” and as their dwelling is always covered with the glass dome, it hasn’t been worn down by weather. She also said there’s no need to paint or even maintain the cob structure’s walls. Improvements could be made to the house, but for the most part the family seems incredibly satisfied with the design. “If we were to build a new Nature House, the ideal thing would be double glass on the green house so that we could have a tropical garden and no dripping in the winter,” said Hjertefølger. “But that is a bit unrealistic because it is very expensive with all that glass.” She also said they’d like to make a few changes to how the plant beds are set up “to get more usable space and better placement for different plants.” Overall, though, the family says they thrive inside Nature House. “The feeling we get as we walk into this house is something different from walking in to any other house,” Hjertefølger told Inhabitat. “The atmosphere is unique. The house has a calmness; I can almost hear the stillness. It is hard to explain. But it would have been impossible getting this feeling from a house someone else has planned and built for us, or a house with corners and straight lines.” + Nature House Images courtesy of Ingrid Hjertefølger

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How one family thrives in the Arctic with a cob house inside a solar geodesic dome

VIDEO: How to make adorable mini gingerbread house mug huggers for Christmas

December 5, 2016 by  
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From brownstones to iconic homes to the New York City subway , we can’t seem to get enough of tasty gingerbread architecture here at Inhabitat. If you’re looking to get in on the gingerbread game yourself this holiday but want to start small, we’ve got an easy and adorable recipe that will have your guests squealing with glee. These teensy tiny gingerbread house mug huggers may be mini, but they pack a big punch when it comes to getting friends and family into the holiday spirit. Plus they’re just the right size for breaking apart and dunking into your coffee, tea or hot chocolate gobbling up in one bite. I first discovered the concept of mini gingerbread mug toppers when my sister spotted them selling for $10 a pair in the Anthropolgie catalog. Smitten but unwilling to cough up $5/sq. inch for gingerbread real estate, I decided to try making my own version. A quick search on the internets revealed this very helpful tutorial on Not Martha , which I modified slightly below. RELATED: How to Make a Gingerbread Brownstone Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ingredients (click here for a vegan version of this recipe) Dry ingredients 3 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon of salt Coconut shreds, peppermint candy shards, powdered sugar and other decorations (optional) Wet ingredients 3/4 cup of Sugar in the Raw liquid cane sugar 1/2 cup of butter 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of brown sugar Vegan Royal Icing Ingredients 1 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon water 2 teaspoons Sugar in the Raw liquid cane sugar 1?4 teaspoon almond extract Making your gingerbread houses Step 1: First combine your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Step 2: Add the liquid cane sugar, brown sugar and butter to a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter is all melted. Step 3: Pour your butter mixture into your flour mixture and mix with a spoon or spatula until a dough forms. Then use your hands to mix until the dough has an even consistency. Step 4: Cover your dough and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Step 5: After your dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge and roll it out onto a large piece of foil. It should be about 1/8 inch thick. Step 6: Print and cut out either Not Martha’s template or the slightly smaller version we made using hers, and use the pieces to cut shapes out of your dough. Collect the scraps between your pieces and roll them out again to make more house parts. Step 7: Bake your house pieces at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Making your icing Step 1: In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and water until smooth. Step 2: Add the liquid cane sugar and almond extract until your icing is smooth and glossy. If the icing feels too thick, add more water. Step 3: Pour your icing into a piping bag or make your own piping bag by cutting a small hole into the corner of a ziploc bag. Assembling your gingerbread mug toppers Step 1: First, let your gingerbread house pieces cool for 10-15 minutes after you take them out of the oven. Then place one of your “house” pieces down on a flat surface and pipe two lines of icing along either side of it and stick one of your “wall” pieces on so that it creates a 90-degree angle with your house piece. Repeat this step by sticking another wall piece to your other line of icing. TIP: If your wall piece is not secure or keeps falling down, try making your icing thicker by adding more powdered sugar. You can also flatten the edges of your wall pieces down by rubbing them together to create a straighter edge. Step 2: When your two wall pieces feel secure and not shaky, pipe two more lines of icing onto the edges. Then lay down another house piece to form the 4th side of your gingerbread house. Step 3: Flip your house over so that it’s standing on its base and pipe two more lines of icing onto the roof edges. Pop your roof pieces on top. Step 4: Decorate with icing, coconut flakes, pieces of candy, sprinkles or any other embellishments you’d like. Let the icing harden for about an hour. Step 5: Finally pour your friends some hot cups of their favorite holiday beverages and pop your mug huggers on top to serve. Hat tip to Not Martha for hooking us up with her handy mini gingerbread house template ! We hope you enjoyed this recipe. Please don’t be shy about sharing pics of your own gingerbread mug huggers with us on our Facebook page .

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