A sustainable meal plan filled with recipes for Earth Day

April 19, 2019 by  
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Not all food is created equal, and not all foods are healthy for the planet. You’ve seen the headlines. Manufacturing plants suck up water, pollute with chemicals and damage the surrounding landscape. Raising cattle and other livestock is also associated with earth-damaging consequences. Most environmentalists agree that plant-based products offer the best balance of nutrition and sustainability. Earth Day is right around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to focus on foods that show our love for the planet. If you’d like to curate a meal plan incorporating plant-based ingredients, seasonal goods and limited waste, here are some recipes to inspire you. Breakfast Spring offerings make for a delightfully fresh breakfast. Eggs with asparagus and spinach 1. Broil a thick slice of rustic or sourdough bread on both sides. 2. Create an indent in the center of the bread. If applicable to your diet, add prosciutto around the edges of the bread. Fill the indent with a layer of cheese (your choice) and a generous layer of spinach . Arrange small, tender pieces of asparagus around the center. Then, gently break an egg into the spinach nest. 3. Cook at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the eggs are set and the vegetables are tender. Add a side of sliced apricot or avocado . Related: 12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas Lunch Vegetable-waste bowl Well that doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it? Maybe we should call it, “Keep from Wasting Vegetables Bowl” instead. The goal here is to use up whatever is in the fridge , so dig deep. 1. Roast whatever veggies you have. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peppers, turnip, parsnip, asparagus, beans … all of them! Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in the oven until tender. 2. In the meantime, make a cup of your favorite grain. Quinoa, brown rice, white rice, buckwheat, barley, farrow or amaranth are great options. 3. Mix it all together, and stir in your choice of beans : pinto, kidney, garbanzo, black, etc. Top with cheese, a squirt of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil or your preferred dressing. Dinner Salad starter Spring is a great time to enjoy young greens and cool-weather lettuce along with other seasonal fruits and vegetables. There are so many combinations to try, so feel free to mix it up any way you like! 1. Start with a base of arugula, green and red lettuce, romaine and/or spinach. 2. With your leafy greens in place, choose your veggies. Many of your favorites are likely in season right now. Consider beets (shredded), carrots of all colors (shredded or sliced), radishes (thinly sliced), peas (snow, snap and garden) and broccoli florets. 3. Add some fruit. Many people forget to consider fruit when putting together a salad , but early-season strawberries and spring apricots add the perfect zing to the mix. 4. For dressing, go with a vinaigrette. They are plant-based and easy to whip up, plus there are many flavor options to create. For example, a soy/mustard combination includes: 1/4 cup tamari 1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar 2 tsp Dijon mustard While a traditional berry vinaigrette is made up of: 4 large strawberries or 1/3 cup raspberries or other berry of choice 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 2 tbsp agave syrup Pinch of freshly ground black pepper 5. Top with nuts. The options are endless here too. Shaved almonds, cashews, roasted filberts, pine nuts and sunflower seeds are all excellent choices. Related: How to make a meal out of leftover veggies Easy homemade dinner pizza If you are avoiding grains, create a cauliflower-crust instead of the one here. Choose any toppings that make you happy, but this recipe focuses on light spring eats. Note: The dough performs better if made the day before. Crust: 2 tbsp agave 3 cups warm water 2 packages dry active yeast 7 cups of flour 1/4 cup olive oil 3 tbsp kosher salt 1. Combine agave, yeast and water in a bowl, and allow it to sit until it becomes foamy, about five to 10 minutes. 2. Stir in the flour, olive oil and salt. 3. Knead the mixture until smooth. 4. Coat the dough with oil, place in a bowl and cover, allowing it to rise until it doubles, about one hour. 5. Divide the dough into four balls and lay these on a sheet with space between them. Cover and refrigerate overnight. You can still use the dough without this rest period with pretty good results. 6. Warm your grill. You will be using indirect heat, so heat it up and then turn off half the flames on a gas grill or move coals to one side for charcoal. 7. Roll out one ball of dough and transfer it to the grill. Make sure your toppings are prepared and nearby. Stay close to your pizza while it cooks. Transfer the stretched-out dough to the grill. Don’t worry if it is not perfectly rounded; the handmade look adds a rustic appeal. Cook the dough for one or two minutes, then flip. Move it to indirect heat for an additional one to two minutes. Continue moving it back and forth, flipping frequently until it is bubbled and cooked through. 8. Add your favorite cheese and other toppings, and continue to cook the pizza until the cheese melts, keeping it off of direct high heat. The options for toppings are endless, but our favorite combination is toasted pine nuts, spinach, fresh basil, garlic and olives. Fresh spring flavors include arugula, fennel bulbs, peas, artichoke hearts and asparagus. Dessert Vegan strawberry ice cream No meal is complete without dessert, especially when you’re honoring the Earth. We’ll give credit to our friends over at Loving it Vegan for this sweet, plant-based option. Enjoy! 1 14oz (400ml) can coconut cream 1 14oz (400ml) can coconut milk 1/2 cup (100g) white granulated sugar 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup 1 cup (232g) strawberry puree 1 tbsp strawberry extract 1/2 tsp salt 1. Add a can of coconut milk , a can of coconut cream, sugar and maple syrup to a pot. 2. Bring that to a simmer, stirring constantly. 3. As soon as it simmers, remove the pot from the heat and add in strawberries puree, salt and strawberry extract. 4. Blend everything until smooth. 5. Next, put the mixture into a storage container and place into the fridge to chill overnight. If you are in a hurry, place the mixture in the freezer for an hour or so. 6. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until it reaches your desired consistency. This can take about 20 minutes to 45 minutes. The best way to celebrate the planet is through your stomach. With the right ingredients, that’s a win-win! Images via Shutterstock

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A sustainable meal plan filled with recipes for Earth Day

Be the Handmade Holiday Hero This Year: 5 Amazing DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

December 11, 2018 by  
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There is something particularly special about receiving a handmade holiday … The post Be the Handmade Holiday Hero This Year: 5 Amazing DIY Christmas Gift Ideas appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Be the Handmade Holiday Hero This Year: 5 Amazing DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for travelers

December 10, 2018 by  
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For those who will be traveling far and wide in the new year, make sure their journeys are eco-friendly with an array of green gifts that will take them to the beaches, the forests or the mountaintops. Here are some of our favorite picks for those who enjoy living a nomadic lifestyle. Transit tickets to a nearby destination It’s no secret that air travel has a massive carbon footprint . To scratch the travel bug itch, gift loved ones with tickets for more sustainable forms of transportation to local destinations. Check out bike-shares, trains, buses or other public transit options to an exciting or interesting place. Airbnb stays The sharing economy has been thrust into the spotlight thanks to services like Airbnb . With thousands of incredible homestays, this makes a great gift for the explorers in your life. Check out cabins, tiny homes and more . Hammocks Give your favorite explorer a hammock, so they can relax or nap wherever the road takes them! These Yellow Leaf Hammocks are handcrafted by artisan weavers, so your purchase supports these workers and their families. There are 100 percent cotton options available, and all of these hammocks are weather-proof and resistant to fading. Solar-powered charger Even if your gift recipient loves to go off the grid, cellphones can be important to have on hand in times of emergencies. A solar-powered charger is great for camping, hiking or traveling, and this option even has a built-in LED flashlight. Journals Whether they want to write about or sketch their adventures, your loved ones will adore this handmade journal to accompany and record their journeys. The journal is ethically crafted from Lokta paper (a tree-free, renewable resource) and protected with a durable felt cover and a leather belt or cloth tie. Explore Local Box Created by a kindred traveling spirit, the Explore Local Box is an excellent subscription service for the adventurers in your life. Each month, the company chooses a city (one that the team has explored previously) and fills a box with locally made goods from that area. You’ll find art, household items, food and more each month. It’s a gift that keeps on giving! Backpacks Hiking, camping and, of course, backpacking are nearly impossible to do without a sturdy, reliable backpack to carry one’s necessities. Osprey offers backpacks for every type of explorer, and each bag has plenty of storage space and functional features to make them comfortable and efficient. Plus, these backpacks are built to last (the company will gladly repair any of its products, no matter the purchase date) — a feature we love. Hydro Flask Staying hydrated is crucial to a successful journey, which is why a Hydro Flask is the perfect gift for globetrotters. The company offers a variety of drink receptacles, from water bottles that attach to backpacks to coffee mugs, wine carriers and more. Each container comes in a variety of colors, or customize one for an extra special present. Related: Get ready for an adventure with this ultimate checklist of backpacking essentials Boots A trusty pair of boots can take you through miles and miles of mountains, hills, deserts, forests and more. Whether your recipient is scaling a mountain or shuffling through the snow in the driveway, these boots by KEEN will take them far. Plus, KEEN loves to give back and is on a mission to hit zero-waste at its headquarters. Tree tents Take an explorer to new heights with a tent that lets them sleep among the treetops. We’ve mentioned our love for Tentsile’s tree tents time and time again , and we also appreciate that the company plants trees to promote healthy forests. You can also check out Tree Tents , a U.K.-based company that offers prefab glamping pods that are locally and responsibly sourced. This company also proudly partners with communities to plant trees. Visit.org experiences For a gift that takes travelers off the beaten path, check out Visit.org . This website offers a wide array of experiences around the world that range from yoga classes in NYC to artisan workshops in Peru to community tree planting events in South Africa. Each experience aids an important cause, and you can even search by location or type of cause. Images via Simon Migaj , Jack Anstey , Airbnb , Yellow Leaf Hammocks , Etsy , Explore Local Box , Adrian , KEEN , Tentsile , Lukas Budimaier  and Shutterstock

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A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for travelers

IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

April 19, 2017 by  
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When most people think of IKEA , they most likely think of affordable furniture and trendy home accessories. But many people are unaware of the company’s lofty social goals. In addition to their efforts to promote sustainability , it turns out IKEA is also working on a plan to alleviate poverty for Syrian refugees and other disadvantaged people around the globe. IKEA recently announced it’s building new production centers in Jordan this summer, as part of a plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world. The facilities will be open and running by August, and will provide jobs to refugees producing rugs, cushions, bedspreads, and other handmade woven items. These particular facilities are the result of a partnership with the Jordan River Foundation , a non-governmental organization founded by Jordan’s Queen Rania. To start out, these particular plants will only employ 100 people, rising to 400 within two years. About half will be local workers and the other half will be Syrian refugees . Related: IKEA’s Lena Pripp-Kovac talks to Inhabitat about their sustainability program The new production centers are just one of many projects the furniture giant is working to establish around the world. Already, they’ve launched programs to help Indian women and Sweden’s immigrant population, which employ about 2,000 people collectively. The ultimate goal is to eventually employ about 200,000 people around the world through these initiatives. Rather than lead the projects themselves, IKEA is teaming up with local social entrepreneurs – organizations that help use business solutions to alleviate poverty, rather than simply distributing aid. Not only does this help provide jobs for people who desperately need them, it also helps organizations that would normally be too small to meet IKEA’s supplier guidelines to get their work into stores around the globe. Related: IKEA is launching a whole range of “no waste” products made from recycled materials This isn’t the first time IKEA has used its clout for social good. The company also recently established the IKEA Foundation to help children in poor communities, and unveiled an award-winning flat-pack refugee shelter design . So the next time you buy a new bookshelf or visit just to sample the Swedish fare at the restaurant, you can feel good knowing your purchase is helping others around the world. Via Dezeen Images via YouTube/Screenshot

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IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

14 exquisite handmade gifts

December 1, 2016 by  
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If you’re looking for sustainably-sourced gifts that will truly surprise your loved ones, feast your eyes on our collection of exquisitely handmade gift options for this year. Produced by under-the-radar designers, you’ll discover unique items for everyone on your list. From foraged botanical perfume oil to hand-drawn floor plans of your favorite TV characters’ homes, we’ve got you covered with one-of-a-kind gifts that will inspire. UNIQUE HANDMADE GIFTS>

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14 exquisite handmade gifts

Noordung launches stunning electric bike for cyclists who really, really love music

November 17, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/190976177 The exclusive pre-production series limited edition Noordung bikes seek to connect music with urban cycling in a new way. The electric bike is outfitted with a boombox powered by 32 Li-Ion batteries and featuring two high fidelity speakers. The sound system connects to the rider’s smartphone, blasting any playlist the cyclist desires. Because the speakers are pointed at the rider, the sound system doesn’t contribute to external noise pollution (and, more importantly, isn’t likely to distract other riders who may have different musical interests). Related: Handmade Italian e-bike stops traffic with its weightless, elegant design The bike ’s electric motor is housed within the frame, so as not to detract from the cycle’s stellar style. With a range of 19 miles (30km) per charge, the Noordung Angel Edition bike offers hours of cycling joy, complete with the rider’s favorite soundtrack. As a bonus feature, the speaker set can be removed from the bike frame. The boombox is fitted with a carrying strap, so the dance party can continue long after you dismount the ride. + Noordung Images via Noordung

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Noordung launches stunning electric bike for cyclists who really, really love music

Endangered orcas under threat from bitumen pipeline planned for Vancouver port

November 17, 2016 by  
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A population of killer whales that live off the coast of Vancouver, Canada is under threat by a planned oil pipeline that could lead to a disruption of their habitat by increased tanker traffic. Texas-based Kinder Morgan is planning to build the $5 billion US Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline project that would transport bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands directly to the edge of the whales’ habitat in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern British Columbia. The Canadian government has already been advised to approve the project, and its fate now lies with the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. According to the Guardian , the proposal to build the massive pipeline project still needs approval from the Canadian federal government, led by Justin Trudeau. But if approved, it would result in a 1,000 km (620 mile) pipeline from northern Alberta to Vancouver, as well as roughly seven times more barge and tanker traffic. Killer whales , or orcas as they’re also known, have already had a rough existence in recent years. The Guardian notes that in the 1960s and early ‘70s, many of them were captured and sold to aquariums and theme parks, while those remaining in the wild were exposed to runoff chemicals from local industries – causing them to become the “world’s most contaminated marine animals.” Conservationists say that an increase in tanker traffic in their habitat could be disastrous for the genetically unique population of orcas – already classified as endangered in both Canada and the US. “The approval of the project is also the approval of the extinction of the population, Ross Dixon of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation told the Guardian. “No one is disputing it. Nobody is saying that’s not accurate. It’s been accepted.” Related: Donald Trump vows to nix Paris climate deal and pave way for Keystone XL pipeline So, will it be approved? As of May, the Canadian energy regulator finished two years of review that recommended the government approve the project, with 157 conditions attached to that approval, including 49 related to the environment. Yet the review panel noted that, conditions or not, the project is likely to have “significant adverse effects” on the killer whale population. The Canadian government has until December 19 to make a decision, and so far, all signs are pointing to approval. Prime Minister Trudeau faces pressure to approve the pipeline from Alberta, where low oil prices have dramatically increased unemployment. Ironically, promises by President Elect Donald Trump to bring back the Keystone XL Pipeline could kill the Trans Mountain project and save the whales. Via the Guardian Images via Matthew_Allen and Mike Charest,  Flickr Creative Commons

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Endangered orcas under threat from bitumen pipeline planned for Vancouver port

Artisan Moss ‘plant paintings’ are maintenance-free alternatives to living walls

November 17, 2016 by  
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Any nature lover likely regards living green walls as the pinnacle of indoor landscaping, but the required maintenance, excessive watering and complex lighting can be daunting. Thanks to Artisan Moss , now nearly anyone can achieve the same level of lush greenery, minus the hefty upkeep and resource consumption. The northern Californian designers preserve moss and other botanicals within uniquely handcrafted and easy-to-care-for works of art that can last decades – take a closer look after the jump. Artisan Moss founder Erin Kinsey developed a stunning technique for preserving botanicals into timeless “plant paintings” with 100 percent real moss, green plants and branches. Using entirely non-toxic food-grade preserving methods and pigments, Erin adheres to ecologically mindful “no-waste” methods, even reusing preservation materials on various projects. The end result is an extraordinary piece of art, made in the USA, with no two works being exactly the same. As long as you keep these moss paintings away from the sun, they will last decades. As a native of northern California, Erin was always inspired by the majestic nature of the Sierras and Coastal Range. After working as a landscape designer, muralist and fine art restorer, she was driven by the notion that maintaining one’s connection with the natural world is critical to survival in the Digital Age. Aware of the on-going maintenance required for living walls , Erin sought to develop a way to preserve real plants into maintenance-free art. While living green walls are a costly investment, Artisan Moss’ plant paintings are surprisingly accessible. Their Etsy shop offers affordably-priced, made-to-order pieces that range from 12×12 hangings to larger works that cover entire walls. No matter the size, each carefully crafted work of art effortlessly brings nature indoors — something we could all use more of. + Artisan Moss + Artisan Moss Etsy Shop

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Artisan Moss ‘plant paintings’ are maintenance-free alternatives to living walls

Amazing video shows 3 stranded cows rescued after New Zealand’s M7.8 quake

November 17, 2016 by  
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A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook New Zealand early Monday near Canterbury, causing landslides that left thousands of residents stranded. Some of those residents are of the bovine variety, making them particularly vulnerable and uniquely in need of assistance. They received it Monday when rescuers successfully recovered three cows left stranded on a small plateau of land created by landslides on the coast north of Kaikoura. After the quake killed two people and caused thousands of destructive aftershocks, the bovine rescue offers hope to those still looking for missing loved ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Yoik3MmKgI Local reports say rescuing the stranded cows was not an easy task. Their owner reported that the rescue was delayed due to multiple aftershocks and the difficulty in reaching the cows’ location, due to soft soil. “We dug a track with a number of people; the soil was quite soft because it had all been tipped over and bumbled around, we managed to get a track in and bring them out,” the unnamed farmer told New Zealand’s Newshub . “They desperately needed water, cows don’t like living without water so that was the first requirement, and I think one or two had lost calves in the earthquake so they were a bit distressed.” Related: How seaweed-eating super cows will save the world The 7.8 earthquake hit near the small tourist town of Kaikoura just after midnight on Monday. The town, with a population of just 3,500 residents, is now isolated from the rest of the country due to as many as 100,000 landslides . Flooding and additional aftershocks continue to plague the area as rescue and recovery efforts are underway, despite dangerous conditions. In addition to the three cows rescued in the video above, the farmer reported that 14 other cows were also rescued after the earthquake. He said some livestock had been killed during the disaster, though the numbers were small. The stranded cows belong to a herd raised for beef, so the life-saving efforts of their rescuers will not ensure them a long and happy life, but instead return them to their original fate. Via CNN Images via Pexels and USGS

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Amazing video shows 3 stranded cows rescued after New Zealand’s M7.8 quake

This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

May 31, 2016 by  
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Thanks to the latest creation by geek gear designer Dave Delisle , Trekkies can now set up camp and star gaze in true Star Trek style. The Star Trek Shuttlecraft Tent is a two-person tent shaped just like the actual shuttlecraft in the show. Oh, and the carrying case? When not in use, it splits apart to become the craft’s thrusters. Collaborating with The North Face, the design team created the shuttlecraft tent to be a compact replica of the Federation shuttle from the iconic series, although, unfortunately, it isn’t able to travel through the galaxy just yet. True trekkies will recognize the small, but authentic touches such as the entrance at the back, just like the true shuttlecraft. Related: Handmade Star Trek Coffee Table Looks Just Like the USS Enterprise The tent is a perfect gift for the trekkie in your life. And for all of you who are thinking that most Star Trek fans don’t, well, trek, Delisle would like to remind you that Star Trek V began with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy camping in the great outdoors . + Dave Delisle Via My Modern Met  

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This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

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