Material Kitchen’s bowl and board are made from sugarcane

May 20, 2022 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

They say it’s a picture that paints a thousand words. But if you look at a picture of the colorful cutting board and bowl from Material Kitchen, you won’t know most of the story. What you won’t see is the cutting board and bowl are entirely made from kitchen plastic scraps and renewable sugarcane. Material Kitchen is a kitchenware brand that makes items for the modern, everyday chef. Whether you’re a skilled cook or just an amateur, these items are easy to use and practical. The sensible, but beautiful design, the warm colors, the clean lines of good style, it’s all here. What’s not there is harmful BPA and all that other junk that you really don’t want in your kitchen. Related: New York design studio recycles waste into beauty Their products are made to be sensible, durable and beautiful. The reBoard and the reBowl are both BPA-free and 100% upcycled. They are also dishwasher safe. Additionally, sugarcane is completely renewable. It’s becoming widely used in manufacturing of all types. Sugarcane grows quickly and easily. And no virgin plastics were used in either of these items. Plastic has become a huge environmental problem. Products like the reBoard and reBowl are re-purposing used plastic that would otherwise end up filling up landfills or floating in the ocean. Therefore, sustainability is the way of the future. It’s really the only way that a future is possible. It is possible to save the planet, reverse the damage and build a brighter tomorrow. + Material Kitchen Images via Material Kitchen

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Material Kitchen’s bowl and board are made from sugarcane

Ovolo is the world’s first hotel group to go vegetarian

May 13, 2022 by  
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In October 2020, Ovolo Hotels announced its “Year of the Veg” campaign. All the hotel restaurants went vegetarian for a whole year. It was such a success the hotel group decided to continue with the mostly plant-based (plus some lacto-ovo) menus. Now Ovolo is the first hotel chain to go all veg. “It’s been a strategic move, but Ovolo prides itself on being an industry leader,” said Ovolo Group’s Founder and CEO Girish Jhunjhnuwala. “We believe that the world changes, therefore we continue to evolve — we want to ensure we are doing our bit to help preserve our environment, promote healthy eating and enhance the image of amazing vegetarian and plant-based dining.” Related: Hong Kong welcomes Veda, the first vegetarian restaurant inside upscale hotel Ovolo What’s for dinner? Since Ovolo’s founding in 2002, the company expanded to operate four hotels and three restaurants in Hong Kong , and eight hotels and seven restaurants across Australia. Ovolo’s restaurants are serving up a lot more than salads and bean burgers. As Ovolo says in its veg Pledge Playbook, “’Vegetarian’ isn’t a restaurant concept.” The hotel group brought in chef consultants like Ian Curly, Matthew Kenny, Roy Ner and Shannon Martinez to craft menus appealing to all sorts of diners. ZA ZA TA at Ovolo The Valley in Brisbane based its menu on the flavors of Tel Aviv, with dishes like cauliflower shawarma with curry leaf and green mango and black barley, cucumber and lime tabbouleh. In Melbourne , Lona Misa is Latin American. Monster Kitchen in Canberra has an Asian flair, with dishes like bush tomato tartare with wasabi and sesame, and a purple cauliflower steak with miso. The Alibi Bar & Kitchen in Woolloomooloo offers an eight-course chef’s tasting menu. While the restaurants are all veg, the hotel chain decided to leave some meat options on conference and event menus. Maybe there will be a “year of the veg conference” in 2023? Ovolo’s Vedge Pledge Playbook Ovolo’s Vedge Pledge Playbook is an especially interesting aspect of the hotel collection’s switch to meatless. This nine-page document is publicly available and advises other hotel chains how to go veg. It leads with top reasons to switch, such as treating the environment with love and respect, eating consciously to make the body and mind feel good and celebrating the rise of vegetarian cuisine. In line with its upbeat spin, the playbook doesn’t mention any dead animals. The next section talks about preparing for this switch to veg with both internal and external messaging. It mentions that Ovolo had an overwhelmingly positive response to transitioning to plant-based cuisine , but you have to be prepared to lose some customers. Also, some chefs. Guests should be prepared ahead of time so they’re not blindsided by the lack of steak. “Don’t focus on what’s no longer on the menu — keep the focus on your exciting new food,” the playbook said. And don’t just target vegetarians and vegans. “Plant-based food is for everyone. Reassure your guests that no matter what their dietary style, they are in for an amazing dining experience.” The “designing your menu” section stresses creativity. “Balance your menu with dishes that range from light to heavy, with a variety of textures, flavors and techniques, from smoking to fermentation to molecular techniques,” the playbook said. It also suggests some excellent ideas, such as serving a vegan high tea . Drinks can be veg, too The hotel group has also overhauled its bars to focus on vegan cocktails. Bartenders can substitute aquafaba for the egg whites traditionally used in drinks like pisco sours and gin fizzes. Some bars will add a seasonal focus. They also plan a strong non-alcoholic menu as part of a health -conscious direction. “Coming up with healthier, vegetarian-led beverage options has been a creative challenge that our team has really enjoyed,” said Andrea Gualdi, Ovolo’s newly appointed creative beverage director. “We have access to some incredibly progressive Australian producers, both in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories, and we’re proud to represent more of those producers across our new menus, with a strong focus on seasonality and local producers.” Vegans, be excited This is exciting news for vegetarians and vegans traveling in Australia and Hong Kong. And probably beyond, due to a ripple effect. As awareness of the links between animal consumption and the environment rise, and more people stretch Meatless Monday to the occasional Tuesday and Wednesday as well, we’re hoping they will be satisfied by a cauliflower steak. So far, Ovolo’s experiment has paid off. “Our move to vegetarian dining has been even more successful than we anticipated, and we now find ourselves part of a new wave of plant-based pioneers,” said Ian Curley, Ovolo Group’s creative partner. “The one big lesson we have learned from our bold experiment: never underestimate your guests. A key focus for us has been ensuring we are creating something that still appeals to everyone — from vegans to flexitarians, and those who are simply keen on expanding their palate.” + Ovolo Hotel Images via Ovolo Hotel

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Ovolo is the world’s first hotel group to go vegetarian

Passive and green design becomes of Annandale House

May 11, 2022 by  
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Day Bukh Architects met the challenges of designing a green home that matches the client’s desire for a minimalist and sustainable lifestyle. Located in the inner city suburb of Annandale in Sydney on a large, wide lot, the home features a variety of green design elements.  Known as the Annandale House, designers capitalized on breezes and natural lighting . They carefully oriented the house on the lot and encompassed the entire width of the land.  Related: Vintage viewfinders inspired this studio in Australia Furthermore, passive design resulted in a highly energy-efficient home that embraces a flow between indoor and outdoor living. The building benefits from a tight envelope with comprehensive insulation throughout. It relies on evaporative cooling, natural ventilation and low-consumption LED lighting. In addition, the home produces renewable energy through the use of solar panels. Water management systems result in low-consumption. Plus, the home is equipped to harvest rainwater .   Using sustainably-sourced building materials was important to the client. As a result, the home is built with a reliance on renewable building materials and eco-friendly products.  While there was a focus on the embodied and operational carbon during construction, the design also sought to increase the density of the site. A “granny flat” was built on the same property, located behind the primary home with the goal of providing additional living or lodging space while sharing resources. The rear addition was situated to capture passive solar elements like natural light and warming during the winter months.  In addition to the two structures, the home features a large deck with built-in kitchen amenities and heaters installed into the ceiling to increase opportunities for outdoor living throughout the seasons .  + Day Bukh Architects Images via Katherine Lu

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Passive and green design becomes of Annandale House

Take a eco-wellness trip to beautiful Palm Springs

April 11, 2022 by  
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When I turned my head to the right, I got a glimpse of palm trees. To the left, mountains.  It was early February, a time I wouldn’t swim outdoors in my home state of Oregon . But enjoying the mild winter is only one reason that the Southern California desert town attracts people from cooler climates. Palm Springs is famous for its golf and mid-century modern architecture , and there’s lots to do for eco-minded and outdoorsy folks as well. Greater Palm Springs encompasses nine cities — Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta and Coachella . The borders are sometimes blurry, and visitors usually move between attractions in at least a few of these cities during their stay. Related: Weathered-steel home near Palm Springs is the epitome of desert chic Take a hike The combination of desert and mountains is what makes Greater Palm Springs so beautiful. The Little San Bernardino Mountains are north of Palm Springs , the San Jacinto Mountains are to the west and the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south. In between is desert . Greater Palm Springs offers more than 100 trails to choose from. How do you pick from 100 trails ? In our case, we were traveling with our thirteen-year-old dog. A star athlete in his younger days, he’s getting arthritic now. So we needed dog-friendly trails that weren’t too difficult. We chose to visit Mission Creek Preserve . Try a run by the Wildlands Conservancy. The preserve allows hiking, backpacking and picnicking, and prohibits hunting, shooting and off-road vehicles. Just the way we like it. We walked the 1.7 miles up to the Stone House picnic area. It was a soft, sandy trail wide enough to keep a leashed dog out of cactus, and to see rattlers coming if they suddenly slithered in front of us. We enjoyed gorgeous mountain views and saw lots of desert plants. It was a little early for wildflowers, and this year might prove too dry, anyway, but cacti are fascinating and beautiful whether blooming or not. The preserve has 17 miles of trails and picturesque stone picnic shelters. It gets windy in the desert, so these structures have surely prevented many a sandwich from being blown into the sand. A friend also recommended the dog-friendly Whitewater Preserve . It features a desert oasis and views of desert canyons and the San Jacinto Mountains. Visit Greater Palm Springs suggests these ten as the most beautiful hikes in the area. We stayed at A Place in the Sun Garden Hotel , a collection of bungalows set around a pool built as a retreat for the crew of the 1951 movie of the same name. Besides the glamor of wondering if Elizabeth Taylor had once slept in our room, we loved its setting on the Taquitz Creek. There wasn’t much water, but the wide riverbed has walking trails on both sides and was our favorite in-town hike. It was also a prime meet and greet spot for local and tourist dogs. Visit a cactarium The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium probably has more stickers per inch than any other garden you’ll ever visit. Founders Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten met his wife Patricia in Palm Springs in 1938. Their shared love of succulents led to running a garden and landscaping design business, creating backyard gardens for stars like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby and choosing the foliage for Disneyland’s Frontierland. Nowadays Chester and Patricia’s son Clark Moorten runs the garden, greeting about 200 guests per day. He grew up with cacti . “I was born with stickers in my butt,” he said on the garden’s website. The garden is compact, with plants separated out by arid biome, such as the Mojave Desert and the South African-Succulent Karoo. You’ll also see some fossils, crystals , gold-mining relics and a couple of desert tortoises. Leashed dogs are allowed at the cactarium, but be extra careful of cactus spines. Ride a bike For a memorable desert experience, join Big Wheel Tours’ Earthquake Canyon Express bike tour. The tour van will take you to a quiet starting point deep in the desert. From there, you cruise along a paved road through the San Andreas Fault zone and grape-growing country. There’s not much traffic and no uphill, just a gradual 20-mile, 1600-foot descent. For a few hours, you’ll coast along, feeling a desert breeze and gazing at huge, cactus-filled vistas. The tour traverses the transition zone between the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. You’ll see canyons, mountains and the Salton Sea. At the end, you can refuel with a date shake. Big Wheel also offers a biking /hiking combo tour with a ten-mile ride followed by a desert hike. See windmills up close Ever wanted to get an up-close look at giant wind turbines? Palm Springs Windmill Tours offers both self-guided driving tours and VIP chartered tours of southern California’s first commercial wind farm . In twelve stops around the property you’ll learn about successes and failures in wind energy and get close to a working 400-foot wind turbine. The tour takes about 90 minutes and you’re guaranteed to leave a little smarter. Go for a swim If you come from a cooler climate and enjoy swimming , you’ll be as excited as I was to book a lane at the Palm Springs Swim Center . When I visited, COVID restrictions were still in place. The pool was split into lanes horizontally to accommodate more swimmers, with lower numbered lanes in the shallow end and higher numbers in the deep end. The water was a nice, warm 82 degrees. I especially enjoyed the locker room shower — the walls don’t come quite to the ceiling, so you get a view of palm trees while washing your hair. Check current rules to see if you need to reserve in advance or not. Relax at a spa Palm Springs is known for spas. After all, it took its name from the hot springs that dot the desert. You can choose spa experiences ranging from upscale, indoor treatments to more natural, outdoor hot springs pools.  One local insider told me her favorite is Azure Palm Hot Springs . In addition to healing waters, Azure Palm offers a yoga studio, juice café and a Himalayan salt room. There’s even a Greater Palm Springs Wellness Pass that lets you earn rewards when you go spa-hopping. Vegan dining This is an easy area for vegans to navigate, as there are several all-veg restaurants, plus most regular restaurants have an above-average vegan IQ. Our favorite meal came Native Foods , a Southern California-based chain that started in Palm Springs in 1994. It stresses delicious over healthy, with sandwiches like the Real Nashville Hot, a spicy, plant-based fried chicken with slaw and pickle chips, which my husband ate. I ordered the cauliflower chickpea shawarma wrap, which was also good but not as good as the faux chicken sandwich. Chef Tanya’s Kitchen is a standout vegan restaurant , with locations in Palm Springs and nearby Palm Desert. Chef Tanya was the person who started Native Foods. She moved on to found her new empire in 2017. Originally, her kitchen was a manufacturing facility for seitan and tempeh, but it evolved into a deli. It serves a line of tempeh power burgers and the Chupacabra chick’n sandwich, which includes seitan filets, avocado, cilantro and jalapenos on a torpedo roll. Chef Tanya’s also has a little shop where you can buy both house-made vegan foods and other vegan products. We stocked up on her desserts. The best were the apple cobbler and the lemon drizzle cake. Nature’s Health Food & Cafe is doubly convenient, being a fully stocked health food store with in-store organic vegetarian restaurant. In the morning, you can order vegan banana nut pancakes topped with walnut crème. For lunch and dinner, try a blackened soy chicken quesadilla or the tofu steak plate with veggies galore. There’s a comfortable, dog-friendly outside seating area or you can take your food to go. For fancier dining, vegans like the Persimmon Bistro & Wine Bar, which serves vegan wood-fired pizzas with California wine and craft beer. Eco lodging Hotels in Greater Palm Springs face the problem of how to maintain attractive grounds and plenty of guest amenities in the middle of a desert. Embarc Palm Desert has converted much of its landscaping to rock and cacti garden. A sensor-monitored irrigation system waters the part that still needs watering, preventing sprinklers from turning on when temperatures are low or if it’s raining. Embarc also uses tankless water heaters, motion sensor thermostats and LED lighting. Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs is the U.S. first carbon-neutral resort. Its 70 hotel rooms run on solar power. The resort carefully manages the water that feeds its mineral pools, using a sustainable closed water circuit. There’s a retention pond where grey water can be treated with reverse osmosis, then returned to the irrigation system. The resort’s restaurant uses locally-sourced produce, and incorporates olives and fruits grown onsite into the menu. While the eco-minded might look askance at Palm Springs’ verdant golf courses, local resorts have found high-tech ways to minimize damage. La Quinta Resort and Club’s golf courses have Audubon International certification, which means they’ve been assessed for factors like water quality management, chemical use and safety, water conservation and wildlife and habitat management. The resort composts all leftover food into mulch, and filtered water runoff from the composting machines is repurposed for irrigation and filling golf cart batteries. Photography by Teresa Bergen

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Explore Pensons, a stunning Michelin Green Star restaurant

March 11, 2022 by  
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Pensons on the Netherwood Estate is a restaurant that has done its best to dish up sustainable meals since opening in 2019. “We have been on a steep learning curve,” the Pensons website states. “We have found that applying sustainable principles in a restaurant environment takes considerable investment of time and ingenuity to find more ecologically sound solutions and a lot of tenacity to put these into practice.” Despite the challenges, Pensons earned a solid sign of success — a Michelin Green Star, given to sustainable restaurants. The path that Pensons took to get here is complex but admirable. This is how Pensons sets the standard for other restaurants wanting to go green. Related: Playing in the Plants is growing Milwaukee’s vegan scene How Pensons earned a Michelin Green Star Pensons grows, forages and farms much of the produce it uses right on the estate grounds. The estate’s kitchen garden was revamped into a productive space adjacent to the restaurant to produce herbs, fruit, vegetables, and honey. The Netherwood Estate also produces cold-pressed rapeseed oil, which Pensons uses in place of olive oil. Further, the estate allows for foraging of elderflowers, meadowsweet, walnuts, wild garlic, sloes, nettles and hawthorn. Pensons partners with local producers such as Little Pomana cider makers, who use their award-winning skills to create a single Estate, Sauterne barrelled cider with Netherwood’s White Norman apples. Local farmers and growers are also tapped for produce and ethically raised meat and seafood . The local focus extends to local artisans who created furnishings for the restaurant. Chair coverings and napkins are woven on the estate, and many of the restaurant’s plates and bowls are commissioned from local potters. Local willow makes up the lampshades, and a local blacksmith forged the steak knives with walnut handles foraged from the estate’s fallen timber. Additionally, Pensons uses no-dig gardening methods to preserve soil health and integrity. The restaurant adds farmyard manure to keep down weeds, improve the soil and retain beneficial microbes. “Soil health is one of the essential building blocks to ensure a thriving, productive veg garden,” Pensons explains on its website. “To help achieve this, the uncooked fruit and vegetables waste from the kitchen and our holiday lets is composted and then used to improve the fertility, pH balance and soil structure of the growing beds. We also shred the cardboard waste from the restaurant (that is a lot of wine boxes!) and add this to the compost heap as a valuable source of carbon and aid aeration, allowing the compost to decompose more quickly.” Further sustainability measures include rainwater collection to help water the garden. The restaurant also works to reduce single-use plastic . Dry store items are kept in refillable containers, and herbs go in glass jars. Even the labeling tape is plastic-free. Metal straws round out the collection of reusable kitchen supplies. Lessons in sustainability So, how can restaurants work to reduce waste received from suppliers? Many problems faced by businesses start where the control of their production materials ends. Pensons says it works with suppliers to maximize the number of deliveries that arrive in reusable, recyclable or returnable packaging. Additionally, the restaurant plants hundreds of trees and hedging plants every year to help offset the carbon from visitors who have to drive to the rural location. These hedges also create wildlife corridors that link habitats around the farm. “We might not be changing the world overnight, but it is about taking small steps forward for the greater good,” the owners said. Photovoltaic panels on the grain store roofs power the farmyard. A wood-fueled boiler generates heating and hot water in the holiday rentals. Meanwhile, renewables help fuel the restaurant’s electricity. A lot of thought went into combining resources to green the estate on all sides. The detailed thought behind Pensons and its sustainability practices make it an excellent eco-friendly restaurant. If you’d like to learn more about what makes a Green Michelin Star restaurant, you can visit Pensons in the U.K. or check out the website here . + Pensons Via Hereford Times Images via Pensons

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Explore Pensons, a stunning Michelin Green Star restaurant

11 vegan meal delivery services to eat from

February 24, 2022 by  
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Meal delivery services have come a long way. Simply make your selections online and wait for the fully or partially-prepared meals to show up. Offerings start at once a week or can supply you with nearly every breakfast, lunch and dinner. On average, people get meals delivered a few times each week, lightening the burden of meal planning and preparation. You can filter options based on your eating preferences and dietary restrictions. Whether you’re trying to cut out meat for meatless Monday or you live a strictly vegan lifestyle, there’s an option for you in the home delivery world.  Related: 6 Indian street foods that are traditionally vegan Most companies offer food delivery for two, four and sometimes six people. You can receive orders as infrequently or often as you choose. Perhaps the best part of meal service is the variety of foods available. You can even combine two different delivery services if you want smoothies and bowls from one and salads from another.  Watch for packaging when researching companies. Some pride themselves on recyclable materials, but they may not be recyclable curbside in your area. Most abide by environmental standards with biodegradable ice and cardboard packaging where possible. Purple Carrot It’s a passion project meant to inspire people to eat a healthy, plant-based diet. Set up breakfast, lunch and/or dinner three or four times each week for two or four people, and add extra pantry items when they’re available. Meals can come prepared or as a meal kit you put together yourself. Reviewers remarked the recipes are unique and encourage you to try new things. In fact, you can try a different menu each week.  The Green Chef The company is organically certified and offers different meal sizes delivered a few times each week. The kit comes with pre-measured ingredients and recipes. First responders, medical providers, nurses, teachers, military and veterans receive an additional discount. The company proudly offsets plastic and carbon produced in the transport and packaging of the kits.  Sunbasket The ingredients for each Sunbasket menu are ethically-sourced and organic. There is no commitment, so you can cancel anytime after trying out some meals. There are many ways to filter the diet types and ingredients to avoid meat, dairy, grains, soy , etc. Sunbasket also offers two levels of preparation. You can receive the ingredients and corresponding recipes or get premade meals you simply need to warm up after a long day.  Factor In addition to meals arriving cooked and ready to reheat, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet with a registered dietician for a one-on-one consultation. After deciding on your meals, order up some cold-pressed juices and vitality shots too.  Veestro This brother and sister duo must have enjoyed time in the kitchen while growing up. They offer a delivery service with a range of dietary preferences and the flexibility to keep the prepared meals in the fridge for dinner this week or in the freezer for a meal when the need arises.  Sakara When childhood friends get together, they often cook together. That was the case with Sakara founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise. Now they spend their time together creating organic, plant-based , gluten and dairy free, refined-sugars free and non-GMO meals for vegans everywhere in the U.S. All meals are ready to eat. Choose from a variety of plan options and check in with wellness coaches as part of the Sakara plan. CookUnity This restaurant-style service is currently only available in the northeast, but they do have plans to expand. You can filter your orders through your dietary preferences or order from your favorite of around 37 chefs around New York City . Look at menus a few weeks ahead of time to consider your options and order between four to 12 meals weekly. Hungryroot In addition to quick, healthy meals, you can ship in groceries for delivery too. Collect information on snacking, meal prep and recipes that match your dietary needs. It’s more than a meal prep service. The goal is to help make planning, shopping and cooking faster and easier.  Sprinly If you’re looking for fresh rather than frozen, Sprinly is worth considering. Meals are vegan, organic and void of gluten, artificial preservatives and refined sugars. Because they’re vegan, they’re good for the environment too. Select from six to 18 meals weekly and change your plan as your busy life and needs change.  Daily Harvest If you’re looking for vegan, organic, gluten and dairy-free meals that require little to no preparation, Daily Harvest might be for you. The service provides a lot of flexibility if your schedule changes from one week to the next.  Splendid Spoon When a culinary-trained chef doesn’t like what she sees people eating, she sends inspiration their way. Splendid Spoon was started in 2013 with soup options. Now, the menu includes many other low-sodium, dairy-free, non-GMO meals that contain no artificial sweeteners or colors. Select from four plans and receive your delivery one to four times each month.   Images via Pexels

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Eco-friendly and safe ways to dispose your cooking oil

February 17, 2022 by  
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Cooking oil comes from plants, yet it is difficult to return to the environment in an eco-friendly way. Because of the consistency of the liquid, canola, vegetable, corn, olive, avocado and other oils can create an oily coating on plants, which restricts oxygen intake. It also has a negative effect on animals too.  Even if you choose a type of cooking oil that is better for your body, getting rid of it creates challenges. The solution to the problem depends heavily on where you live and what resources are available in the region. Here are some of our methods. Related: 15 fresh ideas for leftover fruit that will reduce your food waste Don’t dump cooking oil down the drain For starters, understand where you shouldn’t get rid of cooking oil. Never dispose of it down the sink or toilet drain. There are several reasons for this, starting with the fact that oil can and will clog drains within your home’s plumbing. It can happen quickly or take awhile to accumulate, but eventually the build up will affect water flow. After the oils are flushed out of your home, they either go into a septic tank or are diverted to a local treatment plant. Not all particles are filtered out at the plant, resulting in the greasy substance being released back into the path of plants and animals that need fresh water.  Reuse the oil Some people are surprised to find cooking oil can be used multiple times. Choose a storage container. Glass jars work well. After cooling the oil, filter and hold onto it for next time. For deep frying foods like meat or fish, you can reuse the oil up to four times. For lighter foods , such as potatoes, you may get up to eight uses out of the same oil.  Cool it However you decide to dispose of your oil, make sure it is completely cooled before sending it away. You can freeze oil to make the process less messy or save it for later use. Even putting it into the fridge or outside on a hot pod during cold weather will drop the temperature for proper disposal.  Receptacle disposal In many areas, the garbage can is the best, and perhaps only, place to get rid of cooking oil. Rather than simply pouring used cooking oil directly into the garbage, however, corral it in a non-recyclable container. If you don’t have a location to return plastic film, such as grocery and bread bags, you can use those bags to collect the oil. You’ll need to be careful not to puncture the plastic and double-bagging is a good idea. You can also use non-recyclable milk cartons, broth containers or other vessels that seal tightly.  Local restaurants, fire stations or recycling center s Connect locally to see what restaurants in your area are doing with their oil waste. Some may be recycling through a service that converts it into oil for other uses, such as fueling cars.  Also check in with a nearby fire department. In many areas, the fire department coordinates recycling cooking oil, as well as other hard-to-recycle items around the house.  Your local waste disposal company is another resource. Give them a call to ask about options. Even if they don’t provide a regular drop-off location or curbside pickup service, they may have an option a few times each year in conjunction with chemical roundup events.  Consider compost ing Some say adding cooking oil to the compost bin will make worms and insects happy. Others say it will attract unwanted animals , especially if the oil was used to cook fragrant meats. There does seem to be a balance where small amounts of plant-based oils benefit the compost ecosystem. To be safe, only add oils that were used to cook vegetables and other non-animal foods. Also, add oil to the compost in moderation. Too much oil will create a layer that stifles out oxygen in the mixture.  Create solid waste Part of the reason oils are challenging to dispose of is simply because they are so messy. You can combine the oils with other waste materials around your home, however, to result in solid waste that is easier for you and waste management professionals to deal with.  Before tossing your oil, mix it with absorbent materials such as sawdust . You can also mix it with other kitchen waste like flour. If you have cats, dump the used oil into the kitty litter when it’s time for a cleanout. The same goes for guinea pig or rabbit cages. Sand makes another nice absorbing-material option.  Make soap out of it Soap relies on fat, so it makes sense you can include high-fat cooking oils in the soap recipe. You’ll want to purify dirty oil before adding it to the mix, but blending in olive, soybean, avocado, almond and other oils provides you a way to recycle it and save money on soap-making supplies. It also keeps used cooking oil out of the garbage can and the landfill.  Make an insecticide The same reason that oil can limit oxygen and suffocate animals makes it an ideal ingredient in insecticides. Combined with soap and water, oil helps prevent insects from ruining crop development.  While you might find yourself dealing with used cooking oil from time to time, you can collect small amounts for an extended period before finding the best way to dispose of it.  An even better approach is to limit the amount of oil you use in the first place. Avoid oil waste by using an air fryer, baking goods or cooking on the grill instead.  Via Act Enviro and Green Matters Images via Pexels

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Eco-friendly and safe ways to dispose your cooking oil

Maven Moment: Kitchen Canisters

January 12, 2022 by  
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Years ago, every kitchen had a set of kitchen canisters. I vividly remember the ones… The post Maven Moment: Kitchen Canisters appeared first on Earth911.

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Maven Moment: Kitchen Canisters

Solar off-grid cabins in Romania uses locally sourced timber

December 13, 2021 by  
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Canton House Romania by Marc Thorpe Design shows just how many options there are for going off-grid with cabins . The Canton House Romania project used solar panels, locally sourced timber and unique rooflines to create a trio of unique hotel cabins. Designer and architect Marc Thorpe takes a holistic systems thinking approach to architecture . Thorpe wanted to match the traditional architectural style of the Carpathian mountains while reflecting a modern aesthetic with these tiny hotel cabins. Related: ANNA is a stunning prefab cabin with off-grid potential The fact that they are a trio makes them even more beautiful. If you look at the profile, it has an angular triangular roofline that points to the sky , almost reminiscent of a church spire and yet completely modern . This is the result of an open collaborative design process that prioritizes listening to a broad set of client needs. When the Canton House cabins are viewed from the end, the viewer sees the more expected square roofline of a sleek, modern, off-grid cabin that is complete with heavy overhangs. Every side of the house is different. It’s an exploration in what off-grid cabins can be in technology and design. The cabins are completely covered in gray shingles on the outside, both walls and roof. Inside, however, a spacious living area and small kitchen with a passthrough complete one end of each cabin that exit to the outdoors via sliding glass door. While the other more private end has an ultra-modern bedroom with platform bed, recessed lighting and a large pane window. We love how much space has been fit into these tiny cabins in the interior through the careful use of storage and elevated ceilings. Check them out to get ideas for your off-grid solar cabin project. + Marc Thorpe Design Images via Marc Thorpe Design

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Solar off-grid cabins in Romania uses locally sourced timber

Cinch Up Kitchen Waste With These 3 Green Household Products

November 5, 2021 by  
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I am an enthusiastic proponent of the idea that we could happily do without a… The post Cinch Up Kitchen Waste With These 3 Green Household Products appeared first on Earth911.

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Cinch Up Kitchen Waste With These 3 Green Household Products

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