Friday, November 20, 2009

Have You Seen This?

I was wandering in the Blue Nowhere and found a solar assisted heat pump!

I have an old heat pump. It sounds like a jet engine when it turns on or off. I am certain I will have to replace it soon. Sigh.

It sure would be nice to replace the old unit with the solar assisted one. I haven't found info on the cost, yet...but I'm betting it's a wee outside my budget of "Free, or better yet, pay ME to use it!"

Kudos to Lennox for getting into the game.

And hey, Lennox? If you'd like someone to test your product, feel free to e-mail me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shh, Be Vewwwwy Quiet, I'm Huntin' a Turkey!

Have you ever read the label on a commercially packaged turkey?

Here's what's in a frozen, whole Butterball Turkey (per their own website - thank you for your honesty on your packaging and for making it easy to find on your site, Butterball!!), a supermarket standard: Turkey (I should hope so!), Water, Salt, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Phosphates, Natural Flavorings.

If you look at any other commercially packaged frozen whole turkey, you are likely to find something similar.

You know what I want in my turkey? Turkey.

That's it. That's the only ingredient I desire.

Have you tried finding a turkey that's just a turkey, of late?

I have.

Good luck with that.

It's not just turkey - plenty of companies who process and package beef, pork, and chicken do it, too. I understand the reasoning behind it - it adds weight which means the consumer pays more, it helps preserve the meat so it will last longer in the cooler, and it ensures that the largely inept consumers buying the stuff won't end up with tough, inedible meals.

I know how to cook, though, and prefer to pay for meat and only meat. I also prefer to buy fresh rather than packaged in plastic, and to season my own meals in my own fashion. I don't want a turkey that has been injected with chemicals that I don't need in my body. I have been roasting these things since I was a teen, and haven't have a dry one yet...and if I should screw it up enough to dry it out, that's what gravy is for. I know how to make that, too, but if I didn't it comes in a jar or powder packet for my convenience (I weep for future generations that grow up on that stuff,'s just wrong).

I didn't have the money to order an heirloom, pastured, organic, not genetically altered or manipulated, honest to goddess turkey from Slanker's this year...dang it...but I'm determined to do my best to find a non-injected, non-flavor enhanced bird to feed my family for tomorrow, I am going to hunt turkey like all modern hunter-gatherers...I'm going to stalk the meat departments of every grocery store I can find.

Wish me luck.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This Makes Me Nuts

Have you seen these?

I just noticed them at my supermarket this week.

At first blush, they seem like a good idea. I like Jif peanut butter. I buy a big jar of Simply Jif when we run low, every couple of months or so unless it's a banner season for PB&Js around here (and the Evil Genius loves 'em, so he'll pack 'em away if I let him). The jars make handy banks, rattles, or leftovers containers if you're inclined to keep them about, and they can be recycled. Small containers to throw into a lunch box, nappy bag, or even your purse with crackers, apples, celery, or bananas seem handy, a real mother's/father's helper.


Look at the packaging. First there's the cardboard, with all that printing, all that ink. I'm sure it's recyclable...but still...

Then, there are the foil lids on the cups. Sigh.

And the cups themselves - more plastic to recycle or end up in a landfill.

The price is much higher per ounce, too, as is always the case - we pay for our convenience.

With planetary resources stretched thin as it is, wouldn't it be wiser to buy the big jar and simply use Tupperware/Rubbermaid/reusable containers instead?

Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm staying at a friend's place this weekend, helping her with her booth at the Ren Fest. She got a package, and inside?

Green (as in Earth friendly) shoes! Her husband ordered them, and they're awesome!! Go check them out...Simple Shoes. I have to say E (my friend's husband) looks pretty snazzy in his.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Guest Who?

Howdy, folks.

I know I don't post often here. Hello? Why do I hear an echo?


It is both an honor and a pleasure to introduce you to a good friend of mine. She has three kids, all boys, all under the age of six. We sometimes play a game I call One Word, wherein we try to think of one word that describes our friend or ourselves. My word for this woman? Granola.

No kidding - she's comfortable, nurturing, healthy, earthy, sweet, and (with three small boys to raise) a little nutty.

She likes to hike, camp, and commune with nature, and she and her husband are teaching their boys to love the trail, too. They take hikes with small children that I wouldn't attempt on my own!

This woman is relentless in her quest to lessen her impact on our beloved planet without making a huge hole in the wallet.

Without further ado, I give you - Kit!
Hello Mainstream Greeners! I am Kit, and I am guest-posting today on Mainstream Green.

SO much of "going green" at home is about small changes. Little differences in our habits and our purchases can add up to a huge difference for the environment. There are a number of ways that I am switching my family to a greener lifestyle, and I'll be telling you about some of them as I get a chance. Some changes are a simple matter of buying different products. Others require a much bigger commitment. I am finding that big or small, the changes I am making make me feel very good- not only because it's better for the environment and often healthier for my family, but also that the whole mindfullness of the endeavor is rewarding. To lead a greener lifestyle means to be more aware of your place in the great web of life- and to me, that's a beautiful thing.

Some examples of how I have gone green:
- We use cloth diapers. They aren't just for hardcore hippies, either- they can absolutely fit in with a mainstream lifestyle. I'll tell you more about them in a later post.
- I also use "mama cloth". . . which people seem to have a harder time accepting, so perhaps that's not as mainstream. But I'm happy with it!
- I use simple natural cleaners.
- I try to purchase natural and biodegradable products (detergents, shampoos, etc) whenever possible. It can be hard to find a balance between what works, what's better for the environment, and what we can afford.
- We recycle everything our county will take, and try to have a minimum amount of garbage thrown away.
- I usually tend a vegetable garden and a compost pile.
- We have changed our habits to help conserve water and electricity.
- I opt for reusable rather than disposable. This applies in lots of situations in daily life.
- I am reducing our consumption of plastics. This one's a toughie- I just do what I can, and don't stress out over it. I'm gradually getting better about it.
- I use a clothesline.
- We pick up litter.
- I try to buy local food when I can. I am working on this one. :)

I am sure there are more things we have done, but that's a pretty good list to start. You'll notice that most of them don't require a lot of effort or money, and most of them will save you money in the long run. Hopefully, as I share some of the things we've done, you'll spot some good ideas and be inspired to try a few more "green" habits in your life!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We Are Go for Compost

I started a compost pile. I did it the old fashioned way - I found a spot that looked good and started dumping compostables there.

That's right - no bin, no barrel, no box, nothing but a clear spot at the edge of the yard. I don't care if critters get into it and have a feast - at least I'm not putting organic matter in the landfill, and maybe, just maybe, I'll get a bit of compost out of the deal, anyway.

Viva la revolicion, yo!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Let Me Sleep On It

Last year, T and I (mostly I) decided that we needed a new mattress. We shopped around, weighed our options, and came to the conclusion that we would get one just as soon as we won the lottery. Mattresses - good mattresses - are expensive!

Fast forward to last weekend. The tax refund came in, and we decided to go a-mattressing. We chose a locally produced mattress and box-spring to be delivered, a set that should last us a good twenty years or so unless we each put on weight equivalent to a baby elephant...and I'm losing, not gaining, so there!


Only after we made our purchase did I think about how "green" our mattress might be, and wondered if there was a better choice. A little slow on the uptake, maybe? Maybe - but it was locally produced, and that should count for something, right?

Well, just so you don't make the same mistake, here are several websites that market to the green bedding crowd: Keetsa, Ecochoices, and Lifekind.

I am eyeballing some organic cotton bedding, in case I win the lottery next week...I have a friend or three who can help me dye it any color/s I soon as I find environmentally friendly dyes...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Green Humor

Who says being green can't be funny??

Thanks to T for sending this my way.