Is Your Sunscreen Safe?
I’ve never blindly trusted the chemicals in sunscreens. Why should I trade short-term protection for long-term harm, especially when there are safer alternatives?
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Brazilian Fig Torte (Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo)
Figs are coming into season here in Southern California, and trees all over the neighborhood are absolutely loaded with them. Here are two fresh fig recipes to help you enjoy the bounty of these special fruits.
Continue reading Brazilian Fig Torte <br/>(Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo) at Small Footprint Family.
8 Ways to Go Green with Your Pet
While humans and our insatiable consumerism are the primary drivers of climate change, pets have a surprisingly large impact of their own.
With around one billion pet dogs and cats in the world eating billions of pounds of meat and GMO grains a year, and producing half a billion pounds of waste every day, Rover and Mittens have a massive effect on the health and sustainability of our environment.
So what can be done to make our pets more planet-friendly? Here are 8 ways to reduce the ecological “pawprint” of your cats and dogs…
1. Purchase Pet Products Wisely
Just as you try to avoid toxic plastics, flame retardants and noxious household chemicals for the sake of your own health, you should also consider your pet’s health when purchasing toys, bedding and grooming products.
Read labels! Buy organic bedding, and choose toys, collars and leashes made from natural materials or plastics that do not contain vinyl, phthalates or BPA. (A hemp collar and leash is an especially nice choice.)
Use eco-friendly shampoos and conditioners that are free from toxic chemicals and manufactured with natural ingredients. (Here are some brands to check out.)
And if your pet has an accident indoors, use eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products to clean up after them.
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Take an Eco Friendly Vacation – Low Impact Travel Tips
Every summer, millions of people world-wide travel far from home to enjoy holidays, vacations and family visits. All this moving around uses a lot of resources and generates a lot of pollution. Unfortunately, most travel today is far from environmentally friendly.
Here are some simple travel tips on how to have a great vacation with a smaller, more planet-friendly footprint…
Plan for Eco-Tourism
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) defines ecotourism as:
“Environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples.”
From a traveler’s standpoint, ecotourism includes sensitivity towards, and appreciation of, local cultures and biodiversity. Such travelers practice conscientious, low-impact behavior.
Most people forego even trying to plan an eco-friendly trip, because they are under the misconception that traveling green involves sacrificing too many “regular” activities—especially those that make holidays fun.
However, there are many ecotourism companies all over the world offering fun tours and trips (sometimes to incredible places that can only be seen using low impact transport like walking, bicycle, canoe, or horseback)
Consider booking an eco-tourism trip if you want to have a fun vacation with the least impact on the surrounding environment.
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Extension School grad crunches the numbers on trees and tuition
Amanda Rich found the Harvard Extension School a perfect landing spot for her third degree.
Dilly Snap Peas
Snap and snow peas are some of the delights of spring. But they disappear fast, so preserve some of your snap pea harvest by making these pickles.
- How to Grow Snap Peas
- Lemony Snap Peas with Avocado
Dilly Snap Peas
These easy, delicious Dilly Snap Peas will preserve your snap pea harvest and delight your taste buds all summer with their bright, fresh crunch!
- 2 pounds snap peas
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (or dried chili peppers)
- 1 clove garlic (diced)
- 1 head fresh dill
- 2-1/2 cups purified water
- 2-1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- Remove strings, if necessary, and pack snap peas as tightly as you can in hot, sterilized pint-size Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headroom.
- To each jar add cayenne, garlic and dill.
- Boil water, vinegar and salt and then pour the mixture over the peas, leaving 1/4-inch headroom.
- Seal the jars and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Stinging Nettle Pesto (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)
Nettles can be used as a nutrient-dense substitute in any dish calling for spinach or kale, but here’s a great way to enjoy them on their own.
Stinging Nettle Nutrition
Stinging nettle has a flavor similar to spinach, and is rich in vitamins A, C, D, K1, and many minerals including iron, potassium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silica, iodine, silicon, sodium, and sulfur. Nettles also provide chlorophyll and tannin, and they’re a good source of B complex vitamins.
Stinging nettle has high levels of easily absorbed amino acids, and they’re ten percent protein—more than any other vegetable!
I like to pick nettles in large quantities so I can juice them, steam them, freeze them, or put them in soups and other dishes. I also dry them for tea, and tincture them in alcohol.
Handling Stinging Nettles
Always collect nettles using gloves, and wear a long-sleeved shirt. Also clean and chop nettles wearing gloves, too. Once you’ve cooked them a little (or even soaked them in hot water for a bit), the stingers are deactivated, and the plant becomes wonderfully edible.
Other Pesto Recipes You’ll Love
- Basil Walnut Pesto
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Vegan Pesto with Zucchini
- Pistachio Arugula Pesto
Stinging Nettle Pesto
This delightful, nutritious condiment makes the most out of the stingy weeds in your garden.
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