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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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Looking indoors to health

Harvard’s University Construction Management Council is celebrating its 10th year and forging ahead on projects such as acting to remove flame retardants and other toxic chemicals from building interiors.

Vegan Pesto with Zucchini

Vegan Pesto with Zucchini

Every year that I have had a garden, I have grown basil.

Planted in February, my pretty, little basil babies become these 4-foot tall, woody trees that have to be taken down with a saw by July. (If you’re in a more temperate growing zone, that’s April to September!)

To celebrate the harvest, I usually have a “Pesto Party,” and invite friends over to share in the bounty and make enough pesto for their families to last through the winter.

It’s a B.Y.O.F.P. (Bring Your Own Food Processor) event, of course. And after we’ve processed all the basil and zucchini in the garden, we have a pesto feast with lots of free-flowing red wine, gluten free noodles and “zoodles,” and plenty of laughter.

Italian pesto is traditionally made with lots of parmesan cheese, so if you are allergic to or avoiding dairy products, you’ll need a different recipe.

After a bit of experimenting, this is my new, non-dairy pesto version. It tastes like the Italian pesto I know and love, and it happens to be vegan and Paleo, too!

Other Pesto Recipes You’ll Love

  • Basil Walnut Pesto (Vegan, Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)
  • Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  • Pistachio Arugula Pesto
  • How to Use Stinging Nettles (With Nettle Pesto Recipe)

Vegan Pesto with Zucchini

Italian pesto is traditionally made with lots of parmesan cheese.

Continue reading Vegan Pesto with Zucchini at Small Footprint Family.

10 Non-Toxic Ways to Control Weeds

10 Non-Toxic Ways to Control Weeds

Weeds are the bane of every gardener, especially as the days heat up and vacation season starts. But short of hand-digging them every day, it can be a real challenge to stay on top of your weeds before they strangle out your veggies and flowers.

Here are 10 non-toxic ways to handle weeds in your garden…

Skip the Toxic Herbicides

Although hand-digging and hoeing are the most effective methods for removing weeds, it can be tempting to use a little Round-Up or other store-bought herbicide to make quick work of your weeds—especially if they’ve gotten a little out of hand. But there are some very important health and environmental reasons to avoid them.

A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that glyphosate (Round-Up) residue in food may act synergistically with other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins to disrupt normal body functions and lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease, infertility or cancer.

Indeed both the state of California and the World Health Organization have deemed glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen.

In 2009, a French study found that a filler ingredient used in Roundup called polyethoxylated tallowamine was more deadly to human cells than the main ingredient, glyphosate.

Continue reading 10 Non-Toxic Ways to Control Weeds at Small Footprint Family.

Biodiesel one slick solution, but more to come

By turning waste fryer oil into biodiesel, Harvard undergraduates turned a chemistry class into a living lab for understanding the multifaceted problems posed by global climate change and sustainable development.

Why You Should Switch to LED Light Bulbs

Why You Should Switch to LED Light Bulbs

Several years ago, when compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs came onto the market, I was really happy. I was even happier when their prices came down and their warmth and quality improved greatly, because they really do save a lot of money, energy and natural resources.

But then I became a mom.

Fluorescent light bulbs break sometimes, and when they do, they release mercury vapor into the air, and must be carefully removed and disposed of like toxic waste. You just can’t put CFLs or other fluorescent bulbs in the trash—ever. Yikes!

It only took breaking one of them—and having to rush my child out of a room till it could be ventilated of one of the most toxic poisons known to humanity—to ban CFLs from all but the most remote areas of my house.

But even more important than the tiny amount of mercury released by one broken bulb is the huge amount of mercury used in the manufacture of all CFLs. This has far greater impact on the health of everyone, especially those who manufacture these bulbs.

Continue reading Why You Should Switch to LED Light Bulbs at Small Footprint Family.

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