Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Frugal living (107)

The spread of repair cafés

Transition US / Steve McAllister

In the midst of America’s Great Depression, merchants and manufacturers were looking for ways to quickly reboot the national economy. To get more people working and factories operating again, so the story goes, two main things needed to happen:

First, people had to replace what that they already owned. Through a process that real estate broker Bernard London called “planned obsolescence,” products began to be designed so they would soon fail. Second, the American people, and eventually the rest of the world, would need to shift from being the thrifty citizens that were so celebrated towards the end of World War I to the voracious consumers we are today.

While this extreme wastefulness was once seen as our civic duty, there is now a growing movement of people throughout the United States and all over the world who are finding better ways to strengthen their local economies while helping to heal the planet. One of the most exciting new strategies for doing this is a repair cafe.


Low-impact options for a more sustainable wedding

Mother Earth News / Marissa Hermanson / 02 February 2018

If you’ve made a vow to reduce your carbon footprint, you and your sweetheart can embrace sustainability on your big day, too. From saying “no” to shipping to cutting back on travel, you easily can throw a low-impact wedding celebration with environmental and social responsibility considered. Here are a few points of entry.


Rethinking refrigeration: The benefits of a smaller fridge

Mother Earth News / Jennifer Tuohy / 28 November 2017

If you’re a family of four or more — or you have teenagers in the house — a big French door refrigerator can be a lifesaver. But there’s room to simplify in even the most bustling households. And for smaller families, empty nesters, singletons, and retirees, opting for a smaller fridge can almost go unnoticed. These “alternative” fridges use less energy, take up less space, and encourage you to waste less food. They’re also a much better fit for small kitchens and can help you add counter space.

Here are the reasons to consider an alternative to a big refrigerator.


Home Food Preservation Headquarters

Mother Earth News

Stretching the shelf life of food can be as low-tech and hands-off (set trays in the sun to dry) or as elaborate and large-scale (a day devoted to pressure-canning summer’s bounty) as you’d like. No matter where you fall on that spectrum or whether you have surplus fruit from an ample orchard or a profusion of basil from a petite, potted herb garden, the information you need to safely and deliciously put by fresh food awaits here in our online Home Food Preservation Headquarters.


Cast iron cooking workshop

Brockville Museum / 31 August 2017

Join us for our first hands-on workshop as we discover the history and utility of cast iron pans.

  • Learn how to clean and season cast iron pans
  • Bake (and eat) some delicious food prepared in cast iron pans
  • Find out Brockville’s link to cast iron through items in our collection

This is the first in our Heritage Skills Workshop Series. Cost includes all supplies. $15 per session or $36 for the series of 3. Advance registration is required so we can gather supplies. Sign up at the museum in person (Monday-Friday, 10:00 – 5:00) or by phone (613-342-4397)

For more information email us at

Freezing vegetables: 2 great methods

Mother Earth News / Janet Chadwick
/ 20 September 2013

Freezing maintains the natural color, fresh flavor, and high nutritive value of fresh foods. The objective is to bring foods to the frozen state quickly. When properly done, fruits and vegetables are more like fresh than when preserved by any other method. Best of all, freezing vegetables and fruit is fast and easy.

I had been freezing garden vegetables for years when I began experimenting with the process. I discovered that the old standard method of washing and preparing the vegetables, then blanching, cooling, drying, packing, and freezing them was not always the fastest, easiest way to produce the best finished product. Many vegetables can be frozen without blanching (although their shelf lives in the freezer will be shorter), and greens can be stir-fried instead of blanched for a better product.


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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
TB Projects

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