Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Frugal living (117)

Save money by drying fruits and vegetables at home

Mother Earth News / Lorna Peterson / July/August 1977

Dehydration as a method of food preservation has been around a long time. Primitive man dried victuals by the heat of the sun or with the aid of fire, then ground the dehydrated stores into a long-lasting powder or ate them “as is”. Now, thousands of years later, dehydration is still one of the most widely used methods of food preservation in the world . . . for some mighty good reasons.

  1. Drying preserves the vitamin, mineral, protein, and fiber content of foods . . . more so than preservation techniques that expose the viands to great changes in temperature.
  2. Dehydrated foodstuffs are actually more flavorful — in most cases — than the original, undried food. (Frozen and canned edibles, on the other hand, are — if anything — less tasty than their fresh or dried equivalents.)
  3. It costs little or nothing to dry foods, whereas freezing and canning both require a potentially large initial investment in equipment.
  4. Dried goods can be stored in a smaller space than either frozen, canned, or fresh foods. (Twenty pounds of tomatoes, for instance, will — when canned — fill eleven one-quart jars. The same quantity of tomatoes dried weighs a little more than a pound and occupies a single No. 10 can.)
  5. Dried foods — when kept dry — remain edible virtually forever.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Homemade fertilizer from vegetable scraps

Mother Earth News / Kathleen Cabeceiras / April/May 2016

We’re big fruit and vegetable eaters, so we have lots of rinds and peelings to dispose of. Those, along with coffee grounds, tea leaves and egg shells, really add up to a lot of potential compost.

I bought an inexpensive food blender, which I keep under the kitchen sink when not in use. Every day, I grind up all the peelings, grounds and shells with some water, and then I pour the mixture around my rhododendrons, azaleas and other shrubs. If we have any banana peels, I grind those up with some water and pour the mixture around my roses. Roses seem to love bananas! These “produce smoothies” really are good fertilizer; you should see my rhododendrons in bloom!

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Every house should be designed for multigenerational living

Mother Nature Network / Lloyd Alter / 02 May 2018

In many cultures, multi-generational households are pretty standard; your parents took care of you, and now you take care of them. In China, almost every apartment sold has three bedrooms: one for the parents, one for the kid, and one for grandma.

But in the United States, Canada and many European countries, the natural progression has been to get a job or get married and move out to set up your own household. And from the end of World War II to the low point around 1980, that was pretty much what happened.

However as of late, particularly since the Great Recession, the number of multigenerational households has increased dramatically. According to Pew Research in a recently updated study, the numbers are way up — 20 percent of the population, 64 million Americans.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Eating out increases levels of phthalates in the body, study finds

The Guardian / Patrick Greenfield / 29 March 2018

Eating at restaurants and fast food chains may increase exposure to potentially harmful hormone-disrupting chemicals used to increase the flexibility and durability of plastic, a study has found.

Researchers investigating levels of phthalates in the human body, which have been linked to asthma, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and fertility issues in the past few years, were found to be nearly 35% higher in participants who had eaten out the previous day compared with those who stayed at home.

Phthalates are binding agents frequently used in food packaging as well as a number of other products including flooring, adhesives soaps and shampoos, and some forms of the chemical have been banned from children’s products in the US.
Phthalates are everywhere, and the health risks are worrying. How bad are they really?

Certain foods, including burgers and sandwiches, were linked to higher phthalate levels in the study, but only if purchased at a fast-food outlet, restaurant or cafe.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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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.
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