Healthy Home Quick Tip: Even Worn out Clothing has a Second Life

Sure, you donate your gently worn clothing for resale….but did you know that stained clothes, worn-out shoes, and frayed linens can be donated too?

Gently used clothing can go to sites such as the Goodwill, who will use their stores as fundraisers and training grounds for their employment education programs.

Clean, worn out linens can be donated to organizations such as the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center or the Seattle Feline Rescue Center.

Don’t feel badly about donating clothing that is too worn out to use. Nearly every large collector of used clothing now sorts into several categories – some for resale and some for recycling into new product, such as industrial wiping cloths, carpet padding and insulation.

Food that is Too Good to Waste

Whether it is because we went grocery shopping hungry, had more evening events than anticipated, or simply ordered a pizza instead of cooking the food in the fridge, it is likely that we’ve wasted at least some food already this week.

In fact, Americans throw away about 25% of the food they buy and uneaten food counts for about 23% of all methane emissions in the United States, a contributor to climate change.

The King County Food: Too Good to Waste Program is showing us how much food is actually wasted in our county and how we can do better. In a series of web pages and videos, they outline how to shop smart, store food correctly, and in our favorite video, how to love your leftovers.

Although meal planning, shopping lists and proper storage are key tips to keeping uneaten food under control, there are always a few odds and ends at the end of the week that need to be used. Some top tips for using leftovers include:

  • Create an “Eat Now” box for foods that will spoil soon. This will prioritize your use of leftovers.
  • Plan meals around what you need to use, and utilize recipe websites to find ways to use them. allrecipes.com is a Seattle-based site with a great ingredient search tool and filters for specific meals and types of dish (main course, side, etc.) PCCmarkets also has a great website of recipes that can be sorted by dietary restrictions, ingredients and regional fare.
  • Use up odds and ends in casseroles, frittatas, soups, and smoothies.
  • Plan a “Eat Leftovers” night each week and make it a fun family challenge. Consider putting different family members in charge of different ingredients and see what everyone comes up with.

 

Shorter Days, Colder Nights

Shorter Days, Colder Nights

Although it is still fairly mild outside, the heat will need to be turned back on soon.

Early Fall is a great time to consider your heating systems for the years to come. Rebates on efficient heating systems are still available throughthe City of Seattle as well as incentives through the Community Power Works program, to switch from oil to electric heating. We are an approved contractor in both instances and can answer your questions. However, funds are limited and when they are gone, they’re gone.

Also, join us for our open house on November 5 to see infrared radiant ceiling heat in action. A low-cost, high efficiency option for reaching those hard-to-heat areas or a whole house solution.

 

Greening Halloween

Greening Halloween

halloweenaltHalloween is coming and that means lots of opportunity for tricks, treats, and costumes. However, it is also a time when too many people spend their hard-earned money on junk food and disposable plastic costumes, contributing to unhealthy lifestyles and waste pollution. We have some easy suggestions for making your holiday fun and healthy for your family and the earth:

  1. waldoReplace Candy. Let trick or treaters choose from a basket of pencils, stickers, festive band-aids or other non-candy treats such as shells, pretty rocks, art supplies, and game cards. You can also opt for edible treats such as fruit leather, snack bags of popcorn or veggie chips.
  2. Make or Rent your Costume. Most of the costumes available at the big box stores are cheaply made from poor quality materials and don’t hold up to multi-year use. Pull from your closet. Only buy clothes that you will be able to reuse and invest in quality accessories that can be reused year after year. Click here for more suggestions. If you don’t want to go all out with your making, consider renting a costume rather than buying.
  3. Attend a Community Halloween Event instead of going door to door. Safety and fun are the standbys of these events, and it is so much fun to see all the kids (and sometimes parents) in costume. Check out this list of Seattle-area events or join us at the ever-fabulous West Seattle Harvest Fest.

 

Innovative Heating Solutions Open House!

Innovative Heating Solutions Open House!

tropicalYou want the feeling of yummy, tropical heat in your NW home – and we have the solution! Infrared Radiant Ceiling Panels are a streamline, efficient heating option for the whole house or as supplemental heat for an addition or cold spot.
Come to our two-part open house on Wed, Nov. 5 to see this innovative solution in action and learn more about why this technology rocks. RVSP for the morning session (7:30-10:30am) here or afternoon session (3:00-6:00pm) here.

Patrick Beebee, founder of Ducoterra – the premiere line of infrared radiant ceiling panels, will be present as well to answer your manufacturing and super technical questions.

A donation will be made to the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild for each attendee. Refreshments will be served.