Home & How-To

Home and How-To Content

Plant Protein

Aug 12, 2016

Many vegetarians are familiar with the protein dilemma, but as grocery prices continue to rise, we carnivores are also looking for inexpensive alternatives to animal protein.  Meat, eggs, and dairy may be the most obvious sources of protein in your diet, but there are plenty of plant based protein sources to choose from!  And plant based proteins offer more fiber and less cholesterol than their animal based counterparts. 


When trying to go healthy, there’s usually a list of foods that we try to avoid like fried foods, sugars, and fats, but here are five good for you foods that have a bad reputation.  Many people opt to eat only the whites of eggs because the yolk is where the cholesterol is concentrated, but in moderation, whole eggs are nutritious and contain beneficial vitamins.  When making an omelet try using two egg whites and one whole egg.  


There’s nothing quite as satisfying as eating produce grown in your own backyard, and many food scraps that would normally go to the trash or compost pile can be re-grown into new plants if you know how.  Keep in mind that the quality of re-growth is contingent upon the “parent” plant, so try to buy local and organic produce whenever possible.  Re-growing potatoes is a good way to avoid food waste as you can use any potato that has begun to grow eyes. 


You know that good air ventilation is key to avoid mold in your home, but according to a recent email from indoor air quality consultant Bob Blanchard, the best strategy to improve air quality is to make your home as air tight as possible by caulking or using weather-stripping around doors and windows.  


I recently received an email from Bob Blanchard, who consults with home and commercial building owners to achieve and maintain healthy indoor environmental conditions.  Bob explained that in our very humid climate, keeping closet and bedroom doors closed (something many of us do thinking we’re saving energy) could actually be detrimental to indoor air quality.  


Hardwood Flooring

Aug 5, 2016

Hard wood floors can add warmth and character to any space, but a few common mistakes could be ruining your hardwoods.  For example, using the wrong vacuum attachments could be scratching your floors- opt for the hardwood attachment rather than the beater bar with rotating brushes. 


So, you’re interested in finding safer ways to clean your home.  Well, safe cleaners may be easier to find than you may think.  For example, caustic cleaners can make it difficult to breath in the enclosed space of your bathroom, but hand held steam cleaners are becoming more popular for disinfecting. 


Widespread drought has been a concern in recent years, and all that dry undergrowth creates textbook conditions for wildfire.  The US Forest Service estimates that nearly one third of American residences are potentially vulnerable to wildfires affecting adjacent woodlands and vegetation. 


  

It’s a good habit to think about ways to reuse an item before you throw it away and old sports equipment can definitely find new life in your home.  Think outside the baseball diamond and turn old wooden bats into decorative furniture. 


Have you always wanted to grown your own fruits and vegetables but don’t have the space to get started?  Consider growing produce in containers.  Pot ornamental edibles in large containers and keep them near the kitchen or on the deck. 


Jazz Up Sweet Tea

Jul 29, 2016

Sweet Tea is a staple in the south and whether you like yours as sweet as can be, or half and half, jazz up your sweet tea by brewing a simple syrup additive.  Try Raspberry vanilla sweet tea by heating one cup of sugar, half a cup of water, half a cup of smashed raspberries and one split vanilla bean until the sugar has dissolved.  


Old picture frames are easy to come by- whether you have a box of them in the basement or enjoy shopping for them at thrift stores.  But have you ever considered that those old frames could be used for projects that don’t involve pictures


Rain Barrel Tips

Jul 27, 2016

Water shortages are becoming a real problem across the country, and that’s why many people are turning to the centuries-old practice of collecting rain water as an alternative source of water. 


DIY Tricks Part 2

Jul 26, 2016

We’re always looking for a quick and easy way to save energy and money and sometimes it’s as simple as turning off the light when you leave a room.  But there are other small things you can do every day to save energy.  For instance, set your computer or laptop to go to sleep after 10 minutes of nonuse.  Purchasing big ticket items like a patio grill on the off season can save a little money, too. 


DIY Tricks Part 1

Jul 25, 2016

We’re all looking for ways to save a little money here and there, and there are some easy tricks to help lower your monthly expenditures.  For example, we all know we should change the filter monthly and adjust the thermostat while no one is home to save energy, but did you know that if you have closets along exterior walls, keeping those closet doors closed can help insulate the house and lowers the square footage your HVAC has to keep cool?  


Disposable Fashion

Jul 22, 2016

The media has been abuzz recently with the effects of disposable fashion on the industry at large and it’s not a pretty picture.  Many of the clothes we buy are made in sweat shops abroad where working conditions are unsafe and where workers aren’t making a livable wage. 


    

Our bodies absorb up to 60% of what we put on our skin, and children’s bodies absorb 40-50% more than adults.  From parabens to phthalates, sulfates and more, beauty and skin care products contain compounds that can be potentially hazardous to your health


Many of the chemicals we use to clean our homes are banned abroad and when combined with other products can be potentially hazardous to your health.  And because manufacturers don’t have to list all ingredients on their labels, you could be creating a toxic environment in your home. 


By now, media reports and scientific studies have all raised awareness about the hazards of Bisphenol A, or BPA in plastics.  BPA is a chemical which makes plastics clear and tough, but in the human body, it acts like estrogen and has been linked to certain cancers and birth defects in lab rats. 


Lawton Grimball

Being eco-friendly is not as difficult as you may think; it just takes a little effort to think outside the box.  For you that may mean choosing a recycling bin rather than a trash can, purchasing products with little or no plastic packaging, or finding new ways to use what would otherwise be trash.  I got an email suggestion recently from Lawton Grimball in Charleston who said, “I work next to an electrical business and noticed they were putting their plastic wire spools in the recycl[ing]. The spools looked like perfect little bird houses.

Solarize SC

Jul 15, 2016

Solar energy is a great eco friendly energy alternative, but for many the price point for entry into residential solar panels has just been too expensive.  With an average of 227 sunny days per year and some of the highest energy rates among southern states, South Carolina is perfectly poised for the transition to solar energy.  Now, a community driven program called Solarize South Carolina is trying to make going solar an easier proposition for many residents. 


We’re all looking for ways to get healthy, and one quick tip is to use smaller dishes.  Research suggests that the larger your plate, bowl or glass, the more likely you are to eat more.  Reducing your consumption of salt can also help you lose weight while reducing your blood pressure. 


Green Your Diet

Jul 13, 2016

We often talk about ways to go green on Earth Sense and often these tips can include turning off a light when you leave the room or reusing items to reduce landfill waste, but you can green your diet as well.  Here are five green super foods that will jumpstart your healthy eating plans. 


Safe Sunscreens

Jul 12, 2016

Perhaps you’ve gotten the memo that you should be wearing sunscreen any time you go outside to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.  But have you ever considered that the sunscreen you’re using may not be much better for your health? 


Being eco-conscious is a transition that happens one small step at a time and realizing that every small choice you make every day adds up to making a big difference.  Here are some tips for going green at the super market. 


Whether you need a little pick me up in the morning, or a nice afternoon break, this smoothie recipe, called the Jumping Monkey will really get you moving!  This recipe serves two or maybe just one really jumpy monkey.


Homemade Popsicles

Jul 7, 2016
Homemade Popsicles
iStockphoto.com

  Are you looking for fun ways to cool off and spend time with the kids on a hot summer night or even this weekend?  How about make your own popsicles?  Many stores carry Popsicle molds at reasonable prices or you can make mini popsicles in an old ice tray. 


Now that the kids are out of school, you may be wondering what you’re going to do to entertain them for the summer.  South Carolina has beautiful museums, and extensive aquarium and a celebrated zoo and of course the summer is a great time to visit the local cinemas.  But keep in mind that you can have fun at home too! 


A leafy green salad is a delicious appetizer or delicious meal on its own, but the ingredient that can make or break a great salad is the dressing!  Whether it’s Thousand Island, Ranch, or acidic vinaigrette, you can make your own salad dressing at home to save money. 


Picnic Food Safety

Jul 4, 2016

A picnic at the park or on the beach can be great fun in the warmer months, but it’s important that your food arrives safely to prevent food borne illnesses


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