August 2013 - Our Daily Green

Friday, August 30, 2013

What to know about the ground before you start a building project

Advanced Geosciences resistivity survey
image courtesy of wikimedia commons
Are you in the beginning stages of a new building project? Perhaps you are planning out a new house or a new office building, and you are also busy acquiring the land on which it will be constructed. There are many steps to this process, but one of the things that you should not forget to do is to look at an Advanced Geosciences resistivity survey. This can give you valuable information about the land on which you are going to build so that you know that it is right for your project.

For example, the survey can tell you what types of
soils are located beneath the place where you plan to build. Is there a thin layer of dirt and then a sheet of solid rock that is going to make it hard for you to dig out the basement and the foundation? Is there just a lot of sand, which will be easy to dig through but which could actually cause your building to settle too much in the years to come? Are there any contaminants in the soil that you should be wary of, that could be left over from whoever owned the property before you?

The answers to these questions are very important if you are going to construct your building in a safe and practical manner. You do not want to find out about problems as you go, which can really slow down your progress or even make it impossible for you to build.

Today's post has been brought to you by a sponsor. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reuse, reuse and reuse: DIY Firestarters

One of Our Daily Green's least favorite things is waste. We are adamant that nothing be wasted, be it food or products. We embrace thrift shopping as well as re-purposing items. We took that to the extreme over the weekend.

We save paper egg cartons for several purposes. Craft projects, seed starting, and one of our favorites, fire-starters. We turned an shrunken and felted wool sweaters into dryer balls. We've remelted broken crayons in muffin tins for years now. Over the weekend, we combined the three and threw in some lint and old candle stubs for good measure.

With our oldest off to college, we realized we no longer needed the box of crayons pictured. In fact we probably never did. We recently read about a company that recycles crayons, but as an individual, not associated with any group, we didn't have nearly enough crayons to send into the company. We also had one of our wool dryer balls come unraveled and several egg cartons. With a bonfire planned for later this week, I decided to make some firestarters.

Step 1: Gather old crayons and candle stubs. You can leave the wrappers on the crayons, but next time I will break the crayons into 1 inch pieces so they fit in the egg carton better.

Step 2: I use an old coffee can that I've bent as you can see in the photo for ease of pouring the melted wax. I set the filled coffee can in the oven on 275 degrees. Don't go hotter than that, so the wax melts without catching on fire.

Step 3: While the wax is melting, stuff the egg carton with lint, the cut up sweater, if you have sawdust that works also.

Step 4: Pour melted wax into egg carton. Let cool

Step 5: Tear each section of the egg carton apart, leaving the paper exposed to use as a sort of wick.

The wax, link, and fabric will keep the fire going long enough to ignite the twigs and kindling. Before long,you'll have a roaring fire without going through 100 matches. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Indoor plant care

gaddys plant hire
photo courtesy of wikimedia commons
When considering gaddys plant hire services, one thing to think about is how to take care of those plants once you have them. Now, depending on how long you need them, different things may be required. For example, perhaps you are just getting the plants for a night, using them as decorations at your wedding reception. If so, you really do not need to do much more than water them, which helps them stay strong and vibrant throughout the night. As long as they are given water at the beginning, they should be fine until the next day.

If you are going to have the plants for a few weeks, you need to put them near the sun or set up sun lamps that will give them artificial sunlight. You also need to set up a watering schedule so that they get water as often as they need it. Keep in mind that all plants and flowers are different. Some might need to be watered every other day, while others would be flooded out by that much water and really just need it once a week. If you get multiple type of plants, make sure that your watering schedule takes into account their specific needs.

For long-term plant arrangements, you may also have to consider trimming and pruning the plants. This can be used in two different ways. First of all, you have to cut away the dead buds, stalks and flowers. Not only does this make the plant look much better, which is important when it is being used as decoration, but it also allows it to grow in a healthy fashion. You can trim back the plants if they get too large. You do not want them to begin dominating the room. Trimming can help them grow in a specific direction or it can just be used to maintain their size.

As you can see, there are a few different steps to this process, and it all hinges on the duration that you hired the plants for initially. Plants do not take as much care as pets, but you do need to put in some effort to keep them looking terrific. If you neglect them and ignore them, it is going to show. The main reason why plants die is because the people who own them do not take the time to do all of the little things.

this post has been brought to you by a sponsor

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Fake Thing (reprinted from

New rule (as Bill Maher would say): If you make billions of dollars a year selling unhealthy food, you don’t get to tell us to work out.
It was one thing when Cookie Monster began telling kids to eat vegetables. Cookie Monster doesn’t earn a living by selling cookies, and vegetables are a fantastic alternative to cookies.
But it was a totally different story when Ronald McDonald went all Richard Simmons on us, visiting schools to tell kids to work out.
Richardson-Coke-Dave Makes
Dave Makes/Flickr
Exercise is a great idea, but it’s not diet advice. Yet this is a frequent tactic of many of the corporations that rake in profits by selling us junk.
Take Coca-Cola’s shameless new fitness campaign. “Are you sitting on a solution?” asks a photo on the company’s website, depicting two people cuddled up, sitting on a beach. The thing is, they’re drinking the problem: Coca-Cola.
Let me translate Coke’s new campaign into plain English: “Don’t blame us for America’s public health crisis.” The company is also asking you to not notice that while theAmerican Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day for women (nine for men), a single can of Coca-Cola has nearly 10 teaspoons of the sweet stuff.
Or maybe this is what the ad campaign is really saying: “Please ignore the fact that, over the years, we’ve sold our flagship product in larger and larger containers. Just exercise a bit more — here, we’ll even help with some tips — and then you won’t notice that our product is terrible for you. Keep drinking Coke, and don’t regulate us.”
That’s the message, anyway. And what’s more pathetic is that some folks are falling for it.
The BlogHer conference enthusiastically announced that its sponsor, Coca-Cola, will help attendees stay fit by giving out free pedometers as well as other prizes like yoga mats and jump ropes. (Yeah, and I bet Coke will help attendees get Type II diabetes by serving them Coca-Cola.)
As far as our bodies are concerned, eating well and exercising are not an either/or thing. Nor is avoiding smoking, managing stress, getting enough sleep, or brushing your teeth. A healthy body requires all of the above.
So let’s leave exercise out of it and talk about diet. The average American drank 401 servings of Coke products in 2012. Sure, that includes juices, sports drinks, and water, but Coca Cola’s top four brands — each bringing in more than $10 billion in sales per year — are all soft drinks.
McDonalds’ top sellers worldwide are french fries and Big Macs, but even the fast food giant’s “healthy” offerings tend to be terrible for you.
Many Americans enjoy these unhealthy foods and beverages. And yes, drinking a soda or eating some nachos once in a while won’t kill you.
But these days, eating anything but junk can feel like an uphill battle. Healthy food is often more expensive, more perishable, and, well, less addictive. Not to mention less available 24/7 through a drive-thru.
Unhealthy diets have reached the point of a public health crisis. And while there can be debate over the role food companies have played in causing the crisis, it’s clearer than Sprite that they’ve profited from it.
The purveyors of junk food and fast food know they have some responsibility too. That’s why they are so worried.
These companies are trying to shift the blame. They want you to believe that it’s your fault that you didn’t run a marathon to burn off the calories from your meal at Taco Bell.
OtherWords columnist Jill Richardson is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The solar timeline (infographic)

The Solar Energy Timeline
by JessicaDraws.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kashi pledge to eat healthy

Kids in the Kitchen
Kashi foods has agreed to donate $2.00 for every pledge received to the Association of Junior League's International hallmark project, Kids in the Kitchen. The initiative began in 2006 with the goal of engaging kids in the preparation of healthy meals as a means to educate them and their parents regarding nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. Junior Leagues in more than 200 locations provide lessons and demonstrations related to preparation of healthy meals and snacks in partnership with local community organizations, chefs and nutritionists.

Here are their suggestions:

Adding an extra fruit, veggie, or whole grain to at least one meal per day
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the foundations of a healthy diet, adding more to your diet is a great first step to healthier living!
Choosing to make a homemade meal once a week
Making meals from scratch using fresh ingredients is a great first step towards a healthier diet. You may not have time to cook every night, but once a week is a great start!
Shopping at a local farmer’s market once a week
The produce sold at farmer’s markets is nutritious and usually grown locally. These markets are also a great way to build community with your neighbors and discover new healthy foods!
If you'd like to help fund this initiative, simply CLICK HERE to take the pledge.

15 best benefits of pumpkin juice for skin, hair and health

With moderate temperatures and cooler evenings, folks are starting to think fall. Keep in mind that pumpkins aren't just for decorating or pie. 

15 Best Benefits Of Pumpkin Juice For Skin, Hair And Health (via
As the name suggests, pumpkin juice is a juice extracted from raw pumpkins. This juice gained immense popularity among the children when it was shown as part of the wizard world in the Harry Potter series. Pumpkin juice has several health benefits due…

Friday, August 9, 2013

Woolzies dryer ball review

Our Daily Green has spent most of our summer getting our oldest green member of the family ready for college. Eighteen years of living in the Daily Green household has impacted her and she wants to carry on the green and environmentally friendly values that we have instilled, including how we do laundry.

Chemical free
Woolzies, Wool Dryer Ball, set of 6 ,Natural Fabric Softener
After learning how many laundry products contain synthetic fragrances and petroleum by-products, laundry is done a little differently in Our Daily Green's house. Several years ago, we learned about wool dryer balls and made several batches of them to use and give as gifts. We knew we wanted to send dryer balls along with our college prep package but lacked the time and inclination to make them this summer. Then like a fairy godmother, we were offered the chance to review Woolzies.

I have to admit, these are much better made than my handmade dryer balls, they do not unravel as mine are apt to do and they are uniform in size. They work beautifully and keep clothing static-free and unscented. Something many consumers do not realize is that dryer sheets and fabric softeners contain petroleum and actually coat the fabric with chemicals as it works. With dryer balls, the clothing has no scent other than clean and is static-free naturally, as the balls keep the clothing from rubbing together and creating static as it dries.

If you're interested in saving energy by having quicker drying times (the balls wick the moisture away from the clothing helping it dry faster), and drying your clothing without chemicals, we highly recommend Woolzies dryer balls. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for promotional giveaways and discounts.

Woolzies are 100% pure New Zealand wool dryer balls reduce drying time by 25%. Woolzies have no chemicals at all and are also hypoallergenic so are safe even for people with wool sensitivities.

Our Daily Green received Woolzies for free using Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers.

Friday, August 2, 2013

NYC "Recycle Everything" ad campaign launches

Mayor Bloomberg Launches "Recycle Everything" Ad Campaign (via PR Newswire)
Grey New York Creates Comprehensive Multi-Channel Public Education Effort Supporting Largest Recycling Expansion in 25 Years Download image Download image Download image Download image Download image 'Recycle Everything' ad campaign. (PRNewsFoto/Grey…