Inspiring DIY projects, beauty recipes and advice to green your daily routine.

For Your Kitchen

How to Regrow Green Onions from Scraps

Posted by on Nov 2, 2013 in Food & Recipes, Lifestyle | 3 comments

How to Regrow Green Onions from Scraps

If you have a jar, water and a window sill, you can easily regrow green onions (a.k.a. scallions) to save money and energy. Since regrowing food from scraps is like buying one and getting one free, it’s a money-saver or a reason to buy organic, which at my grocery store costs about twice as much as the conventionally grown product. It’s also an effortless way to give a second life to a product that initially took a lot of energy to grow, harvest and ship. That is particularly appealing to me because I’ve never seen locally grown green onions at a farmer’s market or gotten them in my CSA. Regrowing my green onions gives me a chance to make a local product from the leftovers that would normally end up in the trash or compost. To regrow green onions: Chop the green parts like you normally would, leaving the white part at the bottom. Put the white ends in a jar and cover the roots with water. Place the jar on a window sill and be sure to keep the plants watered. Also remember to change the water a few times a week to keep it fresh. It took about 10 days for my green onions to regrow. I have also regrown the plants a second time but the roots got quite long and unwieldy. At that point, it may have been better to put them in dirt. Nicole’s 2¢ Sticking wilted green onions in a jar of water s also a great way to revive them when they are a little past their prime. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Buy This Not That: Vegetable Base vs Chicken Stock

Posted by on Aug 3, 2013 in Food & Recipes | 0 comments

Buy This Not That: Vegetable Base vs Chicken Stock

Soon after I started buying better quality meat, I realized I needed to change my diet even more. My preference is to buy meat from livestock that, at minimum, was raised without antibiotics or hormones. I occasionally spring for organic. I haven’t started buying local meat yet, but at some point that will likely enter into the mix as well. Regardless of the type of meat I was choosing to buy, by “upgrading” my eating habits, my grocery bills were growing. So I started filling my plate with more vegetables and smaller portions of meat. In addition to keeping my grocery bills in check, the upside to this revised approach to eating is that I am lightening my environmental footprint since growing vegetables requires less energy and resources than raising livestock. Once I came to that realization, I looked for other ways to substitute vegetables for meat in my cooking. One easy way to make meals a little heavier on plants and lighter on livestock is to substitute chicken stock with vegetable base. Using vegetable stock hasn’t significantly changed the taste of any of the dishes I make, but it does seem to enhance the flavor of dishes that are more vegetable or grain heavy, like risotto. The change has reduced my grocery bills too. When I was using chicken broth, I would buy a 32 ounce container of organic, free range chicken broth from Trader Joe’s for $1.99. Instead, I now buy Better Than Bullion’s organic vegetable base at my grocery store and the $5.95 jar makes 300 ounces of stock. (If you’re counting, that’s about a $13 savings.) Plus, because I’m buying base instead of broth, there’s less packaging which is good for the environment and saving space in my small kitchen. I haven’t tried this myself yet, but another option is to make your own vegetable broth using vegetable scraps or vegetables that are slightly past their prime. Freeze those vegetables until you have enough to make a stock and then boil the scraps in water with some seasoning. If you’re interested in trying it, this blog has clear directions on how to make vegetable stock and some ideas on which vegetables will work well and which won’t. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Natural Stainless Steel Cleaner

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Green Clean | 0 comments

Natural Stainless Steel Cleaner

The stainless steel trash can in my kitchen was smelling pretty ripe this weekend, even after I took the garbage out. Unsure of the best way to clean stainless steel, I referred to the book, The Naturally Clean Home. The basic sink cleanser recipe for stainless steel and porcelain looked promising and, as a bonus, I was able to make it right away. The recipe called for just three ingredients: baking soda, vinegar and essential oil. I made the solution in a small mixing bowl so I could dip my cleaning cloth in it and filled a large mixing bowl with hot water for the rinsing cloth, otherwise the sink would have been continually running. A third cleaning cloth was used to dry the trash can. The kitchen trash can cleaned up nicely, so I used the leftover solution to clean the bathroom trash can too. If you have left over solution, and only one trash can to clean, consider using it to shine your stainless steel sink or faucets. And for extra credit, make yourself chemical-free trash discs to help keep the offending smells away. Stainless Steel Cleaner 2015-01-19 19:40:49 A natural stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel sinks, trash cans and faucets, and porcelain sinks. Use common kitchen items to make this biodegradable cleaner. Write a review Save Recipe Print Total Time 2 min Total Time 2 min Ingredients 1/4 cup baking soda 1.25 cups white vinegar 3 drops essential oils Instructions Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Dip a cleaning cloth into the solution and wipe onto the surface you would like to clean. Using hot water rinse or wipe away the solution. If the surface is not rinsed well a filmy haze will be left behind. You may dry the surface or let it air dry. A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Exotic Citrus Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in For Your Home, Green Clean | 1 comment

Exotic Citrus Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

Last weekend, I ran out of foaming hand soap for the kitchen and invented a new recipe worth sharing. My previous kitchen foaming hand soap recipe used lavender essential oil so it had a strong floral scent. This time I went a little lighter and brighter in anticipation of summer with an exotic, citrus scent. When I make foaming hand for the kitchen I always include a bactericide to kill any bad bacteria, like salmonella  that may be left on my hands if I’m unlucky enough to handle contaminated food. Bactericidal essential oils also act as antiseptics, cleaning and prohibiting bacteria growth in cuts. In kitchen soaps you may also want to include an antibacterial agent, a grease cutter, and, if you work with other foods that tend to leave your hands with a fragrance, a deodorant. For this recipe lemon essential oil is the bactericide, antibacterial agent and grease cutter. Sweet orange is added for it’s fragrance though it’s also  a grease cutter, like most citrus essential oils. Lastly, since I chop lots of garlic, eucalyptus essential oil is included as the deodorant. I love making my own foaming hand soaps because it’s an inexpensive way to get chemical free soap and it reduces my consumption of single use containers and the pumps which are not recyclable in my area. If you have a foaming hand soap bottle that’s empty, you can reuse it to make your soap. If not, the Cuisipro 13.2-Ounce Foam Pump is the pump featured in the picture. Both Kim and I have one, and we think they are fantastic. If you have any recipes you love for foaming hand soap, please share it with us in the comments below. I’m always looking to try something new. Exotic Citrus Foaming Hand Soap 2015-03-06 18:19:46 The scent is light and bright, but this is a serious kitchen soap with a bactericide and antibacterial agent to keep you safe. Write a review Save Recipe Print Ingredients 13 ounces distilled water 2.5 ounces liquid castile soap 20 drops lemon essential oil 20 drops sweet orange essential oil 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil Instructions Put all ingredients in your foaming soap dispenser and stir. A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Mom’s Drain Unclogging Tip

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Green Clean | 2 comments

Mom’s Drain Unclogging Tip

Mother’s Day is just around the corner so in honor of my Mom I’m going to share a tip she gave me for unclogging drains. Short hair is nice because it washes down the drain without any trouble. Since I’ve been growing my hair out to donate it, however, my hair is now long enough to start clogging the drains in my bathroom. Previously I shared information about using baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice to unclog your drains, but when the issue is just hair it’s less expensive and just as effective to turn plastic strapping into a drain unclogging tool. Simply take a piece of plastic strapping and cut angled slits into each side of the strapping to create Vs. The slits should be small. If the slits are too deep the strap will be weak and break in the drain as it gets tangled in the hair. Put the strapping in the drain with the Vs pointing down, so the strapping grabs the hair as you pull it out of the drain. Do this and you will have a clear drain in no time, without any harsh chemical cleaners. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Product of the Month: Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in For Your Home, Green Clean | 0 comments

Product of the Month: Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser

The most common questions we get relate to where we shop and what we buy. So when Kim and I put some extra time into updating our site we paid special attention to updating A Green Routine’s Amazon Store and we added a “Product of the Month” feature, which you can find in the sidebar. The items we feature monthly are products we own ourselves and truly enjoy; we’re not paid to endorse these products. Most of the items in our store are also products we own ourselves, though we do add similar products for variety. For example, I’ve added a few Honeywell thermostats to the shop because they have different features, but I only own one of them. Our first product of the month is the Cuisipro 13.2-Ounce Foam Pump. We were thrilled to find this a few months ago because reusable foaming hand soap dispensers have been slow to hit the market. In August when I wrote an article about making your own foaming hand soap I couldn’t find a single dispenser I liked enough to recommend, so the only solution I offered was to reuse a dispenser from a commercial foaming hand soap. We like the Cuisipro Foam Pump because: it comes in six fun colors. it has fill lines for your soap and water, so you don’t have to pre-measure. it has a suction cup on the bottom to help keep it from slipping around. it’s appropriately sized for your kitchen or bathroom (many others I find are much too large.) it’s dishwasher safe, so you will have an easy time cleaning out the dispenser when change the scent of your soap. The Cuisipro Foam Pump helps you go green by cutting down on the packaging waste caused by purchasing products in single use containers and you’ll be using less product because foaming hand soap is 4 parts water to 1 part soap. As an added bonus, you’ll save money by mixing your own hand soap. Get your creative juices flowing, you’re now free to invent a scent for you hand soap to delight your family and house guests. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Talking Trash: DIY Deodorizing Disks For Trash Cans

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in For Your Home, Green Clean | 12 comments

Talking Trash: DIY Deodorizing Disks For Trash Cans

A simple mix of baking soda, water and essential oils makes effective deodorizing disks for neutralizing the odors emanating from your trash can or diaper pail. This isn’t a new idea, but unlike most articles this one includes exact measurements and an idea for affixing the disk to the trash can.

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Eco-Friendly Cookware

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Food & Recipes, For Your Home | 0 comments

Eco-Friendly Cookware

When I mentioned to Nicole that I needed some new cookware, my only concern was getting the right size pans and making sure the non-stick surface wasn’t adding undesirable chemicals to my food or environment. I hadn’t shopped for cookware in years and wasn’t aware that there are eco-friendly options available. Luckily, Nicole was looking out for me! In mid-December, some Cuisinart GreenGourmet pans showed up at my door … an early Christmas present. What makes Cuisinart’s cookware “green”? Let’s start with the nonstick surface. Cuisinart says that the cooking surface is ceramic-based instead of petroleum-based, which helps conserve existing oil supplies. The company also says the coating is applied at a temperature one half that of conventional nonsticks, which presumably conserves resources again. Of course, the nonstick coating is also free of PTFE and PFOA. The exterior of the pan provides high heat conductivity, so it requires less energy to heat. The handle is made from 70% recycled stainless steel and, as an added bonus, it stays cool while you cook. The packaging is made from 100% recycled materials and printed with soy ink. So far, I’ve had a great experience with the pans. I’ve been using them for about a month and found that they heat evenly and, with the non-stick surface, cleanup is a breeze. Plus, the stainless steel and black look great. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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