Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Kidney Health

Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)!

Wondering how to live greener? You've come to the right place. Each week we challenge ourselves to try a new task ... or "amp up" something we're already doing. We raise our awareness, learn from each other and develop Eco-friendly skills which will improve our lives and protect our planet. Doing so together gives us power ... the power to Change The World!

If this is your first visit, please click HERE for information and a complete list of all the challenges we've taken on so far.

This post contains great information and I encourage you to read through it at your leisure ... however, if you are short on time, you might find the following quick links helpful:


Last week we tackled air pollution. I organized my errands such that I could get everything done in one day. For the rest of the time, the car remained parked. There are no commercial air fresheners in my living space, I don't use power tools, and I don't smoke. We have indoor plants and use only natural cleaning supplies (vinegar and baking soda). So my home is good to go! Once we leave our house, though, things go down hill fast. Our community is kept pristine by a landscape company. They use many gas powered tools. I walked into a store and immediately got a headache from (I'm guessing) the toxic cleaning solutions used the night before. Traffic, on the roads around our apartment, is heavy and it always seems to me that people are in a hurry and driving erratically. Not far from here, two smoke stacks pump pollutants into the air, 24/7. This challenge opened my eyes and showed me that we have a ways to go to clean up the air quality in our world.

The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments.

Lady JC stopped by and left this comment regarding our "Protect The Ocean" challenge: "This is such a great list. I'll be coming back to check it very often. At our house we've been systematically trying to lower or eliminate our plastic usage for years now, both for environmental and heath reasons. It's a challenge, especially when it comes to packaged goods, but we're getting there. Every once in a while we do bring in a few plastic bags home. We recycle any and all plastic that comes in. Drinking water and food is only kept in glass containers. As for substances that go down the drain, using personal care products and cleaners that are completely biodegradable is a process that took a while and lots of research but now my main cleaners are baking soda, citrus peels, white vinegar and lemon juice. I'll be sure to check out any new recipes anyone has to share! :) "

Ann also left a comment on the ocean challenge: "My favourite topic teaching my kids is Rubbish. Simply adore it getting the kids to think outside the box."

In Change the World Wednesday, It Smells Cleaner, Lois offers some great recipes for air freshener. She also talks about the best way to "dispose" of old paint ... her solution might surprise you!

Did you know that Argentum Vulgaris is an artist? Or that he grows hairy potatoes? How do those things tie into our challenge? Find out in Change the World Wednesday – 9th Apr. That post also includes a picture of the newest member of his family.

This edition of the Shopping Charity includes some of your CTWW articles. Hop over to find out if yours was one of them!

Alicia shares her "ah ha" moment with us: "When we lived in California I had a rude awaking about air pollution! I made a comment one day about how pretty the sky looked that it was an unusual color of orange and pink. My husband and son both said at the same time that is was air pollution that made it that color!! It bothered me so much to think that we were having to breathe that awful pollution! I remember thinking at the time that there was nothing really that could be done about it. That was such wrong thinking. It would be amazing the difference that could be made by doing this very challenge. Look how much less pollution there would be if everyone would just not drive st least one day out of the week. Unless we are delivering to our dealers we don't have to drive a whole lot of miles. We ship our products out all over the U.S. so we do drive into the post office at least three to four times a week. I make sure that I do my shopping during those trips. We are changing over to a new system where we can have our postal carrier pick up our packages. So that is going to help eliminate a lot of our in town trips which is not only helping the environment but going to save a lot of money since we live out in the country and it is several miles into town. We always try to buy local whenever we can. I know that it is so important to have your food source come from no more than a 100 mile or so radius.This is a good challenge to make us more aware of the awful pollutants that are in the air that we breathe."

In addition to turning off the heat for a week, Cody planted a tree and prepared her garden beds for planting veggies. All in support of clean air. But that's not all ... her husband participated, as well, by working from home for a day. How great is that!! Cody offers a bunch of tips for keeping our air clean in Change the World Wednesday - Clean Air for All!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @GiveTreeGifts
- Four places to cut your carbon | Reduce your carbon footprint | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation ow.ly/vBlYf #CTWW
- Ways to Reduce Air Pollution | Plain English Guide to The Clean Air Act | US EPA ow.ly/vBmfv #CTWW
- 5 Easy Steps to Reduce Air Pollution ow.ly/vBmr1 #CTWW
- Top 10 ways to reduce air pollution ow.ly/vBmvr #CTWW
- 4 Ways to Take Action to Reduce Air Pollution ow.ly/vBmA0 #CTWW
- How can I help reduce air pollution? ow.ly/vBmE8 #CTWW
- What Can I Do to Help Reduce Air Pollution? ow.ly/vBmJI #CTWW
- 50 Tips To Prevent Air Pollution ow.ly/vBmOM #CTWW

From @KrmbalClothing
- We bought this last year instead of using the landlord's gas mower - makes mowing SO much better pic.twitter.com/aik1rfGF6z #CTWW
- plus, it makes it feel more like I'm just taking a walk up and down my yard ;)

The #CTWW Gang are those folks who tweet our challenges using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I recommend following them ... they share great things. Let's meet them:

@89linz @a_kiasi @aussierichluck
@barrydarrdixon @biculturalmama @biggreenpen
@book_oftheday @bstoneblog @collegegogreen
@conservationm @counselorholley @debsmikdav1
@dehelen @dominiquegoh @ecoexpert1
@ecothrifty @etsyrecyclersgt @factorydpromos
@fallenfeathers1 @familybetty @fineswap
@frederickbrooke @freshcleanersaz @ginavalley
@givetreegifts @green_vibes @greenageworld
@groovygreenlivi @guayaba @herbgir1972
@hismerecry @jaydauthor @justanotherhat
@kanelstrand @kayelleallen @kiser_krafts
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @ladyladuke
@leadsafeamerica @leslieveg @lu_and_ed
@magnushrm @marikokoloco @marjoriemcatee
@michaelinla3 @mimibarbour @momfindsout
@mzazeela @najaficosmetics @nerddreamer
@newworldfilmsco @pamela_o_plays @perithelabel
@pinecone_grove @rayforchion @rckweddings
@realityarts @rtmiii1958 @rulesofgreen
@sensuouspromos @shadowdogdesign @shannongrissom
@shoppingcharity @soulfullab @spafloating
@superbsolutions @susanheaney @theworld4realz
@trashn2tees @treesgroup @vanbordelon
@violetsbuds @voiceboksmedia @wencdj
@whopaysthepiper @wsdreams @zenfarmz
@ziadsourany

Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share features located below this post.

This Week's Challenge:

Meatless meals are good for the body and the planet!
Meatless meals are good for health!
Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for developing kidney disease? Here's another interesting fact: our kidneys work 2-3 times harder when processing animal proteins.

The consumption of animal products is also directly related to the environment because it takes more natural resources to produce them.

Sounds like a challenge to me.

Here you go ...


This week, for at least one full day, go vegan. That means no animal products ... no beef, chicken, pork, or fish ... not even milk, cheese, eggs, or honey.

OR ...

If you are vegan or find this challenge too easy, please share a recipe with your readers and encourage them to try meatless meals ... for their health and for the planet.

Are you ready to enjoy some fabulous, healthy food? I know that you are!

Sneak Peek: How do you deal with stress?

Until then ...

WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!


Image courtesy of BrianHolm / FreeDigitalPhotos.net




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vegan Recipe - Pizza

Please welcome Deborah, head "chef" at Urban Naturale. Deborah has a goal ... to live healthy, green and natural ... by design! "Urban Naturale" encompasses all aspects of that goal and offers readers a ton of great information. I was particularly interested in a section entitled "Nourish" where I found yummy recipes like one for black bean soup and another for oven baked kale chips. That section, however, isn't just about recipes. Readers will learn about nutrition, too. Curious about plant-based calcium sources? How about the healing powers of moringa? Deborah shares that information and more.

While browsing through "Urban Naturale", I came upon a Pizza recipe which made my mouth water! Deborah graciously gave me permission to share it with you. I hope that you'll give it a try!


Vegan Pizza Recipe

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough


Ingredients

1 teaspoon Raw Sugar
1 1/4 ounce-package Active Dry Yeast
1 cup lukewarm Water
3 cups Whole Wheat Flour (or substitute with a Gluten-free Flour)
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Additional flour for dusting

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine water, sugar, and active dry yeast and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • In a mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine dry ingredients for dough and mix lightly.
  • Add yeast mixture and olive oil and mix until well-combined.
  • Transfer into a bowl and cover with cloth.
  • Let stand for about 1/2 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
  • After the dough rises, release any excess gas by thumping it down on the counter.
  • Sprinkle the counter with flour and put the dough on it.
  • Press the dough and roll it using a rolling pin.
  • Lightly grease a 9-inch spring-form pan and place the dough into it.
  • Make sure that the sides of the pan are also covered with dough, since we are making deep-dish vegan pizza.
  • Preheat oven to 450 F.
Note: If you do not want a deep-dish pizza, you can divide the dough into two and roll them out thinly for a crispy, thin-crust vegan pizza.

Tomato Based Pizza Sauce


Ingredients

Olive oil, as needed
2 Onions, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 (8 ounce) can organic tomato sauce or fresh organic tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried Oregano
1 tablespoon dried Basil
Sea salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions

  • To prepare the sauce, sauté garlic and onion, add the rest of the sauce ingredients and let simmer until reduced into a thick sauce.
  • Brush the crust with olive oil.
  • Spread sauce on the crust.
  • When ready, layer toppings on the sauce.

Pizza Toppings


Ingredients

Olive Oil, as needed
Vegan Mozzarella Chesse
Sauteed Broccoli
Shitake Mushrooms – sauteed
Maitake Mushroom – sauteed
Caramelized Onions
Roasted Garlic
Sliced Tomatoes
Vegan Feta Cheese

Directions

  • Brush the crust with olive oil.
  • Spread tomato sauce on the crust.
  • Layer sauteed sauteed broccoli, caramelized onions, roasted garlic and vegan feta cheese on the dough.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all the ingredients are used.
  • Top with tomato slices.
  • Sprinkle with herbs.
  • Bake until edges are crispy and toppings are set, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Slice and serve while hot.
  • Sprinkle your slice with red pepper, garlic powder or oregano, as desired.

The original recipe, along with alternate topping ideas and more mouth-watering photos, can be found HERE.

If you have a vegan recipe which you'd like to share, please contact me HERE. And for all the recipes we've shared so far, be sure to visit our recipe page using the tabs at the top of this blog ... or by clicking HERE.



Sneak Peek: Want to make a positive impact on the earth? Join us tomorrow for Change The World Wednesday, your chance to make a difference!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Meet & Greet (#MtaGt) - April - Jen & Joey Go Green

Welcome to Meet & Greet, a regular series designed to grow our green community.

A monthly link-up party for green blogs on Reduce Footprints

Grab our banner for your site:

The rules:

1. Use the link-up tool below to share your green-living blog or collection of environmental posts.
2. Visit at least one other blog and/or the featured site and leave a pertinent comment.
3. The link-up will remain open for a month.
4. Random.org determines the featured site each month.

Our featured site, this month, is Jen & Joey Go Green. I've been following (and enjoying) this blog for a long time. Jen (a self-described realistic environmentalist), Joey, and their active toddler, live in Ontario, Canada. Articles cover a wide range of topics. For example, a recent post discussed choosing a guardian for children ... one who will respect your environmental ethics. Another article, about the mineral content of water, shares practical advice for determining whether or not a home needs a water softener. One of my favorite posts, entitled Eliminate Mold Naturally, offers two natural ways to get rid of mold ... one works in about 3 days, the other works in about 2 hours. Jen not only discusses the methods, she includes before and after pictures. Jen & Joey Go Green is a well-written blog offering practical advice. Stop over and check it out ... I'm sure you'll find it interesting.

For previous features & blogs, check out the Meet & Greet Page: http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com/p/meet-greet.html.

Our link-up is live. Please list your blog, visit and have fun!




Sneak Peek: Who's hungry for pizza? I've got the perfect "slice" for you tomorrow. Bring your appetite and prepare to indulge!