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Thrifty & Green

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Celebrate Harvest! Travel the World for Free

Make ahead Cooking Page 54

AUG / SEP 2011

Back to School on a Budget


10% off Energy

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Star Appliances

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2011 11

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FEATURES

Community Garden Its harvest time! Take a look at a coastal community garden by the Puget Sound and learn the many benfits of sharing work and food with neighbors. Rooftop Farm A look at the first certified organic farm and award winning green restaurant Uncommon Ground based in Chicago.

25 Back to School

Get the kids ready with green values in mind. Also tons of great eco school supplies!

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Travel the World Free, Or at least On a Shoestring Budget. Find out how you can visit some of the most beautiful places in the world for dirt cheap! 4

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Eat Well While Traveling You don’t have to throw out your healthy diet while on vacation. Get the best tips for health meals and snacks to go.

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august / september IN-SEASON

40 Sustainable Careers

Renewable now employ more in than fossil fuels.

Berry Picking 66 Gone Go pick some! And get a great muffin recipe.

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FOOD & HEALTH Being Vegetarian A look at this healthful and thrifty lifestyle.

Seasonal + 66 Recipes: Back to School healthy recipes, enjoy!

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Salmon: Wild vs. Farmed The difference between the two + which to eat.

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HOME Slow Hand Renovation Transforming a small condo in Boulder, CO.

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SAVING MONEY Q&A w/ Financial Guru Dave Ramsey

96 New Realities: Personal Financial Sustainability.

IN EVERY ISSUE

48 Heroines for the Planet,

meet eco minded women changing the world.

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51 The Green Path, a beginners guide to green.

Up Green: Fun 78 Growing on the Farm green values + activities for kids. 5

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Good Food for the Week, cook all your meals for the week in one day, and never worry about whats for dinner again!

76 Make Organic Strawberry Jam a simple step-by-step guide that will show you how to put up a year’s worth of jam, eat better, save money, and help the earth.

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editors letter

elcome to the premier issue of Thrifty & Green!

My wife Beth and I, and everyone here at T&G are thrilled to have the opportunity to help make living green affordable, beneficial and fun for you month after month!

Our goal is to bring you informative, useful, creative, entertaining content that saves you money, simplifies your life, all while helping the planet be a healthier happier place for us all. In this issue we have so much to share with you! Thrifty & Green as we are we of course believe in growing food, and it’s harvest time! On page 11, we will be sharing with you our first experience with being part of a community garden in our neighbourhood by the shores of the Puget Sound. The garden has 6 mature fruit trees, raspberry bushes, vegetables, and honey bees. Also in Food, explore the vegetarian lifestyle on page 20, visit the first certified organic rooftop farm + restaurant Uncommon Ground in the middle of Chicago, and get great recipes including make a-head cooking in Good Food for the Week on page 55. Our special Back to School section on page 25 offers insights on how to have a more sustainable school year for kids of all ages. On page 16 get a great list of books to take on vacation. Also in Family you will find a great article on page 64 about picking blueberries with kids! There are also crafts and projects, you can build a scarecrow with the Paglaro family, our hosts of Growing Up Green, an original web series on www.thriftyandgreen.com on page 78. In Lifestyle on page 51 you can follow the Green Path: A Beginners Guide to Green with Christa Shelton, and Travel the World for Free with Lori Winter on Page 33. Turn the page to begin living a simpler more fulfilling, green life and help your family and those you care for do the same! We welcome your feedback and interaction so please write us any time at cmcgrath@thriftyandgreen.com with ideas for stories, series, events coverage, or partnering. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to share our experiences and ideas on simple Thrifty & Green living! Till next time,

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August / September 2011

Chris McGrath Founder, Editor-in-Chief


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Thrifty & Green Chris McGrath

Design Director

Beth McGrath

SAVING MONEY Thrifty Editor Thrifty Writer Finance Writer

Our publication is digital only in an effort to adhere to our sustainable values and preserve trees. We publish 10 issues a year.

Chris McGrath Dave Ramsey Dario Piana

Get all 10 for $14.50 that’s $1.40 per issue. Subscribe at http://shopping.thriftyandgreen.com

LIFESTYLE Lifestyle Editor Lifestyle Writer

Christa Shelton Lori Winter

FASHION & BEAUTY Fashion & Beauty Writer

Natalia Tudge

HOME Home Editor

Ashley Eneriz

FOOD Food Editor Food Writer Food Writer Food Writer

Lori Winter Sheba Family Cheryl Famili Nadine Todd

FAMILY Family Editor Family Writer BUSINESS Business Writer

Tovah Paglaro Scarlet Paolicci Lindsay E. Brown

EDITORIAL OFFICES

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Online: thriftyandgreen.com/contact Questions by phone: 360.339.5339 9-5 PST THRIFTYANDGREEN.com

Or purchase per issue wherever digital magazines are sold. Major retailers include ITUNES, BN.com, Amazon.com. ADVERTISING

For advertising solutions that reach a Thrifty & Green minded audience contact us today. Our web site www.thriftyandgreen.com and digital magazine as well as other upcoming projects, such as video webisodes and more feature many opportunities for you to build long-lasting relationships. DIRECTOR ADVERTISING Chris McGrath e: cmcgrath@thriftyandgreen.com p: 360.339.5339

PARTNERS Ogden Publications Mother Earth Fairs Green Festival

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Syndication Partner Event Partner Event Partner

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT Director Technology Chris McGrath Technology Consultant Thomas P. Scola Technology Assistance Ashley Eneriz

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MADE in the USA

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Bakeware | Cookware | Cooking Tools | Cutlery | Dinnerware | Storage | Small Appliances

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harvest

a community garden

can provide food, education, shared resources and a social outlet. Our first experience happened by chance, but with almost too many benefits to count with some planning and the right group — for the average busy person or family it is the only way to go! WRITER CHRIS MCGRATH 11

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PHOTOGRAPHER SERGIE SKLEZNEV

August / September 2011


harvest

COASTAL GARDEN Sometimes I guess you just get lucky. My family and I recently moved to a fairly dense coastal neighbourhood in the Olympia, Washington area. We have two children and are business owners, and busy professionals so often do not get the time we would like for things like yard work, and the thought of a garden although something we want so badly, seemed as if it might pass us by for another year. This truly just made us sad. Luckily I asked my wife Beth to slow down one afternoon as we pulled down our dead-end street and noticed one of our neighbours standing by a pile of beautiful black soil. I asked him where he had gotten it, as we are fairly far from town and it is good to know who delivers and has good prices. He replied he was “sharing it with the community garden”. It took me a second and I exclaimed and repeated his statement and asked if we could sign up! He replied it was not too late and the location was just a few doors from our home. Now if this was not enough the garden was a long established plot with several mature fruit trees, 12

raspberry bushes, grapes, and kiwis! It has been our dream for almost two decades to have fruit trees on our property. We have not yet been able to achieve that goal with kids, different moves, work and other issues in life, so this really felt like a true blessing!

slug deterrent. Here we have banana slugs they are a problem, can be 6” long and really like lettuce. We have now helped to

HOW DOES IT WORK The garden was located on a lot owned by an older couple who just wanted to take it easy for a few years and sail so they offered the space to a friend and it grew from there. We were asked to contribute $50.00 which we were glad to pay seeing all the fruit alone. It helped pay for a load of rich soil, a bit of fencing and some oyster shells which we spread around the perimeter as

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develop the garden’s raised beds, planted shared crops, and participate in a shared work and watering schedule. Continue to page 15 for the rest of the article.


Marth Stewart Pets Pique Sleeveless Crab Polo

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Green the way You Read

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continued from page 13. Usually I water one day a week and either Beth or I spend an hour or so on weekends pulling weeds, harvesting goodies, and replanting fast growing crops like lettuces and beans, as well as sowing fall vegetables that will provide late harvest goodies. I suppose any group situation depends largely on the people your working with. In this case these are our neighbours. So it was also an opportunity to meet people in our community which we found to a huge added benefit. Each person brought their own knowledge and resources to the garden. There were 7 other people involved and everyone helped everyone cover vacations and so on. Some people I’ll admit even myself sometimes are afraid to work with others. In this case it really made it possible for our family. Organize one in your We have now helped to develop the gardens raised beds, planted shared crops, and participate in a shared work and watering schedule. Usually I water one day a week and either Beth or I spend an hour or so on weekends pulling weeds, harvesting goodies, and replanting fast growing crops like lettuces and beans, as well as sowing fall vegetables that will provide late harvest goodies.

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WORKING IN GROUPS I suppose any group situation depends largely on the people your working with. In this case these are our neighbours. So it was also an opportunity to meet people in our community which we found to be a huge added benefit. Each person brought their own knowledge and resources to the garden. There were seven others some families, others just individuals, involved and everyone helped everyone cover vacations and so on. We learned a great deal about gardening in the local area from long-time residents, which is invaluable. We have already gotten wonderful raspberries, strawberries, many vegetables and much more to come. We will now be harvesting our fruit including a variety of apples, plums, pears, and kiwis. Some shy away from group situations. This “project by chance” worked out to be more than we imagined. Chris McGrath is the founder and editor-in-chief of Thrifty & Green. He is located in Olympia, WA devoted to simple living, and creating media that helps make being green fun and easy for everyone. He is the father of 2, has a background in ecological design + organic food and writes about the same. Connect with him on facebook. com/thriftyandgreen

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Books to take on Vacation The Complete Tightwad Gazette [Paperback] Amy Dacyczyn (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars List Price: $15.61

(see page 90 for description)

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money [Paperback] Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez and Monique Tilford (Authors) 4.0 out of 5 stars List Price:

$16.00

(see page 90 for description) 16

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The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing’s Sixty Years of SelfSufficient Living [Paperback] Helen and Scott Nearing (Authors) 4.1 out of 5 stars List Price: $16.00

(see page 90 for description)

Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet [Paperback] Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappé (Authors) 4.9 out of 5 stars List Price:

$15.95

(see page 90 for description)

Continued on page 90...


ways to eat healthy 6

travel

while traveling Anytime you travel, it’s inevitable that you will end up eating what I like to call a ‘vacation’ meal. You do your best to eat healthy, locally-sourced food on a daily basis, but when the whole family hops in the car or on a plane to visit grandma and grandpa over the summer, all the rules fly out the window.

Save money and eat better — bring your own

And you know what? That’s OK. No condemnation here. I’ve taken plenty of ‘vacations’ when it comes to eating healthy and sustainable while on a vacation. Often you end up at a fast food joint at an interstate exit or in the food court at the airport. And neither of those options is considered thrifty OR green. Large scale chain restaurants and fast food joints serve meat from factory farms and produce that has been heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, & fungicides--all of which has then travelled hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles before reaching the store. Not to mention the sugar-laden,

chemically-injected ingredients that will leave you in a post-meal coma, while the kids alternate between bouncing off the walls and whining or crying when the sugar high ends. Whew! Aren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing? So when you’re on vacation with the family this summer, avoid the common pit stop pit falls with these 6 tips for a better experience: FRUIT Fruit like apples, bananas, and oranges pack well

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in their own casings, eliminating the need for plastic bags that can’t be recycled. The natural sugars found in fruits will help keep you moving through the airport so you’re not dragging behind trying to catch your connecting flight. VEGGIES Anything green will give you loads of energy. Unfortu nately, it’s not super easy to throw a salad into your carry on bag while flying. I like to pack small bags of carrots, cucumber slices, or bell

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WRITER LORI WINTER 17

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pepper slices. If you can squeeze a portable cooler into the back of the car on a road trip, then pre-make some salads for a picnic. TRAIL MIX When is this NOT a great option for snacking? My husband eats abnormally large quantities of trail mix. I make mine with pecans, almonds, raisins, and dark chocolate chips. Everything in the mix is loaded with antioxidants.

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continue on to the next page for more great tips.


travel eat healthy

while travelling ...continued from page 17. The nuts also give you a boost of healthy fats and protein. You can add other fun things like coconut flakes or sunflower or pumpkin seeds too. SNACK BARS I will stay away from most snack bars or cereal bars since they are loaded with sugar and grains. But I love brands like Larabar and gRAWnola. These are about middle ground as far as cost goes–not the cheapest, and not the most expensive either–but you can’t beat the ingredients. For example, the Apple Pie Larabar is made with dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon. And that’s it. If you have a food processor, try making your own fruit and nut bars! You can find lots of great recipes on thriftyandgreen.com.

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LOTS OF WATER You can’t bring your own water through airport security, but you can bring an empty bottle. Once you get on the plane, ask for the whole can or bottle of water (or more than one) and fill ‘er up. Air travel will dehydrate you like crazy, so drink lots of water to avoid jet lag, exhaustion, irritability, and hunger pains.

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SEEK HEALTHY OPTIONS If you are on a longer flight that will serve meals, log on to the airline’s website after you purchase your tickets. Often you are able to request vegetarian, kosher, or gluten-intolerant meals! My husband and I requested one kosher and one gluten-intolerant meal for each flight. We���ve decided that gluten-intolerant is the way to go. Otherwise you still end up with lots of processed bread and sugar. Granted, it’s still air plane food. There’s no getting around that. But slightly less unhealthy is better than completely unhealthy!

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So far these things have kept me moving along through my travels.

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These are my tips. What are your tips for eating healthy while travelling? Please visit us and become a fan at facebook.com/thriftyandgreen and post your tips + recipes for Thrifty & Green travel food. Lori Winter, is a T&G food and lifestyle writer located in Nashville, TN. She is the host of Sustainable Food - Recipes + Restaurants on thriftyandggreen.com — an original web series that features green restaurant reviews, and recipes as well as tips on eating healthy and whenever possible local. (See this issue Uncommon Ground). Lori also travels the world through barter and trade visiting some of the worlds most beautiful places for next to nothing.


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feature series

Sustainable Food: recipes + restaurants

A Rooftop Farm

THE FIRST CERTIFIED ORGANIC ROOFTOP FARM + AWARD WINNING RESTAURANT

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could fill pages with the green certifications that Chicago’s Un common Ground holds. Ranked #1 & #2 in the Green Restaurant Association for Chicago. Members of Slow Food & the Chicago Botanic Garden. Winner of the USGBC Environmotion

Award. But what really sets them apart in their ecoendeavors isn’t found on a piece of paper. It’s on their roof! Uncommon Ground is home to Chicago’s first Certified Organic Roof Top Farm (Midwest Organic Services Association, 2008). So while you dig into your salad in the dining room, just think that what’s on

your plate was likely grown above your head! Uncommon Ground employs a team of organic gardeners to tend to the restaurant’s growing food supply, which includes a rotational menu of sweet & hot peppers, eggplant, lettuces, heirloom tomatoes, radishes, beets, okra, spinach, fennel, mustard, bush

WRITER LORI WINTER 20

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beans, and shallots and host of herbs like rosemary, thyme, chives, parsley, & dill. They also purchase their seeds from sustainable companies focused on preserving organic and heirloom plant varieties. ROOFTOP FARM In 2007, the owners purchased the historic build-

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sustainable food ing it had occupied since 1991 and embarked on a major renovation, under the direction of architect Peter Moser, of Swiss Dsign Group. The rooftop garden was part of the plan from the very beginning. Therefore steel beams were added to support the roof top deck, and plumbing was brought to the roof for irrigation — with any excess water being gathered in cistens and used by the groud level garden below. The deck was built using a composite of recycled plastic and wood, and solar panels were also given some roof space to supply hot water + conserve gas. Peter also utilized reclaimed timbers of white oak and sliver maple from a nearby site for tabletops, the fireplace mantle and a few other odds and ends. I2I Design was employed to create booths and tables and made sure wood scraps, and most things that could have gone to the landfill during construction were utlized in creative mosaics and other small artistic decor to make use of as much as possible. The owners also hired local workers and purchased material from the local community if possible. VEGGIES + BEES The rooftop farm was certified organic by the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA). While they can’t grow everything themselves, they do grow quite a bit. A partial list includes: sweet and hot peppers, varieties of eggplant, lettuces, heirloom 21

tomatoes, radishes, beets, okra, spinach, fennel, mustard, bush beans, and shallots. The herb garden contains rosemary, thyme, chives, garlic chives, tarragon, sage, parsley, dill, mint, lavender, basil, anise hyssop and more. In 2008 the owners partnered with a neighbor to place beehives in their rooftop garden. The bees not only develop a hearty and mellow honey for use on the menu, but also provide pollination in the local community. BUYING LOCAL They also support local farms who grow using sustainable, organic methods. Uncommon Ground is committed to offering a menu of seasonal dishes without any herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, or genetically modified organisms in their ingredients. That’s why they regularly visit the farms who provide their food -- even bringing their employees along to make

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sure they are also educated about what is being served, and how and where it is cared for. So when your server offers you Grilled Pork Chops with Green Tomato Chutney (see recipe on page 23), you can rest assured that your meal contains the absolute highest quality ingredients. I also love their commitment to reduce waste. Not only do they donate their kitchen scraps to be composted by local Mint Creek Farm in Stelle, IL, but they salvaged wood scraps from the building renovation to create mosaics in

August / September 2011

their mantel, host stand, and stage door. Talk about taking recycling to another a whole different level! BIODIESAL Then to take it one step further, Uncommon Ground donates their used fryer oil to be made into biofuel. Often this donation is made to Loyola University’s bio-diesel program. COMMUNITY This is one restaurant committed to education in word and deed. When they’re not out supporting alternative fuels and recycling, the garden team at


feature series Uncommon Ground can be found leading rooftop garden workshops on topics like organic garden design and sub-irrigation planters. When school is out for the summer, the kids can enroll in the Fresh from the Farm Summer Camp which teaches kids the vital connection between farm and fork. Bring on the bugs and let’s get our hands dirty!

MADE in the USA

MAKE A VISIT! If you happen to be in the Chicago area, drop in to one of Uncommon Ground’s monthly ecomixers. You can enjoy free appetizers and live music while connecting with other like-minded community members and supporting charities like The Growing Connection, a grassroots effort established by the United Nations to educate and empower families in America and abroad to grow their own food with low cost, water efficient, and sustainable methods. During the summer months, they are also hosting an open house called Fridays on the Farm. From 5pm to sundown on the first Friday of the month, bring the whole family along to check out the nation’s first certified organic rooftop farm. Then treat yourself to dinner down below! As an added bonus, if you walk or ride your bike you’ll receive a 10% Low Carbon discount. How’s that for Thrifty & Green?

shop collection

Lori Winter, is a T&G food and lifestyle writer located in Nashville, TN. 22

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sustainable food Uncommon

GRILLED PORK CHOP w/ GREEN TOMATO CHUTNEY

Ground

Yields 4 servings Vanilla sugar: 1 ½ cups sugar 3 used vanilla beans Combine sugar and used vanilla beans, place in airtight container, and marinate for 2 weeks. Use the pulp of the bean for desserts but save the husk for vanilla sugar. Green Tomato Chutney: 2 ½ lb green tomatoes (de-seeded and diced) 1 large shallot (minced) 1 garlic clove (minced) 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tbsp yellow mustard seed (toasted) 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar ¼ c vanilla sugar (or cane sugar, if not able to make vanilla sugar) ½ jalapeno (minced) 2 star anise 1 bay leaf Sweat shallot and garlic in oil for 30 seconds, then add green tomatoes. Sauté until tomatoes start to break down. Add the rest of ingredients and gently reduce on medium-low heat until chutney is thick. Constantly stir chutney so it will not stick to bottom of pot. When finished, cool and pull out star anise and bay leaf. Pork Chop Marinade: 4 8-12 oz pork chops ½ tbsp Cinnamon 1 Star anise 1 Bay leaf 1 tbsp Black pepper corn 1 Shallot (minced) 2 Garlic cloves (minced) 4 tbsp fresh thyme (minced) ½ cup chopped parsley ½ cup vegetable oil Grind all spices in spice grinder, then add all ingredients in bowl and stir well. Marinate four 8 to 12 oz pork chops overnight. Remove marinade by rinsing chops, dry them and let them come to room temperature before grilling. Grilling & Presentation: Brush grill with grill brush and wipe grill with damp rag to take off any excess soot on grill. Lightly oil grill surface. Set grill to medium-high heat and grill pork chops for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Pull pork chops off grill and set upon a wire resting rack for 6 to 8 minutes. Set pork chops on plate and spoon chutney over the pork chop.

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Back to 25

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School

AugustWRITER / September 2011PAGLARO TOVAH


feature

B

ack to ply list to the supplies on school is hand, evaluating ward always a robes and checking bags time of and containers for wear. excitement, According to the National and relaRetail Federation back-to tive chaos school spending in 2010 coupled with the invigorsurpassed $55.12 billion, ating possibility of a fresh with the largest category start. It’s a busy time and of spending being cloththe idea of adding a green ing and accessories. Each commitment to the planand every one of those ning may seem daunting. purchases has an environHowever, it’s also the ideal mental cost as well as a time to lay the foundation monetary cost. The most for an environmentally impactful step we can take sustainable year. Gone are to green up back-to-school the days when the great is to buy less. divide required choosing between convenience and Make an itemized list of sustainability. The tides needs and stick to it! Resist are turning and ensuring the pressure to buy “equalthat your family’s back-toly” for every child. Adoptschool meets your green ing the attitude that each standards is easier than child gets what they NEED ever. From waste-free will minimize the extranelunches, to car-free travel, ous buys while assuring to recycled supplies and hopeful pupils-to-be that a greener school cleaners, back-to-school something conscientious parents eveis coming their way. rywhere are planning for a green school year. Itemized list in hand, start sourcing early. Think outEvery parent knows that side the box-store box and the key to success, in alseek school supplies from most any endeavor, is time. online distributors, speAnd every parent agrees cialty stores with greener that we never have enough of it. To plan a sustainable school year, start preparing for back-to-school well ahead of the impending date. By allowing yourself a few weeks to get organized you’ll have the time to make conscientious choices and save a ton. Plan, Prepare + Save Take an inventory of what you have and buy only what you need. This means comparing the school sup26

choices and purchase at least some of that apparel from thrift stores. Getting There Green For many families, driving to school isn’t really necessary. Setting goals can help to establish conscientious transport plans from day one. Start with modest and achievable goals that set everyone on the path to success. A family reward - like ice cream after 10 car-free school days - might help to create a team atmosphere and motivate late risers or weary travel-

THERMOS Foogo Leak-Proof Food Jar (Blue) $17.99

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August / September 2011

THERMOS Hello Kitty FunTainer Bottle $15.99

ers to brave the elements in the morning. Once the pattern is changed, you will likely find that you relish the fresh air at the start and end of each day. Aside from the obvious environmental incentives, the benefits of a car-free morning are numerous: 1. Fresh oxygenated blood prepares the mind for a productive day at school or home 2. Exercise prepares the body for active life

THERMOS Toy Story FunTainer $15.99


features

Kids on a Walking Bus going to school.

3. The extra time that it takes to bike, walk or bus to school provides an ideal opportunity to check in with kids, who are often more open with their parents during unstructured time Sharing the drop-off and pick-up duties with other families can make sustainable transport an option even on days when you may not have the time to work it into your schedule. The walking-school bus is an idea that is gaining popularity among urban and suburban families. A modern take on walkingwith-friends, the walking school bus is an organized neighborhood route to the school, with alternating parents joining the kids. 27

This alternative allows kids to safely walk (or bike) to school even when their parent’s schedules are full.

in favor of a friends’ meal or cafeteria fare and lunch at school is every green parent’s nightmare.

Sustainable Lunches There is a spectrum of sustainability and it’s up to each of us to decide where our family fits on this spectrum. Organic? Local? Free Range? Waste free? Homemade? Sugar free? Vegetarian? Vegan? School lunches are no exception – however the practicalities of the school environment add an additional challenge for environmentally dedicated families. School lunches need to be packed every day. This takes time. Doing it well takes dedication. Couple this with the fact that unsupervised eating means that kids can skip, trade or ditch their lunches

The key to success with the sustainable lunch is to keep your kid convinced, for as long as possible, that their lunch is actually better than anybody else’s! Hopefully, when this charade is

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revealed one of two things will have happened: (1) they will have learned enough about your value system to appreciate a healthy sustainable lunch or (2) their lunch actually will be better than everybody else’s.


back to school

THERMOS Brand - Lunch Essentials Sak (blue) $5.99

2-Tier Stainless Steel Tiffin Set $21.95 20 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle $18.00

How does one go about making a healthy, homemade, mostly package-free lunch endlessly exciting? The number one rule is variety. Beyond that, it’s not as difficult as you think: Plan ahead - when making a weekly meal plan, make a lunch plan Include the Kids - ask kids when in the planning, prep and shopping stages. They take pride in a lunch if they’ve been a part of creating it. Bake - bake a lot and freeze it. Include a homemade treats in their lunch. Shapes - use mini cookie cutters to mold vegetables or mini sandwiches into 28

fun shapes. Color - Pack a rainbow. Or create monotone lunches using only the color of the day or week. Love - add notes, stickers, pictures or other tokens of your love. Try it Hot - At least once a week, send a thermos with a hot meal. Cool Containers - kid-cool utensils, thermoses, water bottles or other containers add excitement. Also try a Tiffin – a multi-tiered container popular in India. Put it on a Stick - shishk-bobs make fruit, vegetables or cheese cubes exciting. Chocolate - Never un-

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derestimate the power of chocolate. Two chocolate chips mixed into trail mix and it’s suddenly amazing. A little cocoa in the yogurt and you’re the best mom ever. Dip a couple pieces of fruit in a little melted chocolate and your kids won’t look twice at the package of preservativeladen, plastic-wrapped, has-never-been-fruit, fruit-flavoured candy thing that’s shaped like Dora. Reducing Waste If you are only going to commit to one green goal for this school year, let it be less lunch waste. According to the folks at wastefreelunches.org, an average elementary school in the USA generates over 18.5 ths lbs of lunch waste

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every school year. The irony is palatable – while we educate our children to be responsible global citizens, the convenience of sending prepackaged snacks is contributing to the environmental mess their generation will inherit. With a little forethought and preparation, reducing lunch waste is simple, economical and even convenient. There are three main categories to be addressed: prepackaged foods and drinks, containers, and disposal / waste reduction. 1) Prepackaged Prepackaged foods are the worst environmental offenders. In addition to the continued on page 32..


Back to School green gear It’s easier than ever to send kids to school in green style. Here are our back-to-school supply pics for the coming year. Some are more widely available than others, with some of the big box stores like Staples now stocking a selection of green products and some of the big companies, like Crayola, making changes to incorporate a green mandate.

TerraCycle Backpack Lays Classic $14.99

ecogear BG-2846 Panda bag- Black- White $33.95

Lands End Boys Featherlight Backpack Green $27.50

Backpacks – There are a number of companies producing quality bags with organic materials, recycled materials and sustainable practices. Shop with these principles in mind and you’ll be fine. That said a few companies are a step above. Terracycle upcycles juice boxes and other packaging to create amazingly innovative backpacks that are unique, green and cool. Above EcoGear’s EcoZoo line offers a selection of animal shaped backpacks that can be worn or wheeled and will appeal to your sense of sustainability + their sense of style.

Earthzone Special Edition Premium Recycled Pencils $7.95

Recycled Pencil, 2B Graphite O’BON Recycled Newspaper Pencil, Made from Newsprint 40-Pack $13.95

A.W. Faber-Castell Art Grip Tin of 36 Colored Pencils $33.17

Pilot G2 .7mm Mechanical Pencils, Black Barrel, 2-pack (31100) $3.99

Traditional Pencils – Traditional pencils can be made from recycled wood or recycled newspapers. Remember the more you sharpen, the more you use so quality counts. Retractable Pencils & Pens – Retractable pencils are by nature more sustainable as they can be refilled. Pilot BeGreen, offers a green alternative for its quality pens made from recycled materials, see next page. 29

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Continued on next page...


Back to School green gear Scissors – When it comes to green scissors Westcott’s KleenEarth has good reviews across the board and is a great choice, with 70% recycled content and 30% post consumer.

Pilot BeGreen Precise V5 Roll Ball Pen, Extra Fine Point, Black Barrel, Black Ink, 12-Count (26300) $23.70

Westcott Kids KleenEarth Recycled Scissors w/ Microban Anti-Microbial Product Protection - Blunt , 5-Inch (14835) $4.20

KleenEarth Scissors w/ Microban - 5” Length, Pointed Tip, Green Handle (sold in packs of 3) $14.56

Westcott KleenEarth Recycled Plastic Ruler, 12Inch (41015) $4.20

Erasers – These traditionally contain PVC and Chlorethylene, both of which are harmful to human health especially kids. Opt for a greener choice with the following brands.: Pilot BeGreen, Maped Natural Rubber Eraser, Steadtler’s PVC free.

Sanford Design Kneaded Eraser, Large $1.59

ReBinder Original Corrugated Recycled Binder, 1.5 Inch (RBCR-R15-EA) $5.99

ReWrite Standard Recycled Lined Composition Book (RWRT-L8X10-EA) $4.99

Made By Humans, Eco Staple Free Desktop Stapler, Transparent (454) $7.95

Binders – Kids are hard on their binders, so quality is key. Binders made with a high percentage of post consumer materials, from a company that values sustainable practices are the best choice. The Seattle-based ReBinder offers excellent recycled binders in a variety of sizes. Binder cover replacements are also available, so there is no need to throw away the three rings when the binder – which is 100% recyclable – needs replacing. The simple design is appealing as is, or can be decorated by the artist in your house.

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August / September 2011


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back to school ...continued from page 28. obvious issue with individually wrapped portions, the creation and transportation of prepackaged goods creates a large carbon footprint. The solution is simple: use less of them. Most prepackaged foods are snack items with alternatives that can be created in bulk and stored at home for convenient lunch packing. Here are a few examples: Baking - Bake an assortment of cookies, granola bars and loaves that can be frozen and sent individually for a variety of treats. Trail Mix - Mix large portions of basic trail mix. When packing individual portions, create variety by adding a favorite dry cereal or cracker, a few chocolate chips or a bit of dried fruit. continued on next page... Fruit Purees - Fruit Purees

are easy and fun to make at home or can be purchased in bulk. Add to basic applesauce a bit of peach puree, berry puree, a variety of spices or fruit compote to create an assortment of flavours. Freeze these in ice cube containers for convenience and throw two in a reusable container when packing lunches. Yummy, healthy, easy and lunch is kept cold! Dehydrated Fruit - Creating dehydrated fruit requires a fruit dehydrator. Once you have one, it’s an easy and delicious alternative to the prefabricated gummies or fruit roll ups. The dehydrated leathers can be shaped with cookie cutters for extra kid-fun. 2) Containers Whenever possible, pack lunches in reusable containers, preferably stainless steel or BPA free plastics. Look for easy to clean lunch boxes that can ac-

commodate foods without extra wrapping and include a stainless steel or BPA free plastic water bottle. Skip the juice box, or make it a special treat by instituting Fruity Fridays and including juice only then. A number of products have emerged recently to simplify waste-free lunch packing: Insolated lunch boxes that are PVC free, phthalate free, BPA free and vinyl free are available in an appealing variety of kid-free themes from companies like Crocodile Creek. Bento lunchboxes make for a pleasing presentation, are easy to pack and to open at school and are completely waste free Stainless steel lunch containers can be used in combination with a lunch box. Larger divided or stackable containers provide an alternative to plastic lunchboxes and can be used on their own. Silicone mini muffin liners work well to separate small items for small hands and are available in every child’s favorite colour. They are a favorite for holding grapes, cherry tomatoes or small bit of cheese. 3) Waste and Recycling

Bento lunchboxes help save a lot of disposable packaging. 32

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Encourage responsible disposal of lunch waste including leftovers, green waste and recycling. If the

August / September 2011

school program doesn’t provide extensive recycling and/or composting, have kids bring home their waste so it can be sorted and dealt with. Minimizing food waste is also essential. Ask that everyone bring home their leftovers and discuss the remaining items, reserving judgment about food choices. Whenever possible, include lunchbox leftovers as afterschool snack. Making this a positive experience will ensure that kids continue to be upfront about their likes and dislikes, minimizing the likelihood of certain foods be surreptitiously slipped into school trash cans. Get Involved It is commendable and in every way important that parents do their part at home to send their kids to school in green style. However, the buck doesn’t stop there. Change happens when people make it happen and school’s need parental support to deliver an environmentally sustainable curriculum. Parents and educators across North America are working together to bring environmental practices to school programs, aligning the educational experience with the value system being taught at home and teaching children the skills needed to conceptualize and create a green future. By initiating or supporting an environmental initiative at your child’s school, you


back to school

Kids working in the school garden.

will model commitment to green practices while supporting your child’s education and staying involved in his or her day-to-day existence. To get involved at the school, contact the parent advisory committee, talk to one of the educators or administrators and get involved with the school’s environmental club. There are also national organizations that support various green initiatives in schools. One school wide waste-free lunch program is an ambitious project made simpler with curriculum from a web site www.wastefreelunches. org. Starting a school garden is a rewarding endeavor that is gaining popularity. Learn about 33

how to get started, including the various grants available to schools, at www. kidsgardening.org. Bike or walk to school initiatives are supported at the community and national level by organizations like www. saferoutesinfo.org. Or for information on everything from green school cleaners to better air quality, visit www.greenschools.net. Tovah Paglaro is a mother of 3 and The T&G Family Editor and a writer in Vancouver, BC. She writes about Sustainable Family values in her weekly oringial series Growing Up Green, and its weekly craft supplement Crafty Kids on thriftyandgreen.com

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Chicago Deals Go

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last minute


Travel the World for

Free

or at least on a

shoestring budget

36

THRIFTYANDGREEN.com August / September 2011 WRITER LORI WINTER PHOTOGRAPHER DREW WINTER


travel the world

T

raveling doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You don’t have to cash in your retirement fund early just to see a bit of the world and connect with people in other cultures. In fact, there are lots of great budget-friendly ways to enrich your life experience and learn more about making your life more sustainable in the process. My husband and I are currently traveling extendedly in New Zealand using two of the resources below - Help Exchange and CouchSurfing. We have connected with countless amazing people and learned a ton about organic gardening, living off the grid, building with recycled materials, and caring for the environment. Take a look at the organizations below, then pack your bags! It’s time to see the world and broaden your horizons. There’s not much left to stop you now that money is no longer an issue. WWOOF No, it’s not an animal rights activist group. WWOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. For a small fee, participants register for a profile at www.wwoof.org (or within the country they would like to visit in certain cases) and have access to a database of organic farms. Hosts provide food and accommodation to the volunteers who want to increase 37

Lighthouse at Nugget Point, Southland, New Zealand.

their skill and knowledge while experiencing life on a working farm. Nashville native Ben Rucker spent the winter of 2009 WWOOF’ing on the island of St. Croix in the Caribbean. For 3 months he lived on the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute learning about everything from surveying land to determine its best use, to cultivating that land using sustainable methods, to powering their WiFi Internet with solar energy. “I spent most of my time concentrating on building solar panel systems and learning how to turn sunlight into usable energy. I can’t even begin to describe how fulfilling it was to actually harness that power and direct it exactly where I wanted it to go,” Ben commented.

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“The experience overall was incredibly eye-opening and it reinvigorated my thirst to learn. It is so easy as an adult to forget the joys of learning about new things and WWOOF’ing was the perfect way to keep that joy alive. And I would have never discovered that place or had those experiences if not for the WWOOF network. It is definitely worth the $20 membership fee I paid.” Help Exchange The concept here is very similar to WWOOF, but the reach is broadened. Not only will you find organic and non-organic farms, but also a host of hostels, families, and even cafes looking for workers in exchange for room and board and oftentimes meals as well. Each host lists the work they have available and

August / September 2011

the accommodation they provide on their profile on www.HelpX.net. It’s free to browse all the listings, but you are required to pay a $40 membership fee to access host contact information. Most hosts require approximately 4 hours of work per day. The rest of the time is yours to explore the area! Also check out similar sites like www.workaway. info. Our experience with HelpExchange has been varied and never dull! From a homestay in the suburbs of the big city to living off the grid in a home made of recycled materials to life on a working farm near the beach, we’ve experienced the full gamut of what HelpExchange has to offer. Continued on page 39...


For our lowest fairs visit alaskaair.com 38

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travel the world ...continued from page 37. We’ve learned that boiled linseed oil will seal an adobe earth floor very nicely. We’ve been exposed to new recipes and cultural dishes that we plan to try for ourselves back home. And above all, we’ve made connections with people across the globe--friendships that we hope will last a lifetime! Voluntourism Voluntourism takes a slightly different approach, focusing on giving back in humanitarian efforts. VolunTourism.com describes it as, “the integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination with the traditional elements of travel and tourism - arts, culture, geography, history, and recreation - while in the destination.” Also visit The7Interchange.com for a similar experience. CouchSurfing CouchSurfing is an international non-profit, run entirely on donations, that seeks to connect travelers all over the world. Sign up for a free profile at CouchSurfing.org and connect with other CouchSurfers in your area. They may be able to let you crash on their couch (or even in a spare bedroom) for a few nights. No work is expected in return--the organization means for it to be an initiative in sharing hospitality and cultural understanding. Even if you don’t surf on other people’s couches, consider signing up as a 39

host and let the travelers come to you. Everyone has a story to share. Camping No matter where you are in the world, camping is an affordable way to travel-and bond-with the whole family. Just be sure you’re prepared with the right equipment and gear. Do your research to find a campground in your area and set out for a weekend in the wilderness. Many campgrounds cost less than $20 per night and include use of a pool or tennis court. If roughing it is more your style, it’s easy to find marked primitive campsites at no cost in many natural reserve areas. The world is your oyster! Where will you trade your skills (or even just a willingness to help out with the dishes) for the experience of a lifetime? New Zealand is a fabulous place to start if you’re looking for a recommendation. You can follow my travels online at www.thereandbackagain. me and get inspired! Lori Winter, is a T&G food and lifestyle writer located in Nashville, TN. She is the host of Sustainable Food Recipes + Restaurants on thriftyandggreen.com — an original web series that features green restaurant reviews, and recipes as well as tips on eating healthy and whenever possible local. (See this issue Uncommon Ground). Lori also travels the world through barter and trade for next to nothing.

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Sustainable Careers :

Renewable Energy Now Employs more than Fossil Fuel

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green business


green business

T

he “green” or “clean” economy -- de fined as the sector of the economy that produces goods and services with an environmental benefit, has been widely celebrated as a source of potential job creation and economic renewal. And yet with all of this attention, widespread confusion lingers about the phrase “green economy.” Many US citizens only associate this phrase or the words “green jobs” with constructing windmills and solar panels. While that’s certainly true, the fact remains that the clean economy encompasses a vast number of jobs in establishments spread across a diverse group of industries. The Brookings Institute proved this with a recent report called “Sizing the Clean Economy” that more accurately quantifies the size and breadth of the green economy. They describe it as one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date analyses of the nation’s enigmatic “clean economy.” Their definition of the clean economy includes the following main categories: • • •

renewable energy energy and resource efficiency greenhouse gas reduction environmental man-

• •

agement and recycling agriculture and natural resource conservation regulation and compliance

The study finds that this green job sector is providing better jobs to lower- and middle-income workers in areas that have been hit the hardest by the economic crisis. The report also found that the green economy weathered the recession better than the nation’s economy did as a whole. But more importantly, this green sector is growing and creating good jobs for Americans across the country. Here are some top-level findings from the study: The green economy employs 2.7 million workers, more than the fossil fuels industry, but smaller than IT-producing sectors.

The clean economy creates exports. On a per job basis, the clean economy exports roughly twice the value of a typical US job — $20,000 compared to $10,000. The clean economy creates manufacturing jobs, with roughly 26 percent of all clean economy jobs coming from manufacturing, compared to only 9 percent of the broader economy. The clean economy offers better opportunities to low and-and middle-skilled workers. Median wages in the clean economy are 13 percent higher than median wages across the rest of the economy. The South has the largest number of clean economy jobs. Seven of the 21 states with at least 50,000 clean jobs are in the South. Among states, California has the highest number of

WRITER LINDSAY E. BROWN 41

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clean jobs but Alaska and Oregon have the most per worker. Fittingly, this report came out in the same week that the Environmental Protection Agency announced their plans to award more than $6.2 million in workforce development and job training grants to 21 communities nationwide. Organizations receiving grant support will use the money to train American job-seekers, giving them the tools they need to manage, assess and clean up contaminated properties known as brownfields. Just in case the word is unfamiliar, brownfields sites are places like old gas stations and other industrial and commercial properties that have been left too contaminated to be safely redeveloped. continued on the next page ...


green business ...continued from page 41. Not only will this grant support provide marketable skills, but part of the grant funding will help place those newly trained workers into available employment. According to Lisa P. Jackson the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “public and private partnerships fostered through the brownfields program have helped create more than 70,000 new jobs. And, as of June 1, 2011, the brownfields job training program alone has trained and placed almost 5,400 people in full-time, sustainable jobs.” We’re beginning to see a wider spread acceptance that it is the sustainable jobs that will rebuild our nation, not the fossil fuel industry. Lindsay E. Brown, is a T&G writer, prominent eco-activist, and author in New York. Her writing has appeared in numerous notable publications and pens the popular series “Heroines for the Planet”, where she interviews amazing women at work affecting green change. Lindsay was named in Ecover’s 30 Americans Under 30, in which young American leaders in environmentalism are recognized for their efforts. She also organized and led a rally at New York’s Central Park for 350.org’s Climate Change Day.

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food & health

Exploring being

Vegetarian

What are Vegetarians?

will soon learn that vegetarianism need be neither scary nor lacking.

or some, the word “vegetarian” conjures up images of popular media stereotypes (Birkenstockwearing, granola-crunching, hippies) or sickly, nutrient-deficient people. It can be an intimidating, daunting, even scary word for many, simply because of a lack of information.

Vegetarianism, in fact, has been practiced for a very long time and by very different people. It has deep roots in India as well as in Greek civilization within southern Italy and Greece. While not strictly vegetarian, many Eastern Asian cultures emphasize a plantbased diet, and de-emphasize consumption of meats and dairy products.

It is this lack of information that can cause some people to associate vegetarianism with the very idea of “lack.” For instance, lack of protein, lack of support from medical doctors, lack of support from the media. However, read on and you

Many famous people throughout history have practiced vegetarianism, from Plato and Pythagoras, daVinci and Darwin, Einstein and Emerson, to Schweitzer and Shaw. In his commitment to human compassion for all living

F

things, Mahatma Gandhi practiced vegetarianism. Dr. J.H. Kellogg declared that there was nothing necessary or desirable that could be found from meat. More currently, Shania Twain, Chelsea Clinton, Pamela Anderson, and Cloris Leachman all call themselves vegetarians. What does it mean to be a vegetarian? The label “vegetarian” is confusing for some. People who shun meat and poultry yet still consume seafood will often call themselves vegetarian. Then there are those who won’t even eat eggs or dairy – since they are animal products – and also call themselves vegetarian. So what, exactly, IS a vegetarian?

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The answer is: all of the above! There are no hard and fast rules about the definitions of vegetarianism, and there are many types of vegetarianism that people can practice. Here are some of the basic guidelines to help our understanding. VEGETARIAN TYPES Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian These vegetarians do not consume animal flesh, but will eat dairy (lacto) and/ or (eggs). In fact, about 9095% of all North American vegetarians include dairy and/or eggs in their diets. vegetarian food pyramid Vegan - Vegans do not consume or use anything of animal origin, including


food & health You may choose to have chicken on Monday, tofu on Tuesday, and hamburgers on Thursday. People need not get themselves wrapped up in strict definitions of what it means to be a vegetarian. Simply making the commitment to eat a more plant-based diet is an amazing step on the road of good health. Choosing to become a full blown vegetarian is big decision with many factors to be considered.

Why Become Vegetarian?

animal flesh, dairy, eggs, gelatin, and honey. This means that many products we may normally eat or use – such as marshmallows, wool, leather, and tallow soap – are not a part of a vegan lifestyle. Pesco Vegetarians - These vegetarians do not consume meat or poultry, but choose to include seafood and fish in their diets. Semi Vegetarians - I was actually a semi-vegetarian for awhile and never hesitated to reveal this to people who would ask! A semi-vegetarian is a loosely defined category of people 45

who do not necessarily eschew animal flesh totally, but instead choose to emphasize a plant-based diet while occasionally eating meat, poultry, or foul. Raw vegetarians - Not only do raw vegetarians shun animal flesh, eggs, and dairy, they also do not consume any food that has been heated above around 108°. Cooking above this temperature begins to destroy the enzymes that are inherent in all fruits and vegetables. For raw vegetarians, their food is mainly, well, raw! It’s not all carrots and salads however; there are many fabulous raw

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food recipes that involve the use of sprouted grains and dehydrated cracker recipes, among other things. These five categories only begin to scratch the surface of what it means to be a vegetarian. In reality, being vegetarian can mean whatever you want it to! Whether you are considering a complete lifestyle shift to avoid all animal products or you would simply like to reduce meat consumption in your diet – you are not alone. Vegetarianism is not an exclusive, all-or-nothing club.

August / September 2011

Becoming a vegetarian – whether vegan, ovo-lacto vegetarian, or however you want to define your state of vegetarianism – is a big commitment. Before taking this step it’s imperative that you look inward and ask yourself: Why do I want to become a vegetarian? There are countless answers to this question. Perhaps it’s to lose weight, or for heath reasons. Maybe you are becoming more interested in animal rights, or you are concerned with the effects that cattle, poultry, hog, and fish farming have on the environment. While there are numerous reasons that people may choose to live a vegetarian lifestyle, a few of the main ones include: 1) health, 2) animal rights, and 3) the environment. Continued on next page...


food & health longer and healthier live. Their risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, high-cholesterol and hypertension is reduced.

....Continued from page 45. An Apple a Day The old adage that says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” actually has a lot of value! Time and time

46

again, studies have shown that people who consume increased amounts of fruits and vegetables. Studies have also shown decreased amounts of animal flesh can lead to a

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Vegetarians also typically weigh less than their carnivorous peers. Unfortunately some popular current fad diets promote increased consumption of meats in order to lose weight. True, most people lose weight on these diets, but that is because the diet also restricts the intake of carbohydrates. Excess consumption of refined starches and sugars is not a good thing, but these diets typically also restrict the consumption of fruits (full of vitamin C, quercetin, anti-oxidants!) and legumes (full of soluble

August / September 2011

fibre, protein!). These diets are hard to maintain over a long period of time and end up robbing the body of nutrients. A vegetarian diet is the healthiest diet that is out there. Some vegetarians make the mistake of replacing the meat with additional starches such as pasta, rice, or sugary-foods. This can cause some vegetarians to actually gain weight initially. However, when meat is replaced with a healthy source of protein – such as beans or tofu – and lots of dark, leafy greens (think spinach and kale), then the body’s need for protein is met and excess weight is lost. The benefits of health extend far beyond weight


food & health loss. Vegetarian diets contain far fewer contaminants. Consider the fact that most animals are fed with cheap genetically modified (GMO) corn and soy products, when they are biologically designed to eat grass. Whatever the animal eats ends up in their flesh – that includes animal growth hormones, steroids, anti-biotics, and medications. Remember, you are what you eat. Live and Let Live Not many of us have sat down to a nice Sunday afternoon of roast chicken after catching the chicken, killing it, plucking its feathers, gutting it, cleaning it, then cooking it. Instead, the first several steps have been done for us. We simply visit our local grocery store, select a plastic wrapped chicken and pop it in the oven. North American society has become almost entirely dissociated with our food. This is a dissociation that the agricultural business industry wants to, because the farming practices that occur today are so far removed from those in the past. Farming has developed into a food production industry in which animals are treated like inanimate objects. They are malnourished, mistreated, and lead horrific existences until they end up at the slaughterhouse. Animal rights go beyond issues of killing animals for 47

food. Even if your decision is to become a vegetarian who occasionally consumes poultry or fish, try to eat local, naturally raised animals. The quality of the meat is far superior, since the animals are properly fed and lead happy lives. They are allowed to roam free in pastures, and do not undergo the stressful situation of being shipped off to a conventional slaughterhouse. Consider this: whenever we find ourselves in a stressful situation, the adrenal gland dumps cortisol into our body and it permeates the muscles (this is the “fight or flight” reaction). Animals are no different. When you choose conventionally grown meat, it is full of cortisol, chemicals and hormones. Heal the World We have developed into a global society that consumes (literally and figuratively speaking) more than we give back to the planet. We have disrupted the delicate reciprocal relationship that we have with the earth. Excessive consumption of meat products further disrupts this balance.

pounds of grain. Further, slaughterhouse factories require a significant amount of water and oil in order to run, and the green house gas emissions are horrendous. While the embodied energy, being the trucks and trains used to ship the animals and their meat use a considerable amount of energy. To Each Their Own If you decide to become a vegetarian, whatever your reason may be, it is your own. There are so many benefits to becoming a vegetarian – increased health and longevity, weight loss, and positive environmental impact, just to name a few. Whether you’re considering becoming vegan or simply considering adding a few “vegetarian days” into your

The livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation worldwide in the form of deforestation, air and water pollution, climate change, and loss of biodiversity, according to the United Nations. Consider this: to produce 1 pound of beef, it takes about 2,400 gallons of water and 7

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August / September 2011

weekly meals, know that by choosing meat-free options you are creating a lasting favorable impact on your health and on the world.

Nadine Todd - is a T&G writer and educator based in Toronto. She is passionate about both learning and sharing knowledge with others. She writes on topics of vegetarian lifestyles and yoga in the Food & Health section of thriftyandgreen.com


feature series

Chloe

Coscarelli Chloe Coscarelli is a vegan chef and winner of Food Networks Cupcake Wars.

Heroines for the Planet

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feature series

C

hloe Coscarelli LB: At what point did is as sweet you realize that food was as the your life’s passion and you vegan wanted to become a vegan cupcakes chef? Did you have any which landed her the winreservations or fleeting ner on the Food Network’s thoughts of failure? Cupcake Wars. She truly is! At just 23, Chloe has CC: While I was in colbaked her way to the top, lege at Berkeley, I found and she’s helped veganism garner the mainstream myself cooking more media attention that it so than I was studying. My deserves. friends would spend late In between a mix of baking, cooking and writing her next cookbook, I chatted with the young vegan chef about “the big win,” her thoughts on America’s food industry and how she continues to refine her craft each day.

Lindsay E. Brown: You decided to go vegan in High School and you never looked back. What do you love most about your vegan lifestyle? Chloe Coscarelli: I love everything about being vegan! It feels great to be able to look my loving dogs in the eyes and know that I am not eating any animals for lunch. I also feel great eating vegan food because it never leaves me feeling heavy or tired after I eat. I also find that vegan food tends to be more flavorful, colorful, and creative than foods that rely on meat and dairy for flavor.

nights in the library and I would smuggle in baked goods to pass around to them. Whenever a friend had a birthday, I would take the opportunity to not sleep for 3 nights and craft a quadruple-tired birthday cake (wedding cake style!). At some point I decided to listen to the voice inside of me that wanted to cook and I took a summer internship at Millennium, the best vegan restaurant in SF. When I graduated Berkeley, I got straight on a plane to NY to begin culinary school. There were SO many times that I doubted my choice to pursue cooking, but every day that I spend in the kitchen reminds me how grateful I am to do what I love. It’s not always easy to follow your dreams, but the challenge and uncertainty is what makes it exciting.

the top honor, how did you audition for Cupcake Wars? You were this beautiful, progressive young women bringing something entirely different to the counter. Were you concerned that the Food Network wouldn’t pay attention to your vegan cupcakes? CC: I found an ad for the casting call on twitter one day and decided to try out on a whim! I was nervous that the Food Netork wouldn’t want to cast a vegan baker on the show, but they were totally open to it! I was so relieved! LB: You’ve been such a breath of fresh air for the vegan community in that you’ve caught mainstream media’s attention and

LB: Before you took home

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more people are finally seeing that vegan cooking is exciting, delicious and healthy. How does it feel to know you’ve ignited such interest in vegan cooking? CC: It is so wonderful to see veganism catching on in the mainstream media in more ways than one! I get so excited when people write me to tell me that they tried eating vegan for the first time with my recipes and loved it! Plus, the growing number of egg and dairy allergies makes all the more reason for vegan baking to come to the mainstream! LB: What bothers you most about the U.S. food and meat industry ?


feature series

CC: It is certainly frustrating to see advertisements that target kids and promote unhealthy and environmentally harmful eating habits. The good news is that there is a growing source of new information helping to change this! LB: You don’t strike me as the sort of girl who’d rest on her laurels after a big win. How do you continue to refine your craft and better yourself each day? CC: With all the great vegan restaurants in LA, it’s tempting to eat out a lot, but cooking and bak50

ing everyday is the best way to learn and grow as a chef! I’m working on a cookbook right now, so I have been spending lots of time in the kitchen testing and retesting my recipes! I’m also lucky enough to live with my dad and brother who gobble down EVERYTHING I make, so there is little waste! LB: The recipes on your site are to die for! Do you prefer to cook or bake? And can you share with us a few of the secret ingredients you love to work with?

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CC: Thanks Lindsay! Do I have to decide? I love to cook AND bake! For savory, cooking avocado has got to be my favorite ingredient because it is creamy, rich and delicious- a perfect replacement for animal fat! As for dessert- coconut milk is a fabulous dairyfree substitute for heavy cream. I love to use it in my baking. LB: You’re just 23! What’s up next for you? CC: I’m working on a cookbook that will be out in Feb 2012. I’m so excited to share it with

August / September 2011

everyone, so please stay in touch for more details! Lindsay E. Brown, is a T&G writer, prominent eco-activist, and author in New York. Her writing has appeared in numerous notable publications and pens the popular series “Heroines for the Planet” where she interviews amazing women at work affecting green change. Lindsay was named in Ecover’s 30 Americans Under 30, in which young American leaders in environmentalism are recognized for their efforts. She also organized and led a rally at New York’s Central Park for 350.org’s Climate Change Day.


Green Path

THE

A beginners guide to green

The Green Path is an original web series with updates each week that explore green topics for newbies. Get tips for living a greener life, see places and meet people that are changing the world. The best part is you can too!

TUESDAYS

with Christa Shelton 51

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feature series THE

Green Path

A beginners guide to green with Christa Shelton

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re you new to the green movement? Do you know someone who is?

If you have answered yes to either question, then you have come to the right place! The “Green Path” is a place for beginners to learn about how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. I slowly began educating myself on the green movement and the importance of being environmentally aware some time ago, and now I’m fully dedicated to being green each day! I blog daily about veganism and the importance of maintaining a healthy body, but I realized that

it doesn’t matter what we put in our bodies if we are breathing in toxic air each time we step outside of our homes. So, I decided it was time for me to do more be proactive in my support of the green movement and what better way to charter this course than with others who are on the same page! I see so far that I couldn’t have been more right in bringing others along for the walk along the green path. I’ve received comments from readers, friends and family about how much they’ve learned thus far and have shared what changes they have made in their daily lives and I’m more than thrilled to hear their

stories. In order to make a significant contribution to the health of our planet, it must be a group effort. We must all work as a team to bring about changes in our environment, communities and even our daily lives + families. The Green Path answers questions such as; Is global warming real? What is sustainability?, Does is really matter if I recycle? Why should I grow my own food when I can just go to the store? This series goes beyond just the surface and provides you with the knowledge and insight needed to make a difference right where you live, and hopefully influence

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others around you. This series is designed to make learning about sustainability fun and accessible. Not only do I bring research, but will also be sharing interviews and insights from those that are already deeply rooted in the eco-friendly lifestyle to provide even more tips, information and inspiration to keep us all motivated to continually work together to do our part to protect the earth- our home. It has been my goal each week to bring interesting and relevant content that can be applied to our daily lives. I began with the importance of maintaining a green home in reference to how we clean and how


feature series crucial it is to pay attention to the products we use to do so. I tackled the two most important areas to keep clean and usually the places where most people spend their time, the kitchen and the bathroom. I discussed eco-friendly options as it pertains to what products to use to keep these rooms in tip top shape! It was interesting to me to discover what you can make at home to do your cleaning! Baking soda for one, goes a very long way in both the kitchen and the bathroom. You can’t beat inexpensive and non-toxic when it comes to cleaning supplies! After bringing green cleaning to the forefront, I ended up taking a few steps back. I have a tendency to get ahead of myself at times and realized that I may have gone too far too soon

on the path and needed to go back to basics. Yes, it’s important to know how to clean your home in a sustainable way, however, there are other preliminary things to consider as a beginner as to not get overwhelmed. So, I dealt with some very attainable and familiar actions as it relates to the green movement. First it is important to not forget to recycle, buy local and organic produce, and the then emphasizing the huge benefits of using public transportation and carpooling. Not only do you help protect the environment by public transportation and carpooling, we learned how much it affects our wallets as well, producing big savings. Another area of large concern relating to sustainability is our water. It was

important for me to share first and foremost how our water system works, then segue into how to conserve water and the best kind to drink. Small things like turning the water off in between brushing your teeth, not running the dishwasher or washing machine until completely full produces huge returns in the conservation of water if everyone just performed these simple actions. Many of these principles are outlined in our Going Green Guide page, a hugely valuable resource. I of course also touched on doing your best to stay away from buying bottled water. I personally drink alkaline water that I purchase from my nearby water store and use glass bottles. I do my very best to fill-up in my own non-plastic water bottle and carry it with me as much as I can to avoid buy-

There are five floating plastic masses in the worlds oceans, one is the size of Texas. Learn more on thriftyandgreen.com 54

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ing bottled water. Having a filter is also a wonderful choice as well which you can also use to fill-up your eco-friendly bottles daily. All of these choices help to keep plastic away from our oceans and landfills. Another thing we all do is shop (whether some of us like it or not) so I delved into how to do so in a very sustainable way. I know some of you may be thinking, how does how or where I shop affect the environment? Well, I found quite a few surprises along the way that I would never have considered and have now implemented in my own life. The big one for me was not taking receipts unless absolutely necessary. I know some of you wouldn’t think of leaving the store without that little piece of paper. However, if you really don’t need it for anything, why waste


The Green Path unnecessary paper and kill trees for no reason? So, one thing I do now is when I go to the ATM, it gives me the option to have my receipt e-mailed and I always do this now and it’s a choice I feel good about. Another easy way to shop green is to take your own bag to the store. This is a practice I’m glad to see many people taking advantage of while shopping and I hope this continues to grow. I stress keeping some bags in your car as you never know when you’ll have to make a quick stop. These are just two of the examples I give to nudge you into thinking green when you shop! I thought it was also so very important to provide a green vocabulary lesson before continuing down the path. I didn’t want to

go any further without stopping for a breather to make sure we were all on the same page. I know oftentimes I can be guilty of reading something and having a general idea of what all of the terms used mean, but not the full scope to really have a broad understanding. I wanted to make sure this wasn’t the case going forward with this series. So, I invited everyone to Green 101 and discussed some basic terms we hear everyday but may not really understand. I defined terms such as greenhouse gases, ecosystem, fossil fuels and carbon footprint. You may even be scratching your head right now, but the green path has the answers for you! Finally, as we march into the warmer months, I had

to talk about having a sustainable summer! With temperatures rising the use of more electricity does so as well to keep our homes cool. I discussed alternative ways to keep your homes cool, such as only running the air conditioner if absolutely vital and turning it off altogether if possible in the evenings when it tends to be cooler and using a fan to circulate the air. Of course another solution is to keep the blinds drawn during the day to avoid the glare of the sun which of course keeps the temperature warm inside as well. I also touch on choosing to have a “staycation” rather than traveling far from home for your summer vacation. Visiting popular destinations in your area

Staycation Postcard from Let’s Go Camping on Growing Up Green, an original series in the Family section on thriftyandgreen.com

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helps to cut back on the fuel it takes getting you to your far away destinations. However, if staying close to home is not a viable option, I give very feasible actions to take for getting to your destination and ways you can be green when you arrive such as using public transportation options for getting around or if you do have to rent a car to choose a hybrid model. Even something as small as packing lightly also helps to save on the fuel because your car or plane doesn’t waste as much when the load is lighter! The Green Path is a great place to learn if I do say so myself! I also think it’s a great refresher course for those that have been in the green movement for a while too! Sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics and make sure you are not forgetting basic things that can help alot. I’m so excited to continue learning and I hope you will come along and join me on the path Tuesdays! Christa Shelton, is the T&G Lifestyle Editor and a writer in Los Angeles, CA. She writes about veganism + health, and is interested in expanding her knowldege of green topics and awareness though her experiences with this series — which appears exclusively on thriftyandgreen.com Tuesdays!


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feature series

Good food For the Week

MAKE AHEAD COOKING

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wo sisters. Yes, we are sisters. Cherl Famili and Sheba Family. The luck of our names? Thank my husband for that — only had to change one letter! Sheba and I have not only spent our youth together, but also our careers Funny as it may be, we are having a lot of fun. We wouild like to introduce you to our original food series on thriftyandgreen. com. You will find updates every Thursday that focus on making Good Food for the Week. Let me tell you a little about us and perhaps that will tell you a lot about our series. We love food and grew up with parents, who were very busy, yet valued the importance of a family meal. Whether

it was the product of the times, the family or society at large - dinner is where time always stood still. It was time to eat, laugh, talk and enjoy. To this day we both eat local, farmer’s market organic food. We value our local food producers veyr much and want to support them in a signifcant way.

to bond and to share. The greatest benefit is that we know what we are going to eat for the week, .and that gives us something to look forward to! More importantly, we have come to value our food, our food source, our time together and what makes us a family.

I spend saturday morning at the farmer’s market with my daughter and husband. We pick-up our box from our farmer co-op, and then walk the market adding to it. We eat at home 5 days a week - breakfast, lunch and dinner. On saturday, after the market, we come home and spend a few hours preparing the meals for the week. It is now something we all look forward to. It has become a time to talk,

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I always say the best thing about a down economy is that you remember what is most important. In that spectrum, of most importance; is how we value ourselves. We think a great part of that value is how we feed ourselves, what we feed ourselves with and of course who is there when we feed ourselves.


Good Food for the Week Let me give you an example: We went out to dinner the other night and my daughter sat in the car and said that while she enjoyed the food at the restaurant - and of course we love to go out - she loved our food at home. Often time in summer we take our food out. All joking aside - we do! We take it and we picnic - just another way to eat out. What a wonderful way to enjoy nature at the same time. So too Sheba, also practices a similar lifestyle, also belonging to a CSA (community sustainable agriculture). It makes it so easy for us to go to each other’s homes for diner and still enjoy the same high quality, love made food. She is creative - one of those people who loves to experiment and cooks creatively. We grew up with a lot of persian food - hence vegetables were a staple in our lives. We believe good food does not need to have sugar, carbs and fat. With that said, we believe in moderation. We can still have carbs, sugar and fat - but taste comes from ripe, fresh, seasonal foods - where the vegetables, legumes, fruit and more make the flavors. By the way, in my opinon a big part of that ‘more’ is definitely herbs and seasonings. I think all the persian food in our lives made us adventurous, and gave us 58

the drive to seek out different foods from different cultures. We eat and enjoy a medley of foods from a variety of origins. Join us as we can take a walk through the seasons, creating foods we know you will love to eat, good staples, good snacks and of course comfort foods! We hope you enjoy and find useful this exerpt taken from the first episode of Good Food for the Week.

Pizza, Spring Rolls, Chicken and Rice. We hope you will enjoy as much as we enjoy bringing you this series each week! This menu is both healthy and economical. We have listed the price* of every item on the ingredient list and allowed for a few indulgences such as yummy Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies we borrowed from Lori Winter, of the T&G series Sustainable Food.

Please do join us Thursdays so that we can help one another strive to provide our family’s with healthy meals without the stress of last minute preparation.

Note that some substitutions can be made to make the menu even more economical: for example Organic whole chickens are the least expensive way to eat organic chicken. Many do not want to deal with a whole body chicken so often these birds are marked down. If you take them home, clean and

Welcome to Good Food for the Week. We have a very exciting menu for you this week. This includes Salmon, Steak, Tortilla

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roast there will be no worry of freshness and you can come by your chicken for around $2 - $4 per pound instead of two or three times that. You may also buy a less expensive fish to replace the Salmon, such as Tilapia. Note however that we have chosen Salmon due to its health benefits namely the unusually high omega-3 fatty acid content which promotes cardio health and well being and much more. Enjoy! The great thing about making a healthy soup at the beginning of the week is that it is a wonderful staple for lunches or light meals and leftovers can easily be frozen for the next time your in the mood for that soup. If you generally stick continued on next page...


feature series continued from page 58. with this habit you will build up a nice store of frozen varieties from which to choose. It is healthful and will always hold you over until the next meal without putting on those extra calories.

Good food : 5-Day Menu Monday

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Chimichurri Salmon with Green Beans

Tuesday

Salmon Salad on Toast

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Turnips

Wednesday

Chicken Quesadillas

Curried Rice with Chicken and Peas

Thursday

Veggie Quinoa Salad

Bratwurst Sausages and Coleslaw

Sausage &Cheese Pizza on a Tortilla

Flank Steak with Warm Herbed Quinoa

Healthy Soup for the Week

Kale and Cabbage Veggie Soup

Healthy Dessert for the Week

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friday

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Good Food for the Week Shopping List:

Prices are approximate and vary by location Meats and Fish 2 4-lb. chickens (12.97$) 5 Salmon fillets (23.95$) Bratwurst sausages (5.49$) 1 (1 ½- to 1 ¾-pound) beef flank steak (6.99$)

1 tbsp turmeric (0.10$) 1 tbsp ginger (0.10$) 2 bay leaves (0.10$) 1 tsp red pepper flakes (0.10$) 3 tbsp curry powder (0.20$)

Dairy Shredded cheese(3.99$)

Recipes and instructions follow on the next page...

Grains 8 slices rye bread (4.99$) Tortilla (3.95$) 3 cups Quinoa (5.50$)

Good food : recommends

Produce 6 medium red skin potatoes (0.75$) 3 large turnips (1.29$) 1 large yellow onion (0.36$) 1 red onion (0.49$) 6 carrots (1.19$) 4 celery ribs (1.50$) 1 bunch kale (0.99$) 1 head green cabbage (2.07$) 7 garlic cloves (1.39$) 1 bunch parsley (0.99$) 1 bunch oregano (0.99$) 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves (0.99$) 1 lb Green beans (2.50$) 1 head Boston lettuce (1.99$) 1 bunch chives (0.99$) 1 bunch mint (0.99$) 1 bunch cilantro (0.99$) 3 lemons (1.39$) 1 large handful baby spinach (1.99$) 4 large tomatoes (1.29$) Pantry 3 tbsp Oil (1.00$) 2 cups olive oil (5.99$) 1 can green peas (0.99$) 2 tbsp mayonnaise (0.25$) 1 tsp honey (0.25$) 1 tsp yellow mustard (0.15$) ½ cup balsamic vinegar (1.75$) 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (0.50$) 2 bouillon cubes (0.80$) Salt pepper (0.30$) 1 tbsp Poultry seasoning (0.10$) 1 tbsp cumin (0.10$) 60

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Find these and more at:

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feature series

Good food :

Cooking guide

You can get almost all of your prep and cooking work done today so that little work needs to be done during the week. The rest of your week can be spent on more important things.

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Start by roasting your chickens since we will do the rest of the working while the chicken is cooking. Preheat oven to 350 F. Rub the chickens with olive oil and a good quality poultry seasoning including salt and peppers. Once the oven reaches desired temperature, put the chickens in the oven’s middle rack. Cook 20 min per pound. For 5 pound chickens, 1 h 40 min or until internal temperature reaches 165 F. We will be using one of the chickens for Tuesday’s Roasted Chicken dinner, so halfway through the cooking process we will add the potatoes and turnips. Cut the potatoes into wedges and peel and do the same to the turnips. Toss in oil, salt and pepper and add to the roasting pan. Remove the chicken with the potatoes and turnips 15 minutes prior to ready time as you will reheat it in the oven on Tuesday and don’t want to dry it out. With the other chicken: we will use half for the Chicken Quesadillas and half for the Curried Rice with Chicken and Peas. Make your Kale and Cabbage Veggie Soup next. Start by sautéing 1 large chopped yellow onion, 3 chopped carrots and 4 celery ribs in a large soup pot for about 7-8 minutes on medium heat. While the trio is sauteing, add seasonings: salt, pepper, 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tbsp ginger, 1 tbsp cumin. Then add entire bunch of chopped kale, half a head of chopped cabbage and enough water to fill the pot. Add 2 bouillon cubes and 2 bay leaves. If desired , add 1/4 cup brown rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a THRIFTYANDGREEN.com

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simmer for 30 minutes. Add 1 tbsp each of fresh parsley and fresh oregano. It is now ready to serve, store it in your fridge to snack on all week long. Marinate your Salmon for tomorrow’s, (Monday’s) dinner. Place Salmon in a Pyrex for storage and add: 3 finely minced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, 3 tbsp cilantro, 3 tbsp finely chopped oregano, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp cumin (optional). You will bake this Salmon tomorrow at 400 F right before serving. Depending on the fillet’s thickness, it will take between 10-20 min until fish flakes with a fork. While the fish is baking, you can sauté your green beans to serve alongside. To save time for tomorrow, make sure your green beans are washed and trimmed. Make your Vietnamese Spring Rolls next for tomorrow’s lunch. These are delicious and so healthy. Begin by chopping all the veggies that you need. We will use half of these for the spring rolls and reserve the rest of the veggies in a container to mix with the extra salmon for Tuesday’s Salmon Salad lunch. Veggies include 1 head boston lettuce (slice, remove ribs), 3 carrots (shred), 1 bunch chives, 1 bunch mint (julienne ribbon chop) ,1/2 bunch cilantro (julienne ribbon chop). Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip your rice paper into the warm water until it is


Good Food for the Week soft and malleable, only a few seconds. Lay the sheet on a flat surface, then put 2 cooked shrimp (if small shrimp, slice lengthwise in half ) at the bottom half center, then a little of each veggie ingredient. Careful not to overstuff as the rice paper will tear once you start to roll it. Roll over once, tuck in the sides, then continue to roll. Serve about 2-4 rolls per person with store bought peanut sauce.

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Marinate your Flank Steak for Friday’s dinner. Whisk together ½ cup balsamic vinegar, ¾ cup olive oil, 4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped, 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary leaves, 1 beef flank steak, Salt and freshly ground pepper and add your steak. Store in the freezer until Thursday night. Make your Curried Rice with Chicken and Peas. First step is to make the rice. You can use a pot or rice maker. In a pot, bring to boil 2.5 cups of white basmati rice with 4 cups of water, 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tsp salt. Immediately reduce to simmer and cover. While the rice is cooking, shred the half chicken that you roasted. In a pan, heat 1 tsbp oil, sauté 1 half chopped red onion on medium and add 3 tbsp of curry powder. Add the shredded chicken and any roasting liquids from the pans as well as a can of green peas. Mix well to ensure all the curry flavor is absorbed by the chicken and peas. If there is not enough liquid add a couple of tbsp of water or chicken broth. Sauté for just 5 min or so. Add to rice once it is ready and mix well to ensure that the rice absorbs the curry flavor. Curried Rice is ready!

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Assemble your Chicken Quesadillas for Wednesday’s Lunch. Use the reserved chicken and shredded cheese and lay between 2 tortilla flats. Feel free to add some additional herbs to the Quesadillas to jazz it up, our personal favorites are parsley and oregano.


feature series

Good food :

Serving guide

DAY

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Monday - 25 min - (15 min active time) Lunch : Vietnamese Spring Rolls - These were made yesterday, Sunday. They can be eaten cold or at room temperature. Peanut sauce can be heated if you prefer. Dinner: Chimichurri Salmon with Green Beans - preheat oven to 400 F. Bake Salmon until it flakes easily with a fork. Keep in mind it will keep cooking for a few minutes when you take it out of the oven. Anywhere between 10-20 min depending on thickness of fillets. While the salmon is baking, sauté the green beans with 1 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp water. Add salt and pepper to taste. If sweetness is desired, shred or thinly slice onion and sauté along with green beans. Sauté until beans are bright green and still crisp. 5 -7 min on medium heat. Put aside a handful of green beens for your quinoa salad on Thursday. Prep work for tomorrow: use the extra salmon to mix with the reserve veggies from step 4, Vietnamese Spring Rolls in Day 0 (Sunday). Chop the salmon, mix with the veggies and add the juice of 1 lemon, 2 tbsp of mayo as well as salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted rye bread for tomorrow’s lunch.

DAY Tuesday - 15 min - (no prep required)

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Lunch : Salmon Salad with Rye Bread - This was assembled yesterday, Monday night. Enjoy!

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Dinner: Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Turnips - This meal was baked on Sunday. Reheat in the oven at 350 F for about 15 min. - 25 min - (15 min active DAY Wednesday time)

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Lunch: Chicken Quesadilla - This was assembled on Sunday, just heat it up, preferably in a skillet or toaster oven. However, if you are in a jam, the microwave will work just fine! Dinner: Curried Rice with Chicken and Peas - This was prepared on Sunday, just heat and serve! Prep work: Use time saved today to do a little prep work for tomorrow. Make quinoa according to package directions. Use half for tomorrow and keep half for Friday’s dinner. Store away Friday’s quinoa. For tomorrow’s quinoa, mix with reserved green beans from Monday. Add half a red onion, thinly sliced. Add a large handful of baby spinach. Add dressing ( whisk 2tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice + 4 tbsp olive oil + salt + pepper)

DAY Thursday - 25 min active time

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Lunch: Veggie Quinoa Salad - This was made last night. Enjoy! Dinner: Bratwurst Sausages and coleslaw - There are two great things about brat-


Good Food for the Week

wurst sausages: the great taste and the fact that they are easy to make. Since the come cooked already, you can simple slap them on the BBQ or pan fry them to get a good crisp outer layer and ensure they are warm all the way through. While those are cooking, use your left over cabbage and carrots to put together a fresh coleslaw. For the dressing, whisk together 1 tsp yellow mustard, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp honey, and 1 tbsp olive olive oil. Pour over the carrots and cabbage and mix. Slice and set aside 2 sausages for the pizza for tomorrow’s lunch. Prep: remove Flank steak from freezer for tomorrow. Assemble pizza for tomorrow’s lunch. To assemble the pizza, start by laying out the tortilla, next lay on the slices of fresh tomatoes, shredded cheese, and finally slices of sausages. Store for baking for lunch tomorrow.

DAY Friday - 25 min (15 min active time)

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Lunch - Tortilla Pizza - This was assembled last night. Heat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 min. Dinner - Flank Steak and Warm Herbed Quinoa. If you have never cooked flank

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steak before, there are a few tricks. First, don’t overcook it. You can tell how well cook ed the beef is by pushing on it with your finger and testing its resistance. Don’t be afraid of a more rare piece of meat and remember it keeps cooking after you remove it from the heat. Second, let it rest and the juices won’t run when you cut into it. Third and most important with flank steak, you must cut/slice the meat against the grain. This will guarantee tender slices of beef every time. Heat your grill or pan to med- high. Cook steak 4 to 5 min on each side for medium-rare. Cook one approx. min more on each side for medium-well. While the steak is cooking, chop the left over herbs from this week’s meals: parsley, cilantro, mint and chives and mix with the reserved quinoa made on Friday. You can heat the quinoa in the microwave, or better yet, on the stove mix with a little water or beef broth. Voila! Dinner is served. We hope you enjoy these recipes. Feel free to share your recipes, comments, suggestions and questions with us and be sure to check back with us next Thursday for a new meal plan for the week! Sheba Family and Cheryl Famili are T&G food writers living in Southern California and the hosts of Good Food for the Week.. They both support organic food and local producers and are interested in recycling, improving conditions for the homeless in Southern California and promoting green values and ideas.

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current

Gone

Berry Picking!

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went to my mom’s today to pick blueber ries at a farm near her house. It was lots of fun! My kids love picking berries and I love for my kids to see where foods come from. and how they grow and how they are harvested. We have blueberry bushes in our yard but they are still small and the birds always beat us to the berries.

My mom and daughter make a great berry picking pair. My mother insisted that I need twice as many berries as I thought was enough. “That’s enough,” I said to which she replied calmly and as if in agree-

ment, “Yes. That’s not enough at all.” Me with my mini-me and our buckets of blueberries. We freeze our extras and pull them out for blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins

My grandmother is 96 so she didn’t tramp along the bushes with us but she watched from the porch and enjoyed the view. My grandmother and I are very much alike and we both love to be busy!

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throughout the year. They come out cheaper than at the supermarket and you get to pick only the best berries. Plus it is loads of fun for the family! See the recipe on page 64.


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August / September 2011PAOLICCI WRITER SCARLET


seasonal recipes

Blueberry muffins Big Blueberry Muffins

Yield 8 large muffins

Ingredients

Directions

1 1/2 cups all-purpose organic flour 3/4 cup natural cane sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 organic or free range egg 1/3 cup milk 1 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup natural cane sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose organic flour 1/4 cup butter, cubed 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. 2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture. 3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking. 4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

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seasonal recipes

Salmon on plank Cedar Plank Salmon Ingredients 1 cedar plank (6 by 14 inches) 2 salmon fillets (1 1/2 pounds total) 2 Tbsp Olive Oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper Directions Soak cedar plank in salted water for 2 hours, then drain. Remove skin and any remaining bones from salmon fillet. Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the salmon with olive oil, then generously season

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with salt and pepper. Lay the salmon (on what was skin-side down) on the cedar plank. Set grill heat to mediumhigh and place the cedar plank in the center of the hot grate. Cover the grill and cook until cooked through, around 20 to 30 minutes. The internal temperature should read 135 degrees F. Check the plank occasionally. If the edges start to catch fire, mist with water, or move the plank to a cooler part of the grill. Transfer the salmon and plank to a platter and serve right off the plank.

August / September 2011


Salmon: Wild vs. Farmed

Fish is cited by nutritional bodies, like the Mayo Clinic, to be among the most beneficial foods to include in our diet. The omega-3 fatty acids found in some fish, like Salmon, are known to reduce inflammation throughout the body with the benefits of lowering blood pressure, reducing blood clotting, boosting immunity, reducing arthritic symptoms and increasing concentration. Furthermore, eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is known to reduce the risk of heart disease. When purchasing salmon, however, it is important to be sure that you’re choice is good for the earth as well as your body. Currently, that means purchasing wild – not farmed – salmon. Wild Vs Farmed Wild salmon are caught in the open ocean. The wild salmon populations are carefully monitored by government organizations, like the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in Canada and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the USA, to ensure

sustainability. The following graph outlines the objectives of and strategies of the DFO. Farmed salmon fisheries have traditionally meant open-net salmon farms in the ocean. Open net farms refer to the practice of dropping enclosures into sheltered bays and inlets in offshore coastal areas and filling them with thousands of fish. This high-impact aquaculture method is wrought with environmental and health problems. Environmentalists, urging a precautionary approach, have been accused of overstating them, while farm owners and some governments have minimized or denied the problems. But an increasing number of studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals raise undeniable issues (e.g., “Transmission Dynamics of Parasitic Sea Lice from Farm to Wild Salmon,” Proceedings of the Royal Society; “A Global Assessment of Salmon Aquaculture Impacts on Wild Salmonids,” PLoS Biology).

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food & health

Problems with Open Net Fish Farms 1. Waste from the fish passes freely into the surrounding environment, polluting the wild habitat. 2. Farmed fish escape and compete with wild fish for natural resources or interbreed with wild fish of the same species, compromising the wild population. 3. Disease and parasites can spread to wild fish living near or swimming past net pens. 4. Because net-cage salmon are kept in close confinement, farmers also required drugs and other chemicals to combat disease and sea lice. Some of those drugs enter the environment, creating the potential for both antibiotic resistance and direct harm to other sea life like prawns and lobsters. 5. Farmers also have trouble keeping out predators out of the enclosures. continued on page 73...


recipes

e k a B o N

Recipe By: Jessica Seinfeld

home made snacks

energy bars

Prep time: 10 minutes Total time: 40 minutes

This recipe is courtesy of Jessica Seinfeld and is available at www.doitdelicious. com. Jessica’s books are an excellent source for healthier deserts and include fabulous kid-friendly baking for back-toschool.

1 ¼ cups brown rice cereal 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats ¼ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut ¼ cup flax meal ¼ cup raw chia seeds ½ cup brown rice syrup 6 tablespoons almond butter ½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Ingredients: cooking spray ¾ cup raw almonds

Directions: Spray an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the

Yield: 14 bars

continued on opposite page.... 72

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recipes

home made snacks

continued from page 70.

Coconut Date Orbs

pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until evenly chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and combine with the rice cereal, oats, coconut, flax meal, and chia seeds. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the rice syrup and almond butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until melted and creamy. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Press evenly into the prepared pan and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Grab the ends of the parchment and lift onto a cutting board. Slice into bars.

Salmon continued from page 71... The DFO reports that between 1996 and 2008, fish farmers killed 3,239 harbour seals and 7,678 Steller’s sea lions. Sometimes, the salmon farm nets themselves kill wildlife. 6. According to tests conducted by leading environmental organizations like the Environmental Working Group and the David Suzuki Foundation, more than 70% of farmed salmon are PCB contaminated and 90% of farmed salmon failed EPA health limits for weekly consumption, 6ppb, usually exceeding average by 4.5 times.

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Recipe By: Tovah Paglaro Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Yield: 12 orbs This recipe was passed to me from another mom-friend. She described it. I experimented. We loved it. Use this as inspiration and make your own orb creations. Ingredients: 1 cup pitted dates 1/2 cup almond butter Âź cup shredded dried coconut 1 tbsp icing sugar (optional) Directions: Combine dates and almond butter until the consistency is smooth and thick. Divide into teaspoon size portions and using your hands, form balls. Cover balls in shredded coconut by rolling them gently in the coconut. For sweeter orbs, add a tablespoon of icing sugar to the coconut.

PCBs in Farmed Fish PCBs stands for Polychlorinated Biphenyls. The name refers to any one, or any combination of 209 specific chemicals that are similar in structure. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that there is evidence to link long-term PCB exposure to an increased incidence of cancer, particularly liver and kidney cancer. PCBs are extremely persistent. They last for many years because they do not break down easily on their own and they are difficult to destroy. Although exposure to low levels of PCB’s does not appear to affect human health, they accumulate in the August / September 2011

human body, leading to long term health issues. The Alternatives Recently fish farming organizations and companies, like Demosa Farms in Washington, have started to experiment with closed containment salmon farming. These methods, which involve constructing farming tanks inland, have the potential to be a safer fish-farming alternative. It is, however, currently difficult to determine the origin of farmed salmon at the local supermarket. Wild Salmon is the better choice for our planet and our health.


a n a n Ba

recipes

home made snacks

bread

Recipe By: Susie Lansdowne Prep time: 10 minutes Total time: 60 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Directions:

A denser loaf than the traditional banana bread and despite being completely sugarfree, is a favorite in our house.

Preheat oven to 350C. Combine bananas, egg, butter & vanilla. Mix well.

Ingredients: 3-4 bananas, riped, mashed 1 egg 1/3 cup butter, melted 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp baking soda pinch of salt 1 1/2 cups flour

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Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture, letting them dissolve before mixing. Add the flour, mixing until just combined. Pour the batter into a greased pan. Bake approx 50 minutes. The loaf is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

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r e t t e b

back to school recipes

e t a l p i o h c o C h C

Recipe By: Tovah Paglaro Prep time: 25 minutes Total time: 40 minutes

Yield: 30 cookies This twist on the classic substitutes healthy fats, flours and sweetners for their harmful counterparts. Try making a whole batch, then rolling the dough into long rolls and freezing these. Cut off a few cookies at a time and bake them fresh for a special after-school treat in a rush. Ingredients: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 cups spelt flour or a mixture of flours 3/4 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 1 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips 1/2 tsp sea salt 3/4 tsp baking soda ½ tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp cardamom (optional) 75

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cookies

1/2 cup agave nectar 2/3 cup heated coconut oil* 3 tbs water or almond milk 1 tsp pure vanilla extract *substitute avocado or grapeseed oil if necessary Directions: Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Using a tablespoon, drop cookie dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.


do-it-yourself

c i n a g or

y r r e b Straw

Jam

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back to school recipes

Organic Strawberry Jam Recipe By: Jennifer Lance Making organic jam is easy, and it is one food item you can easily provide for your family with a bit of preparation you will have a year’s supply of jam in no time. This recipe makes about 5-6 cups of jam, so I like to double it. You don’t need a pressure canner to can jam; just a big pot will do. You will need to purchase pectin; I like sugar-free, citrus-based Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Yield: 5-6 Cups In preparation for canning: Sterilize your jelly jars. You can do this by placing them in boiling water or in your dishwasher. Also, heat up the rings and lids in a pot of water until little bubbles begin to appear, but do not boil. Heat a really large pot of water for canning. The jars must be completely covered by the water. Place a lid on the pot to help the water heat faster. To make the jam: 1. Pick or buy 2 quarts of berries 2. Clean the berries, remove the green tops, and mash gently. 3. Add 2 teaspoons of calcium water (included in pectin package) to mashed berries In a separate bowl combine: 1/2-1 cup honey, 3/4 cup-2 cup organic sugar, or the equivalents of stevia, su77

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canat, or maple syrup (the amount of sweetner should be adjusted for the sweetness of the berries you are using. I used one cup of sugar). Add 2 teaspoons pectin powder Bring mashed fruit to a boil. Add pectin/ sweetner mixture. Stir vigorously for two minutes, return to a boil, then remove from heat. Canning the jam: Fill each jar to 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the rims clean, then add the lids and screw tops. Place jars in the big pot of boiling water so that they are completely covered. Boil for 5 minutes (add 1 minute for every 1000 feet of elevation above sea level). Let jars completely cool. The jam will not solidify until cool. Check lids to make sure they are sealed/sucked down. We estimate we have saved our family $70 by canning a dozen jars of organic strawberry jam. Even better, we know where the strawberries were grown and the hands that have tended and harvested the fruit! My daughter had 4 helpings for breakfast this morning! Recipe courtesy

of ecochildsplay.com

August / September 2011


Fun

on the

Farm

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WRITER TOVAH August / September 2011PAGLARO


feature series

Growing Up Green

Have Fun and Help Kids learn about Where Food Comes From The Farm + Suburban Life Until 100 years ago, when the industrial revolution relegated food production to a few rural farmers, kids grew up with an understanding that sustainable nourishment was the responsibility of every person. They probably didn’t voice it as such, but life dictated the lesson. If the cow didn’t get milked, she dried up and there was no milk, cheese or butter. If the chickens weren’t fed, they didn’t lay eggs. If the garden wasn’t tended during the long days of summer, winter seemed much much longer! Inherent in daily life were lessons that taught responsibility, empathy and sustainability. This stands in stark contrast to my children’s reality where days can be joyfully spent playing on playground equipment, gallivanting on bicycles or devouring books and the table is always laid with delightful nourishment graciously provided by the market and by mom! They have chores. Of course they do. But if the dog isn’t fed, there is still milk. And 79

if their beds aren’t made, we still have eggs. And no matter what is done or isn’t done at home, we will not starve this winter and no animals will perish on our behalf. Farm Chores The lessons of farm life are, however, as important as ever. The principles are the same – we need to respect agricultural resources and animals that provide for us in order to ensure that they are able to continue doing so.

them fresh grass and maple leaves. Happy kids. Happy goats.

were expected to behave in the same respectful manner. Ann was also keen to share with me stories from 20 years of farming, and When it came to chores Farmer Ann was generous the kids soaked up tales with her time, taking the of endurance, perseveropportunity to explain to ance and love for the land. We ended the farm visit our city slickers the endwith the animals who we’d less hows and whys, and helped care for, giving our always emphasizing her role in meeting the animals children the gift they’d needs. As long as the kids were along for chores, they continued on page 81...

So our family visits farms, as often as we can manage, in the hope that this lesson will stick. Most recently, we spent two nights at Arrowvale Campground & Farm, where our kids had the chance to participate in daily chores. They spent the early part of the each day in anticipation - eager for the chance to feed horses, collect eggs, water ducklings and round up cattle. Luckily for all of us, the goats on the farm were ever present and always hungry, providing constant entertainment for caring farmers-to-be, who spent endless hours feeding

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August / September 2011


projects

Build a Scarecrow

Crafty Kids

Craft and Create with Your Family A Step-by-Step Guide What could add more character to a garden than a kid-fashioned scarecrow? This Thrifty & Green project meets everybody’s criteria – it’s easy, educational, fun and useful. There is no reason to be limited to traditional scarecrow design, so let the kids take the lead and have fun creating unique garden companions. For a container or balcony garden, consider a mini scarecrow, perhaps stuffed with the filling from an old pillow – much tidier than straw!

Build a Head - The toe of a nylon leg, or the corner of a pillowcase, stuffed with straw and fastened with string.

Supplies Old clothes Straw Women’s nylons or pillow case (to create head) Buttons, scraps, beads, felt, yarn (to design a face) Large wooden or bamboo stake Smaller wooden or bamboo stake (for the cross beam to hold up the arms) String Safety pins Needle and thread and/or hot glue gun

Put Scarecrow on a Pole - Cut small hole in the seat of the pants. Run support pole through the length of the scarecrow – from the hole in the seat out the neck. Affix the scarecrow to the pole using string.

Directions Stuff Scarecrow - Tightly stuff shirt and pants with straw.

Crafty Kids is an original weekly series and supplement to Growing Up Green in Family on thriftyandgreen.com

Create a Face - Sew buttons, yarn or other decorations onto the head to add a face. Tie Scarecrow Together. - Cut small holes in the neck and bottom of the shirt, and the bottom of the head. Using the string, tie the pieces of the scarecrow together.

Support the Arms - Running the cross bar through the sleeves. Cut a hole in the back of the shirt where the two poles T and tie with string. Enjoy the Scarecrow - In the garden. In the yard. Wherever you like!

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feature series

..continued from page 79. most hoped for – a ride on the donkeys! I can harp empathy, dictate sharing and jump up and down touting respect, responsibility and conservation – but our kids learned more in two days of farming than they will for the rest of the month. Farm Trips There is a farm trip that’s right for every family’s needs and desires, from simple observation to immersion and expansive stays. The basic categories are: Farm Visit: Visitors observe the working farm

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Growing Up Green

and animals. May offer guided or self-guided tours. Often allows limited interaction with the animals. Farm Tour: Behind the Scenes: Short interactive opportunities to assist with chores and learn about the farm and animals.

have farm associations that can direct you towards agri-tourism opportunities. Search for key words Farm Tour to find local resources in your area.

Farm Stay: Extended visits where guests work on the farm and experience the daily life of their hosts. Regardless of the extent of your stay, there are plenty of resources to help find a family friendly farm. These include: At Home: Communities

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August / September 2011

Away: For families seeking farm stays in the USA, sites like or can help you connect with your working paradise. ...continued on page 82


feature series

Growing Up Green

.continued from page 81.

after our recent visit.

Abroad: Internationally, farm stays through associations like WWOOF are gaining popularity as a sustainable travel option.

Our family isn’t alone in noticing the positive effects of farm visits. Experts agree that preschool and primary age children, as well as children with developmental or behavioral differences, benefit immensely from time on the farm.

Long Lasting Effects Nothing compares to the real farming experience, but online resources and books can also help to bring the farm home. With young children, using these tools to prepare them for the visit can help to maximize their Fun on the Tractor understanding and enjoyment of the farm. Likewise, a follow up activity – like a memory collage or a farm related craft – can help reinforce the experience. We had a fun afternoon crafting a cardboard barn & animals from recycled materials

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writer for T&G in Vancouver, BC. She manages the Family section of TG.com and our digital edition. She writes about Sustainable Family values and eco inspired crafts in her two seperate weekly oringial series Growing Up Green, and Crafty

The opportunity to interact with animals empowers youth with a strong sense of purpose and caring, while applied interaction with food production brings to life the importance of sustainable practices and conservation in the most interactive of ways. All of this, wrapped in thrifty and green fun! Tovah Paglaro is a mother of 3 and Family Editor +

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August / September 2011

Kids on thriftyandgreen.com which are updated every Thursday! Be sure to join her and the rest of the Paglaro family to share in thier experiences in living life as a sustainable family.


An Original Series Thursdays on thriftyandgreen.com in Family. Each week the Paglaro family share with us the joys + challenges of raising a family with sustainable values. Get ideas, advice, lots of fun green activities and more.

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stylistic速 q550 slate pc FREE SHIPPING 84

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What’s

your

eco Photo by: Paul Nicklen

85

IQ ?

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August / September 2011

WRITER TOVAH PAGLARO


THE QUIZ

1

What percentage of Global Energy comes from renewable sources? A.2% B. 8% C.14% D. 22%

2

Dropping your ther- mostat by 2 de grees F during the winter months decreases your heating bill by how much? A)20% B)10% C)5% D) 2%

3

Which of the follow ing is an alternative to trees in the manufacturing of pencils?

bamboo

newsprint

A.

B.

All of the Above recycled wood-chips

B. 86

D. THRIFTYANDGREEN.com

4

Using cloth diapers saves a family how much per child?

A. $650 B. $900 C. $1400 D. $1850

5

In the USA, approxi mately how many tons of disposable diapers end up in the landfills as waste annually? A. 1.2 Million Tons B. 2.6 Million Tons C. 3.2 Million Tons D. 4.1 Million Tons

6

Which of these is not a hazard of open-net salmon farms:

A. sea lice B. increased water temperature C. environmental contamination D. high levels of PBC in fish

7

Which of these is the best environmental and health choice with regards to drinking water? A.bottled water from reverse osmosis B. bottled spring water C. tap water D. tap water with a home filter August / September 2011

8

Which of these con- ventional produce items is not among the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen”, so named because they have the highest levels of pesticide contamination? A. Apples B. celery C. strawberries D. corn

9

Which of these con- ventional produce items is not among the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen”, so named because they tested the lowest for pesticide contamination? A. strawberries B. corn C. Cabbage D. Cantaloupe

10

When accounting for growth, production and consumption, which meat produces the Greenhouse Gas Emissions? A. lamb B. beef C. chicken D. pork

Answers on page 88.


Eliminate Your Cable or Satellite Bill and Save $500 a year!* * Based on approximate savings of Roku customers

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1

THE ANSWERS

the Energy Information Administration, 8% of the world’s energy is from renewable sources such as hydropower, biofuels, wind, geothermal and solar while nuclear energy accounts for another 6%. The remaining 86% of the world’s energy is derived from nonrenewable resources. Oil leads, providing more than 40% of the world’s energy, followed by coal at approximately 24% at and natural gas at 22%.

2

B. Dropping your ther mostat by 2-degrees during the winter months reduces your fuel bill about ten percent. To maximize energy consumption and savings, work towards reducing your daytime temperature by 2% and turning down the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees at night Programable thermostats simplify green heating habits - program for less heat overnight and during times when the house is empty.

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3

B. According to

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D. Pencils made from recycled materials are the greenest, followed by those manufactured by companies certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. A few good choices include: Earthzone, O’Bon, Forest Choice (www.forestchoice. com), Faber-Castell

4

D. Families save a minimum of $1850/child choosing cloth diapers. Get the lowdown on diapering choices reading Growing Up Green: Eco-diapering.

August / September 2011


5

C. The average baby in disposables uses over

6000 diapers before being potty trained. Disposable diapers are resource intense in the manufacturing process, slow to degrade and result in human waste being disposed of in landfills. Greener choices include cloth diapering, “eco-disposables”, flushable diapering systems and elimination communication.

6

7

D. Drinking tap wa-

ter with a good filter is the best choice for the environment, your health and your pocket book. Christa details the alternatives in The Green Path (link).

B. Open-net fish farms do not

affect water temperature. They have been documented to pollute the aquatic habitat where they are located and have outbreaks of sea lice. Additionally, farmed salmon have been found to contain increasingly high levels of pcb’s - a toxin that builds up in humans if consumed.

8

D. According

to the Environmental Working Group apples, celery and strawberries, in that order, top the list of most contaminated conventional produce item. Corn is one of the least contaminated choices. Get the entire list at www.ewg. org/foodnews. Answers continued on page 101...

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August / September 2011


Slow Hand

Salvage 90

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home & garden

Slow Hand: Salvaged Building Materials Transform a Small Condo in Boulder

G

reg Miller finds his 816-square-foot home excessive, though the two bedroom condo near downtown Boulder, Colo., barely registers in a town where the average house size is around 6,000 square feet. But Miller’s a roving carpenter who once called a 1948 Dodge school bus in the Ohio woods home and who journeyed for six years in a van. To him, 816 square feet feels like too much. “This is the first normal place I’ve lived in,” Miller said, and sometimes he’s overwhelmed by all that square footage. “All we really need is a place that’s dry and warm — the basics. You can’t be in more than one room at a time. So why have more than one room?” Miller bought his unassuming condo, just blocks from Boulder’s lively farmer’s market and Pearl Street Mall and within walking distance of hiking, transportation and entertainment, seven years ago. “It was a basic apartment. I like to take places like that and transform them,” he said. “You can do so much when the four walls are al-

ready up. All the hard work is already done.” Taking It Slow Miller was able to practice slower, more intuitive carpentry (a method clients don’t always appreciate) for his own renovation. He took three years, working mainly during the winter when his business was slow, and often basing his plans on what salvaged materials he found. This work flow suits him. “I’m not a big planner,” he said. “I like just letting things evolve.” Miller’s goals were to make better use of his space, beef up energy efficiency and bring in more natural light. The condo’s large south-facing deck and sliding glass doors, which let sunshine into the living room all day long, were a great start. Elsewhere, Miller cut holes in interior walls to let natural light penetrate dark rooms, and took advantage of every possible nook and cranny to create storage. He insulated around all windows, box sills, exterior plugs and the ceiling; replaced the windows with low-E glass; and installed insulated blinds throughout the home.

Miller’s economic and ethical model called for extensive use of salvaged materials and nontoxic finishes. He replaced the carpet with reclaimed oak flooring and found oak window trim, baseboards, newel posts and steps at the local salvage yard. As he replaced materials, he reused or recycled the old ones. (He tried for zero waste, but at the time he was renovating he couldn’t find anyone to recycle the old drywall.) When he was finished, he decorated with furniture from local used furniture stores and Dumpsters. Simple Living by Example Now complete, Miller’s comfortable condo is a testament to his simple lifestyle. He doesn’t have a microwave, garbage disposal or dryer because he doesn’t consider them necessities. “Forty years ago, every home didn’t have a dishwasher or a garbage disposal,” he said. “Your home is a product of your environment. We have so many comforts.” The small square footage makes the home easy to clean and maintain. It’s also affordable. Even before the renovation, the high-

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est utility bill Miller had ever paid was $55. These days his utility bills average around $30 — he said they aren’t substantial enough to track. “It makes me feel good that I did all the energy things I could do,” Miller said. “If everybody would take care of their own home’s efficiency, that’s really all it would take for the whole system to be more efficient. I love to show people that. It’s kind of neat to live by example.” To learn more about Greg and his work in green renovation in the Boulder area visit his website at www.gregmillerdesign.com. This article is courtesy of Natural Home, a national magazine that provides practical ideas, inspiring examples and expert opinions about healthy, ecologically sound, beautiful homes. For more great articles visit www.naturalhomeandgarden.com


Books to take on Vacation ...Continued from page 16.

Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream [Paperback] Andres Duany , Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck (Authors) 4.4 out of 5 stars List Price: $20.00 Like “an architectural version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, our main streets and neighborhoods have been replaced by alien substitutes, similar but not the same,” state Duany, Plater-Zyberk and Speck in this bold and damning critique. The authors, who lead a firm that has designed more than 200 new neighborhoods and community revitalization plans, challenge nearly half a century of widely accepted planning and building practices that have produced sprawling subdivisions, shopping centers and office parks connected by new highways. These practices, they contend, have not only destroyed the traditional concept of the neighborhood, but eroded such vital social values as equality, citizenship and personal safety. Further, they charge that current suburban developments are not only economically and environmentally “unsustainable,” but “not functional” because they isolate and place undue burdens on at-home mothers, children, teens and the elderly. Adapting the 92

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precepts that famed urbanologist Jane Jacobs used to critique unhealthy city planning, Duany, Plater-Zyberk and Speck call for a revolution in suburban design that emphasizes neighborhoods in which homes, schools, commercial and municipal buildings would be integrated in pedestrian-accessible, safe and friendly settings. While occasionally presenting unsupported claims--such as that gated communities (of which there are now more than 20,000 in the U.S.) deprive children of gaining “a sense of empathy” in a diverse society--their visionary book holds out hope that we can create “places that are as valuable as the nature they displaced.”

Simple Living: The Path to Joy and Freedom [Paperback] Jose Hobday (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars List Price: $12.95 This is a simple but great book that will inspire you to change your life for the better. Jose Hobday preaches that less is more: She suggests taking the clutter and rush out of your life and giving yourself more space and time, thereby

August / September 2011


lifestyle opening you to other people, beauty and spirituality. It is not about deprivation. But forces you to look at what you really need, use and what’s important to you. It asks you to look at the quality of material things in your life, not just the quantity. After reading this book, I was inspired to do two seemingly different things. First, I went through my home and office, giving things away to people who could use them. Second, I ordered a very expensive hand made bamboo fly rod-because fly fishing is important to me and the rod represents a simple useful tool made by skilled human hands from natural materials. Clearly, the first activity was the most important, but clearing away things left me with breathing space to focus on something important to me.

an abundance of time. For example: Atsuko Watanabe is an environmentalist and home-schooler who explores Christian mysticism while raising her two daughters in an old farmhouse Akira Ito is an ex–petroleum engineer who has become a painter and children’s book illustrator and explores the role of chi (life energy) in the universe through art and music Kogan Murata grows rice and crafts elegant bamboo flutes that he plays for alms in the surrounding villages Jinko Kaneko is a fine artist and fabric dyer who runs a Himalayan-style curry restaurant in the Japan Alps By presenting the journeys of these ordinary— yet exceptional—people, Andy Couturier shows how we too can travel a meaningful path of living simply, with respect for our communities and our natural resources. When we leave behind the tremendous burdens of wage labor, debt, stress, and daily busyness, we grow rich in a whole new way. These Japanese are pioneers in a sense; drawing on traditional Eastern spiritual wisdom, they have forged a new style of modernity, and in their success is a lesson for us all: live a life that matters.

A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance [Paperback] Andy Couturier (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars List Price: $19.95 Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the eleven men and women profiled in this book have all made the transition to sustainable, fulfilling lives. They are today artists, philosophers, and farmers who reside deep in the mountains of rural Japan. Their lives may be simple, yet they are surrounded by the luxuries of nature, art, contemplation, delicious food, and 93

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Though tightwad seems like a derogatory term, author Amy Dacyczyn wants to assure you that Continued on next page...


lifestyle

Books to take on Vacation Continued from previous... it’s okay to be a penny-pincher. This self-styled “Frugal Zealot” wrote and published The Tightwad Gazette for over six years to spread the frugal gospel. Each issue contained tips from her personal experience and from her many readers. The wealth of information contained in all these issues has been compiled into one volume for the first time. You’ll find literally thousands of ideas for saving money, from the simple or practical to the difficult or bizarre. On the simple, practical side, Dacyczyn advises would-be tightwads to keep track of price trends at several stores in a “price book” and to buy in bulk when prices are low. Other, stranger offerings include tips for turning margarine-tub lids into playing-card holders, old credit cards into guitar picks, and six-pack rings into a hammock or volleyball net. More helpful are inexpensive recipes for making homemade versions of pricey, well-known products and ingenious ways to fix broken or damaged items. The book’s disorganization encourages browsing, but the detailed index will point you to the exact page for specific items. Dacyczyn’s occasional “thriftier than thou” tone is balanced by the friendly support for frugality that infuses every page. She even reminds her readers that it’s okay to “sweat the small stuff”--because this small stuff is the essence of frugality.

In an age of great economic uncertainty when everyone is concerned about money and how they spend what they have, this new edition of the bestselling Your Money or Your Life is an essential read find out how to: • get out of debt and develop savings • reorder material priorities and live well for less • resolve inner conflicts between values and lifestyle • save the planet while saving money • and much more In Your Money or Your Life, Vicki Robin shows readers how to gain control of their money and finally begin to make a life, rather than just make a living.

“Helen and Scott Nearing are the great-grandparents of the back-to-the-land movement, having abandoned the city in 1932 for a rural life based on selfreliance, good health, and a minimum of cash...Fascinating, timely, and wholly useful, a mix of the Nearings’ challenging philosophy and expert counsel on practical skills.”--Washington Post Book World

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Books to take on Vacation Thirty years after Frances Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet changed eating habits around the world, she and her daughter Anna bring us a new round of iconoclastic recommendations that break overwhelming issues down to a simple matter of personal choice. Hope’s Edge presents many of the same issues of the original title, but it also provides a wealth of new discoveries and possibilities in this era of genetically engineered foods, worldwide famine, and growing rates of obesity-related health issues. Beyond discussing a wide range of reasons to become a vegetarian (and that means no fish or chicken either, folks), the authors introduce you to a number of individual reasons for hope--Bob, the Wisconsin cheese maker; Jean-Yves, the farmer from Brittany who created the Sustainable Agriculture Network; and Muhammad Yunas, who has changed the lives of countless living in poverty with his remarkable microcredit programs. Along with these stories and the theories they’re based on, you’ll also find luscious recipes calling for grains, fruits, vegetables, and a handful of dairy products that will delight your taste buds and your conscience. - Jill Lightner

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New

Realities Purdue University researchers believe that hybrid poplars and similar trees planted like row crops could be processed into ethanol as an alternative fuel. (Photo courtesy of Jake Eaton, plant materials manager, Potlatch Corp.)

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personal finance

Financial Sustainability

W

hile we to restore sanity and com acknowl- mon sense in the way we edge that spend money and make when it other financial decisions. comes to financial decisions no one-size-fits-all, Acknowledging that natuthere are all the same items ral resources are not unlimof information that, when ited is an essential part of timely communicated, can understanding how we can be helpful in understandlive in harmony with the ing an ever-changing environment. Similarly, acglobal financial reality. knowledging that financial resources are limited rather The Thrifty & Green Perthan infinite is a necessary sonal Finance is dedicated part of maintaining finanto bringing you useful and cial balance. timely information, opinion and analysis aimed at help- This is an instance where ing your personal finances the old adage applies stay thrifty and (in the) very well, “think global, green. act local”. The extent to which most of us as indiUsing resources wisely, viduals can influence what both natural and financial, governments, banks and is more important today corporations do is probthan ever before. As we ably very limited, but each work to restore sanity in of us can change what we the way we use natural do individually and choose resources, so must we work to live in a more sustain-

able way, based on a clear understanding of the new realities. As we become increasingly aware of the need to use as little water as possible to flush our toilets, it is fitting that we also become more aware of every dollar we unwittingly flush down the toilet. When we make impulsive financial decisions, such as going into debt to buy things we don’t really need and can’t really afford, we make the same kind of mistake as when we cut down every tree in a forest. When we choose to use resources more efficiently, we contribute not only to saving the environment, but also to our own financial well-being. The same awareness and love of nature that leads us to growing our own food,

or to recycling grey water rather than just dumping it into the sewage system may lead to repairing a garment rather than tossing it to buy a new one, even if we can easily afford to do so. Being wasteful until one can’t afford to be wasteful anymore is by definition not a sustainable practice. Being truly green requires being thrifty. The new financial realities will likely require that we are both. So whenever we think about whether we want paper or plastic, or whether to buy a new hybrid or not, we might also consider whether we really need whatever is in those shopping bags, or a new car, at all. Whether or not it has any effect on the world’s financial system, making financial decisions that are more sustainable will likely have a positive effect on our own personal finances, as well as on our planet. This article is provided as informative opinion only and is not to be construed as investment advice, nor does it or any part of its content represent a recommendation to buy, hold or sell any security, contract or commodity.

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personal finance

The Weak Can’t Help the Weak, and Saving for your Future The Weak Can’t Help the Weak Dear Dave, My husband and I have been married less than a year, and already we’re having huge disagreements over money. He’s got a big heart, but often he’ll just give money to friends and family. Sometimes, this leaves us short when it comes to monthly bills, paying off debt, and saving anything. I guess he thinks we’ll get by somehow, but it scares me. What can I do? —Summer

Dear Summer, It sounds like he does have a big heart, and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons you love him. But this kind of behavior is completely irresponsible. What’s worse, it’s driving you crazy. At this point, you have every right to be scared and frustrated, because the message he’s sending you is he wants to take care of everyone else before he takes care of you

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personal finance

...Continued from page 99.

and your family. That’s not a good idea. Broke people can’t help broke people, meaning only the strong can help the weak. At this point, you guys should be working together to get your own financial house in order. I’m talking about becoming debt-free, with a fully loaded emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of expenses in place, and something set aside for your golden years. Then, once all that has been taken care of, if you have a friend or family member in financial need, you can gift them $300 or whatever you guys agree is an appropriate amount. I’m a big giver, both at my business and in my personal life. But I’ve learned that my first gifts should go to my wife and family. After I’ve taken care of my own, then comes giving outside of the household. You guys need to take care of yourselves right now. Kill off the debt and build up some wealth so that your husband’s heart can function in that gift! —Dave

Planning for the Future Dear Dave, My husband and I are both spenders. We want to get on a plan and handle our money better, but is there anything that will help us learn to give up stuff now so that we’ll have more in the future? —Beth

Dear Beth, I know what you’re saying. Old habits are really hard to break, especially when they’re fun old habits. Even when you wake up and feel the pain and realize you shouldn’t have done something, it’s easy to slip right back into the same old stuff, isn’t it? The only way I’ve ever been able to achieve anything like that is to find something specific I want bad enough out there in the future to give up something in the present. You may have heard me say, “Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else.” Well, this is more a case of you have to want to live like no one else later, so that today you’ll live like no one else. I saw a bumper sticker once that read “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” I’ve got to agree with the idea behind that. No discipline is pleasant, but it’s the pain of changing something in your life that eventually leads to a positive result. Think about it this way. A great definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Ouch! —Dave About the Author Dave Ramsey is a best-selling author, speaker, and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. He is the author of Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace. 100

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the quiz answers ...Continued from page 89.

9

10

C. When accounting for the

9. According to the Environmental Working Group, strawberries are among the most contaminated conventional produce item. Corn, cabbage and cantaloupe are listed among the Clean Fifteen, least contaminated choices. Get the entire list at www.ewg.org/foodnews.

entire production and con sumption cycle, the Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health lists chicken as the meat choice that produces the fewest greenhouse gases. Lamb is the most offending choice. Regardless of the type of meat, free range or organic options are greener choices.

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