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12 posts from April 2013

April 26, 2013

Spring Recipe: Ginger Lemonade

Ginger LemonadeTo wrap up our week of delicious spring recipes, we bring you a classic drink with a refreshing twist. Check it out!

Ginger Lemonade

There are few things more refreshing than a tall glass of lemonade. But a secret ingredient — ginger — takes this classic drink to a whole new level. Spice up your lemonade with this in-season root and watch as your guests beg for more.


8 cups water

4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cups sugar

3/4 cup honey (you can also use agave nectar)

2 lemons, thinly sliced

1/2 cup grated ginger

1 cup crushed ice



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April 25, 2013

Spring Recipe: Balsamic Strawberries & Ice Cream

Balsamic Strawberries Now that we've shared recipes for the star of the barbecue — the Carrot-Sesame Burger and its two equally delicious sides Spicy Green Bean Fries and a Zesty Kale Salad we have to find something to cure that post-meal sweet tooth. Check out the perfect remedy below!

Balsamic Strawberries with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

There is nothing like a sweet, ripe strawberry! Harvest this seasonal fruit from your garden or pick some up at your local farmers' market. Then grab a bottle of balsamic vinegar and a quart of your favorite vanilla bean ice cream to make a light, refreshing dessert.


1 lb strawberries, thinly sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

1/3 cup 2% milk

1/4 stick of butter

1 quart of vanilla bean ice cream

1/4 cup almond shavings


Continue reading "Spring Recipe: Balsamic Strawberries & Ice Cream" »

April 24, 2013

Spring Recipe: Zesty Kale Salad

Kale SaladStay tuned as we continue to share tips on how to enjoy a healthy, green spring cookout. Yesterday we highlighted a mouth-watering carrot burger recipe. Check out what is on the menu for today!

Zesty Kale Salad 

Although kale has been on the scene for thousands of years, the powerhouse vegetable has had quite a resurgence in the past 10 years as knowledge of its health benefits have become more widespread. Since then, people have found all kinds of unique ways to prepare this nutritious veggie. From kale chips to kale juice, people just can't get enough of it, and neither can we. Check out Kathy Sampson's zesty and colorful kale salad recipe below.


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April 23, 2013

Spring Recipe: Carrot-Sesame Burger

Carrot Burgers


This week, the Green Life is dishing out eco-recipes that turn a typical meat-heavy barbecue into a light, refreshing culinary experience. Yesterday we shared a delicious recipe for Spicy Green Bean Fries. Check out today's planet-friendly treat below.


Carrot-Sesame Burger

What's a barbecue without a burger? Instead of going the traditional route with ground beef, why not add some color to that hearty sandwich? Not only will you be saving fat and calories, but since carrots are always in season, you can also head out and support local agriculture. Trust us, you won't be sacrificing taste. Try if for yourself by following this delicious recipe from Dr. Ann Kulze of Dr. Ann Wellness.


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April 22, 2013

Spring Recipe: Spicy Green Bean Fries

Green BeansIt's almost time to dust off the grill and de-web that patio furniture. With warm weather on its way, we're itching for barbecue season. Whether you are planning a Sunday cookout, a Cinco de Mayo pool party, or gearing up for a Memorial Day gathering, we've put together an awesome menu of delicious, green recipes. Today we will start with a healthy and green alternative to a barbecue favorite: french fries.

Spicy Green Bean Fries

Why limit yourself to potatoes when you can turn just about anything into a "fry," even green beans. This lean, green vegetable is not only low in cholesterol and fat but aalso high in dietary fiber, protein, and iron. Best of all, green bean season is starting, so they can be found at your local farmers' market (keep in mind that they come in yellow and purple if you'd like a variety of colors). Kristen McCaffrey from Slender Kitchen created this tasty way to turn a power vegetable into a zesty barbecue appetizer!


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April 12, 2013

Ask Mr. Green: Who's Using Our Water?

Mr. Green is Bob SchildgenHey Mr. Green,

Which uses more water and how much, industry or the general public?

Frank, in Dubuque, Iowa

Industry, primarily for electric power plants and irrigation, draws a lot more water than the general public. Of the total of 410 billion gallons per day drawn in the United States, around 29.5 billion were used directly by households, or about 7 percent of the total, according to the latest data from the U.S. Geological Service. Electric power plants required around 200 billion gallons per day for steam and cooling, while irrigation soaked up 128 billion gallons.

However, if we add the indirect residential water consumption that results from residences using about 38 percent of U.S. total electric use of 3.750 trillion kilowatt hours per year, then the total residential use shoots up to around 105.5 billion gallons per day, or roughly 25 percent of the total. This may be one of the best-kept secrets of our times, but a rather telling example of truth of that famous statement by the Sierra Club’s illustrious founder John Muir: “All things are hitched.” Meaning that if we had the good sense to cut our electrical consumption, our water use would diminish correspondingly.  

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April 10, 2013

Green Tax Breaks for 2013

Green tax break green tax creditThe IRS filing deadline may be looming, but there's still enough time to cash in on green tax breaks. Ask your accountant for help, or consult the Database of State Initiatives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), which provides comprehensive information on environmentally sustainable local, state, federal, and utility-based incentives and policies. Here we highlight a handful of federal initiatives that could help you green your wallet this tax season.

Renewable remodeling: Homeowners who have installed renewable energy heating and cooling systems, including geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines, and/or solar energy systems, can claim 30 percent of the cost of a new renewable energy system, with no maximum limit. An added bonus: the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit, which runs through 2016, applies to any home you own, not just your primary residence.

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April 05, 2013

Cats Facts: Green Jobs Mean Big Bucks

Cats, again! This week has been a good run for our favorite companion animals and their accompanying green tidings. (Feel free to debate "favorite" in the comments.) 

From a fluff ball and EVs to a lean kitty and big savings, to a tabby who doesn't give a shale about oil, we've carried the April Fools' fun through to the weekend.

A final word from our feline overlords:

Cat fact_green jobs


Just the facts:

What could shifting funds to greener pastures look like? Instead of building and expanding roads, green jobs include building and expanding mass transit, and increasing existing buildings' energy efficiency. 

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April 04, 2013

Cat Facts: Electric Vehicles Beat Gas Cars

We've stuck our cat-noses up at the notion that April Fools' means one day of fun. So in the spirit of whimsy and whiskers, each day this week we present an environmental fact and a cat. First, we focused on a fat cat and oil shale. Next came big ears and bicycles

Any-meow, here’s today's environmental fact, along with a cat.

Cat facts_electric vehicles

Just the facts:

While the best bet for curbing carbon emissions is driving less, period, driving smart helps.

Conventional cars and the process of extracting, refining, and transporting the oil they require dumps more than three trillion tons of carbon pollution into the air each year. Electric vehicles (EVs) rely on battery power — which can take from 30 minutes for an 80-percent charge to eight hours for a full charge, outlet-voltage depending. For fully electric vehicles, no tailpipe is necessary.

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April 03, 2013

Cat Facts: Cycling Is a Lot Cheaper Than Driving

In keeping with Monday's April Fools'-ishness, this week we're sharing eco-facts paired with cats. Yesterday, we looked at oil shale and a tabby with an abundant belly.

Cat facts_bicycle

Just the facts:

Cycling just makes sense, given the low overhead, the aerobic perks, and the fact that nearly half of all trips, cycling and otherwise, are made within two miles of home.

The thought of getting doored is scary, though, or perhaps you live near a version of Lombard Street and might as well leash your bike and give it a water bowl.  

Fortunately, bicycle commuting increased by 40 percent from 2000 to 2010. Investing in bike-friendly infrastructure, like separating cycling lanes from vehicular traffic with parked cars or posts, should maintain the trend.

Environmental impact aside, money talks. Portland recently spent close to $60 million on cycling infrastructure, the average cost of one mile of urban highway. According to this City of Portland Bureau of Transportation report: "The return on investment has been highest for bicycle transportation."

Continue reading "Cat Facts: Cycling Is a Lot Cheaper Than Driving" »

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