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5 Places in Your Home to Find Scrap Metal

Punjabi Popcorn
Exotic Flavors For Unforgettable Taste

Truett-Hurst, Inc. Announces Supply Agreement with Ecologic Brands for PaperBoy Wine Bottles

Top 10 Most Important Items to Recycle

4 Foods That'll Re-Grow from Kitchen Scraps

Apps to Help You Go Green

WikiHow to Reuse Tea Bags

nature conserve

THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2014

As we close out the last issue of the Green Living Newsletter for the year,  we like to go back and review past issues to discover which stories generated the most interest, were clicked on most often, and generated the most feedback.  Below you will find reprints of our most popular stories of 2014.  We want to take this time to thank all of our readers, advertisers, and supporters for helping to make this year another great one.  If you have a product you would like us to consider for review or have some exciting news to share, please contact us.

We wish you all a wonderful new year filled with all great things.


5 Places in Your Home to Find Scrap Metal

In the United States only 35 percent of Americans recycle, but 65 percent feel guilty if they don’t. Often times consumers aren’t recycling simply because they are confused on which items are recyclable or not.

Sims Metal Management, the world’s largest metals and electronics recycler, has created a great infographic to help share household scrap metal recycling tips and outline five places to find these items in your home.

Sourcing valuable metals from around your home and recycling them can help the sustainable development of the planet. Learn how recycling ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal found around the home can save energy and benefit the environment.

While the recycling of paper, plastics, glass, rubber, cloth and other such items are popular among many homeowners, recycling scrap metal is not. Few are aware of how many recyclable objects containing metals might be in your home. A couple examples include cell phones, batteries and much more.

Learn and understand what metals you can recycle and the enormous value generated via the recycling of these metals.  Click here to find out more. 

Not only can you save tons of energy by recycling the scrap metal found in your home, but you could earn money off it too! Sims Metal Management has scrap metal recycling units across the country where you can sell your scrap metal in return for cash. Find the facility closest to you by clicking here. As a homeowner, your initiative to recycle scrap metal will not only help reduce your carbon footprint, but help sustain our planet in the future. This year, take steps to include the recycling of scrap metal around your home along with items that are generally recycled. Energy saved equals a greener planet!

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Punjabi Popcorn
Exotic Flavors For Unforgettable Taste

It all began in 2013 with a simple concept of bringing together unique flavors and a favorite lifelong snack. While on the lookout for new popcorn flavors, founder Deepak Kanda realized that the options on the market were either very generic or limited. Being brought up in a western world with an eastern background, Deepak decided to bring the two worlds together kernel by kernel, via flavors that he knew the popcorn industry didn’t have.

Punjabi Popcorn is inspired by the vibrant, jovial and exotic region of Punjab in northern India. Punjab has colorful, rich, aromatic and flavorful spices that enhance the natural flavors of everyday foods. Adding these spices to a favorite snack only seemed to be a natural progression of mixing eastern and western cultures.  Creating a new twist on an old-time favorite is difficult - but at Punjabi Popcorn, through experimenting with all natural spices, they have created some new popcorn flavors that not only capture the essence of the Punjabi culture on every kernel, but also introduces foodies to an experience that gives a glimpse of the spice combinations that tantalize your taste buds.

Flavors include:

Spicy Curry:  a combination of various herbs and spices creating a mouthwatering concoction of pure yumminess! With the taste of real curry leaves, this one is a real crowd pleaser!

Indian Caramel:  using cane sugar, the sweet and succulent taste mixed with a touch of fennel and cardamom provides a perfect blend of what Indian sweets taste like. It is one of their biggest sellers for a reason, and that’s because it tastes sooooo good!  A favorite in our office “taste test”

Signature Punjabi:  a robust combination of sweet, tangy and spicy exotic spices roasted to perfection and hand made to ensure quality and taste.  This signature flavor can best depict the essence of the Punjabi culture in just one kernel!

Desi Mirch:  using chili peppers from India, the folks at Punjabi Popcorn added opposing spices that have combated the overwhelming spice, giving you some heat with tremendous savory flavors that will keep you wanting more! This is also PERFECTLY paired with a frosty lager or ale.

Desi Mirch Extra Hot!:  The exact same blend as our Desi Mirch, except for one thing — the spice level is INSANE. This flavor is not for the weak hearted! Just in case you get addicted, it is suggested to keep a cold glass of milk or orange slices on hand to soothe your burning tongue!

Turmeric:  the folks at Punjabi said this one is chock full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and just good for you properties (our staff at the Green Living Newsletter just thinks it tastes amazing).  This earthy flavor brings you close to the roots of India and the region of Punjab because it is used in almost every dish. Enjoy a naturally delicate and earthy flavor that is wonderfully healthy!

Jeera:  Punjabi and Hindi for cumin, their hand roasted Jeera seeds are toasted to perfection providing a wonderful aroma. Salty and a savory in flavor, it is a great snack food that really satisfies!

Butter:  popped in 100% unrefined virgin coconut oil and using real butter, the folks at Punjabi popcorn never use chemicals to enhance flavor.  The most traditional of all the flavors, this one will have you going back for more!

In the Green Living Newsletter “test kitchen,” everyone had a favorite flavor.  Some favored the more traditional caramel and butter flavors, while others enjoyed the intense flavor of the curry, desi mirch, and the signature popcorn flavors.  To buy Punjabi Popcorn, visit www.punjabipopcorn.com (free shipping on orders over $25).  4 oz. bags sell online for $6.99.

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Truett-Hurst, Inc. Announces Supply Agreement with Ecologic Brands for PaperBoy Wine Bottles

Truett-Hurst, Inc., a recognized leader of innovative super-premium, ultra-premium and luxury wine, today announced earlier this month that it completed a general supply agreement with Ecologic Brands, Inc. ("Ecologic") to produce paper bottles for the groundbreaking PaperBoy brand. Ecologic Brands has been recognized for making America's first recycled paper bottles offering consumers a choice in packaging beyond plastic or glass.

Building upon its growth strategy, Truett-Hurst's three-year supply agreement (with a potential two year extension) with Ecologic demonstrates the progress the company has made in developing its downstream manufacturing supply channels over the past year. Ecologic's 60,000 square foot facility in Manteca, California will enable the company to meet the increased demand for PaperBoy wine while providing greater management and transportation efficiencies. PaperBoy recyclable wine bottles are made from compressed recycled cardboard formed into the shape of a standard Bordeaux wine bottle, are 85% lighter than traditional glass bottles and filled with appellation--based, super-premium wines sourced from the Mendocino and Paso Robles growing regions. PaperBoy is available in 45 states and has two offerings: a 2012 Paso Robles Red Blend (MSRP $14.99) and a 2012 Mendocino Chardonnay (MSRP $14.99).

Phillip L. Hurst, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Truett-Hurst, Inc., commented, "We are enthusiastic about the early sales and consumer pull for our PaperBoy brand. We have also been impressed with Ecologic's manufacturing approach and this agreement illustrates our confidence in their product and commitment to producing packaging produced locally. We believe this is an important step in solidifying the future for PaperBoy wine and we're excited to get this deal done with Ecologic."

Ecologic Brands CEO and Founder Julie Corbett commented, "We are excited about partnering with Truett-Hurst in growing the wine category through innovation. This is an important milestone that will drive Ecologic's mission of creating jobs and building a sustainable future with eco-friendly packaging designed and manufactured in California."


Top 10 Most Important Items to Recycle

This list from the National Recycling Coalition, posted on Care2, outlines 10 of the most important items to recycle and why:

#1: Aluminum. This is because aluminum cans are 100 percent recyclable and can also be recycled over and over again. Even better, turning recycled cans into new cans takes 95 percent less energy than making brand-new ones. So how about starting with all those soda and juice cans?

#2: PET Plastic Bottles. Americans will buy about 25 billion single-serving bottles of water this year, according to the Container Recycling Institute. Worse yet, nearly 80 percent of those bottles will end up in a landfill. Let’s put a stop to that. Making plastic out of recycled resources uses about two-thirds less energy than making new plastic. And because plastic bottles, more than any other type of plastic, are the most commonly used type, they are usually the easiest to recycle.

#3: Newspaper. This is a pretty obvious one, right? It seems like a no-brainer to set up a recycling bin next to your garbage can for newspaper and any other scrap paper. So why should we recycle paper? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, paper makes up about one-third of the all the municipal waste stream in the U.S. That’s a whole lot of paper, and since we know that recycling all that paper conserves resources, saves energy, and doesn’t clog up the landfills, there’s no reason not to do it.

#4: Corrugated Cardboard. Old corrugated cardboard (OCC) represents a significant percentage of the commercial solid waste stream. The U.S. generates millions of tons of OCC, with approximately 90% of that coming from the commercial or non-residential sector, the places where we work. So next time UPS delivers a big box to your office, be sure to break it down and recycle it.

#5: Steel cans. Just like aluminum, steel products can be recycled over again without compromising the quality of the steel. We’re talking about steel cans, but maybe you have some steel auto parts or appliances ready for recycling too? More than 80 million tons of steel are recycled each year in North America, and recycling steel saves the equivalent energy to power 18 million households a year. You can learn more about steel recycling by visiting the Steel Recycling Institute website.

#6: HDPE plastic bottles (HDPE stands for high-density polyethylene, a common and more dense plastic, which is used for detergents, bleach, shampoo, milk jugs.) HDPE plastics are identified by the logo on the bottom of the container. (Three arrows in the shape of a triangle.) Check the number inside that logo: numbers 1 and 2 are recyclable almost everywhere, but 3 through 7 are only recyclable in limited areas. And don’t forget to rinse and clean all of your HDPE containers in the sink. Any remaining dirt or food particles can contaminate the recycling process.

#7: Glass containers. Recycled glass saves 50 percent energy versus virgin glass, and recycling just one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours. Recycled glass generates 20 percent less air pollution and 50 percent less water pollution, and one ton of glass made from 50 percent recycled materials saves 250 pounds of mining waste. Wow!

#8: Magazines and #9: Mixed paper. There are so many reasons to recycle all kinds of paper that it makes no sense not to. First, recycled paper saves 60 percent of energy versus virgin paper, and also generates 95 percent less air pollution. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water. Sadly, though, every year Americans throw away enough paper to make a 12-foot wall from New York to California. Let’s work on changing that!

#10: Computers. Computers can be recycled in a couple of ways, depending on the state of the machine. Giving old, working computers to friends and family members or donating them to nonprofit organizations not only keeps the computer entirely out of the waste stream, but it presents computer access to someone who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Non-working computers can be sent to recycling centers where they are dismantled and valuable components are recovered.


4 Foods That'll Re-Grow from Kitchen Scraps

You recycle your bottles and newspapers, you upcycle thrift store finds into decor treasures, and you reuse all your plastic bags. But do you upcycle your food scraps?  We’re not talking compost here, we’re talking re-growing food from scraps you might have tossed.  Turns out, several odds and ends you might have tossed can be re-grown into more food!  Here’s a great list compiled by the folks at Organic Authority.

Scallions
When your recipe only calls for the green part of the scallions, don’t toss the white end with the roots. Stick it in a glass jar with a little water and the greens will grow back. You can just snip off what you need as you go. This also works with leeks.

Lemongrass
This delicious, aromatic herb is really just a grass and will grow well in a pot in a sunny spot. Take the root ends (after you’ve used the rest in a recipe) and put in a jar of water in a sunny spot. After a week or so, you’ll start to see roots appearing. Once the roots look healthy, transplant your lemongrass to a pot and let it grow. You can start harvesting when the stalks get to be a foot or more tall.

Celery
The next time you’re chopping a bunch of celery, save the root end! Place itin a shallow bowl of water, and after a few days, you should start to see roots and new leaves appear. As soon as you see these, you can plant the celery—leaving the leaves just above the soil.  The plant will continue to grow, and soon you’ll have a whole new head of celery!

Ginger
Did you know that ginger makes a beautiful (and useful) houseplant? If you’ve got a piece of fresh ginger going spare in your fridge, you can plant it in potting soil. Ginger is a root, and before long, you’ll notice a lovely plant sprouting from it. Once the plant is big enough, you can actually pull it up, whack off a piece of the root, and replant it whenever you need fresh ginger—or just enjoy your culinary houseplant.

Organic Authority is a trusted ally and the web‘s leading resource for all things… delicious and organic! Come chill in their kitchen as they test-drive tried-and-true mouthwatering recipes and chat about the organic lifestyle. From the most mojo-rific of foods, juicy of spirits to your eco chic entertaining table, energetic health and the most scrumptiously delicious beauty, they’ve made it their job and passion to cover organics from the inside out, the outside in and all the way around. At OrganicAuthority you‘ll discover how to grow your first apartment herb garden, how to host a summer BBQ your friends will rave about for seasons to come, which natural deodorants actually work, and so much more. www.organicauthority.com


Apps to Help You Go Green

Becoming ecologically friendly is not as complicated as one may think. One easy way to go green is with the help of some great apps to educate you in becoming more environmentally aware. Learn what it means to live a greener lifestyle with these FREE and USEFUL apps.

GOOD GUIDE
by GoodGuide, Inc.

Help the Earth further by changing how you shop and what you buy. GoodGuide is an excellent iPhone app that has ratings and information for over 175,000 personal care items, food (including pet food), household cleaners, toys, paper products, and more. You will learn which products are less toxic than others and what companies have the most environmentally friendly track records. Simply use your iPhone's camera to scan bar codes and find out if the items rate high or low based on health, environmental, and social impact. If you have chosen an item that rates low, GoodGuide now provides alternative options by the same brands.  FREE.

 

iRecycle
by Earth911, Inc.

Recycling is one of the best and easiest ways to be "green." Many do not recycle because they are too busy, live in a strict recycling state, or simply do not know what can or cannot be recycled. Instead of becoming frustrated and putting everything in your trash can, take advantage of iRecycle. This universal app lists over 350 materials which can be recycled in over 1,600,000 different ways. The app will even tell you where you can recycle your items by inputting your current location via zip code, city or address.  FREE.

 

PaperKarma
by Readabl, Inc.

Even those who do not mind what they are doing to the environment cannot stand junk mail. Wouldn't it be nice to never have a huge pile of mail to sift through in order to find that one special piece of mail you have been waiting for? PaperKarma is here to save the day. The app was developed to give smartphone users a simple way to solve their junk mail problems. When you receive a piece of mail that you do not want, just take a picture of it. The app will then contact the sender and have your name removed from their mailing list. While this method is not completely foolproof, it will most definitely cut down on a ton of unwanted junk mail and wasted paper.  FREE.

 

Zipcar
by Zipcar

Zipcar is a car-sharing service that is a wonderful option for those living in big cities, encouraging a car-optional lifestyle. If you do not absolutely need to drive a car every day, why do it? Not only will you be living greener, you will save money on gas, plus car payments and maintenance. The Zipcar app for iPhone will show you what cars are available and any upcoming reservations when you are on the go.  FREE.

 


WikiHow to Reuse Tea Bags

You can get extra use out of teabags after your cup of tea - but only if you are willing to do so. You can reuse the teabag, but after the first cup it will start to lose it's flavor and strength. But if you think teabags are only used in the drink, there's plenty of other uses for them!

  • Use teabags on your puffy eyes. Warm or cold teabags can help refresh your eyes whether they're achy, tired or puffy.

  • Reduce plantar warts. Plantar warts can be treated with teabags because of the tannin in the tea. On the affected area, place a warm wet teabag for 10-20 minutes, and then leave it to dry naturally. If you repeat this for a couple of days, hopefully the wart will go.

  • Give yourself a facial. Facials can be expensive, but you can make one at home... using tea. Place a brewed tea bag into a bowl of hot water. Then position your head over the bowl, and then put a towel over your head to keep the steam in. It will leave your face glowing and radiant!

  • Soothe burns and nicks from razors by applying a wet teabag to the skin.

  • If you have sunburn, a bruise, stings or bites, or a cold sore you can put a damp tea bag onto the area and it will help to soothe the skin.

  • If you have a big, dirty, greasy dish that seems impossible to clean, leave it overnight with hot water and a few brewed teabags. They will help break down the grease.

  • Clean dark leather shoes by wiping a wet, brewed teabag onto the surface of the shoe.

  • Control odors around the house with teabags. Put some used teabags in a bowl and place inside a smelly fridge. Leave overnight, remove the teabags and be left with the much nicer smell of tea!