~ bring a bit of The Farmhouse with you after every visit ~

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!!

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children." 
- Native American Proverb

somewhere in Nevada...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Green Tips for the Laundry

With Earth Day approaching this weekend, I've pulled together a short list of some easy ways to be green (and save green):

  1.  Wash your clothes in cold water. Every once in a while you may have a load that requires hot water, but washing just 80% of your laundry in cold water for a year could save you more than $60 in energy costs -- and up to $100 if you live in an area with high electric rates.
  2. Wash less. Your clothes will last longer. Some clothing belongs in the wash after only one use, but many garments can stand two or even three wearings before they need washing.
  3. Follow directions. Use the amount of laundry detergent that the manufacturer recommends. Using more detergent than necessary actually gets in the way of effective cleansing of the fabrics, which will then require an extra rinse cycle, which uses more energy and water. More is not always better!
  4. Wash full loads of laundry. Sort clothes and schedule laundering so you can wash only full loads. It takes almost as much electricity to run a small load as it does to run a full one, and it is better for the machine to have a full load during the spin cycle so it doesn't fly off balance.
  5. Clean your dryer's lint filter before every load. It can slash your energy usage by as much as 30%!
  6. Don't overload or underload your dryer. Dry a full load in your dryer, but don't overload. It uses way too much energy, and it causes excessive wrinkling, which in turn may force you to iron your clothes, using even more energy.
  7. Or my favorite tip...put up a clothesline in your backyard (or over you tub). By using a clothesline instead of your dryer, you'll cut your residential energy costs by 5%. That may sound like pennies, but it can add up to savings of over a hundred bucks a year. Check out Project Laundry List for more inspiration and to share your clothesline photo.
We will definitely have a clothesline at The Farmhouse this summer! It brings me back to my childhood, growing up without a dryer. Luckily we don't have goats at The Farmhouse yet, because my childhood goats loved to eat all of our shirt sleeves off the clothesline. My brother and I definitely lived up to the hippie beach kid look growing up.

And some inspiration...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Antioxidant Water

It's a simple concept, which is partly why I'm so thrilled...

Add a couple scoops of frozen berries, a fresh lemon slice and a squeeze of the juice to your purified tap water for a refreshing and antioxidant-filled drink. How easy is that!

I am not a big water drinker; now I can't wait to fill my cup up again and again. So not only am I getting the benefits of the water, but lemons and berries are both high in antioxidants.

A little about antioxidants:

They slow down, or even prevent, the oxidation of other molecules which in-turn can create free radicals. Free-radicals can wreak havoc on our cellular structures causing them to become unstable. Because of the inherent instability of free-radicals, they try to attack other healthy cells to get stable themselves. This then causes the once-healthy cells to react in the same way, attacking others in an never-ending attempt for cellular stability.

What are the benefits of antioxidants to our health:

  • better resistance to colds and flu
  • softer, younger-looking skin
  • relief from allergies
  • weight loss
  • increased energy
  • relief from asthma
  • improved circulation
  • reduced high blood pressure
  • improved digestion
  • relief from arthritis
  • help in controlling diabetes
  • improved sleep
  • relief from menstrual symptoms
  • better memory, concentration
  • resource

Make sure you use organic berries and lemons because studies have shown that they contain up to 40% more antioxidants than conventionally grown food.

Using frozen berries is also a great technique for Summer Sangria's (I'll share this recipe in a later blog) to keep them cool without watering them down.