Archive for the 'Consumers' Category

Food, glorious food!

Posted by Karen in Food, Recycling.
Saturday, August 16th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

We haven’t posted in forever because we’ve been crazy busy, so where to start?  With food of course.
Our farm share through the Community Supported Agriculture program is in full effect, so we have been buried in veggies since June.  It’s always a challenge using all of them up each week, in spite of only having half a share.  But it also means we eat some pretty kick-ass stuff and learn to make fun new things.

At the beginning of spring I often crave20080816124058_cobb_salad_melon.jpg salads after the long root-vegetable-filled winter, but I try to wait to actually eat them until the veggie share starts, because I know we will have truckloads of greens for about a month straight.  We try to be creative and eat lots of different kinds of salads, but no matter what, after a month of daily salads my body kind of stages a protest. Luckily that’s about the time the20080816124030_biscuits_ber_butter.jpg greens start to run out.  Phew.  This year we made cobb salads for the first time, and I made a super yummy fennel-yogurt-dill dressing.  I was determined to use all the dill from the farm share and our out-of-control garden crop, so I also made a d20080816124119_dehydrated_dill.jpgelicious dill scallion butter (in the little container by the beer and homemade dog-biscuits), froze some dill, and then dehydrated the rest in our dehydrator (which, by the way, was about the most noxious smelling thing EVER – Nate put it outside with an extension cord.  Blech.).  So everyone, be expecting to get dill for Christmas.
In other culinary adventures, we’ve been making our own yogurt.  With my ever-increasing obsession to reduce our waste, yogurt was really bugging me, because we kind of go through a lot of it, and Minneapolis doesn’t recycle the plastic containers.  The Kastlers had recently started making their own yogurt, so Madeline got me started, and we’ve been making it ever since.  It goes something like this: heat a bunch of milk to a certain temperature, cool it to a certain temperature, add a yogurt starter to a portion of it, add that back to the rest of it, mix it all up, put it in jars, and put it in a cooler and keep it a certain temperature for several hours after that.  Voila. Delici20080816124146_pain_depi.jpgous, organic yogurt in reusable jars, and the whole process costs us half as much as buying already made yogurt. 

Nate’s also been expanding his bread-making repertoire, which I fully support.  Ch20080816124043_chocolate_brioche.jpgeck this out:  pain d’epi and chocolate ganache brioche!  Num num num.  We’ve also been taking big ole containers to the co-op and buying tons of flour in bulk, which makes me happy.

So while we’re on the subject, indulge me for a moment as I brag about some of the things we now either make for ourselves or take our own containers for and buy in bulk, thereby eliminating the need for packaging:  yogurt, dog biscuits, eggs, flour, milk, soy sauce, olive oil, canola oil, granola, hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent , pasta, beans, oats, and nuts.  I already have my sights set on more things to add to that list soon, and can’t wait for our co-op to open it’s new store, which will have an expanded bulk section! 

The Story of Stuff

Posted by Nate in Consumers, Ideas, Politics.
Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 at 11:42 am

So…  I fully intend to write a nice post about our recent trip to Colorado (awesome!!), but in the meantime:

Watch this.

Give the earth a Hugg

Posted by Nate in Consumers, Ideas, Recycling.
Thursday, May 24th, 2007 at 12:01 pm

hugg iconDear dirty hippies and friends of all ages:

Want to save the world but don’t know where to start?  Look for a way to see what’s interesting and / or fun in the world of green news?  Go check out and get hugging.  It’s a pretty cool ripoff of Digg, where users can add stories to the list and other users can "hugg" them (rate them higher) so in theory you start seeing the best news from the green web.  If all that went over your head, just click the link and get ready to waste an hour reading about how to save the planet.  Do it.  Do it. goes green!

Posted by Nate in Consumers, The Blog.
Friday, May 4th, 2007 at 1:07 pm

green5.png… or rather, the company hosting goes green!  DreamHost announced on Earth Day that they are now carbon neutral – which is fantastic, considering they were using the energy equivalent of 545 average homes!  Read more about their efforts here, including using AMD’s more efficient processors and more.

Chest freezer dying?

Posted by Nate in Consumers, Homebrewing.
Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 at 10:20 am

Dear beer lovers everywhere,

743359_grave_stone.jpgI write to you today with almost unbearably bad news: the much beloved Kegenator (V1.0) is in distress.  It is unable to keep its precious cargo of beer at a deliciously cool temperature, and isn’t showing any signs of improving.  In fact, only about one quarter of the previous cooling area seems to be working at all.  I’ve made inquiry online as to its prognosis, but honestly I have a bad feeling about this…

The question I put before you today is this: should I scour Craigslist for a cheap replacement and face this same disappointment in a few years time?  Or should I buy a new, modern, and highly efficient replacement?  It already seems unlikely I’ll be able to match the dimensions exactly, which means constructing a new collar…



Posted by Nate in Consumers, Homeowners, Recycling.
Sunday, November 19th, 2006 at 6:54 pm

Almost as soon as we’d moved into our house last year I noticed a huge increase in junk mail.  A lot of it was related to being new homeowners (Equity Loans!  House Insurance!  Mortgage Insurance!), but even more was just generic coupons and ads and credit offers.

I picked up some forms almost a year ago intending to send them off ASAP and stop the junk mail, but as things happen I only just sent them last week.  The big one is the Mail Preference Service, with information here.  Also at that link is info on 18885OPTOUT which gets you out of credit card offers.  (MPS charges you if you do it through their site, but you can just send it in by hand and it’s free)  Lastly I sent in the info for ADVO, another agency that I think we’re getting a ton of stuff from.

Sure, we recycle all our junk mail, but how cool would it be to just not get it in the first place?  Those requests take a while to process, but fingers crossed that they’ll cut down on the junk.  I’ll post an update in a few months (if I remember).