Thursday, April 22, 2010

#68 Pop your popcorn

Happy Earth Day!! What kind of earth-friendly blogger would I be if I didn't post on Earth day? I am getting ready for a series of posts on how to green your cooking and kitchen. In most homes, most of the consumption and waste occurs in the kitchen. There are many things you can do to cut back on the waste.

So, I'm going to start with a very simple one, and one that I've actually practiced for my whole life (well, my dad did it when I was little.) That is, pop your own popcorn! Popcorn does not require a premade bag full of fat and salt and some nasty chemicals. It requires a pot with a lid, a few kernals of popcorn, some oil of your choice (I use olive oil,) and a bit of heat from the stove. Put just enough kernals to cover the bottom of the pot, and enough oil to barely coat the kernals. If I crank up my stove on high, it literally takes the same amount of time that it would take to pop a bag of microwave popcorn. When popped, put it in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, and there you have a good, healthy snack, with total control over what goes into it. Buying popcorn in bulk is best, as that will cost less than .10 per batch popped.
As a side note: Did you know that if you burn a bag of microwave popcorn in the same room as a bird, the bird will die from the fumes??
Pros: Healthier, cheaper, and a whole bunch less waste. You can make it the way you want, and add butter (if desired) instead of butter flavored chemicals. And no dead birds.
Cons: It takes a little practice to get the proportions right, and it doesn't have that movie-popcorn smell that is for some reason so appetizing (it's the chemicals that make it smell so good.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

#67 Use your local library

As a big lover of books and reading, one of my favorite places is our public library. What better way is there to get all the books you want at no charge? And then return them so they don't clutter up your house? Not that I don't like to own books, and my kids especially have quite a few. But the library is the greenest way I know to do a lot of reading. Then I can know after I've read a book if it's one that I potentially want to have a copy to keep.
Pros: Free, reuses books therefore less trees used to make new books. Many libraries also have great kid programs, and movies.
Cons: Fines for not returning things on time. High demand books are sometimes hard to come by.