• (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)By Sarah B. Weir
    More from Green Picks blog

    Food Network recently came out with its list of 100 greatest cooking tips of all time from America's best chefs. We narrowed this down to the 15 easiest and most useful tips for the home cook because we know how busy you are.

    These brilliant culinary tricks target common cooking problems and will help you make restaurant-quality food in your own kitchen while saving time, money, and frustration. Preparing food at home is also great for your health and the planet's.

    1. Problem: Less than zesty dried herbs and spices.

    Tip: Store spices in a cool, dark place, not above your stove. Humidity, light, and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor.

    --From Rick Tramonto, Tramonto's Steak and Seafood, Osteria di Tramonto, and RT Lounge, Wheeling, IL

    2. Problem: How to get rich flavor without fat.

    Tip: For rich, creamy dressings made healthy, substitute half the mayo with Greek-style yogurt.

    --From Ellie

    Read More »from Top cooking tips from Food Network’s 100 greatest list
  • (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)By Jen Ator, Women's Health
    More from Guest Bloggers blog

    Even though you can flip on the tube and watch Emeril, Guy, Jamie, or Tyler whip up a mean meal, off the Food Network it's still women who do the lion's share of the food shopping, cooking, and cleanup. But you don't have to resign yourself to feeling frazzled.

    "What distinguishes one person's meltdown from another's indifference is their perception of control over the situation," says Paul J. Rosch, M.D., president of the American Institute of Stress. Try these strategies, and you'll be prepared to shrug off any tough situation thrown at you.

    1. Take time for YouTube laughs

    Just the anticipation of laughing significantly decreases levels of the stress hormones dopac, cortisol, and epinephrine, according to researchers at Loma Linda University in California.

    2. Chew some healthy fat

    According to a study from the University of Pittsburgh, people with the highest blood levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty

    Read More »from Six surprising stress-reduction secrets
  • TV time really does damage kids' eyes

    By Jenn Savedge, Mother Nature Network
    More from Guest Bloggers blog

    (Photo: oddharmonic/Flickr)(Photo: oddharmonic/Flickr)
    Your mother always told you that watching too much television was bad for your eyes. And she was right. New Australian research has found that that spending too much time in front of the television could cause lasting damage to a child's eyes and may even lead to health risks later in life.

    The study, published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology was conducted by researchers at Australia's Sydney University. The researchers evaluated 1,492 six year olds randomly selected from 34 schools throughout Sydney. The children's parents completed surveys about the amount of time their children spent exercising and the amount of time they spent in front of a TV or computer.

    Then they examined the children's eyes. They found that the children who watched the most TV had smaller blood vessels in their eyes than children who watched the least amount. In addition to the potential damage to eye

    Read More »from TV time really does damage kids' eyes
  • By Kimberley Mok, TreeHugger
    More from Guest Bloggers blog

    Environmental art doesn't necessarily have to be restricted to a pile of rocks stacked together by Andy Goldsworthy -- it can also take the form of wearable, fashionable, and socially engaged garments too.

    Made with fruits, weeds, flowers, and leaves, 'Weedrobes' is the delightful series of meticulously detailed, perishable gowns, coats, and suits by Canadian environmental artist Nicole Dextras. Striking a careful balance between style and commentary, the message behind Weedrobes is aimed squarely at the not-always-so-sustainable practices of the fashion industry, while also redefining the perceived immortality of haute couture.

    Dextras' garments begin life as plants harvested from a variety of places, ranging from areas affected by invasive species to specimens from Dextras' own garden.

    After constructing her pieces, Dextras photographs each Weedrobe with a model, and they are sent out to "engage the

    Read More »from Weedrobes: Artist creates stunning garments from fruit, weeds, flowers
  • (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)By Trystan L. Bass
    More from Green Picks blog

    You've probably heard of the "latte factor" - by spending $2.50 on coffee at a cafe every day, you're wasting money that could have added up to millions. If you subscribe to this theory, you try making coffee at home. But an ordinary cup of joe doesn't always satisfy.

    Do you have to spend thousands on a fancy espresso machine or buy the most expensive coffee beans? That would defeat idea of saving money by brewing coffee at home.

    We looked for expert advice on how to make great coffee and discovered that freshness is more important than fancy equipment or ingredients.

    Consumer Reports finds that most brands of automatic-drip coffeemakers will brew a decent cup of coffee. The main differences are extra features such as timers, thermal carafes, and such. Choose the coffeemaker that fits your price range and kitchen style.

    Many coffee aficionados prefer manual-pour coffeemakers because they draw out more complex flavors

    Read More »from How to brew the perfect cup of coffee
  • By Yamini Mudaliar, Networx(Photo: lightcap/Flickr)(Photo: lightcap/Flickr)
    More from Guest Bloggers blog

    We all love a little "me time," don't we? I am talking about pure self-indulgence, time you spend on yourself, for making you feel better.

    Imagine the scent of lavender and fresh lilies wafting from the vase, brown sugar and vanilla after a nice pedicure, the sound of your favorite music and a warm bathrobe embracing you after a soak from a bath enriched with natural oils and floating spa lights. Sounds out of this world? I'll show you make this happen at your home, in your very own bathroom.

    Here are a few changes you can make that will encourage you to have more "me time":

    1. Install a rain shower head

    If you prefer a shower to the tub, then this is a good option. Unlike the usual shower, which shoots water at an angle, this shower takes advantage of gravity by throwing water at 90 degrees, as if you were standing in the rain, The only difference is, that the water temperature can be adjusted to suit

    Read More »from Nine easy steps to turn your bathroom into a spa retreat
  • By Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature Network(Photo: Kenny Hindgren/Flickr)(Photo: Kenny Hindgren/Flickr)
    More from Guest Bloggers blog

    Q: I was making my mother's famous French onion soup the other night and had to chop six onions. Before I was even halfway through the first one, I started to tear up. By the time I was on the second, it was a full-on sobfest. It got me wondering: Why does chopping onions make you cry?

    A: I hate cutting onions for that very reason. It's interesting, isn't it? You can have whole onions sitting around your house for days, even weeks, and everything is just dandy. And then one day, you unsuspectingly cut into one, and ouch! Stinging and burning and crying (oh, my!) like you wouldn't believe. So what gives?

    Allow me to explain: Lachrymatory-factor synthase, an enzyme that was discovered by Japanese researchers in 2002, is released when you cut into an onion. This enzyme converts the onion's sulfoxides into sulfenic acid. The sulfenic acid rearranges itself into an unstable compound known as

    Read More »from Why does chopping onions make you cry?
  • By Tricia Goss, Yahoo! Contributor Network

    Searching for the ideal wedding gift is difficult enough, but when you are hunting for a gift that is special, appropriate, and environmentally friendly, you might find it next to impossible. Rather than spend hours scouring malls and specialty stores, check out this list of 10 spot-on ideas for go-to green wedding gifts.

    1. Buy bamboo.This woody plant grows rapidly, making it a green option to other trees and plants. While you could certainly opt for bamboo kitchenware or furnishings, opt for something more romantic such as luxurious sheets, thick towels, or his-and-her bathrobes made from bamboo fibers.

    2. Turn them into tree huggers. If the newlyweds are also new homeowners, present them with a sapling native to their area. Even if they are apartment dwellers, you can give them some green in the form of lush, potted plants.

    3. Make Memories. A wedding gift does not have to be tangible to be terrific. Spring for a class that the

    Read More »from 10 eco-friendly, go-to wedding gifts
  • A raised bed is one of the best ways to grow vegetables. Use this easy DIY plan to build one on your own.


    • One 6-foot-long 4-by-4 ($15)
    • Six 8-foot-long 2-by-6s ($75)
    • One 10-foot-long 1-inch PVC pipe ($3)
    • Two 10-foot-long ½-inch PVC pipes ($6)
    • 32 3½-inch #14 wood screws and 16 ½-inch #8 wood screws ($29)
    • One 4- by 10-foot roll of ¼-inch-mesh hardware cloth ($15)
    • Eight 1-inch galvanized tube straps (semicircular brackets; $3.60)
    • 32 cubic feet (1 1/5 cu. yd.) soil mix ($100 in bags; look for combination of topsoil, compost, and potting soil).
    With a table or power saw, cut the 4-by-4 into four 16-inch-tall corner posts. Cut two of the 2-by-6s in half. Cut the 1-inch PVC pipe into four 12-inch-long pieces and the ½-inch PVC pipes into 6-foot-long pieces. Assemble pieces on a hard, flat surface.
    > Related: More ideas for planting boxes


    Build bed upside down. Set a 4-foot 2-by-6 on its thin edge on pavement, and place a 16-inch post Read More »from How to build the perfect raised bed garden
  • nuclear power not green dangersnuclear power not green dangers

    Original source on One Green Planet

    Is nuclear energy really part of the answer to preventing the devastating effects of climate change? Until the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, even some ardent environmentalists who'd previously rejected the technology had warmed to the idea.

    Nuclear Renaissance?

    Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in nuclear power as people search for ways to prevent the worst of climate change. As part of a so-called nuclear renaissance, some of the myths surrounding nuclear energy have been broadcast with increasing frequency.

    Some, including President Obama, have argued that nuclear energy belongs in the mix as an effective means for combating climate change, and recently the president called for a tripling of public financing for new nuclear power plants.

    During his presidential campaign Obama declared, "If we want to arrest global warming, then nuclear energy is a powerful, powerful ally in that cause." Obama's

    Read More »from Nuclear Power: Not the Answer to Climate Change


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