Posts from the ‘eco friendly product’ Category

What is a Tamarind? Oh, Sweet Tamarind!

It had to be more than twenty plus years since I ate a tamarind.  Last weekend I was presented with a sweet surprise.  My sister in law brought me a box of sweet tamarinds.  Now, these are hard to come by, so I knew this was a most precious gift.  If you are not familiar with tamarinds this post will help you appreciate them. 

Tamarinds grow on a tree mostly in tropical climates.  I have memories of eating tamarinds as a kid and climbing on tamarind trees, and just hanging out and eating them atop a tree.  When they are not ripen the shell is hard and kind of greenish, once they are ready to eat the shell turns brownish and is easy to crack, similar to the way you would crack an egg shell.  Most tamarinds that are ready will fall to the floor, as the shell dries.  Here are some pictures,to give you an idea.

Box of Tamarinds
Nutritional value – not much, but they are delicious! Mostly carbs, sugar, and fiber.  They are also high in calories as you can see in the box.
I like the fact that they are harvested in a way that is environmentally friendly and the box is recyclable.
Here is what a tamarind looks like
The shape varies and so does the size.
To eat it, just crack it open with your hands.
This is what you will find inside the shell.  Yeah, I know what you are thinking … but I assure you, it does not taste like that.
Close-up of the shell
Each section of the tamarind will contain a large seed.  To eat it, you separate a section and suck on it until you just have the seed.  The pulp is sweet and you must chew on it as well.  The seeds are very hard.
Here’s the whole thing.  The fibers hold the pieces of tamarind together.
Once you eat the whole tamarind you have an empty frame.  For the sake of this post I had to eat one.  Oh, the sacrifices we make for blogging!
Here’s a close shot of the empty frame.
And there you have it; this is how you it a tamarind.  Hope you enjoy this post, I did. 

Shop and Help the Planet

At first glance, the title of this post may appear as a contradiction; how can you recommend consumerism as a way of helping the planet?  It is more about recognizing our individual needs when shopping.  It means that before we make a purchase we evaluate it from four sides – the financial side, the economics side, the giving side,and the environmental side.  How is that?  Just simple, by ensuring that you make the absolute best of your purchase. This is how I am learning to live my life now. 

The Financial Aspect – It is as easy as asking yourself if you can afford the item without going into debt.  It is for your ultimate financial well being, and your family’s financial health.  If you have to charge it or cannot pay it by the end of the month, when the bill comes, then don’t buy it.  Another application to this side is by evaluating your need for the purchase – do I need this? Do I already own a version of it?  Do I really need another pair of stilettos or should I cushion my savings or emergency fund this time? 

The Economics Aspect – Think of the Country you live in.  Purchase goods that are made in your country.  Stimulate the economy that way, by supporting the small Mom and Pops, local businesses and farmers, and by buying homemade.

The Giving Aspect – There are companies that will give a portion of the purchase price of a product to a good cause.  See if you can choose products that contribute to a good cause. 
In addition, before discarding something, see if you can find someone who needs it and give it to that person.   

The Environmental Aspect – This is about reducing – reusing – recycling – repurposing.  Thinking of other ways to use items or repurpose items can be fun.  It fuels your creativity.  In addition, it gives things a second chance. Buy from antique shops or flea markets.  If you don’t want to spend money at all, you can visit the free section on Craigslist, eBay classifieds, or local newspaper, and you will be amazed at the amount of free goodies.  
You will be preventing these things from ending up in the landfills.  Whether you use these items for yourself or transform/alter them to resell, you are helping the environment. 

Next time, before you head up to do some shopping, see if you can incorporate one or more of these steps into your shopping agenda.

Take the road less traveled and make a difference.

Homemade Tow Dump Cart

Here is another genius Eddie project made from recycled materials – a homemade metal tow dump cart.  This time it is sone by recycling an old metal shelf that was in the shed. He built it a couple of months ago.  Most materials are recycled,except for the two wheels, which he bought new.  A new Tow Dump Cart will cost you over $150 at your local home improvement store.  Here are some pics of the project. Total cost for the project, less than $25.

Shelf has been dismantled.
Beginning of the assembly using the parts and screws to form the shape.
Side view
Underneath assembly

Another view of it underneath, almost there.
This is that front part, where it will be pulled.
Taking shape
Back view
Front view
A series of pictures of the final product
He took it with him on his last trip to the farmhouse.
And there you have it, a homemade tow dump cart or garden cart.

Homemade Bicycle Rack

Here is another great Eddie project that only took a couple hours to complete, again recycling the wood from pallets.  We enjoy biking and he decided to make a bicycle rack or stand to keep the bikes steady in the truck. This prevents scratching the bikes with the movement as you drive. All it took was the time to disassemble the pallet, cut and nail a few woods, and sand it a bit.  You can also paint it if you want but we decided to leave it without paint. It fits three bikes.  You will have to secure it with straps to your truck, and you also need to strap your bikes a bit so they are more secure.  If you have a pick up truck or if you need just a stand for the bikes at home, this is an easy and inexpensive project to do with recycled materials.

Here are some pictures of the final product.

Hope that you enjoyed this project.

Emergency Kit Must Have

Recently, I gave my husband an emergency radio – a model by the American Red Cross that I think should be in every household.  This radio is well made, has an attractive look, is compact, and works great.  It has three ways for power – battery, solar, and cranking handle.  You can switch between the three power sources.  I like this features because you cannot always count on batteries.  In addition, it has a flashlight and flasher built in, and you can switch to the weather band in several areas.  It has the radio, of course, but what I like about it is that it sounds clear, loud enough. 

The American Red Cross radio also has a clock and alarm.  I am pleased with the radio and Eddie loves it too.  I got it at the local Home Depot but you can probably found it online too.  With all the craziness in the weather these days, you never know when you would need this gadget.  Here are pictures of the radio in case you want one too.

Homemade Garden Lounge Chair

This is just another project that Eddie did using recycled wood from pallets.  It took about four pallets to use the material in this project; also, some screws and a few hinges.  The extra large chair sits two comfortably and is about the size of a full size bed. This is a large project that took more than a day to complete, including painting and prepping the material .  The garden lounge or day bed can be used propped up or it can fold down completely, as it has hinges.  The result is a cool Eco-friendly garden lounge that is very sturdy and also heavy.  We have already used it and we love it! Here are some pictures of it.

Hope you enjoyed this project,we are!

Homemade Garden Bench

Here’s another easy to do project using recycled wood from pallets.  It is a patio bench that can sit two.  It took close to three hours from beginning to end including building, sanding, and painting. Painted with outdoor paint in hunter green.  Here are some pictures of the project from start to finish.

Raw material
Disasembling
Half way there.
Almost finished.

Final product – Garden Bench

If you like the natural color of the wood, you don’t have to paint it, only protect it with a poly clear coat.  This bench is also perfect for putting plants on top or just as garden decor.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s project; until next one!