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.

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.

Sustainability – Reduce – Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle

We are making a conscientious attempt to become greener and utilize the planet’s resources responsibly.  Each individual is responsible for doing his/her part as best he/she can to help save and preserve this beautiful planet.  Every little counts, from buying products in environmentally friendly packaging to growing some veggies in your backyard.  By reducing our daily waste we contribute a lot to being responsible Earth citizens and become an important part in sustainability efforts.  Reducing waste should be our primary goal, followed by reusing items as best as we can.  We can give a second life to objects, we can think twice before putting something in the trash in order to use it in a different way or alter it on another form and for another purpose.  This takes us to the issue of repurposing.  When we repurpose items we help the environment as well.  We reduce our waste and we give a second chance to items which would end up in a landfill somewhere.  when we want to dispose of items we should recycle them as well as we can, by following our city’s recycling programs and doing as best as we can to keep these things out of a landfill.

Many items such as plastic items, glass items will end up as new products, companies will save money in the manufacturing process, and the economy will benefit from it as well.  This is how we affect a cycle, we are an important part in every sense of our existence in this planet.

A great example to illustrate this method is buying eggs.  Depending on where you live, you can either:

  • get your own eggs by raising chickens,
  • buy your eggs from a farm, reducing packaging waste,
  • buy the eggs at a grocery store, but choosing eggs in a cardboard container instead of the Styrofoam containers,
  • reusing the cardboard container to grow seeds for your vegetables,
  • last, recycle the cardboard container in the garbage, as appropriate in your town.

By using our imagination, we can turn used items into something else.  We can be innovative in our everyday living by following this method – reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle.