If you’re planning an upcoming event or dinner party in the near future, remember to recycle the scrap ends of your produce. I’m talking about the root ends that you cut off of your vegetables and sometimes throw away. Tossing produce leftovers is a huge waste considering that they can be composted into nutrient rich soil or regenerated by being placed in water. Rather than choosing only one method of recycling leftovers, why not do both! As you set aside some of your produce scraps for composting, save the root ends for your very own leftover garden!
Cut your onions as normal but leave 1 or 2 inches of the root. Place the bulb ends in a cup with some water and put near a window. Change the water every other day. After a week, cut off the stalks and enjoy.
Cut the stalks off of your celery and put the bulb end in a cup of warm water. Set the plant near a window and replant in soil after about a week.
Cut your carrots and leave about an inch of the root. Stick a toothpick into the sides of the root and balance on top of a cup or glass. Make sure that the cut end of the stump is facing downward and fill the glass with water so that it barely touches the bottom edge. Continue to refill the glass as the water level lowers.
Insert three toothpicks into the sides of the seed. Make sure that the pointed end faces upward. Balance the toothpick and seed on a cup or glass. Fill the glass so that the bottom half of the seed is submerged in water. Continue to refill the glass as the water level lowers. After a few weeks, a small root will sprout out of the flat end and tiny leaves will begin to grow. Later, when the main stem emerges, replant the seed in potting soil.
For more leftover garden ideas, check out Ecosalon.com.
Save money on decorations and practice good recycling habits by making a chandelier out of found materials. Chandeliers are perfect for indoor or outdoor occasions and add an elegant touch to any event. If you have a specific theme in mind, start collecting objects with colors that fit theme of your decor. Get creative and make the piece as simple or as grand as you like. Here are some amazing examples of chandeliers made from recycled and repurposed materials.
Artist: Stuart Haygarth
Materials: Collection of ‘man made’ debris washed up on the shores of Kent coastline
Artist: Stuart Haygarth
Materials: 1,000 plastic party poppers collected in London after New Years
Materials: plastic bottles
Materials: recycled milk crates
Materials: plastic dolls
Artists : Toby barrat, Pamela Goddard and Nik Rust
Materials: recycled drinking glasses
People are so busy with work that it’s sometimes difficult to slow down and show your other half how much you love them. Thankfully we have Valentine’s Day to remind us of how important it is to go the extra mile for the one you love. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to celebrate Valentine’s Day, all you need is love and a little creativity. Here are four inexpensive and eco friendly ideas that are fun and easy to do!
1. Write a love letter on recycled paper and turn it into a book mark for your loved one. Rescue paper bags, newspaper, thin cardboard or any other paper material that would otherwise be put to waste. A love letter written via email is a good way to stay green, but if you want your other half to read about how much you love them everyday, make a love letter that they will be able to see and use every time they open up their favorite book
2. This might sound cliche but eating chocolate covered strawberries is one of the best Valentine’s Day activities. Preparation is simple and the end result is always euphoric and delicious! Check out Well Vegan for a vegan chocolate covered strawberry recipe.
3. Have an outdoor or indoor picnic. If the weather is nice and you have a favorite spot in mind, set up your picnic outdoors. But if it’s late and a bit too cold to lounge outside, feel free to have your picnic at home. Either way, light some soy candles and lay a blanket out on the floor. Prepare food and drinks that you both enjoy and take the picnic slow. For vegan picnic recipes go to Oakland Local.
4. There’s no better way to show someone you love them then by bringing them breakfast in bed. Whip up some homemade coffee, juice, fresh fruit and vegan pancakes with all the fixings. Put thought into the presentation and get ready for a beautiful day! Check out Food.com for a delicious vegan pancake recipe.
Add elements of ease and tranquility to your next event with this No Sew Tablecloth and Terrarium Centerpiece. This project is inexpensive to make and can be completed in less than an hour. All you need is fabric, scissors, green plants, fruit, glass cylinders and a few saucers or bowls. Be resourceful and keep the tablescape as simple as possible so that you have more room for activities and conversation.
Look around your house for extra fabric, unused sheets or thin blankets. I used some leftover canvas from a previous project.
Cut the fabric into the same shape as your table. The fabric should be 25″ – 30″ wide and 6″ longer than the length of your table (3″ overhang at both ends). Once the fabric is cut, fold it lengthwise and iron it so that a crease forms down the middle.
Use the center crease as a guide and cut the fabric into two halves. Trim off the loose strings along the edges.
Line up each half of the fabric on opposite sides of the table. Leave the center of the table exposed so that it frames your centerpiece. Fill your vessels with water and put a green plant or fruit inside of them. Find glass cylinders big enough to encase your vessels and cover them.
If you do not own any of the materials in this project, check out garage sales or your local Ecopark store, such as Urban Ore.
Hosting a dinner party for your loved ones? Give your guests more than just a delicious meal by creating a vegan centerpiece that recycles into enlightening party favors. This project will save you money and promote a more sustainable way to entertain. It truly is a gift that keeps on giving!
- Recycled jars
- Pallet wood
- Fruits or Vegetables
- Scrap Paper
Purchase seasonal fruits or vegetables at your local Farmer’s Market.
Find pieces of pallet or scrap wood and place them in the center of the table. Arrange the produce on top of the wood.
Clean jars thoroughly so that they can contain beverages. Make place setting name tags using scrap paper and twine, and tie them around the neck of each jar. Inside of each nametag, write down a vegetable pickling or fruit preserving website such as Learn to Preserve. At the end of the evening, allow guests to harvest the centerpiece and stow their produce inside of his or her jar as a parting gift.
January 27th is National Chocolate Cake Day. An entire day dedicated to making, decorating and eating the iconic chocolate dessert. Celebrate this year’s holiday in blissful solitude or with friends and family using a delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake and Frosting Recipe!
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
(Double the measurements if you want two layers of cake)
VEGAN CHOCOLATE FROSTING
- 14 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then add the coconut milk. Heat and stir almost constantly, until mixture is smooth and hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool until mixture is room temperature.
Click here for more info on National Chocolate Cake Day.
Food can take an event or celebration from good to great. With Halloween right around the corner many people are planning Halloween themed parties, weddings, or just want a fun way to celebrate the holiday and we’ve got creative, vegan appetizers to go with your spooky theme! Click on the links to get more detailed instructions and other vegan recipes.
- Apple Teeth from Family Fun: No baking necessary, just quarter and core an apple. Next cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter and press slivered almonds in place for teeth. Eat these goodies before they eat you!
- Witches Fingers from Chef Chloe: Bake cookies according to directions then use raspberry jam to paint the “nail bed” to look bloody. Use almonds for finger nails and brush them with maple syrup to create a creepier look!
- Graveyard Salad from Fork &Beans: Take a typical salad from normal to ghostly by creatively arranging the ingredients. Simply arrange asparagus and carrot sticks around the salad to look like a fence, slice cucumber to look like tombstones, and finish off with tomatoes and broccoli placed to look like pumpkins and bouquets!
- Spooky Black Bean Hummus from Fat Free Vegan: Using a food processor puree black beans, garlic, and seasonings. Spoon hummus into a serving dish and create a spider web pattern using a pastry bag and soy yogurt! Make it even creepier by adding a spider made out of olives!
- Sugar Free “Boo-nana” Pops by Healthful Pursuit: Create these ghostly treats by cutting a banana, inserting a popsicle stick and freezing them. Once frozen, cover the bananas with hot coconut butter. Add eyes with raisins, currants, or flax seeds! Enjoy these cool ghosts as either an appetizer or dessert!
Most large, outdoor events require extra energy in the form of generators. Now DC Solar Generation has a green alternative to all of your extra energy needs! DC Solar Generation specializes in entertainment and event needs such as concerts, sporting events, festivals, outdoor parties, and much more by supplying solar generators. The solar generators can be operated in any area they can be transported to, including remote areas and can even be run at night. Unlike diesel generators, the solar generators are completely silent and require no refueling so they won’t interfere with the event.
Most importantly they are green! These solar generators have zero fuel costs and zero emissions. This means a financial savings of 40% on total energy costs and a huge savings on environmental costs, making it even easier to make your next event zero waste! So for your next event energy needs consider using DC Solar Generation!
Want to have a truly zero waste wedding reception? Even if you’ve planned every detail of your wedding to be eco-friendly, if you’ve ever helped plan a wedding then you know that at the end of any event there tends to be quite a lot of waste. Here are some tips on how to recycle all of those things to make your event greener!
- Donate leftover food, to find a food bank in your area check out Feeding America. If you don’t live close to a food bank, send food home with guests and remind them to always compost!
- Resell your wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses, bridal accessories, etc. Follow the new trend of recycling your wedding gown with websites such as Recycled Bride which will resell your gown and let you reap about 50% of what you originally paid!
- Or donate your gown to organizations like Brides for a Cause who resell your gown to support a program called Wish Upon a Wedding which puts on weddings for couples with life threatening illnesses.
- Donate your flowers. Many hospitals, nursing homes, shelters and other facilities are happy to receive beautiful arrangement and you will be helping to brighten someone’s day!
- And lastly don’t forget to recycle all plastic, glass, metal, and paper to a recycling center. Earth 911 can help you find a recycling center close to your area.
To take it one step further, ask your venue ahead of time to remove all trash cans from the event space and only provide recycling bins. You can even make recycling bins that fit into your decor. If guests can’t throw items away in the garbage, you’re more likely to be able to control where the waste goes!