Green Phone Booth: No-sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam

This week at the Green Phone Booth: No-sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam.  Freezer jam is about the easiest entry into food preservation, by the way. But I still needed a friend to motivate me to actually do it. My lovely friend Marcie helped me with this very first attempt of mine at preserving the summer's bounty (this was before my adventure canning tomatoes with Heidi).  Was the no-sugar strawberry jam a success or a failure?  Click over to find out.  If you are even more of a novice than I am, you might appreciate the step-by-step photo instructions as well!

No Recipe Healthy, Veggie Filled, Mac and Cheese

This is a guest post by Katy Farber. Katy Farber is an author, teacher and blogger. She writes the blog Non-Toxic Kids, which features green parenting news, environment issue reporting, opportunities for activism, and book, music, and eco-friendly product reviews. You can find more tips for safer, greener, and healthier eating in her newest book, Eat Non-Toxic: a manual for busy parents, that was just released and is available now at Non-Toxic Kids

Treasures at the Restaurant Supply Store

I like restaurant supply stores.  They are the poor man's (disorganized and non-aesthetically-pleasing) version of Williams Sonoma.  They are also a bit like thrift stores in that you never really know what you'll find.  I have had especially good luck finding stainless steel items. Here are some of my finds from my local restaurant supply store.  (Note that there are many online restaurant supply stores with an amazing selection, but they often have very high shipping costs since they are really set up for huge orders from actual restaurants, so I would shop at a local store first if you can.)

10 Finds at the Restaurant Supply Store

Make Your Own Cooking Spray

Are you still buying PAM, or the equivalent?  In addition to being a waste of a metal can, those nonstick cooking sprays you buy in the store can have some weird ingredients: lecithin (an emulsifier usually derived from soy); a propellant such as food-grade alcohol, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide or propane; and sometimes even silicone to help promote the formation of a nonstick film.  When I used to use these cooking sprays, I remember that they often left this strange filmy substance around the perimeter of the pan that could not be cleaned off, no matter how much I scrubbed.  Certain pans I owned even recommended not using cooking sprays on the pans, probably for this reason.

Repurpose Your Duplo Blocks into Word Builders

The results of my second, more systematic approach.

Do you have some Duplo blocks in the garage that your kids have outgrown?  Or would you like to acquire a word or sentence building activity for your young child, but don't want to buy anything?  Look no further.  In this post I'll show you how to turn your ordinary Duplo blocks into word builders with nothing more than return address label stickers and a Sharpie marker.

First, let us give credit where credit is due.  I got this idea from Filth Wizardry.  But I made a few changes (some might even say improvements) and learned a few tricks that I would like to pass along to others.

In Search of the Affordable Natural Bed

The Pièce de résistance.

I truly believe that if you are going to green one thing, you should green your beds, because people (babies and children especially) spend so much time sleeping.  About a year ago, we bought a full size bed for our 2 small children to sleep in together.  I couldn't afford my ideal bed (all natural materials, no plastic, no toxic chemicals), but I ended up with a decent compromise. Below you'll find information about my ideal bed, very affordable eco-friendlier options, and what I actually bought.

But what if you aren't in the market for a new mattress right now?  Hopefully, you'll find the information below on bedding, pillows and mattress protectors useful.  Honestly, I chose not to research the mattress issue until I was ready to buy a new bed to avoid unduly stressing myself out.  I will say that if I had a new baby sleeping in a crib it would be my number one shopping priority to buy a 100% natural crib mattress (probably made of organic cotton and wool) with zero added flame retardants and a wool puddle pad for protection.

I Love Line Drying

I've been meaning to line dry for a long time.  Now I'm finally doing it! -- thanks to my engineer husband (and a very inexpensive nylon line).  When my first was in cloth diapers, I frequently dried the diapers on a rack, but drying them like this on a line is way more awesome.  In a matter of weeks, I have gone from a reluctant foot-dragging I'll-get-around-to-it-someday line dryer to a true believer.

Green Phone Booth: Meaningful Memories Holiday Challenge

This week at The Green Phone Booth: The Meaningful Memories Holiday Challenge 2011.  Former Boother Conscious Shopper instituted this challenge last year, and we are continuing the tradition this year.  Check out my post to find out topics we'll be discussing and ways that you can contribute to the conversation (including opportunities to guest post on Green Phone Booth!).


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