In this issue
 
Friday April 19 - Friday April 26 2013
Green Home Ideas

Here are some ways to create a cleaner, greener environment in your home.

Use Grass Cuttings
Leave grass cuttings on the lawn instead of including them with your yard waste. The water-rich clippings will return moisture to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer.

Remove Your Shoes
Take off your shoes when you enter your home to avoid tracking in dirt. This simple ritual can save on cleaning products and make air and vacuum filters last longer.

Keep Air Filters Clean
Clean or replace filters in heating and central-air-conditioning systems and window units to keep them operating at their highest efficiency.

Choose Energy Star
When it comes time to replace your appliances, choose Energy Star-rated models to cut your electricity consumption. Energy Star models may cost more up front, but you'll save more in the long run. A new fridge, for example, can run on half the energy of an older one.

Remove Your Shoes
Take off your shoes when you enter your home to avoid tracking in dirt. This simple ritual can save on cleaning products and make air and vacuum filters last longer.

Go Low-Flow
Choose low-flow faucet fixtures to cut water usage. Also, install dual-flush toilets that can save 8,000 to 20,000 gallons of water annually (2 to 5 1/2 gallons per flush), depending on the size of your family.

Wash in Cold Water
About 90 percent of the energy used for a load of laundry goes to heating the water. Some items require hot water, such as bed linens (to kill dust mites). All other loads can be washed in cold water.

Unplug Electronics
Many household appliances continue to use electricity even when turned off. Unplugging idle devices will help minimize leaks.

Meatless Mondays

Meatless Mondays is a movement that is spreading across Canada and the world as people become more mindful of the effect their food choices make.

Going meatless just one day a week is both beneficial to your health as well as the environment. Health benefits of reducing your meat intake include lowering your risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

Environmental benefits include decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, which have been responsible for the acceleration of the world’s climate change. Animal agriculture is the cause of 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Abstaining from meat at least once a week will help lessen those emissions.

So, why not try going meatless on Mondays? Here’s a tasty meatless recipe to help get you started.

Tortellini Primavera
Recipe from EatingWell.com
Makes 5 servings, about 1¼ cups each



 


Ingredients

1 14-ounce can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup shredded fontina cheese or ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, dill or chives or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and snap peas, or 16-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 16-ounce package frozen cheese tortellini



 

Preparation
Put a large pot of water on to boil.

Meanwhile, whisk broth and flour in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth mixture to the pan, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese, tarragon (or dill or chives) and salt.

Add vegetables and tortellini to the boiling water; return the water to a simmer and cook until the vegetables and tortellini are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain; add to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat.

Nutrition
Per serving : 424 Calories; 15 g Fat; 8 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 68 mg Cholesterol; 55 g Carbohydrates; 14 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 566 mg Sodium; 321 mg Potassium

Green at Work

We often think about our ecological footprint mainly in terms of what we do at home…and in our personal lives. But we should all be extending those great ideas into the workplace as well.

Here are some ways to reduce your effect on the planet and create a healthier, more eco-friendly office.

  1. Recycle:  Each of us has a blue bin at our desk.  Fill it each day with recyclables instead of tossing these items in the trash.

  2. Turn off the power:  Turn off your computers, monitors, overhead lights, desk lamps and other electronic devices when you leave at the end of each day. Also, if you know that you’ll be away from your desk for a while, turn everything off.  The last person to leave a meeting room should also turn off the lights.

  3. Pack a lunch:  Bring your lunch to work in reusable, washable containers, rather than purchasing take-out or fast food, both of which come in wasteful packaging. If you do decide to eat out, walk or bike there.

  4. Ration print paper:  Get into the habit of printing only what’s necessary, and printing on both sides of a page.