Home Help: Recycling in the kitchen

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 90 percent of Americans want to protect the environment. But despite the desire to care for the Earth, only 33 percent of trash in the U.S. is recycled, and 54 percent is buried in landfills.

In an effort to motivate families to do their part to protect the environment for future generations, incorporate these simple, earth-friendly tips while at home:

* Recycle items that you no longer need, and participate in community recycling initiatives. Community support for recycling can vary from place to place. Check your local guidelines to see what is allowed and what isn’t allowed. 

* Save energy (and potentially reduce your gas bill) by using smaller appliances when cooking small amounts of food. For example, heat water in an electric kettle rather than a teapot on the stove. Or cook small- or medium-sized portions in the microwave instead of the oven, which uses less energy.

* For a cold beverage, keep a cool pitcher of water in the fridge instead of letting the tap run until water gets cold. Use the same glass or reusable bottle throughout the day. After eating, don't rinse dishes –– just scrape off the excess food and load directly into the dishwasher. Tests by Consumer Reports showed that pre-rinsing usually isn't necessary, and skipping it can save 20 gallons of water per load.

-- Family Features

Decorating Tip: Achieve kitchen harmony, balance

To bring harmony and balance to your kitchen, try an Asian-inspired theme. Combine natural elements like bamboo flooring and a slate backsplash with clean architectural lines. Keep clutter off the counters and  appliances that blend into the overall design.

-- HGTV.com

Home-Selling Tip: Small investments for small budgets           

Improving an outdated room does not have to be a “go big or go home” project. Look for smaller investments that make a big effect, and get the most bang for your buck. Here are relatively inexpensive additions to think about: lighting fixtures, new door knobs, a new kitchen faucet, wall art and ceiling fans.

-- EnergizedSeller.com

New Product: BlackBerry PlayBook released

Research In Motion has released its first tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook. According to Consumer Reports, the perks are a crisp, bright image, a responsive touch screen and easy portability. On the downside, the navigation differs from that on BlackBerry phones.

Did You Know …

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, says lower-priced homes are likely to outperform high-end homes this year.

Garden Guide: Growing baby carrots

Two types of "baby carrots" exist: true baby carrots grown in the garden and full-size carrots that are peeled and sliced to look like baby carrots. The baby carrots we purchase bagged at the grocer are actually peeled, shaped and polished slices. The shaping process was invented in the late 1980s by a California farmer to make twisted and misshapen carrots more appealing. Processed baby carrots will look different than garden-grown baby carrots. Misshapen carrots grown in the home garden can also be sliced, shaped or juiced.

-- University of Illinois Extension

Going Green: Nissan NV200 wins Taxi of Tomorrow

The Nissan NV200 minivan was selected as New York’s exclusive “Taxi of Tomorrow,” an initiative to bring green technology to the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission. In late 2013, the new taxis will be gradually introduced into service, and they will feature filtered interior air, transparent roof panels, two USB ports and a mobile charging station.

-- Earth911.com

GateHouse News Service