Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday (evening) Film Fest

My bloggy friend, Joe Todd, sent this over ... it's a brilliant couple of minutes.




Have a great weekend, everyone ... and thanks, Joe, for our Friday Film!

Monday, November 22, 2010

600 Followers!!

Wow ... we have reached another milestone!!

Reduce Footprints has 600 followers!

And who, you may be asking, is number 600? It's a brand new blog called The Eco Vine Blog. From their profile, "The Eco Vine is a community for people striving to live a greener life! Whether you're a full fledged earth hugger, or just starting out, come on by!" The Eco Vine blog is the companion to The Eco Vine Community ... a site where members can share ideas, link to their blogs, etc. So hop on over and get involved at the very beginning of what promises to be a great, Eco-friendly group.

Thanks to everyone who has helped to spread the green word ... and especially to all of Reduce Footprints' fabulous followers!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Film Fest

Before we start our film, I'd like to share something with you. My dear bloggy friend Ana Lopes, of My Sacred Grove, honored me with an award ... The Dardos Award. The Dardos Award is "bestowed for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."



Isn't that nice? I'd like to thank Ana for this lovely award ... and sentiment. The rules of the award state that recipients should post the award on their blog (mine is in the side bar) and then pass it on to blogs they feel are worthy. Therein lies my problem ... I follow so many wonderful blogs and it would be impossible to choose a few to honor. So, with Ana's permission, I'm giving this award to all of you ... to everyone I follow and to everyone who visits this site. Please take the badge, put it on your blog and pass it on. And please accept my thanks for all that you do to add value to the web!

Thank you, Ana ... I hope Reduce Footprints will always live up to that high standard!

Okay ... ready for our feature presentation?

Awhile back I shared the Story of Stuff with you. Annie Leonard, in a very understandable way, talked about ... well ... Stuff ... and how it moves from natural resource to, eventually, the landfill. It was a brilliant video and if you've never seen it, I highly recommend it.

Annie Leonard is back with a new video called The Story of Electronics. After the film, be sure to click on the link below to find out how you can help change the system.

I hope you enjoy:




To find out what you can do, please click HERE.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Field Trip

How about a little field? Would you like to take a break from your hectic day and see something new? Yes? Okay then ... click on the Eco-friendly bus below and I'll "see" you there:


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Take a moment ...

One leaf drifted to the river ... and floated, peacefully, along. No other human in the world witnessed that particular leaf release itself from the tree and float off ... that thought filled me with awe. As the sun slowly dipped behind the mountains, birds sang their "good night" song ... some chattered and chirped to each other ... maybe discussing their day. A small snake lay on the path, not ready to leave the warmth of the spot ... he didn't like our presence and preferred to be left alone.

We are encouraged to get ready for the holidays ... to spend our money ... to shop now and avoid the crowds. Posts are showing up everywhere about how to deal with holiday stress and people are anxious ... will there be enough time to do everything.

So I invite you today to step outside. Breathe deeply and feel the sun on your skin. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you ... can you hear nature? Take a moment to watch the spider building a web or a squirrel burying it's fall harvest.

Breathe.

Take a moment ...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Savvier Greener Ways to Redecorate Your Rooms by Caroline Smith

I'd like to introduce you to Caroline Smith who has kindly offered to talk to us about "green" redecorating. So sit back and enjoy:

Savvier Greener Ways to Redecorate Your Rooms

I’ve been looking at my front room for weeks thinking it needs a change. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s just that we women like to decorate, but this happens every few months. When the urge to redecorate hits, it can be tempting to hop into the car and zoom on over to Ikea, taking time to stroll the aisles and place item after item in the cart.

Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with making a few mindful purchases to revive a room, but this little habit adds up fast. Since I’ve started becoming more mindful of my effect on the environment, I have been thinking about greener ways to give my rooms a new look. Small steps to a more environmentally responsible lifestyle can be easy, and it can start with me. Here’s my eco-friendly plan to makeover my living room:

1. Reorganization – Ikea may not be helping my eco-makeover by providing frames and fun vases, but they can provide me with style ideas. It’s easy to rearrange the goods you’ve already got to look like a room off the glossy pages of an interior design magazine. My place isn’t all that big, and Ikea are known for using space in creative ways. When it comes down to it, most of us own plenty of knick knacks and end tables – so instead of a redecoration I’m looking at reorganization. Reuse and recycle is a green mantra, and it can be a fun challenge to create a new look with stuff you already own. If you have any trouble moving the larger pieces of furniture, I’ve found that a handy bribe of pizza afterwards can do wonders…

2. Slipcover Savings – Since I’m both making steps at greener living and watching my budget, any purchases I make need to make the most change in my room as well as helping me minimize my impact on the environment. Slipcovers are an amazing way to easily bring style and function. They are available in many colors and fabrics, and easily found online, some sites even offering coupons. They are simple to use, and can change the look of a room instantly. Instead of buying another sofa and seeing mine carted off to sit in a landfill, I’m going to reduce my footprint and invest in a new slipcover. I’m a chronic drinks spiller – coffee, tea, water, juice, I don’t discriminate about what kind of liquid should spill onto the sofa. Slipcovers are easy to clean, just throw them into the wash, saving years of wear on your furniture.

3. Freecycle Fun - Freecycle is both an eco-friendly organization, and completely addictive. In the course of my reorganization I’ve found many items I don’t use anymore. Instead of taking them to a garbage dump, I’ve decided to list them on Freecyle and donate to some other designing diva’s d├ęcor. Freecycle is like bargain hunting, except I’m not actually spending any money. I feel good knowing my treasures will find new homes, and have fun finding new treasures myself!

I’m enjoying the challenge of looking at the task of redecorating from a green perspective. It’s fun to be creative and find new ways to reuse items I already have and give my rooms a totally new image in the process. I’ve learned that there are lots of easy ways to recycle old things to give them an updated new look and particularly like the idea of Freecycling, which has proved that one person’s trash is another’s treasure!

This is a guest post by Caroline Smith, who believes being green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. She runs a website that offers a range of slipcovers for sofas which make it easy to prolong the life of old furniture and save it from landfill. Caroline thinks that if we all make small changes in our daily lives to lesson our footprint on the planet, we can collectively make a big difference.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegan Recipes - Black Bean Burger Mix & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

It's the first Friday of the month and that means it's time to share a vegan recipe. Now you might be wondering why meatless meals show up on a green-living site. Well, the fact is that it takes less water and natural resources to produce one pound of plant-based food than it does to produce animal-based food. Even incorporating a few meatless meals into your diet each week does a lot to help the planet.
This month we have two wonderful recipes. The first one comes from Rachelle, an email subscriber. You might remember Rachelle ... she suggested our Change The World Wednesday challenge last week. Her recipe not only looks delicious but it's versatile, as well. And, she tells me that she's shared these burgers with die-hard meat eaters and they have loved them.
The second recipe comes from Trainer Momma. I found her blog and this recipe while browsing the Internet and she graciously gave me permission to republish it here.
Both of these recipes, along with a whole list of others, can always be found by clicking the tab at the top of this blog.
Okay ... ready to eat? I hope you enjoy these recipes:

BLACK BEAN BURGER MIX
Compliments of Rachelle
Ingredients:
One 26.5 oz Bush’s Best Black Beans (Drain and rinse the beans with water ,let them dry as much as you can . Putting them in a colander works best)
Vegan Egg Substitute for 2 eggs (original recipe calls for 1 or 2 eggs)
One green bell pepper,chopped finely by hand or cut into med size pieces for food processor
One medium to large onion, chopped finely by hand or cut into pieces for the food processor
3 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 to 1 cup plain bread crumbs
Spices of your choice from the list below
Method:
Once beans are dry place them in a good size bowl and mash them. I have used a potato masher and even a pastry cutter to do this. Add finely chopped Green Pepper and Onion. Add 3 tablespoons of chopped garlic.
In another bowl mix together vegan egg mixture and the spices of your choice.
Add the egg mixture and bread crumbs into the black bean mixture and mix until you get a ground beef-like thickness. Add a bit of water or more bread crumbs if needed for desired thickness.
Cut wax paper or parchment paper into burger-sized rectangular pieces (should be able to fit a burger leaving enough paper to fold over and cover it).
Take the bean mixture and measure out the size burger you want. Press it into a hamburger patty shape. Keep in mind this is a bean burger and will not shrink during cooking like real meat. I find a thinner patty works best.
Place the patty on the paper and fold the paper over to cover. Keep doing this until the mixture is used up.
Place the burgers in a freezer safe container and freeze overnight or at least 5 to 6 hours.
When you are ready to make your meal take the amount of patties needed out of the freezer.
These patties can be prepared in the following ways:
Grill directions:
Heat your grill up on high heat. Take foil and cover it with a thin layer of oil. Grill the patties for 8 to 10 min on each side (depending on the thickness of your patties). I have grilled these directly on the grill before with a lot of success when I was out of foil. I would use the foil the first time until you feel confident without it.
Oven directions:
Heat oven to 375. Lightly oil a pan or use a non stick pan and bake 10 to 12 min. on each side.
You can add a variety of spices and use this mixture for several different meals. Pick one below or make up your favorite.
For a Mexican flavor use these spices:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
This mixture can be used for Mexican burgers. After grilling or baking crumble it up for tacos, burritos, or taco salad. Make the burgers extra thin and after baking or grilling you can place them between two flour or corn tortillas with a little cheese and than grill this for a quesadilla. Add your favorite topping and your good to go.
Italian:
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Replace the plain bread crumbs with Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 or 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
After grilling or baking serve as a burger, serve on Italian bread with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella for a meatless meatball sub., or cut up and use for pizza topping.
Steak burger:
1 or 2 tablespoons of your favorite steak sauce
1 tablespoon of Worchester sauce
Use your imagination with spice combinations the possibilities are endless.

SWEET POTATO ENCHILADAS
Compliments of Trainer Momma
Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked, and mashed
4 Tb fresh cilantro, chopped and divided
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
2 Tb chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tb soy sauce, reduced sodium
7 or 8 whole wheat tortillas or Flatout Bread
baby spinach leaves, torn
1 can green chili enchilada sauce
1 handful of vegan cheddar cheese (original recipe called for cheddar cheese, reduced-fat)
Method:
Peel, cook, and mash sweet potatoes (I steam mine in the microwave until tender).
Mix sweet potatoes and 2 Tb of cilantro in a bowl.
In a medium sized pan, spray nonstick cooking spray. Saute onions on medium high heat until they are translucent. Add garlic, stir for 1 minute. Add beans, water, chili powder, cumin, and soy sauce. Cook and stir until most of the water has been evaporated. Mix in the remainder of the cilantro and remove from heat.
In a tortilla, put 2 Tb or so of sweet potato mixture, then 2 spoonfuls of bean mixture and top with some torn spinach. Roll up and place in a lightly sprayed baking dish. Repeat for the rest of the enchiladas.
Top with enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until cheese is golden brown.
Makes 7 servings. 215 calories per serving.
Thanks to both Rachelle and Trainer Momma for sharing these recipes with us. If you have a vegan recipe which you'd like to share, please send it to me using the email address in the left side bar.
As always ... I would love to hear from you!




Monday, November 1, 2010

Dianna Cohen: Tough truths about plastic pollution

This is a wonderful video ... only about 5 minutes long. I hope you'll watch it and pass it along!





As always ... I would love to hear from you!