Composting Coffee Grounds

Jane commented a couple of times on my instant compost post, wondering about adding coffee grounds to her compost pile. (Jane, by the way, has a great movie review site - check it out!) She had heard that they are too acidic and can wreak havoc in a garden. I figure if Jane's asking, other […] Read More

Supersize your Shampoo, Reduce Plastic

I stopped buying drug store variety shampoo many years ago because of the questionable ingredients (in particular sodium lauryl sulfate, which is also used as an industrial degreaser). After much searching, I found a natural shampoo that I was happy with. Trouble is, 1) it's expensive and 2) it comes in a ridiculously small container. […] Read More

PlanetBox Lunch Boxes -- zero waste lunch

PlanetBox Lunch Boxes

I received a PlanetBox for review purposes. If you send kids off to school every day, you know just how hard it is to pull together a zero-waste lunch. And if you're trying to skip plastic? That doubles the difficulty. Enter PlanetBox! Made of stainless steel, the hinged lunch box opens to reveal five individual compartments […] Read More

Sustainable Haiku

Today is a theme day for Word Count's Blogathon 2011: Haiku. Instead of writing haiku myself, I asked over on the Attainable Sustainable Facebook page for contributions from readers. I love these! From Rebecca: Pesto tastes the best From garlic planted in Fall By my three-year old. From Lee: don't throw it away reuse what […] Read More


Homemade Refried Beans to Rival Rosarita

Over the years I've tried repeatedly to make refried beans from scratch, but my family has been only lukewarm about my attempts, preferring their old standby Rosarita brand refried beans. Rosarita beans are sold in cans that have bpa in the lining. Not cool. But my kids love refried beans, so I found myself torn […] Read More

Happy Mother’s Day!

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garden, roots, tubers,

Growing Carrots: A Tip from Grandpa

Carrots are not guaranteed a spot in my garden, but when space allows, I utilize a little of my Grandpa's wisdom. One thing that's crucial when starting carrots is that they have constant moisture as they sprout. Seed your row of carrots and water them in well. Place a 1" x 4" board over the […] Read More

compost, waste, garden, nutrients, soil, beneficials

Use Your Blender for (Almost) Instant Compost

What if you don't have a lot of space for composting as Ruth commented awhile back? Your leftover salad greens, apple cores, egg shells, and gnarly vegetarian leftovers can go straight to the root of your garden when you use this method, which is ideal for urban gardeners. Toss compostable items into your blender so […] Read More

A More Sustainable Mother’s Day

How about a dozen red roses to celebrate your mom for Mother's Day? Or not. Instead of giving mom a bouquet of roses that have likely been trucked in from a distance and grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, seek out locally grown flowers (try your farmers market!) or buy her a plant that she […] Read More


Five Books Worth Adding to your Shelves

For years, my plant bible has been the Sunset Western Garden Book. Filled with listings of specific plants (over 8,000 in the 2011 edition) that detail plant characteristics, growth habits, and zone requirements, this is a must-have if you garden in the west. The book includes information about both edible and ornamental plants and trees. […] Read More