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

Garlic Tower: Project Fail

Remember back when I posted about dismantling a pallet so I could use the wood for a project? And remember when I mentioned that I'd be sharing both successes and failures in my attempts at becoming more sustainable? Well it's time for a fail update. This was my plan: turn the wood from a recycled […] Read More

Topped with homemade passion fruit jelly.

No Measure Homemade Vanilla Yogurt

I've been making my own yogurt for several years now* and I'm here to tell you: it's easy. Homemade yogurt is tasty, MUCH cheaper than store bought, and it doesn't come with any packaging. I make vanilla yogurt and top it with homemade jam or jelly for a variety of flavors. Ingredients: Half-gallon milk. (I've […] Read More

Small Step: Give up Drinking Straws

It seems like a silly thing. Can a simple plastic drinking straw really make much of a difference? But take this into account: One Virginia manufacturer makes four BILLION drinking straws each year. Imagine how much plastic that uses. Imagine how much waste that produces. What if we gave up drinking straws? Sure, many of […] Read More


Plastic-Free Freezer Storage

We've been talking a bit over on the Attainable Sustainable Facebook page about how to store food in the freezer without using plastic containers. It's a big stumbling block for people like me who want to preserve garden bounty (I freeze vegetables like green beans; their acid content is too low for water bath canning) […] Read More


Are You Making This Mistake at the Post Office?

If you toss your paper trash into a receptacle at your United States Post Office, it might be going straight to the landfill. Not all offices recycle their paper waste due to privacy issues (mine does not). Ask; if yours doesn't, bring the junk mail home with you and add it to your recycle bin. […] Read More


Doing the Right Thing OR Chicken Butchering 101

Although I'm not including any graphic images here, if you're one of my vegetarian readers, you will probably want to come back later in the week for a gentler post. ### Dinner last night was chicken. Chicken that I've been telling everyone I butchered myself. This is not entirely accurate. While the butchering occurred right […] Read More

How do you Bag It?

 I watched Bag It over the weekend. The movie begins as a "regular guy," Jeb Berrier, wonders about the plastic bag he uses to carry a yogurt home in. As he researches and learns more about the environmental impact of choosing a plastic bag, his questions lead to more questions. What about plastic bottles?  How […] Read More

Guest Post: Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

When I posted about switching from boxed and canned goods to homemade alternatives, Heather Anderson, who blogs at A Mother's Calling, commented: ...The one thing I had a hard time replacing in casseroles and soups was cream of mushroom soup. But I found a great recipe that works great for me, so no more cream […] Read More

Celebrate Earth Day!

If you're here reading this post, you're likely aware of your impact on Mother Earth and are trying to lighten that impact. By depending more upon ourselves for our needs and less on big business, we are eliminating unnecessary fossil fuel use, pesticide use, and chemical use. We're not, any of us, perfect, but we're […] Read More