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Old 24.03.2021, 11:19
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Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

This thread that I've started now in here as well, is a lifetime project close to my heart.

For many years, I have been sharing Saving Tips and such like in my Budget Blogs.

Ideas of how to make the most of many things and live a life more sustainable with less waste and garbage.

All, well most of the things I share/d, I am doing or apply at home too, so they have been tried and tested to boot. Others are ideas I have found online and thought to be quite good.

Regardless, if those ideas concern food, daily life at home, gardening, cleaning tips et al.

I am certainly not better than other people, but I try to (in my housewifely way) to do my share to help save the planet without using a bullhorn to tell the world………

I am certain in the EF; with so many people from so many paths in life and backgrounds / cultures and what not, this knowledge is a gold mine we should tap into and share with everyone.

I hope that many of you Forum members will contribute with YOUR ideas/tips/experiences etc. because, I for one am keen to learn more about this topic.

Cheerio

EE
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Old 24.03.2021, 11:21
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Nice idea EE!


My first one: put lemon or orange peels in a bottle, fill it up with vinegar, let it steep for a couple of weeks and you will have a nice cleaning fluid.
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Old 24.03.2021, 11:25
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

I love candles, and especially scented candles, but I am very very fussy and particular in regards to the scent; for one, you can chase me out of a house with vanilla scented candles.....shudder.

Candles actually do help me in more ways than one. For one, because of my handicap it often happens that after a day out, especially after meeting people and having had to concentrate a lot to lip-read........

I am (respectively my senses are), totally overwrought in the evening and I can’t have bright lights on. It does help me tremendously to ‘come back down’ by simply lighting candles only.

Normal candles in any shape, colour or form, I buy by the kilo or more, when shops such as OTTO’s or LANDI sell them in large bags for, or even less than, a fiver a bag. ( 5.-CHF)

Furthermore I collect all the candle stumps. Some are left over from table decorations from ‘those’ family meals, others have a funny wick that has ‘drowned’ and makes lighting the candle a chore and I also have various candle holders or glasses on display and in them they also don’t burn down entirely. All the various candle stumps get collected in a box, until I have enough to make a new candle out of them.

Making your own scented candle is really a doodle!

Using a pan with some water in it and an aluminium tray is then placed into the pan. The candle stumps are put in the aluminium tray as they are and the heat is turned on to medium. The wax will melt quite quickly and all the other stuff......old wicks, decorations will sink to the bottom of the (re-useable!!!) tray.

In the meantime make 2-3 knots into one end of wick to get a large knot, place it into the fireproof receptacle (glass or similar) so that the knot touches the bottom. You can buy wick on a spool quite cheaply in any DIY store or craft store.

Place a wooden skewer over the rim of the receptacle and roll the top end of the wick around it (you can cut the wick to size as soon as the wax has hardened and this way you don’t waste any material)

All that remains to do, is to add a few drops of your favourite scent; in my case anything lemony or lemongrass, to the liquid wax. You can also use a few drops of your favourite perfume. Then carefully pour the wax into the prepared receptacle.

Carefully, so that all the old wicks and other material remain in the aluminium tray and also so that the wick remains as straight as possible.
Voilà, from old make new and at almost no cost at all! ��







©sylv1999-2022

Last edited by EastEnders; 24.03.2021 at 12:48.
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Old 24.03.2021, 11:32
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

You bought too many fresh mushrooms and now they are starting to wrinkle and you don't fancy mushroom soup or risotto or some such thing.

Of course driyng/dehydrating them is a good idea to make them last longer.

I also make mushroom ketchup. Agreed, it doesn't look particularly appetizing once done, but it is such a lovely ingredient to add to dark gravies, soups etc and gives that umami flavour like not many other ingredients do.






I make mine more or less after this recipe, more often than not with the plain white champignons, I don't shop extra for this. Use what I have got in stock and needs to be used up.


https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/re...ketchup-recipe

It keeps well stored in the fridge (I keep mine even longer than what they mention in this recipe)

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Old 24.03.2021, 11:40
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

When life gives you lemons.....��

This is NOT a SAVING TIPP per se, but I consider this still a good idea to prevent food waste and as an every day tip.

When lemons in my household are about to go dry and I don't have anything planned to use them soon.

Then I cut them into slices, some left whole - some halved, and freeze them on a baking tray or similar, once frozen tip them into a bag.

Those slices then get added to the 3litre jug of herbal tea I make everyday or the halves get added to a G&T or other cocktail requiring lemon, no additional ice required to cool down whatever drink.

Once the tea in the jug/cocktail is drunk, the slices get further used by adding them to the dishwasher to help against limescale and give a nice scent or for cleaning/decalcifying and only once they are really used to the max they get chucked onto the compost heap.

When I only need to use the fresh juice for a recipe, then I grind the zest before I squeeze the lemon.

I have very tiny tupperware like containers where I put that grated zest into and freeze that.

In the event I need to bake spontaneously and I haven't got fresh lemons, i can just tip one such mini jar into the dough mixture.

I also make, in a small container, lemonscented sugar with the dried peel.

Mixed with icing sugar, water or lemon juice, you get a simple but refreshing icing for any sweet bakes.









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Old 24.03.2021, 11:45
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Home made Vanilla Sugar

If you, like me, have got a few family members with a sweet tooth and the demand for desserts is big, this is a clever cheap staple to have handy and it keeps for years, stored in an airtight container.

This Vanilla sugar can not only be used for baking purposes, but 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of it, sprinkled over a fruit compote, joghurt, porridge or müesli jazzes up the flavour quite a lot.

Standard is 15grams of it, when a baking recipe calls for 1pck of vanilla sugar.

it is dead easy to make.

When a recipe calls for a vanilla pod, just don't throw it away after use.

If used in a liquid, rinse it very quickly with water and then let it dry over night on paper kitchen roll, before adding it to a container 2/3 filled with plain normal sugar. At first, shake occasionally and continually add used pods, discarding of the old ones, after they have definitely lost their scent.
Over less than a month you will have started your endless own supply of vanilla sugar.

No need to buy it ever again.



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Old 24.03.2021, 11:52
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

I just love sun-dried tomatoes in oil, when the harvest was good in my allotment garden........ I make them myself if not, well then I get by on shop bought ones .

Usually when the jar is empty of tomatoes, there is a lot of oil remaining.

I fill that oil into a small bottle, add a few crushed cloves of garlic and maybe some dried herbs or chilliflakes and hey presto, I got a flavoured oil to drizzle over pizza or use for salads etc. at no additional cost.



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Old 24.03.2021, 11:59
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Another one to save energy if you have time: put on whatever needs to be cooked in a pot on the stove and heat up till it boils. Take it off the stove and wrap it and let the pot sit in a warm place. It will be cooked/done after a couple of hours.
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Old 24.03.2021, 12:32
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Some ideas with an abundance of apples


Apple flavoured sugar

In the German file, I created my own word for that new invention of mine; APFELZUCKER, which literally would mean 'apple sugar'.

As you know I love to use everything up and leave as little leftovers as possible. Often the spuds are prepared unpeeled here, as are the apples and many other vegetables/fruits as it is a known fact that the best contents, such as Vitamins etc sit often directly under the peel of vegetables and fruits.

When I prepare a dish with apples, which must be peeled for instance, then the peel gets dried in the dehydrator for later use as tea and only afterwards get put onto the compost heap.
Sometimes, I munch on the dried peel as you would with normal dried apple rings and finally, I also invent new ways to use the peel.

Important is, that the peel is really extra dry, when you want to make this kind of flavoured sugar. If you are dehydrating for the first time or are not totally sure if it is ok, then it is better to leave the prepared ‘sugar’ on a lined baking tray over night to let it further dry out.

For an ‘apple sugar’ which is white-ish, you should use only the lighter coloured bits of peel (yellow and green). If you are not bothered about the colour, then you can use the red and darker bits too, they tend to give the sugar a brown-ish tint, which is only unsightly for the eye, but the flavour is yummy all the same.


Grind the dehydrated peel very finely in the cutter.

Add regular white sugar (or cane sugar) to the cutter and blitz again in the cutter

It won’t be as fine as icing sugar, which by the way, you can also use instead of plain white sugar.

Of course, you can then sieve the result, so that only the finest parts are in the mix. This would be good in particular if you want to use that mix for an icing. It is amazing how these tiny bits, still have a lovely smell and taste, despite being dehydrated and processed.

Et voilà, ‘apple sugar’ ready for use, and it can be used for quite a lot.
For example:
- To flavour yoghurt, semolina, porridge etc
- Icings for baked goods. Instead of plain icing sugar
- seasoning sweet omelettes/ crêpes mixtures
- Flavour whipped cream for the apple pie with it
Et cetera, basically everywhere where apple flavour suits a dish well, this can be used to enhance the apple flavour or give a dish a unexpected twist.




In fall, when I make apple butter (thick, long keep, spiced apple sauce) I get again many long strands of apple peel.

ALL the peel gets dehydrated and I make herbal tea from it during the cold weather, flavoured with cinnamon or cardamom or whatever you like with apple, it is a heavenly warm-up-again drink.

You don't need a dehydrator for this at all, long strands of peel can be dried on a clothes drying rack or losely laid out on clean kitchen towels.




And last but not least, you can make apple vinegar from fresh peels and the appple core.





It is super simple, you need a 1.5 litre perserving jar and gauze.

For 500gr of peels and core 1-2 tblsp brown sugar and water.

Place the apple bits in the cleaned jar, fill up with water and stir in the sugar. Cover with gauze and keep in a dark, cook place (cellar) for about 6 weeks. At first stir the mix weekly. Taste it after 3-4 weeks to see if the acidity is right, as soon as you think it is perfect. Filter into clean bottles with twist on lids.

IF, during the process there are dark streaks or a slimy looking mass building up in the jar.

Fear not, this is good, this is the vinegar nut building up, which will help in further vinegar making.

Although if it turns grey-green mouldy, THEN indeed something went wrong and the vinegar starter has to be binned comepletely.


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Old 24.03.2021, 12:40
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Once you’re done reading the coffee grounds, then …….😉

No seriously!!

I often make a thermos full of filtered coffee to last us during the day. We do own a capsule machine, but the capsules for our system are quite expensive. Usually, I bulk buy them when Otto’s has them on sale and then they need to last for a while.

Anyway, did you know you can use coffee grounds for many other things than just discard them onto the compost after use?

I always have a small bowl of dried coffee grounds on the outside windowsill of my kitchen window, so I can quickly use it to wash my hands with after I prepared fish or garlicky stuff.

I also have used it, knotted into a freshly washed (but laddered) nylon sock, to discard smells in the fridge.

It also works well to scrub pans; you don’t need much about 1 tblsp.
And this is much gentler to pots and pans than a soap with abrasive contents.

My dad, who owned a plumbing business, told me that the coffee grounds won’t clog up the drain, especially since you don’t need a big amount of them and rinse the kitchen basin anyway after cleaning the pots and pans.

OTOH, with keeping slugs at bay…..is a 50/50 situation, it works for the big pots, even if they contain salad, but on the high rise beds not as well.

YAY!! It really does work to keep cats at bay, since I do this regularly none of the estates moggies has used my vegetable garden as a private loo anymore.
So far, I haven’t noticed a reduction of the ants that are crawling everywhere outside, but I will keep on observing.

Attracting worms to the compost heap however, that does work well.

I am a being lazy now and only add a link with suggestions in English listing many good uses of what to do with used coffee grounds.

A lot of those tips I use on a daily basis and they work well, others I have yet to try.



https://www.healthline.com/nutrition...coffee-grounds




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Old 24.03.2021, 12:47
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Voilà, a few ideas to get the thread started, more will follow over time from me, as I hope from you all as well.

I look forward to many of YOUR ideas, tips and general input!!

Cheerio

EE


Ps. Apologies to the FB friends and readers, for seeing things double or triple but this thread IS about recycling too :P
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Old 24.03.2021, 13:08
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

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I always have a small bowl of dried coffee grounds on the outside windowsill of my kitchen window, so I can quickly use it to wash my hands with after I prepared fish or garlicky stuff......
Any particular reason why it needs to be outside?

I had a chance discovery the other day. I got my new Abwaschbesen (brush for dishes) all red, when cleaning the pot I made tomato-sauce in. That's a piece of plastic one throws away regularly - can't live without them though and no, wooden ones don't seem hygienic to me - so I was annoyed. I was just about to start the dishwasher, so I stuck it in there: Came out like new.
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Old 24.03.2021, 19:45
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

No reason poarticular, other than my compost bin also being on the windowsill do when I go to empty it(we have our own compost ) , I'll also take the coffee grounds to scatter.

As for the scrubbing brush trick i the dishwasher, yup... I do that fairly regulary too and find the brushes last longer
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Old 24.03.2021, 20:02
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Coffe grounds make a good fertilizer aswell!
So do crushed egg shells.
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Old 30.03.2021, 11:29
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Simple wasp traps


I know this may sound super contradictory…….but, I really did work to attract a lot of wildlife to the garden from birds to hornets to lizards, to hedgehogs to all kind of butterflies, wild bees and many other critters and so on and so forth and it seems to work well. Particularly, when one considers that I only started barely 3 years ago to 'proper' gardening in my own way here. (no poisons, companion planting etc)

However, the wasps despite being no pests per se, just proper nuisances ……. need to be kept at bay a little and the number of them managed, because the ratio of wasp per, say swallowtail, caterpillar is a tad unfair to the caterpillars, as well as to a few other critters such as the wild bees , since the wasps also go to help themselves to food at the 'bee hotels'.

Hence the home-made wasp traps come into play, they are hung farther away on the fence so that they mainly attract the wasps, and it really works.

They are super easy to assemble, and should they once break or so you can put them into the PET Recycling bin.


You need to cut off the top 5th of the bottle, this gets turned upside down into the body of the remaining bottle. Heat the point of a knitting needle of some similar thing with a firelighter and pierce two holes opposite each other into the bottle 'body' and top.

Dip the former lid of the bottle in jam, turn upside down place again in the bottle 'body' and secure both parts with a wooden skewer that you thread through the holes.

Wind some kitchen string or wire around the skewer to be able to hang the trap up.

Fill the bottle with water to an inch lower than the jam and add 2-3 drops of dishwater liquid.








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Old 06.04.2021, 14:54
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Free after my all time favourite Musical

*This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus
The Age of Asparagus
Asparagus! Asparagus!*

We're entering the season of Asparagus and here are ideas of making the most of the vegetable with almost zero waste.

Of course mouldy or rotten spots and bits HAVE to be discarded!!


When I snap the stems, I then work my way through the ends and cut fine rings off until I really get to the 'woody'/fibrous bits. These pieces get set aside and frozen to be used in a risotto or to scatter over soup.

The peel and the woody/fibrous bits get frozen in a separate bag to make soup from them. When almost ready, the soup is blitzed, and then sieved and all the rest of the flavour pressed out of the pulpy remains...and only then the remains wander into the compost bin.




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Old 06.04.2021, 15:12
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Occasionaly, I use such scented tissues for the tumble drier.

I know you could put some of your fave perfume onto a cotton hankie and get the same effect, but I prefer to spritz the perfume onto myself

After one cycle they still smell quite strongly so the tissues get used manifold here

For scenting:
- as a room perfume, clipped to the ventilator
- placed on a coat hanger or shelf in the wardrobe
- placed somewhere inside the garbage can cupboard
- place into shoe cupboard


General purposes:
- clean animal hair from clothes or upholstery
- use as a dust cloth
- remove deodorant stains from T-shirts (simply rub the cloth over the stain)

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Old 06.04.2021, 22:33
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

Dunno when I last used a tumble dryer. We hang the washing up to dry in the bedrooms. Saves not only the dryer, but also a humidifier in our new Minergie building, where the air is always fairly dry.
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Old 06.04.2021, 22:37
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

I warmly suggest using soapberries for washing clothes. It is actually much cheaper than standard detergents, and healthier both for us and the environment.

I use two muslin bags. I put a couple of soapberries into one. After 2-3 washes I add 2-3 extra berries. When the bag is full I switch to the next bag and when both full I empty the first one and start over.
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Old 06.04.2021, 22:39
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Re: Sustainable Kitchen and Home, save money and the planet too

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Dunno when I last used a tumble dryer. We hang the washing up to dry in the bedrooms. Saves not only the dryer, but also a humidifier in our new Minergie building, where the air is always fairly dry.
Same here, haven't used a tumble dryer for more than 20 years.
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