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Water Wise Around the House

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
December 4, 2009
File under: Environmental Concerns, Saving Money, Waste Reduction



The U.S. population nearly doubled between 1950 and 2000; however, the demand for water during that period more than tripled. Americans now use an average of 100 gallons of water every day, enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses.¹

With increased demand comes increased prices, not to mention the threat to our water reserves and environment. The Chesapeake Bay Program estimates that only 4 of those 100 gallons are actually necessary.  Here are a few easy and effective ways to cut back on your water bills and protect this precious resource. …read more of Water Wise Around the House here

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5 Smart Steps to Home Savings: The Energy Efficient Way

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
November 5, 2009
File under: Energy Efficiency, Goals, Saving Money, Waste Reduction


Saving energy saves money. And with Americans using a million dollars worth of energy every minute of every day of the year,¹ there are a lot ways to save money through simple, smart and more efficient choices. These decisions can also help cut down on the 40,000 pounds of CO2 that is emitted to create all this energy.

By following just a few of these tips, you can make a significant dent in your energy bill and help cut thousands of pounds of CO2 emissions. …read more of 5 Smart Steps to Home Savings: The Energy Efficient Way here

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5 Things That Save Money While Saving the Planet

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
October 27, 2009
File under: Environmental Concerns, Food, Goals, Health, Lifestyle, Saving Money, Waste Reduction


It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The issues we face may seem daunting and individual efforts may not appear to have much impact, however collectively each of us can play a significant role in the effort to conserve our resources.

Here are five actions you can take that will help to preserve and protect the planet and your budget.

Drive Less

  • bike.jpgTransportation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and the largest end-use source of CO2.1 (EPA) Walk, bike, carpool and use public transportation more often for heart-healthy, stress-reducing alternatives that preserve precious energy reserves and save money.
  • A study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that families who use public transportation reduce their household expenses by as much as $6,200 annually. That’s more than the average U.S. household spends on food every year!2

…read more of 5 Things That Save Money While Saving the Planet here

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The Bishnoi of India: World’s First Environmentalists

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
February 3, 2009
File under: Culture, Travel


It was in northwest India that I first heard about the amazing Bishnoi People. I was traveling through Rajasthan and my VegVoyages guides took me, and my film crew to a village community to meet the awesome Bishnoi.

The Bishnoi people are a Hindu sect, devoted to environmental conservation and wise resource management.  An estimated 6 million Bishnoi live mainly in western Rajasthan in the unforgiving Thar Desert, practicing one of the most progressive religions in the world.

Bishnoi is the Hindi word for 29 (bish = 20, noi = 9) The Bishnoi are staunch vegetarians who practice a religion of peace based on 29 principals advocated by their 15th century guru and environmental visionary, Sri Jumbheshwar Bhagwan. Theirs is a faith built on the holism of nature, completely dedicated to the principal that conservation is vitally important to human life. …read more of The Bishnoi of India: World’s First Environmentalists here

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Enlightened Super Bowl Chili

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
January 25, 2009
File under: Entertaining, Food


Pizza, salsa and chips are typical Football Munchies, but there’s something special about a hearty bowl of spicy chili on Super Bowl Sunday. Chili is a universal favorite, an easy one-pot wonder that feeds a crowd and can be made in advance. This is especially true in Texas, where the dish was born well over a century ago.

Chili Con Carne means pepper with meat, traditionally a dish of well-seasoned beef, slow cooked with chili peppers and other spices. Records discovered by Everrette DeGolyer (1886-1956), a Dallas millionaire and chili enthusiast, indicate that chili was concocted around 1850 by Texas cowboys. According to DeGolyer, chili was a staple in hard times around Texas and when traveling to the California gold fields. There was a San Antonio Chili Stand at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and it was at this exposition that Texas chili went national.

In the Southwest, the concept and preparation of Chili varies considerably according to region. In New Mexico, chili is more of a stew, made with chile peppers and vegetables, with or without meat. In California, chili is typically a mixture of ground beef and beans, considered to be very different from other areas of the Southwest. Chili is often served with rice and tortillas or cornbread and Texas style Chili is prepared without beans, which are served on the side.

When made with traditional ingredients, a bowl of “Texas Red,” as chili is known by aficionados can add prodigious amounts of fat, calories, and cholesterol. Health conscious cooks needn’t avoid this enduring classic. Our enlightened version offers a wholesome approach to this hearty favorite …read more of Enlightened Super Bowl Chili here

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