Going Green Around the World in Business and Residential

Hi everyone!! Today I am featuring an article written by Sam Marquit, an independent ‘green’ contractor and co-author of Fair Marquit Value. The article is very informative and  fun to read! Thank you Sam!!!

Going Green Around the World in Business and Residential

 

Most homes today incorporate recycling as part of their daily routine, but businesses have also begun recycling to eliminate waste that goes to landfills. On a commercial level, tons of waste can be deposited into landfills daily. For that reason, it’s imperative that businesses and homeowners learn from one another. There is a lot of new green technology, but most of all, there’s technology that has become streamlined for commercial use in recent years. It has made solar panels more affordable and even created lots of household products and appliances that aid in green living.

Both businesses and homeowners have precious lawns and gardens that they want to keep green and fertile. However, some don’t realize the harmful effects of using traditional sprinklers and pesticides. One hotel has changed the way that they keep their landscapes green. The Las Vegas Palazzo Hotel and Resort installed artificial turf grass for certain outdoor areas around the hotel. In addition, the hotel uses moisture sensors and drip irrigation systems to cut down on water waste. Overall, the Palazzo saves eight million gallons of water every year. Due to its sustainable practices, the Palazzo was recently named the “Most Eco Friendly Hotel in America”.

 

For residential use, drip irrigation systems haven’t always been popular. However, this is the best way to water lawns and gardens as sprinklers and hoses are incredibly wasteful. In addition, you can also reuse graywater from showers and washers to water gardens.

 

Natural light is one of the key factors to living green. While some people have taken to installing solar panel shingles that create a sustainable power source, other homeowners have remodeled to include outdoor decks and sunrooms that provide a naturally lit area to relax. Businesses have also utilized these ideas for natural light areas. They’ve installed skylights, big windows, sunrooms, outdoor living areas and much more. In addition, they have also created solar heated pool systems for hotels to cut down on energy costs. By installing natural lights and building naturally lit areas, you really cut down on energy usage throughout the year.

There is so much more we can do besides recycling and “up cycling”. While so many businesses and homeowners have changed their lifestyles to be greener, there are still a lot of corporations out there that aren’t conducting responsible eco-friendly business practices. It’s imperative that humans change the way that they live, much like the new Las Vegas hotels are changing, in order to save the planet from the destruction. Hopefully, some of these ideas can help in your own business or at home.

 

 

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Easy to Make, Homemade, Delicious Hummus Recipe

I was talking with my friends the other day and they were asking me how to make hummus. They have always bought it from the local health food store but have always wanted real homemade hummus. For those that don’t know what hummus is, hummus is a Middle Eastern dish made primarily of chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, and can be eaten as a spread or dip. Hummus has a meaty, creamy, and thick texture and has a wide range of flavor depending on how it was made. However, all hummus has a tangy and garlic taste to it. It is vegan, high in protein, and very healthy for the body.

So here is an easy to make hummus recipe.

Hummus Recipe (Ideally all ingredients are organic)

3 cups of chickpeas (you can buy dry chickpeas from Amazon, other online sites, or your local health food store)

juice from 2 lemons

4 cloves of garlic

2 tsp of salt

the water leftover from steaming the chickpeas or water (use as needed)

1/8 c of olive oil

1/8 c of sesame oil

Jalapeno peppers (optional- will make the hummus spicy!)

 First you want to soak the chickpeas for 15 to 24 hours. Then you want to steam the chickpeas for 45 to 50 minutes (do not discard the water leftover from steaming!!). Set the chickpeas aside for 2 hours to cool down. Then put all the ingredients listed above into a food processor. Use the water leftover from steaming the chickpeas to keep the hummus moving. Be careful not to put too much water into the hummus because then it will become runny. Process the hummus til the consistency you desire.

Enjoy your hummus! I know that this may seem alot of work, but it really isn’t. It is mainly a lot of waiting and TLC. The actual making of the hummus takes at most 15 minutes with fairly easy clean-up.

You can eat it with pita bread or crackers. I use in a sandwich as a replacement for meat. It is so good! Let me know how you eat your hummus and how you like this recipe.

Have a nice day!

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Slowing Down to Find Your Inner Peace

First I want to thank all my readers for sticking with me even though it has been four weeks since my last update. The last couple of weeks were a killer because of finals, meetings, and placement tests. I am completely exhausted. But now I am a senior in high school!! I am so excited!

Now that school is over, I am going to squeeze every last bit of summer fun I can get out of these next couple months. The overall stress of school, sports, and an active social life has made me realize that I need to slow down and relax, both mentally and physically.

I know that many people feel the same way as I do, tired and stretched out, but don’t have the luxury of a summer vacation, or a long vacation at all. It is very important for everyone to engage in activities that relax the mind and body in order to maintain a happy and a healthy life. Here are some easy and non-time consuming activities that you can incorporate into your daily life. I use these exercises everyday to help relax myself and find inner peace.

1. Meditate for 5 to 10 minutes in a comfortable spot with relaxing music. It is best to meditate in the morning.

2. Stretch or do yoga before you start your day.

3. Exercise for 20 to 40 minutes. Surprisingly, when you exercise you feel more energized and your mind clears. I find that the best time to exercise is in the afternoon. That way you can release the pent up energy you stored up from all day working.

4. Talking with your friends and laughing. Laughing is so important for a healthy psyche. It relieves stress and lightens your overall mood.

5. Take a walk around your local park. Look closely at the nature around you. Listen to the birds and animals, immerse yourself within nature and let it engulf your senses. It is so relaxing and tranquil.

6. Dance to your favorite music.

7. Try something new. Whether it is trying a new dish or just jumping into a random stream, new situations allow us to feel new sensations and feel fresh and adventurous.

8. Read a book outside in the sun. You get you Vitamin D and a tan as you calm and enrich your mind.

9. Talk to strangers. Meeting with new people can be so refreshing and they may have some really interesting stories!

10. Reward yourself with something you have been wanting for a while.

I hope you can incorporate these activities into your daily life! Have a nice day!

 

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The Ultimate Vegan Potato Mash Recipe

Potato Mash

2 medium potatoes

1/2 medium onion

1 stalk of celery

2 garlic cloves

1 green onion (optional)

1/2 carrot

a sprig of parsely

Chop all of the ingredients into larger pieces and then steam them for 20 minutes (or until soft). Then use a food mill to grind the ingredients and their juices together. (If you do not own a food mill, then use a food processor of mash by hand.) Then add…..

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of pepper

I love the simple taste of this dish. However, if you desire for a more elaborate dish, add thyme, oregano, or rosemary if you want. Add these spices when you are steaming the veggies though. That way you can get the full flavor of the spices in the dish.

Happy cooking.

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Learning to Love Life

I can’t believe it has been three weeks since my last post! When you are busy, time flies by so fast! I’m sorry I haven’t posted lately; I’ll work harder on posting more often.

Lately, I have been watching documentaries on the Invisible Children of Uganda (War Dance) and orphaned, illiterate, and poverty-stricken children of Colombia (Small Voices). While I was watching these movies, I was ebruptly confronted with such harsh and horrific realities that kids, my age or younger, face every day. I then realize the priviledged life I have taken for granted every day of my life. I never imagined that clean air and water, a roof over my head, clean clothes, a good education, and health was such a huge priviledge. That I have happy, loving parents that give me every opportunity to enjoy life and have fun.

There are kids, younger than me, that work 12 hours a day picking up trash for $.75 a day; sell their bodies for a chance to learn to read and write; beg for food and water; have been forced to kill others by rebel soldiers; have lost everything except the clothes on their backs.

I am 16 years old and the most serious thing I have to worry about is getting good grades in school. I have clean water everyday, fresh food at every meal, and a wonderful house that shelters me from wind, heat, and bugs.

Today I woke up and gave thanks for the wonderful life I have. I was thinking of ways to help these kids, when I found these websites where you can help support organizations that help kids without many opportunites.

Here are the websites:

http://www.invisiblechildren.com/

http://www.colombiachildcare.org/the_children.aspx

Have a nice day and enjoy every moment of it!

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Shopping Secret- The BEST Apples to Buy

I know it is passed apple season, but I just wanted to share with you the best apples to buy for you and your family. I have tried a huge range of apples (from Granny Smith to Fuji) and not once have I encountered a better apple than Honey Crisp apples.

Honey Crisp apples are a bit more expensive than regular organic apples (depending on where you shop) but they are worth every penny! They are crisp, super crunchy, juicy, and delectably sweet! I absolutely love Honey Crisp Apples! To me, they are almost like an entire meal. They are so good and filling. In my opinion, if you want to eat the best apples, try Honey Crisp Apples. I’m even thinking about doing a video on it this fall because no word I can use to describe the awesome crunch these apples have. Just the sound of the crunch alone makes my mouth water!

I usually buy my Honey Crisp Apples from Whole Foods. Now, just like all apples, Honey Crisp Apples have some bad ones in the mix. Not all apples are created equal. Make sure your apples have no blemishes and that the apple feels firm. Bruises, soft spots, and dents are no-no’s to buy. Also, your apple doesn’t have to be shiny to be good. I know that we love shiny things, especially apples🙂, but I personally find that the duller the apple, the better the flavor.

So next time you see Honey Crisp Apples at your local health food store, give them a try!

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So Delicious Coconut Yogurt- An Awesome Find and a Must Try!

I am always pleasantly surprised to find so many alterantives to traditional non-vegan foods. As a vegan, I thought my yogurt eating days were over. However, just the other day I stumbled across this amazingly tasty and healthy non-dairy and non-soy yogurt! It is made of coconut milk!

Creamy and flavorful, I was totally blown away by this yogurt! It’s not completely  organic, but it has some organic ingredients. I really love this yogurt and can’t wait to get some more! I recommend the strawberry and blueberry flavors.

I rate this yogurt a 5 out of 5 stars!!!!!!!

Find this yogurt at you local health food store and buy now!

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No Answers From GOP Candidates on GMO Food Labeling

It has been four months to the date since I sent the GOP candidates letters on their opinion on GMO food labeling and I have not recieved a single letter in reply. This does not shock but disappoints me.

However, there is no time to lose. If we all send one letter every week for the next month then maybe we will get a response back on this important question. If you can join me in getting these candidates to notice our concerns, I would really appreciate it. We need the candidates to talk about these issues on public debates! So let’s put the pressure on and SAY NO TO GMO!

Here is the contact info for the candidates.

http://2012.republican-candidates.org/Contact.php

You can contact President Obama through the White House website.

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My First 1/2 Marathon!

Boy am I beat! I just finished my first half marathon two days ago! My running partner and I were so excited. We ran the Distance Classic in Mill Creek Park two days ago.  This was supposed to be the hardest course on this side of the Mississippi River. For 19 hills and 13.1 miles, my running partner and I set a goal of 10 minute miles for the whole race and NO WALKING! And we met it! My time was 2:15:06. I am so proud of myself!

The whole race was just amazing! The scenery was absolutely beautiful and tranquil! I absolutely loved it!

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Suggested Shopping List for Beginner Vegans/Raw Foodists Part 5

Here is the final part of my suggested shopping list. Here is a list of fresh organic fruits that I recommend everyone to buy. Please buy when in season.

Suggested Shopping List of Fruits

  1. Strawberries
  2. Blueberries
  3. Raspberries
  4. Blackberries
  5. Grapes
  6. Watermelon
  7. Cantaloupe
  8. Peaches
  9. Apples (highly recommend Honeycrisp)
  10. Nectarines
  11. Pineapple
  12. Pears
  13. Kiwis
  14. Honey Dew
  15. Grapefruit
  16. Pomegranates
  17. Oranges
  18. Cucumber (yes it is a fruit)
  19. Lemons
  20. Limes

 

If there are any other fruit you would request please let me know in the comment box. Happy Shopping!

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