Thursday, October 23, 2008

Recycling Matters

I was eating Annies Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies, when I noticed a note on the box that said something along the lines of "recycle me." I never knew you could recycle chip board boxes. I knew these boxes were made from recycled materials, but didn't realize you could recycle them again.

So, what else have I been throwing away that should have been in the recycling bin? Here's a quick list I found but check out the complete comprehensive grid for more detailed information.

-unbroken glass containers
-clean dry newspapers & inserts
-plastic stamped #1 or #2. (I had no idea that plastics stamped #3-7 can actually ruin a melt and usually end up in a landfill any way.)
-plastic bags
-mixed paper
-cereal & shoe boxes
-scrap aluminum & cans

You'll need to check with your town about what can be recycled where you live, but this should get you started. I was excited to learn that all those cereal boxes don't have to wind up in the landfill.

Be smart. Be bold. Be happi.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Scrappy Food Scraps

I recently watched a TV commercial about not putting food scraps down the garbage disposal. What!? Have I been doing something wrong all these years? If the "food waste disposal" (or garbarator according to my family from the North)isn't for food scraps than why in the heck do I have one?

I did some digging and here's what I concluded. Disposals use a lot of extra water and are DEFINITELY NOT for greasy items such as fats from meat, oils, butter and even dairy products. Even if you can't see the grease in your own sink, it will likely build along with the grease from your neighbors disposal, and cause some serious drainage issues down the road. Depending on where you live, its probably OK to use the disposal to cut up fruits and veggies but if you have the ability, composting is king. If you live in a city, think about vermicomposting--using worms to do the dirty work.

I've been thinking about composting for awhile (not so sure about vermicomposting) so I'll investigate the best systems for small yards and save that for another post. Now that I know that garbage disposals are probably not the best thing for our planet, I need to be more proactive about changing my habits. I'll let you know how this goes.

Be smart. Be bold. Be happi.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Way Grandma Used to Do It

I tackled a new project today-canning. I have a ton of late growing tomatoes still on the vine and I don't want them to go to waste. Canning them for later is the perfect solution.

I remember my grandmother had an amazing garden when we were kids. She would gather the vegetables and can them for winter. It's wonderful and empowering to grow your own food. If you're interested in learning how to can tomato sauce, here's how you do it:

1. Prepare homemade tomato sauce to your preference.
2. Purchase canning jars. I like the Ball Quart Mason jars.
3. Boil the jars and lids to sterilize. Remove with tongs.
4. Dry the jars and lids well.
5. Ladel sauce in jar. Leave 1/4" inch space to the top of the jar.
6. Be sure to remove any visible air bubbles in sauce.
7. Carefully clean any extra sauce around the lid.
8. Put top of lid on center of jar. Press tightly with index finger in the center while you screw on the rest of the lid.
9. Close tightly.
10. Place can of tomato sauce in boiling water for 10 minutes to seal lid.

Voila! You're now a canner! It's surprisingly simple and made me wonder why I haven't tried it before. I'm learning to do things the way my grandma used to do. She treaded lightly on our earth, was more resourceful and less wasteful. Now I know why they say,"listen to your elders."

Be smart. Be bold. Be happi.

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Happikins Site Goes Live

I'm thrilled our new site just went live. Now you have the ability to order directly online with your PayPal account or credit card. Some of our fabric selections are changing so they may be different than what’s shown on the site. Your kids and their friends will definitely still love them!

Here are some other ways to get your money's worth out of Happikins:

• Use them for all meals, not just school lunch, and go entirely paperless! Happikins are softer and more absorbent than paper anyway!

• Using a ton of Kleenex as we head into the cold & flu season? Go old school and use Happikins as cloth hankies. Maybe grandpa was more environmentally conscious than you thought!

• Does your child have food allergies? Use Happikins as a placemat at school. This offers another layer of protection from a potential food allergen. They are cool and colorful and easy to pack!

Help us spread the word and forward us on to all your friends and family. We care what you say, so please send us any suggestions on types of Happikins you want to see!

Be smart. Be bold. Be happi.