The orange peel candle: A how-to guide

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I was shopping online for a candle the other day and quickly realized this: candles have gotten very expensive! Soy candles, aromatherapy candles, eco-friendly candles in fancy jars. If only there was a way to create some nice romantic lighting without breaking the bank. But wait – there is! Introducing the orange peel candle: the […]

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How to grow an olive tree in a container

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Don’t have a garden? You can still own a fruiting olive tree, grown in a container. A sunny balcony and the right climate are the essential things; that, and time. Italians have grown fruit trees in containers for centuries, keeping them protected in special sheds during the winter. Come spring, the trees are wheeled out […]

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Grow 7 Healing Herbs At Home

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You can grow a living medicine chest in your garden with little effort. The old song says, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Let’s add echinacea, garlic and basil. Most are culinary herbs with poetic histories. All are green medicines that you can harvest at will. The herbs don’t take up much space, if not much […]

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6 Eco Resolutions for 2013

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It’s nearly 2013 and I am grateful. After three years of traveling with a backpack through 14 countries in Africa and the Middle East, I am finally back home with my family in the United States.  The time I spent abroad stretched my mind and broadened my heart, transformed long held stereotypes into a long […]

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Make Your Own Compost Bin With Mesopotamian Bricks

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Turn to the ancients for a green building technique that lets you play like a child.  Mesopotamian mud bricks still do the job, for free. Mesopotamia was the ancient collective of settlements tracing the Tigris–Euphrates river basin.  It spanned modern Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and smaller parts of Iran. Modern school kids learn this […]

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Make Tej, Ethiopian Honey Beer

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The authentic flavor of Tej or t’ej beer made according to a centuries-old process. It’s sweet, funky, perfect with injera. An Ethiopian friend supervised my making Tej at home. It’s a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. It requires Gesho, a dried leaf used instead of hops (Rhamnus prinoides, a relative of buckthorn).  But it’s as authentic […]

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Gardening For Fruit With the Kids At Home

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A few months ago together with three enthusiastic family kids I started a gardening experiment: growing fruits out of the seeds we collected from fruits we ate, just planting it in the backyard.  We used tomato, watermelon and melon seeds, the kids even made signs for each. Though all seeds sprouted, the watermelon seedling was first […]

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Pop Your Own Chemical-Free Popcorn

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Crunchy, tasty popcorn, made on your stove top, with nothing but goodness in it. My friend was amused that I have no microwave oven. How can I deal with food all day long and not own one? And how were we going to pop the popcorn she’d brought over? The health risks associated with microwave […]

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How To Pasteurize Eggs

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Making your raw, home-grown eggs safe for mayonnaise is easy. If you raise your own chickens and have plenty of healthy eggs, like chickens our editor Karin raises,  there’s little to fear from salmonella. But for those of us bringing eggs home from the supermarket, that fear may creep into the fun of cooking. True, chances […]

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DIY Tel Aviv Guide – Every City Needs One

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When Shimrit Elisar travels to other cities, she wonders where to find pizza after hours, where all the “cool kids” hang out, and how to score a reasonably-priced yoga class. In other words, she wants an insider’s look, which is why she was inspired  to create DIY Tel Aviv. This alternative city guide is packed […]

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Recycled Wood Pallets Stack up for Fashion Designers in Beirut

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Avatar Architettura decks out a working space for fashion designers with chic recycled wooden pallets.  Avatar Architettura has decked out a working space for fashion designers in Beirut with recycled wooden pallets otherwise destined for one of the city’s notorious landfills. Known for strategies that “privilege ecology, flexible systems, biodiversity, and recycled materials in an […]

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DIY Solar Panels Made of Grass That Anyone Can Make

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MIT researchers say that soon all we’ll need to harvest our vast solar resource is  grass and stabilizing powder.  While Masdar and Suntech and other solar energy projects are laboring under expensive, high-tech materials in order to improve their energy-absorbing capability, MIT researchers in the United States are taking a different approach. They realized that […]

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Make Your (Book) Mark With Plastic Bags

Get one up on Rumpelstiltskin by turning plastic shopping sacks into uber-artsy bookmarks.  I really hate giving cash gifts.  Gift cards aren’t much higher on the “Hey, I burned lots of calories thinking of you” scale.  Even when the card’s end use fits the user, it’s still not very satisfying for me (wow, so it is always about […]

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