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Entries in eco-friendly (7)

Friday
Feb112011

When the power goes out on your birthday, the strong will survive... one crank at a tim

If you follow me on Twitter you've probably seen me complain about losing power. We lose power a LOT. Apparently our power company has received the worst rating for any power company in a major city.

I had to celebrate my birthday without power!

Recently I celebrate a major birthday milestone. MAJOR. This is not a birthday milestone to mess around with. This is one where you definitely want to be around friends (not isolated in your home) to manage the emotional ups and downs, and to celebrate (preferably with the lights on).

Alas, it was not meant to be.

Thank you Pepco.

5 Tips for Surviving you Birthday When the Power is Out

1. Breakfast in bed

I certainly was NOT expecting this when I woke up on my birthday to a house barely maintaining 50 degrees. But the smiles, hugs, and love that came delivered with this cold birthday breakfast were enough to warm even the coldest heart.

 

2. Coffee on a DIY camping stove

It is IMPERATIVE that I have coffee on my birthday. I don't think I can live without coffee and if I had to on my 40th birthday I would have been curled up in a ball in the corner and rocking myself until we were plowed and someone could go out and get some for me.

Here's how I made it:

 

Do-it-yourself camping stove materials

Sterno

Glass loaf-size dish

Roasting or baking rack you don't mind scorching

Instant coffee

Water

Note: The glass loaf pan was perfect for keeping the Sterno flame contained. The sides of a loaf pan are higher than other glass bakeware too so it provides a perfect distance between the flame and the bottom of your pan. If it's too close, the flame will go out. If it's too far, the pot will take longer to heat.

3. Crank it

Luckily I invested in two key items over the summer when we lost power. For the 17th time. In 2 years.

A Hand crank LED lantern is key for light and sanity. I was going nuts with the girls running all over the house with my flashlights that having a large lantern light up the kitchen was great.

The little Solar Hand Crank radio flashlight is really useful. The radio lets you listen to music or, what I like to do, listen to WTOP who tells you how many 100s of thousands of Pepco customers are without power and that the majority of them won't be restored for DAYS. But it can also charge a cell phone! Not easily, but at least to keep it charged for a few calls.

4. Respect the Generator

Not only did I invest in crank technology this summer, but I drove over 600 miles for a 25 year old generator. Hey, it was free! And boy did it come in handy.

Lucky for you they make the much smaller, more powerful, and truly portable:

It did cause a minor spat with The Mister over when to kick it into gear. We had a limited amount of gas for it the first night the power went out and he thought using it to watch Harry Potter was a good decidsion. I had a small fit because I had no idea how long it would take us to get plowed and I knew the house would be freezing by morning.

5. Love for the iPad 3G

One good thing that came out of that argument was that I used that time to charge my Apple iPad Wifi + 3G and cell phone. If you don't already have an iPad 3G and you live in an area where the power goes out frequently, get one.

Once charged, the batter lasted for nearly 2 days and even though the wi-fi was down, I could play on the internet using the Apple iPad Wifi + 3G connection! This came in handy as I complained about Pepco. They love me. I'm surprised my power hasn't been shut off just because I'm such a whiner.

Do you ever lose power? What are your favorite gadgets to help you get through?

Janine

Disclosure: some links are affliate links

Tuesday
Jul062010

Today I'm over at Mom Central Goes Green

Want to see if your restaurant is eco-friendly? I've come up with a few things you can investigate to determine for yourself how eco-friendly your favorite eater is.

Check out the full article at Mom Central Goes Green.

Janine

Wednesday
Apr292009

Turn Off TV Week Survival Guide and Giveaway

***UPDATE 5-10-09***
Winner of the Outdoor Prize pack is...Stacy!
Congratulations!
*******************
Last week my kids participated in Turn Off TV Week. Note, I did not say ‘family’, I say my kids. I actually did not w
atch TV either. The Mister, however, cheated just about every night when the girls went up to bed. But who’s counting.

I was in full support after having been part of the Subway / NIH WE CAN! effort to fight childhood obesity. Actually, it was easier than I thought, even with one kid sick and home from school on one of the days! Here are some of the things we did that helped us survive.

We Made a mural in honor of Earth Week

I am not a crafty gal but I do have a large roll of white paper. I laid out about 5 feet from a roll of white paper I had in my non-crafty craft closet, grabbed the glitter glue, markers and stamps they got from the Easter Bunny, and told them to have at it while I cleaned up from dinner.

Murals = Cool

We played board games

Now that the Twofer are almost 6, they have kid versions of games that even I can get into…. Princess Monopoly, Cranium Cadoo, and various card games. Yet reality is, we’re playing those games on the floor in the family room…in front of our tv…that is turned off. Depressing. So, why not add a little gambling? Whoever loses has to empty the dishwasher. The next person to roll a 6 has to get Mom a glass of water...you get the idea

Play-Doh anyone

For real, I can't remember the last time they just sat and played with Play-Doh. That roll of white paper came in hand again...

Play-Doh = Cool

We made dinner together

Em was definitely into this. And has been asking every night since if she can help. We stepped it up a bit and I allowed her to do some cutting with an actual knife, AND crumble up the ground beef as it was cooking. But it just isn’t real cooking until someone gets burned and Em wound up with burn on her tummy. Yes, her tummy. Long story, but it involves my cook top being located on an island in the kitchen and the lack of a child guard that has since been put back.

Other things we did besides watch TV

  • Went to the library and read books.
  • Had friends sleep over…with no TV – yes, they were game for it!
  • Went shopping, ran errands, got ice cream (no TV means yes to spending money)
  • Took a bath! (Girls have been showering but a nice leisurely bath with lots of toys was very entertaining)
  • Played outside…a lot.

Which leads me to the giveaway...


I have in my hot little hands a big box filled with all kinds of outdoor toys that YOU can enter to win!

Win ALL of this great outside stuff!

Contents Include:
Balls
Bubbles
Baseball bat game
Some kind of racquet game
Frisbee thing

Chalk
Butterfly net
A kite and

a $10.00 gift card to Subway!
Photobucket

Here's what you need to do (as ALWAYS, separate comment for each!)

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite "No-more-TV-today!" activity
2. Tweet this post (click on '30 sec ago' for the link)
3. Email a link to this post to 5 friends and cc me (scarytwins [at] yahoo)
4. Grab my button and put it on your site (leave link)
5. Do 10 squats, 3 Hail Mary's and pat yourself on the back (just making sure you're paying attention)
6. Blog about this topic and include link to this post

Contest ends Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 11:59 pm!

Doing my squats,
Janine

Thanks to Subway for providing the great outdoor prize pack!

Monday
Apr132009

Cross Post - Win an Electrolux "Kelly Green" washer and dryer

Want to know how you can get your hands on a set of really cool, eco-friendly, and efficient Electrolux washer and dryer like this.....

Go to Twofer Thumbs Up and find out TWO places where you can enter to win!

But get in line...I'm all over this giveaway. Green is definitely MY color!
Janine

Sunday
Feb082009

UPDATE: Pacific Shaving- Twofer Thumbs Up for giving and giving

**12/13/09 UPDATE**
WINNER is...MommaDJane! Congrats and your going to change the way you shave forever!
______________________________
If you hate shaving, you will love this post and the givea
way. And this one isn't just for the ladies - GUYS, you are in for a treat too! As I've mentioned before, I am a huge fan of Pacific Shaving Company's all natural shaving oil.It's all natural. It's powerful - just a few drops is all you need. It's packaged in a travel-friendly and eco-friendly little bottle. And, it's works better than any 'skin sensitive' shaving cream I have ever tried.

As the Mr. said recently, "I should be the poster-boy for this company! I haven't shaved in a month and I don't even have a rash!"
As my friend described it, "It's the Tivo of shaving. Once you try it, you wonder how you ever lived without it."

And so I am giving away not one, but two bottles of Pacific Shaving Company All Natural Shaving Oil (1/2 ounce bottle gives you up to 100 shaves) to celebrate the fact that my husband now might shave more frequently!

What's more, this post is also in honor of Bloggers Give, a new website devoted to the mission of collecting extra blog giveaways for the purpose of donating them to needy causes. Pacific Shaving Company has pledged a Twofer - they are giving me two bottles to give away, and 2 bottles to Bloggers Give!

Here's how to enter and note: the more you do, the more entries you have:

1. Leave a comment with your thoughts on shaving...(I hate it, I love it, I've moved on to waxing..) and remember this is mostly a family show.
2. Tweet this contest and leave link in separate comment
3. Follow my blog (in right column just under Kajeet) and mention that in comment
4. Here's a new one, friend me at Wishpot and add Pacific Shaving Company All Natural Shaving Oil to your list (then leave another comment here)

Contest ends Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 11:59pm.
Winner will be chosen by Random.org an announced on Friday, February 13, 2009.

Happy shaving!
(for more great giveaways visit: 5 Minutes for Mom)
Janine