If you like the idea of having fresh eggs straight from the backyard, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to commit, RentTheChicken.com lets you rent some chickens!
Here’s how they pitch their service:
Thought of Raising Backyard Chickens? Every spring, thousands of chickens are sold at local farm supply stores. Often these chickens die before they are ready to start laying eggs (16-30 weeks). Children quickly realize that chickens are not as fun as the Xbox and parents find out that chickens cannot be house broken! The costs quickly start becoming more and more, then chickens are “sent to the farm”. Other people think about chickens but think they don’t have the space, worry about regulations, or just don’t know what they need. Do you build or buy a coop? Do you buy peeps? How do you raise an egg-laying hen if you buy a peep? Did someone tell you about a heat lamp? It can all be overwhelming and we take the guesswork out of all of the questions by offering a portable coop, the food & supplies, and the egg-laying hens!
RentTheChicken.com is based in Continue reading
Posted in Business, Stewardship
Tagged Animals, Community, Do-it-yourself, Economics, Family, Food, Frugal, Garden, health, New idea, Sustainable
This creative community created instruments out of garbage found in their landfill…and created an orchestra called the LandFillHarmonic. Give a listen.
What kinds of creative ideas can we generate from what our society deems as garbage? Can this same loving creativity help us see people in a more valuable light as well?
For a unique vacation experience, try a tiny hotel in Portland Oregon, where you stay in a tiny house in the Alberta Arts district. There’s lots of sights to see and things to do, plus local food shops will even give you room service!
Learn more from this article.
Blurring the line between pets and plants, Dean Sauer and Andy Bass of Yonder Biology in San Diego have come up with the Dino Pet: a living, bioluminescent night light/pet. This little dinosaur-shaped food grade plastic toy is filled with tiny creatures called Dinoflagellates, saltwater, and nutrients. When the toy is set in light (sunlight, another lamp in the room), it absorbs the light. Then when you shake up the water, the sea creatures release the stored light.
This invention complicates the whole pet/plant paradigm. You have to feed the Dinoflagellates to keep them alive, so it’s like a pet. Yet it’s a sea plant. I guess it’s kind of like a fish, in that it lives in salt water and needs nutrients to survive. But yet it also is like a plant in that it uses photosynthesis to create light. So it’s a pet that creates light. How cool is that? Yes, this would be a fun biology project for kids, but geeky adults Continue reading
The Chinese name for Schisandra is wu-wei-zi, which means “five taste-fruits” or “five flavor herb” because the fruits contain all five flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty. Sucking on a dry fruit is an interesting experience because of its many flavors. Chomping into a fresh one you don’t quite get the ending sweet note, so are left with a funny look on your face due to the mouth gymnastics. But the after effect is a zing of energy, at least for me. Maybe it’s just because my taste buds get a good work out.
Since I’m working towards an edible landscape, and this is a berry/vine that grows in the shade, I’ve got it growing next the north side of the house in full shade on a wooden trellis. It’s an easy-care vine, and likes well-drained soil with Continue reading
Here’s a tarp that can be set up that provides a hassle-free way to collect pure drinking water when camping. The surface can be used not only as a backpacking tarp to add weather protection for your hammock, but it also has a rainwater retention system made up of rain gutters and a suspension system to siphon water out towards the four corners where bottles are attached. When the bottles are full, they pull down the tarp, providing even better protection for the people below. The fabric includes both waterproofing and a heat reflective coating, so if it’s cold and stormy, the tarp can be set up with the reflective side on the bottom, and the dark rain retention side on the top to collect water. If it’s warm and sunny, the tarp can be set up with the reflective side out to help shed some of the heat from the sun. The total system is now available through Kammok.
Thanks to Continue reading
This urban farm in LA shows how one couple is growing their own fresh vegetables and fruit trees, raising chickens, and composting. They also have a solar food dryer, show how to make your own outdoor emergency toilet using a milk crate, and how to make a stove. Since they live in earthquake territory, these items have been used in the past when the city systems have been down. Many of these ideas can also be used when camping.
Thanks to Upworthy for this article.
Posted in Health, Heroes, Media, Stewardship
Tagged Community, Do-it-yourself, Family, Food, Frugal, Garden, health, Sustainable
There’s a new way to approach the healing of trauma. Collective trauma happens to groups of people through war, disease, terrorist attack, natural disasters, mass shootings, and attempted genocide. Transgenerational trauma takes place in groups historically over generations – such as those whose relatives suffered during the holocaust. Effects are specific: fear, rage, depression, survivor guilt, and physical responses in the brain and body that can lead to illness and a sense of disconnection or detachment. Collective trauma can be transmitted down generations and throughout communities in such possible ways as poverty, alcoholism, depression, sexual abuse, etc.
Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart is one of the pioneers of applying Continue reading
Our family has worked the reduce/reuse/recycle mantra and gone from weekly to bi monthly garbage collection, and we were feeling pretty good about that. When a neighbor friend of mine said that she has been able to whittle down her family’s garbage collection to only once a month, I was impressed. But thanks to Yes Magazine, this story tells how a family was able to pare down their yearly solid household trash to fit into one quart size jar, plus gives 10 tips to a zero waste household.
French Bio Chemist Pierre Calleja discovered that Micro Algae eats CO2 – i.e. car exhaust – and then uses that energy power to create light. This technology was recently tested in a parking lot to clean air – it can capture and filter one ton of CO2 per year – and used the pollution as an energy source to create light. This technology is currently being used to light and filter the air in an underground parking garage, but this would work great in urban areas, and revolutionize cityscapes.
Thanks to the Good News Network for this story.
PRACTICAL is the operative word for this new clothing company, and ATTRACTIVE is the operative word for these new tops! Covered Perfectly is a clothing company started by Pauline Durban, because she couldn’t find clothing that flattered her body. She wanted tops that covered her arms and that were long enough to go over her belly. She wanted comfortable soft fabric, and styles that made her feel good about herself. So she designed a line of tops that ‘covered perfectly’ and made them easily available.
Covered Perfectly launched on May 5th 2013, so this is a brand new company with lovely clothes at reasonable prices made of fabulous fabric (the main fabric is a natural fiber, MicroModal, with a touch of spandex, which is super soft and luxurious and drapes wonderfully). Pauline listens to the opinions of her customers – by popular demand she’s in the process of adding plus sizes to her collection, which should be in by the end of September.
Check out the Covered Perfectly website and see these gorgeous clothes for yourself. For our readers at Better Ideas Now and Over 40 Fashions, use the discount code OVER40 and get a discount of 20% off your first order! You’ll support a women-owned American business making a positive difference in women’s fashion, AND you’ll get fabulous fitting tops at a great price!
Ever wanted to see what a Free Gift Swap or Free Stuff Swap looks like in action? Here’s a video my daughter, then 16 years old, created to show how a Free Gift Swap works:
My daughter Aubrey is now a junior at university majoring in Environmental Science. Yeah, I’m pretty proud of her:) She’s always been very concerned about helping people and the environment (she is a big supporter and helper at the free swaps she’s able to attend), and her university experience has given her a new and exciting window on the world. If you want to help support Aubrey’s education, check out her photography prints for sale here. For more about Free Swaps, and how you can start one in your area, click here.
I like learning new things, especially for free. I was researching online about how to repair jewelry and came across a website by Esslinger, a company that sells watchmaker and jewelry supplies, explaining how-to tips for beading, identifying your birthstone, do-it-yourself jewelry, watch repair and more. This site is full of tips about gems and jewelry for the curious and frugal.
For example, here’s a video that shows how to change a watch battery:
According to the website, Esslinger has been around 90 years, which is pretty darn impressive. You can learn more from their ‘about us’ page.
Why have brown grass when you can be feeding people? This gentleman planted a food forest in the parking strip in front of his house. Neighbors come by to walk the paths. What a great community builder, sharing food, peace, and care. Here’s Ron Finley talking about the Food Forest in his yard:
Thanks to Upworthy for this story.
Posted in Health, Heroes, Media, Stewardship
Tagged Community, Do-it-yourself, Economics, Family, Food, Free, Frugal, Garden, health, Relax, Sustainable
The Community Legacy Program of Our United Villages believes that every person can make a positive difference for the benefit of all. They celebrate and support everyday people who in small ways are making a positive difference in their communities. To celebrate, they have monthly free Sharing Ideas meetings that give individuals a chance to tell how they got involved/created their community strengthening idea, and how others can duplicate their template, allowing individual passions to encourage and inspire others. To support, they provide free tools and resources on their Continue reading
This body heat powered flashlight was invented by Canadian 10th grader Ann Makosinski. Using no batteries, electricity, or cranking, just the difference between her warm hand on metal and the colder air flowing through a hollow plastic tube, the heat energy difference (thermoelectric effect) lights up the LED bulbs.
Ms. Makosinski is a finalist this year in the worldwide Google Science Fair. Take a look at her simple and practical flashlight design.
Thanks to Gizmag for this article.
When I moved into my first apartment, one of the first things I did was get a carpet cleaning demonstration. I mean, what a great way to get your carpets cleaned for free, right? Well, I fell in love with the vacuum, a brand known as a Rainbow. First I vacuumed the floor a bit with my traditional old vacuum. Then the salesman vacuumed over the part I just did with the Rainbow. Tons of dirt came out! Plus, the air in the room smelled so fresh and clean after the rainbow, because it not only sucks up the dirt on the floor, but dust in the air, Continue reading
On a walk through our neighborhood yesterday, I saw a cute wooden box, and inside it was a little free library of books! If you like little things, and you like to read, you might like the idea of installing a little free library near your house for the neighbors to enjoy.
The mission of the Little Free Library:
- To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
- To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations
- To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world – more than Andrew Carnegie–and then more.
If you’d like to join in the fun, here’s how.
What’s old is new again: homeowners in Scotland have insulated their home with wool off the backs of the sheep from their farm. They also have incorporated rocks found in their farmland fields for stonework, and wood harvested from their acreage in their home as well. Add to that triple glazed windows, under floor heating by ground–source heat pump, water from a borehole, and renewable energy from a wind turbine, and you get a pretty sustainable home. Their working farmhouse also doubles as a guesthouse where they serve meals from ingredients either grown from their farm or others nearby.
For the whole story, click here.
Recently, Portland-based grocer New Seasons Market introduced colonies of honeybee hives on the roof of its Happy Valley store. Aware of the honeybee’s plight and decrease in populations, New Seasons Market wanted to be part of the solution by raising bees and educating customers. This team of 50,000 bee workers forage for nectar and pollen, and produce honey, which will eventually be available in stores.
This project is a team effort: The hives were donated by New Seasons Market’s longtime partner Continue reading
Posted in Business, Health, Stewardship
Tagged Animals, Community, Do-it-yourself, Economics, Food, Frugal, Garden, health, Sustainable