July 26, 2011
The best way to thaw frozen food
Ice absorbs an awful lot of heat as it melts. That’s why we use ice cubes to keep beverages cold. (Google “Latent heat of fusion” if you’d like to know the physics of it.)
Frozen food works the same way – it absorbs a lot of heat as it thaws. You can make that principle work in your favour by placing frozen food inside your fridge to thaw. That way, it absorbs heat inside the fridge, making it work less and saving you a little money. (Older folks may remember that, in the days before electric refrigerators, kitchens had iceboxes that worked solely on that principle.)
It takes a bit of planning to develop the habit, but it’s worth it: thaw frozen food in your fridge!
(Thawing frozen food in the fridge has a double benefit in the winter: if you let frozen food thaw on the counter, it actually cools your home, making your heating system work harder.)
July 12, 2011
Non-toxic cleaners: easy to make; safe and effective to use
If you use conventional cleaners in your home, you are likely harbouring some pretty potent poisons in your cupboard… poisons with health effects that range from short term irritation to long term trouble. Plus many of them aren’t very good for the planet either. That makes conventional cleaning a puzzling paradox of good and bad.
Fortunately, there are safe, green alternatives you can make yourself. They may not have fancy fragrances (which are usually chemicals anyway), but they can be just as effective as commercial cleaners.
Don’t be intimidated – all you need are a few basic ingredients and a few basic recipes. Here are some great links to help you get started: