Eco Tips

 Mushroom Growing Guide

 

A “fun guy” once told me that mushrooms deserve more than the occasional appearance on a veggie pizza. Ranging in taste from meaty to fruity, mushrooms have endless cooking possibilities. And, better yet, they also have a whole host of associated health benefits.

 

You may have heard that common mushrooms, including buttons and portobellos, contain natural carcinogenic toxins that require them to be cooked prior to consumption. But there’s good news: There are many varieties of mushrooms which have equally strong anti-cancer properties. Other healing powers of mushrooms include lowering cholesterol, boosting the immune system, controlling blood pressure and reducing inflammation, just to name a few.

 

However, if you’ve ever purchased exotic varieties at a specialty grocery store or market you’re probably familiar with their high price. But there’s more good news! With a log and less than $10 worth of spores, you can create your very own mushroom farm. Shiitake and oyster are the most common log-cultivated mushroom varieties and make great first-time growing projects the whole family will love.

 

 

WHAT YOU’ll NEED:

  • 6” diameter hardwood log (the best type of tree depends on what mushroom species is being grown)
  • Drill and 5/16” bit
  • cheesewax and brush

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • You’ll be drilling approximately a hundred holes around the log, spaced about 8” apart with 2” between offset rows. Drill each hole just over an inch deep, with enough space for the spore-ridden dowel to fit inside. Hammer one into each hole, making them flesh with the log.
  • Using a brush and melted wax, cover each plug well to keep the spores in and contaminates out.
  • Lean the log against a fence or other structure in your yard, ensuring it’s in a shady location that receives protection from the wind.
  • If the log isn’t exposed to enough moisture or is receiving too much sunlight, you may cover it with a tarp. It should also be watered whenever it feels dry.
  • In about 6 months, your first mushrooms will be ready for cultivation. Harvest them before the veil fully opens and exposes the spores. If the log is kept moist, the fungus should continue growing for years!  –Holly Young

 

If you liked reading Mushroom Growing Guide, then you also might like:

GO GREEN TIP #89: Eco Friendly Gardening

GO GREEN TIP #84: Coffee Compost

GO GREEN TIP #83: Top Foods To Buy Organic (& When It’s Not Necessary)

BCoutdoorsurvival/Video screen capture

 Homemade Camping Equipment (DIY Camping Stove)

 

For anyone who has ever tried to boil water over a campfire, portable stoves may seem like a convenient luxury employed only by seasoned campers. But did you know that you can make your very own compact stove using only household tools and a couple of tin cans? We recently saw a great video on making your own camping stove from The Outdoor Adventure:

 

What you’ll need:

• 4” and 3” diameter unopened tin cans • 1/8” and 3/8” drill bits • tin snips • file • drill • can opener

 

Directions:

• Begin by removing the lid of the larger can, making sure to preserve the top rim of the lid. This can be accomplished by using the can opener with gears facing downward to cut along the side.

• Center the smaller can on top of the large lid and use a file to score around it where the can will attach (it will likely fit nicely into the grooves of the lid).

• Punch holes along the scored ring on the lid, and use tin snips to cut out the center circle. This ring will attach to the larger can and house the smaller can, so ensure the cut is smooth and even.

• Remove the lid of the smaller can, and with the 1/8″ bit, drill many holes throughout the bottom to allow for ample airflow.

• Use the same bit to drill a ring of holes at the top of the small can, approximately 3/4″ apart.

• Use the 3/8” bit to drill a ring of holes approximately 1” apart on the bottom of the small can and drill a second ring with half as many holes just above that. Drill matching holes in the larger can.

• Slide the lid ring up the smaller can until it rests just above the ring of small holes at the top. Punch four small holes above the ring from the inside out to hold it in place.

• Crimp the top of the larger can inward to support the smaller can, then place the smaller can with attached ring inside it. You now have a personal wood gasifier stove!

• Fill the small can with slender pieces of wood and bark and ignite from the top. This will be sufficient fuel to boil a pot of water, which will take less than 10 minutes with your new stove.

• A third large can with both ends removed can be used as a pot stand. Simply make cuts halfway down the can and bend the flaps outward.  –Holly Young

 

If you liked Homemade Camping Equipment (DIY Camping Stove), you may also like:

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Green Valentines Day Ideas

 

We here at Green Global Travel are all in favor of romance (our site was founded by a couple whose last name is Love, after all). But let’s face facts: Valentine’s Day is without a doubt one of the most consumer-driven holidays around. Between the paper greeting cards, boxes of chocolate, flower bouquets and exquisitely wrapped gifts, it can quickly become one of the worst holidays for the health of our environment. Fortunately, the solution doesn’t have to be swearing off Feb 14th celebrations altogether. Instead, check out Tiny Green Bubble‘s for green Valentines Day ideas, including our three favorites below:

Continue reading

Coffee Compost

 

People love coffee: In some countries, average consumption per person per year totals more than 10 kilograms – that’s nearly a thousand cups per year!

When composted, all those coffee grounds make a great source of slow-release nitrogen, or can be diluted with water for a fast-acting liquid fertilizer. Worms love the grounds too, so they can be added to vermicompost systems or directly to the garden to naturally promote worm activity. The acidity can also help correct alkaline soils while simultaneously promoting larger plants and blooms. The beans shouldn’t get all the glory, though – wet filters also degrade quickly when composted, but unfortunately end up in the trash all too often.

But there’s an easy solution: reusable coffee filters. Even better than being merely reusable, filters made from hemp are also sustainably-sourced. Some even insist that hemp fibers contribute to a better-tasting cup of coffee, too. The filter simply needs to be rinsed after each pot is brewed for a long-lasting, durable alternative to conventional paper filters. And at less than $10 a pop, reusable hemp filters are good for your wallet, too. –Holly Young

If you like Coffee Compost, you might also like:

GO GREEN TIP #87: How To Compost At Home

KIDS CORNER: Composting

 

In a ideal financial market, we’d all love to be able to buy all organic foods all the time. It’s been well documented by now that conventionally-grown produce contains pesticide residue, which is harmful to both farm workers and consumers, and can even cause allergic reactions in some people. Some fruits and vegetables contain more than 50 different types of pesticides.

 

While purchasing exclusively organic isn’t always a viable economic option, since it’s pricier, certain produce is worth splurging on. Some types contain significantly higher amounts of pesticides, while others contain very small amounts. By switching to organic varieties on just a handful of fruits and vegetables, studies have shown that you can reduce your overall pesticide consumption by up to 80%. Here are the top foods to buy organic:

 

These items contain HIGH amounts of residue and are worth spending the extra buck on:

  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries and cherries
  • Celery
  • Leafy greens
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes

 

These items are relatively clean, containing little to no pesticide residue:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Corn (though most grown conventionally in the United States is genetically-modified)
  • Eggplant
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet potatoes

 

Keep this list on your smart phone or print it out (on recycled paper, of course) the next time you go grocery shopping to help you make smart choices in terms of your grocery budget and your family’s health!  –Holly Young

If you like Top Foods To Buy Organic, then you might also like:

GO GREEN TIP #89: Eco Friendly Gardening

GO GREEN TIP #86: Mushroom Growing Guide

GO GREEN TIP #84: Coffee Compost

Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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