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Archive for December, 2008

greenbitchgif

In a few more days, many people the world over will be celebrating Christmas, eating, drinking, merry making, exchanging gifts, being with families and friends. At this beautiful time, spare a thought to those who might not be so lucky and give thanks that we are all at PEACE. Here I would like to share the lyrics to John Lennon’s song title Happy Christmas (War is Over). I personally think that this is a very powerful Christmas song. Although we are not at war here, we still want to maintain PEACE in this country. We also want to take care of our surrounding, not throwing things all over the place. GIVE EARTH A CHANCE.

Happy Christmas (War is Over)
by John Lennon

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas

For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
War is over
If you want it
War is over
Now…

Below are some of the preparation I have been doing for Christmas. Reusing papers and gift wrappers to make boxes and old clothes to be made into christmas stokings.

diy-giftboxesreuse-stoking

For those of you who’s still too buzy to put out your Christmas decoration or are a little tight with this year christmas budget, have no fear. A little DIY and MIY will still work. RE-USE all your stuffs and come up with a new and unique Christmas decoration. Forget about cutting a tree or buying a plastic one (eerrr…) Below is an easy magazine folded Christmas tree. (along with simple instruction)
mag-xmas-tree2mag-xmas-tree1
Hopefully this will get your creative juice starting. I’ve also put together a few recycled crafts collected around the net for your viewing pleasure. Who knows…. you might get inspired. Don’t just do the decorating yourself. Share with love one. Remember…. Christmas is about sharing and giving.

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cinnamon_tea-light

 

Hanging mobile christmas tree, magazine wreath, keyboard tree deco, cinnamon stick tea candle deco….

thelongthreadthriftedfeltedthatartistwomanminichristmapaper-chain-xmas-treeglitterynewspapertree
….felt trees, chainring tree and recycle newspaper with glitter tree.
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snowstormnewspapergarlandorigami-wreath

Another alternative is to support companies that recycle your waste and reuse/repurpose them.

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Wishing everyone the whole wide Earth… HAPPY Christmas.

green biTch/wiTch 😉

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ewaste

Another 3R post that encourages reusing items from e-waste which you have laying around your house like old computer monitors, keyboard, mouse, cpu box etc. i dismantle a few of the keyboard I have. figuring out a few ideas to used the keys for maybe fridge magnet or jewelery. This of course is prompted by Christmas being round the corner.  Here’s a little heavy reading for those of you who wanted to know more about e waste.

FACTS :
Electronic waste, “e-waste” or “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment” (“WEEE“) is a waste type consisting of any broken or unwanted electrical or electronic device. Recyclable electronic waste is sometimes further categorized as a “commodity” while e-waste which cannot be reused is distinguished as “waste”. Both types of e-waste have raised concern considering that many components of such equipment are considered toxic and are not biodegradable. Responding to these concerns, many European countries banned e-waste from landfills in the 1990s. As the price of gold, silver and copper continue to rise, e-waste has become more desirable.

Some activists define “Electronic waste” to include all secondary computers, entertainment devices electronics, mobile phones and other items, whether they have been sold, donated, or discarded by their original owner. This definition includes used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal. Others define the reusable (working and repairable electronics) and secondary scrap (copper, steel, plastic, etc.) to be “commodities”, and reserve the use of the term “waste” for residue or material which was represented as working or repairable but which was discarded by the buyer.

Debate continues over the distinction between “commodity” and “waste” electronics definitions. Some exporters may deliberately leave obsolete or non-working equipment mixed in loads of working equipment (through ignorance, or to avoid more costly treatment processes for ‘bad’ equipment). On the other hand, some importing countries specifically seek to exclude working or repairable equipment in order to protect domestic manufacturing markets. “White box” computers (‘off-brand’ or ‘no name’ computers) are often assembled by smaller scale manufacturers utilizing refurbished components. These ‘white box’ sales accounted for approximately 45% of all computer sales worldwide by 2004, and are considered a threat to some large manufacturers, who therefore seek to classify used computers as ‘waste’.

While a protectionist may broaden the definition of “waste” electronics, the high value of working and reusable laptops, computers, and components (e.g. RAM), can help pay the cost of transportation for a large number of worthless “commodities”. Broken monitors, obsolete circuit boards, short circuited transistors, and other junk are difficult to spot in a container load of used electronics.

Until such time as equipment no longer contains such hazardous substances, the disposal and recycling operations must be undertaken with great care to avoid damaging pollution and workplace hazards, and exports need to be monitored to avoid “toxics along for the ride”.  ….Read more

I’ve just started with using the plastic in the keyboard chip ?(don’t even know what it’s call) and turn them into cover for my notebook.

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cool right ? more photos collected from around the net where computer parts are being put to used.  Re-use, Re-craft, Re-purpose, Re-create. 4R ?

rm02_caseforrecycling_01 3rcpu02

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See don’t throw away your cpu box or the monitar. Hamster home, satay grill even a MIY side table.

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Remember all those diskettes laying around being use as frisbee or coaster ?

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if crafting or making things is not your cup of tea, that’s OK. maybe this christmas try purchasing recycle craft as gifts. There are a few website, local and international that features very attractive recycle crafts. Below are afew.

eco-basket from Salaam wanita

etsy

ecoist

Signing off , make full use of your e-waste before you trash them. If you can’t make use of them, try recycling them. There are afew places that accept e-waste.

green wiTch macpumpkin

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A post on festival that are celebrated by chinese the world over. Many of the young may not know why it is being celebrated. I must say, I don’t celebrate this festival. The last time I had tang yuan was like berzillion years ago…OK I’m old. I remember fondly the moment because my granny was still alive. After her death we never celebrate it at all. Same with my hubby, he last had tang yuan when his mom was alive. This year I will attempt to make my own. Why ? Because every festival is to be celebrated and remembered. Sharing a bowl of tang yuan and making it together lighten the mood. Forget your worries and live for that moment of togetherness.

Chinese festival dishes usually have auspicious and meaningful names and the tang yuan is no different. The Chinese word tang (meaning ‘soup’) sounds like tuan which means reunion, while yuan means round, signifying “yuan man” (complete). The entire phrase tang yuan therefore symbolises “tuan yuan” (family reunion), and eating tang yuan on DongZhi represents family reunion and harmony, and also signifies family unity and family prosperity.

The chinese had determined the point of Winter Solstice by observing movements of the sun with a sundial. It is the earliest of the 24 seasonal division points. The beginning of Winter Solstice normally falls during each December 21 or 22 according to the Gregorian calendar.

The Winter Solstice became a festival during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) and thrived in the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279).

The Dongzhì Festival or Winter Solstice Festival is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest.

The origins of this festival can be traced back to the Yin and Yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching hexagram fù

Traditionally, the Dongzhi Festival is also a time for the family to get together. One activity that occurs during these get together is the making and eating of Tangyuan or balls of glutinuous rice, which symbolize reunion. Tangyuan are made of glutinuous rice flour and sometimes brightly coloured. Each family member receives at least one large Tang Yuan in addition to several small ones. The flour balls may be plain or stuffed. They are cooked in a sweet soup or savoury broth with both the ball and the soup/broth served in one bowl.

Why not prepare your very own authentic tang yuan from the recipe below.

tangyuan
PLAIN TONG YUEN

Ingredients:

2 cups glutinous rice flour
3/4 cup hot water (approximately)

Preparation:

1. Put the flour in a large bowl and using chopsticks, mix the hot water in a little at a time.
2. Knead the dough in the bowl until it is soft and smooth. If it feels a little dry, wet your hands and knead again. Then put the dough into a plastic bag and let it rest for a short time.
3. Remove one quarter of the dough and break off gum-ball size pieces about one-inch in diameter. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
4. Put them one by one into twelve cups of rapidly boiling water, stir a few times to prevent sticking, and boil for 7 to 8 minutes until they float; then cook one more minute, drain and serve in a light soup.

Approximate nutrient analysis, per person when 12 people are sharing these dumplings; this analysis does not include the soup ingredients. Each serving has 74 calories, 17 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g protein, 4 mg sodium, trace of total fat, no saturated fat, and no cholesterol.

As for the soup or syrup it’s actually up to indiviual, some like sweet broth and others prefer savoury. So… what are you waiting for, get to the kitchen. Prepare your own rather than going out to buy the dough or ready-make one which may have “who knows what in it”. Go natural and do it yourslef. Get the whole family involve. The family that work and play together stays together.

here’s wishing all chinese everywhere on earth. Happy Winter Solstice.

green wiTch

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Lime Green Man Using A Wet Mop With Green Cleaning Products To Clean Up The Environment Of Planet Earth Clipart Illustration“Cleanliness is next to godliness” or so the saying goes. With Christmas and New Year around the corner, school holiday break with the kids at home, what better way to make everyone do their part in keeping the house clean.

These days you can buy just about every kind of cleaning product for just about every surface or material. Many of these wonder cleaning products recommended for use in the home are poisonous to plants and animals, so when you pour them down the drain you pollute the water system and kill living organisms. When you spray aerosol, you are damaging the atmosphere.Try to cut down on cleaners and be aware of their real effects. Buy or make natural cleaning products and use them in moderation. (I will put another entry on natural recipes)

Everything you need to know about detergents
The first synthetic detergents were made in 1907, before that, soap was used to clean just about everything.

Detergents are made from petrochemicals, a non-renewable resource, and many detergents are not readily biodegradable.

These are some of the ingredients found in todays’ synthetic detergents.

  • Phosphates are used to soften water. They also cause major problems in waterways by encouraging weed growth, which in turn rob aquatic life of oxygen.It is banned in Switzerland and many states in USA.
  • Surface active agents reduce the surface tension of washing water, allowing fabrics to be properly wet through.
  • Disinfectants kills bacteria which cause infection but unfortunately, they also kill the good bacteria needed to decompose sewage.(Keep usage to minimum because there are some drawbacks)
  • Optical brighteners make fabrics appear whiter or brighter by absorbing ultraviolet light and re-emitting blue light giving it the appearance of whiteness but is not guarantee of cleanliness.
  • Fillers are inert addictives which provide bulk and alkalinity.
  • Foam boasters add suds but don’t effect or enhance cleaning action.
  • Perfumes add a cosmetic fresh smell to clothes (manufactured smell and not real)
  • Enzymes attack protein and carbohydrate grime, soil and stain. They can also cause allergic reactions.

Now that you know what goes into you cleaning products, maybe it would be a good idea to check the labels. As a matter of fact, I notice some detergents label do not state what they are made of but only direction on how to use them.

Cleanliness and good hygiene are important, but remember that we also need many of the bacteria which live in the environment to protect us against other more harmful organism. Bottomline : being obsessive about cleanliness is unnecessary.

(When using commercial dishwashing liquid, make sure you rinse dishes ad cutlery well because the residue is harmful to you.)
Household cleaning products are designed to disinfect, clean and deodorise your home until it smells like pine forest or a field of roses. This fantasy disguises the insidious effect of the bleach, air freshener and detergents. The bad long-term effects of these substances will be minimised if you reduce the amount you buy and use everyday.

Replace synthetic detergents with soap at every opportunity you can because soap is non-toxic, biodegrable and cheap.

Shopping list
for a non-toxic natural cleaners to keep your home fresh and clean.

washing_soda-full sodabicarbonate

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  • Washing soda – natural water softener and grease cutter. Used in moderation, good heavy duty cleaner for floors and walls. Added to your wash, helps clean really dirty clothes.
  • Bicarbonate of soda(baking soda) – infinately useful around the home as water softener, scouring powder, oven cleaner, stain remover, plaque buster, chrome polisher and facial cleanser.
  • Vinegar – inexpensive and can be used for hundreds of household chores.
  • Salt – an abrasive but benign scouring powder and also mildly antiseptic.

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  • Lemon/Lime – essence can be added to your homemade cleaners for that  lemon fresh smell. Lemon/lime juice is also an effective stain remover.
  • Essential oil – can be used to perfume homemade cleaners. Include olive oil or vegetable oil as ingredients in homemade furniture and wood polishes.
  • Household soap or pure soap flakes – need for many cleaning and washing tasks.
  • Ammonia – good for oven cleaning and as an ingredient in general all-purpose cleaner. Avoid inhaling ammonia vapour.
  • Borax – a natural salt and a substitute for chlorine bleach. It can be used to increase the effectiveness of plain soap, to soften water, whiten clothes, control mould and prevent unpleasant odours.
  • Flour – good for polishing chrome and other metal.
  • Pandan leafs/Screwpine – twist and make a knot, leaf in cupboard as natural air freshner as well as potpouri. It repell cockroaches.panw2487

I hope this post has been useful to those who enjoy cleaning. Go natural for a greener and healthier lifestyle. Here’s wishing you a Happy Greenie Healthier Christmas and New Year 2009. 🙂

green witchozone-friendly

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Ever thought about wanting or craving for something sweet ? But are afraid to buy that chocolate or nyonya kuih because you’re on diet ? Try out this quick and easy indulgence. I’m not sure where I’ve gotten this recipe but it has certainly been revise, revamp and recreate (3R) to suit my palette. It only takes you 5 minutes to prepare and cook this sweet indulgence. Everything is combine into a mug or small bowl.

Tis the season to be sharing. I sometimes make this when I’m feeling down. Sure to put a smile on your face.

5minchoc1Here’s the recipe :
Choc flavour ;
4 Tb sugar
3 Tb self-raising flour; 1 Tb oatmeal
2 Tb cocoa powder
1 egg
3 Tb milk/ yogurt
3 Tb oil

Combine all ingredients and put in microwave on HIGH (1000w) for 3 min.
5minpandan

Pandan flavour :
4 Tb sugar
3 Tb self-raising flour; 1 Tb oatmeal
2 Tb santan powder
1 egg
3 Tb milk/ yogurt
3 Tb oil
* handful dessicated coconut (optional)
Combine all ingredients and put in microwave on HIGH (1000w) for 3 min.

Usually to make it more sinful, I usually spread some “kaya” onto it. hehehe hubby loves this version.
5mincustHere’s another version – custard with vanilla essence. Hehehe
Easy peasy right ? I love making this because it’s a one time deal. Great because it helps you use up some of the leftovers that are not enough to be used to make a proper cake. Finish eating and no leftover to pig on later. The recipe is for 1 person but we normally share it. That way you’ll never over indulgence. Everything at the minimum. Enjoy.

green witch

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earthDo you think this is an appropriate title ? Once, we all live in this garden of Eden with beautiful greenery, clear skies and clean water. We have lost Eden due to GREED and still not happy we wanna destroy mother earth totally. The road to earth destruction has already began. For every action there will be a re-action. In this case, all the fury from mother nature that we are seeing now. Heavy downpour, flood, forest fire, landslide, tsunami, earthquake, tornado and etc. Need I say more ? We human tends to take for granted our beautiful garden and as a result we also brought all the pollution to the environment ~ water pollution, Greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, acid rain, toxic waste to name a few. Some still walk around with rose tinted glasses thinking that it will all go away. All the praying and crying will not wish them away.

I’m sure whenever you switch on the tv and listen to the news, you’ll be bombarded with images of flood, shortage of food, extinction of certain species, melting ice, extreme weather condition ….. all of these are the result of not caring for the environment. See….whatever we do to mother earth, it do come back and bite us in the butt (big time). There are still those who refuse to do anything about it. The time is now! if not now ? when ? Start recycling, stop cutting down trees and flushing toxic down the drain, stop polluting the air by open burning and stop practises like slash and burn. no doubt, changes are difficult for all but CHANGE we MUST! For if we go on like we do now…… the consequences are no future for all. I’m sure most of you will say that it won’t happen in this lifetime. Are you sure ? Or are you so selfish to wish it happening in you child or grandchild’s lifetime ?

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here are some Facts :

  •  more than average rain fall – flood (ask those who are affected especially in the east coast if they like it)
  • landslide – movement of earth cause by cutting down of trees ( casualties and survivor of Bkt Antarabangsa found out first hand the wrath of nature)
  •  food shortage – too extreme weather – drought or excessive rain
  • landfill of waste product that are toxic flow into the soil, excessive use of chemical rendered the soil infertile.
  • hunting of animals for food and trophy – extinction of certain species
  • inter-connected eco-system = death or extinction of one species will unbalance the whole eco-system
  • global warming

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I am not a scientist, environmentalist or anyone who have a mile long list of credentials to prove what I’ve written. I am just a very concern CITIZEN OF EARTH. And I know that it is my right to speak up when I think my fellow citizen is doing their best to destroy my home planet. Earth is for all and not just a handful who thinks that they own it.

With the whole world in topsy-turby over the financial and environmental turmoil, many are not gonna wanna admit that they have been playing Russians roulette with mother earth.How much more destruction or proof do we need before we wake up and do something. Here I don’t mean lip service. Talk is cheap. Every politician will promise you heaven, they talk the talk but rarely do they walk their talk. As citizen of this earth we must make our stand or lose everything we have. Armageddon may just be round the corner. I am not trying to scare or frighten anyone but to put a serious message out there. Shape up or be demolish by the environmental crises we all have contributed to.

I would like to share with you this quotation and ask you to take the time to THINK about it. Is your family worth it ?

cree-quote1

Sit down and listen to the song “wonderful world” by Louis Armstrong. it is a wonderful world and we must continue our fight to make sure it will stay a wonderful world for the future generation. “if you are not part of the solution, YOU are part of the problem.” Remember that any changes starts with baby steps but if we the citizens of EARTH are ONE, than we can accomplish miracles. during this festive season of giving, I appeal to you to GIVE EARTH A CHANCE. Make this your New Year resolution.

greenbitch

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COMPOSTING MADE EASY

earth-text
Green the earth. Everyone should do their part in making sure that they plant at least a scrub/plant in their compound or balcony. It doesn’t takes alot to but at least the plant with absorb carbon dioxides and produce oxsigen for you.

A while back I did a post on composting and here I will reveal the easy method that I’ve tried and tested and proven to be good! There are alot of people out there selling bins for composting. They do work but the easiest method is really a no brainer. Anyone can do it. I mostly uses my kitchen waste. You can of course use dried grass and leafs.

Prepare afew pot but in my case, I used heavy duty polybag that are used for plants. Make sure that there are hole at the bottom, if using pot, put meshes and peebles. Next put in 2 inches of garden soil. From now on you can start your compost. Spread your kitchen ORGANIC waste on top of the soil and than layer another 2 inches of soil. This will keep the waste from omitting foul smell. Repeat this process everyday. When the bag is full, start a new one.

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Remember to protect the bag from rain and sun. After 30 days, your compost is ready to be used in your garden. These homemade compost are alot more healthier than your garden bought fertilizer and they smell wonderfully earthy and woody. Never thought I will say this but it really smell good.

A witchy miracle ~ sometime back one of my plant which is call “patawali” just decided to slowly die on me by dropping all its leaves and just left with its stem. Took pure fruit peeling that was laid out in a container and has turned into compost and pour over the plant. The next morning, new shot sprouted up by leap and bound like it just gotten a big feed of viagra.

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Happy composting and garden. Checkout my garden(maintain by hubby) at this website if you’re into herbs and gardening.

green witch

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