How to Attach a Homemade Rain Water Barrel

August 5th, 2012 Posted in gardening, off the grid, projects, save money, water | 3 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Righto, so a little while ago, I built me a homemade water barrel out of a trash can and assorted odds n’ ends. The only thing left to do was attach the barrel to my gutters to collect all that free rain water.

It turned out to be pretty easy to do, and I’ve been enjoying free rain water for my garden ever since, saving money and cutting down on my city-water usage. Bah-blam.

Supplies

Here’s what you’ll need to READ MORE »

How to Save Money by Making a Homemade Rain Barrel

June 24th, 2012 Posted in green living, off the grid, projects, water | 1 Comment » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


A rain barrel is a great way to conserve water by storing the rain from “Father Sky” until you want to use it for gardening, landscaping, or other assorted outdoor activities. This can also save you a chunk o’ change on your water bill.

Here’s an easy way to make your own rain water barrel. I basically followed the instructions at the RaleighNC site, with a few EcoJoe twists thrown in for good measure.

Supplies

For this here project, you will need some supplies. You can get these for less than 45 bucks. Heck yeah.

Handy Hint: If you tell the person working at the hardware shop what you’re building, they can help you find what you need.
EcoJoes Rain water barrel fixin's
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Easy Vegetarian Black Bean Burger Recipe

July 12th, 2010 Posted in food, health, projects | 1 Comment » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Veggie burgers. Black bean burgers. Even the elusive Santa Fe burger. Veggie burgers have many names (and lots o’ recipes), yet I had never tried one.

So I decided to take the veggie burger plunge and use my humble cooking “skills” to craft a mouth-watering black bean burger. But first, an eco-footnote

It takes a LOT more resources to get a pound of hamburger meat than to make a vegetarian bean burger. GoVeg (a completely unbiased website) had this to say on the matter…

It takes 5,000 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. A totally vegetarian diet requires only 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day. You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for an entire year.

Gadzooks! Even if those numbers are skewed some, getting meat uses a heck of a lot of water.

Alright, enough with the eco-footprint lesson. Moving on to the…

Black Bean Burger Recipe

This simple veggie burger recipe (which makes 4 servings) calls for…

  • 2 peppers (jalapeño, cayenne, or banana)
  • About 8 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cups of cooked, drained black beans (a 29oz. can is a just about right)
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Black bean burger ingredients
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Quick City Gardening Tips Right Before Earth Day

April 21st, 2009 Posted in food, green living, organic, plants, projects | 2 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Kick off Earth Day by starting a neighborhood garden. Gather around a bunch of neighbors and locals, find a vacant lot, and help “green” it by cleaning it up and turning it into a majestic garden. Here are some great tips for community gardens…
City Gardening Wisdom
Hopefully those tips will aid you on your journey to your very own community garden.

From the incomparable Onion.

Simple Homemade Granola Recipe

March 1st, 2009 Posted in food, projects | 1 Comment » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Granola. You love it, I love it, everybody loves it. It’s all healthy and natural and mess. But how can you make your own granola?

Welp, it turns out there’s about a million ways to do it; here’s just one way to make your very own homemade granola.

Easy Homemade Granola Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need to make some scrumptious granola.
Granola Ingredients
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Homemade Paper – Ultimate Paper Recycling

January 20th, 2009 Posted in paper, projects, recycle | 3 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


“Paper… pure paper!” I think that crazy guy in the epic film “Waterworld” said it best when he uttered those immortal lines about paper. But how can the people in “Waterworld” make paper when there ain’t no trees? Easy. They recycle paper, and now you can to. Here’s how to recycle paper into homemade paper.

First, you gots to make your paper frame. Use some leftover wood and make a rectangle; whatever size this frame is is the size your homemade paper shall be.
Wooden paper frame
Staple some old window screen across the frame, stretching it tightly. There, your frame be done. Now you’re ready to make you some homemade paper, hot dang!

First, get a bunch of scrap paper (some call it scratch paper, whatever floats your boat). Also, feel free to add some of the following:

  • newspaper
  • lint
  • toilet paper (gently used)….. just kidding on that one!!
  • paper bags

Remember, whatever you put in will affect the color and texture of your finished paper, so for the love of Pete, be careful in selecting your ingredients for your homemade paper.

Tear up the paper into lil’ pieces.
Noche with his shredded paper
Put the torn-up paper into a blender, filling it about halfway. Fill the rest of the blender with warm water.
paper_shreds_in_blender
Blend the mess out of that paper, starting with short burts, and finishing with a 20-second blend that purees the paper into a pulpy soup.
Why does it taste so bad?
Do this about three times, each time pouring the blended paper soup into a basin or tote.

Afterward, put in some more warm water, filling the basin about halfway. Add about two tablespoons of corn starch, too.

Stir the pulp around, then dip your wood frame into the pulp all the way to the bottom. Slowly raise it up, keeping it level. Your screen should be covered with pulp now.
wet_paper_on_frame
Let it dry somewhere. Once the frame stops dripping, sort of peel the paper around the edges.
paper_on_frame_peeled
Next, gently peel the very wet paper away from the frame. Slap that bad boy on some felt. Fun fact: I got my felt for 20 cents, and it’s made from recycled plastic. Ta-dow.
Wet homemade paper on recycled felt
Use a sponge and try to squish excess water out. Once you’ve done that, let it dry on the felt.
Bash that water out

Let all the paper completely dry on the felt or some newspaper.

Voila, recycling old useless paper into new homemade paper is just that easy. If you want to get fancy (and these days, who doesn’t?), try embedding some crazy mess in your paper (feathers, leaves, pictures cut out of a newspaper). Your friends will be TOO jealous of your customized paper, maybe even jealous enough… to kill?

Glass Creatures from my Creek

January 11th, 2009 Posted in cleaning, green living, projects, reusing, water | No Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Deep in the sprawling Peck Estates there is a meandering brook, full of plants, wildlife, and brisk, babbling water. Whenever I grow weary of my toils to better this planet called Earth, I cast my eyes upon this creek, and tears of wonder carve clean trails down my dusty face.

Chair in Creek

But it’s not “all good in the hood”, as Mister Rogers would say. Over the last month or so, I’ve cleaned out a LOT of litter just from my small part of the creek. The litter has ranged in size from tiny shards of broken glass to a metal chair to a freaking stop sign.

After cleaning all that mess out, me and Tiff decided to make some creek animals out of the junk, since all the trash had come from the creek. What follows may shock and even horrify you. Prepare to look upon the creek creatures.
CLICK THE PICTURES TO SEE A BIGGER PICTURE

Glassy the Turtle

Tiff’s abstract masterpiece.
Glassy the Turtle

Turkey Thing

Made from a gen-u-ine 40 bottle (and maybe an old racquetball?).
Turkey Thing

Glass Frog

If you use your imagination, this pile of reused glass might look remotely like a frog.
Sopa

Simple Snail

Another Tiff creation. My blurry picture does not do this glass snail justice.
Snail of Glass

Parrot with Coke Bottle Body

He’s all spirally and mess.
Glass Parrot

Snake made from Broken Glass

That’s his tongue on the left.
Glass Snake

Glass Hell Monkey

Its tail is made from a LipSmackers brush. He is one menacing mamma jamma.
Glass Monkey, that Funk Monkey

We recycled all the leftover broken glass and old cans and bottles. All in all, it was a good way to reuse some litter, and make some “art” from it. If anyone else has done cleaned up litter from a creek or stream and made something from it, por favor let me know!