GIVEAWAY- norpro compost keeper

Chic Sustainability has moved to its new and improved location- chicsusatianbilty.com! If you already entered in the Norpro Kitchen Compost Keeper Giveaway have no fear your entries have been logged and just for your trouble you are welcome to re-enter at the new site for double entries!!! I had no idea my blog would be making the switch today but I’m glad it did. Please visit the site and subscribe to get updates. Thanks for your support in theses early stages of Chic Sustainability!

Thats right this young blog is doing its first give away as part of the Spring Into Sustainability Giveaway Hop. This hop is hosted my Happy Mothering and The Frugal Greenish Mama and runs March 20th -30. I am so very excited to be a part of this hop and a new member of Green Moms Network!

For my very fist giveaway I am offering my readers (new and old) a chance to win my favorite thing in my kitchen. That’s right I’m giving away the compost keeper I was raving about in this post about composting. The Norpro Compost Keeper is really a great option for the kitchen composters like me. The chic factor is much higher than the usual bowl on the counter or worse a 5 gallon bucket under the sink (gross).

Norpro Compost Keeper

Attractive white ceramic compost keeper that will look good on any counter top.

Has a sturdy stainless steel handle for easy transport.

Measures, 10.5″/26.5cm tall

Capacity, 1G/4Qt/3.8L

Store peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds, greens, clippings, fruit and vegetable scrapes for transfer to your garden compost.

Retail , $27.99

Favorite Features:

Odor control- By far the best part of this composter is its simple but effective filter. The filter is charcoal free and should last up to 6 months. I am really impressed with the odor control. Filter

Appearance. I feel that the white ceramic composter is very neutral and will blend with any kitchen decor. If you are looking for something that pops or likes the matchy-matchy look it also comes in stainless, red and black ceramic and a few patterns. I like the lettuce head design but it doesn’t go with my kitchen. All options are sleek, simple and chic. compost keeper options

Ease to clean- Usually I just have to rinse it a bit after dumping. only once in the couple of months has it required a thorough cleaning and even then I just wiped it with a little mild soap and rinsed well. Even the filter can be rinsed without effecting its odor control. Easy-peasy.

Handle- Its a simple handle but its effective. Really makes the trip to the composter easier for me especially since its part of my every day chores and I’m usually juggling a few other things.

Unfavored Features:

Size- 1 gallon seems like enough but it’s usually full from just one meal. I am use to at least two meals before dumping but maybe the more frequent trips to the compost bin is good. Something has to get my butt moving.

Heavy- Like I said usually I am juggling a few other things when I dump so the heaviness is a little annoying but usually its not a factor bc its sitting on the counter.

The good features certainly out weigh the others. Whether you are a seasoned composted or think you might like to give a try this composter would be a great addition to your kitchen.

THIS GIVEAWaY IS CLOSE HERE ON WORDPRESS AND IS OPEN ON THE NEW SITE chicsustainabilty.com. Your entry here will not count!

Mandatory Entry:  To enter to win simply leave a comment below with something you are trying to do to live more sustainably in 2013!

Optional Entries:  Leave a separate comment for each one.

  1. ‘Like” Chic Sustainability’s Facebook Page. Leave a comment saying you liked the pages and your Facebook name. 
  2. ‘Follow’ Chic Sustainability on Pinterest. Leave another comment saying you follow and  with your Pinterest ID.
  3. Share on Facebook. Leave a separate comment with the url

Winners choice red or white Norpro Compost Keeper. If you dont want to take the chance and just have to have one right now you can order any of the options on Amazon.com.

red or white?

This review and giveaway are in no way affiliated with Norpro. My opinions are myown and I was not compensated in any way for this post. Winner will be chosen by random by random.org. I am not responsible for issues from shipping and handling ( will pay for shipping). This will be sent as a gift from Amazon and will be winners responsibility to take up any problems with Amazon.

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Garden Update

Chic Sustainability has moved to its new and improved location- chicsusatianbilty.com!

February 9th, we started about a third of our plants for this years garden. Logan and Amelia planted the seeds in little planter trays. We decided on Leafpro Organic Planting Soil, four plastic planting trays with 72 spots already filled with little soil peat pellets, and a bunch of biodegradable plantable pots.

Seedlings 2-9-13

Just 4 days later the peppers were sprouting! Another two days later, everything had pushed throughSeedlings 2-13-13

Last Sunday afternoon, Logan set out to thin the starter tray and transplant to the biodegradable pots. Everything but the onions were moved they were looking a little weepy so we decided to give them another week. It was also time to start a few other plants so we planted them directly into the pots. Seedlings 3-5-13

Today, 4 days later, all the transplanted plants are doing well. So the final count of starter plants:

5 Jalapeños

5 Sweet Peppers

5 Marconi Peppers

5 Habanero Peppers

20 Cabbage

5 Tobacco

5 Cherry Tomatoes

5 Brandywine Tomatoes

5 Roma Tomatoes

5 Millionaire Tomatoes

5 Red Onions

5 Eggplants

Just started:

5 Dill Plants (already sprouting!)

5 Basil

5 Cilantro

5 Parsley

5 Kale

5 Cauliflower

Everything else is directly sown. Most of the other seeds require warm soil so we are anxiously awaiting Spring.

I attribute a majority of our success to our little indoor green house we got at Lowes (similar ones are sold on Amazon). We were contemplating all these different little green house plans to start our plants in and everything was pretty labor intensive and large, plus they would require warming lights and we were just not wanting to invest the time this year. Then we stumbled on the Garden Plus Indoor Greenhouse. Its the perfect size and only $30.Indoor Greenhouse

It was super easy to put together, no tools required! The plastic cover fits snugly and zips open for easy access for watering. The greenhouse is on casters so I can easily move it from window to window as the sunlight moves through out the day. Considering the price and easy assembly this was the very best solution for out needs. It keeps them moist and warm. I’m really happy with our purchase.

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds!

 

 

Chic Sustainability has moved to its new and improved location chicsusatianbilty.com!

 

10-small-seed-packet-clip

In my mind, a successful garden is the foundation of our new lifestyle. Growing our own food fulfills our need to cut cost, eat better, and be independent. So it makes perfect sense that I am over the moon excited about ordering our seeds. In my opinion, Logan is a little over ambitions with 30+  varieties of fruit, veggies, herbs and grains but what do we have to lose? I have almost no experience gardening, just a small herb garden back in Florida. Logan, on the other hand, grew up with a salsa garden so I will be totally depending on his expertise. Strangely, I am excited about pulling weeds with Amelia. Probably because the cold weather has kept us cooped up in the house.

After reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle we learned about the differences between hybrid and heirloom seeds and decided to plant heirloom. Plants grown from heirloom seeds produce stable, viable seeds meaning they after pollination, the cycle continues like nature intended. Plants from hybrid and genetically modified seeds produce a next generation of seeds that are sometimes sterile and nearly always unstable meaning you are not guaranteed to produce the same quality or variety of plant that the original seeds produced. Hybrid and genetically modified seeds are unreliable for continued food production. This means for us we would have to buy seeds every year and although the yearly cost of seeds is about a quarter of our monthly grocery budget heirloom is still most cost effective.

Then there is the question of organic vs. non-organic. The organic seeds are about 50% more expensive but we figured if we are going to do this we should do it right. This was a decision for our health but we hope that in the long run it will pay our pockets back too. Some day, maybe even this year, we hope to sell our excess crops and dairy products  at our local farmers market. We know that organic sells better. Its as simple as that. We bought everything we could organic a few thing were not available.

Logan did some digging around on the inter-webs and found this little site Sustainable Seeds Co. Its not the best web design but we were impressed with the selection and the little back stories of the seeds where and when they originated are super neat. We ordered on Tuesday and our seeds shipped today, Friday. I’d say thats pretty fast service for a 30 item order.

OK, ready for the unveiling of the list?!? DRUM ROLL!!

Fruits

Organic Allsweet Watermelon

Honey Rock Melon

Organic Brandywine Pink Tomato

Organic Large Red Cherry Tomato

Organic Roma Tomato

Vegetables 

Organic Bush Blue Lake 274 Bean (Green Bean)

Organic Golden Acre Cabbage

Organic Tendersweet Carrot

OrganicHomemade Pickle Cucumbers

Original 8-row Golden Bantam Corn

Blue Curled Scotch Dwarf Kale

Organic Buttercrunch Lettuce

Super Red Romaine Lettuce

Organic Cow’s Horn Okra

Organic Red Cipollini Onion

Organic Wala Wala Onion

Organic Green Arrow Pea

Organic Jalepeno M Pepper

Organic Sweet Sunset Italian Pepper Mix

Organic Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach

Organic Cocozelle Zucchini Squash

Early Prolific Straightneck Squach

Connecticut Field Pumpkin

Herbs

Pennsylvania Red Tobacco (apparently Logan is going to grow and dry his own tobacco)

Basil

Dill

Oregano

Organic Cilantro

Organic Forest Green Parsley

Grain 

Bere Barley

Our seed shopping extravaganza totaled $86.73 with shipping.

This garden is going to be huge or split, not sure yet.  Maybe next post will be our garden plan.

Image courtesy of mypatriotsupply.com

sustainability, why?

With my hubby by my side, my kids underfoot, Jesus in my heart and our very own soil between my toes I feel like I have everything I need. In reality, you can’t live off of good vibes and Eskimo kisses. You need actual sustenance. Like nearly all Americans, our family depend almost completely on others to provide this sustenance. Other people grow it. Other people deliver it to our community. Other people provide a central place for us to access it (for a price of course). This system bothers me for several reasons; mainly the sustenance provided is, by in large, terrible for your health, very costly compared to cultivating it yourself, lastly (and most seemingly far fetched), that system may not always be there to depend on. We want to learn to sustain ourselves.

Eating better. Living better.

After reading Barbara Kingolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I was inspired to eventually cut out store bought food all together. One of the most profound concepts in her book happened to be the simplest: if you do not recognize an ingredient then don’t eat it. Our foods and everyday products are so full of chemicals, antibiotics, and pesticides it’s really absurd. I only want to eat naturally occurring foods. I only want natural oils and soaps to touch my skin. I simply want my family to be healthy and feel great.

Cutting Cost.

We are a one income family with a mountain of student loan debt. We strive to live as simple and economical as possible. Our appetites require variety, we eat fresh and make from scratch whenever possible. In result, our grocery bill racks up fast. I go to the store with a very strict budget, I rarely stray from the list and we make do. But I dream of the day when we only buy a handful of things at the store nut because we can’t afford it but because we can sustain ourselves. This will not just cutting down on food cost but cleaning supplies, and personal care too. There are natural, healthier, cost effective alternatives if we just put in the effort.

Becoming Independent.

You could say I’m a bit if a ‘Prepper”. Yes, like the TV show full of crazy people. We don’t have a huge capsule dug in the side of a remote mountain nor do we have a hidden room with enough to feed ourselves for years. Nothing that extreme. I have, however, given some thought to the possibility of another Great Depression type of collapse in our economy. If you haven’t noticed there is a large amount of economic instability worldwide. A total break down of our society really not as far fetched as we’d like to think. I’m not going to go into all the factors at play here (maybe I’ll have my hubby write a little synopsis on this topic later) but lets say the American economy does crash. Our dollar inflates and our money is next to worthless. Those other people that produce our goods cant afford to keep producing. Those other people that drive our goods cant afford to gas up. Those places that sell the goods cant afford to staff their stores. Makes no difference because, we, the consumer can’t afford the goods anyhow. In this dark scenario, how are you going to feed your family? What is your plan? We decided to move to a farm with a good amount of land and start providing for ourselves, just in case.

So we are making plans to change our lifestyle, to live off the land and sustain ourselves. I began to research becoming a ‘sustainable’ family and what I found was a bunch of weirdos. Seriously, there’s a lot of pot-smoking, soda can collecting, mud house building, hippies out there living sustainable lifestyles ‘off the grid’. We are changing it up. We are doing this for us not to spare the poorly treated animals or to save the earth from Global Warming. I am using sustainability more for the ‘ability to sustain or endure’ definition, while, as a general rule, ‘sustainability’ refers to cutting down overuse of finite resources, striving to using more renewable, and reducing the overall human impact on the earth. Saving planet Earth is worthy cause but we are making this change for purely selfish reasons it is only by happenstance we also become ‘sustainable’ in the typical sense. I think, by and large, the sustainability scene is changing. Big city dwellers are planing rooftop gardens, canning is making a comeback, living ‘green’ is in. Those people, like us, are doing it for more reason than saving the earth. Sustainability is becoming chic. I am determined to start living it. Chic Sustainability.