Alabama Sawyer’s Not So Secret Diary

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Eco Friendly Ways to Save Money

April 15, 2019

Eco Friendly Ways to Save Money

Usually the big misconception about going eco friendly is it requires gratuitous time and money to accomplish. Let’s put that misconception to rest, and talk about all of the easy ways to make your existence on this planet more cost effective and eco friendly.


Carpool: This is a good way to cut down on gas expenses and reduce your carbon footprint. Better yet, start biking everywhere. It’s obviously not an optimal solution for everyone - some places just don’t have the infrastructure to implement or maintain safe + usable bike paths.


No Disposable Kitchenware: Consider purchasing cloth napkins, reusable dishes + silverware, metal straws, ect… All of the disposable products that you have to keep buying week after week add up to a lot AND will eventually go to a landfill.


Cook For You: No dining out or buying those premade meals. Making the food yourself is a great way to save money without supporting restaurants whose practices are less than ideal for the environment. And what better way to cook for you than by maintaining your own garden? I understand that not everyone has the time to care for a garden, but it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, even growing your own basil can cut down on shopping expenses.


Compost: Why not? Especially if you’re caring for a garden. Composting is a great way to reduce your production of food waste while simultaneously reducing your need to purchase fertilizer. While you’re at it, take a look at our beautiful Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin.


Go Vegetarian: Going vegetarian pairs nicely with the gardening and composting tips mentioned above. You probably already know this, but the meat industry produces huge amounts of pollution. Moreover, by cutting meat out of your diet, you can greatly reduce the amount of money spent on food.

Sources & Further Reading

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How to be Eco Friendly in the Kitchen

February 26, 2019

How to be Eco Friendly in the Kitchen

At Alabama Sawyer, we want you to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Here are some tips on how to be more eco friendly in the kitchen and around the house:

 

  • Make your own cleaner: This one is particularly rewarding because you get to clean with your own efforts to be more eco conscious. What you’ll need: vinegar, baking soda, lemon, water, dish soap, spray bottle, bowl, sponge, scrub brush, and measuring spoons. For an all purpose cleaner you’ll want to put 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon of dish soap, and 2 tablespoons vinegar into the spray bottle. Shake it up, then fill with warm water and shake again.
  • Select non toxic paints: Thinking about repainting? Be sure to purchase paints low in volatile organic compounds. It’s better for you and the environment.
  • Recycle & Compost: All you need for this step is a recycling bin and a composting bin. For more information on creating your own backyard pallet compost pile, feel free to check out our blog post titled "How to Build a Pallet Compost Pile".
  • Purchase energy efficient appliances: If you’re in the market for any new kitchen appliances, look into energy efficient ones.
  • Eat organic & local: Kind of a no brainer but still worth mentioning.
  • Lighting: Replace incandescent bulbs with the more energy efficient LED’s, and only use those when natural lighting is inadequate. For more info, check out this excellent infographic:
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    Sources:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030202932.html

    https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/8-ways-to-go-green-in-your-kitchen

    https://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/design/make-your-kitchen-greener

    https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-your-own-kitchen-c-108759

    Featured image of the woman in the green jumpsuit taken from the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/  

    Link to BD Food Safety Infographic: https://www.slideshare.net/bdsafety18/kitchen-cleaning-tips%20  

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    How to Polish Wood Furniture

    February 04, 2019

    How to Polish Wood Furniture

    Did you hear the news? We recently started selling our very own beeswax wood polish! 

    ALASAW Wood Polish 

    In honor of such an event, here is a “how to” guide that will give you instructions on the simple steps needed to polish your wooden furniture using our ALASAW polish.


    You’ll need to figure out what your wood piece is finished with in order to determine how exactly you’re going to polish it. If you’re at a loss and have no clue, read the manufacturer's manual. The different types of finish include varnish, wax, unsealed, or painted. If your wood has a wax finish, stick with a wax polish. If your wood has an oil finish, stick with an oil polish.”


    SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:

    -wood polish

    -cotton washrag (make sure it’s clean)

    -buffing cloth (make sure it’s soft)


    STEP ONE: Apply the wood polish directly onto the cotton washrag and begin wiping it into the wood in the direction of the grain (or with the grain). If you need to apply anymore polish then feel free to add another layer.


    STEP TWO: Use your buffing cloth to remove any excess wood polish.


    And that’s basically it. Easy enough, right? Click on the sources below for more detailed instructions and information.


    SOURCES

    How to Polish and Clean Wood Furniture

    How to Polish and Shine Wood Furniture

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    Completed Fruit Fly Trap

    November 12, 2018

    How to Make a Fruit Fly Trap

    Ever feel like fruit flies are planning a full scale invasion on your kitchen? Have they already launched one? Ready the battlements, because here are some items you can use to make your very own fruit fly trap:

    • a jar
    • cider vinegar
    • dish soap
    • plastic wrap

    First, pour a small amount of cider vinegar in the jar. Then add a few drops of dish soap. Finally, cover the jar with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it. And that’s it! Once you’ve got the trap set up, you’ll start noticing more and more fruit flies getting caught in the concoction.


      
    pouring the cider vinegar pouring the dish soap
         

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    4 Eco Friendly Weed Killing Methods

    November 05, 2018

    4 Eco Friendly Weed Killing Methods

    There are plenty of reasons not to use commercial weed killer. Maybe you have children and don’t want them to ingest any weed killer while playing in the garden. Perhaps you don’t like the idea of harsh chemicals leaching into a nearby water source. Maybe commercial weed killer is too expensive. Whatever the case may be, here are four eco friendly ways to get rid of weeds:


    1) Pour boiling water on the weeds. This could take a few tries, but is probably the easiest method on here and doesn’t damage the surrounding soil.  

    2) Mix vodka and water to create a herbicide that dries the weeds out. Spray/ pour directly over the roots. Can be very damaging to any surrounding plants, so be careful with this one.

    3) Cover smaller weeds in at least four layers of old newspapers to cut off their access to sunlight.

    4) Lemon juice works great as a weed killer - and gets bonus points for not attracting ants. Simply pour some lemon juice in a spray bottle or a jar and you’re ready to go.

     

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    wooden cutting board

    October 29, 2018

    How to Oil a Wooden Cutting Board

    Oiling your wooden cutting board can greatly extend its life. You’ll want to oil it every time it dries out, and the frequency that your board dries out will change depending on how often you use it. In terms of effort this takes the same amount as shoe tying, so get ready:

    1. First thing you’ll need is an appropriate oil (click to see Alabama Sawyer's Cutting Board Oil.) Many people use mineral oil because it’s relatively cheap and easy to find at kitchen hardware stores.
    2. Evenly apply the oil by rubbing it into the board using a small piece of paper towel or a soft cloth.wooden cutting board getting oiled
    3. Let the oil soak in at least a few hours.
    4. Then use a dry paper towel to wipe away any excess oil. It shouldn’t feel sticky at all once you’ve finished.


    And that’s basically it. If you haven’t already, take a look at some of
    our own cutting boards.

    Read more →

    pallet compost pile

    October 22, 2018

    How to Build a Pallet Compost Pile

    So you want to start composting? The good news is that it’s super easy and rewarding to build a pallet composting bin from scratch. Follow these step by step instructions to get started:

    1. Find a place in your yard to build the pile. At the very least pick a level spot that’s 3’ x 3’. Keep in mind the placement of your bin, do you want it to be easily visible or do you want it tucked away behind a tree so it can’t be spotted?  
    1. You’ll need four pallets of the same size. If you’re looking to spend as little money as possible, I’d suggest embracing your inner raccoon by digging around in an alleyway, or asking a local business for their discarded pallets. Maybe a nearby shopping center will be kind enough to give you some for free when you ask nicely. Consider what you’ll find in the dumpster of a small business.
    *stack of pallets*

    Another approach is the internet. Keep an eye on Craigslist’s “free” category under the “On Sale” items.

    1. Now that you have your pallets, it’s time to build the bin itself. Stand up three of the pallets and screw the edges together, these will be the sides and back of the bin.
    *incomplete compost bin with two sides*

    1. Then, cut your fourth pallet in half and attach it to the bin so there’s a side that’s shorter than the walls and the back. This will be the door. If you want to be able to open and close it like a regular door then attach the door to one side using hinges and tie the other side to the wall to ensure it stays closed.

    Another option would be using a latch to keep the door closed so you don’t have to untie & tie a rope every single time you want to open the door. If you did everything correctly, then you should end up with something similar to the bin in the image below:

    *fully realized compost bin*

    Doesn’t really get much easier than that, huh? Once you’ve collected all your materials, it should only take ten to twenty minutes to build one of these things.

    Keep in mind that you'll need to store the compost somewhere before moving it in your backyard pile, so feel free to check out our beautiful Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin. These expertly crafted bins come in magnolia, walnut, and sapwood made using timber sourced almost entirely from the urban forests of Alabama. 

    Noaway Compost Bin

    And what if you don't have a backyard? Luckily enough, you can still compost. Plenty of cities offer a municipal composting program. If you're itching to know whether or not your city offers one, a quick google search should tell you everything you need to know.

    Good luck and happy composting!

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