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Solar Roof Shopping? Things You Should Know

I don't know about the rest of the country, but in Massachusetts, green is the new black. The state continues to offer rebates and special deals for folks who decide to put solar paneling on their roofs to help the environment. But as I learned, it's not one-size-fits-all shopping. Here are some things to keep in mind…

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Is recycling still worth it?

I seem to have run into an obstacle in my marriage, regarding recycling. My husband seems to be under the impression that it takes more energy to recycle a bottle, or can, or cardboard box, than it does to simply toss it in the garbage — and therefore, is not worth recycling, because it's creating more pollution than just tossing it.

So, I have some questions…

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Yurt + Dome = My life in a yome

My 16-month-old daughter and I live on an herb farm (no, not that kind of herb farm, though we are in Northern California). I am a farm hand here, and in exchange for a certain amount of hours a week working the land, we get to live here and breathe the fresh air, learn about herbs, and watch everything bloom.

We live in a yome here. Yep, a yome — it's a cross between a yurt and a geodesic dome. And wait until you see the triangular windows…

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Family cloth: would you go toilet paper-free?

We've talked about all sorts of eco-friendly home hacks, but let's try the final frontier of reusable toiletries: FAMILY CLOTH. The concept is pretty straight-forward: rather than wipe your butt with paper that you then wad up and flush into the septic system, you use small squares of soft fabric that you then wash and reuse.

No more toilet paper, ever. Wait, EVER!?

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You can afford better food: 10+ ways to get more out of your grocery budget

Let's start with this: I am NOT a picky eater, but I'm choosy about my food. I haven't always been this way: when I first lived on my own, life was full of Pizza Hut and mac and cheese and ramen noodles and nary a vegetable in sight. I thought spending 50 cents on green onions was a splurge.

The first changes in my adult eating habits happened when I read Micheal Pollan's rules for eating. That link is a LONG article, and well worth the read, but I'll summarize: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. And don't eat food with more than five ingredients. He goes on to say that if you're confused, you should stick to foods your grandmother would recognize. That's pretty simplistic. In real terms, how do you get there?