1. How to DIY Fruit Water (via Facebook, originally posted @ The Yummy Life)
This is probably my favorite discovery via social media. I love water, but sometimes…it gets boring. Add some fruit, maybe even some veggies or herbs, infuse in the fridge, and voila! Some of my favorite variations so far, strawberry with chamomile, orange with mint, and orange with hibiscus and ginger. For me, this is a great way to get the kids to eat oranges–for some reason they aren’t fans of the fruit itself, and since I’m not a fan of store-bought juices, this is a great way to sneak some of the fruits and veggies into their diet that I couldn’t otherwise get them to consume.
And I’ve found quite a few great recipe ideas this way–Overnight Oatmeal, Spicy Guinness Mustard, P.F. Chang-style Lettuce Wraps, and this delicious looking little 4 ingredient recipe for Meyer Lemon Sorbet that I found on my pinterest today. Anything you could possibly want to eat is probably posted online already. Maybe just a Facebook update or Pinterest pin away.
2. (Almost) Perpetual Green Onions…and other veggies from kitchen scraps (Facebook and assorted blogs)
Most of us probably know that you can grow a carrot top by placing it in a cup of water. But how many of us would have thought to regrow our green onions that way? Or to root and replant celery? How about a pineapple? Or an avocado (though it can take 7-15 years to fruit, assuming you are even in the right climate)? There’s also ginger, garlic, potatoes and sweet potatoes, that awesome hydroponic lettuce with the roots attached (this is my favorite lettuce of all time, when I can justify the expense…being able to grow it again in my window sill is *squee!!*), and beets and turnips and radishes, etc. Plus, if you shop at the farmers market, you have a better chance at getting non-hybrid varieties (just ask, they’ll be happy to tell you!) and can save the seeds to plant in your own garden.
3. The Secret Produce Code (Facebook)
The premise is that the little sticker on your produce can tell you how your fruits and veggies were grown. The PLU code (Price Look Up–its official name) is a defined list of codes for produce by the International Federation of Produce Standards, and numbering convention goes like this:
4 numbers=conventionally grown
5 numbers starting with an 8=GMO
5 numbers starting with a 9=organic
This one is actually a bit of a mixed bag. These codes are a matter of convenience for the store, not the consumer. In all technicality, its true. But in practice, its not…at least with regard to identifying GMOs.
4. Underwater Viewfinder=beach fun for kids (pinterest)
I originally came across the idea for this on pinterest, though I’m not entirely sure if I pinned the original or not. Either way, the kids and I made our own, and much fun ensued. And there are zillions of other ideas for cheap or low-tech crafts and toys for kids to be found in blogs, on pinterest, etc. Like this list of kid friendly experiments. One of my favorite finds (that I still haven’t tried yet) was one that I first ran across from the TED videos…Squishy Circuits–a way to teach circuits to preschoolers, and its made from homemade play dough recipes!
5. Rediscovering Lost Crafts (youtube, ravelry, pinterest, assorted blogs)
Ever hear of a Dorset Button? How about chicken-scratch? Victorian-era hair jewelry? Pine Burr quilt pattern? The web has become a treasure trove for reclaiming and rediscovering lost and obscure crafts. And even the not-so-lost-and-obscure crafts. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times my grandmother tried to teach me to crochet while I was growing up…but after watching a tutorial on Tunisian Crochet on youtube a couple years ago and checking out a couple of tutorials (including this one) and I’ve been crocheting up a storm ever since (interesting fact: during the Victorian era, what is now called Tunisian crochet was used in winter clothing).
6. Just Say No to Commercial Cleansers! (pinterest, facebook, assorted blogs)
This is a topic I’ve written about on occasion, though its been a while. But I continuously run across some great ideas for greener (environmentally and pocket-book wise) cleaning or some twists on an old favorite. From laundry soap, to dishwasher detergent, to orange vinegar cleaning spray, there is an environmentally and economically friendlier replacement just a Google search away!
Along with commercial cleansers around the home come tons of ways to replace commercial cleansers of your body. From going No ‘Poo to DIY facials, the web seems to breed DIY beauty tips like Tribbles on Star Trek (yes, I am that much of a nerd)…even on my own blog.
7. You can reuse, DIY, upcycle…just about anything (all over the web)
Crochet hooks from sticks? Play kitchen from an old TV cabinet? Innovative storage for board games AND wall art, simultaneously? Turning cans into an adorable organizer? Make a yarn political statement on reproductive rights for your congressman? I’ve run across all these and more in my social media feeds…from the adorably whimsical to the practical to the outright bizarre. Some of them I’d love to do, if I had the need and the stuff to do it with, and some of it, I just kind of stare in awed wonder of creative superiority. Every once in a while, I just stare.