Counter Intuitive: Make your own toxin-free kitchen cleaner

story byLeah R. TroianoIf you’re using typical household cleaning products to tidy your kitchen, chances are you’re also using some highly toxic chemicals. In an independent, peer-reviewed study by Silent Spring Institute, a public interest organization, more than 200 products were analyzed for hazardous chemical content. Nearly all the products tested, including many marketed as “green” or “nontoxic,” were found to have one, if not multiple, hazardous chemicals. These chemicals, such as phthalates, parabens and bisphenol A (BPA), are linked with asthma and reproductive hormone problems. What’s worse is that these chemicals can end up in your lungs or, if the food or your fingers touch the “cleaned” surface, ingested. The best way to avoid these chemicals? Stop buying cleaning products and start making your own.
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How-To: Cook Dried Beans

Preparing dried beans in three easy steps
by Ed Coffin

Dried beans are low in fat, high in protein and fiber, and incredibly inexpensive. What keeps most of us from enjoying them is the time and preparation required to make them edible. Fortunately, the process can be simplified into three easy steps that will have you eating beans in no time!
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How-To: Have a Healthy Lunch

Foods that will satisfy and energize
by Katie Cavuto-Boyle MS, RD

As the quest for healthy food in the cafeteria continues, consider taking the matter of feeding your children (and yourself) into your own hands. We asked Philly food celebrity Katie Cavuto-Boyle for some guidelines to help us make the brown bag delicious and nutritious.
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How-To: Sew a Button

by Reesha Grosso

There’s no right or wrong way to sew a button. As long as the button stays put, you have done your job. If you have lost your button, check the hem for extras, remove one from somewhere less conspicuous, or buy a button of the same size (look to the other buttons on the garment for guidance).
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How-To: What's the Buzz

Become a Philly Beekeeper
by Phil Forsyth & Micah Woodcock

Our recent urban beekeeping survey and tour revealed that the majority of Philly’s two dozen or so beekeepers started within the last five years. Why? We know that bees are essential pollinators for gardens, farms and orchards. Other than wind-pollinated corn, the vast majority of our vegetable, fruit and nut crops are highly dependent on bees for pollination. Commercial beekeepers rent out their hives all across the country, moving as the harvesting season changes. In recent years, these “rental” hives have been devastated by Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which a hive’s worker bees suddenly disappear en masse.
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How-To: Seeing Clearly

How to recycle your TV
by Samantha Wittchen


My television is older than I am. When I was younger, my best friend called it “The TV From Outer Space” because it has that mid ’70s space-age look. My sister, who lives with me, hates the thing. So, when the digital television transition became imminent, she was all but salivating at the prospect of us finally getting a new TV. Much to her dismay, we got a spiffy new converter box instead.
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How-To: Beneficial Inflation

How to fix a bike flat
by Will Dean


So you’re riding along, minding your own business, maybe humming a tune, and suddenly every push of the pedal takes ages, and people are walking past you. Unless you have some kind of heart condition (in which case, please seek medical attention), your tire probably popped a flat. Don’t fret, though: Flats are quick and easy to fix with the right tools.
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Light 'Em If You've Got 'Em

How to recycle light bulbs
by Samantha Wittchen


With energy costs rising, switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save us money. It’ll soon be the law, too; beginning in 2012, incandescent bulbs will be banned by Congress. Whether you’re replacing your incandescent light bulbs with CFLs individually as they burn out or in one fell swoop, you’re still faced with the same problem: What do you do with your old light bulbs?
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How-To: Compost

Turn waste into black gold
by Will Dean


If you’re reading this magazine, you probably have at least have a vague idea of what composting is. The natural way to make nutritious (for plants, that is) fertilizer, composting was once a standard practice for every farmer, gardener and consumer.
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How-To: Urban Transplants

How to start heirloom veggies from seed
by Phil Forsyth


So you’ve been enjoying those orange, yellow, purple, green, striped, two-tone, cherry, plum, pear-shaped and downright unusual tomatoes from the farmer’s market. Then you get your hands on a seed catalog and the names call to you: Black From Tula, Golden Sunray, Aunt Ruby’s German Green. So how hard is it to grow these heirloom vegetables yourself?
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