Weeding with Water
I am extremely picky when it comes to choosing the products we use to keep our lawn and garden looking good. Not only is it out of concern for our pets, but also out of concern for the environment in general. (Where those toxins run off to and what they effect is a whole other post of it’s own!)
Whenever possible, I try to use the most natural solution possible for keeping our yard in control. I recycle our compost by using it in our vegetable garden. We get rid of weeds like dandelions using our hands and sharp gardening tools. (Our backs don’t appreciate this, but the environment does!). And one other trick we’ve done for years is using water to kill weeds.
Yes, you heard me right. Water to kill weeds. The trick is designed for those little weeds and grass that sprout up between bricks and stones, and the water needs to be boiling. Certainly we don’t specifically boil water for this reason, but between all the corn on the cob that we eat and pasta we make, we are often boiling water for other reasons and rather than pour the leftover water down the drain, we put it to good use.
After removing the corn, pasta, artichoke, green beans, etc., carefully carry your pot of hot water to the brick or stone area in need of weeding. Pour the water on top and your done. Mother Earth (and not to mention you lower back and fingernails) will thank you!
Happy Earth Day!
By now, you have probably heard the phrase: “Think Globally. Act Locally.” We think Earth Day comes at a great time of year to embrace this mantra, especially when it comes to the food we eat. This Earth Day, we want to encourage our readers to get excited about the upcoming abundance of local foods that will be cropping up soon.
It’s that time of year when Farmers Markets are kicking off their summer season, and we suggest that your “Earth Day Resolution” includes visiting these markets on a regular basis to get to know your local foods, try some new ones, and actually meet the farmers in your area.
What to go a step further? Sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and have your very own farmer’s market delivered to your door (or available for pick-up). Search for one near you on LocalHarvest.org.
Having a Ball
As we have mentioned before, the most eco-friendly way to dry your clothes is to hang them outside in the sun. However, when there is snow on the ground or you are without a yard, line-drying is a bit difficult. For me, the next best thing are Dryer Balls. They are available in most stores and not only eliminate any of the ingredients that come with dryer sheets, but they also shorten drying time (which saves on energy) and “fluff up” the clothes you are drying (which means less ironing!).
It’s true that some are made from PVC, which is not an environmentally-friendly material, however you can also find some that are PVC-free (such as these from Nellie’s All-Natural) or you can make your own wool alternative. Some even say that tennis balls do the trick just as well.
Whatever material you choose, I definitely recommend giving dryer balls a try. You may be surprised to find that they will save you time, energy, money (on buying dryer sheets) and allergic reactions.
I know what you’re thinking… not another post about bringing your own bag! Alas, it’s true. I think a big reason that we keep coming back to this simple act is because it’s so easy to do! Perhaps the hardest part is remembering to take your bag with you. I’ll admit, I always have multiple bags on hand at the grocery store, but there are occasions when I make quick trip into Target, only to realize at checkout that I forgot my canvas bag in the car, resulting in trying to carry it all in my arms, awkwardly out to my car. However, all that has changed since being introduced to Joey Totes.
These little machine-washable totes fit EASILY into my favorite purse and are always on hand for any unexpected trips into a store. The pouch the bag comes in is actually attached TO THE TOTE, so that re-stuffing is a breeze. Then I just toss it back in my purse. No trips out to my car, no hanging it on the door knob. Thank you Joey Totes!
A popular argument I hear from people who don’t like to use natural cleaning products is that they don’t work as well as those with harsher chemicals. And lets face it, when it comes to certain things, you really want them to be clean. However, for those of you who trust in your natural ingredients, you can rest assured that you can be green AND clean.
A recent study from Consumer Testing Laboratories “proved that natural, plant-based products do clean just as well as chemicals – chemicals, such as phosphates, 1.4 dioxane, chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, and caustics, etc.” To prove this, the testing lab compared Cascade to the Wave® 2X Ultra – High Performance Auto Dishwasher Gel from Earth Friendly Products. “Both products were tested for their ability to remove a variety of soils from a set of identically soiled test dishes. Tests proved that both gel detergents performed well, removing all of the test soils. All of the test dishes, tumblers, and flatware were judged as comparable for spotting, filming, and soil removal following the dishwashing tests.” (Download the full PDF press release here.)
I decided to conduct my own test and got some of the Wave High Performance Dishwasher Gel. (I have been a long time fan of their Furniture Polish seen here.) As for the results, while I may not be a consumer testing expert, there was no visible difference to me. My husband (an occasional skeptic) even agreed that the dishes washed with the Earth Friendly Products were just as crystal clear and clean as when we use less natural products.
So if you are skeptical of how clean green products can be, I suggest you conduct your own study. You may just be pleasantly surprised how clean your house (and conscience) will be!
It is no doubt that the green trend is catching on. And while this does mean that there is an increase in “greenwashing“, it also means that long-time recognizable brands are offering solutions for those of use who choose the green route when possible.
One such brand is the popular backpack company, Osprey. As a long-time favorite of serious backpackers and casual travelers alike, I was very pleased to see when I was recently shopping for a daypack that Osprey offered a ReSource Series built almost entirely from recycled materials. Knowing this, I was more than eager to purchase a pack from a locally-owned store that carried it. Osprey’s environmental efforts are detailed on their site, and I have been very pleased with not only the quality of the backpack, but also the thought that was put into creating it.
So, as outdoor adventure weather approaches, consider your choices if you need to purchase any related gear. In addition to Osprey, you can also find other eco-friendly choices by Mountainsmith and Millet and even Keen, Kelty and The North Face.
Earth Day Indiana 2009
Earth Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean the events celebrating it are! If you are in the Indianapolis area, consider heading downtown tomorrow (Saturday) for Earth Day Indiana. Liz will be visiting from Columbus, and we are looking forward to attending the event together.
Happy Earth Day
Happy Earth Day from Green-Lemonade.com!
We thought rather than take the time to write a lengthy post about all the things you can do today and tomorrow, we would instead just encourage you to GET OUTSIDE and enjoy your surroundings. We hope that seeing all the elements in your environment that need to be protected will make you more likely to make steps to do just that!
Paint it Green
To say that I spend a lot of time in my office would be an understatement. So, when it came time to paint said office, I certainly wanted to choose a paint that was not only friendly to the environment, but also odorless, easy on the pocketbook and, I admit, convenient.
The paint that I found that met those criteria was Sherwin Williams Harmony interior latex paint. Even though TreeHugger.com has this product on Greenwash Watch, I was very happy to know that it uses a no-VOC formula and can say from personal experience that the lack of odor is significant compared to regular paint.
So if you are looking to do some painting in the future, don’t forget that there are lots of options out there to choose from that won’t leave you, or the environment, with a headache.
Note: If you are interested to see how our home office turned out, you can see a photo of it here.
Earth Hour 2009
From the pyramids to Paris, people around the world are shutting off their lights for Earth Hour 2009. Do your part and switch off your lights on Saturday night from 8:30-9:30 pm. Learn more about the movement at EarthHour.org.
Afraid of the dark? Look for others doing the same in your city. In you are in Indy, hang out with the gang from Green Piece Indy at South Bend Chocolate Cafe. Check out their site for more details.