Public Gardens Day

May 11th is National Public Gardens Day. From more information check this out.

June 2, 2012 is National Trails Day

National Trails Day Celebrates the Nations Hiking trail system. Check this out for more information.

Starting with Seven in 2011- Debt Reduction

Starting with Seven in 2011 is a Series

that brings green living into your home life or personal life.  This series will give you choices to help bring about change, maybe even help you come up with some ideas of your own, which we would love to hear! You will see some ideas that you are familiar with but didn’t know where to start.  My idea is to leap in right where you are. Green living is not about perfection. It’s about finding natural common sense solutions to everyday situations. 

This week Jan. 10th… Starting with Seven in  2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Ways To Get Out Of Debt

  • consolidate all credit card debt and pay one payment a month
  • use cash for all purchases
  • look at all debt interest rates, call credit companies and see if they will reduce rate
  • look at creative ways to "find" money in your budget, eg: carpool 2x a week save gas money
  • cook meals in crockpot for dinner while you are at work and brown bag your lunch
  • get rid of extra "stuff" around your house by putting them up for sale on ebay or amazon.com, put your earnings toward debt reduction
  • take on a small part time job and put that weekly amount to debt reduction

Getting out of debt can be nerve racking. Write down a list of your credit card debts, medical bills, car bills, etc…Then put down the minimum amount you pay a month. Now look for ways to add small or large extra amounts to the card that has the largest interest rate. Most credit card debts have an automatic debt reduction calculator on their website. You can go in and put the amount of money you want to pay each month and the calculator will tell you how long it should take to clear that debt.

As soon as you pay off that debt roll over the money onto the next largest interest rate debt.  Be patient with yourself getting into debt didn’t happen overnight so getting out of debt won’t happen overnight. There are many other additions to this philosophy of reducing debt.

Some are common sense, shop the grocery circulars . Make up a menu for the week and stick with it. Go to the store only once a aweek. The main thing is to not get discouraged and if you fall off the horse today get back on tomorrow morning. The side effect’s of being debt free are peace of mind, a greener lifestyle with less stuff to purchase. That turns into green cash to save with more free time for yourself and family. Less headaches!

My ideas are in no way a substitute for a professional Doctor, Accountant, or Lawyer. They are my ideas on how to bring more green living in your life. Please seek a professional when needed.

NEXT IN SERIES

baby bottle sterilizer

Beat Bacteria with Baby Bottle Sterilizers

I’ll be honest. I have not used a baby bottle sterilizer. Not because I didn’t want to or don’t believe in them but I didn’t know they existed. In my defense I had twins and all I focused on was how quickly I could  put bottles together. For me, Playtex Nursers with drop inserts worked very well.  I used small ones and large ones. The ease of use was wonderful.  Line them up, drop in the inserts, fill them up, screw on nipples and lids then put them in the refrigerator. I did boil nipples and pacifiers in a little pot when they were infants. No, there was never a bottle left at the end of the day.

When I saw one of the baby bottle sterilizers I was curious. Why buy this contraption? Isn’t soap and hot water good enough? I asked my mom and she did use a baby bottle sterilizer when I was an infant.  In 1965 that was what was available. She didn’t have a dishwasher to clean baby bottles. So again, I ask myself why have this equipment in the kitchen? I did a little more digging.

This is what I came up with. You may have an infant that is premature or has health issues and you want to be positive that all bacteria and germs are killed. This is an excellent reason for utilizing a baby bottle sterilizer. Your pediatrician may agree and suggest this type of cleaning.  In addition, an infant’s immune system is especially vulnerable until after one year. Thrush and gastrointestinal upsets from a contaminated bottle can be avoided with proper baby bottle sterilization. It isn’t possible to protect your baby from all illnesses but you can prevent bacteria growth in a baby bottle.

With the concern about BPA contaminating plastic baby bottles, glass bottles have become popular again. Companys have been creating so many different glass bottle types that your choices are as wide as plastic. Glass should be sterilized, you can have soap residue left after washings, not very healthy for infants. Sterilized glass is also easy with a baby bottle sterilizer you put nipples, rings and bottles all in the same place and have them disinfected. You don’t have to run a separate dishwasher load, using a lot more electricity and water to clean the bottles therefore increasing your cost of having the baby. Sterilizing baby bottles is important if you are preparing bottles ahead of time.  The longer baby formula is left sitting out the greater chance it can breed bacteria. In a sterilized bottle you reduce your chances of contamination. Make sure after you’ve filled your bottles you keep them in the refrigerator until you use them.

Using the baby bottle sterilizer specifically made for your baby bottle will maximize the sterilization process. If there isn’t a sterilizer made for your type of baby bottle may I suggest the microwave steam sterilizer. They have become popular.

BPA is now found in womens breast milk, in the baby bottles we feed our infants and in the baby formula container liners. Are you concerned about decisions between plastic, glass or breast for your baby? Have you been listening to and reading all kinds of information about plastic BPA free baby bottles? Are you getting advice about glass baby bottles? How about your friends, have they chimed in on what is best for your infant?

Confused, frustrated? Lets clear that up.

In the last few years plastic baby bottles have been a subject of interest due to the additive BPA.  BPA is short for Bisphenol A. BPA is a chemical used in the manufacturing of certain plastics and resins. BPA has been classified as endocrine disruptor which can alter your bodies hormones. BPA made its appearance in the 1960′s. New moms loved the convience of plastic baby bottles. Letting go of the glass baby bottle meant no more accidental breakage and worrying someone would get hurt. The new baby bottle meant your child could feed himself easier and earlier.

BPA in baby bottles

The National Toxicology Program at the Department of Health and Human Services decided it has “some concern” about the possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.  The Food and Drug Administration has voiced concern and is also taking steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply by searching and finding alternatives to BPA in food containers and baby bottles. This way encouraging baby manufacturers  to make baby containers and bottles bpa free.

MayoClinic states that the benefits of breastmilk is well documented making this the optimal food for babies. I happen to agree. Unfortunately that doesn’t take away the secreted BPA through breastmilk. The only way to not have it in breastmilk, is to not ingest it. What that means for you, is don’t eat canned foods with BPA in the liner, no cooking with plastic in the microwave, don’t use any plastic with a 7 on the bottom. Trade in your plastic water bottle or aluminium bottle for a stainless or a bottle with no BPA on the label. It means being careful about the containers your food comes in. It’s an extra step but well worth the investment in your health and your child’s health.

Not everyone has the option to breastfeed so lets look to the next best thing.

Since the FDA got behind the motion to find safer sources of food storage, the baby bottle industry has been utilizing better baby bottle technology. The public has spoken and made an impression so economical lines such as Evenflo and Playtex all the way up to Browns and Avent bottles have created plastic BPA free bottles. What are the best baby bottles? That is going to be personal choice. There are so many to choose from. My suggestion is to try out the “one bottle package” of each bottle company you are interested in. Then invest in more baby bottles of your choice. Most stores carry this kind of trial package. If you can’t find what you want, contact the company via their website and ask them if they send out a trial one or where can you buy one.

Now this leaves us with the trusted glass baby bottle. I was fed with a glass baby bottle. I like the idea of glass. You don’t have to worry about BPA or any another additive in the manufacturing process. You don’t have to worry about chemicals leaching into the milk when heated up. They offer rubberized covers/holders so babies have something to grip and the baby bottle won’t be as slippery. Can it break, sure it can. My point of view is the risk is worth it when plastics have such a concern surrounding them. I have seen them in Whole Foods Market as well as online.

Compost: What is it?

compost and shovelCompost is the decompostition of any organic materials. Its that simple.  Composts are humus, which resembles topsoil is dark in color, peat like, has a crumbly texture and earthy odor. This end product has no physical resemblence to the original waste from which compost is created. Good quality compost has no weed seeds or organisms that may be pathogenic to humans, animals or plants. There are many uses for composted materials.  

 There are many reasons to create compost heaps. Insect control, disease control, fertilizer or just to have a place to put food and yard waste. 

Review Keys to a great Compost

How do you Compost:

There are many recipes for compost piles. These are a few essentials that are needed.  

  • Collect materials: Excellent materials for composting include garden waste, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, manure, newspapers, and sawdust. No animal scraps or oils. those will attract animals and slow decompostion. You can pile materials outside seperately or inside in a sealable 5 gallon pail. To control odors spinkle a bit of sawdust between layers.
  • Keep it small: You will need to cut down or shred your materials so more af the surface area is exposed to the decomposing organisms.
  • Different layers: You will need a space about 4′ wide on each side. You then begin to layer material in a ratio of 30 parts carbonaceous material(yellow, dry, plant, brown) to 1 part nitrogenous material(wet, green, or animal based- manure). Leaves, straw, paper and fresh grass clippings or manure.
  • Compost starter: When layering materials include a few shovefuls of soil or finished compost. If you don’t have healthy soil or compost available a commercial compost starter will supply the microorganisms.
  • Pile turning: You will use a garden fork to turn your pile every couple of days. If the pile seems dry add water. Your goal is to get the temperature to rise you want your compost pile to reach 160 degrees .
  • Knowing: You will know when the compost pile is done when the temperature drops and you don’t recognise any of the original ingredients.

Review About High Mountain Compost Ideas

Composting for Insects and Disease Control:

You can add compost to your soil and deliver an organic control for a variety of dirt-dwelling pests. When you improve the framework, moisture holding capacity, and nutrient content of the soil, compost encourages healthy, balanced populations of soil organisms. Many of these organisms control plant contaminates by feeding on them, parasitizing them, or starving them for food and water.  Sprays of tea made from mature compost act as a natural fungicides against early leaf blights, powdery mildew, and similar diseases by introducung competitive, beneficial microorganisms to infected plants. When compost is applied around plants as a thin layer of mulch,its benenficial microorganisms may benefit the lower sections of plants (when splashed up by rain) as well as the soil. 

Read Review on All Composters for Sale

Recipe for Compost Tea:

If your plants have disease and are weakened, a nice hit of compost tea might be just the thing! To make compost tea place 1 gallon of well-aged compost in a 5 gallon bucket and fill with water. Stir well and set in a warm place for three days. Filter the mixture through a screen or cheesecloth and return the solids to the compost pile. Place the strained water in a small sprayer or can. go around pinching off diseased leaves before applying compost tea to the plant. For best results use this treatment in the evening when leaves are likely to remain damp for several hours. You may have to apply more then once. Check plants every couple of days and repeat applications. 

Review of Best Selling Guide to Worm Composting

Why Compost?

We compost for different reasons. Some are personal. It could be, we want to leave the planet a better place. Organic gardening could be important to you and your family. Not wanting to poison the family pet. It is that simple. I know families that compost because it is a cheap effective way to get rid of household organic material and yard organic material. No bagging up leaves and grass clippings, using plastic or paper bags. Some believe it is the most effecient way to get rid of garden pests and plant diseases.

Whatever you believe you should have the correct tools and information to start off you compost pile.

 Compost Products Reviews

Compost Bins

All Composters for Sale

 

37U27YFHAJXP

How many times have you walked out the door with zero reusable bags in your hand?

You’re standing at the cash register and the cashier asks you if you have brought your reusable bags?

reusable bags

You say to yourself next time I’ll bring that bag with me. Then the cycle continues to repeat. You feel bad, then say next time and it never happens.  

Here are the tricks…

The secret to using reusable bags is repetition. Having a convienient bag on you at all times enables you to consistently use  reuseable bags over and over. Also, if you don’t bring your bags, put your items back in your cart and put them in your car one at a time. Doing that once or twice will gently help you remember your reuseable bags. It really is that simple.
Purchasing a reusable bag will help, first because you paid for it, second you picked out something you like. Knowing you are saving trees and other resources can help in this process. Doing something good will make you feel good.
What are your interests do you like sports teams, flowers, bold geometric patterns, nature scenes or a simple soothing color? Whatever pattern you are into, its out there! Reusable bags come in nylon pocket size, constructed burlap styling, recycled plastic bottles made into a bag or rolled up like a retro rain hat.
We also have reusable lunch bags created for kids, teens and adults. Paper sack style, handbag styling, or regular old fashioned luch box. Whatever style of recycled bags you are looking for the market has them. Are you looking for BPA free or plain cloth or nylon?  How are you doing your part to save resources and money? Again,it really is this simple.
If you are the creative type, make your own. Use whatever you have around the house or purchase fabric remnents at the local thrift store. You can make the sack bag or a structured bag. Look online for a pattern or go to the fabric store and purchase a reusable bag pattern. You will find lunch box patterns in with the reusable bag patterns. You have so many options with this so I say just go for it!

Respected reviews of reusable bags:

 

 Reusable Bags by Built NY     http://www.FansEdge.com

Repax Reusable Bags

 

Back to school is the perfect time to discuss “going green” in school and reinforce “being green” at home.

Kids already know there are many ways to help our environment, sometimes  everyday life can dilute the message, so Back to School is the opportune time to review:

Ways to help our environment:

  • Conserve water, such as turning off the water when brushing teeth. Use a cute egg timer. Make it a race.

  • Use reusable containers at lunch time or on field trips and make sure to pick up any trash after.

  • Combine Back to school trips, new shoes, pick up milk, new backpack, gas up the car.

  • Purchase as many supplies as you can from recycled materials. Create a back to school treasure hunt.

  • Double check lights are off when we leave the room.

  • Explain the 7 “R”‘s:

  • Recycle: make trash into new products

  • Reduse: decrease amount of purchases and trash thrown away.

  • Refuse: decrease amount of waste by not buying items with extra packaging.

  • Repurpose: reuse an item for things not intended for its original purpose.

  • Research: learn about environmentally friendly products.

  • Respond: share with others what you have learned about helping the environment.

  • Reuse: find new uses for things instead of throwing them away.

Look for recycled Back to School supplies at freecycle.org and craigslist.com

 

 Do you need more ideas on helping your kids go green?  

 

It's all over the news!

They have invaded department stores, government buildings, airports,

and

Now you have

 BED BUGS IN YOUR HOME!

You are probably thinking how am I going to get rid of these scary pests? How much scrubbing, vacuming, washing and  throwing away of items that are loved and have been part of your family home for years, not to mention:

How do I get rid of Bed Bugs without toxic chemicals? keep my kids and pets safe?

As you now know, Bed Bugs have made a come back.

Bed Bugs come in on clothing from hotel stays or suitcases. They love to hitch a ride.

Once in your home they get into spaces as small as the width of a credit card.

Think of all the nooks and crannys in your home the size of of a pin head.

How do you get into those spaces?

Bed Bugs can't be lured by bait.

They only eat blood from humans.  

Get a FREE trial of Bed Bug Bully Here 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Bed Bugs are here to stay!

For most people, bed bugs are more of a nuisance than a medical threat.

Humans are generally responsible for introducing

Bed Bugs into new areas and have a limited home range,

spreading slowly by themselves.

So with some diligence, you should be able to eliminate the infestation using an IPM approach.

First, thoroughly, focusing on the bedroom.

Look for signs of Bed Bugs,

for possible hiding places and for openings

that would allow them to enter your home.

Identify the insect.

Inspect the rooms.

Clean and get rid of clutter.

Use removal method that best fits your infestation

Learn everything you need to protect you and your family against bed bugs

Details about Bed Bug Prevention and Correction 


See www.solarlpower.com for more information on going green… just like that crackpot Ed Begley Jr. You don’t have to be a wierdo to build your own solar panels.

Hey, check out these auctions: [eba kw="green guide" num="2" ebcat="all"] Cool, arent they?

Hey, check out these auctions: [eba kw="green guide" num="2" ebcat="all"] Cool, arent they?

 Page 3 of 3 « 1  2  3