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Eco-Friendly Gardening

Mother Nature doesn’t rely on pesticides, weed killers and chemical fertilizers for her gardening and neither should you. Check out the tips below to keep your garden thriving while remaining eco-friendly:

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Credit: HGTV

Welcome Pest-Eating Bugs & Birds: Ladybugs and lacewings eat aphids that destroy crops and butterflies and bees are great pollinators, so be sure they feel welcome in your garden by planting plenty of bright flowers that they are drawn to such as candytuft, sunflowers and goldenrods. Rid your garden of even more plant-harming insects like slugs, snails, grubs and caterpillars by welcoming birds into your garden, too. Put up birdfeeders and nesting boxes to encourage them to visit.

Compost: Aside from stimulating healthy root development, the addition of rich and earthy compost also improves soil texture, aeration, and water retention. We recommend a mix of vegetable peeling, garden waste and fibrous woody brown material like paper or cardboard that provide the right conditions for encouraging compost-making bugs and in 6-9 months it will be ready to use.

Water with Care: Adding a rain barrel is an easy and inexpensive way to capture mineral and chlorine free water. Not only will you cut your water costs, but you will also reduce the storm water runoff that causes erosion and flooding. Also consider investing in a soaker hose or drip irrigation that use up to 50% less water than sprinklers.

Buy Eco-Friendly: Check out the abundance of environmentally friendly planters and garden kits now available – and admire your eco-genius handiwork while lounging on recycled lawn furniture.

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Easter Basket

Easter is around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing Easter baskets for your kiddos. Check out the tips below we spotted on Moms Going Green to make one that is eco-friendly:

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Credit: Moms Going Green

Basket:

-       Reusing your Easter basket year after year is an easy way to reduce waste.

-       For ambitious earth-lovers, consider making your own basket from paper, wool or traditional basket-making materials, depending on how crafty you are.

-       If you’re not a very craft-savvy individual, you can still keep it earth-friendly by purchasing a fair trade basket.

Grass:

-       Instead up wasting money and paper on Easter grass that will just be thrown away after the holiday, shred paper from old magazines. You can even reuse the shredded paper for shipping packages once Easter is over, for even less waste.

-       If you want more traditional Easter-looking grass for your basket, be sure to purchase natural or recyclable filler like raffia or Kraft shred.

-       Dedicated environmentalists should consider growing real grass inside their basket! Line your basket with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, fill it with soil and sprinkle a handful of wheat berries or rye grass. Keep it warm and moist and once it begins to sprout put it in the sunlight.

Eggs:

-       Make sure to purchase eggs that are local or organic.

-       Make your own dyes with ½ cup of water, 1 tbsp of vinegar and a few drops of food coloring and in just a few minutes your eggs will be their Easter appropriate shades.

Treats:

-       For candy, go with fair trade chocolate, organic lollipops or organic fruit snacks.

-       A pocket magnifying glass for examining bugs or leaves for your little adventurers will encourage your little ones to explore outside.

-       Books like Counting in the Garden, Guess How Much I Love You, Little Quack Music: Animal Playground are all great choices for kids.

On the Go: Green Transportation

  • posted April 5th, 2014
  • Green

Green transportation is not only good for the earth but can also be cost-efficient, healthy and relaxing. Check out the tips below for how to make the best of earth-friendly transportation:

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Credit: San Diego Green Transpiration

-       Public Transportation:

o   Apps: Most major cities have public transit apps for both iPhone and Android. If yours doesn’t, consider getting an app like iNextBus or Google Maps that have useful bus schedule tips and information – all you need to do is type in your current location and destination and let the apps tell you the best way to get there.

o   Bus Stops: Make sure you arrive at your stop early because public transpiration is not perfectly timed. It is also wise to check the weather before you leave so you are dressed properly and comfortably while you wait.

o   On the Ride: If you don’t feel like socializing with other commuters, noise-reducing headphones are an easy way to avoid unwanted social interaction. Make the ride even more enjoyable by doing whatever activity you like best – whether it be crossword puzzles, sudoku, podcasts or books. With all the people that pass through public transit everyday—and the germs that come with them—it is also a good idea to bring hand sanitizer with you.

-        Biking:

o   Attire: If your commute is longer than 20-30 minutes, you may be more comfortable in cycling shorts. If you are heading to work, consider bringing a change of clothes to your office the day before you ride or carry them with you in a backpack.

o   Gear: To ensure you are prepared for any accidents, protect your head by wearing a helmet.  If you are commuting in the early morning or late evening hours, wear reflective gear and put a flashing tail light on your bike.

-       Walking:

o   Attire: If you are walking to work, leave a pair of work appropriate shoes at the office so you can wear comfortable walking shoes on your trek.  If your walk is more than 20 minutes, consider wearing walking clothes and changing into your work clothes once you get there. Since you’ll be outside be sure to wear sunscreen and for extra protection, a hat. Carry your belongings in a backpack or messenger bag to help you keep a good walking form.

o   Apps: Your walking route may be different than driving, so use an app like Google Maps to find the best route. It can also be helpful to track how fast you walk and how long it takes you to get to your destination with an app like RunKeeper, so in the future you can plan for the appropriate amount of time it takes you to get to your destination.

 

Fragrance Your Home Naturally

To naturally enhance your home with healthy, delicious-smelling fragrances, check out these tips we spotted on GreenLiving:

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Credit: GreenLiving

-       Decorate Naturally: Choose fragrant foliage from your own garden (if you have one) for natural décor that smells just as nice as it looks. We recommend greenery that dries nicely such as lavender, sage, rosemary and evergreen tree foliage. While the greenery is still fresh, tightly wrap a bundle with twine and continue to add to the greenery and twine as you shape it into a circle, covering the twine with more greenery.

-       Beeswax Candles: Most candles contain toxic synthetic fragrance and are made with paraffin, which contains chemicals in its soot that are unsafe to inhale. Beeswax candles are a healthy and sustainable alternative. They give off a honey scent, don’t create the toxic soot and last about ten times longer than paraffin candles.

-       Essential Oils: Essential oils are the aromatic components of plants, making them the truly natural version of its fragrance. They are an ideal way to fragrance your home because they are non-toxic and often antibacterial. They can be used in the following ways 

o   Room Spray: Use a bottle with a spray nozzle, fill it with 2-10% amount of essential oils to water. If you want, add vodka (20%) to help the aromas dissipate slower.

o   Potpourri: Collect pinecones and pieces of bark, clean them off and let them dry. Drop essential oils onto them and place in a bowl or hurricane vase for a pleasant smelling home decoration.

o   Stovetop: Fill a pot of water and create a simmer on the stove. Add a few drops of essential oils and allow the scent to fill your home.

o   Cleaning: Add essential oils to your mop bucket, cloths and sponges. They are antiseptic and make your house smell fantastic.

 

How to Use TheFind to Create Your Eco-Friendly Kitchen

An eco-friendly kitchen is a great way to show some love to the environment while also saving some money. With TheFind, making your kitchen eco-friendly is easy:

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-       Search – Use TheFind app to search for stainless steel or cast iron cookware that will stand the test of time. Most new appliances these days have energy-efficient upgrades. Purchasing new appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens may seem pricey now, but they will save you some dough in the long run, making the eco-friendly alternatives worth the investment.

-       Narrow Results By Brand: With TheFind’s brand search you can limit your results to include only the top-of-the-line brands at the best prices available.

-       View Models in Nearby Stores: With TheFind’s location tool, you can check out the appliances in person before purchasing them by finding them in a store near you.

-       Find Lowest Price: If you find an item you like that isn’t discounted, save the product in your profile and TheFind’s Price Drop Alert feature will notify you when it goes on sale.

Be sure to use TheFind to purchase must-have additions online or find the best deals near you.

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Home Décor

Transform your home into a festive St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere with the below Irish-inspired décor ideas we spotted on Better Homes & Gardens:

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Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

-       Outside:

-       Inside:

  • Clover Mantel Decoration: This DIY mantel decoration is an easy way to add an Irish touch to your home. To make it, trace a clover shape onto a 1-inch thick piece of plastic foam and cut it out. Cover the shape with crinkled tissue paper to add texture and spray-paint the clover green. Once it’s dry, apply antique glaze to highlight the textured areas and secure your masterpiece to a framed piece of burlap with a bit of hot glue.
  • Green Glass Centerpiece: Gather a collection of green glass for an easy St. Patty’s Day table centerpiece. If your feeling extra crafty, adorn them with twists of copper wire or use the bottles as vases for stems of white flowers.

-       Table Décor:

Plant a Flower Day

Happy Plant a Flower Day! Today is the perfect day to get your green thumb on. Check out the tips and tools below so you are fully prepared to head to the garden:

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Credit: Examiner

-       Seedlings: Planting a packet of seeds is an easy and cost efficient way to spruce up your garden. For beginners, some easy-to-maintain seeds include Sunflowers, Marigolds, Cosmos and Morning Glories for outdoors and Cleomes, Coleus, Snapdragons and Petunias for indoors.

-       Gardening Tools: Aside from the basics, there are several other cool and effective tools that can greatly enhance your gardening experience.

  • Hori-Hori Knife: Traditionally used in Japan for digging bonsai trees, hori-hori knives have a straight, sharp blade perfect for many garden tasks, from weeding to cutting roots and planting.
  • Ho-Mi: This versatile garden hand tool has a sharp, curved blade with three different interchangeable blade and handle options. Its ho-mi digger’s shape is perfect for gardening tasks such as digging, transplanting, loosening soil around plants and weeding.
  • Woodman’s Pal: The Woodman’s Pal tool is excellent for clearing a patch of your land for gardening or getting rid of overgrowth. Originally used by the Army, the tool is like an ax and a machete fused together, with a hooked blade at the tip for rooting and clearing.

-       Gear: Be sure to dress the part with gardening gloves, kneepads and a gardening hat.

-       Books: If Plant a Flower Day has inspired you to become an expert, there are many books that can help you master the art of gardening. Some of the most highly rated include Down the Garden Path, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education and Onward and Upward in the Garden.

Advanced Mineral Makeup: Naturally Good For Your Skin

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Credit: AdvancedMineralMakeup

Every woman’s desire is to look beautiful naturally but many women feel more comfortable enhancing their beauty with makeup.  With Advanced Mineral Makeup it can be done naturally!  Made with ultra-refined all-natural minerals, this line of makeup offers a wide range of products suitable for all skin tones and types.  The line includes:

  • Loose Powder Foundation — If there’s just one product to use, this is it.  This 4-in-1 product can be used as a powder, foundation, concealer and sunscreen (SPF 30)
  • Perfecting Concealer — Need some extra help with dark eye circles? This product effectively conceals dark circles and puffiness without caking or drying.
  • Liquid Mineral Foundation — Available in 7 shades, the product stimulates cell growth and rejuvenates tired skin while providing luminous coverage.
  • Pressed Powder Compact — Similar to the loose powder, this is also a 4-in-1 product for on-the-go touch-ups.

Advanced Mineral products are available in dermatologist offices and high-end spas and have been used by makeup artists on the set of Grey’s Anatomy and NSIS.  Enhance your natural beauty naturally with Advanced Mineral Makeup.

 

Reduce Your Water Consumption

Reducing water consumption is not only good for the earth but also for your household utility budget. With these tools we spotted on eartheasy, cutting down your H2O use is surprisingly easy.

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Credit: eco-h20

-       Water-Saving Showerheads: These eco-friendly showerheads are inexpensive and easy to install. The “low-flow” quality means they use less than 2.5 gallons per minute, as apposed to 5-10 gallons like regular showerheads. In addition, installing a ShowerStart showerhead or ShowerStart converter to your existing showerheads will automatically pause a running shower once it gets warm, reducing wasted hot water and also indicating when the water has reached your desired temperature.

-       Low Faucet Aerators: Making sure your faucets are all equipped with low flow aerators is another cheap and easy way to make sure you are conserving as much water as you can. Simply screw the aerators onto the faucet head to save your water consumption and reduce your water heating energy cost by up to 50%.

-        Sensor Kitchen Faucets: Not only is installing a sensor kitchen faucet convenient for you but it also helps you save water. The sensor means that you no longer have to turn the taps on and off when rinsing dishes—water flow turns off as soon as you step away from the sink.

-       Toilets: Consider purchasing a low flush toilet, which uses 1-2 gallons per flush instead of the usual 3-5 gallons. However, if you don’t want to splurge on a new toilet, there are still tools to help you cut back. Installing an inexpensive tank bank can save up to .8 gallons per flush or purchase an adjustable toilet flapper that allows for an adjustment per flush, so that users can adjust the flush rate to the minimum per flush setting.

-       Pipes: Simply checking for leaks with a water-meter is an important way to make sure you are not wasting water unnecessarily. Additionally, insulating your pipes with pre-slit foam is simple, inexpensive and will get you hot water faster while avoiding wasting water while it heats up.

Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Cards & Gifts

  • posted February 8th, 2014
  • Green

Show some love to the earth, too, this Valentine’s Day with eco-friendly cards and gifts. We’ve listed some tips and ideas below to help make your Valentine’s Day a little more green. 

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Credit: Good Housekeeping 

-       Organic and Fair Trade Chocolate: Chocolate is a necessity on Valentine’s Day. However, conventional chocolate production isn’t good for the earth—it fuels wars in Africa, engulfs rain forests, spreads toxic pesticides and pays meager wages to workers. But don’t worry; you can still keep the chocolate tradition without contributing to the damage by purchasing organic and fair trade chocolate. These chocolates not only support sustainable agriculture but also worker’s rights and well-being, proving to taste just as sweet while leaving you feeling guilt-free.

-       Eco-Friendly Cards: Consider skipping the card and instead write with chalk on the sidewalk outside of your Valentine’s home. Chalk is natural and allows you to avoid wasting paper for a one-time use, plus the message is an unexpected and unique surprise your sweetheart will love. If you do decide to go with a card, make sure your card is still earth friendly by purchasing a Valentine’s Day card made with recycled paper or save some money and make your own personalized card out of recycled cardstock. For family and friends, consider making an animated e-card with software like Anime Studio by Smith Micro.

-        Jewelry: Jewelry is a Valentine’s Day gift staple, but unfortunately precious metals and stones are often extracted at a high cost to the environment. For a green alternative, try buying antique jewelry to avoid the use of newly mined natural resources. For another unique option, consider buying jewelry made from recycled objects.