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25 Things To Do On Earth Day

Posted on April 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM Comments comments (0)


Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day. Can you think of a few ways you can create an environmentally kind day?  Here are 25 things you can do:

  1. Turn down the temperature in your house.

  2. Buy local produce, if possible.

  3. Dine by candlelight tonight.

  4. Organize a neighbourhood cleanup with neighbours and then enjoy a potluck dinner.

  5. Shower instead of taking a bath.

  6. Close water taps while brushing your teeth.

  7. Don't buy anything you don't need.

  8. Gather up all those unused and outgrown toys and kids clothing and take them to a local shelter.

  9. Laundry only with a full tub.

  10. Hang up your laundry outside. Did you know that sunshine kills any leftover bacteria on your laundry?

  11. Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products

  12. Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water

  13. Collect all unused CDs, DVDs, books, and magazines and take them to a senior residence, shelter, or hospice.

  14. Start a front yard garden.

  15. If you don't have a front yard, you can still garden in pots.

  16. Take the bus, bike, or walk instead of using the car.

  17. Start composting your kitchen waste.

  18. Fix that leaky faucet and save money.

  19. Get a rain barrel for the garden.

  20. Use both sides any paper you are printing. 

  21. When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure.

  22. Go vegetarian or eat less meat today.

  23. Consider renting or borrowing tools and equipment that you seldom use. Talk to neighbours and friends about setting up a Tool Borrowing Club.

  24. Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash

  25. Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers

Recycled Grapevine Basket for Thanksgiving

Posted on October 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

It's the Thanksgiving weekend and I'm taking a little time off to come up with some more ideas for Hallowe'en. Keep tuned.

 

 

The basket is made from recycled yard waste - an old grapevine removed from the side of the house and turned the cuttings into this basket

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

My favourite Valentine

Posted on February 10, 2009 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

My most favourite Valentine that I still have after many, many years, is one that my late husband gave me. 



He traveled a lot in his work and one time on a trade mission to Alaska, he picked up this stone on a beach (yes, they have beaches there - mostly rocky) and carried it home in his onboard luggage. Luckily, there were no problems with security at airports back then. 


New Year's Resolution Detoxifying My Home

Posted on Comments comments (0)

One of the things that really bothered when I first moved into my flat was the use of smelly air purifiers in the hallways. I informed the management that the smell was making me feel sick and, to their credit, the purifiers were removed. This new year, I’ve started to think about using plants to help remove some of the airborne toxins.


I already know that some indoor plants are more effective than others. I read NASA's report about air-filtering plants and it lists the 50 best plants that to use to clean and purify the air indoors. In addition, having these plants will reduce airborne microbes and increase humidity.


Main Household Toxins


The most common household toxins that we have in our homes are:


 

  • Benzene 
  • Formaldahyde 
  • Trichloroethylene 
  • Xylene 
  • Ammonia 

 


Sound deadly, right? And they are. These chemicals are used in the manufacturing of synthetic substances, and materials and are off-gased from new materials for some time. Benzene can also be emitted from gas ranges during use, making some types of houseplants great for use in the kitchen.


The https://www.lovethegarden.com/community/fun-facts/nasa-guide-air-filtering-houseplants" target="_blank">Love the Garden website has a good summary of the NASA report as well as an excellent visual of the air filtering plants recommended by NASA.


Common Air Cleaning Plants for your Home


Some common plants that are on NASA’s list include the following:


 

  • Aloe Vera 
  • Bamboo Palm 
  • Boston Fern 
  • Chinese Evergreen 
  • Devil’s Ivy also called Golden Pothos/Money Plant 
  • English Ivy 
  • Eucalyptus 
  • Philodendron (Heart and Elephant’s Tongue) 
  • Snake Plant or Mother-in-law's Tongue 
  • Red-Edged Dragon Tree 
  • Spider Plant 
  • Weeping Fig

 


To read the full NASA report for all 50 air-filtering plants, click https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930073077.pdf" target="_blank">here.


Beneficial Houseplants That Don’t Need Sunlight


My flat faces north so I will need to get houseplants that do without direct sunlight and these include the following:


 

  • Devil’s Ivy 
  • Dracaena 
  • Creeping Fig 
  • Maidenhair or Boston Fern 
  • Prayer Plant 
  • Parlor Palm 
  • Peace Lily 
  • Philodendron 
  • Snake Plant or Mother-in-law’s Tongue 
  • Spider Plant

 

 


How Many Plants Will I Need?


NASA research recommends one potted plant per 100 square feet of indoor space. It’s important to note that many of these plants are toxic to many house pets, so be sure to check the toxicity levels on your greenery before bringing your into the home. Wikipedia provides an excellent chart that lists of what toxin each plant removes and which ones are toxic to your pets.


To view this chart, click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study" target="_blank">here.


Caring for Your Houseplants  


  • Don’t overwater your houseplants. 
  • Even if the indoor plant requires moist soil, be careful with watering. 
  • Avoid keeping the plant waterlogged all the time and reduce watering in winter. 
  • Fertilize your houseplants with all-purpose liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season, which is summer. 
  • Prune your plants regularly to maintain their desired shape and size. 
  • Clean the dust on the surface of leaves. 
  • Look out for pests, especially spider mites can be a major problem.