1. Crystal Deodorant: It’s All Natural, and It Actually Works!

    Posted on June 30, 2011 by Courtney

    I’ve tried a lot of the natural, aluminum-free deodorants out there. A LOT of them. If you’re wondering why we haven’t reviewed many of them here on The Greenists, it’s because we have a strict “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” policy — which is a nice way of saying most of them didn’t work out very well for me. I’ve developed a system in which I use the natural deodorant if I’m sticking around the house (which is often, since I work from home) and bust out the good old, toxic, could-run-a-marathon-and-still-smell-like-a-rose stuff whenever I’m going out.  Read more…

  2. The Upside of High Gas Prices

    Posted on June 29, 2011 by Courtney

    Look: No one likes paying a small fortune every time they need to fill up their vehicle. When I see prices approaching $4 per gallon, I’m right there with you, grumbling about the evil oil companies gouging us out of our hard-earned money.

    But once I’ve complained enough, I like to remind myself that there’s a silver lining to that cloud. When gas prices rise, the environment — in some ways — wins.  Read more…

  3. The Local Eating Challenge Begins!

    Posted on June 28, 2011 by Deborah

    An abundance of freshness from the farmers market

     

    My month of local eating begins on July 1, 2011. I’ll be posting regular updates on my blog, complete with recipes and tales of my search for local ingredients. Meanwhile, there’s still time for some of you to join me in this adventure. You don’t have to commit for the full month – try it for one week, one day, or even one meal.

    What’s the point of eating local? I hear some of you asking. Here are just a few of the reasons that persuaded me to try it. Read more…

  4. The Biggest Energy Hog in Your Home: The Cable Box?!

    Posted on June 27, 2011 by Courtney

    Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sirmikester/4497065770/

    Here’s one simple green upgrade I’ve made in my lifestyle: A few months ago, I started turning off the power strip that connects my TV, DVD player, video game console, and satellite receiver before going to bed every night. It’s a super easy thing to do, and the only (very slight) drawback is I have to wait about three minutes for the satellite receiver to fully power up the next time I want to watch TV. If you have cable, that probably wouldn’t even be an issue.

    Now, you may be thinking: But the stuff in my entertainment center isn’t sucking energy when it’s turned off, right? Wrong! Electronic equipment continues to use power as long as it’s plugged into an outlet. You may hear or see this referred to as “vampire power,” and a good way to keep it at bay is to use power strips for everything you plug in, then turn off the strip when you’re not using that thing. It didn’t take me long to figure that out after my satellite receiver was installed — I only had to put my hand near it to realize it was hot when it was on. Really hot. Like, can’t-touch-it-for-more-than-a-couple-seconds hot. I can feel the heat radiating outside the wooden entertainment unit that houses it. Anything that generates that much heat has to be sucking massive amounts of energy.  Read more…

  5. Worm Composting Week: Part 5, Harvesting

    Posted on June 24, 2011 by Jody

    Whether you’ve made your own bin, or purchased a worm bin set up, a good worm compost kit will have a spigot to drain off excess moisture, or a tray to collect it.  If you have a spigot, drain off the excess moisture from your bin to make sure the bin doesn’t get too wet, but keep the drained off liquid in a separate resealable container.  If you have a tray, just make sure to drain the tray on a regular basis and, again, keep the liquid in a separate resealable container.  It doesn’t hurt to leave the tray filled with water however it can evaporate and you are losing a valuable commodity: compost tea.

    Compost tea is the nutrient rich runoff from composting and can be used as a wonderful plant fertilizer/ additive.  Add the compost tea to your watering can and your plants can benefit from your compost even if they don’t get the soil itself. Read more…

  6. Worm Composting Week: Part 4, BUGS!

    Posted on June 23, 2011 by Jody

    image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sankax/3423629745/

    Chances are if you are making your worms happy in their worm bin, there are other bugs that would also find their home appealing and some of them might just move in.

    Millipedes and pill bugs actually eat the same things worms do and will happily coexist within a worm bin.  Generally, these “pests” are few and far between and a “live and let live” approach is probably the best approach in this case.  In more extreme cases, it may be necessary to “harvest” your compost and transfer the worms to a clean bin with fresh bedding but it isn’t likely to come to this. Read more…

  7. Worm Composting Week: Part 3, Caring for Your Worms

    Posted on June 22, 2011 by Jody

    So you have a compost bin and added worms, now what?

    Worms should be fed a vegetarian (or more likely, a vegan) diet.  Although worms can eat items like meat, they prefer not to and if they are fed meat the result will be a smelly bin making both you and the worms unhappy.

    However, worms do love most fruit and vegetable matter that comes out of a typical kitchen, items such as: banana peels, apple cores, tomato ends, carrot tops, spinach that has past its expiration date, lettuce hearts, pea pods, potato peels, and even fruit pits and watermelon seeds. Read more…

  8. Worm Composting Week: Part 2, Worm Composting Bins

    Posted on June 21, 2011 by Jody

    From our introduction yesterday, if you think worm composting might be something you are interested in there are all kinds of options available to get started.

    First, you’ll need a bin. Read more…

  9. Worm Composting Week: Part 1, Introduction to Worm Composting

    Posted on June 20, 2011 by Jody

    It’s worm composting week here on The Greenists!

    Stop by every day this week to learn about different aspects of worm composting from building your own to harvesting the results- but first, an introduction!

    For those of you unfamiliar with the idea, worm composting uses live worms to turn food waste into high-nutrient compost, also called worm castings.  Worm castings are highly valued by gardeners because not only does it include the nutrients you get from other forms of compost, but it also includes all kinds of microbes from the worm’s digestive tract that keep the soil healthy, help prevent many plant diseases, and store more water to help plants through dryer times.  Read more…

  10. A/V Fridays – Container Gardening

    Posted on June 17, 2011 by Allie

    Didn’t get a garden in the ground this year?  Get some containers and set up some simple salad bowl gardens on your patio!

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

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According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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