Great strategies for preventing bug bites this summer

Child in the grass, photo by Az Jade, flickr

photo by Az Jade, flickr

Just came across some fascinating information about how to prevent those nasty bug bites that can really get in the way of enjoying your outdoor fun this year – be it gardening, hiking or just enjoying the backyard.  With the growing concern about West Nile virus and other bug bite related illnesses, a big “thank you” to Nanny Websites” for this great information.

Who knew that using cider vinegar or vanilla could be a natural repellent? There are a lot of other useful tips here, so be sure to check them out.

Potential Plastic bag ban fails in California

photo by Sascha W., flickr

photo by Sascha W., flickr

The story just broke. The California Senate has rejected a ban on single use plastic bags.

The usual arguments were made, particularly that jobs would disappear if the bill passed. The one ray of light here is that The bill will be allowed to be reconsidered, meaning it could be back before a Senate committee or the Senate floor. But given that the Senate has been the stumbling block in the past (the Assembly passed a similar bill last year), one wonders if it will have any chance the next time around.

You can read the details of the story here.

Urban Gardening for Dummies – a great resource to grow a green(er) thumb

9781118340356 cover.inddWith escalating food prices and growing concerns about food safety, more consumers are turning to gardening. Whether living in an apartment in a large city or a suburban home, gardening and sustainable living are becoming popular.

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Help counteract deoforestation

The following is a guest post from David Milarch

Milarch visited the Lost Forest of old growth sequoias shown here

Milarch visited the Lost Forest of old growth sequoias shown here

Our old growth forests are under tremendous stress/ When the oldest and most iconic of these trees are replanted around the globe in living archival libraries, their genetics can be saved for future study. Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is a non-profit organization that collects cuttings from ancient, iconic, and environmentally critical trees, propagates these cuttings, and replants identical copies of these trees to help reforest the Earth.

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Updates on sunscreens – still unfounded claims

Sunscreens

Sunscreen safety hasn’t improved since the FDA set new rules on advertising in 2011. photo by Joe Shlabotnik, flickr

The past few years there have been studies on sunscreens and the news hasn’t been great. A myriad of false marketing claims have led consumers into a false sense of security about protection from harmful UV rays.

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A safer, non-toxic canned air system

02 Hurricane  Canless Air System cleaning a  keyboard

The O2 Hurricane Canless Air System really is air, not canned compressed toxic chemicals

Spring has quickly morphed into summer-like weather and many of us are pulling out window and revolving fans to get them ready to stave off the coming sweltering heat. In my own efforts, I discovered that though stored well, an annoying a layer of dust had accumulated inside my fans.

Recently, I came across a device that’s saved me from my annual take-apart-and-clean-the-fans ritual.

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The nightmare with shrink wrap labels on recyclables

Plastic bottlesAs more consumers are getting the message and upping their recycling efforts, plastic recyclers are facing a different, more challenging issue – the use of full shrink wrap labels by manufacturers on otherwise recyclable containers.

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Up your awareness of what’s happening to our oceans

Plastic ocean trash

Here’s a fascinating video that shows what humans are contributing to our oceans.  Simple yet graphic. And worth viewing.

 

 

Preventing more plastic in our oceans is everyone’s business – and it’s really not hard to do, is it?

Special Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – Gifts that make a Difference

Mala Collective necklace

Jewelry from Bali from the Mala Collective

Gifts from the heart come in all shapes, sizes and wrappings. Those that give back hold a special place in my heart. Even though by the time you read this the gifts have probably been given, as today is Mother’s Day, there are still “gift” ideas that you – or she – may want to take advantage of. For those who’ve forgotten it\s mom’s special day, there’s still time to do something she’ll appreciate.

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Celebrate the start of International Compost Week

The winner of this year's poster contest

This year’s Composting Council poster contest winner – from Michigan junior high school student Jennifer Tigani,

Today marks the beginning of International Compost Week. Launched 13 years ago by the U.S. Composting Council, International Compost Awareness Week was designed to bring positive attention to the possibilities that composting can provide to communities. It showcases composting and compost products through special events, presentations and giveaways by communities and public and private organizations.

Celebrated each year the first week of May, “ICAW is the longest running community based awareness campaign about compost in the World,” says Rod Tyler, CEO of Filtrexx International LLC.

You can learn more about events, sponsors and ways you can participate at CompostingCouncil.org.