Gail of Green Living

REcycle, REuse, REmodel…REpost!
October 28, 2011, 11:52 pm
Filed under: Green Building--Residential, Green Living | Tags: ,

Thank you, Target!

Thank you, Target for being a business encouraging green living!  As I walk into my Knollwood neighborhood Target, near the Medical Center,  I see their recycling bins for (1) cart wipes, (2) trash, (3) glass, plastic and aluminum, (4) plastic bags, and (5) MP3s, cellphones, and ink cartridges.  How handy is that?  If your apartment or neighborhood recycling system does not collect these items, bring them next time you shop.

And if you bring a reusable shopping bag, they will take 5 cents off your shopping total for each bag you bring.

Thanks again, Target!  What stores do you know that encourage green living?

Cleaners and Insecticides…from Herbs
October 15, 2011, 10:27 am
Filed under: Green Living | Tags: , ,

A new use for a blender or food-processor

This morning’s newspaper featured an article about using herbs to make housekeeping and insect control easier.  My July 12th post mentioned uses of vinegar, which can be used in so many green cleaning products and insecticides, too.  But today I learned why commercial cleaners so often include a lemon scent.  The citrus fragrance is great for insect control!  A great floor cleaner would be Murphy’s Oil Soap in a bucket of water, with citrus essential oils, such as lemongrass, citronella or eucalyptus added.  Adding lemon-scented oil to vinegar for cleaning windows is a great idea, too

Mealy moths in your pantry?  Put dried bay leaves in flour, dried beans, couscous or lentils.

To keep insects out of your greenhouse or garden, use an infusion of chili peppers and garlic Blend two to three peppers, a bulb of garlic and 2 cups of water.  Let it sit overnight, then strain it until only liquid remains.  Mix 2 tablespoons with 4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap in a spray bottle.  Use this to spray an infected plant up to three times, but you probably won’t need to do it more than once.

Tell me about your favorite green cleaning products and insecticides.

Talking about “No” Bugs!

Remember my post “Not Always Good Results”?  I thought I had lost the battle I was having with mealy bugs on my green bell pepper plant.

NOT my usual beautiful green bell pepper plant!

I thought I would remove all the leaves that were damaged by either my vinegar/water bug repellent or the bugs.  After that, I fed the plant with organic bone meal and epsom salts, alternating weeks.

Now, there are many healthy leaves as well as blooms and small peppers!  And there are no bugs (today anyway).  I even enjoyed one in a salad.

So don’t give up when bugs come to call on your organic garden!  Attention and patience can work to turn the situation around in your favor!

Share your success stories for insect control and organic gardening; I’d like to hear your story!

Medical Center Make-over

In July, Tom bought a house just east of the Medical Center that was built in 1940.  Some of the typical design features of that period include a pier and beam foundation, double sash wood windows, small tile in the bathroom floors, and trim around windows and doors that has detail.  This house did not have central air and heat, but an attic fan and window units.

The first improvement to the house is new windows, and what a difference new windows make!  These are insulated windows, double paned, single sash, and with screens.  The frames are made of a composite of wood and vinyl.  According to the window salesman, vinyl frames expand/retract quite a bit with temperature fluctuations.  Direct sunlight makes the expansion even greater.  After years of cycles, the argon between the panes will escape allowing in humid air.  The water eventually condenses and clouds the view.

On a beautiful fall day like today, you wonder why he needed the next step…air conditioning!  I’ll tell you about his great plan for an a/c next time.

What kind of green remodeling are you doing to bring real value to your home?