Saturday, December 31, 2011
Many foods and spirits can be used as green alternatives to conventional household and personal care products.
Many foods and spirits can be used as green alternatives to conventional household and personal care products. Below are some ideas sent to me from a couple of readers. Cucumber is a nutritious vegetable with many more medicinal uses than listed here. Vodka has the same antiseptic properties as rubbing alcohol. It’s expensive, but in a pinch you can: This New Year’s, make it a resolution to not just drink vodka, but clean with it too! Vodka information compiled from THISOLDHOUSE.COM (Jan/Feb.2012). Cucumber information compiled from: www.cropking.com/cucumberbenefit For more green tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Exposure to cold germs is inevitable and most people get at least one or two colds per year. Besides following a healthy diet to maintain a strong immune system, the key is to attack it with natural remedies the minute you feel those initial symptoms.
Exposure to cold germs is inevitable and most people get at least one or two colds per year. My husband and I recently felt the symptoms of the common cold coming on--scratchy throat, sneezing, slight headache, runny nose--and we stopped it dead in its tracks. Besides following a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to maintain a strong immune system, the key is to attack it with natural remedies the minute you feel those initial symptoms. The first thing I do is take Coldcalm, a homeopathic medicine you can buy at CVS. Follow the directions exactly. I also take extra Vitamin C (from supplements and Vitamin C rich foods) and Echinacea to boost my immune system. American Indians chewed Echinacea root for centuries to treat colds …
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Need an unusual and green holiday gift idea? Consider giving organic or natural fiber sheets and blankets.
- PATCH'S HOUSE & HOME
- Betsy Wild
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Need an unusual and green holiday gift idea? Consider giving organic or natural fiber sheets and blankets. We spend one third of our life sleeping, so go for the healthier option. Permanent press, easy care, no iron and cotton/polyester blends have usually been treated with formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer, asthma and other ailments. Some sheets are labeled formaldehyde-free, but most do not indicate whether or not they contain formaldehyde. Conventional cotton is often bleached and treated with dyes and is one of the most heavily sprayed products, accounting for up to 25 percent of insecticides used worldwide. Organic cotton, linen, hemp or bamboo are all natural alternatives free of toxic chemicals, minimizing environmental…
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Columnist offers ideas for trying to repel rodents rather than going for the kill.
A recent article in the Boston Globe entitled, “Where did all the acorns go?” by David Abel, maintains that acorns have all but disappeared this fall, a phenomenon that affects the ecosystem, devastating everything from chipmunks to owls, with mice, chipmunks and squirrels most affected. Typically, a mature oak tree will produce about 250 pounds of acorns, serving as seeds for saplings and food for rodents and other animals. The oaks this year have each produced less than half a pound of acorns. Whether this explains the increase of mice indoors or not, no one wants them in their homes. Rather than use a toxin to kill them and deal with their smelling, decomposing bodies, I prefer repellent techniques. A cat is the most likely solution, …
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural states in order to extend their shelf life. They are often poor quality and usually cheap.
Processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural states in order to extend their shelf life. Many foods that come in a box, can, bag or carton are processed. They are often poor quality and usually cheap. About 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is used to buy “edible foodlike substances” as Michael Pollen, author of "The Omnivore’s Dilemma," calls them. Processed foods have been implicated in most of today’s chronic diseases and health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. What makes processed foods so bad? Many processed foods contain trans fats (or hydrogenated), a dangerous type of fat that raises the bad cholesterol and lowers the good. Most processed foods are extremely high…
Sunday, November 27, 2011
In these tough economic times, with so many Americans unemployed, consider buying “Made in America” products.
The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping. In these tough economic times, with so many Americans unemployed, consider buying “Made in America” products. American manufacturing companies have been especially affected by the economic downturn, and it’s important for each of us to do what we can to help turn this around. Most of our home goods, clothes, shoes, appliances, computers, trinkets, etc. are made in China and other countries. We buy them because not only are they often the only option but also they are cheaper. At what cost, however? Lost jobs here in America? Products made in sweatshops using child labor and unfair labor practices? Poor quality? Listed below are several Web sites with…
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Green Tips columnist Betsy Wild shares some ideas on her blog for being more eco-friendly this Turkey Day.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
An interesting new eco-friendly phenomenon is happening with wine by the glass, as restaurants are starting to serve wine on tap.
An interesting new eco-friendly phenomenon is happening with wine by the glass. Restaurants are starting to serve wine on tap. Wine-by-the-keg has been around for at least a decade in the United States and abroad (I actually bottled my own wine from a keg when I lived in France in 1982), and restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta, New York and Detroit are doing it. With keg wine, wineries save money on production, packaging and shipping costs, by reducing the need for bottles, labels, corks, capsules, cardboard boxes, storage area, etc. These cost savings can be ultimately passed on to the consumer. Ecologically, the carbon footprint of the winery is greatly reduced. Keg wine provides ecological and cost savings …
Sunday, November 13, 2011
In this era of planned obsolescence with cheap, made-in-China everything, appliance repair shops and handymen have all but disappeared—but many items can still be found online.
For years I wanted a blender that you simply turn on and off, like the kind I remembered having as a child. I was tired of the plastic, LED readout variety with so many different blending options. All those options seemed to do the same thing, and the blenders broke often. I finally found a good, solid old-fashioned Waring Blender. I work my blender hard with chock-filled smoothies every morning, homemade soups and other liquefied food items, and even my Waring blender had a part wear out. I didn’t want to buy a new one because basically it still worked. I wanted to replace the part that broke. When I was growing up, small appliance repair shops were common. In this era of planned obsolescence with cheap, made-in-China everything, …
Saturday, November 5, 2011
If you think about the number of dishes we do per day, week, month, year, you realize just how much water is consumed. And most of us don’t do the dishes correctly.
It took my husband and me a long time to work out the “greener” way to do the dishes (old habits die hard). If you think about the number of dishes we do per day, week, month, year, you realize just how much water is consumed. And most of us don’t do the dishes correctly. Do you keep the water running as you rinse your dishes and load them into the dishwasher? You’ll save a lot of money and conserve water simply by turning off the water as you load. Do you rinse the dishes so thoroughly before putting them into the dishwasher that they are practically clean? (That’s what my husband does. I'm not complaining—at least he does the dishes!) The energy efficient dishwashers of today really don’t require much rinsing. They also use less water …