Aug 18th – Attend a community event today.

With it still being summer, there are a lot of great community events for people to get out of the house and attend.

There are many great benefits to becoming involved in your local community.  Much like getting to know your neighbors, it builds better, more positive and safer communities; provides the opportunity to learn about other cultures, as well as your own; and can create new relationships, networks and friends.

Aug 15th – Green your toilet paper habits, use 3 or less sheets per wipe, today (yes, this is definitely TMI!).

Could there be a more lovely topic to consider than toilet paper?  It certainly is a personal one, and quite honestly, is nearly as essential in our culture as food, though rarely discussed.

All toilet papers are made different, so limiting yourself to 3 panels may or may not be do-able based on the make of the toilet paper.  However, if you fold the paper down into quarters it will do more for you.  As well, stick with non-chlorine bleached paper, and preferably recycled if possible.

Can’t wait to see my kids do this one today… giving up the 45 extra sheets they seem to think are required for their toilet hygiene.

I also ran across an article by Lori Popkewitz from GroovyGreenLiving.com on additional ideas on greening your toilet paper habits…

  1. Use recycled toilet paper. I know what you’re thinking, but no worries the recycled toilet paper is made from recycled paper NOT recycled toilet paper! The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) says that if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 treesNot only will we save trees-we’ll also save water and cut back on paper waste that continues to fill our overflowing landfills.
  2. Don’t use toilet paper that’s been bleached with chlorine.  White doesn’t necessarily mean bleached-there are other ways to whiten toilet paper. Look for products that are chlorine free.
  3. Count your squares. Be aware of how much you are using.  According to TreeHugger there is actually a right and wrong way to load your toilet paper onto the holder. If you stick to the “right” way (with the sheets coming over the top of the roll) you will waste less paper. Who knew??
  4. Don’t buy toilet paper that’s individually wrapped. Those individually wrapped rolls produce a lot of extra waste. Try to buy your toilet paper in bulk-there is much less packaging waste.
  5. Make sure the toilet paper has no added dyes and fragrances.

Aug 14th – Get rid of ants the natural, non-toxic way, without pesticides, today.

It’s that time of year when the ants come marching in one by one ;).  Here are a few ways from WikiHow on how to kill them without pesticides…

  • Spray ants with vinegar water. The low Ph kills them without damaging most furniture.
  • Sticky tape. When you see an ant, place the sticky tape over it and use your fingers to squash it beneath the tape. The ant’s carcass will be stuck on the sticky tape, so it will be clean. Repeat until tape is no longer sticky.
  • Feed them corn meal. They take it back to their nest and feast on it, but since they can’t digest it, it eventually kills them. Corn meal won’t harm children or pets.
  • Follow the ant trails back to their source. This might lead you through some unexpected places, but once you find the anthill(s), you can attack the root of the problem.  If you’d prefer not to hurt the ants, spread pureed orange peels in and around the anthills. They dislike citrus and might relocate on their own.
  • Squash ants with your fingers. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards, especially since many ants stink.  [unfortunately this is my personal daily approach!]

Ideas on preventing the problem:

  • Look for areas of your house that might serve as entrances for ants. These include cracks, holes, windows, and pet doors. These are often good locations to use one of the prevention techniques described below.
  • Sprinkle salt on flat surfaces. This is a great way to keep ants off of windowsills.
  • Draw barriers using chalk. The chalk will stick to vertical surfaces like walls and doorjambs. Ants don’t like the calcium carbonate in chalk and will steer clear of it.
  • Squirt lemon juice along outdoor edges. This will keep the inside of your house from getting sticky but deter ants with a strong citrus smell.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper out of the reach of animals. Spreading pepper along cracks and crevices will keep ants at bay, but be sure your pets won’t be able to lick or sniff it.
  • Spray vinegar water over larger surfaces. This will handy in places where using lots of powder won’t be efficient.
  • Spread pureed orange peels around the foundation of your home. Again, ants aren’t fond of the smell of citrus.
  • Smear petroleum jelly along edges. This is a great way to keep ants out of your pets’ bowls.

Aug 10th – Consider a camping trip, get up close with the out-of-doors, today.

If taking a full camping trip is not in the cards for you at the moment, consider setting up a tent in the backyard and snooze under the stars.  No tent?  At least take a night to spend time some time and gaze at the starry sky and remember why there is nothing like experiencing a clear night… with clean air ;).