Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day and Some Green Tips for Around the House

Happy Earth Day!  What are you doing today to celebrate?

Today I will begin mulching my yard with the leaf mulch that was kindly provided by my Township free of charge.  Talk about being thrifty!  But it is more than just that.  It is about using recycled materials that I know will be good for my garden and plants all summer.  Plus, I am not buying mulch in plastic bags that create more trash.  So this is really a win-win.

I hate weeds and I hate weeding.  I hate using chemicals in my garden, especially when plants are not off limits to my wandering toddler.  Here is a tip if you are going to be mulching soon and want to help decrease the amount of weeds in your garden.  My Mom and Aunt passed this great tip along to me and I have been using it for the last two years.

All you have to do is gather up old newspaper and place a layer or two down before you mulch for the season.  The newspaper will prevent the weeds from popping up, which is less work for you.  I found this article on that explains using newspaper in the garden in a bit more detail and why it works.

"Newspaper inks aren't the heavy petroleum-based problem they used to be, but be warned that there is still some petroleum being used in printing ink along with canola oil. As a result, you may want to go lighter on the use of recycled newspapers in the vegetable garden. This one is still up for debate since most authorities think there is no reason to be concerned. Your choice. Here are a number of ways you can recycle those newspapers -- in the edible garden or elsewhere in the landscape.

Use a thick covering of newspapers to kill of weeds and lawn you want to remove. Cutting off light and much of the air with newspaper is a good alternative to herbicides. If you want the area to look better during the process, hide the newspapers with a layer of mulch.

Continuing on with the mulch idea, use a moist layer of newspapers -- maybe three to four pages thick around garden plants. This will keep the soil warmer in the cool weather and cooler in the warm. It will also slow down evaporation so you need to water less. Cover the newspaper with a layer of soil or mulch. In time, the newspaper will break down and return to the soil leaving no trace behind."

Read more: How to Use Recycled Newspapers in the Garden |

If you are looking for some eco -friendly household tips, check out these tips:

Homemade Granite Counter Top Cleaner

Homemade Glass Cleaner

Eco-Friendly JAWS Cleaning System

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