How To Do Your Own Pest Control With Non-Toxic Solutions

Many of you are asking how to do your own pest control with non-toxic solutions, and believe it or not, there are many to choose from. I wrote a post previously talking about the most natural and non-deadly pest control form there is. This is done leaving no use of chemicals to pollute our Earth nor our bodies whatsoever. It was written in a humorous context but the general idea remains intact. I said I would do a review on some other products that you can try and so I’ve put together some information on a few of them that get my vote. These take very little effort on your part to maintain your ideals for greener and sustainable living. There are quite a large number of companies that sell such things, more than I expected, so have a read of this article and take a look around. You might be surprised at what is available nowadays.

 

Here Is But A Few!

 

 

How To Do Your Own Pest Control

Non-Toxic Cockroach Trap

The Cockroach Trap, Simple Yet Effective

 

This trap is non-toxic, therefore safe to use near food and surfaces, and based on using a natural attractant to lure cockroaches on to the trap to get stuck on the sticky base and die. Using this method over a long term can help reduce infestations and get them under control.

 

Pest Hidey Holes Are Targeted

 

These traps are best placed in areas where cockroaches love to live and breed, such as warm, dark places that are close to a food and water source for them. Under the kitchen or bathroom sink is a perfect little hidey-hole for them so placing the traps here will reduce instances and rid your home of these yucky little nasties. Along the walls and water pipes are a good area to place the traps as well.

 

Multiple Traps Per Packet and Only $8.95USD

 

Each packet contains 6 traps, each lasting approximately 2 months, however if full they should be replaced more frequently to ensure smooth eradication. The beauty of these is that they can easily be picked up and thrown in the garbage without the need to touch the dead bugs. They are pesticide free and do not require any liquid that makes a mess or causes damage to our homes. Once you have the infestation under control, you won’t need to purchase as regularly.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth – Commonly Known As Insect Dust

 

How-To-Do-Your-Own-Pest-Control

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth aka insect dust

This special dust is made from diatoms, fossilised algae that is made into a chalky type of powder that clings to the bodies of bugs as they crawl over it. Because the algae is a hard-shelled organism, the particles produced by the diatoms are very sharp and small and dig through the exoskeletons of insects etc, to cause them to dehydrate and die within 48 hours. This means that the method for killing the insects is a mechanical method rather than chemical.

 

Safe, Easy To Use, Effective On Many Types Of Insects

 

Diatomaceous Earth can be used on all kinds of insects and spiders, including many more common household pests, making this dust a very versatile and effective pest control process. Simply sprinkle the dust in areas that you have seen insects and leave for a few days before cleaning up. This product is safe enough to rub into your pets fur and cause no problems, but it will definitely cause some for the pesky bugs. It is also possible to sprinkle on carpets and leave until the next vacuuming day because it is non-toxic and won’t harm pets or humans.

 

Livestock Can Become Pest Free Using This, Cheap at $16.95USD

 

If you live on a farm or homestead with livestock, you can even dust the coats of your animals with the earth. You can also put it into their food to help get rid of parasites, and also flies can be reduced due to maggots being killed as they try to eat the dung that has been ejected by the animal that was fed the Diatomaceous Earth. This is VERY IMPORTANT – Please take care to use the food grade diatomaceous earth.

 

 

DynaZap Extendable Insect Zapper

 

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Non-Toxic Products Including Pest Control Options

How To Do Own Pest Control

Zap Them Thar Critters!

If you are definitely not an insect lover and not interested in keeping the bugs alive, here is a fly swatter with a difference. The DynaZap, pictured on the left here, is one way to rid yourself of household pests.

 

Electrocution Is The Way

 

The flat part of the DynaZap is the part that becomes electrified so that when you swat an insect, it instantly  electrocutes it.

 

Extendable And Affordable at $14.95USD

 

The zapper has an extendable handle for easy usage and those hard to reach places. It can extend up to 3ft and can be angled up to 90 degrees. It requires 2 AA size batteries to operate. To save on costs and reduce waste, please look into using rechargeable batteries.

 

Lightweight and Useful For A Variety Of Bugs

 

It is lightweight so that if it does need to be extended it is still manageable. It can be used for flies, mosquitoes and even wasps if you want to get close enough, and many others. I know quite a number of unwelcome guests in my home that may get a taste of this little device. I’m particularly not fond of spiders and cockroaches, but when mosquitoes enter my house they have to go. They love me for some reason, but I definitely do NOT love them in return.

 

Bug Off Instant Screen Door

How-To-Do-Own-Pest-Control

Bug Off Screen Door

This would have to be one of my favourite options because it means that it keeps the insects out without having to remove them or kill them. I would much prefer to live a life of allowing insects to survive in their natural environments, but when they come into my own environment, I don’t wish to share with them. Out they must go. I mentioned this door in a previous article but wanted to give more information here.

 

Very Easy To Use

 

Installation is simple, you place the bar at the top of the door frame and extend to fit. This door is magnetic so that it easily snaps back into place once you have walked through it. The magnets are sewn along the length of the closing section and the door is weighted to keep things in place. While there are quite a few standard sizes, I would recommend checking out the dimensions prior to ordering, just in case your door happens to be longer than the length of these screen door options. If the screen is shorter, you may wish to place something at the base to help prevent insects crawling in under the door, or flying underneath. One of those sand sausages that are made to keep out drafts might do the trick. Perhaps you can sew, tape or glue a small flap on the bottom to cover that area too.

 

The Door Is Hands-Free, Cheapest Door You Will Buy For Only $34.95USD

 

You don’t need to worry about needing hands to open the door, you can push through and it just snaps shut behind you. Meaning it is great to allow a much needed breeze on hot summer days and nights, without the fear of creepy crawlies getting inside. If you have pets, they can get in and out without you having to open the door for them, and having parties and BBQs are no problem at all.

 

It’s Not Permanent

 

If you prefer, you can use it only during the seasons that insects are more prevalent and take it down during the seasons where there is less risk of insects bothering you inside the home. In Australia, insects tend to be an all year round problem, however mosquitoes and flies are more regular visitors during our summer months. When you take the screen down, it rolls up neatly for easy storage. This also makes it easy to take away with you on holidays in case you have need of it while staying in a cabin, motor home or apartment. And you can quickly put it up and down whenever you have need of it.

 

I hope you have found some answers here to the burning question of how to do your own pest control without the use of toxic and dangerous chemicals. There are of course, some home made solutions available to you also, which I will leave for another article, but if you are pressed for time, or simply not that way inclined to do it yourself, these are a great place to start.

 

Thank you for reading

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 

 

How To Save The Trees? – Start Small And Make Better Choices

How to save the trees

A Simple Happy Birthday Card Used & Re-Used Year After Year After Year

The question of how to save the trees, and the recycling of paper is something everyone is well aware of. But what simple actions can we take to make a difference to the need to harvest so many trees? Can we make better choices in our day to day living and take small steps in a variety of ways to lessen the number of trees needed and therefore reduce the number cut down? If the majority of people were to do these actions there would be a larger scale impact.

 

Do We Absolutely Need To Cut Down Trees To Make Paper? I Think Not!

 

While there are many ways to work towards saving the trees idea, this article touches upon just one area. The trees that are cut down to meet the demand for paper. If we were to cut down our usage of paper and paper products, we could effectively reduce the number of trees required to be harvested and processed, and also reduce the carbon load on the environment because there would be less damage caused by manufacturing companies as well. I know it is not news to you about reducing paper usage, but I do feel we need to be reminded every now and then. Here is one just idea for the reduction of paper usage and also some ideas for other paper options!

A Tale Of Two Brothers!

 

I was reading recently about two brothers who recycle the same birthday card every year by sending it backwards and forwards to each other every birthday. It got me thinking. It is at least moving in the right direction in terms of a sustainable living plan. This isn’t completely keeping it green but at least it saves on the trees to make the cards that they would otherwise be buying for each other year after year. Plus there are ways to make the practice even greener if you so choose, which will be discussed shortly.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year For Paper Alone?

 

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The Logging Industry Impacts The Environment When Not Done Sustainably

According to an article from www.ecology.com, about 4 billion trees are cut down each year to make paper for the world’s needs.

 

Why Do We Need So Much Paper?

 

It kind of makes you wonder why we even need so much paper (for communication reasons) these days. Many of us have access to computers, smart phones, tablets and other items that are all quite capable to write and send communications. Even some of the other uses, such as books, leaflets, information sources and even photographic paper, can be replaced digitally.

 

So Why Not Go Digital?

 

We have digital means to use as alternatives, in order to send eCards or computer generated designs to our family and friends or for business etc. Plus it is quick and easy to facilitate.

 

How?

 

So why not do this more? Utilise our digital world to create interesting designs and greeting cards etc, to send to each other via cyber space rather than using paper products to serve the same function. You might try a free online source, such as Canva, to add a greeting to an image you already own, such as a personal photograph. Or you can find some images for free or purchase something specific to your needs. Perhaps scan some of your old cards and reuse them as a digitally made greeting card.

 

How Important, Truly Important, Is It To You To Receive A Physical Card In The Mail?

 

A large number of people already do this kind of thing, but an equally large number are still sticking to the old beliefs that a physical card shows the person that you care about them more effectively than a text message or email. I think the world is changing with regard to this, but maybe not quickly enough. I still like getting something in the mail, there’s a different feel to it, however, do we really need to have a physical item that most of the time ends up in our landfill or in the rubbish and only occasionally back in the recycling? Only about 35% of recycled paper is used to make new paper. Why not tell your family and friends to send digital greetings because you are trying to make a difference in the world? You may even start the whole family or friendship group on the same ideals.

How Can Two Brothers Make Such A Difference?

 

 

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Just in case you don’t watch this show, please note, these are not the 2 brothers mentioned in the article. They are fictional characters who are brothers in the TV series Supernatural. Actors are Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean on the left, and Jared Padalecki who plays Sam on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas Greeting Card

Merry Christmas Greeting Card

 

Forgive me for throwing in my favourite TV brothers, I couldn’t resist. Going back to the other brother story, I’ve never really sat down and thought about it this way before. When you consider this, if these two brothers began buying cards for each other from the ages of 16 and 18 and they lived until they were 88, that is the equivalent of buying cards for about 70 years.

There would be 2 birthdays per year plus Christmas cards (if they celebrate it), which means buying 4 cards per year every year for 70 years.

 

 

How Many?

 

Father's Day Greeting Card

Father’s Day Greeting Card

That equates to 280 cards in the lifetime of just 2 people, or 140 cards per person buying just 2 cards per year. Add in to this that there are usually more family members and friends to wish Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to, so 2 cards per year per person does not give a true value to the number of cards bought per year per person, more like 20 or 30, even 40.

These estimates do not incorporate Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter if they are believers, or Anniversaries, Weddings, Engagements, Christenings, Births, Naming Days, Get Well Soon, Thank You, Sympathy, Blank cards or any other card or occasion you can think of that a card might be produced for.

 

How Does This Fare With The Rest Of The World?

 

For the sake of keeping things simple, let’s just keep it at 140 cards being bought per person in a lifetime. When you multiply this value by the world’s population, which is approximately 7.4 billion at last count, you are left with the amount of 1036 billion potential cards being bought over a 70 year span. Then think about this, if there are 4 billion trees cut down per year to meet the paper demand, then each year about half a tree is cut down to meet our own individual needs.

This doesn’t include the envelopes or the stamps. If we included these, it means that for every person in the world, assuming they all buy greeting cards merely for Birthdays and Christmas, there would also be 1036 billion envelopes needed to be accounted for and 1036 billion stamps added in to this equation. That’s a lot of trees to be cut down to meet the demand for the paper for just these particular cards, envelopes and stamps.

 

Happy Easter Greeting Card

Happy Easter Greeting Card

Birthday Greeting Card

Birthday Greeting Card

Get Well Soon Greeting Card

Get Well Soon Greeting Card

 

What Other Paper Products Do We Use?

 

Just as an example of how much paper we use and how many trees are required to satisfy the demand for paper in our current society, let’s take a look at some of the things we use paper for. Note books, checks, money, stamps, envelopes, copy paper, brochures, menus, paper napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, newspapers, books, magazines, business cards, receipts of purchases, scrapbooks, disposable party supplies, gift wrap, examinations, prescriptions, photographs, signage, advertisements, shopping bags, letters, bills, and these are just a few.

Some Statistics To Put Things In Perspective

 

The American Forest & Paper Association gives the following statistics on what just one tree is capable of producing, remembering that there are 4.7 billion people in the world and nearly all of them will be using a variety of paper products each day.

 

  • “An average tree can yield 61,370 No. 10 business envelopes”.

  • “One single tree can produce 2,700 copies of a daily newspaper”

  • “One tree can yield 4,384,000 commemorative-sized postage stamps”

  • “The average fully grown tree can produce 942 100 page books”.

  • “1,000-2,000 pounds of paper can be made from a fully grown tree”.

  • “The yield from an average tree can produce 1,200 copies of National Geographic”.

What About Hemp As A Permanent Alternative?

 

Industrial Hemp, to save the trees

Industrial Hemp

In the old days, paper was not made from cutting down trees, it was made from a mixture of reeds and other fibrous plants, even cloth, and sometimes animal skins. Later on, paper was produced from using mulberry bark and hemp plants and mixed with cotton or other linen. The fact that growing marijuana is illegal in many countries, effectively puts a stop to the production of paper using the hemp plant, however in recent times, more countries are beginning to legalise it so that it may well become more readily available to use in making paper and paper products.

 

Hemp Is So Versatile

 

Personally, I can see hemp plants becoming utilised in many industries as a very renewable and fast growing resource. It’s highly versatile potential may be the answer to many of our sustainable living dilemmas. More of this in later articles.

There are quite a few hemp products on the market already, including greeting cards, but if you prefer to create your own you can look into buying packs of hemp paper to create your own cards.

What Else Can We Do Or Use?

 

When we ask ourselves how to save the trees, we can see there are definitely options. If we truly wanted to cut down on the amount of paper being used, but still maintain a tradition such as sending a physical birthday card, it would stand to reason that we would recycle the envelopes used as well. In other words, the person receiving the card, when sending the card back to his brother, could also send back the envelope in which it arrived, making it reusable each time as well, and vice versa. The stamp would need to be repurchased each time and either steamed off, or placed over the previous stamp due to the cost of postage being taken into account. The only time they might need to buy another envelope is when one of the brothers moved, but stickers could just as easily cover the old address.

 

This Is Fabric And Could Quite Easily Be Used To Make A Card Using Starch To Stiffen The Fabric

Christmas Fabric and Design, would make a nice card

What Alternatives Are There To Paper?

 

Let’s go one step further in our brother’s story. What if their cards were not made from paper? Other alternatives to using paper would be to consider using another form of material to make a card. Perhaps using cloth of some kind to make a picture using dyes or paints, or even embroidery or tapestry or other stitching type style.

The image to the left is actually made from fabric and could quite easily be stiffened with starch and turned into a greeting card. Likewise, other fabrics would serve the same purpose.

 

Who Says A Card Needs To Be Flat?

 

Weaving is popular in countries such as Papua New Guinea, making 3D pictures from items such as shells and held together by gluing on to a hard surface could be used instead of paper. Etching and carving can look very impressive too and if you aren’t crafty, then there are plenty of people who are willing to produce pieces of art that could fill this need for the lesser creative beings in the world. Then do the same with it, send it back and forth like the brothers do. Or make something different each year.

 

Be Mindful Of How Simple Changes Can Be A Big Deal

 

If you want to start small in terms of living a sustainable life, think about how to save the trees. It should be one of the things you can easily make a change with. Even the small things can make a difference, just in the same way these two brothers have inspired me to do something similar, I hope that the have given you food for thought as well.

 

Please share with us in the comments below, what ways you contribute to saving the trees. How do you recycle paper or paper products? Is it something that you would find easy?

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 

 

Images:

Image of Supernatural brothers Sam and Dean Winchester used under the creative commons licence and attributed to Kristin Dos Santos. No changes were made to the image itself and it was then placed on a background with wording added.

 

What Easter Gifts For Children Can Still Be Green?

We’ve talked about decorating your own Easter eggs in another article. Now I’d like to talk about chocolate Easter eggs. What Easter gifts for children can still be fun and kept ‘green’?  There are ways that you can have all of the wonderfully colourful and gorgeously crafted chocolate versions of Easter eggs by making them yourself. You can keep it relatively simple and use cooking chocolate, or you can choose to decorate with coloured white chocolate, you might make your own wrappings and molds, and even go so far as to make your Easter gifts for children and adults alike with raw chocolate made from scratch. The creative ideas will start pouring out once you know the basics.

 

Prefer Chocolate Eggs?

 

What Easter gifts for children

Easter Bunny Couple

Still keen to keep it green and homemade, but prefer chocolate eggs instead of decorated? That’s OK. You can still choose chocolate Easter eggs but maybe try to make them at home. This cute little bunny couple has been homemade from white, dark and milk chocolate and most likely made from plastic molds.

 

Be As Creative As You Like

 

For something like this, if you decide to still use plastic molds, at least check if they are ones that will last many years so we are being mindful of reducing landfill and other waste. You can purchase cooking chocolate to melt and pour to create beautiful designs like this, or make your own version. The rabbits in the picture to the left requires that you paint the areas with colored, or white melted chocolate, to create the detail on them, such as the white ears, cheeks, eyes and clothing.

 

Break The Mold Of Bunnies And Chickens

 

If you don’t require them to be specifically bunny or chicken shaped, there are plenty of items you can use as molds if you just have a look in your kitchen. I know you can buy plastic molds at the store, but remember if you are trying to reduce the problem of plastics waste, using something a little different and not necessarily traditional might just do the trick.

There are of course metal molds for jellies and other confectionery and these would still work for what you need. Be a little creative! Dig around in your kitchen drawers and see what shapes and designs turn up. Bear in mind too, that melted chocolate can be painted on to a flat chocolate to create a work of art, and also that white chocolate can be coloured with food colouring and used to decorate chocolate designs too.

 

Silicone Putty Molds

 

While this is not a biodegradable choice, you can make your own molds using a food safe silicone putty making product. My suggestion to keep this option as green as possible is to look around a few thrift shops or dollar saver shops for some ornaments such as rabbits, chickens or other type of Easter theme that have some detail in them. You can use your silicone putty to mold around the outside of the ornament, pushing in to the design and detail as much as possible and then leave it to dry and harden overnight. Then you simply slice an opening into it, use something hot to bake it to make it food safe by removing chemicals from it, and wash it ready for use. You simply pour the melted chocolate into the opening and wait for it to set. You can create solid or hollow eggs in this way, simply by slicing the mold all the way through for hollow eggs, or only partially slicing for the solid kind.

 

Why Silicone Not Plastic?

 

My reason for suggesting this instead of plastic molds, even though it is still not biodegradable, is that plastic molds break easily and need replacing more often, meaning more plastic in our land fills and recycling centers. With silicon putty, you only need one of these molds to make as many chocolate bunnies or chickens as you like, allowing time to prepare them of course, and you are still reducing your impact on the environment by using a longer lasting product. Silicone is also recyclable. Your molds that you make from these using ornaments or imprints will make your children’s Easter gifts very original instead of the same store bought items available for most children. You can still use white or coloured chocolate to add detail and colour to these gorgeous eggs.

 

Have Fun With Your Easter Egg Hunts And Never Need Fancy Wrapping Paper

 

 

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Easter Bunny Garden Variety.

 

There are many ways you can spruce up your home made chocolate eggs without having to wrap them, however I do recommend not leaving them outside without some form of covering if they are to be left there for some time. Ants will have a field day with these delectable delights if left unattended. There is also the sun that may cause melting issues so placing in shaded areas would be best.

 

Spruce It Up With Nature

 

Some sprucing ideas if doing an Easter egg hunt. Place the chocolate bunnies etc in amongst some beautiful flowers in your garden that will add colour and brightness to them if they don’t have any extra decorative effects. Add ribbons or bows for some colour, or dried flowers. Some people have hand sewn bags of hessian or colourful material to place their designs in and decorate with a beautiful bow or dried flowers or sprigs of herbs such as rosemary or lavender.

 

Add A Dash Of Fun

 

Hide the eggs in unusual places, or as if they are performing actions such as on a swing. You can think up all kinds of funny positions to place them in if you feel that is needed. In our family, we write clues from Easter Bunny to locate their baskets. We send them on a trail to find the next clue and the next so that it adds to the fun of the hunt. You can decorate these clues to pretty them up, or write the clues on pieces of wood or bark to save on paper.

Raw Is Not Just Good, It’s Better!

 

Remember, eating chocolate does not have to be unhealthy either. You do not have to resort to store bought cooking chocolate. There are plenty of recipes available to Google users, or Pinterest etc, that tell you how to make raw chocolate Easter eggs. I warn you that raw chocolate is very rich in flavour, therefore anything you make you will probably prefer in small bite size tastes. I can pretty much guarantee no one will be eating the entire egg in one sitting. It also doesn’t set quite as dry as store bought cooking chocolate but is firm enough to hold it’s shape, just a wee bit sticky, however it is very nice.

 

For an easy raw chocolate recipe that uses only 3 ingredients, pop on over to http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/3-ingredient-raw-chocolate-recipe and make home made raw chocolate to your heart’s content.

The 3 Simple Ingredients Are As Follows:

 

1 cup of raw cacao

2-3 Tablespoons of raw honey

1 cup of cacao butter or use coconut oil instead

 

The recipe on the Food Matters website also has some yummy ideas to add to the chocolate to give it that extra special oomph and you will find the method very simple. I’d like to put it on here but it’s their recipe so they should get the credit for it and a visit to their page.

 

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Easter Bunny Hiding

Fill An Item With Chocolate Instead Of Wrapping It

 

If you are more inclined to wrap your eggs but don’t feel like making something, there are also hollow wooden eggs available, that you can buy and reuse every year. All you need to do is fill them with your yummy homemade chocolates for an even more green version of Easter. These are blank too, so you can paint and decorate them as you like. They are relatively inexpensive so if you feel that way inclined you can buy new ones each year and decorate to your heart’s content.

Why Not Recycle The Foil Wraps?

 

Should you decide to go with the eggs that are pre-wrapped and not homemade, then please consider how you will dispose of the wrappings. If you are into recycling in any way, here’s an idea of how you can use the foil wrap. Many years ago my mum taught me how to use my finger to rub over the paper and smooth out the crinkles in each of the foil wrappings. It takes a bit of time, and you need to be very careful not to tear the pieces, but we used it as craft paper and made it into beautiful pictures by cutting out the paper to the shape we needed, and then gluing it to an picture that we had outlined earlier. For an example, we did a lovely Spanish dancing lady complete with a frilly skirt and veiled head piece. I really wish it had been kept now, all these years later.

 

Mosaic Designs Are The In Thing

 

It is also easy to paste scraps over each other and make up a mosaic of sorts. I just recently saw a Mister Maker episode and he was using all kinds of paper off-cuts for the scales of a fish that he was making. I realised at that time that the foil from Easter Eggs would make some really great scales and there are so many colours available, with so many different designs as well. I am sure you can think of many other ideas to use it for now that you have the inclination to put some thought into it. You’ll be amazed at how lovely these works of art look.

 

This article has hopefully answered your question of what Easter gifts for children can be made in as green a fashion as possible in this article. This means that you can still enjoy all the fun side of things that Easter has to offer.

 

Thank you for reading this article and please, if you can think of other ideas, I encourage you to join in the conversation by leaving a comment in my section below.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

Natural Remedies Insect Pest Control-The Beast Is Gone

natural remedies insect pest control

The Beast

The beast was frightening but now he’s gone thanks to a natural remedies insect pest control idea devised by myself and Tarzan. Sometimes you just have to wing it. One of the less attractive aspects of starting a self-sufficient sustainable lifestyle is the fact that in maintaining a healthy environment for your home and the planet, there is one creepy problem that often rears its ugly head.

The common household pest is not so easy to keep out of the house and can cause much indecision about whether or not to use pesticides. My advice of course would be to avoid using unnatural, chemical-based pesticides in favour of safer and more natural alternatives. In light of an experience I had just tonight in my home, I would like to share with you our solution at the time.

We used ingenuity not chemicals and this is our story, but there are also non-chemical, non-toxic options available to you.

 

Bathroom Beastie

 

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Chris Gladys Has Provided a Perfect Photo of What I Thought I Saw, albeit Fake As It Is

It all started with a trip to the bathroom, when suddenly I felt beady eyes looking at me and saw a huge dark shape in my peripheral vision.  I so badly wanted to run, screaming out of the bathroom but being the big brave girl that I have to be, I walked out slowly and then turned around to see what was there. I cringed at what I had been sharing space with in there.

 

Eww, Yuck and Double Yuck!

 

It’s the first one I had seen in my house since moving here over a year and a half ago so I was not expecting it. A monster of a cockroach sat on the side of my vanity, staring me down. My house is not dirty, so its hard to know what attracts them to come inside, but we just turn around and suddenly they are there. We get big ones in Queensland and this one was definitely big, about three and a half inches long and that was three and a half inches too big for my liking. And they fly! Yes, you heard me correctly, they fly.

 

OMG! It Knew!

 

I swear it knew how terrified I was of it, and it just sat there, watching me watching it. Normally they run as soon as you turn a light on or see them, which freaks me out anyway, but this one was particularly bold. I’m normally pretty good at dealing with most bugs and spiders but once they reach a certain size I have to draw the line. I did what any self-respecting person would do at this time. I backed away from the bathroom and knocked on my daughter’s bedroom door to see if my daughter’s friend, who was visiting at the time, would come and save the day.

 

Tarzan To The Rescue

 

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If you don’t have a Johnny Wiesmuller, a modern day Tarzan will have to do

At a time like this what you need is a modern day Tarzan, who will wrestle the giant fiend and rid your house of the horror of it. However if your modern day Tarzan is more fearful of the cockroach than it is of him, then you are faced with a problem, a somewhat hilarious situation, but a problem nevertheless. While I watched to see if it moved, waiting for him to put his brave pants on, I was contemplating how to get rid of it. I considered that he might be able to throw a shoe at it, but if he missed, we would have a runner on our hands and both of us were likely to scream like a girl and run away, never to find the creature again.

 

 

 

 

 

Tarzan Say “Me No Likey”

 

He is not a cockroach-loving Tarzan that’s for sure and was getting the shivers just looking at the size of the thing. We both admitted to being less afraid of spiders than we were of this colossus, unless of course the spider is one of our extra large and extra hairy Huntsman spiders that are also gigantic, scary and boy can they run fast.

 

If The Shoe Hits!

 

While I stood outside the bathroom and offered encouragement, we first tried the shoe, and yes, it missed and the creature from the dark recesses of Hell did exactly what we hoped it would not, it ran. Then we lost the gargantuan arthropod among the towels hanging on the towel rack. My Tarzan hero was gingerly moving towels aside to see if he could find it when it suddenly appeared out of nowhere and scared him. To which he let out a loud gasp, not quite a girly scream, sending us both into fits of hilarity about our bravery. I’ve never known anyone to be laughing in fear before, but here we were, grown adults giggling like children.

 

My Worst Nightmare – A Cockroach In My Room

 

natural insect pest control

This Screech Owl Represents How I Would Look With No Sleep

As a baby, my parents had put me to bed in my crib one night when we lived in Cyprus, and they checked on me a short time later. The room was dark because they had turned out the lights, but they noticed movement in the room and turned them on. Apparently there were a number of cockroaches that had worked their way through an open vent and had come into my room. My mother swears that none had been in my cot, but I have nightmares of cockroaches crawling on me on occasion so wouldn’t be surprised if at some time, one had been in my cot that night. Needless to say, the vent was sealed after that. So not quite an unreasonable fear in light of hearing this part of my history is it? Not sure I can say the same for Tarzan though.

 

A Screech Owl I Will Be And A Screech Owl I Will Look Like If I Lost It In My Room

 

As this one was getting closer to the bathroom door and therefore closer to my bedroom I shut the room door hoping that it wouldn’t charge us and break the door down and run and hide in my room, to re-surface days later, or worse, crawl over me at night. The reappearance would surely be while I was holding my eyelids open with matchsticks due to the sleepless nights I was bound to have as a result. While this was happening, we were discussing what environmentally friendly tools of the trade we could use to remove the nauseatingly ugly bug and came up with a plan. The first and foremost was to get it out of my house to begin with and then look at ways to prevent it’s re-entry and that of other potentially scarier and even larger pests.

 

Our Clever Solution Complete With Dramatic Effect (Humorous Version)

 

After tipping out the contents all over the floor, we armed ourselves with a large container, long enough so that my modern day Tarzan could be as far away from the monstrosity we were facing as he could be. We found a thin chopping board, but you could also use a piece of paper or cardboard, that must be large enough to cover the opening of the container. Then added to this a wooden place mat to add some strength to our trap.

 

  • After taking into consideration its size, speed, timing and wind factor, no, not really wind factor but it sounded good, carefully move up to the savage as close as you dare, and place the open side of the container over the top of it. When you jump in fright as it starts to run around the inside of the container at top speed, and as you break into a high pitched song that you never knew you could reach such high notes, be mindful not to let the container move so that the titan does not escape.
  • Slowly slide the chopping board (paper or cardboard) under the lip of the container without lifting it up to allow the gargantuan room to break free, so that it has covered the entire opening of the container.
  • Use the wooden place mat as an extra support to your captive’s prison by sliding it under the chopping board, cardboard or paper. You may find you will have to lift the chopping board a little to slide the place mat under it, but do not, I repeat, do not let the container up too much as we did. I can assure you these things are very watchful and crafty and will break out of its jail.
  • After you have accidentally allowed it to make its run for it, repeat steps 1 & 2 and retry step 3, this time being extra careful to slide the place mat under the chopping board.
  • Holding the place mat over the chopping board and making sure there are no openings, turn the container upside down to make it easier to carry, while holding the newly created lid on.
  • Carry the leviathan outside, take off the lid, and throw the contents of the container like a bucket of water as far as you can toss it, or if you are a bit afraid, toss the whole bucket, and run back inside, closing and securing the door behind you.
  • Take a moment to catch your breath and stop laughing.
  • Congratulate yourself on your courage and ingenuity at using an environmentally friendly and safe option of pest control and make sure that your daughter ALWAYS remembers to shut the fly-screen door behind her when she goes outside to ensure that further entries of super-beasts are prevented. That is the best form of safe and non-harmful pest control there is.

 

Enough Silliness, Here Is The Simple But Unfunny (Short)Version

 

  1. Quickly place the upside down container over the top of the location of the cockroach, capturing it inside.
  2. Slide the chopping board/cardboard underneath the container until fully covering the bottom of it.
  3. Use something like our wooden place mat, thin but firm, or a thicker piece of cardboard to slide under the chopping board to keep the bottom steady and keeping the cockroach from scampering out.
  4. Carry the container outside and throw the contents as far away as possible away from the door, remembering to close the door on your way back inside.

 

This does no harm to the environment, nor does it do any harm to the cockroach if you are more inclined to let it live rather than kill it. If you are interested in discovering other ways to minimise the entry of pests in your home, or deter them from becoming an unwelcome household guest, or perhaps even considering trapping them or eliminating them, there are other, much easier means to achieve this.

So What Other Things Can You Do Naturally For Pest Control and Pest Removal?

natural-insect-pest-control

Magnetic Fly Screen for Added Protection

 

There are a number of traps, electronic devices, natural substances, essential oils and steps you can take to keep pests out of the house in the first place, or rid your home of them once inside. I would initially look at how they are getting into your home and attempt to prevent it. This way you can avoid many of the harmful chemical solutions that people turn to in order to eradicate unwanted guests, or have no need of the modern day Tarzan to save, or not, the day.

 

You Weren’t Born In A Tent!

 

In our case today, simply keeping the door shut would have been enough. Buying screen doors and window screens if you don’t have any would be a step in the right direction in keeping bugs out. If you already own one, the fly-screen may have had a tear or been lifting out of its housing in the door frame, allowing a gap to appear. You can buy simple patches made of the same screen material to repair small tears and holes without much effort. You might look into the type of screen shown in the picture here on the right which has magnetic sealing options to help keep insects out if you don’t have other options.

 

Take A Good Look Around

 

Check for gaps under doors, or cracks in walls or ceilings, and possible cracks at the joins. Cockroaches in particular love it under your sink so investigate any holes that may let them in. You may find that it is easier to fill the holes or cracks in with silicone or putty or something else to block entry. You can purchase a brush like strip that you place at the bottom of your fly screen door to help stop crawling insects from getting under doors. Many houses already have these in place but check yours anyway, maybe it has deteriorated, or never had one. This should be a simple fix rather than an expensive and laborious venture.

Making sure the house is kept uncluttered will assist in keeping pests from deciding to remain living in a nice pile of paperwork on a desk that never seems to reduce in size. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be a form of natural remedies insect pest control such as those depicted here or in a review I have written on other options. Please take the time to comment on what you have used so far and whether it would be of benefit to other readers.

 

Thank you

 

Warm wishes

Ange

 

 

Images shared under the following licences

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

 

A Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent: Because Many Store Bought Ones Are Not Safe

homemade liquid laundry detergentI wanted to share with you why I prefer a homemade liquid laundry detergent to those that are store bought. With the constant rise in everyday living costs and the impact of convenience lifestyles on the environment, wouldn’t it be nice to have something that is safer for your body, that helps save the environment and keeps money in your pocket? This is a sustainable living website and as such I want to provide ways to gain that sustainability in an eco-friendly way, without necessarily breaking the budget.

 

Green Lifestyle, Green Liquid

 

If you have been trying to live a greener lifestyle I have found a liquid laundry detergent recipe, which I will provide a link to at the end of this article, that is eco-friendly, safe and economical for you to make and use in your own home. There are probably quite a few recipes floating around on the internet, mostly

homemade-liquid-laundry-detergent

Impact on the Environment

variations on the same recipe by the looks of what I have seen or heard about. We could achieve so much towards lessening the damage we do to our planet by merely changing to a greener laundry detergent.

 

Keep Money In Your Pocket

 

Likewise, by choosing to make our own laundry liquid we are lining our own pockets instead of those of the big commercial companies that gain so much from our weekly contributions to their funds while they dole out the ruination of our Earth instead of preserving it.

I say ‘our’ Earth because we all live here and we all have a vested interest in keeping our planet livable. It’s not just up to the big guns to save or destroy our home, we can do something to help maintain it too.

 

Why Would You Need A Safe and Environmentally Friendly Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe Anyway?

 

homemade_liquid_laundry_detergent

Freshly laundered clothes

Most people, myself included will admit they love the smell of freshly laundered clothes, sheets and towels, especially when you add in that fabulous fabric softener to the wash so that it not only comes out smelling clean, but is imbued with a lovely fragrance to keep you sniffing all day long as you wear your clothes, or all night as you sleep in your sheets.

 

But what is it that makes it so, and how does it last so long? Chemicals!

 

Did you know that washing powders and laundry detergents are full of harsh chemicals that are definitely NOT what you would call eco-friendly, and they are certainly NOT all that great for your body either. The fabric softeners are potentially equally taboo. Even the best of the brand names out there contain these harsh chemicals that are toxic to us and can affect our skin. The better, more expensive ones are usually the worst culprits too. You can bet if it’s not safe for our skin, it isn’t safe for the environment either. But what does it do to us?

 

Our Highly Absorbent Skin Can Be Severely Affected By Washing Detergents

 

skin our largest organ, homemade laundry detergent

Cross Section of Skin Our Largest Organ

We need to remember that our skin is the largest organ of the human body. It literally breathes for us, it gets rid of waste and toxins through our pores, and is highly absorbent of just about anything you put on it or against it.

If you aren’t sure about this, just think about the number of topical creams you can buy for various ailments that are designed to be absorbed into the skin.

Why would they make topical creams if the active ingredients weren’t going to be transported into the body through the skin to where they were needed?

 

Take Arthritis!

 

An example of this would be the creams for arthritis. The skin isn’t the part that is sore, it is the joints beneath that are inflamed and painful yet the cream is applied to the skin to absorb down into the joints for relief of arthritic pain.

If you look at the image here of the skin cross section, you get an idea of how thick it is and what those creams have to pass through to get to the arthritic joints.

 

 

 

 

Chemical Sensitivity Causes Reactions

 

When our body is sensitive to materials such as chemicals, it can trigger allergic reactions that manifest in rashes or hives across our skin, whether it be localised or systemic. It’s our body’s way of telling us that it doesn’t like being in contact with a particular substance and that it would be best to remove it so that we don’t trigger a worse allergic reaction because of it. It is also our body’s way of telling us that we might be nearing a toxic overload. Either way, the result is not advantageous to us. Believe it or not, laundry detergents and fabric softeners can irritate the skin and cause such an allergic reaction or toxic overload.

 

How Would I Know This?

 

homemade-laundry-detergent

We bathed my granddaughter to get rid of the residue

My background is that I have a Bachelor of Health Science degree and a partially completed Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy, where immunology, the study of processes including allergies and allergic reactions, formed part of our study program.

I also have personal experience with skin irritants such as laundry liquids and powders, having sensitivity to certain ones. For many years now I have turned to companies that refuse to use anything with harmful chemicals in their products. They have taught me to be mindful about what I am placing on my skin or into my environment.

 

Breakout

 

Just recently we had an incident with my granddaughter breaking out in hives to the point where I had to take her to the hospital. I had tried various means to reduce the irritation.

We bathed her, changed her clothes, cooled her down, used essential oils which worked temporarily to clear the hives, but after it settled, within an hour or so, she would break out again in a different spot.

It was really quite frustrating not to be able to narrow it down at the time. I even changed the bed sheets in case it was something that had been brought into her bed with her that was causing it, to no avail.

 

I Started A Process Of Elimination

 

Finally, after coming home from the hospital, I remembered that I had used some sheets that we had been given from my mother after she moved into an aged care facility. I had used them on my granddaughters bed. I noticed that when I changed my granddaughter’s sheets, I had replaced them with another set of sheets from my mother’s linen cupboard. The sheets always smelled so clean and lovely, probably due to the laundry detergent and fabric softener that she used when washing them.

After realising this, I decided to just place another sheet inside the bed and over the pillow cases rather than change the sheets all over again. It was already 5am and we had been up and down all night. We were both quite weary by then. This time, thinking that perhaps the sheet sets themselves were the culprit, I used sheets that we had washed in my own laundry liquid. As I mentioned before, I use products from a company that produce these kinds of things with safe ingredients, and therefore I haven’t used harsh detergents or fabric softeners for many years. So this wasn’t something we had come across with my granddaughter prior to this.

Finally The Culprit Is Discovered

 

There were no more incidents after this for the rest of the day and night. I then set about washing the sheets and put the sheets on again a couple of nights later to test it. She broke out again. I noticed the sheets still smelled of the washing powder or fabric softener that my Mum used. I had to wash them about 4 or 5 times and then tested them again. This last time she didn’t have any more problems in those sheets, and there is no more noticeable smell left in them.

It is obvious that the powder and fabric softener left residue in the sheets that lasted through quite a few washes before finally becoming loosened enough to wash free. Needless to say, we pinpointed the cause of the allergic reaction down to the washing powder and fabric softener and now that the sheets are residue-free, my granddaughter can enjoy a good night’s sleep in the sheets that she loved from her Great Grandma.

 

Recipe Link Below

 

So there you have it. A homemade liquid laundry detergent, here is the recipe that I promised you, that you can be assured is much better for the environment, you and your pockets and may just help with those allergies too. I hope that you will share this information with other people so that we can spread the word not only about the harshness of our standard laundry detergents and how it can affect our bodies, but also how everybody can limit how much of these chemicals find their way into our environment to destroy it piece by piece.

I hope you have learned a new way to interact with the environment and keep those nasties away from your body. Take care of it and yourself. If you have discovered any other recipes to help people here in this community, please share them in my comments. Keep spreading awareness.

 

Thank you

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

Food For The Poor – Wider Sustainable Living – Companies, Welfare And Correctional Facilities

food for the poor

To Help Each Other, Sometimes Means To Carry Others

Provision of food for the poor, has been the focus of a series of articles I’ve written considering how we can maintain wider sustainable living methods, while incorporating a humanitarian component. This is the fifth and final article of this series. This is certainly something to give some serious thought to because how can we expect to live sustainable lives without considering the needs of our fellow man?

 

To Help Others, Sometimes Means We Need To Carry Them

 

What is the point of having a planet that has been looked after, if we don’t do the same for the people inhabiting it? That being said, there are ways that companies can also contribute to this goal, and also other programs that call upon people who may be in a situation where they are asked to perform duties in return for welfare, or are serving time in community service or correctional facilities.

Last But Certainly Not The Least Important!

 

Once again, I am aware these ideas may be bordering on the unrealistic, but I don’t think there is any harm in putting it out there in the hopes that one day, this may be one of those notions that actually comes to fruition, if you’ll pardon the pun. If there was a way that we could work in unison, not just communities but countries working together to achieve great things, I put my vote in to at least try to make this work, or at the very least some version of it.

Can We Count On Companies To Do Their Fair Share?

 

food_for_the_poor

Yum! Juicy Peaches for the pickings

food-for-the-poor

Oh Yummy Cherries. I Love Cherries.

If we as individuals, such as is suggested in a previous article, are doing our small bit and providing our meager help, imagine what a big company may be able to provide?

Many companies tend to be built on large properties, with a vast expanse of lawn or grass, with much of it unused and ripe for the planting of trees, shrubs and plants that would produce food.

How fantastic would it be to see the owners of these properties take on the challenge of turning their unused land into groves of trees, vegetable gardens and other food producing flora?

 

This Land For Beauty, This Land For Food

 

There’s no reason why they couldn’t still have an area devoted to making their site look pretty to visitors, but what about the rest of the place? There might be tons of room to do this. Might it be worth considering that they hold days when they harvest, perhaps even including their own employees in a working bee with the promise of a bonus, or a meal provided, to help tend the area? Perhaps even advertise for outsiders to come along and participate and even take some of it home with them. They might be a community minded company and choose to hire people to come and work in their designated produce area, effectively creating work.

 

Companies Can Contribute Too

 

Many companies give donations or sponsorship so this might be considered to be one of their contributions to the good of the community. I wonder if companies might even be convinced to provide a caretaker home within their property in which a person can live there on the condition that they tend to the produce area. Fanciful thoughts you may think I am offering, but at least I am giving it thought. I’m sure there are many other ideas that could be floated around to come up with solutions and practical ways to work with this concept and make it happen in reality.

Community Service, Work For Welfare and Prisons Are A Workforce

 

food for poor

Doing Time, Doing A Good Deed In Exchange

While I have so far been speaking of people, communities and companies providing a voluntary service towards helping bring about food for the poor, there are other systems that may also contribute their services and give back to themselves in fulfilling a basic human need.

That is the need to feel worthwhile, that a person is contributing to the world and perhaps leaving their mark in history. These systems I speak of include prisons or people who are doing community services in exchange for keeping out of prison.

 

Correctional Facilities That Correct Attitudes

 

The people who have been put in jail are those who may need attitude corrections in terms of changing how they see themselves, giving them ways to be productive and even skills to be re-employed once they are released, but in ways that make them feel good about themselves. Maybe the very reason they are in these facilities is because they have never had a chance to grow.

I realise there will be some prisoners who are not able to be redirected into doing something different with their lives, but for the larger number it would certainly be a worthwhile endeavour to attempt.

 

food-for-poor

Strawberries line a pathway

Hardened Criminals To Hard Yakka

 

The hardened criminals perhaps would be working for their food and board like people used to do, I believe that in many cases prisoners usually work at jobs inside and get paid a very small wage. I’m not sure whether that money goes on an account that they can use to purchase items they need or not, but with what they do, perhaps they can add in tending to community veggie gardens and fruit groves for those individuals that are not classed as dangerous. They could at least reduce the cost of feeding them by growing their own fruit and vegetables.

 

Much To Think About

 

I guess it would depend on what equipment was needed to viably maintain the production of food and how much of a risk it would be to themselves, other prisoners or the wardens as to whether or not this would be a usable idea or not. Of course this is merely supposition and I’m not naive enough to believe that there would not be many things to take into consideration in providing a safe working zone and one that does not offer opportunities of escape or to bring harm to anyone else.

 

I was thinking along the lines of low security prisoners working in the community gardens I have mentioned in my third article, but again, this is food for thought and would take a lot of planning. Those serving out their community service hours, or young offenders who have been placed in correctional centers are likely candidates for providing a source of able bodied people who might be ready and willing to change their lives by changing the way they interact with life.

 

The Welfare System Means Opportunity

 

food_for_poor

Pick An Apple Today And Pay Your Way

Another opportunity to source people to be employed by the government in maintaining the trees and plants are those people who are obtaining money through welfare due to current unemployment. I don’t mean make it a compulsory idea of ‘no work, no pay’, but rather put it to people that it may help them find work more easily in the future, or provide a reward of paying for their courses to become re-skilled, or something similar, if they work in exchange for credits.

I realise there are many reasons why some people simply won’t be able to do this, but if those that can are given something worthwhile in their lives, they tend to have better self esteem and we may avoid many of these people becoming disheartened and losing hope.

 

Welfare Does Not Mean Fare Well, But Wellness Of Mind May Lead To Better Job Prospects

 

Being forced to ask for help can be an extremely degrading feeling for many people. There is a certain stigma attached to people who have no choice but to be part of the welfare system. This means that no matter what circumstances brought these people to have to rely on government handouts, they are always lumped into the same unforgiving basket.

Called bludgers, a waste of space, accused of being no good, of not wanting to work, taking the tax payers money, etc, etc. All very unkind and thoughtless comments from those who are more fortunate than others and who still happen to have secure employment. Because in this day and age, job security is very hard to come by and people are being forced daily to look elsewhere to earn a living, create their own income, or work outside what most people would call mainstream. I know this because I’ve been there myself, so by understanding this small fact, we will already have raised the Earth’s care factor a huge amount.

 

Say No To GMO, While We Are Caring For Our Poor

 

I’d like to end this article series here, although I’m sure that it has opened up some food for thought in terms of what COULD be done as opposed to what’s NOT being done. While looking to this future where everybody helps each other, let’s not forget that we still need to be maintaining as sustainable a lifestyle as we can. So while we are providing food for the poor, we must also make sure that it is being done in the most effective, but sustainable way. This means using heirloom seeds, because let’s face it, if we don’t try to start re-growing the original species of our food, that have been made specifically for our biological beings, we will lose all of that goodness forever and never be able to win it back. Genetically modified seeds and plants do not produce what we need for our bodies, they just mean that we can produce more, more and more so that the food goes around.

 

Natural Supermarkets

 

While I understand the reason why these practices are used, I do not see why we would need them if we start to use all of our spare land to become natural supermarkets for all. Spare produce should be sent to those places where their climate and soil conditions don’t support the growth of such food-producing plants and trees. Remember to use all green building tools, gardening equipment, natural pesticides, biodegradable materials or those made from natural substances, so that we may reduce the impact on the environment. Just imagine how beautifully lush and green our planet will be.

 

Watermelons

Grow Watermelons

Pineapples

Pineapples Will Delight The Palate

Plum Trees

Plum Trees Aplenty.

 

Thoughts anyone? Please leave them in the comment section below and remember these ideas are just that, ideas. They are not a plan, nor am I considering the notions to be the answer to this problem, there are many things to factor in.

 

Thank you for reading

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

Food For The Poor – Wider Sustainable Living – Within Town Planning

This article is my fourth article in a series that suggest following a sustainable living protocol that takes into account a need other than saving the world. Food for the poor, has been and currently remains a problem in this world. For community town planners and other government officials to make provision for it even if only within a community and outskirts to begin with, would be a major step in the right direction to help solve world hunger issues.

“Free Food” – Is It Possible?

Food For The Poor

Food For The Poor

In the previous three articles, my suggestion was that individuals, neighbors, communities and schools could effectively make a significant contribution to help other people who are not as fortunate as those, and without casting judgement, by providing a free source of food from their own gardens, parks and schools.

 

Veggie Patch For All

 

I’m not trying to whittle away the farmer’s sources of their own income for I do not wish to see them on the breadline either. I’m merely suggesting that if we planted fruit trees along our garden fences that were accessible to a needy person who might be passing by, or veggies and berries in a patch with accessibility for those in need, there would be a source of free food for the poor.

The main focus of this article is to explore how the wider community can also begin to create more widespread and planned assistance in terms of a protocol for sustainability and helping our fellow human beings.

 

So, How About Propagating Fruit Trees On The Pathways and Road Sides?

 

Plant trees, Food-for-the-poor

Avenue of Jacaranda Trees

We have so many pathways running through our towns, both in the country and in suburbia where our councils usually plant pretty trees and shrubs, and then you might find long sections with just grass. I wonder if anyone ever considered planting fruit trees and berry patches in amongst the other plants.

 

Beauty Or Bounty, That Is The Question?

 

It might not look as tidy and manicured, but it would serve a greater purpose. There is a beautiful avenue in a town in New South Wales called Grafton which at a particular time of year, boasts the most gorgeous display of purple from the entire avenue being devoted to the Jacaranda Tree. They even have a festival every year that entices visitors from all over Australia to go and visit during the time the trees are blooming. It’s a stunning carpet and canopy of purple, a lovely sight to behold.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it, I just believe that if people can devote an entire avenue to a beautiful tree, why not devote others to growing whole avenues of fruit trees, why not both? Either a variety of quite a few, or one whole avenue per fruit type.

Our Roadways Could Be A Perfect Place To Plant Fruit Trees

 

Food_for_the_poor

Pathway lined by orange trees, sounds wonderful

What do we do with our roads, both country and suburban? They are usually lined with a spattering of grass that is generally just mowed every now and then with a few trees, possibly native, breaking up the mundane. There is a lot of spare land right there. Imagine a world where every second tree was a fruit tree of some kind and the other a native tree so that we don’t risk losing our natural trees as well. It would take some planning, I expect, regarding which trees to plant and when.

 

Mix It Up A Bit

 

There would most likely be a need to have them evenly spaced around so that plants that fruit in winter and plants that fruit in summer are still planted in the same general area. When this occurs, the trees might be planted in such a way that in a set area, there would at least be half of the fruit in season and ripening on the trees while the other half waited their turn to be ripened and picked, and all would be accessible at different times of the year.

 

What Would It Take To Pull Off?

 

These trees would pretty much take care of themselves while they were available for anyone to come and pick them at anytime. I’m just thinking out loud for the most part here because I’m still learning about trees and growth, and what requirements would be needed to actually make this possible, let alone any environmental consequences there might be from planting particular trees with other trees, I am feeling around in the dark hoping for a solution. I just really wish we could make it so.

 

Australian Roads and Highways Are Typical Examples Of The Kinds Of Vacant Land I Refer To

 

food for poor

A typical highway with plenty of space to accommodate a few fruit trees.

In Australia, we have big, long highways, as I’m sure you do in your own country, that are really quite boring to travel along. But if we were to plant trees all along them, it would look much prettier, especially if there were a selection of fruit trees growing in between the many native trees. Having different vegetation to look at would make our long drives in between townships more pleasing and break the monotony.

 

Feed The Workers Too!

 

I understand that the land adjacent to roads is usually owned privately, but those land owners could be approached and assisted to plant fruit trees along their fence lines I’m sure. Even if the land is farmland, this would be a small portion of the overall land that would be have been used for growing crops, and this would provide a snack for hard workers, or a small secondary income for those wishing to charge a small fee for some travelers to take fruit away with them.

Not to mention give shade to people working on the farm on a hot day, or drivers wishing to take a break in the shade of trees. This notion is looking more appealing by the minute and I am wondering why it’s not being done even now.

Safety First – This Must Be Always Be Taken Into Account.

 

food-for-poor

Have a Vegetable Wash of Some Sort On Hand

I can imagine how having fruit trees along the highway would pose a serious safety risk seems we can’t have people stopping in unsafe places to go and pick the fruit. Also there are quarantines in place in between states so we can’t risk transfer of pests into another state potentially causing environmental impact. But that shouldn’t stop us from finding safe ways to do this. The solution would be to utilise rest areas or places that have very large, off road pull over zones to plant little groves of fruit trees. Travelers could have access to a refreshing piece of fruit and add a zing to their trip and palette, before setting off on the next leg of their journey.

 

Clean It First

 

I would recommend that people have on hand a way to clean the produce prior to eating, such as a vegetable wash, therefore reducing health risks from pesticides, pollution or bacteria, but if you have little means, even a bottle of water, or water and vinegar or lemon juice should help a little in cleaning the fruit.

Having roadside produce available for all, would provide a healthier option for our truckies to obtain a piece of fruit to eat instead of being tempted to eat fast food all the time. Our rest areas are sign posted as ‘Revive and Survive’ warning motorists to take a break from driving every 2 or so hours, and to take some kind of refreshment during this time.

 

Uplifting And Refreshing

 

Fruit certainly would be very uplifting and reviving and a person could easily pop another one in their vehicle for later on. If the quarantine restrictions were to be a problem, we could always revert back to the old rubbish bins on the side of the road to dump fruit in prior to crossing the border. I’m not sure about how we would go policing this particular aspect, however, these are considerations to be dealt with when planning something like this.

Trees Along The Highways Will Also Offer Healthier Eating Opportunities.

 

If we had access to such a variety of these fruits and vegetables, our need for take away stops would reduce considerably, therefore giving us a better choice in how we choose to snack. All in all a good idea, and it caters for that need mentioned earlier; food for the poor. But is it feasible? I know this would definitely take a lot of logistical and other organisational methods to come together as a workable option. I would love to hear what your own thoughts are about this. There are many things I simply don’t know, understand or have not thought about in terms of ‘how’ this would be achieved. Of course this may have an impact on employment or businesses, but it may also lead to other job opportunities.

 

I am interested to hear your thoughts on the concept I am raising here in terms of food for the poor and how town planning could take into account this problem to incorporate into their sustainable living designs. This is but an imagined world for me, so if you can see any foreseeable problems with implementing any or all of the suggestions I would be glad to hear them. Please leave your ideas in the comments section below.

 

Thank you for reading

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 

10 Ways To Go Green

Here are 10 ways to go green by making some simple changes on a daily basis in your choices or actions to reduce the waste and carbon emissions impact on the planet. There are many ways to take action but as a starting point, here are 10 ways to go green. If you are looking to make a good start on changing the current state of affairs, just doing these simple things will still cause change to occur. Even if it doesn’t seem as if your little contribution will do much, imagine then if millions of people all over the world were doing this too. Now it doesn’t sound so hard to conceive does it?

10 Ways To Effect Change

 

1. Artificial vs Fresh

Instead of Atificial

You could use what these people did. Just some branches in a vase.

Forget about buying artificial plastic flowers and plants to decorate your home, choose potted plants and fresh flowers. Potted plants help clean the air and provide more oxygen to your home. Fresh flowers may decay quickly but they have beautiful aromas and they don’t sit around in dumps for many years before breaking down.

Better yet, grow your own flowers and reduce the strain flower growing industries place on the environment by mass production and clearing of land. Branches and leaves can also make lovely decorations in your home, such as in this image. Chinese Lucky Bamboo looks very effective in a glass jar in just water and keeps for a long time. To pretty it up add some decorative stones, glass pebbles or shells perhaps.

2. Give Disposable Batteries The Flick

 

Batteries are one of the worst throwaway and non-environmentally friendly items around. Although at first it can be quite costly to change over to buying rechargeable batteries and a charger, it is well worth the investment if you are considering lessening your environmental impact. I prefer to buy items that don’t require batteries or that have a charging cord attachment. The less batteries used and discarded, the less there are in our land fill.

They are also a choking hazard to small children and may cause harm due to leakage. There have been some deaths with small children ingesting them and having them leak into their stomachs.

3. Revamp And Revive Pre-Loved Clothing

 

What about changing what you do when thinking of purchasing new clothes? So many people buy new yet never consider sprucing up an article of clothing they already own. Try recycling your own clothes to freshen them up, or make them look different. Buying at a second hand store such as a thrift store once again lessens the chance that the clothes will end up as landfill. Also give your pre-loved clothing to a thrift shop so that they aren’t just being cast away never to be useful to anyone else again. Not only will you be helping the environment but you are helping a homeless or poverty-stricken person keep warm next winter.

 4. Go Paperless

 

Gold Wedding Rings

Gold Wedding Rings

Are you getting engaged, married or having a celebration of some kind where you might be looking at buying invitations and having them printed on paper? If this is you, why not make them creatively on your computer and email them instead? If you must, print them on recycled paper or cardboard. Less trees will be cut down if people begin choosing this option rather than continue to use paper and cardboard for something that will usually just be thrown in the garbage if not immediately, but eventually anyway.

If you own a business, try giving electronic receipts and also opt for paperless whenever you can. When needing Bank statements, government letters, quotes and tickets, these can mostly be sent as an electronic statement or receipt. Choose these options and save many trees. This will also reduce pollution as well.

 5. Snack Attacks?

Fruit and nuts, the healthy snack

Fruit and nuts, the healthy snack

 

Are you a snack-a-holic? Take note of the packaging of the snacks you buy to see if they are recyclable. Change to snacks that have adopted the use of recycled or recyclable packaging instead of packages that don’t degrade in a short time. Include fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to snack on instead of carbohydrate and fat loaded highly processed snacks. It is very difficult to make such a change but do what you can and it will be a win for you and the planet.

For me personally, I’d like to try to grow my own fruit and then look into buying a dehydrator so I can keep some of my surplus fruits as dried fruits and give away or sell the rest. It’s a much healthier option for a snack, full of vitamins and minerals.

6. Water Is King, Treat It So!

 

They say western society particularly needs to drink more water. Do you opt for buying bottled drinking water? The plastic bottles that water is sold in are doing the environment more harm than good. Many people buy packs of a dozen or two dozen bottles of water. That’s a lot of plastic bottles to be recycled. Some people may buy a container of filtered water and use their own bottle to fill it, which has a less damaging effect on the environment. Try refilling the empty bottles with water and reuse them a few times before trashing them. If you can afford it, invest in a water purifier or filter of some kind and buy stainless steel drink bottles. This minimises a huge amount of potential rubbish that will take years to degrade if other alternatives, namely the popular fizzy drinks, milk and juices that many of us drink instead of water, continue to be drunk and cast aside.

7. Recycle Old Furniture or Pallets.

 

Pallet furniture - recycled

Pallet furniture – recycled

 

I have seen so many pictures on Pinterest, Facebook and other sites that give you step by step instructions on how you can use old furniture or pallets and turn them into something artistic, decorative and practical. Just yesterday I saw how someone had taken old dresser drawers, painted them up and hung them on the wall as shelving. They looked absolutely fabulous and so versatile. Pallets have been made into garden furniture and off ground vegetable patches too. Their versatility is only limited by our imaginations. If you have any old pallets laying around the place, put them to good use.

8. Turn Off Your Lights And Appliances When Not In Use.

 

Believe it or not, light globes contribute to gas emissions that are disrupting our atmosphere. Our white goods, TVs and anything else that runs off electricity is also a culprit in increasing green house gases and producing a global effect even though we are only one mere tiny little house among billons. Start finding ways to change this. Convert to LEDs or CFLs, turn appliances off at the wall socket and unplug them, yes, even if they are not running, and still sitting in the socket, apparently they still use electricity.

 

9. Make More Recipes From Scratch.

 

Avoid purchasing all of those heavily processed food items such as take aways, or prepackaged sauces and meals in a can. Start making your favourite sauce recipe from scratch. The less people that are buying these foods, the less packaged food will need to be produced, companies will be forced to reduce the amount manufactured. In turn, there will be less carbon dioxide emissions destroying our atmosphere. This will take time and planning but it will eventually become much more easier when you have on hand your best homemade sauce, soup or even juice recipes. Try making larger batches of them to freeze and save time the next time you make something. There are many stock bases that can be used for a wide variety of recipes.

 

10. Convert Your Personal Care and Cleaning Products.

 

Swap your cleaning stuff for environmentally friendly cleaners

Swap your cleaning stuff for environmentally friendly cleaners

There are so many chemicals in our cleaning, personal care and cosmetics that are simply no good for you and no good for the environment. There are many products available to purchase that are considered clean and green products due to the commitment of the companies who manufacture them to avoid harmful ingredients and also to having a conscience.

I have been swapping out chemicals for a while now. Sometimes I use ready made products that I purchase through either of two companies that I trust, or I use essential oils that I buy from one of these companies to make my own products. The same is true for all of my personal care products, I buy from either of these companies or I make my own. I’ll be putting up some of my recipes for these in other articles.

 

So here they are, 10 ways to go green, and so easy to put into place and they will not break the budget.

Save the planet,

save your skin,

and we’ll all find out

it’s win-win!

What other things do you do in your own homes to go green? Please share them in the comments section below and let’s help others do the same.

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 

Food For The Poor – Wider Sustainable Living – In The Community

This is my third article related to providing food for the poor intermingled with the concept of using a wider sustainable living protocol to serve the double purpose of producing food for those in need: another problem we face in this world. My first article addressed how we as individuals, can create a food surplus instead of shortage by embracing some ideas in providing free food. Working together as a community, may prove very fruitful if you will pardon the pun, for people who are in need and could do with a helping hand. In this article, I will provide some further examples of ways in which this time, an entire community may be able to introduce this idea of feeding the poor.

 

Use What We Already Have!

 

Make It A Community Event

 

Food for the poor

Surrounding this play area with fruit trees along its edges, would not take away from the enjoyment or space to play of the children

There are big, wide open places such as parks and botanical gardens, free camping grounds and beach, lakes or river fronts, that would be a perfect place to build some groves of fruit and nut trees, vegetables, fruit such as berries, and herbs, etc.

I don’t expect the whole area to be turned into a giant veggie patch, but I do think that allocating a small area of it for a community garden and orchard would be an ideal place to start making the community more aware and considerate to its fellow citizens who may be struggling.

 

Get The Kids Involved

 

This is not just nurturing our children to be physically active doing walks around the garden paths and playing on the park equipment, but also they would be being encouraged to be physically active in the planting, growing and harvesting of these areas.

They not only get to play, but they are educated too, not only for this, but should ever the need arise that they are in a survival situation, they will have the knowledge and skills to feed themselves. Particularly if they are involved in the planting, care and picking of the fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget the surplus can be sent to other areas in need or even other countries to eventually feed an entire world. Well, that would be my hope in my suggesting this anyway.

 

Form A Committee To Share The Decision Making And Planning

 

Food-for-the-poor

Community Project. Image courtesy and copyright of David Hawgood

Once the decision is made to turn a section of a park or other ground space into a communal garden, the council could form a committee designated to be in charge of sorting out maintenance and upkeep needs.

Perhaps establish an encouragement of a Friends of The Park committee for example, where they have the community play a role in the building and planting and looking after it side of things. There would just as easily be events such as fundraisers if equipment is needed to be purchased.

 

Working Bees Are Popular

 

Perhaps working bees with a lunch provided could be useful in getting people there to help with the details of what to do with it once it has begun to grow and flourish. It is possible that these efforts may reach some of the very people who the garden is directed towards helping and might bring them on board to join in as well.

This way they would get a meal, learn some skills to grow their own food, but also give them a sense of being able to be useful, or even a way to feel as if they are ‘earning their keep’ if they feel shame or guilt for their situation, and are too proud to ask for help, or simply to learn a new survival skill.

 

People Want To Help

 

I realise these ideas are a bit of a long shot but you find in a community, there are always people willing to take on responsibilities such as these. School P&Cs are a prime example of this kind of committee at work. There are many different kinds of committees that could be created for occasions such as these, just as I am sure there already are many varieties in action right now.

 

It Is Not For Us To Sit In Judgement, Let’s Do Something Useful Instead

 

Food_for_the_poor

Anubis Casts Judgement on a Citizen

I don’t know how this would work in reality, and there may be some who simply take it for granted and choose not to help, but they may also have very good reasons and we should not judge them for it.

 

Good For The Soul

 

Perhaps some of them may find it helpful to offer their services to assisting with the garden on a regular basis. It may fill a basic human need for them. I feel this would build confidence and self esteem in someone who might otherwise have been very down on themselves.

 

Rally The Community

 

What a way to foster communities rallying together to support one another instead of everyone having the attitude of every man for himself?

The world is changing, more people are doing good things for others, if every community did just this one small thing, we would raise the vibration of the entire Earth because in theory, people would be happier overall, we would have less starving people, and there would be less stress over making ends meet, less crime and less angry people around.

 

Schools, The Perfect Place To Shape And Mold Our Future

 

I wrote an article about educating our children on the importance of keeping our environment green and part of this was incorporating and growing your own garden at the school and using that for a great many lessons in turn from this project. We really need to educate our children about these sustainable living practices, they will most likely be living self-sufficient lives in the future at some stage and they would gain such valuable information, insights and skills once they have a project such as this to get them outdoors and into nature, getting their hands dirty and producing a living, edible plant at the end of it all. Plus obtaining a healthy dose of much needed and often lacking Vitamin D along with an all important means of exercise.

 

Plant Not Only The Seeds That Produce Food, But Plant the Seeds Of Life

 

Food for poor

Community
Gardening, even the Children can help

There’s something amazing watching the growth and development of flora that you have planted the seed for, nurtured and raised from a seed or seedling, and seeing it going through its stages of growth until it is ready for picking and eating. It even tastes better to the young palette, if they have grown it themselves. The same could be said for all of us adults too.

 

Education Is Key!

 

Part of their education around this whole ‘helping a citizen of lesser means have food in their stomach’ could be an excursion to go and donate what they’ve grown to a soup kitchen for the homeless, or perhaps give the food themselves to a church that is involved in helping the lesser fortunate people in their congregation.

Volunteering at one of these places may help them see these people as people and not just the person who they pass on a park bench on a cold morning, tucked up under their newspaper blanket.

 

 

Change Our Hearts, Change Our Future

 

Food-for-poor

Change Your Heart, Grow Wings and Fly

I believe this fosters a sense of community caring attitude and if we can instill that in our children at a young age I do believe we can change their futures into a much happier place before they even arrive there. This may well be a turning point in the lives of our children and in our future, because while we live in a world of hatred and ignore the people who have become down and out, homeless, or unemployed for whatever reasons, how can our children be happy, at peace or even non-hating themselves?

 

Think Of The Future

 

What we breed now, they take with them into their future when we are long gone from their lives. Let’s start now and teach our children to grow. Grow plants, grow food, grow loving natures, grow kindness, grow love, grow to live in a wonderful future that we have helped them to create. Provide what our population needs. Food for the poor. Let it be done in combination with a sustainable living in mind and we have just created a perfect world.

 

Think Of The Possibilities

 

What do you think? Is it possible to grow food for the poor as part of a wider scale sustainable living plan within a community? What would we need to put into place to make this happen? What would we need in terms of studies and finances? What other ideas spring to mind, please add them to this discussion at the bottom of the article. We definitely need seeds to plant so while were are on this subject, please remember to avoid using GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds and look towards a better, brighter and healthier future by reintroducing the heirloom varieties that have had no tampering and are more suited to our bodies. That is the true way to sustainable living.

 

Thank you for reading this article, and please continue on to my next article where I will discuss how town planning can begin be put in place to work towards similar goals.

 

Warm Wishes,

Ange

 

 

Resources And Images

Community Project image share under the following license and has not been modified. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Food For The Poor – Wider Sustainable Living – As Neighbors

Avocado, Food for the poor

Avocado – nearly a complete food itself

This article is my second “Food for the Poor” article in a suggested sustainable living protocol that goes that little bit further towards improving how humanity interacts with each other. The idea is that it incorporates the values of what it means to be self sufficient and maintain sustainability worldwide, into a project to help the lesser fortunate people in their communities and eventually the world. Accessible food, is a provision that I think every individual and the wider community should strive to embrace where possible.

 

Self Sufficiency Is Not All About You!

 

I realise the whole meaning of self sufficiency for most people means looking after oneself, but I would hope that does not equate to not watching out for other people and allowing our fellow humans to suffer. I for one, would NOT like to live in a world like this, where a man would allow a neighbor to starve due to selfishness, instead of reaching out to that neighbor and helping him when times are tough. This encourages good will toward every man and if that person needs help themselves, at least they have good karma coming back to them in terms of the other person’s gratitude and therefore likeliness to want to help him back.

 

My Call To Action Is To Change The World If We Can

 

Acts of kindness can go a long way to forging a new and much more peaceful and happier path for the future of this planet. If we can get along and help each other as neighbors in a town, why not then, assume we can get along as neighboring countries? I believe once people are happier and begin to actually look out for one another, there will be a positive change worldwide that will be tangible and lead to much better quality of lives all around. Call me an idealist, but if nobody thought this way then we wouldn’t get very far as a population and I’m sure this is the very reason that we haven’t all killed each other off by now, because a large number of people do think this way. So when you can, please consider handing out free food, our surplus may influence another person’s whole existence.

 

What Is Preferable? Watching Children Becoming Nutritionally Deficient, Or Lending A Hand?

 

Food-for-the-poor

“Here, please take some tomatoes”

I know what I would choose, what about you? Think of it this way, we could stand by and watch a homeless person, or a young mother struggling to feed her children if a loss of job has affected them, or we can take action and give them something to eat without their pride being hurt. I say this because many people will not ask for help, but if they can see that something is there to be taken, such as a person offering up their ‘spare’ fruit and veggies for anyone to dig in to, they would be more likely to take this opportunity to eat. Especially if other people were seen to be helping themselves as well, or even if the person giving the food away was to physically hand out the food initially until the people who need it felt comfortable enough to just take it when offered..

 

Still Keeping It Green!

 

In doing this, we would also be encouraging a sustainable living lifestyle through keeping the ‘green’ on our Earth and giving ourselves a food source in which to help us financially too. By using the word ‘financially,’ I am referring to the fact that if we grow our own food, we will need less money to spend on purchasing the same items from a store. We could effectively cut our cost of living down by substantial amounts simply by growing our own food.

 

Love Thy Neighbor

 

This whole concept of ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ can extend into other areas of food production and more. If you provided a source of food and gave the excess to your neighbors when there was an abundant amount, you could use your food to gain someone else’s extras.

For example you grow fruit and vegetables, yet your neighbor, or quite possibly that young mother struggling to feed her kids, has access to a cow for milk, cheese, butter items, and suddenly you can barter or trade produce and still have reduced monetary expenses related to food. This is not a new thing, it is done already all over the world, but less in western countries because that would be like going back to the ‘dark ages’ for some people who are not used to this. I know at this point I am one of them, not used to it. I am endeavouring to change that now by implementing small changes in the right direction.

 

Now Suddenly We Are All Becoming Healthy Again

 

If we lived like this we would be literally eating much more healthily than if we were relying on all the processed foods in the store and not making the effort to make our own items such as stocks, sauces, and yes, even snacks. One of the best healthy lifestyle dietary choices is to choose to have 80% raw or whole foods and only 20% cooked. Eating all of these fresh fruit and veggies would be beneficial in so many ways and on so many levels, including strain on the health care system.

 

Avocado Ice-cream? Who Knew?

Food_for_the_poor

Avocado Ice Cream

There are so many more healthy snack and other food items available to you by living in

this way, that you could cut down costs even more by learning how to make many of these things yourself. For example, I recently heard that you can make ice cream from avocado.

Now there’s a good idea on how to use up surplus avocados. Imagine that? Using left over fruit to make a delicious ice cream snack that you might otherwise have paid a considerable amount for an item that is not even really a whole food by the time it undergoes all the processing. Or, going back to the neighbor friendliness, trade avocado ice cream for some treat they have made with their own surplus.

 

It Takes Commitment

Once again, I admit that this is looking at the situation with rose coloured glasses on, because to actually bring this lifestyle into being would take the commitment of many people, possibly and entire world population to achieve. However I do believe it is possible to encourage behaviour such as this between neighbors and the community. In fact this is the way most of those self-sufficient communities choose to live, by all working together as one unit to feed everyone in the community.

 

Is It At All Possible? Who Knows? But At Least We Are Doing Something!

 

I really hope providing food for the poor becomes a reality and that starting individually or as neighbors becomes the first step people take towards bringing it into the wider sustainable living concept. Let me know in the comments section what problems you can see in the planning or environmental aspects. I am just one person with a dream, with not so much knowledge of the finer details, maybe if we raise some questions, there may be some people able to find a solution to it so we can realise this new world.

 

Thank you for reading

 

Warm Wishes

Ange