Blog Posts by TheDailyGreen.com

  • 7 Simple Cheap Ways to Control Garden Pests

    dont throw that away book by jeff yeager

    Gardening and landscaping - or, as I call them, the "soil sports" - are among my favorite pastimes. It's a chance to enjoy being outdoors and exercise both my green thumb and my passion for creative repurposing - you know, finding innovative ways to reuse items that most people simply throw away.

    There a bunch of different ways to reuse would-be throwaway items in the garden and yard, including a number of techniques for deterring plant loving insects and other garden pests by repurposing things that might otherwise in end up in the trash. These pest solutions are easier on both the environment and your wallet than toxic chemical pesticide. Did you know that, according to the EPA, 78 million U.S. households use home and garden pesticides each year, with chemical pesticide sales topping $9 billion annually? That's a lot of dead bugs and a lot of dead president (AKA cash, bucks, greenbacks, lettuce, etc.)

    Check out these "repurposeful" alternatives for garden pest control:

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  • How to Get Rid of Mice Naturally

    MouseMouseWhen mice invade the home, the instinct to kill can overwhelm many a homeowner.

    But beyond being cruel to critters just trying to live, a lot of the poisons commonly used for years are so toxic that the Environmental Protection Agency recently moved to ban the most toxic products, as well as most loose bait and pellet poisons, and even started legal action against some manufacturers.

    Why? These pesticides resulted in thousands of calls to poison control centers annually, and because they weren't contained in tamper- and weather-resistant bait boxes, pets and wildlife were also killed.

    What's more, research has shown that pesticides used in and around the home can linger for years.

    In addition to banning the use of loose baits, the EPA is banning the use of poisons called "second generation anticoagulants" that kill by causing internal bleeding after a single dose. (These new rules apply to products marketed for home use, but licensed pest control professionals may

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  • 8 Facts and Myths About Warming Up Your Car in Winter

    Old habits die hard, and one of the oldest-still rigorously enforced by many drivers-is that "warming up" the car for a few minutes is necessary to avoid some kind of unspecified damage.

    But idling is totally unnecessary, which is why many communities have enacted ordinances against the practice. Don't take my word about idling being ineffective, but do listen to my mechanic, Rob Maier, who runs Maier's Garage in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He says, "You don't really need to idle your car, because of the efficiency of modern fuel injection, which eliminated carburetors and chokes. The only reason to let the car idle at all is to get the oil circulating, but after 30 seconds that's a done deal. My truck has 150,000 miles on it, and I just throw it into gear and go."

    Here are some quick facts and tips that should put the idling question to rest:

    woman scraping ice off car

    1. Driving Warms the Car Faster than Idling.
    If your concern is not the health of the car, but simply your own creature

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  • 3 Out-of-the-Box Ways to Make Kale Taste Good

    If you're looking for a food that divides the health nuts and the farmers' market crowd from the others, kale is probably it.

    It's abundant, cheap and super nutritious but the closest many people get to it is the meat counter at the supermarket, where it's often used as a green base to show off the red cuts of beef.

    Before we offer recipes for a kale conversion, let's sing its praises: First, it's a superfood, ranking among the foods with the most Vitamin A, Vitamin K and beta carotene. In many climates, it's an easy-to-grow perennial vegetable, and it's available from the winter farmers' market, given it's tolerance for cold weather.

    One word of caution: In the Environmental Working Group's ranking of the dirty dozen foods with the highest pesticide residues, which is based on government testing data, kale and other dark leafy greens have often made the list. So it's a good vegetable to buy organic.

    But how do you make it taste good? Some people can drink it raw, in a

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  • 10 New Ways to Use Super-Cheap, Super-Healthy Chickpeas

    Chickpeas.
    Here's to the humble chick pea!

    It's full of fiber, phytonutrients and it's one of the top sources of Vitamin B6.

    It's so cheap, it makes the Green Cheapskate's list of 50 Healthy Foods for Under $1 a Pound.

    And, as a bean you can easily buy in cans (caution: best be cautious and look for BPA-free cans) or dry in bulk, it's easy to buy in any season and store for just about as long as you need before you're ready to cook it.

    For those on a gluten-free diet, it offers a versatility that can stand in for wheat in some recipes.

    It even comes with a jazzy pseudonym, the garbanzo bean.

    But how do you make the bland, cream-colored little legumes taste good?

    The Daily Green to the rescue! Here are 10 tasty recipes that will make this bean a favorite.

    > Flaxseed Crackers with Homemade Sprouted-Chickpea Hummus (Raw Food for Real People)
    > Chickpea, Tomato and Kale Salad (Country Living)
    > Chickpea-Potato Fritters with Nigella Seeds (The Daily Green)
    >

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  • 5 Outdoor Exercises for Mom and Baby

    If you're a recent mother, you know how hard it is to squeeze in exercise between working, cooking meals, and changing diapers. When you do find time for a workout, its often limited. And losing that baby weight is hard enough without having to arrange for childcare. Luckily, exercise is something you can do with your infant while getting some fresh air and enjoying the outdoors.

    Angela Salveo, a certified personal trainer, demonstrates 12 stretches and exercises you can do with your child. "The trick is to fit a little in here and there when your baby is in a good mood," Salveo said. "Don't push her past her limit or you'll never get your workout in." As you do these exercises, a useful tip is to count out loud to your baby. You'll keep track of your reps while helping your little one pick up on numbers.

    Always check with your physician and your pediatrician before starting an exercise routine, and take extra care to keep your baby safe while you're exercising. If you've

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  • $550 You're Wasting at Home

    While you're at work making money, some might be trickling away at home. Wasted resources are wasted cash. We did the math to prove that not only is going green good for the Earth, its good for your wallet.

    IstockIstock

    Here's how you can significantly lessen your impact on the environment and save $550 this year.

    Recycle your Unused Electronics
    Cost Savings: $125 or more
    You know that drawer in your home filled with old cell phones and chargers you're hesitant to throw out but not sure what else to do with? Recycle them for cash. Sites like SecureTradeIn.com, YouRenew.com, and Gazelle.com will pay for your used electronics. We found 21 cell phones worth $125 or more - and laptops, tablets and other electronics could give you an even bigger payback.

    Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
    Cost Savings: $112
    Lighting represents about 11% of your home's energy bill-$210 annually. Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with efficient compact

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  • The 8 Most Affordable Natural Sunscreens

    More than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and the sun can prematurely age your skin. Prevention is key. But not all sunscreens are created equal. Some contain ingredients, like oxybenzone, that may be ok with the government, but which worry watchdogs.

    We started with the best-rated mineral sunblocks (made with zinc and titanium) from the Environmental Working Group's annual sunscreen guide. These natural sunscreens not only block harmful UVA and UVB rays that lead to sun damage and cancer, but they are free from suspect chemicals. Then we did some price checking. Below is our list of the most affordable natural sunscreens (and kid and baby sunscreens) on the market. Each costs $2.50 or less per ounce, which is about the amount an adult needs to lather up.

    woman using natural sunscreenTom Merton / Getty ImagesNature's Gate Mineral Kid'sBlock
    $1.45 per ounce for SPF 20. ($5.79 for a 4-ounce tube at amazon.com)

    BabyGanics Cover-Up Baby Sunscreen
    $1.96 per ounce for SPF 50. ($23.50

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  • Budget Romance: 8 Cheap Summer Date Ideas

    Let's face it: we're living in hard economic times. But life is short and we shouldn't let our penny-pinching habits take a toll on our love lives. A good date doesn't have to be elaborate or fancy. What it comes down to is spending time with your special someone and having fun while doing it. We ran some ideas by Ellie Kay, author most recently of, The Sixty Minute Money Workout and came up with eight cheap summer dates that wont break the bank.

    Lise Gagne / IstockLise Gagne / Istock1. Picnic in the park
    We all know that packing a lunch is more economical than eating out. Instead of splurging on a fancy dinner, have wine and cheese night outdoors. Bike over to your local park or botanical garden and find somewhere secluded. Grab a blanket, your favorite wine, some cheese and crackers (and bug spray!) and let the evening end with stargazing.

    2. Go on a hike
    Infuse romance with exercise and get some fresh air outdoors. Chose a dry day and enjoy the landscape your region has to offer. Hikes give couples

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  • Four Natural Beauty Shopping Deals for July

    There's no time like summer to turn up the heat on summer beauty. So stock up on natural sunscreens, natural anti-aging serums and natural face masks to protect against the summer sun and restore your natural glow. Try some natural hair care products to restore luster to your locks, and apply some natural makeup to enhance your assets. We've identified four deals that will save you serious cash on your purchases, so shop online now so you can get to the beach!

    IstockIstock10% off at Beautorium
    Beautorium sells several of TheDailyGreen's favorite natural makeup brands. Through July 14, get 10% off.

    $5-$10 off at Beauty.com
    While not all its products are green, beauty.com offers such TDG favorites as Juice Beauty Organic Facial Rejuvenating Mask ($32). Throughout 2011, get $5 off an order of $35, or $10 off an order of $70, for first-time orders only.

    $5-$10, or 10% off at The Natural Store
    The Natural Store sells many of TDG's favorites, including top-rated (and

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