Monday, February 25, 2013

5 Natural Cures for Weeds

Gardening season is fast approaching, and we're so excited to start planting ours. However, there is one chore we haven't missed, weeding. Weeds, while being a good stress release method occasionally, are mostly an obnoxious chore. Chemicals used to rid yourself of weeds sometimes leave you hesitant, are aren't always the safest. Natural remedies can work wonders and you might even have some of the ingredients in your kitchen! Here are 5 examples of natural cures to rid yourself of those pesky weeds this year.

1) Vinegar
Vinegar is great for so many things, weed killing is just one of a long list. Just take a squirt bottle and fill it up, and you'll have a weed killer. However, vinegar is one to be careful with, as it can have adverse affects on anything it is sprayed on, regardless of whether it's a weed or your favorite petunias. Spray with caution.

2) Boiled Water
Treating weeds with boiled water destroys them down to their roots. However, this is another method that can also easily kill plants that you want to keep as well as the weeds. Be careful about where you pour and you'll be fine.

3) Liquid Dish Detergent
Mix dish soap with water at a 1:10 ratio, and you'll have a full force weed killer on your hands. This is also handy because it will give the plant a more oily appearance, so you can see what you have sprayed.

4) Cornmeal
Sprinkle a little on the soil after your planned plants have begun showing and this kitchen essential will keep weeds out and attract worms, which will improve the overall health of your soil.

5) Newspaper
Layer at least 5 pieces of Newspaper on top of your undesired weed. This works best for weeds in areas populated by plants that you actually want, because you can control the spread by where you actually put the Newspaper. This technique essentially smothers the weed.

Especially with the liquid cures on this list be careful when applying. Do not saturate the soil, or you could end up doing long term damage to your soil as well as killing other nearby plants.

Which of these have you used? Have you used any different remedies? Be sure to share in the comments!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Photo Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all are doing well and that the weather hasn't got you down too much! Today's photo is a small sampling of what we got from the storm that covered most of Iowa last night. Be sure to share your photos in the comments! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Recycling Information Visualized

Yesterday we found this great graphic that shows just how huge the impact of waste can be, in terms that actually make sense to us. Today's blog post is just us sharing this great infographic with you. What are your thoughts? Does this make the issue of Recycling (organics and otherwise) anymore real to you? Let us know! 

Infographic found here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Featured Article: Growing Salsa Verde

We're currently sitting in that period of winter where we're all more than ready for it to be spring. One great way to combat the winter blues- start planning your garden for next spring! Today's featured article is great because it tells you all about growing Tomatillos, but it also focuses on one of the great things you can make from it- Salsa Verde.

Today's article has tips on growing Tomatillos and tips for making homemade Salsa Verde, which makes it a great read to kick the winter doldrums. Check it out today and start planning your Tomatillos plants today!

Read the article here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Photo Friday

Happy Friday! Today's photo also comes from our Dodge City location.

Did you  get a great photo recently? Share it in our comments!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Featured Article: DIY: Hanging Plastic Bottle Planter

It's no secret that we love upcycling DIYs here. This one feeds two of our loves, upcycling and gardening. We're itching for the spring to get here so we can start planting, and this planter is a great way to recycle and get your green thumb working!

We like this DIY because it's easy, cheap, and easy to personalize. The design is done by decorative duct tape, and there are a lot of different looks for that. It can match any decor and it's so easy it's hard to pass this one up!

Check out the DIY here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Green Your Holiday: Valentine's Day

Valentine's day is this Thursday. For this holiday people in the U.S. will spend over $14 billion on gifts for their sweethearts. While that's nice, that can also lead to a lot of waste and a large carbon footprint. Today we have a few greener options to keep in mind when spending money on the ones you love this holiday.

1) Organic/Fair Trade Flowers
Flowers tend to be a traditional gift for this holiday, so spend a little extra time to look for those that are organic/fair trade. They're out there and fairly easy to find, you just have to look! While the impact isn't huge, it does make a difference! You can even buy these flowers online! Check out this guide to buying organic/fair trade bouquets online.

2) Local Wine
Another common tradition is wine. If you're over 21, try to purchase a local winery's wine. It's a great way to explore what's available in your community, support a local business, and green up, considering the transportation of importing bottles from all over the country and world. 

3) Eco-Friendly Jewelry
This one sounds odd, we know, but it's very important. Low carbon footprints and friendly sourced gemstones can make a large impact on the environment, but it can all make a positive impact as many sustainable jewelry is also carefully sourced to be conflict free. This article has some great information on why and how to purchase green jewelry. 

4) Something DIY-ed
Homemade presents still carry a lot of sentimental value, even in today's world. Make your own present for your beau and they'll be touched, and you can be a little more green! Check out this website for upcycling craft DIYs- and reuse something while you're creating that perfect gift.

5) If You Can't Do, Buy
With the rise of sites like Etsy, it is also easy to find that great reuse present, without requiring you to have any skills at DIY! Looks around on sites to find a cool, reused object item and your green loving Valentine will love it!

Do you have any other eco-valentine present ideas? Share them in the comments!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Featured Article: Everything You Need to Know About Buying in Bulk

Today's featured article is all about buying in bulk. Buying in bulk can be a great way to lower your wrapping waste, and lower your food waste. This article takes you through the tips and tricks of shopping in bulk and being efficient at it. 

As the article points out, don't automatically think of Sams or Costco. The beauty of buying in bulk is that products aren't pre-packaged, so you can buy as much or as little as you like or need. 

This article is a great read, so check it out and find all the secrets to buying in bulk, and don't forget to compost food waste that you do still generate.

Read the full article here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

U.S. Composting Council Conference

As you all know, last week we were at the annual U.S. Composting Council Conference down in Orlando. Despite the gorgeous weather (especially when compared to the ice and snow that Iowa was getting) we spent most of our time inside the hotel's conference center learning about the great things happening in the world of compost!

From composting in restaurants, to higher education, to new avenues to composting, like community councils on sustainability, the panels covered a variety of important topics. We're excited to get back and use the information we gained in our everyday activity.

Did you attend the conference this year? If so let us know what your favorite panel was!