Loading...

Follow The Green Divas on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

If you have critters chewing on your flowers or veggies,
simple pepper spray can help.

If you are a gardener, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of planting seeds or seedlings and nurturing them to the point where the buds are abundant only to come out one morning and see sad stubby green stems as if someone accidentally weed-whacked your beloved plants. 

I’m a sucker for a cute bunny or chippie (chipmunk) or even the very hungry fat bastards (our not-so-nice nickname for hedgehogs). I’m the crazy lady who talks to squirrels and pigeons. When I was a kid, it was a rare thrill to see a few deer in the back yard. Now the deer literally walk up our street and wander in and out of the neighborhood yards like 4-legged thugs, brazenly munching on whatever suits them. Last week Gracie and I came up to our yard after our walk and there was a deer a few feet away that seemed relatively unperturbed by our presence and I swear it looked at me and sullenly asked, “do you have any more of those sweet red tulips from last week?” 

Suburban Deer - YouTube

I’m not inclined to violence, but I would seriously like to deter them. So, one of the best deterrents for most of these critters has been hot pepper spray. It turns out the capsaicin found in hot peppers of the Capsicum genus are distasteful to mammals like deer, squirrels, rabbits, voles, possum, groundhogs, chipmunks and some insects. It doesn’t harm them, the environment, the plants or the humans who might eat them. 

The trick is to spray frequently as soon as you see evidence a critter is poaching your plants, and make sure to respray after rain. If you are consistent about applying weekly (or any time after rain), hopefully the uninvited guests will move on to tastier gardens.

You can buy a variety of capsaicin sprays, but they tend to get expensive and homemade pepper spray is actually super easy to make. 

Watch this fun little 1 GD Minute video tutorial to see how easy it is
(and have a chuckle)
1 GD Minute: Homemade Hot Pepper Spray to Deter Garden Critters - YouTube
Homemade Pepper Spray Recipe what you need

1 gallon of water
3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons castile soap (I used peppermint because it can be an insect repellent)
spray bottle (either a couple of them or a gallon container to keep what doesn’t fit in the spray bottle)
funnel

what to do
  • add the red pepper flakes to the water in a large pot and simmer for about 15 minutes
  • stir in castile soap (important to help the concoction stick to the plants)
  • take off the heat and let stand for 24 hours
  • strain out the pepper flakes
  • and use funnel to pour into your spray bottle
  • NOTE: be mindful that the cooking liquid can cause some irritation to nose and eyes, and of course the liquid itself can be irritating.
Please check out our YouTube channel to see our short, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…
1 GD Minute: Non-Toxic DIY Foaming Hand Soap - YouTube

And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post!

 

The post Got garden critters? Try easy homemade pepper spray recipe appeared first on The Green Divas.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
You can honor your Mom while still honoring Mother Earth.

For many, Mother’s Day is a complicated holiday, and let’s be real, it is another one of those marketing holidays that screams, “buy stuff!” as if a sappy haiku on a card with butterflies will make up for the days we don’t necessarily celebrate mom. 

My mother has been gone for over 22 years, but when she was around, she didn’t have any heavy 

me in my mother’s lap with GD Lisa in the background

expectations about this holiday, which is good because I was never good at nailing it with gifts and cards. She knew I loved her and respected her and in those last few years, I let her know how very grateful I was for everything. 

Is it just me or have these kinds of holidays just gotten more insane over the last decade or two? What used to be an excuse to get together and celebrate mom is now this massive push to give the “perfect” gift. 

As a mother myself, I nipped that in the bud when my three girls were small. I expected nothing, but some quality time to play in the garden or make something fun and have a fun meal (that maybe I didn’t have to cook). 

You can honor your Mom while still honoring Mother Earth by following the Green Divas consumer motto: buy less, make more, and when you have to buy, buy green and local! So, here are a few ideas to help you celebrate Mother’s Day, whether you are a mother, have a mother, hate your mother or want to celebrate mama earth…

Stop judging.

Stop judging your mother, yourself as a mother, other mothers, your siblings, all of it. Don’t compare yourself to all the glorified images of perfect motherhood being blasted at us during this time. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t love your mother perfectly. Give yourself a break if you feel like a slacker mom. And it’s OK to not be a mom, whether you wanted kids or not! 

Get creative.

In my experience, the best most nurturing mother energy is a creative force manifesting love. If you are a mother, you are a creator. I much prefer gifts that were made for me, even if they suck. If you are going to give me something, please make it for me. Write me a handwritten note, rather than a store-bought card. Make me a simple meal that we can enjoy together. Getting creative doesn’t necessarily mean “stuff” of any kind. Maybe sing a special song together, take a walk, watch a movie together or laugh at stupid cat videos. “Together” is the key. 

Keep it simple.

Easier said than done, I know, but minimize the cat wrangling of various family obligations and try to focus on what is most important, which may be different from year to year. Perhaps one mother or family member is sick or really needs support this year. It’s all about balance. Rather than trying to juggle like a rockstar to keep everyone happy, find a gentle way to minimize the trauma for you, your kids, your extended family. Be willing to compromise on the things that are less important and get clear on what is important to you (as a mother?) and your mother and the other mother’s that call for honoring. 

 

Be present.

We all have some twisted history with mom. Whether it is crazy sibling rivalry, family break-ups, illness, alcoholism, or a variety of other traumatic dysfunctional attributes, try to let the past be the past and do your best to be present. For me, the present on Mother’s Day is bittersweet—I feel my mother’s absence acutely, but being with my own family brings me incredible joy. Sometimes at times like Mother’s Day when we are all together, I just sit and watch the little dramas of their lives unfold across the table with chattering banter or stinging sarcasm, and immerse myself in this presence; which is so full with life, craziness, love, all of it; and my heart just about bursts through my eyes. 

Mothers are the gardeners of the human race ~ Anna A Rogers #mothersday #mothering #mamaearth
Click To Tweet

Be THE present. Whoever you are with (mother, children, friends, lovers), be sure to give them the gift of your presence. Try to stop obsessing about the past or anxiously worrying about the future when you are with someone trying to honor them. Can’t do it all. So, pick the present and focus your love and attention on whoever you are with. 

Connect with nature.

Hey why not make the connection between Mom and Mother Earth? Seriously, who doesn’t love nature? Take a walk outside or a hike if that is possible. An outdoor picnic if weather and circumstances allow. I have always loved digging in the dirt on Mother’s Day as it is generally a safe frost-free time to start putting plants in the ground. My kids used to grumble, but they learned about gardening and at least one of them seems to enjoy it now. 

Check out my Tech Timeout mediation and strategies for disconnecting from devices and reconnecting with nature.

Be nurturing.

Well, motherhood is all about nurturing, right? The idea of motherhood brings up all kinds of images of self-sacrifice in the name of nurturing. I vote be good and nurturing to yourself first, then let it overflow to all those who you want to honor on Mother’s Day. I certainly can’t give what I haven’t got. As a mother I learned (the hard way) that when I allowed myself to get drained, I wasn’t very good at being patient, loving or remotely nurturing with my kids. But conversely, when I was feeling spiritually, emotionally, physically nourished, I could be the fun mom I envisioned myself to be. So, however you do Mother’s Day, be it by yourself or with a crowd, be good to yourself and then you will find that you’ll be able to be more giving with whoever you are with or encounter on this often fraught holiday. 

Please check out our YouTube channel to see our short, sometimes inspirational, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with inspiring messages, recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…
1 GD Minute: Art & Inspiration ~ John Lennon Quote - YouTube

And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post

The post 6 Ways to honor mom, mama earth & yourself this Mother’s Day appeared first on The Green Divas.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 



Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success

~ William Clay Ford Jr. 

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency for Cox Enterprises; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are The Green Divas.

For some of us earthy crunchy types, who are deeply concerned about climate change and the environment, it’s easy to dislike big corporations that so often have profits and bottom lines as a priority. But companies like Cox Enterprises are stepping up with massive sustainability initiatives that are already having a positive impact.

We generally shy away from corporate and company profile stories, but this one got our attention because Cox Enterprises has made a serious commitment to improve their corporate carbon footprint. 

In addition to being a leading communications, media and automotive services company, Cox Enterprises has some rather impressive environmental goals being implemented now through Cox Conserves, their national sustainability program. They are heavily investing in the belief that what is good for the environment is good for the bottom line.

Since 2007, Cox has offset 102, 360 tons of CO2; saved 62 million gallons of water through conservation; and diverted 101,945 tons of waste. They have some serious goals listed on their website that include: sending zero waste to landfill by 2024, and to be carbon and water neutral by 2044. 

Those stats are getting an accelerated bump from their recent announcement to add four large solar installations in the Southeast. This is one of 30 solar projects that Cox has completed over the past decade. 

The Southeast Solar Farm is one example of the the company’s renewable energy initiatives and the type of sustainable technology investments the recently-assembled Cox Cleantech team (an extension of Cox Conserves) will be focusing on.

The infographic below gives you an idea of the breadth of the impact the Southeast Solar Farm is expected to have (remember one of 30 solar projects!) … 

So, for those of you that are Cox customers, you can feel better about using their services as you are contributing to some great climate positive programs. As corporations go, they seem to be much cooler than I would’ve expected! What we do as individuals helps, but we need more companies like Cox to step up their game to help accelerate the change we need to significantly slow down and shift the tide of climate change. Good job Cox. Keep going!

To learn more about the Southeast Solar Farm Fund, click here!

The post Cox sustainability initiatives make significant impact appeared first on The Green Divas.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

love the woods. the ticks & bugs? not so much.

My happiest place on earth has always been in the woods. I grew up spending most of my time in the woods building forts, climbing trees and discovering amazing things. I never owned dolls (well, my mother did give me a couple, but I never understood how to play with them). Nope. The woods I understood. 

The next best place a lake near the woods, and we just moved to a new home which is nestled privately among some ancient trees in the woods next to a perfect private lake! We have a front porch AND a porch off the master bedroom and I spend as much time as possible out in these areas, but being so embedded in nature means we live among the bugs. Mosquitos love the water and they also love me.

So, I went on a search for the best, most effective, least offensive (to me, my friends and family, my dog  AND the planet) and there are some decent ones to buy, but somehow I never seem to have any when I need it, and of course, they aren’t necessarily cheap. Nope, I’m determined to create a natural bug repellent recipe that I can make at home and keep all the ingredients handy when I run out. 

There are a lot of natural bug spray recipes out there. We have a few DIY natural bug repellent recipes here on the GD site! But here’s one I’ve landed on that seems to work. I spray it on me, the dog, the grandkids clothing and we don’t stink!

Watch my silly 1 GD Minute video tutorial and see how easy it is to make:
1 GD Minute: Non-Toxic Tick & Bug Repellent - YouTube
Green Diva Meg’s DIY natural bug repellent recipe:

what you need

4 oz. glass spray bottle
20 drops geranium essential oil
10 drops
citronella essential oil  (although I didn’t use it in my video batch, you can add for additional mosquito protection)
7 drops lemon essential oil
7 drops eucalyptus essential oil
7 drops lemongrass essential oil
1 teaspoon peppermint castile soap
1/4 cup witch hazel
1/4 cup water

what to do
  1. put all the essential oils into the glass bottle
  2. add teaspoon of the peppermint castile soap and mix it all up (this will help distribute the oils evenly and ultimately emulsify them in the entire mixture)
  3. add the water and witch hazel to the bottle
  4. mix vigorously before using!
Please check out our YouTube channel to see our short, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…
1 GD Minute: Homemade Hot Pepper Spray to Deter Garden Critters - YouTube

And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post!

 

The post Green Diva Meg’s DIY natural bug repellent recipe appeared first on The Green Divas.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure, or possibly years later… ?

~ EPA website

It’s no secret that dust and dirt are present even in the cleanest of homes. Every-day living, generate dirt, dust and other contaminants causing indoor air pollution. Think about all of the pet hair, chemicals from cleaning products, cooking oils, fumes from candles and spray from aerosol cans (like hairspray – does anyone use aerosol hairspray anymore?).

With nowhere else to go, these pollutants enter your HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system and are spread throughout your house. Sure, cleaning and vacuuming regularly can help combat this, but it’s often not enough. There will still be dust and dirt, and indoor air pollution circulating through your home via the air ducts.

Your air duct system acts as the lungs of your home. They take air in and breathe air out, so these contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and recirculated several times per day. This build-up of dust, dirt, and allergens in your heating and cooling system can not only affect the quality of your home’s indoor air quality, but it can also affect the efficiency of your HVAC system.

These indoor air pollutants can build up in your HVAC system and contribute to health issues as well as shorten the life of your HVAC system.

editor’s note: Learn more about indoor air pollution.

But there is a solution! Regular air duct cleaning can help with both of these issues. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature of your home. That means less energy is used, which leads to cost-savings — Yea! 

You can be greener and save some green while you’re doing it. There is a direct connection between  energy consumption and the environment. Anything we can do to reduce energy consumption will reduce the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants. To generate electricity, most power plants burn coal, crude oil, and other fossil fuels. So, by having your air duct system cleaned you’ll reduce the energy consumption of your HVAC unit which will directly contribute to a happier and healthier world!

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), the authority on HVAC inspection, cleaning and restoration, recommends that homeowners take a flashlight and a small mirror to inspect their air ducts. If your ducts look dirty, they probably are! Visible dust, dirt, and debris means you should have your air ducts cleaned. Getting the job done right the first time can save you time, money and a lot of frustration so you will want to work with a qualified contractor you can trust. NADCA members are certified and held to the highest of industry standards.

This post is sponsored by NADCA. To find a NADCA member company in your area and to learn more about improving your home’s indoor air quality visit www.BreathingClean.com.

Please check out our YouTube channel to see short, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…
1 GD Minute: Easy Peasy Pickled Radishes - YouTube

And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post!

The post Have less indoor air pollution AND save money appeared first on The Green Divas.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

men argue. nature acts.

~ Voltaire

GD Max and I recently gathered at GD Studio Q (up in the Qua, aka Chappaqua, NY) to chat about Earth Day and record some of our thoughts on this year’s theme of activism. Honestly, I think it was last year’s theme, but seems like it’s still a relevant priority. 

Listen to this year’s Earth Day show

And here’s a mashup of our favorite Earth Day posts.

There’s no argument (although some still cling to the idea that there is) that climate change caused by human activity is in an accelerated downward spiral. It seems we are locked in a race to make this planet uninhabitable by humans and other species that require clean air, food and water. Glaciers have hit a “point of no return,” there is already a serious water crisis in Africa, and we are finding water supplies poisoned in more places than Flint Michigan. We are destroying our food supply with toxic chemicals and GMO crops and still razing the rainforests at a rate that is mind blowing. 

But, please don’t mistake my rant. I’m not entirely pessimistic. Read this post and listen to the podcast with one of my favorite climate optimists, Climate Mama, Harriet Shugarman.

Some of us thought we were activists until the White House became occupied (part-time) by a gang of anti-environmental thugs who have this antiquated notion that all regulation is bad and corporate greed is good. Sorry, not sugar coating it. But the good news is that almost everyone I know, including the usual conservative suspects, are stepping up their game on behalf of sanity when it comes to climate change, conservation and anti-pollution regulation. Whether taking to the streets, knitting hats, joining or supporting organizations that are on the front lines, running for office, sending postcards, calling and emailing their representatives and relentlessly reflecting the truth in the face of bold face lies; people are motivated and getting off their couches and into action like never before (at least in relatively recent history).

There are so many ways to get active. So many organizations. Read a great post about midlife activism for some inspiration, and please read my post about ways to love mama earth without being annoying.

I’m a tiny bit hopeful that we will be able to sort out this mess without killing each other rather than looking to colonize some other planet that we can then quickly trash. We have to grow up and realize this gorgeous planet offers us all the resources we need to survive if we are intelligent, compassionate, and cooperate with each other and most of all stop acting like greedy spoiled children. I’m not sure about you, but my experience is that people who are afraid of not having food, water, clean air and shelter are cranky and prone to violence, especially when what little they have is threatened further. 

In the midst of all the crazy negative news, I’m seeing some bright spots of positive things happening, of people getting creative, people finding new ways to work together, people waking up. 

what in nature thrills you & makes you tingle w/ mysterious joy? #earthday everyday
Click To Tweet

So my wish for you this Earth Day is as always, first connect to this earth and understand your place here, whatever that may be. Hug a tree or at least find a nice plant to commune with, find a space in nature that thrills you and makes you tingle with mysterious joy, and spend some quiet time contemplating what you can do to be part of the goodness that is sprouting. What can you do to participate in the solution. Do one thing that helps make this a better planet and honors all that mama earth does for us. Maybe do two or three. Whatever. At the very least don’t be complicit in the destruction. Don’t keep quiet when you know the truth is not being told. 

Here are a couple of our favorite GD Earth Day pieces from over the years that are still worth reading and sharing…

What are you giving Mama Earth this Earth Day? 

Last year’s ideas for ways to give back to mama earth.

Earth Day with Ed Begley

Seems like we had a few Earth Days with Ed Begley, Jr.

Earth Day DIY Water Garden for Bees

A fun activity to do with the kids.

50 Free or Cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day Everyday

A fun and useful list of ways to celebrate Earth Day.

Please check out our YouTube channel to see our short, sometimes inspirational, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with inspiring messages, recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…
1 GD Minute: Art & Inspiration ~ John Lennon Quote - YouTube

And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post

The post Earth Day 2018: Stepping up our activism game appeared first on The Green Divas.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!

~ Hunter S. Thompson

You care about the environment. You know climate change is a real thing. You recycle. You finally remember to bring your reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. You have your own water bottle and you are trying to remember to use your glass straw (or some kind of reusable straw). You fully comprehend that we are on the precipice of that tipping point of no return in terms of squandering vital resources like air, water, soil, trees, food, etc. You may even have reduced your meat consumption or gone totally vegan in an effort to support greater sustainability. 

Have you considered how your body may impact the environment and those left behind after you die? A green burial could be your last and perhaps one of your greatest statements about how you really did love the earth.

According to the Green Burial Council, conventional burials – embalming, funeral home viewing and placing a steel casket in a cement lined hole – result in the annual use of 77,000 trees and nearly 5  million gallons of embalming fluid containing cancer-causing chemicals. And these fancy toxic-style funerals aren’t cheap! On average, the entire process can cost a minimum $7,000.

One might think cremation would have less of an impact. It does in terms of taking up less actual land, but … according to the National Death Centre, a Britain-based funeral consulting group, one cremation uses as much energy as a 500-mile car trip and releases 250 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Ok, so how do you sidestep this final insult to the earth that goes against everything you believed when you were alive? 

What are the alternatives?

Listen to the latest 50 Shades of Green Divas podcast to hear about some of the latest and most earth-friendly methods of creating a greener goodbye. We chat with Kerry Potter, owner of Dying to Bloom, a natural burial boutique in Nyack, NY, where she helps education people about their options for a green burial and holds a weekly Death Cafe meeting to help break the taboo of talking about this important fact of life. 

If you haven’t really made plans for your body after you die, don’t wait. Do some homework — it won’t jinx you, and make you die sooner. Figure out what is most comfortable for you and let your family know your wishes. Also, if you can find a way to talk about it with other family members whose funerals you might be in charge of, be tactful, but have the conversation and help them understand their options and the potential implications they could have. 

Death is difficult for so many reasons and talking about it can be a challenge, but it happens to all of us and the more conscious we are about how we live and how we die, the more positive our impact on our world can be. 

Please check out our YouTube channel to see our short, sometimes inspirational, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with inspiring messages, recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…
1 GD Minute: Art & Inspiration ~ John Lennon Quote - YouTube

And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post

The post Green Burial: your last awesome act for earth appeared first on The Green Divas.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

How full is your water glass?

Chances are, if you’re reading this, it can be half full or even overflowing if you simply walk a few feet to your kitchen sink. Or maybe you need to walk up or down a flight of stairs. Darn.

Actually, when this post was originally written in 2015, this number of 750 million was shocking, but the UN now estimates 1.2 billion (yes billion with a ‘b’) don’t have access to save drinking water! 

According to the UN, 

“Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes.

When we neglect our ecosystems, we make it harder to provide everyone with the water we need to survive and thrive.

Nature-based solutions  (NBS) have the potential to solve many of our water challenges. We need to do so much more with ‘green’ infrastructure and harmonize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.” 

Water is a human right.

And it’s a serious global issue that’s not limited to developing countries. Contamination from fracking or oil/mining spills; pumping water for bottled water; irrigation lawsuits; drought shaming; and more occur right here in the U.S.

Of course, most of us aren’t feeling the impact like the 1.2 billion who lack access to clean water and, even if their glass is half full it’s probably murky.

Learn more…

WorldWaterDay.org

One final note: more people have a cell phone than a toilet. 

Please check out our YouTube channel to see short, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…
1 GD Minute: Healing Vegan Mineral Broth - YouTube

And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post!

The post Everyone Deserves a Glass of Water That’s At Least Half Full appeared first on The Green Divas.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview