Latest posts in Queen of Green
I aspire to eat more local foods — out of my own garden, if possible.
Perennial vegetables are great because they:
- Keep coming back!
- Withstand pests better than annuals
- Build and improve soil quality
- Don't need tilling, leaving mycelial culture (mushrooms and other fungi) and soil structure intact
- Increase aeration and water absorption
- Create compost, add to topsoil and bring up nutrients from deep down when dropped leaves die back each year
- Are edimentals — delicious AND beautiful!
Need a warm, protected spot. Varieties include globe and cardoon (wild). Blanch stalks and eat them cooked, too! Warning: sunchokes or Jerusalem artichoke spread.
Buy crowns or start from seed. From seed to shoot takes three years! Before prepping your bed, think long-term (they live up to 40 years) and keep soil mounded.Continue reading »
Many beauty product ingredients aren't pretty.
In fact, they're pretty ugly.
In 2010, the David Suzuki Foundation asked Canadians to read labels on their cosmetics. We were looking for a Dirty Dozen ingredients, including parabens, PEG compounds, parfum (a.k.a. "fragrance") and petrolatum. Eighty per cent of entered products contained at least one of these toxic chemicals!
Download a wallet-sized Dirty Dozen shopper's guide to help you avoid harmful chemicals in soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc. when you shop.
You can also make your own! These simple, effective recipes contain no toxic chemicals. They're healthy for your skin, hair and the planet.
Makeup remover recipe
Time needed: five minutes
Shelf life: approximately two months
15 ml (1 Tbsp) castor oil
15 ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil
Optional: 10 ml (2 tsp) sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil
Combine oils. Store in air-tight container. Use with washable cloth or compostable organic cotton balls/pads.
This recipe will help you avoid parabens used as preservatives in a variety of cosmetics. They're suspected endocrine disrupters associated with breast cancer and may interfere with hormone function.Continue reading »
Windows are deadly for birds.
More birds die each year from crashing into homes and buildings than are killed by wind turbines and vehicles combined. In Canada it's the third leading cause of wild bird death, after cats (domestic and feral) and power lines, collisions and electrocutions. Window strikes kill about 100 million birds in North America each year.
Birds can't see glass. And they fly so fast, any collision is usually fatal.
Here are some simple, affordable changes you can make at home or work to prevent these deaths:
- Close blinds and curtains
- Move indoor plants away from windows
- Hang old CDs, aluminum pie plates or chimes to break up the expanse of exposed glass
- Plant a shade tree to cut down on reflection
- Dim or turn off lights, especially during spring and fall migration
- Install special screens to cushion impact
This DIY "green" cleaning recipe is one of my one of my top nine. It works to clean tubs, tiles and sinks. And it's so safe, kids can clean, too. (My three-year-old begs to scrub the tub!)
Did you know that in Canada, manufacturers of home cleaning products are not legally required to disclose all ingredients (and hazards)?
All-purpose scour recipe
Time needed: five minutes
Shelf life: approximately six months
420 ml (1 2/3 cups) baking soda
60 ml (¼ cup) liquid castile soap (scented or unscented)
60 ml (¼ cup) water
Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel bowl. Stir until the mixture is the consistency of whipped cream. Use immediately, or store in a labelled, air-tight container. Rinse well.
You tote reusable shopping bags to the store. Now bring a few eco-friendly, fabric produce bags along, too.
These lightweight drawstring bags are often sold in sets of three. They make it easy for the cashier to weigh your items AND for you to carry and organize produce at home. They're washable, reusable, come in a variety of sizes and styles and the stretchy kind can carry a lot of stuff. They're also an excellent way to stop using plastic — even paper — produce bags.Continue reading »