One of the best parts of the summer for me is hitting the lake with family and friends. I love relaxing on the water and feeling the sun on my skin. What I don’t love is jumping through hurdles to find the safest sunscreen among all the different varieties on store shelves. This year though, sunscreen manufacturers are required to make a few important changes to their sunscreen labels. While these changes will help you Do Your Part to make the healthiest sunscreen choice for your family – there’s still plenty of homework for you to do.
The sounds of spring are most definitely here. You know, the loud buzz of the lawn mowers, the piercing sound of leaf blowers, the incessant whir of the trimmers. Not only is there the noise pollution to contend with, there is also the air, land, and water pollution that comes with gas powered lawn equipment. This summer, Do Your Part to pick smarter equipment that will not only cut down pollution but will cut down on your lawn maintenance costs.
If there is one thing gardeners everywhere can’t stand – it’s weeds. However, many times the solution to getting rid of weeds can actually be more of a problem. In fact, it can be downright dangerous because there are growing health concerns about one of the chief ingredients in many of the popular herbicides people use on their lawn and garden.
It’s spring and pollen is on the attack. It’s in the air, on our skin, and much of it will end up coating our cars. No matter what particular elements you are battling this season, there are eco-friendly ways to keep your car clean for spring. And you can Do Your Part to wash your car without doing damage to our local waterways.
The flowers are blooming, the weather is warming, and pests are starting to appear inside and outside of our homes. Instead of reaching for a toxic cocktail of bug killer, Do Your Part to battle these pests with safer solutions.
Make Mosquitoes Disappear Naturally
Mosquitoes can make life miserable in just a matter of minutes so prevention is key. Scan your yard for pools of standing water – especially after a good rain. Places like clogged gutters or plant saucers are mosquito magnets so get rid of that standing water quickly. If you have a water feature outside or a rain barrel, you can safely keep mosquitoes from breeding by using mosquito dunks. They are easy to find at any hardware store or garden center and they are safe for humans, pets, and wildlife. As for mosquito repellents, there are a number of natural alternatives. Lemon eucalyptus has been proven to be equally as effective as the controversial chemical DEET, found in so many insect repellents. Citronella oil and Cedar oil are among other natural alternatives that will also keep mosquitoes away.
Fight Fleas Without Dangerous Chemicals
It’s tough to watch your dog or cat battle with fleas. The last thing you want to do is to put a toxic collar on them. Those collars usually contain pesticides that can rub off on your pet and people. Prevent fleas by giving your pets regular baths with natural flea fighting shampoos that contain essential oils such as lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, rosemary, or thyme. If there’s already evidence of fleas, all natural borax will help kill them on carpets and rugs. Sprinkle some on and let it sit for an hour before vacuuming. Of course, keep your pets and children away from the area during treatment. If you find that you need a stronger solution, ask your vet about oral medications to treat fleas. And, GreenPaws.org also provides a thorough guide where you can type in a flea or tick product to find out just how safe – or unsafe – it really is.
Battle Ants and Roaches Safely
The best way to keep ants and roaches at bay is to make sure they don’t get inside your home in the first place. A natural, safe, and inexpensive solution that I use is something called Diatomaceous Earth (DE). It looks like a powder but is actually made of fossilized microscopic shells. You can buy food grade DE from many home and garden centers. When insects come into contact with it, their outer shell is pierced and they die of dehydration. That’s why it’s a good idea to apply DE around the foundation of your home and in the nooks and crevices where ants and roaches can sneak inside.
This spring, don’t let pests get you down. Do Your Part with a few simple and affordable options to keep them away from your home for good.
Looking to make a difference this Earth Day? There are many ways you can Do Your Part to make our planet healthier. It could be volunteering, supporting local farmers, or even planting a tree. Here are Terri’s Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day to inspire you today and everyday.
1) Volunteer Where You Live
Volunteer at a park, help clean our waterways, or attend another Earth Day event wherever you live. The Environmental Protection Agency’s database searches for volunteer opportunities by zip code so it couldn’t be easier to get started right where it matters most – close to home.
2) Take the Pledge
The Earth Day Network is asking everyone to take an online pledge – stating what they’ll do for the planet. In fact, they are hoping to get people to carry out a billion acts of green. Post your pledge here and let the world know what green act you will commit to doing. It could be anything from turning off lights when leaving a room to biking to work. What will you do?
3) Get Kids Involved
We all know how important it is to get kids to involved in helping protect our planet at an early age. A new nationwide campaign called Pennies for the Planet can do just that. It’s the work of the National Audubon Society. The project gives kids all the tools they’ll need to start a penny collection campaign of their own. The money will go to help protect river rest stops for birds, boost butterfly habitats, and also to helping birds in the Gulf Coast.
4) Go Local!
One of the best ways to go green is to go local. It could be supporting restaurants which only use sustainable seafood, using native plants in your garden, or tasting the season’s bounty at a nearby farmer’s market. So how do you know what’s available right were you live? Use Do Your Part’s Local Green Guide for all the info you need – right at your fingertips!
5) Plant a Tree
Planting trees is an important way to give back to our planet. Trees remove contaminants from our air, land, and water. And there’s no better time to plant a tree than this month.
It’s official! The Mecklenburg Times named Do Your Part founder, Terri Bennett, as one of the 50 Most Influential Women of 2013 for the Charlotte region. This award spotlights women whose work within business, government, education, and non-profit fields is creating positive change in the area. The award culminates with the 50 Influential Women’s Event to be held on the evening of May 31st at the Hilton Charlotte Center City. You can read more on the other award recipients by clicking here.
Temperatures are on the rise. The school year is starting to wind down. And, that means prom season is heating up. Whether you’re a high school student or prom parent, Do Your Part as you plan for what to wear, the accessories you’ll need, where to dine, and how to get around. A few smarter choices will help you spend less and look fabulous while treading a bit lighter on the planet.
Who doesn’t love the smell of a baby right after a bath? You know, the familiar scent of soap, lotion, and powder all wrapped up into one little bundle of joy. However, when parents and caregivers find out what’s really in some of the most popular baby products those scents are suddenly not so sweet smelling. Do Your Part to make sure your baby’s sensitive skin is getting what it really needs and not what it doesn’t.
It can be staggering to think that nearly half of all above ground water sources are contaminated by human activities including what we put down the drain. In fact, what we put down the drain inside our homes and let go down the storm drain outside all take their toll. Do Your Part to know what the biggest polluters are. Here’s a list of five things that should never go down the drain.