There’s no need to go out and buy a bird feeder when you can Do Your Part and have a lot more fun creating an all natural one!
Want a garden that’s green and easy? Do You Part and go native in your backyard! Choosing plants and trees that are native to your area take less work, less water and fewer additives.
I have a garage full of power tools! But even so, there are times that I don’t have what I need to get the job done.
Before you think about buying a brand new tool, consider shopping for reconditioned or refurbished ones instead. They’ve been repaired and restored to factory specifications and the best part is that they won’t be sent off to fill up landfills.
Do Your Part and conserve water outdoors. If you maintain your yard with an irrigation system, then almost half of the water used in your home every year is used outdoors.
First, get a rain gauge. An established lawn only needs around an inch of water a week and that includes rain. Any small container can help you monitor the rain that falls and then only water if you need to. If you need to run your irrigation system, then do it just once or twice a week. Set your system for one long nighttime watering. The wind is lighter and the evaporation rate is lower at night and there’s less demand on the system so the water pressure is higher. Plus a long slow watering encourages deep roots and that makes your plants more drought resistant when we inevitably get that dry spell over the summer. If you do it just once or twice a week you won’t get brown patch or any other fungus in the yard.
Lastly watch the weather forecast. If it looks like rain then turn your system off. Too much water on your lawn encourages brown patch and the excess water that runs off your yard carries lawn chemicals, clippings and sediment into the nearest storm drain, polluting our drinking water supply.
An irrigation system can definitely help protect your investment in landscaping, but if you don’t use it wisely then you’re wasting water and money. Tread lightly on our planet by using your sprinklers at the proper time and only when needed.
Who really wants to venture outside only to be bitten alive by mosquitoes? Before you spray on something filled with chemicals that can be toxic to your family and the environment, Do YourPart to seek out natural alternatives.
Start with mosquito prevention. It takes just seconds to scan your yard for pools of standing water – anything from clogged gutters to plant saucers. These areas are mosquito magnets and are the perfect breeding grounds. Mosquito eggs can grow into adult mosquitoes in just 7 days so check for standing water after every rain.
If you have a water feature with standing water in your garden 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. Mosquitoes do have one large natural predator—bats! So invite them into your garden by hanging a bat house and they’ll devour hundreds of mosquitoes a night for you.
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.
One last piece of advice – a good breeze will keep mosquitoes at bay so investing in an outdoor fan is a good idea.
Bottom line – you don’t need a ton of chemicals to get rid of mosquitoes…a few natural solutions can make all the difference. It’s another easy way to Do Your Part while enjoying the outdoors.
If you like to garden — even if it’s only a few pots on the back patio — a rain barrel is a great way to help you Do Your Part. Not only will your plants thrive since they actually prefer rain water over city water, you will also save money on your water bill.
A rain barrel takes about 5 minutes to install and you’ll only need a small saw, a screwdriver and some gloves to complete the job.
Locate the downspout where you want to place the barrel and using a hacksaw or other small saw, remove the lower half of the downspout. Attach some flexible tubing — found at any home improvement store — to the downspout and you are ready to go.
Rain barrels come in all shapes and sizes. Make sure the barrel you choose has a secure lid. This will prevent small children from removing the lid and possibly falling in. Some rain barrels have two spouts for water. The lower one can be used for garden or soaker hoses. The upper spigot is high enough to fill your garden watering can.
Rain barrels do more than conserve water. They also prevent storm water run-off. When we get a quick torrential downpour the rainwater flows through the downspout and can wash out mulch or soil in your garden. Use a rain barrel and you’ll catch a quick, free 55 gallons of water to use for another day and prevent storm water run-off.
Do Your Part and install a rain barrel in your garden. You’ll be conserving water and allowing the plants in your garden to thrive.
Want to grow some of your own food but think you don’t have enough space? Do Your Part and think small! That’s because some of the biggest flavors can actually grow in the smallest of places.
Start simply – with just a sunny window. Small flower pots are perfect for growing herbs. Almost all herbs can thrive in these small containers. And, having your favorite herbs on hand in the kitchen is convenient and economical.
If you have a sunny spot outdoors, then you can think a little bigger. Window boxes or larger flower pots outdoors can yield everything from herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, and strawberries. Or, literally turn your garden upside down and use hanging baskets or devices like this one to grow even more foods. The most important thing is to make sure your spot gets a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day.
For areas where you have a little more room to grow – consider raised garden boxes. What’s good about these is that you’ll have fewer weeds and pests. And, when you use practice natural gardening techniques, you’ll know exactly what’s in the foods you eat.
No matter if you live in an small apartment or in a house with not a lot of usable land, you can still Do Your Part to create an organic garden to grow foods and enjoy them every season.
Want a safer way to get rid of unwanted pests such as ants, fleas, and even bedbugs? Do Your Part and try something you may never have heard of before – Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth is made of fossilized remains of microscopic shells. That makes it all natural and it works by piercing the shells of insects so they die by dehydration.
If you have ants or roaches, sprinkle DE around the foundation of your home but not where ladybugs or other beneficial bugs live. Putting it directly on ant piles is also effective. Then, sprinkle it in the indoor areas where ants and roaches can also enter your home.
DE is also effective with slugs. Putting it around the base of certain plants creates a rough barrier slugs will avoid. You will need to reapply if after it rains.
Inside your home – you might have to battle fleas or bed bugs and DE works wonders on both!
Apply it to to carpets and bedding. For bed bugs, you can put it on bed frames, mattresses, the floor, and crevices in your wall for a few days to wipe them out. Just vacuum it up when the bugs are gone.
Make sure you buy food grade DE the other kind is widely used in swimming pools and it is toxic. You can find it online, health food stores, and home improvement places. A 5 lb bag treats about 2500 square feet. And even though it’s safe for people and pets – the dust can irritate lungs especially with prolonged exposure so wear a mask if you have a big project.
Using DE instead of toxic pesticides is an easy and effective way to Do Your Part to keep unnecessary chemicals out of our environment.
There are several effective ways to get rid of pests and weeds outside your home without spending a lot of money on expensive products loaded with toxic chemicals. Do Your Part and find natural alternatives.
Let’s start in the garden. Slugs like to come out at night and devour your plants. But did you know they love beer?
Just set out a shallow container of beer in your garden overnight. The slugs will climb in and drown. They also like grapefruit. Set out grapefruit rinds on some boards. In the morning, simply put the slug covered rinds in the trash.
Vinegar will keep rabbits away. Put cotton balls soaked in vinegar in a small container. Poke a hole in the top and place it in your garden. Repeat every two weeks or so.
Weeds and grass popping up in walkways and driveway crevices can be killed with white vinegar. Be careful not to use too much or you’ll kill the grass along the sides too.
When you want to get rid of pests and weeds in your garden, Do Your Part by choosing an alternative to harmful chemical pesticides. It’s easy on the environment and your wallet at the same time.
Weeds. The bane of gardeners everywhere. Want to Do Your Part to get rid of them without using toxic chemicals? There’s a simple, cheap, and perfectly safe solution—it’s the newspaper! Not only does it keep you well informed but it can snuff out stubborn weeds all while nourishing your soil.
Like the black landscape fabric you may be used to seeing, newspapers won’t let the sunshine through to the weeds waiting to emerge. Newspapers also encourage earth worm activity which will eventually break down the material, turning your present soil into better soil in the process.
Here’s what to do: Give your newspaper a good soaking first, so it doesn’t fly away. Then lap your layers—about 6 inches—so there are no gaps for a weed to sneak through. Try to use about a half-inch deep layer of newspapers – 6 to 8 sheets. This keeps the new growth of weeds from sprouting and it keeps those bigger perennial weeds from coming back. The thicker the layer of newspapers, the better weed control you will get. Then give the final newspaper layers another drink of water.
It’s also a good idea to cover the newspapers with mulch — leaves, grass clippings, bark or rock. It looks better when the papers are covered and it helps to keep them in place.
Do Your Part by giving newspapers a new use. It’s a free and easy solution to preventing weeds in your garden.