Posts Tagged ‘eco’

Earth Day Every Day Saves You Money

Earth Day…

On the first Earth Day I “celebrated” with my kids a friend, her 5-year old son, my 5-year old son, 1-year old daughter in a stroller and I went into a little tiny strip of wilderness area that stretched along side a street we used to frequently walk along, and we picked up the trash.  I can’t recall how many bags full of garbage we collected, but we were astonished at how much there had been in such a small space, and the kids were really proud that the work they did would help keep the little forest they knew so well healthier and more beautiful. Unfortunately, the following year, the little forest was full of litter and trash again, which I found so discouraging I didn’t have the heart to show my little son how fruitless his previous year’s noble efforts had been, and I hit the wall of disillusionment in the Earth-day clean-up activity arena, so instead, I think we planted a tree that year for Earth Day.

Littering is a huge pet-peeve of mine.  I wish it was for more people out there.  Not only is it an immense eye-sore, but litter presents personal health and world wide environmental pollution hazards, and even though I hadn’t even considered this 20 years ago, now I know that it  filters through our whole economy, creating a tremendous impact on national budgets, taxes, fees, and real estate values… all of which are paid for by YOU… it all ends up coming right out of YOUR wallet.

Bag Monster Blog, a site devoted to eliminating plastic bag use, quotes Heal The Bay, an environmental group dedicated to cleaning and sustaining the Santa Monica Bay in Southern California, who sites the following statistics: The total cost of litter collection, disposal and enforcement in the U.S. is estimated to be at least $11.5 BILLION annually. Businesses bear the burden of this cost, spending $9.1 BILLION annually and representing 79.5% of the total cost of litter abatement. Just consider for a second the lower prices we might be appreciating if business didn’t have to foot such an enormous bill, and what amazing, wonderful, and productive things might be accomplished with that money!

Placing trash in trash bins instead of littering will reduce these costs, but recycling further reduces expenditures, and is even more ecologically sound — and re-using and re-purposing promotes all around further savings.  Check the fascinating recycling facts posted on A Recycling Revolution.

While my experience with cleaning up that little neighborhood woodlands was a bit discouraging, it did not hamper my caring about the the fragility of our planet, and along with cost-consciousness, an eco-consciousness has found its way into just about everything I do.  I still have a long way to go, and it may feel daunting at times but , unlike 20 years ago, now it is easy to find resources, like EarthDay.org, and Keep America Beautiful, that are devoted to making it easier for us keep the world healthier, cleaner, safer, and more beautiful, while keeping our our wallets happier too!

Jamie, SLTV

Catch these Money-Saving and Earth-Friendly Related Videos:

Being Frugal:  The Original sustainability? – Author of The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better, Chris Farrell

Cleaners, Make Your Own – Kimberly Danger, founder of Mommysavers

Clothes Swap – Melissa Massello of Shoestring Magazine & Amy Chase of Punkystyle Blog

Energy Efficiency Tips Host of “House Smarts” TV show, Lou Manfredini

Freecycling: Household Items for Free – coordinator for Freecycle New York City, Christina Salvi

Gasoline Money: Inflate Tires & Save – Global energy products and eco blog, Eco 20-20

Grow an Organic Garden: Save Money – Research editor of Organic Gardening Magazine, Pam Ruch

House Cost Saving Tips, Eco-Friendly – Interior designer, Libby Langdon

Household Eco Products Save Money Josh Dorfman, host of The Lazy Environmentalist TV show

Live Richly & Frugal Forever – Founder of the Tightwad Gazette, and Frugal For Life blog, Amy Dacyzyn

Refrigerator & Freezer Eco & Savings Tips – Home enviornmentalist expert, Danny Seo

Shop Organic Money Saving Tips – Author of Georgously Green and TV host, Sophie Uliano

Uncle Sam Sells Cheap, All About Gov’t. Auctions – Stacey Johnson host of Money Talks News

World Travel for Free While Helping to Grow the Organic Movement – World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms,  WWOOF

Link to this article: http://is.gd/vYW4TG

Make Every Day Arbor Day, Tips to Save Trees and Money

U.S. National Arbor Day:  The Last Friday in April 

The beauty of trees alone is enough reason for us to want to surround ourselves with as many trees as possible, but it’s not the only reason.

Here are a few more reasons why surrounding yourself with trees is a good idea. From The ColoradoTrees.org article, Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas:

  • Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen. A healthy tree stores about 13 pounds of carbon annually. An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.
  • Trees also filter other gaseous pollutants from the air. There is up to a 60% reduction in street level particulates when trees are present.
  • Trees prevent soil erosion and water run off.
  • They prevent harmful land pollutants contained in the soil from getting into our waterways.
  • They act as buffers to noise pollution.
  • They cool the earth with their shade. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can have temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas.
  • They function as wind breaks for farms and our homes.
  • Trees enhance traffic safety; drivers tend to drive slower on tree-lined streets.
  • Trees increase property values.
  • They help reduce home energy use, which saves you money.

And, if all this isn’t enough to consider making tree preservation and planting a priority in our everyday lives, consider this: Trees reduce crime. In the April 1, 2011 edition of Bottomline Personal Newsletter we read:

  • Neighborhoods with large trees tend to have less crime than areas with smaller trees says Geoffrey H. Donovan, PhD, research forester, Portland Forestry Sciences Labratory, Oregon, and coauthor of a study of 431 crimes, published in Environment and Behavior.

You can easily help improve your town, neighborhood and home while also preventing the over harvesting of trees and destruction of forests. Here are some simple tips that you can use in your everyday life that will make a considerable difference. And… we happen to know that these tips will save you money, too!

 

Consider joining the The Arbor Day Foundation. The Arbor Day Foundation’s purpose is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the non-profit Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Their Web site features many helpful gardening and planting resources; one of our favorites pages is the one giving Free Landscape Design Plans. They also give more wonderful free material when you sign up for membership. Sign up starts at just $10. For that, you will receive discounts on purchases of trees and shrubs of up to 56%, a bi-monthly color newsletter, The Tree Book treasury on planting and caring for trees, AND IN ADDITION: Your choice of either – receiving TEN FREE TREES, or making a donation of ten trees in your name to a national forest in need.

Participate in or start a community tree planting program. Check with your local town or city government to find out if there is a tree planting program in your city and join in. Some towns will plant a tree for free at your curbside if you volunteer to water it. If there isn’t a program in your city, consider starting one. Find info. in this AmaricaForests.org aritcle: Create a Community Tree Planting Project.

About books: Go for used books or textbooks, check out books from your local library, or going digital with an e-book reader or program for your computer.

Go digital for subscriptions. Take online subscriptions for your news or magazines. Switch to online bill pay and banking.

Send a FAX directly from your computer.

Check for post-consumer recycled household paper goods like bath tissue, paper towels and printer paper.

Cut back on paper towels.Use rags instead of paper towels. You can use worn out sheets, t-shirts, sweatshirts and pants, pajamas, receiving and baby blankets, frayed bath towels can be cut down to make smaller towels.

Wrapping paper: Consider alternatives that can be reused: Fabric. Cloth drawstring bags. Dishtowels. Re-use existing wrapping paper, paper bags or newspaper. Look for post-consumer recycled wrapping paper.

Consider your wood furniture: You can save trees by refinishing furniture. When shopping for new furniture look for those made with recycled or reclaimed wood.  There are excellent tips in this article form PlanetGreen.com, Learn How to Find Eco-Friendly Wood Furniture.

Related videos:

  • Trees Cut Home Energy Costs – Home improvement expert Danny Lipford shows how trees cut 25% on your energy bill as well as beautify your home.
  • Reduce Home Heat & AC Bills – Tips to reduce your home heating and air conditioning bills, from planting trees to using eco friendly light bulbs and more from EnStar’s Bill Stack and Growing Wisdom’s Dave Epstein.
  • Eco Chic Gift Wrap & Packaging Ideas – Go creative & go eco when wrapping presents & getting packages ready for shipping. Creative, inexpensive, & practical green from eco expert, Rachel Avalon.

Related articles:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/nBMAL3

 

8 Earth Saving and Money Saving Household Tips

Earth Day: April 22

We’ve been eco-conscious for decades (more decades than we care to mention.) We consider ourselves to be fairly eco-friendly, and are happy to do our bit in terms of recycling, reusing, repurposing, shopping eco-friendly whenever possible, planting trees over and above our carbon footprint; and we do know that being green also adds up to some real decent money savings, which makes us even happier… and even still, while grocery shopping recently, we came across one astonishing little fact that really took us back. Printed on the front of a plastic bag of brown rice was the following fact:

Removing the plastic re-sealable zipper on our packages saves over 30,000 tons of waste in landfills per month.

Woa! Thirty-thousand tons of garbage per month saved by eliminating one little zipper on a package of rice. This is astonishing proof positive that doing one little thing does really add up to make a big difference.

Here are some ultra-easy ideas that you can use inside and outside your home every day that will add up to a substantial benefit for the earth, the environment and your health, and in addition, will quickly add up to some solid savings in your wallet:

Ceiling Fans: You can use ceiling fans to help save on both cooling and heating.   According to Progress-Energy, an energy provider in the U.S. Carolinas and Florida, a 48″, 75-watt fan used 10 hours a day at half speed or less would cost $.50 to $.90 a month to operate. For a 1,500-square-foot house with air conditioning using two ceiling fans and raising the thermostat setting could save about $140 to $400 a year, and possibly even more in areas where energy rates are higher.

  • More keeping cool tips in this video: Beat the Heat Green Tips – Tips to beat the heat with fans and AC while saving money and the planet from green advocate, Umbra.

Cutting back on eating meat from every day to every other day would save you approximately $37 a month. Going completely vegetarian could add up to about $600 a year according to the Frugally Green blog.  And this figure does not include the added money savings you could receive from eating a healthier diet, by saving on possible reduced hospital, surgery, and medication expenses.

  • This clip gives a simple, budget-friendly vegetarian recipe: Spice Crusted Tofu Sandwiches – A money saving, healthy sandwich idea from Mollie Katzen, author ofGet Cooking cookbook.

Simple household changes can make our homes more eco-efficient, even older homes. We’ve all heard this thousands of times. But sometimes it comes down to real dollar savings to make us finally take action.  One example:  according to the host of Renovation Nation TV show, Steve Thomas, sealing and insulating your home could save you 30% of your heating and cooling bills.  If everyone did this, it would be equal to shutting down 90 power plants!

  • In this video, Easy Green Money Saving, Steve Thomas shows more easy everyday eco-ideas, and how much money savings they add up to.

Not everyone can line-dry their laundry. Energy Miser 101 blog figures that using a gas clothes dryer for 40 min. a day equals close to $100 a year. Using dryer balls can save 25 to 40% on your clothes dryer energy use and they are a great alternative to chemical fabric softeners. Dryer balls are easy to use; you simply place them right along with your wet clothes into the clothes dryer.

  • There are many types of dryer balls available, but here in this video, Save Energy & Money on Clothes Drying, Steffany Boldrini of ecobold.com shows these made of wool, the only natural ones we’ve found.

Choosing to plant native perennials and evergreens can be a real money-saver. Not only are they more pest-resistant, but they also have adapted to the local climate range and conditions, which could lead to a savings in your water bill alone of up to 50%.

  • Enjoy a healthier enviornment right in your own backyard with the tips in this video: Backyard Eco Tips – Here are simple tips you can use to make your yard more user & eco-friendly.

Petroleum and synthetic chemical based pesticides can be quite costly.  And hiring a service to come spray and treat your yard and garden can also be expensive. Try using your own simple, more natural spray first, you could save thousands of dollars. Well worth a try.

  • Easy inexpensive  DIY natural insecticide for garden pests in this video: Homemade Natural Insecticide from Tips.net’s Kaylee Thurman.

Reuse what you already have on hand as pet care items. Pet toys and cleaning products can be expensive. You can save some money while keeping some of your trash out of the landfill for a little longer by reusing worn items like cotton towels and rubber gloves to make toys and cleaning products for your pets.

  • Reuse some common household items to create easy pet toys and cleaning products. Jane Monzures gives tips in this video: DIY Recycled Pet Care Products.

Your Entertainment can take its toll on the environment and your wallet. Consumer advocate, Stacy Johnson, reports that over 100,000 DVDs are thrown away each month at an average cost of $16 each! That’s a lot for a landfill and for your wallet. There are alternatives to keep you entertained and cost you less.

  • Save money on entertainment and also be eco-friendly.  This clip, Green Saving: Entertainment gives tips from Stacy Johnson of Money Talks News.

More Eco and Money Saving Tips in our Previous Posts:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/dLHLvb

 

Garden, Home & Fun In The Sun DIY Wallet-Friendly Ideas

If you’ve got the heat… and the rain… you might as well make them work for you – they’re both free energy resources! And, while were outside taking advantage of the warm, why not start a vegetable or herb garden? And… have some fun in the sun while we’re at it!  Here are videos with tips to build a cool DIY garden greenhouse, make an easy composter, make and use rain barrels to collect rain water for your garden, design a solar oven to cook using solar heat, play in the yard with a DIY sprinkler, and more… all while keeping yourself and your wallet cool and happy!

  • Make a Garden Greenhouse for Cheap – Growing herbs and vegetables saves you money, gives you healthier foods, is a fun activity to share with the kids. Here’s how to make a quick, easy and inexpensive “greenhouse hoop” to get started and get a longer growing season.
  • DIY Herb Gardening – Think you have no space or can’t afford an herb garden? Not so! The Working Class Foodies share some simple, easy tips for how to build your own window box garden for only $10.
  • Build a Rolling Composter for Your Garden – Growing vegetables is fun, healthy, and eco-friendly. Here’s how to take your kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and leaves and make an quick and easy to use inexpensive rolling composter for your garden.
  • DIY Rain Barrel for Cheap – Collecting rain water to use in your garden saves you money and is eco-friendly. Here’s an easy DIY on how to make your own rain barrel.
  • All About Rain Barrels – Take advantage of rain – a free natural resource, by using rain barrels to collect run off form your roof gutters for later use watering your garden. Here’s how to set up a rain barrel system.
  • Easy Soda Pop Bottle Sprinkler – Keep your cool and have fun in the sun, for practically nothing! How to take an old soda pop bottle and turn it into a quick and easy DIY sprinkler.
  • Cook for Free DIY Solar Oven – Save money, save electricity, & keep your kitchen cooler while you cook outdoors with this simple ecological solar oven you can make for pennies! Chris Buyers from The Valley Permaculture Alliance shows how.

Link to this article: http://is.gd/tsnOX3

More related natural garden and outdoor topics in these posts:



 

9 DIY Gift Ideas – Home Accessories from Recycled Items

Spruce up your space, (or create a great gift) with a little do-it-yourself. Here are easy-to-do eco-friendly projects that will turn those tired household objects you’re thinking of tossing out into beautiful and useful home accessories. They make great gift ideas, too!

Make a Vase from Magazine Pages – Recycle your old magazines by creating a vase, bowl or vessel using nothing more than glue and pages from a magazine. This video gives an easy DIY tutorial.

Home Decor Recycle DIY – Easily repurpose thrift store purchases or items from around your home… sometimes all you need is a little spray paint! Decorator Susan Phillips shows DIY home decor transformation ideas in this clip.

Repurpose Home Decor Items – This video from designer Soshana Gosselin gives easy ways to freshen up your home decor by repurposing, recycling and re-inventing items you already have.

DIY Cans to Votive Holders – This segment shows a simple DIY craft recycling project to transform an empty aluminum can into a votive holder. All you need is an empty can and scissors!

A Basket from Magazine Paper – Recycle your old magazines with this easy DIY craft project to create a cool and stylish multi-use basket out of nothing more than magazine pages and glue! Easy how-to directions in this clip.

Chinese Takeout Lantern DIY – Crafter Shiho Masuda transforms Chinese takeout containers into mini tabletop lanterns. Beautiful video shows DIY recycling craft directions to brighten your dining or coffee table.

Make a Book Safe – Take an old book and recycle it into a secret place to store precious or favorite items. A clever gift idea, or double a gift’s goodness by using this as an eco-friendly gift box! Video shows how you can do it.

Make a Vase from A Plastic Soda Bottle – Eco-friendly DIY: Create a vase from a plastic soda bottle. Simple DIY in this clip provides instructions. All you need is a bottle, scissors and rocks. Consider displaying several together in various sizes and colors. Add flowers and it’s complete! Makes nice gift!

Soda Can Lantern DIY – This clip shows how to make a recycled DIY lantern/candle holder out of a soda can. Extremely simple to do. (Be careful of sharp edges when pulling out the strips).

You might also like:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/7M382g


 

6 Fabulous Fashion Accessories – DIY Gifts Your Friends & Family Will Love

Turn your clutter into fabulous! These easy do-it-yourself craft projects use items you may already have or can easily collect or find and transforms them into attractive fashionable accessories. These make unique, eco-friendly and virtually free gift ideas, too!

Turn a Book into a Handbag – Curbly.com shows how to create a DIY custom, colorful purse by recycling a vintage hard-covered book cover and fabric. This takes a little sewing savvy, but the results are cool.

Make Your Own Beads from Paper – Easy recycling DIY from Threadbanger.com shows how to create beads for necklaces, bracelets, and more using old magazines, newspapers, or wrapping paper.

Necklace from Magazine Pages – Makeup artist, crafter and vlogger from VenusOcean.blogspot.com shows how to create a necklace from old magazines. A fun super simple family-friendly project  that costs almost nothing to make!

DIY Necklace from Pantyhose – Inspired by the book, P.S. I Made This by Erica Domesek, Earth911.com’s Jennifer Berry shows how to create a fashionable elegant or campy necklace with this easy DIY project using recycled  hosiery, scissors & found items from around your house.

Use Plastic Bags to Make Cool Things – Etsy Labs Technician Anda Lewis shows us how to fuse plastic shopping bags together to create a material you can sew together and use as you would a sturdy water-resistant fabric. Make a reusable shopping bag, messenger bag, cosmetic bag, guitar straps, belts… you name it!

DIY Bracelets and More from Pop Tabs – A creative bracelet is just one of many items you can make out of soda pop tabs! A creative eco-friendly and versatile project that you can use to make belts, earrings, we’ve even seen purses and tote-bags out of pop tabs as well! A fun gift idea great for guys or gals!

You might also like:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/Vj9UcS

 

Does Buying a Bag of Cheese Puffs Really Matter?

We’re joining in on change.org’s Blog Action Day – drawing attention to FOOD.

One of the tenets of growing personal wealth or trying to hold onto savings, is to try to get the most out of everything. Value does not always mean more expensive, and unconscious wastefulness is equal to throwing money away.

There are two absolute necessities for life: food and water. And yet, when it comes to saving money, food is often one of the first places many people think of to try to cut back to find savings.  Why? Because it’s the one thing we absolutely must spend money on every day.

So, to save what can add up for some to be hundreds of dollars a month, we become aware of how much we are spending or over-spending on food and devise ways to receive the most we can from the fewest dollars spent. Some of the ways we can achieve this is by growing our own food or shopping local farmer’s markets. But we also spend hours researching sales and promotions, using coupons, stocking up and planning menus ahead based on what is going on sale at the grocery store, which can add up to some real savings.  But what foods, exactly, are we saving money on?

Does getting it for less mean we should be getting it at all? Does being able to get it for less mean we should be oblivious to how our food choices affect the world on a broader scale? What does it matter to us if buying a bag of empty calorie, chemical laden, processed cheese-like puffs and tossing the half-finished non-biodegradable bag into the trash may waste fuel, waste water, overtax landfills, promote pollution, affect the climate, impact the world’s food supply, contribute to the destruction of local farms and the undernourishment of neighbors right in our own towns?

It matters for many reasons, but these three simple reasons should be enough for anyone:

1) Saving money. Preparing your own meals, bringing your lunch to work or school, buying from local providers and farmers, and using fresh unprocessed food is cheaper and saves you money. As simple as that.

2) Getting nourishment from as close to the original source as possible (as opposed to a preservative & chemical drenched, nutrient-absent over-processed something-or-other out of a box shipped half-way across the world), is healthier, conserves natural resources, and causes less waste and pollution.

And, 3) Sometimes what is better for our local community may ultimately end up being better for everyone, which includes YOU and ME.

A simple example of how what’s good for a few can ultimately benefit the many is how organic foods and bulk-bin selections are now becoming widely available as a regular feature at conventional supermarkets all over the U.S. and at more affordable prices. This is largely due to shopper demand, stemming back from the little grass-roots 1960’s neighborhood co-op food movements. More vending machines and corner markets have fresh fruits and vegetables available now. More neighborhood farmer’s markets are re-emerging. The food choices you make do make a difference.

But what about the food we waste? What does that matter? Some have been around long enough to remember being a member of “The Clean Plate Club” and hearing parents and grandparents chant at every meal, “Are you a member of the Clean Plate Club? Eat everything on your plate, there are people starving in Europe.” This was not intended to get people to consume more, but rather to be more thoughtful about not wasting food and over-indulging between meals. That campaign was created 94 years ago to ensure that the limited amount of food America had as a result of World War I didn’t go to waste. It re-emerged in 1947 after the Great Depression and World War II, when food was again scarce and resources needed to be conserved as the country tried to help those struggling to recover from the war’s effects overseas. And of course, parents also conveniently gravitated to it as an easy way to  remind kids to be more appreciative of what they had.

In previous posts I’ve written about how eliminating one plastic zipper on rice packages saved thirty-thousand tons of landfill waste a month, and how eliminating or even cutting back on consuming bottled water can save an average family almost three-thousand dollars a year, not to mention reducing the stress on landfills and saving fuel. As I have mentioned several times in the past, I am not a frugal fanatic, but I also don’t like unconscious waste. I wondered, if those two little things could make such a huge positive impact, then what about that “Clean Plate Club – Don’t Waste Your Food” mentality? Does not wasting the food one has purchased really help the world and the food supply at large or not?

Luckily for me, Treehugger.com has already done the work, and they summarize just what a tremendous and far-reaching impact wasting food can have in their eye-opening articles: Discarding Food Wastes More Water than Showering, and  The Impact of Food Waste on Climate Change (and just about everything else), and Study Finds Half of All Food Produced Worldwide is Wasted. Here are just a couple of highlights:

  • 2 BILLION people could be fed for a year with the amount the U.S.A. alone throws away each year.
  • Food waste in the U.S.A. accounts for 1/4 of all freshwater consumption.
  • Decaying food in landfills produces polluting methane gas. If we simply stopped wasting food, it would be the equivalent of taking a quarter of all the cars in America off the road.

We know there are both “believers” and “non believers” on the climate and global warming issues – we won’t go round and round on that, but there’s no doubt that a waste-not-want-not attitude will never serve you wrong and won’t hurt your neighbors next door or around the world. That said, sadly, not everyone will be motivated to simply want to do a good thing by wasting less and being more conscious of food sources. The bottom line for many is this phrase used repeatedly by my 10th grade history teacher to describe the ultimate motivation behind just about every political and social decision, “The power of the purse.” Being conscious of the quality of and process by which you receive your daily bread, and what you do with it when you are finished with it, is not only eco-friendly and world-friendly, but health-wise and ultimately wallet-wise as well.

Creative ways to  get the most from your food and budget in our posts:

Why Bank of America Employees are Bringing Their Lunches To Work

The Miracle Money Saving Healthy Grocery Shopping Tip

Vegetables Save You Money

8 Fresh Food Saving Ideas to Stretch Your Produce Dollars

Save More Money – Break the Bottled Water Habit

Use Earth Day Eco Saving Pointers Every Day, and You’ll Save Money

Beware of the Blueberry Scam

And for money-saving shopping, recipes, and serving ideas see our channels:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/ps34Gs

 

Itch-Stopping, Eco-Friendly, Money-Saving, DIY Natural Insect Repellents & Soothing Remedies

Ah.. warm weather! It’s nice to be outdoors, working in the garden, enjoying the breeze, and dining alfresco… but, not so good when the bugs come around! With the warmer weather comes more pests that bite, sting and make you itch, and more outdoor situations that can also make you burn and itch… all of which can make life for you and your pets miserable both outdoors and indoors.

A relative who lives in the Seattle, Washington area recently put out a query for mosquito bite itch relief remedies. She wasn’t used to having mosquitoes around, and she was miserable, unable to receive itch relief after using traditional methods of applying antihistamine and cortisone creams and even taking oral antihistamines. So, I responded with my all-time favorite, never-fail bug bite itch remedy, and was very pleased when she replied within 10 minutes telling me it was an instant success, and later related that it ended up providing lasting relief for hours.  It was her happiness at being itch-free that served to inspire this post on DIY eco-friendly natural pest repellents, treatments and itch relief… all the better to bring you, your pets, your home, and your wallet immediate and natural relief!

Repellents:

In the videos here about natural insect repellents for you, your home and your pets, the most commonly mentioned ingredients among many are eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, lemon or orange citrus oils, tea tree oil, and mint. A word of caution in treating cats and dogs with essential oils: Whether you are creating your own treatments or purchasing natural pre-made treatments,  please note that many oils which are considered safe for humans are potentially hazardous to cats and dogs, so please check with your veterinarian first. Here is one article on essential oils and cats from About.com, and one on dogs from Natural-Dog-health-Remedies.com.

Related videos with even more tips on natural insect repellents:

Orange Flea Killer Powder for Pets – An easy recipe for a DIY non-toxic flea killer, perfect for your pets and budget from Jennifer Taggart, creator of SmartMama.com and Educational Program Specialist for Healthy Child Healthy World.

DIY Flea Repellent Spray for Pets – Author of the “Gorgeously Green” books, Sophie Uliano, shares a natural, effective and quick recipe for a flea repellent spritz you and your pets will love.

Salt to Kill Fleas in the House – How to use simple table salt to help eradicate and control fleas in your home. Easy DIY natural tip from Mark Govan, a certified exterminator & arborist with ABC Pest Control in Largo, Florida.

Natural Mosquito Repellents & Yard Treatments – John Dromgooles, The Natural Gardner, shows organic products, how to make your own topical mosquito repellent, and suggests repellent plants that also ornament the garden or patio.

DIY Mosquito Repellent Spray – Enjoy the outdoors with this DIY natural, effective and safe mosquito repellent spray recipe from the folks at NaturalTrainingCenter.com.

How to Repel Ticks Naturally – These 5 simple, easy, natural steps will go a long way toward keeping ticks away and preventing all the worry that goes with them.

Itches, Stings, Sunburn:

There are many natural ways to treat insect bites, stings, burns and itching. We’ve learned of many that require nothing more than items you may already have right in your kitchen pantry. These include everything from making a paste out of baking soda or salt, to putting a piece of papaya or a tea bag on the bite, to applying witch hazel, vinegar or toothpaste, and believe it or not we’ve even heard about putting deodorant on a bite! But for itch relief: Our All-Time Favorite Number One Tried-and-True Absolute Best Never Fails To Give 8 – 12 Hours of Itch-Free Relief Remedy is:Hit it with a blast from a hot hair dryer, on and off a few times. We’ve been using a hot hairdryer to combat itch since last summer and it’s been nothing short of miraculous! We keep a tiny travel hairdryer next to the back door to zap those pesky bites immediately. While the heat is being applied, you may feel an intense itching for a minute, but continue applying heat until that itchy sensation stops. You may have to repeat the heat sessions once or twice within a 12-hour period for a couple of days, but it’s well worth it for an itch-free good night’s sleep! Just this week, we found out the hard way =(  that this also works for poison ivy! =). Another method of applying heat is by using a very warm-to-hot damp washcloth applied to the bite. Please use extreme caution when applying any heat.

Related Videos with more natural remedy relief information:

Use Heat to Treat Itching – Stop bug bite itch with a non-toxic natural DIY technique using heat for itch relief. Susan Jewell, MD explains.

Natural Bug Bite Itch Relief –  Stop bug bite itching, prevent and soothe bug bites without having to take a trip to your local pharmacy. Director, blogger, and video contributor to About.com, Danielle Lessovitz gives DIY remedies found in your kitchen cabinets.

Natural Treatments for Stings, Bites and Sunburn –  Natural DIY remedies for bug bites, stings, swimmer’s ear, and sunburn in this DadLabs.com interview with Jennifer Crain, founder of MommysER.com.

Natural Sunburn Treatments – Easing the pain of a sunburn means reducing inflammation and itching while healing. Natural tips to treat a painful sunburn from TV and radio beauty editor and author of “Aging Backwards, Secrets to Staying Young,” Jackie Silver.

Sunburn Natural Treatments – Natural at-home DIY solutions to ease sunburn pain from Kelly Machbitz, image consultant and author of “Wear This Not That, Stylish Solutions to Flatter Your Figure”.

Treat Poison Ivy with Jewelweed – Poison Ivy has a natural antidote, growing as wild as the poison ivy itself. See how to use jewlweed to treat poison ivy from Bush Craft On Fire preparedness training teacher Dave. An SLTV Personal Note: after having a poison ivy rash for over a week, I applied jewelweed and within one hour noticed considerable improvement in the rash, no exaggeration!

Using Sweet Fern for Rashes – Michael Douglas, Teacher of wilderness survival, bushcraft, &  primitive skills, shares survival uses of Comptonia peregrina or Sweet fern, which includes  boiling leaves to make a tea to use as a treatment for itching and clearing up poison ivy rash.  SLTV Personal Note: We have not been able to try sweet fern, but have read statements attesting to it’s success at stopping itch and clearing up poison ivy rash in as little as 48 hours.

The material presented here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional  health or medical advice.

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Father’s Day Fabulous (and frugal)

U.S. Father’s Day falls in June, on the third Sunday of the month.

Create a fantastic Father’s Day! Here are tips on affordable & eco-friendly gifts, preparing a top notch meal,  DIY crafts for gifts that both kids and adults can create, and pointers on how to be a fantastic host for Father’s Day. We give you everything you need to create a fabulous day for Dad while keeping your budget balanced and your wallet full!

Grilled Sausage 3-Course Under $35 – Budget friendly gourmet 3-Course meal under $35  – Father and son chefs, Joe Isidori, Executive Chef of NYC’s Harbor Restaurant, and Arthur Isidori, Saucier Chef at Admiral’s Cove in Juniper, Florida, together show their recipes for Tomato Salad,  Tomato Basil Pasta,  Sweet & Spicy Grilled Sausage… UMMM!

Top 5 Eco Gifts for Father’s Day – Save money, the earth, and bring a smile to Dad with these 5 top budget and eco friendly pics for Father’s Day gifts from EcoBold.com founder, Steffany Boldrini.

Gifts for Dad that Kids Can Create – Emily Hover from PioneerPartyandGift.com gives 7 easy, fun & budget friendly DIY ideas that kids can create for Father’s Day gifts for Dad.

Make a Paper Wallet in Under 2-Minutes – How To Make a paper wallet – Easy DIY using only paper that anyone can do and Dad will love. Great for business cards or photos, too!

6 Steps to Hosting a Great Father’s Day – Sometimes just a little undivided attention is all that Dad needs to make his Father’s Day celebration truly special. Here are 6 tips to being the perfect host of a perfect day for Dad.

More fantastic Father’s Day ideas in these related SLTV posts:

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Profit from Reselling Books

If you’ve suddenly become inspired and find yourself sweeping out the cobwebs and clearing out that overgrown collection of books (like we were after reading Bargainbabe.com’s article on “Making Money from Spring Cleaning”) we’ve got some ideas to help you free up your shelves in no time with tips on how to resell those dusty books and make a few extra dollars, or donate them; either way you’ll benefit!

Consider a tag sale, yard sale or garage sale. Price specific unique or in-demand books individually. For the others, you can move them quicker if you have a flat rate, ie: All books on this table, $2 each. Or move them even quicker with a bundle flat rate which would be something like, $4 to fill a bag or box full of books from a designated table or pile.

What doesn’t sell you can donate to a local library, school, literacy program or Goodwill. There are also online options for donation (see links below). Either way, be sure to get a receipt of your donation to use for a tax deduction.

If you simply want to get rid of them as quickly and as easily as possible, put them in a box on the curb with a sign that says “Free Books.”

One of the biggest book expenses are College textbooks. These are particularly expensive, and most likely only used once. Here are some options to save money on college textbooks:

  • Rent them.
  • Purchase used college textbooks.
  • Resell textbooks when you have finished with them which allows you to recoup some of your initial expense.

But reselling textbooks isn’t always as easy as one would think. Most colleges do offer buy-back programs, but they are often cumbersome to navigate, and many are only in operation during specific times. Online is a great option for all types of book reselling, but particularly for college textbooks; it’s available 365-days a year and 24-hours a day.

There are many websites that buy used booksof all types, from college textbooks to fiction and non-fiction to  journals, magazines and brochures to comics. Some sites will buy directly from you. On other websites you are listing your books to sell directly to a specific buyer, more like listing your products “For Sale by Owner.”

Whether you are selling directly to a company, or listing them for sale by owner you’ll want to pay attention to these tips:

  • Of course, knowing the best time to sell your textbooks online will give you an edge for the highest prices. Have your books ready to go and get them listed during peak buying times – August, September, January and February.
  • Try to resell your textbook as soon as possible or you risk the professor of the course changing their course structure and replacing the textbook with another.
  • Feature a picture
  • List the SKU number and/or ISBN number
  • Site unique aspects, like if it’s a rare or a signed edition.
  • Describe which edition it is, what language it is in, and if it is a U.S. version or another country’s.
  • If you are responsible for paying shipping costs, find out what that will cost you ahead of time.

Be prepared to rate the condition. Here are about.com’s book condition descriptions:

  • Brand New, Excellent – The book looks brand-new with no wear and tear. You have all the original packaging, documentation and software.
  • Almost New, Like New– The book looks new, with no wear and tear, but you may not have the original packaging.  All documentation and software are available.
  • Very Good – The book is slightly used but there is no wear and tear or damage. All documentation and software are available.
  • Good-The book is visibly used but still in presentable condition without tears or damage. Some of the documentation and software may be included.
  • Fair, Acceptable – The book shows signs of being used. Some pages are bent, cover may be damaged, there is some underlining or notes. Some manuals, documentation, and software may be included.
  • Poor– The book can be read but it is worn or torn. Some pages may be heavily highlighted, cover may be damaged, pages may be missing. A book like this is better donated than sold.

Sites where you can list your books for sale by owner: These charge a small fee to the seller: ebay,  half.com,  amazon.com/marketplace. These are free to the seller:  craigslist.orgfacebook.com/marketplace.

What you don’t sell, donate. What you don’t donate, recycle. You can recycle paperbacks just as they are.  For hardcover books you must first rip off the hardcovers and throw the covers away; you can recycle the text block (the book that remains after you’ve taken off the covers and spine). For spiral-bound books, the spiral bind must be removed and properly discarded or recycled; any plastic cover should be tossed or recycled appropriately; remaining paper pages can be recycled along with your other paper goods.

Here are some great sites for reselling, renting , buying , or donating yourbooks:

BIGWORDS – is a search comparison site which compares the best book stores all at once to find the cheapest books on the planet to buy, rent, sell or donate. They feature searches for textbooks as well as regular books (They also search for loans, DVD’s, music and games.) Instead of finding one price for one item at a time, BIGWORDS takes all of your items, runs every combination of those items at every store, automatically calculates coupons, promotions, and shipping, and shows you the best possible combination of stores to save you the most money. They also partner with BetterWorld Books to accept donations to benefit literacy programs.

BetterWorldBooks.comYou can sell or donate your books to BetterWorldBooks.com. They cover shipping costs. You can purchase books from them too. They are headquartered in Indiana, where they maintain a retail store and an outlet store. They also offer online shopping at BetterWorldBooks.com online. A portion of the proceeds from their resales is donated to literacy programs & libraries throughout the world.

WeBuyTextbooks.com –  They buy used college textbooks. They cover shipping costs. They issue payment to you within two days of their receipt of books either through Paypal or by a check via conventional mail. They resell books via sister sites:  www.BunchesofBooks.com and www.TextbookLink.com.

MyBookBuyer.com – Sell them your textbooks, and other books like best-sellers, trade paper, cookbooks, reference, technical, mass market paperbacks, arts & crafts, and much more! They cover shipping costs. You receive payment through Paypal within 3 days of their receipt of books, or by check via regular mail in 7 days.

This tip came from BargainBabe.com writer Yazmin Cruz in her article “Making Money from Spring Cleaning” “There are a lot of sites to sell textbooks, but CKYbooks.com also buys fiction and nonfiction books. They pay for the shipping and later send you a check. Cha-ching!”

More tips in these videos:

More in these related articles:

And more in the Garage/Yard Sale section of the SLTV House & Home Channel.

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