Tag Archives: crafts & design

7 Creative Ways to Preserve & Enjoy Homegrown Herbs

You had a great year in your herb patch and now you have a lush crop of herbs waiting to be harvested. Don?t know where to start? Check out some of the ideas below on how to use and preserve your herbs so you can enjoy your harvest all winter.

1. Freezing

You can freeze herbs in a few different ways. One of the easiest ways is to simply chop up your fresh herbs, pack them into freezer bags and put the bags directly in your freezer. When you?re packing them, make sure you squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent oxidation and freezer burn. Also, use small freezer bags if you?ll only need small amounts at a time for cooking.

Another convenient option is to freeze your herbs in ice cube trays with water. You can either blend your herbs with water in a food processor or blender, then put the mix into ice cube trays. You can also chop fresh herbs, pack them into ice cube trays, then fill the remaining space in the trays with water. Once the trays are frozen, take out the cubes and store them in bags to save freezer space.

2. Herbed Oil and Butter

Instead of using water as a base in your ice cube trays, you can also combine fresh herbs with olive or coconut oil. You can use herbed oil cubes directly in dishes. You can also use them as a vegan herbed butter substitute by taking the frozen cubes and spreading them on bread while the oil is still solid.

If you?d like to make a traditional herbed butter, you can mix freshly chopped herbs with some softened butter, roll the butter into a log, wrap it in greaseproof paper, then twist the ends closed. Herbed butter will last in the fridge for about two weeks and in the freezer for up to six months.

3. Drying

Herbs can be easily air dried or dried in a dehydrator. To air dry, it?s easiest to hang your herbs in small bunches in a warm, well-ventilated area. The key is to give them lots of space and air movement to prevent any mildew from starting. Keeping your herbs indoors or under cover will prevent any dew or rain from reaching them.

Using a dehydrator can speed up the process. You can buy a few different types of commercial dehydrators, or you can try making a dehydrator of your own. Whichever type of dehydrator you try, always keep it at a low heat when drying herbs. Too high of a heat can detract from their flavor.

To store dried herbs, make sure whatever container you use is completely air tight. If air can leak in, so can humidity, which can spoil your herbs.

4. Pesto

Pesto is traditionally made with basil, but many other herbs can also make a delicious pesto. And prepared pesto can be easily frozen in jars for storage. The National Center for Home Food Preservation does not recommend canning pesto as it?s typically prepared with raw, fresh herbs in oil, which would not can safely.

Need a few recipe ideas? Try some of these unique pesto blends.

An Easy Twist on Basil Pesto
Parsley Pesto with Walnuts Pasta
Oil-Free Sage and Walnut Pesto
Basil, Lime and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Pea, Pistachio and Mint Pesto
Leftover Herb Pesto

Related: 10 Things You Can Do with a Jar of Pesto

5. Herb-Infused Vinegar and Oil

Making your own herb-infused vinegar and oil is not as difficult as it may sound. And both are extremely tasty additions to salads, sauces, dips or main dishes.

What?s Cooking America has excellent guidelines on how to make your own herbed vinegar. It can last from 6 to 8 months when stored properly.

Herbed oil is not as acidic as vinegar and does not last as long. Homemade herbed oils should be used within two months if kept in the fridge, or up to six months if frozen. Check out The Spruce?s guidelines on how to make your own herbed oil.

6. Fermented Herbs

You may have tried fermenting your own sauerkraut or dill pickles, but did you know you can also ferment fresh herbs? It can be a tasty way to preserve your herbs and get beneficial probiotics while you?re at it. You can use almost any herb and experiment with different blends. Joybilee Farm has detailed instructions on how to ferment your own herbs. You can keep your ferments in the fridge for up to 6 months.

7. Salt Preserving

A traditional method for preserving fresh foods is to mix them with salt. This can also be done with fresh herbs. It works particularly well with soft, leafy herbs that often lose some flavor when dried, such as cilantro, basil, parsley or chives. Kitchen Stewardship has a great overview on how to salt preserve your herbs.

Another similar option is to create a herb finishing salt. This is a herb-flavored salt that doesn?t use as many herbs, but it can make a delicious addition to a dish. Check out Garden Therapy?s recipe for making an herb finishing salt.

Related on Care2

8 Lesser-Known Medicinal Herbs You Should Add to Your Garden
7 Health Benefits of Horseradish
8 Easy Vegetables & Herbs to Grow Indoors

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Visit site – 

7 Creative Ways to Preserve & Enjoy Homegrown Herbs

Posted in alo, bigo, FF, food processor, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 7 Creative Ways to Preserve & Enjoy Homegrown Herbs

How to Grow Your Own Dry Beans

Growing your own dry beans is a great way to have fresh and organic dry beans on hand year-round. Beans are an easy crop to grow and there are numerous varieties you can experiment with. Let?s take a look at how to get started.

Choosing a Variety

Beans come in hundreds of different heirloom and modern varieties, all with unique flavors, colors and shapes. One of the best ways to find good varieties is to visit your local farmers? market, seed swap or garden center and ask which types of seeds work well in your area. Seed catalogs and online suppliers should also have a selection of beans appropriate for drying. In addition, chat with other gardeners to find out what?s been working for them, and maybe ask if they could share a handful of their favorite beans you can plant.

1. Bush Beans

If you live in a colder climate, bush beans are often your best choice because they have a shorter time to maturity compared to pole beans. The plants typically only grow around two to three feet (60 to 90 centimeters) tall and can stand on their own without support.

Some fast-maturing varieties to watch out for include ?Jacob?s Cattle?, ?Vermont Cranberry? or ?Black Valentine?. In climates with a longer season, ?Calypso?, ?Anasazi? or Soldier beans are classic varieties that produce well.

2. Pole Beans

Pole beans typically have a longer growing season than bush beans. They will also continue to produce beans for a longer time, unlike bush beans that often mature all at once. Pole beans require some form of support, such as a trellis, a classic pole ?teepee? or a fence. Another option is to grow your pole beans on the stalks of neighboring corn or sunflowers.

The varieties ?Good Mother Stallard?, ?Czar? or Romano-type pole beans all make excellent dry crops.

Related: How & Why to Participate in a Seed Swap

Planting Your Seeds

If your growing season is fairly short, it?s best to plant your beans soon after the risk of frost has passed in spring. If you have a longer season, you can plant beans after your spring crops are harvested and the weather has warmed up. A sunny location is ideal.

It can be beneficial to cover your seeds with Rhizobium bacteria before planting them. You can buy Rhizobium at most garden centers, and the bacteria will help the developing bean plants fix nitrogen in the soil.

All beans prefer direct sowing in the soil. In colder climates, you can plant your seeds on raised beds to capture more heat. Plant seeds one inch (2.5 centimeters) deep in your soil with one to two inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) between the seeds, giving larger seeds more space. Then, space additional rows at least one foot (30 centimeters) apart.

If you?re growing pole beans on corn or sunflowers, plant the bean seeds directly at the base of the support plants when they?re about one foot (30 centimeters) tall.

Mulch the soil after sowing to retain moisture.

Care Tips

Beans do best in a moderately rich soil, but they can also grow in fairly degraded soils due to their ability to fix their own nitrogen. This also means they do not need extra fertilizer while growing.

Water the developing plants regularly, especially as they?re forming pods. Make sure the plants dry out in between waterings to prevent mold and bacteria problems. As the plants mature, they become more drought tolerant and you can cut back on water.

Remove weeds as the seedlings are growing, although the bean plants effectively shade out any weeds as they get bigger.

Related: How to Make Beans and Grains More Digestible


Your beans are ready to harvest when the pods look dry. You?ll also likely be able hear the beans rattling inside when you shake them.

Keep in mind that beans are very sensitive to frost, so make sure you harvest them well before a potential frost date. If your beans aren?t ready yet and frost is expected, you can cut the plants early, hang them in a protected area, and let the pods continue to mature.

If your pods have matured well on the plants, you should be able to simply pull up the plants and harvest the beans. When you only have a small patch of beans, the easiest way to get the beans out of the pods is by hand. You can squeeze open the pods as you?re harvesting the plants and collect the beans in a container, or you can pick the pods off the plants and set them aside to open later.

Another option is to hold the plant inside a barrel and bang it against the sides to get the beans out. If you grow a large area of beans, you may want to invest in professional threshing equipment.

To clean the beans, you can either run the beans over a screen or use a hair dryer to blow off any debris.


Check that your beans are completely dry before packing them for storage. When you bite a bean, it should feel hard. If the beans still have some softness, spread them out in a warm area and let them dry longer until they?ve hardened.

When the beans are ready, pack them into airtight containers and store them in a dark place. They?re best used within a year. You can keep them longer, but they may become too dry and difficult to cook.

Related: 7 Ways to Avoid Gas from Beans

Bean Recipes

Looking for ideas on how to enjoy your harvest? Check out some of these delicious recipes.

Hearty 4-Bean Stew
Tuscan White Bean Soup
Simple and Delicious Black Bean Chili
Herbed Bean Salad
Beans and Greens with Herbed Polenta
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Jamaican Rice and Beans

Related on Care2

How to Grow Your Own Goji Berries
12 Ways to Get Rid of Aggressive Weeds Without Resorting to Roundup
Do Marigolds Really Repel Garden Pests?

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


How to Grow Your Own Dry Beans

Posted in alo, bigo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, Oster, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Grow Your Own Dry Beans

Edible Landscaping: A Delicious Way to Garden


Edible Landscaping: A Delicious Way to Garden

Posted in Accent, ATTRA, cannabis, Dolphin, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Edible Landscaping: A Delicious Way to Garden

How Light Pollution Affects Wildlife and Ecosystems

Night skies throughout the world are becoming brighter due to humans increasing use of artificial lights. This doesnt simply interrupt our star gazing opportunities it has a significant impact on many different animal species.

The term light pollution generally refers to how urban lighting blocks out our view of the night sky. But researchers are becoming more concerned about whats called ecological light pollution, which alters light levels in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The following are some of their discoveries on the effects of ecological light pollution.

Bird Navigation

Nocturnal bird species use the moon and stars for navigation during migrations. Artificial lighting on tall office buildings, communication towers and other brightly-lit structures has been shown to throw them off-course with often fatal results.

Migrating birds are attracted to artificial lights and will fly in circles around them until they die from exhaustion or predators. Lights also cause a significant number of collisions with human-made structures.

For instance, a 4-year study that concluded in 2007 counted fatal night-time bird collisions at an illuminated offshore research platform in the North Sea. At the end of the study, 767 bird carcasses of 34 different species had been collected. Considering there are over 1,000 human structures in the North Sea, researchers estimated that hundreds of thousands of nocturnal migrating birds could be killed each year in that area alone.


Some night-dwelling creatures require darkness for proper communication. An example is the complex system fireflies use to communicate messages. The bioluminescent lights they emit from their bodies range from adult mating signals to young larvae warning off predators. These messages can be easily interrupted by stray light.

Darkness is also important for coyote communication. Coyotes howl more during the time of a new moon, when the sky is darkest. They most likely do this to reduce trespassing from other packs or to assist with hunting larger prey during dark conditions. A brighter sky reduces the amount they howl, which could disrupt territorial marking and group hunting coordination.


The reproductive behaviors of many animals may also be altered by light pollution. For instance, female glow-worms use bioluminescent flashes in order to attract males up to 45 meters (150 feet) away. Artificial lights can disrupt these important signals.

Its been found that the female South American tungara frog is less selective about mate choice when greater amounts of light are present. Researchers suggest they may prefer to mate quickly in order to avoid an increased risk of predation in higher light.

Another experiment showed that frogs stopped their mating activity during night football games where a local sports stadium increased sky glow. Frog mating choruses resumed when a shield was put up to block the stadiums light from the frogs habitat.

Ecosystem Interactions

Many predator-prey relationships are dependent on light. One study found that more harbor seals congregated under artificial lights to eat juvenile salmon migrating downstream. When the lights were turned off, the seals ate less salmon. This shows how increased light pollution can disrupt a natural balance, benefitting one species and putting another at risk.

The loss of nocturnal moths is another example of how local ecology can be impacted. Moths are attracted to lights and many are killed annually by touching hot components or getting caught in light-bated electric traps. The bats and birds who feed on them lose a food source. Also, moths play an important role in pollination for many different plant species. These are affected by declining moth populations.


Artificial night lighting may also disorient creatures that rely on darkness for navigation. The disruption of newly hatched baby sea turtles is a well-documented case.

When the hatchlings emerge from nests on sandy beaches, they will naturally move away from the dark silhouettes of vegetation on the beach. This causes them to head towards the open ocean. Beachfront lighting prevents the young turtles from seeing the silhouettes properly, and they become disoriented and remain stranded on the beach exposed to the elements and predators. Millions of hatchlings die this way each year.

What Can Be Done?

Many places throughout the world have taken steps to reduce light pollution. Audubon started a Lights Out program that now includes many major US cities.

In addition, the International Dark Sky Association works to conserve areas with dark skies through public education and designating Dark Sky communities, parks, and reserves. These are all listed on their website and many are open to visitors.

You can also take action at home to reduce ecological light pollution. Some helpful measures include:

Avoid using unnecessary interior or exterior lighting.
Install motion sensors on all outdoor lights. This will also help reduce your electricity costs.
Turn off any lights at night that are not motion sensing.
Take extra care to reduce night lighting during bird migration periods, typically in April and May, and again in August through to November.
Ensure all exterior lighting is fully shielded so light is prevented from shining upwards into the sky. These fixtures may also be called zero light up or dark sky compliant. The International Dark Sky Association has further information on types of fixtures to look for.
Use yellow or red lights when possible. These have a lower impact on wildlife and dont attract insects.
Install window coverings that block as much light from escaping as possible.

How to Grow Strawberries Year-Round for Free
Grow Your Own Goji Berries
Genes Found That Come Alive After Death

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Source article – 

How Light Pollution Affects Wildlife and Ecosystems

Posted in alo, ATTRA, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized, Wiley | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How Light Pollution Affects Wildlife and Ecosystems

How to Make Your Garden Wildlife-Friendly

The National Wildlife Federation designated the month of May as Garden for Wildlife Month. Urban expansion in many parts of the world continues to destroy valuable wildlife habitat. You can help turn this around by encouraging more wildlife in your area. There are many simple ways you can make your backyard more wildlife-friendly.

Water Features

Clean water is vital for the survival of all living creatures. Some of your local wildlife will need water simply for drinking and bathing. Whereas, animals like frogs and amphibians, and certain insects, need water for reproduction and a place to live.

You can start small. You might be surprised how many wild visitors a simple birdbath or shallow container of water will bring to your garden. You can also add a larger water feature, like a fountain or artificial pond.

Make use of any natural water features you already have on your property, such as a creek or wetland. If the area has been damaged for any reason, take the time to restore it to its natural state. Build up the banks if needed. Plant reeds, sedges or water plants along the waters edge to provide shelter and living spaces. These will also help naturally filter the water and keep it clean.

Food Sources

You can purposely put out food for animals, such as bird seeds or liquid hummingbird feeders. Planting wildlife-friendly plants is a good hands-off choice.

When youre considering what to plant in your wildlife garden, think of what it can provide animals. Does it make fruit like nuts and berries or plentiful flowers and seeds? Are the leaves and stems eatable to foraging animals? Try to avoid plants with thorns or toxic foliage and ones that are sterile and dont produce fruit.

Some great low-maintenance fruiting plants are raspberries, hazelnuts, wild currants, crabapples, hawthorn or Oregon grape. Many common wildflowers will provide abundant amounts of pollen, nectar and seeds. Try cornflowers, poppies, asters, blanket flowers, geraniums, cosmos, Shasta daisies or herbs like oregano, thyme and sage.

Another option is to include areas of natural grass or shrubs if you have the space. These are great for foraging animals like deer, geese or rabbits.


Wild animals benefit from areas where they can hide from predators, make a nest or other home, as well as take cover from poor weather. Shelter can take many forms.

Plants and natural areas provide excellent spaces for wildlife to live. Try to include shrubs and trees where you can in order to provide height in your garden. The larger a plant is, the more shelter it can naturally provide.

Leave fallen leaves and branches on the ground when possible. These will allow spaces for a variety of species to move into. For instance, native bees and other beneficial insects often make homes and overwinter in fallen plant debris. Even undisturbed piles of rocks or logs can offer excellent shelter for many animals like snakes, rodents and insects.

You can also build your own garden shelters. Birdhouses, bat houses, bee boxes or an outdoor dog house are good starting projects. Its helpful to preserve any old rock walls or other human-made structures that may or may not still be in use. Insects and other small creatures can use the cracks and holes as habitat.

Go Organic

Chemicals used in the landscape will often do a lot more harm than you intend. For instance, many weed and feed products for lawns contain the herbicide 2,4-D. Studies have found that dogs whose owners use lawn products containing 2,4-D are twice as likely to develop canine malignant lymphoma.

Use compost and other organic products to provide nutrients and replace synthetic fertilizers. Find organic ways to target weeds and insect pests individually, rather than applying broad-range chemical pesticides. For example, you can purchase ladybug larvae at many garden centers to deal with an aphid infestation. The rest of your wildlife population will thank you.


Consider creating some wild, human-free areas in your yard. Plants native to your area would be especially well-adapted for this use. A wild area could be left on its own with very little irrigation or maintenance, which can help more sensitive species establish themselves without human interference.

10 Ways to Save the Bees
What to Plant, Weed and Prune in May
Gardening for Butterflies

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Originally posted here:  

How to Make Your Garden Wildlife-Friendly

Posted in alo, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Make Your Garden Wildlife-Friendly

How to Create a Wildflower Garden

Wildflowers can be an excellent low-cost and low-maintenance option for your garden. Like any garden, some set up is required at first. But with some basic planning and preparation, you can create a beautiful wildflower garden that will flourish for years to come.

Why go wild?

In order to highlight the value and benefits of wildflowers, the first week of May is designated as National Wildflower Week in the United States.

A wildflower garden is lower-maintenance than a traditional ornamental garden because you dont need to spend as much time keeping it tidy. It requires less mowing and fossil fuel input. You also dont need to apply any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers because wildflowers are typically pest-resistant and do well in a variety of soils.

In addition, wildflowers tend to be drought-tolerant and require less water than many of their cultivated cousins. Wildflower gardens can also provide valuable habitat for pollinaters and other beneficial insects and wildlife, as well as preventing soil erosion.


1. Site

A few points are helpful to consider before planning your wildflower garden:

How large is your space? You could have mass plantings on a rural property, whereas a small patch of flowers is more apt for a city lot.
What direction is your garden facing? The amount of sun it gets throughout the day will affect how you use it and what to plant. Overall, a sunny location is best for wildflowers.
What is your purpose for the site? Determine if you want a purely wild space or if youd prefer walkways and seating areas where you and visitors can appreciate it.

Your wildflowers will have the best start possible if you remove all existing vegetation from the planting area. Otherwise, its easy for weeds to take over and choke out your wildflowers.

The easiest ways to do this is either physically with a shovel or sod remover, or by a process called solarization. To solarize the area, mow it as short as you can, water it well, then cover it with a layer of thick plastic sheeting. Leave it in place to bake for 6 to 8 weeks. It will be obvious when its done as any previous plant life underneath will be brown and dead. You can remove the plastic and clear away the debris.

2. Soil

Have a close look at your soil on the site. If the soil is low in organic matter, perennials are a good choice. These are plants that come back each year. Poorer soils will allow the perennials time to establish and get the upper hand over many aggressive weeds.

Annual plants are more appropriate if you have soil thats rich with nutrients. Annuals last for only one growing season and die over winter. They are usually fast-growing enough to compete on their own against weeds.

Either way, start by tilling the surface of the soil to a depth of 3 inches or less to break it up for easier planting. You can do this by hand with a shovel or use a mechanical tiller for larger areas. Its beneficial to work some bone meal or rock phosphate into the soil as you till to encourage root development in the seedlings.

You can also add lots of organic matter and compost to the soil, especially if youre planning to use annual flowers.

Poppies andLarkspur

3. Choosing Your Plants

Many wildflower seed mixes are available in stores. If you need larger amounts of seeds, you can order bulk seeds by weight through mail-order seed companies.

You can also check if your local garden center carries a mix of flowers native to your area. These will naturally grow better in your soil and climate.

If you cant find a commercial seed mix you like, its often easier to make your own. Feel free to mix perennials and annuals to see which do better in your location. These are some popular wildflowers you could try:

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) 25 to 35 tall, perennial. Available in shades of white, pink, red and yellow. The short, ferny leaves make a good ground cover.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) 35 to 45 tall, often a short-lived perennial, although reseeds well. Make excellent cut flowers.
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) 30 to 45 tall, annual. Come in shades of pink, purple and white. Sweet fragrance.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia spp.) 20 to 35 tall, perennial. Showy blooms can be a mix of orange, red and yellow.
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) 30 to 40 tall, annual. Bright blue flowers.
Marigold (Tagetes spp.) up to 36 tall, annual. Make sure to use the taller varieties, there are many shorter types that could get overshadowed by larger plants.
Poppies (Papaver spp.) 20 to 40 tall, with many annual and perennial varieties and colors available.
Golden Tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria) 30 to 40 tall, annual. Abundant yellow flowers with red centers.
Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis) 15 to 30 tall, perennial. Dark blue flower spikes. The roots of lupines can fix nitrogen in the soil.

4. Planting

First, calculate how much seed you will need for your space. A good estimate is to buy a half-ounce of seed for every 100 square feet of planting space or a quarter pound for every 1000 square feet.

Rake the surface of your prepared soil to create some depth to plant your seeds in. Sprinkle your seeds evenly over the surface of the soil. Birds might eat a portion of your new seeds, so make sure to sow them heavily. Rake the bed lightly again to cover the seed.

Water the whole area well and keep it moist until the seedlings are at least a few inches tall. Adding a light layer of straw, peat or compost mulch will improve moisture retention in the soil.

Most wildflower seeds will take one to three weeks to germinate.


4. Maintenance

Weed seedlings typically germinate along with your new wildflowers. Weeding these out will help encourage the plants you want. If you cant recognize the weed seedlings, its alright to leave them. Weeds are often out-competed by the wildflowers as the area becomes established.

Its recommended to mow wildflower gardens once a year. When the annuals have all gone to seed in the fall and the perennials are going dormant, the whole area should be cut down to a height of 4 to 6 inches. You can do this by hand for a small area, or with a lawn mower or other cutter for larger spaces. A mowing helps all the seeds reach the ground for next year, recycles the organic matter and prevents any woody perennials from taking over.

The annual wildflowers may seed themselves year after year. But if youre seeing too many bare areas, you may need to add more seed as your wildflower garden ages.

Permaculture: Landscaping That Works With Nature
How to Coexist with Bees and Wasps
4 Surprising Reasons to Eat Ugly Fruit

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

View original: 

How to Create a Wildflower Garden

Posted in alo, FF, GE, green energy, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, Pines, Prepara, PUR, Radius, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Create a Wildflower Garden

16 Surprising Uses for Green Tea

Green tea has been around for thousands of years. Its no wonder the stuff sure is tasty, and is shown to have a number of great health benefits. But there are plenty of other reasons to keep green tea around. From cleaning carpets to giving your feet a much needing pampering, read on for some surprising ways to use green tea.

Quick Tip: Store your used green tea bags in the fridge so they dont spoil.

Beauty and Health

1. Reduce Eye Puffiness. The tannins and caffeine in green tea helps reduce both puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. Brew two bags of green tea. Take the bags out of the water and, with your fingers, squeeze out as much liquid as you can and let them cool to room temperature. Put one tea bag over each eye and wait 10 minutes before removing.

2. DIY Facial Toner. Green tea is found in a number of commercial skincare products but you can make some at home, too! Its also ridiculously easy: just brew some green tea, let it come to room temperature and transfer it to a clean spray bottle. Store in the fridge. Twice a day, spritz some on your face before using moisturizer. Its that simple!

3. Soothe Sunburns. Green tea contains properties that help with inflammation a major thing you want to combat if youre dealing with a sunburn. Soak a clean piece of cloth in cooled green tea and apply it to the affected area.

4. Pamper Your Feet. Green tea works well on puffy eyes because it reduces swelling and the same is true for your feet. After a long day, who doesnt want to relax with a nice, aromatic foot soak. Click here for a recipe.

Odor Fighting

5. Reduce Fridge Odor. Nobody wants a stinky fridge. Combat that by placing a dry, unused green tea bag in the refrigerator to absorb moisture.

6. Reduce Trash Odor. A couple unused green tea bags will also help stop foul odors that come from the trash. Keep a few unused bags at the bottom of your garbage can.

7. Clean Greasy Dishes. A used green tea bag is a great DIY sponge for cleaning greasy and grimy dishes.

8. Keep Litter Boxes Fresh. Adding some dry green tea leaves to kitty litter will help keep odors at bay and, whats more, your cat wont mind one bit!

9. Stash In Your Underwear Drawer. Green tea infuses a nice, subtle scent to your unmentionables. Keep an unused green tea bag in your lingerie drawer.


10. Clean Yoga Mats. One great way to clean yoga mats is to wash them in water with diluted green tea. Itll help keep them smelling fresh.

11. Clean Carpets. No, really! Sprinkling some used (but dry) green tea leaves 10 minutes before you vacuum the carpet will help you pick up more grime AND lightly deodorize both the carpets and the vacuum cleaner.

12. Clean Glass and Mirrors. Instead of tossing your green tea bag after you use it, brew it again, and use that weakened tea to clean windows and mirrors. Transfer room temperature tea to a spray bottle and wipe with a clean, dry cloth.

13. Clean Toilets. Deodorize your toilet by tossing a few used green tea bags in and letting them sit for an hour or two. Remove the bags, scrub and flush. Easy!

More Uses

14. Toss in the Compost. Green tea bags can absolutely be composted as long as the cloth is biodegradable, which many brands are.

15. Perfect Plant Watering. The big benefit of using green tea in the garden is that it absorbs water. Placing a used and dried tea bag at the bottom of the soil will absorb excess moisture and, over time, help redistribute that moisture more efficiently.

16. Naturally Dye Paper, Easter Eggs and More. Green tea is a great way to dye things, well, green! Click here for detailed instructions.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Taken from:

16 Surprising Uses for Green Tea

Posted in alo, Aroma, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 16 Surprising Uses for Green Tea

Everyday Items That Could Contain Lead

Contaminated water is not the only way we areexposed tolead. This toxic metal lurks in a wide variety of products that we’d otherwise think were harmless.

One exposure one time isn’t going to cause a problem, of course, especially at very low levels. But repeated exposures over time from multiple sources could create a threat, especially to young children whose brains and organs are still developing, and to pregnant and nursing women. Here are some of the most commonand least expectedways we may be exposed to lead on a daily basis.

Paint – Lead used to be added to paint, both what we used to paint our homes inside and out, and also the paint that was used in offices, schools and industrial buildings. The use of lead-based paints for homes, children’s toys and household furniture was banned in the U.S. in 1978. But lead-based paint is still on walls and woodwork in many older homes and apartments, reports the Mayo Clinic. Most lead poisoning in kids results from them eating lead-based paint chips.

Household Dust – Homes that have lead-based paint on the walls, doors and window frames often have lead-contaminated dust. Kids wouldn’t eat dust en masse, but they’d pick it up on their hands when they crawl around on the floor. It can also get into their food, and anyone can inhale fine lead-tainted dust particles.

Water Pipes – Even if the source of the water isn’t contaminated the way it is in Flint, Michigan, the pipes and plumbing fixtures in your home could be soldered with lead, and that can release lead into tap water.

Imported Canned Food and Imported Hard Candies– Though lead solder is banned from canned food produced in the U.S., it is still used when food cans are made in some other countries. Lead can also be found in wrappers used on imported candy.

Toys – Imported toys may contain high lead levels that are especially dangerous for the kids who play with them and might chew on them. Blocks, dolls and action figures may be painted with lead-based paint, and little metal pieces may be held together with lead solder. Cheap toys sold in vending machines and large volume discount stores are often contaminated as well, reports the New York Department of Health.

Traditional remedies – Lead is a naturally occurring metal that comes out of the earth’s crust, so remedies made from some herbs could be contaminated. The Mayo Clinic warns against using azarcon or sea coral, which is a Hispanic remedy for upset stomach and other digestive ills; litargirio or litharge, a powder used as a deodorant in the Dominican Republic; ba-baw-san, a Chinese herbal remedy for babies suffering from colic; and daw tway, a digestive aid used in Thailand that contains high levels of lead and arsenic.

Soil – Lead paint and dust can settle into the soil surrounding a painted building, then get easily picked up when it’s walked on or when kids play in it. I was shocked to discover high lead levels in the yard where my kids played because the garage next door had been painted, sanded, repainted and sanded many times over. All that dust and flaking paint settled right in my garden and yard!

Pottery, ceramics, china or crystal – Glazed terra cotta pottery often contains lead. It’s beautiful, but shouldn’t be used for food. China and crystal may also be made with lead. If you make pottery or stained glass or refinish furniture, the products you use could also contain lead.

Eyeliner and lipstick – Kohl is a traditional cosmetic used as a dark eyeliner. It also may contain very high levels of lead. Be wary if you use kohl that is imported from the Middle East or India.Studies have been finding lead in lipstick for years, reports Mother Jones. In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found lead in 61 percent of products tested.

Venison and other wild game – People can be exposed to lead by eating wild animals that were shot and killed with lead shot and lead bullets. “Recent research indicates that small lead fragments are often present in venison from deer harvested with lead bullets,” reports the New York Department of Health. “These particles of lead can get into your body when you breathe or swallow, and lead dust can get on your food and other items that you eat, drink, or put in your mouth.”

Vehicle batteries and other industrial uses – The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that approximately 804,000 workers in general industry and an additional 838,000 workers in construction are potentially exposed to lead, primarily as a result of the production, use, maintenance, recycling and disposal of lead material and products. Exposure also occurs during renovation or demolition of structures painted with lead pigments.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

The Centers for Disease Control offers these helpful suggestions to prevent kids from lead exposure.

If you suspect your home is painted with lead paint, do not try to remove it yourself. Use a trained lead contractor, whom you can find by going here.

Choose what you eat very carefully. Avoid imported canned food and candy and wild game unless you can somehow verify it is lead-free.

Choose cosmetics and personal care products produced in the U.S. or Europe, rather than in Asia, the Middle East or South America. You can also buy eye make-up and lipstick specifically formulated without lead.

Contact your local water utility to find out how and when they test for the presence of lead in the water. You can also get a Lead Check Test Kit to test yourself on solid surfaces.

How to Tell if Your Water is Contaminated with Lead
Lipstick is Full of Metal and Lead: Why Use It?

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

This article is from:

Everyday Items That Could Contain Lead

Posted in alo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, Omega, ONA, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Everyday Items That Could Contain Lead