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Category Archives: Environment

Yesterday’s Trash is… Tomorrow’s Toothbrush?

This is information worth digesting. What are you/can you do to make a positive impact, be a solution to this problem?
Whatever that is, start it today. If you’re already contributing, keep at it and expand it more each week.
We, of the Earth, thank you.l

Cold Mountain Collective

There is a thing, formless yet complete. Before heaven and earth it existed. Without sound, without substance, it stands alone and unchanging. It is all-pervading and unfailing. We do not know its name, but we call it Tao. .. Being one with nature, the sage is in accord with the Tao.—Lao Tzu

Despite recent good news on the writing front, I am constantly mired in fear and frustration that our human desire for more and more objects and consumption of objects (if only we understood objects the way the great Taoist poets did!) is utterly wrecking this home that hosts us for such a short time. As a result, I’ve scoured the web for eco-friendly resources, including ways to recycle typically unrecyclable trash (calculators, pens, etc.) and a calming discussion of climate change by my favorite Buddhist monk (wait, is that anti-Buddhist of me to pick favorites?), Thich…

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Environment, Uncategorized

 

VEGGIE BURGERS: SAVING 100 ANIMALS?

According to PETA, we could save 100 animals each year if we gave up eating meat.

Occasionally, I have  flirted with becoming a vegetarian, but knew realistically I wasn’t able to give up grilling meats or heavenly salmon.   I do eat more grains and vegetables now; and even have gone several days in a week without meat.  And, I have always love salads, the bigger and more varied the better. The statement above and the sorry state of meat sold at the grocers got me thinking though.  (Have you noticed how tough the meat is? And remember, the lobby loving U.S. Congress allowed the meat industry to sell cloned meat without labeling it)  Given all of that, I wondered: What does it really mean to be vegetarian?

I have heard that a vegan lives a much stricter diet, as in not even animal products like eggs and cheese. Well, that ain’t happening, so back to the possibility of vegetarian.  Some folks believe it’s okay to eat poultry and fish as a vegetarian because it’s not meat.

However, according to the experts (PETA included), a vegetarian eats only plant-based food. No animal flesh of any kind. Some try to even avoid any substances that involve cruelty to animals. Eggs, cheese, and all dairy are allowed if desired.

In addition to vegetables, vegetarians consume beans, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and fruits. If protein is a concern, all of these foods provide protein. Without the cholesterol and saturated fats issue. And whatever else they’re doing to our meat. Steroids anyone?

              

Vegetarian diets may be lacking in iron, calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and zinc. It’s essential that vegetarians make certain to consume the daily allowance of these vitamins and minerals, even if through a daily  multivitamin or supplements. Of course, it’s possible to get the right amount of these from the diet if you know what fruit, vegetable, grain, etc carries the biggest wallop in terms of these vitamins and minerals.

For instance beans and dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, kale, romaine lettuce) are loaded with iron. You simply have to calculate daily needs for the vitamins and minerals and how much your chosen menu provides. And, bonus, study after study has shown that obtaining these from actual food far outweighs getting them from a pill or liquid.

This chart provides details on vegetables that contain vitamins and minerals that may be missing in a vegetarian diet.

If you want to learn more about becoming vegetarian or to actually get started, PETA offers a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit. This kit reportedly helps makes the transition easier. It even includes recipes, tips and videos. Get the starter kit here.

Personally, I’m still on the fence. I wonder if it’s possible to be  part-time vegetarian. You know 3 months on, 3 months off. Hmmmm.

But best wishes to you if you choose this journey!

©2012 DLewis

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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Consumer, Environment

 

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Aside

Vinegar is one of the most versatile, inexpensive, environmentally friendly and effective products in your home. It’s likely you have both distilled white vinegar and cider vinegar in your kitchen or laundry room. If you don’t, you should.

Both variations have multiple and varied uses—internally and externally; and in cooking and cleaning.  This time, let’s talk about white vinegar. There are enough wonders of white vinegar to fill a book. Here, I’ll just whet your appetite for more.

People have discovered vinegar’s value in their arsenal for beauty, internal health and cleaning issues. This post covers some of the household aspects. More, later, about other uses in future posts.

First, don’t fear the smell. It dissipates quickly. Keeping vinegar’s powerfully anti-bacterial, disinfectant and cleaning properties, and economical price, in mind might help. As detailed in the chart below, vinegar is effective as bleach in killing some nasty germs.

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Some people mix vinegar with lemon juice to offset the initial aroma. When using it for a household cleaner, I like to add essential oils that maximize antibacterial qualities, such as tea tree. With lavender added in for a lovely scent. Both in the regular vinegar mixture below and the one with bleach at the end.

Many recipes suggest equal parts of vinegar and water to fill a spray bottle. I use 1 ¼ measures vinegar to ¾ measure water. Add essential oils, if desired, for aroma; ¼ to ½ teaspoons per half-gallon for sprays. Do make sure that whatever you’re cleaning isn’t adverse to vinegar (granite) or essential oils (some plastics). Otherwise, clean with abandon wherever you use overpriced, wet chemical cleansers. That includes everything from your counters (except granite) to kitchen and bath areas to moppable floors (except marble.) Let’s take a couple of the dirtiest and “germiest” locations. 

In the kitchen, freshen the microwave’s interior by boiling ½ cup of the mixture. Do remember to put it in a microwave safe container. Wipe down the counters. Spray to disinfect drain boards, cutting boards, exhaust fan covers and the like. Mix a cup or two into a gallon of mop water for the floor.

In the bathroom, use the solution to clean the bathtub and attendant soap scum on the walls (even the shower curtain!) Make the fixtures sparkle with a spritz and a swipe. Remove all the built-up grime and make-up from the sink and counter. Your toilet will never be more pristine than after you pour in 2-2 ½ cup of this mixture with baking soda, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Full strength vinegar even vanquishes mildew. 

Should you need sudsing action as you clean, add in ½ teaspoon (more, or less, depending on amount of suds you want) of castile or organic soap. If you add in essential oils, both rooms will smell as inviting as they are clean. Clean, without chemicals or toxins. Refreshingly earth friendly.

 

Try this recipe for cleaning floors*:

2 gallons boiling hot water (1 gallon kept in reserve and at low boil)
1 cup white vinegar (or vinegar/bleach mixture if desired)
½ tablespoon liquid soap (if desired)
¼ teaspoon lavender or peppermint essential oil (Additional 1/8 teaspoon kept in reserve**)

¼ teaspoon tea tree oil (Additional 1/8 teaspoon tea tree oil; or ¼ teaspoon if used alone**)

(Use ½ tablespoon of tea tree only if desired)

*Make certain that use of all above ingredients allowed for your flooring type. 

Mix all ingredients (except reserve gallon of water) and mop immediately, making certain to thoroughly cover the area. Let the solution sit on the floor for a few minutes.

Empty bucket and add in additional essential oils if desired for additional aroma and disinfectant)

Refill bucket with remaining boiling hot water.  Rinse floor.

You could also use ½ cup of strong peppermint or rosemary tea instead of the essential oils. Now, you have two all-purpose cleaners that you can make up at any time (as long as you keep white vinegar on hand). At a price that your wallet can appreciate.

 

For those still in a love affair with bleach; who believe only bleach can get it clean or disinfected enough, try this. Vinegar also boosts the anti-bacterial, disinfecting and whitening power of bleach. Plus, it dilutes the chemical component of the product. Mix ¾ cup bleach to ¾ vinegar and add water to fill a gallon container. As you can guess I use a full cup+ of vinegar, but that’s just me. The solution works for household cleaning and laundry. One thing. Together, these compounds look more like water or vinegar, but don’t be fooled. My nephew decided to take a sniff to figure out the big deal. It took him a little while to recover, but his sinuses were the clearest they’ve ever been. And from now on, he’ll use his aunt’s potions as she directs!

If you’re interested in specific cleaning tips or recipes, give me a shout and I’ll email some to you.  Happy, non-toxic cleaning. 

©2012 DLewis

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LIQUID ECO POWER

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Consumer, Economic, Environment, Uncategorized

 

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WATER CRISIS: PUR(ely) SIMPLE SOLUTION

Yes, this is again about clear, sparkling water that too many people don’t have. It’s simply mind boggling that this life-giving resource has become a serial killer. If you’re wary of donating to unfamiliar causes such as water.org, here’s another resource through a company you know:  Proctor and Gamble.

P & G’s PUR water filter product line provides two easy and inexpensive ways for us to make a direct difference. We can help eliminate people in developing countries from dying from lack of clean drinking water for $15.

The PUR Purifier of Water, a product of Procter & Gamble, cleans water in about 30 minutes. These packets kill germs-bacteria and viruses—and eliminates dirt, cysts and pollutants. The Purifier of Water packets become the emergency kit in these cases. The tea bag sized, four-gram packets (6/$15) of powder are easy to store and use. Each packet contains a powdered water-purifying technology developed by P & G and the U.S. CDC. Recipients stir the powder into ten liters (or ~2.6 gallons or 10.5 quarts) of water for five minutes, letting it stand five minutes. To filter the transformed water, recipients can use any kind of cloth. After straining and sitting for another twenty minutes, the water is safe to drink.  Even the dirtiest and disgusting water becomes clear and clean. Transformed back to a life sustaining elixir.

P & G, through PUR, partnered with the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program (http://www.csdw.org/csdw/index.shtml) to help eradicate unsafe water across the world. The company donates a portion of the proceeds to the program from each purchase of a PUR system. PUR also distributes thousands of packets to developing countries in need. By the end of 2011, through the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, PUR had distributed 400 million purification packets resulting in four billion liters of clean water. The company works with established humanitarian and aid organizations in the distribution of packets and in clean water education. Especially during times of disaster.

Disasters also happen in developed countries. Imagine the areas hit by floods in the U.S. and in England. How satisfying and appreciated would it be to ship a set or whole case of PUR purifying packets to ensure that no one attempts to drink flood tainted water? Remember, the dire need for clean water during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans? The packets are available at retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart and Campmor.  Perfect for those who like direct involvement.  However, between such disasters, do consider helping with the worldwide effort to get the purification packets to countries without any emergency organizations and measures in place. Countries where every day is an emergency. Following is a representation, from PUR’s site, on how the Purifier of Water packets work.

Check out the Purifier of Water packets in action at http://www.purpurifierofwater.com

Please also check out the article for more info on the water crisis and organizations dedicated to removing the plague:      https://dlcommunicates.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/many-of-us-in/

 Participating in the solution (transforming poverty into prosperity) is going to be the most gratifying thing we do in our lives. ~ Economist Jeffrey Sachs 

©2012 DLewis

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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Age of Aquarius, Economic, Environment

 

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Aside

Many of us, in developed countries, have followed the medical admonitions, and drink a lot more water every day. We waste a lot of it, too.  After all, it’s “free” and plentiful, right? While I know both of these are false, we at least have easy access. And our water seldom ever contains fecal matter. At least not enough to kill us.

Water.org estimates that 884 million lack access to clean water. That almost 3.6 million people die from water related diseases. That every 20 seconds a child dies from lack of clean water.

Mind boggling isn’t it? The water we take for granted. The water that sometimes smells bad; sometimes has chemicals requiring PUR and /Brita filters. The water, though, that isn’t brown. Doesn’t have critters, bacteria, FECAL matter and other gunk along for the ride. Isn’t likely to kill us.

And women, can you imagine being part of a group who rack up 200 million work hours per day collecting water? Water that probably isn’t clean? Oh, yeah, women get the responsibility of balancing the death elixir on their heads from the water source. By the way, reports indicate that water costs more in developing countries. Hmmm, high cost of water and poverty. I wonder what creative ways citizens of developing countries come up with to deal with that scenario.

Water.org works on many levels to eradicate the unclean water. Not only in building new wells; but working to improve sanitation systems, hygiene and overall water management.  The organization provides a forum, at http://my.water.org/, from which you can follow a clean water project as it progresses. Seeing this might inspire you to get their newsletter, to spread the word via social media.

Consider the possibility of drinking your toilet water (which is pristine in comparison to their water)–every day.  The importance of this issue might then zoom into focus even more. Perhaps we could even to donate a week’s worth of Starbuck’s. If you’re an athlete, Team Water.org (http://water.org/team/) welcomes you. Premiere and casual runners promote the clean water cause at races and other events.

With enough generous participation, these countries might see a full minute pass without a child dying. Perhaps with enough of us to aid progress, that will span into an hour, then a day, then a week, then a month, then a year. Then just become a memory, a folk tale that the elders share with the young around one of their new, fully functioning wells.

Do go and read about Water.org’s approach to solutions.  Also, check out their new ventures initiative—philanthropists and problem solvers collaborating on stretching those seconds into years. For more information and other sources on the world’s water crisis, check out the World Water Council, Blue Planet Network, and Unicef.

Ummm, I hate to play the “C” card, but just FYI Matt Damon is passionate about this cause. Make a big enough donation and envision a video call from “The Sexiest Man Alive.” Well, you might have to put that request in the comment section of your donation. But, he’s a nice guy. He’d probably call. Or, at least, smile and think about it.  And, for sure, he’d be grateful for your generosity and caring.

Seriously, no dollar amount is too small. Think about it today, as you sip on your iced water with lemon.

Please also see the article on one simple solution to the crisis:  https://dlcommunicates.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/water-crisis-purely-simple-solution/

Participating in the solution (transforming poverty into prosperity) is going to be the most gratifying thing we do in our lives. ~ Economist Jeffrey Sachs 

©2012 DLewis

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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE? NOT ALWAYS; ERADICATING THE WATER CRISIS

 

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SUMMER FUN: TAKING THE STING OUT

Glorious spring is here. Along with creatures who inspire fear and loathing disproportionate to their size. Despite those stingers. Unwelcome wasps, hornets, dirt daubers, bees and the like. We’ve learned from the bees. We don’t get to kill hoards of them (hereafter: pests!). They do rid defenseless plants of bugs. Instead, arm yourself with some tips and non-chemical repellents.

 

Get rid of any old, deserted nests. Pests won’t reuse. But, the nest’s scent serves as a signal beacon for the pest to return. It also deters other fellow travelers from squatting in the vacant homestead. Once rid of the nests, treat the area with a deterrent. Do the same for dirt daubers and hornets.

DO THIS BEFORE THE WEATHER TURNS WARM AND PESTS COME TO RECLAIM THEM. GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE ON THE BEES. From personal experience, I know that dirt dauber nests can be destroyed in season. Stand several feet away with hose nozzle on full blast and eradicate.

 

Avoid planting nectar and sweet sap producing vegetation close to the house. Or, near places you plan to spend time. That especially includes fruit trees. This might entail relocating some plants. The lengths you employ depend on your fear and past infestation levels. Also, avoid keeping trash bags near the house unless in a sealed trash can. Avoid sweet perfumes if you sit outside.  Also, use a natural repellent spray. These are available almost everywhere. Also, check out the next segment for a recipe for DIY natural repellent skin spray.

 

But back to safeguarding your off-limits zone. My mother used moth balls to repel the pests. Horrid smell if you get too close. The wasps agree. Line up 3-5 moth balls. Wrap, and completely enclose, balls in a cloth. Tack 2-3 of these packets in the off-limits area. If you only want to keep them away from entryways, one packet might suffice. Inexpensive and readily available, even in grocery stores.

To avoid an unsightly appearance, match the cloth color to the area. Mother used cheap dark brown pantyhose or knee highs. She tacked these to her dark brown patio soffit. Moth ball crystals are even less noticeable. You might also use mesh bags and hang either from hooks. The placement under a covering keeps very little, if any, of the mothballs from getting into the ground.

 

Ambitious types can treat any wood around the pest-free zone. This could include wood on the residence and wooden furniture/fixtures.                                                                                                                                          Mix equal parts of three essential oils—eucalyptus, menthol, and citronella—in teak oil. Wear gloves. Apply lightly. Avoid saturation.

 

If pests occupy your off-limits area in droves or none of the above works, check out the many pest traps available. Traps cost $10-$15. Do this as a last resort. You don’t want to be part of the problem when we discover the effect of a world without these pests. Also, check out the upcoming post on plant repellents and traps. At least the natural plants devouring the carcass serve the eco system.

 

Waspinator natural wasp repellent

Some people swear by the paper wasp nests. Somewhat like the paper Chinese lanterns. You hang them in the affected areas. The fake nests serve a similar function as scarecrows, fake owls and whirlybirds do for birds. With a twist. Wasps, and like creatures, are territorial. They won’t venture near an established nest. That’s right.  Scare the suckers. Without a need for chemicals or baits. No one has to die or swell. 

Shop for the fake nests, such as the Waspinator and Wasp Repellent Decoy, on Amazon.com or their respective sites: www.hsn.com and contec-inc.com. Fake nests run $10-$15/two pack.

Wasp Repellent Decoy

Take note if a nest already exists in the off-limits area. The pests have marked their territory. Wasps in residence will take no mind of the fake nests.

 

In above circumstance, you have to get rid of the live nest.  If you try this, be careful. Experts recommend that you treat (natural spray or douse) wasp nests either at dusk or early morning. Foam sprays with a several foot range would be my choice.  

Make sure you’re agile. Wear loose clothing and a hat to cover yourself.  Don’t leave any areas for the pests to fly into. So socks over pants. Long sleeves buttoned or tied. Collars secured. Hat over ears. Wear loose clothing otherwise. If a pest lands on your clothing, it’s likely the pest won’t reach skin if it stings.

Personally, even armed as above,  dusk is too close to DARK for me. Although, supposedly either time ensures that all the wasps are home. Also, there is less risk of being stung. 

I suggest calling in a professional for mature or significant nest(s).  DO NOT DISTURB BEE HIVES YOURSELF.  CALL IN A PROFESSIONAL FROM THE GET GO.

 

However, if you’re foolish—I mean courageous enough to go for the other nests, come back for the next installment:

GETTING RID OF THE SWELL – home treatments for stings (including a recipe for the natural repellant skin spray)

Followed by:

PLANTING A DEFENSE – nature’s offerings to repel pests                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ©2011 DLewis

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Environment, Tips, Uncategorized

 

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CLEAN AIR ACTS

© 2010 (text)

 

Sitting here working, with a vibrant fall wind blowing in my many open windows,reminded me of an article I recently read. The article touted house plants as a natural air purifier, which is appealing with the closed house season approaching; or for someone allergic to outdoor pollen. It cited a “recent” NASA study to back up the claim; and listed several plants, but didn’t indicate what each plant purified from the air, so I did my own research.

NASA did complete a study on the viability of house plants to remove air borne particles. Scientists created a closed, synthetic environment, rigged to cause irritation to inhabitants. Irritation they hoped that the introduction of certain plants would resolve. Two things, though:  1) the study was done in 1989; and 2) NASA’s study only tested and documented the listed houseplants for effective absorption of three chemicals, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene, from synthetic materials.


There was some indication that the negative ions emitted by plants might reduce mold spores and other bacteria; although, the scientists did no actual study or measurements on this theory. So, clearly house plants cannot sub for electronic air purifiers. (More on those in a later article.)

It was heartening to discover that this NASA report has not been negated; and was performed over a two-year period. The report clearly demonstrated that specific plants improve indoor air quality—from the above three chemicals anyway.

According to NASA, the following plants filter these contaminants from the air.

FORMALDEHYDE. The bad news is that this chemical exists in almost every household. The good news:

Philodendron

Peace Lily

Green Spider

pothos

the  dracaena, warneckii, peace lily, green spider plant, philodendron, bamboo palm, and mother-in-law tongue provide an effective defense against formaldehyde fumes. Peace lilies, bamboo palms, mother-in-law tongue and Chinese evergreens topped the most effective list.  In an earlier, preliminary 1982 NASA study, golden pothos also proved highly effective.

It’s probably no surprise to learn that formaldehyde lurks in building materials such as insulation and new carpet, as well as pressed wood, upholstery, natural gas and some cleaning products. You probably didn’t know this chemical exists in paper grocery bags, paper towels, and waxed paper. And, are you ready for this? Permanent press clothes.  Cigarettes may also contain formaldehyde.

This chemical causes irritation to eyes, nose and throat. However, chronic exposure can affect the upper respiratory tract and bring on headaches. Its most serious gifts, at high levels, are asthma and throat cancer.


BENZEN.     With chronic exposure, benzene can, even at low levels, irritate eyes and skin; and bring on nervousness, blood diseases such as anemia, headaches, dermatitis, loss of appetite, and drowsiness—to name a few. Inhalation of high levels could put you in the hospital or cause an expensive doctor visit at the least. The NASA study cited evidence of benzene as a potential contributing factor in leukemia and lymphatic and respiratory disease. Paints, oils, rubber, detergents, dyes and plastics contain benzene.

The peace lily, bamboo palm and mother-in-laws tongue also combat benzene air contaminants. Other plants that remove air borne benzene include:  English ivy, chrysanthemums, and gerbera daisies (pictured in next section).  English Ivy, golden pothos and peace lily rated as the top three in the NASA study, with the bamboo palm as a contender.


Mother-in-law tongue

Chrysanthemums

TRICHLOROETHYLENE. This chemical also shares, with the other two, the peace lily, bamboo palm and gerbera daisy as combatants; with the Gerbera daisy, peace lily, and mother-in-law tongue at the top of the NASA list. And, in the middle of the pack, the bamboo palm.

Gebera Daisy

The NASA study cited a National Cancer Institute report of a high incidence of liver carcinomas caused by trichloroethylene. This chemical is found in household items such as dry cleaning solvents, paint, varnishes, adhesive and ink.

Plants would seem to be particularly good in newly constructed homes, where builders use lots of synthetic materials and all of the chemicals are fresh. Experts seem to be divided on how long said chemicals remain in such items.  In addition to plants and electronic air purifiers, you might consider installing green building products (especially paint) and green furnishings, using non- toxic cleaners, avoiding artificial air fresheners, and installing HEPA air filters for the A/C, etc. The NASA team did agree that the plant roots absorb more of the chemicals if surrounded by activated carbon. The carbon retains the contaminants until the plant takes them in.

Do also keep in mind that you’ll need several plants for effective absorption of formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. For total effectiveness, some experts recommend a six-inch plant for every one hundred square feet. If you have even a 1,500 square foot home, that’s fifteen plants, which would mean putting a plant in every room (including bathrooms) and doubling/tripling up in others.  If you love taking care of plants or have some real problems with these chemicals, then that would be worthwhile.

I don’t want that many dead plants on my conscious. So, it seems to me that concentrating the plants in living areas where you feel contaminants likely lurk can be beneficial.  For instance, there’s likely formaldehyde in your living room/kitchen area, so arrange two or three plants there.

Also, buy those plants that absorb all three contaminants. The peace lily, Gerber daisy or bamboo palm fits the bill.

Bamboo Palm

Even with only one or two, you still get a benefit and the added bonus of releasing oxygen into the air. Although, if you have, or use, a lot of chemicals in your household (i.e., gas appliances, chemical cleaning materials, stains and varnishes, some upholstery, adhesives, etc.), you’d do well to visit your nursery and pick up a few plants.

New construction or not, remember that whatever the plant pulls in, it releases as oxygen and increases the humidity.


The NASA study also demonstrated that continuous exposure from formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene fumes to the plants you’ve selected improves the absorption rate, whether it’s two or twenty plants. Per the scientists, the plants essentially adapt and begin to utilize the chemicals as a food source. So, I wouldn’t recommend using any of these plants in your dinner. And bonus; no worries about your plants croaking from the chemicals.

One note of warning: damp potting soil can encourage growth of mold. Experts recommend covering the soil with washed small gravel if you go with a large number of plants. Reducing the exposed damp soil retards the growth of mold.

For people like me, who have killed many a plant, Better Homes and Gardens web site (http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/annual/gerbera-daisy/) is chocked with useful information on plant care and much, much more. After all, the plants cannot help you if they are dead or dying. You’ll also find the site helpful to aid you in choosing your plants. For instance, the pothos plant can grow to over 8’ and has some color in its leaves for those who want more than green, but don’t want the care flowering plants require. The Pothos doesn’t mind little light or your failure to water often.

Plants are a simple, cost effective way to combat especially lethal contaminants that plague our living space.  However, beautiful and beneficial as plants can be, they still do not necessarily address many other worrisome contaminants in our homes. These include: animal and human hair, dust mites, mold, smoke, skin cells, pollen, germs from coughs and sneezes, and lots of other bacteria.  This is where the electronic air purifiers—HEPA or Ionic air cleaners—triumph. Keep in mind that just as the plants can’t combat mold, etc., the electronic cleaners do not remove gaseous contaminants (i.e. Formaldehyde) from the air.

One final codicil: don’t buy the plants or the machines thinking either will eliminate health problems such as asthma. These systems and the plants reduce, but don’t eliminate, airborne allergens/ contaminants. The air cleaners won’t screen viruses either. Both the natural and electronic air purifiers can help, but none are a cure.

And darn it, you still have to dust!

 

© 2010 (text)
 
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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Environment, Tips, Uncategorized

 

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