Essential oils play a big role in organic gardening. Various types of oils help to repel insects and kill invasive weeds that try to overtake the edible parts of the garden. Keep your home garden growing abundantly without chemicals with these tips for gardening with essential oils.
How to Mix and Use
When using essentials oil to keep pests out of the garden, mix a few drops of the oil in a spray bottle filled with water, then spray on all the plants. The oils are natural and won’t harm the plants or the humans doing the spraying. Can you say that about Round-Up???
Make spraying for pests or weeds the last thing you do after working in the garden so it will have time to settle on the plants and soil.
Insect Repelling Oils
* Garlic oil is very pungent and works well at repelling several pests, including mosquitoes and cats.
* Lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus and cajeput essentials oils are very effective for garden use. All repel a variety of flying and crawling pests without harming vegetation.
* Peppermint essential oil repels ants, lice, spiders and fleas. If you own pets, it’s a great to use on the lawn to keep the flea population at bay. Soak cotton balls with non-diluted peppermint oil and tuck around the perimeter of your garden to keep rats and squirrels from eating your vegetables.
* Pine oil repels fleas, ticks, slugs and snails. Good to use in the garden and landscape when you have children and/or pets.
Thieves Oil Pesticide – Thieves oil has clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. In a standard size spray bottle, fill almost full of water and then add enough Thieves Cleaner to color the water.
* Rosemary essential oil is a natural mosquito and cat repellent. To keep cats from using your garden as their own personal bathroom, try this trick. Spray small strips of cloth with rosemary oil water and hang the strips up around the perimeter of your garden. Cats hate the smell of rosemary and will stay away – so will the mosquitos. Re-wet cloth strips weekly or after a rain.
* Tea tree, lavender and clove essential oils are good all-around insect repellents.
Moss and other types of fungus grow on garden soil and deplete nutrients before plants can uptake them. Kill the fungus with these anti-fungal essential oils. Add 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice to a spray bottle, then spray the soil thoroughly.
* Cinnamon, clove, peppermint, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, tea tree or oregano.
* Neem oil will rid the garden of nematodes which live in the soil and attack plant roots.
Essential oils can be used not only to repel the bad guys, but attract the good guys too. Attract natural pollinators to your garden with orange blossom, sage, yarrow, lavender, catmint and fennel essential oils mixed and used the same ways as the repellents.
As always my fave oils are Young Living oils. Not only do they produce the highest quality oils out there…they use essential oils for all pest and weed control on their farms. Pretty nifty!
Summer is in full swing, and if your house is anything like ours sometimes it feels as if summer sucks the money right out of the front door. Between the high costs of water, air conditioning, having the kids’ home from school and everyone wanting to go places and do things it can seem as if there is never quite enough money for everyone who is demanding it. But how would you like to actually save money this summer?
I know that it may seem impossible as you are budgeting, but you really can save money by using these three simple ideas to get started saving and let yourself get creative. Why only three? Because you are busy this summer and it is easier to stick to smaller, defined goals than a broad range of tips of and ideas. Once you get started though you’ll find yourself coming up with even more ways that you can save.
Save Money on Your Energy Bills
One of the easiest ways to save the most significant amount of money this summer is to acclimate your home and family to the natural cycles of heat and humidity. The best way to do this is slowly adjust your air conditioning to higher settings during the day. Take about a week and slowly adjust your settings each day. You may find that your weather is too hot and humid to go without AC altogether, but this method can significantly reduce the amount you spend on air conditioning. In addition, try turning the AC off altogether in the evenings and use ceiling fans, floor fans, and window box fans to keep the cooler outside air circulating through the house.
Also instead of running the dryer use a clothesline and hang them outside to dry. They don’t have to be permanent or bulky structures either. Many are portable so that picky homeowner’s associations won’t have a reason to cite you. Plus, kids can help you hang and remove laundry. And while we are on the topic of sun power why not look into a solar power buyers guide and see if solar panels are feasible for you. There is nothing like paying pennies for your monthly energy bill in the summer because you powered up with the readily available sunlight!
Save Money on Your Water Bills
Water bills can be prohibitively expensive during the summer, especially if you are trying to keep your yard green and also allowing your kids to play in the sprinklers. Well, there are several ways to cut down on your water bills. First off is to reuse all of your water, and I do mean all of your water. Save the water from your baths and showers as well as your dishwater. Mind you, you’ll have to switch to biodegradable soaps and shampoos, but believe it or not, your shrubs, flowers, houseplants and even garden vegetables seem to thrive on recycled water, so don’t be shy!
Another way to save money on water is to buy a kiddie pool instead of letting your children play in the sprinkler. Buy a pool with a cover or rig a mesh cover that will prevent leaves and bugs from getting into the water so that you don’t have to refill the pool as often.
Saving Money by Skipping the Vacation
The idea of not going on a vacation can seem absolutely depressing to most people. After all, isn’t getting away from it all what summer vacations are all about? Now I’m not suggesting that you not take a vacation, but that you don’t go anywhere on your vacation. No mind you, you have to do some preparation for this kind of vacation so that you won’t slip into your usual home routine. You can choose a theme (such as a Caribbean cruise or a Tour de France) and plan your meals and activities accordingly. You can schedule a number of day trips to local attractions that will keep you out of the house. The point is to enjoy your time off without having to pay the ridiculous hotel, restaurant, and resort fees. Just using this idea alone you’ll end up with money leftover at the end of the summer; money you normally would have spent on something else.
While there are dozens of ways to save money over the summer, hopefully these three have given you a place to start so that you can get through the summer without feeling as if your budget has been sucked dry and you can head into autumn with a little jingle in your pocket.
The battle for climate justice seems to be a losing one, but every once in a while the good guys get a win. This is the story of what happened in a small Bay Area city.
In 1989, 1999, and 2012 there were explosions and fires at an oil refinery run by Chevron in Richmond, California. These events have caused over 15,000 citizens to need care for burns and the effects of inhaling noxious fumes. For this community the fire in 2012 seemed to be the last straw. In 2013 they banded together and sued the Goliath-like company.
As you can imagine, Chevron did not take kindly to this lawsuit. They began to take measures against the local government in Richmond. Chevron poured 3.1 million dollars into the local elections in 2014, even producing attack ads, hoping to get more “friendly” politicians in place. Although that is a lot of money, this community would not be intimidated. They showed up to vote, and were triumphant. All of the Chevron delegates lost, but it didn’t end there. These events spurred the community to start a program called Climate Justice, including turning empty lots into gardens and organizing events sponsored by local green companies to raise environmental awareness.
Bio: Frank Bozzo is the Social Media Coordinator for This Planet, a series of short video stories that draw on the best new content and surprising facts about climate, energy and innovation.
Essential oils have the amazing ability to help uplift and stimulate us when we need an emotional or physical boost. They can also help us to achieve balance and restore calm when life becomes chaotic and worrisome. It is easy to make a mood mist that that can either lift you up or calm you down, depending on what you need this day, week, or season.
These mists a simple way to practice aromatherapy. You can spray the air around you, mist your hair and body, or perhaps spray them on bed linens (no they won’t stain). If you are feeling sluggish, they will stimulate you. If you are feeling amped up, it will help you come back down to peace and calm. Pick your poison…
Uplifting Essential Oil Mood Mist
1 drop eucalptus
2 drops geranium
3 drops peppermint
Calming Essential Oil Mood Mist
2 drops bergamot
1 drop frankincense (or elemi for the budget conscious)
3 drops lavender
To make either recipe just take a clean spray bottle (mini size) and drop in a half teaspoon epsom salts. Add the essential oils and top with 4 ounces of distilled water. Shale well before each use because the water and oils may tend to separate.
Protecting our Babies and Belugas from Arctic Drilling – by Raffi Cavoukian
For 40 years I’ve been a children’s troubadour, best known for “Baby Beluga”—a song I’ve shared in concert with fans all across America. To this day, kids continue to inspire me. They speak freely from the heart, expressing pure joy, calling out an injustice, or asking a question. And they ask the best questions! Thinking of my young fans, I reacted strongly to a critical decision made this week affecting the fate of the Arctic.
In January’s State of the Union speech, President Obama said loud and clear that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Just a few days later he announced new protections for the beautiful Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, an area that’s already showing serious signs of climate change. The picture looked hopeful: a leader with the clear intention to honor the next generation by protecting our planet so it can nurture them.
Just two days after protecting the ANWR, President Obama proposed opening up areas off the Alaskan and Atlantic coasts to oil and gas leasing. Some of these waters are right off the shore of the newly protected Wildlife Refuge. So an oil spill here would be the equivalent of declaring half your cup of coffee “protected” while pouring sour milk into the rest—the whole thing would be ruined. But unlike a coffee, the Arctic is irreplaceable. I can hear the intelligent question any child would ask on hearing about this: “Why would the President do that?”
Fast Forward to this week: President Obama just approved plans for Shell to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic, knowing full well that there’s a 75 percent chance of a major spill if oil is pumped in U.S. Arctic waters. Such a disaster would be impossible to clean up; current oil spill response technology can’t even be deployed in the Arctic for most of the year!
The President’s decision to give Shell the keys to the Arctic affects me personally, as it will the millions of children and parents for whom I’ve made music. We have been united by a love of beluga whales, known as the canaries of the sea for their sing-song calls. Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic pose a grave threat to our beloved belugas, and more.
Twice a year for their annual migration, belugas pass through the Chukchi Sea, close to where Shell will start drilling activities this summer. President Obama’s own experts have said that exposure to crude oil could be lethal for beluga whales, while the water pollution created by an oil spill would potentially ruin the quality and quantity of food for any remaining belugas. Bowhead and grey whales are also regularly present in these waters, as are seals, fish and birds of many kinds. During early spring and summer months, nearly the entire population of Pacific walrus can be found in the Chukchi Sea, which could be extremely vulnerable to a large oil spill at this time, while many birds may not survive a spill at all. Indigenous peoples in the Arctic depend on many of these species. A spill would destroy their livelihoods.
Another serious area of the concern around oil exploration activities in the Arctic is that whales may need to avoid certain areas where there is a lot of human activity, thus disrupting their feeding and migration patterns. In particular, drilling noise, ship noise, ice-breaking activity and seismic testing have strong potential to disturb whales who are very acoustically sensitive. The planned seismic testing uses an “airgun” which is a loud sound source suspended underwater; the sonic equivalent for the whales of a rocket being launched out of your living room every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for days to weeks at a time. We don’t know what this disruption will ultimately do to whales’ chance of survival, but the immediate effects of airguns can result in a deaf whale, which is a dead whale.
As part of gaining permission to drill in the Arctic, Shell had to apply for “Incidental Harassment Authorization”, which in plain English is a permit to harass the wildlife that they come across, even if the animals are nursing, breeding or feeding. Thousands of whales, seals and other animals fall within this jurisdiction.
For decades I’ve paid tribute to the magnificent belugas. In recent years, I’ve spoken out about the importance of honoring the world’s children with a healthy planet. Shell’s plans are at odds with both of these endeavors. This isn’t just about the future; the Arctic is melting irreversibly, right now. So, like any child would ask, I too, look at the prospect of drilling for oil in the Arctic and ask “Why would we do this?”
If you’re moved by this story, why not sign this petition?
Raffi Cavoukian is an internationally renowned children’s entertainer with string of gold and platinum-selling recordings, who has been performing for over four decades. Follow him on Twitter @Raffi_RC