Our Daily Green

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

More stuff is not the answer

Today's post is 100% opinion based. I will share some evidence to back up my opinions, but know that what it boils down to is that NOBODY needs more STUFF.

I was in a retail establishment the other day. It's a popular place for consumers to shop because their prices are "great".  We had stopped in because we thought we needed a new set of sheets, after discovering a tear in one of our fitted sheets.

But as I navigated the racks of clothing, home d├ęcor, and general knick-knacks, I felt a rising sense of discomfort. Was there really anything in this mish-mash that would improve my life? Did I really need a blue velvet stuffed pumpkin with a silver stem to show that I loved fall? I paused for a moment and thought, "There's a time I would have thought that unique and different." And I would have purchased it to show how unique my taste was (by purchasing a mass produced product that was available at multiple store locations around the country). Hmmmm. A bit of a disconnect, isn't there?

I saved myself $14.99 plus tax by pausing and realizing there was nothing inherently satisfying about owning a stuffed blue velvet pumpkin with a silver stem. In fact, not owning it was rapidly becoming more satisfying, bordering on smug.

As I recoiled at the massive displays of excess consumerism, noted the long lines of carts filled with stuff, and held my set of sheets, I thought, I can patch the sheet, and took my package back to the shelf for another consumer to ponder. I patched the sheet with an iron-on patch. The tear was near the foot of the bed, but I will flip the sheet and it will be underneath the pillow, never even inconveniencing our slumber.

There are news reports that donation centers cannot resell half the things that are donated, so they make bales of textiles and ship them "somewhere else". We've done the same thing with our plastic waste, shipped it to China until China stopped accepting it.

When was the last time you thought about the need for "retail therapy"? Does more stuff really make us more happy? Or does it just create the need to move things around and re-organize and re-categorize.

Over the years, I've written about the need to "repair" first, and to make the 3Rs 4. Reduce, step one. Reuse, step two. And Recycle, last.

Does stuff really "go away" or are we just stashing it somewhere else so we don't see it?

I challenge you to think about whether you need more "stuff". I bet you can "make-do".

pounds of wasted textiles each year

Friday, August 2, 2019

How to get rid of Japanese beetles in your garden

The Japanese beetles are basically harmless to humans, they don’t bite, and they are not poisonous. These insects only take out their ravage on your crops and landscapes. This can lead to inedible fruits and vegetables, which is not suitable for a gardener like you. This insect is a native to Japan, just like the name implies. They were introduced to the United States through the shipping industries. These insects somewhat pesky little suckers.

photo courtesy of: pixabay
The Japanese beetles emerge at their adult stage with a metallic green body and copper wings, which enable them to fly from plant to plant. The female adult beetle lay up to 60 eggs in 45 days, and these beetles live much of their lives underground. The Japanese beetle feeds on vegetables, flowers and even trees. When you see just one beetle in your garden, make a move to get rid of it before it attracts others. Having a beetle problem in your garden? Call any pest control company around Hickory, NC. Also, you can get rid of them with these simple tips.

Neem oil: This oil is safe to use because it comes from trees and is non-toxic. This can be sprayed on roses flowers or any other plants you see the beetles enjoy eating. This method is less stressful, and it goes a long way because once the adult beetles ingest the neem oil, they will pass it to the eggs and hatched larvae will die before it enters into their adult stage. In conclusion, neem oil is harmful to fish, so stay clear from this method if you have a fish ponds.

Soap solution: This method can be harmless to the environment if you apply correctly. This can help suffocate the beetles, mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a quart of water. Apply it to any plants affected by the beetles putting the solution into a spray bottle. You can add some solutions like rubbing alcohol and oil, and this depends on the plant you have in your area. However, it is crucial to do proper research on how these chemicals and oil could harm some plants and animals around.

Handpick them: this may be unpleasant for some people, but it is the most effective way of getting rid of the Japanese beetles is to handpick them. Remember they don’t bite, so it is entirely safe. This method can be tedious, but it works. When you pull them off the plants, but sure to put them into soapy water or boiled water both work perfectly well.

Row cover: You can protect your plant by from the beetles with row covers. If you don’t see beetle damage until the summer, when the beetles start to enter the adult stage and start feeding above ground, this method should help you. Use the row covers just when the beetles start feeding above the ground, which begin in mid-June and last about 6 to 8 weeks.

Our Daily Green thanks today's post sponsor for these great tips! 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Bad bugs dead, good bugs stay. A guide.

If you are new to gardening, the sight of bugs crawling among your plants can be alarming.
Well, some garden bugs can do great damage to your yard, and there is nothing as bad as losing your hard work to these bugs. But before you pull out your spray kit, take your time to consider the effect of pesticides on your garden’s ecosystem.
Not every bug is bad for your garden. In fact, the larger percentage of insects in your yard are harmless. Most of these insects will go about their business without harming your plants. Some, eat the bugs that devour on your plants.
Why shouldn’t you spray your garden with pesticides?

https://pixabay.com/photos/ladybugs-ladybirds-bugs-insects-1593406/



Spraying synthetic pesticides and insecticides creates more problems for your garden than it solves. These chemicals are not only unhealthy for human beings, but they also kill the good bugs and other unintended targets such as birds. Considering most bugs in your yard the good ones, we need to figure out how to kill the bad bugs ones and leave out the good ones. Here are some useful tips that can help you do so;

Tips for controlling pests without killing good bugs

1.    Blasting them off

Some bugs need nothing more than a blast of water to get rid off. Unwanted Pests can easily be dislodged with a blast of cold water without killing the good bugs. To get the job done, you can spray cold water directly at the unwanted bugs.
This method works well on some small-bodied insects such as aphids, whiteflies and other tiny insects damaging your plants.

2.    Soap bad bugs to death

Bugs which put up a good fight even after trying to dislodge them with water can be killed with insecticidal soaps. These soaps work well in removing the waxy coating in soft-bodied insects, causing them to get dehydrated, which eventually lead to death. Unlike most insecticides, these soaps do not harm honeybees or leave a toxic residue on your plants.

3.    Targeted organic pesticides

Some garden pests are quite resistant, and the above ways might not be effective to kill them. A targeted organic pesticide can get rid of such bugs by killing only one type of bug in the yard.
For example, when you spray a targeted organic pesticide on potatoes being munched on by Colorado beetles, the only insects that will die here are the beetles.
If a bird or a toad happens to eat these beetles sprayed with the organic pesticides, they will only get a good meal and won’t be affected by the pesticide. This can be an effective method to get rid of some annoying pests like cutworms, snails and Colorado potato beetles.

4.    Get rid of pests with beneficial bugs

Lady beetles, praying mantis and spiders are examples of beneficial insects that prey on pests in your garden. Lure these insects into your garden by having an attractive and diverse habitat of different herbs, plants, and flowers. This will help you have a team of natural enemies against the pests which will help you get the job done.

Reducing pesticides can also help you will create a conducive environment for the beneficial insects to thrive in.

Recap

Being familiar with the bugs visiting your garden is the first step when combating pests. Pesticides and insecticides can harm beneficial insects, plants, as well as human beings when used regularly. Therefore, it is best to avoid using these chemicals by using some of the few steps demonstrated above to get rid of pests in your garden. Today's post has been graciously brought to us by a sponsor who agrees with Our Daily Green that there are safe ways to get rid of unwanted bugs, but also to preserve the beneficial insects.