April 2012

Squash BlossomEvery day is Earth Day, but when the “official” day comes around some of us like to acknowledge it in a special way. If this Earth Day has crept up on you don’t despair, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to honor The Mama today!

  • Take a quick trip to your local nursery for a small tomato plant. Cost is minimal, space needed is minimal and the rewards are spectacular!Tomato Plant

I enjoyed my very first home-grown tomato yesterday morning with eggs and toast. Surprise! Tomatoes are sweet! I have two tomato plants–the heirloom tomatoes are not yet ripe…

You can find out more about heirloom seeds at Heirloom Seeds.Com

  • Reverse Gardening—prepare a space for weeds to grow.Globe Mallow

What most people call “weeds” are actually native plants. These native grasses and wildflowers are an important part of the local ecosystem; they provide seeds, nectar, nesting materials, and even places for butterflies to be born.

Speaking of butterflies, this year I have a wild Globe Mallow growing in my backyard (picture above)—most likely compliments of a feathered friend. The Globe Mallow is native to the area and known to attract butterflies.

No yard? No problem! Wildflowers are tenacious, most are happy to be in a pot.

For more information on native plants visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

  • Make room for pollinators.
    Butterflies, Bumblebees, Carpenter Bees, Bats, Moths…we need the pollinators and they need a safe place to breed. Find out which pollinators live in your area and create a pollinator-friendly environment with specially constructed homes, their favorite plants, nesting materials, and above all No Pesticides.Bee on Rosemary

A word about pesticides—what’s bad for the bugs is bad for you. Ditch the sprays, cancel your monthly pest-control visits and go au-natural!

For ants- Spread yellow cornmeal wherever you see a trail; they will bring it back to the nest. The cornmeal expands after ingestion.

For mosquitoes- find a narrow-necked bottle and put fill just an inch or so with sugar water; pests fly in but can’t fly out.

To learn more about pesticides visit EarthJustice.Org.

For more ideas on natural pest control visit Eartheasy Solutions.

  • Right now, while you are thinking about it, put those reusable shopping bags in your car. Don’t have any? Make your own! Stitch up snazzy shopping sacks by using old bath towels, bed sheets, pillowcases or blankets!

Did you know? Shredded junk mail makes an excellent packaging material? Use it instead of bubble wrap to take up extra space in shipping boxes.

Have a Beautiful Day!

How are you celebrating Earth Day?
Share your stories or your reduce/reuse/recycle/green home tips in the comments section!

Other links of interest: Just copy/paste (wordpress doesn’t appreciate a lot of outgoing links)

World Wildlife Fund

The Nature Conservancy

Save the Frogs

Arbor Day Foundation

The Honeybee Conservancy

Save Honebees.Org

Save the Bees Movie

Queen of the Sun documentary—Instant watch available

Learn More on PBS-Watch Silence of the Bees here:

The Center for Biological Diversity

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Do you love animals? I do! I don’t care if they buzz, chirp, bark, meow, growl or hiss—I love them all.

As a child I brought them all home. As a young adult I carried around picket signs and petitions for protection of our wildlife and environment. I worked as a veterinary technician for eight years and even interned as a trainer for “actor” animals. So please forgive me but I’m at it again. This time I’m donating items for the Pens for Paws Auction.

The Pens for Paws Auction is “an online auction with writers, artists, and others from the publishing community to raise funds for Fat Kitty City, a no-kill, cage-free cat sanctuary in El Dorado Hills that also rescues dogs (as foster homes allow).”

Auction dates are May 7th through May 13th. Bidding takes place via the comments section with funds paid directly to Fat Kitty City, a non-profit sanctuary in Sacramento, California. All donations are tax-deductable.

Operated by The Agee Memorial Wildlife Fund, Inc., Fat Kitty City is “dedicated to ending needless suffering, by rescuing, rehabilitating, medically treating and adopting homeless and severely abused animals.”

I am donating the two necklaces pictured above; this post provides the image links needed for the auction and also serves as an invitation for readers to participate.

To bid on these or other items please go to: http://pensforpaws.blogspot.com/.
Bidding begins on May 7th.

To donate your own items please go to: http://pensforpaws.blogspot.com/p/donate-items-for-auction.html

For more information on Fat Kitty City go to: http://fatkittycity.org/

Would you like to help furry friends in your neighborhood? Your local Humane Society is a terrific place to start and there are many ways to donate!

The Humane Society is also a non-profit organization that takes in abandoned, sick, and unwanted animals. The animals receive medical examinations and treatment; adoptable animals are then cared for until homes are found. Some long-time residents find their way to other no-kill shelters or to foster homes. Direct donations in the form of money, pet food, bowls, blankets, etc… are always welcomed. In addition, the Humane Society runs local thrift shops ready to accept your unwanted items (or perhaps you will find a new treasure there). For more information go to: http://www.humanesociety.org/