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Marge Says, "Buy Earth Friendly Products!"

Marge the CatMy cat Marge has been pretty lazy this winter and hasn’t done much more than eat and sleep, but now that spring has arrived she is starting to take an interest in her favorite activities again.  She decided that Earth Day was the perfect reason to get back to writing her monthly column. 

Happy Earth Day!  It’s been a while since my last column, but I’ve been so busy entertaining Allen all winter I haven’t had a moment for myself.  That guy sure does get needy when he can’t work in the garden.  But now that spring has arrived he is off and running.

I think Earth Day comes at the perfect time of year when spring is just unfolding and everything is fresh and green.  It is a nice time to lie in a sunny spot and ponder nature’s gifts and the ways we can take care of our environment so that future spring seasons will continue to be a time of renewal.

Allen is pretty Earth conscious, not as much as me, but then I’m a lot closer to the ground.  He’s always looking for ways to increase his environmental awareness and practices.  I’ve been helping him by suggesting products that he can use around the house and garden that are Earth friendly.

Here is a list of earth-wise products that I suggested to Allen that you might also be interested in trying.

Milky Spore Milky Spore – One garden woe that everyone seems to share is the Japanese beetle. That little creature can strip a rose bare seemingly over night. Now I try to do my part in combating these beasts, but I'm just one cat. I advised Allen to try Milky Spore, Bacillus popilliae. This is a naturally occurring disease of Japanese beetle grubs that is not harmful to humans or other creatures. There are several commercial dusts available. The grubs eat grass roots that have been dusted with the spores, become infected with the disease, die, decompose and then release more of the spores into the soil. While this is not usually a quick fix, it can take up to two seasons to significantly reduce populations, once the cycle becomes established it can provide years of protection.
Goat Milk Soap Bar Soap – This is such a no brainer, it surprised me Allen had not thought of it. Bar soaps are environmentally friendly because there is very little packaging. In fact, some soaps have no packaging at all. Allen buys goat milk soap from a woman at the local farmer's market so he's doubles his green points by supporting a local resource.
Naturemill Automatic Composter NatureMill Automatic Composter – Don't get me wrong, I'm all about composting, but Allen has been tossing his kitchen scraps into a bucket under the sink. While this was initially very appealing to me, it got smelly fast and attracts all kinds of bugs. I'm encouraging him to try the NatureMILL Automatic Composter. Just plug it in, add your kitchen scraps to the top compartment and it will go to work. Compost is dropped into a lower drawer when it's ready. It fits right under the kitchen cabinet and its odor free. Yippee! Learn more at www.NatureMill.com.
White Vinegar White Distilled Vinegar – While vinegar isn't ever going to be an impulse purchase, it is a must have for an eco-friendly household. It is a natural cleaner and deodorizer. One cup of vinegar mixed with a gallon of hot water is great for cleaning hardwood floors. And nothing cleans glass better than vinegar. It's also great for deodorizing spots on the carpet where a vengeful cat has relieved herself. Not that I would know anything about that.
Proven Winners Water Wise Container Garden Kit WaterWise™ Container Watering Kit – I watched Allen spend many hours watering his container gardens. In the past my attitude as been serves him right for having so many of them in the first place. Of course, watering with a hose can be extremely wasteful and this is almost sinful considering how many areas of the country are suffering from drought. The WaterWise™ Container Watering Kit from Proven Winners® contains everything needed to set up a drip irrigation system for up to ten containers. This cuts down on water usage and Allen has more time to spend with me, which is the real issue isn't it?  Learn more at www.ProvenWinners.com.
Rain Barrel Rain Barrels – Rumor has it that Allen has quite an extensive rain water harvesting system at the Garden Home Retreat. I wouldn't know because he's never invited me out there. Humph. Not everyone has the space for an underground cistern like Allen's, but if you have gutters and a down spout you can set up a rain barrel. These days there are many shapes and sizes to choose from. I've even seen attractive terra cotta barrels that blend right in with the garden. 
Laundry Drying in the Sun Sunshine – Line drying your laundry reduces carbon dioxide emission and saves electricity. Sunshine is a natural bleaching agent and disinfectant and it's free.