Are the manufacturer’s components always the best chainsaw chain to use? Finding the best chainsaw chain for your yard equipment or landscaping operation doesn’t always come down to brand name. Sometimes it’s more a matter of who is making a sturdy and well-made part to the specs of the EOM chain — but for a better price. There are timesRead more
Are the manufacturer’s components always the best chainsaw chain to use?
Finding the best chainsaw chain for your yard equipment or landscaping operation doesn’t always come down to brand name. Sometimes it’s more a matter of who is making a sturdy and well-made part to the specs of the EOM chain — but for a better price.
There are times when the manufacturer’s chain is the best product available, but you should take time to compare components and their reviews. We’ve done our best to make that easy to do. Remember, buying the right chain now will prevent you from having to replace another one for quite awhile. That’s all the motivation you should need to do a little diligence before ordering.
Why are you bothering to look for the best chainsaw chain when you could just buy a new chainsaw?
We’ve actually had people ask this question, and it leaves me scratching my head. Is changing out a chain so difficult you’d spend hundreds of dollars avoiding the job? No. Besides, you can drop your equipment off at a local repairshop and have it switched out for less. That said, there are plenty of options if you’re looking to buy new yardwork equipment.
The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in Otis, OR, has a new exhibit families of all ages can enjoy:
It would be wonderful to hear from anyone who winds up attending!
Our blog grew out of a concern for teaching people – especially our children – to respect and enjoy Mother Earth … without getting stressed. While growing plants and recycling and just getting out to enjoy nature is going to be a focus, we’re also going to be addressing some of the more practical aspects of being environmentally concious in today’s modern world. Particularly in terms of lawn care.
Yes, we know. Greenlawn care sounds so lame.
We’ve dealt with the local city government on this issue, and in many areas, a natural lawn made of creepers or completely replaced with native plants or a vegetable garden is against the city code. That’s heartbreaking, especially when you realize how many people – in the United States, in a thriving country where so many people are rich beyond measure – there are families who can’t afford to eat every morning.
Don’t worry. We’re going to offer some solutions to that problem as well, but first, we want to focus on those practical responsibilities, because it seems like people are really struggling to care for their yards in a way that isn’t introducing toxins directly into their families.
Did you know using pesticides on your lawn raises your cancer rate significantly? Backed by science and everything. We’re not making this up to scare you into using our vegan organic mulch products, but to explain why we’re changing such a fun blog into something that might seem so boring.
This country needs more safe green lawn care!
That doesn’t mean slaving every day plucking weeds out by hand, or dealing with bare patches of brown soil either. There are even reasonably safe quick-fixes on the market that won’t put you or your family in danger (or your chakra out of whack!).
I hope you can carry on alongside us on this journey to safe and responsible lawn care, while sticking around to enjoy some children’s gardening and recycling projects too. As summer fades, there will be plenty to do. Please subscribe to our email list today to stay up-to-date on the latest greenlawn techniques… that won’t break the bank!
Super simple gardening projects anyone can handle
Believe me. I’m good at a lot of things, but they don’t generally involve my hands … or sweating in the sun. At our first home, I royally failed at keeping our beautiful landscaping in good order. Our yard now is very “natural,” and I find it absolutely charming. At the same time, our kids would love to learn how to grow different things in different ways.
We’re a bit late in the season to figure all of this out, but we’ll be amassing instructions here for anyone who wants to get in on the process with us.
Why is gardening with children important to nurturing an earth-friendly mindset?
If you have more than one child, you probably know the important of having older siblings help out the new baby in order to help them bond. Fetch a diaper, rock the baby, sing him or her a song. Every little step toward taking care of someone reinforces the feelings of caring for them.
The same is true of your child’s relationship with Nature.
The more your little girls and boys help take care of the Earth as they grow up, the more they will care about her – and about themselves – as they mature and have families of their own. They’ll carry on those super simple ways of cutting back on waste and pollution and pass them down to their own children.
An environmental mindset is a gift that keeps on giving, even if your great-great grandchildren are the ones to reap the benefits.
Besides, growing your own food is healthy, cheaper and doesn’t required getting dressed to go shop for groceries! It’s perfect for Lazy Green Living.
Be sure to stop back often to see our list of gardening project grow, especially through winter. We’re going to be testing the very physics of Nature!
Solar tariffs causing trouble for green energy
One of Pres. Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to “Make America Great Again.” Encouraging industrial growth is essential to do that, but has President Trump’s recent decisions on solar tariffs paved the way for that or steered U.S. investments back toward fossil fuels?
Solar panels are a multi-billion dollar industry. Demand for panels is growing in the United States like never before, but this trend didn’t start overnight. China readied for the boom two decades ago! In fact, they caused it.
Despite solar panel technology being pioneered right here in the United States, no one followed up on it like the Chinese. They amassed the factories, equipment, resources, skilled labor and contracts at a time when European countries were beginning to offer their citizens tax breaks based on private solar installations.
“Buy American products,” is not as easy as it seems in an industry reliant on ultra-low prices to fuel growth. Homeowners are not the driving force behind the expansion into solar power in the U.S. market. Utility companies are. The largest motivating factor is the risk presented by ultra-low-cost systems capable of taking consumers off-grid.
Threat of customer loss drives major solar power installations
Utility companies, like Alliant Energy and CIPCO in the Midwest, traditionally generate electricity from burning fossil fuels, like oil and natural gas. These resources don’t just create a massive amount of pollution as a byproduct. They’re limited resources. Once they’re gone, they’re all used up!
For that reason alone, we’re better off using renewable energy sources whenever possible.
Unfortunately, the collection of fossil fuels also go a long way to destroying the environment. From disturbing precious topsoil needed to grow food to contaminating ground water whole communities rely on for driving water, a massive amount of damage is regularly attributed to the fossil fuel industry.
Solar panels can generate energy from sunlight and store that energy for later use. Through the years, China has created panels that are more and more efficient, leading industry think tanks to forewarn utility companies about the potential for customer loss.
In response, they began to invest in their own solar farms. Called “solar utility installations,” these massive projects cost millions but – due to low-cost, high-efficiency materials from China – they’re capable of producing cleaner, cheaper energy than fossil fuel alternatives.
Customers get access to “green” ecologically-friendly energy sources without having to invest in private solar arrays. Utility companies keep their customers. Until Pres. Trump stepped into the ring with new solar tariffs, this was a win-win situation.
U.S. Facilities can not meet the demand for cheap solar panels
Cooking and home remedies using dandelion root, greens and flowers
I attended an Earth Day celebration yesterday … for work. *All the tears.* The kids were at home with their older siblings, and they unfortunately missed the 5k nature walk and raptor show. However, one of the points the naturalist shared were the nutritional benefits of dandelions. When collected safely, they can be cleaned and eaten in a variety of forms.
So, of course, today I took the littles out into our chemical-free yard to collect some dandelions of our own. I made the “executive decision” to skip on the salads and dandelion root tea for our first experiment and headed straight for the sweets.
We harvested petals for Sunshine Cookies, and stumbled onto a dozen other recipes you can make using dandelions, which it turns out, are helpful for digestive problems and general aches and pains. Dandelions reduce inflammation, the likelihood of gallstones and urinary tract infections and reduces arthritis pain. Dandelions root, greens and petals are also a great source of potassium, which helps alleviate muscle spasms, risk of migraines for some people and restless leg syndrome.
According to WebMD, those allergic to ragweed, daisies, marigolds and chrysanthemums are likely to be allergic to dandelions too. It might also interact negatively with the following prescription medications: ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar), amitriptyline (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, others), acetaminophen, atorvastatin (Lipitor), diazepam (Valium), digoxin, entacapone (Comtan), estrogen, irinotecan (Camptosar), lamotrigine (Lamictal), lorazepam (Ativan), lovastatin (Mevacor), meprobamate, morphine, oxazepam (Serax), amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone), and triamterene (Dyrenium) and Lithium. Check here for more information on usage, dosing and related information here.
Dandelions are also fun to play with! Our daughter split the stem of a long specimen, and I was able to tie it around her neck like a necklace.
After a few minutes, it was turned into a bracelet, and eventually a headpiece. Making dandelion crowns is also a fun activity, much like daisy crowns and chains.
We found recipes online for jellies, breads, salads and melts, and we found information on using dandelion root specifically for medicinal purposes. Our kids are big pancake fans, so up next is dandelion syrup!
Stay tuned for future experiments and information on digging up dandelion root as easily as possible.
Cheerios recently kicked off a campaign to “Save the Bees.” You know, the same bees their growing practices are slowly killing. In an effort to help the problem, they’ve invited folks to order and plant their wildflower packets. The problem, according to LifeHacker, is several of the seed types are considered invasive species in areas all over the United States:
Forget-me-not is banned as a noxious weed in Massachusetts and Connecticut, for example. The California poppy is nice in California, but listed as an “invasive exotic pest plant” in southeastern states. And many of the flowers on this list are not native to anywhere in the US, so they are not necessarily good matches for our local bees.
What the brand is really doing is attempting to improve its reputation without really making a positive impact.
We don’t want your #BeeWashing
The move is similar to the greenwashing several oil companies, auto and chemical manufacturers started to do in the mid-2000s. Companies like General Motors began to promote hybrid vehicles to improve the company image. In truth, the hybrids didn’t lead to significant changes in pollution rates or gas use, and their production numbers didn’t scratch the surface of the gas guzzling models.
In short, they were faking it, just like General Mills is faking now by putting together this unhelpful campaign. If the company really wants to save the bees, it can invest in alternative farming practices, plant region-appropriate wildflowers on a massive scale, lobby for legislation that protects pollinators and the like. Feel free to point it out.
Contact them, and say so today at http://www.cheerios.com/contact — Don’t worry. You don’t have mail a letter or make a phone call. You don’t even have to wait while your email loads. The page has a convenient online form. Take a few seconds to fill it out. This green move couldn’t get any lazier. 😉
Save the bees to save ourselves?
For those who don’t understand why Cheerios – or anyone else – would want to save the bees and keep these little beasties buzzing around our gardens, it all comes down, not surprisingly, to self-preservation.
Bees, and other pollinators, help pollinate many different types of foods. Humans have not designed an efficient means for pollination aside anywhere near being on par with honey bees and butterflies.
If we don’t protect these insects, humans risk a very real food shortage and the driving up prices of food production exponentially around the world.
Pollution is known to be part of the problem. Specifically, one of the most popular types of pesticide in use today – neonicotinoids – is killing off pollinator populations. Worse, pollinators are particularly drawn to it, as it stimulates them much in the same way nicotine stimulates humans, despite being bad for us.
The introduction of invasive species and the disappearance of native wildflowers pollinators need to enjoy a healthy diet are also causing big problems. Some scientists claim global warming is also playing a role.
Cheerio’s campaign touches on these issues, but it does little to help the problem. It’s a feel-good program meant to make themselves look good. The kicker is they could be doing so much more with that investment. General Mills has the sway to make real changes and put real protections in place. Obviously, this campaign is a sign they’re worried. Now, we – the consumers – must convince them to act in the right directions. Thankfully, getting companies to listen to the people buying their products is relatively easy.
What we can do to save bees and butterflies
Shop at Aldi’s. If you have an Aldi’s near your town, use it. The company is based in Germany, which is excellent news for green consumers. Europe’s higher standards have a way of trickling over to their oversea franchises. For instance, the chain has sworn off foods grown using specific pesticides, including three types of neonicotinoids. Your investment in Aldi’s products sends a clear message to other grocers. Buying organic produce from local farmers at a farmer’s market would cut out the pollution from shipping goods, but it might not be as easy as just going to the store when something is needed.
Plant native wildflowers. The wildflower packets shipped by Cheerios aren’t local to your area, which means they might not be healthy choices for your area’s bees. Talk to your local extension office about the best plants for pollinators in your area before you plant anything. By providing bees and butterflies with a rich diet, you naturally improve their health — and the quality of their honey!
Buy local honey. Switching over to local food purchases is easiest when you replace one product at a time. It might be that making a conscious choice to replace your honey with local fare is the perfect first step. This is helpful for more than just bees too. In some cases, ingesting local honey reduces allergy symptoms. More importantly, buying local honey encourages local beekeeping.
Start a hive. Now, this is not the lazy option. In fact, keeping bees is labor intensive–and costs a pretty penny. Just purchasing bees for your own hive costs over $100. However, if you want to go the extra mile to save the bees, look for your state’s beekeeping association. They provide lots of good information, along with local contacts. Beekeeping clubs are on the rise across the U.S. and these groups have gear and experienced beekeepers ready and willing to share their knowledge.