We recently moved into a gorgeous 112-year-old house in the historic district of our town. We are renting long-term with an option to buy. We have an awesome landlord who has let us really make this our home and he’s very easy to work with. He and his wife had contracted the local affiliate of a national pest control service. They have offered us the benefit for free, which is generous. However, I’ve owned several old houses and I’ve never used chemical pest control methods.
I’m not particularly good with insects, but I know they are a vital part of our eco-system. I have spent a lot of time and energy over the years working on making peace with the insect world and finding ways to co-exist. Don’t get me wrong, I REALLY don’t like ants in my kitchen, spiders in the bedroom or other various multi-legged critters terrorizing us inside the house. When I find a misguided critter in the house, I do my best NOT to freak out and put them back outside with a stern lecture on staying OUTSIDE.
I’m the one with the scrappy lawn because I refuse to use chemical fertilizers on it. I’m sensitive to chemicals and just know too much about the negative effects of many chemicals not only on our bodies, but in our environment as well. There are many studies showing how our bodies are being overburdened by toxins and how babies are now being born pre-polluted – yikes! Environmental Working Group has done a lot of homework for us and offers tons of resources for research on commonly used chemicals, toxins and their effects on our health and their environmental impact.
We had a little fun this week getting settled into our new Green Divas HQ. In this video, we talk about Green Diva Lisa’s travels, having a relatively eco-friendly move and why I’m celebrating having bats in the belfry!
Here is an excerpt from my recent post about bats:
Important Things You Should Know About Bats
Bats & Agriculture
Bats are key pollinators in many parts of the world – over 75% of the world’s crops rely on animals and bats are an important pollinator.
Bat-dependent plants include: Bananas, plantain, breadfruit, peaches, mangos, dates, figs, and cashews. Bats also provide a wonderful source of natural fertilizer for cave ecosystems and agricultural systems as well. In some countries, bat guano has become a major business.
A single mouse-eared bat, which is widespread in North America can capture 1,000 or more mosquito-sized insects in JUST ONE HOUR!
Busting Bat Myths
Bats seldom spread disease – less than 1/2 of 1% of wild bats have rabies.
Bats do NOT want to get tangled in your hair! They have extremely good radar and will not encounter a human by choice.
We are done celebrating independence, but I’m trying to celebrate my independence from toxic summer skincare still. Green Diva Juliette did a wonderful post with some great ideas for natural and non-toxic ways to avoid damaging sun AND pesky insects! Here’s an excerpt from her post:
Safe & Sunny
Of course, the best way to block out the sun besides creams and lotions (that can put nasty chemicals onto our skin) is to stay in the shade or wear sun-protective clothing, like a hat or a shirt. But what most people don’t know is that a regular cotton shirt only has a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of around 5. And, to boot, sun-protective clothing may not be the most stylish clothing for a Green Diva’s wardrobe.
That’s why there’s Mott 50, a fashion-forward apparel company whose garments all have a UPF of 50 and are all about being smart in the sun without sacrificing style. Their clothing line is endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation and also meets the standards of the IUVTL (International UV Testing Laboratory) and the AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists).
If you’re not on the market for a new wardrobe and prefer to stick to sunscreen, the Environmental Working Group has a great, comprehensive list of the best sunscreens that are rated for their broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and for their use of hazardous chemicals.
Are household pests beginning to take their toll on your stress level? If you’re like me, and millions of other Americans, you’ve probably come home from work to find a trail of ants leading the charge, or an errant mouse hopping out of your sink of dirty dishes, as surprised as you are that someone else is there.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I’ve been there more times than I’d like to remember. The first, and probably most important thing I’ve learned is that prevention is key. In most cases, prevention is code for keeping a very clean, very organized, and crumb-free home. No exceptions.
But even with prevention as rule number one, there are still circumstances that are beyond our control. I once lived in an apartment in Austin, Texas, where roaches ran rampant. It was at this very apartment that I began my habit of wiping down counters obsessively, vacuuming at 3 a.m., and keeping every food item in an airtight container.
It was all for naught, though, as the apartments above, below, and next to me were not quite so fastidious, and roaches, ants and mice found their way through air vents and teeny tiny cracks I didn’t even know existed. …read more of Get a Rest from Pests, Naturally here