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Archive for the ‘Green’ Category

Dear Readers,

It is very important for all of us to save our environment and think “green”.  I discovered there are many ways in which lemons can be the “green” answer to household problems and chores just by reading an article in an old Better Homes and Garden magazine entitled “Lemon-Aid”.  I’m going to quote directly from this article.

“When life gives you  lemons, freshen up around the house.  The citric acid in lemons works as a natural cleanser and laundry aid.  Lemons also leave a clean scent.  Here are some common household uses for lemons:

Remove tarnish from copper by dipping a lemon half in salt, then rubbing it onto a copper surface.  Squeeze a little juice onto a pot and let it sit for several minutes to remove stubborn tarnish.

Rub a lemon wedge over your hands to remove lingering odors from working with onions, garlic, fish, or other strong-smelling foods.

Clean some stains (especially food stains) from countertops by squeezing lemon juice over the stain.  Let juice sit for 30 to 45 minutes, then pour baking soda over the juice and gently rub the stain away.

Remove rust from tools and other metal surfaces with lemon juice.  The juice also will loosen bolts that are rusted in place.  Pour juice over metal and let it sit until rust starts to dissolve.  If juice runs off the surface too quickly, saturate a rag or paper towel with lemon juice and wrap the towel around the rusted area.

Erase rust spots and fruit juice stains from white fabrics by dabbing stains with lemon juice.  Dry in the sun to help with bleaching.

Grind lemon rinds in your garbage disposal to keep it smelling sweet.”

I hope this article will help you to always think “green” and to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

In the interest of full disclosure, this tip did not originate with Mimi but came from a dear friend, Sue, who thought it may be a good topic for this blog.  I wholeheartedly agree and am going to quote verbatim from her informative e-mail.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this past week trying to figure out how to get the mothball smell out of my winter clothes – both cotton and wool.  I hadn’t used mothballs for a long time because I thought I was somehow immune to this plague.  Then I wore a favorite brown cardigan over a blue top last winter and someone pointed out that they could see blue through the moth holes in my sweater; boy, was I embarrassed.

This summer I was conscientious again and used mothballs; but when I opened the drawers in the dresser this fall, the smell was overwhelming.  I tried leaving the drawers open, hanging the clothes on the line (though not for a long period of time), all to no avail.

I finally googled for answers this weekend and found the answer.  Following information I found on various websites, I bought dryer sheets (which I otherwise avoid on the theory that fewer chemicals are better.)  I put the clean, dry clothes in the dryer on the “delicates/knits” setting with 3 dryer sheets and gave it a full cycle.  Everything came out smell-free.

I bought Seventh Generation dryer sheets because they seem to be reasonably “green” and because they have no perfume”.

Thanks, Sue, for this great tip.  I’m sure the readers will find it very helpful and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Recently visited New Haven, CT., home to Yale University with its urban campus and beautiful tree-lined city streets.  One of the nicest features of the city is the dedicated lane for bikers.  Quite a few students and residents ride their bicycles everywhere and the bike lanes provide some measure of safety.

Bill Donahue, in his article “A Free-Wheeling City” appearing in Parade magazine, relates that there are a number of bike-friendly cities in the U.S., including Boulder, CO., Tucson, AR. and Davis, CA.  The city of Columbia, MO. has spent millions of dollars promoting cycling, including painted bike lanes and lots of racks for locking bikes placed outside cafes and retail stores.  Darwin Hindman, 76, mayor of Columbia, is an avid biker.  He said “If we depend too much on cars, then we increase our reliance on foreign oil, childhood obesity goes up and life just isn’t as much fun”.  It seems to me that bicycle riding could solve a number of problems both on the energy front and for health issues.

Think I’ll dust off the old Schwinn touring bike, buy a cute helmet (if there is such a thing!), and start pedaling.  Whoopee!

On another recent trip, I changed planes in Baltimore’s BWI airport and was pleasantly surprised upon entering the ladies’ restroom.  Besides being extremely clean, there was a vase of live flowers adorning the counter behind the wash bowls.  The flowers weren’t expensive or exotic blooms, just carnations or mums; but they added such a touch of warmth and elegance to a public place.

Wonder who thought of bathroom bouquets?  This may sound sexist, but I bet it was a woman!  We know how just a few carefully placed blooms can elevate the mood in any room.  BWI Airport:  Keep up the good work.  You sure put a big smile on one weary traveler’s face!

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Recently read an article entitled “Eco-Toys for Your Tyke”.  It was very informative so I’m going to quote from most of the article.  By the way, the author is Natalie Ermann Russell.

“Last holiday season, parents were paralyzed with fear as they tried to buy toys free of lead paint.  Now, the toy industry has branched out with eco-friendly, toxin-free options.  Here are a few:

Sprig Adventure Series (sprigtoys.com) These toy vehicles are a composite of recycled wood and reclaimed plastic – no paint (so no lead).  They’ve tested negative for potentially harmful chemicals BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates.  Best part?  No batteries.  The LED light and sound features are powered by your child pumping the vehicle.

Green Toys (greentoys.com)  These are made 100% in California, so parts aren’t shipped from overseas.  All the toys are classics – the kind that rely on imagination, such as a tea set or gardening set.  And they’re made from recycled milk containers, which contain no BPA, phthalates or lead”.

Speaking of recycled toys, have a cute story from Pa about this.  He told us that every year about a month or two before Christmas, his wagon would mysteriously vanish.  It would then  re-appear on Christmas morning painted a different color!  His Mom knew the benefits of recycling toys, especially when there were 10 kids to provide toys for.  Pa always went along with the ploy but he did admit to us that he got pretty tired of that same ole wagon year after year!!!

Keep smilin’!

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“Three Sheets to the Wind”

Dear Readers,

Maybe you’ve heard of the expression “three sheets to the wind” used to describe someone who has imbibed too much alcohol.  Well, Mimi has a new twist on this phrase:  “three sheets in the wind”.  Yes, I’m talking green here!

What better way to save electricity than hanging “sheets in the wind” on a clothesline.  Seriously, just think how you could help Mother Earth by hanging just one load of sheets a week out to dry.  The sheets will smell wonderfully fresh and the process won’t take long.  Give it a try!

The word “clothesline” reminds me of my Mom hanging up wash every Monday.  She hung her laundry like a work of art:  all the socks lined up with the heels pointing the same way, blue jeans arranged together inside out (the denim doesn’t fade as quickly and it dries quicker this way), and all the same type of clothes placed on the line together.  Her whites were the whitest – she was a “Tide” woman!

Mom had an unusual way of determining if the laundry was hung outdoors or in the basement.  She would look up at the sky and tell us that “if there was enough blue to make Johnny a pair of pants”, there would be no rain that day!  It usually worked, too.  But my sisters and I always wondered just how large was Johnny???

Keep smilin’!

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