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Planting Trees: The Facts

*According to the U.S. Forest Service Center of Urban Forest Research, by plating 3 trees in the proper places around a house you can save up to 30% of energy use.

*By planting deciduous trees on the east and west side of your home, you will be keeping your home cool in the summer (reducing energy costs by up to 35%) and the sun can warm your home during the winter.

*Planting evergreen trees on the north and northwest sides of your home will help to create a wall to block cold winter winds, saving up to 30% on heating costs.

*Urban areas without trees can become "heat islands."  These are areas which have a higher temperature on average when compared to other areas which have trees.  By planting trees in urban areas of your community, you are helping to cool off buildings, playgrounds, parking lots and streets which will save on energy costs.

*Planting just one tree can save up to 2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year!!

*Trees improve air quality, conserve water, moderate water, and improve wildlife.  Leaves filter the air we breathe
by removing dust and other particles, and then the rain washes the pollutants to the ground.

*Over-watering plants harms them and wastes water.  What can you do to help with this situation?  There are several things!!  Mulch holds moisture in the soil and prevents evaporation from the soil surface. Water the roots, not the leaves.  Drip irrigation uses 50% less water than conventional sprinkler irrigation. 

To learn more, visit the following websites:

Trees Are Good

Arbor Day Foundation

Going Green for Kids!!

What does "going green" mean?
Going green means living a healthier, more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.  By going green, you are helping to take care of the earth as well as the people and animals who live on the earth.  You can make a BIG difference and help out a lot by doing some of the things listed below.

Tips for Going Green
1.  When you are washing your hands, try to use less water.  Be sure you still get your hands clean, though!!  Ask your parents to show you what a pencil-thin stream of water looks like.

2.  Be sure to turn lights off when they are not being used. 

3.  RECYCLE!!  Here are some things you can recycle: paper, plastic, and aluminum.

4.  Grow your own garden and eat the fruits and vegetables from it!!  Isn't it cool
that you can eat the foods you grew all by yourself?!

5.  Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.  Only turn the water on when you need to rinse your mouth or toothbrush.

6.  Turn off and unplug the computer when not using it.  It is also a good idea to unplug other things that are not being used.  (Be sure to ask an adult before unplugging anything because there are some appliances that need to be
plugged in at all times.)

7.  Did you know that when you ride the bus you are actually helping our earth?  Think about how many kids ride on a school bus.  If all of those kids rode in separate vehicles, there would be a lot more cars on the road instead of just ONE schoolbus.  This makes the air healthier for us to breathe!!

8.  Make sure you do not put plastic, Styrofoam, or any type of
metal/aluminum in the microwave.  This can be dangerous!!  (Be sure to check with an adult before using the microwave.)

Celebrities Who Are Going Green

Think you're the only one interested in going green?  Well, think again!!  People everywhere are helping out.  Here are the names of some celebrities who are helping to protect our earth...and this is only a VERY small part of the list!!

Leonardo DiCaprio
Sheryl Crow
Alicia Silverstone
Cameron Diaz
Edward Norton
Kylie Minogue
Orlando Bloom
Kyle Massey
Chris Massey
Shanica Knowles
Milly and Becky Rosso
Luke Perry
The Jonas Brothers
Hilary Duff
Alicia Keys
Avril Lavigne
Ashlee Simpson
Joss Stone
Justin Timberlake
Miley Cyrus
Zac Efron
Amanda Bynes

Tips for Going Green

So, you've heard a lot about "going green" lately.  Want to help out, but not sure how?  Here are some tips to help get you started!!

  •  Set your thermostat a few degrees lower during the winter (and wear a sweater) and a few degrees higher during the summer (and wear shorts). 
  • By replacing only 3 frequently-used lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs, you can save on energy costs.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use (or use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are of and limits the use of energy). 
  • Wash clothes in cold water when possible.
  • Use a clothesline for drying clothes when possible so energy isn't being used to run a dryer.
  • Take shorter showers and run less water when taking a bath.  Using a low-flow shower head can also be helpful. 
  • Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden.  These plants need minimal watering. 
  • Walk or bike to work if possible.  If this isn't possible, carpooling is another good idea.  Think about all of the gas money you can save!!
  • Use a water purifier for tap water instead of drinking bottled water. Also, use a reusable aluminum water bottle to help cut back on the amount of plastic bottles being produced. 
  • Borrow books from friends or the library instead of buying them new.  This will cut back on the amount of ink and paper being used to print new books. 
  • Buy in bulk to help reduce the amount of packaging being used.  
  • Keep electronics such as cell phones and computers as long as possible.  When you are finished with them, recycle the product.  These electronics are referred to as "E-waste," which contains mercury and other toxins that are harmful to our environment.
  • You can purchase environmentally-friendly cleaning products at local stores.  You can also make your own non-toxic cleaning products to use at home by using items such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.  For more information on making your own cleaning products, visit
  • Instead of throwing away your unused things, have a yard sale or donate the items to charity.  
  • Paper or plastic?  Both are harmful to our environment in several ways.  By purchasing your own eco-friendly reusable bags, you ar helping the environment greatly!!
  • Looking to upgrade your computer?  Get a laptop instead of a desktop computer. This will cut back on three-quarters of the electricity used by your computer.  Be sure you turn off the power at the end of the day and use the sleep mode instead of a screensaver.
  • Turn off lights when you are not using them.
  • Keep your tires inflated to improve gas mileage.  Check you tires monthly to make sure there is enough air pressure. 
  • When packing your lunch, reusable containers are the way to go!!  This keeps you from throwing away plastic bags everyday.
  • Want to take your children on an educational field trip?  Take them to a landfill to show them that when we throw things "away," they don't actually go away.  This helps children (especially older children) to realize the impact we have on our earth.  This will be a good way to get children to start recycling. 
  • Have double-pane windows installed in your home.  This will keep more heat inside your home, saving energy. 
  • Buy organic food.  Also, by purchasing locally-grown foods, you are saving the amount of energy to transport the item to the store.
  • Insulate the walls and ceilings of your home. 
  • Use a push mower instead of a riding mower.  This is a great way to go green and get some great exercise!!
  • Weatherize your home by caulking and weather- stripping your doorways and windows. 
  • Looking to replace your older appliances?  Be sure you replace them with energy efficient appliances.
  • Keep your water heater insulated.  Also, make sure your water heater thermostat is no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wanting to buy a new car?  Make sure it's fuel-efficient.  Just a few extra miles per gallon makes a huge difference.  Another option is to purchase a hybrid car. 
  • Simply changing your air conditioner filters when recommended can greatly reduce energy costs. 
  • When buying printer paper, make sure it is 100% post-consumer recycled. 
  • When running your dishwasher, make sure you have a full load. 
  • Change your car's air filter monthly. 
  • Plant a container herb garden.  You can have the herbs you need for cooking right at your fingertips.  By doing this, you are going green in several ways: no packaging is being used, you are not driving to the store to pick up that one little ingredient you forgot about, and the garden is environmentally friendly.   

To find out more information on going green, check out these websites:

Smiling Sage

World Watch

 The following is from our Herbalist, Mary Hammond:

Cleaning with Essential Oils
This is a list of some fo the essential oils that have been known to kill different kinds of germs.  You can choose the ones you like to add to the formulas shown. 


Petitgrain             Geranium            Rose Otto       
Tea Tree             Cinnamon            Marjoram

Peppermint          Spearmint           Oregano          Thyme                 Hyssop               Rosemary

Sage                    Eucalyptus          Lavender         Melissa                Myrrh                 Lemon

Cypress               Bergamot            Neroli              Lemongrass         Clove                  Anise

Clary Sage           Garlic                 Neem


Lavender            Lemon                 Basil                Bergamot           Cedarwood          Chamomile

Citronella            Eucalyptus           Pine                 Orange               Grapefruit            Clary Sage

Cypress              Geranium             Clove               Sandalwood        Juniper                Marjoram        

Tea Tree             Neroli                 Oregano          Petitgrain            Rosemary             Rosewood

Spearmint          Thieves                 Thyme             Garlic                Neem




Tea Tree          Myrrh              Cedarwood     Cinnamon        Clove               Juniper

Lavender         Lemon             Lemongrass     Oregano          Rosewood       Spearmint       

Thyme             Geranium        Rosemary        Neem               Garlic


Geranium        Oregano          Tea Tree          Sandalwood    Clove               Lavender

Lemon             Neem               Garlic              Eucalyptus      Peppermint      Cinnamon


General Cleaning:  Add 20 to 25 drops of oil to a bucket of water and use with Bon Ami, Ecover Dish Washing Liquid or Ecover All Purpose Cleaner to clean surfaces. 


Grease and Grime:   Orange oil added to Ecover Dish Washing Liquid will really cut through the grime.


Disinfectant:  Fill a 1-quart spray bottle with water and add 15 drops (single or combination).  Spray on surface and leave to dry. 

Hardwood Floors: 

-1/4 cup white vinegar per bucket of water

-5 to 10 drops (single or combination) of Lemon, Pine, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Cedarwood, Orange, Bergamot or Tea Tree oil

*For very dirty floors add a little Ecover Dish Soap.  (Natural soap is preferred to protect the wood.)


Carpet Freshener:  Add 20 drops of single essential oil or combination of oils to 1 cup of baking soda.  Shake and let set overnight, sprinkle on carpet.  Wait a few minutes and vacuum. 


Windows:  In a 1-quart bottle use:

-1 cup white vinegar

-10 to 15 drops of Lemon essential oil

-Fill the rest of the way with filtered water.

*Note:  Windex and other commercial cleaners leave a wax on the glass.  If these products have been used previously, just add a little Ecover Dish Soap in the spray bottle to cut the wax and spray window.  Use microfiber cloth or newspaper to dry. 


Dishes:  You may choose to add 10 drops of any of these oils or a combination to Ecover Dish Soap, shake well. 

Lavender         Orange                Bergamot        Lemon             Lemongrass         Grapefruit      
Tea Tree          Neroli                 Rose Otto


Laundry:  Eucalyptus oil will kill dust mites.  Just add 15 to 20 drops per wash.  Other oils can be added to rinse cycle for a different scent. 


Repellants:  These oils can be applied by adding a few drops to a cotton ball and placing strategically around your house or yard, by adding 15 to 20 drops to a 1-quart bottle of water and spraying affected areas or by applying directly as stated in some of the recipes. 

*Ants:  Spearmint, Peppermint, Citronella.  You can smear a line of Peppermint or Spearmint across your kitchen counter or floor and the ants won’t cross it.  If you already have a line of ants invading your house, just draw a line of oil across them and they will turn back. 

*Fleas:  Lavender, Lemongrass, Citronella, Peppermint, Spearmint

*Flies:  Lavender, Citronella, Peppermint

*Lice:  Spearmint, Peppermint

*Mosquitoes:  Lavender, Citronella, Lemongrass, Lemon, Peppermint

*Moths:  Spearmint, Lavender, Citronella, Peppermint, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Hyssop, Rosemary.  Just add a few drops to a cotton ball, tie a cloth around it, and hang it in the closet or place in a drawer. 

*Ticks:  Citronella, Lemongrass, Thyme, Lavender, Sage

*Aphids:  Mix 10 drops Spearmint and 15 drops Orange essential oil in 2 quarts salt water, shake well and spray on plants.

*Cockroaches:  Mix 10 drops Peppermint and 5 drops Cypress in ½ cup salt water.  Shake well and spray where cockroaches live. 

*Beetles:  Peppermint, Thyme

*Caterpillars:  Spearmint, Peppermint

*Chiggers:  Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint

*Cutworms:  Sage, Thyme

*Gnats:  Patchouli, Spearmint

*Spiders:  Peppermint, Spearmint

*Weevils:  Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood

*Mice:  Peppermint


Before using any essential oils, remember this:  If it doesn’t smell good to you, it’s not the right one for you to use. 

PLEASE READ:  If you have any medical conditions please research the essential oils that you will be using in order to find the ones that we be safe for you.  If you become dizzy or uncomfortable with any particular oil you may be sensitive to that oil; just choose oil from the list. 


If you are pregnant, these oils should be avoided:

Anise               Bay                  Basil                Camphor         Caraway          Carrot

Cedarwood     Cinnamon        Clary Sage       Clove               Comfrey          Cypress

Fennel             Hyssop            Jasmine            Juniper             Marjoram         Mugwort

Myrrh              Nutmeg           Oregano          Pennyroyal      Peppermint      Rosemary

Sage                Sassafras         Tansy               Thuja               Thyme             Wintergreen

Wormwood     Yarrow

Oils to avoid in first trimester:  Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium, Melissa, Rose. 


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