Monday, March 24, 2014

Eco-friendly Pet Care for Dogs and Cats ~ Green Lifestyle Tips

Many of you will scoff at these ideas, but for those interested there are simple changes we can make to lighten our pet's carbon footprints on the earth. Here, are just a few ideas. We'll likely explore this topic again in the future.
  • Leave it to the birds - After brushing your pet, instead of pitching the collected fur in the trash, which ends up in the ocean, a landfill, or is incinerated (creating toxic pollution), simply leave it outside in your yard or a park. Birds will find it and incorporate it into nests, or it will blow away and eventually be recycled by nature. 
  • Get Crafty - Instead of buying pet toys, which are often made of synthetic materials, re-use and up-cycle packaging and other items in your home instead of pitching them. Think about using yarn and fabric scraps, cardboard boxes, plastic containers. A few scissor snips and knot-tying and voila, you have a fun cat toy!
  • Natural Pest Control - Fleas and ticks are real concerns for the pet owner, so finding alternatives to the highly toxic formulas most of us have grown accustomed to using on our animals is a big step toward making healthier pets and planet. Consider using essential oils, homeopathy and anti-pest formulas with less-toxic ingredients. And according to holistic veterinarians, making sure your pet's diet is wholesome and nutrient-rich is the best defense against these pests.
  • Healthy Food, Healthy Pet, Healthy Planet - Though preparing high quality food for your pets may seem up front more expensive and time-consuming than scooping up kibble for them, over time it results in a good investment for your pocket since having a healthy pet with a strong immune system will save you on vet bills. Commercial pet foods, even the best, whether wet, moist or dry, are highly processed, nutrient-sparse. Moreover, preparing their food turns out to be comparably-priced to the natural, high-end commercial prepared pet foods. And it benefits the planet in various ways. The environmental cost of packaging, shipping, storing, and distributing pet food has to be tallied, along with the convenience of using them. Commercial pet foods bear little to no resemblance to the diets that dogs or cats would naturally choose for themselves in the wild, so it goes without saying that they can't be good to be for them, and therefore not good to introduce them into our environment (what goes in, must go out!). Whatever you do, try to favor pet foods made from chicken and rabbit meat and avoid those containing red meat and fish which, by comparison, have a much higher environmental impact.
  • Unplug - If you're able, avoid using electric-powered watering and feeding dishes, and self-cleaning litter boxes. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

How To Make Natural Linen Spray, Room Freshener, Face Toner With Essential Oils & Witch Hazel ~ Eco- Green DIY

I  was dazzled recently by a natural linen and room spray my mom and I bought at her local farmers market.

Misting them on all her linens, fabric blinds and upholstered furniture I effortlessly turned her abode into an aromatic, mood-balanced confection of lavender, rosemary, sandalwood, and tangerine.

Imagine my glee when I finally read the labels and learned the aromatherapy sprays do double duty as hydrating face mists.

Intrigued by their short, sweet ingredient lists, I was inspired to research how to make the sprays on my own. And now you can, too, if you've the time and are so inclined! They make great gifts for housewarmings, bridesmaid parties, and other occasions.

Add all ingredients to glass spray bottle, shake well. VOILA!!! 

Oil Combinations to Try:

It really is anything goes as far as combinations of scents, so have fun, but DO make sure you purchase REAL essential oils and NOT perfume oils. 
  • rosemary and lavender
  • tangerine and sandalwood
  • lemon and vetiver
  • pine and orange
  • vanilla and lime
  • rosewood and patchouli
  • rose absolute and benzoin

*photo credits: sandalwood by flickr member sunphlo, witch hazel by flickr member zimpenfish
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