Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring is in the air ...

In the last few days, I've had some welcomed visitors ... a beautiful pair of Eastern Towhees have returned after wintering elsewhere.

(Photo from All About Birds

On our walks we see crocuses sprouting ... and Marmots are beginning to peek out of their burrows.

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Spring is definitely in the air! And that means that it's time to start thinking about gardening, spring cleaning and living "green" as the days move from cold and snowy to sunny and warm. Here are some ideas:

  • Spring is traditionally a time to tackle those big cleaning jobs. Instead of using toxic chemicals, opt for more earth-friendly cleansers. Click HERE for ideas and recipes.

  • Clean out closets and drawers and donate usable items to a charity, thrift stores or post them on FreeCycle.

  • Check the batteries on smoke detectors and make sure they are working properly (okay, it's not a "green" tip but ... it's important).

  • Take a look at air filters and wash or replace them as necessary.

  • Plan a vegetable garden. When considering which veggie to grow, consider heirloom varieties which help to preserve biodiversity. Consider natural pest control rather than toxic pesticides (for a list, click HERE). And rather than commercial fertilizers, start a compost pile to nourish your garden.

  • If you'll be landscaping your yard, opt for native plants which don’t need as much water and fertilizer.

  • As the weather warms, consider these earth-friendly habits:

    • Walk instead of drive.
    • Dry your clothes outside rather than use the dryer.
    • Sweep your patio, deck or walkway instead of using an air blower.
    • Use a push mower instead of a power or gas mower.
    • Switch the direction on your ceiling fan to cool (here's a hint ... when you stand under the fan you should feel the air blowing down on you).
    • When the fireplace is no longer being used, close the damper.

Spring is a time of renewal ... so renew your commitment to a "greener" lifestyle and enjoy the warmer days ahead.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!