Ant Invasion? Dr. Bronner is Here!

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I’ve heard that mint is a natural repellent for ants, so I tried out Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint & Mentha Arvensis Castille Soap to treat a serious ant problem we’re having.

Seems the little buggers like our kitchen scraps we have set out to take to the compost pile. We tried it out (diluted) and it works great. It seems to actually kill them on contact, too. I tried Dr. Bronner’s out on cockroaches and it works the same. We poured it directly on the cockroaches after they crawled up a drain at night, and within a few seconds they were dead with their legs sticking up in the air. It’s organic, smells great, and kills ’em dead!

Dr. Bronner. you’re my hero. You’re right up there with Dr. K!


Bats Provide Natural Pest Control

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Here’s a tip for all you gardeners and friends of nature.

Bats are critters that help to control populations of insect pests including blood sucking mosquitoes. Yes indeed, while vampire bats do exist, the real blood suckers have been and always will be mosquitoes. Get bats to help you keep your yard mosquito free! Bats will also munch on gnats, flies, etc.

The great thing about bats is that they typically leave beneficial insects like lady bugs, praying mantis, etc. alone. Bats are harmless as long as you don’t mess with them. You can actually encourage their presence in your yard with a bat house. If you have a water feature in your garden, they’ll be more likely to come to your home. However, you can always set out a bird bath with water to get them to visit.

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You can use this cool bat detector to determine if there are bats in and around your yard. This gadget also lets you listen to them.


Socially Responsible Easter Gifts

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Easter is on the way. Another excuse to spend money on cheap crap and yummy sugary snacks! Or, if you’d like to try something a little more socially responsible, check out these unique Easter basket gifts from Heifer International.

Heifer’s “baskets” are actually gifts of livestock, chickens, sheep, geese or rabbits, given to needy families.

A great gift idea from a well established NGO. Here’s a little info about Heifer’s work if you’re not familiar with what they do:

This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for over 60 years. Today, millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope.


Product Review: Equal Exchange Organic Chocolate Minis for Easter

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These organic dark chocolate minis from Equal Exchange are a perfect treat for those who want just a little chocolate to nibble on at a time. They are 55% Cocoa and have a very rich flavor. Not too sweet and not bitter either.

I had them out in a little bowl for guests to our house and they were consumed very quickly! They make great party favors as well. We’ve got several birthday parties coming up so I’m thinking of stocking up on more. They’re also perfect for the coming Easter holiday.

Instead of mass produced sugar gunk, try out these organic, Fair Trade chocolates and this Kid’s Chocolate Garden Seed Kit to stuff their Easter baskets.

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Here’s a list of the Ingredients for the chocolate:

*Organic cocoa liquor, *Syramenaâ„¢ Organic Raw Cane Sugar, *Organic cocoa butter, *Sucanatâ„¢ Organic Unrefined Whole Cane Sugar, Organic ground vanilla. Cocoa 55% min. (*Fair Trade Certifiedâ„¢)


Solar LED Clip-on Landscaping Lights

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Landscape lights can end up using a lot of energy if you have a big path you’d like to illuminate. So, consider going solar for your landscaping. Solar e-Clips are just the thing if you want to light pathways up to 70 feet long with pure solar energy! They get all their power from a separate “solar rock” which you can place away from the lighting set. This means the lights themselves can be in a shady area while the solar collector is in a sunny spot.

The manufacturers designed these lights so that you can clip them onto things like “Snapedge paver restraint, Edge-Scape, eaves troughs, coiled garden edging, wood fencing or simply spike directly into the ground.” You can purchase a 14 or a 28 light set depending on your needs. I love the idea of landscape lighting that does not cost me a penny beyond the purchase price of the product! Well, maybe a few replacement bulbs, but that’s about it! Any other LED or outdoor solar lights to recommend? Please let us know what’s worked for you!