We all love a clean and fresh smelling home. Air fresheners and chemical cleaners are household staples, but these products can do more harm than good. Air fresheners and chemical cleaners contain harmful ingredients that make our indoor air unsafe, especially for children and people with asthma.
The main culprit to watch out for in air fresheners are phthalates, which can cause hormonal problems and birth defects. The Natural Resources Defense Council tested 14 common brands, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient, to see how many actually contained phthalates. They found that 12 of the 14 tested contained some level of phthalates (a whopping 86%). The scary thing is even those marketed as “all natural” contained phthalates. You can view the findings of the study here.
Household cleaners are also known to contain toxic chemicals, and although they may rid your counter top or toilet of germs, they are also polluting your air and pose a risk to you and your family if inhaled, ingested, or simply touched. This is why DIY (Do-It-Yourself) green air fresheners and cleaners made at home are one of our favorite and most beneficial green DIY projects. Here is how to make your own!
Easy All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner (via apartmenttherapy)
Put your citrus peels to use with this easy Homemade all-purpose cleaner. Citrus contains d-limonene, which reacts with oil, causing the oil to break down. We like to use this cleaner especially to fight stove-top grease but it can be used for many purposes. Here are the step-by-step instructions!
Put orange or some sort of citrus fruit peels in an airtight glass container.
Pour distilled white vinegar into the glass jar until the peels are covered completely.
Seal the jar and wait two weeks so the vinegar has time to react with the citrus. When done the vinegar will have a yellow hue and smell citrus-y.
Strain peels and dilute with water if you’d like, a common ratio is 1:1.
Pour into a spray bottle and enjoy the natural scent of your cleaner and the peace of mind knowing your product is toxin-free!
Naturally Scented Air Fresheners (via The Yummy Life)
We love these DIY natural air fresheners because you can get creative and find the ingredients that work best for you. Here is what you will need to do:
Combine ingredients with water in a stove top pan, uncovered slow-cooker, or fondue pot. Stove top works best and provides the strongest fragrance.
For stove top- bring to a boil and then let simmer for as long as you desire, you will have to watch the water level.
For Slow cookers- heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes to jump start the fragrances and then leave in the slowcooker uncovered on a low setting.
For Fondue pots- heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes to jump start the fragrances and then leave in the fondue pot and place it wherever you’d like.
Here are some ingredient combos from The Yummy Life blog that seem to work the best (make sure to combine these with ample amounts of water!):
Oranges, cinnamon, and cloves (with optional allspice and anise)
Lemon, Rosemary, and vanilla
Lime, thyme, mint, and vanilla extract
Orange, ginger, and almond extract
Pine or cedar twigs, bay leaves, and nutmeg
We feel as though half of the fun is finding your own scent and ingredients that work for you to fit the mood you are in. Have fun with it; experiment with different ingredients and combinations. Above all else, enjoy the fresh scent of your home knowing your air is free of toxins and artificial ingredients. YES!! We hope you enjoy these DIY green projects to keep your home a toxin free zone.
Share with us your favorite DIY green projects.
Ticks Are Back!
Winter is almost over, the temperature is rising, and ticks are eager to stretch their legs and find a meal. Although ticks are dormant during the cold winter months, they become active earlier than you may think. When temperatures rise above freezing and the snow cover melts, ticks begin to emerge and look for hosts. There are three major tick species in New England to look out for: Blacklegged (Deer) Ticks, Dog Ticks, and Lone Star Ticks. The most common tick in New England is the Deer Tick. Deer ticks go through a two-year lifespan, undergoing three stages in their development; larvae, nymph, and adult. Nymph-stage ticks can become active as early as March, or whenever Spring temperatures arrive. Nymph-stage ticks are very small, about the size of a poppy seed.
Why Are Ticks Dangerous?
Ticks are sneaky, they feed on your blood, and they are tiny. These three qualities make them a nuisance, but what makes them dangerous is the harmful pathogens they carry. Even though the nymph stage tick resembles a poppy seed in size, their bites can pack a disease infested punch, carrying diseases such as Lyme disease, Babesioisis, and Anaplasmosis. Deer Ticks are the main carrier of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It is estimated that around 20% of nymph stage blacklegged deer ticks carry the disease. That is why it is important to be proactive in not only preventing yourself from tick bites, but knowing how to effectively find and remove them from you, your family, and your pets.
When walking on a trail or path try to stay in the middle of the trail where it is open to avoid any unwanted contact with lurking ticks.
After an outing in the outdoors you should always check your body for ticks. Finding and removing a tick quickly can greatly reduce your chances of being infected with a tick-borne disease.
If you find a tick on you- follow these instructions to remove the tick. Also, learn about the tick keys we distribute to our clients.
If possible, try to save the tick in the jar in order to identify the tick and submit it for testing. Cape Cod is offering free Lyme Disease testing this year!
Getting an early start on treating your yard with organic, routine tick treatments. This will help reduce the population of adult deer ticks that survived the winter, preventing them from laying eggs on your property.
Learn More From These Great, Local ResourcesComments
Deer are desperate for food during the cold winter months. This causes them to look towards our homes for an easy meal. Learn what you can do before the deer develop an eating habit and a sweet tooth for your lovely garden.Comments
We are thrilled to welcome Jory to our Weston office. One of his first assignments as the newest member of the Pure family was to tell us all about himself and why he decided to choose Pure as his home for the next 6 months….
Hello! My name is Jory Nickles and I am the new Business Development Manager at Pure Solutions. I am currently a student at Northeastern University majoring in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.
I discovered Pure while searching for my first co-op position as part of the Northeastern Co-op Program. What drew me in was a small snippet describing the passion co-founders, Brian and Trevor, felt for the outdoors. Growing up in Ithaca, NY, a beautiful and diverse landscape was at my disposal.
As Brian and Trevor reflected on fond memories of enjoying the outdoors, I reminisced about the times I played catch with grass-stains etched into my knees, swam in local dams as cliff-jumpers bravely flew through the air, and enthusiastically played make-believe games with my little brother.
Nature sustains us and should be protected so everyone in our lifetime and in the future can enjoy and benefit from it. Pure works to make the outdoors safe while also keeping the health of the environment a priority. It’s only been three weeks, but I already feel the exuberant excitement and passion of our team. I feel like I belong here. I am psyched to be part of the Pure Solutions team and to help you all enjoy a better and safer outdoors!
Deer damage is estimated to cost around $2 BILLION dollars nationwide. $250 million of that cost reflects damage to properties around homes in communities like ours. It’s important to know the signs of deer damage so you can choose proactive, natural steps that protect your family and your property investment.
Deer eat; some might say it’s what they do best…
Deer damage around the home occurs most often in late winter and early spring. During this time, deer run low on other food supplies and begin to look near our homes, eating flowers, fruits, vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamental shrubs.
Signs of Deer Damage:
Damage to leaves and foliage: If the damage is clean cut then it is most likely a smaller animal such as a rabbit or rodent. If the damage looks ripped or jagged then you know a deer has been snacking. Also if there are any bare branches with the leaves missing it usually means deer.
Height of the damage from the ground: Deer feed up to 6ft high, this is a great way to rule out smaller mammals.
Deer droppings: This is a very distinguishable sign that deer have been on your property. The dropping look like moist black beans or round pellets.
Deer tracks: Deer footprints show two toed markings in the form of an upside-down heart.
Use these Safe, Natural solutions
Plant deer resistant plants around your home.
Put up a fence; a very effective solution, but likely the most costly.
Use an organic repellent. This solution is best if used at first sight of deer damage and prevents the deer from creating a habitual feeding pattern.
Other benefits of deer control
Deer are common hosts of adult black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks. These ticks can then be carried to your property where they become a risk of spreading harmful diseases such as Lyme disease and babesiosis among others. Studies have found that the amount of ticks in an area is correlated with the density of deer.
How we can help
Pure offers an integrated, organic solution to repel deer from your backyard. Our solution is safe around both kids and animals. We have teamed up with living social this month to offer a special deal to new customers.
Safe & Happy Outdooring!
A new year means new opportunities for improvement! The Pure team put together a list of green resolutions to implement in 2014. Share with us any ideas you have that will strengthen our commitment to protecting the environment.
Reduce Waste: Initiate a new recycling program at all Pure locations that includes recycling paper, bottles, plastic bags, cardboard, and cans. We will also purchase eco-friendly items when possible to use in our daily operations.
Form a Green Committee: To encourage eco-friendly lifestyles from our customers to our employees, we will create a green committee to lead the way! They will conduct research, create green policies, training employees, and enforcing and maintaining all efforts.
Conserve Energy: We will include energy conservation expectations in our employee handbook such as turning off computer monitors when not being used, setting up car-pooling options, and using Energy Star-qualified light bulbs.
Expand Pure’s Water Initiative: For the third year, Pure Massachusetts operated throughout the 2013 season without using any public water resources due to our rain water collection system in Weston, MA. In 2014, we will expand this initiative at all of our locations in order to continue conserving our resources.
Encourage Our Community: To reward people in our community who work to eliminate pesticides and toxic chemicals in the air by promoting Pure’s organic services, we will continue to offer referral programs and neighborhood discounts.Comments
During the holiday season, Americans throw away an additional 5 million tons of trash— 25% more than usual, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve! Here, we outline some our favorite tips for avoiding waste and celebrating locally this season.
Did you know?
Sustainable Holiday Tips:
#1 Purchase your holiday meal from local farms: Turkeys, ham, fish and produce can all be purchased sustainably during the winter season!
Also, avoid disposable products when entertaining guests. If you have to use disposable plates and napkins, consider products that are compostable or are made from recycled materials.
#2 Ditch Black Friday and celebrate Plaid Friday, instead! Plaid Friday came from the idea of weaving the individual threads of small businesses together to create a strong fabric that celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. It’s a fun & enjoyable alternative to the big box store Black Friday, and is designed promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays.
#3 Gift Green. Choose durable, long-lasting items made with earth-friendly materials that are energy-efficient, and have minimal packaging. Best of all is to give the gift of experience, i.e. items that don’t cause any waste at all! Consider things like concert tickets, dinner, homemade gifts, or items that get used up like food, candles, soap, etc.
#4 Use Energy-Saving LED Holiday Lights: Love to deck the halls with lights? Look for lights made with LEDs, which are 90 percent more efficient than traditional lights, and can save your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season.
#5 Make Your Own Decorations: Make eco-friendly decorations such as strung popcorn, decorations made of pine cones, homemade candles, and wreaths made from evergreens and other natural materials. Another option? Invite your guests to bring items from their home to decorate the party with! It will create an interactive and eclectic holiday atmosphere.
#6 Use Wrapping Paper That Can be Recycled or Reused: Most mass-produced wrapping paper is not recyclable and ends up in landfills. Instead, wrap presents with old maps, the comics section of a newspaper, or children’s artwork.
#7 Try a Potted or Pesticide-Free Tree: Demand is on the rise for potted Christmas trees that can be planted after the holidays and Christmas trees that are not covered in chemicals; some growers use 40 different pesticides, as well as chemical colorants. And make sure to recycle your tree when the holidays are over.
Source: SBN November 2013 newsletterComments