Latest posts in Queen of Green

How to get your yard off grass

July 21, 2015 | 2 comments
Photo: How to get your yard off grass

Bumblebees, native bees and butterflies love lavender. And it's deer resistant! (Credit: David Zeni)

Lawn history is rooted in wealth and status.

In 17th century England, only rich landowners had lawns (a monoculture of short, manicured grass). Work once done by sheep increasingly shifted to human labour, especially closer to the house. Before lawnmowers, only a few could afford to hire people to scythe and weed their grass.

Lawn's purpose? Purely decorative.

Given today's reality...

  • Water shortages
  • The health benefits of digging in dirt
  • Our passion for clean, local food
  • A desire to waste less
  • How busy we say we are
  • No need to show how much money you make

...I think society is ready to question, even ditch, the lawn habit.

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How to conserve water

July 9, 2015 | 9 comments
Photo: How to conserve water

A brown lawn isn't dead, just dormant (like a bear in winter). (Credit: Cindee Snider via Flickr)

It's hot. Many provinces are in flames and there's a water shortage.

Now, for the bad news: Our households consume about 340 litres of water per day. And the thirstiest culprit is your toilet, followed by laundry, faucets, showers and leaks.

This is not a problem of the week or this summer. This is what lies ahead.

Five water-saving habits inside your home (in order of impact)

Flush less

"If it's yellow, let it mellow..." is the two-part jingle. But what about all the other times?

  • Don't flush tissue or toilet paper each time you blow your nose. Switch to hankies (see laundering tip below).
  • Stop flushing the unflushables like baby wipes, floss and hair. Don't treat your toilet like a garbage can.
  • Install low-flow toilet(s). Old toilets use about 12 litres; low flow will cut that in half.
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A term for that "I need time in nature" feeling

July 7, 2015 | 18 comments
Photo: A term for that

Time spent in nature cures irritability, reduces stress and makes people more generous. (Credit: Christopher Fassbender)

I asked you: If "hangry" is the anger you feel when you're hungry, what's the term for the irritability you feel when you're due for time in nature?

You came through with some creative, invented words and definitions. Let's vote for the best one! The winner gets a T-shirt signed by David Suzuki. (Plus, we'll all commit to start to use the term. It will be our little Queen of Green community inside joke.)

Crature • To crave nature. Submitted by Crystal.

Denatured • Deprived of nature. Submitted by Liz and Andrea.

Dysnatural • Submitted by Michelle.

Earth-ache • Submitted by Stacey.

Flora-Fauna-Fever • Submitted by Stacey.

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How to make a bee bath

June 25, 2015 | 7 comments
Photo: How to make a bee bath

A shallow plate, rocks and water is all you need. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

We all know that bees are busy. So it makes sense that they get thirsty!

But have you ever witnessed a bee watering hole? Now you can make one.

Fact is, bees are crash landers (like those other beneficial insects, ladybugs). Open water, like a creek or pond (even a bird bath) means bees risk drowning or being caught by predators — you've seen fish jumping out of water to catch yummy insects, right?

Prevent bee drowningsmake a bee bath! These three simple steps use ingredients already in your home. Your creation will also combat pests like aphids, because ladybugs that stop by for a sip will eat 'em!

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How to reuse silica gel packs

June 22, 2015 | 17 comments
Photo: How to reuse silica gel packs

To prevent mould and mildew, add a few silica gel packs to your tent bag or camping gear bin. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

Don't throw out silica gel packs found in vitamin bottles, packaging for electronics and leather goods — even seaweed snacks! Instead, reuse them to combat excess moisture in your home.

Watch this video to understand how silica dries things out.

Six ways to reuse silica gel packs

Spice it up

Do you get a workout shaking clumped chili or garlic powder? Toss silica gel packs into spice jars and sugar and salt containers.

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