Grow a Healing Garden with Medicinal Plants

Plants for Your Medicinal Garden |

I’m a lazy gardener. This means I plant crops that can thrive with very little attention, which is why our veggie garden typically consists of tomatoes, peas, beans, basil and lettuce. When I discovered herbs a few years ago, I was particularly fond of their perennial properties—plant once and they come back year after year. A lazy gardener’s dream! I love that herbs have multiple uses; not only do they add flavor to meals, many offer medicinal properties. Sage, for example, works in stews and also provides relief for sore throats or laryngitis when used in a tea. Since moving beyond food gardening to other plants, I try to choose those with multiple uses. Yarrow in the front yard gives us fern-like leaves and pretty pink blooms. It also stops my daughter’s nosebleeds. Lemon balm on our patio naturally deters mosquitoes, yet can also add flavor to drinks and salads. As … Continue reading

10 Unique and Handmade Holiday Gifts under $25

Unique, handmade gifts for under $25 |

Yes, you can shop green while on a budget. If you shop Etsy while you’re at it, you support artisans and small businesses that focus on crafting handmade items. Here are ten unique gift ideas for the people on your list, and all are under $25! Sea Shell Hanging Air Plant, $4.99 Delight the plant lover in your life with these super cool tillandsias, or air plants. They hang encased in sea urchin shells and require only bright light and occasional water misting. Plants come assembled and gift wrapped and would add an exotic, conversation piece to any room. Aromatherapy Diffuser Necklace, $20.00 Fill these handmade necklaces with your favorite essential oil. They’re made from allergy, lead and nickel-free stainless steel accented in your choice of nine colors with the words “only love” etched into the side. A few drops of oil releases its aroma for you all day long. … Continue reading

Eco-Friendly Birthday Parties: Alternative Party Supplies

Tips for Eco-Friendly Birthday Parties |

I recently read that August is the most popular birthday month (and today happens to be mine!), which means there are thousands or even millions of birthday parties taking place this month. I love birthdays, and I love a good party. However, all the disposable waste that parties can create is a darn shame, especially when much of it can be avoided. When it comes to children’s birthdays, most people are in the habit of following the majority, which means paper plates, cups and décor in a popular licensed character theme and prettily wrapped presents of the latest plastic doll or truck. Nearly all of this stuff, including the cheap plastic party favors, gets tossed within a few hours. However, if you knew the effect all this paper and plastic waste had on trees, animals, our health and the planet, you might consider eco-friendly alternatives. (Which would likely save you … Continue reading

What’s the Greenest Form of Contraception?

What's the Most Eco-Friendly Form of Birth Control? |

While birth control methods are usually judged for their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy or STDs, their environmental impacts are often overlooked. Using any kind of birth control is an eco-friendly action since it helps reduce the earth’s carbon footprint; however, some methods are greener than others. Read my full article—which talks about the Pill, IUD, diaphragm, condoms and more—on ecoRI News. Image: