Got fruit flies to get rid of? …(don’t whine, get wine!)

frt flies 2Now that summer is here, I’m finding myself with more and more fresh, organic produce in the house.  That would normally sound like a major “plus” until a few pieces of fruit prematurely ripen and I find myself with some unwelcomed guests in my kitchen… you know what I’m talking about – pesky fruit flies.

Well, not long ago, I accidentally found a fantastic solution to the problem thanks to a few sips of unconsumed wine left in a glass overnight.  It seems those little pests happen to love wine as much as I do!

By morning three of those buggers had actually immersed themselves in the leftover wine and solved the problem themselves.  A little extra research and experimenting and I found a solution worth sharing, and this is all it takes:

  • Put just a half-inch of red wine into any glass, cover it tightly with a small piece of plastic wrap (yes, I know… plastic wrap {bleh!} but desperate times call for desperate measures!), poke some very small holes in the plastic wrap and well… that’s it!  Just leave the glass in your kitchen near the problem area and the fruit fries will make their way in, but NOT make their way out!frt flies

Red wine seems to be the best because it is the most aromatic and attracts them more than white wine.  Fruit flies love fermented red grapes!… just like me! (oh yea, I mentioned that, didn’t I?)

So the next time they attack your kitchen and your fresh fruit, use it as an excuse to pop the cork and share a little… I promise, it truly only needs to be a “little!”

The 411 on recycling bottle caps…

beach trshDid you know that bottle caps are the second most littered items behind cigarette butts?  Did you also know that bottle caps are one of the top ten most common items found littered on beaches? Sad, isn’t it?

Most people might not give much thought to these little caps but they are becoming a big problem.  Overall, ALL types of caps are creating a problem because most of us don’t know whether or not they are recyclable.  Even if you’re like me and don’t buy bottled water or beverages in plastic bottles we all have mountains of caps that pass though our hands every day… everything from shampoo bottles to food product lids to soap and detergent containers.

So what do you do? Well, there are a few choices, so give these some thought:

  • Recycle with Aveda – these salons and stores will accept a variety of caps for recycling, including #5 twist caps, flips caps, jar lids and detergent lids and turn them into new lids for their products.  Find a location near you!
  • Recycle with Preserve – they also accept any #5 plastics (including yogurt containers) via mail or at any Whole Foods location and turn them into new Preserve products like toothbrush and razor handles, tableware and kitchenware.PVC cap
  • Give your local recycling a try – it’s sometimes difficult to figure out if your curbside recycling can actually recycle these caps but, if nothing else, include them in your recycling.  They cannot be processed with a batch of #1 and #2 commonly recycled plastics because there is a 100 degree difference in their melting points.  But if they can’t recycle them, they will be removed and at least properly disposed of, which is certainly better than letting them become litter!  Just make sure you detached the lids and caps from the container so they can be easily sorted out at the recycling facility.

So, what can’t be accepted? Well, that would be medication bottle caps, metals lids, pumps and sprayers.  These are unfortunately destined for the garbage can so, whenever possible, make wise choices when you make purchases.  Remember that buying larger containers means fewer lids too!

That’s it… the real deal on caps and lids.  Let’s just do our part to make sure we help remove them from any “most littered lists!”

Simple refrigerator tip: Energy efficiency 1, 2, 3…

refrig opnWhile my family and I have been enjoying the weekly produce from our CSA, I have also made my fair share of refrigerator snafus over the weeks.  (Note to self: an overloaded fridge will freeze mustard greens and kaboko cabbage faster than you can SAY mustard greens and kaboko cabbage!)

Besides keeping the door closed as much as possible (unlike this photo!), here are three simple ways to keep it as energy efficient as possible:

  1. Keep it filled up but NOT overcrowded (yea, that freezing issue!) – if it starts to look a little empty, a few covered pitchers of water will do wonders.
  2. Cover EVERYTHING – anything that is uncovered will release moisture and make the refrigerator work overtime to keep the contents cold.
  3. “Give it some space” – while you might be tempted to buy the largest fridge on the planet, it truly needs about 2 inches of space on all sides for proper air circulation and you especially don’t want anything that “heats” (dishwasher, stove, oven, etc.) nearby because it again makes it work harder than it needs to.

There you have it… 1, 2, 3… may your refrigerator runneth over with healthy (unfrozen) produce!

Camping out under the stars…

GABCampoutHave you heard about this weekend’s greatest camping spot on the planet?  Well, it just so happens that you won’t need to go far… it’s your own backyard!

This Saturday, June 26, is the Great American Backyard Campout!

The National Wildlife Federation created this day to encourage families to reconnect with nature and the outdoors, and remind us that we can manage life “with a little less”.  You can set up tents, cookout over a fire pit, explore your surroundings, play flashlight tag, star gaze and our kids’ ever-favorite… gorge on S’mores!  Shut down all the lights, computers and TVs in your house and even save a little electricity while you’re at it. (Indoor latrine, via flashlight, permittmarsh roasted of course!)

If you want to find out who’s camping nearby, or register your own outing, check out NWFs site for more information.

I think this is a great opportunity to join families all over the country in embracing everything the great outdoors has to offer… it’s free, it’s fun… it’s the perfect way to reconnect with our families and nature.  Now grab your sleeping bag and let’s go!…