Creation Corner

For August 2022

Clothing and Textile Sustainability for August
Here are 10 actions you can take

1. Reduce — buy less clothing!

2. Reuse — look on Freecycle, Craigslist, Facebook Maketplace or your favorite thrift store.

3. Recycle — donate them, swap them; did you know some animal shelters take old .blankets, towels, etc.?

4. Repair — sew on buttons, mend tears, patch jeans – don’t know how? Find a tailor, seamstress or cobbler to help you.

5. Repurpose — turn old jeans into a quilt, a sweater into a purse or pocket into a tote. See Pinterest or YouTube for ideas.

6. RethinkConsume with a conscience , future care, quality and classic style in mind.

7. ResearchEthical practices? Truly sustainable brands?

8. Replace — as things wear out, be mindful of items with natural materials, are longer lasting, mendable, etc.


9. Rent — for special occasions, consider renting instead of buying and wearing only once or twice.

10. Rebuild — shop local: garage sales, church sales, town markets, local businesses, minority owned businesses, home business entrepreneurs.

You don't have to rebuild your entire closet from scratch. Just change your behavior for the better with small steps. You can build a sustainable wardrobe over time by taking action every day and living more sustainably. Even the smallest things contribute to the transformation of the current wasteful fashion system into a more inclusive, circular, and regenerative one that benefits everybody.

For July 2022

Protect our Oceans!

Here are 10 ways to protect our oceans

1. Conserve Water — Use less water so run off waste water will not flow into the oceans
 

2. Reduce Pollutants — Choose nontoxic chemicals and if you do use chemicals dispose of them properly

3. Reduce Waste — Cut down on what is thrown away

4. Shop Wisely — Choose sustainable seafoods, buy less plastics (especially single use!), and bring a reusable bag

5. Reduce Vehicle Pollution — Drive fuel efficient vehicles, carpool, bike

 

6. Use Less Energy — Choose energy efficient light bulbs and don’t overset the thermostat

 

7. Fish Responsibly — Follow catch and release


8. Practice Safe Boating — Anchor in sandy areas far from coral and sea grasses; adhere to “no wake” zones, clean boat to avoid non indigenous invasive species

 

9. Respect Habitat — Obey trails, warnings, and respect the habitat. Treat is with care!

 

10. VOLUNTEER! — Sign up for clean ups at the beach, your community, watershed protections etc.

For June 2022

June 8th is World Ocean Day

7 Ways to Take Care of the Ocean

1. Simple steps to reduce your plastic consumption:

  • Eliminate single-use plastics

  • Explore alternate materials

2. Simple steps to reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Reduce consumption of animal products

  • Bike, walk or use public transportation

  • Insulate or use renewable energies in your home

 

3. Shop local:

  • Avoid waste, particularly food waste

 

4. Simple steps for choosing responsible seafood:

  • Choose local & seasonal seafood

  • Opt for smaller fish on the food chain

  • Choose invasive species like lionfish

5. Simple steps to raise your voice:

  • Vote for a candidate that supports climate change issues

  • Let elected officials know your concern

 

6. Simple steps to reconnect with nature and the ocean:

  • Spend time outside

  • Observe nature around you

 

7. Simple steps to inspire others:

  • Lead by example!

 

(Source: Project Drawdown Education - Oceanic Global)

For May 2022

Friday, April 29 was Arbor Day. Planting trees has never been more important. Continuing with the elements we look at the impact of Fire on our environment

The extent of area burned by wildfires each year appears to have increased since the 1980s. According to National Interagency Fire Center data, of the 10 years with the largest acreage burned, all have occurred since 2004, including the peak year in 2015 (see Figure 2). This period coincides with many of the warmest years on record nationwide (see the U.S. and Global Temperature indicator). The largest increases have occurred during the spring and summer months (source https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-wildfires#)

Wildfires cannot always be prevented, but there are ways we can keep them contained or with minimum impact

  • Avoid any activities that involve fire or sparks when it’s hot, dry and windy. If the conditions aren’t right, choose non-flammable options. Remember, conditions and local restrictions should guide your decision for any fire-related activity such as building a campfire, operating equipment, off-roading on dry grass, or burning debris.
     

  • Build a safe campfire & douse it before you leave

✔︎ Select a flat, open location away from flammable materials such as logs, brush or decaying leaves and needles. ​
✔︎ Scrape away grass, leaves and needles down to the mineral soil.
✔︎ Cut wood in short lengths, pile it within the cleared area and then light the fire.
✔︎ Stay with your fire.
✔︎ Extinguish it completely before leaving.

 

  • Avoid driving vehicles on dry grassy areas & regularly maintenance them
     

  • Don’t operate equipment (chain saws, gas powered lawn mowers, etc.) near dry vegetation or on dry, windy, arid days

 

  • IF you use fireworks, consider safe alternatives such as silly string or glow sticks

 

  • Cautiously burn debris and never when it is windy or restricted

 

More tips For May: Make Natural Garden Pesticides That Work

Make sure you know which type of pest you’re dealing with and the right way to use each pesticide so you’re doing the least amount of harm to yourself and your garden. It’s also very important to note that just because the following homemade pesticides are natural, that doesn’t mean they can’t harm you, your garden, or other beneficial insects.

1. Natural Insecticide Soap Spray
This natural pesticide soap spray is easy to make and good to have on hand, since it can take care of a variety of common garden pests, such as mites, aphids, white flies, thrips, and mealy bugs. In a spray bottle, combine:

Shake well to combine the mixture. Spray your plant thoroughly, making sure you get the underside of the leaves as well. Although you can apply this soap spray as necessary, you should NOT apply it during the hottest and sunniest part of the day since it can burn the leaves of your plant. Instead, apply it in the early morning or evening.

2. Homemade Vegetable Oil Spray
This homemade vegetable oil insecticide works very similar to the soap spray, which means it’s also good for controlling aphids, mites, and thrips. To make the vegetable oil spray insecticide, combine the following ingredients in a jar:

Cover the jar and shake the ingredients thoroughly to combine. When you’re ready to apply, add two teaspoons of the oil mixture to one quart of water in a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly, and spray directly on the leaves of the affected plants.

3. Homemade Neem Oil Spray
Neem oil is an amazingly powerful natural insecticide that’s extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. It acts as a hormone disruptor to insects that feed on leaves and other plant parts, and it can disrupt the entire life cycle of insects at all stages (egg, larvae, and adult).
Although neem oil is biodegradable and non-toxic to pets, birds, fish, and other wildlife, it’s highly effective against a variety of common garden insect pests, including aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, powdery mildew, black spot, and more.

Warning: It’s VERY IMPORTANT to note that neem oil is toxic to bees if they’re directly exposed to it. Therefore, you need to spray it when bees are not active, such as at dusk, and give the oil time to dry.

To use neem oil as an insecticide, you can either buy a bottle that’s already premixed and ready to go, or you can purchase a concentrate and follow the directions on the back to make the mixture yourself. When you’re ready to use it, simply spray it on the leaves of the affected plant. You can also use neem oil preventatively by spraying the leaves of plants that are often ruined by insects before they’re actually infested.

4. DIY Garlic and Chili Pesticide Spray
Garlic and chili peppers are both known for their strong aroma, which means they can often act as more of a natural insect repellent than an actual insecticide. No matter how they work, they’re good at keeping away smaller pests, like Japanese beetles, borers, leafhoppers, and slugs, as well as larger nuisances, such as rabbits and deer. In a bowl that has a spout, combine:

  • 1 quart of water

  • 1.5 tablespoons of biodegradable liquid soap

  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder (you can also ground up fresh or dried peppers)

  • 5 cloves of cut and crushed garlic

Let the ingredients steep overnight, then strain and pour into a spray bottle. This mixture will keep for about 2 weeks. When you’re ready to use, spray it liberally on infested plants.
Warning: Chili peppers are also extremely potent to humans! Make sure you wear gloves when you’re making this mixture, and keep the spray away from your eyes, nose, and mouth when you’re using it in the garden.

5. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is an abundant natural substance that’s made from a sedimentary rock created by fossilized algae. You can use it around your home in a number of ways, including a natural ant repellent and a natural insecticide in the garden. Diatomaceous earth doesn’t poison insects like traditional pesticides. Instead, the powdery substance gets stuck on the insects’ body and dehydrates them. To apply diatomaceous earth, simply use it to dust the ground around your plants to help control snails, slugs, and other crawling insects. Keep in mind that since it’s a powder, you’ll need to reapply after every rain.

6. Natural Antifungal Spray
Fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew, are an especially frustrating garden nuisance to deal with because they can quickly overwhelm your entire plant. What was once a healthy and thriving plant now has leaves covered in patches of white blotches. Fortunately, this natural antifungal spray can help. To make it, you will need:

Add the baking soda and vegetable oil to one cup of warm water and stir until the powder completely dissolves. Combine this mixture in a spray bottle with the rest of the water.
Before applying the spray, first remove the leaves with the most damage. Then spray the solution on the leaves every few days until the fungus disappears. This mixture works best when it’s made and used immediately.

For April 2022
10 Green Ideas For April

1. Ditch the paper towels.
Switch to reusable towels. Grab some inexpensive ones, or cut up some old towels or T-shirts that are just lying around and use those as cleaning rags. Either way, you are keeping waste out of the landfill.

2. Switch to non-toxic, biodegradable (or home-made).
Check labels to ensure that none of the cleaners you’re purchasing contain toxic chemicals. Search for products that are made from all natural ingredients and are third-party certified as “green.”
 

3. Hang dry your laundry.

Save electricity by taking advantage of the nicer weather and drying all of your bedding, clothing, and towels outside instead of in the dryer. Air-drying clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year

4. Go Paperless.

If part of your spring-cleaning plan includes organizing your accounts, use it as an opportunity to eliminate some paper waste by opting for electronic communication

5. Reuse and repurpose items around the house.

Switch to reusable towels. Grab some inexpensive ones, or cut up some old towels or T-shirts that are just lying around and use those as cleaning rags. Either way, you are keeping waste out of the landfill.

6. Organize by making your own storage boxes.

You can get organized by repurposing cardboard boxes, cans, and plastic containers into attractive storage solutions.

7. Use less water.

Try not to leave the water running unless you are using it or catching it in a bucket. Sweep instead of mop when you can. You can also place a tracking mat by the front door so that, in the future, you will have less mopping to do.

8. Use energy efficiently.

As you clean, check that nothing is plugged into an outlet unnecessarily, or plug electronics into power strips that can easily be turned off when not in use. Clean your refrigerator coils to increase energy efficiency. Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDS. Clean air ducts.

9. Compost expired food and/or donate the rest.

When you clean out and organize your pantry, check the expiration dates. Compost any food that is too old to eat and donate any unopened, unexpired shelf-stable goods to a local shelter. This way, nothing goes to the landfill and you help others in the process.

10. Don’t throw away unwanted textiles.

Recycle instead! As you declutter your home, you’re bound to run into textiles that you don’t want anymore. Donate to Goodwill, make into rags, donate old towels to Dogs for A Better Life (formerly Dogs for the Deaf), sent to consignment

For March 2022

1. Save on water and energy.
Go green in more ways than one by saving on water and energy, and thus some money in your wallet too. Unplugging your appliances when not in use is an easy, no-brainer way to save energy. Yet, it is a common habit to leave things not only plugged in at all times, but sometimes even turned on. If this habit is too hard to break, try appliances that turn off automatically after an hour, or a smart power strip that cuts “phantom use”. Also, try washing your clothes in cold water as much as possible. The washer machine uses a significant amount of energy to just heat the water. Lastly, saving on water will do your utilities bill wonders. Taking shorter showers will lower your water and heating bill, and installing faucet aerators throughout your home can help conserve heat and water, without compromising water pressure.
 
2. Introduce some greens at least once a day.
We have found that starting your day with something like a smoothie packed with greens and fruits is refreshing and boosts energy. And by starting the day off that way, you can scratch one goal off your list of to-do’s right away. While you’re at it, try adding one meatless meal a week to your diet. We know what you’re thinking–maybe going vegan is just not your cup of joe. However, you do not have to go all out; you can still enjoy the foods that you love 6 days out of the week. But keep in mind, as you cut out meat more and more, you are saving up on a big chunk of your grocery store bill. We are not here to advise a diet plan for you, but going meatless can be the change that encourages you to introduce new vegetables, fruits, beans, etc. that you may have never tried before.
 
3. Walk or bike to work or school!
We know, it’s been a bit of a longer winter. But March 20th marks the first day of spring and we are looking forward to better and brighter days ahead. It could be time to take the bike out of the shed and wipe away the dust. Get your exercise, save money off gas, and help out the environment. Every small effort counts.
 
4. Start spring cleaning.
Along with the upcoming warmer spring days, also means spring cleaning. Online shopping has taken off, enabling those bad habits of getting lost on our phones and laptops through hours of scrolling, while in the comfort of our beds. Does anyone even go to the mall anymore? Regardless, while online shopping is freely and easily accessible by the mere clicks of a few buttons on your “always-handy” cell phone, so are new apps that can make you some money instead. That’s right, we mean by selling your belongings. Clean out the closet and rid yourself of clutter for the new season. Try the apps: Let Go, Depop, Poshmark, etc., and have fun!
 
5. Borrow before buying.
Next time you find yourself in need of a particular power tool or appliance, or even a book or movie, try to borrow from someone before heading to Target. Ask your family and friends, get to know your neighbors, and while you’re at it, tell everyone about going green this month!

“In the spring, at the end of the day,
you should smell like dirt.”

― Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg


Spring, when our hearts turn to...gardening!
Here are 10 tips for sustainable gardening

  1. Practice organic gardening

  2. Mulch your landscape

  3. Plant natives to your area

  4. Water less

  5. Lose your lawn or at least some of it

  6. Grow your own food

  7. Save seeds

  8. Plant perennials

  9. Start composting

  10. Mow with and electric or manual mower


Tips taken from Better Homes and Gardens

https://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/lawn-care/10-tips-for-sustainable-gardening/

For February 2022

14 ECO Ideas For Your Valentine's Day.
Before you buy, consider the following ideas.

  1. Baking

  2. Plan a staycation

  3. Give houseplants

  4. Eliminate or reuse wrapping paper

  5. Cards - recycle or skip altogether

  6. Build a skill together (cooking, Tai Kwon Do)

  7. If you go out to eat, support local

  8. Karaoke

  9. Book a couple's spa session

  10. Support local artists

  11. Stay in (streaming a movie with popcorn, or playing a game)

  12. Have a picnic

  13. Get crafty (upcycle!)

  14. Go stargazing

For January 2022

 

 

 

For December 2021

Tis the Season for spending, shopping, seasonal decorations, snacks, and other supplies.
Before you buy, consider the following ideas.

  • Create a list and a budget and stick to it.
     

  • Make items, upcycle or give consumables with a purpose.
     

  • When decorating, try to incorporate items from nature - pine, pinecones, berries and other items that can be composted.
     

  • Don't overdue on the snacks and dinners. If you have leftovers, plan ahead on how you can resuse them and not create food waste.

 

I bring you more tidings of Good Eco News
The most northern First Nation in Ontario, Canada, wanted to save their arctic home in Fort Severn by reducing their consumption of diesel fuel for electricity for their community. Since the First Nation is directly affected by our rapidly changing climate, Chief Paul Burke says they wanted to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

That's why they recently finished installing a 300 kilowatt solar power station that not only gives power to the 550 people who live in the community, but also generates income and has created jobs.

 

Chief Burke points out that if they can make solar power work in the farthest community north in Ontario, we can make it work anywhere in the world.

 

And the Chief isn't done yet. Since cloud patterns in the Arctic zone are just as unpredictable as they are in the temperate zone, the community is also looking to install wind power! https://earthfriendlytips.com
 

Listed are some links from Kristen's
Earth Friendly Tips for an Eco Holiday Season:

<https://earthfriendlytips.com/how-to-have-an-eco-friendly-christmas/>
<https://earthfriendlytips.com/real-vs-artificial-whats-the-most-eco-friendly-christmas-tree/>
<https://earthfriendlytips.com/best-eco-friendly-black-friday-deals/>


May Your Christmas be Merry and Green!

For November 2021

Be Thankful – Good Eco News!
Going Plastic Free Is Getting Easier!

If you are recycling plastics, good for you! However, there are now even better choice is to eliminate plastic from our homes. Are you aware there are several products on the market the reduce waste, are better for the environment and save the planet?

Laundry: EarthBreeze and Tru detergents are use earth friendly ingredients. The packaging uses 100% biodegradable cardboard and ink, so you can compost it! The detergent is on sheets, like dryer sheets. Vegan, cruelty free and money back guarantee! Earth Breeze will donate to Trees for the Future trees to plant

Shampoo: Bars (no plastic!) - there are several on the market but one of the best is Ethnique; cruelty free, vegan,palm oIl free, minimal & biodegradable packaging- a climate neutral company and 20% of their profits go to charity

Dishwasher: Cleancult Dishwasher Tablets and Dropps Dishwasher Detergent tablets  are shipped in paper mailers, 100% biodegradable, non toxic ingredients. The are wrapped in a water soluble film.

Companies Doing Good!

Ocean Clean up: Just completed, the largest ocean cleanup in history in the pacific Great Garbage Patch. Some of the plastics are being recycled into resale sunglasses! To read more go to their website https://theoceancleanup.com/ oceancleanup.com

Goats Munch Invasive Species: NYC Parks hosted their second annual "Running of the Goats" which is an event where animals are brought in to remove invasive species by grazing. Organizations that took part in the event have been focusing on the removal of invasive species like porcelain berry, English ivy, mugwort, multiflora rose and poison ivy. We know what you're thinking, "Isn't eating poison ivy bad for the goats?!". Nope! Goats are actually immune to the allergens in poison ivy. Their passion for eating and speedy grazing pace makes goats super invasive species removers!

 

Trees Planted: 1.2 Million Trees Planted in California for forest fire restoration in 2021https://onetreeplanted.org/blogs/stories/good-news Nov-2021

Source material from <https://onetreeplanted.org/blogs/stories/good-news-july-2021>

For October 2021

The Scary Truth about Disposable Masks

When single-use masks are not disposed of properly, they pose an environmental risk, said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, director of research for OceansAsia. Single-use face masks — both the disposable kind the general public wears and medical-grade surgical masks — are often made with polypropylene plastic. When that plastic breaks up into smaller pieces, it can take as long as 450 years to decompose, Phelps Bondaroff said. And while reusable cloth face masks are a more eco-friendly option, disposable masks are both an acceptable face covering, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and CDC-recommended for double masking.

It’s crucial to learn how to properly discard face masks in order to ensure they don’t end up in oceans, lakes and rivers, said Erin Simon, head of plastic waste and business at the World Wildlife Fund. The goal is not to change the disposable mask space as it is a key part of medical safety protocols, Simon highlighted, noting environmental experts more specifically advocate for the proper management of disposable face masks after they’re used.


Phelps Bondaroff said the best way to mitigate the impacts of (and help prevent) face mask pollution is disposing of them correctly and ensuring they do not enter the Earth’s ecosystem. He said it’s important to throw away face masks in garbage cans that have a lid and a garbage bag that will be tied together when it’s removed to keep them from falling out or blowing away.While some suggest cutting strings to protect wildlife, it is better to be sure it gets into covered trash where it can’t blow away, get into sewers or other waste streams.
 
The face masks listed below meet the CDC’s guidance in regards to reusable face coverings and are made with the environment in mind, according to the brands behind them.

 

Source material from NBCnews select How to reduce face mask pollution, according to experts – April 21, 2021

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Medford, OR 97504
 
(541) 772-8030

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First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Medford, OR

1900 Crater Lake Avenue

Medford, OR 97504  -  (541) 772-8030

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