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Creating an Eco-Healthy Household (including Less-toxic Housecleaning, Gardening, Pet Care, & Pest Control)

For your convenience, I've gathered my Ask EcoGirl print columns into themes, often with additional information.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ECOGIRL, including how she can appear in your publication,
see the
main EcoGirl page.

Everyday Green: A Pop Quiz (November 2012)
This month, EcoGirl flips the format and asks her readers the eco-questions. Yup, it's time for a Pop Quiz! Here's your chance to see the bigger picture of how you're doing in some key green arenas -- and maybe identify some upgrade opportunties. You can also compare your scores with your family and friends, for a little competitive fun!
Taming Our Tiny Ant Friends (December 2008)
Ant invasions can tempt one to use poisons. But studies show that toxics are no more effective than household cleansers! Instead of putting your family at risk, follow this three-tiered approach for addressing your visiting ant armies.
"Dear Patricia - I just read your article, "Taming Our Tiny Ant Friends." I think it's just great that you write these articles, and always with such conscious respect for the earth, and in this case, all those amazing little ants."
Patrice Ryan
Pet Care Without Toxics (September 2010)
Very often folks will grab mainstream pet care products without realizing that these can contain neurotoxic pesticides that can harm both their pets and their families. How do you avoid the products that are the most toxic and swap to less-toxic approaches instead? This column shows you how!
Keeping It Clean: Less-Toxic Cleansers for a Healthier Home (September 2007)
Cleaning green doesn't have to be more expensive. In fact, you can clean your house less-toxically - and save money too! Did you know that you can do most of your cleaning with four common and inexpensive ingredients? This also makes space in your supply cabinet, reduces packaging waste, and keeps your home a truly healthy clean smell.
Batteries Need Recycling Too (July 2007)
No, household batteries don't belong in the trash! Here's the straight scoop on where to properly dispose of your spent batteries in Sonoma County and beyond.
Seeing Through Green Eyes: Remodeling Green on the Cheap (October 2007)
Yes, being cheap can be good for the planet - when you see through green eyes! Here are great ways to remodel green and save money, including local resources that most folks don't even know about!
Creating a Healthy Garden from the Start (March 2008)
Here in one place are the easy steps to creating a good foundation for your garden so that toxic pesticides and fertilizers just aren't necessary. Your harvest will be healthier food and flowers, a nurturing place to hang out, and a healthier world for all.
Detoxing Cookware (March 2011)
A reader asks how to avoid the toxic PFCs used to make nonstick pans and other consumer products. "What are our options?", she wonders. "Those nonstick pans are so useful!" This month's column describes the issues with PFCs, what products they're in, and how to help reduce our exposure by buying healthier cookware and more.
Detoxing Our Products & Our World (April 2011)
How can we truly protect ourselves from the multiple toxics permeating our products, bodies, and world, given the overwhelming evidence that they're threatening both our health and the planet? This column describes some key resources to avoid toxics in our personal lives, as well as two approaches being taken to stop toxics at their source, Green Chemistry and California's Green Chemistry Initiative.
Preventing Plastic's Pollution (October 2008)
Plastic offers us durability, but makes long-lasting trash, both in our landfills and ecosystems. Even remote spots are becoming cluttered with this debris, creating for instance the "plastic island" in the northern Pacific. Scientists estimate that each year at least a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die from eating or getting entangled in plastic. Here's how to help protect the planet by reducing, reusing, and recycling your plastic.


* THEME: Enjoying Ecological Food & Agriculture (including Organics & GMOs)

* THEME: Implementing the Key Notions of Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle 

* THEME: Accessing Earth-Friendly Energy (including Solar Energy & Transportation)

 * THEME: Greening Your Holidays, All Year Round
* THEME: Being a Smart Eco-Consumer

Return to EcoGirl's Theme Page Index.


I'm delighted to offer you my Ask EcoGirl booklets, "Healthier Housecleaning" and "Detoxing Your Life." These unique, handy, and cheerful resources bring together key information you need to create a healthier home for your family and the planet. They make a great gift, and quantity discounts and wholesale prices are available. Plus all sales support my eco-healing community work. Tell a friend! Find out more at www.askecogirl.info/booklets.html.


* "A Deeper Shade of Green" (NorthBay biz magazine, Green Scene, March 2010). This column gives you a look into Petaluma's Sonoma Compost Company (SCC) and it's organic community composting operation. For 25 years, SCC has been diverting yard and ag waste from the landfill and turning it into useful organic composts and mulches. Yes, this is where your green can waste goes!

* "Sonoma Compost: Celebrating 25 Years" (Sonoma-Marin Farm News, Feb. 2010). This article gives you a peek behind the scenes at the wonderful Sonoma Compost Company, which for 25 years has been diverting yard and ag waste from the landfill and turning it into useful organic composts and mulches that nurture local farms and gardens.

Editor feedback
"Dear Patricia - Thanks for the story on Sonoma Compost. It's a great read that our readers will find both interesting and educational. We are happy to have the work of a pro and welcome further stories by you on topics related to the agricultural industry in Sonoma and Marin Counties."
Tim Tesconi, Editor Sonoma-Marin Farm News, Previously Ag Staff Writer for the Press Democrat (33 years)

* " Eco-Clothing Direct: Wear the change you want to see in the world," North Bay Bohemian, Nov. 26, 2008. For savvy local eco-shoppers, one of this season's special delights is Indigenous Designs' holiday warehouse sale, offering significant discounts on Indigenous' beautiful, handcrafted, fair trade, organic and natural-fiber clothing. This column goes behind the scenes to learn more about this idealistic company and its successful journey.


* My Next STEP newsletter, which has lots of information on toxics and alternatives, plus government and community-level actions. "It's your handy guide to less-toxic living." Look up topics of interest in the The Next STEP index of articles.
* North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on these topics for the Bohemian's Green Zone column. 

* I also cover these topics on my Facebook page and blog.


Ask EcoGirl is written by Patricia Dines, Author of The Organic Guides, and Editor and Lead Writer for The Next STEP newsletter, which gently educates readers about toxics and alternatives. For more information about my work for the planet, see www.patriciadines.info

Sign up for my low-volume writing announcement list (1-3 emails a month), to get emails when my new print articles are published, at www.patriciadines.info/EList.

Connect via Facebook, to show your support for my work, and get inspiring and useful eco-info in your Newsfeed www.facebook.com/AskEcoGirl.

Explore and sign up for my blog at www.patriciadines.info/LTEblog.

I hope that you find this information useful. I welcome your throughts and feedback! (You can email me at info [at] askecogirl.info.)
Editors: Please contact me if you'd like to publish any of these articles in your periodical, or discuss an article that I might write for you.

This entire website is (c) Patricia Dines, 1998-2012. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 12/12/12