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Public Green Blog

Best Sunscreens

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual Guide to Sunscreens. Besides listing the best and safest sunscreens (based on toxicity), they provide tips for protecting adults and children when exposed to the sun. Also provided are ratings for most all sunscreens on the market today (over 700 are included) so you can search for your current brand to see how it compares to the 149 they deem the best.

By julie collins on June 12, 2014 Categories: Consumer Choices, Hot Weather

Seed Starting Project: Plants are flowering

EarthBoxes from above!

EarthBoxes from above!

Flowers on the tomatoes.

Flowers on the tomatoes.

Four of the six pepper plants have little peppers.

Four of the six pepper plants have little peppers.

Cucumbers are starting to flower. We added the trellis for them to climb on.

Cucumbers are starting to flower. We added the trellis for them to climb on.

By julie collins on June 7, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

End of School Year Tips to Reduce Waste

The end of the school year is just about here.  It will soon be time for locker clean-out in many area schools.  You can help to prevent a lot of waste and make this ritual an eco-friendly project.  Here are some tips from the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County along with a PDF you can download to help you and your schools with this process.  According to SWANCC this can be the biggest waste day of the entire school year.

http://swancc.org/education-sp-2198/waste-reduction-resources/locker-clean-out

By julie collins on June 4, 2014 Categories: Community, Recycling

Seed Starting Project: EarthBoxes Planted

photo (38)We planted our seedlings and put them outside this week. We have 4 EarthBoxes with the following: 2 tomatoes; 4 cucumbers; 6 peppers and 6 basil plants and they are on the southwest corner of the library.

Green Committee members planting EarthBoxes.

Green Committee members planting EarthBoxes.

Setting them up outside.

Setting them up outside.

photo (39)

 

 

By julie collins on May 30, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

Seed Starting Project: Seedlings Hardening Off

photo (35)The plants have been enjoying some fresh air and sunshine. And they have also been experiencing some cool (under 50 degrees) nighttime temperatures and some elevated wind conditions. They are almost hardened off completely and we are planning to plant them out next week. Today is the first day they were in the sun for most of the day.

Here they are enjoying some time at the picnic table!

Here they are enjoying some time at the picnic table!

 

By julie collins on May 22, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

Organic vs Conventionally Grown Produce

Do you often find yourself standing in the produce section of the market, wondering which fruits and vegetables are most contaminated with pesticides? Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases information on which fruits and vegetables are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides, broken down in two helpful lists, thus making it easier for consumers to decide between purchasing organic or conventionally grown produce. This shopper’s guide was recently updated for 2014 and is available on the EWG website. After you take a look at the shopper’s guide, take some time to read through the report for more information.

By mreynolds on May 20, 2014 Categories: Consumer Choices, Food Choices

Seed Starting Project: Plants in Transition

 

This is what they looked like just before they were removed from the light.

This is what they looked like just before they were removed from the light.

This is the sad empty table today...

This is the sad empty table today…

Yesterday the plants were removed from the light table in the lobby of the Library. They were taken to the home of a Green Committee member to be “hardened off” and become acclimated to conditions outside so they can be planted in the next two weeks or so.

The seedlings will be taken outside for a few hours a day to start, out of direct sunlight. Gradually we will increase the number of hours outside and start to put them in the sun for increasingly longer intervals.

A good rule of thumb for judging when to plant outside in the garden is when the night time temperatures consistently stay above 50 degrees. These plants will be kept indoors at night until that threshold is reached.

The entire process generally takes about two weeks.

By julie collins on May 14, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

Seed Starting Project: Earthboxes

photo (27)We received our shipment of Earthboxes late last week. We ordered 5 of them: 4 for our planting project and one to raffle at the Green Farmers’ Market on August 17. We are planning on beginning the hardening off process next week: the seedlings need to be brought outside for a few hours a day to get gradually acclimated to being outside. I think they are ready for the transition!photo (30) Some of the pepper plants already have tiny peppers growing.

 

And the tomatoes and cucumbers are ready to be transplanted as well.photo (29)

 

By julie collins on May 7, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

River Trails School and Community Garden Open House

Drop by Euclid Elementary School, 1211 N. Wheeling Rd on Saturday, May 10 between 9:00a.m. and 12:00p.m. to celebrate the opening of El Jardin de los Suenos Community Garden. Come ready to work in the garden! There will be gardening experts available for advice and fun family activities. Bring food to share. For more info:  Community Garden Open House. 

By julie collins on May 3, 2014 Categories: Community, Gardening

Seed Starting Project: Cucumbers germinated!

photo (25)The cucumber seeds germinated over the past weekend–just took 3 days or less to sprout up!photo (26)

By julie collins on April 30, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project