Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Green Pest Control, part 1

Gary Towne was kind enough to submit a detailed overview of green pest management for our readers, which I’ve broken down into 3 articles. Gary will help us find out how we can control pests around our home or office without poisoning or harming the Earth or the people in the building and the children or pets playing in the yards. He’ll show you that there are times when you can best deal with a situation yourself and give you some tips on what to look for when choosing a trustworthy pest control operator (PCO). Gary is formally of Dr. Price Pest Control and Towne’s Pest Control, now of Propec Pest Control. He is, actually, my brother and as such he comes from a family with a tradition of respect and appreciation for nature, and focused on being environmentally (and fiscally) responsible and self-sufficient. You can contact him directly at: gwtowne@hotmail.com

-- Green Pest Control, Part 1 --

So, you have some pests in your home or garden, say, mice or cockroaches or ants, or wildlife raiding your garden or invading your attic or walls. You want to protect your home, but you have distrust for man-made chemicals, so you want to be “go green,” meaning using natural or organic methods.

First, let’s look at the nomenclature, the terms we use. “Organic,” “natural,” and “green,” are socially deemed interchangeable and inherently safe, but they are not, and the common usage can be quite vague and amorphous, even emotionally charged. Does organic mean no chemicals? Are chemicals all man-made? Are pesticides all dangerous, evil chemicals? Are natural materials inherently, by nature, safe? Are pesticides all dangerous chemicals?  Is it safe to follow Internet home remedy recipes by using your kitchen blender that you also use for your breakfast smoothies?  A big, resounding nope, nope, nope on all accounts.

In elementary chemistry class we learn about H20, CO2, photosynthesis, oxidation, decomposition, the fixation of nitrogen by legumes, etc. These are all natural chemical products and processes.  Meanwhile, some commercial pesticides are organic, and some natural materials are so toxic that they are quite unsafe. You could ask Socrates about how safe the tea made from the hemlock tree is, or certain South American tribes about the efficacy of the frog-derived poison on their darts or arrows. You might also want to be careful about eating wild mushrooms, or even the leaves on your rhubarb plant. Yes, nature is full of various poisons. Just ask Steve (Crikey!), the Australian dangerous wildlife enthusiast.

So what does organic really mean? First, we have to put aside subjective, emotionally laden, politically-motivated concepts behind what we think words may mean, i.e. not focus on buzzwords. If you talk about organic material, it means the remains of something that was alive, or the discarded or by-product material of something that was alive: this is the food leftovers, egg shells, manure, leaves, grass clippings, bones, etc. that you can compost for your garden. Note: egg shells were never actually alive, any more than the shell on clams, but are the calcium covering deposited by the animal in question to protect the living part. Similarly, neither spider silk, skunk stink, nor the glue that wasps create to fasten their nests was never actually alive, but are created by glands in the creatures’ bodies, so we can call these organic. Scientifically, organic simply means material that includes carbon, so inorganic simply means not containing carbon. Organic does not mean not synthetic. A whole class of pesticides are called organic because they are carbon based, but some of them, such as the organophosphates, have largely been banned due to being deemed unsafe and excessively toxic, especially to non-target species. On the other hand, some of the safest pesticides are inorganic, meaning mineral derivatives, such as borax (from boron, a common and natural element) and diatomaceous earth (SiO2), derived from the skeletons of tiny marine life.

What are pesticides, exactly? Or for that matter, what exactly is a pest? In horticulture, a weed is technically any plant growing where you don’t want it. Similarly, a pest is simply any animal that are dangerous or otherwise problematic to humans, such as wasps, flies, mice and rats, cockroaches, ants, etc, but only if they are invading our space. Indeed, most insects are not pests but are actually quite beneficial, either to us directly or to the ecosystem as a whole, and thus should not be harmed. Wildlife, such as skunks, squirrels, or raccoons are technically not pests, and must not be harmed, but we can kick them out of our personal living space.

Pesticides are simply products used to either kill or deter pests, primarily the problematic insects or rodents, but also some birds, mites, nematodes. The range of products is quite wide, and some are very new while others have been in usage for many centuries. The mode of action is also various. Pesticides are one of the main sets of tools in pest control (or pest management) in general, which also includes many kinds of traps (including live or “humane”) traps, as well as other tools and methods, such as exclusion. This includes nets to keep deer and birds out of your garden, or birds of prey out of fish hatcheries, or spikes to keep pigeons from nesting on your veranda and pooping on your porch. The goal is not species eradication, but simply to stop a pest situation. A rat or ant colony in a forest is part of nature, but a rat in my kitchen or carpenter ants eating my house is another story. The ants just think your house is a tree that fell down, which it is. We don’t need to read too much ethics into the story. Pests are not evil and creatures in nature do not make choices based on ethics or rights, but on what they want and need, according to their station in the circle of life.

* In part 2  (scheduled for publication on October 23rd) of this series of articles Gary will explain his concept of green pest control, explains Integrated Pest Management and finding trustworthy pest control specialists.
In part 3 (scheduled for publication on October 25th) Gary closes this series with interesting tips and advice for Do-It-Yourself'ers

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

World of Writing, interview

-- World of Writing -- 

Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong has always had a strong affinity for natural ecosystems, wildlife, and non-human allies.  Her love of knowledge yielded a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in the sciences at the University of Arkansas and completed coursework in Financial Case for Green, Green Building Development, and Water-Wise landscaping.  She has mentored and consulted on environmental issues for over two decades.  An author’s path resulted in her new book, Align With The Wild, which addresses the need for a worldwide lifestyle shift towards heart-centered conscious collaborations with all species. 

Q: Elizabeth, could we start by having you give us a brief glance at your life experiences?

A: I was born on a military base since my father was an officer in the Army.  As a toddler, I lived in Japan.  My family settled right outside of Washington DC, in Maryland where I spent most of my younger years.  I have enjoyed traveling around the continent and Hawaii and presently live in Arkansas.

Q: What led you to the world of writing? 

A: Actually, high school English was my worst subject when I dropped out of school in tenth grade.  Journaling was a great past time yet I did not consider myself to be a writer.  I wanted a written memory of my life’s wonderful experiences.  It was fun to watch my growth over the years.

Q: What is your professional and educational background?

A: For 12 years, I loved serving as a waitress.  My thirst for knowledge carried my through higher education to complete a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences.  It was required that I write a thesis and dissertation where the scientific language was dry and incredibly detailed.  I am now a business owner of Jazzy Eco Sustainable Community.

Q: Do you use more than one voice in my writing?

A: Yes, I write to educate using sound science for support in a poetic flow of material.  Authoring my own book blesses me with the freedom to empower the reader on a path of self-discovery.  My book, Align With The Wild, allows me to serve nature and wildlife through the support created by the reader.

Q: What is your mission or goal in life?

A: My mission is to build a sustainable community that supports businesses, educates the masses on environmental stewardship strategies, and strengthens natural ecosystems.  Generating revenue through writing and sharing my expertise is the path.  Mobilizing stewards is the journey.  Embracing gratitude, faith, and spirit is the insurance.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and your greatest weaknesses?

A: Integrity, dedication, and intuition are my strengths.  Recognizing the need to change and adapt navigates my growth.  I tend to be weakened by compassion that might alter my priorities.  I feel, though, that there is great value in love and mutually beneficial collaborations.       

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tips for creating press kits and author bios

 * written by: Harriet Hodgson - she has been a freelancer for 36+ years and is the author of 33 books. Her latest releases are Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss, Help! I'm Raising My Grandkids, and Seed Time: Growing from Life's Losses and Sorrows. Visit her website for more information about this busy author and grandmother.

It's been a few years since I assembled an author press kit. I'm working on one now and have been at it for days. Things were going well and then, to my surprise, I foundered on the author bio. This surprised me because I knew my book and myself better than anyone else.

Publishing is changing quickly. Most publishers, whether they are traditional, print on demand, indie, or hybrid, ask authors to get involved with marketing. Each author has to figure out how much they are willing to do and spend. Publishers rely on social media and author websites for publicity. Fortunately, my website was professionally designed.

Despite decades of freelance experience, I needed a press kit update. Joanna Penn, in her article, "Book Marketing: Creating Your Author Press Kit," posted on The Creative Pen website, thinks the author bio should be about 200 words long. She asks authors to include "things that make you sound interesting and professional." Joel Friedlander offers more advice in his article, "Book Marketing: Your Online Press Kit," posted on The Book Designer's website. Author platform information should be in the bio, Friedlander says, and the bio should include your photo.

While I understood these suggestions, I wasn't sure I could follow them. I had already written a 300-word bio and didn't think there was room for the cover and a photo. For hours, I grappled with Penn's advice about adding copy to my bio that would make me interesting. After freelancing for 36+ years I had many stories to tell. Too many.

Should I tell the story about participating in New York is Book Country and my booth in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral?
Should I tell the story about flying to a large city, appearing on radio and TV, and finding out the publisher hadn't shipped books to stores?

Should I tell the story about the fire in the television studio? Bingo! That was the story.

The story would end my bio. Problem was, I didn't have much room for it. I revised my bio five times and it's pretty good. However, it's the publisher that casts the final vote. I've hit the highlights -- home town, writing experience, number of books, and author quotes. If you're writing your author bio now I have suggestions for you.

Check with your publisher. Knowing what your publisher expects can save you lots of time and revisions. My publisher sent me a list of the press kit contents and it was very helpful.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. I forwarded the first bookmark design to my publisher. Again, the publisher had some suggestions and they were all helpful. My graphic designer is re-doing the design now.

Pay attention to details. In the past few days I've emailed my publisher a lot and worried about being perceived as a pest. But I'm glad I checked with the publisher because the bookmark design was confusing. At the suggestion of my publisher, I wrote sell copy for the back of the bookmark.

I don't know how many hours I've spent on my press kit and don't want to know. My goal is to assemble the best kit possible. This is your goal as well. Take the time you need to assemble a top-notch kit. Your press kit is your ambassador.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Green Non-profit

-- Quote of the Day --

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, 
we are challenged to change ourselves."

~ Victor Frankl

-- Green Non-profit -- 

Have you heard of the Environment America Organization? I learned of them through Facebook, and if you visit their Facebook site click on the About page to find links to their offices in each of the US states. One thing I do have to mention is that most of the Facebook posts are kinda negative, something I tend to avoid, however they are a powerful organization with a wide reach across one of the power countries of the world. Therefore I thought I would pass on the following information to you:


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Facebook Marketing

-- Local Event -- 

Creston (BC, Canada): The Friends of the Library Fall Booksale runs Friday October 17, (10am-7pm) through Saturday (10am-3pm). At the Creston Library (531 16th Ave South).
100% of the proceeds go to support your local public library.

-- Facebook Marketing -- 

 * Today's article (below) was written by Katherinn Palacio - a mom, wife and home business coach who looks forward to new and lasting friendships with amazing people like you.
Visit http://KatherinnPalacio.TeamYovakat.com for even more valuable training on Facebook Marketing

 Facebook  is the place in where you will find people who have the same mentality you do about working from home, making their dreams come true and the top reason, to be financially free. The thing is that most new home business owners have no clue how to approach or talk to people offline and online and the first thing they do is pitch you their opportunity, service or product and expect for the person to say yes from the beginning. Unfortunately it does not work that way and in online marketing is all about building a relationship as you are building value, followers and find your best Team Leaders that together will take each other to the top and become the best of friends.

In order to do so, you must first learn about the ones that seem interest in what you have to offer as they ask you to be their friends on Facebook or any other social media sites. As they friend request you, send them a PM (private message) saying hello and thank you for the friend request and an interactive question like what brings you to Facebook? Where are you from and tell them something quick about you and what this does is opens the door off trust with the new friend, because they feel good that you are not there to pitch them or spam them. It makes you valuable to them that you are person that cares and from there the conversation will start and continue to grow. If they seem a little edgy or rude, don't be the same be courteous and nice - remember do not do to others what you would not like done to you. After the ice has been broken go and visit their page and see what they are about and comment on their most recent updates and like their photos, as this is another way to get them to go and look at what you are about and so on. When they celebrate a victory, celebrated with them and when they are down, lift them up as this makes them feel good that people care and are paying attention. Do this with all the people you come across with and you will see how your interaction with them gets bigger and bigger but you must maintain it. I am not telling you to be on Facebook all day, but if you spend an hour or two commenting, posting, liking and answering messages with time you will have built a strong relationship with most of them and they have even become part of your team because they joined you not the opportunity that you are in that comes later on.

Second, you must post and do updates from time to time and not all business related. For this is better to create a Fan page or Group Page, where you can post about your businesses and so on. On your personal page, it should be about you and what you are about and from time to time post about a business or opportunity but from your blog post not the opportunity itself. People love to read so it would be much easier to get their attention based on a blog post to get them to read it and from there they will opt-in for more, purchase, comment and at times even share your blog post with others.
Third, pictures that you post on your timeline make sure they are positive and funny. Stay away from negative things and make sure that the pictures you are posting are free to use or they belong to you. Share other positive things from friends that you see on your timeline as with that you will have the opportunity of other people seeing your share and other friendship starting. For your profile photo make sure to put a picture of you just being you and your cover photo you can make a photo Collage or put a positive quote and so on, just Google Facebook covers and there are a bunch of sites that you can upload the covers into your timeline straight from their site by simply becoming a member, its free.

Finally, Rinse, Repeat and continue to build the relationships with time. Don't worry if at the beginning you do not get that much interaction as people are getting to know you, but remember you must do your part as well. You want people to be interest in you so you must be interested in them as well, being a home business owner and network marketer is about solving people's problems and the only way to do that is by finding out what is it that they need help with even if they do not tell you. This is why interaction with them through private message is very important because you never know who might need your help that day that you send them a message just saying hi and god bless you, it would literary bring a smile to their face and you will know because they will tell you. I love it when I get that from people I message and asking them how they have been and I send them many blessing for them and their loves ones and that has turned their day around for the better. It is a simple process you just need to be consistent and committed to wanting to know about people and focus on their needs not yours. If you want to be seen like a leader of value you must act like one by being kind, understanding and giving them value to learn from or to act upon.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

World Food Day

-- World Food Day -- 

October 16th is World Food Day – used to encourage recognition of hunger issues, food distribution, local food production, gardening and food waste recovery.

As you know I am a proponent of edible landscaping and gardens - the more we can produce in our own space be it a balcony or window sill or a large garden, the less fossil fuels are spent, we ingest more nutrients, we produce less waste AND we have a lot of produce to give away. This year from our little 7 raised bed garden area (so far),  Dave and I were well fed and have full pantry/freezer areas... and despite this were still able to share with 5 neighbors, Dave's co-workers, friends and family that stopped by for visits and a few small trips to the local food bank with our extra's as well.  Several contacts are also gardeners and they had success where we had failures or they grew something we didn't and visa-versa. As such we were able to create little exchanges throughout the year as well. 

Locally we have several non-profit organizations that focus on creating meals as fundraisers, and gardeners could help them out as well. There's the food bank that is always looking for extras, there's the harvest share group that will make arrangements to have volunteers come pick your fruit/nuts, etc. and give you some, but take the rest for distribution in the community. There's people in your workplace, people you volunteer with, groups you participate in - each of these little groups or outlets offers a wonderful way to give back to the community.

Composting is the greatest thing we as individuals can do to improve the health of the environment, creating nutrient rich soil for our plants, lawns, trees, etc. Planting trees and diverse landscaping beds provides food, shelter, habitat, nutrients, shade, moisture and more to all kinds of life forms. 

Every little bit helps you know  - and the more green space we have, the cleaner our air will be. We'll also have fewer run-off issues, better soil, healthier communities, more comfortable and beautiful neighborhoods... 

What isn't there to love about this movement? So please do consider getting on the "band wagon" by planning a little more green space where you can - at home or at work. Perhaps volunteering or fundraising for various food and compost related charities and groups is something you can do. Maybe you can participate financially by purchasing excess food and products needed by these groups (like those mentioned earlier). 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Celebrating Green Leaders

-- Quote of the Day --

"Laws control the lesser man.  Right conduct controls the greater one."

  ~Chinese Proverb

-- Positive News --

​Kudos for Green Actions!

I read several articles and posts about the Current US president, Baraak Obama, announced his intent to expand an already existing marine preserve, creating the world's largest protected and designated marine preserve. ​
​He has also reportedly created a special marine task force that is meant to help end illegal fishing (black-market fishing and fraud). Apparently this is a huge problem, yet I've not heard of it until now. Basically about 20% of the fish caught are considered to be illegal​.

And just this month Mr. Obama introduced pollution control limits on power plants, which are apparently unprecedented.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!