Joy in a Box: Method Smarty Dish Diswashing Tablets

Posted by organicneedle in green cleaning

Ahh…I’ve been away for a couple of weeks…and I’m back and quasi-relaxed. What has gotten ol’ Needle all in a frenzy after her amazingly relaxing week in the middle of absolutely nowhere?  Dishwashing tabs, of course.  Today I present to you a little long sought after dishwashing success.
The Positive….THEY WORK! THEY WORK! THEY WORK! THEY WORK!  I mean like ACTUALLY CLEAN the dishes without coating them in a film of sticky grotesque residue .  Finally…some genius on the green team realized that people put dishes in the dishwasher to get clean.  It took a few years, but by gum, they’re onto something over there at Method: cleaning products that clean.

The Negative….Packaging suuuuuuuucks.  Big plastic tub for 20 measly tablets…which means if you run your dishwasher once a day you are going through 18 containers a year!  It is recyclable #2 plastic, but we all know that story .(Thanks Beth! )  It is a cool little container that could definately get some cool reuses with its decent construction and little flip top, but who can use 18 of them?  The price is a bit of a downer too.  $8.49 for 20 tabs…compared to $6.29 for Electrasol’s poison pods.

So will I continue to buy ’em despite some flaws? You bet your sweet petunias. Did you get the part about CLEANING!!! Actual green cleaning. As far as price and packaging…I have been snapping the tablets in half getting a little more millage out of each container. Plus, my son has already pre-claimed the first 6 or so containers for a critical Lego sorting operation he has in the works. A few for sewing, a few for oddball art supplies, a few really unflattering hats….. I will also be writing to Method to encourage them to sell in bulk and/or find better packaging. I’ll keep you posted when I hear from them. In the mean time, I must be off; I set a few precious hours aside to stare at myself in my uber shiny spoons.



Beware:NYC Worms Released/ A Tale of Vermi-Failure

Posted by organicneedle in worms

Remember all my flap about the trials and tribulations of raising worms… about saving them against all vermi-odds?  Well…it’s all over.  Here’s the poop.  We ordered the nematodes and waited.  2 days went by, which was the amount of time we were told it takes to get the little fly eaters here.  Nothing.  Meanwhile the fungus gnats were taking over our bathroom and turning my normally pleasant husband into 25 lbs of cranky in a 5 lb bag.  Another 2 days goes by…and he and the gnats are unf**kingbearable.  I contact the company and am painfully informed that they can’t make a shipment until the 16th…which is during the week we will be happily in the woods dealing with deer ticks. (We like to change up our pest control issues from time to time to keep it fresh.)  So…I try to make the best of it and take another tip from Bentley and start to harvest the bin.  10 worms, people.  10.  That’s right…10.  I just ordered $30 of Nematodes to save 10 measly worms.  So…I canceled my order and decided to give my worms a big basket of freedom for Easter.  I will release the little guys into my Aunt’s compost and hope they can find the warmth they need.  I am not particularly hopeful for the lazy little guys…but seriously cannot watch my husband spend another evening wielding the vacuum in the air like a madman.  It’s really not as much of a turn on as one might think.

Now…I do not discourage anyone from trying vermicomposting.  We all learned a ton over the past year…like how many flies per square inch it takes to make my husband lose his sanity.  The boys learned about reducing waste, ecosystems, and the amazing role of worms in the world.  In fact, if ever we have a proper space for it, like a patio or a garage I will certainly try it again.  Or..maybe after we have all emotionally healed from this experience…and I clean the fly guts out of my vacuum we may try a nifty prebuilt system, like the Worm Inn , instead of our somewhat flawed home jobby.

worm in glass

So here’s to you my final 10. May your path be rich with banana peals and tomato skins.  And may your wriggle be faster than the robin’s…or at least faster than the other 9.



Trader Joes Paper Produce Packaging: Keep Complaining…It Works

Posted by organicneedle in recycling

trader joes Have I mentioned I am falling more and more in love with Trader Joe’s each week?  It is like they actually listen to their customers over there.  First, there was the plastic egg carton issue…which they changed.  They there was the traveling dairy egg and dairy issue…which they changed.  And the latest change?  Remember those awful Styrofoam trays all of their produce was packaged on…they seem to have been replaced with recycled/recyclable paper trays.  Now…it still comes shrink wrapped so we are not talking perfection here, but definitely a significant step in the right direction.  (Would it be great to get naked veggies all year long?  Of course…but here in NY we pretty much get 6 months of naked organics through the farm markets and CSAs and 6 months of traveled organics which usually come packaged.)

I don’t know about you, but this inspires me to bitch and complain even louder!!!!  Maybe this is one of the few positive side effects of an economy in the dumper…companies may actually have to try to please us to get those few moving dollars. So go out there and flap your beaks at stores and companies. Get what you want. Someone may actually be listening.beaks



The Worms Have Been Pardoned…..for Now

Posted by organicneedle in worms

The worms are very lucky my husband is around.  He spent the weekend researching their “issues.”  I mentioned last week I was really frustrated with my little guys…the little wriggly pink non-eating ones , not the giant peach colored ones who never STOP eating.  So my amazing husband spent Saturday night over at Redwormcomposting trying to ID our new and difficult guest. fungus gnat As usual, good ol’ Bentley had plenty of info helping us identify their problem and how to fix it. Turns out…we do not have a evil, evil, fruit fly problem! Yeah!  We have an evil, evil, fungus gnat problem! Not so yeah.

So…our options.
1.Vacuum the little boogers up. We do do this, but it only controls the flies…doesn’t eradicate them…nor does it make them cower and beg for mercy quite to our liking.

2. Coffee grounds I guess they aren’t suppose to like the caffeine. Not sure about this one. I always put my grounds in there and sometimes when the worms are being slow with the eating that is all I put in because it tends not to grow…well…fungus. But the flies are still there and just seem more energized.

3. Carnivorous plants We actually have flytraps for the kids and they are fun, but worthless in this capacity.

4. Fly Strips Can you say Ewwwwwww boys and girls?  I knew you could.

5. Bedding (Get your mind out of the compost, people….bedding is a noun not a verb.)  We did get a little lazy with this…but we are back in full swing.

6. Bio Control Now here is where it gets fun. We can add a predatory bacteria or nematodes. That’s right…add more creatures to the zoo.  The nematodes attack the fungus gnat larva, crawl inside, and use the flesh to lay eggs in.  Yummy.  Gross but effective.

So…in addition to the worm wrangling…we are now going to try our hand at nematode wrangling.  And I, of course, will be filling you in on all the deliciously gross details.  Probably just as you are about to eat your lunch.  I’m good like that.

So…the worms are staying.  Thanks to one very softhearted, although still bad ass, vermilover.

And guys, let this be a lesson for you. If your having a hard time scoring points with the ladies, nothing says I love you after all these years like saving a gal’s worms.  (I love you my little closet crunch.)