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Green Tips for Back to School

We are nearing the end of August, which means all across the country parents and children alike are preparing for the upcoming school year. That’s right, back to school time. Time to stock up on school supplies and maybe a few new outfits before the first bell rings. While a new school year is usually an exciting time of year, it can also be pretty stressful as a parent. To help you prepare for this upcoming year, Greenability Magazine, has put together a few tips to help make this school year a little easier and a little greener!

12 eco-friendly back-to-school tips

Go back to school in style with a sustainable and economical pack of supplies.

As summer fades into fall, the hustle and bustle of back to school shopping begins. The pressure to buy new clothes and school supplies, along with healthy daily lunch prep can be tedious and time consuming for the eco-conscious shopper. With a little planning and these back-to-school tips, your fall transition can be easy on you and the environment.

School Lunch prep

il_570xN.355291141_it791. This school year, skip the disposable plastic sandwich bags and choose BPA-free reusable containers instead.

2. Pack a washable cloth napkin, thermos and reusable utensils.

3. Pack lunches the night before, and choose fresh fruit over prepackaged food.

4. When buying fruits and vegetables for school lunches, support local farmers markets.

5. Use a stainless steel or up-cycled lunch box.

School supplies

6. When buying supplies, resist the urge to buy in bulk. Instead, find last year’s unused school supplies and look for items that can be reused.kids-recycling-photo

7. Designate a storage space for school supplies at home to prevent overbuying every year.

8. Buy recycled paper, and encourage your kids to start recycling now to make it a life-long practice.

9.Consider using cardboard or canvas binders instead of standard plastic binders.

10. Choose refillable or biodegradable pens and recycled pencils.

Big purchases

11. If this is the year for a desk or computer for your student, consider buying used or repurposed items. Surplus Exchange, 518 Santa Fe St., Kansas City, MO, sells gently used and refurbished computers, laptops, iPads, tablets, printers and other electronics. There’s also a big supply of desks, chairs, file cabinets and other furniture.

Back-to-school clothes

12. The first day of school outfit can be a big decision for kids and parents each year. Make sure your students know that trendy and fashionable clothes can be found in thrift shops and second-hand stores. Always check that each potential purchase is in its best condition, unless you plan on repurposing and restyling it. YouTube is a great resource for thrift store inspiration with “Thrift Store Hauls” and tips for finding the best quality and deals on kids and adult clothes. If you are not in need of school clothes, use the thrift store as an accessory haven for other back-to-school needs.

Clean Out That Closet

Is your closet cluttered with a number of shirts and pants which are either a little out of style, or perhaps just don’t fit like they used to? Or, maybe you have a closet that has become more of a storage unit for items you rarely use or forgot you even own anymore? If either of these rings true for you, it may be time to think about cleaning out and decluttering those closets. Cleaning out a closet can actually be a fairly simple and productive task. In fact, the good people at Seventh Generation, have put together three simple steps to help guide you in getting those closets decluttered. Check out the article below, and get back some of that precious closet space!

Declutter Your Closet: Repurpose, Donate, Wash

When is the last time you’ve done a deep clean of your closet? It’s one of those chores that can easily be pushed to the bottom of the list. Over the years, we often find ourselves adding more items to our closet without taking the time to sort through what we already have. Decluttering your closet doesn’t have to be painful! We’ve broken it down into three easy steps: Repurpose, Donate and Wash.

Repurpose: All items that are damaged and no longer usable should be placed in this box. While it’s easy to throw away damaged clothing, it is beneficial to you and landfills if you find a new purpose for it. Stained or ripped cotton t-shirt? Repurpose as a household rag! The soft cotton material will help create a streak-free clean. Ripped jeans can be turned into shorts or cutoffs. Bring out your inner crafter!

Donate: Haven’t worn that dress or pair of pants in a while? Let go of the items you’ve been holding onto for that ‘one day’. Find a local charity or stop by a donation center – the clothes you don’t wear can always help someone who needs them.

Wash: Now onto the clothes you’re going to keep! For the items that have been tucked away in the closet for a long time, a quick cycle wash will get them ready to wear in no time. Tackle any stains, iron out any wrinkles, and then hang and fold.

Once you’ve washed, repurposed or donated – it’s time to clean and organize your closet. Use disinfecting wipes on the shelves in your closet to pick up dust that may have collected over the years. Then, you can organize by clothing type, color or size. The real trick? Keeping it organized all year round! For more tips on closet cleaning and organizing your home, you can also check out this post on Tips for Organizing Your Stuff For Storage by Maximum Exposure Real Estate.

Keep Your Garden Lush and Green This Summer

With the “Dog Days” of Summer approaching, many people are trying to figure out how they are going to keep their gardens lush and green during the hottest (and often driest) time of the year. Maintaining a garden during the hot summer months is definitely no easy task, however, it is not an impossible task either. As these tips from Quicken Loans, will show you, keeping a lush garden and/or lawn may be easier than you think. These tips are also meant to help minimize your water usage when gardening this summer. A lush green garden without a hefty water bill? Sounds pretty good to me!

Keep Your Lawn and Garden Lush

 

 

  • Rain Collection System
    Many people living in dry areas have developed rain collection systems to reduce their dependency on local water systems. Something as simple as putting a few five-gallon buckets in your yard when it rains can reduce your dependency on municipal water. If you’re interested in going bigger, rain collection systems start at about $60 and hold about 40 gallons of water. The more money you shell out, the bigger and more elaborate the system you can get.
  • Cover Exposed Garden Soil with Mulch
    A friend’s mom recently told me about this and after reading more about it I might go pick up some mulch after work tonight.  The idea behind this is that you water the garden beds or pots really well and cover the soil with mulch right after.  The mulch acts as a moisture barrier, preventing evaporation. As an added bonus, mulch also helps to keep weeds away. If I don’t have to weed and water so much, this sounds like the perfect option for me!
  • Water Early in the Morning or Late in the Evening
    If you water your garden or lawn during the hottest part of the day, which is usually around 3 p.m., more water will evaporate than if you water your landscaping during cooler parts of the day. I try to water my garden in the morning before work and after dinner at night.  This ensures the maximum amount of water reaches the deepest roots rather than vanishing into the air.
  • Avoid Cutting Your Lawn
    If your local forecast calls for hot conditions and no rain for a few days, hold off on cutting your grass. According to Scott’s Lawn Care, allowing your lawn to grow taller will result in deeper roots.  It’s easier for deeper-rooted grass to locate water in the ground during dry conditions. Besides, who wants to cut the grass when it’s excruciatingly hot outside anyways? Take a break and let your lawn go for a while.
  • Keep Your Garden and Lawn Weed Free
    Even the most dedicated landscaper hates weeding, but getting those pesky, unwanted plants out of your garden and lawn helps increase efficient water usage. By removing weeds, your garden plants and grass aren’t competing for water.

These few simple tips can help save your lawn and garden during those rainless summer days, and won’t drive up your water bill.
Read more at http://www.quickenloans.com/blog/lawn-garden-wilting-away#PbzPEEM4zLmZMIX0.99

Western Disposal Free Shredding Event, Sunday, August 9th.

Western Disposal

If you are a present customer of Western Disposal and are in need of confidential documents being shred, then you may want to put these dates on your calendar. Western Disposal is hosting two free shredding events in 2015, Sunday, August 9th and Sunday, October 4th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. If you are a customer of Western Disposal you are welcome to bring your confidential materials, such as tax returns, medical forms, bank statements, etc for safe and secure destruction. There is a limit of 5 copy boxes or 5 32-gallon bags weighing no more than 35 lbs each. There is no need to separate the confidential materials, and clips and staples are okay to leave in. Folders and notebooks are okay, but please do not bring 3 ring binders as well as there are no phone books, catalogs or magazines being accepted for this event. If you are interested in dropping your paper documents to be shredded on Sunday, August 9th or Sunday, October 4th, you will want to take these to Western Disposal’s Trash & Recycling Center located at 5880 Butte Mill Road in Boulder, Colorado. This event is also a good opportunity to give back to the community as there will be two non-profit organizations there collecting any unwanted bicycles or bicycle parts in any condition to be reused by Community Cycles, and Crayons-to-Calculators collecting any spare change that you may have to be able to provide school supplies for local children in need. If you are needing more information, you can find it at www.westerndisposal.com.

 

Natural Mosquito Repellent

This past weekend was of course, the 4th of July. And, like millions of other Americans, I celebrated our nation’s Independence Day, outdoors at a barbecue. Unfortunately, my friends and I weren’t the only ones enjoying a 4th of July feast, everyone seemed to be getting eaten alive by mosquitoes! Eventually, somebody ran to the nearest open pharmacy and picked up bug spray. After using the repellent on our arms and legs, not only did we all reek of the chemicals in the spray, but we all felt sticky and gross until we eventually just hosed it off. It became a bit of a catch 22, “Do we stink and feel gross? Or do we get bitten?”….Many of us decided to just deal with the bites.

If this happens to sound like typical summertime problem to you, then I suggest you take a look at this recipe for an all natural homemade bug repellent spray, from DIY Natural.

Natural Homemade Insect/Bug Repellent Spray

Homemade Insect Repellent

Natural Insect Repellent

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: witch hazel or vodka (find witch hazel here)
  • 2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or neem oil (which contains natural insecticidal compounds) – (where to buy these oils)
  • ½ teaspoon vodka as preservative (if not already using)
  • 100-110 drops essential oils (where to buy 100% pure essential oils)

Sample Bug-Repelling Essential Oil Blend:

  • 55 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil (reported by the CDC to be a good natural substitution for DEET in repelling insects, but not recommended for use on children under 3 yrs.)
  • 15 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil (if using, choose Lavandula angustifolia– “Lavender (40-42) essential oil” does not have the same insecticidal qualities)
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil

Directions:

Add carrier liquids to small spray bottle (3 or 4 oz. works well so there is room for shaking). Add essential oils. Shake well before each use. Natural bug repellent will need to be reapplied every few hours for maximum effectiveness.

Sanitizing Your Hotel Room

It is summertime, which for many families means family vacation time. Unless you happen to be visiting friends or family members and staying at their home for your vacation, chances are good you will be spending a portion of your time in either hotel or motel rooms. This can be an uncomfortable situation for some people, especially when it comes down to the overall cleanliness of the room they are staying in. One way you can put your mind at ease, is to take it upon yourself to sanitize the room. This article from How To Clean Stuff.net, gives you several tips on how to do just that.

How to Sanitize a Hotel Room

Maybe you have seen the news reports and undercover investigations where the investigator shines a black light around a supposedly clean hotel room and discovers germs, bacteria and sometimes even worse lingering inside it. This has happened even at some of the most upscale hotel chains. In order to avoid a hotel room nightmare – or at least a preventable illness – follow the steps below.

Inspect your room before unpacking.

Remember, no one should have to spend the night in a room that has obviously, whether intentionally or not, been overlooked by housekeeping services. If your room is found to be unsatisfactory, you are well within your right to ask for a new one. So, as soon as you enter your room, take about ten minutes to have a look around.

Check the floor, bedding and furniture for any stains, hairs, crumbs and debris. Take notice of any insects or any food or waste that could attract them. Then check the bathroom for the same thing, as well as for mold, mildew or leaking water. Check the toilet and bathtub or shower for cleanliness and make sure all toiletry items – soaps, shampoos, shower caps – are sealed and not left over from a previous guest.

Lastly, look at the air conditioner and heat vents as well as the access panel to the bathroom fan. Make sure there are no strange smells or dust and debris around the ducts that could aggravate any allergies or otherwise inhibit your breathing. This could make for a very uncomfortable stay.

If you asked for a nonsmoking room, check for any smoking paraphernalia, such as an ash tray.

Also note if there is a stale cigarette smell in the room. IT is possible that you have been given a smoking room by mistake or that the previous guest decided to smoke in the room anyway.

If you find anything that alarms you, alert the front desk to your concerns immediately and offer to point out the issues in person. Most likely the attendant will be more than willing to work with you to remedy the problem. If not, request to speak to a manager. If this still gets you nowhere, consider staying at a different hotel and writing a stern letter to the president of the company when you get home.

Sanitize and Sterilize!

Even if your hotel room passes the initial inspection, or perhaps your second room in your hotel does, you have no reason to believe that this hotel room is completely sterilized and spotless. Thus, you should still take the following advice into accord to protect your health.

Be wary of small but commonly used items.

Things such as the phone, television remote control, light switch, door and drawer handles and telephone are small enough that they can be missed by hotel cleaning staff, yet touched enough by guests that they can be teeming with germs. Best to bring along a travel-sized pack of antibacterial wipes and clean the surfaces of these items before you use them. Or, alternately, you can cover each device with a clean, resealable plastic bag that you bring from home. Well, with the possible exception of the light switch.

Ditch the bedspread:

Unlike the sheets, the bedspread in your hotel room may not be washed after every guest, mainly because it is a bulky and a pain for the staff members to carry in and out of the room and it takes up a lot of space in the washing machine. If your hotel bed has a comforter or bedspread on it, you may want to toss it aside and place it on the floor or in a chair. Then either cover up with the sheets alone or use your own blanket that you have brought from home.

*If the comforter has a removable cover on it, chances are that it is washed regularly. Removable covers are considerably less obtrusive and are fairly easy to throw in the washing machine.

Don’t use refillable water glasses

Many new reports have shown that these water glasses are not properly cleaned and sterilized in between guests. Sometimes they are just given a quick scrub in the bathroom sink and then placed back on the counter as if they were new. There is no way to tell if this is the case at your hotel, short of shadowing the housekeeping staff. Instead of taking your chances, bring your own glass that you know is clean or use a disposable plastic cup.

Keep your hands germ free

Whenever you touch a surface in your room that may be of questionable cleanliness either wash your hands with hot water and soap or use a bottle of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is available in travel sizes at most grocery stores and drug stores so it is no big deal to throw a bottle or two in your handbag or suitcase.

Make sure your feet stay off the floor

Sure, you may want to make yourself at home, by never walk around your hotel room barefoot. It is doubtful that the cleaning staff shampoos and sterilizes the carpet between guests. Instead, wear socks or slippers at all times. And consider wearing flip flops or shower shoes in the bathroom for similar reasons.

Voice your opinion

Odds are that you are more likely to have cleanliness issues if you stay at a lower-class hotel than a higher class one. However, no matter where you are staying, you are entitled to a certain standard of health and sanitation. Don’t be afraid to speak up if there is a problem. Better to be known as a nagging guest than to later wind up sick or even hospitalized.

Family-Friendly, Summertime Activities in Denver

With school now over for the summer, many parents may be looking for family-friendly activities to enjoy in the Denver area. Luckily, there more than enough options in and around the Denver Metro area, for just about any interest you or your family may have. Here is an article from Denver.org, which is filled with a number of family-fun zoo’s, museums, and other great attractions!

Kid-Friendly Denver

Kids are often tough to please – but they’ll be grinning from ear to ear whenever they’re in The Mile High City, thanks to Denver’s wide array of kid-friendly attractions. Interactive museums, incredible zoos and aquariums, wide open parks – they’re all guaranteed to please even the grouchiest young ones. Writer (and mom) Lori Midson gives you the lowdown on some of her favorites.

CITY PARK, DENVER ZOO, DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE

City Park is expansive greenway boasting tennis courts, picnicking areas, playgrounds, lakes for paddling and a spectacular summer concert series.

At the eastern edge of the park sits Denver Zoo, (2300 Steele St.) where education comes alive! More than 4,300 animals await to inspire awe in your family at Denver’s most popular cultural attraction. See elephants swim, orangutans swing and hear lions roar while enjoying up-close animal experiences that provide moving connections to wildlife.

Just adjacent to the zoo is the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (2001 Colorado Blvd.), a spectacular interactive museum that explores fossils and dinosaurs, the mysteries of space at Gates Planetarium (it’s out of this world!), Egyptian mummies, the riddles of the human body, and a slew of other hands-on exhibits. The newly expanded Discovery Zone has dozens of hands-on activities for kids of all ages.

 

Featured Things To Do

PLATTE RIVER VALLEY, CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF DENVER

The Platte River Valley, in the heart of the city, boasts a cornucopia of family-friendly attractions and entertainments.

At the intriguing Children’s Museum of Denver (2121 Children’s Museum Dr.), infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers can spend hours roaming through scads of educational playscapes, including a miniature “Community Market,” which allows kids to take on the roles of shopper, cashier and shopkeeper. Families will find several more thematic play areas that run the gamut from woodworking and scientific laboratories to animal exhibits and a fire station that teaches safety precautions.

Nearby, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park (2000 Elitch Cir.) offers exhilarating adventures galore with 53 rides, including the heart-pounding Mind Eraser, a twisted-steel rollercoaster that spins, dives, drops, rolls and races along the tracks. There is also a 10-acre swimming area, that offers slippery slides, crashing waves and lazy rivers.

Just a short walk away is the Downtown Aquarium (700 Water St.), a seaworthy spectacle of kaleidoscopic fish coupled with reptile, bird and tiger habitats. Here, amid the astounding marine life, kids can feed the stingrays, swim with the sharks, pan for gold, become a marine biologist for a day, or even spend the night in the aquarium.

While you’re in the Platte River Valley, hop aboard the Platte Valley Trolley (700 Water St.), an open-air streetcar that resembles the trolley on the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood TV show. The narrated tours provide a fascinating historical account of Denver from its Gold Rush days to the present.

DENVER ART MUSEUM

100 W. 4th Ave. Pkwy.
The Denver Art Museum offers a Just for Fun Family Center complete with games, creative, make-it-yourself craft areas and dress-up costumes. On weekends, kids can pick up a family backpack, a portable bag brimming with all sorts of artsy, educational activities.

WINGS OVER THE ROCKIES AIR & SPACE MUSEUM

7711 E. Academy Blvd. #1
At the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, more than 40 planes and riveting space-oriented displays occupy the sprawling space, an aviation wonderland that allows families to get up close and personal with giant bombers, fighter jets, antique planes and a search-and-rescue helicopter. The museum always has seasonal exhibits, and on the second Saturday of each month, kids can experience the electrifying buzz of climbing into the planes’ cockpits.

DINOSAUR RIDGE

16831 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison
While you’re not going to come across any living, breathing dinosaurs while you’re here in Denver – they’re still extinct, the last we checked – you will have ample opportunity to learn about these long-gone Colorado residents. At Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison (near Red Rocks Amphitheatre) you can touch the bones of Allosaurus and Stegosaurus at the site where important dinosaur discoveries were made in the late 1800s. See how Iguanadons walked by viewing real dinosaur footprints forever preserved in the sandstone.

MORRISON NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

501 Colorado 8, Morrison
Get a glimpse of early dinosaur discoveries from Colorado, including fossils from the first Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus ever found. Located 25 minutes west of Downtown Denver, the 3,000-square-foot Morrison Natural History Museum offers a relaxed environment that is perfect for kids of all ages to explore rocks and fossils. The exhibits and guides connect visitors with the ancient story of the Front Range. Recent local excavations have yielded famous baby dinosaur footprints that were featured in Smithsonian magazine and media outlets around the world.

THE BUTTERFLY PAVILION

6252 W. 104th Ave., Westminster
Located in Westminster, a 15-minute drive from downtown Denver, the Butterfly Pavilion is the perfect indoor refuge in which to interact with live invertebrates fluttering around a lush rainforest, or to hold Rosie, a Chilean Rose Hair tarantula, in the palm of your hand-if you dare. The Wings Over the Tropics conservatory, home to more than 1,200 flitting butterflies, moths and skippers, shipped from farms as far away as Kenya and Ecuador, makes for an exhilarating wander through the toasty conservatory, awash with lush green plants. Stop by the Shrunk! exhibit, an interactive play area buzzing with insects and giant robotic scorpions and carpenter ants that move. Inspect the information charts, and you’ll learn that beetles comprise one-fifth of all living things on Earth. Who knew?

FUN CITY FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

9670 W. Coal Mine Ave., Littleton
This Littleton spot is a kid’s dream come true, with Laser Tag, bowling, miniature golf and a “Foam Factory” all under one roof. Whether you are looking for a place to hold a birthday party or just have a fun day out, Fun City won’t disappoint.

FREE/CHEAP ACTIVITIES

There’s no shortage of fun-filled, free – and nearly free – family activities in Denver.

On the first Tuesday of every month, the Children’s Museum of Denver (2121 Children’s Museum Dr.) hosts complimentary guided story hours and playtimes, from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

The Denver Art Museum (100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy.) is always free for children age six and younger, and free for all on the first Saturday of each month.

The Tattered Cover Bookstore (1628 16th St.), arguably the top independent bookseller in the country, hosts hundreds of free children’s events throughout the year, including lectures, book release parties and author appearances.

Denver is an undisputed sports paradise, and while tickets to the major sporting events don’t come cheap, in-the-know baseball fanatics purchase Colorado Rockies baseball ROCKPILE seats, which cost just $4 for adults and $1 for kids age 12 and under.

Looking for a Green Company for construction or remodeling of your home?

Parrish Construction

 

Parrish Construction located in Boulder, Colorado has been offering green practices for construction or remodeling for homes for over 40 years. They strongly believe in sourcing locally whenever possible and designing with an eye to leave a smaller footprint. The employees of Parrish construction have been utilizing recycled products for at least twenty years, and strong supporters of the ReSource yard, Parrish Construction practices deconstruction rather than demolition. Clean Conscience is a proud supporter of Parrish Construction and their business practices. We also serve Parrish Construction as their cleaning service. So, if you are in need of construction or remodeling for your home, we encourage you to contact Parrish Construction. If you are in need of eco-friendly home cleaning please contact Clean Conscience, offering services in the Denver and Boulder areas of Colorado. For more information on Parrish Construction please visit their website at http://www.parrishbuilt.com/.

Keeping Your Pet Cool This Summer

It’s June, it is getting hot outside and it is only going to get hotter over the next few months. This is the time of year when people start cranking the A/C, loading up on ice cream, and cooling off in the pool whenever possible; pretty much anything to beat the heat. While these activities may be the answer for many people during the summer months, what can we do to help our furry companions stay cool during this time of year? This article from CBS Denver, may have the answers.

Ask A Denver Expert: How To Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

(credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)(credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

With summer approaching, your thoughts are likely turning to different ways to keep yourself cool as the thermometer reaches triple digits. It’s just as important to think about your four legged friends and some safe and effective ways to keep them cool. Most importantly, never leave your dog in a hot car. Remember how hot your car can get, even if you are only leaving for a few minutes. Your pet can’t take that kind of heat. You’ll also want to be aware of the signs of heat stroke, which can be a little different for pets. In addition to general safety rules, there are many great ways that you can protect your furry best friend from the soaring temperatures. From cool products to a few inexpensive things you can do at home, here are a few ways to keep your pets cool and refreshed all summer long.

 

Julie Neva
Chewy’s Bonetique
200 Quebec St. #600
Denver, CO 80230
(303) 344-2663
www.chewysbonetique.com

 

Julie Neva opened Chewy’s Bonetique in 2004, bringing wonderful specialty pet products, food and grooming supplies to the Lowry neighborhood. It’s a popular spot to find just about anything you could want for a healthy pet, and they offer great service and plenty of experts to offer some friendly advice and tips for any pet need. Chewy’s even offers its own line of cookies for your dog, and features local Colorado brands and products. Neva knows about keeping a pet safe and happy all year long, so she offers up these tips to help your pets beat the heat this summer.

Cool Gear

Many companies make a variety of clothing products designed to keep your pets cool. Neva said she likes the Swamp Cooler Cooling Vest by Ruff Wear, which runs about $60 and comes in a variety of sizes to fit any pooch. “It’s a mesh vest that you soak in water and then when you are out in the heat, the wind evaporates the water and keeps the dog cool,” Neva said. The vest has its own reservoir in which to keep the water, plus a wicking outer layer to help evaporate the moisture away from your pet. It may not be the most fashionable vest on the market but when the heat is soaring, your pet will thank you.

Cooling Pads

 

Another product that a lot of companies offer is a cooling pad, though Neva recommends the Cooling Gel Pad from The Green Pet Shop. This great pad doesn’t need any water or electricity to work. It’s simply a gel-filled pad that is activated by the weight of your pet. When he lies on the pad the cooling starts and can be effective for up to four hours and recharges automatically. You can even stick it in the refrigerator, which will help make the cooling last longer. These run from $27 to $60 depending on the size of your dog. Plus, while the product is marketed towards dogs, it works on cats as well.

 

Freeze Food

 

You can find dog ice cream and frozen yogurt out on the market, but you can also make cold treats for your pets at home. “One of our manufacturers last summer came out with this great idea,” Neva said. “You take a can of food and stick a popsicle stick in it and freeze it.” Then you simply pull the food out and let your dog or cat spend time licking away at the cold food. It’s a very easy way to keep your pet cool, and it won’t cost you much. You can also freeze treats inside toys or layer them in buckets of water for dog-safe popsicle toys. “Just take an ice cream pail, throw in some treats or a Kong with treats in it and freeze it. Of course it all floats to the top, so if you freeze it a little first, then put the treat in and freeze the rest in layers. It will stay in the middle,” Neva said. This is another great tip that can work equally well for dogs and for cats, just be sure to use the right food.

Grooming

 

A good grooming is essential in the summer months, however shaving your pet down is not always the answer. “What people tend to do is shave double-coated haired dogs and our research has shown us that the dogs really need their hair for sun protection as well as cold,” Neva said. So what to do with dogs with double coats? “Just remove any dead hair and mats. I don’t think you should shampoo more often, as that can be drying, but keeping the coat in good condition and free of mats and dead hair will help a lot,” she said.

 

Boots

 

You probably associate boots with only freezing temperatures, but you may not realize how tough hot pavement can be on your pet’s soft pads. “The hot pavement that people take their dogs on long walks is no different than the ice in the winter time,” Neva said. “A good pair of boots is very helpful, especially if they are hiking a lot, which is hard on the dog’s pads.” There are great lines of pet boots to try, so find your favorite and protect your best friend’s paws from the soaring heat.

 

Clean Out Your Closets to Benefit the Denver Rescue Mission

Clean Conscience is hosting a clothing drive to benefit the Denver Rescue Mission. With the weather warming, it’s time for a little spring-cleaning. Clean out your closets and get rid of all the clothes that you never wear, that don’t fit, and that take up extra space. We’re collecting men’s, women’s, and children’s gently used clothing, shoes, and jackets. Take a few minutes to clean out the whole family’s closet and start summer with a tidier space!

All donations will go to the Denver Rescue Mission and help support their mission of serving the poor and homeless through emergency services, community outreach, long-term rehabilitation, transitional programs, and assistance for permanent housing. Donations of clothing, shoes, and jackets are all welcome.

The clothing drive runs from June 10th thru July 20th and donating is easy. Gather up all your clean, gently used clothing items into a bag. Our cleaning technicians will pick them up on your next scheduled cleaning date and deliver them directly to the Denver Rescue Mission. If you prefer, you can also drop off items at our office, located at 4150 Fox Street, Suite A-1 in Denver.