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Nan Hawthorne made a good point in response to my post about the donut soap featured at the Cedarbrook Lodge: Isn’t a liquid soap the greenest of all because there’s no waste? I didn’t know the answer, but found this article by Eric Bartels of Pamplin Media Group that explores that whole question: “Liquid soap vs. bar soap”. He concludes “… bar soap is the clear winner on the sustainability front.”

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On October 13, 2011, The Environmental Center (Bend, OR) will present its second annual Sustainability Awards, honoring businesses, organizations and individuals that are leading the way to a sustainable future in Central Oregon. Awards will be presented in four categories: Small Business (10 or less employees), Large Business (more than 10 employees), Organization (government and nonprofits), and Individual. Applications are accepted Aug. 1-31.
Visit the FAQ page for more info.
Download applications for awards.

A year ago I wrote about discovering an organic version of Preen weed preventer that I was going to try in my vegetable garden. It utilizes corn gluten to prevent weeds. I applied it last July, and it did do a pretty good job of preventing new weeds among my lettuce, beans and peas, so I was happy. Until this spring, when in a OSU Master Gardeners ™ advanced training class I learned about some recent research on the effectiveness of corn gluten. We master gardeners are all about science and what is proven to work. As professor Linda Chalker of Washington State University explains in this cogent summary, researchers found corn gluten can be effective against new weeds in controlled conditions, but it is no more effective than good mulching, which is a LOT cheaper. And corn gluten isn’t very effective in the Western US if applied in the spring when conditions are moist. A five-pound container of organic Preen costs $15 at Home Depot. If you have materials like grass clippings, sawdust, or bark on hand, you can gain as much benefit by mulching well with those.

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