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Middletown’s Green Team’s mission is to: conserve Middletown’s shared natural resources, including land, air, water, open spaces, and viewsheds.  By working in partnership with our schools, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, businesses, and residents, we can sustain natural resources and promote healthy living for generations to come.  We will accomplish our goals by creating understanding in the community, promoting involvement by way of education, and addressing environmental challenges and opportunities by focusing on economic, environmental, and social sustainability. 

Sustainable Home

Laundry Strips

WHY ARE CONSUMERS ABANDONING TRADITIONAL LIQUID LAUNDRY DETERGENTS?

Heavy jugs of liquid laundry detergent are being replaced by small cardboard envelopes of dehydrated laundry detergent strips. Here is why:

Unlike 9 pound plastic jugs, the new detergent strips (6 oz.) are lightweight and easier to handle.

 

Pre-measured detergent strips eliminate guesswork, gooey measuring lids, and accidental spills. Place a pre-measured detergent strip at the bottom of the washing machine and add laundry. The strip dissolves when the cycle starts.

 

Laundry strips are less expensive per load than traditional liquid soaps.

 

Detergent strips clean laundry effectively. Some brands are better at removing stains than others.

 

Strips offer familiar options such as normal, heavy soil, delicate, scented/non-scented, sensitive skin, etc.

 

Detergent strips are packaged in 100% recyclable cardboard. Discarded plastic detergent jugs are piling up in huge landfills. A small percent are recycled.

 

Shipping dry strips creates fewer emissions than shipping heavy liquid-filled jugs.

 

Many brands of laundry strips are now available in local stores and online.

 

Compare brands for performance, price, and eco-friendly ingredients. Choose options that are biodegradable and safe for septic systems - and the earth.

Soap Nuts

Soap Nuts (Sapindus Mukorossi) are a sustainable alternative to liquid laundry soap.

  • Earth-friendly, chemical-free cleaning

  • Natural soap (saponin) is released when wet

  • 100% biodegradable, odorless, and hypoallergenic

  • Anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and naturally softening

  • Completely sustainable: only the shells are used; seeds can be replanted; trees are unharmed

  • Use 4-6 shells (in a small muslin bag) per wash. Reuse shells 4-6 times then replace with new shells

Laundry instructions
1. Place 4-6 soap nut shells into small muslin bag (for heavily soiled clothes use 6-8 shells)
2. Place laundry and soap nut bag into washing machine
3. Wash clothes per fabric instructions
4. Save used shells for 4-6 more washes

Homegrown
National Park

Call To Action
Our National Parks - no matter how grand in scale - are too small and separated from one another to adequately preserve the native trees, plants, insects and animals that our ecosystems depend upon to survive and thrive.

Thus, the concept for the Homegrown National Park: a national challenge to homeowners, property owners, land managers, farmers and anyone with some soil to plant in - to extend our national parks into our yards, communities, and surrounding lands by planting native and removing invasive species.

The Goal
Initially, 20 million acers of native plantings in the U.S. This represents approximately 1/2 of the green lawns of privately-owned properties.

For Sale

Compost Bin

In-Town Residents $40/per bin
Out-of-Town Residents $40/per bin
(Limit 1 per household)
(Reg. Price $102)
Checks made payable to:
Town of Middletown
or Exact Cash Amount Accepted

Sustainable Yard

Are Mosquitoes Bugging You?
Try These Inexpensive, Chemical Free Solutions.

Mosquitos are biting. Many of us quickly turn to readily available options such as zappers, foggers, or sprays. Yet, these solutions harm native bees and butterflies and, at best, only solve 10% of the problem because these options only target adult mosquitos. To have any real impact, we must target the mosquito larvae which breed in stagnant water.

All of us can take simple steps to help reduce mosquito populations in our own backyards. Here are three easy solutions that effectively target mosquito larvae and have a proven 90% success rate:

1) Eliminate Breeding Sites
Mosquitos require stagnant water to breed. Eliminate stagnant water, you eliminate mosquitoes. After rainstorms, pour out any surfaces in your yard that might retain even a bottle cap amount of water such as toys, boats, wading pools, pet food dishes, recycling bins, used tires, tarps, etc.  

2) Bucket Trap
Get a five-gallon bucket and stuff it full of straw, hay, or dried grass. Fill it with water. Let it ferment for 2 days, then drop in a little disk called a Mosquito Dunk. Mosquitoes will flock to this because it provides the exact habitat mosquito larvae need to grow. The Mosquito Dunk, which contains a bacterium (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), kills the mosquito larvae but does not harm anything else. Change out the contents every 30 days. 

3) Gravid Aedes Trap (GAT) Trap
This trap consists of a black plastic base, a clear top, a black funnel, a mesh screen, a few blades of grass, a sticky or oil trap, and ¼ Mosquito Dunk. The water and grass entice the adult female in, she lays eggs and then gets stuck to the sticky trap and dies. The Mosquito Dunk bacterium kill her offspring. It requires regular cleaning and replacement of sticky traps. 

This trap consists of a black plastic base, a clear top, a black funnel, a mesh screen, a few blades of grass, a sticky or oil trap, and ¼ Mosquito Dunk. The water and grass entice the adult female in, she lays eggs and then gets stuck to the sticky trap and dies. The Mosquito Dunk bacterium kill her offspring. It requires regular cleaning and replacement of sticky traps.

Planting your Butterfly Milkweed Seeds
(Asclepias tuberosa)

Maryland Distribution: Poor, coarse soils of dry fields, rock outcrops, and other steep slopes throughout the state.

Height: Up to 3 feet

Blooms: Orange, June to September

Sun: Part sun to full sun

Soil: Well-drained, poor, dry, usually rocky or sandy soil

Garden Use & Maintenance: A stunningly showy wildflower with a long bloom period. Excellent cut flower. Requires no maintenance, but insists upon well-drained, dry, coarse soils or will succumb to diseases. A tendency to completely disappear in winter can leave the gardener unclear about its location. Like other milkweeds, it is susceptible to attack by the invasive alien oleander aphids. Your maintenance options include waiting for beneficial insects or (carefully!) spraying with horticultural oil. Use for garden beds, xeriscaping, roadsides, dry meadows, rock gardens, pollinator gardens and monarch waystations. Performs particularly well on steep road cuts and at the top of south-facing stone walls.

Garden Companions: Little Bluestem, Whorled Coreopsis

Wildlife/Pollinator Notes: One of the best nectar plants for a wide variety of pollinators. Host plant for the Monarch butterfly. If you plan to use it in that capacity, plant a dozen or more specimens, or add additional milkweed species to your garden. Deer proof.

Reference: https://extension.umd.edu/resource/butterfly-weed

How to plant seeds: Seeds germinate best after stratification: In nature, the seeds naturally fall from the butterfly weed pods and lay dormant over the winter, germinating in the late spring. You can scatter seeds in your garden in the fall and see what happens. Or, in the early spring, moisten seeds with sand in a covered dish & refrigerate for 30 days. After 30 days of cold moist storage, the seed's natural chemical germination inhibitors have dissipated and are ready to be planted.

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