Climate change is going to make mosquitoes more prevalent in areas that were previously unaffected. Heavy rain and periods of drought are expected to leave more standing pools of water that are perfect breeding grounds for insects. Climate Central reports that the number of "Danger Days" (days with temperatures high enough to increase the risk of the spread of mosquito-borne illness) are trending upward for 94% of U.S. cities. Head to their website to find the trend in Danger Days in your city.
Those of us who previously enjoyed the luxury of only thinking about mosquitoes on camping trips might have to invite those worries into our every day and start using insect repellent on the regular. But many of the bug sprays available at our local drug stores are packaged in virgin plastic. Does it seem a tad ironic to combat climate-change-induced bug levels with a product packaged in climate-damaging materials? We think so! Here's a recipe for DIY insect repellent that uses mostly ingredients that you probably already own. Making your own bug spray is a perfect way to skip plastic and counter the effects of climate change while avoiding materials that exacerbate it further!
For an 8 ounce container you will need:
- 60 drops lemon eucalyptus oil
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar or vodka (or mix equal parts of each)
Why Lemon Eucalyptus Oil?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes lemon eucalyptus oil as an effective insect repellent.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar or Vodka?
These help the essential oil remain mixed in the solution, although it's still recommended that you give the bottle a shake before using. While apple cider is inexpensive and great for the skin and hair, if you find the smell to be prohibitive, feel free to substitute with -- or dilute with -- vodka.
If you aren't interested in whipping up a batch of your own, but still want to skip the plastic packaging, check out this option by Silver Falls Sustainability that we carry right here at Good Intent. Here are a few other brands making it possible: