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The Green Life: Green Your Feet: Don't Let Pests Hitch a Ride

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November 30, 2011

Green Your Feet: Don't Let Pests Hitch a Ride

Muddy shoesTo go green, you've got to start from the bottom and work your way up. This week's tips, then, are about how to take steps to minimize your literal footprint.

Tip # 3: Ward off invasives.

Compared to your friends’ Saturday-night debauchery, a weekend hiking trip may seem like innocent fun. But your feet could be guilty of their own sinfulness: Invasive plants love to hitch rides on shoes. To avoid carrying nonnative plants from the city to the country — or vice versa — make sure your shoes are clean as new before heading out or going home. Use soap (biodegradable brands include Dr. Bronner's and Nikwax) and dry with a towel. You can also carry a boot brush and wear gaiters to protect your socks. Be especially vigilant about caked mud, which can be packed with seeds and spores.

Tell us: How do you keep your shoes clean?

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