April 01, 2019
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. —Alfred Austin
April is National Garden Month, and it's a great time to get your hands dirty. "Every April, communities, organizations, and individuals nationwide celebrate gardening during National Garden Month. Gardeners know, and research confirms, that nurturing plants is good for us: attitudes toward health and nutrition improve, kids perform better at school, and community spirit grows. Join the celebration and help to make America a greener, healthier, more livable place!" -National Garden Month
March 01, 2019
Mark your calendars, folks: March 18-24 is the EPA's eleventh annual Fix a Leak Week. Household leaks can waste more than 1 TRILLION gallons of water each year. Yes, 1 TRILLION—That's a one with 12 zeros behind it (1,000,000,000,000). Those drippy faucets and leaking toilets are more than an annoyance; they cost you lots of money, and they waste LOTS of water. So, this March, hunt down those drips! Chase those leaks!
February 01, 2019
This winter has brought more winter weather woes than usual, as the polar vortex has hit North America, bringing with it record-breaking cold. The past week has seen the coldest weather in a generation. Schools have been called off, businesses are closed, flights are cancelled, the US Postal Service has suspended service in some states, and thousands of homes have been without power. Chicago has been colder than Mt. Everest base camp. The U.S. Midwest has had lower temperatures than the South Pole. This is dangerously cold.
January 01, 2019
A brand new year, a brand new day — clean and shiny, spotless and gleaming, hopeful and exciting. Untouched and unspoiled, like a present that has just been unwrapped. A time to look back on (and learn from) the mistakes of the previous year, and look forward with hope and resolution to the new days ahead. And as we celebrate, and hope, and resolve, and plan, we do so along with people all over the world, and down through the ages. In fact, people have been celebrating the beginning of the new year for over 4,000 years. So, who first celebrated New Year's Day? Why do we celebrate on Jan 1?
December 01, 2018
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
The holidays are fast approaching, with all that this joyful season brings: carols and eggnog, parties and mistletoe, glitter and tinsel and twinkly lights, hearth and home and friends and family. And GIVING. As we think about the good gifts we hope to give this holiday season, we are reminded to give of our time, our resources, our abilities. Not just this month, but every month. It can make such a difference in someone's life.
Here are some people who are making a difference . . .
November 01, 2018
The holidays are fast approaching, and with them, wintry weather. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can really take a toll on a home, causing expensive damages and high utility bills. Winterizing your home can help prevent unexpected surprises, such as busted pipes, and will help with energy costs. A few simple tips to winterizing your home can help make sure that your holiday feasts with friends and family are warm and cozy.
Here are some tips to help you weather this winter well . . .
October 01, 2018
Autumn is heralded by the exhilaration of falling temperatures and the dazzling hues of falling leaves. The air is cool and the colors are warm. October glories in the grandeur of oranges, yellows, and reds. Nature puts on a theatrical extravaganza, and we have the privilege of watching the show every single day. This is an incredible time to grab a sweater and enjoy the majesty of the outdoors. Visit a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard and revel in the bounty of the season. Take a hike and bask in the beauty of the changing colors. Or simply go outside and savor the splendor that’s right there in your front yard. Find a nice seat and enjoy the fresh, invigorating breeze, or get busy working on your garden and your lawn.
September 01, 2018
The production of plastic has grown 8 percent a year for decades, much more than any other manufactured material, because plastic is just so useful. We use it for packaging (43%) and construction (20%); we have plastic in our clothes, our cars, our computers.
Plastic really is everywhere.
“Roland Geyer, an industrial ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says no one had tallied how much plastic people have manufactured since its invention. When he did it, he was shocked at what he found. 'Eight point three billion metric tons of plastics produced so far. That's just really a staggering amount.' He did some calculations to understand that number. 'And it turned out that it can cover an area the size of Argentina,' he says, 'which is the eighth-largest country in the world.'
August 01, 2018
Swimming pools and beach vacations, waterskiing at the lake and rafting on the river, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, wake boarding, tubing, jet skiing, snorkeling, sailing, surfing, and swimming - when it's summertime and the mercury is on the rise, there is nowhere we'd rather be than in the water! North America’s lakes, rivers, and seas are oases of beauty and respite from the summer sun, so it’s no surprise that swimming is summer’s number one pastime. But as you enjoy the season's final days, please make water safety your first priority. Swimming cools us off and keeps us fit, and it's one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a hot August day. But we cannot forget that it can also be dangerous. Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death among children aged 1-4, and it's the number two cause of unintentional death among those aged 5-24. A moment of distraction can be fatal, so please take great care to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the water.
July 01, 2018
How to Beat the Heat
Hopefully, you’ve all had a chance to cool off at the pool, beach, lake, or river this summer. But this July is shaping up to be seriously hot —we're talking about dangerously, oppressively, swelteringly hot— and we’re all looking for some sweet relief to beat the heat.