Washing hands to the Happy Birthday Song has long been touted as an effective practice for preventing the spread of illness. But, perhaps, you’re tired of singing Happy Birthday an average of nine times per day. Here are some 20-second alternatives:
1. The narrative introduction to Star Trek
2. The Lord’s Prayer
3. The chorus lines to a number of pop songs including:
You Need To Calm Down– Taylor Swift
Party in the USA– Miley Cyrus
Firework– Katy Perry
Mr. Brightside– The Killers
Jolene– Dolly Parton
Don’t Stop Believin’- Journey
Macarena– Los Del Rio
4. Recite Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias”, or another short poem of your choice
5. Count to 20
For your trees, that is. This weeks warmer temperatures provide a good opportunity for a mid-winter watering for landscape trees.Trees that are newly planted or near the south or west sides of a building are most susceptible to winter drought.
Check if the tree needs watering by pushing a screw driver into the soil near the tree. If it only goes in an inch or two, the tree needs water. If the screw driver goes into the ground and returns with a bit of mud, there’s adequate moisture If it comes covered in mud, there’s more than plenty of moisture.
For thirsty trees, provide 2-4 gallons of water on a 40 degree or warmer day. Apply water mid-day to allow time for soaking before possible freezing at night.
Photo © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)
Challenge: one plate, one bowl and one glass per person per day. It’s a minimalist challenge to promote cleanliness and waste reduction.
The challenge forces immediate cleanup and tidying so dishes will be available for the next meal. Less dishes combined with efficient dishwashing can reduce the amount of water required for kitchen cleanup.
Household cleaners we use to sanitize, degrease, whiten and wash can also harm water. The “Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)” – Phosphorus, nitrogen, ammonia are common ingredients in cleansers.
Phosphorus composes 30 to 40 percent of dishwasher detergents. Ammonia is included in products for degreasing, sanitizing and removing allergens. Nitrogen is found in glass cleaners, surface cleaning products, and floor cleaners.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and ammonia cannot be removed by waste treatment processes. Instead they enter waterways, build up and cause accelerated and excessive growth of some types of plant life including algae. The dense vegetation clogs waterways, crowds out animal life and other marine plants.
The large amount of plant material also depletes oxygen in the water as it decays. The lack of oxygen in water suffocates freshwater marine life, further degrading the water with decay.
Choose, or make, cleansers free of VOCs. So when you clean your home, your water stays clean too.
Trying to save water? Try the Navy shower.
1. Turn on the water and take one minute to get wet.
2. Shut water off, lather body with soap.
3. Turn water back on to rinse for a minute.
The average shower takes about eight minutes and 20 gallons of water (at a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute). Adopting the Navy shower or a 3-minute shower technique uses about 7.5 gallons and saves over12 gallons per shower.