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.
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.
Our dry winter weather typically only requires a simple scraping while blasting the defrost to clear car windows. But if you need a quick windshield de-icer this week here’s some recipes to try:
1. Isopropyl alcohol and water: Mix two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol and one part water in a spray bottle.
2. Saltwater: Mix water and a teaspoon or two of salt. Road salt for best effectiveness.
3. Buy a commercial de-icing spray.
Use any of the above sparingly, just enough to get the ice melting. Then lightly chip away the ice and brush it away. Excessive amounts of the spray can cause damage to your car windshield, paint, or surfaces where the ice and melt land (e.g., dormant plants) from the salt or chemicals.
“The thing that truly surprised me the most was that every salp, regardless of year collected, species, life stage, or part of the ocean collected, had plastic in its stomach,” says biological oceanographer Jennifer Brandon.
Salps are small transparent sea creatures that feed constantly on nanophyto- or microzooplankton while swimming in all of the worlds seas and oceans. The microplastics they ingest are as small as 10 micrometers, smaller than the width of a human hair. The 100% ingestion rate is alarming since salp digest their food in two to seven hours.
Brandon warns, mini-microplastics in the salp could make their way into the human body through the seafood we enjoy that eat salp. More than one-third of mini-microplastics found were synthetic fabric fibers from polyester or nylon. Car tires were the second-leading source, which release plastic particles as they erode.
Looking for ways to save water, energy, money and waste less?
Take a peek at the Change Your Life Challenge 2020 (CYCL 2020) based here in the Nebraska Panhandle.
It’s a year long facebook-based community group exploring a different theme each month with weekly challenges to help transform living habits to be more sustainable, environmentally friendly, energy efficient, or a combination thereof. Several local businesses and entities have partnered in an effort to connect residents with helpful resources and information to become more efficient stewards of resources.
The average US person’s water footprint for power production in the US averages to 39 gallons per person per day on according to WaterFootprint.org. And nearly 25% of all residential power consumed stems from idle appliances and devices.
Save water and energy:
– Unplug phone chargers, laptop charges, and game consoles when not in use.
– Shut down computers at the end of the day
– Flip off power strips when done with the devices
– Use power strips or smart strips to cluster multiple devices onto one switch. (e.g., computer, printer, and router or TV and video game console)
– Unplug the coffee maker, washer, dryer, or microwave if not using. Digital displays require a constant draw of power.
Urban snowmelt runoff carries diverse pollutants, like gas combustion products, snowmelting agents, and automotive exhaust, which threaten the quality of the receiving waters, like the North Platte River.
Pollutants can affect water quality faster two ways in winter. First, snow collects contaminants and releases them in concentrated form during melts. Second, the partially frozen state of rivers lessen the ability for self-purification.
Keeping walks and driveways clear, using snowmelt “sparingly and caringly”, and driving only when necessary are good winter water quality measures.
As much as 75 percent of water supplies in some western states are derived from snowmelt, according to the United States Geological Service (USGS). The Nebraska Panhandle relies heavily on snowmelt for our water supply – so taking care of our snow means taking care of our water.