Waterwise Wednesday: Hand Washing Songs


Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

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

Waterwise Wednesday: Good Drinking Weather

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)

Waterwise Wednesday: Homemade Windshield De-Icer

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.

Waterwise Wednesday: 100% Infiltration

Photo: Salp Chain by Kevin Lee

“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.