Trees are amazing. Their leaves are beautiful, the create shade where we can cool off in the hot summer months, and let’s not forget they make our air breathable. Did you realize that trees can be used to reduce localized flooding because of their extensive root system and need for water? They are happy to soak up pesky rain water! Don’t believe us? Check out the EPA: http://bit.ly/3hBuBRV.
Before you decide to plant a forest around your home, consider:
- The existing trees- plant a variety for aesthetic appeal and so one disease doesn’t wipe them all out
- Any overhead utilities- you may end up pruning your tree frequently
- Any paved areas- stay at least 5 feet from pavement; we don’t want a new driveway due to tree roots
- Any underground installations- tree roots get into sprinkler systems and septic systems
- The shade- will it fall where you want it to? will it be so dense that it kills your grass?
- Any seasonal droppings- will acorns or walnuts bother you? are you allergic to cottonwood?
Your medicine is for you- what is safe for you might not be for someone else. The BEST way to dispose of old, expired, unused or unwanted medications is a drug take-back program. Contact your pharmacy for details. If you would rather just throw them in the trash, follow these steps:
- remove them from their original packaging
- mix them with something unappealing like dirt, coffee grounds, or cat litter
- place the mixture in a closable container so it doesn’t leak out
- place the package in your trash can
The LAST thing to do with your medications is flush them. They move straight through the wastewater treatment plant and flow out into our waterways. Once in our waterways, they can infiltrate the groundwater and get into our drinking water supply.
Construction sites are often the source of stormwater pollution but they do not have to be. Helping to maintain site barriers and construction entrances will reduce track out and erosion. Keeping up with vehicle maintenance and storing chemicals correctly reduces the amount of chemicals added to stormwater runoff. Ensure your site is abiding by the EPA’s Federal Requirements.
There are mainly three different types of composting:
Aerobic- Air is used to help break down materials rapidly. The compost should be turned over every few days.
Anaerobic- This is the opposite of aerobic, this takes much less effort. Just place scraps into a compost pile and don’t mess with it for a year or more.
Vermicomposting- This process uses worms, oxygen, and moisture to decompose organic material with few odors. Red worms are a favorite for this form of composting.
As we round out the hot season, consider mixing up your lawncare routine. Save yourself some time outside by skipping a step: leave the cuttings on your lawn! The cuttings encourage moisture to stick around, reducing the amount of watering you’ll have to do. They also act as natural fertilizer by returning nutrients to the soil. It is a win-win!