H E L P I N G O U R CO M M U N I T Y
Eco-friendly outdoor activities XNLV368388
3 8 LO C AT I O N S F R O M D E N V E R TO D U R A N G O
FRIDAY, APR. 6, 2018
VOL. 5, ISSUE 4
BE GREEN INSIDE Going green camping PG.3 | Tips for a green life PG.4 Smart conservation strategies for drought PG.7
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VALLEY HEALTH a publication of the
Local resources to help you ‘drive your health’
Montrose Daily Press
Publisher Tonya Maddox
Montrose Memorial Hospital is active in providing leadership for the health of our region. We are always working on new ways to enhance current services and expand what we do to benefit Brad Wiersma our friends and Montrose families — such Memorial Hospital as last December, when we introduced to our community The Box to provide a free drug disposal resource. Having worked for two years through our Community Health Worker to connect women with their much needed breast and cervical cancer screenings, we’ll now also be focusing on connecting men in our community to the important colorectal screenings they are lacking. If you’re 50 or older, colorectal cancer screenings are a very important step in ensuring your health outlook: colorectal cancer
Managing Editor Matt Lindberg News Editor Monica Garcia Layout Shaun Gibson For advertising information, call 970-252-7099 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Valley Health is a publication of the Montrose Daily Press. It publishes monthly on the first Friday. If you have a health-related news tip, contact Matt Lindberg, managing editor, at email@example.com.
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is the No. 3 cancer killer. About 40 percent of people who have colorectal cancer have a five-year survival rate if diagnosed at an early stage. What’s the way to boost said fiveyear survival rate to 90 percent? Answer: Finding the cancer early at the local stage. We’re referring to this initiative as Drive Your Health because getting your needed screenings is the key to staying in charge of your health outlook. As men, sometimes we tend to steer clear of screenings and procedures unless the pain is significant. This is a passive approach to the situation — and unfortunately many men have experienced life-changing consequences to this approach. But it doesn’t have to be that way: we encourage you be in the driver’s seat of your health. Just as there are multiple routes to drive from point A to point B with varying pros and cons, there are numerous colorectal screenings available in our area to fit your needs. Like a GPS, our Community Health Worker can help get you there. Take the driver’s seat: call 970-252-2893 today.l Brad Wiersma is the community engagement coordinator for Montrose Memorial Hospital. He can be reached at 970-252-2513.
Some of you take several antibiotics each and every day while some of you avoid them like the plague. The pros of a traditional antibiotic is that you can keep your infection from achieving full-blown status, or as some experts suggest, you chase the bugs into biofilms where they can’t be killed but your symptoms go away. Organisms that go into biofilm are going into ‘submission’ for lack of a better word and they’ll do that sometimes in the presence of an antibiotic. Traditional antibiotics can cure pneumonia, or life-threatening infections from the deadly “kissing bug,” or hair ties. Yes hair ties. Google Audree Kopp, she almost died from sepsis from her hair tie. Point is, drugs are sometimes handy. But I’m not convinced of their safety for long-term or less serious infection. They change who you are. When you take an antibiotic, you destroy your gut flora which has an impact on your personality. That’s why you need probiotics. Plus probiotics impact your digestion, your mood and ability to fight cancer and infection. A disadvantage of antibiotics is that you become resistant to them quickly. What will you do when they stop working? Think this out with me, penicillin is just penicillin. It’s easy for a germ to outsmart one ingredient. With something like garlic, there are at least 35 known active constituents making it super hard for a bug to get around and become a “superbug.” Capiche? I’m a pharmacist, trust me on this. My antibiotics from behind the pharmacy counter are pretty simple substances. They are actually stupid, they target a handful of organisms, and easily develop resistance. If you have a minute, you can read my other article, “Antibiotics are Stupid, It’s Up to You to be Smart” by clicking here. Pathogenic organisms have been around the Earth for eons, and they are very smart. They can outsmart the drugs because unlike herbs, pharmaceuticals don’t have hundreds of biologically active constituents. Scientific research is never going to agree with me or other natural healers like the scantily dressed “medicine” man, licensed naturopaths/chiropractors or even grandmothers so don’t wait for an FDA stamp, but to me it’s almost like “Duh?!” Please discuss all changes to your health regimen with your doctor, since I am not one: Brazilian Propolis- With the help of bees, this popular tree resin packs a punch. It can be taken by mouth, or directly applied to wounds. It may help with colds, flu or sore throats. This is an all-around immunity aid, and a brand new study found that it could help with organisms found in dental biofilms (S. mutans) which contribute to cracked teeth. Cat’s Claw- A strong antimicrobial and antiviral which is often used in Lyme, and sometimes HIV as an adjunctive remedy. Anyone could use it for a general infection. It has some anti-cancer affect, and it reduces TNF alpha (an inflammatory cytokine). Useful for Crohn’s as well. Colloidal Silver- Everyone’s favorite, this may be useful for staph in the nose. Studies have shown that topical colloidal silver solution has effective antibiofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus, and tons of other organisms. Oregano- It’s a strong anti fungal
and may be useful for Candida, as well as parasites. Some people dilute it with a little coconut oil and apply it to the skin (not on broken skin though), where there is signs of fungal infection. The carvacrol component of wild oregano oil has activity against MRSA and C. difficile. This maybe good at gastrointestinal infections. The taste is pungent you will likely want to dilute this, or take a commercial preparation. Carvacrol and thymol are the active ingredients, and this can also help with psoriasis, bladder infections, sinusitis, warts, food poisoning, gum disease and bad breath. If you go to pubmed.com and put in “carvacrol” or “thymol” you will see a lot of research done on the active constituent of oregano oil (and thyme which provies thymol). Teasel Root- May inhibit growth of Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme). It can extract bacteria from muscle tissue where antibiotics have a hard time penetrating. Iodine- There’s a reason why Betadine (povidone-iodine) is wiped on you during surgery, the iodine is a well-known antiseptic and antibacterial, anti-everything for that matter. We need natural iodine for metabolic reactions, and there are supplements made that mimic natural iodine as our body craves it. It’s antifungal, antiparasitic, antibacterial and antihelmitic. Iodine is used frequently in immunity disorders, and event he common cold, as well as cancer. Iodine uses a natural enzyme system in our body (called “peroxidase”) to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites. What happens in white blood cells (the cells that fight infection) is that iodine is accumulated into these diseased cells when they are activated during infection. Phagocytosis occurs, this is when your white blood cells attack the pathogens, like PacMan would eat up goblins. During infection iodine is mobilized from other tissues in your body, namely your thyroid, in order to assist the process of phagocytosis. So if you’re iodine deficient, your immune system is weak. The attack is pathetic. Iodine is a critical antioxidant mineral and if your blood stream levels are low, the iodine will be squeezed out of the sponge, meaning it will be immobilized from your thyroid gland (which sucks up iodine like a sponge). Manuka honey- May be helpful on skin infections and/or gut infections. Raw organic honey is golden when it comes to infections, and research on this particular brand “Manuka” suggests it kills a wide variety of organisms among them, but that doesn’t mean other types of raw (unfiltered) organic golden aren’t good: MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) Vancomycin-resistant enterococci Helicobacter Pylori (ulcers)l Suzy Cohen has been a licensed pharmacist for 25 years and is a functional medicine practitioner for the last 15. She devotes time to educating people about the benefits of natural vitamins, herbs and minerals. In addition to writing a syndicated health column, “Dear Pharmacist,” Suzy Cohen is the author of many different books on natural health.
Outdoors health tips from the Posse
Going green camping We all have a responsibility to try and conserve our ever-diminishing natural resources and clean up the environment we live in. Those of us who are outdoor people must work harder to be good stewards of Mark Rackay the wilderness areas Tips from the Posse and woods that we love so much. When it comes to “going green” I somehow think we may be heading down the wrong track. Perhaps we should not try and tackle the whole problem all at once. Maybe it is better if we just work to take care of “our own little corner of the world.” Just changing the way you do things, and thinking about what you do and how it will affect the environment is a great place to start. I was up on Love Mesa this past fall, near Bear Pen, enjoying an ATV ride and a pretty good hike. While I was exploring an area by a small creek, I came across a campsite. The site was probably a week old. The people who left this site were clearly the biggest slobs on Earth. The area was strewn with beer cans, soda cans, wrappers, cigarette butts and every other piece of garbage. After seeing this repulsive mess, I could only imagine what their house must look like. My wife and I cleaned the mess as best we could. I think a forest fire might not have been enough to sterilize this mess, but it did prompt me to think about “green camping,” and share a few thoughts with you. Camping is a wonderful experience, giving participants a chance to get next to nature and live off the land. Whether the trip is for hunting, fishing or just a getaway, the rules remain the same. Leave nothing behind except your footprints, and sometimes not even those. Start with a review of your camping equipment, and keeping in mind the sustainability of products. Look for products that are made from recycled materials. Also, look for products that are bisphenol A, (BPA) free. BPA is known to cause environmental problems and is dangerous to wildlife. Pack your equipment in reusable containers, avoiding anything that must be discarded. Keep food in coolers that are bear resistant. A hungry bear can shred a cooler in seconds if he thinks there is food inside.
Camping with an RV can be done to leave a minimal impact on the environment, and doing so will help preserve our precious outdoor lifestyle. (Submitted photo/Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
Any food containers should be free of BPA or phthalates. These chemicals can leak into your food. Look for containers that are compact and spill proof. Choose a tent that is made from recycled materials. Be aware of the materials that are used for waterproofing. You will want to look for solvent-free polyurethane coatings and nontoxic dyes. There is a new tent being developed, called the solar tent. The solar tent uses a fabric that catches the sun’s energy. It comes with wireless charging pouches that allow you to charge your devices through magnetic induction. There is even a tent light you can turn on through a message sent from your smartphone. Many folks like to cook over an open fire. While this choice is preferable to a gas stove, a small green stove that efficiently burns wood is a better choice. They have the same output of heat as a gas stove.
Stay away from the lanterns that use propane or white gas. Not only are these lanterns not eco-friendly, but they are bulky as well. Solar lanterns have come a long way over the years and they are much brighter and longer lasting than the ones of just a few years ago. Hang the lamp on a tree branch during the day to charge, and it will be ready to light your camp during the evening hours. I come across campsites all the time, where the campers have brought along cases of water in disposable bottles. All those battles have to be lugged out as trash when they are empty. A better choice is to use large water containers. I have a number of 1-gallon jugs that I use, and for longer trips, I carry 5-gallon jugs. Take your children along on the camping trips. Not only is it a great time to teach them outdoors skills, it is an opportunity to educate them about our environment. Remember, they are the next generation to become the
stewards of our wilderness areas. The rule is to leave your campsite in a better state than when you found it. Return the grounds and landscape back to the natural state and pick up all your garbage. When it comes to just leaving behind your footprints, please tread lightly. Wear soft-soled shoes to minimize the disturbance to the land and plants beneath you. They were there first. We inherited these beautiful mountains. The woods, waters and wilderness areas are the reason we live in Western Colorado. Let’s all be good stewards and make it a better place than when we found it. l Mark Rackay is a columnist for the Montrose Daily Press and an avid hunter who travels all across North America in search of adventure and serves as a director and public information officer for the Montrose County Sheriff’s Posse. For information about the Posse call 970-252-4033 (leave a message) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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For today’s edition of Valley Health we are focusing on going green. The easiest way to “Go green” is with a food safe dye, but it will not give you the sense of being a good citizen and steward of the planet that you are likely hoping to elicit. Assuming you wanted a less literal version, I have a few other tips that may accomplish the goal. OUTSIDE THE Mulching is a good way to BOX go green… it’s also a good TWYLA RIGHTER way to get centipedes, mice and a rather stinky pile of stuff behind your home. For this reason, I would recommend keeping the mulch away from the house. It is very cathartic to know that your scraps of food are not going to waste and with the condition of the soil around here (which is just the worst… is anyone else living on clay??? It’s THE WORST!!) every single lawn clipping and coffee ground is helping make the dirt a little less horrible. The downside of centipedes is a very important issue,
however. I really hate centipedes. I feel sad when I kill a mouse… but not centipedes. A centipede gives me the heebeegeebees in a way I cannot possibly communicate. I immediately feel like they are on my neck… and in my stomach… and I need to somehow crawl out of my skin in order to escape them. Ugh! So, while a mulch pile is awesome… you might need to get your teenager, husband or really anyone to help with the pile. Just to avoid the centipedes. I also like growing your own fruits and vegetables as a healthy, environmentally friendly idea. Theoretically — I have yet to actually get a garden to grow. We have rabbits, deer, prairie dogs and squash bugs. These guys have eaten 90 percent of everything I have managed to grow. I have sprayed things with wolf urine smell… and all natural pesticides and yet — so far — I am only theoretically a fan of having your own vegetable garden. Finally, I’d like to suggest getting a bike or a good set of walking shoes and using your two feet to get around town. Did you know that in China right now 90 percent of children are nearsighted?? Ninety percent!!! For decades we were told that nearsightedness was genetic (it’s shocking how often we are told stuff that turns out to be wrong. It would
be awesome if, in the future, all expert statements began with “we think.” For example: “We think” nearsightedness is genetic, or “we think” fat free food is healthier, or “we think” gravity is really, really real.) (That last one was a joke… I think.) So, now that it is apparent that nearsightedness is not genetic (or certainly not 100 percent genetic), the question is, what does cause nearsightedness? And it appears that too much time indoors is the primary culprit. (It’s theorized that too little bright sunlight, and too much looking at things near your face are the culprits.) So — my best tip for going green would be to get outside! Ride your bike to the store, or walk to Wal-mart. Get a wagon and go on foot to grab your groceries, like a European. It will keep the air cleaner, keep you in better shape, get you a helping of vitamin D and it’s good for your eye-sight as well. l Twyla Righter is a native of Western Colorado. She is the mother of three children bent on world domination (they have pie charts) and a proud CASA advocate. She writes two columns for The Press as well authoring the definitive guide to a horrible pregnancy: “About That Pregnancy Glow.” Righter’s “Outside the box” column appears every other Friday in the Montrose Daily Press.
Farm-to-table is changing the restaurant business Farm-to-table is a movement that promotes serving local products, preferably food and beverages acquired directly from a producer. Farm-to-table eateries source ingredients locally as much as possible, and diners are increasingly expressing a preference for these establishments. According to the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2015” survey, locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce, environmental sustainability, and natural ingredients/minimally processed foods were among the most popular food trends. Farm-to-table establishments reduce carbon footprints by cutting back on the amount of resources necessary to get food from the farm to the restaurant. The farm-to-table movement began as a countermeasure to big agriculture and chemically controlled produce. Although there is no hard data on just how many restaurants can be considered farm-to-table, organic farming in general is big business. In its 2014 Organic Survey, the U.S Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service reported
that sales of organic products increased by 72 percent since 2008. California, Washington, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Wisconsin were the top five states for organic farming, accounting for 78 percent of organic sales in the United States at the time of the survey. Supporting farm-to-table establishments can benefit the planet, but consumers should know that there are additional advantages to patronizing such businesses. • Support for local businesses: Local restaurateurs who embrace farmto-table can support and promote other local operations. Restaurants can help farmers by purchasing excess crops or simply providing the demand for farmers’ products. • Greater control over ingredients: In some instances, chefs can travel to nearby farms during harvest to personally select items for their restaurants, ensuring excellent quality. • Better taste and quality: Fresh food is picked at its peak instead of being forced to ripen during a long journey. This typically translates to more flavorful foods.
• Evolving and updated menus: Because farm-to-table means sourcing in-season ingredients, restaurants must have fluid menus that change based on the availability of ingredients and fishing and harvesting quotas. This can lead to greater variety and prevent menus from becoming dated or overly familiar.
Hyper-local sourcing that fuels farm-to-table operations continues to be an in-demand restaurant trend. Diners can rest easy knowing that patronizing such establishments benefits both the environment and the local economy. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
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Go green with your fitness routine Many people aspire to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, and regular exercise is an essential component of such a lifestyle. One of the hidden benefits to regular exercise is that it presents numerous opportunities to benefit the planet. Going green with a fitness routine can create a healthier planet, which can only benefit fitness enthusiasts and their families in the long run. Creating a fitness routine that benefits people and the planet is simple and can even make workouts more rewarding. • Walk, run or ride to the gym. Many people get the bulk, if not the entirety, of their exercise at a gym. For those who live outside of major cities, that likely involves driving to and from a gym before and after workouts. Instead of driving, consider walking, running or riding to the gym. Each option provides great cardiovascular exercise that can reduce or replace the time people spend on treadmills or elliptical machines. And cutting back on driving reduces fuel consumption and auto emissions, greatly benefitting the planet. • Exercise in the great outdoors. Fitness enthusiasts can reduce their energy consumption by exercising outdoors whenever possible. Replace running in place on a treadmill with running through a park or on a beach outside. Men and women who work out in their homes can take the free weights outdoors to the backyard on nice days, allowing Mother
Nature instead of the electric company to supply the lighting. • Join gyms that offer eco-friendly exercise equipment. More and more gyms are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints, and eco-friendly fitness enthusiasts can look for such facilities before purchasing or renewing their gym memberships. Some efforts gym owners make to reduce the carbon footprint of their facilities include using only eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products; installing lowflow toilets, faucets and shower heads in facility restrooms and bathing areas; and installing userpowered cardiovascular machinery that consume considerably less energy than traditional machines. Inquire about a facility’s carbon footprint before purchasing a membership. • Purchase eco-friendly accessories. Another way to make a fitness routine more environmentally friendly is to purchase workout accessories that do not have large carbon footprints. Instead of single-use plastic water bottles, purchase a reusable water bottle made of recycled materials. In addition, opt for workout gear made of organic or recycled materials. Such items can be found online or at sporting goods stores or retailers that cater to outdoors enthusiasts. Fitness enthusiasts can take various steps to make their workout routines more eco-friendly, benefitting themselves and the planet along the way. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
Community garden applications available SPECIAL TO MONTROSE DAILY PRESS Get outside and plant your own fun by reserving a plot within the Niagara Community Garden this year. Applications for the 2018 Niagara Community Garden are now available for pick-up at city hall. The community-based organic garden, 2424 E. Niagara Road, is entering its fifth season and the City of Montrose encourages any individual, group or family to participate regardless of experience in gardening. Plots are available on a first-come-first-serve basis and range in cost from $15 to $30 depending on plot size. Water
and soil are included in the fee. There is a $25 deposit per plot. The garden will be open from April 14 through Nov. 10. Applications may be picked up at city hall, located at 433 S. First St., between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The city is committed to promoting quality of life, in part by providing outdoor living and recreational opportunities. In 2014, the City of Montrose Public Works Department, LiveWell Montrose-Olathe, and the Valley Food Partnership collaborated to construct the Niagara Community Garden. Contact Valley Food
Partnership and LiveWell Montrose-Olathe at 970-2490705 to learn about other gardens in our community and opportunities to volunteer. Residents who are interested in constructing gardens in other parts of Montrose are encouraged to contact city staff. For more information about the Niagara Community Garden, and to access the online application, visit: CityofMontrose.org/ CommunityGarden, contact Parks and Special Projects Superintendent John Malloy at 970-240-1411, or Deputy City Clerk Carolyn Bellavance at 970240-1421.l
Eco-friendly suggestions for expecting parents Expecting parents want their babies to be born healthy and stay healthy throughout their lives. The environment into which children are born can go a long way toward determining the health of newborns. Before the news that a child is on the way arrives, men and women may give little thought to the products they use around their homes. But the moment expecting parents learn their families are about to get bigger is a great time to begin reexamining certain practices around their homes and instituting some changes where necessary. • Reconsider lawn care practices. While past studies examining a link between pesticide exposure and birth defects were less than definitive, researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara examined birth certificate records of more than half a million single births in the agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley between 1997 and 2001. They found that babies
born to mothers with high pesticide exposure levels suffered a host of birth defects, including low birth weight. While such defects were only identifiable in cases where women were exposed to extraordinarily high levels of pesticides, parents can still exercise caution and avoid using pesticides when caring for their lawns. • Purchase solid wood furniture. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals that enter the air as gases from some solid or liquids. The New York State Department of Health notes that short-term exposure to high levels of certain VOCs can cause headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea, among other symptoms. Long-term exposure to VOC has been found to adversely affect the nervous systems of laboratory animals. When purchasing furniture for their children’s nurseries, expecting parents should avoid buying pressed wood products, which may
contain the VOC formaldehyde. Instead, look for solid wood furniture made with a low-emitting finish. • Make children’s food as they begin eating solids. Children begin eating solid foods such as fruit and vegetables even before they have teeth. Rather than buying baby food from the store, parents can purchase organic fruits and vegetables that were grown without the use of pesticides. Residue from pesticides may stick to foods such as apples, peaches and pears. Parents who buy and then prepare organic foods are doing all they can to ensure their babies are not exposed to pesticides through their diets. Expecting parents can take several steps to make their homes as eco-friendly as possible before the births of their children. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
How youngsters can go green Children often aspire to emulate their parents. Young boys who see their fathers shaving might reach for dad’s shaving cream, while young girls may find their way into mom’s closet in an effort to dress up like their mothers. Kids’ curiosity may be similarly piqued when they see their parents going green. Parents who reduce, reuse and recycle are setting positive examples for their kids, who may inquire about the ways they can follow suit. While going green might not seem like the most kid-friendly activity, there are myriad ways for parents to involve children in their efforts to live ecofriendly lifestyles. • Donate clothing and toys. Children outgrow their clothing pretty quickly. Rather than discarding items kids can no longer wear, parents can take tots along to donation centers or thrift stores to show them how their clothes can be reused. Use this as an opportunity to teach kids how donating or recycling old items cuts down on the need to use natural resources to create new items. Do the same with toys, which kids tend to outgrow almost as quickly as their clothing. • Bike to school. Stay-at-home parents, telecommuters or those who have time to escort their children to and from school can bike to school with their children. Teach them how biking in lieu of driving helps to conserve fuel and how such conservation benefits the planet. If biking is not an option due to weather or distance, parents can organize carpools, teaching kids how traveling together instead of individually helps to conserve fuel. • Avoid plastic water bottles. Plastic water bottles might seem more convenient because they don’t need to be washed after using them, but the environmental organization Clean Up
Australia notes that plastic bottles, many of which are derived from crude oil, generate enormous amounts of waste that ultimately end up in landfills. In addition, the transportation of such bottles from factories to store shelves requires the burning of significant amounts of fossil fuels. Take kids along to the store to purchase their own reusable water bottle, explaining to them how they’re doing their part to protect the planet by choosing reusable bottles over bottled water.
• Visit the library. Young children who love to read can borrow books from the library rather than asking mom and dad to purchase their own copies at the bookstore. Explain how borrowing cuts down on the need for paper, which helps preserve forests and reduce waste. • Spend more time in the great outdoors. Many parents want their children to spend more time outdoors and less time on the couch playing video games or watching television. Parents can make an effort to spend more time outdoors
with their children engaging in fun activities like hiking, camping or fishing. Such excursions can instill a love and appreciation for nature in youngsters, and that love can compel them to a lifetime of protecting the planet and conserving its resources. Kids who want to follow their parents’ example and go green can do so in various ways, many of which are as fun as they are eco-friendly. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
Smart conservation strategies for drought Drought can affect just about any area of the country at any time. Water conservation remains the most important consideration during times of drought. Drought preparedness can make riding out the weather that much easier. The National Drought Mitigation Center defines drought as “a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time.” Drought indices vary depending on geographic location. What would be a drought in one area may be entirely normal conditions in another. Surviving drought that results in a water shortage and impacts quality of life may require government intervention and the cooperation of citizens and homeowners. Even if drought is not typically accompanied by the kinds of warnings associated with floods and certain storms, it remains dangerous. Statistics Brain reports that, between the years of 1980 to 2014, roughly 19,000 people a year lost their lives due to the effects of drought. Drought may be most associated with arid regions, but it is not exclusive to deserts. For instance, drought is a problem in Canada, a country often associated with cold weather. As early as the end of March 2017, the Canadian Drought Monitor indicated large areas of abnormally dry conditions in British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, and Saskatchewan, with smaller pockets of abnormally dry areas in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. Conserving water is the utmost priority during times of drought. Just a few changes to daily habits can have a sizable impact. • Check all plumbing for leaks and have any leaks repaired. • Install aerators and flow restrictors on faucets. • Choose energy- and water-efficient appliances. • Install low-volume toilets, which can use less than half of the water of older models. • Reduce reliance on sink disposals for getting rid of food waste. • Never use fresh water when recycled water can be used safely. For example, collected rainwater can be repurposed to water plants and outdoor landscapes. • Only wash dishes in a dishwasher with a full load. • Rely on compostable or recyclable paper dishes during times of big water restrictions to cut down on dishwashing. • Collect “cool” water when heating up the shower or sink water for washing. Use it to clean areas of the home or water plants. • Decline water at restaurants unless you plan to drink it. • Spread mulch in garden beds and aerate the lawn to help the landscape conserve water. • Store drinking water in refillable containers in the refrigerator. • Install irrigation devices that channel rainwater, or use root-delivery systems to water landscapes more efficiently. • Cover pools and spas to reduce water evaporation. • Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. • Share successful water-saving strategies with others in your community.l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
Easy ways to conserve water The are a number of reasons to conserve water, but perhaps none is more urgent or compelling than the role water plays in human survival. Water.org notes than human beings can survive for weeks without food but only make it a few days without water. What’s more, the foods humans eat, namely plants and animals, require water to survive. The world’s supply of fresh water is dwindling, a troubling notion on its own, and even more so when considering the human population is only growing. In fact, the World Water Council estimates that the world’s population will grow by as much as 50 percent in the next half-century. Such a reality only highlights the need to conserve water. Though the growing global water shortage is a complex problem, the many ways people can conserve water are quite simple. • Change your diet. Reducing consumption of livestock and poultry in favor of vegetables can help people dramatically reduce their water consumption. According to the Grace Communications Foundation (GRACE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more sustainable food system, livestock and poultry produced in the United States consume substantial amounts of water-intensive feed. By reducing consumption of such products, consumers can greatly reduce their water
footprints. When eating meat, dairy and eggs, GRACE recommends opting for pasture-raised products that feed on grass, which is less likely to be irrigated than water-needy food sources like corn and soybeans that are fed to many commercially produced livestock and poultry. • Reduce water consumption when cooking. When cooking, some cooks might find it convenient to keep faucets running so they can more easily rinse foods and their hands. However, such practices are incredibly wasteful, as substantial amounts of water literally goes down the drain when faucets are running unattended. In addition, homeowners can install low-flow faucets in their sinks, which GRACE notes typically flow at 1.5 gallons per minute instead of the five gallons per minute of more traditional faucets. • Take showers instead of baths. Baths might feel like just what the doctor ordered after a long day, but baths are considerably more wasteful than showers. GRACE estimates that the average bath can require as many as 50 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower under a low-flow showerhead requires roughly half that amount of water. • Take your conservation efforts outside. Water conservation efforts need not be confined to indoors. Homeowners who pride themselves
on having lush green lawns can still produce envious landscapes while conserving water. When watering a lawn, do so in the early morning hours or early evening. Temperatures tend to be more mild during these hours than in the middle of the day, meaning less water will be lost to evaporation. Consider the weather when watering the lawn as well. If wind is in the forecast, turn off automatic sprinklers and hand water if absolutely necessary. Gusty winds increase water loss due to evaporation and prevent water from getting to the lawn. In addition, if the forecast is predicting rain, turn off automatic sprinklers and let nature water the lawn instead. • Take steps to conserve energy. Water plays a vital role in the production of energy, so taking steps to conserve energy can go a long way toward reducing your water footprint. When buying new appliances, opt for energy-efficient products. Homeowners can investigate renewable energy sources such as solar energy, which can dramatically reduce their carbon footprints while conserving substantial amounts of water over the long haul. The need to conserve water is urgent. But as complex a problem as the dwindling world water supply is, the efforts to solve that problem through conservation can be simple. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
The perils of bottled water According to The Water Project, a nonprofit organization that provides reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa, the environmental cost of the consumption of bottled water has led some communities in both the United States and Canada to consider banning its sale. The Santa Clara Valley Water District estimates that 80 percent of all singleuse water bottles used in the U.S. ultimately become litter. Many of those bottles ultimately
end up in landfills, where they can spend several hundred years decomposing. But plastic water bottles are not just harmful to the planet post-production. The environmental group One Green Planet notes that the production and transportation of plastic bottles, which are made from a petroleum product known as polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, require incredible amounts of fossil fuels. While consumers might feel simply recycling the
bottles is enough to offset the environmental cost of their production and transport, it’s important to note that not all plastic can be recycled, and while plastic bottles are generally considered recyclable, not all of them actually are. Consumers concerned about their bottled water consumption should know that reusable water bottles are not only more eco-friendly, but also much more cost-effective. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
Eco-friendly outdoor activities
Months spent indoors avoiding the harsh weather outside makes winter a difficult season for people who love the great outdoors. While skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports make it possible to get some fresh air even when that air is frigid, many people find it difficult to consistently get outside when temperatures drop. That difficulty no doubt contributes to the popularity of spring, a season widely seen as a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. Time spent in the great outdoors is often its own reward. But taking measures to be eco-friendly while spending time outside can make such leisure time even more rewarding. People who want to get out and be eco-friendly at the same time can try the following activities. • Cycling: Cycling is a fun activity that’s also great exercise and incredibly eco-friendly. While it’s certainly an enjoyable leisure activity, cycling also can provide a great alternative to more popular modes of transportation like driving. According to Bay Area Bike to Work Day, a movement dedicated to promoting cycling as a means of commuting to and from work, drivers of small vehicles (those that get 35 miles per gallon of gas) who commute 10 miles per day, five days a week can expect to consume 68 gallons of gas in a typical year during their commutes. During those commutes, their vehicles will produce 0.7 tons of CO2. SUV drivers will consume nearly double that amount of fuel while their vehicles produce nearly three times as much CO2 emissions. Cycling to work won’t consume any fuel or produce any emissions, and cyclists won’t be forced to sit idly in rush hour traffic. • Hiking: Hiking is another eco-friendly outdoor activity that can pay dividends for both the planet and the people who call it home. Lawmakers in towns and cities with thriving hiking communities may be encouraged to support legislation that preserves hiking trails and parks and prevent potentially harmful construction from taking place. And individuals can reap a number of benefits from hiking through the great outdoors. A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that outdoor exercise such as hiking can decrease feelings of tension, confusion, anger, and depression. In addition, hiking provides a great full-body workout that might appeal to people who have grown tired of more traditional gym-based fitness regimens. • Fishing: Fishing devotees tend to be wildly devoted to their craft, but one need not be an expert angler to enjoy fishing and help the planet. According to the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, fishing supports wildlife and fisheries management. The DGIF notes that anglers help to set seasons and creel limits, ensuring that wildlife populations remain stable and even flourish. Many anglers also find fishing is a great form of stress relief that provides a peaceful escape from the daily grind. • Running/walking: In lieu of running or walking on a treadmill indoors, men and women can get outside and do their jogging or walking in the great outdoors.
While treadmills are not necessarily big energy consumers, running or walking outdoors consumes no energy and provides a great opportunity to spend time outside, especially for professionals who spend most of their days in office buildings.
The great outdoors comes calling for many people when temperatures begin to climb. Answering that call can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your mood. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
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“Reuse, reduce, recycle” is a mantra used by many eco-conscious men and women. Reducing, reusing and recycling is not just a great way to conserve energy and natural resources, but also an effective means to saving money. Men and women may not know it, but they likely have many items around the house that they can reuse and repurpose. This can reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and help conserve the resources used to manufacture new products. The following are some common household items that can be reused or repurposed. • Containers: Glass jars and coffee cans are two examples of containers that don’t have to be discarded once the pasta sauce or coffee grains have been used up. Foodies who like to make their own sauces or spreads can repurpose old pasta sauce jars into storage for their homemade foods, such as marmalades, while coffee cans can be turned into storage for miscellaneous tools such as nails or screws. Parents of young children can even turn old pasta jars into banks for their children, who may grow excited as they watch the jars gradually fill up with coins. • Plastic milk jugs/water bottles: Gardeners can turn gallon milk jugs that would otherwise go into the recycling bin into watering cans for the plants in their gardens. Water bottles
can be reused to water indoor plants. • Takeout containers: The organization Ocean Conservancy notes that single-use plastics, including plastic takeout containers, are among the biggest threats to the world’s oceans. But plastic takeout containers need not be used once and discarded. Many such containers are microwaveand dishwasher-safe, meaning they can be reused over and over. Use such containers to store leftovers or as serving dishes when hosting less formal affairs at home. • Toothbrushes: In lieu of discarding plastic
toothbrushes once they’re no longer effective at cleaning teeth, men and women can repurpose them as cleaning utensils to use for hard-to-reach spots. Toothbrushes can be used to clean rims around toilets and to scrub grime between bathroom and kitchen sink fixtures. Many inexpensive items people are accustomed to discarding can be reused and repurposed, which can help remove tons of garbage from landfills and reduce the amount of plastics that find their way into the world’s oceans. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.
Montrose Valley Health April 2018