Earth Gauge Messages - WFO Milwaukee - Fall/Winter 2010

 

Below are a variety of environmental messages produced by a program entitled Earth Gauge®, which is part of the National Environmental Education foundation.   The media is encouraged to use these messages in theiri outreach activities.

Earth Gauge® is funded by The Kendeda Foundation, the Park Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and partners with government agencies, universities and nonprofit organizations. The content provided in the messages below does not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of program funders and partners.

TOPIC: AIR QUALITY

Smoke from wood fires contains a mixture of gases and tiny particles of ash, soot and wood tar that can cause health problems for some people. If you build a wood fire at home, minimize smoke and maximize warmth by only burning wood that has been seasoned outside for at least six months. Never burn garbage, cardboard, plastics, or wood that has been treated or is diseased. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.

 

TOPIC: AIR QUALITY, ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Did you know that idling your car for two minutes uses the same amount of gas used to drive about one mile? An idling car also emits air pollutants. Reduce idling by parking your car instead of going through the drive-through at fast food restaurants or banks. You can also turn off the engine while waiting to pick up kids from school or other activities. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.

 

TOPIC: ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Don’t let a drop in outdoor temperatures mean a drop in your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Check tire pressure regularly during cold weather and keep tires properly inflated. Having just one tire under-inflated by six pounds per square inch can increase fuel consumption by three percent and reduce the tire’s life. Check your owner’s manual for information on correct inflation pressure. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: HOME AND YARD - FALL GARDENING
 Looking for something to keep your garden going after the warm summer weather? Food crops in the broccoli family include cauliflower, turnips and cabbage, and are ideal for planting in the fall when temperatures are cooler (between 55 and 65 degrees). Your local garden center or Cooperative Extension office can help you choose the right plants. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: HOME AND YARD - FALL LEAF DROP
As you watch the colorful fall foliage drift to the ground, keep in mind that dead leaves are great for compost. You can compost leaves at home or contribute them to community composting programs. Adding compost to your garden helps plants grow healthy and gives them a better defense against disease, insects and drought. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: HOME AND YARD - FALL TREE PLANTING
Tree roots and leaves absorb rain water, helping to "slow the flow" during heavy rain storms. A single deciduous tree can intercept up to 750 gallons of rain water runoff per year! Fall's cooler temperatures and rainfall make it an ideal time to plant trees. Ask your local garden center or Cooperative Extention office for advice on choosing the right tree for your yard. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: HOME AND YARD - WINTER PREP
Fall is a great time to visually scan your trees for limbs that might snap during the winter. Look for heavily weighted branches, splits where limbs join trunks and dead branches. Remove dead or dying branches before they become hazards. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: HOME AND YARD - WINTERIZING HOME
Before Old Man Winter arrives on your doorstep, drain outdoor spigots, detach hoses, and turn off the water to outdoor faucets to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting. When you drain the water, catch it in a bucket to water plants! Bundle up outdoor spigots with a cold weather cover or insulator to provide extra protection. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: PUBLIC HEALTH - FALL ALLERGIES
About 10 to 20 percent of Americans suffer from ragweed allergies in fall. Ragweed grows throughout the U.S. and a single ragweed plant, which only lives for one season, can produce one billion grains of pollen! Allergy sufferers can reduce exposure to ragweed pollen by keeping their homes closed up and using air conditioning, which filters the air. Keep car windows closed when driving and change your clothing after spending time outside. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: WATER QUALITY
Residential driveways are “hot spots” for accumulation of pollutants like motor oil and yard care chemicals. During a storm, rain water picks up pollutants from paved areas and heads to the storm drain, which often directs water straight to our neighborhood streams and rivers without treatment. You can help protect water quality by keeping your driveway free of pollutants. Fix car leaks to prevent drips. If fertilizers or other yard care treatments spill onto the driveway, sweep them back onto the lawn or garden. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: WATER QUALITY
Combined sewer systems have pipes designed to carry both wastewater and rainwater. Heavy rains can overload combined sewer systems, causing both wastewater and rainwater to overflow into the nearest stream or river. During rain events, you can help lower the load on our sewer systems by conserving water. Hold off on activities that use large amounts of water, such as running the dishwasher or washing machine, and make sure that outdoor sprinklers are turned off. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: WILDLIFE - MIGRATION
Migratory species are on the move! The fall season offers great wildlife-watching opportunities in your own backyard or at a local park or nature preserve. In the Midwest, keep a lookout for dark-eyed juncos and American tree sparrows arriving from the north. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.
 
TOPIC: WILDLIFE
Fall is a peak time for vehicle-widlife collisions. Wildlife are active at this time of year and more commuters are traveling after dark. Keep you and your local wildlife safe by slowing down and watching for wildlife along roads bordered by natural habitat. If you see an animal crossing the road, remember that where there is one animal, there are likely others. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


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