Fall 2011 Earth Gauge Messages


TOPIC:  AIR QUALITY

About 20 percent of morning traffic is school-related. Increased traffic and idling vehicles around schools create air pollutants that can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions.  If you drive your kids to school, you can help reduce traffic and improve air quality by turning off the car engine during drop-off and pick-up times, teaming up with other parents to carpool and encouraging kids to walk or bike when the weather is nice.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC: ALLERGIES, PUBLIC HEALTH

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:  ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The end of daylight saving time is a great time to change light bulbs at home. When you turn back the clock, consider twisting some compact fluorescent light bulbs into your most-used lighting fixtures. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Did you know that letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours? Using less hot water is one easy way to reduce your gas or electric bill during the chilly fall months. Try washing clothes in cold water and running only full loads. When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, and then adjust the temperature as the it fills up. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  HOME AND GARDEN - LEAF CLEAN-UP

Lakes, rivers and streams can be polluted from fallen leaves that are picked up by rain water runoff. You can protect water quality and save hours of raking, blowing and leaf-bagging by composting or mulching fallen leaves. Shred leaves to reduce their volume, then add them to your compost pile. You can also spread leaves around vegetable gardens, flower beds and trees, or on a wooded area of your property.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC: HOME AND GARDEN - TREE PLANTING

Did you know that just one tree can reduce rainwater runoff by 4,000 gallons each year?  Tree canopies and roots absorb and filter rainwater, helping to reduce flooding and erosion, and protect water quality.  Fall is a great time to plant trees in many regions of the U.S.  Cooler weather is less stressful for new trees, and planting now will provide plenty of time for trees to establish healthy roots before winter weather rolls in.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  WATER CONSERVATION

Fresh water is used for many common activities like showering, watering lawns and brushing teeth. But did you know that gallons of “hidden” water also go into the production of products we use every day?  Over 1,300 gallons of water are used to produce 500 sheets of paper, 13 gallons of water are used to produce one gallon of paint and 2,000 gallons of water are used to make one tire!  Saving water can be as easy as recycling common household items, such as paper, paint and rubber. You can find a recycling center near you at cleanup dot org. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC: WILDIFE

Many people believe that late fall is a time of scarcity for wildlife, which may prompt them to leave food out for deer and other wildlife. Feeding deer can cause the animals to gather in unnaturally large groups, spreading disease and causing conflicts. Food may also entice deer to cross roads, endangering the animals and increasing the likelihood of collisions with vehicles. Please don't feed the deer. These animals are well-adapted to the local environment and will find food on their own.This message brought to you by the National weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  WILDLIFE - FALL MIGRATION

Wind plays a major role in bird migration. In the Fall, wind circulation patterns around highs and lows impact the movement of migratory birds. The ideal time for flying often occurs the day after a cold front passes. In the Midwest, you may notice hawks and waterfowl drop into your yard to rest and find food at this time of year. You can encourage both migrant and resident birds to visit your yard by offering different types of foods – seed, nuts, berries or suet – and different kinds of feeders.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC: WIND

High winds can damage homes and buildings, especially when tree branches, stones and gravel, patio furniture, roofing tiles and other objects are blown around.  You can protect your home and property from wind damage by bringing backyard items, like patio furniture, garbage cans and children's toys inside when high winds are forecasted and keeping trees and shrubs trimmed.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


The above messages were generated by the Earth Gauge folks in Washington D.C.

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