Earth Gauge Messages for Fall 2012

TOPIC:  AIR QUALITY 1

About 25 million kids ride the bus to and from school each day. Experts estimate that up to 14 percent of personal vehicle trips made during peak morning commuting hours are taking kids to school.  Increased traffic and idling vehicles create air pollutants that can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. You can help reduce traffic and improve air quality near schools by not idling your car, carpooling or helping your kids find safe routes to walk or bike to school.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC: AIR QUALITY 2

Chilly nights in the forecast mean that some people will be using their fireplaces or wood-burning stoves.  Burning wood creates many indoor air pollutants, including carbon monoxide. Smoke from fireplaces and stoves contributes to particle pollution outdoors.  To reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution, make sure your chimney or stove is clean and properly vented to the outside. Never burn garbage or treated woods, such as plywood.  Using wood that has been split and dried for at least six months will help you build a cleaner-burning fire.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC: ENERGY EFFICIENCY 1

In 2010, Wisconsin ranked twenty first in total energy consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration. As the weather cools down, these tips can help you stay warm while saving energy and money. If your heating equipment is more than 10 years old, have it checked by a licensed contractor. Change your heating system filter each month. Seal leaks around doors and windows with caulk or weather stripping to keep cold air out of your home. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  ENERGY EFFICIENCY 2

Fewer daylight hours and cooler temperatures mean that many people spend more time inside during the fall and winter months.  More time spent indoors leads to more energy usage.  One easy way to save energy is to look for compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, with the Energy Star label. A CFL uses 75 percent less energy, emits less heat and will save 40 dollars of more over its lifetime compared to a traditional light bulb. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  ENERGY EFFICIENCY 3

Every fall, we move our clocks back one hour and daylight saving time ends. Throughout fall and winter, there is less natural sunlight to light up and warm the insides of homes and apartments, which can result in more energy use at home. Save energy by opening blinds, curtains and shades during the day to let natural light into your home. In the evening, turn off lights in rooms that are not being used. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  HOME AND GARDEN 1

Did you know that compost piles can be started in the fall and be ready in time for spring gardening? Nutrient-rich organic materials like fallen leaves and grass clippings can be piled up in a compost bin and stored over the winter for use in the springtime. To start a compost pile, find a dry, shady area near a water source. Add brown and green materials to the pile. Add moisture to the pile and every week or so, turn the pile over to add air and moisture.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC: HOME AND GARDEN 2 

There was 250 million tons of municipal solid waste generated in 2010! Yard trimmings, including leaves and grass clippings, accounted for over 13 percent of that waste. Instead of raking and bagging leaves and grass clippings, try mowing over them and letting them be. This will prevent space from being taken up in landfills and reduce auto emissions from vehicles used to transport the waste. Leaves and grass have natural nitrogen that will feed back into the lawn.  This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  WATER CONSERVATION

Did you know that you can protect water quality just by limiting your water use?  Water conservation puts less stress on our drinking water supplies and diverts less water for municipal use. This helps preserve stream flow and maintain healthy aquatic environments. Save water at home by shortening showers, only washing full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher, and using rain barrels to catch and reuse water. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC: WATER QUALITY

In a surprising twist, scientists recently discovered that soil erosion may be a bigger contributor to nutrient pollution than previously thought.  Researchers found that half of one river’s phosphorus actually came from its own, eroded riverbanks rather than polluted stormwater that washed into it.  Scientists in that study were able to curb erosion and reduce phosphorus loads by 90 percent simply by smoothing and replanting the riverbanks with plants and shrubs. You can use the same strategy at home: replant areas of bare soil to curb erosion. This message brought to you by the National weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


TOPIC:  CITIZEN SCIENCE

Looking for a new project? Fall is a great time to join a citizen science program, where you can share your own observations about weather and nature with scientists. Citizen science volunteers can collect far more data than science researchers can alone, playing an important role in scientific discovery.  A few projects to get your hands on this Fall are monitoring weather and precipitation at co co rahs dot org and monitoring water quality at world water monitoring day dot org. This message brought to you by the National Weather Service and Earth Gauge dot net.


Kapela, WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan, Twitter - @rkapelawx

Earth Gauge Web Site

 



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