Punxsutawney Phil wasn’t the only one making snow predictions this year. Thanks to all who participated in our “We’re Moving North” contest by guessing the number of inches to fall in metro Detroit during January. According to local meteorologists, we logged 14.2 inches for the month. Congratulations to our winner whose guess of 14.0 inches scored a $100 North Face gift card. The Farmer’s Almanac speculated winter 2015 would not hit our area as hard as last year, but we weren’t convinced as we shoveled a record-book number of inches from Winter Storm Linus! While we bundle up to stave off subzero
Practically a symbol of fall’s bounty, pumpkins sit as décor atop porches and Thanksgiving tables alike. But they are far more versatile than traditional holiday decorations and can be creatively used in a number of ways. The most familiar tactic is to scoop out the seeds. Season and roast them as snacks by themselves or stir into a brittle. Save them to grow your own pumpkin. Dry them and make mosaic tiles to use in kids’ crafts. Boil or bake the flesh for fresher and tastier puree to use in pie, soup and baked goods. (Puree can even be made into a
Many schools and government offices follow recycling programs to promote materials reuse, recycling and waste reduction – from dual-sided copying to buying remanufactured equipment. Other businesses and organizations are getting on the bandwagon too. Besides their corporate sustainability measures, retailers such as Target and Kohl’s provide collection barrels for plastic shopping bags – no matter whose brand is on them – to encourage guests to join their efforts in waste reduction. Some stores have stations for electronic items as well. Parks and zoos will often have separate receptacles for trash and recyclables. When frequenting these establishments, be sure to use the recycling
Aluminum can be recycled into many different products, such as tractor-trailer and car bodies, gutters, siding and more. However, aluminum cans usually become new aluminum cans. Recycling aluminum does not reduce the quality of the metal, so it can be recycled indefinitely. In fact, 75% of all aluminum produced since 1888 is still in use today. With their constant demand, manufacturers are able to have an aluminum can back on store shelves quickly. Producing new cans from recycled aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to produce cans from ore, known as bauxite. And the cost savings are significant, even when
Typically used for less than 30 minutes, plastic shopping bags are rarely recycled. Many stores sell fabric bags or even bags made of recycled material. But here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone without spending any money. Repurpose an unwanted t-shirt into a reusable tote bag. With just two quick seams and minimal cutting, you can create a t-shirt tote that is strong and washable. Plus, you can keep what might be a treasured souvenir that you just can’t bear to part with. Fold them up and stash a few in the car to carry groceries, books, gym
May Showers Installing rain barrels on your home’s downspouts can help reduce water bills in warmer months. How many inches of rain does it take to fill a 55-gallon rain barrel? A. 3 inches B. 33 inches C. .3 inches Click here to submit your answer.
Spring brings to mind growth and renewal, as well as the seasonal varietals of fruits and vegetables soon to be available at the market. For most of us, that is. In many cities, inadequate, unreliable and irregular access to food is a recurring problem. Urban agriculture has been a positive response to addressing those concerns. Households and small communities take advantage of vacant land and contribute not only to their household food needs but also the needs of their resident city. Supplemental food production beyond rural farming operations is not a new concept. As early as 1893, Detroiters struck by the
The term “recycling” has become rooted in our vernacular. But drop the word “upcycling” into conversation, and you may be met with a blank stare. Upcycling involves converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. Though the word may be new, thrift is not a new concept. Prior to the ’50s or so, upcycling was actually commonplace. Everything was used until it was in no way beneficial. Today’s upcyclers put just about anything they can find to good use. For example: tires and bike tubes are transformed into flip