ENVIRONMENT

Recycle Alanis Morissette

Sprinklers Save Water Help Millions Water Management Natural Fertilizer Save Money and Energy Test Your Water Drought Stress Help Plants Filter Water

Recycle, Be Rewarded

(NAPSI)—Now, when you use certain skin care products to enhance your own looks, you can help make the rest of the world a better-looking place, too. Plus, you won't be the only one working on the issue.

For example, one skin care company—Kiehl's Since 1851—is demonstrating its commitment to social responsibility with Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream, a 24-hour, light-textured daily hydrator. For a total donation of $50,000, 100 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the product-featuring specially designed Limited Edition labels by socially conscious partners, singer-songwriter-musician Alanis Morissette and actor Zachary Quinto—benefits Recycle Across America. That charity provides solutions to make recycling more simple, comprehensive and effective.

The empty bottles, tubes and jars from products you got from Kiehl's Since 1851 can also be turned in to the company's stores for complimentary skin care.

It's all part of Kiehl's Gives, an ongoing platform to promote philanthropy around the world.

For more about the Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream, visit www.kiehls.com/Ultra-Facial-Limited-Edition.

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Spruce Up Your System And Save While You Sprinkle

(NAPSI)—Spring may have sprung, but is your sprinkler ready? Before you ramp up your watering this season, it might be time to spruce up your sprinklers to stop wasting water, save money, and promote a healthy lawn or garden.

If you have an irrigation system, chances are it has been dormant for the past several months and could use some maintenance to get in shape for the spring and summer growing season. A home with an automatic irrigation system that isn't properly programmed or maintained can waste as much as 30,000 gallons of water annually!

Take a few minutes to check your system for common problems such as leaks or malfunctioning sprinkler heads. In fact, just one broken sprinkler head could waste up to 25,000 gallons of water and more than $90 over a six-month irrigation season-the cost of about 300 daffodil bulbs.

To get started, follow these four simple steps-inspect, connect, direct and select:

• Inspect. Check your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads. If you're not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro-look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled irrigation program to help maintain your system.

• Connect. Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes or hoses. If water is pooling in your landscape, you could have a leak in your system. A leak as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.

• Direct. Experts estimate that as much as half of the water we use outdoors is being wasted due to evaporation, wind or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems. Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to your lawn or prized plants, not your driveway or sidewalk!

• Select. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste a lot of water. Update your system's schedule with the seasons, or select a WaterSense labeled controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling.

Properly maintained irrigation systems are the key to healthy landscapes and outdoor water savings. So remember to add "sprinkler spruce-up" to your spring-cleaning list this year!

You can learn more about maintaining a water-smart yard, search for a certified irrigation professional, or view a list of WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers by visiting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense website at www.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor.

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Editor's Note: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reminding consumers to spruce up their irrigation systems before they ramp up their watering this spring. Although "sprinkler spruce-up" officially launches the first weekend in May, this story can run anytime after winter ends, to remind readers to inspect, connect, direct and select their way to water savings outdoors.

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You Can Help Millions Of People Solve Their Water Problem

(NAPSI)—Take a moment to reflect on how easily you access water every day: From just grabbing a bottle of water to throwing their clothes in the wash, most Americans take it for granted that water's there for all their needs.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American family of four can use 400 gallons of water every day. That's unlike the 884 million people—almost three times the population of the United States —globally who lack access to clean water.

Think about not being able to jump in the shower or run the tap for a cold, clean glass of water. Instead, you have no other option but to make an hours-long trek to a water supply. According to Water.org, in just one day, 200 million work hours are consumed by women collecting water for their families—equal to the time that it would take to build 28 Empire State Buildings.

What's Being Done

The good news is that through the Essence of Life program, a leading global water technology provider is working to "solve water" for those whose access is limited. The company extensively tested rural water management pumping solutions throughout India , Africa, South America and Pan-Asia. Farmers were provided with field samples of manual pumps during traditional cropping seasons to achieve "real-life" testing.

After weeks of usage, Xylem interviewed farmers to find out how well the manual pump systems worked. The feedback was very positive, including: "This is a very good pump"..."good water pressure"..."never seen such a pump"..."cannot believe that a manual pump can give so much pressure"..."can easily carry on bicycle to fields." Greater water pressure and simple transport means less labor time; less labor time means more time to pursue other earning opportunities and more time for farmers to spend with their families; in all, a better quality of life for smallholder farmers.

What You Can Do

There are many organizations you can support in a variety of ways. Volunteering your time, donating funds, even sharing information with your social networks can all make a difference.

Learn More

For more about the Essence of Life program, as well as an ongoing look at water issues across the globe, visit "The Ripple Effect" blog at www.EOLRippleEffect.com, visit on Facebook, and follow @Xylem EOL on Twitter and Pinterest.

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STORY4 HEADLINE

(NAPSI)—There's genuine excitement in rural America about what to many may seem a surprising subject: livestock manure. That's because farmers can get improved nutrient efficiency from it as a natural fertilizer source, the animal waste is easier to handle and apply, and some of the odors associated with release of ammonia gas are being reduced—all thanks to some recent technology available to livestock producers.

When farmers have hundreds or thousands of hogs or dairy or beef cattle, millions of tons of waste are generated that must be managed in an environmentally sound way. In most cases, the manure is held in pits or lagoons before being applied to fields as a rich source of vital nutrients such as phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N), both of which are essential to crop growth and health.

Technology Benefits

The recently developed technology that helps livestock producers manage all this waste more efficiently is More Than Manure® (MTM®) Nutrient Manager, from SFP®, a company that specializes in products that improve fertilizer efficiency. When added to in-ground manure pits and lagoons, MTM can help break up "solids," making the manure easier to pump, transport and apply. It can also significantly reduce ammonia levels both in livestock confinement areas and on the fields where manure is applied.

For example, take Dean Strauss, who milks roughly 1,900 cows at two Wisconsin locations. He recently tried the product, applying it in and around manure pits and through the direct system that pumps into the pits. "It cut the odor dramatically," Strauss said. "Anything we can do to address odor issues is good for our workers and our cows, and it helps us be better neighbors to the people who live close to our farming operation."

In a short time following application, Strauss witnessed a breaking up of crusts and solids in the pits. "The uniformity of the manure for spreading was greatly improved," he added. "I know we are now getting a better distribution of nutrients across the soil."

Better Crop Yields

This technology can also help improve nutrient efficiency and plant uptake of P and N from manure used as fertilizer, which leads to better overall crop health and yield increases. Reducing the amount of P that gets locked up in the soil and N losses due to leaching, volatilization and denitrification makes more of both elements available for crop use.

Consider Jack Wyttenbach, a hog producer who has about 1,500 sows and finishes about 25,000 hogs a year. He has experienced a yield increase of 8 bushels per acre on fields of corn fertilized with manure that was treated with MTM. "This yield increase is due to improved nutrient efficiency and uptake," he said.

Wyttenbach also tries to be environmentally proactive about livestock odors that can wear thin on neighbors. "We've seen a dramatic reduction in the amount of ammonia gas coming off the manure after using MTM," he observed.

Learn More

For more information, see a fertilizer dealer, call 1-888-446-GROW or visit sfp.com.

SFP, More Than Manure and MTM are registered trademarks of Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP), LLC. © 2013 SFP. All rights reserved.

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Tips On Being Green At Home And Away

(NAPSI)—Today, finding ways to be more energy efficient and eco friendly isn't just good for the environment—it can be good for your home, your family and your bottom line. Here are hints on how:

• Reduce, reuse, recycle: Take a look around—a simple mental checklist of reusable, recyclable items can make a world of difference with no more effort than a weekly drop-off. For example, take old books and donate them to a school or library. If you buy eggs in cartons, drop the empties off at an elementary school or after-school center to be used for art projects. If you're renovating your home or even just planning a few small home improvement projects, remember that just about everything, from old flooring to doorknobs and light fixtures, can be repurposed by a charity if not by you.

• Eat and drink your way to a healthier planet: How (and what) you eat can make a big impact on the environment and the community. Farmers' markets are often bursting with fresh produce. Supporting one helps preserve the vitality of community agriculture. Buying local means produce is fresher—it hasn't been shipped from hundreds of miles away. To keep those fruits and veggies fresher longer, you can get a refrigerator with humidity-controlled crispers. Using your refrigerator's water dispense system and a reusable bottle instead of bottled water can keep up to 300 plastic bottles a year from ending up in landfills.

• Let the housework do the saving for you: New home appliances are far more efficient than older models. New washers such as the Energy Star-certified Amana 3.6-cu.-ft., high-efficiency washer use 75 percent less water and 82 percent less energy than those manufactured just a decade ago. If you've been considering a new washer or dryer, the good news is it could save you money on your utility bills.

• Learn more: You can find additional facts on efficient appliances at www.amana.com.

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Water Testing Helps Ensure Better Water For Homeowners

(NAPSI)—Homeowners use water for many purposes, including drinking, cooking, washing, heating, humidifying, flushing (the No. 1 use of water in a home) and their pets. Those are just a few reasons homeowners should make sure they understand what's in their water.

Although water may look clean, there are many things that affect its quality:

• There are naturally occurring substances, such as dissolved limestone, which can lead to water hardness.

• Chemicals like chlorine are added at the local water treatment plant.

• Impurities like arsenic or lead may be found in private wells or in older pipes.

Fortunately, a local water expert, like the Culligan Man, can perform a simple in-home water test for homeowners to find out what's in their water and make recommendations for improvement based on those findings.

Recognizing a water problem

Water enters a home through four primary sources—private and municipal surface water; and private and municipal wells.

Sometimes that water doesn't seem as good as it could be. It could have an unpleasant smell or look, or simply not taste as good as bottled water. In addition, dishes and laundry might be spotted or stained and there might be scale buildup on the shower door or pipes.

Substances such as iron, dissolved minerals, lead, nitrates and sulfates could cause those problems with the water. Some of those substances occur naturally, while others can come from farm runoff or industrial pollution. But more important, while some can be seen, smelled or tasted, others are invisible.

That's why having water tested by a local water expert like the Culligan Man is so important for homeowners. He is fully knowledgeable on local water supplies, and uniquely suited to diagnose a water problem. The first step is a portable in-home test for hardness, iron, copper, pH and alkalinity.

If the results suggest a substantial problem, a sample can be sent to the company's water laboratory, which is accredited by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It uses specially calibrated machinery to test for bacteria, dissolved solids, and more than 100 substances.

The Culligan Man will then share the results with the homeowner and recommend the best course of action to correct the problem, like a whole-house water filtration system or a water softener.

Learn more

From a tall, cool glass on a hot day, to better-tasting coffee, to rinsing vegetables for a big meal, water is essential to the health of every household. The Culligan Man can answer any questions about home water quality and safety, and facilitate tests—even if a homeowner doesn't suspect a problem.

For more information about water testing and how the local Culligan Man can help, visit www.culligan.com/en-us/d/water-test/culligan-water-testing/.

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Editors' note: Although May is National Drinking Water Month, this article can be of interest to your readers at any time.

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Helping Plants Withstand Drought Stress

(NAPSI)-- America 's farmers feed the world: According to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), each U.S. farmer grows enough for 155 people. Now, thanks to technology and their own hard work, they should be able to continue to do so, despite what Mother Nature has been throwing at them lately.

For example, a major problem for corn growers is drought. According to the USDA's Drought Monitor, many places display drought conditions ranging from severe to exceptional, including regions in the Western Great Plains. To help farmers across the corn-growing area, there are drought-tolerant corn plants with deep, strong root structures that can withstand drought conditions and still yield a bumper crop.

Scientific Proof

Consider this: A root comparison study of randomly selected corn seed products was conducted at the Gothenburg Water Utilization Learning Center in Nebraska. It showed that a thick, deep root structure lets corn plants reach crucial moisture locked within the subsoil, absorbing up more water and nutrients and ultimately leading to healthier ears and yield potential.

"They can produce 700 to 800 kernels per ear," said Michael Petersen, former soil scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and lead agronomist with Orthman Manufacturing, a tillage and earth-moving company that participated in the root dig excavation. "And when they do that, we know that we can produce big corn."

Because more water and more nutrients are found between 30 and 80 inches below ground, Petersen explained, deeper roots help plants stand up to lengthy drought stress.

Rooting For Good, Strong Corn

"Deep, strong roots mean that your plants are going to be anchored to the soil very well. They are going to have a chance of rooting down and accessing the soil moisture and using that to help farmers protect their yield in a drought year," added agronomist Mark Reiman.

He said that despite moisture stress, the deep-rooted corn had healthier, more consistent ears than others. "We actually saw very nice corn ears that had no tip back," he said. "They were filled nicely, pollinated nicely, from the end of the ear to the tip of the ear. In contrast, kernel set was spotty and ear size was less consistent with the competitive brands."

The DEKALB® corn boasted a much deeper root structure, extending up to 85 inches, some beyond even the backhoe's reach. The roots maintained their form and were distributed evenly, so they could explore a much larger soil volume with the ability to reach more moisture and nutrients.

Technological Advances

Farmers now have another tool to combat drought stress and are turning to the recently commercialized DEKALB® Genuity® DroughtGard™ Hybrids. Through the robust technology pipeline, the brand's research and development teams have delivered innovations that improve yields while using fewer inputs, including water. These plants combine drought-tolerant genetics, developed through an industry-leading breeding program, with the industry's first drought-tolerant biotech trait and agronomic practices. Combining breeding genetics with the new drought-tolerant biotech trait in DEKALB® DroughtGard™ Hybrids will mean the potential for even more powerful yield protection for farmers in 2013.

Learn More

For further facts, visit www.dekalb.com and follow the brand at www.facebook.com/dekalb.

Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location and from year to year. This result may not be an indicator of results you may obtain as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. DEKALB and Design®, DroughtGard™ and Genuity® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2013 Monsanto Company.

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Here's To Clean Water-How To Help Safeguard Against Drinking Water Contaminants

(NAPSI)—You may have heard that drinking 8-ounce glasses of water a day is good for your health. But what if the water you're drinking isn't as good for you as you think—due to drinking water contaminants?

The problem is that while tap and bottled water may appear crystal clean, it may still contain hidden contaminants picked up along the way as it makes the journey to your home. And while some drinking water contaminants may simply be things you'd really rather not ingest or might make your water taste bad, some may be harmful to your health. In fact, according to research supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there may be as many as 16 million waterborne illnesses a year associated with drinking water.

Depending on where you live, tap water may contain levels of lead, heavy metals, industrial and agricultural pollutants and even trace levels of pharmaceuticals—including hormones, steroids, antibiotics, antidepressants, painkillers and anti-anxiety medication—which have been identified in tap water sources serving more than 51 million American homes. And buying bottled water isn't necessarily a solution—plastic water bottles can also leach harmful contaminants into your family's drinking water.

Fortunately, there is a solution for fresh, clean water without spending a fortune. In-home water filtration products, like PUR faucet filters, can remove or reduce up to 61 of these commonly found contaminants—more than any other leading brand.

For example, PUR faucet filters reduce agricultural pesticides, industrial pollutants, lead, mercury, trace levels of pharmaceuticals, and chlorine taste and odor straight from the tap-contaminants others could leave behind. PUR's unique activated carbon water filters found in its pitchers are certified to remove a total of 13 contaminants often found in tap water versus only six claimed by Brita—that's twice the number of contaminants. At the same time, they can keep essential fluoride—which is important for developing and maintaining healthy teeth in children and adults—in your drinking water.

Drink (Water) To Savings

Switching to filtered water at home could save your family more than $1,000 per year over bottled water. PUR pitchers and faucet filters start at only $19.99 and provide clean water at about a penny a glass.

Learn More

For further information on how to safeguard your home and family from water contamination, go to www.PURwater.com or www.facebook.com/PUR.

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