Environment:

Conserve Water Beat The Leak Your Water Footprint Cork Benefits Environment

Being Green
Seeing Purple

Recycling Aerosol Cans Bed Bugs
Green Approach
$10 Billion Insect Threat

Conserve Water: Tips To Help

(NAPSI)-For homeowners-especially those who live in drier regions-saving water is an important issue.

Americans use an average of 101 gallons of water every day, five times as much water as is needed to maintain basic necessities. A considerable amount of that water is spent keeping lawns and gardens green and lush.

Watering lawns and gardens can account for up to half of the 95,000 gallons of water used by households yearly. Smart watering habits-along with weather-based irrigation products-can save 30 to 70 percent of that water. Here are some water-saving ideas:

1. Don't drown your lawn. Instead of watering for one long session, water a few times for shorter periods and take 15-minute breaks in between each session.

2. Watch the clock. Water between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.-when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cool. Midday watering tends to be less efficient due to evaporation, while watering in the evening can encourage the growth of fungus.

3. Divide by zones. Different plants need different amounts of water. Both sprinkler and drip irrigation can be incorporated to achieve more efficient use of water.

4. Water only things that grow. If you have an underground sprinkler system, make sure the sprinkler heads are adjusted properly to avoid watering sidewalks and driveways. A properly adjusted sprinkler head should spray large droplets of water instead of a fine mist.

5. Consider dripping. When it comes to watering individual trees, flowerbeds, potted containers or other nongrassy areas, consider applying water directly to the roots using low-volume drip irrigation.

6. Do routine inspections. Periodically check your sprinklers to make sure everything is working properly. A clogged head or a torn line can wreak havoc on your landscape and water bill.

7. Be rain smart. Use an irrigation system with a weather-based sensor. A weather sensor works with a smart controller to monitor temperature and rainfall and adjusts watering schedules accordingly. The controller uses a built-in database of weather information for the homeowner's specific geographic area to adjust watering needs all year long.

For example, Rain Bird's SST Smart Irrigation Control System synthesizes a home's landscape watering needs and on-site weather conditions to give lawns and gardens the precise amount of water required.

For more information, visit www.rainbird.com.

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Beat The Leak This Week

(NAPSI)-Drip. Drip. Drip. That's the sound the average American household makes as it wastes more than 10,000 gallons each year from leaks-enough to fill a backyard swimming pool. If that doesn't seem like a lot of water, consider that across the country, easy-to-fix household leaks add up to more than 1 trillion gallons of water lost annually nationwide.

That's why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging homeowners to find and fix leaks during the third annual Fix a Leak Week. Sponsored by EPA's WaterSense. program as part of the ongoing We're for Water campaign, Fix a Leak Week reminds homeowners of the steps they can take to save water in their community now and for future generations. Be for water and start saving today with three simple steps: check, twist, replace.

1. Check. First, check your home for leaks. You can detect silent toilet leaks, a common water-wasting culprit, by adding food coloring to the toilet tank and waiting 10 minutes before flushing. If color appears in the bowl, your toilet has a leak. Visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak for do-it-yourself toilet repair tips and videos.

2. Twist. Give leaking faucet and showerhead connections a firm twist with a wrench or apply pipe tape to ensure that pipe connections are sealed tight. If you can't stop those drops yourself, contact a plumbing professional. For additional savings, twist WaterSense-labeled aerators onto bathroom faucets to use 30 percent less water without noticing a difference in flow.

3. Replace. If you just can't nip that drip, it may be time to replace the fixture. Look for WaterSense-labeled models, which use at least 20 percent less water and are independently certified to perform as well as or better than standard models. Replacing your home's old, inefficient showerheads with WaterSense-labeled models lets you shower with power while shrinking your household's water footprint by 2,300 gallons annually and saving enough energy to run a television all year long.

Want to do more? Join thousands of your neighbors by supporting the We're for Water campaign, organized by WaterSense. Visit www.epa.gov/watersense and take the Im for Water pledge or "like" WaterSense on Facebook and share why you're for water at www.facebook.com/EPAwatersense.

For more information and tips about how to save water during Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.

Note to Editors: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program is promoting Fix a Leak Week, March 14 through 20, 2011. Additional graphics and information for the week itself are available by contacting the WaterSense Helpline at watersense@epa.gov or (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367).

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Know Your Water Footprint

(NAPSI)-Most people have heard of their carbon footprint but have you heard of your water footprint?

On one hand, the United States has an abundance of water, almost 8 percent of the world's freshwater resources, but only 4.5 percent of the world's population. On the other hand, the average American's water footprint, the total amount of water directly and indirectly used, is nearly twice the world's average. You can calculate your water footprint at www.waterfootprint.org.

Water Conservation Tips

  • Take a short shower instead of a bath. A five- to 10-minute shower uses less water than a full bathtub.
  • Install a Bell & Gossett AutocircTM hot water circulator in the bathroom under the sink and it can save an average family of four more than 12,000 gallons of water a year by eliminating the need to wait for the water to get hot.
  • Shower during the warmer part of the day and use cooler water. Showering during the heat of the day is a great way to reduce your hot water consumption.
  • Install a more efficient shower fixture: Efficient fixtures maintain high pressure while lowering the amount of water used.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Use a drip irrigation system instead of a hose or sprinkler to water your garden.
  • Direct the water drain line from your air conditioner to a flower bed, tree base or onto your lawn.
  • Set up a rain barrel under a rain gutter outside your house. You can catch hundreds of gallons to use for watering the lawn, washing the car, etc.
  • For more information on water conservation and energy-saving products and tips, go to:
  • www.itth2opros.com
  • www.epa.gov/watersense
  • www.bellgossett.com
  • www.ittwatermark.com

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Cork Benefits Wine And The Environment

(NAPSI)-The next time you pop a wine cork, drink a toast to the environment. That's because your choice of wine closures has a real impact on the health of the planet.

Cork is still the hands-down favorite closure for wines sold in the U.S. because it allows wine to age properly, and it is part of the romance of wine. (Have you ever heard of someone saving a screw-cap from a memorable dinner?) But corks are also the favorite closure for the environment.

Corks are made from the bark of a particular species of oak tree found in the Mediterranean Basin. There is no shortage of cork and the oak trees are never cut down for their bark. Instead, a portion of the bark is removed every decade, which actually improves the tree's health.

Corks are biodegradable and recyclable, of course, but their environmental benefits don't end there. The commercial use of cork for wine stoppers encourages the stewardship of the cork oak forests.

And these are not your average forests. They cover an area about the size of Maryland and prevent large portions of countries such as Spain and Portugal from turning into deserts. They also provide habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species and sustain generations of family farmers.

Moreover, the forests offset the emissions from 2.5 million vehicles every year by soaking up carbon dioxide, the primary gas responsible for climate change.

"Choosing wine enclosed with high-quality cork protects 7 million acres of extremely valuable habitat that are vital to our biosphere," said Jim Bernau, founder and president of Willamette Valley Vineyards, in an interview posted on YouTube. "And it makes the wine taste just a bit better."

But the forests are threatened, not by drought or disease but by artificial wine stoppers.

"The increase in the market share of alternative wine stoppers, specifically plastic stoppers and screw-tops, could reduce the economic value of cork...leading to conversion to other uses...and finally (the) loss of one of the best and most valuable examples of a human-nature balanced system," according to a study by the World Wildlife Fund.

A growing body of evidence suggests there are health benefits to moderate alcohol consumption. In the case of wine, there's also a benefit to the health of our environment when it's sealed with a natural cork.

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Being Green, Seeing Purple

(NAPSI)-What's big, purple and hangs in ash trees across the country? It's called a "purple trap." Set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its state partners, this is a device that monitors for the presence of an invasive pest called the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle.

The EAB Kills Ash Trees

Since its discovery in 2002, this beetle has killed tens of millions of ash trees and threatens to kill millions more as it continues to spread. The adult beetle is metallic green and only about 1/2" long. As a larva, it spends its entire life burrowed under the bark of a tree-which makes the EAB tough to spot. While under the bark, the EAB disrupts the systems that transport food and water to the tree, eventually starving and killing it. When the EAB exits a tree, the beetle leaves a distinctive D-shaped hole in the bark.

Purple in Ash Trees

Unlike the EAB, purple traps are easy to spot. The trap is a three-dimensional triangle that's about 24 inches long. It's made out of thin, corrugated purple plastic and covered in glue. The beetles are attracted to the color, as well as a scented lure used to bait the traps. In the spring, EABs fly around, nibble on ash tree leaves and look for a mate. If one lands on a purple trap, it will get stuck in the glue. But don't worry, purple traps pose no risk to the trees-or humans, pets or wildlife.

Purple traps do not draw the beetle to an area-rather, they help detect it if it is already present.

What You Can Do

You can play a role in stopping the spread of EAB and destruction of ash trees. Start by talking to your friends and family about the serious threat this beetle poses to America's ash trees. Understand that the beetle typically doesn't move far on its own. It's known as a hitchhiker, catching rides in cut wood. So don't move firewood. Buy firewood locally and burn it where you buy it. Learn more about the EAB at www.stopthebeetle.info. If you spot a purple trap on the ground or possible signs of EAB damage in your trees, you can contact your state's Department of Agriculture or Natural Resources, or call the toll-free USDA-EAB Hotline at (866) 322-4512.

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Recycling Aerosol Cans

(NAPSI)-A little knowledge may help you avoid throwing out something valuable and help the environment at the same time.

Currently, too many aerosol cans take up landfill space while the valuable steel they're made from is not being recycled and reused. Steel aerosol containers are every bit as recyclable as other steel cans.

According to Greg Crawford, executive director of the Steel Recycling Institute, one reason for the disparity may be that "many aerosol products aren't in the kitchen where a lot of household recyclables are generated from; they're in the bathroom or other side of the house, and it creates a little bit of a disconnect."

To help bridge that disconnect, many steel aerosol cans now have a "please recycle when empty" logo. In addition, many recycling programs, looking to maximize the diversion of recyclables from landfills, are informing consumers that steel aerosol containers are easily recyclable once empty through normal use.

For more information, see http://recycle-steel.org.

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Keep Bed Bugs From Biting

(NAPSI)-Although chemical-resistant bed bugs are emerging in the cleanest of homes and hotels worldwide, you can best the bugs. The problem is, unwary travelers can bring back sneaky stowaways in the depths of suitcases, so it may be time for many to look to the next generation of pest management.

A patented bed bug treatment is 100 percent safe and effective and even works on their eggs. Through structural pasteurization, heat is applied to all interior furnishings in a home, hospital or office building at a temperature that's lethal to pesky living organisms and molds. It's clean, odorless and provides treatment entirely without toxins.

"Replacing millions of pounds of chemicals in the environment while solving the exploding bed bug problem is one of the best real-world applications of science today," said Dr. Michael R. Linford, Ph.D. "Killing bed bugs without putting your family or the ecosystem at risk is now possible."

The treatment, called ThermaPureHeat, can make your surroundings enjoyably pest-free. Learn more at www.thermapureheat.com.

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Emerald Ash Borer: The $10 Billion Threat

(NAPSI)-The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a metallic-green insect, a half-inch long and weighs next to nothing. But it's a serial killer of ash trees all over the United States.

According to the American Institute of Biological Sciences, EAB will cost cities about $10 billion over 10 years for treatment and removal of ash trees. That's money many cities just don't have as they dig out from the recession.

"Imagine driving through a neighborhood in the spring or summer and it looks like the fall because there are very few leaves on the ash trees," said Lance Walheim, co-author of "Landscaping for Dummies" and lawn and garden expert for Bayer AdvancedTM. "Thinning tree canopies are the calling card for this insect that attacks trees from the inside out."

According to www.Emeraldashborer.info, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in many areas where it's been discovered, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Quebec, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. It's been in the U.S. since 2002.

Female borers lay eggs in late May through June. The larvae feed under the bark from late July through October, choking off the water and nutrient supply to the tree. Up to half of the tree canopy can die in a year. Most of the canopy will be dead after two years.

You Don't Have To Cut Down Your Ash Trees

In many cities, workers break out chain saws to cut down ash trees in parks and along streets if EAB is a threat. Local TV news and newspapers cover the mass elimination of trees. So, homeowners think the only solution they have is to cut down the beautiful ash trees in their yards.

According to www.Emeraldashborer.info, there are several homeowner options for controlling EAB. They include products that are injected into the soil or tree trunk or applied around the roots with water.

Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed Concentrate (www.BayerAdvanced.com) protects trees from EAB and other destructive pests. Just measure the required amount of product, mix it with water and apply it around the roots of the tree. It protects for up to 12 months. Always read and follow label directions.

You need to apply preventive products early since it can take up to three months to fully protect large trees.

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ash trees in their yards.

According to www.Emeraldashborer.info, there are several homeowner options for controlling EAB. They include products that are injected into the soil or tree trunk or applied around the roots with water.

Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed Concentrate (www.BayerAdvanced.com) protects trees from EAB and other destructive pests. Just measure the required amount of product, mix it with water and apply it around the roots of the tree. It protects for up to 12 months. Always read and follow label directions.

You need to apply preventive products early since it can take up to three months to fully protect large trees.

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