Keep your lawn green while the summer turns red hot!

grassSpring was unbelievably rainy here in Cleveland.  It certainly provided us with some beautifully lush green lawns… but now it’s summer and, oh, how the tides do change…

There hasn’t been much rain lately and now I’m cringing as our neighbors run their sprinklers for hours on end in the middle of the day!  Sheesh… what are they thinking?

There are some very simple and very green ways to keep your yard looking green too.  Here are five of the simplest of simple tips to help you:

  • Watering – ummm, yea.  Middle of the day… not so wise!  Much of the water evaporates before it ever reaches the roots.  Lawns only need an inch of water per week so this means about ONCE a week without the help of Mother Nature’s rain.  If Mother Nature is helping, don’t turn on that sprinkler! Plus, too many shallow waterings will bring roots to the surface and burn out the lawn even faster.  If you must water, early morning or evening is best.  Don’t forget that you can put your greywater to work too!
  • Mowing – don’t mow in the heat of the day either.  Cut grass loses moisture rapidly and (again!) can cause the lawn to burn out even faster, so yes… early morning or evening again!grss mow
  • No “low mow” – the optimal length is 3”, so don’t over-mow or mow too short.  Taller grass grows a deeper root system, grows slower, requires less water and helps prevent weeds.
  • Mulch it – mulching mowers actually cut grass and chop it so it can act as mulch to hold moisture (but if you don’t have a mulching mower, consider composting the clippings).
  • Water wisely – it won’t make your lawn greener but again, if you must water, actually water the lawn, NOT sidewalks and drives! Just pay close attention not to water wildly and prevent waste.

See… simple!  The mercury may rise, the rain may stay away, but the grass can be greener on your side of the fence too!

Grab your gear & campout… June 25 is the day!

Gr Am Bkyrd Campout 11Have you heard about this weekend’s greatest camping spot on the planet?  Well, it just so happens that you won’t need to go far… it’s your own backyard!

This Saturday, June 25, is the Great American Backyard Campout!

The National Wildlife Federation created this day to encourage families to reconnect with nature and the outdoors, and remind us that we can manage life “with a little less”.  You can set up tents, cookout over a fire pit, explore your surroundings, play flashlight tag, star gaze and our kids’ ever-favorite… gorge on S’mores!  Shut down all the lights, computers and TVs in your house and even save a little electricity while you’re at it. (Indoor latrine, via flashlight, permitted of course!)camp at home

If you want to find out who’s camping nearby, or register your own outing, check out NWFs site for more information.

I think this is a great opportunity to join families all over the country in embracing everything the great outdoors has to offer… it’s free, it’s fun… it’s the perfect way to reconnect with our families and nature.  Now grab your sleeping bag and let’s campout!…

“WHAT global warming?!? We’re buried in snow!”

blizzThis comment would NEVER come from me… but I’ve heard it (at least 20 times from family and friends over the past three months).

Each time I want to scream.  I desperately want to get in arguments and pull out all the facts.  My husband pleads with me to “let it go” and brings me down to (our undeniably snowy) earth.  But I do have to share the reality with them….

I understand how this is a quick, easy argument from anyone who doesn’t believe in global warming or climate change.  It seems logical, but it’s not supported by science.  The fact:  hotter air can hold more moisture and this, in turn, creates and releases massive amounts of snow when the temperatures are below freezing. This is the same reason hurricanes have become so destructive… warming waters, rising sea levels and an increase in the intensity obliz radf the storm.

We could all argue the point until we’re blue in the face (and yes, the naysayers would tell you you’re turning blue because you’re freezing your a$$ off!) but the evidence of the earth’s temperature rising is factual. It’s on record. The 11 warmest years on record have occurred in the last 13 (and that record dates back to 1880!)

We can debate (until we’re BLUER in the face) if a portion of that is caused by human behavior, activity and INaction, but that’s another huge conversation.

Take a look at this quick interview with a physics professor to prepare your defense to family and friends.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Call it global warming, climate change, global swings, whatever… but the fact is undeniable… we’re heatin’ up, baby, and yes, that means lots of snow too!

Simple tip: What happens to YOUR used motor oil?

mtr oil2As more and more families try to cut costs, more and more families are handling car maintenance at home as opposed to dropping by a local maintenance shop.  The most common task is changing your car’s oil, but… what do YOU do with your used motor oil?

You may have tried to store it in a container and slip it into your trash, unnoticed, but did you know:

A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water!!!

A bit of a disturbing fact!  The next time that temptation strikes, think twice and instead store your used motor oil in a safely sealed container and drop it at a local facility.  Most auto stores and repair shops will accept it, free of charge. And if you need help in locating a facility, simply check out Earth911.com and enter “motor oil” and your zip code.

I assure you, you will have plenty of choices and our fresh water supply won’t take the harmful impact!

Camping out under the stars…

GABCampoutHave you heard about this weekend’s greatest camping spot on the planet?  Well, it just so happens that you won’t need to go far… it’s your own backyard!

This Saturday, June 26, is the Great American Backyard Campout!

The National Wildlife Federation created this day to encourage families to reconnect with nature and the outdoors, and remind us that we can manage life “with a little less”.  You can set up tents, cookout over a fire pit, explore your surroundings, play flashlight tag, star gaze and our kids’ ever-favorite… gorge on S’mores!  Shut down all the lights, computers and TVs in your house and even save a little electricity while you’re at it. (Indoor latrine, via flashlight, permittmarsh roasted of course!)

If you want to find out who’s camping nearby, or register your own outing, check out NWFs site for more information.

I think this is a great opportunity to join families all over the country in embracing everything the great outdoors has to offer… it’s free, it’s fun… it’s the perfect way to reconnect with our families and nature.  Now grab your sleeping bag and let’s go!…