A Year of Water Action!

Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!
Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!

My not so funny joke for Water Wednesday. A conversation I had this past week!

Friend: I hear Donald Trump has invested lots of money in bottle water.

Me: Why would he do that?

Friend: He wants to get rid of all regulation to protect our drinking water.

In contrast, Minnesota Governor Dayton has called for a Year of Water Action. He encourages all Minnesotans to take a role in protecting our state’s most precious resource for future generations.  Read more about it here.

Deep rooted plants absorb run-off
Deep rooted plants absorb run-off

What are you doing to protect our water resources? Reduce chemicals, sweep sidewalks and streets, install rain gardens, plant deep-rooted plants, stop building campfires, recycle and compost, clean off boats and equipment, What else?

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A Special Hundred Years, Celebrate!

A wise pelican near the Everglades
A wise pelican, the Everglades
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
In the Everglades
In the Everglades

Happy 100th Birthday to Our National Parks!  Many of us have vivid memories of visits to our national parks.  Our parks are for the common good of all, and are an important function of government. National parks represent The United States in history, culture, diversity, beauty and lots of fun! As citizens we need to make sure they are funded and cared for.  Always be leery of politicians who are going to cut your taxes. That money is often from programs that are for the good of everyone, like parks. Only Congress can create national parks.  Tell your congressman how important they are and to please fund them.

I love this article by Jillian Mackenzie “Europe has cathedrals. We have national parks,” said Stephen Saunders, neatly capturing the significance of these 59 national treasures, which include important monuments as well as parklands. But as we honor their majesty we must also recognize and address the biggest threats to our natural versions of Notre Dame.  Read the entire article.

So what are you waiting for?  Grab your walking shoes, a reusable water bottle, sun screen and visit a park near you. Happy Birthday, National Parks!

http://time.com/3907099/yellowstone-first-national-park/

Minnesota Takes the Lead for Bees and Butterflies

Hope for pollinators
Hope for pollinators

“Today, Minnesota set the strongest rules in the nation to protect pollinators from pesticides,” said Lex Horan of Pesticide Action Network. “The plan will help ensure that bee-harming pesticides won’t be used unnecessarily, and it lays the groundwork for reducing the use of neonicotinoid seed coatings. This decision is rooted in the resounding scientific evidence that neonicotinoids are harmful to pollinators. It’s past time for state and federal decisionmakers to take action to restrict the use of bee-harming pesticides, and today Minnesota did just that.”  Read the whole story here.  Another story from Minnesota Public Radio.

An American painted lady
An American painted lady

Say “No” to Plastic Bags!

Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.
Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.

I do the majority of my grocery shopping at food coops, but when I visit regular grocery stores I am appalled by the number of plastic bags leaving with purchases. I know most them aren’t recycled.  My city will put fees on some plastic bags in 2017, and I can’t wait!!  It will be a fabulous education tool for many people!!

Below is from Earth911.com, and contains some information I didn’t know, how the below businesses have reduced plastic bags. Please shop retailers that protect our earth.  I haven’t shopped at all these retailers so please let me know if this information is accurate???

From Earth911.com: “Did you know that studies have shown that about 12 million metric tons of plastic debris, including plastic bags, has accumulated in our oceans around the world? Due to this pollution, more than 100,000 marine animals die each year due to plastic entanglement! That is a startling number – and one that doesn’t show any signs of slowing its growth.”  Read the entire article here.

These are the retailers to patronize!

  1. Adidas
  2. Ikea
  3. COSCO, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
  4. Whole Foods
  5. Local Coops Earth 911 gives a shout out to New Pioneer in Iowa City. I shopped there while traveling this summer and recommend shopping there if you are in Iowa City or traveling along Interstate 80 through Iowa.

And more on plastic pollution here.

The plastic bag fee in Britain has reduced plastic bag use by something like 80%!

Warm Air Holds More Moisture

999922_619252368141411_1083645899_n (1)Have you been caught in a record rain storm and flooding this summer? Chances are that most of us in the United States and Europe have experienced a heavier than normal rainfall. My travel this summer has brought me to see displaced people following storms (nothing like Louisiana or California).  I have seen lakes created from heavy rain submerging homes, closed roads and bridges, yards with 20 uprooted trees, and experienced power outages.

What is going on with these storms?  July 2016 was the hottest ever recorded since records started in 1880.  As the earth warms, some places get dryer, but in other places the atmosphere is able to hold more moisture dumping larger amounts back to earth.  Places in Louisiana received 31 inches of rain, unbelievable! I feel sad for everyone displaced from everything they own.

PBS had an interesting conversation about our weather extremes here.  Is this all part of climate change?

1391694_590095197723795_1697668544_nThere are consequences to our warming earth according to meteorologist Paul Douglas,  “More moisture in the air, higher dew points and heat indexes, more thousand-year rains, wet basements with greater regularity, and more expensive insurance policies.”

 

Pollinator Garden Walk

My back yard: Cone flowers, butterfly weed
My back yard: Cone flowers, flox, and butterfly weed

This past week my yard was part of a “Pollinator Garden Walk” led by my neighbor, a pollinator expert. We walked, biked, or carpooled to 4 neighborhood yards. All the yards had boulevard plantings, two had no turf grass,, and three yards had rain gardens. We observed lots of bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and caterpillars.
Below are the ideas to attract pollinators suggested by the pollinator expert:
* Choose native and single-flowered plant varieties
* Go organic, eliminate pesticide and herbicides64px-Eyed_Brown,_dorsal
* Leave areas of bare ground or loose leaf litter
* Plant milkweed
*Install a bee nesting house for mason bees and other stem-nesting bees

Cardinal flowers are happy this year with lots of rain!
Cardinal flowers are happy this year with lots of rain!

 

I would add: Plant with diversity of flowers, bloom times, and colors.

Never use plants treated with neonicotinoids! Ask before purchase of plants.

 

 

https://health4earth.com/add-fun-pollinators-to-your-yard/