ISU tips for being a “green” college student


Video game consoles can add as much as $250 per year to your energy bill if left on for large portions of the day. Photo by ASurroca, Flickr.

Earlier this week we posted the University of Iowa’s eco-friendly tips for college students. Iowa State University also has a series of “green” suggestions for the school year.

Some of ISU’s top ten tips are to turn off video game consoles when they aren’t in use, replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights and to shop with reusable bags.

Read the rest of ISU’s tips here.

Tips for watering trees during the drought


Photo by iowa_spirit_walker, Flickr.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has released a set of tips for watering trees during drought conditions.

They advise using buckets of water or a hose instead of sprinklers, since sprinklers are less efficient.

An area within and just beyond the canopy should be watered with one gallon of water per square foot. This should be done in the evening or early morning to avoid evaporation.

On weeks with no rainfall, trees should be watered one to three times.

Read more tips on watering trees here.

Cattle owners must help their animals fight the heat


Photo by NDSU Ag Comm, Flickr.

Iowa is in the midst of a hot spell. This is particularly challenging weather for cattle and their owners.

In order to keep cattle safe, their owners should make sure there’s clean water and shade available. Additionally, it’s recommended to feed the cattle more than usual during the hot afternoons.

Finally, if the cattle are really struggling, their owners should sprinkle the animals with water.

Read more from the Des Moines Register here.

On the Radio: Safety tips for winter ice activities


Photo by Tom Gill (lapstrake), Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment suggests a number of safety tips for winter ice activities.

Iowa’s frozen rivers and lakes can provide an excellent setting for a number of recreational activities – but do you know how to avoid falling through the ice?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

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Holiday recycling guide


Photo by sonofnels, Flickr.

Holiday gift giving can result in an excess of waste – wrapping paper, styrofoam, bubble wrap, plastic packaging – but just how much of that material is recyclable?

A recent article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette seeks to provide a bit of clarity on this issue through the following sorting guide:

    • Wrapping paper – not recyclable, must be placed in the garbage
    • Tissue paper – not recyclable, must be place in the garbage or reused
    • Styrofoam – not recyclable, must be placed in the garbage
    • Shirt boxes – recyclable with the tissue paper removed
    • Cardboard toy boxes – recyclable with any plastic handles or twist ties removed
    • Shredded paper – recyclable, place in a paper bag to reduce the mess
    • Plastic bubble wrap – if bubbles are popped can be recycled at grocery stores with plastic bags

For more information on holiday recycling, check out the full article.

DNR snowmobile safety tips


Photo by Explore The Bruce, Flickr

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has compiled a list of safety tips for Iowa’s 29,000 registered snowmobilers.

• Wear proper gear for the conditions – boots, a snowmobile suit, helmet, gloves and layered clothing
• Don’t ride alone
• Tell someone where you are going and when you will return
• Carry a basic tool kit and know how to use it
• Carry a cell phone
• Do not use alcohol or drugs before or during the ride
• Make sure the sled is in proper working condition
• At night, slow down and do not over-drive your headlights

Iowa has more than 5,000 miles of snowmobile trails, most of which are marked and maintained by local clubs.

For more snowmobile tips, view the Iowa Department of Natural Resources press release here.