Saturday, December 20, 2014

Corrugated Cardboard Proves It Can Hang Ten, Shred Serious Powder

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Friday, December 19, 2014


Thursday, December 18, 2014

10 Ways To Reuse And Repurpose Bed Sheets

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tar-Pamlico River Basin water resources plan

State officials seek comments on new web-based Tar-Pamlico River Basin water resources plan

RALEIGH –Residents and others interested in water quality and quantity issues in the Tar-Pamlico River Basin are invited to comment on a new, web-based approach to finding basinwide information developed by the N.C. Division of Water Resources.
With the new design, the river basin plans will now be more robust and easier to access as they will be maintained in a web-based structure. Portions of the plans link to various division databases, making it easier to keep information current. This plan also marks the first time one plan integrates water quality and water quantity information. The new design will be used to develop plans for the division’s other 16 river basins, too.
The division is seeking public comments on the plan until Jan. 30, 2015. The plan and a form to share comments can be found at: Comments may also be emailed to
The plan is divided into several categories: water quantity, water quality, sub-basin assessments, general basin information, reports, interactive maps, and static maps with relevant reports under each category.
Highlights of the Tar-Pamlico River Basin plan include:
· An executive summary that give an overview of the basin and its five sub-watersheds
· Water withdrawals and discharges
· Interactive maps including those that link ambient and biological water quality monitoring locations to data of test results, show types and locations of permitted facilities, and identify public water supplies
· Flood mapping and drought tracking
· Links to the division’s relevant water science reports
The basin plan was written to guide watershed stakeholders, municipal planners, regulators, and other environmental professionals on water quantity needs, water quality stressors and other emerging water issues in the river basin.
The Tar-Pamlico River Basin is the fourth largest river basin in North Carolina and is one of only four river basins whose boundaries are located entirely within the state. The Tar River originates in north central North Carolina in Person, Granville and Vance counties and flows southeast until it reaches tidal waters near Washington and becomes the Pamlico River. It empties into the Pamlico Sound. The entire basin is classified as Nutrient Sensitive Waters, which requires increased restrictions to limit the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus making its way into the basin from many sources.
This is the fifth five-year update of the water quality Tar-Pamlico River basinwide plan and the first plan that has incorporated water quantity issues and model projections.Any major additions or modifications to a basin plan will be presented to the N.C. Environmental Management Commission. Basin plan presentations will be provided to the commission for approval at least once every 10 years by state law, but may be presented to the commission for approval earlier, if requested.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

4 Things You Didn't Know Your Coffee Filter Could Do

If you're like most people, you've never given a second thought to your plain, old coffee filters. But one resourceful blogger says that this common kitchen item has amazing uses well beyond prepping your morning java. Jill Nystul of One Good Thing by Jillee recently stopped by the web series #OWNSHOW to share four ingenious coffee-filter hacks you absolutely have to try.
1. Get rid of strange smells.
Rather than putting an entire box of baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb strange smells, Nystul says it's more economical -- and just as effective -- to create coffee-filter pouches. "You just put two to three tablespoons of baking soda in a coffee filter," Nystul instructs in the above video. "Make it into a little ball, a little pouch, and just put a rubber band on it... You can also put them in your boys' stinky shoes. I have two teenage boys, and we use that a lot!"
2. Make your own (much cheaper) dryer sheets.
One of Nystul's favorite uses for coffee filters begins and ends in the laundry room. "Instead of buying dryer sheets, just take a coffee filter and dunk it in some vinegar," she says. "I know it sounds strange, but vinegar really does get rid of odors and it controls static cling... Then I like to add a couple of drops of essential oil just for the nice smell. Actually, essential oils are antibacterial too, so it helps get rid of the germs. Just toss it in your laundry."
3. Wipe down your screens.
Stop wasting large paper towels on small spills and grab a coffee filter instead. Not only are they smaller and therefore better-sized for mini-messes, but coffee filters also have a special quality that makes them perfect for wiping down the screens of our devices are well. "They're lint-free, so you can use them to clean your iPad, your laptop, your phone," Nystul points out.
4. Grease your baking dishes.
When cooking calls for greasing a pan, the default reaction is to rub a stick of butter directly on the dish itself. Coffee filters, Nystul asserts, are a cleaner alternative. Simply rub the coffee filter across the stick of butter -- and since it's lint-free, it won't leave anything behind like a paper towel -- and rub the greased coffee filter on the pan.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Essence Of Giving

: 5 Essential DIY Holiday Gifts Made With Essential Oils

The mention of “fragrance” on a product label may seem innocuous, but this one word is likely to encompass a handful – if not dozens – of harmful chemical compounds that don’t have to be listed individually.
Manufacturers are not required to disclose the exact components included in fragrance due to the risk of other companies copycatting their formula, and unfortunately it has become commonplace to stash any number of questionable ingredients under the vague mention of “fragrance” on ingredient lists.
One way to neatly sidestep this scent condundrum is to skip artificial fragrances altogether, build your own collection of essential oils, and use them to make your own fabulous gifts. Here are five suggestions to get those DIY juices flowing:
Lavendar field
Lavendar field – Image courtesy of kennysarmy
1. Aromatherapy Playdough
Apparently it is no longer acceptable to give children small sips of whisky to take the edge off, and aerosol valium still hasn’t been invented yet. Thus, whipping up this naturally-scented homemade play dough might be the best gift in the world to give to the energetic children in your life (and their parents!) Using scents like lavendar or Sweet Marjoram can add a soothing aromatherapy component to an afternoon of tactile play.
2. Low-tech car air freshener
Cut a cute shape out of felt and attach a piece of ribbon or string to create a simple, pleasingly low-tech car air freshener. Adding a few drops of essential oils to the felt every week or so will keep a loved ones ride smelling good, naturally. Bonus points if you use an essential oil like pine that gives a nod to the old air freshener classic, without a trip to the convenience store.
Eucalyptus – Image courtesy of jar ()
3. Soothing Bath Salts
Epsom salts are incredible for easing sore muscles and replacing depleted magnesium stores. Mixing up a batch of scented bath salts is simple, and makes a fabulous gift for the hardworking teachers in your life. Simply stir 10-15 few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or vanilla into 1 cup of epsom salts, and 1/2 cup baking soda (to soothe skin irritations and soften water). Package the salts in a nice glass jar, and voila!
4. Gardener’s Hand Scrub
The perfect gift for the green thumb in your life, this homemade hands scrub combines white sugar, gentle dish soap (substitute an eco-friendly brand for Dawn), and essential oils to gently lift dirt while softening tired hands. This recipe uses small mason jars to hold the scrub, and adding a pretty label and ribbon is the perfect finishing touch.
5. DIY Essential Oil Cologne
Don’t feel like the men in your life have to be excluded from the essential oil party. Whipping up a custom scent for your favourite dude is simple with essential oils, witch hazel, and water. Combine any combination of oils like sandalwood, cedar, or vetiver to create a perfectly masculine signature scent.

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