3 Simple Tips For Creating An Eco-Friendly Garage
Oct30

3 Simple Tips For Creating An Eco-Friendly Garage

When it comes to eco-friendly home improvement, the garage is typically one of the last areas people think of. However, many homeowners would be surprised at just how easy it is to make a few eco-friendly replacements and watch your garage turn into the stylish and sustainable workspace you’ve always dreamed of. Here are just a few starting steps for transforming your garage into an eco-friendly space. Organize Recycling (And Stick To A Set Routine) Before you can make real changes to your garage, you should give it a thorough cleaning and get your recycling materials organized. If your garage is piled high to the ceiling with clutter and other unnecessary items, remember that cleaning it out isn’t an impossible feat, and there’s an easy way to clear it out so you don’t have to do the entire job in one day. To make cleaning your garage a more manageable endeavor, mark each task with an estimated time — 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. Each day do only one thing. Within 30 days, your whole garage will be uncluttered and clean. Don’t forget to donate any unwanted items before throwing them in the trash! Once your garage is clear, you may have the room to set up a small personal recycling center. This is easier than most homeowners think and can be accomplished with minimal time and materials. Experts say delegating a biodegradable trash bag for aluminum cans and a place for paper and junk mail is enough to get the ball rolling and form a new recycling habit. Today, the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, and the market is still growing about 5% a year. Any effort you can take to dispose of plastic properly makes a difference in turning the Earth into a healthier and more sustainable planet. Use The Right Project Materials During any garage renovation projects, it’s important to use materials that are sustainable. For example, hi-lo screws have a reduced minor diameter and therefore displace less plastic material and minimize stress. These screws have a double lead high and low thread with the high thread having a 30 degree thread form that further minimizes material displacement while providing positive thread engagement. In the same realm, using fasteners such as the aforementioned microscrews and wooden pegs reduce environmental impact. Plastic sticky tabs may be useful, but they just don’t hold up — literally — to the strength of metal, nor are they environmentally friendly. Keep Capacity In Mind Finally, it’s important to evaluate the size of your garage and think about the capacity of projects it can...

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Electronic Medical Records Continuously Being Innovated
Oct26

Electronic Medical Records Continuously Being Innovated

Hospitals around the world have decided to begin taking matters into their own hands when it comes to electronic medical records (EMR) add-ons. EMRs have been instrumental in reducing errors in the medical field and in ensuring patients receive the proper care. Information technology arrived late the the healthcare field. It wasn’t until 2009 that federal regulations applied financial incentives to drive the implementation of EMRs. While this implementation has been expensive and a big adjustment for those in the healthcare industry, there’s no doubt it’s been extremely beneficial. With an estimated 98,000 Americans dying every year because of preventable medical errors, including 7,000 deaths due to errors in medication administration, there’s no question that EMRs have helped decrease this risk. EMRs improve patient safety in many ways. First, they require computer-based physician orders, which eliminates illegible handwriting and misinterpreted verbal communication. Second, there is an implementation of checkbox options that offer only correct doses of medication, which prevents overdoses. And third, nurses can now compare a bar code on the patient’s wristband to the label on the medication to ensure the patient is receiving the correct medication. While EMR already serves a variety of safety features it’s continuously serving as a platform for innovation as well. A James Bender, MD, medical director for clinical informatics, and Robert S. Mecklenburg, MD, medical director of the Center for Health Care Solutions, have witnessed a variety of innovations with EMRs. Some of these innovations include the addition of detailed prompts to help providers standardize care as well as the sharing of medical information to engage patients in holding providers accountable for their care. “Mistake Proofing” has been a key innovation among this technology. Transparency on delivering recommended care counteracts the traditional hospital culture. Virginia Mason has electronic scoreboards in public areas in the intensive care unit. These boards display red or green lights to show the current treatment status of every patient in the unit to prevent the formation of blood clots in the legs. These boards allow not only doctors and nurses, but also patients and family members, to work together in quick identification and correction of incomplete care. Additionally, the EMR technology can automatically order essential lab tests prior to adjustments in medications. EMRs also have the ability to select key data from databases and bring it directly to the provider and the patient at the time of care. Electronic medical record technology is continuously being innovated to show how EMR can be applied to achieve safer, more efficient, and more affordable health...

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National Park College to Implement New HVAC Program
Oct19

National Park College to Implement New HVAC Program

The National Park College began in 2003 and is now one of the largest community colleges around, having assisted people in need across the country. After Hurricane Katrina, for instance, the National Park College helped students who were displaced from their home colleges by either enrolling them at the college or finding other programs in the country that would do the same. Recently, the National Park College made national news yet again when it announced the creation of a new Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program. In an average American home, roughly 20% to 30% of the air that travels throughout the home via air duct systems is lost due to holes, leaks, and poorly connected ducts. Thanks to the National Park College and its emphasis on teaching students the importance of proper HVAC services, millions of Americans will soon benefit from these skilled workers likely entering the trades in the near future. “We really need employees that can work during the day and go to school at night,” said Jason Vincent, who is currently serving as the chair of the National Park Program HVAC Apprenticeship Advisory Committee. “The apprenticeship model is beneficial to newer employees because they are getting not only classroom knowledge, but hands-on experience in the field that reinforces what they are learning.” According to Global News Wire, the college established the program after feedback from HVAC contractors who expressed the need for new (and younger) skilled employees. “We have been discussing the best format for this program with our local contractors for several months now, and everyone agreed that an apprenticeship model is the best way to ensure HVAC students receive the best possible training to prepare them for work in the field,” added Kelli Albrecht, VP for Workforce and Strategic...

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A Look At The Top Tailgating Universities In the United States
Oct16

A Look At The Top Tailgating Universities In the United States

From the pickled herring consumption of the St. Olaf College Oles to the Midnight Yell heard on Texas A and M’s campus, tailgating traditions are a big part of the American college experience. Business Insider recently released its list of the 50 Best College Tailgates In America. The list was comprised of Scott Backstrom’s rankings of the best college tailgates throughout the country where fans come together to eat, drink, and have fun before losing their minds at a football game. Backstrom, creator of the famed TailgateMaster.com, earned his nickname “Tailgate Master” by knowing just what it takes for a school to have a successful pregame party — and it’s a little more than having just one or two weird traditions. Here are some of the factors that Backstrom takes a look at when determining which schools make the list of the best college tailgates. Grilling and eating According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 79.1 million Americans reported grilling at some point in 2016. A tailgate isn’t complete without the smell of grilled meats present. Because of the importance of grilling, a big Texas school like Texas Christian University (TCU) cracks the top 10, coming in at number eight on the list. “The rise of tailgating among the Horned Frogs is something that we hope continues,” Backstrom said. “Huge smokers, grills, and fan vehicles are common. This tailgate is full of purple tents and a cornucopia of food choices.” Entertainment space A lot of tailgaters go just for the tailgate and head home when the game starts (hopefully to watch the game). A good tailgate has plenty of food and drinks but also has fun activities. West Virginia University, coming in at 24, makes the top 25 because of its large tailgating space and plenty of fun abound. “Make your way through the blue and gold lots for a little piece of tailgating heaven,” Backstrom added. Fan camaraderie Tailgating isn’t just about drinking and eating — it’s about showing support for the team and school. A good tailgate should be filled with plenty of positive energy and a sea of color supporting the team. You can certainly expect to see plenty of that at the number 10 tailgating school on this list: Clemson University. “Super friendly fans make this one of the best Saturday games you will ever enjoy,” said...

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Soil’s Carbon Emissions Causing Much More Damage Than Scientists Thought
Oct12

Soil’s Carbon Emissions Causing Much More Damage Than Scientists Thought

Not too many people think of soil as being dangerous to the earth. Thanks to a 26-year study, however, soil’s carbon emissions could trigger disastrous global temperature rises. Soil is typically evaluated based on two features: fertility and texture. Now, it seems carbon evaluations are a necessity as well. According to The Guardian, warming soils are releasing much more carbon into the earth’s atmosphere than scientists originally thought, which might cause a damaging feedback mechanism that increases global temperatures and carbon emissions. The study, published in a report in the peer-review journal, Science, is one of the largest of its kind. Researchers took a look at plots of soil in areas of Massachusetts for 26 years and experimented with heating some of those plots with underground cables. Within the first 10 years of the experiments, there was a strong increase in the carbon emissions from the heated soil plots. From 1991 (when the experiment began), the soil plots lost roughly 17% of the carbon it was storing. “If these findings hold more widely across major terrestrial ecosystems, then a much greater portion of the global soil carbon store could be vulnerable to decomposition and release of carbon dioxide under global warming than previously thought,” said Daniel Metcalfe, of Sweden’s Lund University. Another study published in two overlapping papers in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, and Global Change Biology, it’s emphasized that more research is needed to determine how soil, if managed properly, can actually help fight global warming. “Many people think of the soil as just dirt,” said Susan Crow, an ecology professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) and co-author of both papers. “But caring for the land by maintaining or rebuilding organic matter, rich in carbon and essential for the life of soil, is a win-win for building resilience in our landscapes and communities through protection of food security, reduced erosion and water pollution, and improved drought tolerance.” Only 1% of the earth’s water is actually sustainable for drinking, but if the carbon emissions continue to increase so much, that could mean disastrous results for the rest of the water supply and for the entire global population. One way to help better control the carbon emissions coming from soil is to use high quality equipment when working with soil. Tungsten carbide, for example, comes in over a dozen different grades that can all be sued for various applications, including to bring durability to soil planter scrapers. According to Tri-State Neighbor, some planters and drills provider opener scrapers to keep soil buildup but that can affect the planting depth and accuracy of...

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