A few residents of a small Wyoming town recently received some bad news. A study with volunteer participants showed higher than normal levels – as much as 10 times the national average – of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in participants’ bodies. VOCs have been linked to a number of health issues including problems breathing, rashes, headaches, nosebleeds, and even more serious ailments including cancer and reproductive disorders.
VOCs can come from a variety of sources. However, researchers behind this particular study are concerned about the possibility of VOC-contaminated air and drinking water from nearby natural gas operations. In March, a study by Stanford University researchers found evidence that the fracking operations near the town “have had clear impact to underground sources of drinking water.”
“Fracking” – short for hydraulic fracturing, a process of injecting pressurized water and sand into shale deposits to create fractures that make it easier to extract oil, natural gas, or even water – has been used since the late 1940s. In recent years, the process has come under increased scrutiny by environmental groups that claim fracking produces far-ranging negative consequences, both to the environment and to people who live in the areas where fracking occurs. Continue reading
Having your home broken into is completely violating. Burglars don’t just steal your stuff; they steal your peace of mind. While this is the sort of thing you think will never happen to you, it’s worth the time and effort to make sure you’re not a target. Below are five ways you can help secure your home against a break-in.
1. Use Landscaping As A Barrier
Purposefully place plants in spots that create a natural barrier to your home. Plant thorny rose bushes in front of bedroom windows and remove overgrown shrubs that provide coverage for criminals. Also, trim back any tree branches that might make an open upstairs window accessible. Continue reading
Whether you just got a puppy, have newly mobile children or built a pool, there are a multitude of reasons for wanting to keep people and animals in your yard, while keeping others out. Picking the perfect fence can be difficult, so below we’ve outlined the main fencing materials to choose from and characteristics to consider for each.
Photo: Clarkston SCAMP / Flickr – Creative Commons
Wood seems to be the most common material used in yards across the country — especially when wanting privacy. Depending on the type of wood you purchase, you’ll probably want to stain the planks to protect them from rot and ultra-violet light. Be prepared to retreat and maintain your wooden fence about every four years.