Healthy Corner Stores Initiative kicks off at three locations
Residents of some Kansas City and Independence, Mo., neighborhoods will soon have access to healthier food options at neighborhood convenience stores through the Jackson County Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Three participating stores will host community events to celebrate the beginning of an ongoing effort to promote healthy eating by making it easier to find fresh, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grain foods, healthy beverages and healthy snacks. Come celebrate with us!
- Shayan’s EZ Shop: Nov. 16, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., 8505 Woodland Ave., Kansas City, Mo.
- 7-Eleven: Nov. 16, 3–5 p.m., 201 E Highway 24, Independence, Mo.
- Indiana Market: Nov. 23, 12–2 p.m., 3646 Indiana Ave., Kansas City, Mo.
Each event will offer cooking demonstrations, healthy recipes and children’s activities, along with opportunities for community members to share ideas about healthy food. The Jackson County Healthy Corner Store Initiative is part of an effort to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease called Building a Healthier Jackson County. Partners supporting this effort include MARC, the Kansas City, Mo., Health Department, Independence Health Department, Jackson County Health Department, the University of Missouri Extension, 4H and the University of Kansas Medical Center. Building a Healthier Jackson County is supported in part by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Live Better... with health and wellness classes at the Mizzou Health Impact Center
The Mizzou Health Impact Center provides programs and information that promotes health and wellness. As part of the Human Environmental Sciences Extension, our goal is to improve the quality of life of people in then environment in which they live, work, learn, and relax. The center is located within the Mizzou Center in Blue Springs, Mo. For more information please visit http://extension.missouri.edu/hes/MizzouHealthImpactCenter/
Eating From the Garden
Eating From the Garden's nutrition and gardening program has reached more than 2,500 Jackson County fourth and fifth graders in the past three years. Assisted by 40 adult volunteers, students plant and maintain outdoor vegetable gardens; taste new foods; and participate in nutrition, plant science and environmental awareness lessons. Last year, the program added chef demonstrations in the classroom and developed an EFTG pilot curriculum for second-grade students. Call the extension center for more information on this program and current activities.
Nutrition Education Resource Center
Jackson County Extension received a $35,00 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Kansas City to develop a nutrition education center in our new offices in the River Market area. The new center will allow us to provide hands-on nutrition and food preservation classes to encourage the community to eat healthy and be more active. It will be a great opportunity for us to partner with the City Market to promote the consumption of local, fresh fruits and vegetables. Karen Elliott
University of Missouri Extension has created a community page on Facebook for organizations and individuals to share information related to drought, extreme heat and wildfires in Missouri: http://www.facebook.com/MissouriDroughtInfo.
With the serious drought in Missouri, extension specialist Marsha Alexander offers a few tips for preserving water and energy:
Saving water in your bathroom
The current drought our region and state is experiencing not only will result in anticipated higher grocery bills, but also less water for our home use. We all need to conserve as much water as possible. “Studies indicate that most people in our country use 60 to 100 gallons of water per person per day,” says University of Missouri Extension Housing and Environmental Design Specialist Marsha Alexander. Much of the water used in the home is used in the bathroom. Therefore the bathroom is a good place to begin when looking for ways to conserve water.
Leaky toilets can waste many gallons of water and may damage the structure of the home if not quickly repaired. One strategy to determine if you do have a leak is to put a few drops of food dye in the tank. Wait about 15 minutes. If colored water develops in the bowl, there is a leak and it should be promptly repaired.
Older model toilets can use considerably more water per flush compared to the new low-flush models. In fact, older, conventional toilets use up to 44 percent of the total water consumed in the home. If a standard 3.5 gallon toilet is replaced with a 1.6 gallon toilet, the average household can save an average 12,000 gallons of water per year. If purchasing a new toilet, look for products that have the EPA WaterSense label. Models with these labels indicate they have been certified to save 20% or more without sacrificing performance.
A shower often results in less water usage than a bath, especially a quick one. If you currently do not have a low-flow shower head, install one.
Other ways to save water use in the bathroom:
Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Instead throw your trash in the waste can.
Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth. Teach your children to do the same.
Insulate hot water pipes to save energy dollars.
Look for products that have the EPA WaterSense label indicating they have been certified to be 20 percent more water efficient than similar products.
Utilizing these ideas can reduce your water bill and help to maintain a more comfortable home for you and your family. Changes we make at home also benefit our communities.
Low-cost strategies for staying cool and saving energy
Our region continues to suffer from the extraordinary heat. Many homeowners and renters are concerned with their utility bills and looking for strategies to reduce usage while staying comfortable. During these very hot days, it is important to take care of yourself. “Older people and the very young may have particular difficulties coping with hot weather temperatures,” says University of Missouri Extension Housing and Environmental Design Specialist Marsha Alexander.
During times of extreme heat, stay in the coolest place possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to a public building during the hottest part of the day. It is important to drink plenty of water or other cold beverages. Stay away from alcohol or beverages with caffeine. Wear loose-fitting, light-weight natural fiber clothing that is also light in color. Listed below are specific strategies for managing the heat within your home while saving energy dollars.
Attic temperatures can reach excessively high levels, putting an enormous load on air conditioning units. Make sure your attic is properly ventilated.
Properly maintain your air conditioner by getting recommended tune-ups. Keep debris away from the unit. Remember to replace dirty filters.
When using the air conditioner, set your thermostat as high as reasonably comfortable. Utilize a programmable thermostat to maintain the comfort level you desire when you are home and reduce energy usage when you are away. A programmable thermostat can save from 12% to 25% on your home energy costs.
Use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate the air inside. Ceiling fans are recommended in rooms with ceilings at least eight feet high. According to the US Department of Energy, they work best when the blades are 7-9 feet above the floor and 10-12 inches below the ceiling. Setting the ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise will make it feel more comfortable during the hot weather. Remember to turn off ceiling fans when you leave a room because fans cool people, and not rooms.
Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient CFLs (compact fluorescents). CFLs use 50 percent to 75 percent less electricity and do not emit the heat associated with incandescent bulbs. Also, LEDs (light emitting diodes) are a great strategy for energy savings and require significantly less electricity and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. When purchasing new bulbs, look for the Energy Star label to ensure the highest quality products. Turn off the lights when they are not being utilized.
Close window treatments including shades, blinds, and draperies to reduce solar warming inside your home.
Do the laundry, wash dishes, and bathe late at night or early morning to reduce increased humidity indoors. Air dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s drying cycle. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Take short showers instead of baths and utilize energy efficient, water saver showerheads for extra energy savings. For cooking indoors, use a microwave oven. It uses less electricity and generates less heat than a regular oven.
Utilizing these ideas can reduce your energy bill and help to maintain a more comfortable home for you and your family. For more information on energy management strategies, contact your local extension center or visit Extension's home page at http://extension.missouri.edu/