Urban Regional-Director Cindy Zluticky, Jackson County Extension Chairman- Rich Boulton and Jackson County Extension Council Member- Valencia Broadus are pictured with Jeanie Lauer Missouri State Representative-54th district. The picture was taken on April 3, 2013 at the annual MU-Extension Legislative Day in the State Capital In Jefferson City. This annual event allows Extension Council Members to meet with elected officials and share important information on extension programs affecting or occurring in their district. Thanks to our representative Extension Council members and to all of our elected officials in the newly organized Urban Extension Region.
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.
Are you interested in local foods? Helping others to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables? If so, be part of a team of volunteers who provide fruits and vegetable demonstrations at urban farmers markets. This program sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and Kansas State University Research Extension partners with the local Beans & Greens program to encourage shoppers at farmers markets to try new fruits and vegetables and learn how to purchase, store and prepare the produce they can get there. Two trainings are being held May 4 and May 13 to acquaint volunteers with the program goals and procedures. Times are varied with markets every day of the week. A stipend is available for market time. Last year, we provided demonstrations at 12 markets in Wyandotte and Jackson counties and plan to do more this year. Contact Karen Elliott, email@example.com or 816-482-5850.
Are you growing a garden this summer? Like to shop at farmers markets? Belong to a CSA? Want to have summer produce all winter long? University of Missouri Extension is offering a series of food preservation classes at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 3601 S. Sterling Ave., Independence this summer. These classes are hands-on workshops to give you practical experience in preserving food safely. You take home the product you prepare at each class.
Thursday, June 27 — 6-8 p.m.: Salsa from Your Garden
Thursday, July 11 — 6-8:30 p.m.: Pressure Canning Summer Produce
Monday, July 22 — 6-8 p.m.: Dehydrating Fruit, Veggie and Jerky
Thursday, Aug. 8, 6-8 p.m.: Making Fantastic Jams and Jellies
Classes are $20 each. Contact Karen Elliott, firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-482-5850.
Early Childhood Educator's Symposium
Save the Date Woods Chapel United Methodist Church on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. For more information, contact University of Missouri Extension at 816-252-5051 or email Dr. Nina Chen email@example.com.
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/