Here are 5 things you should know.
1. Japanese barberry, a commonly sold (for lawns) invasive species has been shown to help spread Lyme’s disease.
Japanese barberry is a very common lawn decoration and is still sold at many stores like Home Depot and such through the US.
Well, you should know this species of plant is helping to spread Lyme’s disease as it’s leaves make a perfect microenvironment for blackleg ticks(ones that transmit Lyme’s) to develop. The leaves make it very humid which is something the ticks love and because of this, the young are able to grow in a safe environment. Additionally, the thorns and thickness if this plant can protect the ticks from predators such as opossums and turkeys. The bush can also offer refuge for white-footed mice which are the main reservoir for Lyme’s(much more important than deer or anything else)https://tickencounter.org/prevention/mouse_targeted_devices. The reason mice are important is the young ticks will normally feed in small animals like the mice for their first stage. That’s where they pick up the Lymes. After that, they will bite others hosts and that’s how they can spread it.
Another reason to not buy this terrible plant is that it’s a weed of a plant. If you go to a wild area where this has taken root, the bushes are everywhere. They grow to very large sizes and are extremely hard to remove. The plant takes a lot of effort to get rid of. Now, this is important because many if not all states have an invasive species control group of some sort. Some are funded through the government and others are volunteering. These people face a huge workload they are almost always very underfunded undermanned and trying their best to just prevent spread. So this bush is bad because it takes a lot of resources because it’s time-consuming to remove and it has to be checked back on the following year to make sure it was done properly.
So if you are a lawn owner I plead you to look up you local states “do not plant list” help out your local invasive species removal group by just not making the problem any worse. Also if you are willing please consider removing the plant from your yard(if present) and replacing it with a native plant. Most “do not plant ” lists normally have a sister please plant list so that should help you find information on responsible planting.
For people who choose to remove please wear gloves. This plant has some nasty thorns that you won’t feel at first but then the next day you will have some deep splinters that are painful and infected.
Here a scientific paper saying that this management of these bushes reduced tick populations https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C33&q=japanese+barberry+ticks&oq=Japanese+barber#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3Dv4GGxsrMo3kJ
Also, if you are a New Jersey’s resident or the tri-state area, here is the NJ invasive species strike team app, a really useful guide for finding and reporting invasive plants and animals:
Invasive is an ever-increasing problem for our local wildlife, and if we want our future generations to enjoy the variety in nature we have then, we need to protect it. Of even 5% of the population learned how to identify a couple of invasives and just removed them as they went about hikes and walking and such the problem would be much more manageable. But a start is to prevent more people from planting these and acting as a source of the invasion.
2. Here’s what happens when you throw the trash into a recycling bin.
Recycling isn’t all sunshine and rainbows many people think it to be. It’s not as simple as the plastic getting melted down and reshaped, and not as simple as paper or cardboard getting “reused”. Many municipalities are jumping on the fad that is “going green”, but in all honesty, recycle is anything but green.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
You might think you’re helping the environment when you start tossing everything into your recycling bin willy nilly, but you might be causing more harm than good. Take, for instance, an unwashed pasta sauce jar. It could potentially contaminate sought-after items, like paper and cardboard. Plastic shopping bags pose the biggest problem for recycling facilities, as the bags can wrap around machinery and could cost over $10,000 to replace.
And that Starbucks cup, while technically it can be recycled, it’s usually not due to the fact that the paper cups are lined with you guessed it plastic, and recycling facilities would have to separate the plastic liner from the paper cup, a costly process. Like plastic bags that damage machinery, trying to recycle these cups without separating the plastic from the paper can also do harm to a recycling center’s machines.
Your good intentions may be costing the environment and the economy. Aspirational recyclers, the Starbucks cup tossers, for instance, or those who hope that their greasy pizza box will go through a metamorphosis into a beautiful cardboard butterfly, are better off throwing it away. “If more than 1 percent of the box is soiled with grease and cheese, we have to throw it out because food waste is a prohibited item. There are very stringent standards we have to meet.”
Know what to throw—The most common recyclables are paper and cardboard, metal cans, plastic bottles, and jugs just make sure you don’t toss any of these 15 things into the recycling bin.
Empty, clean, dry—Recyclables that have been soiled with food waste could come into contact with paper or cardboard and contaminate an entire recycling truckload.
Don’t bag it—Keep recycling loose in the bin.
3. Almost every item in your household First Aid kit has an expiration date.
Be sure to check it regularly to ensure that you are not stuck with expired items in the event of an emergency.
Things such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and even bandaids can expire. Antibiotic cream can also expire easily and will become completely useless for the purposes of first aid.
4. UltraViolet, the cloud-based digital copy movie service, is set to close down on 7/31.
According to CNET, here is what should you do:
As soon as possible, login at myuv.com and choose Retailer Services to verify the retailers linked to your UltraViolet Library. If your Library is not currently linked to a retailer or if you would like to link to additional participating retailers, select one or more retailers to link to your UltraViolet Library.
Don’t unlink or close your UltraViolet Library, as UltraViolet and retailers will be working together to maximize your continued access to movies and TV shows.
5. The new plastic Snapple bottles do not have tamper-resistant seals.
The new plastic Snapple bottles still use the metal *pop* caps. This was effective for glass bottles, however plastic bottles can be squeezed as the cap is placed back on leaving a vacuum and sealing the bottle again.
This was well demonstrated by this YouTuber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x5T_u1VTTY&t=86
If you don’t know why this is a serious risk, do a quick read about the Chicago Tylenol murders. 7 deaths due to a lack of tamper-resistant packaging.
Do not buy plastic Snapple bottles if they have metal caps.