Plastics|SA seminar addresses current economic downturn with energy, water solutions

The Sustainability Council of Plastics|SA and DRA Global Engineering Consultants recently hosted a seminar entitled ‘Preparing for an uncertain future’ in which a panel of sustainability experts presented their thoughts on how companies could remain competitive in the face of the current economic downturn by implementing energy and water solutions.
Plastics SA Energy and Water Seminar speakers
Plastics SA Energy and Water Seminar speakers
According to Jacques Lightfoot, sustainability manager of Plastics|SA, energy and water solutions are of integral importance for the plastics industry. “Resource efficiency is one of our key strategies. By hosting seminars such as these, we are fulfilling our mandate and facilitating an important link between service providers and the plastics industry which needs guidance on how to remain competitive and profitable,” he said.

Seminar speakers

Speakers at the seminar included well known journalist and winner of the SANEA Journalism Award for “special efforts within the field of journalism, to promote greater understanding of energy and its role in sustaining human endeavours”, Chris Yelland, who presented on the topic ‘Making sense of energy in a chaotic environment’. Yelland was followed by Maggie Matumba and Wynand Van Der Merwe of the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) – a national governmental programme that promotes the implementation of resource efficiency and cleaner production methodologies to assist industry to lower costs through reduced energy, water and materials usage, and waste management.

The final speaker of the day was Miguel Dos Santos of DRA – a multi-disciplinary global engineering group that delivers mining, mineral processing, energy, agriculture, water treatment and infrastructure services from concept to commissioning and comprehensive operations and maintenance services.

Alternative energy sources

“In South Africa we are feeling the strain of ever-increasing energy costs and the uncertainty of supply as the national power grid struggles to meet our energy demands. Businesses have to seriously consider turning to alternative energy sources to mitigate the impact of these factors,” Dos Santos said.

“I am very impressed with the commitment to industrial symbiosis I have seen amongst South African companies,” said Linsey Dyer, DRA’s business development manager. “One of the keys to resource efficiency is allowing companies to use each other’s unused or residual resources, such as materials, energy, water, waste, assets, logistics and expertise. Although still a relatively new concept in South Africa, business leaders here are keen to embrace this concept which results in numerous mutual economic, social and environmental benefits,” she said.

InnovationMonth: Social-TV spotlights stories that inspire hope

Social-TV is an online media channel that showcases company CSI and sustainable development initiatives while highlighting charity organisations that need funding.
Launched two years ago, the news channel also seeks to empower young people with journalism, video, production and social media skills.

We chatted to spokesperson for Social-TV Diane Naidoo-Ngcese to find out what inspired the launch of Social-TV, what the platform’s key goals are, and her take on the CSI space in South Africa.

BizcommunityWho are the masterminds behind Social-TV, and how did the idea to launch such a unique platform come about?

Samm Marshall, seasoned media personality and serial entrepreneur is the brains behind Social-TV. Having worked across sports (Sunrise on e), reality television (Let’s Fix It on e-tv), and current affairs and lifestyle news (SABC Morning Live), Samm identified a gap in the market for ‘good news stories’, and more specifically, a channel or platform which would celebrate the good which many corporates are investing in to deliver positive social impact. In addition, most corporates relegate good news (CSI stories) to annual CSI reports which are only shared with an internal, almost exclusive audience. So, tired of the sales-driven ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ approach to news, he developed a web-based platform called Social-TV which would carry the stories that inspire hope and deliver social change in SA.

BizcommunityWhat are the key goals for the platform?

One short-term goal is that Social-TV becomes more than an information hub, and more of a knowledge-sharing, best-practice sharing platform where corporates and philanthropists are able to identify effective models for CSI and sustainable social change. All too often, success stories are not shared, and there is very little collaboration between and amongst corporates, even if scaling up an idea could deliver far more impact. As a long-term goal, it is intended that corporates would start to engage with each other, and in certain instances, develop public-private partnerships, and implement projects that offer the greatest possible benefit to the community. At Social-TV, we believe that if we want to go fast, corporates can go it alone. But if we want to go far, we need to go together. Collaboration is critical to development.

Social-TV spokesperson Diane Naidoo-Ngcese
Social-TV spokesperson Diane Naidoo-Ngcese
BizcommunityWhat have been some of your achievements over the last two years?

In the past two years we have managed to set our foot in the CSI space. We attended and covered the Trialogue conference this year, and conversed with leaders in the CSI and sustainable development sector. We were the media partner in the recently ended Eskom Small Business Expo at the Ticket Pro Dome, Johannesburg. Our channel, as well as social media platforms, has attracted a lot of companies and NPOs thus bringing the world of CSI into life. In terms of skills development, we have trained two videographers and two journalists.

BizcommunityWhy do you think it’s important to make the public aware of the many CSI initiatives in SA?

There are many reasons why it is important to raise public awareness. For starters, there are still many companies, big businesses whose investments have delivered, and continue to deliver on national priorities, such as education, skills development, job creation, and healthcare. Often companies are not quite aware of where to begin, so sharing information, telling their stories, particularly of partnerships with civil society, NPOs, and NGOs which have been effective. In addition, our country has a growing entrepreneurship and small business economy, and lack of funding is often the biggest hurdle for start-ups to launch their own businesses. Through platforms such as Social-TV, aspirant entrepreneurs can find out more about the requirements for starting out, identifying potential corporate sponsors and also read about success stories. And really, success stories are of paramount importance as the fear of failure can hinder, or even impose dormancy on many great business ideas before they have even started.

BizcommunityWhat is your take on the CSI space in South Africa?

CSI is evolving in South Africa – we are fast moving away from simply throwing money at causes, we are now demanding more bang for our buck in terms of corporate social investment. What this means is that decision-makers are in a way, demanding that their spend delivers tangible returns. They want to see, for example, after buying books for a school, that there are more children passing certain subjects, that more matriculants are coping at university, that they are graduating, that their living standards are improving because of their investment. So the CSI spend is a lot more long-term than it’s been previously – corporates are giving their investments a chance to mature, much in the same way that they would with long-term horizon investment portfolios. The private sector has also recognised that as a society, we cannot wait on government to meet all the needs across education, healthcare, housing, employment – they have a part to play in creating the country their businesses need to thrive in. And they recognise that their active citizenship is critical to growing a sustainable economy – in essence, their investment is about developing the talent pool they will rely on to sustain their business into the future.

BizcommunityWhat are some of the most important areas for corporates to focus on when planning their CSI initiatives?

The key areas are: education, energy, water, food, health and entrepreneurship. There are many, but as a start, education is key. It’s the one tool that has the ability to level the plains of opportunity for all. Then of course, there are critical areas such as the food-water-energy nexus. Our ability to offer energy security for industry is important if we are to grow our economy, and perhaps more importantly, we need to invest in sustainable clean sources of energy. This has a direct impact on water security, which in turn, impacts our food security in the country. In addition, our current healthcare system does not provide for everyone and we need to be more innovative in the way in which we make quality affordable healthcare accessible to all. Then, the issue of unemployment which in many respects necessitates a thriving entrepreneurship economy. Big business continues to shed jobs every quarter and graduates (and those who are still at high school) have few options in terms of finding jobs in the formal, big business environment. The National Development Plan touts the small business sector as one which is able to deliver on 90% of the jobs our economy requires, so investment in entrepreneurs is uber important.

BizcommunityWhich CSI project has stood out most for you thus far in 2016?

One of the big ones for me has to be JP Morgan’s scholarship programme offered by GIBS Enterprise Development Academy, targeting 100 small businesses in the green economy. The timing of this initiative, in the context of the growing South African green economy, could not have been better. From the first 50 candidates Social-TV engaged with, there was such a diversity of entrepreneurs who are changing the shape of South Africa’s economy through sustainable innovations. One is a young woman entrepreneur who manufactures solar-powered bags, another a former banker who has created a mobile ice-skating rink introducing the poorer black youth to the sport, without using any water or electricity. When you see a multinational investment banking firm who understands the power and value of green economy entrepreneurs, the future looks bright.

#InnovationMonth: Social-TV spotlights stories that inspire hope

After 20 years of experience in the local PR & communications arena, Diane Naidoo-Ngcese launched GreenOvation, a publication focused on sustainability, innovation and social enterprise. She’s a touch obsessed about clean energy and innovating food and water solutions for Africa. Naidoo-Ngcese is also a self-confessed stalker of all start-up, entrepreneurship, innovation and climate change events where she finds herself tweeting compulsively. She is the editor of GreenOvation, MD of The Alchemist PR, and spokesperson for Social-TV.

Getting water wise amid SA drought

With eight of South Africa’s nine provinces declared disaster areas, the agriculture sector, as well as other water-intensive industries, are implementing clever water conservation solutions to preserve this scarce resource. Among these solutions are the lining of dams and reservoirs to cut water losses from seepage into the soil, as well as covering water bodies to reduce losses from evaporation. Rhino Water is increasingly getting requests for this solution.
Getting water wise amid SA droughtThe latest weekly report released by the national Department of Water and Sanitation indicates that the country’s dams and reservoirs are currently operating at just over 52% capacity, compared with 74% last year. In the Eastern Cape, with dams at an average capacity of 66%, farmers are not taking the availability of water for granted.

Water storage

The Quacha Group, which operates farms in Patensie, Loerie and Addo, is one of the businesses which has asked Rhino Water for help. Chiefly a citrus producer, the group specialises in high value, intensive farming, which is built on smaller production units with higher yields. According to Quacha’s Dirk Odendaal, the group needed to streamline costs and one solution had been to invest in water storage.

“We decided on water storage for two reasons. The first was to make use of the preferential night-time electricity prices by pumping ‘cheap’ water into the dam at night and then distributing it via gravitational feed during the day.

“The second reason was to secure water during the dry period. The Gamtoos has continuous water supply through a channel system that is always filled with water. But every year this system shuts down for two weeks for routine maintenance, so having a water store will allow the group to expand its fruit mix, despite this downtime, with crops such as berries that require constant watering and feeding.”

Water availability for farming projects

Although water security was not a problem in the Gamtoos region, Odendaal said it was nevertheless important to maximise the resource in the development of individual farming projects.

He said his group’s new dam would ensure water availability should any unforeseen circumstances arise, especially given the introduction of a dam liner which would contribute to conserving the stored water by minimising seepage-related losses.

The lining

According to water solutions expert Sarel Bam, MD of Rhino Water, the company responsible for the dam liner’s installation, the lining consists of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is one of the most chemically resistant materials available. “It has high tensile strength with good impact, tear and puncture resistance and very good environmental stress cracking resistance,” said Bam, adding that the dam liners also had a variety of other applications for farmers and could be used to line sludge ponds for piggeries, dairies, and abattoirs.

“Basically, anywhere where organic or industrial waste threatens to leach into the soil and contaminate the groundwater.”

Aside from its agricultural uses, Bam said HDPE was the preferred choice for lining landfills and the insulation of chemical plants, roads, and petrol stations, as well as in mining operations.

Other water saving solutions included woven geomembranes that act as a protective cushion for liners in rocky soil, and floatation covers which prevent the growth of algae and water loss through evaporation, he said.

How To Clean And Disinfect Wooden Toys

A lot of parents have been asking for information on the best way to clean wooden toys. Children can be rough with their toys no matter what material they’re made of and it’s always a good idea to periodically clean your child’s toys. Whether they play with them outside or indoors those toys will inevitably get dirty and it’s important for you to know the right way to disinfect and clean wooden toys since wood is a porous material.

Children are full of curiosity and very young children will frequently pick a toy up from the ground and place it right in their mouth. And usually when they do this they were also just playing with the dog or digging in the dirt which means that not only is the toy dirty but their hands are too. This behavior is only natural. It’s your child’s way of exploring and it’s not something you can easily discourage. But if you want to protect your child from germs and grime you’ll need to know the proper way to clean wooden toys because you have to handle them a little differently than you do metal or plastic toys.

To begin with, when you clean wooden toys it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between finished wood and unfinished wood. Finished wood will be either painted, varnished or dyed and unfinished wood is just that – it’s just plain wood with no protective or decorative coating. Fortunately, both types of wooden toys are easy to clean and disinfect.

For basic or light cleaning you can simply wipe either finish with a dry cloth. If necessary, use a damp sponge to remove dust and dirt from unfinished wood toys and finished toys should wiped gently with a mild soap and water. For tougher dirt or grime try using an alcohol soaked cotton ball and then wipe with a dry cloth.

Whether the toy is made of finished or unfinished wood you should never soak it directly in water as the wood could soak up the water and become warped. And after you wipe the toy with water you should dry it with a soft cloth and all the toy to completely dry before it’s used again.

And never be tempted to clean wooden toys with furniture polish! It might seem like the most natural thing in the world to do since you clean your wooden furniture with it, but furniture polish contains toxins that are not meant to be ingested. The porous wood will hold the polish and when your child puts that toy in his or her mouth, or gets that polish on their hands, those toxins can be transferred to their mouth.

To disinfect wooden toys use a solution of vinegar and water or a solution of 10 parts water to one part bleach. However, if you use bleach always rinse and dry the toys very well. Wooden toys are extremely durable and can last for years if properly taken care of. Just remember to disinfect and clean your wooden toys frequently since you know they’re going to end up in your child’s mouth.

What Is The Water Hardness In My Area?

Hard water is caused by calcium and magnesium compounds; rain water is naturally soft as it has had no chance to pick up any minerals from the ground. When water passes through the ground through soft rocks like chalk or limestone, it picks up these minerals. If the water passes through rocks such as granite or through peaty soil calcium and magnesium are picked up and so the water remains soft.

Hard water can create 2 main issues within a building:

Issues Relating to Scale
Heat causes the calcium and magnesium to precipitate out of the water and stick to things causing “scale” to form on the inside of pipes, water boilers, tea kettles and so on. The scale doesn’t conduct heat well and reduces the flow through the pipes which can ultimately become completely blocked potentially leading to expensive repair bills.

Reducing the Effectiveness of Soap
Hard Water reacts with soap to form a scum and (in extreme cases) reduces soap’s ability to lather, this impacts on cleaning throughout the house including washing, bathing and general cleaning.

Hard and Soft Water Regions in the UK

The list below is a good indication of the general hard and soft water areas in the UK although it is an indicator only as all areas can contain pockets of completely different water types. To find out more you can contact your local water company (see list at base of article).

Regions with soft to moderately soft water in England

Conwyn

Cumbria

Devon

Flintshire

Gwynedd

Isle of Anglesey

Merseyside

North West Yorkshire

Pembrokeshire

West Yorkshire

Regions with soft to slightly hard water in England

Carmarthenshire

Ceredigion

Durham

Glamorganshire

Monmouthshire

Regions with slightly hard to moderately hard water in England

Cheshire

Denbighshire

Derbyshire

Herefordshire

Lancashire

Leicestershire

Northumberland

Powys

Shropshire

Worcestershire

Wrexham

Regions with slightly hard to very hard water in England

North Yorkshire

Somerset

South Yorkshire

Surrey

Warwickshire

Regions with hard to very hard water in England

Bedfordshire

Berkshire

Buchinghamshire

Cambridgeshire

Dorset

East Riding of Yorkshire

East Riding of Yorkshire

East Sussex

Essex

Gloucestershire

Greater London

Hampshire

Hampshire

Hertfordshire

Isle of White

Kent

Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire

Norfolk

North East Yorkshire

Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire

Oxfordshire

Rutland

Staffordshire

Suffolk

Scotland

Most regions in Scotland range from soft through to various levels of hardness with the majority not exceeding moderately soft water.

Ireland Regions

Ireland maybe broken down as follows:

Northern Division soft to moderately soft

Eastern Division soft to moderately hard

Southern Division soft to moderately hard

Western Division soft to moderately hard

Local UK Water Companies

Anglian Water Services Ltd

Phone: +44 (0)1480 323 000

http://www.anglianwater.co.uk

Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh Water)

Phone: +44(0)1443 452 300

http://www.dwrcymru.co.uk

Independent Water Networks Ltd

Phone: +44 (0)845 051 1650

Northumbrian Water Ltd

Phone: +44(0)8706 084820

http://www.nwl.co.uk

Severn Trent Water Ltd

Phone: +44(0)121 722 4000

http://www.stwater.co.uk

South West Water Ltd

Phone: +44(0)1392 446 688

http://www.southwestwater.co.uk

Southern Electric

Phone: +44 (0)118 958 0100

http://www.southern-electric.co.uk

Southern Water Services Ltd

Phone: +44(0)1903 264 444

http://www.southernwater.co.uk

Thames Water Utilities Ltd

Phone: 0845 9200 888

http://www.thameswater.co.uk

United Utilities Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)1925 237 000

http://www.unitedutilities.com

Wessex Water Services Ltd

Phone: +44(0)1225 526 000

http://www.wessexwater.co.uk

Yorkshire Water Services Ltd

Phone: +44(0)1274 691 111

http://www.yorkshirewater.com

Albion Water Ltd

Phone: +44(0)20 8977 3055

http://www.albionwater.co.uk

Bournemouth & West Hampshire Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)1202 591 111

http://www.bwhwater.co.uk

Bristol Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)117 966 5881

Home

Cambridge Water Company Plc

Phone: +44(0) 1223 403 000

http://www.cambridge-water.co.uk

Cholderton & District Water Company Ltd

Phone: +44(0)1980 629 203

http://www.choldertonwater.co.uk

Dee Valley Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)1978 846 946

http://www.deevalleygroup.com/DVW/DVW.htm

Essex & Suffolk Water (now part of Northumbrian Water Ltd)

Phone: +4 (0)1245 491 234

http://www.eswater.co.uk

Folkestone & Dover Water Services Ltd

Phone: +44(0)1303 298 800

http://www.fdws.co.uk

Hartlepool Water Plc (now part of Anglian Water Services Ltd)

Phone: +44(0)1429 858 050

http://www.hartlepoolwater.co.uk

Mid Kent Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)1634 240 313

http://www.midkentwater.co.uk

Portsmouth Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)23 9249 9888

http://www.portsmouthwater.co.uk

South East Water Ltd

Phone: +44(0)1444 448 200

http://www.southeastwater.co.uk

South Staffordshire Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)1922 638 282

http://www.south-staffs-water.co.uk

Sutton & East Surrey Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)1737 772 000

http://www.waterplc.com

Tendring Hundred Water Services Ltd

Phone: +44(0)1206 399 200

http://www.thws.co.uk

Three Valleys Water Plc

Phone: +44(0)1707 268 111

http://www.3valleys.co.uk

What can I do about hard water?

There are 2 options that are available to you depending on your needs; Products called water softeners will improve the efficiency and increase the life of hot water appliances throughout a building. If installing a water softener is too difficult or costly then you could consider protecting specific devices that are plumbed into the mains with a scale inhibiting filter. The types of devises that may be protected in this way include mains water coolers and all types of water boilers and heaters. These filters are installed inline between the mains pipes and the machine itself and contain scale inhibiting elements.

About Water Softeners

A Water Softener is a device that monitors and reduces the hardness of the water, it does this by removing the calcium and magnesium salts from a water supply and replacing them with a saline solution. All water softeners work in essentially the same way, the incoming water enters the softener and passes through ion exchange resin. The resin removes the magnesium and calcium ions that create lime scale by swapping them with a small amount of salt, this leaves the softened water to enter your water system. The machines often contain an automatic timer control which will periodically clean or regenerate the resin. This is done by passing salt water through the resin which swaps places with the stored magnesium and calcium ions and allows the trapped minerals to be flushed down the drain.

If you are considering this option then please be aware:

When installing your Water Softener the UK Water Bylaws require that one tap in the house is left unsoftened. This may be accomplished by installing a third dedicated tap at the kitchen sink. In effect the whole house has softened water and the dedicated tap provides hard water for drinking, cooking etc. It’s also recommended that any outside taps are fed with unsoftened water to avoid waste.

There is evidence of less heart disease in hard water areas than in soft water areas

Most water softeners work by replacing the hardness with sodium which can cause issues with babies and those with heart conditions

Some water supplies contain impurities that may affect your softener if left untreated. Iron, dirt, silt, organics and bio film may not be removed by the salt regeneration system and older resin beds may start to suffer from iron fouling.

Soft water can release lead from any lead pipes

Once the scale is removed it can open up old leaks that have been sealed by the historic scale build-up

Softeners require ongoing maintenance and need to be topped up with the correct type of salt

You purchase the system from a reputable supplier

Tough Stains On Pavers: Some Diy Solution For Cleaning Paver Stains

Installing pavers can make your patio really lovely. However, if you will neglect to clean the patio paver, then you will be left with a patio that will look very untidy. You have to understand that pavers can attract all kinds of stains. So you need to be very meticulous in cleaning your patio paver to keep your patio looking great. So here are some DIY tips that you may find helpful to remove different stains on your patio pavers.

Removing BBQ Oil Splashes

If you installed a barbecue grill on your outdoor patio, then oil and fats will certainly make unsightly marks on your patio paving. Fats can seep through the paving stones and bricks making them too nasty to remove. Removing fat stains on your patio can also be a big task especially after a big barbecue party.

The best thing that you can do is to sprinkle dishwashing liquid on your stained pavers and apply hot water. Then you can scrub the oil-stained patio paver with a broom. Wash the area thoroughly and the fats and oil splashes will disappear.

However, if the fats have seeped through the paving stone or brick, removing the stains with dishwashing liquid might not work. What you can do is to mix plaster of paris and water in a big cup. Add one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to the mixture and stir thoroughly. Apply the sticky substance over the stained paving stones or bricks. Allow the plaster to dry then sweep it with a broom. The oil stains will miraculously disappear because the plaster of paris will absorb the deeply embedded fats on your patio paving.

Removing Moss Stains

Moss can also pose a problem on your patio paver. Usually, moss will grow if your patio has poor drainage and located in a shaded area. You can easily remove moss with boiling water but it will leave unsightly marks on your pavers.

To remove moss stains, you can mix pure white vinegar and water. Soak the moss stained paving with this mixture. Allow the mixture to seep through the paving for 15 to 20 minutes then scrub the stains with strong bristled brush. This solution will usually do the trick in removing moss stains.

Removing Tire Stains

If you have children in the house, then they will probably ride their small bikes on the patio. So it is possible to have tire marks on patio pavers which can be very tough to remove. The rubber tires of small toy cars can also leave small tire stains on your patio paver.

You should avoid using chemicals in removing rubber tire stains. These chemicals will melt the rubber and will spread the stains over a large area. What you should do is to liberally sprinkle rock salt over the stained paving. Then you should brush the stained bricks and stones. The salt will peel off the rubber tire stains on your patio. This solution will also work if you have a paved driveway. Just use rock salt and the tire marks on the pavers can be removed completely.

What Do The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon?..

What do the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Floating Gardens of China, and a popular science fiction television program have in common? Hydroponics gardening!

You may have heard of a hydroponics gardening system before this, in which case you’ll understand what I’m talking about. If you haven’t heard about hydroponics gardening, don’t worry. Hopefully by the time we reach the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of what a hydroponics garden is, and if someone asks you whether you think a drip system, or an ebb and flow system is better, then you won’t have to squint at them and say ‘eh?’ in that confused way.

Before we get on to the subject of drip, and ebb and flow systems, let’s take a crash course in hydroponics gardening.

Coming from the Greek words ‘hydro’ for water, and ‘ponics’ for labor, the word hydroponics in gardening terms is used to specify a type of gardening that doesn’t have its roots in soil, if you will forgive the pun. This soil-free type of gardening depends entirely on a water based system that is enriched with nutrients.

These nutrients can either be in the form of specially formulated chemicals for hydroponics gardening, or they can come as a variety of natural nutritional ingredients found in nature itself. The use of either nutrient form is solely dependent upon the gardener.

Since hydroponics gardening is a soil free system, containers are the best methods for growing, and a number of different varieties of containers, and pots are available to buy.

As a growing medium for the plant, something for it to get its roots into, different gardeners will have different likes and dislikes. Shale is a simple and easy solution, especially for the first time gardener. With a little bit of research however, you can easily find out if Hydroton or Rockwool is a better growing medium for you than shale would be. (Hydroton and shale can be used in an ebb and flow system, whilst horticultural Rockwool can be used with just about any system).

“Any system’ referring to methods used to pass along the nutrient enriched water to the plants. Again there are many options for the hydroponics gardener to choose from, but I will explain here only the two systems that I mentioned earlier.

Simply put, the ebb and flow system uses a pump to respectively flood and then drain your containers at regular intervals. The drip system uses a continuous drip that supplies a steady ration of water solution that’s right for each plant.

Also it should be noted that hydroponics gardens have a higher growth rate, and many gardeners take advantage of this to create high yield vegetable and fruit gardens.

Now that you now what hydroponics gardening entails to a large extent, with a little more research you should be able to set up your own hydroponics system, and keep yourself year round in fresh fruits and vegetables!

How To Clean And Disinfect Wooden Toys

A lot of parents have been asking for information on the best way to clean wooden toys. Children can be rough with their toys no matter what material they’re made of and it’s always a good idea to periodically clean your child’s toys. Whether they play with them outside or indoors those toys will inevitably get dirty and it’s important for you to know the right way to disinfect and clean wooden toys since wood is a porous material.

Children are full of curiosity and very young children will frequently pick a toy up from the ground and place it right in their mouth. And usually when they do this they were also just playing with the dog or digging in the dirt which means that not only is the toy dirty but their hands are too. This behavior is only natural. It’s your child’s way of exploring and it’s not something you can easily discourage. But if you want to protect your child from germs and grime you’ll need to know the proper way to clean wooden toys because you have to handle them a little differently than you do metal or plastic toys.

To begin with, when you clean wooden toys it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between finished wood and unfinished wood. Finished wood will be either painted, varnished or dyed and unfinished wood is just that – it’s just plain wood with no protective or decorative coating. Fortunately, both types of wooden toys are easy to clean and disinfect.

For basic or light cleaning you can simply wipe either finish with a dry cloth. If necessary, use a damp sponge to remove dust and dirt from unfinished wood toys and finished toys should wiped gently with a mild soap and water. For tougher dirt or grime try using an alcohol soaked cotton ball and then wipe with a dry cloth.

Whether the toy is made of finished or unfinished wood you should never soak it directly in water as the wood could soak up the water and become warped. And after you wipe the toy with water you should dry it with a soft cloth and all the toy to completely dry before it’s used again.

And never be tempted to clean wooden toys with furniture polish! It might seem like the most natural thing in the world to do since you clean your wooden furniture with it, but furniture polish contains toxins that are not meant to be ingested. The porous wood will hold the polish and when your child puts that toy in his or her mouth, or gets that polish on their hands, those toxins can be transferred to their mouth.

To disinfect wooden toys use a solution of vinegar and water or a solution of 10 parts water to one part bleach. However, if you use bleach always rinse and dry the toys very well. Wooden toys are extremely durable and can last for years if properly taken care of. Just remember to disinfect and clean your wooden toys frequently since you know they’re going to end up in your child’s mouth.