While inmates at maximum security prisons in the U.S. are guaranteed at least 2 hours of outdoor time a day, half of children worldwide spend less than an hour outside, reports TreeHugger.com.
A survey of 12,000 parents in 10 countries found that one-third of children (ages 5 to 12) spend less than 30 minutes outside each day. The survey, sponsored by Unilever laundry detergent brands OMO and Persil, inspired a new marketing campaign – “Dirt is Good – Free the Children.”
The short film below – documenting prisoners’ responses to the survey – is part of that campaign:
Prisoners at a maximum security facility in Indiana called outdoor time the “highlight” of their day. “You take all your problems and frustrations and just leave them out there,” one prisoner said. Another said “it keeps his mind right.”
When asked how they would feel about having their “yard time” reduced to one hour a day, inmates responded that it would build more anger and resentment. One inmate said it would be “torture.” A prison guard said it would be “potentially disastrous.”
The prisoners are shocked upon learning that most children have less than an hour of outdoor time per day, one of them calling the news “depressing.” Another said if he could have one wish granted it would be that he could take his kid to a park.
Another study found that one in nine children “have not set foot in a park, forest, beach or any other natural environment for at least 12 months.”
Huffington Post reported recently that with children today spending only half the time their parents did outdoors, we are producing an “unsociable, unimaginative and inactive generation.” Only half of children have ever built a sandcastle at the beach or had a picnic outside of their own yard, and over a third have never played in the mud. Also, about half of children opt for screen time alone over playing with others outdoors.
In addition to “unsociable, unimaginative and inactive” – our culture’s lack of outdoor time is producing children who are physically and mentally ill:
“We are physically active when we spend time outdoors, so we are less likely to become obese. When sunshine hits our skin, we form Vitamin D, which helps with a number of health issues. Peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that time spent outside lowers rates of heart disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and some forms of cancer. Kids with ADHD focus better when they spend time outdoors. And, nature time leads to more positive moods, as well as lower stress and anxiety.”
This pumpkin carving tip is so simple, but it will seriously change the way you carve your jack-o-lantern forever! You’re going to ask yourself why you didn’t think of this awesome, little Halloween hack before now.
Let me ask you a question: When you carve your pumpkin, do you cut off the top of the pumpkin to get to the guts? I think most people do, and it’s how I always did it until a few years ago. Welllllll…… not anymore!
A couple of years back, it occurred to me to try something different, and I think it really is the best pumpkin carving tip ever!
For starters, it’s a very quick and easy way to gut a pumpkin.
It’s also much less messy than the traditional carving method because the guts pretty much come out in one fell swoop but BEST of all… when you carve your pumpkin this way, it makes lighting the candle SO much easier.
MY FAVOURITE PUMPKIN CARVING TIP EVER:
I cut off the BOTTOM of the pumpkin instead of the top!
That’s right, you cut off the BOTTOM. Seriously. Don’t you wish you’d thought of this years ago?
No more wrestling to get a lit candle down into the bottom of the pumpkin or struggling to light a candle that you’ve already placed inside!
Simply cut a hole in the bottom of your pumpkin, and remove that piece for good. Most of the guts will be pulled out with it, so you’ll only have to give your pumpkin a quick scrape on the inside.
Now, go ahead and carver your jack-o-lantern like you usually would.
AND WHEN IT’S TIME TO LIGHT YOUR PUMPKIN UP:
Simply set your pumpkin over top of a lit candle!
And check out how we decorated our pumpkin this year! No scary faces here! I pulled out he power drill and a large bit, and riddled it with holes! Isn’t it pretty?
What do you think? This sure makes the whole pumpkin thing a bit easier doesn’t it?
However, if you prefer a more traditional jack-o-lantern, here’s a treat for you: over 700 FREE carving stencils for you to get creative with! More than enough to get you and your entire family through a life-time of pumpkin carving!
As a recent dentist-visiting convert, (having always been terrified) I’m nowvery into looking after my teeth. A trip to the hygienist is the best way to get whiter teeth, but for in-between appointments, why not try these natural ways to keep your teeth white?
If you’re partial to cups of tea, glasses of red wine, buckets of coffee and smoking then you might find your teeth have got discoloured. Find out how to get rid of the stains now… (oh, and if you’re a fan, please share this article – we’re trying to spread the word about our website!).
If you’ve ever stuffed your face with chocolate, resulting in a questionable brown smile you might find this one a surprise. Pick up some dark chocolate when you next head to the shop and you will help bacteria from sticking to your teeth. It also contains theobormine , which has been found to be better than fluoride at hardening and re-mineralising tooth enamel.
Chewing a steak will keep mouths and gums exercising which will give them strength. The phosphorus will also help to protect teeth bone and enamel. What a great excuse to head to a fancy restaurant for a tasty bit of steak.
Great news for cheese fans – the yellow treat been found to increase alkaline saliva and forms a protective layer around your teeth which will help keep acid away. Hard cheeses will also help to remove old food from your teeth. Quick, crack out the cheese board.
4. Orange peel
Cut an inch strip of orange peel with the pith (the white) facing you and cover your teeth with it. Rub it back and forth over your teeth and the acid in the orange peel will help to brighten them. Remember to brush your teeth afterwards, but not immediately – you don’t want to damage tooth enamel weakened by acid.
5. Baking soda paste
Mix a couple of teaspoons of baking soda with water or fresh lemon juice to make a paste. After wiping your teeth from saliva with a paper towel, put the paste on your toothbrush and use it to coat your teeth. Leave for a minute and then rinse!
Packed full of vitamin C, strawberries will help your yellowing teeth. Once a week, try mashing up some strawberries to make a paste. Rub it onto your teeth – only do this once a week to avoid causing damage to your enamel. Don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards to reduce the acidity in your mouth.
Got some table salt? Mix a little with some baking soda to make a rub for your gnashers. It’s an inexpensive treatment for your teeth – try it twice a week and see how you go.
Gargle with the juice of a lemon and rub the peel all over your teeth to help get rid of yellow marks. Like with other fruit solutions, brush your teeth a little while after to avoid erosion from this acidic food.
It’s a weird one, but go grab yourself some charcoal powder. Mix it with your regular toothbrush and have a brush. Coffee, tea, wine and plaque will soon be removed – amazing!
An apple-a-day can keep the dentist away too – they will cleanse and brighten your teeth because of their mild acidic nature. This crunchy fruit will help rub away those stains over time. The water content will increase your saliva production as well, which will help with bacteria which leads to plaque.
11. Nuts & seeds
Chew these hard foods to help rub away plaque and stains. They’re also full of healthy fats and protein. Nuts and seeds are not just for woodland creatures!
The high water content in celery will stimulate saliva production, and you can look forward to getting rid of old food in your mouth as well. Your gums will also be strengthened by that crunch. Plus, it’s pretty darn good for you.
Stay away from…
Stop chewing on ice – it will make your teeth vulnerable and you could end up cracking your teeth! If you find you can’t stop chewing ice, it may be that you have an iron deficiency, so get yourself to a doctor to find out more.
14. Tongue piercings
If you’ve ever had your tongue pierced, you’ll know you can’t help but play with it. Rubbing the metal along gums and teeth can damage them – it could even lead to tooth loss.
15. Opening bottles with your teeth
Don’t risk cracking or chipping a tooth by opening a bottle with your teeth! Perfectly good opening devices exist, so you have no excuses. I’m guessing it would probably hurt as well…
16. Red wine
Acids in wine will erode your tooth enamel. It also contains tannins and chromogen, a deep pigment which help the colour stick to your teeth – this is why your teeth often can look red after a glass or two. Try keeping a glass of water for after your drink to help combat the staining effects.
17. Dried fruit
Sticky foods such as dried fruit can damage your teeth because they tend to stay on teeth for a long time. Rinse with water to help get rid of the sticky remains and brush and floss as soon as you get the chance.
Starchy foods like crisps may lead to tooth decay when it gets stuck in between your teeth. Floss after eating a packet to help prevent this. If you can give them a quick brush – even better.
The dark colour of coffee and acidity can yellow teeth. If you’re drinking iced coffee, use a straw to keep the liquid away from the front of your mouth. Brush and floss to keep plaque away.
Tobacco products can stain teeth and can interfere with saliva production which helps the surface of your teeth keep clean. Quit! Consider Allan Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking – or get yourself free quitting support from the NHS.
21. Energy drinks
Sugar is one of the main ingredients of sports drinks so make sure you stay away from bottles that are high in sugar. Have a rinse around with a glass of water to help wash it away.
22. Fizzy drinks
Your favourite sugary drink could be weakening your tooth enamel so try and limit what you drink. If you have to, then choose a bottle of fizzy drink that’s low in sugar.
I don’t need to tell you that sweets are bad for your teeth. I don’t just mean sticky sweets – sour sweets, chewy sweets, cakes – they all contain high levels of sugar which will get stuck in your teeth and cause tooth decay.
Good luck with your teeth!
I’d love to read any comments you have below & don’t forget to share this article if you’ve found it useful…
Small-space gardening expert Isabelle Palmer shares her guidelines for growing the best plants indoors
1. Position plants carefully- Choose plants that suit the environment, as even the most dedicated gardener can’t make a sun-loving plant thrive in a cold, shady area. So, ensure that your plants are suited to the light levels and temperature of the room in which they’ll be positioned.
2. Try to avoid direct sun- Windowsills in direct sunlight will be too hot for most houseplants. Also, don’t place houseplants over direct sources of heat, such as radiators.
3. Avoid shady areas- Ensure there is sufficient light for your houseplants to photosynthesize effectively.
4. Avoid temperature extremes- Keep delicate plants away from draughts, as these will decrease humidity levels.
5. Pot on regularly- Aim to repot your houseplants into larger pots every two years or so. This will ensure that they are not stressed and will thrive.
6. Be well equipped- Use the proper tools for indoor gardening. A long-spouted watering can and a mister to increase humidity are both essential for reducing dust levels, as well as dealing with pest and disease outbreaks. A long-handled fork and a pair of scissors are great for accessing difficult areas, while a sponge attached to a long handle will keep glass containers clean.
7. Water wisely- Don’t overwater houseplants; adding some drainage material at the bottom of the pot will help to keep roots aerated and ensure that they don’t drown.
8. Winter dormancy- Allow houseplants to rest during the winter period and move them to a cooler position. This is because most plants are dormant at this time, and so don’t need as much sunlight. You should also reduce the amount of water and food you provide, as this can help to prevent diseases such as mold and root rot. Move plants away from windows because these areas will be too cold in the winter.
9. Be vigilant- Learn to recognize potential problems early on before a pest infestation or other physiological problems kill off your plant. For example, danger signs for low air humidity include flower buds falling off, leaves withering, and leaves with brown tips. Signs of high humidity include mold, rot, and soft growth.
10. Think long-term- Some popular houseplant gifts only have a short growing period, so choose plants that will thrive for longer if you want a year-round display.
Excerpt from The House Gardner by Isabelle Palmer.
I get a real kick out of re-purposed wooden pallet projects. People have come up with some awesome ways to recycle and reuse wooden shipping pallets and it’s pretty darn inspiring. While not specifically survival related, the mentality of creatively using resources is a key theme in any survivor’s mindset. I put together a collection of some of my favorite recycled pallet projects below that I thought you would enjoy.
A note on using pallets. Pallets are typically marked with either MB which means they’ve been chemically treated or HT which means they have been heat treated. Some pallets are also pressure treated with preservatives. You should try to avoid using MB marked and pressure treated pallets for interior projects and gardening projects. Try to avoid those nasty chemicals if you can.
Have any of you re-purposed a wooden pallet? Share and comment below!
Hang your long, heavy clamps on this rack designed for strength. The braces are notched into the bracket arms in a simple version of a timber-frame joint.
Mill 2×4 dimensional lumber straight and square to make these brackets. The braces form a 45-degree triangle with the two arms. Miter the ends of the braces first. Then cut shallow dadoes into the horizontal arms.
Assemble one pair of arms on a workbench. Make sure they’re square. Lay a brace on top of the arms and mark the positions and depth of the dadoes. Assemble with glue and screws.
Cut a 30-degree bevel on the top rail and hanger rail. Space the brackets 15⁄8-in. apart. Drill holes in the hanger rail for large lag screws and space them to hit studs. Mount and level the hanger rail first, then place the clamp rack on it. If you fasten a vertical arm to the wall, the rack will be locked in place so it won’t lift off the hanger rail.
When all the handles of your chisels look alike, you’ve got to see the blades, too. Grabbing the right size is easy with this open rack. The long slot allows you to store chisels with blades wider than the holes. The bottom shelf prevents you from brushing up against sharp edges.
Make the rack by ripping three lengths of wood from one wide board. Cut the center piece 3⁄8-in. wide, then clamp them back together (without glue). Drill 5⁄8-in. dia. holes spaced 2-in. apart down the middle of the center piece. Unclamp the three pieces. Crosscut the center piece to make three short bridges, one from each end and one from the middle. Glue the wide board back together with the bridges separating the outer boards.
Cut 3⁄8-in.-deep dadoes into the 3⁄4-in. uprights and shelf. Reinforce with screws from the back.
Hang tools on Peg-Board slides without taking up valuable wall space. Dozens of hook styles are available—you’ll probably find one to fit every tool.
Top and bottom guides keep the slides on track. Make the dadoes wide enough for the slides to travel easily in the cleats. A hook at the back end of the slide stops against the bottom cleat, so you can’t accidentally pull the slide out all the way.
Source: The best hooks to use on the slides are ones that screw in place.
Store your small tools in this simple, easy-to-build plywood cabinet. The shallow drawers are ideal for layout tools or carving gouges. Deep drawers hold marking gauges and block planes. Place your cabinet on a shelf or hang it from a wall by fastening through the back.
Use 1⁄2-in.-thick ApplePly or Baltic birch for the case and back, 1⁄4-in.-tempered hardboard for the drawer bottoms, and pine for the drawer sides.
The drawer bottoms do double duty. They function as slides and pulls as well. Cut 3⁄16-in.-deep dadoes in the case’s sides for the drawer bottoms to slide in. Stagger the dadoes in the middle divider so it stays strong. The lowest drawers do not have dadoes. Cut rabbets for the cabinet’s back and fasten it with screws or nails.
Simple rabbet joints hold the drawer sides together. (The back of the drawer is made the same way as the front.) Nail and glue the sides together, then even up the bottom edges. Glue the sides down to the hardboard bottom. The stiffness of the drawer sides keeps the hardboard from bending under the weight of your tools.
Source: To find an ApplePly distributor near you,
Stick awkward tools on a magnetic tool bar. You can find small tools right away when they’re out in the open. When you get a sliver, you’ll know right where the tweezers are!
(Note: Product availability and costs are subject to change since original publication date.)
Lee Valley Tools, leevalley.com, 800-871-8158, 12-in. Bar, #93K75.12; 24-in. Bar, #93K75.24.
Power tools are ready to use if you leave their bits and blades in place. Store them in an upright position on a slotted plywood shelf.
Make the box from 3⁄4-in. plywood. The sides are 3⁄4-in. deeper than the shelves.
Assemble a stack dado set to make 5⁄8-in.-wide cuts. Move the rip fence 2-in. from the blade. Saw four shallow dadoes across the side pieces. Then rabbet the ends of the shelves to fit in the dadoes. Slide the fence 5⁄8-in. away from the dado blade. Stand the shelves up on end and cut.
Put the box together and cut the back to fit. Take the box apart and round over all the edges and slots with a router. Assemble with glue and 4d nails
Separate carbide saw blades in slots so their brittle teeth can’t bang against each other. The angled top of this box makes it easier to handle the sharp blades.
Make the plywood box by cutting three tall sides and one shorter side. Build your box 7-in. wide and it’ll hold both 71⁄4-in. and 10-in. blades. Pencil a 45-degree line on two side pieces. Lay out the length and spacing of the slots. Rip the slots on the tablesaw, stopping the cut on the pencil line. Then cut the tops of the two sides at 45 degrees. Assemble the box with screws.
Tools won’t bump into each other in this rack. It’s safe, too: you (or your kids) won’t get cut on a tool’s exposed edge.
Make dado cuts partway across the width of a 3⁄4-in. board. Each dado should be 1⁄8 in. wider than the tool that fits in it. Screw the board directly to your wall, or fasten it to a piece of plywood first.
If your small hand tools are prone to rusting, apply a light coat of 3-In-One oil or WD-40 and wrap them up in a heavy-duty canvas tool roll.
(Note: Product availability and costs are subject to change since original publication date.)
Lee Valley Tools, leevalley.com, 800-871-8158, 6-Pocket Canvas Roll, 67E01.01; 9-Pocket Canvas Roll, 67E01.02; 12- Pocket Canvas Roll, 67E01.03.
Store delicate squares in a safe, convenient place. These brackets have sloped tops so the squares stay put if the rack is jiggled. Make the back at least 1-in. thick. Your tools are easier to grab if they sit well away from the wall.
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker August 1999, issue #74.