Pamela Turner

  • Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day!

    Green River

    Guest blogger:  Gabrielle Walters, CHES, MPH and Radon Educator with The University of Georgia Department of Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics. ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣ St. Patrick’s Day is a day that began as a way to celebrate the work of  St. Patrick in Ireland and has now turned into a…

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  • Seniors are the New Majority

    People at conference

    I recently attended a great conference at Fort Valley State University (FVSU).  The theme of the Under One Roof Housing Conference was “Seniors: The New Majority.”  Did you know that by 2020 almost 20% of our population will be over-65?  It’s those famous “Baby Boomers” who are increasing the numbers at such a rapid rate. …

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  • A Greener Valentine’s Day

    valentine crica 1950

    What can you do this year to show your love for both your “Valentine” and the earth? The first thing I think of is to REDUCE consumption. Just don’t give anyone anything this Valentine’s Day.  Of course, if you choose this way to green your Valentine’s Day you may end up celebrating by yourself in…

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  • Okay I have made it to February without announcing my New Years Resolutions. I guess it is time. We never make a big deal big out of new years. We have always stayed at home. We have a simple meal, watch a movie, have a nice bottle of wine and count down the year with…

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  • Poisons in Your Home

    Re-think waste house

    Every year over 1 million people are accidentally poisoned. Many poisonings can be prevented by using and storing household products safely.   For more information on ways you can reduce chemicals in your home and make your home safer check out the UGA Extension website, where you will find helpful tips and green cleaning recipes.

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  • The Incandescent Bulb Economy


    Lighting choices are changing. We all have to switch our thinking from WATTS to LUMENS. Your 60 Watt bulb produces 800 Lumens of light. Watts are a measure of energy consumed, not light produced. For more info on choosing lighting go to:

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  • Gifts to Keep you Safe

    ugg slippers for women

    Some people are so hard to buy gifts for that you end up giving them something they won’t ever use or that they don’t really want.  Sometimes a practical gift added to something fun is the way to go.  This year think of ways to give something that will keep those you love safe. Bicycle…

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  • Holiday Gifts that Save Energy & Money

    solar lites outdoor

    When buying gifts this holiday season, think “smart strip,” “twist,” and LED.  All of these gifts will conserve energy and save you money. 1)  Consider giving a smart strip. Smart strips help reduce standby power consumption – often called vampire or phantom power.  Vampire power accounts for 5-10% of your total household electric consumption, but using…

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  • Gifting Green! Guest Blog by Carla Gray

    wood basket

    Because life is too short to ‘give’ the status quo! Imagine walking through a walled city that’s more than a 1,000 years old. You watch every step as you try not to sprain an ankle on the unevenly cobbled and beautiful streets. Fresh fruits, veggies, spices, meats and cheeses are all on display. You relish…

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  • Lead Poisoning is Preventable

    different poison items

    This past week was Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.  It was good to have a week focused on lead poisoning, but we really need to pay attention to the dangers of lead year around.  Lead poisoning is often preventable.  The most common sources of lead poisoning are lead paint chips and dust.  In 1978 lead was…

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  • Halloween kids

    Some fun Halloween facts. In 2012 there were 41 million potential trick-or-treaters across the U.S. In 2012 47,800 acres of pumpkins were harvested The top 6 pumpkin-producing states are Illinois, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. The self-proclaimed “Halloween Capital of the World” is Anoka, Minnesota. It was one of the first cities in…

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  • Healthy Children

    Mr Yuk logo

    Your children are at a greater risk of exposure to environmental hazards than you.  These hazards exist where they live, learn and play.  Children engage in “riskier behaviors” than most adults.  Two big “environmental risky behaviors” children engage in are: Crawling across floors that can have a number of different contaminants on them Putting toys…

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  • Control insects with Guinea Fowl


    Have the grasshoppers, beetles, ticks and other insects taken over your yard and garden?  Get rid of them using a natural way – get Guineas!  Back home on the ranch there are several Guineas that wander freely around the house and farm buildings and there are few, if any, grasshoppers.  To keep the Guineas from…

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  • geo desic

    Several cultures continue to build houses as they did in the past.  These traditional building techniques take advantage of local materials and work with the wind and sun to create houses that to build workable houses.  An  exhibit in Weil Am Rhein, Germany, at the Vitra Design Museum shows traditional houses and new construction that was inspired…

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  • Green Roofs – Pittsburgh Convention Center

    Green Roofs

    This past week I saw a cool green roof on the Pittsburgh Convention Center.  I was in Pittsburgh for the Galaxy IV conference, which is a joint meeting of Extension Professionals. I was impressed with Pittsburgh. It is a nice city to visit and the green roof on the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC)…

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  • Plant a tree in memory of your loved one

    Today, September 1st is my parents’ wedding anniversary. This year they would have celebrated 60 years of marriage. Sadly, my Dad passed away earlier this year during the cold winter months. He is missed, but we do have lots of wonderful memories. One of my fondest memories is of Dad planting trees, just like his…

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  • Waste bottles

    In the U.S. we are increasing our recycling rate. What do we do with all those plastic bottles? We have been exporting a lot of them to China. Now China is saying “no more.” What will happen to all those “recycled bottles?” Article: US states banned from exporting their trash to China are drowning in plastic

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  • Got Mold?

    mold on ceiling

    Rain rain go away, come again another day. Better yet, go west to where the wildfires are burning. We have enough rain here in the southeast!  As of August 18, Atlanta had received 46 inches of rain. Compare that to 25 inches at the same time last year. With all that rain comes mold. The most…

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  • Jamaica Bay – NYC Georgia Teens As Planners

    Jamaica bay unit map

    Get ready to feel really good about young people. This video is a snapshot of Teens As Planners (TAP) a service-learning and dropout prevention programing developed and implemented by UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Through TAP youth have the opportunity to grow and become caring contributing members of society. The teens in this…

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  • Energy Saving Idea: Connect your house & barn

    solar houses

    Driving through small villages in Austria and Germany I noticed that the farm houses are often attached to the barn where the cows, pigs, sheep and assorted other animals live.  I grew up on a ranch, but our barn and the fragrances associated with it were a good distance from the house.  I am not…

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  • asthma triggers

    Here comes company… It is a given fact that every one of us has visitors in our home throughout the year.  Sure, some of us entertain more than others, but whether we like it or not we all have the occasional house guest. If it’s not family visiting during the holidays, then it’s the delivery…

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  • Free library

    When my husband and I married we were both college students and money was always earmarked for the books, lab fees, and tuition – furniture and household items were either hand-me-downs or finds.  We furnished our first home at Oklahoma State University from grandma’s toss-aways and things found on the curb.  When I think back…

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  • flowers

    Back home in Athens I ventured out to the UGA Trial Gardens Open House. As always, the gardens were amazing and retiring professor Dr. Allan Armitage leading the garden tours was entertaining. The UGA Trial Gardens are essentially a giant research lab located on the Athens campus and open to the public. They were started…

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  • Why do Swiss Cows wear bells?

    cows with hats

    Back home now after a fantastic trip to Europe!  I learned so many things about housing, energy and sustainability at the conference and during my travels through France, Switzerland, Germany and Austria.  Over the next several months I will continue to share with you the innovative and interesting things I saw and learned during my…

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  • canoeing

    Planning your summer getaway? Five things to consider: 1) Leave the place you visit better than you found it – whatever you take to the picnic bring home – trash receptacles often become filled to overflowing. Debris will take wing – so remember to take a trash bag and bring home your recyclable, compostable, and…

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  • Renewable Energy in Europe

    windmill energy

    I was surprised that I saw few alternative sources of energy during my visit to Barcelona and Tarragona. I began to see wind turbines and solar panels when I crossed the border into France and even more as I traveled into Germany and Austria. I did some research to see how much of Spain’s energy…

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  • Recycling the European way

    Recycling seems to be a part of everyday life for most Europeans.  I saw large recycling bins along the roads in Spain, France, Germany and Austria.  All of the containers I saw required people to separate their trash (i.e.  glass, paper, cans, etc.). Interestingly the university in Spain where the conference I attended was held did…

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  • Walking and visiting Europe seem to go hand-in-hand. It is a wonderful exercise, especially when you get to wander through Park Güell in Barcelona. I am sure I walked more in one afternoon at the park then I do in a week back home in Athens, Georgia. From the metro, or underground, I walked up…

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  • Energy Vampires

    Are you an “energy vampire?”   If you live in an apartment in the central part of the building you may be sucking energy from neighboring flats.  In Hungary people who live in the central apartments are referred to as energy vampires.  (In the U.S. this term has a slightly different meaning.) The European Union…

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  • Activism – what moves you to act?

    Pick up trash on beach

    What moves you to take action? The Turkish Government’s plan to replace the last significant green space in central Istanbul with a shopping mall is what activated a group of young people in Istanbul. I do not advocate violence, but I do understand the frustration of young people who know their voices are not being…

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  • Catalan Food in Tarragona, Spain

    cooking catalan food

    Why is it that when we travel foods we normally do not eat taste so much better?  While in Tarragona I tried several local and traditional foods. One day for lunch I enjoyed Andalusian Gazpacho and Paella. Back home I would never eat gazpacho, because it always seems to have green bell peppers in it…

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  • Human Tower Building (Castells)

    humans tower

    Building a tower of humans is an old Catalan tradition. The “castellers” form these human pyramids, which are called castells (Catalan word for castles). They can be up to 10 persons tall, which the lightest and youngest members of the team (colla) at the top. this is both a cultural and sporting event. it represents…

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  • The Energy Saving Windows of Catalonia

    Catalonia is an autonomous region within Spain that is home to the beautiful cities of Barcelona and Tarragona.  As I walked around these cities, I was fascinated by the windows and the coverings over them that help keep the sun out.  It is an old idea, but one that is obviously still used. I saw…

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  • Journeying to Spain


    I am leaving the family behind and flying off to Spain in a few days to participate in the European Network for Housing Research conference.  I have attended this conference one other time – in Prague – and it was fantastic! I am looking forward to learning and sharing what I learn about housing and…

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  • Climate Change – Story of Stuff

    pick up trash

    I just finished watching Bill Moyers’s interview of Biologist, mother and activist Sandra Steingraber. This made me stop and think about how I approach my life as an activist, my life as an educator, my life as a Change Agent. in the video Ms. Steingraber discussed how we all have a different set of skills…

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  • I once had a boss who dismissed women as farmers and the importance of domestic history to agricultural history this slide show visually relates the importance of women to farming today and to agricultural history.

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  • A new kind of sustainability

    This week I participated in an informative blogging workshop taught by Tara Dunn for the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension.  She did a fantastic job of helping all of the participants develop blogs and better understand and use online communication. Blogs are a great way to share research and…

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  • graves

    When I was a child my family would spend Memorial Day at one of our family graveyards. I know this may sound morbid but I remember it as a happy place. Park-like the place was filled with trees, flowers and areas of sun and shade. We would arrive with buckets, brushes, shears, pruners, brooms, hoes,…

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  • Green Her Mother’s Day

    Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  What plans have you made?  How about going GREEN this Mother’s Day. Here are a few of my favorite ideas. Spring is here and all thoughts go to gardening, how about making a special garden just for mom.         Here are some suggestions:  Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden, Cutting…

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  • Renewable Energy: Solar and Wind

    wind turbine in Montana

    Is it supposed to snow on May Day? I just returned from a conference on energy in Fort Collins, Colorado. The hosts did a wonderful job showcasing all four seasons.  The first few days were close to 80 (great for solar power).  Then there was rain, which provided some relief from the drought. Finally, over…

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  • Have you ever considered how resilient your house is to damage from natural disasters? I am talking about things like flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail, straight-line winds, and even droughts.  I am attending a workshop put together by LSU Extension that focuses on how we can create homes that are more resilient to the disasters that…

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  • Green Springtime Fun


    It is springtime in Athens, Georgia. When days are soft and sunny folks start to move out-of-doors.  So what are some green outdoor activities that are low cost and low impact, but high on the fun index? We all want play and live greener without spending our shrinking “greenbacks.” Walk. One of the healthiest and…

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  • Candle Safety – Prevent an Accidental Fire


    Guest Blogger……Morgan Barnett, Master of Public Health Degree Candidate at The University of Georgia Many of us burn candles to make a room smell good, or just for decorative use. While candles create a calming effect, the allure of candlelight can quickly turn into a disaster if proper safety measures are not followed.  Keep yourself,…

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  • tiles in bathroom

    I saw the first burst of pine pollen on my car window this morning. That is my sign that it is time for Spring Cleaning. Spring Cleaning is a good time to go through your cleaning supplies and make a decision on whether you want to continue using a product. We have tried to go…

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  • What do you know about Green Roofs?

    taos house

    When we think of a “green roof” most of us conjure up images of trees and vegetables on top of a tall building in a city or maybe a sod roof with a goat grazing on it. Green roofs are much more than that. I learned a lot about green roofs on a webinar taught…

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  • A Child’s Healthy Home Tip to Keep Pests Out

    Recently I was teaching an online class about keeping your home healthy and reducing the asthma triggers in your home.  I talked about some of the main asthma triggers in your home – dust mites, pet dander, secondhand smoke, mold, cockroaches, and mice.  The training included action steps to take to reduce or eliminate these…

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  • 7 Tips to Making Your Home Healthy

    solar house in Germany

    Today I heard a wonderful presentation by Henry Cisneros, who was Secretary of HUD under Clinton. He spoke at the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) 20th anniversary celebration. He talked about housing, linkages between our homes and our health, and changing housing needs. It was a good reminder of what really makes a house…

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  • Ideas for Living Greener

    There are some simple things you can do to become a more environmentally conscious consumer. Watch the video for some things you can do to reduce waste and save you money. Take the  Shades of Green quiz on the UGA GreenWay website.

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  • Cruising…….How green is it?


    I just returned from a themed cruise to the Caribbean that featured classic movies and movie stars from the past.  It was just what I needed – rest and relaxation sprinkled with movies, good food, good times, and a therapeutic saltwater Jacuzzi and pool. On the cruise I got to wondering about the environmental impacts…

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  • There are seventeen houses on the end of my street.  We get together for block parties to celebrate new babies, graduations, start of summer, and when one of use moves.  We have a shared yard sale and we even pet sit for each other.  I would say I live in a caring neighborhood with for…

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