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5 tips to reduce your digital carbon footprint

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Did you know that using the internet contributes to global warming? In fact, digital technologies are responsible for nearly four percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this number is predicted to double by 2025. If you want to limit the environmental impact of your online activities, here are a few things you can do.

1. Change how you watch videos. Limit how often you stream shows, and download videos if you plan to rewatch them. Disable autoplay videos, and opt to use Wi-Fi rather than 4G, as this consumes less energy.

2. Adjust how you search. Bookmark web pages and use your browsing history to avoid repeating searches. You should also favor eco-friendly search engines such as Ecosia, which plants trees to offset its environmental impact.

3. Review how you store data. Save files, photos, and videos on USB flash drives or external hard drives whenever possible. This will limit your use of cloud computing, which relies on data centers that consume a lot of electricity.


4. Rethink how you use email. Rather than send large attachments to multiple people, provide a link to a file-sharing platform. You should also regularly clean out your inbox, as each email you store emits about 10 grams of carbon dioxide per year.

5. Modify how you power devices. Set your computer to go into sleep mode when it’s not in use, and turn off your devices at the end of the day. Lowering the brightness of your monitor can also save considerable energy and reduce eye strain.

In addition to shrinking your digital carbon footprint, you should also avoid creating electronic waste. Only replace your devices if they’re broken and beyond repair, and make sure to recycle old electronics at a drop-off location in your area.

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4 edging materials for your garden

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Borders help define the different parts of your landscape and simplify maintenance. Here are four edging materials to make your yard look great.

1. Aluminum edging is sleek, durable, and flexible. Moreover, it can withstand the changing of the seasons without warping.

2. Concrete edging is available in a variety of styles and sizes. You can also choose from several shades to perfectly match your landscape. Although durable, concrete borders are semi-permanent, making it difficult to change the shape of your flowerbeds on a whim.

3. Plastic edging is affordable and can be made into virtually any shape. However, it’s not as durable as other edging options and may need to be readjusted from one season to another. Additionally, some plastic borders can’t survive the winter and must be replaced every year.


4. Wood edging is timeless and easy to install. If you want to change the look of your landscape without moving anything, you can easily repaint wood borders.

Don’t hesitate to contact a landscaping professional for expert advice and installation.

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How to prepare for a family camping trip

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Whether your family rents a serviced campsite for the weekend or prefers a few nights under the stars in the great outdoors, proper preparation will ensure you have a great time. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Choose the right equipment
When sleeping out, getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important. Although a night spent shivering because of an inadequately warm sleeping bag or leaky tent is good for a story or two, you risk souring the camping experience forever.

Before investing in camping equipment, consult an online guide to help you choose what you’ll need. Make your choices based on the location of your campsite, the weight of what you’ll be carrying, the elements you’ll be facing, and the size of your family.

Bring appropriate clothing
Don’t rely too heavily on the weather report. It’s better to be over-prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pack what you’ll need based on the activities you’ll be doing. For example, plan outfits that’ll allow you to adapt to changes in temperature and precipitation quickly. Also, choose clothing that dries quickly and wicks away moisture.


Prepare a checklist
Make a checklist of everything you need to bring, and don’t leave the house until you’ve carefully reviewed each item. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of the forest without the pump to inflate your air mattress. At the very least, your list should include the following must-have items:

• Tent, sleeping bags, and pillows
• Flashlight
• Matches, lighter, or fire starter
• Knife and multi-tool
• Mosquito repellent and sun protection
• Kitchen equipment
• Hygiene products and accessories
• First-aid kit
• Water and food supplies

Prevent unexpected situations
If you’re planning to leave the comforts of civilization, make sure to tell someone close to you. They’ll need to know where you’re going and when you’ll be back so that they can contact emergency services if you don’t return on time. You may also want to consider taking a forest-survival course with your family. On top of being an unforgettable experience, you’ll learn new skills that will prepare you for your next adventure.

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Decor trend: white faucets

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For years, black has occupied a prominent place in interior decor. However, white is now carving out a choice spot. Particularly in the bathroom. Therefore, you may want to consider installing matte white faucets to update your bathroom.

Why matte white?
White is a timeless color that’s elegant yet contemporary. It adds charm and character to the bathroom. The soft matte finish also complements minimalist decor.

How to arrange it?
You can integrate white faucets with simple lines and unique, delicate ceramic tiles into a vanity unit. Additionally, opt for a glazed or open shower stall to make the best use of light.

Moreover, you can coordinate white faucets with a pop of color. For example, play with contrast by combining white taps with black accents to create a chic, retro atmosphere. Gold accents create a refined luster appearance, while all-white finishes create a harmonious look. If you think all-white finishes will make your bathroom feel cold, warm up the space with wood or rattan accessories and furniture.


Visit your local home improvement stores to pick up a new white faucet with all the trimmings.

 

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How to choose greener toys

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Do you worry about your environmental impact when buying gifts for your children? Fortunately, finding eco-friendly toys is easier than you think. In fact, green toys contain fewer harmful materials and can raise awareness in your children of the importance of caring for the environment. Here are some tips to help you select “greener” toys.

Choose natural or renewable materials
Buy toys made of untreated and unvarnished raw wood or painted with natural substances. On top of being full of character, these toys are durable and can be handed down to future generations.

Natural rubber is excellent for soft toys, whereas their plastic counterparts often get their softness from the addition of harmful substances. It also makes sense to look for natural and organic fabrics and materials, such as cotton, hemp, and linen.

Go for reclaimed materials
Look for eco-conscious brands and logos specifying that the materials used in the manufacturing process come from reclamation. Buying guides specializing in environmentally-friendly products can help you find the most conscientious brands.


Avoid plastics and perfumes
As much as possible, limit the number of plastic toys your child is exposed to. This precaution is crucial for children under three who tend to put things in their mouths. Some plastics, such as PVC, are particularly problematic. Scented toys are also not advisable.

Don’t hesitate to ask the merchant or manufacturer for more information about a toy that interests you.

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4 good reasons to install a natural pool

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Natural pools are gaining in popularity. Here are four good reasons to install one on your property.

1. Environmentally friendly
Natural pools don’t contain harsh chemicals and often feature beneficial aquatic plants like water lilies, pond sedges, and perennial grasses. This attracts more flora and fauna, like birds, butterflies, and small marine creatures.

2. Low maintenance
The aquatic plants in natural pools help clean, oxygenate and regenerate the water naturally. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with intense maintenance. Only the central swimming area requires a filter and skimmer.

3. Affordable
The cost of designing and building a natural pool is equivalent to that of an in-ground concrete pool. However, natural pools are much cheaper to use and maintain than traditional pools.


4. Easy to care for
Natural pools don’t require much effort. Simply clear away fallen leaves and debris, prune the aquatic plants in the fall and add phosphorite or bacteria to prevent algae. Moreover, you must empty the filtration pipes before the first snowfall so that they won’t crack. That’s it!

Consult a professional landscaper if you want to create a beautiful natural pool in your backyard.

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What to bring for a day of cycling

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There’s more to a successful bike ride than just your bike. Here’s a checklist of essentials to ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality.

• Clothing. Choose light and bright clothing appropriate for riding, like bike shorts that protect your thighs and prevent chafing. Stay away from loose-fitting clothing that can get caught in the bike chain. Don’t wear cotton socks, as they retain moisture, or footwear like beach sandals that don’t provide adequate support. Also, be ready for any weather by bringing a windbreaker or raincoat.

• Water and food. Make sure you have enough water for the duration of your ride. Additionally, pack nutritious snacks like energy bars, crackers, cheese, and fresh or dried fruit, which keep well in different temperatures.

• Repair tools. Pack a few hex keys, a small wrench, a puncture repair kit, and a spare inner tube to ensure you don’t get stranded on the side of the road.


• First aid. It’s a good idea to carry a few first-aid items like adhesive bandages, gauze, disinfectant pads, latex gloves, and round-tipped scissors to treat minor injuries.

• Protection. Always wear a helmet and frequently apply sunblock. Moreover, the right pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from the bright sun, wind, dust, and insects.

Have a great ride!

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Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

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G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

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Groups Recover Together

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I'm Just Me Movement

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Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

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Upcoming Events

May
30
Mon
7:00 pm 2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
May 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2022 Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Concert by Front Royal Community Band Monday, May 30, 2022, 7pm, at the Gazebo on Main St. (sponsored by American Legion Post #53)
Jun
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jun
4
Sat
10:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – Jun 5 @ 11:00 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking Lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park. Stop by our Explorer Outpost table along the Boston Mill Road Trail where[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – Jun 5 @ 12:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the intersection of Boston Mill Road Trail and Hadow Trail. Get your hands dirty as we work to improve the hiking experience on Hadow Trail. Join park trailblazers as they work to enhance[...]
11:00 am Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
Jun 4 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
FOOD WILL BE AVAILABLE | FUN ACTIVITIES! | LIVE MUSIC!
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer dons historic clothing and cooks delicious[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
Jun
8
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jun
11
Sat
8:30 am Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 11 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Explore the Crooked Run Valley and Sky Meadows State Park with Bishop’s Events 5k and 10k races. Get rejuvenated as you traverse through the meadows, pastures and woodlands of Sky Meadows and into the back[...]