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5 tips to reduce your digital carbon footprint



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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Discover your garden’s personality: DIY soil test for acidity or alkalinity



Curious about your garden’s soil and how it might influence your plant choices? Well, whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or a novice, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty. Let’s conduct a simple DIY test to determine the acidity or alkalinity of your soil.

Commercial soil test kits are out there, and they’re wonderfully accurate. But let’s say you’re impatient and just can’t wait for one to arrive in the mail. There’s a quick and straightforward test you can do with basic household items.

All you’ll need are two tablespoons of soil, half a cup of vinegar, distilled water, and half a cup of baking soda. Let’s dive into the how-to, courtesy of

First up, place those two tablespoons of soil in a bowl and add that half cup of vinegar. Do you see fizzing? Congratulations! You’ve got yourself alkaline soil. If you didn’t see any fizz, it’s not a big deal. Move on to the next test.

Take another two tablespoons of soil and moisten it with some distilled water. Add half a cup of baking soda. If you see fizzing this time, it means your soil is acidic.

In the event that you don’t see any fizzing with either of the tests, you’ve got yourself neutral pH soil – the Goldilocks of soils, if you will.

Knowing your soil’s pH can help you create the optimal growing environment for your plants. Acidic soil? No problem! You can counter it with ground limestone. Alkaline soil? You can treat it with ground sulfur.

So, there you have it, folks. You’re just a bit of fizzing away from knowing your soil better and making your garden the most enviable on the block. And remember, the journey of a thousand gardens begins with a single soil test!

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3 strategies for gardening with allergies



Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? If gardening exacerbates your symptoms to the point that you’re considering giving up your hobby, just know that there are solutions. Following these tips may allow you to enjoy growing flowers and plants again this summer.

1. Choose the right time to do your work. Avoid gardening on hot, dry days, as these conditions are conducive to high pollen levels. Plan your gardening sessions by checking the current pollen index in your area. When it’s low, get outside!

2. Choose hypoallergenic plants. Some plants are much less allergenic than others, especially those pollinated by insects rather than wind. Ferns, hostas, azaleas, and rhododendrons are a few varieties you may want to try out in your garden.

3. Wear protective clothing and accessories. Even if the pollen index is low, make sure you still wear a mask, gloves, goggles with side shields, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself.

Looking for trees or flowering plants to brighten up your yard? Inquire about allergy-friendly species. Happy gardening!

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Deck trends in 2023



Warmer days are around the corner. Are you dreaming of renovating or decorating your deck? Here are five trends that may inspire you.

1. Indoor furniture. Outdoor furniture is becoming increasingly similar to what you’d find in your home. The main difference is its ability to withstand the elements.

2. Fun textiles. Decorate with various fabrics and textiles, using cushions, rugs, sunshades, throws, and hammocks to optimize your comfort.

3. Plants, plants, plants. Bring your deck to life with greenery. Choose hardy plants that will beautify your yard — and make you feel like you’re on a tropical holiday.

4. Eco-responsible materials. Recycled and environmentally sustainable fabrics, wood, and other building materials are definitely in this year.

5. Modular furniture. Many garden furniture retailers sell sofas and tables that you can configure in multiple ways, so you can readily adapt your deck to your needs and desires.

Finally, neutral colors, like gray, black, and brown, remain a winning choice for outdoor materials and furniture. Add personality to your deck with accessories like lanterns and LED lights.

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5 popular walkway materials



Are you thinking of creating a walkway to add elegance to your property? Here are five materials to consider.

1. Interlocking pavers. Available in a variety of designs, interlocking pavers provide a contemporary look. They’re durable and require little maintenance unless the surface is particularly porous.

2. Natural stone. Natural stone is robust and gives your yard a rustic look. Remember that the stone slabs must be carefully installed to ensure they lie flat and don’t create a tripping hazard.

3. Mulch. Wood chips and bark are ideal for creating an organic-looking walkway. However, you must reapply the mulch yearly to maintain a neat look.

4. Crushed materials. Crushed stone, concrete, and brick are some of the most popular options. Make sure the size or shape of the aggregate isn’t too bulky, making it uncomfortable to walk on.

5. Wood planks. A wooden walkway with closely spaced planks is esthetically pleasing. It’s also ideal for wheelchair accessibility.

Before installing your walkway, you must carefully prepare the surface. Remove a layer of turf, raise the middle slightly to facilitate rainwater runoff, and apply the required underlay, like geotextile fabric, rock dust, or sand.

For professional results, hire a local landscaping company to complete your walkway.

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Embellish your yard with striking conifers



Do you want to add plants to your yard to make it more attractive? Flowers are an obvious choice, but conifers can add striking contrast. Whether you choose standard size, bushy or dwarf, here are some of the advantages of planting evergreens:

• They shelter your home from cold winds, reducing your heating costs
• They attract pretty birds to nest or take refuge
• Many species can be pruned into elegant shapes like cubes, spheres, and cones
• Unlike deciduous trees, which lose their foliage in winter, conifers retain their beautiful color and volume all year
• Planting several conifers together can increase privacy in your yard and block out sound
• Many types of conifers are edible and have medicinal properties

Cedars, spruces, false cypresses, junipers, and pines — visit your local nursery to find the ideal conifers to enhance your landscaping.

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Tantalizing tales of yesteryears: Unraveling a lifetime through Words



There’s a familiar refrain that often echoes around family gatherings: “If only we’d asked Dad about that…”. There’s an inevitable longing for the tales untold and the sagas left unwritten. It is your mission, noble patriarch or matriarch, to gift future generations with the essence of your journey. A grand novel or an Academy Award-winning screenplay isn’t necessary, a simple account from the heart will do. Or perhaps, you might even venture into a heartfelt video memoir. After all, your chronicles don’t have to unfold in a sweeping epic but can gently unveil themselves as bite-sized anecdotes.

Let’s plunge into the realm of yesteryears with these thoughtful themes that may ignite your memory and creativity:

  1. Familial Tapestry: Embark on a nostalgic journey through the lanes of your childhood, your kin, the elders who bestowed wisdom, and the siblings who partook in your earliest adventures. Paint the colors of your lineage, the laughter that rang through your house, the frightful instances that brought you closer. Remember those traditions that evolved over time? Yes, they’re important too!
  2. Professional Chronicles: Unearth the gems from your career journey. Relive those moments of triumph, and grapple once again with the challenges that led to growth. Unfurl your aspirations and lessons learned along the way.
  3. Chronicles of the Heart: Travel back to the time when Cupid struck for the first time. What stirred within you? Recall your relationships, the lessons they imparted, and the mirror they held up to your own self.
  4. Voyages and Ventures: Travel isn’t always about exotic vacations, sometimes, it’s about unexpected detours or even life-changing relocations. Recall those road trips, no matter how brief, each journey has a story.
  5. Wisdom Well Earned: Unravel your philosophy and life lessons – the ones learned through joyous victories and the ones that came wearing the cloak of challenges. What advice would you bequeath to the young ones today?
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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
5:46 am8:37 pm EDT
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Wind: 5mph SW
Humidity: 26%
Pressure: 29.84"Hg
UV index: 9

Upcoming Events

8:00 am Church Yard Sale @ Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Church Yard Sale @ Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Jun 10 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Church Yard Sale @ Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
10:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 10 @ 10:00 am – Jun 11 @ 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[...]
4:30 pm Free Community Meal @ Valley Assembly of God Church
Free Community Meal @ Valley Assembly of God Church
Jun 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Free Community Meal @ Valley Assembly of God Church
Doors open at 4:30. Dinner served at 5:00 at Valley Assembly of God Church in Middletown. Menu: Fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, roll, drink, cupcake. Free-will offering accepted.
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 14 @ 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[...]
9:00 am Indoor Yard Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Indoor Yard Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Jun 16 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Indoor Yard Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Large indoor yard sale will be held in the Front Royal United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall Friday, June 16th, 9 am – 3 pm and Saturday, June 17th, 9 am – 2 pm. Gently used[...]
8:30 am Vacation Bible School @ Living Water Christian Church
Vacation Bible School @ Living Water Christian Church
Jun 17 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Vacation Bible School @ Living Water Christian Church
BEE BLESSED WITH GOD’S BEE-ATTITUDES  Vacation Bible School | Saturday, June 17 Ages: 3 yrs. to 12 yrs. Registration at 8:30 a.m. VBS will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
9:00 am Indoor Yard Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Indoor Yard Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Jun 17 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Indoor Yard Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Large indoor yard sale will be held in the Front Royal United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall Friday, June 16th, 9 am – 3 pm and Saturday, June 17th, 9 am – 2 pm. Gently used[...]
12:00 pm VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 17 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
VA State Parks History and Culture: The Enslaved Community at Mount Bleak @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. In 1860, nearly half of Fauquier County’s 21,706 residents were enslaved, with fourteen enslaved individuals living at the Mount Bleak Farm. Journey through these difficult stories alongside staff, volunteers and costumed interpreters. Explore[...]
1:00 pm Summer Show 2023: Aladdin @ Skyline High School
Summer Show 2023: Aladdin @ Skyline High School
Jun 17 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Summer Show 2023: Aladdin @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts presents ALADDIN, An Adaptation for Dance of the Traditional Story, with music edited, compiled and arranged by Dr Ryan Keebaugh. Tickets are on sale only through our ticket agency SimpleTix, and not[...]
6:00 pm Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 17 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Welcome Summer by watching the sunset across the Crooked Run Valley with a special solstice-themed Astronomy For Everyone. Join members of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club as they use special technology to view the[...]