Reader Favorites: Photodegradable Trash Bags, Horticulture Magazine and a Guideline to Jogging

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Photo by Fotolia/Martinan
Reader favorites this issue include a guideline to jogging for health.

Reader suggestions for tried and true products, including suggestions to try photodegradable trash bags, Horticulture Magazine and a guideline to jogging.

Being some good things we want to share. Money won’t buy
you a spot in Access, but suggestions are invited. Is there
something that YOU want to share?


Bes-Pak Photodegradable Trash Bags

Bes-Pak And Co., Inc.
Montgomery, AL 36109

Chemical additives, plastic and waste all rate right at
the bottom of our “favorite things” list. But — by taking one
of the first (polygrade) . . . and adding it to the second
(in the form of plastic trash bags) . . . you end up with a
better solution to the third. A photodegradable trash bag.

Photodegradable simply means that a chemical additive
(polygrade) in the plastic is activated by the ultraviolet
rays of the sun. Then — usually within a few weeks or
months — depending on climatic conditions and length of
exposure, the plastic will break down into harmless natural
elements. And this occurs even if the bag is buried in a
landfill. Kinds like banana peels, clam shells, and other
examples of nature’s own biodegradable containers.

An estimated five billion large trash bags were used by the
American consumer In 1976. Of these, approximately 16
percent were incinerated, five percent recycled, and the
remainder — yes, that comes to some four billion plastic
sacks — ended up at sanitary landfills, in open dumps, and/or
littering the countryside.

These numbers, plus the fact that many communities now
require the use of plastic bags for trash pickup anyway,
point up the need for a product like the Bes-Pak
Photodegradable Trash Bag. The sacks cost about ten cents
apiece, and have a stable shelf life. (In other words, if
you buy a box, they won’t do a disappearing act in your
kitchen cabinets.)

Nope. This ain’t the perfect solution to a problem that’s
rapidly getting out of hand. But It most certainly does
appear to be a noteworthy stop in the right direction. — RH.


Horticulture Magazine

125 Garden St.
Marion, Ohio 43302
(for subscriptions)

It’d be nice to be able to say that the incredibly
beautiful full-page color photograph (portrait may be more
appropriate) of a solitary “Peace” rose in the January 1978
Issue of Horticulture was impressive. Impressive enough to
warrant subscribing to this extremely informative monthly
publication of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

To do so, however (and not that it isn’t true, value would
dilute the overall scope and of the magazine. This
publication very definitely Is not a collection of
“stereotypically exquisite” photos of various roses,
orchids, violets, and other “silver-haired ladies’ species
of flora” coupled with the usual highbrow articles on how
to keep your pewter pots polished.

Rather, Horticulture is a genuine, “hands on” tool for the
person interested In up-to-date, accurate, “how to”
information related to growing just about anything. There
are regular columns on greenhouse gardening, indoor plants,
and — especially interesting — a “Horticultural camera” section
dealing with the problems and techniques of photographing
that part of nature in which man gardens . . . inside and
out. (“Flowers fads, plants die, but a photograph
endures.”)

That same January 1978 Issue contained articles as current
and varied as a profile of Interior Secretary (and former
Idaho potato-pushing governor) Cecil Andrus, a piece on
Arizona’s cactus — not cattle — rustling problems, “Plant Posts
and Their Natural Enemies”, “Of All Flowers, Methinks a
Rose is Best” (with those fabulous photographs), and a
thorough presentation on “New Faces for the 1978 Garden” by
MOTHER contributor Derek Fell.

All that — plus a classified section and a coupon collector’s
cornucopia of seed, nursery, and gardening equipment
catalogs guaranteed to ink-stain the greenest thumb-make
this quality publication ($1.25 per issue, $10/year U.S.,
$11 Canada, $12 elsewhere) must reading. — RH.


Guidelines for Successful Jogging

Rory Donaldson and the National Jogging Association
919 18th St. N.W., Suite 830
Washington, D.C. 20006

“We are born with a 70-year warranty. But we never bother
to read the Instructions,” says Dr. George Sheehan,
cardiologist, one of the most respected “running
authorities on running”, and medical editor of Runner’s
World
magazine (P.O. Box 366, Mountain View, CA 94040,
published monthly, $9.50/year).

This quote is certainly not a startling revelation to most
of us. Poor diet, negative environmental factors, and lack
of exercise are taking their toll (5,000 coronary heart
disease deaths in the U.S. In 1920,700,000 in 1972). And we
all know people (maybe we greet one in the mirror each
morning) who are “out of shape” or — even worse — in a shape
that resembles something other than a fit human being. Get
this book for that person, especially if “that person” is
you!

Guidelines for Successful Jogging is just what the title
implies. Guidelines — both general and specific — to got the
novice out the door, moving those feet, and-more
Important.moving the old ticker. A “target heart rate” Is
what It’s all about (the “goal” of this non-goal-oriented
8 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch booklet). Which simply means that you
maintain a particular maximum heart rate for a particular
period of time. The result is cardiovascular fitness . . .
improved quantity and quality of life.

The 158 pages of this easy-to-read, hard-to-put-down
revised (1977) edition are packed with advice (what to
wear, when to jog, how to jog, how much to jog, when not to
jog, etc.) and enough humor to keep you smiling as you
stretch through those warm-up exercises . . . and eager to
get out and discover just where those unchained Dobermans
really are in your neighborhood.

The point is that Guidelines is readable, workable, usable
information. Included is a 12-week diary for recording your
progress, references for more specific advice, and just
about all the answers to all the questions you might have
about jogging. And the manual is available from the good
folks at the National Jogging Association (note their
aforementioned new address) for only $4.35 postpaid,
quantity discounts available.

The Zen expression “learning to get out of your own way” is
particularly appropriate here. GUIDELINES can be that all
important first step. — RH.


Help! A Step-By-Step Manual for the Care and Treatment of
Oil-Damaged Birds

Emil P. Dolensek, D.V.M. and Joseph Bell Publications
Dept.
New York Zoological Society
Bronx, N.Y. 10460

This is the kind of publication that just shouldn’t be
necessary in a rational world. In our world, however — where
names like Torrey Canyon and Argo Merchant still stick like
the crude oil they dumped in our oceans — it is both
necessary and welcome.

A recent United Nations report estimates that a million and
a half tons of oil are dumped into the oceans each year.
And this petroleum affects the environment far more
seriously than merely keeping the tourists out of the water
at Miami Beach. (We can only estimate — and shudder at the
short- and long-term consequences for fish, shellfish, and
marine wildlife.)

Well, now — in addition to wringing our hands and shaking our
fists at the megabuck oil corporations — we can take some
direct action designed to right some of an oil spill’s
wrongs. HELP! tells us how.

This thorough and concise little (8 inch by 6 inch, 139-page)
booklet sidesteps the politics involved and gets right into
the “doing” part of saving the waterfowl victims of a
spill. If it tells how to report a spill and organize the
rescue . . . includes sections on identifying, catching,
handling, transporting, cleaning, and giving basic
veterinary care to damaged birds . . . . and — if you’ve been
both skilled and fortunate — explains how to release the fowl
to fly again.

HELP! is a special supplement to Animal Kingdom, a magazine
that is published specifically for North America’s leading
zoological societies. It would be expected, therefore, that
HELP! would be a very professional and accurate
publication. It is . . . and then some.

The price (50 cents per copy, quantity discounts available,
checks/money orders payable to Animal Kingdom magazine) Is
very reasonable . . . and the information invaluable. Do
it. — RH.


Solar Hot Water Heater

Prepared by Eastern Oregon Community Development Council La
Grande, OR 97850

So much has been written the past couple of years about
heating water with the sun that — rightfully so — most of the
idea’s mystery and mystique has finally vanished. Which,
unfortunately, means that tens of thousands of good folks
(perhaps you’re one of them) would now love to build their
own solar water heaters . . . but just don’t know how to go
about it.

Well friends, I’m here to tell you that this little problem
has now been solved. Despite the redundancy of its title
(after all, why use the sun’s rays — or any other form of
energy — to heat water that’s already hot?), this
little 76-page manual contains everything you’ll ever need
to know to build and enjoy your very own sun-powered water
heater. The theory, of course, is here but — even more
important — so is all the practical information on the
subject that you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know
how to find out.

Codes, permits, materials, tools, actual construction
steps, and abundant, easy-to-follow diagrams. They’re all
here . . . plus a chapter of ton reference sources and two
appendices (one describes “alternative” solar water heating
systems and the other is a master list of the materials
you’ll need to construct the water heaters described in the
book).

Yessiree! The folks at the Eastern Oregon Community
Development Council have come up with as thorough and as
understandable a treatment of solar water heater
construction as we’ve yet seen (MOTHER’s head of research
personally recommends it) . . . and this guide is well worth
its modest cost ($2.00 postpaid).

Oregon residents can order this manual from: State
Community Services Program, 772 Commercial St. S.E., Salem,
OR 97310. All others please write: National Center for
Appropriate Technology, P.O. Box 3838, Butte, MT 59701. — RH.