The savvy homeowner’s 5-point outdoor winterization checklist

BPT) – As temperatures drop, you’re reminded that Old Man Winter will soon rear his ugly head. Before the first flurries fly, it’s important to take some winterization steps to ensure your home is ready for whatever the season brings.

This five-point checklist will help safeguard your home against winter’s woes for another year. For additional winterization ideas and detailed project plans, visit Real Cedar.com.

Inspect windows

Inspect each window from the outside to see if any gaps or cracks are present. These small openings let in cold air and are also inviting to small critters looking for protection from the cold.

If you find some gaps, it’s important to seal them quickly. Apply caulk to the openings to prevent cold air from seeping in, helping to cut down on heating bills. Plus, you won’t have to worry about bugs making your home their hibernation haven. Note: never caulk above or below the window and door openings, as this may block moisture drainage.

Prep the deck

The amount of work you have to put into winterizing your deck depends on your decking material. For example, a durable, long-lasting material such as Western Red Cedar requires the least amount of maintenance. That said, all decks require some upkeep.

To preserve your deck’s luster, start by cleaning it with a warm, soapy solution and a soft-bristle brush. Do not power wash as this can damage the wood. It’s important that you remove all dirt and debris from the surface as well as in between the boards to improve ventilation.

Next, inspect the deck for mold. If present, wash the deck with a mild oxygen bleach solution and leave on the surface for 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Finally, remove anything that might leave marks on the deck’s surface such as furniture, planters and mats.

Protect planter boxes

The majority of planter boxes are made with Western Red Cedar. That’s because the wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects; and therefore, doesn’t require treatment from potentially dangerous chemicals that can leach into soil and plants. But like all garden beds, real cedar planters need protection during the winter months.

Start by removing all soil and cleaning the boxes as you did the deck. Then, if possible, store emptied planters in a garage, shed or under the porch. If you don’t have the space to store them this way, then cover them with a water-repellent tarp to protect from moisture buildup, but don’t seal the tarp. As with decks, it’s very important that you allow for proper ventilation.

Trim trees

Look for weak trees or those with dead branches, particularly those near your home. As snow accumulates, the weight may bring down a tree or branches, potentially damaging your house.

Eliminate this risk by removing any dead trees or dangerous branches now before the first snow. Be safe by using the proper equipment for tree trimming and removal, or, consider hiring a pro to do so. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and handling this issue now could prevent costly damage to your home down the road.

Clean the roof

Your roof is a large portion of your home, and it also holds a lot of snow over the winter. To prevent ice dams and other roof problems when freezing temperatures arrive, it’s important to clean gutters and check your roof for problems now.

Start by taking all debris out of gutters to ensure free flow for water. Next, walk around your roof and inspect it for any damage. Repair loose shingles and make sure the chimney and vents look intact and secure. Your roof takes on a lot of weight from ice and snow during the winter months and you want it to be as strong as possible.

A few simple steps now can mean a cozy, safe winter for you and your entire family. Add these five steps to your winterization to-do list for this weekend and give yourself valuable peace of mind.

New Report Shows Solar Prices Have Already Dropped to 2020 Goals

Solar power has never been cheaper, making it possible for this once alternative energy to power the future. Turns out the future is arriving ahead of schedule, as a new report from the Department of Energy reveals the cost of solar power has hit its 2020 goal three years early.

The Department of Energy has found utility-grade solar panels have hit a median price of about one dollar per watt and $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. That price hits a milestone set by the department’s Sunshot Initiative in 2010 as part of a larger effort to make solar power competitive with other sources of energy.

The report attributes those gains to a bunch of factors. The photovoltaic tech that powers the panels has decreased in cost, there’s more market competition now than there was in 2010, and there have been a bunch of general improvements in solar tech’s efficiency. Labor costs of creating and installing this hardware have also decreased.

The cost of residential and commercial solar panels haven’t quite reached their 2020 goals, and the energy costs for, say, a solar roof on your house are still greater than tapping into a solar-powered grid. But those categories are about 85 percent of the way to their targets with three years left, so they are well on their way.

Soft costs like sales tax and overhead remain the most expensive factor in going solar at home. Within the next three years, the Department of Energy plans to cut those specific costs in half.

“We definitely want to reduce red tape to promote economic growth,” Daniel Simmons, acting assistant secretary of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, told Bloomberg BNA.

And getting the cost of utility-scale solar down makes the biggest difference overall: A new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association notes that utility-scale solar installations accounted for nearly 60 percent of photovoltaic panels installed last quarter.

Now that these goals have been accomplished, the Department of Energy will set goals for 2030 that will focus more heavily on reliability of solar grids rather than the cost, though it’s still also hoped the cost will be cut in half to just three cents per kilowatt-hour for utility-scale solar.

IKEA Is Now Selling Solar Panels & Batteries for Your Home

IKEA never fails to offer must-have essentials for your home, as the Swedish multinational furniture company is now selling solar panels and home batteries.

Exclusive to customers in the U.K. for now, IKEA has partnered with solar firm Solarcentury to make the sale possible.

“We’re committed to helping homeowners reap the benefits of going solar and our business partnership with Ikea is a significant step forwards for the renewable energy industry,” said Susannah Wood, head of residential solar at Solarcentury in a statement. “The cost of solar installations has dropped considerably in recent years and is in fact 100 times cheaper than it was 35 years ago.”

With prices for solar battery storage starting at around $3,970 USD — the home batteries are designed to work with existing solar panels, or as part of a new combined home solar panel / battery storage system that IKEA is selling.

The batteries will allow users to store electricity generated by the sun from their solar panels, and use it when they want. IKEA says that an average UK home with solar panels will typically consume around 40 percent of the solar electricity it generates, although, using storage, an average home can double its solar electricity usage to 80 percent, while electricity bills can be cut by up to 70 percent.

Also, the company recently unveiled a cookable “Easy Recipe Series” book to encourage more creativity in the kitchen.

Elon Musk’s First Tesla Solar Roof Is Here, and It Looks Awesome

Elon Musk’s house runs on solar. The Tesla CEO made the announcement during Wednesday’s second quarter 2017 earnings call, where he revealed that both himself and Jeffrey B. Straubel, the company’s chief technology officer, have installed solar roof tiles on their houses.

“We have installed and working the Solar Roof tiles,” Musk told investors during the conference call.

Tesla started taking pre-orders for the textured black and grey smooth tile styles back in May, with U.S. orders expected to start shipping this year. Unfortunately, those that didn’t order immediately have a long wait on their hands: the tiles sold out until next year in just 16 days. The company is expected to start taking orders for the remaining Tuscan and slate styles in November, with deliveries starting next year. International orders are expected to start shipping next year.

The solar roof tiles are offered at a competitive price point. Tesla has priced them at an average of $21.85 per square foot, bringing them down to below the cost of a normal roof.

Musk is one of the first to have the tiles up and running. When he first announced the tiles in October, he laid out a vision of a future house with a Tesla Model 3 in the garage, a Powerpack lithium-ion battery on the wall, and a roof made of solar tiles. The tiles would provide energy to the Powerpack, which would provide a steady stream of power to the car and house at all times of day. With the Powerpack already available and Model 3 shipments starting last month, the tile was the last missing piece of his vision.

“I want to emphasize that there’s no Photoshopping on the roof,” Musk said. “That is actually how it looks, and it wasn’t taken by some… ‘it was take some pics with your phone and send them over.’ That’s what we’re talking about here, not some special lighting conditions, pro-photographer situation. And this is version one, and I think this roof’s going look really knockout as we just keep iterating.”

The solar roof works out as cheaper than a new roof even before the energy savings brought by using the roof. When those are factored in, the roof starts to pay for itself:

These tiles are tough. They’re made of tempered glass, which makes them about three times stronger than slate or asphalt. On top of that, the tiles are capable of defrosting by using a similar method employed by anti-ice wires used in windshields. All this means the tiles are capable of working through extreme conditions.

“Solar Roof is the most durable roof available and the glass itself will come with a warranty for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first,” Tesla said in a May blog post.

Musk explained during the call that solar roof tile production should increase exponentially, in a similar fashion to Model 3 production. That means initial growth will be slow, followed by a sharp increase, ending with a plateau where Tesla produces a consistently high number of tiles per month. Even when production reaches its peak, though, it’s going to take a long time before every house has a solar roof.

“I think eventually almost all houses will have a solar roof,” Musk said during a May TED conference in Vancouver. “The thing to consider the timescale to be probably on the order of forty for fifty years. On average, a roof is replaced every 20 to 25 years but you don’t start replacing all roofs immediately but eventually if you were to fast forward to fifteen years from now it will be unusual to have a roof that doesn’t have solar.”

Beyond the tiles, Tesla’s solar operation has had big success recently. Last month, it was announced that Tesla will build the world’s largest battery in South Australia to solve the state’s energy woes. The 100 megawatt pack will store renewable energy for 30,000 homes. A storm last September left 1.7 million residents without power, and it’s hoped that Tesla’s solution will avoid a similar situation occurring again.

In the future, these technological breakthrough could transition the whole of the United States onto solar energy. Musk has laid out an ambitious plan that involves using rooftop solar panels, utility-sized power plants and localized power infrastructure.

“If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States,” Musk said during his keynote conversation at the National Governors Association event in Rhode Island last month. “The batteries you need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile.”

The solar roof could be the first step toward a major shift in energy production.

How Amazon Is Quietly Taking Over Your Living Room

From Sony vs. Microsoft, to Roku vs. Apple TV, to LG’s webOS vs. Android TV, there’s always some battle being waged to rule the TV and stereo in the room where families spend the brunt of their time. Well, Amazon is quietly working to beat everyone — and it’s okay if you didn’t notice. Most folks haven’t.

Obviously, Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is already one of the biggest players in the digital assistant game, with an install base of millions and a sales trend expected to put the system at a mind-boggling 500 million global users by 2020. But in addition to controlling your light switches, playing Bluetooth audio and reminding you of the day’s date on occasion, Amazon has been adding “skills” to the system by the armload every week, and it now offers more than 10,000, ranging from smart home add-ons to flash news briefings.

Another area that’s been on the rise as of late? Television.

You know the first part of the equation. The company’s Trojan horse has been the wildly successful Fire TV Stick (currently the No. 1 selling Electronics item on Amazon) and the Amazon Fire TV (which comes with a few extra features, including 4K video), both of which are basically Amazon’s beachhead against products like the Roku and Apple TV in your entertainment center. Amazon has sold millions of them, and the past several editions have included a killer feature that’s popping up in more and more devices these days. You guessed it: Alexa. The voice command button takes up a piece of prime real estate on the remote control, and cuts out the middle man when it comes to menus and searching. It’s a handy feature that sets Amazon’s line apart, and a brilliant (if not obvious) way to leverage all the time and energy the company has put into Alexa. Amazon is already a key player in the set-top box market, and they’ve been weaving Alexa into its DNA for years — and now it’s time for the next phase to begin.

Amazon has started cutting deals with TV manufacturers and satellite companies to make Alexa the easiest way to control your television — no remote control, or Fire stick, required. Sony recently announced some of its 4K TV lines would be adding Alexa functionality, while Westinghouse is also adding Alexa to its features list. Looking beyond the out-of-the-box experience, Amazon has also worked with Dish Network to add Alexa functionality to its higher-end satellite receivers, which allows the system to change channels, retrieve recorded content, and pause with nothing more than a few words. I tested the Dish skill myself, and there’s something freeing and truly geeky about being able to tune to ESPN, or pause the TV for a beer run, without fishing the remote out from between the couch cushions. Just say it, and it’s done. It also worked surprisingly well and fast, with straightforward commands that were just as snappy as manually pushing the button.

Putting Alexa into Amazon’s own streaming box is one thing, but now those skills are getting baked into devices and tech that make them more and more useful for all the Echos and Echo Dots already littering end tables and desks all over the world. Amazon is adding skills to Alexa on a daily basis, and with that tech showing up in a first wave of living room devices, Amazon continues to build its living room lead on Google and Apple’s AI offerings. If you’re trying to decide between an Apple HomePod, Echo or Google Home, learning your brand new TV — or the satellite or cable service you’re locked into a contract on — works with Alexa could easily be the deciding factor when it comes to platform choice. And Amazon knows it. More TV manufacturers will almost certainly join Sony and Westinghouse, and it stands to reason other cable and satellite providers won’t let Dish hold onto this advantage when the next iteration of their set-top boxes start rolling out.

Amazon is on the verge of changing the way we watch TV, and the “trick” has been to just put Alexa into everything and make it work well. Or at least well enough. Make it so convenient that you just use it because it’s always there — and at that point — why would anyone look to a competitor when they already have the feature set built-in, no add-ons required? If your satellite service, TV and streaming box all just work with the Echos already in your house, would you ever seriously consider a different platform? Not likely.

Amazon is winning the battle for the living room by making its ecosystem so wide-ranging and accessible that you might not even realize you have it. The company is already a leader for smart home early adopters thanks to the low buy-in cost (Dots can typically be snagged for between $30-40 when a sale is on) and expansive feature set, and if you’re already using Alexa to turn the lights on, isn’t the next step just firing up the TV and turning on some Fixer Upper?

These Kirkland Brand Products are Why You Need a Costco Membership

Let’s go ahead and establish the tone for this article right now. Costco might be the best thing to happen to the general shopping experience since the first person set up a store. Your shopping trip could easily include picking up socks, dinner, a new computer, flowers for the garden, and filling up your gas tank. Plus, it doesn’t come with all the guilt of shopping at other stores like it. Where Wal-Mart hosts food drives for its employees and actively suppresses workers’ efforts to improve their job experience, Costco is routinely ranked one of the best places to work. The company treats its employees well, has ridiculously low turnover because it actually rewards employee loyalty (and reciprocates that loyalty), provides benefits to the vast majority of workers, and voluntarily keeps markups low on products to save customers money. It’s a wholesale club with the labor philosophy of a family-owned corner store.

The company’s excellence carries into its Kirkland brand as well. Everything with the Kirkland logo on it is guaranteed to be a quality product, and that guarantee doesn’t come in the form of some corporate disclaimer or marketing stunt. It comes in the form of Costco making way better stuff than they ever needed to. Next time you find yourself in a Costco, or maybe we’ve just convinced you to start doing your weekly shopping there, make sure you give these Kirkland brand products a shot.

Booze

There are a ton of rumors flying around about Kirkland brand spirits and they’re incredibly difficult to verify. People have said Kirkland vodka is Grey Goose’s overflow and that Knob Creek and Macallan regularly supply the brand with whiskey. The prevailing theory seems to be that when high end distilleries of any number of alcohols have spirits they aren’t happy with or made too much of, Kirkland swoops in and swallows it up. Again, we can’t verify this, but if there’s truth to those rumors, it would explain a lot. For example, it would explain why Kirkland vodka costs next to nothing and doesn’t make us hate ourselves in the morning. In fact, it made us a lot more confident in vodka’s potential to be good, an opinion that’s backed up by the opinion of people who drink a lot more vodka than we do.

This isn’t a “better for the price” situation. Kirkland spirits are a high quality alternative to dropping a couple hundred bucks at the liquor store. In fact, the cult following of the brand is growing all the time and we might be saying stuff one of your friends has been saying for years. As what might be the ultimate sign that Kirkland booze is an excellent choice to stock your house, check out this post on Reddit. In a rare display of unity, every top comment is a recommendation to try their brand, and that’s if it’s not a glowing endorsement. Obviously still go ahead and get some top shelf stuff, but for everyday mixing and sipping, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with keeping a few of these bottles handy. If anything, you’re going to find out exactly which of your friends are spirit connoisseurs and which are just posing.

Barbecue Meats

The butcher at Costco is one of the more appetizing to walk through. At some locations, you can watch the butchers work and they are consummate professionals. Their cuts are clean and precise, they’re more than knowledgeable, and they’re happy to help customers, even if that means recutting or redistributing what they’ve already done. They’re great at their jobs and they clearly enjoy what they’re doing, which are the two main things we use to evaluate the people who sell us stuff.

Their product is excellent too. It’s great meat and here’s another place we won’t cheapen that sentiment by adding “for the price.” The price is great too, but neither detracts from the other and you don’t have to rationalize eating one of their generic steaks the way you might have to at cheaper grocery stores. Provided you cook it right, you and your guests will be more than happy with your burgers, sausage, ribs, steaks, pork belly, hot dogs, chicken, turkey, or whatever else you buy.

Pet Food

Here’s a personal anecdote as support for a larger claim. Kirkland dog food made my dog happier. I brought home a few sample bags on one of my trips to the store, because it was a sample bag and the lady offered me enough to feed the dog for a few days. In those couple days, the dog looked healthier, had more energy, and was generally far happier than he had been in weeks. From then on, that’s what he’s eaten and it’s been a sustained difference from the previous food.

That also taught me that maybe the people on all those TV commercials aren’t full of shit. The paragraph I just wrote could have easily been ad copy for an annoying Blue Buffalo ad. But those are the genuine results of Kirkland dog food, at least for my own personal pet and there’s also no way for me to make it sound like I’m not currently writing a couch testimonial for a shitty ad, so I’m just going to close this by saying at least take the free sample if the lady offers you one.

Sunglasses

We find it a bit weird that they don’t list their sunglasses on the Costco website. They only have two types, one athletic and one casual, but they’d be so easy to pack and ship that not listing them online seems like a missed opportunity. Especially since these are the perfect sunglasses for everyday use. They’re polarized, sturdy, and come with their own cases and microfiber cleaning cloths. The pairs we’ve seen haven’t cost more than $30, which is the perfect price for buying a decent pair for leaving in a car or by the front door. They’re stylish enough that they look like they cost more than $30. Not hundreds of dollars more, but still. More.

A Giant Wheel of Parmesan Cheese

We’ve never had the need for 72 pounds of Parmesan cheese, but now that we know it’s so accessible, we’re going to work pretty hard to find one. If we have to spend a month eating pasta and Italian soups, that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make. Plus this isn’t a big tub of American knockoff cheese. This is genuine, imported Italian parmigiano reggiano aged for 24 months possibly in a cave. For nearly a thousand dollars, sure, but people have spent more on weirder, so we don’t think this is such a crazy thing. And when we looked around for comparable products, the best we could find was price quotes from high scale websites. Fine Italian dining is finally within grasp.

Gasoline

The attraction of this is more that it makes Costco a completely one stop shop for anything and everything you’d need in a week. You can get your shopping done, then pull the car around a corner and fill it up too. It’s probably not anything to go out of your way to get, but if you find yourself at the wholesale club and also a little low on fuel, there’s no harm in pulling around and topping up. This is going to be a specialty thing not every Costco offers, but if yours does, take advantage.

Kitchen Pots and Pans

Unless you’re one of the only families in the world to pass cast iron cookware from generation to generation in a tradition stretching back hundreds of years, everyone needs to buy themselves a set of pots and pans for their kitchen. When you do, you’ll want a set that’s durable, versatile, and affordable, all words that can be and are being used to describe Kirkland’s set. For less than two hundred bucks, you can outfit your new apartment, house, vacation home, RV, cabin, or whatever other domicile you’re furnishing with every pot or pan you’ll need for good home cooking. Plus everything can be used on the stovetop or in the oven too, so you don’t even have the limitations that cheap, plastic handled pots and pans have. In fact, we may have just talked ourselves into buying a backup set.

 

Americans Waste Than Half Their Food Allowance On Meals That Require No Cooking

If the Bureau of Labor Statistics has it right, then Americans don’t like cooking very much. The latest numbers reveal an annual average food budget of just over $7,000 (approx. $150/week). More than half of this is spent on food products and services that require no cooking. Here’s a little breakdown:

An impressive $3,008 per year is spent on dining out, which includes “fast food, take-out, delivery, concession stands, buffet and cafeteria, at full-service restaurants, and at vending machines and mobile vendors.”

$726 goes toward ‘miscellaneous foods’, which Business Insider defines in more detail:

“This category appears to be comprised mostly of premade meals and snacks (think Hot Pockets and Lean Cuisines, as well as Doritos and almonds), though it also includes: ‘condiments and seasonings, such as olives, pickles, relishes, sauces and gravies, baking needs and other specified condiments; and other canned and packaged prepared foods, such as salads, desserts, baby foods, and vitamin supplements’.”

Finally, a hefty $374 is spent on non-alcoholic beverages, which likely means soda, juice, and milk, none of which are particularly good for human health.

Most shocking, for me, was how little is spent on whole fresh foods. A mere $247 a year on fresh vegetables and $284 on fresh fruits? That’s about as much as I spend per month on those same items. More than twice as much is spent on sugar ($155) than eggs ($63), and bakery products ($344) are another clear yet questionable favorite. A whopping $832 goes toward meat and fish, although the Bureau divides this number into different categories based on the type of animal protein, which is why it’s not in the top three.

The numbers reveal a cultural preference for quick prepared meals, food on the go, and meats, which is unfortunate. As we’ve been saying on TreeHugger for years now, cooking from scratch can be a powerful force for change in one’s life. It addresses so many issues at the same time, from saving money to improving personal health to supporting local farmers to providing an important space for family engagement.

A shift away from spending on sugary drinks, baked goods, meats, and takeout foods could free up dollars for more fresh ingredients, many of which are quick and easy to prepare, once you get a few simple recipes under your belt.

Roomba Has Been Quietly Mapping Your Home, Now It Wants to Sell The Data

In 2015, the Roomba robotic vacuum received a major upgrade to its sensors, letting the robot build a map of the house or apartment it patrols for dirt. And now iRobot, the company behind the Roomba, could make a deal with Amazon, Apple, or Google within the next few years to sell those maps and other user data.

While iRobot CEO Colin Angle insists that providing this data to “the big three” could greatly improve a smart home’s ability to serve customers, this potential deal represents a major privacy concern for people who use the robotic vacuum to clean their home. While most people seem to have more or less come to terms with the fact that their browsing history and online activity is being sold, data collected by a Roomba includes camera footage and updated maps of their personal space.

Angle told Reuters that he felt most people would opt into the services provided by integrating Roomba data with other smart home devices, which could include targeted ads from Amazon or orchestrating indoor lights to be most compatible with the natural light coming in through windows.

Not that consumers would necessarily have a choice in the matter. Gizmodo took a look at Roomba’s terms of service and revealed that iRobot can sell data to other companies or the government whenever any or all of their company is purchased — just like the potential deals that have Angle so excited in the first place.

Roomba develops its maps using cameras and advanced sensors to understand the layout of the room or building it’s cleaning. Previously, robotic vacuums used infrared sensors just to detect obstacles in their immediate paths, with no permanent sense of the space they were cleaning. Going back to that older model of robotic vacuum would sidestep the privacy concerns the Roomba now presents, but it would also mean taking a step back in vacuum quality and navigation.

Why Can’t Kids Bring Sunscreen To School?

It’s a hot, sunny day. Your progeny is going on a fieldtrip to a literal field, where she will likely find little shade. Can you throw a bottle of sunscreen in her backpack with strict instructions to slather it on? That depends on where you live.

Because the Food and Drug Administration considers sunscreen an over-the-counter drug, most schools around the country do as well, reports The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline blog.

Much like other things — allergy medications or even ibuprofen — children can’t bring these products to school without a doctor’s note, and often they have to bring it to the nurse to even use it.

So while you could load your kid up with sunscreen before they leave, they won’t be able to reapply at any point during the long school day — potentially a big problem if they’re outside.

Some states are working to change this with legislation, however: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Utah, and Washington have all enacted laws in the last four months that allow children to use sunscreen both in school and at after-school activities. In Arizona, New York, And Washington, the laws also allow sunscreen at summer camps.

California, New York, Oregon, and Texas already lifted the sunscreen ban in schools. Some states may vary in their rules on a county-by-county basis. For example: Public schools in Arlington, VA have an OTC medical exemption for lip balm and sunscreen.

When it comes to sunscreen use for kids, “parents, I think, are the best decision-makers,” State Sen. Terry Burton, a co-sponsor of the Mississippi bill to promote sun safety, told Stateline. “The school should not interfere with that decision that a parent makes to protect their child.”

It’s also important that kids are able to put on their own sunscreen, notes Rhode Island Rep. David Bennett, sponsor of a bill that has passed the lower house and is now in the Senate.

“The kids are impatient. They’ve got 20 minutes. They’re not going to stand in line for 20 minutes” for a teacher to apply it, he says. “By the time she gets done with the last kid, the 20 minutes is going to be over.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, dermatologists would love it if kids could bring sunscreen to school. That includes a coalition of medical groups — which includes the American Academy of Dermatology Association and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association — that has been pushing for sunscreen legislation.

The surgery group wrote model legislation and set aside $30,000 in grants for dermatology organizations around the country to lobby for the bill, while the dermatology association also provided advocacy funding to state groups, Stateline notes.

Getting four state laws passed in three months can be attributed to the fact that this is an issue that affects folks on both sides of the aisle, these groups say.

“Everybody sees that kids need to be protected from skin cancer and they should be protected with sunscreen,” Terry Cronin, a dermatologist and head of the advocacy working group for the dermatologic surgery society, told Stateline. “Everybody sees that kids need to be protected from skin cancer and they should be protected with sunscreen.”

It’s not like anyone wants kids to get burned, but there are those who have voiced objections to some of these measures. The Rhode Island Certified School Nurse Teachers Associations, for one: The group thinks sunscreen should be kept out of the classrooms because other kids could have allergies to the ingredients in some products.

“We’re not against sunscreen,” Diane Kowal, the group’s president, told Stateline. “There just needs to be language to protect everyone, from the person putting it on to the kids sharing it.”

Tesla Is Not Starting Solar Roof Installations Tomorrow

Installations of Tesla’s new solar roof are supposed to start sometime this summer, but despite an enterprising Bloomberg report published Tuesday, Tesla representatives says installations will not be starting this Friday, June 30.

The June 30 prediction in a feature story by Tom Randall of Bloomberg predicts that the first Tesla solar roof installations are scheduled to occur Friday, based on the fact that in Tesla’s initial announcement of the roof, the company said that installations would start in June in California. However, Tesla tells Inverse that this will not be the date of the first solar roof installation. Despite high anticipation for the first installation of the Tesla solar roof, the Tesla team is still working out exactly when and where the first installations will occur.

“We do not have our first Solar Roof being installed on Friday,” a Tesla spokesperson tells Inverse when asked about the date of the installation. “No, this is incorrect.”

Bloomberg published the date as part of a review of the timelines on all of Elon Musk’s projects, and included the Friday Solar roof installation date as part of the story. The graphic suggests that solar roof installations are supposed to start on June 30. “This is misinformed,” says a Tesla spokesperson. However, since Bloomberg is working to track how well Musk’s projects stay on timelines, basically this means that Tesla is going to start installations later than the company initially announced when orders for the Tesla solar roof opened up back on May 10.

Unlike your typical visible solar panels, Tesla’s solar roof is made of tempered glass tiles. The solar elements are included in some of the tiles to maximize the solar energy captured, and are impossible to distinguish from the ground. Within 16 days of opening orders, the tiles were sold out until 2018.

Despite being close to the first Tesla solar roof installations, the company hasn’t announced an official date of when or where the installations will occur. We do know that when the solar roofs start to roll out on homes, installation will take about five to seven days, which is about as long as it takes to install a clay tile roof. The tiles will also be installed by SolarCity teams, a solar company that Tesla purchased in November of 2016. And since Tesla hasn’t announced a date, and won’t be installing solar roofs on Friday, we are just going to have to wait a little longer to see what the first solar roof installation will look like.