Health & Wellness Blog
Live a happy & healthy lifestyle
Benefits of Drinking Tea
Tea is a daily drink consumed in green, black, white, or herbal forms nearly everywhere around the world. Yet tea is often underrated compared to other nutritional products, pills, and supplements. Here are a few of the tried and tested health benefits of fine tea.
Teas act as natural immune-boosters because of their anti-microbial properties. In particular, green tea has been shown to kill bacteria that cause infections and dental plaque formation in addition to reducing bad breath. However, the down-side of tea’s anti-microbial effects means that certain teas, such as rosehip and pomegranate, may interact with certain antibiotic medications. To be safe, if you are on anti-biotics, consult your physician before beginning a tea-drinking regime.
Productivity with less caffeine
Teas contain a different blend of stimulants compared to coffee, which often has a higher dose of caffeine. This caffeine in coffee can produce jitters, heart palpitations, digestive unrest, and a sense of being “wired” that can interfere with productivity for some. On the other hand, green tea been shown to improve concentration, memory, and overall brain function while producing fewer of the negative side effects associated with caffeine. Thus, for those who are sensitive to caffeine, tea can be an important alternative to coffee in improving work productivity.
Physical performance with fewer calories
When tea is consumed on its own, it generally contains fewer than 10 calories. Rather than add to the waistline, certain teas are thought to improve fat-burning. For example, research has shown that green tea may enhance metabolism while improving physical performance in endurance activities. However, the caveat to this information is that sugar-sweetened teas counteract these effects. Sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases. Thus, for optimal health consume tea sugar free, either on its own or with a splash of lemon or non-dairy milk.
Boost Your Immunity!
Health headlines are frequently flooded with findings on the latest miracle product to boost immunity. With the constant flux in information, which claims can we truly trust?
Rather than following the trends, follow a healthy lifestyle. Here are five natural ways to strengthen our immune system to stay healthy.
Meditation can be practiced through visualization, through repeating a mantra, or through mindfulness, among other techniques.
Activity is closely related to immunity. Physical activity functions as a natural cleansing process for the body by flushing out bacteria from the lungs and airways. However, increasing duration or intensity of exercise is not necessarily better for individuals who already have a regular workout routine because heavy, long-term exercise (e.g. marathon running and competitive athletics) may actually compromise immunity. For ideal immune functioning, exercise regularly at a moderate level or simply maintain an active lifestyle.
Get Outdoor & Smell the Roses
A sizeable number of key ingredients in drugs developed today are either isolated from plants or replicated from chemicals in plants. Thus, being outdoors brings us home to the millions of immune-boosting chemicals that we may attempt to replace in the form of pills.
Avoid False Claims
As it stands, there is limited regulation in marketing and producing “immune-boosting” herbs, supplements, or other pills. For the majority of supplements that are sold, there is weak or limited evidence behind the effectiveness of the properties that they promise. Rather than take these compounds in the form of a pill, it is often more beneficial to go with our gut and go to the source. Select a diet full of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and other compounds that build immunity without boasting bolded claims.
Rest Nightly & Sleep Well
Sleep is fundamental to our natural immunity. Inadequate sleep is associated with a long list of physical health problems associated with immunity. In particular, sleep deprivation suppresses immune function, making us more susceptible to colds, flus, and bacterial infections. Researchers recommend around 7 hours of sleep per night for best protection from disease.
For improved immunity, stick with natural, lifestyle ways to enhance overall health, such as stress reduction, physical activity, and sleep, rather than seeking out “immune boosters” in the form of pills.
April Fool's Day (April 1) Pranks
Essentially, April Fool’s Day is an annual day where pranks are played on people. Although the main goal is to ‘fool’ someone with what would be considered a credible hoax or harmless trick, there are times when the practice tends to go overboard. In today’s world of new technology, the ‘pranking’ part has become far easier to pull off for many media outlets that often create elaborate hoaxes in an effort to fool as many people as possible with a single prank.
The prank ideas we are going to explore here are going to be simple in nature, harmless and intended to be family-friendly. Remember, do not pull an April Fool’s prank on someone who will not be amused and do not play a trick of any kind that may cause hurt feelings.
Here is our list of favorite April Fool’s Day pranks:
The Classic Alarm Clock Trick
You have two choices here. If you are trying to just have a fun prank, set their alarm clock to go off an hour or more earlier than normal. Setting their alarm to go off later than normal may cause problems that could create friction between you. So, be careful.
The Not-So-Hard Boiled Egg Trick
This is also a fun reversible prank as well. If there is someone in your household who prefers hard-boiled eggs for a snack or a sandwich, switch the eggs they use for fresh ones. You may want to stand out of the way when they start rolling the eggs on the counter to crack them.
Fake Vomit/Dog Poop Trick
This is a real classic prank that has several variations and can cause several different reactions. Naturally, be careful who you choose to prank and be sure that if you pull this one on someone that they will see the humor in it and won’t be upset or that the sight of fake vomit doesn’t cause them to get sick, either.
You can play this one by simply placing the props in unusual places, like on the floor, on a countertop or wherever they will get noticed quickly but not too quickly. You’re goal is to have the element of surprise working in your favor here. If there are little kids in the family, they are sure to get a laugh out of the fake props regardless.
Things That Go Missing When You Are In The Shower
The Fogged Up Glasses Trick
Here’s another harmless fun April Fool’s prank that is sure to amuse most. If there is someone close to you who wears glasses, one way to add a bit of fun to the day is to smear a thin film of petroleum jelly across the front of the glass lens.
You can improvise with fingerprints if you don’t have the jelly. The idea here is to give the prank victim blurry vision the moment they put their glasses on. Be sure to time this one carefully. You don’t want to have them behind the wheel of a vehicle when they slip on their glasses nor do you want them to fall down a flight of stairs or bump into things. It’s a fun trick to play, but has to be carefully planned to work right.
Provided your prank victim isn’t running late for work or an appointment, you can get a few minutes of laughter out of this particular prank. Be sure to replace what you remove.
Shrinking Wardrobe Trick
If you can find shirts and more, go for it but in order for this prank to be effective, the ‘no-longer-fits-me’ clothing items have to be ones selected for that day for work or play. Have fun with this one.
Spiced Drink Trick
Everyone likes coffee and if your morning can’t get off to the right start without a steaming hot cup of Joe, then you’ll truly appreciate this tasty April Fool’s prank.
All you basically have to do is add some hot sauce or pepper spice to the brewing pot of coffee. Once ready, your intended victim will get a slightly warmer cup of coffee than they bargained for.
Naturally, be sure that whoever you do this to can handle the intensity of spicy hot coffee and that they don’t happen to have any allergies to hot peppers. You may be surprised to find that adding a bit of spice to a cup of coffee may become a new favorite morning kick start beverage to start the day.
Fake Lottery Win Trick
This is a fun prank that can be played on several people with each person ‘winning’ a different kind of prize that has to be claimed before 12 Noon or they forfeit their win. You may be able to get away with this one.
The Disconnected Internet Trick
If there is someone you know who can’t live part of a day without their online connections, this will be a fun prank to play. All you need to do is gain access to the power source of their modem and turn it off.
This works great if you are a visitor the night before and as you leave late in the evening before April Fool’s you slip into the pantry or office and switch off their internet. It’s a no-brainer for most of us, but how many of you would actually check to see if your modem is working before calling your internet provider due to an ‘outage’ of service? Not all of us will do that and this is what makes this particular prank so effective and easy to pull off.
Be Careful To Not Become The April Fool Yourself
Although the pranks here that we have outlined are generally easy to execute, you always risk the possibility of one of them backfiring on you. This is a possibility in any kind of pranking activity and is why we stress that you have to be careful who you choose as your prank target.
Generally speaking, everyone expects something to happen early on April 1st, just be sure to keep it safe, fun and family-friendly so everyone can get a laugh to start off the new month with. It is never a good idea to use a prank that can become dangerous, may damage property or is illegal in nature.
The idea behind April Fool’s Day is to have fun, and to be safe when doing so.
Single And Alone on Valentines?
It’s the one day of the year despised by single people around the world. It’s not as if you aren’t trying to meet someone special. It just seems as if when February rolls around you are either single again or still single. That’s okay. The world is not exactly built just for couples as much as Cupid and all the other marketing crap tells you come Valentine’s Day. But how can you cope when you happen to be forever alone?
Well, in case you thought the only logical solution involves heavy sedation or massive amounts of various medications, think again. Save those prescriptions for something far more serious than this because we are here with some answers for you. Here are a few tips to keep you from bursting into the greeting card store with guns blazing.
Turn It Into A Profitable Part-Time Gig
Think back to all the things you would have spent money on for that special someone in your life on February 14. Aside from the candy and dinner, there are a few ways you can actually capitalize on what couples are faced with on this very day.
You could buy a whole bunch of cut flowers and sell them individually at a decent price that gives you a slight profit with each sale. You could hire yourself out as a babysitter, a designated driver or even house sitter for couples heading away for a special Valentine’s celebration somewhere. There are many ways to turn the obligation others feel to spend on February 14 into some extra cash in your jeans.
Throw Your Own Party
Plus, all of your single friends will be able to become closer and you may end up making some cool new connections for when you plan to throw Un-Anniversary Parties or whatever.
Spoil Yourself For A Change
The best part of spoiling yourself on February 14 is that not only will it help to make you happy, you can spend without feeling guilty about it. It’s not as if you are breaking up with someone the day before and you are avoiding the mess associated with pre-Valentine’s break ups.
Nope. This one is for you and only you. Enjoy it to the fullest.
Take Yourself Out For A Date For A Change
Hey, it’s not quite as wacky as it sounds.
Think about it for a moment. Not only does a solo date cut the cost in half on Valentine’s Day but it gives you a whole lot more freedom. For example, you get to go exactly where you want to go for dinner. That could be a sports bar or a dark, dingy out of the way place you wouldn’t take a date anyway.
Plus, you get to eat and drink whatever you want. It also means you can skip the movie, the chocolates, the flowers, the cards and the worry as to whether or not you’ll be at your peak performance level should the evening end up wrapping up at your place. Oh, and breakfast will just be for you and there’s no sharing.
Hit The Singles Bar
Or maybe you’ll just enjoy the vibe being around a lot more people who can relate to the whole being single on Valentine’s Day trip. Smile and drink a few for us.
Love The One You’re With
So you don’t have a significant other on Valentine’s Day. It no biggie, really. You can still feel some love and share some good times just by spending the day with family.
After all, they are connected to you regardless of what you end up doing with your life and where you end up living. Family is also a great support network and a comforting place to be when you don’t feel you want to be all alone on a day such as February 14. You could end up giving members of your family the things you would have otherwise spent money on for one person. Your mother, grandmother, aunt or sister will love the flowers and chocolate, you can count on that.
You Can Just Do Things For Others
Valentine’s Day is going to be a long, lonely day for seniors who have lost loved ones and are living in assisted living facilities. If you are artistic, maybe make and distribute homemade cards to the residents or provide some musical entertainment for them. Everyone loves to be spoiled and this could be your new thing.
Then There’s The Practical Part
We’ve touched on it slightly. When you happen to be forever alone on Valentine’s Day there is an instant bonus that comes your way but you may not think about it immediately. You will save some money.
Even if you choose to stay home and watch a movie marathon with a giant bag of potato chips, you saved yourself the cost of all the other trappings that would have made up the day for you. For some, it could have been a very expensive ‘holiday’ with presents and gifts that could have melted the bumpy numbers off of your credit card. By being single on February 14 you actually dodge that bullet and the reminder the following month of what it cost.
Have We Made Our Point Yet?
Being forever alone on Valentine’s Day is far from a sad situation. It is not a life sentence nor is it a penalty for some bad judgment call you made earlier in your life. If anything, it should be a tool you can use to flip your life situation around and do some fun things to make you happy.
Besides, the last thing you want is to be remembered as the person who sucked all the life out of the room when you were (fill in the blank) and moaning about the way your love life has turned against you. The best way to avoid sabotaging the next Valentine’s Day you find yourself single is to be creative and find ways to get your mind off of that and on to other fun things to do.
All it takes is an idea and some effort on your part. Hopefully we have been able to provide you with some kind of inspiration to keep you from going postal at the mere sight of couples sitting too close and sharing a special moment together. Remember, there are other forever alone people out there struggling with coming to grips with the reality that surfaces on February 14.
Do yourself a favor and find something constructive to do to turn the annual celebration of love into something where you can look at yourself and be happy with who you are and where you are in your life. In other words, turn the day into a celebration of like and do it up in style.
Stay Happy & Positive During Winter
The winter season is often not all holiday cheer, especially for the estimated 10-20% of adults who suffer from symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Those who suffer from debilitating cases of SAD may benefit from speaking with a psychologist, but for those of us with mild symptoms, self-care can help.
To ward off a case of the winter blues, try these tips to stay happy during the gloomy winter season.
Or for those of us who aren’t afraid to brave the cold, try winter sports, like skiing, ice skating, and yes, even running in the snow.
Even if you choose not to participate in winter sports, seeing some amount of sunlight is essential for our body’s production of vitamin D. This vitamin is essential in protecting the health of our bones. Moreover, light is closely linked to mood, and lack of light is thought to be one of the triggers of SAD. For those who live in an area of the world that doesn’t see much daylight during the winter, it may help to invest in a light box, which mimics natural outdoor light to aid in improving mood.
Eat Hearty, Healthy Foods
To prevent sugar crashes, eat hearty, healthy foods to sustain us. Warm bowls, such as fruit- and nut-filled steel cut oats or butternut squash and quinoa bowls with roasted vegetables, can keep us full enough to prevent overconsumption of holiday treats. When we are craving a seasonal treat, hot chocolate can be a healthy indulgence that may boost our mood when made sugar-free with pure cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate (70% cacao content or higher).
Even when it’s impossible to leave the home, technology can aid in social activity by allowing us to FaceTime friends and family around the world.
The quiet of the post-holiday winter months may be an ideal time to invest in a creative hobby. Whether it’s painting, writing, playing an instrument, knitting winter sweaters, or baking healthy treats, being creative can boost our moods. Depending on the hobby, our creativity may even be an outlet to make gifts for others, and the practice of being generous can also boost our happiness.
Along with each holiday season comes opportunities to volunteer in our communities that don’t have to stop after Christmas ends. Volunteering can quickly boost our moods in addition to making us feel more socially engaged.
Research shows that among 2,705 adults who volunteered, 79% reported reductions in stress levels and 93% reported improvements in mood. Food pantries, schools, senior centers, and public libraries are all examples of community locations that may readily take volunteers.
Stay Healthy & Happy On The Go
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, it can be exhilarating to see the world outside of the comfort zone of home. Yet between jetlag, foreign microbes, airplane food, and limited workout opportunities, travel can also take a toll on our bodies. Here are four go-to tips to stay healthy and in-shape while on the go.
Pack Light ~ Travel Light
Being weighed down by an oversized suitcase and heavy carry-on luggage can slow down even the most skilled of travelers and lead to all kinds of aches, pains, and even injuries.
Make your workout portable
One of the greatest travel stressors to athletes, gym-buffs, or anyone who has a dedicated fitness routine is becoming out of shape while away from home. Travel may make it challenging to control when, how, and for how long we can exercise, but developing a portable workout routine can help.
For example, running or walking can be an easy exercise to take on the road if you are staying in a location with access to a park, a river, a quiet neighborhood, a treadmill, or even a stairwell.
Eat your veggies to stay healthy
Often when we travel, we are surrounded by food temptations that may be less than healthy. While there is no harm in indulging every now and then, our bodies may feel out of whack from a diet that is composed of 100% junk food. It can help to do your homework ahead in mapping out healthy food options, using HappyCow or TripAdvisor as a starting point. Especially for travelers with allergies or strict dietary requirements, packing along a few healthy snacks can be helpful when hunger strikes and sugary snacks are the only choice around.
Travel on your own schedule
Rather than scheduling out a packed agenda of tourist attractions to see, people to meet, and recommended restaurants to try, make space for the activities that you truly enjoy – whether that means going for a hike, visiting a lesser-known modern art museum, or simply sitting in a coffee shop.
Sometimes making “me time” may mean forfeiting five-hour lines to the top of the Eiffel Tower just to say you’ve seen it, but that’s five hours of precious time that you could be spending on something you truly value. If you have the opportunity, take at least a day to yourself to travel on your own schedule, making room for wellness along the way.
Perfect Fitness Gifts for Friends & Family
It’s never too early to start thinking about great gifts to give the people in your life for the holidays.
Planning ahead helps save money, plus it keeps you from stressing out. Giving gifts that are good for health and wellness won’t just make you feel good, but they will also serve to give the ones you love a better quality of life.
Not sure what to get?
Start looking this list over now and you’re sure to find something to help everyone on your list be their most fit and fabulous!
It’s true that not everyone is into yoga, but a yoga mat can be used for a variety of fitness activities. Crunches and floor exercises are all more comfortable on a good yoga mat. Look for ones that are non-slip. Plus, there are quite a few with unique designs on it so they can truly stand out during their next yoga class.
Just because she’s got a gym bag doesn’t mean she doesn’t need a new one. Today’s gym bags are designed with our modern needs in mind. Look for ones that house laptops and tech devices safely while keeping sweaty gym clothes and sports equipment neatly stowed. It eliminates the need to bring separate bags for everything which is ideal for those that hit the gym before or after work.
For the fitness fanatic that’s always on the go, traveling can really take its toll. A mini massager is just the thing to help relieve stress and tension from overworked muscles after using the fitness center at a hotel or even in the office after a particularly demanding meeting. They even make mini foam rollers which are totally tote-able anywhere!
Smart Athletic Wear
There are plenty of people that love a good run in the frigid cold. And if someone on your list is one of them, getting them a good pair of gloves that are lightweight, comfortable and keep their hands from freezing is the kind of gift they’ll love because they likely won’t think of getting it for themselves.
Now you and everyone else on your list can with wireless earbuds. With this brilliant invention, there are no cords to get tangled up in.
Gym Bag Toiletries
One thing most people forget about when packing their gym bag is to fill it with good toiletries for their post-gym shower. Some people even use cheap brands to fill it with, but they deserve so much more. Find travel sizes of quality brands for shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, anti-perspirant, lip balm and more to make her feel like she’s on top of the world post-gym.
Ropeless Jump Rope
One of the best exercises by far is jumping rope. But it can really trip you up. Now we live in such a world that there are ropeless jump ropes available. It’s perfect for the traveler or for use in very tight spaces, like behind the desk at work. No more tripping either!
Reusable Water Bottle
Drinking plenty of water each day is hard work.
It’s even worse if that person find water bland and boring. Reusable water bottles with large opening can easily allow one to make water delicious by making fruit infused water and can be taken on the go. They help add tons of flavor to water plus they add all the nutrients from the fruits, vegetables and herbs that are put into them for a tasty way to hit that water quota.
Plus - reusable will help cut down plastic waste and help the environment. A win-win for everyone.
Sweaty feet are no fun in any weather. Give the gift of all-weather socks that are lightweight and breathable. They can be used in winter to keep feet warm and in the summer, they won’t slip down or bunch up, making for a comfortable workout any time of year.
Handle Bar Grips
Whether they love to ride their bike or they religiously head off to spin class, handle bar grips are just the thing to keep sweaty hands in place. Plus, they protect your love’s hands from touching the sweat of all the other exercisers before her.
Now that you’ve got a head start on your holiday shopping, you can rest easy knowing you’ve found the most affordable fitness gifts around!
Guide to Survive the Holidays!
You know what they say, you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. Holiday time is probably the most stressful for anyone but nothing measures even close to having all members of your family in the same relative airspace as on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But there is a number of ways in which you can get through it short of a medically-induced coma. Here are our tips to help you survive having to spend any time with those relatives who drive you nuts.
Conspire With Someone Who Shares Your Pain
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Have a niece that just pisses you off by being anywhere near you?
Now’s your chance to get some space between you and a bit of a respite. Construct a list of tasks to pass out to each member of the family and try to match the level of difficulty to how long you want someone away from the same area code as you.
So, for example, the most annoying of the family members get the tasks that involve being away longer. Remember, although you may not really need a purple marker, knowing that the one person you dislike the most has travelled across town hunting for one should give you cause for at least a little smile.
Use Extra Bodies To Filter The Room
Just in case you sense a volatile situation brewing when her family and your family get forced into the same building for more than 15-seconds, you have a great backup plan at your fingertips. Hit your contact list and call everyone you know and invite them over for a pre-Thanksgiving drink or snack.
The idea here is that the more you water down the ratio of family members to non-family members you have a chance at survival. Plus, with more people present, the more fun you’ll have not being forced to be nice to family members you’d rather not see again.
Remove The Fuel If It Happens To Be Booze
If the wet bar tends to be the most popular stop at any of your family events and somehow it leads to well, heated discussions that don’t end until either someone draws a gun or is found bleeding in the driveway, you have to change it up a bit. Sure, hiding all the hard liquor is not going to win you a lot of friends but these crazy relatives are most likely not that friendly to you anyway. Plus, by going with a ‘dry’ bar, you save all the good stuff for you when you really need it to cope with whatever happens during the actual meal.
Understand The Science Of The Perfect Seating Arrangement
Your best bet is to carefully map out the seating arrangement in advance. For example, that perverted uncle of yours should not be seated anywhere near the 13-year old second cousin of yours. That’s just an example. Once you figure out the perfect seating plan, stick to it. Use name tags or something to clue everyone in on what is happening and if you have to, bait them with a promise of a prize of something if everyone stays in their allotted seat through to the end of dessert.
Use Topic Starters
Need to keep the conversation away from certain areas to prevent an all-out war of words?
That’s easy. On the back of each of the name tags you used on place settings to keep the seating arrangement under control you can control at least some of the conversation.
Write two or three interesting topic ideas on each card to allow everyone a chance to start a conversation with something other than an accusation or complaint. You’ll be surprised how much more fun dinner conversation can be if everyone has a little bit of input. Don’t expect to go through all of the topics but at least you’ll have a fighting chance to steer things away from those touchy ones.
Release The Children So They Don’t Become Targets
The only segment of the complete family gathering you should be more lenient on than the others is the children. We’re talking younger than teens here. There is nothing wrong with seating them all at a table designated just for ‘kids’ and once they get through most of dinner, let them go and do something else.
There is nothing worse than being forced to sit through a long, boring holiday dinner when you are 8-years old and would rather be throwing rocks at things outside. Don’t torture the children just because the adults are torturing you.
Pre-Plan Your Escape Route
Long before anyone arrives – say two weeks in advance – determine where your safe place will be. Stock it with the creature comforts you will require once you hit critical mass during the holiday. Think about your safe place whenever you get close to losing it. Focus on the way in which that safe place with a beer fridge, comfy chair, and flat screen TV is going to save your life. Once you need to retreat to it, follow the escape route you planned and you’ll be fine.
Holy Crap, Batman … You Made It!
Once the crew you hired to come in and take care of all the dirty work after the house is empty, just lock yourself in the bathroom and soak in the tub for awhile. You survived yet another holiday with family.
You Are Far From Alone On This One
If you happen to think that your family is the only one on the planet that puts the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional, you are sorely mistaken.
Sure, yours could be hovering around the top five of the all-time worse examples of DNA in existence, but you now know how to cope with them as long as you choose to stay as part of this family. If the squirrely ones happen to be in-laws, you have a bit of breathing room. However, if the troubled family members happen to come from your DNA, you may have to fine tune your plan of attack for Christmas, Easter and that annual summer camping trip. Eventually you’ll have it so well planned that once the out-of-towners get their jackets off, you’ll be on your way down the highway for your own holiday away from your family.
Don’t worry, our intention is to not blow your cover but rather give you a cover you can adapt for those special occasions when you need it most. Remember, like we said at the beginning, you can’t pick your family but you sure can pick how long you intend to be around any of them on those holidays where everyone gets a little twitchy and fired up because there’s an audience to perform in front of. Its okay, you’ve got this under control…right?
Have a Great Holiday!
Help the environment through Reduce / Reuse / Recycle
We all have heard the term Reduce / Reuse / Recycle but how much do we really know about the process? Every day we, the human race, send tons of trash to landfills everyday. These tons of trash cost us financially and damage the planet that we live on. By increasing the amount of things that we reuse and recycle we can change the planet and cut costs.
In this article we are going to explore some ways that you can reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to save money and save the planet. It may sound cheesy but doing your part will help everyone on the planet.
How To Reduce Waste And Consumption
Waste is one of the biggest reasons that so many tons of garbage go to the landfill everyday. While some things we absolutely cannot change, there are a lot of ways that we can reduce our waste and consumption. Let’s explore this.
Reusable Bags/Canvas Bags
Shopping bags are one of the worst things for the environment. Often times they end up in landfills or just on the side of the street where they blow all over. They get ingested by animals, killing them. The plastics can poison our waters, and so much more. Keeping at least a few reusable bags in your car can do a big part for the environment.
Some cities have already banned certain one-time use bags and others have implemented taxes to help curb people wanting to use such bags.
If you decide to continue to use the bags that are given out at the store, you should find alternative uses for them once you are done. They make good holders for trash and dog poop. Bring the ones you aren’t using for lunchboxes if you don’t have one. You could also reuse them when you go to the grocery store.
Reusable Water Bottles
A big waste around the world is bottled water in one-time use plastic containers. Not only do these plastic water bottles clog our trash systems, waterways, and pile up on land, they can be poisonous. Many bottled water plastic containers are made out of cheap, one-time use plastic and will leech chemicals over time or when reused.
Instead of buying bottled water, try getting a quality reusable water bottle that you carry with you and refill. This can save you a lot of money over time and more importantly, prevent you from drinking "chemical" water.
However, don't just settle for any new water bottle brand with a story - do your research and find a reputable water bottle company that manufactures and sells high quality, reusable water bottle. Too many companies just purchase the cheapest products from random sources and slap on their brand, without any true knowledge to the quality and material to what they are selling.
Bluewave offers a wide range of high quality, reusable water bottles. We design and manufacture many of the water bottles you see. We source the materials directly from reputable Fortune 500 companies and manufacture the products in-house - maintaining safety and quality from start to finish. Check out our product selection.
In addition, many businesses and workplaces are recognizing the importance of reusable water containers. As a result, they are installing special filters and fountains to fill bottles with clean water. This can certainly help cut down plastic bottle waste over time.
Plan Your Meals
Start by planning out your meals a week in advance and preparing that food two to three times a week so that everything is made. You will notice that you have far less scraps right away. You will also notice that you don’t have leftovers.
Utilize Local Food Waste Companies Or Yard Waste
Big cities have had combined yard waste/food waste bins for composting for years now but smaller cities are just starting to get these resources. Utilizing them will help reduce the impact on the planet that you have and will put your food scraps to good use.
Not every city has a city run/sponsored food waste program. If you live in a city that doesn’t, why not try one of the many private companies that offer these services. A private company prevents you from having to make your own compost system and most of the hard work is done for you.
You can also cut down on money and compost on your own. Composting isn’t that difficult, it just takes a bit of time out of your day. The biggest cost is setting the system up, then your only cost is your time and occasionally maintenance. Your composting efforts can be turned into fertilizer for your garden and sometimes even be sold if you turn around enough compost. Some neighborhoods have even developed a neighborhood compost so that everyone contributes to the work needed.
Eliminate As Much Junk Mail As Possible
Install Low Flow Faucets, Reduce Shower Times
Basking in the shower may give you a great feeling but it actually is wasting a fair amount of water. By cutting your showers down to shorter periods, you are saving water and money. How much of the time in the shower do you actually need? Chances are you could cut back by a minute or two. Some people can cut back by much more than that.
Low flow faucets restrict the amount of water that is capable of coming out of a tap or shower and while you might have reduced pressure, you can use them to save water. These restrictors can be bought at any hardware store and are very easy to install.
Another great way that you can save water is to turn off the sink when you brush your teeth. You brush your teeth for anywhere from 2-3 minutes and a majority of us leave the water on while we do it. Simply shutting off the water can save you 2-3 minutes of water free flowing from the sink and not being used.
Reusing Items Around The Home
Not every item that we throw out every day needs to be thrown out. A lot of things that we put in the trash can be reused or given to others. Reuse, whether by us or others, will help reduce the amount of trash that we output everyday.
Jars and Glass Containers
Jars and other glass containers can be great for reuse. Holding foods and ingredients in these jars will keep them sealed and ready for your use. Here are some uses for these glass containers:
If you won’t use glass containers yourself you can always donate or give them away. Many people will pick these containers up from donation centers to use them for the purposes above. They allow those who don’t have as much to have storage containers they don’t have to spend a lot of money on.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Other Junk Papers
We accumulate a lot of paper through our daily lives, a lot of it we end up recycling but a good portion still gets thrown out. We can reuse a lot of this material for various purposes. This is especially true for some applications where we would buy a product to use when we already have items we could reuse.
This one may come as a big surprise to a lot of people but those dryer sheets you use for your laundry? They are a very reusable item. After you have used them for a load of laundry they are static charged and make a great cleaning rag. You can wipe up pet hair (or human hair) with ease.
Why not use them to clean the floor or scrub the counter too? Why would you throw away such an item before you have had the chance to use it fully?
This bullet point could actually go under any of the lists here because reduce, reuse, recycle, is all about being creative. Take a look at all of the different things that use, eat, and buy. Consider what they were designed to be used for then look around your home to try and come up with creative uses for them.
We challenge you to try and find something in your home, anything, that doesn’t have at least one other use around the home. Imagination and creativity are a powerful thing, especially when it comes to saving money.
Recycling Benefits & How You Can Recycle
While reusing is always the best option, if you can’t reuse/compost an item, it should be recycled. Why? Because the process of recycling allows at least some of the materials to be reused. During the process of recycling, items are broken down then the materials are reused.
How you can recycle really depends on where you live. In many locations you will have two pickup options. One option will be a trash bin and the other will be a recycling bin. Because of how helpful recycling can be for the environment many cities want to support the citizen’s effort to participate.
Not every town and city runs a recycling pickup. For some that don’t, you can take your recyclables down to the local garbage facility, where you can drop them off to be recycled.
There are some cities that have no type of recycling. What you want to do in this case is look to see if there is a privatized recycling service that you can use. Privatized recycling services will typically charge you more than a city would but they offer you a way to do more for your planet.
Take the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle to heart and do more with your trash. The idea that everything you no longer use, or everything that has served its original purpose, is trash, is a lie. Almost everything that can be used once can be used again. For the things that can’t, they can often be recycled so that they can be remade into something else. Reducing the amount of stuff that you buy and use will help to cut back on your footprint, reusing takes that a step further, and recycling helps to prevent things from going to the trash. Take a step to reduce your footprint, better the planet, and save yourself some money.
Most people love sleep!!
We spend all day yawning at work and talking about how “exhausted” we are, and yet when it comes time to hit the hay, we find ourselves up into the wee hours of the night (usually staring at the dim glow of our smart phones) until we finally collapse in our fatigue. Unfortunately for us, studies have proven that lack of sleep has some serious negative consequences on our health.
Lack of sleep shows short-term effects such as decreased focus, inability to concentrate, poor memory, and increased irritability and sluggishness. Long-term effects include increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, poor mental health and even death.
The amount of sleep you need will change as you age. According to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, this is the amount of time you need to sleep in regards to your age:
Health Benefits of Sleep
An adequate amount of sleep can help boost the health of our body, brain, heart and so much more. David Rapoport MD, the director of the NYU Sleep Disorders Program states “Sleep used to be kind of ignored, like parking our car in a garage and picking it up in the morning.” But no more, because health researchers have discovered the benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Better sleep habits improve memory. Sleep consolidation is the process by which short-term memories become long-term memories during sleep. Dr. Rapoport says that one is able to learn something by practice, but adequate sleep improves memory retention and overall learning ability.
Artists also benefit from a good night’s rest. When you get enough sleep, your brain is able to reorganize and restructure your memories as well as increase the ability to retain them. According to studies done by a Harvard University and Boston College, the emotional components of a memory are strengthened during sleep. This, in turn, boosts the creative process.
Athletes and fitness fanatics need extra doses of sleep in order to function properly. One study conducted at Stanford University found that football players who had more than 10 hours of sleep a night for 2 months increased their average sprint time. On top of that, they had less fatigue and more stamina. The same was found to be true among swimmers and tennis players.
Effects of Not Having Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep affects the rate at which you gain weight. Studies show that people who are better rested are more likely to lose weight.
Tips on How to Get Better Sleep
Getting more sleep starts with having a strict sleep schedule that you adhere to diligently. Pretty soon your internal clock will tell you when it is time to sleep and wake, ensuring you stay on schedule. It is also wise to have a bedtime routine that relaxes you. This will help you stay away from anything that causes excitement, stress, or anxiety. Try to turn off any electronics and dim any bright lights. The glow from your smart phone or television can confuse your mind into thinking it is still daylight. Instead read a book, meditate in bed, or listening to soothing music.
Try to avoid any daytime naps, especially those taken in the afternoon. A power nap might come in handy, but not at the expense of your sleep at night. Daily exercise has also been linked to a good night’s rest. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
It can be difficult to get to sleep on time in a world that demands our constant attention. Sometimes, the best solution is to unplug and get into the habit of falling asleep at an adequate time. Our memory, stamina, concentration, and long-term health improves when we make the choice to sleep the right amount of hours every night.
Posts about health, diet, fitness, and just good information to live a happy & healthy lifestyle.