Health & Wellness Blog

    

Easy Ways to Minimize Waste Around the Home

The average household waste for a family of four is estimated by the U.S. EPA to be around 16 pounds per day.  Of this waste, 75%-85% goes to the landfill or is incinerated and only a small portion is recycled and composted.

While you may not have the time or ability to compost and recycle everything around the house, you can make a positive impact simply by reducing the amount of waste which you generate every day. Over time small changes can make a big difference.

Tips on Reducing Your Home's Waste

Plastic

Plastic, while very useful, plastic has its drawbacks. One of the biggest is its lack of bio-degradability. Considering that plastic forms the majority of landfill waste, reducing it is very important. Using the following items can help you easily reduce your plastic waste.

  • Reusable Water Bottles: Instead of purchasing disposable water bottles, buy a reusable water bottle with a built in filter. This option is environment friendly since most filters can be used around 300 times before being replaced.
  • Eco-Friendly Reusable Bags: Use reusable bags made of materials such as jute, organic cotton or paper. These reusable bags are stronger than plastic bags, and can be recycled easily when necessary. These are great for groceries, clothing and other items. Even if you just switch to reusable grocery bags vs. plastic you will make a significant impact over the year.
  • Reusable Utensils: It’s tough to risk taking your good silverware on a picnic, sending it to work or worse yet to school possibly never to be seen again. Plastic utensils have become the travel replacement in an effort to preserve our nice silverware collections, but now there are better options. You can invest in a few sets of bamboo utensils. They are hand crafted, certified organic, light, stronger than wood, stain resistant and anti-microbial.  Hands down they are cooler than plastic and if you loose a spoon it won’t break the bank to replace it.
  • Eco-Friendly Reusable Snack Bags:  Switching to reusable grocery bags may be obvious but the small plastic bags and containers you use for lunches and snacks every day add up too.  The perfect example is your child’s school lunch. Typically it may include a plastic sandwich bag, a plastic snack bag, a disposable juice container, a plastic yogurt cup and plastic spoon. Lets give this eco-friendly snack or lunch box an environmental makeover: add a reusable eco-friendly bamboo spoon, reusable metal drink bottle, reusable yogurt container and eco friendly reusable snack bags.

Paper

The amount of useful paper that is thrown out is astounding. By reducing the amount of paper that you use, not only will you lower landfill waste, you help to preserve forests and reduce pollution created during the manufacturing process. A few easy tips to reduce your paper waste:

Food

Around 30 million pounds of good food is thrown out in the United Sates each year. Take these steps to waste less food.

Hazardous Wastes

While most hazardous materials have to be discarded, you can reduce the amount of dangerous waste by taking the following steps:

A large part of landfill waste is unnecessary. By following these easy tips you can reduce the waste your family creates.  Over time the small changes that you make will create a significant difference in the world that future generations inherit. 

  • Cloth Napkins: Instead of paper napkins that you simply use and throw, switch to cloth napkins.  They are classy, have beautiful designs and will last for years. Look for organic cotton napkins to protect people and the environment from unnecessary synthetic pesticides.
  • Cloth Towels:  Much like cloth napkins, cloth towels are often a better value, do a better job at cleaning up the mess and are far more attractive. Purchase organic cotton towels whenever possible.
  • Reuse and Reduce Printing Paper: Read documents on a screen, and send them via e-mail whenever possible. When you do need to print use both sides if you can.  If you have one-sided pages, use the back as scrap paper, then shred and use in packaging or recycle.
  • Recycle Newspaper: Consider reading the newspaper online and unsubscribe to unnecessary paper mailings.  Recycle the old newspapers you receive or ask a local animal shelter if they could use them.
  • Reusable Plates: Invest in reusable plates in your picnics or outside parties instead of disposable.  Sturdy plastic or bamboo plates are great durable long lasting options.
  • Reuse Leftovers: Reuse the leftovers from dinner one night to invent a new meal for the next day. There are lots of cookbooks that specialize in showing you how to make delicious easy meals this way.
  • Buying what you need: Grocery shop with a list.  It will prevent you from buying perishable items that you already have at home and help to ensure that all of the items you buy can be used together to make great meals.
  • Composting: Since food is biodegradable, consider the use of a compost bin to create rich fertilizer to use in your garden and backyard.
  • Purchase Reusable Batteries: One single pair of rechargeable batteries can prevent you from purchasing countless new ones.
  • Give Away & Donate: Working electronic items including a used cell phone, iPad, computer, iPod, Game Boy and GPS navigation device is always appreciated at Goodwill and other non-profit organizations.  Even if your electronic device is broken you may be able to sell it online or donate it to be refurbished.
  • Recycle: If you have batteries, chemicals, ink cartridges or electronic items that cannot be reused or refurbished then please recycle them properly.

This article was contributed by the cleanly, eco-friendly house sitters at SanFranciscoHouseSitters.org. Personally known as Tyler & Paloma, these individuals provide no-trace, eco-friendly house sitting services in San Francisco.

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5 Environmentally Friendly Products to Have Around the Home

Earth has blessed us with many natural things yet we end up hurting it in return by using stuff that is made by using harmful chemicals and materials that do not dissolve in the environment. However, we forget that whatever we give to the universe, we get it back in return and hence if we throw harmful things to it, the same things harm us in return.

Eco friendlyThis is one of the reasons that has caused global warming and is deteriorating the living beings' health. There is only one thing that can be done in order to reduce the harms that we have caused to the environment and that is using eco-friendly products. If we start using such environmentally friendly products right from our homes then we would not have to worry about harming the surroundings. Eco friendly products are those that mean absolutely no or minimum harm to the environment.

Listed below are the five creative eco-friendly products that are inexpensive and mean no harm to the surroundings:

1. Eco friendly light bulbs

There are certain companies that strictly use materials that help in reducing the consumption of electricity. Such bulbs not only help in minimizing the use of natural resources but also help in controlling the electricity bills. By using such bulbs, one is able to continue the use of electricity by not being afraid of exceeding the bills.

2. Reusable Snack bags

eco friendly snack bagsWe make mistake by using plastic bags and thanks to the awareness creating advertisements and hoardings, we have now started realizing the importance of replacing plastic bags with eco friendly reusable snack bags. Thanks to eco friendly snack bag materials that can be reused, there is a lot of help in reducing different kinds of pollution, most importantly air pollution as it is difficult to burn plastic and things made up of it. Additionally, using eco friendly snack bags can help reduce waste that enters landfills everyday.

3. Reusable refrigerator bottles

Plastic is a very harmful material and it is a researched fact that plastic bottles should not be used for more than 3 months. Hence, reusable products have been introduced in order to increase the life of bottles and cause no effect to the health of the people as well as nature that they are living in.

4. Wooden crockery

No matter how pretty glass and plastic plates look, wooden crockery not only helps in reducing pollution but also helps in reducing the noises that are created while eating and washing crockery made up of other materials. Overall, these alternatives are far better for the environment

5. Mud made wind chimes

Wind chimes make beautiful sounds and helps in bringing peace and good luck to the house. According to the concepts of Chinese Feng Shui, every house should have at least one wind chime in order to have harmony and happiness at home. Wind chimes are made usually by metal. However, eco friendly wind chimes are made of wood or even mud. Such a product not only brings happiness but also a guilt free peace to your mind.

Apart from the above mentioned products, there are many other eco friendly products that help in giving the best to the man without killing him with the guilt of harming the environment. If every individual starts taking initiative to protect the world, we can easily give a better planet to our children.

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5 Healthy Tips for Back-to-School

Healthy Back-to-School Tips Children gain the most out of education when they are healthy enough since there is no reason why they should be out of class, attending lessons. During back to school time is one of the moments when kids are more vulnerable to several different health problems, simply because they are exposed to a variety of illnesses as compared to what they associate with during their summer vacation.

In that regard, listed below are a few simple and useful tips, which can help you to keep your children more healthy during back to school times.

1. Make sure you are up-to-date on all types of immunizations

Many kids may sometimes hate it, but they need to be immunized with all required immunizations. Several schools have created some policies to enhance and empower this practice by not allowing or admitting students without proper records of immunizations. The school where your kids attend is supposed to give you all necessary information about the type of immunizations are recommended and required to be administered to your kids. In addition, your doctor should also be able to provide information regarding the immunization records. This should be appropriate documentation to make sure that your kid is in good health to attend school.

2. Always keep the school teachers and nurses well informed

If your kid has any kind of allergies or is under medication for certain health conditions, it is very important for you to inform the schoolteacher or nurse about it. It is also essential to clarify this information in writing so that proper records of kid’s health is known and what should be done in case of any emergency. Furthermore, if your kid has some food allergies and there are meals offered in school, it is also essential to inform the cafeteria staff about the conditions of your child in order to avoid any cross-contamination.

3. Consider the use of reusable snack bags

It is also very important to use reusable snack bags since they are more hygienic than plastic snack bags. Because some traditional plastic bags can carry BPA's, reusable snack bags come with many benefits and are good in avoiding BPA's. Additionally, reusable snack bags help to promote sustainability when it comes to health issues since they do not encourage the presence of germs as in the case of plastic ones.

4. Avoid germs and all contaminated surfaces

One of the best methods to avoid getting ill is to avoid germs. Children can benefit from practicing better sanitation habits. Therefore, you should encourage your child to always wash his or her hands before and after eating, after using the washroom, and even before touching his or her mouth or face. Both parents and teachers should also teach the young ones how to cough and sneeze into their shoulders and elbows rather than into their hands in order to prevent spreading germs to the rest of the kids. Always remind your kids that one of the ways to be infected with someone’s germs is to share their drinks and food especially those are partially consumed.

5. Always keep and maintain good nutrition

Most people often forget that what they use to fuel their bodies has a great impact on their health, which also applies to the growing bodies. By teaching your kids about good nutrition while they are young, you can really help them to make wise decisions when it comes to eating, even if you are not around. Understanding how drinks and food works with your child’s body also help them to be less at risk for diabetes and obesity that are the most health risks in the today’s society.

In conclusion, with these back to school healthy tips properly considered and followed, you can be assured of the proper health of your children during back to school times.

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5 Simple Ways to Be More Eco-friendly Around the Home

Eco Friendly HomeNothing is more pleasing than relaxing all year round in a home that embraces nature. A home that keeps you cool in summer, warm in winter and everything you need in between. A truly eco-friendly home is one that blends both the indoor and outdoor living, it not only has the ability to feed your family, but also sustains the environment.

An eco-friendly home not only helps you save the planet, you'll also be saving money. So if you love saving money and you want more options to help pinch the pennies, there are plenty of ways around the house to start practicing eco-friendly alternatives and cut back your carbon footprint.

1. Create a compost pile

Food and yard waste can be put into a compost pile, rather than going to the landfill in a plastic bag. Composting not only produces amazing soil for future gardens, but placing food scraps in a compost pile eliminates the need to toss them in the garbage (minimizing nasty garbage odors and having to take out the trash).

The soil produced through the composts is rich in nutrients and can used for you lawn, garden or flower beds. It is also much cheaper to make your own compost rather than going to the garden store to buy one.

2. Use a non-polluting power

From solar hot water to photo-voltaic electricity to wind turbines and energy efficient lighting, your home is designed for a sustainable and eco-friendly power use. Find out which organizations offer green power in your state. The results will include utility green pricing programs, renewable energy certificate (REC) products, and retail green power products offered in competitive electricity markets.

3. Start recycling

Many households already embrace an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Whether you invest in bins from your local waste management company or you opt to use your own bins to take to a local recycling center, recycling will help you minimize reusable materials that goes into the garbage and land fill.

It is probably realistic to argue that one person turning down his thermostat or recycling a magazine isn't going to save the planet, but if we all make our own contributions, we can have a positive impact on our immediate and wider environment. Recycling can be as simple as using a used tin as a plant pot for herbs or as complex as recovering an old chair. However, the good thing is that what might be seen as a waste can be given a new lease of life.

4. Use inexpensive reusable water bottles

Avoid disposable plastic bottles. Most people usually claim that the reason why they do buy bottled water is because of convenience, supposed health benefits and better taste. Yet, majority of these people cannot identify any valid reason why they choose bottled water over reusable bottles. Drinking bottled water increases waste.

It's estimated that American's throw away over 2 million water bottles every single hour, and even though some people recycle, the recycling rate is estimated to be around 27% meaning that still, majority of plastic bottles that are produced end up in water systems and landfills. So what are your options? Start using reusable and environmentally friendly reusable water bottles, it is not only beneficial for our wallets, but for our health too.

5. Invest in reusable snack bags and lunch gear

Stop using disposable bags. Order some reusable snack bags for lunches, picnics and travelling or you can make your own which is insanely easy. By investing in reusable snack bags and lunch gear, you can minimize the expense and effectively manage the waste produced by plastic bags. One reusable bag can replace hundreds or even thousands of single-use plastic bags over the course of its lifetime.

Earth-wise bags are great for carrying about anything and using them is an environmentally responsible thing to do- they offer durability, convenience, multiple uses, safety and protection.

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The Eco-Friendly Benefits of Reusable Snack Bags & Sandwich Wraps

Reusable Snack Bags & Sandwich WrapsReusable snack bags and sandwich wraps allow you to make a worthy and sound contribution towards creating a cleaner and greener environment. These eco-friendly lunch bags and wraps are a perfect reason to ditch using toxic and non-sustainable plastic bags that are traditionally used as snack bags and sandwich wraps for children.

Plastic bags may seem convenient and cheap, but using reusable snag bags and sandwich wraps are more economical and environmentally friendly at the same time. Additionally, some plastic snack bags can have a negative impact on your child's health if the toxic substances (like BPA's) are used.

So in addition to be safer and more cost-effective over time, reusable snack bags and sandwich wraps are made with a fabric material that's more colorful, attractive, safe to use and reuse over time.

If you're still not sure about investing in reusable snack bags or reusable sandwich wraps, learn more below about some of the eco-friendly benefits of using these crafty alternatives.

A Sustainable Alternative to Regular Snack Bags

Reusable snack bags are made of soft and eco-friendly cloth materials that are bio degradable. Unlike plastic bags that can never degrade even after you could discard them, fabric resuable snack bags take less than 45 days to degrade.

Simply put, these snack bags and sandwich wraps are a more sustainable alternative than plastic bags for packing lunch because they pose no health risks, especially if you place a hot snack inside. Similar to a plastic bag, these fabric reusable snack and sandwich wraps are also spill proof and can protect your food fresh for a longer span of time.

Reusable Snack Bags Come in Countless Designs

Made from all types of fabrics and different designs, reusable sandwich wraps and snack bags are available in a huge variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. These eco-friendly snack and sandwich bags are made using non-toxic substances including harmless coloring agents.

These reusable bags can even be used to make your child happier by adding more color and excitement to their lunch kit. Starting from simple floral designs till animal prints, choose a design from this bag collection and it is easily available.

Reusable Sandwich Wraps & Snack Bags are Low Maintenance

There is not much of work involved in caring for your reusable cloth bags. They can be washed in cold water and can be ironed to use again. To hold the lunch and snacks safe, they come with velcro attachments and some offer handles for easy portability. These bags are recommended for packing lunch to school, office, for picnics, and other trips. Using these bags also helps you make the lunch pack light without any need to carry those heavy steel, or plastic boxes.

Most importantly, these reusable sandwich wraps and snack bags contain no Velcro hence you can stay really peaceful while using it as the food does not stick to the Velcro making it difficult for you to clean the bag by the end of the day.

Reusable Snack & Sandwich Bags are Pocket Friendly

Most reusable snack and sandwich bags are not just eco-friendly, but they are pocket friendly too. They can be used and reused which can save you a lot in comparison to buying those zip lock or plastic lunch bags.

Colorful and attractive reusable snack bags and sandwich bags are easily available in all organic stores, grocery stores, supermarkets and the best way to shop them is shopping online in bulk. Online shopping of reusable snack bags saves you a lot of money by reducing your traveling expenditure and also your shopping time.

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