Health & Wellness Blog

    

Ready Your Allergy Arsenal

According to Estelle Levetin of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology aerobiology committee, allergy seasons are getting worse year after year since pollen levels are increasing. In 2012, fall allergies are likely to affect over 12 million Americans and they will last about 27 days longer than in the previous year.

To prepare your allergy arsenal, you first have to know what to expect in terms of symptom and the triggers of these symptoms. Different allergies have different symptoms and different triggers. Most fall and spring allergies cause itchy eyes, running nose and sneezing. Spring allergies run from February towards the end of July. They are mainly caused by tree pollen, weeds and grasses. Fall allergies start from the middle of August and end at the beginning of the first fall frost. These allergies are mostly caused by ragweed plant pollen, dust mites and mold.

Pollution Induced Allergies

Pollution does not help issues. According to Jeffrey G. Demain who is the director of the Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center of Alaska, global warming now means spring allergies are now starting sooner while fall allergies are ending later. Global warming is being fueled by the burning of carbon-based fuels which generate greenhouse gases. These gases trap heat within the atmosphere and causes increase in temperatures.

Allergies in PollenAccording to Jeffrey G. Demain, carbon dioxide emission from the burning of fossil fuels, especially by car engines and factories, has the effect of increasing the amount of pollen generated by each plant. This is particularly so in urban areas where cars and factories are concentrated. The high CO2 emissions are also contributing to the high levels of allergies in that they are making the pollen more potent.

According to Estelle Levetin, temperature increases due to global warming prompt plants and trees to flower earlier each spring and they delay the death of the ragweed plant from frost in the fall. The fall allergies are now going into winter. The high temperatures also increase mold growth and the production of its spores.

Allergies Growing in Numbers

According to the National Institute of Health, the number of Americans who have allergies is 2 to 5 times higher than it was 30 years ago. Genes can be attributed to this. Estelle Levetin asserts that we are cleaner than we used to be, leading to the overreaction of our immune systems whenever they find pollen and other harmless substances. We are cleaner at a time when the environment is dirtier.

The modern diet is contributing to the rise in allergy levels. According to Gary Huffnagle of the University of Michigan, we are eating processed and preserved foods, foods that do not have the tough fibers from grains and plants our ancestors used to eat. This throws off the delicate bacteria balance in our stomachs and makes us more sensitive to allergies.

It is important that you ready your allergy arsenal months in advance since chances are that somebody close to you will have an allergic reaction this spring or fall. You could go online for the latest information on the allergies and what you require to prepare for them.

There are websites, blogs and discussion forums where you can get the latest information. Your arsenal could comprise of natural remedies, unfiltered honey, pills, rinsing to keep the sinuses clean and several others.

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Advantages of Organic Household Cleaners

Organic Household CleanersMany individuals and families strive to make their homes a safe haven that's completely free of pollutants and harmful toxins. From keeping the home clean and sanitary to preparing organic, healthy meals, many families today are advocates of healthy living. However, one concerning aspect of sustaining a healthy home is the type of household cleaners that are used around the house.

Unlike traditional cleaning solutions, natural household cleaners help to provide a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative to using toxic, chemically-based solvents found in most soaps, disinfectants, detergents, and other household cleaning products. These popular, yet potential harmful cleaners carry chemicals that might affect the home in unimaginable ways.

Health Issues

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air quality in the average American household is over 100 times higher in pollutants than outdoor air. This is primarily due to common home cleaning products. Many of these household cleaning products pose immediate risks for concern, such as respiratory problems, skin irritation, watery or burning eyes, and potentially poisoning. Some extremely potent household cleaners can even warrant long-term health issues and mysterious chronic ailments such as hormonal disruption, brain damage, and even cancer.

Environmental Issues

In addition to the health concerns of popular cleaning products, once these chemical cleaners are washed down drains and into drainage sewers, many harmful toxins fail to break-down. As a result, these chemicals are drained into bodies of water where they can carry serious detriment to wildlife and the surrounding natural environment.

The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a research study in May of 2002 to analyze the amount of contaminants found in stream water samples across the country. The researchers of the study found “persistent detergent metabolites in 69% of all streams tested." Adding to that alarming statistic, 63% of the stream water samples contained disinfectants.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. If common consumers continue to use these chemically-based cleaning solvents, these numbers will rise even further, causing even more harm to the environment.

Takeaway

Opting to use organic household cleaners is without question the best way to minimize the infection toxins and chemicals have in our homes and throughout the environment. The first step toward healthier cleaning alternatives is taking the time to read product labels careful, research the chemicals used in certain solvents, and make efforts to only use organic cleaners.

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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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Know Importance of Proper Gasoline Recycling and Disposal

Gasoline RecyclingGasoline is a very vital product that is used to run cars, trucks, boats and other machines that have motors like motorized saws and lawnmowers. However, gasoline contains chemical compounds that may pose a threat to humans and the environment.

Gasoline Recycling: A Sound Solution

Gasoline should never be disposed of by pouring it on the ground, into a sewer, a drainage system, stream or any other water body. Such actions are harmful to the environment as they may cause fire explosions and environmental pollution. Improper disposal may also attract fines and heavy penalties.

Gasoline can cause water, land and air pollution if it is not properly disposed or recycled. The product contains very harmful chemicals that may cause illnesses in people and animals if it is ingested by drinking contaminated water. The gases that are released by the product can also cause air pollution. If such polluted air is inhaled it can cause breathing disorders like asthma and emphysema. The gases are responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer which is the cause of global warming.

To keep people and the environment safe from such toxic chemicals it is important to ensure that after use, the product is taken to a place where proper gasoline recycling procedures are followed.

Recycling Gasoline

Unless it is contaminated with other substances, gasoline remains usable under most circumstances. However, as it ages, it tends to lose some of its ability to ignite engines. It may cause sluggish behavior or even temporary failure of an engine. If it is stored for long, it can be contaminated by water, rust particles and even dirt. This makes it gummy or varnished. Such gasoline can only be used after reconditioning.

To recondition gasoline, pour the old gasoline into a different container using a funnel that is lined with a coffee filter or two layers of thin cloth. This helps in removing foreign particles from the product. The filtered gasoline should be mixed with new gasoline in the ratio of 1:5.

In many cases, gasoline recycling can be conducted by professional companies who have the systems in place. Additionally, some specialized centers are created to provide gasoline fuel disposal and recycling services for people to bring by their unwanted fuel.

Fuel Purification: Removing Water from Gasoline

Gasoline fuel purification is also a great solution to ensure gas is properly recycled. One of the most common challenges during this process is removing water from gasoline.

To remove water from gasoline, pour the gasoline into a transparent container. Because the water is heavier, it will settle at the bottom. Carefully pour the gasoline into a different gas can leaving the water in the container. Such water should not be poured down the sink, drain or on the ground. Instead, it should be poured into a box that is lined with plastic and has absorbent material like sand. Once the water dries up the box, plastic and sand should be thrown in a trash can.

There are various local government waste agencies and recycling centers that have the correct tools for recycling gasoline hence ensuring that it is reused or disposed off safely. There are also many local auto stores or hardware stores that have gasoline recycling programs. Here, old gasoline is used to make new products hence protecting the environment from pollution.

Proper recycling and disposal of gasoline is very important as it significantly reduces the depletion of raw materials that are obtained through mining excavations that may be detrimental to the environment. It is also cost effective.

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