Eco-Friendly Life, Uplifted Mental Health

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With the world slowly dying from pollution, climate change, over-harvesting, carbon emissions, deforestation, etc., we must take on the role of helping the environment regain its natural beauty and vigor. We can no longer stand in the sidelines and watch the world wither away. We owe it to our children and our children’s children to have a life surrounded by the beauty of nature. A suggestion that I always give is living a life of being eco-friendly.

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Cleaning: Make It A Family Thing

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Spending time with my family is one of the things that I love the most. Bonding with my immediate or extended families is really fun times and I just can’t exchange it with any other moments. But this rarely happens especially if everyone is already occupied. Choosing a schedule for some bonding time is not that easy especially for extended families to come together. But whenever the time comes, it is usually a happy day. Moments like this make us forget some problems that we encounter along the way and just be thankful for everything that has been given to us.

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Air Pollution Amid A Pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak has been the center of everyone’s attention for months on end, and for a good reason. It has devastated the lives of almost every single person in the world; some have even been taken as well. A lot of businesses have had to shut down in fear of someone bringing the virus into their establishments and spreading it to everyone. But what people may have forgotten is that air pollution problems still exist despite the pandemic.

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We can start by looking at the transparency of the air at different places. As we can see, the sky might seem dark, but it is not going to be very transparent. You can also feel that it is difficult to breathe with this air. Sometimes, I feel a little suffocated in the afternoon or even at night. Imagine, I am merely in the United States, and I experience this sensation. I cannot fathom how the individuals from the countries with the worst air qualities can survive while breathing through their nose.

Some people are very concerned about it, but others are not concerned at all. My concern is 8 out of 10 because I have a kid. It pains me to think that my son will need to wear a mask for the rest of his life even after the scientists come out with a vaccine for COVID-19. It does provide extra protection, but you will still feel uncomfortable with it. No one is stepping up to help reduce or end the air pollution problem, after all.

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The Worrisome Air Quality

The primary problem with air pollution is that it weakens our immune system. It may not have an immediate effect on our house, but it is gradually causing the functionality of our lungs to get worse than the functionality of the lungs of those living in a clean place.

Sometimes, environmental security within the country might be a problem, too. People get killed by it, which is why fewer babies are being born to the world. Even if they come to the world safely, they end up with respiratory issues that may affect their lives.

Furthermore, when the air quality is terrible, some of the air particles carry viruses and bacteria on them. That is probably why some countries have recorded a higher number of coronavirus cases than others. Instead of dying while it is still airborne, the virus manages to thrive, no thanks to air pollution.

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I recommend that your kid should not stay outside if there are high pollution indexes.

Pollution Index And Children

If the pollution index is up to 100, it means that it is at a medium level. If it is up to 200, it will be better not to take your kid outside because that is too high to safe for anyone. There may be harmful viruses in the air, and children have a weaker immune system. It might be okay when they are old enough, but the virus can cause diseases rather quickly for children.

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Final Thoughts

In the olden days, if you see someone wearing a mask in the subway, you would think that he’s probably very ill, or worse, contagious. You want to sit as far away from them as possible and cover your nose and mouth, hoping not to inhale the same air that they are breathing.

Well, at this point, it may be smart to be extra cautious when it comes to the air you inhale. As mentioned above, the air particles can quickly transport viruses into your lungs. If you are too chill and not even bother to wear a mask outside, you may catch the coronavirus and have more significant problems than air pollution.

 

Little Things You Can Do To Save The Turtles

I decided to attend the 2019 Save The Turtles Event after watching baby turtles go to the sea. They all looked so cute and precious, using their tiny legs to paddle across the sandy beach towards the water. Then, I saw the heartbreaking video of an old turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose, and it made me want to ensure that no marine animal would suffer like that again.

Here are a few things that you can do to save the turtles.

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Volunteer For Beach Clean-Ups

For starters, you may take part in clean-up drives at the beach. Put on a pair of gloves, get an empty garbage bag or sack, and start picking up any trash you see. Try not to leave anything behind to reduce the turtles’ chances of eating them.

Embrace Reusable Items

It is fortunate if your plastic straws, disposable bottles, and plastic bags end up in landfills. However, the reality is that most rubbish that you don’t dispose of properly go to bodies of water, which all lead to the sea. You may harm the marine animals because of that, so you should only use reusable items from this moment onwards.

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Keep The Beach Clutter-Free

Beach-goers always seem to want to build sandcastles or rest at lounge chairs as they take in the beautiful sea in front of them. The problem is, such things serve as clutter, especially if you go to the beach where the turtles are nesting. Thus, make sure to level the sand and take the chairs before leaving to prevent turning the baby turtles away.

Final Thoughts

Turtles are innocent living things that cannot protect themselves on their own. People need to lend them a hand by cleaning the beaches and not using non-biodegradable items daily. The more you keep on doing that, the more you can save turtles from extinction.

Caring For This Planet – Lockdown Tips

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This planet will die soon, if we do not take care of it. That is what my mother instilled in me since I was three, and that is also what I have been telling my kids. Earth is alive, and like all live beings, it will wither and perish. It is essential for everyone living on this planet to do their part in saving Gaia. (Gaia is Mother Earth, as I call her.) If we fail to do this, we will suffer all of the consequences.

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How To Avoid Using Plastic Straws

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I used to be an avid fan of plastic straws. I could not let a day pass by without using one or three of them. I even felt annoyed at restaurants that would refuse to give me one. Nonetheless, you could imagine my shame when I went to the 2019 Climate Change Conference and saw a video of a turtle in pain because of a straw that got stuck in its nose.

I know that I have painted a vivid and troubling picture in your head right now. That’s what I feel as well whenever I remember that footage. It makes me wince even more when I tie the video into my continuous usage of plastic straws in the past. I took advantage of this small privilege without thinking of where the plastic straws could end up after using them.

No one publicly shamed me for being a plastic straw fan. However, I did not want to wait for that to happen; I decided to stop using plastic straws from that day forward.

Now, did the change come effortlessly for me? It would be a lie to say yes when it honestly was not. I became attached to straws for years, to the extent that I would even bring one in case the restaurant won’t provide it. Still, I wanted to help prevent the extinction of marine and land animals and stop climate change from ruining everything for the future generation.

Try the following tips to be able to avoid using plastic straws.

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Get Paper Straws
The quickest way to get rid of plastic straws is by replacing them with paper ones. I understand its shortcomings, including going soggy when it stays in the beverage for more than 30 minutes. However, paper straws are not only biodegradable but also recyclable. There is a little chance of finding them intact in a body of water.

Stick To Metal Straws
Assuming you don’t mind having a reusable straw, you should get it in metal form. Such straws are typically made from stainless steel so that rust won’t be an issue. Aside from straight ones, you can find metal straws that either have a bendy end or are suitable for bubble tea.

Live Without Straws At All
Of course, you can always swear off using straws altogether. Doing so can ensure that you won’t be part of the problem anymore. Instead, you are among those people trying to protect animals from inhaling plastic straws (literally). In case it seems tricky, you may obtain a water bottle with a spout.

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Final Thoughts
As with any addiction, avoiding plastic straws is only challenging in the beginning. Every time you think of grabbing one and dunking it in your beverage, recall the footage of the poor turtle I mentioned above to remind you why you shouldn’t do that.

Maintaining Cleaner And Greener Homes Naturally

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If you were a housewife or simply a homeowner who is just as meticulous as me when it comes to cleaning their house, then you would understand me when I say that it takes more than just mopping the floors, wiping the furniture, and scrubbing the toilets. It’s true – there are always germs and bacteria hidden somewhere, even if you think everything in the house is clean. “There’s a range of chemicals that you can be exposed to in your home, generally at very low levels,” says Dr. Andrew Rooney, Ph.D., a toxicology and risk expert at NIH. There are harmful substances that can make our kids sick; chemicals that cause us to have allergic reactions and even heightened blood pressure.

And do you know where we get some of these substances? Yes, from the deodorizers, cleaning detergents, and other products that we use to make our homes look as tidy as can be. We must now learn to utilize the healthier and safer substitutes to these products – those that are natural and most probably just sitting right around your kitchen.

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Recyclable Containers And Food Wraps. If you use these instead of containers that are not paraben-free, you’re helping save the earth and your health as well. Phthalate, the chemical found in plastic food containers, slowly penetrate the food, especially when the container is heated. This may result in allergies, asthma, and hypertension. A wise reminder to always follow: please do not heat food in any kind of plastic but only in glass or china.

Orange Oil As Air Freshener. Perfumes and other fragrances that are used in air fresheners can commonly cause different endocrine problems, cancer, and environmental pollution. . “The vast majority of synthetic air fresheners emit significant amounts of terpene, a volatile organic compound that can react with naturally occurring ozone to create formaldehyde.” Natural health physician Dr. Ben Kim explains. But organic stores have now started to utilize orange oil to make into air fresheners. It is natural, it has a great scent, and you can make it at home.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar And Baking Soda For Cleaning Drains. “Baking soda can clean almost every surface of your home by itself,” says Dr. Steven A. Bolkan, director of research & development at Church & Dwight . The main ingredients in drain cleaners that we buy at the supermarket are sodium chloride, aluminum, and sodium hydroxide. These three are all linked to air pollution and are harmful to the planet and of course, to its inhabitants. Try using natural by first pouring some baking soda in the drain, followed by one-half cup of vinegar, preferably apple cider. After a few minutes, you can flush the drain with hot water. This combination is a strong and effective drain cleaner we can use twice or three times a week if we want.

Microfiber As Paper Towels. These types of cloth are effective kitchen counter cleaners, even without any other product. Microfibers act as solvents that loosen dirt particles and trap them in the fiber as they are sucked into it. If you look for a good quality microfiber cloth, then you can recycle it, and it should last relatively longer. It’s also better to use them instead of paper towels, which are not biodegradable and can add more harm to the environment.

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Baking Soda As A Stain Remover. More and more people have learned this technique now, adding a half-cup of baking soda to their laundry detergent to increase the power of the bleach that they’re using for their white shirts and dresses. Also, the baking soda can soften the water so one can use less detergent when doing their laundry.

These are only some of the many brilliant ways to use natural ingredients in cleaning, brushing, and keeping your homes safe and clean. You can experiment with whatever you have kept in your kitchen. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in the book. You just need to use natural, experiment with it, and see their amazing powers in helping save the planet and keep a cleaner and safer home.

 

Energy Sources We Can Use To Prevent Further Environmental Damage

 

For the past decades, the debate on environmental damage due to harmful gases pumped out of the air has been constant. Advocates have discussed the ways on how to prevent further destruction, and some of these ways have actually been implemented by law or simply by social awareness. These ways include recycling, proper trash segregation, and the use of alternative energy sources.

“When we speak of environmental violence, we are referring to the direct damage to the environment by humans, but also the violent response from the natural world as a result of human degradation of the environment and the violence humans do to one another because of their effects on the climate,” writes Bandy X. Lee M.D., M.Div.

This article will discuss the last and one of the most important ways to help keep our environment clean and healthy – alternative energy sources.

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Wind Power

This is not a new way to produce energy, as the early human beings hundreds of years ago used the capacity of the wind to send their ships to the oceans. They also used this to grind their grains, saw wood, and pump water. W

ind power is considered a clean and safe energy source because it doesn’t dues chemical process to produce power. Also, it has no harmful by-products, such as carbon dioxide, which causes water or air pollution. It’s a great energy source that has been very useful to people who are living in secluded parts of the country where power is hard to connect through wires. Plus, wind power is cheap and never runs out.

“Market forces are driving rapid growth in wind generation,” writes David Spence, Ph.D.

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Hydroelectric Power

Hydroelectricity means power generated from using water. Like wind power, this energy source is not new to early humans, as evidenced by the water wheels that people utilized to produce energy. Later on, hydroelectricity was also used for crop irrigations, water pumps, and textile mills. Currently, water turbines are now used to produce electricity. Hydroelectric power doesn’t produce harmful waste, just like the wind power, but the difference is that the former is more reliable, as its energy can be saved through a dam that holds water back and is released only when necessary. It requires a relatively large power plant, though, so it is not a cheap source to create. It also requires the dams to be built on rivers, slightly changing the ecosystem of the specific environment.

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Solar Power

This is simple. It uses the sun’s light to produce energy. People nowadays use solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity. This is done by utilizing solar panels or using the sun’s energy to let the sunlight go through the windows to increase the temperature of the building. S

unlight is said to be one of the best sources of energy for the future. Like the first two energy sources, solar power does not pollute the plants and the flowers. It is also very effective in providing light and heat through solar water heaters, solar ovens, the use of skylights, and solar home heaters.

“Plants and bacteria have been fueled by solar energy since life began on earth. Once a solar panel is installed, it may continue to produce electricity for many years with little additional cost in terms of carbon,” writes Nigel Barber Ph.D.

Biofuel

This large category has different inclusions, some of which are biodiesel ethanol, biomass, and methanol, among others. The fundamental process here is to utilize organic waste, usually from plants, as a source of fuel. Biodiesel is derived by combining soy or canola oil with alcohol, like ethanol. Then a substance is added to increase the speed of reaction between the oil and the alcohol. The process is referred to as the transesterification. Biodiesel is an ideal fuel to use because when it is burnt, it is still clean and can also be used in different diesel engines.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen has a large supply, and its clean-burning qualities have had scientists agree that it is one of the most popular fuels of the future. In fact, they, along with other environmentalists, are looking to use it as a solution to substituting fossil fuels without rapidly changing people’s dependence on their vehicles. It is non-carbon, and it doesn’t produce carbon dioxide when it is burned. Hydrogen is the most abundant component that is found in air, water, and every organic matter.

 

 

What Are Clean And Safe Oceans For?

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The oceans around the world are not only beautiful, but they offer so many things for us, and yet we continue to neglect them. We should remember that 70% of the earth is surrounded by oceans. How much time can we give to protect and clean them? Can we even commit to doing what we can in our ways to contribute to saving the ocean and its inhabitants?

The truth is that the ocean is a vital part of our planet, as it plays a major role in keeping the whole ecosystem balanced and healthy. This article aims to focus on why it is important to appreciate the ocean and what the ocean offers to the future generation and us.

What Are They For?

Livelihood. A lot of industries then and now have relied on the oceans as a source of income and recreation. Fishermen, passenger and cargo ships, and tourism have earned substantial amounts of money from transporting products and services because of these oceans, and it is only right that we give back by keeping them clean.

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They Have Residents. They’re not there only for sightseeing. Yes, they are more than a hundred trillion cubic miles of water, but different kinds of species reside in the oceans as well. Fish, crab, shrimp, corals, and other plants and animals inhabit the oceans, all of which are significantly beneficial to the lives of humans. So if they are compromised, then we will be too. “Everywhere there is interdependence,” says Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D.

Food. All of us eat protein, and the ocean is the biggest source of protein in the world. We love our grilled fish, tuna flakes, and juicy prawns, and they are present in most people’s meals across the world. These protein sources must have a clean, safe, and healthy habitat.

Modern Medicine. Sea plants and other inhabitants are continually utilized for clinical trials that are expected to answer thousands of medical queries. Algae, seaweeds, and other aquatic species are also being experimented and used to cure specific diseases and to further improve the technology in medicine. There are many, many more undiscovered knowledge in the oceans that are worth unraveling. Let’s not let them die.

Oxygen Is Not Optional. Have you tried taking a deep breath in while you’re facing the beach? That’s the much-needed oxygen coming in, and the carbon dioxide going out when we exhale. If you still didn’t know, half of that oxygen you’re breathing in is produced in the oceans. Subsequently, it also plays a major role in absorbing carbon dioxide. “The current increase in global temperature has been accompanied by increased algal blooms in the ocean, which could increase cloud cover and sequester excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, exerting a restraining force on further temperature rises,” says Eric Haseltine, Ph.D. So let’s change the mindset that only trees should be praised for their oxygen-producing capacity.

Earth’s Protector. Practically everything either starts or ends with the ocean. Much of the sun’s heat and valor are stored in the oceans, and consequently, it is distributed throughout the world. Part of the type of weather we have daily is because of the ocean. Heated water from the ocean evaporates into the sky to form rains and clouds. The islands and reefs protect the coastlines from calamities. The ocean holds us together.

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Takeaway

So what are the oceans for? These and many, many more reasons that are enough for not only to be aware subconsciously but we must consciously take action and do what we can to help prevent further abuse, pollution, and damage in our oceans. “A multidisciplinary approach is necessary including consideration of engineering, political action, and public awareness ,” says Michelle Maidenberg, Ph.D. We must start today because if we don’t, we’re giving up all these wonderful essential benefits that all humankind is taking advantage of.

 

 

 

Why We Can’t Survive Without Clean Drinking Water

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It has been proven time and time again that human beings can live without food for three weeks, but they cannot live four days without water. Even though an individual continues breathing, he will eventually go into shock. This only goes to show that water is life, and without it, living would almost be impossible. Yet it is a painful truth that there are millions of people across the globe who have no means of accessing clean drinking water.

Proof Of Clean Water Deficiency

While the developing regions and countries have everything from state-of-the-art technology to fresh air and clean water, sadly, that is not what the rest of the world is experiencing. There continues to be insufficiency or lack of clean water sources in many, many countries. Here are some devastating facts about it.

  • For the past four years, over 63 million residents in India have been getting water from unclean sources.
  • In New York alone, there are more than 8 million people exposed to various toxins in the water that they drink. These toxins include viruses and bacteria.
  • In some areas of South Africa, water can be inaccessible for two straight days. This, unfortunately, occurs 60% of the time.

These facts now lead us to present a list of reasons why we deserve access and why we just can’t survive without clean drinking water.

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  • It Nourishes. Again, water is life. The government and other individuals who are in power need to understand that so that a law must be implemented soon for water to be accessible for everyone. A human being is composed of 60% water, which in itself is solid proof of how important water is to us. All human beings require proper hydration to function physiologically fully. Water enables blood to maintain its consistency so that it can flow smoothly and transport oxygen throughout all parts of the body.

“Water is critical to the balance of all the body’s systems, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles. Proper hydration is the bedrock for maintaining healthy blood flow, kidney function, salt/electrolyte balance and digestive functions,” says William W. Dexter, MD, FACSM, Director of the Sports Medicine Program at the Maine Medical Center Family Practice.

  • It Cleans. Sanitized and safe water helps clean the body from different toxins, such as those from bodily reactions, organ abnormalities, or the consumption of poisonous water. According to  Xiaoying Ying G. Hensel, M.D., “By drinking enough water, you keep your digestive track moving smoothly. It also helps reduce the burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products.”

 

  • It Aids In Food Production. Clean water is required to start and finish the process of food production. If the water used to nourish the crops is contaminated, then they will harbor bacteria and other bad substances that will eventually cause disease to those who will consume the produce. Thus, no clean food is produced without a clean and safe water source.

 

  • It Prevents Illness. Naturally, if we consume contaminated water from the crops that we take in or the water that we drink, we would develop various illnesses. Some of these illnesses are life-threatening, such as typhoid, hepatitis, and cholera, all of which are mainly due to consumption of contaminated water. There have been real-life stories that we have seen and heard about people living near factories and businesses that have contaminated their drinking water, and most of these have shown how much dirty water has affected the lives of its residents, including unborn babies. “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician. He also said that “it’s healthier to drink water while you’re exercising, and then when you’re done, eat a healthy snack like orange slices, bananas or a small handful of unsalted nuts.”
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  • Better Sanitation Equipment. If the water used to wash the dishes and utensils is toxic, then undoubtedly this will result in various diseases. We must then have access to clean water for cooking, cleaning our homes, and other responsibilities that we regularly do. Clean water produces overall good health.