Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Tips

When we talk about the lifestyle we mean the way we do things in terms of our behavior, the way we interact, what we consume, the activities we participate in, and the interests that we have. Ultimately, lifestyle also incorporates values that we take into account in our homes and in everything else that we do.

When we talk about an eco-friendly lifestyle, this can incorporate anything from the way we get around (transportation), and our efforts to avoid plastic and ensure that everything we can recycle gets recycled, to using ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and ensuring our homes are designed to be energy efficient. The latter incorporates everything relating to energy and sustainability, including solar heating, eco-friendly lighting, energy-efficient cooling methods, better insulation, and harvesting rainwater.

You may not be able to embrace it all, but here are some tips to get help get you started.

Top Ten Tips for an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

1. Transportation

Transportation, along with heating and production of electricity, is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. More than 90% of the fuel we use for transportation, including diesel and gasoline, is petroleum-based. For this reason, a lifestyle change regarding transportation really can make a difference.

If you can afford to switch to an electric vehicle do so. Otherwise, ride a bicycle or walk whenever you can. Not only will the environment benefit, but you’ll also improve your health.

2. Recycle

Before you throw anything into the trash can consider whether it can be recycled. The most obvious items include paper, cardboard (including boxes used for packaging of all types), tin cans and other types of metal, glass, and both rigid and flexible (as in bags and wrap) plastic. Depending on where you live, there may be collection services and you may be required to separate different materials from one another. Alternatively, find a recycling center where you can deliver your own waste.

Recycled products can also be used in your home and to build or renovate it.

3. Eco-Friendly Appliances

While not all eco-friendly appliances are rated by ENERGY STAR if they are you can be sure that you’ll be on the right track to using less energy in your home. Not only will you be helping to reduce greenhouse gases, but using eco-friendly appliances is a sure way to save money. In just one year (2017), ENERGY STAR reportedly helped reduce U.S. energy costs by a whopping $30 million.

4. Solar Power & Solar Heating

Instead of burning fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, harvest energy from the sun to provide electricity for heating. The most eco-friendly options can have you living off the grid, though many people generate solar power and then feed any excess back into the grid. Alternatively, batteries installed on-site may be used to store excess solar power and this easily accessible power can be used when required. This is an excellent way to reduce the cost of electricity in your home.

Solar heating systems with collectors in the form of panels or tubes that are mounted on the roof are a great solution for heating water.

Passive solar heating is another eco-friendly lifestyle solution that will help to reduce energy use. However, it is largely dependent on the way your home or office building was designed. For example, shading will help to keep homes cool and large windows that admit sunshine and warm the interior in colder weather conditions.

An MEP engineering firm in Chicago, New York, Toronto, or any of the world’s cities will be able to advise on the many varied options available to take advantage of solar heating systems.

5. Wind Power

Like solar power, the wind can be used to generate electricity. It can also be used to create heat, and you don’t need massive wind turbines to do it. You do, though, need to live in a relatively windy area to take advantage of this kind of system. Have a look at kits that are available, or contact an engineering firm for advice.

6. Eco-Friendly Lighting

Lighting is an element that is easily improved, simply by taking maximum advantage of natural sunlight and using artificial lighting that is energy-efficient, if only by using eco-friendly light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs that are a lot more longer lasting than compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Some use up to 90% less energy than standard light bulbs.

7. Energy-Efficient Cooling

Geothermal systems that use ground source heat pumps are great for both energy-efficient cooling and heating. You can save up to 50% on cooling bills by replacing old fashioned HVAC systems with these heat pumps, and they will last longer too.

If you don’t want to spend the money required for a geothermal system, you could compromise and try passive cooling rather than traditional air-con units. Like passive solar systems, passive cooling relies on blocking out heat while allowing cool air to enter the house. Roof vents and ceiling fans may also be used to cool interiors.

8. Improved Insulation

The key to any green, healthy building is energy efficiency. In addition to utilizing sources of renewable energy, good insulation of walls, floors, and ceilings is imperative. Properly done, it will go a long way to keeping your house cold when it’s hot and hot when it’s cold.

9. Water Management

It doesn’t matter whether you live in a drought-stricken area or in a place where water is plentiful, capturing rainwater is another key to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Installing greywater systems, ideal for irrigation and flushing toilets is another way that will help you to save on water costs.

Rainwater harvesting systems may be as simple as installing a rain barrel of some kind that channels water from gutters and downpipes to more advanced blue roof systems, both of which are eco-friendly and highly sustainable. The latter involves the detention of water which is then released back into the environment at a controlled rate.

10. Don’t Forget to Breathe

This might seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re trying really hard to do something right you can become so stressed that you start to negate the benefits.

This is just a taste of what you can do to ensure an eco-friendly lifestyle. If you want to take additional steps that will help you minimize your environmental footprint, a New York or Chicago engineering firm, or professional engineers that specialize in green technologies, will be able to provide key solutions that will definitely impact on your lifestyle in a positive way.

About the author

Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of New York Engineers, an Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America. He leads a team of 30+ mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineers from the company headquarters in New York City, and has led more than 1,000 projects in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, and California, as well as Singapore and Malaysia.

What Most People Forget to Do When They Get Hurt Exercising

Exercise is one of the best things anybody can do for the long-term health of their mind, body, and soul. Exercise is essential in keeping your heart healthy, as well as hundreds of other health benefits that are too numerous to list. Still, exercise isn’t without its risks. Those who train too hard or with improper technique risk injuring themselves, not to mention there are some times when you can do everything right and still end up with an injury. There’s no need to fret as long as you have a proper plan in place for dealing with the injury.

Education on what proper recovery plans look like is still lacking, so this article was recreated to help those with an injury get back in the saddle as quickly as possible:

Isolate the area

Depending on where you’ve been hurt, it’s important to locate the source of the pain and begin dedicating resources to aid in your recovery. For a sprain or other soreness causing injury, a protocol is to be followed. The first thing to do is to stop putting pressure on the area with use. If it’s an upper-body injury, don’t pick up anything heavy, while lower-body injuries are best dealt with by sitting down and keeping your weight off it. The area should also be iced to promote tissue healing as well as stop swelling. While regular ice or frozen produce is a staple solution for this, custom-made gel packs such as those offered by https://gelpax.com are often a better choice for long-term athletes. After icing the area, the body part should be elevated, and a compression garment should be applied to help aid circulation.

Take it easy, but not too easy

Exercising and physical fitness can take a lot out of someone’s daily schedule. Because of this, it’s easy to erroneously believe that a day off due to injury is a free day, where someone is free to do however they please. Alcohol is still to be avoided since it diverts valuable resources away from your body’s repair efforts and has negative effects on overall fitness as a whole. If you don’t know whether or not you should engage in a certain activity while recovering from your injury, consider what your doctor would say if you asked their opinion on it. If you’re fairly certain they’d caution you away from the said activity, that’s a good sign it isn’t for you at this moment.

Hydrate

The signals your body is giving you in response to your sports injury seldom come in the form of increased thirst. However, without water, your body will be under even more stress. No matter how difficult or inconvenient it might be to get a big jug of water at the moment, know it’s wholly essential. Without proper hydration, your body will have to begin prioritizing certain parts of the body above others. Even if your injury gets lucky enough to receive the bulk of your body’s resources, you’ll be suffering in some other way, whether it be in comfort or mental health. Drinking eight cups of water is the daily recommended intake. It’s worth noting that foods like bananas are high in water and count toward your water intake. Don’t focus on eight literal glasses of water.

Conclusion

Exercise recovery is just as an active process as the exercise itself, despite what the term ‘rest’ might imply. It’s during this time that you should be restructuring your thoughts with regards to your physical needs toward giving your body the fuel it needs to have you return to your previous unhurt state. Without proper planning, your recovery time can be excessively long and not nearly as effective as it could be.

Evergreen Bridal Outfits and Ideas

Bridal fashion is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the fashion world, with new trends and styles coming to us every single season. This is great news for brides that want to be hip and on-trend with their looks, but what about the more traditional brides? The ones that want to feel and look like a princess on their wedding day? Well, the classic cuts aren’t going anywhere, either, and here are the style looks that will never go out of style:

The princess ballgown

Let’s not lie – every girl in the world dreamt of spending a night at a ball in a big, beautiful ballgown. And for many women, the chance to make that dream come true is their wedding day. Dressing in a classic ballgown, with a long white veil and having everything look like you’re a true royal is the way to go, and it’s the one look you can absolutely not go wrong with. The customization and personality can shine through in the top of the dress, which you can really take in any direction you want.

Boho beach look

Beach weddings have been popular for a long time now, and the brides have a pretty classic look to them: a lightweight, not overly-structured dress, usually with thin straps and decked out with some lace or fringe. Go barefoot or in strappy flat sandals and complete your look with an organic headpiece, like a flower crown, short lacy veil or a natural hairstyle with some embellishments. If your dress is going to be floor-length – like many beach dresses are – make sure you’re not being fussed about the edges of the dress getting dirty, because you are on a beach, after all.

Color me slightly

Not all wedding dresses are white, but for a classic look, you want to stay on the lighter side of the color palette. Think of blush tulle forming a skirt with an off-white corset on top, or go the very classic route into the land of ivory. Ivory is such a classic color for weddings because it is almost white but still provides warmth to the entire look. Remember, if you’re going color, color it all, because a bright white veil with an otherwise ivory ensemble will not work. You can find amazing ivory wedding shoes for brides to match your dress, no matter what style you’re going for.

Tea-length

Bridal dresses are traditionally floor-length gowns, but how often do you wear floor-length anything in your everyday life? Well, plenty of brides feel the same way and rather than thinking of their wedding day as the one time they get to wear something long and elegant, they want to make sure they have a good time in something they are comfortable in. This doesn’t mean sacrificing the elegance, nor the style, but a shorter dress is much more versatile for the afterparty. You can go for something more fun with a tulle skirt, or keep it classic with a very fancy satin pleated skirt. You probably don’t want to go in the direction of body-con, because it might end up looking a bit too much like a party dress.

Bridal suite

Throw the dresses out the window – it’s time to show some power with a beautiful tailored suit. Pay attention to the word “tailored”, because a suit that is just bought off the rack will never do justice to you on your big day. You can go for a pencil skirt or go all out with the pants – whichever you choose, make sure you stick to white because any other color might make it look like any old suit and not your beautiful bridal suit. Make sure you have something beautiful (and maybe backless?) under the jacket, so you look amazing when you take it off for the party afterward.

Looking amazing on your wedding day is one of the prerequisites of having an amazing day, so make sure that you are putting enough thought and effort into your look. You don’t have to spend a lot of money if you put enough thought and time into it, so be realistic! Whether you go classic or modern, make sure that you are showcasing yourself in your outfit and really being true to who you are.

4 Tips for Better Skin During Summertime

Even though taking proper care of your skin should always be your top priority, the truth is that it gets even more vital during summer, when the sun hits your skin quite hard. If you want to learn more about proper skin care routine during summertime, just stay with us and keep on reading. Here are four ultimate tips you should take into consideration, so check them out and enjoy!

Make sure to exfoliate regularly

Did you know that the build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin is responsible for its dull and lifeless appearance? We bet you didn’t, which is exactly why exfoliation should be a legitimate step of your skincare routine – not only during summer but all year round. It will remove those dead skin cells that have been piling up for God knows how long and make your skin look and feel smoother, softer, and more luminous. Besides that, exfoliation will also prevent breakouts caused by the combination of sweat, dirt, makeup residue, and those infamous dead skin cells, which is another reason to make it a part of your routine. Using a gentle scrub no more than three times a week is a great choice, so come up with a homemade scrub and you’ll do a great job!

Keep your skin as hydrated as possible

Keeping your skin properly hydrated is another vital step you should take on a daily basis, and the first thing you should do is to find the best moisturizer that works for your skin type. For example, lightweight creams and serums are a perfect choice for people with oily skin. That’s simply because such formulas aren’t heavy at all, which means that you won’t feel the stickiness and greasiness on your skin. On the other hand, if your skin is extremely dry, you should certainly go for thicker creams that will hydrate your skin to the max. Using Korean sheet masks is also highly recommended as these will instantly nourish your skin and moisturize it on a deeper level, so give them a try and you won’t regret it!

Properly repair and treat sun damage

In case you weren’t aware of it, exposure to the sun can speed up the process of aging and result in brown spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and dehydrated skin in general, which is why you need to treat and repair the damage properly. This happens because of the harmful UV light which damages the skin by affecting the healthy cell growth and stimulation of collagen. As already mentioned, brown spots are probably the most common among ladies of all ages. These are also known as melasma and they frequently appear on the cheeks, the upper lip, the forehead, and the bridge of the nose. If you’ve spotted these on your face and you want to remove them, make sure to get the best brown spots remover which will resurface the top layer of your skin and fade away melasma. These usually contain fruit acid and lactic acid that can be a little bit irritating, so use such products carefully and you won’t make a mistake!

Don’t forget to use sunscreen every single day

Even though sunscreen should be used all year round, it gets even more important during summer, when the sun is at its peak. As mentioned above, these emit harmful UV rays which can cause various skin issues, from wrinkles and fine lines as signs of premature aging to skin cancer, which is the most serious of them all. However, it isn’t enough just to apply sunscreen – you must apply it frequently and enough of it. A large number of experts claim that most people don’t apply for nearly as much daylight protection as they should, so don’t be one of them and follow our guidelines. A teaspoon of sunscreen will be more than enough for your face, whereas a shot glass of it will be okay for the body. Re-apply it every two hours and you’ll stay protected this summer!

As you can see, there are so many useful tips on how to take care of your skin during summertime, and these four are undoubtedly the best ones out there. If that’s your ultimate goal this season, just stick to our tips and you won’t make a mistake. That’s a promise!

5 Health Things To Be Wary Of As You Near 50

In the US alone, over 108.7 million people are 50 plus, inclusive of 76.4 million baby boomers, according to AARP. This figure is likely to add another 19 million over the course of the next decade.

AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization empowering people to select how they live as they get older, also reported that 51 percent of Americans think they actually look younger than their age.

As you draw nearer to the fifth floor, staying physically and mentally active can help keep you healthier, fit, and well, younger.

However, the aging process is different from individuals, as lifestyle plays a huge role. This doesn’t mean that you won’t experience some obvious changes in your mental and physical health.

However, you can take some early measures to ensure your aging body is going strong well into your later years in life.

Here are some things about your health that you need to be wary of as you near 50.

1. Respiratory problems

This is a common problem as you age, especially if the body suffers a disorder or infection.

When this happens, phlegm accumulates in the throat, irritates the air passages creating discomfort, and triggers coughing to expel the mucus.

Phlegm is usually white in color, but there are different other occurrences that present in different colors such as green, yellow, or mixed with blood.

If you’re coughing up green mucus chunks, it may be that there’s a bacterial infections in your lungs or bronchi, or a post nasal drip from a sinus infection.

This can be cured by avoiding foods like dairy, starchy food, and excess meat. Be sure to drink plenty of water, herbal teas, eat spicy foods, and take hot baths as home remedies.

2. Kidney problems

Once you hit your 50s, you have to come to terms with the fact that you can’t eat in the same way you did when you were younger.

Your activity levels decline with age, so there are things you did before that you may not be able to do with ease owing to bodily changes and aging.

Among the problems that may come include kidney disease, owing to a diet that contains uric acid foods.

Foods high in uric acid like red meat, seafood like fatty fish such as herring, tuna, lobsters, alcoholic drinks, and certain vegetables like lentils, mushrooms and more are to be avoided.

Some kidney problems like kidney stones form due to excess uric acid crystals that form stones and deposit them in the kidney. This causes extreme pain when one attempts to pass urine as the stones are trapped in the uterus.

Get serious about your diet, and make sure you get foods rich in fiber, protein, vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B-12.

Stay hydrated. Eliminate junk food from your diet, and trade chips, cookies, and cake for nuts, veggies and fruit. Also be cautious about what you eat when dining out. 

3. Eyesight

Ruth D. Williams, Clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology says that when you need reading glasses, it’s one of the most annoying signs that signal ‘you really are aging’.

Williams adds that this is the first irreversible sign of aging, unlike others that can be managed like weight gain.

Look out for diseases like glaucoma, which can develop before you realize it. Others include early cataracts, trouble seeing while driving at night, decreased vision, flashes and floaters in the eye, pain, and redness.

A baseline eye exam usually done at age 40 is the best place to start with age-related eye care. Most signs of eye disease are subtle, which is why this exam serves as an important first step.

All the above signs should prompt a visit to your eye doctor, as they may indicate underlying problems like retinal detachment, or early indications of cataracts.

Other precautionary measures you can take is wearing sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV-rays protection, quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke.

Protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays helps prevent cataracts and macular degeneration while protecting the fine skin around your eyes to reduce chances of getting wrinkles.

Eating vegetables like leafy greens, and fruits is also good for better eye health.

4. Heart problems

Aging also has an impact on your heart, but it isn’t as obvious as gray hair or wrinkles.

However, you need as much maintenance to take care of your heart, as you do for other aspects of your health. This is because the risk of heart disease and other related issues increases with age, especially for women.

Nieca Goldberg, MD, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center and National Volunteer Spokesperson for the American Heart Association, says women “become more insulin resistant” after menopause. 

For this reason, they need to stay away from sugar and carbs. If they can’t avoid it completely, natural substitutes and a rainbow diet is recommended. 

Goldberg suggests that women follow the Mediterranean diet that emphasizes veggies, fruits, oily fish, legumes, nuts, fiber-rich whole grains, and healthy oils like olive oil.

As you draw closer to your 50s, be aware of heart attack and stroke symptoms to save your life. Not everyone experiences sudden numbness or severe chest pain during stroke or heart attacks respectively.

Goldberg says that for women, the tightness that comes with a heart attack can happen anywhere like left, right, or lower down. This can easily be dismissed as a stomachache.

5. Colon issues

It is important to know the best time to schedule a colonoscopy, unlike most people who think about it when they hit 50.

A colonoscopy is a procedure in which doctors examine the colon for polyps which could signal early signs of cancer of the colon.

In this procedure, the doctor sedates the patient for a painless process and then inserts a long, lighted tube – colonoscopy – to examine the colon.

If discovered early enough, colon cancer is preventable and treatable, but the symptoms are rare until the later and deadlier stages of the disease.

Colon cancer, according to the Colon Cancer Alliance, is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer death in people living in the US.

Almost 90 percent of new cases occur in people aged above 50 years, and starts small, with a slow-growing growth in the colon that could progress into cancer if unchecked.

Summary

Did you know that over 40% of American adult population between 40 to 59 is suffering from obesity today? This is alarming, to say the least. 

Each passing decade ushers you into a new stage of life complete with its own priorities and unique challenges. 

Checking on your health as you inch closer to a new decade is extremely vital. If you were taking it easy all this while, 50th birthday is the time to make some quick resolutions. 

About the author

Jenny Travens is a creative writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She has long been associated with Superfoodsliving.

Twitter – @jennytravens

Some of the Easiest Ways to Combat Anxiety

Anxiety can affect your life in ways you never thought possible, and that isn’t a good thing. Approximately 18.1% of the American population suffers from anxiety, while it’s estimated that 40 million people worldwide suffer from a diagnosed anxiety disorder.

If you haven’t lived with anxiety, you don’t know those negative thoughts can begin to consume you on a regular basis. For example, the appearance of anxiety in the psyche can account for even more serious mental health issues heightening or manifesting. Often, anxiety goes hand in hand with depression. Anxiety can also be a side effect of external factors like your family, friends, love life, or professional life.

Because anxiety is so widespread, there have been ways in which those who suffer from it have solace. It isn’t just medication that can help anxiety. In fact, there are many holistic ways in which we can approach anxiety. Just be sure that you visit and speak to a mental health professional to either have an anxiety disorder diagnosed, or consider what the best mode of treatment is for you.

Whatever you choose, know that you won’t have to live in an anxious state forever. It can get better if you decide to cope in healthy ways.

Deep Breathing

If you feel an anxious state coming on, or worse, an anxiety attack, you can stave off the worst of it if you find a way to control your breathing. Often, when anxiety attacks are impending, it’s hard to breathe and think straight. Before you come to this point, or even during an episode, you can calm down significantly simply with deep breathing exercises.

One of the best ways to do this is to focus, count how many breaths until you can again breathe normally, and continue breathing until you feel an attack has passed. Once you get good at recognizing the signs of an anxiety attack, you can catch it before it becomes full-blown. This is also a great technique if you’re planning on meditating to reduce anxiety.

Aromatherapy or Lavender

Aromatics can be a godsend for anyone suffering from anxiety. Lavender has natural ways of healing and relaxing the mind simply by smelling it. You may try a lovely lavender tea if you want to feel extra relaxed. Also, if you carry an essential oil, you always have it to smell or physically put on your body if you need it. Alternatively, you can also keep a small bowl of lavender by your bed as you sleep at night.

Going for a Walk

Walks can miraculously clear the psyche. Just by moving your body, enjoying the silence, and breathing deeply and with intention, you can calm your anxiety. If you feel yourself becoming very anxious, put on your most comfortable leisurewear, walk down a street, path, or beach that you feel safe and comfortable being near. Walk until you feel calmer.

As long as you don’t wander too far and get lost, partaking in a leisurely walk is fantastic for those suffering from anxiety.

5 Steps to Buying Antique Jewelry

Most of us love shopping for antique pieces from stores. When it is antique jewelry, hurray! But most of us who want to own antique jewelry know little to nothing about it. Antique jewelry is mostly buying second-hand jewelry. Therefore to get good at it, material-wise and price-wise, one needs to have at least a few years of experience. We are often into delirium when we plan to buy antique jewelry. We do not know who to reach, how to get there and where we can find good prices. A little advice hurts no one.

Here is a complete guide to buying antique jewelry:

  1. Experience: Buying and selling is a tough affair. Dealing with the right vendors and understanding the price of materials is always a rather tough job. Hence it requires a lot of experience. Many fraud vendors simply want to con you. They fix huge prices to fake stocks and most people fall for that. The more one can handle second-hand products, the better they get at it, says jeweler Hartley Brown. Therefore, examining the jewelry, looking for hallmarks are very crucial to understand what you are buying into.
  2. Look: If you are planning to buy, for say, an antique black stone nose-pin, the material should look old and rusty. If it looks like a relatively newer design, then you should be sure that it is not an antique piece of jewelry. For many, collecting old gold jewelry is a niche. If your gold nose pin designs with price are relatively affordable, then you could be sure it is not antique jewelry. Gold always has hallmark onto it and it can surely tell you the time and era it belongs from.
  3. Weight and size: A good indicator of antique jewelry is the weight and size of the jewelry. In India, most gold jewelry before the independence era was heavy and was of huge stature. The sleek, light design was mostly conceived in a newer age and era. Therefore jewelry’s weight and size can help you to understand its age.
  4. Passion: Many sellers would want you to buy different pieces of jewelry in the shop but it is always better to follow the passion. If you are passionate about a particular piece of jewelry, then you would want to spend your money into it. If, you might be repenting your piece of jewelry for your entire life. No matter what collecting antique jewelry is more of a passion. 
  5. Money: Money is the one and the most important factor of all. If you find a piece of jewelry to be too high priced and does not have enough history to go with it, then you should probably not buy it. One should always remember that at the end of the day, it is a business that sellers are feeding on and one should understand what is best for themselves.

Buying antiques from antique stores is a lot different from buying antique jewelry. When you buy antique jewelry you don’t just buy it but also you are fully involved in the history that it beholds. Therefore, a passion for antique jewelry is not just unique but has a lot of relevance. With this guide, anyone can find themselves starting on with the hobby of buying antique jewelry.