Top EcoTourism Destination Around the Globe

With ecotourism on the rise, more and more locations around the world are adopting the principles behind this environmental movement.

With ecotourism on the rise, I did a little research to find the top destinations around the world for an all-out eco-vacation. Each of these places offers visitors something uniquely different. So, consider these locales for your next environmentally friendly getaway.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has made a name for itself in the ecotourism world due to its well-protected natural beauty. It offers coastlines on both the Caribbean and Pacific, not to mention it is nearly one-fourth rainforest. One of the main draws of this incredible natural location is the chance to see volcanoes up close and personal, aside from the many low-impact hotels and resorts.

Norway

Norway is well known for its sustainable living practices, especially in the Fjords. Fjord, Norway is one of the four pilot destinations of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, possibly due to the government’s strict regulations on fishing, hunting, and even drilling for oil.

Australia

Australia is home to some of the most diverse species of flora and fauna that are yet to be grown or encountered in Europe and the Americas.

Australia is one of the most popular choices for summer vacation, visiting alpine villages like Thredbo, pristine beaches, cycling, routes, hiking or even mountain biking.

Galapagos Islands

Home to some of the most diverse and distinct species of fauna in the world, the country’s Directorate of the Galapagos National Park implements a strict visitor management system to ensure the natural area remains protected. With a heavy focus on sustainable tourism, this eco-destination is easily one of the most awe-inspiring locations to travel to.

Palau

This island nation in the Western Pacific is part of Micronesia and offers more aquatic sights than it does ones on land. Coral reefs are home to hundreds of species of fish, which makes them perfect for snorkeling and diving. The Palau Project, a part of Blue Planet United, brings in university students to learn about the island and aspects of ecotourism.

Kenya

On land, the country does offer untouched shorelines and forests filled with diverse plants and animals. The country recognizes its natural beauty and strives to preserve it at all costs.

Portugal

Ecotourism in Portugal is beginning to take hold in this beautiful land. Many places are overbuilt, but some of Portugal’s coastal areas have been recognized as protected landscapes. Their areas include the resorts of Esposende, Sintra and Cascais and southeast Alentejo, near Cabo de São Vicente.

Other areas, especially in the interior are being preserved and set aside for future generations to enjoy.

If I were headed anywhere in the world, these ecotourism destinations would be the top spots on my list. What unique and environmentally friendly places have you visited in your travels? Did I miss any wonderful locations that should have been on this list?

The Importance of Credit and How it Impacts Your Personal Financial Status

Often people consider loans and credits as bad elements that can damage financial health, but in reality, it is just the opposite. Ask any financial expert, and they will tell you how good credits are because it empowers you financially. You can build a strong financial base with credits provided you know the right ways of doing it. Most people who despise credit are the ones who fail to manage debts and look upon it as something damaging. Like chain saws are highly efficient cutting tools which can also cause enormous damage if not used correctlycredits too can do a lot of financial good with obvious damages happening from poor credit management.

 

Credits help to improve your lifestyle to enjoy a better life as you can acquire high-value items like house and car by taking a loan and buy other high-value items by using credit cards.  Fulfilling big-ticket wishes instantly is only possible by availing credits and loans. And to get quick access to credit, you must work towards maintaining a good track record of your credits by making timely payments. This is the fundamental learning from any credit education.

 

To make credit cards work for you, it requires a proper understanding of how credit works and how to keep debts under control. You must also learn the differences between credit report and credit score and why these are so important for you. Besides, you must also understand what the credit scoring factors are and how you can maintain a good credit score that gives more access to credit. Let us begin by discussing the basics of credit.

 

Credit – what is it?

In plain words, borrowed money is credit regardless of the manner of borrowing by availing loans or using credit cards, which are the two main types of credits. Also, there are many other types of credits, like using credit lines against open accounts. Although the credits operate in different ways, in the end, it is all borrowed money.

Installment loans like home loans, car loans, and student loans are the most common types of credit in which the loaned money is meant for a specific use. Such loans are payable in monthly installments.

Credit cards are typical examples of revolving credit that entails preserving the credit line after paying it back.  You can avail credit as long as there is some balance in the credit limit. The credit limit can change from time to time, depending on the credit performance of the cardholder and his or her income and credit history. Dependable creditors enjoy a higher credit limit.

 

Easy money with credit cards

Credit cards provided quick access to money that you intend to use from the approved credit limit of the card. Credit cards are open lines of credit that allow you to access funds by paying some fees and charges depending on the types of transactions. From annual fees to transaction fees and from balance transfer fees, late payment fees, over-credit limit fees, and return item fees, various cards charge various fees.  

Paying credit card bills within the due date without carrying over balance does not attract any interest which is chargeable on balance carried forward to the next billing period. Interest rates on credit cards vary according to the type of transaction like cash advances, purchases, etc.

 

Credit reports and FICO score

Across the United States, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are the major consumer reporting agencies that compile your credit report and generate the credit score that numerically represents your credit history. By using the credit score lenders determine the creditworthiness or reliability of borrowers.

Credit reports form the basis of generating FICO credit score by using Fair Isaac’s formula, which computes the score on a scale of 300 to 850, representing the lowest and highest marks respectively. Higher credit score enables you to get lower interest on loans with easy approvals, and lower is the credit score higher is the interest, and the chances of acquiring the loan are low. However, consumer reporting agencies do not disclose the method of calculating the credit score. The credit scores can vary between the agencies because they may have different data sets of individuals.

Your credit report for the last seven years captures your payment history that includes timely and late payments as well as missed payments. It also reflects all present and past credits. The credit score takes into account the types of credits you experience, and it is better to have exposure to both installment loans and revolving credit by using credit cards.

 

Good credit and bad credit

Good credit indicates that the borrower is dependable because he or she makes timely payments for all credit accounts until full payment of the balance. It means that the person is dependable and takes responsibility for settling the credits in a disciplined manner.  Therefore, lenders would not hesitate to approve loans to the person with a good credit score and even charge lower interest than those with not so good credit score.

In addition to lenders, employers also use credit report and credit score to evaluate prospective employees. Landlords may also refer to your credit score to decide your eligibility as a tenant. Insurance companies might also refer to a credit score when processing many types of insurance, like car insurance and homeowner’s insurance. Sometimes, student loan eligibility also depends on credit score.

Bad credit score can make it difficult to secure new credits and even escalate interest rates.

Read this article to learn more about buying a condo with bad credit.

 

Tips for maintaining good credits

Timely payment of bills and maintaining a low balance on credit cards are the best ways of improving credit score. Credit inquiries dent your credit score, and it is best to avoid too many inquiries in a short time. Stay alert about identity theft by monitoring your credit report and credit score at least once a year by obtaining your free credit report to identify any mistakes and arrange for its correction.

Keeping your financial records in order and maintaining a close watch on your financial transactions should help to avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.

Winning Eco-Solutions for Our Homes

Globally, builders, developers, and professional remodelers of family homes are offering more green options than ever before.

Interestingly, the start of this growth can be traced back a decade, to 2009, when the global recession in the residential construction market was at a very low ebb. One conceivable explanation researchers have found is that builders started to use the advantages of green building to attract buyers at a time when the market was exceptionally sluggish.

According to a SmartMarket report by the Massachusetts-based McGraw Hill Construction company, that discusses the growth of green multi- and single-family homes in a “recovering market,” the three primary triggers were:

  1. Continued increases in energy costs.
  2. Changes in code ordinances and building regulations including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Code Council (ICC) 700 National Green Building Standard which is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
  3. Increasing availability and affordability of “green” products.

Additionally, various government and utility incentives placed an important role too. Unfortunately, many of these have been, or are being, phased out.

Statistics provided in the report show a phenomenal increase in green building projects. While builders that undertake very few (less than 16%) single-family home projects decreased progressively from 63% in 2011, 38% in 2013, 23% in 2015, to an anticipated 16% in 2018, those boasting that more than 90% of their projects were green rose from 12% in 2011 to 19% in 2013, 24% in 2015, to a projected 38% in 2018. The figures were similar for multi-family projects: from 69% in 2011, 46% two years later, to a consistent 21% from 2015-2018. Not as many boasted that more than 90% of their projects were green though a similar trend is evident. While there were only 6% in 2011 and 2013, this increased to 9% in 2015 and was expected to double to 18% in 2018.

Similarly, those firms undertaking remodeling projects, of which at least 90% of which were green increased from 7% in 2011 to 25% in 2018. Those admitting that less than 16% of their remodeling projects were green decreased from 70% in 2011 to 21% in 2018.

So what do builders and remodelers do to make homes green?

Eco-Solutions for Family Homes

Around 95% of builders and remodelers regard energy-efficiency as the most important element of green homes. Other important green practices that provide eco-friendly solutions include:

  • Durability of materials
  • Water efficiency that incorporates more water conservation products and practices
  • The use of materials that emit low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Improved quality of indoor air
  • Management and reduction of construction waste and a focus on material conservation and recycling
  • Eco-friendly site planning and development with a focus on environmental sensitivity

The motivation for opting for eco-solutions varies, with the promise of long-term utility cost savings remaining the most powerful argument for going green. Operating efficiency is also a priority, followed by a belief that quality construction, along with durability and the need for reduced maintenance, is associated with so-called green features. Homeowners also consider high performance and sustainability important and, to a lesser extent, the fact that an eco-friendly home will have a reduced environmental impact.

Professionals play an important role in terms of identifying which green products, practices, and features are best for purpose and location. This includes builders, architects, and those providing engineering solutions in Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Moscow, or whichever city you live in or are near to.

Green Products, Practices, and Features

There are so many ways to ensure that our homes are eco-friendly. These are some of the winning solutions for new homes and renovations:

  • Ensure your house is energy-efficient in every possible way
    Switch to high-efficiency water heater and heating, air-conditioning, and cooling (HVAC) systems that are correctly sized and properly installed. Make sure all lighting and appliances are energy efficient. Insulation should exceed code minimums and windows should exceed code-mandated performance. Opt for above-code energy programs and passive solar design.
  • Do everything possible to conserve materials and resources
    While there are different priorities for new homes versus those being renovated, there is definite value in using more durable materials as well as recycled products or materials that are easily recycled. This is particularly true for homes that are being remodeled. The use of prefabricated components and engineered wood is gaining significant attention and interest as is the use of lumber that is certified to have been sustainably harvested.
  • Put systems in place that will enable you to conserve water
    The ability to conserve water comes from installing appliances and fixtures that are designed for this purpose. Efficient plumbing techniques also help a great deal. Look for WaterSense labels and harvest rainwater if you can.
  • Aim for the very best indoor environmental quality possible
    There are many products and practices that will improve the indoor environmental quality of your home from filtration and air-cleaning systems and low-VOC materials (including paint, synthetic fibers, wood finishing products, and cabinetry that contains formaldehyde) to systems that increase moisture control and ventilation. A company that offers mechanical engineering services in Chicago or wherever you live will be able to assist with the latter.

There is little doubt that the challenges of finding appropriate eco-solutions for your home will be easier if you work with a professional, there is certainly a lot that each and every one of us can do ourselves. It simply requires commitment.

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. He is passionate about sustainability and renewable energy.

CBD for Acne: Can CBD Products Actually Help Treat your Acne?

If your acne causes you unbearable discomfort and lowers down your self-esteem already, you should get a natural treatment that can minimize its appearance and prevent its breakout. Avoid throwing your money on those topical creams and oral antibiotics because they may only cause side-effects and worsen your acne problem.

Do you want to know what people are using now to get rid of their acne? Cannabidiol (CBD). Yes, it’s all the rage nowadays. But is CBD really good as an acne treatment? Well, here’s a blog post to answer that question.

What Causes Acne?

The body’s sebaceous glands release sebum to shield our skin from damaging external elements. However, if there’s an overproduction of sebum, it may cause your skin to catch dirt, dust, and other pollutants easily. This mixing of contaminants on your skin can clog your pores, which, in turn, result in the breakout of acne.

Aside from the overproduction of sebum, hormonal changes and genetics may also do their part in causing an acne breakout. An unhealthy diet, stress, and other factors may also increase your chances of getting acne and worsening it.

Cannabidiol (CBD) to Eliminate Acne

You can find studies suggesting that CBD is an effective treatment for acne and other skin diseases. As a hemp plant extract, cannabidiol is abundant with anti-inflammatory properties that can treat pimple wounds and prevent the outbreak of acne. It can also maintain the normal production of sebum in the body.

A study has pointed out that CBD keeps sebocytes in check from releasing too much sebum. This is promising because what causes acne in the first place is the abnormal production of sebum.

Moreover, researchers found that cannabidiol facilitates anti-inflammatory reactions in the cells and prevents peptides and cytokines from activating. When cytokines and peptides activated, they may cause pimples on your skin.

CBD also contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that can treat infections caused by pollutants. So, if you already have acne, you can apply CBD products like CBD oil or topical cream on the affected area to prevent it from getting worse.

However, you mustn’t expect that all people will get the skincare benefits of CBD. The positive effects on the skin when you use CBD may vary from one person to another.

How Should I Use CBD to Treat My Acne?

Now, do you want to try using CBD oil to eliminate acne? Well, use it along with a carrier oil and apply it on the affected area of the skin. Choose a carrier oil that’s best for your skin to get the most satisfying results. You can try coconut oil, argan oil, or olive oil for that purpose.

There are also CBD products that you can take orally. No matter what form, CBD will have its anti-inflammatory properties. But if you want to get the best results, I recommend CBD products that you can apply directly on your skin, such as CBD oil and topical creams. Here is a review on CBD oil options you can explore.

You should always check the ingredients of the CBD products you’re buying. Fake products are circulating in the market today that contain harmful components and with little or no CBD. For a guarantee, you must buy CBD products from trusted manufacturers.

Takeaway

Yes, cannabidiol can be an effective remedy for your acne problem. CBD helps regulate the production of sebum, and it’s rich in anti-inflammatory properties that heal pimple wounds and prevent acne breakout. However, before you use CBD to treat your acne, you must ensure that it comes from a trusted manufacturer and doesn’t have harmful ingredients.

Things You Must Avoid Doing When You Hire a Moving Company

Moving to a new house or office can be a tiring thing to do and for many people, getting a moving company to help with this comes in handy. Once you decide that you do not want to do the moving by yourself, identifying and hiring a moving company is the next critical decision you need to make. There are many moving companies on the internet. However, finding the right company to handle this important task for you can be a challenging task. To ensure that you find a moving company like brisbaneremovalists.com.au, here are the things you need to avoid once you embark on hiring a moving company:

Not sourcing for quotes from different moving companies

When hiring a moving company, you need to request for quotations from three or more different moving companies irrespective of where you are moving from. Failing to do this could mean paying more for a service that could have cost you more. When you have quotations from different moving companies, you will be able to compare costs and get an idea of the different experiences and benefits that each company offers. You also need to research each of the companies that have submitted quotations. With this information, you will be better equipped to hire a trustworthy and reputable moving company so that you avoid potential problems during the moving process.

Considering cost more than other factors

When hiring a moving company, it is not guaranteed that the company that quotes the least price will do a great job. Rather than focusing on how much a company will charge for the job, it is advisable to research the company thoroughly. It is important to note that where a moving company that presents a very low quote compared to others, that may be an indicator of the low quality of service that the company offers. Also, rogue companies may also attempt to lure customers by quoting very low prices, offering special offers and free services to entice people.

In addition to price and company experience, you also need to consider how far you will be moving. Ideally, local moving takes a day to complete and a small moving company that has a good reputation can get that done at a reasonable cost. On the other hand, long-distance moving is likely to take more than a day and will be more costly. For this, you’ll need to engage a larger moving company that has a good reputation. As such, be clear on the kind of move you will be making as well as the kind of moving company you need.

Not asking moving companies the right questions

The process of hiring a moving company is not easy. As such, there are many things you need to clarify with moving companies that you are considering to ensure you find the most reliable one and that your items will be handled safely.

 Ideally, a good moving company needs to provide you with all the details you need about the task and as experts in the profession, be able to address your questions even before you ask them. Even when they do this, you need to prepare your own questions to engage them because your moving will be unique in some way. You may also use those questions to gauge how transparent and thorough a moving company is with you. This will help you weed out rogue movers as many will avoid responding to specific questions and will tend to be ambiguous about issues such as insurance, moving fees and other critical details that you will need to know.

Not inviting the moving company to visit your house before you hire them

When asking moving companies to provide you with a quotation, you need to have them visit your house so they can see everything that needs to be moved. This way, they will be in a position to give you an accurate quotation. The visit is also important because it enables you to ensure that their quote matches the inventory of items that they move. In addition, consider developing your own household inventory before the moving company makes its own estimates. Such an inventory will give the movers a picture of all the items they will be moving and also enable you to have a discussion on items that need special handling with the moving company.

Not asking about extra fees that moving companies might charge

Before you hire a moving company, you need to find out whether there are any additional costs that could apply during the moving process. Such costs could be related to moving items up or down the stairs, not having a parking space near the house and item packing fees. To ensure that you do not get surprise fees, ensure that you find out from the moving company what other charges you will be responsible for.

5 Best Practices to Avoid Relapse After Recovery

If you are back from a drug treatment program it is important for you to know how to avoid a relapse. There are very few people who do not relapse after rehab; most others do. The article lists a few steps which you can take to avoid a relapse.

Drugs and alcohol rehab is an ongoing process, and completing a treatment program is only the first step towards complete recovery. Very few people never relapse after rehab; most others don’t have that same experience. 

If you are back from a drug treatment program you need to know how to avoid a relapse.

Here are 5 best practices to avoid relapse after recovery:

1. Avoid Triggering Situations

A host of things can act as a trigger. For example:

  • Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, physical weakness, mood swings, poor sleep
  • Poor self-care leading to stress, and eating and sleeping disorders
  • People, places, and things that remind you of your old habits like friends who are addicted, bars, clubs, certain areas of a college campus, etc. 
  • Uncomfortable emotions like hunger, loneliness, exhaustion, anger, etc.  
  • Relationships and sex 
  • Isolation 

It becomes important to avoid all these triggers, especially in the early stages of recovery when temptations are often strong.

2. Get Rid Of Toxic People

Once you’ve decided to give up on drugs or alcohol, you need to change your day to day life. The first step in this direction would be to get rid of the toxic people in your life. Spending time with people who are addicted is not going to help and you may not succeed in giving up on addiction. 

Surround yourself with people who would support you to live a substance-free lifestyle. Whenever you have an urge to use, call a friend or someone in recovery. Just talking to them about your urge going through would do the magic.

You will see that the minute you start to talk about your feelings your urges begin to disappear. 

3. Stay In Therapy

It is important to continue with your therapy and attend group meetings for at least a year or two after getting sober. This will provide you the much needed coping mechanisms to maintain sobriety.

4. Do Not Give Up Your Medicines

Psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, anger, mood swings, etc are major factors leading to the use of drugs and alcohol. Most rehab programs prescribe medicines to control the symptoms of these diseases.  However, just a disappearance of symptoms does not mean that you are cured. So, continue taking your medicines throughout the recovery period as suggested by your therapist at the drug rehabilitation center.

5. Practice self-care

The most important thing that you can do to prevent relapse is to take good care of yourself. Most people take to addiction as a way to escape or relax. You relapse when you don’t take care of yourself and create situations that are mentally and emotionally draining which makes you want to escape.

For example, if you don’t take care of your eating and sleep habits, you may feel tired and try to escape. But if you take care to eat nutritious food and sleep properly you can avoid exhaustion, urge and consequent relapse.

How PCR Is Helping Us to Make Our World Better and Safer 

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used in molecular biology to amplify or make multiple copies of small DNS sections. The technique has emerged as an extremely common tool in biological and medical research laboratories and has transformed the way biological and molecular scientific research and diagnostics are conducted. PCR, along with its variations have a very wide range of applications, some of which are:

Environmental Microbiology

PCR continues to contribute to the understanding of numerous environmental issues that plague our planet, especially in the matter of the detection of environmental microorganisms. With the help of PCR, it is possible to identify and quantify specific target species of microorganisms, even when the sample size is very small. A common example of the use of PCR is the identification of pathogens in water supplies such as coliform that can be deadly for health and environmental safety.

Consumer Genomics

PCR has now made it possible for testing genomes on a personalized basis, which has resulted in the establishment of an entire industry that offers consumers custom products and services based on specific genome information. For example, nutrigenomics, which deals with the effect of food and food components on the expression of genes and how the nutritional environment is affected by genetic variations? It helps to achieve a better understanding of how human health may be affected by specific dietary regimes or nutrients.

Forensic Science

PCR continues to play a vital role in the analysis of organic crime scene evidence like soils, semen, blood, pollen, hair, etc. for the identification of criminals. MyBioSource PCR kits allow forensic biochemical analyses and diagnostics such as DNA fingerprinting, genomic DNA isolation, familial relationship identification from very small samples; even a single DNA molecule can be sufficient for allowing PCR amplification. According to bitesizebio.com, PCR is especially helpful in DNA fingerprinting for the identification of criminals.

Medicine

PCR is now widely used in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous diseases as well as an integral research aid in the diagnosis and identification of potential cures for many other ailments. With the help of PCR, it is possible to focus on the DNA segment that is of interest rather than the whole genome. Many genetic disorders can now be diagnosed and monitored by very small genetic samples. PCR also plays an important role in the determination of the sex of embryos as well as genetic and chromosomal defects in the fetus. 

Food and Agriculture

PCR is commonly used in agricultural research laboratories for genetic modification of existing organisms for improving the quality and yield of food crops. Even though selective breeding has been in existence for a long time, genetic modification techniques can make the impact more specific and result in the faster development of better seed varieties.

Conclusion

Even though PCR is not very well understood by the general public, researchers have realized its potential for altering genetic compositions for a whole host of improved outcomes ranging from disease control to forensic science and agriculture. The principal advantage of PCR is that genetic modification can be initiated from very small DNA samples that would have ordinarily served no purpose in scientific research. 

Author bio

Ariya Stark is a health expert who has been running many health seminars and public discussions. She also manages her blog and reviews the health-related details provided by authentic sources.