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six new technologies to help you be more greenSix New Technologies to Help You be More Green

Green technology is a booming industry that caters to those who are economically and ecologically aware of their environmental impact. These six new technologies are here to help you invest in a greener future. Environmentally friendly products used to be hard to come by, but now they are at the forefront of the technological industry.

Electric Cars
Electric cars are a hot topic. They provide power and fuel with batteries that are now lighter and easier to haul. The old version of the electric car was difficult to transport, and they couldn’t get very far to begin with. The electric car today is full of new technology that will change your life from a gas-guzzling SUV to a smooth and sleek-electric car.

Rooftop Wind Power
Wind power used to be limited to large-scale farms and plantations. Today wind power is accessible by average households using rooftop systems. WindTronics is developing systems that are smaller than average, but they work on the rooftop to power your home easily and efficiently.

LED Lightbulbs
Fluorescent and compact-fluorescent lighbulbs have been around and in use for quite sometime. LED lights are starting to take over. They last for virtually forever, and they rarely die out or blow. They are a one-time purchase for most household-lighting needs, and they are efficient. LED lightbulbs are the newest technology in lighting to help your home be more green.

Recycling Technology
Recycling isn’t just about recycling what you have thrown away or would have thrown away. It’s now about how technology has changed the way we recycle. Better technology has made it more efficient and accessible for you to recycle.

Better Electronic Materials
Electronics are being produced with better materials. Recyclable aluminum, easy to dispose of components and safe to recycle components are major game players in the industry. This kind of technology is spreading to laptops, tablets and much more at a rapid pace.

Eco-Friendly Printers
More printers are being labeled with smart technology that allows them to be recognized for saving ink and energy. Look a company that offers ink at a reasonable price and is environmentally friendly. Eco-friendly printers are the way of the future.

Conclusion
Technology to help you be more green extends to your home, car, work place and environment in general. There are dozens of ways to enhance your life to be more environmentally friendly, but these six technologies are just a few of the ways to get started.

About the Author
Kandace Heller is a freelance writer from Orlando, Florida. In her free time, Kandace nejoys reading, writing and going to the beach. For those looking for quality printer ink, Kandace suggests Cartridge ink.co.uk.

ID-10062392 (1)Halloween is a celebration of make-believe, pumpkins, autumn, and most of all…candy. While kids wait all year for this holiday of endless sugar, it can often be a nightmare for parents. Candy usually contains sugar, which is the perfect environment for breeding bacteria that cause tooth decay. Consequently, to avoid future dental problems, it is important to keep two things in mind when eating candy:

1) Avoid excessive consumption of these sugary treats

2) Lessen the amount of time the sugar is present in the mouth

Dr. Margaret Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Dental Spa, a dental spa facility in Chicago’s Water Tower Place, offers the following tips for protecting children’s teeth at Halloween:

· Examine: Examine your child’s candy before he or she digs in to see if it meets your approval.

· Brushing: It is okay for your child to eat any candy that you approve of, but to help lessen the chance for tooth decay, have them brush as soon as possible after eating the candy. By brushing right after candy consumption, the impact of the candy on the teeth is minimal.

· Avoid: Avoid sticky candy such as taffy, gummy bears, caramel, etc. Sticky Candy adheres to teeth and leads to decay.

· Preparation: Prior to Halloween, visit your dentist to have sealants put into the child’s teeth grooves. This protects tooth enamel against decay caused by excess sugar.

If brushing soon after eating is not possible, here are these other tips that also can help:

· Together: Consume the candy with a meal. The increased saliva production while eating will help wash the sweet off the teeth.

· Rinse: Rinse the mouth with water.

· Gum: Chew a sugarless gum (especially those containing xylitol) after snacking on candy. The increased saliva from chewing will help wash the sugar off the teeth and xylitol gums help control the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

· Quickly: Eat the candy quickly in one sitting to decrease the amount of time it is contact with the teeth. Avoid eating any candy slowly over an extended time or over multiple sittings. Recent studies have shown that length of time eating a sweet can be more harmful than the amount of sweet consumed. This means hard candies, breath mints, etc. (long residence time in the mouth) can actually be worse for your teeth than a chocolate candy bar (shorter residence time in the mouth).

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Four Ways To Stimulate Your Kids Brains At HomeFour Ways to Stimulate Your Kids Brains At Home

It is important to stimulate the brains of your children and can be very beneficial to their future. You want the best for your kids, and that includes nurturing and taking care of their minds. By making learning fun, your child’s brain can get much-needed stimulation, and can be a great way to spend the day together as a family.

Read, Read, Read
One of the easiest ways to stimulate your child’s brain is to engage in reading activities together. This can build their vocabulary and comprehension, engage their imagination, and help develop speech. The more stories you read together, the more words their minds will be able to recognize and add into their vocabulary. Take turns choosing stories and have fun with it!

Flash Cards
Another way to stimulate learning is with flash cards. They can be words, numbers, money, math problems, colors, shapes, or even animals. A collection of flash cards can make the learning experience into a game for you and your child. If you can, create a reward system–every correct answer can earn them a point or a small prize. Be creative.

Microscopes
For anyone that has ever looked through a microscope before, they come away having seen something in a new and exciting way. Let your kids look at a flower, leaf, insect, or even a piece of food under a microscope, and you can explain how everything is made up of something much smaller. Your kids can view stereo microscopes in a new way, and understand that when you look a bit closer at something ordinary, it becomes extraordinary. The activity can be lengthened as much as you want. Make a day out of it, and you and your child can go explore outside to collect all sorts of things to look at under the microscope. Let their minds run crazy with curiosity as you learn together.

Puzzles
Another great way to stimulate your child’s brain is doing puzzles together. It helps them learn how to match shapes and problem-solve, but it’s also a fun activity. If your child doesn’t like puzzles, try doing a matching game to help develop memory skills or do some arts and crafts and ask them to mix certain colors. You can also have them paint certain shapes, vocabulary words, or math problems. Sometimes, doing something like math and vocabulary can be made into a more enjoyable activity for them if they do it in a new, exciting way.

EyeWear5 Ways to Naturally Improve Your Child’s Eyesight

If your child suffers from vision problems, you surely want to do anything and everything in your power to ensure that he is able to see. This is important not only for his ability to navigate the world now and in the future, but considering that the majority of learning done in our school system in based on visual instruction, the truth is that he’ll have a much easier time if his eyesight is unfettered. On the other hand, your first instinct is probably to avoid the dangers inherent in surgery if at all possible. Although you might eventually exhaust your options and settle on surgery, depending on the condition that is impacting your child’s eyesight, you should definitely gather information on alternatives therapies. And if you happen to lean towards natural and non-invasive options, you’ll be happy to hear that there are a few things you can try.

1. Food. You’ve no doubt heard the adage “you are what you eat”, and there’s actually some merit to the statement. The foods you give your child provide essential nutrients that will help him to grow and develop, and you can use this knowledge to provide foods that are proven to benefit eyesight. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and particularly DHA, boost eye health in a number of ways. And while the best source is salmon, you might not want to risk too much mercury in your child’s diet. Flaxseed and walnuts are also good sources. Antioxidants like beta carotene and lutein also support eye health and help to prevent (and even reverse) some types of damage (like that caused by the sun). Good sources include leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and eggs. And you might be surprised to learn that sulfur-rich foods like garlic and onions can help to prevent cataracts, although you probably know that kids don’t tend to like them much.

2. Vitamins. It’s practically impossible to get all the nutrients you need from food, and kids can be pretty picky about what they eat on top of it. So you might want to talk to your pediatrician about the prospect of giving your child a daily multivitamin that will ensure he gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs for overall health and wellness, not to mention those that will help to make his eyesight strong.

3. Adequate rest. Kids can be temperamental when it comes to bedtime, but it’s your job as a parent to make sure that your child is receiving adequate rest. So if you have trouble getting him down for the night, he awakens frequently, or he rises early, there are a couple of steps you can take. First, cut back on sugar intake, which will only keep him up. Then make sure that you don’t give him water right before bedtime and that he uses the restroom before going to sleep. Finally, think about implementing mandatory naptime. This will give you a much-needed break during the day and ensure that he gets all the rest he needs to support healthy vision, not to mention mental wellness.

4. Exercises. Just like any other part of your body, your eyes can atrophy if they’re not properly exercised. Since a child’s eyes are still developing, you don’t want to work them to hard, but easy exercises like eye rolls and changing focus (from an object up close to one far away) can help to strengthen eye muscles and potentially prevent vision problems.

5. Eco-friendly eyewear. When you’ve exhausted natural options like diet and exercise, the next step is to think about whether or not glasses can help your child to see. And there are plenty of international eyewear brands that offer eco-friendly options. One of the best may be Eco, which is certified by independent product evaluator ULE to feature 95% recycled materials. Proof Eyewear is another option that makes cool, modern frames from sustainable wood. And you can always look for vintage glasses that can be outfitted with new lenses as a means of recycling, although you might have a hard time finding eyewear for your tot by this last method. On the upside, all of these options are preferable to surgery.

Cookie-Container5 Tips for Reducing Food Waste in the Kitchen

Did you know that the average household throws away an estimated 15% of the food that comes into the kitchen? If you spend $100 a week on food, that means you’re throwing away $15 a week, $60 a month, and a whopping $720 per year. And it could be a lot more. Not only is this wasteful but it’s bad for your budget. Just think of what you could do with that money! Luckily, there are tons of ways to get a handle on your food waste and save some money in the process. Here are some strategies you should definitely put into effect.

1. Go Euro. We have a tendency to plan our meals for the week, buying all of the ingredients in one fell swoop. But this can be problematic in terms of food waste because fresh items may go bad before the week is out and many nights, overworked parents end up ordering takeout instead of going to the added trouble of making a meal after a long day at work. So take a page from the European playbook. Traditionally, Europeans tend to visit their local, neighborhood market daily to get whatever fresh items they need for their meals. This is a great policy that not only ensures variety and that your foods are at the peak of freshness, but also that there is less food waste from spoilage.

2. Cook in bulk. If you have a lot of extra food in your fridge and you fear it will go bad, simply cook enough for several meals and freeze it in the serving sizes you prefer. When you need a quick meal, all you have to do is thaw and heat your frozen meals. It’s an easy and economical way to use your food instead of letting it go to waste and it makes for easy meals on nights when you just don’t feel like cooking.

3. Make smoothies and sauces. If your fresh produce has a tendency to go bad, consider that there are uses for fruits and veggies that have gotten a little too ripe to look appetizing. So long as they’re not moldy or melting, many fruits and vegetables can be made into delicious smoothies with milk, soymilk, juice, or even water as a base. And if you want a cool and healthy treat for the kids, pour your smoothie into popsicle molds (you can order them on Amazon). As for other veggies, consider steaming them, throwing them in the food processor, and then simmering to make delicious pasta sauces that you can save for later. Produce could also be canned and jammed for later use or to give away as gifts.

4. Host a potluck. Rather than throw food away because you accidentally bought more than you ended up using this week, invite family and friends for a potluck. You can use up all the extra ingredients in your kitchen before they spoil and your guests can provide side dishes or dessert.

5. Use what you’ve got. Every so often, say once a week, it pays to go through your fridge and pantry to see what you’ve got and figure out how to use it in a timely manner. Whether you want to spice up your leftovers or you’ve got a bunch of random ingredients, you can find ways to turn them into appetizing meals with a little creativity. Instead of ordering pizza for dinner, pull out your fondue sets, get some sauces bubbling, and use them for dipping extra veggies and leftovers from the week. Or use a website like Supercook.com or MyFridgeFood.com that allows you to enter ingredients from your kitchen in order to find recipes that you can make with them. You’ll use up anything that might go bad and save some money in the process.

Five Ways to Get a Handle on Your Allergies From HomeFive Ways to Get a Handle on Your Allergies From Home

Get a handle on your allergies from home by simply making some easy changes that can improve the overall health and air quality of your household. If allergies are something that you regularly struggle with, but have not found a way to beat the stuffy nose and itchy eyes, these top five tips are sure to help. Whether you have a common allergy to pollen or are dealing with more severe allergies that can trigger asthma attacks, start living a healthier lifestyle today by making these necessary changes and upgrades.

Fireplace Cleaning

Indianapolis gas fireplace cleaning services are highly recommended for those who use their fireplaces regularly. Maintaining your gas fireplace by having it cleaned and maintained on a regular basis can help to keep you safe and your fireplace operating correctly. By skipping annual maintenance, the ventilation system can become backed up, causing allergens to circulate around the home and even the potential for deadly gas leaks. Simply maintaining your fireplace can be beneficial for your allergies.

HVAC Maintenance

Fight off seasonal allergies with the help of air ability HVAC services. Because pollen and other allergens can easily make their way into your home through cracks, open doors and open windows, opting to regularly maintain your air conditioning system can help greatly. Having your AC unit cleaned regularly can remove dirt, dust and debris that can built up within the filters and vents which may circulate around your home without you even knowing it.

Neti Pots

In addition to improving the air quality and air flow around your home, you may also choose to take advantage of other at-home solutions for your allergies such as the Neti pot. By simply filling the pot with a saline solution and flushing it through each nostril, you can be well on your way to naturally dealing with your allergies with absolutely no side effects.

Avoiding Pollen

If seasonal allergies are something that you constantly struggle with, there’s no need to make them any worse than they already are. While you can’t lock yourself inside all season long, avoid mowing the grass which can trigger your allergies from the pollen and grass clippings. Instead, get a handle on your allergies by enlisting a friend, family member or neighborhood kid to mow your grass for you.

Steam Cleaning Carpets

Steam clean your upholstered furniture and carpets throughout the house to help control allergens found deep within. This should be done on a regular basis.

While you may not see them, there are always allergens that are lurking throughout all corners of your home. By taking advantage of these tips, you can help to control them and eliminate your seasonal allergies.

ID-100163322FASD Awareness: What’s Nutrition Got To Do With It?

By Lauren Bartell Weiss, Ph.D.

As International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day approaches, people all around the world are planning events to raise awareness about the potential risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy and the difficulties of people and families who struggle with FASD. The first FASDay was celebrated on 9/9/99. This day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy, a woman should abstain from drinking alcohol. As a published researcher specializing in nutrition and it’s impact during pregnancy, I thought about how I could do my part during FASD Awareness Month. It came down to spreading the word about what I know best- good nutrition.

You might be asking yourself, “what does nutrition have to do with FASD?” The answer might surprise you. Let’s start with some facts about alcohol consumption. Approximately 60% of child-bearing-aged women consume alcohol and it has been suggested that up to 30% of women drink while pregnant. In addition, about 50% of pregnancies are unplanned and it is likely that a woman may unintentionally drink during the early stages of pregnancy.

Here’s where nutrition comes into play. While the recommendation is still to abstain from consuming alcohol during pregnancy, there are ways to reduce potential risks to the baby by optimizing your nutrition status. While eating a healthy balanced diet is very important for health and disease prevention in general, women of childbearing age, especially those who consume alcohol, should also take a multivitamin/prenatal supplement to maximize their nutritional health in the event that they do unexpectedly become pregnant. Pregnancy increases the demand for many vitamins and minerals in order to adequately support a developing fetus and alcohol can interfere with nutritional supply from the mom to the unborn baby. It can also change the metabolism of the nutrients. This can be dangerous by potentially increasing the risk of pregnancy and baby complications and, also, of birth defects. There is strong evidence that a deficiency in folic acid is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects. Folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy protects against this. The same may hold true for other vitamins and minerals in the protection of FASD so taking extra vitamin supplements before and during pregnancy may serve as a type of “insurance policy” if a pregnancy were to occur.

A new study I co-authored found a link between multivitamin use and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. We looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s multiple-state Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) of more than 100,000 women between 2004 and 2008. The women answered a series of questions involving their alcohol use before pregnancy as well as multivitamin consumption during it. The study found women who reported consuming alcohol regularly or binge drinking were significantly less likely to take a multivitamin supplement compared with those who did not report alcohol consumption. The findings of this study, in addition to other research, emphasize the importance for all women of childbearing age, especially those who drink alcohol, to take a multivitamin supplement regularly whether they’re planning to have children or not.

I now encourage you to do your part during FASD Awareness Month by spreading the word about daily multivitamin use among your circle of friends. Let them know, a prenatal vitamin today could make for a healthier child tomorrow, even if they don’t plan on starting a family for a very long time.

MotherToBaby has facts sheets on alcohol’s risks during pregnancy and breastfeeding, which can be found at MotherToBaby.org. For more information or to get a personalized risk assessment about alcohol, medications or other exposures, call MotherToBaby toll-free at (866) 626-6847. MotherToBaby is a service of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS). MotherToBaby and OTIS are suggested resources by many agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About the Author

Lauren Bartell Weiss, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UC San Diego’s Center for the Promotion of Maternal Health and Infant Development and co-author of “Associations Between Multivitamin Supplement Use and Alcohol Consumption Before Pregnancy: Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2004 to 2008,” which was published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research earlier this year.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

ID-10069058Tips for Preventing Childhood Obesity

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and obesity is an epidemic that everyone in the family can help combat!

Did you know that in a study researching the trend of childhood obesity, an estimated 43 million children around under the age of 5 were overweight or obese, globally, in 2010. This number is staggering, but in honor of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, here are a few tips to help prevent any more children from becoming part of this statistic.

Designate Family Time for Getting Active

Whether it’s a walk together after dinner or getting together in a park on a Sunday afternoon, there are always times to get in some time for physical activity. Doing this together holds you all accountable, sets good examples for kids, and gives you more time to be with your loved ones!

Limit TV and Video Game Time

Sitting in front of electronic screens for prolonged periods of time isn’t good for kids—it makes it easy for them to fall into couch-potato status instead of getting outside and playing sports or meeting friends outdoors.

Fresh-Fruit-Bonanza

Cook Meals Together

Here’s another easy opportunity to stay fit as a family. Cooking homemade meals together increases bonding time with the family and prevents you from picking up take-out or pizza on your way home from work

Usananimals

Make Sure They Get Proper Nutrients

Following the idea of cooking meals together, you have to make sure what you are feeding your kids will help them continue to grow strong and healthy. Try to limit sweets, increase veggies, and make sure they get all of the vitamins and nutrients they need. Incorporating a children’s multivitamin like USANA USAnimals into your kid’s daily routine can help ensure that this happens.

*Main image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

ID-10034536 (1)

7 Steps to a Smarter Kid

With kids headed back to school, it’s more important than ever to support their healthy development to ensure they have every advantage in school!

One of the most overlooked aspects of brain development is the effect of Omega-3 fatty acids on a child’s brain. A recent study shows the significant impact of omega-3 DHA in relation to a child’s vocabulary and comprehensive testing. Early intake of omega-3 supplements will benefit your child’s cognitive learning and may increase intelligence in their pre-school and school-aged years.

Karlene Karst, a mother, Registered Dietician and five-time published author on “Healthy Fats,” believes so strongly in the power of Omega-3’s that she developed her own line called Sea-Licious, which she gives to her two young boys every day! To help other parents, Karlene has outlined 7 steps parents can take to help build smarter kids by incorporating Omega-3’s into their everyday lives.

7 Steps to a Smarter Kid:

1. Supplement each day with ½ tsp. of pure Omega-3 oils. Sea-Licious is one of the tastiest and most powerful options on the market.

2. After age 1, begin to incorporate nut butters such as almond and sunflower as a way to increase healthy omega-3s. Nut butters can be spread on brown rice cakes, pita bread or sprouted grain bread for a delicious breakfast or snack.

3. Incorporate ground flaxseeds, chia and pumpkin seeds into baked goods such as muffins, loafs and cookies. They can even be added to soups and stews for additional fiber, protein and of course healthy fat.

4. Greek yogurt — such a delicious, healthy snack! You can incorporate a brand such as Sea-Licious right into the yogurt if your child doesn’t want to take their omega-3 oil on its own.

5. Smoothies — this is one of the easiest and delicious ways to pack a ton of nutrients into your child’s diet. As a base use organic milk or a dairy alternative such as rice, or almond milk. Load the smoothie up with spinach, berries, and add a banana for sweetness. You can also add the chia/flaxseeds as well as Sea-Licious right into the blender!

6. Serve fish such as halibut and salmon. There are many delicious ways to prepare it. Make it flavorful and your kids will love it!

7. Be your child’s role model — they will do what you do! If you are taking your Omega-3’s, so will your children! If you eat healthy, so will your children!

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

5 Examples Why Going Green Can Make You Some Extra Cash5 Examples Why Going Green Can Make You Some Extra Cash

Having extra money in your wallet is certainly delightful. At least for the time-being, you can stop stressing out about bills and spending money. However, when you want these changes to be permanent, you should look into going green. What are some reasons why doing so can save you money?

Reusable Food and Beverage Containers
Every day, you are tossing a water bottle and a lunch bag away. If you are not recycling the appropriate items, you are doing even more harm to the environment. Instead, you should choose reusable food and beverage containers. Finding a sports water bottle is not difficult, and you can just use this one each day. Plastic food containers that can be washed and reused are smart options as well.

Cash in on Your Bottles
Many different types of cans and bottles can be brought to recycling centers in your area. On the item, it should say how much you can turn it in for. Do not throw these types of items into the garbage. Cashing in on your bottles might not seem as though it will bring you a lot of money, but if you consider how many you have used in your lifetime, you’ll start to recognize the savings.

Solar Panels and Energy Star
In your home, you definitely want to have EnergyStar certified windows. These types of windows will help to make your house a more enjoyable climate. If you have a little extra money to spend right now, you should consider installing solar panels as well. You might wonder how spending more could help you save more. Well, consider the long-term savings as opposed to the short-term ones. In the end, having these types of upgrades to your house can definitely help you to save a lot of money.

Consider The Monthly Bills
You pay for things like electric, heat and water usage on a monthly basis. You probably notice a spike in the bills when certain seasons come around or when you have out-of-town guests staying at your house. Work on controlling these bills by reducing the amount of resources that you use. You might not think that little changes, such as turning off the water when you brush your teeth or shutting off the lights when you leave a room, really make much of a difference. However, these little changes really do add up in the end.

Avoiding Penalties and Fees
Depending upon where you live, you might actually get fined if you are not living a somewhat green lifestyle. For example, some communities will fine you when you are putting items that are supposed to be recycled into the garbage can. On top of that, most communities impose a fine if you litter. When you take steps to be friendlier to the world around you, then you can stop receiving these unnecessary fines for your current practices.

About the Author

Dixie is a freelance writer. She recommends visiting recycling centers in New Orleans if you want to get started on your greener lifestyle today.