20 Simple Ways to Conserve Water

It can be all too easy for us to ignore how much water we, as human beings, actually use on a day-to-day basis. It's time to stop brushing the growing need to conserve water. Taking the time to learn how you can do your part in saving water can greatly help improve the overall quality of life, as well as help save the planet. Here are 20 ways to conserve water that you can start implementing today.

1. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Simply doing this each time you brush your teeth can save you gallons of water each month.

2. If you water your grass, try setting a morning watering routine. Waking up earlier than normal to water the lawn is not the most glamorous idea, especially for those of us who are extremely busy. But watering in the morning will keep your lawn from suffering water loss due to evaporation. It can also promote overall productiveness through the rest of your day.

3. Fix leaky faucets and pipes through your home. Take one day from every month to inspect all plumbing in your home. It should only take about 5-10 minutes out of your day, and not only does this save water, but it also helps keep your home from suffering undetected water damage.

4. Getting out of the shower 1-3 minutes sooner than usual is something that each and every one of us should be doing. How many times are we standing under the shower head just letting the water flow over us, or simply watching it go down the drain while washing / conditioning our hair? While sometimes an extra-long shower is a necessary part of the day, it is unnecessary to do this with every shower. Being conscious of the individual roles we all play in everyday water usage, as well as, taking small steps to decrease water use is critical in order to preserve this valuable resource.

5. Hosing off the patio, or spraying the walkway may seem like the most efficient way to clean, but instead of wasting water to spray these surfaces use a broom to sweep away any debris first.

6. If you own a swimming pool avoid decors such as fountains, or sprinklers. The process of water flowing through air speeds up the evaporation process. This will result in an unnecessary waste of resources.

7. Did you know that it takes around thirteen gallons of water to create one single gallon of gas? Taking shortcuts when possible, biking to work, carpooling and having a cozy night in are all ways in which water can be saved by reducing the amount of gas used.

8. Instead of rinsing fruits and veggies with running water fill a clean pot or mixing bowl with fresh cool water and rinse that way.

9. One thrifty way to re-use water is by watering houseplants or, even the lawn, with the same water you used to rinse off the fruits and vegetables. This cuts out waste, and benefits you, your lawn, and the environment.

10. Instead of leaving the water in the sink / shower running when shaving, fill a large cup or bowl with cool water and shave that way. This helps save water and time!

11. Instead of filling a mop bucket with hot water and chemicals for mopping with, fill an empty spray bottle with white vinegar and use it as a multi-surface cleaner. This is an all-natural way to deep clean your home without so much excess water usage. (And do not worry, the smell dissipates very quickly.)

12. If you are updating your home considering installing shower heads and sink faucets that are made to conserve water. These specially made faucets will cut out water waste and extra work for you in the long run.

13. Two ways we waste water occurs when we let the water run in order to heat it up. Walking away from the bathroom with the shower running, while waiting for it to get to the desired temperature, or waiting to plug your bathtub until the water is hot is a major unnecessary waste. Consider insulating the pipes in your home to combat this common issue.

14. When making tea or coffee do not make an entitlement pot if you only intend on drinking one cup.

15. Instead of using running water to thaw out frozen foods remove them from the freezer a few hours ahead of time, or use your microwave to defrost them.

16. Never start a load of laundry if it is not a full load. Washing partial loads wastes energy, and water. Also, opt for cold water to save even more.

17. When hand washing dishes, fill the sink half full with lukewarm water, then turn off the water. Lukewarm water may not be ideal for those of us used to piping hot dishwater, but it does the trick just fine. Also, there is no need to fill your sink completely full of water, even if you have more dishes than normal to clean.

18. Line the areas surrounding your plants / garden in order to help the plants retain water.

19. Avoid filling pots / pans completely full of water when cooking; instead only fill the pot with the needed amount of water.

20. Replace outdoor hoses every few months to ensure that the hose is in working condition. A withering water hose can cause small unnoticeable leaks and fluctuations in water pressure which cause waste.

Water is a precious resource that is taken advantage of in today's day in age. Conserving water, and helping maintain a healthy and safe environment should not be optional. Each and every one of us should be doing as much as we can to help prolong the life of our beautiful planet. Let these 20 small ideas inspire creative changes in the way you work to help save the planet.

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Reduce Your Exposure to BPA in Food

If you're worried about being exposed to (Bisphenol A) BPA in food, there are some simple things you can do to reduce your exposure. A recent study finds that avoiding plastic packaging or canned foods might be a smart way to reduce the levels of this troublesome chemical in your own body. Only 3 days of consuming freshly prepared or organically grown foods brought levels down by 66%.

Bisphenol A has gotten quite a lot of media attention and is present in many types of plastic packaging, some water bottles, sealing wrap and containers used for food storage. It lines the inside of most canned foods.

BPA is known to disrupt the endocrine system and is tied to lots of health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, infertility, even ADHD in children.

Canada sponsored BPA from baby bottles back in 2008, and in that same year research was publicized that showed adults who had the greatest BPA levels also had more than two times the risk of diabetes as those with the lowest BPA levels. Still the work only points out an association, it can not say that the BPA is directly causing any health issue.

In America we are seeing more BPA free packaging. Some states have limited BPA, others have outright banned its use in food in drink containers intended for use by children.

The FDA is continuing to review the issue and the US NIH plans to spend $ 30 million to study the chemical for safety. In the meantime, some of the worlds largest food makers are working to find packaging alternatives.

This research offers some strong evidence that the packaging of foods is a major, although probably not the only, source of exposure to BPA, as well as another chemical, a phthalate called DEHP.

The 20 subjects were taken from five San Francisco area families based on their answers to queries about how frequently they drank from plastic bottles or a water cooler, ate canned food or at restaurants, or microwaved in the plastic container. All of these habits are known to give exposure to both BPA and pthalates.

Phthalates are the chemicals that make plastic strong and clear.

The subjects provided urine samples before, during and at the conclusion of the study. This cave the researchers the ability to check BPA, and other chemical levels.

For a three-day period a caterer trained to prepare food without exposing it to chemicals delivered meals to the participants. No plastic utensils were used; foods were cooked on regular (not nonstick) cookware and kept in glass containers with plastic lids free of BPA. Even then, the researchers designed the cooks not to allow the food to touch the lids.

The meals were made from fresh fruits, veggies, grains and meats. Microwaving using plastic was forbidden as was using a coffee maker with any plastic parts. Coffee lovers got their morning beverage from ceramic drip models or French presses. Water came in stainless steel bottles, not plastic. Eating out was banned as many restaurant meals have also been found to have high levels of BPA.

By study of end, the urine samples showed the BPA level dropped from 3.7 ng / mL to 1.2 ng / mL The amount of DEHP decreased by almost half, starting at 57 ng / mL, ending at 25 ng / mL. Those who showed the greatest levels of BPA at the start of the study saw the largest drops – 76% for BPA levels and 95% for DEHP.

Knowing more about the ways we're exposed to chemicals can help us all limit that exposure if we choose. The changes are not all that difficult … and the removal of these chemicals from the body takes place rather quickly. You can achieve this by changing the way you shop, the way you cook and store foods.

The best advice when it comes to BPA in food, or any chemical, for that matter, is to reduce exposure where you can. So do not heat food in plastic or cover food items tightly in plastic wrap … but enjoy a meal out if you like.

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Water Filtration Systems – Improving Your Health and Well-Being

It has been proven by many that the healthiest, purest water you can get comes only from effective water filtration systems May sound quite unreal, but it's true. Majority of us think that tap and bottled water are safe as it has to undergo certain certification to meet government standards. Well, you should know this. Let me ask you how many times we have heard of a major water scaring forcing home owners to boil their water? Oftentimes, it happens.

Studies show that over 2000 harmful substances are present in common tap water that can potentially cause cancer. These unwanted contaminants can be effectively removed by a high quality water filtration system. Chlorine as we all know is added to water to eliminate harmful bacteria. However, chlorine itself is a harmful toxin. Another research study revealed that chlorine content of household tap water in several communities exceeds the limits. We are all aware how strong the smell of chlorine can be.

We are living in an industrialized world, with tons of chemical types being used everyday. Many of these toxins penetrate deeply reaching and polluting the groundwater. After the water authorities, these pollutants do get into the water we drink. As the United States EPA chief, Carol Browner said, “The way we guarantee safe drinking water is broken and needs to be fixed.” Unfortunately, bottled water does not get any better than tap water. Lack of regulation is the largest issue. 60% -70% of all bottled water is exempt for the FDA's standard – produced and bottled in the same state and condition.

Over 60, 000, 000 of plastic bottles are produced, transported and disposed in the United States everyday. Yes, that's every day! It is considered to be one of the most polluting industries in the whole world. This, water filtration usage means taking care of the environment. Instead of using bottled water, you can fill your own glass or bottle with clean, safe water from your very own water filters. A lot of available high quality filtration systems deliver chemical-free, great tasting water for less than 10 cents a gallon. Whereas bottled water normally ranges from $ 1 to $ 4 per gallon.

One great feature of an effective water filtration system is its multi-stage filtration process which greatly improves that overall taste and quality. These systems adhere to several strict guidelines in water purification like documenting the purity of the water they produce. The reverse osmosis systems tend to wash away everything including essential minerals. Thus, this filtration method can potentially lead to health deterioration.

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The Benefits of Using Disposable Cups

Paper cups are ideal when one is on the go. There are many advantages to choosing paper cups over plastic and Styrofoam.

Paper Cups – Advantages

First of all, paper cups are microwave safe. They are environmentally friendly and come at a reasonable cost. Most paper cups and other accessories are made of natural substances, meaning that they are recyclable, and therefore are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Studies show that paper is the leading material that ends up as solid waste. Fortunately, it is also the fastest decomposing waste material and is easy to recycle. Since the product is made from natural trees with little foreign material added, it is one of the least complicated accessories we use in our day-to-day lives. The fact that it is easy to crumple makes it more compactable. It is also one of the cleanest and fastest biodegradable materials.

By simply grilling up paper and mixing water, a pulp can be made. This pulp gets added to other materials to make new cups and other such products. These eco-friendly cups function like any other common cups used for food and beverage purposes. Research conducted in the field suggests that these products are 100% recyclable. The good news is that these products can be recycled into fibers for use in other paper products too. We can even convert them into energy.

Cups come in a variety of sizes, shapes and designs. Disposing of cups and plates is also easy. You do not have to hire a waste collector to get your products recycled. You can find a bin where you can throw recyclable products legally and without hassle. This way you can also make sure that the used cups are recycled properly.

Purchasing Paper Cups Online

The easiest way to purchase paper cups is online. Whether you need printed or plain white cups, plates, bowels or custom designed paper accessories, you can buy them all online. Most of the websites will have information about the substances that are used to manufacture the cup. This way you can make sure that the product is made of natural substances and hence recyclable. If you want custom design cups, you can talk to the store manager and get cups designed according to your specifications.

The paper products that come in various designs and shapes can be valuable addition to your business. In addition to saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint, they also offer the opportunity for branding, helping to spread awareness of your business.

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Business Waste Clearance: Basics

Running a business is a demanding task. It demands undivided attention. So it makes perfect sense to find a business waste clearance company to manage the hassles related to commercial waste clearance.

Most commercial waste companies offer comprehensive junk removal services. Whether it is small residential businesses or large corporations, a quality service provider will be able to offer you efficient waste clearance services. A company can assist not only corporate and small business to dispose of waste; they can also help estate agents, facilities or property management companies, housing associations, landlords and retail outlets.

Professional Business Waste Removal Services

When you hire a professional team, you do not have to worry about collecting, loading and disposing of the waste. The crew will have the appropriate vehicles and other necessary equipment to clean your commercial concessions. The good news is that they can usually do all these tasks, quickly and effectively at down to earth rates.

Benefits of Employing a Business Waste Removal Service

Getting rid of your commercial rubbish this way has many advantages:

  • Proper disposal of your waste
  • Hassle free clearance services
  • Quick and quality service at affordable rates
  • Proper recycling of the waste
  • Complete waste collection and disposal services

Things to Consider When Hiring a Business Waste Clearance Service

Simply Google 'business waste clearance services' and you will be surprised at the number of rubbish removal firms the search brings up. When there are so many options, choosing one can be a difficult task. There is legislation to make sure that commercial waste is disposed of properly. So, when choosing a firm, you need to make sure that they have all the necessary licenses to carry out the job. If the firm you choose fails to dispose of the waste properly, there are chances that your company will also get penalized. This means that your business can end up paying the penalty for any wrong doing committed by the junk removal firm. So, before signing a contract with any firm, make sure that the firm in question is efficient, honest and trustworthy.

After completing the job, do not forget to get a business waste disposal certificate from the firm you hired, as keeping accurate records of the waste disposal activity is very important. The certificate they give should have details about the nature of the waste, the date of its collection, the name and address of the collecting agent and the destination of the waste. A legitimate waste clearance firm will not have any problem in giving you this certificate.

Keep these facts in mind and enjoy a hassle free business waste clearance experience.

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Poisonous Plants – Become Aware

POISONOUS PLANTS

Information about toxic plants differs in degree according to location, proliferation and the potential dangers to humans, animals or wildlife in the environment. It is therefore important to study local conditions and relate to the plants that are proven to be hazardous in your area.

Many poisonous plants originate in the northern hemisphere and were inadvertently transported to colonial outposts in the southern regions. The native plants of the newly discovered worlds would have been less likely to demonstrate the process in reverse by increasing poisonous plant material to the northern regions although it must have occurred. But understandably, the introductions from the colonies and the newly discovered lands of the southern hemisphere to the north were mainly food items or plants of ornamental value.

With the study of indigenous plants increasing in modern times, there is a likelihood that much more information will be available in the future, but for the time being we must accept that the traditional plants of European and American origin that are known to be toxic are likely to remain as hazardous plants in their new status as introduced species in the countries such as South America, Africa and Australia. More information will be added resulting from our continued investigation and increasing knowledge of all plants of our world.

There is a need to warn of any dangers of certain plants that may be injurious upon human and animal health and well being, whatever their original habitat. It is interesting to note that many plants when introduced into a new environment reproduce very successfully and sometimes to the extent as to become a pest in their new country, although relatively controlled in their original habitat.

Any information about toxic nature of the poisonous plants given in this site is presented with a reminder to the reader that many of these plants also have a medicinal potential. There are many plants that have both a potential for toxicity and are listed also as medicinal plants. It is a matter of wisdom and professional skill in application or in prescribing any therapeutic substance whether it is more recently manufactured drug or a traditional herbal medicine.

There is a factor that should be considered as an important difference between the old and the new medicines. Modern medical science extracts from a plant source what are considered to the vital 'active' ingredients or chemicals that are then replicated in laboratories on a wide scale. Traditionally, the philosophy of herbalism focuses upon providing the whole plant or its part, as nature's chemistry created it.

Whereas some scientists consider we have made a progressive step forward in utilizing the capacity to analyze nature's plant compositions with the skill to isolate certain powerful chemicals it is not without its dangers as shown by the negative side effects that accompanies the history of each and every drug manufactured in this way.

A safer route is to depend upon the philosophy that 'Nature Knows Best' and remain faithful to the ancient wisdom that directs us to take a broader and inclusive view and to use the fruits and herbs of the Earth as our natural medicines.

Regarding our knowledge and interest in plants, we all have a responsibility to employ the health building plant foods in our nutrition as well as being aware of any precautions or potential dangers in plants that may threaten our children, our pets or ourselves and intelligently take steps to reduce the latter.

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Promoting Peace of Mind With Toilet Seat Covers

No matter how clean a public bathroom may be, it can still be difficult to feel comfortable in such a space. After all, bathrooms are very private places by nature. However, since public bathrooms are required in all places of business, it can be helpful to provide the necessary elements to help keep visitors as comfortable as possible.

The most obvious way to make a public or shared bathroom inviting is to keep it clean. To do this, it is important to use the right janitorial supplies and have a consistent cleaning schedule. This can eliminate stains and reduce odors, helping visitors feel confident every time they step inside. If the soap is fully stocked and the trash cans are promptly emptied, it is less likely to feel dirty.

While janitorial supplies go a long way to creating a good feeling in a bathroom, another way to put visitors at ease is with toilet seat covers. Lavatory seat covers are disposable covers that fit on top of a standard toilet stool. This way, visitors to the bathroom can place one on the seat for their peace of mind and flush it down the toilet when they are done.

The advantages of lavatory seat covers are clear. However, when selecting lavatory seat covers for a place of business, there are a few relevant factors to keep in mind.

First, when using toilet seat covers, it is important to remember that a dispenser is also necessary. Toilet seat covers should be made available in each individual bathroom stall, which means that dispensers will also need to be installed in order to house a supply of covers in each stall. Fortunately, there is a wide range of dispensers available, making it easy to find one that best fits the size and feel of the overall bathroom. Dispensers may be made of plastic or metal, most of which can be installed on stall doors or walls.

Next, it is important to look at the method of dispensing when purchasing toilet seat liners. Some wall dispensers feature toilet seat liners that can be rolled downwards, while others offer more frontal pulling. Both options are usable but space and personal preference may come into play when selecting the option that is best.

Last, it is important to look at the toilet seat liners themselves. All covers are made from a disposable material, which can be flushed like toilet paper. However, some brands may be more expensive than others, so it is a good idea to shop around for the best deals first. It can also be helpful to consider the overall order size since many retailers may offer discounts for bulk purchases.

Overall, toilet seat covers are a smart way to improve the look and feel of public bathrooms. Such covers not only promote sanitation but can also make visitors more comfortable when they use public bathrooms. By considering the dispenser and cost, it is possible to find the best toilet seat covers for any bathroom.

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What Causes Cysts in Your Home Drinking Water?

Do you have cysts in your home drinking water? Here you will learn everything that there is to know about the cysts that may be present in your home drinking water supply. Below is a simple question and answer format that should give you a better understanding of the subject.

• What are Cysts, Anyway?

The word cyst is actually short for oocyst. This is one of the reasons that finding information on the subject can be difficult. Some, such as purifier manufacturers, refer to them one way and scientists refer to them in another. If you did a search for cyst or cysts on the internet, you would find information primarily about the skin condition or other forms of human cysts.

The term oocyst refers to a developmental stage of certain kinds of parasites and protozoa. The cryptosporidium oocyst is the one most commonly encountered in water supplies. Cryptosporidium is a parasite.

• How Cysts Get in the Water Supply?

There are several ways that cysts can get into a community's water supply. Homes with private wells are generally safe, as long as the well is deep and capped at the surface. Any open water source can become contaminated with cysts.

An animal infected with parasites like cryptosporidium can wander into a stream or river. The cysts of the parasite are present in the animal's intestines and feces. If the animal defecates in or near an unprotected water supply, the cysts can get in the water. In areas where there are lots of animals, this can be a big problem.

• Do not Local Facilities Disinfect the Water?

Local treatment facilities use chlorine, chloramines, UV radiation and other disinfecting methods to kill algae and most other forms of life. Oocysts can not be killed with any of those methods. The hard shell makes them hardy. Their small size makes them impossible to trap using public filtration methods.

Do not Facilities Advise the Public When Cysts Are Present in the Local Water Supply?

The facilities do advise the public if they become aware of a cyst contamination. But they do not test for them on a regular basis. According to information provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, it is unfeasible to test for cysts on an ongoing basis. They would have to test daily, even hourly, because contamination can occur suddenly at any time. So, the EPA advises that cysts may be present in any supply at any time and may even be found in bottled water.

• What Health Problems are Caused by Cyst Consumption?

The infection caused by cyst consumption is similar to food poisoning. The symptoms include fever, vomiting and diarrhea. If a person's immune system is strong, the illness is typically short-lived, lasting less than a week. If a person's immune system is weak for any reason, the illness can cause death. This is why the EPA advises at-risk individuals to be aware of cysts and take precautions to avoid them.

• How Do You Avoid Cysts?

Although public treatment facilities can do little to protect your health from cysts, removing them from the water of your home is simply simple. You will learn how to remove cysts from your home drinking water in my next article.

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Medicine Disposal

Have you ever been toodling along, singing a song, minding your own business, being green, and then having your bubble burst with the realization that you've been violating the earth unintentionally with a thoughtless act? Yeah, me too. Disposing of expired and unnecessary medicines was such a wake-up call for me.

Part of my problem is that I do not take meds very often so it just does not occur to me that they age and expire, and that I then need to “throw them away”. And in the rare case that I did throw something away it did not occur to me that it would be a problem for the planet, or my health.

My Bigger Half sufferers migraines so has a bevy of medicines to help him cope with them. His meds do expire or become redundant and need to be disposed of. He has taught me to just flush them down the toilet so they do not fall into the “wrong hands”. For awhile, that seemed like plan of action.

One day I chanced across an article comment that caused my green-light bulb to click on. Trace medicines – of all sorts, including hormones, antibiotics, and pain killers – are found increasingly present in our soil and water supplies. That happens because of the way people throw them away or flush them down the toilet. Oh, that's not at all what I want to contribute too!

Drinking water contamination from meds is as worrisome to the public health and environment as mercury or other hazardous substances. It especially affects the very young and the very old, but it's not good for anyone ingesting the trace bits of medicines found in the water.

Then, somewhere I heard that pharmacies would collect unwanted drugs and dispose of them properly. That sounded reasonable. So I set about searching for and collecting all of our expired and unused meds and took them to the local WalMart pharmacy. Hah! They really do not collect them from the public in my area, though that's mandatory in many countries. After asking around to several of the pharmacies I gathered the hospital pharmacy does collect medicines and dispose of them through a carefully monitored disposal program.

Donating them to charities that will distribute them to third world countries is another possible avenue to explore. Even though they are expired in the US, they may still be good and valuable elsewhere. Physicians participating with those programs can discern if the medicines are still viable, and will dispose of them properly if they are not useful.

These pills, creams, ointments and liquids that expire in our medicine cabinets are hazardous waste. Maybe a hazardous waste facility will take them in your area. After my battery recycling escapade I'm not too hopeful about that, but it's always worth a try.

Articles I read in preparation for this article indicated you could pulverize them, mix them with used cat litter or coffee grounds, put them in a child-proof container which then gets put into some zip-lock bags, and / or another thick plastic container , before disposing of in the landfill. Whew! That's a lot of effort for a less-than-desirable solution.

Whatever you do, do NOT flush medicines down the toilet!

Check out these resources for your expired drug disposal program.

Your local hospital
Take Back Express
PharmaLogistics

So now my little collection of expired medicines are collected in a plastic bag awaiting my next trip to the hospital. The meds I'm disposing of include aspirin, tetra / lidoca, Ex-Lax, Melatonin, tessalon / benzonanatate, metronidazole, Imitrex, and sore throat spray. Since we give blood every two months I know exactly when they will be taken to the hospital pharmacy for proper disposal. No more flushed medicines for us!

Dispose of your unused drugs responsibly. Take them to a location that handles them properly. It's your health we're talking about.

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Say Good Bye To The Animals

One of the most favorite family pastimes by way of entertainment is to take a trip to the Zoo and see all of the wonderful collection of amazing animals that are found there. In addition to this, when the opportunity arises that one can escape back to nature and possibly catch one of these astounding animals running free in their own environment it certainly creates a wonderful memory.

Unfortunately this can soon become something that is no longer an opportunity for future generations. Global warming is having an adverse affect on our wildlife and many of us do not realize the consequences that this is going to have. There has been a lot of attention paid to global warming in recent years and most people understand that it can have devastating effects on our lifestyle. However, they tend to neglect just how far reaching these effects I can be on the rest of the world, such as the animal kingdom.

Something as simple as the hibernation cycles of animals can be drastically affected by global warming. Animals that are by nature hibernates have to do so for a period of time, and with global warming it is giving them a shorter span for hibernation which is going to affect the entire animal kingdom in one way or another.

One of the issues with shorter hibernation means that when these animals come out of hibernation too early there is not enough food present to sustain them, and can affect their health when it comes to their breeding times. Sometimes what will happen is that the starvation will reduce the animal population as well as poor breeding conditions will mean less babies being born.

For the most part wild animals considered by people, are only given a thought to as being intriguing. Without one studies the lifestyles and purposes of animals, they do not realize just how important they are to be the substance of the world. It is time that individuals become concerned about the total condition of the world, and not to develop tunnel vision about their immediate surroundings. The environment has a domino effect on all matters of life. Therefore, consideration should be given to preserving the earth in its entity not only for future generations, but for the health of the human and animal population as it is in the world today.

Whether individuals are animal lovers or not, it certainly would be hard to phantom that many of the beautiful species that roam the earth today will no longer be in existence, if global warming is continuing at the rate that it is at now.

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How Safe Is Your Child Away From Home?

Every parent is generally concerned about their children's safety no matter what type of environment they are in. One of the major growing concerns is the very air that these kids breathe in any of the areas that they may be subjected to at any part of the day or night. It is not enough for a parent to have to be concerned about the home environment, but they also have to be concerned about the environment that the children are in during the day while at school.

Something that was of great concern a few years back was the air pollution that was being emitted from power plants. Ironically when choosing a home to raise our families in we take great care at checking out the surrounding area and the neighborhood, to ensure that there is a good environment, but often we fail to check out the school area. It is most important to know what potential risks might be in the area, and if there is a cause for concern, then proper steps should be taken to check out to see if this something that needs to be investigated further.

It is certainly impossible to protect our families from all the environmental risks that the world contains as there are so many of them, however positive action is really a necessity with the growing concerns that have been identified. Many years ago many of these factors were present, we just were not aware of them.

It has been shown that when it comes to air pollutants as a result of power plants that children are more susceptible, just as the elderly or those that suffer ill health would be. However, children have a tendency to spend more time outdoors then these other groups. This alone puts them at greater risk.

The only solution to the problem is by the public becoming educated in what risks they are being subjected to, and then becoming proactive in trying to rectify the matters, or at least to draw attention to it, where more public concern will then be raised.

There have been great strides taken in cleaning up the air pollution in the last several years, and thanks for this can be given to more public awareness and involvement. It is the responsibility of every human being to take every step possible to provide a safe environment for the present and also for future generations. The more that is learned about the environment and the state the world is in, the better it is for everyone. Many individuals feel that one small voice is not going to make a difference, but when many small voices become combined for the good of the planet, than those that can do something about it will take notice.

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Whole House Dehumidifiers – How They Can Benefit Your Home and How They Work

How do you know if you need a whole house dehumidifier rather than a standard dehumidifier? The obvious answer is if your whole house is suffering from an excess of humidity. The other answer is just to what extent and how many rooms are suffering? If you deem that two, three or more rooms require attention than you should at least consider a whole house dehumidifier.

But …

But … they are quite pricey unfortunately. As they are more sophisticated and larger than your standard smaller models, this hikes the price up. They average around $ 1000 + but the price is warranted permitting you have the money and a real need for one, as they will do a fantastic job.

How Do They Work?

The same as a smaller model, but on a much larger scale as you can tell. While a standard dehumidifier will consume the surrounding air, remove its moisture and pump it back out, its how whole house dehumidifiers are fitted which differs. Whole house dehumidifiers will be connected to an existing or new cooling / heating / air conditioning system and will use your other vents to its advantage consuming moisture through them.

They also remove more moisture than your average dehumidifier, around 10 gallons a day.

Benefits of Whole House Dehumidifiers

Low maintenance. Units can be piped into your drain system so you actually have it installed, turn it on and let it go. Water will be pumped directly out of the house. No more collecting and replacing water trays / buckets

They do not take up floor space. As they are attached to your cooling / heating / air condition system, they will not take up living space

Automated operation. Switch it on and watch it go. They'll also monitor humidity levels and adjust to what ever settings you have programmed

– Dehumidifies your entire home effortlessly

– Prevents a whole host of problems and issues related to humidity

Quiet operation

Disadvantages of Whole House Dehumidifiers

– As they are bigger and more advanced than standard units, the cost is greater to run them though it would be cheaper than having multiple portable units spread through the home

– Unless you have the man power, skills and knowledge to fit one your self, then you will need to hire an installation team

The Bottom Line

They are expensive, there is no avoiding that. But if your home is suffering as a whole they may very well be worth your investment if you can afford it. Some people believe purchasing more smaller and less expensive units that they can spread around their house is a smart idea, but it is actually more cost effective to bite the bullet and go for a whole house one. Why? Because the cost to run all of those smaller room sized units will cost you a lot more than to run just the one whole house dehumidifier. Not to mention whole house models will be far more reliable and efficient.

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Risks of Heart Disease From Mercury in Fish Disproven

If you're a fish lover, or someone who's eating more in an effort to stay healthy, you do not need to worry so much about mercury found in fish and risks of heart disease according to recent research. The only limit in terms of fish consumption that still holds for young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers – as for the rest of us, experts can now insure us that at the exposure level most common in the US there's no evidence of harm.

Fish, loaded with good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids, has long been associated with a reduction of both stroke and heart disease. This is thought to be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of those omega-3s that are capable to reduce dangerous inflammation all through the body.

The concern for many is that fish also poses us to mercury and that low levels of this toxin have been tied to delays in brain development in babies. This is the reason behind the warning against too much fish for pregnant or nursing mothers.

For adults, the main worry was trouble for the cardiovascular system that might come from all that mercury. This study was prompted by the confusion over this risk. The research involved almost 7,000 adults. The team started by evaluating data from two more larger studies that included over 54,000 men (average age 61) and over 121,000 women (average age 53).

At two-year intervals the participants provided information on their medical history, diseases, risk factors and lifestyle. The team focused on 3,427 subjects who did not develop heart disease and an additional 3,427 who were diagnosed with the condition.

The mercury levels of the subjects were obtained from toenail clippings, considered an accurate biomarker for mercury because it attaches tightly to toenail protein. They also looked at selenium levels, a trace nutrient that might protect against the toxicity of mercury.

Those with the highest levels of mercury did not have a higher risk of heart problems. What's more, levels of selenium were not a factor.

When the team compared the highest mercury levels to the lowest, there was a trend towards lower heart disease risk with the higher mercury levels. This may be because of the other helpful effects of eating fish.

US government guidelines suggest that adults eat more seafood, pointing out that 8 ounces a week is a number associated by earlier studies as having an impact on cardiac death. The American Heart Association has long recommended that people eat fish with omega-3s at least two times per week. The concerns about mercury (or other contaminants) have been a source of debate, with many wondering if the benefits of fish outweigh the risks.

Thanks to this latest research, we can now say that they do.

If you decide to add more fish to your diet, it's a good idea to eat a variety of different kinds. The varieties with the higher mercury levels are king mackerel, swordfish, shark and tilefish. Those with the lowest levels of mercury in fish include sardines, salmon, scallops and shrimp.

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Health Effects of Cell Phones

Cell phones have become part of our lives, but many are wondering about the effects of cell phones and whether they are doing more than keeping us in constant contact. A new intriguing study has found higher levels of sugar metabolism in the brain, indicating increased activity, after just 50 minutes of use.

However, the preliminary bit of research is careful to point out that the results do not suggest a risk to your health from using a hand held phone.

We know two things for certain – cell phones give off radio-frequency energy, and these portable conveniences show no signs of disappearing from our lives. How can you answer with the ability to talk whenever you want, to have music, the internet, texting and more on hand wherever you go?

The down side of all that accessibility is the concern voiced by many that our beloved technology may cause all kinds of health problems, everything from brain tumors to sleep disorders, migraines, even lowered sperm count.

The current study, involving 47 healthy volunteers, looked at the effect of electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) that come from the antenna of the phone. At some point these are absorbed into the body, but so far there is no evidence that cell phone use poses any health threat. Everyone agrees more work needs to be done in this area.

The subjects in this study had mobile devices against both ears, one phone was switched off, the other was on, but muted, so they could not tell the difference between the two. As part of the experiment, their brains were screened to look for changes in sugar use – glucose metabolism is a natural process where the cells of the brain convert this sugar in to energy.

Glucose metabolism rose by 7% in the areas of the brain that were closest to the antenna. What's more, the activity decreased when the phones were turned off.

The theory goes that it's possible for your brain to absorb the radio frequencies that a mobile phone puts out, and this could make it more excitable. By suggesting that cell phones can affect the activity of the brain, the authors of this study are calling for more research to look at what's really going on here. With the widespread, and increasing use of cell phones, it's important we all are aware of what these devices might be doing to our brains.

Experts point out that much larger fluctuations in the metabolic rate of the brain happen naturally … during thinking for example.

Also of note, cell phone use in the study was not anything like what we normally do with these devices – talk and listen. The cell phones in the study were in a listen only mode. When you add in the talking component of cell phone conversations, the authors of an editorial accompanying the study believe the brain's exposure to radio frequency might be even greater.

If future work confirms impacts to the brain, it will be necessary to see if these effects have any implications for the health of the brain. Experts would also look at the healthy and safety risk for other populations, such as teens, adult men and women, different ethnic groups and the elderly.

Remember, this research does not mean the effects of cell phones pose a health risk. You can still use your phone safely while waiting for more work to be done.

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Vacuum Truck Cleaning Can Make Air Ducts Spotless!

Vacuum trucks have a wide range of uses in many industries and are probably most associated with cleaning out sewers and septic tanks. There is another use for this extraction vehicle that is becoming more widely known and that is the cleaning of air duct systems. Following is some basic information about this truck and its use in making home and work environments healthier.

Air Duct System Information

Most homes are equipped with air duct systems that allow for the circulation of heated and cooled air. It is all part of an energy-efficient home and work environment and modern design has created a much greater 'sealed' climate than used to be possible. Studies have revealed that the atmosphere inside a building is 4 to 7 times higher in pollutants than that outside of a building. Yet most people spend about 80 to 90 percent of their time inside buildings. As a result, the risk of suffering respiratory problems for both young and old alike is increasing.

Over a period of time, air ducts can become an arsenal of particles and substance that are dangerous to human health. These particles may include pollen, mouse droppings, animal dander, dust mites, fungus, bacteria, insulation, etc. Surprisingly, other materials can also be found inside the air duct system such as cans, pop bottles, toys, tools, paper, and other debris that further hinders the proper functioning of the system.

A poorly maintained air duct forces all of these possible contaminants into the building and is inhaled every time anyone takes a breath inside this structure. To ensure that the inside atmosphere being inhaled is clean; the duct system should be regularly cleaned and maintained.

Vacuum Truck Information

Vacuum trucks consist of a high-powered suction motor and one large container mounted on a truck chassis. The most common use for this versatile piece of equipment is for cleaning septic tanks as well as in municipal waste disposal fleets for street cleaning and sewer maintenance to name a few of the many tasks this vehicle can accomplish.

These vehicles are classified based on the following factors: type of material to be extracted; weight; capacity; and other items. The extraction system can be powered either from the vehicle's engine PTO (power take-off) or from a dedicated motor.

Cleaning the Air Duct System

Vacuum trucks have been used by companies offering their services to vacuum residential and commercial air duct systems. The equipment consist of a custom-built high-powered extraction system that removes anything inside the air ducts. Usage of a commercial high-powered truck-based cleaning arrangement allows for more effective and efficient removal of all debris and particles from the conduits that transport the heated and cooled air. This action eliminates hazardous material and particles that are dangerous to one's health.

The initial step is for a company performing such work to send a qualified and trained technician to access the main duct system for cleaning. Upon completion of the cleaning task, that company will conduct a final inspection to ensure that air duct system is properly sealed. They can also vacuum the furnace, coils and blowers to remove built-in dirt that reduces proper performance. This alone could reduce heating and cooling expense!

Do not try to attack the dirt in these conduits as a DIY project. Instead, use a company that can do a much more complete cleaning job with that powerful extraction vehicle known as the vacuum truck!

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