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Too Busy for Climate Change?

Planeta Terra, pintado pela Yohanah agora
Creative Commons License photo credit: felipesp

You don’t have to save the world single handed. It’s not an all or nothing proposition for each individual. It’s simply about doing the best you can in any given day. What I’m doing today is spreading the word for Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change.

As Monika Baurlein states today in MotherJones.com, “Fix the Climate or the Kid Gets It.” (Clever title!) We need to convince “Americans that something we care about is actually at risk here. And of course something is is. Climate change poses the greatest danger not to polar bears, not to glaciers or beaches, but to our kids.”

So what’s a busy person to do? Here are some ideas that are easy:

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Should You Care About Global Warming?

Why the Wind Blows

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” according to Matthys Levy, who wrote “Why the Wind Blows: A History of Weather and Global Warming.” Why? Levy states that reversing the global warming course will help future generations. My belief is that through choosing greener ways of living, we improve our own lives today as well.

I think you will enjoy reading Mr. Levy’s personal insights to questions I posed to him recently. I know I did!

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5 Quick and Easy Memory Tricks


Would you like to improve your memory? Who wouldn’t?

Head on over to my guest post at Dumb Little Man for 5 cool memory enhancing techniques.

DumbLittleMan.com: 5 Quick and Easy Memory Tricks

brain and memory

Please Share!

What are your favorite memory tips and tricks? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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6

Things You Can Do Today to Help Save the Environment


Do You Want to Make a Positive Impact on the Environment?

The health of our environment is top of mind for most everyone these days. It’s easy to feel a little hopeless about it at first. Well, you can erase that notion! There ARE things you can do and you CAN make a difference! This article will show you how, from easy stuff to actions that will take more of a commitment. Many of these ideas can save you money too! Some have an upfront cost, but if you look at the savings in energy costs over time, the net can be savings for you and a cleaner world for all.

Melting Iceberg

You may feel like your contribution is small, but it’s not. How you live your life will influence other people. Your contribution added to everyone else’s “green” contributions will cumulatively make a large difference. So if you are concerned about the environment, but unsure how you can make a difference, then take a look at these actions you can start doing and begin today! Do what you can today, plan to do more in the future, and spread the word to get everyone involved!

Measuring Impact

About 25% of carbon emissions come from personal activities (cars, electricity in our homes, food we buy, etc.). The other 75% comes from commerce, industry, agriculture, oil mining, trucking, military, and more. The average American produces approximately 22 tons (44,000 pounds) of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year. The worldwide average is 6 tons (12,000 pounds) per person per year. Work on reducing your own carbon footprint, those emissions that stem from your actions, and then encourage others to do the same. Like anything, start small and build on successes.

What You Can Do

In the House

  1. Turn Off the Lights. And anything else you’re not using such as your computer, printer, etc.
  2. Print Less. Reuse the other side of paper you no longer need.
  3. Lights. Use compact flourescent bulbs. The more bulbs you replace the greater your electricity savings will be.
  4. Unplug. Any device that is plugged in and is turned off, is still drawing power. Unplug chargers and anything else you can while you’re not using it. When electrical devices are done charging, remove them and unplug them.
  5. Water Heater. Turn down the setting by 2 degrees for a significant savings
  6. Home Temperature: Turn Thermostat down 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer. According to StopGlobalWarming.org, this will save 22,000 pounds of CO2 per year and $98 per year in utility bills. Change the filters for A/C and heaters regularly. Wear a sweater in the winter and use fans in the summer instead of A/C when you can.
  7. Washing Machines: only do laundry or run the dishwasher when it’s full. This saves water, electricity and washing soap. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using a dryer.
  8. Defrost Fridge. Defrost your fridge/freezer regularly.
  9. Old appliances. Replace a fridge older than 15 years with an energy efficient one. The same for boilers.
  10. Weatherproofing. Have your home inspected by the local energy company to see what you can do to make it more energy efficient such as insulation of your home, insulating your water heater, caulk & weatherstrip doors and windows, install double paned windows and more.
  11. Recycle your Gray Water. This is wastewater that is generated from domestic processes such as washing dishes, laundry and bathing. It can be used for watering your grass and plants and more.
  12. Boiling Water: only boil as much water as you need.
  13. Showers. Take shorter showers and install low-flow shower heads with built in shut-off valve. Turn down the water when washing your hair.
  14. Install a Water Filter. Use this instead of buying bottled water and you’ll save money and tons of CO2 that it takes to ship that water.
  15. Water Heater. Switch to a tankless water heater which heats the water as you need it instead of storing it.

Shopping

  1. One Trip. Try to buy the week’s groceries in one trip.
  2. Use reusable cloth bags for your groceries.
  3. Buy locally grown (in season) organic produce or try growing some of your own!
  4. Buy products made close to home.
  5. Reduce Meat Consumption. This is because of the CO2 that is produced from shipping it.
  6. Recycled Goods. Use recycled paper and other recycled products.
  7. Recycle. Recycle all paper, plastic and glass.
  8. Reduce Garbage. Buy products with minimal packaging.

Cars and Travel

  1. Tires. Check monthly to keep them fully inflated.
  2. Air Filter. Check your car’s air filter monthly and change it as needed.
  3. Commuting and Traveling. When you can, carpooling, public transportation and walking/cycling are all better choices than driving alone.
  4. Buy a Hybrid Car or Fuel Efficient Car.
  5. Exercise. Run, walk, bike, etc. instead of driving to the gym.
  6. Travel. Use land or sea travel (trains, buses, ferries) when you can instead of air travel.
  7. Work from Home. Find out if you can work from home one or more days per week.
  8. Vacations via Bicycle. If possible considering renting bikes instead of a car for your next vacation. Consider vacations closer to home.
  9. Hotels. Do all the same things you would do at home. Turn A/C down, turn TV off, etc when you leave the room. Ask to have linens and towels washed every other day or less.

Other

  1. Buy Energy Certificates. This is a donation to help grow the renewable energy market with things like wind and solar energy. In some places you can get tax credits for these. Check with your local and state government.
  2. Plant a Tree.
  3. Mowing the Law. Use a push mower.
  4. Other Activities. Think about your hobbies and whether they contribute to CO2 emissions. If they do, consider cutting back or replacing them with less polluting activities. Examples are: Go-Carts, saunas, health clubs, restaurants & bars, off-roading, motor boating, etc.
  5. Install renewable energy generators such as solar panels or wind turbines. These are expensive options, but you will have electricity savings to offset it and in some locations you can get tax credits.

Political

Make your voice be heard on this issue. Vote for candidates who promise to take action on making laws that will encourage individuals and institutions to make green choices. Write to your local politicians and let them know how you feel. Go to StopGlobalWarming.org to find easy ideas on how to make your voice heard. There is also a wealth of information there. Do check it out!

Will It Make a Difference?

Yes. Some of these things you may think “Just because I buy lesser packaged goods doesn’t make the highly packaged ones disappear. So what’s the difference?” The difference is that over time if many people make these choices, then demand for the more environmentally harmful ones will go down and less will be produced. And YOUR CHOICES will have contributed to that!

You don’t have to do all these things to make a difference, but the more you can do the better. And be sure to tell your friends!

Photo Credit

The beautiful photo in this article is courtesy of photographer extraordinaire Tom Dempsey of Photoseek.com. His amazing photography is available for sale at his Nature & Adventure Travel Photography website. Please take a look at his stunning work. You won’t believe your eyes! Thank you Tom!

Please Share!

What are you committed to doing to help the environment? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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22

One Fish, Two Fish, Good Fish, Bad Fish

One Fish, Two Fish, Good Fish, Bad Fish

Which fish are OK to eat? Which ones have too much mercury and other contaminants? It is especially important for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers to avoid the “bad fish.” Which fish have those great Omega-3 fatty acids that are so good for your heart?

Here’s list you can print out and keep in your wallet or purse for the next time you are at a restaurant or the fish market. This list is courtesy of Oceans Alive:

Best & Worst Seafood Choices
 
Our guide can help you choose fish that are healthy for the oceans and safe to eat. (Learn about seafood and your health and fish to avoid.)

Green text indicates fish that are both high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in environmental contaminants.
Red text indicates fish that are high in mercury or PCBs (see individual fish pages for more information).

 
  Seafood Selector FAQ: Get answers to your common questions.
  Pocket Seafood Selector: Print a wallet-sized copy of this list.
 
 
 
 
 
  Abalone (U.S. farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Anchovies
     
 
 
 
  Arctic char (farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Catfish (U.S. farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Caviar (U.S. farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Clams (farmed)
     
 
 
 
  CrabDungeness, snow (Canada), stone
     
 
 
 
  Crawfish (U.S.)
     
 
 
 
  HalibutPacific (Alaska)
     
 
 
 
  Herring – Atlantic (U.S., Canada)
     
 
 
 
  Mackerel – Atlantic
     
 
 
 
  Mahimahi (U.S. Atlantic)
     
 
 
 
  Mussels (farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Oysters (farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Sablefish/black cod (Alaska)
     
 
 
 
  Salmon – wild (Alaska), canned pink/sockeye
     
 
 
 
  Sardines
     
 
 
 
  Scallopsbay (farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Shrimp – northern (Canada), Oregon pink, U.S. farmed
     
 
 
 
  Spot prawns
     
 
 
 
  Striped bass (farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Sturgeon (U.S. farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Tilapia (U.S.)
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Caviar (wild)
     
 
 
 
  Chilean seabass/toothfish
     
 
 
 
  CodAtlantic
     
 
 
 
  Grouper
     
 
 
 
  HalibutAtlantic
     
 
 
 
  Marlin
     
 
 
 
  Monkfish/goosefish
     
 
 
 
  Orange roughy
     
 
 
 
  Rockfish/rock cod (Pacific)
     
 
 
 
  Salmon – Atlantic (farmed)
     
 
 
 
  Shark
     
 
 
 
  Shrimp/prawns (imported)
     
 
 
 
  Skate
     
 
 
 
  Snapper
     
 
 
 
  Sturgeon (wild)
     
 
 
 
  Swordfish (imported)
     
 
 
 
  Tilefish
     
 
 
 
  Tuna – bluefin
     
 
 
 
   
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
      How we rate fish on Eat Smart

Pocket Seafood Selector: Print a wallet-sized copy of this list.

Please visit Oceans Alive for more information.

Please Share!

Do you have a favorite fish recipe? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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4

The Secret to Being Rich

What Is the True Measure of Wealth?

Family, friends, and the appreciation of both. You can have all the money in the world, but you can’t be truly rich if you don’t have love, laughter and support from people you love. It’s not only important to have this gift but to appreciate it. So many of us spend our lives chasing the almighty dollar, material things, and unnecessary perfection (such as a perfectly clean house, car, etc). We get caught up in this chase and miss out on the wealth that is right in front of our eyes.

How to Experience True Wealth

Passive Appreciation

Take an inventory of the people in your life who love and support you. Maybe you are blessed with a family that is wonderful. Maybe you don’t have great family, but you have a close set of friends. Maybe you have many friends. Or maybe you have your strongest relationships with the people you work with.

The labels of who these people are is not important. What is important is recognizing the people who give you love, kindness, and support. This doesn’t have to be romantic love or even familial love. It can be friendship love. (Don’t be scared of that word. If you need to think of it as “Like.”)
   

Active Appreciation

Take time on a regular basis to spend enjoyment time with the support people in your life. Commit to yourself that you will seek out some leisure time with friends and family on a weekly or monthly basis. Plan ahead. Make it happen. Simple is best. Here are some ideas:

  1. Family Fun Day – This is a new routine that we’ve implemented in our family. We are lucky enough to have 3 generations in my family living near each other so a few of us get together every Saturday and do something fun. This usually involves all of us packing in the car to visit a new place not too far from home. Some fun things to do: Nature walks, museums, park/picnic, sightseeing, driving to see new neighborhoods, going to the farmer’s market,…anything. The key thing is being able to have conversation and fun. Let go of work completely, let go of any grudges, and let go of your worries.
  2. Family Fun Night – I saw this idea on a PBS kids TV show. The family in the show made a commitment to spend one night a week as a family. No TV. This family had kids, so each kid got to either do a performance or talk about something important to them. Sometimes they would bake or cook together something to bring to a local homeless shelter, which made it into an opportunity to teach their children. You can really run with this. Even if it is all adults, you could play games that encourage conversation such as telling your favorite stories from your past, discussing the good things that happened that week or things you learned recently. Be creative. Plan ahead. It only takes 10-15 minutes to think of something. Just enjoy.
  3. Friends Fun Night – Have a potluck party. Invite a friend or 2 or more to dine on food, drink and conversation. Have some music ready for later too. If there’s enough people maybe there could be dancing. Or maybe get out a conversation game like Trivial Pursuit or Loaded Questions.
  4. Friend Fun Day – Same as Family Fun Day except with friends. The thing to remember is plan for it in order to make it happen.


Do these things. Trust me. You’ll feel GOOD! And you’ll feel wealthy. Please share your experiences! What is your favorite way to spend time with friends and family, Ilker, Liz, and Deborah? How about YOU?

Thanks to recent commenters: Tisha, Dee, and Oscar (no website to link to, sorry.)

If you found this helpful or valuable, please Share This below. Bookmarks are always noticed and appreciated! Thank you!

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