July 18th – Go green when shaving your legs, extend the life of your razor by drying the blade, or splurge and buy a solar powered shaver.

I have read statistics that Americans buy over 2 billion disposable razors in a year, most of which end up in landfills.  Not to mention the gallons of water used while shaving our silky smooth legs.

First, when buying your razors, consider buying ones made from recycled plastic.  You could go for an electric razor, but it still uses electricity so if you can find a solar powered one, that is more optimal.

SheKnowsLiving.com discussed this topic and shared some great ideas on ways to extend the life of your razor blade….

“How can you extend the life of the blade without awful, stinging nicks and cuts? There is some evidence that drying the blade can extend the life of the razor. Radio host and consumer advocate Clark Howard put the theory to the test by using a disposable razor and towel-blotting it dry after each use. He successfully used a single 17-cent razor for one year. Further, Brian Cohn, who invented a razor-storage device with a small drying fan, funded research from an independent laboratory–which found that his fan invention extended the razor blade life 122 percent on average.”

Suggested ideas of how to extend the life of your razor blade:

  • Vigorously shake razor to remove water drops.
  • Blot the blade on a towel. Alternatively, blast with a blow dryer for a few seconds.
  • Find a dry place to store your razor, away from steamy showers.

July 14th – Treat yourself to a seafood dinner and stay safe by checking MontereyBayAquarium.org seafood watch list.

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s team of Seafood Watch scientists have been assessing wild-caught and farmed seafood since 1999 to find the most ocean-friendly seafood options available in the U.S. market.  Check out their website to see their top picks.

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_recommendations.aspx?c=ln

July 9th – (Re-run) Put a smile on your face, and leave there, today.

A smile can go along way.

Some days this is easier to do than others.  I have even found on some of the toughest days, putting a smile on my face simply makes things better.  Imagine if you walked around with more people smiling at you… it costs nothing, takes rather little effort, but the reward can be big for both the giver and receiver.

On About.com, this wonderful list sums up plenty of reasons to smile…try out #10, it’s true!:

  1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive – We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and figure out what is so good. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away — but a smile draws them in.
  2. Smiling Changes Our Mood – Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.
  3. Smiling Is Contagious – When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.
  4. Smiling Relieves Stress – Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to take action.
  5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System – Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.
  6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure – When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?
  7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin – Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.
  8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger – The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.
  9. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful – Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.
  10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive – Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.

July 8th – (Re-run) Keep your cell phone as far off your body as possible, today.

The jury is still out on exactly how much cell phone radiation is affecting our bodies (including cancer, changes in brain activity, and other possible health concerns), but I have read enough information to want to significantly decrease my exposure so as to err on the side of caution.  For today, if nothing else, it will not be housed in my pocket where it is flush to my body.  A few extra centimeters, even millimeters, that it is kept away from you can make a big difference.

The number that is measured is specific absorption rate, or SAR level.  SAR is the rate at which your body absorbs energy from radio-frequency (RF) magnetic field.  All cell phone models sold in the US are required by the FCC to be certified to be less than 1.6 watts per kilogram.  However, this rate is achieved by testing at certain guideline distances from your body, and may not be accurate to real-life scenarios such as having the phone flush against your body.

Below are some suggestions to lower your exposure to cell phone radiation.  A number of them are from About.com (noted in BOLD), as well as a few others that I noted:

Keep Your Distance—The intensity of cell phone radiation diminishes quickly as your distance from your cell phone increases, and every millimeter counts. You can protect yourself from the effects of cell phone radiation by holding your cell phone away from your body and:

  • Using a wired headset
  • Putting your cell phone on speaker mode
  • Using a wireless Bluetooth headset or earpiece, which emit radiation at far lower levels than cell phones
  • Carry your cell phone away from your body—in a purse, briefcase or computer bag—not in your pocket where it is pressed up against you.

Try Texting, Not Talking—When you send a text message from your cell phone, you hold your phone away from your body, and far away from your head, which reduces your exposure to radiation.

Find a Strong Signal and Stay Put–When your cell phone has a weak signal, it has to work harder to transmit and receive, and that equals higher bursts of radiation. You face the same problem when you are moving quickly—riding in a car, bus or train, for example—because your cell phone is forced to repeatedly emit new bursts of radiation as it connects to different cell towers along your route.

Wait to Speak and Listen–Most cell phones emit the most radiation when they first connect with the cell tower. One way to reduce your exposure to cell-phone radiation is to wait until your call has been connected before you put the phone to your ear.

Use the Toggle Method–Because cell phones emit significantly more radiation when they are transmitting signals than when they are receiving, you can reduce your radiation exposure by holding the phone away from your ear when you are talking and only bringing it close to listen. Using a headset or speaker mode is still the better option, but the toggle method can cut the amount of radiation your brain and body absorbs

Keep conversations short, obviously, the less you are on the phone, the less exposure.

As well, turn your cell phone off when you are not using it, especially at night if it is anywhere near you.

On an added note, be aware of potential risks of cell phone radiation on children if you are letting them use your mobile phone.  While I will not delve into this on this post, you may want to strongly consider keeping your kids away from your cell phone.  There have been a number of health concerns over the effects of cell phone radiation and children (though not necessarily fully known as of yet), as experts believe they would likely be more affected than adults with their skulls being thinner, their brains still developing, and the expanded time they will be exposed.

July 7th – (Re-run) Listen to your body, eat properly, today.

The quality of the food you eat is of the upmost importance, but eating the proper amount with healthy eating patterns should receive equal attention.  As mentioned previously in this blog regarding sleep, your body knows how much it needs and will tell you.

US News outlined 5 tips on how to migrate toward normal eating patterns (article by Rebecca Scrtichfield, July 9, 2012):

1. Eat within two hours of waking up, even if you don’t feel hungry in the morning. Eating breakfast gives you energy, helps you focus on the day’s tasks, and can set you up for healthy eating the rest of the day.

2. Wait until you feel hungry to eat. If you don’t get hungry at least three times a day, you may need to eat every three to four hours in order to find your hunger cycle. Instead of resisting hunger, welcome it with open arms.

3. Practice eating slowly and without distractions. Most people can finish a meal in five minutes. You need to slow down so you can feel the hunger go away and a comfortable, full feeling set in.

4. Put together a balanced plate of nutritious food. Half of your plate should consist of vegetables and fruit, with one quarter devoted to whole grain or complex carbohydrates like sweet potato or brown rice. Lean protein should make up the remaining quarter of your plate. Make sure you are eating food that you like and tastes good.

5. Put together an unbalanced plate. I’m serious. Anything you like. Just make sure you are hungry and repeat tip No. 3 above. Enjoy each bite. Notice how great it feels to eat normally again.

July 6th – Green your dishwashing, today. For handwashing your dishes, wash in bin/plugged sink rather than letting water run.

While a previous post suggested opting a full dishwasher over hand washing, there are usually some items that cannot go in your dishwasher and you have to still get your hands wet.

For today, rather than wash your dishes while letting the water run (if you do this, which, sadly, I have been know to do). Make sure you plug your sink to hold the water or use a bin or large pot in which to wash your items.  Have a second bin to dunk and rinse them off or simply save them all at the end and rinse them all at one time.

It may not seem like much, but letting the water run leaves a few seconds between each dish item to waste water.  If you are using hot water, it means the water is being wasted, as well as the energy it takes to heat it.  Multiplying that over the number of dishes you may do in a day can add up…. and then add that up day after day.