8 tips to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly

May 9, 2019 by  
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For most people, getting in a good workout on a daily basis is hard enough, let alone making sure it is also beneficial to the environment. While combining the best of both worlds seems difficult, there are ways you can create an eco-friendly exercise program without too much trouble. From working out at home to enjoying the splendor of the outdoors, here are eight ways you can improve the environment and your health. Go Outdoors Taking your workout to the great outdoors is one of the best ways to go green with your fitness. There are plenty of ways to get in a good eco-friendly workout under the sun such as walking, running and cycling. Walking is a good option if you do not want to put a lot of stress on your joints, while running a mile everyday will keep you in top shape. Whenever you exercise outdoors , remember to keep hydrated and always bring along some water. You can also explore various outdoor trails in your area if you want to mix things up. Related: 7 Ways to live an eco-friendly life while staying healthy Yoga Yoga is a total body workout that improves your mind, strength and flexibility. If you have never meditated before, yoga is a great way to introduce yourself to the practice of focusing your thoughts. You can do yoga in the comfort of your home or take your mat outdoors to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature. When it comes to buying a good yoga mat, consider purchasing one that is eco-friendly . There are a few companies that sell mats that are completely biodegradable and made from recycled materials. These products, which are usually made out of TPE, are also easy on your wallet. Home Fitness If you live in an area that is not conducive to outdoor activities or if the weather is bad, you can always move your eco-friendly workout indoors. All you need is a little space to stretch out and a good plan. If you do not know where to start, there are plenty of exercise programs online that are tailored to every experience level. Apart from keeping you in shape, working out at home has several benefits. For starters, your home workouts will save you from paying a monthly gym membership. You also use much less electricity at your home than you would at the gym. Recycling Workout Gear Recycling is one of the easiest ways you can improve the environment. If you work out on a regular basis, you will likely burn through several shoes over the course of a year. Instead of throwing away those old sneakers, consider donating them to a local charitable organization. For instance, Nike have their own recycling programs that turn old shoes into playground materials. You can also consider purchasing worn workout gear, such as shorts, t-shirts and other accessories. Ditch The Plastic Plastic waste is a growing concern around the world and plastic bottles are a big part of the problem. Three-quarters of plastic water bottles are thrown away in landfills every year instead of being placed in recycling facilities. You can help curb this waste by investing in some reusable water bottles. Not only will this help cut down on plastic waste , but it will also save you from buying bottled water every week. Gym Tips Sometimes, going to the gym is your only option. If you have to go to the gym or prefer it to a home workout, there are still plenty of ways you can be more eco-friendly. For starters, try and stay away from machines that use electricity. If you need to get some cardio in, for example, run on the track or do routines that combine lifting and cardio. If you have to run on a treadmill , incline the machine so that it using less electricity. You should also consider looking in your area for gyms that promote eco-friendly workouts. These establishments usually rely less on electricity and even have machines that generate energy as you work out. Change Your Commute Switching up your commute to work can give you a great workout while helping the environment. If it is feasible, consider walking or biking to your place of employment instead of driving. This will help cut down on air pollution, even if you only do it a few times per week. It will also get your fitness routine out of the way so that you can focus on other things throughout the day. Eater Greener Working out, of course, is only part of living a healthy life. While it is tempting to refuel with a post-workout protein bar or drink, consider opting for a more sustainable option. Eating organic fruits and veggies is a great way to replenish the body and give you all the nutrients you need to recover in time for your next workout. If you need to infuse more protein into your diet, consider investing in a good protein powder. You can find organically produced powders at your local supplement store, which are great for morning smoothies. For example, hemp powder is packed full of protein, has a delicious nutty flavor and requires less water than other sources of protein. Via Best Health Magazine.   Greener Ideal Images via Shutterstock

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8 tips to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly

The reusable LastSwab might just be the last ear swab you ever buy

May 9, 2019 by  
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You may not think about it each day when you toss that cotton swab into the garbage after touching up your make-up or cleaning out your ears, but billions of people with the same habit create a massive amount of waste ! Fortunately, designers from Copenhagen, Denmark have come to the rescue with a reusable cotton swab. The LastSwab is potentially the last “cotton” swab you’ll ever need. Well, one of two anyway. The company offers the LastSwab for traditional applications and another one styled specifically for make-up . Like your typical cotton swab, the LastSwab is two-sided, catering to a multitude of needs. It’s as easy to use as any other swab, and the company advises that you use the same caution. After use, simply rinse the swab under water with a bit of soap and store it in the convenient carrying case, which is provided. The cases come in a variety of colors to suit your preferences. Related: Scotland to ban manufacture and sale of plastic cotton swabs LastSwab is the result of a dedicated effort to reduce waste and damage to marine animals . According to the Kickstarter campaign, “1.5 billion cotton swabs are produced every single day, and the average American uses 415 cotton swabs every year. In the U.K., damage is evident: For every 100 feet of beach, there are nine cotton swabs. Let’s make single-use cotton swabs a thing of the past!” The material is medical-grade silicone that is durable and strong yet delicate. Not only does this long-term solution eliminate immediate waste, but it reduces the emissions caused by the transport and repeated mass production of all sorts of cotton swabs. In a well-rounded plan to be friendly to the environment, the storage case for the LastSwab is biodegradable, and the package arrives in cardboard. Although the idea of reusing a cotton swab might sound cringey at first, it’s not so different from reusing your toothbrush each day or eating off the same plate after washing it. Obviously, many people support the movement, with nearly 12,000 backers pledging over $400,000 toward the meager $13,319 goal on the current Kickstarter campaign , which closes May 16, 2019. + LastSwab Images via LastSwab

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The reusable LastSwab might just be the last ear swab you ever buy

7 Ways to live an eco-friendly life while staying healthy

April 16, 2019 by  
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Being committed to sustainable living is all about balance. While staying healthy is a top priority, you also need to think about living as eco-friendly as possible. Balancing these two commitments can be challenging, but there are plenty of ways you can live an eco-friendly life while keeping yourself in top shape and all it will cost you is a little time and energy. From enjoying the benefits of fresh air to changing the way you eat, here are a few ways you can bring balance to your life and the environment. Take advantage of quality air This might seem a pretty obvious way to respect the environment while staying healthy, but how often do you enjoy the benefits of fresh air? If you live in an area with low air pollution, then you can pick any time of day to go on a walk around your neighborhood. If your city’s air quality is poor, you can still enjoy clean air by going on walks in the early morning hours. Related: Keep your pantry stocked with these staples for a plant-based diet Indoor air quality is also a concern. You can improve the quality of your indoor air by avoiding harsh cleaning chemicals. When painting rooms, you should stay away from paints that have ammonia and other dangerous chemicals. Not only does improving the quality of air help the environment, but it can also keep you healthy. Use alternative ways to get to work Pollution from automobiles is a growing concern for many communities. If you have the means, purchasing a vehicle that does not emit harmful toxins into the air is one way to fight the problem. But for most of us, using alternative ways to get to work can greatly reduce the amount of air pollution that gets pumps into our cities. There are plenty of ways to make your commute better for the environment and your health. If you live close to your work, start walking to your place of employment, even if it is only a few times a week. If your work is outside of walking distance, consider riding a bike. Walking or cycling to work is a great way to help the environment, plus you can always count it towards your daily workout. If riding or walking is not an option, you might try ride sharing. Carpooling to work can greatly reduce air pollution caused by automobiles and can save you gas money to boot. Switch up your diet The types of food we consume have lasting effects on the environment, both good and bad, not to mention the impact they have on your overall health. As a rule of thumb, try eating things that are fresh and locally sourced. Fresh foods generally contain less preservatives and harmful ingredients, while supporting local farmers is great for the environment and your local community. When it comes to foods that you should avoid, canned items are at the top of the list. This includes most bottled beverages. These drinks are less healthy than water and contribute to the worldwide problem of plastic waste. If you consistently drink water, consider investing in a quality water filter instead of relying on bottled water. Add some sunshine to your workouts Going outside for your workout is a great way to stay healthy and be good to the environment . Exercising outdoors helps the environment because you are not using indoor equipment that requires electricity to run. It can also be easier to workout in an outdoor setting as you are not stuck on a treadmill or bike the entire time. There are also practical benefits to working out in the sun. The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, which a lot of people lack. If you do choose to exercise in the sun’s rays, you should do it between sunrise and 10 in the morning. After that, you run the risk of being exposed to high levels of UV rays , which are not good for your skin. Spend time gardening Gardening is a great way to add more fresh air, exercise and sunlight into your daily routine. Better yet, it is also good for the environment. Gardening is ideal if you have some space in your backyard, but you can still plant a garden if you live in an apartment. Just make sure you do plenty of research before you plant anything, as certain types of plants will only grow in specific climates. If starting a garden at your house is not an option, another alternative is to join a community garden (or start one yourself). Community gardens are a great way to meet new people and share gardening ideas. The biggest benefit, of course, is that you get your own little plot to grow whatever you like, further contributing to sustainable living in your community. Via  Blue and Green Tomorrow ,  Life Hack Images via Burst , skeeze , silviarita , tookapic , raawpixel

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Deforestation in tropical countries linked to European diets in new study

April 16, 2019 by  
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New research shows that European diets are linked to deforestation  in tropical countries. Scientists from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology tracked carbon emissions that are produced from tropical deforestation and found that one-sixth of the harmful emissions are related to European diets. “In effect, you could say that the EU imports large amounts of deforestation every year,” lead researcher Martin Persson shared. Related: Cargill announces plan to reduce deforestation from cocoa Persson noted that the European Union needs to address the issue of deforestation if it wants to meet previously announced climate goals. The study showed that deforestation contributed around 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide over a four-year span, from 2010 to 2014. Most of the cleared land was used for crops and pastures, with cattle and oilseed farming leading the way in production. A good portion of the deforestation was driven by international demand. The researchers estimated that anywhere between 29 to 39 percent of the carbon emissions could be traced to trade, which is directly linked to consumption in several EU nations. Fortunately, some countries in the EU are cracking down on imports tied to deforestation. France, for example, initiated a plan to discourage such imports over the next 10 years. Investors have also issued warnings to companies that produce soy, criticizing them for participating in deforestation for the sake of making money. Although some countries are fighting back, Persson and his team do not believe the efforts will stop companies from clearing land. Part of the issue is that there are few regulations that actually prevent countries from importing products that are linked to deforestation. Persson also believes that nations should provide better support for local farmers who are practicing sustainability . Moving forward, Persson hopes more studies will be done that expand on his work and show stronger links between imported products and deforestation. With more data to support their conclusions, Persson believes that countries can work together to put an end to deforestation before it is too late. The study will be published in the journal Global Environmental Change in May 2019. Via Mongabay Image via Shutterstock

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How are millennials preferences changing the food industry?

June 1, 2018 by  
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Millennials are dramatically disrupting the way food is produced, packaged, marketed and served. As a highly vocal group, millennials have given food producers little option but to listen to their demands, resulting in changes to not only food choices, but farming techniques and restaurant services as well. These changes have reverberated throughout the food industry, creating a food landscape vastly different from the one experienced by millennials’ parents. Healthy Has a New Look Millennials have altered what it means for food to be healthy. While older generations may have contented themselves with vague “low-fat” or “healthy” labels, millennials have higher expectations, especially when it comes to GMOs. While it’s estimated that 70 percent of processed foods contain GMOs, more than  60 percent of millennials want non-GMO food options, and 68 percent pay more for organic products. It’s likely that demand for these products will only increase, and the food industry is becoming more transparent in order to meet this demand. Localized Food Production Increases Millennials don’t just want to avoid GMOs; they want to know exactly which ingredients are included and where those ingredients come from. This desire for increased transparency has led to a preference for local food brands over national ones, both at the level of production and consumption. Whether buying food at the grocery store or eating out, millennials seek out locally sourced food. Some millennials have taken this trend a step further and started to grow their own food in urban and rooftop farms. Take, for example, the farm on top of the Method Products manufacturing plant in Chicago . One of the world’s largest, this rooftop farm can produce up to 10 million crops each year. And it doesn’t stop there—all the vegetables and herbs on the farm are pesticide-free and grown sustainably. Using rooftops in place of traditional farms helps make better use of available land and provides urban dwellers with access to the locally grown produce that millennials seek out on a regular basis. Eating out Is More Popular Another major change to the food industry includes the increased popularity of eating out. In 1970, only 25.9 percent of consumers ate out , as opposed to 43.5 percent today. Though millennials don’t account for the entirety of this increase, they have contributed significantly to it. According to a recent USDA report , millennials consumed 2.3 percent of their meals in restaurants, which equates to eating out about twice a month. Technology also plays a major role in making restaurants more popular with younger generations. With apps like the Humane Eating project that combine millennials’ love of technology with sustainable eating, it’s no wonder that more people are exploring new places to eat. And apps aren’t the only thing that appeals to millennials—restaurants with guest WiFi and tablet point-of-sale systems tend to draw in younger crowds as well, which suggests these methods may become standard restaurant practice within the next decade. Despite their youth, millennials have already had a strong influence on the food industry. From its focus on healthy eating to its interest in locally sourced and sustainably grown food, this group is poised to turn food production and service around, which could have positive consequences for a world fighting obesity and other health concerns. However, only time will tell if the impact millennials have on the food industry will have long-lasting effects on other facets of life, from the economy to government policy and public health. + Food Industry Executive + Forbes + Organic Trade Association + QSR Magazine + USDA Images via Pexels (1) (2) , Pxhere , and Pixabay

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How are millennials preferences changing the food industry?

Antibiotic-resistant "nightmare" bacteria are spreading across the US

April 4, 2018 by  
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A new breed of “nightmare” bacteria resists pretty much all of our antibiotics – and it’s rapidly spreading across the US. The bacteria – called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) – is different from your run-of-the-mill antibiotic-resistant bacteria because it is incredibly deadly, with 50 percent of infected patients dying. Not only that, but it is spreading like “wildfire” with over 200 cases identified in 27 states. Researchers at the CDC said that last year they tested  5,700 samples of resistant bacteria, and of those samples, 221 were CRE or similar bacteria. That’s a full 15 percent. “I was surprised by the numbers” of bacteria with unusual antibiotic resistance, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said. “This was more than I was expecting.” Once researchers detected these bacteria, they tested other patients in the same facility to see if the bacteria had spread. It turned out that 1 in 10 people had what scientists call a “silent” infection, where they have the bacteria in their bodies but aren’t showing symptoms. Related: Flesh-eating bacteria might be spread by mosquitoes in Australia Fortunately, doctors have a plan. They are working hard to stop the spread before it becomes common. To that end, the CDC created the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (ARLN) to test and track for these dangerous bacteria. Using an aggressive containment strategy, researchers have been able to control the infection. But the danger isn’t over – doctors and scientists will have to be vigilant to stay ahead of the antibiotic-resistance trend as bacteria continue to evolve and change to evade our efforts. Via Live Science Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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Antibiotic-resistant "nightmare" bacteria are spreading across the US

Whole Foods prices just dropped by as much as 43%

August 28, 2017 by  
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Until recently, few people could afford to shop at Whole Foods regularly. Now that Amazon has bought out the grocery chain for $13.7 billion , however, big changes are underway. On its first day, the internet giant slashed some of the store’s prices by up to 43 percent. The goal is to upend the way customers shop and ensure more people have access to affordable, healthy food. The first step to addressing the store’s reputation for being overpriced (which has led some to call it Whole Paycheck) was to mark down the prices of food. Bloomberg reports that at the Whole Foods store on East 57th Street in Manhattan , organic fuji apples were marked down to $1.99 a pound from $3.49. Similarly, organic rotisserie chicken fell to $9.99 from $13.99 and organic avocados changed from $2.79 each to $1.99. All of the marked-down items have orange signs reading, “Whole Foods + Amazon .” The sign also lists that there is “More to come.” “Price was the largest barrier to Whole Foods’ customers,” said Mark Baum, a senior vice president at the Food Marketing Institute. “Amazon has demonstrated that it is willing to invest to dominate the categories that it decides to compete in. Food retailers of all sizes need to look really hard at their pricing strategies, and maybe find some funding sources to build a war chest.” 60-year-old Simon Salamon couldn’t be more pleased by the marriage between Amazon and Whole Foods . He said, “It reminded me why I shop at Amazon. Ninety-nine percent of the time they have the best prices and their return policy is great. With the prices lower, I think we’re more likely to shop here every day.” While Walmart has invested billions into lowering prices all around, it’s Costco that might be Whole Foods’ biggest competitor. The chain has a slate of organic items that are priced about 30 percent cheaper than Whole Foods, according to Sanford Bernstein. Prices can remain low, as Costco charges membership fees and sells bulk-sized goods to customers. Related: Whole Foods reveals the bleak future of dessert without bees Now that the deal is done, only time will tell if the organic grocery chain will be successful at changing its reputation and, in the process, serving a wider clientele. Via Bloomberg Images via Whole Foods , Pixabay

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Whole Foods prices just dropped by as much as 43%

World’s longest mountain bike route could be extended 400 miles

August 11, 2017 by  
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Bicyclists can explore North America from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico on the longest mountain bike path in the world. Sprawling across 2,700 miles, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR), completed by Adventure Cycling Association , could soon have several hundred miles added to it. In honor of the GDMBR’s upcoming 20th anniversary, the association is fundraising to improve and extend the landmark trail. The GDMBR has been thrilling mountain bikers since 1997. Now the association wants to make the trail even better: they say cyclists have requested more off-road options and destinations. Adventure Cycling Association aims to extend the route to connect with Jasper National Park, around 100 miles north of Banff, and add a spur to their headquarters in Missoula, Montana. Related: New bike “greenway” stretching from Florida to Maine is 31% complete The association says bicyclists of all skill levels can enjoy the trail, from a family with six children ages 10 to 17, the Todds, who like to spend part of their summer vacation riding the trail, to endurance cyclists like Jay Petervary. It takes around 37 days to cycle the GDMBR in its entirety, according to Bikepacking.com , who rate the trail’s difficulty 5.5 on a scale of one to 10. They describe the route as “the most recognized and important off-pavement cycling route in the United States, if not the world.” Cyclists on the route experience Grand Teton National Park, the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming, and the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, to name a few sights. If you’d like to donate towards the GDMBR extension, and the creation of a new off-road Arkansas route of 1,400 miles, you can do so here . A group of Adventure Cycling members will match each donation until September 30. With the money, the association also plans to redesign and produce paper and digital maps . + Adventure Cycling Association Via GearJunkie and Adventure Cycling Association Images via William Hook on Unsplash and Wikimedia Commons

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World’s longest mountain bike route could be extended 400 miles

New Orleans doesn’t need a hurricane to be inundated with water

August 11, 2017 by  
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Almost $15 billion went towards flood protection in New Orleans in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. But the city once again battled flooding this week – with no hurricane in sight. Several feet of water covered much of the city’s central area as the pump system was overwhelmed. The crisis prompted Governor John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency. A heavy storm battered New Orleans this past weekend: in four hours, around nine inches of rain fell, leaving parts of the city flooded. And the city’s drainage system failed to manage the deluge. According to CNN, 16 of the city’s 121 pumps failed, and the overworked system struggled to keep up. The situation worsened as the week went on as a Wednesday fire hit a turbine that powers pumping stations. The governor’s state of emergency declaration pointed to the malfunction of the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board’s power plant, which houses generators that power the pumps. Related: New Orleans’ $14.5 billion rebuilt levees won’t fight a Category 5 hurricane With more rain in the forecast in upcoming days, schools were closed Friday. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for the resignation of four officials, including the municipal water utility’s director and top engineer, and the public works department’s director. It took 14 hours to drain several feet of water in areas of the city. City records reveal 200 “life-threatening” emergency calls. City residents watched the flood with worry. Local Ronald Williams – who told The Washington Post he finally returned home after Hurricane Katrina just seven months ago – said, “I came home because I believed what they said about the new system and that it was supposed to be the best in the world. But now it seems if we get hit by another Katrina, the city will be gone.” Via The Washington Post and CNN Images via David Fischer on Facebook and screenshot

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New Orleans doesn’t need a hurricane to be inundated with water

Doctors warn cities that LED street lights can cause serious health issues

June 23, 2017 by  
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Many cities have shifted to LED lights in a bid to be more energy and cost efficient, but LED lights have another price, and it comes at our health. This week, the American Medical Association (AMA) issued an official statement, in which they warn that cities need to consider resident’s health when installing the bright lighting because it can cause damage to our sight and disrupt our circadian rhythms. Think of it as living with a bunch of giant computer screens blaring around your neighborhood, and you get the idea. The AMA unanimously adopted an official policy  giving cities guidelines for installing lighting that takes human health into account. These guidelines include keeping lighting at a temperature of 3000 Kelvin – within the warmer spectrum of light that humans are accustomed to. The guidelines also call for dimmer lighting that isn’t so harsh on our vision. Related: A Simple Change in Lighting Could Be the Secret to Beating the Monday Blues It’s easy to forget about how much of an impact lighting has on our health because it is so ubiquitous. But bright LED lighting, particularly bright lighting in the cooler temperature spectrum, can actually damage our retinas and contribute to glare that can cause temporary, or even permanent vision loss. Blue-spectrum lights and lights above the 3000k recommendation can also impact our sleep by disrupting human circadian rhythms . Essentially, your body thinks it is morning even though you are trying to get some sleep, which can lead to all kinds of problems, from fatigue to even an increased risk for breast cancer. These bright lights can impact wildlife as well, disrupting bird migration, feeding and sleep behaviors. And let’s not forget that the dark sky is vanishing at an alarming rate. The AMA calls for efficient lighting that minimizes the blue spectrum and that is shielded to protect against glare. It also calls for dimming during non-peak periods, like the early morning. Via CNN images via Flickr and  Pixabay

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Doctors warn cities that LED street lights can cause serious health issues

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