Ways to make your home more Eco-Friendly

We all want to do our part to protect the environment, but without a large paycheck, that can be seem difficult, if not impossible. But doing your part doesn’t have to be hard. Small steps add up to a big difference, you just have to know which ones to take.

Use less water.

Saving water is all about small steps, here are a few that will help save big.

– Shut off the water while you brush your teeth
– Take showers that are a minute or two shorter
– Only flush the toilet when you need to
– Only run full loads of laundry and dishes
– Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.

Use less energy.

If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with small changes.

– Buy energy efficient appliances.  They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
– Unplug chargers when you’re not using them.  Cell phone and other chargers use up powers even if there’s nothing attached to them.
– Put devices with remotes, like T.V.s, VCRs, and stereos, on a power strip and turn it off when you’re not using them.  These devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
– Walk or ride your bike for short trips.
–  Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.

When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved. You can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using. You can compete to see who uses the least water.  You can often count on your kids to help keep you on track when given the task.

Reuse.

Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. With a little thought there are many items around your home that can be reused – toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch. And old yogurt containers can be cut into strip to make plant labels. Old food jars can be refilled with homemade foods or can make great impromptu vases.

Use environmentally friendly products. When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more “natural” or “eco friendly” products every time.  There are generally two big problems with these products: 1. Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural. 2, They’re often expensive.

If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself. Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products.

We all knowing that going green means better for the environment, but it’s also better for you.  Conserving resources also helps save you money, which is something most of us are happy to live with.

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Savings on a budget

Living on a budget is the key to financial freedom, but getting started can be frustrating. When we look at our expenses and see all of those bills we’re paying every month, it’s easy to throw our hands up in disgust. But what about all those little expenses we incur? You might be surprised to find out just how much they amount to.

It’s easy to dismiss cutting back on little things. A few dollars a month won’t make a significant difference in the big picture. But a few dollars here and a few dollars there adds up to a few more dollars. When you cut back in a lot of small ways, you could end up with a lot more money at the end of the month.

Waste Not, Want Not

One thing we can do that is good for the budget is stop wasting so much. This can apply to many areas in our lives. From eating to home heating, waste equals money going down the drain unnecessarily.

Cooking for the family instead of eating takeout or dining out is a great way to save money. But if you’re throwing food out, the benefit is reduced. So if you have leftovers, don’t let them end up in the trash. Some dishes freeze well, and this makes for easy dinners when you don’t have time to cook. You could also eat dinner leftovers for lunch the following day.

If your home is not well insulated, you’re probably wasting lots of money on home heating and cooling. Insulating will cost some money up front, but it will pay for itself quickly. If you have drafts around windows and doors, weatherstripping can help maintain the temperature of your home.

Most households waste an unbelievable amount of electricity. This can be prevented in part by using energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. Turn lights, televisions, computers and other devices off when you’re not using them, and open blinds to take advantage of the sun’s light during the day.

Do Yourself a Favor: Do It Yourself

Any time you pay someone else to do something that you could do yourself, you’re spending money unnecessarily. This applies to little things like buying coffee instead of making your own, as well as to larger expenses such as home repairs.

Many of us buy coffee or a soft drink from a convenience store or coffee shop on the way to work in the morning. This can really add up over time. Instead, make your own coffee, or buy soda in 2-liter bottles and pour some into a smaller bottle or cup to take with you. The same applies to lunches. Instead of springing for fast food, take a sandwich or something microwavable to work.

While we’re not all good at all types of repairs and maintenance, most of us can do some things for ourselves. Maybe you could change your own oil instead of paying someone else to do it. If the walls need painting, consider getting friends and family to help you do it instead of hiring a painter. Things like these can save us a noticeable amount of money right away.

When you add up the savings, little things can make a big difference to the budget. So take a close look at your budget and see what small expenses are lurking there. If you can eliminate or reduce them, it could positively impact your bottom line.

 

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I am captivated by my life

Because I recognize that life is fleeting, I focus on making each minute count. I work hard to create the most fascinating, fun, and educational life I can make for myself. I look for ways to be enthralled with my daily activities. I am captivated by my life.

Living an entrancing life means I am never bored. Even when I rest, I engage in activities that bring me joy. Simple pleasures such as reading the news or watching an old episode of a beloved comedy show brings quiet satisfaction.

Listening to music captures and holds my attention. I am interested in the stories behind the songs. Everything I do enriches my life. Each of my activities delights me.

When I get to spend time with my family members or friends, I am entranced by the whole experience.

Being surrounded by people I love, who also love me, is fulfilling and brings feelings of deep satisfaction. In these situations, I am once again captivated by my own life.

A continuing goal for me is to experience contentment, delight and sheer pleasure each day. I embrace everything positive that comes my way as I release everything else. Doing this helps me to love my life.

Today, I reflect on my life and appreciate how it continually brings me joy and delight, captivating me with its thrills.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Am I enamored of my life?

2. What parts of my life bring joy, fascination and delight? What aspects of my life bring me down?

3. How can I ensure I consistently live a captivating life?

 

 

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What You Need to Know About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is becoming an increasing problem with a rising rate of occurrence. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease, meaning it gets worse and not particularly better over time. It affects the area of the brain that is involved in language, judgment, and behavior.

This is the most common form of brain malfunctions or mental decline in older adults. Causing severe or mild memory loss, the adult may experience mood swings, personality changes, and the ability to think clearly, or even carry out normal daily routines without difficulty.

The person’s brain is not so mixed up that the person does not realize that there is a problem, but in most cases it is the family member who first notices changes. Still unclear why these changes occur, doctors have developed treatments to assist with the symptoms of the disease.

Symptoms include memory loss, confusion of time and day, frequently getting lost in familiar places, or trouble with learning and processing new information. The person may have a hard time expressing himself and may act out of frustration. Development of seemingly strange or odd behaviors may occur, like withdrawing from family or paranoid episodes.

If you have begun to notice similar odd behavior in an older relative or friend, you should consider Alzheimer’s as a very real possibility, though you should not panic or blow out of proportion. If it turns out that your worst expectations were true, then you will definitely be able to get the support and help that you need.

Forgetting how to perform basic tasks like washing clothes or bathing oneself will become increasingly common. It has been noted that some people with the disease in very late stages will forget how to walk and talk. As serious as this disease is, there is still no cure, but quality of life can be maintained with the help of others.

Keeping the person active by working on tasks that are easily completed and providing a safe environment under careful eye is the best way to ensure that they can still enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Treatments only include improving memory, dealing with behaviors that may develop and depressive medications. Older people with this disease are aware of what may be happening to them and can become saddened at their inability to perform basic tasks.

Because caring for a person with this disease is both financially and emotionally draining, it is important that the caregiver seek as much assistance as is available. In the early stages of the disease decisions about making your home safe for the person, tailoring tasks for the person, an assisting the person will be of great importance.

Monitoring behavior and constant checking of appliances used may be necessary. The person should begin planning for the future by handling all financial and final affairs while they still are able to think clearly and still make some decisions. Once driving privileges are revoked the person may need additional attention with dealing with immobility or simply grocery store runs and the like.

Later stages will mainly be with behavior problems and tasking problems for the individual. This is draining on the care giver as it will require more time and emotional input. Thus, the caregiver must remember to care for themselves and seek as much support as possible.

The main thing is to not give up hope and make the person quality of life good while maintaining your own health. Hang in there and try not to shoulder all of the responsibility by yourself. Enlist the help of family, friends, and those who may know the individual. All involved will need to lean on one another.

For more information and support related to Alzheimer’s disease, you should ask your doctor for information on any local support groups for people who have relatives afflicted with the disease. It is a great way to get rid of some of the stress that will surely accumulate.

 

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