Seven things that can help you save the world without feeling like a wimp. Going green is also easy.

Depending on where you live, putting on a green self-image can mean new friends or even better job opportunities. Some of you may think going green is being wimpy. Some others think that portraying yourself as pro-green can damage your image or make you look wimpy in front of your friends, say, like swapping your gas-guzzler for a Prius or carrying your water bottle around. The truth is that you drive what you drive in some part to tell the world who you are, to show that you’ve got a lot of money.

Whatever your reason may be, you need to know that it may be too late by the time you realize that the world you are leaving behind for your offspring may not be livable after a few years. It is possible to “go green” without seeming wimpy or making too many lifestyle changes. Here are seven easy ways to get started:

1. Say NO to plastic bags. 

Plastic bags are everywhere, by the side of streets, flying in the wind, in flower beds, stuffed in your drawers. Try and re-use the bags that are lying around your home, on your shopping trips or at the grocery store. You could keep reusable bags in your car, for any unplanned shopping trips. Use these buys for your fruits and veggies as well.  Microfiber bags are strong and can be used several times over.

2. Avoid drinking water out of plastic bottles.  

Plastic bottles are everywhere—on streets, in lawns, in landfills, choking waterways, national parks and just about anywhere you look. So, besides littering the landscape how do you think these harm the environment? By consuming fossil fuels. To manufacture a plastic bottle, it takes around a quarter bottle of petroleum. And once you have “appropriately” discarded the bottle after drinking, it usually ends up in a landfill, where chemicals leach into the water table and to the surrounding environment.

Don’t want that on your conscience? Buy yourself an aluminum or steel bottle or reuse a glass bottle and fill it up each time you leave your home or office. Remember to rinse it out each night. If you don’t trust tap water, invest in a water filter, or reverse osmosis water filtration system.

3. Reduce water consumption at home.  

No one besides you can control the amount of water you consume. Did you know that the flow rate of your faucet is set to use 2 to 3 gallons of water per minute? Shutting it off as you brush your teeth can help save up to 20 to 30 gallons every week.

Showering instead of leisurely baths can help save almost 30 gallons of water each time, since bathtubs hold up to 50 gallons of water. When you shower, you use less than 20 gallons.

Educate your children and your friends as well, you will realise that they will be more than willing to understand how this can help the environment.

4. Use regular dishes for a satisfying meal, instead of paper or plastic dishes.

Regular dishes are cheaper to use. Meals are more enjoyable out of regular dishes. Steel utensils are inexpensive, never damage, easy to clean and store. When cleaned and dried properly, steel utensils look shiny and new for a long, long time. Here are some added disadvantages of disposable utensils.

Why use paper and plastic to add to the huge mountains of waste?

5. Combine errands.  

Every gallon of gasoline you burn produces 19 pounds of carbon dioxide. Save money on your gas bill by taking one less trip every week. You could also bike to work which, I realize, is easier said than done in many areas.

5. Shop at your local farmer’s market.  

Here you can find incredibly fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. By supporting these farms, we’re buying less from the major manufacturers that don’t always have the best intentions of the environment, or the health of animals, in mind. It is wonderful to meet the people that actually grow the food you are eating. Buying their produce means they can continue to farm locally as well as keeping the money in your community.

6. Use cold water when washing clothes. 

Did you know that about 80% of the energy used in your washing machine is to actually heat the water? You can save money and save energy by using the cold cycle as much as possible.

7. Share and save: Donate items you don’t use.

Hoarding does not make a pretty home or office. What you haven’t used in the last 6 months, you won’t need in the next, and there will be someone else who could gladly use your things. Make space at home by passing gently-used items to charities or recycle things that you cant donate. Un-clutter your life by being helpful to the others.

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10 ways to lead yourself to a happier place in life

A happier life often seems to be associated with attaining as many things— money, approvals, titles, the latest gadget your neighbor has— as you possibly can. Happiness also appears as if it has much to do with gaining status and acceptance in society according to most young people.

And that simply explains why most people aren’t happy.

True happiness is a state of mind; it comes from within. When you get into the habit of seeking happiness from sources outside of you, you tend to rely on that those things to make you happy. And it is at those times when that source is not available or unattainable that you end up unhappy and angry.

Like many people, I’ve gone through some major changes in the last few years. I’ve had a comfortable cushion removed from under my bony bottom—a cozy sinecure that provided a steady, fat income, easy lifestyle and a seemingly secure future. But who was I fooling? Just me, it turned out.

In times like these, insecurity, frustration, stress and even depression tend to crowd in, and some of us tend to brood for a longer time. I chose to shake it off and one step that really made me realize was when I tried to align myself with genuinely happy people. I observed that they have a simple, transparent system and pattern in place to be happy.

These are a few ways that happy people adopt—it can perhaps help you to sail through tough times as well. I keep coming back to read this and remind myself every time I feel out of sorts.

Feel happy, feel fulfilled.

  1. Stop worrying, if something were meant to happen it will.
  2. Stop trying to fit in with everybody
  3. Beginnings are more exciting. Be a beginner, soon you will be an expert.
  4. Setbacks are opportunities for growth.
  5. Expose yourself to new environments and places.
  6. Never resist change
  7. Let go of your attachment to things.
  8. Do someone good
  9. Miracles do exist. Believe in them.
  10. Stop comparing yourself to others

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Things you would be better off knowing about toxic chemicals

Synthetic chemicals lurk in the foods we eat, the toys our kids play with, home cleaning products, the air we breathe, and the cosmetics we apply to our skin—and only a fraction have ever been tested for safety.

In what ways do these chemicals affect our health?
Things you would be better off knowing about toxic chemicals:
1. Personal care products may contain many highly toxic chemicals, including cadmium, mercury, aluminum and lead.
2. Chemicals are big business–many jobs rely on this industry, yet 85 percent of the chemicals in commerce today have not been tested. We never get to learn how the products containing those chemicals are impacting our health and of those who work or live near the chemical plants?
3. We eat and drink chemicals every day. Artificial sweeteners, preservatives, nitrates, artificial colors, MSG and in so many other ways. The formula is simple, if it’s processed, it may contain one or more of these chemical ingredients.  Preservatives like sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate may be added to sodas to prevent mold growth. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Do you find reading labels hard? Stick to a simple rule–if you don’t recognize an ingredient, don’t buy the food product.
4. Organic food is not exorbitant and is the fastest growing sector in agriculture. Always choose organic products when you can. Would you rather spray your vegetables with Baygon and then wash it off? If its good for a worm, its good for you.
5Many of us don’t think before spending time and money on their cars but they would rather save on expenses related to their own health. Its very simple, the fuel we put into our bodies will determine how well it performs and fights against the burden of chemicals. Always remember that your body is the biggest investment that you will ever have in your lifetime.
6. You cant avoid toxic chemicals. But you can change your ways. Begin with your personal care products, buy only organic fruits and vegetables and avoid processed “foods” as much as possible, throw away your old household cleaning products and replace them with natural cleaning agents.

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It’s so noisy out there

The single biggest threat to sanity ever being is lousy time management.
Declarative sentence; allow me to build the case.
Noise holds us back. Real thinking and/or getting things done takes time. Time is a commodity and most people don’t have. It’s all about the loud noises around you. But what noise you ask?
Emails
Begin with objectively reviewing your email from the past week. How many emails did you automatically delete? You know, without even looking at them closely the ones you have got to delete. Quite a number of them, right? What could have been worse was that you could have given time to read each one of them. Now that’s where you are wasting time.
Here’s what I think:
Unsubscribe. From everything. When you need to find information, you can always Google. You can subscribe again anytime, but I’d say you wouldn’t miss any of those emails. And you will enjoy the time you saved in going through all that email.
Different email addresses. For newsletters, promotional emails and other marketing stuff. This may not work over time, because you still take precious time to check out those emails. Let the culling begin; reclaim your inbox. 10% of your day is plenty time to spend on your inbox.
Facebook
Admit it. You love Facebook. To argue that it isn’t a huge time killer is like arguing that drinking Coca-Cola is good for your bones. The worst part of Facebook is that you allow it to invade and influence you mind. What your friend does or says is cool. Pages you like rule. Facebook allows you to unsubscribe and/or filter all the content. Just do it. Spend some time getting your feed clean—filter crap, filter in the good stuff. Rather than learning the least helpful google images on buzzfeed, you’d rather find out how you can eat better to live a healthier life with tips on mindbodygreen. The reason is simple; you streamline your time with Facebook. You’ll get all the good stuff without the time killers and/or calories.
Twitter
Like Facebook, you control who you follow. It’s okay to love someone and yet not follow them via Twitter; the world continues to move on. Are you following is overtly religious, political, racist, sexist, explicit, then just un-follow. Clean up your stream and stop wasting time.
LinkedIn
LinkedIn is actually pretty good—it’s more professional than Facebook. LinkedIn groups may be great but I suggest you unsubscribe from emails from the groups you belong to. Again, an empty inbox is like a friend with great weed. When you want information from that group, visit the group. Interact and have fun but you don’t really need a daily or weekly email from them. Get your time back; get back to adding real value at work. No one will think less of you because you discontinued your long standing relationship with a virtual group; no one will ever know.
Text messages
Text messages are real time killers. And just because someone text you, you dont have to text them back. Don’t get me wrong, for quick questions texting and/or chat is great. But having a full on conversation via text? Now that’s a complete waste of time. You are kidding yourself if you don’t get that.
I could keep going but you get the point. Think of time management as push versus pull. You’ve got all these inputs and you control them all. Change the game by taking control of these inputs. Get your time back, put it to good use.

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Habit #3 Cook your own food.

We all want to eat healthier and cook our own meals, but fear getting into our kitchens.
If you have always relied on restaurants or take-out, the task of cooking your own food may seem to be a very forbidding one.
Home-cooked food has an effect restaurant food just does not have. While preparing food for  yourself or your family, you would put in love, your ideas and concern for the well being of your loved ones. This makes a whole lot of difference to the end-result, as compared to the food that is commercially prepared in restaurants.
If you are new to cooking, try to picture cooking as an art. Your pots and pans are your paintbrushes and easel, and the ingredients are your colours. Start of with nothing and end up with a painting that reflects your moods.
Be happy, let your imagination free. Enjoy the process. Be aware.
1. Read recipes and understand the process. Collect recipes from your family and friends
If you find a recipe interesting, save it. There may be a reason that attracted you to it in the first place. If you liked something that your friend or your mother made, not the recipe. Tried and tested recipes never fail. Soon you will see a pattern emerging, and you will have a whole variety of dishes you can try out.
2. Begin humble
So you have decided to cook. Start with preparing a few easy meals for yourself or your friends, rather than making huge plans for a party.
3. Experiment with different flavours and kinds of food
Be aware of the flavor each ingredient adds to the dish. Inhale the spices. This would allow you to make your own changes to the recipe as you go by.
4. Have fun while you are at it 
Listen to music, open up your windows. Enjoy the moment.
5. Its alright if you goof up
Top chefs goof up, so why cant you? After all practice makes perfect, right? Try to begin with smaller quantities, so that wastage is minimal. You will soon figure out the reason why one step follows the other in a recipe. To begin with, get your mis en place right. Then you can follow the recipe through easily.
Whatever it is that you are preparing, understand the value it adds to your life. Appreciate food with all your senses-  vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Your time in the kitchen is when you get the chance to enjoy the small moments to savor beautiful experiences through your senses, where you can get away from your busy lifestyles.

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Habit # 2- Yoga helps relieve arthritis pain

Arthritis patients find great relief once they have started an exercise program which includes moderate intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking, gardening as well as more vigorous physical activity such as jogging. Though people believe that Arthritis is an ailment that affects the aged, it actually is a condition which results from the deterioration of soft tissues that cover and protect the joints causing the bones rub against each other. The exact causes of Arthritis are not known yet, though obesity and heredity do contribute to deterioration. There are several exercises for arthritis pain relief, but yoga, which is a combination of controlled gentle movements, stretching and breathing exercises are very helpful.

Before beginning a yoga session, the patient must consult a doctor to ensure that it is safe for the individual to begin yoga exercises for arthritis pain relief. Though it is best to consult a trained practitioner of yoga, there are simple exercises, which are called asanas, which can be done in the comfort of your home, which help increase the circulation in the joints and limbs. You can start with simple breathing exercises, and slowly proceed to stretching. It is highly recommended that you maintain slow and controlled movements and not stay in the poses for too long.

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Habit # 1- Begin your day with lime juice and water

Now, one cant find happiness without good health, right? Even an attack of flu can leave you morose and glum. Now, though it is impossible to keep flu away, I guarantee that starting the day with the juice of half a lime in a glass of lukewarm water definitely reduces the chances of getting a bad cold and fever. The high vitamin-C content in lime fights colds. Those who complain about acidity, and feel that consuming lime on an empty stomach could increase acidity, couldn’t have been more wrong. Though lime/lemon is citric acid, once it is metabolised, it becomes alkaline. Being more alkaline helps the body maintain a higher pH which in turn makes it resistant to minor and major disease and assimilate nutrients.

Drinking lime in the morning is a great way to kick-start the day. Besides reducing a cup of coffee or tea loaded with milk and sugar, it also boosts the digestive system by helping to stimulate the liver into producing more enzymes and liquefying bile.

Though it is said that because lemon is high in pectin fiber, which helps to curb craving for food, this is something that I dont swear by. In all these years I have been starting my day with a glass of lime water, I have not lost any weight or felt a drop in my healthy appetite!

Oh, and it helps bowel movement in the morning. This is another great habit to cultivate, but I will come to it another day.

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