April 25, 2012

Why Ecology is Important in Vancouver?

Vancouver EcodensityVancouver has long enjoyed the status as one of the world’s most livable cities. But despite this reputation, the fact is our city has a large ecological footprint. If everyone lived like we do in Vancouver, it would take four planets to sustain us.

Today, our city faces three important challenges:

  • how to continue to grow in a way that is sustainable and reduces the city’s ecological footprint;
  • how to grow in a way that maintains our livability; and
  • how to grow in a way that improves opportunities to create more affordable types of housing.

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April 20, 2012

Living in a Global City: Housing and Affordability

Global CityRelating EcoDensity to amount and type of housing in neighbourhoods

Housing options Imagine a young Vancouver couple who has just had their first child. They are enjoying being new parents, and are eager to provide their child with a good home. They think it would be best if they lived near their own parents, but they can’t find affordable rental units in the neighbourhood. They also would like some outdoor space for their child to play. They could leave Vancouver, but they know that this will mean more driving and make it harder to arrange child minding with the grandparents.

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July 31, 2014

Interesting Benefits of Opting for Temporary Tattoos

Getting permanently inked seems to be a trend in today’s society, not so much temporary tattoos. From elementary school Math teachers to punk rockers, the art of tattoos transcends across all backgrounds, tastes and habits. One of the reasons why is because tattoos are totally customizable. There is not one mold or design that everyone has to conform to. You could ask for a grim reaper tattoo spread out across your chest or a snake swallowing a man head first on your lower back and it would be doable. Now with the introduction of colored inks, tattoos are quickly becoming intricate works of art. However, the problem is that these pieces of art are permanent. It is not like you can take the canvas down from the wall and shove it in the corner of your basement if you find that you do not like it five years from now. Tattoos are for life. That is why it is advisable to get a temporary tattoo first, especially if you are seriously considering a permanent version.

Why Consider Getting Temporary Tattoos?

Just like taking your dream car out on a test drive before committing to it, it is advisable to get the temporary version of your dream tattoo before sealing the deal. You always have to remember that once the tattooist starts inking, it is going to be on forever. Always think long and hard before committing yourself to a permanent tattoo. Here are some reasons why getting something temporary first is a good idea.

1. Eco-friendly

Colors in tattoo ink are created from heavy metals such as lead, nickel, and cobalt. A temporary tattoo contains none of these.

2. Easily Removable

Obviously the biggest upside to getting something temporary is that it is easily removable. You can use some remover and rub it off anytime and not have to endure painful and costly laser surgery.

3. Customizable

Because getting temporarily inked is not going to last forever, you can play around with the design as many times as you want. You can get something intricate and make adjustments to it whenever you want. You do not have to color over, make do with what is possible to edit, or live with something that you do not really like. Instead, you can make minor adjustments or completely revamp the entire design even after it has gone onto your skin.

4. Changeable

Say you get a butterfly on your lower back and after a couple of days do not like its location. When it comes to temporary ink, it is not a problem at all. You can opt to get rid of what is on your lower back and move the very same design to your ankle. Your tattoo could act like a traveling circus and make its way all over your body. You could also just get something different every time you pay a visit to your artist or order something online.

5. Pain Free

Unlike getting something permanent, temporary ink is completely pain free. It is more like body paint than anything else and does not break the skin in any way. So if you love body art but know that you cannot tolerate the pain, then temporary ink is the perfect solution for you.

6. Save Money

Another reason why temporary ink is a great option is because it is significantly cheaper than the permanent version. Depending on the size and intricacy of the design, many people pay thousands of dollars to get permanently inked. Temporary tattoos are cheap, especially the kind that you can order online. For only a few dollars, you can get something just as complex as your friend who is getting the same thing, but in permanent ink.

Tattoo designs courtesy of Tony’s Tattoo Gallery.

July 31, 2014

7 Healthy Supplements to Fight the Fat

With the new weight loss drugs entering the market – and engendering debate as to their safety – several folks are now looking to supplements to help in their weight reduction. But after a visit to the local Whole FoodsStore, and you are undoubtedly going to feel confused. Which supplements really perform and which don’t?

So here they are – the top 7 supplements to get you to shed your pounds – safely and naturally.

1. Hydroxycitrate/HCA

HCA is actually a salt derived from the rind of dried fruit, such as Garcinia cambodia and brindal fruit. HCA was originally a traditional Indian folk remedy used to treat gut and joint problems.

Research backs the effectiveness at increasing fat metabolism, reducing fat absorption, inhibiting hunger, and decreasing LDL cholesterol.

2. Whey protein

The main benefit of whey-protein is its ability to suppress the desire to eat, hence helping you consume less food. Whey protein, which as you may have figured out, is based on the whey of milk, and is an easily-to-digest form of protein. The added benefit is that having muscle assists with weight loss also.

3. Chitosan

Chitosan is a fiber that comes from chitin, the main element in the shells of insects. Urged by wholistic professionals to lower cholesterol , chitosan has additionally been promoted as a type of dietary fiber which could help reduce the absorption of fat.

4. Beta Glucan

A dietary fiber produced from yeasts and fungi – beta glucan has been shown to decrease cholesterol with the additional advantages of fat loss.

5. Essential Oils

Believe it or not, there are a number of essential oils for weightloss you can start using right away to start shedding you pounds. Some of the best are: Neroli essential oil, grapefruit and essential oil and rose geranium essential oil.

6. CLA

Omega 3 fatty acids and healthy fats are favorable for a wide range of things, from brain to heart health. But one, CLA, seems to help with weight reduction as well. CLA is found mostly in dairy products and beef, therefore in case you’re vegetarian or all-vegetable, you’re probably lacking in it. CLA-enriched dairy products are currently in development, but today you have to just take a nutritional supplement, many which derive from safflower oil.

7. Glucomannan

Extracted from an Oriental plant, glucomannan is a fibre regarded exceptionally successful for fat loss, for blood glucose and diabetes control. Glucomannan has usually been a vital food source–whether melted, cooked, or as a sweet. The fibre helps the consumption of water via the alimentary canal, lowering carb and cholesterol intake, and its function is supported by study as an obesity therapy. Glucomannan is also typically employed by being placed on your skin, making it one of the only topical fat loss remedies in the list here.

So there you have it! Before you riush to the pharmacy to stock up on potentially damaging pain pills, be sure to check out the myriad natural remedies available first. You’ll be dropping those unwanted pounds in no time!

July 27, 2014

Save the Environment: Make a Solar Cooker

A 2013 study in South Africa showed that using a solar oven saved an average family 30 liters of kerosene, 30 kg of LPG and a ton of firewood each year, which equals a carbon dioxide reduction of up to 1 ton annually. This surprising statistic, combined with the knowledge that the Earth receives 15,000 times the solar energy than what humans use, opens up the possibility of using solar energy to meet all our needs.

Today, the burning of wood accounts for a fifth of the world’s primary energy consumption. Every year, over 2 billion tons of wood is used for cooking and heating, yet we are facing a crisis of diminishing forests and, in the near future, a fuel wood shortage for over 2 billion people all over the world.

Why Should You Use a Solar Oven?

Obviously, solar energy is free and will save you a lot of time and money but solar cooking is also great for the environment. A solar oven produces no smoke and no pollution. It doesn’t release harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

Another benefit is healthy eating. A solar oven allows you to cook food with minimal oil. It also reduces the chance of forest fires and skin burns. The best thing about using a solar oven is that it uses a renewable energy source that can be harnessed by anyone.

A solar oven has an endless amount of uses. It can be used to make bread, cake, cookies and other yummy foods. It also works well as a pizza oven. It is not a good idea to place raw meat in a solar oven but precooked meat is okay. A pizza stone can be put inside the solar oven to absorb some of the grease and help provide a flat cooking surface.

Building a Solar Oven

It is easy to build a solar oven quickly at home, school or at the campsite. A solar oven can work any time of year as long as the sun is shining.

Tools Needed:

  • 2 Styrofoam cups
  • 30 x 30 cm aluminum foil
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Black poster paint
  • Elastic band
  • Plastic cling wrap
  • Cardboard box packed with dirt

Step one: Use the black poster paint to cover the inside of one of the Styrofoam cups. The black paint will absorb the sunlight which will heat up the cup. Cut up food into small pieces and place it into the bottom of the cup. Fruit and vegetables work the best for this. Do not attempt to put meat in the cup.

Step two: Place plastic cling wrap over the top of the cup and pull it tight. Use a rubber band around the rim of the cup to hold the cling wrap in place.

Step three: The aluminum foil can be used to collect solar energy. Do this by taping the foil to a piece of construction paper with the shiny side up. Avoid getting wrinkles in the foil. Wrap the construction paper around the cup filled with food with the foil facing inwards and fasten with tape. Use a pair of scissors to trim the top edge.

Step four: Place the first cup inside the second cup to add some more insulation to the solar oven.

Step five: Place the cup inside the cardboard box filled with dirt. The dirt acts as another insulator and helps keep the heat inside the box. If you do not have a cardboard box, you could also bury the cup in the ground, just make sure the foil is unwrinkled and is facing the sun.

Step six: Let the food cook until it is at your desired temperature. The cooking chamber gets hot so be careful when removing the food cup.

July 26, 2014

Why people have difficulty falling asleep in the city

Sleeping problems and insomnia are very common for people living in the city. Many psychologists have observed that lack of sleep is among a frequent complaining among city dwellers. The obvious reasons why people have difficulty falling asleep living in the city is the noise from the nearby traffic, loud music from a club or just a noisy next door neighbor. Another reason why people have trouble sleeping is taking caffeinated drinks just before they get to bed. If you plan to take coffee, at least make sure to keep yourself busy with some work or study so that by the time you are going to sleep it has worn off from the system. Being under a lot of stress is another common cause of sleeping problems. When you are thinking about what will happen now that you have lost your job, a family or a close friend is hospitalized, or an up coming exam. The more you worry about these issues the harder it will be for you to fall asleep.

The Brain and Sleeplessness

When people have difficulty falling asleep living in the city, it’s because your mind is still working, thinking about one thing or another. The brain can only rest when you have peace of mind with less worry and less thinking. When you wake up in the morning you feel very tired because your brain has not had enough rest since it was working overtime the previous night.

Effects of Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep normally causes people to fall asleep during the day due to exhaustion and inadequate rest. You find yourself falling asleep all the time during the day and you will not be able to concentrate and be productive in the work place. If you don’t sleep at night, you get fatigued in the morning and you will be unable to drive seriously and may cause an accident. There are also serious health complications in the long run are obesity and heart problems. The longer you stay awake at night the more time you have stuff yourself with food.

Getting to Sleep in the City

One of the ways you can overcome difficulties falling asleep living in the city is by taking a warm bath and a warm drink before you go to bed. This will soothe you and fall asleep much quicker. Ensure that you shut all the windows tight so that noise from outside may not get in. If you live near the highway and the traffic is really loud, especially late in the night, sleep using earplugs so that you are not disturbed. You can also use a technique called masking the noise, if the noise from a nearby club is loud, just put on some quiet music and concentrate on it. You will realize that you can’t hear the noise outside and end up falling asleep. If the noise is too loud, you can always ask them gently to turn it down a little. However, if the noise goes on everyday, then informing health officers about the environmental air pollution caused by the noise is too much.

July 26, 2014

Save water Vancouver! Take a look at these shaving alternatives…


OK Vancouver, this summer is rocking our world! Everybody can agree on that. We rarely get a heat wave this strong, and I’m loving every minute of it. However, when the sun shines this much and we don’t get enough rain, water conservation becomes a priority. Taking shorter showers, not leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth, and letting your lawn suffer a little are all methods to ensure our reservoir stays full, but what about shaving?

Men, unfortunately there aren’t as many options for you. It’s hardly advisable to wax your face, or pluck every hair from your chinny-chin-chin, but you definitely can cut down on water usage by filling a small bowl with warm water before you start your shave, instead of rinsing under the tap between each stroke.

Women, this is where alternatives to shaving become something to look into. During the summer, us women want to keep our legs silky smooth so we can shamelessly enjoy the beach and wearing short shorts out on the patio. Did you know though, that the average woman consumes 4,680 litres of water EACH YEAR letting the shower run while shaving? This equals out to almost 50 billion litres of water in a country the size of Canada! While I get it, a fresh shave makes you feel and look like a rockstar, that’s our drinking water going to waste.

So what can you do?

Of course, there are several other options when it comes to hair removal for women. One of the most popular, and usually the second type most women (and men who groom body hair) will attempt, is waxing.

Waxing, or even better, using an environmentally friendly sugar or honey formula, uses only a fraction of the water required for shaving, and the paper strips are biodegradable, which means less long-term impact on the planet.

Also, waxing is a much less frequent event than shaving. If you shave regularly, you might be required to do it 2 to 3 times a week (depending on your hair growth rate), while waxing is a once every 4-8 weeks procedure.

While it might seem like sunshine and rainbows, you might ask “why doesn’t everybody wax?”

Well, waxing has a couple of downsides. First of all, it takes a bit more effort than shaving, you need to get the wax strips, get the wax, and set aside the time to warm the wax and apply, etc.. Or you can set up an appointment to have a professional do it.

Second, waxing can be uncomfortable, if not a little painful. The whole idea is that you pull the hair out from the root, which results in long lasting smoothness. However, yanking a few hundred hairs out at once will be a noticeable sensation to say the least! That’s the tradeoff: Time for discomfort.

Another reasonably new method of hair removal, growing in popularity, is using an epilator. What is an epilator? So epilators are basically the mix of tweezing and using an electric shaver. Like waxing, epilation can last for 4-8 weeks, and it can also be uncomfortable (plucking hairs, remember).

However, epilators use very little water and don’t create much waste. They really only use electricity to charge.

The good news (with both waxing and epilation) is that the second growth of hair, after the initial session, is much finer and easier to pluck out, meaning much less discomfort.

The most environmentally conscious form of hair removal would have to be laser or electrolysis. While different procedures, both leave you with permanent hair removal. No more shaving. No more water waste!

The downside to these are that they are costly, which is why everybody doesn’t run out and do it. However, think about the good you’ll be doing Vancouver, and Planet Earth!

So, this summer, think about conserving our water and keeping our city out of drought! Turn off the tap and look at some alternatives to shaving!

July 24, 2014

Ways to Stay Safe in the Event of a Natural Disaster

We hate natural disasters, they are just that; a disaster. But they happen. It’s extremely unfortunate when they do. They can kill tons of people, ruin infrastructure, and cause hardship for thousands, even millions.

That being said, it’s safe to say that we need a disaster plan. The hard thing about that is the plan will be different for every disaster, it will also be different for every area involved in the disaster, and it will be different for every route that the said disaster takes.

Tornadoes are big in the great plains. They can be absolutely devastating. They wipe out just about everything in their path. They are so devastating, I recommend we start out project there. If we can stay safe in a tornado, we can stay safe in almost anything.

One must consider the incredible magnitude that tornadoes operate at. They are so powerful they can tear through buildings like nothing. We must consider what the most important aspects of disaster relief would be. First, in my opinion, we will need a map of the disaster. What did it hit? What areas were hit worse than other areas? Where will food and water rations need to be deployed? All of this can be answered by flying the disaster area post-disaster to get an accurate imagery of the area. That way disaster relief crews will be able to be effective, as opposed to throwing food and water rations around aimlessly.

Next, it is very likely that all communications infrastructure will be destroyed. You will need to establish a direct line of communication. This will be beyond tough at first. It will be very difficult to determine what portions of the infrastructure were damaged and what will need to be fixed. Because of this, you will likely need to establish a wireless signal. If you’re unable to find the necessary backhaul for an effective wireless point to point system, I would recommend using ham radios. Ham radios are simple, cheap, and effective. They can relay and bounce signals off of just about any tower to get an effective signal to the recipient. I would go as fart as saying these are absolutely necessary for you to establish effective communication in the disaster stricken area.

Lastly, have definitive groups of responders ready for this type of thing. A lot of times in disasters, there can be too many volunteers. Sounds crazy right?! It’s true, volunteers can saturate a disaster area and cause more harm than good. It’s important to know who you will have coming, how fast they can get there, and how many. I would also say have a back up crew in case the first crew can’t make it for one reason or another.

As much as I hope this helps, I very much hope this will never happen to you! If you have any questions, concerns, ideas or comments, please feel free to leave us a comment below, and let us know your thoughts!

July 23, 2014

The Influence of Essay Writing on Green Awareness

It’s no secret that one of the most enduring pieces of advice when it comes to writing is to “Write what you know.” Today’s students have a keener understanding of their physical environment than perhaps any generation that came before. Students today understand the impact of energy sources, sustainable materials and greenhouse gas emissions. The result has been a newfound interest in many areas of science and technology along with a growing need to be able to write about these topics clearly, concisely and comprehensively. This is where essay writings skills have emerged as an unlikely hero for the Green Awareness movement.

Writing what you know is important, but it also means writing what you’re passionate about. Many people today find themselves filled with passion about saving the planet, cleaning the environment and finding ways to provide energy, housing and food through sustainable and environmentally friendly methods. This means finding ways to present the current issues, address local and global implications of the problem and present clear and well developed ideas for potential solutions as well as jumping off points for future discussions.

Writing an essay can be a bit intimidating at first but once people get the hang of it, they offer an easy way to get your point across and organize your own thoughts. Their brevity also makes them more appealing and accessible to the general public, particularly those who have become accustomed to quickly reading through articles and online media. This newest generation of online readers don’t always the time or patience to read through books on a new subject and instead they rely on shorter forms of writing in order to learn about a topic and get an idea for different points of view.

The differing opinions and developing science behind Green Awareness makes it the ideal topic for essays as a way to encourage greater debate, brainstorming and communication. New studies, emerging technologies and alternative research can be difficult to read for many laypeople, but essays allow writers to connect with readers and help them understand what’s new on the horizon without getting them bogged down in technical jargon. Meanwhile, differing opinions and sometimes conflicting evidence can be examined more closely and understood more thoroughly thanks to the casual tone of most essays.

«Essays have become the go to form of literature in the Green Awareness movement thanks to their versatility and accessibility. Essays are easy to write and allow for a writers own voice to come through in order to spark debate and conversation about how to address issues, concerns and trends related to conservationism and ecological education. Essays provide the ideal venue to explain complex issues, review new research and address various points of view in a respectful, coherent and ultimately productive way. For both writers and readers, essays can bridge the gap between new research, differing opinions and a future where people come together to find ways to make the most of our resources without hurting the source.», says Kevin Timbers, a ghost writer who creates custom research papers for sale.

July 23, 2014

Solar Power Options

The market for photovoltaic systems has increased considerably in the past years. If during the ’90s, the solar panels were an eccentric and expensive house improvement, nowadays the existence of a photovoltaic system is regarded a highly valuable addition to the establishment. There are many factors which have contributed to the solar panel boom, including their increased efficiency, lower price and the acknowledgement of environmental problems. Another factor is the growing diversity of solar power equipment and below we will detail some of the solar power options (visit onegreenhome.org).

Solar panels

The most popular means of obtaining solar power, the solar panels are also the most affordable solution for individuals who want to “go green”. They are rectangular devices made in metal (usually aluminum) and glass, which contain numerous solar cells. The solar cells catch the solar rays and transform them into DC.

The DC is transformed into AC by an inverter connected to the solar panels. The resulted power can be used to power electrical devices or stored for later use in special batteries.

The panels have an efficacy ranging between 12% and 20% and can be interconnected in a photovoltaic system in order to obtain the necessary amount of electricity. They can be installed on the south-facing rooftops or directly on the ground when there is no façade facing south or south east. The solar panels are installed in areas where the main electrical grid is not available, but can also be used with on-grid lines. The excess electricity is sold to the power provider, thus diminishing the monthly electricity bill even more.

Solar shingles

The first solar shingles were developed in 2005, but their high price and their relatively low efficiency did not convince clients to give up the traditional solar panels. Nowadays their price has dropped considerably and their increased efficiency transformed the solar shingles into fierce competitors for the bolt-in panels.

The solar shingles use “thin-film” solar cells to produce electricity and are designed to match the design of traditional asphalt shingles. There are also varieties which match the roof tiles, known under the name of solar tiles. Both tiles and shingles have a double functionality: that of producing electricity and offer waterproof insulation to the roof onto which they are installed. A single square foot of solar shingles produces 12 watts of electricity. Unlike solar panels, which can be installed by the client, solar shingles need professional installation.

Building-integrated photovoltaics

The latest innovation in the field is the building-integrated photovoltaics. Applicable only for the new buildings, this system means introducing conceived designed solar cells in walls and rooftops. The buildings are designed so as to get maximum solar exposure. The results are both dramatic and extremely effective when it comes to obtaining electricity.

This system is still rarely used because of its limitations (suitable for new buildings, requires professional installation, etc.) and its price. However, it has great potential of development and if people’s concern for environmental issues increases, the building-integrated photovoltaics will certainly become more and more popular.

Solar equipment comes in different sizes and shapes and can be adapted to fit any building or architectural requirement. And with the growing interest for such devices, innovations are right around the corner. If you plan to switch to green energy, make sure you check all these equipment options for maximum efficiency and appropriate cost.

July 23, 2014

The Solution to Logging-Related Fatalities and Injuries

As revealed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, there were a total of 4,383 fatalities on the job in 2012. While it was slightly less than the previous year at 4,693 cases, lives continue to be at high risks for certain jobs. When the numbers are perused closely, it was further revealed that topping the list of the ten deadliest jobs in America is none other than logging workers.

Currently, there are about 34,050 workers engaged in the logging industry in the US. Out of these workers, a total of 62 were killed on the job in 2012. That’s lives lost at a rate of 127.8 per 100,000 loggers working full time harvesting and cutting timber in hostile environments to transporting the materials for processing to paper, lumber and other wood products.

Another data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shared a total of 2,070 minor and major injuries in the tree trimming business in 2009. Some might think that the job is simple and straightforward. After all, one only has to cut, trim or pare a tree and the job is pretty much done. Statistics, however, prove otherwise. According to Steve DiRocco, a tree trimming company owner, the industry needs to be regulated better. But more importantly, workers must go through extensive training and education with particular emphasis on safety and proper handling of logging tools such as chainsaws to avoid fatalities and injuries.

With over 3 million new chainsaw products made and sold each year in the US, it is imperative that logging workers are trained enough to handle the tool professionally. Considering that thousands of injuries, both minor and fatal, are linked to chainsaw use or misuse, the logging industry must step up and take better responsibility of training their people.

Among the most common injuries associated with chainsaw as a tool for logging jobs involved the hands and lower extremities. Head and neck related hazards also happen but not as often while death by chainsaw is a rare case. In any instance, it is best not to take any chances. And one of the best ways to avoid fatalities on the job as a logger is a good old combination of safety first attitude and the proper use of the best type of chainsaw in the market. In other words, companies in the timber industry should constantly make an effort to find the best tools for their workers in addition to providing sufficient training all the time.

The past few years have seen a drop in the number of fatal accidents and injuries on the job across the timber industry in United States. From 2003 to 2010, the Bureau of Statistics reported a drop of 12%, a decent percentage but could be better. In the end, the key is for companies to avoid putting people who shouldn’t be up there in the first place. Up until now, there are still a lot of loggers who are in the business using the wrong type of chainsaw cutting and trimming trees which unfortunately can lead to catastrophic results. Again, the best solution boils down to education and training.

July 20, 2014

Which Type of Smoker is Best for the Environment

charcoalNow that the warm summer months are here, many Canadians are leaving their kitchens in favor of an outdoor cooking experience. If you’re like many of these people, you’re considering purchasing a smoker as an alternative to a grill, but may not know which fuel source is most environmentally friendly. There are three types of smokers, charcoal, propane and electric, and each leave a unique environmental footprint. Learn more about each of the smokers to make the decision that is best for your home.

Charcoal Smokers

Charcoal is by far the least environmentally friendly of all smokers. This is due to several factors; the emissions released during burning, the manufacture of the charcoal, and the origin of the charcoal. Because commercially marketed charcoal is often comprised of a variety of components, including lighter fluid, sawdust, coke and coal, it is by no measure a clean-burning fuel. The availability of a clean product containing pure carbon is very limited and can be quite expensive. Secondly, the manufacture of the carbon itself releases such byproducts as methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and ethane. Despite attempts by plants to reduce the emissions by converting the to water, a high volume are released into the atmosphere. Finally, charcoal is often made using waste products from the forestry industry. These ingredients may be transported to the plant from thousands of miles away, or even from another continent. This transport only serves to increase the footprint left by the manufacture of charcoal. If you’re looking to invest in an environmentally friendly smoker, charcoal is likely not the best option for you.

Propane Smokers

Propane is largely considered a clean burning fuel. Comprised of the byproducts of other gas production, the manufacture of propane generally takes place on the continent to where it will be ultimately shipped. This reduces the impact on the environment left by transport. The emissions output of propane are significantly less than those of charcoal, making propane a more suitable alternative to a green method of smoking. However, despite the clean burning and production aspects of propane, it is not considered a renewable resource and this should be factored into your decision to purchase a smoker.

Electric Smokers

Electric smokers are perhaps the best option for you, particularly if your home uses reusable, renewable energy. Wind, water and solar energy may be used to power an electric smoker, and no other power supply is required. Propane and electric smokers both maintain a constant temperature, allowing for consistent cooking times and less waste. Electric smoker reviews can be researched to ascertain which smokers are the most energy efficient. Electric Smoker Central is also a great resource for determining which smoker will best suit your needs. A number of guest posters have written articles from an environmentally conscious standpoint, and these may help to guide you in your decision.

When choosing your outdoor smoker, the fuel source you choose will likely influence your decision to purchase greatly. Be sure, however, to factor your unique cooking style, the space you have available for your appliance and your budget. No matter which you choose, cook with a clear conscience knowing that you have researched your options and have made the best decision for your family and the environment.

July 11, 2014

Earn money on the side and work out while doing it.

workoutIf you are even a little like me you’re probably someone who wants to carry out every single brilliant idea that pops into your head but inevitably have trouble finding the right amount of time to do these fantastic ideas.Lets face it , with so much knowledge available in the past number of years on how to be healthy or on how to take care of the environment and also about finding a happy work balance we are given endless amounts of good ideas to carry out that would help us but finding the time for these tasks is the number one problem.

What I am going to talk about today is the time I bought a pressure washer.The reason I did this was A) to supplement my income, B) to do a physical activity that would get me out of the office on weekends and C) do my part for cleaning up the environment in my neighborhood.In my case for example cleaning the pavements and driveways in our area always need to be done ,in fact because of the climate we live in during the winter months we always get a build up of horrible slimy green algae that seems to cling to anything that doesn’t get the smallest bit of sunlight. This is great news for me since many folks in my neighborhood either don’t own a pressure washer or would rather pay someone else to do it.

To put things in perspective in my neighborhood we have one older neighbor who slipped over on some of this algae and hurt his hip real bad and ever since then he has problems getting around as a result of this fall so quite a few of my neighbors are spooked about this green algae getting them next , so this is where my pressure washer and I come in.

What I did was wait until the time was right and asked a few of my neighbors and friends if they wanted their driveways and surrounding areas cleaned of this nasty algae.Of course for them this was a big benefit since they didn’t need to get messy doing it and for them all they needed to do was pay me and once the first person paid me they turned into my advertising because before I knew it I had people ringing me up from places I didn’t even advertise to asking if I would come clean their drive ways.

I should mention that the pressure washer I am using is a gas powered machine and for some people this is a little too much hassle since you need to top it up with fuel as your running it and not to mention ensuring you service it correctly before storing it for winter time which in itself puts a lot of people off but for me a gas pressure washer was ideal since it was much more powerful than the other electric models and with this extra power it allowed me to sail through the dirt and grime and well you know what they say “time is money”.

Ultimately I ended up doing a quick search online since I didn’t wish to waste any money on buying the wrong type of machine , I just went to google and type in ” best reviews of pressure washers ” and found this one site who laid it out all for me.I actually ended up reading this Simpson pressure washer review and was sold straight away on it.

In the end I found what initially started out as a light bulb moment to be a very nice side earner for me on weekends.I was able to turn up with what looks like a very professional machine and do the job within an hour usually and leave with a big pocket of bills and within a few weekends I had already paid back my initial investment in the washer. So ,needless to say I am happy for the extra money and exercise I get from doing it and all my neighbors are happy since they have sparkling driveways.

July 8, 2014

Walking your way to good health

healthWhen most people think of getting into shape, they assume it means spending hours in a gym lifting weights and working out on various types of machines. While some people do this and have great results, the truth is getting into better shape can be as simple as taking a walk each day. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the average person walks three miles per day in the course of their normal activities. Yet, most people are still not fit because they don’t make it a brisk, uninterrupted walk that can burn lots of calories. By making a concentrated effort to work 30 minutes of brisk walking into their daily routine, the results can be dramatic.

There are a number of ways walking can lead to improved health. For example, regular walking has been shown to strengthen the heart and improve circulation while lowering the all-important blood pressure. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, women who walked for only 2.5 hours each week reduced their chances of heart disease by up to 30 percent. Walking is also a great way to keep the bones strong and healthy, since it’s a weight-bearing exercise. If people want to keep arthritis and osteoporosis at bay a bit longer, walking can help them do just that.

However, perhaps no reason is given more for starting a regular walking routine than that of losing weight. Combined with a healthy diet, it’s possible to burn up to one-half pound of fat each month. For those individuals who are considered obese, regular walking can help lower the chances of having type 2 diabetes or possibly even eliminate many of its problems, sometimes allowing people to stop having the need for insulin or other medications.

What many people don’t realize is how much walking benefits their mental health as well. Studies have shown walking can reduce stress, which in turn improves their overall physical and emotional well-being. A regular routine of walking 30 minutes daily can lead to enjoying deeper, more restful sleep, which can help lessen the chances of suffering from anxiety and depression.

For many people, the hardest part of any workout routine is getting started. While some people are content to enjoy a quiet walk alone, many others opt for walking with a friend or group of co-workers on their lunch hour. Even if they have to wear dress shoes at work, keeping a comfortable pair of tennis shoes under the desk can make the walk easy and comfortable. Be sure to avoid foot injuries, such as this one, by never wearing old sneakers. Heel pain, shin splints, and tendonitis can usually be avoided by following this tip.

Many groups obtain pedometers to keep track of how much they walk each day, while others go more by the time they spend walking around a certain neighborhood. Whatever the case, it’s always important to drink plenty of water while walking, especially in hot weather. Drinking two cups of water before walking can keep walkers hydrated, as can several cups every 15 minutes or so. Waiting until they feel thirsty is a mistake, since that means they’re already slightly dehydrated.

So whether one choose to walk alone, with a friend or group of co-workers it’s important to remember to stick with it. While it may feel difficult to stay motivated at times, walking provides so many physical and emotional benefits that it’s well worth the effort each day.

Photo from Flickr: Moyan Brenn