Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Bicycles have been around for a very long time. In fact, bicycles have been around for so long that it is a very common tradition, especially in the United States of America, that one of the first thing that a young child is taught along with his or hers ABC's and 123s is how to ride a bicycle.
As we get older, most people often lose interest in cycling. The thought of riding a bike becomes mere nostalgia of times when we were younger. However, if you stop to think about it, there are many benefits to riding a bicycle.
The health benefits of riding a bicycle are tremendous. A daily or weekly regular exercise regime is hard to maintain because the lifestyles that we may have. Most of us have at least one full time job and many have families to take care of and spend time with in addition to secular work. Because we all have these type of mundane tasks, this makes it harder and harder to keep up with a regular exercise schedule.
Now, if you were to travel via bicycle, this can double as exercise. Depending on how fast you go, you may be able to get a great cardio aerobic workout. If you cycle uphill and off-road, you may also be able to squeeze in some fitness training and strengthen your leg muscles.
Riding a bicycle in lieu of an automobile sometimes can afford you the time to get a work out. If you can set aside some time to cycle strictly for exercise, that can prove to be even more beneficial.
There are also financial benefits to riding bicycles. In this day and age, gas prices are on the rise and they continue to be priced higher and higher seemingly every single week. Some times the price of gas can be so financially taxing to people who are on a budget, that they have no other choice but to seek a cheaper alternative. Well, one great alternative is cycling.
Regular, manual bicycles require absolutely no gas at all. All that is required is a little bit of leg muscle and elbow grease. If you live near your workplace or school, why not travel the gas-free way and cycle to your destination?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Where can you start? At home as always.
* Change your light globes, re-cyle everything you bring into your home - compost, recycle services, free-cycle networks, charity stores. Reduce the amount of waste you produce and take responsibility for it's disposal.
* Look to your consumption patterns and habits - you can cut your energy consumption by turning off lights and appliances that you are not using right now, by walking to your friends house, by riding your bike to school, by doing more than one thing when you take the car out, by car sharing or pooling, by using public transport even once a week.
* You can create a healthier you by changing your eating habits - eat at home more often, grow some of your own food, even herbs on a window ledge have health and climate change benefits. Cut down your consumption of meat - up to 25% of your carbon emissions are coming from meat consumption. That is an enormous amount - try one vegetarian dish every week and see if you discover a new family favourite. I bet by the end of the year you can halve your meat consumption and not even miss it.
* Share what you are learning with people you know. If you found something that is great for your family or for you personally, share it with someone you love. You would do that if you found a great deal on shoes somewhere right? It's only natural to share good ideas, great recipes, fun activities and so this part of the process will be even easier.
* There are so many more things you can do. REDUCE, Re-Use and Re-cyle are the words you can use to remind yourself of your new commitment to life on earth. REDUCE is the most important component. We all just want to be happy and healthy, we can do that without consuming all the 'stuff' we currently consume - take a look at your life, your family, your community and see what consumption patterns you can reduce while at the same time increasing your levels of happiness and health.
What a challenge, what a reward. Climate change could be just the opportunity we need to re-envision our whole lives and the way we live them. Now I'm feeling grateful to climate change, go figure.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Most people don't think about a junk removal business until they need one, if you have something that's so large that your local garbage men won't take it, if you've recently moved and need to dispose of some large things quickly or if you are in need of cleaning out a cluttered estate then a junk removal service becomes something that you may need.
Junk and scrap collectors have been around as long as scrap metals and the like have been a commodity that can be exchanged for cash. Most of them collecting empty cans and bottles, scrap copper or aluminum to make a few bucks, but the idea of franchising a junk removal service or opening a sustainable business with junk removal at the forefront of the profits is actually pretty new.
For about the last two decades companies like 1-800-Got-Junk have taken the business of junk removal to new levels, creating a necessary niche and providing a service that can help both the people who have the junk to get rid of it, and the community around them by recycling or donating the materials collected.
How it Works
Virtually anything you have that you need to get rid of, with the exception of hazardous materials can be picked and hauled away, many junk removal service businesses even offer same day pick ups in the event that you need to get rid of something quickly.
Old furniture, appliances, construction waste and old electronic equipment can all be hauled away with a simple phone call. Many junk removal businesses have close relationships with charitable organizations and recycling centers so you can feel confident that much of the material that is getting hauled away will either go to help people in need or will get recycled if possible rather than getting put in a land fill. This gives the homeowner precious space that was being taken up by things that were going unused, provides lucrative jobs to those who work for the junk removal companies and aids in the preservation of the environment by sending much less material into dumps and landfills.
Some people are pack rats that can never let anything go, with attics, garages and basements loaded to the gills with things that will never get used. Others hold onto random items in hopes of having stock for future flea market trips, online auctions or yard sales but there are some things that just aren't able to be sold. For the run down refrigerators, broken bathtubs and construction scraps there are the trucks with the able bodied employees of the junk removal businesses
Junk removal has gone from a part time hobby to a big time business; some larger companies have dozens of trucks on the road every single day of the week. There are franchises nationwide, each with a small fleet of box trucks and a few dozen strong employees who are willing to load and haul whatever junk you happen to have, provided that in isn't dangerous or hazardous.
In the past twenty years the business of junk removal has grown substantially, and as long as people get improvements done to their homes, upgrade their appliances or downsize to a smaller living arrangement the business will continue to grow. Paying the small fee for the removal is well worth it to most people to just be rid of the items that they would otherwise be forced to hold onto or to haul away themselves. Paying the one time cost for removing all of the junk that you don't need and don't use will clear up valuable space in your home and free you from potentially have to put some of your things into a storage unit and by using a reputable junk removal service, you'll be able to be confident in the fact that whatever you are getting rid of will either be donated to someone who needs it or recycled, so you won't be contributing to the overflow occurring in the landfills.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Do you care about the environment and your health, but want to be stylish with your home décor at the same time? Luckily, there are plenty of green living options that can be implemented in your home in order to create a great look while remaining eco-friendly.
Making Sustainable Choices
Making sustainable choices are an important component of green living. Making sustainable choices means purchasing products that don’t cause a negative impact on the environment and that will not make it more difficult for future generations to continue to sustain themselves. Making sustainable choices during the design process is referred to as 'green design' or 'sustainable design'. Some great sustainable choices to consider when decorating include:
• Natural stone counter tops
• Cabinets and other products made from woods such as bamboo, eucalyptus, or recycled wood
• Carpet made from natural fibers, such as wool and cotton, or made from recycled materials
• Green-friendly paint and home wallpaper, which is being offered by a growing number of manufacturers
• Antiques – after all, they are being recycled!
You don’t have to create a bland and boring home décor in order to enjoy green living. In fact, there are numerous options out there that will allow you to make your home look great while still protecting the planet.
Appliances for Green Living
When it comes to green living, a great place to start is in your kitchen. Remodeling can add a great deal of value to your home, can make it more functional and attractive, and can help you make your home more eco-friendly.
When buying for your kitchen, look for modern appliances to help bring your home up-to-date. By purchasing those appliances with the Energy Star rating, you can potentially cut the amount of energy you use to power those appliances in half. Adding faucet aerators to your kitchen and bathroom faucets will also help reduce the amount of water you use while still providing you with a high pressure stream of water.
Obtaining Green Products
Fortunately, green living is rapidly growing in popularity. In response, many manufacturers are offering lines of eco friendly products that can be used for decorating purposes. In addition, a growing number of online and offline stores that are dedicated solely to green living are becoming a more common occurrence.
Although it may take a little more time and effort to find and purchase eco products for your home, the effort will be worth it. Not only will you be doing your part to help conserve and protect the environment, green living is better for your health and can save you money in the long run.