How to Make Your House More Eco-Friendly?

Most people want to do what they can to help the environment. After all, this planet is our home, and it doesn’t benefit us if we’re destroying it. That being said, it can be incredibly hard to live an eco-friendly life. It often requires time, money, and resources that the average person doesn’t have. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can live a more eco-friendly life that don’t require any major changes or sacrifices. These are changes that most people can easily make. And, as with most things, change tends to start at home. That’s why, in this post, we’ll be discussing four ways that you can make your house more eco-friendly.

1. Support eco-friendly services

We all make use of services when it comes to our house. We constantly call people in to fix things, or to clean things. So, why not rather support a company that isn’t harming the earth?

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Other than doing some research and making the switch, this will require minimal effort from your side but can make a big difference when it comes to the environment. For example, next time you need your carpets cleaned, why not try an earth-friendly carpet cleaning system?

2. Recycle

It’s a well-known fact that recycling is one of the most common topics that are brought up when it comes to living a more eco-friendly life. And yet, many people don’t recycle. That’s because many of them don’t know what recycling entails.

We’re not saying you need to make homemade paper out of your old scraps of paper (although you absolutely can, if the idea interests you) but simply separating your recyclable items from the non-recyclable items will make it much better for recycling companies to do their jobs. If you need more information, click here for a list of what can be recycled.

3. Make use of alternative energy sources

Every single day, nearly every person on this planet uses some form of electricity, and a lot of it negatively impacts the world. That’s why more and more people are being encouraged to make the switch to alternative or renewable energy sources. Wind energy is a popular choice, but it’s not suitable for all regions.

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Solar panels, on the other hand, can be utilized by most households. While solar energy used to be a rare luxury that few could afford, the increase in demand means that it’s now more affordable than ever.

4. Make your own compost

Compost is great for various reasons. It’s good for the environment, it means that you waste less product, and it’s great for your garden. So, with all that in mind, we can’t think of a single reason not to make your own compost!

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Many people shy away from composting because they find the idea of it unappealing, but the truth is that it can be a very rewarding thing. The least you can do is to try composting – if it’s not for you, you can be eco-friendly in other ways!

5 Best Things Students Can Do to Save the Planet

Like anyone else, students have an important role to play in counteracting current environmental problems and adapting to new learning formats. After all, they are the generations that would unjustly inherit some of the most perilous global challenges humanity has ever faced. They would also become the future leaders that are expected to implement key measures to save the planet in the coming decades. Below, we explore the most important means through which students can help the ongoing fight. For some key advice on how each of us can contribute, check this info guide from the World Wildlife Fund.

1. Consume Less

If there is one thing you must do before everything else in order to save the world, it is limiting the number of resources you require. This applies to most products – there are very few exceptions. It is crucial to reduce the amount of environmentally damaging products consumed, such as plastics in any form, various chemical products (detergents, bleach, cosmetics), industrial products, especially those that use valuable resources, are hard to recycle, or whose production is associated with high energy demands.

Water conservation in schools and colleges is also a key factor in fostering environmental health. By reducing consumption, you can also save money, which is always relevant for a student. Given how our world and economy function, every time you buy something you cast a vote for a particular version of the future.

2. Recycle

Although probably having the greatest impact, avoiding consumption entirely is unrealistic or incredibly hard to achieve. Hence, for those products that you do consume, seek for ways to recycle them. Food waste can be turned into compost, while plastic, paper, metal, the glass could all be reused.

Also, ensure that you support producers that recycle materials. Even so, you should be aware that recycled materials are typically used only in producing lower-quality or less demanding industrial products, hence, it is not ensuring a closed circuit of resources.

3. Mind What and How Much You Eat

Even if food waste isn’t normally a polluting factor, the production of any food requires significant amounts of water, energy, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fossil fuels. Hence, when throwing food away, we waste considerable resources.

Apart from that, there are some foods that are associated with a much higher environmental impact, such as palm oil, which is associated with deforestation in tropical areas, or meat, which requires incredibly high amounts of water, energy, and crops/ land to produce.

This is where foods such as plant based meats come in – they are a great alternative to meat and are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

4. Volunteer for the Environment

The state of our environment is such that there is always work to do. Volunteering is one important way in which we can help the environment and inspire others to do the same. It can take many forms, such as saving animals or animal habitats, cleaning urban or wild areas from litter, finding sponsors and raising donations for specific environmental projects, helping to gather products for recycling, etc.

All these activities could be time-consuming and could interfere with college coursework. Sometimes, college homework might prevent you from attending an important event or activity that you planned for much ahead. In such situations or whenever confronted with multiple pressing deadlines, getting help from EduBirdie Canada could be a life-saver.

Note that any accomplishments in environmental volunteering could become a strong point in your CV as well as a convincing argument for your future academic or job applications, so they shouldn’t be ignored.

5. Travel Less Using Vehicles

Burning fossil fuels are an important contributor to air pollution (an important cause of disease worldwide) but also to rising CO2 levels, which cause global climate change. Hence, it makes sense to substitute, whenever possible, your trips by vehicle with bike rides or walks.

Importantly, air travel typically results in hundreds of kilograms of CO2 per passenger, which represents a much higher environmental footprint compared to land transportation.

Conclusion

We have listed above some key directions in which you should act in order to embrace a greener lifestyle. However, there are many more ways to help the environment. Feel free to check these energy-saving tips for additional advice. Importantly, the same goals could be achieved by using a great variety of paths – the way how you implement your personal environmental plan is up to you. You are highly welcome to come up with creative new ways and share them with your community. The world is in desperate need of solutions that would address the environmental disaster we are witnessing.

How to Adapt to the New Learning Format?

Most students find it challenging to adapt to online learning due to various reasons. Leaping into an unknown world is frustrating since change is difficult to accept. Today, the world is shifting to online learning, wearing masks full-time, and continually washing hands due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new format of conducting daily activities is different from what people were used to doing.

Adapting to the new normal may take a toll on most people, especially students. Digital learning is now in full swing as students have to take classes online without attending school physically. Moreover, takemyexamonline offers online academic assistance even during the pandemic to help stuck students submit their papers on time.

Our article aims to give students insightful tips on adjusting to the online learning format with ease while maintaining a positive attitude.

online-learning

Why It Is Hard to Adapt

No one thought the global pandemic would wreak so much havoc and change the way of life. Many people across the globe felt the impact of the pandemic in one way or another. Apart from losing jobs and loved ones, the education sector also faced the most significant impact. Due to the challenges in social distancing, governments opted to close all schools until further notice.

Online learning via many apps became https://takemyexamonline.com/ the new normal for students. Zoom classes took over as the new learning format globally. Today, many institutions are embracing the convenience of online learning and helping students to adjust.

However, many are still struggling to adapt to the digital system due to various reasons. It is quite frustrating to deal with piles of assignments, urgent deadlines, and zero social interactions with your classmates. Studying from home has its share of distractions since most students experience challenges. Bo my test for me online offers insightful tips to help you meet your deadlines and set up a routine that works well for you. Online learning is similar to the conventional class, only that you are not present physically.

Below are tips to help you adjust to the new learning format without pressure:

1. Be Kind

When you have to face an inevitable change in life, time is the ultimate cure. Don’t stress yourself thinking about why or how you have to adjust. Take time to focus on the positive aspect and the next steps to make the transition easier. It is imperative to be kind to yourself and others around your circle to avoid anxiety attacks. Everyone is dealing with the change differently; that is why you have to be patient and go with the flow.

If your professor introduces a new learning technique, be open-minded to learn how it works rather than complaining and becoming rigid. Moreover, self-care is essential if you want to adapt to change, especially in this coronavirus period. Organize your study space, get adequate rest, and eat healthy foods. You can also embrace your hobbies, participate in school contests and take time off away from the screen to refresh your mind.

2. Communicate

The global pandemic has affected the standard way of life. Today, communication is on a technological level due to social distancing rules. You can no longer shake hands, hug, or meet out with your friends. The quarantine period revealed the significance of communication. Speaking one-on-one with your classmates, tutors, parents and study group members made college life enjoyable. Now you have to text, video conference, or call if you want to communicate.

Though it may seem different, communication is paramount in online learning. Feel free to ask questions and talk to your classmates about scheduling an online study group. It will help you adjust to the digital learning more quickly.

3. Organize

Have a positive mindset no matter how challenging the situation may be. In the middle of a pandemic, become the enthusiast and maintain a positive attitude. Do not deviate your focus and start the panic train. It is easy to entertain depressive thoughts that will spoil your day, week, and eventually your entire life.

Therefore, maintain a regular schedule by planning your time from morning to evening. Organize yourself and finish all pending tasks while incorporating healthy habits in between. Maintaining an organized day and mind impacts your overall wellness.

4. Reframe

Stay at home rule has its positive sides too. You only have to take advantage of the situation and turn it around for your good. Embrace your hobbies and brighten your days rather than sitting and feeling sorry for yourself. You can also set goals to learn a new skill, for instance, painting, design, or writing. It is imperative to reframe your mind and adapt to the new normal.

Instead of wasting all your free time on social media, make it a point to be proactive. Read a book, study, and prepare for your upcoming test. Kill your anxiety by making yourself super busy with a constructive task.

Ultimately, each individual adapts to change at their own pace. But it is crucial to be open-minded and flexible no matter how difficult it may seem. With a positive attitude and time to adjust, you can embrace the new learning style and make the best out of it.

If you are stuck with an urgent deadline with no help, Engineering assignment help is ready to offer top-quality academic assistance even during this pandemic. Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Furthermore, technological advances made life easier for most people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it was quite a challenging time, many survived the desperate moments due to technology. Students continued learning with the help of apps like Zoom and Google classes. Therefore, adjusting to new learning environments is paramount for self-improvement and enhancing positivity in hard times.

Ways to Lower Your Carbon Footprint in Life and Death

As global warming threatens our planet, an increasing number of people are becoming conscious of how daily life creates a significant impact upon the environment. But have many people considered how their death can affect the environment?. Death is the only certainty in life, and it is time that humans think about how they can protect the planet for future generations after they die and when they are alive. Here are some ways to lower your carbon footprint in life and death.

green-burial

Life

There are many ways to lower your carbon footprint in daily life. One of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions is carbon dioxide from motor vehicles. We can remedy this by walking, cycling or taking public transport instead of driving. If a car is necessary, consider buying an electric car or drive more efficiently by taking your foot off the gas and maintaining your car.

You can reduce your footprint around the house by turning down your heating and water temperature, replacing traditional light bulbs with LED ones, and turning off appliances and gadgets when they aren’t in use. Opt for Eco Mode on devices that allow it and buy energy-efficient kitchen appliances.

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Insulating your home is essential. Choose high-quality insulation for roof and walls, install energy-efficient windows and doors, and ensure that all gaps are completely sealed.

Recycling paper, plastic, and aluminum where possible will ensure you are doing your part in reducing the amount of landfill produced in the world.

Death

You can remain environmentally friendly even when you have shuffled off this mortal coil by having a green funeral.

Some conventional cemeteries and crematoriums have designated green areas within their grounds. The first green cemetery opened in the USA in 1998, and now close to 100 exist in the country. Some environmentally friendly burial grounds consist of vast expanses of land, giving homes to many species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and animals. The land becomes hallowed ground and cannot be touched for eternity. It truly is a place of eternal, peaceful rest. Instead of a traditional stone or concrete headstone marking the grave, a tree can be planted as a beautiful, green alternative.

To reduce your carbon footprint in death, every aspect of a funeral should be considered. The memorial ceremony should be at a place close to the deceased’s home so that travel emissions are kept to a minimum. The body should be contained in a coffin made from wicker, cardboard, sustainably harvested wood, or wrapped in a cotton shroud. Steel caskets, brass and gold handles, and adornments should be eliminated in favor of 100% biodegradable materials.

Chemicals used to embalm bodies so as to preserve them for mourners to view them prior to burial or cremation can be harmful to flora and fauna as they may leech into the ground. Alternative preservation techniques are now being considered, such as embalming the deceased’s body with dry ice. Any human-made materials should be kept to a minimum.

Everything You Need to Know About Glow Sticks

You have probably come across glow sticks at some stage of your life, however other people refer to them as chemlights or light sticks. After you bend a glow stick, the glass inside shatters and it begins to glow.

After they begin to glow, you can expect them to be visible in the dark from 1 to 12 hours. The time of how long it glows for depends on the quality and the size of the glow stick. 

Remember, that once you have broken the glass inside and the light appears, you can’t turn it off. 

You can find glow sticks in all different types of shapes and sizes. Most are no longer than 10 inches, however some you can connect together to make longer ones. They are also available in lots of different colors, such as red, blue, yellow and orange. However, it seems both the orange and red don’t light up that well. 

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Glow sticks are very popular amongst kids and party goers, but what other purposes can you use glow sticks for?

Survival

If you are planning to go out in the wild, it is vital that you pack reliable lighting. For several years, it has been common for people to use glow sticks in a crisis situation. 

Unlike other sources of lighting, glow sticks don’t need batteries to work. Purchasing a quality glow stick will give you 12 hours of light, without having to worry about the batteries running out. 

Glow sticks are safe, so you don’t have to worry about them starting a fire nor will they electrocute somebody. They are even safe for children to play with.

Because they are small and lightweight, you will easily be able to find space when you are packing. 

Even the best quality glow sticks are cheap. If you are looking for value, purchasing glow sticks in bulk is your best option.

What Survival situations would a Glow Stick prove useful?

There are many reasons why you should pack a glow stick with your survival kit such as:

  • Helps you to read a topographic map in the dark. 
  • You can mark a trail directing others to your camp
  • Keeps large groups together: At night it is very hard to organize a lot of people, so a glow stick will prove to be a very helpful device
  • After a road accident, you can use a glow stick as a marker: Glow sticks are a great way to warn oncoming traffic that there is an accident on the roadside. If there is debris on the road or gas leaks, placing a glow stick nearby will alert others.
  • Avoid falling: If you frequently camp, you have probably tripped at some stage. Small holes, trees, and other obstacles that are not visible during the night can cause injuries. By putting a glow stick nearby will help warn others. You can also place glow sticks to mark a safe path. 
  • If it is raining or you are in the water, don’t worry as glow sticks are water-resistant and are perfect for wet environments. 

Glow sticks are used by militaries all over the globe as a survival tool. If you do decide to buy glow sticks in bulk and you pack a large amount in your survival kit, you can easily write SOS with them if you are stuck in a dangerous location.

How do you Dispose of Glow Sticks and are They Safe?

One of the disadvantages of using glow sticks is that there is no environmentally safe way that you can recycle them. As each one has chemicals inside, the plastic casing cannot be reused nor can it be repurposed. 

The reason why glow sticks produce light is that there are two main ingredients that cause a chemical reaction.

Although the casing is made of strong plastic, be careful of young children or pets chewing on the plastic. Although the chemicals are not that toxic, it is not advised to ingest them. If a child swallows some of the chemicals, make sure to rinse his or her mouth immediately. Speak to your doctor if the child has swallowed a lot. 

Click on the link for more details on how to properly disposing glow sticks.

Summary

Glow sticks have a shelf life of around 4 years, as long as it is kept in its original foil packaging. If it has been removed, you can expect it to last for 1 year. If you decide to buy in bulk, keep this in mind. If you have a large number of glow sticks and think they are out of date, test one before you throw them all away. 

Glow sticks are not just a great source of lighting, but children and families can play lots of games and have a fantastic time with them.

CBD Oil Dosage: How Much Should You Take?

Cannabidiol or CBD is an active compound found in hemp and cannabis. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, CBD doesn’t have addictive and intoxicating effects. That’s why CBD oil is a preferred alternative option for treating a wide array of medical conditions, such as pain, insomnia, anxiety, and seizure disorders. Keith of The Hempire has had specific studies on the effects of CBD oil on mental health. However, the question is how much should you take? In this post, learn more about the right CBD dosage so you can apply what’s best for your needs.

General CBD Dosage Considerations

Since CBD is obtained or extracted from a natural plant, it’s generally considered safe to consume. Like any other herbal plant, CBD is a plant medicine, with therapeutic benefits. The right CBD dosage depends on a lot of factors that affect your bodily response, immediate effects, and outcomes.

Here are the important factors when determining the right CBD dosage for you:

  • Major complaint
  • Existing medical conditions
  • Body weight
  • Body’s response to CBD
  • Allergy or sensitivity

Standard CBD Dosage

The standard CBD dosage ranges from 10 mg to 100 mg per day. Standard doses are applicable for treating pain, infection, inflammation, arthritis, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, autism, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and other health conditions. It’s also the suggested dose for weight loss.

Here are the recommended standard CBD dosage guidelines:

  • CBD dose per day: 45 mg to 60 mg.
  • Use 15% or 20% CBD oil. One drop of the 15% CBD oil has 5 mg of CBD, and one drop of the 20% oil contains 6.7 mg of CBD.
  • For the 15% CBD oil: three drops thrice a day for a total of 45 mg of CBD daily.
  • For the 20% CBD oil: three drops thrice a day for a 60mg of CBD daily.

Staggered Dosage

Gradually increasing CBD dose or dose staggering is generally recommended for first-time users. One study points out that staggering drug dose is an effective way to reduce drug interactions, which also applies to CBD dosage.

Here are the essential benefits of CBD dose staggering:

  • Assess the initial effects or body reactions of CBD, most especially among first-time users.
  • Find out if you have allergy or sensitivity to cannabis products like Verified CBD.
  • Precisely determine the right amount of CBD oil that fits your needs.

CBD Microdosing

The Father of Microdosing is Dr. Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist that first synthesized LSD and lived up to 102 years old. His long life was associated with his minuscule LSD doses during the last 20 years of his life. Microdosing complies with the medical standards of starting low and doing it slow. It aims to manipulate cellular receptors to gain the desired physiologic responses or therapeutic effects with less doses.

Here are the general CBD microdosing guidelines:

  • CBD dose per day: 0.5 mg to 20 mg for stress, sleep, nausea, headache, mood disorders, PTSD, and metabolic disorders. This CBD dose is also applicable as a daily dietary supplement.
  • Use 5% CBD oil for microdose. One drop of 5% CBD oil contains 1.67 mg of CBD. Taking three drops thrice daily will give you 15 mg of CBD, which is the average recommended dose per day.
  • Make dosage adjustments according to your tolerance level.

CBD Macro-dosing

CBD macro-dosing or therapeutic dosing involves high-range CBD doses of 50 mg to 800 mg of CBD per day. It is recommended for treating seizures disorders, like epilepsy, cancer, liver disease, and other severe, life-threatening medical conditions.

CBD Oil Dosage Guidelines

Every person is different, that’s why you have to find the right CBD dose for you. The average CBD dose is 25 mg for most people. For first-time users, it’s best to start with the lowest dose and increase slowly until signs and symptoms improve. For treating medical conditions, it’s always advisable to consult your doctor before consuming CBD.

Here are the different methods of consuming CBD:

  • Oral Administration: CBD is not absorbed into the bloodstream. Expect to feel the effects or benefits of CBD about an hour after intake.
  • Sublingual Administration: It usually takes 20 minutes for the effects to kick in when taking CBD oil under the tongue.
  • Smoking CBD: The absorption of CBD via the respiratory system provides rapid relief. It’s highly recommended for those who prefer immediate relief and can’t tolerate oral and sublingual CBD administration.
  • Vaping CBD: Vaping devices are now available which are specifically designed for CBD use, ranging from e-liquid pens, portable vaporizers, to desktop units. This method of consuming CBD oil is recommended for medical patients.

Conclusion

The dose of CBD oil you need depends on your body chemistry. The effects and benefits of CBD are influenced by the manner of administration and your body’s response to a particular dose. For treatment of medical conditions, seeking a doctor’s advice is highly recommended for the best results.

Pet Waste Management in the UK – Prospects and Challenges

Pet waste is a growing public health and environmental risk. According to a report commissioned by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, 13 million UK households (45%) keep pets of some kind. Cats and dogs are each kept by 8.5 million households (these numbers are not additive, as some will of course keep both).

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Can those of us who want both the joys of animal companionship and waste minimisation, find ways to cut down, or better manage, the huge amount of pet waste generated in the UK every year? With so many cats and dogs in the UK, pet waste must represent a significant mass of organic matter within the residual waste stream.

Does this waste represent a floater in the residual waste stream by necessity—due to inherently unpleasant and possibly dangerous characteristics of the waste—or is it only there out of convention and squeamishness?

I’ve written before about the relationship between waste management and squeamishness, and talking about faeces really brings the point home. There are some undoubtedly nasty pathogens present in pet faeces, notably the parasites Toxocariasis and Toxoplasmosis. But might these be safely killed off by the temperatures reached in anaerobic digestion (AD). If so, provided any litter and bags were made of organic matter, might pet waste be collected along with food waste?

I began by contacting a local authority waste officer, but was told that no one had asked this question before, and that I might be better off talking to AD plant operators. This I did, but most seemed similarly baffled by my query. However, one mentioned that AD digestate goes through a pasteurisation process, where it is heated to a temperature of 70oC for one hour, in order to make it safe for land application. I also attempted to contact some technical specialists in the field, but to no avail.

There are some theoretical indications that this pasteurisation should be sufficient. Hanna Mizgajska-Wiktor and Shoji Uga’s essay Exposure and Environmental Contamination states: “Anaerobic waste treatment kills Toxocara spp. eggs at temperatures in excess of 45oC”, well below the 70oC mentioned by my operator. The susceptibility of Toxoplasma to heat is less clear, although numerous internet sources suggest this can be killed in meat by cooking at 66oC. So far, then, I haven’t confirmed or falsified my initial inkling, and so the collection of pet waste in the municipal organic stream remains a theoretical possibility.

Motivated dog owners can already turn their pet’s waste into a resource within their own home. The website London Worms explains how you can turn your dog’s poo into rich and useful vermicompost, although it warns that the results will only be suitable for use on non-edible plants.

Foul Pay

Household pet droppings may still be largely fated for disposal, but even when binned this waste is at least moving through proper waste management channels. Unfortunately, not all pet poo is binned, and we have real data measuring public perceptions of the disamenity resulting from dog fouling. For most, the presence of this unwelcome waste in our streets, parks and footpaths is of much higher concern than its diversion from landfill. Therefore, it is necessary to make use of biodegradable dog poop bags to keep our environment clean.

A 2011 Defra-funded study on local residents’ willingness-to-pay — via an increase in council tax — for improvements across a range of environmental factors found that dog fouling was the third most important issue out of the presented range (with litter and fly-tipping taking first and second place). Surveys were conducted in inner-city, suburban and rural/semi-rural areas around London, Manchester and Coventry.

In order to move from the current level of dog fouling to the best possible scenario, it was found that inner-city residents would on average be willing to pay £8.87 per month, suburban residents £7.79 per month, and rural residents £2.72. Combining these figures with population statistics allows us to place a disamenity value on dog fouling. National statistics only allow for an urban-rural split, but based on a 2012 Defra rurality study which found that 18.9% of the population lives in rural areas, we can calculate that across England we would collectively be willing to pay £462m per year to achieve best case scenario improvements in dog fouling.

This somewhat crude calculation gives an indication of the perceived disamenity of dog fouling. Presenting the matter in terms such as these may allow economically minded policy makers a means of engaging with this important street scene issue and evaluating the costs and benefits of interventions.

Food for Thought

Let’s wash our hands of poo (with plenty of soap and warm water) and look to the other end of the pet waste problem. According to a report published by WRAP, the UK uses around 75,000 tonnes of primary packaging annually. This holds 1,263,000 tonnes of wet and dry cat and dog food, of which 9,000 uneaten tonnes are thrown away. Although this wasted food constitutes less than 1% of the total sold (if only we were as careful with food for human consumption) the estimated cost to the consumer is still £21m a year.

WRAP examined a number of designs intended to cut to down on the amounts of both pet food and packaging thrown away. A major problem with packaging design is the need to account for portion sizes, which vary from animal to animal and change depending on age and level of activity. Single serve packaging may actually lead to regular food wastage if the portion provided is too big for a particular pet; indeed, this is a problem I am experiencing with my own cat, whose appetite seems to fluctuate wildly. Re-sealable packaging that allows owners to dish out meals in accordance with the changing appetites of their pets is therefore preferable.

The material that packaging is made of is also significant: for example, relatively heavy tins are recyclable, whereas lightweight plasticised plastic foil packets are not. Pet food and its packaging can be pushed up the waste hierarchy by simply choosing a recyclable and resealable container which will allow them to adequately provide for the appetite of their pet. However, these issues are likely to be given less weight compared with health, convenience and cost in the minds of most householders. The onus has to be on manufacturers to develop packaging which is both low cost and easily recyclable.

Love pets, hate waste?

People love animals, but are rather less keen to engage with pets as an environmental issue. Leaving aside questions of whether it is sustainable for so many of us to have pets at all, there are clearly ways in which we can reduce their impact. The convenience of single serving pouches of pet food seems to win out over more recyclable and waste-avoiding alternatives, although pet owners might be willing to change their choices if presented with a better option.

While worrying about recovery options for cat poo might seem somewhat academic, it may be easier to tackle than dog fouling. It might even help to tackle the common psycho-social root of both issues. Cultural distaste perhaps lies behind the lack of information available on dealing with household pet waste, and the persistence of dog fouling as a street scene issue.

Things were very different in Victorian London when “pure finders” earned a living by seeking out doggie doo to supply the tanning trade. But for us this kind of waste is a disagreeable fact of life which we deal with as simply and with as little thought as possible. But as a nation of animal lovers, it’s our responsibility to engage with the waste management issues our pets present.

Note: The article is being republished with the kind permission of our collaborative partner Isonomia. The original article can be viewed at this link

10 Small Ways to Make a Big Difference in Waste Reduction

At this point, pretty much everyone is aware that plastic drinking straws are bad for the environment, namely the animals that inhabit our oceans, rivers, and lakes. But that’s just one small aspect of the global waste problem we’re currently facing.

Becoming aware of the impact of straws began a major change in the way we drink beverages. Similarly, understanding how other wasteful behaviors negatively affect our world should help us all reduce our waste and become better consumers.

While it will take major changes amongst the masses to turn our trajectory around, it all begins when individuals start adjusting their personal habits.

Start making an impact on our Earth by reducing your waste generation in these 10 small ways:

1. Reduce Consumption

The first step to reduce waste? Reduce consumption. Start by logging where you are spending your money. Notice which areas cost the most and begin reducing in that area. Once you improve there, find the next budget category to tackle. By simply buying less, we can make a big difference.

2. Avoid Plastic Wrap

Instead of relying on plastic wrap to preserve food or make it portable, consider other eco-friendly alternatives, like Super Bee beeswax wraps. These can be washed and reused over and over again. They work for anything including sandwiches, partially used produce, and a bowl of leftovers.

3. Shop with Reusable Bags

You should strive to always bring your own shopping bags rather than getting a single-use one from the store. This will cut down on the clutter in your house and save a few bags in the process. If you forgot your bags, opt for paper instead of plastic and find a way to re-use it afterward.

4. Support Local

Locally made products require much less packaging, shipping, and manufacturing overhead. Buying these kinds of products supports lower-waste businesses and contributes positively to the environment. Farmers markets are great for purchasing delicious produce without any packaging.

5. Whatever You Do, Don’t Litter

Of course, you should never litter. Throwing trash on the ground with the assumption that someone else will pick it up is incredibly flawed. You should always pick up after yourself. In addition, you can make a difference by simply picking up after those who haven’t.

6. Reuse Food Containers

If your takeout is transported in non-environmentally friendly packaging, find a way to reuse it. Even if you only find one more use for it, you will have just doubled its life span and done a small part in reducing waste.

7. Start Your Own Garden

One way to really reduce the amount of wasteful packaging you consume is to start growing your own food. This will be a fun hobby, provide nutritious food, and cut your produce-related waste down to zero.

8. Stretch Your Groceries

Challenge yourself to stretch your groceries an extra day or two. This practice can help save you a nice bit of money each year and will ensure you’re using what you already have rather than consuming more.

9. Repurpose Furniture

Instead of buying a new couch, consider just reupholstering the fabric. Finding ways to repurpose old furniture cuts down on heavy item shipping costs and reduces the large amounts of waste that commonly come along with these types of products.

10. Recycle

If you’re not already, get on the recycling bandwagon. By separating your recyclable waste from your general trash, you can give many of your consumer products a second life!

Conclusion

Even if you are unable to accomplish all of the things on this list, working towards a few sustainable development goals can make an impact. By becoming more mindful of how we consume and waste products, we can slowly improve Earth’s environmental state.

A Handy Guide to Choose a Good Therapist

When seeking a therapist, you will come across a long list of professionals, and it will be really difficult to choose a good one. Therapists have a diverse range of qualification, skills and personalities which may or may not suit you. An effective therapy program is typically based on the relationship between therapist and client. So, what makes a good therapist? Let us explore the qualities of a good therapist to help you make the most out of your therapy sessions.

1. Strong communication skills

A good communicator exhibits confidence and assertiveness, and will make a new person feel comfortable during one-to-one session or on the phone or via email. Coupled with social skills, effective communication skills will help in creating a positive therapeutic bonding between the therapist and the client.

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A good therapist will discuss issues in an honest, open and inquisitive manner using plain language, and will also ask for your feedback and opinion on those issues.

2. Effective listening and observation skills

A critical trait of a good therapist is to patiently and proactively listen to people. Your therapist should be skilled in deciphering your spoken words and silence, and in observing your body language. Your therapist should also have a good memory in order to remember things you told them earlier, and connect with what you are saying in the present.

An effective counsellor is not bored by conversation or have allow others to contribute to a conversation. They attentively listen to what you say and then reflect back to help you see new perspectives and draw your own conclusions.

3. Trustworthy

Mutual trust is a very important aspect of therapy and confidentiality is the cornerstone. During the sessions, you will be discussing very private and complex issues with your therapist, and policies should be in place to keep all the shared information confidential, both during and after the treatment process. Confidentiality is essential for the client to open up and feel comfortable in a safe environment without the fear of being betrayed.

Like any other relationship, building trust in therapy sessions is a time-taking process that cannot be rushed. A good therapist will operate within ethical limits, will respect your privacy and will never overstep your personal boundaries. In-session flirtation is among the top signs of a bad therapist.

4. Unbiased and non-judgmental

A good therapist is non-confrontational, unbiased and non-judgmental. Therapists demonstrate respect and will talk to you in a manner which tells they believe you. You are treated with empathy and your thoughts and feelings are not judged or made fun of.

The therapist suggests alternative ways of seeing and doing things and respects your outlook, thus acting as a source of support with whom you can share private things without any hesitation.

5. Flexible and optimistic

When it comes to therapeutic treatment, every client is unique and need a tailored approach.  A good therapist should be flexible in his approach and discuss a range of possible strategies to try in your unique circumstance.

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Positivity is a critical trait of a therapist and you should feel confident that therapy will improve. Besides identifying the causes of stress, the therapist will also explore the things which can make you happy and peaceful.

6. Open to supervision

A good therapist should be willing to talk about clinical issues with a more experienced colleague in order to get the work quality evaluated. Supervision will help in getting new ideas or insights into a particular issue.

In high-risk situations, it is advisable for a good counsellor to avoid working in isolation and let access supervision to let others know they are doing with clients.

Conclusion

The qualities of a therapist play a crucial role in the successful outcome of therapy.  Every therapist may not meet each of the above-mentioned criteria, but if you are aware of the traits of a good therapist, you can decide whether you or your loved one is getting the best treatment.

Couples Therapy: A Therapeutic Tool To Rebuild Relationships

Conflicts occur in almost all relationships since it is very difficult for two different people to view the same thing from the same perspective. If handled properly, divergent views can bring partners together; however, they may drift away if relationship conflicts are not resolved amicably in the early stages. The steep rise in relationship breakdowns has led people to search for therapeutic solutions and couples therapy is playing a key role in saving marriages and conflict resolutions. Read on to know more about couples therapy and its benefits in mending relationships:

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What is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy, sometimes also known as marriage counselling, is a kind of psychotherapy in which a relationship therapist makes use of therapeutic tools to assist partners analyse their relationship, identify and resolve conflict and improve relationship efficacy.

The main areas of disagreements between partners include distancing, Internet addiction, in-laws, infertility, jealousy, controlling behavior, money fights, parenting, chronic health issues, abuse, and sex-related difficulties.  For example, some couples, after years of marriage, avoid each other and coexist as roommates after years but couples therapy can reignite the relationship.

What does a marriage therapist do? The marriage therapist talks to both the partners, identifies the key relationship problems and devise a plan to solve those problems. It is to be noted that therapist’s goal is not to resolve the issues but to devise a communication method for partners to solve mutual disagreements during and after therapy. It is also very important for the relationship therapist to develop trust with each partner without alienating the other.

The therapist focuses on a particular issue and actively participates in resolving the conflict through a solution-focused and change-oriented approach.  Needless to say, both the partners must participate in couples therapy actively.

Couples usually go for marriage therapy only when the chill in their relationship has reached dangerous proportions. It is advisable to go for marriage therapy in early stages of the relationship, as it is more challenging, time-intensive and more difficult for long-term partners to come to a mutual understanding on contentious issues lingering for years and years. Infact, resentful feelings are difficult to be reversed if they continue for a long period of time.

Steps Involved in Couples Therapy

Therapy can help in healing relationships. Some people need only a few sessions while others require months to resolve the conflicts. Here are the key steps involved in couples therapy:

Step 1: Collect Basic Information

It involved asking standard interview questions regarding the relationship history, family history of each partner, employment, cultural background, prior counselling experience and chronic health issues. This step is important for the couple to become comfortable with the therapist.

Step 2: Goal Setting

Since this counselling is a joint venture meant to understand the relationship, the therapist assists the couple in identifying the issue(s) that will be the focus of treatment, establishing treatment goals and devising the treatment plan.

Step 3: Treatment

The therapist helps the partners to get a better understanding into the dynamics of the relationship conflict, and their respective roles in conflict resolution, thus helping them to change the way they perceive the relationship and each other. Since behavioral change is a crucial aspect of couples therapy, the therapist often assigns homework to each partner to apply the skills learned in therapy to their day-to-day interactions.

Step 4: Goal realization

The ultimate goal of couples therapy is to help partners get insights into relationship issues, develop a conscious relationship, increase emotional expression and develop the skills required to communicate, brainstorm and problem-solve with each other more effectively and amicably.

Conclusion

Couples therapy is an effective tool to restore broken relationships. It helps partners to understand each other and their relationship as a couple, besides developing essential relationship skills, such as trust, patience, forgiveness, communication, selflessness and stress management.