Ecobricks are your simple solution for plastic.

Originally Published on ecobricks.org

An Ecobrick is a plastic bottle packed to a set density with used, clean and dry plastic to achieve a building block that can be used over and over again. Ecobricks can also be packed with other non-biological un-recyclables that, uncontained, are toxic to the environment (i.e. styrofoam, wires, small batteries, etc.).  Ecobricks are used to make modular furniture, garden spaces, walls and even full-scale buildings.  Ecobricks are an exciting way that individuals, communities, and companies can start their immediate transition from plastic towards ever greener harmony with the Earth’s cycles.

Ecobricks are a stepping stone out of the old paradigm of ‘waste’ and ‘trash’.  Ecobricking gives value to what was once value-less.  Ecobricks are designed to leverage the longevity and durability of plastic, to create an indefinitely reusable, cradle to cradle, building block.  They are made by cleaning, drying and then packing plastic into a PET drinking bottle. This enables plastic to be kept out of the environment, and out of the ineffective industrial recycling system. Once packed solid (with a minimum density of 0.33g/ml) ecobricks can be used to build green spaces for our community, furniture for our homes, and many other practical applications.

This site and our Ecobrick Guides have been crafted to help you get started ecobricking, to assist the training others to ecobrick, and to establish best practices for the making and application of ecobricks.  Our goal is to empower you and your community with the know-how to make ecobricks and build with them.  Our GEA resources are the result of years of research, experimentation and trial and error around the world through the Global Ecobrick Alliance.

 

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BRING BACK THE MERRY-GO-ROUND: It is a therapeutic tool

Originally Published on balancedandbarefoot.com

BRING BACK THE MERRY-GO-ROUND It is a therapeutic tool
Playgrounds have drastically changed over the years and it is affecting child development in ways that would surprise most seasoned professionals. Due to increasing liability and safety concerns over the years, we’ve replaced the metal playground equipment that towered over us as young children with brightly-colored plastic chaos.

We’ve taken away merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters. Swing spans have decreased and slides and climbing structures are surprisingly close to the ground. Kids appear to master the equipment at a young age. When the equipment no longer presents an age-appropriate challenge for the children, they quickly become bored and indifferent to the plastic play pieces.

However, this problem goes even deeper than simply offering an appropriate level of challenge and letting children take risks. Changing the playground equipment actually affects children on a neurological level. Think about it. It really goes back to your basic physics classes. If you shorten the length of swings and slides, children are naturally going to be receiving less sensory input; specifically what we pediatric occupational therapists like to call vestibular (balance) input.

Children need rapid, changing, and accelerating movement on a regular basis. They need to swing high up into the air, they need to sled down large hills, they need to spin in circles just for fun, and even hang upside down from tree limbs. These types of movements are very therapeutic to the growing child and supports attention and school-readiness. It is when children’s movement is restricted or limited that we start to see problems in sensory integration, body awareness, self-regulation, and simply focusing in the classroom.

Not only are children not moving enough throughout the day, we’ve gone and changed a good thing: their playground equipment. Believe it or not, the metal playground equipment of the 1960s and 1970s were actually highly therapeutic to children. One great example is the merry-go-round.

As a child, I loved the merry-go-round! It was such a thrill. I remember holding on to the metal posts as we ran around and around, finally jumping onto the merry-go-round at the last second, hanging on for “dear life” as we experienced the thrill and funny sensation only the merry-go-round could provide. As a therapist, I believe the merry-go-round is one of the most powerful therapeutic pieces of playground equipment ever invented.

Pediatric occupational therapists use special equipment and swings to create a centrifugal force during treatment sessions very similar to what a child would experience if they were to ride a merry-go-round. We do this to maximize activation to the vestibular complex found in the inner ear, to help improve self-regulation and sustained attention to task in children. This is a very powerful tool, and if done on a regular basis, would strengthen that child’s vestibular (balance) system and improve their attention span over time.

I’m constantly hearing from teachers that attention in the classroom is a problem. One teacher told me that on average, eight out of her twenty-two children have trouble with attention on a good day. Veteran teachers are also complaining that kids are falling out of their seats at school, running into walls, and are overall clumsier than they were thirty years ago.

In the days when playground equipment actually provided a thrill and a challenge, children were getting powerful sensory input on a regular basis. Kids were able to focus for longer periods of time and had better strength and stamina. You have to wonder if taking away equipment like the merry-go-round was really a good idea.

Merry-go-rounds, teeter-totters, tall swings, and slides all help children establish strong balance systems. They give us our “center” and allow us to move through space safely. By taking these away, we are exposing children to less vestibular (balance) input on a regular basis. In the meantime, children are becoming increasingly unsafe on the equipment. What do we do when kids become unsafe? We limit their exposure to risks–risks they actually need in order to develop a healthy sensory system. It is a vicious cycle we need to stop.

If our goal is to do “no harm” to our children, we need to re-evaluate our perception of playground equipment. We need to start providing equipment that will actually challenge and stimulate growth. It is time we brought back some of the thrill-provoking playground equipment of the past – for our children’s sake.

References:

Ayres, A. J. (2005). Sensory Integration and the Child: Understanding Hidden Sensory Challenges (Rev. ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.

Frick, S., Kawar, M. (2005). Astronaut Training: A Sound Activated Vestibular-Visual Protocol. Vital Links, Madison, WI.

Jensen, Eric. (1998). Teaching with the Brain in Mind. ASCD: Alexandria, VA.

Lundy-Ekman, L. (2002). Neuroscience: Fundamentals for Rehabilitation. New York: W.B. Saunders Company.

Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?

Show Me the Science - Why Wash Your Hands

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

How germs get onto hands and make people sick

Feces (poop) from people or animals is an important source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also in less obvious ways, like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them. A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs 1. Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object. When these germs get onto hands and are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick.

Washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others

Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it.
  • Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
    Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:

  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 2, 3, 6
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58% 4
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 3, 5
  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 7

Not washing hands harms children around the world

About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the
world 8.

  • Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea 2, 3 and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia 3, 5.
  • Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively 9.
  • Handwashing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance 10, 11, 12.
    Good handwashing early in life may help improve child development in some settings 13.
  • Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19% 6.

Handwashing helps battle the rise in antibiotic resistance

Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds) 2, 5. Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues 14. Reducing the number of these infections by washing hands frequently helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics—the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Handwashing can also prevent people from getting sick with germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and that can be difficult to treat.

References

 

 

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says

Originally published on bustle.com  By Emily Dixon
Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says
By now, most people have heard the arguments that social media can have a negative impact on mental health. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to renounce the platforms altogether, particularly as they now play such a fundamental role in how we stay connected to each other. Fortunately, a new study suggests that you needn’t shut down all your accounts to reap the mental health benefits; in fact, simply limiting your social media use can improve your wellbeing. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania asked undergraduate students to cut down their time spent on social media to a total of 30 minutes per day — and saw a significant improvement in their mental health.

The connection between social media use and poorer mental health is a vigorously debated one, as Bustle has previously reported. Studies have associated the use of social media with an increase in symptoms of anxiety, and linked Facebook use with a decline in wellbeing. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center suggested that using social media might make you more stressed — but confusingly, it can also serve as an outlet for your stress. And some, like Guardian columnust Dr. Frances Ryan, have noted that access to social media can be vital for disabled people and members of other marginalised groups.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says_2

So what did the University of Pennsylvania study indicate? The researchers divided 143 student participants into two groups: a control group, who weren’t asked to alter their social media usage, and an experimental group, who were asked to limit their use of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to 10 minutes on each platform per day. They completed a wellbeing survey both before the study began and after four weeks of adhering to their assigned social media limits, rating aspects like access to social support, fear of missing out (FOMO), anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and loneliness.

At the end of the study, the students who restricted their social media use demonstrated significantly lower levels of loneliness, and those who indicated a high level of depression at the start of the study experienced a “clinically significant” reduction in their symptoms. There was no significant difference between the control group and the experimental group when it came to levels of anxiety, social support, fear of missing out, or self-esteem, however.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says_1

By now, most people have heard the arguments that social media can have a negative impact on mental health. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to renounce the platforms altogether, particularly as they now play such a fundamental role in how we stay connected to each other. Fortunately, a new study suggests that you needn’t shut down all your accounts to reap the mental health benefits; in fact, simply limiting your social media use can improve your wellbeing. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania asked undergraduate students to cut down their time spent on social media to a total of 30 minutes per day — and saw a significant improvement in their mental health.

The connection between social media use and poorer mental health is a vigorously debated one, as Bustle has previously reported. Studies have associated the use of social media with an increase in symptoms of anxiety, and linked Facebook use with a decline in wellbeing. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center suggested that using social media might make you more stressed — but confusingly, it can also serve as an outlet for your stress. And some, like Guardian columnust Dr. Frances Ryan, have noted that access to social media can be vital for disabled people and members of other marginalised groups.

Another interesting finding? Overall, both groups — even those who weren’t asked to limit their social media use — showed a decrease in fear of missing out and anxiety. The researchers hypothesised that this could be “a result of the self-monitoring inherent in the study,” as both groups were asked to send screenshots of their iPhone battery usage pages to measure how much time they spent on each app. So if a 30 minute social media cap sounds too restrictive for you, you might still experience some benefits just by keeping an eye on the time you spend online.

The researchers concluded that “limiting social media usage does have a direct and positive impact on subjective wellbeing over time, especially with respect to decreasing loneliness and depression.” Suspect that social media is negatively affecting your mental health? You might just have found your New Year’s resolution.

Dancing to Eternal Music

About almost 300 years ago in 1721 Bach wrote the Concerto #3in G major. It’s such an amazing composure. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! This piece of music is about 6 minutes and it was written for the Catholic Church. I think it would be have been pretty amazing to hear this in Church.

So here I am dancing improvisational to Bach and I hope you enjoy it. The music is just AMAZING and it’s so good to listen to music. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share this beautiful music with the world.

Better yet what’s your favorite song or type of music? Feel free to share below. We may not know everything in life. But one thing I know for sure is Bach was a genius. XOXO VALERIE


Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and Labrador Retriever.  As you heal yourself, you heal the planet.  Find your joy and live it.

Have you ever wondered how to Hang from a tree?https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/01/11/when-was-the-last-time-you-hung-from-a-tree/  Find out how to do it here?  It’s so awesome!!

When Was The Last Time You Hung From a Tree?

In this short video I demonstrate a couple of ways you can hang from a tree even with your feet on the ground. You just keep your feet on the ground but allow your upper body to release and get a really nice stretch.

I couldn’t edit this for the life of me. Oh well, life isn’t perfect buddy.


I hope you get a chance to hang out with some lovely trees soon. There are many beautiful birds you can see. They are so adorable. Take care friend. Hope to see you soon!! Oh yeah if you don’t mind subscribing to my Youtube channel or sharing this video. Maybe it will help somebody. Even kids need this more than ever. Thanks for shining your light. It doesn’t have to be super in your face. but you know you can share your light on the DL if you know what I mean. Take care beautiful!! Valerie

Cómo manifesté un coche eléctrico

Cómo manifesté un coche eléctrico
Hace aproximadamente un año compré un vehículo porque me compré a mi cachorro, Amber. Después de eso me di cuenta de que había cometido un grave error y debería haber comprado un híbrido. Pero en cualquier caso, decidí que quería canjearme comprando un automóvil eléctrico.

Entonces, lo que hice fue comenzar a mirar autos eléctricos y concentrarme solo en ellos. Muy pronto los estaba viendo por todo el lugar. Sólo estaba familiarizado con unos pocos coches. Por supuesto, Tesla y el Leaf y algunos otros autos que son demasiado caros o me niego a comprar a las compañías corruptas.

How I Manifested an Electric Car_2

Avancé tan rápido hasta octubre de 2018 y mi amigo me regaló una revista de coches eléctricos. Comencé a estudiarlo y observé todos los precios y rebajas, etc. Encontré un auto que era un gran precio, todo eléctrico y parecía muy deportivo. El auto en el que estaba interesado era el Hyundai Ioniq. Comencé a buscar en línea y solo los tenían en el sur de California. Así que llamé a un concesionario de automóviles y no lo tenían en stock.

Acababa de regresar de un viaje donde me quedé en Santa Clarita, así que hice clic en el enlace de Santa Clarita y terminé en Parkway Hyundai en Valencia.

Les envié un mensaje en línea y de inmediato recibí una llamada de Manny y él estaba listo para ayudarme. También recibí una llamada de Danny también (sí, sus nombres riman). Les dije qué auto quería, respondieron todas mis preguntas y me aseguraron que podían cuidarme. Dijeron que era un automóvil muy solicitado, pero me cuidaron de una manera increíble. Iba al sur de California a fines de mes, así que concertamos una cita para conducir el automóvil y sellamos el trato.

Le estaba diciendo a Danny que tanta gente quiere autos eléctricos pero son difíciles de encontrar. Mencioné que deberían especializarse en automóviles eléctricos e híbridos. Entonces, ¿qué hizo Danny? Tuvo una conversación con el gerente de su distrito. Su gerente estuvo de acuerdo y les va a dar 10 vehículos eléctricos. Eso es tan fenomenal. Entonces, si no puede encontrar Hyundai Ioniq Electric en el norte de California, realice el corto trayecto en automóvil hasta Parkway Hyundai. Seguro que me alegro de haberlo hecho. En realidad me lo habían entregado.

Estaba tan feliz de tener finalmente mi coche eléctrico. Fue una verdadera bendición. Y el coche es tan asombroso. Quiero decir que en realidad es solo un vehículo increíble. ¡¡¡Tiene algo serio de recogida !! Quiero decir, increíble lo rápido que va y está tranquilo. Me encanta. Recomiendo el Hyundai Ioniq y no tenga miedo de conducir para obtener el automóvil que desea.

No discutiremos la primera vez que lo cargué. Realmente no lo haremos. Pero ahora lo tengo todo resuelto. Si puedo hacerlo, tú también puedes. Y no soy una persona tecnológica. Pero obtendrá la asistencia que necesita. Lo prometo. Así que empieza a soñar con eso.

How I Manifested an Electric Car_3

Valerie es una entrenadora de salud y bienestar y una instructora de yoga. Le apasiona la vida verde y seguir sus sueños. Ella vive en el norte de California con su hija y su perrito Amber.

Receta De Sopa Cheddar con Brócoli Vegano

Encontré esta sopa y compré todos los ingredientes. Entonces el día que lo iba a hacer, ¿adivina qué? No pude encontrar la receta. Así que solo tenía que hacerlo. Esta es la receta alada y resultó bastante buena. Lo hice un par de veces y una vez no tenía caldo y solo usaba agua y aún así resultó bastante bien. Pero definitivamente mejor si se usa caldo.

En realidad lo hice en Vegan Vallejo como un sustituto de “Chef”. Así que también puedes ver el video también.

Los ingredientes

4 papas rojas de tamaño mediano (siéntase libre de poner más si realmente le gustan las papas)
1 gran manojo de brócoli
1 cebolla entera
3 tallos de apio
2 zanahorias
1 hoja de laurel
sal
pimienta
caldo de verduras (utilicé un caldo de pollo vegano, por favor, no me preguntes cómo es vegano el caldo de pollo)
1/2 paquete de Di

Someone survived not doing dishes

When things get rough as they sometimes do. Do not be afraid to let the dishes sit for a couple days. It will still get taken care of. Your mental health is more important then your kitchen. Also do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it. There are people that will help you and they are called your friends and family. Take care dear one it will be OK.

Top 7 Tips You everybody should Know About Sustainable Lifestyle

There is a common saying, “Health is the only wealth that matters, at the end”.  People in today’s date, don’t appreciate the beautiful gift called “life” and continue to treat it as some sort of “granted object”. Well, that’s not the reality and you need to take care of your health properly and treat your life as a “precious thing” that must be cared for continuously. Only by doing this, there is a greater probability that you will be living a much lengthier and healthy lifestyle.

So in order to live a healthy lifestyle, you need to assess and identify the minute things that you do from the moment you wake till you go for sleep. Altering your lifestyle is not an easy task and doesn’t happen overnight, so you have to make changes, step by step. Well, if you are wondering about the things you must think about a change, then don’t stress yourself. We are mentioning a Few Tips to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle and help others by creating a better environment.

  1. If you are using incandescent lighting equipment, change it with LED or CFL bulbs. The later ones are more economic friendly and consume less power, thus save more energy.
  2. Try to save more water while brushing your teeth, showering or washing utensils etc. As there is a water scarcity across the world, it is suggested to save water as much as possible.
  3. Rely on natural lights during the day-time, rather than switching on artificial ones. In order to create a better environment for fellow beings, energy savings is utmost necessary.
  4. Make sure to include moderate exercises to your routine. A simple 20 minutes mild workout will be beneficial for your health, in long-run.
  5. If you want to purchase vegetables and fruits, do prefer to purchase from farmers. The local grown fruits and vegetables come way cheaper and you will get seasoning food. Season foods must be preferred as they have the right nutrients, to give people nutrients, required for that season.
  6. If possible, grow your own food. Whether be it a small garden, an acre of land or even a small pot, try to grow something of your own. This is not only a healthy hobby but your contribution to Mother Nature.
  7. Eat 5 small meals a day, so that your body can break the food easily and efficiently. Last minute eating before running for office or skipping breakfast is an invitation to illness, so avoid it.

These are few tips to live a sustainable life and simultaneously making your own contribution to Mother Nature. If you need assistance in getting more Tips To Live A More Sustainable Life, visit enlightenyourlives.com. In today’s world, where stress has taken a major share of peace of mind from our lives, it is important that we find the balance between enjoyment and happiness.