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Sustainable Lifestyle

Make Sure The Mask You Use To Protect Yourself Doesn’t Harm Our Nature

By | Sustainable Lifestyle | No Comments

The other day I was reading an article published in a renowned news website which said that soon there will be more masks than jellyfish in the oceans and other water bodies.

And it is a clear indication that the coronavirus pandemic is not only a threat to humans but marine life as well.

Heaps of gloves, masks, hand sanitizer bottles, and other medical wastes are piling under the waves. This is an indication of the onset of a new type of pollution if nothing is done.

Source: https://images.app.goo.gl/kxMn34dumiYYFn2b6

Since there is clear evidence that wearing a mask can lower the chances of contracting the coronavirus, masks are the new normal for all of us.

The earth is already in distress due to pollution and global warming; thus, we must not transfer our troubles (the pandemic) to it now.

The lockdown during the pandemic is giving the earth time and a chance to heal itself. We must not mess it up for once. And it is time to make sure the mask we use to protect ourselves doesn’t harm our nature.

Disadvantages of Using Single Use Masks

Single-use masks are usually manufactured using polypropylene which does not break down or decomposes easily.

Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer and is widely used due to its chemical resistance. This plastic is the safest of plastics and is considered safe for human use, but it is not eco-friendly.

This plastic causes severe harm to marine life as it does not disappear but breaks down slowly into micro-plastic. This micro-plastic enters the food chains when marine animals accidentally ingest it.

Sources: https://images.app.goo.gl/zPPAc6R2hGU62wk67

The toxins from the plastic can kill marine animals causing their population to reduce and ultimately disappear. This can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Using multi-use masks is the way forward. Masks made of fabric can be used more than once and can be washed if dirty.

Multi-Use Fabric Masks

The first fabric that comes to my mind is cotton. It is a breathable, absorbent, and comfortable fabric that is easily available to us.

Cotton masks advantages

  • It is easy to
  • Cotton fabric is hypoallergenic. This means that cotton does not trigger or cause skin or breathing
  • This fabric lasts longer as it is
  • Cotton doesn’t emit odors and is
  • Cotton if not blended with any other material does not stretch and lose

Although cotton is good fabric, the cultivation process involves steps that are harmful to us as well as the environment.

Sources: https://images.app.goo.gl/3kLVXXgGCkHSCmTn9

Here are a few things that make cotton cultivation unhealthy for humans and the ecosystem:

  • Cotton crops require a lot of water to
  • The amount of chemicals sprayed on the cotton plant is the highest in the cotton

Also, when they mix with the soil it can strip its nutrients away.

A better alternative for cotton is the lesser-known hemp fabric. It is a misunderstood crop due to its classification under the Cannabis Sativa family.

Why use Hemp Masks During This Pandemic?

There are several reasons to do so. Although this fabric from the hemp plant has been in use for several centuries, due to its connection to the marijuana family, several misconceptions surround it.

Source: https://images.app.goo.gl/CvfGTJpByN5gr8gd6

Here are a few facts that make hemp a super crop:

  • It can grow anywhere in the world, and in many types of
  • It can be cultivated without pesticides, insecticides, and
  • It kills weeds, purifies soil, and is perfect for rotation use, due to its short harvest cycle (120 days).
  • It flourishes in rainwater and does not need excess water to
  • The roots of the hemp plant go deep into the soil and act as a natural soil aerator and prevent soil
  • Hemp plants can be grown in the same soil for at least twenty years without adding any fertilizers or crop rotation. Interestingly, this super crop enhances the soil richness than before the plant was
  • Once the crop is harvested, the farmer mixes the roots and leaves back into the soil to keep the soil rich in
  • Hemp crop is ready for harvesting within four months of planting
  • It can grow on small pieces of land suitable for
  • Hemp crops can be harvested several times a
  • Hemp plants are the only plant species that can capture high amounts of carbon from the environment making it pollution-free.

325 kgs of carbon can be easily absorbed by a ton of this plant.

All parts of the hemp plant from seeds to roots can be utilized. In fact, hemp fiber can be used to generate strong, durable, and environment-friendly plastic substitutes such as masks.

How are hemp masks better than other fabric masks?

Hemp is a clear winner when it comes to sustainable masks because of its versatility and durability. Hemp plants utilize less than 50% of water than cotton crops making it an environmentally favorable fabric.

Source: https://images.app.goo.gl/C7AB7H63wa2nP5dr5

That hemp has the strongest and the longest plant fiber in the world - has been the biggest learning of my life in the past decade. Hemp is also resistant to rotting and abrasion. And during ancient times it was used to manufacture sails of boats.

Another very important reason for adding hemp masks in your wardrobe is that it is biodegradable. It hardly takes a few weeks to a couple of months to decompose, while cotton masks may take more than five months to biodegrade.

So here is a fabric that is not only eco-friendly to cultivate but easier to decompose.

Here are a few facts to prove that hemp is the fabric to use to protect ourselves and the earth during this pandemic:

  • Fabric made from hemp is stronger and durable than cotton. And the best part is that the more you wash hemp fabric the softer it gets, unlike other fabrics that may start withering with each
  • Hemp fabric is resistant to bacteria and mold growth. Thus, masks made from hemp can be worn multiple times without the need to wash it immediately. This can help save water (usable), which is slowly disappearing from the
  • Highly resistant to termite, chemical, and to a great extent fire as
  • UV resistant. This characteristic of the hemp fabric saves your skin from skin burns and darkening.
  • Low elasticity makes it retain its shape at all
  • Hemp fabric can easily blend with other fabrics and synthetic
  • Long lifespan due to the strength of the
  • Resistant to
  • Hemp fabric has thermoregulation abilities that mean that you can wear this fabric around the year. It keeps your skin cool during winters and warms during
  • The tensile strength of this fabric is quite high due to which it does not tear or stretch
  • Last but not the least, hemp is a biodegradable fabric. If your hemp mask reaches the end of its life, cut it, and throw it in the compost It will decompose within a few weeks.

Hemp fabric can be reused until you want because it does not easily tear. Using hemp masks is the most effective way to promote sustainability.

There isn’t any other fabric that can be used multiple times for several years without wear and tear and can quickly decompose when added to the compost pile.

With so many advantages of using hemp masks, we must go the hemp way as soon as possible.

Author Bio: Vishal Vivek, Co-founded the NGO Hemp Foundation to increase awareness about hemp which is the most misunderstood plant on the planet. He believes that we can fight climate change, water crisis, and plastic pollution with Hemp. Times Group recognized him as a legendary entrepreneur and published his biography in I Did IT- Vol 2 at the age of just 30!

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Creative Ways to Shop on a Budget

By | Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Lifestyle | No Comments

A survey by Gallup in 2019 found that only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget. Roughly half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, meaning many of us have to get creative in how we shop for things like groceries, clothes, and entertainment. 

Living on a shoestring budget can be stressful, but it is possible with some of these creative tips to shop and make the most of what you have. 

Grocery shopping on a budget

Food tends to be one of the biggest spending categories in anyone’s budget. The USDA estimates that Americans spend an average of 6% of their budget on food; 5% of income also goes to dining out. How can you stretch that grocery shopping budget to go even further?

First, time your shopping trip to capitalize on sales and promos: 

Wednesdays: The middle of the week is often when grocers release their weekly circular. “You'll have first dibs on sale items for the week ahead and, if you're lucky, the store may still honor price reductions on items you forgot to pick up from the previous week's sale,” says one expert.

Avoid Tuesday and weekends: Weekends tend to be busier as people shop on non-workdays. Tuesdays can also be crowded as other shoppers try to take advantage of last week’s expiring deals, and therefore sale items go quickly. 

Shop late or early: The hour before closing is when some grocers reduce prices on bakery items or produce items that won’t last until the next day. Early in the morning is also when there is less competition for sale items. 

 

 

 

 

Next, before you head to the store, download an app. Not just any app, but one that gives you discounts: try Food on the Table, an app that lets you type in your food preferences and then generates a list of recipe options based on current promotions at your go-to grocery store. Or, try Ibotta, an app that lets you retroactively apply coupons to items you purchased by scanning your receipt and claiming deals.  Many grocery stores also have apps that deliver exclusive offers and digital coupons. 

Finally, put your dining out budget into your grocery shopping budget. A meal at a fast-food restaurant costs around $8; if you stop eating an $8 lunch every day during the workweek, you can save $40 a week ($160 a month!). 

How to budget for an apartment

Rent is a big budget item for most people, and there are lots of hidden costs in budgeting for an apartment. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new lease or looking to reduce your utility costs and other apartment expenses, there are a few key things to consider when budgeting for your apartment. 

First, if you’re looking to sign a new lease, try to find an apartment that’s close to public transportation. Longer-term leases (a year or more) tend to be cheaper, as the landlord doesn’t have to search for a new tenant or spend on renovations as often. If there are fixes that need to be made, offer to do them yourself in exchange for a discount on the security deposit. 

If you’re in an apartment and hoping to save on utility costs, go beyond basic steps like turning off lights and turning down the heat. Think about turning off the devices that consume energy in a passive way, like your microwave and water heater that you aren’t using constantly. Winterize your apartment to cut your cooling and heating bills (winterize is a bit of a misnomer, as many of these steps can also keep your apartment cool in the summer). And, avoid running your energy-intensive appliances – washing machine, dishwasher, or dryer – during “peak hours”. Electricity companies tend to discount rates during the night when fewer people are using their grid.

Thrifting and other shopping ideas

What about other expenses: clothes, gifts, and entertainment? There are creative ways to shop on a budget for these items too. 

Thrifting is an obvious choice for saving your clothing budget. Many shoppers also turn to fast-casual brands like H&M and Forever 21 – but be aware that those retailers may be more expensive in the long-term. Spending $10 on a t-shirt that lasts fewer than 10 wears is worse than spending $50 on a shirt you’ll own forever. “Unless it's practically free, you're better off buying clothing items from good brands with a reputation for well-made items,” wrote The Simple Dollar.

Look to see if clothes are well made by checking the seams and material. Seams on a good quality item will be perfectly straight, with no dangling strings; any patterns should match up well. The material should be higher-quality. Look for natural fibers and blends like wool, and avoid synthetics like polyester. 

For gifts, go for something thoughtful rather than expensive. Find gifts that are unique to the recipient and require time, rather than cash. For instance, give someone the gift of time by babysitting or hiring a house cleaner. Give your family member a recipe book of meals from your childhood. Or, start a new tradition – holiday cookie-baking, for instance – that leads to memories rather than things. 

Shopping on a budget isn’t always easy. Sometimes, what you really need is a little Lift to cover a shortfall or meet a financial emergency. 

This article is contributed by LiftRocket.

Can a Messy Home Affect an Appraisal?

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An appraiser will look beyond the normal signs of life in your home to determine its value.

 

What You’ll Learn

Why you need an appraisal for home refinancing

The kinds of clutter that can affect a home’s value

How to prepare your home to get appraised

 

You probably had your home appraised when you first bought it, but if you’re looking to refinance, you’ll likely have to go through the process again. This time, you’ve lived in your home for a while and it’s showing basic wear and tear and other signs of life. You didn’t have to worry about this before, but now you’re asking: can a messy home affect an appraisal?

The short answer is “no, a messy home should not affect the outcome of an appraisal.” However, it’s good to be aware that there are circumstances in which the state of your home can negatively affect its value. Let’s go over what appraisals entail and what factors can influence them.

What is an appraisal?

First things first: an appraisal is an unbiased estimate of your property's fair market value. It's conducted by a licensed professional and requires a thorough inspection of your home and its surrounding area. Appraisals can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to complete.

To determine your home’s value, an appraiser will consider everything from its structural integrity to its age, and the price of similar homes in the neighborhood. That’s why it’s necessary to get a new appraisal before you refinance. In the time since you purchased, any number of events could have changed the value of your home—including upgrades, damage, and changes to the housing market.

Why do I need an appraisal?

The purpose of an appraisal is to reassure your mortgage lender that they are not lending more than what your home is worth. If you were able to borrow a surplus, your lender would be at risk of losing money if you defaulted and they had to foreclose the property.

The appraisal process for refinancing a mortgage is similar to if you’re buying. In essence, you are switching out your old home loan for a new one, and your lender needs to know the value of your home to lend the right amount.

What do appraisers look for in their reporting?

An appraiser will thoroughly evaluate the quality of your home’s interior, including:

  • Square footage
  • Layout
  • Amenities
  • Structure
  • Potential hazards

 

They will count the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and note the size of the kitchen and living room. They will check that everything is structurally sound and that your plumbing and heating systems are in working order. They will pay attention to surfaces, appliances, handrails, flooring, fire escapes, and windows.

The exterior quality of your home will also affect its appraisal, including:

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Siding
  • Guttering
  • Overall structure

 

Your appraiser will inquire about the property’s age and its construction quality. They will also research the prices of nearby homes, available parking, local attractions, and proximity to schools and busy highways. You can renovate some aspects of your home to improve your appraisal, but many will be outside your control.

Do appraisers follow a set of standards?

Appraisers in most states use the Fannie Mae Uniform Residential Appraisal Report—a form that was created to ensure standardized reporting across the industry. Among other conditions, Fannie Mae requires all appraisers to have experience reviewing similar properties in the same geographic area. This way, appraisers can more accurately determine your home’s value compared to surrounding properties in the neighborhood.

In addition to the Fannie Mae guidelines, appraisers must obtain state licenses, which may require additional certifications depending on their locations.

What kinds of mess can affect a home’s appraisal?

Appraisers are trained to overlook clutter. Stray clothes, scattered toys, unwashed dishes, unmade beds, disorganized closets, and other items that suggest you actually live in your house should not affect an appraisal if they don’t affect its structural integrity.

With that said, there are some signs of neglect that will influence a home’s value—including mold on the walls, peeling paint, and pungent odors from dampness or cigarette smoke. Extreme clutter may also make it difficult for an appraiser to assess the value of your house. If excessive mess prevents them from entering rooms or viewing everything they need to, they may deduct points.

How to prepare for your appraisal

If you are ready to have your home appraised, you should address any significant issues that may affect your home’s value—such as damaged flooring, outdated appliances, and broken windows. A messy home should not affect an appraisal, but signs of neglect may influence how much lenders are willing to let you borrow.

This article was originally published on Better.com

How to Pick a Real Estate Agent

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This article was originally published on Better.com

By Kurtis Rhee

 

Most homebuyers consider dozens of houses before finding the perfect one, but that’s not the case when it comes to picking a real estate agent. Seven out of every ten homebuyers don’t interview their agent before deciding to work with them.1 That’s pretty scary considering not all agents are created are equal -- as the industry saying goes, 20 percent of the agents do 80 percent of the business. If your real estate agent could make the difference between landing your dream home in a few weeks or losing bids, why wouldn’t you shop around?

Finding an agent who is both good at their job and easy to work with isn’t always simple. That’s why we suggest interviewing at least a couple of real estate agents before picking “the one”. Here are some guidelines for how to decide which agent is a good fit for you.

1. Experience

 

With markets getting more and more competitive, you want a real estate agent with a proven track record of putting people in their dream homes. Read online reviews, talk to past clients, and most importantly, ask if the agent has recently closed on properties similar to what you’re looking for. Pay special attention to their history with homes in the location and price range you are considering.

 

2. Expertise

 

Working with someone who is familiar with your desired area helps to ensure that you’ll only spend time and energy on houses that fit your criteria. First, decide on the factors you want to prioritize in your neighborhood search (schools, walkability, nightlife, etc.), and then, go through them with your prospective agent to get a feel for their local knowledge.

 

3. Empathy

 

Ultimately, you want to make sure your agent is someone you are comfortable working with. The house hunt can sometimes take months, especially in competitive markets. Working with an agent who shares your communication style can help make the journey enjoyable rather than stressful. Spend some time thinking about the type of person who you’ll be able to work well with. Do you want someone who is patient and will guide you through the process? Or do you want someone who works fast and is straight to the point? (Your answer will probably be different depending on whether or not you’re a first-time homebuyer or familiar with the area.)

 

Need help finding the right real estate agent? While there is no obligation to use our suggested agents, we can help you save time and energy by introducing you to one who has been vetted by our team. Every agent we suggest has a strong track record of success. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers 

How to build a healthier Mother-Daughter Relationship

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Listen without giving advice.

When your mother or daughter comes to talk to you about something going on in their life, it can be hard to stop yourself from telling them what to do. As someone who loves them, you want their life to be smooth and happy, and it can be hard when you see them acting in a way that you wouldn't choose to act. When they're telling you their problem, do the best you can to listen, observe, and reflect back what they're saying to you. Stay away from beginning statements with words like, "you need to," or "why don't you," as these tend to assign blame and put your loved one on the defensive.

Engage in a fun activity - just for the fun of it.

If you have a tough relationship with your mother or your daughter, it can be easy to make every time you see each other into an opportunity to hash out conflict. It's important to spend time just doing something fun together. Taking a painting class, going for a walk, or going out to dinner to talk about what's going on in your lives without getting into the nitty-gritty of your relationship can be a lovely way to strengthen your bond.

Chat it up in the car

If your daughter is young enough that she still lives in your house, spending time together in the car can be a great way to have conversations. The lack of eye contact can make it easier to bring up tough topics, and awkward silences don't feel awkward when you're enjoying the scenery. Don't force your daughter to chat, but feel free to ask her questions about what's going on in her life. Remember, give her time to think and process - it's ok if she seems hesitant at first. She may just need some time to open up.

Learn something new together

Sign up for a cooking class, try out a Groupon for a workout class that neither of you have done before, or volunteer together at a new charity. When you see your mom learning something, you'll begin to wrap your head around the idea that she's a regular woman, just like you - she struggles and overcomes when trying something new. You'll bond together over a new experience, and you'll have a few laughs along the way.

Above all, remember that at the root of most mother-daughter conflict is love

Mothers want the best for their daughters, and it can be hard to sit back and watch them make what the mother believes to be a mistake. Daughters want the best for their mothers, and they can feel frustrated when their mother gets stuck in her ways. When you communicate with your mother or daughter, always remember to speak from a place of love, and your message is more likely to be heard.

This article was originally published on DearAva.

What homeowners can do to prepare for hurricane season

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Hurricane season is squarely underway with Dorian making landfall in the Carolinas. You may have seen all the news coverage, photos, and videos. But if you live in a hurricane’s path, the experience is nothing short of harrowing.

 

If you are a homeowner during hurricane season, you’ll experience a whole different set of worries and concerns. Here’s some helpful information and resources as we enter this unpredictable time of year.

 

What to do first if your home is impacted by a hurricane

Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency

You can register with FEMA online, in person at a disaster recovery center, or by calling 800-621-3362. FEMA also offers help and information for dealing with natural disasters. Visit FEMA.gov for more information.

Find out if your homeowner’s insurance coverage includes flood insurance

Homes financed with a federally insured mortgage in a high-risk flood area, also called a special flood hazard area (SFHA), are required to buy flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or as a separate policy through a private insurer. SFHAs are areas that have a minimum 1% chance of flooding in any given year.

Print out your most recent home insurance policies for easy reference. You can also contact your homeowner’s insurance (HOI) provider, if needed. If your policy doesn’t have flood insurance, read on to learn how to apply for a disaster relief loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Take photos of all damage

Make sure to be thorough and to capture all angles of the damage. Keep in mind that if you have a mortgage, your lender must sign-off on claims above a certain dollar amount. This is because mortgage investors such as Fannie Mae need to ensure your home is restored to a condition comparable to, or better than, when you bought it.

 

What not to do after a natural disaster

Don’t stop making mortgage payments without talking to your lender

If your home is not livable or your job was affected by a natural disaster and you can’t make mortgage payments, the worst thing you can do is to ignore the bills without talking to your lender.

Don’t assume your lender knows the condition of your home or employment status

If you stop making payments without making a plan with your lender, it will affect your credit, you’ll rack up late fees, and it can put your house on the foreclosure track.

 

For anyone in the process of getting a mortgage from Better Mortgage

We work hard to ensure that everything for your home loan remains on track. If you’re affected by a hurricane or natural disaster and your rate lock needs an extension, we will extend it at no cost to you to help minimize disruption until after the storm passes. Contact your Mortgage Expert for more information.

 

Resources you can turn to for assistance

If you are having trouble paying your mortgage

Reach out to your lender as soon as you can to discuss the situation and see what can be done. Many lenders including us at Better Mortgage are able to enlist a temporary mortgage payment hold. That said, if you are able to make your payments as usual, it’s highly recommended you do so.

For emergency response centers in your area

Check FEMA’s website. They can provide information on disaster-related assistance and can often help people find grants to rebuild their homes.

For temporary shelter and medical aid

Your local Red Cross chapter can help with basic needs, such as evacuation shelters, water, food, first aid, and other medical care.

For disaster recovery loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) can help homeowners, renters, and private nonprofits with recovery related to property, equipment, machinery, and business assets including inventory.

If Freddie Mac holds your mortgage

Visit this link for more information.

If Fannie Mae holds your mortgage

Visit this link for more information.

If your home is FHA-insured

Call the National Servicing Center at 877-622-8525.

For VA home loans

Call 877-827-3702 to speak with a loan technician.

We hope these tips are helpful. Please share with anyone you know who may benefit from having these links handy. It can be a long season, and the best preparation starts with being informed and ready.

This article was originally published on Better.com

How to Save: Discounted Medication

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Prescription medications can be very expensive. They can range from a couple dollars to even hundreds of dollars. Because medications can be so costly it can be very helpful to find any way to save money on them. You want to be able to support your health and needs without sacrificing being able to support yourself or your family financially. There are many ways to support savings on medications some include a pharmacy discount card, shopping generic instead of brand name, and medication payment assistance programs. Some options you can even stack on top of each other to add on the savings. For example, you could choose a generic brand and use a discount card to lower the price even further. All of these are great options to save money on prescription medications.  

 

Source

Discount Card

A pharmacy discount card is a concept that has been around for the past few years. The card offers discounted prices on prescription medications. It offers you coupons on tons of medications and can save you a lot of money. The pharmacy discount card can be used at most pharmacies and typically gets you ten to seventy-five percent off of the traditional retail price of the drug. To get discounted medications this is a great option. It is also free to use and is at zero risk to you. It is very easy to sign up for one and takes only a few minutes. It is very secure because it does not share your personal health information with the company. A pharmacy discount card is a secure, fast, and free way to save money on your medications. 

Compare Locations

Another way to save that many people do not think about is to compare the prices of prescription medications at different locations near you. Sometimes you could even find your medication for cheaper on an online pharmacy that could deliver the medication to your door. It may not seem easy to compare the prices of medications, but it really is. The pharmacy discount card company also allows you to reach a search engine on their website to compare prices of different prescription drugs. Being able to see the different prices allows you to choose the one that is the cheapest and will save you the most money. This is a very easy way to save money and will make it easier on your wallet. 

Generic v Brand Name

Generic options sometimes get a bad reputation, but most of the time they are of the same quality and work the same as the brand name. Sometimes, the generic brand is even preferred. Shopping generic is a great way to save money because you are not paying for the name of the company that makes the brand name option. There is usually a pretty substantial price difference between the two. Choosing the generic option can save you a lot of money, especially if it is something that you take regularly. Make sure you check with your healthcare provider about making this switch, as they may have a professional opinion about which one they think will be best for you. Be open and honest about your financial situation and your desire to save money on prescription medications. 

Assistance Programs

Lastly, if you truly cannot afford your medications or the above options do not work for you there is one more thing to consider. There are assistance programs both through the government and the manufacturers of the drugs. These are usually offered to low income individuals and can pay partially or fully for the cost of the medication. Take a look into this as it may be a great option for people struggling to pay for medications. You should never have to go without taking your medications because you cannot afford them. Use these strategies to make it a little easier to manage financially. 

Save The Environment By Using Eco-Friendly Bags

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Plastic was a great invention back in the olden days that was used in almost every household materials. Even today, plastic is used in almost every industry. However, plastic has been contaminating the earth as well. Humans are using over 160,000 plastic bags every second which means more than 5 trillion plastic bags will pollute the earth.

Moreover, plastic is not biodegradable which means it would take around 700-100 years to degrade and that is the reason why people are finding alternative solutions to it. Although when it comes to packaging materials, it always revolves around plastics and paper bags. While there are a number of better ways to get bags that will converse the environment beyond being highly convenient in carrying items around such as reusable shopping bags. There are many advantages of using eco-friendly over plastic bags which you can read in this article.

Economic

There is a plastic bag tax that increased the cost of plastic bags for both retailers and shoppers which makes a purchase of reusable bags more appealing.

  • The average person will use about 13,000 plastic bags in his/her lifetime, which is about a 5p charge. This means you will be spending $650/year on just plastic bags.
  • On the other hand, a reusable bag can cost you anywhere between 50p to $1 but has a lifespan equivalent to 500 plastic bags. This also means that you can save $625 a year.
  • This is important as your customers are always looking forward to saving money where they can, so if you can explain to them this then they will be much happier.
  • Reusable bags are even washable, so if there is any spill inside then you can just wash it and use it again and again.
  • While there are many stores and supermarkets out there that offer their customers with bonuses and loyalty points for customers who bring their own reusable shopping bags.

Environmental Reasons

One of the biggest reasons to switch traditional plastic bags to reusable and eco-friendly bags comes from the environmental impact. However, in an age of social media where one negative incident can quickly spread like wildfire across the web and can damage your business’ reputation.

  • Each year plastic is responsible for millions of deaths of birds and other animals.
  • Another disadvantage of plastic bags is that it takes up to 1000 years to decompose.
  • Whereas eco-friendly bags are produced from a number of biodegradable materials like canvas or jute.
  • Eco-friendly bags from ice-green.ca are an easy way to not only support environmentally friendly practices but to show it as well.

Practical

It goes without that at its very core the point of a bag is to be practical and for shopping bags that practical purpose to ensure the safe transport of your shopping. Moreover, reusable shopping bags offer a whole host of practical benefits.

  • Reusable and eco-friendly shopping bags provide your customers with a much sturdier and stronger solution than the old plastic bag.
  • With the use of materials such as cotton, reusable bags often have ergonomic handles that allow you to easily carry the bags.
  • Reusable bags are usually bigger in size than disposable bags but can be easily folded which will take up less room.
  • Although if you got a cool and funky design on your reusable bag then it can become a fashion accessory for your customers, ensuring that your brand is seen wherever they go.
  • Reusable bags are made from strong materials which means any leaks or spills inside the bag and prevents it from making any mess.

 

Styling Tips For Your Nursery

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Styling a nursery is one of the many activities parents are excited about. While some parents go overboard trying to style their kid’s room while others simply opt for nursery packages in Australia. These packages are often considered as a starter package that consists of basic furniture one might need for a newborn. Such packages might be available in several styles and themes to help parents decorate the room as per their liking.

There are also those who spare no item when decorating the nursery. This includes decorating the walls and buying designer cots as well as many other items baby dresser in Australia. Such a nursery will typically include items like a crib, dresser, glider, bookshelves, toy chest, changing table, rocker, etc.

Styling Tips

  • Many people prefer neutral colors in a child's room which is a good idea and also a cost-effective solution. In addition to this, it is also a good idea to make use of fancy wallpaper or wall stickers to transform the space into your nursery.
  • An average nursery will have several items that may either be arranged as per some theme or a simple practical arrangement. It is advisable to place a cot near the corner of the room for more playing areas and keeping the kids safe.
  • A bookcase is an essential item for any nursery since besides being adding to the aesthetical value of the room it also is quite practical. Parents often use books for the purpose of pacifying their children while they are growing up. It is necessary for the select the right size too.
  • Other styling items include durable rugs to protect the carpet underneath. Select ones made from good material to prevent unexpected spills.
  • Storage is essential if you have a newborn in the house; the need for good storage space increases as the child grows older too. There are several options when it comes to selecting storage space; this includes dedicated storage as well as innovative storage options integrated with other furniture items.
  • Age plays an important factor in selecting the right kind of furniture. The type of storage your child will require as a newborn is different from that when they grow older. The children will also outgrow the cots however; some of the furniture might come in handy for a longer duration. These are important factors to keep in mind when designing the nursery.
  • All parents prefer different styles; one of the styles making a comeback is the vintage style. Creating a vintages feeling may take some effort and will require to place classic vintage items like name plaques decorative hooks for bags and hats, etc. The theme of the room really boils down to personal preference and the theme of the house as well. 

Opting for Nursery Packages

Parents often opt for a nursery package. This is a package that consists of many of the common items one would require in a nursery. For example, such packages are known to include items like cot, a special mattress, a dresser, a changing pad, etc. There are many different types of nursery packages available hence the type of items and style will differ depending on the package you select.

There are infinite options when it comes to designing the nursery for your child, thus it is important not to go overboard while doing so. The best way to achieve this is to set a budget to start with, not spend on extra items that you are not likely to require them. It is a good idea to start the designing process early however, avoid over buying items by restricting the number of items to the essential and most important ones.

 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep With These Bedroom Style and Color Ideas

By | Sustainable Lifestyle | No Comments

Some people use their bedrooms for other things aside from sleeping. For some, it serves as a personal office or even a lounge room. But one way or another, it is a place for rest. It should provide you the relaxation and comfort both physically and mentally so you could get the energy you’ll need for the next day’s challenges.

We’ve all had those sleepless nights where no matter how much tossing and turning you do, sleep finds a way to elude you. There are lots of external and internal factors as to why you can’t go to sleep. Either you’re overthinking about tomorrow’s big meeting with clients or your bedroom’s current state is affecting you even without you noticing.

If it’s the latter, here are four easy bedroom style ideas you can use to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Accessible and relaxing lights

brown and white table lamp with light

If you’re someone like me, who likes to relax before bed by reading a book, having a bedside lamp in your nightstand is not only smart, but an essential item to have in your bedroom.

Placing lamps and on your bedside table makes it easier for you to access them right away. You don’t need to stand up and walk halfway across the room to turn off the light when all you wanted to do is to close your eyes and go to sleep. 

When selecting a good table lamp, stay away from the kinds that produce ultraviolet lights. It can suppress hormone production for circadian rhythm. Go for bedside lamps with the color hues similar to that of sunrise and sunset. 

Use soothing colors on your bedroom walls

empty bed inside room during daytime

Whether your favorite color is neon pink or acid green, having those types of colors on your bedroom walls is probably the main culprit of your lack of a good night’s sleep.

Colors have an immense influence on how you feel, more so if it’s the color of your bedroom walls. If the colors are warm and on the darker side, save those colors for social rooms such as your dining room and private lounge. Cool colors like pale blue, cool yellow, and light grey give off the impression of a calming environment which we are aiming to get in a bedroom. 

Going with the science of colors might be logical, but your personal preferences play a much bigger role in this. You want your bedroom to be relaxing and safe based on your own standards, and not because of what science dictates.

Pick a color that you’re drawn to. Then select the shade that sparks joy, comfort, and would help you be in a state of relaxation. If you’re drawn to pink, go with a light rose pink color rather than the hot neon pink shade.

Install blackout drapes

window curtain open wide

Imagine living in a big city like New York where almost everywhere is bright all the time that it literally lives up to its nickname as “The city that never sleeps.” Because of this modern lifestyle, people who live in big cities are often the ones who are not getting enough or even the best of sleep.

It is advisable though to dim the lights an hour before your set bedtime, but how are you going to do that with these lights from the street?

One easy hack to fix this is to opt for curtains with darkening shades. This helps block out the light coming from the outside.

Investing in a set can prevent or significantly lessen the outdoor lights from street lamps and establishments to entering your bedroom that can affect your mind and body’s so-called natural circadian rhythm. 

Maximize your bedroom’s floor space 

black table lamp on nightstand

If your bedroom is considerably small, having too many pieces of furniture, unnecessary stuff and clutter around what’s supposed to be your place of rest can cause uneasiness and sometimes anxiety for some which can be the principal cause of preventing them from having a good night’s sleep.

One way to do that is to apply the concept of minimalism in your bedroom. By keeping only the most bare essentials(bed, bedside table, reading lamp, curtains, and probably a few accessories), not only that you can maximize the bedroom’s floor space, you are also harnessing your mind to thinking your bedroom is a place for sleep which is what you should focus on when you’re there. 

One little hack I’ve learned is to install a mirror on a section of your wall to make the room appear larger and classy. They are cheaper alternatives and will add light to your space, making it feel airier. Rather than acquiring expensive wall art and decor, go for mirrors with nice frames. They are easier to mix and match no matter how small your space can be. 

If you’re not into minimalism, you can try to implement a smart storage strategy for your stuff. As much as possible, try to assign a home for things that get cluttered easily, such as clothes, books, shoes, and cosmetics. Try to keep your room as organized as you can, so you’re not worried about where to find things the next day or trip over some stuff in the middle of the night.

Bottom line

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the many things you’ll need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you’re not getting enough of it, your current bedroom set up is probably one of the main culprits why. Investing a little bit of your time to doing at least one or two of the bedroom style ideas mentioned above would not only help you relax in your own space but also improve the quality of your sleep.