Energy ConservationEnvironmental News

HEALTH BENEFIT OF CONNECTING WITH NATURE

The health benefits of spending time in nature are massive. Some of these benefits relate to our physical health, demonstrating time outside has direct impacts on health measures such as blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. A large part of these benefits has to do with the physical activities that happen in green spaces, such as walking, hiking, team sports, and more.

Studies have shown that after being exposed to a stressful situation, viewing a nature scene or being in nature can actually help lower the physiological effects of stress such as heart rate, muscle tension, and pulse transit times. Additionally, research in prisons shows that inmates with cell windows with views of the natural world had lower rates of digestive illnesses, headaches, and had fewer sick calls overall. The stress-reducing health benefits of nature also extend to the workplace. Employees with a view of nature perceive lower levels of job stress and higher levels of job satisfaction

Humans elicit positive psychological responses to nature, which involve feelings of pleasure, sustained attention or interest, feeling a “relaxed wakefulness,” and a decrease of negative emotions such as anger and anxiety. All of these effects can be beneficial in our professional and academic environments, as well as our personal lives.

When a person is exposed to nature, the brain is better able to relieve itself of “excess” circulation (or activity) and nervous system activation is reduced, allowing us to feel relaxed and present. Additionally, experience with nature can help strengthen the activities of the right hemisphere of the brain, and help restore harmony to the brain as a whole.

After hours of sitting behind a desk or in front of a computer, it can be pretty easy to feel drained and tired. However, research has shown that exposure to nature can help promote a sense of natural fascination and curiosity, which can help increase creativity.

Viewing natural scenic areas may actually reduce the physiological effects of stress. Patients in hospitals with access to view natural scenery show increased recovery rates, had better evaluations from nurses, required fewer pain killers, and had less post-operative complications compared to those who viewed urban scenes.

When given a choice, people prefer natural environments (particularly those with natural water features, large old trees, intact vegetation, or minimal human influence) to urban ones. This period, take your friends, your loved ones, or just yourself and enjoy all the outdoor wonders of nature!

 

 

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THE BLACK AND WHITE OF TEA BAGS

You would probably be surprised to learn that most tea bags contain up to 25% plastics. The main reason for this is that in order for the tea bags to seal up and keep their shape in hot liquid, a plastic polymer, namely polypropylene, must be added. This is usually so that the tea bag is held in a  shape, which producers claim helps the tea leaves infuse better. Even though the amounts of plastic found in tea bags is minimal and vary between manufacturers it adds up to quite a bit when you look at the big picture.

Due to the plastic content, conventional tea bags cannot completely decompose. This makes them a bad option for compost material and the environment… not to mention your body.

Recent research from McGill University in Canada also found that most types of tea bags leak millions of plastic particles into our drinks not only from the sealing plastic but from the bag itself. Microplastics have widely been found in the environment, in tap and bottled waters, and in some foods. A new study has found that a single plastic teabag steeped at a brewing temperature of 95 degrees Celsius releases around 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup

Most tea bags are made of thin and permeable papers and are not biodegradable. They contain harmful chemicals. The package and material can pollute the environment significantly.

However, it is not all doom and gloom with teabags.

There are few ways to recycle tea bags, including re-soaking used tea bags. This tea-enhanced water actually provides some nutrients if you use it to water your plants.  You can also break open the bag and sprinkle the wet leaves around potted plants for a similar effect.

Used tea bags can also be a great way to keep your glass and mirrors clean. Simply wipe the mirror or glass pane with a moist, used tea bag and dry with a soft cloth.

Leftover tea can even refresh your skin. Add a few used tea bags to a bowl of hot water and hold your head above the steam to moisturize your face. The same idea can be used to calm tired feet, too. Simply add the used tea bags and warm water to a soaking basin, immerse your feet, and relax.

So what do you do with your used tea bags?

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UNFAMILIAR MATTERS ON GLITTERS

Glitter is the icing on the cake of the craft and makeup world. Made of tiny pieces of plastic bonded with aluminum, glitters are quite charming but dangerous.

According to scientific research, glitters are hazardous to the environment; especially the world’s ocean. When washed down the drain they become a subset of marine plastic litter known as micro-plastic.

It usually takes four weeks to degrade. However, the degrading process varies and depends on the size, environment and other factors such as heat.

Most glitters do not degrade in clean water as it takes microorganisms to start the degrading process.

The safest way to dispose of these fanciful plastics is to permanently glue it to something you plan to hold on to for a long time. They should not be washed down the sink.

For a greener alternative, salt glitters (which basically involves the use of food coloring and salt) could be used as a substitute for plastic glitters.

 

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SANITATION AND HYGIENE

Sanitation and hygiene are critical to health, survival and development.
Many countries are challenged in providing adequate sanitation for their entire populations, leaving people at risk for water.

Throughout the world, an estimated 2.4 billion people lack basic sanitation (more than 32% of the world’s population).
Basic sanitation is described as having access to facilities for the safe disposal of human waste (feces and urine), as well as having the ability to maintain hygienic conditions, industrial or hazardous waste management, and wastewater treatment and disposal.

The importance of sanitation and good hygiene cannot be overemphasized.
A healthy environment helps protect women and children from communicable diseases.
Around the world, over 800 children under age five die everyday from preventable diseases; diarrhea related diseases caused by lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

This can be combated through a healthy lifestyle and habitual sanitation.

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RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR ENVIROMENT

Human activity causes environmental degradation, which is deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; extinction of wildlife; and pollution.

The environment has an effect on people’s behavior and motivation to act.

When an environment is clean and neatly arranged, it influences the mood of people; for example: a well decorated room can bring about comfort and a relaxed state of mind. Interestingly, a bright room with so much lights, whether artificial or natural, can improve health outcomes such as depression, agitation, and sleep.

In the light of the above facts, we need keep our environment clean at all times, ensuring the cleanliness and proper aeration of our homes through any of the following habits;

  1. Disposing our dirt properly
  2. Weeding our environment periodically
  3. Curbing infestation through fumigation
  4. Habitual hand washing with soap and water; running water preferably.