Three Ways To Stop Using Plastic

Three Ways To Stop Using Plastic

I recently wrote a blog post about a study featured in CNN that warns consumers that even BPA-free plastic is bad for your health. After writing and researching for that post, I looked around my apartment, my bathroom and my kitchen with new eyes. I had plastic everywhere. My reusable water bottle, food containers, and frozen food bags were all made of plastic. In my bathroom, I have a plastic tooth brush, plastic containers for liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, face wash and mouth wash, and a plastic shower curtain. There is plastic in my shoes, my hair bands, and my hangers. Everywhere around me there is plastic. If the obvious environmental issues involved in using so much plastic were not enough to worry me, the recent article I wrote on the health issues involved in plastic use got me thinking: What are some ways that I can stop using plastic and use a healthier, more eco-friendly alternative?

  1. Use a glass water bottle.

The first and most obvious change that I opted to make was to use a glass water bottle. I try to drink as much water as I can in a day, and I take my water bottle with me to the gym and to yoga. If there is any plastic product that I use on a regular basis, it is this one. FWS offers a number of inexpensive plastic-free bottle choices.

 

2. Use an ecological toothbrush.

If plastic really is a bad as all of the studies say that it is, then brushing my teeth twice, sometimes three, times a day with a plastic toothbrush needs to change. I researched plastic-free alternatives and switched to a compostable bamboo toothbrush. I was worried that it would not brush as well as a plastic toothbrush, but I was wrong. It works just a well and I don’t have the negative health or environmental impact to worry about.

 

3. Switch to glass or ceramic food containers. 

I prepare a lot of my food for the week ahead of time during the weekend so that I don’t need to rush around during my lunch break to try and find what I want to eat. This is a great way to make sure that I am always prepared with food, and that I stick to my healthy way of living, but it is not so great when it comes to the containers that I use. I will often put warm (or even hot) food in plastic containers after I am done preparing it. I’ll then throw it in the fridge and eat from it later in the day or week. This is not good for my health at all, as studies show that the chemicals from the plastic can actually leach into food and then stay stored in my body. I invested in some glass containers and aside from being healthier for me, they actually hold the food a lot better, do not bend or break, and stack much nicer.

4. Reuse and Recycle Plastic Bags.

Some cities in the United States have put a ban on single use plastic bags. Both side of the debate have valid points for and against the use of plastic bags but an immediate step we all can take remembering the “R’s” (reduce, reuse, and recycle). There here are two blog posts that give some ideas how to reuse ziplock bags and reuse plastic grocery bags. We all can do our part in recycling all plastics not just bags. If you need to find a recycle center close to where you live Earth 911 has a great resource that can be found here.

 

In total, this lifestyle change cost me around $40 (and that is mainly because I bought a whole lot of glass containers). People always think that switching to healthier or more environmentally-friendly products will be exponentially more expensive, but that is not entirely true.

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Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

If you have walked into a department store and tried on a pair of pants, you probably realized that there is no such thing as “one size fits all.”

Each of us are unique in the ways that we are shaped. Our height, weight, face-shape, head-size, hair-color, and foot-size, among many others, can contribute to the plethora of decisions we must make about our appearance. It requires research, time, and patience.

In much the same way, our bodies require special attention to ensure that each unique need is being met. Everything from where we live to the genes that we have plays a part into how much water our bodies require to function fluidly. According to the Mayo Clinic,

“The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.”

While these findings are generally accurate, they are only able to provide a baseline to work off of. For some, these calculations are exactly what they need for healthy living, while others will need to experiment with the suggested amounts of water.

The amount of water needed can fluctuate based on the temperature (summer versus winter), nature of work (working on a construction crew versus working in an office), time spent working out, and the contents of your diet.

Time for some homework! The best way for you to figure out how much water you need to drink in a day is by personal observation. Take some time now to think about your daily routine. Do you work out every day? Do you live somewhere exceptionally warm? You can also experiment. Start a health journal, or download a fitness app like MyFitnessPal to help you monitor your water intake and how you are feeling as a result.

Knowing the proper amount of water your body needs can pay off both in the short and long term in your journey to a healthy lifestyle.

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Boil-Water Advisory Issued – What Do You Do?

Boil-Water Advisory Issued – What Do You Do?

Aqua New Jersey recently issued a boil advisory for the town of Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Aqua New Jersey’s website tells us that an equipment malfunction with an ultraviolet treatment system led to incomplete disinfection for some water distributed to properties.

So what exactly is a boil advisory? When a boil advisory is issued, it means that all water used for ingestion, including water used for washing fruits and vegetables must be boiled. Government agencies even warn that after hand washing, antiseptic washes should be used to keep bacteria from being accidentally ingested.

The advisory tells residents to “bring the water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute before using for cooking or drinking.”

But there are easier and more sustainable alternatives to filter your water in the case of a contamination.

The AquaCera countertop filtration system offers a simple and easy-to-use alternative to boiling your water. It filters out 99.9% of pathogenic organisms like E. Coli and Giardia, and it has a convenient flow rate of one half-gallon per minute. If you want to filter the water throughout your home, the AquaCera Gravity Water Filter System offers an excellent and safe option, providing your home with safe water, and removing the same bacteria that a boil alert warns you against.

If you are concerned about the safety of your water, you can call our water experts at 1-877-335-3339.

 

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Sweat Together, Stay Together – Exercises To Do With Your Loved One

Sweat Together, Stay Together – Exercises To Do With Your Loved One

As the study of the effects of exercises grows, researchers have found that when you work out with your romantic partner, you can actually appear more attractive to him or her. I know that doesn’t sound very logical. My typical workout consists of sweat stains, messy hair and pained look on my flushed and make-up-less face. (Not exactly a prime date-catching appearance). But studies do prove that when you workout with your romantic partner, it induces the same symptoms as physiological arousal (sweaty hands, racing pulse, and shortness of breath), mirroring romantic attraction. These sensations can be misattributed to romantic attraction, and make you both fall even more in love with each other.

If that isn’t enough for you and your bae to throw on matching workout gear and run hand-in-hand to the gym, there are even more benefits. Studies show that after participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples felt more satisfied with their relationships (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000). Exercising with a partner also increases  the overall efficiency of your workouts, as a workout buddy’s presence can improve your speed and effort without you even being aware. Working out together also makes it easier for you and your partner to achieve your exercise goals because you can lean on each other for emotional support.

So here are some fun ideas for your next sweat session with that special someone in your heart…

Partner Planks. Planks are a great exercise to do with a partner because having that motivation can take away from the painful monotony that planking can sometimes lead to. A low-impact core exercise, planking helps to increase stability, balance and strength, and – when done correctly – protects your lower back from strain. If you are performing a proper plank, your weight will be evenly distributed throughout your arms, toes and body, and your back will be as flat as possible. You can also perform a modified plank on your knees if you have lower back issues, or are just getting used to the exercise.

 

Partner Facing Planks With Alternating High-Five. This is where you and your workout partner get into a plank position and face one another. You and your partner should mirror one another’s body position and be about 1 or 2 feet away from each other. Maintaining an even distribution of weight throughout the rest of your limbs, raise your right or left arm and high-five your partner. Lower your arm down and then repeat on the other side. You can do 3 sets of 10 per each arm, or 5 sets of 5 per each arm. I recommend that you play around with the rep scheme and find what works best for you and your workout buddy.

 

Partner Farmer Carry. I personally think that farmer carries are an underrated exercise. In this exercise, you carry one dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a heavy bag of books in each hand, and then you just walk. You could also do a Farmer Carry Lunge (where you lunge instead of walk, adding a serious amount of difficulty and core work to the exercise). This exercise works your grip, forearms, shoulders, triceps, and core. The faster you walk, the most you can make this exercise into a cardiovascular exercise as well as a strength routine.

 

 

Farmer’s Race. The hardest thing that I have found about including a Farmers Carry into my workout routine is that its long, painful and a little bit boring. A Farmer’s Race is a fun way for you and your workout partner to challenge one another to push harder, longer and faster in this exercise. (And to add some excitement to your routine). All that you have to do is decide on a distance to go. I recommend 50 to 200 meters depending on the weight that you are carrying and your goal for the exercise, pick up your weight and then walk! If there is too much of a difference between the speed of you and your workout partner, modify the race by giving one of you more distance to travel, or a heavier weight to carry. This is a fun way to challenge each other and to add a little friendly competition into your workout routine.

 

 

Partner Chipper. There is nothing worse than doing a hard workout alone. When I was training for a marathon last year, I did not have a running partner and I remember the stinging pain of boredom more vividly during those long runs that I remember the actual pain of exercise. That is why I think that if you are going to commit to a long workout, you might as well have a buddy to do it with. Here are a few ideas to get you started. You can mix and match as you would like.

 

Well, I hope that was helpful! Good luck and sweat on!

100 Series- The 100 Series is a pretty versatile exercise. You and your partner just need to pick out exercises that you like and can do, and then do 100 reps total. I have included some exercises below to give you some ideas, but it is really up to you on what movements you choose. You can also split up the reps however you would like. So you could both do 50 reps each, or you could split it up into smaller rep schemes (5 sets of 10 per person for example).  The only 2 requirements are that while one person is working, the other is resting, and you cannot move onto the next exercise until you finish the reps in the movement that you are working on. Here are some ideas to get you started:

100 Squats (learn proper form here)

100 Sit-ups (learn proper form here)

100 Push-ups (learn proper form here)

100 Pull-Ups (learn proper form here) 

100 Lunges (learn proper form here) 

100 Wall-Balls (learn proper form here)

100 Deadlifts (learn proper form here)

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Plastic Water Bottles Are Destroying Our Oceans

Plastic Water Bottles Are Destroying Our Oceans

That’s right. Plastic water bottles are literally destroying our environment, and the most heartbreaking part about it? There are so many other better, healthier, and environmentally-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bottles.

Right now the average American throws away almost 185 pounds of plastic per year, and only a 5% of that is able to actually be recycled.

“There are billions of pounds of plastic floating around in oceans and other bodies of water, making up about 40% of the world’s surface.”

Plastic contributes to around 90% of all of the trash found in the ocean, and that floating plastic secretes harmful toxins into the soil and water, destroying animal habitats and killing one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals per year.

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90% of the trash floating in the ocean is plastic waste

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44% of all seabirds have been found with plastic on them

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80% of all single-use plastic bottles become litter

Plastic is not biodegradable, and when you use plastic bottles, you are contributing the 35 billion plastic bottles that are being thrown away each year.  The further add to the problem, plastic takes anywhere from 500 to 1,000 years to degrade.

This means that the plastic water bottle that you bought before your track race will likely float in the ocean or sit in a landfill for around 800 years before it fully degrades.

 

So what exactly can you do about it?

The best thing you can do is avoid plastic bottles altogether. Instead, try a reusable glass growler bottle. It is better for the environment, saves you money, is better for your health (no chemicals) and looks genuinely cool.

Reusable growler bottles are made of glass and do not need to be thrown away after one use. If you do wish to dispose of your growler bottle, it is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. Recycled glass can be substituted for 90% of raw materials, and can actually be used to make glass products again. Recycled glass containers are always needed because glass manufacturers require high-quality recycled container glass to meet market demands for new glass containers. When you used glass bottles, (even if you opt to recycle them after one or two uses), you are helping to save  more than a ton of natural resources for every ton of glass recycled.

“But no!” you say, “Growler bottles are so expensive! I don’t want to spend $20 on a glass bottle from a hipster boutique website!” And to that, my eco-conscious friend, I say “nay.”

Fresh Water Systems sells all different types of growler bottles in singles and in bulk for way cheaper than any specialty store. I’m talking less-thank-3-dollars-for-a-single-bottle-cheaper. And if you don’t want a glass growler bottle, FWS also has Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottles, and Neo Vas Stainless Steel Bottles, all for a great price and in various sizes. 

So there really is nothing stopping you for sparing your great-great-great-great grandchildren from having to deal with your single-use disposable plastic bottles.

 

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How Ice Quality and Color are Affected

How Ice Quality and Color are Affected

Is your commercial ice machine producing low quality ice that is cloudy and discolored? Learn what factors affect smell and color of ice cubes along with how to use a water filtration system to improve it.

Prevent-bad-smell-and-cloudy-ice-cubes

Some people believe that when they get an ice machine all they have to do is plug it into the water line and let it go.  Some ice makers are designed to be plug-and-play like that, but is setting up an ice maker directly off of the municipal tap water lines the best idea? Will you get the clearest and best quality ice from that ice machine? The answer is no.

Truth is, while each municipality has measures in place to filter out the contaminants that you find in tap water, water can pick up additional contaminants, chemicals, and even bacteria as it travels through the pipes to get to your location. Some of these contaminants include minerals from pipes. Of course it’s not bad for you, since it is safe tap water, but there’s a really good chance that it needs to be filtered again before it gets made into ice.

Without a filtration device on your lines, the water that goes into your ice machine is going to be the same water that leaves your tap, filled with minerals from the travel and chemicals from the treatment plant.

Doesn’t the ice making process get rid of chemicals and minerals?

Yes, the process of making ice does get rid of some particulates that are in tap water. As ice freezes, some of the heavier particles fall out of the ice. A good quality ice machine will have a way to remove these so scale doesn’t build up.

However, there are other contaminants that stick around. These can give your ice a foul taste and an off-color. Furthermore, unfiltered water accelerates the development of scale and buildup in the lines outside of the machine, reducing the efficiency of the ice machine.

An Analogy

Think about the contaminants in the unfiltered tap water like debris in a hallway.  This debris is large enough to slow you down, but not large enough to completely stop the works.  By removing the debris from the hallway, you’re able to walk down it unencumbered.  The same process works for a commercial ice machine: with fewer particles to get in the lines, the more productive and efficient the machine becomes.

While there is some natural filtration with the condensing and evaporating process, filtering water is not the machine’s purpose.  It does not specifically focus on the elimination of contaminants like an ice filter will.  This means that the chlorine and other off-flavors have the potential of making it through to your ice.

The filtration of water before it enters the ice machine significantly increases the production of the ice machine, along with both the freshness and clarity of the cubes which are produced.  You should install a water filter on your lines to ensure you can get the best ice you can. Clear, tasty ice means a positive customer service experience, as well as less wear and tear on your ice machine.

 

Article provided by IceMachinesPlus.com

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