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As the holidays come up many of us tend to give in to the junk food and take more rest days than normal. That mixed with the cold weather can leave you feeling unhappy and sluggish. I have put together a few tips to keep you feeling happy and healthy all year long.

8 healthy living tips:

  1. Eat right. The Mediterranean diet has been proven as one of the best ways to stay healthy.
  2. Exercise. Just 30 minutes a day is all it takes.
  3. Reduce Stress. Take 10 minutes to clear your head every day. You can even do yoga to clear your head and get some exercise at the same time.
  4. Smile and Laugh. Both of these will instantly make you feel better without having to do anything else.
  5. Drink more water. Your body is mostly made of water, so you’ll want to stay hydrated to feel your best.
  6. Get some sun. Not getting enough sun is known to cause sadness and depression.
  7. Sleep right. In order for your body to work properly it needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
  8. Wash your hands. Your hands pick up many germs so it is a good practice to continually wash them throughout the day.

Last week I wrote a blog about a company that is developing an edible water “bottle.” Why is this so important? The use of plastic water bottles has a large impact on the environment. First of all plastic water bottles are 100% recyclable; however, only 27% are actually recycled. 35 billion bottles end up in landfills, where they never degrade, or in oceans harming birds and marine life. The carbon footprint for one 500ml bottle of water is 82.8g of CO2. This number includes the bottle, distribution and transportation, the cardboard tray used in the packaging, and energy used by the retailor. Water from overseas can have and even higher footprint. Also the amount of water used to make the plastic water bottle is 3x the amount that goes in the bottle. Bottled water is necessary for people who don’t have access to clean drinking water; however, here in the US most of the drinking water is safe. We also have the option to use filters on our drinking water to make it even better. Getting rid of plastic bottles will save money and the environment.

To learn more visit Water Technology for the “How to Reduce Your Bottled Water Footprint” infographic: http://www.watertechonline.com/infographic-how-to-reduce-your-bottled-water-footprint/

Pumpkin season is here and with it is a pumpkin shortage! When picking out your pumpkin this year you may notice that they aren’t as big as they used to be. The drought and heat have led to smaller pumpkins in California. Some growers are importing gourds from Oregon to make sure they have large pumpkins this season. Libby’s, one of the largest canned pumpkin companies, is also facing a pumpkin shortage. The harvests were less than they anticipated and they don’t believe they will have much, if any at all, reserve stock to make it through to the new year. Once the stores sell out they will most likely be out until next year’s harvest. The good news is we should have enough pumpkins for carvings, pies, and pumpkin spice lattes to make it through the fall.

Many of us use plastic water bottles in our daily lives. You can purchase them just about anywhere and they are easy to travel with. The problem with the plastic water bottles is they are not good for the environment. Only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled each year the rest begin a very long decomposition process. Skipping Rocks Lab has created a new way to hold water without the use of any plastic. Ooho! is an edible water “bottle” made of a biodegradable seaweed- and calcium chloride-based membrane. Ooho! is essentially an edible water balloon. To drink it, all you have to do is make a hole. There is still work to be done before we will start seeing these in stores, but we are one step closer to a cleaner earth.

Here at Aqua Sun Ozone we get many questions about ozone including how it works, what it does, if it’s harmful, etc. Below is an excerpt from an article in Water Conditioning and Purification Magazine that will help answer some of those questions.

GOOD OZONE

Ozone provides a great benefit essential for daily life, so in a sense, all ozone is good. Like the ozone created in the upper atmosphere, ozone can also be man-made for a number of water and air treatment applications, including oxidation of contaminants in potable water, disinfection and oxidation of contaminants in pool and spa water, disinfection of zoo and aquarium water, wastewater treatment and the purification of indoor air within a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and many more.

Man-made ozone is created from either UV light or by corona discharge (CD). These ozone generators are designed to produce specific quantities of ozone based on their application. Ozone’s exploits have been known the world over, from large metropolitan drinking water systems for cities, such as Los Angeles, Orlando, Seattle and Dallas, to name a few. Ozone has also been mandated by the Olympic Committee to be used in all Olympic competition and training pools. Ozone was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an antimicrobial agent in 2001 and has since been used in fish, meat and poultry plants, for the disinfection of the meats, cutting boards, knives and all other food surfaces, as well as air treatment within those facilities for odor and bacteria control. A somewhat new market for ozone is within commercial and residential laundries where ozone can help to oxidize soil and kill bacteria, while reducing water, chemical and energy consumption.

EFFECTS OF OZONE

Is ozone bad for you? During more than 100 years of varied commercial applications, the safety record of ozone is unsurpassed. During this notable period, there has never been a reported fatality linked to the exposure of ozone anywhere in the world as a result of its generation and application. The known effects of ozone are most often recorded as ozone gas acting as an irritant affecting the upper respiratory system, causing shortness of breath, coughing and drying out the eyes. Some people who are exposed to gaseous ozone experience headaches, which usually fade away rapidly after moving into fresh air. Fresh air or oxygen (in extreme cases) is the primary first-aid measure taken in cases of ozone exposure.

This incredible safety record of ozone is attributed largely to the fact that those who manufacture ozone generators and ozonation equipment recognized early on that the strong oxidizing and disinfection properties of this unique gas must be controlled. Operators of ozone and ozonation equipment must not be exposed to ozone that might leak or escape from the closed environments of its production and application. Responsible ozone manufacturers incorporate all the safeguards necessary to provide a safe work place.

Click here for the full article.

Today is officially the first day of fall! It’s now time to get out all of your fall decorations and warmer clothing. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year because it starts to get colder, the leaves start changing color, and all of the excitement in the air around the holidays.  Because this is one of my favorite seasons, here are some of my favorite things to do:

  • Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Make apple/pumpkin pies and caramel apples
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Trick-or-treating
  • Go to a corn maze
  • Take pictures outdoors
  • Go to football games
  • Spend time outdoors hiking, walking the dog, riding a bicycle, etc.

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”

― Lauren DeStefano, Wither

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about how much food Americans waste and how to reduce your food waste. Because of this, I have been looking for an easier way to keep track of food and when it expires. Of course there was already an app for that called FoodKeeper. This app was created by the USDA to help families make better use of the food they purchase.

The FoodKeeper app offers advice on over 400 items. Below are some of its features:

  • Storage timelines for the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.
  • Cooking tips to prevent foodborne illnesses.
  • A calendar to help you manage your food storage.

The FoodKeeper app is part of an effort called the U.S. Food Waste Challenge. Below are the goals:

  • Reduce food waste by improving product development, storage, shopping/ordering, marketing, labeling, and cooking methods.
  • Recovering food waste by connecting food donors to food banks.
  • Recycle food waste to create compost, fertilizers, bioenergy, or feed animals.

 

p.s. Don’t forget the Nature-Kleen and the Vege-Kleen can double the shelf life of your fruits and vegetables possibly reducing your food waste.

Although things seem to be looking up in many drought stricken regions in the US, most of the Western United States is still in a severe to exceptional drought. Most of these states rely on snow or rainfall, both of which have been below average. Because of these extremely dry conditions, there are about 60 fires burning across the country. The amount of damage cause by the fires has only been matched a few times in the last 55 years. If the meteorologists are correct, El Nino could bring much needed relief to many of these areas.

Below are 8 states in the most severe drought:

8. South Carolina

  • Severe drought 26.7%
  • Extreme drought: 0.0%
  • Exceptional drought: 0.0%

7. Utah

  • Severe drought 26.8%
  • Extreme drought: 0.0%
  • Exceptional drought: 0.0%

6. Montana

  • Severe drought 10.1%
  • Extreme drought: 18.8%
  • Exceptional drought: 0.0%

5. Idaho

  • Severe drought 18.8%
  • Extreme drought: 29.3%
  • Exceptional drought: 0.0%

4. Nevada

  • Severe drought 38.6%
  • Extreme drought: 21.6%
  • Exceptional drought: 15.9%

3. California

  • Severe drought 21.3%
  • Extreme drought: 25.1%
  • Exceptional drought: 46.0%

2. Washington

  • Severe drought 32.0%
  • Extreme drought: 68.0%
  • Exceptional drought: 0.0%

1. Oregon

  • Severe drought 32.7%
  • Extreme drought: 67.3%
  • Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Please remember to conserve water and keep an eye out for potential fire hazards.