Going green at home


Our planet Earth has already suffered so much due to our overuse, and abuse of the resources that nature has provided us with. Even as governments are doing something to resolve the issues, we, as citizens of this planet must also do our share in keeping our activities and consumption within the carrying capacity.  And the least we could do is to start going green at home.

When joined together, every little thing we do to help reduce our impact on the environment counts a lot. Here are some of countless ways to do it.

conserve water

Conserve water. The status of potable water in the world is considerably getting scarce dangerously low and we might not have enough of it in the coming years.  So, let’s make a conscious effort in performing these little tasks at home. All we need to do is just a bit of behavioral changes.

  • shorten shower time by a minute or two
  • use low-flow shower heads to lessen the amount of water, without having to suffer from lack of performance
  • install a low-flow toilet
  • always turn the tap off or use a glass when brushing your teeth
  • don’t run the tap when rinsing your dishes.  Instead, use a basin, or fill your basin sink.
  • put an aerator on all household faucets
  • instead of running your garden hose, use a broom to clean your driveway
Use energy-saving appliances. Buy or replace old appliances with energy-efficient models to save on energy consumption.
Replace or clean the filters and vents in your air conditioning system.  This helps you save on energy  at the same time increase the efficiency of your air conditioning system.
Use eco-friendly cleaning materials.  Make use of some of your kitchen items and food ingredients in cleaning kitchen counters and stove, instead of advocating chemical-based cleaning solutions.  Baking soda, lemon juice, and borax can do the cleaning perfectly.
eco green bagsUse eco green bags.  Instead of using plastic shopping bags, take an eco green bag every time you buy your groceries.  This will help cut down on non-biodegradable waste materials and harmful emissions generated in the production of plastic bags.  Eco-friendly bags are reusable for more than a hundred times.
Use environmentally friendly paints.  The next time you paint your house, beware of those conventional house paints containing solvents, toxic metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They contribute to smog, ozone pollution, and indoor air quality problems.  Choose paints that have zero or low VOC content.
There are still a lot more to do in going green at home. Even the simplest task of reusing an empty medicine bottle can go a long way in saving our ailing earth.

Health benefits of coconut water


In my previous post, Coco toyo: condiment from coconut water I shared how coconut water, one of the purest liquids known to man, can be made into a healthy substitute for chemically-enhanced soy sauce.

Now, let me share with you the other benefits derived from coconut water.

Refreshing drink.  Aside from being the best drink to beat the summer heat, coconut water contains electrolytes and minerals that hydrate your body.

Nutritious. Don’t you know that it’s also packed with a variety of nutrients? Let me enumerate some of those:

  • It is filled with abundant bioactive enzymes like acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA polymerases, and more.  These enzymes aid in digestion and metabolism.  In fact, coconut water contains more hydrating properties than tap water. Also,  it has less sodium and more potassium compared with the usual energy or sports drink available in the market.
  • Coconut water has a much better composition of minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc compared to oranges and other fruits.
  • It is a very good source of B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates.
  • It is loaded with sufficient amount of electrolyte potassium.  In fact, every 100ml of coconut water contains 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium. These electrolytes replenish what is lost in diarrhea.  Studies have shown that the osmolarity of tender coconut water is a bit greater than what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for oral rehydration therapy (ORT) osmolarity.
  • Coconut water contains little amount of vitamin C and approximately 2.4 mcg of RDA.

Possesses cytokinins.  Coconut water has been found to contain cytokinins, such as kinetin and trans-zeatin, elements that possess anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties.

Low on fat.  Hmmm, this might be what you want to hear. The water of a young coconut is ideal for the weight conscious among you. It’s very low in fat. Besides, it helps you feel full, thus reducing your cravings for more food.

Anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Coconut water helps keep flu, fever, herpes, and other ailments at bay. It can even stop all kinds of adverse drug reactions.  Likewise, it is effective in the treatment of damages due to improper administration of anti-microbial agents.  Coconut water is also effective in calming nervous and emotional imbalances.

Helps break down kidney and bladder stones.  Regular intake of coconut water eases kidney and bladder problem. It breaks down the stones into tiny bits so that they can be flushed down easily during urination.

Detoxifying agent.  Coconut water possesses a very strong, if not the strongest antidote against any form of poison infusion in the body.  It has the capability to neutralize the effect of poison in the blood.

These are but few of the many healthful benefits that you and I can get from coconut water.  If you haven’t tried this drink yet, you better get a bottle or two from your local store. Or, if you are somewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, you can actually buy a fresh coconut at the market.

Snap with eco-friendly digital cameras


Thanks to those who invented the digital cameras, we don’t have to worry anymore about running out of films in the midst of capturing important scenes or events.  We can also forego the agony of waiting for our photographs to be processed and printed.  And by using digital cameras, we help reduce our carbon footprints.

A camera is one of the most important things we cannot leave without when going for excursions or vacations.  We all love to capture every other moment of our life [read: selfie or groupie].

film camera

But gone are the days when you have to go through a long process – from buying a film, loading it onto the camera, then a trip back to the studio for developing – before you finally get to flaunt what you got during your sojourn.

And, if you were a photographer who owns a studio, you have the additional tasks of going to the dark room, prepare the chemicals, trays, enlargers, special lights, and all those stuff to work on the negatives.

Digital cameras have replaced the good old film cameras.  And perhaps, it’s one of the best things that happen in the field of photography.  Unlike the old film cameras, the digital versions are more handy and hassle-free.  No films required, no waiting time for films to develop, and they are much lighter. And since they don’t require films and chemicals for developing the negatives, they are easy on the environment and friendly to the photographer’s health.

Canon - EOS-1200D

I’m biased for the Canon brand of digital compact cameras, specifically the EOS 1200D model.  I’m not saying it’s the best because, in the first place, I haven’t tried any other brand yet.  In other words, I have nothing to compare it with. But so far, I’m so happy with the EOS performance. I’ve been using it for quite a time now and it hasn’t failed me.  It’s easy to use even for beginners or those having difficulty in focusing because of its “Scene Intelligent Auto” feature.

Living dangerously with polluted air


The Industrial Revolution ushered humanity into an age of economic progress, and a new kind of lifestyle.  A lifestyle that retrogressed from healthy to dirty.  Since then, we have been living dangerously with soot and polluted air. In fact, it is now very rare to find a place where we can breathe clean air.

Alongside the so-called economic development came urbanization.  Population continuously grew around centers of industry and commerce. As people crowd into these places, they also begun generating more wastes, polluting the environment and the air. Hence, we become acquainted with the words smog, industrial air pollution, accidental air pollution, transport-related pollution, green house effect, and the like.

Smog, which is a combination of smoke and fog, is generated from industry emissions, motor vehicle combustion, incinerators, open burning, and other sources.  It results when high concentration of moisture transfuses with smoke at high temperature. The smoke in this combination usually contains oxides of sulphur and nitrogen.

Industrial establishments utilize various kinds of chemicals in their production processes, the excess of which are emitted into the air through the chimneys of their factories.  Once out, the smoke forms a bond with fog and pose health threats to humans and harm to other living things.

Industrial air pollution is identified as one of the major causes of air pollution because it covers several areas. The major industrial air polluters include thermal plants, manufacturing units for fertilizers and pesticides, leather and plastic factories, atomic reactors, and other types of industries.  All of these are considered air polluters because of the chemically harmful smoke they emit into the atmosphere during production processes.

Accidental air pollution.  As the term implies, this type of pollution occurs by accident, like burning in forest fires, accidents to petroleum mass transport vehicles, and by leakage or blasts in industries.

Transport-related air pollution. This type of air pollution comes from the exhaust of petrol- or diesel-powered motor vehicles.

Green house effect.  It is an occurrence when the earth’s atmosphere traps solar radiation caused by the presence of certain gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour in the atmosphere that allow incoming sunlight to penetrate but also absorbs the heat that is radiated back from the earth’s surface.  With such an effect, the atmosphere gets contaminated when a number of green house gases, such as methane, sulphur, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and ozone blend with air.

Economic progress is not bad at all.  But, we also need to consider our own health and the only planet we live in.  Everyone has the right to breathe clean air and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Coco toyo: condiment from coconut water


 

Soy sauce is one of the most important condiments that Filipinos cannot live without.  It’s the primary ingredient to the ever popular adobo dish.  And I bet you even have a favorite commercial brand that you can readily get from the supermarket or the nearest sari-sari store.  But, how about trying to make your own version of soy sauce? From coconut water, I mean.

coco water - toyoThere are significant bases why a coconut tree is called ‘the tree of life’. From its roots to the utmost tip of its leaves, you will surely find some good uses of a coconut. It provides several health benefits to mankind, as well as  hefty economic returns to those who cultivate it.

But, perhaps not many people are yet aware of the full potentials of coconut. Take for example the coconut water.  Even if most of us know of the amazing health benefits of this refreshing drink, it was only recently discovered that coconut water can also make a tasty and delightful condiment that can even be turned into an income-generating resource.  In fact, many coconut farmers today still discard this fluid when they do copra production.

Recent studies have found that coconut water can make very good substitute for the soybean-based sauce.  It is very easy to prepare, too.  You just collect a liter of coconut water and sift the tiny particles away.  Boil the coconut water in a pan for an hour or until the liquid thickens and turned dark.  Then, remove it from the fire.  Once cool, you may transfer your coconut soy sauce to a bottle container for proper storage.

That’s all it takes to make a healthy home-made condiment!

Aside from being healthy, coconut soy sauce, or coco toyo, does not necessarily have to contain preservatives; and it can last for around six months. It also does not require any additive to enhance its flavor because its natural taste is delicious enough.

Not only that!  You may even want to market it. It does not require huge capital to start a coco toyo  business.  Besides, it is now high time that we should turn to healthy eating habits and lifestyle.

Here is how to make “coco toyo”.  [Acknowledgement to Ms. Karren M. Verona, Executive Producer of Agri Tayo Dito TV program on ABS-CBN, who supplied this procedure]

coco toyo

Ingredient:

      2 liters coconut water (Be sure that it is fresh and from any foreign particles)

Procedure:
  1. Put the coconut water into a pre-heated pan.
  2. Stir it constantly for about 10 minutes.
  3. Cover the pan and let boil.  Leave for 20 – 25 minutes.
  4. Stir the coconut water again.  This time the water must have already changed color from clear to light brown.
  5. Wait until the water becomes caramelized (or black).  Let cool, and store it in a clean bottle or other container.

See also Coconut water

Is prolonged use of mobile phone harmful to health?


There’s a continuing debate regarding the effects of prolonged use of mobile phone. Whether it’s proven to be dangerous or not, it’s still pays to be cautious than sorry later on.

A team of scientists who studied about the effects of mobile phones to users found enough evidence to classify this gadget as potentially carcinogenic to humans.  This means that the evidence shows a rise in the glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer among mobile phone users; although, the same evidence did not draw any conclusion yet for other types of cancer.

Likewise, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared earlier that radiation from cell phones can potentially cause cancer – the reason the agency classifies use of mobile phone under the  “carcinogenic hazard” category along with lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform.

But then a report from the Health Protection Agency, which has been formed to study on the safety of mobile phones, transmitter masts, and wi-fi, stated that there is no strong evidence to support such claim. Although, members of the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) did not categorically confirm that prolonged use of mobile phone is safe to human health since they find only minimal supporting evidence beyond fifteen years of exposure.

CP - lady using mobile phone

Nevertheless, whether or not prolonged use of mobile phone were proven safe, and even if the radio frequency energy from such gadgets poses no confirmed health threats, there is one thing for sure:

use of mobile phone poses potential threats to human lives, through any or all of these factors:

  • Irresponsible use of mobile phones and/or other wireless gadgets poses risk of serious injury, especially when you use it while driving, walking, cycling, or performing any other  task that requires concentration.
  • Mobile phones may impede the proper operation of medical equipment like defibrillators, cardiac pacemakers, and hearing aids.
  • It may even interfere with sensitive electronic devices, like navigation and aircraft communication systems.

Experts even suggest that in order for us to reduce our exposure to radio frequency energy, we need to take certain preventive measures.  After all, it is better to be alert now than to be sorry later on when we have to deal with its negative consequences.  

Some of their suggestions tell us to minimize the use of mobile phone in areas where signal is weak, such as inside elevators, homes, or cars; encourage us to use the landline telephone wherever possible, and; advise us to make use of hands-free device or speaker phone to keep it farther from our ears and brain.

Personally, I don’t go for prolonged use of mobile phone because I hate it when the device heats up on my ears. If you have ambivalent feelings about the issue, I think it is safe to be prudent.

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