Feb 132012
 

Jewel of the Week: Zoisite

Zoisite was first discovered in Austria towards the end of the eighteenth century and was named after the mineral collector Freiherr Von Zois. Zoisite’s green color comes from the presence of chromium and vanadium and it forms in rough masses. Zoisite masses occasionally have Ruby scattered throughout the stone. Zoisite stimulates fertility and if Ruby is present it increases potency. Zoisite stimulates the crown chakra and the sacral (2nd) chakra, which is associated with fertility. Zoisite assists with decomposition of negativity and transforms the negative energy into positive energy fields, transforming destructive attitudes into constructive attitudes. Zoisite assists us with our creativity and helps us to realize our own ideas and desires.

Daily Jewel:

April is the month that gardens are being prepared for planting. In preparation for planting seeds and the growth of new seedlings, the gardener takes special care in his soil preparation. The gardener provides mulch to help retain moisture, composted yard and food waste and manure to fertilize and add essential nutrients to the soil.

The gardener knows that a healthy, fertile soil will provide high yields of crops, flowers and hardy trees. Poor soil provides undernourished, diseased plants that yield poorly. The gardener knows the importance of having fertile soil before planting the seeds for new growth.

What are you doing to provide fertile soil for the seeds of your ideas and dreams? Are you experiencing doubt and fear about planting your seeds of creativity or are you filled with joy and excitement? The energy of Zoisite will assist you in the process of turning your inner soil into fertile ground that is ready for planting.

Take your fears, doubts, negative thoughts and attitudes and send them into the ground for Mother Earth to compost and transform into fertilizer for your inner soil. Take some time to go out into your garden or on some grass, close your eyes and visualize yourself sending those fears, doubts and negativity into the ground. Feel this negative energy, this waste going out from the soles of your feet into the earth. The “souls” of our feet are our “soul” connection to the earth. Take a deep breath and feel the positive, nurturing energy rising back in through the soles of your feet from the Earth Mother. Take that wonderful, positive energy into your body to nourish your soil in preparation of planting your seeds of creativity.

Nature imitates herself: a grain thrown into good ground brings forth fruit: a principle thrown into a good mind brings forth fruit. -Blaise Pascal

Bio: I am The Soul Power Coach, mentor, speaker, trainer and author. I help entrepreneurs move out of self sabotage and limiting beliefs so that they can make more money and experience more fun, joy and freedom in their business and in their life. http://PurposeToPassionToProfits.com. This article, The Importance of Preparing the Soil has free reprint rights.

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Feb 132009
 

Buy Recycled Paper and help a bird!

Experts have calculated that Americans throw out so much office paper alone that a year’s worth would stretch from Los Angeles to New York and stand 12 feet tall. While not done so much in America anymore, logging of the boreal forest in both Canada and Siberia is happening at such a lightning-quick pace, it is proving too speedy for many of the native songbirds that live there.

According to a 2007 report on recycled paper facts produced by a coalition of environmental groups, known as The State of the Paper Industry.  One of the most troublesome facts among the report’s findings is that the average American consumes more than 700 pounds of paper a year. Currently, the paper industry is listed as the fourth-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions among all manufacturers listed, and thrown away paper accounts for one-third of all landfill waste. It was reported that reducing paper consumption by only 10% would produce savings equivalent to taking 280,000 cars off the road.
 
The problem gets even worse around the holiday season.  That’s when Americans throw away up to 25% more garbage (five million tons more than the average daily amount of 3.5 pounds of garbage we usually throw away) between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  About four million of those tons are made up of used wrapping paper and shopping bags. One website recently included a list of websites that sell cool, reusable bags you can buy that offer savings of some 12 million barrels of oil and 14 million trees that go just into the making of plastic and paper bags every year.
Some steps you can take to reduce the amount of paper made each year include cutting down on wrapping paper by reusing some gift bags or buying recycled wrapping paper. Reuse cardboard boxes to pack things in whenever and where ever possible. You can even take a lesson from our grandparents and reuse wrapping paper taken from off gifts by removing it carefully, rather than just shredding it haphazardly from the packages you receive.
 
At the office or at home you can save by printing on the back of printer paper that doesn’t need to be used for clean copies you have to send out to clients.  This option is especially useful for internal correspondence that will end up being shredded, anyway.  One Hollywood production company has recently indicated that they reuse old scripts by printing new ones on the reverse side of old ones before recycling everything in the form of packing material produced from shredding old documents.  You can also cut up used envelopes to make scrap paper.

Believe it or not, it is possible to find recycled paper products in almost all categories, these days. There are other areas besides buying recycled printer paper or recycled copy paper where you can make savings. Use other forms of recycled paper, such as paper towels, napkins and recycled toilet paper. It may take a little work to find some of these items, but you can get your local stores to carry them.  Ask for recycled computer paper or other recycled paper products, then vote for this change with your wallet by buying as many of these products as you can.

The little changes you make will pay off in the end. Remember that each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, three cubic yards of landfill space and 4,000 kilowatts of energy.   Your feathered friends will thank you, too.

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Feb 112009
 

Take Care Of That Water Leak!

Do you know how much water you’re losing from a leaky faucet?  A slow leak – about one drop every two seconds – wastes 12 litres a day.  That’s the equivalent of taking an extra twenty-seven baths every year.  Worse – a leaky toilet can lose about 90 litres a day!  Now would be a good time for a water leak repair. It’s the little stuff that counts when it comes to reducing waste.  However, it’s also hard to convince ourselves to deal with this kind of little stuff.   It’s time to start looking into the places where our homes create waste and deal with it.  Don’t forget to look for a basement water leak. You’ll save money and have a much lower environmental impact.

Start by fixing those water leaks, then take a look at other options, too.  If you have air leaks in your home (around windows and doors, in the attic, or in other areas), you’re losing heat in the winter and gaining it in the summer.  That causes your energy bills to rise and more fuel to be used, no matter how you heat and cool your home.  Take a look at your options for sealing those windows, doors, and other leaks.  You’ll save a lot of money and energy just by making a small change.

Pay attention to your habits, too.  We all know not to stand with the refrigerator door open, but many of us leave our television receivers or computers on constantly.  While a computer uses less power in “sleep” mode, it’s still drawing electricity.  Turning it off will make a small, but noticeable, difference in your power bill.  Don’t believe the nonsense about appliances using more power to start up than to run, either.  That hasn’t been true for decades, if it ever was.  Even the most efficient appliances and electronic devices use less energy when they’re off.

Don’t forget about phantom loads, either.  Many devices have features that allow them to start up more quickly.  However, this also requires them to draw power.  When you’ve turned your television off, do you still see a light on?  That means it’s using electricity to remain partially on, so it won’t take as long to be ready for use.  If you care about waste, unplug the television when it’s not in use.  It really does make a difference.

If the time’s come for you to buy new electronic equipment, fixtures, or appliances, pay attention to their labels.  We’re probably all familiar with Energy Star appliances, computers, and similar devices.  However, you should do more than just look for the logo.  Try to find out the numbers on how much power the device really uses, and plan accordingly. 

Likewise, check out the EPA’s WaterSense labeling for products and services.  Plumbing equipment with this label must use less water than usual.  For instance, the WaterSense label on a toilet means it uses twenty percent less than the standard models do.  You’ll find low flow faucets and shower heads, and you don’t need to avoid them for fear of low performance.  Water saving fixtures have come a long way since the early days, and can now measure up to their water hogging cousins.

A combination of replacing old energy and water hogs with more efficient devices and making simple changes and repairs could make your entire life a lot easier on the environment.  The little stuff really does count, and you’ll notice a difference in your bills and in your environmental footprint.  So get out there and fix that leak.

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Feb 112009
 

Plastic bag Alternatives – Why We Need Them And Some Of Your options

Plastic bags are one of our icons of convenience culture.  Some people say that the disposable plastic bag is the most common consumer item out there, with trillions of examples loose in our waste stream and our environment.  The hazards of plastic bags pollution start with the production, since they’re made from petroleum products (with all the impacts of using fossil fuels) and the inks used in some bags contain lead and other toxic colorants.

Then the bags have to be transported to stores, using fuel on the way, and purchased or given to customers.  Each year in America alone, over a hundred billion plastic bags are tossed.  Some of them have only ever carried one small item – it’s standard for anything you buy to be placed in one of these bags, and you’ll get one unless you request otherwise.  Throwing away that many bags is the equivalent of throwing out about twelve million barrels, all full of oil.

Only about one percent of the bags we use are recycled, if you look at world numbers.  For the US by itself, that number rises to two percent.  However, almost all bags are thrown away, adding to the plastic bags pollution problem and they’ll never decay.  Whether they’re spending forever buried in a landfill, or they’ve been tossed by the side of the road and blown away, plastic bags don’t leave us.

They don’t necessarily stay put when landfilled, either.  Plastic bags can be lofted by the wind and carried miles away.  Once they’re in the air, these bags become a nuisance in streets, get hung up in trees and on fences, clog drainage systems, and wash into water systems and eventually out to see.  There’s a huge raft of floating trash – mostly plastic bags and bottles – floating in the Pacific Ocean, and it’s only growing larger.  Right now it’s about twice as big as the state of Texas.  Birds take bits of bags to their nests, animals accidentally eat them or get tangled in them, and bags leach toxins into the water, too.

Some countries are choosing to ban or otherwise take measures against this plastic menace, as are some cities in the US.  In Oakland and San Francisco, for instance, you have to use either paper bags with a high recycled paper content, or bring your own.  Taxes on bags in Ireland have reduced usage, and incentives by some stores (such as a nickel off your bill for every bag you don’t use), have increased the number of bags brought from home.

So what are your options if you’d like to stop using plastic or cut down on how many bags you use?  There are quite a few, and it’s easy to make the switch.  You can make bags on your own (knitted, knotted, or crocheted string bags or sewn totes), or purchase a number of ready made bags.  In many areas, stores are offering more durable bags made from paper or cloth for a relatively low initial cost.  Look for reusable bags that fold up small enough to be kept in a purse, satchel, brief case or car trunk, so you’ll be more likely to remember them.

For situations where a reusable bag doesn’t work, such as a trash bin liner or for pet waste, investigate recycled or biodegradable options.  It’s true that biodegradable plastic doesn’t degrade very quickly in landfill conditions, but it’ll last for fewer years than regular plastic.  Avoid using a plastic bag when you don’t have to, and you’ll be making a real difference to the plastic bags pollution problem and the world around you.

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