The number of people who are becoming more and more eco-friendly is growing by the day.
People are beginning to realize that our planet and we as species are in great danger of extinction because we are being reckless in using the natural resources Earth has to offer.
Even though it might seem irrelevant, if we all make one small change in respect to the way we live and use energy, water, and other natural resources, we can make a huge positive impact on our environment.
Households often use enormous amounts of water, of which a lot is simply wasted.
If you want to make your home more eco-friendly, you should be more considerate of your water usage.
First, check for and fix any leaks in your home – this can cause gallons of wasted water down the drain. However, if your home doesn’t have any leaks – great, but you still have work to do.
For example, to save a tremendous amount of water, don’t run the water while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. It might seem like a small step, but it means saving quite a lot of water.
People in Australia have taken this seriously and a vast majority of them (86%) turn off the water while brushing their teeth.
Next, it is very popular as well as efficient to install a low-flow showerhead low-flow showerhead – some studies have shown that these magical shower heads save up to 42.000 gallons of water for a family of 4.
Shorten your showers to 5 minutes total and you’ll save up to 1000 gallons a month!
Consider installing an eco-friendly toilet in your bathroom as they will save up to 13.000 gallons of water a year. Follow in the eco-friendly footsteps of Australians – of whom a staggering 87% installed a dual flush toilet in their house to save water when flushing, a recent study has shown.
Besides using less electricity, they last longer than regular light bulbs. Figures show that they use 75% less energy and they last 25 times longer than traditional, incandescent ones.
Another waste of electric energy are lights turned on in rooms where nobody’s present. Remember to turn off the light when you leave the room. And if you can’t, install light sensors, which will automatically turn off the lights when nobody’s there.
Moreover, unplug any appliances and devices that are not used frequently and check that your freezer and fridge are not working too hard – set them to optimal temperatures.
And whenever possible, line dry your laundry instead of turning on a dryer, which is a huge energy consumer.
3. Heat and cool your home the eco-way
Heat and cold are weather conditions that can be used to warm up and cool down your home in a natural way if used correctly.
People living in sunny and hot continents such as Africa and Australia have the opportunity to use natural sunlight to heat their home. And the way to do that is to open up the drapes and blinds and let the sunshine in.
It will cost you nothing, and you’ll still be able to heat your home in colder days.
However, so much heat is a double-edged sword, because in hot summer days what you need the least is more heat!
Air-condition is definitely not an eco-friendly option as it will use a lot of energy to cool down the whole house.
Instead, it is better to use an eco-friendly alternative of installing pergolas, which, when placed in the right way provide enough shade for your home and in turn, they lower your electric bill since they don’t use any electricity.
4. Recycle And Buy Recycled
Recycling is an excellent eco-friendly trend, whether you recycle or buy recycled products.
By recycling, we reuse the sources that were already used and there’s no unnecessary waste of resources.
People recycle many things from cans and kitchen rolls to paper and they also purchase many recycled products such as mobile phones and gaming consoles.
People nowadays can even buy recycled furniture made entirely from eco-friendly resources such as 100% natural latex, eco-wool, and organic cotton, locally sourced or reclaimed wood, and recycled fabric.
Going all green isn’t an easy and cheap step, but it is a step worth taking.
Start slowly, by introducing your home to a new eco-friendly way every week.
You’ll feel good about yourself, preserve the Earth’s ever-decreasing resources, recycle and on top of it all – sleep peacefully knowing you’re doing your best to save the planet.
This is a Guest Post by Author Mia Johnson.
Mia Johnson is a writer with a ten-year-long career in journalism. Recently, writing on behalf of Aspect Shade from Sydney. A native to Melbourne, she now lives in Sydney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden
Whether you share the same roof with your elderly parents or not, while raising kids at the same time, it can be really tough and challenging. You have to balance between both worlds since they all need your support and depend on you. Although it’s sometimes impossible to manage everything at once, especially with a full-time job, you can make a compromise in order to comfort both sides and make everyone’s life easier. Here are some tips on how you can handle this situation and come out as a winner.
Teach your children manners
If your parents live alone, accustom your children to visit them often and help them with chores. They will appreciate their company, and the fact that they actually care for them will make their hearts swell with happiness. This way, you are on the right path to raising good people, just like your parents wanted you to be when you grow up. Elderly people can sometimes be a little bit annoying while retelling the same stories, for which you don’t have time to hear all over again. They often complain about every little thing, and due to a huge age gap, you can’t reach an agreement. Take a deep breath, let them be and don’t try to change them. Arguing with them will make you feel bad since they are old and get upset easily. But, you must teach your children to always listen and avoid confronting them, just out of respect. Grandparents can be fun too, and you can always suggest playing board games, which will bring them together. On the other hand, hiring a part-time nanny won’t make you a terrible mother, so whenever the time allows, you can go and visit them instead.
Don’t hesitate to seek extra help
Assuming that your kids are grown enough, maybe they can make breakfast or lunch for your parents while you are at work. If no one is at home to do that, and your parents need constant care, you can politely ask your close friends to do the grocery shopping and prepare them a quick meal. And if all this burdens you, maybe it’s best to seek flexible aged care services because you need some rest, as well. These institutions offer their residents to design their own daily routine, providing them the freedom to wake up or dine whenever they want, and there are registered nurses on hand 24/7. Also, the elderly are allowed to choose their own food menus and decide on which activities they want to participate in. Although it might be tough at first not to have your parents at home, you can be sure you’ve left them in good hands, and you can finally have some time to satisfy your own needs.
Balance is important
If the doctor’s appointment and a school play happen to be on the same day, don’t hesitate to ask your husband or someone from the family to complete one task. If they truly understand the severity of the situation, they will help you no matter what.
Make your home safe and accessible
If your parents live with you, try to ease their daily activities while you are at work. Make sure that the main bathroom is near their bedroom, so they won’t have to walk a long distance to use the toilet during the day or night. Even better, if you and your spouse are financially able to, you can build an auxiliary bathroom with a walk-in shower with handlers and a shower chair. Just make sure that the bath mats are slip-proof so they won’t slip and fall. Purchase them a mobile phone so they can call you and the other family members whenever it’s urgent. Ask your children to teach them the basics because I’m sure they would be pleased to help their loving grandparents with new technology.
As much as we enjoy seeing our kids growing and developing, we often tend to forget that our parents are growing old too, and they won’t be here forever. No matter how hard it is to even think about our once healthy and strong parents barely moving and slowly losing their memory, we have to accept the fact that it’s a natural flow of life and we can’t change what is meant to be.
Coming up with an exercise routine and sticking to it can be challenging enough on its own, but it becomes near impossible when you’re a stay-at-home mom. No matter how much and how well you plan, pretty much anything else that is related to your kids can flush your plans down the drain. However, as difficult as it sounds, exercising is possible, and here are six smart tips that might help you.
Get up early
There’s nothing you need to do at 5:30 a.m., so consider working out before your day actually begins. You’d be done before everybody else even wakes up, and exercising can wake you up better than any coffee. Of course, this also means that you’d probably need to go to bed a bit earlier than usual if you want to get enough sleep.
Use every opportunity
When you have a busy schedule, you have to get a bit creative. So, use every opportunity you can to train a bit. For example, get on the treadmill while your kids are watching TV, meal prep your healthy food or snack options while they are playing, or do some HIIT exercises while they are eating. Even if you can’t find time for exercising, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be active. Do an extra lap on the stairs when doing chores, walk to work when the weather is nice, and do some simple exercising like squats whenever you can. When it comes to staying fit, everything counts.
Involve your friends and family
If you want to work out regularly, you have to make time for it. One of the best ways to make time is to find somebody to take care of your kids while you get your daily dose of training. For example, your partner could take them to the park once or twice a week, your parents could take care of them a few times, and even your neighbor could be helpful if they like or have kids. Of course, not everybody has this kind of support, but if you do, use it.
Wear your workout clothes
If there is nothing important scheduled for the day, wear your workout clothes. Being in your quality compression clothing can get you in the mood even if you’re just enjoying your day around the house. Moreover, it would make exercising much easier, since you’d always be ready for a few squats. Plus, it would be a constant reminder to work out, even if just for a few minutes.
Include your kids
Including your kids in your workout sessions might seem challenging, but it’s actually quite easy if you turn exercising into a game for them. For example, you can always go for walks and bike rides with them. Also, there are plenty of games that involve some kind of physical activity, from playing with a ball to skipping a rope. Finally, you can always turn your chores into a workout and have your kids help you a bit.
Go easy on yourself
Some days, you’ll manage to find an entire hour for working out, while some other days, you’ll hardly get 30 minutes. And that’s okay. Even if you miss a day, don’t stress about it too much. Accept the time you have, and use it the best way you can. As long as you stay persistent, you will reach your goal sooner or later. And there’s nothing wrong about it being later.
Finding the time to work out while being a stay-at-home mom can be difficult, but it’s still very possible. So, organize your schedule, and use every opportunity you can to exercise a bit. Involve your kids if you can, and let somebody else take them off your hands for a bit so you can train. Finally, go easy on yourself, and have no doubt that the results will show in no time.
Getting your kids to eat healthy may be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. It’s all about positive relationship with both your kid and food. The major rule in every parent-child relationship and your initiative to raise a healthy kid is the fact that children do what they see their parents do. So, if you want to get your kids to eat healthier foods, you have to follow the same diet as well. Eating healthy may actually seem like a bigger problem to adults than it does to kids, which is why it’s important to utilize the following tips.
Don’t buy junk food
This is a pretty simple strategy that can result in everyone in your household getting healthier and eating a more balanced diet. All you have to do is to stop buying junk food and snacks. Instead, make sure that you always have fresh ingredients, healthy snacks, and natural juices to choose from. Organizing your grocery shopping list can help a lot in this case. For starters, stop buying more food than your whole household can consume before it goes bad. In order to do this, you can meal plan effectively at least a week in advance. Of course, try to opt for recipes that can always be adjusted a little, or use similar ingredients so that you add diversity to family meals. This routine will help the kids get used to eating whatever you prepare them, as well as help them stay away from junk food without actually, you have to pressure them to do so.
Make things interesting
The biggest issue for parents is to get their kids to eat fruits and veggies. One of the best tricks, in this case, is to make fruits and veggies more interesting. Aside from adding the fruits and vegetables to your regular meals in a way that kids wouldn’t really notice or pay much attention to, you can also shape fruits and veggies in interesting and funny ways that would make the kids want to try them. Also, smoothies and smoothie ice creams are sweet and tasty, and kids probably won’t have any complaints about eating those. However, if your kids have a strong dislike towards a specific fruit or vegetable, don’t force them to eat. The great thing about fruits and veggies is that there are plenty of healthy choices, and it would be a lot more beneficial in the long run to let the children choose healthy alternative they like instead of making them eat something against their will.
The freedom of choice
Speaking of letting your kids choose what they want to eat, this is truly a great way to direct them to the right diet path and have them discover plenty of healthy options they truly enjoy. For instance, always keep a couple of different snack options available for the situations when your kids want to snack. You don’t have to reprimand them about the benefits of one snack and the negative aspects of another as soon as they ask for a snack. Instead, tell them to go pick whatever they want. As they see a big choice, they won’t really mind the nature of the snack. They will still go for something they like and that’s good for them because the freedom of choice will make them happy and content.
Keep your food fresh
As mentioned, don’t get more food than you need. There’s no reason to waste money and resources like that. Actually, you can use the saved up money to invest in one of top qualityElectrolux refrigerators that will both keep your food fresh for longer and will be kid-friendly. This is a very important aspect since kids find it especially rewarding to be able to get their own food from the fridge. That being said, don’t hesitate to let your culinary creativity flow, and always have healthy and tasty smoothies as well as interestingly cut up fruits in your fridge where kids can easily reach for them.
Play games with your kids
Do you remember how you used to draw pictures of a nice and bad smile with different foods drawn for each one when you were little? You can try the same approach with your kids but make it even more fun and informative! Don’t limit the game to the healthy smile, but also include a game where your kids should separate foods that are good for their brain/eyes/heart/etc. from ones that are the complete opposite. Make silly faces as you do this to boost the learning through visuals and entertainment.
It’s paramount that you avoid force-feeding, reprimanding and especially appearance shaming in regard to your child’s food and diet. Eating healthy should become a habit and a free choice, not stress and pressure. As they grow up, it’s perfectly normal and logical that your kids will get to eat junk food on certain occasions. But if they have a healthy relationship with good food, they will always come back to that.
Do you struggle with getting your kids to eat healthy foods? We’d love to hear them.
December is such a busy month! There is the decorating, the shopping, the baking and the wrapping. Not to mention the parties, the meal planning, and the events! With so much going on, it is easy to eat on the go meals, to grab a few extra cookies and to indulge in a lot of decadent and fatty foods during the holidays.
This year I have been making an effort to be kind to myself during the holiday rush. I am trying to fill up on healthy option while I am dashing from store to store, skipping to parties and events, and sledding through the snow with three kids in tow!
Premier Protein Shakes are my new go to on a busy day. I love that these are convenient for a busy lifestyle, or at least a busy holiday season. And, they taste really great without the guilt of most decadent indulgences! Pair a tasty shake with the Premier Protein bars for a great meal either at home or on the go.
Available in 5 flavors including chocolate, vanilla, strawberries and cream, banana and cream and caramel, Premier Protein Shakes offers a drink that is packed with protein to help you feel full and fuel your body for all that life has to offer without too many calories. I can feel good about having a chocolate shake with 160 calories, while being kind to myself. Let me tell you, I feel a lot better after grabbing a Premier Protein Shake than I do when I grab a few extra cookies to keep me going on a busy day.
These shakes contain no artificial colors, they are gluten free, soy free and kosher to appeal to a variety of dietary needs. They are low in fat and sugar and taste so good that they were the recipient of the American Master of Taste Gold Medal for SUPERIOR TASTING ready-to-drink protein beverages in a national taste test by Chefs In America in 2015, 2016 and 2017! That speaks volumes about how good these shakes are!
These are a great meal replacement, a workout fuel, or a snack on the go. You can find them in single 11-ounce bottles as well as 4, 12 and 24 packs so that you can keep them in the fridge to keep you going all winter long.
If you are looking for a great way to be kind to yourself this winter, I would highly recommend that you try the tasty offerings by Premier Protein Shakes. Have you ever tried protein shakes? I would love to hear what flavors are your favorites and when you drink them.
Disclosure: Life of a Southern Mom received the above-mentioned products for free and/or compensation in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small compensation fee in you make a purchase after clicking on the link at no additional cost to you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Pregnancy is the period of biggest transformation for a female body. Not only will you look different, but you won’t feel the same either. Therefore, the postpartum period requires serious adjustments, and after the recovery period is over you can start thinking about going back to your regular workout routine. You’ll probably want to lose those extra pounds you’ve gained during pregnancy as soon as possible, and with a few helpful tips, you won’t have any trouble doing it.
Don’t rush it
The first thing you should keep in mind is the fact that you should only consider going back to your workout session after you stop bleeding. Six weeks is the approximate time a woman should wait before she starts working out if she had a cesarean section. Pushing yourself too hard will do more damage than good, and you’ll only prolong the time that you’d otherwise need to get back in shape. However, know that a light walk is also a form of exercise that can benefit your health, and ease you back into working out. Therefore, use the stroller as a workout buddy, and walk with your baby around the park or the neighborhood to warm up for further exercises.
Pay attention to bleeding
When your body is ready to hit the gym, don’t expect to feel the way you did before you got pregnant. Your stamina won’t be as good as it used to be, your muscles will be slightly out of shape, and the overall fatigue and achy body will make you feel like you’ve never exercised a day in your life. A hyperlink postpartum body is an entirely different story from the one that never gave birth, so it’s essential that you listen to it and look for any signs of strain. If the bleeding starts again, postpone the workout and let your body heal completely.
Strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
Pilates, crunches and ab exercises seem like the type of activity you’d want to go for right away, but it’s important to check if your pelvic floor muscles are firm enough, first. To make sure your pelvic floor isn’t weak, do a Kegel routine every day, even while you’re pregnant, so you can heal and recover fast after delivery. It’ll keep the muscles strong, and prevent urinary incontinence.
Warm-up is vital
During pregnancy, your body will produce the hormone relaxin, which softens the ligaments and joints making them more prone to injuries. Therefore, it’s essential that, after you’ve done some walking, you warm up properly for further exercises. Invest in high-quality gym clothes that will allow you to move freely and feel comfortable while stretching. Also, don’t forget to dedicate some time to post-workout stretching and prevent the soreness in your arms, legs, and spine.
Be selective with exercises
Your body won’t be able to endure a lot of strain after the delivery, so you should choose your workout routine wisely. Avoid hot yoga and heavy lifting in the first six months, but instead, engage in post-natal exercises. Consider low impact cardio training, water aerobics, and swimming. However, engage in water activities only after your bleeding has completely stopped, and your doctor has approved that type of activity.
Getting your body to its previous shape after you’ve given birth will take some, so don’t rush it. While you may be eager to break the sweat and get rid of the pounds you’ve gained during pregnancy, working out isn’t the only thing that will help you lose weight; breastfeeding, for example, burns around 330 calories, so if you eat well and hydrate a lot while you breastfeed, you’ll be doing both the baby and yourself a favour. Not only will your little one be eating healthy, but you’ll have fewer pounds to lose once you hit the gym.