Friday, September 21, 2012

The GOOD 30-Day Challenge: Get Healthy

Learn in Health, Good Challenge and Lifestyle
Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do The GOOD 30-Day Challenge, a monthly attempt to live better.
For last month's GOOD 30-Day Challenge, our ongoing project to try new things and live richer lives, we asked you to connect with people. Now that the GOOD community has reached out to others around the world in pursuit of new friends and comrades, we're asking people to focus on themselves for a bit: For the next four weeks, we want you to get healthy.
Before you tune us out, thinking that we're going to be nagging you to get on a treadmill all October, think again. While exercise and a healthy diet are indeed part of this month's challenge, we're looking to take a far more holistic approach to things. There will be siestas in pursuit of relaxation, meditation in pursuit of a sound mind, and flossing in pursuit of a healthy mouth—one task per day intended to get you to make an incremental change that could prove very important. Don't think of this as an exercise regime so much as an all-encompassing effort to pick up healthy habits and leave behind unhealthy ones.

As usual, consider this post an open invitation to join in the challenge. Check at 8:30 a.m. EST every day of October to see that day's task and get a sneak preview of what the next day holds. On Twitter and Facebook, we'll be using the hashtag #30DaysofGOOD to keep you abreast of our progress, and we hope you'll use it to let us know how you're faring as well.
Come November, our hope is not that you're living like a monk or treating your body like a temple. Rather, we'd like to see you well rested, feeling sharp, and looking your best before the stressful onslaught of the holidays.
Are you up to the challenge?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person doesn't smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
The trick to healthy living is making small changes...taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water...these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes. ExerciseOne of the biggest problems in America today is lack of activity. We know it's good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we're used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is, movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you'll be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference.Just adding a little movement to your life can:
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Improve joint stability
  • Increase and improve range of movement
  • Help maintain flexibility as you age
  • Maintain bone mass
  • Prevent osteoporosis and fractures
  • Improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Enhance self esteem
  • Improve memory in elderly people
  • Reduce stress
So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just a 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and increase longevity.Simple Ways to Move Your BodyYou can start the process of weight loss now by adding a little more activity to your life. If you're not ready for a structured program, start small. Every little bit counts and it all adds up to burning more calories.
  • Turn off the TV. Once a week, turn off the TV and do something a little more physical with your family. Play games, take a walk...almost anything will be more active than sitting on the couch.
  • Walk more. Look for small ways to walk more. When you get the mail, take a walk around the block, take the dog for an extra outing each day or walk on your treadmill for 5 minutes before getting ready for work.
  • Do some chores. Shoveling snow, working in the garden, raking leaves, sweeping the floor...these kinds of activities may not be 'vigorous' exercise, but they can keep you moving while getting your house in order.
  • Pace while you talk. When you're on the phone, pace around or even do some cleaning while gabbing. This is a great way to stay moving while doing something you enjoy.
  • Be aware. Make a list of all the physical activities you do on a typical day. If you find that the bulk of your time is spent sitting, make another list of all the ways you could move more--getting up each hour to stretch or walk, walk the stairs at work, etc.
Learn about more ways to fit in exercise.Eating WellEating a healthy diet is another part of the healthy lifestyle. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management, it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You can use the new MyPlate to determine how many calories you need and what food groups you should focus on or, if you're looking for smaller changes, you can use these tips for simple ways to change how you eat:
  • Eat more fruit. Add it to your cereal, your salads or even your dinners
  • Sneak in more veggies. Add them wherever you can--a tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza, or extra veggies in your pasta sauce. Keep pre-cut or canned/frozen veggies ready for quick snacks.
  • Switch your salad dressing. If you eat full-fat dressing, switch to something lighter and you'll automatically eat less calories.
  • Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy. Switching to skim milk or fat free yogurt is another simple way to eat less calories without having to change too much in your diet.
  • Make some substitutes. Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick 3 foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you're at the store, find lower-calorie substitutes for just those 3 items.
Find more ideas for healthy foods with this Healthy Foods Grocery List.Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to mean drastic changes. In fact, drastic changes almost always lead to failure. Making small changes in how you live each day can lead to big rewards, so figure out what you can to be healthy today.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Transforming Business Practices

Transforming Business Practices

Business as usual is no longer an option. To succeed in the long-term, companies must safeguard their reputations, ensure the resources they need are responsibly sourced and available for the future, and keep their employees healthy, happy and productive.

What We're Doing

The Rainforest Alliance has spent more than two decades helping businesses -- from forest managers and farmers to large retail stores and supermarkets -- to develop and implement sustainable alternatives to forest destruction and unsafe, unethical labor practices. We work with farmers and forest managers to ensure that they are complying with internationally respected environmental, social and economic standards. On Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms and forestry operations, workers receive decent wages, good housing and healthcare, and their children have access to education.
We also train hotel owners, tour companies and other travel businesses to become more sustainable by employing local people and contributing to community development, for example.
And we help companies around the world to identify sustainable sources for the materials they need to produce their goods.

Our Impact

  • We've certified over 169 million acres (68.7 million hectares) of forestland around the world according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards for responsible forest management.
  • We've trained more than 2,000 tourism entrepreneurs to operate sustainably by installing solar panels, treating wastewater properly and composting organic residues. In Ecuador, we've worked with the indigenous Kichwa community of Añangu, whose Napo Wildlife Center earns community members a sustainable income while conserving 53,500 acres (over 21,400 hectares) of rainforest.
  • Five percent of all Fortune 500 companies purchase Rainforest Alliance Certified™ products. Consumers spend billions of dollars per year on Rainforest Alliance Certified products, which are sold by retail giants such as Walmart, Costco, Safeway, Home Depot, Sam's Club, Staples and Lowe's.
  • In a study of 129 FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified forestry operations in 21 countries, 75 percent of the businesses improved communications with local communities and conflict resolution with stakeholders, 40 percent improved their compliance with the law and 64 percent improved worker safety and training.
  • According to a 2008 study, a group of farmers in El Salvador working toward certification saw their productivity increase by an average of 76 percent over the previous year -- almost four times the amount reported by farmers in a control group -- while in a separate survey, Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa farms in Côte d'Ivoire reported productivity increases of up to 20 percent.
  • More than 15 percent of all bananas in international trade are grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, and 100 percent of Chiquita-owned farms are Rainforest Alliance Certified. Kraft Coffee is integrating Rainforest Alliance Certified beans into its major brands in many countries. Mars, Inc., one of the world’s largest chocolate producers, has committed to sourcing its entire cocoa supply from certified sustainable sources by 2020. Unilever has pledged to purchase all of the tea in its Lipton tea bags -- 12 percent of the world’s tea -- from Rainforest Alliance Certified sources by 2015.
  • A 2009 study of 14 hotels enrolled in our tourism program found that 71 percent reduced water consumption and solid waste and 93 percent decreased energy use, while the amount of money they spent on water and energy decreased by 31 percent and 64 percent, respectively.

Learn About How We Are Also...

Keeping forests standing

Keeping forests

Curbing climate change

Curbing climate

Protecting wildlife

Protecting wildlife

Alleviating poverty

Alleviating poverty

Friday, September 7, 2012

Save The Planet in 6 Easy Steps

Have you wondered what you can do to help our planet? Here are some steps that you can do on an individual basis. The more that you do these, the more impact they will have for the benefit of our home and the earth.

Edit Steps

  1. 1
    Save water.

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    • Check and fix any water leaks.
    • Install water-saving devices on your faucets and toilets.
    • Don't wash dishes with the water running continuously.
    • Turn off washing machine's water supply to prevent leaks.
    • Replace old toilets with new ones that use a lot less water.
    • Install a low-flow shower head.
    • Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes.
  2. 2
    Create Less Trash

    • Buy products that you can reuse.
    • Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones.
    • Avoid products with several layers of packaging when only one is sufficient. About 33% of what we throw away is packaging.
    • Reuse items like bags and containers when possible.
    • Use reusable plates and utensils instead of disposable ones.Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminum foil and cling wrap.
    • Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.
    • Buy used furniture - there is a surplus of it, and it is much cheaper than new furniture.
  3. 3
    Reduce Toxicity

    • Learn about alternatives to household cleaning items that do not use hazardous chemicals.
    • Review labels of household cleaners you use. Consider alternatives like baking soda, scouring pads, water or a little more elbow grease.
    • When no good alternatives exist to a toxic item, find the least amount required for an effective, sanitary result
    • If you have an older home, have paint in your home tested for lead. If you have lead-based paint, cover it with wall paper or other material instead of sanding it or burning it off.
    • Use traps instead of rat and mouse poisons and insect killers.
    • Have your home tested for radon.
    • Use cedar chips or aromatic herbs instead of mothballs.
    • Use an electric lawn- mower instead of a gas-powered one.
    • Create a wildlife habitat in your yard.
    • Put leaves in a compost heap instead of burning them or throwing them away. Yard debris too large for your compost bin should be taken to a yard-debris recycler.
    • Copy and print on both sides of paper.
    • Reuse items like envelopes, folders and paper clips.
    • Use e-mail instead of paper correspondence.
    • Use recycled paper.
    • Encourage your school and/or company to print documents with soy-based inks, which are less toxic.
    • Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup.
  4. 4
    Protect Our Air

    • Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
    • Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency
    • Avoid slow-burning, smoldering fires. They produce the largest amount of pollution.
    • Use solar power for home and water heating.
    • Purchase radial tires and keep them properly inflated for your vehicle.
    • Paint with brushes or rollers instead of using spray paints to minimize harmful emissions.
    • If you use a wood stove, use one sold after 1990. They are required to meet federal emissions standards and are more efficient and cleaner burning.
    • Walk or ride your bike instead of driving, whenever possible.
    • Join a carpool or vanpool to get to work.
  5. 5
    Conserve Energy

    • If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms.
    • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120.
    • Turn down or shut off your water heater when you will be away for extended periods.
    • Turn off unneeded lights even when leaving a room for a short time.
    • Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5 .
    • When using an oven, minimize door opening while it is in use; it reduces oven temperature by 25 to 30 every time you open the door.
    • Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load so that it uses less energy.
    • Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.
    • Use a microwave when- ever you can instead of a conventional oven or stove.
    • Turn off lights, computers and other appliances when not in use.
    • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and energy.
    • Plant trees to shade your home.
    • Replace old windows with energy efficient ones.
    • Keep your thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter when you are away.
    • Insulate your home as best as you can.
  6. 6
    we all should conserve rivers and create dams we should make clean dams and rivers

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  • You can earn money while recycling when you turn in cans from home or found where other have thrown them, if your area has this option.
  • While recycling you are helping to save humanity.
  • You can make some good stuff from items while recycling, if you are artistic.
  • Depending upon your age and experience, consult with an adult to help you while recycling. Make it a family project.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

24 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

The primary cause of global warming is carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. The typical American household generates 55,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Through our purchases, we are also indirectly responsible for another 17%. By contrast, the typical German household contributes 27,000 pounds and the average Swedish household only contributes 15,000 pounds. Clearly, there’s room for us to improve! Here are some ideas for going on a Low Carbon Diet.
  1. Reduce garbage/solid waste
  2. Reduce hot water when you take a shower
  3. Reduce water when washing dishes
  4. Wash and dry clothes efficiently
  5. Turn down the thermostat
  6. Turn appliances all the way off
  7. Cool your house more efficiently
  8. Reduce vehicle miles traveled
  9. Drive more fuel efficiently
  10. Eat lower on the food chain
  11. Make your water heater more efficient
  12. Install energy efficient lights
  13. Seal air leaks in your home
  14. Tune up your furnace
  15. Achieve maximum energy efficiency
  16. Switch to renewable energy
  17. Maintain an efficient car
  18. Buy a fuel-efficient car
  19. Neutralize your carbon footprint by planting trees and purchasing carbon offsets
  20. Encourage people you know to go on a Low Carbon Diet
  21. Help your workplace reduce its CO2 footprint
  22. Help your community go on a Low Carbon Diet
  23. Help your community set up CO2 reduction systems
  24. Help children adopt environmentally sustainable lifestyles
Read Low Carbon Diet: A 30 day program to lose 5000 pounds by David Gershon to learn more details and other practical ways to go on a low carbon diet.
Also check out Justlists’ 17 Ways You Can Help End Global Warming