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10 Ways to Live a More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Starting something new can be stressful when you are unsure where to begin. Rest assured, you have already completed the most difficult step – deciding to make a change. Focus on smaller changes you can make easily before you tackle the more difficult steps of your eco-friendly resolution. Here are some easy and small changes you can make in your everyday life to help live a more eco-friendly lifestyle:

  1. Eat Less Meat. Believe it or not, cutting back on your consumption of meat can make a huge difference in the environment. More than 30 percent of the Earth’s surface is being used to raise and support livestock. According to a United Nations study, “the livestock sector accounts for 9 percent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2.” Cutting back on your meat consumption is an important step in reducing the overall emission of GWP gases. Less livestock also means more land we can enjoy and use for recreation. Consider replacing some of your meat-heavy meals with vegetables or eating more seafood!
  2. Use Paper Less And Recycle More. The world we live in today is much more reliant on computers and digital technology. It is easy to go a day without using a notebook or even a piece of paper. The less paper you use, the less paper needs to be produced and the more trees that get to fill our forests. By recycling one short ton (0.91 t) of paper you can save 17 mature trees, according to the EPA. If it is essential for you to use paper at your job or at school, you can still make a difference by recycling the paper you do use. Today, more than 40 percent of municipal solid waste is paper and paper products. It takes less energy to create paper through recycled and used sheets than by creating ‘virgin’ paper. Recycling is easy and one of the best ways to live green.
  3. Use Canvas Bags Instead Of Plastic. Most stores offer a canvas bag alternative to their wasteful generic plastic and paper bags. Although a canvas bag might cost a small amount to acquire, they are actually much more useful than you might think. A canvas bag is sturdier than a traditional plastic or paper bag and can hold more goods. A canvas bag can also be used to store items or pack items when moving – making it useful in more than one way. Parents, if you have children that are about to head off to college, investing in a few canvas bags would be a great gift. Your kids might not know it yet, but they will be moving a lot in the next few years and those bags will come in extra handy when they need to bring the books they have been accumulating semester to semester with them. Even if you don’t use canvas bags, reusing plastic bags is a great way to live more eco-friendly. Just use your plastic bags in small garbage cans throughout your home, or recycle your used grocery bag! Every small change can make a huge difference.
  4. Start A Compost Pile Or Bin.Compost bins have become a huge trend throughout America in the last few years – and for good reason! Not only do compost bins reduce waste by letting you re-use things you would normally just toss out, but they also save you money and help your plants grow better in your garden! Why go out and buy expensive compost when you could be creating your own with things you are throwing out anyway? If you garden at all, it really doesn’t make any sense NOT having a compost bin. Invest in one or make your own today!
  5. Purchase The Right Light Bulb.Don’t run out today and replace all of your light bulbs even though they are still working, but the next time one of your light bulbs burns out replace it with a more eco-friendly brand. Replace your old bulb with a compact fluorescent light. CFL bulbs can last more than five times longer and use much less electricity than regular incandescent light bulbs. Plus, they are brighter, which means you might able to get away with using less lamps in your home!
  6. Choose Cloth Over Paper.Instead of rushing to the store and purchasing a dozen rolls of paper towels when you are ready to do your spring cleaning, cut up an old t-shirt or other form of clothing and use that as a rag instead. You were going to toss it out anyway, why not save some money and the planet at the same time? Collect all of your used rags in a basket together and wash them all at the same time. Use, re-use and repeat!
  7. Cut Down On Energy In Your Home. There are a lot of ways to cut back on energy you use in your home. These will lead to smaller energy bills and more money in your pocket! That is a win for you and a win for the Earth. Start by lowering your thermostat in the winter and raising it in the summer. Unplug appliances when they aren’t being used, wash all possible clothes on cold (according to The Worldwatch Institute, 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water) and use a drying rack or clothesline to dry your outfits when they are finished being washed. Reducing your energy around the home is literally as easy as a click of the button. Uncomfortable taking all of these steps at the same time? Try one at a time until your home is completely energy efficient!
  8. Borrow Instead Of Buying.It is easy to waste money on things that you can easily borrow. Rent movies, borrow books from libraries and buy secondhand goods when at all possible. By purchasing and using pre-owned items, you reduce those items that need to be kept in a landfill and save yourself money. Living green doesn’t mean you have to settle for less, many items that you find in a used-goods store are just as good as the original. Search the web or explore your town for some neat items.
  9. Reduce Water Waste.You can live a more eco-friendly lifestyle by using less water and cutting back on your bottled water purchases. Take a shorter shower in the morning or install a low-flow showerhead. The investment in a low-flow showerhead will be worth it when you receive your next water bill and it is significantly lower than the last. Cutting back on bottled water purchases is easy. Even if you live in an area where your tap water isn’t the tastiest, purchasing a water filter will take some of that irony aftertaste out of your water and purify it to your bottled-water standards. Plus, a water filter will save you money in the long run, when you don’t have to take trip after trip to the store to purchase more bottled water!
  10. Recycling A Car.You may not know it, but recycling your vehicle is one of the best ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. While you are making your changes, you may be looking to get a more gas-friendly vehicle. If that is the case, donate your vehicle to Wheels For Wishes! We will recycle your vehicle or auction it off to a new owner, with all of the proceeds from your donation benefiting Make-A-Wish! The most recycled consumer product in the world today is the automobile. At least 95 percent of each unusable vehicle is recycled each year. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, about 26 vehicles are recycled throughout the world every minute! You can donate your vehicle and help change the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions today by calling 1-877-431-9474 or filling out an easy donation form online. Since Wheels For Wishes is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you will receive the maximum possible tax deduction for your car donation.

You can make a difference throughout the world when you make small eco-friendly changes in your everyday life. Living a greener lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as easy as shutting off a light when you are no longer going to be in a room. Plus, living eco-friendly will save you money! Get started living an eco-friendly life today.

Posted in Donate Car News

Dallas preps 'mega-shelter' as Texas braces for more rain

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Harvey is no longer a hurricane, but life-threatening flooding continued in and around Houston on Sunday night as citizens with boats assisted authorities in search and rescue efforts.

Flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey is overburdening resources in the country's fourth-largest city, prompting authorities to call on volunteers with watercraft for help in rescuing those trapped in homes and buildings.An immediate respite from Harvey's wrath seems unlikely to come. The National Weather Service calls the flooding "unprecedented," and warns things may become more dire if a forecasted record-breaking 50 inches of rain does fall on parts of Texas in coming days. In anticipation of a worsening situation, Dallas is turning its main convention center into a "mega-shelter" that can host 5,000 evacuees.  The rainfall threatens to exacerbate an already dangerous situation, as Harvey's rains have left many east Texas rivers and bayous swollen to their banks or beyond. The storm killed two people in Texas, authorities said, and the death toll will likely rise. More than 1,000 people were rescued overnight, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner warned that some 911 calls are going unanswered as operators "give preference to life-threatening calls." Harvey blasted ashore as a Category 4 hurricane just north of Corpus Christi. It brought with it 132-mph winds but was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm. Still, it continued to spawn tornadoes and lightning. The slow-moving storm is expected to drop 15 to 25 inches of rain over the Texas coast through Thursday. Isolated storms could drop up to 50 inches of rain, the weather service said. The weather service says rainfall of this magnitude "will cause catastrophic and life-threatening flooding." 

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, Ralph Ellis and Joe Sterling, CNN

5 Tips to Safeguard Your Seasonal Property Against Mold

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Vacation homes should be a relaxing place to escape to stresses of day to day life. Nothing can ruin this relaxation quite like mold setting up shop while you were away. Having to get your home-away-from-home remediated for mold is no way to spend your vacation, and the best way to avoid mold is to prevent water damage to your home. With this in mind, here are 5 steps you can take to help avoid unwanted moisture getting into your vacation home once your vacation has come to a close.

1. Turn Off the Main Water Valve to the Home

The simplest method to avoid any water damage while your vacation home is vacant is to turn off the water at the main valve. With this valve shut off, water will not enter the home. Stopping the flow of water through your property is the most effective way to prevent leaks.

When you turn off your water, be sure you remember to tell anyone who will be using your home that the main valve is off, as well as where the main valve is, in order to allow water to reach the home once the home is no longer vacant.

2. Check Appliance Supply Lines

Be sure and check all of your major appliances’ supply lines. If the home isn’t going to be completely vacant, shut off the water supply line to all major appliances (everything from toilets to washing machines to ice makers) that won’t be in use. Shutting off the water flow to appliances that won’t be in use is a great way to help guard against moisture getting where it shouldn’t

Additionally, if any of the appliances have plastic supply lines, consider upgrading to stainless steel supply lines. Plastic lines are more likely to rupture and lead to water damage/mold, and at under $20 to upgrade, making the change will give you more peace of mind than headache.

3. Inspect the Gutters

You’ll want to ensure that the home’s gutters are completely clog-free, and that downspouts empty out an appropriate distance from the home, roughly 10 feet. Clogs can lead to water entering the home through the roof, and downspouts emptying too close to the home can lead to flooding too close to the home, increasing the risk of moisture finding its way into the structure and setting up a mold-friendly atmosphere.

4. Consider Temperatures While You are Away

If freezing temperatures may occur while you are away, frozen pipes could leave you with an unpleasant surprise when you return. Shutting off the main valve or the supply lines will do some amount prevention with regard to damage from freezing. For further protection, make sure the heater is never set below 60 degrees, as this can lead to frozen/broken pipes.

5. Arrange For Periodic Check-Ups

If it is possible, one of the best ways to mitigate water damage and mold risk is to arrange for someone to periodically stop by and check the state of things at your vacation home while you are away. This will be someone you will want to know the location of the main water valve, should an emergency arise that requires water getting to appliances.

During a check up, gutters and appliances alike should be inspected, to ensure things are still in good shape to prevent water problems. These checks are also important because if any leaks have occurred, you will know about them sooner rather than later and can take steps early to eliminate water damage and prevent mold from lying in wait for your return next vacation.

by Adam Bailey

MoldHold.com

8 Essential Back-to-School Tips for Parents

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

With a well-rounded summer vacation ending, parents spend a lot of time getting their kids ready for school. New school supplies, haircuts, and special end-of-summer outings all play into the back-to-school routine. There are some other things that parents can do for themselves and their kids to ensure a smooth transition into the school year, too. Take a look below at few ways to get this year off to a great start in your house.

Set up a bedtime and wake-up routine in advance. If possible, it’s best to establish bedtimes and wake-up times two weeks in advance of the start of school. By the time the first school bell rings, kids will already be on the right sleeping schedule and it will be one less worry for your family.

Get to know new teachers. There will be open houses, orientations, and other meet-and-greet options at the beginning of the school year, but none will give you the chance to spend some quality time getting to know your kids’ teachers. Try to find a few minutes before or after school to connect one-on-one with the teachers. At the very least, send an introductory email that includes how you can help during the school year, however big or small.

Plan healthy lunches and snacks. The better you plan out the meals in your home, the healthier choices you will make for your kids. When you pack protein-rich snacks and lunches, balanced with fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome items, you ensure that your children will have the energy and brainpower to make it through their school days.

Organize clothing. Of course you will need to donate or otherwise get rid of the clothing that your kids have outgrown, but you should also take the time to carefully organize what is left. From there, decide what items you may need more of before school begins.

Set up a staging area. Find a central spot to store everything related to school, including backpacks, upcoming outfits, and a dry erase calendar with family schedules. Try to keep this area free of clutter and other non-school items so that you can find what you need, when you need it—and quickly. Have the kids help you stock it with school-related items and keep it clean and functional. Find some inspiration here.

Update medical records. Most schools will let you know if your shot records are out of date, but why not go beyond that? Make sure teachers and administrators have a complete list of any medical concerns regarding your kids, including allergies. You will also want to be sure that all emergency contacts are up to date.

Talk to your kids about bullying. Research shows that one in three kids experience bullying at some point in their school career—and in the increasingly digital world, the consequences can be extreme. Make sure your kids understand the right way to treat their peers, and when to speak up if they see someone else being bullied. Also make sure they know when to come to you if they feel they are being bullied.

Ask your kids about their concerns. The start of school is exciting, but can also bring some anxiety—especially when it comes to the unknown. Take a few minutes to ask your kids what they are most looking forward to during the school year, and what things may be worrying them. By giving them a forum to express their concerns, you can help them work through any worries in advance of school starting and clear up any issues that could lead to a bumpy start to the year.

by SPARK

International Cricket Comes to Lauderhill, Florida

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

General International Cricket Comes to Lauderhill, Florida Cricket Teams Final Game

Fifteen years of planning and preparing for international Cricket games is finally started to paying off for the City of Lauderhill, Florida.

Lauderhill's quest for international cricket to service a melting pot of cricket-loving nationals living in the City began in 2002 with a bid to host warm-up matches for the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies. As part of that bid process, the Central Broward Regional park was conceived. Although the World cup bid was ultimately unsuccessful, a few years later the City was rewarded for its vision and tenacity with the privilege of hosting of the country's first full international cricket matches.

the first international games were played in 2010 with a series between New Zealand and Shri Lanka. In 2012, International Cricket blossomed when the city was host to the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and the much anticipated T20 games between the West Indies and India.

On a local level, the All American City of Lauderhill just completed its 15th  season of T20 International Night Cricket. The teams are compromised of players from South Florida Matches. matches are played over a period of two months culminating with a champion and of course seasonal bragging rights.

2017 promises to be just as rewarding for the City of Lauderhill and Broward County. The CPL will be returning in August and will play over 5 weekends ending in September.

How Hospitals Can Optimize Their Infection Prevention Programs

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

How Hospitals Can Optimize Their Infection Prevention Programs - Future of Health Care

How Hospitals Can Optimize Their Infection Prevention Programs - Future of Health Care

Industry Perspective Infection preventionists are working toward a vision of health care without infection. Here’s how leadership can effectively leverage these specialists to make their facility as safe as possible.

No one should have to worry about getting an infection because of their medical care. Yet the CDC estimates 1 in 25 hospitalized patients develop a health care-associated infection.

Root of the issue

These infections are often related to the presence of invasive devices, such as catheters or to surgical procedures where microorganisms (germs) can enter the body, leading to infection.

Health care-associated infections claim the lives of 75,000 Americans each year — twice the amount of people who die from car accidents or breast cancer. In addition to the human cost, health care-associated infections add billions in excess treatment costs to the nation’s health care bill. Hospitals with the highest rates of infections also face financial penalties from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Prevention 101

Most of these infections are preventable by following good infection prevention practices, such as proper hand washing, sterile techniques and cleaning and disinfection of medical equipment and high-touch surfaces in the patients’ hospital room. Research shows that when health care facilities are aware of infection problems and take specific steps to prevent them, infection rates can be decreased by as much as 70 percent.

Infection preventionists are experts working in hospitals and other care settings to protect patients and health care workers from deadly infections. They develop and monitor infection prevention processes and procedures, educate staff and promote the application of evidence-based practices that prevent transmission of infection consistently across the institution.

Positive results

Over the past decade, infection prevention teams, led by infection preventionists at hospitals across the country, have made progress in reducing health care-associated infections. Bloodstream infections from central line catheters have dropped by more than 50 percent. Rates for certain surgical site infections have also dipped dramatically.

“Health care-associated infections claim the lives of 75,000 Americans each year — twice the amount of people who die from car accidents or breast cancer”

But there is more work to do. Even one health care-associated infection is one too many. Most infections in health care facilities can be prevented, and many more lives can be saved. Elimination of preventable infections requires the commitment of every member of the health care team, including the C-suite.

Leaders set the tone by making infection prevention and control an organizational priority. They harness the unique skillset of infection preventionists to steer quality improvement initiatives. And they support their infection prevention departments with enough staff, training and resources to run effective facility-wide programs.

Health care leaders need to leverage the value of these specially-trained professionals who possess the scientific and clinical knowledge, combined with social skills, to engage frontline providers to bring the best available evidence-based practice to the patient. The infection preventionist has the 30,000-foot view of the health care facility’s infection prevention efforts and performance. Health care leaders should include the infection prevention program as a visible and integral part of the facility’s leadership structure to promote a strong culture of accountability and patient safety.

How Hospitals Can Optimize Their Infection Prevention Programs - Future of Health Care

Linda Greene, RN, MPS, President, APIC, editorial@mediaplanet.com

Is there a need to worry about asbestos poisoning?

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Is there a need to worry about asbestos poisoning? Disaster Restoration Information & News

If a structure is 25 years old or newer, is there a need to worry about asbestos poisoning?

By: Created by Mark Gibson 


Yes there is. The United States is one of very few major industrialized countries where asbestos is not banned entirely in all of its forms. It continues to be a part of gaskets, friction products, roofing materials, fireproofing materials, vinyl floor tile and a list of other building products that are used daily.

These products pose no danger as long as they stay in good condition. But cutting, sanding or damaging them can result in the release of asbestos. Since contractors might disturb these materials on a regular basis due to the type of work they do, they need to be aware of the dangers and possible liability.

Call SERVPRO of Sunrise at 954-748-7887

Why do Companies Overspend?

7/6/2017 (Permalink)

Why do Companies Overspend?

Ben Lapscher

The main purpose of a business is to increase shareholders value, providing increasing profits and return on the invested capital. In order to improve profitability and increase shareholder value, companies can pursue three basic strategies: a) Increase Sales, b) Reduce Costs of Goods and/or c) Reduce Expenses. Each of these strategies has its advantages and challenges, however, the third one, Reduce Expenses, has one clear benefit. Every dollar saved goes directly to the bottom line. As Benjamin Franklin would say: "A penny saved is a penny earned".

Executed with care, expense reduction won't affect the quality of product or service provided, contributing to maintaining sales with higher profitability. A reduction in energy consumption, payroll processing or liability insurance will not affect the product/service. However, it will help increase business profits very rapidly.

Despite this clear advantage of the Expense Reduction strategy, many businesses still overspend in many categories. Our experience shows that 100% of the companies we have been involved with, have at least one expense category where they consistently overspend, even those running a tight ship. It seems logical to think that keeping an eye on expenses should be a must for every company. Given that this is not the case, the next logical question is why isn't this happening? The purpose of this article is to explain the reasons behind this fact.

From: Americas Community Center - People Working Together

You can read the complete article at http://www.americascc.org/single-post/2017/05/12/Why-do-Companies-Overspend

Firework Safety Tips

7/1/2017 (Permalink)

  • Obey our local laws regarding the use of fireworks
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance description before igniting 
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give firework to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. 
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings  and vehicles.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak  in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

From: Copied from We Are Weston - Mary Molina Macfie

The HEPA Story

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

During World War II, the Atomic Energy Commission needed a filter that would remove and capture radio-active dust particles that would present a health hazard to researchers working on the Manhattan Project, the classified U.S. government project that developed the atomic bomb. That's why the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter was created.

The HEPA filter was especially designed to protect the human respiratory system. Since it's made of ultra-fine, glass-fiber materials, it captures microscopic particles that can easily pass through other filters. It'll filter out 99.97% of the 0.3-micron particles in the air. Particles that size are near 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and 25 to 50 times tinier than we can see. To a HEPA filter, catching a one-micron particle (1/1,000,000 of a meter) is alike to stopping a cotton ball with a door screen.

HEPA filters are viewed as the top form of air filtration. Hospitals, laboratories, even NASA spend thousands to millions of dollars to create those contamination free environments called clean rooms that help to eliminate almost all foreign elements, infectious agents, heavy metal particles, and other unwelcome impurities.  For those reasons, HEPA filters are widely used.

Unlike other filters, a HEPA filter will actually get more efficient the dirtier it gets. They're not like a sieve which only strains out particles that are larger than the spaces between fibers. Instead, the particles stick to individual fibers as they contact or pass the fibers. As the HEPA fibers collect more particles, there’s more surface area for new particles to interact. Thus the HEPA filtration efficiency increases.

So does that mean you’ll never have to replace the HEPA filters in your air scrubbers? Since they can get a little pricey, that would be welcome news. However, as a HEPA filter collects more contaminants, a pressure drop develops. This decreases the units CFM and also increases motor strain. With lower airflow, air changes per hour decrease as well. So even though the filtration efficiency increases, the overall effectiveness of a unit will decrease.

Then how often should you replace one? It depends on a number of factors:

   • size and concentration of airborne contaminants
   • temperature
   • humidity
   • length of use

The average life span is 800 hours, so still much longer than prefilters. And when you do replace it, be sure it’s from the manufacturer of your unit, because for it to be efficient, it also needs to fit perfectly or else unfiltered air can get around it. You also shouldn't replace it with one labeled, “HEPA-Type”, which is a cheaper version that will allow many more particulates to pass through.

By: The Lowdown - Disaster Restoration Information & News . Issue 285

Mark Gibson
Freelance Writer
Independent Sales Rep - Green leaf Writing

Call SERVPRO of Sunrise for any Mold related issues and for Mold Remediation work

at 954-748-7887