Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One Degree of Change #17

One Degree of Change #17

Have you ever walked out your front door and see something that walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck?  As we were organizing our morning to leave town for a getaway weekend, we found an injured female wood duck.  I captured her and my wife wrapped her in a towel.  Our new mission that morning was to find a place to take her.  I spent an hour on the computer following links for wildlife emergencies.  And when I finally found phone numbers, another hour was spent to make contact with someone.  We found the Eastside Veterinary Clinic in Clermont.  We took her there and they told us that they would care for her injuries and then send her to a local wildlife rehab facility.  They also took our information because it is important to rehome the ducks where they were found.  We made a healthy donation to "Friends of Nature" a fund that supports these local efforts! 

One Degree of Change #17:
Stop Using Aluminum Foil!  After wrapping the duck in a warm towel, it reminded me of this one degree of change I had on my list. Why? Is this dangerous? There is a great deal of information about this.  We have broiled our veggies on a foil covered cookie sheet for the past few years at a high heat.  So after a couple hours of reading here is what I found to be true and why we will discontinue its use in our home.  Cooking with aluminum foil has been shown to create numerous tiny cracks and flakes in the surface of the aluminum foil as demonstrated with electron microscopy.  Moreover chemical leaching of aluminum into food occurs with greater ease when food contains acidic properties such as lemon juice or spices. This increases your exposure. What’s wrong with increased exposure? Aluminum interferes with the digestion of calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride, and can even result in osteoporosis. It damages the liver, and impairs the kidneys. It is linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's.
It leads to colic, sleep disturbance, anemia, and speech problems.  Here's a video on how aluminum foil is made.  After watching the way that it is cooled with liquid and oil, makes you wonder how much of that gets in your system too. Oh, and btw, the oil that is used is mineral oil, from petroleum. Yum!

Okay, now what am I supposed to use?  Try parchment paper, glass baking dishes, and cast iron pans.  Watch out for stainless steel because the layers of steel are bonded with aluminum.  It is okay to use aluminum foil to cover dishes for storage in the refrigerator, just not to cook with in the oven, grill or in the campfire.  This also toys with the idea that it is not good for the landfill either.  If it leaches into the foods we eat, then we know it will leach into our soils.  The average person will consume/eat over 3 pounds of aluminum (this includes aluminum in other products as well as foil) in her lifetime.  That is the equivalent of 229 square feet of aluminum foil!

Are you up for the challenge? 
Not only will you be saving the planet, but saving yourself!

Friday, February 13, 2015

One Degree of Change #16

One Degree of Change #16

Yesterday was 2-12-2015.  "212" has a special meaning to me.  Years ago I found a short video that demonstrated that water was very hot at 211 degrees.  At 212 degrees water boils and creates steam which can power a locomotive.  Yes, it is talking about one degree of change!  I have used this video throughout the years as a motivational kick in the pants.  I use "212" as a greeting to some of my like minded friends!  I smile when I glance at the time and it is exactly "2:12".  As a matter of fact as I am typing this blog the clock on my computer is turning over to "2:12"!  It has reconfirmed my commitment to continue motivating you to make your one degree of change.  I am so proud of my patients and friends, who have shared their commitment to making a one degree of change in their health and for their planet.  Even my own family is on board.  My dad and mom have implemented a program for recycling bulbs and batteries at their workplace (Catalina Beach Club), engaging not only employees but also the guests.

One Degree of Change #16: Repurpose furniture or donate it to Habitat for Humanity.  Repurpose is another word for recycling.  In our household we are always freshening up the d├ęcor.  My taste is more of an island paradise inspiration.  My wife is more of a mid century modern or a contemporary style.  So, over the past few years we have had a shift toward the mid century modern since we have joined our households.  My furniture was still in great shape. We repurposed that furniture to our Eustis and Winter Park offices.  It gives our offices a homey, comfortable energy.

A grocery cart chair!

There are many ways to repurpose furniture.  I have been inspired by television shows that have DIY projects.  The creativity of some of these shows is beyond amazing.  Here are a few ideas:

1.  Repurpose an old headboard into a hanging coat rack.
2.  Repaint old dressers with whimsical colors for kid's rooms.
3.  Use old shutters as a cottage style headboard.
4.  Use different style dining room chairs and paint them the same color for an eclectic look.
5.  Use an old sideboard as a vanity.
6.  Use an old bookcase as a bar.
7.  Use an armoire as a potting bench.

The list is endless.  We repurposed this mid century modern chandelier that we found at a second hand store for our foyer. We paid $20 for this diamond in the rough.  A little paint, some elbow grease and help from our electrician friend renewed some history!

But what if you are not creative or don't have another location to move the furniture.  Donate it!  We have also donated many things to Habitat for Humanity.  They have stores that are called "Restores", very clever! Habitat for Humanity has nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.  Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world.  If you visit the above website, you can find a location near you.  And a bonus is, they will come to your home or office to pick up items!

Are you inspired?  Move some furniture around.  Do you need help?  Here is a website of two Winter Park sisters that rediscover your rooms! Check this out: http://www.roomrediscovery.com/
You have all sorts of options and ideas now. 
Don't throw your furniture out and congest our landfills even more, do the right thing! 
Make your purpose to repurpose!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

One Degree of Change #15

One Degree of Change #15

For the past year I have had my eye on this spectacular art piece.  It is a moving sculpture. Well to be more precise, it is a kinetic sculpture. I returned home, late in the evening, from a weekend of continuing education and was told I had a surprise.  I was a bit disappointed because no "surprise" presented itself.  But the next morning as dawn approached, I found my "surprise"! I was like a kid on Christmas morning.  Of course, I run out to the pool deck to take in this artistic flare of recycled washing machine parts.  That's right, this structure was created by Mexican artisans utilizing materials from old washing machines!  The wind generates its movement, but a slight push on each of the moving pieces sends it into a metronome effect of motion.  It is mesmerizing and calming to the soul.  Each morning I sit outside with a cup of hot tea and just take in all that this sculpture means to me.  From the ingenious craftsmanship of the artist to the loving thought from which the gift was given.  The emotion from these thoughts is meditative.

One Degree of Change #15: Recycle Everything Possible!  In Lake county where I live, we have a great recycle program.  We get large wheeled bins that can be used to recycle cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum.  Of course, we have two bins that we pack full each week.  We bring recyclables home from both the Eustis and Winter Park offices too.  There are two things that also need to be recycled, batteries and CFL bulbs.  Most people throw them out with their regular trash.  Here are some options:

Batteries-  Home Depot has joined forces with a program called "Call2recycle".  You can recycle old batteries, batteries from power tools and rechargeable batteries.  Many other stores have similar programs.  Stores such as Sears, Office Depot and Best Buy to name a few.  Keep your used batteries in a bag until it is full, then take them to a location near by to deposit them. Remember batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel. If batteries are improperly disposed they will contaminate the environment.  When incinerated, certain metals might be released into the air or can concentrate in the ash produced by the combustion process. Be part of the solution, not the problem!

Light bulbs- We have used the cheaper CFL (compact fluorescent light bulb) as an efficiency champ till we get over the sticker shock of the LED bulbs! Once again, check with your local retailers for recycle possibilities.  Home Depot also offers a bulb recycle program.  Store you bulbs in a five gallon PVC bucket with a lid or a cardboard box lined with plastic.  Remember CFL bulbs contain mercury.

So here is your call to action.  Go to this link: http://search.earth911.com/ and search your zip code to see where to recycle items that can't and shouldn't be thrown into your household garbage.  Make two containers: one for batteries and one for CFL bulbs and start collecting!

As the pendulums swing on my most thoughtful gift, my heart beats and gets filled with love from this very, special gift.
"Be" the One Degree of Change that you want to see!