5 Practical ways of working towards sustainability

1.    Reduce your water use. One thing experts say is on the horizon is a potential water shortage. Because in many areas demand outpaces supply, people are being told to use less water everyday. Whether it is taking shorter showers or washing your dishes by hand, cutting back on household water use saves people money and helps the environment as well. This sink and toilet combo takes it one step further by reusing the grey water from the sink to flush the toilet. The City of Vancouver, Canada is improving its water sustainability by challenging its citizen’s to reduce their water consumption by 33%. What other ways could you cut your water use by?

2.    Shop smart. Buying new (appliances, that is) can be help household sustainability and your wallet as well with newer models being more energy efficient. Doing some quick research online, consumers can find out which models provide the best savings for their money. Also look at upgrading your furnace and hot water tank, many governments offer rebates for buying energy efficient models.

Sustainability3.    Get growing. Having a garden can provide fruits and vegetables for a fraction of the cost of buying from the local supermarket. And there are many books and articles out there to help beginners to garden sustainably in small areas, in many cases a ¼ acre can provide enough for a family of four for a year. Or help start a community garden and get everyone involved in sustainability.

4.    Swap, don’t spend. As any parent of a young child knows, as soon as you buy them a toy, clothes, or shoes, they instantly outgrow them. Instead of buying new, consider swapping them with friends and family who may need them and who may have clothes that will fit. By buying less new clothes, you are not only saving your pocketbook but also the environment. Many clothes are made in factories overseas and the cost to ship them to local stores is astronomical. This can also work for DVD’s, CD’s, books, or almost anything else you can think of.

5.    Make it yourself. From salsa to facial scrubs, to bookcases and benches. With some elbow grease and creativity, almost anything can be made at home or repurposed into something new. Got extra peppers and tomatoes in the garden? Make salsas and bruschetta, these can be canned without any added preservatives, giving you a variety of foods year round. Or make your own facial scrubs and foot soaks, there are many different recipes online for these. Perks: they cost much less than the ones bought at the store and because there is no shipping of the finished product their footprint is considerably less, increasing sustainability practices. And if it is well constructed, handmade furniture lasts longer than that made of particle board.
There are many different ways that everyone can work to achieve sustainability. It just takes time, research and a little bit elbow grease.

Improving Your Family’s Life and the Life of the Environment

Summer is almost here, and for many people that means having some time off work and school to travel, enjoy a barbeque with friends and family, garden, and to relax and have fun. While summer can be great, it can also be a detrimental season for the environment. Current science articles are showing research and information about some of the environmental issues that can affect all of us this summer. Here is how you and your family can have fun this summer, while helping the environment.

Charcoal Grills

For some, summer is equated to grilling food on a charcoal grill, but current science articles demonstrate that grilling with a charcoal grill emits up to 11 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is enough CO2 to drive a car 22 miles. It is important to cut back on charcoal grilling since CO2 is the biggest component of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. While propane grills uses only 5.6 pounds of CO2, propane is a fossil fuel, and it has a negative impact on the environment. As a more environmentally friendly alternative to charcoal, use an indoor electric, or if grilling outside try an ethanol based burning disc.

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Camping and Road Trips

When the weather gets nice, many families pack up their vehicle or RV to do some traveling, or to go camping. Many current science articles have shown how vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases negatively affect the environment, trapping CO2 in the atmosphere and resulting in an increase in the earth’s climate that can negatively affect the environment. Whenever possible, people should consider using green methods of transportation, such as electric or hybrid vehicles, for their summer travels. Before going on the road, the vehicle should be inspected—even something small, like slightly deflated tires, can mean an increase in fuel consumption (something that is bad for the environment as well as the wallet). Vehicles, including RVs and campers, should not be overloaded with luggage and supplies as this can also increase fuel consumption. Planning ahead and using maps or a global navigation system (GPS) can help decrease the amount of time spent on the road—and decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment.

Gardening

Gardening is a hobby that many people do during the spring and summer months. To get rid of pests that can destroy plants and damage gardens, some people will buy commercial pesticides and herbicides. Current science articles demonstrate that these pesticides and herbicides seep into the ground; they can contaminate groundwater and cause environmental damage for many species (not just those pests). Using natural alternatives to help control garden pests can help gardeners and the planet. Aphids are an insect species that feeds on many types of garden plant. Ladybugs eat aphids, and since they don’t damage or eat plants, they can be used as a natural pest control.

There is a lot of great information out there that current science articles can teach people. By following tips like these, people can enjoy their summers—and help the environment.

The Importance of Counselling When Dealing With Adoption

In order for adoption to be successful, a lot of care and work has to go into it. As well determination and commitment is needed for both the adoptive family, and the parent giving their child up for adoption. To make the transition go as smoothly as possible, counselling is often required.
One of the main reasons why counseling is so important is because it plays a role in deterring the parents from changing their mind. This reason makes counselling imperative to a successful adoption. The birth parents have to be comfortable with the adoption to ensure that it is the right choice for their unborn child.

The adoptive parents need counseling as well. Choosing to become a parent isn’t a onetime thing, but rather a life-long commitment. Additionally, the welcoming of a baby is not the only issue, but the quality of life they will have as a family needs to be addressed. Even if the parents putting their child up for adoption don’t change their mind because they’re confident in their decision, the process needs to go smoothly as well, If they are angry about any aspect of the situation or distrustful of the agency or adoptive parents it can cause them unnecessary stress. If the adoptive parents feel any discontentment during the adoption, it may carry over into how they see the child.

When it comes to the pregnancy and delivery, the birth mother in the adoption process needs extensive support from everyone else involved. This includes the adoptive parents, her family, and the agency handling the adoption.

Counselling for the Birth Parents in an Adoption

Along with the emotional, physical and hormonal concerns, birth parents also have feelings of loss and doubt surrounding their adoption decision, especially at the beginning. Counseling ensures that they receive the support they need while giving them the necessary tools to deal with any feelings of grief and pain.

Counselling for the Adoptive Parents

For a lot of couples, adoption is a choice they make because they aren’t able to give birth to children of their own, so they spend a lot of time and money on fertility treatments that don’t work. And this can make them pessimistic.

Sometimes they take these feelings with them when they visit an adoption agency. They feel that they are once again being asked to risk time on waiting for a baby to become legally available. They have doubts if the process will be successful after other attempts have not worked. They also doubt their chances of being chosen, because they wonder why birth parents would choose them.

After the adoption is complete, there can still be concerns that need to be addressed. Even though the ongoing relationships brought about are usually carefree, misunderstandings can still exist. When this happens, adoptive families need counseling to help them adjust, and hopefully they have access to their original counsellor.

Proper counselling can make a world of difference when it comes to adoption. The process is a great source of joy for everyone involved including the adoptive child. Without it, emotional problems can arise unnecessarily and turn the process into a negative life experience.