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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

National Sunglasses Day – 3 Tips for choosing the right sunglasses

UV radiation from both natural sunlight & artificial UV rays, like tanning beds, can damage the eye, affecting the cornea and lens.
Long-term exposure to UV radiation can lead to cataracts & skin cancer around the eyelids.
Always avoid looking directly at the sun as it can permanently scar the retina, the area at the back of the eye responsible for vision.
  • A wide-brimmed hat can block about half of the UV rays as it can limit rays that hit the eyes from above and also around sunglasses. What to look for in sunglasses

1. Choose quality sunglasses

Check for labels, hang tag or sticker which should state the amount of protection. Sunglasses should block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light. Some of the higher-priced options with polycarbonate lenses claim to block 100 percent of the UV rays.

2. Inspect your sunglasses

Check to make sure your sunglass lenses are perfectly matched in color and free of scratches and distortion. Price does not necessarily correspond to protection. Just take the time to carefully inspect the lenses before you buy.

3. Wear gray-colored lenses

Gray-colored lenses reduce light intensity without altering the color of objects, providing the most natural color vision.
  • As to style think about the sides of your eyes, and consider sunglasses with wide or wraparound arms.
  • Children are at higher risk from harmful effects of UV rays because their eyes do not have the same ability as adults to protect from UV radiation. Kids also aspend more time playing outdoors.
  • UV radiation damage is cumulative over a lifetime, so you should begin protecting your child’s eyes now.
What are your favorite sun glasses?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Carbon emissions from human activity are changing the Earth’s climate

WooHoo summer is here! It’s time to pack up your sand toys and swimsuits and head out to the beach.  However two serious issues are causing havoc with the world’s oceans; This summer take a moment to learn more about threats to the well being of the Ocean and the changes you can make to help prevent further harm from global warming and ocean acidification.
Carbon emissions from human activity are changing the Earth’s climate, leading to rising sea levels, and contributing to more frequent and intense extreme weather events that directly threaten every one of us–no matter whether we live along the coast or far inland. Recent public surveys show that ocean acidification is not yet well known but it’s an issue that will become much more prominent, and, fortunately, you can help make a real difference!
Get Green Power!
Use cleaner and healthier alternatives to fossil fuels and advocate for more! Buying green energy for your home is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon emissions. You can find some resources on Global Energy Network Institute. If you live in the US, check the EPA’s Green Power Partnership.
Commute wisely
Get out your bike or buy a used one, take public transportation more regularly, try car sharing, seek carpoolingpartners, or consider telecommuting on the phone or video service such as Skype. Every time you skip the car for one of these alternatives, you help our ocean!
Buy less stuff
Think before you buy and ask whether you really need something, or if you can get it used. Not only will you be helping the ocean but also the fun new hobby of thrifting is a great form of self expression, especially when it comes to things like clothing or home goods, where a vintage item can have more personality and quality than buying new at a store. If you’re in the US, you can click here to find a thrift store near you!
Encourage local government leadership!
Get your mayor to commit to helping by signing on to a coalition for the protection of the climate (e.g. Cities for Climate Protection Campaign or Mayors for Climate Protection). Many national governments are failing to take adequate action in a timely fashion, so we can each help at the local level to make the push for a safer, healthier blue planet. Plus, the more we do on the local front, the easier it becomes for national and global action with real “teeth” to make a difference in our lifetimes!
Vote with your dollars
Support socially responsible companies, and do your research to make sure it’s not just green washing or mere lip service to environmental protection. You can use websites like EthicalConsumer.org to check out companies and products. Check a corporation’s reputation against multiple websites and make the best choice!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice- It’s the longest Day of the Year

The summer solstice also marks the longest day of the year, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.
The amount of daylight only goes down from here….for the next six months
This year’s summer solstice takes place a day earlier than it’s been for the past three years, due to the fact that 2012 is a leap year—this February got an extra day, to keep our calendar year of 365 days in sync with the astronomical year, which is about 365.24 days.
So it’s time to enjoy vacations, great weather, pools, baseballs, and everything else that goes along with the favorite season of kids and most adults. Grab your sun protection and your favorite beverage and enjoy the season, because for some it maybe all too short.
Having a hard time getting to sleep with the light evenings? At least you’re not at the North Pole. The sun won’t be setting at all at the North Pole today, they will be ‘enjoying’  24 hours of sunlight!
Whilst meteorologists claim today is the longest day of the year,  as it’s also the last full day of the school year for my kids, it’s feeling like the shortest as I try to cram as much work in as possible!
If you ask me the longest day of 2012 is going be right around August 27th….the day before my precious little snowflakes GO BACK TO SCHOOL!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sun Protection on Your Plate – National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

To reduce the risk of sun damage pay attention to what you put in your body, as well as what you use on the outside. Whilst Broccoli isn’t a substitute for sunscreen, the protection you get won’t wash off in the pool either!
Eating the right foods particularly fruit and veg that contain antioxidants reduce inflammation can keep you looking younger as well as helping to protect from sunburn that leads to skin cancer and wrinkles.
Green leafy vegetables can reduce your risk of a variety of cancers, and protect your skin too. According to the International Journal of Cancer, spinach, kale, and chard may reduce risk of squamous cell cancer by fifty percent. Paul Talalay, MD, from Johns Hopkins University has studied the protective benefits of broccoli for twenty-five years. He and his colleagues have discovered that broccoli sprouts are powerful when it comes to cancer protection.
You can incorporate the benefits of broccoli for protection from skin cancer from the sun by eating one half cup daily. Add broccoli to a salad or put a handful of broccoli sprouts in your sandwich.
Bright Colorful fruits are high in carotenoids and lycopene. Carotenoids offer skin and eye protection from the sun.  In fact “The more colorful the plant, the higher its protection against unwanted rays,” Claims Dr. Felder MD, PhD and author of The Bonus Years Diet. He also explains, “When you and I go out in the sun, we put on sunscreen. Plants use color as sunscreen.”
A study, performed in 2001, looked at volunteers who ate 40 grams of tomato paste in addition to two teaspoons of olive oil (for absorption) over a ten-week period. The group was forty percent less likely to experience sunburn when exposed to harmful UV rays.
A great summer fruit choice is watermelon not only is it delicious but it is rich in lycopene, making it a great choice to protect your skin from sunburn and possibly even reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
NOTE – Don’t forget the outside protection too
-Hat, UV clothing, Sun glasses, UVA & UVB Sunscreen and of course SHADE!