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Happy Earth Day !!!!

The founding of Earth Day is said to be the idea of former Senator Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis., and former United Nations Secretary General U. Thant. Nelson's date of April 22 has stuck with the tradition. Today, 192 countries celebrate Earth Day, and in recent times lobbying groups and environmental organizations use the secular holiday to press for government action on behalf of the environment. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in New York City and Philadelphia, however the Philadelphia celebration seems to be the one more noted. Former Sen. Edmund Muskie, D-Maine, who later became President James E. Carter's Secretary of State, was the keynote speaker of Philadelphia's 1970 Earth Day celebration.

This year is particularly special as it celebrates the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. For this, we’ve put together 20 quotes that will inspire us to be kinder to our planet:

“The good man is the friend of all living things.” – Gandhi

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

“There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.” – Brooke Medicine Eagle

“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” – Lady Bird Johnson

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” – William Shakespeare

“For 200 years we've been conquering Nature.  Now we're beating it to death.” – Tom McMillan

“After a visit to the beach, it's hard to believe that we live in a material world.” – Pam Shaw

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – Walt Kelly

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.  We are all crew.” – Marshall McLuhan

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb

“The earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry

“You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.” – Hal Borland

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.” – Thomas Fuller

“Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.” – Juvenal, Satires

“I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.” – Mother Teresa

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard

“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know.” – W. H. Auden

COURTESY: www.latintimes.com

How You can do Your Bit for the Environment !

How You can do Your Bit for the Environment !

You don't have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle, neither do you have to give up on anything big to be able to contribute your bit to save the environment. All you need to do is resort to some simple ways to do so. When all of us start making these changes, the cumulative effort will result in a beautiful environment that we can gift to our offspring.

  • Start by turning off the lights, fans and other electronic items when you leave a room. Don't use lights that are unnecessary. Switch off your computer monitor when you are not at your desk if you can't turn it off. Don't leave your microwave or television on standby when not in use - unplug them. All these electronic appliances utilize a lot of electricity even when on standby.
  • Have your washing machine, air conditioner, dryer, and dishwasher serviced on a regular basis. When serviced, they utilize lesser energy. If possible, avoid using a dryer and hang your clothes on a clothesline. Not only will you save power and reduce your contribution to global warming, you will also have clothes that last longer and smell fresher.
  • Start using CFLs instead of fluorescent bulbs. These lights have been made for the purpose of saving energy. Also, invest in non-CFC products such as microwaves, refrigerators and air-conditioners. There are brands of these appliances that are designed to save energy. Not only will they reduce power consumption and help the environment, they will also help you cut down your electricity bills.
  • Give up plastic bags and take to recycling newspaper to make paper bags for your use. The disposal of plastic and its effects are among the biggest environmental issues that are now troubling the world. Try to make the most of paper. You know it is easily recyclable.
  • To further save paper, unsubscribe to bank statements delivered by e-mail, and view your bills online. Buy and use only e-tickets. In a few years, this is the only option you will have. Get used to it now. You can only marvel at the huge number of trees you can save in this process and contribute to the conservation of natural resources.
  • Wash your car in your lawn if you must. That way you can water your plants as well as have a clean car. If you can afford it, go to a professional car wash service. These guys use water more efficiently than you would on your own.
  • Do your bit for nature by planting a tree. A lot of agencies plant trees in your name, and all you have to do is sign up there. Nurture the tree and watch it grow. If all of us plant one tree it will make a whole world of a difference, and a difference to the whole world.
  • Whenever possible, try and walk instead of taking your car. Better still, take your bike for a spin. You're doing your health some good, saving gas, and helping the environment.
  • Maintain your car so that it functions the way it is supposed to, without utilizing too much energy to function. This will also reduce the amount of environmental pollution that is caused by your vehicle.
  • Bathe from a bucket instead of using the shower to enable water conservation. You probably don't realize the amount of water that is running when you simply leave the shower on when unnecessary. The same holds true when shaving, brushing, washing the dishes, washing your hands with soap, etc.
  • Introspect and see how many electrical appliances you actually need and what you can do manually. Yes, manual work does take a little time, but if you do have the time and can utilize it for the purpose, why not do so? For instance, pick one day of the week where you will wash your clothes by hand and not in the washing machine. It may take a little time getting used to, but as mentioned earlier, if everyone does this, imagine how much water you will save and how much you will help the environment.
  • Organize your errands so that you can complete as many as possible in one outing. This way you save fuel (if you are dependent on a vehicle to run your errands) and the environment.
  • Recycle as much as possible. You don't always have to buy new things when you can recycle and reuse the things around you. There are lots of blogs and websites dedicated to telling users how to recycle effectively. Take a step and see how you can save not only the environment, but a lot of money too. Try it and you will see the difference.

This is the least we can all do to save our environment to begin with. As mentioned earlier, don't worry about what the world is doing. Worry about your own deeds that are contributing to the numerous environmental problems on this planet. Just do your bit and it will make a huge difference. Don't wonder, 'how much can one person change?' Every individual change contributes to one large whole, and this makes all the difference.
 

Courtesy: www.buzzle.com.

 

How Plants Can Improve the Indoor Air Quality !

Plants Fight Pollution Indoors

Indoor air quality is an increasing health concern, particularly in the United States and other developed countries where people may spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the American Society of Horticultural Science. Indoor air can be as much as 12 times more polluted than outside air in some areas, due to compounds in paints, furnishings, clothing, and building materials.

Don't be frightened--get some plants! Research shows that many common houseplants and blooming potted plants can improve your health by helping to fight these pollutants in your home. The ability of plants to remove chemicals from the air is called phytoremediation. A study conducted by Stanley J. Kays at the University of Georgia tested 28 species of common houseplants. The results showed that some ornamental plants can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air. The purple waffle plant, the English ivy, the variegated wax plant, and the asparagus fern were the top VOCs fighters, according to a study published in HortScience.

While it's common knowledge that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as part of photosynthesis, research by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also confirmed that plants eliminate harmful gases from the air. NASA findings showed that houseplants were able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in a 24-hour period. Researchers believe that all houseplants may offer these benefits to a certain degree, though they haven't all been tested. According to this study, the best plants are: dragon tree, ivy, ficus, philodendrons, spider plants, peace lilies, ferns, chrysanthemums, palms, and the rubber plant. You need a plant for every 10 square yards of floor in your house to ensure a considerable degree of air detox.

Plants Help Fight Colds
A study by the University of Agriculture in Norway found that indoor plants can also help fight colds. The research showed that indoor plants decreased coughs, sore throats, fatigue, and other cold-related symptoms by more than 30 percent. Researchers attributed these benefits to the fact that plants help increase humidity levels and decrease dust in your home.

Plants Make You Happy
The American Horticultural Therapy Association says that the benefits of plants can be seen across many studies in the cognitive, psychological, social, and physical realms. Some of the psychological benefits include:

  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved mood and sense of well-being
  • Reduced stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Increased feelings of calm, relaxation, and optimism
  • Increased sense of stability and control

One area that has been explored is the effect of indoor plants on stress levels. Several independent studies have shown that interior plants can help reduce stress and improve well-being. A study by researchers at Washington State University found that people in a plant-filled room saw a four-point drop in their systolic blood pressure after taking a stressful test, compared with a two-point drop in a group with no plant exposure.

Plants Enhance Cognitive Function
Keeping plants indoors can make you think better. The mental benefits observed during this research include:

  • Improved concentration
  • Improved memory
  • Better goal achievement
  • Heightened attention

University of Technology Sydney research found that through the addition of indoor plants:

  • VOCs can be reduced by over 80 per cent to below 100 parts per billion
  • C02 is reduced by 10 to 25 per cent
  • CO (carbon monoxide) is reduced by up to 90 per cent
  • Where HVAC contributes to sick building syndrome, plants can help ease headaches and fatigue

Bring more greenery--and less stress--into your home life!

courtesy: Healthline