How to Achieve a More Sustainable Lifestyle in 2021

New Year, New You!

One of the most significant issues facing the modern world is the destruction of nature. An excessive amount of animals are endangered and becoming extinct. Besides this, climate change is harming coral reefs, forests, animals, and people. The good news is that everyone can aid in saving the planet by achieving a more sustainable lifestyle.

Go Paperless with Personal Finances

Many aspects of personal finance, like getting your taxes done in person and by mail, often require lots of paperwork. You can avoid wasting paper when you find tax prep services online. Your actions will help save many trees from being cut down to make paper. Other ways to go paperless with your finances include paying bills online, signing up for electronic statements, digitalizing documents, and more.

Reduce Plastic Use

Consequently, plastic is littering oceans, killing sea life, choking animals to death, filling landfills to the brim, and more. You can begin eliminating plastic from your lifestyle by using eco-friendly items such as a stainless steel water bottle, biodegradable garden pots, reusable produce bags, and others. Next time you purchase a product, consider how your actions can impact the environment and people.

Avoid Eating Meat and Dairy

Eating less meat and dairy can improve your health and wellbeing and help save the environment. You’ll be lowering greenhouse gas emissions and saving forests from deforestation, among other things. Besides this, you can protect countless animals from suffering on factory farms. Consider the benefits of changing to a vegetarian or vegan diet for yourself and the planet.

Take Care of Nature

Being grateful for nature by taking care of it ensures it will still be here for future generations to enjoy. You can plant a native garden that gives birds, bees, butterflies, and other creatures a place to live, food to eat, and somewhere to hide from predators. In addition to this, native gardens help the ecosystem thrive and add natural beauty to your home.

Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

The chemicals in cleaning products can harm your and your family’s health and that of any pets you may have. You can protect your household by using greener cleaning products whenever possible. You can buy these online or locally, or consider making your own to save money. Eco-friendly cleaning ingredients include vinegar, essential oils, hydrogen peroxide, and others. Learn how to mix ingredients safely by doing your own research.

Make Smarter Fashion Choices

Instead of buying new clothes, you can shop at secondhand stores or rent clothing. This allows you to reduce waste, be kind to the environment and save money. In addition to this, buying clothes made from fur, leather, or other animal products has serious consequences. One reason for this is animals are taken out of their natural environments and killed, which throws the ecosystem off-balance.

Commit to Recycle

Recycling paper, plastic, electronics, and other items helps to conserve the environment and reduces waste. You can encourage your family to recycle by having separate bins for paper, plastic, and metal. Teaching them the value of responsible recycling can help them appreciate the environment and feel better about themselves.

Everyone must take positive steps to save our planet. You can begin by making small changes and build up to larger ones. You can also inspire others to protect nature by changing your habits and being a good role model. Make sure to spread the word to everyone you know, because we only have one planet.

6 Things to do During the COVID-19 Lockdown to Keep You Sane

Girl during COVID-19 lockdown looking out of her apartment window

Being bored at home due to COVID-19 lockdowns has become a pretty common thing. Many people work with counselors online, do online therapy for depression, and have even found the answer to the question “what is TMS for depression?” and taken steps to treat theirs with this method. 

However, any therapist will tell you that staying busy is key to fighting the COVID-19 depression that has affected millions of lives since lockdowns began. If you’re struggling to find something to keep you sane, less depressed, and a whole lot less bored during this time, read on below for a few things to do during the pandemic lockdown. 

Start Working Out/Exercise

One productive way to stay busy during lockdown is by exercising or starting a new workout routine. Remember, you don’t have to be outdoors to exercise, though if you can get out on your back porch or into the yard to get some air, that is a good idea. Start small with working out because you don’t want to overdo it, pull a muscle, and end up at the doctor during a time when no one wants to be out and about if they don’t have to be. 

Finish Your Christmas Shopping

Christmas is right around the corner, so if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, during a lockdown is the perfect time to plant yourself in a chair, grab the computer and get it done. The best thing about online Christmas shopping is you never have to leave your house, you can do it all from the comfort of your armchair, no masks or social distancing needed. 

Learn a New Language 

If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, now is the time to do it. From a wide selection of YouTube videos to being able to sign up for classes online, if you want to learn a new language, then this is the time to do it–when you’re locked in and have nothing else to do. 

Set Some Goals

Most people set out to set goals at the end of the current year, so they’ll be ready to hit the ground running when January 1st rolls around. Whether you’re setting business or personal goals, why not get a jump on goal setting while you’re in lockdown? 2020 has been rough on everyone, so why not make goals to help 2021 be a year of recovery and even better for yourself and your family? 

Take an Online Course

Whether you’re looking to further yourself at work once the lockdown is lifted, or if you’ve had a hobby that you want to learn more about, taking an online course is a productive use of your time during the lockdown. It can also be fun to learn something that you’ve been wanting to learn but never had the time for before the arrival of the COVID-19 virus. Whether it’s signing up for business courses or signing up for courses to improve your writing, you won’t be bored and you’ll get something out of it in the long run. 

Write a Novel

Speaking of writing classes, if you’ve always loved to write, and have had the idea in your head for a book for many years now, this is the perfect time to get those words down on paper. It’s much easier to get published in today’s modern world, so what have you got to lose? 

These are just a few of the best activities you can participate in when you’re bored during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Remember, this too will pass, so why not make the best of being home while you can? 

Best Places for A Family Vacation

It is very important to give you kids experiences over things. They will always remember an event you went to or a place you visited over a toy they received and played with for 5 minutes. Because of this, it is common for families to plan vacations. Vacations are especially popular over the holiday season.

Paying for a Vacation with a Bet365 Bonus Code

First and foremost, before deciding where to go on vacation we need to pay for the vacation! A good place to start would maybe looking for and using a Bet365 bonus code.

We often find ourselves day to day doing the same thing, like looking for and playing on our computers. Why not venture out and experience something new

One thing you need to think about is the duration of time you want to go for your vacation. You can plan something little like a day trip or you can even plan a summer getaway that lasts a couple of months. Sometimes it is hard when you have limited vacation days. This is a good place to start when planning your family trip.

The next thing to consider is your budget. Are you on a tight budget or are you doing a bucket list trip where you aren’t going to spare any expense? Your budget may limit or expand your choices when it comes to your getaway.

The most important aspect of planing a vacation is the location. Where are you going to go?! Some people may start here and then just make it happen. There are various types of vacations that are great for families

Beach

A beach vacation is always nice to enjoy. Who doesn’t like some time in the sun. Sandy beaches and water is always a recipe for fun. There are different types of beaches all over the world so you can usually make it work for your time and budget constraints. You have east and west coast beaches which are very different from each other. There are lakeside beach vacations where you almost feel like you are on a coast. There are also beautiful carribean vacations that allow you to enjoy some hot temperatures and blue water. 

Mountains

Some families enjoy adventure! A mountain vacation may be your speed. They are typically full of activities like hiking and camping or water sports. Temperatures may vary depending on where you are and what season you are visiting. If you are going in the summer than you may be able to do more hiking and swimming. If you go during the winter than you can go skiing and snow tubing as a family.

Theme Park

A popular choice among families are theme park vacations. The most popular being disney world/disney land and also universal. Throughout the country and world, there are often theme parks that are built with rides and attractions to make everyone in the family entertained. Some are geared more towards the little ones but some are also made for the adventurous thrill seeker adults. There are also water parks throughout the country that may be worth the trip. 

Cruise

Another popular destination for families are cruises. With cruises, you board a large boat and travel to multiple destinations. The best thing about cruises is that they allow you to travel to different “ports” without the hassle of airports and travel days. You do have travel days but you are at sea and given an abundance of activities and entertainment while you do so. This type of vacation can be the best of all of the above mentioned types of vacations. You can get beaches, theme parks/rides, outdoor activities and relaxation all in one spot.

Best of luck planning your next family getaway. Hopefully the outline above can help you decide where to venture!

Living sustainably in Seattle

Sustainable living is becoming less of a choice and more of a necessity.

As President Donald Trump dismantles the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and refuses to acknowledge deals such as the Paris Accord, it’s up to private citizens to make meaningful changes to this country’s carbon footprint.

For many, this will seem like spitting in the wind. With the world’s greatest superpower doubling down on fossil fuels, what can a single person do to affect change in the climate?

From a pessimist’s point of view you’d be absolutely right. However, fatalism won’t help the climate.

To show how real change is happening, let’s look at how citizens and companies in Seattle have responded to climate change.

These tips from this thriving tech city may make you look at your carbon footprint in a new light.

Duwamish Valley

The use of natural air filters (plants, bushes and other types of greenery) has had a significant impact on the air in the polluted Duwamish Valley in Seattle.

And they’ve been created by a number of groups, including King County Wastewater Treatment Division, Just Health Action, DIRT Corps, Duwamish Valley Youth Corps and Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition.

Speaking to the Seattle Times, community engagement and outreach manager for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition Paulina Lopez said, ‘The community needs to be empowered, and needs to be heard, and needs to take action. Having a green wall is a great example of collaboration of work, but also as a showing that concrete action can be taken and that can help improve air quality. This is a way, also, of showing the community that if you speak up, you can make a change.’

Seattle Airport

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has been attempting a number of strategies to reduce air pollution. In doing so, it’s securing the future of a number of companies working alongside it, including Looking4.com, Aqua Terra and Anthony’s Restaurant.

The airport has been making headway on sustainable aviation fuels and has changed other vehicles to their electrical variants (electric cars, vans etcetera). Alongside this, it will become the first US airport to have electrical charging outputs across runways, helping reduce pollution even further.

According to KUOW, the airport aims to get 10 percent of its fuel from locally produced biofuel a decade from now and 50 percent by 2050. Will this be nothing more than a drop in the ocean? Only time will tell.

Amazon

Worldwide consumer site Amazon has been under fire from Seattle employees over its lackadaisical attitude to climate change

In another interview with the Seattle Times, Weston Fribley, a software engineer in Seattle, said, ‘We’re in a position as Amazon employees where we can push for Amazon to be a leader in the climate space. We think that by having a group of co-filers, we’re showing how broadly felt this concern is within Amazon.’

We hope you found these examples useful. Is there anything you’d like to contribute to the debate? Then let us know in the comments below.

Unleash Your Inner Kendall Jenner: Wear Leggings as Your Pants

“Leggings aren’t pants” – I cannot count how many times I have heard this. For some, it is just another anodyne comment. Come to think of it though, the statement is deeply misogynistic. It is already 2016 man, but we are still telling women what to wear. For generations, men and some women have suppressed women to submit to their rules based on how society believes women should think and behave.

If a woman’s body is conventionally fit or sexy, she needs to cover up because she is sexually disturbing. If a woman’s body does fit within the ridiculously narrow standards of beauty, she needs to cover it because it’s unappealing. What a chauvinist way of thinking. Where is the progress in that? A woman should be freely able to choose for themselves what to wear. And if other people have a problem with the way she dress up, that is not her problem.

So girls, if you like wearing leggings as pants, go ahead! Never mind the haters and unleash your inner Kendall Jenner.

If you are convinced yet on wearing leggings as pants, here are the reasons why you should. And I swear, once you wear leggings, you’ll never go back.

  1. They are the one of the comfiest clothing ever made

Wearing them will make you say “halleluiah” because it feels super comfortable. The fabric is super stretchable and soft so it feels like you are wearing pajamas outdoors. Also, putting them on is not much of a hassle unlike the ordinary jeans.

  1. They are fashionable

Despite a number of leggings-haters telling it’s immodest, a lot of fashion icons like Beyonce, Vera Wang, Kendall Jenner and Kate Moss wear them in different occasions. Even the late Audrey Hepburn wore them. So see, if these icons wear leggings as pants, what is stopping you? If you just know how to mix and match, you can wear leggings and still look classy.

  1. It allows you to breathe

When a friend invited you for a buffet dinner, wear leggings. Wearing leggings always means more room for food. YAAS! It also covers up your bloating due to pre-menstrual period. During summer, leggings are also an alternative from denim jeans because of its breathability.

  1. They are flattering on anyone

Aside from the basic black leggings, other dark shade leggings can also be just as slimming and sophisticated. Try out chocolate, plum, navy blue, asphalt and charcoal. Just remember that colors that blend elongate the body the most. As for the length, when choosing Capris, make sure the leggings stop at where the legs start to narrow. When you want to add bulk to your legs, choose leggings with patterns, knits and rips.

 

  1. Bend-over friendly

When people bend over while wearing leggings, they don’t run the risk of seeing everything exposed like one could while wearing jeans.

  1. Leggings can be paired with a variety of clothing

One can pair cotton leggings with a summer or spring dress. Just make sure that the colors of the dress and the leggings complement each other. If your dress has a lot of designs, opt for solid-colored leggings Pairing leggings with a longer top or jacket is also acceptable as long as you wear the right shoes. Knee-high boots, sandals, flip-flops and moccasins suit best with leggings.

When going to work, wear leggings that are made up of leather, suede or denim. y To look professional though, wear a fancy top or use a blazer made up of quality material. Having a variety of leggings to choose from will make it easier to mix and match outfits for different occasions.

Is My Modded Ride Insurable?

Jeff’s Note: Personally, I think anything beyond gas & insurance is a waste of money for your car. Never throw money into a depreciating asset. 

The world of car enthusiasts is filled with true individuals who pride themselves on expressing their personalities through their distinctive and eye-catching vehicles. Some modify their cars for performance, others for aesthetics, but many drivers who make extensive modifications to their vehicles may wonder if their auto insurance policy even covers the monster their humble set of stock wheels has become.

Definitions

For insurance purposes, a “modified vehicle” is one that has undergone significant improvements in its manufacturer specified performance potential or structural alterations to the body of the vehicle that may impact the way it behaves on the road. Replica vehicles also fall under this standard, as they are not officially manufactured or endorsed by the automaker.

A premium custom paint job may also qualify as a significant modification is the value of the service totaled $10,000 or more, as the entire vehicle usually requires professional repainting if just one flaw develops.

Reporting

Most motorheads are totally unaware of their responsibility to report any substantial modifications to their insurance provider immediately. You can contact the HBF car insurance department directly on this link.

Failure to report modifications to your vehicle in a timely fashion could result in the voiding of the policy as a whole, as the insurer can justifiably claim that the vehicle involved in an incident is not the same as that insured by the policy. The vast majority of vehicles an insurance companies are standard factory products with reliable values and attributes, making it easy for them to determine your suitability for coverage.

In the case of modified vehicles, the practical effects of their uniqueness is far more difficult to quantify, and if there’s anything an insurance company cannot stand, it’s unpredictability. The fact is that most insurance companies are ill-equipped to address the needs of custom car enthusiasts, and typically do not respond well to being asked to do so unexpectedly.

For this reason, all modifications to your vehicle should be listed and submitted for the review of your insurer before the alterations take place if at all possible. This will allow you to determine whether a modification poses a risk to the validity of your current coverage, and if so, find an insurer more amenable to your automotive passions.

A custom car can be an unmistakable statement of personal style, but their total uniqueness can make finding effective insurance for these pieces of art a challenge. Check with your insurer to verify your current automotive coverage supports any planned modifications made to your vehicle and if your ride already features heavy modifications, be sure your insurance policy is made to be as one-of-a-kind as it is.

Finally Home!

I know that posting has been sparse lately, and those of you who subscribe to my newsletter know why. We have finally brought our daughter home from the hospital! It has been a long time coming, but true to their word, she was sent home on the first of may (her original due date) and did not even have to come home on oxygen. My wife and I are very excited, and it is good to have our family back at home.

Right now, we are currently adjusting to life with a newborn. She sleeps fairly well most nights, thankfully, and my wife is enjoying staying home with her during the day time (she has been off work since the week after she was born). She is still really small (under 7lbs) and still dealing with being a preemie, but she is gaining weight slowly and surely. From what the nurses said, she will begin getting huge in no time!

I do have some posts about the financial aspect of all this, as it turned out much different for us than I had initially imagined the whole having children thing would have. I’m working on a few different posts about that, because there are a few moving parts to the situation that most people dont even know about (or at least I didnt before this started).

My wife and I have also come to the realization that no one that comes to visit us anymore wants to hang out with us – they just want to see the baby. That being said, here’s a picture that my wife took of her the other day.

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