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|Posted on March 14, 2011 at 4:08 PM||comments ()|
|Posted on March 9, 2011 at 7:49 AM||comments ()|
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement, which controls the flow of Chi around you. Living a Feng Shui life can help you with many things, including losing weight. If you create an environment that disrupts the natural flow of good Chi, you also disrupt the natural harmony in your life; with the Feng Shui life you can learn how to use good Chi to help balance your life and all that is in it.
Losing weight with Feng Shui in your life simply requires a few adjustments to your surroundings. It's easy and well worth the effort to achieve your weight loss goals. Some ways in which you can add the Feng Shui life to help with losing weight include for example, adding the color red to your surroundings. Red is a high-energy color that helps to keep your body active and burning calories.
Clear your home of clutter. Clutter has a way of disrupting Chi so if there are areas of your home that you know need to be tidied up, but have just not been able to bring yourself to do it, now is a good time.
As color is often very important with a Feng Shui life, it may not be surprising to learn that there is also a color that can help to deter eating. If you place black on your table, as well as around your refrigerator and pantry, you will feel less of a need to eat when you are not truly hungry.
It is best to avoid a view of your kitchen from your front doorway. There are ways in which you can obscure the view of your kitchen from the main room in your house by adding a Chinese screen, or hanging beads in the doorway between your kitchen and living room. This will also help offset your urge to eat.
Add lots of mirrors to your living environment. This is an incredible motivator to get you going. The more you see yourself, the better you will remember your goal of weight loss. In addition to a reminder about your goal, mirrors also help to give you encouragement when you are successfully losing those extra pounds.
Practice some meditation before eating your meals. Focus on the food only bringing nutrition to your body and not adding extra pounds. Remember it is good energy that will bring you success with the Feng Shui life. Keep that in mind and you should be reaching your weight loss goal within no time.
|Posted on March 3, 2011 at 9:12 AM||comments ()|
Top 10 Plants to Reduce Stress, and Eliminate Toxins
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. With today’s modern, energy efficient office buildings, the sealed air inside can contain 10 times more pollution than the air outside due to toxic emissions from building constituents, airborne mold, viruses, and other pollutants.
Improved indoor air quality can directly contribute to good health, improved productivity and ability to sustain living a sustainable lifestyle. Some of the most common culprits are listed here...
• Carbon Monoxide
• Nitrogen Dioxide
• Respirable Particles
• Household Chemicals
• Dust Mites
A sustainable solution for improved indoor air quality is plants. Plants naturally clean your air of toxins and chemicals, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being. They also increase eco awareness in your environment. In fact, NASA research has consistently shown that living, green and flowering plants can remove several toxic chemicals from the air in building interiors.
As a professional consultant, I suggest that one plant should be allowed for approximately 10 square yards of floor space, assuming average ceiling heights of 8 to 9 feet. This means that you need two or three plants to contribute to good air quality in the average domestic living room of about 20 to 25 square yards.
My sustainability consulting practice advises small businesses and individuals of the importance of managing indoor environment. Following are the best plants to reduce stress, fight colds, and reduce toxins in your environment.
Plants to Fight Stress
Plants to Fight Colds
Plants to Cut Toxins
The natural inborn ability of live plants to clean the air means that live plants are a sustainable solution for improved indoor air quality.
|Posted on February 28, 2011 at 10:02 PM||comments ()|
Safe and Poisonous Houseplants
Many homes contain houseplants or other natural materials to add beauty and interest to the décor. Not only are they attractive but many varieties of houseplants serve as indoor air cleaners as well. Lovely and functional as they may be, some houseplants may present a hazard especially if young children or pets share the household.
A poisonous plant is one that contains a chemical substance which produces a harmful reaction in the body of humans or animals when taken in small or moderate amounts. A harmful reaction could include allergic reactions, dermatitis or skin irritation, of internal poisoning. Allergic reactions are not always classified as poisoning and will not be treated as such here. This is because there is a wide range of plants that can cause allergic reactions, and sensitivity to a particular plant varies among individuals. Also, individuals can react in different ways after contact with a poisonous plant depending on their sensitivity level.
It is important that houseplant owners be aware of the potential problems that plants with toxic properties might cause. Be aware of the identity of your houseplants and learn if they pose potential threats to children and pets. If you cannot identify a houseplant, call your local Extension Center or the Home and Garden Education Center for assistance. It is also important to realize that many plants need to be consumed in considerable quantities for poisoning to occur. Often poisonous plants taste bitter or acrid and children and pets may not ingest large amounts. Young children, especially, should be taught not to put unknown plants or plant parts in their mouths.
If a houseplant or natural decoration is ingested by children or pets and poisoning is suspected, call your family doctor, nearest emergency room or veterinarian immediately. The number for the National Poison Center is (800) 222-1222. They can tell you if a plant is poisonous and what symptoms might be expected with a particular toxin. You will need to provide them with the identity of the plant, however.
The following is a list of plants considered toxic. Remember that plants may contain a variety of poisons. They may cause symptoms ranging from a mild stomach ache to serious heart and kidney problems.
Common Name Latin Name
Amaryllis Hippeastrum spp.
Anthurium Anthurium spp.
Apricot kernels Prunus armeniaca
Azaleas Rhododendron spp
Caladium Caladium bicolor
Calla Lily Calla palustrus
Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema spp.
Colchicum Colcicum autumnale
Daffodil Narcissus spp.
Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia spp.
Elephant’s Ear Colocasia antiquorum
English Ivy Hedera helix
Fishtail Palm Caryota spp.
Holly Berries Ilex spp.
Hyacinth Hyacinthus orientalis
Jerusalem Cherry Solanum pseudocapsicum
Lantana Lantana camara
Mistletoe Phoradendron villosum
Mountain laurel (holiday greens) Kalmia spp.
Oleander Nerium oleander
Philodendron Philodendron spp.
Ranunculus Ranunculus spp.
Rosary Pea Abrus precatorius
Schefflera Schefflera actinophylla
Spathiphyllum Spathiphyllum spp.
Yew (holiday greens) Taxus spp.
Plants listed below are considered safe and not poisonous. Although eating or touching these plants is unlikely to cause illness, any plant might cause a reaction in certain sensitive individuals.
African Daisy Dimorphotheca aurantiaca
African Violet Saintpaulia ionantha
Aluminum Plant Pilea spp.
Baby’s tears Soleiria soleirolii
Bamboo, Golden Phyllostachys aurea
Bird of Paradise Strelitzia reginae
Bird’s Nest Fern Asplenium nidus
Boston Fern Nephrolepis exaltata
Camellia Camellia sinensis
Cast Iron Plant Aspidistra elatior
Christmas cactus Schlumbergera bridgesii
Coleus Coleus hybridus
Corn Plant Draceana spp.
Donkey’s Tail Sedum morganianum
Dracaena Dracaena spp.
Echeveria Echeveria spp.
Figs, Weeping and Fiddleleaf** Ficus spp.
Geraniums Pelargonium spp.
Goldfish Plant Columnea spp.
Impatiens Impatiens wallerana
Jade Plant Crassula argentea
Japanese Aralia Fatsia japonica
Kalanchoe Kalanchoe spp.
Lipstick Plant Aeschynanthus spp
Maidenhair Fern Adiantum spp.
Nerve Plant Fittonia spp.
Orchids Cattleya, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum spp.Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla
Palms Most nontoxic except fishtail palm, Caryota spp
Peperomia Peperomia spp.
Piggyback Plant ** Tolmiea mensziesii
Poinsettia ** Euphorbia pulcherrima
Prayer Plant Maranta leuconeura
Purple Passion Plant Gynura aurantiaca
Sensitive Plant Mimosa puddica
Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum
Surinam cherry Eugenia uniflora
Swedish Ivy Plectranthus spp.
Wandering Jew ** Tradescantia spp.
Wax Plant Hoya carmosa
Zebra Plant Aphelandra squarrosa
**Sap may be irritating.
Never eat any unknown plant and teach children the same.
|Posted on February 20, 2011 at 8:48 AM||comments ()|
|Posted on February 17, 2011 at 9:40 AM||comments ()|
Despite the hustle and bustle and wrapping and parties, psychologists say the holidays and the weeks following them can be a very depressing time of year, even for the healthiest among us.Keep the blues at bay this winter by surrounding yourself with healthy, attractive houseplants. No kidding, indoor plants can chase the blues away. They filter the air we breathe, making our interior environments more healthy, and actually caring for plants can improve a person’s mood and productivity.So, go out and get a few interesting houseplants or revitalize those specimens you banished to poorly lit corners. Here’s how I get a dose of green medicine while keeping my houseplants healthy and lush.Less Is Better Proper watering is the key to a plant’s wintertime survival. Decreased light levels make plants less thirsty for water than during the brighter seasons of the year, so I am careful not to be too generous when watering. Overwatering is the No. 1 reason most houseplants die.Rather than watering on a weekly schedule, I check my plants’ needs. I use two ways to see if my plants need water. First, I check the soil color. Moist soil looks like dark chocolate, while dry soil appears the color of milk chocolate. (Chocolate provides its own mood-enhancing qualities, but I water my plants before I tend other indulgences.) Study your plants’ soil before and after you water to see color differences so you can recognize when your plants are dry.If I am unsure about the soil condition, I test the soil with a pencil to determine if it is dry. This works like a cake tester.If soil sticks to the pencil when it is inserted several inches into the pot, then the soil is moist enough, and I do not water. If the pencil comes out clean, then it’s time to give the plant a drink.When watering your plants, be sure to wet the entire soil mass, not just the top inch. Add water until it comes through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Discard water that remains beneath the pot one hour after watering.
Keep Them Clean Another way I keep my plants vibrant is to give them a shower. This is an easy way to dust off their foliage and flush their soil of built-up minerals. It’s also a good time to inspect the foliage for insects.Be sure to look under the leaves and along the leaf petioles and stems for scale, mealy bugs and spider mites.None of these pests likes water. I use my removable showerhead and hose to spray all the foliage from underneath. Good water pressure will literally blast some insects away.If you find insects, you can spray the plant with either a mild solution of dish detergent and water (1 teaspoon per gallon of water) or an insecticidal soap purchased from a garden center. I like to take a sponge or rag with either solution and wipe off the scale or mealy bugs, then rinse the plant in the shower. The plants seem to appreciate a warm-water cleansing and they look better with clean, bright foliage.
No Food, Either In winter, fertilizer can be too much of a good thing for houseplants. While light levels are low and plants aren’t as thirsty, refrain from feeding your plants.I start providing liquid fertilizer again in March when light levels start to increase and the plants begin to actively grow.Even then, I add fertilizer only every other watering.
Location, Location Finally, I enjoy my houseplants as houseplants. I don’t move them outdoors for the summer. If you are experiencing success with your plants indoors, why mess with a good thing?
|Posted on February 16, 2011 at 10:36 AM||comments ()|
Houseplants are our often-overlooked helpers in ridding the air of pollutants and toxins, counteracting outgassing and contributing to balanced internal humidity.
Find out which houseplants are our most effective allies in keeping your household air clean and pure.
It is suggested that one plant should be allowed for approximately 10 square yards of floor space, assuming average ceiling heights of 8 to 9 feet. This means that you need two or three plants to contribute to good air quality in the average domestic living room of about 20 to 25 square yards.
Research has shown that these 10 plants are the most effective all-around in counteracting offgassed chemicals and contributing to balanced internal humidity.
Although many plants like light, they do not all have to be placed near windows. Many indoor plants originated in the dense shade of tropical forests and have a high rate of photosynthesis. These are ideal for the home and can be placed in darker corners. When positioning plants, try to strike a balance between light and ventilation because the effect of plants on indoor air pollution appears to be reduced if they are set in a draft.
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|Posted on February 12, 2011 at 12:26 PM||comments ()|
International research has revealed office plants can help a business through hard times by boosting staff morale and improving business performance.
Research from the US, the Netherlands and the UK has found that the presence of office plants can have a positive effect on the work environment, helping to reduce stress and sickness absence, increase productivity and improve well being and air quality.
Research from University of Technology in Sydney also confirmed the role of plants in improving indoor air quality, cooling and noise reduction effects and their contribution to increasing employee productivity.
Ray Borg, Ambius regional director, Asia Pacific said that living plants are “vital in getting the best from employees”, particularly those using a computer.
Creating greener spaces indoors means healthier and more productive workplaces and improved customer environments, improving well being for all.