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April Be Well Newsletter

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Celebrating Earth Day 2018

by Melissa Pintar, RD, LDN

Since the invention of plastic in 1907, approximately 9.1 billion tons of plastic have been produced to date making our daily lives much more convenient. Unfortunately, that great boost in convenience has led to 5.5 billion tons of plastic waste accumulation in land fills and the natural environment. Only 9% of manufactured plastic has been recycled and 12% has been incinerated.
One of the major causes of increased plastic production has been for plastic packaging. Most plastic packaging around new consumer products, including food products, often just get thrown away. Littering of plastics in our environment endangers many natural habitats, especially oceanic habitats. Production of plastics also emit greenhouse gases into our atmosphere potentially contributing to climate changes.
Plastics have not only negatively impacted our environment, but chemicals leached from some plastics used for food/beverage storage are also harmful to human health.
Correlations have been shown between levels of some of these chemicals, like BPA, and an
increased risk of problems such as reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity, and resistance to chemotherapy.
Follow the 5 R’s
Take strides towards adopting a civic role of reducing plastic pollution by becoming more creative and following the 5 R’s.

Reject–Think before purchasing
Reduce–Use/refill stainless steel water bottles
Reuse–Example: Grocery Bags.
Recycle–Think about filling up the recycle bin more than garbage cans
Remove–Be kind and pick-up litter
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Chronic lower respiratory disease, primarily Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2015. COPD refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases asthma.
The major contributor to developing respiratory disease is tobacco smoke. However, respiratory diseases are also associated with certain genetic factors and respiratory infections, and they can also be acquired over time with exposure to pollutants in the home and work environment.
Chronic lower respiratory diseases can be prevented by adopting healthy habits, increasing awareness of indoor and outdoor air quality, and maintaining personal hygiene practices. Ensure that you continue to breathe healthfully by applying the following suggestions:

-Reach out to Elior’s Quit for Life Program to begin your journey to smoking cessation and healthier lungs: 1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE.
-Wash hands regularly with soap and water to prevent respiratory infections
-Avoid mold. Homes that are subject to flooding should be properly dried out and cleaned. For more information, click this link:
-Wear a mask when using products containing VOCs (Volatile -Organic Compounds) or completely avoid use if prone to asthma and other respiratory diseases. VOCs are commonly found in paints, nail polish remover, glue, candles, cleaning products, air fresheners.
-Check local news and weather stations for air quality and air pollution forecasts before going out for a long walk or run especially on hot, humid days.

All-natural Multi-purpose Cleaner
¼ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
1 Cup Water
10 Drops Citrus Essential Oil
(Ex: Lemon & Sweet Orange –5 Drops Each)
16 Oz. Re-useable Glass Spray Bottle
1.Pour the vinegar and water into a bottle. Then finish with dropping in essential oils for a pleasant aroma. Fit with a spray top. Gently swirl the bottle to mix the ingredients together.
2. Use mixture as a multi-purpose cleaner on most kitchen and bathroom surfaces, cabinets, the inside of the fridge/freezer, and some appliances.
NOTE: Avoid using on granite and marble countertops.
3. Clean happily knowing the product is healthy for your home and the Earth!

Written by Lifespark

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