Why Landscaping Matters to Your Home

Why Landscaping Matters to Your Home

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Why landscaping matters to your home

By Frances Black

When we moved into our country property 20 years ago, one of our new neighbors, a third-generation real estate agent, congratulated us on the wisdom of our purchase. Our lovely old farmhouse was a gem, she said, as was the old barn and the carriage house turned garage. “Then,” she added, “there’s all that you’ve inherited.”

We knew exactly what she meant: The landscaping, while not well-kept, was incredible. Dozens of shade trees. Long flowering hedges. Fruit trees and a berry patch. Shrubs that provide interest from spring blooms to winter fruit. Much was put in place by the professional groundskeeper who lived here nearly 80 years before. None was enumerated on the bill of sale, the mortgage application, or our insurance forms. This gift from long ago doesn’t merely matter to our home. Landscaping turned a bunch of buildings that met our square-footage needs into a home, the place we are always glad to be.

Improving quality of life is just one of the advantages that landscaping confers on a home. It doesn’t take much to create a private Eden. A tree, a bunch of bulbs, a luscious lawn, or even a good collection of potted plants on an apartment terrace or deck can do the trick. In the city property where I grew up, the deciding factor was the cherry tree my mother planted. In a few years, it yielded enough fruit for the birds and for pies. But the real advantage was the pink flowering branches that created just the place for a kid to sit under to read or to dream.

Landscaping is also highly practical. Consider the environmental advantages. Well-planted trees and shrubs lower energy bills in several ways. Their mere presence can cool a property and help funnel summer breezes. But studies have shown that by shielding a house from direct sunlight, well-placed trees can reduce attic heat by up to 40 percent. This ain’t hay. At our artfully-shaded house, we don’t need air conditioning.

It helps if certain of those cooling trees, on the west or south sides particularly, are deciduous. In winter the leafless limbs let in sun, lowering heating costs. Well-placed evergreens, meanwhile, to the north of a house can further lower heating costs by blocking winter winds

The environmental advantages extend beyond comfort. There are many ways to create an eco-friendly home, from recycling and reusing to installing energy-efficient bulbs, appliances, and HVAC systems. But landscaping can be part of the program. A single mature tree, for example, can cancel out the carbon emissions created by 11,000 miles of driving a car. Trees and grass also capture dust and particles and generate oxygen. Plantings of all sorts can help control erosion.

With all these strategies, in this time of droughts and increased heat, it’s wise to choose native plants that can thrive without fertilization or large amounts of an increasingly precious resource: water.

Landscaping also increases privacy. Good fences make good neighbors, the poet Robert Frost famously wrote. But in my opinion, good hedges are even better. You never have to paint a hedge. It can flower or bear fruit, if you want, and help attract nesting birds and other wildlife. And a hedge never makes you feel “fenced in.”

The big planting project at our house was the extension of just such a hedge — more than 175 feet of it added to existing screening. Our road got considerably busier in the 200 years since the house was built, and the absence of screening is one reason we could afford the property. Our massive living privacy screen shields us visually and audibly. We see and hear less traffic. And it is gorgeous. Depending on its location and the era of planting, our hedge contains arborvitae, pine, spruce, flowering lilac, forsythia and wild rose, and bird-attracting barberry. Smaller interior hedges of arborvitae, weigela, rhododendron, and spirea define several discreet spaces, making our scant two acres a place of several “yards.”

The privacy and variety these plantings provide make it easy to spend time outdoors and enjoy the ultimate backyard hobby: gardening. You don’t have to plant flower beds for landscaping to make a big difference to your home. But take it from me, it sure is fun.

Frances Black is a writer and gardener. She was born in Michigan and has planted gardens everywhere she’s lived, from New Mexico to New England.

8 Ways To Make Your Home More Eco Friendly

 

 

 

Buying a new home in San Antonio is a huge personal investment. For most people, buying a house will be the biggest investment they ever make. Considering the costs involved in the purchase of a house (from the down payment to the closing costs to the monthly interest and more), you’ll want to find ways to save some money, both in the short term and the long term. One of the most effective ways to do this is by making your home more eco-friendly.

Why Go Eco-Friendly?

Eco-friendly homes are not only good for the environment – they can also save you money. By making your home more energy-efficient, you can lower your monthly utility bills. In addition, eco-friendly homes often have a lower carbon footprint, which can save you money on your taxes. And, as an added bonus, many green features also add to the resale value of your home.

What Are Some Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly?

There are lots of ways that you can make your home more eco-friendly. Some of these ways require little to no investment. However, those that do require some initial investment (whether of time or money) tend to result in a greater impact over the long term. With that in mind, the following are eight ways that you can make your home more eco-friendly:

1. Install Low-Flow Fixtures

One of the easiest ways to make your home more eco-friendly is to install low-flow fixtures in your sinks, showers, and toilets. Simply installing a low-flow showerhead can end up saving you upwards of 2,900 gallons of water a year. Low-flow fixtures use less water than traditional fixtures, thereby reducing the amount of water you waste while also can saving you money on your water bill. In addition, if you live in an area with water restrictions, low-flow fixtures can help you avoid fines.

2. Get a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to set your home’s temperature according to a schedule. This way, you can make sure that your home is only heated or cooled when you need it to be.

For example, if your home is empty five days out of the week, you can set your programmable thermostat to switch to an energy-saving setting when you leave and have it turn back on to your desired temperature right before you come back home from work. Doing so can save you money on your energy bill, as well as help to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

3. Replace Old Light Bulbs With LEDs

It’s estimated that LED lights use around 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs. Even though LED bulbs cost more initially, the amount you’ll save on energy use over the long run will be substantial, especially when you consider the fact that LED light bulbs last 25 to 35 times longer, which means that you’re spending way less money replacing bulbs while also contributing less to waste.

4. Invest In A Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater is a great eco-friendly investment for any home. Unlike a traditional water heater, which keeps a certain amount of water hot at all times, a tankless water heater heats up water on demand. As a result, you don’t have to waste energy keeping water hot when you’re not using it. In addition, tankless water heaters tend to last longer than traditional water heaters, which means you’ll save money in the long run.

5. Invest In A More Energy Efficient HVAC System

An energy-efficient HVAC system can do wonders for your energy bills and your home’s carbon footprint. While the initial investment may be a bit pricey, you’ll save money in the long run, both on your energy bills and on maintenance and repair costs. In addition, if you live in an area with hot summers and cold winters, an energy-efficient HVAC system can keep your home comfortable all year long without breaking the bank.

6. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

Appliances are one of the biggest energy hogs in most homes. If your appliances are old and outdated, they’re likely using a lot more energy than newer, more energy-efficient models. While it may be costly to replace all of your appliances at once, you can start by replacing the most energy-intensive ones, such as your refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and washing machine. Doing so can lead to substantial savings on your energy bill.

7. Use Power Strips

Even if you turn off your electronics, they will continue to draw power from your home’s outlets as long as they are plugged in. This is known as “phantom power,” and it can account for up to 10 percent of your home’s energy use. Although unplugging any electronics that you’re not using will help, remembering to do so can be a lot to ask.

To make things easier, invest in a power strip with an on/off switch, which makes it easy to turn off all of your electronics at once. When a power strip is turned off, it will shut off all phantom power from being drawn.

8. Reuse And Recycle

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to simply reuse and recycle items instead of throwing them away. For example, instead of buying paper towels, use reusable cloth towels. You can also compost your food scraps, which will help to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills. You can then use the compost for your garden.

And of course, recycling items such as plastic, glass, and metal can help to reduce the number of resources that are used to produce new products.

 

These are just a few of the many ways that you can make your home more eco-friendly. While some of these tips can be expensive initially, they’ll not only help save you money over the long term, but they can improve the value of your property. However, even making small changes can make a big difference in the amount of energy you use and the amount of money you spend. In addition, you’ll be doing your part to help significantly reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

Moving Day, the Green Way

Alternative, Green Packaging Materials You Can Use on Moving day

Awareness of greenhouse gas emissions is at an all-time high, and industries and individuals are conscious of their impact on the environment. Inarguably, one of the biggest culprits to the increasing carbon footprints is packaging materials used by businesses and individuals on the move.

So, how do you ensure you are playing your role to reduce harm to the planet? When the time to move houses or business premises comes, what green packaging options are at your disposal?

The good news is that eco-friendly packaging materials are never in short supply. They are all around. Look around your home and ask your neighbors for things you can use to pack up your items and move.

Here are ideas of green packaging materials you can use when moving:

Use the containers you have

The first place you should look for packing supplies is the containers you already have. You can use countless options, such as grocery bags, duffel bags, backpacks, hampers, and laundry baskets. A clean garbage bin can fit a sizable amount of your stuff. Just be creative with your packaging.

Old newspapers

Instead of purchasing packing paper, use your old newspapers to wrap the fragile equipment such as glassware, dishes, and others. However, some people may not recall the last time they bought a newspaper, and their supply may be low. In such a case, contact your local newspaper office and purchase a bundle for cheap.

Reuse Cardboard Boxes

The number of single-use cardboard boxes thrown away by local businesses and individuals is plentiful, contributing to landfills. You can get these for free or on the cheap.

Ask for these boxes from your friends, relatives, and local shops or factories, and they’ll gladly give or sell them to you.

Cardboard boxes for large products such as refrigerators are ideal for wrapping kitchen equipment into a single load. The small boxes can pack stuff such as stationery, toiletries, and electronics. Use eco-friendly packing tape to seal the boxes.

So, what do you do with all these boxes after unpacking? Throwing them away is not an eco-friendly option, but you can always resell these boxes online. If they become unusable, check the recycling guidelines of your new location for options. What does the local recycling facility accept?

Use Box Rentals

Rental plastic bins are excellent for reducing carbon footprints. The option is convenient, and you get awesome, professional packing boxes for your different stuff.

To rent a box, provide the number of rooms you need to pack to the renting company, and they’ll drop off the bins at your place. Some will often pick these bins up at your new location to reduce wasting time and resources.

Biodegradable Packaging

Some states, such as New York, are preventing the use of styrofoam, and others are looking to follow suit. Styrofoam is not biodegradable and can harm marine life when it finds its way to waterways.

Traditionally, styrofoam was a popular packaging for fragile equipment when moving. But now there are better eco-friendly materials, such as the following.

  • Packaging materials such as biodegradable packing peanuts have come of age and are great alternatives. The materials quickly decompose in water and leave no harmful traces. Cornstarch or wheat-made packaging is one of the options growing in popularity for the environmentally conscious.
  • On the other hand, most people never think about the impact that packing tape has on the environment, but the little things can also contribute to harming the environment. Recycled paper tape is an excellent alternative to use with biodegradable packing.
  • Inflatable air pillows produced from recycled and biodegradable materials are excellent alternatives to styrofoam. These fill the empty spaces in your packing boxes to cushion your items.
  • If you’re looking to avoid the controversy associated with cornstarch packaging, use mushroom packaging. The eco-friendly alternative uses a matrix of mushroom roots to fuse ground agricultural waste and mold to any suitable shape. After moving, you can compost the packaging at home to break it down into non-harmful organic matter.
  • Like mushroom packaging, seaweed packaging is a great green package. The material is sustainable and the next best thing in green packaging.

Use the items you already have to pack

Broken kitchen equipment such as pots and glasses is the last thing you want to see when unpacking. Use items you already have to pack and cushion the delicate equipment from the shaking associated with moving.

  • Use blankets, towels, and sheets to wrap the glass and china
  • Paper shred and the green wrap are a great cushioning option as well

Hire a Committed Moving Company to Eco-friendliness

Your choice of moving company should demonstrate a commitment to green moving to support your efforts. They will give a hand with ideas on moving with the least environmental impact. Play your role today to reduce the harm to the environment.

8 Sustainability tips for the busy human

We know you are busy but being sustainable doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Here are our quick tips to start making a change!

  1. Take it one step at a time; don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the ideas on the list and just try and start with one!
  2. Educate yourself on what’s going on in the world and how we can help.
  3. The easiest thing you can do is start using a reusable bottle. Have one for your coffee and one for your water! 
  4. Shop local markets! It can be an opportunity to do your grocery shopping as a fun outing for you and your family. A trip to a farmers market or local farm is far more engaging than another trip to a big-box store. 
  5. Buy natural toys or engage in fun, sustainable activities. Lots of really fun science projects can be done with items found around the house. Play games outside if the weather permits!
  6. There are a lot of really easy ways to switch to all-natural cleaning projects. As one item runs out, replace it with a new natural one. There are great companies out there that make it easy to find products and even have them automatically shipped so you don’t run out. 
  7. Try to consciously reduce waste while on the job by going digital in the office…and refuse to print! Why waste paper printing your meeting notes? Just use your tablet; you can type additional notes on it without having to worry about running out of ink.
  8. Redeem! Go to EnviroPerks.com and get discounts from local businesses and from our national partners offering sustainable goods. 

 

Thanks for reading!

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Rooms That Benefit Most from a Home Warranty

Rooms That Benefit Most from a Home Warranty

As a homeowner, you’ve probably heard about home warranties. Not to be confused with home insurance, a home warranty helps protect your budget when covered components of home systems and appliances break down due to normal wear and tear. That means taking care of the household items that keep your home running on a day-to-day basis. These things will eventually break and when that time comes, a home warranty will be there to help you out.

From home appliances to electric systems and more, the benefits of a home warranty are vast. Because it’s these little “emergencies” that most homeowners don’t calculate into the cost of owning a home. Sure, theft or fire is devastating and you should always protect yourself if able to; but it’s the day-to-day accidents or unwanted surprises (HVAC stops running) that are more likely to happen.

But, what in your home benefits the most with a home warranty? Let’s take a look at how home warranty coverage can help you in every room of your house.

  • Kitchen – This is where your home warranty will really shine. Out of all the rooms in your home, your kitchen benefits the most from any home warranty plan with appliance coverage. Think refrigerator, dishwasher, trash compactor, garbage disposal, and built-in microwave. You can also get coverage for your range hood vent, ceiling fan, chest freezer, and freestanding ice maker.
  • Laundry Room – Another room where your home warranty coverage will come in handy with coverage on washers and dryers. Next time your dryer is making a funny noise or your washer quits halfway through the cycle and won’t start up again, a service request and local professional will be there to fix your problem.
  • Furnace Room – Cover repair or replacement of everything in your furnace room, including the furnace itself and your water heater — two of the most important components of your home. The average cost of installing a new water heater can be more than $800, so your home warranty plan could pay for itself with just one water heater repair.
  • Bathrooms – Get coverage on many components of your home’s plumbing, including blockages due to most causes. Your bathroom can benefit from coverage of fixtures and components, like toilet parts, shower heads, faucets, and water or drain lines. You can also use your coverage to clear drain stoppages in the toilet, sink, or bathtub.
  • Rec Room or Family Room – Yup, even this room can benefit. While not many home warranty companies can cover what’s in your family room or rec room, American Home Shield additional coverage options provide coverage for components of your home’s electrical system, including wiring, lighting fixtures, and built-in fans or ceiling fans. And don’t forget coverage for an unlimited number of home electronics, including TVs, game consoles, cameras, printers and scanners, laptops and desktop computers, and more.
  • Bedrooms – Last, but not least, cover electrical systems, including the wiring and fixtures in your bedrooms. Coverage for your home’s HVAC can also help keep your bedrooms warm and toasty in the winter and cool in the summer. And, Electronics Plan coverage also extends into the bedroom, covering your TVs, computers, game consoles, and other electronic devices.

With over 50 years in the industry and over 2 million members, American Home Shield knows exactly how home warranties benefit homeowners and their different rooms. Offering affordable plans starting as low as $34.99 per month, American Home Shield covers systems and appliances people would like to keep in working order, and no system or appliance is too old. No maintenance records or inspection is required, just protection regardless of the age or appearance of your covered items.

In the end, home warranty coverage isn’t just for one room in your home — it can protect components of every room from unexpected breakdowns and wear-and-tear damage. Head to American Home Shield and check out their plans today to see what a home warranty can do for you.

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Take a cruise on the Disney Wish!

 

 

Disney never ceases to amaze their guests; from the theme parks to the cruise line, every guest experience is unique and tailored just for them. Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, The Disney Wish is no exception to that rule, in fact, it takes the guest experience entirely to the next level. The most noteworthy aspect of our cruise was the sheer immersion you feel once you step on board. Sure, the other cruise ships are relaxing and enjoyable, but there is something special, almost magical, about the Wish that wraps you up in the story right away. Maybe it’s the gorgeous, towering Grand Hall that greets guests as they step on board for the very first time or the sight of Cinderella and Prince Charming waving from the balcony overhead. Guests truly feel like they’re stepping right into a fairytale, where there is so much to see and do!

The Disney Wish is unlike its previous fleet members, especially when it comes to the upper recreation decks. On board, guests will find a choice of six smaller pools, two waterslides, and a Toy Story-themed splash zone just for kids! When they’re not getting wet and wild, kids of all ages will love the exclusive clubs just for them, such as the Imagineering Lab, MARVEL Superhero Academy, and Star Wars: Cargo Bay! Don’t worry, Disney never forgets about the adults, that’s exactly why they have their own exclusive space on board, too! Guests 18 and older can enjoy an iced coffee at Cove Café, or lounge infinity poolside at Quiet Cove with a cocktail. Days at sea are as exciting or relaxing as you want them to be!

The best thing about dining on the Disney Wish is that it’s an activity your family will look forward to all day long! Each menu sets the stage perfectly for the experience guests will enjoy each night, whether they’re dining in Arendelle for Queen Anna and Kristoff’s engagement party or helping Ant-Man and The Wasp with a secret mission in Worlds of MARVEL. Guests will also enjoy an elegant dining experience filled with Disney animation history in 1923 Restaurant, where the walls are full of sketches, paintings, and film props to enjoy. Rotational dining is a Disney Cruise Line exclusive experience, but don’t worry, the waiters you’ll come to love will rotate with you each night throughout your cruise!

Before relaxing in your stateroom for the evening, be sure the check the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app; you won’t want to miss the fireworks at sea! On evenings without planned activities, guests have so many themed lounges to enjoy until late into the evening! The Bayou, a Princess and the Frog-themed venue, features Tiana’s beignets, a few cocktails from Mama Odie’s Kitchen, and live music. The Star Wars Hyperspace lounge is an incredible experience for fans, but more difficult to get into, so we suggest arriving early or reserving a table for later! We know how exhausting a vacation can be, but we highly recommend staying up until midnight at least once! When the clock strikes midnight on the Disney Wish, the Grand Hall will fill with streams of light and music from Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother! It’s a truly magical experience you won’t want to miss!

There are so many offerings available on the Disney Wish for each guest to tailor into their perfect cruise vacation! No matter what type of vacation you’re looking for, action-packed, or ultimate relaxation, everyone can have their way on Disney’s new, beautiful cruise ship! Guests can now book 2023 sailings aboard the Disney Wish! Reach out to Diamond-Earmarked Academy Travel Agency, the number one seller of Walt Disney World vacations, today! Let their expert agents help you book the ultimate cruise vacation aboard the brand-new Disney Wish!

Click any image to contact your dedicated travel experts.

 

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Do you know how to prepare your laptop for recycling?

 

When a laptop becomes old, we look forward to using that new laptop that has all the fastest, smartest, and best features. But we still have to get rid of the dinosaur we’ve been using. Most people today are smart and don’t waste time finding out what to do before selling my laptop” via Google. Laptop recycling is a great idea, as the amount of e-waste in the world reached a record high of 53.6 million metric tons in 2019.

But laptop recycling also creates some safety concerns for which a few steps need to be followed. Dig deeper to know about some safety measures that can prepare your laptop for recycling. But before talking about the safe methods to recycle your laptop, let’s discuss some of the benefits of laptop recycling.

Safety Measures to Recycle Your Laptop

While recycling is a noble idea, you should know that there’s a high risk of a data breach. Browse through some steps that can help in recycling your laptops without impacting their data.

1.     Make a Backup of All Data Before Recycling Your Laptop

Before recycling your laptop, backing up all data stored in it is an essential step to follow. Creating a backup ensures that you don’t lose data after recycling your laptop so that the data can be used afterward. A convenient way to create a backup is to save your data on a portable storage device.

You can use an external hard drive or USB or put all your data in a new device. Another great way of conveniently storing all your data is to use cloud storage. Before sending your device for IT recycling, you should not forget to do this before sending your device.

2.     Erase All Data from the Hard Drive

Before recycling your laptop, you should erase everything that’s stored on the hard drive. Wiping data from your hard drive does not only mean deleting the data. Several data recovery programs can be used to retrieve data from your hard drive. You should know how to properly wipe out all data from your hard drive. The steps are as follows:

  • You need to start by simply deleting all the files from your laptop. Use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Del to do it.
  • After that, you should be overwriting the files using multiple data shredding programs. Overwriting multiple times makes it difficult to retrieve the data.
  • You can data shredding software programs like Eraser, WipeFile, and Secure Eraser.

3.     Wipe Data from Your External Drives

If your laptop has external drives connected to it, you need to wipe them clean as well. Cleaning the external drives is easier than cleaning your laptop’s hard drive. The steps to completely wipe out data from your external drives are as follows:

  • Check whether the drive is connected to your laptop
  • Right click on an external drive
  • A drop-down menu will appear from where you need to select “Format.”
  • A pop-up window will appear. Do not forget to uncheck the “Quick Format” option from the pop-up window.
  • Repeat these steps for all the external drives on your laptop.

4.     Clear the Browsing History

Most people don’t bother clearing their browsing history, even though it’s essential to do so before taking your laptop for recycling. Google Chrome is the popular choice of search engine for most users. The steps to remove your browsing history from Google Chrome are as follows:

  • Click on the three dots in the top right corner of Google Chrome.
  • From the drop-down menu that appears, select “History.”
  • A new page will open where you need to select the “Clear Browsing Data” option.
  • A new page will show where you need to select the data you want to remove. If you are sending your laptop for recycling, select all the options.

Benefits of Recycling Your Laptop

You have learned about the ways to make your laptop safe for recycling. But why should you recycle your laptop in the first place? Some of the most obvious benefits of recycling your laptop are as follows:

  • Clean Environment: Laptop recycling can prevent the landfills from filling out with electronic waste. Since you won’t dump your laptop in the landfills, no harmful toxins will be released into the environment. It will help in reducing the scale of environmental pollution.
  • Economic Benefits: Recycling your laptop is also beneficial for the economy. Recycling your laptop can help in reducing production costs. The parts of your laptop can be used to manufacture other models. Therefore, components will not have to be manufactured from scratch.
  • Less Use of Energy: When recycled goods are used to manufacture new products, less energy is required. Water consumption is also low in the case of manufacturing electronic goods with recycled parts. It also reduces the amount of pollution created in manufacturing electronic goods from scratch.

Ending Note

Recycling your laptops is a great idea for environmental reasons. It can help with a significant reduction in the amount of e-waste generated all over the world. But if you want to prevent data leaks while recycling your laptop, you should follow the safety reasons mentioned above.

***Many thanks to our guest blogger, Britney Sparrow! Thanks for providing this valuable information to our valued members!

The Healing Power of Nature

Luemen Rutowski Forest Bath
Photo by Luemen Rutowski
Imagine a trail. The trees are tall and majestic. The sun is peeking through their leaves. Rays of light gently kiss your cheeks as the enchanting songs of beautiful birds fill your ears. The air is sweet, cool, and fresh. You cop a squat on a large stone, close your eyes and take in a deep breath. HUUUUUUHH HAAAAAAH You feel yourself begin to relax automatically and the weight of the day seems to magically melt away. Your mind is clear, all worries fade and a sense of peace and calm slowly moves through your entire being. This is the healing power of nature. 

 

The Facts Jack

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and according to the American Counseling Association,  “1 in 5 people will experience mental illness over the course of their lifetimes, everyone will face challenges that can and will affect their mental health.” Many of us silently suffer from bouts of depression, stress and a myriad of other mental woes. This can have a major impact on our health and our overall well being. In November 2020, Mental Health First Aid stated that in June of that same year 40% of adults in the United States struggled with mental health issues. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “the struggle is real.” The most common of those mental health issues is anxiety. In the U.S. alone, 40 million adults suffer from anxiety every day. As alarming as these stats are, the solution seems to be just as astounding. Studies suggest that spending a little time in nature may just be what the body and mind needs.

 

Feeling Down? Go Outside! It’s What Dr. Nature Would Prescribe.

Researcher and forest therapy expert Yoshifumi Miyazaki found that walking just 40 minutes in the forest, compared to walking in a lab, lowers cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol, a stress hormone, affects many functions of the body including the immune system and blood pressure. According to Miyazaki, “The forest induces a state of physiologic relaxation.” Trees and plants are also aromatic, which adds an additional therapeutic benefit much like your aroma diffuser at home. It’s no wonder we’re naturally drawn to nature. We intuitively recognize it’s healing benefits. And when nature is prescribed, there are never any side effects. 

 

Be Kind To Your Mind

Now that we know how impactful nature can be to our well being, especially our mental state, let’s look at ways that we can be kind to our minds.

Take a Forest Bath in a National Park!

“What’s a forest bath”, you ask? Well, it’s just taking a nice stroll in a park or wooded area for the health benefits. One of the best ways to visit a national park is RVing. “But, Enviroperks, I don’t own an RV.” No problem, Loyalty+ members! You can use RVshare! RVshare is the Airbnb for RVs. Rent an RV from any family listed and save 25% off your travel costs.

 

Go Camping!

Maybe the RV scene isn’t your thing. Wanna stay a little closer to home and still feel like you’ve roamed? Camping is a wonderful option! Immerse yourself in nature. Be it on the beach, in the mountains or in a forest, the natural health benefits will be the same. And, camping is fun!  Especially when you’re saving funds as a Loyalty+ member! Log in to your Loyalty+ account and get 5% Cash Back savings on already clearanced outdoor gear with The Sportsman’s Guide! We’re feeling more relaxed just thinking about the savings!

 

Don’t Want Your Arteries to Harden? Grow a Garden!

That’s what Pop Pop used to say, anyway. Who knew he was right?! Lol. Not only is gardening great for your physical health but it does wonders for your mental health as well. Gardening in and of itself is a form of therapy and reduces anxiety and depression symptoms while improving your attention span. It also increases serotonin levels in the brain, which in turn improves your overall mood. Break out the shovels, Perkster, and dig into these savings! EnviroPerks members can grow your local economy while saving green! Redeem your points at local hardware stores for gardening supplies. Simply log into your EnviroPerks account and search for rewards near you in the Home and Garden category.   

 

Grab a Rod!

Not a lily-livered land lover? Take a fishing trip! Fishing has always been a well known relaxation tactic. Be it the trickling gurgle of a lake or the serene scene of the ocean, as long as you’re in nature, it works! And Loyalty+ members can fish till their hearts are content with up to 30% off fishing equipment at Gander RV and Outdoors. Try it! You’ll be hooked.

 

Nature Naturally Benefits Me

The benefits of nature are innumerable and provide much needed relief from mental health issues like stress, depression, anxiety and PTSD. As we recognize Mental Health Awareness Month, let us remember to take time for our minds and use the natural scenes around us to evoke the power of healing within us.  

 

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Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for Enviroperks.

MAY MATTERS

There are so many marvelous things to celebrate in May! There’s Cinco De Mayo, Mother’s Day, and even National Love A Tree Day. We’re not kidding, it’s on May 16th! But with all of these amazing celebrations, there’s one in particular that may quite possibly be the most important of them all, Asian American and Pacific Islander Month!

May is when we celebrate the rich heritage, achievements and contributions of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community that have helped to shape and influence U.S. culture and industry in unimaginable ways. EnviroPerks recognizes and pays homage to three incredible Earth activists! They have helped pave the way for impactful environmental change in the United States and abroad. We will also help you find cool ways that you can recognize and honor the life and legacy of AAPI.

 

Andrea Chu
Photo Courtesy of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

 

What’Chu Gonna Do!

Many talk a good environmental game, but Andrea Chu is ‘bout this green life! Chu studied environmental science at Ohio State University and found that as a Taiwanese American there was little to no Asian representation in most mainstream environmental organizations. That needed to change. As the Midwest Regional Organizer for Food & Water Action, Chu learned about the disparate impact climate change had on communities of color. Later, upon moving to Chicago, she created workshops in her apartmentto provide an Asian American voice in the environmental justice movement.” These workshops would later evolve into Chicago Asian Americans for Environmental Justice (CAAEJ).

 

 

Marinel Sumook Ubaldo
Photo Courtesy of Teen Vogue

 

The Spiritual Rainbow Warrior 

“I don’t need them to be touched by my story and I don’t need their pity. I need them to take action.” The words of 22 year old Marinel Sumook Ubaldo scream it’s time for change. Like her peer, Greta Thunberg, Marinel is serious about taking action against climate change and has become a global activist. Born in the Philippines, Marinel helped to organize her country’s first youth climate strike. As a leader with Plan International, Marinel would often be seen in communities and schools in the Philippines. She educates residents and students about what causes climate change and how it affects the community. Known as one of the deadliest countries for environmentalists, Marinel will not be moved, “…I’m ready to die for it, ready to fight no matter what. This is the purpose of my life.”

 

 

Herb Lee Jr.
Photo Courtesy of Edinnovators

 

Aloha Earth!

There is no more beautiful place in the U.S. than Hawaii. A tropical paradise, Hawaii is a haven filled with all manner of flora, fauna and beautiful creatures. If you’ve ever seen pics or been to Hawaii, you understand why the people take such pride in her care. Hawaii has always been known to have some of the greatest environmental stewards on the Planet, even before it was cool. Native, Herb Lee, Jr., is one of those amazing stewards.

As President and CEO of the Pacific American Foundation, Mr. Lee has dedicated his life to the education and preservation of his community. He has led a multitude of youth leadership programs, culture-based education projects, and career development programs which have trained over 5,000 teachers. He also started environmental education programs which use traditional conservation and land management techniques. In March of 2014, the White House honored Herb Lee, Jr. for his leadership in improving the lives of others in his community and creating new ways to combat issues that plague our planet.

 

Cool Ways To Celebrate!

These are just a few of the many AAPI who have given their lives to our planet and her well-being. For fellow Americans, this month provides an incredible opportunity to show solidarity through the observance of AAPI month. And, as Loyalty+ members, you can take advantage of all kinds of savings while doing it.

 

For example, you can learn more about AAPI culture through literary works, and as a Loyalty+ member, you get over 10% off at audiobooks.com. You even get a two (2) book free trial!

 

Loyalty+ members can also save on visits to museums where you can learn even more about the culture and contributions of the AAPI community. Simply log-in to your account, search for “museum tickets” and save up to 25%! And, Loyalty+ members can take advantage of no hidden fees or taxes!  As you walk through the museums, the whole family will learn, laugh, and gain new awareness for Asian heritage and culture.

May Matters This Year and Every Year

There’s so much to celebrate in May! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of the amazing people who inspire us and the world around them. We all have the potential to make a difference and we are proud to show our appreciation of the amazing people who make a difference for our planet and our future. 

 

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Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for Enviroperks.

Spring Into Savings and Enjoy the Great Outdoors!

Got your vaccine just in time for spring? 
Go enjoy the outdoors, and all that nature brings. 
The frost is gone, it’s time for fun! 
Listen to birds chirp as you soak up the sun. 
There are so many things outside to do! Catch a ball game, go camping or barbecue!
But before you explore the great outdoors, check your Loyalty+ account for rewards galore!

 

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In The Mood For Peanuts & Cracker Jacks?

Hey Perksters! Yes! It’s spring, finally. And nothing says spring and fun in the sun like America’s favorite pastime. As a Loyalty+ member, did you know you could be saving up to 30% on Major League Baseball Tickets? And that’s not even the best part! The best part is you don’t have to pay ANY FEES!  Simply log in to your Loyalty+ account, search for MLB and follow the instructions on the deal to save! Baseball, beer and hot dogs, awwwwww spring, we missed you.

 

 

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Photo by Vincent Keiman

Spring Grilling & Chilling

Speaking of hot dogs, there’s no better way to enjoy a frank than grilled. And when there’s great weather, it’s time to break out the Weber. Weber Grills are the standard for excellent quality grilling and they offer an incredible variety of grills to choose from. Whether its gas, charcoal, wood pellet, or electric, Loyalty+ members can save up to 25% off MSRP on ANY Weber grill. And that goes for Weber Grills’ accessories as well! Remember, if you’re planning a barbeque only a Weber will do. 

 

 

Garrick Sangil Rrholronaf4 Unsplash
Photo by Garrick Sangil 

No Glamping Allowed

Another ideal outdoor activity that’s perfect for spring weather and full of adventure at some of the most exciting sites is camping. When you’re camping you want to enjoy your family and the natural surroundings free from worry and uh oh’s, right?  Well, camping with the fam just got mad easier. 

Remember the look on your dad’s face when your brother forgot to pack the tent? Yea, don’t be that guy. Enjoy the great outdoors the easy way, and let Arrive Outdoors do all the packing and shipping for you! That’s right! You now live in the future and there’s a Loyalty+ reward for that. Rent all the premium gear you’ll need for your adventure outdoors and get 10% off your entire order.

There’s absolutely no cost to start your order, so you can change or cancel your order at any time before your gear ships. You even get the option of having your gear shipped to your home before your adventure or to your trip destination. 

 

Stop Reading, Get Saving!

One thing’s for sure, there are a million cool ways to spend your spring days outdoors and we probably have a reward for most of them. So, keep checking your Loyalty+ account for all the amazing savings this spring!

 

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Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for Enviroperks.