Archive for April, 2009

Companies going green

April 29th, 2009

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A growing number of companies around the world are taking ‘green’ steps to preserve Planet Earth. These are just some of them and what they are doing.

Starbucks

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  • Came up with an environmental mission statement in 1992.
  • Partnered¬† a non-profit organization in 1998 to promote sustainability in coffee-producing¬† countries.
  • Since 2000, Starbucks has been selling certified organic coffee.

Hewlett-Packard

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  • All HP products are completely recyclable.
  • Has e-waste recycling plants to reduce computer debris into small pieces. This helps in the reclamation of steel, plastic, mercury and precious metals.
  • Audits its top suppliers for eco-friendliness (Source: CNNMoney.com)

The Coca-Cola Co.

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  • Invested more than US$60 million to build the largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in the world.
  • Increased the number of hybrid passenger cars and diesel-electric hybrid delivery trucks for sales and delivery.
  • Signed the United Nation Global Compact’s Caring for Climate: The Business Leadership Platform as a seal of commitment to reduce emissions from its operations.

Kiehl’s

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  • Through initiatives and sponsorship, it preserve and restore oceans, parks and outdoor spaces.
  • Whenever possible, labels are printed with soy ink.
  • Packaging made from from recyclable materials.

Tesco

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  • Has pledged to reduce energy usage in its British outlets by 50% by 2010.
  • Use of high-technology recycling systems, bio-diesel powered delivery trucks and wind-powered stores.
  • A website devoted to ‘greener living’.

Swiss Line

  • Force Vitale Alpine Ecology Cream protects the skin from environmental hazards like stress and pollution. It contains 97% natural ingredients and has been awarded the Biocosc sea, which imposes strict standards on organic ingredients and production methods that are environment-friendly.

Toyota

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  • Develop and market electric vehicles powered by motors, hybrid vehicles powered by an engine and a motor, and fuel-cell hybrid vehicles (FCHV) powered by fuel cells that generate electricity from a chemical reaction between hydrogen and the oxygen in the air.
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions in its production operations.
  • Promote the development of clean-energy vehicles and technology to achieve optimum fuel efficiency.
  • Develop easy-to-recycle materials.
  • Recycle and reuse materials from every stage of a vehicle’s life-cycle.

California Fitness

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  • Collect paper and used plastic bottles for recycling.
  • Gives members only two towels per work-out. Additional towels are charged and that funds collected are donated to carbon-offset schemes.

Elken

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  • SmartKleen range – Primo Cleaner, Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Laundry Detergent, Floor Cleaner and Concentrated Dish Cleaner is 100% bio-degradable and safe for environment.
  • Elken Spirulina is certified organic by the Chinese Organic Agribusiness Association in Taiwan. It is grown without harming the environment from its farming to waste management techniques.

Billabong

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  • Produces environment-friendly apparel, including t-shirts made from organically-grown thread, and water based inks for printing.
  • Produces eco-supreme suede, a 100% recycled polyester material made from recycled plastic bottles.

So, come! Do your part for a greener planet!

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The ultimate weight loss weapon

April 28th, 2009

As incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single, most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. How so?

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Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase and vice versa. Here’s why: the kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. When they don’t work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver’s primary function is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But when the liver has to do some of the kidney’s work, it can’t operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat. Thus more fat remains stored in the body and weight gain sets in.

What’s your optimum water intake?

April 28th, 2009

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This isn’t an easy question to answer. A part from the foot-long list of bodily functions mentioned in the previous article that need water for their efficacy, there are host of other functions your body does that also require water. Your lungs for instance, expel between two and four cups of water each day through normal breathing and even more on a cold day. If your feet sweat, there goes another cup of water. If you make half a dozen trips to the bathroom during the day, subtract six cups of water. Studies show that on average, on a typical day without exercise or exceedingly hot weather, we lose about 10 cups of water through perspiration, breathing, urination and bowel movements.

So it’s not rocket science to conclude that we have to consume plenty of water to replace these lots of fluids for our bodies to function at optimum capacity. But how much is enough? Again, this is not an easy question to answer. A healthy adult’s daily fluid intake¬† can vary widely. Most adults need 8-12 cups of water each day. However there is no such thing as a standard, optimum quantity. The required fluid intake will vary from person to person, contingent on several factors, including how much you eat, how active you are, the climate you live in and your health status.

DIET

Start with one cup of water for every 250 calories you eat. If you consume 1,750 calories per day, you need to drink seven cups of water. But if you consume more than 2,250 calories, then aim to down nine cups a day.

EXERCISE

Tack on an additional cup for every 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity workouts (e.g. walking or swimming ); two cups for high intensity like running or playing tennis. If you exercise for more than an hour at a clip, weight yourself pre and post exercise and for every pound you shed, add two and a half cups to your fluid intake.

ENVIRONMENT

Drink additional water in hot and humid weather to help lower your body temperature and to replace what you lose through sweating. And altitudes greater than 2,500 meters can also affect how much water your body needs. Higher altitudes may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, that uses up more of your fluid reserves.

HEALTH STATUS

Fever, vomiting and diarrhea cause your body to lose extra fluids. To replace these fluids, drink more water or oral rehydration solutions. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional water to stay hydrated and to replenish lost fluids, especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters ( nearly 10 cups ) of fluids a day and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters which is about 13 cups of fluids a day.

Your curren total fluid intake is probably adequate if you do not feel thirsty and you produce a colorless or slightly pale, yellow urine. Strong smelling or dark urine could simply mean you are not drinking enough water and your urine is thus very concentrated. The same applies to skin odor. If you feel that a bad odor persists on your skin even after bathing, this is the result of an accumulation of toxins. Simply drink more water to aid in eliminating them from your system.

Do note however that thirst is not a reliable indicator of when to drink water. By the time you are thirsty, you are probably already mildly dehydrated. Besides, the older you are, the less likely you are to sense that you’re thirsty. And during vigorous exercise, an important amount of your fluid reserves may be lost before thirst kicks in.