Our mind is constantly active in every aspect of our lives, whether it is solving a math problem, studying for an exam, or simply waking up in the morning. The workings of the mind are complex and require careful maintenance. The memory aspect of the brain is especially crucial to upholding a happy, fulfilling life, from helping to remember everyday details to recalling important information needed to succeed in school and at work. Taking steps to improve memory can serve to benefit the future.
“My memory is decent, but if I could remember more that would make life easier,” says Daniel Bonello, a junior at Howell High School. “To remember things for tests, I normally just repeatedly read the information. I’ll read over my notes and look over my worksheets and such multiple times.”
A helpful tip to improving memory is setting time away in the day to read over notes. For high-schoolers, AP tests are nearing, and it is detrimental that knowledge learned from class not be forgotten. If a student has other subjects to worry about also, simply taking five minutes to read over notes can help prepare for the exam as well as reduce stress. If you procrastinate on studying a certain subject, eventually the work will stack up and cause a great increase of unnecessary stress.
Although it may be hard to believe, staying healthy and getting exercise can also help improve your memory and keep your brain on par. According to helpguide.org, taking the initiative of physical exercise helps to increase the level of oxygen reaching the brain. Additionally, exercise can help reduce risk of diseases like Diabetes which can lead to memory loss. Exercise doesn’t need to require non-stop weight-lifting or a high-costing membership for a fitness center. Easy ways to exercise can include turning on music and dancing with friends to using gaming platforms, such as the Wii. The Wii Fit is a fun and easily-accessible way to keep both body and mind healthy.
Sleep greatly effects how the mind functions. Without a healthy amount of sleep, the mind will began to feel rundown. Many teenagers have experienced late-nights, often followed by an unfocused school day. Without sleep, the mind is too focused on regaining lost energy and misses out on learning new information and retaining the old. Finishing any work early in order to get a healthy eight hours of sleep will benefit the mind for the following day as well as in the long run.
“I get up to ten to nine hours of sleep,” explains HHS junior Bethany Robinson. “I feel that I feel better and can remember more [with more sleep]. I can’t remember new information when I have less than that.”
While it is important to stay healthy and keep the mind sharp, simply taking a break and relaxing can help improve memory. Constantly worrying about work or remembering information for a test can cause the mind to become bogged down. An overload of stress will cause negative feedback rather than benefit the mind. Taking time to hang out with friends, read a book, or watch a movie can give your mind a break, which will in turn insure a stronger memory.
Stress is one of the biggest predators of a healthy mind. My final tip to improving memory is to keep a check on stress. A way to do this is by using meditation techniques. Freemeditation.com describes meditation as a state of awareness. This occurs when the mind is peaceful, calm, and silent, while remaining alert. Meditation can improve focus, concentration, and learning skills.
There are many resources that can assist in strengthening the mind. Luminosity.com offers fun games that serve to improve cognitive and reasoning skills as well as improve the memory. Other games can be found that also help to increase the mind’s potential and insure a strong memory. The memory is an important asset of the human body, and it is important to keep it in shape. While it doesn’t take much time or energy to improve the mind, it does take effort. Simply taking the initiative to want to improve memory is the first and hardest step. With persistence and a desire to succeed, an improved memory and healthier mind can be quickly achieved.
Spending a relaxing evening in front of the television is always nice, especially when the stress from earlier that day has caught up to you. But spending hours upon hours in front of the screen everyday isn’t nice; in fact, it’s hazardous to your eyes and health in general. Like getting rid of any habit, half the battle of television addiction is acknowledging the problem and making the pledge to change. Below are helpful tips on getting the job done.
- Find another activity to do when bored. Instead of turning to the television to help cure the everlasting boredom, try turning to a good book. Reading can bring the same relaxation that the television can, if not more. Reading allows the mind to rest, which is better than staring at the gleaming light for a continuous amount of time.
- Only turn on the television to watch certain shows. Rather than channel surfing for a lengthy amount of time, memorize the times of your preferred shows and tune in at that time. When there’s channel surfing involved, hours are hastily wasted, switching from one show to the next, watching all and none at the same time.
- Hide the remote control. Ask the people nearby to hide the remote control where you won’t be able to find it. It wouldn’t be worth searching for the remote, and it wouldn’t be worth using the buttons on the television because that would waste even more time.
- Don’t turn on the television when eating a meal. It’s common to want to tune into the television when eating a meal, or snack, because it’s something that’s enjoyable to do. But don’t permit yourself to do so. Chat with your family, or friends while eating, which will surely cause the time to pass by, and be just as entertaining.
- Set a rule that television is not allowed if the sun is shining. Go for a run, walk, bike ride, or another kind of healthy physical activity that will distract you from being glued to the screen. Spending time outdoors is better for your health, and it sure beats sitting inside all day doing nothing but watching fake reality shows.
- Say no to the shows that have been watched one too many times. Often we can be oddly drawn into watching shows we’ve seen plenty of times before, especially when you haven’t seen it in a long time. Well, don’t cave in to watching it for the fifth, or so, time.
- Cut down on the celebrity talk fests. Don’t get sucked into watching a person talk for over an hour. It is atypical that a television interview or conversation is sincerely insightful. Consider cutting entire sports games. Sure it’s compelling to join in on the ball game, but why spend three hours watching an entire game when the score and highlights can be captured in the last five minutes?
Escaping the couch potato syndrome can be difficult, but with determination and a little help from others, it can also be trouble-free.
The time is coming; for seniors, college is only four months away! It can be a scary thing at first, and the last thing you should be stressed out about is the move-in day. You want to make sure you’re just as comfortable in the new environment as you are in your own home. Here are some tips for having a successful, stress-free move-in day.
- Measure your room first. Getting an idea of what will fit in each part of the room beforehand will make it an easier move-in; especially when you’re put in the dorm on the fifth story!
- Hang a dry erase board on the exterior of your door so that friends can leave you messages. It’s a great way to get to know people on your floor and in your building.
- Call your roommate prior to Move-In Day so that you can divide up items to bring such as a TV, radio, gaming system, fridge, microwave, or any other various electronics/appliances.
- Bring posters and pictures of family and friends. Add some of your personality to your walls. Again, it will make it feel more like home, and gives you a say in self-expression.
- Bring flip-flops or shower shoes for trips to the bathroom. Sharing a bathroom with eight other people, or even four depending on your dorm style, may not be the most pleasant thing in the world. It takes getting used to, because some living facilities may have grungier showers than others, so keep it safe with some simple flip flops and avoid the germs!
- Do not use nails or screws around the walls in your room. Most housing contracts include certain rules in which if you damage the walls, you’ll be charged for it at the end of the school year. Instead, they make simple putty, that doesn’t peel pant or cause any other damage.
- Ask your family and friends to send care-packages to you. There’s nothing better than receiving a care-package from home during stressful exams!
- Bring your favorite food and snacks. It might be a while before you make it to the grocery store. Stock up in advance. It’s especially important to make sure you have a spacious fridge and potential cooking utensils so you can enjoy your favorite snacks and meals.
- Bring the right equipment to haul your belongings, such as a dolly, especially if you live on the second or third floor. This will provide less stress on you and greatly ease the move-in process.
- Enjoy the day, and get to know your hall mates. You’ll spend a lot of time in your dorm and around campus getting used to people and different things. Be yourself and relax.
Everyone goes through this the first time, and don’t feel like you’re the only one who’s nervous. It’s a huge change and also a new chapter in your life, it will take some getting used to. It’s important to make sure your move-in day goes smoothly. Follow these steps to have a successful move-in to your dorm.
No matter the season, taking care of your skin is vital, especially when winter rolls around. With the bipolar Michigan weather we experience, it’s important to not let the temperature be harmful to your skin. Winter takes all the natural moisture hidden in our skin away and leaves us with dry, rough, and flaky skin. However, it is still possible to enjoy the beauty of winter by keeping your skin intact, which is fairly simple.
Whether it’s your face, hands, or body, following these basic yet essential tips will leave you with perfect skin all winter long.
- Stay away from heat. The cold weather will make you crave a long hot bath even more, but the damage the heat will do to your skin is unfortunate. As tempting as it is to turn up the heat, or stand in the scorching shower longer than necessary, hot water dehydrates skin by breaking down the lipid barriers and stripping your skin of its natural oils. Even a small space heater can irritate your skin by majorly drying it out due to its harsh pressure. Limiting your shower time, staying away from baths, and grabbing a cozy blanket will indubitably be better for your skin.
- Moisturize. I cannot emphasize this enough. Moisturizing with lotion or cream will keep your skin hydrated, which is imperative during winter. As soon as you’re done washing, apply moisturizer to your face and body. Moisturizing lotion on your hands and feet is extremely important seeing how these both become exceptionally dry, especially around the nail cuticles and heels. If your skin is already on the dryer side, choose a thicker lotion. Try to only use products that contain lactic acid, glycerin, sorbitol, or alpha-hydroxyl acids. These products will attract more moisture to the skin. Massaging olive oil will even do the trick. Make moisturizing a daily routine.
- Pay close attention to your hands. The skin on your hands always seems to get the driest during the harsh weather. The reason is because this particular skin is thinner than most other parts on the body due to having fewer oil glands. Combined with the cold temperate and hard winds, your hands will be cracked more than usual in the winter. Make sure to lather on more lotion on your hands, and do so after every hand wash. Wearing gloves whenever you step outside will help protect your skin from the brutal elements.
- Take care of your face. Make a habit of rinsing your face every morning and night thoroughly. When done rinsing, dab your face with a washcloth ever so gently to not irritate your skin. Apply a quality of night cream afterwards. If you wear makeup, then you know that makeup clogs your pores. That’s why removing your makeup before going to bed is crucial. This way while you’re sleeping your face can be free from all the dirty substances buried in makeup. Using makeup wipes that contain vitamins will not only help clean your face, but keep it nourished. Sleeping with makeup on is unhealthy, and uncomfortable. You’ll notice softer skin if you continue to do this as a routine.
- Drink plenty of water. In addition to applying moisturizer to your skin, internally keeping hydrated is just as important. This can be done by drinking lots of water. Fluid intakes will be beneficial for your skin, helping you earn that natural glow. Water will fuel body functions that will protect your skin from the cold climate. An intake of at least eight glasses of water per day is adequate. Drink water throughout the day whenever you get the chance.
- Love your lips. Chapped dry lips are nowhere near cute. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! This can merely be done with a toothbrush. After brushing your teeth, rub your toothbrush over your lips so the dead skin will fall off. Applying lip balm is EXTREMELY important during the winter. Using lip balms that contain SPF, bees wax, or Shea butter is suggested due to their natural moisturizers. If you wear lip color regularly, apply lip balm before applying the color. Avoid licking your lips at all costs. Saliva increases dehydration and makes chapping worse. Under no circumstances should you bite the dead skin off your lips because that will cause bleeding. All in all, keep a lip balm handy throughout the day.
- Cover up. During the summer you wear outfits that will keep you cool, so make sure during the winter you wear outfits that will keep you warm. Adding extra clothing will help your skin retain its moisture. The less your skin is exposed, the better off you are. Slip on a pair of gloves, a cozy scarf, or even a hat. Avoid wearing coarse fabric such as wool.
- Exercise. Daily exercise promotes circulation, digestion, and elimination which helps keep your skin healthy. Plus, you can get ready for that summer body you’ve been wanting since last summer!
- Get a good night’s rest. Winter nights are peaceful, so take advantage of this. Not getting enough sleep is unhealthy for your skin. Get at least seven to nine hours a night and you’ll feel rested up for the day ahead.
Winter is a season meant for spending time with your loved ones. Make it enjoyable by maintaining a healthy glow.
Giving yourself enough time to study is very important. Do not wait till the last minute. Cramming all the information the night before the test is not the best way to study. Setting a timetable for all your test and divide a reasonability amount of time for each, Recommended by Jason Schrock Howell High School principal.
It’s good to have an idea of what kind of question might be on the test or exam. Use your old test and quizzes to get a good idea of what kinds of questions will be on the test. Also, go over your answers and try to fix ones you missed. Also, retake the test, but time yourself to see about how long it will be to take the test. Referred by http://www.topuniversities.com/student-survival/student-support/study-tips-exams
Make your own notes out of the notes you already took in class. Also, you can take a look at chapters or sections in your textbook. Write down bolded words, look at headings, subheadings and titles. Bolded words are key words that give hints to what the text is about. Credited to http://www.oxfordlearning.com/features/best-study-tips-to-ace-exam/
4. Flash Cards
Flash cards are a great way to help study for exams. They are a great help for vocabulary words, definitions and to help remember things like important dates, and true or false facts. They give you the option of looking at either the question or the answer and making you figure out the other part. Flash cards are not help to everyone. Some people need different ways to study. Credited to 12 year old John Brown in 7th grade.
5. Study Space
Find a comfortable study place where you can focus. Don’t go some place with a lot of distractions. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you prefer silence or listening to music?
- Do you work better alone or with a group of people?
- Do you like to study at home, at school or in the library?
When you find a place with little to no distractions and somewhere comfortable stay at that place and stick with it.
To get motivated think of what the outcome of all the time you spent studying will mean to you. Think about how the success will make you feel and keep the end result of doing well on something in your mind. You can also motivate yourself by finding a quote or a picture that helps you get motivated and put it somewhere you can always see it when your studying. This tip was also referred by http://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/Studying+&+Training/Studying+tips+&+resources/Top+ten+study+tips/
7. Avoiding confusion
Making note of what you are confused about on notes, old test sor homework will help you study on things you missed the first time around and can help you by learning new things you missed or was confused on before. Ask your teachers specific questions about the things you made note of that you are still question. This tip was referred by a Howell High School Accelerated English teacher Mrs. Erin Root.
8. Study Group
Studying with a group of friends or classmates can also be very helpful. Some students may know things you don’t and can be able to help you on things you are confused about. You may also be able to help others understand and learn things they not know. If you study with a group of friends or classmates, remember to stay on topic and not to be fooling around and to actually study. Mrs. Root recommends this study tip to anyone who needs help with studying.
Make goals for yourself. Make goals like how much you are going to study in one day or how many subjects you will study in one day. Goals help motivate you and help you keep on track and keep you going. Goals are a good thing to set, it gives you something to look forward to beating and setting higher and more challenging goals in the future.
10. Being organized
Organization when studying for a test or exam is very important. Keep your notes, papers, old tests and quizzes in a separate area. Keep each class’s papers separate and neat so you don’t forget anything or lose something important. To help keep organized use folders, paper clips or manila folders.
High school is a student’s next step into becoming an adult. Unlike middle school, you no longer pass merely because you show up to class. Here are the top ten ways to succeed in high school (with good grades):
Number One: Do Your Homework!
Homework is definitely one of the most important things throughout high school. Many students dislike homework, they think it’s pointless, but homework actually has a purpose. It helps you get to know what you’re doing, almost like studying (assigned studying). Almost all teachers assign some type of homework, and there are also the teachers who collect it for a grade. “It snowballs, and gets more stressful…then your grades start to fall behind,” says Emily Drew, a sophomore at Howell High School, when asked about what happens when she doesn’t do her homework. Doing your homework not only helps you learn, but it also keeps your grade up. Many kids don’t understand how much a few missing homework assignments can affect your grades.
Number Two: Study, Study, Study!
Along with homework, studying is the support for all of your classes. “This takes time, effort and a quiet place. If you learn how to study now, you’ll be way ahead before you even start college,” Get Ready for College, an online article, says. Studying is very important; sometimes it helps you more than actual class work. If you study for ten minutes a day for each class, you’re more likely to retain all that information for a test than if you study for three hours the night before.
Number Three: Make Friends – With a Teacher
The most important friends you can have in high school are teachers. They can help you with your homework, studying, etc. If that teacher teaches one of your classes, it would be even more helpful. Maybe they notice your grades are slipping, and they’ll give you some extra time to catch up. “When you make friends with a teacher they are more lenient on assignments and they can give you great advice as well as great grade,” senior Amber Lee shares.
Number Four: Be Social
Along with being friends with a teacher, you should be social. You sit in school for seven hours a day, five days a week. Hang out with your friends over the weekend, or even after school if you have enough time. You may not realize it, but being socially active and spending time with your friends will actually help you succeed in high school. Grades are important, but so is making friends and memories. But that doesn’t mean you can just skip all of your work for that day, don’t forget!
Number Five: Join a Club
You may think it’s a waste of time, but joining a club can make a big difference in your high school experience. If you join a club that interests you, it will help you make friends and you will feel more included at your school. “It’s a nice way to get away from school, while you’re still in school,” Chelsey Ziegman, a sophomore, says.
Number Six: Set Goals
High school is basically four years of preparing for college, and then the “real world.” You need to set goals, short term and long term. Short term goals would be things like, “Pass next week’s history test!” and long term goals are, “Get a 4.0 this year!” You need to set goals like that, no matter how big or small, because it helps you keep your priorities straight.
Number Seven: Stay Organized
One of the most important things to do all throughout high school is stay organized. It is definitely the worst feeling to lose last night’s homework in an over-crowded backpack or not study because you can’t find the notes in your locker. “A place for everything and everything in its place,” says an article from Family Education. To stay organized, the first thing you need is everything required for each of your classes (binders, notebooks, ruler, etc.). You should keep everything for one class together, and the same with each of your other classes. Also, don’t let miscellaneous papers lay around in your backpack or locker; if it’s garbage, throw it away, if you need to keep it, put it into the designated folder for that class.
Number Eight: Pay Attention!
School isn’t just about showing up physically anymore. Once you make it to high school you actually have to start showing up mentally too. “Learning involves much more than memorizing information. When you’re in class you can discuss, ask questions, debate, and make learning come alive. You can’t experience that when you’re not in class,” Mrs. Cindy Perlman, a teacher at the HHS Freshman Campus explains.
Number Nine: Use Your Time Wisely
Procrastination. Every high school student does it at one point, but it’s probably one of the worst things you can do. This goes along with homework and studying, you don’t want to leave it all for the last minute, when you’re rushing to get it done. You need to use your time wisely. When assigned homework, do it that night. When given a test date, study a little bit each night before that. Let’s say you have a piece of homework due tomorrow, and another due in two days. Which are you going to do? You need to carefully plan all of your assignments out to where you can get everything done on time.
Number Ten: Sleep!
Getting proper rest protects your overall health. The more sleep you get, the more rested you feel. In first hour, many students are falling asleep at their desks, probably because they didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Sleeping gives you more energy to push through the day, and it also helps you concentrate. Matt Hannah, a sophomore, says this: “Sleep makes you think better… If you don’t understand something before you go to sleep, your brain will think and…you’ll understand it in the morning.”
By following those above tips, you will have a more successful high school career, and be better prepared for college.
Fall is in full-swing, with color-changing leaves, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches. Along with snow covered grass, dark green pine trees, and crackling wood in the fireplace, winter is just around the corner. We are heading into the two most notorious seasons for sickness. Not only do we have to worry about contamination from person to person, but with the meningitis outbreak, precautions must be taken prior to getting a vaccine.
There are two main types of meningitis: bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis. Bacterial infections are extremely serious, while viral infections are milder and occur more often. Viral infections begin in the early fall and usually affect anyone under the age of 30, and even more often in children under the age of five. Meningitis can be caused by a number of different viruses, such as herpes viruses and the West Nile virus.
Keeping an eye out for symptoms is extremely important due to the severity of meningitis. Failure to detect the infection can result in brain damage and even death. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, signs such as a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, a sensitivity to light, severe headaches, and a stiff neck can appear fairly early. Other symptoms include becoming easily irritated, soft spots beginning to bulge, a decrease in consciousness, a loss of appetite, rapid breathing, and an unusual posture.
Meningitis has a tendency to cause fevers in children and newborns. People cannot tell whether they have a bacterial infection or a viral infection just by how they are feeling, so it is important to seek medical attention if symptoms arise.
Physical examination will detect fast a heart rate, fever, changes in mental status, and a stiff neck. If a patient is suspected of having meningitis, a spinal tap will be performed in order to collect spinal fluid for examination of cell count, glucose, protein, and disease. Blood culture, chest x-ray, CAT scan, and gram stains are some of the other tests that can be done to verify whether or not the disease is present.
Once it is verified that meningitis is present a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic, depending on the bacteria causing the infection the prescription will vary. If the infection is viral, a doctor won’t prescribe any antibiotics due to its ineffectiveness. When brain swelling shock and seizures are present, other medications and intravenous fluid may be used.
Depending on the severity of the infection or the treatment needed, some people may need to stay in the hospital due to the complications that could occur, such as brain damage, fluid buildup between the brain and the skull, hearing loss, and seizures.
The most effective way to prevent the contraction of meningitis is completing the recommended vaccine schedule which includes vaccines for three different types of bacteria that can cause meningitis: Meningococcus, pnuemococcus, and HiB. Along with vaccines antibiotics can be prescribed for an entire family if a severe HiB infection develops.
Taking these precautions are not the only methods effective in preventing meningitis. Maintaining healthy habits is extremely important, not smoking and avoiding cigarette smoke, sleep, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Having a stable and healthy immune system is necessary to avoid contracting meningitis. Clean hands are one of the most important steps. Wash your hands before and after preparing or eating food, coming in contact with a sick person, and treating a wound. It is also important to wash your hands after using or cleaning the toilet, changing diapers, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, touching animals, and coming in contact with waste.
Everyone has heard the importance of having a green thumb – reduce, reuse, recycle. But what does that really mean? Sacrificing hours of your day to do what you think will make a huge impact on the environment? Or are you someone who would like to help the planet, but have no idea where to start? Regardless of opinions on the subject, the earth isn’t becoming any more habitable for humans- we rely on an outstanding amount of limited resources which are now becoming a scarce supply. Therefore, small changes in our lifestyles could, believe it or not, really add up to the benefits of conserving resources and saving money.
Ms. Joanna Miller, a learning disabled teacher and former leader of Howell High School’s Environmental Club, realizes that anyone, even students and staff at HHS, can easily make changes to support the environment.
“I think it is important that we all do our part,” she says. “It may not seem like you recycling one water bottle will make that big of a difference in the whole scheme of the world’s problems, but when the majority of individuals start making the decision to recycle it will make a huge impact on the amount of garbage we have floating around on this planet.”
Besides “doing her part” and running the Environmental Club last year, Ms. Miller continues to recycle at home, donate to organizations that are trying to protect the earth, help the local community by buying products and services within the district, and cut down on gas and plastic consumption. She even goes out of her way to pick up and throw away or recycle discarded trash when she sees it.
“I basically always try to remain conscious of my impact on my environment,” she says. “I can only control me, but I try to lead by example.”
Ms. Carolyn Bishop, a special education teacher at HHS, also demonstrates responsibility and leadership by directing her students in the JET (Job Exploration Training) program to pick up the recyclables in every part of the high school. She, too, understands the importance of “going green”, and hopes that her and her students’ part will, in some small way, help the environment.
“Amongst our jobs that the students do around the building is the recycling for the 10-12 building,” Ms. Bishop explains. “We believe as a group that the little part we play in recycling helps eliminate needless trash going into the landfills. You would be amazed at how much time goes into this sometimes thankless job. The students work very hard separating out plastics, paper, ink cartridges, and returnable’s. Sometimes we have been asked to dispose other materials as well.”
But even though Ms. Bishop’s classes are geared towards helping our high school’s vicinity, at times their tasks receive very little recognition, or worse, complete disregard.
“Sometimes people are careless and disrespectful towards [our job in recycling], but we take pride in it,” she says. “The students have come a long way from the beginning of the year. They are now quite independent in performing their job.”
It’s comforting to know that there are those at HHS who care about our environment, but there’s so much more yet to be done on a daily basis. These days we can’t afford to rely on others to take care of the planet for us while we continue to waste precious resources or fill landfills with our junk; that’s just destroying progress that we’ve already made. Helping the environment doesn’t always involve arduous, time-consuming tasks. In fact, there are many lifestyle adjustments that are effortless to make, but with many rewards.
Below is a list of 13 ways to “go green” in every area of your life:
1) Change your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). This is probably one of the quickest ways to save energy and money. Instead of converting most energy into heat, CFLs transfer energy into light, which makes them last up to ten times longer than incandescent light bulbs. Although CFLs are a bit more expensive than incandescent ones, they can potentially save your household electricity bill about 83 dollars per lifespan of a CFL. Multiply that by at least ten light bulbs and you’ll have some pretty big savings.
2) Unplug appliances at the end of the day. Even though this may take some time, using power strips or extension cords will allow you to unplug multiple appliances and electronics at once, which would only claim five or ten minutes of your day. Major culprits that use energy are TV’s, printers, computers, and phone chargers, which suck up tons of energy from the socket even when the electronics aren’t being utilized. Combining their power cables into a few extension cords could save a lot of time when you want to unplug all of your appliances and electronics throughout your home. But extension cords or not, the results of unplugging your appliances and electronics would be the same: a potential savings of up to 200 dollars a year.
3) Flip the switches that aren’t in use, no matter where you are. Turning off lights in each room can save an equal amount of energy as actually unplugging appliances and electronics. And speaking of power strips, turning the switch off those can also save energy. Again, this is where combining electronic and appliance cords into one power strip come in handy, which would allow you to easily flip the switch to turn off the energy source. In other words, this is another way to save energy and money without giving up a lot of time.
4) Fix leaky faucets. This can be done with a wrench, a little elbow grease, and a few minutes of your time, or you could also get it professionally done (although it’s much cheaper to do it yourself). Fixing leaky faucets can save 30 dollars a year on your water bill, but most importantly, it can save up to 27,010 gallons of water per year.
5) Wash full loads of laundry. This will save water, time, and money. But to go even further, buying energy efficient washers and driers will save even more water. However, this may not be the option for everyone, so a good alternative would be to wash loads in cold water, which saves a good amount of energy (versus using hot water for each load of laundry).
6) Create your own household cleaning products. It’s scary just to think about all the toxins that go into cleaning supplies you see on the shelves at stores these days. There could be chemicals that cause potential allergic reactions or those that may cause others to get incredibly sick. So instead of buying expensive cleaners that may not end up doing their job anyway, make your own solutions. Some websites and blogs suggest using a simple mixture of vinegar and water, which could take care of spills and stains on most surfaces. However, I would recommend looking into all the different types of ingredients needed for your specific cleaning purposes.
7) Look for recycle bins. In almost every classroom there are two boxes for recycling- one for plastic bottles and another for paper. Usually every week Ms. Bishop’s students in the JET program go around to those classrooms to pick up the recyclables.
Ms. Miller, who has witnessed the amount of plastic bottles that aren’t being recycled, stresses this easy ways to recycle paper and plastic throughout HHS.
“Recycle bins are popping up everywhere,” Ms. Miller says. “We have recycle bins in almost every classroom, yet more people throw their bottles and paper away rather than recycle them. I am surprised at how many students tell me that a bottle isn’t recyclable because it doesn’t come with a refund…they don’t understand that the plastic is what we are recycling, not getting ten cents back. It baffles me really. If people start to make it a priority, there will be even more opportunities to recycle those basic products [at HHS].”
8) Turn off computers, projectors, and other electronics at the end of the day. Along with the significance of turning off lights and unplugging electronics at home, any electronics that can be turned off at school should be. This could potentially save the school hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars each month.
9) Use a permanent water bottle. Not only are we using millions of plastic water bottles each year, but we don’t recycle them, which is resulting in huge build-ups in landfills. Of course there’s the convenience of buying a 24-pack of water for $4.99, but with an inexpensive water bottle, you can save tons of plastic- literally. At the very least, follow the seventh tip and recycle those store-bought plastic bottles of water.
10) Carpool. One simple word, yet a hard concept to grasp. There’s no doubt about the expenses that come with owning a car – not to mention the gas prices that refuse to decrease for those on a budget (like teachers and students). So it’s doubtless that going to and from school with a friend would save money. This could also give students more free time because instead of working at their jobs in order to pay for car expenses, they could be doing an activity that they enjoy. It also prevents the amount of pollution that would be created if every independent student and staff member brought their own car to school. Carpooling with just one person would cut budgets, pollution, and school parking lot space in half.
In your community…
11) Try to support local farmers. Not only is the produce organic, but by going to a local farmer’s market, like the Sunday Farmer’s Market in Howell, you will be able to talk face-to-face with those who grow the fruits and vegetables and raise the products available. Only open during the crop season, Howell’s Sunday Farmers’ Market is located next to the Livingston County Courthouse. They’re open every Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May 6 to October 28 for the 2012 season. There you can purchase all sorts of items, from fresh produce and breads to potted plants. You save time and money with driving to downtown Howell versus a supermarket five to ten miles further, and everything is locally grown, great quality, and the market itself is full of a fun-loving ambience.
12) Personally recycle your own plastic and paper bags, or use cloth bags for grocery shopping. But you don’t have to pay $5 per grocery store-brand cloth grocery bag to feel good about saving plastic; the potential cost for a 20-bag grocery shop would be $100 for the bags alone! Of course most stores give you five cents back on your overall bill for each bag you use each time you shop at their store, but that could take months to just make your money back. Instead of going through all that trouble, you could simply save the paper and plastic bags that you receive when you shop the first time and take them to the store on your next grocery shopping trip. You still technically save paper and plastic since you’re not using new bags for each visit, and you don’t have to spend any extra money while doing it. A win-win situation.
13) Recycle everything else at Recycle Livingston, a huge non-profit organization in Livingston County. With the fast-paced technology world, all electronic gadgets seem to become bigger and better every year. Each holiday season the consumer world proposes a newly developed device that would make your life a thousand times easier, but then what do you do with your old-modeled version? What would you do with the old cardboard box that housed a big flat screen TV? What would you even do with old junk mail? Easy. Recycle Livingston will happily take most anything old and recycle them for you- whether it’s used batteries, cardboard boxes, or an ancient keyboard. Its location is in Howell, and a typical fee for non-members is $3 to drop off the recyclables. For more information, visit recyclelivingston.org.
With summer drawing near, many families are preparing for a special trip that will take place during our three month break. Even though the busy spring break season has passed, summertime can always turn airports and hotels into a convoluted and chaotic atmosphere. Here are five tips that will hopefully turn a vacation into a dream trip.
(1) Try to stay consistent
While many simply look for the best deal on airfare, hotels, and rental cars, there are advantages to sticking with one or two companies to do business with. Cost is always going to be a prevalent cause for concern, sometimes using the same airline or hotel chain can work out well in the long run. For example, Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program gives points based on number of flights and on their flights’ fares and fare class. If you travel a lot, these miles can add up where you can cash in on big rewards.
(2) Use smartphone apps
In this technology-based world, smartphone apps can be instrumental in making your travel plans a success. Many airlines, such as Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines, have iPhone or Android apps to make travel day a breeze. Delta’s “Fly Delta” app allows users to sign in with their SkyMiles account, thereby allowing them to check in from their phones 24 hours before their flight. It can also let travelers check their flight status and track their bags. These services can be really useful, especially when it wasn’t too long ago where everything had to be done at the airport. Hotel chains such as Marriott also offer useful smartphone apps. These apps can help people find open reservations, use their rewards points, check their reservation status, and have city guides on hand.
(3) Pack smart
Packing may be the activity that stresses travelers out the most. When dealing with rental cars, TSA agents, and loading/unloading from hotel rooms, it’s important that people pack their clothes efficiently. While it may seem unnecessary to some, actually filling out a packing list, much like a grocery list, will ensure that everything needed is ready to go. Purchasing a nice and reliable set of luggage is also necessary, because often bags can break or zip up with difficulty, causing more headaches. If traveling my airplane, check with the airline and see what the maximum weight checked bags can be. Check with the TSA website to see which items you can carry on and which ones you cannot. Try different packing techniques, such as rolling your clothes up or bundle your clothes around a central item in your luggage to save space and reduce wrinkling.
(4) Protect yourself with added security
This is important, especially if you’re traveling out of the United States. It may seem simple, but a rubber door stop can provide additional security within a hotel room. A secure bag or purse, such as one made out of resistant materials, can help prevent crime or theft. Emergency contact info such as your name and phone number can help in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself before hand with where local hospitals and police stations are, just in case. Lastly, a RFID blocking wallet will block identity thieves from obtaining your personal information via a passport or wallet.
(5) Put together an itinerary
While it’s fun to do things spontaneously, especially on vacations, you should be at least somewhat organized when it comes to your travel plans. Fortunately, this process is dead simple. A site such as TripIt can easily collect all of your itinerary needs such as flight information, hotel reservations, and rental car plans. Either forward confirmation emails to TripIt to enter the data in manually, and a comprehensive itinerary is available for use. Having this information on your laptop, cell phone, and your person is very important.
Traveling can be very stressful, but being prepared can be the difference in a vacation success story or one to forget.