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How To Prevent Anything & Everything http://www.howtoprevent.com Wed, 24 Jun 2015 14:48:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.28 101 Ways You Can Prevent Global Warming http://www.howtoprevent.com/enviroment/101-ways-you-can-prevent-global-warming/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=101-ways-you-can-prevent-global-warming http://www.howtoprevent.com/enviroment/101-ways-you-can-prevent-global-warming/#comments Fri, 27 Aug 2010 15:33:07 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/101-ways-you-can-prevent-global-warming/ Nowadays, you can’t help but encounter the occasional story on CNN regarding the unusually hot summers, mild winters, and melting glaciers in the Antarctic. Global warming is becoming an increasingly scary problem, as all living creatures and the environment are feeling the effects of overall higher temperatures on a worldwide scale. As scientists rush to come up with solutions to this very real and threatening issue, many promote a wide-range of prevention methods that could make the difference in either doubling global warming pollution by 2050 or cutting it in half.

101 Ways You Can Prevent Global Warming

What is Global Warming?

Global warming is described as the increase in the average temperature of the air situated close to the Earth’s surfaces, as well as the oceans throughout the world [1]. Global warming deals with adjustments in climate, which is the pattern of weather over long-term circumstances. While the climate has always sustained change (getting both warmer or cooler over time), it is the speed of change associated with global warming that brings about the most concern. When the average global temperatures begin to increase, it is usually the Greenhouse Effect that is to blame [2].

The Greenhouse Effect is responsible for the 1-degree rise in the Earth’s surface temperature over the past 140 years, which at first glance doesn’t seem like too much, but nonetheless has led to a wealth of large-scale troubles [2]. It is the presence of gases, such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane within the atmosphere that permits incoming sunlight to pass through, but doesn’t allow the proper release of heat back out. This is why this occurrence is likened to a greenhouse.

Global warming is an important topic to address because of the detrimental changes caused by its existence. Overall, it is the habits of humans that greatly contribute to the global warming problem through their industrial activities, everyday habits, and automobile dependency. One of the largest sources of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States includes coal-burning power plants, which produces 2.5 billion tons each year. Cars represent the second largest source of CO2 pollution, creating almost 1.5 billion tons on a yearly basis [3].

Over the years, researchers and scientists have developed an array of solutions pertaining to transportation issues, power plants, electricity, and a host of other factors that influences the global warming problem. While this is a great start towards lessening the effects of the issue, it is easier said than done, as it is much harder to encourage and push the entire world to put these solutions to good use.

The Negative Effects of Global Warming

Global warming affects humans, wildlife, and plants in many different ways. While the negative and influential changes in the environment have captured the attention of many, it is also the lesser-known occurrences taking place halfway around the world that needs attention. Below are just some of the unwanted effects associated with global warming:

a) Changes in the Environment:

Global warming is responsible for the increased rate of melting glaciers; the drying out of cloud forests, and rising sea levels. In such a short period of time (in regards to the geological record) humans have caused higher greenhouse gases now than in the last 650,000 years. Today, the last remaining ice sheets on Earth (found in places like Greenland and Antarctica) have begun to melt as well. It is believed that at the current rate of retreat, all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park will no longer exist by 2070 [4]. The extra water associated with melted glaciers may also raise sea levels to the point of destruction for neighboring countries and islands.

b) Wildlife Unable to Adapt:

polar bear dyingSince the natural habitats of creatures in the wild are constantly changing, animals must learn how to adapt to modifications in their surroundings, food supply, and climate. The worst cases are those who cannot find a way to become accustomed to the changes in their environment may face extinction. An example of this is seen in the polar bear dilemma, who are built to live and hunt on sea ice with partially webbed feet and water-repellant coats. Due to global warming pollution, Arctic sea ice is melting at an alarming rate, causing polar bears to drown and miss out on reaching their primary food source (seals) [5]. Today, ice also forms later in the fall and breaks up earlier in the spring, shrinking the time polar bears can forage for food.

c) Killing Plants, Animals, and Humans:

Slowly, the effects of global warming lead to more plant, animal, and human deaths. Depending on the location in the world, some species have completely died out or have relocated, leaving various destinations void of their unique examples of wildlife. Some species of foxes, butterflies, and alpine plants have traveled farther north or sought out higher, cooler regions to dwell.

d) Extinction of Plant and Animal Species:

Unable to acclimate to the changes in their environment, plants and animal species may succumb to the effects of global warming and become extinct. This is seen in the dying off of coral reefs. The threat to animal life is also seen in the decline of breeding pairs and altered reproduction efforts. In Antarctica, the past 30 years have seen 32,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins lowered to 11,000 [6].

e) Dangerous Weather Patterns:

Crazy Weather Patterns

Over the years, more extreme patterns of weather have taken place since the global warming issue has worsened. For instance, the amount and pattern of precipitation changes has increased the risk of floods. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as rainstorms and hurricanes are also affected. Dryer conditions in some locations also create severe dust storms, which have plagued states like Montana, Colorado, and Kansas.

f) Health Effects:

Deadly heat waves also cause a rise in heat-related deaths, which especially threatens young children, the sick, and the elderly. The local air quality is also affected by global warming, which is known to increase the incidence of respiratory disease and infection. In 2003, extreme heat waves across the world were responsible for more than 1,500 deaths in India and more than 20,000 deaths in Europe.

g) Increased Drought and Wildfires:

The frequency of extremely high temperatures has risen over the years, as seen in the increase of average temperatures in all of the lower 48 states of the U.S. since 2002. Warmer temperatures also increase the possibility of drought and wildfires, as a higher level of evaporation (especially during the summer and fall), worsen the conditions that bring about drought or increase the risk of wildfires. The hardest hit have been the states of Colorado, Arizona, and Oregon, who have seen their worst seasons in the past 50 years. States, such as Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, have also suffered their driest three-month periods in years.

h) Intense Rainstorms:

While some states suffer from intensely dry conditions, other places are hard hit with stronger rainstorms, such as Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, which have felt more than double their normal monthly rainfall in past years.

i) Financial Demands:

Millions of dollars in damage has become a major problem for some states, such as Texas, Montana, and North Dakota, where severe floods fall upon the land during the summer, destroying property and taking lives.

j) Threatened Trees:

In Alaska, 20 years of warmer summers have encouraged the increased number of spruce bark beetles, which is responsible for destroying around 4 million acres of spruce trees. Some species of trees also fall victim to the spread of disease, as a change in climate promotes such events to take place.

k) Warmer Water:

With an increase in temperatures regarding various bodies of water across the world, hurricanes that develop throughout the year are often stronger and more dangerous because of the warmer waters that feed energy tropical storms. Additionally, the amount of category 4 and 5 storms has significantly increased over the past 35 years.

i) The Spread of Disease:

Some diseases, such as malaria, may have a chance to spread with the increase of mosquitoes that often thrive under the global warming conditions affecting the Earth.

How to Prevent Global Warming

To put a serious dent in the global warming problem, there are endless preventive measures to consider that involves individual, group, community, family, state, and country wide efforts. Some global warming prevention tips are as simple as changing a few habits within the household to more permanent measures, such as passing laws that directly decreases the issue. Below you will find 101 ways to become an active part of reversing the threatening trend of global warming:

1) Drive Less:

When you decrease the times you take the car out for a spin, you not only reduce the consumption of gas, but also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that reaches the air.

2) Tree Planting:

Planting just one tree has the power to absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its life span.

3) Bike to the Store:

Not only will you receive a healthy dose of exercise, but you will also spare the environment the pollution caused by using your car as a main source of transportation.

4) Join a Carpool:

When you group up with co-workers living in the neighborhood and take one car to work, you will contribute to creating fewer cars on the road, which equals less pollution in the air.

5) Consider Public Transportation:

Your car doesn’t have to add to the air pollution woes in the world, leave it at home and rely on mass transit to take you to work, the mall, and other places in town. In the long run, you will also save money in gas when taking the bus, subway, or train.

6) Switch Light Bulbs:

When you replace a regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent, you will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Once this type of light bulb burns out, it is also important to follow the proper procedures regarding disposal.

7) Recycle Household Waste:

Some households are able to save up to 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year when they recycle just half of their waste.

8. Buy Recycled Products:

When you support recycled products, you not only save energy and resources, but also reduce the amount of waste that accumulates in local landfills.

9) Start a Compost Pile:

While recycling centers take care of paper recycling and other items, such as batteries, plastics, and metals, starting a compost pile helps reprocess organic materials (egg shells, newspaper, and food scraps) into a nutrient-rich soil for gardens and other landscaping needs.

10) Check Your Tires:

When tires are inflated to their proper capacity, this is a sign of decent gas mileage. Each gallon of gas an individual is able to save – 20 pounds of carbon dioxide is withheld from affecting the atmosphere.

11) Follow Smart Driving Habits:

There are certain driving habits that lessen your role in adding to the global warming problem. Drivers should gradually accelerate when driving; use cruise control while on the highway; and obey the speed limit.

12) Don’t Forget the Tune-Up:

Many people wait to get a car tune-up until it’s time to get an inspection sticker. It is suggested to receive routine tune-ups and also support local smog check programs.

13) Save Your Engine:

You should also consider turning off your car engine when you face an idle vehicle for long periods of time, which helps to reduce air pollution.

14) Replace Car Air Filter:

To reduce the amount of air pollution produced by your car, you should replace your air filter on a regular basis.

15) Reduce Your Hot Water Use:

Since it takes a lot of energy to heat water, it is suggested to reduce the amount of hot water you use in the household, which helps to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions. This added benefit also includes lower energy bills.

16) Wash Clothes in Cold Water:

Instead of using hot water to clean your clothes, switch to cold water and save 500 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

17) Install a Low Flow Showerhead:

A reduction of 350 pounds of carbon dioxide is seen when installing a showerhead that controls the flow of water.

18) Insulate Your Hot Water Tank:

Conserving your hot water use is also accomplished when you properly insulate your hot water tank and make sure the temperature is kept at or below 120.

19) Thermostat Adjustments:

When you keep your thermostat at 68 degrees in the wintertime and 78 degrees in the summertime, you will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as save money on your energy bill. Some households are able to save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year when keeping their thermostat set two degrees cooler in the winter and warmer during the summer months [7].

20) Avoid the Scenic Route:

Drivers avoid the production of one pound of carbon dioxide for each mile they avoid driving. This means knowing where you’re going to go before you get into the car and possessing the correct directions when visiting a new destination.

21) Turn Electronics Off When Not In Use:

A lot of energy is wasted when televisions, VCRs, computers, and other electronic devices are left on when not in use. Thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide are saved each year when simply turning off units when away.

22) Recycle Auto Equipment and Supplies:

To prevent global warming, you should make it a habit to properly dispose of unwanted used auto equipment and supplies. This includes antifreeze, brake fluid, car batteries, transmission fluid, and used motor oil. The containers of used auto supplies also require appropriate disposal, where there are recycling centers especially set aside in most cities for this purpose.

23) Recycle Batteries:

The pollution associated with landfills has the power to seep into surrounding soil, as well as contaminate local waters. It is important to properly dispose of or recycle used batteries, including NiCad batteries, rechargeable batteries (non-NiCad), and single-use batteries.

24) Recycle Electronics:

Instead of tossing away unwanted electronics, such as computer monitors, electronic devices, office machines, televisions, and other computer parts, take them to recycling centers so they may find new life instead of contributing to the mounting waste problem.

25) Recycle Household Hazardous Waste:

There are plenty of household products that pose a threat to the environment and add to the growing global warming dilemma. Some of the items one may consider recycling include fertilizers, pesticides, fire extinguishers, unwanted fuels, herbicides, household cleaners, insecticides, paints, photographic chemicals, solvents, and pool chemicals.

26) Reuse Cell Phones:

recycle old cell phonesWith the increasing advancements in cell phone technology, people are trading in their phones as newer models surface. Instead of tossing old phones in the garbage, you should turn in your unwanted selections to a recycling center. There are also programs that transform old cell phones into emergency phones for domestic abuse victims.

27) Replace Old Power Plants:

In many cities, older power plants that rely on the burning of coal are still used to produce the most production of electricity. It is the responsibility of residents to push for the establishment of cleaner plants.

28) Promote the Use of Renewable Energy Sources:

With the increase in use regarding renewable energy sources (including solar and wind energy), the damaging effects of other energy resources (like burning fuels) are lessened. Already, the states of California and New York have pledged to use more renewable sources of energy for their electricity needs.

29) Follow the NRDC 4-Point Plan:

The National Resources Defense Council has created a plan they believe will cut the global warming problem in half by the year 2050. In simple terms, the NRDC promotes a boost in energy efficiency; better car production; the embrace of biofuels and renewable energy; and returning carbon to the ground.

30) Promote “Green Building” Projects:

There is a way to design and construct new buildings in such a way that energy consumption is reduced by manipulating heating, cooling, lighting, and water use factors.

31) Encourage Walkable Communities:

Some developers have taken the stance to create more compact communities, where residents are encouraged to walk over taking a drive in their car. This principle can be applied to both city and town structures.

32) Promote Clean-Burning Biofuel Programs:

Biofuels utilize plants to create an energy source that burns clean. Hopefully, biofuels will be able to replace gasoline in the near future. Today, ethanol producers are responsible for 4 billion gallons of fuel per year. Newer methods have also surfaced, as farmers experiment with farm waste and other energy crops that could seriously threaten oil dependency.

33) Promote Solar Energy Jobs:

In the high-tech, high-paying world of solar energy, more than 20,000 Americans are able to make a difference in the global warming problem just by going to work each day.

34) Urge the United States to Lead:

Usually, other countries look towards the United States as a leader in change. If large countries, such as China and India, do not see the United States investing in the technology that cuts down the global warming problem, they are less likely to facilitate change. Urging the U.S. to set an example in the treatment of coal-burning power plants is a good way to create a healthy trend for the environment.

35) Replace Old Appliances:

If you possess a refrigerator or washing machine that is more than 10 years old, you are not only paying more in energy bills, but also wasting precious energy. Investing in a newer dishwasher, washer, dryer, or refrigerator model will save double the energy than if you use an older unit. Efficient appliances create less demand on power plants, which translates into less pollution.

36) Buy Energy Star Labeled Products:

When your appliance carries the Energy Star stamp of approval, you are doing your part in satisfying the energy efficiency minimums established by the federal government. Sometimes, tempting rebates are offered with this sort of product.

37) Purchase the Right Size:

Sometimes, individuals believe they need to bring home the biggest appliances in order to impress the neighbors or get the job done right. In fact, you could be causing the environment unnecessary distress. When purchasing a new product for your home, it is suggested to select an item suitable for your needs. This means avoiding the oversized air conditioner, extra large water heater, or gigantic refrigerator. All of these appliances waste energy and money when not needed.

38) Choose Natural Gas Appliances Over Electric:

When possible, some individuals choose appliances that run on natural gas over electric means because it is a more efficient selection to consider. There are many different stoves, water heaters, and dryers that use natural gas.

39) Use Precise Temperature Control:

The thermostat is not the only place where an individual may utilize precise temperature control. The refrigerator is another place, where you may adjust the coldness. On a scale from 1 to 10, some people automatically select the highest setting thinking it does a better job, but in the end you often waste energy and sometimes wind up freezing your milk and fresh vegetables.

40) Select Freezers on Top:

A refrigerator with freezer storage situated on top actually uses 10 to 15% less energy than a model showcasing a side-by-side unit.

41) Refrigerator Size, Selection, and Quantity:

While a larger refrigerator uses more energy than a smaller one, there are certain circumstances where one will come in quiet handy. Choose one larger refrigerator rather than purchasing two smaller models with the same total volume, or separate freezing units.

42) Clothes Washers Selection:

Front-loading washers usually use less water than top-loaders because they don’t have to completely submerge clothes, but instead, utilize a tumbling action that continuously lifts the water up and down onto clothes.

43) Washer Sizes:

When choosing a washer for your household, size does matter. A smaller washer is usually the right choice for smaller households, but a larger family (with the demands of many different loads) should select a larger unit to accommodate their needs.

44) Adjustable Water Levels:

When bringing a washer into the home, a model that allows one to adjust their water levels is a great way to use less water to complete smaller loads.

45) Choose Fast Speeds:

A washer may offer spin cycle selections that use slow, medium, and fast speeds. Choosing a faster spin speed results in the removal of more water from clothes, which in turn, reduces drying time and decreases the amount of energy the dryer must use.

46) Dryer Selection:

Gas dryers use less energy than a unit that relies on electricity.

47) Kids Can Do Their Part, Too:

Instead of driving your kids to school each morning, when they are in walking distance – it is suggested to encourage them to walk. This practice will also get their metabolism kicking in the right direction with this early morning dose of exercise.

48) Skip Dishwasher Pre-Washes:

Reduce the amount of water you use in your household by scraping off excess food and conducting your own pre-rinse before using the dishwasher. This simple act saves energy when you no longer rely on a machine to complete this task.

49) New Dishwasher Purchases:

When you are in need of a new dishwasher, you should consider one that offers, “light washes” or “energy-saving” wash cycles.

50) Energy-Saving Dishwasher Dry Cycles:

When buying a new dishwasher, you should also seek out models that offer an energy-saving cycle, which dries dishes using air and circulation fans rather than heated drying that relies on heating coils.

51) New Room Air Conditioner Purchases:

When purchasing a new air conditioner, you should make sure the unit in question offers higher-efficiency compressors, fan motors and heat-transfer surfaces. A high-efficiency unit is responsible for reducing energy consumption by 20 to 50%.

52) Energy Efficiency Ratio:

When making an air conditioner purchase, you should familiarize yourself with the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), where the highest options are most desirable. By federal law, the minimum EER is 9.7, while some of the most efficient air conditioner models possess an EER of 11.7 or better.

53) Buy an Energy Star Central Air Conditioner:

energy star air conditionWhen replacing your old central air conditioning system (10 years or older) with an Energy Star model, you stand to reduce your energy consumption associated with cooling the house by 20%.

54) Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio:

When purchasing a central air conditioning unit, you should seek out the best seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Older units generally possess a SEER of 6 or 7, while today, the minimum SEER for a central air conditioner is 13.

55) Avoid Improper Installation:

It is important to get your larger appliances (such as central air conditioning systems) installed in the correct manner to avoid a loss in energy, which also translates to higher energy bills.

56) Call a Contractor:

To conserve energy, you may call a contractor to assess the locations in the house that use or lose the most energy. This may include ducts that are not sealed or insulated. The contractor will then make suggestions on how to make your home a more energy-efficient place to dwell. Sometimes, this practice is also called an “energy audit.”

57) Check the Age of Your Water Heater:

One of the largest energy wasters in the home is the water heater, which often accounts for about 15% of your energy bill. Old water heaters (usually more than 10 years old) are known to operate at less than 50% efficiency. This is a good reason to purchase a new one.

58) Select Natural Gas Water Heaters:

When you are in need of a new water heater, you should select a natural gas unit, which uses less energy to operate and costs less than an electric model.

59) Buy Energy Star Labeled Electronics:

The majority of home electronics bearing the Energy Star label use less power when not in use despite the amount of power they devour when operating. Some of the home equipment selections to consider include televisions, phones, computers, printers, and audio devices.

60) Choice of Printers:

The purchase of an ink jet printer conserves more energy than a laser model.

61) Television Screen Selection:

While CRT or plasma television screens are becoming increasingly popular; they are also responsible for the use of more power than a LCD television or monitor.

62) Power Supplies:

Choose small, lightweight power supplies over larger, bulkier transformer-based power supplies to save energy.

63) Take Advantage of Statewide Incentives:

Some states entice consumers with rewards for purchasing energy-efficient appliances. For instance, Connecticut and California provide rebate programs that will actually refund a portion of the purchase price of various energy-efficient appliances. In Maryland, the sales tax on some appliances bearing the Energy Star label is withheld.

64) Consider a Hybrid:

To cut down on air pollution and harmful emissions, hybrid cars provide fuel-efficient vehicles that offer a variety of high-tech options.

65) Save Gas With a Hybrid:

Depending on various driving styles and conditions, a satisfying gas mileage is associated with the purchase of a hybrid. Some models provide two times as much mileage than a standard mid-size automobile. For instance, Toyota offers the Prius (a mid-size sedan), which permits 60 miles per gallon of city travel and 51 miles per gallon when on the highway.

66) Protect the Environment By Embracing Hybrid Technology:

Promote the benefits of hybrid technology and support advancements in the industry by spreading the word on how these types of cars lessen the amount of polluting emissions that affects the environment, including greenhouse gases. Hybrids help to cut down air pollution, as well as prevent further effects of global warming. The cars also weaken the strong ties to foreign oil that Americans have been so dependent on for many years.

67) Take Advantage of a Hybrid Tax Break [8]:

Individuals who bring a hybrid car into their home will also receive federal tax credits until the year, 2010. While the amount of tax breaks you will enjoy varies according to your hybrid’s level of fuel efficiency, additional deductions may also influence your state return as well.

68) Give a Hybrid as a Gift:

When an upcoming graduation, sweet 16-birthday party, or wedding has you stumped for a gift idea, why not give a fuel-efficient car as a gift? Today, hybrids come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Some of the many selections include the 4-door Honda Accord Hybrid; 2-door hatchback Honda Civic Hybrid; Ford Escape Hybrid SUV; and the Lexus RX 400h Hybrid SUV [9].

69) Follow the Kyoto Protocol:

In 2005, an international movement took place, which established a legally binding agreement to lessen the amount of greenhouse gases emissions on a worldwide basis. It is suggested to stay on top of the latest events and efforts regarding the Protocol.

70) Paint Choices:

When it comes time to repaint your house, it is recommended to choose latex paint over oil-based products, which releases less dangerous fumes during the drying process.

71) Weatherize Your Home:

Caulking and weather-stripping your doorways and windows helps save energy. Roof insulation also helps. In the summertime, adding outside shades also contributes to your energy-saving ways.

72) Fix a Leaky Faucet:

It’s hard to believe, but one drop of water per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year. This is why it is important to fix leaky faucets and taps as soon as the problem arises.

73) Reduce Water Pollution:

When choosing a product to wash yourself with, soaps do less damage to water than shower gels.

74) Make a Stand:

Conducting a little research on popular companies will educate you on which establishments create post-consumer paper and which businesses refuse to comply. When companies produce products using recycled paper, glass, and metal, they are contributing to a 70% to 90% savings of energy and reduction in pollution. At the grocery store, show your support by purchasing products from companies that side with post-consumer paper use.

75) Letter to the Editor:

A great way to spread the word about the dangers of global warming is to write a letter to the editor that is printed in your local newspaper.

76) Local Radio Exposure:

Take the opportunity to voice your opinions regarding global warming on a local radio talk show, especially when the issue comes up in conversation.

77) Join an Environmental Group:

On the local and national level, there are plenty of organizations to consider becoming a part of when you wish to take a more active stance against the global warming problem.

78) Send Emails:

Inform family and friends about the latest in global warming and encourage them to make energy-saving changes within their daily lives.

79) “An Inconvenient Truth”:

inconventent truthRent the movie and hold a screening at your home with drinks and snacks, which will hopefully open up the floor to hours of healthy debate and brainstorming.

80) Request Recycling Collection:

Some locations in the United States do not have recycling collection. Try writing a letter to your local council and request such a service. If you receive the cold shoulder or a negative response, submit the letter to your local newspaper for printing.

81) Attention Coffee Drinkers:

When you consume shade-grown coffee, as opposed to coffee grown in the sun, you are doing your part by saying “no” to pesticide use and the destruction of rainforests, where most sun-grown coffee is produced.

82) Stay at a “Green Hotel”:

When traveling, staying at a “green hotel” will help you do your part for the planet. A green hotel is an establishment that promotes energy- and water-saving programs, as well as reducing their amount of solid waste.

83) Diet Counts:

Believe it or not, the things you eat also contribute to the amount of greenhouse gases on a yearly basis. It is recommended to eat more vegetables and less meat products. Many are unaware that the average diet in the U.S. is responsible for an extra 1.5 tons of greenhouse gases per year when compared to a diet centered on plants [10]. When you reduce your meat and dairy intake by half, a big difference is made in regards to the planet.

84) Conserving at the Workplace:

At the office, make it a habit to not rely on disposable cups and keep a ceramic mug handy. When it comes to making copies, encourage co-workers to use both sides when applicable. To save gas and reduce harmful emissions, actively encourage and promote carpooling – perhaps creating a sign-up sheet for interested parties.

85) Reuse Towels:

When at home or staying at a hotel, reusing towels helps conserve water, as well as energy.

86) Unplug the Charger:

Although your cell phone, IPOD, or other device is not connected to a charger plugged into the wall – the charger is still a device that drains power – so unplug it and save energy [11].

87) Better Understand Energy [12]:

Many people waste energy because they simply don’t know any better. Once you learn about all of the unseen power absorbers you never knew existed, you can better save energy. You should also learn the difference between standby, as well as “phantom” energy.

88) Support Low-Emission Combustion Research:

Making a donation to the efforts of combustion research helps scientists come up with ways on how to create physical and chemical containment solutions that reduces emissions and increases efficiency.

89) Support Li-ion Batteries:

Supporting research regarding battery technology centered on creating low-cost rechargeable electrochemical batteries for automobiles and other items will ease the global warming problem in the future.

90) Create a Travel Energy Diary:

In order to assess how much energy you use on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, it is suggested to begin a travel energy diary, which documents your habits. In the long run, you can pinpoint the type of things you need to adjust in order to contribute to combating the global warming problem.

91) Avoid Car Air Conditioner Use:

A significant draw on your gas comes from running the air conditioner, especially on full blast. It is suggested to infrequently use this car feature.

92) Buy Locally:

buy locallyTo conserve gas and reduce air-polluting trips, try to make your necessary purchases and obtain various services within your local domain. Choose shops and stores located close to your neighborhood.

93) Visit the Department of Energy Website:

On the Department of Energy website, you will find a web-based tool that helps one determine the fuel efficiency of a wide-range of new and used cars, as expressed in miles per gallon, as well as their effect on greenhouse gas accumulation.

94) Ceiling Fans:

Instead of running the air conditioner, you may rely on the use of a sturdy ceiling fan, which cuts energy costs in half.

95) Receive Email Alerts:

When you wish to stay on top of the hot-topics concerning global warming, you can subscribe to an online environmental magazine, which may send newsletters and email alerts regarding the latest news and developments. A cutting-edge online publication to consider is the Grist magazine, which sends daily or weekly highlighted news stories to email subscribers.

96) Lighten the Load:

Carrying unnecessary weight increases the amount of fuel needed to move the car. When not is use, it is suggested to remove car top carriers and roof racks [13].

97) Nuke It:

Meals prepared in the microwave are more energy efficient than using the stove. The difference is 2/3 less energy.

98) Alternate Clothes Drying:

During warm weather, line-drying clothes can save up to 5% energy.

99) Replace Air Conditioner Filters:

Since dirty filters affect the proper airflow of a system, it may cause a unit to run longer and use more energy. It is suggested to replace filters on a monthly basis, which can save 1-2 % of energy on a yearly basis.

100) Push-Start Lawnmowers:

Electric, push-start lawnmowers create less air pollution than the traditional gas-powered mower that uses gas and oil to operate.

101) Stay Informed:

How will you be able to prevent global warming when you don’t stay informed regarding the latest changes in the world? Keeping up-to-date on the latest news means watching local and nationwide news programs (such as CNN); visiting appropriate websites; and reading the newspaper.

Resources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming
[2] http://www.kidzworld.com/article/4858-understanding-global-warming
[3] http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/f101.asp#1
[4] http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/fcons.asp
[5] http://www.nwf.org/polarbearsandglobalwarming/
[6] http://green.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-overview.html
[7] http://www.earth911.org/master.asp?s=lib&a=globalwarming/iprevent.asp
[8] http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tax_hybrid.shtml
[9] http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/ghybrid.asp
[10] http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fewhours/global-warming.htm
[11] http://www.standby.lbl.gov/index.html
[12] The Solution Is You: An Activist’s Guide by Laurie David (pg. 35)
[13] The Suicidal Planet by Mayer Hillman with Tina Fawcett and Sudhir Chella Rajan (pg. 247)

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How to Prevent a Forest Fire http://www.howtoprevent.com/enviroment/how-to-prevent-a-forest-fire/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-a-forest-fire http://www.howtoprevent.com/enviroment/how-to-prevent-a-forest-fire/#comments Fri, 18 Jun 2010 15:10:48 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=482 As a child, the image of Smokey the Bear teaching you about fire prevention is one that lasts a lifetime, as the lovable character made a great impact in spreading the word on fire safety. In this day and age, the rules and regulations pertaining to forest fires have changed. Today, in some parts of the United States, the start of small-scale forest fires are now actually considered a good thing within certain circles, who use the practice as a means of preventing large-scale forest fires. Nonetheless, the damaging effects that come from human-generated forest fires are still a grave problem and with proper prevention techniques, these types of unintentional fires can be prevented.

How to Prevent a Forest Fire

What is a Forest Fire?

The forest fire is often referred to as a wildfire because of the untamed and devastating manner in which the element can rip and tear through vegetation; completely destroy property; take the lives of humans and animals; and ruin agricultural production. Today, natural forces (especially lightning) and the carelessness of humans are responsible for most forest fires. Additional forest fire culprits include deliberate arson and volcano eruptions. The risk of wild fires in the forest also increases when heat waves, droughts, and specific changes in climate take place [1].

Every year, human actions cause more forest fires than lightning, yet the silver streak is to blame for more acreage destruction. Forest fire prevention is important because the United States suffers a multitude of human-caused blazes on a yearly basis. For instance, in 2006, humans were responsible for a considerable amount of fires in Alaska (254); the Northwest (2,666); Northern California (3,676); Southern California (3,166); the Northern Rockies (2,303); the Southwest (2,511); Western Great Basin (331); the East (14,227); the South (47,175) and the Rocky Mountains (2,968) for a total of 80,220 [2].

Usually, the typical forest possesses their own fire season, which may start as early as April, peaking in May and June with lingering fires developing during dryer summer months. Often, the worst of the fires passes by the time September arrives. To battle a forest fire, highly trained firefighters are needed to combat not only the fierceness of a rolling fire, but also any contributing natural elements, such as high winds, which may generate a much worse inferno.

Firefighters may fight blazes on the ground, using hand tools, chainsaws, and water pumps to control forest fires. Over the years, battling flames with the use of helicopters; rappelling and parachuting crews; and water tankers have become more common [3]. Today, the latest in satellite monitoring systems have also made predicting fire patterns and devising a game plan much easier.

The Different Phases of Forest Fires

During the development of a forest fire, one of three phases may surface:

a) “Crawling” Fire:

The fire spreads throughout lower level vegetation, including bushes.

b) “Crown” Fire:

When a fire “crowns,” the flames have spread to the top branches of trees and begin to travel at a rapid pace. Soon, the fire blankets the top of the forest. Whatever is caught underneath a crown fire is in serious danger, as the spreading of the fire may prove too much for an individual to outrun. Windy conditions also make this type of fire especially hard to battle.

c) “Jumping” or “Spotting” Fire:

The power of the wind may carry burning branches and leaves over roads, rivers, and other objects, which creates distant fires.

d) Smoldering Fire:

Another type of forest fire centers on the slow combustion of surface fuels that do not create a flame, but instead spread slowly at a steady pace throughout the forest. Some smoldering fires stay around for days or weeks, and then disappear. Unfortunately, surrounding roots, seeds, and plant stems on the ground are greatly affected. This type of fire also produces a large amount of emissions, which threatens the atmosphere.

The Positive and Negative Effects of Forest Fires

According to researchers, not all forest fires are entirely bad and some create a collection of ecological benefits. Some fires are a natural occurrence throughout grasslands and forest ecosystems, as they aim to lessen the build-up of dead and decaying leaves, logs and needles that amass on the forest floor. Fires also open up the forest to allow sunlight in for the cultivation of new growth, seeds, and roots.

Over time, many plants and animals have adapted to the presence of forest fires, such as some pines, which are known to develop a resin coating on their cones that protects seeds from fire [3]. It is actually the heat of the fire that stimulates the cones to burst open and spread seeds. Woodpeckers and other creatures also dine on the bark beetles and other insects that find a home in newly burned trees.

On the other hand, careless human fires remain an intensely destructive force that places natural resources, human and animal lives, plants, and property in danger. Forest fires cause significant environmental, economic, and social damages. The loss of timber, wildlife habitats, and human dwellings can prove quite devastating to overcome. Over the years, there is no denying the great amount of deaths, property damage and destruction, and loss of precious acreage associated with forest fires.

In 1881, Michigan lost more than 250 lives to the Thumb Fire, which destroyed 1,000,000 acres of land. The Great Fire of 1889 in California is the largest fire recorded in state history, destroying 800,000 acres. California was hit once again in 1970, as the Laguna Fire took away 175,425 acres; killed eight people; and demolished 382 homes. The Hinckley Fire of 1894 captured 160,000 acres and killed 418 people. The fire also destroyed 12 towns in its path. Between 400 and 500 people lost their lives in the Cloquet Fire (1918), which spanned the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Forest fires also have the capacity to cause great financial damage, as Florida suffered 2,200 separate fires during the drought season, which was responsible for the burning down of 150 homes, and caused $390 million in lost timber and $133 million in fire suppression costs [4]. New Mexico also suffered considerable fire damage costs, as the state lost 420 homes in Los Alamos to the Cerro Grande Fire, including 10 buildings at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which racked up $1 billion in damages. To date, this is considered the worst fire in the state’s recorded history.

Contributing Factors of Forest Fires

In order to prevent forest fires, it is wise to investigate some of the factors that contribute to their existence and development. Some of the most common elements regarding this type of fire include:

a) Location:

Certain parts of the world are more susceptible to forest fires than others, such as the vegetation-rich regions of Australia; various parts of the Western Cape of South Africa; and heavily forested areas in the United States and Canada. Wildfires also take place throughout locations where shrublands and grasslands are prominent.

b) Climate and Time of Year:

Forest fires are common in places where climates are moist enough to permit the healthy growth of trees, but showcase lengthy periods of dryness and heat. Forest fires usually erupt in the summertime and fall, as well as during moments of drought, when fallen branches and leaves become dry enough to create a highly flammable environment.

c) Wind Conditions:

When paired with other elements, such as drought, a strong wind encourages the development of a forest fire. In southern California, the Santa Ana winds cause forest fires to move at incredible speeds, some reaching up to 40 mph within a single day. Sometimes, up to 1,000 acres of land is destroyed per hour.

d) Fireworks:

Each year, the accidental setting of a forest fire is known to occur due to the use of fireworks, which are restricted in many states. While the 4th of July brings many tempted individuals to whip out the visual festivities, the worst of the bunch are considered to move, jump, explode, or shoot out balls of fire. This includes fireworks such as roman candles, jumping jacks, firecrackers, and bottle rockets.

How to Prevent Forest Fire

Human-initiated fires are to blame for a high amount of property damage; loss of wildlife habitat and the lives of humans and animals. Some forest fires are the result of carelessness or improper habits when engaging in outdoor activities. Familiarizing yourself with appropriate forest fire preventive measures not only helps you become a more aware individual when it comes to protecting the safety and natural resources in your region, but also helps you better spread the word:

a) Establish Fire Lookouts:

In the United States, Canada, and other countries across the globe, the use of fire lookouts is still very much a part of forest fire prevention. It is through this method that early detection of forest fires takes place. A fire lookout is a system of setting up personnel, who will man the top of a building or tower in order to report any smoke in the area, which may indicate a wildfire. Usually, fire lookouts are positioned on top of a mountain, where the high elevation provides a good enough view to survey the surrounding terrain [5]. Once smoke or forest fire activity is spotted, various reports are sent out.

b) Follow Safe Debris Burning Rules:

When debris burning is allowed, following safe practices will make sure you do not set off a fire you are unable to control. A few tips to consider include: burning one pile at a time; burning only natural vegetation or untreated wood products; burning piles of debris that are at least 50 feet from any structures and 500 feet from any forest slash; removing flammable products from the scene; avoiding the burning of debris when wind conditions are high; and keeping a connected water hose by your side (or at least five gallons of water and a nearby shovel) [6]. You should also never leave a fire unattended.

c) Practice Firework Safety:

Fireworks are a common human blunder that causes a high number of forest fires. When using legal fireworks, you should set them off in an area that is set aside from buildings, vehicles, and shrubbery [7]. Also, do not experiment with homemade fireworks and never try to relight a dud. To be on the safe side, it wouldn’t hurt to have a bucket of water handy.

d) Practice Proper Ash Disposal:

Wildfires have been known to break out because of the improper disposal of ash that comes from wood stoves, barbeque grills, fireplaces, and outdoor wood boilers. Some piles of ashes have the capacity to hold enough heat to start a fire that will furiously burn for several days. These fires also begin when heated ashes are tossed in dumpsters and trash cans. Before disposing ashes, you should place them in a metal container (never in a container made from paper, plastic, or cardboard). The next step is to wet the ashes, and stir them until they are cold to the touch.

e) Create a Safe Campfire:

When establishing a safe campfire, you should select a level spot that is open and situated away from trees, dense dry grass, and branches that hang over. The object of creating a safe campfire is to promote an environment where the fire cannot spread to other areas of the camp. Clearing a ten-foot circle of bare soil around the campfire is suggested. Keeping a bucket of water and shovel close to the campfire is highly suggested. It is also important not to leave a campfire unattended at any time.

f) Detection Services:

Depending on the size of a forest fire-prone region, a variety of detection services are available to prevent the spread of forest fires. Smaller areas benefit from local sensors that detect fires within 150 square feet. Medium-sized areas may use infrared or smoke scanners to detect fires within three acres of land. NASA also assists the detection of forest fires within 30 acres with aero-satellite technology.

g) Equipment Safety:

A large portion of fires in some areas (such as Wisconsin) is caused by equipment and machinery. Malfunctioning parts, constant sparking, electrical weaknesses, and mechanical breakdowns are just some of the factors that aids in equipment-related fires. This is why it is important to perform routine maintenance checks on all machinery and equipment.

h) Monitor Electric Fencing:

Some people are proud owners of an electric fence, which is often used to maintain livestock on farms or keep intruders out. Sometimes, a malfunction in the construction of this type of fence can cause a fire, which possesses the capability to destroy surrounding vegetation and acres of forest. Prevention measures include making sure your fencer is UL approved; the fence wire is away from fire hazards; and the fencer is turner off when not in use.

i) Contact Your Local Landfill:

When you feel compelled to burn your own debris, you should consider no-burn options. Some cities offer designated days where various landfills allow the disposal of yard debris at little or no cost.

j) Know Local Regulations:

Before you engage in any burning of debris, you should check local regulations, which may require permits. You may even learn that your city has “burn ban” restrictions. This is good information to know, so you may help enforce these policies within your own neighborhood to help prevent forest fires.

k) Flame-Resistant Materials:

People who build their homes out of flame-resistant materials help to prevent the spread of a forest fire. Additional home prevention measures include reducing the amount of fuel stored at the home or on your property. When living close to a forest or other wooded area, it is also beneficial to purchase your own firefighting equipment so you may put out small fires that you may encounter about your home.

l) School Programs & Proper Education:

Forest fire prevention is most effective when individuals are taught at a young age how to prevent fires. School programs often teach children not to play with matches and lighters, as well as educate them regarding the possible destruction and consequences that one little match can create. Some school programs are effective because they use fire prevention-related rulers, pencils, pens, posters, brochures, patches, balloons, coloring books, and calendars to grab the attention of children.

Resources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_fire
[2] http://www.nifc.gov/fire_info/lightning_human_fires.html
[3] http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/forcesofnature/forestfires.html
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_forest_fires
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_lookout
[6] http://www.dnr.wa.gov/htdocs/rp/safeburn.htm
[7] http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/forestry/fire/firewks.htm

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How to Prevent Premature Ejaculation http://www.howtoprevent.com/physical-health/how-to-prevent-premature-ejaculation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-premature-ejaculation http://www.howtoprevent.com/physical-health/how-to-prevent-premature-ejaculation/#comments Sun, 23 May 2010 03:47:58 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=485 When it comes to one of the most common sexual problems suffered by a man, premature ejaculation often tops the list. While the condition is one that is commonly associated with a male’s first experience with sex or mounting unease, there are many other factors that may contribute to the inability to control ejaculation. Over time, most young men learn how to control their orgasms, leaving behind the problem of premature ejaculation. However, there are some men that encounter anxiousness towards sexual intercourse that takes place over a longer period of time. In these cases, prevention measures are greatly desired.

How to Prevent Premature Ejaculation

What is Premature Ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation is a condition that affects a man’s ability to delay the culminating point of sexual contact, where both partners have been sufficiently pleased in a sexual manner (such as reaching an orgasm). The topic of premature ejaculation is a touchy subject for some because the severity or existence of the condition in many cases is purely subjective [1].

Some men have difficulty controlling their orgasm as soon as they engage in sexual contact, while others are able to maintain intercourse for about 15 minutes. Depending on the involved parties, this length of time is sometimes too little for some partners, but satisfying enough for others. It is this issue of time and “lasting power” that helps with the diagnosis of premature ejaculation.

Another important concern involves the level of satisfaction a man carries in regards to the amount of time he is able to engage in sexual activity before ejaculating. This will vary with every man. Contrary to popular belief, most men are not able to “last hours and hours” before ejaculating.

When contacting a doctor regarding a premature ejaculation problem, doctors will often classify the condition as a primary or secondary issue. Primary premature ejaculation means that a man has suffered from the problem for as long as they have been sexually active, while secondary premature ejaculation often develops after enjoying previous, fulfilling sexual contact without experiencing any issues [2].

The Negative Effects of Premature Ejaculation

A man that suffers from premature ejaculation usually wishes to avoid the issue, deny the problem, or hope that the condition will subside over time. For some, a great amount of deep-seeded embarrassment and even guilt prevents one from seeking help with the matter or even researching potential solutions.

In the most severe of premature ejaculation cases, high levels of stress develops, which often weakens and threatens the vitality of a marriage and other relationships. Conflicts may arise over the issue, and has even moved some couples to end relations, separate, or divorce. For those trying to have a baby, some cases of premature ejaculation have led to decreased chances of conception.

Premature Ejaculation Risk Factors

The risk of premature ejaculation increases when a man displays one or more known contributing factors to the condition. They include:

a) Stress:

When emotional, physical, or mental stress drains any part of your life, this added tension and disruption in your normal routine may lead to premature ejaculation. Your ability to relax and stay focused during sexual activity is greatly affected by the stress in your life.

b) Impotence:

If a man occasionally or repeatedly experiences trouble reaching or maintaining an erection, they will also face an increased chance of suffering from premature ejaculation. For some, the potential threat of losing their erection before both parties are satisfied influences them to rush through their sexual encounters in order to seize the moment. It is believed that one in three men experiencing premature ejaculation also have trouble keeping an erection [3].

c) Health Issues:

There are various medical problems that may cause a man to feel anxious while having sex, which is commonly seen in people who have experienced a heart attack. It is their concern for how their sexual activity affects their condition, which increases the desire to reach the point of ejaculation in quicker time.

d) Medications:

Although it is rarely seen, there are some medications that affect the interaction of chemical responses and the brain, which may cause one to prematurely ejaculate.

e) Sensitive Skin:

Some men possess unusually sensitive penile skin, which enhances their chances of suffering from premature ejaculation.

How to Prevent Premature Ejaculation

While most men experience premature ejaculation at some point in their life (especially during their first sexual encounter), there are some that suffer from a continuous or repetitive problem. Depending on the individual triggers that setoff premature ejaculation; a man may have to deal with more than one physical or emotional trigger. Identifying what causes the condition to occur in the first place is one of the first steps towards preventing the event from taking place. Below you will find a collection of options on how to prevent premature ejaculation from affecting your sex life:

a) Understanding the Causes:

The exact cause of premature ejaculation is unknown, but there are certain personal triggers that affect men with the problem. For example, many cases involve psychological obstacles, as well as poor sexual know-how, as younger men are typically known to ejaculate quicker than older men, as experience is often associated with ejaculatory control [1].

b) Prescription Drug Treatment:

Some men are able to delay ejaculation through various drug treatments that include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as paroxetine, settraline, and fluoxetine [4].

c) Non-Prescription Options:

There are capsules on the market that help men with a premature ejaculation problem and do not require a prescription to obtain. For instance, Deferol Climax Control Supplement capsules are an all-natural selection that lowers anxiety, reduces ejaculatory urge, and increases climax control. This particular option is taken 1 to 2 hours before anticipated intercourse.

d) Herbal and Natural Remedies:

Some individuals have found success in taking herbs and plants to prevent premature ejaculation. Although not yet approved by the US Food and Dug Administration (FDA), Korea and other locations in the Far East use a combination of herbal ingredients to create “SS Cream,” which desensitizes the penis and assists men in significantly postponing their response to sexual pleasure. Also, taking a vitamin C supplement is known to prevent issues of sexual dysfunction.

e) Masters and Johnson Method:

According to Masters and Johnson, a high percentage of men with premature ejaculation may enjoy satisfying results when they implement the “squeeze-pause” technique [1]. Since one of the best ways to combat premature ejaculation is to identify and control the sensations that trigger orgasm, some find a solution through the Masters and Johnson method. Although the method is proven quite effective, the high level of patience required to achieve success has deterred many.

To implement the “squeeze-pause” technique, one usually masturbates to the point of orgasm, but then stops, giving time to relax. Each time the process in started again, the object is to continuously bring oneself closer and closer to achieving an orgasm until they are unable to control it any longer. Repeating the procedure on numerous occasions will help establish climax triggers that help men better gauge the “point of no return.”

The use of a lubricant also simulates the conditions of real intercourse, whereas practicing with your partner better establishes control, as you give cues on when to stop and allow your sensations to decrease.

f) Schedule a Consultation:

When your primary doctor or urologist cannot solve your premature ejaculation problem, setting up a consultation with a sex therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist is highly suggested.

g) Limit Alcohol Intake:

Engaging in sexual intercourse while intoxicated increases your chances of ineffectively controlling ejaculation.

h) Condoms:

The use of one or more condoms (or a thicker brand) lessens the sensitivity associated with skin-to-skin contact that often leads to premature ejaculation.

i) Concentration Techniques:

Whether you learn a few meditative exercises or practice focusing on something other than sex during moments of intercourse, you may increase the longevity of a sexual encounter. Some people may bite the inside of the cheek to provide a physical distraction other than the act of sex in an attempt to prevent premature ejaculation.

j) Masturbation:

A man who frequently masturbates may successfully train himself to resist the need to quickly ejaculate once they engage in sexual activity. This will especially help men who experience long stretches of time between one sexual encounter and the next, where he may come across a high level of excitement and anxiousness that may lead to premature ejaculation.

k) Desensitizing Creams and Sprays:

When it is the feeling and warmth of sex that leads one to prematurely ejaculate, the use of creams (such as Pleasure Balm) decreases the sensitivity and helps to prolong ejaculatory control. On the market, there are also sprays designed for prolonging sexual activity through lessening sensations of arousal.

l) Sexual Positions:

Some men experience an inability to control their ejaculation when they are placed in certain sexual positions. One of the hardest positions known to destroy the attempt to prolong ejaculatory control is the commonly selected “missionary” position, where the man is positioned on top of his partner. It is suggested to try lying on the back to prevent premature ejaculation, where the partner assumes the responsibility of control. This position also creates a more relaxed situation, where one may effectively guide their partner in such a way as to increase the length of sexual activity.

m) Chloroseptic and Orajel [5]:

You never know when remedies for the throat, mouth, and teeth may provide a way to prevent premature ejaculation. When spraying Chloroseptic on an erection, the ingredients help to numb sensitivity levels. The same effects come when applying Orajel to an erection. An extra tip is to wipe off the excess spray in order to avoid spreading that same feeling to your partner.

Resources

[1] http://www.sexhealth.org/problems/premature.shtml
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/premature-ejaculation/DS00578/DSECTION=2
[3] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/premature-ejaculation/DS00578/DSECTION=4
[4] The Merck Manual of Women’s and Men’s Health (pg. 425).
[5] Joey Green’s Amazing Kitchen Cures by Joey Green (pgs. 226-227).

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How to Prevent Salmonella Poisoning http://www.howtoprevent.com/physical-health/how-to-prevent-salmonella-poisoning/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-salmonella-poisoning http://www.howtoprevent.com/physical-health/how-to-prevent-salmonella-poisoning/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2008 19:58:29 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=587 Whether you’re popping in a stuffed turkey for Thanksgiving or frying chicken for dinner, the threat of salmonella poisoning is lurking in the far corners of your poultry and even in food items you’d never even thought would fall victim to this onslaught of bacteria. Contrary to popular belief, salmonella poisoning extends beyond raw chicken. You can show symptoms from eating raw eggs and from touching live animals (like pet turtles). However, knowing how to prevent salmonella poisoning is the first step in staying healthy when cooking and eating your meals.

How to Prevent Salmonella Poisoning

What is Salmonella Poisoning?

At the center of salmonella poisoning (or salmonellosis) is bacteria belonging to the genus Salmonella, which multiply within the gastrointestinal tract. The condition is one of the most common and widespread of diseases transmitted through contaminated food consumption. Throughout the food services industry (like restaurants and catering), the condition poses a major public threat. In the world, millions of cases are reported each year. The disease is also responsible for causing thousands of deaths. Today, more than 2,500 known types (called serotypes) of Salmonella exist [1].

Causes and Symptoms

We’ve all heard the horror stories of careless food preparation that leads to people getting sick after eating undercooked food or meals prepared under sloppy conditions. However, some common foods best eaten raw also threaten the safety of an individual. For example, let’s take lettuce. During the process of washing and packing, bacteria found in the soil, water, and dust can contaminate this popular salad ingredient.

Raw meats are high on the list for causing salmonella poisoning, as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 60% or more of raw poultry sold at your local grocery store carries some disease-causing bacteria. It’s through proper cooking methods and high temperatures that the bacteria are eliminated. If cutting boards, countertops, and utensils have come in contact with raw meat, they too become a cause of the disease.

The symptoms of salmonella poisoning start to take shape between eight and 72 hours after eating contaminated food. If you suspect salmonella poisoning, consider the following typical symptoms that arise after eating contaminated food:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration (in severe cases)

Salmonella Poisoning Prevention

The food supply in the United States is most likely one of the safest in the world, but that doesn’t stop salmonella cases from taking place. Anyone can become a victim of food poisoning. However, if you are an infant, elderly man or woman, or possess a weakened immune system, your chances of suffering the most severe and life threatening of cases is pretty high. To stay ahead of this type of food poisoning, consider the following prevention tips:

a) Proper Washing Practices:

Before and after handling raw poultry or eggs, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands. After cutting raw meat, thoroughly attend to the knife, cutting board, and countertops using hot, soapy water. It is also important to avoid cross-contamination. Don’t forget to separate raw meat, fish, poultry, and their juices from other food.

b) No Raw Eggs:

If your eggs have not gone through pasteurization (which destroys salmonella bacteria), then you are at risk for contamination. This means you should resist the homemade cookie dough and eggnog – unless pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes were used. When cooking eggs, make sure that their internal temperature reaches at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 15 seconds. The yolk and white part should both be solid. Another egg tip is to adhere to the “use by” date marked on the carton.

c) Room Temperature Alert:

Leaving food at room temperature for longer than two hours will place your meals at risk for salmonella poisoning. It is suggested to leave food out for a minimum of one hour, especially if it’s a hot, summer day. Additionally, hot foods should stay hot and cold foods should stay cold. Utilize heat sources (like an oven set to ‘warm’) and cold sources (like an ice-filled cooler).

d) Know the Facts:

Interestingly, about one out of every 1,000 people get food poisoning from Salmonella. Two-thirds of these cases are under the age of 20 with most instances taking place in warmer months – between July and October.

e) Get Familiar with the Danger Zone:

Foods that have been in the “danger zone” for too long (between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than two hours should be left alone.

f) Thoroughly Cook Chicken Breast:

Chicken is not a food that tastes best when ordered ‘medium-rare.’ Chicken breast should reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Whole chickens require an internal temperature of 180 degrees, which should be measured in the thigh.

g) Get a Meat Thermometer:

In order to make sure you are cooking your meats at a suitable, healthy temperature, invest in a decent meat thermometer to act as your guide.

h) Picnic Safety:

When serving perishable food during a picnic or cookout, use a cooler filled with ice. Place the cooler in the shade and minimize the amount of times that you open the lid.

i) Beware of Self-Canning:

People who can their own jelly or consume large amounts of commercially prepared canned vegetables may come in contact with salmonella bacteria due to improper processing at too low of a temperature or for not cooking long enough in order to kill the bacteria.

j) Protect Your Infant:

A mother’s milk is the safest source of nourishment for a baby; breastfeeding can prevent salmonellosis.

k) Reptile Handling:

It is highly recommended to avoid direct (and even indirect contact) with the slithery and slippery members of the animal kingdom. Avoid turtles, iguanas, snakes, and other lizards. Additionally, do not purchase a reptile for a household that includes an infant or an individual with a compromised immune system.

Resources

[1] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs139/en/

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How to Prevent a Hangover http://www.howtoprevent.com/physical-health/how-to-prevent-a-hangover/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-a-hangover http://www.howtoprevent.com/physical-health/how-to-prevent-a-hangover/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2008 18:07:43 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=584 If a hangover were an embodiment of something tangible, it would probably be a mischievous imp settling on your shoulder, taunting you when you’ve had too much to drink. Your head may swirl, your steps become less graceful, and if you don’t make it to a bathroom in time, you’re in for a morning filled with embarrassment. Hangovers are no fun and they can strike at anytime alcohol is a part of your festivities. When you drink too much or under the wrong circumstances, a hangover is just around the corner. For many, a few pre-emptive measures help avoid this highly unwanted event.

How To Prevent A Hangover

What is a Hangover?

The unpleasant after-effects associated with the heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages often attack the equilibrium of human physiology. Hangover victims often complain of headaches, nausea, sluggishness, excessive thirst, and sensitivity to light and noise. These are symptoms often caused by hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), dehydration, acetaldehyde intoxication, and a deficiency in vitamin B12 [1]. Typically, hangovers last between 12 and 36 hours, yet some individuals have endured 48 to 72 hours of symptoms after the consumption of their last alcoholic drink.

The Negative Effects of a Hangover

The effects of a hangover cause distress in individuals at varying degrees and not every drinker will experience the same symptoms. Depending on the amount of consumption and individual circumstances, a drinker will not encounter the same hangover symptoms each and every time they consume alcohol. The symptoms associated with alcohol hangovers are some of the most irritating, which include diarrhea, vomiting, hypersalivation, anxiety, moodiness, concentration difficulties, and trouble sleeping.

Some people experience a temporary repulsion by the thought or taste of alcohol while under the influence of a hangover. Sometimes, people with hangovers suffer embarrassment that stem from the night before and physically wear the evidence of a hard night of drinking in the form of red, puffy eyes and a drowsy appearance in the morning.

Overall, a heavy session of drinking affects almost every system attached to the body for up to 24 hours. The liver accumulates fatty and lactic acids, which impairs the body’s ability to process sugar. This often results in weakness and a fluctuating mood. The stomach lining suffers inflammation, disrupted digestion, and gathers an excess of gastric acid, which encourages nausea.

Dryness settles over the throat and mouth, often producing a scratchy voice in the morning. Dehydration also makes the muscles feel weak and actually causes the brain to pull away from its lining, which intensifies the pain of the throbbing headache caused by dilated blood vessels [2]. A hangover is also felt in the pituitary gland, central nervous system, heart, pancreas, and kidneys.

How to Prevent a Hangover

While the best method of preventing a hangover is to pass on alcoholic drinks altogether, exercising self-control is a good place to begin. Drinking in moderation helps avoid the onset of a hangover. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, daily recommendations for women is to have no more than one drink, while men should stick with no more than two [3]. A 12-ounce bottle of beer, 4-ounce glass of wine, or a 1 ½-ounce shot of liquor is considered the appropriate amount for one drink. Additional hangover prevention methods include:

a) Eat Before You Drink:

Before indulging in a night filled with drinking, it is a good idea to eat a hearty dinner. The food in your stomach will absorb some of the alcohol, which lessens the risk of suffering from a hangover. For example, the complex fat and protein contained in a big, juicy steak provides just the right filler for absorbing alcohol.

b) Coat the Stomach:

Some people have consumed milk or olive oil before entering a night of drinking, which lines the stomach to create a protective layer against alcohol.

c) Select Clear Alcohol:

The color of alcohol plays a role in the overall effect of drinking. Clear alcohols, such as vodka, white wine, and light rum pose less of a threat than darker liquors, such as sherry, whiskey, brandy, or red wine. Darker beers also affect the chances of suffering from a hangover as well.

d) Avoid Cheap Alcohol:

To prevent a hangover, one should avoid the cheaper, off-brand, or discount liquors, which are often referred to as “Well” drinks or “House” brands. Instead, request “Call” or “Top Shelf” drinks when choosing liquor.

e) Eat While You Drink:

When an individual eats while drinking, it is the fats, carbohydrates, and sugars that replenish the body and slow down the rate of alcohol absorption. A few good foods to consider when interested in delaying alcohol absorption include cheese, pretzels, and nuts.

f) Stay Hydrated:

Since alcohol dehydrates the body, it is suggested to drink a glass of water after each alcoholic drink [4]. This practice helps prevent the headaches and body aches associated with a hangover. It is important to stay clear of caffeinated products, such as coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and soda, which are known to cause dehydration. A satisfying alternative to water includes sports drinks, such as Powerade and Gatorade, which also make an interesting drink mix for hard liquor.

g) Follow Extra Precautions Before Bed:

Before turning in for the night, eating a little something, such as a banana or crackers, will decrease the chances of waking up to a hangover. Drinking another couple glasses of water before bed will also help. Taking a multivitamin (especially a B-complex selection) or liver salts before bed will also replace the vitamins and minerals lost after a night of drinking.

h) Avoid Smoking:

Since smoking constricts the lungs and decreases the flow of oxygen to the bloodstream, it is suggested to leave the cigarettes at home. A body deprived of oxygen means a stronger hangover may develop the next day.

i) Avoid Mixing Alcohol:

When a person drinks more than one type of alcohol over the course of the night, they increase their chances of suffering from a hangover in the morning.

j) Alka-Seltzer:

Before going to bed, it is suggested to dissolve two Alka Seltzer tablets in a glass of water and drink. The aspirin contained in the Alka Seltzer helps prevent the headache that comes with a hangover and the water helps to replenish a dehydrated body, hopefully preventing or lessening the effects of a hangover.

k) Home Remedies [5]:

There are plenty of home remedies situated in the average kitchen that may help an individual beat the dreaded hangover. For instance, a bowl of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup helps replace the potassium and salt lost during a night of heavy drinking. The fructose in Campbell’s Tomato Juice is known to increase the rate at which the body is able to burn alcohol, thus flushing it from the body faster. The combination of honey on Saltine crackers may help prevent a hangover. The concentrated amount of fructose in the honey coupled with the salt on the crackers, helps the body flush out the alcohol remaining in your system.

Resources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangover
[2] http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.asp?docid=600120
[3] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002041.htm
[4] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hangovers/DS00649/DSECTION=8
[5] Joey Green’s Amazing Kitchen Cures by Joey Green (pgs 182-183)

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How To Prevent Stress http://www.howtoprevent.com/mental-health/how-to-prevent-stress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-stress http://www.howtoprevent.com/mental-health/how-to-prevent-stress/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2008 18:04:42 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=582 According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 2/3 of family doctor office visits concentrate on stress-related symptoms. The emotional, mental, and physical drain associated with stress is one that can involve a multitude of factors that range from a newborn baby to lack of sleep to mounting credit card bills. Stress prevention is rather important (especially in this day and age of economic and social woes), as this uncontrolled condition can lead to serious health complications.

How To Prevent Stress

What is Stress?

When physical, emotional, or mental strain attacks an individual – stress is commonplace – a natural response to the pressures regarding their surroundings.

Each and every person will experience stress. It is impossible to live without coming face-to-face with a situation, circumstance, or decision that involves some sort of stress-inducing response. Children feel stressed when faced with the anxiety of starting their first day of kindergarten. Teenagers become stressed under the pressure of pop quizzes, report cards, and making new friends. Job interviews, putting food on the table, making mortgage payments, and battling health concerns are common stress triggers for adults.

Some stress can lead to positive outcomes, as it creates excitement, stimulates the mind, serves as a personal warning system, and pushes individuals to do their best [1]. However, when stress is allowed to spiral out of control – health complications, failed relationships, and decreased happiness can occur.

When it comes to detecting stress, both physical and mental symptoms can arise. Yet, not every person displaying common signs will exhibit the same responses. Common reactions to stress include the inability to focus; irritability and mood swings; muscle tension; increased heartbeat; intense headaches; and nausea.

Mentally, an individual may also face excessive tiredness and sleepless nights. Physically, an upset stomach, dry mouth, frequent urination, and sweaty palms are possible. Tightness in the muscles may also emerge, where an individual is overcome with pain and trembling [2].

To assess your level of stress, four categories of signs exist that may involve changes in your:

a) Body Functions and Physical Health:

An individual battling stress may fight backaches, muscle spasms, nervous stomach, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and fatigue.

b) Emotions and Feelings:

Stress can cause feelings of worry, sadness, nervousness, and anger.

c) Behavior:

Stress sometimes causes drug abuse, increased alcohol consumption, and appetite loss or increase. Some people experience changes in sexual relations – wanting less or more than before. Some people display trouble remembering things, concentrating, or recognizing positive aspects in their life.

d) Thoughts:

A person may think they are hopeless or helpless to the circumstances causing their stress.

Causes of Stress

There is a misconception that all sources of stress are bad or negative. However, gaining a lucrative job position can sometimes cause just as much stress as losing a job. While getting accepted to college is a cause for celebration – struggling to pay for the tuition is a common source of stress. Other positive changes in life that tend to bring about stress include bringing home a newborn or planning a wedding.

In one study – when asked to name the top causes of stress, the typical answers of the average participant included the death of a loved one, divorce, pregnancy, buying a new home, and surprisingly – Christmas.

Negative Effects of Stress

Too much stress is not good for the mind, body, and even the face, as wrinkles and frown lines are more likely to attack the skin during times of frustration. Other negative effects associated with stress, includes:

· The digestion process stops in order to allow energy to tend to other parts of the body, meaning weight gain becomes a great possibility.

· Muscle tension increases – sometimes unbearably.

· Stress has an effect on the blood cells that are responsible for combating infection. This puts an individual at a higher risk for catching a cold or suffering other medical conditions.

· Stress can cause an asthma attack to worsen.

· Stress is a rather strong trigger that can bring an individual closer to death, as people harbor the tendency to overeat, abuse drugs and alcohol, as well as smoke.

· The chances of suffering a heart attack increases, especially when overcome with anger.

· Blood pressure levels and the risk of stroke can also increase.

· Some people are unable to achieve an orgasm or enjoy sexual encounters when under a great deal of stress.

· Stress also makes it much harder for individuals to stick to plans regarding improvements in their health, such as following a diet plan or kicking an unhealthy habit – like smoking cigarettes.

Risk Factors of Stress

When it comes to preventing high levels of stress, it is important to become familiar with some of the common triggers that bring about changes to the body, mind, and emotions, such as:

a) Life Events:

Undergo a recent birth or death, marriage, or divorce and you face high levels of stress.

b) Responsibilities:

Anything that affects your daily responsibilities, such as lack of money or unemployment can trigger stress.

c) Work and Study:

Job-related stress is tremendously common, where careers like the President of the United States, firefighters, senior corporate executives, taxi drivers, and racecar drivers face a higher risk for on-the-job stress. Both the work and school environment can cause stress for people of all ages. Tests, entrance exams, project deadlines, interviews, and landing that ‘big’ client can all cause stress levels to rise.

According to Reuters Health, 1/3 of teens in the United States say they feel “stressed-out” on a daily basis. Researchers suggest the pressures of parents and society is to blame. A study conducted at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor found close to 2/3 of teens were stressed “at least once a week.” The numbers of stressed-out children, teens, and college students are also increasing [3].

d) Personal Relationships:

If you are experiencing conflict or mistrust in a relationship – you will most likely encounter high levels of stress.

e) Lifestyle:

If you are following a lifestyle that places yourself in danger (such as not getting enough sleep or excessively drinking alcohol) – stress is inevitable.

f) Early Exposure:

When individuals are placed in stressful situations at an early age (like child abuse), these acts can permanently shift their response to stress in the future.

g) Environment:

When a person feels that they are not in control over their basic necessities, such as food, shelter, health, freedom, and progress in life – they face a high risk of suffering chronic stress [4].

h) Personal Stress Triggers:

The triggers associated with stress are different for everyone, as varying levels of patience, confidence, and tolerance play a role in averting an increase in stress. For instance, one person may love speaking in public, while another is simply terrified when it comes time to delivering a speech. Some people thrive on deadline pressure, while others hit a brick wall. One individual may have a hard time voicing their opinions and suffer in silence – while their sister never hesitates to be heard.

i) Sensory Factors:

Bright lights, loud music, and pain can cause stress.

How to Prevent Stress

Completely avoiding stress is impossible, as life definitely has a way of handing everyone unexpected obstacles to overcome. However, there are methods and lifestyle changes that can lessen and avoid unnecessary stress, including:

a) TARP Method [5]:

A stress management technique to consider is called the TARP method – proven effective in protecting individuals against the harmful effects of stress. The method was created to serve as an uncomplicated approach towards controlling natural responses to stressful situations.

The ‘T’ stands for “tune in” – getting into the habit of recognizing the early signs of stress. ‘A’ is for “analyze” – thinking about where the source of your stress originates. ‘R’ is for “respond” – learning how to deal with the cause of your stress and the results that it brings. ‘P’ is for “prevent” – establishing solid habits that reduces stress and promotes healthy living.

b) Take a Time Out:

Some people can feel the exact moment when a stressful situation will arise. However, they ignore the signs and push through whatever is causing a strain in their life. Learning how to take a “time out” before becoming completely overwhelmed is a good way to avoid the unwanted effects of stress. Perhaps, you can step away from the activity that is causing tension. If you were talking to someone who was causing you frustration, try removing yourself from the situation; going to another room; or taking a short walk. If this is not possible, silently count to ten in your head before you start to speak again.

c) Breathe:

Stress can cause people to change their normal breathing patterns, but if you are able to learn how to control your breathing, you can avoid encountering the effects of stress. An effective approach is to allow your abdomen to expand while breathing in and keeping the focus away from the chest. Practicing abdominal breathing helps to slow down your body and also aids in the transport of oxygen to the brain.

d) Seek Professional Help:

Sometimes, there are mental or physical barriers that repeatedly trigger high levels of stress, where only a professional can help. Psychologists and physicians are trained to aid patients in solving, identifying, or easing these causes of stress. Other professionals more than willing to lend a hand include nurses, exercise instructors, dieticians, and psychotherapists.

e) Sip a Cup of Tea:

There is something to be said for the volumes of studies and information concerning tea drinkers and health benefits. According to a University College London study, drinking daily cups of black tea can help you recover quicker from the stresses of everyday life by effecting hormone levels found in the body. Specific types of herbal tea are also known to work wonders, such as chamomile and jasmine.

f) Herbal Remedies:

The world of herbal remedies has an assortment of cures for your consideration, including ginseng tinctures (restores the nervous system); catnip tea (relaxes and soothes the nerves); lemon balm infusions or tea (decreases tension; eases aches and pains); Siberian ginseng (decreases the effects of stress); reishi extracts and powders (restores emotional balance); and ashwaganda tinctures and capsules (battles fatigue).

g) Routine Relaxation: Giving yourself time to relax (if even for 15 minutes) can help prevent stress that comes when pent-up emotions and tension are allowed to build. Some people enjoy a session of yoga, while others like to stretch to music, read a book, or soak in a bubble bath. Meditation is another widely embraced technique of relaxation, as it possesses the power to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and adrenaline levels.

h) Regular Exercise:

Those who swim, run, jog, or bike regularly tends to exhibit less stress than those who do not receive an ample amount of exercise. Getting your body in motion is also the perfect remedy to look and feel better, improve your mood, and combat stress. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a membership to the gym or $1000-equipment to fulfill your daily requirement of exercise. Popular activities include cross-country skiing, dancing, walking the dog, rowing, roller-skating, following Taebo tapes, hiking in the nearby woods with friends, or climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

i) Snag a Hobby:

Regular activities that allow you to indulge in leisurely pleasures can keep people stress-free for longer periods of time. Whenever the itch to lose control arises – you can rely on your positive outlet and welcomed distraction – like painting, gardening, writing poetry, or photography.

j) Eat a Balanced Diet:

The body is better able to resist stress when it receives necessary vitamins and minerals from a well-balanced diet. It is suggested to include three solid meals per day – packed with essential fruits and vegetables. When hunger emerges in-between your daily meals – allow a bagel, yogurt, or piece of fruit to steer you away from junk food.

k) Sense of Humor:

Did you know that laughing provides relief for tense muscles and assists in keeping a positive attitude regarding all of life’s little ups and downs? This doesn’t mean you have to rush to the nearest comedy show, but simply call up a funny friend on the phone, pop in your favorite comedy, or invite family and friends to compete in an entertaining board game.

l) Massage Therapy:

When the body is relaxed with less muscle tension, stress levels are reduced. Massage therapy allows the tissues in the body to heal and gain relief. Added benefits include a reduced heart rate; decreased blood pressure; improved blood circulation; and the production of endorphins that create what are known as the “body’s natural painkillers.” Popular massage therapy techniques include Shiatsu, Swedish, and full body.

Resources

[1] http://www.mtstcil.org/skills/stress-definition-2.html
[2] http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/stress/STR_whatis.html
[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/19/AR2007011901430.html
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_%28medicine%29#Common_factors_of_stress
[5] http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/stress/STR_dealing.html

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How to Prevent a Sore Throat http://www.howtoprevent.com/physical-health/how-to-prevent-a-sore-throat/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-a-sore-throat http://www.howtoprevent.com/physical-health/how-to-prevent-a-sore-throat/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2008 18:02:13 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=580 The burning sensation that greets each swallow during a bout of tonsillitis or the dry scratchiness of too much coughing during the flu season are all scenarios associated with a sore throat. Fortunately, this painful attack is a common condition that often vanishes without treatment. However – most of the time, you are too busy battling an illness or other circumstance that has caused this occurrence. Nonetheless, learning how to prevent a sore throat can come in pretty handy.

How to Prevent a Sore Throat

What is a Sore Throat?

The painful inflammation that takes place in the pharynx (also known as ‘pharyngitis’) is typically referred to as a sore throat. It is not uncommon for this condition to indicate an underlying cause (such as a cold) or for an individual to suffer an infection of the tonsils (tonsillitis) and/or larynx (laryngitis) all at the same time. Viral infections cause around 90% of all sore throat cases, while other instances are the handiwork of bacterial infections and airborne irritants, such as pollutants or chemical contact [1]. In rare cases, oral thrush is to blame for a sore throat.

When it comes to doctor visits, sore throats are one of the most common reasons why people make appointments to see a physician. The majority of these visits aren’t always necessary. Sore throats have a tendency to disappear on their own in about a week. This condition is either considered an acute (lasts for three to seven days) or chronic issue, which lasts much longer.

Only a few cases of sore throats will need medical attention. Those diagnosed with a bacterial infection are given antibiotics. However, viruses oblivious to antibiotics cause most of the illnesses that bring about a sore throat. Getting rest, drinking tons of liquids, and following other self-care measures becomes the best course of action.

Causes of Sore Throats [2]

In order to better prevent a sore throat, understanding the common causes is a must. The majority of cases are attached to the same germs that bring about the common cold and flu – all caused by a virus. A smaller number of incidents are linked to bacterial infections.

When it comes to avoiding sore throats and the other symptoms that usually follow, you should know that viruses and bacteria enter the body through the mouth or nose. Perhaps you have breathed in contagious particles found in the air when someone has coughed or sneezed in your presence or you have experienced hand-to-hand contact with an infected person. Other times, you have unknowingly shared something with an infected individual, such as a towel, eating utensil, cup, telephone receiver, or even grabbed the same doorknob. If you touch your eyes or nose after this sort of contact – sickness usually follows.

Viral causes that bring about sore throats include the common cold, influenza, measles, chickenpox, croup, and mononucleosis. Bacterial causes of sore throats usually involve strep throat, mycoplasma, chlamydophila, diphtheria, tonsillitis, and the sexually transmitted disease of gonorrhea. Additional causes include:

a) Allergies:

When mold, pollen, and pet dander hit the air – allergic reactions awaken – causing red, itchy eyes, runny noses, and sore throats to emerge.

b) Pollution:

Throat irritation is very likely when you step into the great outdoors and come in contact with constant air pollution. Indoor air pollution (especially spaces riddled with tobacco smoke) places individuals at a greater risk for developing chronic sore throat.

c) Muscle Strain:

Did you know that muscle strains also take place in the throat? Just think of how your throat feels after cheering on your favorite sports teams or screaming at the kids. If you experience soreness, you have most likely strained your throat muscles.

d) Dry Conditions:

Dry indoor air conditions can cause a throat to feel scratchy, rough, and irritated. People typically experience these symptoms early in the morning upon first waking up or throughout the wintertime when rooms have a knack for overheating.

e) Chronic Nasal Congestion:

You can also cause dry conditions for yourself when you possess the habit of breathing through your mouth – a sign of chronic nasal congestion that can also lead to dry, sore throats.

f) GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease):

When stomach acid finds its way into the esophagus (also known as the food pipe), it can cause irritation in the throat. The effects are usually persistent and can last more than a couple of days.

g) HIV:

Chronic sore throat is not uncommon in HIV-positive patients, which is often a reaction to a secondary infection, such as cytomegalovirus (common in people with weakened immune systems) or oral thrush.

h) Tumors and Abscesses:

Individuals face a high risk of developing tumors in their throat, tongue, and voice box if they smoke tobacco or excessively drink alcohol. Some people experience little to no signs or symptoms, while others battle difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and a sore throat.

Negative Effects and Risk Factors of Sore Throats

While the majority of bacterial infections that cause sore throats are not life threatening or dangerous, an individual still faces serious complications. If strep throat is the culprit – you are at risk for other infections like tonsillitis, sinusitis, ear infections, and even scarlet fever.

In rare cases, a patient develops kidney damage (glomerulonephritis) and rheumatic fever, which can cause complications for the heart, joints, skin, and muscles. If heart valves become scarred as a result – surgical repair is sometimes necessary.

Quinsy (peritonsillar abscess) is another possible complication of sore throats, which usually requires a hospital stay for surgical drainage or administration of antibiotics [3].

The viral infections that cause a sore throat are typically less threatening than bacterial causes. However, infectious mononucleosis can create an enlarged spleen, liver inflammation, anemia, nerve damage, and swollen tonsils. While anyone can develop a sore throat, there are a handful of factors that place individuals at a heightened risk for throat issues, including:

a) Age:

Youngsters and teens are most likely to suffer the bulk of sore throats, as children between the ages of 5 and 18 can develop as many as five sore throats per year. Adults typically face half as many. The bulk of adolescent sore throats are also caused by strep throat – one of the most common bacterial infections that children are quite prone to suffer.

b) Tobacco Smoke:

Those who smoke or who come in contact with secondhand smoke are exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals that can cause irritation to the lining of the throat.

c) Allergies and Sinus Problems:

Your chances of suffering a sore throat are greater when you battle seasonal allergies or persistent allergic reactions concerning your environment, including dust, molds, or pets. The same risk is involved when you experience chronic or routine sinus infections, as drainage from the nose or sinuses can lead to complications of the throat.

d) Place of Employment: People who work within close quarters face an increased chance of coming in contact with the viral and bacterial infections that easily spread from one person to another. Common victims include daycare workers; teachers; employees working in large offices; prison guards; and residents of a military barrack.

e) Chemical Exposure:

Common household chemicals (such as cleaning agents) or the presence of burning fossil fuels can cause throat irritation when inhaled.

f) Poor Hygienic Habits:

Skimp on washing your hands and you will become more susceptible to the infections caused by bacteria and viruses.

g) Weakened Immune System:

Your body’s ability to resist infection plays an important role in fighting the common causes of a sore throat. Diabetics, AIDS patients, steroid users, and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy may develop a sore throat due to lowered immunity. Even a person following a poor diet or not getting enough sleep will experience the same increased risk.

How to Prevent a Sore Throat

Completely avoiding a sore throat in your lifetime is impossible. The threat of coming in contact with the viruses, bacteria, and other circumstances that cause this condition are found around every corner. However, you can still take measures to reduce your chances of developing a sore throat through infection. A handful of precautionary suggestions are found below:

a) Avoid Close Contact:

Those who are suffering a sore throat will most likely harbor an infection that you don’t want to come in contact with.

b) Wash Hands:

If you frequently wash your hands and take your time – the chances of contracting a contagious infection will decrease. Don’t forget to wash the front and back of the hands using soap and warm water. Hand scrubbing should take about 10 to 15 seconds. To make this an easier process for young children – instruct them to wash their hands until they finish singing their ABC’s.

c) Avoid Sharing:

It may sound bad, but sharing food and eating utensils only increases the risk of developing a sore throat due to infection. Napkins, towels, and drinking glasses are also common objects of germ transmission.

d) Quit Smoking:

If you smoke cigarettes or any other tobacco products, you can prevent sore throats by kicking the habit. As a result, you will also help others who come in contact with your secondhand smoke.

e) Avoid Polluted Air:

Some people actually move out of cities with high pollution levels in an attempt to avoid health concerns, such as chronic sore throat, headaches, and other ailments. During the days that pollution counts are high, you can prevent a sore throat by staying inside.

f) Illness Aftercare:

To prevent another sore throat after an infection, make sure to toss away your current toothbrush, which can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. A good time to switch is after you are no longer considered contagious, but before you finish your antibiotics [4]. During an illness, remember to keep your toothbrush separate from other household members in order to lessen the spread of infection.

g) Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers:

When hand washing is not possible, those who carry along a hand sanitizer containing alcohol can rely on a decent substitute. The bacteria and viruses that cause disease and sore throats are destroyed when using this kind of product. Hand sanitizers that contain moisturizers come highly recommended, as they combat skin dryness and irritation.

h) Public Awareness:

Keep in mind that using public telephones or other objects (such as drinking fountains) can cause the spread of infections associated with sore throats.

i) Routine Cleaning:

Develop a healthy relationship with your sanitizing cleaner and regularly treat objects that receive a lot of traffic, such as computer keyboards and mouse, television remotes, telephones, and even refrigerator handles. When traveling, make it a practice to swipe clean the phones and remotes in your hotel room as an extra precaution.

j) Toss Away Used Tissues:

After coughing or sneezing into a tissue, immediately toss it away. Do not place it close to you in a wastebasket overflowing with germs or store it in your pocket for later disposal.

k) Humidifier:

Purchase a humidifier and turn it on during days that the air in your home is dry.

Resources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharyngitis
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sore-throat/DS00526/DSECTION=3
[3] http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2032700
[4] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000639.htm

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How to Prevent Sneezing http://www.howtoprevent.com/misc/how-to-prevent-sneezing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-sneezing http://www.howtoprevent.com/misc/how-to-prevent-sneezing/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2008 18:00:12 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=578 “Gesundheit,” “Bless You,” and “Salud” are just some of the traditional responses you may receive if you let out a sneeze in public. The custom of wishing someone ‘good health’ after a sneeze is unknown, but an assortment of pretty interesting theories (such as preventing the soul from escaping the body) surround its existence. The good news – some of the causes behind the sneeze are preventable once you get to the bottom of what is causing you to react in this manner.

How to Prevent Sneezing

What is Sneezing?

A sneeze (or for the more technical – ‘sternutation’) is a natural reflex that serves the same purpose as a cough – removing toxins, foreign bodies, and irritants from the body – primarily involving the nose [1]. The reaction is often described as ‘violent,’ ‘sudden,’ and ‘involuntary.’ As a result, nasal secretions consisting of more than 6,000 droplets are propelled up to 10 feet.

Have you ever wondered why a sneeze is so powerful? While we tend to associate the nose and mouth with the execution of sneeze, the process actually involves a great deal of other organs found in the upper body that creates a response in the muscle found in the chest, throat, and face.

While a sneeze does a body good during periods of sickness and for the need to clear unwanted irritants – if a virus or bacteria are the culprits behind this perfectly normal defense mechanism – infection is spread. This means, steering clear of a sneezer during flu season is highly recommended. You should also never underestimate the distance that nasal secretions can travel with the help of a sneeze.

While sneezing usually serves as a symptom for something much greater that the body is battling – it is often accompanied by an itchy nose, nasal blockage, loss of smell, dizziness, sore throat, ringing in the ears, frontal eye pain, headaches, body aches, nausea, and a “nasally” voice. There are also four different types of sneezing an individual may encounter, which are classified into the following categories:

a) Paroxysmal:

Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections cause this type of sneezing, which usually emerges at the start of a disease.

b) Continuous or Allergic:

A body may show a tendency to react to the constant exposure of a specific substance or item, such as dust, pollen, or domesticated animals.

c) Seasonal:

The pollens of grass, weeds, and trees present on the ground that take to the air on a seasonal basis can cause one to suffer seasonal allergic rhinitis.’ Sneezing worsens when a high level of pollen is found in the wind.

d) Perennial:

Throughout the year, an individual may sneeze without end due to high amounts of local pollution or allergens in the air.

Causes of Sneezing

Did you know that if a hair in your nose is plucked out – the body typically responds with a sneeze? However, this is a rather rare cause for the majority of sneezers in the world. When it comes to pinpointing the major causes, it is often an infection, hereditary, or an assortment of external and internal factors that play an influential role. Typical causes include:

a) Infection:

Sneezing is a common symptom of bacterial infections, viruses (such as the common cold or flu), and fungus (like aspergillus’s infection, which primarily attacks the lungs). When coming in contact with an infected individual, you will increase your chances of developing the same condition. This is especially true for children, who are easy targets for contracting the cold virus while playing with other schoolchildren and touching infected toys.

b) Irritants:

Cleaning a dusty attic or entering a smoke-filled nightclub can create some of the circumstances that bring about sneezing. Common irritants also include pesticides, insecticides, wood dust, cotton dust, and strong smells (like the scent of burning food or use of cleaning agents).

c) Animal Contact:

If you are allergic to animals and their by-products – sneezing is a common reaction. Dogs and cats top the list, followed by birds who spread their allergens with every flap of their wings. The dander and mites of cats and the furry shedding of dogs are also known to wreak havoc.

d) Environmental Changes:

Cold water, the scent of a rainy day, sand swept up in the air, and fluctuations in dampness and temperature can cause sneezing to occur.

e) Family Tree:

Sneezing has also been known to pass down from generation to generation with allergic dermatitis and asthma heading the main causes.

f) Food:

An increase in preservatives and artificial coloring found in the foods of today has created a greater amount of people who may exhibit an immediate sneezing reaction. There are also certain foods that bring about such a response, including the hot flavor of chillies. Watermelon, cucumber, fish, meat, and eggs are also associated with induced sneezing [2]. Black pepper additionally carries a reputation for causing people to sneeze. Most often, children are affected when eating these foods.

g) Drugs:

If a patient displays hypersensitivity to certain drugs and medications – they can sneeze due to an allergic reaction.

h) Disease:

Conditions that affect the nose and ears can cause sneezing, such as a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyp, sinusitis, otitis media, and an impacted cerumen.

Sneezing that occurs in the springtime or at the end of summer is usually a consequence of pollen allergies. Doctors will prescribe medication accordingly after a clinical examination of the nose, throat, and ears to confirm or deny the presence of a foreign substance or deformity.

If sneezing persists – a physician may order x-rays of the para nasal sinuses to rule out sinusitis. The presence of bacteria and eosinophils are detected through assessment of nasal discharge under a microscopic. Abnormalities in the structure of the nose and other surrounding regions can cause bouts of sneezing, where a CT scan, MRI examination, or a rhinoscopy could help with diagnosis and evaluation. Other tests include a nasal smear, blood tests, and allergy skin testing.

Negative Effects of Sneezing

Sneezing not only causes discomfort for an individual, but can also place those that he or she comes in contact with in danger, as the act can spread infection. Other negative effects include:

· Drowsiness, sleepiness, red eyes, fatigue, lack of concentration, and disrupted sleep.
· The worsening of pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, sinusitis, tonsillitis, and otitis media.
· Continuous pressure in the abdomen increases during sneezing, sometimes leading to the development of a hernia in the diaphragm or other parts of the stomach.
· Watery nose – which also causes headaches and sinusitis.
· The urge to ‘snuff’ – leading to the inhalation of air or phlegm into the nose.
· Tinnitus – weakened perception of sound.
· Reduced high-frequency hearing.
· Extreme consequences, such as the rupturing of an ear drum.

How to Prevent Sneezing

Every individual at some point in his or her life will sneeze with a frequency much greater seen in people who suffer inflammations linked to dermatitis or asthma. If you have been previously diagnosed with an allergy, kicked a drug habit, experienced corticosteroid inhalation, or faced ongoing exposure to nasal irritants – you are most likely to encounter increased risk factors [3]. While the above causes are uncontrollable, there are plenty of prevention methods that can ease sneezing, such as:

a) Limit Contact with Infected Individuals:

To avoid the infections that cause sneezing, make sure to avoid family, friends, and co-workers who have exhibited the signs of sickness.

b) Avoid Smoke:

An individual can prevent an attack of sneezing by avoiding restaurants, bars, and other public places that allow smoking – a common trigger. If you are a smoker, it is recommended to end this practice for less sneezing and an overall better bill of health.

c) Work Environment:

It is suggested to seriously reconsider your place of employment if it is causing you to sneeze. Usually, work areas located close to polluted air or noxious fumes are major causes for sneezing. If finding new work is not possible – start wearing a dust mask for your protection.

d) Pet Alert:

Find good homes for pets that you have developed an allergy for and resist the temptation to pet animals that pose a known threat.

e) Cold Winds:

When in the cold, make sure to bundle up and cover the nose and mouth when braving chilly winds.

f) Avoid High-Pollen Count Locations:

Whether you’re working on the job or enjoying an early morning workout – stay out of pollen-rich locations to prevent sneezing.

g) Medication:

Avoid taking drugs that are known to cause an allergy and concentrate on medications that prevent sneezing, such as antihistamines like Clarinex, Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Phenergan.

h) Drink Fluids:

To prevent sneezing during sickness, you can drink plenty of fluids (especially fruit juices and water) as a way to loosen up the build up of mucous that can cause nasal reactions.

i) Keep A Clean Home:

Common areas of the home that tend to collect dust, pet dander, and other irritants require frequent cleaning. Make it a habit to clean air filters often; tend to damp places to decrease molds and dust mites; routinely run the vacuum cleaner over your carpets; and limit the amount of sweeping or dusting you do when cleaning the rest of your home. Also – you should clean pillows, blankets, rugs, bedspreads, and mattresses on a weekly basis.

Resources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneeze
[2] http://chennaionline.com/health/Homoeopathy/2004/10homoeopathy14.asp
[3] http://www.medicalook.com/Allergies/Sneezing.html

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How to Prevent Deforestation http://www.howtoprevent.com/enviroment/how-to-prevent-deforestation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-deforestation http://www.howtoprevent.com/enviroment/how-to-prevent-deforestation/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2008 17:56:51 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=576 If we’re not careful, the breathtaking presence and all the biodiversity that comes with a rainforest and other wooded lands will cease to exist. Species of animals yet discovered will vanish. Clean air, medicinal miracles, and a stable environment are all at risk. Any place possessing an abundance of trees faces the threat of disappearing forever, as an increasing worldwide population and majority of landowners and corporate giants continue to promote and execute the eradication of forested land – despite the constant pleas of environmentalists.

How to Prevent Deforestation

What is Deforestation?

Deforestation involves the conversion of forested regions to non-forest land for the use of pastures for livestock, logging companies, industrial gain, urban use, or simply to become a wasteland [1]. Sadly, the trend has been in existence for thousands upon thousands of years, as the ancient world saw most of the land covered in forests. As the population and demands on resources increases, so does the damage to Earth, which includes deforestation.

Starting around the mid-1800s, the destruction of forests on a worldwide basis experienced a significant increase. Acid rain attacked the forests in Europe and considerable stretches of land in Siberia were harvested after the fall of the Soviet Union. In recent years, we learn that Afghanistan no longer possesses more than 70% of its forests scattered about the country.

However, no other worldwide land source has been hit as hard as the tropical rainforests, where the rate of destruction is unimaginable. Nearly half of the mature tropical forests in the world (ranging between 750 and 800 million hectares of the original 1.5 to 1.6 billion hectares that previously decorated the planet) are gone [2]. As humans are constantly in search for more ways to accommodate a rapidly growing population, they become the largest cause behind deforestation.

Examples of Deforestation

Tropical countries are the most common victims of deforestation, but also destinations like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Liberia, Malaysia, Laos, and Ghana. All of the above have lost large amounts of their rainforest. Other examples include:

a) Philippine Archipelago:

90% of the country’s forests have been lost.

b) Central America:

Only 2/5 of the country’s original forest remains.

c) Madagascar:

Madagascar is currently struggling to supply fresh water, food, and adequate sanitation for its rapidly increasing population. The country has lost 95% of its rainforests, which has led to soil loss, desertification, and degradation of water resources.

d) Nigeria:

Between 1990 and 2005 – 79% of Nigeria’s old-growth forests are no more – a direct result of logging, subsistence agriculture, and the gathering of fuel wood.

e) Ethiopia:

In the past 50 years, 98% of the forested regions of the country are gone. 14% alone (the equivalent to 21,000 km²) were lost between 1990 and 2005[3].

f) Brazil:

The Brazilian government has reported in 2008 that a record rate of deforestation is taking place in the Amazon. The cause of deforestation in this country is also influenced by commodity prices, including recent developments in agriculture that has seen beef ranches and other crop farms move farther into the forest [4].

g) National Emergencies:

Several countries have deemed their deforestation a national emergency – particularly Thailand, India, and the Philippines.

The Negative Effects of Deforestation

Prevention of deforestation is important for the stability of the environment and all living things, as the following negative effects are already causing serious irreversible damage throughout the world:

a) Irreversible Environmental Changes:

Sadly, some parts of the world have experienced detrimental consequences as a result of deforestation. For instance, they no longer are able to enjoy thriving biodiversity and must find ways to cope with continuous environmental changes. The majority of countries that have undergone massive deforestation are dealing with unforeseen transformations in climate and geography because the ability of forests to sustain a balance in climate changes is hindered. The outcome – natural habitats and biodiversity shrinks by the minute.

b) Decline in Wood:

Deforestation causes a dramatic decline in the wood that satisfies industrial, fuel, and other human needs [5].

c) Living Conditions:

The overall quality of life declines when deforestation takes place – especially in regions where degraded land is found.

d) Water Conditions:

Deforestation plays a role in the amount of water found in the soil, as well as the level of moisture in the atmosphere.

e) Medicinal Loss:

Researchers have uncovered the sources to a wealth of new drugs within forest biotopes located all over the world. With deforestation, the genetic variations (like crop resistance) that scientists would like to preserve are greatly threatened.

f) Precipitation:

The loss of vital trees and plants affect the water cycle in many different ways, as the absence of litter, stems, and trunks of trees all play an important role. With less forest covering the land, the ability to ‘intercept, retain, and transport precipitation’ is affected. When precipitation is not trapped, surface water transport occurs at a faster rate. Possible outcomes include flash floods.

g) Increased Pollution:

You’ve heard of trees and the role they play in regards to our air. Trees serve as significant managers of organic carbon and forests possess the capacity to remove harmful pollutants from the air. Without trees working in our favor, increased pollution is allowed to take place.

h) Shrinking Beauty:

Forests are green visions of natural beauty that are valued for their cultural resource. Simply put – they are ‘nice’ to look at and fun to explore during family vacations or adventure hikes. In some parts of the world, they provide great tourist attractions.

i) Financial Impact:

Although the wood found in forests is used to supply people with timber, wood fuel (for heating and cooking), and wood pulp (for paper) – the long-term financial impact far outweighs the short-term gain. The use of forests for the creation of wood products or the conversion of forest to agriculture has actually developed financial woes, as both West Africa and Southeast Asia have suffered lower revenue due to a decrease in timber harvests. Also – illegal logging comes with a price each year that can cost national economies billons of dollars to compensate.

How to Prevent Deforestation

You don’t have to live in the middle of a rainforest to do your part in preventing deforestation. Below are a few suggestions to consider when you are interested in preserving the amount of forests located in the rest of the world, as well as right in your own backyard:

a) Use Recycled Items:

Today, a consumer can purchase a variety of recycled items, including notebook paper, books, toilet paper, and shopping bags. When people use recycled products and make a conscious effort not to waste, the demand for new raw material to replace these items can decrease.

b) Tree Care:

When cutting down trees – single out full-grown specimens and spare younger varieties. In the event that you must remove a tree for a legitimate reason (for safety issues or power line interference), make sure that for every tree lost – another is planted in its place.

c) Farming Practices:

Those who plant crops at a farm can participate in putting a dent in deforestation by rotating crops. It is suggested to replace the habit of using different portions of land each year with using the same portion of land to plant different crops. This practice has proven effective in maintaining soil fertility. Farmers may also embrace many other options, such as high-yield hybrid crops and hydroponics, which relies on a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions instead of soil.

d) Cut Back on Palm Oil:

In Malaysia and Indonesia, an increasing amount of trees are cut down in order to generate the palm oil used in the production of some breads, chocolates, and shampoos. As a result, the native orangutans are losing their habitat. You can spread awareness and limit your consumption of products containing this type of oil.

e) Coals:

As the chill of winter takes over the autumn season, try using coals instead of firewood in your fireplace. While it only takes a couple of hours to consume a few logs here and there, keep in mind that it takes years for one tree to fully grow.

f) Reforestation:

Take a page from the People’s Republic of China, where the government has in the past set a requirement that every able-bodied citizen between the ages of 11 and 60 is responsible for planting three to five trees per year or complete an equal amount of work in other areas of forestry. Since 1982, the government claims that at least one billion trees have been planted in China as a result of the program.

g) Become an Advocate:

Become an advocate of reforestation. Learn how you can spread the word. For instance, a middle school in Washington took to the streets asking people for just one penny. They explained that the money would go towards purchasing acres of Amazonian rainforest. If successful, this move ensures that no deforestation can take place on the bought land. The effort was twofold – spreading information and collecting money for a good cause.

h) Arbor Day Foundation’s Rain Forest Rescue [6]:

Support programs, such as this Arbor Day Foundation gem, which assists in the prevention of deforestation. Donated money is used to purchase and preserve rainforest space before lumber companies can get a hold of the land. As a result, the Arbor Day Foundation is able to protect the land from deforestation.

i) Support Conservation Organizations:

Lend your support through donations of your time, money, or actions to organizations that run programs concentrating on the preservation of forest habitats, such as Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature, Community Forestry International, and Conservation International.

Resources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation
[2] Ron Nielsen, The Little Green Handbook: Seven Trends Shaping the Future of Our Planet, Picador, New York (2006)
[3] http://rainforests.mongabay.com/deforestation/2000/Ethiopia.htm
[4] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7206165.stm
[5] http://www.actionbioscience.org/environment/nilsson.html
[6] http://www.arborday.org/programs/rainforest/

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How to Prevent Dog Barking http://www.howtoprevent.com/animals/how-to-prevent-dog-barking-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-prevent-dog-barking-2 http://www.howtoprevent.com/animals/how-to-prevent-dog-barking-2/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2008 17:54:08 +0000 http://www.howtoprevent.com/?p=574 Almost every neighborhood has one – that dog that constantly barks whenever someone walks by his or her house; a car honks the horn; birds chirp; and leaves rustle. While some pet owners take this as a sign of a good guard dog, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Dogs that bark at everything become a nuisance and elicit the same response as a car alarm that persistently goes off in the middle of the night.

How to Prevent Dog Barking

However, dogs will bark, as this is part of their normal and natural manner of communicating and behaving. In order to establish a common ground with your canine – first get to the bottom of your dog’s barking and then consider the following ways you can prevent unwanted outbursts.

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Barking is a common way that dogs communicate and a learned response to their various surroundings thanks to the efforts of breeding tactics. Humans have bred certain dog breeds to bark in order to assume guard dog or herding duties. Overall, dogs bark because of:

a) Fear:

Dogs who lack confidence or appear nervous are most likely to bark out of apprehension for the unknown or when left alone. A dog may also bark when startled by a sound or movement that is sudden or unfamiliar.

b) Boredom:

Yes, dogs do get bored and when they attempt to amuse themselves – they will dig, chew, and bark as a result.

c) Territory:

When left out in the yard, some dogs will bark at anything in an attempt to protect and assert dominance over their ‘territory.’ This especially takes place when strangers and other dogs are in the vicinity. Your dog may start out with a low growl (sometimes bearing his or her teeth) before shifting into something that sounds like a howl.

d) Loneliness:

Since dogs are pack animals and enjoy the company of others, they can suffer a bout of loneliness and bark when left alone. Both puppies and adult dogs can experience separation anxiety. Anxious barkers usually display a higher pitch.

e) Potential Danger:

A dog uses an alert or warning bark to let their owners know when the possibility of danger arises or a suspicious character is approaching the house. The closer an intruder comes within reach of a home, the barks become faster and more intense.

f) Attention:

Puppies are notorious for barking for attention, and while their actions may become rather insistent – you must remember to ignore this behavior.

g) Excitement:

During playtime, a dog may let out short and sharp barks when they become too excited.

h) Self-Identification:

Have you ever noticed that when other dogs in the neighborhood bark, your pooch is quick to join in? This is an example of how dogs self-identify their presence and location.

i) Unusual Events [1]:

Dogs also emit a ‘warning’ bark when they have detected something a little out of the ordinary that they feel warrants the attention of their owner. This includes a short, crisp bark for their owner to take notice, such as a car pulling into the driveway. If their efforts are ignored, they may escalate into a full-blown tirade.

Dog Barking Prevention

Excessive dog barking can really place you at odds with your neighbors, but it is important to understand that most times – a dog is really trying to tell you something. Depending on the circumstances, their barking is often expressions of anxiety, loneliness, discomfort, pain, alarm, warning, or assertiveness. Overall, different types of barking require varied approaches for prevention. They include:

a) Identify a Cause:

Understanding the cause of your dog’s barking is a great way to select the prevention techniques needed to solve the problem. Eliminating the cause will subside your dog’s urge to bark at inappropriate moments.

b) Use Positive Training:

When correcting this behavior, positive training methods are a must, as punishment can reinforce the bad behavior in your pet. Let’s say your dog barks as a result of stress or anxiety. Using repeated exposure to triggers and distraction are some of the ways an owner can calm a dog that barks out of worry.

c) Mechanical Devices:

Some pet owners have found success in using mechanical devices to curb barking, such as a bark collar. On the market, there are plenty of selections to consider, including a citrus spray collar, which produces a scent dogs are not particularly fond of. These collars fit about the muzzle of a dog and sprays citrus when he or she barks. Other choices include electrical (mild stinging sensations), ultrasonic (vibrating), and combination collars (that use both sound and spray).

d) Change the Environment:

Often times, a dog will bark because of their surroundings. When they are able to see or hear things that cause excitement, fear, or anger – a barking fit may follow. Changing the environment of your dog can eliminate some of their barking triggers, including closing the curtains or building a fence.

e) Don’t Yell:

Although a dog may momentarily stop barking if you yell at him or her, this form of intimidation soon wears off and initial problems remain uncorrected [2]. You will also need a lot of patience, as you attempt to curb your dog’s habit of excessive barking.

f) Do Not Offer Comfort:

A barking dog needs no consoling. An owner should only offer praise when they exhibit good behavior, such as barking at the things you approve of.

g) Daily Exercise and Stimulation:

Some dogs bark because they are bored and need daily exercise to burn off extra energy. When you are not at home, supplying your pooch with balls, chew toys, and chew bones will keep their minds off of unnecessary barking. If you are unable to properly walk your dog – it’s OK to turn to the assistance of a dog walking service. If you’re lucky, you can pay a reliable neighborhood youth to provide a healthy outlet for your pet.

h) Debarking [3]:

In the most drastic of cases, some owners have turned to debarking (a highly controversial surgical procedure) that permanently puts an end to dog barking. The volume and pitch of a dog’s bark is reduced to the sounds of hoarseness or whispering. Extreme cases involving legal action have seen this approach solve domestic disputes. However, the procedure is viewed as inhumane and illegal in some parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom. Additionally, while the barking may cease – the underlying problems causing the behavior (anxiety, fear, etc.) will still remain.

i) Professional Help:

If your dog still exhibits a barking problem after all of your efforts, you can always receive advice or a training session from a professional, such as a veterinarian.

Resources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bark_(dog)#Why_dogs_bark
[2] Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard Pitcairn (pg. 158)
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debarking

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