10 Reasons Why Organizing Everything is Important

Organizing is a process of arranging things and keeping them into order. It is a part of life and can be performed at all levels. Right from your small wallet to your big family, everything needs to be organized. Imagine a house which is full of clutter and has very few necessary things or a closet with things falling from it or a messed up space where you can’t find your phone. The thought itself causes frustration and stress.  You may not realize it, but a messy and cluttered home can have a negative impact on your goals and sense of empowerment. Everywhere you look, you see a situation that doesn’t ‘sit right’ within you. With a little effort, your home could be another stress management tool at your disposal. Here are 10 reasons why organizing your stuffs is important:

 10. Effective Time Management

Organizing may seem to be a time-consuming task initially but in the long run, taking out the time to organize can help you save a lot of time. Working around clutter and looking for something in a messed up room, which is full of stuff can seriously hinder your productivity. A messy, disorganized home can cost you more than just your inner peace. If you don’t have a ‘home’ for all of your belongings, you spend more time trying to put things away when you’re cleaning up, and waste time looking for items when you need them.  The best tip for organizing is to make sure that there is a proper defined place for everything and the things are kept back to where it belongs to once the work is done. So, next time when you need something, you won’t have to look in a cluttered room. Trying to locate something in a messed up and cluttered area is exactly similar to finding a needle in a haystack.


7 Benefits of Being a Flight Attendant

Thinking of becoming a flight attendant? Curious what the flight attendant benefits are? I previously worked as a flight attendant and it was one of the best jobs I ever had.

There are a ton of benefits to being a flight attendant. Everyone knows that when you are a flight attendant you can fly for free, but there are a number of other benefits of being a flight attendant that should make you consider this as a career choice.

Wondering how to get hired as a flight attendant? Read our best tips for getting hired as a flight attendant >> 7 Tips to Becoming a Flight Attendant

Benefits of Being a Flight Attendant

1. You aren’t the only one who gets to fly for free!

Benefits of being a flight attendant.

Most airline flight attendant benefits are probably better than you think. Most people realize they could fly for free, but they don’t realize that most airlines extend these benefits to spouses/significant others, dependents, and even parents.

When I worked for an airline my parents used the flight benefits way more than I ever did. Lots of airlines even give employees a few “buddy passes” a year so they can get their friends on a couple flights as well.

You only get on the flight if there is an open seat, but with careful planning you can still get on.

2. You get benefits other airlines as well

The perks of being a flight attendant keep getting better! Airlines typically have agreements where they trade benefits between their employees and beneficiaries. I flew completely for free on my airline, but had access to fly 100 others.

When I flew on my airline it was completely free, but when I flew the I had to pay a small fee, generally described as the taxes on the route. Typically the fee for me to fly from Los Angeles to New York on another airline was only about $40.

3. You don’t need a college degree to become a flight attendant

Want to avoid student loans? College not for you? Neither are necessary if you want to become a flight attendant! The age to be a flight attendant varies by airline, but it is almost always somewhere between 18 and 21 so you can start applying soon after high school.

4. Pay starts out pretty lame, but can get pretty good

Average salary for a flight attendant starts out pretty low. Even though pay starts out pretty low, there are a number of flight attendants that make $80,000 a year. That’s a great salary, especially considering the other perks that come with it.

5. Schedule flexibility

Schedules are made by flight attendants seeing all available flights and then “bidding” on the ones they most want. They are awarded based on seniority, so even though it sucks when you are new, once you have some experience you can build a scheduled with tons of flexibility. I had friends that would rush and get their hours in early in the month, and then take the final two weeks off.

6. Overnights allowing you to see the world

Many international flights come with a flight crew overnight. This gives the flight crew time to get off and sleep in a local hotel before flying back. Often times these overnights allow more time to actually do a little bit of exploring before coming back. Even though the trips are quick, if you fly to the same place multiple times you will end up getting paid to explore the world.

7. Meet cool people

One of the flight attendant perks are the people you meet. Not only can you meet people around the globe, but generally people on planes are pretty happy and/or excited to be traveling somewhere, and can typically be a joy to talk to.

Think you could be interested in becoming a flight attendant?



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10 Qualities of an Excellent Team Player

Every organization relies on effective teams to drive it toward success. But what does being a team player really mean? Yes, these individuals perform well within a team, but if we break that down, what components make someone an effective team player? Here are 10 qualities that can make for an outstanding team player in the workplace.


1. They are committed to the team

Committed team players give their time and energy to someone or something they believe in. However, genuine commitment is much more than that. Team players who are genuinely committed do so without any expectation of return, conditions, or rewards. There is no turning back and whatever the outcome, they support it 100%.


2. They are flexible 

We can’t always predict when changes are going to happen, much less prepare for them. That’s why flexibility is so important. When a team player is flexible, they typically are also versatile, resilient, and responsive to change – all while keeping calm and making sound decisions without unruly outbursts. Flexible team players understand and manage situations by looking at them from different perspectives. When asked, a flexible team player will consider how it will benefit the company, the team, or their career rather than thinking, “Really, more work?”


3. They are engaged

Simply doing your work isn’t always enough. It’s a good thing to get involved and be proactive, as long as you aren’t bothering people with questions to which you should know the answer. Great team players ask questions for clarity and understanding and contribute where they can. Collaboration is essential to the success of a team. Remember, “two heads are better than one.”


4. They are reliable and responsible

An excellent team player completes tasks in order of priority, not necessarily in order that they’re given. When they aren’t sure of what should take priority, they ask their manager. As a reliable and responsible team player, you will be able to manage your time effectively, be prepared for meetings, and be trusted to work on your own without constant supervision. Your manager and teammates will feel like they can rely on you for help and support whenever needed.


5. They actively listen

You are only a team player if you respectfully consider the viewpoints and ideas of other people as well. Active listening is harder than you think. When you hear someone saying something you don’t agree with, listen to understand, not answer. Consider what they’re saying and more importantly, why they believe that.


6. They communicate within their team

Transparency is key on a team, and good team players actively work to keep other team members informed. No one likes to be blind-sided. When team members share information and everyone is on the same page, it could be the difference between the success and failure of a project. Team members who are informed are more likely to trust you, stay engaged, and are more motivated to reciprocate.


7. They lend a helping hand

As a team, we are only as strong as our weakest link. Look for opportunities to help your team members grow. For example, if a member of your team is having trouble with a technology tool that is easy for you, offer to sit down with them and show them what you know. A word of caution: your passion may be confusing and come across as condescending to the other person. Remember to be genuine and respectful.


8. They are respectful

It is important to be self-aware of how you treat others. Respect is earned but can be lost in a moment’s notice. An ideal team player knows how to have fun but would never do it at someone else’s expense. You earn the respect of your co-workers a lot more quickly [LL1] by expressing genuine interest in them rather than trying to make them interested in you.


9. They are problem-solvers

It is easy for everyone to point out problems; however, there is no reason why you can’t offer solutions yourself. Your teammates will appreciate your skills, which can also help you earn respect more quickly.


10. They recognize and acknowledge when they are wrong 

A good team player will back off an idea when it becomes clear it’s not the right path. Acknowledge what went wrong, or won’t work, and then focus on expectations moving forward. Don’t be a stubborn stick in the mud; rather, focus on what may or may not have gone wrong. Keep moving forward.


This article was updated June 22, 2017. Original content was written by Lara Pole.

The opinions and comments expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of ALMA, The American Equity Underwriters, Inc., AEU LEAD or Amwins. None of the aforementioned parties or the authors are responsible for any inaccuracy of content or for any loss or damages incurred by any party as a result of reliance on information contained in this article. Content may not be published or reproduced without the written consent of the authors. Prior articles may not be updated for accuracy as pertinent information changes over time. The AEU LEAD blog is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as legal advice.
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Chinese Kung Fu

Chinese Kung Fu

Chinese Kung Fu

What is Kung Fu 功夫 (or Wushu 武术 / Chinese Martial Arts)?

bruce Lee in the movieBruce Lee

Aside of mysterious dragons and colourful lampions, one of the first things that comes to people’s minds at the mentioning of China is most certainly Kung Fu. This is because from the 1970s onwards, an unprecedented tide of cinematic works featuring stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Lee celebrated the practice, which led its popularity to intensify beyond Chinese borders. Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972) and The Thirty Six Chambers of Shaolin (1978) are few of the many breakthrough movies that provided a platform for Kung Fu to reach international audiences. Ever since, the praxis of Kung Fu has become a passion shared by millions of its practitioners around the globe.

Unlike many of other Eastern Asian martial arts, Kung Fu is not a martial art with a single codified tradition. Instead, Kung Fu is an umbrella term which refers to the various, often very distinctive martial art schools and styles that originated in the country today known as China, but yet, are similar in the movement they adopt, because of its emblematic circular, fluid and continuous motion, infinite and in suspense, that attempts to emulate the grace and power of animals in action. Offering the most diverse set of martial art practices as well as a towering number of schools around the world, the philosophy which underlies Kung Fu is multi-layered and complex, the depth of which is only rarely fully grasped by the Western and even Chinese publics.

tai chi diagram with kungfu postures

That Kung Fu plays a prominent role in shaping the spiritual beliefs, identities and every day lives of the Chinese is indisputable; but developing comprehensive understanding of its significance requires a contextualization of the practice within the different shifts and occurrences which, over time, came to sculpt China’s cultural landscape. As such, Kung Fu cannot be disentangled from the range of historical, philosophical and religious forces that the practice sought to either personify or rebel against. Through its different styles and teachings, Kung Fu aims to crystalize the ideals, principles and even traumas of a culture which bears the weight of a spectacular five thousand years.

The Historical Origins of Kung Fu

Kung Fu’s roots can be traced deep into the past, so deep that its very contours are barely hinted at in myth, legends and available historiography. Perhaps, only one thing can be said with certainty: that Kung Fu is as ancient as China itself.

Literature indicates that in those early days, aside of specific techniques that may have originated as part of hunting efforts and rudimentary hand to hand self-defence techniques, combat systems were likely developed for military training purposes, but were not solely exclusive to warriors, as some military martial art elements, like archery and charioteering, were included in the six arts of ancient China. The first recorded mention of Kung Fu -albeit somewhat fragmented- can be found in the Spring and Autumn Annals of the State of Lu which were written up during the reign of the Zhou dynasty. Read more on The History of Kung Fu.

Spiritual Influences

a figure of a little monk in meditation

But it was the embrace of Taoism that saw the practice of Kung Fu spread among the general population, even though as a result of the Shaolin monastery’s fame and influence, and its contribution to Kung Fu theory and practice, Buddhism, and particularly Zen Buddhism, came to be closely linked with the image of Kung Fu, and even more so in the rest of the world. The spirituality of Tao, with its teachings of patience, simplicity, fluidness, naturalness and humility, found a perfect companion in the tamed body of Kung Fu practice. Thus, the Taoist concept of Qi, which refers to the air and vitality flow through the body -a type of energy that generates life itself-, became integral and inseparable from the underlying philosophy of Kung Fu.

Shaolin 少林 and Wudang 武当

Among the many accepted classifications of Kung Fu styles, the Shaolin and Wudang classifications are arguably the most important as they philosophically diverge from the Kung Fu tradition, through the conceptual distinction between the two different -external and internal- expressions of personal force, namely Li and Neijing, as well as their differing scholarly emphasis.

shaolin monastery

On the one hand, Li stands for the external expression of personal force, which is achieved by means of a corporeal development of movement and strength, in a praxis that involves the precise manoeuvring of muscles as well as the algorithmic timing and execution of bodily moves. The Shaolin classification, which focuses on Li, draws its name from the Shaolin Monastery, which is perhaps the most important institution in the Kung Fu world. In that regard, the old adage “all martial arts under heaven originated from Shaolin” speaks for itself.


Lemon Smoothie (Sunshine in a Bottle!)

This Lemon Smoothie is like sunshine in a bottle! Yogurt, lemon, honey, ginger and turmeric will wake you up on a sleepy morning. |

Winter, man. It’s dragging on, isn’t it? At least here in Michigan, February seems to be the hardest month in terms of feeling like Spring will never come again.

The only thing getting me out of bed lately is knowing that this Sunshine in a Bottle Lemon Smoothie is only a few minutes away once I get downstairs.

I even set my blender up on the counter the night before, so I’m all ready to go.

And as you know, lemon is my favorite flavor (I even make a mean lemon margarita), so it’s kind of like I’m waking up to my favorite food.


Every single ingredient in this smoothie (well, except the ice) is engineered for maximal bright, zingy flavor and health benefits.

That’s right, I engineered this smoothie. My husband is a mechanical engineer, and I’m a food engineer.


16 Tips for Living a Happy Life Starting Right Now

It doesn’t matter your age, how much money you have in your bank account, your marital status or what you do for a living, we all want to be more successful in our lives. Of course, defining success is different for each us, but here are 16 proven ways that can make you more productive, happy and successful in life.

1. Be committed.

No matter what goals you have set for yourself in life, you have to be committed. It’s through commitment that you’ll continue to make the improvements needed to better yourself. Whether it’s taking a chance on launching a startup, getting a gym membership to improve your physical well being, or taking a cooking class because you want to become a chef, commitment is what drives us all to become more successful.

2. People care about you, not your success.

Let’s be honest. People don’t care about the expensive clothes you wear, how big is the house you own or the car your drive. That’s not to say that they don’t respect your achievements or possessions. Instead, they care you as an individual and they’ll support you no matter what — because they love you. Believe it!

3. Be grateful everyday.

According to researchers Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Michael McCullough, being grateful can result in feeling better about your life, more enthusiastism and more willingness to help others. Being grateful may even reduce coronary artery disease. Take the time to write down what you’re grateful each and every day.

4. Take action.

In an article in The Atlantic, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman share studies on the confidence gap between men and women.  The researchers discovered that confidence is just as important as competence. It was concluded in the article that “[T]aking action bolsters one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed.”

5. Money can’t buy happiness.

As The Beatles famously proclaimed, (money), “can’t buy me love.” You know what else money can’t buy? Happiness. Just because you’re earning six figures doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily content. Sure, money is obviously needed, and it makes some things easier. But, you should be focusing on your passion and not how much your paycheck is.

6. Don’t take rejection personally.

At some point we all face rejection. Instead of taking it personally, use it as a learning experience. Why did a VC reject your proposal? Maybe there wasn’t a market for your product. Perhaps you didn’t have a convincing pitch. Maybe the VC’s partner just called and said he’d spent their extra cash. Accepting and learning from rejection is one way to guide you to success.

With my online invoicing startup I get rejected daily, literally. I talked to 100+ VC’s before I got one that believed in my product. Learn from rejection and use it as motivation to make things bettter!

7. Have a backup plan.

You never know when the unexpected is going to happen, but when it does happen, you’re surrounded by chaos. Being prepared for the worst case scenario can at least make things a whole lot less chaotic. When my last business crashed, had I not had some cash set aside (that my wife kept away from me), we would have been in financial ruin. Having a three-to-six month nest egg will make the difference. I’ve found that having 12-24 months of cash to pay all bills just sitting there has significantly helped my marriage be more positive as well!

8. Improve your social skill.

After analyzing data from between 1972 and 1992, University of California, , economist Catherine Weinberger found that “The people who are both smart and socially adept earn more in today’s workforce than similarly endowed workers in 1980.”

Related: Developing People Skills Is a Brilliant Career Move

9. Travel.

As Yii-Huei Phang states on The Huffington Post, traveling is a great way to “develop a person’s character” and become more open-minded. Additionally, while traveling is a great way to get away from the daily grind, it also helps you appreciate what you have back at home.

10. Don’t multitask.

If you’re feeling constantly burnt out it’s probably because you’re doing too much at one time. Research has found that “when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 percent.” You’re also burning your reservoir of energy. Both of these issues decrease your productivity and prevent you from accomplishing tasks and goal.

11. Embrace a growth mindset.

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck argues that we have two-mindsets; “fixed” and “growth.” A fixed mindset “assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static.” A “growth mindset,” however, “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

12. Balance work and life.

When work interferes with life, it can result in employees getting burned out and decreases base morale in the office. While this may not be an option for employees, it proves that everyone needs time away from the office. If you’re able to spend less time in the office by working remotely or having flexible hours, you should be able to be productive in both your personal and professional life.

13. Don’t hold grudges.

There is really no need to hold onto a grudge. It can mentally wear you out and makes you miserable. And, doesn’t life seem to go a whole lot smoother when you’re not angry?

14. Stick it out.

After years of studying both children and adults, psychologist Angela Duckworth found that one of the characteristics of successful individuals is having grit. During her TED talk Duckworth stated, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

15. Live in the moment

You can’t change the past and you have no control of the future. Live in the moment and enjoy what’s in front of you right here, right now. When you’re busy making too many plans, you’re causing stress that prevents you from enjoying the present.

16. Take care of yourself, then help others.

According to Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota, “People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.”

Additionally, helping others is beneficial for our health. But, how can you help others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first? Take care of your needs first and then begin to help others.



Homemade lemon juice recipe that is healthy, refreshing, and fresh. This lemonade recipe is easy and quick to make. Learn how to make lemon juice or lemon drink from scratch.

lemon juice in pitcher and glass cup displayed.

When life gives you lemons make lemon juice, lemon cake, or lemon water! All of these recipes are sure to be a good use.

Jokes apart, if the question is what to do with a lot of lemons? here is one easy, healthy, delicious, and refreshing way to use up lemons.

Whether it’s for summer refreshment, cleanse juice, simple lemon water, healthy juice drink, holiday, barbeque, or party drink, this homemade lemon juice with no need for syrup is a pleaser. It’s perfect for any occasion just like lime juice.


How Does a Dog Win a Dog Show?

Are Dogs Compared to Each Other?

Just as a painter spends time working on a brush stroke or a musician strives to play a perfect chord, a dog show judge also has a skill to perfect: measuring a dog up to its particular breed standard. A common point of confusion for the uninitiated is that each dog is judged on how he or she compares to the breed’s standard and not how the dog compares directly to the others in the ring. For example, when a judge is looking at the Hound Group, he or she is not directly comparing the Greyhound to the Afghan Hound. The comparison is really the Greyhound to the Greyhound breed standard and the Afghan to the Afghan breed standard. A winner should exemplify his or her standard more than the other dogs represent theirs.

To become an AKC-licensed judge, an individual must complete a number of educational requirements (exams, seminars, being a mentee), along with having years of experience showing as a handler. Since becoming a judge is not an easy task (try some of their practice exams here), it takes a dedicated person, with an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a love of the sport to make the cut.

But just because a judge becomes licensed, doesn’t mean the schooling stops. Knowing the breed standards front to back is one thing, but controlling a ring, providing clarity in decision-making to the competitors, and keeping all of your decisions straight in your mind is quite another.

“We can all judge outside the ring,” Hoke says, “but once you step in the ring, it’s a different story. When you’re outside you can focus on one dog you like, but as a judge you have two minutes to make your decision.”

And brushing up on your knowledge ahead of a competition is essential.

“Every judge worth their salt does a review of breed standards before a judging assignment,” Lyne says. “I always remind myself of the disqualifications applicable to breeds I will be judging that day.”

Best Bred By Exhibitor in Show, BBE Terrier Group First, Best of Breed, and Best Bred By in Breed/Variety: GCHG CH Alpine's Lbk Living On The Road BCAT DS CGC TKN (Pancho), American Staffordshire Terrier; Terrier Group judging at the 2019 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

Best Bred By Exhibitor in Show, BBE Terrier Group First, Best of Breed, and Best Bred By in Breed/Variety: GCHG CH Alpine’s Lbk Living On The Road BCAT DS CGC TKN (Pancho), American Staffordshire Terrier; Terrier Group judging at the 2019 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

Visualizing the Picture-Perfect Dog

Great dogs can easily stand out to judges, but what happens when your ring is full of exceptional canines? Seasoned judges make sure to evaluate everything that is presented to them in the ring. However experienced a judge may be, the judging process is not automated; they are still human.

“I wish exhibitors would realize that judges, by and large, want to judge to the best of their ability, to find the right dog, and never, never miss a great one,” says Virginia Lyne, an all-breed judge. “I think people are inclined to look for explanations totally removed from the real process of evaluating breeding stock — thoughts about who likes who, who was wearing the judge’s favorite color — the list goes on and on.”

It can be hard for the public to understand that dogs are not necessarily being judged against each other, but individually as dogs that can carry on the best of their breed’s characteristics to the next generation. A judge’s thought process can easily be related to his or her own breeding programs.

“I always have to ask myself: which one would I use in a breeding program?” explains Elliott B. Weiss, who first entered the ring as a judge in the early ’90s after being a successful professional handler for many years. His judging résumé now includes multiple Westminsters.

“What I think is hard for the public to understand is that you’re not judging the dogs against each other,” he says, “You’re judging the dogs against a picture of perfection you have in your mind of the standard.”

Sporting Group Third and Best of Breed: GCHS CH Random Legacy Dylan Du Revention, English Spinger Spaniel; 2017 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

Sporting Group Third and Best of Breed: GCHS CH Random Legacy Dylan Du Revention, English Spinger Spaniel; 2017 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

More Than a Beauty Contest

To the untrained eye, a conformation dog show can seem like a beauty pageant. However, purebred enthusiasts would be quick to tell you there’s more to it. At its simplest form, a dog show is a place to have dogs evaluated for breeding programs. The decisions judges make in the ring affect how handlers present their dogs and the decisions breeders make when planning the next generations of their breed.

Each breed was bred for a certain reason—many toy breeds were bred to be lap dogs, while hounds were bred to help humans hunt wild game, and these particular functions formed each breed’s standard—a blueprint for how the breed should look and act. In the show ring, a judge evaluates dogs based on how well they fit their standard.

“While judging is about beauty, it is about beauty defined within a breed and about how a breed became what they are and how they look to the judge on that day,” Hoke says. “There’s a lot of history involved about why certain beauty exists in each breed. History dictates what a breed is, and what it looks like.”

Hoke meshed form and function of certain breeds together after experiencing many international judging appointments and exploring various geographic regions.

“I’ve judged overseas, and it’s nice, because you get to see the breeds in their countries of origin,” he says. “When they say ‘high mountainous terrain,’ you see what that terrain is and why (the breeds) were built that way.”

However, a good judge will not only see a dog’s appearance, but his or her breed personality, as well. A dog that displays a breed’s true temperament can help him or her stand out in a sea of great dogs, especially at larger shows.


17 Ways To Live Trash-Free & Adopt A Zero-Waste Lifestyle In 2017 (Kitchen & Food Edition)

The concept of living entirely waste-free takes a bit of getting used to, as our modern lifestyles constantly demand that our attention is focused on consuming for the sake of consuming. The seemingly endless cycle of consumerism has led to us forgetting many of the important things in life. We generally work very hard, and spend less than an ideal amount of time with family and friends, sacrificing doing the things we love.

Living without waste doesn’t mean you have to live without life’s luxuries, it just means a more conscious approach to your consumer choices. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by saving money on unnecessary purchases and ultimately reducing your own ecological footprint Ultimately. you’ll be doing the planet a favor by reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

Composting Food Scraps

Here are 17 Ways To Live Trash-Free & Adopt A Zero-Waste Lifestyle:

  1. Ditch Plastic Packaging. Glass and stainless-steel containers of all shapes and sizes can be cleaned and reused over and over again, and easily transported.
  2. Eliminate Disposable Paper Products. Rather than paper towels and napkins, choose reusable cloth versions. You’ll quickly save money over costly disposables.
  3. Avoid Using Potentially Toxic Styrofoam. Instead, use regular reusable dishes. If you need a single-use option, several retailers offer certified compostable paper plates, bowls, cups and napkins.
  4. Minimize Food Waste. Revive leftovers, repurpose food scraps into jams and sauces, and stretch your food dollar by meal planning.
  5. Set Up A Countertop Compost Bin. Once the small bin is full, remove compost to an outdoor compost pile. Or put food waste into compostable trash bags, which can be turned in to municipal compost centers.
  6. Try Vermicomposting where red wiggler worms quickly transform organic matter into usable compost. These clean, simple, efficient systems are useful for those who don’t have space for an outdoor compost pile.
  7. Compostable Items: fruit and vegetable parts, eggshells, coffee grounds, unbleached paper, tea bags, disease-free houseplants, and much more.
  8. Cook Up Biodiesel. We can’t pour used cooking oil down the drain (it causes clogs) or compost it. However, you can donate cooking oil to be recycled into biodiesel fuel.
  9. Municipal Composting. If you don’t have an outdoor compost pile, look to see if your community offers a curbside or drop-off composting program.
  10. Avoid Plastic Bags. Start using big shopping bags made from canvas, mesh, cloth or recycled/recyclable plastic. You can buy these for about $1 at most natural supermarkets.
  11. Stop Buying Single Servings. Buy the largest size available or in bulk and divide into smaller eco-smart containers.
  12. Bring Mason Jars. Use reusable containers such as mason jars for bulk loose items such as rice, granola, grains, oatmeal, dried fruit, and beans.
  13. Multipurpose Cleaner. In a spray bottle, combine 1⁄2 cup white distilled vinegar with 1 cup water, and add 10 to 20 drops of tea tree, lavender, lemon or eucalyptus essential oil. Shake well before using.
  14. Bring Your Lunch. And Utensils. Disposable lunches (to-go packaging, traditional plastic utensils, etc) generate 100 pounds of trash per person annually. Bring your lunch in a reusable lunch box, and if your company doesn’t use compostable utensils, bring your own SelfEco compostable cutlery!
  15. Water Bottles. Use metal or glass water bottles throughout the day for water or coffee.
  16. Separate Your Waste. Keep food and kitchen scraps, garden waste, and recyclables separate.
  17. Recycle Everything You Can. all unbroken glass, some plastics, paper and cardboard, tin and aluminium cans

5 Types of House Plants Every Home Should Have

If your goal is to turn your home into an indoor garden but you don’t have an endless amount of time to care for your plant babies, then you’re going to want to be strategic about the plants you buy. If you diversify your plant picks and place them thoughtfully (some hanging up near the ceiling, others in large pots set on the floor), you can give your home a lush green look without caring for dozens of plants each week. In both the 2018 and 2019 Real Simple Homes, you’ll find five types of houseplants the designers used to give the impression that the houses are filled with greenery. Follow the ideas below to turn your own home into an indoor oasis.

Credit: Christopher Testani

1A Large Potted Plant

To add interest and dimension, a large floor-standing potted plant is a must in every home. Several small plants can look bitsy by themselves, but one large plant grounds the room and adds a touch of drama.

Want a plant that makes a statement, but is also low-maintenance? Opt for a palm plant, which is generally easy to care for and can tolerate some neglect, unlike the popular, yet notoriously fickle fiddle-leaf fig tree. No matter which variety of plant you opt for, use good potting soil and make sure to set it in a location with the right amount of light. Your new potted palm plant (or bird-of-paradise or monstera) will thank you.