In today’s constant contact, cell-phone celebrated, digital world, most people can go days or even weeks without spending any time in natural sunlight. Instead, we eat breakfast inside, or on the go, only to race to an office, filled with artificial light and plastic plants, for 8 to 10 hours a day. It’s no wonder why Americans’ mental health is suffering.Compare that hectic routine to those memorable moments when you’re able to sit quietly, let the sunshine warm your face, hear the birds, and allow nature to envelope you. While everyone longs for less stress, actually relaxing can be dauntingly stressful!However, a new study out of the United Kingdom sheds light on one way people can de-stress: bird watching. The study finds that people who watch birds from their home have lower depression, anxiety, and stress compared to those that live in less leafy areas that have fewer birds. People “felt relaxed and connected to nature when they watched birds in their garden,” researchers say. These feelings increased with the level of bird feeding in the yard, they add.Specifically, the number of birds people might see was directly associated with better mental health. “This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being. Birds around the home and nature in general, show great promise in preventive health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.,” says lead researcher Dr. Daniel Cox from the University of Exeter.Dr. Tina Phillips, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, agrees. “Overwhelmingly, studies show that people feed birds because it makes them feel more relaxed, that it’s something they’re interested in and ultimately something that makes them feel good.”If you want to disconnect from the digital world and relieve some daily stress and anxiety, getting outside, bird watching could be the key to increasing your mindful, mental health. Since studies reveal the more birds you see, the less likely you are to be stressed and anxious, it’s important to attract as many birds as possible.The first step to attracting birds is to use an all-purpose tube feeder, which is the number one feeder choice, allowing birds to feed from multiple ports. Cole’s Wild Bird Products, Co. offers the Terrific Tube feeder, it’s made to last with state-of-the-art materials that prevent warping and discoloration and it features a “Quick Clean” removable base, so cleaning is super simple. Natural grip perch covers mimic the feel of a real branch, which encourages longer feeding times.Once you have the right feeder, you’ll need reliable seed that will bring birds to your backyard to deliver that dose of stress relief we all desire. According to Elaine Cole, President and owner of Cole’s, the quality of birdseed will determine how many feathered friends will flock to your backyard.Unlike other birdseed mixes, which typically contain cheap filler seed like milo and wheat, Cole’s selects only the top 1 to 2 percent of the highest quality seeds birds like to eat. Plus, Cole’s doesn’t add pesticides or chemicals, preferring instead to keep the seed as close to its natural state as possible.”If you use inferior seed, you’re not going to like the results. Our seed is specifically formulated to attract the greatest number, variety, and species of birds. Birds are picky and birdseed matters. If you use cheap feed, they won’t hesitate look for something else they prefer. Birds are like people, give them what they like to eat and they’ll come back and bring their friends.” Cole said.Since we’ve learned that the more birds we attract, the more stress-free we’ll be, it makes good sense to use the best bird feed you can buy. Cole’s Special Feeder, attracts the greatest number of wild birds than any other mix out there. Add Cole’s Blue Ribbon blend, which attracts the greatest variety of wild birds to the mix, and you’ve got the perfect prescription to help calm your anxiety and stress.At the heart of it, everyone wants less stress and anxiety. Once you start watching birds in action, they’ll engage your attention in a way that keeps you in the moment, a state that provides mental relief. Admiring their beauty, listening to their sweet song and enjoying their antics will calm your overactive mind and bring joy and renewal.
Spring is here and that means it’s lawn cutting season. In the interest of curbing your carbon footprint and “going green,” you may want to consider an eco-friendly alternative to a healthy, beautiful lawn – an electric lawn mower. Options for self-propelled, high-powered electric lawn mowers abound, and there’s a mower to fit every lawn and budget.Special features of modern electric mowers include variable speeds that allow users to adjust to different conditions on the ground. That means no need for extra effort when going uphill. In addition, electric mowers can be set for slower speeds to maneuver around flower beds, trees, or lawn furniture.Many top companies, including DR Power Equipment, Ryobi, Greenworks, and Craftsman and Kobalt, among others, offer a range of styles and models for battery-powered, self-propelled, walk-behind lawn mowers that feature the unique and efficient variable-speed electric transmission designed by General Transmissions.”With the variable-speed, self-propelled drive system, you mow the lawn at your own pace. Change speeds whenever you want by adjusting your grip on the speed control. You don’t have to stop what you’re doing to change speeds,” says Wouter Barendrecht, chief executive officer of General Transmissions.”The electric drive has a motor on it that controls the self-propelled function, so you can disengage the cutting blade and still keep moving with the self-propelled feature operating,” says Barendrecht.Still not convinced? Here are the top three reasons to try a battery-operated lawn mower this year:- Easy to use. Battery-powered lawn mowers are safe and simple to use. Speeds can be adjusted without stopping the mower, and you mow at your own pace. Many of them include mulching features, and some have batteries that can be used interchangeably with other electric equipment from the same manufacturer. Other features, such as telescoping handles, make storage a snap, especially for homeowners in townhouses or other areas with limited space.”These mowers weigh a lot less than comparable gas-powered ones, so they’re easier to maneuver and easier to store. You can even hang them by their handles on a storage hook in your garage or storage area,” says Jeff Land, vice president of merchandising and engineering at DR Power Equipment.- Economically smart. A battery-powered, self-propelled lawn mower saves money. Think of all the cash you can save on gas this season, not to mention oil and oil filters. The batteries charge on a standard household current, and most homeowners can mow an average-sized lawn (about an hour of mowing power) without the need to recharge.- Environmentally friendly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, gas-powered lawn equipment generates 5 percent of the air pollution in the United States each year. In addition, a gas-free mower eliminates the noise pollution, gasoline smell, and potential contamination and hazards of spilled gas and oil.For more information, visit generaltransmissions.com/en/technology/electric/ to learn more about what makes battery-powered, self-propelled lawn mowers a good choice for today’s many homeowners.
You probably don’t think much about the fate of old, worn-out uniforms from restaurants, stores, healthcare facilities, sports teams, and other industries. But the fact is that many end up in landfills. However, one company is doing its part to lessen this carbon footprint by repurposing these old uniforms into new.Eco Tek 360, a forward-thinking fiber technology company and a division of Global Fiber Technologies, Inc. a public company, (GFTX), has developed a proprietary technology that removes the fibers from fabrics that have reached the end of their useful life cycle. The fibers are extracted from a landfill-destined garment and used to create yarn, make new fabric, and then get sewn into fabric which is turned into “rejuvenated” uniforms. Each time the uniform comes back to the client, the process creates a true circular economy and reduces carbon footprints.”It takes between 500 to 700 gallons of water to grow one pound of cotton and Eco Tek 360 can help save billions of gallons each year through utilization of its patent- pending process,” says Chris Giordano, president and co-chairman of Global Fiber Technologies.”We will take corporate uniforms at the end of their useful life that would otherwise head for disposal and re-purpose them back to the same company as sustainable, high quality uniforms for their employees,” says Giordano.”Our primary raw material is sourced from uniforms being disposed of by our corporate clients, allowing us to be competitive on price,” says Paul Serbiak Global’s CEO.There are three steps to the ECOTEK process:- Recovery: Companies collect old uniforms and send them to Ecotek. Customers earn a credit towards new uniform purchases.- Rejuvenation: Rejuvenation is the heart of the Ecotek philosophy. The company uses a patented procedure to remove old fiber from fabric, restore it, and create new fabric. The rejuvenated fiber is soft, strong, and comfortable, and looks like new.- Re-creation: The fabric made from the rejuvenated fiber is then used to make new uniforms.”The entire process takes place in the USA, ensuring fair labor practices and extremely high quality standards,” according to the company. Ecotek will offer customized design in large and small batches with quick turnaround times.Buying uniforms made with rejuvenated fibers not only saves water and energy, it saves money, and allows employees to feel proud and look great with options for customized style and sizing.Surveys show that a majority of entry-level employees prefer to work for an environmentally friendly company and more than half of consumers prefer to buy from companies with a green reputation.For more information about how your company can go greener and look great doing it,
Like many mammals, deer physically prepare for winter by better insulating their bodies. In the fall, deer gradually trade their summer coats for a warmer winter one, which is more substantial and has thicker, longer, darker hair called “guard hairs” to protect their fur and skin from rain and snow.Their winter coat naturally absorbs more sunlight and traps more body heat than their warm-weather coat, which provides an exceptional amount of protection from the cold. Deer also have oil-producing glands in their skin that help make their hair, water resistant, which is especially valuable in the snow. For even further insulation, their bodies naturally begin to retain more fat in winter, for even more protection.Deer alter their behavior to survive the harsh winter weather. They generally become less active, sometimes dropping their metabolism by half, which allows them to save energy. Deer can hunker down during particularly harsh winter weather and survive on their fat, but eventually they have to eat something, although their preferred food sources are long gone.Although amazing, deer do survive harsh winters when the vegetation they prefer is nearly impossible to find. Deer’s usual winter diet includes food that is not particularly nutritious, but it’s above the snow and available to feed on, like twigs, leaves, bark and evergreen shrubs and trees like yews and arborvitae. Arborvitae is a popular tree and a common backyard hedging solution that grows moderately fast and looks pretty around the perimeter of any yard. During a harsh winter, deer can decimate arborvitae trees, turning them into trees that look like lollipops!Because food is so scarce during winter and high deer populations mean more competition for food, deer are likely to be more resistant to efforts to repel them. They’ll return to areas, like your yard, where they found plentiful pickings in warm weather and be more inclined to stay put until your yard is stripped clean of all possible food sources. A single adult deer eats about 7 pounds of food a day and does usually occupy the same 3- to 4-square-mile area for their entire lives. That means if you’ve had deer in your yard before, it is more than likely your yard is already on their list to forage food this winter, so your shrubs and trees – your most expensive landscaping- is at risk this winter.To save your shrubs and trees from deer damage in winter and strike a blow against deer’s voracious appetites you’ll need a reliable, proven effective solution that’s easy to use in the cold months of winter. Your best defense against deer is the continual use of a proven-effective repellent, like easy-to-use Bobbex Deer Repellent, foliar spray. The product is an environmentally friendly, nontoxic and long-lasting deer deterrent that’s safe for people, pets, wildlife and aquatic life. Ingredients include putrescent eggs, fishmeal, fish oil, garlic, and other natural ingredients – all materials that offend a deer’s sensitive sense of smell and taste. Additional ingredients such as urea and Epsom contain natural fertilizer components which are actually beneficial for all plantings.Bobbex Deer mimics predator scents, which deer have an aversion to and is classified as a fear repellent, it also tastes terrible to deer, adding another layer of protection. Because it contains effective sticking agents, the repellent won’t wash off even in harsh winter weather. And it’s been 3rd party tested against 9 other like-repellents and is rated #1 for protection against deer browse.The experts at Bobbex recommend a steady course of repellent application in every season as deer shift their feeding patterns. Since we know deer learn from experience, maintaining repellent applications throughout the year will “school” them to continually bypass your yard in favor of less objectionable fare elsewhere.Left undeterred, deer can strip bare your landscape’s most expensive and susceptible plantings in winter, leaving you with an unattractive yard and high replacement costs when warm weather arrives. Preparing now and taking preventive steps against the ravages of deer can help ensure they’ll learn to leave your yard alone throughout the winter, and with continued use, you can keep them at bay, all year long.