Browse Author by James Ennis
Biology

Things you can do to alleviate your foot pain

 

The American Podiatric Medical Association states that an overwhelming majority of Americans experience problems with their feet on a daily basis. Fortunately for those who have trouble with their feet, there’s a lot that can be done to ease the pain, naturally and without having to rely on addictive drugs. Here’s what experts recommend to treat this condition.

 

Hot and cold

This treatment is popular at European spas, but it can be performed in the comfort of your bathroom. The first thing you’ll have to do is sit on the edge of your bathtub and hold your feet for several minutes under running water.

Alternate showering your feet for one minute with comfortably hot water with one minute of cold water. Repeat for several minutes and end with a cold shower. The different temperatures will help invigorate the blood circulation in that area. If you own a shower-massage attachment, you can use that to give your feet a stimulating workout.

 

Walk barefoot

Humans were not designed to wear shoes. When you take them off after a long day at the office, you begin reactivating the muscles of your feet, which usually causes them to spasm and hurt. That’s why you have to incorporate barefoot time into your tight schedule. If you wear shoes inside, consider changing that habit or go for some extra soft slippers.

 

Exercise

While traditional foot correctives such as orthopedic shoe inserts, specific light medication, and bunion pads offer quick relief from pain, they might not be enough for long-term use. Restoration of function is always required to maintain or enhance the health of your feet. You have to actively stimulate the muscles, blood flow and the nerves of your feet if you want them to function normally.

You can find plenty of online or offline resources that can teach you how to exercise them, especially on Youtube. Additionally, you can ask your GP if he or she has any tips that can help you improve the quality of your life.

Massage the pain away

Everybody knows a good massage can remove muscle pain instantly. You don’t need any skills or homework to learn how to do this, but you will need some little helpers. Most people recommend essential oils like lavender and peppermint because they have pampering and soothing properties.

Eucalyptus and rosemary are also quite popular. Additionally, you could invest in a high-quality foot massager like this one from Kendal, as it will make you feel like you are at a spa – you won’t have to lift a finger since it will do all the work for you.

Just keep in mind that if your pain persists, that might be a sign of severe pathology. Contact your doctor as soon as possible so that you can get specialized treatment.

Biology

How to create less waste

 

Become one of the heroes out there, who are fighting the evils of mass consumption, consumerism, and waste. Start by banning plastic bags from your house and by saying no to wasting water. Buy from fashion designers who are finding innovative and creative ways to turn waste into apparel.

These small things can add up and create a better world for you and your family. Here are a few more tips on how to kickstart your zero waste life journey, so maybe you can inspire others.

 

Take a good look at your trash

The first maybe awkward thing you have to do is examine your trash, take notes on that you throw and think about ways to stop this vicious cycle. For example, if you mainly waste food packaging, maybe stop buying from supermarkets and go to your local farmer’s market, where you can use the same bag as opposed to paying for food that is individually wrapped.

It is very helpful to get face-to-face with your trash. We consume unconsciously because it doesn’t seem out of place and because it is such a social norm. We as humans don’t realize our habits and we don’t pay attention to half of the trash we are making. That’s why we have to examine it.

 

Start to get rid of disposables.

When it comes to transitioning to a zero-waste life, this should be the easiest step. All you have to do is replace things you use once and then throw away, with a sustainable option. For example, change plastic toothbrushes with bamboo ones, which are eco-friendly and decompose fast. Go for tote bags made of textile instead of using plastic or paper ones.

Alternatively, you can say goodbye to plastic water bottles and invest in a Klean Kanteen or one of those glass bottles. The possibilities are much more diverse than you might think, and there are thousands of websites dedicated to eco-friendly alternatives.

Shop less and do it in bulk

If you can find a Food Co-op in your proximity, then you sir or lady are in luck. The brand is the ideal alternative because it makes grocery shopping comfortable, especially since everything you can find in its shops is in bulk! There, you can as well fill up your jars with quinoa, nuts, granola, liquid dish soap and another whole range of produce.

Whole Foods sometimes has bulk options too. And before you leave your house to stock up, maybe it is a good idea to make a list with the things you want as opposed to what catches your eye, as stores are built to wash your mind and to tempt you at every step.

 

Buy second hand

There’s no shame in wearing hand-me-downs. We have repeatedly been told by the fashion moguls to consume all of these clothing pieces we do not need or want. Fast fashion is known to be the second biggest polluter in the whole world, next to the oil industry.

If you like new items, maybe instead of buying from brands that pollute the earth and rely on illegal and immoral work-force from third-world countries, you should go for sustainable designer houses.

Biology

What’s so special about trees?

 

Trees are fantastic if you didn’t already know that. They are a tiny habitat by themselves, and more importantly, vital to a vast number of species, including humans. For example, the oak tree is home to more than 300 species of birds, mammals, and insects, all living amongst its branches and leaves.

And it is time you and the rest of the world learned more about them and about the ways trees shape our world.

 

Oxygen

Trees and photosynthetic algae are considered the lungs of the planet because they are the reason the air today is still breathable. Things like branches, twigs and their leaves spread out into the air and ground like the bronchi of our respiratory system, taking in carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen in exchange.

More than ninety-eight percent of the Earth’s oxygen comes from this process called photosynthesis. Without trees and all the other plants basically “breathing”, life as we know it would cease to exist.

They also help combat climate change. Excess carbon dioxide or CO2 is building up fast in our sickened atmosphere, contributing irreversibly to climate change. Trees help us out by absorbing CO2 while releasing oxygen back into the air we breathe. In less than one year, an acre of healthy trees can consume the same amount of carbon dioxide produced by your car if you use it to drive 26,000 miles.

 

Food

Trees produce fruits such as apples, pears, plums and oranges and many more, making them a major source of food, which enables us to stay healthy and well fed. The fact that the green wonders grow so much of the food we eat also allows for our species to reproduce in such immense numbers. They undeniably provide us with many of the essential life-sustaining nutrients.

 

Medicine

Many natural and synthetic pharmaceutical drugs have their roots in natural compounds, which can be found in tree parts like bark, roots, and even flowers. Aspirin, one of the most widespread drugs, is based on a substance which can be found in the hardened bark of willow trees.

There’s proof that our stone age ancestors almost certainly chewed persistently on willow bark for pain relief. Many other studies have shown that surroundings, where trees are planted, are also beneficial for healing on a spiritual level. Psychiatric patients have been shown to recover faster when they have access to gardens and if trees surround them.

Resources

There are so many things that we find indispensable and which are made of wood, that it is almost a wonder there are any left at all. Our houses are built of wood, our beds and even some of our everyday items such as furniture and shoes. Also, trees increase the value of your property by at least 15 percent, especially if they are old and if they have character and history.

Biology

Interesting facts about plastic

 

Plastic is moldable yet durable, and this versatility allows it to be everywhere and in everything, from medical devices to toothbrushes and pillows. Its benefits and role in the rapid transformation of our society are impossible to deny, but our relationship to the marvelous plastic can be an unhealthy one because we tend to overuse it and dispose of it in our oceans.

And to understand this relationship more, I’ve decided to create an article with some of the most interesting facts about plastic, good and bad, so each one of you can come to an unbiased conclusion.

The hard truth

Around the globe, more than one million plastic bottles are bought from shops and sold every fifty seconds, on average. The impressive figure will rise by 20 percent by the time the next decade is over. In 2017, at least 480 billion plastic bottles were consumed and thrown in the garbage around the world, a number large enough to scare even a skeptical person. To put this feature into perspective, the produced waste would reach more than halfway to our sun.

Plastic is so common that it has even made its vicious way into the food we consume and in our drinking water reserves. Scientists at a university in Belgium estimated that the average European citizen consumes up 6,400 microplastic particles per year from seafood. Similarly, more than 83 percent of tap water samples were found to contain microplastics, things that can get us sick.

 

The interesting part

On average, it takes about four hundred years for one soda bottle to break down in the ground because there are no bacteria that like to eat this material. Although now there’s some proof of a microorganism which feeds off of it, so maybe there’s hope for the future.

Another interesting fact is that 11% of all household waste is plastic and related materials, and 40% of that waste is comprised of plastic bottles. Moreover, the plastic bags and the other trash thrown by humans in the ocean kill one million sea creatures every year.

The good news is that recycling plastic saves more than twice as much energy than melting it in an incinerator. And recycling one ton of plastic bottles can save 5,774 kWh of energy and 30 cubic yards in a landfill.

The quirky

There’s a Florida-based company named Saltwater Brewery that crafts beer, and it created entirely edible six-pack rings from brewing by-products like wheat and barley. The rings have the same strength as the plastic variety, but they can be eaten as snacks.

And the last cool fact is that there’s a type of plastic which can be created from milk. The resulting innovative product is odorless, insoluble in water, antiallergenic, biodegradable, antistatic and, as if that wasn’t enough, virtually non-flammable. The only real problem is that it is expensive to make and that it cannot be molded once set.