Happy Earth Day!
Celebrating more than four decades of protecting the environment, this April 22nd marks the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day!
Founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, the inaugural event culminated in massive coast-to-coast rallies that finally forced the issue of environmental safety onto the national agenda. At the time, American cars were guzzling gallons of leaded gasoline, while factories spewed noxious fumes into the air and pumped toxic sludge into the water supply without consequence. After seeing the devastation inflicted by a massive 1969 oil spill, Nelson was inspired to capitalize on the era’s emerging social consciousness and channel that energy into protecting the planet. As a result of these efforts, on April 22nd, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and school campuses to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment.
Not only did the first Earth Day unite politicians, labor leaders and society at large behind a common cause, but that same year, it led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts. Today, Earth Day is celebrated around the globe, with more than a billion people from 192 countries standing up for conservation last year alone.
Here in Peoria, Earth Day Festival will take place at Forest Park Nature Center on Saturday, April 20th. For more information, call (309) 686-3360. To learn more about Earth Day itself, visit earthday.org, and while you’re there, click on the Earth Day Network Footprint Calculator and find out how much impact your daily habits have on the planet.
Source: earthday.org, epa.gov
Keys to a Longer, Healthier Life
Your temperament does more than determine who you will befriend. It can also have significant implications for your health. Here are seven personality traits you should ditch… for your own well-being.
- Cynicism. Cynics tend to be suspicious and mistrustful of others, and generally more hostile and stressed—putting them at an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.
- Lack of purpose. People who wander through life without much meaning or ambition are not only more depressed, they’re shortening their own lifespans. People who feel they lack purpose have a greater mortality risk than those who work toward goals and enjoy their daily activities.
- Fretting. Neurotic or anxious people are prone to depression and more likely to die sooner than their more relaxed counterparts. As these fretful individuals are more likely to smoke, they may also put themselves at risk for a slew of other health problems.
- Lack of self-control. The less stable and more stressful lives of impulsive types, and their increased likeliness to smoke and drink in excess, could lead to an early demise. People who are more disciplined have been found to live longer.
- Anxiety. Constant jitters can really put a strain on your brain. Highly-frazzled individuals may be more likely to develop dementia than their calmer peers.
- Gloom and doom. Besides being at a disadvantage socially, people who are depressed or exhibit a Type D personality are more likely to die sooner than other personality types. Their melancholy outlook may also weaken the body’s immunity and stress response system.
- Stress. Prolonged stress can be deadly—increasing the chance of developing heart disease, flu virus, high blood pressure, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. So relax, live long and prosper!
Tips to Better Time Management
Businesses today are just as strapped for time as they are for cash. So how do you keep the office running on limited funds and a short staff? Small business expert Mike Pugh offers some tips to help small business owners better manage their time while improving their bottom line.
- Delegate. Small business owners usually oversee the bulk of daily office duties, but their time could be more wisely spent. Free yourself from the day-to-day tasks taking up time you could be devoting to focusing on the big picture, and empower your employees by allowing them to take on more responsibility. Outsource some tasks, such as filing taxes or updating your website, to the experts, rather than trying to complete them in-house.
- Get in shape. A business owner’s personal health is often a reflection of his or her business’ wellbeing. According to a recent Gallup survey, business owners are most productive when they’re happy—and that happiness comes from eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better prepared to take care of business. So eat well, hit the gym and avoid the candy dish in the office!
- Get up-to-date on available technology. Check out what’s new in the online and mobile sectors, and take advantage of cloud services—which can be huge time savers for your business. Applications like Google Docs, Evernote and EZ Balances are simple, effective ways to organize your communications and documents, as well as easily share information with your employees.
It’s a Small (Virtual) World
Ever played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? Try 19 Degrees of the Internet. Similar to the “six degrees of separation” concept, which theorizes that any two people are just six acquaintance links apart, a new study published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society posits that from every single webpage currently in existence—estimated at more than 14 billion—you can navigate to any other in 19 clicks or less. This interconnectedness is likely due to our natural tendency to group into communities, whether in real life or the virtual world.
A “Novel” Look at Email
Did you know the average worker spends about 13 hours each week—or 28 percent of office time—sending emails, adding up to a whopping 650 hours per year? According to data from the personal assistant app Cue, the typical email user composes 879 messages annually, with a cumulative total of 41,638 words! To put it in perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to a 166-page novel—somewhere between The Old Man and the Sea (127 pages) and The Great Gatsby (182 pages), and just about on par with The Turn of the Screw (165 pages).
72: The New 30
With life expectancy exceeding 80 years in some countries and great progress in reducing human mortality rates, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that, evolutionarily speaking, 72 is the new 30. Researchers determined that mortality is 200 times lower at younger ages than that of previous generations, due to a longevity revolution that began around 1900. Proof of how far medical and quality-of-life advances have come, the study found that primitive hunter-gatherers had the same probability of death at age 30 as a present-day 72-year-old. iBi