What is a Carbon Footprint?

Within the last few decades, awareness regarding climate change around the world has continued to increase as more people become aware of their impact on global warming and climate change. Although studies have shown that we are quickly reaching the crisis point for our environment, making major lifestyle changes can be daunting when you have no idea how you and your family actually impact the environment.
This is where the carbon footprint comes in. By understanding your carbon footprint, you can find ways to reduce your impact on the environment by targeting specific activities and lifestyle choices.

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases you produce directly or indirectly. In this case, greenhouse gases are usually expressed in tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2. While other greenhouse gases are certainly involved in climate change, they are usually converted into CO2 to make understanding impact a bit easier. You produce a certain amount of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide every time you drive your car, take a trip, heat or cool your home, buy food and purchase electronics and other items.

What is Global Warming?

Global warming is a phenomenon where the average temperature of the planet rises. As the temperatures rise, the additional heat causes the Earth’s delicate ecosystem to change. For example, the glaciers and polar ice melts, affecting sea levels. Rising temperatures also have an impact on the weather, causing abnormal weather patterns and increasing the number of extreme weather events, including droughts, floods and tornadoes.

How Does Your Carbon Footprint Contribute to Global Warming?

Greenhouse gases, such as CO2, capture heat that comes from the sun. As the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase, more heat is trapped, causing the Earth’s temperature to rise. The more CO2 and other greenhouse gases you create, the more you contribute to global warming. While it is true that your carbon footprint is much smaller when compared to major polluting businesses, reducing the amount of CO2 in your daily life can actually result in a healthier lifestyle for you and your family.

How Can You Calculate Your Carbon Footprint?

One of the easiest ways to get an estimate of your carbon footprint is to simply use a carbon footprint calculator. You can find a free calculator at Carbon Independent. The calculator allows you to input your electricity use or get a quick estimate if you do not have your bills on hand. All you will need to do is enter your household data, your personal lifestyle choices and travel choices.

Carbon Footprints around the World

The world average for CO2 production is 4 tons per household per year. The U.S. average is a staggering 20 tons of CO2 per household per year, far more than China and India, which produce 3.2 tons and 1.2 tons per household per year, respectively. It is argued that the estimated sustainable figure is 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions per household per year. For those of us living in the U.S., our high CO2 production averages may be due to the reliance on personal vehicles as transportation and our general consumption habits as a nation.

Is There a Way to Slow Down or Prevent Global Warming?

Every person has an impact on the environment and contributes to global warming. Anything you consume produces CO2 and other greenhouse gases. As such, reducing your carbon footprint is done by either consuming less or making changes to what and how you consume.

 

Considerations to Make before Adopting a Dog


There are many people who decide to purchase a dog through a breeder or a pet store. Whether this is due to the convenience of seeing a cute puppy and being able to bring it home immediately or the aversion to choosing an animal that may have a mysterious history, there are better options out there. Shelters and breed-specific rescues are a great place to find your new family member, especially if you want to avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders. However, before you go to a shelter and pick your pooch, there are some considerations you will need to take into account.

Healthcare and Costs

Although the adoption fee and cost of dog food may not seem like much, there are other costs that future dog owners need to take into account. Certain dog breeds are more likely to have health complications as they age while others simply have bad luck when it comes to their health. If the dog does have health problems, medical expenses can rise quickly. To offset this, dog owners should consider getting pet health insurance.

If you live in an apartment or rent a home, there may also be an increase in the cost of your rent. Some landlords require an additional pet deposit and a small increase in monthly rent, which quickly adds up.

Energy and Responsibility

You should never adopt a dog that has a higher energy level than you can handle. For example, if you a low-stress person, you may want to look at dogs that have lower energy levels. Older dogs, certain calmer dog breeds and dogs that have special needs may be a good option. If you have kids or other family members who are all ready to take on the responsibility of a high-energy dog, go for a dog that loves to run and be active.

Considering Other Family Members

Adopting a new dog is an exciting event; however, make sure to consider your other pets, especially if you have cats, and vulnerable family members, like young kids. Shelters are generally very good when determining if a particular dog gets along with cats, other dogs and small children. so allow staff to help you find your new pal if you need something specific.

One way to avoid having to take a dog that does not work out back to shelter is to consider fostering. In some cases, you can work with a shelter to bring a dog home and try things out before making a commitment. This benefits both you and the dog as you get to determine if that particular dog can be integrated into the existing family or not and the dog is more likely to ultimately get adopted, even if you end up not being the adopter.

Avoid Making Emotional Decisions

Adopting a shelter dog is a rewarding experience. However, you and your family members should understand that the process can also be difficult, especially because you simply cannot adopt all of the dogs you may fall in love with. You can make the process easier by determining what you are looking for before you go to the shelter. This includes the relative age of the dogs, breeds you may or may not be interested in and temperament. This way, you are more likely to find a dog who fits in with your family from the get-go.

Enjoy Your New Family Member

Getting to choose your new family member can be fun, exciting and even a bit exhausting. When your new dog is finally home, however, you will not be able to remember your life without it.

 

How to Start a Compost Pile

 

Those who are interested in green living may be interested in starting a compost pile. Composting, or the process of recycling organic materials into a nutrient-rich soil, has distinct advantages. Not only does composting help you reduce the amount of waste you personally add to your local landfills, but a successful compost pile can also make your garden healthier. Starting a compost pile is a very easy task.

What You Need to Start a Compost Pile

Before you start setting up your compost pile, you will need to pick out the perfect site. The area should have adequate drainage and be somewhat protected against freezing winds during the winter. If you intent to compost your kitchen scraps, it is recommended that you put your compost pile somewhere that is easily accessed and near the back door. If you have neighbors who live nearby, you may also want to find a spot that is discrete and will not allow those nearby to smell the compost.

It is easiest to start your compost pile on bare earth. This allows earth worms and other organisms to access your composting materials. It is recommended that your composting site be about 3 feet long by 3 feet wide. You will want to lay down a layer or straw or twigs. This helps aerate your compost pile and allows water to drain out. If you prefer, you can utilize a composting bin instead of creating an open-air pile.

When you add your first round of composting materials, make sure to alternate between wet and dry compost. Food scraps are considered to be wet materials while wood ashes, sawdust pellets and leaves are dry materials. Cover the pile with a tarp to keep just the right amount of moisture in. If you are using a bin, make sure to keep the top on. Every few weeks, the compost should be turned with a shovel or pitchfork. This adds oxygen into the pile. Adding manure can speed up the process as it contains organisms and nitrogen sources.

Once the compost pile has been established, you can mix in new materials. The compost must be turned in order to keep the compost progressing into nutrient-rich soil.

Composting in an Apartment

While composting is much easier if you have a large backyard, you can compost if you live in an apartment or in a home that does not have much outdoor space. As long as you make sure to manage your compost pile properly, you can even prevent weird smells and pests.

You can either purchase a pre-made worm bin or cut holes along the bottom and top of a plastic bin. An additional lid should be placed underneath the bin for water drainage. Soak shredded newspapers in water and wring them out. Put half of the soaked newspaper in a crisscross pattern along the bottom. Add your worms and some soil. Once they have burrowed into the soil, you can add your food scraps and the rest of the newspaper.

The bin should be placed in a cool spot that does not experience a lot of sunshine. Continue to add your organic kitchen scraps to the compost bin until the majority of the scraps have turned to soil. The bin will then need to sit until it has fully composted. Once your compost is ready, you can use it to increase the health of your indoor plants.

Enjoy a Greener Life

While you cannot compost everything, you can reduce the amount of waste you produce. In fact, you can even use your compost pile to help you get started down a path of greener living.

 

4 Tips for Planning a Summer Road Trip

Road trips allow you to enjoy the journey and not just the destination. However, planning for a road trip can be a daunting task, especially if you have never been on one yourself. With these four tips, you can make your road trip go smoothly while enjoying your vacation.
1. Plan Your Route and Stops Before You Start Your Trip

When you take a road trip, you will be spending a large amount of time in your car no matter how far you are going. Some people are able to spend eight or more hours in the car each day while others, especially children, may not have that sort of stamina. As such, knowing your main route and where you will be spending the night can help prevent stress, keep you on track and ensure that everyone can make it through the trip while enjoying themselves.

If you are using GPS-enabled devices, it is recommended that you bring two. GPS services can sometimes be inaccurate and can leave you in a lurch. Further, even though we live in the age of technology, bringing along an up-to-date paper map can be a life-saver if you find yourself lost without cell service or battery power. If you or your friends or family members do not know how to read a map, this is a great chance to learn.

2. Know Your Budget

Budgeting for a road trip is incredibly important. On top of budgeting for hotels, food, fun and souvenirs, you should also ensure that you have budgeted some emergency money in the event that something goes wrong with your car. You do not want a blown tire to be the end of your trip.

There are also a few ways you can save some money. Some phone apps and GPS devices can help you find the gas stations with the cheapest prices. Also, gas stations that are located at exits with multiple fast food restaurants often have lower prices due to the competition. When it comes to food, packing some snacks can help keep your food costs down. Visiting a fast-food restaurant or diner every time you are hungry can get expensive quickly.

3. Schedule Some Exploring Time

The best part about road trips is that you get to travel on roads you never would have traveled on otherwise. This means that you may come across national gems that you never knew existed. Depending on where you are going, some roadside attractions, like gem mines, living farms and specialty museums can take a few hours to visit.

Having some extra time in your schedule also allows for the unexpected. For example, you could encounter road construction, accidents and even unclear directions while you travel. Since you have the extra time available, you will not have to stress too much about getting behind schedule.

4. Get Some In-Vehicle Entertainment

Spending several days on the road can get boring pretty quickly, especially if you have little ones with you. While movies and video games are probably the easiest to throw in the car, kids can miss out on the sights. Bringing along books, non-messy supplies, like paper and colored pencils, and non-electronic games can help some of the time go by. Road trip bingo games are perfect for this, as it gets them interested in their surroundings while still occupying them.

Summer road trips are a fantastic way to experience more of the world first-hand. By using these tips, you can get a strong plan together that will allow you to remember your first road trip fondly.

 

Will Buying an Electric Vehicle Save You Money?

With the Tesla Model 3 release day looming and with the Chevy Bolt already available to the public, interest in purchasing and owning an electric vehicle is picking up. These vehicles have a number of exciting advantages over traditional gas cars, with the main ones being no more gas and no more major impact on the environment. However, both the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt start in the $35K range, so while they are certainly more affordable than other electric cars, they still cost a pretty penny. In order for these types of cars to be viable for many, they have to save people money.

For example, Tesla claims that the Model 3 will save you anywhere from an average of $6,000 to $9,000. If this is true, the Model 3 could potentially save a person money. Likewise, giving up gas with the Chevy Bolt should also provide some sort of savings for drivers.

In Reality, Calculating Savings Can Be Tricky

Using the Model 3 as an example, it is important to note that the starting cost may include estimated savings you may get as a result of tax credits and other incentives. Tax credits, rebates and other applicable incentives can vary state by state, so it important to consider this. However, tax credits and rebates do run out, meaning the cost of the vehicle will go up for those who wait to purchase.

When it comes to fuel savings, the actual amount of savings will depend on how far the vehicle is driven and the cost of electricity. For example, driving a similar gas vehicle 15,000 miles every year with an average of 25 miles an hour and with gas prices at $2.50 will cost approximately $1,500 per year. A Tesla driver who drives 15,000 miles per year could see a rise in their electric bill by about $600 annually. While this still results in about $900 in net savings, buyers looking to purchase a new vehicle will have to determine if these savings make the initial cost of the vehicle worth it.

Some drivers may also see savings in a weird place: insurance. California and Illinois have some of the lowest insurance rates for Tesla owners. To get the full amount of savings from insurance, be sure to compare rates as you may find additional savings.

How Much Will You Save?

Ultimately, the amount of money that you may or may not save if you decide to reserve a Model 3 or purchase a Chevy Bolt depends on where you live and your unique situation. If savings are the most important factor in purchasing a new car, opting for a less expensive vehicle is going to save you the most. If a $35,000 vehicle is exactly what you are looking for, then a Model 3 or a Chevy Bolt may be something to consider as you will save on gas at the very least.

Is it Worth Reserving a Model 3?

As of June 2017, almost 400,000 people have reserved a Model 3. If you have not reserved your Model 3 yet, you may be waiting until mid- to late-2018 to get your vehicle. By that time, the incentives may no longer be available. If savings are your main priority but you want to get an electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt may be your best bet. It is important to note, however, that the real goal of the Model 3, the Chevy Bolt and the more luxurious EVs are not to save you money. Instead, the goal is to provide an eco-friendly option for those who wish to reduce their carbon footprint. If this is something that you are passionate about, reserving a Tesla Model 3 or purchasing a Chevy Bolt will be worth it.

Beat Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration by Staying Cool This Summer

There is no better way to enjoy the summer season than by spending your free time outside in the sun with your family. However, your summer fun could end in catastrophe if you and your loved ones are not careful when spending the day out in the heat.

Identifying Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when someone becomes dehydrated and ill due to heat. Some of the symptoms include headaches, vomiting, dizziness, muscle cramps, excessive sweating and fatigue, among others. If not treated, heat exhaustion can escalate to heat stroke, which is a potentially fatal medical emergency that can result in a coma or seizures.

If you suspect that someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, there are several steps that can be taken to cool the individual down:

  • The person should be moved to a shady place or indoors where air conditioning is available.
  • Any excess clothing should be removed to help the person feel more comfortable.
  • You can pour old water over the person from heat exhaustion. You can also pack icepacks around them if they are available.
  • If their symptoms persist or you cannot get them cooled down, it is essential to contact emergency services.

Identifying Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when someone’s body does not have enough water or electrolytes to function properly. Most of the body’s water is lost through sweating on hot days. Someone who is experiencing dehydration may have a number of symptoms, including sudden headaches, nausea, dizziness and even shortness of breath. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening and needs immediate medical attention. Symptoms for severe dehydration include extreme thirst, unconsciousness, fever, low blood pressure, rapid breathing and an inability to sweat or urinate.

There are simple treatments for mild dehydration:

  • Water intake should be increased by frequently drinking small amounts. Drinking a large amount of water or other fluids all at once could lead to illness and vomiting.
  • Sucking on ice chips can ensure that fluids are going back into the body slowly.
  • Eating ice pops can help balance electrolytes. Popular sports drinks also have electrolytes, but they also contain a high amount of sugar. Therefore, these should be avoided by young children or individuals suffering from diarrhea.

For severe dehydration, the person may require an IV to replace fluids at a hospital or in an emergency room.

Tips for Staying Cool

Drinking water and staying indoors in the air conditioning are easy ways to beat the heat. However, everyone wants to enjoy the summer while it lasts. You don’t need to suffer episodes of dehydration and heat exhaustion to enjoy the great outdoors.

While keeping yourself hydrated is a must, here are several additional ways to stay cool when temperatures skyrocket:

  • Make Your Own Popsicles: One of the easiest ways to stay cool is to eat something cold. By making your own popsicles, you can even get the kids involved. Experiment with different healthy fruit juices and fruit pieces to create a tasty snack that will get everyone to sit down and take a break to cool off.
  • Stick with Cold Foods and Drinks: Keep your meals light and full of chilled fruits and vegetables. Eat small amounts during the day rather than one big meal. Digestion generates body heat and eating less more frequently will keep you cooler.
  • Leave the Kitchen Appliances Off: The oven generates quite a bit of heat. Avoid cooking foods that require the oven during the hottest parts of the day to give your air conditioner a break. Use a slow cooker for your big meals.
  • Use a Cold Cloth: If you find yourself outside working in your yard or garden, placing a cold cloth on the back of your neck will cool you down. You can also soak a cloth headband in ice water and wrap it around your head.
  • Use Ice with Your Fans: If you use floor fans, placing ice behind the fan will cool the air that is being blown into the room.

By staying cool, you and your family will be sure to have an enjoyable and memorable summer this year.

 

Preparing Your Air Conditioner for Summer

With the summer heat quickly approaching, it is time to get your air conditioner ready to take the heat. However, if you want your air conditioner to be reliable throughout the summer season, you will want to ensure that you provide it with the maintenance and care it needs to run efficiently even when the temperatures soar.
Set Up an Air Conditioner Checkup

While it may seem like overkill to have a professional like us come check out your air conditioner, now is the time to do it. Not only will a professional be able to do on-the-spot repairs and maintenance now so that you know your unit will turn on when you need it, but you will also see advantages in the long run. Air conditioning units that are regularly maintained generally last longer than those that do not. This means that your air conditioner will be more reliable for longer. Click on the link above to request an appointment.

However, if you need your air conditioner before you have a chance to get a professional out to give it a checkup, you can do a quick inspection of your cooling equipment yourself. Keep in mind that you will still want to have a professional come out to give your cooling unit the maintenance it deserves.

Inspecting Your Air Conditioner

Before you turn your cooling unit on, you should conduct a visual inspection of all of the equipment. Start with any exposed ductwork that your home has. Look for wear, like holes or thinning pieces of metal. Worn ductwork can make it more difficult for your air conditioner to keep your home at the desired temperature as cooled air may be lost before it reaches you. The harder your air conditioner has to work, the faster it will wear itself out.

Second, go through your home and check all of the vents. Remove anything that may be blocking them. If you have pets, you may want to remove the vent and vacuum around the opening of the duct. This will prevent pet hair and dander from being blown about your home when you first turn your cooling unit on.

If you have an outdoor unit, ensure that the condenser unit is not blocked by any items, twigs and other foliage. Blockages of any sort can have a drastic effect on the unit’s ability to cool your home. This is something that is easily done when you do your spring yard cleanup.

Finally, check the refrigerant lines and electrical wiring. If you see wear on the refrigerant lines or electrical wiring, do not attempt to fix them yourself. Just be sure to make a note and avoid turning your air conditioner on until a professional comes out to do maintenance. Refrigerant is flammable and faulty wiring could cause a fire, so it is best just to avoid those potential hazards altogether.

Consider Upgrading

If you have had your air conditioner for years and it is just not keeping up with your family’s needs, it may be time to upgrade. The cost for R-22 refrigerant has risen dramatically in the last couple of years and will soon be obsolete. Repairing old systems can be impractical because of cost. Click on the link above to view our current a/c sales price.

Replace your old air conditioning system with new R410a this Spring and save! Many newer systems are designed to work efficiently as save energy, which gets passed on to you in the form of saving money on your electricity bills.

Enjoy Your Summer without Suffering

Once you have checked your equipment and you have ensured that everything looks to be in good shape, it is time to turn your air conditioner on. Set your thermostat to your desired temperature, turn your air conditioner on and go outside. Listen to the fan on the condenser to make sure that it sounds like it is running normally. Within 10 to 15 minutes, your home should begin to feel cool and comfortable.

 

Adding a New Dog to the Family

Have you been thinking about getting a dog but just haven’t pulled the trigger? While walking into a pet store and picking out a dog based on its breed and coloring may be an easy option, consider looking at a shelter or rescue group for your new family member.

Adopting from a Shelter

There are plenty of great reasons to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group versus buying a pet from a pet store or independent breeder. First, adoption costs are much lower than purchasing a dog. In fact, buying a pet can easily cost upwards of $500 or more, especially if you are looking for a specific dog breed. Although you are more likely to find mixed breeds at shelters and rescue groups, these dogs generally live longer and have lower vet costs over the course of their lives.

When you adopt from a shelter, you may not know the dog’s full history. However, when you purchase from a pet store, you may also not know where the dog came from. It could have been a puppy mill dog, meaning you may find your new pet to be inbred, leading to increased vet bills. Finally, shelters and rescue groups often have resources available to help you with your pet since they are more dedicated to finding the animal a forever home.

Choosing the Right Dog for Your Lifestyle

Different breeds and individual dogs can have very different personalities. In some cases, dogs may not show their full personality until after they have been brought home and have a chance to open up. While it is always fun to see shelter dogs come out of their shells as they become part of the family, it can make it more difficult to find the right dog for you.

When you are in the process of picking a shelter dog, it is fine to be picky. If you pick too fast without doing your research and seeing what else is available, you may end up with a miserable dog and family or a dog that will need to be taken back to the shelter in the future. This is not good for you and your family and certainly not good for the dog.

Picking the right dog starts with knowing what you want. Avoid choosing your new dog based on its breed. Focus more on the dog’s energy level and sociability. Check to make sure the dog has been tested to see if they are kid-safe if you have children. Second, when you actually get a chance to look at the dogs, you will want to watch their body language. Take some time to learn about dog language before you go so that you know what to look for and identify the language that you are seeing.

Finally, take care when picking the shelter. Open-intake shelters often take in so many animals that they are unable to get to fully know each one. Limited-intake shelters only take in a certain number, so rescuers generally get to learn a little more about the animals they rescue. If you have specific needs, such as a kid-friendly pet, limited-intake shelters may be a better bet.

Enjoying Your New Dog

Once you have made your decision and finish up with the adoption process, you are ready to begin enjoying your new family member. Whether your new family member is quiet and loves long walks in the park or energetic and is happy to go on long excursions, you will wonder how you ever got along without them.

How to Get Kids Involved in Gardening

When it comes to spring, growing flowers, herbs and vegetables are a joy that many people look forward to. Even though it can take time and lots of love to get your flowers and shrubs to grow up strong and healthy, it is a fun outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy.

Reasons to Start Gardening with the Kids

There are many reasons to get your kids involved in gardening early. Not only does it give them a chance to get their hands dirty, but it gives them something that they can take ownership over. Some kids may even enjoy getting the opportunity to enjoy the fruit of their labor. After all, there is nothing more delicious than getting a taste of a tomato that they grew themselves. Further, they get to learn about nature and be a part of sustaining it.

How To Get Them Started

Tip 1: Give them a space to grow

If you have the space, giving your kids a plot of their very own to work with will get them more invested. Whether it is a small strip near the fence or a nice-sized spot, they can have the power to plant what they want where they want it. As their vegetables and flowers grow, you can talk to them about what they planted and make plans for next year.

Tip 2: Create a job list

Although growing things is pretty easy, the plants still need care to grow. Creating a job list for the kids to follow can help them ensure that they do not miss a step. Make sure to include watering, weeding and adding mulch to the list.

Tip 3: Provide kid-friendly tools

If you are getting younger kids started in gardening, having kid-friendly tools is a must. Smaller hand trowels and kid-sized gloves can make the work easier for them and reduce any frustrations they may have, especially if they are too small to handle adult-sized tools.

Tip 4: Involve them from start to finish

Children love being involved in the entire gardening process. By giving them the ability to pick out what they want to grow and where they want to grow it in their gardening space, you may find that they will be so much more invested in the process. Further, you may be able to get them excited about gardening in the spring if they have time to think about what they want to grow.

Tip 5: Let them decide what to make with the harvest

Harvesting the vegetables and herbs that they grew is always fun. However, they may enjoy it even more if they get to help pick what to make with their bounty. Pizzas are always fun, but the kids may even have other ideas that might surprise you. Best of all, of course, is that you will not have to beg or trick them into eating healthy foods.

Apartment Gardening

Getting kids involved in gardening can be a bit more difficult if you don’t have the gardening space. However, there are a couple options. You can always plant in pots that can be kept on the balcony or in the kitchen. Otherwise, your city or community may have communal plots that are available for you to grow herbs and vegetables.

Enjoy Your Garden

By getting your kids involved in gardening, they get to be outside away from computers and gaming systems while learning skills that will be useful throughout their entire lives. Not only will they get to learn about where their food comes from, but they can also learn about the joy of growing it themselves.

 

Tips for Dealing with Spring Allergies

Although you may be happy that warmer weather has finally arrived, you may be frustrated with the allergy symptoms it may bring with it. Unlike food allergies or allergies to certain types of animals, spring allergies often occur when the trees, flowers and other fauna are in bloom.

What are the Common Allergy Symptoms?

Spring allergy symptoms can range from the sniffles to coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. In severe cases, they can cause a person to trouble breathing and can affect their ability to concentrate. Allergy symptoms can make a person feel ill and have a negative impact on their school or work performance.

Identifying the Causes of Allergies

If a person believes that they have allergies, it is highly recommended that they go to a specialist who can help them identify exactly what they are allergic to. An allergy specialist may give you a skin test or a blood test. Skin tests often include pricking the skin with a small amount of the suspected allergen. If you are allergic to that particular allergen, you will form a red bump at the site of the prick.

Tips to Prevent Allergy Symptoms

If a specialist is able to identify a particular allergen that is causing you trouble, they may have medication that you can take that will reduce the symptoms and make you feel better. However, if your symptoms are not severe enough to warrant prescription medication or they are more troublesome than normal, there are some natural remedies you can use to keep your symptoms at bay.

For example, nasal irrigation may potentially help clean out the sinuses, which could make breathing a little bit easier. To do this, you will need to mist up a solution of warm distilled water, a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. A neti pot or squeeze bottle is then used to administer the solution into the sinuses. It is important to note that this works for some and not for others, so if you do not see any improvements, you may need to find alternative treatments.

Spring Cleaning to Get Rid of Allergy Symptoms

If you are allergic to pollen and other types of biological allergens, you can help make yourself feel better by making sure your home is free of them. Vacuuming at least once a week and doing the occasional dusting can keep your exposure levels at bay. Be sure to change out or wash your furnace filters, depending on the type that you use, on a regular basis so that you can be sure that the airborne allergens are being removed from the air that you are breathing. You can also install a whole-home air cleaner like these to improve your indoor air quality.

You can also prevent some allergens from getting into your home by removing your shoes before you come inside. If you spent the day outdoors, a quick change of clothes can prevent you from transporting pollen and other allergens all around your home. Finally, you may find it appropriate to shower before jumping into your sheets. This way, you can breathe a little easier and get a refreshing night of rest.

Stay Healthy and Productive

When you find a system of keeping the allergens at bay that works for you, you will be amazed at just how much better and more energized you feel. Note that, in addition to keeping pollen and other biological allergens out of your home and taking medical precautions, it is always helpful to eat a healthy diet, stay active and stay positive.