Friday, April 11, 2008

One Habit to Save Up to 21% of Your Electricity Bill

I was so excited to see the electricity bill in the mailbox the other day. I promptly reached for it as if someone would sneak up from behind and snatch it away from me. You might be thinking it must either be the heat in Singapore that was getting into me or that I was going crazy; who in the world would be excited to get an electricity bill in the mailbox. On the contrary, it was neither the heat nor that I was going crazy. I was conducting an experiment and this was the second months of the experiment. Even before I could get into the elevator, I was already anxiously opening up the bill.

On the first look, everything seem normal. However, when I turned the bill over to look at the other side, I was all excited again. A scanned copy of part of the electricity bill said it all. Referring to the bar graphs below, I had saved another 25 Kilowatts or approximately 27.5 pounds of coal (amount of coal needed to generate 25 Kilowatts of electricity) from February to April. According to
Wikipedia, the USA consumes about 1.053 billion tonnes of coal each year, using 90% of it for generation of electricity. The world in total produced 6.19 billion tonnes of coal in 2006.

Now for the grand result for the two months the experiment was ran, I had saved a total of 63 Kilowatts of electricity in the two months or up to 21% of electricity.
You may be saying, "What is the big deal? It is only 63 Kilowatts." A baby step to a healthier planet. According to the Department of Statistic of Singapore, there were a total of 923,300 resident households in Singapore in 2000. Imagine if every household can save the same amount of electricity (and even better if they can save more) every month, we can save up to 23 million Kilowatts of electricity every month (hope I gotten the Math correct). That would not look like a small deal anymore right?
Power Switch to Off position
Lets take a look at how can we achieve that baby step toward a healthier planet. It takes less than 5 minutes to do it - that is to turn off any unused appliances at the socket and not just to put it in a standby mode. Yes, saving electricity can be that simple and straightforward. The first time I read an article about this, I was very doubtful and thus I decided to experiment it in my home. I was amazed of the result too.

Putting unused appliances to standby mode still uses lots of energy. We can save this energy by turning off televisions and other items when they're not in use. That includes your computer's monitor as well. Screen savers only stop the screen from getting burned in images. Energy saving mode cuts power usage but nowhere near as much as the on/off switch does.

Some of you may be saying, "It'll be so inconvenient to turn off the switch; keeping any unused appliances in the standby mode mean I can switch it on immediately using the remote. I don't have to move 'half way across planet home' to turn the switch on. I had the same thinking initially too. However, it was not a challenge for me to change. By moving around the house to turn the switch on, I become more active and I treat it as an exercise. And the ultimate motivation comes from doing my bit for planet Earth, as well as saving my electricity bill up to 20% every month.

Just that one baby step, it can create a big different. Lets us all do our bit for our planet Earth. Wishing you goodness in all areas of your life.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

One More Shot?

The driver of this car was under the influence of alcohol and drove into a small guard house in MalaysiaHow many time have you heard the tagline, "If you drink, don't drive and if you drive, don't drink?" Every year during the festive seasons, commercials, banners and posters will be used to relate this message to the general public in Singapore. How effective are they in putting the message across? No one really knows. One thing for sure, for one with high civic-mindedness, he/she will not need such means to remind them not to drive if they drink. Naturally for one who does not has any civic-mindedness, no amount of these commercials, banners and posters will get the message into their head. Fortunately, I believe the latter is only a minority group in our society as most people still have a good sense of social responsibility.

Drunk driving is an offence in most countries around the world. Anyone who is convicted of injuring or killing someone while under the influence of alcohol can be heavily fined, in addition to being given a lengthy prison sentence. In Singapore, repeated offence of drunk driving can cause you to be fined up to $30,000 SGD and three years' imprisonment. For an offender causing death or serious injuries can also be caned up to 6 strokes. In a report from Associated Press dated May 17, 2007, a man in New York was sentenced 20 years to life in prison for drunk driving for a seventh time since 1982. His first conviction in 1982 was involved in an alcohol-related crash that killed a man. He was sentenced to one year in the county jail after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter and misdemeanor DWI.

death-finitionAccording to the
Office for National Statistics of UK, they reported that alcohol related death rate in the UK continued to rise in 2006, from 12.9 deaths per 100,000 populations in 2005 to 13.4 in 2006. The number of alcohol-related deaths more than doubled from 4,144 in 1991 to 8,758 in 2006. In the US, in 2006, an estimated 17,602 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes—an average of one every 30 minutes. These deaths constitute 41 percent of the 42,642 total traffic fatalities (from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

From a speech by Dr. Teo Ho Pin, Chairman of The Government Parliamentary Committee for Law and Home Affairs of Singapore dated 13 December 2006; he cited an accident which happened earlier in March that year. Two colleagues were on their way home together on a motorcycle and they crashed into the centre divider along Bukit Timah Expressway and their bodies were found lying along the road. It was found later that both men had a high concentration of alcohol in their blood. In that tragedy, two families lost not only their sole breadwinners but also their husbands and fathers. Indeed as what he mentioned, “The penalties of drink-driving are very high – with the ultimate penalty being death.

The serious consequences of drunk driving cannot be overemphasized and the consequences don’t end with legal action. It could very well cause a disruption in your life. More often than not, drunk driver endangers not only himself/herself, but also other innocent road users. Often time, you may think that you are still sober enough to drive after drinking but there are too many cases where drunk drivers caused death of their loved ones and innocent parties.

Prevention is always better than cure. If you are going out on a group, there can be a deathdesignated driver to send the rest home. And in the case when even the designated driver had a few drinks, there is always public transport or a cab instead. Never leave things to chance. When it happened, saying things like, “If I know … I would not drunk drive” or “I thought I am still in control” or “I’m sorry, I did not mean to kill her.” Whatever you’ll be saying, it would not make any sense anymore. Please do not ruin your night of fun and enjoyment and be sentenced to a lifetime of guilt and regret. Everyone of us can do our part to make this world a safer place for everyone else to live in.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

5 Tips to Prevent Boredom With Exercise

Exercise is great, but it can get repetitive. After a while of just doing the same things over and over again you might find yourself stuck in a rut. Not only will doing the same exercises over and over again prevent you from seeing more results but it will also allow your body to adapt to what your giving it.

This is why it’s very important to change up your workouts every two weeks at the least. This will give your body enough time to change and grow from the exercises you do without having your body to adapt to the exercises. By doing this, you never allow your body to get to a point where it adapts as well as it’ll keep your workouts interesting because you’ll always be doing something different. Because you’ll always be changing up your workouts, you’ll be able to keep seeing results as you progress in your routine. Another benefit to doing something different every two weeks is that you won’t set your body up to plateau or get stuck at a certain time of your routine.

There are many different ways to spice up your routine. Here are the top 5 ways you can easily adjust your workouts to make them more interesting and prevent boredom.

1. Use Different Equipment

Now a days, you have the benefit to choose from an array of different exercise equipments and tools. From foam rollers to BOSU balls every different piece of equipment can add a little bit more challenge to your exercises. What you can try to do is look for a piece of equipment that you don’t really know how to use and use it for 2 weeks. This will give enough to time to learn how to use it , and how to incorporate it into your routine. If you end up liking it then great if not move on to a different piece of equipment. So already by following this recommendation you’ll be able to try numerous amounts of fitness tools within a matter of weeks.

2. Workout With a Partner/Group

You know that saying two heads are better than one? Well it kind of works the same way for exercise. If you choose to work with a partner or friend you can benefit a whole lot in the motivation and social departments, however one great thing that you get when working with a partner is that you can come up with a crazy amount of exercises that you wouldn’t be able to do by yourself.

3. Learn New Exercises

This is probably one of the easiest tips to employ. There are many resources out there that can teach you how to perform different exercises that fit your preference. Whether you get ideas from magazines or from sessions with a trainer you can definitely pick up some great exercise to add to your routine.

4. Participate in Sports

Do you remember playing sports as a kid? Did it feel like exercise? For the most part not really…you were too busy focusing on what was going on that you didn’t realize you were exercising. Playing sports give you the opportunity to work super hard without you knowing. So if you don’t like to exercise you could try and find a community centre that has different sports that you can play or even join a local house league.

5. Create An Obstacle Course

If your looking for a creative way to add a little spice to your workouts you can look at making some Obstacle courses for yourself. You can make as long or as short as you want, it’s totally up to your preference. Personally what I do is look for a playground with monkey bars, benches and other objects I can implement into my obstacle course. Group 6-8 exercises together and perform one right after the other. It’s simple and creative way to kick your workout up a notch and get some serious results.

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Marci Lall is a Womens Weight Loss & Body Sculpting Specialist. visit his website to get his FREE report "16 tips on how to get maximum weight loss and fitness results in minimum time"

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