See the Sign and Recycle More

You can help make recycling at home and special events easier with signs. Recycling, organics recycling and trash signs or labels help family members or guests know your expectations, and help ensure waste ends up where it belongs.
“Excuse me, do you recycle?”
We have all been there before. You are at a party. You finish your soda and snacks and you scan the room for where to drop your paper plate and plastic cup. You see a trash can and make your move. When you get there you realize that there are several bins to choose from. Which one is the recycling? You try to decipher by what is already in the bins, but you just cannot crack the code.
Signs and labels help direct
Something as simple as putting a recycling and trash label on your collection bins can be a huge step in preventing recyclables from ending up in the landfill.
Avoid confusion by using free, downloadable signs from the Recycling Association of Minnesota. Labeling your bins lets guests know that you are serious about recycling and allows them to participate with ease without you having to worry about policing your guests. For some guests who don’t care where bottles go, signs or labels can help them see just how effortless it is to set up a recycling system in their own home.
Waste stations at home
Reflect your recycling values with colorful signs and simple sorting. Just taking a few minutes to set up a waste station is an important part of keeping your recycling efforts going.
A “waste station” is a fancy term for a simple concept: bins clearly labeled for trash, recyclables, and organics arranged side by side. Recycling bins should look different than trash cans, and labels should be large, clear and specific. Place your waste station where recycling and trash are generated, such as where the mail is opened, where the kids are cleaning out school folders and where cans, bottles and jugs are tossed.
When you are planning a get together at home, it’s important to help guide your guests to recycle without thinking too much. When you plan for where to put the snacks and beverages, you can also plan to create a clearly marked waste station.
Staying Green at special events
Do you have an event coming up? The same waste station planning and labelling applies. has resources for any size event, from birthdays, to bridal showers, to outdoor events to help you keep your event green. Have a larger event planned? Local governments have rules, guidelines and resources. For example, many counties provide recycling bins for larger events for free. They can also help with items that you may have collected that are unable to be picked up at curbside.
Minnesotans recycle over 2.3 million tons of paper, glass, metals, plastics, yard waste and more each year, which creates new products such as cans, cardboard, newspaper, carpet, clothing, furniture and much more., provided by the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board, is your go-to guide for waste and recycling in the Twin Cities.
Rethink Recycling
About The Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board launched its first education outreach campaign in 2003 to help citizens living in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington understand the urgent need to make environmentally responsible purchasing and disposal decisions in their daily lives. The board is proud to sponsor its current campaign,
Original article link here.

reTHINK Your Drink

“In an effort to get people and places to choose healthier beverages, the Minneapolis Health eDepartment has launched the reTHINK campaign. The new campaign aims to help people to understand how beverages make up a significant part of their diet, and what people drink can either positively or negatively impact their mind and body. Experts have identified sugary drinks as the single largest contributor of calories and added sugars to the U.S. diet.” –

Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage go by many different names and are not always obvious to anyone looking at the ingredients list. Some common caloric sweeteners are listed below. If these appear in the ingredients list of your favorite beverage, you are drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage.

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose

Here are some tips to find what is in your drinks:

  • Look at the nutritional facts that are usually on the side or back of the products. It gives information on how much a product contain sugar, sodium, and calories, etc. Make sure that you are aware of how much you consume throughout the day whether it is foods or drinks. You don’t want to exceed your daily calorie intake or waste it on unhealthy food.
  • Drink water instead of sugary and carbonated drinks. There are many benefits to drinking water. Water helps your body flush out waste, keep your body hydrated, maintain bowel movements, and more. It doesn’t have any calories and can help you lose weight. Don’t substitute water with anything, drink water!
  • When ordering drinks, go for less! Less is more and more satisfying. Whether it’s ordering smoothies, coffees, shakes, etc., get it in small, if possible kid size. If you get it in a smaller size, you won’t feel as bad eating it, you’ll save money, and won’t have the urge to finish the entire drink especially if it’s in a large size.
  • Sodium intake is another thing to watch out for. Too much sodium can lead to heart related accidents and diseases, high blood pressures, stroke, and more. “Based on a 2013 phone survey of more than 180,000 adults across 26 states, DC and Puerto Rico, CDC research reveals that just over half of U.S. adults reported taking action to watch or reduce sodium intake – while one in five say they have received professional medical advice to reduce sodium intake.”

Facts & info belong to

Benefits of Water Exercise


Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States and a good way to get regular aerobic physical activity 1. Just two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical activity, such as swimming, bicycling, or running can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses 23. This can also lead to improved health for people with diabetes and heart disease 2. Swimmers have about half the risk of death compared with inactive people 3. People report enjoying water-based exercise more than exercising on land 4. They can also exercise longer in water than on land without increased effort or joint or muscle pain 56.

Water-based Exercise and Chronic Illness

Water-based exercise can help people with chronic diseases. For people with arthritis, it improves use of affected joints without worsening symptoms 7. People with rheumatoid arthritis have more health improvements after participating in hydrotherapy than with other activities 8. Water-based exercise also improves the use of affected joints and decreases pain from osteoarthritis 9.

Water-based Exercise and Mental Health

Water-based exercise improves mental health. Swimming can improve mood in both men and women 10. For people with fibromyalgia, it can decrease anxiety and exercise therapy in warm water can decrease depression and improve mood 1112. Water-based exercise can improve the health of mothers and their unborn children and has a positive effect on the mothers’ mentl health 13. Parents of children with developmental disabilities find that recreational activities, such as swimming, improve family connections 14.

Water-based Exercise and Older Adults

Water-based exercise can benefit older adults by improving the quality of life and decreasing disability 15. It also improves or maintains the bone health of post-menopausal women 16.

A Good Choice

Exercising in water offers many physical and mental health benefits and is a good choice for people who want to be more active. When in the water, remember to protect yourself and others from illness and injury by practicing healthy and safe swimming behaviors.

Original article linked here.

This Month in Japan | July


Fumizuki, a traditional name for July, refers to “book/origin month.” There are several theories behind the true meaning of this kanji combination, one being that fumizuki is a shortened form of hofumizuki, referring to a time when rice becomes ready for harvest. Another possible explanation is that the name is short for fumihirakizuki, meaning to hope for an improvement in one’s calligraphy skills.

During this month, Tanabata, is celebrated on the seventh and Marine Day, the third Monday of the month, commemorates the return of Emperor Meiji to Yokohama port from a boat trip to Hokkaido in 1876.