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    • Make Safety a Priority for Winter Travel

      21 January 2022

      (Family Features) As more and more Americans hit the road and return to traveling this winter, concerns around road safety are top of mind.

      Nearly half of Americans (47%) plan to travel in the next six months, according to a survey by 3M. A majority (76%) plan to travel by car, but more than a third of travelers are as concerned about road safety as they are about contracting COVID-19.

      “Especially after spending an extended period closer to home, many people are likely to have some trepidation about getting back out on the road,” said automotive expert Lauren Fix, “The Car Coach” and 3M spokesperson. “Being conscious of issues like visibility and distracted driving are important ways to protect yourself and your passengers.”

      Consider these tips to enhance the safety of your winter travel.

      Before You Go
      Check your tire pressure and the condition of your tread. Properly inflated and adequate tires can keep you safe on the road, especially in slick conditions.

      Visibility is important so you can see the road and other drivers. Make sure you have properly functioning wiper blades and carry extra washer fluid. Check your headlights to ensure they both work and your lenses aren’t hazy.

      Use your GPS to help you plan the best time to leave for your road trip, avoiding the major rush hours.

      Make sure your car has an emergency kit and replenish any items you have used in the past. Include a first aid kit, blanket, drinking water, flashlight, reflective triangles and a reflective vest to keep you visible to other vehicles if you are working on your car on the side of the road or need to walk to get help.

      While On the Road
      Keep your focus on the road and stay off your phone. Also be aware of the other vehicles and drivers around you.

      Use GPS to re-route around construction or congestion. If you do come across construction, be sure to keep a close eye on the roadway signage and markings as they can help you navigate the complex roadways safely.

      If you find yourself driving in bad weather and visibility is an issue, pay attention to road markings to keep yourself oriented to the roadway. If you have no visibility, pull over.

      Find more road safety information at 3M.com/news.

      Recognize Road Safety Markings
      Reflective signage and high-visibility pavement markings, along with innovative systems and services, help make roadways and other vehicles more visible to drivers. You can count on safer travel this winter with road safety solutions such as: 

      Traffic signs: Studies have found that where highly visible signs are installed, crash numbers have fallen up to 46% within 3-6 years. Reflective sign sheeting, ink and overlays increase visibility and driver recognition of these signals. In foggy and wintery weather, fluorescent yellow street signs have also been found to be more easily visible.

      Pavement markings: Pavement markings help guide drivers and keep roads safe. In dark and wet conditions, standard reflective pavement markings can disappear. Reflective technology like the options from 3M make road markings visible from longer distances and in wet conditions.

      Traffic delineators: Navigating complex or changing roadways can be confusing and dangerous for drivers. Specialized delineation systems are used for construction projects, median barriers and guardrails, putting roadway information directly in sight of drivers and making it easier to navigate roadway complexities.

      License plates: License plates need to remain visible on any roadway and in all conditions, ensuring law enforcement can quickly and effectively identify vehicles. By providing vehicle registration solutions and advanced license plate manufacturing equipment, 3M partners with motor vehicle agencies and manufacturers around the world.

      Vehicle markings: Government regulations call for conspicuous tape on certain types of large vehicles and trailers in the United States to increase visibility and help prevent traffic collisions, injuries and deaths.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Reusable Items That Will Save You Money for Years to Come

      21 January 2022

      Reusing things you use often instead of using them once and then throwing them away will not only benefit the environment, but will save you some cash, too. 

      Here are four reusable items that will more than pay for themselves in savings. 

      Shopping Bags
      A plastic bag has a lifespan of 12 minutes from when it’s initially filled with groceries at the store to when it’s discarded when you get home, according to Reuse This Bag. These bags can take 1,000 years to decompose. 

      That’s why many states and countries have banned plastic bags, requiring a fee to purchase a paper or reusable bag in the store. To get around such fees, you can bring your own bag to a store, grocer, restaurant or anywhere else that you need to lug something home from. 

      Canvas bags are often giveaways at events or cost a few dollars at the store. Keep a handful in the trunk of your car and get in the habit of carrying a few with you. You’ll never have to pay for a bag again. 

      Water Bottles/Thermos
      The Container Recycling Institute estimates that more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day. Buying water in plastic bottles is also expensive, so think ahead and fill a reusable water bottle each morning to save you time and money daily. 

      The same goes for a thermos to keep your morning drink hot. Even if you’re going to a coffee shop to buy coffee, ask the barista to fill your thermos. You might get a small discount for not using the store’s cup and you’ll be putting fewer coffee cups in the trash. 

      Cloth Napkins
      Using cloth napkins instead of paper will save you money in the long run and will also help the environment. Washing and drying them requires some expense, but it shouldn’t be much more if you throw them in with a regular load of laundry. 

      Silicone Stretch Lid Covers
      Another kitchen item that will save you money? Silicone stretch lid covers that fit over bowls, glassware and jars. You won’t have to buy plastic wrap or aluminum foil again, plus, the eco-friendly lids will probably stay on better than wrap or foil. 

      The stretch lids can go in the refrigerator, freezer or microwave oven without being damaged and can be tossed in the upper rack of a dishwasher for easy cleaning. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Change Your Door Knob

      21 January 2022

      Do you have a busted door knob or want to change the locks after buying a new home so you can be sure that only you have the key? Thankfully, replacing a door knob isn’t that hard or expensive, and you don’t need a locksmith to get the job done.

      You can buy a door knob kit relatively cheap from any home improvement retailer or your local hardware store, or simply order one online and it will be there in no time. And don’t think you need all day to get the job done. This is something that even the most inexperienced handyman can do in under an hour—probably under 30 minutes.

      Here are some step-by-step instructions in making sure you do the job right:

      Take off the damaged door knob 
      Get a screwdriver and undo the mounting screws on both sides of the know. Many times, the screws are concealed, but you should be able to find the shank of the interior doorknob where there will be a tiny slot or hole. Push the tip of a narrow-blade screwdriver or nailset into the hole, tug on the knobs (both sides) and they will slide right off. Then pry off the round decorative plate, called the rose, to expose the screws that hold the lockset onto the door.

      Remove the Latch Plate 
      The first thing you need to do is unscrew the two screws from the latch plate on the inside of the door, enabling you to easily pull the latch out. Whether you are working with a dead bolt on a front door or just a simple bedroom door, the process is the same.

      Add New Latch Plate
      Next, insert the new latch plate on the inside edge of the door where the old one was just removed. The tapered side of the turning lock should be facing the strike plate on the door frame. Then, secure the new latch plate in place.

      Add Door Knob 
      Put on your new door knob (one side at a time), by bringing the spindle through the latch and centering it so both sides are equal. Secure the knobs on both sides and screw in the new plate. Once done, test to ensure it works from both sides.

      Polish 
      Finish the job by polishing your new door knob so it looks great.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Easy Ways to Enhance Digestive Health

      20 January 2022

      (Family Features) As your social schedule picks up steam and you attend more social gatherings and celebrations, you may find yourself with an unexpected issue: digestive troubles. Problems like this can have a negative impact on your overall wellness, so it’s important to make healthy digestion a priority.

      According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of how to live long and be healthy, the health of the digestive system is the core of optimum health. Ayurvedic medicine asserts the digestive system is based on the strength and balance of its Agni (fire), which enables the body to absorb, digest and assimilate food. The teachings suggest an imbalanced Agni creates undigested residues, which form toxins that create imbalances and can lead to disease.

      Some of the dietary guidelines for healthy digestion and strong Agni include:

      • Allowing 4-6 hours between meals
      • Avoiding eating between meals
      • Avoiding foods with cold, wet and heavy qualities
      • Drinking ginger tea or hot water to stimulate the Agni
      • Starting a meal with pungent (hot), sour and salty flavors
      • Consuming a small amount of bitter taste before a meal to increase the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach

      Take steps to protect and nurture your digestive health with these tips:

      Add Fiber to Your Diet
      Plant-based foods that are high in fiber fill you up faster, so you’re less likely to overeat, and they also help with digestive regularity. Increase your intake of high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Take a gradual approach to avoid upsetting your digestive tract and bump up your water intake as you go since fiber will absorb it and decrease the likelihood you experience gas or cramping.

      Stay Hydrated
      Keeping your body well hydrated is like making sure your car’s engine is well lubricated. It keeps all your moving parts in sync and operating for top performance. Some fluids can also help with detoxification, which can be especially beneficial when your social calendar is full and your opportunities to overindulge are greater.

      An option like Buddha Teas’ Detox Dharma contains detoxifying herbs that stimulate your digestive system. Strengthening and soothing herbs are also incorporated into this balanced formula resulting in an effective yet gentle detox tea. For another solution, Turmeric Ginger Tea contains enough black pepper to make curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) bio-available in hot water, helping build healthy Agni.

      Eat Slower
      In today’s busy world, it’s easy to scarf down a meal in record time. However, slowing down gives your body more time to process food. You’ll give your brain more time to communicate with your stomach and be more aware of when you’ve satisfied your hunger.

      Start Exercising
      If you need one more reason to get moving, your digestive health could be it. Regular physical activity promotes better digestion. However, if you jump into a workout too quickly after eating, you could actually do the opposite. Eat light before exercising then have a protein-rich balanced meal for recovery afterward.

      Manage Stress
      Too much stress can manifest multiple physical problems, including interrupting your digestion. Try mindful meditation or another method of relaxing and relieving stress. Getting plenty of rest can also help keep stress in check. If you’re looking for a good night of sleep, consider Buddha Teas’ CBD Sleepy Buddha Blend. Herbs for calming and relieving stress are paired with organic, water-soluble, THC-free CBD to leave you feeling restored and rejuvenated.

      Find more solutions for enhancing your digestive health at buddhateas.com

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Set a Food Budget

      20 January 2022

      Americans spend an average of about 10 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food. The more money a family earns, the less it spends on food, with households in the lowest incomes spending 35 percent of their income on food, compared to 8 percent for the highest earners, according to the Agriculture Department. 

      The amount spent on food is almost the same for groceries to make meals at home and eating away from home at restaurants. Disposable income is how much money is left after taxes and other mandatory withholdings are deducted from paychecks. 

      While both low- and high-income families could benefit from budgeting for their food expenses, higher income households could see a bigger savings because their food expenses typically grow, but become a smaller overall amount of their general budget. 

      Eating out less is the main way to cut a food budget. But some of that money will go toward groceries, so the cost isn’t totally eliminated. 

      When setting a food budget for groceries, a good place to start is a report by the USDA that provides a weekly and monthly guideline that is updated every month to help show families if they’re overspending at the grocery store. It lists average food costs for a nutritious diet of meals and snacks prepared at home. 

      Costs are broken down into four spending levels: thrifty, low-cost, moderate and liberal spending plans. 

      A family of four with two children between ages six and 11, for example, would spend $150 per week under the thrifty plan, $197 in the low-cost plan, $246 in the moderate plan, and $299 in the liberal plan. 

      These USDA guidelines can help a family understand if their expenditures on food are out of line. If you’re buying organic, artisan food, then your food budget will likely be high. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, then your food budget may be low. 

      To start a food budget, check your last bank statement to see how much you spent at the grocery store the previous month. If it’s more than what the USDA average is for your family size, chances are you can find areas to cut. 

      This doesn’t mean going hungry, though. Start by trying to cut your weekly grocery bill by $25. Buy generic brands, for instance, buy in bulk and shop at  different grocery stores with lower prices. Making a meal plan every week can help you avoid impulse purchases. 

      It may take a few months, but with help from everyone in the family, a food budget should be easy to pare down. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.