Living green has morphed itself

May 26, 2010

Living green has morphed itself. In a short couple of years, it has gone from being environmentally friendly and conserving energy to all things healthy. Just look at the homes that are currently being certified green by the Florida Green Building Council. The only Platinum Home — the highest designation available — is in Orlando, Fla., that indeed is not sexy green. It scored high marks not for its roof gardens or rain barrels, but for its low-VOC and no-VOC carpets and paints. The tight envelope of the home keeps out allergens as does the fresh air intake of the air conditioning unit. Moreover, Cambria countertops are installed in the kitchen and all bathrooms: Cambria is food safe since it is nonporous and food and moisture cannot penetrate the surface.

And it’s not only the sick buildings we are addressing; it’s the foods we eat that have become the newest green offshoot. It started with eating local foods to cut down on emissions and carbon footprints, but it has become a quest for eliminating obesity — especially in children — and returning our eating habits to those of our ancestors free of processed foods and out-of-control portions. The obesity factor has reached such a high scale that the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity was just released by First Lady Michelle Obama, which is aimed to reduce childhood obesity from 20% to 5% by 2030.

The greener eating craze has caused an uptick in the fight for exercise as well. It is not only a good diet that will keep you healthy, but it’s the regular exercise that so many people avoided way too long.

Indeed, it is the influx of baby boomers into their senior years that is really causing a stir.

If boomers are not kept healthy, their sheer numbers could crush even the best of health care plans.


Health-conscious Businesses Being Honored in Orlando

March 12, 2010

In the past couple of years, the hackneyed term “green” has morphed beyond just our social consciousness of the environment and into the realm of healthcare. We have seen this trend in publishing We Care magazine in Orlando, Fla., in which the tide toward being healthy — holistic eating, non-toxic cleaning products, and walking/biking to school and work — has seemed to take center stage.

Last fall I had the pleasure of becoming involved with a group called Get Active Orlando, which acts as an advisory committee to the City of Orlando, although we reach way beyond the city limits. This group of professionals representing hospitals, nurses, doctors, neighborhoods, entrepreneurs, associations, and local businesses and governmental agencies are engaged in fabricating the area in which we live into the healthiest city in the country. Tall order, but one that can be accomplished.

To that end, I am working with Get Active Orlando on a regional campaign to find and award the healthiest businesses in Central Florida. The first-ever Healthy Workplace Awards will honor businesses dedicated to the health of their employees.

For example, do you encourage your employees to include exercise in their daily activities? Do you know of a business that promotes bicycle riding or walking to work? Does your place of business offer facilities for exercise or working out for employees? If you can say yes to any of these questions, or have a wellness program of your own, let us know.

For applications, criteria, and submission guidelines to the 2010 Healthy Workplace Awards, e-mail info@getactiveorlando.com or visit www.getactiveorlando.com. The application was designed to take only a few minutes to fill out and there is no entry fee. Applications are due April 30, 2010.

So, stand and be recognized — apparently it’s the green thing to do.


Design trends: What’s ‘out’ in 2010

January 28, 2010

It’s that time again  to look around the house and be sure you are not dating yourself with your design elements.

According to Christy Scanlon, COO, of Masterpiece Design Group in Winter Park, Fla., here’s what’s out for 2010. 

  1. Heavily textured rugs.  Flokati and shags hold a lot of allergens.  With the new trend of green and healthy living, the focus is on a  healthier home environment.
  2. Entertainment armoires.  With the current sizes of LCD televisions and flat screens, the traditional entertainment armoires are being replaced with low storage consoles.
  3. Dark rustic kitchens.  Kitchens are taking a cue from the industrial kitchen.  Kitchen designs are sleeker and streamlined, which in turns creates a “clean” look.
  4. Painting your trim darker than your walls.  This was a very popular trend for the past couple of years that is now dating your design.
  5. The traditional living room.  We are finding that the room people once called a living room on a floor plan is now being called a “flex room.” The buyer now wants to use every bit of square feet, therefore the room that housed beautiful furniture you rarely stepped foot in, is now being used as a family game room or home office.
  6. Less clutter in accessorization.  Use large, bolder accessories in lieu of the small, dust gathering items we have seen in the past.

Interested in “what’s in for 2010” and which colors to use to create a cozy, soothing home for your family? Visit the Jan. 28, 2010 issue of The Hestia Report.


Who Cares?

September 17, 2009

 

From disrespect of the nation’s Commander-in-Chief and the ranting at town hall meetings to the music and sports world celebrities going wacko, it is getting harder to concentrate on a magazine I am deeply involved with right now.
 
We CareIt’s called We Care, but lately I wonder if we really do. It seems like the compassion once so prevalent in this country — especially after 9-11 — is melting as fast as the polar ice caps.
 
The other day, within a matter of minutes, my wife and I watched a woman throw a can on the ground as she was walking to her car — a garbage can only 50 feet away. Around the corner, a young man was throwing rocks at snake birds near the shore of a lake.
 
Were they reprimanded? Of course! But deaf ears and insubordinate attitudes seem to have become  everyday traits.
 
Maybe that’s why I have become so engrossed in We Care. Each day, I get to hear people tell me heart-warming stories of caring for another. It helps restore my faith in society that all is not lost.
 
Let’s at least hope so.