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8 Sustainable Changes You Can Make That Will Have a Positive Impact on Earth April 22, 2017

It’s a cold, hard fact that Earth’s once plentiful resources are drying up. Climate change, food and water shortages, pollution, deforestation, agriculture changes are all being caused by the wasteful nature of humans. These impacts have directly altered the Earth’s surface faster than the natural process. We are at a tipping point.

One small act can have a far-reaching impact and it all starts with a single step.

Here are some interesting facts to put things into perspective.

  • An average of 230 million tons of trash that is thrown away each year in the United States, and many do not realize that the trash they are throwing away can be reused.
  • Commercial food sources have become corrupted with genetically modified foods, hormones/antibiotics, pesticides and neurotoxins.
  • On average, one household uses 350 gallons of water.
  • Running tap water for two minutes is equal to 3-5 gallons of water.
  • America uses about 15 times more energy per person than the typical developing country.
  • In the United States, more than 40 percent of municipal solid waste is paper — about 71.8 tons a year.
  • Some 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags—including large trash bags, thick shopping bags,and thin grocery bags—were produced globally in 2002. Roughly 80 percent of those bags were used in North America and Western Europe. Every year, Americans reportedly throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags. (Worldwatch Institute)

The way we live directly impacts our environment and, let’s be honest, humans are very wasteful in regards to using up precious resources. We must begin doing our part to prolong tho negative effects we have on this planet. Earth Day is the perfect time to reflect upon what we can do to live more in tune our planet. In the past, we have suggested ways to make more earth-friendly choices such as recycling, not using chemical cleansers and re-purposing items, but it’s time to take another step forward and begin to live in a more sustainable nature.

8 Sustainable Changes You Can Make That Will Have a Positive Impact on Earth

  1. Buy localFarmers markets are a great way to buy locally and teach your family about sustainability. It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate. Our dependency on far away food sources leaves a region vulnerable to supply disruptions, and removes any real accountability of producer to consumer. As well, nutritional value can quickly decline as time passes after harvest. Finding local food sources can circumvent this impending issue and, because locally grown produce is freshest, it is more nutritionally complete. As well, join an organic food co-op to get more good food for less. It’s a great way to start to dip your toes into the self-sovereign movement that is sweeping the US.
  2. Cut the crap out of your diet – GMO and chemically enhanced food is no way to keep your family healthy. This is a big change to make, but will enhance your health in the long run. The easiest way to cut out foods that are full of hormones, antibiotics or considered gmo is to buy organic. A study recently noted that eating organic foods is more healthy than conventional foods. found that organics contain 18 to 69 percent higher concentrations of antioxidants. This means that an organic consumer will ingest the antioxidant equivalent of approximately two extra produce portions every day, without altering food intake. In your new diet, you should also steer clear of artificially colored or flavored food, non-organic milk and meat sources. As well, corn and soy are almost always GMO. Foods containing neurotoxins like MSG, fluoride, or aspartame (along with other artificial sweeteners) should be avoided. By switching to organic and natural foods you are letting all the commercial food sources out there that you object to chemicals being put in your foods. Think of it as a silent protest – and when they can’t get you to buy their product, they’ll take notice and make necessary changes.
  3. Support the bees – Our basic way of life is largely dependent on those little buzzing bees busily collecting food. Bees have been in sharp decline in North America and in parts of Europe over the last several years. Many believe multiple factors are to blame for colony collapses, a few being chemical-based fertilizers, climate change and invasive parasites that attack the hive. This is causing massive amounts of damage to insect-dependent agriculture. As a result, food shortages are on the rise and many experts are quickly trying to find ways to help the bees. Another way to support thriving bees is to follow in the footsteps of Oslo and help create a “bee highway” or feeding stations in urban areas to help feed the bees. “The idea is to create a route through the city with enough feeding stations for the bumblebees all the way,” Tonje Waaktaar Gamst of the Oslo Garden Society told local paper Osloby. ”Enough food will also help the bumblebees withstand man-made environmental stress better.”
  4. Start a garden – America was founded upon an agrarian lifestyle, and farmers were the driving force behind America. Currently, people are trying to find ways to move back to farming in order to grow their own food, to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on the government. In fact, by growing your own food, you cut down on trips to the grocery, thus cutting down on gasoline, carbon emissions and save some money in the process. As well, a lot of attention on yardfarming in suburbia has started becoming very popular in many parts of the United States. Yardfarmers converts unsustainable suburban developments, urban food deserts, or other neglected land into sustainable, more resilient opportunities for people while building community. How great would it be if the yardfarming movement popped up in your neck of the woods? If you can’t wait for the yardfarms, start a community garden. Community gardens encourage an urban community’s food security, allowing people to grow their own food. They bring urban gardeners closer in touch with the source of their food, and break down social isolation by encouraging community interaction.
  5. Sustainable landscaping – 60% of a person’s household water usage goes toward lawn and garden maintenance. During times of drought, our lawn and landscaping can become a bottomless pit where we are throwing away money to keep grass alive. Rather than spending exorbitant amounts of money to maintain landscaping, think outside of the box and choose a more sustainable form of landscaping. As well, consider growing native plants in your area. This will cut down on water usage and encourage native wildlife, insects, etc. to hang out in your yard.
  6. Only use organic fertilizers when gardening – Despite what some corporations want you to believe, chemicals are not good for plants. The application of glyphosate around the world has increased 15 fold since these Roundup Ready crops were first introduced in the 1990s. Roundup Ready crops have created a problem in agriculture that is similar to the problems caused by antibiotics, whose overuse has bred highly resistant strains of superbugs. The overuse of glyphosate has bred superweeds, which are resistant to the pesticide. And the more resistant they become, the more pesticides that farmers have to apply. It’s an endless cycle that farmers have no idea how to break out of. Composting organic material for the soil is a healthier alternative. With composting, you are utilizing aerobic and anaerobic decomposition processes to break down the compostable material and invite beneficial organisms to assist in the process. The end result is a full spectrum soil conditioner that has many benefits.
  • Compost contains macro and micronutrients often absent in synthetic fertilizers.
  • Compost releases nutrients slowly—over months or years, unlike synthetic fertilizers
  • Compost enriched soil retains fertilizers better. Less fertilizer runs off to pollute waterways.
  • Compost buffers the soil, neutralizing both acid & alkaline soils, bringing pH levels to the optimum range for nutrient availability to plants.
  • A compost tea can also be used as a foliar spray on the plant or poured into the soil.
  1. Some natural fertilizers can be found in your garbage and can be composted and turned into natural garden amendments. Banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds are great for the garden! You can feed the soil with some of these soil amenders, as well: earthworm castingsphosphatepowdered oyster shell, and green sand.

7. Water conservation – Did you know that if a household started conserving water, you can reduce your in-home water use by 35%? This means the average household, which uses 130,000 gallons per year, could save 44,000 gallons of water per year. Learning ways to practice the art of conserving water now, will help you make the most of your water sources. Here are 22 ways to start!

8. Use less packaging – We are all guilty of using zip-loc bags and throwing them away after each use. It’s so wasteful! Luckily, there are lots of alternatives available to us. Some favorites are these paper sandwich baggies or this re-useable velcro sandwich bag. Both will reduce that dreaded carbon footprint. As well, purchasing re-usable lunch containers like these eco-friendly stainless steel containers are great alternatives to plastic. There are some foods like potatoes and oranges that come in their own mesh packaging and knowing how to reuse packaging can simplify your life. In addition, purchase grocery bags that can be reused. This will cut down on having an excess of plastic bags.

Find Alternative Uses For Some of Your Trash

Some of the trash we collect can serve other purposes, and changing your mindset is also an essential sustainability skill. Learning the art of using what you have around you to live is the core of being self-reliant – and what many of us are trying to achieve. Here are 50 of the most common items thrown away and ways you can reuse them. Creativity and resourcefulness can go a long way if we need to rely on what we have around us.

Whether you want to believe it or not, our current way of living is not sustainable. We over consume are wasteful and there is a better, more sustainable way to life. We can’t keep going on like this and if each of us where to make some minor changes to how we live, the earth would already be a better place to live. Let’s make Earth a better place!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 22nd, 2017
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Alert: Your Cell Phone is Spying on You! 4 Ways to Block Your Cell Phone and Prevent Being Monitored March 9, 2017

 

“We are all just prisoners here…of our own device…” – “Hotel California,” by The Eagles

 

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is on the heels of an article released by RT News on 3/8/17, entitled “85% of World’s Smart Phones ‘Weaponized’ by CIA.”  The article is a very disturbing report; however, it isn’t something that just “surfaced” out of the zone of unpredictability.  The basis for the report stems from the recent WikiLeaks release of the CIA-documents and information that just occurred.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

 “Google’s Android operating system, used in 85 percent of the world’s smart phones, including Samsung and Sony, was found to have 24 ‘zero days’ – the code name used by the CIA to identify and exploit vulnerabilities for the purpose of secretly collecting data on individuals.  The techniques allow the CIA to access data from social messaging platforms, including WhatsApp, Weibo and Clockman before encryption, according to WikiLeaks.  Both audio and message data were vulnerable to the exploit through the CIA’s exploitation of gaps in the OS.”

Now mind you, Readers, this piece is not a “news article,” although this event was just reported on 3/8/17.  The purpose of this article is to serve as a “wake-up” call, in case you haven’t taken the measures already outlined in previous articles to protect yourself from your own devices tracking, recording, and (essentially) “spying” upon you.  You may research past articles on electronic security that you can do, and this piece is a “refresher” that will enable you to secure yourself…. from your own equipment.

4 Ways to Block Your Cell Phone and Prevent Being Monitored

As mentioned in times past, Mylar can be your best ally.  Mylar is simple to use, affordable, and it works at blocking the signals going to and from your happy cell-phone tracking and recording device.  Here are some inexpensive sources for the Mylar:

  1. Chip/Snack bags: An infinite variety of sizes are available, and you will have to gauge what size you use after taking the size of your phone/device into account.
  2. Mylar in the form of “ponchos” or “space blankets”: these are a little more expensive than the chips, but only slightly so. You will end up with more Mylar to use, and the pieces you cut will not need to be cleaned off of salt and other detritus as with the chip bags.
  3. Freezer bags: Also in a variety of sizes, such as ones that hold up to 30 lbs. of food/ice (for a laptop-sized device) or just a small 1’ x 1’ bag, such as a lunchbag-cooler size.
  4. Another thing to do is to place your device inside of an ammo can (military issue). In doing so, make sure the rubber gasket around the mouth seals efficiently for a tight seal.  There are other containers that can be used; however, you may have to reinforce the seams with something such as Aluminum HVAC duct tape (available for about $15 per roll from your local Home Depot), and cover them over.  With the ammo cans, the container is contiguous with only the lid needing that rubber gasket that works.

How to Test for Protection

There is a way to test it out with your phone to see if you have the protection.  Take your chip bag or bags.  If they’re small, be advised that you will need about three complete layers around the cell phone.  Also, place your phone in a plastic Ziploc bag before putting them into the chip bags.  This will keep them clean just in case you missed wiping all of the stuff out of them.  Wiping out the bags can best be accomplished with a dry paper towel: the oils, salts, and other filth will be caught up by the towel.  Just remember to cover/swipe the entire inside surface of the bag.

Then turn your phone on, and turn up the volume of its ring all the way.  Next, roll/wrap up your phone and fold it over in at least three complete layers of Mylar.  Then use your house phone/landline/etc. to dial your wrapped-up cell phone’s number, and hold the wrapped-up phone close to your ear.

If you did the job correctly, you will not hear a thing.  Also, make sure you only ring it 3 times.  Any more than that and it may go to a voice-mail/other function, that will send it stored to your cell phone after you unwrap it as a missed call.  This way it will not ring it, and the call will have been cancelled.

Remember what General David Petraeus mentioned about the “Internet of things?”  Well, those days are upon us.  So, what else?  You’ll have to figure out the best method for making your layers work and last a long time.  You can take the chip bags, cut them open with scissors, and make three premeasured layers.  Form a pouch, and cover them inside and out with duct tape.  Then you just slip in your phone, and secure the top (fold it over) with whatever type of clamp or clip works for you.

The continuous signal your cell phone sends out (every 4 seconds) will be interrupted.  Inconvenient?  No.  Coordinate with your family members when you will call and talk to them beforehand.  Emergency?  Pull the phone out of the pouch and use it.


Bottom line: It is a discipline that will have to be followed to enable your privacy…from your own device.


99% of all people carry that thing around with them everywhere.  They’re hooked to it more closely than a fetus to the umbilicus: they can’t function without it.  But the point I’m making is this: Do you own the phone, or does it own you?

You can accomplish the same thing with your laptops and other “smart” toys…your palm-pilots, blackberries, cameras, and all of the other damnable devices that have made you an unwitting prisoner to the powers and systems that set them in place…not for your “technological convenience,” but for the very purposes of control, dominion, and surveillance over you.

Ammo cans work.  The Mylar (when cleaned and fashioned properly) will work.  Now you just received confirmation that it is happening, and I’ve given you methods to use to stop it from happening to you.  The methods work.  I have tested and used them myself.  So, without further ado, figure out how much material you need and make one of these pouches for yourself.  Your privacy is guaranteed under the 4th Amendment from illegal searches and seizures by the government.  That right, however, needs to be exercised by action.  So, finish those Doritos, clean out that bag, and wrap that phone up!  We’d love to hear of any tips or improvements you have come to trust.  Keep fighting that good fight, and send us your comments!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 9th, 2017
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Four Current Events that Prove Preppers Need to Stay Vigilant February 23, 2017

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[Editor’s Note: Many preppers are being lulled by a sense of comfort and have stopped fortifying their homes and preparing because they think times are easier. In times of calm is precisely when we should be prepping or continuing on. The world is a very precarious place right now and we need to continue focusing our attention on the horizon and remember a disaster is always looming in the distance.]

With the election has been behind us, we must ask ourselves where do things stand right now?  The world situation isn’t improving all that much, and there are several hot spots to mention that have had some changes since last we covered them.

Four Current Events that Prove Preppers Need to Stay Vigilant

  1.  North Korea: As it would appear, Kim Jung-Un’s half-brother was just recently assassinated in Malaysia the other week.  The regime is in an uproar because they suspect U.S. backing and/or involvement.  In addition, there exists the possibility that someone will make a play to bump off Un as well.  Un has already declared that such an attempt (if discovered beforehand) will be considered an act of war.  It has already been established that North Korea is well along to development of ICBM’s (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) that can reach the U.S. West Coast.
  2. Iran: Far from “over,” Iran is reaching out its influence in the Persian Gulf and conducting exercises both on land and in the Straits of Hormuz, the choke-point for vast shipments of the world’s oil supply.  Iran just “gained” more than a billion and a half dollars (courtesy of Obama before he left office) that will be employed in the further development of their nuclear capabilities.
  3. China: The “reset” being conducted by President Trump and the “housecleaning” he is conducting regarding both the Washington, D.C. “Beltway” establishment and the removal of “remnants” of the Obama administration…all of these actions are displeasing to the Chinese.  The President also acknowledged Taiwan, and reaffirmed his commitment to our allies in the Far East that the U.S. will not stand by idly while Communist China vies for territory.  A “Cold War” with the Chinese is now in its formative stage as China sees the inroads the U.S. is making with Russia and with fixing the relations that Obama had ruined miserably.
  4. Ukraine: Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president is trying to goad the U.S. into more of a commitment to helping Ukraine to stamp down the uprising by Eastern Ukrainians of Russian extraction who are separatists and wish to join Russia.  President Trump must deal with the backlash from four years of misery for Ukraine.  Obama directed these actions, initiated by Victoria Nuland, former State Department employee, and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham with the U.S.-sponsored coup d’état that ousted Yanukovych and inserted Arseny Yatsenuk.  This coup led to the eventual incursion and annexation of Crimea by Russia for the purpose of preserving their Black Sea Fleet and naval base located at Sevastopol.  Obama and the Congress committed to sending military supplies, and the tensions have resurfaced between the U.S. and Russia, who backs the separatists against the U.S.-installed Kiev government of Poroshenko.

There are several other smaller flash points as well, worth mentioning but not outlining in detail.  Syria, the Senkaku Islands (dispute between China and Japan), and the illegal alien problem in Western Europe are ongoing.  In addition to all of this, the President is beset from within his administration by the likes of Reince Priebus and others who have been leaking defamatory statements to the press, as well as causing general consternation within the White House.

In past articles, here at ReadyNutrition, we have emphasized the need to keep up with the current events, and I reiterate this precept.  The winter months are good months to plan on things upcoming for the spring and summer.  Plan ahead by a couple of months at least for the activities and training that you are going to pursue.  Plan out how you are going to build that rainwater catchment system, and how you’re going to lay out that root cellar in the spring.

Knowledge is Key

Research all of your courses available in both your county extension/agricultural offices, and your local community colleges.  The knowledge is there for you and just needs to be found and taken ahold of.  This is part of preparation.  Study to show yourself approved…the workman worthy of his craft, right?

And the most important prep of all…you!  You must physically and mentally prepare your body and your mind.  Physical fitness will open doors for you that may have been closed for a while or maybe you have never walked through before.  I am amazed (and disgusted) whenever I visit a health food store and see the clientele.  The customers appear (and appearances are usually true in this regard) to be the most sickly, malnourished, and out of shape individuals I have seen anywhere.

Your exercise and proper, balanced nutrition are keys to improving yourself and being in a continuous state of readiness and preparedness.  In these winter months, don’t just acquire supplies.  Acquire a good set of weights and exercise equipment, and use them to improve yourself physically.  You have to remember that governments and countries can go “ballistic” (and I’m not even referring to ICBM’s) at any given time.  Where you are (in terms of overall readiness) is where you will be when the SHTF…you won’t have much time to make improvements.

So, keep prepping, keep planning, and keep praying that nothing happens.  It’s far better to be prepared and not to have something happen than to be caught off guard.  Keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 23rd, 2017
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