Climate Change and Christmas

There are some people who escape to Thailand or some other hot tropical country to escape the cold weather at Christmas, and there are others who are hoping for a white Christmas. I can’t remember the last time it really snowed at Christmas. With the present dire state of the world’s climate the possibility of a White Christmas is becoming more remote by the year.

It seems to me that the best way to try and rectify this problem is to invest a little time and effort into making your Christmas celebrations a little more environmentally friendly. Every little bit helps and besides it is the trying that counts as well.

At present the carbon dioxide count in the atmosphere stands at 390 parts per million (ppm). There is no room for maneuver. All new energy efficient factories and homes built and all new fossil fuel power plants constructed are liable to tip the count over 450 ppm in a few years time. 450 ppm is the point at which sea levels rise and temperatures rise with the result of mass flooding, mass extinctions and turn the Amazon rainforest into a desert. It is clear that world leaders are not going to solve this problem so consumers must do so instead.

So here are a few tips for making your Christmas season more green:

1)    Turn off the Christmas lights when you go to bed. Also unplug devices such as stereos, TVs, DVD players and especially microwaves that are on standby when not in use. These devices continue to waste electricity when you are not using them. A good green gift idea is a smart strip that automatically turns devices off when a master device such as a computer or TV is turned off.

2)    Don’t turn the thermostat up too high during the holiday period. It is plain stupid to wear shorts and a t-shirt in the home at winter because the heating is up so high. For every 8 hour period you can drop your thermostat set point by 1 degree you save 1% on your heating bill.

3)    Use recycled paper for wrapping up presents. The wrapping paper is torn off in a hurry and no kid will notice that the paper is recycled. Using recycled paper helps to slow down deforestation.

4)    Consider your carbon output when buying food, drink and presents for the Christmas period. Try to buy as much as possible at one time, also try to go to shops near your home. Internet shopping is another good idea as companies such as Amazon often move products in bulk.

5)    Buy organic vegetables, fruit and meat where possible. Not only does organic produce taste better but it means that its production has not been at the result of poisoning the ground with pesticides and fertilizers.

6)    Try not to waste water. An 8 minute shower uses the same amount of water as a bath. Either install a low flow shower head (another good green present idea for Christmas) or turn the water off while you are soaping yourself. When and if the world temperature rises fresh water supplies will become severely restricted.

It is hoped that you make the effort to try and be more earth friendly this Christmas. The greatest gift you can give to your children is a world that is not wrecked as a result of mindless consumerism now.

 

Enjoy Unspoiled Nature With Algarve Holidays

There are many different options when it comes to European holidays, including cheap Maldives holidays, visiting the Canary Islands or the Algarve, to name just a few. The Algarve is a prime choice with many people, mainly because of it’s convenient location–it can easily be reached by car, and because it really is a beautifully scenic spot on the tip of Portugal.

The ‘playground of Portugal’ as it is often called, really has earned that reputation. Not only is it a beautiful scenic area, but the climate is mild and warm all year round. That, combined with the awesome beaches make it truly a playground.

When you feel the need to be a little more active, there are plenty of different things you can do. With the Atlantic ocean at hand, you can engage in any number of different water sports. If you enjoy a game of golf once in a while you will be pleased to hear that there are many top golf courses in the area. You would prefer to play tennis? No problem, as there is no shortage of tennis courts. For those who are horse enthusiasts, you can also take scenic tours on horse back.

Transport is not at all a problem in the area, as there are multiple methods of transportation available. The most common is by road, there is a good road system in place with a motorway running from Spain all the way through to Lagos. If you prefer a more scenic trip, you can take the old highway which follows the coastline a little more precisely. You can also travel by train or fly into Faro airport.

There are over 100 beaches in the region, all on the Atlantic ocean. Due to the water currents the ocean water stays warm well on into winter. And if that is not enough, it is reportedly one of the least polluted areas in Europe.

Author is a travel expert who likes to write about any travel related topic such as a lightweight luggage buyers guide, luxury hotels, adventure travel or an inflatable travel pillow review, to name a few.

 

If you’re looking for a cheap holiday within the European Union, whether you live within the Union itself or outside, you should really think about coming here for your February holidays or maybe even your March holidays. These two months are the times when you will get some great value when it comes to accommodation, car rental, eating out, and you won’t have to deal with the crowds that are a large part of the more popular tourist destinations during the summer months.

One of the best places to visit in the earlier part of the year is of course one of the major cities of the European Union such as London, Paris, Berlin, or even Dublin. Europe is not known for being very cheap and if you decide to travel here during the summer months then you are definitely going to have to pay through the nose for much of the entertainment and accommodation that is on offer. Also, if you travel during the summer months to the southern countries of the European Union then you could end up spending a lot of your time in your hotel room because of the heat.

None of that is going to happen to you during the winter months. And if you come here when the tulips are beginning to pop their heads out of the ground in Holland, or the first signs of spring are tripping its way across the English countryside, you are going to have a great time and won’t have to pay a lot of money for it either. Or why not take a visit to Ireland for St Patrick’s Day which itself on 17 March. Or, you may want to visit Italy during the Easter celebrations, the Vatican City can be a wonderful place to visit at this time of the year.

 

Halloween gives us the perfect excuse to act out a few secret fantasies. Whether you want a costume that shows off your personality or a costume that allows you to express your inner diva, this is the one night of the year where you simply do not have to worry about what your friends or family might think.

Think about it this way, we give our kids permission to act crazy and to go door to door begging for candy while basically making a nuisance out of themselves, why not allow yourself to have some fun as well?

In our day to day lives most of us have to dress professionally. Even if we are not necessarily required to wear a business suit more often than not some type of uniform or dress code is imposed on us. Sexy Halloween costumes are a great way to break out of this mold and to have a little fun. If you are struggling to come up with a few ideas, here are three sexy Halloween costume ideas that are almost guaranteed to attract more than your fair share of attention at your next Halloween party!

Sexy Gangster Costume – Short skirt, fishnet stockings, garter belts and guns….need I say more. A sexy gangster costume is certainly not your grandmother’s costume! This look has been updated and is fast becoming the costume choice of the next generation. From a stylish flapper girl costume to the always popular gangster moll outfit, the female gangster costume of today simply cannot be beat.

Sexy Fairy Costume – Let’s face it! Fairies are sexy. That is part of their magic; their allure so-to-speak. These supernatural creatures are known to possess unnatural powers and by looking at their choice of outfit it is not difficult to understand why. Fairy costumes certainly help accentuate the female form in a positive light!

Sexy Witch Costume – No longer are witch costume simply black rope, pointy hats and ugly noses. Today’s witch costumes can be a sexy as you want them to be. Forget about the traditional black robes and consider the enchanting orange and yellow found in the trendy candy corn witch costume. If sugary sweet is not your thing, then consider a sexy pink fairy costume; similar to that worn by Glenda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz.

Live a little this Halloween and wear a costume that is a bit out of your comfort zone.

Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas is celebrated all over the world. Each country has its own customs and traditions; the tree finds a place in most homes and children write hopeful letters requesting their gifts. People around the world talk about unity, fraternity, solidarity and feelings of love, but the way Christmas is celebrated differs from country to country.

In Spain, children write to the three Wise Men (or Three Kings), who arrive with the presents on the eve of 5th January. On Christmas Eve the Spanish celebrate with all sorts of delicious dishes and seafood is really popular throughout the festive season. On New Year’s Eve, the Spanish eat twelve grapes just before midnight, one on each chime of the clock. Christmas celebrations start on 22nd December.

In Peru, Catholic families often attend midnight mass. On Christmas Eve, the Peruvian families tend to enjoy their traditional roast turkey with apple sauce or pork. Early morning Christmas Day, they enjoy delicious hot chocolate with “panetón”. The New Year sees the fireworks display and people toast with champagne or cider. Christmas gifts are just for children while New Year’s gifts are just for adults.

In Mexico, cradle of the Maya and the Aztecs, the holiday season begins around mid-December. The mariachi roam the streets from door to door asking for lodging. On Christmas Eve, the tradition is to eat “guajalotes” (turkey) while the festive music plays.

In Argentina, children celebrate a great Christmas as the festive season is mainly centered around the young ones. They write their letters to Santa and the gifts are placed under the Christmas tree. The religious tradition of the midnight mass is still followed by some families to celebrate the birth of Christ, and, in most homes, families celebrate around the dinner table until late.

It is said that in the north of Finland, in a region called Korvatunturi, is where Santa lives. There is even a major theme park “Land of Christmas” where you can see Santa’s home. As in the rest of the world, the Finns decorate their homes with trees, lights and garlands, and eat turkey and ham for dinner with the family. They usually decorate a fir on Christmas Eve, eating oatmeal and drinking prune juice. It is also tradition to place in the garden an arrangement made with wheat stalks and fruits to feed the birds.

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Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is a great time for an adult to act like a kid again. It is the one night of the year where we can act out our secret fantasies. Basically, we can act like a fool and no one will even care. Unfortunately, as adults, we have day-to-day activities that prevent us from remembering to plan ahead and actually buy our costume early. If this ends us happening to you here are a few last minute costume ideas that you can put together in a matter of minutes.

Farmer Costume

Perhaps the easiest costume to put together at the last minute is a farmer costume. Farmers are known for their simplified approach to life. You do not have to worry about locating hard-to-find accessories. All you really need is a pair of overalls, some kids of plaid shirt, and a straw hat.

If you have an old and faded bandanna you can omit the straw hat which might become itchy after a few hours of dancing.

Fairy Wings Costume

Fairy wings are among the most versatile accessories a woman will ever own. It is extremely easy to transform just about any outfit into a fairy Halloween costume by simply strapping these wings on your back. If for example, you have black pants and a black sweater, you could easily create a gothic fairy costume with a nice pair of wings. Add some dark purple makeup, and a little glitter, and you are all set.

Fairy wings are extremely inexpensive and can be found in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes. Typically, most online retailers keep plenty in stock and you should receive them in twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

Let’s face it…..as adults we have lives. It is extremely easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and forget to buy our costumes as early as we had planned. If you need something fast, try these fast and friendly last minute costume ideas.