As the weather gets nicer in May, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors to celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Spend some time this month enjoying the warmer weather while sneaking in extra physical activity.
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. You can play games with your family like wiffle ball, tag and capture the flag. Go to a local park or use your backyard to run around with your kids. Before you know it, you’ll have met the daily guidelines of 60 minutes of movement for kids and 30 minutes for adults.
Look to your state tourism office or your local department of parks and recreation to learn about active events going on in your area. You may be able to find sports teams for your children to play on or adult recreational leagues for yourself.
No one wants to get hurt and have to spend time on the sidelines. But if you do end up with an injury, learn the best at-home treatments and when you should call in the professionals. You’ll also find tips on how to prevent more injuries in the future.
You can find more ideas to get you and your family moving at LetsMove.gov.
You can give back to your community in a variety of ways – each one making a bigger difference than you could ever imagine. But sometimes finding the right service opportunities can be the biggest challenge in getting started. These resources can help you find projects in your area:
- Created by a partnership of government agencies to help America’s natural and cultural resources, Volunteer.gov makes it easy for you to find volunteer opportunities across the country. Search by date or by state to find an array of volunteer activities, from serving in a wildlife refuge to helping clean up a national park.
- Join forces with one of the largest federal government volunteer organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service. You can find ways to donate time, goods or money for those who have fought for our country. Find local events and programs that help those who need it most.
- Students are a rare group who usually have both the time and energy to help those around them. And many high schools and colleges have volunteering requirements. Use Catch the Spirit, a guide to helping students get involved in their communities for ideas on getting started. Volunteering is a great learning experience and also helps build your resume.
- If you enjoy working outside and want to help protect the land and animals around you, Take Pride in America offers perfect volunteer opportunities for you. The Department of the Interior promotes Take Pride in America to help all public lands across the country, both state and federally owned.
Social media is a part of daily life, but what happens to the online content that you created once you die?
If you have social media profiles set up online, you should create a statement of how you would like your online identity to be handled. Just like a traditional will helps your survivors handle your physical belongings, a social media will spells out how you want your online identity to be handled.
Like with a traditional will, you’ll need to appoint someone you trust as an online executor. This person will be responsible for closing your email addresses, social media profiles, and blogs after you are deceased. Take these steps to help you write a social media will:
- Review the privacy policies and the terms and conditions of each website where you have a presence.
- State how you would like your profiles to be handled. You may want to completely cancel your profile or keep it up for friends and family to visit. Some sites allow users to create a memorial profile where other users can still see your profile but can’t post anything new.
- Give the social media executor a document that lists all the websites where you have a profile, along with your usernames and passwords.
- Stipulate in your will that the online executor should have a copy of your death certificate. The online executor may need this as proof in order for websites to take any actions on your behalf.
- Check to see if the social media platforms have account management features to let you proactively manage what happens to your accounts after you die. For example, Google’s Inactive Account Manager allows you to manage how you want your online content to be saved or deleted. This feature also lets you give permission for your family or close friends to access the content you saved on Google websites after you die.
Updated on April 12, 2013.
Many people think that having an environmentally friendly house means spending thousands of dollars on solar panels or planting a garden on the roof to keep the house cool during the summer time.
That’s not really the case. There are many things you can do to help the environment without having to transform your home, or even spend too much money. In fact, you might end up saving hundreds of dollars per year in the process.
The following tips will help you get started.Use ENERGY STAR Appliances
Refrigerators. Microwaves. Air conditioners. Heaters. Dishwashers. These are the appliances that eat up more than half of the $2,200 an average family spends in energy costs per year. However, you can do your part to help the planet and also save up to 30 percent of the electricity bill by using energy efficient products that have the ENERGY STAR symbol.
To enjoy some of the benefits of appliances with the ENERGY STAR symbol,
- Replace the five most used light bulbs in the home with energy-efficient bulbs. This could save you $65 per year in electricity bills.
- Replace, whenever you can, old and energy inefficient appliances such as air conditioning units and heating equipment. These devices alone typically consume more than half of the energy in a house.
The ENERGY STAR website has tips for saving energy and finding ENERGY STAR products.Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
An easy way to reduce damage to the environment is to use cleaning products that are biodegradable and have low toxicity levels. These products could also make your home safer, as the lower toxicity might reduce the chance of accidental poisonings.
To use eco-friendly cleaning products:
- Avoid those products that are highly flammable and are labeled as dangerous or poisonous.
- Buy solvent free or bio-based products such as those made with citrus or pine.
- Buy products that are certified by third parties such as Green Seal or Scientific Certification Systems.
You can also clean your house by using simple, non-toxic household substances such as white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and borax. However, be careful because these substances don’t work well on all surfaces.Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
The Environmental Protection Agency says that recycling is one of the best ways to help the environment. But beyond recycling, it’s important to properly dispose household items like cleaning products, oils, batteries, pesticides and other products containing hazardous components that can harm both humans and the environment.
Your local government recycling program can give you more information on which products can be recycled and how to dispose of dangerous household items.
The American Civil War is one of the defining moments in United States’ history. In commemoration of the lives lost and the battles fought, the National Park Service (NPS) created a new website highlight various aspects of the war. You can now find a detailed timeline of events from 1861-1865.
As brothers fought brothers in this deadly war, many lives were lost and families divided. You can search a soldier and sailor database of over 6 million records to find information on your ancestors or famous soldiers on either side of the battle. The NPS also highlights many key issues and events that lead to the start of the war. You can also find, view and plan visits to Civil War battlefields across the United States.
For a more modern twist on the Civil War, follow the Civil War Reporter for interesting Civil War facts and information on Twitter at @CivilWarReportr.