You’ve seen organic products take a significant part of the food market share. At first, it looked like a fad, but now we see that there is a real demand for it and more people find benefit in converting their junk consumption to organic food diets.

What do organic food products do for you? 

Here’s what:

1. They reduce your exposure to pesticides and potential cancer-causing toxins.

Conventional farming practices introduce huge amounts of contaminants and toxic materials into your food. Organic products reduce exposure to the following agents:

Chemical-based farm inputs – commercially grown food products had been amply applied and sprayed with chemical fertilizers to ensure growth and yield, synthetic insecticides to protect from pests, chemical herbicides to reduce weeds, animal antibiotics to treat diseases and plant hormones to stimulate growth. A large part of these inputs had been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as potential carcinogenic agents.

Heavy metals – machinery used to package and process commercially produced food are also exposed to cadmium, lead and mercury. Cadmium is a lead agent that causes cancers in the lung, prostate and testicles. Lead and mercury residues, which are high in canned food, are associated with impaired hearing, nerve functions and hemoglobin production.

Solvents – benzene and toluene are used to produce additives and to dissolve components of food in processing. Excessive exposure to these elements is associated with many forms of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Constant exposure, as when we habitually consume food containing solvents, will increase our risk to these health hazards and lower the body’s natural immunity against diseases.

 2. They increase your intake of vitamins and minerals.

While it has often been debated upon, organic food products are generally richer in nutrients than their commercially produced counterparts. Certified organic foods on the average have 15% higher nutritional value. Nutritional content will vary with the quality of soil, plant material and farming practices, so even organic foods will differ from one agricultural area to another.

3. They help your planet become healthy.

A healthy Earth makes for healthy earthlings, and farming organically means farming in a way that benefits the earth. That means sustaining this planet so that it will continue to be beneficial, not only to this generation but the future generations as well. The conventional and commercial way of growing foods (both plants and animals) had been very harmful to the environment. Synthetic inputs have hurt and polluted the planet.

A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group in 1996 showed that pesticide residues found their way, not only into food and the soil but also into the tap water across the US.

Commercial agriculture has also significantly polluted the air we breathe and contributed to global warming. It adds to carbon emissions in the production and transportation of synthetic farm inputs.

Organic farming self-contains its activities, conserves the soil and water, reduces pollution, introduces biological diversity and balance of the species, and lessens man’s impact on the planet.

How does organic farming achieve this? 

The organic way of farming adheres to USDA-approved methods of agriculture. Among many things, they use the following:

1. Natural fertilizers – only natural fertilizers are applied as input to the agricultural production. Manure or compost is used to fertilize and spur the growth of crops, fruits and vegetables. Animals are fed on pesticide-free feeds only.

2.  Natural pesticides, medicines and methods – pests and diseases are reduced using beneficial insects and animals. Traps and disruption of mating are also used as some of the methods.

3. Manage weeds naturally – weeds are uprooted manually in small farms. Mulching, crop-rotating, and tilling are also some of the methods. The methods are more labor-intensive, but they also remove the harm done by synthetic weed-killers.

4. Prevent diseases in animals by allowing them regular access to the outdoor, keeping their housing clean and sanitized at all times, and adopting rotational grazing. Feed them with organic food.

Check the label of the food you buy and make sure you know what you’re getting. A food product that is completely organic bears the USDA seal and the 100% organic label. These are usually single-ingredient products, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs; although these can also be products made of multiple ingredients, all of which are organic. If the label says “organic” only 95% of its ingredients are organic and 5% of the ingredients are un-organic. The label that says “made with organic ingredients” means only 70% of its ingredients are from organic sources.

Next time you go to the supermarket, bring your glasses and read the labels.

Your RN program has started and now you’re on the fast track to complete your BSN. But the material these courses cover is difficult, especially the exams. One step in your education is learning how to study for nursing exams, which we’ll discuss in this article.

Study techniques for nursing students

Science textbooks are hard to read but will provide the info you’ll need to apply in clinicals, which is why it’s important to read them.

But it’s not important to memorize every single fact in them. It’s more important to read the textbook in chunks, focusing on what you’ll be applying in clinicals and practicing on a patient.

You’ll need to remember many of the facts, which can be done over time, rather than cramming for a test. In other words, don’t procrastinate — this is one of the best tips for how to succeed in nursing school and is worth repeating: Don’t procrastinate!

One tip I always found useful while reading books was to create an outline of the material in a word processor.

I then printed it off and added my notes on them, expanding on the topics.

This also gave me a chance to reread the notes a day or so after class to increase retention of the material, along with providing a good study guide.

The notes you take in class should help you, not hinder you. Far too often students will take notes that are indecipherable. Notes like these are worthless.

Your notes should provide examples and help you understand the material better when you review them, not confuse you more.

Often you’ll read material you don’t understand. Rather than gloss over it, make a note to yourself to do a little more research on the topic to help you understand it.

Many texts have short answer and fill-in-the-blanks, both of which are hard. (Remember, a nursing program is not easy.) But these type of questions are more helpful than a true or false question or multiple choice question. So don’t skip the fill-in-the-blanks; these are one of the best study techniques for nursing students.

Get a study buddy

Having someone to study with can help you. You may understand a procedure better than your study buddy; your study buddy may understand a different procedure better than you. This means you both can teach each other, cementing the information into your brains. Choose your study buddy wisely!

Choose a study group wisely, though. And don’t be afraid to shop around when it comes to finding a group. Some people work well together, some don’t. There’s no hard feelings because everybody is trying to graduate, remember.

Ask questions

In class, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

There is at least one other person in your classroom who has the same (or similar) question but is afraid to ask. Sometimes this can cause a lengthy discussion about that topic, which an instructor may test you on because of the time spent on it.

Record lectures

Buy a digital recorder and record lectures if permitted. This will provide you with the opportunity to fill in any holes in your notes.

Get a daily calendar

You don’t need to map out every minute of your day, but a daily calendar that notates important projects, tests, and due dates is important.

A daily calendar is also a good way to make sure you schedule time to study.

Take a break from studying nursing!

Meet other people at your school. Don’t just get caught up in the nursing program. There are probably tons of students in healthcare at your school. Talk to the respiratory therapist students, xray students, or even medical coding and billing students. They can offer you a different perspective and can even offer you the chance to network. Remember, when you graduate, you’ll need to find a job. Who said time away from nursing really wasn’t time away from nursing?

Practice procedures

Practice your skills in the lab. This is the time to shake the bugs out and learn how to do the procedure correctly. That way when you take the exam you won’t make a mistake.

Use all your resources

Use the Internet to your advantage. Medical school sites have videos about scientific information and how-to procedures.

For example, when I was taking anatomy and physiology and trying to memorize veins and arteries, I watched a video of a professor dissecting a cadaver. This helped tremendously. However, don’t get caught up in Internet forum debates like BSN vs RN

I also bought supplementary books that were essential for helping get through my program.

Must-haves for an RN program include a medical dictionary and a NCLEX-RN review book.

I hope these ideas will put you on the fast track through your RN program exams and teach you how to study for nursing exams.

There are many options to get rid of that broken clunker in the driveway or the parked at the curb. This includes donating a car to charity, selling the vehicle to a scrap metal recycler, or to junk your car for cash on auction sites. But the real question is this: How much can I get for my junk car?

Although your car may look like scrap, it’s worth cash to a local metal recycler?

The make, model, or year won’t mean much — unless the scrap yard is a salvage vehicle reseller, which we’ll get to.

More importantly, the vehicle’s weight will be how the value of your dilapidated vehicle is determined. That’s how you determine how much a junkyard will pay for a car.

Let’s take an example. You may have a 2006 Dodge Charger that’s wrecked, which the insurance company deemed “totaled.”

The Charger’s curb weigh is 4160 lb (1887 kg), according to a Leftlane article titled “2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 Basic Specs.”

Although metal prices fluctuate, let’s say that auto-body steel is going for $250 per ton. You’ll need to do due dillegence to find out how much it is currently; that number is used as an example to illustrate a point.

When we multiply 250 dollars per ton x 2.160 tons — the vehicle’s weight — we know that the value of the vehicle to junk your car will be $540.

But the scrapyard will understand that the vehicle has parts that are worth a lot of money. They will use this to their advantage.

They buy the vehicle for the price of metal, which they can recoup by scrapping it. But they also remove common parts from the vehicle.

Many of the parts on a vehicle can be resold to the general public, as well. Engines, transmissions, wheels, alternators, body parts, starters, radiators, seats are all fair game for resale if they are not damaged.

Other parts, such as the catalytic converter, are made from precious metals. The core price for the part can fetch prices from a $3 up to $300 depending on the make and model of vehicle, along with the price of that precious metal.

The parts will be resold and would represent a nice profit for the reseller.

You, on the other hand, will walk away with $540, which I’m sure you can see is not the best way to junk your car for the most money.

Sell it as a salvaged auto

If the car is an eyesore and you want to get it out of the driveway quickly, selling it to a scrap buyer may be a good option.

However, if you can part it out yourself — sell the car piece by piece — you will get the best cash value for your junk vehicle.

A newer car, such as the Charger listed above, has nice wheels and an interior that an old car enthusiast or rat rod builder would want to add to their project machine.

In other words, the parts would sell fast.

For instance, you could advertise on craigslist that you have a vehicle that you want to part out and list that it’s pick and pull — i.e., the buyer needs to remove the items from the vehicle.

If you are mechanically inclined, you could also strip the vehicle of its parts and sell them on eBay.

Parting out a vehicle can increase the value of a junk vehicle. Once it has been denuded of its valuable items, then a call to the junk car remover is appropriate.

Is it worth scrapping your car for cash?

Some cars can be repaired and may not need to be scrapped.

You may not want to repair due to the cost, but many car mechanics love to buy a car that needs an engine or transmission for cheap and repair it.

Although these mechanic’s specials will sell at a discounted price, they will still offer more money (and less hassle) than scrapping a vehicle.

These are a few ways you can junk your car for the most money. This will allow you to get rid of that eyesore and provide some cash for a damaged car. This can be helpful if you are in need of some money now.

Donating a car to charity

When you donate junk cars to charity, the process can take about a week. This could be a problem if your dumped car has an orange sticker on it; the sticker means that it will be towed.

The towing company will then charge you towing and storage fees — an expensive way to junk your car for cash, for sure!

The better solution is to donate the vehicle to charity, especially if it’s a running automobile that just needs a few repairs.

When you donate to charity, you may be able to get a tax deduction. The charity will get the car up-and-running, then sell it to a needy individual or give a free car to a single mom or dad.

You, then, will be able to deduct the amount the vehicle sold for on your taxes, which can be a nice chunk of change if you have a newer vehicle.

I hope this helps you with the question: How much can i get for my junk car?

I don’t trust oil change chain stores. They are pricey, and their mechanics usually are not ASE certified, which means I’m always hunting for DIY oil change deals.

I don’t have a grand theory on getting any of the filters or oil for “next to nothing” or any hype about the “best top bargains,” but I do have a few tips for DIY oil change deals that have served me well over the years, and I want to share a few of them with you.

Use the web to find DIY oil change deals

I’m not brand loyal when it comes to motor oil, but I won’t use the generic-branded stuff.

This means that I will visit websites such as Pennzoil, Valvoline, or Mobil and look if they have any promotions going on. They may also have engine oil rebates or printable manufacturer coupons on there.

I also signed up for an emailed newsletter from a local auto parts store, which might have manufacturers coupons in the store — especially if that manufacturer just released a new formula.

When the locals have discounts going on, I’ll buy my stuff there. (I do not use my main email account for this and suggest setting up a free account for promotional emails.)

The same is true about those cheap auto parts chains, who will have a “daily deals” newsletter.

Stores like Advanced Auto Parts, for instance, often have a coupon code that provides a percentage off your purchase, which can provide DIY oil change deals.

They display the code on their homepage, usually, and many times that coupon code is for 10 percent your purchase. That is a good discount if you consider buying engine oil in bulk or need other maintenance items like air filters or light bulbs at that time, too.

Many of the stores offer free shipping to the store.

Shop local for the DIY oil change deals

I know, you are thinking, “hey, this article is for do-it-yourselfers.” And you’re right.

But a DIY guy is a savvy guy and may question if a do-it-yourself oil change is worth it when a local oil change place, which usually does have ASE certified mechanics, has specials going on.

This happens quite often if there is competition between the local place and oil change chains in your city. I routinely get one of those special $19.99 oil change coupons from a local shop, which I think is far better than any of the DIY oil change deals you could find. I, also, get an emailed newsletter from them, which offers additional service discounts.

I will sometimes use one of these local places because I know the mechanics are certified.

Because I have also met the mechanics around town and seen how they treat and maintain their cars, I trust their recommendations and capabilities. Granted, this tip is targeted to rural folks, not big-city dwellers whose only choice might be chain shops.

Also, if I’m having a mechanical service done at a local auto shop — such as getting new tires and an alignment — I’ll ask if they can cut me a deal on an oil change since I’m spending a lot of money on parts and labor.

Ask a buddy to do that 3,000 mile service

I am friends with a few mechanics, who are more than happy to work on my car for a cold, frosty beverage of their choice.

Although I don’t use this option too often — why wear out a good thing — it is a bargain when I can get the oil and filter at a discounted price.

These are a few of the ways I have found DIY oil change deals.

Cash is king. But it’s getting increasing difficult to make purchases if you don’t have plastic money nowadays, especially when you are looking for ways to buy stuff online without a credit card. Don’t worry, there are shopping options available to you. Many web retailers offer a variety of payment options — each with pros and cons. We’ll focus on ways to order without accounts with Discover, Visa, Mastercard, or American Express in this article.

Prepaid plastic

The easiest way is to use a prepaid card, which acts like an anonymous debit card. A reloadable prepaid credit card is a great alternative if you do not qualify for a credit card. It’s also good if you are a kid, which allows you to order things without your parents knowing.

This form of payment requires you to buy the initial card, which costs a couple dollars, and load it with money. For instance, you can put $100 dollars on the card and spend that money via the web.

It is a great option because it is safe. Once the money on the card runs out, the card is done, which means a stolen or lost one doen’t present as big of a security or monetary loss as a traditional card or any other method out there.

This is the best for teenagers. The downside is that you have to initially pay for the card.

If you are asking yourself, “where can i buy prepaid credit cards?” The answer is at local drug stores, retail locations, and gas stations.

Can debit cards be used as credit cards?
Yes, that is another option to shopping via the web. As long as it has the Visa or Mastercard logo, you’ll be in good shape and it will be processed.

Check by phone or web

A checking account is another way to order online without a credit card.

Check by phone is not as safe as any other method because you are providing your bank’s routing number and account number. This can be problematic because your numbers may be stored by the retailer, which means any data breaches could mean lost money for you.

One benefit is that it often takes 1 to 5 business days to process, which can buy you a little bit of time if finances are tight.

Paypal without credit card

Many web retailers accept Paypal. A Paypal account works like a checking account and a prepaid card.

You can tie a Paypal account to your checking, which is safer than a check by phone because you provide your banking information to Paypal.

Paypal then makes the payment on your behalf, and the merchant does not have access to your financial info. That makes it safer.

But money can also be loaded onto a Paypal account and it can be used like a reloadable card. If friends or family send you money via your account, it’s possible to just have the money deducted from it when you make purchases.

Collect on delivery or cash on delivery

Few e-commerce stores offer cash on delivery anymore. COD allows the merchandise to be shipped to you and you pay the delivery person. This form of payment is rare nowadays. With some searching, it’s possible to find COD.

Gift cards

Buying from a chain store does have benefits. One such benefit is that you can buy a gift card at the local store and then, when you want to shop online, use the gift card to purchase stuff.

Another benefit, especially shortly after Christmas, is that gift cards will pop up on craigslist for really cheap. People will want to sell them because they received them as a gift and would rather have money.

This can beneficial if you are going to be buying from a chain store anyway and can get the loaded card at a discounted rate.

Out of all these methods, the prepaid card is the best way to go. However you choose I hope the ways to buy stuff online without a credit card I’ve listed have been of help to you.

A proper wedding proposal is a defining moment — a moment that becomes a story which will be retold for years to come. It’s only natural to be asking, how should I propose?

But reading a “how can I propose a girl” article on the web can’t be used for a one-size-fits-all guide for the most “romantic, creative, best, whatever-you-want-to-call-it” tips to pop the question.

Sure, you may gain a few ideas that someone else used.

But how original is that, especially for a moment that comes once — well, for some more than once — in a lifetime?

Use personal elements for unique proposal ideas

Your soon-to-be fiancée is one-of-a-kind, which means when you pop the question your How can I propose a girlengagement speech better be, too. You should incorporate personal elements and tailor it to your girlfriend.

Those personal elements could include shared memories, visiting places you both like, returning to the site of a first kiss or a first date. Maybe making a proper wedding proposal as part of a shared hobby.

The most important part about the shared memory involves talking about the details, which will trigger emotions in her and make the proposal special to her.

Now’s the time to ask if she’s ready

Although you want to be spontaneous, chances are your partner knows that the question is on the way, especially if you’re like most guys who can’t keep a secret. (How many buddies did you tell?)

Women will provide you with subtle hints or clues long before you propose, which should give you a gentle feel for the subject.

A lot of times women are talking to their friends, asking “how can I get my boyfriend to propose?”

This information may make it back to you, sooner or later, through your buddy’s girlfriend.

From this, you may find out whether or not to do a proper wedding proposal in front of family, friends, at a vacation location, in public, etc.

Remember, the last thing you want to do is propose in a public location, especially if either of you are shy or embarrass easily, and find yourself on a YouTube video of “public proposals gone wrong” — kind of like these:

Rejected marriage proposals

If you’re oblivious to hints or clues, consider asking about her dream proposal scenario, which is perfectly acceptable.

She’ll be more likely to find it a perfect proposal and have 100 percent confidence in your planning of it, without actually knowing when or where it’ll take place. This will make popping the question easy.

Speech time: No more butterflies in the stomach
You’ll be nervous before you actually start the proposal, but once you start you’ll be fine.

Just remember two key characteristics while speaking: Don’t mumble and don’t waffle.

Too many guys waffle before popping the question. They start their speech, realize their partner is in a state of shock, and get nervous and start rambling. Ten minutes later they ask that simple yes or no question.

Practice beforehand, especially if you’re doing this in a public place where video recorders might be.

And don’t mumble. The last thing you want your girlfriend to say is, ‘huh?’

I hope these tips to pop the question have helped prepare to answer your question, how should I propose to my girlfriend?