Love Your Body by Spending Time with a Tree

The positive attributes of being in nature are clear.  Intuitively, we know that sunshine helps us to feel better.  But did you know that being around trees helps improve health as well?  According to American Forests, trees help to clean the air and produce oxygen.  Oxygen has potential health benefits.  The Global Healing Center, describes a study with mice that demonstrated an improved immune system and a longer life with additional oxygen. Oxygen bars, locations that provide oxygen for consumers, are popping up in cities.  Best to get the oxygen from an organic source.  In addition to the oxygen they supply, trees are beautiful.  So grab a book and spend some time with tree.  Your body will thank you.

We Are Losing Our State Parks to Corporations

In an article by Linda Baker in Governing magazine, she describes the use of state parks as ways for state budgets to meet shortfalls.  “This corporate participation should not be confused with philanthropic giving…”  If the state parks are not generating enough income, with their current operations, for the states to want to keep them as a resource, why would corporations, that need to answer to investors, be willing to?  Corporations know that at some point they can come back to legislators, hat in hand, moaning about heavy-handed government regulations on their “property” and begging for relief from government overreach.  In this case we all lose, access to the beauty first and then the Parks themselves next.  So what do we do?  We can visit a state park to understand the depth of the loss and share the experiences. Communicate with elected officials that balancing a state budget on the backs of future generations is not right.  Whenever possible support state park events, not sponsored or supported by a corporation.  Lastly buy a state park pass that are frequently good for an entire year.  Together we can protect our states most beautiful resource for ourselves and future generations.

How to Beat the Financial Hangover After a Vacation

Does the credit card bill after your vacation to Disney World make you sick with financial stress? Plan a different type of vacation next year.  State parks are a fun alternative.  The first step is to find a local state park that offers the type of activities that pique your interest.  State and National parks are great places to start.  While camping gear can be expensive, many parks include amenities like showers and restrooms, on par with a comfortable hotel, at a fraction of the price that can help minimize the need for expensive equipment.   I considered our purchases as an investment, since we camp multiple times a year in state parks.  There are many local companies that rent the supplies that you need.  REI rents gear.  (We haven’t rented from them so this is a resource, not a recommendation.)  For us, our summer trip costs the gas to get there, food to eat and the state park pass when applicable.   For a fraction of the cost, we have a wonderful, relaxing, fun and beautiful vacation that we still smile about even while looking at the credit card statement.