Monthly Archives: April 2016

Two Years Later and Still a Gator

When they say “once a Gator, always a Gator” they were definitely, in no way, lying. The things that make UF so memorable will haunt you until the end of time. Even if you don’t want those things to haunt you.

It has been two long years since my glorious four-year-run at the University of Florida came to an end. As I see the last group of friends I know graduating, I’m reminded of all the UF-like stuff that still happens to me.

 

1. Any time I see a reference, movie, or saying that is Indian in nature (i.e. the technical originators of the U.S.), my mind goes straight to Seminole. Now, I know of many other Indian tribes, such as Cherokee, Shawnee,  Apache, Blackfeet, etc., but the only one I think is Seminole. Which leads to my second point…

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2. See any shade of red and yellow together make me automatically gag. Seminole, garnet and gold, any arrow shape and I’ll say GROSS. Literally out loud, too; even if it has no FSU (my keyboard just gagged) relation, I just cannot stop myself. It is a permanent tic I now have thanks to my time at UF. So may I apologize to any random person I yell  “gross” to #sorrynotsorryLOL4

 

3. I literally do not care when I see a gator IRL. We had to walk to class hand-in-hand with those modern-day dinosaurs from that pond behind Hume. Lake Alice gators, yeah seen them, been there, whatevs. Buzzfeed says “Florida just being Florida” with an alligator eating another alligator, yup that is pretty much old news here.

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4. Any time I walk through a crowded area outdoors, I pull out my headphones and duck my head, waiting for flyers to be shoved under my nose and for some guy to shout about Jesus. Turlington will haunt your dreams. You think you have conquered it when you can walk through without getting a single flyer, but what you do not know is how you will forever be a Mean Girl walking through crowded areas after you graduate. I start panicking when I do not have my headphones and I am walking through the food court at the mall.

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5. I forgot how “other” people clap. Why are both of their arms at 90-degree angles? Why do they not put their right over their left and clap with arms straight out? When I’m at a concert and people start clapping to the beat, I jab the person in front of me square in the back to chomp, I mean clap. It is quite a pain, but hey it’s life and that is how you do it if you are a Gator. blog222222

 

6.  I am no longer a proper lady at sporting events. I will say whatever I need to to make sure the players AND, more importantly, the coaches can hear me. I will scream at the top of my lungs and shout at the opponents. I hear a whistle blow and I automatically start chanting, “Move back, you suck!” only to realize it was an icing call in the hockey game I am watching. No shame, they still gotta move back. #deuces

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7. I am thoroughly confused with the people I see walking around outside of a campus. Where are all the athletes decked from head to toe in an ungodly coordination of orange and blue? Where are all the frat guys in their Chubbies and Sperry’s? Why do people in public all look…normal? I just need one athlete to walk by, so I know everything is okay in the world right now.

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8. I hear a bell and start running. Literally, I just start sprinting in any direction. I am late again to class, right? Century Tower is calling to me all the way in Tampa, and I am late for something….wait I have nothing….or do I?

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9. Any outside event I attend (i.e. the beach, a 5k, or walking to my car), I lather up in sunscreen and chug water for hydration like I was back in the Swamp for another deathly noon game. I maybe even get a little buzz going to make sure I survive the outdoor trip. Football Saturday’s are wired into my brain. There is no hope. After all this time, I will not faint from stupidity and sun.

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10 – What is your #10? What’s one thing I missed that still happens to you, post-UF? Share with me!

 

Until next time, congrats to all the grads out there!

xOx

 

 

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Norwex – Green Cleaning, Anyone?

Yes, we have air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, but did you know we have house pollution? Yes that is a thing, just trust me. Indoor air pollution is one of the top 5 causes to environmental health problems in the United States. Because of household cleaners, your home is actually more toxic than the air outside. According to a longitudinal study by the EPA, there are up to 200x more toxins inside your house than outside. So, basically, living in a hammock is better for you than living in the house you have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on. See, there is a plus to being a poor post-grad: homelessness is healthier!

What chemicals are toxic in your home, you ask? Well, the good ‘ole classic bleach, any product with ammonia, dishwasher detergent, toilet bowl cleaners, and laundry cleaners. Then, there are also the carpet and upholstery cleaners and furniture polish.

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What can you do then? Obviously, not clean any dishes, any clothes, your toilet, or any glass/mirror/ window. Just think of that creepy old house in movies where the murdered or supernatural spirit resides, with those yellow windows and a thin film of dirt everywhere. That is what you are left with. Or you are left with an exorbitant amount of debt from just buying new clothes and dishes every week.

OR you can use products from Norwex! Their motto is “cleaning without chemicals” and the focus on being green and clean. Only natural ingredients make up Norwex products, or you simply add water to the cloth products and voila! Norwex not only makes a clean, healthy home, but also can help save you over five-hundred dollars on cleaning supplies. Saving money, check; saving the environment, check, saving your health, check; you are officially a superhero.

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Norwex’s Microfiber cloth is this company’s all-star player. The cloth traps up the bacteria, dirt, and grease, and then the silver fibers self-purify overnight leaving the cloth ready to use the next day. How clean and easy is that? Water and a cloth. Like magic. Lazy level: cleaning. Perfect for you post-grads or busy-bees.

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The EnviroCloth (aka: the famed baby) is $16.99 and can be used to clean counters, furniture, and cabinets. The Window Cloth is $18.99 and can be used to clean mirrors, windows, and jewelry. So for $36 you can get two clothes that can clean ANY surface in your house over and over and over without those pesky toxic chemicals. You can also get a nice basic kit with the EnviroCloth, Window Cloth and Dust Mit!

–> http://www.norwex.biz/pws/savannakeen/tabs/home.aspx <–
Shop now and put my name (Shayla O’Keeffe) as the host!

The Cleaning Paste, which replaces highly chemical soft scrubs, can be used with the EnviroCloth to clean chrome, stainless steel, porcelain, and other surfaces. Check out these floor tiles (this photo has not been edited in any way and was kindly taken by a Norwex, new-mom consumer). And the best part, you ask?! Only three ingredients: natural soap, coconut oil, and marble powder in the paste.

 

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Now, the household products are not the only thing that Norwex offers: they also offer personal products. Ladies, make-up removing cloths and body cloths – exfoliate and clean without soap – leave you no soapy residue to mess with and clean skin to end with.

Not only does this company create green products, but they also create green movements. The Norwex Movement focuses on reducing pollution on a global-scale. Plastic is a huge concern for our environment, and Norwex is trying to get the word out. By only needing the cloths and the paste, you are dramatically reducing the amount of bottles and packaging you would normally have with all those cleaning agents (I’ll add a link back to a post that I made today on recycling facts). Another focus of the Movement is to better our awareness to environmentally harmful agents. Think, chemical-free. By following their  Green Movement Blog, you can learn about how to make your home more green by the tiniest changes and improvements. Learn what is harming you and what can help you lead a healthier and environmentally-friendly life.

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These products are great for everyone, not just eco-friendly millennials. Even though we as millennials need to do our part to maintain our stereotypes, and thus, use these types of products in our homes. On top of being smarter about your choices, you are still being clean. These are not gimmick products that focus on the lack of pollution but are products that actually clean. Trust me. I would not lie to you. I’ve used some products myself, and I know someone who swears by its cleaning power.

So, how can you get these bad boys? Join this virtual event from April 22-25 on Facebook that I am co-hosting alongside my sincere friend and Norwex-consultant, Savanna Keen, and buy some cleaning products to replace your current toxins. Celebrate Earth Day by saving the inside of your home.

Start shopping now on Savanna’s consultant page and put my name (Shayla O’Keeffe) under the host name! –>  http://www.norwex.biz/pws/savannakeen/tabs/home.aspx

And remember, please properly dispose of and recycle those old cleaning products. No need to kill the outside of your home to save the inside 😉 #AllPollutionMatters

 

xOx

 

 

 

 

 

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These Facts Will Make You Turn Green

Earth Day is this month, and that means we have 30 out of 356 days to thank our lovely planet for life, and only 1 single day that we actually think about it (#EarthDay). And then it is on to forgetting once again.So, may I present to you, facts about our not-so-green-living-lives that will make you turn sickly green.

[Also, make sure to check out the last fact for some INSANE information…mind-blowingly unfortunate.]

  1. Each of us creates 4.7lbs of trash A DAY.
    We are rubbish.
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  2. 54% of our trash ends up in landfills.
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  3. 75% of our waste products are recyclable but we only recycle 30% of it.blog7
  4. If we composted the 21.5 million tons of food waste, then it would be equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road.
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  5. We throw away 28 million bottles and jar every year.
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  6. We’re doing better on recycling paper! Recycling has increased over 90% since 1990.
    High-fiving a million angels right now.
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  7. In 2011, less than 10% of businesses recycled…. great.
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  8.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – how disgusting are we?
  • Located 1,000 miles west of San Fransisco in the Pacific Ocean….literally a garbage dump in the ocean
  • 3 MILLION TONS of garbage
  • TWICE the size of Texas
  • Clockwise trade wins along Pacific Rim pushes garbage from ships, beaches, etc. to this central area
  • It’s 80% plastic

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You’re welcome. I hope you remember at least one of these facts. If not, well you stink. But that’s for another day! Happy #EarthMonth everyone!

 

xOx

 

 

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We Have No Plan(et) B

Did you know that we only have one planet? I KNOW. Crazy, right? Who would have thought, given how much we’re currently tearing this bad boy up.

There are many non-believers out there (non-believers and non-Beliebers) that say climate change is a hoax. Although I believe this to be cray, I can see where people are coming from. AND with that, I hope to clear up some disbelief. Shall we begin?

 

1. People say we have had climate cycles in the past so this is just normal

Well, although we have had climate cycles in the past, we are WAY above the carbon levels of any of those other times. Compared to the last three glacial cycles, our current carbon dioxide levels are astronomical. That’s comparing it to four-hundred thousands years back. And let’s be honest, who is actually prepared for an Ice Age? Here we are getting ourselves psyched up for a zombie apocalypse when we should be stocking up on winter clothes! Carbon traps heat, which leads to all whole slew of problems. Thus, we can think of carbon emissions as the first domino of an earth-shaped domino pattern.

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2. Everyone have their life-preservers handy?

Sea levels are rising. Now, I live in Florida, and we are not allowed to say the CC words (*whispering* “climate chan…” I didn’t finish my sentence Gov. Scott!) However, we are the one state already being impacted by the rising tide. Sea water expands as it warms and there are a ton of icebergs melting, which adds a smidgen of water to the equation. Houses and businesses on the coast are in danger of flooding, both from rain storms and as a slow-process. Trump Towers are conveniently on coasts throughout the U.S. so thank goodness those will be the first to go! But more seriously, animal ecosystems and habitats can be lost, too, leading to more endangered species, like the Hawksbill Turtle or Leatherback Turtle.

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3. Iceberg ahead! (Too soon, Leo?)

Icebergs are melting. It’s getting serious up in here. Antarctica has lost 134 billion metric tons of ice PER YEAR since 2002. What is the billion metric equivalent to, you ask? A gagillion ice cubes. And what happens to these ice bergs? They melt and contribute to rising sea levels, which contribute to loss of habitat and homes. So it is kind of a big deal. At the rate our ice is melting from our toxic emissions, the Arctic will be ICE FREE by the mid-century. Do you know how hot this planet will be by then?

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4. I’m getting acid reflux….from the ocean

Our oceans are becoming more and more acidic with the amount of carbon dioxide we emit. Water traps those gases (1/3 of the carbon in the air actually gets absorbed by the oceans), and then we swim in that water. And here you were just afraid someone urinated in the water near you, but you didn’t think about the acid floating around you. Because of the acid, coral reefs are being bleached, which leads to the habitat loss of many fish and other sea amenities (you know you said this over and over like Nemo).

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5. It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes. Oh Lord, no, please stop!

Our planet is warming up to be nice and toasty. But that is not a good thing. I know, it is freezing in northern states still, so there cannot possibly be climate change! Um that is not exactly how it works. If that was the case, Floridians and Arizonians would have been calling climate change thousands of year ago. 2015 was the warmest year on record.

What does a hot planet mean exactly? Well for some areas it means more evaporation and precipitation (rain, people) because the atmosphere layer protecting us is getting thinner and thinner. Other places, meanwhile, will be so hot that crops and basically all plants will combust. It can mean more severe weather storms, or intense heat can lead to serious health concerns.

 

 

6. It ain’t eezy being wheezy

Health concerns are definitely high on the worry chart when it comes to climate change. All this carbon dioxide and other such chemicals has contributed to skyrocketed number of cases of asthma. Asthma is a long-term disease; it is no little cold then goes away. Trust me, I have it. Other health concerns from climate change: cancer (esp. skin cancers), water-borne diseases, natural disaster related deaths, mental health diseases, and more.

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And these are just 6 of a multitude of effects climate change will have on our lives. If you want to learn what the other consequences are then venture to click the last link I provided below. It’s pretty scary stuff. But, I hope I have helped to convince a few of you out there that climate change is actually a thing.

xOx

Click these links for more info:

Asthma and Climate Change

Climate Change Facts from NASA

Images as Proof of Climate Change

If you want to be scared by the effects of climate change

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We’re Ruining Ourselves

And by ourselves, I mean our planet. We are literally ruining our future by not taking care of our precious earth right now. Our lifestyles are seriously messing things up. It’s Earth Month, so let’s become more aware and starting saving our world.

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Did you know that  the U.S. makes up 5% of the world’s population, but we use 30% of the world’s natural resources?

Now, I’m no statistician, but I feel like those percentages do not really go together. The U.S. has virtually used all of its own natural resources and now it has taken over the resources of exploitable countries. By exploitable, I mean countries that have another country’s manufacturers use their land cheaply. These countries need the jobs provided, but it comes at a huge cost for the safety and health of the workers.

On average, 50 football fields worth of trees are cut down EVERY MINUTE. Do you know what trees do? Oh, just some casual things like proving shade, providing back scratchers for bears,  enriching the earth, providing foodstuff, and creating oxygen for us to survive. No biggie whatsoever.

But beyond that, our constant need for stuff has caused our planet to diminish. We always need the basics like food and water, but all of our other desires, wants, wishes like materialistic things is what’s hurting our ecosystems. Manufacturers of every day products and luxury items are pumping loads of carbon dioxide in the air, cutting down trees, ruining animal habitats, and risking the health of the workers. Did you know there are loads of chemicals in everything you buy? Even your pillowcases which you lay on for 8 hours every. single. night.? Yeah, gross. And, all those chemicals are seeping into the ground and water near factories.

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Our country’s top three greenhouse gas emissions come from the electricity, transportation, and direct industries. The U.S. and China produce the most carbon emissions that impact the entire planet. Our carbon emissions don’t just stay levitating over the country, but it travels around the globe and severely impacts many countries. How bad is that of us?

Gas emissions not only impact human lives, but also impact animals’ ecosystems. Did you know 89 animal species have gone extinct in the last 400 years, which is 45x more than predicted from past extinction patterns? We are killing animals….indirectly, but nonetheless! Rhinos, tigers, elephants, turtles, and more. We’re sorry little tiger babies.

Want to learn more how big businesses are really impacting our planet and our health? Check out this awesome video: The Story of Stuff.

 

xOx

 

 

 

 

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