Courtesy of Shelina Wardrope

INNOVATIVECOMPANIESMAKE ITEASYTOBEGREEN–AND ORIGINAL Making your home more eco-friendly isn’t just about adding insulation and turning down your thermostat. There is a whole host of companies that focus on making every area of the home sustainable. Here are five of them! Light Earth Blocks: Light Earth blocks are a type of compressed earth block (CEB) made from waste by-products such as straw, earth and chalk. Solid blocks are compressed using high pressure, which can then be used in building construction in the same way as typical masonry bricks. Coffee Logs: Made from recycled coffee grounds, each briquette is made from 25 cups worth of grounds. They can be used in solid fuel stones, chimneys and open fires. Coffee logs are also completely carbon-neutral and burn longer and hotter than wood. Piñatex: Looks like leather, but is made from pineapple leaves. Already a byproduct of the pineapple harvest, the leaves are shipped from the Philippines to a factory in Spain and turned into a versatile textile that can be used to create bags, shoes, clothes and furniture. Transparent Speaker: What began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 has evolved into one very cool product. Stripped to its bare minimum parts, the Transparent Speaker is more than just cool – it’s environmentally friendly too. Nearly every part can be replaced if needed and old parts are fully recyclable. Durapalm: Instead of cutting down old-growth forests to create wood veneer and flooring, Durapalm uses palm trees that are past their nut and fruit producing period. The palm timber comes from across Central America, Africa and the Pacific Islands, providing jobs in the growing sustainability sector.

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INTERESTINGFACTSABOUT WINTER There are two different dates when winter could be said to begin. When defined by the Earth’s orbit around the sun, winter’s start date falls on December 21 or 22. But when recording and comparing climate data, meteorologists use the starting date of December 1. Also, did you know that in the northern hemisphere the earth is closest to the sun in winter? Around January 3, the earth is 3.1 million miles closer to the sun than around July 5 – when it’s furthest. ELECTRONICNOSE A new experimental technology can “smell” a person’s breath and then diagnose potential diseases. Much like our fingerprints, our chemical composition is also completely unique. Diseases also have unique chemical signatures, which can be detected on our breath. The “Na-Nose” consists of a breathing tube attached to a sensor. The sensor then sends information acquired to software. One day, developers hope to have the technology available via smart phones where we could monitor our health on a regular basis. PHOTOGRAPHYTIPSFORKIDS Three tips to take your photos from okay to outstanding: 1. Take time to plan your photo before taking it, making sure nothing ends up in the frame that would distract from your subject. 2. Avoid photographing people in direct sunlight. It casts shadows on their faces and usually makes them squint. 3. When taking photos of people, get nice and close. Human faces are so interesting! Courtesy of: www.kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/books/my-shot-photo- guide-book/

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