Tag Archives: las vegas

The Best Green Gadgets to Look For in 2014

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.17.04 AMby Elizabeth Eckhart

Green living is all the rage right now, as is reverting back to other, healthier lifestyles which benefit both us and our environment. But for those of us who have long raged against technology as the bearers of pollution and energy crises, it may be time to reevaluate.

This year the International CES conference not only has dedicated two full discussion panels to the topic of energy awareness (“Energy Efficiency Initiatives for Electronics: What’s Working and What’s Not” and “Green Standards: Who Should Run the Show?”) the judges have also awarded a select few products their Economic Innovation Award. CES 2014  will also find itself the show grounds for breakthroughs in home improvement, home automation — mainly temperature and energy control — as well as new and improved electric vehicles.

By home improvement, I don’t mean tools you’d use to build your own household additions, but rather appliances that, if added to your home, could do wonders in terms of improving energy efficiency. For example, you may already have a programmable thermostat (and if you don’t, what exactly are you waiting for?) but you definitely don’t have the Eversense by Allure Energy, Inc. This beauty goes one step further than programs, and actually adjusts temperature and energy usage based on how far or near each resident is from the home. This Proximity Control Technology is made possible by the complimentary mobile app.

If you’ve been leary of using a gas guzzling ride lawn mower, fear no more! Finally, someone has taken the initiative and created the first fully electric lawn mower. The mower uses zero gas and oil, which is obviously energy efficient, but also quieter. The RZT S Zero by Cub Cadet might be the green solution to lawn maintenance that you’ve been looking for.

Cooking and cleaning are two of the major tasks that can waste energy. For most homeowners, a good chunk of their water use is in laundry, which is why LG, who has swept up an incredible 15 innovation awards at CES this year, is debuting their new LG Front Load Mega Capacity Turbowash Washer. The name is a mouthful, but the washer is impressive due to its Smart Diagnosis, which changes the water and energy amount based on the size of load it senses. LG also contributed the LG Electric Double Oven Range with EasyClean, which implemented a high performing Infrared Grill system which cooks faster than ever, using far less heat than conventional ovens. Samsung, too, brought forth their addition to household chores with the DV457 Front-Load Dryer, which is the first dryer to ever receive an Energy Star Emerging Technology Award. The dryer is super efficient, and the first to have a temperature modulation system.

More efficient appliances are one way to go greener, but anyone that is even a little studied on the Consumer Electronics Show of 2013 knows another watched area will be home automation. Security Choice ADT was the first to roll out a complete home automation system with Pulse in 2010 and last year added increased energy control and an additional television interface. The benefit of home automation is the ability to control energy use from virtually anywhere. Using your smartphone, you can adjust temperature up and down, turn lights and appliances on and off, and even lock windows and doors to prevent drafts (or break-ins). ADT will have some competition this year, with both Lowes and Home Depot unveiling similar products to the market, which will no doubt be more affordable.

One of the biggest trends in green engineering is the increased availability of electric cars. The Tesla Model S, currently hailed as the top electric car in the game, has mentioned that they will be previewing their new “Autopilot” technology, which could sense people and objects around the car, and successful avoid them. Toyota will also be debuting new electric vehicles, such as the Rav4 EV and their brand new Fuel Cell Vehicle Concept.

CES 2014 will also feature greener and more energy efficient versions of hundreds of other products, though none quite as earth-friendly or innovative as those mentioned above. The show is grounds for some majorly impressive technology, and it is definitely a good sign that so much time and effort is being taken to recognize the products making a difference.

CES 2014 will be held Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas.

Elizabeth Eckhart is a Chicago born and bred blogger who is passionate about keeping the environment clean. Some of her favorite writing topics include new renewable energy technology and various ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

*Photo from CESWeb.org.

Your Fail-Safe Guide to Healthy Hotel Travel

find your inner self

Traveling is one of life’s great adventures – a chance to explore foreign cities, meet new people, and try out alternative lifestyles. Whether you travel for work or pleasure, you probably know that exploring new territory can be as thrilling as it is occasionally draining. Why is that? For one, it gets us out of our routine…for better or for worse. We might escape the cares and worries of our daily life, but can also slack on fitness routines and healthy eating plans. But that’s the trade-off, right?

Well, not necessarily. More and more people are deciding that travel shouldn’t necessarily make us throw out healthy practices. Key to this is the ability of hotels and other accommodations to provide services and amenities that support healthy eating, fitness, mindfulness practices, and the like. But finding such places can be tricky.

Here are 5 sources to help you pick a hotel with the best healthy amenities to keep you fit and happy, even on the road:

Hotels with outdoor fitness amenities (Reuters)

 “StayWell” Hotel Rooms: Keeping You Healthy in Vegas (Forbes)

Hotels that offer yoga classes, fitness experts, and more (Well&Good NYC)

How to have a “green” hotel experience (Greatist)

Turn Your Hotel Room Into A Healthy and Budget Friendly Kitchen (Living Harvest)

 

So next time you find yourself away from home and in search of accommodation, keep in mind the kind of healthy amenities you’d like to find in a hotel. There are so many great offerings these days, and it won’t be hard to stay healthy and happy while you explore!

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18154748891333272199Are you ready for a healthy Vegas vacation?

The first of their kind in the world, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Vegas are furnished with a number of amenities designed to maximize health, wellness, and relaxation. From dawn simulator alarm clocks, to state-of-the-art air and water purification systems, to aromatherapy, Stay Well rooms provide an unprecedented opportunity to have a healthy travel experience — even in Las Vegas. Designed by real-estate pioneer Delos Living, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Stay Well will change the way you think about travel and hotel rooms. Learn more or book your reservation here.

5 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

 

Kairos ~ 151It probably doesn’t surprise you that poor air quality affects lung function, upper respiratory function, breathing, and can create a host of allergy problems. However, if you are like most people, you don’t automatically think that spending time in a smog-heavy city like Los Angeles could be a risk to your heart. While researchers have known for years that poor air quality and cardiovascular disease (the number one cause of death in the world) are connected, they have only recently started understanding how much that relationship impacts our health.

Here are a couple of recent findings that might surprise you:

1. A study released in April showed that high levels of air pollution increase the development of atherosclerosis – a condition where artery walls thicken and a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

2. In addition to developing thickened arteries, breathing polluted air can immediately increase your blood pressure and keep it there for up to 24 hours. This prolonged hypertension is also a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

There is no denying the serious effects of polluted air on our bodies, especially our hearts. But unfortunately, air pollutants are all around us and they don’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Common causes of air pollution include exhaust from cars, buses, and planes; use of fossil fuels for power or heat; gas and vapors from industrial businesses; chemical pesticides used in agriculture; and various indoor pollutants such as chemicals, smoke, and other substances.

While scientists have not yet figured out how to remove these pollutants from the environment altogether, there are things we can do to improve the quality of air we breathe indoors. Here are a few ideas that you can implement to keep you and your family healthy.

5 Tips to Improve Air Quality:

1. Save energy.

While trees help with outside filtration (one reason it’s so important we protect them), as individuals, we should do our part to lower outdoor pollution by saving energy. Make sure you turn lights out when you leave a room, take public transportation or carpool when possible, and walk or ride your bike to your destination (plus, you’ll get some good exercise too).

2. Keep indoor areas ventilated.

It’s also important to increase the quality of your indoor air. According to the EPA, the average American spends 90% of their time indoors and indoor air pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor pollutants. Since indoor areas are typically enclosed spaces with low ventilation, poor indoor air quality can be a serious health concern. Increasing ventilation with fans and keeping windows open, as well as investing in an air cleaner, will help.

3. Don’t smoke or use toxic cleaning products. 

The best way to decrease indoor air pollutants is to reduce or eliminate source pollutants (I know, a no-brainer right?). Some common culprits include cigarette smoke, toxic cleaning chemicals, and gas emissions from carbon dioxide and radon. Luckily, you can easily address these issues by not smoking inside your house (and not allowing anyone else to either), using eco-friendly cleaning products (they’re super easy to make), and regularly checking carbon dioxide and radon levels.

4. Be a smart traveler.

Of course, reducing and eliminating indoor air pollutants becomes harder when you have less control over your indoor environment in places like your work, restaurants, and hotels. Luckily, many states have laws banning smoking in public locations and in some offices. You can also talk with your employer about using eco-friendly cleaning supplies or investing in an air filtration system.

If you’re traveling in a city with high air pollution, ask your hotel to give you a non-smoking room as far away from the smoking rooms as possible. Also find out if they use eco-friendly cleaning products or have air filtration systems in their rooms. Some hotels, such as the MGM Grand Hotels in Las Vegas, offer special air filtration features to support guests’ health and wellness. The Stay Well rooms rooms have an advanced HEPA-standard air purification system designed to reduce allergens, toxins and pathogens. It’s important to choose facilities that regulate indoor pollutants while you are away from home.

5. Eat right, exercise, and don’t stress.

While we should all do our best to reduce air pollution in our environments, many of the toxins are simply out of our control. So beyond merely regulating what is going on in your external environment, take measures to bolster your internal defenses against poor air quality. Activities like eating healthy, exercising, and practicing stress reducing techniques will reduce the negative effects air pollution can have on your heart health.

The quality of the air we breathe (both inside and outside) affects everyone — ourselves, our children, our pets, and our neighbors. While air quality is a serious 21st century world problem, you can do your part to improve air quality and keep you and your family healthy and strong.

 * * *

18154748891333272199Are you ready for a healthy Vegas vacation?

The first of their kind in the world, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Vegas are furnished with a number of amenities designed to maximize health, wellness, and relaxation. From dawn simulator alarm clocks, to state-of-the-art air and water purification systems, to aromatherapy, Stay Well rooms provide an unprecedented opportunity to have a healthy travel experience — even in Las Vegas. Designed by real-estate pioneer Delos Living, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Stay Well will change the way you think about travel and hotel rooms. Learn more or book your reservation here.

 

Photo credit: Angélique Hayne

Deepak Chopra: Who Made God?

Prompted by his granddaughter, Deepak explores the questions: What is God? And who made God? In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, he approaches the query from a cosmological perspective. Think of a cosmic Las Vegas – there is eternal inflation and eternal fluctuation in the universe. Because this is happening eternally, new universes can theoretically spin out, though they would be separated by light years from other universes. Is eternal inflation a possibility, and is it the mind of God? And if it is so, then who made that?

The nature of the Universe is that is it constantly coming into existence; it seems counter intuitive to suggest that there is one creator of matter, when matter continuously springs into form from dark space. But if there is a god at the source of all things – or if “god” is what we call the act of creation – then who or what made god?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak Chopra’s book, God: A Story of Revelation!

Raging with Prince Harry

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dylanjeavons/7843936144/
Photo: Photoshop Politics by Dylan Jeavons

This is #24 of 108 Ways to Livin the Moment. Let’s take back our lives one beautiful, funny, and delicious moment at a time.

#24 of 108: Before Raging in Vegas, Try the Pinata

At some point this weekend, Prince Harry is headed for a conversation with his father about his recent exploits in Sin City.

I know what you must be thinking and I agree: how Harry is going to justify his choice of hotels, The MGM, over some of the gleaming jewels on The Strip…is beyond me.

But the press, especially in Britain, has been mostly glowing about Harry’s courageous blaze through the desert.

The Daily Mail told readers: “Why everyone — royals included — should visit silly Sin City at least once.”

Another newspaper offered a guide to “Las Vegas: where to party like Prince Harry.”

VegasInc said: “Your pool-party shenanigans fell squarely into the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s marketing strategy to attract attention to the place that regularly celebrates your kind of fun.”

Clearly, Harry wanted some attention.

God knows there’s a person in you who can relate, who wants say to F You to some authority figure or family member in your life.

And y’know, sometimes we all need to let loose.

Or we become subverted freaks and our bodies turn into a slow burning conflagration of rage…and that’s when sickness happens.

Clearly, a naked bender in Vegas is never a healthy, wholesome idea.

So if you are needing to let loose, here are 3 tips on releasing unhealthy emotions in a more dignified style:

1. The Pinata

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/cleanplatecharlie/musings_1/
Photo: blogs.browardpalmbeach.com

When is the last time you took a whack at a pinata? It’s cathartic to let er rip and then indulge in a lollipop rainstorm. Plus, pinantas with gluten-free candy are now available in bulk at Costco.

2. The Clearing

One very famous yoga teacher told me every night before she goes to sleep, she and her husband clear any thoughts of the angry, racy, lustful, resentful variety.

Try it. Make time for a daily clearing, because the weekly clearing can be ugly, the monthly clearing can be dangerous, and the annual clearing…see pic.

3. A Disney Song

Sometimes when I get really mad or frustrated, I listen to the Aladdin theme song “I Can Show You the World.

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Greek tragedian Euripides said, “The fiercest anger of all, the most incurable, is that which rages in the place of dearest love.”

Point being, emotions are beyond understanding. Don’t even try to apply ration to what you are feeling or you will go insane.

Just take small daily actions so you can avoid the big yearly ones.

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WHAT THE HECK IS A MOMENTEER?

If you can relate to feeling frustrated, like you are not moving forward, like you have gone rogue… GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF. Everyone has their particular grind, but only some choose to enjoy the journey. While the giant leap forward may or may not come today or tomorrow, every single day is an opportunity to CELEBRATE LIFE! I invite you to become what I call a Momenteer, and take back your life one beautiful, funny, delicious moment at a time. To find out how you can become a Momenteer, email yeahdave@mac.comand write Momenteer! in the subject.

RETREAT WITH ME…(December 6-9)

If this idea of a night sky speckled with stars sounds like just what you need…I’m leading a retreat to Sedona, Arizona. There is no starrier sky than one overlooking Grand Canyon country.  Taking place December 6-9 at Mii Amo (rated #1 Destination Spa in the World by Travel & Leisure Magazine, this is a dreamy winter getaway to soothe the mind, luxuriate the senses, and ignite the spirit! Visit here

Oh My Gaga!

I’m trying to create a new meme to compete with OMG = Oh my God!

OMGG = Oh my Gaga!

What do you think? Help me spread it around cyberspace? Drop it casually in conversation while standing in line at the local hipster coffee shop? Cool, thanks.

Here’s the thing: Have you ever been to a concert—a massive sold-out stadium show—during which the artist spent ten minutes on stage talking about self-esteem, loving yourself, expressing every ounce of your YOUness, being fierce and fabulous, and never, ever being ashamed of who you are?

I hadn’t before Friday. So I found Gaga’s mid-concert speech inspiring. Impressive. And she’s not just talking the talk; she’s walking the walk. She’s donating $20,000 every night of her tour to LGBT youth. Now that’s what I call using fame for a positive purpose.

I got to attend the Lady Gaga concert in Las Vegas on August 13. To say I was excited is not Gaga-worthy hyperbole. I hadn’t been so thrilled about a concert since I was 16 and my dad got me 7th row center tickets to see INXS, and during the show Michael Hutchence sweat on me. For real.

On Friday, four of my best girlfriends, one straight guy friend, and two gay male friends got totally decked out in full Gaga attire, inspired by her fantastical fashion creations and outrageous videos. We strutted our stuff around the stadium for over an hour before the show began, enjoying our own Paparazzi: hordes of fans eager to snap photos with us.

The show itself was twice as long as it should’ve been. Gaga doesn’t have the body of work to warrant a three-hour performance, with lots of long pauses for set and costume changes. However, she wowed us with the 40-foot train and towering wings to her fairy costume, her energetic dancing, and most of all, her commitment to her cause.

Gaga calls her fans “monsters,” just another way of embracing those who aren’t afraid to fly their freak flag. She makes being who you are—whether fat or thin, gay or straight, pretty or quirky—more than okay; she makes it a badge of honor.

So here’s to the Champion of the Outcasts. The Crusader for Queers. The Queen of Creativity. I hope you continue to shock, surprise, and challenge us. Go go, Gaga!

Las Vegas Marathon or a Pittsburgh Hospital

Some may remember that last November and December that I was in the hospital with a bowel obstruction and then had heart valve replacement surgery. Then November and December of the year before that I was getting help from Dr Simon at the Chopra Center because I was down to 98 pounds due to my Crohn’s disease.

This July I was in the hospital 3 times because of stomach problems and it just hit the point where I refuse to go back any more. Honestly if things got bad enough I would go back to the hospital, but that is how I feel right now. I need to make some changes and turn my health around again.
The first thing I realized was that I had stopped meditating, I notice when my mind is racing so much that I can’t meditate, I seem to also be more suseptable to getting sick. With the Fall and Winter coming I have to find some changes so I don’t end up back down to 98 pounds. I’ve worked hard to get back up to 120 pounds and I do not want to tell Dr Simon I’m back down to being a 98 pound weakling.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundations web site and noticed an event called The Rock and Roll Marathon in Las Vegas. It’s also called Team Challenge and is a 13.1 mile race to raise money to help find a cure for the disease I have. The date of the race was one year from the time I had my heart surgery, and it hit me that maybe the positive changes I need to make can be from training and helping to raise money for CCFA.
I didn’t want to do it alone so I asked my 13 year old daughter Lily if she would train and be in the Rock and Roll Marathon with me. Lily said yes and after our first week of training I can tell you she will be my inspiration to be running/walking in this half marathon. There is going to be people dressed like Elvis running, bands playing along the race course, people getting married while running in the race, and most of all there is going to be a Father and a Daughter proving to themselves that anything is possible.

Liberace

“A piano is full of suppressed desires, recalcitrance, inhibition, conflict.”
~Anita T Sullivan
 

Through his live Las Vegas shows, highly popular television series, and oodles of promotional appearances, we all came to love the complicated “One-man Disneyland” known as Liberace. There he was, in all his glory, decked out in his trademark glitzy diamond-encrusted jewelry, capes trimmed in ostrich feathers, ermine and rhinestones (mountains of tough-n-tedious-to-clean finery, some literally weighing hundreds of pounds) — and sets crowded with custom-made grand pianos, live animals, one-of-a kind cars and stretch limos, high-kicking chorus girls and boys, hypnotists, jugglers, magicians, puppeteers and, of course, his ever-present twinkly candelabras.

Wladziu "Lee" Liberace was admired for the same reasons that folks dig Vegas. He took the haughtiness of high-culture, haute couture, fine art, and classical music – everything that once defined the upper echelons of society – and made them all approachable to the masses by calling into question what was considered “good taste.” With millions of dollars worth of high-priced props and his over-the-top persona, however, while on stage he was still able to vanish into what made him happiest of all–just playing the piano. Underneath it all, he was a true virtuoso.

To write this post in honor of Liberace’s recent birthday (would have been May 16) I watched an hour of Liberace performances on You-Tube just to see for myself. What an original he was–his wacky stage antics clearly influenced the likes of Little Richard, Elton John, Bette Midler, Marilyn Manson and probably even KISS. But most miraculously, I saw the way he quietly disappeared into his music – off somewhere happily lost inside the rhythm and endless notes that lay scattered across the piles of sheet music in his head. How Zen…that even during his self-manufactured, stagey Las Vegas tumult, he found peace and joy in his own ability to masterfully play the piano.

What most people don’t know about “Lee,” however, is that in November 1963, the spectacle of Liberace almost ended when he was nearly killed by his own beloved costumes. It seems that night after night, while on stage, under the spotlights, as well as in his dressing room, he continuously breathed in the toxic fumes of the carbon tetrachloride used for cleaning his stage outfits. Additionally, the intense chemicals were released from the fabrics and were then absorbed into his skin, shutting down his kidneys and causing momentary renal failure. Although the prognosis was grim, he made a miraculous recovery and went on to entertain another generation of admiring fans.

I’m guessing that marabou doesn’t launder all that well. But then again, who of us wears capes trimmed in feathers, mink and rhinestones? (Publicly that is!) Most of us wear cotton and/or cotton blend clothing that can be easily washed. I personally prefer purchasing clothes that can be laundered over those that require dry cleaning. Not just because I’m a cheapskate, but because I don’t care to support the dry cleaning industry until it has a truly green standard (something they are working on). As for now, I choose to not wear clothing that must be chemically cleaned, with the potential to release those toxins into my skin (ala Liberace), as well as into the environment.

Liberace was all frills – and I am no frills! So if you’re like me and prefer to wear clothing that can be hand or machine washed, and would rather not use commercial detergents, it’s incredibly simple to make your own laundry soap. In a food processor, grind one bar of Ivory soap with two boxes of baking soda and a cup of borax (as a water softener). Pulverize the contents until the mixture is powdery and soft. Depending on the size of the load and how dirty the contents are, use one-quarter to one-half cup per load of laundry. Run your washer using the appropriate settings for the size and type of cycle required for the contents. Your clothes will be clean and the water used will not harm the environment.

Though the world almost lost a truly original entertainer because of toxic cleaning agents, over the years, with his bravado and charisma, Liberace amassed an astonishing assortment of esteemed honors. He was named Instrumentalist of the Year, Best Dressed Entertainer (says who?), and Entertainer of the Year. He also won two Emmy Awards, six gold albums, and was honored with not one but two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Best of all – despite his “dirty laundry” – he was known and loved throughout the world as the well-deserved “Mr. Showmanship.”
 

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