Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu Effects Travel to Vacation Rentals

In recent weeks, most of us have become familiar with the strain of flu found in pigs that has mutated to be able to infect humans. Swine Flu cases have been confirmed in the US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK, and Spain. For travelers concerned with health, it is a time to be alert and informed, but not to panic or spread fear.

So far, cases elsewhere in the US have been mild. The reported deaths are in Mexico. CDC officials recommend Americans avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico.

Travelers to the US have expressed concerns to me about exposure to the reported outbreaks. Vacation rental guests want to know if Arizona or Florida have reported cases. The answer as of today is "No, none." Arizona health department officials report having a good supply of Tamiflu and other drugs to treat an outbreak.

If you plan to travel to other US states with reported cases of Swine Flu , boost your immune system and take precautions to avoid contracting this illness with these practices:

  • Wash your hands often. Dr. Oz said today on Oprah, "Be assertive, speak up about washing hands." Better to be embarrassed about washing up than to get sick.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
  • Cover your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing.
  • Don't share towels or clothes, and take care in gyms and health clubs not to touch robes, slippers, or towels of other guests.
  • On flights, open the air conditioning vent to allow more oxygen to flow near your seat, even if it means you have to put on a sweater. Airlines save money on fuel costs by cutting back oxygen. Breathing the recirculated air from other passengers is not as healthy as breathing the oxygen replenished air from the valve in the ceiling over your seat.

    If you have concerns about an upcoming trip:
  • Talk with your doctor, natropath, or nurse practitioner
  • Talk with the vacation rental owners to get information about outbreaks and health care facilities in their area.
  • Check the cancellation policies of you rental as vacation rental policies differ from one to another.
  • Do not book a vacation rental unless the owners provide written agreements and cancellation policies. You can check out my vacation rental policies on the EcoLux website.
  • If you have already planned a trip into a risk area and want to cancel, I recommend contacting the owners to discuss it even if the cancellation policy does not allow it. Owners may be willing to work something out under these unusual conditions.

Websites for monitoring the progression of swine influenza, http://www.blogger.com/www.travel.state.gov, http://www.cdc.gov/, and http://www.who.int/.

Later this week I will post on health tips for vacationers. Let me know what you do to boost your immune system and protect your health while travelling.

This blog is for bottom-up dispensers of cool who enjoy conscious travel and healthy living--conscious of our spending and our impact on our bodies and the world. We feel that "the small, the slow, the local, and the personal" will build the new economy. Your comments will help enrich this information for all of us. Please share your tips and experience.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hug It: Dana's Top Five

1. Leverage your impact with CarrotMob.com and their new ways of activism. In the first ever Carrotmob event, a liquor store agreed to invest in upgrades that made their store more energy-efficient. In exchange, hundreds of Carrotmobbers showed up at once to support the winning liquor store.

2. Win a Green Home from HGTV. Enter until June 5, 2009.

3. Research Shows Dancing Improves Health for Seniors.

4. For the birds. Check the Audubon's Climate Change Quiz and see if you can beat my score: 7 out of 8.

5. MACA urges O'Bama's to use pesticides in their organic garden because, among other reasons, "Americans don't have time to grow their own food."

This blog is for bottom-up dispensers of cool who enjoy eco-travel deals and healthy living. We feel that "the small, the slow, the local, and the personal" will build the new economy. Your comments will help enrich this information for all of us. Please share your tips and experience.

Earth Day: Market the Solution, Not the Problem

Male bass with eggs in their testicles. Endocrine disruptors in household products creating intersex fish and amphibians with six legs--legacy pollutants like PCBs in our drinking water, in the fish we eat, and in the tar on roads.

Who cares? The 20 year old discussion about clean water has lost public attention.

But ask what's safe to eat and drink? And people care. Frame the issue so it addresses traffic and taxes and watch activism grow.

Earth Day is getting more attention this year than ever before, much of it from companies hungry for marketing opportunities. So I narrowed my options down to doing just one thing for Earth Day--I'm watching Frontline, Poisoned Waters, a PBS special about the impact of unchecked development around my former hometown, DC metro area. I used to live in Vienna, Virginia near Tysons Corner. What has happened to the area in the past 20 years is an ecological plague. It could also be a model for how to undo the decisions of greed.

Photo of Yellow Crowned Night Heron by Fran Palmeri

Friday, April 10, 2009

Every Day is Earth Day

Did you know: that using Facebook for one year adds almost 2,000 pounds of carbon to your personal footprint?

As a gift to Mother Earth on her special day, GenGreenLife.com has teamed up with Cooler Inc. to offset the carbon equivalent of an entire day of using Facebook for each person that adds this app! So share it with your friends and help us exceed our goal of gathering 20,000 people to offset 100,000 pounds of carbon on Earth Day.

To add Every Day is Earth Day to your Facebook profile, click here: <"a href=http://apps.facebook.com/gengreenearthday http://apps.facebook.com/gengreenearthday