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Today is July 3, 2021

International Plastic Bag Free Day

International Plastic Bag Free Day, celebrated on July 3, is a global initiative that aims to eliminate the use of plastic bags. Plastic bags may seem like a grocery shopping convenience, but they are also a huge strain on the environment. It can take up to 500 years for plastic bags to disintegrate, so they make up a large portion of what stays in our landfills and pollutes our waterways, according to https://nationaltoday.com/international-plastic-bag-free-day/

From birth to ban, the history of the plastic bag has impacted our world. In 1933, polyethylene, the most commonly used plastic, was created by accident at a chemical plant in Northwich, England. While polyethylene had been created in small batches before, this was the first synthesis of the material that was industrially practical, and it was initially used in secret by the British military during World War II.

By 1965, the one-piece polyethylene shopping bag was patented by the Swedish company Celloplast. Designed by engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin, the plastic bag quickly begins to replace cloth and plastic in Europe. After controlling 80 percent of the bag market in Europe, plastic bags went abroad and were widely introduced to the United States in 1979. Plastic companies began to aggressively market their product as superior to paper and reusable bags.

It wasn’t until 1997 that sailor and researcher Charles Moore discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest of several gyres in the world’s oceans where immense amounts of plastic waste have accumulated, threatening marine life. It was discovered that plastic bags are notorious for killing sea turtles, which mistakenly think they are jellyfish and eat them.

Bangladesh become the first country in the world to implement a ban on thin plastic bags in 2002 after it was found that plastic bags played a key role in clogging drainage systems during disastrous flooding. Other countries quickly followed suit, such as South Africa, Rwanda, China, Australia and Italy.

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National Compliment Your Mirror Day

National Compliment Your Mirror Day is on July 3. We live in an image-driven world. Sometimes this can cause us to not notice and compliment a very important person in our lives, ourselves! This day motivates us to look in the mirror and recognize all those things that make us exceptional, inside and out.

Positive quote: If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities instead of obstacles.

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NATIONAL STAY OUT OF THE SUN DAY

Limiting your time in the sun is good for your health, but by opting to exercise instead of subjecting your skin to harmful UV rays, you are participating in an ultimate act of self-care. Give yourself a pat on the back, because you deserve it.

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Ways to incorporate more blueberries into your diet

Fruits and vegetables are vital components of a nutritious diet, and few foods pack a more nutritional punch than blueberries.

Verywell Health says blueberries are touted as a superfood because they are full of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and phytosterols, which are micronutrients that can significantly lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Blueberries also are low in saturated fat and may help lower triglyceride levels. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that women who consume blueberries on a daily basis have lower blood pressure. Furthermore, researchers in Finland determined a berry-rich diet supports healthy aging and controls the risk of chronic diseases.

Enjoying a blueberry muffin or a cup of blueberries with breakfast are two ways to consume more blueberries. But those are not the only ways to incorporate more blueberries into your diet.

  1. Make a smoothie. Blend blueberries into a smoothie containing frozen yogurt and other fruit. Drink it any time of the day as a filling snack or even a small meal.
  2. Whip up blueberry relish. Diced fresh blueberries tossed with onion, diced tomato and various seasonings can be used to top fish tacos or spread on toast rounds.
  3. Create a fruit salad. Blend together various fresh fruits into a delicious fruit salad. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top to prevent browning of the fruits used.
  4. Whip up overnight oats. Mix equal parts of almond milk, oats and Greek yogurt together in a container and let sit overnight. In the morning, mix in favorite some blueberries. Add a little pure vanilla extract for added flavor.
  5. Add blueberries to batters. Mix blueberries into pancake or waffle batters to add extra nutrients to meals.
  6. Flavor your drinks. Drop blueberries into water, fruit juices or lemonade for a nutritional boost. Dress up sangria with blueberries for an added punch to this popular cocktail.