The Pros and Cons of Gender-specific Toys

October 30, 2014 at 12:55 pm

gendertoysThe concept of gender is much more fluid in the modern times. While the biological designation of birth gender may not be easily changed, the societal effect of gender orientation is something that has been discussed over and over again. Who can really say what categorizes as a girl’s task and a boy’s task? Society has impacted upon us these constructs – but more people are challenging these roles as we know it.

A male human being at birth may be distinguished by his anatomy, but it would be presumptuous to assume that someone else, aside from the person himself, should know his gender before he does. However, as there is need to put these data into hospital files, we still resort to the same two boxed categories: M and F.

Now that the fight for equality has become more prevalent, even children’s toys have become involved. Marketing strategies for genderless toys have been widely spread. Even some department stores combine the shelves for toys, so that children will be able to see all the options before choosing whichever toy they like. Reports of raising children as gender neutral have surfaced. Is it time to do away with gender specific toys?

 

Pros

Inclination

Study shows that children naturally incline toward gender specific products. Babies who haven’t been influenced by anyone yet tend to pick toys associated with their own gender. Gender-specific toys are useful for children who know what they like.

 

Identity

Young children relate to kids of the same gender as discussed in this article which tackles the biochemical theory of gender identity. This transcends to the toys they play with. Some kids will be more comfortable playing with gender-specific toys because they will feel more at home with these.

 

Cons

Limits

It has been argued that limiting toy choices for a child also limits his perspective on life. Since a boy is not trained to play house, he does not practice nurturing and domestic skills. Girls who focus on makeup toy sets may not realize that other objective fields can be fun as well.

Each toy teaches children different things –much like the American doll you bought with your American Girl coupon you found here can teach your kids about history and following life goals, no matter if they’re male or female.

 

Stereotyping

Youngsters develop their gender identities before middle childhood. These are normally based on how they are raised. Adult models show them what it’s like to be a boy or a girl, and some adults even specifically mention that to them. This results to stereotyping of gender roles, such that there are life options limited only to men and some only to women.

Research by the National Association for the Education of Young Children has shown that toys associated with boys are associated with violence and danger, while girls’ toys just like the dolls on this list are connected with physical attractiveness and domestic skills. They concluded that toys that are considered gender-neutral are more conducive for the optimal development of the child’s cognitive skills, among others. Strongly gender-typed toys may foster negative gender attributes.

 

Ultimately, selecting toys for our children is a matter of interfering with their inherent wants. Whether we consciously remove gender-specific toys from their playthings, or we unconsciously let our children play with these toys, parents create an effect that we can’t really be sure about. Only after the kid has grown up will he be able to tell if the experience affected him or not. But then again, maybe he will not be able to tell – after all, he won’t know what he missed.

Hurray! Non-GMO Foods Are Here To Stay

September 29, 2014 at 6:32 pm

non-gmoBefore your dinner ends up on your plate, be aware that the different food items you will be eating have gone through an extensive process of production and delivery. In the quest to produce crops and livestock that have enhanced qualities, technology and scientific experimentation increased the nutritional content and  improved their resistance to herbicide and other chemicals. , This has given rise to genetically modified organisms or GMOs. These GMOs have become a part of the American food chain, causing growing concern among consumers who are worried about their potential effects on health.

According to experts, up to 70% of commercially-sold processed foods in the United States contain genetically modified ingredients, the most common of which are maize, soybeans, grapeseed oil, and cotton. The U.S. is also the top producer of genetically modified crops in the world. Public awareness about GMOs and their consumption remains low, however. But how did we get to this point where it’s almost impossible for anyone to avoid the consumption of GM foods? A very informative article which you can read on this website gives a systematic look back on how GMOs started.

Proponents of GMOs contend that technology has helped to make crops more resistant to drought and other weather patterns, and also less prone to diseases and pests. This translates to higher yields and a more stable food supply. However, there are also worries about toxins, allergens, and other potentially dangerous elements that may be introduced to food because of these GMOs, and critical changes to the nutritional content of the crop.

In the U.S., the responsibility of overseeing GMOs and their integration into the food supply would be under the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of Agriculture. For the most part, however, restrictions and regulations for GMOs are very lenient; in fact, food companies are not required to indicate GMOs or genetically modified ingredients in food labels.

The U.S. government generally considers GMOs to be safe for human consumption, based on industry tests that compared genetically modified foods with non-genetically modified foods. The FDA released a statement in 1992 stating that they did not believe genetically modified foods to be different from other foods “in any meaningful or uniform way”. Even the American Medical Association has thrown its support behind GMO technology. It is interesting to note that the U.S. government’s stand on GMO foods differs sharply from that of the European Union’s, where genetically modified foods are strictly regulated and labeled.

For many American consumers, however, there is a growing desire to see more government regulation when it comes to the processing and use of biotech crops and ingredients, starting with clear labels and information. It is important for a growing percentage of Americans to be aware of GMO ingredients in the food items they buy, and to be able to make discerning choices. Organic food markets and retailers have grown in popularity especially among those who want safer, healthier choices.

Groups such as The Non-GMO Project have come up with lists of food items that have been verified to be completely free of genetically modified ingredients. Included are dairy products (Amande Cultured Almond Milk, Califia Farms products, Organic Valley soy products), baby foods (Beech-Nut, NurturMe), fruits and vegetables (Aunt Patty’s Organic Creamed Coconut, Backyard Farms Greenhouse Tomatoes, Dassi Family Farm products), and many more. Find out more about this non-profit organization from this page.

You can also be more proactive by using only ingredients that you know are GMO-free. For instance, protein shake powder can be used to make nutritious, energy-giving protein shakes with no genetically modified ingredients. The web is teeming with sites claiming to offer the healthy protein-based recipes, so make sure you look for the best protein shake recipes website that provides practical and easy-to-follow instructions coupled with only the healthiest ingredients.

How to Decrease Our Carbon Footprint

September 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm

rainbowClimate change isn’t a myth anymore. It’s happening at this very moment, and it’s a phenomenon that is already starting to be felt by our generation. With all the altered weather patterns that cause disruptions to daily life, it’s worrisome to think how drastically it will affect the next.

One of the leading causes of this change is the carbon pollution caused by everyday human activities. The effects, such as devastating storms, melting icebergs and massive tornados might seem too large-scale for individuals to solve. Fortunately, there is a way to help.

One person alone cannot stop these cataclysmic events from happening, but there are a few steps you can take to help improve the Earth’s situation for future generations to come:

 

1. Unplug

It’s true that we can’t disconnect from our gadgets completely because they’re already necessary in our professions and in our way of communication. However, what you can do is make sure that once we finish charging, we unplug it out of the socket. If you leave it plugged while you aren’t using it, it still takes up energy that could be put to use somewhere else. You can even save up to $100 according to the US Department of Energy if you make it a habit to unplug unused chargers. You can read this article which main intention is to serve as a guide on how to compute for the amount of energy saved if you make it a habit to unplug.

 

2. Go For Public Transport

You can even carpool. The carbon dioxide emission in each car is so huge, that using one car instead of two or three can help save so much energy. Riding the train or bus to work will also lessen the number of cars on the road. Educate yourself more about the benefits of carpooling by visiting this page.

 

3. Choose Your Appliances

Much like telecommunications accessories, there are appliances we have in our home that are necessary to daily living. Unfortunately, some of them use a lot of energy. So if you’re choosing what to buy in the appliance store, pick energy-efficient appliances.

Adjusting thermostat can also save money on your electric bills, as well as turning it off when you’re not home. Put your curtains at use, too. Leave them open during cold days to let in sunlight, and close them at night to keep in the warmth.

 

4. Shop Online

How can shopping help the earth? Well, buying local, or shopping in cyberspace will. Think of how much energy is actually used with the transportation of your food from the farm, as well as when you go to different stores to shop. Solution: Buy from the nearby shops, or just call them. This is one way that you can minimize your fuel expenses. Delivery trucks make the most of their trips so you know they’re using their fuel efficiently.

Does your slow Internet connection make you wary of paying online? Do you experienceconnection issues with your phone? If you’re having trouble with your phone or Internet connection, you can call the Charter Customer Service Phone Number on this page for assistance. With customer service representatives available 24/7, you’re sure to have your connection issues resolved.

 

5. Plant a Tree

We don’t just mean that in the literal sense, but metaphorically as well. Yes you should participate in tree-planting activities that help our forests, because just one decade-old tree can support the oxygen needs of two human beings. However, saving the world is not a one-time thing. It is a lifetime of planting seeds of knowledge to the people you meet.

 

Inform others of the dangers of apathy. If there are more people who act now, there will be lesser people who suffer in the future.

These are just five steps you can take, but there are more ways to help. Take part in saving the world today, and ensure a happier tomorrow.

5 Wise Ways To Go Green

September 16, 2014 at 5:32 pm

gogreenThere is an increased awareness and focus among communities these days regarding switching to eco-friendly, environmentally sustainable products, practices, and methods. As scientists and researchers come up with more studies on the effects of climate change brought about by pollution and other human activities that harm the environment, organizations and governments are leading the way in taking action and achieving environment-friendly and sustainable changes.

At home, there are many opportunities for you and your family to make positive changes to your lifestyle and daily activities towards an eco-friendly residence. The changes can start with focusing on energy efficiency, an area that has a significant impact especially on carbon footprint in the environment. If you have not made the switch to compact flourescent light bulbs (CFLs) or LED lights yet, consider doing this as soon as possible. LED bulbs and CFLs save energy and consume less electricity, but also provide brighter lighting. You will immediately notice the difference as well as the savings.

The simple habit of unplugging appliances and devices when not being used can do much to save energy consumed in your home and contribute to a more eco-friendly home. In many households, appliances such as computers, ovens, televisions, DVD players, home entertainment systems, coffeemakers, and others are plugged in throughout the day even when not being used. These appliances are consuming energy as long as they are plugged in even if not being used or in a low power or standby state, so unplug them when you can.

Switching to eco-friendly household cleaning products and solutions is another option that consumers should look into for a more environment-friendly home. Many of the chemicals in household cleaners, detergents, soaps, and air fresheners are toxic not only to the environment, but also have harmful effects to your body and your family’s health. The good news is there are plenty of safe, non-toxic and eco-friendly alternatives now sold by different retailers in stores or online. You can even search online for instructions on how to make your own household cleaning solutions that cost a fraction of commercial products.

gogreenfuelAnother simple way to be more environmentally responsible is to reduce fuel consumption. You can plan your trips accordingly so that more tasks or errands are accomplished in one driving trip rather than several trips to the same general destination. The whole family can sit down and figure out a schedule that maximizes fuel by bundling different destinations and errands into streamlined trips. Maintaining your vehicle’s optimum performance also helps reduce fuel consumption. Vehicle maintenance doesn’t have to cost a lot, you can get some Tires Plus coupons from this page and use them to avail of great car care services at discounted prices.

Recycling and reusing items minimizes waste and contributes much to ecological sustainability. Start with your old gadgets, devices, and appliances, which need to be disposed of properly instead of thrown in the trash bin. Look for recycling programs or services in your community specifically for e-waste. Of course, recycling efforts for bottles, plastic, and other reusable materials should be standard practice in your residence.

Look for ways to reuse clothing, accessories, and other everyday items instead of disposing of them right away. For example, clothes or toys that your children have outgrown may be given to neighbors, friends, or local charitable organizations. What you no longer need may be just the thing that another person will find useful.

The Keys to Effective Leadership

September 8, 2014 at 7:54 pm

leaderLeadership can be defined in so many ways. For some, whenever the word “leader” comes up, what usually comes to mind is a well-dressed person giving orders to a lot of people. For others, leaders are mentors who didn’t even acknowledge themselves as such, but have gone to great efforts to ensure that everyone’s united goal has been reached.

Strategies to effective leadership have continually been analyzed and debated upon. Questions of which technique works better to give great results have been discussed endlessly. Future leaders should read up and learn how to handle teams to ensure that he is respected. Here are the keys on how to become an effective leader:

 

  1. Constantly Communicate With Your Team

Constant communication is key to any relationship, and your team wouldn’t be any different. Start with ensuring that you have the same end goal. An effective leader listens to his team and wins their trust. Be open to their ideas and their take on things. It will give you new perspective.

Note that not all communication should be done through email, especially the urgent ones. If you have to elaborate on a point, pick up a phone and call. Though an email with the instructions may be sent, it will be easier for questions and points to be exchanged when you talk to each other freely.

 

  1. Encourage Creative Thinking

Once people have been inspired by your vision, they can come up with ideas on how to make it work, or better yet, how to improve it. Consider their suggestions. Stimulate possible creative concepts by discussing further topics or going to new places. When people loosen up and think differently, new ideas are bound to come in. Teach them to utilize different communication and learning platforms like the Internet and Cable TV to find inspiration. Comcast provides both services and in case that you’ll have trouble using them, call the Comcast phone number immediately.

 

  1. Instill Self-Confidence

A leader is not a faceless figure handing out to-do lists to his team. An effective leader helps the team develop both as individuals and as members of the team.  This will involve constant communication, as well as coaching and mentoring. Appreciate what they have done for the team so far. Positive feedback goes a long way. Team members who feel good about themselves and what they do perform better at their tasks, and are even willing to take the initiative to take it to the next level.

 

  1. Delegate Tasks Appropriately

It reiterates to them that you trust that they can handle the job, a return of the trust they give you for leading them. You weren’t given your team because you can do it alone. These people are there to help you. It may not be easy to put the responsibility of execution to someone else, but delegating the smaller tasks makes it easier for you to see the bigger picture.

 

  1. Focusing on The Goal

As mentioned above, the first thing you communicate with your team is your vision and end goal. As you continue your project however, you may lose sight of what’s important, this bigger picture, as the tedious details bog you down.

Coordination then is important to make sure that everyone has the same focus and direction. Leaders should be great team players and consistent in his direction. The more credible you are, the more people will follow you.

 

There are a lot more ways on how to become an effective leader, but it all boils down to these five keys. It is not necessary for you to be best friends with the people you work with, but wouldn’t it be more fun if it were so? When you share the same goal with people and all of you are driven to accomplish it, you can accomplish anything.

The Chance To Be Heard

September 8, 2014 at 7:05 pm

gengapMuch has been said about the generation gap between the older “baby boomers” and the younger “millenials”. Truth be told, perceived gaps or opposite perspectives between generations have always existed. There has been a tendency for the older crowd to stick to the traditions, philosophies and realities they have gotten used to during their time, while the younger one tend to explore and embrace changes.

Conflict is almost unavoidable when you have two or more competing schools of thought battling it out in different venues of public discourse and interaction, whether it is in the community, academe, business, and even the home. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the progressive and change-intensive ways of the young, and the traditional, conservative standards of the old.

But should this conflict hinder progress and development, or is there a way we can harness both elements and combine them for better results? Successful organizations and entities have found a way to balance their core values and traditions with the changing patterns and trends of modern times. On the other hand, those that have chosen extremes of tradition or modernity have too often limited themselves too much to even become relevant.

Take a moment to think about your favorite fast food restaurant, and try to remember its menu choices from a few years ago or your childhood. Are the menu items exactly the same as before? Most likely, while they have retained much of their core offerings and established products, they have also phased out others that have not been as successful, while introducing newer food items that are the trend in the industry these days.

This same principle goes with recording artists in the music industry. The biggest names and top-sellers have evolved over the years in order to reflect changing listening preferences and tastes. Now that electronic dance music is all the rave among younger listeners, you see established music acts in other genres delving into EDM as well in order to adapt and reach out to the market, all without necessarily abandoning their original style.

For the younger people, it is important to listen to the opinions, perspectives, and insights of their elders. Older people have been through more, so they have more experiences to share and lessons to impart. Because of the changing times, not everything they espouse may necessarily be useful for today’s generation, but most can certainly be adapted and become valuable lessons for millenials.

gengap2If you have older people or seniors in your daily circle or sphere of influence, grab this opportunity to communicate with them, learn from them, and find out what insights they can give you about the world back then and how different it is from today. This is a chance for you to grow wiser and have a deeper understanding of the industry or community you are in. Look into ways to constantly stay in touch with your elders, such as buying the best cell phone for seniors like these ones for easy access and mobility. Be considerate and keep in mind that seniors have needs different than that of the younger generation, so it’s safe to say that the best cell phone for seniors would be the simplest one to use.

The best listeners become the best leaders. If your goal is to be the leader in your career, occupation, or any other endeavor, you should also take stock of what elders have to say, listening to their wisdom in order to apply their best practices in your own life.