GENERAL APPROACH OF SAFETY

DEFINITION OF SAFETY

Safety can be defined as a state in which hazards and conditions leading to physical, psychological, and material harm are controlled in order to preserve the health and well- being of individuals and communities. Safety is a dynamic state resulting from the interaction of human beings With their physical, social, cultural, technological, political, economic and organisational environment.

The objective is to establish a permanent state of vigilance and develop the mechanisms to control danger on a contionous basis.

SAFETY relates to various dimensions of physical, social, and psychological well being. It includes the prevention and control of injuries, both physical and psychological, to individuals and communities as it should be contained in the notion of " human security" Which is being discussed by the UN Security Council.

Essential conditions for both physical safety and the perception of safety include:

  • freedom from violence in a climate of peace, justice and equity protecting human rights;
  • the respect of values of individuals and communities as well as the physical, material, and psychological integrity of individuals;
  • strict enforcement of norms of transparency and accountability.

SAFETY can be achieved by acting on structures, environments, and Attitudes and behaviours. This can be affected by:

  • sharing information on risk and options for risk contol between the public and political, professional, scientific, and community groups;
  • concerted actions to maximize levels of safety achievable under the given conditions;
  • adequate mechanisms for allocating resources for those in need and for resolution of conflicting interests;
  • legal bases for ensuring accountability of individuals, organisations and governments at all levels.

SAFETY AS A HUMAN RIGHT because

1st- Injury is a huge burden as measured by disability - adjusted life years and as reflected in the burden of violence ( as quantified in the upcoming WHO World Report on violence).

2nd- It is important to look holistically at safety because of the increase In complexity and interdependence of many related issues that interact with safety, including health, the environment, peace promotion and war, economic well being and development,

3rd- The notion of Safety as a Human Right is an important policy tool For injury control and safety promotion.It is a way to bring together the Injury Control community for collective action that can be more effective than separate communities or individuals acting alone.

4th- A document elaborating the Right to Safety will be presented for discussions and adoption next year in the world conference and hopefully this document will be supported by a collective action through the United Nations and the WHO.

MAJOR ISSUES OF ROAD SAFETY EEE ( EDUCATION, ENFORCEMENT& ENGINEERING)

EDUCATION: Basic principles of road safety have to be continously published by NGOs, schools, universities, clubs, media.

ENGINEERING: Better road maintenance, construction of more pedestrian bridges, traffic lights.

ENFORCEMENT: Implementing all traffic rules & regulations on all Who share the roads.

Europe’s Impressive Road Safety Record

If you’ve ever wondered where the best road safety records are then it’s likely this new report has your answer.  Last year, saw another impressive decrease in the number of fatalities on the roads of Europe.  It is estimated the numbers have fallen over 8% in the last year,  a huge success story by any measure.  In fact the fall is even more impressive when expressed as the number of lives saved – this figure is approaching 9000 people.

The EU commissioner is happy for this to be seen as one of the trademarks for the European Community,  having safe roads and overall transport safety is a great success story.   Having said that there are still many people who die on Europe’s roads every day, so complacency should not be allowed at any level.

There is actually a large variance, between different countries in Europe – the safest places are the UK, Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark.  These countries have always had the best safety records in the community but now there are several other countries who have improved significantly.  These include Spain, Germany and Slovakia who now have all improved their positions on the safety league table and better than average results.

There are some other countries who need to improve their records with far more fatalities on their roads than the European average.  Places like Poland, Bulgaria and Greece for example all have a long way to go to try and match their European neighbors in the road safety table.

The improvements are in some way a result of the initiative which was started in 2011, entitled the EU Road Safety Action programme, it’s overall goal was to halve the number of road deaths in Europe by 2020.  It includes several areas to develop in order to achieve this including improvements to vehicles, infrastructure and of course most importantly the way people drive.

More information can be found on various news sites and the EU Road safety Vademecum.  To access specific country restricted web sites like the BBC and French news channels then try this method of hiding your location.  Alternatives include the new Smart DNS service recently launched by Overplay.

Developing Self for Better Awareness

For all those people who are shy, retiring or lacking in confidence and have decided that they have to do something about that situation, there is a solution. If they want to return to their correct personality and improve their health, taking the step that involves choosing the right kind of development program can be a bit of a headache.

It doesn’t help that there are so many to choose from, but that choice can be narrowed down some by deciding what kind of diet you actually want to work with. This article will take a look at the so-called convenient personal development that are designed to do everything for you except make you review them.

These programs are actually very helpful especially to people who lead busy lives and really don’t have much time to devote to regular study, never mind avoid all the hassles that go with a busy lifestyle. This will include having to first plan what you are going to do, taking your daily plan from a set list of what is allowed and what is not.

Then going out to build your confidence, which can be a nightmare in itself when trying to find a sympathetic ear in amongst the endless masses of unfeeling and heartless strangers. Then there is preparing yourself by carefully measuring your pace as you advance through the course and counting each little achievement no matter how small to make sure you get that balance right.

If you are really pernickety, you can even calculate the minutes you spend on reading, listening to or watch on DVD the lectures or seminars that provide the information. Having a good lecturer is important because someone who is very good at getting the message across in an understandable way is essential to your success.

On the other hand, if you just haven’t the time or inclination to bother with all of that, the alternative is to get online and visit a website that promotes personal development like wvicfa.org that helps with self improvement and similar topics. These sites provide you with a lot of the information that you will need to at least get started and some can yield a great deal of learning material.

All you have to do is literally study and increase your knowledge and understanding of who you are, where you are, who you want to be and where you want to be. Now I don’t know what you would call easy or achievable, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get much more doable than this when you make the decision to go all out and do whatever you can to improve yourself.

The Internet and the German Extremists

One of the problems with the internet is that in order to protect it as a global, free, communication medium you have to allow some unpleasant groups to utilise it.  There is a temptation for all societies to censor and block extrmeist and hate filled views but the reality is that down that road the internet will end up as some sort of splintered, state controlled colllection of intranets.  We have to accept the existence of such groups and their own right to use it as a platform.  The real worry is when  these groups start using the technology with guile and skill, with a very stark example now in Germany – The German Identity Movement.

This group started to rise to prominence last year when a few activists interrupted an Intercultural event in Frankfurt.  There banners held calls for an end to the multiculturalism that the event was promoting.  Soon after an accompanying video appeared on YouTube, receiving a lot of attention.

Their protests are very cleverly designed, there is no nasty, screaming and anger that many right wing organisations often use.  This is the problem – these organisations normally manage to alienate people on their own.  However Identity has a very tech savy following and embrace social media portraying itself through ’fun campaigns’.  This attitude and the professionalism of their campaigns is one of the most worrying aspects.

If you dig into their messages you’ll still find the normal Islamaphobia or more radical groups.  The cries of protecting German identity are all too familiar from those with knowledge of the second World War.  But there isn’t the crude aggression and the racism is subtly disguised through a more articulate manner than perhaps other such parties like the British – BNP.

Germany has many laws which relate what you can do online and free speech is also protected, a good reason to use a proxy based there.  It is unlike many countries where anonymity is also protected by law.  Social networking sites like Facebook have had their terms of services challenged in Germany.  The need for ’real names’ in the social networking site is not enforceable in Germany where anonymity online is also a right.  This anonymity and legal protection is why many prefer to use proxies when surfing online, although of course many just use them to watch different TV and media in other countries – like this which shows how to watch TVN player.

The people who run and control the movements of the Identity Movement are using this anonymity to stay behind the scenes.  Their anonymity is used to help protect the organisation as it promotes it’s racist and xenophobic views.  It is vital we warn out young people about the lessons of history and the real intent of this slickly packaged message of hate!

 

Skip College and Become a Plumber?

The mayor of New York City has done it again. At an event on Friday, Michael Bloomberg opened his mouth without thinking and proceeded to insult countless supporters.

He tactlessly told a crowd of average high schoolers that they should forgo college and become plumbers instead. Encouraging. Right? Not so much, as the mayor, you would think that he would have a touch more common sense. But no, he basically told a group of highschool students that they were inferior. He insinuated that those mediocre students should not only forgo the prestigious university, but also drop the entire notion of even obtaining a degree.

According to the mayor, the people who have the most difficulty are those who are not geniuses. Apparently, Michael Bloomberg thinks that to the “average joe”, becoming a plumber instead of obtaining a degree from an ivy league university is a better route. You know, because at least that way you don’t accumulate an enormous amount in student loans or spend thousands of dollars, without generating any income.

Mr. Bloomberg not only believes that skipping out on college is a good idea, he even went so far as to discuss the jobs that won’t likely become outsourced. It’s hard to farm that out… and it’s hard to automate that, he reasoned. He goes on with his plumber propaganda, by spewing statistics about how plumbers have far less debt and make more money than many college graduates.

We spoke to plumber Joe from Plumbers Boise and he stated “I got the same advice from my father and it had worked out great for me”.

Unsurprisingly, many were not completely in support of Michael Bloomberg’s advice. One being a student adviser, who helps out with college financial planning. The adviser felt that the mayor’s advice was misleading and one-sided. The only colleges that typically fall in the exorbitant cost range of $40,000 to $50,000 are the ivy leagues and elite.

There are many other college options out there, and not only the elite universities are worth attending. College degrees should be highly desired and pursued. The mayor should perhaps consider the more average individual instead of letting his superior-elitist-attitude cloud his judgement and wisdom. By having such a close-minded view, he risked estranging potential supporters and even more importantly, he potentially discouraged many impressionable young people.

Youngsters Starting Internet Careers

Twenty years ago, the options for home working were relatively small, but that’s changed hugely.  For the road weary executive who’s spent years in offices and travelling up and down motorways then it’s often a welcome release.  However for the young person just starting out in life it’s not always the best start to working life.

I was talking to young person who did remote support for an ISP firm, answering calls primarily via web chat.  You’ve probably seen the little ’get help’ buttons on websites – well he was someone who answered these.  He worked entirely from home apart from the occasional meeting and training session.  One thing I was very aware when talking to this person was their rather awkward manner especially in groups.

The problem is that when we start work for the first time, we learn a lot about dealing with social situations.  Meeting people, socialising even just chatting with colleagues over coffee, these are soft skills we pick up. The fact is that communicating online and in real life is a very different experience.  the worry is that in the times of increasing teleworking that many young people are missing out on this essential part of development.

It’s a danger we also see with children who now spend a large part of their social live in a virtual world.  Ask a teenage girl how many of her hundreds of ’friends’ on Facebook that she’s actually met and you may be surprised. Our jobs, our social life and quite a lot of everything else is increasingly happening in the virtual world.

If you’re young, a job like an internet marketer or remote worker might seem a great idea, but you will really miss out on a lot of life experiences by doing this too early.  Making your living online obviously has benefits, especially when you can travel while earning at the same time.  Lots of web based jobs involve very little social contact, creating web sites, promoting them using various automation tools – or just making a living out of SEO like this.

There’s the added incentive that to some extent location doesn’t matter.  If you start investigating these areas you’ll come across that lucky breed who actually live quite a nomadic life travelling around the world whilst actually developing a very profitable online business.  Some are Internet marketers, bloggers or involved in education and coaching, all have realised that work doesn’t have to dictate where they live, it can be down to choice.  There are certain logistical issues particularly if you try working from certain countries which don’t have access to payment processors like Paypal or perhaps have filtering and blocking in place like Thailand.  There are ways and means around these too though,  use proxies and VPNs just like this one which is popular for accessing UK Television from abroad.

Good advice is to try and develop those all important social skills in a normal working environment first.  There’s plenty of years to retreat back into the online world when you are older and possibly a little wiser.

Greed, Materialism and TV ADs

For any parent of finite means the feeling will be very familiar.  That time just before Christmas when every commercial break on childrens TV seems to be packed full of extremely expensive gifts.  Plastic rubbish that takes hours to put together which retails at £49.99 – you also know that twenty minutes after unwrapping they’ll have lost interest.  

It’s hardly surprising in some ways that there are frequently pieces in the press about how materialistic young people are becoming.  Children are bombarded with advertisements in their daily lives.  Even games that you buy for computer consoles and mobile phones are normally stuffed full of advertisements for more games or add ons.

A study of 8-11 year olds in the Netherlands is the latest to point the finger at TV advertising – citing a ’positive causal effect on materialism’.  In effect TV commercials are increasing childrens desire for material items but worse are leading them to equate happiness with  the aquisition of these items.

The problem is that it takes adults quite a few years to come to the conclusion that on  the whole material things don’t make you really happy.  And we’ve had it easy, we’ve grown up with only a couple of TV stations and very basic advertising.  Our children are targeted specifically with extremely aggressive and very manipulative commercials.  Combined with other forces directed to us at the internet like this post – it’s no wonder our children can get confused at times.

The research showed strong links with how children valued material things.  The study then regulated the children’s exposure to advertising and tried to measure ay shift in perceptions.  The strong link between heavier viewing of such adverts and a materialistic attitude to possessions was observed.  IN effect TV adverts make children more materialistic.

So what can parents do?  Well the obvious one is to cut down on the amount of adverts that children and young people watch.  It’s not always easy but devices like Sky, Tivo allow programmes to be recorded and adverts skipped.  Similarly there’s more control with watching online and watching shows without adverts – the BBC in the United Kingdom is an obvious example.  IF you’re not in the UK then check this site out - http://www.uktv-online.com/ which can show you how to use technology to access the wonderful world of CBBC and Cbeebies – all quality childrens TV with no advertising at all.

 

Motivation to Improve Youth Health

If there is one thing that you need in great abundance when it comes to making improvements to your health and losing some weight in the process and that’s motivation, especially when you are young and able. You need this revving up factor to not only get started but also to keep going even when things start getting tough or results are not showing the way you want them to.

So what gives us motivation and what keeps us keen and eager to continue even in the face of adversity? This article takes a look at getting motivated to achieve the kind of health benefits that we are capable of achieving.

One thing that helps more than anything else is having a positive attitude as well as an unwavering belief that we will achieve what we set out to do. You can read a lot of motivational tips for weight loss that will fire you up and give you some impetus to get moving on your chosen strategy, or if you haven’t gotten that far yet, then to work out and perfect a personal strategy that suits you and your lifestyle needs.

But back of all external motivational factors must be your own will to win, your desire to succeed and that desire must burn like a brightly burning flame inside of you. Its all about having faith in yourself and in your ability to give yourself a direct order to do what you have set out to do and then following that order without wavering!

That might sound like you are letting yourself in for some serious discipline. Well, in some respects, that is right but it is a discipline that you impose on yourself, not one that comes from anyone else. It’s a funny thing, but when you force yourself to do what you tell yourself to do, you actually do it more readily and with tons more motivation than if someone else told you to do it!

So get yourself motivated to lose weight whether you are doing it through a personal diet program or a convenient one like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem (you can learn more about this here: http://nstuf.com), the end result must be that of success. And tell yourself that you are going to do what you are going to do and then do it!

No arguments and no slacking, because it’s your own will to succeed and your own desire to lose weight that is driving you now. Not a diet sheet or a fitness guru. It’s you, all you and only you!

Internet Could Divide the UK

It’s a commonly held assumption that the internet will on the whole bring people together.  It’s easy to think this, of course it’s the  greatest communication medium of the modern world – we can speak and talk with people across the planet with ease.  However a recent report has suggested that rather than bring communities together there is a danger that we should think carefully about the negative aspects of the internet.

Of course there are aspects of the internet that are the ultimate social leveller, the potential is there for people of different races, creeds and religions to come together to discuss their lives and beliefs.  However is this what actually happens?  The report suggests that in fact the internet often brings like minded people together who then create very isolated communities and groups.  It can reinforce any sort of behaviour both good and bad.

Anyone who has ever looked inside a forum with strong views and beliefs will see how people with an oppposite view are often treated.  Take a simple example of a Teams football forum, the members will rarely mix with other supporters and any who do wander in are often treated rudely and aggressively.

How these virtual communities develop is not fully understood but it is clear they can have a very significant impact upon peoples lives.  Many youngsters have many more digital friends than physical ones and they will likely form them with very specific groups of people.  Although tech savy and able to utilise technology from various sources like VPNs and proxies for instance to bypass content filters and firewalls – as demonstrated on this site.

Obviously social sites like Twitter and Facebook don’t intentionally create isolated groups, yet even here the technology is based on ’likes’ and ’preferences’ which slowly create specific groups within groups even amongst your digital friends.

Health as an Art Form

A person’s health in general is not commonly considered as an art form, but on reflection how can it be anything else? The amazingly intricate detail that went in to creating the human body and all the extremely complex functionality that it contains is a marvel of artistic licence not visible on such a scale anywhere else. So what do we need to think about in order to maintain these physical miracles in the best condition possible?

Like an intricate painting or sculpture, the details should be kept in mind while enjoying the experience of taking in the overall view. That means keeping up with what the mirror is telling us and attending to any minor detail that has gotten out of place before it escalates into something major.

Watching for Changes

The most important thing we can do is to keep a close watch on our outward physical appearance and noticing anything that wasn’t there before. This could be a blemish on the skin, or a roll of fat that seems to be betting larger. It could also be a slight change in the way we are standing.

If we are normally known for standing straight with shoulders back and chest out, but suddenly notice that our composure has relaxed, our shoulders beginning to droop and our back not as straight as it used to be, it could be an indication of trouble on the horizon.

Stress and Worry

Keeping an eye on how we are reacting to certain situations can also help to stave off a potentially problematical experience borne out of increased levels of stress or worry. These two emotionally draining situations can change our outward appearance from a thing of artistic beauty to that if a worn out machine.

Often we are not even aware that we are under so much stress until we catch sight of ourselves unexpectedly in a store window reflection as we pass by for instance. The shock of seeing ourselves as we truly appear instead of what our minds have stored of how we think we appear can be enough to jump start our inner warning alarm that forces us to take action.

Health In General

The state of our health in general should be monitored frequently to ensure everything is as it should be. When we are made aware of any changes in our outward appearance that can signal the onset of a condition that may negatively alter our state of health, we can take the correct remedial action to prevent its escalation into something worse.

Being aware of ourselves both visually and mentally is the key to maintaining our beautiful bodies as the precious works of art that they are. They are certainly worth the effort!

No Internet – A Real Disadvantage

A report in the United Kingdom has reported a worrying trend about internet access for British children.  The UK has one of the highest internet penetration figures in the world, but this doesn’t tell the full story.  If you read the official figures something like 90% of children are able to access the internet at their homes.  However a study has broken these figures down by income levels and found a dramatic change.

If you look at the richest 10% of households you’ll find almost everyone has access to the internet – some 99%.  However in the poorest 10% then just over 50% of pupils have access to the word wide web in some format or other.  This is a huge difference and suggests there is still an enormous digital divide in the UK.  Just to put this into real numbers, the figures equate to about 3/4 million children with no internet access, and about 650,000 who have no access to a computer at home.

This is a real disadvantage to such children in many ways.  Purely on an academic level, they are at a disadvantage as researching subjects and homework is much easier using  the internet.  In fact much home work now relies on access to the internet, rather than traditional learning where a good set of encyclopedias would be sufficient.  The E Learning revolution only increases the problems for such disadvantaged children – my son’s maths   homework is all completed and marked online.

In many countries an internet connection is perhaps more of a luxury, if none of your fellow pupils have access then it’s not such a disadvantage at least locally.  However I have seen many classes of English in some schools relying on content on the BBC website. A Singapore private school assigned pupils a private VPN like this site illustates to watch the BBC anywhere - http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/how-to-use-a-bbc-iplayer-proxy/.

But it is not just the academic benefits that can cause a problem.  Many young people rely on social networking sites for much of their interaction – sites like Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter are an everyday part of life.  Pupils who have no access to the internet through computers or phones are also isolated from these social networks and can feel left out.

For Further information:  see here.

Tips for Parents with Online Kids

Our children all grow up, and their increasing independence can come as a shock to many parents.  In years gone by it was hard enough to manage but nowadays parents have the internet to deal with as well.  The reality is that children will extend their new found independence online as well as in the real world, yet sometimes they are unaware of the dangers that lurk there.

Anyway here’s a few pointers that might help parents stay in touch with their children’s online life.

Stay Involved – This is important, try and keep involved with what your child is doing online.  For instance if they spend loads of time on Facebook, create your own account and send your kids a friend request, this will allow you to see the majority of their public activities and stay in touch.

Set Boundaries – kids on the internet respond just as well to limits and boundaries online as they do in the offline world.  Make the boundaries reasonable and discuss them with  your children.

Consider Parental controls – these help you implement boundaries.  They can work on virtually any online platform and can help control your children’s online activity.  Again be reasonable, don’t try and behave like a despotic regime and block everything.  If you do your children will soon discover avoidance sites and proxies like this site - and your parental controls will end up being null and void.

Tell them What to do if something goes wrong – every child should know what to do if they have a problem when online.  Knowing what to do when you’re worried or need help is vital for children exploring their online world.  Be there for your child to approach without fear of repercussions or punishment.

Of course your children will push back the boundaries in the virtual world, it’s called exploring.  However an involved parent will get an early warning if there are issues or problems happening with regards to your children.  The internet is a part of all our lives now whatever our opinions on it, parent’s would be well advised to stay up to date !

The Need for Youth Fitness

Over the decades, there seems to have been a slow shift in the amount of fitness training and exercise undertaken by young people. Where it was common in the past to spend many hours each week in the pursuit of physical fitness through a variety of exercise and sports programs in schools, these days the number of hours has diminished.

This can be attributed to the shift toward more time spent working with computers and handheld mobile devices, as well as staying at home more in the evenings after school to play computer games or use the Internet instead of meeting friends to play sports, ride bikes or the many other activities that older generations took for granted.  But how does all this change affect the physical condition of younger people. And how does it affect people going forward into more advanced years?

There is growing evidence to suggest that the swing away from so much physical activity to a more sedentary lifestyle in youth sets people up for a less active adulthood. This can have a variety of health damaging aspects, from lower disease resistance to the propensity to weight gain and obesity.

Many people recognize the potential problems that leading this kind of lifestyle can bring in their future and set about improving their physical condition by joining a gym or taking up a sport or physical exercise regime. This is important for setting the stage for a healthier middle age and beyond.

Tackling the problem at its root, in the formative years of youth is not necessarily quite so straight forward. It can be tough to convince teens that they should be outside playing football or skateboarding or riding a bike and not enjoying the mental stimulation and excitement of the latest computer game!

Of course many teens are still highly motivated to exercise and play sports. This is evident by the many excellent up coming sportspeople competing at the highest level. We just need to get more young people to recognize that while they don’t all need to be the next top sportspeople, they do need to get sufficient exercise to ensure their physical fitness levels are up to par.

There are many ways this can be achieved. Making exercise fun is one way, such as promoting things like Frisbee throwing, volleyball or table tennis, for example. More on this subject can be found at this excellent site: www.flindersfury.com where alternative forms of exercise activities are highlighted and covered in greater detail.

Curbing Sugar Intake to Combat Obesity in Young People

One of the true scourges of modern society is the problem of obesity, especially amongst the young. Figures are gradually rising despite the apparent rise in awareness of the factors that precipitate this problem. Yet there is so much that can be done so easily simply by taking one major aspect of the cause of weight gain and enlightening the very people that can most benefit from that information.

That aspect is the intake of refined sugar and products that contain large amounts of it.

Why Avoiding Refined Sugar is So Tough

It’s one thing to make young people aware of the fact that their current consumption of sugar laden food and liquid products is causing their weight gain, but quite another thing to get them to take action. You can fill people’s heads with facts and figures all day until you are blue in the face, but unless those people act on the information you have given them, no benefit will be realized.

It’s simply not enough to understand how the consumption of high levels of sucrose or its partner in crime, fructose derived from corn (high fructose corn syrup) is processed by the body and converted into visceral fat. It’s not enough to be informed in no uncertain terms that storing a lot of visceral fat in the abdomen not only results in weight gain but can lead to a host of other serious health problems.

What Do People Need?

People need a reason to avoid these products that will offset their perceived view that they are deriving pleasure from consuming them. They need alternatives that will provide a similar level of pleasure and not create the feeling that they are going without something they enjoy doing.

To date, the only alternatives that are available and that are viable are similar products to those intended to be replaced that incorporate an artificial sweetening agent in place of sugar. While consuming these products in place of their sugar laden alternatives can and does reduce the amount of visceral fat being stored by the body, there are also potentially serious risks to health associated with their consumption in high volumes.

The Diet Soda Debate

One example is in the consumption of fizzy soda drinks. Such is the power of advertising that young people are almost universally hooked on drinking several cans their favorite brands of soda every day. They may be aware that each can contains well over 100 empty calories, but they simply do not equate this knowledge with the potential for weight gain over a week or a month.

Some people do make the change to the low calorie artificially sweetened version of their chosen brand of soft drink. Yet they are unaware that the consumption of that artificial sweetener is also potentially damaging to their long term health. A viable solution in most cases is to go with the lesser of two evils and choose low or no sugar products over their equivalents containing sugar.

The weight loss genius behind this revelation is that people do have alternatives that can help them combat their expanding waistlines, as can be seen here: http://weightlossgenius.com. It’s simply a case of weighing up the alternatives and making the most sensible choice.

Environmental Awareness for the Young

It is a difficult job sometimes raising awareness among the young about important issues concerning society. The youth often tend to see themselves as functioning in a sub-culture that is separate to the concerns of the adult world. Moreover, young people often tend to live in the moment and are ready to do foolish things because they think that they are invincible and that they are consequence free in their actions.

It is a good idea to show the youth the litter and trash on the streets of their neighborhood, and to ask whether they think it is a pleasant environment in which to grow up. Most will probably say ’no’. It is then a short step to the next question about whether they contribute to trash on the street. They may lie about this but it might make them aware of the problem.

At school it is important to spend time focussing on wider environmental issues such as climate change, carbon emissions, pollution and resource depletion. I also feel it is not out of place to bring a political context to these discussions by bringing in the issue of petrol dependency by many Western economies and the strategic policies of governments to ensure supplies of natural resources. I don’t put words in the mouths of the young, but I encourage them to debate the issues in the hope of raising the political consciousness that is a necessary requirement for changes in the way the governments treat economics and the environment.

On other occasions it is a good idea to prepare the youth for when they are responsible for property. I explain to them how much the average person makes and how much is taken away by bills for water, electricty and gas. They are shocked at the prospect of having so little disposable income for their efforts. I then explain how energy and money can be saved by choosing a good programmable thermostat, using energy saving light bulbs, installing low flow showers, taking practical steps to improve home insulation and so on. No doubt much of this technology will be superceeded by better technology when they grow up, but it is empowering to know that there are steps that can be taken to reduce carbon footprint, conserve water and reduce bills.

It is by taking this multi-faceted approach that environmental awareness for the young can be raised.