Jar-of-honey-honeycombs-wooden-honey-dipper-to-represent-discussion-about-local-honey-for-allergies

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Local Honey for Allergies — Does It Really Work?

2 minute read

Truth v. Fiction: Using Local Honey for Allergies

Allergy season has begun and some allergy sufferers may already be experiencing symptoms that can last through August or September.

These symptoms can include:
● Sneezing
● Runny or stuffy nose
● Watery or itchy eyes
● Itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
● Postnasal drainage

While there are many over-the-counter treatments available, the theory of using local honey as a remedy for spring allergies has gained some popularity among those looking for a natural approach, but does it actually work?

The Theory

Allergy shots are a useful comparison for this theory about honey. Your body takes small shots of the allergen to build immunity. As immunity builds, your body is provided with more of the allergen.

This same theory applies to the idea of using doses of local honey for allergies. The raw, unprocessed honey is made close to where you live, and contains the pollen and other allergens that may be causing your allergy symptoms.

It sounds reasonable.

Except for a couple important facts.

The Science

1. Allergy shots isolate the specific allergen that patients are allergic to. Alternatively, there is no way to know exactly what is in the local honey you’re consuming, or if you’re allergic to it in the first place.
2. Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses, not insect-borne pollen from flowers which is predominantly the pollen found in honey.

The Real Benefits of Honey

While local honey might not cure you of your seasonal allergies, it can still deliver a lot of benefits:
● Sore throat remedy
● Cough suppressant
● Good source of antioxidants
● Strong source of prebiotics and nutrients
● Immune booster
● Sweetener alternative to processed sugar

If you want to give raw honey a try, make sure you source it from a local and trusted producer. This beekeeper will be someone who doesn’t use any chemicals or other treatments, has bee hives within 5 miles of where you live, does not feed or move their bees, never filters or heats their honey, and uses wooden frames and natural wax foundation. If you can’t find a beekeeper that meets all those criteria, aim for as many as you can to ensure the most beneficial raw/local honey.

*As a reminder, it’s important to keep in mind that honey is not safe for children under 12 months, as it can lead to a serious condition called botulism.

Clean Air Everywhere

Don’t suffer through allergy season! One of the best things you can do for your health is to ensure a clean, healthy indoor environment. That means using air filters, keeping temperatures and humidity in check, and having your house inspected for any potential problem areas.

Check out all the tips and best practices we’ve included in the Aprilaire Clean Air Everywhere campaign. We want you to enjoy the spring weather without worrying about allergies!

Sources:
https://acaai.org/resources/connect/ask-allergist/will-honey-relieve-my-seasonal-allergies

https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/honey-remedy#conclusions

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/does-honey-help-prevent-allergies#2

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/top-raw-honey-benefits

https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-to-find-the-best-local-honey/

 

 

5 easy ways to transition your family to a sustainable lifestyle

Archive |

Transition Your Family to a Sustainable Lifestyle

2 minute read

We’ve seen it a lot in the news lately: cities, states, and even restaurant chains are banning or limiting the use of plastic straws. It’s becoming more  apparent that we need to make more ec0-friendly decisions to help transition our family to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Why is this important? Because the use of plastic around the world has polluted our oceans, endangered sea life, and raised concerns about the long-term effects of creating non-biodegradable substances.

Banning straws is a small step (straws make up just 0.025% of all plastic in the oceans), but it’s an achievable one that has the potential to lead to larger, more impactful changes.

That’s a good reminder for all of us, and this is a great time to reevaluate the way your family views and interacts with the world around them.

It can be tough at first, but by consistently choosing to incorporate eco-friendly principles and practices, you can start down a lifelong path of greener living and creating a better environment for generations to come.

5 Ways to Transition Your Family to a Sustainable Lifestyle

Recycle:

Make a conscious effort to recycle as much as possible

○ Use Recycle Nation to find out where to locally recycle almost anything from paper and plastic to electronics and tires
○ Commit to buying products that are packaged in recyclable materials
○ Start a compost pile in your backyard
Make sure to wash and separate recyclables – this is crucial to the recycling process

Use Alternative Transportation:

Air pollution levels are greatly increased by the pollutants released by vehicles

○ Carpool when you can
○ Use public transportation if it’s a realistic option in your area
○ Walk and bike whenever possible, it’s good for you and the environment!

Buy Reusable:

Stop using and or buying disposable products whenever possible

○ Shop with reusable bags
○ Stop drinking water from a plastic bottle!
○ Your dollars make an impact. When you purchase sustainable goods, that sends a signal to manufacturers that they should make more things like it
○ Take a cue from Hawaii and stop using plastic straws and one-time use plastic altogether

Make Sustainable Food Choices

The fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers used in the production, processing, packaging, and transportation of food can greatly harm our health and the health of our environment

○ Be aware of the impact of your choices as a consumer
○ Look for local and environmentally responsible food that supports rural communities and farmers
○ Choose foods that are healthy, nutritious, and that come in eco-friendly packaging

Conserve Water

Water is one of the most valuable resources we have

○ Purchase water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines
○ Take shorter showers (make it a family competition for fun)
○ Turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth

Try incorporating just one of these five practices into your family’s daily life. Once that becomes habit or second nature, add another. Any change makes a huge difference towards creating a better environment and living a more thoughtful life.

For even more sustainable living inspiration, check out Eco-Cycle, Global Stewards, or The Story of Stuff.

Sources:

http://www.globalstewards.org/sustainable-lifestyle.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/sustainability/lifestyle/index.htm

https://www.tomsofmaine.com/good-matters/thinking-sustainably/living-a-sustainable-lifestyle-a-starter-guide

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/07/news-plastic-drinking-straw-history-ban/

 

Little girl playing

Healthy Air | Family |

Ways Recess Helps Kids

2 minute read

The Benefits of Recess

We’ve known since the invention of recess that kids love it.

Swinging as high as they can. Tearing around playing tag. And, most importantly, not sitting at a desk.

So, yes, they love it. But more and more research also shows that kids need recess. From building social skills to instilling positive exercise habits, recess exposes kids to crucial parts of development.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that recess “serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom.”

So, what exactly are those benefits that make the “necessary break” of recess such an important part of childhood development?

Social Benefits:

● Socialization free from structure
● The chance for new modes of communication with friends and classmates
● Allows for play time without electronic distractions

Emotional Benefits:

● Reduces stress
● Exposure to outdoor light offers several positives for health and wellness
● Provides a much needed break from workload and expectations
● Gives children control of the world around them

Intellectual Benefits:

Increased mental focus after physical exercise
● Gives children a break from incoming information
● Allows processing time

Physical Benefits:

● Burns calories and stretches muscles
● Practices emerging physical skills and can help kids find the sports/games they’ll play for life
● Provides exposure to fresh air. And speaking of fresh air, if you have concerns about the Indoor Air Quality in your child’s school, take a look at some of our recommendations for improving IAQ in schools.

And just like schooling doesn’t stop once kids go home, all the benefits of recess can extend to family time as well. Try one or all of these family spring activities to keep your kids healthy and active as the weather warms up.

Sources:
AAP News & Journals Gateway: The Crucial Role of Recess In School

Mother and child.

Archive |

Mom’s Health Tips for Kids during the Winter

< 1 minute read

Every year, moms and dads everywhere know that when winter hits – so does the endless cycle of colds, coughs, and flu. We asked some partner moms about health tips they use to keep their family healthy during the winter months.
But guess what? You can do something about that, and no it doesn’t involve keeping your kids in a plastic bubble.
We feel pretty confident that our products are the bee’s knees, but we wanted to put it to the test. We wanted to find out – does having a whole home humidifier or air purifier really make a difference in how often your family gets sick?

Health tips from moms

Kris and the McDonald family reported tons of health benefits and improvements, not just in winter, but all year long!
Dani Marie is a former RN and mom of littles – she counts having a humidifier as one of the main ways to keep your family healthy during winter months!
Michele’s family had a massive reduction in indoor allergy symptoms, which is a huge plus when you’re spending tons of time indoors!
Clarissa loved having an air purifier running to help control pet hair and allergens, which build up when you cannot open windows to clear the air!

To read more about keeping your family well this winter, click here.

Image of Aprilaire air filter types

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Air |

Air Filter Types: Here’s What You Should Know

2 minute read

Allergies? Pet hair? Odors? Each home has air issues that need to be filtered out. But it’s not always easy to find the right air filter for your home’s ventilation or purification systems, and for your specific needs.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about our most popular air filters and how they can help you create a Healthy Home.

Self-Seal

Each Aprilaire Air Filter removes airborne particles including dust, pollen, mold spores, bacteria, pet dander, and dust mites, thanks to the patented Self-Seal Technology, which minimizes the amount of air bypassing the filter.

Easy Installation

It’s easy to swap out Aprilaire filters (we recommend once a year) thanks to the unique Interlock Rail System.
1. Unpack the filter
2. Slide it into the vent or purifier
3. Close the door to fully secure the filter

A Filter for Every Need

Find the filter that fits your air purifying needs. Make sure to match the size of the filter to your system requirements.

Clean Air Filter MERV 11
● Removes 98% of pollen and mold
● Vacuum and dust less often by preventing airborne particles from settling on furniture and flooring
● Ideal for fall months when mold and pollen are the biggest allergy triggers across the U.S.

Healthy Home Filter MERV 13
● Removes 97% of airborne bacteria
● Creates a Healthy Home environment by preventing airborne allergens from circulating through the air
● Ideal for homes that use pesticides, including products used to kill household pests (insecticides and disinfectants) and products used on lawns and gardens that drift or are tracked inside the house

Allergy and Asthma Filter MERV 16
● Removes 99% of airborne allergy and asthma triggers
● Prevents allergy and asthma triggers from circulating through the air by trapping them in the filter
● Ideal for asthma and allergy sufferers

Odor Filter MERV 13
● Reduces odor with activated carbon
● Odors from pets, cooking, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are reduced by passing through the carbon filter
● Most commonly used to remove gases

 

 

Archive |

Best and Worst Cities for Spring Allergies

< 1 minute read

Spring Allergies: Best and worst cities in the US

By this point in the year, it can feel like winter will never end. But when that cold and snow finally disappear, millions of Americans will trade the dry skin and cold noses for springtime sneezes and sniffles.

That’s right. Spring allergies are just around the corner and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released its list for the best and worst cities to live in for allergy sufferers.

The AAFA ranks the 100 largest U.S. cities using pollen counts, allergy medicine use, and allergy doctors.

10 best U.S. cities (as of 2018)for spring allergies:

1. Denver, CO
2. Provo, UT
3. Boise, ID
4. Portland, OR
5. Colorado Springs, CO
6. Ogden, UT
7. Seattle, WA
8. Salt Lake City, UT
9. Raleigh, NC
10. Spokane, WA

10 worst US cities for spring allergies:

1. McAllen, TX
2. Louisville, KY
3. Jackson, MI
4. Memphis, TN
5. San Antonio, TX
6. Providence, RI
7. Dayton, OH
8. Syracuse, NY
9. Oklahoma City, OK
10. Knoxville, TN

While these cities might present some issues for allergy sufferers, not all hope is lost if you call one of these places home.

5 tips for allergy relief:

1. See a certified allergist to diagnose your symptoms
2. Use over the counter meds or a neti pot to help relieve sinus issues
3. Keep an eye on the pollen count and stay inside when it’s elevated
4. Take spring cleaning seriously and stay on top of dusting and vacuuming
5. Invest in an Aprilaire Air Purifier to reduce airborne pollutants and allergens

Sources:

https://www.aafa.org/spring-allergy-capitals-2018.aspx

https://www.aafa.org/media/2113/aafa-2018-spring-allergy-capitals-report.pdf

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Air |

Common Asthma Triggers Around The House

< 1 minute read

While asthma is not caused by air pollution, poor air quality can act as an asthma trigger and may even initiate an asthma attack.

Indoor air pollutants have been found to be 5times greater than outdoor pollutants.  And since Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors, it’s more important than ever to make Indoor Air Quality a priority in your home.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

  • Mold, mildew, dust mites
  • Pest droppings
  • Pet dander
  • Furniture finished with flame retardants
  • Spray cleaners and disinfectants
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Smoke from fireplaces, wood stoves, or kerosene heaters
  • Nitrogen dioxide from natural gas heaters and stoves
  • Scented candles, spray and/or plug-in air fresheners, and potpourris
  • Incense smoke
  • Perfumes and hair spray

How to Limit Asthma Triggers

If you or a member of your family suffer from asthma, it’s never too late to get proactive about Indoor Air Quality. Here are some ways to limit common asthma triggers in your home: