Today is the longest day of the year meaning it is the Summer Solstice. So let’s celebrate the start of summer with some interesting Summer Solstice facts:
Solstice comes from the latin words sol, meaning sun, and sistere, meaning to come to a stop or stand still. Today the sun reaches the northernmost position as it can be seen from earth. At this moment, its zenith does not move north or south as during most days of the year, but it stands still above the Tropic of Cancer. It then reverses direction and starts moving south again.
The Summer Solstice happens when the tilt of the earth’s axis is more inclined towards the sun, directly above the Tropic of Cancer.
Depending on the shift of the calendar, the Summer Solstice can occur between June 20th and June 22nd.
It occurs at the same time across the world. Technically, the Summer Solstice occurs the exact instant the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer. Today that is at 22:34 UTC.
Today the sun rose at 5:39 am and will set at 8:33 pm giving us 14 hours, 53 minutes and 52 seconds of daylight.
Many think that since it is summer in the northern hemisphere, the earth is closest to the sun during the Summer Solstice. But it is the opposite — the earth is technically the farthest from the sun during this time of the year.The Artic Circle will have 24 hours of daylight today.
This will be the first Summer Solstice with a full moon in decades. The full moon — also known as the Strawberry Moon — will coincide with the Summer Solstice. This is the first time these two events have occurred on the same day since 1967 and will not happen again until 2062.
Here are some great gift ideas for your special dad.
Plan an Outing: Take your dad to his favorite restaurant or plan a family fishing trip, hike with a picnic, movie, concert, or sporting event that he would enjoy.
Plan a special at-home treat: Make him breakfast in bed, or plan a night in you can make his favorite dinner, then watch a video and relax.
Build him an eco-inspired bird house out of a recycled bottle – HERE
Get dad some new items for the barbecue to inspire more summer night barbecues.
Show dad how much he’s appreciated by making a homemade picture frame. Here’s a link for some creatives ways to make a frame – HERE
Create a gift basket and fill it with some of his favorite things. Maybe pick a theme based on his hobbies or favorite treats and fill the basket based on the theme. Some great examples of theme ideas: sportsman, coffee lover, sweet-tooth fanatic, bookworm, Mr. Fix It, film buff or outdoorsman, to name just a few.
Get him a digital magazine subscription or pick out some books by his favorite author at a used bookstore.
This Father’s Day, show dad how important he is and how much he’s loved.
It is 10 pm and I am settling into bed trying to wind down from a hectic day. When I notice my cats are not on my bed, I call for them and they come in and settle in at my feet. Their reassuring purrs help me settle into a relaxed state before I fall blissfully asleep. This made me stop and think, do many pet owners allow their animals to sleep with them? If so, do they find it as reassuring and comforting as I do?
The Center of Sleep Medicine at the Mayo clinic looked into the impact of animals in the bedroom and how it can affect your sleep. They asked 150 people questions about their sleeping habits, and out of those 150, 49% of them had pets. Out of that 49%, half of them slept with their fur-friends. Some of the people who took part in this survey said that their pets “made them feel more safe and secure, and helped them get a better night’s rest”.
20% of the pet owners said that having their fur-friends in the bedroom with them was disruptive to their sleep, mostly due to snoring, wandering, or just being noisy when trying to settle. 41% believe it was beneficial or made no difference otherwise.
This side-study is providing interesting insight into how your fur-friends can affect your sleep. Since everyone is different and unique, the effects of sleeping with your pets may vary. There are many factors that can impact sleep, such as the number of pets you have and the size of your pet(s).
A great way to ensure that your furry family member(s) can stay in your room without the possibility of disrupting your sleep is to give them their own organic bed. Our organic pet beds are filled with 100% certified organic cotton and organically-grown buckwheat hulls, sewn inside separate chambers. The separate-chamber design allows pets to customize the bed to their own special shape, and ensures years of comfort. The smaller round bed, great for cats or very small dogs, is constructed with an outer ring of 100% natural rubber.
Along with our pet beds, we make a removable washable cover made from heavy-duty colorgrown organic cotton canvas (colorgrown cotton naturally that grows in colors without bleaches or dyes).
OMI Pet Beds are available in three sizes:
Small/Round: For pets under 20 lbs. – 20″ diameter – Wt. 7 lbs.
Medium: For pets up to 40 lbs. – 28″ x 32″ – Wt. 14 lbs.
Large: For pets up to 120 lbs. – 36″ x 48″ – Wt. 28 lbs.
Not everyone gets the recommended eight hours of sleep per night. Some of the world’s most famous figures had very interesting and unique sleeping habits.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Some sources claim that Da Vinci was able to stay awake and alert almost 22 hours of every day, all while working on his brilliant artworks and inventions. He slept only 1.5 – 2 hours a day, taking 20-minute naps every four hours. Today this sleep system is called the polyphasic sleep schedule, or the Uberman Sleep Cycle.
Nikola Tesla never slept for more than 2 hours a day. Much like Da Vinci, Tesla followed the Uberman Sleep Cycle, and claimed to have never slept more than 2 hours a day. He once reportedly worked for 84 hours straight in a lab without any rest.
Thomas Jefferson is also considered a polyphasic sleeper, only sleeping 2 hours a day. In letters written by Jefferson he discusses his sleep habits, referencing that his sleep was not very regular. He would sleep at different times (often late into the night), and he would devote time each night before bed to creative reading and would continue reading if the book was of particular interest. However, he would regularly wake up at sunrise every day.
Edison would continuously work in his lab with little to no sleep for days. He kept a cot in his lab to grab a few minutes as needed. A newspaper even captured a famous picture of Edison sleeping on his workbench. When not absorbed in a project, Edison was known to sleep for an entire day, waking only to take a light meal, and then would head back to bed.
Sir Isaac Newton
Newton only slept 3-4 hours daily, and he would work so long and hard that he would often go days without sleep. Eventually the lack of sleep led him to become ill from exhaustion.
It is believed that Einstein liked to sleep 10 hours a night – unless he was working very hard on an idea, when it would be 11. He claimed that his dreams helped him invent. Also, he believed that naps “refreshed the mind” and that they helped him to be more creative.
Franklin had a reputation for limiting his sleep. In his own autobiography he explains his quest for moral perfection, including allocating only 4 hours of sleep per night.
In order to improve his creativity, Charles Dickens slept facing north. Dickens, who reportedly suffered from insomnia, always kept a navigation compass with him to ensure that he wrote and slept facing north.
Lydon B. Johnson
The former president split his day into two parts to get more done. He usually woke up at about 6:30 or 7 a.m. and worked until 2 p.m. After a quick bout of exercise, Johnson would crawl back into bed for a 30-minute nap, getting up around 4 p.m. and working into the early morning.
19th century novelist, Emily Bronte, suffered from insomnia and would walk around in circles until she was tired enough to fall asleep.
Winston Churchill was known for taking a two-hour nap every day around 5:00 pm. He’d pour himself a weak whiskey and soda, and settle in for a nice nap. Churchill said this short nap allowed him to get 1 ½ days’ worth of work done every 24 hours.
Do you sleep like any of these famous figures or do you have your own unique sleep habits?
According to the National Resource Defense Council the average modern American family throws out between $1,000 and $2,200 in groceries each year That is approximately 470 pounds of food! With the continuous effort to eat healthier diets full of fruits and vegetables that means 25% off the wasted food is produce.
There are many ways we can help lessen waste and reduce our carbon footprint. One of the easiest ways to lessen waste is to learn how to properly store produce to ensure the longest shelf life.
Here are a few great tips on storing produce:
Do not store fruits and vegetables together
Fruits that give off high levels of ethylene (a ripening agent) can prematurely ripen and spoil the surrounding produce.
Refrigerate these ethylene releasers:
Do not refrigerate these ethylene releasers:
Keep these away from all ethylene releasers:
Lettuce and other leafy greens
Before storing, remove rubber bands and trim any leafy ends. Leave about an inch of the stems to keep the vegetable from drying out. Make sure the bag you store the vegetables in has some holes punctured to allow good airflow. Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator. The closer together they are, the quicker they will rot. Leafy greens should be washed before storing by soaking them in a sink full of water, while soft herbs and mushrooms should not be washed until right before they are used.
Non-cherry stone fruits, avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left sitting out on a countertop, while items like bell peppers, grapes, citrus, and berries will deteriorate if left out, and should be refrigerated. Bananas in particular ripen very quickly, and will also speed the ripening of any nearby fruits.
Here is a chart that offers a quick reference for how long and where each type of produce can be stored:
Keep enjoying delicious and nutritious produce with these tips!
I never thought about how a pillow can affect your quality of sleep and even your quality of life, but it really does make a huge difference in both respects. I grew up, as many of us do, sleeping on cotton or wool pillows. There are so many different types of pillows, and they are all meant for a variety of purposes. So how do you choose the right pillow for you?
Your pillow preference will depend on many factors, including your size, shape, and preferred sleeping position/s. A pillow that is good for a stomach sleeper may not have enough support for a side sleeper. Some pillows are better for people who suffer from allergies. Some can last much longer than others. OMI offers a variety of great pillows to meet your personalized needs. They are made with certified organic Eco-Wool™, certified organic cotton, 100%-natural rubber latex, and/or organic buckwheat hulls, in a variety of styles and comforts and covered in a luxuriously soft certified organic cotton cover.
So how do you know which pillow is right for you?
For those of you seeking a firmer, flatter pillow, our cotton pillows are filled with pure, sanitized 100% certified organic cotton.
If you’d like a pillow that feels soft and springy, offers natural body-temperature regulation, and compacts less than cotton, then our Eco-Wool™ pillow is for you!
Latex pillows are my personal preference. I am a back and side sleeper, and I LOVE how latex instantly conforms to and supports my head and neck. OMI’s molded latex pillow has a comfortable medium support, and is perfect for when I am sleeping face-up. It supports my head and neck without pushing back too much on my head.
The contour pillow is great for side sleepers. It contours to the curve of your neck and successfully keeps your head and neck aligned by filling in the space between your head and shoulders. It has a lower side and a higher side, so you have the choice of less or more support. Plus, dust mites hate latex, which makes them great for people with allergies, and OMI’s 100%-natural rubber latex pillows do not offgas harmful chemicals.
OMI also offers 100%-natural shredded rubber latex pillows. Shredded latex pillows are great for sleepers who would like the benefits of a latex pillow, but are not sure what kind of loft would be best for their needs. The Wool-Wrapped 100%-Natural Shredded Rubber Pillow and the Crush™ 100%-natural shredded rubber pillow both offer customizable comfort.
The certified organic cotton zippered cover allows the owner to add or remove the shredded latex to create a lighter or fuller comfort. The wool-wrapped shredded latex pillow has an outer chamber filled with our certified organic Eco-Wool™, which helps you to sleep cooler.
The wool-wrapped buckwheat pillow is another great option for sleepers who prefer to customize their pillow loft. In this dual-chambered pillow, the outside chamber is filled with organic Eco-Wool™, which cushions both the feel and the sound associated with buckwheat pillows. The inner chamber is filled with certified organic buckwheat hulls, which you can add or remove to customize your comfort.
No matter what your needs or preferences, OMI has the pure, organic pillow for you!
Click here for more information or to find the nearest OMI retailer.