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Staying committed to greener computing

How Lenovo, as a company, is helping promote sustainability.

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By Vicky Agorrilla

The threat of global warming brought about by the rise in pollution levels is prompting sweeping action from both governments and private sectors all over the world. The technology sector is no exception. In the information technology industry, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) was formed in 2007 to promote the adoption of energy-efficient computers and power management to help save the environment.

Leading computer manufacturer Lenovo was among the founding members of the CSCI. Currently, all Lenovo computers meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards. Lenovo qualifies for ES3 level in the US Department of Energy’s Energy Star labeling program, ensuring that Lenovo computers use less electricity than other computers.

Within its backyard, Lenovo continues to find sustainable and long-term solutions to environmental issues. It set a 10% improvement in carbon efficiency in its operations by 2012 relative to 2007. Lenovo set a timeline to eliminate the use of Brominated Flame Retardants and PolyVynil Chloride in new products for this year—substances that were discovered to have high toxicity levels for both humans and animals.

Most of Lenovo’s desktop and laptop computers are registered with the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), a system designed to evaluate electronic products based on their electronic attributes. It rates products based on a set of 23 required criteria and 28 optional criteria, some of which include removing environmentally-harmful material, product longevity, and energy conservation.

EPEAT gives several of Lenovo ThinkCentre and ThinkPad computers Silver or Gold ratings. Silver-rated products comply with at least all of the 23 required criteria and 50 percent of the optional criteria. In February 2008, the ThinkPad X300 was launched with a Gold rating by the EPEAT, which stipulates meeting all 23 required criteria and 75 percent of the optional criteria.

Lenovo computers are built with the best of green PC innovation. Top Cover Rollcage technology increases the durability of the ThinkPad’s monitor by 25%. Cool and Quiet Technology cuts noise levels and reduces the computer’s temperature by five to ten degrees.

Lenovo has installed these features in their product line, plus a few more “green” technologies. The ThinkPad X300, for instance, has an energy-efficient LED monitor that helps reduce power consumption by up to 35%. Last late year, Lenovo announced the ThinkCentre M58 and the ThinkCentre, A57e, two desktop PCs that earned for Lenovo a Gold EPEAT rating. These computers are equipped with Power Manager that allows users to save energy and lower electricity costs by enabling system managers to control the amount of electricity used by a PC fleet.

In addition to its internal initiatives, Lenovo has made significant contributions to the Information Technology International Council (ITIC) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)—large international IT organizations that claim to have influence of national and international policy formation. This is coupled with their memberships in the CSCI and the Climate Southeast Partnership.

Lenovo is confident it will reach the goals it set in 2007 for greener computing. With its current green plans on track and solidified by its fleet energy-efficient design and power management, Lenovo remains a leader in the field of Green IT. Lenovo also continues to remain committed to delivering energy efficient solutions for its customers, not only helping reduce their carbon footprint but also achieve cost savings tied to energy efficiency.

Maria Victoria “Vicky” Agorrilla is currently the country general manager for Lenovo Philippines. With a career in IT spanning almost two decades, Vicky was recently elected president of the Information and Technology Association of the Philippines (ITAP) for 2009. She is also a member of the Management Association of the Philippines.

Believing that everyone's perspective is important, Zest Magazine has opted to provide an avenue for these perspectives to be known. care to hear the publication's contributing writers; or better yet, do some contributing yourself by contacting info@zestmag.com.

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Daily ritual you’ll never want to skip for a healthier, happier you

As time passes by, we see our commitment to staying healthy weaken. It’s either we find ourselves making excuses to skip our workout routines, we forget to take our supplements, or we just eat whatever’s readily available without regard to its nutrition.

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Everybody dreams of having an active and healthy lifestyle. We all want to live long enough to reach all our goals and not be a burden to our families. However, in a fast-paced society, it is easy to get caught with the demands of our everyday life. Often, we juggle different roles such as that of a child, a parent, a friend, a partner, or even a workmate that require us to manage multiple responsibilities at once. As time passes by, we see our commitment to staying healthy weaken. It’s either we find ourselves making excuses to skip our workout routines, we forget to take our supplements, or we just eat whatever’s readily available without regard to its nutrition.

Then one day, we suddenly feel random parts of our body begin to ache, we easily get fatigued, and we can no longer do activities that we did with ease a year ago. This is when we realize that something needs to change with how we manage our lifestyle. But where do we start? How do we squeeze in staying healthy amidst our busy schedules?

If we want to become conscious of our health and what goes into our body, we need to be well-versed with what nutrients our body needs and how much of them we must consume to reach peak performance. It is important to take note that these essential nutrients are necessary for normal body function, growth, and development. However, they are not synthesized by our system, thus, they need to be externally sourced from foods or supplements.

The Macros

Macronutrients are the set of nutrients our body needs to consume in large amounts, specifically proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. These are broken down to provide energy and building blocks for our body’s structure.

Proteins are known as the body’s building blocks, especially for muscle tissue. They are also known to aid in our digestive system through digestive enzymes, improve the structure of our skin by providing antioxidants, collagen, and elastin, and nourish our hair and nails through keratin. Proteins can be sourced from lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy.  

Another set of nutrients that our body needs in large quantities are carbohydrates or the body’s go-to energy source. They fuel us throughout our daily activities and during short to moderate lengths of exercise. Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source for movement, biosynthesis of proteins, brain function, and more. This food group includes bread, pasta, rice, cereal, fruits, and vegetables.
The last set of essential macronutrients is healthy fats which are essential in giving the body energy and supporting cell function. They also help protect our organs and keep our body warm. We can get this from avocado, almonds, nuts, fish, and oils coming from olive, sunflower, and canola.

The Micros

Micronutrients are the set of nutrients that our body needs in smaller amounts but are nevertheless essential to our health. These are minerals and vitamins which are vital in ensuring that our bones, muscles, heart, and brain function properly and efficiently. These are also in charge of making enzymes and hormones. There are various sources for these like fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, dairy, legumes, nuts, and liver.

The Supplements

But the thing is, it is not every day that we get to cook or consume meals containing all the essential nutrients that we must take in. Our body’s health needs remain constant day by day. So, what do we do? This is where supplements come in. They ensure that we still get the right amount of nutritional supply to eat, sleep, and perform better even on days our diet is insufficient.
This is something USANA is known for. Throughout the years, they took pride in providing consumers with the highest quality nutritional products to provide support in their active lifestyle. Their wide range of food supplements for various lifestyles and ages ensure that necessary support is provided where it is needed. Such supplements include: Cellsentials, MagneCal D, and BiOmega.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment. But it doesn’t have to be a burden as we go through our daily routines. Knowing the right nutrients and supplements and incorporating them in our daily ritual, a long and healthy life no longer needs to be just a dream but rather a lived reality.

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8 Ways to save on holiday expenses

Consider these tips from the money-saving experts at Slickdeals and Head of Deals Vitaly Pecharsky to avoid overspending without sacrificing your festive spirit.

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While often regarded as the most wonderful time of year, the holiday season is also an expensive spot on the calendar. Even as many families feel the squeeze of inflation and rising costs, there is hope for your budget when it comes to gatherings, gifts, food and beyond.

Consider these tips from the money-saving experts at Slickdeals and Head of Deals Vitaly Pecharsky to avoid overspending without sacrificing your festive spirit.

Stick to a budget. Beyond gifts and stocking stuffers, holiday costs can add up quickly once you factor in travel, decor, pet care, special events and more. Create an all-encompassing budget for the season then break it into segments for each type of expense, including hidden expenses like wrapping paper or extra toiletries for guests, so you don’t end up with an unexpected credit card bill.

Split up food costs. Instead of putting yourself under the pressure of full-time holiday chef (and taking on all the expenses that come with it), consider hosting a potluck-style gathering. Providing the main course and encouraging guests to bring an appetizer, side or dessert is an easy way to avoid a hefty hosting bill. Send an e-vite with a list of must-haves that allows loved ones to sign up for specific dishes to ensure everything is covered without doubling up.

Search for the best deals. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift from toys to technology or trying to save on travel costs and home decor, make sure you find the best price. Consider sites where a community of millions of people work together to save money so you can be confident you’re getting the best deal. With 12 million shoppers assisting others by vetting and voting up the top deals from renowned retailers, your holiday needs are covered without sacrificing quality. You can also set Deal Alerts that send notifications directly to your inbox when a deal that matches your criteria is posted to the site.

Share experiences, not just “things.” Gadgets and gizmos may come to mind when brainstorming holiday gift ideas but remember some family members and friends just want more time together. If you’re considering a special experience for – and with – that special someone, think about their favorite hobbies and activities. Animal lovers may be overjoyed with a day at the local zoo and gearheads would cherish tickets to the next auto show. Integrating experiences into your gifting repertoire often makes for a more memorable (and cheaper) solution.

Take advantage of gift cards. A quick internet search can lead you to discounted gift cards, allowing you to save cash on holiday purchases. Or, for the one on your list who has everything, simply give the card as a gift so he or she can pick out what’s truly needed. As an added bonus, discounted gift cards are typically available even at the last minute so procrastinators can still save.

Show off your DIY skills. Buying new holiday decorations and replacing worn out crafts are seasonal expenses you may not immediately factor into your budget. Rather than heading to the store for (likely overpriced) ornaments and tablescapes, put your creative cap on and repurpose goods from around the house. Reusing items like glass jars to make homemade snow globes, for example, can be a crafty way to save. Plus, it’s a fun activity for family members to enjoy together.

Seek out post-holiday sales. Once the holidays are over, it’s a perfect opportunity to get ahead of the game for next year. Stock up on gift wrap, decorative items and other nonperishables that are often heavily discounted in the new year.

Save throughout the year. A handy tip for holiday seasons to come, try creating a fund each year where you can save up for gifts, food, travel and other end-of-year expenses. Set up a special bank account specifically for holiday savings where you contribute a small amount each month to be financially prepared for the festivities.

Find more ways to save this holiday season by visiting Slickdeals.com.

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Ways to protect your family from tornadoes

Keep your loved ones safe with these tips to prepare for and shelter from tornadoes.

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When clouds loom overhead and winds pick up in your area, it’s crucial to keep an eye on the sky and an ear toward local news broadcasts. Capable of destroying buildings, uprooting trees and sending dangerous debris flying, tornadoes are rotating columns of air that extend from the base of thunderstorms to the ground.

With the potential to reach wind speeds of up to 300 miles per hour, these violent storms can wreak havoc on communities and put families in danger. Keep your loved ones safe with these tips to prepare for and shelter from tornadoes.

Pay Attention to Weather Forecasts

Staying weather alert is always a good idea, particularly as strong thunderstorms build and approach your location. Check the forecast regularly to understand the risk for severe weather and, if possible, sign up for smartphone alerts or notifications.

Put a Plan in Place

Each member of your family should understand what to do in an emergency situation. Create a plan that includes where to shelter in the event of a tornado warning. Typically, this is a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor of the home with no windows. If you have a safe room or storm shelter, which is a hardened structure designed to provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes, this is the time to utilize it. Clearly define who is expected to gather emergency materials, such as flashlights, blankets, a first-aid kit and extra food and water.

Understand Watches vs. Warnings

Key phrases from sources like the National Weather Service include “tornado watch” and “tornado warning.” Make sure you understand the differences to react appropriately.

  • Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible in or near your location. Review emergency plans with loved ones and be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued.
  • Tornado Warning: A tornado is active according to sightings or weather radar. It’s time to take action and follow your family’s safety plan.

Build Your Home with Resistant Materials

If constructing a new home is on the horizon, consider the benefits of building with durable materials like insulated concrete forms (ICFs), which are a more resilient alternative to wood framing. For areas prone to natural disasters, ICF walls from Nudura provide superior strength to withstand extreme wind and impact damage from tornadoes and hurricanes. They also protect against wildfires due to a fire protection rating of up to four hours, compared to 45 minutes for wood framing, and provide greater comfort, durability and lower life cycle costs compared to wood structures.

Shelter Safely

When a tornado warning is in effect, acting quickly is crucial. If at home, head to the basement, safe room or interior room away from windows and, if possible, stay tuned to local news for updates. At school or the workplace, follow the guidelines in place from tornado drills and proceed calmly but quickly to the shelter location. If driving and unable to get to shelter, pull over and get down in your vehicle with your head covered or leave your car and seek shelter in a low-lying ditch or ravine.

Find more ways to protect your family from natural disasters HERE.

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