We’ve talked in recent articles about just how terrible drinking bottled water is, so this new 100% natural and 100% biodegradable water has us pretty excited.

Do you know exactly how long it takes for a plastic water bottle to fully decompose?  This might shock you, but it can take close to 1000 years.  1000 years?!  In the United States alone we use upwards of 50 billion plastic water bottles in a single year, meaning all of that plastic has to go somewhere, right?

At this rate of consumption and creation of waste, the Earth could start to look pretty scary for coming generations.  We already have massive blobs of trash floating throughout our oceans, so unless we start launching all of our unwanted trash into space, we might find ourselves living in a trash-laden world.

Icelandic product designer, Ari Jonsson, has developed a product that seeks to bring us one step closer to eliminating the prospect of a life lived in trash.  His new water bottle is made from algal, a product of algae, and is 100% natural and 100% biodegradable.  This water bottle is unique in that it keeps its shape when it’s full and begins to decompose when it is not.

Ari’s project was on display this year at Reykjavik’s design festival, DesignMarch.  

One can only hope that ideas like this start to be taken more seriously by major manufacturers as we strive to live greener lifestyles for our sake and the sake of our planet.

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4 Big Mysteries Still Surrounding Cannabis (Marijuana)

Many people believe marijuana will likely be fully legal within the United States within the next five to ten years, depending on who you ask. The popular substance has been used by humans recreationally for thousands of years, regardless of its legality as deemed by a governing entity. Its prohibition has been lifted in several states in the U.S., seeing about 20 percent of Americans now living in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

But, as with any legal substance within a country, it benefits the general public to have scientific research conducted to learn the various health effects that its use may cause. Unfortunately, because of the stigma surrounding the plant and its severe drug classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), research surrounding marijuana is difficult to pursue and even harder to fund--ultimately leading to people using the drug without truly knowing what to expect health wise.

Here are four big mysteries still surrounding marijuana today:

What’s actually in the plant?

If we shrunk ourselves down to atom-sized human beings and dove into a bud of the marijuana plant, we’d find at least 400 different chemical compounds that exist within it. 60 of these compounds are cannabinoids, meaning they interact with a specific part of the human brain, affecting everything from appetite to memory to mood to consciousness.

Not only do we not fully understand this part of the human brain just yet, we’ve yet to fully analyze all of the compounds present in marijuana, meaning we have some idea of how it affects us, but are far from solving the entire puzzle.

"We know a lot about THC and we're starting to learn about CBD. Out of about 400 [compounds] we know a decent amount about two,” says Ryan Vandrey who studies marijuana as an associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The long-term use effects of CBD vs. THC

To make things even more complicated, marijuana growers are churning out new strains of the plant every day, each one with a specific set of compounds and preferred uses.

Not to mention, its potency has gone way up since being legalized. Two decades ago, it would be considered “good weed” if the THC percentage was above 10 percent. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to find strains of marijuana that regularly produce anywhere from 15 to over 30 percent THC.

Each time a grower makes a small change to a strain, THC and CBD levels will shift accordingly. And with THC percentages projected to continue increasing, researchers are now faced with questions such as ‘what happens when THC concentration “goes up to 40, 50, 60 percent?”’

Some are worried due to research showing changes in the brains of heavy users.

Zero scientific studies regarding sativa vs. indica strains

Much of the what the marijuana community regards as common knowledge about the substance hasn’t been reaffirmed by any sort of scientific evidence.

For example, most marijuana enthusiasts know that there are two general categories that a strain of weed falls into: sativa or indica. Sativas are known for producing energetic highs, while indicas are known to give you heavy body highs that promote relaxation. Yet, there doesn’t exist a single study saying either of these claims are true. The community simply knows this to be the case simply through their own experiences.

In order to establish a fully legal market, a more complete understanding of the substance and its effects needs to be defined. When we look at the alcohol market, we’re flooded with information such as the differences between a bottle of wine, a bottle of hard liquor, a session beer with low ABV and high ABV beers like IPAs.

We have very little information regarding the different strains, concentrations and different effects marijuana has depending on the way you ingest it into your body.

The effects of recreational use

Long-term studies that look at the effects of long-term usage are hard to come by, meaning information regarding marijuana’s effects for people who smoke every day versus those who smoke once a day or even once a week is little to none.

However, there are researchers out there who are just starting to embark on this mission. One study is currently tracking a group of medical marijuana users over a period of time longer than a year to analyze any and all health changes. Particularly, they are hoping to find any changes to sleep patterns, cognitive functionality, and overall quality of life.

The study is also targeting a much older demographic than is typically seen--adults with an average age of around 48. This is to hopefully shed light on how marijuana changes the health of adults and people who have surely stopped growing in almost every aspect.

Recreationally speaking, there is a bit of information regarding heavy or chronic users. There have been links to depression, problems sleeping, decreased emotional control and decreased memory functioning. However, these changes are predominantly seen in users who have consumed the substance since before the ages of 16 or 17.

Where are we now?

While we currently have studies looking into some of the most important questions regarding marijuana consumption, our understanding of the plant is far from being complete. Some long-term studies will not be able to report their findings until they are finished collecting data at least 10 years from now.

Should marijuana become legal on a big-scale, as in nation-wide, we will undoubtedly start seeing more research being conducted on the substance and will be able to fully benefit from its medicinal properties, as well as put out the necessary information regarding its long-term and recreational effects.

For the moment, we just have to wait and see.

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3 Powerful Truths About Brave Mothers Who Undergo C-Sections

Motherhood is a daunting prospect to think about. It brings dramatic change to one’s life as new responsibilities, worries and hopes begin to churn in the mind. It’s also one of the most rewarding things a woman can ever do.

I recently spoke with a friend who was telling me how an older woman had berated and belittled her as a mother because she hadn’t given birth the “natural way.” While my friend was giving birth, something went wrong and they had to perform an emergency Caesarean section to save her daughter--an experience that so many other women can relate to.

C-sections aren’t some cop-out. They’re scary, and take a tremendous amount of strength, courage and faith.

Here are 3 truths about women who have C-sections that more people need to understand.

They have to wait until everything is said and done before finally knowing if things are alright

Many people are completely unaware that C-sections are actually a major surgical procedure that can have major consequences should something go wrong. Once the baby is safely removed and alive, the battle isn’t over. Doctors won’t know for sure whether or not the mother is okay until the anesthesia has passed.

Not to mention, the mother is fully awake and conscious when they start performing the surgery. While she might not feel the pain, she is very aware of what’s happening and experiences the dull, unpleasant sensations of the movement happening inside of her. For some, it is a traumatic experience, yet they endure because they know it will be worth it in the end.

They’re often all alone in the operating room

Not only are C-sections incredibly risky for both the mother and the child, the mothers who undergo them often find themselves alone in the operating room due to the dramatic nature of the surgery. This leaves them without support or a familiar face telling them things will be okay. They’re left completely uncertain as to all the little details; they just know it’s something that needs to be done, regardless of their well-being.

It truly is a war being waged between fear and loneliness and the undying love they have for their child.

Their recovery is an entirely new battle they must fight all over again

Typically during a C-section, doctors must cut through all of the tissue in the lower abdomen. Once this is done, the uterus is opened with a second incision. As one might imagine, the recovery process for this type of surgery is incredibly painful and uncomfortable. Typically, they recommend the mother rest in the hospital for several days before going home.

But, a mother with a newborn has her entire world focused on her child. She does whatever she can, even when it means being exhausted and in constant pain. They must find an inner strength that puts their baby before themselves, even when they’re in a weakened state.

They do it because they know every new change in their life is worth it. And everything they do now is for the sake of that little piece of them that has arrived in this world ready to grow into a beautiful person. They’re reminded that their sacrifice is not in vain every time their baby smiles at them, grasps their finger, or makes a silly face.

C-section mothers are left with a scar that tells them everyday just how strong and capable they are. If you’re a C-section mom, never feel as though your scar is shameful. Wear it with pride and recognize it for the symbol that it is. A symbol of strength, courage, bravery and love.

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Quiz: What Does Your Subconscious Self Reveal About Your Religion?

Are you aware that you have a separate form of consciousness that lies beneath the one you operate with everyday? It’s called your subconscious, and it’s the part of consciousness that French psychologist Pierre Janet theorized exists “underneath the layers of critical-thought functions of the conscious mind.”

Some people see the subconscious as a type of data storage center where everything that has ever happened to you is stored in memory form. That’s a lot of information, as you can imagine. Some say that by the time we reach the age of 21, we’ve already accumulated more than 100 times the information that exists in an entire series of encyclopedias.

It is the subconscious that is influencing us when we step outside of our comfort zone to try anything new. It’s where all of our habits and rituals are rooted. It’s what is constantly churning both day and night to cause you to behave, act and think in ways that align with your thoughts, feelings, and desires.

You can use your subconscious right here and now to determine what your true religion is. Give a try and find out for yourself what your subconscious is secretly trying to tell you!

And be sure to share with friends and loved ones who would also be interested in discovering more about their religion based on the mysteriously complex workings of the subconscious!

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Man Takes Video of Duckling Who Follows Him Every Morning After People Doubted His Story

Not many people have ducks for pets, but after watching this adorable video you might want to go out and find one to call your own.

Meet Charley, the little duckling chasing around the man in the video. YouTube user matizhan uploaded this video of him and the duckling who follows him around, much to the delight of the rest of the Internet.

Charley absolutely loves his owner and wants to follow him everywhere.

Charley follows him with a big happy face and an energetic step. It’s easy to see that Charley is one happy duckling. His little wings flap and he chirps as matizhan takes him on a brief trip up and down their driveway on a rainy morning.

Source: duck hunter animals by karlos99 on Rumble

If you’re not a morning person, much like myself, you know that it’s the little things that make waking up in the morning better. I have to say, it might be a little easier for me to get up if I knew that I had to take this little guy for a walk before heading out for the rest of the day!

Who else wants a Charley as their buddy?

Please share with friends and family who need a bit of cheering up or who just love adorable baby animals!

h/t SunGazing

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