Women’s Health: Stay Strong and Healthy

National Women’s Health Week starts on Mother’s Day annually. This year it started on May 9 and continues through May 16, 2021. This yearly observance is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and to provide steps to take to improve their health.

The basics of women’s health are the same as those for men—eat healthy foods, get adequate amounts of exercise for your age and current state of health, get plenty of restful sleep, refrain from smoking and only drink alcohol in moderation. Nevertheless, there are certain aspects of Active Wellness that are specific to women.

Women have some unique nutritional needs, for example, needing more of certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy or after menopause. Calcium, iron and folic acid are particularly important for women from puberty onward.1 Since women’s bones are more prone to becoming brittle, especially in their senior years, consuming enough calcium and retaining it in the body is an important aspect of women’s health starting from youth—this helps create healthful eating habits early on.

Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. Between 30 million and 50 million Americans are lactose-intolerant, meaning have trouble digesting foods with lactose in them.2 Although this is common, lactose intolerance raises a woman’s risk of health issues related to osteoporosis. Women who are lactose intolerant should take special care to obtain enough non-dairy calcium in their diets or through supplementation.

Women are more prone to iron deficiency, the cause of anemia.3 Like eating calcium-rich foods to maintain healthy bones for a lifetime, eating iron-rich foods supports Active Wellness. Taking iron supplements may be helpful but may have the undesired side effects of constipation.

On average, adult women need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day.4 Women who are more physically active may need more calories than those who are more sedentary, as muscles hasten metabolism. The basis of how many calories you personally can consume without weight gain depends on your age, height, current weight, and activity level.

Pregnant women require different nutritional needs than during other stages of their lives. For most normal-weight pregnant women, the estimated number of calories needed is about 1,800 calories per day during the first trimester, about 2,200 calories per day during the second trimester and about 2,400 calories per day during the third trimester.5 Pregnant women should also drink plenty of fluids, avoid drinks with caffeine and sugar, and take a prenatal vitamin.

An additional 450 to 500 calories per day is recommended for well-nourished breastfeeding mothers, compared with the amount they were consuming before pregnancy. The number of additional calories needed for an individual breastfeeding woman is also affected by her age, body mass index, activity level, and extent of breastfeeding (exclusively breastfeeding versus breastfeeding and formula feeding).6

Although Women’s Health Week ends on May 16, all of May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Take a deep breath and embrace your inner power—now is the best time to get healthier and stronger!

1, 3, 4  https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-eating/healthy-eating-and-women#6

2 https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-eating/food-allergies-and-sensitivities/lactose-intolerance

5 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000584.htm

6 https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/maternal-diet.html#:~:text=An%20additional%20450%20to%20500,per%20day%20for%20moderately%20active

Mothers Are Special and Science Proves It

Mother’s Day in North America lands on May 9th this year, and other than honoring moms (which should be done every day of the year) we may reflect upon how motherhood changes women. There is actually a burgeoning science behind mothers’ health as differentiated from those who have not given birth.

As with everything in life, there’s an upside and a downside. Fortunately, motherhood appears to confer many striking pluses, a reward for all those labor pains and beyond!

• According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), women who have children are less likely to develop breast cancer. Being pregnant apparently reduces exposure to certain hormones that are linked to breast cancer—a direct result of not menstruating during pregnancy.

• The risk for breast cancer is further reduced if the mother breastfeeds, as the process the breast cells go through to produce milk, may prevent them from becoming cancerous.1

• A large 2009 study2 showed that mothers who breastfed for at least 12 months in their lifetime had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes than those who had never breastfed.

• The hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for spatial memory and learning, actually increases in size during pregnancy and motherhood. This led Canadian researchers to believe that the mother’s brain might actually grow with each child.3

• An Australian study, conducted in 2012 in a small rural town over more than 16 years, showed that despite a mild increase in the risk of being overweight, having diabetes or hypertension, mothers still had longer lifespans. Those with more than four children had an even lower risk of death—these effects are not fully understood but other studies in Israel and Norway showed similar results! 4

Do you know any mother who doesn’t worry about her children or how the environment affects them? Ironically, the World Health Organization (WHO) has isolated a specific environmental risk that puts mothers and other women most at risk: exposure to household air pollution. This is particularly true for women in low- and middle-income countries—the result of using polluting fuels for cooking, heating and lighting.5 The truth is that even in high-income nations, indoor air pollution is a challenge, resulting not from fuel usage but from mold, mildew, dander, air conditioning, central heating and chemical detergents and artificial deodorizers.

Air pollution affects women more than men. Chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma are more common in women over 50 compared to men in the same age group—these conditions are directly related to breathing in polluted air. Fine particles and ozone are recognized as the most harmful air pollutants.6

To exercise caution, never use outdoor products indoors, including pesticides and cleaning agents, in the form of powders, gels, liquids, or sprays—powerful chemicals used in the garden or outside the house to clean surfaces and kill pests. After using these products, always wash your hands and any other parts of your body or clothing that might have been exposed to them.

May is not only the month we honor mothers. It’s also Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Why not celebrate mom with the gift of clean air and Active Wellness?  

1,2,3,4  https://www.healthline.com/health-news/motherhood-the-good-bad-and-weird-050914#:~:text=The%20study%20showed%20that%2C%20despite,had%20more%20than%20four%20children

5 https://www.who.int/life-course/news/household-air-pollution/en/

6 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/weh_english_100-f-07-028_v2.pdf

Sleep Your Way to Better Health

There’s no question that a good night’s sleep can brighten our days and is an integral part of Active Wellness! Why is sleep so important? Why does it affect us so much? Here are seven bodily actions that take place to help understand the importance of sleep:1

  1. Your brain processes your day while you sleep, sorting and storing information. This process is particularly important for creating long term memories, as your brain consolidates all the information it’s picked up during the day and files it away for later use.
  2. Hormones flood your body during sleep. The pineal gland releases melatonin, which controls sleep patterns. Levels increase at night time, making you feel sleepy. The pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which helps the body to grow and repair itself.
  3. Your sympathetic nervous system needs rest. When deprived of sleep, activity increases in the sympathetic nervous system, which is accompanied by an increase in blood pressure. Scientists studying coronary disease are investigating whether decreased sleep may increase the risk of heart disease.
  4. Cortisol levels are lowered. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol decreases during the first few hours of sleep before rising to peak soon after you wake up. This helps you feel alert and energetic when you awaken.
  5. Your muscles are paralyzed. While asleep, you cycle through periods of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). The most vivid dreams occur during REM. During this stage, your muscles are temporarily paralyzed, so you can’t move.
  6. Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH) helps you not have to get up and use the bathroom. It is released by the brain under a circadian rhythm which switches off the need to urinate as often overnight as during waking hours.
  7. Your immune system releases cytokines, which are small proteins that help the body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. Without enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function at its best.

To help get quality sleep consistently, Nikken has an entire Sleep System that encloses you in a coccoon of magnetism. The latest addition is the Kenko Naturest® Fit, a thin mattress topper with elasticized skirts on four sides, so that it fits easily over the mattress, under a fitted sheet. Made with Nikken Sleep Technology, it has 800 gauss magnets, reflective fibers and rubberthane to help achieve sweet dreams while feeling relaxed and massaged! Alone or as part of a Sleep Pack, it may well change your waking hours as much as your sleeping ones! (The Kenko Naturest® Fit is available for pre-orders. We expect it to be in our warehouses near the end of May.)

1 https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/7-amazing-things-that-happen-to-your-body-while-you-sleep

Make Every Day an Earth Day

Earth Day was first held on April 22, 1970 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by Earthday.org and more than a billion people from 193 countries1 participate in some way.

Many important environmental events have happened on Earth Day since 1970, but now more than ever, the entire Global Wellness Community needs to collectively recognize the importance of ecology, conservation and restoration. This includes awareness of climate change, plastic and pollution, access to clean drinking water, preservation of wildlife and reconnecting with nature. As a community, we need to be active participants who live on planet Earth, not as humans who regard ourselves as above the rest of the animal kingdom, but as cohorts to wildlife.

Earth Day continues to be a momentous and unifying day each and every year. More importantly, it’s up to each of us to make every day, Earth Day. Paying attention to how we can live in harmony with all things natural on our planet cannot be only one day out of the year. We have to create an Active Wellness lifestyle that helps to restore the Earth. This does not mean we have to disrupt our daily lives in extreme ways. Each individual can help by incorporating small habits that are beneficial to nature.

Here are just a few examples of ways to help the Earth by going a little greener:

•            Drink filtered water rather than water from single-use plastic bottles. Eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle and PiMag Waterfall® are ideally suited to help avoid plastic bottle usage. And, you get clean water with 99.99% of bacteria filtered out!

•            Use washable containers for leftover food instead of plastic wrap.

•            Use cold water for laundry whenever possible. According to Energy Star, up to 90% of energy used in washing machines goes toward heating the water.2

•             Re-use cloth rags for cleaning when possible. This will reduce the amount of paper towels you use. When you do use paper towels, please recycle them.

•             Bring your own mug when you go to get a cup of coffee from your favorite retailer.

•            Bring your own re-usable bags when you go grocery shopping. Many supermarkets provide re-usable bags for purchase. Try to stay away from plastic bags that will end up in mountains of landfill.

•            Animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.3 Even eating plant-based meals a few times a week can help make a difference. Best of all, it may also improve your health!

•            When your local community holds a beach cleanup or similar event, volunteer! It’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Check earthday.org for ways to participate and to learn more about how to go green.

1 wikipedia.com

2 parade.com/picks, April 18, 2021

3 https://www.earthday.org/our-work/#people-and-communities

Can Grounding Blast Spring Allergies?

Sniffles, sneezing, itchy eyes and throat—spring can be such a beautiful and rejuvenating time of year, but for those of us who suffer from allergies, it can put a damper on our outdoor activities! Unfortunately, allergies affect more than 50 million Americans yearly1 and can be obstacles in Active Wellness.

The most common way to fight allergies is to take antihistamines, but many of us really do not like the side effects that may occur, such as dry mouth, foggy brain and fatigue. What’s a body to do?

Reconnecting with nature by grounding has shown great promise in helping to overcome not only spring allergies but allergies in general. The reason for this is based in science.

Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance—such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander—or a food that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people. The immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When there are allergies, the immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. Once in contact with the allergen, the immune system’s reaction can inflame the skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.2

Research has shown that grounding is a viable method to counter inflammation. Since the body runs through a type of electrical current, the Earth’s negative charges can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of the body’s systems. The body is naturally able to absorb the negative electrical charges from the Earth since the skin acts like a conductor.3 That’s why grounding requires skin contact with the Earth. Luckily, if we can’t breathe in the pollen-filled air outside, we can use the KenkoGround® directly on our skin while indoors.

The brain, heart and neurotransmitters all rely on electrical signals to function properly. When the electricity is off, certain aspects of health can be compromised and produce inflammation. Put simply, researchers believe that the influx of free electrons from grounding help to neutralize free radicals and reduce the acute and chronic inflammation that causes accelerated aging. Basically, the free or mobile electrons from the Earth can help relieve chronic inflammation by serving as natural antioxidants! 4

Other than grounding, some simple ways to help decrease the risk for allergy attacks include frequent hand washing, staying hydrated, keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons, vacuuming often, keeping your sinuses clear with water or a saline rinse, and helping to boost the immune system with dietary supplements such as Kenzen® Immunity, Kenzen® Omega Green +DHA and Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox.

1 https://www.westsidehn.com/are-allergies-a-sign-of-a-strong-immune-system/

2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351497

3, 4 https://draxe.com/health/earthing/

2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351497

3, 4 https://draxe.com/health/earthing/

Healthy Feet Propel Active Wellness

April is Foot Health Awareness Month—good foot health is essential for an active life. With 26 bones plus 33 joints, feet serve as the foundation for the rest of the body. If the feet are not mechanically sound, it can affect the knees, hips and even the lower back.

We carry approximately four to six times our body weight across the ankle joint when climbing up stairs or walking steep inclines. We need our feet to carry us an average of 115,000 miles in our lifetime; therefore, avoiding foot problems should be a priority.1

The importance of feet serves as the foundation for reflexology, which studies how one part of the body relates to another. Practitioners of reflexology rely on a “map” of the foot, where each part corresponds to another body part, notably the internal organs. Pressure applied to different parts of the foot is believed to stimulate or activate corresponding parts of the body.2

Food is a great enabler for foot health. What we eat can help avoid swelling and other discomforts of the feet. For example, eating food with diuretic properties may help prevent fluid retention.3 Incorporate watermelon, asparagus, parsley, beets, grapes, green beans, leafy greens, cucumbers, pineapples, pumpkins, onions, leeks and garlic into your diet.3

Foods to avoid (or least to partake of infrequently) include alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, dairy products, animal protein, dried shellfish, fried foods, gravies, olives, pickles, salt, soy sauce, tobacco, white flour and white sugar.4 Fortunately, what we should incorporate and what we should reduce in our diet correspond to basic healthy eating, Mediterranean style. (link to https://nikkenactivewellness.com/2017/03/14/go-mediterranean-for-good-nutrition-and-health/)

Other ways to maintain foot health include:

• Stretching the feet, ankles and lower legs every day and before exercising. This helps to keep the muscles strong and to avoid injury.

• Keeping a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the feet, leading to foot pain, stress fractures, circulatory issues and possible arthritis.

• Making sure shoes fit properly. Avoid rubbing or squeezing toes, and try to maintain a half inch space between the longest toe (usually the big toe or the second toe) and the end of the shoe.

• Replacing worn out shoes. Some of us have a favorite pair that are especially comfortable; however, if they are worn out inside or outside, they can cause foot strain.

• Keeping feet clean and dry in between the toes. This will help prevent fungus, otherwise known as athlete’s foot.

Feet are one of the more complex parts of the human anatomy, so they are prone to a wide variety of issues, such as ingrown toenails, neuropathy, bunions and more. In addition, it’s fairly common to have one foot be slightly larger than the other, so always wear shoes that favor the larger foot in fit.5 We also need to be aware that our feet may not stay the same size—as we age, they tend to flatten out, and some pregnancies may cause feet to enlarge.

Two of the Nikken flagship products are the insoles. Founder Isamu Masuda developed the magnetic insoles to simulate the therapeutic pebbles in the Japanese public hot baths. The Kenko mStrides® and Kenko mSteps® can both be cut to size to fit right into your shoes. The magnetic nodules massage the soles of the feet and act similarly to the acupressure practiced as part of reflexology. People who work while standing find Kenko insoles particularly helpful in keeping feet energized and stable.

The KenkoGround® is a Nikken product that can work in tandem with bare feet. Simply place the KenkoGround in direct contact with bare feet while seated or sleeping, and experience a reconnection with nature to help feel more relaxed, and less stressed.

1 https://www.bvhealthsystem.org/expert-health-articles/national-foot-health-awareness-month#:~:text=Did%20you%20know%20that%20April,least%20one%20foot%20problem%20annually.

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4624523/

3, 4 www.foot.com

https://www.voyagehealthcare.com/blog/put-your-best-foot-forward-this-national-foot-health-awareness-month

Stay Grounded Even When Secluded at Home

With social distancing, seesawing merchant closures and openings, seclusion, and various unwelcome kinds of fear—we live differently now than ever before. Some fears cause excitement and nervousness in a positive way, but fear associated with possible life-ending illness causes distress. During these troubling times, even the most positive minded individuals may succumb to bouts of irritability, depression, anxiety and resentment—none of which help on the path towards Active Wellness.

How can we avoid falling into the rabbit hole of despair during these trying times? There is no simple answer, but reconnecting with nature might help in more ways than one.

Emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. The research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness.

Reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being. Grounding refers to the discovery of benefits—including better sleep and reduced discomforts—from walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth’s electrons from the ground into the body.1

Grounding is being studied and researched for its potential benefits for countering inflammation, cardiovascular disease, muscle damage, chronic pain and mood. Researchers measured white blood cell count and pain levels before and after grounding with both grounding patches and mats. Blood work indicated that grounding helped reduce muscle damage and pain in participants.2

Some massage therapists have incorporated grounding in their practices. Evidence shows that after grounding therapy, stress, depression and fatigue were reduced among participants.3

Urban living often prohibits the natural ways to reconnect with nature. The KenkoGround® makes grounding easy to accomplish indoors. There’s nothing that compares with feeling the earth under bare feet or swimming in a lake or ocean, so we should do those activities as often as we can. Meanwhile, indoor living continues and the KenkoGround can help make a difference in how we feel overall.

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/

2, 3 https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding

Water is Life: Our Lives Depend On It!

During times of drought in California, we are asked to ration our water usage. During drastic periods of dryness, we have been asked to use water on certain days of the week, depending on the random numbers in our addresses: odd numbers have access on certain days and even numbers on the others.

Not everyone is old enough to have lived through these dry periods, but imagine if limited access to water is part of daily living, 24/7. The reality is that 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year.1

Water usage has been growing globally at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, and an increasing number of regions are reaching the limit at which water services can be sustainably delivered.2 Even though water covers 70% of our planet, freshwater, which is what we drink, bathe in, and irrigate our farm fields with, is incredibly rare. Only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater and two thirds of that is tucked away in glaciers or otherwise unavailable for our use.3

Access to potable water is not limited to so-called third world nations. Our ecosystems have become more stressed and grossly polluted. And, climate change and weather patterns impact the world, resulting in water shortages, droughts and floods. Glaciers and snow packs are disappearing in some areas, affecting freshwater supplies to those downstream communities, making water scarce for agriculture, energy generation and ecosystems around the world.

Untreated wastewater, industrial waste, plastics, pesticides and fertilizers all add to the problem of water pollution. The World Wildlife Organization projects that by 2025, two thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages and ecosystems around the world will suffer even more.4

Each of us needs to not take water for granted. Water has to be treated as a scarce resource, with a far stronger focus on managing demand. Water is life and our lives depend on it.

There’s less than a week left to take advantage of the Nikken March promotion that not only helps you practice Active Wellness, but also helps you promote water awareness and help reduce plastic waste. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1, 3, 4 www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity

2 www.unwater.org

Take Action on World Water Day and Every Day

World Water Day is celebrated globally once a year to consciously recognize the importance of providing affordable, lasting access to safe water. It became a United Nations observance day in 1993 to focus attention on the global water crisis.

On 22 March every year, people and organizations mark World Water Day by taking action to tackle the water crisis. World Water Day 2021 will focus on the theme, ‘Valuing Water’. This focus will extend beyond issues of pricing to include the environmental, social, and cultural value people place on water.1

The value of water is about much more than its price—water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource.2

Currently, 844 million people on our planet lack access to safe, clean drinking water and over 200 million are walking an average of four miles or six kilometers per day to gather water.3 That’s why one of the ways people take action is to “walk for water,” with corporate or personal sponsorships for every mile logged—gathering donations to help those with limited access to water.

People die every year from diseases caused by unsafe drinking water, lack of sanitation and insufficient water for hygienic use. When a million miles are logged by people who participate in ‘”walk for water,” an estimated 100,000 families are provided with clean water.4 This is a great example of what valuing water actually means to people as well as the true value of water and how we can better protect this vital resource.

A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6): water and sanitation for all by 2030. To achieve SDG 6, on the governmental levels, countries need to invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities and encourage hygiene. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems is essential.5

Although conservation on a grand scale may require legislation, it is something we can practice individually on a daily basis by being conscious of our water usage, not taking water for granted and participating in community events that support access to clean water and help sustain a cleaner environment. Human survival depends on all of us working with nature, not against it.

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness—not only for drinking, but also for bathing. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1 http://sdg.iisd.org/events/world-water-day-2021/

2  https://www.worldwaterday.org/

3, 4  https://worldwidewalkforwater.com/

5 http://www.undp.org

What Can We Do To Decrease Plastic Pollution?

There are many misconceptions about the plastic pollution problem, but there is no question that in its many forms, plastic is killing ocean wildlife that is vital to the ecosystem. In addition, plastic pollution is sickening land flora and fauna, including humans.

Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao were two of the youngest scientists ever to win the Perlman science prize in 2016 for developing a bacterium that may transform plastic into CO2 and water. Although they were not the first ones to discover that bacteria can break down phthalates, they were the first to find a possible solution to a local problem by looking into their own river system in Vancouver, Canada when they were still in high school.1

The two have since won numerous other science awards and established their company, BioCellection. Years of research later, their company is still focused on taking a main type of plastic, polyethylene, and turning it into chemical building blocks for new products that don’t end up in oceans as waste. The firm takes dicarboxylic acid it generates from polyethylene and transforms it into high-performance materials, such as photopolymers or polyyrethane.2

 “It is such a waste when materials that are perfectly good to be reused or repurposed end up as pollution,” Yao says. “Not only are we turning this currently wasted carbon into new materials that are high performing, but BioCellection is also making new products that can be recycled over and over again.”3

Since 2016, a product called the SeaBin has been available for purchase around the world. Created by two Australian surfers, the SeaBin is a bucket with a pump and water filtration system that is designed to suck in any floating trash into a removable mesh bag. The bucket includes an optional oil-water separator system that will pull oil right out of the ocean, then spit out cleaner water through the other side of the pump. The SeaBin can be installed at any floating dock to suck up trash or oil floating in nearby harbors.4

Since 2017, the SeaBin Project has removed over 1,400 tons of plastic pollution from the world’s oceans with SeaBin units in 53 countries. Each unit has the capability to collect 90,000 plastic bags, 35,700 disposable cups, 16,500 plastic bottles and 166,500 plastic utensils each year.5

Removal of plastic from the ocean is only one piece of the pollution puzzle. What happens to all the plastic that is collected? Not all of tons and tons of plastic can be transformed into usable products in the way of BioCellection. Much of the plastic waste has to decompose. Just as plastic was a wonderful invention due to its durability, it’s also a nightmare when it comes to decomposition, as it can take 1,000 years!

Leave it to yet another Canadian high school student to find a way to more quickly biodegrade plastic! Daniel Burd, a student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute won the Canada-Wide Science Fair in May of 2019. He created a process of immersing ground plastic in a yeast solution that expedites microbial growth, then isolating the productive organisms. After experimentation with different strains and interbreeding them, Burd achieved a 43% degradation of plastic in only six weeks!6

What makes Burd’s discoveries so exciting is that his method of decomposing plastic is organic. Other research on decomposing plastic have mainly focused on chemical additives made by scientists to cause plastic to vaporize.7 Testing needs to continue with Burd’s discoveries to ensure that byproducts of organic decomposition are not carcinogenic, but what a great starting point!

We can’t all be scientific entrepreneurs and make breakthrough discoveries, but every single one of us can help in decreasing plastic pollution by remembering to practice the 3Rs: reuse, reduce and recycle.

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness—not only for drinking, but also for bathing. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems, two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls.

1 https://www.thescienceandspace.com/2019/05/the-high-pollution-in-the-oceans-is-big.html?

2 www.intellingentliving.co/amp/students-recycle-polyethylene

3 https://cen.acs.org/environment/recylcing/BioCellection-Miranda-Wang-and-Jeanny-Yao-aim-to-make-treasure-out-of-plastic-trash/98/19

4 https://mitte.co/2018/02/13/water-related-technologies-inventions-inspire-us/

5 https://seabinproject.com/discovery-australia-joins-seabin-project-to-help-clean-up-sydney-harboru-in-world-first-program/

6,7 https://www.treehugger.com/boy-discovers-microbe-that-easts-plastic-4868136