Sustainable Living: 5 Best Ways To Beat The Heat And Spare Your Wallet

Heat like the sort the East Coast has been experiencing has many different effects but perhaps the most ubiquitous is just how lazy it makes us.  No one wants to tackle insulating the attic when its 100 degrees outside, even if it would make your home significantly cooler.  So let’s take it slow.  Here are our top five small, simple steps you can take to beat the heat: guaranteed to make a difference you can fell but the environment and your bank account won’t even notice!

1. Got AC?  Let it sit around 78 degrees.  While you might be tempted to set it to “arctic”- running your unit at temperatures lower than 78 will not cool things down any faster or more effectively.  What it will do however, is force the system to work harder, use more energy and force you to pay up more at the end of the month.  Think of your AC as a baseline tool to be used in conjunction with other tricks.
2. Fan of a good fan?  Try placing one or two frozen water bottles in front of your fan, it is effective, low-cost and low impact.  But the best part?  You’ll never have that panic-stricken moment of “did I leave the AC blasting at home?”  Frozen water bottles aren’t just low maintenance, they’re no maintenance.
3. Sheets to the wind. This is one old wives’ tale that you can trust.  Plus, we love it because its so simple; just hang a damp sheet in front of your window and the sheet will cool air entering your home.  It is also a great way to dry your sheets when they come out of the wash as using the dryer heats up small homes quickly. Which leads us to…
4. Unplug your life.  Turn off any heat-generating devices: the dryer, the iron, the hairdryer, the toaster and oven.  Even small electronics, like laptops, when used frequently can generate heat that you may not notice to the touch but contribute to rising indoor temperatures.  A great excuse to put down the tablets and phones and head out to a barbeque!
5.  Spice. Hydrate. Repeat.  We all know that body temperature can also be changed from the inside out.  Heatwaves are a great excuse to order delivery (you can’t use the oven after all) from your favorite Thai, Indian or Ethiopian place.  It is no coincidence that cultures originating from sizzling parts of the globe typically have equally sizzling native cuisines.  The wisdom in spicing up your insides is that it generates sweat – activating the body’s natural cooling system. In terms of your liquids it is also important to keep very well hydrated and drink much more water than you normally would.  A simple glass of ice water might be the most effective coolant of all, though a cold beer with your spicy Mexican food is also advisable!

Cheers to staying cool this summer.

Green Tech: Unlocking the Power of Play

Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman are on a mission to show the world that the value of play can not only be measured in smiles but in very real economic and social terms.  Both Harvard students had volunteered traveled extensively in Africa and also shared a passion for soccer: the continent’s (and the world’s) most popular game.  In an engineering class they got the chance to marry these two passions, capitalizing on an opportunity to improve living conditions in African through the continent’s love of soccer.
What does such an ambitious project look like?  A sOccket, a small generator cleverly disguised as a soccer ball that charges as you play with it!  Three hours of LED illumination is stored in the sOccket per every half hour of playtime.  It can also charge small electronic devices like a cell phone.

This ingenious solution isn’t just making an economic impact by delivering renewable light energy to many rural areas.  There are important health benefits as well because most of the developing world still relies on on kerosene lamps that pose huge safety hazards: the fumes inhaled by children in kerosene-light homes is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.

The sOccett vs. huge public health threats is been a game that’s garnered the attention of an international audience.
Today there are more than 6,000 sOcckets “kicking around”, literally, from Africa to Mexico to Brazil.  Uncharted Play, the organization founded by Matthews and Silverman to distribute their product received overwhelming support from corporate sponsors principally because of how easily and effectively the tool integrates into daily life.  As Matthews explained, “Why don’t we give you something that you already like to do and get what you need.”

And sOccket has yet another a new fan, President Obama.  During his recent trip to Africa his team set to work distributing the item to many African nations and on a tour of a facility that manufacturers the ball he even showed off some of his soccer skills! A huge goal for the two Harvard girls who knew just how powerful play could be.

Tech Tips: 5 Way To Maximize Your iPhone’s Battery

Dim Things Down

One of the simplest ways to maximize battery life without compromising user experience is to dim down the brightness of the screen light: the lower the light the more effectively you are using your device.  Just use the handy slider to test out different degrees of light intensity.

Settings – Brightness – Wallpaper

Skip the Bluetooth

Wireless transmission of data really puts a drain on your battery, especially during large chunks of the day when you may not need this feature (like when you aren’t using your headset/earpiece or are using your computer/tablet or primary device).  By switching Bluetooth off you can extend your battery life significantly.

Setting – Bluetooth – Off

The DIY Approach

Your iPhone is programmed, by default, to fetch data automatically (this is called “Push” in apple terms).  While this is perfect for getting email instantly, it is no always necessary and uses a lot of battery power.  By fetching your emails manually, you can receive mail only when you want to read it and enjoy a much longer battery life.  This approach is a user favorite and has made a big difference for many iPhone users.  Checking your mail manually on an iPhone 5 is even easier than tapping “refresh”: simply pull down the top of the browser and the page updates!

Settings – Mail – Contacts – Calenders – Fetch New Data. Here, you can turn off Push completely, schedule it for intervals of your choice or, select “Manual”.

Curb Your 3G Use

If you have an iPhone 3G or later model you know the joys of a very fast 3G of 4G LTE network connection.  But this faster browse-ability comes at a battery cost.  If you are in a bind and not trying to load webpages turning off your 3G/4G LTE connection will help you avoid that that red battery icon no one likes to see.

Settings – General – Slide Enable 3G to “Off” on some models or Enable LTE to “Off” on the iPhone 5 or newer

Bring Airplane Mode Down to Earth

Contrary to popular belief, Airplane Mode isn’t only for jet-setting, it is a setting that can save your battery!  Remember, this mode disables all data services, translation: no calls, texts or data. So its really best if you are just saving enough juice of a quick call in the near future.

Setting – Airplane Mode “On”

The Giants of Iowa: Reuse, Re-rigged

The world of reuse is sometimes relegated to all things tiny: tiny homes, tiny devices, tiny art.  But in Iowa reuse is going not just big, its going gigantic, 8 stories to be exact!  That’s because in the middle of Iowa’s rolling farmlands there is, surprisingly, a mountain climber’s paradise where a number of unused grain silos have been converted into ice climbing walls.

In the fall of 2001 Don Briggs, a professor and climbing enthusiast, was helping a friend till his farmland in the municipality of Ceder Falls when he made a bet that he could scale one of the silos looming in the distance.  In the end, he won the bet and discovered that the most workable way to reach the peak was to ice climb it.

Briggs has now developed an intricate icing process by rigging hoses at the top of the structure which slow-drip downwards creating a semi-malleable wall of ice that changes depending on wind and weather conditions.

Since the silo opened for business it has attracted both beginners and experts alike and exposed a community famous for their flat farmlands to a taste of mountain life, close to home.  To learn more check out Silo Ice Climbing.

How to delete data from an iPhone

Posted on January 09, 2013 | cell phone, How to, iPhone, Mac, mobile, phone, smartphone, Tech tips

Question: I want to sell my old iPhone in anticipation of buying a new one. How can I delete my iPhone data for good?

Answer: Erasing your data from a smartphone couldn’t be easier, just follow our step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Back up your iPhone’s data

You will probably want to restore all your personal data on to your new phone when you get it, so it’s best to take a backup before you erase everything.

Depending on which version of iOS you’re using, and your sync preferences, you’ll either backup to your computer or Apple’s iCloud service.

Back Up via iCloud:

iCloud automatically backs up most of the important data on your iPhone (running on iOS 5 or higher) on a daily basis but here is how to take one final, manual backup:

Ensure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

1. Launch the Settings app
2. Navigate to iCloud > Storage & Backup
3. Tap on Back Up Now

This can take several minutes depending on when your iPhone was last backed up to iCloud.

Back Up via iTunes:

1. Connect your iPhone to the computer that you normally sync it with.
2. Open iTunes and select your iPhone under Devices in the left-hand navigation pane.
3. Right-click (or Control-click) the device and select Back Up.

Step 2: Delete data and settings

If you have a newer iOS gadget, this process should take only a few minutes to complete. If you have an earlier model, it might take an hour or more. Make sure the gadget is plugged in or has a full battery before you begin. Otherwise, you might have to start all over.

1. Launch Settings app. Tap on ‘General’

Delete data and settings - step 1

2. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on ‘Reset’

Delete data and settings - step 2

3. Tap on “Erase All Content and Settings” option

4. If you’ve set a passcode, it will prompt you to enter the passcode. After entering the passcode, it will prompt you one last time if you want to delete data and settings from your iPhone.

5. Tap on ‘Erase iPhone’ button

Delete data and settings - step 3

All done! Once you’ve deleted your iPhone, it will restart and you’ll have an iPhone with all new settings and a completely empty memory. From here you can:

1. Sell it or trade it in
2. Send it for repairs
3. Give it to your best mate

One last question – do I have to delete the data myself if I send my phone to ExchangeMyPhone?
Most people want to stay on top of deleting their own data, and we are happy to offer these explanations.  Of course, here at ExchangeMyPhone our standard procedure includes total immediate data wiping for all products received. So, if you are sending a phone to us here at ExchangeMyPhone, there’s no need to worry about doing it wrong or having sent a device with data still on it – we’ll always double-check and rewipe.

If you’ve any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below.