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    The company's contract with the renewable energy company Neoen calls for Siemens Gamesa to build the entire complex and then maintain it for 25 years.
  • GAO Recommends Eliminating Coal Mine Operators' Self-Bonding
    GAO found that state agencies and OSMRE report they hold approximately $10.2 billion in surety bonds, collateral bonds, and self-bonds as financial assurances for coal mine reclamation. The stakeholders GAO interviewed identified several challenges OSMRE and state agencies face in managing financial assurances, citing industry bankruptcies and lower coal demand.
  • NNSA Team Wins Project Management Award
    The presentation took place during the 2018 DOE Project Management Workshop held in Arlington, Va. The TWF project at Los Alamos National Laboratory is NNSA's first Hazard Category 2 Nuclear Facility project completed under budget.
  • New Compliance Date for EPA's Formaldehyde in Composite Wood Products Regulation
    The new compliance date is June 1, 2018, for its formaldehyde emissions regulation for composite wood products, under Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act.
  • West Virginia Debuts Webpage on Pipeline Projects
    Information available on the page includes maps of the proposed pipeline routes and a link to WVDEP's searchable online database where additional information, such as any inspection and enforcement actions and any permit modifications, can be found.
  • Fumigation Air Quality Permit Request Dropped in NC
    The division had planned to hold a new public comment period and public hearing to enable additional input for the draft air quality permit. DEP reported that most of 1,100 comments received since Feb. 23 were opposed to issuing the permit.

Welcome

ncrc logoNature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) is recognized internationally as a leader in developing rural ecotourism and community protected areas as a means of economic development and resource conservation. NCRC’s initiatives have facilitated sustainable economic development in scores of poor rural areas of Ghana and other nations in West Africa.

Founded in Ghana in 1996, NCRC has grown rapidly to become Ghana’s leading indigenous conservation organisation, as well as a key actor in West African civil society. Ghana’s National Tourism Policy has adopted NCRC’s model as the preferred approach to the development of rural tourism. The model is acknowledged globally as one of the most successful rural tourism initiatives being implemented today.

Ghana nature conservationNCRC’s pioneering work in developing community protected areas in Ghana is increasingly being cited as a valuable alternative to conventional African national parks and protected areas that often do not fulfill their promise due to funding limitations, limited capacity and resource conflicts. NCRC’s work has demonstrated that traditional communities can lead highly successful conservation initiatives, as shown by community partnerships in Ghana including Wechiau, Avu Lagoon, Boabeng-Fiema, Nyankamba Escarpment, Tafi Atome, Asumura and the Afram Arm of Lake Volta.

The key ingredient of success in these projects is the philosophy that conservation will only be successful in settings where the affected local communities obtain tangible economic returns and cultural incentives for its implementation.

As NCRC’s work has continued to evolve in Ghana, it is also collaborating on projects in Nigeria, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia and is discussing new involvements in Sierra Leone and Senegal. In addition to ecotourism, NCRC’s current focus includes climate change and biodiversity conservation, as well as capacity-building and mentoring of peer organisations.

Our mission: NCRC is a Ghanaian non-profit organisation implementing conservation initiatives to promote a greater awareness of and protection for the natural, historic and cultural diversity of Ghana and, ultimately, the West African sub-region.

Makeup Advice – Avoiding the Risk of Contamination

Makeup and skincare products have finite shelf lives. Using cosmetics contaminated with yeast, fungi, or bacteria can lead to very serious skin or eye problems; including conjunctivitis and staph infections. By taking a few precautions, cosmetics users can adequately protect themselves against facial blemishes and other skin conditions that could end up necessitating a costly trip to the dermatologist.

How Long Does Makeup Last?

observe hygiene with makeup set and toolsIn part, the answer to this question depends on the product’s ingredient list. Products that have water listed first on their labels are especially susceptible to bacteria contamination. Oil-rich products usually last longer; but may go rancid, especially if regularly exposed to sunlight or excessive heat. The following list provides an excellent reference guide:

  • Mascara and gel eyeliners: 3-4 months, with six months as an absolute maximum lifespan
  • Oil-based foundations: 1.5 years
  • Water-based foundations: 1.5 years
  • Powder-based foundations and powders: 2-3 years
  • Lipsticks, glosses, and lip or eye pencils: 2-3 years

If any product changes color or consistency, separates, or develops an odor, discard immediately. If using preservative-free products, ask the company about contamination issues and be especially vigilant in checking for unwanted alterations in the product.

How Long Do Skincare Products Last?

oil based makeup lasts longerCreamy or gel cleansers last about one year, as do most moisturizers. Peach & Lily skin care products are usually used up before contamination. But if kept in warm, damp conditions such as a bathroom, they should be thrown away if their odor or consistency alters in any way.

Anyone should keep skincare products without preservatives in the refrigerator and discarded as often as the company that sells them recommends. Homemade cosmetic creams or lotions should not be held longer than several weeks, even if refrigerated. Homemade perfumes in an oil base may be kept up to 6 months in a cool, dark environment; those made with an ethyl alcohol base (such as vodka) may be maintained indefinitely.

Tips for Using Cosmetics Safely

Never pump a mascara wand in and out of the tube; swirl it around inside the container to allow the brush to pick up more color. Never add water or saliva to mascara to thin it out or make it last longer; do not do this to dampen eyeshadows or eyebrow powders for use as a liner, either.

Keep eye and lip pencils sharpened by using a sharpener cleaned with 70-99% isopropyl alcohol.

Never keep makeup in the bathroom or car; strong light, dampness, and extremes of temperature will encourage the breakdown of certain ingredients and increase the risk of contamination. An everyday tackle box or sturdy makeup case from MAC or another reputable company will help keep makeup contaminant-free.

using a spatula for makeup jars makes it sanitaryIf an eye or skin infection develops, throw out all makeup in use at the time and replace it with new products. This may be expensive, but the risk of reoccurring the infection is simply too great to ignore.

Never share products with others.

Always wash hands before applying makeup.

Finally, avoid cosmetics that come in jar packaging. Jars are a haven for fungal and bacterial growth. For those addicted to an individual jar-packaged cream or makeup base, using a small plastic spatula wiped with 70-99% isopropyl alcohol to remove the product from the jar can help prevent contamination. Keep the lid of the jar tightly closed.

Cosmetics Safety Guidelines for Department Store Makeup Samples/Makeovers

Make absolutely sure that no application of previously-used products during a makeover unless they come in a sanitary tube or narrow-mouthed bottle packaging; certain types of contaminants can lurk on the surface of many products for hours or even days. Apply the same rule when testing sample cosmetics. Wiping down a sample lipstick with alcohol is always a good idea (ask first, of course).

Use fresh cotton swabs, cotton balls, or sponges to apply makeup or skincare products. Makeup brushes sprayed with quick-drying disinfectant are also acceptable.

Remember that not all cosmetics salespeople are makeup artists, so check out the cleanliness of the products and applicators before deciding on a makeover. Don’t end up paying a high dermatologist bill for a “free” new look.

Going Grassroots: Marketing Value, Passion, and Action to the Community

You may wonder how it happens. A product or service receives viral attention and notoriety seemingly overnight. It’s the holy grail of marketing and the dream of every organization with a message to spread and no budget for advertising. Grassroots movements, products, and communities build on four critical elements.

Value

creating value in the grassroots movementDoes it have value? Value is the raw material of any grassroots movement – the seed. That’s not to say that the product, program or service at the core of your grassroots movement has value to everyone, but it does have enough value to enough to your audience that those people seek it out. In other words, it has a market. Since value is subjective, you may not fully understand it and you may need the help of Break The Web – San Diego. But if you can see an active core value of something, it may be the seed of grassroots marketing.

For example, if you’ve never had a dog, you might be astounded when dog owners say things like, “My dog is just like a child to me.” But did you know that the bond between a human and a dog is reinforced with the same biological chemicals that connect human mothers to their babies? When you understand that deep value to dog owners, you know that those owners value programs, products and services that help them and their dogs live long, happy lives together.

Passion

Are people passionate about it? Passion is the kinetic energy of your movement – it’s chlorophyll and the sunshine. If the heart of what you’re doing has value nailed, passion can be easy. But it’s a separate and critical element that grows out of value. Passion is the emotional response to value. It’s the adoration, excitement, anger, and frustration that motivate us to act on what we value.

If you calmly understand the value of something, nothing will happen. But if you are so excited about the value that you want to talk about it with people, put it in people’s hands and hear what others have to say about it, then you have this critical element of a grassroots movement. Hundreds of passion-driven nonprofit organizations support awareness for particular dog breed lovers, fight animal abuse and support research for the well-being of dogs. And if you’ve ever been involved with a nonprofit, you know it’s hard work for no money, but it puts passion for its perfect use.

Action

seeds to a multi-million dollar businessDo people know what you want them to do? A blade of grass knows what to do with chlorophyll and the sunshine. Your members should be aware how to take action in that same natural way. It may be as simple as buying an item or as complex as building a multi-million dollar business. But whatever the action, it should be clear. And the greater the level of work you require from a member, the higher level of support and tools you’ll need to provide. Some members may simply spread awareness with a “Like” on Facebook or a “Follow” on Twitter. Others may require a social network enabled the website to organize and lead smaller groups. When you make an effective action for your members easy with clear goals and great tools, you grease the rails of communication and enable quick growth.

An example of a simple action on Facebook is the modern generated surveys like “What dog breed are you?” Sounds silly? Maybe. But offering fun is a great strategy to drive action. Our survey can subtly, but effectively build awareness about breed characteristics that will help potential owners find dogs that are compatible with their homes and families, thereby reducing abandonment and abuse caused by pet-owner mismatches.

Growing the Network

attracting your audienceA network of people is the soil in which your grassroots movement will grow. You’ll find fertile ground for grassroots movements anywhere you find individuals who value your idea, are responding to it emotionally and know what to do about it. With the internet, finding and connecting with that network is easier, but competition for the heart and mind “space” of people has grown exponentially, so your first encounter has to work. They need to know how to join, and you have to make it easy to do it. Potential members of our dog-lovers network are each member of a dog-owning household (40% of American households), government agencies, existing non-profits, pet service and supply retailers, veterinary organizations and schools. These are all individuals and groups that value dogs, are inherently passionate about animals, and can act on behalf of a grassroots movement.

Not every network is fertile! Organizations, companies, and communities can go very negative, and when that happens, grassroots programs can die out quickly or grow at a stunted pace. This is where leadership is critical. Great leadership acknowledges and solves problems (weeds), but keeps the network focused and excited about its mission (feeds). Enabling and building strong, focused network leaders throughout the movement will speed growth.

Beyond these four critical elements, the way you spread the word is up to you, but if you have these, you might just have the raw materials for a grassroots movement.

How to Take Good Care of Dogs in Winter

Winter is right around the corner. It is inevitable that some people will be happy about it while there are others who will find the season a bother. While it may be true that the white wonderland that comes with the snow is magnificent to the eyes, the freezing weather and risks that go with the season can sometimes dampen one’s feelings.

dogs feel the chill tooHow you view winter is also the same way how your dog views the said season. Some dogs get oddly happy when they see the snow while there are also dogs who feel lethargic during the winter. You should make sure to take good care of your friendly canines.

#1. Keep in or let out?

In a typical season, it is only natural that you spend time together with your pet outside of the house and get him the Bark Box for his needs. It may be in the backyard or at the park. However, you should consider keeping your dog indoors, especially during the winter months or when you live in icy areas. The dog will freeze like an icicle if you keep the dog out.

#2. If you bring your dog out, coat him up.

What this means is that you should protect your dog when you are going out. Just think about it: if you go out in the middle of winter with just light clothes on, you’ll become a snowman in no time! What do you think would happen if you go out with your dog and that little devil isn’t wrapped up? The dog’s fur alone is not enough to keep warm. Now, in case the dog’s shelter is outside the home, it is important to ensure that this dog house is warm, draft-free, and dry during the winter months. Otherwise, it will only be inevitable for them to get sick.

#3. Keep food and water dry.

proper diet and exercise for petsWhen it is cold, it takes more energy for people and dogs to stay warm. In response to that, animals will tend to eat more during the cold season. Providing them with enough food and water is a good idea. Of course, you have to keep an eye on the diet and water bowls. Otherwise, they will just be frozen foods and drinks that the dogs can’t enjoy. Dogs don’t find pleasure in licking a frozen lump of water.

#4. How about fad diets?

The dietary needs of your dog will depend on whether it is an indoor animal or an outdoor one. For indoor animals, they sleep more in the cold season to conserve their energy. Even when you bring them outside during the winter months, they don’t actively exercise. For that, it is highly recommended to adjust their food and water intake accordingly. Otherwise, you’ll find out that your pet has gained excess weight over the winter season.

#5. Frosting

The winter frost is a severe problem when it comes to dogs during these months. Frosting usually occurs at the paws, ears, and tips of the tail. When these parts frost over, there is a high chance for the dog to suffer from frostbites. Especially if the pet is an outdoor pet, it is imperative to keep the dog warm at all times. You may have to get special coats, booties, or even hats for the dog when you bring it out for a walk. Early warning signs of frosting include blisters and waxy skin.

#6. Avoid antifreeze.

During the winter season, a lot of people make use of antifreeze products. However, the chemical spill from this can cause problems for your furry pet. Wintertime antifreeze spills, if it is taken in even the smallest amount, can be fatal for the dogs. It will start with signs of convulsion which eventually leads to death. If you see your dog convulsing or start acting “drunk,” then immediately take your beloved companion to the vet.

A Primer on Argan Oil

Argan oil is one of the many healthy oils that has recently risen to fame due to celebrities, health gurus, and medical practitioners vying for its health, beauty, and weight loss benefits, almost at par with the health and beauty benefits of forskolin, a substance derived from the Indian Coleus (Coleus forskohlii or Plectranthus barbatus). Argan oil is now infused in many commercial beauty products, and it is not unlikely that stunning top stars endorse them.

But the beauty of argan oil lies in its versatility. It is not only great for skin and hair health, but also in keeping your immune, digestive, cardiac, and circulatory systems in check.

How could you sift the real through the fake ones?

Argan oil processing in Morocco
Argan oil processing in Morocco

Argan oil only comes from Morocco, a country in North Africa known for its biodiversity and rich culture. It is an expensive and exquisite product so do not get jaded right away by products that promise an abundant influx of argan oil. Many fake products mislead consumers into thinking they are enjoying argan when in fact, it’s but an alternative derivative.

For one, argan oil should be placed in specially designed dark bottles that will preserve the oil. It should maintain its refreshing and nutty smell, smooth texture, and brownish amber color. If it feels like nothing, you can be sure that the oil that you bought is fake.

Secondly, argan oil should only be sourced out in Morocco. There is no other place on Earth yet discovered that produces such oil, so if it is not sourced in Morocco, then you should think twice. If the product touts it is from Morocco, then check for the credibility of this claim by doing your proper research. A simple online search can help.

Thirdly, real argan oil should have some imperfections; thus, some sediments are expected to settle at the bottom of the bottle. The presence of residues means that the oil hasn’t been filtered out too rigorously, and the natural filtration process which safeguards its nutrients was used.

What are the benefits of argan oil?

Argan oil, like forskolin (www.mbsf.org/forskolin-review), promises a lot of health and beauty benefits and here are some of the most common ones:

1. As a skin cleanser, toner, exfoliator, and moisturizer

argan oil has benefits for skin and hairIn Moroccan societies, Berber women are tasked to do the extraction and production of argan oil. They also have been using argan oil for their skin for thousands of years, and you will notice that these women have such amazing skin even without the use of lengthy beauty routines. The secret is with argan oil, and there are many things it can offer to provide a youthful glow.

Argan oil can be used for cleaning, toning, exfoliating and moisturizing the skin. Use a tiny bit of oil and gently massage it on your face and neck. Use this every day, and you can see a big difference in your pores and skin texture in as little as one week.

It can even help clear your skin of acne, blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads.

2. For anti-aging

Argan oil helps your skin achieve its natural and youthful glow because it strips off your skin of impurities, gives your skin time to breathe, and nourishes your skin to make it supple and healthy. Apply the oil on your “problem areas” such as around the eyes and lips and wherever you find yourself having wrinkles and age spots. Do this every day and see results in one week.

Argan oil is a miracle oil that promises great results for health and beauty. But you have to find the real one, so you don’t waste your time, money, and energy in adding argan oil to your daily regimen.

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