The Ridiculous Price of College Textbooks

Of all of the times that I have struggled financially up to this point in my life, my first years in college have to lead the list. All of this is well and good because I know that getting a good college education is going to assist me in finding a job that will help me throughout my entire life.

What really stinks about this, however, is the fact that some of the things that go into a college education are just too expensive. This can make it difficult for the average person, such as me to get by.

One of the first things that I am going to mention is the fact that college textbooks are ridiculous, as far as the prices are concerned. I know that it costs a lot of money for companies to put these books together and there are production costs that need to be considered as well.

I have always wondered, however, why these textbooks are so much money whenever other books of similar quality were much lower. I was actually surprised to find out why it is that books have increased in cost so much.

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High School Scholarships

If you think that scholarships are only meant for college and research students, then you are mistaken. There are specific scholarship programs for senior as well as junior high school students. Scholarships for high school students allow students to start their educational journey without any burden of costly school expenses.

Various private firms, individuals, corporate houses, charitable organizations, non-profit organizations and academic institutions provide scholarships to the desired students. Apart from the citizenship criteria, these scholarships have their own set of conditions for eligible candidates.

Some are need-based grants whereas there are other grants that are merit-based. There are several other grants for high school students where suitable candidates are selected through competitions like essay contests or painting competitions.

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The story of moving to the USA

As some of you may or may not know, I was set to fly over to the United States of America (more specifically to the state of Oregon) a little more than a week ago. And well, after a 17 hour journey and an emotional ride like I’ve never experienced before I said “see you soon” to my parents, I was held at border security in Seattle for two hours and I finally saw my fiance again, after having been separated from him and having had to miss him for 7 months. In other words: I made it, but only barely…

Off to a shaky start


On August 11th, my parents, brothers and I drove over to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. My family had decided they all wanted to see me off to the USA and so we went, all together.

After a 15 minute walk from the parking lot we got to the main hall of the airport, I was again overwhelmed by the amount of people there. Just like last year. Schiphol Airport is truly a metropolis in its own right, the center is so big that I imagine one could find everything he/she needs in his life there. All in all, I always find it to be very imposing.

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Green Degree

While taking care of the earth and working towards a cleaner, greener future for all would ideally be the goal of every college student, it goes without saying that many students do not have the environment in mind at all when worrying over all the other details of university life, from scholarship applications to course schedules, social engagements to dorm life. However, for those students who seek to be more environmentally aware, here are a few ways to accomplish earth-focused goals.
Online Options

Increasingly more popular due to the demands of the general student population, online university credit courses are definitely one option for going green while gaining a degree. The beauty in choosing online class options whenever possible is that the carbon footprint of your academic career doesn’t have to be dependent upon your major.

Every online university course should help students cut back on commuting times since they won’t need to be driving to classes, and this reduction in fuel emissions is the common result of all online courses. In this way, online electrical engineering courses can be just as green as online biology classes.

Consecutive Classes

When online classes aren’t a reasonable possibility, students can still choose to make their class schedule as green as possible by choosing to fill their course schedules with consecutive classes. Alternatively, students could also commit themselves to only driving to and from campus once a day.

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5 Fresh Tips for Green Living and Eco-Friendly Solutions

“Green” living is one of those concepts that has taken hold in mainstream media, becoming a pretty significant “buzzword” in the last few years. However, unlike “Bennifer”, this one seems to be sticking around. Green living basically refers to doing things in your daily life that helps the environment.

A super easy example of what you probably already do is recycling. There is definitely a level of extremity, as well as perspective that ties into what truly makes something ‘green’.

However, we’re not here to tell you about recycling. It’s a good thing, and you should do it, but since it’s pretty likely that you already do, let’s try taking a look at some of the other options out there. After all, individuals and businesses alike are trying to become more sustainable and eco-friendly. Check out five tips for going green that you might not be familiar with.

  1. Plant Your Home Near Trees

This may sound like a playful idea, but it’s not just for the kids’ treehouse. Planting your home near trees, or vice versa, actually has some pretty good effects for your home. Trees, especially once they reach their full height, provide a great deal of shade for your home. This helps to cut down on your air conditioning needs during the summer, since you’ll already be cooler.

If you’re looking to keep your home a bit warmer in the winter, well, trees might not be your best friend. Large bushes, however, will do the trick. Plant them in flowerbeds close to your home and they’ll act as a second layer of insulation, trapping the heat for you during the winter. They’ll help to cut down on the wind as well! Read More

Eco-Dogs: How to Keep an Environmentally-Friendly Pet

Most people tend to think that just about anything found in nature is innately good for the environment while most machines are detrimental. While you glare at the gas-guzzling SVU rumbling down the street, you may be horrified to learn that some of the worst offenders when it comes to disrespecting the environment are actually pets.

Dogs can have a bigger impact on the environment than operating a Toyota Land Cruiser, despite being a natural part of Earth’s fauna. If you are conscious about the eco-footprint you leave behind, it may be time to look at ways to make your dog more eco-friendly.

 

Protect Wildlife

One of the ways that dogs can harm the environment is by hunting and killing wildlife. When you think about a menace to birds, cats often come to mind. Still, dogs aren’t entirely innocent and can sometimes hunt and kill small animals that are essential to an area’s ecosystem.

Because of this, it is likely better to keep your dog contained in a fenced-in area so he cannot run free and hunt. When you’re on walks, keep your dog leashed so he can’t go after small animals when out and about. Read More

Saving Our Planet: There’s an App for That

Along with the increasing popularity of Smartphones, apps are continuously being developed to assist with everything from sticking to a diet to acing examination.

Therefore, it would seem to be no surprise that a number of apps have been developed to help individuals and businesses conduct themselves in a greener, more sustainable manner. Apps are available for both Android and iOS powered devices and are frequently either very inexpensive or entirely free of charge.

 

Green Outlet

If you are tired of paying out big bucks to the electric company every month, the Green Outlet app may be just the ticket. This iOS app allows you to make a rough prediction of your monthly bill, and indicates which appliances are the likely culprits for excess energy usage. However, the app does not include a calculator for natural gas appliances. The app can be downloaded for 99 cents US from the Apple iTunes App Store.

Plastic Analyzer

The Plastic Analyzer app allows you to determine what kinds of plastic you are using by conducting a search for the plastic identification code. The app then indicates what products are included in the plastic object or bag and informs you of whether the plastic is recyclable. The Plastic Analyzer App is available free of charge for Android, iOS and Windows 7 powered mobile devices.

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5 Hot Apps Helping Us Stay Healthy

Everyone has a smartphone these days, but for some of us, having all this technology at our fingertips is doing more harm than good. Fortunately, there are tons of apps out there changing people’s lives for the better. I’ve weeded through new releases, version updates, and makeovers throughout the past few weeks to highlight five incredibly useful apps.

1) Argus by Azumio

Argus was released last week, gaining lots of attention as an all-inclusive data app. It tracks fitness, diet and sleeping patterns, simultaneously pulling data from other apps in the Azumio network. The goal of Argus is to combine all health and fitness data (per user), making it one of the fastest growing apps on the market. Here are some quick facts about Argus:

  • Free; however, Azumio’s other apps run $1.99 if you are considering integration
  • 4 Star Rating
  • Track hydration, vital signs, caffeine consumption, heart rate, movements, quality of sleep and sleep cycles
  • Automatic tracking via iPhone’s built in sensors
  • Pulls data from Azumio apps and third-party as well

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Sustainable Brands/Products You Should Consider

Using products made from sustainable materials or manufactured through sustainable processes can reduce your impact on the environment. The next time you go shopping, look for these products. Choosing them could help you make the world a better place.

Sierra Nevada Beer

You might not equate brewing beer with saving the planet, but Sierra Nevada has combined these two pursuits in every conceivable way.

Sierra Nevada creates 20 percent of its own power needs with 10,573 solar panels. The company also has hydrogen fuel cells that create about 40 percent of the brewery’s energy needs which is an extremely an inventive way to make its factory more sustainable. Sierra Nevada doesn’t stop there. Some other innovative measures include:

  • Composting organic waste to fertilize the company’s gardens and fields

  • Using the CO2 produced through fermentation in its factory

  • Convertible its restaurant’s used vegetable oil into biofuel for its fleet of delivery trucks

Not many companies make that kind of commitment to the environment. Think about that the next time you go out for a six-pack

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