Winter Health Tips

UoEd

Winter’s a few weeks away and that can only mean one thing; no, not the holidays, we’re unfortunately speaking winter illnesses. If you’re not careful you may find yourself on the receiving end of an unwanted “gift.”

Of course, there are things you can do to protect yourself this winter to ensure that nothing stands in your way this holiday season. These tips are good ones to adopt throughout the year but even more so in winter.

Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

The easiest way to not get infected is to limit your exposure to disease. It may seem a bit callous but two sick people are not better than one.

Don’t share food or drink with anyone.

As with the previous tip, the name of the game is limiting your exposure to viruses and bacteria.

Get plenty of sleep.

Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Eat a well balanced diet.

A balanced diet should include a foods rich in carbohydrates and low in salts and sugar, as well as fruits and vegetables, fish, and plenty of fluids.

Take vitamin D.

With overcast skies and grey days, it’s easy to become a bit lethargic in the absence of sunlight. Vitamin D will help give you the extra boost you may be lacking in the sun’s absence.

Stay active and exercise.

It’s amazing what a little exercise will do, especially if you’re trying to work off an abundant holiday feast or two. Get your moving a little bit every day.

Get your shots.

Make sure you are up to date with your flu shots! University of Oregon often offers special days to get your flu shot. If you’ve missed it then your local doctor will be happy to provide one.

Wash your hands

Remember throughout the day with soap and hot water. If you are away from a sink then hand sanitizer will do.

If despite all these tips you find yourself feeling sick, be sure to stay home! There’s no need to pass your disease along to others. If your symptoms worsen be sure to consult with your doctor! There’s no need to spend the holiday season stuck in bed, after all!

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Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips 2016

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The holiday season is here, and with it many will start considering their future travel plans. The unfortunate truth is that holiday travel can be an oft stressful time if not handled with patience and preparation. To that end, we are sharing our top 10 Holiday Travel Tips to guarantee your holiday is nothing but sleigh bells and egg nog.

Empty Apartment Tips

  1. Stop your mail if you’re leaving for more than 5 days.

Other than avoiding the potential frustration of coming home to a pile of mail and newspapers, this tip can protect your home. By keeping your mail from piling up, would be burglars are more likely to be unaware of your absence.

2. If you haven’t already, get renters insurance!

This one is applicable for the entire year, not just the holidays! Protect yourself in case of the worst. Read more about it here.

3. Have a friend or neighbor check in.

Let your trusted confidant know of your travel plans and if you can have them check in on your apartment in your absence. Be sure to get them a nice gift to reward them for their help!

4. Unplug appliances.

Sure, your toaster may seem harmless, but freak and unexpected electrical accidents can cause a fire that can potentially destroy an unattended apartment. Be safe and unplug all unnecessary appliances. You can have your lights plugged in to an automatic timer to give your apartment the illusion of being lived in an attended (see our first tip).

Car Travel Tips

5. Have your car examined before you leave.

The last thing thing anybody wants is to have their car break down when traveling out of town for the holidays. Avoid being stranded from home by having your car examined and ensure it’s winter ready.

6. Pack for the worst!

Sure, gifts and clothes will undoubtedly occupy most of your suitcase space, but you need to have a kit ready for those problematic situations. A car charger, a phone charger, jumper cables, sand for traction on snow, an ice scraper, flashlights, a first aid kit… you get the picture.

7. Take breaks when driving.

When driving for long stretches, be sure to pull over and stretch your legs. It’s important to stay alert when you’re behind the wheel, and more so when driving in the winter time.

Plane Travel Tips

8. Pack light.

By avoiding checking bags you can skip the frustration of potentially losing a suitcase full of gifts and/or clothes. Better yet, you can avoid the checked baggage fees most domestic airlines charge.

9. Travel on off-peak days.

If you’re looking to help your wallet, avoid peak travel days. Not only will you save some dough, you’ll avoid the madness that are the crowds of an airport at full capacity. If you really want to avoid the hassle and save even more money, consider traveling on the holiday itself! Not only is it cheaper but it’s guaranteed to be much calmer.

10. Ship Gifts Ahead of Time

This one applies no matter the method of transportation, but applies to none more so than air travel. Not only do you avoid potentially losing/damaging gifts, but you save yourself the hassle of packing and lugging gift with you on an already chaotic travel day. With a bit of pre-planning your day will be considerably simpler.

With these handy tips in mind, nothing will interrupt your travels be they by plane, train, or automobile. Happy holidays!

 

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Even the Score with UO $CORE

UO$CORE

 

How much do you spend on electricity a month? What about water? Is it higher than you’d like to be spending? What if we told you that you could be helped with your bills and do your part to help the greater good in the process? That’s exactly the case with UO $CORE, a student run program to help students save money on their utility bills for environmentally-responsible practices.

$CORE stands for “Student and Community Outreach for Renter efficiency” and was started in 2012 by James Walton, a senior business major who secured a grant from Eugene Water and Electric Board to create the program. Through $CORE, student staff perform free audits and install upgrades in older, off-campus student rental housing while also helping student tenants by providing information, materials, and skills to help lower their carbon footprint and utility bills.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how $CORE can help you save money then you should register for a free energy assessment!

Energy Assessment

What does this assessment include? Simply put, two Energy Evaluators will come to your house and assess your energy needs. Over the course of an hour they will install low use devices such as CFL lightbulbs and weather stripping, while also give you some information on how to lower your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Not only will your bills be lower and your house better for the environment, you’ll even get a free pizza from TrackTown Pizza if more than half the household is present!

CFLBulbs
Say hello to your new best friend.

Tips for Reducing Energy Use

$CORE’s Facebook page is constantly updated with handy tips to reduce your utility bills and carbon footprint. We’ve selected a few here to share.

  • Wrap your water tank with jacket insulation to save up to 10% on water heating costs.
  • Install low-flow showerheads.
  • When cooking on a stovetop, match the pan size to the heating surface to prevent heat loss to the surrounding air.
  • Put your computer and monitor to sleep mode (or off) when you’re not using them.
  • Replace your bulbs with Energy Star® efficient light bulbs.
  • Keep your freezer full to minimize energy used. For maximum savings fill the freezer with gallons of water.

A quick session with UO $CORE and you’ll have lower bills, a diminished carbon footprint, and free pizza!!! That’s what we call a win-win!

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It’s Party Time! Do You Know About the Social Host Ordinance?

Wild Party

 

4th of July is approaching and you’re no doubt already planning your own party and/or being invited to get-togethers with friends. Before you get too carried away with planning your BBQs and events, however, you should keep the Social Host Ordinance in mind.

Wait, the What?

The Social Host Ordinance (also known as The Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings) is a law that holds individuals responsible for organizing and hosting an unruly event. In other words, if your party gets out of hand, you’re criminally responsible for it.

What Constitutes a Disorderly Gathering?

That’s a fair question, after all one person’s disorderly gathering might be another person’s book club. Here are the telltale signs of a party that will land you in trouble:

  • Over-packed gatherings filling out onto the streets.
  • Under-age drinking.
  • Open alcohol container/consumption in public.
  • Noise pollution that affects neighbors.
  • Interfering with a police officer.
  • Drunk and disorderly conduct.

In other words, if it’s likely to result in a call to the police, it’s considered a disorderly gathering.

What about Fireworks?

Legal Fireworks are permitted to be used between June 23-July 6 and December 31-Jan 1. Your 4th of July party should be fine having them, but you won’t be allowed to use them the rest of the year.

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting in Trouble?

Below are some suggestions from the City of Eugene to keep your party safe and acceptable:

Keep a Guest List

Though it’s always tempting to adopt a “come one come all” attitude about your party, this typically ends with a party at max capacity pouring out onto the streets. By knowing ahead of time how many people you’re inviting you’ll limit the party’s capacity to escalate beyond reasonable levels.

Inform Your Neighbors

Let your neighbors know the date and time of your party beforehand. While you’re at it, give them your phone number and contact information should any concerns arise. This step will go along way to avoiding the police being called on your event (and also makes you a better neighbor).

21+ Only

Keep your party legal! If there’s going to be drinking make sure all guests are of the legal drinking age.

Monitor Noise Levels

Keep an eye (an ear?) on the noise levels of your party. Don’t blast your music to the point where people have to yell to one another and keep the hollering to a minimum.

Clean Up After Yourself

Your neighbors are less likely to have any issues with your (or involve the police) if your party is organized and clean.  Pick up after yourself when the event’s over.

Prevent Drunk Driving

Regardless of the Social Host Ordinance, this should be a rule for every party you host or are a part of. Do not allow your friends or you yourself drink and drive, or breaking the law will be the least of your concerns.

Be Polite to the Police

Look we get it, nobody wants the police showing up at their door, but it’s important to remember that they are doing their job. Be courteous and helpful should the authorities come with concerns about your party.

Call The Police if Needed

Call the police to your own party? When it’s getting out of hand or becoming dangerous, absolutely. If things reach the point where you yourself can’t control it, give the authorities a call.

That’s a good starting point on the Social Host Ordinance and should be enough to help you plan your upcoming summer parties. If you want to know more, you can read about the ordinance at Party Safe, Party Responsibly.  Have fun!

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Nine Signs You Are a Bad Roommate

9 Signs You are a Bad Roommate

Are you a bad roommate? Hopefully, you are in a situation where there is mutual respect for boundaries and everyone feels comfortable with each other. But, as we all know, that is not always the case.

After a long day of working or studying, there is nothing worse than coming home to a terrible roommate. Here are 9 signs that you are a less-than-ideal roommate.

1. Your Motto is “My Way or the Highway”. 

Good luck with that! Sharing your space with another person can be challenging, even a close friend. For your living arrangement work, it’s important that both parties compromise and adapt to each others lifestyle and habits. You can help mitigate awkward situations by determining if you are a good match BEFORE you move in.   Click here for tips on finding a the right roommate for you.

2. You are Miss or Mr. Passive Aggressive.

Whether you live with a stranger or a close friend, accept that at some point there is probably going to be conflict. Open communication is absolutely necessary when living in such close living quarters. Even if you avoid conflict at all costs, it will only cause anger an resentment to build up inside you until you are completely unbearable to live with. There is a good chance your roommate has no idea what they did to anger you, so talk about it, come to a agreement and move on!

3.  You honestly believe your roommate doesn’t care if you take or borrow without asking.

So you have a roommate who keeps the fridge stocked, the dishes clean, and plenty of clean laundry around for you to borrow. Why should they mind a T-shirt here, a carton of milk there? It’s communal right? Trust us, they mind. Nobody wants to be stuck with a roommate who takes food without replacing it or who borrows your favorite shoes or shirt without asking!

4. You are consistently late paying your bills or rent.

This is the worst!!! Pay your bills on time. Pay them early if that is an option. If you can’t afford your bills you may need to make different living arrangements or work an extra job. Do not ask your roommate(s) (who are probably also strapped for cash) to cover you! It’s not fair to them, and word will get around that you are a loser.  Who wants that?

5. You act as if your Mom will clean up after you.

Unless you have maid service, which you probably don’t, clean up your own messes! Think it’s ok to clean the dishes in the next couple of days or even next week? It’s not! Nobody wants to live with a messy or disorganized person! Who wants to come home to someones clutter and filth? You don’t have to be a super clean neat freak, but it’s important to be on the same page with your roommate about what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to cleanliness. Clean up your own messes, nobody else will.

6.  You ask lots of personal questions.

Your roommate has physical and emotional boundaries. Respect them. Just because you are living in the same space, you do not have the right to pry into their personal business! If your roommate wants to volunteer the information to you, fine. But give your roommate the space they need and respect their privacy.

7.  You frequently bring the party into your living room during the wee hours of the morning.

It’s one thing to be social, but it’s another thing to disregard your roommate(s) need for sleep or quiet study time. You must agree on acceptable noise levels in advance. Besides, you don’t want your neighbor to have report you, you just might receive a noise ordinance!

8. You are addicted to cigarettes.

Cigarette smoking stinks. It’s disgusting. It makes everything else, including your roommate’s stuff, smell like cigarettes. Yuck. Don’t smoke. If you must smoke, do it in a designated area and do your laundry often.

9. You contribute NOTHING.

You need stuff in your apartment: furniture, cookware, dishes, electronics, etc. Don’t be the roommate that contributes nothing. Suddenly you are the guy (or gal) that takes advantage of your roommate’s stuff.

Bottom Line: Be considerate!  Be considerate! Be considerate! And figure out in advance if you are a good match! 

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11 Questions to Ask Your Roommate(s) Before You Sign a Lease

medium_3541111970Now that spring is approaching, we will soon be leasing for the upcoming school year!

Have you thought about your roommate situation?

Don’t be so eager to find someone who seems nice or willing to share the costs that you neglect to find out important details about their personality, habits and lifestyle preferences. This can lead to a disaster!

Think about what is important and non-negotiable for you. It is far better to be upfront and honest about your expectations than feeling miserable about your living situation in a few months. Before signing any lease, get to know your potential roommate(s). We highly recommend setting up an interview and ask direct questions.

Here are some important details you will want to pay attention to:

1. Sleeping habits: early risers or night owl? Light sleeper or deep sleeper?

2. Typical work or school schedule? (Will it conflict with yours?)

3. How does this person describe their cleaning habits and expectations and does it match yours?

4. Any allergies? Examples: peanuts, perfume, milk, flowers, mold, smoke).

5. Lifestyle habits: Do they smoke, drink, listen to loud music, stay out late? Are you ok with that?

6. How would the candidate describe their decorating style (if they have one)? Does it match yours?

7. Social habits? Will there be friends over often? If so, will you get along with these friends? Is there a boyfriend or girlfriend in the picture?

8. How will you combine your belongings? Who will provide the living room furniture, pots, dishes, electronics, etc? Can you share these items?

9. Does the potential roommate have a job? What is their basic financial situation? Nobody wants to be stuck with unpaid utility bills or rent!

10. Can you rely on this person to be honest and be courteous to you and other potential roommates?

11. What is their maturity level on a scale to 1-10?

Answers to these questions should help provide you with a sense of whether or not this is the right fit for your lifestyle. Always go with your gut. If you get a weird feeling about a potential roommate, tell them politely that you don’t think it would be a good match and move on.

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