Some surprising tips for your 2018 health resolutions

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to get healthy. And the general game plan to do that usually includes working out more, eating healthier and getting more sleep.

But ...

Tagged: weatherization, saving energy, health

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Some surprising tips for your 2018 health resolutions

Graphic shows how weatherization can improve your health.

According to a Department of Energy poll, residents who received weatherization services reported sleeping better and demonstrated increased levels of energy.

Key Points

  • Weatherizing your home does more than reduce your energy bills.
  • It can also improve your health and safety.
  • 40 million U.S. families may qualify for weatherization assistance. 

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to get healthy. And the general game plan to do that usually includes working out more, eating healthier and getting more sleep.

But you might be surprised to hear that weatherizing your house can help you reach your 2018 health goals.

According to the Department of Energy, weatherizing your home can improve your health and safety. Here’s how:

Weatherization can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal in certain doses. Weatherization crews test furnaces and stoves for gas leaks and install alarms for smoke and carbon monoxide in the home.

Weatherization reduces stress

Making ends meet is stressful. Lowering your energy bill can help. According to a Department of Energy poll, residents who received weatherization services reported sleeping better and demonstrated increased levels of energy.

Weatherization can help your asthma

Asthma is the leading cause for children to miss school. But weatherization improvements like air sealing, insulation, and improved heating and cooling equipment can reduce asthma triggers in the home.

How to apply for Weatherization Assistance

According to the Department of Energy, more than 40 million U.S. families may be eligible for weatherization services nationwide. Energy services are provided by each states’ local weatherization agencies.

If you receive Supplemental Security Income or help to pay your utility bills from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, you are automatically eligible to receive weatherization services. To learn more about the application process and eligibility in your area, contact your state’s administrator. A full listing of state-by-state contact information is available here.

If you don’t qualify for this service, there are many ways you can weatherize your home on your own. Check out these step by step guides to get the job done.

Hope you have a happy, healthy and safe 2018!


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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Power for healthy babies

We had birth plans for each of our two daughters. The plans included some important things like how I wanted to manage the pain and what to do in case of an emergency. But in hindsight, ...

Tagged: Zimbabwe, health, electricity, solar power, solar panel

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Power for healthy babies

Baby boy

When women in rural Zimbabwe pack their hospital bags, it includes candles — those candles can be the difference between a healthy delivery and tragedy.

Key Points

  • Access to electricity can be the difference between life and death.
  • Solar panels are providing power to help improve health care in remote villages.
  • The cost of providing candles for nighttime births was deterring mothers from seeking medical help. 

We had birth plans for each of our two daughters. The plans included some important things like how I wanted to manage the pain and what to do in case of an emergency. But in hindsight, I also included some things that might not have been necessary, like making sure I had cookies and other snacks to offer the nursing staff and our doula. This was actually one of my main concerns during labor, and my husband likes to make fun of me for the fact that I made him go back to the car — between contractions — to fetch the snacks. He almost missed the birth.

Nowhere in the plan was making sure we had electricity so we could turn on the lights and the doctor could see what she was doing. But in other areas of the world, this is a real concern. When women in rural Zimbabwe pack their hospital bags, it includes candles. And those candles can be the difference between a healthy delivery and tragedy.

Many of Zimbabwe’s health clinics lack electricity. As a result, doctors often perform medical procedures by the light of a candle. And you can imagine how tricky it can be to find a vein or sew stitches in those conditions.

What’s even more troubling is that many women don’t even make it to a clinic because they’re deterred by the cost of the candles they have to provide. A candle costs about the same as dinner for the family, so women will wait to go to the clinic until daylight. As a result, many babies are born on the side of the road.

But that is changing. Clinics are getting access to solar panels for power. This power allows them to provide clean water to patients, refrigerate vaccines and use lights for medical care at night. Staff can now see to carry out life-saving procedures, and women are no longer deterred by the cost of a candle.

The panels are part of the Rural Sustainable Energy Development Project in parts of the Gutu district in southern Zimbabwe. The group is working on expanding the project to other villages.


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A.in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

Did you like this article? Here are some other articles that include: Zimbabwe, health, electricity, solar power, solar panel