Thriving in the Digital Age: The Benefits of Positive Technology Engagement

Daily writing prompt
How has technology changed your job?

I volunteer, and this involves helping at a group for those with dementia, and other memory issues. We use all sorts of things to help bring memories to life, and as props when we reminisce.


One big thing that makes a difference is being able to add the modern technology available, alongside day to day items such as newspapers, magazines, board games, exercises, and singing etc….

An example of a piece of technology we use for group interaction is what’s known as ‘the magic table’. Think of a giant screen which is interactive like a touchscreen tablet would be, but it’s actually images projected onto a table top, or the floor. The Magic table has all sorts of different activities, from playing football, adding splashes of colour to a blank canvas (the table top), and also other interactive puzzles and games. These are aimed at different levels of ability and concentration.

The Magic Table is a versatile tool that can be utilised both individually and in group settings. Its unique design promotes social interaction, encourages physical movement, and fosters moments of joy and happiness. The Magic Table is an excellent resource for enhancing overall well-being and quality of life.

Photo by Matthias Zomer on

Accessible play for all.


Play is an essential part of childhood, and every child deserves access to it. Unfortunately, many playgrounds and outdoor activities are not designed with accessibility in mind, leaving children with disabilities or impairments unable to participate fully. This lack of inclusivity can cause feelings of exclusion and isolation in children, which can have long-term consequences on their mental health.

The Importance of Accessible Play

Play is crucial for a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development. It helps them learn important skills such as problem-solving, communication, creativity, and teamwork. Play also promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles. However, many children with disabilities or impairments face barriers when it comes to accessing play.

These websites have some great ideas, and advice.

Imagination & Creative Fingers.


Playdough is an exceptional tool for children to unleash their creativity, enhance their motor skills, and have a blast while exercising their imagination. As the holidays are fast approaching, why not stock up on this versatile and entertaining play material?

Not only does playdough provide endless hours of fun, but it also offers numerous benefits for children’s development. Through manipulating the dough, children can improve their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. Additionally, playdough encourages imaginative play, allowing children to explore their creativity and express themselves freely.

So, whether you’re a parent, teacher, or caregiver, consider adding playdough to your collection of educational toys. It’s an affordable and effective way to promote children’s growth and development while providing them with a fun and engaging activity. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to give the gift of playdough this holiday season!

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

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Learning to say ‘no’.

How often do you say “no” to things that would interfere with your goals?


How often do you turn down opportunities that could impede your progress towards achieving your goals? Personally, I am still working on mastering this skill and am committed to improving it. I think self-doubt is one big part of this issue, and a get out clause can be an excuse to avoid that risk of failure.

The word 'no' written in sand with waves lapping along towards it.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

A secret ability

What’s a secret skill or ability you have or wish you had?


A secret ability that I’d like to have, would be to be able to instantly transport myself to where I want instantly. This would make an incredible difference to my life. No more relying on others to drive me, or worrying about issues with public transport, or stairs, etc….. I’d just instantly get to where I wanted to go.

I mean, just imagine how much battery using I’d save on my wheelchair! I’d have plenty of it for pottering about the house, walking the dog, and exploring new places once I have teleported to my desired location.

No more worries if I forget to take something with me. I can just zip zap back and get it quickly.

It wouldn’t matter if I wanted to go somewhere hours away, I’d just pop there for the day and no long journey. No hanging around waiting for the next bus or train, no ‘standing’ out in the rain.

No accessible loo? I’d just teleport to where I knew there was one available. Obviously I wouldn’t teleport right into the cubicle, if someone was already in there I wouldn’t know quite what to do!!

Yes, I could have wished for the ability to walk, but hey, this sounds much more exciting after all.

Sipping Away: A Guide to Different Kinds of Drinking Straws

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In recent years, there has been a push to reduce single-use plastics and waste, and one of the items targeted has been the ubiquitous plastic drinking straw. However, the use of paper straws as an alternative has faced criticism for being less durable and less practical than plastic. Thankfully, many companies and individuals are searching for alternatives to paper straws that meet the same environmental standards without sacrificing convenience. In this article, we will explore various alternatives to paper straws, examining their benefits and drawbacks, so that you can determine which option is the best fit for you.

Introduction to the Problem with Paper Straws

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to eliminate the use of single-use plastic items, including straws. While paper straws are often touted as a more environmentally-friendly alternative, they are not without their own drawbacks. In this article, we explore alternatives to paper straws.

Why Paper Straws are a Problem

While paper straws are biodegradable and compostable, they are not as durable as traditional plastic straws. As a result, paper straws can quickly become soggy and unusable, leading to the need for more straws. This increased demand for paper straws can lead to deforestation, as trees are cut down to produce the paper.

The Environmental Impact of Paper Straws


In addition to the potential for deforestation, the production of paper straws also requires significant amounts of water and energy. Furthermore, if paper straws are not properly disposed of or composted, they can still end up in landfills or oceans, contributing to environmental pollution.

Reusable Straw Options

One way to eliminate the need for single-use straws altogether is to invest in reusable straws. Here are some options:

Metal Straws

Metal straws are durable and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are also easy to clean and can be reused indefinitely.

Glass Straws

Glass straws are another durable option that are easy to clean and come in a variety of patterns and colors.

Silicon Straws

Silicon straws are flexible, making them a good option for children or people with disabilities. They are also easy to clean and can be reused indefinitely. These are the type I use myself

Bamboo Straws

Bamboo straws are biodegradable and compostable, making them a good eco-friendly option. They are also durable and can be reused multiple times.

Stainless Steel Straws

Stainless steel straws are durable and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are also easy to clean and can be reused indefinitely.


Edible Straw Alternatives

For those who prefer a more unconventional option, here are some edible straw alternatives:

Pasta Straws

Pasta straws are made from wheat and are biodegradable and compostable. They are also a fun alternative that can add a unique touch to drinks.

Rice Straws

Rice straws are edible and biodegradable. They are also a popular option in Asia and are becoming more widely available.

Seaweed Straws

Seaweed straws are edible and biodegradable, and can add a unique taste to drinks.

Candy Straws

Candy straws are a fun and edible alternative to traditional straws. They come in a variety of flavors and are sure to add some sweetness to any drink.

Chocolate Straws

Chocolate straws are another fun and edible alternative. They can be used to add some sweetness to hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate.

Bamboo and Other Sustainable Alternatives

In addition to bamboo straws, there are other sustainable alternatives to paper straws. Here are a few:

Straws Made from Wheat Stalks

Straws made from wheat stalks are biodegradable and compostable, and require fewer resources to produce than paper straws.

Vegetable-Based Straws

Vegetable-based straws, made from materials like potato starch, are biodegradable and compostable, and are a good option for those with corn allergies.

Palm Leaf Straws

Palm leaf straws are another biodegradable and compostable option, made from the fallen leaves of the areca palm tree.

Corn Husk Straws

Corn husk straws are made from the husks of corn, and are biodegradable and compostable. They are a good option for those looking for a more sustainable alternative to paper straws.

Metal and Glass Straws

If you’re looking for a reusable option that can last for years, metal and glass straws are a great choice. Not only do they eliminate the need for disposable straws, but they also add a touch of elegance to your beverage experience.

The Benefits of Metal and Glass Straws

Metal straws are durable, lightweight, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be made from stainless steel, titanium, or even bamboo. Glass straws are another option, and they are perfect for those who want to see their drink as they sip. Both metal and glass straws are easy to clean and maintain, and they come in handy carrying cases for on-the-go use.

Cleaning and Care for Metal and Glass Straws


Cleaning metal and glass straws is easy, and can typically be done by rinsing with warm water and soap. For tougher stains and build-up, a pipe cleaner or specialized straw brush can be used. It’s important to properly dry the straws before storing them to prevent bacteria growth. Metal straws can also be cleaned in a dishwasher, while glass straws should be hand-washed.

Silicon and Rubber Straws

For those who prefer a softer touch, silicone and rubber straws are an ideal alternative to paper straws. They are flexible, bendable, and come in a variety of colors and sizes.

The Benefits of Silicon and Rubber Straws

Silicone and rubber straws are perfect for those who prefer a softer and more comfortable experience when sipping drinks. They are also easy to clean and can be cut to fit different size cups and tumblers. Additionally, they are great for people with disabilities or medical conditions that make it difficult to use harder straws.

Cleaning and Care for Silicon and Rubber Straws

Silicone and rubber straws can be cleaned in a similar way to metal and glass straws. They can be rinsed with soap and warm water, and a specialized straw brush can be used for tough stains. They can also be sterilized in boiling water or a dishwasher.

Innovation in the Market: Straws Made from By-Products

As the demand for eco-friendly products grows, companies are finding innovative ways to produce sustainable straws. Straws made from by-products like wheat, rice, and sugar cane offer a unique and effective alternative to paper straws.

Wheat and Rice Straw Options

Wheat and rice straws are made from the stalks of the respective grains, which are left over from harvest. These straws are biodegradable and can be used for hot or cold drinks.

Sugar Cane Straws


Sugar cane straws are made from the fibrous stalks of sugar cane plants. They are sturdy, biodegradable, and can handle both hot and cold drinks. These straws are a great choice for those looking for a sustainable option that is not only eco-friendly but also supports farmers.

Best Practices for Choosing an Alternative to Paper Straws

When choosing an alternative to paper straws, there are a few key factors to consider.

Evaluating Environmental Impact

It’s important to look at the environmental impact of the straw you’re choosing. Opt for straws that are biodegradable, reusable, or made from sustainable materials.

Choosing a Straw that Fits Your Lifestyle

Consider your lifestyle and habits when choosing a straw. If you’re always on-the-go, look for straws that come with a carrying case. If you’re looking for a softer touch, silicone or rubber straws may be a better option than metal or glass.

Maintaining Your Alternative Straw


To keep your alternative straw clean and hygienic, make sure to clean it thoroughly after each use. Store it in a safe and dry place to prevent bacteria growth, and replace it if it begins to show signs of wear or damage. With proper care, your alternative straw can last for years and significantly reduce your environmental impact.While paper straws may have been a step in the right direction, there are now many alternatives available that are more durable, practical, and environmentally friendly. Whether it’s a metal, glass, or bamboo straw or an edible straw made from pasta or seaweed, there’s bound to be an option that works for you. So, the next time you reach for a drink, consider ditching the paper straw and trying out one of these alternatives instead. Your taste buds – and the environment – will thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are metal straws safe?

Yes! Metal straws are safe to use and have been used as an alternative to plastic straws for some time. However, it’s important to note that metal straws can conduct heat, so it’s recommended you don’t use them with hot beverages.

Can edible straws be reused?

No, edible straws are meant to be consumed after use and aren’t reusable. However, they’re a great alternative for those who are looking for a more eco-friendly option.

Are sustainable straws more expensive than paper straws?

In some cases, yes. However, the price varies depending on the material and brand. While some alternatives may be more expensive up front, they can be reused and last longer, making them more cost-effective in the long run.

What’s the best way to clean and care for reusable straws?

Photo by Sarah Chai on

Most reusable straws can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a straw brush. However, some materials (like bamboo) require more gentle care. It’s important to follow the care instructions for your specific straw to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

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Uncovering the Mystery: Could the Search for Maddie Finally be Over?

Just been reading an article about someone who believes she is the missing Maddie McCann.

I’m doubtful after all this time, but wouldn’t it be incredible if she was.

The thing is though, even if she is she’ll be like a stranger to the family now after all these years.

We’ll just have to wait for the DNA results. Here’s a link to the article so you can read it for yourselves

I can remember it being all over the news when Maddie vanished all those years ago, and have followed the story since. Let’s keep hoping for a miracle.

Not all balls are equal.

Trust me on this, I have tried many different balls.

I’ve spent fortunes on finding an acceptable ball of the right weight and consistency.

After trying several different makes, the result is in. The orange and blue chuckit balls win!!! Sadly for me they are also one of the more expensive brands, but they last extremely well so worth it in the long term.

Of course, I’m talking about dogs toys. What did you think?!

dog with ball in it's mouth.
Photo by Blue Bird on

Self-care, skin care.

Every morning, I rely on Garnier Micellar Rose Cleansing Water to enhance the look and feel of my skin. This 700ml bottle of Glow Boosting Cleanser & Makeup Remover is specially formulated for dull skin and has been recognized by the British Skin Foundation. For an eco-friendly option, I pair it with reusable Micellar Eco Pads. Say goodbye to lacklustre skin and hello to a radiant complexion with Garnier Micellar Rose Cleansing Water.

I love the fact it is a quick and easy addition to my daily routine, no need to rinse it off afterwards. Just use it and go.

You can purchase it here on Amazon

A rose. Photo by Michelle Leman on

This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link, I may earn a small amount if you decide to purchase this item,

The Erosion of Pedestrian Space: The Impacts of Pavement Parking.

The act of parking on the pavement obstructs the path of pedestrians, making it difficult for them to navigate through the area. This can be particularly challenging for those with mobility issues, who require a clear and accessible pathway to move around. Parents with young children in strollers also face difficulties as they have to navigate around parked cars, which can be a daunting task.

Moreover, pavement parking can lead to missed appointments, as individuals may find it challenging to reach their destination on time. This can be especially problematic for those who rely on public transportation, as they may have to walk longer distances to reach their destination.

In addition to missed appointments, pavement parking can also lead to social isolation. Individuals who face difficulties navigating through the area may avoid going out altogether, leading to a lack of social interaction and a sense of isolation.

In conclusion, pavement parking is a significant issue that affects the mobility and well-being of many individuals. It is crucial to raise awareness about this issue and take steps to ensure that our streets are accessible to all.