Happy New Year 2017

Hey readers! Things got a bit out of control the last few months and of course the first thing to go, is your own work. Well, I keep making a promise to myself that I won’t do that in the future but then I keep being “forced” into it. But, we always have a choice and it’s a new year and I’m making more promises to myself! It’s always about priorities.

2016 I made it a point to make my health and well being a major priority. I started daily (5 days a week) yoga in April and never turned back. No matter how busy my day was I stopped and went to yoga class. And you know what happened, it was fine. I still forged ahead in my career and took the much needed hour a day for myself. For a gal with an insanely overactive brain, it was astonishing to me that sometimes I would exit class and think, wow, I only thought about yoga for an entire hour. That was a miracle. A straight up miracle.

In 2016 I also made it a priority to be the healthiest version of myself. I found a functional medicine doctor and embarked on the hardest three months of my life on an insanely strict diet. Jan -March 2016 was full of tears and daily emotional struggles. I was super strict on the diet for 10 months, and the last two months of the year went a little haywire. I’m regrouping and using the knowledge I learned to shape my physical gut health this year.

So, where do I go from here for 2017. Well, I’m continuing the leaps I’ve made in my health and well being, and setting some new goals. Like, back on the drawing board is reading books. Don’t give me recommendations because I have a stack, most I’ve started. It’s just really hard for me to pick up a book and lock the world out. I feel like I could be finding an article for a client, for my class, or… you get the point. It’s not that I don’t know the tremendous value reading a book is for your brain, I do. And it’s what I seek. I just haven’t gotten that priority bumped up to the actual do it stage. I tried leaving my phone out of my bedroom at night and I found myself standing by the charger in the other room. It’s a mental decision to make change happen, and something hasn’t clicked yet.

I’m also going to make sure my blog gets weekly attention and up my own social media presence. I do so much for clients on social media and consulting, I usually am never thinking about using the same info for myself. Well, that needs to end. I’m growing myself online too. Follow me on instagram.com/naimaJ, twitter.com/naimajeannette, and Facebook.com/naimajeannette, snapchat @NaimaJ, and Linked In.

I have been keeping up with my weekly column’s but you just haven’t seen them posted here. Only in the print newspaper and on their website. That’s ok, we’ll skip those and fast forward to my first of the year… about my tortured decision to upgrade my phone again. (Read below)

Cheers to an even better 2017 where we organize our priorities to create the lives we want for ourselves. Live the little things.

Love you all.


2017 Happy New Year

The little one is mad at the big one. Our current lives.

I’m frustrated with Apple. Sounds familiar, I bet. But, maybe it’s not Apple we should be frustrated with. Or maybe it is.

I’ve had an iPhone 6+ for 25.5 months now and at 24 months my phone started having issues. The usual battery going from 70 percent to off in seconds, apps closing unexpectedly and overall just not being responsive to my incessant button tapping! I bought AppleCare, which covers a replacement phone within 24 months to protect my phone from my adventurous life. Well, at just over 24 months my phone shows “no sign of malfunction” and the battery tests great on their diagnostics. Commence an argument with their staff pleading that I’m not lying, and their move to push me into the iPhone 7+.

The issue is environmental. Cobalt is a mineral essential to making the lithium-ion battery that powers your phone, and coltan is a metallic ore that is vital in creating capacitors, the electronic elements that control electric flow inside the circuit board. Both are harvested in the Congo under harsh conditions by people who are not equipped with proper safety protection. According to UNICEF, in 2014 about 40,000 children worked in mines across southern Congo, many of them mining cobalt, making about $1-$2 per day. Coltan is a conflict mineral under U.S. law and cobalt should be on its way.

Harvesting these minerals, especially coltan, is destroying valuable wildlife habitat. The forest is cleared to make mining coltan easier destroying vital habitat for endangered mountain gorillas. In Kahuzi Biega National Park the gorilla population has been cut nearly in half, from 258 to 130 individuals. The U.N. Environment Program reported that the number of eastern lowland gorillas in eight Congo national parks has declined by 90 percent over the past five years.

But, in order to move toward a sustainable future, batteries must improve for phones, vehicles and home solar storage. Will this put more pressure on the environment? Maybe not.

New technology may reduce the weight of the battery and increase the amount of energy stored by 10 times. Lithium-air batteries have the potential to allow an electric car to drive 400 miles on a single charge and maintain a charge in a mobile phone for a week without a recharge. But, there have been issues in stability. Scientific teams from all over the world are pushing this technology to make it available to the public in five-10 years, and one of these teams is in our own backyard.

Kyeongjae Cho, professor of materials science and engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas, recently published his findings in the journal Nature. His team has discovered new electrolyte catalyst materials that can help expand the capacity of lithium-air batteries. This big step should lead to additional advances in battery technology, putting them one step closer to market.

OK, so back to my original conundrum. The battery technology is not there yet, so what do I do? The 7+ battery is estimated to last an hour longer than the 6+ but both are still using a lithium-ion battery. Apple’s current research focuses on elongating battery life by creating less power-hungry screens, lower power consumption chips and wireless charging technologies, but I didn’t see much research in lithion-air or other forward thinking battery technologies.

The best thing we can do, beyond not using a phone at all, is when we are ready to part with a sub par, (essentially not working) phone, recycle it. Phones are either refurbished (can’t they do that to mine and give it right back to me) or broken down to harvest parts. There are issues with electronic recycling as well, and that system is not what it needs to be either, but it’s better than nothing. And as much as I’m frustrated with Apple, they’re doing more than many other companies. In 2015, 93 percent of their energy came from renewable sources, and 99 percent of their packaging paper is recycled or sustainable.

So, next time you see me with a new 7+ (after I’ve won the lottery), ask me about the tortured decision.

As seen in the Katy Trail Weekly.

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