Ready for Good News!

This is my occasional series of good news stories. It’s a look into what the future will be. These stories deal with some of my favorite topics: Clean water, renewable energy, banning plastic bags, and opportunities for girls.

I love New York!

First. whales are coming into New York City for dinner! After working hard to get the Hudson River clean, there is good news. Whales have returned to the New York Harbor for the first time in a century.  Read about it from NPR 

Second, Even though the United States has pulled out of the Paris Agreement, many U.S. Mayors Endorse 100% Renewable Energy Goals, Read it here.

Car of the future!

Third, Electric cars:  Volvo Cars announced all of its new models will be electric or hybrid by 2019. France intends to end sales of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040.  Norway and India will go to all electric cars in the next decade. General Motors is rolling out the Bolt, and Tesla is building a more affordable electric car.  Hopefully, charging stations will catch up to the demand!  Read more at electric.

Fourth, the historical land of windmills is leading the charge in wind energy development. As of January 2017, Holland, the land of windmills, has powered all public transport trains by wind power.  Read about it at Future. 

Fifth, The island country of Australia knows the damage plastic is doing to our oceans. The two biggest supermarket giants, Woolworth and Coles, both announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags over the next twelve months.
Woolworths stated that from July 1 next year, its customers will need to bring their own bags when they go shopping, or purchase re-usable ones in-store. Shoppers in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia will be affected by the ban.
South Australian, Northern Territory and Tasmanian governments have already implemented state-wide plastic bag bans, and a ban in Queensland will come into effect next year. Read at plastic bags

Finally, a very happy story, the girls robotics team from Afghanistan was allowed to come into the United States to compete in robotics. Read at Afghan girls.

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Lake Superior Day

Keep Lake Superior Beautiful!

Lake Superior is an amazing beautiful lake. It is the largest and coldest of the Great Lakes.

Today is a typical sunny summer Lake Superior Day with cool winds blowing across the lake from the Northeast.   I am celebrating Lake Superior Day by picking up trash along the roadside, not driving and loving the birds, plants and butterflies that are part of the big lake’s habitat. The eagles, sand-hill cranes, humming birds, red-starts, and white-throated sparrows are a total joy. This morning we saw lots of skippers, common wood-nymphs and white admirals.

The below ideas for protecting our lakes is from the Superiorforum.org , Sigurd Olson Institute, Northland college, and the EPA, and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:
1 .Be conservative with your water use.
2. Recycle as much as you can with the 4 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and repair. And….NEVER burn trash.
3. Curb Yard Pollution. Put your lawn on a chemical-free diet!!
4. Stop aquatic invasives by cleaning plants and animals off your boat.
5. Plant native plants, and reduce turf grass.
6. Plant native trees According to Audubon, oak trees are the best for attracting insects and birds.
7. Install a rain barrel
8. Create an energy-efficient home.
9. Bring hazardous waste to waste collection sites.
10. Love our lakes!

I would add a few more:

  1. Plastics have become a big problem for our waterways.  Reduce plastic use and be sure any plastic-use is recycled. Also remember to say, “No straw please!”
  2. Micro-fibers in our clothes also are polluting our waterways. As of yet there isn’t a good solution. Read about micro-fibers here.
  3. Always pick up litter, and recycle it if possible.

NASA picture of Lake Superior

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What causes all that algae?

The substances that turn our lakes and rivers green each summer come from our lawns and yards. We think of leaves as waste, but to a lake they are food. The algae in lakes love leaves and fertilizers, and when we feed lakes too many chemicals and leaves, algal blooms turn our lakes and rivers green and smelly. Protecting water is everyone’s job What can you do? Simple–remember the land/water connection! What we do to the land we do to the water. Reduce chemicals, clean your streets when the leaves fall from the trees, and when you mow the grass clean your streets and sidewalks. Keep our lakes and rivers clean.

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It’s A Beautiful World!

Find beauty everyday!

“The world around us,” she says, “we take it for granted. But if we pause a moment and look around, there’s so much beauty right in our own backyard. I want people to see that. I want people to realize this is not an ugly world.” Ellen Lentsch

This is an amazing story of a woman who climbed up the Red Wing, Minnesota bluffs, overlooking the Mississippi River, to take a sunrise picture everyday of 2016.  Read the entire story and see her pictures here 

 

My tribute to a strong woman who accomplished an amazing goal through a year of Minnesota weather and beauty.

“My vision is to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature” Jane Goodall

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Celebrate Climatarian Week!

Bulk shopping reduces food and packaging waste

What is a climatarian?  A climatarian considers the foot-print they are making when they make their purchases. The idea is to buy local and reduce beef and dairy.

My suggestions on being a Climatarian:

* Eliminate beef, and reduce dairy consumption
* Walk or take public transport to purchase groceries.
 *Participate in Meatless Monday, and go meatless often.

Use real dishes

*Buy in bulk and refill your own bottles.
 *Work to reduce all food waste and compost any food waste you have.
 *Choose minimal packaging, and recycle as much as possible.
 *Use real dishes!
* I love “clean out” the refrigerator stir fry or soup.
*Shop food co-ops, farmer’s markets and eat locally grown foods, and grow your own food.

 

 

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Justice For All

Life Liberty and Happiness

Fourth of July Flowers

These words from the Declaration of Independence which declared our independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. Today is the USA’s 241st birthday.

It appears to me that more people than usual are thinking about what it means to be an American on this 4th of July holiday.  We grieve a lack of leadership, but  it is the people who have always made the U.S. great and we must have hope for the future!

What can you do?

On This 4th of July celebrate what is great about our country: Celebrate our beautiful landscapes and parks, celebrate our diversity and our right to speak out. Celebrate that we have a free press working hard to get us the real news, and find the truth.

Democracy is hard work and it is messy. As Americans I hope we will continue to speak out honestly, strive for truth, work for justice, and act peacefully. Continue to March, call your elected officials on issues (local, state and national), write letters to newspapers and officials, Carry signs, wear bold t-shirts, ask questions, follow the rules(we are a nation of laws), and pursue the common good for all! It is our children’s destiny. Wishing you happiness and justice on this 4th!

See Neil Young’s video below:

https://www.ecowatch.com/neil-young-children-of-destiny-2452520963.html

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Chemical Weapons

We have an administration in this country that has shown it doesn’t care about the health of the American people.  It is working hard to take away health care from our nation’s most vulnerable, allows industry to pollute our precious air and water, and has left the Paris Agreement which is a teamwork agreement with 175 other countries to work on climate change.  But when this administration  speaks out, it speaks out about the Syrian people which they have banned from entering The United States?  All this is impossible to make sense of, but the below letter to the editor had a lot to say:

CHEMICAL WEAPONS from Startribune.com

There are two kinds: Syria’s, and those sprayed on food

The hypocritical attitudes of the current administration in Washington were clearly depicted on Page A4 of Wednesday’s Star Tribune with the juxtaposition of two news stories.

One article notes the White House’s warning that the Syrian regime would “pay a heavy price” if it used chemical weapons against its own people. The next article describes the EPA’s reversal of the ban on spraying chlorpyrifos on food in our country.

The EPA’s own studies have proved that chlorpyrifos harms children’s brains and that pregnant mothers “ingesting even minuscule amounts” can interfere with babies’ brain development. Is there a connection between this chemical and the 78 percent rise in autism in the last decade?

Why would EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt side with Dow Chemical rather than the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose 66,000 members are deeply alarmed with the decision? Could it be that the $13.6 million Dow spent lobbying last year or the $1 million donated to President Donald Trump’s inaugural influenced Pruitt’s decision?

The big question to be answered: Why is the White House outraged by the Syrian children being sprayed with chemicals while allowing chemicals to harm American children? Just whom is the Environmental Protection Agency protecting?

Kathleen Ziegler, Lino Lakes

Information from Earth Justice on chlorpyrifos

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