Simple things You can Do

Find a place to recycle your bottles, cans and paper.
Say “No” to plastic bags!
Bring you own shopping bag

We now have plastic in our water and in the fish we eat. Do we really want to put plastic fibers into our bodies every time we eat and drink?

I have three simple thoughts about litter and recycling today: First, countries that have less plastic have less litter. Second and third, if everyone would recycle more, and change the plastic bag habit, it would make a big difference on our planet.

Here is an interesting plastic comparison for you.  This is based on observation during the past month while I have been travelling through Central Asia and Iran. Central Asia uses very little plastic except for black plastic bags for purchases and plastic bottles for soda.  Iran by contrast uses lots of plastic. Beside plastic bottles, restaurant food, hotel towels, and many things that don’t need to be, are wrapped in plastic. Plastic cups and straws are used in Iran, but I saw none in Central Asia. Where would you guess there is a terrible litter problem? The contrast was enormous.  I brought Iranian plastic home to recycle.

Governments clearly need to become aware of the problem, and businesses like Coca Cola need to take more responsibility for the plastic they produce.

While I was thinking about this I came across an excellent essay by ECOwatch with great suggestions for everyone (see below) But keep it simple and by recycling and reducing  plastic bags you can make a big difference on our earth!

From Ecowatch:

  • Complain to retailers. Pressure retailers to do away with over-packaging.
  • Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
  • Use natural clothing fiber rather than synthetic clothing, as synthetic cloth releases plastic fiber in every wash cycle.
  • Choose to reuse. Neither plastic shopping bags nor plastic water bottles can be easily recycled.
  • Deposit return schemes are highly effective ways to reduce plastic bottle waste. In Germany, where a bottle-return program is in place, nearly 98 percent of plastic bottles are returned.
  • Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics.
  • Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
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Too Much Water, Too Much Sediment

Lake Superior and all lakes are precious, protect them!

This summer I wished I could have given some of our rain to drought stricken North or South Dakota. Everyday on Lake Superior seemed to sprout a rain shower.  When I read the water quality of Lake Superior wasn’t superior to other Great Lakes anymore, my first thought was of this summer’s rain. Because of the rainy summer, the lake level became very high, and this high water caused some of the soft lake banks to erode into the lake causing lake sediment.  The streams running into the lake bring more sediment into the lake.

An unusual fact about Lake Superior: Many streams and rivers drain into the big lake, but only one river drains out of the lake, the St. Mary’s River, and that is regulated at Sault Ste. Marie. I know the water that flows out through the St. Mary’s River is complicated with many factors, but releasing more water from the lake could probably help water quality of Lake Superior. Read at St. Mary’s River.

We can all do better to protect the water quality this magnificent lake, and other lakes also.

Buffer strips along lakes protect water quality.

Slowing down the water flow can help. Buffer strips of deep-rooted plants along streams and along the lake can reduce sediment run-off, and putting in rain gardens and rain barrels can also slow the water.

The below ideas for protecting our lakes is from the Superiorforum.org , Sigurd Olson Institute, Northland college, 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.

The water we have on earth is the only water we will ever have, we must take care of it!

Do Something Nice Day!

One smile makes lots of smiles…go on smile!

October 5 is the national day to do something nice, and after weeks of tragedy and deaths from gun violence and hurricane suffering we need a break. So today get out and smile, be pleasant to everyone you see!
Do something nice for the earth also. Avoid plastic, pick up trash, buy organic, go meatless, leave your car at home, and walk or take the bus. Do something Nice!

Justice for All

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Does this give some the right to treat others without justice?

The United States was founded on rebellion. Rebellion is what created the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. This week I have been to Washington D. C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore visiting historical sites. The United States Capitol was in Philadelphia the first ten years, the 1790s, of its existence while the Washington, D. C. Capitol was being built.  According to the park ranger, protests were a constant thing.  Protesting for the right of women to vote, and protests to end slavery were often at Independence Hall, where at that time the capital was located. The protesters felt the new government was unjust to exclude women and allow slavery.

Independence Hall had many protests at the beginning of the U.S. government.

Now in 2017 we have athletes protesting police violence towards black men. Many feel the behavior of law enforcement toward black people is not acceptable. This is a way athletes can express their opinions to many people.  Unfortunately, in denial of this injustice some have changed the meaning of these protests to be about protesting against the flag and military.

We can’t tell others how they should feel, or what they should think, and we don’t all think and feel alike. In the 1790 some felt the new United States government was unjust. The same is true today, not everyone feels they are treated equally and with justice! Are their complaints justified?  Is there equal treatment for all?  Do we all have the same liberties and rights? What do you think?

 

International Day of Non-Violence

Hello to the United States from a girl I met in Taiwan

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history!” Gandhi

Everyday the world faces tragedy, but we must continue to work together to create a world where non-violence is cool!

The below editorial was printed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: Six Steps to Make America more Civil, and a little bit greater:

 

1. Become more aware of others

Give more hugs!

2. Do a good deed everyday

3. Clean up your language

4. Give others the benefit of the doubt.

5. Change the world right where you are.

6. Leave your surroundings better than you found them! Read the entire article here.

Even if you can do only two from above, you can make a difference and be happier!

Happy Autumn!

Thoughts for the first day of fall on Lake Superior:

Bees love the fall asters

Crickets sing, eagles whistle, the wind howls and pounds waves against the sandstone bank.
The red tips of the maples, the blooming asters, and the shortening days say one thing, summer has turned to fall!

Summer’s End
By Judith Viorst

One by one the petals drop
There’s nothing that can make them stop.
You cannot beg a rose to stay.
Why does it have to be that way?

There is an unusual explosion of painted ladies this fall

The butterflies I used to chase
Have gone off to some other place.
I don’t know where. I only know
I wish they didn’t have to go, and all the shiny afternoons
So full of birds and sun are done. I do not want them done!

The sun sets on summer 2017, Lake Superior

Together for Peace

2017 Peace Day Theme: Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
#jointogether

Peace is a goal to which we strive, a state of existence that we want to live in, a way of acting and a feeling of respect.  When we work to live peacefully with others it shows the concern and love we express for them.  In some cultures, people greet one another by using the word “peace” in their greetings, “peace be to you.”  Native Americans when they met with people from another tribe, or when “foreigners” came to them respectfully, the “peace pipe” was shared among those assembled.  From early times, cultures have recognized symbols for peace. Voices Education

Wishing kindness on our earth

Today, do something kind for our earth!

Brothers and sisters all are we
Let me walk with my brother and sister
In perfect harmony !