There’s just something about being outside that seems to lift your mood and bring on the happy. Happy May!!
I hope you can spend lots of hours outside this May. Clean air is crucial to being outside! What can you do to ensure our air is clean?
Native plants bring birds butterflies and bees into your yard. They also need no chemicals, and create cleaner air!
Hooray for May. It has been a long snowy winter where I live. This May get outside to experience the beauty of nature. Time outside demands fresh air. It’s a big frustration for me when I go outside, and someone is using a smelly lawn mower/leaf blower, or the airplanes overhead are spewing bad air Why people need to idle their engines as they read their phones is a mystery to me? Please turn your engine off. **This May spend time outside and work for clean air! There’s just something about being outside that seems to lift your mood and bring on the happy.
I have just been out walking along a river near my house. It was so quiet, the baby leaves are just popping on the trees. Manny rich colors, and wow, beautiful wildflowers appearing! I saw my first bull snake. Pay attention and nature will award you!
-Work for clean air. Never idle your car engine, don’t use your power lawn mower or leaf blower, and please avoid outdoor fires. All these polluting activities contribute to our climate crisis. Every action matters!
-Two or more days a week leave your car in the garage.
-Take a breath, clean air! Thank you.
-Clean air is an environmental justice issue. Read about it here. Never support the burning of garbage or chemical recycling.***
-Participate in No Mow May https://www.ecowatch.com/no-mow-may-uk.html No Mow May is under way! #NoMowMay encourages people to resist the call of the lawn mower and leave lawns untouched until the end of May for the benefit of: pollinators, biodiversity and clean air!
-Enjoy a peaceful bike ride away from traffic!
**Idling your car wastes fuel, money, and causes air pollution and health problems. It is better to turn off the ignition if waiting more than 10 seconds, as restarting the car does not use more gas than idling.
***What is chemical recycling? The process primarily involves converting plastic into fuel that is then incinerated. Far from actual recycling, it’s really just an expensive and roundabout way of burning fossil fuels. The chemicals industry is lobbying hard to get two types of these plastic-to-fuel incinerators — pyrolysis and gasification — exempt from regulations under the Clean Air Act.
The Actions For Happiness groups has a calendar of activities to help make May meaningful and kinder!
This week, please become conscious of buying less and using less plastic. Get outside and notice the beauty of spring. I saw my first butterflies, and the migrating birds are on their way! Happy Earth Day!
April 7, 2023 ̶ World Health Day ̶ the World Health Organization will observe its 75th anniversary.
On World Health Day reduce your stress, go for a walk, eat healthy, reduce your plastic exposure, and be kind!
In 1948, countries of the world came together and founded WHO (World Health Organization) to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being.
This month calendar has lots of ideas to be healthy and active. Add picking up litter and being kind to your daily activities.
Letter to the Startribune editorial page: While it is exciting that spring is coming, now is the also the time we see all the trash that has been snow-covered during our long winter. In this state of 10,000 lakes and many beautiful rivers, too much of this trash will end up polluting our waters if not cleaned up. I urge all reading this to do your part, and encourage others, too, to pick up as much trash as you are willing and able. If you are a homeowner, perhaps you can start with the trash in the street in front of your house. Perhaps carry a bag while walking and pick some up while exercising. Anything is a start and appreciated. Dave Councilman, St. Louis Park
What are you looking forward to this April? Enjoy, and make it worthwhile!
Refill your own containers in the bulk section of food co-ops.
Reduce your plastic consumption!
“Zero-waste initiatives can foster sound waste management and minimize and prevent waste. This contributes to reducing pollution, mitigating the climate crisis, conserving biodiversity, enhancing food security and improving human health. The International Day of Zero Waste aims to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns and raise awareness about how zero-waste initiatives contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Humanity generates an estimated 2.24 billion tons of municipal solid waste annually, of which only 55 per cent is managed in controlled facilities. By 2050, this could rise to 3.88 billion tons per year. The waste sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in urban settings and biodiversity loss. Around 931 million tons of food is wasted each year, and up to 37 million tons of plastic waste is expected to enter the ocean annually by 2040.
The United Nations General Assembly formally recognized the importance of zero-waste initiatives and proclaimed 30 March as the International Day of Zero Waste, to be observed annually beginning in 2023.
Zero-waste initiatives can foster sound waste management and minimize and prevent waste. This contributes to reducing pollution, mitigating the climate crisis, conserving biodiversity, enhancing food security and improving human health.
The United Nations Environment Programme and UN-Habitat will facilitate the observance of the Day. All Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and relevant stakeholders are encouraged to implement zero-waste initiatives at local, regional, subnational and national levels.” The United Nations
Every Action Matters! Treat everyone with respect.
Fill the world with positive energy, listen intensely and remember to smile!
There is a solution to gun violence, at least some of it, but Americans are incapable of electing leaders with good sense, and gun violence in America is rampant. Death by guns has become the number one killer of America’s children and teens. Why do we vote from fear rather than truth and understanding?
“It’s time for America to prioritize the safety and well-being of its citizens over corporate interests and the opportunism of politicians.”
A hundred years from now, historians will study the first decades of this century and shake their heads in disbelief about this age of folly. They will wonder why problems that caused unmeasurable harm to so many people were discussed as if there was no readily available solution.
One of these problems is school shootings.
While all western countries have adopted gun control laws that have proved exceptionally effective in reducing mass shootings, the U.S. can’t solve its gun pandemic. The latest addition to America’s heavy book of gun misery and shame was just hours ago when a woman entered a Christian school in Nashville and fatally shot three children and three staff members. Then the police fatally shot her.
End of story.
Not for the family members; think of the lifelong trauma for the parents of these kids. And think of the lives not lived, playing, studying, loving, and caring. But thoughts don’t help, and prayers have proven to be just as useless in preventing the next shooting as the politicians that refuse to take action on gun control.
In a democracy, people vote for politicians that will govern the country for them. However, if corporate greed has taken over democracy, lives become the currency to pay for the higher shareholder value of gun factories. Therefore, gun control in America is about the moral values of politicians.
The only country in the world with more guns than people
The U.S. has more guns than people, with 121 guns for each hundred Americans, which was still 88 in 2011. It puts America at the top position on the world ranking of gun ownership. The runner-up is Yemen, with 53 percent. It’s lonely at the top.
And the numbers of mass shootings in the U.S. are on the rise, increasing from 273 in 2014 to 647 last year. Sadly, this means you will forget about today’s mass shooting in Nashville. Because who can remember more than 600 names of towns where mass shootings occur yearly in the U.S.?
I’m a Dutchman, and I can quickly sum up all the city names where we ever had a mass shooting in the Netherlands in my lifetime; it’s not difficult to remember two city names.
We have more bicycles than people, while the U.S. has more guns than inhabitants. Bikes are good for your health, and people who cycle to work are happy. But the positive effect of firearms on health remains to be proven, nor do guns seem to make people particularly happy.
And a few more statistics: in the U.S., 79 percent of homicides are gun-related killings; in the U.K., that is four percent. Every half hour, an American is fatally shot.
An assault weapons ban
While I type these numbers, I check for the latest updates. No surprises here; politicians, gun lobbyists, and journalists all have their playbooks ready. So I read about useless details and know now what door the shooter used to get into the school (lesson learned: all schools lock your side door). President Biden, for decades already on the right (meaning left) side of gun history, calls on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban. Parents are interviewed, describing the horror, as if I need to be convinced. I read that the fire department created a reunification area, and the church opened its doors. For thoughts. And for prayers, of course.
Let’s pray for politicians who actually do what they are supposed to do; to lead, to represent the will of the overwhelming majority (57%) who want stricter gun laws. As a politician, you’re not supposed to get rich; you’re asked by your people to serve. You’re also not supposed to be the voice of the 10% of the voters who want less strict gun laws unless you represent that minority.
Perhaps it is time to add a name and a picture to this story. The Republican Andrew Ogles represents the Nashville district where the latest school shooting occurred. He reacted to the shooting by saying he was “utterly heartbroken” by the shooting.
Not so fast: this is the 2021 Christmas card of Ogles and his happy family, showing a true Christian spirit.
Fast forward to 2123, when those historians of the future study the news clippings of March 27, 2023. Again, they wearily shake their heads. They conclude that a massive structural failure in American politics allowed the killing of its people to go on. At the same time, there was no other western country with a killing score that even remotely came near to the nearly two mass shootings per day record of the U.S.
And the future historians will study the wisdom of Rep. Ogles who expressed today: “We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost”.
It’s time for America to prioritize the safety and well-being of its citizens over corporate interests and the opportunism of politicians.
On this International Day of Happiness, practice compassion, kindness and empathy and strive to make this planet a better place where all can live happily. Please bring Joy to the People around you and have fun!
My ideas to have a happier day:
!. Smile and be kind
2. Appreciate the nature around you.
3. Look at people and listen deeply.
4. Take a break from your phone
5. Go for an outdoor walk
6.Take a deep breath
7. Help another person and give them a big hug.
8. Eat only healthy food
9. Do something good for the Earth, pick up litter, buy nothing, no to plastic, plant-based eating, don’t waste food.
Below is from the International Day of Happiness website:
On this International Day of Happiness 2023, let us remind ourselves and those around us that although it is difficult to be happy in testing times, it is also the only thing that helps us get through the tough times.
This year, you can do your bit by spreading happiness among your social circles. Even simple acts that don’t require much effort, too, stand the potential of bringing great joy to people around us.
Here is what you can do:
1. Spend time doing something you love
2. Do something nice for someone
3. Spend time with your loved ones
4. Do something that will make you feel healthy like working out, eating clean or quitting smoking
5. Help needy individuals by either giving them food or donating to them something you don’t use anymore.
On this International Day of Happiness, practice compassion, kindness and empathy and strive to make this planet a better place where all can live happily.
People have plastic trashed the world’s oceans. Our oceans hold 21,000 pieces of plastic for each person on Earth! That is 170 trillion pieces of ocean plastic, unfortunately there is probably much more.
Creek near my home drains into the Mississippi River, and then into the Gulf of Mexico.
I live in the middle of the United States about as far away from an ocean as possible yet the plastic from my neighborhood can easily reach the Gulf of Mexico. A creek 5 blocks from my house runs into the Mississippi River which runs into the world’s oceans. A plastic bottle from Minneapolis finds an easy, but long journey into our oceans. Everywhere on Earth there are rivers and streams carrying plastic trash. Read more at: Oceans littered with 171 trillion plastic pieces – BBC News
These rivers carrying plastic and other trash drain into the Gulf of Mexico.
START NOW! Wherever you live, the easiest and most direct way that you can get started is by reducing your own use of single-use plastics. Single-use plastics include plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-out containers, and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded.