My Plastic Free Day

reusable containers
With some planning you too can have a plastic-free day!

Join me for a plastic-free day. Reducing single-use plastic consumption is an important way we can make a positive difference for our earth. Start with one plastic-free day a week to change the way we live our lives. Join me for  a plastic-free day

With a little planning and organization the night before you can have a plastic free day.

First pack your lunch in a reusable plastic-free container, and bring your reusable cup and utensils.

bulk produce
Avoid plastic, purchase produce in bulk without plastic

Next bring your reusable shopping bags to shop for dinner. Making a sheet pan dinner is easier than take-out. Here is a list of sheet pan dinners to last you almost a month. Purchase produce items without plastic wrap and plastic bags. Choose a new grocery store if yours doesn’t offer bulk produce of carrots, onions, potatoes, apples and broccoli. For a protein source visit the meat counter to avoid plastic wrap and Styrofoam trays. Eggs can be purchased plastic-free.  Here is a sheet pan dinner using a can of garbanzo beans, and vegetarian sheet pan dinners here.

Why is it important we avoid plastic? Just a 9% of the single-use plastic in the United States is recycled. Plastic breaks into tiny particles, and is eaten by fish, turtles and other marine life. Plastic is made to last, and will stay on Earth hundred of years and maybe forever. I can’t imagine the future of our Earth if we don’t contain this harmful monster.

Less Waste, More Taste: 10 Mason Jar Recipes

Here are 10 plastic items you can easily give up.

 

Climate Change is Affecting the Power Grid

The consequences of climate change will affect every aspect of an electricapower system, from generation transmission and distribution to end-user demand.” Moody’s Investors Service   Read more here.

I find this Moody’s report(above) crucial as Mr. Trump and Secretary Mnuchin are clearly in denial of one of the greatest threats facing our planet, climate change. They are ignoring the facts and they are attacking a seventeen year old who clearly knows more about science and the reality of climate change than they do. Yes, her focus is on science  and the future. Trump and Mnuchin think profits and making money.  I wonder if the Moody’s report is fake news? Mnuchin VS Greta

Why don’t they just ignore Greta? Why do they belittle and make fun of her? They are the adults?

wind generator
No water needed!

What expectations should we have from the leaders of the United States? First, they shouldn’t make fun of people, and especially a 17 year old.  Yes, disagree, but don’t make fun of people because you disagree with them. Agree to disagree, without put-downs! Second, I expect that our officials work for the best interests of the people of the United States and the people of the world, prioritizing keep them safe.  They need to listen to the scientists and search for the best information avaliable, not just gut feelings. They should care  about people over profit and money. Finally, I expect they tell they truth and follow the rule of law. Bad values will catch up with the economy eventually!

It is more expensive to fix things than to keep it in good order in the first place. What do Mnuchin and Trump care? They will be long gone when things are beyond repair, and people are suffering from air and water pollution, droughts, fires flooding and rising seas.

There is no planet B and there won’t be a way to go back and start over. We must reduce our carbon output and keep our air and water clean now and not next year!

Climate march in New York City
Fridays for our Future

Climate change will do more than sabotage our power sources. It will also harm the wine industry

Finally, things you can do today, choose one to help the Earth!

Iranian People, “We are friends!”

Percepolis
Ancient Persepolis, a woman approached me telling me she loved me because I was so kind.

Two years ago I was lucky to be one of the few Americans allowed to visit Iran. We were there for 8 days visiting cultural and historical places as well as meeting many Iranian people. After 40 years of hearing what an awful country Iran is, we were thrilled to find a friendly engaging people.  They are interested in, and like the American people. Everywhere we went we were approached by the charming people. The wanted to talk to us and find out how we liked their country and how we liked their food. Many times a day they would approach us offering us candy, asking to take pictures of us, wanting to engage with us. They seemed to find pleasure that we also had unpleasant leaders, and we often heard, “We both have bad governments, but we the people, we are friends!” Our guide said the Iranian people never chose this government, the Ayatollah was able to take over during the Iranian Revolution.

Soldiers in Iran
These soldiers wanted me to take their picture.
Outside a mosque
A holy day in Iran

 

 

 

Tehran river bed
A dry river bed in the heart of Tehran. Water is more valuable in Iran than oil.

 

 

 

 

 

These friendly beautiful people do not deserve harmful sanctions or a war between silly reckless men!  Read more at, The Iranian people are not the enemy

https://health4earth.com/2018/01/31/iranian-women-and-the-hijab/

Consumer Power

glitter on poinsettia
Never purchase items with glitter. Glitter doesn’t break down and can exist for a thousand years in the ocean or soil. It is harmful to animals and wildlife.

A consumer is powerful. The choices we make, and what we purchase  changes marketing and products, and as consumers we can make a big difference by the choices we make.  The choices we make can make a positive change on the environment creating a more sustainable world.

The Arctic is melting, and much of the earth is experiencing record hot temperatures, our children are demanding change. What choice do we have?
As a wise consumer you can help to reduce your harmful impact on our earth by increasing your shopping awareness and taking your consumer power seriously. If everyone does a little it can add up to a lot!
Being sustainable consumers are priorities for our household. These are our suggestions for ways to use your consumer power:

  • Heighten your awareness of packaging and waste, choosing products with minimal or no wasteful plastic packaging.
  • Always shop with reusable bags.
  • Never purchase products with glitter or Styrofoam. They can’t be recycled.
  • Shop reuse stores. Some of my favorite clothes and items come from consignment stores.
  • Shop bulk items.

    Shop in bulk
    Buying in bulk is a good way to manage food waste, and plastic waste. Bring your own bags or containers.
  • Shop retailers that pay living wages, and are local over big box stores.
  •  Buy nothing and reuse what you have!
  •  Purchase items that will last instead of cheap junk.
  •  Avoid all single-use plastic
  •  Make your own choices, don’t be owned by corporations like Apple, Target, Amazon etc.

 

24 inches of snow!

Lake Superior in December
A December Lake Superior

December 1, is the beginning of meterological winter, and it showed its true winter colors by stiking the south shore of Lake Suprerior with a massive snowfall.  Yikes, have you tried to shovel 24 inches of snow? Never have we seen so much snow. It’s beautiful, but some people haven’t managed to get shoveled out 4 days later. Snow plows, trucks and snow blowers have broken down. A strong back/legs and a good snow shovel needed, and many help their neighbors.  I am so thankful for our snow plower who faithfully cleared our 600 foot driveway. Read about the snow here.

Heavy snow hangs on branches
Many balsam trees wear a snow skirt.

With such heavy snow I worry about the survival of wildlife. For a few days I only saw crows, but today the chickadees are back singing. They are at the feeder with their friends the nuthatches, and blue jays and wood peckers are now out looking for food. The deer had to contend with deer hunting last week, and now they have to forge for food in almost impossible conditions. Deer tracks can be spotted in driveways so some have survived hunting and a major snowstorm, but the winter food find will be tough for them. See tracking animals

LAke Superior bank
Water from the lake covers the trees

 

Save 100%

Climate march in New York City
Fridays for our Future

How can we be sustainable consumers? We have another die warning from the UN on the climate crisis we are experiencing. Buying more stuff does not help the earth. If you need to purchase items,  do it in a more sustainable manner. See below.

We don’t need to purchase to be happy.  I went to see the new Fred Rogers movie. The messages are subtle, but say a lot. Rogers was a master at helping children to feel important. and to feel good about themselves. He thought television was an excellent educational tool, but had been ruined because it tried to turn children into consumers demanding things they didn’t need. As we enter the holiday season and a time of extreme consumerism read more about Fred and his philosophy here

Consumerism and saving money is on our minds. Unfortunately, we have become a throwaway society. Do you use an item for a short time then throw it away, and even worse we raise our children to get bored quickly from that item they just had to have. Again, we don’t need to purchase to be happy. This holiday, how can we be more sustainable and honor the season at the same time?

  •  Join or create your own Friday climate march #FridayforFuture
  •  Always shop with a reusable bag and avoid all plastic.
  •  Shop reuse stores. Some of my favorite clothes come from consignment stores.
  •  Give gifts of help, time and outside events.
  •  Shop retailers that pay living wages, and are local over big box stores.
  •  Buy nothing and save 100%. Reuse what you have!
  •  Purchase items that will last instead of cheap junk.
  •  Plan a day outside instead of shopping, REI.

Happy Holidays! Pause, Enjoy, Reuse

 

Does Black Friday promote “resource waste and overconsumption?”  Read at France.

 

Reduce the waste you generate!

recycle
Purchasing recycled products saves raw materials and adds valuable jobs

“I only feel angry when I see waste, when I see people throwing away things we could use.” Mother Teresa        Only 9% of recyclables are recycled in the United States compared with Germany and Norway that recycle in the 60% range. Plastic manufacturers continue to create more plastic and push recycling. Unfortunately,  recycling is not a sustainable option. I hope you will work hard to recycle your bottles, containers and paper waste because making things from recycled material is awesome and saves lots of energy and natural resources, but as consumers we need to also purchase items made from recycled materials.

A new paradigm is needed, we all need to reduce the waste and recycling we generate. Wasteful packaging needs to stop! Make it a priority in your life to reduce the waste you generate. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

First, cook at home instead of take-out. Yes, it is some work, but organizing to have a few meals made ahead or in crock pots can reduce lots of waste and be fun at the same time.

Always carry your reusable water bottle and reusable bags.

Be a smart shopper, always think how you can purchase less waste, especially plastic waste. Don’t purchase plastic or Styrofoam trayed produce. Many stores have cloth bags you can purchase for produce.

reuse
Use cotton or paper bags

Shop in bulk and refill any bottles your grocery store makes possible. Food coops have lots of refill options.

Choose products out of recycled material if you can find them.

Never put plastic bags in your recycling cart, recycle them at your local stores.

Please recycle plastic bags at grocery stores!