“We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place–or not to bother” Jane Goodall
Our actions and daily choices speak to the world we want to create. This holiday, we can choose to make friendly choices for our planet. Instead of buying new decorations use what you have and follow these simple steps to make your decorations, gifts, and gatherings more sustainable: Seven tips for an earth-friendly holiday season (worldwildlife.org)
Look at the materials gifts are made from and keep sustainability in mind. Use paper products made from recycled materials and avoid single-use plastics that can’t be recycled. Buying secondhand items like vintage clothes, furniture, and refurbished technology is another great way to gift more sustainably.
Look for cards and wrapping paper made from recycled materials. Avoid foil-backed cards or those with **glitter—which aren’t recyclable.
Glitter is a microplastic!
** Reasons to avoid glitter:
A few facts about glitter will surprise you!
Glitter is made of a microplastic known as Mylar, which is hurting ocean life
This plastic accounts for 92.4% of the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean
Marine life is mistaking glitter for food, which is damaging their livers
Every tiny sparkly bit takes thousands of years to break down
Happy December! We have many challenges as a society. Community health is important to me. Making our streets safe, clean air and clean water should be top priorities for us all. Covid-19 is not going away, and we need to still wear masks, social distance and get vaccinated. We can’t have healthy communities unless everyone is healthy and everyone works to make it a reality. Kindness is an important aspect of healthy communities, make it a priority for your day.
Every day work for kinder and healthier communities!
Kindness creates a ripple, keep kindness going! Make our communities kindness healthy! Kindness ideas below.
Smile and Be Kind!
Nothing exists by itself alone. We all belong to each other; we cannot cut reality into pieces.
In my meetings some are wondering what big thing they can do to stop climate change. I think many people doing lots of little things to help our planet amount to a lot! We can all make a difference by buying less and wasting less. Thank you!
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. (Source: EPA)
Enjoy your leftovers!
Make a plan for your holiday left over food. What do you generally do with left over food? 40% of the food in the United States is not eaten, and ends up in our landfills causing an enormous waste of our precious resources. Wasting food is an enormous waste of water, money, time, labor, energy and transportation. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has an incredible education campaign to inform the public how much we are wasting. For example the production of one egg takes 55 gallons of water! Their website is savethefood.com
Not only does wasting food, waste valuable resources and lots of water, but also food in our landfills decomposes creating and giving off methane gas which is a harmful air pollutant contributing to global warming
So let’s get creative and “Save the Food.” One of my favorite cooking activities is to reinvent leftovers into a new lunch or dinner stir fry, soup, tacos, enchiladas, salads, fried rice, quinoa bowls and many other things lend themselves to create special meals of leftover food.
Have a fun holiday, and make a creative difference by reusing, planning, seriously cutting waste, and saving food from the garbage!
November 15, is America Recycles Day. After so many years I am still surprised how hard it is to recycle in the United States. In my travels across America I can go weeks without seeing a recycle bin. In Europe often recycling is front and center, not perfect but it is seems a priority.
I have been surprised to learn this doesn’t always mean the product is recyclable????
Unfortunately it is still very hard to recycle plastic correctly in America. Paper/cardboard, glass and metal cans work well, but plastic, please read on.
Plastic recycling is very challenging. There is very little regulation of plastic in the United States. Plastic producers claim recycling is the answer to their products, but they don’t want any responsibility to pay for recycling or disposal of their products. They often they say their plastic is recyclable, when in fact it might be just one per cent recyclable or not at all.
Why is plastic recycling so hard? First there are those recycle 1-7 numbers. For something to be recycled it first needs to be collected, and then sorted into those numbers. Next, it needs a market, or someone to buy it. All this makes plastic recycling expensive for communities (tax payers) and it is labor intensive.
I am fortunate to live in a county (Hennepin) that makes this a priority, and I can’t express my gratitude to them enough!
Both Maine and Oregon have passed legislation to hold producers responsible for recycling and disposing of their products. This is a beginning and it is hopeful that more regulation of plastic could happen. As consumers we also have responsibility, when we purchase plastic we reinforce the idea that this is OK, and more of it is produced. The plastic chemical companies are gearing up to produce more plastic for the future, lets work to hold them accountable! Talk to your elected officials about how plastic producers should be held responsible for what happens to long lived plastics after disposal. Manufacturers also need more integrity in labeling what is in their plastic products.
On America Recycles Day recycle more of your paper/cardboard, glass and tin cans, and recycle plastic bottles and containers, but also begin to REDUCE your PLASTIC consumption. Always bring your reusable cups/bottles, and bags for a start.
World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. The purpose of this day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations.
Make a special effort to be kind.
We all want to live in kind healthy communities. We want to live where we are respected and can thrive. Each of us can work for kinder environments by limiting the noise we create, picking up litter and after our dogs, sweeping our sidewalks, and listening and smiling more. How hard is that? We can create environments that are pleasant places to live. Kindness doesn’t cost any money! Kindness creates a ripple, it radiates out, and together we create happier and healthier places to live.
The world climate summit is taking place in Glascow, Scotland. The world has known for a long time it needs to do something about our warming earth. There has been such a lack of leadership to get something done, and now we have reached a point where it has become hard to ignore. During the first week some important promises to protect forests, reduce methane and reduce coal. Will it be enough? No, but the conversation has begun. Russia and China didn’t attend so continued efforts are needed to keep them moving forward and integrate them into the discussion
In the United States the powerful lobbyists and oil industry have been able to control and stop action, and it is still happening with Joe Manchin as he hauls in the cash to resist a move away from fossil fuels.
Strong leadership and a desire to work together needs to come out of this important conference. Together everyone is the solution to our climate, We must all set this as a priority over greed, lies and waste.
Everyday we make an impact, make it positive!
Speak out for change! Work for a healthy future!
During the pandemic 2020 carbon emissions were reduced and we can do it again. Everyday with just a little effort, we can make an impact, and move to a new future of sustainability Let’s start now by buying less junk, reduce our plastic use**, stop idling our engines, and a couple days a week eat meatless. Try walking and riding public transportation, you might like it!
There are some hopeful things happening in the world:
Amazing: Cars powered by combustion engines now make up less than 10% of sales in Norway, and forecasts suggest the country’s last sale of a new petrol or diesel car will come in April 2022, three years ahead of what was already the world’s most ambitious target. Drive
Russia has committed to carbon neutrality by 2060, Turkey has finally ratified the Paris Agreement, and the UAE has become the first petro-state to commit to net zero by 2050. Critics say these pledges aren’t enough, but they’re missing the point. They’re not promises. They’re ratchets – once announced, they only increase in ambition.
China has begun construction on the largest and most ambitious clean energy project of all time, 100GW of wind and solar in its western desert. That’s more than the entire existing wind and solar capacity of India, and will be able to generate four times as much power as the Three Gorges Dam. Bloomberg
More than 100 countries have joined the Global Methane Pledge with $300 million in funding to cut dangerous methane emissions.
Wealthy nations and billionaires promise billions to support green tech, end deforestation, end coal use, and more but much more is needed.
The important question is what happens after the summit? Countries should be meeting yearly to report their progress and set new goals. Also, continued work needs to be done getting all countries involved.
Thousands of years ago the Celtics celebrated November 1, as the New Year. This year in November the world climate summit is happening in Glascow. As New November converges with the climate summit lets create new positive goals to reduce our use of fossil fuels. Let’s all work together to make a difference for the earth.
Have fun reducing your carbon footprint.
The Actions For Happiness calendar below is about doing something new, perfect for setting new goals. You know what works for you and your household. Maybe you can reduce food waste or reduce the plastic that comes into your home. Maybe try back yard or drop-off composting or bring reusable bags shopping. Each one of us knows something positive we can do to make a impact. Good Luck.
This November we don’t know what will happen in Glascow, Scotland, but each one of us can make a difference. Every action counts. Lets focus our energy on making a healthy world for everyone! If everyone does a little, it adds up to a lot! What are some New November ideas you are excited to try?
Native plants and trees create their own living ecosystem. The plants, wildlife, birds and 🦋 butterflies all work together to support a thriving environment.
The fall and winter seasons are no different . Birds eat the seeds off my native plants all fall and winter. Leaf litter contains habit and hiding for moths, butterflies and other wildlife. So what do we do with all this leaf litter?
These are my leaf litter suggestions:
— keep your sidewalks, driveways, and streets free from leaves. Lakes and rivers are polluted by too many leaves flowing into storm drains which drain into Lakes and streams.
–Leave you plants standing until spring, they also add food and habitat.
–Never use a leaf blower, they are too hard on everything your ecosystem is creating.
–Gently rake leaves into your gardens. This is wonderful mulch and plant protection. Leaves nurture the soil.
–Winter and spring garden surprises will create joy. Watch for birds, wildlife, and early insects.
–Cut plants off in the spring and work the leaves into your soil.
The official Adopt-a-Drain Fall Leaf Cleanup Week kicks off Monday, October 11th, and runs through Sunday, October 17th.
Leaves in the street plug storm drains and pollute our waterways.
Storm drains feed directly into our local lakes and rivers, unfiltered, so it’s important to keep them clear for cleaner and healthier waterways. Fall is an especially important time to keep the leaves that are collecting on our streets and sidewalks out of our storm drains. While they might be “natural” debris they become pollution when large quantities hit the water, break down, and become food for algae.
The United States is at peace for the first time in twenty years, people are getting vaccinated, the drought is subsiding and the fall colors are stunning. There is a lot to be thankful for and that gives hope and optimism for the future. Smile, take three deep breaths, spend time in nature and enjoy each day!
Smiling is good for your health! October 1, is World Smile Day.
The Actions For Happiness people have their Optimistic October Calendar below. I would choose one idea a week from their suggestions or create your own activities that make you optimistic.