Ten Days of Love

Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.” Francis Moore Lappe

Love our earth

What better week than Valentine’s week to show love for our earth. Take the 10 for 10 challenge. Can you score a perfect 10 by completing these initiatives? Maybe you already do these things? Take a breath, slow down and think how you can positively make a difference. It’s easy, and I hope you learn something. Let me know how you do. Good luck!

Day 1 Go meatless, extra points if you also go vegan!

Day 2 Go plastic-free, no straws, plastic utensils, water bottles or containers, unless of course they are reusable.

Day 3, Reuse Day. Bring your lunch in a reusable containers, and remember your

Bring your own water bottle

reusable water bottle.

Day 4, Leave your car parked day. Walk, bike, car-pool or use public transit.

Day 5, Take a walk day. Enjoy the outside as you walk, listen for birds, the wind, water? What nature sounds do you hear?

White-throated sparrow

Day 6, Water-Use Day. Become aware every time you use water. Is there a way you can reduce your water use?

Day 7, Cut Food-waste Day, Clean out left-overs and produce. Make a soup, a stir fry or wraps with your left-overs.

Day 8, Chemical-Free Day. Use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning, and shop for organic produce. Read about chemicals and air pollution here.

Day 9, Reusable-cup day. Bring your re-usable cup to the coffee shop, to meetings, and to work.

Day 10, Gratitude. Be thankful for our beautiful planet. What was the best thing about the past week? Could you complete 10 for 10?

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Super Bowl of Recycling

Can the Super Bowl go zero waste? If they can, so can you!  Minneapolis, location of Super Bowl 52, is an incredible place to go waste-free. We have recycle containers everywhere, and we have weekly home compost pick-up.  Hennepin County and Minneapolis are committed to less landfill waste.

I think the NFL is sending an important message, “It is important to reduce our waste!” Yes, one big event is important, and we all need to educate ourselves and try to reduce our own waste. Read about the Super Bowl at zero waste.

Most communities don’t make it as easy as Minneapolis, but in tiny steps, we can all do better.  Everyday I think about how I can generate less waste, and I know for a zero waste mentality to be successful, it must be EASY!

An easy way to reduce waste is to think REUSE. Before you throw something away, buy something new, or recycle something, ask yourself, “How can I reuse this?” I purchase products in glass jars that I will reuse, and I do reuse them.  I believe in real dishes, real silverware, and cloth napkins. My reusable water bottles travel with me, something the NFL doesn’t allow at games!  I reuse my plastic produce bags over and over, and take my reusable containers to fill with bulk items weekly. Hennepin County has a good list of how to start reusing, read it here.  Remember to start easy, and you will get better, as you learn more ways to reduce and reuse.

Cloth napkins are the best!

I would start with cloth napkins as the easiest. As you get into the reuse mindset you will see many things you can do to reuse and reduce on your own. Good Luck!

You don’t need  plastic bottles!

Get out those real dishes, glasses and silverware for your Super Bowl party and have fun.

 

 

 

 

Friendly February

Happy February!

February, the perfect month to think about kindness and love, and to apply that kindness to the people around you, and to all the people you meet.  Here is the new February calendar.   Happiness Calendar   

Wishing you new friendships, and happiness this February!

Smile                                  Listen                                  Be positive

Friendly February

 

Iranian Women and the Hijab

Mashhad, Iran

“We the women and girls are fed up with this compulsory hijab. We want to manage our clothes and what to wear” Women in Iran protesting the hijab

In November I was a tourist in Iran wearing a scarf covering my hair. No, I was not thrilled at the idea, but the chance to spend 8 days in Iran over-ruled my freedom. Wearing a head covering created a solidarity with Iranian girls and women. We were all following the rules of the Iranian Shiite government that were implemented in 1979 after the Iranian revolution. Maybe in the winter it would be comfortable to wear a hijab, but even in November, some days were too hot to keep my head, arms and legs covered,. There was no doubt that a woman’s identity and personality are lost wearing a head scarf and long loose-fitting clothes

Male dominated governments can be unfair to women. They need scapegoats for their problems and women can become their target!

A holy day in Iran, November, 2017

The people of Iran are very friendly, the friendliest place I have ever traveled.  They practice citizen diplomacy to welcome their visitors. Many wanted to know what we liked about their country, and they felt a strong connection to Americans. Their message was clear, ,”We both have bad governments, but we the people, we are friends!”

Read the whole story about the hijab protests here.

https://health4earth.com/2018/01/23/citizen-diplomacy-and-iran/

 

Our World Is Moving in the Right Direction!

 I need a boost of positive energy, and these stories are full of hope and energy. I hope these positive stories get your week started with gratitude and full of positive energy.  Enjoy!

** McDonald’s has announced a new commitment to sustainability. The fast-food chain will launch recycling in all of its restaurants and by 2025, 100% of its packaging will be sustainable.  I am assuming this means compostable or recyclable? Also Boston will ban plastic bags, and Iceland and Denmark are doing research to create biodegradable plastic bottles.

** Recent victories for our oceans.

Car of the future!

** 52% of Norway’s new cars are electric

**  Clean energy investments throughout the world reach 333.5 billion in 2017.

** France will shutter all coals plants by 2021. Read at France and Macron 

** Reasons to be hopeful for our earth! From EcoWatch  

** And from Climate Reality local climate action reasons to be hopeful.

** Unique gym class in suburban high school is what we need during divisive times. Read at diversity

Other Good News:

https://health4earth.com/2017/07/21/ready-for-good-news/

https://health4earth.com/2017/06/01/its-good-news-2/

https://health4earth.com/2017/09/03/exciting-good-news/

Citizen Diplomacy and Iran

We are friends!

Ancient Persepolis

In November I was fortunate to become one of the few Americans  to travel to Iran this past year. We were there for 8 days. After hearing what an awful country Iran is for the past 40 years, I was thrilled to find a vibrant, friendly people. Their friendliness was amazing  It was difficult to go for a walk or get anywhere because they stopped us to give us candy, find out where we were from, and they would ask: “Where are you from?” “How do you like the food” How do you like our country?” I think some of it was they are so isolated and we were a window to the world, but they are genuinely a friendly people.  One couple came up to me at the historic site Persepolis and told me they loved me because I was so kind.  We heard over and over,”We both have bad governments, but we the people, we are friends!”

These soldiers wanted me to take their picture.

An interesting article from the Washington Post, five myths people believe about Iran. myths of Iran

A dry river bed in the heart of Tehran

This article blames the recent protests on water issues, and they do have a serious drought problem. Read about climate change  and a lack of water in Iran at Climate  

Try a Low Salt Diet

I am working on this neighborhood campaign.

It’s winter, and in the United States and Canada we are caught between the cold Arctic, and warmer Gulf moisture. All of this causing our snow, cold and winter thaws. This also produces icy sidewalks and icy roads. For many of us the ice is the hardest part of winter to deal with, but what are the best practices in dealing with winter ice?

Using salt on roads, sidewalks and driveways permanently pollutes our lakes and streams. With rain and snow melt his salt washes into our water, it never leaves, harming pets and wildlife. Once salt gets in our water bodies it’s there for good.

Control ice, but also protect our lakes and streams, best practices:

1. Shovel. Clearing walkways before snow turns to ice will reduce the need for salt.
2. Select the right product for the right temperature. Sodium chloride (salt)doesn’t melt snow below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, so use sand for traction in colder weather.  Many products are marketed as environmentally friendly, but read the label, they still contain chloride (salt).
3. Scatter. Use salt sparingly and only where it’s necessary, and use only on ice. Shovel instead of spreading salt!
4. Sweep up  leftover salt and sand to prevent it from running off into water bodies.                                                                                                                                                5. Rearrange downspouts so they don’t drain on to sidewalks causing sidewalk ice.

It takes only one teaspoon of road salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water. Once salt is in the water, there is no way to remove it. Salt harms fish, plant life, and the over all quality of lakes and streams.

Be winter safe, but be a friend of our lakes and streams!