Attitude of Gratitude

More on kindness and gratitude from a blog I follow. Happy Thanksgiving!

Annette Rochelle Aben

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Thank you for your attitude of gratitude! Every person who has every stopped to appreciate a flower growing along the side of the road, anyone who has smiled at another for a simple kindness offered, know that your gratitude has been felt all around the world. Whenever you have felt the need to and then have followed through with saying thank you, you have created a chain reaction whose vibration continuously circulates.

 Affirmation: I am creating and living within the loop of continuously circulating gratitude

I appreciate you. Love, Annette Rochelle

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Plant For Clean Water

I am at the Minnesota State Fair talking to individuals about rain gardens and native deep-rooted plants. Native plants help absorb pollutants, keep rain water in our yards, save on watering, and are loved by bees, butterflies and birds.

Plant deep-rooted plants for pollinators and clean water.

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Deep rooted plants absorb run-off

Meatless Monday, Think Climate and Waste!

Climatarian diet involves choosing what you eat based on the carbon footprint of the 13086949_1065267483539895_4417987934062182771_ofood, and using your power as a consumer to drive down the production of beef and lamb which have the biggest impact on our climate.  A climatarian is about eating local food to reduce transportation and reducing food waste.

 

 

 

My easy suggestions on being a Climatarian:

  • Walk or take the bus to purchase groceries.
  • Participate in Meatless Monday, and go meatless other days, also!
  • Eliminate beef and reduce cheese consumption.
  • Work to reduce all food waste and compost any food waste you have.
  • Choose minimal packaging, and recycle as much as possible.
  • Use real dishes, and reuse jars and products.
  • I love “clean out” the refrigerator stir fry and ideas from Tom Colicchio
  • Thoughts from Huffington Post
  • Shop food co-ops and eat locally grown foods, and grow and preserve your own food.

 

 

 

It’s Water Wednesday!

Common_LoonThe below ideas for protecting our lakes is from the Superiorforum.org , Sigurd Olson Institute, Northland college, and 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 several more:
1. Rain gardens are excellent for capturing harmful water runoff.
2. Keep leaves and trash out of streets and storm drains-Adopt a storm drain!

Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!
Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!

3. Never use cleaning products or hand sanitizer with triclosan.
4. Reduce all plastic use–If you must use plastic bags and bottles, be sure you recycle them.                                                  5. Pick up all liter.

If You Love The Lake!

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Minneapolis is a city of lakes. “Walking the lake” is a big deal for most of us, and the lakes are magnets for people from all over the Twin Cities metro area and state. I am impressed with this educational campaign taking place along the walking paths of the Minneapolis lakes.
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Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.
Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.

It looks like a thirsty future for the world. The Pacific Standard Magazine has just publish a map of the world’s troubled waters  and some of the politics around water.  More things you can do to protect our water bodies here.

 

What Have We Done To Our Water?

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A buffer strip along Lake Superior

This morning I was walking a bridge crossing the Big Blue River in Nebraska.  Never have I seen a river so full of sediment!  The name “Big Blue” was full of irony for me.  I know many of the local water sources in this area of Nebraska are poisoned with nitrates, and children should not be drinking this water. Farming areas of Iowa and Minnesota are having the same water pollution problem. The major source of nitrates are fertilizers on farm fields, and farmers are not regulated by the Clean Water Act. We are all guilty of dirty water and can do much better at protecting our waters.  The run-off from our houses, driveways and roads are major contributors to our polluted lakes rivers and streams.  Farmers need to better, but so do all of us!

10 actions you can take to improve lakes, rivers and streams from Hennepin County.

When it rains, the storm water that runs off driveways, lawns, houses and parking lots can carry pollutants like oil, paint and chemicals down storm sewers and into nearby lakes, streams and rivers. By taking the following easy, no-cost or low-cost steps, you can have a big impact on reducing runoff and protecting our water resources and wildlife habitat. Hennepin County

 

1. Use your runoff

You can keep water in your yard and reduce runoff by directing downspouts onto your lawn or garden or into a rain barrel. Rainwater is free and naturally “soft,” so it is ideal to use in watering your lawn or garden.

2. Don’t rake grass clippings and leaves into the street

Leave them on your lawn, use them for compost, or bag them up. Grass clippings and leaves left in the street end up in the storm sewer, where they are carried to nearby lakes and streams. Clippings and leaves contain phosphorus and other nutrients that feed algae and other aquatic plants. This can cause excess algae growth that can negatively impact other plants and wildlife and can be unsafe for pets.

3. Scoop the poop

Grab a bag when you grab the leash and pick up after your pets. Pet waste left on the ground can be washed into lakes and rivers with rainwater and runoff. Pet waste contains bacteria that can cause illness in humans and animals.

4. Use chemicals wisely

Read and follow the label instructions when using herbicides and pesticides. Use the minimum amount needed to control the problem. If you can, consider using alternative or natural remedies to control weeds and pests, or remove the problem by hand.

5. Fertilize smart

Sweep up any fertilizer that spills onto hard surfaces. Excess fertilizer washes away into nearby lakes or streams where it can feed algae, causing rapid growth known as algae blooms. Algae blooms stress fish and wildlife and make swimming and fishing unpleasant or impossible.

6. Keep a healthy lawn

A healthy, vigorous lawn needs less watering, fewer chemicals and less maintenance. Aerate your lawn periodically to loosen the soil. Seed bare patches to prevent erosion and soil loss. Mow at a higher setting. Grass mowed to a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches develops deeper, healthier roots and has a competitive advantage over weeds.

7. Plant a rain garden

Rain gardens are depressions planted with a diverse mix of native wildflowers and grasses

Rain gardens collect water run-off
Rain gardens collect water run-off

designed to collect rainwater and allow it to soak into the soil. This will reduce the water running off your property into storm sewers.

8. Replace turf with native plants

Swap some of your high-maintenance lawn for low-maintenance native ground cover, plants or grasses. Many native plants develop deeper root structures than turf grass, which reduces runoff by allowing for better water infiltration.

Deep-rooted plants absorb more water than turf grass
Deep-rooted plants absorb more water than turf grass

9. Reduce your footprint

Replace some pavement – such as a walk, patio or driveway – with pavers or pervious pavement. The porous surface will allow water to seep through.

10. Adopt a storm drain

Keep neighborhood storm drains free of leaves, seeds and grass clippings. Storm drains are directly connected to nearby water bodies. Water running into storm drains can carry with it anything dumped nearby including leaves, grass clippings, soil, oil, paint and chemicals. Keeping storm drains clear will protect the water quality of nearby lakes, streams and rivers.

***If you own property on a lake, pond, river or stream you should install a tree and plant buffer strip to keep pollutants from running into the water.

Minnesota Public Radio is doing a fabulous series on protecting our water. More from MPR here.

Another list of ways to protect our water from the NRDC.

The sun makes the Big Blue look blue. It is thick with sediment.
The sun makes the Big Blue look blue. It is thick with sediment.

Jeff Bridges On Single-Use Plastic

Is this the way we want our lakes, streams and oceans to look?
Is this the way we want our lakes, streams and oceans to look?

Jeff Bridges has taken on plastic waste and has an excellent video and list of ways to reduce your plastic pollution.  See his video here.

Here are 10 easy ways to reduce your plastic footprint:

Bring your own shopping bag to the grocery store

Stop buying bottled water – Use a reusable bottle instead

Say no to straws

Stop using disposable razors – Buy one with a replaceable cartridge

Ditch the plastic baggies – Wax paper and mason jars work wonders in the kitchen

Avoid using plastic utensils – Bring your own fork when you eat out

Choose glass over plastic

Buy the powdered version – Liquid versions of soaps and detergents tend to come in plastic bottles, powdered products come in cardboard boxes

Cut out the BPA – If a plastic bottle has a 3,7 or PC sign, it contains the most toxic types of plastic

Follow #RefusePlastic on social media for more ideas and to join the conversation

http://www.startribune.com/is-plastic-permanent-well-it-s-our-legacy-at-least/375907301/

This is an argument against Jeff Bridges video.  Fish, birds, other wildlife, our oceans and all of us are being harmed by plastic.  The below argument is very weak:

http://www.startribune.com/politifact-is-plastic-permanent-no-it-goes-away-sooner-or-later/375907261/

Never use baggies again:

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http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/  Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest!