Actions for Kindness

Every act of kindness creates a ripple, spread it now.

Be Kind

Everyday is a new day, and only you can decide how positive your day will be. Take charge, be kind, show respect and enjoy everyday. September is self-care month, and I think some of the best things you can do for yourself is spending time outside in nature, and being kind to others. I hope September is a good month for you. My actions for kindness follow, and The Action for Happiness September Calendar is below.

These are my September Actions for Happiness and Kindness!

Sundays:  Super Kindness Sunday! What can you do to show people they are special and you are thinking of them?

Mondays: Make It Respectful Monday! Demand people show you respect, and show them respect back. Aim high, never gossip, lie, bully or make fun of people. Compliment, and active listen.

Tuesdays: Good Thoughts Tuesday!  Give yourself a boost of positive energy. Enjoy the day and have fun. Turn off politics, Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesdays: Zero Waste Wednesday! Bring your lunch, use only reusable dishes, glasses and utensils. Cook your dinner, no take-out, and no wasted food! If possible leave your car at home. Have fun being good to the Earth!

Thursdays: Thankful Thursday!  Think of all the people you are thankful for. How many times you can say, “Thank you.”

Fridays: Listen/Friendship Friday! Check in with an old friend or make a new friend. Listen and ask questions.

Saturdays: Smile Saturday! How many times can you smile today? Have fun, it’s Saturday.

Everyday: Self-Care September

Our Most Precious Resource!

World Water Week

 “We believe water is key to our future prosperity, and that together, we can achieve a water wise world.”

26 – 31 August, 2018, Stockholm, Sweden

Keep Lake Superior clean and Beautiful!

World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. It is organized by SIWI. World Water Week will address the theme, “Water, ecosystems and human development.”

The water on earth belongs to all of us, not to just big business or farmers, but to everyone. We depend on clean water for drinking and recreation, and our survival.  We can’t choose business profits over the health of people.  Let’s all speak out for clean water.

Water is life! I live in a water rich place, and worry that protecting this precious natural resource isn’t enough of a priority. We are at such an important place in protecting our waterways. The past ten years have shown declining water quality. Forty percent of Minnesota’s streams and lakes are not safe for swimming or boating and Lake Superior has many stresses also. Tell policy makers clean water is a priority.

Climate change and run-off are having an effect on Lake Superior.
We can almost live without single-use plastic. #plasticfree

Conferences and education are important, but each one of us has a role to play in protecting our water. There are simple things we can do that can make a big difference. First, reduce run-off on your property by redirecting drain spouts, planting deep-rooted native plants that absorb water, and making raingardens. Never use chemicals on your yard, and sweep your sidewalks. Third, buy less stuff, and reduce your plastic footprint by reusing and refusing. Fourth, tell elected officials clean water is a top priority. Finally, make a big effort to keep from wasting food. These things can make a big difference in our water quality. If everyone does a small amount it can make a big difference!

Everyone must make clean water a priority!

 

 

 

Awe and Concern

Sphinx Moth on bee balm

Standing in that sea of color, watching Lake Superior’s never-ending blue waters meld with the sky, I wanted to stay there for the rest of my days” Melanie Radzicki McManus

Read Melanie’s entire adventure at Superior Hiking Trail 

Yes, this big lake has a spiritual effect on many of us. I love mornings the as the sun rises and noisy birds are busy with their day. The eagles whistle and screech as they fly along the shoreline. I watch two adults and one juvenile land on a white pine, they sit and watch the lake, and chatter among themselves as they fly away. I wonder what the adult eagles are telling their child about life and survival? The hummingbirds are also active in August. They are eating and drinking and squeaking as they prepare for their journey south. What do they tell their young about the journey that lies in front of them? This all typical of August on Lake Superior

Monarch chrysalis under a step

Sphinx moths and many bees are loving my late-blooming pollinator garden. The monarch caterpillars have become chrysalis , and I watch for new monarchs to emerge, and to my excitement they do!

A new monarch dries its wings.

Sadly, August is not like Melanie (above) describes in June. Signs of our warming climate are wearing on this big lake. Canadian wildfire smoke is creating a milky white sky and foggy horizon. Also, blue-green algae has been found along the south shore, probably caused by the yearly hundred year rains in the lake watershed. The watershed streams over-flow into the lake. Heavy rain run-off of lawn and agriculture chemicals causes a nutrient rich brown lake. Along with warm water these nutrients can lead to a blue-green algae problem. After the brown sediment filters out a greener color lake remains that has not been the Lake Superior norm. Read at blue-green algae

More on the changing climate and Lake Superior

Lake Superior is hidden by milky Canadian wildfire smoke, August 2018

August Actions

kindness, too!

There is so much anxiety and frustration with our elected leaders. In August, I hope you can step back some frustration, be kind to yourself, and be kind to the people in your world. Let’s work to make things happier and kinder. Below are my actions for more kindness and happiness. Also, Action For Happiness has a new Altruistic August calendar. See below.

These are my August Actions. They will make you happy !

  1. Educate yourself and vote! Many states have August primary elections
  2. Everyday spend quiet time outside doing something you love like walking, biking or gardening.
  3. Write a post cards to elected officials telling them how important clean water is to you.
  4. Have a conversation with someone you haven’t spoken to before.
  5. Smile!
  6. Encourage your employer to add wellness/happiness practice to their goals.
  7. Reduce your plastic footprint by refusing plastic and using reusable bags, containers, plates and utensils.
  8. Have several Trump-free days each week.
  9. Everyday be grateful, and always tell the truth!

Action For Happiness Calendar

 

 

Aug 1, Overshoot Day

August !, is Overshoot Day #movethedate

What is Overshoot Day? It is the day the people on earth start using more resources than the Earth can renew. In other words the last five months of the year we are living on borrowed time using more resources than the Earth can regenerate. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year. To stay even we would need 1.7 earths to live on.  All countries are not equal in the amount of the earth’s resources they use. The United States is not great, using the most resources. The USA  would need 5 Earths to supply their needs, Australia would need 4 Earths to meet their needs, China would need 3 Earths, and India and many other countries helps balance it out and only would need 7/10th of an Earth to meet their resource needs.  Read more here.

We use the resources of 1.7 Earths.
We use more resources and services than nature can regenerate.

What about the future? I wish it were easier to solve this problem.  We consume too much and waste even more.  Everyday we need to think how important clean water and clean air are to our survival. Start by cutting  food waste, use fewer chemicals, strive for zero waste and quality when we make purchases, and of course, drive less. If everyone does a small amount, it can add up to a lot!

The Global Footprint Network has listed the four following solution areas to address ecological overshoot:

  • Cities: If we reduce driving by 50 percent around the world and replace one-third of car miles with public transportation and the rest by walking and biking, we can #MoveTheDate of Overshoot Day back 12 days.
  • Energy: Reducing the carbon component of humanity’s Ecological Footprint by 50 percent would #MoveTheDate 93 days.
  • Food: If everyone in the world cut food waste in half, reduced the Footprint intensity of their diets, and consumed world-average calories, we would #MoveTheDate 38 days.
  • Population: If every other family in the world had one less child, we would move Overshoot Day 30 days by 2050.

What are you doing to reduce your global footprint? Today as I was grocery shopping, refilling my containers, striving for zero waste, and being plastic-free.  What good ideas do you have?

 

Good News to Brag About!

A month ago I spent a couple of weeks in Germany, and was I impressed! Other Americans I talked to shared my thoughts of awe with Germany. First they take care of their infrastructure. They maintain their roads, trains, bike lanes, public transport, even restrooms reach a high standard.  As I enjoyed riding trains through the countryside, I saw many solar farms and some wind farms. Renewable energy has overtaken coal consumption in Germany.

Dresden Bohnhof

There is no litter in Germany. A twenty-five cent deposit is charged on plastic bottles. Germany leads the world in recycling. It’s just natural for Germans to be good to the Earth, and it is hopeful that when you do things right it does lead to success. Yahoo, awesome Germany!

Twenty-five cents for returned plastic bottles

More good news stories:

** Oklahoma has changed their mowing along highways to help the monarch butterflies.

** Starbucks and Seattle are ending their consumption of plastic straws, and Penzance, Great Britain has become a plastic-free town.

** California has already made their green energy goals for 2020.

More recent good news: https://health4earth.com/2018/05/19/hopeful-stories/

A Superior Joy

It makes me so happy when butterflies dance along as I walk the road by my house. One day there were dancing sulfurs, another day monarchs, swallow-tail and white admirals. I was watching a northern pearly eye, it flew at me, and decided to sit on my hand for 10 minutes as I continued my walk.  July is easy to see painted ladies, red admirals, wood nymph butterflies, checkerspots, fritillaries and many skippers. This is the best time of the year to see butterflies! Get outside and look.

Northern pearly-eye by wikimedia

Seeing butterflies is so much easier than seeing birds, but the birds sing their ”I love life” song? some of them must have raised their first family and ready to start again? Song sparrows, red starts, chickadees, chestnut-sided warblers, vireos, and white-throated sparrows seem to sing just for me. I sure appreciate their happy songs.

July on Lake Superior