March 20th is the International World Happiness Day. This year, 2018, Finland has been declared the world’s happiest country. Read about it here. Finland is followed by Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. It amazes me that these cold Nordic countries tip the balance of happiness, obviously there is a lot more than long dark winters for happiness! These countries that are more environmentally savvy and conscious and consistently top the list of greenest countries. Clean air, clean water, renewable energy, and reducing plastic pollution are their way of life.
Happiness suggestions from me and Actionforhappiness.org
1. Do things for others and volunteer your time
2. Take care of your body, go for a walk, eat fruits and vegetables
3. Pay attention and live your life mindfully
4. Learn new things, and lose yourself in something you love
5. Have goals or things to look forward to
6. Everything won’t go the way you want, but happy people bounce back and are resilient
7. Look for what is good and smile
8. Accept yourself, be comfortable with yourself and who you are
9. Be part of something bigger than just yourself
10. Get outside and enjoy our world! 11. Listen and be thankful!
How much water do you use? We expect clean water when we turn on the faucet and forget that not everyone has lots of water. Not only Cape Town but three American cities could face severe water shortages soon.
Water is a valuable resource and the purpose of this post is for us to become aware of the amount of water we use. We are unaware where our water comes from and the chemicals with which we pollute it. Every time we turn on the tap we should think about the amount of water we use, and be thankful for clean drinkable water.
I am on a road trip through the southern part of the United States. Arkansas and Louisiana are dripping with water puddles overflowing streams, trees standing in water, wetness and mud everywhere. Oklahoma and Kansas are overcome with drought and wild fires. I realize some of this is normal for these areas, but not these extremes.
Whether we live where it is wet or dry we should heighten our awareness of the amount of water we use. It is ridiculous to stay in a hotel where the water drips all night, and when informed they will usually write-up an order to try to get it fixed.
I was at Louisiana State University, and it was impossible to turn off the faucet in the restroom. When I reported the faucet to officials they said it had been like that for a while, “Budget cuts keep it from being fixed!” they told me. Could a volunteer near Alexandria, Louisiana fix that faucet? Constant running and wasting of water makes no sense!
With climate change many believe the wars of the future will be about water. Think about it, everyone making small changes and reducing the water they use can make a big difference! Earth911 has good ideas to reduce water use, but should also add, fix those leaky faucets and toilets. Read here ways to reduce water use. https://earth911.com/home-garden/conserving-water-at-home/
Everyone making small changes, can make a big difference!
Imagine eating or drinking your coffee/tea or dinner out of a Styrofoam container. ICK! I can’t imagine, but many people do??? Styrofoam makes food taste terrible, and it is made from cancer causing material. Why would you eat/drink from it?
I am on a road trip through the southern part of the United States. Styrofoam is just the normal at many food establishments. Places I refuse to patronize.
Not only is Styrofoam unhealthy to eat on,
it is awful for the environment. It breaks down into tiny pieces harmful to oceans/lakes, water animals and fish that think it is food.
Unfortunately, Styrofoam has powerful lobbying interests behind it, people who don’t care about your health or the health of our waterways.
Beth Terry, author of My Plastic-Free Life, wrote this terrific guide explaining how producing and using plastic pollutes the air. When it comes to the foamy Styrofoam in particular, here are some other objections to using it:
It does not biodegrade. It may break into small pieces, even minuscule pieces. But the smaller EPS gets, the harder it is to clean up.
It is made of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals. Those chemicals may leach if they come in contact with hot, greasy or acidic food. Yes, they keep your coffee hot – but they may also add an unwanted dose of toxins to your drink.
Animals sometimes eat it. Turtles and fish seem to mistake EPS for food, and that can kill them. Not only can they not digest it, but the foam could be full of poisons that it has absorbed from contaminants floating in the water.
It can’t be recycled. Some commercial mailing houses may accept packing peanuts, but for the most part community recycling centers do not accept throwaway foam food containers.
Evidence regarding the sustainability and toxicity of expanded Styrofoam/polystyrene (EPS) single-use containers supports replacing them with a more sustainable and safe material. EPS food and beverage containers are single-use, yet persistent and not economically feasible to recycle. Thus, millions of single-use EPS items are sent to a landfill each day, where they will remain for hundreds to thousands of years. Moreover, its lightweight makes it difficult to manage which is one reason EPS is one of the top litter items found on beaches and in the environment. Lastly, EPS containers may pose a hazard. Some studies have found they can leach chemicals into our food and others have demonstrated that their leachate is toxic to laboratory animals. Replacing EPS with a more sustainable material supports a healthy environment for both wildlife and people.
So what can you do?
I boycott places that use Styrofoam, but that might not be possible for you. 1.Bring your own container, or ask for a real plate, many places can provide that for you! 2. Tell establishments how awful their packaging is. 3. Work to get Styrofoam bans in your community 4. Pick up Styrofoam litter so it doesn’t end up in our waterways.
If everyone does a small part, it can add up to a lot! Speak out.
Women are the heart of the earth, they get the big picture, and many see the need for community, and compassion for our Earth. If our planet is to survive, it is to the women we must turn. The past year has been an incredible year for women, and I hope many more women will feel empowered to move us to a better future. A future of community, communication and understanding beyond just power and profits! Get in your groove, and go girl go!
This is my occasional series on good news stories, I hope you learn something about the world and communities working together.
** Students of America stand up to their elected officials and the NRA. “We have the right to go to school without fearing for our lives!” Read at future leaders
** Across the Atlantic Ocean some awesome things are happening in regards to eliminating plastic. First, Queen Elizabeth declares war on single-use plastic at the palace and eating establishments that are part of the Monarchy. Also, a British supermarket eliminates plastic
** The marvelous country of Taiwan has set up a plan to eliminate single-use