And from Future Crunch 99 good news stories:
Good news gives me hope and I hope these stories give you hope for 2020!
The two stories from 2019 that give me most hope are the leadership of Greta Thunberg, climate activist, and Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand.
Everyday get outside for a walk, and everyday do something good for our earth. You will be happier and the world will be happier too!
A new year brings new energy, new projects and hope into our lives. May we move on to a positive new beginning for us all. One thing that 2018 told us is that our Earth is struggling with harmful human activity. Our warming climate and our dependence on single-use plastic can have tragic implications as we move into the future. We can’t predict the future, but plastic waste and climate change are not going away.
If everyone does a small amount it can make a big difference! I have two things you can do to make a big difference on the Earth this new year. Even if you change one thing you do, and focus on that one thing in 2019 you will be making a difference!
When I started this blog years ago, I was trying to get people to recycle. While I hope you will still recycle what needs to be recycled, it has become harder and harder to recycle that pesky plastic. Glass, aluminum and paper have markets, but we just use so much single-use plastic and there aren’t enough markets for plastic. Plastic can’t be recycled over and over like glass and aluminum.
We need to reduce our plastic footprint. Start by changing one thing you purchase in plastic. At our house we refill bottles/containers with bulk at our local coop: soaps, lotions, teas, nuts, rice and almost every dry product we eat. We make our own yogurt, humus and cashew milk. Even as hard as we work on this we can’t avoid all packaging, it is too ubiquitous. As human beings we haven’t figured out our complicated relationship with plastic. The best thing is to avoid it.
Tackling food waste is another way we can all make a difference. If you purchase in bulk you can get just the amount you need. Forty percent of our food in the USA goes to waste, I mourn the valuable water and energy wasted on uneaten food! How have you done on your holiday leftovers? Freeze, cook, eat that food! Be vigilant. I make it into game with myself to be creative making new items from left-overs to keep from wasting food. Just think of the water and energy that we could save! Also, rotting food waste in landfills creates methane contributing to warming the planet.
Some inspiration from Dan Rather: ” I stand at the precipice of 2019, alongside all of you, and breath deep a spirit of empathy and a determination to do our part to help make this world a better place.”
Happy hopeful new year!
For many of us the past few days have been sad and disappointing. We so want decision makers that we can trust, and who see a vision of justice and respect for all. There is much work to do so we have to jump out of our sadness and work for a better world. Our world still depends on how we each live our life everyday.
The next month is crucial to talk to those running for elected office. Candidates will be everywhere, at your door, at community events and hopefully having debates. Tell them what you expect and what is important so get your one minute speech ready. Take action on the issues that matter to you.
Candidates for office need to hear us say how important clean water and clean air are to us. They need to hear us say that we need plastic bag and Styrofoam bans. They need to hear us say we need easier recycling and organic compost. They need to hear us say it needs to be easier for everyone to vote. They need to hear us say there are too many guns on the street, and of course women’s health care and women’s right to choose. What is important to you? What is your one minute speech?
The quality of our world still depends on how we each live our lives. Get out there make things happen: Vote and get others to vote, be healthy and stop using chemicals, pick up trash, and everyday work for zero waste. Our world depends on how we each live our life and there are many people out there doing magnificent things.
“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, …courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. To live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” –Howard Zinn
Who would ever think you would wake up to 9 degree temperatures on April 9? It has been a cold two weeks of 20 to 30 degrees below normal! Meteorologist Paul Douglas calls it “Weather Weird!” One theory is that the warm weather in the Arctic and Alaska could be hijacking jet streams causing polar air to move south. I recollect some of this happened during the famous Polar Vortex.
Yes, it is cold but the days on Lake Superior are sunny and beautiful. Deer are feeding wherever they find open snow-free ground, the eagles are protecting their new babies, and the migrating seagulls and Canadian geese are back. Mourning cloak butterflies are finding sunny muddy patches, and ore boats are again crossing the big lake. All are signals that spring is finally on its way!
April can be the cruelest month, but April can also be one of the best months to be outside. I hope you get outside to experience the changes and new beginnings. Make a daily walk part of your routine. Enjoy!
Life Liberty and Happiness
These words from the Declaration of Independence which declared our independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. Today is the USA’s 241st birthday.
It appears to me that more people than usual are thinking about what it means to be an American on this 4th of July holiday. We grieve a lack of leadership, but it is the people who have always made the U.S. great and we must have hope for the future!
On This 4th of July celebrate what is great about our country: Celebrate our beautiful landscapes and parks, celebrate our diversity and our right to speak out. Celebrate that we have a free press working hard to get us the real news, and find the truth.
Democracy is hard work and it is messy. As Americans I hope we will continue to speak out honestly, strive for truth, work for justice, and act peacefully. Continue to March, call your elected officials on issues (local, state and national), write letters to newspapers and officials, Carry signs, wear bold t-shirts, ask questions, follow the rules(we are a nation of laws), and pursue the common good for all! It is our children’s destiny. Wishing you happiness and justice on this 4th!
See Neil Young’s video below:
“A strategy needs to be something that can be sustained!” President Obama on fighting ISIS
How are we as a society failing our twenty-some year old young men? The shooters in San Bernardino were living the life the men I talk about below wanted. Where can we find a life of hope and purpose for these young men? How can they be encouraged to connect to the world around them?
This is a blog I wrote after the Paris terror attack:
Today I am writing about the young men I met on a recent trip, and I am calling on the wealthy, big corporations, the United Nations, and the World Bank to help them by creating jobs.
My husband and I have just returned from Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia. In the past few years we have also travelled independently to Serbia, Bosnia, Romania and other Eastern European countries. These countries are democracies, but are still struggling after Soviet domination for many years. The message we hear from the frustrated twenty-some men is, “We have NO hope!” These English-speaking locals approach us as we wait for buses, ride ferries, trains, or are looking at a map on the street. Unemployment is very high and most we talk to are unemployed or a few are in a low wage jobs. They have no confidence in their governments, and feel hopeless about their futures They say they have to pay bribes to get jobs, and to get into the military. Some of these young men are Muslims, and some are Orthodox Christians. They think the only solution is to move to Western Europe, Canada or the United States. What is upsetting is the place and time and people change in these discussions, but their message stays the same! I need to leave to find a better life!
Their frustrations are so enormous that it frightens me they will take any avenue to escape their situation. Clearly, the answer is not with their governments. Kosovo can’t account for all the funds NATO has given them to rebuild from their recent war.
The solution needs to exist inside their own countries. If companies are looking to expand, don’t forget Eastern Europe. Large corporations expanding and creating jobs in these countries could make a big difference! The men we speak to appear to be educated and have good communication skills, and say they are willing to work hard.
It is such a waste of human energy to have energetic minds struggling for a future! The roots of terrorism are very complicated and my ideas are simplistic, but how can these individuals feel they are important, that their lives matter, and that they can contribute worthwhile things to society? What are some sustainable jobs and industries NGOs or private business can start or create in Eastern Europe?
Much needs to be done, but as I ride buses through the countryside these are the things that could be win-win for Europe and the entire world:
- Solar is a natural for this area. Wealthier areas have solar water heaters.
- Recycling is lacking and plastic litter is an enormous problem. How could these plastic bottles and bags be made valuable?
- ECO Tourism. Albania is on the Adriatic Sea and the ancient and historic sites make for some fabulous tourist attractions.
You ask me, “Where are the girls and women?” I can’t answer that question. Sometimes on the street you see a hundred men to one woman. Some women do have jobs, and girls are going to school, but overall this is a place where the men seem to dominate.