Twelve Rs for December

Happy December! Being kind is so easy, and December should be a month of kindness. The Actions for Happiness Calendar is below. Earth kindness is also so important.

During December plastic waste and food waste increases. This December see how you can apply the some of the twelve Rs to reduce your plastic waste footprint. Start by banning all glitter from your home and always bringing your reusable shopping bags.

REMEMBER

REKIND

REDUCE  

REUSE  

REFUSE  

REFILL 

REPAIR  

REPURPOSE 

RETHINK  

REGIFT  

RESEARCH 

RECYCLE 

Plastic-Free Presents: Mindful Gifting for Healthier Holidays – YouTube 

Another video from Plastic Pollution Coalition:

Kindness creates a ripple, spread it every day, and everyday do something kind for the planet by reducing your plastic consumption!

Tips to use less plastic: https://health4earth.com/2022/02/27/tips-to-use-less-plastic/

World Kindness Day!

November 13, is World Kindness Day

Kindness creates a ripple of more kindness. Spread it now!

https://www.goodgoodgood.co/articles/how-to-celebrate-world-kindness-day

More on kindness here

So easy to make a positive difference, just smile!

Always be nice to everyone, and try to include everyone” Jayton Metcalf https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-designer-seeks-to-uplift-people-with-clothing-line-sporting-positive-messages/600222342/

Random Acts of Kindness

Do a random act of kindness. 

Pledge to yourself that you will do at least one random act of kindness each day. While these actions might seem small, that doesn’t make them any less important. 

You’d be surprised how picking up litter, leaving a review for a favorite local business, or writing a thank you note to a teacher can make a positive impact on yourself and your community. 

We’ve even compiled a list of over 100 ideas to practice random acts of kindness — check it out!

Ideas for kindness and happiness from Actions for Happiness:

Celebrate Diwali!

Take time this week to celebrate Diwali, “Victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”

Be kind, work for peace, relax and enjoy!

Good over evil, knowledge over ignorance!

Symbolizing the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, Diwali usually falls in the early autumn, coinciding with the new moon, deemed the darkest night of the Hindu lunar calendar. This is why dates change every year.

Read more here.

Peace On Earth

September 21 is the International Day of Peace

“As long as we have humanity, we have hope!” Amanda Gorman

Peace for Ukraine

Peace

Last night I had the strangest dream, I dreamed the world had put an end to war!

2022 Peace Day Theme:
End Racism. Build Peace. 

We all have a role to play in fostering peace. Tackling racism is a crucial way to contribute to this effort.

#PeaceDay

I’m calling on Valdimir Putin to end this awful war in Ukraine. This is an unjust attack on innocent people. I traveled to Ukraine about ten years ago. The people were charming and worked so hard to help and communicate with us. We loved the beautiful country and people. This is an unjust war and Putin needs to be held accountable.

In the past month I have read three books about immigrants. The dangerous journeys they take to escape violence are incredible. It is amazing they survive and they should be treated with kindness and understanding by all of us that have been lucky to live a life of freedom and safety.

Kindness makes a difference!

Reading list:

  • Ukrainian troops took the city of Izium in the country’s east from Russian forces, and made more gains in other regions, the military said.
  • The seizure was the latest triumph in a Ukrainian advance that has reshaped the war in just days.
  • Here’s where Russian forces are retreating in northeastern Ukraine.
  • Once-vocal supporters of Russia’s invasion criticized President Vladimir Putin over the retreat.
  • Bridge building has become a crucial, if low-tech, tool for both sides in the war.

Back To School September

September is a month of change. Many are going back to school, the weather is changing, days are shorter, and the monarch butterflies and hummingbirds in my yard are refueling for migration. May you take a lesson from the monarch butterflies to be energetic, happy and kind. What can we all do in our little piece of this vast planet to make the world and others happier and more kind?

Monarch butterflies bring joy

We all want our children to be safe, happy and kind. We want them to live in a healthy safe world. Some of this is hard to control, but we expect them to be safe while outside playing, walking to school, taking the bus, in their schools, and in in all aspects of their lives.

Have you thought of the unhealthy plastic children come in contact with daily? Plastic is loaded with unhealthy chemicals, and there are things you can do to reduce plastic exposure. Manufacturers use chemicals to make plastic soft and other chemicals to make it hard. We shouldn’t expose children to unhealthy materials especially when we have no idea what the long-term effects will be on them.

If you have children I would make an effort to reduce their plastic exposure.

Below are some ideas to reduce back to school plastic exposure. I am not recommending you go out and purchase new items, but hoping this list will give you ideas to reduce your plastic consumption, and reuse items you have within your household to keep children safe.

Go Back to School Plastic Free | (plasticpollutioncoalition.org)

1. Stainless steel food containers

Lunchtime is a common culprit for plastic pollution in a student’s school day. If your student brings their lunch to school, there are many ways to keep the plastic out. Replace the typical plastic zip-top bag, plastic wrap, with aluminum foil, stainless steel food containers, or paper or cloth bags

2. Cotton and wool lunch bags 

Once you’ve eliminated plastic from the inside of your student’s lunchbox, it’s time to tackle the lunchbox itself. Washable lunch sacks are a good option, and they are widely available at most secondhand shops. Look for plastic-free options such as old-school aluminum lunch boxes, or a lunch bag made from natural materials like this cotton and wool one from Life Without Plastic

3. Plastic-free school supply essentials 

Many back-to-school supply lists are unfortunately filled with plastic items (which, even worse, are often sold wrapped in plastic packaging). Shop for an excellent selection of plastic-free back-to-school essentials like notebooks, pencils, markers, papers, planners. Look for options that have less plastic!

4. Stainless steel water bottle

Studies show that there is 50% more microplastic in (plastic) bottled water than tap water. And plastic bottles—like all plastics—contain chemicals that harm human health. In addition to being healthy, plastic-free, stainless steel reusable water bottles are long-lasting, economical, and easy to use and clean. 

Finally, have a new school year filled with happiness, kindness, and lots of new learning and ideas.

Reading List;

One out of six children in the United States suffer from a neurodevelopmental disability, and there is strong evidence that links chemical exposures to neurodevelopmental delays.”

https://www.hbbf.org/blog/2022-07/six-new-cities-will-reduce-neurotoxic-exposures-babies-air-food-and-environments

The Ugly Face of Plastic – Health4earth

Plastics & Health – Are Phthalates Making Us Infertile? Plastic “Tox” Episode 1 with Dr. Shanna Swan – Plastic Pollution Coalition

Many of the world’s plastic containers and bottles are contaminated with toxic PFAS, and new data suggests that it’s probably leaching into food, drinks, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products and other items at potentially high levels.

15 List of Chemicals in Plastic – Properties – Dangers – AZ Chemistry  Meanwhile, there are many list of chemicals in plastic are harmful for our body, and also bad for our Earth. To be wise, it’s better to at least reduce the use of plastic in our daily life. Thus, we may replace plastic with more friendly product.

The first list of chemicals in plastic is Phthalate, the esters of phthalic acid. The main use of phthalate is as plasticizers, to increase flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. Factories made phthalate by reacting phthalic anhydride with alcohols.

What Is Plastic Made Of? (reference.com)

August Actions

If you are not doing something positive (for the environment) you are part of the problem” Don Shelby, former news anchor

If everyone does a positive Earth action everyday it will make a big difference

peace on earth

Lift up our planet!

We all know the Earth is suffering, it is burning up. Floods, wildfires, record temperatures, and storms are harming many people. A sick planet leads to unhealthy sick people and for long-term consequences for our children. 

Every day in August plan a positive action of kindness for our planet. It doesn’t have to be difficult: Pick up a piece of trash. Bring your reusable bags and your reusable cup/bottles to work and shopping. Maybe decide to drive less by running one less errand or not idling your car. How about a plastic- free day? Maybe use up all your leftovers and waste less food. Maybe plan out a deep-rooted pollinator garden for your yard or clean a storm drain. Maybe have a meatless day? Good Luck and thank you!

More ideas here:

100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet | Sierra Club 

17 Ridiculously Easy Things You Can Do To Help Save The Earth Every Day | HuffPost Impact

Historic Senate Climate Deal Would Reduce Emissions 40% By 2030 –

EcoWatch  10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth | HowStuffWorks

The Actions for Happiness group have ideas for kindness. Be kind and include our planet too!

Be kind to our Earth too!

What did you do to help our planet today?

July Choice

July should be one of the best times of the year. Make a choice to have outdoor time, listen to the birds and look for butterflies. Turn off phones and your TV and make a choice to enjoy your environment.

swallow tail butterfly

Enjoy the beauty of July!

Make a choice to be kind and work to be resilient. Make a choice for clean air by buying and driving less, and you will be doing something good for the earth. Make a choice to use less plastic and eat healthier. Wise choices will help you be happier. The Actions for Happiness group have lots of good choices for a happier July. Good luck!

Chin up, chin up
Put a little laughter in your eyes
Brave it, save it
Even though you’re feeling otherwise
Rise up, wise up
Make a little smile begin
You’ll be happy hearted
Once you get it started
Up with your chinny chin chin!

~ E.B. White

June Justice

Do something kind!

We live in an unjust world. Children are shot for being at school, shoppers are shot buying groceries, and whole countries are under siege because leaders are full of lies and visions of power. Poor countries are suffering from climate change created by wealthy countries. We live in an unjust world

Justice and Truth!

We must work for justice and truth. As a civilization we will not survive if we don’t work harder for justice and electing leaders who speak the truth and do not spew hate.

We must do more to keep our children safe, and gun violence should be an issue Americans vote on, only then things will change!

Gun violence in America kills more children than any other cause. This is not a civilized society! All countries have mental health issues, but the United States needs the gun restrictions that other countries have managed to pass. See information from John’s Hopkins below.

Be kind

Make an effort to spread kindness every day! Kindness creates a ripple for more kindness!

From John’s Hopkins University:

“Ten people shopping for groceries in Buffalo were killed in a racist act of gun violence. The next day, worshippers at a California church were shot in another racist incident. Last week, tragedy struck again, but this time in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people, including 19 students and 2 teachers were killed in a mass shooting.

All are tragic reminders of why we need lawmakers to implement gun violence prevention policies that can prevent this needless loss of life.

As the new Center for Gun Violence Solutions – formed from the recent merger of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy – we are continuing to fight for evidence-based policies to reduce mass shootings including firearm purchaser licensing, firearm removal laws such as extreme risk protection orders, and bans on large capacity magazines.” John’s Hopkins University

https://www.everytown.org/

This is an excellent speech: https://www.nbcnews.com/now/video/watch-president-biden-s-full-speech-addressing-gun-control-after-recent-mass-shootings-141353029701

Good suggestions for working for community health and a kinder world:

Three Simple Things

What Can I Do?

If you breathe air or drink water, you should care about the health of our Earth.

We all know the Earth is suffering. What we fail to recognize is that a sick planet leads to unhealthy sick people and for long-term consequences for our children. 

We must hold business accountable for the plastic they produce, and they must be held accountable if they pollute our air and water. Our elected officials need to be held accountable to hold oil companies and plastic producers to rigorous standards. Most important, we also have to hold ourselves accountable for how we pollute our air and water. Holding ourselves personally responsible is what we can control!

Even little things can make a huge difference if we work together. On Earth Day recalibrate your life to do three simple things a week to lighten our Earth’s load:

Choose one day to eat meatless, choose one day to not drive, and choose one day to be plastic-free. On plastic-free day don’t purchase or use anything plastic, and don’t or eat or drink food from plastic containers.

Don’t eat or drink from plastic

Every Day do something kind, and please take three breaths for peace in Ukraine.

Peace For Ukraine!

This reading list is too long, but I hope you can read at least one of these excellent articles:

On Earth Day ‘the world is not on track’ | Opinion – Minnesota Reformer 

Opinion | Enough About Climate Change. Air Pollution Is Killing Us Now. – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

3 eye-opening, science-based New Year’s resolutions that could help everyone | PBS NewsHour 

U.S. Has Highest Percentage of People Who Aren’t Worried About Climate Change in Survey of 31 Countries – EcoWatch 

Report lists Mississippi as one of ‘most endangered’ U.S. rivers | MPR News

‘Breakthrough’ Study Finds Microplastics in Human Blood – EcoWatch   

And from my city: Kick single use plastics. In Minneapolis, less than half of plastics are recycled. Most plastics are made from oil and gas. About 4% to 8% of the world’s oil product is for plastics, and most plastics are thrown away after a single use. Plastics collect in our lakes and rivers and break down into micro and nanoplastics. One way to help is to bring your own bag to grocery and convenience stores.

Coca-Cola produces 200,000 new plastic bottles a minute and sells 112 billion plastic beverage bottles worldwide every year for a total of roughly 3 million metric tons of plastic packaging. The majority of Coca-Cola’s plastic bottles are not recycled and only 11.5% are made from recycled material. Many of Coca-Cola’s plastic bottles end up littered in the world’s rivers and ocean.

New Day, Victory Over Darkness

Happy spring, the sun has returned

peace on earth

It’s a beautiful world. Spring is a gift.

March 20 is the first day of spring, International Day of Happiness and Nowruz. Nature has given us the beauty of spring. Be sure you spend time outside every day to appreciate our beautiful Earth. Ancient people celebrated the first day of spring thousands of years ago!

For the Northern Hemisphere, March 20 is the first day of spring. But for 300 million people around the world, it’s the beginning of a new year, too. Nowruz—which means “new day”—is a holiday marking the arrival of spring and the first day of the year in Iran, whose solar calendar begins with the vernal equinox. Nowruz has been celebrated in Iran and the Persian diaspora for more than 3,000 years. Its roots are as a feast day in Zoroastrianism, a religion practiced in ancient Persia that viewed the arrival of spring as a victory over darkness. The holiday survived the Islamic conquest of Persia in the seventh century and the decline of Zoroastrianism’s popularity, and it spread across the globe through the diaspora of Persian people throughout history. (Here’s how Persia became the world’s first true empire.

It is hard to celebrate much happiness with such an awful war going on. Instead, spring clean your brain, and think about mental health for yourself and those you love. It has been a difficult two years for the entire world, so be good to yourself and be good to the entire world.

How do you spring clean your brain?

5 Ways to Calm Your Anxious Brain – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

The author suggests practicing mindfulness, declutter your surroundings, reconnect with people, reduce news bombardment by reading or watching only two trusted sources for information, and finally keeping a journal. Read the article in the above link.

To truly clean your brain, you need to spend time outside. Let the wind blow through your hair, absorb some sun and breathe deeply. Find beauty in the outdoors and in nature and go for a walk. Write is your journal about what you observe. I saw my first junco and noisy robins today. Time in Nature Can Now Be Prescribed as Health Care Treatment in Canada – EcoWatch 

Give yourself some purpose, be kind, smile and do something good for the earth and your brain will be spring cleaned!

Wishing victory over darkness for Ukraine. Take 3 deep breaths for peace in Ukraine.

Hope for Ukraine!

The Earth gives us spring,

Enjoy!

The Actions for Happiness have created a website for International Day of Happiness and things we can all do to make the world a kinder place:

https://www.dayofhappiness.net

  1. SHARE POSITIVE MESSAGES: Spread ideas that promote peace, kindness and understanding, online and in real life. 
     
  2. CONNECT WITH PEOPLE: Reach out to people who you know are connected to a crisis and offer your care and support.
     
  3. GIVE DIRECTLY: Donate to causes working on the front line of a crisis or find a way to help with local efforts.

The site also offers a number of places you can donate to that help with the current crises in our world.
 

https://www.dayofhappiness.net

Finland continues to be the happiest country on Earth. I wonder if that can continue? They share a border with Russia.

kindness

Three breaths for peace!