Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, for Earth’s Sake

earth

I clearly remember rolling my eyes on more than one occasion when my mother reused the Wonder bread bag to wrap my sandwich or when we used the jelly jars for things that had nothing to do with jelly. Back then we weren’t even talking about recycling when she washed and reused the foil and those Styrofoam trays from the pork chops– all we knew was that if you reused it, that was less you had to buy.

Today there are more conversations about conserving, recycling and saving the planet and we are discovering that if we’re not careful, trash will take us over. Before we began recycling I noticed how much trash my husband and I generated. One Saturday I realized that this was just our trash—how many other folks were generating this much stuff every week, every month, every year?

Think about how much water we use/waste. From everything I know, water will be the new “gold” in the future. It will be the entity that wars are fought over, the bargaining chip for countries whose clean water supplies are scarce. Think about how precious our water supply is.

Think about how much good, clean water goes down the sink daily when we brush our teeth, shower, wash dishes, wash clothes, water the lawn–then consider how many news reports we’ve gotten lately about floods and droughts in other areas. A few years ago Flint, Michigan had a severe problem with its water supply and the long term effects are still unknown.

We are not bad people but bad habits are driving our inattention and abuse and we must decide today that we’re going to do better.  Experts believe that it takes 21 days to form new habits so please commit to do at least three or four earth-friendlier things on my list to make a difference in your home and in the environment:

  • Reuse your towel at least two times, and switch to a low-flow shower head.
  • At the restaurant, if the server brings you water, refuse it if you never drink it. If you receive water, be kind to your body and drink it. The following statistic prompted this suggestion: researchers found that the average American eats out close to five times a week and about 315 million Americans eat 260 meals at restaurants each year. If each person receives six ounces of water and it goes unused, they estimated a total of 3.8 billion gallons of water per year is wasted. Add another 16 billion gallons to wash the glasses and the total comes to 20 billion gallons nationally—enough to fill 31,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/07/california-drought-restaurant-policy/ Need I say more?
  • Make sure the dishwasher and washer are full before you run them. Instead of turning on the dryer for one item, throw in a few more.
  • Request an energy audit from your utility or heating/cooling company to see if/ where you’re wasting energy.
  • Use real plates and glasses instead of paper ones for your beverages and snacks.
  • Keep your reusable grocery bags in the car so they’re always handy.
  • Wet your toothbrush, turn the water off, brush for two minutes, then rinse.
  • Buy smaller quantities of food so it doesn’t expire before it can be consumed.
  • Look for the “reduced for quick sale” items at the store and enjoy yummy food at a fraction of the price.

Changing habits takes time but if we each give our best efforts, together we can make THE difference. In 1855, Native American Chief Seattle of the Duwamish people, said “Every part of the earth is sacred.”  And so it is. Let’s treat it that way.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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What’s That You Say

closing ears

“I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

I’ve read this quote from Voltaire at least a hundred times and the more I read it, the more I embrace it. The frightening thing these days is that the sentiment seems to be “I don’t like what you say, I don’t want to hear it, and I don’t want anybody else to hear it.”

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Mueller is Finished, Now What

Mr. Mueller is finished, now what?

Election candidate

I don’t know about you, but I am relieved that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation into alleged irregularities surrounding the 2016 presidential election. I don’t know Mr. Mueller personally but over almost two years I have come to trust him since he seemed to be one of the only honest/honorable/trustworthy men on earth, or so we’ve been told.

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Getting The Best Money Can Buy

money

I’m having all kinds of feelings about the admissions scandal that hit the news last week. It seems that rich, powerful parents paid thousands of dollars to get their children into the best schools, on the best teams, and then the person who’s responsible for masterminding it, decided to tell everything.

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It’s March, Let’s Celebrate

March

If you’re looking for a reason to celebrate this week, I’m happy to provide fodder for consideration. Since March 1, we’ve had National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, National Pig Day, National Celery Day, Katie Fisher Day—not quite national but this one invites you to pick someone you love and bake and send them cookies. If that’s not a reason to rejoice, I don’t know what is!

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Happy National Nutrition Month

nutrition

On any given day, we don’t do much thinking about diet and nutrition unless we’ve been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or if we’re trying to drop/gain a few pounds. Sure, we try to eat right and stay healthy, but during March, National Nutrition Month, (NNM) let’s learn more because nutrition and diet are critical to our quality/quantity of life. Thank goodness for “…an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. NNM focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”[i]

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Every issue is a Women’s Issue

Women's History Month

March 1 will bring in Women’s History Month and I think we ought to celebrate all the phenomenal women we know. They don’t have to be well-known or have their names written in lights — I think just being important to their families and communities, surviving too much work, making do with less, squeezing every dollar until it hollered—yep, that’s what phenomenal women do and look like.

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There’s Enough We Don’t Know

know

I was always an inquisitive child, always asking questions, and wanting to know stuff. My great-grandmother lived in our home and she’d patiently provide answers until she either didn’t know them or got tired of me asking. She’d applaud my curiosity and end most conversations with, “Baby, there’s enough you don’t know to make a whole brand new world!” She was right, of course, and at the end of our lives there‘ll still be enough we won’t know to make a new world but perhaps we will be a little wiser and happier because of our discoveries.

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What The World Needs Now is Love

love

What the world needs now is love, sweet love…,

“That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…”

These beautiful and powerful lines by gifted songwriters Hal David and Burt Bacharach continue with “…No, not just for some, but for everyone.”  This week has Valentine’s Day in it and this provides a perfect opportunity to spread some love around.  I say let’s get busy!

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Monday is World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

Monday is World Cancer Day and while this designation is probably one you’re not familiar with, I am delighted that somebody thought it important to educate the world about this scary disease. I’ve said before my grandmother was so afraid of cancer she wouldn’t even say the word. She whispered, “I think I’ve got “c”. After seeing the ravages of this disease, I know why she was scared literally to death of getting it. The wonderful thing about February 4 though is that people across the world are pulling together to educate, celebrate advances, and promote prevention, early diagnosis, new treatments, and support.

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