Edible Bags

If you don’t already subscribe to http://www.mymodernmet.com, I highly recommend it. It’s been a wonderful source of creative inspiration and good news. Recently, they published this article about a Japanese businessman (Hidetoshi Matsukawa) moved to create better shopping bags (with a team of like-minded people). They produced bags made of (deer) rice crackers and milk carton pulp after Matsukawa learned that 14 local deer had died from ingesting plastic bags.

Let’s stop complaining about our problems (and each other) and DO something to be part of the solution (I’m telling myself this, too)!

Who Gives a Crap?

Costco shopping and the hoarders were back at it again. Hopped on “Who Gives a Crap” to order toilet paper and help the world. My friend Karen told me about them during the last hoarding phase:

  • 100% recycled paper;
  • They donate 50% of their profits to build toilets around the world (helping over 2 billion people thus far);
  • partnered with companies who help build sanitation systems and provide clean water

Sunday Suggestion

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My high school daughters pack lunches instead of buying school lunch. They have no access to lockers, so they have to carry everything all day. Tupperware takes up a lot of space in their backpacks and this year, they told me they don’t want to use bulky plastic containers anymore. They requested disposable sandwich bags.

This, when I told myself I wouldn’t buy those disposable baggies anymore. They’re bad for the environment! They’re wasteful!

So, I just purchased two sets of these:

Wegreeco Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bags – Set of 3 – (Odyssey)

It’s $11 for a set of three. It saves you money. It’s better for the environment. It’s stinkin’ cute. Do you need any other reasons to ditch the plastic ziploc bags and use these instead?

 

 

 

 

Habitats & Habits

I feel sorry for my sixth graders.

When I was in sixth grade, the only technologies to distract me were the TV and radio. I received my beloved yellow Sony Walkman years later. But even then, in order to make a mix tape, I had to listen to the radio on my boombox and catch my favorite song, hit “record” and “stop” at just the right time.

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Now, the barrage of sounds and images are relentless. You can hear the voices of your peers night and day from your phone. You can catch your favorite TV or film or YouTuber or musician 24/7. Filters and editing programs make everyone look slim, smooth and shiny. 

And if you’re one of the very few who does not own a phone, you might be ostracized. You are deemed too poor or your parents are too strict. You’re square (do they say that anymore)! Regardless, laptops are ubiquitous. The temptation to enter fantasy land is everywhere

I just completed reading Eric Barker’s “Barking Up the Wrong Tree.” The book is a compelling read, replete with interesting anecdotes and scientific data to back up his various assertions regarding personal success. One of the most important tips he offers is the adage “control your environment.” A closely linked axiom: know thyself

The most successful and productive people practice this. A few examples:

  • disconnect from the internet while working;
  • place cell phone in the other room;
  • never keep junk food in the house;
  • never hit snooze – get right up (!);
  • work before pleasure;

and so on.

I remind my students that “success” – whatever they define it to be – is within their reach. But they must make a commitment to it and do the necessary work.

Now, more than ever, knowing oneself and taking actions to ensure meeting one’s potential might be the most challenging – yet important – task at hand.

 

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are my new favorite flower. I just learned that they are “hyperaccumulators”! They absorb toxins and pollutants so well that thousands were planted in Chernobyl to absorb radiation. They were also planted in Fukushima to clean up that toxic spill.

The trick is to harvest and destroy them before they produce toxic seeds that birds could eat. sunflowers

Earth Year

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Gareth Newstead

Our Earth deserves more than a day of observance. We teach our students about the Earth and taking care of her on April 22. How can we incorporate these lessons throughout the year?

How can we effect positive change for our environment on a daily basis?

Small gestures on a consistent basis can make a big impact:

  • utilize reuseable shopping bags instead of using the plastic bags at the grocery store;
  • purchase in bulk;
  • walk, don’t drive (when possible);
  • conserve water;
  • utilize organic methods, not pesticides or hormones;
  • solar, not coal;
  • recycle, not garbage

Let’s take care of our home. It’s the only one we’ve got.