Category Archives: climate change effects

Green Choices for a Better World

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One summer morning of my 16th year, after eating a delicious large breakfast

with my Aunt Marie, she said we had a ‘chore to do.’ We were in my Aunt

Dot’s kitchen in Rockport, Massachusetts.

I put some beat up tennis shoes, raggedy jeans shorts and a dark t-shirt

on. Aunt Marie wore a red bandana over her golden hair, with a blue pair

of, what we called then, “pedal pushers” on and a red light weight blouse

on.

We stashed, in the ‘boot’ of  Aunt Marie’s little red, sports car, paper bags

of recyclables, a large box of technical equipment, that had a few television

parts and cords thrown in.

On the way to the area of the city dump, Aunt Marie explained about

composting and recycling. She also told me something I had never

thought about and here is the ‘gist’ of her lesson:

“Out on this Eastern seaboard, we have limited space, we’re very concerned

about the Atlantic Ocean, mercury’s effect on our fish, gas and oil discharges

from fishing and recreational boats. We want to make sure we all have a

clean place to live and swim in.” (This was 1971.)

We were heading up a great hill, to where there were various sizes of sheds,

dumpsters and piles of discarded items. This was my introduction, seeing

this process in ‘full swing,’ to thinking more about environment and ecology!

My Aunt Marie had me grab the box, while she took two armfuls of paper bags,

and we headed towards the designated areas. Technical equipment, including

cords, cables, computer screens and ‘motherboards’ were in a large shed.

If one wanted to ‘shop’ in amongst the discarded equipment, you were not

going to be prevented. They actually encouraged recycling and re-using.

We then took the glass bottles to an area, with a lot of shelves, and a woman

sitting in front of a small table with an old calculator figured out our pennies

earned and gave us money for the soda bottles ‘returned.’ The glass jars that

were from spaghetti sauce, mayonnaise, and other condiments did not receive

monetary payment, but I already became aware that recycling these would

preserve the local environment.

Over forty years ago, when Bay (Village) High School held fundraisers

for different clubs, associations and team sports, we would collect bottles,

cans and newspapers. I have a photograph of myself, with a felt pink hat,

resembling Annie Hall or some other cultural style leader, so I thought!

I am wearing a ‘maxi”length beige coat, and am in front of the truck Science

Club would rent. We were piling newspapers, magazines and other paper

products. I am with some of my good ‘geek’ friends. Although, not included

in the yearbook photograph, we girls are laughing at the ‘boys’ who were

pawing through the “Playboy” and “Esquire” magazine donations.

We were equally aware of the environment and the financial value of this

monthly fundraiser. Unlike I am as an adult, who is reluctant to volunteer,

I was always in the midst of such functions. As a member of Science Club,

Thespians, Publication staff and Marching Band, along with the certain times

of year, (as a Girl Scout), we sold donuts in the Autumn and cookies in the

Spring, I volunteered. Although only in the photos of Science Club in my high

school yearbook, was I featured.

When I think back on those times, I felt involved and essential in many

ways. I also found out, over time and conversations, this was more rare

than not, from my friends who I met in later years.

I wonder, do you remember being involved in ecological, environmental

volunteering or fundraising during your school years?

It is a pleasure to feature some local and global “Green Choices” available

recently, here in Central Ohio.

It is not as “helpful” as volunteering, but it feels good to share that we

are still in this together, trying to make ecologically ‘correct’ choices!

The founder of a local skin care company, “Juicy for Sure,”  Valerie

Dupree, talked recently. She was suggesting trying products that are

free of chemicals, such as paraben and phthalates. (Not sure what this

is, but I rechecked spelling twice!) Her company features body care

products made from natural sources. They are unscented and stored in

glass containers. A reminder given, those stored in plastic packages are

more likely or are believed to create chemical ‘contamination.’ The

natural skin care company, recently added a new men’s lotions line.

They claim many of their products “leave no greasy ‘after-feel.'” There

was a Worthington, “Green on the Green” function that my youngest

daughter attended, believing that what she puts into her body and onto

her body, directly affects her outbreaks of eczema and inflammation of

rheumatoid arthritis.

You may also purchase “Gardener’s Lotion” and a sweetly scented

body lotion, “Dew Drop.” My youngest daughter is not involved in this

business and would not purchase any scented products. Look for these

products and more online, at Juicy for Sure. Their skin care line promises

“artisan crafted,” “eco- conscious” products while feeling “luxurious.”

Solar panels have been considered great conduits to natural forces for

quite some time now. There is a local Central Ohio, Columbus-based

company who won a recent award for being one of the top 3 National

winners in the “Green Homes” category. The quarterly “People and Planet

Awards” find eco-conscious companies and hand out different categories

of awards. The name of this national nonprofit, sustainability organization

is “Green America.”

Kevin Eigel, who is the President of “Ecohouse” will use the $5000 award

to help fund a solar installation for a co-op building called, “Third Hand.”

Ecohouse. com is one that I am proud to list as nearby. I wish I could build

a home having Kevin’s company install solar panels on my roof.

My Dad was very interested in having solar panels on their retirement

cottage in Vermilion, Ohio, believing in both the wind and sun as being

important natural contributors of energy. I have to admit, they did not

complete this project.

Soybeans in Iowa were recently researched in a study found in “Food

Chemistry” journal. The foods we ingest are very important to know

more about, as our society and world has changed the processes. The

study tested soybeans grown from seeds that were genetically modified

(GM) to be resistant to the herbicide, Round Up.

Thirty-one different Iowa farms were participants in this study. The

results found that GM soybeans contained significantly higher levels

of  the toxin, glyphosate. This is one of the main chemicals found in

Round Up.

Of course, this is the reason to ‘buy local,’ as often as possible, from

farmers who use natural ways to grow their soybeans.

I am learning more about being aware of non-GMO soybeans and other

vegetables.

Organic foods are the best ones to put into our bodies. Also, they have

found there are higher levels of good ingredients in naturally grown

soybeans, higher levels of protein and zinc, along with lowered levels

of saturated fats.

Global recognition is my final thrust in this going green article. There is

an international rise in sun-generated power in the United States, Italy,

Germany, China and Japan.

They were named as countries producing more than “10 gigawatts of solar

products” to promote a greener economy.

In India, villages are switching to solar power, also. Their environmental

‘watch group’ is called, “Earth Hour.”

IKEA, Scandanavian produced furniture) has sold over $10,000 worth of

solar panels to 17 British outlets. England is aware of the reason for using

solar energy to generate warmth and heat.

Peru is also starting to install solar panels in a National Photovoltaic

Household Electrification program. This began last July, 2013. (Boy, I

had to check the spelling three times on that mouthful of words!)

The conclusion of this varied report that included personal experiences,

research on soybeans, solar panels and local companies that have been

shown to incorporate natural products is to encourage more awareness

in your area of the world.

There are so many parts of our lives that we ignore or procrastinate

in. I recycle paper, glass, cardboard and plastics. At work, our

boxes get put on a cardboard line, which compacts them into

flat smashed ‘boxes’ that get picked up by a recycling company.

Our discarded plastic goes in another location, where it is collected

and corded together with its compaction process, too.

What kind of changes are you already making to help make your area

of the world a better place?

I am interested in any new ‘green’ products, natural foods that have

more nutrition that you would recommend, and any other suggestions.

What are some changes that you have made to become more involved?

 

 

 

 

 

 

No White Halloween Today!

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On the morning before I left Columbus, Ohio there were varied parts

of Ohio with snow! I was wondering about my Cleveland trip, as were

my friends and coworkers, too. It turns out, the West side of Cleveland,

as always, was not “hit” by any snow. They received only a dusting of

frost that made the branches and windshields look like they were iced

with vanilla frosting.

There have been since the year of 1960, where Cleveland had a huge 7″

of snow on November 11, 1983. This is considered the most snow since

that date. Then there is the earliest snow since that date, October 2, 1974.

I would have been a senior at Bay High School that year.

White Halloweens seem to be a rarity, unexpectedly around here!

I was grateful for the warmer 60 degree weather day yesterday and look

forward to two more activities around Mom’s senior living apartments:

The monthly celebration of October birthdays with cake and the annual

Halloween dress up in costumes and enjoy apple cider with donuts. And

all in one day!

My outside the facility activities will be on Friday, with a trip to Friendly’s

for my Mom’s 84th birthday celebration. I will tell them that my birthday is

coming up in November and this is our only day that both will be celebrated

together. My next trip to Cleveland will be over Thanksgiving, where my

youngest daughter’s birthday will be celebrated and a call to my little Marley

girl for hers. Her parents will either have Marley’s b’day party before the

holiday or after. Either way, they will be assured of my attendance! She will

be five years old and my youngest daughter will be 28 years old.

The other outside Mom’s apartment activity, later on Friday evening, will be

to Chagrin Falls, a whole hour’s drive Eastward, to a juried art show. My

brother will be with me, hoping that he won an award. Randy is a widely

respected artist, but still, like the best of us, loves to “win” awards!

This is going to be a wonderful, less spooky and quieter Halloween Day for

my Mom and me!

Happy Halloween!

Who is in Denial?

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My friend, Anna, who is on an online dating service discovered my

friend, Peggy’s boyfriend on it. I entitled that post, “Moral Dilemma.”

The follow up is going to include an update on that situation along

with all the meanings of the word “denial” and how, in one way or

another, we all are in some form of denial. That is just my opinion,

though!

The four meanings of the word “denial” can be found in my home copy of

the Brittanica hardback version of a dictionary. It has a “gold leaf” edge

to the pages and golden embossed letters on the front cover, establishing

its “importance”and significance. I used this throughout my college years,

(received it from an English teacher when I graduated from high school).

This came in handy during my child rearing years, and finally, my brother,

Randy and I use it often while we play either Boggle or Scrabble.

This second meaning encompasses Peggy’s situation, “refusal to admit

the truth of a statement.” When faced with her boyfriend’s photograph

on the website, Peggy first denied it was even him! There was his birthday

and horoscope, his work or occupation, and even his income was accurate.

She admitted the facts were correct but here were her first three “excuses”

given for the situation.

First, Peggy said, “Anyone can cut and paste a picture of Tim and put it

on a dating website.”

Second, Peggy said, “Tim doesn’t have that much interest in dating but

maybe he paid to look at some of the local single women. It is better

than finding out he was on a porn site!”

Thirdly, Peggy said, “My sister Patty put me on match.com last year,

I didn’t do much but look, maybe his mother or sister put Tim on it?”

When we showed her the fact that the person, (whoever it may be??)

was “Active this week” and “Could be contacted on email or IM” she

was sure that if Anna set up a date, he would not come or answer her.

We did not press the issue. Peggy’s denial was in refusing to see that

there may be a possibility of a problem.

At least we felt we had done our “duty” as a friend, telling her we

would want to knowif someone we had dated and lived with for over

fifteen years… Maybe those who said to mind our own “bee’s wax”

were right!

The first choice definition in my dictionary for “denial,” happens quite

often in families. This meaning is the “refusal to grant something asked

for.” Well, that happened two Fridays ago to my grandkids who were

in “hot water” and facing “punishment” of being grounded. They could

not go to the Splash Pad with Nana! Permission denied! (Due to the

extreme severity of removal of Nana priveleges, I pleaded with the

grandkids to be very good the following week.) Thus was able to have

a splendid afternoon, with Mommy and Nana at Powell, Ohio.

The third definition of denial is a little sketchy, as far as, how many

of you will fall into this category. But I am trying to “build my case”

(not in a court of law, mind you!) that we are all in denial, in one way

or other! This is “refusal to acknowledge something. A state of disbelief,

or rejection.”

My biggest example I could think of, not in the dictionary, was how our

society as a whole has embraced the term, “Mid Life Crisis” as a real and

serious conflict to be met at varying times in our life. Some think it will

occur at age 40 and some think anytime a man or woman goes out to the

automobile showroom and drives off with a flashy red car, they are in a

mid life crisis! I have had many of my friends, in “denial” of their aging.

They are still wearing cute and appropriate clothes, moving gracefully

along into their firties and sixties.

The last and fourth meaning of “denial” is more often met during the

after holidays’ season of January through the rest of winter until we

unveil our lighter and healthier selves in the summer… “Denial” means

“cutting back or restricting or limiting” something…. like calories or

appetite. I am not too great at denial of chocolate, donuts, cake, pie,

chips, pizza, or almost any other things that should be limited after the

holidays. I am blessed with a great job that is like running a marathon

every day, that the calories don’t stick. But going back to that mid life

crisis, I had a doozy of one, gained almost 40 pounds and that has been

covered, I am sure somewhere else in this blog!

Denial never seems to be a positive word, whether a person is denying

their children from fun with their Nana (ha ha! Just teasing, Trista, my

dear daughter in law!) or if one is denying that the spouse or partner

has changed their habits drastically. Denial of a promotion is also a big

“bummer.” Denying there are shortages of water in the world, pollution, or

global warming (to me) are serious choices that could amount to limited

resources for our generations that follow us.

Denial can have serious repercussions or consequences when taken to

extremes.

I would like to ban the practice of denial! Does this sound a little like Peter Pan?

In his words, “I won’t grow up!”

Yes, you are correct, we need to accept denial as part of all our lives. Hopefully,

in moderation or in limited amounts!

 

“Chasing Ice” (Documentary Film, 2012)

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Rarely do I take off breathless in conversation over movies

that are documentaries! But “Chasing Ice” is an unusual type of

movie. It is directed by Jeff Orlowski, filming extreme ice and

climate change effects on glaciers. It was released in November,

2012 in the United States. It can be found on the internet and

Net Flix.

The man behind this project who helped set up cameras and is

on an Extreme Ice Survey team based in Boulder, Colorado, is

James Balog.

They recorded over time major effects, including what they term

a “glacier calving event” on Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland. This

extreme ice story shows remarkable footage of the beautiful,

almost blue Jello-colored glaciers. There are cracks, fissures and

a large portion of melted, irreplaceable ice ‘mountains.’

This film was nominated for some Academy Awards, receiving

one for Best Song, “Before My Time,” (written by J. Ralph).

It is a hauntingly beautiful song, as you can imagine, how things

are disappearing right before our eyes, due to Global Warming.

Sung by the actress, Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell, it made

quite an impression on me while watching the award given.

While you watch the song, you also get over 3 minutes of footage

of the Greenland project. It is breath-taking and worth your time!

“Chasing Ice” also won Best Documentary at the Sundance Film

Festival, 2012.

Mainly, if you wish to get a “feel” of this thought provoking film,

look up the title and see where it leads you. Walking over the

crunchy ice with his children, James Balog narrates this with

heartfelt words. There is a section of the movie, where you can

note in your mind how an iced version of a Grand Canyon-sized

mind-blowing rent cuts between the ice walls. When a year later,

they come back, the change is so tremendous that you may not

even believe it is possible! It is not recognizable except they have

the measure of how far from point A it took to get to point B.

The Extreme Ice Survey team has over 30 time-lapsed cameras

posted all over the world including Iceland, Greenland and Alaska.

They have cameras at Mount Everest and Glacier National Forest.

If this literally showed up in footage of our beloved Grand Canyon,

you would be very concerned of the erosion. There would be outrage!

In this other case, it is melting almost before your eyes!