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Incongruous Headlines April 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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AOL Mail served up the “top stories” this morning as it always does . . . with a pair of “newsworthy events” on each page. 

I don’t know how they decide which stories go where, but the pairings this morning seemed beyond bizarre.

From page one, a state of emergency in Arkansas paired with a slip, trip, and fall on Dancing with the Stars:

(a) ‘The Town’s Gone’: 5 Killed in Storms
Tornadoes tear across Arkansas, destroying homes and leaving up to 60 people missing amid devastation.

State of Emergency declared

(b)  Another ‘Dance’ Contestant Falls
Two weeks after Kirstie’s mishap, Karina fell hard after she tripped over partner Ralph Macchio’s jacket.

Why judges still congratulated them

OMG!  A Dance Contestant fell . . . hard

I hope she’s alright. 

Whew . . . at least the judges still congratulated them.

And page two wasn’t much better in light of the editor’s decision to match up a kitchen make-over with Lindsey Lohan’s planned duties at a morgue:

(c) Kitchen Looks Totally Different Now
White room didn’t have much going on, so a designer gave it a makeover that went far beyond a standard paint job.

You’ll recognize the images he used

(d) Lohan’s Grim Community Service
Found in violation of probation, she’ll do 480 hours of community service — some of which will be at a morgue.

Her duties at the coroner’s facility

OMG!  That kitchen looks so much better now! 

Oh, Lindsey Lohan has to serve time in a morgue working with a bunch of stiffs.  Serves her right.  She’s such a deadbeat.   

Hmm . . . I wonder what I should fix for breakfast. 

No rules.  Just press publish!

A Bucket Is Filled Drop by Drop April 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Balance, Nature, Sustainable Living.
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When we start taking steps in the right direction, we  become the change we wish to see in the world.

Even small changes can make a big difference because our actions inspire others to take action which inspires us to do even more.

A bucket is filled drop by drop.

1.  Clean Energy:  Urge your representatives to support alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, and water.  Make the switch to clean energy by purchasing power from renewable sources generated by wind, solar, and biomass, if they are available in your area.

Join Repower America to receive alerts while working together to demand 100% clean energy within 10 years.

2.  Energy Conservation:  Run your dishwasher only with a full load and use the energy-saving setting to dry the dishes.  Wash clothes in warm or cold water. Insulate your water heater and adjust its temperature to 120 degrees.  Monitor the temperature in your home, setting it as low as possible in the winter and as high as possible in the summer.  Clean or replace air filters as recommended.  Buy energy-efficient appliances the next time they need to be replaced.  Replace incandescent bulbs with compact flourescent bulbs.  Install low-flow shower heads to use less water.  Add weather-stripping and caulk around doors and windows to plug air leaks.  Ask your utility company to conduct an energy audit.

3.  Transportation: Consider fuel economy with your next automobile purchase ~ aim to buy a car that gets at least 30 miles to the gallon.  Walk, bike, carpool or use mass transit more often.  Urge elected officials to support cleaner, greener transportation options, including the addition of eco-friendly bike paths and walking trails.

4.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:  Reduce waste by buying minimally packaged goods and reusable products, rather than disposable ones.  Recycle paper, cans, plastic, and glass.  Avoid air fresheners and other perfumed products  and buy organic cotton clothing, fruits and vegetables to reduce the use of toxic chemicals ~ freshen the air by opening windows, or using baking soda, cedar blocks, or dried flowers.

5.  Habitat Loss:   Magnificent animals like pandas, tigers, elephants, sea turtles, polar bears, and gorillas are losing habitat.  Visit World Wildlife Fund  and join the Conservation Action Network (CAN), an advocacy network that addresses environmental issues such as endangered species, threatened habitats, global warming, forest protection, fisheries conservation, and other major conservation topics.

6.  Promote conservation:  Don’t buy furniture or decking made of tropical hard wood  unless it’s got a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label.  Plant local species of trees and shrubs.  Buy seafood products that have the Marine Stewardship Council label.

7.  Go Surfing:  Find charities that focus on issues of personal interest to you: Environmental Defense Fund, Save the Children, Green America, In Defense of Animals, Make A Wish, National Wildlife Federation, HSUS, Doctors without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, and World Wildlife Fund.

Whether or not you can afford to donate to these charities, use their web pages to educate your family and friends about the challenges we face and the steps we must take if we want a sustainable future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

Finally, check out The Better World Handbook for small changes that will make a big difference in creating the 7 foundations for a Better World:

  • Economic Fairness
  • Comprehensive Peace
  • Ecological Sustainability
  • Deep Democracy
  • Social Justice
  • Culture of Simplicity
  • Revitalized Community

If we start taking steps in the right direction at a local and regional level, we will see a filter up effect that will cause our elected representatives, as well as business leaders, to take notice.

Quote: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead

One small step by us . . . one giant leap for mankind.

What about you?

What are your favorite conservation tips and techniques?  Have you found ways to save money while saving the planet?

Related posts:  7 Ways To Celebrate Earth DayAnnie Leonard & The Story of Stuff  * What’s Your DOT??? * The Wisdom of Ecology (Sandra Pawula)