Do you know about the Environmental Working Group? For 20 years, I’ve been following the research they do and the alerts they share. From their website, “The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.” You may wish to follow them so you can be aware of what’s happening around us. I believe it’s vital. https://www.ewg.org/
Our birch tree stands behind our garage, where it is sometimes forgotten, I think. And then in the fall it lights on fire like a glorious sunrise over the garage, commanding notice from passersby. Its small leaves provide a wonderful rustling in the slightest wind but we do not SEE the tree that often. Until now. I love birch trees, both the paper and river varieties, which are most commonly seen here. There are several in our neighborhood that distinguish themselves with their glowing bark. Another reminder to pay attention to the glory all around us, both trees and people.
I am grateful for the research and awareness-raising that scientists, science writers, funders, and volunteers have committed to saving OUR coral reefs by recognizing the threats to their existence and developing new methods for rehabilitating the reefs that have been bleached. We can all help this vital part of our ecosystem, no matter how far away we live. This article, “Saving the Coral Reefs,” provides background, information about what’s being done, and concludes with contributions we can make. It’s our earth!
Some things make life easier. Having lived in many older apartments, I became an expert at laying down Contact paper. I wanted clean surfaces, easy to wash, that pepped up an often-grungy wood or painted surface. I lined many drawers and shelves. Our current home has 20-year-old Contact paper which, from experience, I know will be the dickens to get up, leaving behind a sticky surface that will need scrubbing to feel clean again. Ugh.
My most recent find is cork shelf and drawer liner. I am grateful to whoever thought of this because it is easy to clean, stays put without adhesives, and it’s not plastic.We learn. Today’s reflection is mundane but I believe it’s important to recognize that life gets better in small steps.
I made this commitment to write daily about something for which I’m grateful because I felt A NEED FOR OPTIMISM. Realizing that I have more than four things things to write about is … gratifying. After searching the term “need for optimism” the results are intriguing. Many good articles to read.
One of the most surprising was an announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year, something I follow as a graphic designer. This year it’s “Living Coral.”Pantone reports that the color was chosen because of our “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.” Laurie Pressman of the Pantone Color Institute explained, “We see the environment taking on an even greater role in the world we live in today for two primary reasons, one being how connected we are to technology. Because we are so connected to something that’s not real, we really need to find that balance closely and intimately with something that is real and you don’t get more real than nature.” For me, this is a three-fer: optimism, color, and honoring our environment.
Today, something more mundane. We have been working for 30 years to reduce our consumer impact on the planet. It was hard to give up paper towels. I am grateful for these huck cloths. Washable, lint-free, the right size, they can do everything a paper towel could do … and did I say they’re washable? We color code them: pink for the bathroom, green for the kitchen, yellow for the laundry room. It’s further progress toward our goal to lessen our household impact on landfills. I know my grandmother would approve.