Zero Waste Lifestyle

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My daughter recently asked me if I knew anything about “zero waste living”.  I had to admit that I’d heard of it, but really didn’t know what it entailed.  So, I decided to look into it and relay my findings to all of you.

Zero waste is living without any waste at all.  So, this means that you don’t buy your toothpaste, you make it.  When you get coffee out you bring a mug with you and have that filled instead of a coffee cup.  You need to think about bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones, buying loose vegetables instead of ones in plastic bags.  Another great thing that is easy to do is to by your own steel straw and keep it with you just in case you end up going out for a drink, that way you can limit the amount of plastic straws you use.  By the way, you can also do this by bringing your own silverware with you if you end up in a fast-food restaurant.

The list of things that you have to think about is fairly long, and from what information I’ve found, it can take a while to get to zero waste.  There is a steep hill of learning to climb, to say the least.  A lot of it seems to be pretty time-consuming, and as an aside, the loophole of using “recyclable” plastic, can be more than confusing, since as I’ve come to know, much of what we “recycle”, doesn’t actually get recycled.  (The cost of recycling is going up all the time, and many of the countries that took recycling are not taking it anymore.)

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So, in my case, I could not go to zero waste, since many of the products at my local grocery store are packaged in non-recyclable plastic, from bread to vegetables, and many products in between. I don’t have the option of buying those items loose, since I’ve never even seen loose mushrooms, they are always packaged in the stores that I’ve been in.

That being said, there are a lot of other things that we can do to bring our waste down.  I almost always bring a bag with me when I shop, so I don’t have plastic bags.  If I do end up with them, I reuse them for as long as I can.  If I’ve forgotten a bag, I will often just put whatever is was that I’ve bought into my purse if it fits.  I also have quite a few net bags that I put my loose produce in – fruit and the vegetables that are sold loose.

While trying to live by creating zero waste is an admirable goal, I’ve found that the way we package food products, along with most of the other things that we buy, it seems to be a difficult task.  However, I absolutely advocate doing what you can in your daily life to create as little waste as you can.  After all, we have turned much of this world into a garbage dump, and What do you think about going zero waste?  I’ve left a few links below for you to check out if you’re interested.

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https://www.motherearthliving.com/healthy-home/zero-waste-living-zmfz15jfhou

http://time.com/5218046/how-to-live-zero-waste/

 

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November Reflections

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I don’t know about you, but November was not a fully productive month for me.  I re-injured my back, making my workouts more of a workout than I anticipated.  I attempted to do NaNoWriMo (national write a novel in a month).  I was aiming for finishing my dog book, which I did not accomplish.  However, I’ve gotten a start that I’m happy with, and intend to work on it more in the coming months.

I did sort and file most of my paperwork that’s been hanging around playing cards and drinking beer on my dining room table and credenza.  This only happened because I needed to use my dining room table for Thanksgiving – talk about a really good reason to do some organizing.  So, that was a good thing to finish.  And, to point out my state of disorganization, I thought that I had another week before Thanksgiving, so imagine my surprise when I realized I only had a few days to pull my dinner together!  That fact right there is another indication of how my month went.

One happy note is that I’ve started my Christmas shopping and can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully there will not be any extreme panicking this year.  So, how did you do with your November goals?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Pesticides and Children

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While we all know that pesticides are harmful for any creature, the evidence that they are also extremely harmful for humans continues to mount.  As you know, Monsanto cannot be sold in many countries due to the harm it causes.  Monsanto was taken to the international court, The Hauge, and this courts decision was to allow the bans against it to stand.  So, here we have not only scientific evidence that pesticides are harmful, but legal rulings against it, also.

The study linked to below, deals with an insecticide class known as Organophosphates which were developed in Germany in the 1940’s and are “like” nerve agents, which means that they target an enzyme (acetylcholinesterase ) that controls nerves signals, of course this destroys the enzyme, and then the insect also dies.  These insecticides are known as chlorpyrifos and are widely used in the U.S. and Europe.  Not only that, but chlorpyrifos are not only used in fields, but they have also been used in parks and playgrounds.  Since they have been used so widely, it is nearly impossible not to come into contact with them.

Until this meta study was conducted,(for those who don’t know, a meta study is the extensive study of many different peer-reviewed scientific studies) many people were under the impression that these were not “all that” harmful to humans, however by using the meta study (the study of many peer-reviewed studies from over 71 countries), the scientists discovered that the level of human harm is much higher than was previously thought.  Indeed, they discovered that there is no “acceptable” level, in fact, chronic low-level exposure is extremely harmful and can lead to problems in babies and children that include lower I.Q., problems with the mechanics of the brain, learning disabilities and memory problems.  Should many children have these problems it will become a societal problem.

I’m leaving the link to this information below.  Scary stuff indeed.

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 https://www.care2.com/causes/theres-no-safe-limit-of-pesticide-exposure-for-children-says-a-new-study.html

 

Go and Vote

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Vote for what you believe.  Don’t stay home..get out and let your voice be heard!

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Honoring Promises

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I had a wonderful friend who was roughly 40 years older than I am.  Her name was Millie and she lived across the street from me.  A few years after I met her she became my unofficial mother due to family problems.

Millie was always there with solutions to issues, a shoulder to cry on, or most importantly, a good story and a laugh.  My children loved to go visit Millie to “help” her with her chores, read, or just be with her.  She was a special person, and the closest thing to a grandmother they had.  We often talked books, characters and plots.  She was an avid reader also, and we were always comparing books and authors.  Eventually Millie became very sick with ALS, and died.  Since she was a fan of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series, one of her regrets was that she wouldn’t live long enough to finish the series.  Since her children didn’t read, she wanted me to read the entire “Kinsey Series” as she called it as a remembrance to her.

Y is for Yesterday

This task took me longer than I’d like to think about to complete.  I was always looking for ways to avoid it.  For one thing, I’d have to completely understand that she was gone, and not just away at the hospital, and this was something that took me a long time to get through.  For another thing, Sue Grafton hadn’t finished the series, and not only that, she was taking a long time to do so.  Finally, about two years or so ago, I decided I’d start the series and read it over a period of time, planning on finishing whenever the last novel was published.  This was not to be, since as all of us Sue Grafton fans know, the alphabet ends at “Y”.  (For those of you who don’t read Sue Grafton, she died in 2017 from cancer without finishing her series.)  So, for now, we’re all left wondering what did become of Kinsey Millhone?  I’ve put my imagination to work and come up with a few theories, but the truth is, we probably never will know.

S. Grafton

Sue Grafton

Honoring promises is important.  One reason for my not doing this sooner was fear that if I did finish, my memories of Millie would fade.  Yes, that is nonsensical, I know.  But, once I started the series, I was so glad.  The character of Kinsey Millhone has been an exciting one to get to know.  She’s added a lot to my life, and I often think about her.  Not only does Sue Grafton live on, but my wonderful friend and surrogate mother lives on as well.  Thank you, Millie, for this last gift.

 

 

A Positive Outlook

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If you tend to dwell in negativity that is all that you will find.  Looking for the best in life will force you to find it.  We do tend to find what it is that we’re looking for, after all.  I know this can be difficult (I too have spent way too much time in negativity), but remember, if you change your focus, you can change your life.

When times are hard, look at what is going right and build positivity from there.  Life is never just one thing.  Positive and negative both surround us, but if you focus on the good things it will give you the strength to overcome the negative.

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Alcohol and You

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We all know that alcohol consumption is big business.  Many t.v. shows seem to “push” drinking by having the characters drink when they come home from work, Madame Secretary and House of Cards come to mind here.  Being me, this has always made me uncomfortable.  I didn’t grow up in a drinking family…in fact, we only had some wine at holiday dinners. One memorial night, my Dad partook too much and was extraordinarily sick for two days.  This of course, turned me into a skeptic regarding the joys of drinking.  I later learned that my initial thoughts were correct.  And, since alcohol is a depressant I tend to drink not at all.  However, I’ve been told by many that the health benefits out way the negative impacts, and, of course, the old “everything in moderation” attitude.  I don’t know about that, there are plenty of things that I wouldn’t do, even in “moderation”.

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However, a recently published study shows that alcohol consumption leads to health problems.  After studying the results of hundreds of studies, researchers concluded that alcohol consummation was the seventh leading risk factor in death.  The more you drink, the higher your risk factor rises for many diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis, strokes, heart disease, along with diabetes, and other diseases.  I’ve left the link to the study below.

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While there are many out there who are saying that the research is flawed, this is not the first study that has stated the there is no amount of alcohol use that is “good” for you.  I’ve also left a link to a report regarding money and “scientific” research into the benefits of alcohol.  Like all money-making endeavors, follow who paid for the study, and you will find out who stands to benefit from a specific outcome.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31310-2/fulltext#seccestitle70

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/3/21/17139036/health-effects-alcohol-moderate-drinking-nih