8 Reasons To Love Earth Day

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Here are a few reasons to love Earth Day and stay committed to protecting the environment:

  1. According to the Earth Day Network, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries celebrate Earth Day.
  2. Climate Central created an interactive graphic that shows a state-by-state analysis of temperature trends since the first Earth Day took place in 1970.
  3. Dominique Browning’s New York Times interview with Brazilian photographer Sebastio Salgado, tells how falling in love with our planet can show us what we stand to lose.
  4. Earth Day inspired Google to create a fun interactive, animated environmental scene.
  5. Joe Romm from Climate Progress says this about Earth Day: “Affection for our planet is misdirected and unrequited. We need to focus on saving ourselves.”
  6. Antiwar activists in the late 1960s rallied across the country to raise environmental consciousness. It led to the creation of the EPA and passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Watch the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970.
  7. Eco-Activist, Beth Terry, author of My Plastic Life and Plastic Freewalks the walk on Earth Day.
  8. Nature is cheaper than therapy.

Image via Tumblr

Are The Kids Alright?

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The senseless act of violence against innocent people in Boston this week, once again leaves us mourning the loss of lives, worrying about the injured, and asking hard questions – Why? Who? What will happen next?

I jump every time the phone rings. Both my kids live in the Boston area. One has been in lock down twice this week…phone lines down…afraid to go outside. And like so many, I’m finding the heartbreaking stories and images of the bombings at the Boston Marathon difficult to view and comprehend. Yet, who can look away?

What about the children? How do we explain such unimaginable tragedy to children? How do they process an event that in our wildest dreams we could not even imagine happening? How do we help kids cope?

“It’s very difficult. The first thing you do is check in with your own emotions. Because you can guarantee whatever you’re feeling, your kids are feeling as well.” ~ Dr. Janet Taylor, community psychiatrist, Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry at Harlem Hospital

One of the most valuable lessons I learned as a teacher after 9/11 was that children develop a deep sense of empathy when they are given the tools to cope with difficult circumstances.

There may not be one prescribed road map to reassure children that they are safe, but here are 5 wonderful resources leading the way:

1. National Association of School Psychologists: A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope

2. American Psychological Association: Helping Your Kids Manage Stress In The Aftermath

3. Boston Mamas: Five Certainties Following The Boston Marathon Bombings

4. Parents: Boston Marathon Explosions: Be In Control of What Your Child Will Hear and See

5. Boston.com: After the Boston Marathon Explosions, What Parents Should Do

Our kids live in a difficult world right now. While they may not experience physical injuries, emotional wounds can run deep. Let’s take this horrific tragedy and encourage our kids to deepen their feelings of empathy…and please give your kids a hug.

Egg Shell Sculptures

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Elegant – These photos of gorgeous egg sculptures are created by Chinese artist, clinic Wen Fuliang.

Fragile – When Wen Fuliang was laid off from his job as a wood carver, pilule he turned to this unusual and skillful form of art to make ends meet.

Repurpose – He uses chicken, goose and duck eggshells to carve out designs and places of interest.

Artistry – Egg carving is done using a fine diamond bit on an electric rotary tool. Wen Fuliang carefully empties the yolk and egg white with a syringe and sketches a design on the shell.

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

MORE Easter posts:

DIY Silk Eggs From Old Ties
Super Natural Eggs
3 Ways To A Clean Air Easter
“Green” Easter

Photo via Daily Mail

Equal

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EQUAL: e·qual  /ˈēkwəl/ Adjective: Being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value. Noun: A person or thing considered to be the same as another in status or quality.Verb: Be the same as in number or amount.

It’s time for marriage equality.

The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments Tuesday in cases involving gay marriage.

3 Reasons why it’s time for marriage equality:

  1. 9 million Americans are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, according to a 2011 study by a scholar at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute.
  2. 49% of Americans now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in mid-March. 44% percent are opposed.
  3. There were 646,000 same-sex-couple households in the United States in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

My best reason for supporting marriage equality: I fell in love. Got married. Nobody told me I couldn’t. It should be every American’s constitutional right to marry the person they love.

Do you believe it’s time for marriage equality?

Source: Politico Painting via Designerman

Downhill Race To Save Winter

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During a recent conversation with a fellow skier, I mentioned my dire concern that climate change has derailed winter. Last year, my internal snow globe geared up as the temps dropped — skis tuned, fluffed up the down and kept the backpack ready to go at the first dusting.

No snow.

Same routine this year.

Snow!

But in my neck of the woods, the Catskill Mountains saw ski conditions that were just horrible. The mountain terrain for much of the season was mostly man-made snow cover on a thin natural base. This equates to dangerous ski conditions. The mountains were dotted with ice chunks the size of small cars. Bare spots with exposed rocks were interspersed among grassy craters. In February, local ski areas started closing during the week.

My friend said, “What’s a few degrees here and there? I’m not retiring the skis yet. You’ll see, winter will come back with a vengeance next year.”

Save Winter

Skiers, snowboarders and the ski industry depend on powdery frozen water, but snow sport enthusiasts all over the world can no longer expect a long “freestyle” winter’s ride.

According to a survey taken by the National Ski Areas Association, last year’s warm weather and low snowfall dropped visitors to ski resorts by almost 16%, the sharpest decline in more than 30 years. At least 11 of the nation’s 486 resorts went out of business. The survey concluded that “long-term  climate change” was a factor.

Protect Our Winter was formed to save winter:

“Protect Our Winters mission is “to engage and mobilize the winter sports community to lead the fight against climate change. Our focus is on educational initiatives, activism and the support of community-based projects.”

I asked Protect Our Winter Executive Director, Chris Steinkamp what’s up with the weather, and why it is so urgent to curb climate change now:

“I always say that what’s outside our window is weather, not climate. To accurately assess climate change, you need to look at the long term trends. The last decade was the warmest on record for example, and 2012 was the warmest on record in the US. Experts also say that with climate change will come some extreme weather in form of floods, tornados and snowstorms. As the weather warms  though, that snow will be rain. Be glad that its snowing today, but take a long look at the problem.”

Are winter sports headed for a chilly crash landing? Please read my interview with Chris HERE and find out what you can do to help protect winter.

Photo: Vintage ski poster