Traveling This Summer? Here Are 5 Quick Tips to Minimize Your Environmental Footprint 👓👒💼🌱

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Those words from Mark Twain still ring true. When you travel, you can better yourself and change views you once held dear. You may fall in love with some destination cities that you never imagined enjoying. The more you explore while traveling, the more it may open your mind and expand your horizons. It can force you in situations you never imagined and with people from all walks of life, you may never have otherwise spent time with.

Beyond that, travel is a pleasure and luxury that most Americans enjoy. The travel industry is booming, and it continues to grow. Unfortunately, traveling can also contribute to negative consequences for the environment. There’s good news, though. Travelers with a passion for treading more lightly on the earth as they explore it can make choices to lessen the environment impact of their travels while enjoying travel’s little luxuries.

Tip #1: Use Public Transportation When Possible

While you’re traveling, try to look for alternatives to driving whenever it’s practical to do so. You may choose to walk to a store or sightseeing destination, or you may try public transportation in bigger cities. Public transportation is an awesome choice because it helps reduce emissions because of the number of riders at one time.

When it’s not possible to us public transportation at your destination, you may try riding in a low carbon car. Sometimes electric cars are a smart choice, while hybrids make more sense for other areas. Also, if you are going to drive, be sure to avoid quick accelerations unless you must, and never speed to avoid creating unnecessary waste.

Tip #2: Think Local at Your Destination

Of course, travel is more than getting to and from destinations. You will likely be consuming a fair amount of resources when you are on vacation. Think local while you’re there to better protect the world. For example, choose local produce and local goods to help both the environment and the economy of the place you’re visiting.

Tip #3: Bring Reusable Items with You

Create as little waste as possible during your trip by bringing reusable items with you. For example, instead of buying new travel-sized toothpaste, shampoos, and conditioners for each trip you go on, get reusable containers for those necessities. That can allow you to easily bring along your favorite, green brands, and it can also prevent a lot of excess waste from throwing out those containers. Other reusable items that you may want to bring with you include a water bottle, shopping bag, and laundry container.

Tip #4: Stay in Eco-Friendly Lodgings

Staying at eco-friendly lodgings doesn’t mean that you are sleeping under the stars on the cold, hard ground. In fact, staying at eco-friendly lodgings can mean many things. The Hi Hotel in Nice, France, has a Green Globe certifications for its many efforts to help travelers tread lightly on the earth during their stay. The Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina,offers over 70 sustainable practices as a part of its business operations.

The Green Hotels Associationhas been encouraging eco-friendly travel for close to 25 years. Eco-friendly hotels are more plentiful than many people realize, and large chain hotels are implementing greener practices these days, too. For example, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta has received recognition for setting a new standard in eco-friendly lodgings, and Hilton has been leading the way to improve the environmental performance and conserve resources to minimize the environmental impact of its hotels.

Tip #5: Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Travel is fun. Also, whether it’s to a nearby town or across the world, you can do a lot of good when traveling. Many of us travel as part of our jobs, and there are many good reasons to travel. If you want to offset the carbon footprint made during your adventures, you can take a few simple sets to do just that.

You may choose to trade in your car for public transportation when you’re at home, which can help you feel better when you have to rent a car at your destination city. It’s wise to eat plant-based meals; after all, animal agriculture is the number one man-made contributor to the destruction of the environment. You also might choose to plant trees in your community as well as the places you visit. Basically, offsetting your carbon footprint is about being proactive to make the best choices for the environment when you can so that it’s a little easier to handle the situations where you can’t.IMG_201704116_124516

The Wolf and the Man

During the most recent ice age, from about 20,000 years ago, large mammals such as bison roam on the sub-arctic tundra of Europe and Asia. They are preyed upon by two groups of hunters, both much smaller and weaker than themselves – but both with a sufficiently developed social system to enable them to hunt and kill in packs.

These hunters are humans and wolves.

The typical pack of wolves and of humans is surprisingly similar. It is family-based, led by a dominant male whose female partner is likely to have an authority second only to his. Members of the group are friendly to each other but deeply suspicious of outsiders. All members (not just the parents) are protective of the newly born and the young. Both species are good at interpreting the moods of others in the group, whether through facial expression or other forms of body language.

Legend acknowledges these shared characteristics in stories of children suckled by wolves. The other side of the same coin, in real life, means that wolf cubs adapt easily to life among humans.

   
For mutual benefit

Humans and wolves are competing for the same prey, but there are advantages for both in teaming up. For the wolf, human ingenuity and the use of weapons mean a share in a greater number of kills – and perhaps even an occasional taste of larger victims, such as mammoth. For humans, the wolf’s speed and ferocity is equivalent to a new weapon.

The partnership is natural. So, undoubtedly, is how it first comes about. People love to nurture any abandoned young animal, and a wolf cub is well adapted to learn the rules of a hierarchical human society (in which its place will be low). From this partnership all dogs derive. Unbelievable though it seems, every single breed of dog is descended from wolves.

For a species to become domesticated, it must be willing to breed in man’s company. ‘Breed in captivity’, the more usual phrase, implies a simple case of exploitation. The reality is more complex. In terms of survival, those species which have developed a relationship with man have far outstripped their wild cousins.

The most numerous large mammals, apart from humans, are cows, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and dogs. Domestic cats easily outnumber their wild equivalents, as do chickens and turkeys. The domestication of animals is based on an ancient contract, with benefits on both sides, between man and the ancestors of the breeds familiar to us today. article-1243709-07E173F3000005DC-690_468x474

   

Back to Basics: 8 Ways to Simplify Your Life 🌴🌿 🌾 🍃

It’s a crazy, busy world we live in, and it seems to be getting more hectic as time goes on. With all of the devices, technology, and media available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The reason people may feel adverse to the fast pace of the modern world is that it’s entirely different from the rhythm of the natural world and our natural instincts.

When you go out into nature, everything seems to be moving at such a soothing, even pace. Just as Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, and writer would say, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Yet if you look to around, you’ll find quite the opposite in our society. Some people tend to be so impatient, wanting everything immediately, or else disappointment and dissatisfaction sets in. For many of us, that’s not the kind of life we want to live. Going back to basics through simplifying your life is one of the ways we can empower ourselves and not get caught up in the rat race. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Know yourself and your priorities

This is the first step to living a life that’s your own which is a great way to simplify everything and become more focused and less distracted. To start simplifying your life, you’ll want to know what matters to you most.  Write some of the things that mean the most to you on a piece of paper or journal about it. Here are some ways tolower stress and take care of yourself.

2. Lower your expenses

Embrace an attitude of gratitude for the items you already own and maybe even try out minimalism.  The less cluttered our lives are, the more simple they tend to be. Borrow items you need from friends or your community. You can also try living in a smaller space to save money, switch to a cheaper cell phone plan or internet service.

3. Meditate regularly

Meditation has been proven to relieve stress and anxiety, and it has also shown promise in improving brain function.  If you find you get overwhelmed, then doingmeditation at least once a day or on a regular schedule can help you a lot. There are tons of guided meditations onYouTube, or on mediation apps likeInsight Timer that you can do for free.

4. Work with plant medicines

Incorporate the healing benefits of plantsinto your life.  There’s nothing more simple than going back to using 100 percent natural remedies and medicines.  Learn more about tinctures, teas, essential oils and supplements that you can take to take care of yourself.  Ease out of using all the over the counter medicines from the drug store and replace them with all natural plant medicines. To learn more, check out: 6 Herbal Medicines You Can Make for Common Ailments.

5. Grow your own food

Growing your own food is taking a big step toward simplifying and enriching your life.  Not only will you have fresh, organic fruit and veggies, but you’ll also save money and trips to the grocery store.Gardening is also an amazing way to be in touch with nature, which really brings us back to basics. It’s great for the mind, body, and soul. You can learn a lot fromThe Old Farmer’s Almanac books as well as their website and not just about gardening.

6. Ride a bike or walk

Instead of driving your car everywhere, why not get outside and walk or ride your bike?  It’s the simple way to get around, and it’s exercise too.  So you’re not just getting to where you need to go, you’reimproving your health.  Multitasking at it’s finest. Or try traveling by bike if you’re feeling really adventurous.

7. DIY

Get into the back to basics mindset by doing it yourself.  You can learn how to do practically anything and everything yourself. People did things themselves for ages.  Check out DIY tutorials online, buy a book or take a course in your community. We have tons of great DIY projects right here on One Green Planet.

8. Completely unplug

When we think back 50 or even 25 years ago, things definitely moved at a slower pace. Back then people didn’t have the world at their fingertips. If you wanted to talk to someone, you called them, or you just ran into each other somewhere. To simplify your life, why not pretend like it’s 1994 again and forget you even have a cell phone or internet?  Try it for a full day and see how fun it can be.unnamed

Should Processed Meat Be Banned From Schools? One Group Is Trying This in California…🍌🍏🍑🍓

We’ve been told we are what we eat ever since we were young. Unfortunately, for many, access to fresh, healthy food does not come easy. Perhaps our local grocery store was not adequately stocked with affordable healthy food. Or, as was the case for many of us who relied on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meals (FRP) program to feed our growing minds and bodies, the school menu was laden with questionable pizza and a daily sandwich made with different cold cuts. Well, it seems that no matter what school you attend, healthy food is hard to come by. Two public school districts in California are currently under fire from thePhysicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for plant-based nutrition, for their decision to include processed meats on school lunch menus.

Earlier this week, PCRM filed a lawsuit against both the Poway Unified School District and the Los Angeles School District on the grounds that there is a“recognized association between eating processed meats … and developing cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.” Items on the menu include a “turkey pastrami croissandwich with cheese,” turkey hot dogs, sausages, and more. PCRM argues that this violates California’s Education Code, which requires schools to provide students with “highest quality” food that offers “greatest nutritional value possible.” Several studies, including those published in Journal of Health Economics, Journal of School Health, and Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, have shown that healthier school lunches lead to better classroom environments and improved academic performance. Banning processed meats and adding more plant-based foods to the menu would greatly benefit the six million students currently enrolled in the California public school system, especially considering over half of the student body is enrolled in FRP school meals.

The North American Meat Institute, a meat industry trade association, however, stands by the current school lunches and labeled the lawsuit “a publicity stunt.” According to spokesperson Janet Riley, “we stand by the nutrition benefits that meat — both fresh and processed — provide for growing children.” However, both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servies (HHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend eating less meat and more plants for good health. Even MyPlate, a guide to balancing nutrition formerly known as the food pyramids, not only recommends that vegetables and grains make up most of our diet, it also does not specify what kind of protein should be consumed. On the flipside, the World Health Organization has linked the consumption of processed meats like bacon and cold cuts to cancer. Not to mention, if we want these children to grow up in a world that is not wrought with pollution, droughts, and food shortages,reducing meat consumption in favor of plant-based options is crucial.

We applaud PCRM for standing up for children’s rights to healthy food. But if you’re not in California, what can you do about school lunches in your state? As the lawsuit between PCRM and the two involved California school districts takes off, Senator Nancy Skinner seeks to introduce establish the California Grown Fresh School Meals Grant Program, which would require public schools to include more fresh, local produce on California public school menus. You can present this bill to your state representatives as an example of the change you want to see. When it comes to the health our children, and ourselves, access to healthy food should be a right — not something that must be fought for.unnamed

Matilda

matilda-lMatilda

Matilda Arrived in October 2010, via Ireland, to the appalling markets in the UK destined for the continent. When she arrived at Flicka, she was emaciated, defensive and unapproachable: she had sustained beatings through the market place, bearing physical scars on her neck and back. Matilda was in such a bad way with her skin, feet and teeth, but her fear made it very difficult to treat her.

We housed Matilda with some other donkeys, including Violet… Violet immediately loved Matilda and the two have been inseparable ever since. Violet’s soft, friendly, affectionate nature has completely changed Matilda; she is now just like her best friend Violet, and craves affection. In fact it has now become a daily routine when every morning the donkeys go out; Matilda hangs back and won’t go out till she has had a cuddle!

Matilda had a jet black foal at foot, Fabrice, who is also with us and grown into a very handsome boy.

Video: Escape from Syria – Faiza’s story

Vox Populi

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Donald Trump’s recent bombing of Syria was a cynical attempt to distract the media’s attention from the investigation of his ties to Russia. His diversionary ploy worked. Mainstream news has turned its gaze to US military involvement in the region and seems, at least for the time being, to have forgotten about Trump having been paid off, and perhaps blackmailed, by Putin. However, we mustn’t let Trump’s manipulation of the media distract us from his administration’s corruption or from the very real tragedy of millions of families in Syria.

Film director Jack Newman says, “After visiting Jordan last year I interviewed a Syrian refugee who fled across the border from Syria with her two children. I asked her young children to draw pictures of their journey. This animation takes inspiration from the children’s drawings and uses the voice-over of their mother Faiza to tell their story. It hopefully also highlights…

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The Vegan Kitchen: Eva’s Garden Angel Scones

Vox Populi

I never liked the fuss of making biscuits – all the little bits and pieces that were leftover when cutting out the biscuits seemed such a waste, and the miser in me ended up baking up a small pan of lumpy, overworked, misshapen rejects next to the “real biscuits”, which in the end nobody wanted to eat. The solution occurred to me when I found an old recipe for country scones, which were not cut-out but simply mounded and cut through into wedges. The beauty of it is that you can make 8 giant scones, 12 mid-sized ones, or 16 small ones.

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1 pkg. active dry yeast

2 Tablespoons warm water (105-115 degrees)

2 1/2 c. whole wheat white flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 c. vegan butter

1/4 c. finely shredded carrot

2 Tablespoon snipped parsley (the…

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