Environment, well-being, What is Organic

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint- One Step at a Time

scenic view of frozen lake against blue sky
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You can’t ignore that our planet is in serious “hot water” right now. Carbon dioxide levels in 2020 were the highest in recorded history. Global temperatures continue to break records, arctic ice is melting, and sea levels continue to rise. 

Is all lost then?  

If you think it’s too late to make a difference, think again! You can begin reducing your carbon footprint one step at a time.

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Environment, well-being, What is Organic

Creating Hope at Home one Renovation at a Time

Home renovation can be eco-friendly
Photo by Margo Brodowicz on Unsplash

I am the opposite of a nomad; despite my voracious travels, I have lived in the same place since 1986. This stationary bent isn’t related to a lack of adventure or acute Agoraphobia; it’s just that I love it here. As time has passed, animals, friends, frolics, and foibles have left the place a bit shoddy around the edges, in need of repair. 

When I look at sprucing the place up a bit, I wonder how it can be done with grace and sustainability. Could my home improvement project be done mindfully to create hope for the planet? 

Here are a few ways to refurbish and rejuvenate without adding to the planet’s woes.

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Environment, Social Implications in Agriculture, Travel, well-being, What is Organic

Chocolate Love and Cocoa Equity – Celebrate Fair Trade

Chocolate is good for you – but not all chocolate is equal
Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

I discovered chocolate was a drug in my early forties, the way it folded across my tongue, dispensing a sensation of wellbeing—almost like love. Then I went to Ecuador and witnessed the complexity of growing and processing magic cocoa beans. I met the good people who performed multiple ministrations, working under poverty-like conditions to bring this elixir to my 90% cocoa bar.

Cocao has a dark history of slavery and exploitation
Photo by Social History Archive on Unsplash

The cocoa bean is also referred to as cacao—not to be confused with coca when going through customs. Cocoa beans are embedded in an elongated leathery pod filled with a sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called baba de cacao). The appendage-like pods are harvested straight off the trunk, opened with a machete—the pulp and cocoa seeds are removed. Piled in heaps, bins, or laid out on grates for days in the Equatorial sun. Trodden and shuffled about (often with bare feet), sometimes, sprinkled with red clay mixed and water, to obtain a finer color and polish. This process protects them from moldering during shipment to other countries.

Cocoa beans are fermented dried and roasted
Photo by Rodrigo Flores on Unsplash

Dried and fully fermented, the seeds are finally roasted; only then can the cocoa solids (the powder) and cocoa butter (the fat) be extracted.

That’s a lot of work for one little bean, and the history of colonialism remains an enduring legacy of inequality in the lives of these producers today.

The British comedienne and author Jo Brand once proclaimed, “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.”

I would add that good is made when chocolate is grown with ethical practices, Organic and Fair-Trade.

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Environment, well-being, What is Organic

Sustainable Business Practices are Imperative for our Future 

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You can’t ignore the dire warnings of the IPCC’s 6th climate assessment report. The proof presents itself as we witness centuries-old forests burn, German villages flood, and arctic glaciers melt. We know that carbon dioxide is the primary driver of climate change. However, short-lived pollutants—like methane—can be far more potent—hundreds to thousands of times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. 

Cows beset with flatulence, spewing oil and gas wells, and waste fermenting in our landfills produce methane.  

Waste from homes and businesses and the methane generated in landfills as waste decomposes is the third-largest source of CH4 emissions in the United States.

Reducing our waste is something we can do right now, and it’s evolved from the notion of vestibules that separate paper, plastic, and glass. It requires commitment and planning.  

At home, it seems simple, but the approach in our workplace, be it corporate or small business, can make even bigger impacts but can be daunting.

How does one begin the journey as a business owner or an engaged earth champion at work? 

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Environment, well-being, What is Organic

Five ways to Generate Hope in The Age of Climate Chaos

hope is on the horizon
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The Climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wasn’t a huge surprise. Stable weather patterns we’ve enjoyed for generations have now grown turbulent. Drought and heat, floods and fire are bound to become more frequent.

The report sites: “Since the pre-industrial period, the land surface air temperature has risen nearly twice as much as the global average temperature.” Our changing climate will increase in the frequency and intensity of these extreme events.

Is there any hope to be had?

 Yes! Rather than moping around glum or feeling doomed, I’ve decided there are things I can do to lower my footprint.   

Here are 5 simple things I’ve embraced to generate hope and cut my environmental impact. 

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