Tag Archives: Environment

The Ripple Effect of ‘Green’ Living


Earth Day Beach Day w/ UncleWeed

Image by kk+ via Flickr

By doing one small thing per day and by showing others that you care about the earth it can certainly create a ripple effect. We need to show the earth that we care and that we want to have a more harmonious life with, not only one another, but with OURSELVES! We are all in this together. Let’s start to show ourselves some respect by treating our living space, our bodies and our close relationships with love and respect!

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What Is Occupy Wall Street About?


So many of you are probably among the masses that ask the question “Well, what IS Occupy Wall Street about” To be honest, even I can’t answer that question quite simply. This movement has some excellent ideas and I saw some of the most innovative thinking I’ve seen in a long time. They managed to created a community equipped with a medical tent, public services, clothing share, recycling and people that were willing to sweep up around the area to keep it clean. To me, this is a fantastic example of what happens when we see humanity really floundering. We all come together because we all want to prove a certain point. In the case of OWS it’s the 1%, or the war, or the politicians or…Well you get the point.

Now, I am NOT in any way saying that OWS is bad or that it is a waste of time. In fact, I say the complete opposite. This really shows us how important it is for us to get together and to create a movement to start change. The energy I felt by going down there was absolutely incredible. People helping people, people looking after one another and just an overall feeling of love. This is what it means to be human and these are the times that it gives me hope that humanity will go forth and live more harmoniously with one another.

There’s just one problem…We need to solidify our goals. Right now, we are being looked at like a bunch of monkeys without our heads screwed on right. We’ve been referred to by countless media programs and politicians as “Dirty hippies” and that we “Don’t know what the hell we’re protesting for” They do a pretty good job at picking out the people who really don’t know what’s going on (Of course, it’s the media’s job to make the movement look bad)

So what am I proposing?
1. We solidify our goals
2. We start a movement from these solidified goals
3. We educate people on WHAT Occupy Wall Street is for and really show people that we DO know what we’re talking about
4. Really get together with the other OWS protestors from other states and countries to really sit down and figure all of this out. There really IS power in numbers.

There are people who are doing this and we do have a connection between our tribes. What we really need? A leader to stand up and speak for the MASSES. A politician of sorts to help voice the whole OWS movement and educate the people. Any thoughts? Please feel free to let me know what you think of the movement. Do YOU have any ideas that are more concrete that should be mentioned as part of the OWS movement? Can we incorporate EVERYTHING they are talking about into one solid goal?

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Why Regulate Our Wilderness?


Ahklun Mountains and the Togiak Wilderness wit...

Image via Wikipedia

A Well Regulated Wilderness
By: Michael Lipsky

Review by Maria Campagna

Our wilderness is an extremely important place to protect. From the flora to the fauna, we must accept that they were all here first. Just like social workers seek to protect the welfare of humanity, there are those out there who are advocating for our environment. To keep this in check, they must regulate use of land by creating laws to help prevent further damage to our ecosystems.

Environmental activists have helped push laws into the government that prevent people from industrializing certain areas as well as trekking on land that cannot be driven on. There is over 100 million acres that have been protected because of these advocates. To some, they may not see the intense need for regulating and maintaining so much open space. We are living in such industrialized times that we often look over the need for helping out our environment. Most of the time, we can’t even take the time to take care of ourselves.

By implementing these laws it will help ensure that parts of our earth are rightly protected. We as humans take so much from the earth and take it for granted. From our food to pollution to creating massive cities that overtake thousands of square miles. Just like in any type of situation in life, there must always be balance. We must maintain that natural part of the earth so we can help maintain that natural part of ourselves. The earth has allowed us to live and thrive on it by teaching us. In order to understand life, we must first look to the natural side. We must be able to observe nature in an open manner free from cages and laboratories.

Preserving this for generations to come can help ensure that we don’t overlook what it means to truly be human. To truly have that balance and to be one with the earth. We are not separate from it by any means, we are just another species living on the earth trying to make it through. Just as we struggle from day to day with relationship issues, poverty, war and many other issues there are animal that fight to stay alive just as us.

The next time you are out, take a look around you. Notice that we are just another species. Notice that we are all living in this together. Whether what you are looking at is human, is another species, is water, is air just know that we all exist together and that we need to maintain that.

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We Control The Universe


Now it must sound like quite an egotistical way to simply state that “We control the universe” but at the core of it, we do. It may seem to many that our lives are constantly governed by others from our bosses telling us to do something to our spouses getting angry that we haven’t done something the correct way. We are generally taught that the world is not our own and we must do as we are told in order to get anywhere in life. Being told to act a certain way, respond a certain way and think a certain way are all things that we are spoon-fed since day one. The concept of the ability to “control the universe” is one that starts from the center of your world. This center is always you. Think about it for a moment, if you look around things are always in front of you, always behind you, always above and below you. From another object or person, they are the center of their universe. So after we’ve established that you are indeed that center point of the universe, how do we control the situations that are given to us? Surely we cannot control whether we get the promotion or not or if tomorrow the sun will shine, right? Our abilities do not span outside of ourselves and whatever situations arise we cannot simply wave a magic wand and make it disappear (or appear for that matter) What we do have is the ability to think, react, feel. Let’s say for instance you do not get that promotion, will you let that bring you down? Will you let that promotion haunt you and consume your life? Or, will you take control of it yourself? What are some things that we allow to consume our universes?

  1. Relationships. Having stressed relationships with those around us. Whether it be family, friends, significant others or even strangers we can find ourselves in situations where we consume our lives with others instead of ourselves. (There is a difference here between being selfish and self-caring)
  2. Work. So our bosses pile up the paperwork or get angry at us for making that little mistake that really would not have made a significant difference in the company whatsoever. We become burnt-out and stressed from even thinking about work the next day.
  3. School. Whether you are in college, high school or pursuing any other type of education getting your work done on time and in the way that the professor or teacher wants it is daunting. Either you strive too hard to get straight A’s and can’t let a B blemish your record or you simply have too much to juggle.
  4. Materialism and self-image. You see beautiful people all day and when you go to look in the mirror you suddenly notice things you dislike about yourself. You become insecure and cannot seem to keep a positive attitude toward yourself or you begin to cherish and obsess over objects rather than loving yourself or others.
Of course there are many more attributes that may encroach on our lives and begin to dissolve any sense of self we have left. So what are we to do about it? How can we make sure that our universes don’t collapse and become overrun by another?

  1. Love yourself. The most important thing you can do is to treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve. Understand that it takes a team of makeup artists and a ton of airbrushing to make those models look perfect. We all have our flaws of course but if we have flaws we must logically have beautiful aspects as well. Look for them, not the flaws.
  2. Treat your body right. Make sure you eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise. I’m sure you’ve all heard that before but it truly is a great way to boost endorphins and create a positive mood. Exercise does not have to be going to the gym! Simply going out for a walk, swimming, hiking, biking are all great ways to get your blood pumping.
  3. De-stress at work. So your boss is a pain in the butt? Take a deep breath, understand their concerns and move on. The next time some project comes along be aware of what your boss has said beforehand so you won’t stress about it next time. Really having a tough time at work? Change it. Maybe it’s time for you to begin on a new career horizon. Don’t go quitting the job just yet but prepare yourself for a career change. Go take some classes at a college nearby or online to jump-start yourself onto a new path.
  4. School. Organize your time into blocks and have it set out for yourself where you can see it. Have reminders to work on that essay a little each day instead of cramming it the day before it’s due. Not a class you enjoy? If it’s something you must take for your requirements try and figure out a way to make it fun. Maybe you need Biology but you are much more interested in Art. Draw your notes! See if you can find fun ways to illustrate what your text is trying to teach you. Not great at Math? Make use of others in class who are good at math. Pick their brain a bit and learn some of their techniques. It may surprise you.

Relationships

  1. If you are in a stressful relationship with a Boyfriend or Girlfriend then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what you would like at the moment. It could be time for a break or something a little more permanent. Friend relationships can be evaluated this way as well. Remember to always voice your concerns before ending something, it could just be lack of good communication between both sides.
  2. For family relationships communication is key as well. If it’s one of those situations that you cannot seem to help by communicating maybe it’s time to realize that certain people are just going to be the way that they are. This does not mean that you must act in a negative manner but just to remove yourself from the situation and begin focusing on yourself.
Remember, we are all in control of how we act, think, speak, listen, love and treat one another. Just because another is treating us bad does not mean that we should treat them bad. Respect those around you, show compassion toward strangers and you will be surprised as to how many positive responses you will get.
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Judgement: Fact Of Life?


Review of “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples

Judgment is a topic that comes up very often when discussing matters of race, ethnicity, social status, economic status and the various social structures that we are all categorized in. I personally believe that it’s wrong to judge others based on appearances without actually getting to know them first. Aren’t we all the same anyway? Essentially at the core we are all made up of the same molecules and the same elements and the only thing that is different is our perceptions of the world. No one person is really an individual. I don’t mean to speak harshly but rather use this knowledge to possibly look at one another with more respect and seeing others as ourselves could pose to be useful when using harsh words or actions. It may be naïve for me to say that I would treat others with respect and walk up to a person holding a gun as if they were my equal so there is a fine line between judgment and safety.

The issue that this man is facing is the fact that society brings upon judgment based off of the facts of the majority. What ends up happening is, groups of people get judged for things that they have never even done or thought about doing in their lives. Although we must see his perspective as being that of one who is being judged, we must also see the outside world’s point of view.

The amygdalas of the human brain is where our “fight or flight” responses take place. These responses are closely related to registered pictures or words based off of a negative emotion, such as fear. What ends up happening is that the fear is registered and brought into the outside world and applied. The issue here is that we are using our fight or flight responses based off of people we have never met before.

The issue that this man has to overcome is the fact that we have no choice as to what position we are born in and as to what kinds of people are out there in our world. We have no control over the media and what kinds of images they would like to portray to the world. In the case of how groups of individuals act, we have no control over that as well. If the majority of the African American population is seen as gun-wielding murderers and rapists, unfortunately there is no control over that either.

We do however have a choice. Now this may seem unfair but it will essentially boil down to changing one’s life to suit others, which is what this man demonstrates to us. Towards the end of the essay he has clearly evaluated his environment and has acted upon it. By implementing ways to create a more comfortable atmosphere for him and others around him he has learned to avoid people and even whistle a tune from Beethoven.

This may not sound like the most pleasing thing to do, change yourself to suit others but it may be an essential way to survive. Throughout the history of man, and other organisms alike, we learn to adapt and survive in the most comfortable way possible and this is just another example. Although it is much different than having to change your way of hunting food or fending off predators it is an adaptation nonetheless.

The beauty of humankind is the fact that when it boils down to everything we essentially have control over what we do. As stated before, we may not have the abilities to change the world around us but we do have the power to change ourselves. I feel for this man and I do believe that he means very well in his life and he is not a horrible person in the least, he has managed the situation he was given very well. Most would take on the role of the murderer, thief or rapist purely because they begin to think that way about themselves without even realizing it. This man clearly has a strong mind and will to survive and adapt in the world he was born into.

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Death


My breath became cooler and my mind became silent. I had just witnessed an untimely death. My pulse slowed down to reach a state of safety to protect myself from the horrid scene that had been played in front of me. My eyes became welled up with tears that flowed down my face, gently rolling past my cheekbones and ending up on the corners of my lips. I could taste the salt-water that was gathering aside my shocked expression. All at once, I was transported to another place. It seemed selfish of me to be able to envision this place for myself while the devastation of a fresly passed soul was before me. The saltwater reminded me of a far away beach with pristine sand, hot sun and beautiful sky. The sand crinkled and crushed beneath my feet as I approached the rolling waves. The green-blue water crashed at my toes and washed away the sand I had tracked to the shore. The seagulls were flitting in and out of the water, diving for dinner. They snatched up some fresh fish and flew to the shore to eat in peace. All at once, I was reminded that death will happen for a reason. No one can prevent this from happening. It was a part of life, and thus it shall go on.

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