Great Tune: Folk

Mount Moriah – Lament

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Great Tune: Folk

The Welcome Wagon: But For You Who Fear My Name

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326 Million Trillion Gallons of Water on The Planet, And We Need to Conserve?

Earth is known as the blue planet for a reason.  Salt water oceans make up 71% of our planet’s surface and 97.5% of all Earths water, so it is no surprise why people seem to struggle with the concept that we may be at the beginning of water shortages around the globe.  However, that only leaves us with about 2.5% fresh water, most of which is locked up in glaciers and snow cover.  I decided to write a blog post about water issues because I think that everyone can very easily incorporate ways to conserve water in their day-to-day activities.  If you search the web I am sure you will find hundreds of articles discussing water scarcity and water shortage issues.  So the real question is then, why don’t we care?  Without water life would not exist, so this should be making our eyeballs pop and our jaws drop.  Or maybe, we do care and the real problem is that we think that we can’t make a difference.  If you have read any of my other blog posts you will clearly know that I believe each and everyone of you do matter, make a difference, and are the key to answering many of the world’s current problems.  Without one person making a change, nothing will change.  And while climate change may still seem to be the largest environmental issue, Christie Matheson, author of Green Chic, believes that water may be the new hot button issue.

“Water shortages may become the new global warming (by which I mean the next hot environmental topic).  Though there is quite a bit of water on the planet, only about 1% of it is usable for humans.  This isn’t a problem just for people living in the middle of the desert.  In the United States, where water use has tripled in the past 50 years, 36 states are predicting water shortages by 2013″(1).

Hmm… 2013.  That sounds a little too close for comfort.  When Christie Matheson was writing her book it was 2008, so what was once a little farther off is now only a year away.  The unfortunate truth is that those predictions are sounding to be about dead on.  Several major rivers are already beginning to run dry including the Colorado River, Ganges, Indus, Rio Grande, and Yellow (2).  Rivers running dry can be a very scary scenario, as they tend to provide water for famers, and local economies.

The interesting point to note is that the water we drink has been circling around our planet in the water cycle for millions of years. Meaning, that the water we drink today is the same water that was here when the dinosaurs were roaming the planet.  So, if we have always had the same amount of water to be using what has changed?  The three main contributors to water shortage and scarcity seem to be population growth, climate change and industrialization

As usual, the United States is the largest consumer of water on the planet.  The average European uses 200 liters of water everyday, while North Americans use 400 liters.  An even larger gap emerges when you look at individuals in developing countries, who use only 10 liters of water a day for all of their needs (3).  It is easy to see that even if we make small changes to lower our water consumption, a huge difference can be made.  Don’t get me wrong, water is amazing and is essential to a healthy and happy life.  This is the easiest to see when you witness what is happening in countries where water is not easily accessible or affordable.  “More than 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease, 84% are children.  Nearly all deaths, 98%, occur in the developing world”(4).  I beg of you to sit and read those sentences over just once more and realize how unnecessary those deaths are.  If we can just get our fellow human beings the water they so desperately need, millions of lives will continue on to follow their dreams, to fall in love, to build families, and to enjoy life.

Now that I have your attention let’s talk about what steps you can take to make a difference!  Your response to water scarcity and shortages can be small and it will still make a large difference.  Check out the tips below to see what you can do!

1.  Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.

2.  Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.

3.  Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.

4.  Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.

5.  If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.

6.  Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.

7.  When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.

8.  When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.

9.  Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.

10.  Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.

11.  Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.

12.  Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

13.  Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.

14.  Direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems toward water-loving plants in the landscape for automatic water savings.

15.  If your toilet was installed before 1992, reduce the amount of water used for each flush by inserting a displacement device in the tank. (We talked about this in an earlier post!)

16.  Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colors.

17.  To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.

18.  While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels. (I haven’t been able to make this change yet, but it makes sense!)

19.  When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.

20.  Look for products bearing the EPA WaterSense Label for items that been certified to save 20% or more without sacrificing performance (5).

That is only 20 ways to save water, visit http://www.wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/index.php for many more ways to conserve water!  A great organization to check out is The Water Project.  Visit the website http://thewaterproject.org/ to find additional ways to get involved with providing water to those that need it most.  The changes you make create an impact that you cannot even imagine.  You have the power and ability to save people’s lives.  Take on the challenge, because I know you can do it!

Unit next time,

Be Well!

Sources

1. Matheson, Christie Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style  (18-19)

2.  www.pwf.co.im/watershortage.htm

3.  Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

4.  www.water.org/water-crisis/one-billion-affected/

5.  http://www.wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/index.php

Photos:

1. http://brumbaugh.blogspot.com/2012/01/water-water-everywhere.html

2. http://thewaterproject.org/water_scarcity.asp

3. http://ashfaqueshah-photography.blogspot.com/2011/06/save-water-save-life.html

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New Music: Electropop

Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings

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New Music: Bluegrass / Folk

  Mumford and Sons The Banjolin Song

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Personal Legends and The Alchemist

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  An astronaut, a doctor, an explorer, a fireman, an actress, a sea-captain, or maybe you just dreamed of getting to eat all the candy you wanted, without anyone to tell you no!  Whatever that dream was, are you living it out today?  And if the answer is no, why not?  What made you abandon the desires of your heart?  Was it all the people in your life telling you that your dream was impossible or that you needed to pick a new dream; a dream that you could make a career out of?  The truth is, that those people already gave up on their personal legends, and unfortunately they are not going to be able to help guide you to your dreams.

I am in the middle of reading the book, “The Alchemist,” and it talks a lot about one’s personal legend.  The book defines a personal legend as everything you would like to see happen in your life.  When you are young, your mind is clear and you are not afraid to dream and yearn for your hopes to be realized.  But as you grow older, you begin to believe that your dreams are impossible to achieve.  There is a section of the book that I would love to share with you that talks about personal legends in a little bit more detail.

“It said that all people who are happy have God within them.  And that happiness could be found in a grain of sand from the desert, as the alchemist had said.  Because a grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it.  “Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said.  “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them.  We speak of them only to children.  Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate.  But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them — the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness.  Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.

“So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly.  We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard:  we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”

“Why don’t people’s hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?”  the boy asked the alchemist.

“Because that’s what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.” 

Isn’t that tragic to think we are giving up our dreams to live a mediocre life?  I challenge all of us to take some time alone to think about what our dreams in life were and what are dreams are now.  Find out what the dream is and chase it with every essence of your being!  And if you are living out your dream today, than bravo to you for following your heart!

I think the key to being able to follow your dreams is understanding how to prioritize your life.  A good example of this is people who travel the world, but don’t really make a lot of money.  I am always asking them, how in the world do you finance your travels?  But the answer always is that they just make it happen!  They don’t spend money on decorating their home, buying new clothes, or having the newest technology.  They prioritize their money to go towards traveling funds and then they take off and see the world.  There is really nothing in this world that can hold you back.  Everyday you make the choice to do what you are doing and to prioritize your life into the type of existence you want to live.  Are you making the right choices?  Are you living the life you imagined?  Let’s start to!

“This is the beginning of a new day.  You have been given this day to use as you will.  You can waste it or use it for good.  What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.  When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, in its place is something that you have left behind… let it be something good.”

– Author unknown

Until next time,

Be Well!

Photos

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/865.The_Alchemist

http://liveinflow.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/laugh-often-dream-big-and-reach-for-the-stars/

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New Music: Indie Pop

Florence & The Machine – Shake It Out

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New Music: Alternative / Indie / Rock

Grizzly Bear – While You Wait For The Others

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What’s Holding You Back From Feeling Amazing?

If you are a health goddess that is oozing with energy and vitality you can ignore this post, but if you feel like your body could use some TLC, please continue reading.  What I want to accomplish with this post, is to have you take a look at your life in regards to your health.  Do you like what you see?  If not, then let’s change things up my lovely friends!!  After all, wasn’t it Albert Einstein who said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  If you sincerely want to feel better you need to have a reality check!

What is holding you back?  Friends?  Bad Habits?  Time?  You can make new friends, you can create new habits, and you can always find more time, but you only get one body, and you need to treat it as your temple.  You need to surround yourself with people who are going to encourage a healthy lifestyle, not derail you.  You need to instill daily habits that are going to steer you towards healthy choices.  Sometimes, this means just giving yourself more time to prepare a healthy lunch. We all find time for the things we value in life.  Do you value television over your health?  That is not the path you want to take.  Take a minute to think about the quote below.

“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.”

A. J. Reb Materi

As with most things in life, you will find that what you put into it, is going to determine what you get out of it.  In regards to our bodies, if you want health, energy, and a long life, you need to put things into your body that are good for you!  If you put junk food, soda, excessive caffeine, and sugar into your system on a daily basis, your body is going to be too busy trying to digest all that garbage, to give you the energy you need throughout the day.

The way I try to think of it is, would I rather be happy for 30 minutes out of my day enjoying a junk food platter over lunch or enjoy 24 hours of high energy, proper digestion, improved mood and a clear conscious?  Everyone can make the change to put your health first, you just have to take baby steps.  I read the book, “Crazy, Sexy, Diet” by Kris Carr, and was immediately inspired to dramatically change my diet!   At first I tried to go cold turkey and gave up meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and gluten.  You might be wondering what was left for me to eat?  So was I!  Well, the answer is veggies, veggies and more veggies!  Of course, I could eat fruits, nuts, and some other grains, but for the most part I ate a lot of vegetables and drank a lot of spring water with lemon slices.  While this was super healthy, my mind and body could not handle all the withdrawal symptoms at once.

I decided to start over and take things a little bit slower.  I figured I should think of this like a relationship.  The fast relationships where you are just racing to the finish line never last and I wanted this diet change to last a lifetime.  I decided to give up chunks of things rather than everything all at once.  At this point I have now been dairy and caffeine free for 2 months, and have only had sugar in very small amounts.  If I am craving sugar I usually try to only eat dark chocolate from cocoa(which is the most healthy for you).  My body couldn’t be happier!!

Ok, so let’s get back on track here.  This is about YOU!  All of you lovely ladies and gentlemen out there in the great abyss!  In all of my research on preventative health, it really comes back to common sense in regards to what you should be feeding your body.  It is so important to eat organic vegetables, organic fruits, and lots of water!  Of course, you need to get protein as well, so you can try out raw, unsalted organic nuts.  I still have not been able to completely give up meat, so if you are in the same boat as me try at least switching to organic, free range chicken and turkey.  I don’t want this post to go on forever so please click on the resources below to learn more about how you can change your diet to let that inner health goddess out!  The changes may be a challenge at first, but trust me, your body will start to crave foods that will keep you functioning at top-notch!  You just need to give yourself some time to get all the nasties out!

Of course, the food you eat is just the first step.  We can tackle exercise in the next post!

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

-Buddha

Until next time,

Be Well!

Resources

Crazy Sexy Diet – Kris Carr: http://crazysexydiet.com/

Death By Diet- Robert Barefoot: http://barefootscureamerica.com/

Photos

http://www.vitaminddeficiency.me/always-tired-no-energy-no-motivation/

http://www.ebookreviewdownload.com/2011/01/crazy-sexy-diet-e-book-download.html

http://4bizmoms.com/products_and_services.htm

 http://www.vancouvernutritionist.com/blog/vancouver-nutritionist-avoid-ice-cold-water/

http://brianmaines.com/why-should-i-eat-more-fruits-and-vegetables/

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New Music: Alternative / Indie / Rock

Music is a pretty big passion of mine as well, so I am finding that I would love to share new music with my followers as well.  Let me know if you enjoy this song!  This band really can’t go wrong for me, I adore his voice.

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