Reblog-excellent post about gun violence by an Army vet. READ IT!

America, can we talk? Let’s just cut the shit for once and actually talk about what’s going on without blustering and pretending we’re actually doing a good job at adulting as a country right now. We’re not. We’re really screwing this whole society thing up, and we have to do better. We don’t have a […]

via “Fuck you, I like guns.” — Engineering, Parenthood, and a Solid Attempt at Adult Status

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Wildlife Webinar-Bear Tales

Join two wildlife experts with nearly 50 years experience between them as they share stories about bears they’ve met in their careers. Attend via your computer or smartphone in the comfort of your own home.

A portion of the proceeds from this webinar will go to benefit Appalachian Bear Rescue of Townsend, TN.

Email WildlifeForYouTraining@gmail.com for registration information.

27973544_2109910569230392_4649264155889541286_n

~Kelly, the Greenizen

Attend an educational AND fun webinar on wildlife with real wildlife experts!

The Greenizen invites you to join us for some fun and very educational webinars taught by actual wildlife experts. These webinars can be attended via the easy to use Adobe Connect Meeting software from your smartphone or computer. Registration fees for paid webinars are very reasonable and sometimes are donated to wildlife causes. Some past beneficiaries have been Appalachian Bear Rescue of Tennessee and Bear Smart of Colorado.

Wildlife For You Training is the brainchild of wildlife biologist and US Forest Service officer Daryl Ratajczak, who has more than 20 years of experience working with wildlife. He was Appalachian Bear Rescue’s very first manager or “curator” and spent many years working for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) before moving to New Mexico to join the US Forest Service where he now works with the large carnivores such as wolves, bears and cougars and educates the public on coexistence with these crucial but often poorly understood animals. From time to time, Daryl brings in guest instructors to join in these webinars.

Please consider joining us for one of these classes. You can find Wildlife For You on Facebook here:

Wildlife For You on Facebook

Here is a list of upcoming topics that will be covered in webinars in 2018. Message wildlifeforyoutraining@gmail.com for more information.

wildlifeforyoutrainingwebinars

Hope to see you there!

~Kelly, the Greenizen

Happy New Year-resolution time!

Happy-New-Year-Images-2018-HD-1-1

If you’re like me, every year you write out a list of resolutions with the best of intentions, and for a while, a few days, weeks, maybe a few months (Ha ha, not often!) you do pretty well. Then you fall off the wagon, as the saying goes, and it’s right back to those bad habits and at the least, disappointment in yourself. Or, depression. Yeah, that’s me, with my failures year in year out. What’s wrong with me that I can never keep my resolutions?

Well, after many years of being unsuccessful at keeping the resolutions I made, I started to seriously analyze my trouble. It really shouldn’t have been so hard to figure out why I was failing: I made too many resolutions and they were all extremely difficult, very severe, extreme actions that were too much of a “shock to my system.” The unpleasantness was such that all joy seemed to have gone from life. No wonder I couldn’t keep my resolutions!

So I decided to try some less extreme measures last year. Instead of “lose 30 lbs” I resolved to eat healthier and get more exercise. I resolved not to “save $1000” but to employ some frugality tips from various awesome blogs and put whatever was left from each paycheck into savings, if possible. I decided that rather than trying to stop buying ANYTHING, I’d just make it a goal to analyze EVERY non-necessary purchase I wanted to make, to see if I could live without it, with the goal of reducing my consumption. I set less goals. and they were less severe, but here’s the thing: I succeeded remarkably well. I met the goals, and even went further than I intended in some instances. Because I made the goals manageable and relatively painless and in some cases, it was actually FUN!

So, having had some success, and feeling at year’s end that I’d become a better person, improved my health and financial situation and also reduced my burden on the planet, I used this method again to craft my resolutions for 2018.

More of same regarding health and money: I resolve to continue looking for healthier options and increase my exercise, which I KNOW after this year’s success, will lead to weight loss, more energy, and less aches and pains! I resolve to continue building my savings using my former little trick AND add to that if I can swing it. Always on the lookout for ways to save.

As for my green goals: last year I made huge progress in every way. I THOUGHT about every material purchase I made before I made it, often waiting months before deciding to buy or not to buy (and more often than not, ultimately not buying!). I cut down on plastic usage big time. As a vegan, I made more of my own products from scratch instead of buying them and upped my game as a vegan cook. WIN WIN WIN!

So no, I didn’t, in 2017, lose ALL the weight I needed to lose, end up with a bursting savings account, or end the year a Total Waste Maven. But I got a lot closer to each of those goals, doing so well that I approach 2018 with excitement and energy to do more and better. For my happiness and health, and for my planet.

My focus, green-wise, in 2018, is on further reducing consumption. My ultimate goal is Zero Waste, but that’s hard, and like crash dieting, not doable all at once for most people. My household produces very little trash, and I’m working on reducing that every single day. I’m seeing my success. I’m loving it.

So: make your resolutions, but don’t set your goals so lofty you simply cannot succeed. Be reasonable. Going about something slow and steady and actually completing the task is far preferable to trying to take things to extremes and being so miserable you bail after a few days or weeks. THAT helps no one and will demoralize you and leave you reluctant to jump back into the self improvement movement.

Ready, set, goal!

Here are some great ways to reduce plastic usage in 2018, courtesy of One Green Planet !!!

20 Switches To Get Plastic Out Of Your Life

7 Amazing People That Prove Living Plastic Free Is Possible

Simple Guide To Waste-Free Grocery Shopping

Waste-Free Laundry

Simple Steps For A Waste-Free Beauty Routine

Check Out These 5 Zero-Waste Grocery Stores

Why We Need to Wake Up and Do Something to Tackle Plastic Pollution in the Oceans!!!

Happy New Year and here’s to a better world for all of us! WE must be the ones to make it better, one little action at a time. Be the change you want to see in the world. YOU CAN DO IT!

~Kelly, the Greenizen

 

Beginning to Begin-how to get started on the Green Path with not much pain and pretty significant results.

We all have to start somewhere, and starting is super important. You can’t succeed at what you never attempt in the first place, right? So if your goal is to live a greener life but you don’t know how…I’ll share something with you that helped me a lot.

I was pretty overwhelmed with the realization that I too, as much as I truly did care about the plight of my planet, was guilty of harming it. Not with that goal, of course, but because I existed, I did harm, and because I existed without mindfulness, I did considerable harm. 

After the great shock-and resulting depression, I admit, that came with realizing just how much someone who actually did care could still be doing to harm her planet-I set immediately to the task of righting my wrongs. You can’t undo a life of oblivious living over night, but there are things you can do right now that will immediately lessen your harmful effect upon the planet.

Here are a few:

This may seem obvious-we hear it enough-but many people don’t seem to realize just how much our obsession with our cars is choking our world.

Drive less, period. Plan your trips in advance. Do as much as you can in one trip, so you won’t have to make other trips. Instead of going shopping many times per week for a few things at a time, plan out your meals, make a list, and go once per week. Try to go shopping after any other appointments you might have. Schedule appointments together if possible; could you make those appointments after work or before work instead of making separate trips? How about making appointments for after work, then go shopping after your appointment! You might be a bit tired, but the planet will thank you.

Can you carpool to work? Can you walk, bike, or take public transport? Even better. Or check into working from home (aka “telecommute”). 

Driving less is a great way to take down our CO2 numbers. If enough people were mindful of this, the effect would be HUGE.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions From A Typical Passenger Vehicle

Another thing: let your legislators know that public transportation is important to you, as is air quality and climate change. Let them know often, loudly, and without ambivalence. 

Use less plastic! Plastic is swiftly filling up our landfills and ending up in our oceans, posing myriad risks to us and our fellow living beings. See the following article for a shock!

 A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled 

Buy a stainless steel water bottle and fill it from the tap-you can filter your tap water with a cheap screw-on filter you can find even at grocery stores. You can install a whole house filter if you wish. There are even pitchers and bottles that themselves filter your water. Stop buying single use plastic water bottles. These are among the most destructive items we humans have become addicted to. If you MUST buy bottled water, get a water cooler from one of the home delivery services which will pick up and recycle the bottles for you, or buy large refillable jugs and go to refill stations to get refills. These can be found at most grocery and discount stores and will save you money after just a few weeks’ time. And less plastic in the landfills.

Also, say NO to plastic straws and utensils. The straws can end up in the ocean where they lodge in the nasal passages of sealife and cause agony and death.

Straws: Why They Seriously Suck

Just use regular utensils and don’t be lazy-wash them. Keep the plastic out of the landfills.

Don’t buy produce that is wrapped in plastic, and don’t use plastic bags to bring your items home in. Buy bulk items that are not wrapped in plastic and use washable mesh produce bags, like those made by purifyou, when shopping. 

Don’t buy items in plastic containers if you can help it-and if you can’t avoid it, make sure that container gets reused or recycled. But keep in mind: due to the current price of crude oil, from which plastics are made, new plastic is cheaper than recycled plastic, and even the bottles we take to the recycler, thinking we are doing the right thing, often end up in the landfills anyway. Sad but true. Make your own juice in the food processor (use the skin for added fiber). Make your own sauces, broths and stocks. They’ll taste better, be better for you, and pollute less. A LOT less!

Wishful Recycling

Paper, while in itself biodegradable, is a BIG problem. Paper towels and napkins alone account for a STAGGERING number of trees cut down, and paper for other uses, from toilet tissue and facial tissue to books and office supplies, requires an absolutely mindboggling number of trees to be milled every single year. The fact that global forest coverage is annually decreasing indicates we are using more than we can replace, and are headed for trouble without some kind of change of habits. Trees don’t grow anywhere near as fast as the lifespan of a paper towel. Something’s got to give. I vote for the paper towel.

Sure, it’s less convenient to use cloth napkins, but the planet needs our help. While we can’t do without toilet paper and facial tissue, we can make a point not to be wasteful in our usage. We can go digital for our books and subscriptions. We can recycle what paper we do have to use-we can make it into crafts or we can take it to the recycler. Using less, though, is the first, best line of defense where paper is concerned. Just like plastic.

I know, many of you won’t like this next one, but hear me out:

Eat less, or no meat, and less or no dairy and eggs. Going meatless even one time per week can help. Going vegetarian is better. But to slash, and I mean SLASH, your negative impact on the planet, going vegan is one of the best things you can do. Even if the suffering of farm animals doesn’t move you, you’re here to save the planet, right? Production of meat, dairy and eggs is one of the top ways we humans degrade our environment. From the tremendous water consumption required to produce food for cows, pigs, chickens and other farm animals, to the CO2 emitted in the actual processing of meat, milk, and eggs by the facilities that slaughter and pack and transport the products, the animal farming aspect of human life is a huge detriment to our planet. The amount of calories agriculture can produce for a given amount of pollution is considerably different when you consider plant-based foods and meat and dairy. Higher quality nutrition-and more of it-can be derived from plants for less pollution than meat or dairy. EVEN PROTEIN. Nothing beats the mighty soybean, folks. Nothing.

Save the world: change how you eat!

Ok, so going vegan might seem like a daunting task-but it’s not as bad as you might think. It’s also not necessarily that expensive. If you’re someone who likes a lot of prepackaged food and is reluctant to cook, buying vegan products can be more expensive. But as in everything, your choices here count too. If you are in this with me so far, and trying to cut down on packaging already…you’re halfway there! 

A few years ago I found out that the cause of my health issues was GLUTEN, and cut gluten containing foods out of my diet. That was a big deal. Going vegan was actually a lot easier. No kidding.

Here are some great resources for you if you’d like to explore going vegan. I highly recommend it. My health is vastly improved. So is my energy. I’ve dropped a few pounds that were definitely EXTRA. I’ve learned to cook! And I’m not missing anything. AND I’m no longer contributing to one of the major sources of negative climate change impacts. It feels GREAT. 

Just take a look. No pressure. 

Contact me if I can help you in any way with the vegan thing. I’d be happy to give an assist.

One Green Planet has it all: helpful hints, news, recipes, resources, activism actions you can take, and even some really cute animal videos! Check them out!

One Green Planet 

Vegan Outreach provides help and support to new and seasoned vegans. 

Vegan Outreach

Oh, check this out before you go:

See how your environmental impact can be lessened by going vegan with this handy calculator. Try it out. WOW.

Vegan Calculator

Here’s mine! I’ve been vegan for one year, nine months. myfirstyear9mosvegan

If we all went vegan, think of what those numbers would show! 

It’s a start!

~Kelly, the Greenizen

 

 

Thinking back on 2017 as 2018 fast approaches.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the state our planet is in, my part in it getting that way, and what I can do right my wrongs. I’ve had to face some terrifying and heartbreaking truths. I can almost understand why people find it so hard to face…so hard they remain firmly rooted in denial. Admitting the mess we’re in IS completely horrifying. It frightens me like nothing else I’ve ever faced. Watching forests decimated for agriculture, orangutans pushed to the brink of extinction for palm oil, and polar bears starving as the ice they rely on melts away…is absolutely soul shattering. This is but a small part of the huge, negative impact human civilization has wreaked on our planet. Many people say they care, yet they continue to live their lives the same way they always have…change is hard, inconvenient, and we don’t like to have to give up things we enjoy, like our steak dinners and our Clark Griswold-esque Christmas light displays. But these things are killing the planet and hastening our OWN demise. We are selling out the future of ourselves and our kids and our grandkids for a hamburger today, a useless but fun (until we tire of it next year) holiday ornament, a gag gift for a co-worker who’ll just toss it in the trash when he gets home after the company party…

So, though I’ve already done a lot of work in my life on cutting down my own carbon footprint, I’m turning next year into a huge, all-out assault on the harmful impacts of my own existence. I’m re-examining everything I buy, everything I use, everything I do, to identify how my choices and habits impact the planet and how I can make further positive changes.

I’m re-examining my “trash.” What ELSE can I recycle? What ELSE can I reuse (maybe as compost)? What else can I repurpose? Are there more items I can upcycle into something new and cool? Are there items I simply can just eliminate by changing my habits that maybe I previously overlooked?

I’m going to making ALL of my own beauty supplies, cleaning supplies, home remedies, and foodstuffs like sauces, dressings and even plant-based “cheeses.” Everything I can make, with as few ingredients as possible, and of course with all natural ingredients.

I’m looking into buy natural fabric clothing, American made whenever possible, and not buying for fashion’s sake. I’ve been researching the Capsule Wardrobe theory and am working on paring down what I have in my closet to a bare minimum that really works for me. And I’m donating the rest…

I’m going through my home looking for ways to increase energy efficiency, and cut consumption of power and water.

I’m going all digital-eBooks, mp3 music, online subscriptions to magazines and newspapers, and all my documents and data will be stored on the computer and in cloud storage only, rather than printing things out unless absolutely necessary. All my finances will be eBills come next year. I get very little paper mail as it is and some day maybe it will be NONE.

The archaic, slow, and inefficient Postal Service will have to adapt, too, or die out. Sorry, folks.

A lot of things are going to have to adapt, or die. We humans, too. We’re going to have to realize that luxury and longevity of our species-as well as all other life we share the planet with-are at odds with each other. We must learn to live with less STUFF in order to live at all…which will become increasingly clear in the coming decades.

Do we have that long? I don’t know. Revised projections look more dire every year. We may not. But with an anti-environment government now in power in the US, it is up to the citizens who care-care enough to change-to BE that change until we can wrest control of the government away from the current regime and return it to some sense of sanity and decency. Sounds like quite the feat…and it is. But we can do it.

We have to try.

For so many reasons, so many.

Here’s just one.

polarbearsPhoto by Eric Lefranc/Solent

I hope you’ll join me in making 2018 a better year for them. At least, in trying to. We can only try, but if MANY of us try, we just may succeed.

I’ll share here any of my discoveries, ideas, projects, recipes…anything I think helps me be a better Earth Dweller. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

~Kelly, the Greenizen

 

Reblog Time-Rachel Tilseth, Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

https://videopress.com/embed/n8xdo87d?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

…Yet the hunter in the video is never prosecuted. Warning the following video contains violence against a helpless wild sentient-being. Will there ever be justice for the coyote being tortured by a hunter’s dogs in the video? I’ve been asking that question for several years now. When I found the horrific video on a hunter’s […]

via A plea for justice: In the video what you are seeing is a clear act of animal cruelty in progress… — Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

We’re in love with Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino!

We here at the Greenizen are absolutely in love with Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, a folk and popular music ensemble from Italy. The group was formed in 1975, by Daniele and Rina Durante, and included over the years some of Italy’s greatest musical talents. In 2007 the “elders” turned the band over to a younger generation, and CGS is now led by Daniele’s son Mauro Durante. The (younger, but still unbelievably talented!) ensemble performs some of the most gorgeous, emotive, and infectious music you will ever hear. They play a mix of traditional Italian music and their own amazing compositions. Their album Canzoniere, released in October of 2017, gets our vote for Album of the Year. Here is a video of the song Lu Giustacofane.

Find out more about the band at their official site:

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino-Official Site