Whichever side of the partisan fence we sit, it’s our duty and privilege to get out there and vote this Tuesday.
It’s the only way we can keep this democracy of ours chugging. It’s also the only way we can address what I believe is the most pressing threat to the planet: climate change.
Patagonia is saying Don’t Sit This One Out — and I couldn’t agree more.
Many issues demand our attention during an election year: foreign policy, immigration, jobs, health care and campaign finance. Yes, they’re important, but we’re missing the point: None of it matters on a dead planet. The health of our planet must be a strong foundation for everything else, not an afterthought.
Patagonia so deeply believes in civil democracy and environmental issues, they’re closing their retail stores, their headquarters in Ventura and their Reno distribution and customer service center this Election Day to encourage customers, employees and all citizens to head to the polls.
I feel honored to be working with a company that supports the environment as well as everyone’s right to exercise their rights – whether it’s voting, gender and racial equality, taking care of our families right, choosing organic and sustainable products, and enjoying the wild places left in nature.
Please mail your ballot today, or plan a hot date with a voting booth for November 8th.
Claim your part in history.
Paul Norwood “Broken Bread”
In my next few blogs, I’ll be addressing some of my readers’ most burning questions. First up, Dorlon and Dharma want to know:
What’s the deal with family dinner, anyway? Is it really as important as everyone insists? And how can we make it easier, healthier and more fun?
There’s a lot of hot debate and anecdote about the legendary “Family Dinner”. Eating meals together has been credited – for good reason – with big and long-term benefits like better communication and eating habits as well as lower risk of eating disorders, obesity, substance abuse, and depression.
But most experts agree: The important thing about it is the time spent together.
Everyone has to eat. So why not do it with as many family members as possible as often as you can?
Don’t feel guilty if you’re catching your meals on the fly (or in the car) right now. Just getting family dinners on your radar is the first step in the right direction. Then start creating the dinner routine that works for your family, almost like a recipe (hmmm…)
RECIPE FOR A FAB FAMILY DINNER
Take these main ingredients:
- Eat together
- Eat healthy
- Limit distractions, particularly of the electronic variety.
Mix well. Use often. Add these ingredients as desired, for flavor and fun:
- Cook together. Check out Cooking with Kids Foundation for new recipes and ways to get kids to venture beyond the PBJ.
- Spice up the conversation. Branch out from the standard “How was your day?” with some fresh discussion topics.
- Create ritual. Laurie David’s The Family Dinner book and the Family Eats website are rich with recipes, shopping and prep tips, more sustainable choices, and activities to connect on a deeper level.
- Immortalize Grannie’s meatball recipe. The Family Cookbook Project gives you all the tools you need to collect family recipes, design and publish an original family heirloom cookbook.
- Everyone contributes to the cleanup. Many hands make light work, plus giving kids opportunities to pitch in is actually good for them!
How do you do Dinner?
image via worldmapsonline
On April 22, 1970, twenty million Americans coast-to-coast took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthier, more sustainable environment.
It was the first Earth Day, organized by then US Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was horrified by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and heartened by the power of the civil rights and anti-war protests.
Earth Day 1970 galvanized groups that had been isolated in their fight against pollution and the loss of nature. It led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. And it achieved a rare bipartisan and nondenominational alignment, attracting support from rich and poor, city dwellers and farmers, CEOs and labor leaders.
Flash forward 43 years. Environmental awareness continues to grow, but we’re still in denial about how we humans affect our planet. We are splintered on the causes of global warming. And we are often paralyzed by our feelings of helplessness.
Earth Day 2013 is Monday, April 22. And it’s the perfect excuse to come together again, to join others who are making big changes, and to firm our commitment to taking greener steps:
- Hold fast to your 4 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (compost).
- Celebrate the day and find local activities by typing “Earth Day 2013 (your town)” into your search engine bar.
- Teach your kids a thing or two about being green. They are our ambassadors to the future…and the future looks green!
Remember that the Earth is our only home. We’re searching for earth-like planets, and have found several contenders for the role. Colonizing another planet could be cool, but isn’t it easier just to take better care of the one we’re on?
How will you celebrate Earth Day 2013?
The mother-daughter bond is unique, complex and ever-changing. For your relationship to truly blossom, it’s important to set aside time to hang out with no interruptions or expectations. Find ways to connect and “go deep” so you always know how, even during tough times. Sometimes the most profound conversations happen organically when you’re doing something else.
A mother-daughter journal is a great way to share experiences, uncover hidden dreams, and swap thoughts. It’s also the perfect forum for tricky conversations – like the birds and the bees or really messy bedrooms – because it allows time to stay cool and respond honestly. Pass your journal back and forth and fill it with the things that make you laugh, that freak you out, and that blow your mind. It’s a memoir of who you are – separately and together – that you’ll keep forever.
Here’s how to get started:
mother-daughter word bubbles journal
Get a good book There are many mother-daughter journals published with pre-set prompts and topics at Café Press or on Amazon. If you’re the creative type, buy a nice blank book and create your journal as you go. Add photos, ticket stubs, inspiring quotes or sketches.
Lay a few ground rules and stick by them Have a set time that you’ll write – every Saturday, the first day of the month, whatever works for you. And just like Vegas, what happens on the page stays on the page! No topic should be taboo, but give each other the option to “pass.”.
Slant positive Life isn’t always rosy, and your journal will reflect the speed bumps and shadows as well as the joys and beauty. But resist the urge to use it as a place to lecture or complain. Be honest when exploring a tough topic, but always think before putting pen to paper.
Brainstorm topics and questions. Let your themes flow naturally with the events of your lives.
- Our changing bodies, puberty to menopause
- Boys, boys and…oh yeah, more boys
- Expressing your personal style
- What you want to be when you grow up, and why
- Why we always fight about (insert problem here), and how we can negotiate better?
- If you had 24 hours with no responsibilities and endless funds, what would you do?
- Inner and outer beauty
- Top five favorite songs/books/movies
Share your mother-daughter tips! What do you do to have fun together and stay connected?
(this post soon to appear on Edelbio Skin Care)
It’s fun to let your personal style shine with unique clothing and accessories. But buying them from conventional stores? Not so fun for the environment.
Most apparel companies use fabrics, dyes and practices that aren’t kind to people or the Earth. Polyester and acrylic fabrics are made from plastics, conventional cotton crops are doused with heavy pesticides, and fair trade is often sacrificed for the bottom line.
The good news is, with growing awareness and the eco-movement in full swing, greening your closet has never been easier!
Swap your stuff: If you need a wardrobe refresher, try doing a temporary trade with your close friends. Share clothing between sisters, mothers and daughters. Or host a clothing swap party with friends, classmates, mom’s groups or even your book club.
Hunt for treasure: Who says clothes have to be new to be fabulous? Some of the best (and eco-est) deals can be found second hand. And buying used helps preserve the precious resources that it takes to produce new clothing. Make a mother-daughter lunch date and hit the vintage stores and consignment shops in your area. Or peruse Ebay Green for greener goods.
Choose consciously: Think before you buy something new. Ask yourself: How was this made? Where was it made? What was it made from? Choose natural fabrics over synthetic, and organic whenever possible. Seek out greener brands you can trust. And remember the timeless motto “quality over quantity.” Stock up on classic basics and then spring for a few statement pieces to make your fashion mark.
Walk the Web: Fire up the online search engine to find your favorite organic clothing purveyors. Here are a few of ours:
How do you keep your closet green?
(this post soon to be published on Edelbio Skin Care – stay tuned!)