Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Australia’s Helpers, New Zealand’s Assault Weapon Ban, State Steps for the Planet, and We are More Alike than Different

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Helpers in Australia

The fires in Australia are horrific. Today I want to hold up the helpers. Please join me in praying for their strength and safety and for a steady rain to fall over the fires.

Teams of firefighters and volunteers from all over the world are being deployed to fight bush fires in Australia like these  US and Canadian teams .

The Guardian has collected several good stories about generous helpers  in Australia. This link will take you to “Beautiful Gestures.”

The good news for this koala starts at 28 seconds into the video.

New Zealand’s Ban on Assault Weapons

Independent reports more than 50,000 guns were turned in after New Zealand banned assault weapons.  The ban of lethal semi-automatic weapons was implemented after 51worshippers at two were murdered in March.

The six month buy back program ended in December, “with gun collection events staying open late as police reported in a last-minute surge.”

Provisional figures indicate 33,000 people handed in 51,000 guns, and another 5,000 weapons as part of a parallel amnesty in which owners could hand over any type of firearm without any questions being asked but without getting compensated.

Read Independent article here.

Maine Bans Styrofoam & Oregon Gives Up Plastic bags

Maine has become the first US state to ban styrofoam (plastic foam) containers that take almost forever to break down. When this material does break down it turns into smaller plastic foam pieces that are dangerous to wildlife. The material is rarely recycled. The law goes into effect next year.  Read more here.

As of January 1st, Oregon has given up single use plastic bags! (Just one more reason for Oregon to be on my bucket list.) Here’s more on that story.

We Are More Alike than Different

The Correspondent article below explores shows how we agree more than disagree.

“Driving our feelings of polarisation are what we might call the “antisocial media”: a continuous stream of contentious reporting and trending topics, consumed and shared by the groups with the loudest – and most extreme – opinions.”

….”Nearly 80% of Americans are in favour of higher taxes for the rich, two-thirds want the government to do more to combat climate change and conserve the environment, and roughly the same number say that immigrants strengthen society – twice as many as 25 years ago.”

  Rob Wijnberg

Read more here.

Please feel free to share your good news in the comments!


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We Have the Technology

Today’s good news celebrates Earth Day (this weekend) and innovations for a healthier planet. Last Saturday, I participated in a local creek clean up and helped sort recyclables from landfill trash. Plastic bottles and polystyreme, aka, styrofoam, made up a significant portion of what volunteers collected from the water and creek banks.

I find it heartening that some cities have banned polystyreme, because it does not biodegrade and is rarely recycled. It’s also good news that we have alternatives! In addition to the obvious option of using biodegradable paper and reusable containers, we have the technology to replace plastic and styrofoam with biodegradable and edible products.

The first example I’d like to share is the development of edible wrappers made from seaweed.

 

The news about edible six pack rings is not new, but it’s something I hope we will remember and expand on.

 

And of course, we have the have the edible water bubbles developed by Skipping Rocks Lab.

 

 On a personal note, I’m getting better at remembering to take my canvas bags to the grocery store – not every time, but I’m making progress!

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Good news is out there.

  Feel free to share yours!


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Recycling 99% of our Trash Is Possible!

Recycle bin

The goal is to recycle more than we waste. Way more.

“The world has a garbage problem.”

Sweden is taking a giant step in the right direction by recycling 99% of their trash as described in the video below. They incinerate about half to make energy, but first, they sort out the organic material, metals, glass, etc.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152368487537499&set=vb.199701427498&type=2&theater

My husband gets excited about composting. Having discovered first hand how 40% of the produce grown in this country is wasted, he does what he can to divert local organic material from rotting in the landfill, and dreams of a large scale composting operation that would create and capture energy. He’s always going on about black soldier fly larvae and worms being so helpful in breaking down garbage. I don’t mind him going on about it, because I know it’s a good thing.

I tend to be more localized to the home front, saving banana peels in the freezer, and putting everything I can in the recycle bin. I’ve recently started saving plastic reusable to-go containers  from a couple of the more eco-friendly restaurants and taking them with me when we go out to eat where the only take out containers available are made of styrofoam. I don’t care if anybody thinks this is weird. That’s how much I hate styrofoam, which I say like a cuss word, because it can take up to one million years to decompose, and is typically refused by recycling companies.

Now, if I can just remember to take those canvas bags to the grocery store!

We can all make a difference, one step at at time.

What’s something you do, or would like to do to reduce, reuse or recycle?