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The statistics are astounding—the average American generates 4 pounds of trash every day, which adds up to a whopping 1,460 pounds in a year. It takes a plastic water bottle 450 years to break down in a landfill. And in every single square mile of ocean, there are more than 40,000 pieces of floating plastic debris.
It’s spring, the most hopeful time of the year. The other day, when I was taking a walk around the neighborhood, thrilled that I didn’t need a coat and boots, I started thinking about all the things I need to do to get my garden ready. Although I enjoy gardening, and it would be impossible for me to endure summer without fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes and cucumbers, the whole process seemed a little daunting to me at first.
If you’re a fan of social media, you’re probably getting used to seeing frequent stories about people innocently posting photos of themselves, only to find that “body-shamers” have come out of the woodwork to make negative comments about their looks, their hair, their clothing choices, their weight…you name it.
It’s that time of year again, when everyone starts talking about all the changes they want to make come January 1. Talk of “resolutions” is everywhere—on social media, during TV commercials, and standing around the water cooler. Then it gets us thinking about all we want to accomplish in the coming year, too, so we start making promises to ourselves that will be really hard to keep. That’s where it gets tricky: though the numbers vary a bit, experts believe that only eight percent of people are able to keep their New Year’s resolutions. Ouch!
When Andrine Nichols decided to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle nearly 20 years ago, she admits that it was quite a challenge at first.
“Whenever I went out to eat, I’d have to order a pasta entrée or salad and tell them to hold the meat, and it really bothered me to have to pay for meat that I wasn’t even eating,” says Nichols, who lives in Maryland. “These days, it’s a lot easier; most restaurants, even steakhouses, have at least a few vegetarian dishes on the menu.”
A few weeks before the International Day of Peace, I posed a question to my Facebook friends: “How, where, or when do you find peace?” Since the official purpose of the worldwide observance is “global ceasefire,” I expected—and received—several thoughtful responses about striving for peace in the world, and they were appreciated.
The other day, when I was entering the rec center for a class, I passed a woman who was just heading out. She had a long blond ponytail, and over her shoulder was a purple yoga bag with her mat strapped underneath. Following close behind her was her adorable “mini me”—a little girl, about 5 or 6, with a long blond ponytail, toting a rolled-up pink yoga mat almost as big as she was.
Did you say watermelon? If you didn’t say watermelon, I suspect the beautiful photo gave it away. Anyway, if you did say watermelon, you’re not alone; I conducted an informal poll at a recent get-together, and every single person I asked (all 8 of them) said watermelon too.