trente

Sometimes when we do nice
things for those who don’t think twice,
it opens up their minds
and they realize it’s kind,
that they should listen to our friendly advice.


This post is part of a series! Check out the collection here.

Going Green 🌱

I started something new once I’d moved into my apartment, about three months ago. I’ve always recycled, but now I have to drive my huge bag of recyclables to my mother’s house for it to be picked up. The effort is more than worth it, as recycling even a plastic water bottle is 1) a chance for it to be reused in the construction of a new product and 2) might actually save one animal’s life. If you haven’t seen footage of the pilot whale  (whose body was filled with plastic waste) or the unfortunate sea turtle with a 4-inch straw stuck in its nasal canal, follow the respective links.

Seeing Earth’s beloved creatures in peril through first-hand accounts really illuminates the horrors of plastic waste. So many days do we think of our hectic schedules with work, school, extracurriculars, volunteer efforts, and household duties, that we forget that life is so much grander than ourselves. We live in such a minute speck on Earth, and the way we live as individuals does affect our fellow living creatures. We even affect  our future selves in return. Animals, such as fish, eat plastic by mistake. But…think about what happens after we catch and eat them… Scary, huh?

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Image by National Geographic

Recycling should be made easily available to everyone in any area. If the department of waste in one area isn’t close by, do you think that many people would make the trip? “Just to throw garbage away in a different place?” It is hard with our incredibly busy lives (that we mold for ourselves) to make time for “trivial” matters. But when you think of how much you, special reader, can recycle from your every day garbage, you will see how quickly all of that waste can add up. All of those recyclable items won’t end up in our oceans. Crabs will be able to find only shells to make their home in. Whales and turtles won’t eat plastic bags because they look like jellyfish. Animals can survive and thrive without manmade garbage in their habitat. How selfish of us to use Walmart plastic bags when we all have a green bag or two in our house, holding laundry supplies or kids’ toys. They’re only $1 in most places today, unless you prefer a more expensive canvas tote to do your shopping.

Replacing our plastic straws from fast food places with hard plastic or metal reusable straws will prevent so many animals from choking, suffocating, and ending up with a torn up nostril.

All of these steps make our lives a little bit more difficult, but when you think of that little squirrel who won’t get its head stuck in a plastic six-pack ring or a tummy so full of trash a whale can no longer eat, a readjusted lifestyle can become a little easier to swallow.


What I’m Doing
  1. Deconstructing K-Cups to Recycle – I put a basket next to our Keurig coffeemaker at the office in which everyone can toss their single-use K-Cup. I found this tool that allows me to cut open a K-Cup to pour out the coffee grounds and separate the 3 recyclable materials it consists of: aluminum top, plastic cup, and paper filter. All of these are recyclable and can be thrown separately from each other. The sorters at the recycling facilities will NOT deconstruct these themselves. Can you imagine how much waste they have to sift through?
  2. Replacing Single-Use Plastic Straws with Reusable Straws – I know…this one is tough for me, too. I received these hard, plastic straws as a gift, and I love them. I don’t mind washing these at all. It’s difficult not to grab one when handed a drink at a fast food restaurant, and Starbucks always hands me that iconic green straw with my iced tea or frappuccino. Reusable straws are not hard to come across. You can also use paper straws, which are biodegradable. Check your local superstore, or order some online from Walmart or Amazon. If you frequent Starbucks, they also sell that famous green straw in a reusable form. Look out for those by the mug wall. (P.S. I’m currently saving up plastic straws to reuse them in some fashion…I’ll keep you posted.)
  3. Avoiding Plastic Coffee Stirrers – At work, our bosses provide us with miniature plastic straws with which to stir our coffee. In my effort to reduce my straw usage, I developed a new method to my coffee brewing when I’m away from home. I first pour in my creamer and then let the coffee brew over it. At a local coffee and gelato shop, they have provided customers with pieces of dried pasta with which to mix their honey or cream into their beverage. It was so innovative, and I’m thinking about buying cheap pasta and doing the same at work…but one can only spend so much extra money!
  4. Struggling with Plastic Bags – As well as with the straw dilemma (just the sheer number of them), I’m struggling with this lifestyle change. I just discovered this wonderful thing called Walmart Pick-Up. I buy my whole shopping list online; someone shops for me; then I drive there so someone else can load it into my car. I don’t even have to get out of my vehicle. Unfortunately, each item in my cart gets its own bag. If I get one pack of butter, one bag of tortillas, and one yogurt, I’ll have three plastic bags for which I now have to find a use. Usually I reuse them as trashcan liners, but I collect so many that I’ll never be able to use them. There is a plastic bag recycling box at the entrance of most Walmarts, so I will soon make use of those. If there is a Target nearby, I believe they also do plastic bag recycling. Keep in mind your department of waste will not recycle plastic bags. It’s sad…but true.

    TrashDebrisManagement - vermillionville
    Image via Vermillionville.org

The first thing I want to improve is using reusable bags when I do shop in-store, and I also want to get some reusable produce bags when I buy my fruit or my rabbit’s veggies. There’s no need for single-use bags anymore. We can shop without being wasteful. When I can, I will also recycle my excess bags in the store.


Are you making steps toward a greener life? Are you sharing your inspiration with others? It’s hard to change your whole lifestyle, but isn’t saving our future family’s planet worth the extra effort?

01-harp-seal-pup-nationalgeographic_1936617.adapt.590.1
Photograph by David Doubilet, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE | Read the linked story to find out what plastic did to a little seal pup like this one.

What about saving the innocent animals? How can you turn down this face?

❤ Michelle

 

Fit for the Future

Good evening, all!

I’ll start this update honestly, by saying that today was rough at work. Naturally, writing will help to ease that anxiety and remind me that “it is just a job”. So I came to you guys! This fall will be an extremely exciting one for this blog and I hope it will be for you as well. Currently I am sitting outside listening to the squawky bluejay and the buzz and sweet chirping of hummingbirds at the feeder—that’s a good start to fall, if I must say!

Part of this excitement is a new series I’ll be starting Friday! I hope all of my readers will return (after my long hiatus) to join me on an Autumn Lovin’ adventure, because I just can’t resist its charms! There will be 7 installments, or so I have planned, and will be posted once-a-week on Fridays. Ponder all of these wonderful things that fall brings: color changes, pumpkin recipes, feelings of the ever-encroaching holidays, sweaters, boot socks, costumes, camping, new crop to harvest… The list goes on!

◊◊◊Have an idea that you’d like to share, or is there a favorite thing that you look forward to all year that comes in autumn? Do you even care for the season? Get in touch with me in the comments below!


Business #2:

Heard of Write 31 Days before? I actually did it last year! If you don’t know what this is and want to participate, here’s a link to the website that will be most helpful in informing you.

Last year, I did 31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes, which was just a more specific version. Basically, you join thousands of writers around the globe writing every day of the month in October. This event happens every year, so it is definitely something I look forward to!

I will be changing it up a bit this year, since I am running the Autumn Lovin’ series during the month of October as well. I read on that same website that they are also hosting a micro-blogging for 31 days on Instagram. I haven’t fully researched their explanation of what it is, but I am significantly intrigued. I have my Instagram account linked in the sidebar, so if I do decide to micro-blog for 31 days, you can keep up with me there!

Well, that’s the skinny of it. Lots of new stuff coming! I hope you stick around for tons of fall goodies and photos. For me, it’s the best time of the year!

❤ Michelle

Elemental

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I collected these images from my vacation this summer in Nebraska. What an adventure it was! After my cousin has visited us for 20 years, I finally was able to join her in her childhood home. She showed me all the things I’d only heard about for years over the phone (and eventually Skype).

Air – When driving through Oklahoma, I was amazed at the hundreds of peaceful windmills lining the horizon.

Water – My cousin and I drove to Lincoln one evening, and she showed me the beautiful Platte River. I wanted to jump into my swimsuit and run to its current!

Fire – In Omaha, there are so many hills–many more than we have in Louisiana–so every evening while we were driving we had the most magnificent view of the fiery sunsets.

Earth – On the 4th of July, I folded a few origami animals I wanted to make, and this little bunny was one of them. I loved my aunt and uncle’s rock bed in their backyard. I even found a piece of amethyst crystal amongst the granite!


Comment a link below to your elemental photos so I can see them, and visit the Daily Post’s page to join the #postaweek community!

❤ Michelle

Tempered Tuesday: 5

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Hello, lazy daisies! (Though I’m sure you are all busier than me.)

How are you? Have you had any triumphs this week? It’s been a while. Last week was my first week out of school, but also graduation week. I graduated from college on Friday with my Bachelor’s Degree in English! I feel liberated and suddenly hopeless and useless. Every time someone asks me what I plan on doing now, my stomach flips and I wonder what the purpose of life is. No, I have no plan. I have ideas. I want to work, and I assume that I will go back to get my Master’s Degree in about a year; but I don’t even know where or what in. What is my plan for now? Create, write, read, teach VBS at a local church, and play video games. Because I deserve it.

I must say, though, no one can lounge around forever. Recently I came across this video on Facebook and it opened my eyes to how ungrateful I am for what I have.

We aren’t well-off, or even comfortable financially. We don’t get everything we want (though it does seem close), and we really have to decide how to move money around to make sure to have money for rent and food.

One thing we aren’t is homeless. In a sense we might be, or we might have technically been for a spell, but we’ve never had to live somewhere outside a house. We always had a roof over our heads and a few people willing to help us along until we could catch our breaths. I don’t want my family to end up homeless. But what about those who are already there? I feel for those men and women who comb through trash and sleep on benches. No matter how little money I might have, I still have enough to share.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. … Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

-Hebrews 13:2, 16

The Bible says to share what we have; there are no footnotes here or any exceptions to this command. If you are Godly, no matter what your social status, you share whatever you have. The man in the video (linked above) shows us that you don’t have to have anything at all to share with others. Bless him.

So this week, my new tempering idea is to share what I have with those who are less fortunate than I. I have been selfish and have taken what I own for granted. It is past time to reach out to others, but it is never too late.

How can you temper your life this week? Is it a long process? All of mine seem to be. Work on what you’ve decided to temper even from Week #1. We’ll work on tempering ourselves together!


How about some happies to get you on your way?!

  1. This poem accurately portrays the perfect bacon morning on the weekend.
  2. Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own latte art? I have! This video here by Whole Latte Love shows  you how. I guess I’ll need an espresso machine first…
  3. Here is an Etsy shop hosted by a man I met at our local Farmer’s Market. He is from Louisiana and crafts sterling silver jewelry as well as pendants with butterfly wings! Check out these gorgeous pieces. I love my sterling silver twisty ring!
  4. Ellen McCrimmon is an incredibly talented artist from the UK that I found on Instagram! Her artwork is simply gorgeous, especially her watercolored sea creatures. (I hope to include a product review on my blog in the near future with an item from her shop. Stay tuned!)
  5. Take a gander at these hilarious Harry Potter themed mugs . They will never get old! I think the two teacups are adork-able.

Just joining the Tempered Tuesday series?

Here’s Week One to explain what this is all about.

❤ Michelle