Happy Sunday, dear friends. It’s finally here. The weekend before the girls go back to school. The break seemed so long when they came home before Christmas. Of course, it flew right by like a speeding train.
There is some level of sadness and trepidation for them both as the new semester beings, and I will miss having their smiling faces around every minute of the day. For my oldest daughter, it is her last semester in college. She will be preparing for going out into the wide world as a sculptor. She will begin her life outside the bounds of childhood.
For my youngest daughter, the time at school is simply a space holder, as she has decided to change her course of study and her university. She wants to get on with that, because what she has chosen excites the heck out of her, but the present reality sometimes does not allow for quick changes. I think we will see much more flexibility on this in the future. I also remind her that once she starts the semester, every day brings her closer to her future.
Then it hit me, that we are all doing the same thing. We feel as if our lives are constant, when in actuality they are ever flowing in the direction of where our Divine selves planned for us to end up. We may get anxious because we don’t think we know the way, don’t have enough time or enough guts. The truth is, that our destination is assured. It has always been assured, and we get to choose the path through our own divine free will choice. Certainly some paths are easier than others, but none of us signed up for easy and simple. Trust me on that!
So let’s get down to the business of feel good news. This week we have a bit of a focus on good ideas that can make a difference in this world. These types of things are always good news!
The future of fashion is compostable.
Many of us do our best to make sustainable and green choices. We recycle and reuse. We purchase local products and eat organic food. We may even purchase organic cotton clothing. Wait. That isn’t a sustainable choice.
I was amazed to learn that agricultural cotton drains water resources significantly. If folks in the US wish to purchase more sustainable hemp fabric, it must be imported. The US government prohibits its growth.
Even natural fiber clothing can create an issue when they wear out. Commercial dyes, metal zippers and plastic buttons will not break down in a land fill. While many people donate old clothes to charity, eventually they are too old or worn to be useful. Natural fibers can be recycled, and used in the production of other products, such as paper, but a significant percentage of old clothing winds up in the trash.
A company is Switzerland called Frietag is addressing this issue. They began by creating a sustainable mission statement. They wanted to reduce the company’s overall environmental impact, but still provide quality products. The end result was a locally sourced natural fiber fabric that is 100% biodegradable. The fabric breaks down in landfills or composting facilities and even the buttons are made of materials that degrade. Any metal parts could be unscrewed and reused.
The stylish clothes are only available in Europe, and the materials used are sourced from local countries. The company created a unique, inter-country partnership to produce the clothes in very close spatial proximity. They wanted to reduce cost and travel involved in the production, to further reduce the carbon footprint.
The company is interested in creating facilities in the US, especially if hemp production is legalized.
Using sustainable animal power to remove invasive plant species.
A few months ago, my youngest daughter asked me if I wanted to adopt a goat. A small farm that took rescues had way too many of them, and they wanted to find them homes. Since she was going to be away at school and unable to contribute to its care, we took a pass. During our discussion though, we thought about the fact that our wild and wooly space of love would no longer need to be tended, because the goat would eat all the weeds.
I was overjoyed when I read this article, about the use of goats to control invasive species in the US. Certain plants have been imported from foreign countries and instead of naturalizing into the environment they become invasive. The plants overwhelm and destroy existing natural ecosystems. There is significant effort to restore these natural environments through the removal of these invaders. Sometimes the use of herbicides, controlled burns and mechanical removal does more harm than good.
Eco Goats to the rescue! A number of environmentally conscious entrepreneurs are building goat and sheep grazing herds. The animals are transported to an area, where they eat up all the vegetation. They are able to consume many invasive species and can even happily munch poison ivy. Once they finish their job, they are moved to another location and start the process all over again.
The creator of Eco Goats says that using animals in land clearing has a long history, and it is a simple matter of remembering this sustainable practice. I showed this article to my daughter, who plans on a degree in horticulture and she is happy to see that goats may still fit into her future.
A shipping container and a dream can create some amazing living spaces.
Do you want to build a home, but don’t have a lot of money? Do you want to use recycled or re-purposed material? Are you interested in off-the-grid living? Do you have a wild imagination and want to create a non-traditional living space?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then these beautiful shipping container homes will inspire you! What amazed me was the diversity of design, all built out of a basic square of corrugated metal. While the basis of these homes is all about functionality, they really are truly beautiful in a Zen-like way.
When I was a kid, my uncle, who is an engineer, purchased two portable school buildings that were being discarded in Bronx, NY. They were pink and made of tin. He had them hauled to upstate New York and set about creating a beautiful country home for his family. The black boards were still in place, and he left them for us to draw on. At the time, people thought he was crazy, but I believe it was my first experience with re-purposing, and I was truly inspired by the concept.
Five empathy heroes who changed the world.
Author Roman Krznaric, recently released a new book entitled Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It. In this excerpt, he discusses the latest business trend, called “empathy marketing.” This is a hot new business tool, that has corporations looking through the eyes of their users to understand their needs and create more useful products.
Krznaric feels that empathy is better used in the social world. As the media sets us up with divide and conquer tactics, the more we understand the diverse cultures around us the closer we will come to unity.
He shares his empathy heroes with us. Most of them were unknown to me, but I can see how their work has influenced my own attitudes. They lived in the shoes of those they wished to understand, sometimes at great personal peril. The understanding they gained and shared helped many social groups, who did not have a voice, to be heard and embraced by a wider audience.
I truly believe that learning the truth about the lives of others, and feeling their struggles helps build a sense of compassion and community. Without this understanding, unity consciousness will remain out of our reach. I also think that social media and projects like Storycorps, which share the stories of many different types of people, can help us all understand and empathize with people who are different from us. This is the basis of an intertwined and supportive global community.
Tiny prosthesis made out of Lego blocks help a tortoise to walk.
A tortoise owner in Germany noticed that one of her tortoises was having trouble walking. When she took it to the vet, he told her the animal had a rare metabolic disease and could not support the weight of his own shell.
The quick thinking vet then created a small set of wheels using his son’s Lego collection. He attached them to the tortoise’s under carriage, and after a bit of adjustment, the tortoise is getting around like a champ! Thinking outside the box like this, especially in unique situations, certainly leads to innovative solutions.
A boy sees his mom as a super hero.
This video is actually a commercial for the Thai Insurance Company. They are known for producing commercials with a ton of heart. In this one, a teacher is touched by a young student who draws a picture of a garbage collector when asked to create a super hero.
I watched this video, and thought about how wonderful it was that this little boy saw the value of his mom’s occupation, and how much it meant to him to help her clean up the world.
That’s the good news for today. Have an amazing day. Please join Gavin Harrill for the Golden Gaia News Roundup on Monday.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!