A Whole Year Without Plastic?!

A Whole Year Without Plastic?!

I posted a few days ago about my new haircut, which I inadvertently made as a New Year’s resolution I guess. So, bring on 2014. I already knocked out and completed my goal for 2013! Kidding. I didn’t want to come up with some standard resolutions that everyone does, even though they still exist on the bottom … Read more

I posted a few days ago about my new haircut, which I inadvertently made as a New Year’s resolution I guess. So, bring on 2014. I already knocked out and completed my goal for 2013! Kidding. I didn’t want to come up with some standard resolutions that everyone does, even though they still exist on the bottom of my list, but my top resolution is a rather lofty and impactful goal.

2013 Resolution: Rise Above Plastics. Attempt to go a whole year without using, or significantly reducing my plastic footprint.

I was very inspired by this after I attended the East Coast Chapter Summit with the Surfrider Foundation, and really hope to follow through on cutting out as much plastic as possible. The facts are pretty evident I quickly found out, and in many parts of our oceans there exists this sort of plasticy soup, a gyre as it’s called. According to the organization Rise Above Plastics, plastic is all around us. It’s in our homes, our offices, our vehicles, our yards and our playgrounds. We use it to package food, bottle products, bag produce, make dinnerware and utensils, make toys and more.

Plastics have undoubtedly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily, for less money, and in some cases, more safely than ever before. But, plastics pose a significant threat to our planet as well. Part of the problem is plastic itself. The very qualities that make it an adaptable and durable product to use, also make plastic an environmental nightmare. You see, plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they photodegrade – breaking down under exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, into smaller and smaller pieces.

The bottom line is that with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.

The Rise Above Plastic’s mission is simple: to reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics. I encourage you to follow ‘RAP’ on Facebook and Twitter, and be a leader and advocate for change. “Ban the Bag” from your city if you are so empowered to do so.

Some other easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment are choosing to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water; refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics; reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons; bring your to-go mug with you; and recycle! If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates. Wish me luck!

For more ‘green’ resolutions, check out this post.

A New Year, A New Look

A New Year, A New Look

Winter break is winding down, the new year has been rung in, and we all get to hear the general overhaul of standard resolutions…loose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking, save more money, drink less and so on. I have been thinking about several resolutions for a while and will make a post about some later, … Read more

Winter break is winding down, the new year has been rung in, and we all get to hear the general overhaul of standard resolutions…loose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking, save more money, drink less and so on. I have been thinking about several resolutions for a while and will make a post about some later, but since I have been home I have been nagged by my dad to cut my hair. I had been growing it out for just under 2 years, went abroad with it, adapted to the flow, but upon instinct decided it had to go. I figured that since this coming semester is my last and I will be in a full fledge job hunt, I would be more appealing to employers with a clean cut.

I fell a few inches short of Locks for Love and Wigs for Kids donations, but am making sure some cancer patient or local hospital will accept my hair. The reason I had held off to cutting it off is because I wanted to donate it for a good cause. I won’t let the national non-profits hold me back. I also came to peace with the decision thanks to snowboarder, skateboarder and X-Games gold winner Shaun White. When you think of Shaun White, you immediately think of his long, red locks. His hair defined him. However, he decided to cut and donate his as well, which I found on via YouTube, and made my decision a lot easier!

My brother John, who’s hair is also very long and also tried to help me ignore sales pitches on getting mine cut, had sent me an email a while back about hair and the nervous system. It is a rather interesting article and I hope you read to the end! “Hair is an extension of the nervous system, it can be correctly seen as exteriorized nerves, a type of highly evolved “feelers” or “antennae” that transmit vast amounts of important information to the brainstem, the limbic system, and the neocortex.

Not only does hair in people, including facial hair in men, provide an information highway reaching the brain, hair also emits energy, the electromagnetic energy emitted by the brain into the outer environment.

With the usual enticements, the U.S. Military, enlisted some Indian trackers. Once enlisted, an amazing thing happened. Whatever talents and skills they had possessed on the reservation seemed to mysteriously disappear, as recruit after recruit failed to perform as expected in the field.

Serious causalities and failures of performance led the government to contract expensive testing of these recruits, and this is what was found: When questioned about their failure to perform as expected, the older recruits replied consistently that when they received their required military haircuts, they could no longer ’sense’ the enemy, they could no longer access a ’sixth sense’ , their ’intuition’ no longer was reliable, they couldn’t ’read’ subtle signs as well or access subtle extrasensory information.

Time after time the man with long hair kept making high scores. Time after time, the man with the short hair failed the tests in which he had previously scored high scores.

Here is a typical test: The recruit is sleeping out in the woods. An armed ’enemy’ approaches the sleeping man. The long haired man is awakened out of his sleep by a strong sense of danger and gets away long before the enemy is close, long before any sounds from the approaching enemy are audible. So the document recommended that all Indian trackers be exempt from military haircuts. In fact, it required that trackers keep their hair long.”

Oh well.

(Read the article in full here).

Hello, 2013!

Hello, 2013!

2013 is the year of dreams coming true for me. Until I am actually sitting on the plane, about to take flight for Italy, I don’t believe it will sink in that I will be living out my dream for the next five months. I am so incredibly blessed and beyond lucky to have the … Read more

2013

2013 is the year of dreams coming true for me. Until I am actually sitting on the plane, about to take flight for Italy, I don’t believe it will sink in that I will be living out my dream for the next five months. I am so incredibly blessed and beyond lucky to have the opportunity to study abroad. As part of my New Year’s resolutions, I have promised myself to taste unfamiliar foods, travel to unique places, talk to new people and push myself far out of my comfort zone. I want to come back from Europe with no regrets.

New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Let go & let God: learn to worry less & trust in Him more
  2. Have courage: take risks, go on adventures, try new things
  3. Work on patience: “not now” does not mean “not ever”
  4. Less social media use: live life through my own experiences instead of through social media
  5. Chase my dreams full heartily: go after what I want, no matter how far out of reach it may seem

Here are just a few of the things that I have to look forward to in 2013:

  1. EUROPE (duh)
  2. 21st birthday
  3. Tay Swift Concert: RED Tour
  4. Justin Bieber Concert: Believe Tour
  5. Beginning of my senior year of college

Happy New Year! Make this year one to remember!

It’s a New Year

It’s a New Year

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So it’s 2012 now! The beginning of a new year. The beginning of many other new things. A new semester with new classes and new professors. New events and campus activities. New experiences and opportunities that will come around. New relationships and connections that will be made.

A new year presents many chances for change and endless possibilities. It is, in a way, a chance to start over. Do something different. Make improvements on what was unfavorable from 2011. As 2012 begins, the chance is given to start fresh and better you. It’s the time to make changes in your life. This year is yours and you can choose to do anything with it. Make a goal to do better academically. Spend more time studying. Do volunteer work. Study abroad. Join a new club/organization on campus. Reach an athletic goal. 2012 is a blank canvas that needs filled and it needs some color. So what are you going to do this year?