Sunday, September 12, 2010

Review of Too Many Rich People Article by Paul Ehrlich

Too Many Rich People by Paul Ehrlich

The article describes that populations from developed countries, according to the IPAT equation, have a higher impact on the environment. Well, this is not surprising at all. Developed countries, Americans especially, have lived the highest quality of life than other organism to inhabit the earth. We're living longer, consuming more, and contributing to the extinction of countless species (which are needed to obtain the natural balance of the food chain) and destruction of the environment with mostly everything we do. Unlike the "we should only help ourselves" notion in my AP Environmental Science class lecture, the Professor mentioned in this article presents a more optimistic view in working with the developing (poor) countries to address our consumption issues as a whole.

Our main concern should not be keeping developing nations at their level of poverty, death rates, and disease in order to keep their resource-use and pollution levels steady, but truthfully and strategically it should be to help them. We are in some ways afraid that assisting them will limit our availability of cheap resources because if helping them means giving them an economic boost with industrialization, technological resources, and such - it will all end up with them depending on an increasing energy use as more and more of their country develops a better quality of life. In turn, this will mean we have to share our limited supply which will most likely mean we'll have to pay more for something they'll have less of in their once agricultural to now industrial economy. So we may think by solving social injustice we are increasing our already bad resource depletion problem. As many say "it's human nature" for us privileged ones to address the question "help the poor or just ourselves" by picking ourselves. Well this is a most hopeless view and not a reliable solution in a sense that, by this, we are about doing what seems like it requires less effort instead of solving our immediate problems by simply working together. Putting my point of view aside and going back to analyzing, developed countries fear that with developing nations increasing economic growth and standard of living they'll soon catch up to us! They'll purchase consumer goods like us, consume like us, and exhaust resources like us! But we don't have enough to supply all of us with the way we're taking and taking and wasting... SO of course, typical higher class stereo-type would be for us to look away. And the sad thing is we have. We've looked away from the environment and now we're doing the same to our own. This wont solve anything, history repeats itself, and if we aren't careful enough or aware of our intakes, in years we have the potential to end up like the inhabitants of Easter Island. Evidently, what we are in urgent need for (besides clean, efficient and renewable energy-which may take years of investment and research) is changing our way of living. It really does all come down to changing our energy consumption habits.

Let me explain. . .

Some hold the point of view that assisting these countries with high levels of poverty will eventually in time lead to a dependence. If this is you, then in this situation, you are not thinking rationally about how urgent our population problem is and to find an immediate solution. Once our sources are gone, they are gone. I do not find that reliance from developing countries can be a problem in the future because we'll be helping them climb the stairs not necessarily carrying them. If they are assisted with technological resources and educating them how to use them, and so on to gain a better quality of life this will result in an economic boost, more agricultural production, and more educated individuals contributing to a global economy (as there would be growing institutions along with jobs.)

Before you read the rest, know that no I do not agree with this industrial revolution solution described above. Yes, I am for environmentally conscious agricultural practices and less technological advances. The above paragraphs and below ones have a purpose of drawing up conclusions to my solution and opening your mind to know where my view is coming from. I did write my one favorable solution down towards the bottom but I'd like for you to continue reading. And then of course, please share your insight.

The fault in the above solution is that we cannot just hope that helping them increase their quality of living will in fact keep them and other civilized countries from doubling in population, contributing to over-exploitation and making the same darn mistakes our very own expedient country does. (Yes, I did imply that we are selfish beings.) We must think logically and by that I mean not only for humans but for the environment too. We need a solution that agrees we can live together in harmony a.k.a. sustainably.

Although I loved Professor John P. Holdren's innocent, loving, and lets work together point of view, it lacked many realistic factors. I wish society was filled with people that cared about environmental worries or thought about going green over money, desires, or worldly things but not everyone is aware, or goes above and beyond or has the financial ability to offer that from their every day living. Well his solution to our population and consumption problem is that if better off countries (developed) for example Unites States citizens, if they were cooperative, respected the environment, and cared for fellow human beings then they'd have the potential to take intiative and reduce our consumption to such a percentange that we can help countries with poverty reach our level of quality of life and still live sustainably. This would be lovely if every being changed their values, decided to help one another, and changed their way of living to better support our Earth but let's look at the main thing his solution lacked: adjusting to ones self-interests/individuality. In other words, unless you're already described as a human being that would naturally do the above (in his solution) then you would have to change everything about yourself to make his solution work/complete.

Again, here's my point of view: I don't think providing a solution that requires a person to change theirself is rational because in the end we all know it is hard. There is the will power, devotion, and other attributes that you may lack that will keep you from changing your energy consumption habits. I do think it is a great solution for sustainutopia and I would love if everyone did so but a great engineer keeps in mind that he needs to adjust to the people, not the people to him. It's an elusive goal so I'm going to describe the faults of his Professor Holdren's conclusion then I'll provide you with my own.

His conclusion is
- cooperation
- care for our fellow human beings
- respect for the environment

1. These all require a change of heart for the average person. Our class addressed the big population question "Help the poor or just ourselves?" and although it seems like helping the poor is the right thing to do or it might be the caring thing to do because if you were in need you'd want help/that sorta thing, but by just assuming everyone would step up and be more self-less is just naive and unrealistic.
2. Gaining respect for the environment is usually done through time. Your experience for caring for another human can be practiced in your family, same thing goes for animals - by having a pet. It is hard to get someone to contribute by expecting they've reached that level in their life to care beyond animals and people but also for the outdoor world. This is usually worked into.
Have you lived on a farm? Owned a plant or garden? Went pumpkin picking? You may have more tolerance for the environment than those who live in urban areas and haven't grown up seeing many trees outside like you do everyday.
3. The need to care for our environment is a touchy topic especially with today's political parties. Some argue that current science statistics are false. "We have enough room on the planet." "We have an abundance of natural resources that can continue to supply increasing populations." - statements like these create a bump in the road for sustainability and makes an even bigger block of tumbling Americans that are uneducated on environmental topics and aren't sure who to side with. Skeptics shut down any green movement, environmental legislation, and investment in alternative fuels - and with any chance of theirs they'll quickly add their bias view about anything relating to the climate change topics saying "that's false!"

So what do we do? Here's my insight on solutions. I want to hear what you think so I can oppose viewpoints and perhaps expand my solution by branching off of yours.

Considering that developing countries are seeking to get their people out of poverty, in the end everything comes to using lots of energy. Unfortunately today the most frugal form of energy is coal and it's also the dirtiest!! My solution includes if better off countries worked together with needy nations to provide incentives for green energy we can defeat our avaricious behaviors and address consumption. We obviously have the potential to find technological solutions to this problem too. Although you and I can be for these commitments, in reality, it's up to Congress to pass these policies. Both liberal and conservative political parties must come to an environmental bipartisan to determine an immediate plan of action. Our most simple solution to energy consumption is having an efficient, clean, and renewable source. This means that it will have a low environment impact, there will be an everlasting supply, and it's just a good as the dirty sources. If we have this solution we wont have worry about energy consumption as much and emission levels will plummet. Investing in these energy sources seems like the more logical answer because once we found our source - opposing individuals of climate change will be living green unknowingly! In other words, these bigots wont have to huff and puff about change.

So who's ready to make it happen? Who is willing to move forward into a possible environmental engineering and renewable energy sources college education and career? You are our future.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Saving GREEN

Tomorrow I start my senior year of high school.
Again I'm going with no new shoes, clothing, or supplies.
No, it's not because I cannot afford "new."
I choose not to buy "new."
I'd rather not contribute to more waste by collecting the same items I still own from last year.
By reusing folders, books socks, pen/cils, binders, and notebook paper you'll save $$$.
So why not? Does conserving our natural resources make you uncool?
To be environmentally aware and choose a greener lifestyle, especially when it comes to school, is surprising wallet-friendly!

So I'm going to share with you how I did it and how you can easily do it too!
(I'm in the process of taking pictures and practicing new ideas but this will be updated in a few weeks)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Starting your day with a cup o' green.

The first few things you should be conscious of when preparing for another day.

The Bathroom
1. Use as little toilet paper as needed or a even a cloth will do justice!
2. If it isn't brown don't let it down. Conserve gallons of water and flush later.
3. Get a low flow nozzle and be conscious of time spent in the shower.
4. Do not shower because it's your everyday habit, only when you need to!
5. Keep a jar under the nozzle and reuse your bath water. Water your plants.
6. Don't use harmful bath products when scrubbing! Shop for enviro-friendly.
7. Shut off your lights and open the window curtains. Put that natural lighting to use!
8. Reuse your shower towel. Chances are it's not "dirty", it just dried your clean body.
9. Cold/regular water requires less energy to heat up. So, consider it!
10. Brush your teeth but keep the water off. Use a cup of water to wet your toothbrush!
11. Take a piece of tape, a marker, or a soap bar and darken a line marking your bathtub half full. Now, plug it the water stopper. Very good. Lets play a game. Every time you take a shower or bath do not let the water go above that line. Take a look at how many gallons of water you use to clean yourself. Think of all the water wasted when you forget to shut off the sink when you hesitated to put all that energy in while brushing your teeth. Think of the billions of people everyday that use less than that amount per week just to satisfy their thirst and, mind you, it's not as clean as yours. Now, in making the game a challenge, you need to lower that line every week/ when you feel necessary and make it sure you'll never let it fill over that line.
The purpose of this is game is simple: conserve water, be more aware of how much is wasted, and take action.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The fight for a greener lifestyle!

Q: How can we get the average person "Joe" to contribute?

It is going to take all of us: the engineers, the government (to an extent), and consumers doing our part. The average Joe does not want to convert to greener products, change his habits, or think anything green at all if it means he has to spend more money. Engineers need to create viable substitutes that adjust to the extended interests of consumers. Everyday consumers, as it is their constituted right, have self-interests therefore in a food market/supply store, variety is essential for the consumer to choose from because that is not only what s/he likes but also because anything otherwise would be characterized as a monopoly. Joe may/may not have knowledge or care for our environmental, energy, sustainability crisis so purchasing sustainable products will not be on his mind. This means that to have the product be widely available and affordable is not enough because it all comes down to adjusting to the extended interests of consumers. So in short, other important factors of getting the average Joe/sephine to contribute is considering the quality, quantity/moneys worth, variety of sustainable products/not just one brand and most importantly how environmentally aware the consumer is. These matter because at the end of the day s/he will buy what s/he wants. This is when we must combine the economics to science. We have the ability to make green products and clean energy, we just need the demand in the market. It's truly up to the engineers to create these products that are just as user friendly and can be sold for cheaper than the current unsustainable products. But it's up to YOU, me, and communities world-wide to spread the word about going green and how purchasing sustainable products is truly making a difference.

The hardest part in making Joe contribute to ending our environmental worries is making Joe change his habits. BUT no one wants to change their energy consumption habits! And that is what makes it almost impossible. This is a problem because our current energy sources fueling America may be the cheapest but are also the dirtiest! We are in need of clean, renewable and efficient energy alternatives NOW so then we would not have to worry about Joe and the rest of humanity's bad energy consumption habits.

That is why it is so vital that companies and organizations provide greener products and promote the "going green" trend. The higher demand for these products will in turn lower their prices and then consumers like Joe would not mind purchasing the greener products - if they are affordable!

But why do we have to go this far when it should be so simple for someone to choose the greener choice to support our planet?

The main problem is when people like Joe, are so wrapped up in their content lives, they are not willing to make a change in their wallet or lifestyle. They'd rather be in denial that their habits are destructive, simply state that they "don't care", or choose to believe that they have no role in the climate process. But if greener products are more affordable and widely available, (which thankfully most are these days) then Joe and many others would be forced into the trend by taking the initiative in contributing to a cleaner planet and combating climate change simply by being a green consumer. And Joe and others are doing this not necessarily because they want to but because they wouldn't have to make a change in their habits nor their wallets and as long as it's affordable/cheaper than the unsustainable products and effortlessly available then they will continue to do so (sometimes even unknowingly).

It may sound like they are being tricked into going green but that can never be a bad thing!

For example:
My grandmother is like many from her generation, scared of "change". But if she only understood how urgent it is that we preserve our earth's beauties and precious resources she probably would think twice before slipping a plastic bottle into the garbage can. (BTW it takes an estimated 1000 years for plastic to disintegrate into the ground) Anyways, when she knows she has to go out of her way for something she will just put it down altogether and feel that it is not worth the effort. - (Stated earlier with the failure of separating recyclables and garbage.) Also a while back when I asked her to make me some vegan pancakes for breakfast, she refused to make them because they would take a little extra time with the apple sauce and the whole wheat mix in contrast to the non-vegan complete mix that contains eggs and milk. She got upset because I said forget it and now she continually mocks the vegan diet and all it stands for.

It's the extra time and the extra money that really get people going nuts but I guess the solution must all come down to persuasion. "Persuasion is not selling or convincing, it's reaching a mutually beneficial outcome." - Jay Cogner, Harvard Organizational Behavior professor

Just the other day when she was food shopping she was told that she had to pay for each plastic bag that was used to bag her items. The food market was going green. The other alternative was to get 5 cents off for every reusable bag she used. And that's when it all started. My grandmother bought a reusable bag! Yeah, pretty neat way to persuade one to go green right? She uses it all the time now too. She especially likes getting 5 cents off her purchase when using her reused bag.

Another example of being tricked into going green again or just another way to get people into the trend? Either way, it's a lovely idea of taking action!

These examples of companies making the products, stores selling them, and people buying are all strategic ways to influence environmental action!

But did you know about the governments role in sustainability?
Besides setting laws and regulations then enforcing them, the government supports green-living by offering tax-incentives!! Did you think about how much money you can save by switching to solar panels in your house? Or installing a solar water heater! How about those tax rebates from that newly purchased hybrid car? "But what is it that you say? I can even get a rebate for saving energy?? Whatttt I should totally go green!!" . . .yeah I heard you from way over there.

Now seriously guys, these are green (as in cash-saving) things you should consider.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Think. Address. Resolve.

How do we address an environmental related problem?

1. Acknowledge the problem and its source.
2. Who will it impact?
3. What can they do?
4. Who will it not affect?
5. Why should they care?

1. The current disappearance of honeybees at an alarming rate due to pesticides, mites, virus and other unknown causes/still being researched.
2. It will impact farmers: local economies/agriculture, consumers, beekeepers:employment, food chain, and the natural balance of the environment.
3. Plant honey bee friendly gardens, support beekeepers - purchase honey, help research facilities by donating funds, hold educational presentations, and spread awareness.
5. Honeybees are responsible for 1/3 of food supply. They assist farmers by pollinating, beekeepers with honey and consumers with beeswax products. Honey is in cereals, granola bars, ice creams, salad dressings, candy bars and more! Beeswax is used for candles, dread lock wax, lip balms, crayons, furniture polishing and more! Not supporting honeybees will lead to an immense down-turn in local economies of farming areas, employment for bee keepers, and decline in honeybee made products!

The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment

I told you on this blog awhile back that I will not fill you in on my WYSE journey, aware of the time, effort, and of course environmental impact of typing it all out for you which may take hours or days online. But to not share with you all the ideas and knowledge I've gained from the speakers and people I've met from the summit, well that would just be so foolish! SO my entire experience will be noted here. Please read through but mostly share your thoughts as well!!! You can never truly conclude anything without first opposing viewpoints so let me know what YOU think.

WYSE introduced guest speaker Davey Rogner, an environmentalist, revolutionist, musician and an overall just chill kind of guy that leads Pick Up America.
Pick Up America is simply a group of four recent college graduates travelin' on the dirty roads of America and cleaning up after everyone else' mess. Their campaign's number one goal is to clean as much plastic waste possible but also educate and influence community members to step up and make this change that they need - creating a zero waste lifestyle and society. They receive funds as a nonprofit organization to fuel them to areas in desperate need of clean up! For more information on what they've been doing or where they're going next, please check their updated website here.

From what I remember, these are a few things about him -age 25, lives in a RV with three friends, he is a musician and while travelin' plays at open mics or gigs, most importantly he is an environmentalist that has dedicated his life to support our green-livings. He is an asthmatic but has fully devoted his life to doing what he believes in while fighting off poison ivy, ticks, and anything else he can possibly catch where ever the cleaning journey may lead him (and his friends.)

"We are not waiting for someone to act, we are going to do everything we think possible. " - Davey Rogner

How can YOU contribute to a cleaner future?

Tip #1 Take Action "We have figured out how to allow many to live in comfort, but forgotten how to nurture a community or how to maintain a healthy environment." He suggested we should openly discuss solutions that not only our government can take but also as a community to make a positive difference. To think, protest and demand such is not as powerful as to practice and apply these changes we need to support and influence a green trend. We must sustain comfort by addressing our environmental problems and seeking to resolve them.

Tip #2 Therefore never shut anyone off. As I earlier stated, in order to truly understand an argument, it is vital for one to oppose viewpoints. Davey stated, "It may be the bum on the side of the road to Barack Obama. . .we can all gain something from their position and knowledge."

Tip #3 Acknowledge your leadership abilities and strengths and use them. It is our generation that has been left with so much baggage and is depended on to find the solutions for our hurting planet. Davey reminded us that "We are the weight of transitioning responsibly to clean and renewable resources. . .we can be the generation that frees this world from the tribulation."

Tip #4 Relearning how to be American: sustaining true comfort.
With Pick Up America, Davey has been working in the best interest of humanity and devoted his life to something he believes in. With the group he "raises consciousness about living in comfort and harmony with the planet. . . It is not about the physical comfort we can obtain in a given moment to forget a gaping problem, but rather about the sustained comfort we can obtain by addressing our problems and seeking to solve them once and for all."

Lastly, get up and go. Do as much as you can, whenever you can and where ever you can.
Davey let us know that there is hope for us "weird" fellows that actually care for things besides ourselves. With these simple words he said it all. "There is no greater sacrifice than stifling what you believe in because the “real world” has not yet evolved to accept it. Instead, you must lead that evolution."

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Vegan Diet

I get a lot of questions as for what name brands to check out/foods you can get when turning to the vegan diet. Making the switch is a great challenge and although I highly recommend a healthy vegan diet over the junk food vegan diet, when you begin it is almost vital that you adapt to tasty substitutes and alternatives to keep the diet interesting. SO here are plenty of name brands that are flexible when it comes to your dietary needs whether you are vegan, kosher, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free and many more.

My favorite fast-cooking, tasty meals filled with lots of iron and protein, are Gardein products. (Garden Protein)
The meals I like most are their frozen packaged chick'n scallopini, marinara chick'n good stuff, and the chick'n crispy tenders.

My second favorite brand is Amy's Kitchen.
I love their dairy-free burritos and delicious vegetable pot pies! They also have gluten-free pizza that my friend enjoys!

The only vegan veggie-burgers/chick'n patties I like are Boca burgers! They are my number one choice for you because of their variety and how they satisfy the dairy and egg-free needs of a vegan!! Another brands may let you down and may only be vegetarian-friendly.

I love almost anything made from eggplant and Celentano's vegan eggplant rollettes sets the perfect dinner meal for me! I have yet to try their other products but this one is a done deal.

And now to the good stuff / desserts!!!

If you're going vegan but you're struggling as an ice cream/dairy lover then you must try out Purely Decadent's chocolate obsession and cookie dough ice cream!!! They have the flavors not only in soy but if your allergic (my mom is soy-free) they also use coconut milk!!!
YUM check out more flavors here!

Another brand of ice cream I enjoy is Tofutti. My favorite of theirs is the ice cream sandwiches. I also tried their ice cream cones which are fun to lick up on a hot sunny day! And I hear they have dairy-free cream cheese, sour cream, and regular cheese slices which I've never tried but I'm going to look for them! Drool over this!!

When I'm reading or blogging or facebooking I like to eat ZenSoy pudding! I tried three different flavors but my favorite is their vanilla-chocolate pudding!
They also have other products but I have yet to try them. Check 'em out!

MILK - I've tried so many different alternatives of milk!
Here are my favorites. . .
1. Almond Breeze unsweetened chocolate almond milk
2. Silk unsweetened vanilla soymilk
3. Ricedream organic regular rice milk
4. Pacific Natural Foods hazelnut milk

During the school year I love to keep cookies in my locker. My favorites are Enjoy Life chewy chocolate chip and no oats "oatmeal" cookies!!! They're gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free, dairy-free+ as well.
My other favorite cookie brand is Back to Nature. I hear they have good crackers and granola bars too!

If you'd love to snack on healthier chips and pretzels or just prefer organic then please check out Saga Valley yellow corn tortilla chips! They are %100 natural with no added preservatives!

Also try UTZ Snacks organic blue corn chips - i'm lovin' them so much!!!

As for pretzels, i choose to buy gluten-free Glutino pretzels and i think they are way tastier than any other brand of pretzels I've ever eaten!

Organic granola bars and cereals are my favorite to shop for because I choose EnviroKidz!! It's gluten-free and when you purchase their products a certain percentage goes towards saving an animal species!! I love the lemur frosted flakes, peanut-butter gorilla munch cereals and the cheetah crispy rice bars!

Another brand of bars I munch on when I need some energy (especially before SATS) is Clif Bars!! My favorite is the chocolate peanut butter mojo bar!

Nature's Path Organics - I've never tried any of their products but I passed by their website and they have more reviews on vegan foods, tips for the diet, and ideas on how to increase your green!!!

I will keep you updated because I'm always open to new vegan brands and I love to give reviews and help YOU on your journey through your vegan diet and lifestyle!!
With love <333333 talk to you soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Strawberry Soils and Streams of Sunshine

Is it his luscious smile or is it her willing lips? The newly bloomed flowers in your garden or holding your first newborn child in your arms? The sky when it's that deep blue or the grass with it's that bright green?
Is it when you reach destination on the mountaintop or the ever so clear lines of the crunching leaves beneath your feet? When you first glance at the one whom you'll spend eternity with? Is it knowing that you'll very soon be set free to the home of our savior? OR is it the marvelous solution you've finally thought up to save our hurting planet?

What is it that makes YOU happy? What is true happiness? Does one of these describe its sensation or do all of these apply? And where do YOU find it?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

the WYSE

Hmmm I'm way too tired to blog it all out for you. Besides, think of all the coal being burned to generate electricity just so I can tell you how much of a gooood time I had. Yeah it's pretty unimaginable right? Well instead of being in denial of our world's damaging ways, just do something. Get off my dumb blog and go play outside. Stay in tune with nature. Plant a garden. Fly a kite. Feed a bird. Save a honey bee. Recycle your shoes. For goodness sake all I'm truly asking is for YOU to RESPECT the OUTDOORS.

But seriously, maybe I'll update this some other time. I just have much more important things to do right now - like my number one is saving the planet. You may think this unrealistic and if so then I don't care what you think because I will continue to do what I do and give it a try. Understand that our creatures of green living are in danger because their habitats are in danger, and their habitats are in danger because of YOUR destructive ways and your destructive ways are a result of too much comfort and your lack of changing your harmful habits, but most importantly WE ARE ALL IN DANGER ( all humans and perhaps even aliens that roam the earth) just because of this comfort we've got going on here. EVERYTHING is in danger of someday (maybe soon) being extinct, if you don't get off your technological device RIGHT NOW.

BUT if you are really interested, scroll down to see some dreadlocks. Perhaps they may be your thing. And then when you get off, knot some in. Wash less. Eat less. Breath less. Change your habits and give the Earth a chance.

Wait!!! Don't be too scared. America doesn't lack leadership, it just lacks devoted mindsets and the will power to change our destructive ways. I can definitely tell you now that every Washington Youth Summit on the Environment Delegate will be a contribution to saving our planet. Perhaps it'll be me who finds the most efficient, clean, and renewable energy source to fuel America. (You're thinking "yeah right she wishes.") Well who knows, you may be right but I really hope your WRONG because I'd like to see my self make that difference just so YOU can sit on your butt and read my blog all day without having to worry about the harmful effects it may have on the environment. Yeah, think about it - a greener planet - all because it is in the hands of these WYSE kids. Maybe this even inspired YOU to get up and do something to environmentally impact your homes, schools, and communities. Well whoever it is, I just know that and feel that we can rely on this generation. We can finally feel hope for a cleaner future. This is very true that I once heard the most compassionate individuals in the world are the ones that care for the environment. - Anonymous (or quote me)

So think green. Go vegan. Compost. Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. Shop green - thrift shops. Choose organic. Save the honey bees. Get some dreadlocks. Save your bath water for your garden. Ya know - just do anything green!!

Hope this made you think or served as a sense of inspiration and positive energy. Get back @ me.

Love you

Sunday, July 11, 2010

WYSE Day #1

I'm here. Finally, I'm here. After hoteling in Pennsylvania and tons of traffic in Maryland, we reached our destination. . . and us, Washington Youth Summit Delegates, are dorming @ George Mason University during our stay in Virginia.

Well, this place is more eco-friendlier than you may think and the people here have what we New Yorkers may call "Southern Hospitality."

Here are some pictures of my arrival, my dorm, and the lovely gifts they've placed on the desk of my room - proof this place must be very environmentally conscious. Oh! These are not the greatest photos but that's because I'm working from my netbook. :-) Enjoy.

The letter says,
"Welcome Rebekah. We're so glad you're here and we hope that you enjoy these goodies..."

What is this stuff?
Well I'll tell you about EVERYTHING because I would like for you to share my excitement!!!

1. An aluminum bottle - YES! I've wanted one for awhile now and I know they've become popular years ago and shame on me for being late, but I'm not a shopper and I haven't been given one even though I've asked continually. . .so thank you WYSE!!!

2. A WYSE polo, it's yellow and has blue lettering.

3. A George Mason University bag.

4. Marigold seeds packet with facts on the back (on how green this place really is.)

ALSO I just checked out the bathrooms and guess what I found on the counter!
THIS -> (read the picture below)

So, that's about it for now.
These photos below prove it. :-)

Peace and love your way, always and forever. <33333

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I've had a few dreadlocks for two years now that formed really well. I had a semi-full head with the natural look but eventually cut the whole back of my hair off as I suffered from a tangled mess.
Here are current pictures scrolling down to the start of the dreading process. I'm a fan of Wynd Mulysa's dreadlock look and after my summer programs (that require a professional/proper look) I am going to get a peace sign shaved on the side. Take a look at these pictures if they seem to interest you.
Hoping the sun shines your way. Love Rebekah

Current The beads help the dread lock form and become solid faster. Mine are actually stuck in...

Back in September when I cut the dreads on the back of my hair off.

When I first began dreadin' (a.k.a. before I cut the dreads in the back)

My friends and I. (L to R) Drew, Jason, Myself


I'm honored to be selected 1 of the total 150 students attending the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment from July 11-16. It's a blessing to be able to part take in this educational experience that will eventually open up many more opportunities.

I also want to virtually thank my mom for helping me register and get there. She sacrifices a lot for me but she really really pulled some strings to get the funds for me to be a participant this upcoming week. Knowing this trip would not be wallet-friendly, she did and always does everything she can to support me. Love you Mom - the soil of your heart is fertile allowing me to truly grow and assisting me in blooming into the most lovely flower that you've always hoped for me to be.

Here are photos of myself as a child and my early years of embracing the lovely gift of nature.
We are all connected to the sun's majestic beams of love and nature.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where have all the insects gone?

This morning I felt kind of ill-fated. You probably know about those days. I just wanted to soak up the fallen snow or maybe just roll inside the Earth in search for our lost creatures, lye against the frozen grounds and taste the saltiness of the iced rains, stretch my arms out like the willow tree and be consumed by the warming sun. . Just melt away. . . I do know that most insects are diapausing during this time of year. . .it is just that the world seems SO awfully lonely without their presence. Don't you agree? I mean, just look outside of your window. Where are all those wondrous creatures that once roamed so closely and maybe even befriended you? Perhaps you might have forgotten about them? Did ever you think that you might actually miss their companionship? But most importantly - has their disappearance removed something from you? How does your heart rest?