Biodegradable Water Bottles!

In recent years we’ve been learning about the negative effects that waste plastic has on our oceans and on marine life. A regular plastic water bottle takes an average of 450 years to decompose, and in the meantime it chokes wildlife and clogs up delicate ecosystems.

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One startup has a special water bottle in development – one that completely biodegrades in 3 weeks. This bottle, developed by 27-year-old James Longcroft and his company “Choose Water”, is made completely of paper, with a steel cap. All of the materials used in the bottles break down into non-toxic substances that don’t harm the environment or hurt wildlife.

Even better, the company has pledged to donate profits to Water for Africa, a charity that helps rural communities get clean water.

Choose Water had an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year that met 144% of the funding goals, so hopefully we should be seeing these cool new bottles on store shelves soon!

It’s so inspiring to see people working to clean up our oceans and protect our beautiful planet!

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Bird Clean-up Crew!

A theme park in France has trained birds to provide a helpful public service – picking up trash!

Puy du Fou, a popular historical theme park in western France, keeps their park clean with the help of a crew of six birds. The birds are Rooks, a member of the Corvid family, which includes crows, ravens, and magpies. These birds are known for their incredible intelligence and learning ability.

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The rooks help keep the park clean by picking up cigarette butts and other trash, then putting them in a bin in exchange for food treats. The park’s owners hope these avian litter-cleaners will inspire us humans to take better care of our environment as well!

A Dutch company called Crowded Cities is hoping to use these super smart birds to clean on a larger scale. They’re testing a new device, called a “Crow Bar”, that rewards wild birds for bringing in cigarette butts. It should be interesting to see where they’re able to go with this cool idea!

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Isn’t nature awesome? πŸ™‚

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A Lesson from Sunflowers – Bloom as you are!

Every year I like to grow sunflowers in the sunny part of the yard near my fence. Usually they grow to about 4-5 ft tall (1.2-1.5m), with a saucer-sized flower head filled with hundreds of seeds.

Last year's sunflower

This year, I was super busy in June and left the seedlings in the starter cups for too long. I planted them anyway, and now I have two rows of stunted mini-sunflowers, most of which are only knee high or so.

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I was afraid they wouldn’t bloom at all because they’re so small, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a flower head start growing on each and every plant! Several of them have opened already, and as you can see (notice the chain link fence for scale), the flower is only about the size of a regular daisy or zinnia bloom.

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I find this very inspiring! Life (ok, me) gave them a weak start, and left them much smaller than usual. But instead of giving up and refusing to bloom, they’re popping out the best flower they can. They don’t sit around in the dirt crying because of their situation, or comparing themselves to other sunflowers, they just spread their leaves, happily create a flower head, and open it up to the sun. Each flower, though small, is perfect in its own way; it has beautiful yellow petals, soft florets filled with nectar and pollen, and young seeds growing and ripening inside.

I think we humans should pay attention to this message! Instead of dwelling on the unfairness of your situation, the difficulties that you face, or feelings of not being good enough, just BLOOM. Bloom the best you can, with what you have, where you are. Your contribution is meaningful and valid, even if it doesn’t look like someone else’s. Make YOUR flower, whatever that may be, and share it proudly with the world.

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Do as the sunflowers do, and BLOOM AS YOU ARE! You’re worth it. πŸ™‚

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Solar Panels…powered by bacteria!

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a cool new innovation in the field of solar power – bacteria!

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Solar cells are great for harvesting energy from the sun, but the drawback is that they have a drastic drop in efficiency on cloudy days or situations with dim light. There are certain types of bacteria that produce a natural dye that helps them convert light energy into food, and scientists had experimented with extracting this dye for use in solar technology. Extracting the dye proved difficult and costly, so they decided on a more elegant solution–putting the bacteria themselves into the solar cells!

These new solar panels are called “biogenic” because they are a hybrid of technology and nature. How cool is that?

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This could be a great solution for parts of the world that would benefit from solar power, but have too many overcast days to currently make it practical. I’m looking forward to seeing how this new bio-tech continues to develop!

Check out the original article here –> University of British Columbia

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Bee Saving Paper!

We’ve all heard of the problems honey bees have been facing lately, and it’s imperative to our world that we protect this super important pollinator. One company has developed a unique and unexpected bee saving solution: paper!

This bee saving paper is made with a special type of sugar that is easily digestible by bees, so they can get a snack while they’re out on pollen patrol. It’s covered with UV-sensitive red spots that are highly visible to bees, and it even has seeds embedded into the fibers to grow new wildflowers after the paper decomposes!

 

I love seeing the positive and unique solutions people have come up with to solve some of our modern problems! Be sure to check out the maker’s website here: Bee Saving Paper

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Good News Report: Trees, and lots of them!

A young German boy named Felix Finkbeiner has a big goal – to battle climate change by planting a trillion trees!

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In 2007, Felix founded Plant for the Planet, an organization that empowers kids all over the world to plant trees. He was inspired by the work of Wangari Maathai, who created an initiative to plant 30 million trees across Africa.

Plant for the Planet has grown so big that Felix was even invited to speak at the UN, and he’s now in charge of a program to plant a TRILLION trees!

I love seeing young folks take an interest in activism and positive change. You can find out more about Plant for the Planet here.

And check out these other resources about Felix and his program:

Facebook Page

National Geographic

UN Billion tree campaign

Trillion Trees

Good News Network

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If you enjoy this content, please support us with a coffee! πŸ™‚ –> Ko-Fi/SkyHigh

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January 2018 Review

The first month of 2018 is complete, and I thought I would look back on some of the accomplishments and things to be grateful for!

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Steps for Pet Health Challenge

I love using Walk for a Dog, an app that lets you log your walks to help animal charities. They had a special challenge in Dec-Jan, where you needed to complete 10 walks to qualify your favorite charity for a $1000 prize. Normally 10 walks would be super easy, but in the middle of winter it’s super cold and windy outside! But I made sure to watch the weather and take a walk on the tolerable days, and my dog Chester and I completed the challenge. πŸ™‚

When the challenge was done, WoofTrax reported that “In 60 days, challenge participantsΒ walked 176,000 times, totaling 1/4 million miles. That is equivalent to walking around the earth 10 times!” Wow! Next up is the Walk and Win Spring challenge.

Online Sales

My online store was booming in January! The Christmas rush is extended for me because of the upcoming Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day holidays, so I was spending a lot of time sewing. In total, I completed 52 orders this month, with about 15% of them having multiple items! I’m so grateful for the wonderful customers who support my small business. πŸ™‚

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Trying New Things

I want to get in the habit of trying new things in life. In January, I tried 2 new foods – almond milk and dried seaweed snacks (thumbs up on the milk, thumbs down on the seaweed). I purchased some stainless steel straws, which I’ll be using from now on to save waste. I also tried a local restaurant in my city for the first time.

Recycling

One of my Resolutions for 2018 is to get serious with recycling. I saved up all of the family’s recyclables in January, and made a trip to the drop-off center an the end of the month. We managed to fill up 3 totes with recyclables, and sent them off to a new life! I plan to do this for the rest of 2018 and beyond. πŸ™‚

 

Youtube

Youtubers got some big news in January: they’re upping the requirements to be a “real” youtuber to 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time. If you’re not in the know, those are pretty harsh requirements for us little folks! But instead of letting it get me down, it’s lit a fire under my butt. πŸ˜‰ During January I got 5 videos done: Productivity, Sleep, Small Business, Youtube, and Self Esteem, which the the most content I’ve made in a single month so far!

I’m going to continue to build my channel and fill it with lots of uplifting videos. πŸ™‚

 

That’s my list for January. Hopefully February will be just as busy!

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