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.

sunflowerbloom1

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.

sunflowerbloom3

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.

sunflowerbloom2

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

β€”β€”

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

Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos –> Sky High on YouTube

Follow me on Twitter –> @SkyHighAffirm

 

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!

solar-panels-1477987_960_720

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?

bacteria

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

β€”β€”

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

Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos –> Sky High on YouTube

Follow me on Twitter –> @SkyHighAffirm

 

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

bee-saving-paper-design-environment_dezeen_2364_col_2-1704x1137

β€”β€”

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

Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos –> Sky High on YouTube

Follow me on Twitter –> @SkyHighAffirm

 

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!

felix

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

β€”β€”

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

Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos –> Sky High on YouTube

Follow me on Twitter –> @SkyHighAffirm

 

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!

walk_for_a_dog2

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™‚

bigorder

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!

β€”β€”

Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos!

Follow me @SkyHighAffirm on Twitter

 

 

Saving Straws with Steel!

I was introduced to the idea of straw alternatives by a great post over on Helen’s Journey, and I made a mental note to buy some soon. I thought I would have to get them online, but during a shopping trip at a local retail store, I stumbled across a pack of stainless steel straws in the kitchen section! I grabbed them with a little cheer…luckily no one else was in that aisle to hear me make a fool of myself, lol.

metalstraw_2

This pack contained four straws; two straight and two bent, in different sizes. It also supplied a cleaning tool and four colorful silicone tips, to make the straws more comfortable to drink out of.

metalstraw_3

I tried one at dinner, and it works great!

I’m going to use these at home, and I also plan to take one with me when I go to a restaurant. It will save a straw each time, and might even be a fun conversation starter. πŸ˜‰

β€”β€”

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

Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos –> Sky High on YouTube

Follow me on Twitter –> @SkyHighAffirm

 

Ocean Clean Up!

Plastics have revolutionized modern life, and helped us in uncountable ways. Unfortunately, they also cause a lot of damage in the world. One of the big problems caused by plastic is the pollution of our oceans. Millions of tons of plastic garbage is floating in the sea, causing a lot of damage to wildlife when they get tangled or try to eat it. This problem has existed for decades, but it’s been reaching critical levels lately.

Fortunately, there are good people working to end this problem!

Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke has announced a plan to fund a 600 ft (182 m) long yacht dedicated to ocean research and health. The REV (Research Expedition Vessel) will have a trash collection system able to collect 5 tons of garbage a day! It will also have sensors for collecting data, two aerial drones, and and underwater vehicle for exploration and research.

REV_051917_0002-1200x658

The vessel will be managed by World Wildlife Foundation Norway, and will be staffed with dozens of scientists. It’s in the planning stages and should be ready to sail in 2020. I can’t wait to see this cool ship in action. πŸ™‚

REV_051917_0001-1200x675

Another project dedicated to this problem is The Ocean Cleanup. Started in 2013 and headed by founder Boyan Slat, this organization has been testing methods of garbage collecting on the high seas. Thanks to investors who raised $21 million dollars, they plan to have a large-scale system in place sometime during 2018. They have the ambitious goal of clearing out half of the massive Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years, which is a HUGE undertaking but would kick butt if they could pull it off. πŸ™‚

The-Ocean-Cleanup-Pacific-Ocean-889x592

You can stay up-to-date on their progress here!

And for an example of clean up on a smaller, more personal scale, there’s the inspiring story of Pukka Travel’s coastal cleanup day. This 2017 expedition featured four boats carrying 50 volunteers around a section of Norwegian coast, where they collected trash from the beaches and coastline. After only 3 hours, they had rid the ocean of 1400 kg (~3000 lbs) of garbage!

Oceancleanup_PukkaTravels-23-1024x683

Check out some gorgeous photos of this expedition here. This is a really cool idea, and I would love to be part of something like this. πŸ™‚

The state of our precious oceans is worrying, but it’s so good to know that there are some people and organizations out there working on the problem. It seems that the solution will likely come from individuals instead of governments, so I hope that these efforts continue to grow. We CAN clean up our planet and make a difference!

β€”β€”

Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos!

Follow me @SkyHighAffirm on Twitter