Little Free Libraries!

Reading is one of the best ways to learn and exercise your mind, and a great way to give children an intellectual boost that will serve them for the rest of their lives. But sometimes libraries are too far away, closed too often, or somehow inaccessible to people who need them.

Enter the Little Free Library! This cool non-profit aims to help easily spread the joy of reading by creating small book collections in local neighborhoods.

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Volunteers build small shelving boxes, then fill them with a variety of books. Anyone can borrow and read the books, just like a normal library!

There are lots of cool and cute designs people have made (check out the gallery here!), but one of the coolest was made by Sharalee Armitage Howard of Idaho. She had to cut down a massive 110 year tree on her property, but instead of removing it completely, she turned it into an awesome Little Free Library!

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What a beautiful way to help people while honoring the life of this majestic tree. ❤ There’s a nice article about Sharalee’s creation here.

I think these Little Free Libraries are a great idea! It would be especially helpful in low income neighborhoods, where residents may not have the transportation to travel. It also solves the problem of time, because unlike an official library with set business hours, the Little Free Library is self-service and accessible 24/7.

Check out the map to see if there’s a LFL near you, or maybe even build one yourself! 🙂

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The Great Green Wall!

There has been a lot of talk about building walls lately…but this is one wall that EVERYONE can gladly support!

The Great Green Wall is an initiative currently happening in Africa. The goal is to build a massive wall of trees at the edge of the Sahara, to prevent the desert from expanding and taking over too much usable land. Many countries are participating, and the final wall will span the entire width of the continent — an astounding 8000km (5000mi) long!!

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The project is about 15% completed so far, and the goals are to restore 100 million hectares of farmland, create 350,000 jobs, and trap 250 million tons of carbon by 2030. Once completed, the Great Green Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet, 3 times the size of the Great Barrier Reef. Wow!

This is such a cool project, and I can’t believe I’ve just now learned about it! It’s an amazing show of solidarity for so many countries to work together on such an ambitious plan, and the results sound promising so far. Not only is it good for the people of Africa, it should also be enormously helpful for wildlife and the Earth’s climate as well.

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It’s wonderful to see people working together to create a win-win situation for the entire world!  You can see more details about the Green Wall project at their website here.

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Manifestation in Action #2!

I wrote a few months ago about an accidental manifestation I experienced, and today it happened again! 😀

I’ve been looking into getting some probiotics, which are good bacteria that colonize your intestines and help you digest food and absorb nutrients. My mother overheard me talking about it and checked out the probiotic supplements at a local store yesterday…she came back disappointed at the high prices.

She insisted that they weren’t worth it, but I argued that our health is so important that I would be willing to get some even if it was a pinch on the wallet.

While I was out today, my intuition insisted that I stop at Kroger and get some things that were on my grocery list. To my surprise and delight, there in the middle of the store was a clearance rack. And guess what I found on clearance? You guessed it, probiotics!

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I found two bottles of chewable probiotic supplements, as well as some green superfood powder with probiotics included. All of them were deeply discounted from the regular shelf price.

I believe the universe nudged me to the store that day to find these discounted items because I had made the decision to get them no matter what. I put my health first, and the universe tossed a little help into my path. 🙂

Put your needs and desires out to the universe, and let it help you achieve them! Be sure to listen to your intuition as well; it’s there to guide you. It never hurts to try!

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

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Beautiful Bio-Plastics for a cleaner world!

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In recent years, we’ve all become aware of the problems caused by plastic pollution. Petroleum-based plastics, which can take literally hundreds of years to disintegrate, fill up our landfills and cause huge problems in the ocean.

Thankfully, some ingenious inventors are busy developing alternatives to traditional plastics, called “bioplastics”. These alternatives aim to have the same uses as traditional plastics, but be much more environment-friendly than fossil fuel based substances. To do this, they’re using unexpected things like seaweed, sugar, and…bugs? Yep!

An inventor from Chile named Margarita Talep has created a bioplastic made from seaweed. Red algae, which grows naturally in marine environments, contains an important jelly-like substance called agar. Talep uses agar to make a plastic alternative made entirely of natural materials that breaks down in a few months. She has even experimented with coloring the bioplastic with natural vegetable colors for more packaging versatility.

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The makers of Lego toys have begun to use an interesting plastic alternative, made from sustainably sourced sugar cane. They have even partnered with the World Wildlife Fund and other organizations to promote bioplastics and ensure that they are sustainably sourced. The bioplastic is currently being used for the tree and plant pieces, and they plan to have all Lego blocks made from it by 2030. Very cool! 🙂

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One of the strangest materials used in bioplastics comes from Aagje Hoekstra, who created a new plastic made from, of all things, insects! The bugs, called darkling beetles, are the adult stage of the mealworm, a grub that is commonly farmed as animal feed. Normally the beetles die after laying eggs and are simply discarded, but Hoekstra discovered that their shells can be collected and pressed into a waterproof sheet. Personally I don’t see this being very popular as *food* packaging, but it could have some less gross applications! 😉

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Another interesting alternative comes from Jeongwon Ji, who has designed a plastic alternative from the shells of invasive crabs. Chinese mitten crabs are an invasive species that have been taking over waterways in the UK. Ji found a way to use these pests as a resource, by combining the chitin in the shells with glycerin to make a bioplastic called Crustic. Unlike the others, this bioplastic warps as it dries, creating interesting artistic shapes.

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One pair of designers,  Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros, have created an algae-based bioplastic that can be used in 3D printers! They plan to establish a network of printing stations called the “3D Bakery”, where anyone can print objects they need from bioplastic.

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It’s inspiring to see these plastic alternatives being developed! Plastic packaging is very useful for keeping our food and water fresh, but it’s sad to see the damage it does after it is thrown away. With these alternatives, we can have the same uses as plastic, but with the added benefits of being sustainable and biodegradable!

I’m excited for the future, how about you? 😀

Check out these articles from Dezeen.com for more detail on these cool inventions!

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