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October 5 - October 26, 2022

Shorelight - Green Committee Feed

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  • Mary Parsons's avatar
    Mary Parsons 10/14/2022 11:16 AM
    See baby swing! See baby swing and eat a raspberry. I'm not a very good - grow and consume my own food person, though I like to grow things. We have accidentally been wildly successful with everbearing raspberries under our deck and everyone, including the dog who now knows how to pick his own, enjoys raspberries from July through the frost. Not having to shop for raspberries surely reduces the number of times I forget my reusable grocery bags in my car and plastic packaging. 

    • Sarah MacGregor's avatar
      Sarah MacGregor 10/17/2022 5:50 PM
      I feel your pain Mary! I'm also terrible at picking veggies or fruit I grow, it mostly ends up going to the wildlife...I'm glad you at least have some delicious raspberries the whole family can enjoy! It sounds like there may be enough to go around for the rest of the critters in your yard too 😀 

  • Mary Parsons's avatar
    Mary Parsons 10/12/2022 1:39 PM
    One of my loves in life is our native garden right outside our front door. My husband thinks it looks messy and he's not wrong, but it's fun to watch the bumblebees and other pollinators. We are on the monarch migration path and we have caterpillars during the summer and they fly over our house in the fall on their way south. I'm sure there are other creatures benefiting from our little spot, but these are my favorite.

    Two fun bumblebee facts I've learned - one, people pet them! I'm not that brave, even when it gets cold and they get slow. But they're generally easy going and don't really mind much in life. Second, they don't have a hive, so at the end of the season... that's it. That's the end of their season, too. They have a queen tucked away for spring and it's her job to figure things out and restart the colony for the season.

    • Courtney Schneider's avatar
      Courtney Schneider 10/17/2022 8:41 AM
      I recently learned about the lifespan of a bumblebee too! It's kind of crazy how much importance is placed on their backs in such a short amount of time!

    • Sarah MacGregor's avatar
      Sarah MacGregor 10/17/2022 5:53 PM
      Agreed, both. It's sort of crazy to think about how much insects do for the environment despite having such short life spans! Maybe there's a lesson for us humans in that 🤔
  • Reflection Question
    Nourishing Food Forest-Friendly Foods
    How did you figure out ways to remove foods that are not forest-friendly?

    Courtney Schneider's avatar
    Courtney Schneider 10/12/2022 6:52 AM
    First and most obviously way I've removed destructive forest products is to buy local. I am intental about shopping at my own local grocery store that has a focus on localized, organic and clean-ingredient products. This not only ensures my grocery purchases aren't negatively affecting the rainforests, but also puts money back into my community. 
  • Reflection Question
    Regenerating Nature Explore My Area
    How can spending more time outdoors enhance your sense of place? Was there a new place in your region that was exciting to learn about and visit?

    Sarah MacGregor's avatar
    Sarah MacGregor 10/11/2022 7:36 PM
    On Sunday I walked in a conservation land I'd never visited before, just 18 minutes from my house. The trail was beautiful and filled with glacial rock formations you could climb up. A sign told us on the way back that this area had been one of the 1st settlements around here and was founded by a few family's from Chelmsford. The settlement became known as The City and later the Lost City as the inhabitants moved away after the 1800s and all that remains are a few cellar holes now filled in and forested over. There is always something interesting and connecting in learning about those who lived in the same areas you did in the past. I wonder what the landscape looked like then. The sign said they came to the area because it produced good hay, which was in high demand at the time. I am used to seeing my home town covered in forests, with fields dotted here and there, but once the forests where the things dotted in a sea of fields. You still come upon the old stone walls which separated one field from another walking through the forests in thus region today. I'm glad the trees have been allowed to take over again and with them bring their biodiversity and heat capture. 

  • Mary Parsons's avatar
    Mary Parsons 10/11/2022 10:10 AM
    I almost didn't give myself credit yesterday for work-life balance, because I didn't work. But I didn't work. So that counts for something, right?
  • Reflection Question
    Balancing Consumption Develop a Work-Life Balance
    How does practicing a work-life balance create a more sustainable life for you? How might it contribute to sustainability more broadly?

    Mary Parsons's avatar
    Mary Parsons 10/11/2022 10:09 AM
    Its noon and I'm going to go have lunch not at my computer! It makes the time I spend at work more productive and more positive. It makes coming back to work and dedicating myself every day easier and a generally better experience. My kids ensure I step away outside of their daycare hours or I can see how it would be easy to just get one more thing done...forever.
  • Reflection Question
    Balancing Consumption What is Sustainable Fashion?
    How can you express your personality, creativity, and values in ways that don't require fast fashion or buying more clothes and accessories?

    Mary Parsons's avatar
    Mary Parsons 10/11/2022 10:07 AM
    I'm ignoring this question, because I don't like it. But what I do want to reflect on is the affordability of "sustainable fashion." It's soooo hard for me to spend money on things that are probably (maybe) more sustainable. Like my kids' clothes that they're going to grow out of in five seconds. It's so expensive! 
    I've been trying to identify key items for myself that would be used longer term, but it's still expensive. I'm a - Kohls clearance/sale item with a coupon and kohls cash shopper in my ideal life. Comparatively, it makes spending money on real items feel very difficult, even if they're better resourced in so many ways - how they're made, who's making them, where they're made, how the materials are resourced, etc. 

    • Sarah MacGregor's avatar
      Sarah MacGregor 10/17/2022 6:02 PM
      Mary, I really liked the point you brought up. Sustainable fashion is great, but I agree with you that it's above a lot of people's price point. It makes me wonder if alongside sustainable fashion we should be having a conversation about a different form of sustainability, i.e reusing and re-purpusing the cloths we already have. People used to darn socks or reconstruct old garments into something else, or just patch them. We've become spoiled by a culture that isn't about fixing or repairing, but is instead about throwing away and buying something completely new. When I was living in Britain I noticed that every town seemed to have a shoe repair shop. If your heal fell off or you got a hole in your shoe, you'd just drop it at the shoe repair shop and they'd make it good as new for you. The great thing is it wasn't expensive at all! It definitely cost less then buying a whole new pair.
  • Reflection Question
    Enacting Equity Learn About Trans, Femme, and Nonbinary Experiences
    How is equality for trans, femme, and nonbinary people important to a just and sustainable society?

    Courtney Schneider's avatar
    Courtney Schneider 10/11/2022 8:21 AM
    I think that equality for trans, femme, and non binary folks is important to a just and sustainable society because it builds humility, compassion, understanding and acceptance towards all of humanity. To have a sustainable society, it requires human beings moving and living through the world in a peaceful way. Every person is an important part of our Earth and our environment. Excluding essential and very real parts of our society, would be like saying "oh we have to keep the oceans clean, but the rivers, lakes, ponds and streams aren't the majority and aren't necessary to keep clean". Every human being deserves a just society and equality within that society, just as much as human beings need air to breath.
  • Reflection Question
    Cultivating Communities Pull Together Items to Donate
    How can you prevent yourself from accumulating more things in the future?

    Mary Parsons's avatar
    Mary Parsons 10/11/2022 7:42 AM
    I don't know!! Ha. Please tell me.
    Conscious spending. Not taking items just because they're free. haha.
    I'm working on rolling out the things my kids are outgrowing, which is what makes this task both easy and a good choice for me. But I have years of "unburying" of stuff to accomplish as I work towards better streamlining our home.

    • Mary Parsons's avatar
      Mary Parsons 10/11/2022 10:03 AM
      But Courtney, now I have a whole collection of reusable bags!! Ha. 
      I'm a champion at forgetting them in the car when I go into the store, too. 

      I used to come home from NAFSA with all kinds of junk. It's a good time, but totally unnecessary. I have cups filled with pens to get me through the next decade. Maybe 2.  My husband brings home t-shirts from tech events. I'll let it slide if they're exceptionally soft, though. :D 

    • Courtney Schneider's avatar
      Courtney Schneider 10/11/2022 8:40 AM
      Who has the answers to this question?! lol. I'd like to meet them! You mention not taking items just because they are free - this was such a revolutionary belief and lifestyle I gained over the past 5 years. AND IT IS HARD! However, there are 2 ways I have been able to effectively say no each and every time: 
      1. The dentist - I know, it sounds strange. From my first dentist visit up until 3 years ago, the dentist always gave you a goodie bag (at least mine always have) with a toothbrush, travel toothpaste, floss, coupons, etc. I started saying "No thank you" when they offered the goodie bag to me. It felt completely unnatural and I felt like my mom was watching down on me saying "What are you thinking passing up on something free?". But you know what, I haven't missed it! 
      2. Bags (plastic or paper) from any in-store shopping. Living in Seattle, this is just common sense (you have to pay 8 cents per bag). But when I visit my family in KY - I have to put forward so much effort to remember to put the bags in the car AND to bring them into the store. I definitely get funny looks when I whip out my reusable bags in small town KY. But you know what, I do not miss them! 
  • Reflection Question
    Enacting Equity Get Involved in the Water Justice Movement
    Who is affected by polluted water or a lack of access to water in your region? How are they affected?

    Mary Parsons's avatar
    Mary Parsons 10/07/2022 2:34 PM
    This has been the weirdest thing since moving here, but apparently yes and apparently it's "normal." In the older parts of Kansas City, the infrastructure results in sewage flooding back into homes when we experience heavy rain and flooding - which we do, every single spring. I had one former coworker released from her lease and move out after her rental home's basement flooded with sewage water for the second time. Good times. Good times. Totally crazy.
    Obviously, the city has projects in place to reduce the rate of  occurrence and replace aging infrastructure.  https://www.kcsmartsewer.us/projects/neighborhood-sewer-rehabilitation