Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday Shorts: 02.20.16 An Eclectic Collection of Things

In a week in which we were all bombarded with news political, I discovered a few other things I’d like to share:

Instant Gratification Posing Challenges  
My friend Polly sent me this link from the New York Times on how much packing waste is being generated by online shopping, particularly when a product is put in a box and then in another box for shipping. In the article Amazon admits being “aware of the problem,” and states that it is working to reduce the amount of cardboard they use in packaging. To give you an idea of the scope of the problem, San Francisco’s main recycling processor, Recology, collects 100 tons of cardboard everyday. The article ends with a solution from a spokesman for Recology, “Slow down consumption. Slow down.” The photo showing one day’s deposits at Recology is truly terrifying.

“Made in America” Making a Come-Back 
Sometimes, however, there is a case to be made for online shopping. Sometimes what you just can’t find in a nearby store is easily found online. In my case I was shopping for a birthday gift and was hoping to support some of the Carolina sockmakers who are struggling to keep family businesses alive. I discovered USA Love List, a crowdsourced compilation of companies offering goods Made in America. The site is also an online magazine. By clicking through the links in this article on Made in USA Socks I found just what I was looking for and, with free shipping, I bet the socks don’t arrive in a box.

Bald Eagles Nesting in New Haven
On Thursday Anna Bisaro reported in the New Haven Register that a pair of bald eagles were spotted in West River Memorial Park. A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection confirmed that the two adult eagles appear to be building a nest and they anticipate the pair will be breeding in the park. The DEEP official went on to say that eagles return to the same nest and add to it each year; a nest can grow to a weight of hundreds of pounds.

Cooked Streaming on Netflix
Michael Pollan’s 4-part documentary series, Cooked, is now streaming on Netflix. The series is is based on the author's 2013 book with the same name. Each episode focuses on one of the four natural elements and its relationship to both ancient and modern cooking methods. Netflix promotes the series thusly, “As he tries his hand at baking, brewing, and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.”

On Wednesday, Shannon Laun, of CT Fund for the Environment spoke to those gathered at Trinity Bar about the need to push forward with CT’s stalled Shared Solar Pilot Program.  [She promises some tools for advocacy; I will share as they become available.] The March edition of New Haven Green Drinks will be a benefit for the 2016 8th annual Rock to Rock Ride and will be held at Chipotle, 910 Chapel Street, New Haven.

World’s Happiest Man’s Secret Revealed
Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk said to be the “world’s happiest man” shared some of his secrets to happiness with Business Insider.  Ricard states that you can start by “thinking happy thoughts for 10 to 15 minutes a day…concentrate on not letting you mind get distracted and keep focused on the positive emotions…if you do that training every day, even just two weeks later you can feel positive mental results.” For more, check out Ricard’s 2004 TED Talk, The Habits of Happiness

That’s it for now. Happy Saturday. Hope you are enjoying (or have enjoyed) the day.

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