Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Which way, voters?

Image courtesy of jdurham at MorgueFile.com

Eight days from now, most of us (at least I hope) will exercise the right to vote for our government representatives. I often feel anxiety at this time, because while I do my research and try to make the right choice, I worry that not enough of my fellow voters will do the same.

Two years ago, I believed that decency and rationality was going to take a foothold in politics. Sadly, dark forces have sprouted up, conjuring up straw boogeymen to make the people frightened. These forces pretend to be the voice of the “common folk”, but their true agenda is grasping power, and the people be damned.

A frightened populace is one that is likely to make hasty, ill-informed decisions – decisions that could have damaging consequences that can last for decades. Now is not the time to make things worse.

So which way, voters?

Are you going to listen to your fear…or your hope?

Are you going to help make America great…or easy to hate?

The answers are in your hands.

Vote on November 2nd.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Put a filter on it!

This is the filter that I bought and Two Dogs installed for our kitchen sink faucet. I bought it at Walgreens on sale for $8.99. The average price of a faucet water filter ranges from $16.99 to $60.00 and up, but knowing that your household is helping to reduce demand for bottled water is priceless.

We used to buy 24-packs of 0.5-liter bottles because we have a small refrigerator. We are pleased that many large bottled water manufacturers (Arrowhead being the pioneer) are reducing the amount of plastic used for their bottles. Still, it’s best to wean yourself away from bottles, because eight out of ten of the 29.8 billion water bottles Americans buy each year end up in the landfill, according to Earth911.com.

To reduce our bottled water use, Two Dogs and I first bought a Brita Slim pitcher , the smallest one available (40 ounces). However, it was too small for the amount of water we use. We not only need straight drinking water, but water for cooking and making coffee and tea. Pouring water into the Brita pitcher and waiting for it to filter took too long.

The faucet filter (made by Culligan for Walgreens, model WFM-17) is far more efficient. When we pull the long button on the side, regular water turns to filtered water. The water comes out as easily as it always did.

Now, some of you out there live in communities that have good-to-great tap water. Even so, it’s hard to get over the warnings about tap water we’ve heard all our lives. (It’s just like getting over the fear of large dogs if one of them bit you.) Buying a faucet water filter will give you the peace of mind you’ll need to break away from the bottle.

I have to admit that we haven’t stopped buying bottled water completely. We have polycarbonate bottles that we refill constantly at home, but if we take a really long trip, those bottles will invariably run out. If we must purchase bottled water, we choose bottles with less material such as Arrowhead’s. (I would really like to see fresh, filtered drinking water available on tap at gas stations and convenience stores!)

Two Dogs and I are happy with our trusted water filter. If you don’t have one already, make this your next household purchase. You will save money, make less waste – and you’ll be a better Earth citizen!

(This post is part of Blog Action Day 2010: Water. Please sign the petition below for safe water for everyone!)

Change.org|Start Petition

Saturday, October 9, 2010

John Lennon...if

John Lennon would have been 70 years old today if he was still alive. It’s hard to believe, and even harder to accept.

What would John have accomplished if he’d had the past 30 years? What songs would he have written, what words would have made us wiser? Dare I think that we would now be living in a more peaceful world…if?

No death has affected me more than the death of John Lennon. The more time separates me from that date, the more I miss him and the angrier I get at the injustice. In the time it takes to blink an eye, a small person can take the life of a great one.

Why should that be so?

Grief counselors, both professional and amateur, would advise me to stay focused on happy memories of John – which is a good idea, because I don’t want to have anger be the center of my life. Even if it is justified.

As it stands, what John left us was more than we have a right to expect from anyone. So if you have “Double Fantasy” on hand, play it (and don’t skip the Yoko tracks, please), even if "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Beautiful Boy" make you cry. For tomorrow, we can sing – and give peace a chance.