We wish you a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year!
- Sally, Chris, Lilo, Amida, & Lissy
Things are definitely heating up, including the Earth! According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average Earth temperature has increased by 1° Farenheit in the past century and is predicted to increase a further 2-6° in the next. Global warming can result in severe climate conditions across the planet, including extended droughts in some areas and coastal flooding in others.
Simple changes to your own lifestyle can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and help to reduce the effects of global warming. If you have children, you can make it a fun family project to learn about climate change and global warming. And, just like 14-year-old Alec Loorz (see below), your kids can become advocates for change.
Here are some fun sites to get your kids interested and involved:
The simple act of buying fairly traded products can make an enormous difference in the lives of disadvantaged families all over the world. Fair Trade ensures that artisans and workers in developing countries receive a fair and living wage for their work.
Buying fair trade products means that:
At Mindful Hands, we purchase many of our products from the Tibetan exile community, living in India and Nepal. After losing their country to Chinese Communist invasion in 1959, the Tibetans have since been in danger of losing their unique culture. Our support of these communities ensures that Tibetan families can support themselves and also helps to preserve their cultural heritage by bringing traditional handicrafts to American markets.
To learn more about the Fair Trade movement, check out these resources:
To learn more about Tibet and the Tibetan exile community, check out:
A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown --
Who ponders this tremendous scene --
This whole Experiment of Green --
As if it were his own!
"To get along in this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant."
If you've ever grown your own vegetables you know there's nothing tastier than carrots, turnips, or fresh herbs pulled right from the ground and onto your dinner plate. Yet most of the produce you buy in your neighborhood grocery store travels up to 1,500 miles to get to your table. It's often over- or under-ripe and almost always tasteless by the time it reaches your refrigerator.
Even if you can't grow your own vegetables, there's still another solution to buying produce from industrial agribusinesses: buy from your local family farmer. In recent years there's been a growing awareness that locally-produced food is not only better tasting but it's better for you, too.
There are many benefits to buying locally-grown food, including:
Chris and I support a local farm, the Farmstead of Charlotte Hall in Maryland, through a program called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Every week, just-picked produce is delivered to a community location (in Alexandria, the drop-off location is Mindful Hands; how's THAT for convenience!). Members of a CSA buy shares in the farm prior to the growing season and then receive the bounty of their investment throughout the summer and fall.
The Farmstead's season runs for 21 weeks from June 2nd until Oct. 29th. Each week, members will receive a hand-picked selection of the ripest and tastiest vegetables, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions, beets, peas, carrots, radishes, turnips, squash, potatoes, and a variety of herbs. Mmm-mmm! Now, that's good eatin'!