Archive | April, 2011

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” ~Cree Indian Proverb

22 Apr

Melanie wrote this beautiful post for her personal blog in honor of Earth Day today and I was so touched and inspired by it I asked her if I could re-post it here. Being the wonderful, loving, giving, kind spirit that she is – Melanie quickly replied “yes of course!” So enjoy, feel free to share it yourselves and spread the Earth Day  LOVE!  

{ Happy Earth Day! }

Greeting Earthlings! I hope you are all out achieving acts of kindness towards Mother Earth or at least hugging a tree. I am not kidding one bit. I know it’s a silly name for hippies, but  HAVE you ever really hugged a tree?!? It’s amazeballs, as Perez would say. I recommend each and every one of you find a tree, wrap your arms around it and come back and just try to tell me that you felt nothing. Side effect are sure to include, but are not limited to, the following: Incredible ancient energy, negative ions, love for nature, a peaceful feeling… Guaranteed you and your new friend will have had a moment.

{Try it, it’s fun!}

The theme for this year’s Earth Day is  A Billion Acts of Green. Click on the photo below to check out their website and  get some ideas on how to be of service (Seva). Of course, I believe that EVERY day is Earth Day, but if it takes setting aside one day a year for people to pay attention, get excited, and educate themselves on how they can make lifestyle changes and intelligent choices that will reduce the harm that we inflict daily to the Earth…? Then sign me up, I’m all for it.

In honor of today, I put together a few ideas on how we all can make simple, yet effective choices to do our part:

  • Stop using harmful and extremely toxic chemicals, in your daily life. This includes bath and body products, home cleaning products, air fresheners, etc. There is a natural choice for everything you use, and these days they are really good! We are all so used to using the name brands we see on TV, but they are poisoning our environment and ourselves. Your liver works hard not only to filter out toxins that you ingest with food and drink, but also has to work even harder to filter toxins ingested through your skin. And yes, that includes air-fresheners, cleaning products, pesticides from non-organic foods, etc. Give your liver a well-deserved break.
    { A great natural company }
  • Change all your lightbulbs to eco-friendly CFL’s or LED’s. Not only are they energy-saving, but they will save you money in the long-term.
  • Turn off water when brushing teeth, washing dishes, anytime when you do not actively need the water on.
  • Grow your own food, or shop farmer’s markets to buy fresh, organic, local fruits, veggies, even eggs from happy chickens. If there isn’t a farmer’s market near you, then try as much as possible to buy from local, sustainable, and organic farmers. All it takes is a little research. Keep the local little guys in business! If you have any questions on this topic, feel free to ask me. I’d love to help. Not only is it green, but you are supporting your town by buying locally, and by going organic? You are supporting your own health and longevity. Kaleo and I are unwavering on this topic. We buy ONLY organic, as local as possible. And I mean everything, even down to the peppercorns in our pepper grinder.
  • Contact your local City offices and see if there are any events that you can volunteer for, such as tree planting and beach clean up. Better yet, organize your own! If you live in a city or in the mountains, you can still host a trash clean up day. Local businesses will want to get involved and provide refreshments or supplies, and the media would love to report about good things happening right under their noses.
  • Check out a movement by a dear friend of ours: FIRN (Fight Ignorance Represent Nature) is a lifestyle collective dedicated to promoting awareness and taking action. They are on the verge of a huge evolution of inspiration and change, so get acquainted and intimate with Firn now, so you too can be a part of the movement! Click the logo below to learn more…
    {Click Me!}
  • Eliminate the use of plastics! We don’t even buy ziplock bags. If we come across one somehow, we will use and re-use it as long as possible. We only buy glass mason jars and glass containers for our food, juice, etc. We both use a great water bottle by Klean Kanteen, that goes everywhere with us. Once you get used to using your bottle you will never want to be without it. Drinking water from a plastic bottle will feel so weird, trust me. By eliminating plastics, you will do your part to slow the contribution of plastic to the disgusting Pacific Gyre. You will also reduce the amount of BPE’s that you ingest by eating or drinking out of plastic containers.
{ The bottle that we never leave home without }

There are so many ways that you can help not only yourself, but your community, and our Mother Earth as well. What are some ways that you are committing to today to do your part? I would love for everyone to share their ideas! Have a beautiful day, and send some love to your Mother.

Peace,
Melanie 

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“Take the First Step in Faith”

1 Apr

There is a saying by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”. This sums up my entire travel philosophy. Some people are planners, down to each and every detail. This does have a certain value. However, to me, the excitement in travel is the unknown, and the freedom to change plans on a whim.

My very first trip to Europe alone was planned this way:                                                                                                                                                          1. Purchase roundtrip open-ended ticket to Paris and Euro Rail pass
2. Buy a map of Europe and keep in mind some countries/towns/landmarks I want to visit
3. Go! And figure it out along the way…

And while life has brought me to the place where I no longer have to stay in hostels and fit my worldly belongings into a backpack for three months, I still enjoy the nomadic freedom of travel in much the same way as I did in my early 20’s. Only in nicer hotels. And with more luggage. And shoes. 🙂

If taking a vacation or even a quick getaway seems like a huge deal, there’s so much to plan, it has to be perfect, and so on… Let those feelings go. Planning a trip can be as simple as:                                                                                                                                                                  1. Decide on a destination and buy ticket.
2. Make a reservation at a hotel for one night with the option of extending. This way you have a place to check into and get some rest. If you love it, stay. Or, check out the other options and decide from there.
3. Get out and explore! Meet some locals and ask questions. Where do they like to eat? Are there farmer’s markets? What is the location known for?

Have fun with it and don’t feel like you have to do what everybody else does. In Florence Italy and don’t care to see the David? Don’t! (Although it is beautiful…) Customize your trip so that you enjoy it to the fullest, not like it was planned out by a tourism agency. The best times for me, are the ones that are spontaneous and exciting. Even though I buy a travel book for each place I go to, it’s mostly so I will have something to read on the plane and to put on my bookshelf as a nice memory when I get home. Once I am at my destination, it’s time to immerse myself into the culture and create my own adventure.

Another way to make planning a trip easier is to ignore the idea that a trip isn’t worth it if it’s shorter than a week, or two weeks. Who made up that rule anyway?? I once flew to Stockholm for the weekend. No rules, no pressure, not even time to get jet-lagged! I just found a really cheap ticket (it was Sweden in November) and decided to check it out.

As your trip is coming to an end and you are getting ready to head home, wouldn’t it be more fun to look back on all the amazing experiences you had instead of feeling regret that you only checked off certain things that were on your ‘list’, or wishing you had more free time?

Once you let go of the pressure of having everything planned out, and making sure you stick to that perfect plan, you will be able to enjoy a sense of freedom… Just take that first step.

Love,

Melanie