Compassion is a desire to see others relieved of suffering; love is the other facet, a strong wish to see others happy. - Dalai Lama
Are your food choices full of compassion and love? Are you doing your part to relieve other innocent beings from suffering?
Close cycles. Not because of pride or arrogance, but because that no longer fits your life. - Paulo Coelho
Just what I needed to hear!
Here are five eco-tips to remember:
- Green your grilling. Cooking out with charcoal can release a myriad of chemicals into the air causing smoke, pollution and toxins. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans using their grills on the Fourth of July is the equivalent of 2,300 acres of forest burning. No need to toss the burgers and dogs though, just opt for a natural gas barbecue or even organic, natural charcoal.
- Ditch the plastics. Backyard barbecues and beach-side picnics invariably call for plastic or Styrofoam plates, cups and utensils. It may be the easiest way to go, but it’s also the most harmful to Mother Nature. Plastics require precious resources, like crude oil, to make them. They remain in the earth for hundreds of years when we dispose of them. And, they can litter our beaches, parks and waterways. Instead, look for bamboo or recycled serving wear. Better yet, use washable plates and glasses. It requires a little more clean-up at the end, but at least you know they’ll end up back in your cabinets instead of in a landfill.
- Think local. When shopping for your holiday feast, why not head to your local farmer’s market? You can pick up fresh organic fruits, veggies and meat that were farmed without harsh chemicals. Not only that, but you can get food that was grown locally, meaning less resources, like gas and oil, were used to transport them.
- Cool the fireworks. No doubt, the color and beauty of fireworks is exciting and fun to watch. But did you know they release harmful gunpowder and heavy metals into the air? To cut down on this pollution, avoid at-home displays and venture to your town’s fireworks show. You can even convince city officials to use earth-friendly fireworks using compressed air, like they do at Disney World now (and nobody puts on a more spectacular show than Mickey!)
- Clean up. Before the day’s festivities begin, how about organizing a clean-up crew in your community to scoop up litter and debris at your local park or beach? Then put out recycling bins for party-goers to use throughout the day. Nothing says patriotic more than taking care of our land!
If you want to be a voice for peace in the world, begin by making peace a permanent condition of your own life. Your higher self knows the way, and all it takes is awareness and a determination to listen to the calling of love, forgiveness, and kindness as you move through your days. Here are a few ideas to think about:
- You must offer peace to have it. Think of yourself as a peaceful person. Watch out for your ego’s inclination to take offense and ramp up confrontation and disturbance in the lives of others. Try saying, “You are really having a rough day,” to a harried clerk, rather than, “I’ve been waiting for fifteen minutes already.” Let your loving presence, not your ego, guide your words and actions.
- Remember that grievances bring turmoil while communication brings peace. You can shed grievances by letting go of your own self-absorption and practicing forgiveness. If you are angry toward someone in your life, work at communicating with that person. A few moments of discussion and forgiveness can send the turmoil away and weaken the influence of your anxiety-loving ego.
- Give yourself the gift of a silent retreat every day. Even if it is only for a few moments, experience this key to higher awareness. Shut down the inner dialogue and see the difference between the constant chatter and the bliss of your silent connection to the Universe. This is the surest way to ease control away from ego and move into the inner vision of peace that is your birthright.
- Remind yourself that the greatest technique for bringing peace into your life is to always choose being kind when you have a choice between being right or being kind. This is the single most effective method I know for having a sense of peace. And you have that choice in all your interactions.
When your higher self is present, it always promotes peace. If you have a question about whether it is your ego or your higher self speaking, the answer becomes obvious when you ask yourself, “Will this bring peace or turmoil to my life?” Peace is not found in being right or being hurt or being angry. By all means, work toward righting the wrongs you perceive, but do it with an understanding that an angry heart keeps you from knowing God on the path of your sacred quest. Peace will come to you when you a healer rather than a judge.
- Avoid disposable items whenever possible.
- Choose durable products that can be used again and again.
- Use the blank sides of scrap paper for notes and lists before recycling the paper.
- Print letters and reports on both sides of the paper and set the default switch on your photocopier to double-sided.
- Use e-mail instead of paper memos and reduce the number of messages you print out.
- Post or circulate materials rather than copying one for each person. Share training manuals and internal documents.
- Eliminate printer and fax cover sheets.
- Buy copier paper with at least 30% post-consumer recycled content
- Save plastic produce bags and paper or plastic grocery bags for reuse
- Carry a cloth or string bag to use when you shop.
- Buy in bulk whenever possible; take your own bag or container when possible.
- Pack lunches in reusable containers to reduce waste and save money.
- Choose products with minimal packaging or packaging that can be reused or recycled easily.
- Carry a reusable cup or mug for beverages to avoid disposable cups.
- Borrow books from the library or buy them used rather than purchasing them new.
- Repair broken or damaged items rather than replacing them.
- Donate items you can no longer use to a nonprofit group or thrift store.
- Purchase quality used items such as furniture, clothing, sports equipment, toys and books at second-hand stores, garage sales and through classified ads.
- Compost leaves and grass clippings in a home compost pile and kitchen scraps in a worm bin. Use the compost to improve your garden or feed houseplants.
If recycling seems like a hassle, consider these reasons why recycling is important (from the EPA):
- Recycling protects and expands U.S. manufacturing jobs and increases U.S. competitiveness
- Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration
- Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials
- Recycling saves energy
- Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change
- Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
- Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations
these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?” —Siddhārtha Gautama (via kari-shma)
I’m craving NUTELLA!!! Luckily I found this recipe…I will be making a few changes to the ingredients to make it healthier. Wish me luck :)
By the way, I found out that Nutella was created in the 1940s in the midst of a chocolate shortage. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker, stretched chocolate by thinning it out with ground hazelnuts.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (easy version)
Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.
- To get rid of the bitter skins, wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Rub until most of the skins come off, but don’t worry if some remain.
- Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!
- When the nuts have liquified, add the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more fluid now than at room temperature.
- Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.