Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Huffington Post #Reclaim Food Waste

I wrote earlier about Huffington Post Original Series "Sustainable Self."  At the time I wrote it, there were only a few videos.  Now they're up to 9 mini-movies, with the most recent posted just last week. No doubt, there's more to come.

But the Huffington Post isn't ready to just stop with sustainability.  They've got another mini-movie series called #Reclaim.

The rational behind creating #Reclaim:
  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide goes to waste.
  • 800,000,000+ people go to bed hungry world wide.
  • Food waste generates over 3 billion tons of greenhouse gasses.
  • In America alone, 40% of the food goes uneaten due to waste.
  • In America, 15+ million children do not have enough food to eat.
From their website, here is their mission through #Reclaim:
"Our food waste campaign is the latest expression of our global What's Working initiative, which aims to empower our audience to positively change the world by highlighting the art of the possible."

In addition to raising awareness, the Huffington Post also has several key action plans in motion to help petition for less food waste, tackling the distribution problems that get the food where it is needed.

Their current Youtube #Reclaim playlist is up to 15 videos:

Here are the current 15 titles to check out in the HuffPost #Reclaim series.  They were posted between July to September, 2016.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

An Impromptu Day on the Bay: Fifth Grade Field Trip Style

The circles of life are so fascinating!

Wednesday I got to go last minute to Chesapeake Bay Foundation with son's 5th grade class on a field trip today, as they didn't have enough chaperones.

When your Head asks you to go, you go. And when you get are so grateful that you did!!

It hit me when the bus pulled in and I saw Tiffany, our always "First Mate" of the boat--it hit me then that I almost missed this trip because I was ├╝ber in back-to-school teacher mode here at the beginning of the year, and I nearly missed the bigger picture: my "mom" and "historic side."

I was not truly thinking that this was THAT trip.  The big ah-ha moment:  This was essentially my Eagle Cove 3rd grade oyster boat field trip, where the boat came right up to our pier. The one that was always was:
"Best.    Field Trip.    Ever."

As my son and I were talking to his buddies on this trip, we came to the conclusion that this was year 9 of the past 10 years I have gotten to go on this trip!!! Last year, in particular, I was teaching 5th grade at my current school when we made this trip.  Such good memories of the past, and so many smiles from this week.

When my old school, Eagle Cove, closed, my son was in 2nd grade. I was the 3rd grade teacher. The following year he was destined to be in my class, and take part of "all things 3rd grade." On that day that it was announced that our school was to close in June (and all the subsequent months to June), I mourned.  I mourned many things, but one element that was particularly heartbreaking was that I would never get to go on the CBF trip with my son. 

But this week, I did! I had always said it previously--9 times these last 10 years, but it was true:  
Field Trip.  

This Wednesday, I had a goofy grin on my face all day.

The kismit in the day was immense the more I thought of it--especially when I realized how easily I could have missed it. The boating. The "green" building. The canoeing. The shore-side picnic. The more I thought about it after the fact, the more it hit me that I was blessed, encountering a rare and magical moment that was meant to be.  Something I thought would never happen.  Something in my daze of "back to school" I almost missed.

There's nothing more rewarding than a day outdoors, a day chock-filled with memories, and a day with your kids.
Field Trip.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

HuffPo's "Sleep Your Way to the Top"

This summer I did a lot of both "listening to" and "reading about" sleep. In podcast and book form. Arianna Huffington (of Huffington Post fame) and Shawn Stevenson (from The Model Health Show Podcast) both have books out there on the subject of sleep:

Both authors have been featured on a lot of the podcasts I listen to.

Moral of the story--sleep is huge for so much of our health and wellness.

Along those lines, Huffington Post has a playlist over at YouTube with 15 videos focusing on the sweetness of sleep titled "Sleep Your Way to the Top"

Here's one of the 15 examples from the playlist:

So watch and learn, then go head to bed!

Images from, video from

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Turning Trash to Telephone Cases

When you start talking both #eco and #iTechnology, you've grabbed my attention.

Add in  innovation...and that came about from teens?! Pretty impressive.

Alicia Barron at Upworthy posed a great quote in her article:
"Recycling should be as simple as buying a can of soda at a vending machine, right?"
Who doesn't agree?! The simpler that recycling and waste reduction can be, the more we all will do it.
5 high schoolers from a Sicilian, Italy town tried to see what they could do with this concept. And what did they do? They created a prototype that made recycling that simple! They created a vending machine that encourages people to deposit their plastic bottles there upon finishing with them.  The machine then grinds the bottles to plastic pellets, which are then melted to plastic filament that is then extruded through a 3D printer, where the students craft phone cases made from their specially designed 3D printer.

Kudos to Marco Tomasello, Daniele Caputo, Vincenzo Virruso, Vittorio Maggiore, Toni Taormina, and their teacher, Daniela Russo!  With team work and innovation, their project won the AXA Italia Social Impact Award.

Photos from

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Earth Porn & More--Say What?!

 Earth Porn: Don't let the name deceive you. It's more rated G than it sounds!

Sometimes, you just want to see something beautiful. And sometimes, you just can't get yourself out in that beautiful place.  Earth Porn, despite the name, is one of the many places you can get out in nature digitally, if you need a quick fix of the great outdoors.

Earth Porn is a Facebook page where you can go and find beautiful images of this li'l home of ours called Earth. They don't take the photos nor claim the credit, they just pass along the loveliness that they happen to find on Earthables photo sharing website. There's also their website EarthPorm (notice the spelling change).  

Here are some other great sites if you are searching to soak even more, when you need a visual gem to remind you of the nature that surrounds.

Earth Porn Logo & waterfall pic (from Tropical Cauldron in Kihei, Maui; Photo by Mike Dawson) from

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Washed Ashore: Pollution Awareness & More

I'm writing this with a mixture of missed opportunity and self-loathing, as I live near DC and I missed the chance to see an amazing environmental awareness exhibit at the Smithsonian National Zoo.  Insert "kicking myself" here.  I guess that's what happens when you miss that piece about it being a temporary exhibit, on location until only September 5th.

The exhibit:  Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.

The purpose:  To transform plastic pollution into art to create awareness and potential change in the way we treat "trash."

The art:  All of the art for the various sculptures comes from reclaimed trash found in oceans. In total over 6 years, the team of artists created 66 sculptures using 38,000 pounds of marine debris found off the coast of Oregon.  Unfortunately, this is a mere fraction of what is actually out there in the world's oceans.

So whereas it's now mine and the Greater Metropolitan DC's loss, there's still a few more days for anyone in Atlanta, and here are the next cities in line.
  • The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta until Sept. 25th, 2016
  • Denver Zoo in Colorado: Sept. 24, 2016 to Jan. 16, 2017
  • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma Washington:  Apr. 17--Oct  16, 2017
  • Reiman Gardens in Ames Iowa: May--October 2017
You can also follow future exhibits on the Washed Ashore Exhibit page.  Likewise, the Washed Ashore website is a great place to go to learn more including videos on the making of the art work and also ways to get involved.

Images are from Washed Ashores Ocean Ambassadors:; video from

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Back to School QR Code Ice Breakers

This school year is exciting for me because I'm back to Tech, going into all the grade levels: Preschool to 5th. Some of my favorite students are my beloved faculty and colleagues!

Here's part of my bulletin board outside my Tech office at school.  Using a QR code generator online, I started created codes loaded with the questions below.  I popped them all into a word document to make for easy printing. (This is my cheat sheet so I know "what's what" once it is in my files). I then cut the codes off and put them on shapes for a ready-made investigation board.   I've opened it up for students and faculty/staff to grab an iPad and a QR scanner app, check out the questions, then share their answers with me.  Can't wait to hear their responses!!

Document created by me, from

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Visual Reminders to Breathe in Nature

I've previously raved about New Age Creators and their videos they post in connection with SoulPancake.  They are ideal to watch when you need to rearrange your brain space and really refocus on what's important in life.

"All We Need is Nature" is a perfect "case & point!" The visuals in this video are a perfect blend of the great outdoors with unbelievable tech talent.  It is such a rich masterpiece of creativity, "maker education," light, texture, and nature.  It makes you want to get outside and go play, or maybe collect little odds and ends to create from there. It might inspire you to take a hike, to let the grass tickle your toes, or to play in a stream.  It's a video showcase of the power of Vitamin N: Nature!

Watch, be filled, then get yourself out there.

Image from
Video from