Saturday, January 28, 2023

LEGO: Build the Change

I love LEGOs....for a myriad of reasons. The fact that they are fun is only one. LEGOs inspires: 
  • Innovation. (See here and here.)
  • Creativity. (See here and here and here.)
  • Environmental Stewardship in its company's commitment to our planet & sustainability. (See here and here.)

Here, is LEGO's latest sustainable & environmental initiative: Build the Change. Given the wisdom that comes from kids through their own imagination and play, Lego is giving kids a voice to create then upload their images to their gallery to serve as inspiration to world leaders. 

LEGO's Build the Change 2 directed challenges on their website are to build a koala wildfire sanctuary (to bring an awareness to the dangers of the Australian wildfires) and to build a seahorse safe haven (to showcase the importance of tackling oceanic pollution).

They also have links to Build the Change Courses for lesson plans for teachers. The downloads are free and only require creating an account to use. At this writing (and it looks as though more will be added), their focus is on the following 3 courses for ages 7-12 year olds:
  • Human Impact: Saving Today's Dinosaurs [aka: Birds]
  • A Future Without Waste
  • Biodiversity and Climate Change
Additionally, at the LEGO Build the Change website, there is a link to "Children Call for Action on Climate Change." During the COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, 6000+ kids shared their ideas with policy makers via the LEGO Group in order to help make an impact for change. Through this, "Building Instructions for a Better World" was created. Here's a video introducing it

"Building Instructions for a Better World" is a downloadable 20-page building instructions and environmental information guide. It highlights simple LEGO builds that shows the importance of what is needed: 

It's time to. put environmental action on the table, and there is no reason kids cannot lead the way. May LEGO and kids serve as the inspiration for all of us grownups to become changemakers!

Images from, page 3 of, videos from and

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

One Green Thing: Find Out Your Service Superpower

As a teenager, I was always a fan for a good magazine quiz to determine your shape face, the Disney character you are most like, what your best friendship traits are, what movie protagonist would you be, etc. These days, Buzzfeed (or a slew of other platforms) can serve it up to you digitally. 

Now with Heather White's help, you can do that to find your "Service Superpower" to see where you best fit in helping take climate action. Heather White is author of the blog One Green Thing: Saving Our Sanity + The Planet and the book One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Save the Planet.

She has crafted an online assessment to help you determine which of the 7 "service superpowers" you are. Are you a Sage, Spark, Wonk, Adventurer, Beacon, Philanthropist, or Influencer? Click this link to take the quiz to find out.

Her rationale in creating the assessment is that by defining and deciding who you innately are, it will help to squash the eco-anxiety that many of us are facing. We become paralyzed by fear and overwhelmed. When that happens (upon hearing all the doom and gloom), then we find our selves stuck in a quagmire of inaction.

By determining your "service superpower" you "create a daily intention of action."

Here's a video of Heather speaking out about how her daughter served as her inspiration to research eco-anxiety and write the book and build her brand. She hopes that her approach and the assessment bring joy and a changed perspective to a subject that really stresses out a lot of people. Additionally, she hopes that by finding then using your service superpower, you can be catapulted, step by step, one green thing a day, to help combat the climate crisis and create a better world. 

And, since my superpower is a Wonk, I'll share in a later post some of my favorite take aways from the book!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Data Privacy Week: January 22--28, 2023

It is no secret that the privacy of our data is becoming increasingly important. Scammers and hackers continue to get more sophisticated, as do businesses when it comes to mining us for information. We, as digital consumers, also are becoming increasingly at risk.

Given that, Data Privacy Day and Week are dates we should have on our calendar:
  • Data Privacy Day: January 28, 2023
  • Data Privacy Week: January 22-28, 2023
In 1981, an introductory, international treaty regarding data privacy and protection was formed. From there, a the internet and information grew, Data Protection Day was created on April 26, 2006 with the first observance seen to be January 28, 2007. In 2022, the one-day holiday grew to a week long educational campaign to help us acknowledge and manage the trail of breadcrumbs we are leaving online. Since the pandemic, where our computers turned into our classrooms, kids are being exposed to a greater digital risk--making it even more important to broaden the awareness about how to protect and secure our personal data.

Great activities to do during Data Privacy Week:
  • Change your passwords, making them unique and not overused between websites. (I know! It's hard to remember them all!) This should be something you do every few months, as data leaks are not unique or novel.
  • Broaden your awareness of which websites have your personal information.
  • Know what your privacy settings are on your accounts--especially social media ones.
  • Look into how companies collect and use their user data. 
  • Read the Terms of Service & Privacy Agreements rather than rapidly scrolling through and accepting them blindly.
  • Recognize that it is always better "to be safe than sorry"...especially online.
  • Advocate for national laws that promote cyber security.
  • Be vigilantly aware of the potentials for scams and phishing attempts.

To learn more about Data Privacy Week and to get ideas about how you can keep your information safe, check out: 
Lastly, as a way to wrap it up and musically make the importance of data privacy hit home, check out this Data Privacy Day rap created by MOSTLY AI.


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Go Beyond a Day of Service and Give Back All Year Long

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, which just passed, is often known as a Day of Service.  It is designated as "a day on, not a day off." In thinking about that this past weekend, I was also struck by the fact that service shouldn't be a one-day-deal. We all have it in our power to do something more to help give back to our community. It could be every day, every week, or even once a month. Think of how much difference you could make with repeated action.

Given this line of thinking, this Good Good Good article "21 Ways To Give Back To Your Community" really hit home for me. Many of the ideas listed here promote sustainability, environmental stewardship, and taking care of your neighbors. This article inspired me to create the following checklist. How many things can you check off in 2023? Better yet, how many new ways can you create?

Infographic inspired from items listed on and created on

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Environmental Inspiration from Prince Ea

Prince Ea always speaks to me with his views on being in the moment, embracing life, and maximizing our time to center around priorities. A lot of time, that comes from unplugging and being in nature--something that seems increasingly more difficult for all of us to do as we become habituated in this overly connected, "tech-i-fied" and "tech-i-fried" world. 

I ran across a recent video of his entitled "Quitting Social Media," which discusses all of this and also where he's been lately since he's been out of the social media world. It was excellent, thought provoking, and takes you on a bit of an existential adventure....which is kind of where I've been a bit lately

In my clicking, I landed on this video Prince Ea created around Earth Day 2022: "Dear Parents, Do You Love Your Kids." The premise of it is that if we as parents did love our kids, we'd care more about the planet we are leaving behind. It's a good commentary on stewardship and the importance of working together the for greater good of our Earth. The message is that we should approach the climate change challenge through activism and partnering with each other versus politics and fear. 

It's also timely in that he mentions two quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr, which seems perfect to post this weekend. Additionally, Martin Luther King Day is often seen as a day of service, which ties with the environmental nudge from Prince Ea at the end of the video to check out the Nature Conservancy's "Let's Planet Together."

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

1000 Hours Outside for 2023

Over winter break, I was in the car a decent amount on travel. Whenever that happens, I find myself soaking up podcasts. I listened to several from Ginny Yurich's "1000 Hours Outside" Podcast. I've written about her quest to get kids (and all of us) outdoors at least 1000 hours a year--which is the approximate amount of time we all spend online in a year. She's a strong proponent with her book and blog for us all to unplug and really get back to the heart of ourselves through nature. 

I've stated before--that's really hard for me in the winter. But, with my goal of more days with some time outside in 2023 than not, I'm hoping to get some of those in the winter too. (It doesn't hurt that I'm writing this outside on an unseasonably warm 60 degree day.)

This post in many ways serves as a natural follow up to "Gretchen Rubin's Go Outside 23 in '23 Challenge."

Ginny Yurich has many things planned for the year ahead to get people inspired to get outdoors and be talking about a life well lived outdoors. Here are just a few, and may they serve you well!

🧩 Her Podcast: Episode 107 is one I really enjoyed, entitled: "1KHO 107: The Greater Culture is on a Sedentary Trajectory | Katy Bowman, Move Your DNA

🧩 Her New Book: Just out at the end of December: 1000 Hours Outside: Activities to Match Screen Time with Green Time

🧩 Her Tracking Pages & Lists: Her 2023 Kick-off pack free downloads will help you track everything and inspire you to get creative with your outdoor adventures. If you are high tech, there's even an app for that for $1.99 at the Apple App Store.

🧩 Her 2023 Book Club: Ginny's plotted out a monthly book club, with details here. She also discusses it on episode 100 of her podcast. Her books:

Green book club list and Book Club photo screenshot from; Kick-off pack screenshot from; book image of Ginny Yurich's book from

Saturday, January 7, 2023

One Word: Mosaic

For the past several years I've opted for "One Word" to center my year. Some years it works out better than others to make it all 365 days, but I find it a lovely way to reflect at the start of the year to center my intentions. I also find it a bit more open, active, and "user friendly" than resolutions or "goals," which often become as restrictive as diets. It slants the year on a positive note and gives me greater momentum.

This year, my word is "mosaic." It's a word that has been swimming in my head for awhile. I find comfort in the whole point of a mosaic: the beauty is from the brokenness of the pieces of many sizes and shapes that make the art. I feel that is what we are. It is where we all shine, and we all--as humans--are both beautiful and broken and uniquely "us."

Additionally, these 3 quotes below [and the one in my art] are the ones that speak loudest to me of the 10 listed on Mosaico's March 15, 2020 blog. (Not to mention, there is some gorgeous art there). May you find your favorite quote there too.

“We are mosaics. Pieces of light, love, history, stars… Glued together with magic and music and words.” 
― Anita Krizzan

“Music is, for me, like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces.” 
– Jean Sibelius

“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.” 
– Jennifer E. Smith

Words I've focused on in the past... as they may be of inspiration to you while you land on your "one word:"

Just one word from; Mosaic mage created at

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Gretchen Rubin's Go Outside 23 in '23 Challenge

Gretchen Rubin is an author of multiple books (5 of which have been on the New York Times bestseller list), the podcast host of Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and the founder of The Happiness Project (which bears the same name as her top rated 2009 book). She's done a few TED talks and has been a key speaker at many companies. And yes, when it comes to happiness, there's an app for that too. You could say, happiness is central to her studies of human nature and her world. If there's any question about it... check out her manifesto (her mission statement on steroids).

In the past, Gretchen Rubin has invited her Happier  community to take on annual challenges. Some of hers these past few years: "Walk 20 in '20," "Read 21 in '21," and "Rest 22 in '22." (That first number per phrase refers to the number of minutes she's challenging folks to engage in that activity.) 

Her challenge this year: Go Outside 23 in '23 Challenge.

Why, might you ask, is this a worthy challenge? It's no surprise that going outdoors can help boost your mood, center you, and assist with your over all mental health and sense of calm. I love the end of her comment in her explanation on the Happier App website: "Going outside can include anything from walking to bird watching; from yardwork to enjoying your morning coffee on your porch — as long as the door closes behind you, it counts!" She also talks about it in Episode 409 of her podcast. It's our daily dose of "Vitamin N: Nature." It hopes to help us all attack our ever-growing-tech addictions and our own Nature Deficit Disorder. 

I will admit, I do a great job in the spring, summer, and fall with my hours outside (and have written about it many times before), but winter is hard for me. But every now and then, a warm sunny day in a coat, under a blanket, and on the hammock help remind me of the glory warmth of that sun on my face. 

This year, the Happier App & Gretchen Rubin are centering their challenge through the Happier app. Slightly ironic, using tech to help you unplug from tech... however, the app also serves as a habit builder for positivity and mental productivity. If you are a person who is motivated by tracking of behaviors or accomplishments, this can help build accountability. Inside the app also a daily mini journal and photo log aspect of the app that allows you to lock in your memories. The extra neat piece is that there is a participation goal. Their hope: 1 million entries in the app by the end of 2023 by users. If their goal is met, the app will make a donation to the nonprofit global reforestation organization One Tree Planted, who donates a tree for every dollar donated to them. [At this writing, One Tree Planted has donated over 40,000,000 trees since it was founded in 2014.]

Whether or not you commit to doing it through the app, it's agood idea to plant "go outside" in the back of our minds. We all could use a little more naturescape and escape! I do love the extra incentive with the idea of donating to the outdoors by BEING outdoors. Together, every little action, adds up! 

Images from,, and