Saturday, March 30, 2024

Happy Easter 2024

This weekend is Easter Weekend....if you are still looking for some last minute ways green your Easter scene, here are a few options for you. (Pro-tip #1--plastic grass, in not recyclable! If you have it, save and reuse it. Otherwise, find the crinkled paper version!!)

Additionally, here this Easter weekend, whether you celebrate the religious side or the hippity-hop Easter bunny side Easter, may this weekend and spring bring you joy. Spend a little time out there in nature too. Find, see, and smell the flowers.

Images created at

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Power of Parklets

Funny....sometimes when you run across something for the first time, the next thing you know is that you are seeing it everywhere. 

This is what happened to me regarding parklets.

A parklet is a little do-it-yorself mini park, which urban areas and city dwellers are creating more and more of to counter green up the space, cutting down on the concrete jungles of urban areas. They help soothe both our physical and mental health by providing these pockets of green.

I ran across parklets in the the OneTreePlanted article by Gabrielle Clawson entitled Good News! 30 Positive Environmental Stories From 2023, which I used for the creation of my March 6th blog post "Postivtive Environmental Stories for 2023." Parklets was listed as Clawson's #12 item. 

Parklets reminded me of downtown Annapolis during the pandemic. Restaurants took away parking places on the street to bring out planter boxes and more tables so that people could have the restaurant experience while dining outside. String some lights, make it cozy, bring in the greenery, and voila--goregous outdoor seating, with friends and family, for safer, accessible, open air dining during Covid times.

Next thing I know, parklets and their nature and health benefits are everywhere!

Parklets started their modest beginning in 2005 in San Francisco, and since then have begun popping up in many different ways. They bring about greater connections and a sense of community. They widen and invite greater outdoor living. It all is part of what makes a community "livable."

Looking for all the benefits parklets provide: Check out any of these articles: 

In the market to make your own? Check out Happy Eco New's How to Build a Parklet DIY.

With spring having sprung, makes me want to go out and find a li'l parakeet of my own to go and just soak in the sun, maybe a snack, and enjoy a little people watching along the way!

Images from and and and

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Earth Hour Is Here: Tonight, March 23 ~ 8:30 -- 9:30 pm

What are you doing tonight, Saturday, March 23 from 8:30-9:30 pm?

Earth Hour is here, during that hour, in your time zone. 

Want to learn more--check out my recent post on Earth Hour.

Best part of being a part of Earth Hour is the highlight of how important one set 60 minutes for one person is when it is multiplied out by hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, globally. It shows the importance of the act of one to make a difference and highlight the importance of our planet. 

Timing really is perfect this year, the day after the annual United Nations Environmental holiday World Water Day--a day highlighting how important it is for people worldwide to have access to clean water. Maybe even paying attention to your water consumption today is a great way to start honoring Earth Hour!

If you are looking for ideas on what to do for you, your family, or your kids, check out these ideas, all from my 2018 Earth Hour post:

  • Stock up on candles and light them up as you knock out all your other lights at 8:30 pm.
  • Unplug and have some good ole fashioned non-tech time.
  • Play a game of night time Hide & Seek.
  • Have a candlelight dinner... perhaps al fresco.
  • Roast some marshmallows over a bonfire with good friends.
  • Take a moonlit stroll.
  • Spend some time in reflection and meditation.
  • Play board games with your family by flashlight.
  • Go stargazing.
  • Take a night hike.
  • Tell ghost stories.
  • Take time having great conversations and quality time with someone you love.
  • ...the sky is the limit! Create your own fun! 

Additionally, you can check out the resource over at

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Beauty of Each Season: Spring

Spring is my season! The warming of the days. The daylight getting longer. The freshness and color that starts sparking the world. The winter hibernation coming to the end. 
It is the season I wake up. 

The first day of spring this year happened on March 19th. 

I'm always curious why sometimes it's the 21st or the 23rd, and know it has to do with the rotation of the planet and it's tilt, plus throw in a Leap year, and it always shifts slightly. In fact, this year is the earliest it has ever been in the 128 years of recording this data.

But spring is here, and there truly is beauty all around.

Following suit from my last "Beauty of Each Season: Winter," I popped back to @PositivelyPresent's Instagram page and found her graphics on Spring--so whether it is your season or not, my you find some love and lessons in this season!

Images from and spring photos from my camera, compiled in

Saturday, March 16, 2024

United Nations International Day of Happiness: March 20th

"Happiness" is a concept that has popped up a lot lately. Most recently when my daughter was on an academic spring break trip in Spain, and mentioned that everyone, everywhere she visited, seemed happier than we do here in America. 

With school, we are currently just starting our spring break, which of course is the epitome of happiness for teachers and students alike. Moreover, after break, we have a faculty/staff book club starting with Shawn Achor's book The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life. Achor also has a TED Talk on the subject.

About a month ago, I was gifted tickets to see Dr. Laurie Santos at the Baltimore Speaker Series. Santos is a psychologist and professor at Yale, and her "Psychology and the Good Life" course has been Yale's most popular course in 300 years. It currently too is a free Coursera program of 10 modules, which starts March 16th. She also is the creator of the Happiness Lab podcast.

Or maybe it's just the cusp of spring, longer days, blooming flowers, and all of that, which makes me happy too. 

Thinking too about happiness led to me to think about mental health, and how we as an American society are facing a mental health crisis of epic proportions and all-time highs. The post pandemic epidemic.

As I was pondering all of that, I came to find out that here, during my school spring break, the United Nations' International Day of Happiness falls right smack dab in the middle of it--on March 20th annually. First celebrated in 2013, the UN General Assembly aimed in the day to honor and recognize “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples.”  It ties to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals and views happiness and well-being as a basic human right. Here is the video introduction including Pharrell William (creator of the song "Happy" speaking about happiness its global impact.

Additionally, the World Happiness Report for 2024 is due out at noon (EST) on UN's International Day of Happiness. In it, it will reveal general overviews of the trends as well as a list in order of the happiest countries in the world. Last year's 2023 report placed Finland at #1 for the 6th year in a row, based on these key features: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and the absence of corruption. This January 2023 article from CNBC also proposes that countries like Finland place a stronger emphasis on the following than we do in the United States: more vacation time for employees, a stronger sense of community, lack of a comparison view of each other, and a tie to nature are key features also at play. Might be something there!

For some ideas on. how to bring a little more happiness into your life, check out the website International Day of Happiness.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Earth Hour 2024 Is On It's Way--Mark Your Calendar for March 23

Earth Hour is one of my favorite "environmental days."

By turning off your lights and/or doing something during the hours of 8:30 to 9:30 pm in your time zone on this Saturday, March 23, you can place a vote toward the betterment of our planet.

To learn more, check out any of the links above, watch the video below, or click on Earth Hour's "About" page.

What can you do to take part in Earth Hour this year? Need help deciding....Earth Hour's links can help:

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Positive Environmental News for 2023

OneTreePlanted is a great place to go for good environmental news. After landing on their article "Good Environmental Stories From 2023," I was inspired to create the world map infographic below, showcasing some of the great news that includes plastic and paper bans, rejuvenated species, ocean clean ups, activism, biodiversity, and other great eco news. Click the poster to see an enlarged version, then click article links to find out more!!

Image created at using information from

Saturday, March 2, 2024

World Wildlife Day ~ March 3rd

March 3rd: The day in 1931 that the United States adopted "Star Spangled Banner" as it's national anthem.

Additionally, March 3 is also the annual date of World Wildlife Day, voted on December 20, 2013 by the United Nations to be an annual environmental date of honor and celebration of wildlife.. This date is significant as it ties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that was signed in 1973.

The 2024 theme is “Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation.” The focus is on tying together innovation, technology, biodiversity, and wildlife conservation.

High-level United Nations events taking place at their headquarters in New York City will be live-streamed here on Monday, March 4th.