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Inspiration from my Heart to Yours

By Mark 2nd 17 Jul, 2017
"Made in America"...those three words still strike a chord in many USA'nians.  Often reflecting high standards, good jobs and outstanding quality...does the "Made in America" label still mean or stand for something...or not?  

Personally, I've seen labels that mention something like: "Engineered in the U.S.," or "Designed in the U.S.; assembled in..."China," "Mexico," etc...

There are many products still made in the U.S. but then again, things get blurry when some/most components come from lands far from the U.S.  Seems many products, even with roots in the U.S. are, at best, a mix of components that come from around the world.

Then again, there's the matter of increasing automation, even here in the U.S. which translates to fewer workers.  But then robots and machines don't "need" anything but workers sure do.

I came across an interesting and provocative article through a Consumer Reports magazine dating back a couple of years that got me thinking about U.S. manufacturing, so...

Here's the article I pulled from the Consumer Reports archives for your perusal:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/05/made-in-america/index.htm



By Mark 2nd 29 Jun, 2017

Greetings Everyone,

I was at a recent gathering/retreat which, among other things, included participation in a "focus group/path group." Mine was based in Earth Marriage and in it, all participants wrote out and shared their "vows" as they relate to their connection to our planet.

Some of mine included the following:

Carrying out my organizing work as if the planet earth mattered.

Living simply so that others may simply live.

To strive to eat less processed foods and eat MORE foods that are healthier for me.

To expand my ability to generously share what I have with others, especially those in need.

To continue to live on my personal "edges" and stay courageous.

What sort of vows, if any, do you make to yourself? To others? To life?

By Mark 2nd 22 Jun, 2017
While working with friends in California, I happened across a small magazine The Ruralite. In it was an article about thrifty living (something I've been doing for years). I'd thought I would share it with you here. I know I've discussed various ways to live more sustainably and lightly on the earth, but this article points the way towards living large ... on less!  Read on here:

https://www.ruralite.org/savebig/

By Mark 2nd 01 Jun, 2017
I get the Bee News, which is a Southeast Portland monthly newspaper that reports on many happenings in various neighborhoods.  In the May 2017 edition, I happened upon a full-page ad informing readers of the problems home demolitions.  To see more, look here: www.ihearteastmoreland.org .  There are homeowners wanting to move forward and creating an Historic District, which, in their view, would put a crimp in the growing number of home demolitions.

While cycling around the Eastmoreland neighbhood (south of Reed College, near my home), I've also spied upon "count-er-signs, that reference something along the lines of ... "My Home, My Dream..." Some other neighbors are protesting the Historic District/Neighborhood process.  Their complaints relate to costs, little or no greater home appreciation, added bureaucracy, etc.  See this website for more information:  http://www.keepeastmorelandfree.org/impacts .

Personally, I feel how money works in our society (and, locally, Portland and its many neighborhoods), incentivizes profit at any price.  This translates to lots of money being made by, largely, developers, who have been driving the city's redevelopment over the past several years.

What's your take on what's happening to this city's changes unfolding before us?  

By Mark 2nd 11 May, 2017
I came across an interesting article on the impact of plastics on our coastlines (and not just in the U.S.) in AAA's Via Magazine.  In Oregon, the Portland-based non-profit organizes twice-yearly beach clean-ups, often involving hundreds of volunteers who scour the beaches/coastline for trash.  Additionally, there are efforts afoot to clean up microplastics.  Breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, microplastics endanger all forms of marine life.  To read more, check out the article below:

https://www.viamagazine.com/outdoors/how-save-beach


By Mark 2nd 04 May, 2017
In the past several years, Portland has seen a rising number of home demolitions as developers build larger homes (in my view, some do not fit with the character of many neighborhoods, but that's my opinion!).  But the city got smart and, last summer, passed an ordinance requiring developers to salvage/deconstruct any house built in 1916 or earlier.  

The care, quality of materials, well, everything about these graceful homes should NOT suffer the fate of the commonplace "crunch and dump" process that many demolished homes face.  Instead, places like the ReBuilding Center, will be repositories of hard-to-find materials that wise homeowners can use/integrate into their homes...older and newer!

The new law will ensure those old/older houses will be deconstructed by hand, creating much-needed deconstruction jobs/careers.  A huge plus: the ordinance keeps demolition waste to a minimum, while  creating many benefits to the environment, economy and the community!

Read more about the deconstruction law here: 

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/70643

By Mark 2nd 20 Apr, 2017
It never fails...some people cleaning out their medicine cabinets and bathrooms are tempted to just trash or flush their unused medicines down the toilet.  NO!  Never do this!  Aside from essentially poisoning water resources and all life contained in it, there's the risk of someone picking through your trash bin and taking those unused - and mostly dangerous - medications.

Instead...Check for local take-back centers at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html

The next take-back day happens next Saturday, April 29th from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
By Mark 2nd 07 Mar, 2017

I was reading a copy of the Portland Tribune and came across this interesting article about developer Carl Coffman's interest in creatively reusing shipping containers. He's exploring using these containers for housing. Now, that's what I call "out-of-the-box" thinking! The above image is an example of a creatively-reused shipping container I found on Google Images.  For more information about Coffman's project, read on here:

http://portlandtribune.com/…/345184-224009-shipping-contain…

By Mark 2nd 23 Feb, 2017
Gotta hand it to Portland (Oregon, that is ;  )  ...  The City of Portland's Office of Neighborhood involvement and the Portland Police Bureau team up to sponsor a semi-annual event that gives peace of mind for citizens wanting to get rid of unused/old medications and unwanted paperwork that contains confidential information.  

The October 2016 event, for instance, saw over 7,000 pounds of documents destroyed and nearly 500 pounds of medications taken in for incineration.

Additionally, donations of food and clothing were brought in by neighbors participating in this event.

All of this is a win-win-win-win!  

Below is the URL for last October's event:

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/68659

For those not in Portland, what are your towns and cities offering along the lines of this wonderful event?  

By Mark 2nd 04 Feb, 2017
A while ago, some environmentally-active youth from my synagogue handed out materials addressing the growing problem of food waste and how to prevent it (well, reduce it, anyway!).  There was an "Eat Smart, Waste Less Challenge" that involved signing up and pledging to get conscious around the matter of assessing how much edible but uneaten food a person throws out.

From the World Food Day USA website:

http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/food_waste_the_facts

Locally, here is an organization involving Washington County, Beaverton and Gresham:

http://www.eatsmartwasteless.com/

Globally, food waste is a problem, too.  Evidently, almost a third of all food is wasted.  This is so needless, in my view.  See the URL below for more information: 

http://www.wri.org/publication/reducing-food-loss-and-waste

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Inspiration from my Heart to Yours

By Mark 2nd 17 Jul, 2017
"Made in America"...those three words still strike a chord in many USA'nians.  Often reflecting high standards, good jobs and outstanding quality...does the "Made in America" label still mean or stand for something...or not?  

Personally, I've seen labels that mention something like: "Engineered in the U.S.," or "Designed in the U.S.; assembled in..."China," "Mexico," etc...

There are many products still made in the U.S. but then again, things get blurry when some/most components come from lands far from the U.S.  Seems many products, even with roots in the U.S. are, at best, a mix of components that come from around the world.

Then again, there's the matter of increasing automation, even here in the U.S. which translates to fewer workers.  But then robots and machines don't "need" anything but workers sure do.

I came across an interesting and provocative article through a Consumer Reports magazine dating back a couple of years that got me thinking about U.S. manufacturing, so...

Here's the article I pulled from the Consumer Reports archives for your perusal:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/05/made-in-america/index.htm



By Mark 2nd 29 Jun, 2017

Greetings Everyone,

I was at a recent gathering/retreat which, among other things, included participation in a "focus group/path group." Mine was based in Earth Marriage and in it, all participants wrote out and shared their "vows" as they relate to their connection to our planet.

Some of mine included the following:

Carrying out my organizing work as if the planet earth mattered.

Living simply so that others may simply live.

To strive to eat less processed foods and eat MORE foods that are healthier for me.

To expand my ability to generously share what I have with others, especially those in need.

To continue to live on my personal "edges" and stay courageous.

What sort of vows, if any, do you make to yourself? To others? To life?

By Mark 2nd 22 Jun, 2017
While working with friends in California, I happened across a small magazine The Ruralite. In it was an article about thrifty living (something I've been doing for years). I'd thought I would share it with you here. I know I've discussed various ways to live more sustainably and lightly on the earth, but this article points the way towards living large ... on less!  Read on here:

https://www.ruralite.org/savebig/

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