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“When we dare to face the cruel social and ecological realities we have been accustomed to, courage is born and powers within us are liberated to reimagine and even, perhaps one day, rebuild a world."
Welcome to all new subscribers and thank you to each of you that chose a paying subscription. Thank you for supporting my work!
What do you think of the quote in the header, by Joanna Macy? I found it very powerful, as it’s difficult for me to accept my hand in the current state of things: overfilled landfills, plastic waste, etc. Every day, I try to do better.
I’ll continue to share all the ways each of us can help to make our communities healthier, as well as the planet at large.
#1- Indoor Air Pollution
-be aware or beware-
I love incense, such as desert piñon, and also candles. Whenever I light an incense stick, I most often do it outdoors, and let the scent drift in through an open door or window. When lighting candles, especially scented ones, I prefer to have a window open to provide proper ventilation.
I do this because I’m trying to avoid indoor air pollution created by incense or candle smoke.
Any product that can be lit and burned, is associated with indoor air pollution, from incense sticks, resins, Palo Santo sticks and candles.
Clean air is a basic requirement of life and hazardous substances produced from human activities indoors, such as tobacco smoking, cooking or burning incense, can lead to a broad range of health problems. It is estimated that people spend up to 90 per cent of their time indoors, particularly young children, women and elders. The health impact of indoor air pollution is a growing area of interest for public health professionals.
Source of info
(Disclosure: this piece includes affiliate links)
Boyan Slat (27 July 1994) is a Dutch inventor and entrepreneur, passionate about creating megaprojects to address planetary problems. He is the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup; a non-profit organization developing and scaling technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The organization aims to put itself out of business, with the goal of removing 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040.
As featured in my previous Almanac Newsletter in October 2014 when he launched the first iteration of The Ocean Cleanup, as of August 2022, The Ocean Cleanup has announced the first 100,000 kg of plastics have been removed from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Great news!
The past October, The Ocean Cleanup’s pilot project Trash Interceptor 007, was officially launched in Ballona Creek (Los Angeles), in an area where the creek meets the ocean, a prime location for stopping trash from reaching the ocean. The Trash Interceptor 007 is a fully automated, solar-powered trash collection device and is the first of its kind to be deployed anywhere in North America.
The Interceptor is The Ocean Cleanup’s answer to river plastic waste. It is the first scalable solution to prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans from rivers," said The Ocean Cleanup’s Boyan Slat. "This pilot project presents an ideal opportunity to test a global solution for automated trash collection by collecting real-world data on Interceptor 007’s effectiveness at the center of the California coastline, home to some of the world’s most iconic beaches."
The Ocean Cleanup has deployed Interceptor Solutions in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Guatemala, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic as part of its river initiative, with the goal of implementing 1,000 river systems.
Plastic waste is a scourge on the planet and I’m grateful beyond words for the work that Boyan Slat is doing. Wishing him huge success with all his inventions!
Watch video of how plastic is collected from the ocean:
Find out here what an Eel trap is:
#3- New Eco Channel Launching in 2023!
-a television with a difference-
Expected to launch in 2023, 3ec-TV, is the only independent international bilingual (English-French) television channel.
3ec-TV is an innovative generalist television channel with a humanistic vision and ecology-oriented, which collaborates with recognized institutions and NGOs, and supported by committed personalities around the world.
3ec-TV encourages freedom of expression and gives voice to a young generation of journalists who care about the Planet.
3ec-TV is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
(3ec-TV is being set up in France, broadcast: internet, cable, satellite).
Involved in 3ec-TV are Yann Arthus-Betrand, French photographer, journalist, reporter, film director and environmentalist, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, and Founder and President of the 'GoodPlanet', France (featured in Newsletters 14 & 15); my friend Dr. Jane Goodall, British ethologist and environmental activist, UN Messenger of Peace and Founder of the 'Jane Goodall Institute' worldwide and my old friend, British actor and nature lover Julian Sands, winner of the 'World Tolerance Award', who shares his passion for preserving the Planet with the 'Global Green' USA and the 'Turtle Conservancy.’
I’m excited about this! I’ve been hoping someone would create a channel devoted to the environment, the planet and the diverse people that have stories to tell.
To learn more about 3ec-TV, click here
#4- Nature of the Book
-a show to see in Washington D.C.-
The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives presents a new exhibition, “Nature of the Book,” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, opening November 11. “Nature of the Book” will be on display through March 17, 2024. Visitors around the world are invited to join a free, virtual tour on Tuesday, November 15th (info at the end of this piece).
What makes a book? Throughout history, books were handwritten, printed, bound and decorated using a wide variety of materials from the natural world. From leather coverings and paper derived from plants to mineral pigments and innovative recipes for inks, the early book was a combination of natural materials in the hands of skilled artisans. Influenced by the scarcity and abundance of commodities, global trade and economics, thrift and fashion, books could vary greatly in terms of materials, construction and purpose.
“Nature of the Book” explores books of the hand-press era (from the use of moveable type in Europe in about 1450 to the rise of mechanization in the 19th century) through the myriad natural materials—animal, vegetable and mineral—that went into their making. From essential ingredients like flax, leather, copper and lead, to the unexpected, like wasps and seaweed, the exhibition shows what the use of these materials can tell people about the book, touching on questions of use, process, global trade and economy.
Did you know that the paperwasp’s habits of chewing wood fiber to create pulp for nests would eventually inspire the development of wood pulp paper in the 1800s.
“‘Nature of the Book’ delves into the material components of books from the expected, such as parchment, paper and leather, to the unexpected including semi-precious gems, arsenic and cochineal insects,” said Katie Wagner, senior book conservator at Smithsonian Libraries and Archives and co-curator of “Nature of the Book.” “This exhibition appeals to newcomers to the topic as well as to bibliophiles.”
To register for the free tour via zoom, on November 15th at 6pm ET, click here
#5-Toxins to Avoid
PVC, aka vinyl, are consistently among the worst materials for human health impacts. Also, lead used to be added to PVC to improve workability and stability and has been shown to leach into drinking water from PVC pipes.
Some promising news: Instead of dumping PVC in overfilled landfills, and leaching more toxins into the soil, some dumps are using the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus which degrades plasticized PVC, absorbing all its toxins.
PBDE’s are a class of flame retardants. In recent years, PBDEs have generated international concern over their widespread distribution in the environment, their potential to bioaccumulate in humans and wildlife, and their suspected adverse human health effects.
Avoid products made with flame retardants.
DEHP belongs to a family of chemicals called phthalates, which are added to some plastics to make them flexible. Phthalates are a series of widely used chemicals that demonstrate to be endocrine disruptors and are detrimental to human health.
Avoid products that contain phthalates
Stands for bisphenol A, and is found in polycarbonate plastics which are used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles and are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines.
Exposure to BPA is a concern because of the possible health effects on the brain and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. Additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Use BPA-free products and store food in glass containers.
#6- Lucian Freud and his Cyclamens
Did you know Lucian Freud painted a cyclamen mural in a private bathroom at Chatsworth House?
Source: Garden Museum:
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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See you soon again,
All the best,
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