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One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken ~ Leo Tolstoy
Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter and 23rd love letter to nature and a big welcome to all new subscribers. I hope you enjoy reading my newsletters as much as I do in writing them. This issue features some of my favorite topics: gardening, eco wrapping gifts, raising awareness about people working to heal the planet as well as a proposition by two friends who have a new take on how to reduce the use of plastics. Onwards!
#1-Plant a Front Garden
Five years ago, when I moved to the Hudson Valley and was barely settled in my new house, I started looking for the best spot to start a vegetable garden. The criteria was as follows: it needed to get at least 8 hours of sun, be close to the house, be close to a water source/outdoor faucet, not block the view to the meadow beyond and be close enough to the road so that hopefully, people walking by would be able to chat with me (assuming of course that they would be curious in the first place about what I was up to!). Honestly, I didn’t realize what an important decision it was, having the garden viewable from the road, rather than hidden from view in another location.
Just beyond that patch of grass in the back, is the road I live on.
Apparently, the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) feels that front gardens are more important than back gardens, as it can combat loneliness. At a recent Chelsea Flower Show in London, the RHS has claimed that tending your front garden, rather than the back, can help improve mental health and reduce loneliness, as the location is said to be optimal for interaction.
Gardening at the front of your house rather than the back forces you into conversations with neighbors and creates a friendlier community whilst being in the front of your garden gives you an excuse to meet people, be a social hub and help you to connect with your neighbors.
This one couldn’t be closer to the road.
A garden is one of those things that can give people purpose and hope. Loneliness is a reality for all too many people. Some people can go days, weeks and months without talking to friends and family. People suffer alone, and this can lead to serious health issues.
“We passionately believe gardening is good for mental health and want to encourage people to join local gardening groups, garden with neighbors, or volunteer in gardens in order to boost their wellbeing and confidence,” said Sue Biggs, RHS director general.
Source: The Daily Telegraph
#2- My Eco Wrapping
As the holidays are upon us, and wrapping gifts is in full swing this month, I thought I should share some of the ways I have eco-wrapped gifts over the years to my ever suffering loved ones, who think back wistfully to the days long ago when I used conventional wrapping.
Did you know that according to the EPA, we generate 25% more trash during the holidays, so the goal is to limit the amount of waste we are creating.
Here are some ideas…
Decorate packing paper and using twine as ribbon.
Use an old box, with a handwritten heartfelt letter inside. Where is that box... I need to use it again…
I hid a gift certificate inside the shredded paper-filled jar.
Wrap a soft gift in a reusable kitchen towel, or napkin, using reusable/reused ribbon.
I hid a small gift inside this walnut shell. Most likely a gift certificate or love note.
A reusable cloth produce bag is a great gift in itself.
I used shipping paper, and sewed the edges.
I used a pretty tear sheet from a magazine, kitchen twine and rosemary from the garden.
Packing paper, stencil, reused ribbon, and reused decorative leaves.
#3- The Earthshot Prize
The Earthshot Prize is a global challenge based on five Earthshots –protect and restore nature; clean our air; revive our oceans; build a waste free world and fix our climate - ambitious goals for 2030 to fix our biggest environmental problems. The Earthshot Prize is the most prestigious global environment prize in history, designed to incentivize change and help repair our planet over the next ten years.
Each year for the next decade, five solutions will be awarded 1million dollars and the accolade of becoming one of only 50 winners of The Earthshot Prize. Becoming a winner of The Earthshot Prize affords them access to a global platform and profile with their stories being showcased the world over.
The winners receive ongoing support, to ensure that their moment doesn’t end with winning The Earthshot Prize, but takes them on a journey that will see their solutions be adopted and scaled to drive the impact we know they can have on our planet.
One of the 2021’s winners, is Milan, which won the prize for A Waste Free World: The City of Milan’s Food Waste Hubs. Milan is the first major city to enforce a city-wide food waste policy encompassing public agencies, food banks, charities, NGOs, universities and private businesses. And it is working. Today the city has three Food Waste Hubs, each recovering about 130 tonnes of food per year or 350 kg per day, an estimated 260,000 meals equivalent.
Watch a trailer about the 15 finalists:
Taking place in Boston on Friday December 2nd, the Awards ceremony will be available to watch around the world from Sunday December 4th.
#4- The Begley-Cohen Test
Things are desperate regarding plastic waste. To try and eradicate the scourge of plastic bottles, my old friends Ed Begley Jr and Dianna Cohen have come up with a way to hold Hollywood content creators accountable. Read on….
Is your favorite TV show, movie, or other entertainment media doing the work to address the plastic pollution crisis? Most folks don’t tune in to count the number of single-use plastics they spot during their latest binge watch or movie night. That’s why Plastic Pollution Coalition has created a simple test to apply to film and television to help you easily tell if on-screen entertainment is taking steps to Flip the Script on Plastics.
The Begley-Cohen Test is designed to help audiences quickly assess the representation and prevalence of single-use plastic within the content they consume.
Watch them explain The Begley-Cohen test:
A film or TV show passes The Begley-Cohen Test if…
(1) No single-use plastics appear on screen (i.e., the film/show is set in a time with no plastic, or plastics are replaced with refillable, reusable, or package-free options), or…
(2) If a single-use plastic item appears on screen, it is portrayed or discussed as problematic.
The Begley-Cohen Test is intended to help you simply and quickly identify if the movie, show, or other media you’re watching portrays the world free of plastic pollution that we are working to create.
Some movies and shows will pass the test by premise alone. Recent films like The Northman or Persuasion automatically pass simply because they are set in a time before plastic.
So, next time you sit down to watch a TV show, movie, or other on-screen entertainment, ask yourself, am I seeing plastic in this storyline? And if so, are the characters treating it as a problem, or simply letting it become another piece of trash in the massive pile of worldwide plastic pollution?
“With The Begley-Cohen Test, we are providing a tool for audiences and content creators to recognize, imagine, create, and implement a world without plastic pollution. Together we are shifting popular culture to change the perception of toxic throwaway plastic as being normal—because it’s not.” ~Dianna Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition
Learn more about the Flip the Script on Plastics here, and let us know what content you’re consuming that passes The Begley-Cohen Test by posting screenshots or just tell us what you’re seeing and tag it using #FlipTheScriptOnPlastics via Instagram.
In case you missed the video that actor Jeff Bridges made a few years ago about plastic waste, you can watch it here:
#5-The latest George Monbiot
In case you missed George Monbiot’s latest newsletter, click here to read it. I found it an interesting read, in particular about the ReBoot Food Campaign and precision fermentation. Hope you do as well. Let me know your thoughts by messaging me via this newsletter.
#6- Cardboard Dad
- a.k.a the card bard -
This story reminded me of the cardboard I save and repurpose. I’m happy that I’m not alone in doing this!
A few years after Samuel J Wilde graduated with an MA in Set and Costume Design at Bristol Old Vic, U.K., he was a dad who wanted to encourage his child to be creative and to care for the planet, and he also wanted to be able to give her things. The answer to all of these was to make. So, Sam set about making a play boat from the discarded cardboard he found in his neighborhood. “It was simply the best thing I’ve ever done.”
After two Christmas shows at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre; a mechanized New Year window display for Fortnum and Mason; his hit cardboard show, I Want My Hat Back, receiving over 500,000 views and being cited one of the ‘best shows of lockdown’ in The Stage, The Guardian, and The New York Times; and Sam listed as one of 2021’s 100 most influential people in theatre, his mastery of all things cardboard has earned him the moniker, the Card Bard.
His work is made entirely from recycled cardboard, at minimal cost. Sam sees cardboard as textile, and took his inspiration from his wife, a seamstress. “Every design starts with a pattern,” he says. Earlier this year, after watching his wife sew a pair of trousers, Sam began retailing his patterns online. His ambition is to create a library of patterns for other parents and makers to access. And he’s passionate about encouraging creativity in children. He is currently planning a similar making experience, based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
Click here to access The Card Bard’s website
See you again in two weeks! Hope you and your loved ones stay well in all ways.
and…if you find yourself in my neck of the woods, near Hudson, New York, please stop by The Rabbit Hole, my tiny shop. Let me know if you can by emailing me at email@example.com or via The Rabbit Hole’s Instagram page. Most of the items in The Rabbit Hole are also available in my online store www.priscillawoolworth.com.
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All the best,
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