The Holiday Plastic Conundrum, plus Holiday Astrology with Charlotte Ghiorse, Sexy Astrologist

There is a famous quote in the movie The Graduate which is given to Benjamin Braddock by Mr. McGuire as he approaches Benjamin at a party to give him life some advice. Here is the dialogue:

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

When Walter Brooke, as Mr. McGuire, spoke those words to Dustin Hoffman in his legendary role as Benjamin Braddock in the classic film The Graduate, audiences would not have known just how enduring the future of plastics would be. Since 1976, plastics have been the most used material in the United States and will most likely continue to be used in many years to follow. While it seemed that Mr. McGuire gave good advice to Benjamin at the time, companies have made billions of dollars in the plastic industry, and we are now inundated with plastic in the water, land and air, and it is even in our bloodstream. According to Stanford University, the average US household throws out 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year’s than the rest of the year. Much of this is wrapping paper, often made with plastic films or glitter that make it impossible to recycle. Then there are the gifts themselves, especially for kids. So many toys are made of plastic! For many people, this plastic exchange takes place under a plastic tree. Plastic’s carbon footprint continues to expand as raw materials are manufactured into products, shipped all over, and eventually disposed of. So what can we do to reduce our trash and our plastic use since almost everything we buy as gifts, from toys and clothes to electronics contain plastic? So as the holiday season kicks off,  we get some insight into the plastic conundrum and also get a holiday astrology update with our resident eco-activist, artist and Sexy Astrologist Charlotte Ghiorse. For more info go to houseofchoclet.com, follow Charlotte on her Facebook page Sexy Astrology. For more shows go to HudsonRiverRadio.com and MalcolmPresents.com. Follow TMSOG on Instagram and Threads @tmshadesofgreen. Subscribe to The Many Shades of Green podcast on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, iHeart and more. #RaiseYourEcoConsciousness

The Dangers of Lawn Pesticides

“A Who’s Who of pesticides is therefore of concern to us all. If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones — we had better know something about their nature and their power.” Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson is known as the woman who challenged the notion that humans could obtain mastery over nature by using chemicals. Her sensational book Silent Spring (1962) warned of the dangers to all natural systems from the misuse of chemical pesticides such as DDT, and questioned the scope and direction of modern science, which would lead to the initiation of the contemporary environmental movement. I don’t think that Rachel would be happy with today’s overuse of pesticide chemicals in lawn treatment, which threaten native flowers and grasses by harming beneficial pollinating insects as well as wildlife, our dogs and cats and yes, us humans. Of 40 most commonly used lawn pesticides, 26 are linked with cancer or carcinogenicity, 12 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 32 with liver or kidney damage, 24 with neurotoxicity, and 24 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system. Of those same 40 lawn pesticides, 21 are detected in groundwater, 24 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 39 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 33 are toxic to bees, 18 are toxic to mammals, and 28 are toxic to birds. With numbers like this, the only logical question becomes: is this really necessary and what can we do to stop or prevent this kind of contamination, and what are the alternatives? Our resident wildlife, garden and habitat guru, Victoria Alzapiedi, co-founder of New Castle Healthy Yards, gives us some great info about pesticides and why we need to talk more about the risks of chemical use on our property. For more info go to beyondpesticides.org and follow New Castle Healthy Yards on Facebook. For past shows go to HudsonRiverRadio.com and Malcolmpresents.com. Please subscribe to TMSOG on all major podcast apps. #RaiseYourEcoConsciousness

Mothers Day in Retrograde, Mother X artwork, and some companies doing good!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and we celebrate all women on that day who are caregivers and providers who give of themselves with all their heart and soul. It is also important to celebrate the ultimate mother of us all, Mother Earth. We must be eco-conscious and think about what actions are needed to preserve Mother Nature, so perhaps Mother’s Day traditions can also make space for our collective Mother. In the astrological world, this year on April 21st, Mercury turned retrograde in Taurus, the earth sign that rules sensuality and our bodies. As it turns out, Mercury in Retrograde runs through Mother’s Day, and I am not sure what effect that will have on the moms of the world, all 2 billion of them, as they celebrate the day. What type of energy will wrap itself around moms and Mother Earth? 

It’s interesting to note that in the US, Mother’s Day actually began as a women’s movement to better the lives of Americans. Its origins spring from lifelong activists who championed efforts toward better health, welfare, and peace.  Mother Earth is a metaphor which  focuses on the nurturing and life-giving aspects of nature, and she is THE collective Mother. All mothers want a healthy, safe, clean and green planet so that current and future generations can thrive. As Mother’s Day endures and evolves, we continue to commemorate the many ways mothers have fought to better the lives of their children, from social welfare to non-violence to protecting the planet. On this episode, our resident astrologist, artist, mother of three awesome kiddos, film maker and voice for moms, Charlotte Ghiorse joins us to discuss Earth and Mother connections during this period of retrograde, as well as her Mother X art exhibits, various green subjects and more. For more info check out houseofchoclet.com and Sexy Astrologist on YouTube and Facebook. You can catch past shows on HudsonRiverRadio.com and MalcolmPresents.com #RaiseYourEcoConsciousness

Cornell Cooperative Regional Clean Energy Hub in the Hudson Valley

We all have to care, we all have to do our part to protect Mother Earth. With the recent IPCC report from the UN, which stated that we will pierce the 2 degree threshold for global warming within a decade, it is more important than ever that we take actions now on both local and global levels to reduce the impact of climate change and carbon emissions. Our local and state officials must lead the way to create programs that help communities, especially in underserved areas, to be proactive in reducing green house gas emissions and more. This includes making renewable energy more available and affordable, creating green jobs and educating the public on what must be done to get people involved in working to curtail the use of fossil fuels while encouraging the use of clean energy. On December 9, 2022 Governor Hochul announced $52 Million Dollars in Awards for Regional Clean Energy Hubs to Connect New York Communities with Clean Energy Resources. 12 Regional Clean Energy Hubs were created to serve as centers of outreach, awareness, and education in regions across New York State to help foster residents’ participation, especially those in underserved or otherwise disadvantaged communities, with respect to New York’s clean energy transition. The announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which is in place to deliver at least 35-40 percent of the benefits from clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, and help advance an equitable clean energy transition for all New Yorkers.  My guests on this episode are Frankie Lede and Amanda Catale who are working to put these important sustainability  programs into effect and are both stewards of Mother Earth.  Frankie and Amanda are Energy Resource Educators/Advisors with Cornell Cooperative Extension, who are working with the Energy Hub located in the Mid-Hudson Valley. For more info go to: https://midhudsonenergychoices.org/ SustainableWestchester: https://sustainablewestchester.org/energysmarthomes/Mid-Hudson Regional Energy Hub Workforce Development – New Yorkers for Clean Power: https://nyforcleanpower.org/

Are we all EcoSexuals? Guests Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens give us insight into the field of Ecosexolgy

In this episode, we will explore the Ecosexuality movement, a relatively new sexual identity which connects environmental activism based around nature, and promotes the idea of the earth as a lover. It invites people to treat the earth with love rather than see it as an infinite resource to exploit. It was founded by our guests, Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, who describe themselves as “two ecosexual artists-in-love”, whose manifesto is to make environmental activism “more sexy, fun, and diverse”. Their new book, is titled, Assuming the Ecosexual Position: The Earth as Lover. Annie and Beth give us insight about how they came together to collaborate on this latest work, how they took a stand against homophobia, xenophobia, and how this union led to the miraculous conception of the Love Art Laboratory.

Check out their new book Assuming the Ecosexual Position:The Earth As Lover
https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/collections/arts-humanities-2021
  and go to sprinklestephens.org to get more about the EcoSexual movement and films Water Makes Us Wet and Goodbye Gauley Mountain. For past shows go to hudsonriverradio.com and malcolmpresents.com. Follow us on FaceBook and Instagram, tweet us @tmshadesofgreen. A shout out to my Green Diva Sistas at thegreendivas.com

Listen to “Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens and The Eco Sexual Movement” on Spreaker.

Sustainable Swag with Gia Machlin founder of EcoPlum

Swag is a slang word that generally means to have or do something that is “cool”.  This term is often used to describe a person, but S.W.A.G also stands for Stuff We All Get, and generally describes give-aways such as samples or promotional items provided by companies at conventions or events. The ultimate SWAG is most likely the gift bag presented at the Oscars, which in 2018 exceeded $100,000. So let’s figure that we need to change the opulence of some swag, and provide companies who want to promote themselves or their products, with environmentally sourced, and eco-friendly manufactured products. Enter our guest this week, Gia Machlin, who started the company EcoPlum, which is paving the way to sustainable swag, and sells eco friendly promotional products to companies, universities and organizations. Gia  also started a non-profit called Sustainable Sisters, which connects women business owners with projects that help women and girls affected by climate change. For more info check out ecoplum.com. Tweet us @tmshadesofgreen, and check out more shows on hudsonriverradio.com and malcolmpresents.com, as well as thegreendivas.com.

Courtney on Health how food affects our mood

In this episode, Courtney explains how food affects our mind, our mood and our well being. Mind and body connect through what we eat. Find out how vitamins, herbs and minerals can help improve sleep and reduce stress. Also, there are good carbs that we can eat without guilt, as they do have a place in our diet. We need to include magnesium (pumpkin seed are a good source), as well as selenium, Omega 3FA, Kava root and more. Courtney touches on CBD, and explains how to decipher what foods and supplements are good. Here’s a question, why does James Bond like oysters? Tune in to find out. For more info check out Courtney on Instagram @clgwellness, tweet us @tmshadesofgreen, and listen and view more shows via malcolmpresents.com.

1813 Slow and Sustainable Fashion

1706 Sugar Detox Me with Summer Rayne Oakes

 

Plants, Bugs, Sugar Detox Me

On this episode of 50 Shades of Green Divas, Meg and I chat with guest Summer Rayne Oakes about how houseplants and beneficial bugs create a healthy environment in your home. Unless the plant is Seymour from The Little Shop of Horrors, plants are very important as natural air filters, as well as adding color and vibrancy to your house decor. We also talk about her new book Sugar Detox Me, and why it is important to reduce sugar in your diet. So think twice before you swig down that cola or eat that piece of pie. For more information go to homesteadbrooklyn.com and sugardetox.me

Women Farmers Turn Over the Land with Success

By Susan Lutz

The roles of farmers often seem to go to men. Perhaps rooting from generations of roll assignments – the men work the land, the women raise the children and support their husbands. My family’s roots stretch back to farming. I remember the stories of my grandmothers supporting their husbands, doing the chores, and feeding the family and the extra farm hands. Without these women, the farms wouldn’t run. As times change, the farm is changing, too.

Organic lifestyles are creating demands for less pesticides, more local crops, and food grown without GMOs. Farms used to rely on the next generation of children, usually the son, to step up and take over. As large corporations took over acres, they created a mass production and marketing system and small farms couldn’t compete. We watched family farms collapse in the ’80s. Today, women are finding ways to farm with new insight and success.

The US Department of Agriculture reports that, beginning in the 1980s, women farmers were the “fastest-growing sector of the country’s changing agricultural landscape” and they will continue to be well into the next 25 years. The number continues to rise and women farmers are gaining visibility. The economic challenge for farmers has shifted from the tradition of turning the farm over to their children, especially to the boys, to the unknown. Many families turn away from the farm for work, but today more girls and women are choosing to stay. Some enter farming for reasons such as wanting to raise children in the rural lifestyle while others may see it as a profitable way to live. Some simply want to promote organic living. Some women choose sustainable farming and some undertake a larger scale.

Where does a woman, either working alone or with a partner, turn for resources? The growing number of women farmers has created new opportunities in education, management, production, and financial resources. The Internet, blogging, and social media have opened up a new avenue of community to women farmers. With a quick click, any woman can look up how to attack a cucumber beetle without pesticides or when the best time to plant a certain crop is, and they can share stories and develop friendships with other farmers.

Women are taking back the earth. Not from men, but together as partners. My grandmother and grandfather left the farm even before the economy suffered. Over time they gravitated closer to factories and industries offering steady pay. I wonder, if the resources today were available to them, would they have had a chance to grow their farm and adapt with help rather than flee in the hopes of just staying alive and making ends meet. The organic movement is so important to so many women I know. One farm at a time, we may see the land and its caretakers turn over a whole new leaf.

 

1602: Slick Water

slick-water-andrew-nikifourkIt is no secret that mainstream media coverage of environmental issues is slow-moving, and many stories go un-reported in the press. Climate change deniers spout their ideology with reckless abandon. Enter my guest this week, Andrew Nikiforuk, an award winning environmental writer based in Calgary, Canada, who has written a new book about the hydraulic fracturing industry entitled Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry. The book traces the saga of Jessica Ernst, and the path she takes to hold Encana Oil and Canada’s environmental government agencies, responsible for secretly fracking hundreds of gas wells around her home, in a rural area northeast of Calgary. A cover-up ensues, which leads Ms. Ernst to take legal action against the various parties for their role in contaminating land, water and air in her community. For more information andrewnikiforuk.com and to amazon.com to check out his new and older works.

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Just One Word: Plastics

At times it feels we’re just doomed to suffer in the toxic choices of our every day lives.

By Susan Lutz

I snapped the glow stick. The green, fluorescent light lit the way – the kids on Halloween safer because of the glow. The plastic glass I bought for my son this summer had the Minions on it. If I put it in the freezer, it would keep the contents cold long through the summer day. At times, it feels as if everything is toxic; everything is plastic. At times it feels we’re just doomed to suffer in the toxic choices of our every day lives.

There isn’t a day that passes by that I don’t feel guilty about a dangerous, toxic, or bad-for-me product our family consumes or uses. We occasionally buy water in plastic bottles. I go to the grocery store and sometimes forget my cloth reusable bags. After a few weeks, I’m stunned at the pile of plastic bags in the corner. I dutifully recycle my paper, plastics, and metals, yet I know recycling isn’t a solution, just a band-aid to a bigger problem.

So many of our conveniences trace back to our love of plastics. I recently watched The Graduate again and was stunned by the accuracy and the irony of the iconic line said to Benjamin as he debated what to do with his future:

I want to say one word to you. Just one word…Plastics.

The benefits of plastics and many other chemically based products made in our society are far reaching. Medical, educational, and at-home use of plastics grew leaps and bounds: think bags for blood transfusions, the parts in computers, the covers on our phones, the stuff that holds pens together, the fibers in our clothes, and so on…..

How do we turn things around? Just passing the tetra boxes in the grocery store makes me sad. I wonder if it’s impossible to change the course we’re on. I can’t predict what we’ll do to our planet, and ourselves, but I can obtain peace of mind and enough good habits to overall lessen my carbon footprint and instead chip away at improving our lives and obtaining a better balance of our existence.

What if we all used plastics less than we did the day before? I reuse glass bottles as my daily water bottles when out and about. Though not perfect (they sometimes break!), I feel it’s a tiny step I want to take in reducing my own personal toxic footprint on the planet.

I forgive myself when I don’t make it – when I forget to recycle or when I buy face paint with lead in it for Halloween. (I threw it out and made a DIY face paint from zinc oxide and chlorophyll!). But more times than I fail, I succeed. I’ll remember next year how to make the green face paint. As the end of the year and the holiday rolls around, I’ll buy less. And I see wonderful strides in our community. I see vegetable trays at children’s gatherings and a lot less candy floating around. If we all bought plastic water bottles once in a while or used the same computer two extra years, we’d make a huge dent in reducing the toxicity in our environment.

Make choices knowing that they make a long, long impact on our planet. Now, there’s just one word we must think about. One word to take us to our new level: consciousness.