Tag Archives: Blog Post 6

It’s Time to Stop Plastic Waste.

The pollution of plastics is a growing concern.

Laura Parker states the following facts in this article “The world’s plastic pollution crisis explained” published in National Geographic:

The manufacturing of half of all the world’s plastics has occurred within the last 15 years. From the years 1950 to 2015, the production of plastics has increased by 445 million tons. This production is expected to DOUBLE in amount by 2050. Parker claims, “That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.” Additives added to make the plastics product more flexible and durable also extend the life of the products, taking at least 400 years to break down.

Parker states that 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the ocean each year.

Plastic pollution is harmful and deadly to marine life.

Due to plastic pollution, millions of animals are killed every year. The animals effected are: seabirds, fish, marine turtles, large cetaceans, seals, whales, and even zooplankton.

Ingestion of plastics, entanglement, and strangulation by plastics are common ways marine animals suffer and/or die from the pollution.

“Marine Debris on Kure Atoll” by USFWS Pacific is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Solution

Scientists and conservationists state the solution of plastic pollution is to PREVENT plastic waste from entering rivers and seas in the first place. Laura Parker continues in the National Geographic article that prevention “could be accomplished with improved waste management systems and recycling, better product design that takes into account the short life of disposable packaging, and reduction in the manufacturing of unnecessary single-use plastics”. In Britannica, Charles Moore offers another preventative solution in the article “Plastic Pollution” which involves prohibitive measures such as fines for littering and bans on single-use plastics. Moore advocates for the increase of biodegradable plastics and the embracing of a “zero waste” philosophy.

It’s Time to Demand the End of Plastic Pollution

The environmental organization of Green Peace is declaring that major corporations must take responsibility for the solution. Major corporations must not exceed its current plastic waste production, set reduction target dates, and invest in reusable systems.

Green Peace is a leader in the Reuse Revolution, and it is time for us to join them.

Image from breakfreefromplastic.org

Add your name to the “Break Free From Plastic” campaign to help stop plastic pollution.

Sign the petition now.



Distractions While Driving

Did you know that distracted driving kills approximately 9 individuals each and every day?

  • Other people’s/ children
  • Pets / animals
  • Taking hands off the wheel
  • Eyes wandering
  • Usage of electronics

In the world we live in now, it’s easy to get distracted especially while driving. From texting and
driving and eyes wandering across the street and you driving into a pole. There are 3 main
types of distractions while driving that can all lead to a car accident or injuries to you and other
passengers/ pedestrians . First one is visual- taking your eyes off the road to text back or use
your GPS. Second is manual- taking your hands off the wheel to reach for something. Lastly is
cognitive- your mind spacing out somewhere else to the point you forget your driving. Statistics
show younger drivers tend to email/text while driving as they are leading in distracted driving

Ways to prevent distracted driving

  • Avoid phone usage completely- have an idea or know your route
  • Speak up if your another passenger in the car.
  • Avoid eating or doing tasks while driving
  • Have everything arraigned before putting the car in drive gear

Arrive alive, don’t text and drive

Positive Vibes Only

I don’t care for that saying, positive vibes only. We’re humans and should be allowed and even encouraged to bring our whole selves to the table. There will be times in life when things are rough. Look at 2020. This has been a very challenging year for the majority of us. Even people that are doing well and surviving are still going through the mental stress of our new way of living. Whenever I find myself complaining and spiraling into a negative conversation with someone, I try to bring of something I am grateful for. I also try and do this when I’m alone and catch myself in a string of negative thoughts. Listing off several things that I am grateful for even if they are experiences that I have had previously in life, like places I traveled to or my beloved pet who passed a few years ago. Being grateful for the experience counts.

I first learned about the technique of using gratitude from where I work. My employer implemented an entire program by Senn Delaney which included in part a book by Larry E. Senn called  The Mood Elevator. The premise is that we all ride a mood elevator every day of our lives. There is a whole list of emotions from top to bottom with the middle being ‘curious’. It’s so interesting to me that curious is in the middle. I really love that he uses that emotion to be the one to reach up to when you are feeling irritated, judgmental, angry, stressed, worried. Moving from any one of those feelings to curious isn’t as much of a stretch as it would be to jump all the way up to flexible, hopeful, patient or grateful. Curious is doable.

The next time you are irritable or stressed try thinking of a few things you are grateful for and then look back to your current situation and try and get curious about it. Instead of thinking that coworker is denying my request to do their normal task to intentionally piss me off. Try assuming positive intent that your coworker isn’t out to get you intentionally and is doing the best they can from where they are in life. Then get curious about why they did what they did. Why could they possibly have denied your request.

There will be days that are easier than others I’ve found. Sometimes you just have to feel like a grouch all day and get it out. But every day is a fresh start and you can have a fresh start any time if you wish. Never judge a day by its morning someone once told me. Using the tool of the mood elevator and incorporating gratitude into my day when needed has made life more manageable and me happier.

Distance Learning

I work as a teaching assistant at an elementary school in Saint Paul. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, schools had to be moved completely online. So now we are doing distance learning. As a student myself, I understand how difficult this must be for younger students who are in elementary, middle, and high school. This is a scary time for all of us, for them and their families. I’ve only been working as a TA for 6 months now and I truly miss working in the classrooms. I miss being around my students and being able to help them with their needs right away. Now everything is different. I’m not gonna lie, this whole distance learning thing is very difficult and confusing. Luckily the MN department of education is giving support to educators on distance learning and giving them the resources they need to help their students, “Schools are community hubs for children and families. School closures put burdens on children and families and disproportionately impact communities of color, as well as indigenous, immigrant, low-income families and communities, and students with disabilities and their families. Throughout the distance learning period, MDE continually assessed the efficacy of the programming and services, issued additional guidance when necessary, and determined a need for additional supports for our most underserved students and families as well as students whose education may require limited on-site services”. I’m glad with Saint Paul Public Schools, everyone is working hard to make sure students and their families get the help they need and deserve and staff are getting the resources to provide for their students. Of course distance learning doesn’t work for everyone and as teachers there’s only so much you can do for students. I hope by the fall schools will be able open back up and I can see my students bright faces again. I know they miss being at school too.

link: https://education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/health/covid19/

Let’s fight STRESS together.

Life is stressful period. It can be bad stress or even good stress, the matter is it’s stress. Stress can cause issues for individuals of all size, age, and even mental stability. Stress is there.

According to research, stress has been on the high when it comes down to finance problem, divorce, and even social media. Stress can occur in small dosage, but with the amount of time you feel stress, it accrues. With too much stress, one can cause chronic pain or fatigue.

Stress does not just cause pain, but weight gain as well. According to sources, stress can trigger hormone, belly fat, anxiety, craving, and less sleep. Hormone is when one triggers the alert within the brain, caused by the fight or flight. This releases high adrenaline to stay in action. But, once the feel wears off, the body sends an alert to replenish the body. This causes one to overeat and drink.

Belly fat causes fat inflammation with the excess belly fat. This excess cortisol causes slow down of metabolism and for fat to build. The stress of this is do to mental and physical exhaustion.

Anxiety is caused by emotional eating. This is caused by one fidgeting and not being able to control their temptation. Having a strong anxiety can cause someone to stress, with that comes overeating and high adrenaline.

Craving is related to stress through comfort food. When someone is stress, they rely on a specific food to calm down. Most would eat fast food or carbs, because carbs were known to make people happy. But, carbs build high calories and sugar.

Less sleep is caused by stress with overthinking. This can cause someone to binge eat during the knight. But, with slower metabolism, foods are stored and turns to fat. This can cause weight gain and lack of rest.

Stress is there. But, stress can also be control as well. Some method to stay stress free is to exercise. Exercising allows one to release any negative thoughts and peer pressure. Weight lifting is a plus, because it gives people the leverage to drain that stress. Meaning if you’re short temper and need to release that anger, weight lifting can help control it.

Meditation is another stress reliever, because it trains breathing techniques, mindless thoughts, and relaxation. Meditation combine with yoga gives people an internal and external workout. It can also benefit people with quietness and stress relieving therapy.

Last is to be positive, because that conquers all on a daily base. Just thinking positive can benefit individuals thought process and turnout. It helps control the weight, the stress, and the relationship with people around you. So be positive daily and when stress kicks in, fight it with deep breathing and a positive outlook.

What is meditation

I am sure you have heard how awesome meditation is and how it changes your mood and overall health, but does it really change your brain? To answer this question, we need to define what meditation and what action is should be considered meditation. If crossing your legs bare footed and closing your eyes is comes to your mind, I suggest you consider your definition of meditation. This is because I have tried crossing my legs to relax to my body and brain countless times and never satisfied once, however, when I do body movement such as stretching (yoga), cycling and so on my brain and body changes. I sleep more and have more energy throughout day. I am not sure exactly why crossing my legs and closing my eyes never worked for and I am sure there are people out there who enjoy crossing legs and consider as meditation. The idea is to find something that works for you and start meditating

Taking Back Twerking

For many Americans, saying the word “twerk” conjures up images of rap videos where scantily-clad gyrate their hips while bent over a blinged-out Cadillac Escalade. Twerking is seen as sexual, incredibly controversial and even scandalous. Just look at the astonished reaction that Miley Cyrus’ surprise twerk session at the VMA Awards in 2013. For a lot of white Americans, this was their first encounter with what appeared to be a lewd, almost primitive form of dancing.
This is sad and frustrating to me as a native Islander. Long before white celebs like Miley hijacked it to cause a stir, the act that Americans call “twerking” was a simple form of dancing, an expression of passion, a cultural movement. Growing up in Haiti, we didn’t call it twerking — we called it dance. It wasn’t scandalous — it was just moving our bodies in celebration of all the good things of life.
I vividly remember a day after my family moved to the U.S. from Haiti. I had grown up with the beautiful dances of the islands, which I carried back with me to the states. I had been dancing as I always had in front of some American family friends. Their scornful looks of disgust still burn in my mind. “Why does such an innocent little girl like her dance like that?” they asked my parents.
To me, I see this as a conflict between cultural norms. In Afro-centric cultures like the Caribbean, we value physical freedom of expression, including moving our bodies as a means of celebration. In the U.S., there is still a puritan abhorrence of anything that can be interpreted as being overtly sexual. The rap artists who have plastered our minds with images of women twerking are partially at fault for this. They’ve taken something pure and wholesome and turned it into a precursor to sex. But that’s never what it was supposed to be — it was simply an expression of joy.
Ladies, it’s time to take back our twerking.

Toucan Love

It’s Sunday night and I am WAY distracted. I have a list of things to do however my fingers found their way to the laptop and “a googling” they went. One thing led to another and BOOM!! the most AMAZING earrings appeared in front of my face!!

Let me tell you a little bit about me and fashion. I have NO sense of fashion. When I am getting ready for the day, I have one rule…..”You touch it, you wear it”. Meaning if I pull it off the hanger, it goes on me, not the floor or back on the hanger. Why? Simple, I spent too much time worrying about what to wear and how I looked. Don’t get me wrong, I care about my looks, but I got stuck in a vicious cycle of wearing the same things while new things and old favorites sat on the hanger. I needed to change it up a bit and that one rule has made all the difference!!

Continue reading Toucan Love