Hello Friends,

I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

Earth Day’s official celebration was on April 22, but what if we disregarded this date?  Why choose one particular day each year? Instead, let’s think about the earth every day of the year!  After all, isn’t every day, a day to celebrate and care for our beautiful world??!!

Earth Day began in 1970, and is now a global event celebrated in more than 193 countries!  This worldwide happening was established to demonstrate support for environmental protection. All people want to breathe clean air, eat food from healthy soil, drink safe water and live in a healthy climate.  “Protecting our planet is not just a scientific or political issue. It is a religious, spiritual imperative. We find this truth embodied in three core Jewish values.” (Reformjudaism.org)  In the article, “Judaism and Earth Day: Three Things to Remember,” Rabbi Evan Moffic explains three core values. “The first is captured in the phrase l’dor v’dor: the imperative that we pass our earth from “generation to generation.” “The second critical value is bal tashchit. In Hebrew that means, “do not destroy.” “The final critical value is shomrei adamah, which means “guardians of the earth.” Click here to read the entire article:  https://reformjudaism.org/beliefs-practices/social-justice-reform-judaism/judaism-and-earth-day-three-things-remember

Many of us want to do more and care for our planet, but don’t know where, or how to start. Here is the good news… You don’t have to be an environmental scientist to make a difference! In fact, each of us has the power to make a meaningful change. Today we will learn more about the simple, sometimes ordinary, ways we can each protect Mother Earth and celebrate Earth Day, every day!

As always, I am thinking about our friends caring for someone with memory loss. Some of the ideas listed below may interest your loved one.  Encourage his/her participation- making modifications based on abilities. By involving your loved one, you may create a meaningful moment that improves his/her emotional well-being.

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” -Jane Goodall

Ways to Celebrate Earth Day, Every Day:

1. Educate Yourself Learning is the key to understanding what we can do to protect the environment and this glorious world! Read and understand the importance of our natural resources. Then, see what you can do to help. Once you understand more, please share the information with others that are interested. There are many websites to look at. Here are a variety to get you started:

“It is our collective and individual responsibility…

to preserve and tend to the world in which we all live.” -Dalai Lama

2. Ten Easy, Environmentally Friendly Ideas!- What habits or behaviors can we tweak slightly to make a difference? If we each do our tiny part, then collectively, we can make a massive change!  Read the easy (and very doable) ideas below, get inspired, and make Earth Day, every day. It’s simpler than you think!

    • Put a Recycling Plan in Place –Are you already recycling? Terrific! Perhaps you still have a few questions about what goes where and what is accepted. If you live in Ovation Communities and have questions, we are always happy to help! -Just ask. If you live in the Milwaukee community, take a look at your local areas to see what is accepted. Here is the website for Milwaukee County recycling. Please check your suburb or village for specific information.
      Click here for City of Milwaukee recycling information:  https://city.milwaukee.gov/recycle/What-Can-I-Recycle
    • Bring Your Own Shopping Bag- Plastic bags can harm wildlife, clog recycling machines and sit in a landfill or ocean for years! Instead, use a reusable bag. There are even cute, or funky options! -Look stylish and help the environment! If you are good with a needle and thread, try repurposing an old piece of clothing/cloth and turn it into a bag. Who knew you were so savvy?! For a variety of tutorials/directions about making your own bags from kitchen towels, t-shirts, sweaters or pillowcases, (and many other ideas!) click here:  https://www.organicauthority.com/live-grow/15-ideas-for-making-repurposed-reusable-grocery-bags  Make a point to have a reusable shopping bag in your car, and/or fold a small bag and put in your purse. Always be prepared!
    • Reuse and Repurpose- Recycling still has a carbon footprint, so try to reduce waste and reuse items when possible.  A few personal anecdotes…  As the youngest female cousin on both sides of my family, growing up I received tons of hand-me-down clothes from my older cousins. When a batch of new items arrived, I couldn’t wait to sort through them and find my new favorites. To me, it felt like Chanukah!  In addition, as a college student and young adult, I repurposed end tables and bookshelves previously used. By painting them, they turned into lovely pieces that were perfect for my needs. So, next time you are done wearing a gently worn sweater, or are done using a table, please do not throw them out. Instead, consider giving them to a relative, friend or donating to a local charity. Chances are, these items still have value.
    • Buy a Reusable Bottle- Is there anything more convenient than free water from your own tap? Please start using your reusable water bottle or invest in a new glass bottle. This will help reduce the plastic burden on landfills, oceans, and streams. Reusable bottles are good for the environment; and so easy to fill!
    • Use Energy Efficient LED Lightbulbs- Energy efficient lightbulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These bulbs last longer, save money, time (replacing the bulbs) and energy.
    • Turn Off the Light When you Leave the Room- Also, open your drapes and use natural light when you are able!
    • Pay Your Bills Online- While I realize that not everyone is tech-savvy enough to do this, you might give it a try. It’s greener, saves money and time.
    • Use Scrap Paper- This seems like an easy choice. Flip over the paper you just used, and use the other side.
    • Fix Leaky Faucets- Boy that drip, drip, dripping is annoying… isn’t it? …Well, it’s also not good for the environment or your pocketbook either!
    • Repurpose Leftover Jars- Often, when our college-age son, Herschey, comes home, we send him back to his apartment with leftovers (made with love). I clean old containers (in the dishwasher first!) and reuse them for this purpose. They are perfect.  I have also used old mason jars or jelly jars to hold buttons, pens and pencils and grow plants. The possibilities are endless! Have fun! For example, here are 22 creative and decorative uses for mason jars: https://www.tidbitsandtwine.com/22-creative-decorative-uses-for-mason-jars/

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” (-Native American Proverb)

 

3. Get Inspired With These Activity Ideas:

    • Watch Jane Goodall’s short film called Mother Earth. We are so fortunate to learn from this remarkable woman. Please watch this important 6 minute video. Click here: https://youtu.be/48mxaQtbUdU
    • Watch this 1.5 minute video called Nature is Speaking. Actress, Julia Roberts narrates this powerful and moving piece. Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM

“The earth has music for those who listen.” (-Shakespeare)

    • Plant a Tree- Planting a tree will add health and wellness to our earth. “As trees grow, they help climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air and storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Trees provide many benefits to us, every day. They offer cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife, purify our air, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities.” (-arborday.org)
    • Get in Touch with Nature- Take a walk outside and soak up the healing energy in our natural world. Stroll through one of our beautiful parks or walk along Lake Michigan. As your walk, be mindful and appreciative of the beauty that surrounds you.

Our trees are our lungs, the rivers our circulation, the air our breath and the earth our body.” (Deepak Chopra)

    • Stargaze- At night, sit outside an marvel at our beautiful night sky. Enjoy a sense of wonder as you look up toward the heavens. Make your stargazing experience unforgettable: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nightskies/stargaze.htm
    • Enjoy an Outside Farmers Market- As the weather warms, put on a mask on and shop outside. Buying food locally and fresh is fun, delicious and nourishes the body. Enjoy fresh fruits and veggies. In addition, family farmers need our support, and buying locally helps the environment. The food is transported shorter distances and, generally, the growing methods minimize the impact of the earth. Farmers markets are one of my favorite pastimes; they honestly make me happy!  Plan your next trip with the Shepherd Express’ 2021 Farmers Market Guide:  https://shepherdexpress.com/food/eat-drink/2021-farmers-market-guide/ I would love to hear which markets are your favorites!

 

4. Try A Little Earth Day Brain Health-  Print out the attached brain health worksheet, complete, and then check your answers with the attached key. The letters of the words are tossed and wrenched out of their proper positions. Can you reconstruct the original word out of the jumble?

 

5. Watch a “Museum Moment”:  Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Curator, Molly Dubin interviews artists from the New York-based Jewish Art Salon about their work inspired by trees. How does nature inspire you? Click here to watch this interesting 15 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWQMKwaNAYU&list=PLl-OCNr_mRXQ7DNfR6PSo4K0qdmYGmlz4&index=94&t=3s

 I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.” (-Jana Stanfield)

 

Our tiny, every day efforts can make a huge impact on our world. Let’s commit to Tikkun Olam– repairing our world; there is always something more we can do! What change or modification will you make to help save the planet? Pick one or two ideas from the list above.

As always, if you have a question related to aging, memory loss or caregiving, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am here for you, and happy to help. You can find me here: DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana