Monday, November 5, 2018

Editorials: No More Shopping til I Drop this Christmas & 5 Difficult Things To Do To Make a Better World

By Charlene Lange, reprinted with permission, first printed in the Iowa City Press- Citizen, 10/23/18

To the Future Generation:

I wish you peace and joy. Yes it is the time of year to start preparing for the madness of the holidays. This year will be different. I am going to change, to help give you clean air and water. It will be hard but I can do this.
I am going back to Christmases I had growing up, where less was more and my identity wasn't based on the amount of presents I got or gave. Generations of Christmas traditions and buying during the holidays create vast amounts of landfill and carbon waste. Besides, with all the presents being given, kids cannot even remember what they got or who gave what. I will:

1.       Give of my time, laughter, and guidance.

2.       Give the gift of a trip or experience, take them to explore the town, county, state.

3.       Give a gift of adventure, give them another world—give books, magazines

4.       Buy ecofriendly products…. Examples: reusable shopping bags, newspaper subscriptions, reusable lunch containers, organic food wrap, reusable straws… etc.,

5.       Buy local, make gifts, re-gift things others want

6.       Buy wrapping paper without glitter or metal, make my own out of newspaper or paper, decorate with crayons, etc., and recycle when used; make gift bags out of old T-shirts

7.       Take the recyclables with me when I leave if the place I am visiting doesn’t recycle.

8.       Take clean bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts to Mail Boxes of Iowa City for them to recycle.

9.       Write or email a company and ask why they don’t use recyclable plastic in their packaging.

10.   Donate to charity and give food and help a neighbor, join Facebook Free Trade - Give & Get- North Liberty & Surrounding Areas

So no shopping until I drop, and no stressing that this or that has to be done a certain way. Receiving or giving one small thing can make you happier than receiving a ton of stuff. Instead I will be spending time with those I love, planning trips, playing games, helping others. Yes, saving Christmas and the Earth for you.

Charlene Lange is a great grandmother and retired school teacher wanting to help save our resources.

Five difficult things to do to make a better world

By Charlene Lange, reprinted with permission; first printed in the Iowa City Press Citizen 9/14/18

To the future generations: I am doing some easy and difficult things to make this a better world for you. I will do more. Here are five hard things to do:

1. Check out a restaurant — Do they have recyclable cups, silverware or containers? If not, ask if they could provide them. If given plastic straw, say no straw please.

2. Check out my place of work — Do they recycle the metal, paper, plastics? If not, take home to clean and recycle.

3. Check out a product I bought — is the packaging marked as recyclable? If not, text/email the company expressing your wish for recyclable or reduction of packaging.

4. Reduce shopping therapy. Buy wisely. Buy locally. Reduce buying — everything we buy will eventually end up in the landfill. Just because we have the time to shop, or the money to shop, doesn’t mean we have to buy. How many latest, greatest products have we bought that collect dust?

5. Eat better. Have one meatless meal a week or one meatless day a week. Eat less meat and dairy. Animal agriculture contributes more to climate change than cars.

I will speak up and educate.

-Charlene Lange, Iowa City

Charlene Lange is a retired special education teacher in Iowa City and great grandmother.  She is a member of various local, state, national and international groups; learning, supporting and educating others about making this beautiful planet peaceful, breathable and livable for future generations. From food to plastics to CAFOS to human rights to water quality, all are issues she is involv

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