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Friday, April 20, 2012

2012-04-20 – Friday Whisper – Call me a Trim Tab – Part 2

If you’ve been following this page closely, most probably you have read the “2012-03-30 – Friday Whisper – Call me a Trim Tab – Part 1” whisper :)

Sunday April 22nd, 2012 is the Earth Day, a day on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness about the environment and our Earth home.

The Earth Day is not the only day we have to go green, but it is something that we have to do all year round, you agree!

Of course, we can call ourselves fortunate if we have a Green government who is constantly creating/funding/supporting programs for the environment. But it is not the case everywhere, and we cannot control it… we can however control what we do; small steps that we can incorporate in our daily life, to feel that we are doing something, without affecting the quality of our life.
We can save on water, energy, and stuff and decrease our generation of garbage. Here are some simple tips that you might already know, a reminder never hurts ;)
Save on water:
  •  Close water while brushing teeth/shaving/scrubbing your body. You can save up to 300 gallons per month!
  •  Fix water leaks at home
  • Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Then use it to flush toilets or water plants
  • Use a bowl of water to clean vegetables. Then use it to water houseplants
  • Boil exact cups of coffee, use exact number of ice cubes
Save on energy:
  • Buy Energy Star labeled light bulls or fluorescent bulbs, in places where you don’t read.  They last 10 times more, use 1/3 less energy and gives 70% less heat.
  • Run your dishwasher when it is loaded. Hand wash uses 70 l. vs. 30 l. by machine. You can save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
  • Run your washing machine when it is loaded. Use shorter cycles in washer if possible. Hang out clothes instead of using the dryer
  • Switch off appliances and electronic devices when not used
  • Open curtains to get day light
  • Wear more clothes instead of putting the heating higher and  less clothes instead of putting the air cooler higher
  • Recycle/give away your clothes, books, furniture, kitchenware
  • If you got the means, install a solar system to generate electricity

Shop smartly:
  • Buy only what you need. If not sure, sleep on it.
  • Turn off the car engine while waiting, buy local products, buy products with least packaging, and take your bags with you to groceries and other shopping. 
Save at Work:
  • Keep your tires inflated, you will improve your gas mileage by 3%.
  • Car pool with colleagues, if possible. Take public transportation, when possible
  • Get your mug and plate for daily use instead of plastic ones. If plastic utensils needed, use recycled ones.
  • Print/photocopy only if necessary. Print draft quality, B&W if possible. Print on both sides of the page. Buy recyclable papers
  • Turn off your screens, laptops, and chargers
  • Switch off lights when leaving
  • Save when dining out or on vacation
  • Order only what you can eat. Take your leftovers; if not for you, give them away. Talk your water bottle that you just bought. Otherwise all will go to the garbage.
  • Reuse your towels at the hotel

Maybe you can’t do all at once, choose the easy ones and adopt them.  Share them, spread the awareness…

Bible said: "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted" (John 6:12)

Quran said: “O Children of Adam… Eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for God loveth not the wasters.” (7:31)

And Aldo Leopold, an American author and environmentalist, said: “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.  When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

This is your Earth, your land, your home… what are you doing for it?

PS: check for more ideas on recycling.

Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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Friday, April 13, 2012

2012-04-13 – Friday Whisper – In a far far away land…

Last week I went on a spiritual pilgrimage (called Umrah in Islam) to Mecca and Medina… A trip different from any other one for me…I disconnected myself from everything else in my life… Can you imagine 4 days with no facebooking, no tweeting and no whatsupping??? I did it!!!! J

The feeling was special; constant serenity, nothing else meant anything… I felt as if I was taken away in a far far away land where, at some point, nothing else existed anymore… On my last day I felt I was taken away from a place I didn’t want to leave…

And the view became clearer…

I realized how we invested more time on less important stuff… how we created positions, matters, rules, definitions, conditions and gave them the power to control us: work, relationships, other people’s opinion, social standards, awards, currency…

I realized how we can come from different background, race, ethnicity, country, continent, speaking different languages and living different lives and still be able to come together to share one place, doing the same ritual, dealing with compassion, sharing the same feeling and crying the same tears…

I realized also that religion wasn’t only about praying and fasting, but about how useful you are while you’re here, how you are spending your time, with whom, doing what and for what reason…

If you are a Muslim, you don’t have to be religious to take such a trip…
If you are a non-Muslim, every religion has some kind of pilgrimage…

If you are a non-believer in God or the after-life, you might have all your reasoning that goes with it, and that’s fine, as belief is a very personal thing… just make sure you’re not falling in the “easiest-way-to-do-it” trap, where you do search/look/dig no more, and question no more… still don’t forget to create your own pilgrimage…

Go on a pilgrimage not to discover your religion but to discover yourself…

Read about other religions, not to convert but to better understand yours…

A. C. Benson, a British author, said: “As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.”

And Alison Stormwolf, a poet, said: “Withdraw yourself from the never ending masquerade of life. Go within, there you will find your treasure.”

Take the trip; it is the gym for your spirit…

Photo taken at dawn...

Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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