Fire Drill Friday | Jane Fonda Keeps Us Focused On #1 Priority

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 15, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

It was an emotional day on Capitol Hill with defamed ex-Ambassador for Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, testifying in the second impeachment hearing for Donald J. Trump. The details outlined by Ms. Yovanovitch were critical and seem to have sealed Trump’s fate. I speculate he’ll be impeached by New Years Eve 2019.

ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300Meanwhile, a few hundred yards away, in the warming sunlight, Jane Fonda rallied Americans with her sixth Friday Fire Drill. Her mission is to draw awareness to the Green New Deal and the important role fossil fuels have played on our climate’s demise.

Fonda was not arrested today, but she prides herself on the positive impact her protesting and subsequent arrests have had on the climate emergency cause. Today’s climate focus was on our oceans and rising sea levels as well as the urgent need to break free from plastic.

Although Fonda wasn’t arrested, two of her tag-along friends were: Marg Helgenberger and Robert Kennedy Jr. It seems these wonderful climate activists consider their arrests their red badge of courage.

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The holiday shopping season has arrived. It’s imperative that we keep our resolve to act now on lowering atmospheric carbon levels by the choices we make during the holiday season. Every tiny decision will save a life. For example, it’s advised that no red meat for any festivities. Avoid plastic packaging. Buy grocery products in glass bottles. Let’s promise to keep our eyes wide open as we claw through the packed aisles, and make the right selections when we reach toward a store shelf.

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Another positive choice is to buy local. It’s mind boggling how dramatic this simple decision can make. Again, it’s all about being aware, and making a commitment in advance to save our oceans and brighten our children’s futures. We can do this!

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© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Positivity | How Do We Find the Bright Side?

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 27, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

With so much concern and worry and upheaval, layered on top of a traumatic health crisis that spans the globe, which impacts every single life on earth in some way, it’s hard not to feel completely overwhelmed and helpless. Many of our livelihoods have been uprooted and some smashed to the ground. We’re forced to abruptly move in a new direction and quickly master the challenges. That’s very easy to say, but much harder to do. In fact, how do we actually accomplish this?

One step at a time. The following are a few small takeaways that I learned from twenty-five years of surviving traumatic events. I often wonder if I hold the world record for how many life-altering extreme crises a human can overcome. I keep following this same procedure though, so I’m hopeful it will be beneficial to others.

  • Follow advice. When all the key experts say the same thing, and data highlights the validity, as well as our common sense, we simply must do it. In this case, stay home. With the concept being so easy to grasp, why are so many not following through? Probably because it’s difficult. Somewhere in our subliminal conscious we might feel frustrated that this is being forced upon us and we want to rebel.
  •  Changing our perspective. I admit, I’m a very healthy person with a strong immune system and feel that I’ll likely not catch covid-19, although I might somehow become an asymptomatic carrier. I’ve convinced myself that if I stay away from everyone, I can still go out. I run on nearby trails and am very careful to leave a 6 foot gap between anyone I pass. However, while running today, a tiny gnat flew into my mouth. I quickly conjured up a mental image of the little critter flying along the trail, touching every person it passed and now it was in my throat. I was horrified. From now on, I’ll wear an improvised face mask when I run.
  •  Using the right lens. But just because I feel relatively protected running on a trail, I have to check myself about other possible outings (Friday night takeout pizza for example). My rule of thumb is to ask myself, would I go for pizza if this crisis was Chernobyl? No, I definitely wouldn’t. So I tell myself that that’s what this is. Extreme circumstances. Sacrifice pizza. Easy.
  • Nature. Surrounding myself with nature, especially lots of trees, flowers, and green meadows, elevates my spirit every time, without fail. Beautiful trails are usually free.

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  • Finding the silver lining. I’m sure many of us the first week had a long list of frustrations about why this is so maddening. I know I did, especially after 25 years of life-altering, unfair traumas. Not again, was all I could think. But since my normal routine is to search for the positive when I begin to feel negative, I happily racked my brain:
    • There won’t be any school massacres this spring. This is a big deal. Back in January, I became very worried about a possible spring school massacre. White Nationalists had been gathering and seemingly plotting attacks, and with the 2020 election season beginning, I was fearful there would be another horrific slaughter. But now, no chance. This is a huge blessing.
    • Students who are constantly bullied at school, will have a much needed break from all the cruelty.
    • Be careful for what you wish for. I’ve been stressing about finishing several screenplays for over nine months, but haven’t had time to finish, and may have said a few too many prayers about this. Now I have plenty of time to finish.
    • It seems highly probable, that many young people between the ages of 16 – 24, will find completely new career paths to pursue. By late summer 2020, they’ll be thanking their lucky stars for this unexpected curveball that altered their destiny.
  • Starting the morning on the right foot. Eating right is essential for positivity. I start every morning with 1/4 cup of organic, raw sunflower seed kernels. It’s the ultimate happiness boost. Once done, it’s ten times easier to find the bright side.
  • Getting a good night’s sleep. Deep sleep is very important. Eye shields that block all light, is the easiest way to get deep sleep, 6-8 hours being the ideal. I typically get 6.5 – 7 hours.
  • Exercise. A daily workout routine clears the mind, channels most frustrations and fills us with mood boosting endorphins.

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Going through this list every single day and checking off each when completed, creates a daily routine that becomes habit. Focusing on these small details, changes our perspective. I keep adding more positives, since everyday something new seems to pop up unexpectedly. And because I’m not able to think of the negatives, when I’m focused on the positives (our brains can only think of one thought at a time), the negatives soon become very distant. I wake up one morning and realize I’m in a whole new world and it’s a wonderful and exciting place to be.

But during a deadly pandemic, following the rules really is essential. Staying home is the bright side. Being attached to a ventilator in a packed, makeshift hospital in convention center is definitely a negative that’s nearly impossible to overcome.🌱

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Circular Economy Front & Center During Pandemic | Reduce

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 24, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

It’s inspiring to realize how well the circular economy principles of reduce-reuse-recycle-upcycle line up with what we’ll need to do to pull ourselves through the covid-19 pandemic. Do I dare predict that five years from now we’ll pinpoint the economic shutdown of 2020, and staying at home to save lives during the coronavirus, as the turning point that enabled us to reach our climate action goal of lowering atmospheric carbon levels and saving humanity. Let’s do everything we can to make this happen. We have three months to nail this.

REDUCE

With empty store shelves and no end in sight, considering how many parts are made in China with their factories all shut down, we’ll just have to get by with less. Not that anyone feels comfortable spending any money. But still, the reality is that the supply of products has significantly diminished and there are very few alternatives, so the only solution is to go without.

In a week’s time, I was able to reduce my stress by figuring out all the things I could eliminate from my daily and monthly routines, saving myself hundreds of dollars. Stress weakens our immune system. We all need to stay strong and healthy so let’s share ideas.

REUSE

There are many examples of just what a savior reusing has become, particularly in dealing with urgent medical supplies such as face masks and swabs, but these medical heroes need a shout out for their ingenuity. Crafting face masks from office supplies didn’t make it on the evening, but hundreds of patients and medical professionals in that hospital are surely singing their praises.

Incredibly, this innovative reusing of office supplies surely kept many from becoming infected and likely saved lives. Let’s keep our eyes wide open in the upcoming weeks and months to find ways to more of this at every opportunity. Resourcefulness will keep us optimistic when the challenges seem too daunting to overcome.

Clothing is another excellent example. Second hand clothing stores specializing in designer labels, some of which have never been worn, have become a passion.

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RECYClE

Let’s rethink recycling while we’re stuck at home and have more time to focus on it. Currently, there’s way too many things wrong to let it go unaddressed.

  • With only 9% of plastic actually being recycled, plastic waste must be tackled. Now’s our chance. Refuse to purchase products packaged in plastic, especially condiments. When I did this with ketchup last fall, and had to hunt down a replacement for Heinz, my life changed forever. I found that I could actually succeed at it. I had to switch to BBQ sauce for a few weeks when I couldn’t find a real alternative. But now, I absolutely love my fav organic Red Duck ketchup packaged in glass.
  • Composting should be at the top of every household’s “To Do” list while we’re all sheltering in place. It’s such an immediate feel good. Creating a bin for all food scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, lint and yard trimmings, old leaves, etc that can be added to the soil in our yards and nearby forests to enrich the ground with nutrients that enable the soil to store much more carbon. Many towns are establishing compositing drop off and pick up stations at farmers markets. Again, we should be all over this.
  • Shipping packaging needs to be overhauled. Paper labels must be used for paper envelopes and cardboard boxes as well as paper tape on paper shipping containers, and plastic tape on plastic shipping. Further, we can no longer manufacture bubble envelopes that are manilla paper on the outside. There are multiple alternatives, so this is now unconscionable.
  • Innovation. I’m really excited about the prospects of LOOP taking off during the covid-19 crisis month,s and modeling the benefits of shopping through a company that sells name brand products in reusable containers that are dropped off and picked up on a regular schedule. The most stunning aspect of this service is the array of personal care products, including tooth paste. Game changer.

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UPCYCLE

And the cherry on top, is the artistic piece. The upcycling. Creative reuse. Taking old shoes and turning them into flower pots. Glass ketchup bottles, becoming storage containers or vases. So many possibilities. Let’s get creative.Three months to practice.

The coronavirus pandemic is our golden opportunity to lay the groundwork for converting our current linear economic system of take-make-pollute&waste to that of the carbon reducing alternative of reduce-reuse-recycle-upcycle.

We’ve GOT THIS!~

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Protecting Our Water Supply Now More Than Ever

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 23, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

World Water Day was celebrated across the globe yesterday, Sunday March 22, 2020, and I must confess that I’ve never cared more about clean water than I do right now. In the past month, with coronavirus spreading like wildfire, and the CDC pleading with us to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds, many times a day, my water usage has tripled. When I add in how much more frequently I now do laundry, several times a week Water Drop Earthto scrub off potential coronavirus germs that I don’t want lying around my home, I’m stunned by how often I think of water.

The moment that pushed me over the edge, however, was when I was out searching for bottled water this week. Nearly every store was sold out. I finally had to pick through a few leftover brands that no one else wanted and found myself hyper-analyzing why no one else wanted them. Why were they left behind? Googling to see where the springs were, so many fears flooded my mind. Was it really clean water, or did the bottling company just turn on a lead lined tap in an old rusty warehouse sitting out by a superfund site that recently flooded after being hit by a water bomb, and I was I going to deeply regret this purchase one day?

There’s already enough to worry about with coronavirus, adding clean water to the list is not something that’s easy to process, yet here I am so concerned that I’m transforming into a clean water advocate / activist on top of being a climate activist. The two seem to go hand in hand.

As a United States Citizen, clean water is something I’ve always taken for granted. I don’t like to admit that. There are certainly many US citizens who don’t have clean water and are forced to suffer the consequences, either by purchasing purified water, or drinking toxic water the many potential health consequences. Sadly, there are several habits we adults have gotten into that we don’t necessarily realize contaminate our clean drinking water supply.

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First and foremost, walking our pets on a trail in the forest and not picking up after them (because we don’t think we have to). Guess what? We do have to. Pet droppings are washed into local creeks during heaving rains and land in our reservoirs, contaminating our drinking water. Period. That’s all we need to know. For those who don’t like plastic bags, and I get that, there are long handles pooper shoppers. I spotted a man just the other day with an awesome pooper scooper like the one below. What a simple & easy way to solve a life-threatening problem.

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World Water Day is a gentle reminder of how important clean water is for our survival. And since health is on all of our minds right now, and we’re in the midst of changing so many of our daily routines and habits, let’s rise to the challenge and commit to updating our pet maintenance habits as well. No time like the present. Amazon has just hired 100,000 new employees to process the influx of online orders now that we’re housebound.

Let’s GO!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Working Out While Stuck At Home | Fitness Matters During Pandemic

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 20, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Time to order a jump rope from Amazon ASAP. There are a plethora of options. However, I don’t think suppliers have 300 million jump ropes in their inventory, so better hustle before it’s too late. BTW, the amazing jump rope I just ordered only cost $14.99.

The health benefits of fitness are immeasurable:

  • Strengthens immune system
  • Boosts mental health. According to cathe.com 5 critical neurotransmitters are released while exercising:
    • Serotonin  – the mood chemical that boosts positivity and substantially decreases depression
    • Norepinephrine – the brain chemical that makes us more alert and focused
    • BDNF – memory hormone that has a three fold increase through exercise, improving cognitive function
    • Dopamine – the brain chemical that fuels motivation and reward
    • Endorphins – the “feel good” chemicals
  • 30 minutes of daily exercise improves sleep which strengthens immune system
  • Reduces stress
  • Burns calories and keeps us looking and feeling great

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When something is this easy and has this many benefits, during such a critical, life-threatening time in American history, you have no choice but to just do it.

Let’s GO!

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© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Why Can’t We Use Lightweight Hazmat Suits? | Innovation

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 19, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

As an American, it’s impossible for me not to try and overcome a traumatic challenge. It’s been ingrained in me since birth, that in a free society, especially one founded on capitalism, that innovation is the next step when challenges loom large.

A certain segment of American society will immediately jump into overdrive to conjure up a list of possibilities and then field feedback. So please forgive me for wondering why we all don’t invest in lightweight modern day hazmat suits. That’s just the American way. Imagine the endless new inventions if we try and save the livelihoods of some of the 20%, by attempting to minimize the trauma the cataclysmic covid-19 horror has netted.

I dusted off the old Cold Era hazmat suit I bought during a terrorism warning one year. It’s military issued, from a pawn shop. It must be 40 years old, but it will certainly suffice in a pinch (considering I missed the window of opportunity to buy a face mask AND hand sanitizer and may have to run out for food, since I missed that “stock up” chance as well). So, I’ve been stressing. This is better than nothing at all.

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But as I was scrubbing the gloves clean last night (not sure why they were covered in gritty dust, and too scared to find out), I began to imagine modern iterations.

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The takeaway? Let’s begin IMAGINING clever, new innovations to help us ALL get through this better than we would otherwise, and hopefully save a lot of lives and livelihoods along the way.

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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One Day at a Time | Military, the Unexpected Heroes

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 17, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

The most important rule of thumb in a crisis, is one day at a time. Panic over the long term, when there are so many changing variables, leads to poor decision making in the short term, and then many regrets. This happens because we process the long term based on what we have in the present, and there’s a gap between what we have and what we need. We aren’t able to factor in what we’ll acquire along the way, as well as all the twists and turns we’ll make so we can reach our goals.

Further, there’s so much happening behind the scenes that we’re unaware of. The only thing we can master each day, is each line item on our task list.

  • make our beds
  • get dressed for work even though we’re staying home
  • try and keep same work schedule
  • same lunch time
  • same work habits
  • stay in home quarantine as requested
  • eat right
  • exercise
  • sleep right

The small things are the only things we have absolute control over. If we strive to perfect each one, and check each off our list once completed, we’ll feel empowered and stable, which will make us that much more confident about the long term.

Then one day, we’ll be startled by unexpected good news. Like today, the military announcing it will donate 5 million face masks. I learned this after stressing for two hours that I didn’t have a face mask but had to run to the store for a quick errand. I was resourceful and came up with an alternative, but still. At the time though, I had no idea that a team in the military was diligently working on this. Filled with frustration earlier in the day, I wasted so much of brain power on what should have been applied to work projects.

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In fact, I’ve been amazed by how involved the military has been with COVID-19 challenges. Every day I learn of a new solution the military has delivered to the trenches in the nick of time. Our military leaders are revealing what clever strategists and long term thinkers they are. Unexpected heroes supporting thousands of front line troops, our medical professionals.

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According to Defense One, the following is a list of what the United States military has provided in the way of COVID-19 support:

  • Military financed Canadian company Medicago has created covid-19 vaccine in record timing, and began human sample testing yesterday, March 16, 2020
  • More than 1,600 National Guard have been activated around the country to set up containment zones, and to build “Mash” style hospitals
  • Donated 5 million N95 face masks
  • Supplied 2,000 ventilators
  • USAF flew half million covid-19 test kits from Italy to Tennessee
  • And most importantly, decisive leadership, quickly moving into action to execute solutions

So, one day at a time, nailing all the small things, following the CDC guidelines, staying connected through social media, and taking the advice shared on all social media platforms.

We’ve got this. Believe it.

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Time to Plant Climate Gardens While We’re Stuck at Home

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 14, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Backyard gardens are one of the easiest most inspiring ways to lower our carbon footprint. Adding multiple layers beneath trees and along fences, lining the front of homes. Shrubs, flowers, vines, ground cover. Ivy and creepers up and down walls, around mailboxes and lamplights. International cities like London and Paris have perfected this.

The best part about zeroing in on a giant burst of nature as the solution, is that it works immediately, especially if we all collectively execute ASAP, during these next few weeks while we’re stuck at home hoping tp stay clear of the coronavirus pandemic.

Imagine the positive impact.

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In the nick of time, no less. We’re down to only nine years to save humanity from climatocalypse. So, the silver lining of being thrown into our current heart-wrenching calamity, with unexpected at-home time on our hands, is that we can pause and focus on the long term, and alter our destiny by conquering what otherwise would most likely be an improbable collective gardening effort.

Live in an apartment or condo? Balcony, patio and rooftop gardens or plantings on every available flat surface is a life-and-planet-saving difference. With a success rate as significant as this will be, at a minimal cost, we can all jump in first thing in the morning.

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Bringing back nature, will not only be a giant leap forward in our progress at lowering our atmospheric carbon level back down to 350 PPM, but has multiple other valuable benefits.

Nature improves mental health, not only an emotional positive boost, but a sensory one as well. Sunlight provides the much needed daily dose of vitamin D that will keep our outlook positive and optimistic. Additionally, nature’s scent has an array of therapeutic properties. Some species are calming and supportive, while others keep us alert and energized. There’s also the tangible, yet little understood, sentient characteristics of nature that indicate plants and trees can problem solve, even connect with other plants and animals, as well as communicate with each other, and some believe communicate with humans, in addition to nurturing humans,  .

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Considering how many alarming societal threats we face — climate, suicides, drug addiction, physical and mental health — the fact that nature can aid in improving every single one of these, is a very compelling reason to quickly sow our climate gardens during this unexpected period of being stuck at home (at least it’s spring, the planting season). In fact, there’s no better way to keep our minds off this extended emergency, than to dig into a powerful solution that will not only bring back nature, but will keep us calm in a crisis.

Once nature is back, the wildlife that goes along with it will also return. Our planet will be healthy again, which will make humankind that much healthier too. It all begins right now, during these mandated weeks of social distancing.

Let’s GO!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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