Family Holiday’s – are they commercially too pressurized?

photo (63)

I often wonder, how much under the commercial pressure pot are we all? Do we all know that purchasing stuff is the back bone to the economy? That manufacturing this stuff causes massive environmental destruction, and more money is spent to boost marketing and package this stuff than is to manufacture it. This is to get us all to feel the need to buy this stuff. OMG what a horrendous cycle!

The reason I am taking about this is I recently went on a family holiday to Spain during the Easter break and I found myself drawn to purchasing new clothing and things before the holiday and during the holiday. Funny I should want to purchase new things when I don’t need anything and the stress getting organised before a vacation is horrendous – well in my opinion it is! A vacation is all about relaxing in the sun or just relaxing, wearing less clothing than ever before, catching up on a good book, and eating the local food. I brought a capsule wardrobe that fitted into a 10 kg suitcase and wore 60% of the items. Predominantly I wore swim ware, shorts, T’s and flip flips and at night it was so easy to get ready with such an uncluttered array of clothing options in my wardrobe. There is something to be said for a capsule wardrobe and living a clutter free life – did you ever hear of my Less Is More Challenge it really gets you thinking of little ways to life a greener less pressurized life – check it out!

When you have children the need to purchase items becomes increasingly pressurized – and companies know this and guess what, they play on this weak point to their advantage. My daughter Eabha (above) is 4, she loves girly things and Disney! We all know when looking back on a childhood it is the time spent not the things played with that sticks out in your mind. Now, I know every now and again there are items that we have fond memories of, but the throw away plastic society we are now bringing our children up in is dangerous and will have disastrous results.

Also one other observation is the amount of waste at the security check points. Plastic bottles and all of the other items not meeting the 50 ml restriction, I need to investigate and ensure that all of this waste is recycled as in some airports it looked a little uncertain as to the final destination of the products!?

All in all, I have learned to relax leading UP TO the holiday, DURING the holiday and stay away from airport extortion, buy your books and food items before you leave. Choose holiday clothing wisely – always remember comfort is key for holidays you want to relax, not deal with blisters and uncomfortable clothing!

A Less Is More Christmas.

winterwoodland

Last year I set up The Less Is More Challenge to celebrate Earth Day. The challenge contained 10 simple suggestions to help people realise that really really simple changes to make all the difference to the Earth on which we live. It was a great success and will be even better and bigger for 2014. I have a dedicated blog to The Less Is More Challenge and would love you to take a look and even follow. Recently, I wrote a piece called A Less Is More Christmas –  a view of Christmas in two ways, both through my eyes. A polished marketed Christmas Vs my Less Is More Christmas. It is funny when you sit back and read. And I can guarantee that you will appreciate both of my views!!

You can read it here.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas xx

The beautiful Winter Woodland scene is painted by Jessica Jenney

The Claire Lewis ‘Trashed’ Film Review

Trashed

What an AMAZING thought provoking and sometimes chilling film. I received the DVD copies sent so kindly by the film company behind the movie. One as a gift for me and to make sure I was practicing what I preached when I suggested as part of The Less Is More Challenge to watch the film ‘Home’ and the film ‘Trashed’. I also received two other copies one which went straight to Ms O’Keeffe and the students of Coachford College, Coachford, Co Cork, Ireland for their amazing participation in The Less Is More Schools Challenge for 2013.

The third will be part of a competition I will be running for My Waste Free Home – I set this up the day after watching the film – powerful viewing!!

The film was so chilling because it encapsulated the fact that we have reached the point of no return. The problem now goes back to each and every one who has a trash can and a recycling bin in their homes – we need to reconnect with the fact the when we throw something “out” or “away”, these terms just basically mean we are dumping the trash in our lands or burning it and will in turn eat it in some form or another.

Jeremy Irons was so perfect for the role as he was on point, funny and could deal with the crap that gets churned out by official people and people of power and he was not intimidated by anyone. He just wanted to find the facts about TRASH. What it is? What it does to the human body? Why are we leaving this happen? And What can we do about it?

The Film in my opinion is something that as a part of the consuming population it should be MANDITORY that you watch this. People historically dont care once the mess is not on their door step!! Well we now know that the mess is not only on your door step it is everywhere and is getting worse.

Check out the Trashed website Here.

May is definitely my month all right – Woman of the month and Birthday – Yay!

458928_310010822425382_1847521678_o.jpg

As my favourite month of May winds to a close I have to sit back and reflect on the great things that I have achieved since 2013 began. It all started with a very fabulous wedding to a very special man, who I have great times with. We are just embarking on a journey of discovery about ones self and what makes a marriage tick along nicely. The family life is jammed packed to the brim, you can hardly add more in – yet we all do! More kids, more responsibilities and more of the things that spur you on and get your creative juices going. For me this has to be writing about Environmental Responsibility – it gives me butterflies in my tummy and when ideas come to me I have to have a pen and paper at the ready.

The year also included my Less Is More Challenge something that I decided to do to challenge those in society who have not yet got all green and for whom the earth is just the dirt in the garden! This is by no means their fault entirely, being earthy is like a radio frequency it needs to be tuned in and well, right now it is not a major deal if people don’t regularly tune into the earth and the ways they can do simple things to help out. But alas this is all changing for the better and I cannot wait to be a part of it. With my 10 simple suggestions people will be able to feel positive about doing their green thing and being proud about it. The Less Is More Challenge is to highlight Earth Day – which is April 22nd every year. But I have plans to make this journey one that lasts the year and beyond. I also have to thank all of the brands that jumped on board for the very first Less Is More Challenge, I pulled it together really fast and all of the brands were great lending their names, discounts and freebies. I hope that 2014 will be an even better year with more brands and participants taking part. I can’t wait to do something to highlight the earth and the challenge on the 22nd day of every fourth month – April, August & December!

As May is coming to a close so to is my title as Woman of the Month from Amia Online Magazine. I was totally chuffed and really flattered that I was chosen for this title. It couldn’t have come at a better time as anyone who is self driven knows sometimes you need recognition that you are on the right path – well this article and title sorted me out big style and I was so thrilled and unaware that I had been chosen. Amia Online Magazine is a great read for all those of you who like a good variety of reading in a mag and it is online which makes it easy to get through when in the office or online at your favourite time of day.

It is my birthday on the 28th of May and I will be in Spain to celebrate and totally pull the plug out of my brain – well maybe shut my computer/brain off to 70% capacity. I cannot wait to jog every morning, buy fresh fruit in the local shop, totally detox and eat copious amounts of the most delicious ice-cream I have ever tasted. I can just taste the kinder egg flavoured ice cream now….! Indulge in prawn pill pill and warm crusty bread, drink chilled white wine at lunch time (some times when I am not on mom duties)  and play on the beach each after noon with Eabha.  I hope to  come home fully charged straight into My Waste Free Home mission. Read all about it on the Facebook page here.

Fun times ahead and I am so glad to have been born in May and a proud Gemini!

Josie Yorgason Blogalist Winner 2013 – Debute Blog on ‘Earth Day’.

University of Mary Washington on Earth Day

The first Earth Day of 1970 was filled with anti-war sentiment and planet conscious
festivities. Every year on April 22nd, people across the globe come together to celebrate and
appreciate the earth for its many wonders.

The picture to the left is University of Mary Washington on Earth Day, April 22nd 2013.

This year, I wanted to celebrate earth day by reducing my use of plastics and avoid
buying products with excessive packaging. Clearly, doing this for only one day is not effective
so I set my challenge in place on Earth Day and have stuck with my challenge thus far. The
first day, I had to focus and pay attention to everything I bought or used throughout my day (it
is a challenge, right?). However, even after one week, I find myself bringing my reusable bags
everywhere and asking for ceramics instead of plastic cups at coffee shops. I am happy to report
that I am approaching full-awareness of all the plastic that I would be using every day.

 

 

Besides being more conscious of all of the plastic and packaging wastes that can accrue
even after one day, this Earth Day, I focused on how others celebrated Earth Day in my current
city of Fredericksburg, VA. After talking with some friends, I found some common trends.
Walking instead of driving, eating lunch outside, shopping with reusable bags, and avoiding
shopping were among the top answers. After this, I wanted to see how my community as a
whole celebrated Earth Day by taking a walk around the town to see if I noticed anything in
celebration of Earth Day. I found some banners and signs that said, “Butts are Litter Too: Keep
Fredericksburg Litter Free”. This sign was a great reminder that even small things like cigarette
butts have no place in the environment and should be disposed of properly.

Butts are litter too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I wanted to learn more about how residents of my community were celebrating Earth
Day, I visited my regional libraries (Rappahannock Regional Library and English Run Library),
where I was lucky enough to talk with the Adult Services Coordinator, Michele Brown, and two
authors of the recently published book Traveling the 38th Parallel: A Water Line Around the
World, David and Janet Carle, about the importance of Earth Day:

“Is the recognition of Earth Day important to you?”

Michele- “Yes, I actually remember the very first Earth Day I had in high school,
specifically. I was allowed to walk to school instead of riding the bus. This was the only day out
of the year we were allowed to do this!”

David- “Yes, I think it is very important and powerful that people are taking the time
to mark environmental issues, this is special. It is especially helpful when places and people
celebrate Earth Day the entire week.”

“Is the recognition of Earth Day important for the city of Fredericksburg
specifically? If so, in what way?”

Michele- “ Yes for Fredericksburg, it is important. We have many beautiful natural
resources that we must preserve.”

Janet- “It is universally important. For Fredericksburg, the Rappahannock River is so
closely tied that it is vital. We even wrote about the Rappahannock River and river preservation
efforts in our book.”

“What is one thing that you have done in honor of Earth Day in order to be more
environmentally aware?”

David- “Writing our book! Also, we both had park ranger careers which allowed us to
work with educating children on Earth day.”

“Is there a specific issue you would like to promote in honor of Earth Day?”

Michele- “Yes! Out global garbage situation is not pleasing. We have so much waste and
packaging wastes that we just don’t know what to do with. This problem is a national issue.”

David- “Yes, awareness of water and sustainability should be addressed. We all need a
better understanding of resources values.”

Janet- “ Yes, I think we all need to focus more on long term rather than short term
sustainability. Global sustainability is key.”

From my findings, I think the messages are very clear and honest. We are a global
community as inhabitants of the earth. Although April 22nd is the designated day to celebrate the
earth, we should try to understand Earth Day as every day. Now, this is where we turn to you,
what will you do to make Earth Day every day? Thinking about your everyday impacts is the
first step. The earth will surely thank you.

-Josie

Coachford College – The School who took and trialled The Less Is More Schools Challenge & made it a Success!

DSC_0262

I have never been so pleased, proud and excited when I received an email from Ms.O’Keeffe to inform me that the students in Coachford College Co.Cork Ireland, where really interested in The Less Is More Schools Challenge and how could they get involved. It went from an initial email to the end result of:

  • Poster Competitions to be placed around the school to highlight the simple ways people within the school could make a difference which the winner received a Bobble Bottle
  • A Tree planting to celebrate Earth Day with a beautiful Amalanchier tree that was so kindly donated by Griffins Garden Centre
  • A Power Point Presentation of Earth Day. Questions such as Q. What is Earth Day. Q.Why is it important to take care of the Earth Q.A Challenge to everyone to participate in The Less Is More Schools Challenge on Monday 22nd, Earth Day. Q. Do you know where your rubbish goes.

It really was an amazing achievement by all and Ms.O’Keeffe informes me that the students really enjoyed learning about the Earth but also passing the message onto others. Caring about the earth and the environment is an enjoyable experience as it gives us a feel good factor that we have taken steps to do something positive.

As a present to all the students of Coachford College Co Cork, Ireland – I have received a DVD copy of The Film Trashed starring Jeremy Irons. I hope that you can persuade Ms.O’Keeffe to let you watch it soon and if you also wanted to conduct a little competition you can all write about your thoughts once you viewed it. Send them onto me and I will judge the winner and your prize will be a guest blogger on my blog!

A big pat on the back again to you all for showing what simple steps can achieve and I hope your tree collection grows into your very own little forest!

Thank You from Claire Lewis & The Less Is More Schools Challenge see you all again next year but until then keep up the good work 🙂

Trashed logoEarthTagWebHigher

Are you a student aged between16-20yrs? Fancy being The Less Is More BLOGALIST?

super man

Attention all budding Super Hero Journalists between the ages of 16-20….Do you love to write about events in you life or the world around you? Do you want your words to make a difference? Well this is for you….

The Less Is More Challenge is looking for keen budding BLOGALISTS blogger/journalists (just made this word up but I kind of like it) to write about events, people and places that relate to The Less Is More Challenge, Earth Day and Climate Change. This covers a huge spectrum of topics and you can write as often as you like. It also covers The Less Is More Schools Challenge so you can interview students your own age about what they think of the environment, environmental issues and what they did to mark Earth Day.

Don’t be overwhelmed you will be helped along the way and all of your work will be posted on the Claire Lewis Blog that is the home of the Less Is More Challenge giving you exposure as a real life BLOGALIST.

To apply please email Claire Lewis at lessismore@clairelewis.ie and tell me why you would like the job as The Less Is More BLOGALIST.

It will be a fun project for anyone keen on experience and you can live anywhere in the world as the environment effects us all. It will also be great for your CV/Resume.