Archive for August, 2011
Autumn is just around the corner and we at The Well Daily are on the lookout for ways to connect with the earth in this gorgeous season. It’s the perfect time to start a green habit and this one is easier than you might think.
Want to try composting but don’t know a thing about it? Hesitant because you don’t have much space? Read these fundamentals and you’ll be ready to take your recycling to the next level with ease.
What Is Composting? Composting is the process of decomposing organic material into humus, which is the organic matter in soil that is nutrient-dense. Adding compost to soil improves the overall health of the soil and prevents erosion and healthier soil means fewer fertilizers and more nutritious food. Plus, composting reduces the amount of waste going to landfills.
How Do I Compost? The process itself is easy. If you have a yard, start a compost pile and collect your food scraps there. If not, most cities have compost drop-off sites and many farmers markets accept food scraps. Collect them in a plastic bag or bowl with a lid in your freezer, and when it’s full, drop it off. If you’re worried that your compost will smell, try a compost pail with a charcoal filter. You can even purchase a compost pail for your kitchen on GoodShop to make a donation to Joyful Heart with your purchase, at no cost to you. Be sure to select the Joyful Heart Foundation as your cause when you’re browsing, or click here to download the toolbar.
When you’re ready to get started, just follow these guidelines.
What to Compost:
- Fruit and vegetable peels, rinds and pits
- Non-greasy food scraps like bread and grains
- Tea bags
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Newspaper, napkins and paper towels
- Grass and lawn clippings and leaves
- Hay and straw
- Weeds, cut or dried flowers and potting soil
- Wood chips and sawdust
What NOT to Compost:
- Chemically treated wood
- Diseased plants
- Human or pet waste
- Meat, fish, bones, dairy, nuts or other fatty foods like cooking oil
- Inorganic materials like aluminum, plastic or glass
The Well Wisdom: What about composting cooked food? Cooked food can be composted as long as it does not contain dairy, meat or fats. It rots quickly, though, so many city-dwellers living in small spaces stick to basic food scraps like peels, rinds and coffee grounds.
For more tips on living well, visit The Well Daily, a website and free daily email for all things yoga, meditation, nutrition and wellness. The Well Daily’s simple mission: be well, do well, live well—for yourself and others. The site’s creators, Sukey Novogratz and Jackie MacLeod, know they are not alone in their quest to breathe more deeply, operate more energetically, live more mindfully and age more gracefully. They pass along the ideas that they love, whether they’re the latest or the most ancient—ideas that open the heart, nurture the body and expand the mind. You can join their circle of friends and everyday people seeking more health and more joy by following them on Twitter and Facebook and by subscribing to The Well Daily.
Today marks the annual celebration of Women’s Equality Day. This year is the 91st year since the 19th Amendment was adopted in the United States, giving women the right to vote. We have so much to look back on and be proud of—so many achievements to celebrate as women and as those championing women’s equality.
But to be sure, we still have progress left to make.
Because today is largely a day just like any other. Today alone, 680 women will be sexually assaulted. At least 3 women will be killed by their husbands or boyfriends. Almost 5 children will die as a result of child abuse and neglect. There are likely to be over 16,000 children living in a shelter to escape family violence. It won’t stop just because today is Women’s Equality Day.
Last week, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the federal government’s Department of Justice, released a report compiling two decades of research on violence against women in the United States. It documents hundreds of studies commissioned by the NIJ on topics ranging from law enforcement interventions, victims services programs, policies and legislation related to violence against women, the effect of domestic violence on children, the social and cultural contexts of violence against women, how violence and abuse affects the life cycle and so, so much more. I would urge anyone who has an interest in any of these areas and the movement as a whole to peruse its pages.
For me and for countless others who are in this movement to end violence against women, all the findings contained within these studies are, of course, a trove of information that have been and will continue to be used to inform our work. But looking at all these results of decades of studies compiled in this one document is looking at decades of violence against women. And all of it has happened more than half a century after women celebrated our equality with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
We have so far to go. The truth is that women and girls are disproportionately victims of sexual and domestic violence. Nine out of 10 victims of rape are women and 84% of the time, victims of intimate partner violence are women.
As I think what women’s equality means for the movement to end violence against women, I am reminded of something Polly Poskin, the Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said. In an interview with Ms. Poskin, Sarah Tofte, Joyful Heart’s director of Policy & Advocacy, asked her what it would take to dramatically reduce, if not altogether end, sexual violence in our country. Her response:
We certainly need increased funding, increased resources and laws requiring accountability, but that alone does not change a culture. It may keep us fortified with the resources that we need to be safe, but ending sexual violence is really dependent on human beings regarding one another as equals. Someone I regard as my equal I do not harm. If we had the practice of equality, we would see the end of rape.
In my heart, I know there will be a day—maybe not in my lifetime, maybe not even in my children’s lifetime—that we will see an end to violence against women and girls as we know it in this country. I applaud and thank each of you for every act of respect, kindness and care that collectively brings us closer to this day.
Take action to tell the FBI that rape is rape.
Currently, the FBI defines rape as “the carnal knowledge of a female against her will.” This definition is archaic and it does not reflect the reality of sexual assault in the United States today. Join over 62,000 others who have already told Robert Mueller, the Director of the FBI, and Attorney General Eric Holder to update the Uniform Crime Report’s definition of rape to include all victims by signing your name to these letters from the Feminist Majority Foundation.