Every day, the ocean serves up a chance for us to change our ways.
That dawned on me when I was walking on the beach in south Florida and noticed, glinting from the sand, the corner of a clear plastic bag. Picking it up, it snapped in the wind and I saw it was still intact. After that, I couldn’t help but use it to collect other stuff left in the wake of the tide: bottle caps and straws, spoons and forks, hair clips and cup lids, and many, many plastic scraps.
That’s the thing about plastic: it never really breaks down. As I wrote after Superstorm Sandy, the problem afflicts fresh water, too. Bacteria and other micro-organisms naturally degrade things like banana peels, egg shells and other natural, organic matter. But machine-made plastics are petrochemical polymers that don’t degrade. They only become smaller and smaller bits of themselves. Continue reading
When it comes to improving the health of children, can prescribing a nature walk be as good as a pill? A growing number of American physicians are betting on it, especially in light of the dire state of children’s mental health.
“I prescribe nature to patients because it is the easiest way for me to get people outside,” declares Robert Zarr, a Washington, D.C. pediatrician. Zarr and other “Nature Champions” prescribe free-form outdoor exercise to their patients. A study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health finds that, though more research is needed, “Nature prescription programs offer an opportunity to connect patients with local parks and green spaces, and to capitalize on health benefits that could result.”
I listed the sorry state of U.S. inactivity in a previous post. And there’s more I learned at the national Walking Summit: most American adults spend 90% of their time indoors, 40% of them get no leisure-time physical activity, and their kids park in front of screens 7.5 hours a day. This has contributed to a doubling of the type 2 diabetes rate in the past fifteen years and the fact that one in three Americans—whether adult or child—weighs too much. Continue reading
Although The Durable Human Manifesto contains the word “revolution” (thanks to Foo Fighter Dave Grohl), it comes in peace as a declaration of human awesomeness and celebration of our supremely unique selves.
The goal is to embolden people to actively cherish and amplify the attributes we have as human beings that our smartphones don’t.
The Manifesto’s welcoming design and striking images make it different from a typical publication. I hope you see and feel it like a breath of empowering fresh air.
I have already written a sequel to The Manifesto: How To Be a Durable Human: Revive and Thrive in the Digital Age Through The Power of Self-Design, but I’m still looking for thoughts and guidance on The Durable Human concept.
Reading The Durable Human Manifesto takes about ten minures. Download a copy directly for free here (no email signup required) or buy it in print on Amazon.
Learn more about the author on Google+.
When buying a bunch of flowers, I’m always happy when – peeking out – are the pinky green buds of an oriental lily. Over the next few days, I love to watch each unfold its sinuous leaves and relish their heavenly fragrance. I thought of lilies as I found myself planted in a cozy suburban living room with this year’s Washington, DC cast of Listen to Your Mother. We had been invited by Stephanie Stearns Dulli and Kate Coveny Hood, director and producer respectively of the yearly, live celebration of the grit, gripes and glories of moms in particular and parenting in general.
After enjoying a spread of cheese and artisan pizza artfully prepared by cast member and host, Lara DiPaola, we sat down to read our essays. One by one, we bared our souls, each offering her or his contribution to a diverse bouquet of stories: many were funny, some surprising, and a few could break your heart. Through the evening of tears, tissues and hugs, we created something beautiful together, born of our durable human traits of curiosity, creativity and compassion.