Tag Archives: sustainability

A World Without Salt Packets

There are so many things that are packaged within paper, and the waste can be enormous.  I think about the time, manufacturing costs, the transport, the packaging, when we look at individual salt packets.  My guess is, forty granules of salt are contained within a tiny salt packet.  And we’ve got to enclose it with paper, and then put it in another big package to transport it.  There are so many ways that we use paper that are not allowing us to be effective stewards of our environment.

There was an interesting write-up of editorial letters in the San Francisco Chronicle the other day.  In it, one might think people were against plastic bags, and they were.  But they were also against paper bags.  All of the letters pointed towards using canvas.  And many of them even stated that we should feel guilty for using trees to transport our lunches, groceries, or other sundries.  We’re facing quite a revolution here in being thoughtful about how and when we use our natural resources.

The New Luxury – Water

In many emerging nations, children are starving and dying due to lack of clean water.  As a “developed” nation, it certainly doesn’t seem that advanced for us to be getting water for free.   Meanwhile, two million people in the developing world are dying every year because they can’t access clean water.

Maybe we won’t have water fountains in the future.

It doesn’t make sense.   If there is a limited, precious resource, why should it flow freely to those who have the most access to it? And at the same time, be so costly to others who need it most?

I think we should have to buy our water, bottled or fountain.  It’s a cherished, expensive and rare commodity. Quite soon, and even by certain nations, water already is the new diamond.

The diamonds which are jewels are high end commodities, which are optional.  Yet water is not a “high-end commodity” that we can go without.

Our society is now realizing that the most prized and honored possessions in our world are things that we actually cannot possess…  Water is used, captured again, recycled in nature, and used again.  Unlike diamonds, it can’t fit in our jewelry box, where we take it out whenever we so desire.  Its beauty rests in its necessary part of our day to day.

Its beauty rests in the continuation of life.


Let’s do all we can today to conserve water or donate to make water available for someone else.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make of Your Life an Affirmation”

“Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.” –Alexander Haig

Alexander Haig was a four-star general in the United States Army, as well as Chief of Staff under President Nixon and President Ford, and Secretary of State under President ReaganA veteran of Korea and Vietnam, Haig received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart.


Recycling Is Outdated

Recycling is outdated: its time has passed.  I’ve been thinking about this recently.  I know that might seem a crazy statement to some.

Yet we really have to encourage ourselves to reuse, and reuse again.  Here are some creative and inspiring ways to do so:

1. Save To-Go Containers

I’m often surprised in my office when people get lunches to go, how many containers go in the recycling.

I quickly pull them out.  Many of these are solid containers which can be used 100 times.  We probably never have to buy Tupperware.  These containers can be reused for a leftover, a half-eaten waffle from our breakfast, or a four-portion meal remaining from a dinner party.  Many of them are durable, safe and strong enough to go in the dishwasher.

2. Bring Your Reusable Containers

I’d love to see this trend. We see it with coffee, why not other food? What if we trained ourselves to bring reusable containers or tupperware to all of our lunches or dinners?

We could halt the production of plastic containers.

3. Keep your Tinfoil 25x

I see the same thing with tinfoil.  Sometimes when there’s a catered lunch at the office, large swathes of tinfoil cover the main entrée, or even a side dish.  This aluminum foil can be washed down and dried, and reused multiple times.  Depending on how clean you get it, it can be used 25x.

I’ve stopped buying aluminum foil.

4. Stop Throwing Out Water

Stop “throwing out” water.

In our kitchen at home, we have a hot pot which heats up our water.  If it’s half full in the morning, I used to dump it out, and refill the whole container.  And yet, I’m throwing away precious water.  How many countries across the world—how many millions of children—would die for those two cups of clean water?

I’ll answer it for you: Two million people are dying annually due to lack of clean water.  Most are children.

Drink it then, or save it for later.   Or we can water our plants.  Or we can use it to scrub down the basin, clean the bathtub, scour the shower, or dampen a cloth when we’re wiping down the kitchen table.  Let’s not waste something that actually sustains other people’s lives.

As the expression says, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I think we have to change our mindset completely…don’t throw out the baby…and don’t throw out the bathwater.  Both represent life.

5.  Rip Up T-shirts, Clothing, Towels

Does your t-shirt get too ratty to donate?  Do you have an unbleachable spot on a shirt, pair of pants or towel?  Cut them up. Use them as dishrags.  We don’t need to buy rags.

Tell me how your life is not just useful — but “reuseful” – and I’ll post your ideas.   Be sure to include not only the idea, but also how you use it at home or the office, and as well as your company name if you like.

We all need to learn from each other. Onwards to a more Reusable Lifestyle!

Here are some opportunities from UniversalGiving’s vetted NGOs to give and volunteer towards protecting our environment and resources.

Donate to preserve trees and traditions in Guatemala
Donate to preserve a biological corridor in Honduras
Give $22 to plant a tree in Haiti
Explore and protect the Amazon rainforest
Volunteer to conserve the New Zealand environment

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Enjoy When You Can, Endure When You Must”

“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.” 
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Two grand lessons today: Enjoy and Persevere.


There is so much to enjoy… it’s important that we focus on the good!   Watching your nephew play sports, while catching up with family.  Taking a calming walk in nature. Cheering on the 49ers with friends!

Sometimes, we are deterred by something that isn’t working.  Perhaps it’s a rough spot in business, or a relationship that seemed to get off the rails.

But we can’t get distracted.  Find and focus on the enjoyment before us.  It need not be a big event, and often is a small but special gratitude.


Then, there are times to patiently persevere.  The road might feel a bit rocky under our feet.  Yet we must stay the course, step by step. Like a diligent marathon runner we are committed to our course, unrelenting to the finish line.   With this experience, we can help others.


In both Enjoyment and Perseverance, we treasure life.  Life is made up of the loving times of enjoyment with family and friends. It is also perseverance in our challenges, which allow us to grow, and give.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, and natural philosopher, best known for his two-part poetic drama Faust, which he started around the age of twenty-three and didn’t finish till shortly before his death sixty years later. He is considered one of the greatest contributors of the German Romantic period. At the age of sixteen, in 1765, Goethe went to Leipzig University to study law as his father wished, though he also gained much recognition from the Rococo poems and lyric he wrote during this period. In 1766 he fell in love with Anne Catharina Schoenkopf (1746-1810) and wrote his joyfully exuberant collection of poems Annette.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe now rests in the Fürstengruft or “Royal Tomb” in the “Historic Cemetery” in Wiemar where his dear friend Schiller is also laid to rest. In honour of these two famous German men of letters, a statue of Goethe and Schiller now stands at the German National Theatre in Munich. UNESCO’S “Memory of the World” list includes the handwritten works of Goethe preserved by the Goethe-Schiller-Archive.

Bio Source: The Literature Network