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October 3 - October 24, 2018

Mar Vista Drawdown Feed

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  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Meditate
    What would you like to invest more time in reflecting on?

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/24/2018 5:47 PM
    I've been avoiding this question - I think reflection is hard for me, because there's always SOMETHING to do, and I get caught up in the immediate here and now needs of my day-to-day, and am not good at stepping back and looking at the big picture. I can plan ahead for events or goals, but big picture thinking causes me anxiety. I think those are the things I probably should be reflecting on more, but I'm disinclined to do it. This was the daily challenge that I did the least, despite it only taking a few minutes a day. I do think this was a hard month to have this challenge in, as it's my busiest of the year, but I could still make the time for 5 minutes of reflection and meditation... I just didn't want to. 
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Go for a Daily Walk
    Fresh air and movement are good for our entire being and can help us think more clearly and creatively. How does taking a walk each day affect yourself and/or your work?

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/24/2018 5:44 PM
    It helps alleviate stress, which I think it the hardest part of working in the modern era, so much of my daily life and work is indoors, and on a computer screen. My eyes get tired from screen time, my posture suffers and I get back problems. Walking outside gives me fresh air, much needed movement, and a visual rest for my eyes. Greenery is visually restorative. 
  • Reflection Question
    Nature Go for a Daily Walk
    How do you experience your neighborhood or city differently when walking instead of driving?

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/24/2018 5:42 PM
    I get to enjoy the flowers and trees so much more, the smells and the fresh air. I very rarely open the windows when I'm driving, because of exhaust fumes. I don't get enough fresh outdoor air unless I take daily walks. 
  • Reflection Question
    Health Audit Toxic Cleaning Products in my Home
    To what extent do you believe that environmental factors contribute to your own health or issues with health?

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/24/2018 5:40 PM
    It's hard to quantify. I know I have more systemic health issues when I'm under stress, because it weakens my immune system, but also when I'm stressed I tend to eat more processed/ready-made foods. Things like plastics leaching chemicals and smog in LA is harder to measure or know the impact of because they are slow and gradual build ups over time. I do think it's important to minimize exposure to toxic chemicals and materials as much as possible, though I still have a good deal of synthetic clothing and tupperware. 
  • Reflection Question
    Community Express My Support
    What sustainability issues are most pressing or prominent where you live?

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/24/2018 12:52 PM
    Stopping the fracking in the Inglewood Oil Field - it's so close, and has the potential to negatively impact the health of our community. Support the 2500' buffer zones for schools and residential near oil wells, it would make a HUGE difference in oil practices in LA. 
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Go Paperless
    Reducing your paper mail can be such a freeing action to take -- by reducing what is coming in, you can reduce what is going into the recycling bin too. How does it make you feel? What is the next step you will take to reduce your waste?

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/24/2018 12:30 PM
    I'm going to try to purchase things with less packaging, and bring my own packaging for bulk items purchases.

  • Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/20/2018 7:35 PM
    I did a waste audit of my household monthly trash accumulation. Here are the results:
    • chip bags (3)
    • cotton swabs (12)
    • dryer lint
    • granola bar wrappers (4)
    • cheese wrapping (3)
    • biscuits packaging
    • peanut butter seal
    • wine bottle cap
    • butter wrappers (2)
    • peanut butter cup wrappers (2)
    • used gift card
    • cheese rinds
    • chapstick container
    • fake meat wrapper
    • soiled paper towel
    • soiled wax paper
    Overall, for a month, I think we have very little non-recyclable or compostable waste. The above items don't even fill the mini-trash can we keep under the sink for landfill trash, and we probably go through 1 of those a month. In the same amount of time, we fill a similarly sized compost bucket once a week, and we have 2 tall recycling bins, one for glass, aluminum, and paper products, the other just for different types of plastic, which I take to a special sorting center. We probably empty the main recycling twice a month and the plastic one once a month or even less. Since we started composting this year, we produce 1/5 of our previous landfill waste. The plastic recycling is the area I'd like to cut down on even more, but it can be difficult to avoid plastics entirely. 
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Personal Waste Audit
    Why is it so difficult to understand the impacts our purchases and waste have on other people, animals, and places? How might your experience with this challenge impact your future consumption and choices?

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/20/2018 2:54 PM
    I think the disconnect between purchasing, waste, and impact is because of our culture of convenience, the normalizing of plastics and packaging everywhere, for everything. We have a culture not only of speed, excess, and convenience, but also of disconnect and compartmentalization. Our products are prepackaged, pre-compartmentalized into discrete units, and that is a reflection on how our culture and awareness is compartmentalized. Unless we are actively seeing the impacts of our waste, particularly in connection to the point of purchase, we don't make the connection, or it's "not our problem" in the moment, it's a "societal structural" problem. If we had a landfill right next to every shopping outlet that openly displayed the waste produced by the purchases, maybe then people would think about the impacts of their purchases on a daily basis. 
  • Reflection Question
    Nature Enjoy the Sunrise/Sunset
    Father Thomas Berry says, "...our primary purpose is celebration. Celebration of the dawn and the sunset and the different seasons of the year is a religious ritual, a way in which humans can establish their integral relationship with the universe, with the planet Earth." Respond to Berry's assertion.

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/12/2018 10:40 PM
    I think the concept that our primary purpose is celebration is interesting - what would it be like to truly celebrate each day? One of the rituals I really love at an intentional outdoor music festival is that every day, there are people who sit and watch the sunset, or people who watch the sunrise (mostly having stayed up all night, but still!) and when the sun rises above the horizon, or the moment it fully dips down below it, everyone lets out a loud, joyous, primal cry. There are whoops and cheers and whistling. It really is a celebration of the passing of that day, the celebration of the coming night and completion of that day, or the start of a new one. 

    In a big city like LA, it's harder to feel that connection to nature, to the rhythms and cycles of the earth. It takes a lot more effort to be mindful of the earth, to remember it, to remember the seasons even, since the weather is so consistent. Watching the sunset is definitely a way I can remind myself to connect with nature in the city. Tonight, when there was the unusually loud and intense thunderstorm (something we almost never get here!) we opened our screen door and just stood and watched the rain and lightning for a while. It was lovely. 
  • Reflection Question
    Health Happiness
    How does/can practicing gratitude keep you centered and motivated to work for a better world?

    Naomi Curland's avatar
    Naomi Curland 10/12/2018 10:32 PM
    Practicing gratitude reminds me of how many good things there are in the world, and in my life. How much I have to be joyful of, and how much harder I want to work to protect, care for, and grow the things I love.