The plan to keep me accountable to my good lifestyle.

“Being good” is overwhelming.

I read Health magazine, I recycle, I eat organic, I’m converting to “good” home products, I opt for fair trade items, I pick up littered trash, I am courteous and thankful, I drive attentively, I consider other people and most of all, I am considerate of our earth.

But there’s always something new and it’s exhausting as a college student (or simply a person between 18-26). I’m struggling to fit in all of this “good” with my hectic, get-what-you-can-in-your-spare-time schedule.

I simplified being “healthy” for my life into a check list and created a journal of the basic details of a healthy and smart lifestyle.

This easily keeps me accountable everyday. The point is to see what I actually do and inspire me to pay attention to those points that I slack on.

Getting enough sleep, stretching, eating breakfast, taking vitamins, exercising, watching less TV, eating properly, avoiding drinking alcohol often, and being financially aware are the key concepts in my life-organization project.

The food log helps hold me responsible for eating greasy foods and extra desserts. As I fill in the foods I eat daily, I number my fruits and vegetables in hope to eat 5 a day.

So far it’s working, but I’ll have to keep you posted. Consider what you need to be doing differently and try it out for yourself.

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Already recycling? Get your friends to do it: good peer pressure.

It’s not always bad to use peer pressure, right?

My recyclable recepticle. It gets emptied more often than the trash can of the same size.
Today I’m removing a piece of tape on my recycling bin. I recycle. And I get as many people as possible to recycle, too. So when I moved in with my good friend Erin last year and found out that she didn’t know much about recycling, I thought it was best to make it easy and put a label on the recycling bin.

I looked at the Baltimore County website for recycling and found their guide to what is recyclable. Then I made a cheat sheet on this piece of masking tape.

I got good results from Erin and guests, too. I’m glad it helped to save recyclables from a sad trip to the landfill.

Now that I’ve moved, I do single-streamed recycling and I have a roommate that is as serious about recycling as I am and so it’s time to remove this sticker.

But I haven’t stopped converting friends to the recycling lifestyle. It’s your responsibility to spread the word, too. So use that peer pressure for something good!

A quick what-to-recycle guide for guests on my recycling bin.

Beyond “Say Hey (I Love You)”: the deeper Michael Franti & Spearhead

Michael Franti & Spearhead performed “Say Hey (I love you),” a very catchy song from their newest album, All Rebel Rockers on Ellen. It was also the song played in the flashmob in the first episode of Weeds in Season 5.

It’s an high-energy, positive and uplifting song and I expect that it will grow more and more popular, but most of their content has more serious social and political issues to discuss than this popular song may suggest.

Michael Franti & Spearhead are a rock/rap/funk/folk/jazz/reggae group whose creator and lead vocalist Michael Franti is “an outspoken supporter for a wide spectrum of peace and social justice issues” according to his Wikipedia page.

I love them for a lot of reasons, but I’m blogging about them because the lyrical content and message of Michael Franti & Spearhead songs represent very serious aspects of social responsibility. The following is a great example of their message.

Song: The Future

Album: All Rebel Rockers

Lyrics:

They talk of the future like it’s already the past
They talk about the future like today will never last
They talk of the future while their diggin’ through your trash
Taxman come to remove your cash
They talk of the future like a criminal plans
Corporate robberies in far off lands
They tell you the future’s a big wonderland
and that homeland security’s got a career for you
Don’t you believe what they told you before
It’s the same frikin’ lies that they’ll tell you some more
They searchin’ your bag as you’re boarding the plane
and they telling your neighbors that you went insane
I wouldn’t believe that this was all coming true
If I could not see with my eyes that it’s true

Even still I hope the future gets here soon
Bring it on bring it on

The future’s comin’ on like a bomb
The whole worlds rockin’ and the beat goes on 2x
Ready or not we’re bringing it on
The whole world’s rockin’ and the beat goes on

They take all your privacy give it away
and for musical piracy lock you away
They tell you that war is a permanent thing
and American Idol kids really can sing
Potheads on a rescue mission,
put your cancer in remission
People starving, malnutrition
work your abs into condition

Oh no now they after your soul
and they’re telling you now that you’re losing control

well its true cause I just got sick of it all
they say the savior’s comin he’s down at the mall
He’s signing some autographs and selling them all
Pick up the phone now and make the call
I wouldn’t believe that this is all coming true
If I could not see with my eyes that it’s true

Even still I hope the future gets here soon
Bring it on bring it on

I’m sorry. Which spot were you aiming for?

I have a goal: to seek out some of the worst parking/driving decisions and post the photos of such events on this blog to clarify improper driving/parking/vehicle use etiquette.

A sloppy and lazy parking job.

I’m sorry. Which spot were you aiming for? And when you got out of the car and noticed the white line was four (or more) feet from the side of your car, did you think, “Gee. Perfect parking job. I’ll bet that someone can definitely park in the spot on the other side of my car.”

To top it off, the spot on the left that this car is rudely taking 30% of is a handicap parking spot.

Penn, of Penn & Teller, says “You don’t want to be good because of reward or punishment”

(Image courtesy of http://www.downshoredrift.com)

Doing research for the parenting aspect of this blog, I ran across this video. And I think the really interesting part happens around 2:30 when Penn Jillette says that “…you want to be good because it’s good.” Penn is a very well known atheist and while I’m not encouraging the atheism aspect, he explains “being good” in a very unique way. I saw this video for the first and only time a few months ago, and it stuck with me. I had to go find it.

PS- Whoever decided to disable the embedding option for this video on YouTube should rethink that.

You’re trying to avoid H1N1, but what’s in that hand sanitizer?

GoodGuide is thinking about your health and your hands. We all know it’s important to keep your hands clean in order to stay healthy through this winter and flu season (or you’d better learn quick), but if you’re using hand sanitizer to replace a tradition soap-and-water method or between hand washings, you need to check out this slide show.

hand_sanitizer_slideshow_ingredients

(Image courtesy of GoodGuide.com)

You’d better have a good reason for not recycling.

One thing that drives me crazy is people who don’t recycle at home. I mean, what’s your excuse?

Who is so lazy that taking an extra minute to rinse a recyclable item, place it in a receptacle separate of your trash can, and take out the full bag twice a week would be too much? I don’t know anyone who can’t spare 10 minutes out of 1,140 minutes a day to act on lowering their personal footprint.

You can find this 3-compartment, 16 gallon Smart Bin Waste/Recycling Bin at Target for $100.

You can find this 3-compartment, 16 gallon Smart Bin Waste/Recycling Bin at Target for $100. (Image courtesy of Target.com)

If  your recycling program is not single streamed yet (meaning you still have to sort it), there are plenty of ways to make sorting simpler. There are plenty of waste bins out there that have separate spaces for sorting recycling and trash.

Or, if you don’t have $70-$100 to spend (or if the cost of recycling is your excuse), you can certainly make your own. Get creative here and stop making excuses. So now you can’t whine about the sorting complications.

How can you send your plastics, aluminum, papers and glass to a landfill when taking just an extra minute means that those materials are going to be re-used? Is it ok to be so lazy that you can’t manage that?

Also, get creative about recycling in your own way– find items that can be reused in your home instead of being tossed into the trash can. You can do it.

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