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Reader Appreciation

For all of January 2018, I was extremely delighted to see an increase in international readers. I try my best to tailor StayBlooming.com’s content for anyone to find relatable, interesting, or educational — so this is a little accomplishment I want to celebrate. Oftentimes I feel limited because I live in New York City and I don’t think I can establish a connection with people further than my own city and state. But that could not be any less true and you guys have made that clear. In just a few days, on February 6th, StayBlooming.com will be celebrating its 1st birthday and I want to use this time to celebrate the diversity of my readers.

Thank you to my readers from all over the world!!!

Argentina
Australia
Bangladesh
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
Canada
Chile
China
Costa Rica
Ethiopia
European Union
France
Germany
Greece
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Japan
Malaysia
Mexico
Myanmar (Burma)
Netherlands
New Zealand
Pakistan
Philippines
Portugal
Russia
Senegal
South Africa
Ukraine
United Kingdom
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Stop Wasting Paper!

Climate change is real. Environmental issues affect us all. Whether we feel affected by it personally or not doesn’t change the affect it has on other people and parts of the world. The problems we have within the environment are so large-scale that no one person can do anything to fix it, no one organization, no one country, no one continent… it is an effort that’s needed by the entire world and every conscious being in it.

So with that being said… today I received a piece of mail basically recommending me to switch energy providers. To my fellow city dwellers… you know exactly what I’m talking about! I found this empty envelope inside:

I thought to write a note to send saying, “Stop wasting paper!” but I realized that would be wasting paper too. So I just lifted the flap and wrote it on there — so they’d be forced to pay the postage and receive my message.

I’m committing myself to do this each time I get junk mail that includes a “no postage necessary” envelope because it’s a waste of paper and the only way corporations learn is: (a) when you make them lose money or (b) when you make them spend unnecessarily. One person can’t make a dent but a lot of people can, and dents give in eventually, so protect what you believe in bloomers!

Think green.

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In Tough Times

When the pawn hits the conflict he thinks like a king
What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
And he’ll win the whole thing ‘fore he enters the ring
There’s nobody to batter when your mind is your might
So when you go solo you hold your own hand
And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
If you know where to stand then you know where to land
And if you fall it won’t matter ‘cuz you’ll know that you’re right

– Fiona Apple (1999)

What looks like a poem at first sight, actually isn’t. This is the title of Fiona Apple’s second album that most people just know as “When the Pawn…” I was and am a really big fan of her songwriting & music… and have even named every Apple iPhone I’ve owned Fiona. I find that all of her music is highly relatable in one way or another, if not many ways all at once. Her word choice is absolutely phenomenal and lucid.

Apart from that is this unique album title. Over the years I have considered it a poem, a mantra, an escape, but never just merely a title. I have found myself saying it out loud, under my breath, during great anxiety, or even writing it over & over when I felt the urge to write for whatever reason. It has broken me out of spells of thinking I am incapable, it has given me confidence when I felt my lowest, and it has motivated me to work against the odds I thought were against me.

All in all. I’m sharing this because everyone deserves to have this kind of outlet. A saying that they know by heart that can ease their brain, take it away from challenge, and rejuvenate your tolerance.

Find one, use this, share what with us what works at alyssablooms@gmail.com for a feature on StayBlooming.com.

Namaskar.

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5-Minute City Clean-up Challenge

Last summer, I featured the 5-Minute Beach Clean-up Challenge to push the environmental agenda while we had free time on the beach. Respectively, there’s now an Instagram to get the same volunteer effort into our cities. An effort that is StayBlooming.com worthy and I want to challenge you guys to get in on it. The 5-Minute City Clean-up Instagram is a project with the very same goal of being green: to encourage social media users to volunteer 5 minutes of their time to clean up their city. Users then post the image and tag @5minutecitycleanup on Instagram for a chance at being featured on their page.

The incentive to be featured is a great way to get people interested. Five minutes goes by quickly too, so it’s easy to devote that time to cleaning up. But the goal is what this challenge (as a whole) can accomplish for the environment.

Share your images with us at alyssablooms@gmail.com if you decide to get involved and we’ll give them a definite feature.

Here are some images that they have inspired from around the world:

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🌞 Schools 🌞 . Where everything was born. Places where we gather together to learn for the better. A second home, if not the first one for so many. Schools were key, are key and mostly within the future should be as key as possible 🙏 . 🌎 Dallas • Texas • The United States • 2017 🔵 @oakclifflove ⚫️#00058 🔴#everymomentcounts 🔴#5minutecitycleanup ⚪️#ipickeditup ⚪️#bettertogether ⚪️#zerowaste ⚪️#solutionsnotpollution . #Repost @oakclifflove (@get_repost) ・・・ ♻️4️⃣♻️ #oakclifflove #keepoakcliffbeautiful #keepoakcliffclean #keepdallasclean #keepdallasbeautiful #5minutecitycleanup #take3forthesea #grabbits #justgrabbits #litterless #litterati #5pieces_a_day #1peaceaday #pickup1million

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By talking with Linda Pierce, she said "oh my son is in Chile so as you". She invited me to his new coffee shop @capsulasantiago inauguration on Saturday and sent tons of love (hey Niles!) 🙌The account from Baltimore says "broad" and I couldn"t help but notice the rhyme with abroad 🌎 . Being abroad means to raise awareness about what belongs to you, what belongs to me and what belongs to us. In order to respect the locals, you merge youself with them. You are respectful and approach the place with kindness. 🎉 . Then you travel somewhere else and you go on and on, keep going. Then you realize you belong to everywhere. And everyplace deserves maximum respect, both socially and absolutely environmentaly 🌍 . Let's get greener guys but greener greener! 🌏 . Baltimore • Maryland • United States • 2017 🔵@baltimore_broad ⚫️#00036 🔴#everymomentcounts 🔴#5minutecitycleanup ⚪️#ipickeditup ⚪️#bettertogether ⚪️#zerowaste ⚪️#SolutionsNotPollution . #Repost @baltimore_broad (@get_repost) ・・・ #5minutecitycleanup #trash #trashwalk #nightlyendeavor #keepyourneighborhoodclean #itsyourbaltimoredonttrashit Been cleaning this neighborhood for many years. Decided to join this instagram share.

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Plastkill. . Kills. Easy as that. It kills. . 🌎 The Netherlands• 2018 🔵 @zwerfinator ⚫️#00104 🔴#everymomentcounts 🔴#5minutecitycleanup ⚪️#ipickeditup ⚪️#zerowaste ⚪️#solutionsnotpollution . . . #Repost @zwerfinator with @get_repost ・・・ Tie wraps. Or tie rips. Whatever. Keep finding them everywhere. And there are better alternatives. . . . . #zwerfie #litterati #plasticsoup #justoneperday #grabbits #pickitup #aquickpick #LeaveItCleanerThanYouFoundIt #LeaveNoTrace #1pieceofrubbish #sidewalksweep #binit #pickabag #exposingtrash #plasticpollutes #alitterwalk #packyourtrash #TrashFreeEarth #BeTheChange #MakeItFun #PowerOfFun #trashhunting #yeswetrash

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Ivory Victory in China

Image source: National Geographic (2016)

It’s with much contentment to announce that China has finally banned ivory. Chinese authorities announced this decision one year ago, promising that by the end of 2017 they would close all ivory business and implement a ban. Now it is officially so!

Elephant populations declined at an alarming rate from 1980 to 1990. What was an estimated population of 1.3 million plummeted to less than half at 600,000. At this time in 1990, international banning of ivory was being established but this did not stop poaching. In fact, poaching continued and new ivory was passed off as “old” when being traded. In 2017, there was an estimated 415,000 African elephants and an estimated 45,000 Asian elephants left in their population.

Poaching and trading decreases when countries take responsibility within their territories regarding how they may contribute to the issues. China has had a large influence with a large industry in ivory dealing. So with that being said, I think this decision will encourage neighboring countries to take the same step towards conservation.

Sources:
Steyn, Paul. African Elephant Numbers Plummet 30 Percent. National Geographic, 31 Aug 2016.
World Wide Fund for Nature. African elephants. 2017.
World Wide Fund for Nature. Asian elephants. 2017.