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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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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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🔵 Because teachers 🔵 . Sia and 8 pupils from the Atthe School Playground are constantly into the same goal 👏🏼 Kids you rock! . Education and Environment are fundamentals for the kind of world we are in need of. Learning by doing, getting involved within the process turns to be key point. Most of us had the chance to learn by repetition, equation that we must break up in order to take care of our planet 🎓 . Unlearn to learn for the better 🎩 . 🌎 Mecklenburg • Germany • 2017 🔵 @sia.frieda ⚫️#00049 🔴#everymomentcounts 🔴#5minutecitycleanup ⚪️#ipickeditup ⚪️#bettertogether ⚪️#zerowaste ⚪️#solutionsnotpollution .

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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.

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Our 2018 Message

I’m so delighted to be entering the new year and still be writing for StayBlooming.com. I didn’t get a chance to finish off 2017 with a post that showed how grateful I feel but it’s never too late for gratitude. Writing has always been my #1 passion and wanting to educate others through sharing my thoughts/ideas influences my will to find the words. I am so very appreciative of the support I’ve received in the last year and I am happy at the growth I’ve acquired thus far. One thing I’ve realized about following my heart, no matter the passion, is that it can be but so planned out. Every new journey is unfamiliar, causes discomfort, requires adjustment (and readjustment) and brings much change. But those are all signs of genuine growth and something to be proud of coming soon. So that’s our 2018 message to you. Always move forward, even when things are different than what you’re used to, that usually means you’re reaching a new destination. And that is nothing but great news!

Namaskar.