Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Nadirah’s Perspective:

With the short-lived Earth Day this past Monday, as certified Chicago Conservation Corp representatives (environmental org.), hubby and I have been trained in identifying environmental issues, learning new solutions, and sharing all information with a listening audience.  One of our personal and most practiced mantras is: You are either part of the problem or a part of the solution… we also chose the latter of the two.  To go with the theme of Spring (the season of renewal) we felt the need to take the time to explain some reasons why we should all become active participants in our community and introduce easy solutions that we all can incorporate into our daily routines/lives in an effort to help conserve the resources of Mother Earth.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I personally am sick and tired of looking at the empty potato chip and fast food bags, broken bottles, pop/beer cans, used diapers and napkins scattered throughout the streets/neighborhoods of Chicago.   Litter, excessive waste, poisonous gases, and receding/wasting water sources are in abundant use in today’s society.  Did you know the following?

  Running a hot water faucet for five minutes is the equivalent of burning a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours.
  Silent/unknown toilet leaks will waste 30-500 gallons of water per day.
  Food scraps make up 12% of the waste that Americans generate every day.  That adds up to about 28 million tons of food that gets thrown out over the course of a year.

I know it sounds crazy but these little issues add up into an enormous problem. Another major issue is the air we are breathing. Do you know about VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compound
  Definition:  a significant contributor to indoor air pollution; when inhaled can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, and nausea. 

  VOCs are found in many household products, including paints, paint strippers, cleansers and disinfectants, many plastics, and wood treated with formaldehyde.

How does this affect us?

           Ozone is created when the VOCs produced by smokestacks and tailpipes react with sunlight to form a molecule with 3 oxygen atoms.  Breathing in ground-level ozone causes wheezing, coughing, inflammation of the lungs and permanent lung damage with repeat exposures. 

  The main source of ozone and particle pollution is from the burning of fossil fuels, i.e. gas, fumes, etc.
  Particle pollution can aggravate breathing problems (asthma) but has also been linked to heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer.

Have you ever notice that sometimes the Weather Channel or major news programs announce high alerts on certain pollution/ozone days.  People with asthma, respiratory problems and the elder are told to stay indoors or take precautionary measures if we are to go outside. This is why!!!!

Here are some solutions that we can offer to start the going green process within your household:

  Use natural recipes for cleaning agents in your home.
  Turn the water off while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face could save 10-20 gallons of water per person per week (Helps your water bill).
  Check home for water leaks: sinks, toilets, outdoor spouts, garden hoses, etc.
  Put food coloring in your toilet tank.  If it seeps into toilet bowl, you have a leak.
  Install low–flow showerheads and sink aerators.
  Use leftover drinking water to water your houseplants.
  Join the Blue Cart Recycling movement to rid of excessive paper, plastic, and metals.

Here are some easy Green Household Cleansing Products recipes you can create (with your child/children) to avoid or at least limit your exposure of VOCs:

Window Glass Cleaner
  ½ teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
  ¼  cup vinegar or apple cider vinegar (for milder smell)
  2 cups of water

Furniture Polish
  Any vegetable oil, lemon oil, lemon juice.
  Mix 2 parts oil, 1 part lemon juice

We hope this information helps and has convince you to start or continue to be active in the progression of making our world a cleaner and healthier planet for our children of the future.  If you are interested in become more active or just want more information on green practices, please visit:

Troy’s Perspective:
            Our Mother Earth is the foundation of our existence.  Due to our destructive occupation of the earth and our convenience, right now we are causing irreversible effects to our planet. The earth is heating up faster than ever before.  The Earth’s oceans are becoming toxic and changing the ecosystem; the air quality is increasing in pollution and causing sickness and irritation to millions world-wide. We must act and act now!!!

            Have you ever wondered what happens to our garbage? The United States is currently #1 in garbage accumulation. A study was done in 2006 where a young scientist used hundreds of GPS technology in over 1,000 pieces of garbage on the East Coast. Common garbage was used for this experiment including: potato chip bags, plastic grocery bags, pop cans, candy wrappers, etc. After six months, various pieces of garbage were found in Canada, Mexico, and California and in the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.  Many of us aimlessly walk our cities and towns without any notice or care and litter our communities with trash.

Why should we change??? Trash is everywhere, our parks streets roads, etc.
            What can we do??? Rethink, reuse and recycle. By using the supportive information provided by my wife, we can dramatically make a difference one person at a time. By changing your lifestyle decisions and spreading the knowledge given, we can heal the damage caused to our earth. We can reuse cups, plates and silverware for starters instead of constantly purchasing items that accumulate waste and sometimes the eye-soar seen above. Recycling is a great way to reduce the enormous amount of trash that is overflowing in our current landfills.

We are currently running out of landfills and so I wonder what happens in 10 or 20 years when that place called "Away" is full everywhere?

Children in various countries are playing and living in landfills

Trash is washing up on our beaches


Trash is being consumed by our natural wild life


         The circular rotations of the water currents draw waste material in, which has led to the accumulation of debris in huge floating 'clouds' of waste, leading to the informal name “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” or “Eastern Garbage Patch.”



Effects of Garbage on Marine Life

       It has been estimated that over a million sea-birds and one hundred thousand marine mammals and sea turtles are killed each year by ingestion of plastics or entanglement.

The Ocean areas called dead zones where there is more plastic and debris floating than fish swimming   


         Mother Earth is the most valuable resource known to man and now is the time for change.  She is sick and screaming for our help.  Please do what you can. Consider the helpful tidbits of information from my wife and Rethink, Reuse and Recycle… Save our Earth!!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Nadirah’s Perspective:

The topic of same sex marriages has been causing pandemonium lately.  From the radio, television, or internet, people have been giving their positive and negative opinions basing their beliefs from legal aspects, family structure, and/or my favorite, religion.  So we decided to give our point of view and hope that others can continue to respect our human rights. 

First, as a heterosexual woman, I know that everyone wants to be accepted, love somebody and be loved in return.  It doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation, gender, race, creed, or species. Social acceptance becomes important in our adolescent years as we mature and become aware of our own thoughts, feelings, appearance, choice of friends and beliefs.   Why is it so hard for so many to understand why homosexuals want the same thing? I have friends who share a same sex household that are raising beautiful, smart, well-adjusted children within a loving home.   You can’t even say that about every household that contains a mother (female) and a father (male). To really be frank, most households typically have one parent playing both parental roles.   The point I’m getting at is this: people are making this issue more complicated than it has to be! 

If you have two people that love one another, are cohabitating in a non-abusive relationship, contributing to society by being law-abiding/tax-paying citizens, should it really matter their sexual preference?  The irony of all this is that religion is being thrown about as the reason why same sex marriages should be banned.  My next question is “When did God come down and delegated to these people that it was their job to pick out and condemn the ‘damned’?”   The God I was taught about and know is a loving God.  The God I know made everyone in his/her image.  The God I know wants us to love everyone, including our enemies.  The God I know is the only judge and jury.  Is this the same God that others are pointing shamed fingers in the name of; because if so, please remember that when you point your finger, you have three fingers pointing back at you?  Everyone has committed some form of a sin in their lifetime.  Let God handle all and be all and I bet we can have a better and more loving society!!!  

ALL WE NEED IS L-O-V-E!!!!!!!!!

Troy’s Perspective:

Same sex marriages have been the hot topic of conversation throughout our nation. Politicians, religious figures and citizens alike are heavily weighing in on the subject. Many base their decisions on morals, beliefs and overall opinions which are comprised by our upbringing and experiences that we’ve shared with others. As a loving couple we decided to voice our opinion on this heated debate.

            As a heterosexual man that truly appreciates the beauty and femininity of women, I was raised in a society where the LGBT community was frowned upon and shunned away from family, friends and communities. Members of the LGBT society were distanced, leaving them to only stay and commune among themselves.  Presently, the group that was once considered outcasts have further developed, grown and flourished into a well established and important part of our world.  Many are afraid of what they don’t understand; therefore, rather than accept, learn and better develop our understanding, it is always easier and more acceptable to exile a group. This has been the history of mankind throughout the ages with various races, creeds, religions and nationalities. This activity only perpetuates hatred, negativity and division.  

            Through valued discussion with my wife, friends and associates, this topic truly relies on the understanding of the individual. Similar debates have taken place throughout time with the equal opportunities of women, various races and now the LGBT community. As my wife previously mentioned, we should focus on the most important aspect of this topic, LOVE.

This world consists of two thought processes: Love and Fear. Those who fear use hatred towards all ideologies of what they refuse to understand. There are two important aspects to the same sex marriage debate: Love and People. Together, love + people creates a needed commodity across the world = Loving People. This is what makes human society flourish and further develop into something great. Two well-minded individuals who care and have love for one another should have the rights of marriage.  Don’t pass judgment for what you don’t understand or fear because the one person you hurt the most is yourself.

 LIVE LIFE AND LOVE among all… it’s the least you can do!!!