environment

And yet, I remain committed to what *I* can change

This is a reply to Dr. Jon Robison, with whom I occasionally spar gently on the LinkedIn platform. I began it as a comment on the platform, but it said I’d exceeded the allowable character count.

The conversation began over a post I shared about a sugary-soda tax being implemented in Catalonia, Spain. His most recent comment was …


A guy at the women's march

An impressive number of people attended the Women's March in Boston.

I spent time with a friend Sunday morning, and searching for a metaphor, I mentioned that Joey, Georgie, and I had attended the Women’s March in Boston the day before. My friend, an older, right-leaning, white woman seemed puzzled. Experiencing the march with neighbors and family, and demonstrating civic engagement to our son, enriched our time at the march.

“It was for women, wasn’t it?”

Yes, and no. Yes, so-called women’s issues were clearly front of mind for a great many people there, so it would be both wrong and insulting to suggest otherwise. But I could easily have been there “only” to support issues such as freedom to choose, gender-pay equality, and others.

Several Boston statues were adorned with pussy-ear hats, as were tens of thousands of marchersThe reason I used “so-called” above is that these issues affect women more, but they are not women’s issues. As a number of signs at the rally said, women’s rights are human rights. I’m for human rights, so why would my attendance surprise anyone?


You already have what you need

This is another in a series of posts derived from my book, “Sustainable You,” a workbook that explores the implications of the question, “What good is sustaining the planet if we’re not sustaining ourselves?”

Coaching as a service is in its infancy, compared to where I think it will one day be.

One reason is, many people aren’t quite sure yet what its value is. How is it different from counseling, or going to a doctor?


Marc Sussman: "What we do in our lives impacts everybody else"

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers in return. Today’s participant is a health coach, financial adviser, and social activist — not to mention a passionate accordionist. Before we get started, a note to those playing at home: “10 words” is an target, not a limit, so please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it, especially on the fly.”

Marc SussmanName Marc Sussman
Born when, where  "Jan. 4, 1952, in Brooklyn, N.Y."
Resides now  "Framingham, Mass., happily. I’m a new transplant."
What are you doing these days?  “I am studying nutrition. I am studying financial planning, returning to that vocation sometime this summer. And just staying abreast of all the important issues going on in our country, and in the world."
What did you used to do?  "I was a financial adviser full time for over 30 years. A certified financial planner and investment adviser."
When did you stop?  “Two and a half years ago."
Why?  “Health and emotional considerations. I was burned out. I needed to take a step back and reconsider what I really wanted to offer to people and the positions I wanted to represent."


Kristi Marsh: "I know my greatest impact is still ahead."

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask brief answers in return. I met today’s guest when I attended her session at a green expo years ago, and she's come into my view often enough that I knew we should talk, so here we are. She’s an author, an advocate for personal eco-consciousness and action, and recognized speaker. Remember, “10 Words” is an ethic, not a limit, so to those of you at home, please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it, especially on the fly.

[This is an edited version of this interview, conducted on video March 10.]

Kristi Marsh, speaker, author and household ecoconsciousness advocateName Kristi Marsh
Born when, where  Portland, Oregon, in 1970. Soon after, I moved to California, where I was raised in Sacramento. Spent some time back up in the state of Washington, and then I've spent the last 20 years here south of Boston.
Family circumstance  "I am raising a family. From 2 to midnight, I’m a stay-at-home mom, raising three teenagers. My husband is in retail."
Occupation  "I’m an educator of mainstream women who are curious and want to learn more about this whole movement about how the products we bring into our homes can have an impact on our health."
What did you want to be when you grew up?  "A Rockette. That didn’t work out. An animal trainer at an amusement park. That didn’t work out. By the time I was a teen, I realized I had a connection toward training. In college I studied human resources, and went into the world of retail as a trainer at Target and a beauty-industry store in malls. That’s where I found this connection to be working with women and bringing them along in a process.
An early influence outside your immediate family  The outdoors. From camping, to being raised as a preteen having a horse as my sense of independence."
A hero today, also outside your immediate family  "I spent most of my life knowing the name Rachel Carson, but it wasn’t until my late 30s that I learned more about who Rachel Carson was, as an author, as a scientist, as an advocate for women. I read ‘Silent Spring' and I know that it is an impactful book on my generation, but being raised in my generation, I had no idea what it was about. Once I read it and learned more about Rachel Carson’s legacy, i think it influences me greatly. I have deep admiration and respect for the change she created, not only in the 1960s, but the ripples it created throughout the 1970s."
What’s your book called, and how can people get it?  “'Little Changes, Tales of a Reluctant Home Ecomomics Pioneer.' It is a paperback on any normal online paperback site. It’s also an e-book. And it can also be purchased directly through choosewiser.com."


Parents must protect against the food environment

In a recent post, I reacted to writer Morgan Downey’s mockery of a ham-handed suggestion in Puerto Rico to fine parents whose children are obese.  I think the suggestion is not helpful, but I objected to Downey’s giving not even a nod to the fact that parents do have a huge role in how kids learn to eat.

Downey focused his prescription on the food environment, and though we agree on its potency, I would put the onus on parents here, too, in part because in this world, a crucial role for parents is to educate their kids about media excesses — which is to say, “media.”


Where is the line, between environment and us?

Nobody admirers a hijacker, so I’m being imprecise, at best, when I opine that “environmentalists have hijacked sustainability.” I don’t meant to impute evil at all — hell, until very recently, I’d have self-identified as one, and our aims still essentially align. And I don't mean it literally.


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