Daniela Ginta, The Mindful Writer

Freelance Writer and Photographer, Author of the Mindfulness Blog

Category: Environment Page 1 of 17

Weekly Column: Gratitude makes everything a lot better

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on December 23, 2019.

Most days the boys come home from school saying the day was OK. Every now and then something more than ordinary happens and the usual non-descriptive OK is replaced by stories, good and bad. A couple of weeks ago our youngest came home with such a story – a good one.

That day, their Career Planning teacher told them, among others, that gratitude makes life better. He told them stories about people who went through hard times and became that much more grateful for what they had even when almost everything had been taken away from them.

Another time, the woodwork teacher told them that they are fortunate to be able to go to school and have access to so many learning resources. We often talked about this in our home. It is hard to put in in words how good many people have it here. And having it good comes with moral obligations, I believe.

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Weekly column: Let’s make the holidays this year about people, not sales

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, December 2, 2019.

I have this simple blade coffee grinder that I use for grinding flax seeds. It lost a knob during one of our many moves, but it still works. No points for looking pretty though. We also have another basic blade coffee grinder, which has all parts and has been fully functional for the last 20 years (OK, we had to sharpen the blade a couple of times). Donating either in favour of new ones might just mean the end of the road for both, since they look past their prime. And then again, why would we? They work just fine.

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Weekly column: Why we ought to see more of the world

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News, on Tuesday November 5, 2019.

This column was to be about fish. Herring to start with. A few reputable conservation groups, including Pacific Wild, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Conservancy Hornby Island and the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewarts, are urging the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to rethink the roe fishery quotas for the herring in the Straight of Georgia (the plan is expected to be finalized in early December.) The stocks are almost 60 percent depleted, their press release said, and that’s happened in the last four years. Shocking isn’t it? Albeit not a local issue, it is a provincial one and a sign of a pervasive and challenging issue.

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October 8, 2019. Noon. Snowing.

I had to look twice to make sure; OK, three times. It was snowing. The wind had been blowing since yesterday when it was 18 degrees Celsius in late afternoon. All degrees but four got scattered by bedtime. We lost two more overnight.

Today at noon we got snowflakes. A first this time of the year by everyone’s account. Dog and I took a walk in that swirling mad snowflake dance and I realized this sad fact: first snow always had my heart flutter with joy. Always. Today, this year, the flutter is missing and instead I feel sad and worried. The world is changing and I do not care about making yet another point about climate change (yes, it is real, and yes, I am shaking my head knowing it is still debated; seriously!). But.

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Weekly column: Food studies versus common sense and reality

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, October 7, 2019.

You can safely file it under ‘Another day, another food study.’ Followed by… now what?

Case in point: the recent meat-centered study coming from Dalhousie and McMaster Universities, which concluded that the health benefits associated with reducing or eliminating red and processed meats are minimal, and the risks we thought existed are also quite small, hence the recommendation to eat meat without restrictions, if that’s how you feel like it.

So what’s wrong with that, some will say. The study eased the guilt and worry about red and processed meats. It’s good to not have guilt or fear as a side dish, right? Granted, the researchers admitted they had not taken into consideration any animals welfare and environmental issues, and they considered people’s attachment to their meat-based diet as one of the factors to base their recommendations on.

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Weekly Column: B.C.’s wolves are still being killed but will that save the caribou?

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on September 16, 2019.

I will save you the suspense. The answer is not likely, according to many wildlife researchers who have studied the issue from all sides because of what’s at stake, which is the balance of entire ecosystems. The conclusion, though not generally accepted because it depends who you ask, is that you cannot cull (kill, in plain language) a species to protect another, they say.

The wolf cull that has been going on in British Columbia for five years will now be followed by an even more intensive one, according to a leaked memo from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. More than 80 percent of the wolves in certain parts of the province where the caribou herds are in steep decline are to be ousted, which will hopefully see the caribou surviving and thriving.

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What would Dr. Seuss say…

One facet…

Two days ago, I read a thought-provoking article about the strategy (or one of them) that Dr. Seuss used to create his work. He was challenged (it was a $50 bet in fact) to write a kids’ book using only 50 words that a grade 1 student would understand and handle with ease. Green Eggs and Ham was born and if you haven’t read it yet, please do today because that it will make your day, and beyond. It has rhyme, reason (obviously) and quirkiness galore.

When the boys were little, we collected and read as much Dr. Seuss as we could. Quirky and funny and rolling off the tongue is the recipe for what children like in a book and parents can read many, many times over without wanting to tear their hair out of sheer boredom. Not with Dr. Seuss’s books. A healthy side-effect: They incited the boys to want to read by themselves. Just to have that silly rumble of words come out of their mouths instead of mine.

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