2021 begins today, and while the new year is supposed to be about casting aside the bad things to focus on a bright future, it hardly feels that way in the midst of a global pandemic. But, writing these has been a tradition since 2013, and this doesn’t seem like a good year to break with any traditions.
Keeping with the theme, the top post here was Working From Home, written at the start of the lockdowns in the United States. I’ve been working from home for 10 years, and now most of us are, so I hope folks found it useful.
A quick list of favorites this year, I hope you enjoy them too:
This year especially, we’ll need more people sharing their voices and experiences as we navigate our lives during this pandemic, so please considering launching your own site with WordPress (and Jetpack) or WordPress.com, or start posting again if you already have one! If shorted content is your thing, take Tumblr for a spin. I didn’t think I was going to do much there, but now it’s a big part of my online presence.
If we work together and have empathy for not only one another, but also for those we lost along the way, we might just make it through 2021.
We have a blogging club at work, and each week we share what we’ve posted. I mentioned this week that I haven’t posted anything new because all I can think about is the election and I don’t want to get too political on here (you can follow me on Twitter for that), but here we are, with a crucial election less than a month away.
This year, voting is not only your civic duty, it’s a moral obligation. I could rant forever about how this country’s political system is dominated by only two political parties, but for now that means you’ve got two clear-cut choices for President. You can choose President Donald Trump, a man who has used the office to enrich himself and openly supports racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic policies (and may very well be racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic himself), or you can choose someone who isn’t, Vice President Joe Biden.
Are there other issues? Yes, of course, and you should take your time to actually research them, Ballotpedia is good for that. Don’t just cast your vote because you like the political party they claim to belong to. Remember that you’re voting for a man (hopefully someday a woman), not a party, and that man will represent our country globally and drive policy and decision making for the next four years.
This is definitely an interesting Earth Day for all of us, with many of us under some form of a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The world is still out there, but it’s ok if it feels very different today than it did last year, we’re all coping differently. Please wear a fabric face mask (like this no-sew handkerchief mask or something more robust), and please reserve medical masks for medical professionals. The more of us who do our part to stop the spread, the sooner we can begin to get back to the way things used to be. (But, maybe with less pollution this time, right?)
Once equipped with a mask, try to spend some time outdoors, just make sure to stay 6 feet apart of people you aren’t sharing a home with. If you can’t make it outside today, or you’d rather not, please enjoy this video.
We’ll need more people sharing their voices and experiences this year, so please considering launching your own site with WordPress (and Jetpack) or WordPress.com, or start posting again if you already have one!
There are many ways to lower your carbon footprint, from simply recycling to outfitting your home with solar panels, but there are somethings you mostly can’t avoid, like air travel. The good news is, you can offset your remaining carbon footprint by donating to a group that plants diverse native trees (non-native monocultures are bad for the planet).
In our case, we chose Trees For The Future, a fully vetted nonprofit group that works to replace monoculture farms with Forest Gardens, which provide diverse, native, and food-producing trees. These trees, besides clearing carbon, provide year-round food and income for the farmers, and are therefore far more protected than most tree planting operations, and it really does work. Plus, they provide a handy calculator so you know exactly how much you need to donate to offset your carbon footprint with them.
Trees For The Future can help you easily climb that final step to carbon neutrality, but what about going carbon negative? That’s where Ecosia comes in. Ecosia is a search engine which uses its proceeds to plant trees all over the world, and they have the financial reports to back it up. Using Ecosia requires no monetary commitment, every 45 searches plants 1 tree. I do a lot of searching for work, so I switched the search engine in my work browser to Ecosia, and we have already planted 8 trees after 2 months.
I’ve done the best I can to limit my carbon footprint, I use Trees For The Future to cover everything else, and Ecosia at work to plant a few extra trees. It’s easy to do, and well worth it.