donate buttonThis is Umbra’s fourth entry in the series “Grist dared me to make a change.” Read the first, second, and third here. And support her dare with a gift to Grist!

veggie burritoCourtesy of SweetOnVeg via FlickrDay 14, July 18, Meatless Monday
Going meatless on Mondays is a simple, full-of-impact change you can make for your own health and the health of the planet. If more of us take even just one day a week off from eating meat, we are reducing our participation in the most energy-intensive contributor to global warming.

fragile boxesDay 15, July 19, Planetary picture day
Submit an image that sums up the state of the world. Here’s something I saw on a walk that says a lot very simply.

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bee hugsDay 16, July 20, Bee hugs
Commit an act of creative civil diso-bee-dience. Dress up, cause a ruckus, and get people to care about an issue that’s important to you. I dressed up and hit the streets of Manhattan to give “bee hugs” to passersby, drawing attention to the plight of the bumble bee.

homemade TwinkieDay 17, July 21, Make your own junk food
In Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, rule #39 is “Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself.” Here’s a photo of me eating a homemade, organic Twinkie. And here’s the recipe!

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echinaceaDay 18, July 22, Stop and smell the planet
Stop what you’re doing. Go outside. Look around you. Take a deep breath. Stretch your gams and take a snapshot of something surprising in your surroundings. Here’s a festival of echinacea I hadn’t even noticed until I stopped to smell the planet.

Umbra in the showerDay 19, July 23, Write me a question!
What sustainability question is burning within? Ask me today! Astute advice is yours for the taking.

paint cansCourtesy of Daniel R. Blume via FlickrDay 20, July 24, Home toxics make-over
What’s the most toxic thing you have hanging out in your house?  (Mothers-in-law don’t count!) I found some old cans of paint, the non-VOC-free kind. I’m taking them to a place that recycles paint and other toxic things you may find in your home and don’t know how to dispose of, like nail polish! To find out the safe and approved disposal methods for products in your house, call the National Recycling Hotline at 1-800-CLEANUP (253-2687).

Next week: Fracking and farmer’s markets