This week Awesome Stories brings you creativity, happy habits, harbor cleanup, granting wishes and community gardens.
Designer and artist Mariëlle Coppes likes feel-good projects to brighten people’s day and inspire them to be courageous and act on their dreams. Her fun idea was to make 1000 origami cranes, with a note inside, to pass out to strangers in her town. I love the simplicity of this idea and might try it. When I was young, I used to make large, 4 foot tall, origami cranes from special rolls of paper that my dad brought home from his work.
This is a good article about the things that happy people do differently than most people. They are more inner driven by their passions, values, and empowered to create the life of their dreams, with a little moving mixed in. The most interesting difference to me is that they don’t depend on friends. They have close friends, but don’t put expectations on them. Read this post for the rest of the 10 things.
Solar Water Wheel
John Kellett and Daniel Chase designed this creative project in Baltimore to clean up the harbor. The solar-powered pumps move 20,000 gallons of water an hour onto the rotating wheel that turns the conveyer belt, moving the trash into a bin. The water wheel is capable of collecting 50,000 pounds of trash each day that is taken to a waste to energy plant, becoming electricity for the community. Additionally, the wheel aerates the water, attracting fish and improving the water quality with a long term goal of helping to make the harbor swimmable.
Danielle Gletow has a passion for helping children in foster care. She started One Simple Wish to help fill the needs and wishes of what she calls the invisible children in foster care. For these children who’ve been victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment, even a toy or simple adventure can make a world of difference. People can go to their website and grant a child’s wish, by sponsoring or buying that wish. Their latest campaign is to grant the Ultimate Wish, a permanent home for 100 children. Since 2008, One Simple Wish has granted over 8500 wishes for children in 44 states. The numbers of children in foster care are pretty shocking; 400,000 children enter foster care each year, at a typical age of 6, stay for 1-3 years, half get placed in permanent homes, and 20,000 per year place out being too old for the system.
Solar Success in Germany
Germany continues to lead the world in converting to renewable energy. They even have a name for it, Energiewende, or energy transformation. They just set a record of 74% of their energy produced from renewables on a recent day. Overall, they produce about 27% of their electricity from renewables versus 13% in the US, and they are targeting 80% by 2050 with a lot of help from wind, biomass and energy storage. If they can accomplish this with their large industrial base and cloudier weather, then the US and many other developed countries can too. Go renewables!
I love the idea of community gardens. Seattle has one of the most famous in their Beacon Food Forest project. Fayetteville City and local groups like Feed Fayetteville have created a number of local community gardens. Feed Fayetteville’s mission is to create community food security by cultivating a sustainable local food network. They’ve started several community gardens, school programs, food collection and Slow Cooking. Their latest project is a community garden in a commercial zone. The goal is to expand our ideas about landscaping to show that it can be fun, practical, attractive and edible!