Being Dog’s Best Friend

When I was 21, I spent five months living in India. It was only the second foreign country I had ever been to, and the first was Australia, which didn’t really prepare me for what I was about to encounter. The conditions people existed in—both their own physical bodies and the environment around them—were horrific. People had all manner of rashes, diseases, infections, open wounds, and missing limbs. They lived six people to a single room or two people to a single patch of sidewalk. They were dirty and hungry and desperate. Every time I would walk down the street to run a simple errand or go somewhere, people would touch my light hair or my pale skin, or tug at my clothes and ask if I could help them. It was a shocking but crucial formative experience in my development as a compassionate human being and a critical thinker. Continue reading →

Darmstadt and Waldspirale, a Hundertwasser House (July, 2001)

Hundertvasser House

While You Are There: Unfortunately, you can’t go inside. You can only admire and be jealous from the outside. But southern Germany has so much to offer and travel is easy, so if you’re in Heidelberg, Mannheim, Marburg, Cologne, or Frankfurt, you really should hop over to Darmstadt for a day.

Why It’s On My List: Because it’s just so cool! Read all about its tree tenants, mismatched windows, and lack of straight lines here and here. Here are some pics of a few other attractions Darmstadt and its suburbs have to offer.

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For this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge, I’ve decided to showcase 26 of my favorite places in the world. I’ve only been to 22 of the 196 countries, so I’ve got some more travelling to do, but these places are well worth a visit.

279 Days in the Mountains: Recycling, All the Boulderites Are Doing It

I previously wrote about trash and I think it’s about time for a follow up post concerning recyclables. For most of history, trash has just been trash. But if you know anything about Boulder, you won’t be surprised that Boulder is front and center in zero waste initiatives. Every building in the city is filled with waste stations that require you to stand around for five minutes trying to figure out which bin each item in your hand belongs in until you just give up and chuck it all in the landfill bin anyways.

I’m not anti-recycling and I don’t hate the environment, but I am selfish. Recycling has to be easy and time-efficient or I can’t be bothered. The house I rented before I moved in with my partner had a big single-stream recycling bin that I could dump everything in and take down to the end of my driveway every two weeks, so I recycled everything. When I moved in with my partner, our first condo had no onsite recycling, so everything went in the trash. Our next condo had recycling for cardboard, so cardboard got recycled and everything else went in the trash. Now we live in the mountains where there is no recycling, so you might think that once again, everything goes in the trash. Continue reading →