How you can help save the planet using the KonMari method this Earth Day.

Unless you live under a massive rock, you’re probably well aware of Japanese organizer Marie Kondo’s decluttering revolution that’s sweeping the globe.

But did you know that the “tidying up” method that promises to improve your life by ditching the things that don’t bring you joy can also help you make the world a better, greener place?

According to Caitlin Roberts, a Master KonMari Consultant and founder of Los Angeles-based Minimize with Purpose, home organization can contribute to sustainability by exposing our subconscious shopping habits and introducing more purposeful decision making.


“By confronting all of the items within our homes utilizing the KonMari method, we are given the unique opportunity to learn about how and why we have consumed in the past,” she explains. “Learning to identify exactly what items support your lifestyle (and how many of them you actually need) encourages you to shop more consciously moving forward.”

Roberts also says that gratitude is another big part of the KonMari method of home organization and sustainability. “When we show gratitude to the items we have selected to discard, we spend time locating the best possible way to recycle, reuse or repurpose,” she adds. “When we respect the items that have supported us, we are more committed to finding them a new home and a new purpose.”

With that in mind, there are some items you should NEVER throw in the trash, as they can be super harmful to the environment.

These include lights, batteries and electronics, mercury-containing items, household and garden chemicals. Instead, go online and look for local resources that will help you dispose of or donate them safely and properly.

For other less toxic items, however, there are a variety of eco-friendly, sustainable options for donating or reusing — which could, in turn, bring you a lot more joy.

Reusing household items

While there are national organizations like Goodwill that have locations where you can take items like clothes, furniture, electronic and even toiletries to rehome and repurpose them, starting with local groups in your community can be easier. See if groups like Buy Nothing, Freecycle and Facebook groups like Moms Helping Moms cater to your area. There will usually be takers for pretty much anything — opened bags of flour, mismatched dishes, old socks even half-used face creams.

West Midlands Police/Flickr.

Building scraps and materials

Did you do some renovating recently? Don’t toss your scraps in the trash! They can actually be transformed into works of art. “You can turn your scraps, overstock and other materials into art and education by donating to a tinkering school such as Los Angeles based reDiscover,” says Roberts. These schools help children cultivate their creativity by upycling sustainable materials — aka your junk.

Most of these types of schools have their own donation policies, but some of the items they often look for include large lumber, full or ½ sheets of plywood, (no paint or varnish), bamboo, pipe, rope, casters, pulleys, hooks, wood screws, corks, bottle caps, lids, large or appliance cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes, berry baskets, reusable shopping bags, pipe cleaners, wire, buttons, wooden toys of any kind, balls of any size or material, tape, glue, hot glue sticks, paper clips, rubber bands, crayons, markers and pens that work.

Costumes, Prom Dresses and Gowns

Do you have any old costumes hanging in your closet, perhaps from an ambitious Halloween party long since past? Don’t worry, we all do. If you donate them to your local community or school theater group, they’ll get a second (and hopefully third, fourth and fifth) showing. There are also groups like Ween Dream that take costume donations so they can give free Halloween costumes to children in need. You can donate from anywhere in America by shipping them to the Ween Dream headquarters in New Orleans.

The same goes for old wedding gowns, bridesmaid and prom dresses. There are a number of resources that will recycle those glam gowns you are never going to wear again by donating them to people in need. A few of these include the Angel Gown Program, which will turn your beautiful wedding gown into a burial gown for infants that pass away in the NICU, and Becca’s Closet, a program that provides prom gowns for girls who can’t afford them.  

Arts & Crafts Supplies

If you envisioned yourself a painter on weekend, bought a bunch of supplies, then let them sit and collect dust in the closet, don’t just toss them. “So many schools and community centers are desperate for art supplies, and the teachers can use all the support they can get!” notes Roberts.

You can even donate used markers thanks to Crayola. The color-friendly company has banded together with schools across North America as part of the Crayola ColorCycle program. Through this initiative, students in K-12 schools across the continental United States and parts of Canada collect and repurpose used Crayola markers, and are taught about sustainable practices in the process.

Denim

Every one of us has a pair of jeans they’ve held onto for way too long that is far too holey to wear out in public. That’s where Cotton Incorporated comes in. They recently launched their Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program, an innovative way to give your jeans a new life. This program transforms your donated denim into housing insulation. And as an added bonus, when you make a donation at your favorite retailers — including Bloomingdales Madewell, American Eagle Outfitters and Rag & Bone — you can get a discount on your next pair!

However you decide to handle your spring cleaning, we hope that you consider doing it with the planet in mind.

The environment is in a precarious position no matter how you slice it — it is more important than ever to practice mindfulness when it comes to getting rid of things. So, instead of tossing those items that no longer bring you joy into the trash, take a little bit of time to find them a better home. It will help you feel better, bring joy to others, and help keep this planet we call home a more habitable place.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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