May Day, May Day, May Day!

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 6.55.30 AM“May Day, May Day, May Day!” (Week #17)

Most international communities celebrate May 1st by dancing around the Maypole. For many of us who grew up in the 1950’s we remember May Day with flowers, maypole dancing and choosing a May Queen as a celebration of springtime fertility.

Did you know there are two other “May Day’s”? Let me explain because when I was in school, grades 1-12, I was never told about these. I became enlightened to their existence as an adult.

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#1: International Workers Day or Labour Day, is celebrated all over the globe on May 1st. We are one of six countries celebrating this day in the fall. We can thank President Cleveland for moving that celebration to September to co-opt the day over concerns of repeating the Haymarket Riot. (The whitewashing of May Day in the USA )

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#2: Originally the phrase, “May Day, May Day, May Day!”, coined by Frederick Stanley Mockford in 1923 as the global “distress call”, was for pilots. It has become the international call for life-threatening emergencies on land, sea or in the air. As a child I learned about this watching movies on TV.

Back in 2012, when I founded this sustainable education non-profit, I blogged about the “Connect the Dots” Climate Impact Day, 5/5/12, a 350.org project. Let me connect some dots.

Here is my distress call, “MAY DAY, MAY DAY, MAY DAY!” Lately, I feel like Howard Beale from the movie, Network, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ Not to mention his infamous scene of summoning anger and suggesting that people voice their opinion out the window. Opinions are everywhere.  We need to take action.

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Most of the time, I’m a positive woman diligently working towards full achievement of a substantive resilient sustainable lifestyle and my own well-being. Doing my part of doing good has never been enough. I would like us to work together.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.23.11 PMWhat I find disturbing is that many of our country’s citizens are not connecting the dots between their unsustainable human actions and the advancing ravages of climate change. It is not just a group of politicians who have their heads in the sand, or practice denial about where we are headed. Many of my neighbors and community do also.

Climate change is not in the far future, as some would like us to believe, it is here now. My trees, shrubs and gardens have suffered for years with season creep. Since 2004 we have observed extreme flooding, storms, tsunami’s, historically high CO2 emissions and temperatures, melting ice sheets, toxic waste spills, more frequent “natural disasters”, along with record tornado and solar event activity.

Those facts can be overwhelming. While remaining a climate change activist, three years ago I chose a new American Dream.  I moved my personal resilience dial forward by designing a sustainable lifestyle, transitioning into an even tinier GHG/carbon footprint of almost zero waste and designed/built a net zero waste mobile tiny house on wheels called the Silver Bullet. And now, I help others do the same.

I cannot do this alone. We need to engage each other. I remain active as an environmental/resiliency/sustainability advocate and have given six “sustainable lifestyle” workshops in my community, as well as being a speaker at other festivals and workshops (See me at Deek’s tiny house workshop this weekend!).

Soon I will take my Silver Bullet Tiny House on tour to inspire and encourage others to start “Living the Sustainable Tiny Life” (my soon to be released book). That’s my idea of engagement. What is yours?

The WHAT:

Engage in a resilient, sustainable practice with your family and community to connect the dots between our consumption choices and climate change. Join others in your area and be part of the change!

The HOW:

1. Join 350.org and engage your community with your climate change concerns.

2. Get involved with your local community groups, become an advocate for your favorite environmental, resiliency or sustainability cause:

a. Support your local watershed, find out here.

b. Learn about the Storm Surge group if you reside on a coastline.

c. Visit a local tiny house designer/builder and explore the tiny life movement.

d. If you are part of the 98%, consider joining one of these groups.

e. Want to advocate social justice? Here’s a list of groups from health advocacy to cultural change. Click here.

The Deep Dive:

A typical Maypole Dance from Glastonbury (10 min. Youtube video)

Brief Origins of May Day (Industrial Workers Event 1886 to establish 8 hour workday)

What the Pope has to say about climate change today

Connecting the dots of this climate change crisis, The Guardian

Connecting the Climate Change Dots, Natural Resources Defense Council

NPR segment on Link Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change

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