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Tennessee Residents Take Initiative To Clear River Pollution

Danielle S

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Tennessee’s residents realize the importance of cleaning up their state, knowing the benefits to them and their children. The rivers had become severely polluted with a range of garbage from household to commercial.

Environmental regulations, such as the Clean Air Act, have been proven to protect rivers, lakes, and marshlands. However, despite these protections, solid waste still tends to flounder into the environment because of its fluids.

Because surface waters collect on the land and eventually enter the drainage systems, anything that is tossed or knocked into a watershed finally reaches the drainage way.

Urban areas often generate trash and litter by the stormwater runoff. Each particle of debris or junk will carry five elements of garbage or rubbish.

This practice also happens in both urban and rural areas. It sometimes includes dumping electronic waste directly into a waterbody or wetland or depositing it along a riverbank or lake shore.

Anything that comes into the environment also has many different inputs, which are traced back to folks who fish or partake in different types of water-focused activities.

It doesn’t matter where the trash comes from or what type it is; it still is a significant type of water pollution and must be taken seriously.

As part of their plan, they initiated a large cleanup weekend that resulted in removing plenty of garbage from areas spanning the banks of the Tennessee River.

This is an organization formed by the Keep Tennessee Beautiful and Johnsonville State Historic Park groups.

The team set out once again to clean the streets by picking up trash amounting to nearly five thousand pounds. Much of this project so far has been cleanup operations. They are planning another event at that location in April to remove approximately one hundred thousand pounds of waste over the year.

Twenty-five volunteers huddled over several days to lift a staggering nine thousand plus pounds of waste. There was a mixture of trash, with the help of KTNRB’s huge aluminum labor boat starting from Pebble Isle Marina.

This is what they decided to do. They chose to do it themselves because they want to keep things going and do it alone.

The KTNRB Directors believe that when the community takes the initiative and forms alliances, putting time and effort into beautifying their community, that’s when the river situation will improve.

When KSBI took part in an October 1 restoration action, they also teamed up with the national nonprofit organization Living Lands & Waters, who took along several giant vessels to clean up nearly five thousand tons of trash.

The total amount of trash collected was just over fourteen thousand pounds during a handful of the cleanups.

The organization aspires to orchestrate another massive cleanup in April, as well as to remove approximately one hundred thousand pounds of garbage from the river before the year ends.

In the meantime, household litter, including plastic cups and utensils, bags and wrapping items, and bottles that people throw from their homes, are the most common garbage in the entire United States.

The substance in many plastics is very toxic to wildlife. Depending on where they have been lodged inside the body of animals, they can either cause internal organ failure, or they can lead to delayed strangulation.

Organic garbage such as. Wood can have a number of chemical and natural effects on rivers and other water forms.

There are many effects of the wastewater that include causing the demise of marine plants, impacting the reproductive mode of oysters and other aquatic wildlife.

This leads to a decreasing amount of oxygen that is available in the water. These types of toxic matter can seep from certain types of trash.

Overall, what the residents have done must be lauded with a good that communities in other states will follow suit.

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UPS Drivers Celebrate Co-Worker’s Recovery From COVID-19 With Touching Parade

Sarrah M

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At the time of this writing, there are more than 134 million globally confirmed cases of COVID-19. The global pandemic that shut much of the world down a year ago continues to wreak havoc, though new vaccines and declining mortality rates provide renewed hope. Among the many stories to come out of the COVID-19 crisis has been the way that humans have banded together to show support for one another in trying times. For a team of UPS drivers in Midland, TX, this meant taking to the road to show love and appreciation for a co-worker who survived a long battle with COVID-19 at Midland Memorial Hospital.

From COVID to Celebration Parade

As one of the most integral public services in the United States, having deliverable mail throughout the pandemic has turned into a luxury. The systems in place have struggled under the burden that COVID-19 has brought and it has taken hard-working people like the drivers at UPS to make it happen.So when one of their own ended up hospitalized with COVID-19, the rest of his colleagues knew that they had to step up for their co-worker, one William Torres.

Torres had been hospitalized after early symptoms of COVID-19 began to heighten. Eventually, Torres would be sent to the ICU where he would spend a full 64 days under care and guidance. Throughout this time period, Torres was forced onto a ventilator to help his lungs operate, as breathing had become a moment-by-moment struggle. Torres said of his breathing issues, “Like let me cover your mouth with my hand and leave you just a little opening…”

While Torres was ecstatic to find a parade of UPS trucks, motorcycles, and cars waiting for him upon his release, things weren’t always looking so bright. For one, Torres was convinced that the virus might have killed him. The breathing issues were a major symptom but only one of many including fatigue, pain, headaches, loss of smell, and so on.

Road to Recovery

For Torres and his colleagues at UPS, the parade that welcomed him home was the first time that the two parties had interacted since his diagnosis. Extreme quarantine conditions kept visitors away, remaining largely remote throughout the duration of his stay. Even though the two parties had been separated, Torres and his UPS friends were delighted to meet up once again. A colleague named Lori Ripplinger said of Torres, “He’s one that will light up a room!”

Now well on the road to recovery in a post-hospitalization life, Torres hopes that others will listen to his story and take the virus more seriously as a result. Torres pointed out that many folks are lucky that they get a ‘mild version’ of it, though the severe version can kill you. Torres said, “I say wear your mask — it’s worth dying for, y’know?”

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Joining A Facebook Group In Another Country Accidentally Leads To Impactful Connections

Jolie

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Oftentimes people aim for one place and end up in another, whether on the bus, train, personal car or even online. For Sue Perry, of Crocton in the West Yorkshire county area of England, the online version occurred recently but turned out to be a blessing.

Sue Perry, whose community is near Wakefield, was on Facebook searching for a place to donate some books, DVDs, and an office chair, but she wound up making real connections from all over the world.

She entered a Facebook group for Wakefield, Que., a rural community just north of Gatineau, by chance.

She said it was the unfamiliar community names, types of clothing and shoes as well as skis that gave it away. One of them, she believes, was Edelweiss, Perry said.

Sommet Edelweiss Ski Resort is a ski resort in Wakefield’s other side, the one with all the snow.

She created a post declaring openly, ‘Whoops, I’m sorry I joined the wrong Wakefield party, I’m in the U.K. and hope you all stay safe across the pond,'” she explained.

Perry believed that was the extent of it, but the Canadians replied with multiple messages enquiring about her wellbeing.

COVID-19 had infected her daughter and son-in-law, both nurses, and her son, an outreach worker, at the same time.

She said Everything was a little low for her family at the time, and it was an incredible and delightful diversion.

I compared it to a snowflake that turned into an avalanche, she said.

When one of the members of the party, Scott-Milton Grace, posted on Facebook that he thought they should give Perry a care package, she thought it was a joke — before people started offering maple syrup, honey, and other goodies.

Perry claims she was in a poor mood when the mix-up occurred, and the outpouring of goodwill that followed was a welcome distraction.

Grace said she found a box and placed it in his office, and she invited others to drop off items for the care package.

Perry says that once the box was completed, folks provided money to cover the postage cost, which she found quite humbling.

“Actually, I cried a few tears,” Perry said.

Then, according to Perry, Scott texted her to say that his mayor wanted to send something as well.

“So he sent this little package from the mayor of Quebec to our mayor in Wakefield,” she explained, adding that there was also a package for the Wakefield Express, her local newspaper.

When the box was finished, people donated money to pay for the postage, which is simply incredible. It’s extremely humbling…. Really, I cried a couple of times.

A plethora of goodies arrived from across the Atlantic Ocean.

“I thought it was a joke when someone said, ‘We should submit the nude calendar,'” she said, but the package proved otherwise.

The Wakefield Express published an article about her mix-up and new friends.

“Since that was posted online, there have been a slew of responses. Everyone thinks it’s fantastic. Exceptionally nice, “she said

A thoughtful yet enigmatic letter on the exterior of a care package sent from Wakefield, Que., to Sue Perry in the United Kingdom.

Perry said she’d heard that the mayor of Wakefield, England, needs to send a return box and that she’d like to help.

She claims that her case has struck a chord because everyone is in the same boat and searching for a way to pass the time.

“When the package arrived, there was a small note written on the side that Scott hadn’t written on when he sent it, so it was done at the post office or in transit,” she explained.

“The spirit of love and compassion is alive and well in the heart of humanity,” the message reads.

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Emerging Science Suggests That Birds Enhance Human Happiness

Sarrah M

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Listening to birds tweeting early in the morning, watching them feed in the middle of a city, or even eating crumbs off a patio has always been a fun pastime for thousands, if not millions of people.

We see them almost anywhere we go, hear them every day, and live in every climate, and two recent studies have found that just being around them makes us happier.

Now we’re hearing from scientists that this activity, done on a recurrent basis, is beneficial to our wellbeing.

According to a German study, being greeted by a diverse range of birds will increase satisfaction with life by the comparable amount of 150 dollars per week in additional income.

The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research used data from the European Quality of Life Survey in 2012 to assess how species diversity in birds impacted 26 thousand people in twenty six European countries.

A Lecturer at Goethe University, based in Frankfurt, Germany is the main author of the study and he states that, “the happiest Europeans are those who can encounter a variety of bird species in their everyday lives, or who live in near-natural environments that are home to a variety of wildlife.”

Another Professor, Dr. Katrin Böhning-Gaese, who also works at Goethe University, claims that “They also analyzed the socio-economic information of the people who were evaluated, and, much to their amazement, experts discovered that avian variety is as essential for their overall happiness as their earnings.”

California Polytechnic University conducted a clandestine study in which it subjected Colorado climbers to an experiment that assessed their sense of well-being by positioning speakers that played a variation of bird song along certain parts of a common hiking trail network and then questioning the hikers about their encounter.

Although the larger picture of nature’s restorative properties is likely to include multiple senses, Danielle Ferraro told the university press that “our research is the first one to experimentally exploit a mere one (sound) in the industry and illustrate its relevance to human experiences in nature.”

Indeed, hikers on the trials who heard much more and more diverse sounds reported feeling better about life and their hiking experience than those who heard just less and less sound overall.

The advantages of birding—hearing their song, seeing the species around us—are also beneficial. Sales of bird feeders, bird food, and birding apps all escalated throughout the pandemic, according to a new study from the Audubon Society, while involvement in the yearly worldwide event known as Big Day, and staged by the Ornithology laboratory at Cornell, shattered all previous records.

Participants reported 2.1 million observations of 6,500 species during much of the Big Day. More than 120,000 checklists were submitted by an all-time high of 50,000 people, smashing the previous single-day checklist record by 30%.

Nesting season is approaching fast, and with lockdowns still in place in many states and nations, there hasn’t been a better way to start birdwatching—and, if possible, to render your land a good habitat for birds.

There are many ways to make your property bird-friendly. Here are a few:

  • Know what is on the ground in your yard
  • Explore what types of plants are ideal for your yard and are attractive to birds.
  • Don’t forget that native species are always the best plants to attract local birds.
  • Target plants that bloom with flowers have berries or even seeds.
  • Don’t make your lawn too vast.

Last but not least, unless they pose a threat to your home and family, save as many of your trees as possible as you prepare for a whole new world of happiness.

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Fight Loneliness With a Free Postcard, Courtesy of Canada

Danielle S

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The COVID pandemic hasn’t just had a direct impact on health through infections. It has also resulted in a tremendous, widespread impact on mental health as well. Humans are generally extremely social creatures. To suddenly take a population enculturated in being connected and within days telling everyone to stay away from each other and work in isolation, it’s going to have a cost. That has become apparent in loneliness, depression, dissociation and more.

The Canadian government decided to take a simple but proactive step in helping alleviate some of the disconnect that’s been happening in 2020. Instead, the Canada Post, the country’s national postal service, sent out to every known household address a free, postage-paid postcard. It’s a simple gesture, but a powerful one in practice. The hope is that people will use the 13.5 million cards and begin sending them to others. Just like before the Internet, the benefit is that recipients will get the card in the mail and, for a bit, feel connected gain to friends, acquaintances, family and even strangers. And that can have a powerful psychologically positive effect on people across the country, even if temporary. Sometimes a good day once in a while can make it easier to hang on and keep going another month or so.

Everyone is feeling left out. Students missed graduations. Spouses missed weddings. Family members missed births and funerals. Birthdays have been singular and separated. Sending a card might seem a small replacement, but it at least reconnects people again with each other, especially across big distances. It also lets people know they are being thought of and not forgotten. In families separated by distance who traditionally come together physically during holidays or special seasons, the cards can mean a lot, especially further up north in Canada’s outback. Ideally, the hope is that sending one card triggers the interest to keep doing so, and people begin writing again via mail and paper, just like in the old days before computers.

Because of the pre-printed postage on the card, they can be sent from any location in Canada to another domestic address in the country. They don’t, unfortunately, work for international connections. Once mailed, the card will be delivered dependably by the Canada Post. People just need to remember to look in the mailbox once in a while for a surprise.

The free postcard campaign is not a simple whim; the cost of a card’s postage generally runs about $0.90 to $1.07. Sending 13.5 million of them becomes real money in terms of the value of postage provided. However, what is government for if not for helping the people when they need it the most. And if the cards help collective mental health a bit, that’s a good thing. It boosts productivity, cuts down on crime, avoids health costs the government will otherwise pay and the list goes on. That $1 stamp doesn’t seem so expensive in comparison if it improves someone’s day.

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New Technology Takes Aim At Mental Health Support For Emergency Workers

Danielle S

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At the time of this writing, nearly 21% of adults within the United States experienced mental illness throughout 2019, a number that totaled more than 51 million people. As our understanding of mental health continues to grow and deepen, so do potential sources of support. Australia put itself on the map recently thanks to the introduction of its non-profit collaboration, Fortem Australia.

Fortem Australia and Prince Harry to Develop Mental Health Toolkit

Fortem Australia grew out of the idea that every emergency worker deserves a chance to support their mental health. The service was created in collaboration between several government employees, tech, and private individuals to offer a digital toolkit focused entirely on building mental health support. The toolkit was designed to support individuals who were put into stressful situations for their careers, such as firemen, police officers, and other emergency first responders.

While Fortem Australia is leading the way with their work on the digital toolkit, work has been completed in collaboration with Peak State, a social company backed by the likes of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. The program and toolkit seek to provide real support while lessening the impact that first responders experience in high-pressure situations.

Prince Harry spoke about Fortem Australia by highlighting his own experiences in the military. Prince Harry detailed how he saw the importance of strong critical thinking even in the face of stress and danger, likening the practice to training a muscle. Prince Harry would go on to say, “With Peak Fortem we are witnessing the next step in a global movement towards mental fitness.” Prince Harry isn’t alone in his enthusiasm for the platform as Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, has been vocal in support and praise.

An Epidemic of Mental Health Among Frontline Workers

A study published by the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry would go on to reveal that more than 10% of emergency workers will develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their work. The numbers rise even higher when specifying firefighters (15%) against the rest of the field. The publication would go on to reveal that the majority of frontline workers experiencing PTSD did not feel like they had affordable or accessible mental health assistance at their disposal. This is, of course, where the free toolkit developed by Fortem Australia comes into the fold.

Kylie Rigg is a patrol group inspector from the Queensland police force. A trained and experienced negotiator, Rigg has to deal with high-pressure situations every single time that she reports to the office. Working with suicidal figures, civil unrest, and siege situations all can have a tremendously negative impact on the state of an individual’s mental health. To offset these potential problems, Kylie has joined with Fortem Australia to utilize the many different tools and techniques developed within the toolkit itself. Among the most popular technique utilized by Rigg is a technique known as ‘self-talks’ to keep herself psychologically sharp and ready to operate with a clear head. Rigg says that the technique allows her to revisit past successes to lean on them in present stressful situations, a gentle reminder that she can accomplish what she sets her sights on.

While Australia has been the topic of today’s story, they are far from the only country working toward more preventative mental health strategies. The UK Ministry of Defence has already shifted its organizational focus from reacting to mental health crises toward mental health resilience training. A spokesperson for the MOD would comment to Positive News that ‘mental fitness’ is ‘just as important as physical fitness.’

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