Slow Down and Celebrate Earth Day


Did you miss all the Earth Day celebrations around the Bay Area over the weekend? No worries, since Earth Day is this Wednesday, April 22. You can still celebrate on your own, and I have good news for you: you don’t have to add anything to your schedule, only subtract. I’m re-running this post from April 2011 to explain how.

On this 41st Earth Day I have two words for how to be a good neighbor to the planet: SLOW DOWN.

Here are some ways slowing down will make each of us a better neighbor to the Earth. I start with the more obvious ways, and end with a way that may be a surprise. [Read more…]

Not #onemorebox of Girl Scout Cookies


not-one-more-box-girl-scout-cookies-childhood-obesity-good-neighbor-storiesFriday is “National Girl Scout Cookie Day”, a huge media blast to alert the country to the fact that it’s time for the mega fundraising sale. The Scouts are rolling out new apps you can download to your iPhone or Android so you can find the nearest sale. There are videos, a blog, and even a way to track the cookie truck as it delivers its precious cargo in New York City.

And of course in today’s social media-driven world, there’s a one-day Facebook posting contest, and cookie lovers are encouraged to post to Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram with the hashtag of #onemorebox. As in, why you think everyone should buy one more box of Girl Scout Cookies.

I love Girl Scout Cookies as much as the next American, but I won’t buy one more box.

I made the decision last year to never buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies again. I wrote why I believe it’s time for America’s youth organizations to step up as leaders and say “no more” to children and youth selling fat- and sugar-laden foods as a fundraising mechanism in the face of a serious childhood obesity epidemic. [Read more…]

Commentary: Time to Show Up and Speak Up For Our Communities


It’s time to show up and speak up. Too many of us have been quiet and inactive for too long when it comes to the dual public health and safety Newtown-ribbon-sandy-hook-12/14/12-speak-up-show-up-for-change-good-neigbor-storiescrises, gun violence, and mental illness. Too many of us have been in a type of waking slumber, waking up occasionally after nightmares like Columbine, Tuscon, Aurora, only to fall back asleep after some cry, ‘Too soon! Look away! Nothing will ever change anyway!’

Friday, Dec. 14, 2010, we woke up as a country to a terrible nightmare. The date “12/14” is now our “9/11” when it comes to the realization that we have been inactive for too long in dealing with our gun culture, as well as the very broken system that is supposed to help the mentally ill. The twin towers came down on Friday in Newtown, CT, and nothing must ever be the same.

Each of us as members of our communities, has a responsibility to make those communities strong and safe. We can’t wave it off and say, ‘someone else will do it.’ We all have to show up and speak up. [Read more…]

Commentary: Why I’m Not Buying Girl Scout Cookies This Year


I realize what I am about to say is pure heresy in the United States of America: I am not going to buy Girl Scout Cookies this year. Maybe forever.

As a fan of the tasty cookies, I do not relish my decision. However, over the last decade I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the practice of youth sales of unhealthy products in the face on an increasingly disturbing childhood obesity epidemic.

I am not saying I will stop supporting Girl Scouts and other youth organizations. I will continue to contribute monetary donations to the organizations I’ve supported in the past through their sales. Just this past weekend I gave money to a troop selling cookies outside my local supermarket.

Why I Won’t Buy The Cookies and Why Cookie Sales Need to Stop

With near epidemic proportions of childhood obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and other dangerous diseases in the U.S., youth organizations need to take a leadership role in advocating for healthy eating and lifestyles. That means taking sugar and fat-laden products out of kids’ hands, [Read more…]