October 23 – Elephant Evolution

My  news story of the day comes from CBC News.  It is a piece about elephants and being a lifetime elephant fan, I naturally had to check it out.

Unfortunately this story turned out to be sad and shocking.

The first shock came from how fast elephants are evolving in some areas.  Elephants in Mozambique are rapidly losing the beautiful tusks that they have historically used to dig for water, strip barks from trees for food, and joust with other elephants.  These tuskless animals are all females and they now make up two-thirds of live elephant births in that area of the world.

The second shock is that, the reason  this elephant evolution became necessary, was to avoid extinction at the hands of  illegal ivory hunters.  These hunters were decimating the elephant population in Mozambique to finance both sides of a war effort there.

The third shock was a little side note.  When authorities in Sri Lanka seized a massive amount of ivory tusks from these illegal elephant hunts, they ultimately destroyed them!   I cannot believe they could not be turned over to some historical agency to be preserved or  sold  for a legitimate purpose.  The funds from such sales could have provided financial help (medical assistance, food, housing, etc) for people in Mozambique.  Surely that  would have been far better than just destroying these tusks!

Altogether a sad news story today.   It is hard to imagine that humans can be so greedy, bloodthirsty,  and destructive.   It makes one wonder what else the warmongers around the globe are destroying.  Obviously,  countless innocent human victims are just the beginning.

That is it for today! Take care, take care of each other and our vulnerable animal population, and have a great day. 💞

October 21 – Shortages

Today, the news story that caught my attention comes from Bloomberg.com.    In this article, food shortages are discussed at length.

According to this article, the three main forces driving these shortages are labour shortages at food processing plants, transportation issues/getting products to store shelves, and hoarding by consumers.

I have seen a number of articles discussing goods shortages, gas and oil shortages, and the like.  They go into detail about how and why these shortage occur, how long these shortages will last, etc.    Most seem to suggest that they will, in time, return to pre-covid supply levels.

I can only speak for how things are in Canada, specifically in Saskatchewan.   So far, we have had limited shortages and not so limited price hikes – which of course are most detrimental to those who can least afford them.

In my view…  We need to adapt permanently! – personally as well as retailers.   In Canada we waste an obscene amount of food, product, and fuel.   Suppliers encourage this waste by their packaging and by their promotions.

There are some things that Dan and I have done for ages.  When it comes to vehicles, furniture, appliances, electronics and the like – we do not buy, or trade up, unless we have to and we do everything possible to keep such things out of the landfill.  

Mother-in-law’s rocker that Jen reupholstered. (I love this chair – I live in this chair 💞)

Since this pandemic started and I retired, we have gotten way better at being purposefully less wasteful. A number of the things we do now –

  • We shop way less frequently – saving gas, wear and tear on our vehicle and avoiding a lot of impulse buys – food and otherwise
  • We are getting way better at watching expiry dates and using up food before it gets tossed
  • We are way better at using our leftovers
  • We take better care with our food – preparing vegetables before putting away helps keep them fresh longer. Freezer packing our meat in usable portions before storing in the freezer also helps.
  • Buying condiments, etc. in smaller bottles so they get used up before being tossed out
  • We did way better at using and processing (for later use) our garden produce this year
  • Using REAL dishes instead of paper plates (mostly).
  • We are doing way more to weather-proof our house this fall to save on energy and to save my lungs and sinuses from the effects of forced air heating this winter
  • Buying better quality clothing and home linens – less often!
  • Using rain barrels to water our garden this summer
  • Giving grandkids money for gifts in lieu of ‘things’ that they may or may not need or use. Especially now that they are getting older, they would rather have the money to do something that they will enjoy.

It is little things – but they all help. It definitely helps with me being home all of the time, especially when Dan has days off. We have time to get things done together. That is not a luxury that everyone has. But if everyone who could, did a bit more it would take the pressure off of supply chains and make life a bit easier for others. We could actually be helping instead of hoarding.

We don’t really do that much, it doesn’t seem like that much, but I cringe to think of how wasteful we were before the pandemic.

Retailers could also do so much more to help control waste – especially food stores. Some perishables you simply cannot purchase in smaller quantities (like Bok Choy) or they are price prohibitive in smaller quantities. Many current promotions are only for quantities of two to four units at a time. Anything perishable – from salad dressing, to crackers, to cereal is impractical purchased in multiples for a small household. But, the price per single unit is rediculous, compared to the multiples price.

That’s it for today! My views were rather wordy compared to my news, but if you got this far ‘Thanks for listening!’

Take care and have a great day! 💞