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Monday, November 24, 2014

Published!

Me and my professor wrote a book chapter and finally I got my copy of the book with the snail mail.


Kuva, jonka @gatapirata julkaisi


You can find out more info about the book here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Keyhole garden

At the moment there is nothing much to do in the garden but I am inspired for next years growing season and already plan new things to try. Already in late summer I got an e-mail about how to grow a keyhole garden, it looks quite simple right? I have to read some more into it and see if this could be something to try.


Source: Fix.com

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Eco tour in Cuenca national parks in Spain

In summer we traveled to Spain for a wedding and decided to travel some more around Spain since we were there. We stayed in Cuenca for 3 days and did a eco tour with a company called Stipa.

It was very refreshing to meet a guide that was so in tune with our values on not harming nature while travelling. She took us to the natural parks around Cuenca and we saw some awesome views. It is very, very pretty there! She also pointed out plants, bird and berries on the way.



Do you think about how you travel and behave as a tourist?

Check out for example these webpages for some ethical travel tips:

Tourism Concern (in English)
Schyst Resande (in Swedish)
Reilu Matkailu (in Finnish)






Friday, November 14, 2014

Miljöaktionsdagarna (Environmental Action Days)

Some weeks ago I participated as a volunteer in the Environmental Action Days for youth in Finland. The idea of these days is to show the participants (16-21-year-old students) how they can influence, change and work for the things that they care about.

The organizations organizing the event and/or presenting what they do during the event where:

Luonto-Liitto (The Finnish Nature League)
WWF
Natur och Miljö (The Finnish Society for Nature and Environment)
Animalia
350.org
Maan Ystävät (Friends of the Earth)
Dodo

Almost all of these organizations have youth-programs in place so if you are interested in volunteering in any of the organizations it's worth checking them out and sending them an e-mail or signing up for any of their activities.

If you are already older, contact them anyway! There is always something you can do.

And if you don't live in Finland, check out your local WWF/Friends of the Earth/350.org/other organization and contact them if you are interested in meeting others who care for the environment and do something together with them for the cause you care about.



Friday, October 31, 2014

2 months of no new clothes for a year

This month I cleaned out the closet, I realized I have so much clothes that are actually too small or so worn out I don't wear them anymore so I sent  about 5 plastic bags of clothes and shoes to UFF.  I also had some clothes and stuff for sale in the local flea market but I am thinking there is probably still some clothes I could get rid off, but maybe it has to wait now until spring cleaning time.

There was an angry article in a Finnish newspaper about the hysteria of "cleaning out" stuff in relation to this challenge and how people don't value things anymore. Yes, of course it can be "bad", however, I'm not sure it always have to do with people not valuing things. I for one finally cleaned out some stuff I had been holding on to for too long and this challenge and the flea market gave a good incentive to do so. At some point I just have to realize that even if a shirt has been my favorite when I was 14 it will just not suit me ever again (not my age, not my body either) and some of the things will hopefully be to good use for somebody else who will value it.

Here is some good rules that was posted on the challenge event's facebook wall yesterday:

1. What I buy I use
2. What I can fix I fix
3. What I need I buy second hand
4. What I don't need I sell second hand or give for reuse
5. I remember, that from old and used things new things can be made if the material were originally of good quality.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thyroid talk

A week ago I joined my friend for a lecture on thyroid and the psyche in Lahti, organized by the Lahti region thyroid organization




Thyroid is right now a hot topic in Finland as doctors are arguing about the use of the T3 hormone, which has even led to restriction of some doctors' right to practice. Some weeks ago there was a short documentary on Finnish TV about the topic where you can hear doctors who are for the use of T3 and the doctors who are against it. One of the more important points in the documentary, according to me, was made by the representative from FIMEA (Finnish Medicines Agency) who states that T3 hormone is no harm to a human in the right doses as it naturally occurs in our bodies. 





All in all, as Valvira (the Finnish National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health) now has restricted some doctors' thyroid treatment no doctor in Finland is willing to give out T3 hormone to patients, which has put a lot of patients who have been treated with T3 in a small panic state. Probably because of all this the lecture last week was overflown with people and they couldn't even let everybody in, however, if you are interested in the subject they are planning a new lecture shortly.


Some of the interesting points from the lecture were;

  • The connection between depression like symptoms and thyroid malfunction and how to distinguish a normal depression from one that is caused by thyroid malfunction.

  • How to treat a patient well by actually listening (if the mental health doesn't improve even after getting treatment (psychotherapy and pills) perhaps it is worth investigating other causes?
  • The importance of a good diet, too little folic acid and B12 vitamin might increase depression like symptoms
    Other important cornerstones in our diet:
    - iodine
    - selenium
    - zink
    - iron
    - omega 3
    - ubiquinone
  • Too low cholesterol might also affect hormonal formation
  • In a study by Kelly and Lieberman, 2009, 14/17 persons with depression which had not responded well to other treatment got well after being treated with T3 hormone


  • Towards the end the doctor also presented a possible cause for the fact that thyroid problems have increased, namely the chemicals in our surroundings like:

    -plastic with BPA and phthalates, usually included in soft plastic-triclosan used in products to kill bacteria and fungal growth
    -bromineted flame retardants is used on e.g. furniture and other textiles to prevent the outbreak of fire, however, if I remember correctly it has been proven that in the event of fire these do not really work anyway
    -flourine
    -parabens, used in cosmetics
    -glyphosate, used in farming to avoid weeds, e.g. in roundup
    she also included gluten to the list as the use of gluten has increased in our food products and gluten might worsen some psychiatric deceases.



The lecture continued with Erkki Palviainen from Voimaruoka who talked about superfoods and how to eat to get all of the important conerstones into our system.

He pointed out among other things that we are small ecosystems so it makes sense to eat accordingly (avoid chemicals and eat healthy, naturally rich food).

Palvilainen was very critical towards:
-all "new food" products that often include a lot of questionable ingredients.
-products that include synthetic and added vitamins
-new farming breeds and new farming methods
-all light products

Instead Erkki suggested we should eat natural foods that our grandmothers ate and include into that diet some superfoods like seaweed (sprirulina is a powder out of seaweed) for extra nutrition. If you are interested in learning more about Erkki's life philosophy he recently written a book about Superfood (in Finnish) I haven't read it myself but during the weekend I had a conversation with an acquaintance and it turns out she is reading it right now, so I can guarantee you the book is a good conversation starter at least. 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inequality and Debt

I decided to share a video on inequality and debt with you on this years Blog Action Day.



Do you feel democracy and equality is possible in capitalism? Or do we only have problems because of how we (or he richest 1%) is managing capitalism today?

A part of the rebel me is thinking that those richest people are only 85 persons according to the video, and we are millions, it really should be easy to balance back the power. Unfortunately these people hide behind multimillion dollar companies. Just this morning it made me angry to think about how these international companies are dictating how we eat, which medicines are used to treat our sicknesses and how and what food is produced.

It is however, easy to pin point the problems in our economy but what about the solutions?

Here is some of my own thought on how you can take action;

1. Support your local economy and small companies. 

Increases transparency, local economic resilience and keeps jobs in the region.

2. If possible, support and use an alternative bank;

Like ekobanken and JAK in Sweden (unfortunately I haven't found an alternative in Finland yet!). Do you have one in your country/region?

3. Familiarize yourself with different social and economic architecture systems.

Get to know steady state economy, economic democracy, benefit corporations. circular economy etc. etc. Any system you want to tip me about?

4. Support organizations working for a better economic system or fixing ours

Some of my favorites are Positive Money, Reconomy, New Economic Foundation, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and TEEB. Please let me know if I missed your favorite.

Because we talked about debt Positive Money  are taking on this problem by looking how money is created which is quite interesting as today's money is created directly as debt. This is why I will finish this post with their video. Could we take on the issue of debt by looking at money creation and loans? Would that in turn increase equality and democracy in our current economy?




Have good Blog Action Day!