Recent Posts for the 'Essays (Ellen Sue Says)' Category

EARTH DAY, EVERY DAY: Making a Difference – Pick Your Project for Climate Change

Thursday, September 26th, 2019


I just finished listening to Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg speak about climate justice on You Tube from a talk she gave some time ago. She came to the U.S. recently and spoke at the UN. I will listen to that speech as well.

In the mid-1990s I was a briefing leader for The Hunger Project, an incredible organization that taught me that hunger exists; it doesn’t need to; and each person can make a difference.

Greta is one of the young persons who IS making a difference with her commitment to REPAIR our world to make it safely inhabitable for our children, grandchildren, and all future generations. Like Malala, who survived being shot while on her way to school, and spoke up about education for women, she was one person making a huge difference for women’s education.

What I suggest is that each of you picks one thing* that you think is important for reversing or reducing climate change. For me, it is being a vegetarian and eating lower on the food chain. And because I eat lots of fruits and veggies, I have lots of compost. I deposit my compost at Whole Foods or Mom’s Organic, even if it means putting the compost wrapped in a biodegradable bag in the freezer until I make it back to the store.

When I visited Nova Scotia last week, I found something quite interesting regarding compost. There were recycling bins in several places, but instead of only the three groupings of paper, plastic, and non-food garbage, there was a fourth bin for compost (called organic). Just think, if I lived in Nova Scotia, I could deposit my compost in lots of places that have these four bins and not worry about putting it in the freezer! I plan to go to Borough Hall tomorrow to find out how we can get composting bins added to the other recycling bins in public places.


Note: The fourth bin on the right says organics, which mean you can throw in banana peels, apple cores, etc. that will be composted and returned to Mother Earth.


* At my weekly Full Circle meeting at the local senior center, one of the participants is adamant about the “flagrant” use of plastic straws, so this could be his one way to make a difference, that is, reminding friends and even strangers that plastic straws add up to garbage in the environment. Someone else may emphasize using stainless steel water bottles, or tackle replanting more trees, or walking instead of driving to a close by destination.

Choose your “making a difference project” and email me at or in the comment box so I know what difference you are making towards a safer planet. Thanx! ellensue

Early Autumn: Nova Scotia (Sept. 10th-19th): Lighthouses, Laundry, and Lakes

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Just back from a lovely first time visit to Nova Scotia, Canada, where the weather was cooler and wetter, with barely the beginning of leaf-changing trees. (I don’t have any photos of the changing trees that we saw while driving on the highway back to Halifax, because we could not stop easily.)


The map line encloses Cape Breton Island, which is part of Nova Scotia and accessed by a rather narrow causeway, which indicates to me that the island was once a peninsula.

Not sure if some of the much cooler weather was due to the “hit” that Hurricane Dorian made on Nova Scotia or the weather was typical for September, but we did see tree branches hanging over telephone wires, and whole trees toppled on one of the beaches we walked.


We also saw many lighthouses, laundry, and lakes or other waterways that led out to the St. Lawrence River and eventually  to the Atlantic Ocean.

Below are photos of Peggy’s Cove, which is only about one hour from Halifax and a very big tourist stop. Unfortunately, the day we went was cold, wet, and windy, so we stayed less than 30 minutes, long enough to admire the rocks and the lighthouse. As you can see, the day was gray, but the rocks were glorious!  Here I am right opposite the lighthouse, with the wind whipping at my raincoat, the lighthouse itself, and the surrounding rock formations.

I was also able to capture some laundry on Cape Breton and the outskirts of Halifax, but because the weather was often damp and rainy, I have only a few photos. The first one below is indicative of the windy days we experienced near the water, but the other two I took were on sunny days.


I will be posting some additional pictures and comments in the next few days, but I leave you with two: one that I took because this lonely dandelion seems to be a brave soul surviving in the wind and cold of Cape Breton, much like I think the people of the area are, since the winters are long and cold, with many people escaping to points south, like my friend Sylvia, a native of Cape Breton. (We met many years ago when we both lived in State College.) She spends winters SCUBA diving on the west coast of Florida and summers in Dartmouth, less than a 10-minute ferry ride across the bay from Halifax. (She sent us many tips about our trip.) Here we are on the ferry as we were docking. I am wearing a sweater over a sweater and my vest and a warm hat that I brought with me, just in case!


On the ferry boat between Dartmouth and Halifax with my Cape Breton-born friend Sylvia.


More soon! In the meantime, happy first day of Autumn. I hope to take some colorful leaf-laden trees from my neighborhood as fall fills the air!