Optimist View: A Summer of Inspiration

A Summer of Inspiration

The Optimist Daily has experienced record growth this summer and we are incredibly grateful for everyone who has read, shared, and been inspired by our solution-based, reader-funded journalism. We wanted to take a moment to celebrate and re-share some of our most powerful stories from the summer so far. We recognize that this has been an extraordinarily challenging time for our entire world and we have worked hard to find the bright lights of determination, solutions that can effect change, and are grateful so many of you have stayed in it with us. 

So today, take a break, take a breath, take a pause and enjoy. Check out these stories below or get a brief dose and perspective from Summers & Kristy on The Optimist Daily Update and our week’s worth of mini-episodes, featuring each story. 

Consider this your max dose of optimism and make sure to share it with others. We all need a lift.  

 

An extremely rare white grizzly bear has been filmed in the Rocky Mountains

In this amazing story from the Environment section of The Optimist Daily, rare white grizzly bears were discovered in Canada’s Rocky Mountains! Cara Clarkson and her family were driving down a remote highway when they glimpsed a rare white grizzly bear against the dark evergreen forest. Grizzly bears normally range in coloration from dark brown to blonde, but experts say the white coloration is due to a recessive gene in the bear – not albinism. 

Local wildlife officials have known about the white grizzly since 2017, but Clarkson’s mobile phone video of the bear, which went viral, marking the first time the public can catch a glimpse of the ghostly predator. 

Video is available here

First Published Here

 

Why a clover lawn is so much better than a grass lawn

This amazing article gives us some inspiration to change up our boring grass lawn and help the environment out a bit while we’re at it. Americans use more than 7 billion gallons of water a day on their lawns, half of which doesn’t even help lawns. People often overwater, which is bad for the grass and leads to runoff into sewers that carry pesticides with it. That’s a pretty heavy environmental cost.

Clovers are a great alternative to grass that grow easily, don’t need as much water as grass, and also don’t need fertilizer or herbicide. People actually used to use clovers in their lawns all the time in the 40s. Then people started using herbicides to kill off dandelions and other weeds. The herbicides killed off clovers too. Over time, people started thinking of clovers themselves as weeds. Maybe it’s time to rethink. First Published Here

 

Try these yoga poses to offset the consequences of too much sitting

Have you been feeling the pain of working from home, sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day? 80 percent of adults do not meet Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for weekly physical activity. The good news is that any activity can help you get the exercise you need, such as yoga. If you’re trying to amend yourself for the consequences of sitting too much, just make sure to focus on poses that are in standing position: 

Mountain pose (Tadasana): Stand with your feet together or hip-width apart. Ground into the four corners of the feet. Lift up through the thighs, hip bones gently pulling up toward the ribs, the chest is open, ribs soften downward. As you press into your feet, feel the length through the crown of your head. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat three times

Crescent pose (Low lunge variation): Place blocks shoulder-distance apart at the front edge of the mat, either flat or in the high position. Place hands on the blocks. Boost your right foot between your hands, while the left leg is in a long lunge with the knee on the floor. The hip bones should be facing forward. Sink into the stretch and lower your tailbone. The right knee aligns over the right ankle, and the top of your left foot can release to the ground. Hold for three to five breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Warrior I: From the crescent, pose get into the plank position. Step your right foot forward, between the hands, and spin your heel down at a 45-degree angle. Align the right heel with the left heel, exhale and turn your torso to the right, keeping your pelvis squared toward the front edge of your mat. Lift up through the knee cap of the back leg. Extend the arms overhead shoulder distance with palms facing inward, while keeping the shoulders drawing down away from the ears. Lengthen your coccyx toward the floor, and arch your upper torso back slightly. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Warrior II: From Warrior I, step your right forward and left foot back. Turn your left toes out to the left as you press down through the left foot. Bend deeply into the right knee with your thigh parallel to the ground and stack your knee over your right ankle, keeping the toes pointed in the same direction. Open up the arms so that they are outstretched away from the midline and parallel to the floor. Take your eye gaze over the center of the front hand and go for 20 seconds on each side.

Triangle: Stand with your feet about three and a half feet apart. Raise arms parallel to the floor and extend them out to the side, palms down. Rotate your left foot to the right and turn your right foot to 90 degrees. Align your right heel with the left. Inhale then exhale, and extend your torso toward the right toes. Bend from the hip and lengthen your tailbone. Place your right hand on your ankle or shin. Send your left arm upward toward the sky as you ground through the bottom arm in opposition. Maintain the pose for four to six breaths. Repeat on the other side.

First Published Here

 

‘Million-mile’ EV batteries are near. The impact could be massive

Looking to get more out of your electric vehicle? Two hundred thousand miles is considered a good, long run for a car built today, regardless of whether it’s powered by a lithium battery or an internal combustion engine. But EVs may soon surge ahead in this long-distance competition — not by mere thousands of miles, but by 800,000.

General Motors and Tesla, as well as Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL), have all announced million-mile batteries that will allow electric vehicles to live up to their full potential. 

True million-mile batteries are likely to outlast whatever cars they’re built for, meaning their arrival could dramatically impact both second-use markets and battery recycling. For instance, if a consumer doesn’t wind up clocking a million miles on a single battery, that battery could be used for other things, like vehicular energy storage or for connecting to a grid. First Published Here

 

A Navajo Nation welcome sign at the entrance to the Four Corners region of the southwest United States (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona). (Photo by Tony Savino/Corbis via Getty Images)

A female-led energy company is bringing green power to the Navajo Nation

The Rural Electrification Act of 1936 aimed to erase energy access disparities across the US but left out Native American tribes throughout the country. Lack of energy access still plagues these communities today, accounting for 75 percent of non-electrified homes in the US.

A renewable energy group, co-founded by Native American women, is aiming to close the energy gap.

Native Renewables is a solar energy company whose goal is to provide renewable energy to every home in the Navajo Nation using off the grid solutions.The organization employs Navajo tribal members, holds educational workshops on the benefits of renewable energy, promotes economic independence, and seeks to empower tribal members. The biggest barrier for families at the moment is cost, so the company is looking for mission-aligned impact investors to help get the company to scale. First Published Here

 

 

Solution News Source

Optimist View: A Summer of Inspiration

A Summer of Inspiration

The Optimist Daily has experienced record growth this summer and we are incredibly grateful for everyone who has read, shared, and been inspired by our solution-based, reader-funded journalism. We wanted to take a moment to celebrate and re-share some of our most powerful stories from the summer so far. We recognize that this has been an extraordinarily challenging time for our entire world and we have worked hard to find the bright lights of determination, solutions that can effect change, and are grateful so many of you have stayed in it with us. 

So today, take a break, take a breath, take a pause and enjoy. Check out these stories below or get a brief dose and perspective from Summers & Kristy on The Optimist Daily Update and our week’s worth of mini-episodes, featuring each story. 

Consider this your max dose of optimism and make sure to share it with others. We all need a lift.  

 

An extremely rare white grizzly bear has been filmed in the Rocky Mountains

In this amazing story from the Environment section of The Optimist Daily, rare white grizzly bears were discovered in Canada’s Rocky Mountains! Cara Clarkson and her family were driving down a remote highway when they glimpsed a rare white grizzly bear against the dark evergreen forest. Grizzly bears normally range in coloration from dark brown to blonde, but experts say the white coloration is due to a recessive gene in the bear – not albinism. 

Local wildlife officials have known about the white grizzly since 2017, but Clarkson’s mobile phone video of the bear, which went viral, marking the first time the public can catch a glimpse of the ghostly predator. 

Video is available here

First Published Here

 

Why a clover lawn is so much better than a grass lawn

This amazing article gives us some inspiration to change up our boring grass lawn and help the environment out a bit while we’re at it. Americans use more than 7 billion gallons of water a day on their lawns, half of which doesn’t even help lawns. People often overwater, which is bad for the grass and leads to runoff into sewers that carry pesticides with it. That’s a pretty heavy environmental cost.

Clovers are a great alternative to grass that grow easily, don’t need as much water as grass, and also don’t need fertilizer or herbicide. People actually used to use clovers in their lawns all the time in the 40s. Then people started using herbicides to kill off dandelions and other weeds. The herbicides killed off clovers too. Over time, people started thinking of clovers themselves as weeds. Maybe it’s time to rethink. First Published Here

 

Try these yoga poses to offset the consequences of too much sitting

Have you been feeling the pain of working from home, sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day? 80 percent of adults do not meet Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for weekly physical activity. The good news is that any activity can help you get the exercise you need, such as yoga. If you’re trying to amend yourself for the consequences of sitting too much, just make sure to focus on poses that are in standing position: 

Mountain pose (Tadasana): Stand with your feet together or hip-width apart. Ground into the four corners of the feet. Lift up through the thighs, hip bones gently pulling up toward the ribs, the chest is open, ribs soften downward. As you press into your feet, feel the length through the crown of your head. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat three times

Crescent pose (Low lunge variation): Place blocks shoulder-distance apart at the front edge of the mat, either flat or in the high position. Place hands on the blocks. Boost your right foot between your hands, while the left leg is in a long lunge with the knee on the floor. The hip bones should be facing forward. Sink into the stretch and lower your tailbone. The right knee aligns over the right ankle, and the top of your left foot can release to the ground. Hold for three to five breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Warrior I: From the crescent, pose get into the plank position. Step your right foot forward, between the hands, and spin your heel down at a 45-degree angle. Align the right heel with the left heel, exhale and turn your torso to the right, keeping your pelvis squared toward the front edge of your mat. Lift up through the knee cap of the back leg. Extend the arms overhead shoulder distance with palms facing inward, while keeping the shoulders drawing down away from the ears. Lengthen your coccyx toward the floor, and arch your upper torso back slightly. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Warrior II: From Warrior I, step your right forward and left foot back. Turn your left toes out to the left as you press down through the left foot. Bend deeply into the right knee with your thigh parallel to the ground and stack your knee over your right ankle, keeping the toes pointed in the same direction. Open up the arms so that they are outstretched away from the midline and parallel to the floor. Take your eye gaze over the center of the front hand and go for 20 seconds on each side.

Triangle: Stand with your feet about three and a half feet apart. Raise arms parallel to the floor and extend them out to the side, palms down. Rotate your left foot to the right and turn your right foot to 90 degrees. Align your right heel with the left. Inhale then exhale, and extend your torso toward the right toes. Bend from the hip and lengthen your tailbone. Place your right hand on your ankle or shin. Send your left arm upward toward the sky as you ground through the bottom arm in opposition. Maintain the pose for four to six breaths. Repeat on the other side.

First Published Here

 

‘Million-mile’ EV batteries are near. The impact could be massive

Looking to get more out of your electric vehicle? Two hundred thousand miles is considered a good, long run for a car built today, regardless of whether it’s powered by a lithium battery or an internal combustion engine. But EVs may soon surge ahead in this long-distance competition — not by mere thousands of miles, but by 800,000.

General Motors and Tesla, as well as Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL), have all announced million-mile batteries that will allow electric vehicles to live up to their full potential. 

True million-mile batteries are likely to outlast whatever cars they’re built for, meaning their arrival could dramatically impact both second-use markets and battery recycling. For instance, if a consumer doesn’t wind up clocking a million miles on a single battery, that battery could be used for other things, like vehicular energy storage or for connecting to a grid. First Published Here

 

A Navajo Nation welcome sign at the entrance to the Four Corners region of the southwest United States (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona). (Photo by Tony Savino/Corbis via Getty Images)

A female-led energy company is bringing green power to the Navajo Nation

The Rural Electrification Act of 1936 aimed to erase energy access disparities across the US but left out Native American tribes throughout the country. Lack of energy access still plagues these communities today, accounting for 75 percent of non-electrified homes in the US.

A renewable energy group, co-founded by Native American women, is aiming to close the energy gap.

Native Renewables is a solar energy company whose goal is to provide renewable energy to every home in the Navajo Nation using off the grid solutions.The organization employs Navajo tribal members, holds educational workshops on the benefits of renewable energy, promotes economic independence, and seeks to empower tribal members. The biggest barrier for families at the moment is cost, so the company is looking for mission-aligned impact investors to help get the company to scale. First Published Here

 

 

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