Good News: Week 18

Taking a look at how we are already using renewable energy in daily life. Honoring the 2011 class of Food and Community Fellows. Hemp, aka the Happy Seed, is finally making a comeback. A bit of wildlife in the urban jungle. Celebrating mothers everywhere by looking at the photographic legacy they left us with and finding out what some favorite moms are giving and hoping to get. Why we need more ‘Savage Beauty’ in life and fashion, and upcycling old T-shirts into a dress for your kids.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Surprise! You Already Depend on Renewable Energy
We’re not all still travelling by horse and buggy, right?  And if I’m correct many of us use mobile phones instead of landlines now? I just want to double-check because to hear the national discourse on shifting from traditional electricity production towards a greater reliance on renewable energy and efficiency makes one wonder how the United States has ever progressed on anything.
Surprise! You Already Depend on Renewable Energy, by Peter Hanlon, EcoCentric Blog

FOOD & ADVOCACY: Honoring the 2011 class of Food and Community Fellows
These fourteen good food advocates fought against major odds – nearly 600 people applied for the prestigious fellowships – and emerged as the best and brightest from around the country.
Our Heroes: the 2011 class of Food and Community Fellows, by Erin McCarthy, EcoCentric Blog

FOOD & WELLNESS: Hemp is finally making a comeback
Even before the official founding of this country, the hemp plant (Cannabissativa L.) and its products played an important part in the growth and prosperity of the European transplants that rooted themselves here. Hemp’s beneficial uses, including making paper, ropes for shipping, cloth, as well as a variety of nutritious foods and supplements, have been clouded by the U.S. government’s constant confusion with its infamous cousin, marijuana (Cannabis indica). Hemp contains minute amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive drug preferred by medical marijuana users – in other words, you couldn’t get high on hemp if you tried.
The Happy Seed – Hemp’s Healing Properties, by Alexandra Jamieson, Crazy Sexy Life

THE URBAN JUNGLE: The Hawk Cam
Live video feed from the 12th floor of Bobst Library at New York University where a pair of red-tailed hawks — Violet and Bobby — have built a nest, stick by twig, outside the office of the university’s president, John E. Sexton, overlooking Washington Square Park.
Hawk Cam | Updates From the Nest, by Andy Newman and Emily S. Rueb, The New York Times / City Room

MOTHER’S DAY: Baby, It’s You!
Before everyone had cameras, the baby picture was the purview of Mom and Dad. Among so many other things, we have them to thank for remembering to capture us as we once were: smaller, rounder, goofier, balder. (Although, in some cases, less bald.) “Diaper backward spells repaid,” the distinguished social critic Marshall McLuhan once observed. And who are we to argue with that? Today, in honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve gathered some of our favorite images from an earlier era — before apps and tags, when pools had nothing to do with Flickr.
Mothers Day Special: Baby, It’s You!, Jessica Helfand, Design Observer

MOTHER’S DAY: Mother Knows Best
Mothers are fond of saying, and not always with a tinge of sarcasm, that every day is mother’s day. But not every day does mom get a Hallmark card — or better yet, breakfast in bed. T checked in with some of our favorite moms – including Liya Kebede, Carol Ross Joynt, Alanis Morissette, Amanda Brooks and Charlotte Dellal – to find out what they are giving to their moms and hope to get from their offspring.
Mother Knows Best: Liya Kebede, Tory Burch, Carol Ross Joynt, Amanda Brooks, Charlotte Dellal, Alanis Morissette, by Rachel Waldman, T Magazine

SUSTAINABLE STYLE: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty retrospective opens at the Met
The recently opened Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is a darkly romantic celebration of an increasingly taxidermied world and the subversive tailoring of our lives, showcased in a manner that is unsettling but wondrous to behold. How do we process the current excitement circulating around Savage Beauty’s display of sadomasochistically-corseted mannequins, Swarovski feathered creations, or sculpted shoes in the shape of mutated spines or iridescent armadillos?

Why We Need More ‘Savage Beauty’ In Life And Fashion
, by Abigail Doan, EcoSalon

SUSTAINABLE STYLE FOR KIDS: Upcycling your old T-shirt into a dress for your little girl
If you have an old t-shirt wasting space in the back of your closet, you can turn it into a dress for your little girl, or Carrie the designer behind Etsy shop Brava Boutique will do it for you. Just send her your t-shirt and the creative mom of four promises she will turn it into “something fabulous.” Men’s medium, large, or extra large shirts in cotton work best. In return, you’ll get an upcycled t-shirt dress in a size that will fit 2T through 6, with a removeable flower detail.
Send Your T-Shirt, Get an Upcycled Kids Dress in Return
, by Julie Knapp, Inhabitots

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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