Who’s Getting Away With Murder?

In 2018, mainstream media took a big bite out of what would become an ongoing polemic discussion surrounding Global Warming. Four years later, the climate crisis, clad in fatalistic headlines, is competing for the spotlight with the Ukraine-Russia war. All of it enhanced by the grim backdrop of droughts, fires, and impending shortages, from fuel to food. To me, it reads as though it is the end of the world as we know it.



Some would argue that had the media given a voice to scientists, and those that have been shouting warning signals at us since the mid-60s, we wouldn’t be where we are now. What if the media had jumped on board during the American elections in 2000 and unveiled the dysfunctional electoral system in Florida that allowed George Bush to win against Al Gore? 

“Had Al Gore, a politician who understood global warming, been declared the winner of the 2000 presidential election, we might have dodged the bullet. If the U.S. Supreme Court had not awarded the election to George W. Bush, climate change would have become a major priority.”

Los angeles times

Would Gore have led the USA towards a 21st-century energy economy, pushing the development of solar and wind power and phasing out oil, natural gas, and nuclear, setting an example?

That’s all hindsight now, yet 21 years later in an article dated November 2021, the Los Angeles Times paints a picture of what the world would be like if Al Gore had won instead of Bush, as have many others. Unfortunately, hindsight is rarely as useful as foresight.

Turning my attention to more recent developments with mainstream media, personally, I would have preferred a different coverage of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, because it appeared to me that mainstream media was the engine behind public approval for this war, and all too eager to move forward, whether it was about spending, weapons or sanctions, anything in support of this war, also known as propaganda. Hell, Euronews saw it fit to do a rebranding of the news, with a new opener, showcasing frontline action on the border between Ukraine and Russia, with journalists in daunting combat attire. I noticed they recently removed it. I don’t remember mainstream media ever being so unanimous, not even with the Arms of Mass Destruction, during the Iraq war.

Mainstream media can be a vehicle of misinformation and, at its best, it often suffers the absence of clear intent. They hold the reins and they do not deserve to. They have repeatedly demonstrated that they are either puppets or invested in some conflict of interest. Whatever happened to investigative journalism?

Many do not want the truth published, from the powerful, to the pious and corrupt. The world is full of those who want to stay in the shadows.  In 2021 alone, 55 journalists were killed because they were exposing corruption and conflict, or afflicting the wealthy and powerful by revealing the truth. In your opinion is Julian Assange a criminal or a revolutionary?

A new kind of media is needed. Don’t expect Jesus to save us.  Real bonifide journalists and the likes of Julian Assange, who sacrificed his freedom for the truth, that’s as close as we get to the messiah spreading the truth among common people on earth. 

Real Journalism is rare and the few that still dare practice it, are being hushed through censorship, arrest, and death. If those in power can put a muzzle on the media, they are getting away with more than murder.

Take A Chance On Me

Are you over 50 and on the lookout for new work opportunities?

I used to have a full-time job, which I believed would take me into retirement. That’s not how it played out. For well over 3 years I have been skimming through job posts and subjected myself to endless Zoom, Skype, and Team meetings. I have profiles on all the compulsory platforms for professionals, including LinkedIn.

Often I’ve found myself incredulous at the exhaustive list of skills and experience required to qualify for even an entry-level position. Seems to me that many companies are looking for hardcore veteran experience on an entry-level budget. They want 20-year-old applicants with 20+ years of experience.

I’ve been contacted, on several occasions, by companies that were lured by my skills and experience, only to be turned down, due to my age. Although they never admitted it, I know it was so, given I passed all the initial screening tests, only to be turned down once I communicated my date of birth. As a result, I chose to go freelance.

I look and act a lot younger than my age. I’m not a fan of retirement, and I don’t consider work a chore. I am dynamic and have more energy than most people half my age. As a child I was considered hyperactive, in truth, I consider life an adventure and intend to live every single moment to the fullest and to the very end.

When I read posts and articles with pointers on finding a job for those over 50, I cringe. The advice ranges from, Embrace LinkedIn, to combat the overqualified stereotype, play up your experience, and be sure you sound Tech Savvy.

I’ve always lied about my age because I knew it to be an issue right from the start. I used to add 10 years, whereas now I shave them off. Once I was underqualified, so I padded my CV and now I’m over-qualified, so I trim it down. You’re dammed if you do and you’re dammed if you don’t.

I was young and inexperienced once, but I paid my dues, worked diligently, and navigated my career from backstage, on movie sets, to Broadcast TV where I spent 20 good years, so to speak.

After my first 15 years, I was practically put out to pasture, with no more possibilities for growth. I had been discriminated against without just cause. My colleagues were as shocked as I was. I had earned myself a lot of love and a good reputation, which spoke highly of my integrity as a colleague and employee. I had an excellent performance record, with yearly bonuses to prove it, but more importantly, I still had a lot to contribute and was not about to get sent to the slaughterhouse.

This story is not only my story it is the story of many. The objective is to exhaust and discourage you, by erasing you, giving you no work at all, and visibly cutting you out. Soon enough many colleagues start to feel uncomfortable at the thought of having coffee or lunch with you.

It is not uncommon for people in such a situation to spend years, day in and day out, doing absolutely nothing. It is sad to see a brilliant mind, and dynamic person transformed into a stuffed animal. You can literally see their posture start to crumble, in time, like the damaged roof of a house. Someone once said ‘The sky is the limit when you have a roof over your head.’ What good is a house with no roof?

These acts, with the intent of violating the dignity of a person and of creating a hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment are more common than one might think.

During my years in Broadcast TV, I saw the results of hiring inexperienced people. There are as many unappetizing roles in TV as in any other business. What makes these roles less desirable can be a combination of factors, from shift work to poor pay or no room for growth, and this leads to a high turnover of staff. These positions are often filled by inexperienced young newcomers hoping to break into the field, alas their level of inexperience leads to errors where there is little room for error. Losing video, or audio during a world cup game is not something to take lightly in PayTV.

Inexperience may turn out to be a costly proposition, for companies, in the long run. Recruitment is one of the highest staffing expenses, whereas an older workforce reduces the need to constantly recruit.

66 percent of baby boomer workers expect to work past age 65, a Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies shows.

source: cnbc

When I was younger I always kept older company and sought the experience of those that were light years ahead of me in their profession, and I wouldn’t do it any different if I were starting over. I have learned more from experienced pros than I ever learned in most training programs or schools, for that matter.

Companies that don’t realize the value of experienced older professionals, do so at a loss, with a higher turnaround, and increased margin of errors.

Research shows that older employees are more likely to show up to work on time, and less likely to call in sick.

Older workers also do not switch jobs as often as their younger colleagues. Older employees shine when it comes to maturity and professionalism – resulting in a strong work ethic

source: https://vantageaging.org/blog/benefits-of-older-workers/

Myths surrounding older workers contribute to the loss of top employees from many organizations. Experienced, older workers bring qualities and skills to the table that most employers struggle to find. They are knowledgeable, dedicated, and still willing to learn. The knowledge and professionalism of experienced skilled professionals should be part of a company’s legacy instead of being tossed out.

I can only speak for myself, although I am confident that a lot of people over 50 would agree with me when I say, ” I have more to bring to the table now, as a mature professional, than I ever had in the past. I have more experience, maturity, understanding, patience, vision, creative intellect, and know-how than I ever had, coupled with a burning desire to contribute, make a difference and share my consolidated skills and experience with new generations. Take a chance on me.

The Rare Magic Of Colmar

The moment I stepped into the historic center of Colmar I thought I had just gone down the proverbial rabbit hole and landed in a fairytale town, where the buildings, set along the banks of the Ill River, are made of cake, slathered in creamy colored frosting and chocolate tiled roofs, set against the sky.

Photo by Maddalena Di Gregorio

I had just driven from the Netherlands and was quite tired when I arrived. Much to my delight, this fanciful, vibrant town gave me an almost immediate lift, a rush, and injected me with boundless energy. Better than eating cake or going to therapy if you are feeling down and out.

Photo by Maddalena Di Gregorio

When you consider how urbanization affects mental health there is a lot to be said for a town like Colmar. In cities, people are exposed to many stress factors and run a higher risk of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, according to studies conducted. Colmar is a magical place that permeates all your senses and awakens your inner child.

Photo by Maddalena Di Gregorio

I visited Colmar for the first time this spring. I had only ever seen images of its legendary Christmas markets, most of which were taken at night to enhance the festive holiday feel, abound with colorful Christmas lighting. I was delighted with what I found instead. Dazzling colors, canals, and half-timbered buildings whose architecture is a pastry chef’s dream come true. The streets twist and meander into small alleys that open into small squares where traders and merchants used to peddle their wares centuries ago.

Its mostly pedestrian center is a cornucopia of brightly tiled roofs and colorful facades. Walking the streets of Colmar will transport anyone back to their childhood, from the wooden turret right out of Rapunzel’s, the tiny cottages fitting for Snowhite’s seven dwarves, and a candy-colored bakery that has Hansel and Gretel written all over it. 

You might ask yourself why the buildings in Colmar are so colorful. Some of the buildings date back to the Middle Ages, and the colors were a symbol of the owner’s profession. For example, white was for bakers, yellow for cheese-makers, blue for fish vendors, green for gardeners, and so on. 

Photo by Maddalena Di Gregorio

This small and unique town is in the Alsace region where France meets Germany. It is here that the two cultures fused to create a truly unique experience. But there is more to Colmar than its fantastical exteriors. Colmar is a town with a rich legacy of history, culture, and remarkable culinary heritage.

Colmar is also an excellent destination for wine lovers. The Alsace wine region is famous for white wines such as Rieslings, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris wines. You’ll also find Pinot Noir rosés and a local sparkling wine known as Crémant d’Alsace. 

If you’re driving through France, Colmar is a welcome respite from the daily grind. A place that will unleash your imagination, inject you with a lighter sense of being and leave you enchanted.

I QUIT

The Great Resignation should be renamed ‘The Great Emancipation

According to major headlines, companies are facing the biggest crisis since the 2008 recession. With the tightest labor market in decades, there is one major difference, it’s the companies that are competing for people instead of people competing for jobs. No one ever suspected this would happen. People got thinking and developed a taste for a new way of life.

Startling numbers have left their jobs since the pandemic hit. Forsaking security for new adventures in self-discovery and re-evaluating their lifestyle. Some found better pay, others freedom and better work/life balance, and many, such as myself, have left the city.

The numbers alone have put into question the status quo of modern employment. ‘The Great Resignation’ has become the economic buzzword of the pandemic.

Certain aspects of life which we took for granted as a necessary evil in pre-pandemic times have been exposed as futile. There are pros and cons to remote working, and what works for one person will not necessarily be the best solution for another, but speaking strictly from a rational point of view it’s impossible to overstate the benefits of working from home, and not only in financial terms. The cost of commuting also has an impact on our carbon footprint. Since I started working remotely my diet has improved and I spend a lot less on lunch each day than I did when I was at the office 5 days a week. I’m happier and healthier.

People want more out of their short life, is that so difficult to understand? It depends on whom you are talking with. David Solomon, of Goldman Sachs, has publicly stated that “working from home is an aberration.” There are others as well, white collars that are disgruntled by a shift in power, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, who according to an article I read got in the habit of touring the empty Whitehall offices and leaving passive-aggressive “Sorry you were out” notes on his employee’s desks. Not exactly a winning strategy.

The problem is not just with office jobs. In Italy, the tourism and hospitality sector is undergoing difficulties. The usual throes of young and not so young people that used to line up for the seasonal work in hotels, restaurants, stores, and so on, are no longer flocking down for the summer months, to live in cramped quarters, work overtime, and get underpaid.

Even promotions and salary increases are not keeping people on board nowadays. These last three years we’ve seen a shift so great that it can’t be ignored. A deep crack in the narrative that we used to rehearse daily has seen people awaken with a new design for themselves. Many of us realized we could live with less so we unshackled ourselves from the ties that had us bound for years.

The world seems to have turned upside down.

People are fleeing western countries such as Canada and Italy due to their governments’ unduly rash and punitive methods employed to coerce the general population into getting vaccinated. Many are taking refuge in countries that used to be considered unstable, because they feel freer and safer, ironically. Belize, El Salvador, Albania, and Mexico have become coveted destinations.


I left my job and the city. Started working as a Freelancer remotely. I relocated to an exquisitely lush location surrounded by lakes, rolling hills, and mountains in the north of Italy. I pay 1/3 of the rent I used to pay in the city. I am now looking for property in the province of Puglia, my dream place. I can finally live the way I always wanted to, so why not?


I always envied people that left the city on Fridays to head to their homes in the mountains, on the lake, or on the coast. Now I’m living it every day. Sure I don’t have the money tree anymore (regular paycheck) but what I have now is invaluable by comparison. I have newfound courage and self-confidence in myself and my abilities. I don’t need a yearly performance review to tell me that I’m doing great, because my work speaks for itself and my clients’ satisfaction is undebatable proof of my accomplishments.


I rarely had this level of personal satisfaction during my years in a corporate environment, although my work was categorized as “creative.” Having said all this, I am of the opinion that this so-called Great Resignation should be renamed ‘The Great Emancipation’

Inexperience Can Be Expensive

As a freelancer, I am always on the lookout for new clients and new work opportunities. I have profiles on all the compulsory platforms for professionals, including LinkedIn. For well over 3 years I have been reading job posts and often I find myself incredulous at the job description and the exhaustive list of skills and experience required to qualify for the position. Essentially many companies are looking for hardcore veteran experience on an entry-level budget. They all want 20-year-old applicants with 20+ years of experience.

I’ve been contacted, on several occasions, by companies that were lured by my skills and experience, only to be turned down due to my age. Although they never admitted it, I know it was so.

Age discrimination is a terrifying reality, especially so for women.

Gendered ageism affects women at all stages of their career but most notably when they are under 35 and over 50. That gives women 15 good years, give or take.

Women face ageism earlier than their male counterparts. Lookism puts women under a lens, and as they start showing visible signs of aging they are set aside.

We live in a Gerontocracy, where leadership is namely reserved for elder men and to make matters worse women are being targeted, with long term implications for retirement.

A No-Win Situation – Not Enough Money to Retire and Limited Prospects for Work

Gendered ageism has long term implications for retirement, with more than half of those surveyed reporting that they do not have enough money to retire and nearly all (95%) of those over 53 – including those 65-70 – stating that they want or need to keep working.

Yet, more than a quarter 28% of women 59-65 thought their chances of continuing to work were “fair” or “poor”. The most common reason stated –

“My company does not value older workers”.

SourCE: FORBES

I was young and inexperienced once, but I paid my dues, worked diligently, and navigated my career from backstage, on movie sets, to Broadcast TV where I spent 20 good years, so to speak.

After my first 15 years, I was practically put out to pasture, with no more possibilities for growth. I had been discriminated against without just cause. My colleagues were as shocked as I was. I had earned myself a lot of love and a good reputation which spoke for my integrity as an employee. I sued the company, won the case, and went freelance. It was unfortunate for both the company and myself since I had an excellent record of performance, with yearly bonuses to prove it, but more importantly, I still had a lot to contribute and was not about to get sent to the slaughterhouse.

This story is not only my story it is the story of many. I was merely one of several aging employees being discriminated against. It is also known as mobbing. The objective is to exhaust and discourage you, by erasing you, giving you no work at all, and visibly cutting you out. Soon enough many colleagues start to feel uncomfortable at the thought of having coffee or lunch with you.

Many employees in Italy, where I have been working for the last 22 years, are faced with such a scenario, and just as many are too scared to take legal action, for a variety of reasons. I personally was not going to put up with it -but many do because they have a family, a mortgage, debts, and so on.

It is not uncommon for people in such a situation to spend years, day in day out, doing absolutely nothing. It is sad to see a brilliant mind, and dynamic person transformed into a stuffed animal. You can literally see their posture start to crumble, in time, like the damaged roof of a house. Someone once said ‘The sky is the limit when you have a roof over your head.’ What good is a house with no roof?

These acts, with the intent of violating the dignity of a person and of creating a hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment are more common than one might think.

I’ve always lied about my age because I knew it to be an issue right from the start. I used to add 10 years, whereas now I shave them off. Once I used to be underqualified, so I padded my CV and now I’m over-qualified, so I trim it down. You’re dammed if you do and you’re dammed if you don’t.

During my years in Broadcast TV, I saw the results of hiring inexperienced people. There are as many unappetizing roles in TV as in any other business. What makes these roles less desirable can be a combination of factors, from shift work to poor pay or no room for growth, and this leads to a high turnover of staff. These positions are often filled by inexperienced young newcomers hoping to break into the field, alas their level of inexperience leads to errors where there is little room for error. Losing video, or audio during a world cup game is not something to take lightly in PayTV.

Inexperience may turn out to be a costly proposition, for companies, in the long run. Recruitment is one of the highest staffing expenses, wheras an older workforce reduces the need to constantly recruit.

66 percent of baby boomer workers expect to work past age 65, a Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies shows.

source: cnbc

When I read posts and articles with pointers on finding a job for those over 50, I cringe. The advice ranges from, Embrace LinkedIn to combat the overqualified stereotype, play up your experience, and be sure you sound Tech Savvy.

When I was younger I always kept older company and sought the experience of those that were light years ahead of me in their profession, and I wouldn’t do it any different if I were starting over. I have learned more from experienced pros than I ever learned in school.

Companies that don’t realize the value of experienced older professionals, do so at a loss, with a higher turnaround, and increased margin of errors.

Research shows that older employees are more likely to show up to work on time, and less likely to call in sick.

Older workers also do not switch jobs as often as their younger colleagues. Older employees shine when it comes to maturity and professionalism – resulting in a strong work ethic

source: https://vantageaging.org/blog/benefits-of-older-workers/

Myths surrounding older workers contribute to the loss of top employees from many organizations. Experienced, older workers bring qualities and skills to the table that most employers struggle to find. They are knowledgeable, dedicated and still willing to learn. The knowledge and professionalism of experienced skilled professionals should be part of a company’s legacy instead of being tossed out.

I can only speak for myself, although I am certain a lot of people over 50 would agree with me when I say, ” I have more to bring to the table now, as a mature professional, than I ever had in the past. I have more experience, maturity, understanding, patience, vision, creative intellect, and know-how than I ever had, coupled with a burning desire to contribute, make a difference and share my consolidated skills and experience with new generations. Take a chance on me.

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

Space travel has fascinated the collective psyche for decades, or to be exact, since October 4, 1957, when the U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth. There have been ongoing Mars missions launching from Earth since the 1960s, searching for water and life. 

This red arid-looking planet, named after the Roman War God Mars, has been luring mankind since it was first sighted by Galileo Galilei in 1610 and has once again gained notoriety.

Numerous Mars-bound missions began in February 2021, starting with NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter that reached Mars that month. The United Arab Emirates joined the race with their first interplanetary mission, introducing the Hope orbiter. The China National Space Administration’s Tianwen-1 orbiter completed China’s first successful mission to the Red Planet in 2021 as well.

Finding water on Mars is only one of the numerous obstacles we’re faced with in our attempt to colonize Mars. Consider this; the distance between Mars and Earth is 42 million miles. To send a signal between Mars and Earth, there is a three minutes and two seconds delay, and that’s on a good day. 

The position between these two astral bodies, as they orbit around the sun, determines the delay, so that by the time you reach Mars it could be up to 20 minutes, which would create a 40-minute hole in your two-way conversation. 

On his quest to bring people to Mars, Elon Musk’s Starship is being designed as a fully reusable transportation system, capable of carrying passengers and cargo to Earth’s orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond.  

But the question still remains, how will early settlers on Mars communicate with each other and with family and friends on Earth? What about streaming videos, real-time video chats, and GPS? Are people expected to give all this technology up and rely on old radio signals? What about 5G?

Feasibility studies for the use of 5G technology in space are being conducted, however, WiFi signals are not very data efficient and lose strength, with increased distances, due to their longer wavelengths. 

This simple animation by James O’Donoghue, at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows the communications delay that Mars mission controllers are faced with.

Without the means to efficiently communicate with each other, life on Mars is a dreary prospect and would feel like a plunge into the dark ages for most people.  

Imagine yourself as an ex-pat on Mars, unable to efficiently communicate with each other and earth, all the while dealing with harsh living conditions. What would you do? 

Many would just want to hop right back on that Starship, ready to start their nine-month journey back to earth. If you stop to think about it, there’s a lot at stake here. There are many scenarios that would prove difficult on Mars without improved means of communication. 

Imagine having to urgently report a medical emergency, a malfunction, or a security breach. By the time the message reaches its destination it may be too late for a timely intervention. The key to the successful colonization of Mars lies in resolving the communication gap.

NASA’s Laser Communication Relay Demonstration, which launched in 2019, served as an important proof of concept for laser technology. Laser technology could very well be the future of space colonization, as it offers more bandwidth in less time, and would cover all communications around the colony, with Earth and even the Moon for that matter! 

Interoperability standards for space communications also need to be established. Simply put, it would be preferable not to replicate the model used here on earth, where for example, an iPhone user can’t airdrop files to someone with an Android, yikes. It May sound crazy, but things will be complicated enough for those brave souls willing to be the pioneers of colonization in deep space, without these added complications.

Space Debris

The vision and design for a communications network between Mars, the Moon, and Earth point to networks of fully interoperable laser-beam satellites. These would be scattered across millions of miles, also known as ‘constellations’.

Starlink plans to deploy a staggering 42,000 satellites in Low Earth Orbit, Amazon’s Kuiper will launch over 3000, and OneWeb plans to have 648. Then there’s China, with a plan to launch an internet-dedicated mega-constellation of 13,000 units. By 2030 it is estimated that about 100,000 satellites will be roaming our orbit. This solution doesn’t come without its own can of worms.

Starlink’s satellite trails and their reflected sunlight are already causing disturbances to some telescopes. If the number of devices orbiting our planet continues to increase so dramatically, the problem of mega-constellations will have a far-reaching impact on astronomical research.

A somber irony considering that the very knowledge that allowed for the development of satellite technology has its foundations in astronomy.

Source: https://www.cloudflight.io/en/blog/why-satellite-mega-constellations-could-be-a-problem/

Elon Musk’s Starlink is positioning itself to offer settlers on Mars the opportunity to keep living and communicating the way they’ve become accustomed to on Earth, at least as far as communication and entertainment are concerned. Starlink could potentially even make SETI, also known as the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, a stronger component in the search for alien life. 

Regardless of the scope, ambitions, and investments being made in this race towards space, one thing is clear, a fast and reliable communication network is the key to success if we want to boldly go where no man has gone before. 

We Can’t Afford Another Tech Boom Here’s Why

Electronic waste disposal first made the scene in the mid-1970s, in the wake of the digital revolution which had been ferociously gaining speed since the late 1950s. It’s no coincidence that it was the year 1970 when the Recycling Logo, we’ve all become accustomed to, was designed by G. Anderson.

We embraced technology as it revolutionized the way we lived, worked, and communicated. In the decades following man’s first landing on the Moon, the digital revolution flourished and transformed life on Earth in ways most of us had not imagined. Little did Neil Armstrong know when he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The space race allowed American companies to dominate the digital revolution and transformation, for decades to come.

For decades we rushed to buy newer, slicker, faster models, whether it was phones, TVs, cars, household appliances, you name it, we bought it, and we’re still buying today, even when we don’t need to, or don’t want to.  

Most electronic devices we’ve been purchasing, for the last 3 decades or so, were designed to be replaced with newer models. With repairs, no longer featured in the design, and consumers’ insatiable cravings for the latest trendy electronic gadgets, we’ve created a vicious and detrimental loop that’s difficult to break out of. 

​​The United Nations University estimates that an alarming 45 million tonnes of computers, televisions, mobile phones, and other electronic goods are thrown away every year. An average cell phone user replaces their unit once every 18 months. This doesn’t factor in the amount of peripheral computer equipment that is also thrown into dumps around the world, most of which end up in landfills. 

The UN University and International Telecommunication Union have estimated that the raw materials in e-waste are worth $62.5 billion annually. That exceeds the GDP of 123 countries.

We’ve come a long way since the Apollo landing on the moon. The flight computer, which the astronauts used to fly to the Moon, in both the command module and the lunar module, was the tiniest, fastest, most nimble, and most functional computer that had ever been created, at the time, and so it was that MIT and NASA catapulted the computer industry. 

At that time though, NASA was pretty much the only major client for computer chips. Let’s compare that to 2021 when a total of 169 industries were hard hit by a global chip shortage, which is still ongoing. As the cost of key materials to produce microchips increases, in the midst of global supply chain disruptions, consumers are starting to feel the pinch. Prices of PCs and other IT devices are steadily on the rise. Car prices have also risen, as car manufacturers focus on building more expensive models to compensate for the lack of chips. The globe is going through a tech boom again, and suppliers simply can’t keep up. 

We Can’t Afford Another Tech Boom Unless We Start Doing Things Differently

The metal industry is a multi-faceted reality, facing immense sustainability issues, with added concerns surrounding the depletion of technology metals. These metals are vital to the global economy since they are essential components in all high-tech electronic devices and cleantech applications, for domestic, commercial, industrial, and military use, worldwide. 

Depletion of technology metals could contribute to ecological, economic, and social deficits, with far-reaching global consequences. 

These metals are the dominant materials found in e-waste, representing approximately 60% of the total waste, comprising a multitude of items, such as household appliances, IT equipment, monitors, tools, medical devices, and much more. Data indicates that 82% of e-waste generated globally is not being recycled.  As is, we can’t afford another Tech boom unless we start doing things differently.

What Happens To The 82% Of E-Waste Not Being Recycled?

A pile of electronic waste on a roadside in Guiyu. Much of modern electronic equipment contains toxic ingredients and as much as 4,000 tonnes of toxic e-waste is discarded every hour. Vast amounts are routinely and often illegally shipped as waste from Europe, USA and Japan to countries in Asia because it is easier and cheaper to dump the problem on poorer countries with lower environmental standards. Workers involved in dismantling e-waste are exposed to serious health hazards.

82% of all e-waste, generated globally, is being informally recycled in developing countries.

Ninety-five percent of the e-waste in India is being recycled in the non-formal sector and only five percent of the e-waste volume is handled via formal units. In and around the metropolitan cities of India, there are over 3000 known units operating in the non-formal sector of e-waste recycling.

Informal recycling employs crude methods of recovery for valuable metals and poses risks to untrained workers, who are often children, due to the lack of infrastructure, weak enforcement of legislation, and no adequate precautions. 

The National Commission For Protection of Child Rights in India recently reported that the segregation of hazardous e-waste is done by children as young as eight. 

Children in Ghana have been documented, by Greenpeace, dismantling computers and TVs to recuperate the metals inside.  They are at risk, working in poorly ventilated enclosed areas, without any protective equipment, and no regulations, while pollutants are being released into water sources and the land.

Populations at large, are at risk due to the contamination of their land and water. On the other hand, informal e-waste management, and recycling, in developing countries, have resulted in employment opportunities and satisfied the demand for affordable electronic devices.

Asia, Africa, India, and South America, according to a UN report, are the primary destinations for discarded electronic products via recycling programs. 

The irony does not go unnoticed when one considers that the very regions that are stripped of the resources needed to manufacture electronic devices are exactly where the e-waste is eventually dumped. 

There could be some light at the end of this dark tunnel, with companies such as E-rase your E-Waste which aims to provide solutions to informal and hazardous e-waste management in developing countries. Located in Delhi, the Catalytic Reaction Engineering Laboratory research group at the Chemical Engineering Department, led by Dr. KK Pant are researching and implementing ways to achieve target metal recovery and energy production through an eco-friendly process. 

Dr. Pant’s team believes that this can be successfully implemented, on a large scale, so as to generate many jobs in the waste recycling industry, without posing risks to workers or the environment. The team has already set up a 10kg/h (Kilogram per hour) pyrolysis plant for E-waste recycling at IIT Delhi.

Is Recycling The Solution To E-Waste?

When e-waste is not recycled, chemicals such as lead, mercury, polyfluoroalkyl substances, brominated flame retardants, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and other persistent organic pollutants contaminate landfills, water supplies, and the land, so it stands to reason that e-waste management and recycling need to be improved on a global scale. 

When we think of sustainability issues, recycling is the engine that we hope will propel us to a cleaner, more sustainable future. It’s been over 50 years since recycling became a household term, we should admit defeat, or at the very least realize that recycling alone won’t cut it. 

The only way to navigate out of this mess is to look at the big picture. We are all part of the problem and as such, we all need to play our part in the grand scheme of creating a sustainable future. 

Consumer Habits Need To Change And Big Tech Companies Need To Respond Accordingly

The laptop I’m using to write this has already started showing signs of extreme fatigue. Even with the battery charged at 100%, it turns itself off abruptly, if not powered by AC. It’s five years old and according to today’s standards, should have already been replaced. 

Electronic components have their own life, and it’s normal for some of these to need replacing in time. The problem is that in many instances, laptops, for instance, are glued, or parts are soldered together, so that if one part breaks you’ll need to replace the entire unit. This is particularly frustrating and problematic when batteries need to be serviced or replaced. It is a waste, to say the least.

It should be possible to take PCs and mobile devices apart, and for consumers to replace vital components when needed. Big Tech companies should offer spare parts for several years even once the model has been discontinued. 

There are many things that can be done to produce sustainable IT products. Standardizing cables for IT products would mean fewer cables to be manufactured and this would allow their re-use on multiple products by consumers. Companies need to start designing products that are durable, upgradeable, repairable, and reusable, whether these are computers or home appliances.

Creating a circular economy is part and parcel of the overall solution. In order for businesses to achieve a circular economy, they need to redefine growth and invest in business practices that benefit society as a whole.  

The Right To Repair

Most e-waste management models around the world are based on the EPR concept which motivates the producers to reduce consumption of virgin materials. That isn’t enough. We need designs with a new vision. 

Big Tech companies need to own up to their responsibilities and become active stakeholders in implementing a circular economy with designs that take into account not only the use of an object but its lifespan and recycling as well. 

In the USA the ‘right to repair’ bill was introduced and has already gained traction thanks to backing from President Biden and Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak

In December 2021, Dell announced its plans for Concept Luna, a sustainable and repairable laptop. News has it that  Microsoft is looking into Xbox and Surface devices right to repair.  All Big Tech companies should jump on board because it won’t take long for consumers to realize and appreciate the benefits. 

The only viable solution to the e-waste dilemma is continued commitment to overcoming the challenges linked to e-waste management and recycling while focusing on business practices that benefit society as a whole, coupled with strong legislations that regulate the lifespan and recycling of all products. 

Perhaps we ought to heed the words of Jason Hickel, in his book Less is More-How Degrowth Will Save The World, where he states:

“Degrowth begins as a process of taking less. But in the end, it opens up whole vistas of possibilities. It moves us from scarcity to abundance, from extraction to regeneration, from dominion to reciprocity, and from loneliness and separation to connection with a world that’s fizzing with life.”
We all need to pitch in if we want to keep this sublime planet and a stunning masterpiece of creation, our home.

Resource-Rich Countries Of The Future

The metal industry is a multi-faceted reality facing immense sustainability issues, with added concerns surrounding the depletion of technology metals. These metals are vital to the global economy since they are essential components in all high-tech electronic devices and cleantech applications, for domestic, commercial, industrial, and military use, worldwide. 

Depletion of technology metals could contribute to ecological, economic, and social deficits, with far-reaching global consequences. 

Metals are the dominant materials found in e-waste, representing approximately 60% of the total waste. E-waste comprises a multitude of items such as household appliances, IT equipment, monitors, tools, medical devices, and much more. 

Data indicates that 50+ million tonnes of e-waste are generated annually, along with $47 billion in losses from 82% of e-waste not being recycled. This scenario raises two very significant questions.

  1. What are the most urgent challenges that need to be addressed in this new landscape of sustainability and depleting resources?
  1. Which will be the resource-rich countries of the future?

Urgent Challenges For Metal Industry 

Many industrialized nations are now faced with the task of handling massive amounts of e-waste that is internally generated. Because these metals are integral parts of such a wide variety of products it makes recycling these a complex process, requiring manual disassembly in most cases, leading to illegal e-waste dumping, export, and recycling.

53.6 million metric tons of e-waste were generated globally in 2019. Only 17.4% of that was recycled. The 82% not recycled represents $47 billion in lost value from materials that could have been recovered, including cobalt, palladium, copper, and other minerals.

Sources: 2020 UN Global E-waste Monitor, GESP 2020 How E-waste Management Market Became a Highly Profitable Industry 2020: Revenue Analysis and Growth Opportunity, AP Newswire 2020.

E-Waste Management Value Chain 

In industrialized nations, recyclable metals are being accumulated. In developing nations, entirely new business opportunities are developing around merchandising, recycling, and reprocessing of WEEE from e-waste. Unfortunately, informal recycling of metal-containing products is also widespread, with all its ensuing problems. 

The e-waste management value chain involves a range of players responsible for the functioning of different stages of the process. 

Many current e-waste regulations are designed around the Extended Producer’s Responsibility concept, also known as the EPR concept, which aims to shift part of the waste management responsibilities, be these administrative, financial, and/or physical, from governments or municipalities & taxpayers to those that produce and sell products that are destined to become waste. 

This means the producer is also responsible for financing and organizing a system to meet the costs involved and consumers might eventually pay the end-of-life costs via an increase in product costs. 

The EPR concept focuses more on the responsibilities of producers, yet a successful e-waste management system involves stakeholders such as governments, municipalities, consumers, retailers, and treatment partners, who all have important roles to play. 

Stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities may differ from country to country, depending on-specific cultural, societal, economic, and other conditions, but the process and responsibilities are similar. 

Stakeholders Roles And Responsibilities

Courtesy of International e-Waste Management Practice Factsheet: Deepali Sinha Khetriwal Grishma Jain Final version 2021

Global Informal Recycling of E-Waste

80% of all e-waste, generated globally, is being informally recycled in developing countries.

According to a Central Pollution Control Board report, India generated 1,014,961.2 tonnes of e-waste containing 21 types of EEE in 2019-2020. 

Ninety-five percent of the e-waste in India is being recycled in the non-formal sector and only five percent of the e-waste volume is handled via formal units. In and around the metropolitan cities of India, there are over 3000 known units operating in the non-formal sector of e-waste recycling.

Informal recycling employs crude methods of recovery for valuable metals. Due to the lack of infrastructure, weak enforcement of legislation, and no adequate precautions, untrained workers are posing a risk to their health, working in poorly ventilated enclosed areas, without any protective equipment, while pollutants are being released into water sources and the land.

On the other hand, informal e-waste management, and recycling, in developing countries, have resulted in employment opportunities and satisfied the demand for affordable electronic devices.

The solutions are within our grasp and may very well lie within the biggest challenge that the metal industry is faced with today, the illegal e-waste export and handling of e-waste

How To Adress Illegal E-waste Export And Handling

When e-waste is not recycled, chemicals such as lead, mercury, polyfluoroalkyl substances, brominated flame retardants, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and other persistent organic pollutants contaminate landfills, water supplies, and the land. 

Developing and marginally developed countries have become major repositories for e-products from developed countries. The situation calls for effective regulations covering the management, recycling, and disposal of e-waste.

Stakeholders must analyze e-waste stock, source of inflow, restrictions from formal and informal sectors to start with, along with enforcing regulations and compliance, in order to eradicate the health and environmental hazards of informal e-waste recycling.

E-Waste Legislation Guidelines

Existing e-waste legislation already in place in certain countries can be used as a guideline. The example below is based on Switzerland’s e-waste legislation

E-waste generated 201 kt (2019) 23.4 kg per capita – E-waste documented to be collected and recycled 123 kt (2017) – Product Scope: FULL – WEEE management principle EPR

Courtesy of International e-Waste Management Practice Factsheet: Deepali Sinha Khetriwal Grishma Jain Final version 2021

As indicated in the chart above, there are numerous factors that come into play:

  1. The legislation in place, if any
  2. The country’s legal definition of e-waste
  3. Obligations placed on the producers
  4. Products coming under the scope of the legislation
  5. Collection systems
  6. Recycling systems
  7. Financing mechanisms
  8. Targets
  9. Reporting systems 
  10. Standards/audits to comply with
  11. Monitoring systems
  12. Regulations with respect to transboundary movement of used EEE, and RoHS 

Aside from EPR, there are other models such as the Producer Responsibility Organization, (PRO), whereby compliance Scheme Producers can implement EPR  individually or collectively, either through a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) or a Compliance Scheme. A PRO can be for-profit as per ERP in Europe, or not-for-profit, as is the case with WEEE Forum systems. The PRO takes on the operational processes such as collection, transportation, environmentally sound recycling, and disposal of end-of-life products, to meet the EPR obligations

Ghana has implemented a WEEE management system based on Taxation. Producers and importers of EEE must pay an advance “eco-levy” to ensure the collection, treatment, recovery, and environmentally sound disposal of EEE. Producers and treatment facilities, therefore dismantlers & recyclers, are to ensure that a system has been put in place to provide for the treatment of the WEEE, using the best available technology and practices and ensure WEEE is treated at a treatment facility or exported by an approved exporter for treatment outside the country.

China has legislation based on EPR principles, however, they have no legal definition of e-waste included in the legislation nor are there rules governing the Transboundary movement of Used EEE.

India also has e-waste legislation, and while there is a provision for it, there is currently no specific standard set and no auditing regime in place

These are perfect examples of how important it is for all stakeholders to take responsibility for their role in assuring all legislation guidelines are set and met.

With proper handling and recycling of e-waste, countries that have been poor in primary materials, to date could become the resource-rich countries of the future, without causing further harm to the environment. 

Circular Economy Action Plan For Metal Industry

Creating a circular economy is part and parcel of the overall solution. In order for businesses to achieve a circular economy, they need to redefine growth and invest in business practices that benefit society as a whole.

The concept of circular economy is already firmly rooted at the center of both APEAL and the EU deal. The Circular Economy Action Plan also includes a ‘sustainable products’ policy applicable to materials such as steel.

  • Waste-to-value businesses generate revenues through the recovery, recycling, and selling of recyclable materials
  • The management of raw materials, wastes, and by-products is a sustainable form of business in support of a circular economy
  • The customization of products by turning metal waste into quality raw materials is a viable and revenue-earning solution 

Product Designs With A New Vision

Most e-waste management models around the world are based on the EPR concept which motivates the producers to reduce consumption of virgin materials. Designs with a new vision, are also needed. Designs that take into account not only the use of an object but its lifespan and recycling as well. 

Take for example IT products such as computers, whose estimated lifespan is from 3 to 5 years. In many instances, laptops are glued, or parts are soldered together, so that if one part breaks you’ll need to replace the unit. This is particularly frustrating and problematic when batteries need to be serviced or replaced. It should be possible to take PCs and mobile devices apart to replace vital components when needed, and companies should offer spare parts for several years even once the model has been discontinued. 

There are many things that can be done to produce sustainable IT products. Standardizing cables for IT products would mean fewer cables to be manufactured and this would allow their re-use on multiple products by consumers. Companies need to start designing products that are durable, upgradeable, repairable, and reusable.

The metal industry may be faced with multiple issues but the path is clear, all stakeholders need to be encouraged to commit to waste management, through recovery, recycling, and adhering to the principles of a circular economy.  

The resource-rich countries of the future will be those that work to overcome the challenges linked to waste management and recycling while focusing on business practices that benefit society as a whole

With proper handling and recycling of e-waste, countries that have been poor in primary materials, to date could become the resource-rich countries of the future, without causing further harm to the environment. 

Circular Economy Action Plan For Metal Industry

Creating a circular economy is part and parcel of the overall solution. In order for businesses to achieve a circular economy, they need to redefine growth and invest in business practices that benefit society as a whole.

The concept of circular economy is already firmly rooted at the center of both APEAL and the EU deal. The Circular Economy Action Plan also includes a ‘sustainable products’ policy applicable to materials such as steel.

  • Waste-to-value businesses generate revenues through the recovery, recycling, and selling of recyclable materials
  • The management of raw materials, wastes, and by-products is a sustainable form of business in support of a circular economy
  • The customization of products by turning metal waste into quality raw materials is a viable and revenue-earning solution 

Product Designs With A New Vision

Most e-waste management models around the world are based on the EPR concept which motivates the producers to reduce consumption of virgin materials. Designs with a new vision, are also needed. Designs that take into account not only the use of an object but its lifespan and recycling as well. 

Take for example IT products such as computers, whose estimated lifespan is from 3 to 5 years. In many instances, laptops are glued, or parts are soldered together, so that if one part breaks you’ll need to replace the unit. This is particularly frustrating and problematic when batteries need to be serviced or replaced. It should be possible to take PCs and mobile devices apart to replace vital components when needed, and companies should offer spare parts for several years even once the model has been discontinued. 

There are many things that can be done to produce sustainable IT products. Standardizing cables for IT products would mean fewer cables to be manufactured and this would allow their re-use on multiple products by consumers. Companies need to start designing products that are durable, upgradeable, repairable, and reusable.

The metal industry may be faced with multiple issues but the path is clear, all stakeholders need to be encouraged to commit to waste management, through recovery, recycling, and adhering to the principles of a circular economy.  

The resource-rich countries of the future will be those that work to overcome the challenges linked to waste management and recycling while focusing on business practices that benefit society as a whole

Long Term Food Security For Urban Areas

Urbanization, climate change, and food security are tightly linked issues. It is estimated that by 2050 more than 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas.

New strategies are needed to ensure food supply and food security for people living in urban areas.  

Food security means achieving a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice.

Cities Must Be Reimagined and Redesigned

Promoting local food production in urban areas is the key to integrating green and edible vegetation into their boundaries. Cities must be re-imagined and re-designed to incorporate agricultural practices in order to achieve sustainability.

Rooftops, courtyards, and public green areas can all be converted into vegetable gardens.

In Italy, an average of 44% of the population grows fruit and vegetables in urban gardens and private terraces.

The heritage of Italian vegetable gardens is rooted in a tradition born of a deep reverence for the earth, for growing and preparing food, and can pave the way to more sustainable urban living.

If you google “Italian vegetable gardens” you’ll get a whopping 137,000,000 results. Not only have Italian gardening traditions been maintained in Italy and abroad by Italian immigrants, in their backyards, they’ve also been adopted by other cultures. Classic Italian vegetable gardens can be found throughout Canada and the USA

Many years ago I relocated from Canada to Milan, Italy. It was in the city of Milan, where I saw my first communal vegetable gardens. 

In a city such as Milan, a private backyard garden is a rarity. Mostly I would see older Italians, tending after these communal gardens. They reminded me of summers spent at my aunts’ and uncles’ homes in Ontario. 

I grew up in an Italian immigrant family, in Canada, at a time when traditions from the old country were held onto with passion and commitment by the previous generations. 

My uncles and aunts each had an ‘Orto’, an Italian vegetable garden. At times most of the backyard was allotted to the vegetable garden. 

I witnessed frequent conversations about whether there had been too much or not enough sun and rain and which moon cycles needed to be observed for yielding the best results, as different vegetables require to be planted and harvested at specific times during the lunar phases. 

In these gardens, they grew aubergines, tomatoes, zucchini, fava beans, peppers both hot and sweet, string beans, rucola, carrots, lettuce, fragrant herbs, and so on. Italian vegetable gardens can produce a lot in very small spaces. Tiny backyard plots would feed an entire family and friends.

In the fall, endless jars of tomatoes, grilled eggplant, peppers, jams, and pickled vegetables would be stowed away for the winter months ahead

Unfortunately, these traditions were not always held onto by successive generations as many opted for a BBQ deck and/or a swimming pool in place of a vegetable garden.  

Promoting Local Food Production

Over the years, since living in Italy, I’ve seen a shift, with a passion for vegetable gardening taking a hold of the younger generation. Gardening is no longer only a pastime for the elderly.

Projects such as Coltivando, an urban vegetable garden, set up on 1000 sqm of land at the Bovisa Campus of Politecnico di Milano, is a perfect example of urban community gardening. The project was developed and designed with the collaboration of and for people from the neighborhood

Local authorities in Italian cities, organize and rent urban gardens. There are different parameters and systems for the concession of public gardens. Some municipalities may offer annual use in exchange for a small fee, while others may be reserved for certain age groups and there are those who open tenders for assignments, offering rent shares that vary according to income and age

Just 25 km outside of Milan, in the province of Lombardy, there is an experimental educational farm, the Minoprio Foundation, with the production structures consisting of greenhouses, tunnels, shadows, nurseries, vegetable gardens, and an orchard with old and new varieties of plants. 

The Minoprio Foundation enjoys and benefits from an estate of about 60 hectares consisting of a historical, agricultural, and naturalistic park.

Another initiative that got my attention is ​​MILANO GREEN WAY.  A five thousand square meters urban community green area, in the city of Milan, along the Olona river, in the Barona village district. This redevelopment project transformed a degraded urban area into a shared community garden. The project was curated by OPERA in FIORE, a  Social Cooperative, with the collaboration of inmates on leave, residents, students, and young gardeners.

With over 44% of the population growing fruit and vegetables in urban gardens and do-it-yourself terrace gardens Coldiretti’s analysis of the latest Istat data from 2019 showed a recorded growth of 18.5% in five years, exceeding 2.1 million square meters and estimates for 2020-21 indicate further growth with the introduction of vertical gardens in Milano’s latest architectural projects.

Data also shows that in one year the number of Italians living in conditions of utter poverty increased from 4.6 million to 5.6 million

To make matters worst, crop losses, from anomalous weather trends, coupled with a sharp rise in production costs, from fuel to fertilizers and an increase in energy costs, have taken their toll on Italian households.

Urbanization, climate change, and food security are tightly linked issues. It is estimated that by 2050 more than 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas.

Perhaps being locked in for months on end, due to the pandemic, and the resulting economic crisis has ushered in a new design for urban living, with a desire to reconnect with nature, save money and eat well.  

It’s truly delightful to see gardening traditions continued, whether on a small or large scale. These practices help us understand the importance of living close to the earth and do our part in creating a more sustainable future

 It is no longer possible to remain inactive and hope for better times.

A Daily Dose Of Happiness

What is happiness? If you look up synonyms for this elusive word you’ll find gems such as euphoria, glee, jubilation, seventh heaven, bliss, and elation.

How does one achieve such a state? Is it love, money, beauty, youth, health, success, or a combination of all of these? Hard to come by the full package, don’t you think?

I believe in a daily dose of happiness, no matter what. A permanent state of happiness is difficult to achieve and would be counter-productive. It is the difficult times in our lives that teach us to appreciate the good times.

It can be said that certain life circumstances and conditions contribute to one’s happiness, give or take.

Falling in love, getting a raise, your favorite team winning the game? But are these not fleeting moments of happiness? So what would make for long-lasting happiness? Winning the lottery? I imagine oodles of money would make many people happy, yet those same happy lottery winners could very quickly fall back into unhappiness, should their spouses, once they cash in half the winnings, choose to leave them, or if the lottery winner were to never walk again, following a head-on collision with a wild boar, while speeding on a country road in their new dream sports car.

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but my point is simply that life is made of ups and downs, and these don’t come announced or have any particularly recognizable patterns. Life is full of surprises, some better than others.

I don’t believe in being happy all the time, it simply doesn’t work, doesn’t exist and the mere thought of having to be happy all the time is stressful. I enjoy crying when I have a good reason to cry. I enjoy arguing when I have a good reason to defend a position. I enjoy anger as well, as long as it is properly vented, in a constructive creative manner.

A full range of feelings must be given free reign, in order for us to keep developing our very unique identities. Life serves up all the experiences we need in order to realize our potential.

Perhaps it would be wise to get more acquainted with the sources of our unhappiness in order to navigate our way towards happiness. It’s a little like getting vaccinated. You become less prone to falling into the unhappiness rut, you react with a constructive resolution instead, and find ways to move beyond. Go ahead and scream at yourself in the mirror, but make sure you don’t take any shit from yourself…that’s the trick. Come to an agreement with yourself, no use beating yourself up. Make little adjustments to how you think and how you communicate with yourself.

The difficult times in our lives can help us appreciate the good times. Whether it is the loss of status or of a loved one, these are the defining moments that help us realize happiness, like life, is a temporal and fleeting occurrence.

Research shows that happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next, but typically involves times of considerable discomfort

Happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life, with a sense of purpose, meaning, and deep satisfaction. Research shows that happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next, it typically involves periods of considerable discomfort.

My secret is to find a daily dose of happiness. I do this by thanking the universe every morning when I wake up to a steaming cup of my favorite coffee, a flushing toilet, and the hot shower that follows. I cultivate my friendships as if they were all part of an exotic garden that I am the keeper of, and I take every occasion I can to immerse myself in nature and celebrate the beauty of life. Don’t underestimate the simple comforts in life and how they contribute to your happiness.