Thank You New Jersey For Showing Me Humanity At it’s Finest : Storm Sandy Recovery Photos

Jersey Shore Shore Sandy Today I jump on an airplane and head back to Los Angeles after 2+ months in New Jersey. As I do so, I reflect on my long stay and feel an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. I’ll keep this as simple and as straight forward as I can. Thank You New Jersey!.  Thank You for allowing me to be part of your on going recovery after storm Sandy.  Thank you for showing me what true strength is in a time of crisis, and helping me renew my faith in humanity.  Thank you for reminding me of the power of service and how many little people doing many little things can make many big changes. Thank you for showing me that there are extraordinary people who really care and reminding me of why  I love this state and the people. I came here to help my parents with their home and enjoy the holidays with family but ended up with an experience of a lifetime. I’ve made amazing new friends and encountered hundreds of determined citizens. I may have broken a few walls and moved some sticks and bricks, but that’s small compared to what I received from you. Thank You. I created a slide show of some of my favorite pictures of my volunteer efforts. The Photos were taken by my new volunteer friends, and devastation pictures I took myself. The song underneath these photos is by Michael Franti called “Gloria”,which also happens to be the name of my Grandmother, Gloria, whom I lost just a few weeks ago while here on my visit.  It’s fitting being she was a becon of hope and taught me the power of compassion and charity. I know she’d be proud.

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Recycled Christmas Trees Being Used to Rebuild Jersey Shore Sand Dunes?

Christmas Tree Recycle

Residents of New Jersey are coming in droves to recycle their Christmas trees at the Jersey shore this year.  Although recycling Christmas trees is a normal practice, recycling your festive pine at the Jersey shore allows your tree to keep on giving well after the Holidays. That’s because your old recycled Christmas trees are being used to rebuild the many sand dunes that were destroyed by Storm Sandy in October. I know! It sounded odd to me too, but apparently old Christmas trees are lined up along sand dunes to help them rebuild naturally. Christmas trees can be placed on their side end to end on the ground and naturally collect windblown sand over time. This creates a natural “fence” that traps sand, eventually burying the trees creating a small dune. Within a few months, the objects begin to take on the shape of a large sand dune that help protect the beach against heavy wave action from storms.  Dune grass can then be planted on top in about a year. It’s a method that has been practiced in the Southeastern states that are accustomed to having hurricanes and more in tune to the annual rebuilding of sand dunes each winter. Because so many Jersey shore cities are now strapped for cash, this “naturally” great idea will take place in many places along the Jersey Shore. For a more scientific and detail oriented explanation check out this article by Phillyblurbs.com

I bet you’d like to know how I stumbled upon this amazing concept.  So please give me your attention for a moment and I’ll explain. Continue reading

Another Successful Movember comes to an end: The Top 12 Movember Mustaches of 2012

Today is December 1st which means Movember is officially over. As the women cheer, thousands of men like myself will happily be shaving off their Movember mustache today. On the other hand, some men may have finally found that stylistic edge they were looking for and will make it part of their new persona. As you can see from my picture, that will not be the case for me. This morning I removed what I like to call the “Old-Timey- Villain” or the “Deadwood” mustache, officially ending my Movember. In honor of the closing of mustache season, I’ve put together my top 12 Movember Mustaches I think you will enjoy. Although my mustache raised more eyebrows than funds this year I enjoyed every minute of wearing it. More than anything, I like idea of making a statement and explain to other why I’m wearing such a ridiculous thing on my face. After all, that’s the whole point of Movember, to engage in conversation and awareness about men’s health issues. Love them or hate them Mustaches are becoming more and more common come November. That’s because the ‘stache craze is for a good cause. Movember is raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues, particularly prostate & testicular cancer.

Before I show you my top 12 Movember mustaches let me first explain to the unknowing what Movember is. You laugh, but I had to explain to my Parents today why I wore that ridiculous thing on my face for a month. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know what Movember is and how it works. It’s scary because I can only imagine what’s going through their mind as mustaches start showing up everywhere.

The month of November has become Movember! (Moustache November).  Over the last few years Movember has become more and more popular around the world as a time for guys to grow a moustache to draw attention to prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. It’s essentially the male version of women wearing pink during Breast Cancer Awareness month (which was October). Men have now claimed November as their own to shed light on health issues. The Movember & Sons movement started in Melbourne, Australia and has become a worldwide event. In 2011 over 854,00 Men & Women got on Board and raised $126.3 Million Us Dollars. It’s really easy to be part of and anyone can do it. First you register at www.movember.com, men start November 1st clean-shaven. For the rest of the month, these men (Mobros) or MoSistas wear a mustache proudly and seek sponsorship for their efforts and fundraising page. These mustaches basically become a walking talking billboard for Men’s health issues for the next 30 days. Even if they’re not raising money a lot of men will wear a mustache to support the efforts and keep men’s health issues literally under people’s nose. Funds go to the following charities. Prostate Cancer Foundation, LIVESTRONG Foundation, Awareness & Education, and Global Action Plan


Now, Let’s take a look at my top 12 Movember Mustaches that in my opinion capture the spirit of the Movember campaign. *Keep in mind, these are in no particular order, just a random selection of personal connection Movember Mustaches. Click “READ FULL STORY” TO SEE

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Pink….No Longer Just a Color

I had a long set up and cute story to set up this post  for my friend Penny Rebecca, But after reading her story on paper I realized there was nothing I needed to say or add to make this post more poignant. I would simply like to introduce you to my friend Penny Rebecca   I’m absolutely honored she would take the time to write her story for us for Breast Cancer Awareness Month  “Pink…No Longer Just a color”

Pink…no longer just a color

Being a tomboy most of my life, pink wasn’t a color I was very familiar with, actually I think I went to great extremes to avoid pink and all the girly-ness associated with it.  That is until my world changed and pink was no longer just a color, but a symbol of hope, strength and survival.

On a balmy summer evening as I lay in bed reading, I placed my hand across my heart out of comfort and suddenly felt something strange.  While flat on my back, I noticed a dime sized bump protruding from the top of my right breast.  I turned to my husband and asked, “Have you noticed this before?”  He shrugged and suggested I go see my gynecologist the following week.  My doctor checked me out and concluded it must be just a cyst. After all, it didn’t bother me, it was mobile and being a marathoner who didn’t smoke, do drugs or drink alcohol and kept to a healthy diet and weight, I was one of the healthiest patients she had, She suggested I wait three menstrual cycles. At the age of 29 and in such good health, she figured the cyst would go away on its own.  I’m not sure how to explain it, but something in me said no, that’s not good enough, I want a mammogram to be sure.  She wrote my prescription and a few days later I was at the radiologist’s office having a mammogram and an ultrasound.  When the doctor looked at my films I was told, “it doesn’t look like anything to worry about, but if you would feel better, we’ll get a biopsy”.  Again my gut said to me to get it checked out just to be sure.  I headed to a breast surgeon, had the biopsy done and went on my merry way. After all 2 doctors had told me there was nothing to worry about and I was a 29 year old healthy women; it couldn’t be breast cancer!  I had to wait 2 weeks for the results so I headed to Aruba on vacation and tried not to think about it but now I noticed that little bump sticking out of the top of my bikini.

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This is Definitely Not the Cereal I Grew Up on, But I like it: Organic,Gluten Free & Helpful Envirokidz

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a bowl of cereal. I love everything about it. The texture, the perfect mixture of milk, grain and as an extra bonus, at the end of every bowl is that sweet surprise of flavored milk.  Cereal is probably the biggest weakness in my diet. Did I mention I love cereal? And not just any cereal, I like the sugar filled , Gluten filled, non Organic brands with artificial dyes that’s like pouring yourself a big bowl of diabetes each morning. Sadly, I eat it knowing full well that it’s bad for me, but I promise you it’s not all my fault.

I like to believe that my bad cereal addiction is the result of an 80’s brain washing technique that happened to a whole generation of people my age.  Don’t believe me? Here’s an example. It’s been 25 years and still to this day I know that:

  • There’s a silly rabbit who can’t understand that “Trix are for Kids” -Trix Rabbit
  • That following a rainbow to sugar covered oats with hard marshmallows becomes something “Magically Delicious.” -Lucky Charms
  • I know that if I’m looking for colorful loops of sweetness I need to just “follow my nose, it always knows!”. –Toucan Sam
  • If I take a corn flake and frost it with sugar “ they’reee Greeaat!” -Tony Tiger

I can do this forever, but I think you get the point by now and I don’t want to drive you “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs“ -Sonny Rooster  The marketing geniuses of the 80’s knew exactly what they were doing when they brainwashed us during our Saturday morning cartoons.  They made us fall in love with cute lovable cartoon characters only to poison us with processed sugar, corn fructose and who the hell knows what preservatives. How could children have ever known that Captain Crunch was sailing them across a sea of addiction and poor diet.

The power of these characters and catch slogans are so strong it seems that every generation of children would fall into the same trap. I believed that there was no way out of this vicious cycle. That was until I stumbled upon a few new cereal characters that just might save the next generation of children. Meet Lilo the Lemur, Ping Panda, a Koala, Kinkajou and a Gorilla. These are the characters of a new kind of cereal that might just change the cereal game. Introducing EnviroKidz Organic by Natures Path Foods

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The Dude Is Feeding Children and I’m Helping! : How Jeff Bridges is leaving NoKidHungry.org

Could some one please tell me where Jeff Bridges came from and where do we find more actors like him? While growing up in the 80’s I couldn’t tell the difference between Jeff Bridges and Matthew Modine. The only Bridges I knew then was Lloyd and that’s only because I still laugh about how he “picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue” in one of the greatest comedies ever, “Airplane” Yet, here stands Jeff Bridges on top of the acting world with an Oscar win in 2010, a Nomination in 2011 and at one point last winter he had the top two movies in theaters.  For the past 25-year’s Jeff Bridges has done many notable films but in my opinion it was in 1998 that the whole world stopped and recognized Jeff as the brilliant actor and man he is. . That was the year of “The Big Lebowski” when Mr. Bridges played the lovable and infamous  “The Dude”.

After meeting Jeff years later I don’t think  “The Dude” character was too far of a stretch for him. Bottom line, Jeff Bridges is one of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet. He does things his way and he does it in a laid back style that any surfer or hippie would admire.  There are many reasons, some of which I’ll talk about, to praise Jeff Bridges as an artist. But, what I admire most about Jeff Bridges is his advocacy and philanthropy work for the betterment of humanity.  In particular, Jeff has dedicated much of his life to ending childhood hunger. He is the national spokesman for Share Our Strength- No Kid Hungry. It’s a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.  If you haven’t heard of this before you could start by tuning into The Food Network Saturday April 14th 2012 at 8:0o PM EST/ 7:00PM CST to get an idea of what Jeff’s mission is. It will be a heart-felt documentary piece called Hunger Hits Home. You can also continue reading to see how a regular Joe like myself and you could take part in ending childhood hunger in America.  In my opinion “The Dude” is one of the coolest characters ever portrayed on-screen but the true man who is Jeff Bridges is even cooler. At the end of the day a man’s character off-screen is what matters most to me and I think these actions should determine whom we look up to as heroes and idols. Continue reading

So, What is EarthyUrban.com?

For a while now people have asked me via Facebook & Twitter “What is EarthyUrban.com”?  Well, I guess I might as well explain so here it goes!

Welcome to EarthyUrban.com

EarthyUrban.com is my personal blog that celebrates the lifestyle nestled between ethically conscious living and a modern practical lifestyle. EarthyUrban.com is geared towards ideas and inspiration to hopefully help others develop their personal ethical lifestyle while keeping it practical. This page is an account of my personal encounters, experiences and thoughts that make me feel i’ve contributed even the smallest amount to the universe.

My name is Tommy aka. EarthyUrban.  In January 2012 I had an unfortunate start of the New Year waking up each morning with the hopeless feelings of emptiness and insignificance. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what was wrong. Maybe it was the fear of the unknown in the New Year, or maybe it was the realization of another wasted year gone bye. Whatever it was I was feeling melancholy and I didn’t understand why. Up to this point I felt I’ve been very successful.  I had my health, a good job, my own apartment, a nice car, great family and good friends. But something was missing.  For weeks I found myself staring in the mirror each morning searching for the answer. Believe me, there’s nothing tougher than looking at the face you see in the mirror and realizing you’re not the person you thought you were or want to be. That’s what I was going through. With all my success here I was empty inside.

There are those who say that the measure of success starts with a simple question, Are you living a life in line with your values? My whole life I’ve prided myself on my supposed values and the sad answer to that question for me was, No.

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