Arbor Day in Portugal – International Day of Forests: Ways to protect trees and prevent deforestation and wildfires

March 21st is International Day of Forests as established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. In Portugal we celebrate Arbor day.

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I do care about the environment but I must admit I care too much and do too little. This might have gone unnoticed, expect for the tragic events of last year. Our forests were devastated by wild fires on two different occasions, June and October. Fatalities: 111 people. Non-fatal injuries: close to 300. Homes were lost as well as businesses, cars, properties, animals, livestock, etc. We can think “at least those people are alive” and that is definitely true but imagine working for something your whole life, just a simple home, maybe a small business, and having it ruined in a matter of hours or even minutes. It was a very dark year for us and our forests. There were over 400 active fires at one point. Summer is coming and we’re getting scared and asking ourselves if enough was done to prevent a similar tragedy, if we learned something. I really hope we did.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_2017_Portugal_wildfires

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_2017_Iberian_wildfires

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41648932

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/19/portugal-interior-minister-resigns-wild-fires-dead

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/17/wildfires-trap-2000-people-in-macao-village-in-central-portugal

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/world/europe/portugal-spain-fires.html

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What can we do to help prevent deforestation?

  • Do you really need to print that? You sure? Maybe you don’t. Save your printer for when you absolutely need it. Less printing = less paper = fewer trees are cut down.
  • If you must print something, can you use both sides of the page? Do it if you can.
  • Get your bills digitally. Many companies and service providers are willing to send them by email instead of a letter in the mail. It’s pretty much the same for you. Just save them in a folder instead of printing them.
  • Read digital books. I know, we’re book lovers. We’re not going to stop buying or reading actual books anytime soon. But maybe, just maybe, sometimes we don’t need a physical book. When I was a student, we often had to buy books only to read two chapters and be done with them. What’s the point? Besides, you’ll be spending less money and accumulating less clutter.
  • Go to the library. You don’t always need to own a book. You can get it from the library. If we all share, fewer books are printed.
  • Read magazines online. Yes, I do feel bad about this one too. I know magazines make money by selling printed issues but too much paper is wasted if we all buy magazines, read them once and throw them away. Maybe get an online subscription for your favorites? Your still paying and contributing but not polluting as much.
  • Reuse gift bags and bows. Does anyone care if a gift bag was used before? You save money too, Christmas themed gift bags, for example, can be pretty expensive.
  • Plant trees. Not everyone has the chance to do this but, if you do, this is the best way to make sure we have plenty of trees. Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Use reusable containers. Not only for trees and forests but for the environment in general. Same for cutlery. I understand that paper plates and cups can be really convenient but they’re not environment friendly at all. Just so wasteful. Maybe limit them for parties?
  • Avoid paper towels. Another very convenient item we should all avoid. It’s very easy to substitute, though. If you must buy them, get recycled ones. If you don’t mind parting with them, simply use cloth ones.
  • Same for napkins. Switching to cloth napkins which you can throw in the wash instead of in the trash is much better.
  • This is not for everyone and I understand that but many moms swear by cloth diapers.
  • Buy used wooden furniture. Cheaper and you help prevent deforestation.

How to prevent wildfires:

Sadly, most wildfires are caused by people. We should all be educated on how to prevent them. Here’s what we can and should do:

  • Never leave a fire unattended. This one is pretty obvious.
  • Always make sure you have put out a fire when camping. Using water or dirt, never leave until you’re certain it is out.
  • Obviously do not discard cigarettes or anything that might cause a fire from your car. Some people think it’s okay to throw cigarette butts through the window. This is more likely to cause a fire than you can imagine. All you need is a few dry bushes.
  • Be informed about local laws when burning yard waste. It is forbidden to do so in Summer when the hot temperatures might help in spreading the fire. Be careful about wind and make sure you have water at hand.
  • Clean around your property if you live near a wooded area. You need to protect your home against wild-fire.
  • Please follow local rules and don’t think it won’t happen to you. Things happen and there are circunstances you cannot control when it comes to fire.

Catching up – Monday 12.06.2017

Hello everyone,

How is everything going? Tell me about your Monday.

I decided not to go out after all. I scheduled everything for Friday. Tomorrow is a religious holiday and the city and there’s a lot of partying and there were probably more people everywhere today. Also, I was lazy. My mother was not available for dinner after all, so I decided to schedule everything for Friday instead. So, on Friday, I’m going to get a blood test, run some errands, meet my friend and student Ery (I just love her) for lunch and to wonder around a book fair, then I have my psychiatrist’s appointment at 4.30 p.m and then I’ll go to mom’s for dinner. Since I’ll be at the city, I will try to schedule a psychologist’s appointment too, taking advantage of being there already. I haven’t gone in a long time, but I need to keep going if I do want to get better.

I had forgotten tomorrow was a holiday (St. Anthony’s day or “Dia de Santo António”) which is the Patron Saint of Lisbon. There’s a huge party happening all over the city. I’ve been there a few years ago but it’s just too much for me lol Too many drunks and trash all over the floor (mostly plastic cups). There’s music and a huge parade and contest. Each neighborhood is represented in the parade and, in the end, one of them wins best “Marcha”. The parade is called “Marchas de Santo António” or “Marchas de Lisboa”. Here’s a few pictures:

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Castelo-Fotos-por-José-FradeEGEAC

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It’s a nice party and people like to get there to watch them go down the Avenue “Avenida da Liberdade” or watch on TV, if they can’t be there. Oh and they sing while dancing and going down the avenue, I forgot to mention that. I’ve been there to watch, when Rui and I first started dating but we mostly watch it on TV, as we’re doing tonight. The winner is the group or neighborhood with best costumes, song and routine.

There’s also a group wedding. Oh yeah, people apply to be married on this specific day and there’s a whole party too. It’s called “Casamentos de Santo António” or “St. Anthony’s weddings”. I think they choose about 16 couples and they all get married together.

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The tradition started in 1958, to help couples who really wanted to get married but couldn’t afford a wedding. Here’s a picture:

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There were more couples back then, they do choose only 16. They don’t have to pay for anything. I’m not sure but I think the couples are still chosen based on their financial difficulties, having no means to pay for a wedding. I think it’s a nice and cute tradition.

It’s traditional to eat roasted sardines, which the Mister is making for himself and I hate, so I’m eating pizza. You eat them with your hands, on bread, or on a plate with boiled potatoes and roasted bell peppers.

Mister is outside doing his and I took a few pictures:

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Dummy told me to take a picture that looks like he’s lighting the fire with his hands, while wearing socks and flip-flops. I swear he doesn’t go out wearing those
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The nice grill and fire, where the sardines will go
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His t-shirt…

Oh, I want to show you my new plant, the cute shoes I’m mourning because I have to return and my cute lunch bag that Rui takes to work every day (and doesn’t even care) because his lunch bag was old and needed to go. This was a few months ago, by the way. He has been rocking it ever since.

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I guess that’s it for today, guys. We’re about to have dinner and ice cream. Tomorrow Rui doesn’t work and we’re going out. I’ll tell you what we’ve done tomorrow night. I’m also catching up on blogs and comments, as always.

Love you guys, I hope you have a nice evening.

Chey.

Happiness is… Winning Eurovision!!

And…. we won!!

I don’t usually care so much about these things but we are such a small country, most people have no idea about us and some of them even think we are some small part of Spain. I think we deserve to get a little love and for people to get to know us a little better. That’s why I’m happy. Not only because we have won an amazing contest with a pretty song by a nice quirky guy with a lovely sister, but because we have won a little recognition. Can you understand it?

Also, I sort of got into a Twitter fight hahahahaha. This girl or woman was bashing on all of the countries, all night long. It was either the clothes or the voices or the lights, she was just being nasty, so I decided to be nasty back. Not my personality and I ended up apologizing but I got mad that she said so many hurtful things about Portugal and was super mad because we had won. I lose my shit sometimes, just like everybody else.

My soccer team, which is probably the biggest team in the country also won the National Championship 5-0. A considerable part of the country is partying for one thing or the other. Maybe both haha. Thank God tomorrow is Sunday. We won The European Cup last year on a Sunday and MANY people didn’t show up to work on Monday. Some companies even closed because they knew people would be partying haha. Work har, play hard.

So, I’m happy today!! Really happy!!

I spent time with Rui, grocery shopped, baked cupcakes, ate good snacks, watched an amazing game and the Eurovision Contest, winning both!! Even if we hadn’t won anything, we had so much fun. I needed it. Really bad.

I hope you all had a happy day!!

A big hug!!

Cheila

 

One Month Blogging Challenge – Day 12 (Places I have visited)

Challenge number 12, tell you about some places I have visited.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to travel and have never left the country.

I’m sorry I have no interesting travelling stories or photos.

I thought I would show you my favorite places in Portugal. Is that okay?

Favorite places in Portugal:

Lisbon

 

Sintra

Mafra

 

Ericeira

 

Coimbra

 

Sertã

 

Thanks for reading!!

xx