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REFLECTIONS ON EARTH DAY If I asked what the month of April means to you, many of you might mention the beginning of spring rains, the blooming of tulips and daffodils, or the first sightings of baby rabbits hopping across the grass. For me, however, in addition to all of those exciting harbingers of warmer weather, April holds significance because of Earth Day on April 22.
Earth Day was first celebrated when I was just a young girl, but back then, every day felt like a celebration of nature to me. I stayed outside from sunrise to sunset, made “stew” from grass and mud, chased butterflies, picked fresh vegetables from the garden, and played in the shade of the grape arbor. The most joyful days in my memory were the ones spent out in nature, soaking up the sun and breathing in the fresh country air. As I grew older, the idea of taking care of the planet and preserving our “home” became very important to me. I remember taking on yearly 4-H conservation projects to present at the county fair and doing litter cleanup activities with my friends. In college, I had the opportunity to meet the founder of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and in law school, I took every environmental law class that was offered. While the other third-year law students were doing their final research projects on civil rights, tax laws, or rules of evidence, I was spending my days (and nights) researching the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. I felt extremely lucky when I landed my first job after law school in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. How many new lawyers get to spend office hours visiting newly reclaimed coal mining sites or taking classes in wetland identification? Not only was I thrilled to be able to practice law out in nature, but I also loved being able to represent agencies that were enforcing our state’s environmental laws and protecting our precious natural resources.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to share my love for the outdoors with my boys, and they, too, grew up with the grass under their feet and the breeze in their hair, catching fireflies and collecting rocks. Though the opportunities are fewer now that they are older, we still take hikes together when we can, and we all enjoy having meals out in the back yard. Earth Day, then, gives me a chance every year to reflect on all of these ways in which I feel tied to and blessed by the natural world and to think of ways every day that I can help to preserve that world for generations to come. As a society, we have come a long way since the first Earth Day in 1970. There are many organizations dedicated to preserving natural areas and endangered species, and many people both locally and globally take steps to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” So this April 22, I hope you will join me in thinking about what the natural world means to you and celebrating how far we have come in learning to protect the planet well into the future. There are more discoveries to be made and more work to be done, of course, but the more we each recognize and celebrate the importance of our planet, the greater our strides will be to protect it.
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INSPIRATION CORNER TERRY HITCHMAN Our friend and colleague Terry Hitchman is a person who provides much inspiration to us. Terry has a master’s degree in criminology and over 30 years’ experience as a criminal defense attorney. His vast understanding of police tactics gives him an edge in the courtroom and successful outcomes for his clients. We have teamed up with Terry to help many clients who were hurt because someone broke rules. Terry is perseverance personified. For his clients, Terry is a tenacious advocate, empathetic and trustworthy. To his friends, Terry is loyal and generous, with a keen sense of humor. When Terry was 10 years old, his first job was sorting pop bottles at work with his dad. His dad taught him that no matter what they do, “people matter, all people.” Terry lives his life by that philosophy by treating everyone he encounters with dignity, compassion, and respect.
IN HONOR OF LIBRARIES AND MENTAL HEALTH! Top 3 Books You’ll Want to Check Out No matter where you or a loved one are in your mental health journey, books can provide new insights through someone else’s experiences or the medical field’s scientific understanding of mental health. So, in honor of National Library Week (April 4–10) and National Librarian Day (April 16), let’s open up a few contemporary, definitive works on mental health to celebrate books and their availability through our public libraries. ‘Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression — and the Unexpected Solutions’ by Johann Hari This is one of the most recent mental health books that shocked the world. Featuring interviews with experts across the world, Hari’s book explores his personal quest to understand depression and concrete reasons we experience it. He’s found that certain lost connections with ourselves are often the reason we feel depressed — and, luckily, solutions exist. Even Elton John loves the book, saying, “If you have ever been down, or felt lost, this amazing book will change your life. Do yourself a favour — read it now.” ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: 10 Strategies for Managing Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Panic, and Worry’ by Seth J. Gillihan, Ph.D. Too anxious to go into therapy? Thankfully, you can practice cognitive behavioral therapy on yourself in a few ways. Start your healing process today with this easy-to-understand yet medically sophisticated workbook, which contains 10 soothing strategies like setting goals, maintaining mindfulness, and more. You can also use this workbook in tandem with clinical cognitive behavioral therapy or post-therapy. ‘This Is Depression: A Comprehensive, Compassionate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Understand Depression’ by Dr. Diane McIntosh Are you completely lost on what depression is exactly? Is it a clinical or emotional issue, or both? Whether for a loved one’s sake or your own, this book can give you a thorough understanding of depression that a simple Google search simply can’t offer. You’ll love Dr. Diane McIntosh’s evidence-based approach to showing the causes, impact, and treatment of depression.
Even if your local library is still closed due to the pandemic, we hope you check one of these — or any book — out! And if you have a great book recommendation, we’d love to hear it. Have a wonderful, book-filled April, friends.
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Go Green — Make a Salad With the Rinehardt Family’s Favorite Salad Dressing
LAWYERS ON THE FOREFRONT OF THE BATTLE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Robert Bilott: The Real Lawyer Behind the Movie ‘Dark Water’ Every year on Earth Day, people celebrate the beautiful natural environments that we get to enjoy as well as raise awareness for the preservation and protection of those environments for decades to come. The fight to protect the environment, and the people who depend on it for their livelihood, includes activists, government organizations, and nonprofits — and lawyers. Lawyers might not be the first people who come to mind when you think of who’s fighting on the front lines for environmental preservation. However, former corporate lawyer Robert Bilott’s class-action lawsuit filed against DuPont, one of the most powerful chemical companies in the United States, shows that lawyers can majorly impact the fight for better environmental regulation. Robert Bilott began his crusade against DuPont after agreeing to represent a Parkersburg, West Virginia, farmer and his family in a lawsuit against the chemical behemoth as a favor to his grandmother, who also lived in Parkersburg. They claimed that DuPont was causing them and their livestock to get sick by contaminating the water. As Bilott dug into the case, he made some startling discoveries. Eventually, he found that DuPont was irresponsibly disposing of chemicals known as PFAS and PFOAS, sets of “forever chemicals” that never break down, in the Ohio River. PFAS and PFOAS have been linked to cancer and other diseases, and several thousand people living along the Ohio River may have been exposed. Bilott settled the first case and, abhorred by what he found, kept pushing forward, representing more and more people hurt by DuPont. In 2017, he won $670 million for 3,500 people. However, that victory was about more than just getting compensation for people who may have been hurt by the contamination. The money also funded a study that tested the drinking water of 70,000 residents of West Virginia and Ohio. The study linked PFOA exposure to a number of diseases, including thyroid disease and testicular and kidney cancer. The findings of these studies have the potential to bring about environmental regulation of these dangerous chemicals. So far, however, no regulations exist. So, the fight for environmental protection continues.
The Rinehardts love a good salad, and the key to making a good salad is having a delicious dressing. This is our favorite salad dressing recipe. It can be modified in many ways depending on the ingredients you are putting in your salad or the meal it is accompanying. It is best made in a blender, but a food processor or a whisk and some muscle will work, too. If you are making the dressing by hand, be sure to add the oil VERY gradually and keep whisking the entire time — even when your arm gets tired! The basic ratio is 1 to 3, meaning one part vinegar and three parts oil. The measurements below can be modified to make the amount of dressing you want; just make sure to keep the ratio at 1 to 3.
1/4 cup vinegar (balsamic, champagne, red wine, or our favorite — O citrus champagne vinegar) 2 tbsp sweetener (honey, pure maple syrup, or agave) 2 tbsp mustard (Dijon, coarse ground, or honey mustard — but
with honey mustard, eliminate the sweetener, and increase mustard to 3 tbsp) Generous pinch or two of kosher salt or sea salt Fresh ground pepper to taste 3/4 cup oil (extra-virgin olive oil, pure olive oil, or canola oil)
1. Combine vinegar, sweetener, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender, food processor, or mixing bowl. With the motor running (or while whisking), gradually add the oil in a slow steady stream.
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE SALAD INGREDIENTS
—Roasted red peppers and onions Slice, toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast in a 400-degree oven until brown and crispy (about 20 minutes). —Roasted shitake mushrooms Slice thin, toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. —Fresh corn Microwave in the husk for 2 minutes. Carefully shuck, and then cut the corn off the cob.
—Avocado These can be sliced, or diced, and then salted.
—Slow-roasted grape tomatoes Cut tomatoes in half, toss with olive oil, place on parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, then bake in a 275-degree oven for about an hour.
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INSIDE THIS EDITION
Reflections on Earth Day
Top 3 Mental Health Books to Check Out
Lawyers on the Forefront of the Battle for the Environment Go Green — Make a Salad
Go Green in 3 Easy Steps
DON’T THINK — JUST GO GREEN!
3 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment
for new products, consider shampoo bars or refillable bottles for hair care products from companies like Plaine Products or EcoRoots. Eat less meat. We’re not saying you have to give up your cheeseburgers or ribs, but opting for fewer meat-focused meals could create big impacts on a global scale. According to the Center for a Livable Future, if just 32% of Americans opted for meatless meals one day each week, it would be equivalent to reducing the impact of emissions from 1.6 million cars each year. Swap meat for beans, tofu, cauliflower, squashes, or a vegetarian soup. Delish. com has a great selection of vegetarian-based meals if you’re ready to start. Shop locally. When you venture into “Meatless Monday” or search for products that reduce your single-use footprint, consider shopping locally. According to Transport & Environment, shipping could contribute to 10% of all carbon emissions by 2050. One way you can help reduce the reliance on global shipping is by focusing on locally sourced products and foods. Shop for produce at the local farmer’s market, seek out local crafters for gifts, and buy your clothes from local retailers who purchased the materials locally. Large store chains can also have local sections that make this endeavor easier! To get started, check with your local chamber of commerce for a list of shops to visit.
Living a sustainable, zero-waste lifestyle is all the rage these days. Celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Alba, and Emma Watson continue to make big waves by supporting eco-conscious causes and by boasting their eco-friendly products. Not everyone has the budget or the ability to go as eco-friendly as our celebrity counterparts, but “going green” isn’t as difficult as you may think. This Earth Day, try adapting some of these easy eco-friendly tips into your daily life! Reduce your reliance on single-use items. Swap out items like paper towels, plastic water bottles, shampoos and conditioners, straws, plastic bags, and other single-use products that fulfill a need for you once and then end up in a landfill. Instead, find creative ways to avoid these single-use products. You can cut up old shirts to use as rags, fill up reusable water bottles instead of buying throwaway plastic ones, and use cloth bags instead of plastic sacks at the grocery store. If you’re looking
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