Jamaican-Chinese-American Woman Tells Little-Known Story Of 2 Blended Cultures

One woman?s story shows just how diverse the Chinese community actually is. 

Paula Williams Madison, a retired NBC Universal executive who?s Jamaican-Chinese-American, decided to begin actively looking years ago for ties to her Chinese grandfather, Samuel Lowe. In 2012, her search led her back to Lowe?s home country, where she not only learned about his backstory but also finally connected with her Asian relatives.  

The emotional journey is the subject of the 2014 documentary, ?Finding Samuel Lowe,? which is currently streaming online for free until June 13 on PBS.org. In it, it?s clear that Madison?s Asian heritage has become a crucial part of her identity. 

?It felt like a hole in my heart and my soul has finally been filled,? told CNN of meeting her Chinese family members, who are of the Hakka ethnic group. 

Madison, who was raised in Harlem by her Jamaican-Chinese mother Nell, said she often asked about her family?s past but details were scarce. Lowe, a shopkeeper in Kingston, last saw Nell when she was about 3 years old, ABC News reported. He allegedly left Kingston and returned to China, where he died. 

Armed with the little information she had on Lowe, Madison chipped away at her heritage on genealogy websites, uncovering more about the grandfather?s immigration to Jamaica and past as a sugar plantation worker, according to Poynter. She ended up with a huge lead after attending a Hakka conference in Toronto, where she met scholar Keith Lowe, another Chinese-Jamaican with her grandfather?s last name. She asked him to help attempt to connect her with her family in China. 

Sure enough, the scholar reached out his family and gave Madison some eye-opening news ? his uncle?s father was Lowe, ABC News reported. 

Madison made the trip to China later that year and met with her Chinese relatives. Today, she?s close with her Chinese family members and visits the country often. She said she feels comfortable in the country. 

?(When I?m there) I?m very happy,? she told CNN. ?I don?t feel like a foreigner. I?m feeling very at home.?

While Madison?s story is a rare one, her Jamaican-Chinese background isn?t all that uncommon. Hakka people, who hail mostly from South China, arrived in Jamaica in four main batches beginning around 1854. The Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica points out that although most Chinese immigrants who came to the country weren?t ?coolies,? or indentured servants, those who arrived early were in fact brought there due to the ?coolie? trade. They later established a social infrastructure that allowed for more migrants to follow. 

Chinese workers were initially brought to the country to fill a labor gap that opened up when the European slave trade with western and central Africa drew to a close. While these contract laborers were paid, they lived and worked in poor conditions, often similar to what slaves were subjected to. 

Several other waves of Chinese immigrants followed, many as workers from from other parts of the Caribbean, establishing a chain of migration. And by the late 19th to early 20th century, when they became a significant part of the local retail sector. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Donald Trump’s Weird Typo Becomes The Hot New Word Everyone Is Using

While on the presidential campaign trail late in 2015, Donald Trump boasted that he had ?the best words.? In a tweet fired off early Wednesday morning, he may have revealed one of them to the world: Covfefe.

While ?covfefe? was likely a typo, the post remained online for at least an hour with no followup or correction, gathering more than 100,000 likes, replies and retweets combined. That caused this new entry into the lexicon to instantly trend: 

UPDATE: This post has been updated with more #covfefe

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

41 Perfect Tweets About ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 13, Episode 2

For more on ?The Bachelorette,? check out HuffPost?s Here To Make Friends podcast below: 

Do people love ?The Bachelor,? ?The Bachelorette? and ?Bachelor in Paradise,? or do they love to hate these shows? It?s unclear. But here at ?Here to Make Friends,? we both love and love to hate them ? and we love to snarkily dissect each episode in vivid detail. Podcast edited by Nick Offenberg.

Want more ?Bachelor? stories in your life? Sign up for HuffPost?s Entertainment email for extra hot goss about The Bachelor, his 30 bachelorettes, and the most dramatic rose ceremonies ever. The newsletter will also serve you up some juicy celeb news, hilarious late-night bits, awards coverage and more. Sign up for the newsletter here.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Ellie Kemper’s Baby Only Calms Down When He Sees Allison Williams

Ellie Kemper?s baby is keeping his parents busy.

Appearing on ?Late Night with Seth Meyers,? the actress talked about her adventures as a new mom. Kemper and her husband, Michael Koman, have a 10-month-old son named James.

?James is a … spirited child,? she told Meyers. On a flight to Los Angeles a couple of months ago, Kemper and Koman struggled to calm their fussy baby, but nothing worked … until they showed him the airline magazine with Allison Williams on the cover. 

?Her gorgeous face delighted my child,? the mom said. ?It was the only thing that worked.?

Since then, Kemper has used different magazines that feature Williams to make James smile.

Watch the full clip above to see some adorable photos of the baby with pictures of Williams and hear more of Kemper?s parenting experiences.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

stringhalty

A good mentor should be able to give you some inspiration, help you be creative and also push you to reach your potential. Choose a mentor who you know is skilled or experienced in a field that you are interested in Most of the nitpickers in and around Baltimore offer their services for free to the children and the elderly people.. Always know that it is possible for you to have more than one mentor during the same period.

Domestic Violence Deserves The Same Outrage As The Gianforte Attack

The assault on Ben Jacobs has given us a window into what millions of women experience daily behind closed doors.

Wednesday evening the Republican candidate for Montana?s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives body slammed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian. An eyewitness to the attack described it in a first-hand account, ?Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.?

In the aftermath, the Billings Gazette rescinded its endorsement of Gianforte writing, ?We?re at a loss for words. And as people who wrangle words on a minute-by-minute basis, that doesn?t happen often. What happens even less ? hopefully never again ? is a Montana candidate assaulting a reporter.?

While the perpetrator and victim in this case are an unusual pairing? a candidate and a reporter? this type of interpersonal violence is far from unusual. Attacks like the one on Ben Jacobs happen every day to women at the hands of an intimate partner. In fact, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a US woman is assaulted every nine seconds. A third of women and a quarter of men have been abused by an intimate partner.

Like most perpetrators of domestic violence, Gianforte presented a false account of the incident and blamed the victim, implying he deserved the assault. Through spokesperson Shane Scanlon, Gianforte explained, ?It is unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.?

Perpetrators of domestic violence employ the same tactic, blaming the victim and framing a one-sided assault into misunderstanding or mutual dispute. Ben Jacobs was able to produce an audio recording of the assault, and several witnesses have corroborated his version of the attack. Domestic violence takes place in secret, without witnesses. Victims rarely report, and when they do, their perpetrators? Giantforte-esque explanations render criminal prosecution difficult.

The Gianforte assault has generated near-universal outrage from politicians, journalists, and the general public. To contrast, most incidents of domestic violence go unreported and happen in the privacy of the victim?s home without witnesses or media attention. When a celebrity is accused of domestic violence, the response is often inadequate. In 2015, Giants kicker Josh Brown was accused of domestic violence. In fact, his wife reported over 20 physical incidents to police. His initial punishment? A one-game suspension.

It is commendable that the Billings Gazette rescinded their endorsement of Gianforte. And, it is commendable that they articulated their outrage and horror in the face of such violence.

Domestic violence should generate the same outrage and sense of horror. Victims of domestic violence deserve the same level of concern, solidarity and sympathy as Ben Jacobs.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the

.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

The Case For President Pence

In raising the issue of President Trump?s removal from office, either through impeachment or finding of impairment via the 25th Amendment, I keep hearing otherwise sensible people say, ?But then we?ll just get President Pence, and the Republicans will have time to regroup and recover.?

Well, think again.

For starters, Donald Trump is a unique menace to American democracy and to planet Earth. Getting him out of office should be the top priority ? the sooner, the better.

Secondly, in purely partisan terms, replacing Trump with Pence would be far from a romp for Republicans. Pence is no Trump. He lacks Trump?s feral charisma, his weird genius as an entertainer, and the image of being a champion of aggrieved heartland forgotten voters.

Pence was a fairly ordinary religious conservative Republican. He was an extremely clumsy governor of Indiana, facing a defeat for re-election. Indeed, he was one of the few Republican politicians even willing to consider being Trump?s running mate, mainly because he had few other options if he wanted to stay in politics.

Most importantly, if Trump is forced out of office, it will split the Republican base. The white nationalist, don?t-bother-me-with-facts hard core, for whom Trump can do no wrong, will be livid. The Republicans will have a very tough time rallying their troops for 2018, while Democrats will be on the march.

So, yes, on all counts, Pence is preferable to Trump. Nixon?s successor, Gerry Ford, a very nice and well-liked politician, could not manage to win re-election in 1976 against an unknown peanut farmer, one Jimmy Carter.

Ford?s decision to pardon Nixon was part of the story, but not the only part. (And Pence would be under substantial pressure to pardon Trump.) There was a landslide swing to Democrats in the 1976 congressional elections because the Republicans were disgraced and dispirited after Nixon.

Now, from the point of view of Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, Pence may still be preferable to Trump ? because Trump is becoming more of an embarrassment by the day. The Republican outlook for 2018 might be even worse if Trump stays in the White House. But, given the larger stakes, that?s no reason for Democrats to want to keep Trump.

Oh, and there is one complication. What did Pence know, and when did he know it?

Unlike, Gerald Ford, who was a Republican insider but a complete outsider to the Nixon White House, Pence may not have entirely clean hands.

As head of Trump?s transition team, Pence evidently knew plenty about Michael Flynn, and he may well have known a lot more. Though Pence does not have to answer to Trump?s other grave misdeeds, such as firing the FBI director after he refused to go easy on Flynn or personally profiting from office, Pence could well get swept up in special counsel Robert Mueller?s investigation.

It would be truly bizarre, unprecedented, and constitutionally tricky to remove the president and vice-president simultaneously. Something like this nearly happened in the Watergate affair, when an entirely separate investigation revealed that Nixon?s V.P. Spiro T. Agnew, had extorted bribes and not reported them on his taxes while serving as Baltimore County Executive years earlier. (Nixon sure had a gift for picking talent.)

Agnew was allowed to plead guilty to one criminal count, on condition that he resign the vice-presidency. That was in October 1973, only ten months before Nixon was forced out. Imagine if Agnew had succeeded Nixon.

So, weirdly, we should be hoping that Pence is tarnished enough to be an embarrassment, but not so tarnished that he, too, has to leave office.

Stay tuned, folks.

Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect and professor at Brandeis University?s Heller School. His latest book is Debtors? Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility.

Like Robert Kuttner on Facebook: http://facebook.com/RobertKuttner

Follow Robert Kuttner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rkuttner

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Top Oversight Dem: ‘I Want Every Note’ White House Has On Trump’s Meeting With Russians

WASHINGTON ? Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Sunday he wants every single note the White House has on President Donald Trump?s meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office earlier this month.

In the past week, multiple damning reports have emerged regarding what was discussed during Trump?s May 10 meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, which was closed to U.S. press. Lawmakers expressed frustration that they only learned of notes documenting what was said in the meeting from media reports, and struggled to catch up to one scandal before another surfaced.

?I want every note that they have,? Cummings, ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, said on ABC?s ?This Week.? ?There have been so many lies, so many contradictions. And I think documents will help us to ferret out exactly what?s the truth and what?s a lie.?

Cummings added that he hopes Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) will ?issue subpoenas so that we can get every document.? The clock is ticking for Chaffetz, who has announced he will resign at the end of June.

Chaffetz appeared alongside Cummings on Sunday, saying he doesn?t even know if there are documents on the president?s meeting, or if the memos that fired FBI Director James Comey reportedly kept on his conversations with Trump do indeed exist.

?I don?t know where they reside. I don?t know if there are documents,? Chaffetz said. ?But we?re certainly pursuing them. And if they?re there, I hope we find them and get them sooner rather than later.?

Chaffetz added that he expects to speak with Comey on Monday. The former FBI director has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee sometime after lawmakers? weeklong break for Memorial Day. 

After his interview with ?This Week,? Cummings released a draft subpoena that he urged Chaffetz to sign and send to the White House.

?The White House is obstructing our investigation on the Oversight Committee, covering up for General Flynn, and refusing to produce a single document that Chairman Chaffetz and I asked for in a bipartisan letter two months ago,? Cummings said in a statement. ?I have prepared a subpoena that the chairman could sign today. If he does not want to do that, we ask that he allow the committee members to vote on it.?

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Congratulations To Federal Inmate 06290-177 Jared Kushner

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!

The criminal investigation into Russia?s links to the Trump campaign includes a senior White House official and we don?t know if we?ll ever fully be able to process such a betrayal from Trump?s Coca-Cola delivery guy. The president reportedly said firing James Comey eased a lot of his pressure, because the only thing this controversy was missing was language typically reserved for Maalox commercials. And Trump?s news cycle is so bad a Democratic congressman from not too long ago is being added to the sex offenders registry and no one seems to really care. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, May 19th, 2017:

INVESTIGATORS LOOKING AT POSSIBLE COVER-UP – ?Ms. Conway, did you just eat that document?? ?Mnphphphph!? Matthew Schofield and Lesley Clark: ?Investigators into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections are now also probing whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. That avenue of investigation was added in recent weeks after assertions by former FBI Director James Comey that President Donald Trump had tried to dissuade him from pressing an investigation into the actions of Trump?s first national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, members of Congress said, though it was not clear whom that part of the probe might target?. Cover-ups have traditionally been a major part of investigations that have threatened previous administrations. Articles of impeachment levied against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton included allegations of obstruction of justice, as they were suspected of trying to hide other wrongdoing.? [McClatchy]

RUSSIA PROBE FOCUSING ON CURRENT WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL – Barron, how could you? Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky: ?The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter. The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official. The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, the people said.? [WaPo]

TRUMP FIRED COMEY BECAUSE THAT IS HIS XANAX – Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Matthew Rosenberg: ?President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved ?great pressure? on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting. ?I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,? Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. ?I faced great pressure because of Russia. That?s taken off.?  Mr. Trump added, ?I?m not under investigation.? The conversation, during a May 10 meeting ? the day after he fired Mr. Comey ? reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau?s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.? [NYT]

It?s Jared Kushner, freelance writer Yashar Ali says, citing four unnamed sources. Maybe that?s true?

Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot?s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government

Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It?s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to eliot@huffpost.com. Follow us on Twitter – @HuffPostHill

SAUDI ARMS DEAL MAY BE ILLEGAL – Take a number, y?know? Akbar Shahid Ahmed: ?The human rights arm of the American Bar Association has sent the Senate a legal analysis saying that President Donald Trump?s plan for an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth more than $100 billion would be illegal because of the Saudis? role in the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Citing ?multiple credible reports of recurring and highly questionable [air]strikes? by the Saudi military that have killed civilians, the U.S. ?cannot continue to rely on Saudi assurances that it will comply with international law and agreements concerning the use of U.S.-origin equipment,? Michael Newton, a prominent Vanderbilt University law professor and former military judge advocate general, said. Newton, in his 23-page opinion, said the strikes have continued ?even after Saudi units received training and equipment to reduce civilian casualties.?? [HuffPost]

STAAAAAND BYYYYY YOOOUR MAAAAAAN Assuming he isn?t disbarred, Rosenstein has a tremendous and lucrative future representing the Trump Organization in court. Ryan J. Reilly: ?Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who offered a memo used to justify President Donald Trump?s termination of former FBI Director James Comey, told members of Congress on Friday that he?d discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI with Attorney General Jeff Sessions long before Trump fired Comey. Rosenstein told members of Congress he knew that Trump planned to fire Comey before he wrote his memo. Rosenstein told members of the House of Representatives that he respected Comey, but believed his public handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?s emails went against DOJ regulations.? [HuffPost]

TRUMP TO REFORM HEALTH CARE BY DESTROYING IT – He really seems to believe people will blame Obama for this. Josh Dawsey, Jennifer Haberkorn and Paul Demko: ?President Donald Trump has told advisers he wants to end payments of key Obamacare subsidies, a move that could send the health law?s insurance markets into a tailspin, according to several sources familiar with the conversations?. Many senior administration officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, are leery of ending the payments, however, because it could immediately unravel the Obamacare insurance markets and strongly discourage insurers from participating next year.? [Politico]

THIS WON?T IMPACT RECIDIVISM AT ALL – Ryan J. Reilly: ?The federal Bureau of Prisons has quietly fired an education specialist the Justice Department hired to serve as the first ?superintendent? of the educational system within federal prisons, HuffPost has learned. The Obama administration brought on Amy Lopez last year to overhaul educational programs for federal prisoners, with the hope of easing their re-entry into society and reducing recidivism. Lopez was fired last week ? leaving the future of the reform efforts under President Donald Trump in doubt. ?They?re shitcanning it,? a person who worked on the prison reform efforts disclosed to HuffPost this week.? [HuffPost]

CONGRESS? WEED DEALER FIGHTING FOR YOU There were a lot of weed puns we tried with all our might to avoid on this one. From Eliot: ?It now has fallen on [Earl] Blumenauer to partake in a different type of weed dealing: serving as an unofficial liaison between official Washington and a cannabis industry that is, even by its own vigilant standards, pretty spooked by the prospect of a federal crackdown on it?. Blumenauer set out to calm nerves this week by holding meetings with cannabis industry representatives in Washington for a lobbying blitz?. He speculated that legalization could come about in a number of ways, including through legislation or by executive action from ?the new administration that will replace Trump? that de-lists marijuana as a controlled substance.? [HuffPost]

Trump?s weekend getaways are destroying a historic airport.

THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK WILL SAVE YOU $800,000 Being rich. That?s the trick. Daniel Marans: ?Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Montana?s open House seat, stands to get tax cuts worth nearly $800,000 a year if the House health care bill becomes law, according to a new analysis. The American Health Care Act, as the Republican bill that passed the House of Representatives is known, repeals the two tax hikes on higher earners that the Affordable Care Act used to fund expansion of insurance coverage: a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income and a 0.9 percent increase in the Medicare Hospital Insurance tax. Both taxes apply to individuals making $200,000 a year or more, and married couples making $250,000 a year or more.? [HuffPost]

WEINER PLEADS GUILTY SEXTING A MINOR, WILL REGISTER AS SEX OFFENDER – This is not the future liberals want. Andy Campbell, Sebastian Murdock and Sam Levine: ?Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) pleaded guilty on Friday to a federal obscenity charge after he sent explicit text messages to a minor. Weiner turned himself over to the FBI on Friday morning, and by 11:30 a.m. he was a convicted sex offender. He stood in a suit in Manhattan federal court, sobbing as he described how he met a stranger online ?whom I knew to be 15 years old.? ?I engaged in obscene communication with this teen, just as I had done and continued to do with adult women,? Weiner said in front of Judge Loretta Preska. He read from a letter he prepared for his plea, often pausing as he tried to compose himself.? [HuffPost]

BOB BECKEL: WE KNEW YE – Beckel can now pursue his original passion: being a stock photo of a grumpy man The Onion uses in its op-eds. David Moye: ?Fox News announced on Friday it has terminated Bob Beckel, co-host of ?The Five.? The network released this statement to Variety: ?Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.? A black IT worker who came to work on Beckel?s computer reported the comment on Tuesday, according to attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, who are currently representing the IT employee and other current and former staff ? including anchorman Kelly Wright ? in a class action suit alleging rampant racial discrimination at Fox News. Beckel allegedly told the employee he was leaving the office because the man was black, Wigdor and Christensen stated.? [HuffPost]

Your year was not bad, if you really think about it: ?Huma Abedin filed for divorce Friday from disgraced perv hubby Anthony Weiner ? the same day he pleaded guilty to sexting with a minor. Abedin brought an ?Anonymous vs. Anonymous? action in Manhattan Supreme Court, asking for the court to seal the case. The filing is uncontested, meaning she is not expecting a fight over custody of the couple?s only child, 5-year-old son Jordan, or their assets.? [New York Post?s Julia Marsh]

BECAUSE YOU?VE READ THIS FAR – Here?s a baby emu annoying some basset hounds.
COMFORT FOOD

– We know that ?spirit animal? jokes are stale, but this fat monkey ? known as ?Uncle Fat? ? is definitely our spirit animal.

The machine that draws yellow divider lines in parking lots is hypnotizing.

– Help scientists count elephants in the rain forest with this web app.

TWITTERAMA

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffpost.com)

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

How I Broke Up With Plastic

This story is part of a series on ocean plastics.

Clacking away at my laptop on a rainy morning last month, while working on a story about how plastic trash is choking our oceans, I became suddenly aware of the object that I had been chewing on mindlessly: a plastic straw punched through the plastic lid of a plastic cup holding my daily iced coffee.

Through my reporting, I had learned some staggering facts about single-use plastic packaging, things made to be used once and thrown away. Experts say these items are the leading source of trash found in or near bodies of water worldwide. Plastic drinking straws and cups ? like the ones I get at the coffee shop before work ? rank among the top 10 most common types of beach and marine litter.

Versatile, inexpensive and used to make everything from electronics to medical equipment to airplane components, plastics are an essential part of modern life. And for most of us, it?s not feasible to give them up entirely, said environmental engineer Jenna Jambeck, whose research last year concluded that our oceans are being inundated with 19 billion pounds of plastic garbage annually. This barrage is mostly due to inadequate or mismanaged waste disposal systems and littering.

Plastics don?t biodegrade and could exist in the environment for centuries or more. While the industries that make plastic products should work toward mitigating this crisis, people should take action too. Cutting back on the use of single-use plastic products is the number one step individuals can take, several experts told me.

As I chewed on my plastic straw, my conscience nagging at me, I made a decision. Inspired by the fast-food documentary ?Super Size Me,? in which filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate only McDonald?s food for 30 days, I decided to embark on a similar personal experiment ? only, instead of embracing consumption, I?d be shunning it.

For a month, I vowed to refuse any and all single-use plastic products offered to me at shops. I couldn?t purchase these items either. 

To my surprise, the challenge wasn?t insurmountable. Sure, I struggled at times; but overall, I found it doable and liberating. I also saved some money and might?ve even inspired some friends in the process. 

Here are the guidelines I set for myself:

  1. Carry a reusable coffee tumbler for that daily cup of java. (Bonus: The insulated container keeps coffee icy for hours!)

  2. Bring a reusable water bottle to the gym.

  3. Stuff reusable tote bags into purses, briefcases, desk drawers and the car, so there?ll always be one handy for shopping.

  4. Carry snacks and other food in reusable steel containers. Bye-bye, plastic zipper bags!

  5. Keep a set of metal cutlery ? fork, spoon, knife and chopsticks ? at work. 

  6. Reuse plastic takeout containers at eateries. Since I eat lunch virtually every day at the same salad shop across the street, I?ve begun reusing the plastic bowl they give customers. I wash the bowl every day after eating, and return with it to the salad bar the next day.

  7. At restaurants, tell your waiter to please hold the drinking straw.

  8. Bring your own garment bag and hanger to the dry cleaner.

  9. Hold back on online shopping. E-commerce packaging is a major ? and growing ? source of waste. A single tube of lipstick or a single battery often arrives in an absurdly large box stuffed with an unnecessary amount plastic, paper and foam peanuts. 

After a month, I was both aghast and encouraged by the amount of personal waste I?d reduced, either from bringing my own containers and bags with me, or reusing items: 

  • 34 plastic cups
  • 38 plastic straws
  • 24 plastic bags*
  • 19 plastic to-go containers
  • 30 plastic bottles

*I?ve also saved about 14 paper bags over the same period. It turns out that choosing paper or even biodegradable plastic over regular plastic isn?t necessarily better. The best practice is to reduce the usage of all single-use items, no matter what they?re made of.

My breakup with throwaway plastics didn?t always go smoothly. I failed to fulfill the basic criteria of the experiment on at least three occasions.

Once, I accidentally (I swear!) opened and started drinking a bottle of mineral water offered to me at a concert. It reminded me of how mindlessly and instinctively I use plastic products. The second time was when I went to an Indian restaurant to order takeaway for lunch and forgot to bring my own container ? and that sambar rice was too enticing to pass up. (Full disclosure: I have no regrets. it was delicious). The third instance occurred when I went to the supermarket without my own bag (d?oh!) and, faced with way too much to carry, I accepted the smallest possible plastic sack and refused the double-bagging.

There have also been days when I?ve been annoyed at the (admittedly minuscule) additional weight that my tumbler, water bottle, reusable tupperware or bag has added to my daily baggage. I?ve also lost count of the many times I?ve accidentally thrown away my plastic salad bowl, before sheepishly fishing it out of the trash, and the many occasions I?ve mechanically accepted a plastic bag from a store before hastily returning it to the shopkeep.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related… articlesList=58fed37be4b0c46f0781d426,58e99a38e4b05413bfe3792d,58ffa383e4b0f5463a1a9472

But though this challenge has required a bit more thought on my part, on the whole I?ve been pleasantly surprised at how easy the transition has been and how readily the people around me have accepted and, in some cases, even emulated my new plastics practice.

The first time I returned to the salad place with my washed plastic bowl, I remember feeling nervous about what the staff would think of me: Would they scoff? Would they refuse to reuse the container? But my anxiety was unfounded. They accepted the bowl without question or comment, and nowadays before I can even proffer the bowl, they ask if I?ve brought it.

At my usual coffee stop, I felt similarly timid that first day as I offered up my coffee tumbler. But the baristas didn?t bat an eyelid. In fact, they gave me 20 cents back for bringing my own cup. Double win!

During the first weekend, two encouraging moments: My boyfriend stopped himself from buying bottled water of his own volition. ?Plastic,? he said solemnly, looking at me with a knowing glance. A day before that, a friend had witnessed me refusing a plastic straw, a move that prompted a conversation about ocean pollution and her vowing to reduce her own plastic consumption.

Ultimately, ?no silver bullet solution? exists to the massive plastic waste problem we?re facing globally, but Nick Mallos of Ocean Conservancy said individuals should not underestimate the impact their personal choices can have.

People ?need to be making those better decisions on a personal basis: skipping the plastic straw, not using plastic bags, making better choices when it comes to food packaging,? he said. ?We?re not going to become a completely reusable society overnight, but if each individual reduces their personal footprint, the returns of these choices will absolutely pay off.?

I challenge you to try quitting single-use plastics for a month (or even a week if that seems too long). It may not always be possible and may take some getting used to, but you?ll probably be amazed at how much personal waste you?ll cut down and how quickly you?ll adapt to this new way of doing things. 

Personally, it?s hard to imagine going back to my old consumption habits. 

I don?t think I?ll ever look at a plastic bottle in the same way again.

For more tips and tricks on how you can reduce your plastic footprint, explore the slideshow below: 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

propolitics

Leo Messi is a Argentinian leo messi footballer. Mostly considered as the magic Getting the best chiropractor inColumbus ga of football. Even he is compared to the football greats like Pele and Maradona and is also in the contention of the Greatest Of All Time the world has ever seen. He is often compared against another prolific goal scorer named as Cristiano Ronaldo but according to the football analysts, Cristiano does not even come close to him.

decretory

One of my friend recently acquired a puppy. From what he said, its breed is Rottweiler. According to him, it is an aggressive breed but from where I was standing, it was the cutest! There are many head lice removal company in Sparta , New Jersey which are giving power products which can eliminate head lices in very effective manner.. Among many things, Rottweiler is known for its loyalty and intelligence. It is an excellent guard dog.