Google Rewards Irish Teen Fighting Water Pollution With His Unique Invention

An 18 year old student from West Cork, Ireland, has been awarded $50,000 at the Google Science Fair for his revolutionary project.

Fionn Ferreira, won the competition for his methodology to remove microplastics from water. Microplastics have proven to be extremely troublesome for the environment as they are very small, making them virtually impossible to remove through filtration. This leads to a much larger issue that impacts fish and human beings, as small fish are known to eat microplastics and those fish are eaten by the larger fish that humans then eat. Microplastics are known to be exfoliating for the skin, and are therefore often included in soaps, shower gels and facial scrubs. They can also come off our clothes during laundry.

Founded by Google in 2011, the Google Science Fair encourages students ages 13 through 18 to submit their experiments in front of a panel of judges. The competition is sponsored by giants such as National Geographic, Lego, Virgin Galactic and Scientific American.

After being put through 1,000 tests, the method was proven to 87% effective in removing microplastics from water. Fionn’s goal is to have this method implemented at all wastewater treatment facilities, which would prevent the microplastics from reaching waterways and the ocean, thus decreasing the risk of humans consuming them through fish.

However, the ideal case scenario is that we all make a conscious effort to reduce the microplastics we use, so are plastic pollution is our ocean is a major worldwide threat. Here’s are three things you can do to reduce your microplastic consumption:

  1. Reduce your use of single-use plastics
  2. Recycle properly
  3. Avoid products containing microbeads

It sounds small, but if everyone globally took these steps, it would make a huge difference to our beautiful Earth and help to preserve it for future generations. I’d love to hear more about what you do to reduce plastic pollution and if any of you have any suggestions! Together we can protect our planet.

Is Mindfulness The New Mathematics?

kids-in-school

Hundreds of schools in the UK introduce mindfulness as a new subject.

370 schools in Great Britain will be teaching Mindfulness to their students, as a part of a study that aims to combat mental health issues among youth today. This study brings the UK on board one of the largest trials in the world that explores what works to improve mental health and well-being in our society.

The government issued a statement via their website gov.uk stating that ‘hundreds of children and young people will learn how to use a range of innovative techniques to promote good mental health through one of the largest studies in the world of its kind.’ The statement also mentions that ‘children will benefit from mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help them regulate their emotions, alongside pupil sessions with mental health experts. The study will run until 2021 and aims to give schools new, robust evidence about what works best for their students’ mental health and wellbeing.’

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds said that ‘as a society, we are much more open about our mental health than ever before, but the modern world has brought new pressures for children, while potentially making others worse.’ Mental health issues among children and young adults today are unfortunately on the rise, with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) claiming that 7.1% of children in the US aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety and 1.9 million children in the US have diagnosed depression.

Mindfulness is a brilliant tool for managing mental health issues by encouraging awareness of our emotions so that we are able to manage them in a more insightful, rational way, as well as encouraging us to return to the present moment which is often difficult to do when we are plagued with anxiety. Mindfulness has been proven to promote increased activity in the pre-frontal cortex (the area of the brain associated with positive emotion) and there is evidence showing that mindfulness reduces anxiety and depression as well as boosts overall wellbeing.

According to a 2015 article on The Huffington Post, mindfulness is revolutionizing mental health care and we are only just beginning to understand its benefits. It works on a neurological level by facilitating neuroplasticity – the creation of new connections and neural pathways in the brain, which has a long-term impact on our brains. This reaffirms the importance of teaching such an important subject to children and young adults in an attempt to implement the practice at a young age. The curriculum in schools has been long overdue an update and this seems like a wonderful step forwards. If you are a parent, I’d love to hear from you about whether you teach mindfulness to your children and if so, how do you go about it? Are you a teacher who teaches the technique in a school and if so, how do your students respond?

www.mindfulschools.org has some fascinating information and tips for introducing mindfulness within your school and also credits mindfulness with ‘the development of heartfulness’, which is ‘the intentional nurturing of positive mind states such as kindness and compassion’. I think this is something all the world could benefit from and it’s fantastic to instill this within the next generation during such formative years of their lives. I strongly believe that the world can only benefit from everyone having a mindfulness practice and I hope other countries follow suit!

Therapy: How To Get It When You Need It

Let’s face it- we could all benefit from counseling. Sure, there may be times when we feel as though we ‘need’ it more than others, but therapy is something that we have probably all thought of taking up at some point in our lives. Not only is it a wonderful, healthy way to process our experiences, but it helps us to heal and understand them too. Many people credit therapy as the very thing that gave them the confidence and clarity to make a huge life change, with countless people continuing counseling throughout their lives to maintain a healthy frame of mind. As many of you know, I have battled with depression throughout my life and I haven’t always sought help in those darker times, so we wanted to share this post for anyone who is struggling to remind you there are many options of help out there. 

We all know the immense benefits of speaking to a professional on a regular basis, yet so many of those seeking or needing counseling never actually start for a variety of reasons. I am fascinated and in awe of the amount of great resources out there for people needing support, so I wanted to share some of those with you by looking at the reasons people often avoid counseling and what you can do to overcome those issues.

1. Financial Hardship

Counseling services are known to be costly- however, you can still receive wonderful care at a low price or often even for free. There are many donation-based counseling centers around the world who can calculate a low per-session fee based on your income and pair you with the therapist they feel will be the best fit for you. Many of these centers also offer weekly support groups and drop-in sessions, so research your local counseling center for more information. In America, you can also dial 211 from any phone for a full directory of your local mental health and counseling services, as well as giving Mental Health America a call at 1-800-273-TALK. There is also an incredible global platform called IAMAlive, which is an online crisis network where all of its volunteers are professionally supervised, trained to help you in almost any situation and can help you find additional in-person resources as well. Volunteers come from and operate around the globe, and their online chat is just one click away, and there whenever you need it.

Alternatively, if you have health insurance, give your provider a call to find out whether mental health treatment is covered within your plan. If you live in a country that offers free healthcare, speak to your doctor about the mental healthcare options which may be available to you.

There is a great online counseling platform called 7Cups, which provides affordable online therapy from $33 a week at www.7Cups.com.

2. Lack of time

If you struggle to make it to a weekly or even monthly session, there are amazing online counseling services where you can speak to a trained therapist at your convenience, whenever and wherever suits you, simply by calling on your phone or from your laptop.

Some great websites are:

www.betterhelp.com

Better Help’s mission is to make counseling more affordable and accessible by providing licensed, trained and experienced therapists on the world’s largest e-counseling platform.

www.blahtherapy.com

Blah Therapy gives you the option to chat to people all around the world who may be going through something similar. Think of it as an anonymous, global support group at your fingertips.

www.talkspace.com

Talkspace matches you with a therapist who you can speak to anytime, anywhere using their Smartphone app or from your web browser.

www.regain.com

Regain is an online relationship counseling platform which provides convenient, discreet and affordable access to a licensed therapist.

3. Shame or fear

Although counseling is now much more common within our society, so many people often feel a sense of shame or embarrassment around the subject. If you can relate to this, know that all sessions are completely confidential unless the therapist feels you are in danger of hurting yourself or others. Counseling is a safe space for you and therefore only you need to know that you’re going. However, remind yourself that it is a courageous thing to start and you should feel a sense of pride for being brave enough to do it. You WILL reap the benefits.

If you need the reminder that it’s okay to get help, ReachOut (www.reachout.life) is a free social network that you can access on your smartphone, which provides a support network full of people who are struggling with similar issues. ReachOut offers communal options to talk to others about your problems or thoughts, as well as more urgent options to talk to someone. This is a great way to heal through community and realize you are not alone.

You may not find the right therapist right away, but definitely stick with it and know it’s okay to find someone else. I don’t have therapy all the time but I know that when I feel depression coming on, I ensure I get the help I need. If you or a loved one needs immediate professional help, there are countless helplines where you can speak to a professional at any time. This is a link to a great article with information on helplines you can call wherever you are in the world, so please know that support is always available and you are absolutely not alone.

Mental Health Hotlines Worldwide

Here are the numbers for some helplines in the US:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line

Text CONNECT to 741741

The Trevor Project

Call: 1-866-488-7386

Text: 1-202-304-1200

Social Media: TrevorSpace

National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline

1-800-950-6264

You are not alone. You are loved. There is help and support out there for you when you need it.

Love,

Ione

Help Children With Usher Syndrome Keep Their Sight And Hearing

Medicine has infinitely improved countless lives. We can find cures, and we can find comfort. But we can’t make these miracles without coming together. Here is a message from Stacey Ashlund about how you can help.

“My son was born with Usher Syndrome, meaning he was born deaf and is going blind. Right now there is no cure–but researchers are close to finding one–so all the families that share this are working together to fundraise for medical research to find the cure. It is possible! We’re holding our big fundraiser in cities across the US — called Sight.Sound.Cycle — and people can join spin classes and/or donate, and spread the word here. I hope you can help us get the word out!”

Support this cause or share this link to help Stacey’s son and others with Usher Syndrome.

This was an Uplifting Causes submission. Thank you Stacey for submitting this cause to the Uplifting Content Community and doing your part in helping make the world a better place.

Learn more about how to have your Uplifting Cause featured here.

12-Year-Old Spits Some World-Changing Lyrics

Get ready for a lyrical rollercoaster! It’s amazing to hear this insightful 12-year-old from Australia express such profound ideas about our world, and in an impressive rap at that. You might want to listen to this more than once though–both to enjoy the talent and to hear all his impactful words.

The talented Solli Raphael himself tells Uplifting Content,

“I love to write to help people and I create poems of inspiration because I really feel we all need to change our actions towards all of humanity. It is important to me to make tomorrow even better than today!”

Share this video to spread a great message and get this talented kid out there more!

Website

Facebook

This was a My Uplifting Content Submission. Thank you Solli for submitting your work to the Uplifting Content Community.

Learn more about how to have your Uplifting Content featured here.

How To Join A Community Of Young Peacemakers

Building and maintaining functioning, peaceful communities starts with our youth. With the Serve 2 Unite organization behind them, children are developing the skills and mindsets that make up a peaceful world. They lead, they collaborate and they engage. Just take a look at some of these student projects! https://serve2unite.org/s2u-schools/

These students could really benefit from your help too. Here’s some information from Serve 2 Unite’s Arno Michaelis:

In the wake of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shooting on August 5th, 2012, Serve 2 Unite emerged in a spirit of defiance. The hate behind the murders was met with an ongoing practice of fearless, creative, compassion. Rooted in the principles of service to others, and relentless optimism in the face of adversity, Serve 2 Unite today engages young people of all backgrounds to value humanity and the aspiration of living a genuine, honest life as a peacemaker.

The S2U school program delivers creative service learning and global engagement, all stitched together with the arts. Our students conceive and carry out service projects that help people in need and overcome challenges in our communities, with guidance and inspiration from a magnificent cast of global mentors. This work is arts-driven and documented by the students themselves via all sorts of fearless creative expression.

We encourage you to suggest ways people can support that does not just include giving money, such as volunteering, providing resources, services or skills: Sharing the inspirational work our young people do amplifies their voices while it cultivates peace in our society.

Please share S2U content in your social networks! Organize a creative service project in your area and we’ll be happy to help make it successful! Contact us with your idea.

This was an Uplifting Causes submission. Thank you “Serve 2 Unite” for submitting this cause to the Uplifting Content Community and doing your part in helping make the world a better place.

Learn more about how to have your Uplifting Cause featured here.

Inspirational Words From One Incredible Young Man

Regardless of the dark times you’ve seen, you CAN turn your mind–and your life–around. Rowan Tyne, still only a teenager, has gone from severely depressed to smiling and ready to bring people up with him. You’ve got to see the passion and wisdom this young guy has; it’s pretty extraordinary. He’s proof of the importance of freeing our true voices, our inner songs, for the world to hear. Here are some brief words from the man himself:

“I am an 18 year old young man and I have really big dreams. After healing years of deep inner wounds over the past year and a half I have felt a calling to help people enjoy their lives more and live with purpose.

Please share this video and spread the message it carries!

Unconditional Love, Rowan Tyne”

This was a My Uplifting Content Submission. Thank you Rowan for submitting your work to the Uplifting Content Community. We are so grateful to you for making a difference and uplifting people in your own special way.

Learn more about how to have your Uplifting Content featured here.


Acceptance – A Modern Silent Film

This is certainly not your typical short silent film. The energy and range of emotion conveyed is tangible. The scene is comical and excellently executed. This video will definitely give you a new way of thinking about the issue of embracing diversity, which runs deeply throughout our world.

We are all different, which is a gift to humanity. Let’s realize the contribution that can be made by all if we allow our differences to come together.

In the words of filmmaker, Amr Sharaki, “this video is meant to address accepting others, looking at things from a different perspective, and understanding the beauty of uniting beliefs. All this is portrayed in a beautiful show of visual arts and silent comedy.”

ACCEPTANCE – Silent Short Film

ACCEPTANCE – Silent Short Film is OUT!!! #ShareTheGoodnessFt. Cal Hankerman———————————————————Beliefs, Preferences and Opinions Differ. This is exactly what makes Life Beautiful! Accept and Embrace others' Differences.

Posted by Amr Sharaki on Thursday, July 13, 2017

This was a My Uplifting Content Submission. Thank you to Amr for submitting your work to the Uplifting Content Community. We are so grateful to you for making a difference and uplifting people in your own special way.

Learn more about how to have your Uplifting Content featured here.

Help Save Africa’s Endangered Species!

All living organisms are precious. They all contribute to the exquisitely balanced ecosystem we call Earth. As humans, such an advanced and conscious species, we have a role too, and part of it is to protect and peacefully coexist. We have developed the technology-fueled power to steal the ivory from elephants and the horns from rhinos, leaving them to die. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve acquired the right to inflict this unnecessary harm and endanger entire species’ existence.

Fortunately, our collective humanity also has the ability to restore equilibrium when it shifts out of balance. You may not have known it, but you can help too–right now. One great way to pitch in is with Over and Above Africa, an organization with a mission to end poaching for good. Here’s a message from the founder, Kerry David:

We raise funds from a global community and give to the people and projects we know to be effective in the fight to end poaching and the wildlife trafficking of Africa’s endangered species.

Check out our latest mini-doc about elephant relocation & de-horning rhino in Africa.

Three things make us unique; we use micro-financing (small donations from multiple countries), we are a membership site ($5 a month) and we are fully transparent; we film the funds we give away in action and then bring these mini-docs back to our members to SEE and EXPERIENCE the effect of their contributions in action.

We are always looking for help in spreading our messaging so that everyone can be aware of the crisis for endangered animals in Africa. We need help in growing our membership base ($5 a month to save a species!). The more people who join us, the more ground initiatives we can support.

We would love help in creating a game app, and an app for our site – we are entirely volunteer run, nobody takes a salary so volunteers would be incredibly helpful with this. We are also always looking for ways to improve our website. Any feedback would be most welcome! Thank you so much!

Kerry David Founder – Over and Above Africa Kerry@OverAndAboveAfrica.com

Please visit the following links to stand up for all those animals who need us. And pass this along to anyone you know who wants to keep the animal kingdom alive and well! .

Website

CrowdRise –  Raising funds to help meet the needs of the men and women on the front lines of Africa’s tragic poaching crisis

GoFundMe – Raising funds for a new anti-poaching unit in Africa

Facebook (Huge reveal coming soon!)

Instagram

Twitter

Press and Media

Boots for Rangers Fundraiser

This was an Uplifting Causes submission. Thank you Kerry for submitting this cause to the Uplifting Content Community and doing your part in helping make the world a better place.

Learn more about how to have your Uplifting Cause featured here.

Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

In this video, Prince Ea reminds us of what our phones are doing to humanity. They help us immensely, but at what cost?

His spoken word will get you thinking about how much you live through the real world and how much you live through your phone. A lot of times we aren’t even experiencing life because we’re either distracted by our phones or trying to get the best picture/video of our experience, which ironically prevents us from actually experiencing it.

We’ve learned to speak in abbreviations and hang out with friends through social media while ignoring the people right in front of us. But to keep humanity thriving, we must maintain awareness and care for our physical world.

As long as we do, we can maximize technology’s benefits, (and one of them is being able to view this video), so watch the video and share this post if you like it!