On the fourth Friday in February, The Coral Keepers ask you to consider a different way on National Skip the Straw Day! For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed slurping a refreshing beverage through a cylindrical tube. If Marvin Stone (the inventor of the first paper straw in 1888) were alive today, he might be shocked to know of the five large areas of the ocean, called gyres, where plastic garbage collects. The sea’s currents create vortexes trapping plastics, and in the collection are plastic drinking straws.
Straws and other plastics cause harm to marine life in many ways. Birds, fish and other sea life consume plastics accidentally or when they mistake it for food. Plastics don’t biodegrade. They break down into smaller and finer, microscopic pieces. When plastics break down, they produce bisphenol A (BPA) which interferes with reproductive systems in marine life. It also produces styrene monomer which is a suspected carcinogen.
According to the National Park Service, Americans use 500 million drinking straws daily! So, on National Skip the Straw Day that’s potentially 500 million fewer straws that don’t end up in landfills or the ocean.
We can give you all sorts of other statistics to convince you to Skip the Straw on National Skip the Straw Day (and on other days), but we would rather show you how.
HOW TO OBSERVE #SkipTheStrawDay
For most of us, the easiest way is to pick up the glass and tip it back like our parents taught us to do when we four or five. It may take some practice and maybe both hands. There are other fun, eco-friendly, healthy options.
- Bamboo straws are a renewable, reusable and biodegradable.
- Paper straws, while still disposable, are biodegradable and from a renewable source.
- Glass straws are coming in durable, colorful designs fit for a variety of beverages.
- Stainless steel straws are an option for those of us who like our cold drinks really cold!
Other Ways to Observe:
- Volunteer to help clean up your local beaches, parks or neighborhoods. Take note of how many straws are included in all the litter.
- Plan ahead. Do you frequent fast-food restaurants or get beverages to go? You will often receive the straw before you have the chance to say no. Be prepared when you order to request your drink without a straw.
Share your solutions and use #SkipTheStrawDay on social media.
NATIONAL SKIP THE STRAW DAY HISTORY
The Coral Keepers, students at Whitehall Middle School in Whitehall, MI, along with their advisor, Susan Tate, founded National Skip the Straw Day in 2017 to encourage Americans to give up the straw habit and help spread awareness about the damage caused by disposable plastics. The Registrar at National Day Calendar® declared the day to be observed. See also National Drinking Straw Day in January
All dog owners, remember that February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day! This day is also observed around the world as International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.
Dog biscuits come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and flavors. They serve to reward man’s best friend for good behavior as part of their training. Dog owners may also give a biscuit to show their canine companions just how much they love them, too. Sometimes, dog biscuits serve to deliver vitamins and medicines we may have difficulty getting our pooches to take otherwise.
Specialty treats offer dogs and their owners so much to chews from! Even dogs on restricted diets won’t have trouble finding a dog biscuit that’s gentle on their tummy. Others help keep teeth healthy and fresh, too! What better reward could you ask for?
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDogBiscuitDay
Get your canine companion a dog biscuit to celebrate. Go for a walk to burn off any extra calories or explore the varieties available. Maybe you’ll find a new treat your furry friend loves. We even have some homemade options to try.
Use #NationalDogBiscuitDay to post on social media. See other pet holidays to celebrate below.
Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.
Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.
Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes.
Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay
You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.
Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.International Book Giving Day
VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.
Observed each year on February 14th, National Donor Day (also known as National Organ Donor Day) is a day to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved. In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.
Give the gift of Life.
The observance focuses on five different types of donations: Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.
Each type of donation saves lives. While blood, platelets, tissue, marrow, and some organs may be donated at any time, most organs are donated upon death. A single donor can save up to 8 lives and help more than 75 people.
Some blood donors have been making donations as young as the age of 17. They can donate a pint of blood every 53 days. One pint of blood can save up to three people. If you’ve never thought about donation, you’re of the 17 percent of non-donors. However, only 37 percent of the population of the United States is eligible to donate blood.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDonorDay
If you’ve received the gift of an organ, tissue, marrow, platelets or blood, share your story. Several year’s ago blood transfusions saved my life. I wish I could donate.
Use #NationalDonorDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL DONOR DAY HISTORY
National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners, with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations.
Devoted to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children and providing access to books for children in need, Book Giving Day calls on volunteers to share their favourite book with a young reader. Although the holiday originated in the UK, book lovers around the world now join in the celebrations every year.
Book Giving Day has few organised events. Instead, individual volunteers are encouraged to give a favourite book or books to children. This can take many forms; some people give books as gifts to their own children or to those of friends. Others donate books to children’s libraries, schools or charities. Still others leave books in places where they’ll be found, such as doctors’ waiting rooms or coach stations.
The organisers of Book Giving Day support the holiday by sharing participants’ stories and offering bonuses such as downloadable holiday bookplates to use in gifts.
Support These Literacy Organisations
National Wear Red Day, on the first Friday in February, is an annual campaign to raise awareness about heart disease in women.
Wear your red today! Dress to impress, and raise everyones knowledge of heart disease in women. As February is heart health month for all, red will bring attention this great cause.
Heart disease and stroke kill one in three women. These diseases are 80 percent preventable according to Go Red for Women’s official website.
Go to www.goredforwomen.org for more information.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WearRedDay
This national campaign has revved up its red!
- Wear red to show your support for saving women’s lives
- Show us how you Go Red on your social media profiles using #GoRedWearRed
- Donate to help raise funds for awareness and research. Get your red gear at shopheart.org and a portion of every purchase goes back to the programming and mission of the American Heart Association.
- Know your numbers. Find out more about your risk factors at the American Heart Association website.
- #GoRedGetFit – earn prizes and get healthy while fighting heart disease with the American Heart Association. Find out more at GoRedForWomen.org or join the challenge on Facebook GoRedGetFit.
NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY HISTORY
The Go Red for Women campaign started in 2004 when the American Heart Association took on the challenge of raising awareness about the number 1 cause of death in women.
On National Shower with a Friend Day on February 5th is a tongue in cheek way of educating people about the benefits filtered, chlorine-free water.
Check out the link below to see if you should shower in filtered water. https://www.uswatersystems.com/the-truth-about-chlorine-in-your-shower-water
Winter is the coldest and loneliest season of the year. With dwindling daylight and Valentine’s Day at its heart, February can often leave people feeling dejected and somber. The day injects a bit of humor into the season while also serving to educate people on the benefits of showering in fresh, filtered water (and the effects of chlorine).
Learn more about how chlorine is harmful to shower or bathe in or consume.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ShowerWithAFriendDay
Shower with filtered water. Learn more about the harmful effects of chlorine and how to filter it. Use #ShowerWithAFriendDay to post on social media.