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
National Chili Day on the fourth Thursday in February honors one of America’s favorite winter dishes–chili. It’s also known as chili con carne (chili with meat). February 27, 2020.
Chili is most commonly made up of tomatoes, beans, chili peppers, meat, garlic, onions, and cumin. However, cooks offer up so many variations to the basic chili recipe. And, with so many varieties, chili cook-off competitions love to feature chili as a favored entry.
American frontier settlers used a “chili” recipe of dried beef, suet, dried chili peppers and salt. All this was pounded together and formed into bricks and dried. They could then boil the bricks in pots on the trails.
At the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, the San Antonio Chili Stand helped people from all over the United States appreciate the taste of chili. Because San Antonio was a significant tourist destination, it helped Texas-style chili con carne spread throughout the South and West. In 1977, House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature designated chili con carne as the official dish of the U.S. state of Texas.
Before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors (also known as chili joints) popped up throughout the state of Texas as well as other places in the United States. Each new chili parlor usually claimed some kind of secret recipe.
Ways to enjoy chili
There are many ways that people enjoy the great taste of chili, some of which include:
- Add chili to hot dogs to create chili dogs.
- Top burgers with chili and enjoy a chili burgers.
- Combine chili and cheese with fries and make chili cheese fries.
- Make the ultimate baked potato by stuffing it with chili.
- “Frito pie” is chili with spaghetti noodles.
- Transform mac and cheese into chili mac.
- Mix rice and chili for another flavor favorite.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalChiliDay
There are so many ways to enjoy chili. Just about everyone has their own recipe, too.
Use #NationalChiliDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CHILI DAY HISTORY
Rich Kelly of Hard Times Cafe in Arlington, VA founded National Chili Day. The day has been celebrated with cook-offs, pot lucks, feeds and bottomless bowls since at least 2006.
Ingredients2 lbs minced beef or chuck
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 medium bell pepper chopped
2 Roma tomatoes diced
Sour cream (we like Daisy in squeezeable application)
Chucky salsa (we like taco bell mild)
1 – 16oz fiesta blend shredded cheese
Guacamole if desired
1 lg bag Tostitos Scoops (you can use any kind of totilla chip you prefer these just make handy cups)
2 pkg McCormick Taco seaoningChopped jalapeno, black olives, melted cheese sauce, are optional.
You can make to many variations to list, including chicken, steak, salsa verde, lime, and anything else you can dream up. I make mine like our family taco night.Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle – 12 Inch, Black. by Farberware
- In medium pan, brown ground meat.
- Drain excess fat
- Add 1/2 cup water and taco seasoning stirring well to coat meat.
- Continue over medium heat until water has evaporated.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Chop or dice vegetables as needed. I found a few great shortcuts if there is no one around to help. You can get shredded iceberg lettuce like the restaurants use in the produce section at your local Walmart. If I don’t have the time the also have pico de gallo instead of dicing onions and tomatoes yourself. They add cilantro and typically Serano peppers.
- Spread chips or cups on big tray.
- Evenly sprinkle with cooked, seasoned meat, vegetables, cheese and toppings as desired.
- Feeding a diverse crew? Set everything up and let them add their choices as they like them. This concept also works well for parties and game days too.
virgin or real margarita and maybe Tres Leche cake for dessert.
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.
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
Observed on the second Monday in February, 10th this year, National Clean Out Your Computer Day promotes taking time out of your day to do some basic housekeeping on your computer. After all this strenuous work indulge in a treat. It’s also National Cream Cheese Brownie Day….
Use things like thumb drives to safely store those precious photographs. I encourage you to also create a rescue drive on a separate thumb drive. This will allow you to fix and reinstall windows if something goes wrong.
We all say I won’t need this…. Let me tell you a story. We bought a new PC for my husbands office. His had just gotten to old to handle the new things out there. So Windows 10 Pro came pre-installed. Everything worked great until it didn’t. We could not authenticate our windows software. It came with the code for it but, Microsoft would not accept it.
After a really long period of working with tech support, it turns out Windows was installed wrong and was missing key setup files. I asked for the didk to reinstall windows and of course, no one does that anymore. So I had to use my laptop and download a rescue disk to USB thumb drive.
Happily, once I reinstalled everything it all works great. Even though it was a product I just bought, the company made a mistake on just that one item. I was given the option to ship my new PC off somewhere so they could fix it, but as I said it’s a new computer. So that rescue is now labeled and put up in case it’s needed in the future.
This is why I advise having backups and keeping things like photos, documents, music and movie collections in a safe back up. Do it often to make sure your important data can be accessed.
All computers need regular organizing and clean up. This includes the removal of old files and clutter. We tend to save emails, documents, and photos on our hard drive when other media can store it for us. Often, we keep duplicates we don’t need, too. Old programs also create havoc, too. Makes sure you are using the latest versions of programs and operating systems, too.
Over time, files and programs that are unused on your PC clog the memory and cause confusion during retrieval and use of other data. They may also slow down your computer.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CleanOutYourComputerDay
Take a look at your files and programs on your computers. If you work in an office, encourage your peers to do the same. Share tips and tricks to efficient computer clean up.
- Organize your files and folders.
- Review your emails and delete any that are no longer needed.
- Delete junk files.
- Remove duplicate files.
- Delete old files and programs not being used.
- Update the programs you do use.
Use #CleanOutYourComputerDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR COMPUTER DAY HISTORY
In 2000, the Institute for Business Technology first promoted National Clean Out Your Computer Day.
National Pizza Day is observed annually on February 9th. This year it happens to fall on the weekend. A Sunday as it happens.
Whether it is thin crust, Chicago-style, deep dish or anything in between, pizza is an American favorite.
Here are some interesting facts about pizza:
- Pepperoni is the most popular pizza at 36% of all pies ordered.
- Over 3 billion pizzas are sold in the USA each year. Add another 1 billion on frozen pizzas
- 17% of all US Restaurants are pizzerias.
- Antica Pizzeria, the first Pizzeria, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738.
- Gennaro Lombardi, the first Pizzeria in the United States, opened in 1895 in New York City.
- Americans consume on average 23 pounds of pizza per person each year.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Throw a pizza party and give the following recipes a try:
Mom’s Homemade Pizza with fun memories
Use #NationalPizzaDay to post on social media.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPizzaDay
Your Very Special Offers:
- Blaze Pizza – Two Pepperoni Pizzas for $10 with online orders.
- CiCi’s – With coupon, carry out three one-topping pizzas @ $5 each.
- Marco’s Pizza – Feb. 9, 2020, only, free medium cheese pizza with the purchase of any large pizza. Use promo code BOGOCHZ.
- Round Table Pizza – Get their bounce-back coupon to celebrate with one free personal cheese or 1-topping pizza with any dine-in purchases. Limit one per order. See the website for more details.
- Einstein Bro. – Offering 2 slices for $3 from February 3-9th.
- Patxi’s Pizza – Buy one get any 10-inch specialty thin crust for $9.
- Caulipower – This offers you a unique way to give the gift of pizza to friends or family who’re expecting on National Pizza Day. Visit BornOnPizzaDay.com to send a year’s supply of Caulipower pizza to the lucky family.
- Slice of The Burg – offering buy any 18″ pizza get a 14″ 2 regular topping pizza for $5 all day on Feb 9, 2020.