Doing the Right Thing

Posted on October 14, 2015 by Dr. Lynda
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What if the things we know we ought to do, could be made fun? And instead of being “policed” into doing the right thing, better design might inspire us to comply willingly and even do the right thing for our future selves.

These four articles are each empowering and entertaining in their own way. They are all radically different subjects but each is demonstrates a wonder of commitment or innovation. Re-designing consumer goods and changing our most fundamental expectations might just release the floodgates on ideas. See what you think!

Can Fun Genius Help Us Do the Right Thing?

Posted on August 24, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

We humans can be complex: we know the statistics on seat belt use, and yet we don’t always use them. We know the risks of smoking and yet we light up. We know we could pay the ultimate price, but we text while driving anyway.

What does it take to get us to do the right thing? What does it take to inspire us to stop and listen to something that could save our lives?

One word: creativity.

Image: Men in black

Creativity: It’s the wellspring of tens & thousand of years of human advancement. Someone thought of something old, in a new way, and it’s so compelling that we can’t resist the upgrade.

Nothing proves this point quite like the Air New Zealand’s latest in-flight safety videos. They’ve found a way to entertain, have some fun, AND inspire us to learn about the safety features we need in the even of an emergency.

For the first video we point you to, they called upon some very special Men In Black to brief their passengers and we’re #CrazyAboutRugby.

Take a look at what we can only hope is the future of safety:

Fun!.. I think I’d watch that repeatedly, now and then!

Here’s what Air New Zealand posts with the video:

“Created in partnership with Sony Pictures, the All Blacks take on a new challenge. Buckle up as our boys in black take you through the ins and outs of safety with the help of Stan Walker, Rip Torn and Frank the Pug. Plus, keep an eye out for some inter-galactic rugby cameos from David Campese, Martin Johnson and Agustin Pichot.” 2

If you’d like to learn a little more about that one click here.

Now if Men In Black is not your bag, how about a little safety journey with The Hobbit? Take a look at this fun little bit of genius:

More fun from a completely different angle. Still totally compelling and hopeful.

Applause to Air New Zealand. We at EWC look forward to the new genre of safety videos this might inspire! Our hope is that the viral success of these pieces will move other media innovators to expand their own work.

That’s where our mindset for the potential of the web comes from. Welcome to We are the polar opposite of the negative 24-hour news cycle. Stop by now and then to see articles like this that remind us this is still an amazing world. (Our motto.)

Image: collage of article topics

After dipping into a couple of our articles each week, you will be reassured that this is still an amazing world. (our motto) People all over the planet are doing the most amazing, innovative things, and the EWC community shares links to good news here.

Meanwhile, stay open, curious and hopeful.


Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few more incredible articles like this one!

~ Dr. Lynda



What if trash pick-up was annual?

Posted on April 24, 2016 by Andrew Verderber

“Away” is a strange adverb to use in association with the garbage we are relentlessly creating, as in “I’m just going to throw this away.” But today on EWC we’ll have some fun with the subject of reducing garbage!

Image: a family laying in their weeks worth of garbage

We are going to introduce you to an amazing – and growing – community of people who are changing what we think is possible when it comes to living well, while living sustainably. And we are going to let a new “guest writer” for EWC, Andrew Verderber, share an exciting perspective that astonished our entire team here at Ever Widening Circles.

First let’s expand on this issue with the adverb “away” and marvel at how it was ever logical to connect it to the garbage we humans create.

Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition of the word away:

  1. from this or that place <go away>

  2. in a secure place or manner <locked away>

  3. from one’s possession <gave away a fortune>

  4. uninterruptedly onward <clocks ticking away 1

Interesting, huh? 
One of the most poignant definitions I found was at
out of existence or notice <to fade away>  2
That certainly seems to sum up the mindset we’ve had about the garbage we create, as long as humans have walked the earth.

But there’s good news!

There’s a new movement afoot that looks like it might transform us all eventually.

Let’s enjoy the insights of EWC Thought Leader, Andrew Verderber, bringing us to a new understanding of possibility!

Here’s Andrew’s article (remember – you too can write for us!) :

Image: Friday Woods
Source: STANLEY DONWOOD : Far Away Is Close at Hand In Images of Elsewhere

“Away” is a curious word to use in context with throwing our garbage away.

Consider the sentiments that are stirred if your significant other says to you, “Go away with me next weekend,” versus those evoked by telling someone to “Just throw that away for me.”  The thought of “going away” infers adventure and may even prompt a wonderful sense of discovery.

But for all of human history, throwing things away infers an out-of-sight/out-of-mind mentality.

Image: Wait here
Source: STANLEY DONWOOD : Far Away Is Close at Hand In Images of Elsewhere

Fortunately, many people are coming to terms with the fact that away, in the context of trash, no longer means “gone” or “not my problem”.

That said, we still don’t seem to have reached a tipping point for meaningful change. Any connection people have with their trash is carried away with the rest of the neighborhood’s weekly pick up.

Consider an alternative reality: 

What if our household or business waste was collected on an annual basis?

Would people be more motivated to reduce their garbage after coping with the accumulated volume day after day for a year? I imagine this unsettling burden would inspire people to be more choosy about what they bring into their homes.

Enter, a woman named Bae Johnson from California who has saved her family’s 2014 waste stream. You may be asking yourself if she owns a large shed or rented a storage unit to contain the refuse. And there is the wonder in this story: floor to ceiling piles of unpleasant smelling matter turned out to be far from what she faced.

Her family’s entire annual waste stream, in the end, could be contained in a 32 oz. glass jar.

Image: 16 oz. jar

Before addressing any looming doubt we all have about this “too good to be true” claim, I want to ask if you consider the contents of Bae’s jar to be trash or art?

If your annual waste were stored in your living room would you be labeled as hoarder or a kind of performance artist? There could be some fun here!

And here’s the cool part:

The Johnson family lives with their waste contribution to the environment, receiving a daily reminder to continue reducing their consumption of resources for the preservation of the natural world they deeply respect. The contents of the jar never go away, they simply become someone else’s or another generation’s problem.

Asking ourselves what we can do to reduce our impact begins with changing our concept of away.

Take a look at this short video and then we’ll explore this interesting concept in much more detail….

Reducing garbage with Zero Waste Lifestyle?

  • Minimize clothing and other completely elective purchases
  • Bring containers to the grocery store and market for meats, fish, cheese, butter, vegetables, and fruit.
  • Practice the system of the 5 R’s: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot.
  • Compost all food waste

But what about all those nitty-gritty aspects of life?

How do you find time to make your own cleaning supplies? And what about non-recyclables like paper towels, tampons, plastic produce bags, plastic loops for price tags and stickers?

Let’s take a look another video with a lot more detail by another zero waste champion…

Via: MSNBC  4

I realize this will require a paradigm shift, but more and more people are proving it can be done. What would a world look like if all of us just reduced our trash by half?

After seeing these people speak, I think I could do that!

Or what if most of us made purchasing choices based on reduced packaging? I suspect manufacturers would very quickly change their practices. Imagine the impact in waste and landfills.

This is a definitely doable change, with an amazing long-term impact! And perhaps on the horizon, we can all move away from a future of beaches, rivers, streets and countryside strewn with trash.

Make it a great day! Re-think: Reduce, Re-use, Refuse excess packaging.

~ AndrewVerderber

Image: February holloway
Source: STANLEY DONWOOD : Far Away Is Close at Hand In Images of Elsewhere

Dr. Lynda here…

I love this concept! Since we first looked at this piece of writing, it changed my thought process on every single thing I buy… in a great way!

Saving money?

Since Andrew Verderber sent us that article, I can’t seem to shop without considering every item and my options.

Even if a nice cold bottle of water seems tempting, I have been passing on it because that single-use container seems to haunt me a little.

I know I’ve also saved money by just passing on a lot of impulse purchases.

I’m also much more careful about what goes in the actual trash at home: separating the garbage from the paper, composting and recycling with new energy. It takes seconds more to do the right thing.

Andrew may be turning us all on to something very doable on some level, for any of us.

If you’d like one more boost of details on this, I found Lauren Singer’s TED Talk on the subject. It will fill in a few of the remaining blanks.

In addition, I’ll refer you to the website which has so much more in details.

Lauren Singer has a fabulous website at with useful tips and quite a few videos of her own. Her cleaning products can be found at The Simply Co.  All great stuff!

Unconvinced or still curious? Take a look at Lauren’s TED Talk…

Via: TEDx Talks  5

Today Ever Widening Circles  brought you a unique article, featuring the work of two new, seemingly unrelated,  “thought leaders”. First, our new guest writer, Andrew Verderber, currently working towards his master’s degree in the field of business sustainability at Illinois State University.

BONUS: In a strange coincidence, while I was looking for some great images for this article – and trying to avoid the standard images of our garbage burdened globe – I stumbled upon the work of artist Stanley Donwood. His exhibit was so aptly named for today’s article – “Far Away is Close at Hand in Images of Elsewhere” – that I couldn’t pass it by!

He does beautiful work and we encourage you to look at more by clicking here.

Wrapping up

When it comes to trash, away and elsewhere seem to be getting closer and closer. This article inspired me to start doing something about my own impact here and there. Thanks, Andrew!

Make it a great day! Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

Want to see a few more inspiring articles?

Scroll down to the very bottom of this page.

Are you new to EWC?

This website is growing in 190 countries. We are a global community changing the dialogue about our world. Despite what the 24-hour news cycle tells us, this is still an amazing place. If you are interested in that world, check us out here from time to time! We publish one smart, hopeful article every day.

Collages physics teacher


Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Andrew Verderber is an M.B.A candidate at Illinois State University working to find a balance between people, the planet, and profitability. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, pick up basketball, and checkers.


  1. “Away.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2016. <>.
  2. “The Definition of Away.” N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. <>.
  3. ZeroWastHome. “ZeroWasteHome Overview.” YouTube. ZeroWastHome, 30 Nov. 2012. Web. 19 June 2015.
  4. MSNBC. “How To Fit Two Years Of Trash In A Mason Jar | Shift | Msnbc.”YouTube. MSNBC, 12 Feb. 2015. Web. 19 June 2015.
  5. Singer, Lauren. “Why I Live a Zero Waste Life | Lauren Singer | TEDxTeen.”YouTube. TEDx Talks, 27 May 2015. Web. 19 June 2015.



Love Knows No Labels

Posted on March 5, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

Most of us love those surprising occasions when our faith in humanity is restored. (This is something we try to do every single day on this website!) And how about those occasions when we get the boost and enjoy an “Ah-ha” moment about ourselves!?

Image: Love Has No LabelsToday we have a web-share for you that demonstrates why I browse through Facebook from time to time. Not often, mind you, but today’s experience is what draws me in periodically: I love being wrong about people.

Here’s what happened: I have a Facebook friend from college who I thought had become one of those cynical people, afraid of anyone who didn’t think like he did or agree with his politics (sound familiar?).

Yikes! I haven’t actually spoken to him for decades but from seeing a few of his Facebook postings I had unconsciously written quite a story about him in my own mind.

Wait! I’m not one of “those” people, am I? I thought I was one of the nice guys who just takes people for who they are!

I thought I was one of the nice guys who just takes people for who they are!

But alas, I guess I’m as guilty as anyone of slipping into that mode where you sum people up, writing a whole story about them with only a few tidbits of information. The worst of it is that even though I know better, I barely even recognize myself when I’m on that slippery slope.

Love has No Labels thumbnail


The worst of it is that even though I know better, I barely even recognize myself when I’m on that slippery slope.

And that’s where today’s video-share comes in. Last night I saw it posted on my college friend’s FB page. I had to do a double-take.

He said it was one of the most thought-provoking things he had seen in a long time. Lovely!

I had to agree!

That “summing up people too quickly” point came down on me like a ton of bricks. (You’ll soon see why.)

But no matter your politics, this is a hugely compelling way to demonstrate one of the things we can all count on in life: Love knows no labels.

Take a look at this thought-provoking gem…

Enough said. I think we’ll just leave it there folks.

Stay open, curious and always hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda


Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few more incredible articles from like this one!


Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.


  1. “Love Has No Labels.” YouTube. Ad Council, 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015. <>.



Dare to Disagree

Posted on April 25, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

Have you noticed how we really prefer people who think like we do? What does that do for the creative process or problem-solving? Can our conversations, social relationships and work groups become echo chambers?

Image: Dare to Disagree

What if our best choice for a thinking partner is someone who is very different from ourselves; someone who will try to prove us wrong?

This turns collaboration on its head.

The TED Talk we share today points to the need for entirely new skills surrounding conflict. Youch! Conflict. Is that something you avoid like the plague? This TED Talk completely changed our perspective on that.

Take a look at Margaret Heffernan’s Dare to Disagree…

Via: TED 1

The truth won’t set of free until we develop the courage to use it! – Margaret Heffernan

Lovely new thought on who we collaborate with! Maybe we should make our enemies our friends if we are to progress!?

If you are new to this website –  Ever Widening Circles – you can see more stories about people doing amazing and often counter-intuitive things in our tired world. It really is an amazing world, and Ever Widening Circles demonstrates that every day.

Stay open, curious, and hopeful!

~Dr. Lynda



Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.