By Kris Rosenthal

It can be hard to focus on solutions when grief or fear for the future smacks us. And with school out, vacations and beach trips, maybe it’s easy to keep away from those painful feelings. Yet the suffering of fear or grief alert us, and push us toward finding solutions.

Or, maybe the heat getting in the way of your summer fun? Maybe you have family living in the parts of the world that are reaching 110 degrees and above? Over 30% of Fairfax residents come from other countries, and more than 1.5 billion humans have been coping with deadly heat already this summer. We’re insulated here by reliable cooling and electricity, but anyone who works outdoors is at risk of heat exhaustion and death. This is devastating to face, especially knowing that this may be the coolest summer the future will know.

What are your choices, if you choose to face this? First, I suggest you take a breath, then hug someone you love. Share your story of grief or fear. Then ask for help. Can your household do a search for energy thieves: the many devices plugged in 24 hours a day that invisibly drain away electricity? Secondly, set your AC, if you can, to a higher temp and let your bodies acclimate to 78 degrees F or so.

Do you want to do more? Add more plants: grains, beans, fruits and veges to your diet. The more plants, the better for you and the planet. Plan for less food waste, and compost what isn’t eaten.

Finally, talk to your friends and neighbors about what you’re doing. Invite them over for a delicious plant forward meal, and enjoy their company.