Ecology Fund has buttons you can click for free to donate to help clean the air, help the rainforest and more! And in case I haven't mentioned it here before, we can also help save the forests in Sweden at this website
Also, I have noticed that if you click on this website and other "click for donations" sites you can triple your donating power by doing it in different web browsers! For example if you click on all the charities at http://www.care2.com/click2donate/ using Firefox, you can then open up Internet Explorer and click there all over again, and click again through Netscape.
I click daily using all three browsers and none of the sites recognise that the clicks are coming from the same computer. The websites I do this at every day are:
Always travel with a towel! Greetings from Japan! I've been here a few days and wanted to share a very Ford Prefect tip with the Satsuma f-list... something that almost everyone does here is to take a small towel with them wherever they go. Many of the bathrooms here don't have towels available, anyway. The towels people use are slightly larger, but thinner, than washcloths and are printed with cute little patterns and designs.
Seeing what a good idea this was, and how fun the different colors, patterns and pictures could be, I bought a whole bunch of them on sale. I'm keeping a bunch for myself and giving a few to my roommate and to my boyfriend. They're small enough to carry in the average purse, and in my boyfriend's case, in the small document book he always has with him. (the document book holds a passport, checkbook, credit cards and money, among other things.)
I thought you all might like this idea, it's a very easy way to cut down on waste and save a few trees on a daily basis. Dry washcloths would work just as well, although if anyone can find these Japanese style hand towels, they are quite fun.
Admittedly, I forgot I had my towel with me and used paper towels once or twice. But just as often, my own towel has come in handy. Won't it be nice especially if you're at a rest stop somewhere and there are no towels left? I am pleased with my discovery and hope you will be too :)
Care2 has a group of different charities you can help just by clicking on the website, for free! You can reduce the effects of global warming, save seals, the rainforest and the oceans, feed hungry primates and give free land to big cats, sponsor children, give free breast screenings, help pets and stop violence against women!
Spread the Sharing Saw a commercial on TV last night for Country Crock's (don't laugh) "Spread the Sharing" campaign. Basically, people post stories about "sharing" things they've done. Every story (up to 1 million, I think?) will equal a plate donated to Second Harvest.
Good deeds Will my good deed from last night change the world? No.
But after watching a guy in his Ford Focus struggle to get out of the apartment complex driveway for about fifteen minutes, I put on my boots and a sweatshirt and went to help him push his car out. We were having much success and eventually a (condescending) cop came to help.
The man was freed of the snow and he bought me two cinnamon rolls and a croissant for my trouble.
Sorry I haven't updated much; on Friday I got kicked out of the military (not for being naughty, don't worry) and have been busy with paperwork and trans-atlantic relocation logistics ever since. If anyone wants to take over for a bit, feel free :)
For the Brave ;) Today I was in Cambridge with a friend of my best friend, who's visiting England from Japan. As I was trying to play "tour guide" in a city I've only ever visited once, we came across a couple of people holding up a sign that said "FREE HUGS." My friend asked me what it meant (she only speaks a little English) so I went and got my hug, you know, in order to show her.
You know what? It was really nice. And I'm not a touchy-feely person, normally. In fact the words "I hate that mushy stuff" have frequently crossed my lips since I was in preschool, and I distinctly remember I used to tell my grandparents I was "all out of kisses" in grammar school.
Anyway I'm sure a lot of you have seen the YouTube video about this (below). And here's a Wikipedia article. Apparently the guy was told by the police to stop hugging everyone. LOL WTF?
I'm not telling everyone to go out and hug strangers on the subway or anything, but I do hereby declare that my free hug was enjoyable and that certainly other people may feel the same. And probably there are people who wouldn't get no lovin' any other way. Which is sad.
Main point: it's stuff like this that redeems the human race, in my eyes. Corny, maybe, but so very much the opposite of evil.
huzzah! I just got an email from someone at the charity I mentioned in my first post, which I'd link to if LJ wasn't acting all spazzy tonight. ETA: Here it is
Since it's personal, I won't share the email here... but I did want to mention it, because it was exciting to have that personal contact and validation. I feel so good right now. Kinda sad, because I'll never know if it's helping the women I knew when I was there. But HEY. This is helping! I saw a progress report. Good things are being done!
And the woman asked me for my feedback, so I briefly summed up the problems of women I had encountered there, and advised they advertise more on LJ, MySpace, and sites like that.
I'm very gleeful, for this and other reasons. This calls for dancing!
Relatively easy This requires wearing regular clothes, at some point, but does not require much actual effort.
Grab a few books you've read and have lying around. Next time you go to the launderette, doctor's office, or anywhere that people sit around and wait, just leave the books there. There are, of course, organized ways of doing this. BookCrossing.com is one example. Then there's Books for Soldiers. But me, I'm all about doing things the easy way. I just leave mine at the laundromat.
A suggestion: if you can bear to part with them, try leaving good books ; )
I've heard stories where books have changed peoples' lives. One woman I know - a single, working class mom- actually was inspired to go to college at age 45 as a result of finding a book in the toll booth where she worked, and wound up being valedictorian of her class. She had more job offers than she knew what to do with, and all kinds of self esteem etc. that she'd never had before. (I didn't like her personally, thought she was annoying, but good for her anyway).
Ain't it funny how little things like that can change a person's life?
Buying Local Just a little followup on the preceding post by atraphoenix (who, by the way, has a nice list of sites where we can cause money to be given to people that need it merely by clicking).
There's things that make my ecological footprint HUGE- but a lot of it I can't help right now, so rather than feel guilty about this stuff, I've been focusing on buying local as much as possible.
I read an article about how much gas is used to transport goods from one place to another, and it's convinced me to stray off base for my groceries. Mind you, the amount of fuel used to ship American food to overseas bases has got to be astronomical, but it ends up being far cheaper than buying on the British economy. Be that as it may, I've been paying that little bit more for "Grown in England" apples, brussels sprouts, carrots and potatoes, local free-range organic eggs, etc and eschewing the tempting imported strawberries, dates, and oranges. I've been buying fairtrade where available again, as well. Of course, I'm still drinking my coffee and my tea, eating my bananas and my peanut butter cups (all of which, I'm pretty sure, are imported here). I'm still buying frozen pizza from the states because, I'm sorry to say, English pizza just plain sucks. BUT. Don't let them fool you, about British food. It can be good, very good. I feel slightly less guilty about jaffa cakes than I do about oreos.
This is my confession: I've a weakness for the foreign, I love different things, and I need my caffeine. But as they say at Tesco's, every little helps. In the future, I can make some bigger changes. Small changes are better than none at all, though, so I challenge everyone to start looking- if only just casually- for food that comes from a bit closer to home. See if you can make it to market day, if you live on this side of the pond, or to a local co-op or farm shop in the states. And then let us know what ideas you have, what you discover, whatever you want to share.
I just had to share this, because its a rather effective kick up the backside, and is sort of appropriate. After all, if this sort of thing doesn't make you want to take action, in your pyjamas or not, then I don't know what will.
You ecological footprint shows much land and water you need to support yourself, based on what you use and, even more importantly, what you discard.
I mentioned I've worked as a nurse in Iraq before. Well, yesterday I ran across a group of people who had set up a table in the lobby of our BX, collecting donations for wounded troops, so naturally this caught my interest and I thought, "sure, I'm game." Usually, as I well know, they need cleaning supplies. But it also gets fairly boring there, and everybody always donates the crappy books they don't want anymore, so I figured I'd send over some cleaning supplies *and* some DVDs. I went into the store thinking something funny: Simpsons, perhaps, or Family Guy. Then what did my eyes spy but the big-eared, goofy visage of Christopher Eccleston! Season One was finally available on base. It irked me because I'd gone there looking for it and ended up having to buy it used over the internets... well. Anyway I thought "that would be a totally nerdy thing to do, fanvangelizing DW to a captive audience." So of course, I couldn't help myself. I had to buy it for them. But I threw in Family Guy, too, just in case. That and 3 packs of hand sanitizer and some cleansing wipes.
I really should watch my spending habits, but oh well. It made me grin for, like, an hour. So even if the troops don't like it- and I'm sure they will, because I've known groups of injured Marines to giggle over marathons of the Power Puff Girls- it made at least one person happy. Me. And at least they got some always-needed hand sanitizer- in all seriousness, that stuff is a real lifesaver. Because they can't always wash their hands with water, then they get wounded, then they touch the wound and it gets infected. So. Hand sanitizer FTW.
Virtual Volunteering This seems to suit the purpose of JimJams perfectly... a whole list of volunteer opportunities where you don't have to leave the house. VolunteerMatch As a reminder, please be careful when submitting information over the interwebs.