December 16, 2009
December 14, 2009
1. Go to http://www.letssaythanks.com/ and select one of the 78 adorable postcards, each one hand-illustrated by a budding artist age 3 to 15.
2. Click on one of the 10 pre-written "thank you" messages or feel free to embrace your inner poet and write your own sentiments. Add your name and hometown (I combined two steps into one here - it's the MDG reader bait 'n' switch).
3. Hit “send”.
Xerox will then print your card and get it to a U.S. soldier abroad in a care package arranged by military support organization Give2TheTroops.
Artwork from this talented group of youngsters include David’s “From Coast to Coast We Give You All Thanks,” Alyssa’s U.S. Soilder’s Rock” (it's the punctuation that makes it cute), Clay’s simple, but effective, “I Miss You,” and Donari’s “Thank You for a Life of Liberty.” Good luck choosing!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro war or anti-war, these brave soldiers need to know that we’ve got their backs.
December 10, 2009
Anyway, if you're out shopping for whatever the “it” toy is this year (I have a feeling it's a fake hamster, natch), please consider picking up something extra for a needy child. It’s for a great cause.
Here’s a list of a few things you cannot donate:
-Toys with a military theme or anything weapon-related (sorry, GI Joe)
-Toys with candy
-Used toys (toys must have tag)
-Toys containing chemicals
All of which is great, because it means you get to keep all of the really fund stuff - the highly caloric, artificial weaponry -- for yourself. The program runs through December 24.
December 7, 2009
Click here to send a greeting “card” requesting that the president support the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in his fiscal year 2011 budget request to Congress. How much support, you ask? $1.75 billion; all of which helps get AIDS drugs, anti-malaria bed nets and TB treatment to people who would otherwise go without. And there are a lot of them. Since 2001 the Global Fund has saved 4.9 million lives in 140 countries.
Even better, for every $1 that the U.S. invests, its international partners provide at least $2 to help treat these deadly but treatable diseases. That's considerable bang for the U.S. taxpayer buck. So while we're doing this with or without you, it would be great if you could send a letter before New Year's Day so we can get some silver and gold to those who need it most. It could be a beautiful day for them, and all because of you. (OK, I'm done now).
December 3, 2009
Here’s how to show your support. If you don’t have a Twitter account already, sign up. It’s easy. Just do a google search for “setting up a Twitter account” and you’ll be tweeting in no time. Or, even better, just go to www.twitter.com and follow their instructions. If you've set up a Facebook, Linked In, or MySpace page, trust me, you can handle Twitter. Rocket science it's not.
If you already have an account, simply follow @TwitCause and each week you’ll be notified of their cause of the week. Then all you have to do is RT the cause and/or follow the featured cause to show your support. You can also vote for your favorite cause and maybe, just maybe it’ll become the next TwitCause.
December 1, 2009
And please consider adopting or rescuing your next dog from a local animal shelter or rescue group rather than buying one from a pet store. If we all do that, we'll send the puppy mills into well-deserved obsolescence.
November 24, 2009
In the meantime – and in keeping with the Thanksgiving theme of, um, giving thanks - here’s something free and easy you can do to help the more than 12 million children in America who are at risk of hunger.
If you know a neighbor, friend, relative or co-worker who’s standing up to be counted in the fight against hunger, go here to nominate them as a “Champion against Child Hunger.” For each submission received before January 22nd, ConAgra Foods (the brains behind Chef Boyardee and Orville Redenbacher) will donate $10 to Share Our Strength, a national organization that works tirelessly towards an America in which no child grows up hungry. They still have a long way to go, but they're making a valiant effort.
November 20, 2009
The Climate Project has teamed up with America’s favorite fashion designer to offer a polar bear-themed T-shirt to raise awareness about climate change impacts in the Arctic. The tees cost $28.00 and 100 percent of the net proceeds go to The Climate Project.
Click here to find a Marc Jacobs store near you here.
November 19, 2009
Join the likes of Sheryl Crow, Nike, Starbucks, Pepsi, ebay and thousands (over 22,000) of other everyday American folks who want a clean energy future.
Help Repower America now.
November 18, 2009
America’s favorite soup maker is sponsoring a contest to preserve five barns this year as part of their “Help Grow Your Soup” promotion. Because good soup, as we know, is grown and not made. And then stored in barns. Hmm (mmm good).
For every vote you place, Campbell’s will donate a buck to the FFA, which helps develop America's future farmers and leaders through agricultural education.
If you voted each and every day until the contest ends on January 5, 2010, you’d have personally raised $47 for the cause, and helped preserve five barns. There are ten barns competing in all – from “The Dull Family Farm” in Thornton, Indiana, to “The Just Wait and See Farm” in Union Bridge, Maryland.
The barns are gorgeous and the campaign ingenious, so go take a look. Hay, what have you got to lose?
November 17, 2009
Levi Strauss & Company and Goodwill are teaming up on a new initiative called “A Care Tag for Our Planet” which aims to put billions of pounds (23.8 pounds to be exact) of unwanted clothing to good use instead of into landfills.
Beginning in January (2010), Levi’s will run care tags that encourage customers to “Machine Wash Cold, Line Dry When Possible, and Donate to Goodwill.”
Three simple ways to help reduce the climate impact of your favorite denim.
November 16, 2009
Starting yesterday ("Yesterday's News Today!") through November 22nd, you can catch eco-themed episodes of shows including "The Office," "30 Rock," "Heroes" and "The Biggest Loser," learn about climate change on The Weather Channel, get organic cooking tips on Bravo's "Top Chef," and educate yourself about endangered species with Jeff Corwin's new documentary "100 Heartbeats" on MSNBC.
In you happen to be watching these shows live (does anyone still do that?), you might also see some of your favorite stars (the likes of Amy Poehler, Christopher Meloni, Ali Larter and Brian Williams) dishing out eco-friendly tips on a fresh new batch of "The More You Know" public service announcements.
November 13, 2009
From November 12 to November 15, you’ll get 30 percent off your purchases at any GAP store nationwide (including sister store Banana Republic and forgotten step-sister Old Navy). GAP will give 5 percent of your purchase to CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting poverty around the world.
For those of you who need even more incentive to ... go shopping this weekend (huh?), Stella McCartney launched her adorable GAP Kids & Baby collection just this past week. So get thee to a GAP, as Shakespeare would have said were he into denim and basic tees.
November 12, 2009
Catch all the action tonight (November 12) at 11pm/10c on Comedy Central.
November 11, 2009
November 9, 2009
The book is written by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)head honcho/president Frances Beinecke and, according to Mr. Redford, it offers “simple facts, plain arguments and common sense” about global warming. He also adds that it’s "short and concise.” I like it already.
November 6, 2009
- Ask your kids to collect any extra markers, binders, rulers, construction paper, pens, pencils, etc. and ship them to iLoveSchools, a nonprofit that connects donors with teachers all over the U.S.
- Check the garage, basement and backyard for old athletic gear (balls, bats, mitts, tennis racquets, uniforms; even hacky sacks.) Sports Gift will distribute it to underprivileged children throughout the world.
- Go through your bookshelves and bedside tables and send old paperbacks to Operation Paperback, who will distribute them to troops around the globe.
Now that’s what I call cleaner giving.
November 3, 2009
The books and plush toys are available at over 1,000 Kohl's stores nationwide as well as online at kohls.com. One hundred percent of the net profits will benefit the store's Cares for Kids charity initiative.
October 29, 2009
Click here to create your very own “crawler” complete with his or her own name, skin color and choice of outfit, and set him or her on his or her merry way to our nation's capital.
Crawl baby crawl.
October 28, 2009
Titles to read sleepy eyed, and spill strong black coffee over at the breakfast table – sorry, that your kids can read sleepy eyed, and spill strong black coffee over at the breakfast table – include “Ballyhoo Bay,” “Tea for Ruby,” “What's Under the Bed?” “Sleepyhead” and “Junkyard Fort” (all courtesy of Simon & Shuster Children’s Publishing.) There are five to collect, and after that I’d suggest “The Dubliners.”
Take that, Cracker Jack! And kudos, Cheerios, for throwing your honey and your nuts behind such an essential – and MDG-approved – cause.
October 27, 2009
Get a fresh, green tip each and every day.
A free preview of "The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time." Pretty self-explanatory.
Navigate the sometimes confusing and scary recycling stream (e.g. Can I recycle that "gently"used tissue?)
October 26, 2009
October 23, 2009
To celebrate their new partnership, TripAdvisor is giving away a trip for two to Paris. Can you guess which famous landmark is located there? (hint... it's in the picture to the right.) Go here to find the answer and to enter the contest.
October 22, 2009
A few of their picks - in no particular order - include an initiative to increase teachers’ salaries, Cowpooling (I'm not making this up), NPR’s “Planet Money,” I Heart PV, and a refugee rights’ organization called Asylum Access.
There are 95 more waiting for you here. Who knows, maybe you're one of them.
October 20, 2009
AARP’s “Create the Good” - where good people get connected to opportunities to create good – has a whole slew of activities planned for this week (October 19-25) to help promote volunteerism. Country crooner/superwoman Faith Hill encourages Americans to volunteer their time to make America a better place in a new PSA airing on You Tube and ESPN sportscaster Jorge Ramos has a special message on Univision, Telemundo and V-Me that urges Hispanics to volunteer.
You can also tune in to one of the more than 90 programs on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and cable networks that will spotlight the idea of giving back. NBC's "30 Rock" kooky page Kenneth Parcell tries to adopt all the dogs at an animal shelter, the hunky docs on ABC's "Private Practice" give homeless teenagers free checkups, and two characters (not sure if they’re the brains or the brawn) on CBS' "Numb3rs" talk about joining Big Brothers Big Sisters.
You can’t escape it, so you might as well enjoy it while you can.
October 19, 2009
October 15, 2009
Oh, Change. Some of us love you. Some of us, well, you scare the crap out of us. But we do know a majority of voters Believe in You.
Do we live in a time of transformative change? We have that new fellow in the White House, of course. Our political system is finally free from the gravitational pull of money, self-interest, greed and ego, and our elected representatives are at last acting in the public interest so that we can all have great healthcare, financial security, a job …
What? Oh, right. Anyway, there has to be some change going on out there that we’re happy about. And if you happen to find some, here’s your chance to shout about it from the Internet’s rooftops.
Change.org, the online hub for social change, wants you to pick your favorite “Changemaker” (you can actually pick up to 10). They’ve got dozens to choose from including activists, scientists, bloggers, big thinkers, elected officials, even a few actors and filmmakers. And there’s a wide variety of causes to choose from including animal rights, human rights, gay rights, poverty, war and peace, the environment and sustainable food to name a few.
Can’t find your favorite Changemaker on the list? Go ahead and nominate your own. Heck, you can even nominate yourself. But only once!
October 14, 2009
The other night I was hanging out with a friend, slurping cheap wine, and by the end of the third glass I'd pretty much learned everything I ever wanted to know about San Francisco’s new mandatory compost law (it was that kind of a night). I won't burden (I mean, "enlighten," of course!) you with all of the nitty gritty details, but here are a few highlights I think you should know.
First, it goes into effect one week from today (October 21). That's basically, like, tomorrow. Second, it's aimed at both businesses and residents. No exceptions. So unless you want to throw away (geddit?) your -- or your landlord's -- hard-earned money on a hefty fine, you’re going to have to order your very own green bin before then. Don’t panic; it’s super easy and it won’t cost you a dime.
Just call Golden Gate Disposal (415-626-4000) or Sunset Scavenger (415-330-1300) and they’ll drop off a compost bin with your next scheduled trash pickup. For free. Not a homeowner yet? Simply call your landlord and politely ask them to get you one unless they want to have the green garbage gang emptying their wallets.
Prefer something a bit more stylish for your compostables? Check out Williams-Sonoma’s Ceramic Compost Pail ($32). It’s stink-proof (the lid has a carbon filter) and holds up to a gallon of all your compostable bits and pieces.
Go to SFRecycling.com to find a list of exactly what you can compost (basically anything that used to be alive) and what you can’t (you can keep the pooper scoopings to yourself, thank you). And that goes double for your dirty diapers. Definitely NOT compostable.
Once you get the swing of it, I bet you’ll be one happy composter.
October 13, 2009
That’s all ABC is revealing for now; you’ll just have to tune in to get the full scoop. Friday, October 16, 8/7c.
October 9, 2009
What makes this campaign so different, you might ask? In a word, humor. These clever folks realized that the public is more moved by laughter than tears so they’ve come up with some very funny ads to make their point. My two favorites are “White Collar,” which features a dog whose owner is dragged off to prison for insider trading (doesn’t sound very funny, I know – you have to watch it) and “Ditched,” featuring Scout, a scruffy dog who, yep, you guessed it, gets ditched by his jerky owner (oh, just have a look and you’ll get it).
Not a big TV person? Rest assured. They’ve got some hilarious radio spots which are a take off of the old “Lassie” series. They’ve also got you covered with billboards, bus stop posters, print ads, and of course, the Internet. Just go to http://www.theshelterpetproject.org/ and laugh your ass off. And for all of you advanced social media aficionados, you can also show your support on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
October 8, 2009
October 6, 2009
Over the years, I've also read some pretty terrific memoirs: “The Glass Castle” and “Angela’s Ashes" are two of my all-time favorites. I’m hoping a new book called “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” will soon join them on the list.
The book tells the modern-day story of William Kamkwamba, a 14-year old Malawian boy who despite incredible odds - surviving the worst famine his country had seen in 50 years and being forced to drop out of school because his family couldn’t afford the $80 yearly tuition - went on to build a makeshift windmill that brought electricity (and eventually water) to his poverty-stricken village. (A windmill! I can barely make coffee.)
Electricity allowed the villagers to read at night after work. And water allowed them to grow two crops a year rather than one, without spending two hours a day hauling it. The windmill was truly life-changing for everyone involved.
“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” is a tale of hope, determination and good old-fashioned perseverance. And, above all, it demonstrates that one individual really can make a difference. Good for you, William K.
October 5, 2009
You’ve got three categories to choose from: doing eco-good for your cat, for your home, or for the environment. And 300 words to do it in. (Eco-good for your cat? If it was easy everyone would enter.)
If they pick your story, $15,000 will be awarded to a local “do-gooder” organization of your choice. You’ll also get $5,000 in cash and a year’s supply of kitty litter. Not to mention the local celebrity that comes with having 52 weeks’ worth of cat litter sitting on your doorstep.
And, for every qualifying entry they receive by October 23rd, Yesterday’s News will donate $1 to the Arbor Day Foundation, which will plant a tree on your behalf.
So, as they put it on their website, it pays to be a do-gooder. Like I couldn’t have told you that.
October 2, 2009
Now he has yet another reason to celebrate: his very own day! Today, MDG is happily marking LIVESTRONG Day, which has been established to celebrate cancer survivorship and spread awareness of the fight against the disease around the globe.
And perhaps coolest of all you can go to http://www.livestrongaction.org/ and sign a petition which urges Congress to pass life-saving health insurance reforms to help protect cancer survivors. A great cause, a great new day for the calendar, and an important opportunity to get those laggards on The Hill to get their butts into gear and pass some meaningful health legislation.
October 1, 2009
Then on Tuesday a huge tsunami struck the Samoan Islands, killing more than 150 people and destroying entire villages. Over the past two days two separate earthquakes have hit Indonesia, killing over 1,000 people and leaving thousands trapped under rubble. And now a second typhoon - a so-called super-typhoon named Parma - is set to hit the northern Philippines on Saturday. There seems to be no relief in sight.
Hopefully, you've still got some of that September paycheck leftover, because there are many, many organizations that could use your help; even just $10 or $15 makes a huge difference. In fact, several organizations will even match your donation. So pledge to kick that latte and muffin habit next week and give the money to someone who really needs it. Here are a few organizations that are making an immediate difference on the ground:
September 28, 2009
September 23, 2009
September 22, 2009
- Craisgslist is King: Not only can you get free moving boxes on the online classified ad site, you can pass the favor along when you're happily ensconsed in your new home, thus saving a couple of large trees and someone else two dollars per box.
- Take of all those pesky wire hangers -- the most infuriating inanimate objects this side of packing tape -- back to your local dry cleaners. They'll gladly recycle them for you.
- Got printer cartridges? If you find a stash of empties while cleaning out your desk drawers, take them to your local Staples or Office Depot. They'll be more than happy to take them off your hands in return for store credit. All you have to do is sign up for their rewards program.
- Fashion Emergency: Moving gives you the perfect excuse to clean out those closets. It's really a win/win situation. You won't have to pack up and lug all that extra stuff that you never ever wear and someone will greatly benefit from your generosity. Most major cities have a Salvation Army, Goodwill, Out of the Closet or other similar thrift store. They accept everything from shoes and shirts to coats and linens -- even underwear and socks (strange but true, though exercise some common sense here: no one wants the "lucky" boxers you've been trying get your partner to part with for the best part of a decade). You can also donate furniture that won't quite fit into your new pad . Hello, 7-foot glass dining room table, your time is up! Better yet, most will come and pick it up for you if you have enough stuff to donate, which makes moving week a little less hectic.
- You might also consider donating your clothing (mostly skirts or pant suits) to "Dress for Success," an organization that provides suits to disadvantaged women returning to or entering the workforce.
- If you've got sheets, towels, pillows, blankets and comforters, contact your local animal shelter or rescue. They're always in need of these items, especially in this economy.
- Last but not least, if you've got non-perishable food that you don't want to pack up, think about donating it to your local food bank. To locate one near you, just type "food bank" and your city into Google or other search engine.
The golden glow that comes with doing any of the above will make absolutely no difference to the severity of the anguish that will inevitably accompany your move. It will, however, make someone else's life a little easier, and that's something you can feel good about while you're replacing the digits you sliced off with a utility knife and are waiting for the cable guy to turn up four hours after he said he would.
September 3, 2009
September 2, 2009
Ben & Jerry's is partnering with the organization Freedom to Marry to educate people as to why marriage equality matters, and to encourage national support for this important cause. So if you live in Vermont or are heading there for vacation, look out for a tasty, enlightened blend of peanut butter cookie dough ice cream, fudge and pretzels. Go on, spread the love!
August 31, 2009
They’ve got something for just about every body part – facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, acupuncture, micro-dermabrasion, reflexology, and even whole body detoxifying treatments.
Go to www.spaweek.com to find participating day spas in your area. You've earned it.
August 26, 2009
August 25, 2009
Now that you've got the swing of it, head over to the blue "Child Health" tab. Each FREE click here provides life-saving treatments and preventative measures for an average of 1,000 children each day.
Care to share your love of Dr.Seuss or Winnie the Pooh? (Stay with me ...) Go ahead, hit the "Literacy" button and follow through to the bright orange "Click Here to Give - it's FREE button." You've just helped provide free books for low-income children across the country.
Lastly, but not leastly, click on the purple "Animal Rescue" button to help provide food for some of the 27 million unwanted animals given to shelters in the United States every year.