Supporting the things we LOVE
• Love Social Networking? Worldwide, people spend three billion minutes a day on Facebook. Go to climatecrossroads.sierraclub.org, the Sierra Club’s new site––a “cool place to connect”––and do a mitzvah while networking. Also check out sierraclubgreenhome.com and makemesustainable.com, the Sierra Club’s other sites, for lots of tips and a carbon footprint calculator.
• Love the Ocean. Waste isn’t just filling up our landfills and littering our highways, it’s building up in the ocean. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a diffuse soup of mostly small bits of plastic floating on or below the surface of the ocean, is at least twice the size of Texas and may be as much as 1 ½ times the area of the U.S. It’s been sighted within 500 miles of the California coast and 200 miles from Japan. The approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile of ocean kill 100,000 marine mammals and one million birds each year. Keep the “Patch” from growing bigger. Use your own reusable shopping bags and find reusable items to replace throwaway plastic bags, containers, and cutlery at www.reusablebags.com. (As I write this, nearly 37 billion plastic bags have been consumed world-wide this year––and it’s only January 27th!)
• Love the Earth. On Valentine’s Day, love the earth, too. Buy your sweetheart Dagoba® Organic Chocolate at Whole Foods or Pacific Market, and help Dagoba fund reforestation in Costa Rica. Dagoba’s short-term goal is planting 60,000 seedlings (80% cocoa and 20% native species). So far they’ve planted 45,000 trees. Go to www.dagobachocolate.com for more information and to learn about their Seed the Day and Chocolate for Good™ programs. Give Valentine’s cards AND flowers with plantable cards imbedded with wildflower seeds at www.botanicalpaperworks.com.
• Love Clean Water. We’ve had lots of rain, but elsewhere, many people have to go a long way to obtain drinking water, which often is not clean. On April 18th, people around the globe will be joining in the Dow Live Earth Run for Water. They will be running or walking six kilometers––the average distance that women and children in many parts of the world walk each day to get water. Currently, the nearest event is in Los Angeles, but that can change. Check it out at liveearth.org/en/home and donate to the Run for Water.
• Love Clean Air. According to the Sierra Club, a study at Harvard and Brigham Young University found that clean air adds five months to life expectancy. Burning coal is responsible for one-third of all C02 emissions in the U.S. Replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) is a quick and easy way to burn less coal. It only takes 18 seconds to change a light bulb. In the last three years over $84 million have been saved in the U.S. through switching bulbs, keeping almost 297 million pounds of coal from being burned––equivalent to taking 20,300 cars off the road. Just in Forestville $197,000 have been saved and nearly one million pounds of CO2 kept out of the atmosphere. Go to green.yahoo.com/18seconds to see how much CFLs have saved in your area.
• Love your Neighbor. Last April I wrote about our neighbor, Tracie Skaggs of Guerneville, who needs a kidney. In response, Ramona Crinella wrote Vesta that her son Karl was waiting for a kidney, too. On Jan. 14th he received a kidney from his sister, Teri. Both of them are doing well, but Tracie Skaggs is still waiting for a kidney. Find out more about donation at www.ucsfhealth.org/kidneytransplant/?gclid=CK_y6L6r3JkCFRwwawodjSVyWA or call 1-800-482-7389. Although Tracie needs a donor with type O blood, paired donation programs mean you could help her even if you have a different blood type. Leave Tracie a message at 707-695-7591 if you’re interested in being a possible donor.
• Love the Stranger. An estimated 200,000 people have died in the Haitian earthquake and one million are homeless. So many organizations are helping in Haiti, it’s hard to know where to donate. The following are efficient, well run, “no b.s.” grassroots organizations able to leverage minimal resources and assist in smart ways to make an enormous impact: www.care.org, www.doctorswithoutborders.org, and www.watermissions.org, which lets you create your own online fundraising page to help. All are rated four stars by Charity Navigator.