Bonsai

Go Green or Go Home

To Volunteer or Not to Volunteer – That is the Question August 27, 2013

Filed under: Education,Literacy — Mary @ 6:36 am
Tags: , ,

Hey everybody! You may or may not know this, but every staff member of Bonsai is required to complete one “large” assignment to help the world in real time over the course of a year and then post about it. As far as I know, this is the first one done. I asked Ceej (the lady in charge) if I could use volunteering at the library as my large assignment for helping people this year. I volunteered for 68.5 hours (I think), which may seem like a lot, but my friend McKenna got 101.25. Because she subbed for everyone. Almost.

What did I do while I volunteered? Well, there were two types of things you could sign up for – events and desk shifts. At the beginning of the summer, based on your availability, you were assigned certain desk shifts and recurring events. Throughout the summer, you could sign up for open slots at the desk and for events that occur only once, so you weren’t assigned to come beforehand.

Some events that were held included LEGO Club, Discovery Days, Wednesdays@1, Disc Golf in the Library, Teen Minute to Win It, Yarn Crafts, Origami, Fearless Crafters, READ to a Dog, Stuffed Animal Sleepover Party, and Give Peace a Chance. I volunteered at the LEGO Club (which happened over a span of four weeks), one Discovery Day, and Give Peace a Chance, while I attended Disc Golf in the Library and Teen Minute to Win It. When I volunteered, I would help set things up, pick things up, and help kids stay on task and give advice and at Give Peace a Chance I served cake.

The volunteers.

When you were at the desk, you would sit there (sometimes with another volunteer) and wait for people to sign up for the Summer Reading Program (SRP). Basically, you got their information, entered it into the computer & gave them their form, where they could fill in the boxes for the amount of time/pages they read. For the first two weeks, that was all you could do – sign people up and answer questions and associate yourself with your fellow volunteer. After those first miserable weeks, kids started coming back to collect their prizes, which you could get after you reached a certain checkpoint on your form. There were four prizes in all. You could give them Overtime Reading Tickets, tickets that would enter them in a random drawing for even more prizes (or you could forget about it and feel sorry for the child who missed a grand opportunity). There were 4 different programs: Preschool, K-5, 6-8, and High School-Adult. Each program gave you different prizes and different reading records and different amounts of time you had to read.

So that was how I spent my summer – reading, encouraging kids/young adults/adults to read books, serving cake, and building towers of LEGOs.

Does your library offer volunteering? Is there some other fun volunteering you could do in your community next summer? Think about it, and help your community! 🙂

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Could It Possibly Be? August 26, 2013

After paper is made, there is left over wood pulp that has been sheared off so the surface of the sheet is smooth and able to be written on or ran through a printer. Once this pulp is gone it cannot be reused, as it is already dried and would not work properly if re-wet.
Where does it go, exactly? Wouldn’t you love to know – wait…promise you won’t hate me. This surplus of wood pulp goes into your food, that’s what. Can you believe it? No?
Well, you will.
McDonald’s McFlurries: (By the way , note how they do not say ‘McShake’s’ or something equally corny. Why, you dare to ask? Because it is not real milk. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.) They are thick, creamy, delicious goblets of liquidated heaven, with maybe a few OreoTM bits stirred in. Or, that’s what they want you to think. In reality, you are so eagerly slurping up wood. Cellulose, one of the key compotes produced and inside wood, thickens food and gives it the texture similar to what flour or oil would provide. Some absolute genius discovered this, and now the cheapskate fast food restaurants are thinking…’JACKPOT!’ And not just restaurants… but companies as well. They have gone to the dark side.
Kraft Bagel-Fuls
Aunt Jemima’s ‘home made’ Maple Syrup
Processed Cheese
Guess what one organic ingredient these have in common? (HINT: …cellulose….)
Surprise! I think I ruined somebody’s happy illusion of delicious fast food. And I’m sorry, if that indeed is the case. But you people need to know what you’re really eating. If the human body ingests cellulose, it is completely indigestible. Instead, it sloshes around your stomach for a while until your body decides to get rid of it (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about)
How disgusting is that?!
Well, happy fast-food eating! BEWARE THE EXCESS WOOD PULP!
-Kat

Sources: http://www.cracked.com/article_19433_the-6-most-horrifying-lies-food-industry-feeding-you.html
http://mcdonalds.org

Oh, Fun Fact Of The Day! Some loaves of bread have equal wood concent of the (yep! you guessed it!) wooden cutting board they may be sitting on.

 

Shark Finning- The Cruel Industry August 19, 2013

Shark finning is a disgusting way of gathering food, and sadly, it is on the rise. Fishermen will catch a shark, remove all fins for consumption and trading, and throw the shark back into the ocean, dismembered and traumatized. The shark, without its fins, can hardly swim and will sink to the bottom, starve to death, or be attacked by another animal. This is not the natural cycle. It is not the way sharks were meant to live, and most certainly not the way sharks were meant to die. Many people enjoying their shark fin soup are not even aware of the inhumane practices that go into it. According to the Endangered Shark Database, more than 1/4 of all sharks are being commercially exploited, and their survival in the long-term is doubtful. 

English: NOAA agent counting confiscated shark...

 

 

You can help. We here at Bonsai never underestimate the power of a good petition, and in this case, we’ve got plenty for you. You too can add your virtual signature and join the movement to stop shark finning. A large masterlist of petitions can be found at http://www.stopsharkfinning.net/stop-shark-finning-petitions/, and the rest of the website is helpful and fascinating as well. Shark finning is an abusive practice that harms many sharks, including endangered ones, the species of whom are already in danger. You can help spread awareness about shark finning in your community, there are many ways. First of all, you can immediately strike interest in people who have been blind to the practices before whenever you are confronted with shark fin soup. Refusing to eat it and asking others to is a small, but effective way to help. stopsharkfinning.net says, “If local communities realise that they can make more money by conserving sharks than by killing them, then we will ensure the survival of sharks. If you are considering a holiday in a location where there are sharks, you might want to go shark diving. This is a source of income for communities that encourages shark conservation.”

 

 

 

Ocean activities are a large tourist attraction that won’t harm the wildlife. Speak to restaurants offering shark fin soup or marketplaces allowing it to be sold and tell them how it is harming the ecosystem and our oceans. Check out the rest of the Stop Shark Finning webpage for other ideas, if you’re wondering what to do. Together, we can get ban shark finning in as many places as possible, and save the sharks.

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