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Go Green or Go Home

Spotlight on Website: Greater Good January 12, 2014

Here’s a free website that allows you to help others, no account required. Greater Good is a site entirely dedicated to money donations for, well, the greater good. It sells fair trade items and donates percentages of your purchases to great causes. Each day they have a different project- today’s was getting 24 children to a hospital by way of donations and free-clicks-to-donate. In the past, Greater Good has done a lot of good with their clicks. Greater Good

Here are some of their click-to-donate successes.

They have:

  • provided 6 months of care to an orphaned moose
  • sent an orphan to school for 5 months
  • given a sea lion food for a month
  • matched 5 veterans with pets that will help them
  • fed 4,000 seniors
  • donated toys to children in the developing world
  • built ‘castles’ for shelter cats

And many more! Want to get in on the action? All you have to do is check out  Greater Good. It has many sub-sites such as The Hunger Site, The Literacy Site, The Animal Rescue Site and The Breast Cancer Site, all dedicated to the special causes that their names suggest.

With just one click, you can do things like:

  • give free food to an animal shelter
  • give a woman with breast cancer a mammogram
  • donate a book to a child in need
  • fight hunger and poverty every day
  • save land in a forest
  • help wildlife

And it’s freeAll you have to do is click a simple button. I love free click websites, because it’s so easy and you can do it every day. Free clicks are a great way to help whatever cause you want, like breast cancer help, encouraging literacy, or feeding the homeless. I have enormous respect for the donors who give the food/books/mammograms/etc when anyone clicks.

You can also sign up for a daily reminder. Each day, they will send you a email telling you to click the free buttons.

Don’t forget to click at care2.com as well! We’ve made a previous post about it.

greatergood.com

thehungersite.greatergood.com

Ceej

 

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.

 

How To Help the Environment Without a Drivers Liscense July 9, 2013

The title is basically a clever way of me telling you that even if you are not an adult and can not give out personal information, drive cars, travel, or handle the electricity bill, you can still help to save the environment and have an impact on our small, small world. (That is actually quite large but small in the grand scheme of things.) The following may seem like small things, but they do great things. (This is kind of similar to the lazy environmentalist post from about a month ago, but many of our followers are teens/tweens and there are other things they can do.)

  1. Donate money to an organization that helps a cause you care about. Not everyone has the time to start organizations about important things, but even if you go on earning your usual amount of money doing chores, babysitting, or, if you’re old enough, doing a job, but setting aside some of your money to give to foundations like The Humane Society or the rainforest or adopting a dolphin or gorilla (not literally; there are programs where you send money that will help a gorilla or dolphin or what have you survive).
  2. Consider doing the simple things that your parents always nag you about. Whether it’s turning the lights off when you leave the room, not littering, using less water, taking shorter showers, or even playing outside (since you aren’t using electricity outside, you are helping the environment), it helps a great deal. You may think that just you doing these things will do nothing at all, but that isn’t true. If everyone who sees this does this little bit, it will help lots of things — fewer electricity will be used, less coal will be burned, fresh water will be saved, animals lives will last a little bit longer. You can do a lot in a little bit of time.
  3. Start getting crafty! By this I mean to start reusing things rather than throwing them away quickly, before all their use is gone. This may seem old-fashioned and annoying, and it kind of is. I myself have a grandmother who never throws anything away, even meat juice. Seriously. Sometimes when she stays with us for a weekend or whatever, I open the fridge and find a container of meat juice. But when you reuse things, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with meat juice, I assure you. Whether it’s using scraps of fabric, plastic, and used bottle caps in crafts or decorations, using bread-bags to carry things instead of just throwing them away, or even reusing your plastic water bottles by refilling them with water because hey! They can still hold water. You can even use candy wrappers as decorations if you’re working on a big project — that’s what my friends and I did when we were building a house out of foam and furnishing it without buying anything for school.
  4. Give your parents a break. No, you don’t have to stop bugging them about making you do useless chores by making your bead, but you can give them a break in the “driving you everywhere” category. Instead of making them drive you to the park, bike or walk. Instead of making them drive you to school, bike or walk if it’s close enough or carpool with people if it’s too far away. I think we all know about how oil and fumes and such from cars hurt the environment, and it’s also really expensive. Walking or biking or carpooling will give your parents breaks in more ways than one and will also help the earth.

These are only four ways you can help the environment without having a driver’s license, but there are so many more things you can do! Google it, ask people, or get creative and make it up yourself. Our world won’t last forever, and it won’t just heal itself. We have to do everything we can do to help it, and anything will help. So get out there and do your part. The world — and all of its inhabitants — will certainly appreciate it!

~Mary, Author at Bonsai

 

Are You Lazy? You Can Still Be an Environmentalist! June 17, 2013

Filed under: Going Green,Recycling — Mary @ 8:50 am
Tags: , , , ,

In other words, how to be a lazy environmentalist. Being lazy isn’t really a huge problem, according to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B958zcq43ZI (this YouTube video) (apparently those little blue link things don’t really work today or on this YouTube video or something, but . . . anyway . . . too good a reference to go to waste). Anyway, everyone wants to save the environment, but not everybody thinks that they are especially up to it. They go like, “Yeah, I’m waaaaaaay too lazy to do all this stuffs that you’re asking me to do because it’s like waaaaaay too hard…”

The thing is, saving the environment — or at least helping it — isn’t as hard as everyone makes it out to be. In fact, you may only have to alter a bit of your daily life, or take a little bit of time to make a big difference.

  1. Recycle! Recycling isn’t that hard — all you do is sort through your plastic, cardboard, aluminum, and paper and see what is recyclable and what isn’t. After you put all the stuff in the bag that’s recyclable, usually all you have to do is put it in a recycling bin outside your door and people will come up and get it for you. This will only take about ten minutes out of your day if you do it all at once, and if you just look to see whether you can recycle something right when you use it, it will take even less time!
  2. Buy used, not new. We have a decaying environment not because we don’t think about helping it, but because we buy so much stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff. We “need” it. We go and buy more clothes, more food, more shoes, more video games. More, more, more. There’s nothing wrong with having lots of clothes, or with having lots of shoes — but getting new shoes and new clothes every day? Every week? Can’t you just live with what you have? And we do like to indulge ourselves, even I do it. But when we do need things, sometimes it isn’t the smartest to buy things new — we can, but it’s considerably cheaper and more eco-friendly if you buy a perfectly fine thing used instead of new.
  3.  3. Get rid of bottled water! Is it really so hard to just drink from a tap, or a water fountain, or bring your own reusable water bottle? Not only is it cheaper, but it saves the environment from those icky plastic bottles — do you really know how bad those are? They aren’t recyclable, they swirl around the ocean, they kill animals and sea life. It would help the environment and the money in your bank account if you would take a minute and use a reusable water bottle or get a glass out from the cabinet.

There are lots of other ways to go green while you’re being lazy, but I’m way too lazy to write about them. Just kidding . . . maybe . . . ANYWAY, you’ll have to come up with them yourself. The world would be a better place because of you. Actually, the world has been made a better place because of lazy people, as explained in the YouTube video above. I can also say it like this: Lazy people invent ways that make it easier to do important things, so then other lazy people can take time out of their “packed” schedules to do those things. More people will be helping the environment, and then the environment will get better, all because a lazy person decided to help the environment and say something about it. Don’t worry, fellow lazy people! You ARE valued! 🙂

So, I hope you start going green! The world really will be a better place. ♥

~Mary, Author at Bonsai

 

Two Incredible Tricks to Save Energy June 7, 2013

Wasting energy harms the atmosphere and increases your carbon footprint. When you waste water, not only are you contributing to the shortage, you’re also getting rid of energy that’s used to transport the water to your home, so it’s a doubly heinous crime. And I hate to remind all you homeowners of it, but I’m pretty sure the electricity bill doesn’t pay itself!

 

Rapid Wash Cycle

If your washing machine has a ‘rapid wash’ setting, use that instead. As the name suggests, it will be faster, and it will save energy.

 

Save Water

Replace the water in the back tank of your toilet with a filled water bottle or a brick. You’ll save so much water. I’m not sure of the science behind this, but I think it may be there just to weigh down the toilet, so a heavy item will be just fine.

 

I hope you enjoy conserving amazing amounts of energy. It’s your duty.

Ceej

 

Instruments Made From Trash May 28, 2013

Filed under: Keep the Ground Clean,Make Your Own,Recycling — rolemodelsforme @ 12:13 pm
Tags: , ,

Reusing is a great thing to do. It saves a lot of garbage and can be used for really fun purposes. Reusing items is a great thing to do and I have an example.

At my school, the first graders do an annual event where they create instruments using only garbage. I think this is a really great idea, for fun and for eco-friendliness. The event is done in first grade, but that didn’t stop me from using this idea to create instruments from garbage at home. I really enjoy doing it. Some of these instruments can be simple, others can be really sophisticated. No matter how you make your instrument, it is really fun to make it and play on it. I’m now going to show off some really cool instruments from Google images!

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Images: Copyright © Google Images

Thanks!!

-Hallie

Bonsai Contributor

 

Stop Poisoning Water: Keeping our Drinking Water Clean May 14, 2013

Filed under: Going Green,Health,Water Crisis — Mary @ 1:15 am
Tags:

So What?

We all need water. A human being can’t go three days without drinking any water. Animals need water. Plants need water. Most things that are living need water. But the thing is, water is not a resource that we can just always have. We have to work hard to keep enough water for everybody. Water may seem like a never-ending resource, something that would always be there, but think of it like this. 70% of the earth is made up of water. Of that, about 3% of that is fresh water, and 1% of that fresh water is accessible.

So, yeah, water isn’t something that’s going to last forever, so we have to conserve it. But we also have to do more than conserving it. Conserving water is only the first step. Taking shorter showers, turning the water off when you’re brushing your teeth and flushing the toilet only as much as you have to are all good things. But in the world we live in, the water we conserve may not actually stay drinkable for long. The chemicals we have in our shampoo, nail polish, gasoline and more are seeping into our water through a very simple and possibly easy to prevent process.

How Does Our Water Get Polluted?

First, you don’t clean up after yourself. All around us is waste on the ground: you’ve seen it. The gasoline in puddles. The soda cans on the ground. The dropped things we don’t bother to pick up. The dog poop that we must have missed. Even the pesticides that are on crops and gardens and lawns. At the time, these things seem trivial — you can put them off until tomorrow, say it won’t do any damage overnight, you’ll do it later. But what if it rains? Where will all that stuff go? What if it’s not there in the morning?

I’ll tell you. It washed away. It slipped over the fields, ran into the sewers, got into the water.

Some of those things have very dangerous chemicals. They get pushed into our water, and they poison it. Some of these things are exposed to us at the tap, and some of these things are removed. But none of these things are safe. They harm us, and try as we might to conserve water, all those efforts will go to waste if we poison it, if we pollute it.

 

How Can We Keep Our Water From Being Polluted?

It’s actually very simple, though you may not believe it. All you have to do is pick up after yourself. Don’t use pesticides. Don’t procrastinate and tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow. (And this is coming from one of the biggest procrastinators to roam the earth, so you have to know it’s important.) Don’t be like Annie and say, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll do it, tomorrow, that’s only a day away!” There are other steps you can take, too. You can make sure you’re buying things that don’t really have chemicals. Don’t litter. Pick up other people’s litter. Protest coating things in harmful chemicals.

And, so we can have that water to potentially poison, you should conserve water. Conserve conserve conserve. We don’t want to waste water, and we don’t want to waste the water we refrained from wasting. It’s like stopping an algebraic equation after you’ve narrowed it down to 6 = 2x. You still need to divide by two to make it 3 = x. We don’t want to stop trying to have enough to drink just by conserving. We also have to do that little extra step of dividing so that we can solve it, get an A+, and be happy. Oh, yeah, and drink enough, too.

 

 
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