Bonsai

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

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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.

 

The Problem with Microwave Popcorn May 19, 2013

You probably already know that microwave popcorn is full of fat and salt, not to mention the fake butter. In my opinion, I find it to be absolutely disgusting, but the reasons why you shouldn’t eat it are much more serious than that. Workers in the factories making and packaging the popcorn have developed an incredibly rare form of lung cancer. The cancer has been caused just by inhaling the fumes- think of what can happen when you’re eating what produces those fumes! And if that’s not bad enough, the lining of the bag is made with PFOA, or  perfluorooctanoic acid, which is also linked to cancer and other conditions such as infertility.

Good news, though. Since raw kernels (meant to be popped on the stove or in a special popper) aren’t made with all those dangerous chemicals, they’re a-okay to eat, and can even be considered a health food. Air popped corn has a very low calorie count, while stovepopped corn with oil can raise that count, but not by too much. It contains fiber, as well as complex carbohydrates.

Not only is it bad for us, the consumers, but it is too late for the workers in the factories- they have already gotten the cancer. The companies and manufacturers that created such an unhealthy recipe should have made one healthier, so it would be safer for the factory workers and the buyers.

I did a bit of research on microwave popcorn brands and came across a site that advertised its popcorn as being ‘healthy and full of fiber.’ Granted, they also have PFOA-free bags, but that’s just one step towards creating food that is safe for those who come in contact with it. Microwave popcorn is full of dangerous chemicals and if you value your health and the health of factory workers, I suggest you stay far, far away.

Ceej

 

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

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

 

Finding What Healthy Means to You March 11, 2013

Filed under: Health,Inner Beauty,Lifestyle — mochi @ 6:12 am
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Healthy is always viewed as a good thing. But surpassing a good thing and really getting into it… what does it mean to you? The dictionary definition of health is the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor- free of disease or ailment. For some people, however, healthy is equivalent to happy. And then there is the other end of the spectrum: having a “hot” body and being super skinny. Healthy, to me, is being strong in the muscles and free of conditions that cause harm or pain to your body. I tend to be a grammatical person and abide by the dictionary, so by no means do I urge you to use my definition of healthy. I want you to find your own.

First, think: what do you do to be healthy? Spring break started and I have composed a workout schedule that I plan to do every day. I don’t eat very well, so I’m asking my family to find flexitarian food options for me to nom on- I’m a really picky eater. Whatever you do to keep yourself in good health, start with that. Sometimes, finding what healthy means to you can be hard. Here are some ways you can stay healthy without over exerting yourself or doing diets that can be harmful. You should be happy about your body and have the strength to defend yourself and do the things you want!
Eggs

Eat Food with Protein- for energy and strength
Instead of just eating carbs all day, (like I do… sigh) eat food that packs protein so you can have energy throughout the day! Eat eggs- the yolk has the most protein. You can boil, scramble, fry, or do whatever you want to them to make them tasty, as long as you don’t use too much extra fat like tons of salt or a vat of oil. That would completely undermine the purpose. Meat, like chicken, pork, and steak, are also great sources of protein. I hate all of them- I’m a flexitarian, which means I allow myself to eat white meat (fish and poultry) but I rarely do. However, if you are a meat eater, these foods are great! Dairy, and nuts, like peanuts, almonds, and cashews (yummy!) also build protein, which helps you gain muscle and become strong! *flexes skimpy muscles* Well, no worries, I will keep eating protein to have energy.

Don’t Eat Before Bed- prevent fat buildup!
If you eat right before bed, you won’t have time to burn off the calories collected from your last meal. This is bad because when you arise the next morning, you’ll feel sluggish and blah. Usual dinner hours are 5-7 for my family, because we usually don’t eat at the same time every night. Find what works best for you so that you can walk around and get a bit of moving in before you catch those much-needed zzzzzz’s.

Feel Good About Your Food- keep those nutrients
Did you know that berating yourself for your food choices can actually stop the nutrients in a meal from using their full potential? For a week, I tried a “no-wheat” diet to find out what was giving me stomach aches. During one of the days, people were having a bake sale at school, and I went insane- bread is my main food source and I hadn’t had any in 24 hours. I bought baked goods, and later I felt absolutely awful. I still feel the regret now! The stress and self-deprication that I felt all during lunch stopped whatever teensy shred of nutrients in those blondies from getting to where they needed to go: and when I think about it later, that makes me feel even more awful, actually. But I know it’s okay because I’m back on wheat and feeling so much better about my food choices.

HealthyTrust Yourself!
You know when you are hungry and when you’re not. Even if something tastes really good, if you’re full, you should stop eating. Generally, when you think you’re 80% full, you’re actually 100% full. Just think of how full you’d be if you thought you were 100%… and then you just ate a little more. Pretty full, right? Definitely! So make sure you listen to your body so it can tell you how much your really want. Also, the most important thing is to feel confident. If you know you will only feel confident once you have enough strength to play that sport you love, then go for it and build muscle. But there are some kinds of confident that are bad for your body. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are not healthy at all, and they if you have one, you should tell a doctor immediately. Aim for good taste in your foods- it will help you collect more antioxidants and iron.

Most importantly, being healthy means being happy with your body and your choices. You need to feel like something’s right with yourself, and then reach for your goals. Find out what you want to do to be healthy, and do it. Here at Bonsai, we are dedicated to you living better so you can become a leader of the future working to make the world a better place, and you can start by making your own personal world a healthier one. 🙂

(Facts about taste and food regret affecting nutrients come from New Moon Girls Magazine.)

Ceej, Vice President of Bonsai

 

Stopping Disease March 3, 2013

Filed under: Health,Helping the Homeless,Public Safety — ashtheauthor @ 11:33 pm
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Ever since Andrew Wakefield published his infamous 1998 paper in The Lancet linking vaccines to autism, not as many people have been getting vaccinated against diseases such as chicken pox and measles. Now, this man has been proved false, but once this worry was set in our minds it has never left. People who have compromised immune systems and therefore cannot vaccinate themselves are getting chicken pox and some life-threatening diseases.

Excuses among the non-vaccinated include lies such as “What do you mean? Nobody gets that disease any more!” and the infamous “I didn’t want my children to get autism.” There are others, too, such as “I don’t have the money for a vaccine,” but if everyone but the people with compromised-immune systems and the less-fortunate got vaccinated, these diseases would surely die out, at least in wealthier countries.  This is called ‘herd immunity.’

I, myself, find it saddening that many people, at least where I live, are deciding that they don’t need vaccines.

In shutting vaccines out, they are putting the homeless and people with compromised immune systems at risk and letting diseases, deadly at not, back in.

Nik, Author at Bonsai

 

 

Insomnia February 18, 2013

Filed under: Health,Sleep,Spiritual — Maryse @ 11:01 am

You toss and turn. Meh. You can’t sleep. Meh again! You just can’t have a good night’s rest. Insomnia is when you just can’t sleep. Its very annoying, and the next day you feel really rotten.

Insomnia can be caused:

-An over reactive mind

– Stress

-Fear

-Current nightmares.

If you keep on thinking about that talent show that you entered,  while you are supposed sleep, no wonder why that keeps you awake.

If you have stress about that solo you are about to sing while you are supposed to sleep, that is stress, and that causes Insomnia. Not nice.

If you freak because of that shadow that lurks near your door, you have fear. That also causes Insomnia.

If you have the same nightmare over and over again while you sleep, I think everyone can understand you don’t want to be shipped over to Dream-World, or Nightmare-World.

Here are some tips to sleep away your Insomnia:

Crystals help with Insomnia. Here are a list of crystals that help:

Amethyst

Lapis Lazuli

Malachite (Its poisonous, so don’t make a gem elixir out of it, just put it under your pillow)

Sapphire

Sodalite

Topaz

Chrysoprase

Lepidolite

Citrine

Tourmaline

Iron Pyrite

Labradorite

Soothing music helps too. Put on lullabies (They are not only for babies!) or soothing bird songs.

Scent helps. Buy or make a lavender pouch to put next to you while you sleep.

If you are afraid of that big shadow that lurks near the door, you can always identity it in the day, so you can be sure that it is a shadow of the door and NOT a Dementor.

If you have current nightmares, you can go to a doctor, or talk to your parents. What helps is NOT running away from that ghoul in your nightmare, but turn and fight it.

If that Dementor keeps on haunting you in your dreams, turn and make a Patronus Charm. Or shout, ”RIDDICULUS” and turn it back into a Boggart.

If that crocodile threatens to eat you, YOU threaten to eat it.

If a bear keeps on chasing you, ask why it keeps on chasing you. And if it wants to play, PLAY with it. Or if wants to harm you, fight it.

But if the Devil comes to your dreams, say you prefer goodness over evil.

So here are tips!

I hope they will help you!

Ruby

 

 
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