Posts tagged ‘activist’

Going Green

Any Oprah fans in the atmosphere? On last Friday’s show, Oprah’s show featured: Going Green 101 where she shared many tips and insights on how individuals and families can join the fight to save our earth. Feeling inspired, I wanted to provide my own list of simple and easy ways to Go Green this upcoming year. Some of my favorites from Oprah’s show are also shared.

Bathroom

1. Turn your water off in between brushing your teeth.

2. Unplug straightener, shaver, blow dryer, etc. when not in use. When items are plugged in, they still use up to 40% power.

3. Buy a shower timer to conserve water.

4. Use tissue and toilet paper sparingly.

Kitchen

1. If you’re making a picnic, choose plastic over paper plates. They can be reused and recycled.

2. Buy energy saving appliances to help global warming. Look for the blue Energy Star label when purchasing or visit www.energystar.gov for more information.

3. Use reusable containers to put away leftover rather than plastics wrap or foil. Also, in the same line of thinking, use rags to clean up messes when possible to conserve paper towels.

Cleaning

1. Instead of adding yard waste or lawn clippings to landfills, use a mulching mower. Not only is it healthier for your yard, but its healthier for all of Earth.

2. Use healthier cleaning products. Good clean doesn’t have a smell and are safer for our bodies too. Good companies to look into include Shaklee and Method.

3. Remember to inflate your tires about every two weeks. This allows your tires to last longer, meaning more rubber is conserved.

House

1. Turn lights on and off when entering and exiting rooms.

2. Caulk your windows to get the most out of your heating and air conditioning. This will save energy and money. Double bonus!

3. Use energy strips. This helps save power and cuts down on your energy bill. When something is off, but still plugged in, it still uses power.

4. Use GE energy smart light bulbs. According to Oprah.com, GE Energy Smart bulbs use 70 to 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer than most bulbs.

5. Donate books and magazines to public libraries.

6. Use rechargeable batteries instead of throwaway ones.

Food

1. If you haven’t heard about the questions surrounding bottled water, go no further. Bottled water is more expensive…to our pocketbooks, bodies and our world. Save all three. Invest in a Nalgene water bottle or an aluminum water bottle that can be reused, is safer, cost effective, healthier and saves the earth.

2. Buy less packaged food. Read the labels and packaging to see if food is healthy for your body, but also take notice if wasteful materials are being used to sell the item.

Shopping

1. Paper or plastic? Neither! Eco-friendly canvas bags are the new ‘it’ item to have at the supermarket. Check out these places for your very own: eco-chic shopping bags, Delight.com or Skeeda.

2. Donate old clothes and items you no longer use to The Salvation Army or the Goodwill.

3. Do not throw away leather shoes. Leather takes 50 years to decompose. Donate them.

4. Resell or donate your old, used cellphone even! Lots of companies buy back phones, spruce ’em up and then resell them at lower rates. Green mobile is one such company.

5. Just say no…to receipts. When an ATM or a gas pump asks if you want a receipt, say no. This will save many precious trees.

Activities

1. Visit a landfill. As Oprah’s show told us, throwing something away, doesn’t mean that it goes away. It goes somewhere else.

2. Plant trees. The more CO2 we can create, the better.

3. Adopt a cause and become an activist. Green is the new pink everyone. Just check out Matt Damon’s favorite organization Greendimes, Stop Global Warming!, or Gwenyth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz’ organization ‘act green’ that works to reduce dependence on oil and for energy conservation.

4. Use newspapers as wrapping paper.

5. TreeCycle 2008. Recycle your now old Christmas trees.

6. Take up Shard Art. Also known as Pique Assiette mosaic art. Use pieces of broken glass to create wonderful new pieces of art.

7. Visit and shop at your local farmer’s market.

Entertainment

1. Beg, borrow or buy Al Gore’s documentary: An Inconvenient Truth.

2. Read The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostige.

3. Watch the television series Planet Earth.

4. Attend a Drive-In movie, according to Eath911.org.

5. Carpool. This web service helps you connect with others looking to carpool in your area.

6. Catch Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The Eleventh Hour, about the growing dangers of global warming, set to come out soon!

And lastly, one way to recycle I would not recommend….using old condoms as hairbands. True story.

And on that note, hope this was enough to get motivated. Feel free to leave your favorite recycling tips below too!

Eco-Friendly Websites for further information:

Green People
Greenpeace
Idealbite
Global Green USA
TreeHugger


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The Blogger Neighborhood: Meet the DigiActive Team

candle lightGet out of your comfort zone. This includes myself, often I am use to comfortably perusing my usual blogs in my RSS reader, however, when I first found DigiActive over the summer, I immediately knew I needed to get out more. DigiActive brings together a team of international bloggers from SIX continents and offers great content from diverse perspectives. The change movement knows no boundaries.

I must also give Amine, from DigiActive the award for patience. Amine and I conversed at the end of August, and I am just now getting up their interview. Thank you Amine and the DigiActive team for your world-class patience. Without further adieu, enjoy!

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Blog Name: DigiActive.org

Blog Topics: Being the Intersection of Technology and Grassroots Activismfacebook-guide-cover300px

Blog Explained: The group blog at DigiActive.org is part of DigiActive’s overall mission to help grassroots activists around the world use technology to increase their impact. DigiActive also publishes guides, such as “A DigiActive Introduction to Facebook Activism” and maintains a digital activism map. DigiActive is also in the process of launching a research program (R@D), which will provide actionable analysis for the benefit of digital activists around the world.

About the Author(s): The site features an international group of bloggers from six continents from countries including Iran, Morocco, China, Cameroon, the US and Germany. We come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions. Some of us work for NGOs while others are students or journalists. All our bloggers are volunteers and write for the site because of a passion for digital activism.

Why do you blog? A few answers from some of the DigiActive team members include:

“I love to write about things I love” –Kate Brodock

“I write for DigiActive because it gives me an excuse to keep up to date on the cutting edge of digital activism. Activists “hacking” online applications, creating new uses for platforms like Facebook or Google Earth and turning them into tools for change, that’s what gets me up in the morning.” – Mary Jocye

“I’m blogging for DigiActive because I have a crush on digital activism. Blogging let’s me share the product of this splendid connection with a global community, which is another thing I will never really understand, but always be amazed of.” – Simon Columbus

“It is a fantastic opportunity to investigate and learn about this increasingly important movement. I work in a part of the world where these tools are underutilized but needed with urgency, and I use my work to educate and involve the people around me.” – Tamara Palamakumbara

What first prompted you to blog? DigiActive was started by Mary and Amine, who met on Facebook and built DigiActive together before ever meeting in person. Our ambition was “to create a center for the global digital activism movement.” With an ever-increasing number of partners, we are still working to achieve that goal.

Why digital activism? What is it, and how do you know when it’s successful?

Digital Activism is defined as digital actions taken by grassroots organizations or individuals to achieve a social or political change. It means taking the power of the new global reach of user-generated content and turning it towards the purposes of social justice.

It’s hard to know when digital activism has succeeded. Clear-cut cases of digital success, like the Help Fouad campaign in Morocco are rare. Even when a goal is achieved, it is often the result of multiple campaigns, not only digital ones, and often it takes years to achieve these goals. I don’t think there’s a clear formula for success. Digital activism is not about quantity of people you can reach, but it’s about the quality by which you reach them.

What’s the impact digital activism has, or could have, on our community?

One of the greatest strengths of digital activism is that it allows people to collaborate closely regardless of physical location. As mentioned previously, Mary and Amine developed the idea for DigiActive and built the site without ever meeting. In fact, they still live on different continents. Talia edits for the DigiActive blog from Boston, even though our correspondents are dispersed across the globe. I think the two biggest technical advantages that digital activism has are 1) the speed at which technology is being introduced, improved upon, and made widely available and 2) the number of tools that are available, which enables users to use the one that best suits their situation. It’s not a one-sie-fit-all. It’s a custom-tailored approach. The biggest qualitative advantage of digital activism is, as mentioned, the ability to connect to so many people and get yourself in front of large number of eyes and ears!

If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?

“Hope Street” – Simon

“The Beginning” – Kate

“TechCanHelpUChangeTheWorld Blvd.” – Mary

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Some of the answers from the DigiActive team include: An international group of passionate grassroots activists, committed to the goal of realizing the human dignity of all the world’s citizens. Dalaid Lama and Dave Barry. Maybe Jon Stewart too.

What was the last URL you added to your RSS feed?

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

Successful digital activism campaign are always fun to write about. Whether it be about young Egyptian activists using Facebook to organize a country-wide strike, about Jamaican gay rights activists who use blogs and the internet to fight to get into a UN AIDS meeting or about activists in Morocco who used the web to coordinate a successful international campaign to free the “Facebook Prisonner”. However it is also important to consider the limitations of digital activism and provide useful information and guides on how to best harness its potential.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging?

  • Don’t be afraid to express yourself – everyones experience and opinions count.
  • That it takes a global village to write a blog.
  • It’s a great way to meet and to get to know incredible people from around the world.

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Past Blogger Neighbors Include:

This continuous series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com.