Archive for the ‘good news’ Category

gifts that last

Metro Vancouver has a new campaign to curb excess garbage created over the holiday season.

This time of year is a retailers delight, with many businesses making the majority of their sales in the month of December. Our consumer culture reaches a crescendo at holiday time.  Increasingly we see “green” gift ideas, and while supporting local businesses, buying  ethically fairly traded products is a good choice, this new campaign has come along to remind us there is another option.

The website gives ideas for low waste gifts. Some idea’s include giving the gift of experiences; classes and memberships, a new soccer ball or a bike,  dinner out, tour local light displays, visit a historical site or experience a live presentation of some kind.

Be creative and have fun; make a wreath from things in your backyard, cut out paper snow flakes,  look through thrift shops for treasure, give a family heirloom to a loved one, or offer to fix a broken step or paint a room for a friend or family member who may not be able to do it themselves.

The gift of time is often the most welcome of all.  What is more valuable then memories we create with the people we love?

This holiday season if you find a way to give more of yourself you will be richer for it.

And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change

Vancouver Earth dance 2009 photo credit: Katia Somerville

Vancouver Earth dance 2009 photo credit: Katia Somerville

Man in the mirror – Michael Jackson

Black Friday – Buy nothing day

bnd2010-blackThis Friday, November 26th, the day after American Thanksgiving, is commonly refereed to as Black Friday. In the United States it is the biggest shopping day of the year!  It is also known as BUY NOTHING DAY,  internationally its on November 27th.

The reason for this day is simple, to make people question their consumption.

We live in a time of such abundance never before witnessed in modern history. Our ever increasing appetite for the newest gadget, most convenient meal, and more of everything, has contributed to an ever larger toll on planet earth.

As we approach another holiday season, let us hope that we can share it with people we love. Spend time doing things that bring us joy and marvel at the miracles that are around us everyday.  We live in an enchanting time, if we just take a break from trying to achieve something, get somewhere, or  buy something else,  we can just relax and let it be.

Taken at the Royal City Farmers Market Summer 2010

Taken at the Royal City Farmers Market Summer 2010

We are huge supporters of KIVA, and with this new groupon promotion it is even easier to help people to help themselves!  This deal is for U.S. residents only,  no matter where you live, you can still learn more about KIVA and help finance micro loans to help entrepreneurs today.

We are about to make our seventh loan, can you beat that?

Please visit KIVA and see where you can help make a difference too.

10 10 10 global work party

Today, 10 10 10  350.org has helped people around the world to organise a Global Work Party.

Today thousands of events, 7347 at last count,  in a total of 188 countries will take place simultaneously on this auspicious date. Millions of people will be taking real action to help stop climate change.

We are lucky to live in times of so many “cool” dates to celebrate.  We all actually got to party like it was 1999 in 1999!  Sometimes twice, if you thought it was when we rung in the year 2000.  We entered a new century, and celebrated the millennium with great fan fair. We saw the great dates of 01 01 01,  02 02 02, and so on, now as we arrive at 10 10 10, besides sounding cool, this date has become something more.

People want to help make change, today you can be a part of that too. Search 350.org for an event near you.

You can host an event or you can ride your bike and not drive today. You can pick up garbage. You can eat a vegetarian meal. You can join a community garden. You can hang your clothes on a line to dry. You can buy local food. You can plant a tree.

DSCN2067

You can do a million things to help the planet. You don’t have to wait for any special day to do it.

The world remembers John Lennon

On this day, October 9th 1940 John Lennon was born.  He was an artist, an activist, a father and husband.

He changed the world.

Imagine all the people living life in peace”


World Animal Day October 4th

Celebrated annually since 1931, World Animal Day  began  as a gathering of ecologists in Florence Italy to raise awareness about endangered species.  It is now a diverse celebration the world over.

This year events have been confirmed to take place in 68 countries. This is a day to celebrate animals,  from beloved domestic pets , to caring about the well-being of farmed animals and species at risk.

PNE 2010

Why do we need a day for the animals? The biggest reason is because we have forgotten they are our brothers and sisters on this planet. Whether we keep pets, volunteer at the local animals shelter, or choose not to participate in the animals as food paradigm, the spectrum of people who love animals is varied.

MOJO

A communion exists between people and animals, we  have all experienced it at one time or another.  Each day we can choose a path that honours  the earth, and therefore all the creatures on it.

Every decision we make has a ripple effect, you can choose to have a meat free meal,  support sustainable farming practices, volunteer with animals, stop driving, grow your own food, learn about local history and traditional food, native plants and animals.

Become the change you want to see and you will be amazed at the love that you will find.

The website‘s Mission Statement

WORLD ANIMAL DAY

  • To celebrate animal life in all its forms
  • To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom
  • To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives
  • To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives
From the WWF website;

~call of the wild~

freedom

freedom

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Zero Emissions Race – towards a green future-

Zero Emissions Race

Zero Emissions Race

The ZERO emissions race is on!

Teams from Australia, South Korea, Germany and Switzerland have gathered for an eighty day, transcontinental race.  All the vehicles are powered by clean renewable energies, solar and wind being the most popular.

Each participating team will have the equivalent power produced and fed into the grid of their home country.

Louis Palmer, was the first man to circumnavigate the world with solar power in 2008.  This August, five teams will expand beyond this accomplishment with a race towards sustainability.

The Eligibility Criteria of the competing vehicle in the Zero Race are:

  • competitors must be propelled by an electric motor
  • drive at least 250 km distance at an average speed at or above 80 km/h
  • be able to reach a maximum distance of 500 km per day, with a recharge stop of 4 hours during Lunch time
  • carry at least two passengers

You can follow the race on their blog or website

world race

Protecting Biodiversity

In addition to the amazing oppertunity to showcase  alternative energy powered propultion, the race is  set to raise awareness for the United nations International Year of Biodiversity. Each car bears the logo of an endangered species, and  contends the alternative power is a tangible solution to protect the environment.
endangered by climate change

They will be stopping in Vancouver in a few weeks!

Random Acts of Kindness

We’ve all heard stories about Random Acts of Kindness, be it opening a door for someone, smiling at at stranger you passed on the street, or buying a coffee for the next person in line at the drive through. We can all find ways to show kindness to strangers.

Double rainbow

I was thinking about this recently when I joined a facebook page that was set up to honour a woman who died of cancer. Her name was Nicole, it would have been her 36th birthday this July. To celebrate her birthday week her mother set up the page in the hopes that people would preform Random Acts of Kindness, and then think about Nicole.  People then would write about what they did and how it changed their day. I think because I too will turn 36 this year (yikes!) I was really touched by this sentiment. Nicole’s mother knew Nicole saw a lot of suffering in the world and felt that people had become detached from each other, she wanted to set up something to promote RAK, but sadly she passed away before she could do it.

While thinking about kind deeds I came across another web site The Great Kindness Challenge this is one day, August 14 2010, when people will perform as many acts of kindness as they can! What an idea! The website and idea is really focused on things children can do, there is a check list you can download with 100 idea’s that are simple to do.

Another website I found was The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation! This site promotes the benefits of kindness. In addition to being on the receiving end of kindness, just performing them can improve your physical and psychological health.  Immune benefits, reduced stress and increased happiness show that good deeds can be good for you!

The site lists these special days as well;

Pay It Forward Day 2010: April 29 www.payitforwardday.com

World Kindness Day 2010: November 13   ~  World Kindness Week 2010: November 8-14

Random Acts of Kindness Week 2011: February 14-20

Flowers

Some of my favourite quotes on Kindness;

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blink can see” ~ Mark Twain

“Forget injuries, never forget kindness” ~ Confucius

“Spread love everywhere you go; First of all in your own house…let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.  Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in our eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.”

~ Mother Teresa

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around “~ Leo R. Buscaglia

“This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, own own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” ~ Dalai Lama


URBNgreen
URBNgreen is committed to education and environmental stewardship. Our objective is share information about what people are doing locally and around the world to create a sustainable future.
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delicate little plant in need of freedom. Einstein quote at DailyLearners.com