Archive for do something!


helping animals in japan

Animal rescue groups are in dire need of help too. Below are some groups on the ground or collecting supplies (as listed in this article from the SF Chronicle.) Consider splitting your donation between several groups.

*Japan Earthquake Animal Support (and here on Facebook), is coalition of three no-kill groups in Japan that have joined together for maximum impact. Their donation button leads to their PayPal page or PayPal directly to Enter your donation amount in dollars even though there are Japanese characters. PayPal will convert to dollars before you finalize the payment.

*The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is deploying teams to assist with search and rescue missions. The teams arrive on disaster sites totally self-contained with their own food, dog food, water, medicine and supplies. Incredible organization!

*World Vets are first-responders who are on the ground and offering immediate aid to animals. Donate here.

*Animal Refuge Kansai (in Tokyo and Osaka) is preparing for a huge influx of homeless animals from disaster areas and will build emergency shelters if need be. There donation button leads to PayPal. Enter the amount of yen you’d like to donate, not US dollars. (4050 yen is roughly 50 dollars.) PayPal converts to US dollars before you finalize the payment.

*Animal Miracle Network is shipping desperately needed animal supplies to their partners in Japan.

Posted at 12am on 3/21/11 | 3 comments | Filed Under: do something! | read on


helping japan

If you’re not a fan of donating to the Red Cross, consider The U.S.-Japan Council Earthquake Relief Fund (recommended to me by friends in Tokyo as a trustworthy organization.) This fund was established in order to collect donations that directly support immediate relief and the long-term rebuilding in Japan. 100% of all donations will go to carefully vetted organizations.

I have my preferred relief groups, but most don’t seem to have a impactful presence on the ground as of yet and The US-Japan Council is a wonderful non-profit organization that already has strong ties to Japan.

*UPDATE: They’ve added a FAQ page about this fund as well as a blog

*UPDATE: Charity Navigator has posted a list of 4 and 3 star charities on the ground or working through partners in Japan. Two of the most efficient charities are IRC whose initial support is going to a deeply entrenched aid organization in called Peace Winds Japan, and Brother’s Brother Foundation who is working with the Japan-American Society. 100% of donations to these groups will go toward Japan.

Posted at 12am on 3/16/11 | 2 comments | Filed Under: do something! | read on


uncontacted tribes

Watching this footage of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes, my heart flooded with a nauseating combination of awe, urgency, happiness and dread. The film was shot to prove to Peru’s president that these tribes do, in fact, exist and need to be protected from oil workers and loggers who invade their villages or simply kill them in order to access their land.

Survival International is campaigning hard to protect these and all indigenous peoples around the world. It goes without saying that these wisdom keepers and their knowledge are our link to a sustainable and holistic future. Even though many tribal leaders and shamans are sharing their knowledge as fast as they can, I can’t help but wonder if once they are all gone, our opportunity for radical transformation leaves with them.

Posted at 2am on 3/3/11 | 1 comment | Filed Under: do something!, environment, the shift (of ages) | read on


household tip

I never realized that more soap doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a cleaner wash! Such a simple little change we’ve made (thanks to my Dad who forwarded this article to me) and its really made a difference. Not only are our drinking glasses less filmy, but our towels and clothes are less stiff. Bonus that we’re saving money. (And I would imagine that if millions of people do the same, it’s probably better for the environment, even if you’re already using eco-friendly detergent.)

Go Easy on the Detergent

Here is Mr. Schmidt’s test to determine if you’re oversoaping. Take four to six clean bath towels, put them in your front-loading washing machine (one towel for a top loader). Don’t add any detergent or fabric softener. Switch to the hot water setting and medium wash and run it for about five minutes.

Check for soap suds. If you don’t see any suds right away, turn off the machine and see if there is any soapy residue. If you see suds or residue, it is soap coming out of your clothes from the last wash.

“I’ve had customers that had to run their towels through as many as eight times to get the soap out,” Mr. Schmidt said, who lives in Indiana. […]

Too much soap is also a problem in dishwashers and can cause dishes and glasses to look filmy. Again, check the detergent container for recommended amounts — you definitely don’t have to fill up the entire soap container in the dishwasher.

*Sidenote: a few years ago, a friend of mine who worked at an environmental health research group at Columbia University informed me of the dangers of dryer sheets (they contain phthalates, which are especially dangerous for children.) Liquid fabric softener is the worst.

Posted at 4pm on 12/22/10 | 1 comment | Filed Under: do something!, environment | read on


one second of your time

Please sign this petition from the Organic Consumers Association requiring the FDA to label genetically engineered fish:

“The FDA is poised to approve the sale of genetically engineered salmon in U.S. supermarkets – even though scientists warn it could harm human health.

But there’s something even fishier going on. The agency wants to put this salmon on the market without requiring labels that it is genetically engineered. That means you won’t know the difference between a mutant salmon and one that grew up naturally – leaving you in the dark about exactly what it is you’re eating.

Tell the FDA that you demand the right to know what’s in your food! The agency is hiding behind technicalities in the labeling law, when it only has to declare that genetically engineered salmon is ‘materially’ different – and should be labeled as such.

Please tell the FDA that you want genetically engineered food labeled. Consumers have the right to know what they’re buying – and eating!”

HERE is the link and then please pass along.

Posted at 11am on 11/12/10 | 5 comments | Filed Under: do something!, environment | read on


did you know about this?

My jaw dropped when I read this shocking report. More details can be found here (warning: the photos are graphic.) Please share this with others. Twitter it. Blog it. Facebook it. Awareness is the one and only power that we have.

Posted at 9pm on 9/8/10 | 3 comments | Filed Under: do something!, environment, the shift (of ages) | read on


please sign and pass along

As of this past week, 1.72 million gallons of toxic oil dispersant has been poured into the Gulf setting a world record. This oil dispersant is four times more toxic than crude oil. Gulf fisherman who have been hired by BP to clean up this mess are getting sick because they are NOT ALLOWED to wear protective gear, including respirators to protect themselves from breathing in the toxic oil dispersant fumes. Currently, if fishermen show up wearing their own protective gear they are fired. Why? Because it creates a libel issue.

Please take a moment to go HERE and tell President Obama to demand that BP stop blocking clean-up workers from using life-saving respirators?

Also, if you can spare a few bucks to help the Progressive Change Campaign Committee make BP accountability ads to run in Gulf states and DC, go here.

Please pass both of these links along to anybody you know who might be willing to sign or donate.

Posted at 5pm on 7/18/10 | 2 comments | Filed Under: do something!, environment | read on


20 seconds of your time

I just sent the below email to my Senators urging them to get GMO’s out of the Global Food Security Act. Will you send an email to your Senator too? Let’s all of us help to put an end to genetically modified crops. Especially, since organic agriculture is far more environmentally and ECONOMICALLY sound in the grand scheme. All of your voices are precious! Click here to send the below email.

The UN recently released a report saying that Africa’s best hope for the future is organic agriculture. Yet the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed S.384, the Global Food Security Act, that would require “research on biotechnological advances appropriate to local ecological conditions, including genetically modified technology” as a condition of US aid.

Instead of cynically cloaking corporate welfare for chemical companies like Monsanto in agriculture aid packages, why not support the United Nations Environment Program’s Green Economy Initiative?

A new survey by the UN Conference on Trade and the Environment and UNEP in East Africa found that over 90 per cent of studies show that organic or near organic agriculture had benefits for soil fertility; water control; improved water tables, carbon sequestration and biodiversity.

This allows farmers to extend the growing season in marginal areas. The research in East Africa was among 1.6 million organic or near organic farmers from seven countries working on 1.4 million hectares.

Other findings include an increase in crop yields of 128 per cent since switching.

Higher incomes too are a result of not having to buy fertilizers and pesticides; as is more food availability; higher prices are paid through certification schemes for both export and domestic markets – which addresses poverty in environmentally friendly way.

Close to 90 percent of cases showed an increase in farm and household incomes and because organic agriculture is more knowledge intensive it has led to improvements in education, community bonds and cooperation on market access.

The report concludes: “Organic and near-organic agricultural methods and technologies are ideally suited for many poor, marginalized smallholder farmers in Africa, as they require minimal or no external inputs, use locally and naturally available materials to produce high-quality products, and encourage a whole systemic approach to farming that is more diverse and resistant to stress.”

Posted at 2pm on 5/21/10 | 3 comments | Filed Under: do something!, environment, health & healing | read on


heart in haiti

Incredibly poignant photo series and essay. How much more will Haitians have to bear? Wishing them strength, courage and grace a billion fold.

Click here to send some love and support.

Posted at 12am on 1/15/10 | no comments; | Filed Under: do something!, photography | read on



I came across Kelaya’s story (thanks to Yoli) and my heart broke for her. Kelaya is a mother of three who is jobless and living in a hotel. It sounds like she’s doing everything right. She has a social worker. Her kids are in school full-time. But she can’t find a job or get the assistance she needs because of this crappy economy and her social worker’s high volume of cases. On top of all of this, she’s breast-feeding an infant. (She was a victim of domestic violence and that’s why she’s out on her own.) Read her story and if you feel inclined do a something to help her (she needs to buy a mini-fridge so she can store her breast milk), please do. It swells my heart to see how Julie over at Tangobaby has made it her personal mission to help Kelaya and her children! (Julie has set up a Paypal account on her blog where people can donate directly to Kelaya. Even 5 bucks will help.) As Yoli so aptly puts it, Kelaya could be any of us.

Posted at 12pm on 4/26/09 | no comments; | Filed Under: do something! | read on

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