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For A Season of Global Giving

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Author: the Inkslinger

We got this guest post in this morning from our friend John Heckinger at Global Giving. They’ve got a cool new idea brewing over there, and I think it’s an inspired way to start the week and to celebrate the season.

Last week, GlobalGiving introduced a whole new way to give others a whole new way to give – GlobalGiving Gift Cards. They’re the size and shape of a normal credit or gift card, but they’re 100% biodegradable. These little pieces of wallet candy are made out of corn and can be used exactly like the gift cards you purchase from a retail store, but with much greater benefits:

GlobalGiving Gift Cards make it easy, and maybe even stylish, to help others close to home or in remote parts of the developing world, in a direct and real way. When you give a GlobalGiving Gift Card, you’re giving someone the ability to give someone else in the world something extremely meaningful– an education, a livelihood, clean water, or a safe place away from conflict.

Many of us are fortunate that we can worry about installing high-efficiency light bulbs, choosing renewable energy, and buying hybrid cars. Many others around the world deal with much more immediate problems, and giving a GlobalGiving Gift Card is a way to engage others is solving them.

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Today’s Cafeteria Special: a Green and Trash-Free Lunch

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Author: the Inkslinger

Please meet Laurel Peltier, the newest addition to our roster of guest bloggers. Laurel tells us she is a 42 year-old mom of three living in Baltimore, Maryland who writes freelance articles about the environment. She says she used to be a consumer product manager, MBA-types often disparaged by greenies, she notes, but she’s now applying her marketing skills for Mother Earth.

To me, it seems families, especially Mom are hard to reach, we're very busy juggling many things, so I try and write about ideas that relate. Here’s a short brief I wrote for Maryland Family magazine about greening our kids’ lunches.

Looking for ways to become eco-friendly? An easy place to make a difference is with your child’s lunch.

Though juice boxes and individually wrapped ‘grab and go’ foods are convenient, they generate tons of trash. Each year the average child dumps sixty-seven pounds of lunchbox trash costing school districts valuable dollars to collect and dispose of the trash.

Re-thinking how your child’s meal gets packed can reduce trash going to landfills and has some unexpected benefits. Here are some simple ways to pack a trash-free lunch:

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Working on Recycling

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Author: the Inkslinger

To get the week off to an inspired start, here’s a guest post from protagonist Diana Gabet

At my job I'm known as the junk lady. I try to recycle everything possible from the yogurt container in my lunch to reusing lunch bags. My goal is make a new recycler one person at a time. The workplace is a great place to start from paper to printing cartridges to boxes. I save the styrofoam packing peanuts and take them to the ups shipper to reuse. Also taking the old phone books to recycling. Everyone who does just one item recycle can make a difference! People come to me and ask is this recyclable. One small step at a time.

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One Drop of Change At a Time

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Author: the Inkslinger

Got a bunch of guest posts in the queue so I’m gonna keep ‘em coming...

Here are some words from Monique D'Sa, a mother of three green kids and a freshly green husband. Monique is a teacher by trade and is presently at home trying to make the world greener. She lives in Toronto close to public transit and enjoys organic foods, growing vegetables and volunteering. She says her next endeavour is to sell her homebaked cookies made with organic ingredients at the Christmas Craft show!

I have a blog of my own which I started to begin a global campaign. It's called the One Drop of Rain Campaign. I offer monthly challenges to readers to take on green living. If we all do a little something, we will make a difference. In challenging people with EASY ideas, I hope that these will become habits and hopefully change the way people shop and consume and get the word out to companies that we don't need to buy any more toxic crap!!! I also write a monthly article for Naturally Savvy.

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Inspired Consumerism

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Author: the Inkslinger

Let the Friday feast of words continue with this guest post from Sarah Schultz-Nielsen. Sarah is a public librarian and enjoys simple things, like spending time with her husband and dogs, growing raspberries in their yard and watching The Closer on DVD. She was raised on a dairy farm in Maine, which now grows organic vegetables and grass-fed beef.

I became inspired to do my part after I was at a meeting and heard a financial advisor recommend Ellis Jones' The Better World Shopping Guide. I was impressed that someone who had both money and the ability to manage it (which equals power to me) introduced such a gem. I don't have lots of money and often feel powerless, which really is a bad excuse for apathy. This book gives me no excuses. The book is physically small but the information inside is big, if not enormous. Everything from airlines to vitamins are rated based on issues including employee treatment to community involvement. I've been using it to make changes in my household that make me feel that my husband and I are helping the world to be better. Or our world, at least.

I have been buying a lot of the products I've learned about in the book at my local health food store, called Harvest Time. It is woman-owned and operated and small in comparison to some of the large, whole food markets but they have a great selection and actually use the products they sell. I buy my paper products, laundry detergent, dish liquid and bath products there. I also buy my husband's Grandy Oats cereal, and my favorite, Little Lad's Bakery Herbal Popcorn. If stranded on a desert island, I'd want my library, this popcorn and potable water. It's divine. The products made by Little Lad's are all vegan. Although they don't have a website, they do have a Cafe in Portland, ME with a $3.99 lunch buffet.

Awareness of what I buy, wear and consume just makes me a responsible human being. Buying, wearing and consuming things often gives people a lot of pleasure, albeit empty. I find composting, wearing thrift store clothes and using non-petroleum based dish liquid just plain sexy.

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The Power of Choice

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Author: the Inkslinger

Here’s a guest post to start our collective Friday from Inspired Protagonista Jack Clifford.

I am convinced that one's life is basically built around choices. I am a retired person and work part time in a bookstore and particularly in their coffee shop making coffee drinks. Like Sally Field I think they like me - they really do even though I am the oldest person working there. My point is that everyone with whom I work is in their early to mid twenties and I am very saddened by the pacifist attitude of most of my co-workers. They sincerely feel there is nothing they can do to change their circumstances. I am also sadden by an attitude that for the most part they are only interested in doing the minimum amount of work and absolutely nothing extra.

This is why I consciously choose to buy, use and do my best to convince as many folks as I can to start using environmentally safe products like Seventh Generation. We can all choose to a part of the solution and not part of the problem. As I said it is a matter of choice and attitude.

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Dethroning King Coal

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Author: the Inkslinger

Welcome to Thursday and this inspired guest post from global protagonist Veronica Bach

Watching with horror the latest in the series of fatal mine worker deaths, I was thinking that we should be able to provide these wonderful people alternative jobs that would produce energy, but would allow them to work above ground in a safer environment. Stopping the use of coal in our energy systems would save many lives in every area of the production of it, including the final result of a coal plant. My idea is to begin with the states where coal mining is the predominant part of the economy, and start recruiting their workers to be retrained for solar panel making and wind power jobs. We could begin in our country, and then take it global, including China and Australia.

For what it's worth.

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Green Around the Edges

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Author: the Inkslinger

Meet Kimberly Paulk, today's guest blogger for a Wednesday. Kimberly says she spends her time writing, enjoying her family, and engaging in the noble pursuit of trying to figure out how to stop screwing up the planet for our kids.

As an (almost) daily reader of The Inspired Protagonist, I finally decided to create a blog specific to my neck of the woods – Charlotte, North Carolina. The focus is being green…or at least, greener than you were the day, week or month before. I look at this as a journey, and I’m not “there” yet. I think there are a lot of people like me, trying to live a little more consciously but perhaps not quite sure how to do it. Green Around The Edges – Charlotte is for those folks, who are just trying to figure it out as they go along. The amount of information out there about the environment, along with the chorus of “don’t do this” and “never do that” can be overwhelming, and that can lead to apathy. So as I take baby steps, I share my progress and resources here in Charlotte with my blog audience, and hopefully we’ll all arrive at our destination together - and on time.

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Making Good Things Bloom

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Author: the Inkslinger

Here's the first guest post of the week, this one from Inspired Protagonist Christina Frutiger of Gig Harbor, Washington...

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After the Flood

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Author: the Inkslinger

Today we have a guest post from Ariya Martin of the New Orleans Kid Camera Project. The Crescent City is a realm near and dear to my own heart and to many others here, and I think this initiative is one of the most inspiring to emerge in the post-Katrina era.

Well, as the first blog posted from the New Orleans Kid Camera Project, and as one of the organizers, I thought it would be appropriate to give a project overview and talk about our mission.

The New Orleans Kid Camera Project is a grassroots community endeavor that was created to address the psychological and emotional impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children returning home to New Orleans. Working with professionals in mental health, journalism, photography, and emerging Internet technologies, participants develop the creative, cognitive and technical skills to represent their own experience and perspective without external mediation. The primary goal of the project is to furnish young New Orleans' residents with the skills, equipment, motivation and expectation of success that will empower them throughout their lives to advocate on their own behalf, influence policy to create social change, find a creative outlet to process the changes they have undergone, and expose a broad, global constituency to their community's ongoing struggle.


Chris

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