Category Archives: Politics

LEGO Finally Ends its Long, Nonsensical Partnership with Shell Oil Company

Shell LEGO playset

LEGO is one of the most beloved toy brands ever, and has been since the 1950s. Interlocking bricks gave way to thousands of playsets in every theme any kid could possibly think up, including towns and cities, space, robots, scientists, pirates, trains, Vikings, castles, dinosaurs, scientists, undersea exploration, superheroes, the Wild West, and even a minifig-scaled Star Wars Millennium Falcon in all of its 5,000+ piece glory.

These prized toys have branched out to make up an entire wildly in-demand franchise. There are 90 LEGO retail stores and six LEGOLAND theme parks worldwide. Numerous popular characters have undergone LEGO makeovers for branded video games, and “The LEGO Movie,” the toy line’s first full-length animated feature, was released in February 2014 and has grossed nearly $258,000,000 in just the US.

The Wall Street Journal reported just last month that LEGO had dethroned Mattel, makers of Barbie, as the world’s top toy maker.

With all of its marketing and branding efforts and worldwide commercial success, it seems odd — nonsensical, even — that LEGO would carry on a several decade-long “strategic partnership” with Shell Oil Company.

LEGO collaborated with Shell from the 1960s through the 1990s. They rekindled their partnership in 2011, creating branded minifigs, cars, and trucks as a direct ploy to advertise to young children.

Shell has spent billions of dollars in attempts to convince the public and brainwash children that they are a company that cares. Their money speaks loudly, but their actions speak louder.

Shell Oil has one of the worst safety records [PDF] of any company operating in both the United States and the United Kingdom. They have repeatedly showed a brazen disregard for worker safety, for the rights of local communities and human rights, and have a lengthy record of significant environmental violations.

In the United States alone, Shell Oil Company has paid nearly $1 billion in fines for safety and environmental violations, settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for $450 million for fraudulent crude oil trades, were fined $500,000 for five toxic releases near schools in Texas, and as of 2007, they hold the #1 mortality rate of any large western company. Not to mention, it is Shell who recklessly spilled 10 million gallons of oil in Nigeria in 2008 and 2009 and 4,380 barrels of oil in the North Sea over the course of 10 days in 2011.

Shell has long had plans of drilling for oil in the Alaskan Arctic, a plan that has faced criticism since 2012. Not-so-coincidentally, during the time Shell was facing public outcry about their drilling plans, 16 million Shell-branded LEGO playsets were sold or given away at gas stations across 26 countries. This PR move didn’t just help Shell’s public image, but it also accounted for a 7.5% worldwide spike in LEGO sales. This made Shell a major contributor to LEGO’s global sales. But while this business arrangement may be lucrative for both companies, it is a partnership that is bad for kids, bad for the environment, and bad for the wholesome, family-friendly image LEGO has worked hard to maintain.

Greenpeace LEGO blocks Shell

Shell’s strategy to partner with a beloved brand to clean up its dirty image as an environmental destroyer came to an end when Greenpeace launched a successful 3-month campaign to get LEGO to block Shell.

The campaign kicked off with the most viral video in Greenpeace history: an Arctic environment made entirely of LEGOs, a devastating oil spill depicting the very real consequences of Shell drilling for oil in such a uniquely stressed and fragile ecosystem, and the most depressing rendition of the song everyone knows from “The LEGO Movie,” “Everything Is Awesome.”

The video gained audiences and momentum all over the world.

Children staged a playful protest as they built giant Arctic animals out of LEGOs on the doorstep of Shell’s London HQ. Miniature LEGO people from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires held “small but furious protests” against the partnership, some recreating famous protests at international landmarks. LEGO climbers were placed to protest at a Shell gas station at LEGOLAND in Billund, Denmark. Finally, 1 million people made their disapproval of the strategic partnership heard by signing petitions, creating their own protest signs, and showing up at the flagship LEGO store in New York City dressed in costume.

After a fierce 3-month campaign by Greenpeace and their supporters, LEGO broke up with Shell Oil Company for good. Now it’s time for Shell to leave the Arctic in peace.

Due to scientifically-proven climate change, the Alaskan Arctic sea ice cover reached its lowest point on record this year. Shell still plans to drill for oil there in 2015, even though they have proven time and again that they cannot be trusted to do so safely. When they attempted to drill in 2012, its rig ran ashore, one of its ships caught on fire, and the Environmental Protection Agency found that they had violated the terms of their permit.

You can donate to Greenpeace here to help them in their efforts to put an end to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans once and for all, and to protect other fragile ecosystems around the world.

Soxfords ‘Hooray for Boobies’ Socks Benefit Breast Cancer Research and Awareness — Giveaway [Closed]

Soxfords

October is, as most of us know, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Like years past, brands, companies, networks, and people alike are going pink in an effort to have authentic conversations, raise awareness, and crowdsource for a cause.

Soxfords is a unique sock company all about big personalities and embracing the quirk. They “toe the line” (puns!) between fun and fashion, creating socks with colorful styles while still maintaining a level of class and professionalism. For the month of October, they have launched a brand new style as part of their “Signature” series to benefit breast cancer research and awareness.

Soxfords’ limited edition “Hooray for Boobies” socks are whimsical, eccentric, and a fun way to display your ‘FU cancer’ activism.

Soxfords Hooray for Boobies socks

Soxfords Hooray for Boobies socks closeup

Carefully crafted in Colombia out of a Peruvian Pima cotton blend, these socks are incredibly soft with just the right amount of thickness to keep your toes warm and cozy throughout the fall. And, while it really goes without saying because just look at them, they are awesome. Who wouldn’t want a pair of socks adorned with boobies? What a conversation starter!

For each pair of “Hooray for Boobies” socks sold, Soxfords is donating $5 towards breast cancer research and awareness efforts. These donations will go directly to benefit various national breast cancer research and health advocacy organizations through Susan G. Komen®.

Soxfords Hooray for Boobies socks tag

Each pair of Soxfords “Hooray for Boobies” socks retail for $25, but you can score them now for $20 as part of their pre-order sale. Shop quick, though, because these socks are set to ship October 15.

Soxfords + 1% for Humanity

One Percent for Humanity

Soxfords was created with an emphasis on quality and community engagement. Their limited edition socks benefiting breast cancer non-profits aren’t the only way they are giving back. Soxfords is a partner of 1% for Humanity, a movement of individuals and businesses committed to giving at least 1% of their gross income to fight extreme poverty and injustice. Donations made to 1% for Humanity go where they are needed most around the world.

Soxfords ‘Hooray for Boobies’ Socks Giveaway

Soxfords Hooray for Boobies socks giveaway

According to Soxfords, socks are one of the little things in life that can put a smile on our face and a spring in our step. We are inclined to agree, and because of that, we are giving one lucky reader a pair of Soxfords limited edition “Hooray for Boobies” socks.

This giveaway is open to US entrants ages 18+ and will end October 15 at 12:00am ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was made possible by Soxfords. No incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

IfOnly Father’s Day Gift Guide for the Dad who Has it All

Father’s Day is just days away. If you’re still on the hunt for a great gift you know dad will actually love, head on over to IfOnly.

IfOnly connects individuals with luminaries at the top of their fields to share once in a lifetime experiences while supporting meaningful causes, nonprofits, and charities. The IfOnly Father’s Day Gift Guide is full of gifts unique from all the rest from $48 to $4,800,000 (wowza!) and everything in between.

Here are some of our IfOnly experience and gift top picks:

IfOnly Cocktail of the Month Collection ($125)

IfOnly Cocktail of the Month Collection

A collection of 35 total recipes created by a roster of star mixologists. The collection debuts with an elegant polished lacquered recipe box, a hand-signed recipe from Master Mixologist Dale Degroff, and 11 classic drink recipes. Each month, two seasonal recipes from master mixologists will arrive in dad’s mailbox to complete the collection. A truly unique gift for the cocktail connoisseur in your life.

Proceeds from the IfOnly Cocktail of the Month Collection benefit The Museum of the American Cocktail, a nonprofit dedicated to education in mixology and preserving the rich history of the American cocktail.

Afternoon Apprenticeship at Barbuto ($3,000)

IfOnly Afternoon Apprenticeship at Barbuto

Work side-by-side with Chef Jonathan Waxman for an afternoon at Barbuto. Learn to craft the casual, rustic Italian food that Chef Waxman is famous for and soak in the pace and rhythm of a famous kitchen. Leave the kitchen inspired to make your next great meal and return later in the evening with a guest for a celebratory dinner at the restaurant. Take home a personalized and hand-signed cookbook as a memento of your experience.

Proceeds from the Afternoon Apprenticeship at Barbuto benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an American pediatric cancer charity.

Shopping for dad is hard. The IfOnly Father’s Day Gift Guide makes it easier.

This post contains affiliate links. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Give Mom a Memory: IfOnly Mother’s Day Gift Guide

We have been loving IfOnly since right before Christmas when we discovered their unique take on combining life lists and magical experiences with gifting and sharing.

IfOnly connects individuals with luminaries at the top of their fields to share once in a lifetime experiences while supporting meaningful causes, nonprofits, and charities. For both Christmas and Valentine’s Day, they offered up decadent candy collections created by award-winning chefs. True to form, their Mother’s Day gifts set the bar for sophistication and luxury even higher.

Whether you would like to gift your mom with an incredible experience that will last a lifetime or an extraordinary gift that can be wrapped in a beautiful box, the IfOnly Mother’s Day Gift Guide is filled with stunning and exciting gift ideas that any mom would be thrilled to receive on her special day.

Women Winemaker Collection Curated by Debbie Zachareas ($175)

IfOnly Women Winemaker Collection

Share the gift of wine and enjoy the best from wine country’s women winemakers with a hand-picked collection from Debbie Zachareas, one of the Bay Area’s foremost wine experts and buyer for Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.

Debbie’s selection includes three bottles of California wines representing varied styles from female winemakers who are at the top of their game. Your collection will arrive in a handsome tote bag with Debbie’s tasting notes.

Proceeds from the Women Wine Maker Collection Curated by Debbie Zachareas benefit Family House, an organization that provides temporary housing to families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital.

James Beard Cookbook Hand-Signed by Alice Waters ($100)

IfOnly James Beard Cookbook

Own a piece of history as the James Beard Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary with a legendary cookbook featuring past Outstanding Chef Award winners. Includes delectable recipes, beautiful photography, and profiles of these culinary masters. Hand-signed by Alice Waters, this one-of-a-kind publication is the perfect addition to any foodie’s library.

Proceeds from the James Beard Cookbook Hand-Signed by Alice Waters benefits the James Beard Foundation and its mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.

Check out the IfOnly Mother’s Day Gift Guide for a wide variety of gift options mom will adore.

This post contains affiliate links. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

IfOnly Constellation Chocolate Collection = One Happy Valentine

IfOnly Constellation Chocolate Collection

A very good friend of mine, the only female in her household if you don’t count their dog, routinely warns her sons and un-husband (take two people who have been together for 20+ years and have absolutely no intention of ever getting married and you have yourself an un-spouse) that they are never to eat the last of the chocolate. The reason is simple: chocolate is a necessity for a woman’s ovaries.

What? How are they to know the truth? It’s innocent. Really. And this way, she (almost) always has chocolate when she needs it and no one’s the wiser. It all works out!

I have never went to such lengths to keep other people’s hands off of the chocolate in the house, but I think I would have to start coming up with a game plan if the IfOnly Constellation Chocolate Collection was in my life. Now that I think of it, I could totally see myself trying to convince my fiance that he is allergic to chocolate, or to some mysterious ingredient in one of the chocolates in this collection. The guy will die declaring that he is allergic to everything, or that any fluctuation in his daily routine at all gives him a cold. This could work. My wheels are spinning.

If luxury constellation treats sound familiar, the IfOnly Constellation Caramel Collection was the featured item of their uncommon holiday gift guide last year. 12 Michelin Star and James Beard Award-winning chefs created signature caramels for the collection and the outcome was beautiful and a real treat for those who were able to snatch them up. It only makes sense for 25 of the world’s top chefs to collaborate on a luxury chocolate collection for the biggest chocolate day of the year — Valentine’s Day!

The Constellation Chocolate Collection is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and a once in a lifetime collaboration of such incredible culinary talent, including Alice Waters, Gary Danko, and Michael Tusk, just to name a few. This rare collection is a luxurious indulgence and unique glimpse into the creative genius of these legendary chefs.

For each curated chocolate box sold, $45 will go to bring safe drinking water to communities around the world as part of charity: water, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

The IfOnly Constellation Chocolate Collection comes in an elegant gift box and quantities are limited.

This post contains affiliate links. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

IfOnly is Making Extraordinary Experiences a Star-Studded Reality + Uncommon Holiday Gift Ideas

IfOnly

We all have those ultimate, life-altering things we want to do, plan to do, but never get around to actually doing. Life lists, bucket lists, mental someday, someday, maybe lists… if only.

Taking the “if only” concept to a literal level, IfOnly is a marketplace that operates with the belief system that true luxury comes in the form of the experiences we have and will remember and share throughout our lives. They connect individuals with luminaries at the top of their fields to share once in a lifetime experiences while supporting meaningful causes, nonprofits, and charities.

Some of our favorites? Meeting Executive Chef April Bloomfield for an informative tour of the Greenmarket farmer’s market at Union Square with proceeds going to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand and a meet and greet with band Imagine Dragons and signed guitar to keep with proceeds going to support Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. Other stars on board for doing good for their fans and the charities close to their hearts are Miley Cyrus, Joe Montana, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, among many others.

With some of the last available days for holiday gift shopping upon us, IfOnly has a wonderful selection of uncommon gifts that you simply won’t find anywhere else. I can’t imagine a foodie out there who wouldn’t go completely gaga over their superbly decadent Constellation Caramel Collection.

IfOnly Constellation Caramel Collection

The unique product of 12 Michelin Star and James Beard Award-winning chefs, the Constellation Caramel Collection includes flavors like Maldon Sea Salt with Vanilla Bean and Brown Butter Bourbon.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this limited edition box of caramels goes to support the James Beard Foundation.

If super impressive caramels aren’t your thing, IfOnly has put together a very uncommon holiday gift guide that includes 10 unique holiday gifts ranging in category and price, from the practical, fun, and affordable to only in the grasp of millionaires.

Check out IfOnly to shop the most coveted gifts and experiences of the year and as an added holiday bonus, orders placed through December 19 will receive free upgraded shipping.

This post contains affiliate links. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Do Some Good in Your World: Random Acts of Kindness $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Event [Closed]

do good
potentialpast / Flickr

The holidays are a wonderful, magical time of year for a lot of people, but for those who are struggling, the holidays can simply be a reminder of all of the things that they are not able to do or make happen for their families. That is precisely why while it is so important to do good in the world around you all year, it is especially important during the holiday season.

Last year, Athena over at The Stuff of Success created a really great project all about performing random acts of kindness and doing what you can to make a positive difference in the lives of others. It was a huge success, so she brought it back again this year and we’ve hopped on board to help spread the word.

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway EventAthena is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, which you can enter to win daily, from now until December 31. The entry form is below.

This giveaway is unlike any other event you’ll see. There is no sponsor, there are no Facebook pages to like, no blogs to visit, no promotional statuses to post to Twitter. All you have to do to claim your entry into the giveaway is perform one act of kindness for someone else and come back to tell us what you did. Just love your neighbor, people in need, friends, family, and so on, every single day throughout the month of December, and claim your entry.

Need some ideas?

  • Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  • Donate your old clothes to someone in need. Your old is someone else’s new.
  • Write a positive review of a local business, artist, musician, author, etc.
  • Listen to someone. REALLY listen.
  • Donate blood. One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
  • Give the gift of your time by volunteering at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, nursing home, hospital, etc.
  • Share your umbrella with a stranger on a rainy day.
  • Check up on someone who looks lonely or who lives alone.
  • Let someone with only a few items go before you in line at the grocery store.
  • Give words of encouragement to someone about their dreams, no matter how big or small they are.
  • Help someone get your parking space in a crowded parking lot when you’re leaving.
  • Babysit for couples or single parents who don’t get out much so that they can have some precious alone time.
  • Look for ways to save a few extra bucks throughout the month and then donate that money to a charitable organization you support.
  • Shop locally so that the money you spend can help support the family who owns and operates that business.
  • Spend a few clicks of your time at Free Rice.
  • Pay for the person in line behind you.
  • Put together a care package and send it to an active duty military unit.
  • Create a box of Christmas cards and send it to Holiday Mail for Heroes (guidelines can be found here.)
  • Redirect gifts. Instead of having people give you birthday or holiday gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a good cause.
  • The next time you see someone pulled over with a flat tire or car trouble, stop and ask if you can help, or simply keep them company until help arrives.
  • Become a mentor or tutor to someone in need.
  • If your family, friend, or neighbor is sick, bring them some soup, tea, and tissues.
  • Put some change in an expired parking meter.
  • Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left.
  • Bake some Christmas cookies for your mail carrier and delivery people.
  • Donate pet food to your local animal shelter.
  • Teach someone a skill.
  • Instead of accepting payment from someone, ask them to pay it forward.
  • Tip more than you normally would.
  • Be extra nice to customer service reps — especially if they seem stressed.

No incentive was provided for this publication. Woman Tribune is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Opinions are my own.

#Give on Social Media Giving Day and Make Your Social Media Matter — Prize Pack Giveaway [Closed]

Social Media Giving Day

Twitter’s birthday is July 15, and Givver is rallying the social media community in a big way to help celebrate the occasion, with Social Media Giving Day. Our collective mission? To set a world record for the most donations given in one day via social media.

Givver is an easy-to-use Twitter tool on a mission to transform charitable giving by enabling individuals to support their favorite causes in seconds by using the power of social networks. Whether it’s a nonprofit, educational, or political organization you want to help support, Givver can help you fund and raise awareness for the issues that matter most to you — all in a single tweet.

How to donate on Social Media Giving Day July 15:

Join the Givver movement

Once you have signed up with Givver, donating is quick and easy. All you have to do is sign in to Twitter, then tweet:

#Give
$ (Amount)
@ (Organization’s Twitter handle)

For instance, if you wanted to support fee medical services in Honduras with a $10 donation, you would tweet:

#Give $10 @ochoorg

Check out the Social Media Giving Day app below to learn more about some of the organizations you can help support on Givver. You can also take a fun quiz to discover your Twitter personality. I’m a Breaking News Nut, what about you?

Social Media Giving Day Givver Prize Pack Giveaway

Social Media Giving Day prize pack

One lucky reader will win a Givver prize pack: 1 #Give limited edition t-shirt and sticker.

This giveaway is open to US and CAN entrants ages 18+ and will end July 18.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was made possible by Givver and PartnersHub. No incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Create Your Perfect Conscious Mother’s Day in the Conscious Box Pinterest Contest

Conscious Mother's Day Conscious Box Pinterest Contest

Conscious Box is gearing up for Mother’s Day in a way that I think you’re going to be pretty excited about.

To help five lucky earth-conscious folks have a fabulous Mother’s Day for both mom and Mother Earth, Conscious Box has launched the Conscious Mother’s Day Pinterest Contest, a contest that is basically taking the way we think about Pinterest from ‘maybe someday something this awesome will exist in my life’ to a full-fledged Mother’s Day gift wishlist.

Conscious Box Pinterest Contest Here’s everything you need to know about how to enter:

The Conscious Mother’s Day Pinterest Contest ends on May 7th. Five lucky pinners will win a Conscious Box filled with the items they pinned (shipping is limited to 15 items) that will be mailed to the wonderful mom of their choice just in time for Mother’s Day!

In addition to this awesome Mother’s Day contest, we also have a Conscious Box giveaway going on where you could win a 3-month subscription to the service and start discovering greener, more sustainable, better for you, and better for the earth products. This giveaway ends May 9th, so get your entries in!

This post contains affiliate links that can score me free products if you sign up. No compensation was received, and opinions are my own.

3-Month Subscription to Conscious Box Giveaway [Closed]

Conscious Box

Last week I told you all about how you can try Conscious Box, the monthly subscription service dedicated to introducing subscribers to greener, more sustainable, better for you, and better for the earth products, for free and only paying shipping for your first box. This week, I have something even better — a giveaway in which one lucky Woman Tribune reader will win a 3-month subscription to the service.

Conscious Box gives individuals and families that little extra push we could all use from time to time to live greener, healthier lives in a fun and exciting way. Each month Conscious Box sends out a variety of unique pure and natural products, from organic food to vegan beauty products, for you to discover, try out, and put to use in your home. Each product that appears in a Conscious Box is organic, fair trade, pure and natural, and from companies working toward the most ethical goals for the planet.

In addition to the products contained in each box, Conscious Box also offers content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative tips on how to use the products you receive in your box. Conscious Box subscribers also have the opportunity to earn points for writing reviews of products they receive that can be used toward future purchases.

Conscious Box Giveaway

Conscious Box

One lucky Woman Tribune reader will win a 3-month subscription to Conscious Box!

This giveaway will end on May 9th and is open to US, ages 18+. To enter use the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway to end or want to take advantage of the special promotional offer going on right now, there is still time to redeem the Conscious Box promotional code (get it here!) to get your first box free–just pay shipping!

This post contains affiliate links. Conscious Box provided me with the opportunity to host this giveaway. No other compensation was received, and opinions are my own.