Category Archives: News

Easy Ways to Go Green

There was a lot of talk about going green and saving the planet for Earth Day, but it isn’t just important to make an effort or worse, talk about making an effort for Earth Day; to truly make an impact on the world we live in, we need to continue to talk about the importance of going green far after Earth Day has come and gone.

There are ten easy steps we can take to make our planet a little healthier.

We all know that knowledge is power and when you have all of the facts about what poor shape Mother Nature is in and the threat global warming has over all of us, you have a deeper understanding of what you need to do in order to do your part to help.

Create Awareness
Now that you have spent some time (or a lot of time) researching the facts of global warming, energy consumption, pollution, and everything else that has had an impact on the planet, it is time to spread the knowledge you’ve acquired. Tell friends, family members, and even complete strangers about what you know to be the truth about this global epidemic and they will follow suit with their concern and spread the word.

Recycling is one of the best (and easiest) ways to do your part in helping the planet. Recycling reduces the amount of garbage that winds up in landfills, reduces carbon emissions by reducing manufacturing and transportation emissions and allows our planet’s natural resources to be more evenly distributed among everyone in the world.

Politics are Key
We need our government to get behind going green. By getting involved in politics, you can see first hand who the people working for you are and if they share your sentiments about going green. It is very important to vote; vote for politicians who share the same values as you do and don’t be fooled–Voting is important and every vote counts. Voting is what we have to make our voices heard and by voting, you are screaming from the rooftops that you care about the green movement and it is a requirement for our elected officials to feel the same way.

Get Your Bicycle Out
Carbon emissions from vehicles are one of the leading causes of global warming. By driving less, you are not only helping the environment, but it also saves you money and improves your health because if you are not driving a vehicle, you can try walking, bicycling, using public transportation, and carpooling.

Turn Off & Unplug Your Appliances
When your appliances, such as your lights, computers, televisions, toasters, microwaves, coffee pots, etc. are not in use, turn them off and unplug them. When your appliances are left on and plugged in, they are still emitting electricity which also makes your electric bill skyrocket.

Donate Your Old, Unwanted Frames

There are different ways for people to help the environment as well as people in need that many people don’t know about. We wrote an article on how to donate and recycle your old mattresses and the response from that post was great because there were many people that didn’t know what to do with their old mattresses.

Another great way to cut back on the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills and not only that, but also help a great amount of people in need is to donate your old glasses. Your old, out of date, mildly misshapen frames can be donated to people who can’t afford or who would otherwise not be able to see their best—Because of you and your donations, you will be giving people the gift of sight.

You can donate your old glasses at most local eye facilities–Drop off old prescription or nonprescription glasses at your local Lions Club, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears, Target, or BJ’s Optical store. You can also mail in your old glasses.

Send Something Sweet to Help End Hunger

Ferrero Rocher Send Something Sweet

The Ferrero Company and Share Our Strength have teamed up together and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day are asking for your help in supporting the fight to end childhood hunger. We have featured Share Our Strength before, outlining the dramatic affects of childhood hunger, a multi-layered epidemic that affects approximately 13.4 million (roughly 1 in every 6) children in America today.

It is great to see such a prominent company like Ferrero working to help end childhood hunger and they have certainly put together a unique, interactive and fun way for you to help the effort. The Ferrero Company and Share Our Strength is inviting you to share something sweet by sending a loved one a Valentine’s Day e-card.

All you have to do is go here, select a theme for your e-card, choose a message and fill in the recipient information. For every e-card that is sent, Ferrero will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to Share Our Strength.

By sending an e-card to a loved one, not only are you brightening someone’s day by letting them know that you are thinking of them, you are also acting in the effort to fight childhood hunger. I can’t think of anything sweeter than that!

Help End Childhood Hunger with Share Our Strength

Share Our Strength Childhood hunger is a multi-layered epidemic that affects approximately 13.4 million children in America, representing roughly 1 in 6 children. Childhood hunger impairs children’s health in significant and long-lasting ways. It results in poorer mental health, impedes growth and development, causes more illnesses including stomachaches, headaches, colds, ear infections, fatigue, weaker immune systems, behavioral issues and countless other lifelong consequences. Hunger also makes children unable to learn and perform academically, impairing cognitive functioning and causing children to experience school absences, tardiness, school suspensions and failing entire school years.

Hunger is not only an epidemic in America, but it is also a pandemic throughout the entire world. There is strength in numbers and together, we have the ability to not only fight but end childhood hunger.

Operation No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength started Operation No Kid Hungry where they are asking us to join in the national text campaign and food drive to end childhood hunger in America.

You can help end childhood hunger by making a text donation by texting “SHARE” to 20222 on your mobile phone. AT&T will match the first $100,000 in text donations to Share Our Strength.

Hold a food drive. Meet the growing need for food by teaming up with food banks in your area. Check the list of most needed foods and start asking friends, family and neighbors for those foods. If your area does not have a food bank, start a food drive on your own. Start a movement in your area and get the residents of your town interested in helping out.

Lastly, help spread the word about Operation No Kid Hungry. You can spread the word just by using websites and web services you frequent daily. Leave comments or do guest posts for your favorite blogs or post about this movement on your own blog. You can also spread the word through Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and any other web services you frequently use.

You can find out more about this call to action on Share Our Strength’s website and AT&T’s media kit.

Watch the Inauguration Live

I have been watching live inaugural coverage since early this morning and if one thing is apparent, it is the fact that so many Americans, even those who have not exactly felt like Americans have traveled to Washington, DC, viewing parties all over the country and tuning in online to see the 44th president of the United States inaugurated.

This is not only a historic moment for America, but for all of us.

Watch live inaugural coverage brought to you by MSNBC.

Time for Change: Get Marijuana Law Reform on the Agenda!

After all the victories we’ve seen in the realm of marijuana law reform and the recent election, it is now time to act! According to the NORML blog, “The election of Barack Obama, coupled with Democrat control of both the House and the Senate, presents a unique and critical opportunity for federal marijuana law reform.” A vast majority of you voted to change the laws regarding marijuana arrests; now is the time to make sure your vote doesn’t go unnoticed.

Obama’s transition team has established a website recently with an agenda of things to be addressed once Obama is in office. Looking at the current list, I was upset to see that Marijuana Law Reform is not even mentioned. Thankfully, the website has a page asking for OUR ideas to help solve challenges facing our country.

That means it’s up to us to get Marijuana Law Reform on the list! All you have to do is go to the page linked above to contact Obama and his transition team, and demand change of the current marijuana policy. Thanks to the wonderful people at NORML, you can even include the three suggestions below:

1. President Obama must uphold his campaign promise to cease the federal arrest and prosecution of (state) law-abiding medical cannabis patients and dispensaries by appointing leaders at the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the US Department of Justice, and the US Attorney General’s office who will respect the will of the voters in the thirteen states that have legalized the physician-supervised use of medicinal marijuana.

2. President Obama should use the power of the bully pulpit to reframe the drug policy debate from one of criminal policy to one of public health. Obama can stimulate this change by appointing directors to the Office of National Drug Control Policy who possess professional backgrounds in public health, addiction, and treatment rather than in law enforcement.

3. President Obama should follow up on statements he made earlier in his career in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana by adults by calling for the creation of a bi-partisan Presidential Commission to review the budgetary, social, and health costs associated with federal marijuana prohibition, and to make progressive recommendations for future policy changes.

As if this hasn’t been said enough – This is the time for change! I cannot urge you enough to write this letter to the President Elect and get Marijuana Law Reform on the agenda. You already showed that it’s what you want by voting for it in the election – Now is time to make your voice heard and tell them why and how!

– – – – – – – – – –

Ally is a girl from New York who writes Sweet Leaf Tribune, an informational blog about marijuana law reform and cannabis culture, as well as medical marijuana, recipes for ‘baked’ goods, stoner how-to’s, and a lot more.

Register to Vote Using Your Xbox

I Voted The 2008 election is almost upon us and many people still aren’t aware of the impact they have when they vote. Voting, especially for women, had become a well-deserved and well fought for privilege 88 years ago and since then, has become our responsibility; not just as women, but as Americans. This election is the most historic and crucial election perhaps in all of history and to let this election go by and staying silent would be a travesty. So while you’re playing video games, even if you’re unable to get yourself away for the amount of time it takes to download, print out, sign and mail out a voter registration form, Xbox has you covered!

You can now register to vote using your Xbox who have recently partnered up with Rock the Vote. As long as you have an Xbox Live membership it is completely free to sign up to vote; not only that, but it is pretty easy to do, too! With over 12 million members currently on Xbox Live, what they are doing is absolutely amazing to get more people out to the polls.

Not only can you register to vote, but Xbox has made voting fun with online polls and downloadable gamer pics of the candidates to show your support!

The Sisterhood is Traveling to New Orleans

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 As part of a marketing campaign for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, the cast is helping out Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans.

If you’re thinking, what on Earth does a movie about four friends and a magic pair of jeans have to do with Habitat for Humanity you will surely be surprised. Alexis Bledel stated in an interview, “They are recycling jeans and making these tubes for insulation that will help insulate the houses they are building down there.” See, get it? Magic jeans, using jeans for insulation. Yeah!

The sisterhood aren’t the only ones helping out with this amazing project; Cotton Inc., GUESS, and Warner Bros. Pictures are spreading the word about the Habitat project to people who are purchasing GUESS products and if you’re one of those people, you should also be aware of the fact that you also have the opportunity to help with the efforts in New Orleans simply by turning in old pairs of jeans you may have laying in back of your closet gathering dust. Not only that, but if you do turn in a pair (or multiple pairs) of your old jeans, you will receive a discount on your new purchases for every pair of jeans you turn in. Your old jeans will be reclaimed into cotton and turned into energy efficient insulation.

So get out there, buy some new pairs of fabulous jeans, bring in the old jeans you never wear anyway and get a discount on said fabulous jeans. It’s as simple as that!

Oh, and if your Gilmore Girls antennae goes up at the mention of Alexis Bledel and you’re like me and so many other Gilmore Girls fans, Alexis was also asked in the interview about a Gilmore Girls movie coming out to which she replied with she didn’t know and hadn’t heard anything. Come on Gilmore Girls cast, crew and writers, we want a real ending! Give us a movie and shut us up, please.

The Hopeful Haven Project

women's shelters When you think of homeless shelters, most people’s first thoughts leap to movies and what they’ve seen showcased on their television screens–Bland, cold, run down. Sadly, what people have seen for so many years on movies and television shows aren’t far from the truth in the least.

Terry Grahl visited a homeless shelter for women dealing with drug addictions and domestic violence, Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, MI. The women who live at Grace Centers of Hope have already had some very traumatic and life-shattering experiences and this shelter provides these women with shelter for them and their children for up to one year. Because of the experiences these women have already had, shelters such as Grace Centers of Hope and so many others across the country are there to lend these women a hand, to assure these women that their lives are not over and to relieve these women of their pasts and teach them to look forward towards a hopeful and promising future. While the mission of these shelters is amazing, the interior most often resembles the emotional deterioration of the women themselves; which is exactly what Terry Grahl thought when she visited Grace Centers of Hope.

As soon as Terry had seen the prison-like beds that these women slept in, the walls and carpets that looked as if they were part of an abandoned building that fell prey to a handful of high school kids wanting a place to party, she knew she had found a project to dedicate her time and talent to. Terry believed that these women deserved so much more, especially considering that Grace Centers of Hope is the “in between” place for these women to start to get on their own two feet and start to make sense of their lives. How were they to make sense of their lives while living in a space that lacked to inspire.

Luckily, not only Terry felt this way, but so did the women who ran this shelter as well as the people who had donated money to be used to revamp the center as well as those who had donated various items such as ceiling fans, air conditioners, washers and dryers, baby cribs, curtains, beauty products, homemade art and so much more. The community surrounding Grace Centers of Hope came together with Terry, the women who run this shelter and the women who find themselves in a shelter that once reminded them of how lost they were, but can now remind them to always have hope, to not look upon themselves as victims and to provide the best life they possibly can to their own children. The women of Grace Centers of Hope can now feel inspired, motivated and hopeful and their surroundings can now uplift them and hopefully, they will never feel the sorrow, loneliness, or feel victimized in any way for the rest of their lives.

To see what Terry and the women of Grace Centers of Hope and the people of Pontiac, MI did to transform this space for the women who live there, click the images below and you can also visit Terry’s website, Terry’s Enchanted Cottage, where she has dedicated a page to The Hopeful Haven Project.

See before and after pictures of Terry’s work at Grace Centers of Hope below:

Hopeful Haven Project Hopeful Haven Project Hopeful Haven Project

Hopeful Haven Project Hopeful Haven Project Hopeful Haven Project

Hopeful Haven Project Hopeful Haven Project Hopeful Haven Project

Hopeful Haven Project Hopeful Haven Project Hopeful Haven Project

Every American Deserves the Right to Marry

Million for Marriage America came one step closer to achieving equal rights for all people when California declared that refusing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people the right to marry was unconstitutional. Since this remarkable day in LGBT history, many couples have been married and have shared in the experience of vowing to love and to cherish each other in front of their friends and families and for the first time in California, their marriage will be legal in the eyes of the law.

With every day that we celebrate this victory for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered couples, anti-LGBT have been working to deny benefits to LGBT couples on both state and federal levels. In order to make sure that ignorance and hate doesn’t win this battle over true equality for all Americans, the Human Rights Campaign has set up a petition with the hope of getting over 1 million names from people who believe in marriage equality for everyone.

The petition states:

“I do support the right of every American to marry, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples. I believe that marriage and other civil rights protections are essential to making all families safer and more secure.

By signing this petition, I agree to support efforts to make marriage equality a reality in our country, and to oppose any attempts to discriminate against LGBT couples and individuals.”

With 988,902 signatures so far, HRC needs more people to stand up for marriage equality. Sign the petition here.