Tech + Lifestyle

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End Poverty Now

I’m a little late with this, but today has been busy – midterms and whatnot. Anyway, as you should already know, today is Blog Action Day, and this year’s topic is poverty.

As are many others, I’m of the “teach a man to fish” school of thought. Don’t get me wrong – charity is great. It can make a very literal difference between life and death. Past that, though, it is impractical to support others indefinitely, especially when we’re talking about a substantial percentage of the world’s population. You need to help, but in ways with a longer-lasting impact than a bowl of rice and with more potential than a gallon of clean water.

I see this as a two step process. First, obviously, get going with the charity already. In all seriousness, how are you going to help someone if they’ve already died of starvation or a curable illness? You aren’t. You’ve already failed. Organizations that work to provide clean drinking water and the basic nutrients necessary in a diet serve as the foundation in this little scheme of mine. Check out organizations providing life-saving food like Feed Just One and Feed the Hungry. For those helping to drill wells and provide sustainable sources of clean water, look into The Water Project.

After that, I love projects that both improve local economies and make viable contributions to worldwide goals. For example, Eden Reforestation Projects uses the donations of those in developed areas to fund reforestation efforts in other parts of the world. They get jobs, we get the satisfaction of helping out our fellow man and simultaneously engaging in environmentalism. That = a win-win-win situation in my book; win cubed, if you will. Another great option is Kiva.org, an organization that provides micro loans (usually a couple hundred dollars or less) to entrepreneurs in developing countries without the necessary capital to pursue their dreams. I’ve heard more than a few people recently discussing how they want to spread the so-called American Dream. Well, as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing more American Dream-y than helping others engage in their very own capitalist endeavors. 😉

The whole point of this is to help others realize how much we can help. Stop being complacent, and do a little good in the world. Even if you would never consider something as demeaning as *gasp* physical labor in order to assist those in need, surely you can manage a the few mouse clicks it will take to make a donation to one of these deserving charitable causes. This isn’t immediate. It isn’t a panacea, and it won’t magically make all the world’s problems go away. Change happens slowly. It happens one person at a time. It starts with you.

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October 15, 2008 Posted by | Eco Conscious, News, Personal | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Open Letter to Mr. Al Gore

This has been previously published at Blogcritics.org. You can find my original article here.

Dear Sir,

The green movement isn’t enough.

There, I’ve said it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for reducing our environmental impact. I love the idea of minimizing my carbon footprint. I’ve been recycling for as long as I can remember, and I drank the tree-hugger Kool-aid ages ago. It’s just that it won’t be enough. Continue reading

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Eco Conscious, Humor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Carbon Footprint: Part One

Over the past year, I’ve tried to become more aware of my impact on the environment. I’m by no means the stereotypical treehugger, but I do believe that American culture, as a whole, is highly irresponsible when it comes to the ways and means by which we live. Reducing my carbon footprint by a few tons might not make a huge difference, but millions of people doing the same will add up. Continue reading

September 1, 2008 Posted by | Eco Conscious, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scored a Sigg!

So I’ve been trying to get my hands on a Sigg water bottle for months now. It was probably around May or June when I first heard about them. These things are legit – aluminum water bottles with protective liners inside to prevent any chemical leaching. They started getting really popular in the United States about the same time that reports were coming out about how disposable water bottles made out of PET were potentially dangerous. Here’s a hint: don’t ever leave PET bottles stored in hot places. For that matter, don’t leave bottled water sitting around for too long. All that bottled water that’s been sitting in your garage since the Y2K scare because you thought the world as we knew it would end? Yeah… I would go ahead and toss that. You’re just asking for cancer if you drink it now. Continue reading

August 31, 2008 Posted by | Eco Conscious, Personal | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment