October 27, 2009

3/50 project

Where I live folks take great pride in shopping locally. Anytime a big chain store wants to move into town, it is often met with strong protest. But here on my little hill, many independent neighborhood stores are struggling. Perhaps it is similar where you live.

That's why I think the 3/50 project is brilliant. Started last spring by an inspired blogger, the project has received lots of press and momentum for good reason. The goal of the project is to "save the brick and mortars our nation is built on" and stimulate local economies.

Their ad goes like this:

3: Think about which three independently owned businesses you’d miss most if they were gone. Stop in and say hello. Pick up a little something that will make someone smile. Your contribution is what keeps those businesses around.
50: If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.* Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 of the employed population did that.
For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.
The number of people it takes to start the trend...you. Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy. Visit the350project.net

October 22, 2009

baby einstein refunds

"As a result of the efforts of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Walt Disney Company is offering a full refund to anyone who purchased a Baby Einstein video in the past five years. The refund offer is an important milestone in CCFC’s ongoing campaign to stop the false and deceptive marketing of baby videos."

I was thrilled to find out about the efforts of the CCFC! It seems amazing to me that they were able to pressure Walt Disney into offering the refund, even after they admitted a few years ago that these videos would not actually make your baby smarter.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under the age of 2. I remember about a year ago France's broadcast authority banned French channels from airing TV shows aimed at children under 3 years old, to shield them from developmental risks it says television viewing poses at that age.

The CCFC website says, "The refund offer is a wonderful victory for families and anyone who cares about children. Recent research shows that screen time is not educational for babies. Now parents who purchased Baby Einstein DVDs, mistakenly believing the videos would make their babies smarter, can recoup their money."

Check out this fact sheet to learn more about why this is important and please spread the word to other parents.

October 18, 2009

no impact week

The first ever No Impact Week has just begun, but it isn't too late for you to join in. Inspired by No Impact Man, this week covers all the aspects of living with little or no impact on the environment. Think of it as a eco-bootcamp, or a "one-week carbon cleanse." Each day focuses on a different area: consumption, trash, transportation, food, energy, water and giving back.

You can sign up to participate here and you'll receive more information via emails from the Huffington Post and No Impact Project.

I've been a little overwhelmed with basic life activities, so while I don't know if I can completely join in with the event this week, I am glad to have it serve as a reminder to me about more ways I can improve my routine.

October 11, 2009

bioneers 2009

It’s the 20th anniversary of the Bioneers Conference. I would love to attend this leading-edge forum on environment and social justice issues. It focuses on solutions inspired by nature and human ingenuity. The conference takes place October 16-18 (with intensives October 15 and 19) in San Rafael, California (my neck of the woods!) Their goal is to turn education into action by connecting people with nature and each other. They provide collaborations and actions to create strategic impact.

Here’s a Program Overview. There are many talks and features that look incredibly interesting to me—especially Michael Pollan, Dr. Andrew Weil and Annie Leonard (remember the Story of Stuff?)

These visionaries are already creating the healthy, diverse, and more equitable world we want to live in—our legacy for future generations. Seems like an amazing opportunity to connect with engaged bioneers, who are making a real difference.

Bioneers actually has some incredibly savvy web gurus, who have provided amazing tools for bloggers, etc. I might be able to post some live webcasts of the talks...stay tuned!!

October 5, 2009

rock the bike

Our neighborhood preschool had a fundraiser this weekend which was lots of fun. One of the big draws was that our music was amplified completely by bike power, thanks to the folks at Rock the Bike. Guests of the event had to keep pedaling so the speakers and mikes could keep working. No electricity was plugged in anywhere!

Rock the Bike also provided pedal-powered smoothies and spin art for the kids. They had to ride a stationary bike to either make the blender churn or the pin art whirl around. Tons of fun! And healthy, to boot.