Friday, April 27, 2018

Feel Good Friday - World Wildlife Fund

Since April is Earth Month, we're keeping Feel Good Friday focused on the environment by highlighting the work of World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

World Wildlife Fund, with the recognizable giant panda logo, is the world's leading conservation organization. Since 1961 they've been fulfilling their mission "to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth."

As summarized on their website, "WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF''s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature."

Their work and goals focus on the six areas below. Clicking on the links will provide very detailed information as to why it matters, what WWF is doing and how you can help. For those of you who like a snapshot - here it is:

  • wildlife conservation -  ensure the world's most iconic species, including tigers, rhinos and elephants, are secured and recovering in the wild
  • climate - create a climate-resilient and zero carbon world, powered by renewable energy
  • food - drive sustainable food systems to conserve nature and feed humanity
  • forests - conserve the world's most important forests to sustain nature's diversity, benefit our climate and support human well-being
  • fresh water - by 2025, the health of the world's major basins is improving or maintained
  • oceans - a resilient ocean sustains marine life and functioning ecosystems that support rich biodiversity, food security and sustainable livelihoods
In practical terms these goals transform into projects such as transforming the global rubber market by producing rubber without clearing forests, studying and protecting the Tuul river in Mongolia and conserving snow leopard habitat.

Since 85% of WWF's spending is directed to worldwide conservation activities you can feel good about making a donation. You can also show your support by adopting an animal, joining WWF for some conservation travel or buying and wearing some apparel.

If you'd rather show your support via social media, take an animal trivia quiz then post your results on the WWF Facebook page and on Twitter @World_Wildlife

Friday, April 20, 2018

Feel Good Friday - 1% for the Planet

Earth Day is on Sunday so Feel Good Friday is celebrating the environment and the work being done by 1% for the Planet.

Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Matthews, founder of Blue Ribbon Files, 1% for the Planet's mission is to "bring dollars and doers together to accelerate smart
environmental giving."

With only 3% of philanthropic giving in the US going to environmental causes, 1% for the Planet wants to "significantly increase the overall amount of global dollars going to help protect the planet with the smartest donations possible." This two-minute video provides a quick rundown.

Businesses who join commit to donating 1% of their annual profits to the nonprofit partners identified and vetted by 1% for the Planet. Individuals commit to donating 1% of their annual salaries. This global network of over 1200 businesses and hundreds of individual members has given more than $175 million dollars to environmental nonprofits to date!

Donations are given directly to organizations focused on the following areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife. If you're curious to see who participates, you can see and search both the list of recommended nonprofits and member businesses.

In addition to providing guidance on giving, 1% for the Planet holds various campaigns and events throughout the year. During the month of April, the campaign is #360 for the planet. People are encouraged to film a 360 degree video in an inspiring location then post it on social media explaining why the planet is important to them. If you'd like to participate, directions, examples and recommended hashtags can be found here.

To maximize the impact of your philanthropy, you can become a member of 1% for the Planet. You can also show your support by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @1PercentFTP.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Feel Good Friday - Humane Society of the United States

It's Feel Good Friday and you know what makes people feel good? Animals. So today we're highlighting the work of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

To sum up their work in once sentence from their website, "The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest and most effective animal protection organization."

Their mission is "celebrating animals, confronting cruelty" and they accomplish it by working in the following areas: animal rescue and care, animal advocacy, and finally, pets and shelters. You can click on this interactive map to get details on the work done in your state.

Examples include the animal rescue team which works with local law enforcement to rescue animals from natural disasters, puppy mills, and animal fighting organizations. Wildlife protection focuses on stopping the fur trade, exotic animal trade and the slaughter of seals and horses. Advocacy work includes policies at both state and federal levels and then there's a host of pet care services - adoption initiatives, training for shelter staff and pet care tips.

How many animals are they helping, you ask? Along with their affiliates, HSUS provides "hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year." This short video of Adam and Billy (a dog rescued from a puppy mill) is just one example. An adorable example.

You can get involved by subscribing to one of their magazines, making a donation or volunteering. You can also show your support by buying and wearing HSUS gear, liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @HumaneSociety.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Feel Good Friday - Acta Non Verba

I'm back home in Oakland and focusing on a local organization for this Feel Good Friday post - Acta Non Verba (ANV).

Acta Non Verba is Latin for "deeds not words" - thanks internet! We're also going to turn to the internet and ANV's website for an explanation of what they do:

"Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (ANV) elevates life in the inner city by challenging oppressive dynamics and environments through urban farming. ANV's quarter acre farm located in the City of  Oakland's Tassafaronga Park is planned, planted, harvested and sold by youth in grades K-8. One hundred percent of the proceeds are placed into individual savings accounts for those who participate."

ANV was founded by Navy veteran and Master Gardner Kelly Carlisle in 2011 because she wanted to teach the youth of Oakland about nutrition, food and themselves.

The flagship program is Camp ANV, an 8-week summer camp that teaches youth about sustainable agriculture, healthy cooking and nutrition, and financial literacy since all earnings from the harvest are deposited into bank accounts that can only be used for educational purposes! Watch this short video to see the impact Camp ANV had on a boy named Geo.

Spring minicamp is currently underway but it's not too late to register for one of the camps being held this summer. Other programs include field trips to the farm, community events, an after school program and a food panty.

The program I'm most excited about is Community Supported Agriculture. If you live in the East Bay you can sign up for a weekly delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables for only $25/week. 100% of proceeds go into individual savings accounts for ANV youth. Learn more and sign up here.

Regardless of where you live you can support the work of Acta Non Verba by becoming a friend of the farmvolunteering your time and spreading the word on social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @anv_youth_farm. Is anyone else hungry now or is that just me?