Friday, July 26, 2019

Feel Good Friday -

Happy Summer! Have you taken your vacation yet? Whether you drive a car to your destination or jump on a plane, you're increasing your carbon footprint. Fear not, that's where comes in.

Founded in 2003, the motto of is "Reduce what you can. Offset what you can't." Their mission is to "encourage everyone to continually strive to reduce their carbon footprint through sensible energy reductions combined with cost-effective carbon offsets to eliminate their overall carbon footprint."

Why is that? The average American's total carbon footprint (including emissions from your home, car, air travel and everything you use) is 50,000 pounds per year!

If you want to shrink that number, read recommendations on the website of how to reduce your carbon footprint. For example, keep your car tires properly inflated, upgrade your lighting and appliances and buy local. There's also an entire section on tips for your wedding.

The other half of the equation is offsetting your footprint. supports three types of offset projects: energy efficiency, forestry and renewable energy. For example, providing technology at truck stops so drivers can power the interior of their trucks without idling their engines; reforesting 25,000 acres of abandoned cattle pastures in Panama; and promoting wind turbines in China which generate energy, reduce carbon dioxide and provide local employment opportunities. You can read about those projects and many more at the links above.

So how does all this work? As an individual you can calculate your carbon footprint using preset options or by inputing specific information about your home, car and flights. Use the resulting dollar amount and buy some offsets to support the various projects. You can also use your money to plant trees. At a cost of $1.00 per tree, it's an affordable way to improve air quality, preserve biodiversity, control flooding and provide habitat for wildlife. Businesses can participate too.

If calculating your footprint and purchasing carbon offsets is too much effort, you can still support by sending in an old school donation, liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @Carbonfundorg.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Sea Inspiration

Having spent a few days on the beaches of Hawaii this week, I wanted to find a Feel Good Friday organization that focused their efforts on the ocean and I did, Sea Inspiration.

Founded in 2009 by Ray Hollowell and located in Honolulu, the mission of Sea Inspiration "is to bring healing to people and the sea by sharing positive, healing and inspiring ocean experiences." They do this through three programs: My Beach Report (MBR), Healing Adventures and Inspiring Videos.

My Beach Report "is an educational sea adventure show hosted by students, for students, to help them SEE the SEA - and inspire them to get active." Young people learn about the marine environment and how they can have a positive impact on sea life.

There are Healing Adventures designed for military veterans and young people with disabilities or terminal illnesses. Both programs focus on getting people in the water to experience surfing, paddling, snorkeling and swimming with marine life.

Inspiring Videos are just what they sound like! The team at Sea Inspiration wants you to experience the beauty of the ocean in hopes you'll be inspired to educate others and protect the seas. You can watch a short introductory video here and catch the rest on their video page.

Does all of this make a difference? Of course it does. You can go to the success stories section of the website to read testimonials from wounded veterans and the story of a girl with leukemia who got her wish to meet Kama, the surfing pig. That one even has a video.

Want to support the work of Sea Inspiration? Click this link to see your donation options and follow them on social media by liking their Facebook page.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Leilani Farm Sanctuary

Aloha! I'm heading to Haiku, Hawaii for a few days so I did a quick search to see what's going on there and found a perfect Feel Good Friday organization - Leilani Farm Sanctuary!

Founded by Laurelee Blanchard, Leilani Farm Sanctuary is an all-volunteer run refuge for rescued animals. There are cows, chickens, cats, goats, rabbits, donkeys, peahens, pigs, deer and ducks living together on the 8-acre farm in Maui.

At the sanctuary, they host at-risk youth programs, school field trips, special needs children, elder activities and farm tours for the general public. Their overall goal is to educate people about the animals and give them a new perspective.

They also run humane education and therapeutic programs. As explained on their website, "most of the animals at Leilani Farm Sanctuary were orphaned, neglected, or abused. Through interaction with these animals, children from troubled homes learn forgiveness, courage, strength, leadership skills, trust, empathy, and kindness. The animals become role models, helping children learn to forgive, overcome their pasts, and reach toward a hopeful future."

You can learn more and see many of the animals in this introductory video and then explore their entire video library.

If you're visiting Maui, you can take a tour of the farm. If you live there you can volunteer. No matter where you are you can support the ongoing work of Leilani Farm Sanctuary by sponsoring an animal, liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @LeilaniFS

Friday, July 5, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Bay Area Girls Rock Camp

Happy Feel Good Friday! Summer is upon us, time to sign up for a program with Bay Area Girls Rock Camp.

Founded in 2008 and inspired by a camp in Portland, Bay Area Girls Rock Camp (BAGRC) is a "non profit organization that empowers young people through music, promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity and teamwork."

The camp is open to self-identified girls and trans youth ages 8 to 18.  Campers participate in music lessons, workshops, group activities and performances.

Specific programs include: GRASP (Girls Rock After School Program) a 10-week course where girls learn an instrument, form a band, write a song and perform it; Summer Camp, a one-week version of GRASP; and Women's Rock Camp, a one-day version of these programs for those of us 19 and older. All tuition from the Women's Rock Camp goes into the financial aid fund for the other programs.

BAGRC serves hundreds of youth each year thanks to the support of, that's right, people like you. If you live in the Bay Area you can volunteer and anyone can make a donation of money or gear.
You can also share the social media love by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @BAGRC. Rock on!