Friday, April 29, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Pure Earth

We’re wrapping up Earth Month with an organization devoted to solving pollution problems in low and middle-income countries, Pure Earth.


Founded in New York City in 1999, the vision of Pure Earth is “a world where all, especially children, are able to live healthy lives and reach their full potential free from exposure to toxic pollution.”


Some data from their website explains the extent of the problem. Each year, 9 million people die from pollution-related illnesses, and 90% of children with high blood lead levels live in low and middle-income countries. Pure Earth partners with governments, communities and industry leaders to identify and implement solutions that stop toxic exposures, protect health, and restore environments. Their current focus is on lead and mercury because of the detrimental effects those pollutants have on children and pregnant women.


In partnership with UNICEF, Pure Earth released a report that found 1 in 3 children (800 million) are affected by lead poisoning. They are raising awareness of the issue and working to abolish the practices that cause harmful lead exposure, such substandard recycling of lead-acid batteries. They are also screening for lead in products found at markets in 25 countries.


As for mercury, Pure Earth estimates that globally, 19 million people are at risk for exposure to mercury. This can cause damage to the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, as well as the lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes. Not only is mercury found at high levels in many types of fish, it is also used in small-scale gold mining around the world as a way to separate gold from sediment. 


Pure Earth is educating community members about mercury poisoning, teaching miners mercury-free methods, and working with them to close out old mines through reforestation. They are also creating awareness of mercury-free gold and connecting international jewelers to miners using mercury-free methods.


You can see all of the current and previous Pure Earth projects on this interactive map. Since they began, they have completed over 120 cleanup projects in 24 countries, “improving five million lives, including 1 million children under the age of six.”

If you’d like to help Pure Earth solve pollution, save lives and protect the planet you can join a fundraising event or make a donation – cash or cryptocurrency! You can also help them get the word out by amplifying their message on social media. Like the Pure Earth Facebook page and follow them on Twitter@PureEarthNow and Instagram @pureearthnow 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Feel Good Friday - One Tree Planted

Happy Earth Day! Let’s celebrate by helping the environment with One Tree Planted

Founded in 2014, One Tree Planted is a nonprofit organization focused on global reforestation with a vision “to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees.” How simple? For every dollar donated they plant one tree on your behalf.


Cool, but why trees? As they explain on their website, “trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and provide habitat to over 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. 
Forests provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people, absorb harmful carbon from the atmosphere, and are key ingredients in 25% of all medicines.” 


Sounds good, but how does it work? This video breaks it down in less than 2 minutes. One Tree Planted works with over 250 planting partners in 43 countries around the world to support their reforestation projects. You pick a location that interests you and decide how many trees you want planted. Donations are pooled and sent to the partner organizations who grow the saplings then plant the trees. These trees are monitored as they grow, and their impact is tracked by One Tree Planted.


You can decide whether you want your donation to help plant trees in California to replace those lost by drought and wildfire, in Ethiopia to conserve land and protect water supply for farmers, or in Vietnam to restore mangrove ecosystems. There are many other options which you can explore here.


Since their founding, One Tree Planted has more than doubled the number of trees planted each year. With 23.5 million trees planted in 2021, that brings the grand total to over 40 million trees! Read stories about the impact of trees and other ways to support the environment at this link. Information includes a conversation with Jane Goodall about planting trees for chimpanzee conservation, an explanation of agroforestry and the 39 best ways to celebrate Earth Month


If you’d like to help One Tree Planted restore forests, create habitat for biodiversity, and make a positive social impact around the world, there are many ways to do so. Plant a treegift a tree, become a tree ambassador, join a tree planting event, make them your designated charity on Amazon Smile, shop for merch, or make a general donation. Told you there were a lot of options.


As always, help amplify the message on social media. Like the One Tree Planted Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @onetreeplanted and Instagram @ onetreeplanted. #reforestation

Friday, April 15, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Rainforest Alliance

It’s time for another Feel Good Friday alliance y’all. Because Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd, I’m keeping the next few blogs focused on environmental organizations like the Rainforest Alliance.

Founded in 1987, the Rainforest Alliance is “an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal.” Their vision is “a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.”


To achieve this vision, they are building an alliance to protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. Watch this 5-minute video to meet some of the farmers who are part of the Rainforest Alliance


The work they do is focused on certification, landscapes management, advocacy and supply chain services. Why? Because forests are a source of air, water, food, shelter and medicine yet deforestation rates are accelerating, with an estimated 75% of deforestation driven by agriculture.


The Rainforest Alliance works with forest and farming communities, Indigenous leaders, companies, governments, and global citizens in 70 countries to promote more sustainable land management practices and cultivate thriving rural economies—the most widely proven strategy to keep our tropical forests standing. They also train farmers in climate-smart agriculture methods, helping them to adapt to current climate impacts and prepare for future challenges.


The Rainforest Alliance certification program is followed by over 2.3 million farmers around the world. They are audited against rigorous sustainability standards based on the triple bottom line: environmental, economic, and social well-being. Business that pass these standards can display the Rainforest Alliance certified seal. If you want to support these businesses, #FollowTheFrog.

The impact of the Rainforest Alliance in the last 34 years is impressive. 6.8 million hectares of farmland are certified against sustainability standards and over 5,000 companies work with Rainforest Alliance to source certified ingredients. You can now buy certified products in over 100 countries around the world.


Other ways you can help create a more sustainable world, protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities are to buy some Rainforest Alliance merchandise, stay in a certified hotel on your next vacation, or make an old school donation.


As always, help amplify the message on social media. Like the Rainforest Alliance Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @RnfrstAlliance and Instagram @rainforestalliance. #RainforestAlliance

Friday, April 8, 2022

Feel Good Friday - San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Not only is April 8th a Feel Good Friday, it’s also National Zoo Lovers Day! What a great time to profile the San Diego Zoo and Wildlife Alliance. 

Since 1916, the San Diego Zoo in California has been connecting people and animals. What you may not know is that, along with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the zoo is part of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA), “an international, nonprofit conservation organization committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives.”  Watch this short video or keep reading to learn more.

The sustainability of wildlife around the world is threatened by climate change, invasive species, habitat degradation, human-wildlife conflict, wildlife trafficking and emerging diseases. SDZWA addresses these challenges by implementing conservation strategies in partnership with hundreds of organizations around the world. 

They operate in eight strategic regions, known as conservation hubs, and focus on specific animals in each region – for example gorillas in the African forest, jaguars in Amazonia and elephants and rhinos in the savanna. Working with local partners they develop their conservations plans which have included trail cams and GPS collars for jaguars, providing water sources for kolas affected by wildfires, and reintroducing “more than 44 endangered species to native habitats”.


SDZWA brings stories of their work back to the zoo and safari park to give guests the opportunity to experience conservation in action. This work reaches over 1 billion people in 150 countries via news media, social media, their websites, educational resources, and the San Diego Zoo Kids channel, which is in children’s hospitals in 13 countries. Their goal is to inspire visitors, both in person and virtually, to become Wildlife Allies and help safeguard wildlife around the world.

If you want to be a Wildlife Ally, there are many ways to get involved. You can join campaigns to slow climate change, protect natural habitat for monarch butterflies, or help stop wildlife trafficking. You can also purchase a membership to SDZWA and visit in person, make a donation or join conservation experts for some adventure travel! As always, help spread the love on social media. Like the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @sandiegozoo and Instagram @sandiegozoo. 

Friday, April 1, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Comedy Gives Back

Happy April Fool’s Day! A day of pranks and (hopefully) laughter, and a perfect Feel Good Friday to talk about comedians and the people looking out for them. 

Comedy Gives Back is the safety net for the comedy community. It was founded by industry veterans in April 2020, to help comedians who found themselves out of work and struggling at the beginning of the Covid pandemic.


As they explain on their website: “Being alone onstage is part of the job of the stand-up comedian. Feeling alone offstage is unacceptable. Comedy Gives Back was created so that comedians have resources to turn to when times get tough.”


The first major event produced by Comedy Gives Back was Laugh Aid, a virtual event that involved 90 comedians streaming 8 hours of live content. Comedy fans tuned in, donated and helped Comedy Gives Back raise $400,000 which was distributed to over 700 grantees.


In addition to the financial relief grants, Comedy Gives Back helps comedians access mental health and substance abuse resources. There is also a Facebook group for comedians to connect and support each other. 


If you’ve appreciated comedians who brought laughter into your world over the last two years, let them know it by making a donation and spreading the word on social media. Like the Comedy Gives Back Facebook pageand follow them on Twitter @ComedyGivesBack and Instagram @ComedyGivesBack.