Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Farm Waste and Animal Fat Fuels Passenger Jet

Excerpted from the New York Times:

United Airlines photo

Sometime this summer, a United Airlines flight will take off from Los Angeles International Airport bound for San Francisco using fuel generated from farm waste and oils derived from animal fats.

...For years, biofuels have been seen as an important part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And airlines, with their concentration around airports and use of the same kind of fuel, have been seen as a promising customer in a biofuels industry that has struggled to gain traction.

...On Tuesday, United plans to announce a $30 million investment in one of the largest producers of aviation biofuels, Fulcrum BioEnergy, the biggest investment so far by a domestic airline in the small but growing field of alternative fuels. (Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong, last year announced a smaller investment in Fulcrum.)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Jobs for "Unsocialized" Cats

The Working Cats Program is a green program that relocates sterilized and vaccinated unsocialized cats who would otherwise have been euthanized at the shelter to places that have problems with rats. The rats are repelled by the cats’ odor and leave. Compared to the methods that are most commonly used to control rats, this method proves to be effective, humane and environmentally friendly. It is a win-win-win situation!

Our program began at the Flower Mart in downtown Los Angeles, where they have had a problem with rats since 1909. Through a carefully managed re-colonization plan, we brought in unsocialized cats who have been wonderfully successful at keeping the rats away (rats will avoid areas with cats). Scott Yamabe, CEO of South California Growers Association, was skeptical at first, but was soon very enthusiastic about the program.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Preserving and Enhancing Argentina's Diversity

"The BIOPHILIA Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit organization based in Argentina that contributes in shaping a sustainable model of rural development in different regions of the country, through a synergetic approach and a holistic vision. We work in empowering a diversified network of communities, small-scale food producers and farmers, with the mission to reinforce local economies, fostering a responsible management of the natural resources. In doing so, BIOPHILIA contributes to the conservation of biodiversity emphasizing the core values within each community´s cultural identity, history and traditions."

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Story Behind Make A Wish Foundation

Chris, the dying 7-year-old boy with a wish.
Photo from Make a Wish Foundation
The story behind Make A Wish Foundation.  How it all started.  From the Make a Wish website:

During a long nighttime stakeout kneeling in some desert weeds in the spring of 1980, U.S. Customs Agent Tommy Austin tells Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Ron Cox his problem.

His wife’s friend Linda has a small son named Chris Greicius who is probably going to die of leukemia.   The seven-year-old boy yearns to be a police officer “to catch bad guys” with Austin.  Running into bureaucratic hesitation at Customs, Austin asks Cox if maybe DPS can do something.  “I’ll rent a helicopter myself if I have to,” Austin says.

Cox takes the request to DPS spokesman Allan Schmidt, who asks DPS Director Ralph Milstead.  He gives Schmidt carte blanche to grant Chris’ wish.  Soon Austin receives a call from Chris’ mom saying that she doesn’t think he can hang on much longer.

“None of us had any idea what we were getting into at the time,” Schmidt will recall 30 years later.  He draws other people in: Officer Jim Eaves will bring his patrol car, and Officer Frank Shankwitz his motorcycle, to meet the DPS helicopter flying Chris to headquarters.  On April 29, Chris comes from Scottsdale Memorial Hospital to the empty lot by DPS at Lewis and 19th Avenue.  There he and his parents are given a tour.  That’s when Lt. Col. Dick Schaefer gives the boy a “Smokey Bear” hat and one of his own old badges, and Chris becomes Arizona’s first and only honorary DPS officer.

Everyone who meets the beaming boy chewing bubble gum wants to help.  At the end of the day, some of those involved meet in a spontaneous group hug and realize they don’t want the day to be the end of it.  They also know they don’t have much time.

Two of them, Cox and Eaves, go to John’s Uniforms, the business that makes all DPS uniforms, and order one Chris’ size.  Employees work all night to have it ready the next day.  A group of officers take the uniform to his house, where Shankwitz sets up cones for Chris to steer his battery-powered motorcycle through to qualify for a motorcycle officer’s wings.

But when they return the next day to present the wings to Chris, he’s gone back into the hospital.  With his DPS gifts all around him, clutching his new wings, Chris gives a last smile for the men who have done so much for him in such a short time. He passes May 3.

---For more read: http://wish.org/about-us/our-story/how-it-started

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sing Showtunes!

The hills are alive with the sound of music, which could help people with Alzheimer's stave off the effects of the debilitating disease.

A study by U.S. scientists has shown that the brain function of those suffering from dementia can be improved if they belt out their favorite show tunes.

Researchers working with elderly residents at an East Coast care home found in a four-month long study found that people who sang their favorite songs showed a marked improvement compared to those who just listened.

Among the songs sung during 50-minute sessions were hits from "The Wizard of Oz," "Oklahoma!" and "The Sound of Music."

The most improvement was among those sufferers with moderate to severe dementia.

For more, go to NY Daily News

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Clean Water Vending for Nairobi Slums

C. Coimbra photo
The Kenyan government is installing water vending machines in the slums of Nairobi to address the city’s increasingly dire lack of clean water accessibility. In partnership with a Danish water engineering company, they’ve placed four of the water ATMs, which can be accessed with “smart cards,” around the impoverished neighborhood of Mathare. Users store “water credits” on their smart cards, which they can then use to purchase clean water. A simple swipe of the card sends water gushing out of a pipe into whatever container is positioned to collect it.

For a long time, people living in the slums could only acquire clean water from a cartel of water vendors who sold it at inflated prices. These water ATMs, however, dispense 20 liters of water for half a Kenyan shilling—which amounts to half an American cent. Access to clean water is a fundamental human right, one which should be furnished for free. But these water ATMs provide, at least, a more afforable alternative to the water vendors, who sell the same amount of water for 50 Kenyan shillings, making clean water a luxury for most Kenyans living in the slums.

--From Good.is

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thousands March In Unity in Charleston

Excerpted from The Post & Courier:

Thousands gather for Bridge to Peace event: ‘We will rise above the hate’

(Charleston) has been praised for its response to a shooting that left nine dead Wednesday night in Emanuel AME Church, but a walk Sunday night across the Arthur Ravenel Bridge put residents’ solidarity into perspective.

Police estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 people gathered for the Bridge to Peace Unity Chain, an event held to promote unity and peace.

People gathered on both sides of the bridge — named after a former state lawmaker and Confederate flag supporter — and marched until they met in the middle, cheering and congratulating each other with open arms.

Khalil Santos smiled as one of his sons peered at the crowd from his shoulders.

“I want my kids to understand what this represents,” he said. “I want them to understand that hate is not the way to live. I want them to have brighter futures and I want them to see the unity, no matter race or color. We are still united.”

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Call for 1-Million Women

A group of women in Australia decided to make a change and grow into a million women committed to reducing their carbon footprint.  It's called, 1 Million Women.

From the website:

In many well-off nations, everyday lifestyles can be wasteful, polluting. Many just consume too much. This harms the planet, it costs us a lot, and wanting more and more is stressful. The solution is less stuff, while getting more out of life.

As women we decide about 85% of household purchases. If 1 million women all make one better choice, however small, it leads to real change.

Our 1 Million Women goal is to inspire a million women to take practical action on climate change by cutting a minimum of 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse pollutant 
causing global warming but our ultimate aim is for us all to be living a zero carbon lifestyle.

Here on our 1 Million Women website you'll be guided through ways to cut your first 1 tonne and more, and you can track your progress as you go along.

You don't have to be an expert on climate change. Just join up and take the carbon challenge. Its that easy. We'll guide you every step of the way.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Water in the Desert--Humanitarian Relief Effort

"No More Deaths" photo
Regardless of one's political beliefs about immigration, particularly immigration from the U.S. southern borders, especially those areas where immigrants must cross the deadly southwestern desert,  the humanitarian impact remains.

A southern Arizona nonprofit, No More Deaths, formed by community and faith groups, where volunteers provide food, water, and medical aid to the migrants in the desert. They also offer humanitarian aid to people in Mexico who have been deported from the US.

"Since 2004, No More Deaths has maintained a humanitarian presence in the 262-square-mile corridor where over half of known migrant deaths in recent years have occurred. This militarized region, deemed the “Tucson Sector” and treated as a war zone by the Department of Homeland Security, disproportionately plays host to the mass migration without papers of people from the Americas," states the website.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Anonymous Kind Thoughts on Social Media

A high school valedictorian recently revealed that he was the identity behind an anonymous Instagram account that shared kind thoughts about his fellow students, ABC News reported. In a graduation speech on June 6, Konner Sauve told his classmates he had been posting to the secret account for nearly an entire year.

“I wanted to focus on the better aspects of people,” the teen told the news outlet. “To shed a positive light on each individual, make them feel appreciated, and to know that someone cares."

Posting under the username @thebenevolentone3, Sauve shared over 650 photos of students at East Valley High School in Yakima, Washington. The images featured members of the classes of 2014 to 2017, each captioned with a sweet thought or message highlighting students’ positive attributes.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Compassion Meditation for an Enemy

No matter how much we try,  there are always people who will test our ability to express love and compassion toward them.  They can be people involved in our personal lives, or they can people of a much different culture, faith, or lifestyle. They can be people we see on nightly news who offend our personal standards.  How do we put compassion into action in these circumstances?

The Greater Good in Action has a meditation for that!

From the webpage, "Compassion Meditation:"

Compassion for an Enemy

Now visualize someone with whom you have difficulty in your life. This may be a parent or child with whom you disagree, an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, a roommate with whom you had an argument, or a co-worker with whom you do not get along. [5 seconds]

Although you may have negative feelings towards this person, think of how this person has suffered in his or her own life. This person has also had conflicts with loved ones, or has dealt with failures, or may have suffered illness. Think of a situation in which this person may have suffered. [30 seconds]

Notice your heart center. Does it feel different? Do you feel more warmth, openness and tenderness? Are there other sensations, perhaps an aching sensation? How does your heart feel different from when you were envisioning your own or a loved one’s suffering? [10 seconds]

Continue to visualize this person as you breathe. Imagine that you are extending the golden light from your heart to him or her, and that the golden light is easing his or her suffering. Extend this light out to him or her during your exhalation, with the strong heartfelt wish that he or she be free from suffering. See if this wish can be as strong as the wish for your own or a loved one’s suffering to be
relieved. Silently recite to him or her:

May you be free from this suffering.
May you have joy and happiness
May you be free from this suffering.
May you have joy and happiness.
[1 minute]

If you have difficulty in wishing for this person’s suffering to be relieved, you may think of a positive interaction you have had with this person that can help you in wishing them joy and happiness. Perhaps there were times when you got along, laughed together, or worked well together on an assignment. Continue to silently recite:

May you be free from this suffering.
May you have joy and happiness.
[2 minutes]

Again, notice how this feels in your heart. Did the sensations change? Did you feel warmth, openness and tenderness? How were these feelings different from when you were wishing for your own or a loved one’s suffering to end? Were there other sensations, perhaps a tightness in the chest? Did you have a wish to take away this person’s suffering? [30 seconds]

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grower Avoids Plastic Waste, Saves Money, Environment

Jeff Larkey photo by Jim Holm
Our friends at The Clean Oceans Project (TCOP) with the mission "To eliminate plastic pollution through research, education and direct action," recently showcased this innovative commercial grower, who has found a way to use less plastic wrap in his business. 

TCOP noted, "Resolute supporter and organic farming guru Jeff Larkey from Route One Farms in Santa Cruz California shows me how he avoids using plastic wrapping to secure his boxes by reusing angle channels and giant rubber bands to avoid expense and waste."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Contagious Compassion!

What if you “caught” compassion and were able to infect your community, state, nation, and the world? Instead of turning our lives upside down like a stomach bug, compassion would make us happier, healthier, and more connected to others.

A compassion contagion isn’t out of the question. Videos, products, and concepts go viral all the time, thanks to technology and social media. If planking, “The Evolution of Dance,” and “Gangnam Style” (which has had over 2.3 billion views) can catch on, so can compassion.

How can we make compassion contagious? Here are some ideas:

Harness the Power of Social Media

My 72-year-old mom knows what’s happening in my senior year prom date’s life, and that tells me something. Thanks to social media, we are connected … for better or for worse.

Let’s focus on the “for better” part and use our social media platforms for good. Many campaigns have created awareness and raised funds for important causes.

A few examples include: #bringbackourgirls,  #icebucketchallenge, and #movember.

You, too, can use your social media accounts to spread good in the world. Try some of these ideas:

  • Write kind comments underneath your friends’ posts
  • Cultivate compassion by posting a favorite quote, story, or video
  • Share your personal stories of compassion. Your actions may inspire others.
  • Re-tweet information about compassionate responses to tragedies like the recent Nepal earthquake. (If you’re looking for information about how to help certain disaster relief or humanitarian efforts, @gatesfoundation is a great resource).

There is enough depressing news out there in the world. Let’s do our part to add positivity to our friends’ news feeds.
--From the Chopra Center

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sisters Spinning a Yarn for Bonding

Sister to Sister is "...an organization of empowerment for girls and women based in Harlem... Sister to Sister has been at the forefront of a movement to empower girls and women in the community," reads the nonprofit's website.

A recent grant from The Pollination Project was recently given to Sister to Sister for a program:  Sister to Sister Knitting & Crochet Corner held every Tuesday evening at the Countee Cullen Library. Women and children of all ages from the community come together where they can learn the skill of knitting and crocheting, and develop the art of creating fabric from yarn. Each week 25-35 people gather together  and engage in great conversation, knitting and bonding.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project -- From Sea to Shining Sea

The Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project is gearing up for its 9th year of costal preservation across the nation. Each year, Barefoot Wine and the Surfrider Foundation join forces to clean and restore America’s beaches, lakes and rivers in an effort to keep them “Barefoot friendly.” This year, the Beach Rescue Project will cover 12 beaches in 10 states across the country!

With nearly 25,000 US beaches deemed unhealthy each year, the Project calls on members of our costal communities to project our beaches through cleanups and restorations. To date, the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project has hosted more than 130 cleanups, removed more than 15 tons of trash from our coasts and has done so with the help of over 10,000 volunteers.

As a thank you to the volunteers, each cleanup is followed by a celebration hosted by Barefoot Wine toasting our coasts and the people who care for them. The Surfrider Foundation and Barefoot Wine are working to protect our beaches, lakes and rivers not only for the health of our waterways, but for the enjoyment of beachgoers everywhere.

To get involved in one of this year’s events and take a “stand in the sand,” please visit Beachrescue2015.com.

2015 Event Schedule

June 20th – Oahu, HI

July 11th – Huntington Beach, CA

July 18th – Portland, OR

July 18th – Santa Monica, CA

July 26th – Boston, MA

August 1st – Hampton, NH

August 8th – Seattle, WA

August 8th – Atlanta, GA

August 15th – New York City, NY

September 19th – Tampa, FL

Can’t find an event in your area? No problem. You can participate wherever you are by lending a hand and picking up trash on your local beach or at your local park. Share your participation on Instagram and for every #BeachRescue post, Barefoot will donate $5 to the Surfrider Foundation.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Global Meditation for Peace Set for July 11

How do we change the world? By taking a stand for compassion, one person at a time. Join Deepak Chopra, Gabrielle Bernstein, Ismael Cala, and more than 500,000 people from nearly every country in the world, as we come together online on Saturday, July 11th, with one common intention – to turn around the rising tide of disconnection in the world and, through renewed empathy and love, reconnect to what truly matters.

It Only Takes One Person to Inspire Others and Create Widespread Change

Last year’s Global Meditation event set the Guinness World Record for the largest online meditation gathering in history, when more than 140,000 people from nearly every country in the world came together with Deepak and meditated with one powerful shared intention – to cultivate peace.

The impact was immediate and widespread. Families came together to meditate for the very first time. Neighbors became friends as they gathered in each other’s homes. Yoga studios became true community centers, as people all over the world came together and took a stand for peace.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

French & UK Grocers End Food Wasting

C. Coimbra photo
Food waste is becoming less and less acceptable in Western Europe.

Just days after France's parliament voted to stop big grocers from wasting food -- which will lead to the businesses giving to charities or farms instead -- Britain's largest supermarket chain is enacting a plan for a handful of its stores to give away unsold food to nonprofit organizations, Reuters reported.

In 10 of its U.K. stores, Tesco will be giving away food it otherwise would dispose of to women's refuge centers and children breakfast clubs. The move will help curb the massive amount of food wasted globally each year -- a problem that allows widespread hunger to persist.

"This is potentially the biggest single step we've taken to cut food waste," said Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, according to Reuters. "We hope it marks the start of eliminating the need to throw away edible food in our stores."

--Excerpted From Huffington Post

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Come Together Ferguson Focuses on Youth

Following the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri--the shooting by a police officer of an unarmed teenager--a concerned couple contacted the  Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation. They offered  "...a $100,000 donation to create a fund that would be distributed by a group of black and white residents. The fund’s name reflected the donors’ simple hope: Come Together Ferguson," writes Philanthropy Today.

The story goes on to say, "The foundation recruited pairs of teachers, police officers, religious leaders, and residents — one black, one white, from each category — to form the committee to decide where the $100,000 would go...efforts to help began almost immediately. The first wave of giving went to emergency responses, such as the United Way of Greater St. Louis’s Ferguson Fund, which aimed to meet basic needs, such as food and counseling for those affected by violence..."

Youth programs became a clear choice.  "...summer youth programs are exactly what the Come Together Ferguson committee decided to focus on for its first round of grant making. Committee members put out a call for grant applications, met on a Saturday morning to discuss the more than 40 they received, and unanimously selected 11 organizations to get a total of nearly $40,000."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Giving Pledge Donors Now International

By Maria Di Mento for Philanthropy Today

Ten individuals and families have just agreed to sign the Giving Pledge, the effort launched in 2010 by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to persuade the world’s wealthiest people to commit to giving at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity. The number of donors and families committed to the pledge now stands at 137.

Those who just pledged are:

Judy Faulkner, founder of the software firm Epic Systems
Harold Grinspoon, a real-estate developer, and his wife, Diane Troderman
Gordon Gund, an investor, and his wife, Llura
Elie Horn, a Brazilian real-estate tycoon, and his wife, Susy
John (Jay) Jordan II, an investor
Brad Keywell, a co-founder of Groupon, and his wife, Kim
Bill Scott, a former Berkshire Hathaway executive, and his wife, Ruth
Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani yogurt
Sunny Varkey, founder of GEMS Education, and his wife, Sherly
Sir Ian Wood, a Scottish businessman

Giving pledge officials announced that the latest signers plan to support such causes as helping refugees around the world, advancing medical research and curing disease, improving education for youths, supporting children in underserved schools and neighborhoods, and promoting global development and economic opportunities in Africa.

Originally started with 40 families in the United States, the effort now includes billionaires in 14 countries.

"When we started the Giving Pledge, we had no idea we’d get this many people to come together," said Bill Gates, co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in a news release. "We hope to intensify philanthropy and encourage people to get started younger. It’s exciting to see people becoming bolder and more thoughtful in their giving."

Saturday, June 6, 2015

8,000 Volunteers Expected for India Coastal Cleanup

India’s largest socially-led cleaning initiative is happening in Chennai. The city is waging a war against plastic...6 years ago 150 CTC volunteers traveled to Tada, an ‘eco tourism’ spot and went deep inside the forest to restore the scenic Tada falls to its original natural beauty. 500 big bags with 2 tons of garbage including plastics and broken bottles were removed. An environmental awareness movement was born.

Now in its 6th year, their ambitious target for June 7th is to collect 50+ tons of garbage from 20+ km of the Chennai sea shore with 8000+ volunteers.

---from folomojo

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Amazing Elephant

The largest living land animals, elephants live complex social lives which we are only beginning to
understand. Here are just five of the things that make elephants special.

1.  A male Asian elephant named Koshik – can imitate human speech – matching Korean speech format frequencies in such detail that Korean native speakers can readily understand and transcribe the imitations.

2.  Elephants are the only non-human species known to mourn their dead. Researchers have documented many instances of death rituals at which elephants will somberly visit the bones of other dead elephants.

3.  You know that old saying about how an elephant never forgets? Well, it’s amazing what they can remember. Research has shown than an elephant matriarch can keep track of up to 30 herd-mates at a time. Researcher Richard Byrne concludes that elephant memories are "far in advance of anything other animals have been shown to have."

4.  Elephants are capable of expressing complex thoughts such as warning others of danger, reconciling differences and communicating needs and desires using a system of visual and acoustic signals. Amazingly, recent discoveries show that most vocal calls are at a frequency that humans can’t even hear!

5.  Overhunting by humans is believed to be a factor in both mastodon and mammoth extinctions. Stopping poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking in elephant ivory will be essential in order to stop Asian and African elephants from suffering the same fate.

Here are the names of some of the elephant conservation organizations around the world.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee
Save the Elephants
Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Trust of India
Elephant Voices
World Land Trust
The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
Elephant Nature Park
ElephantAid International
WWF Thailand
SOS Elephants
Bring the Elephants Home
Udawalawe National Park
WWF International
Kerulos Center
Friends of the Asian Elephant
Burn the Ivory
Elephants for Africa
Big Life Foundation
Surin Project
International Elephant Project
Tembe Elephant Park
Wildlife in Warzones
Think Elephants International
Asian Elephant Support
African Conservation Foundation
Save the Elephants of Africa
The Green Guard Nature Organization
The Mali Elephant Project
Elephants Without Borders
March for Elephants (San Francisco)
Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project
Dazzle Africa
The Wildlife Connection
Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife
Safeguarding a Future for Africa’s Elephants (S.A.F.E.)
The Bodhi Tree Foundation
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
The WILD Foundation
Elephants Alive
Ivory For Elephants (IFE)
96 Elephants
Amboseli Trust for Elephants
The Kerulos Center
The Billy & Kani Fund
A Rocha India
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Elevate Destinations
Space for Giants

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Over 2,000 Cyclists Ride In Fundraising Event

More than 2,000 participants arrived Wednesday night in Santa Maria's Preisker Park on Day Four of the annual 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles...

..This is the 14th year for the event that includes a very organized traveling village with hundreds of roadies who help along the route and set up a mini city of tents in cities each night along the way. The campsites include medical and massage tents, a cafeteria, trucks with showers and bathrooms and sponsor tents...

...Lorenzo Martone, who works in the cycling industry and was riding for an HIV-positive loved one, said the ride was metaphoric of the peaks and valleys of life and also called it the most difficult physical challenge of his life...

..Proceeds from AIDS/LifeCycle go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the AIDS/LifeCycle-related services of the L.A. LGBT Center. This year's fundraiser brought in more than $16 million, organizers said.

--From the Lompoc Record

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Volunteers for Texas & Oklahoma Flood Victims

Affiliates of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network in affected areas are already taking an active role in the response efforts. We are helping establish volunteer reception centers throughout the region and training local community leaders to operate these centers – which will serve as vital hubs for activating and managing volunteers during the immediate response and longer-term recovery efforts. We are working closely with local affiliates to develop plans for the large-scale volunteer recovery effort that will be required.

Here’s how you can help:

Check out and sign up for on-the-ground volunteer needs. Please do not self-deploy, as travel is difficult throughout much of the affected area and not every community is prepared to engage volunteers.

Donate to help Points of Light and HandsOn Network affiliates continue to support the mobilization of volunteers in ongoing response and recovery efforts.

Follow @goodandreadyorg on Twitter for the latest news and volunteer needs.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Love is Stronger than Hate

From ICCP 
Following a rather ugly protest against Muslins practicing their faith in Phoenix, Arizona, was a turn-around by hundreds of non-Muslim citizens who stood for religious freedom and tolerance.

From the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix Facebook page:

We are incredibly touched and humbled by the number of friends and neighbors of various faiths that showed up Friday evening to support our community and created a physical barrier of love in front of our Mosque. We are sincerely grateful for all the solidarity messages, prayers, gifts, and donations we received in person, phone, mail, email and on social media from all around the world. A special thank you to Phoenix Police for their outstanding effort in peacekeeping. We express our sympathy to our neighbors and local businesses for the inconvenience they endured. We thank our Muslim community for respecting our wish’s by not attending the protest. Together through love and peace, we can and will make a difference.

Monday, June 1, 2015

More U.S. Cities Look to End Single-Use Styrofoam Pollution

Styrofoam, that popular material for take out, or one time use, is a well-recognized ocean pollutant.  It takes hundreds of years for the product to degrade.  As polystyrene foam breaks down into micro-sized pieces it is often mistaken by fish for food.  That is just one of the complications of Styrofoam--and the volume of Styrofoam that is tossed to waste.  According to the EPA, the U.S., alone throws out 25 BILLION Styrofoam cups into the trash, or out the window in a year.

Cities across the country are banning, or have laws in debate to ban single-use disposable containers made from the Styrofoam in restaurants and caf├ęs. San Luis Obispo, California is the newest city to look at reducing polystyrene waste.   Groundswell reports the following list:

Cities Considering Ban (By State)


Miami Beach, FL


Honolulu, HI


Chicago, IL


Boston, MA


Philadelphia, PA

Cities and Counties that have Officially Banned Plastic Foam:

District of Columbia

Washington, DC


Freeport, ME

Portland, ME


Amherst, MA

Brookline, MA

Somerville, MA


Minneapolis, MN

New Jersey

Rahway, NJ

New York

Glen Cove, NY

New York, NY

Suffolk County, NY


Portland, OR


Issaquah, WA

San Juan County, WA

Seattle, WA


Alameda, CA

Albany City, CA

Aliso Viejo, CA

Belmont, CA

Berkeley, CA

Burlingame, CA

Calabasas, CA

Capitola, CA

Carmel, CA

Carpenteria, CA

Dana Point, CA

Del Ray Oaks, CA

El Cerrito, CA

Emeryville, CA

Fairfax, CA

Foster City, CA

Fremont, CA

Half Moon Bay, CA

Hayward, CA

Hercules, CA

Hermosa Beach, CA

Huntington Beach, CA

Laguna Beach, CA

Laguna Hills, CA

Laguna Woods, CA

Livermore, CA

Los Altos Hills, CA

Los Angeles City, CA

Los Angeles County, CA

Malibu, CA

Manhattan Beach, CA

Marin County, CA

Marina, CA

Menlo Park, CA

Millbrae, CA

Mill Vallet, CA

Monterey City, CA

Monterey County, CA

Morgan Hill, CA

Newport Beach, CA

Novato, CA

Oakland, CA

Orange, CA

Orange County, CA

Pacifiic Grove, CA

Pacifica, CA

Palo Alto, CA

Pittsburg, CA

Portola Valley, CA

Redwood City, CA

Richmond, CA

Riverbank, CA

Salinas, CA

San Bruno, CA

San Carlos, CA

San Clemente, CA

San Francisco, CA

San Jose, CA

San Juan Capistrano, CA

San Leandro, CA

San Mateo City, CA

San Mateo County, CA

San Rafael, CA

Santa Clara County, CA

Santa Cruz City, CA

Santa Cruz County, CA

Santa Monica, CA

Sausalito, CA

Scotts Valley, CA

Seaside, CA


Sunnyvale, CA

Ventura County, CA

Watsonville, CA

West Hollywood, CA

Yountville, CA

- See more at: http://www.groundswell.org/map-which-cities-have-banned-plastic-foam/#sthash.DRTLEQld.dpuf