Occasionally, I hear someone ask which shipping company is the most environmentally conscious. Look, the answer is simple. If you want to ship something in a “green” manner, just mail it. Why? Because the mail truck would have gone to the destination regardless.
Mail trucks deliver mail to the destination every day except Sunday, while most delivery services follow the same schedule but only travel to the destination when they have a package to deliver. No matter what kind of fuel they use or how high-tech their trucks are, two trucks will always release more carbon emissions than one truck, so choose the one that already has to visit the destination.
If you’re a US citizen, you probably know that there’s an important election coming up. If you aren’t a US citizen, you’re probably laughing hysterically as the country tears itself apart every 4 years. Anyway, if you are a US citizen over the age of 18, you have an obligation to register and vote in this election. You may think that your desired candidate will win by a landslide, but the polls are much closer than that.
If you are not yet registered to vote, now is the time (if you haven’t already missed the deadline for your state), so that you can cast your vote by November 6th. Of course, registering is only half the battle. You really need to set some time aside to research everything that will be on the ballot, and I’m not just talking about the two top presidential candidates. I’m talking about every representative, senator, city council member, proposition, etc. You should set aside time to research them all.
As for the presidential candidates, I won’t tell you who to vote for, you get enough of that if you follow me on Twitter. I just ask that you research each candidate so that you can make an educated, logical, and unemotional decision. Choose the candidate who has the best chance of giving you your ideal America.
One by one, sites across the whole internet are going dark in protest of two US Bills, PIPA and SOPA, which will essentially give the US entertainment industry the power to censor entire websites, remove them from search engines, and cripple their revenue for hosting copyrighted content (even the music playing in the background of your latest vacation video) or just not doing a good enough of job at blocking copyrighted content (say goodbye to YouTube). If you think that’s good for us, ask yourself what “a good enough of job at blocking copyrighted content” means to you, then ask if you think a judge would feel the same way. Can’t guarantee an answer? That’s the problem with PIPA and SOPA. They put the wrong power in the wrong hands.
This blog will be going dark along with many other sites from 8am to 8pm EST in what should hopefully be a powerful representation of what the future of the censored web could look like. If you want a taste now, head on over to Wikipedia, WordPress.com, or WordPress.org.
Take a minute to tell Congress that you won’t stand for such ridiculous actions. There are better ways to stop piracy than censoring one of the largest venues to freedom of speech that the world has ever known. If you have a WordPress.com blog, you can easily join the protest, and self-hosted WordPress.org bloggers can grab a plugin to join in as well.
If you want to know more about PIPA and SOPA, watch the video below.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the environment and nature, so every year I like to split up the bulk of my charitable donations between two conservation charities; The Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy. This year, however, I am dumping all of that into The Conservation Fund and bypassing The Nature Conservancy. The answer to why is one simple question. How is your charity spending your money?
Last year, I made an honest mistake and forgot to donate to both charities. Since then, I have received one mailer, gift, and/or magazine each week from The Nature Conservancy asking me to donate again. By my calculations, the costs of printing, labor, and mailing this year have far exceeded what I donated in the past. In short, everything that I have donated to The Nature Conservancy has been spend trying to get me to donate again. Why should I donate to an organization that spends so much on something other than its core purpose?
To put it plainly, The Conservation Fund does not do that. All I have ever received from them has been a donation receipt at the end of the tax year with a nice little letter about the fund’s progress, and a biannual brochure about some of the fund’s ongoing projects. When I forgot to donate last year, I simply received nothing. In fact, The Conservation Fund only devotes 1% of their budget to fundraising and 2% to administration and other costs. That leaves 97% of their budget to the core purpose that you really care about. This is no doubt why Charity Navigator has awarded The Conservation Fund its top rating for the past 6 years, a rating held by only 4% of the charities they track.
From now on, I’ll make sure that my money only goes to charities that will ensure the majority of my donation is used towards the programs that I intended to fund in the first place.
Three years ago, I published Save The Environment for Free, a post detailing some of the novel ways that you can help save our environment without having to spend a dime. Today, I’d like to talk about water.
Many of us are used to simply going to the kitchen for a cool and refreshing drink of fresh clean water, but over 800 million people worldwide lack access to clean water, and over 3 million people die from water-related disease each year.
Various charities are collecting donations to provide wells and water filtration to communities in need, but Children’s Safe Drinking Water is taking a new approach by providing two ways for you to provide clean water for free.
If you’re on Facebook, visit PUR’s Daily Drop to donate 10 liters of clean water for the cost of nothing more than a few clicks. If you aren’t already on Facebook, this may be the perfect reason to join.
If you have an iPhone or Android-powered phone, get the CauseWorld app. You’ll gain an average 5 karmas for every store you log visiting. Once you’ve gained 100 karmas, you can cash them in to provide 50 days worth of clean water for a child. 50 days worth of clean water for every 20 stores that you visit is not a bad deal at all, and you aren’t obligated to spend anything more than the effort (and perhaps gas) that it takes to visit the stores.