Thursday, December 15, 2011
For those of your new to Kiva, it's pretty simple (a couple of clicks), environmentally less invasive (no wrapping required) and a great way to help others. Kiva is a micro lending organization that helps people all over the globe. Basically what happens is a stall owner in Jakarta wants to grow her business and help herself, her family, and her community. She doesn't have access to cash to get it going so she contacts Kiva who then vets her and puts her request online. Then regular Joes and Janes like us loan money (in $25 increments) and when the loan is funded, the borrower gets her money and she's off to the races. Over time (generally within a year and with an astounding 90 something percent completion rate) she pays off the loan and you get your money back. Simple, cool, and highly effective.
So how does this help with your gift giving choices? Well, Kiva has gift certificates that you can buy and print, email, Facebook, or have sent as a card to that special person in your life. How cool is that? Instead of some new gizmo that will end in a landfill, or an iTunes gift card (that will end in a landfill by the way) you can give the gift of giving. But it doesn't stop there my friends!
Consider this. You give your little niece a $25 gift loan. She heads on line and is empowered by perusing the loan applicants, reading about them, deciding on who to fund, and then helping them better their lives. The loan is paid back to her, she gets an email, and then gets to re-loan that same amount to someone else. Your gift keeps giving until who knows when? So it's much more than a one time gift and your niece thinks of you every time she heads onto the Kiva site or gets an update. And as an added bonus, she's so blown away by all of this, that she gives up her dreams of becoming a corporate overlord and instead decides to devote her life to helping others, creates a non-profit that builds houses for the poor and wins the Nobel Prize!! And all that for $25! Wow!
But yeah, she'll probably like that iTunes gift card just as much so i could see this being a toss up.
Happy Happy (and check out Kiva!)
Monday, September 19, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never!
By Bill McKibben, Published: May 23
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Wild article in the New York Times about how Chicago is preparing for the coming storm. In 50 years the weather there is expected to be more like New Orleans than Chicago, so they are beginning to change sidewalks, roadways, and the types of trees they plant. It's hard to know if this is smart or not, but it seems like embracing what is happening (and trying to slow it at the same time) is the thing that makes the most sense. Check it out here.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
According to the site permanently changing the worlds rooftops would have the same effect as cutting out a full year of man made CO2 (in decreased cooling and heating costs). Cool.
Check it out.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Time and again I find myself getting asked about Global Warming or, as it should more accurately be called, Global Climate Change. It's a tough one because it's so political and so large, but when you look at the science (oh dear, did I say science) it's actually quite simple. I generally try to convince people why they need to change using logic as it seems to cut through all of the left/right stuff that this topic brings up.
Having said all of that though, check out Skeptical Science, a very cool site that has a list of the generally raised "beliefs" about climate change and the science that refutes these claims. They even have a free iphone app that has the same info, so you can argue on the go! How cool (pun intended).