Kindness pays. You’ve heard in the news about what a great business Costco is, how it pays it’s employees well and has kind and sensible business practices. Well, here’s a tribute to the employees who work at Costco.
If you are a kind person who respects yourself and others and goes about living life in a sensible and enthusiastic fashion, you’ll fit in with this paradigm of better living – no matter where you live or work.
Here’s a great Labor Day story: Pat McConlogue, a NYC programmer and entrepreneur, offered Leo, a homeless man, either $100 or the chance to learn how to code. Leo chose learning to code. After only a few days of tutoring, Leo now has a facebook page and wants to design a website or an app featuring social environmental change so others can make small changes for the greater good. Leo is concerned about greenhouse gases and deforestation, and wants the U.S. to lead by example to create a better world – and Leo wants to play a part.
Pat has gotten a lot of flack for offering to help a homeless man. I think a lot of people with new ideas get flack (to start with), and I’m happy to say that Pat went through with his idea, even though naysayers were trashing him.
Pat and Leo’s story encourages me not to give up on my ideas, even if others say they won’t work or aren’t good enough. Because how do you know it won’t work until you give it a go?
How might your small ideas and what you have to offer help give someone a leg up or begin positive change in the world?
This idea was the thesis project of Syracuse University Industrial Design graduate Amanda Savitsky. Measuring cups and bowls that are numbered, different colors, and different shapes, so those with autism spectrum disorders (and those just who like artsy cool measuring tools) can more easily follow recipe instructions. The Match Prep Cooking System design teaches linear left to right layout and employs workstations that create structure and routine, two powerful ways to encourage learning for people with autism. There’s even an iPad app that takes cooking preparation tasks and breaks them down into small steps – basically an online cookbook to complement these measuring tools. It doesn’t look like this idea has been manufactured yet, but this video shows the concept in use.
For a unique vacation experience, try a tiny hotel in Portland Oregon, where you stay in a tiny house in the Alberta Arts district. There’s lots of sights to see and things to do, plus local food shops will even give you room service!
If you are feeling like you are too old to make a difference, I hope this story changes your mind. Ernest Green, a retired Engineer, heard that Collin Smith was paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident. Ernest offered to help Collin- a young high school athlete overwhelmed by his new circumstances. A strong friendship developed. Here’s their story, from the Good News Network.
Humans only use a small percentage of our brains. That’s because 7% of our brain goes to conscious thought, and 93% to subconscious. Our subconscious is our processing hardware used for things like breathing, heartbeat, blood, walking, digesting, etc. It also processes our dreams, and includes our memory banks and experience – which can include phobias, bad habits, and other things we find hard for our conscious mind to control.
I’ve found a business that is working to help re-wire the subconscious hardware so we can change some of the ingrained habits at the core level. Rose Ludwig, RN CHt, is the founder of Heartwise Hypnotherapy in Vancouver Washington. As a licensed Consulting Hypnotist, she also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, is a Registered Nurse, a former professional bodywork practitioner, and has trained in several other healing modalities. Rose works with her clients in areas such as stress management, enhancing creativity and imagination, management of physical problems (morning sickness, snoring, preparation for surgery, more energy), ego strengthening (self image, exam confidence, improving self-esteem), habit and behavior changes (smoking cessation, weight control, nail biting, motivation to exercise) and phobias/fears (fear of dentists, spiders, public speaking, dogs, needles, etc.). Rose first of all LISTENS to find out Continue reading →
This urban farm in LA shows how one couple is growing their own fresh vegetables and fruit trees, raising chickens, and composting. They also have a solar food dryer, show how to make your own outdoor emergency toilet using a milk crate, and how to make a stove. Since they live in earthquake territory, these items have been used in the past when the city systems have been down. Many of these ideas can also be used when camping.
Here’s a back to school song to get your kids motivated: a music video created to inspire school attendance by and for the kids of the Oakland school district, filmed at the La Escuelita Elementary School. Maybe it’ll be an earworm to get kids and parents in the mood for school…
There’s a new way to approach the healing of trauma. Collective trauma happens to groups of people through war, disease, terrorist attack, natural disasters, mass shootings, and attempted genocide. Transgenerational trauma takes place in groups historically over generations – such as those whose relatives suffered during the holocaust. Effects are specific: fear, rage, depression, survivor guilt, and physical responses in the brain and body that can lead to illness and a sense of disconnection or detachment. Collective trauma can be transmitted down generations and throughout communities in such possible ways as poverty, alcoholism, depression, sexual abuse, etc.
Our family has worked the reduce/reuse/recycle mantra and gone from weekly to bi monthly garbage collection, and we were feeling pretty good about that. When a neighbor friend of mine said that she has been able to whittle down her family’s garbage collection to only once a month, I was impressed. But thanks to Yes Magazine, this story tells how a family was able to pare down their yearly solid household trash to fit into one quart size jar, plus gives 10 tips to a zero waste household.
French Bio Chemist Pierre Calleja discovered that Micro Algae eats CO2 – i.e. car exhaust – and then uses that energy power to create light. This technology was recently tested in a parking lot to clean air – it can capture and filter one ton of CO2 per year – and used the pollution as an energy source to create light. This technology is currently being used to light and filter the air in an underground parking garage, but this would work great in urban areas, and revolutionize cityscapes.
Ever wanted to see what a Free Gift Swap or Free Stuff Swap looks like in action? Here’s a video my daughter, then 16 years old, created to show how a Free Gift Swap works:
My daughter Aubrey is now a junior at university majoring in Environmental Science. Yeah, I’m pretty proud of her:) She’s always been very concerned about helping people and the environment (she is a big supporter and helper at the free swaps she’s able to attend), and her university experience has given her a new and exciting window on the world. If you want to help support Aubrey’s education, check out her photography prints for sale here. For more about Free Swaps, and how you can start one in your area, click here.
Why have brown grass when you can be feeding people? This gentleman planted a food forest in the parking strip in front of his house. Neighbors come by to walk the paths. What a great community builder, sharing food, peace, and care. Here’s Ron Finley talking about the Food Forest in his yard:
The Community Legacy Program of Our United Villages believes that every person can make a positive difference for the benefit of all. They celebrate and support everyday people who in small ways are making a positive difference in their communities. To celebrate, they have monthly free Sharing Ideas meetings that give individuals a chance to tell how they got involved/created their community strengthening idea, and how others can duplicate their template, allowing individual passions to encourage and inspire others. To support, they provide free tools and resources on their Continue reading →
A new business model – Beast Fit Nation – offers free grueling workouts with one catch – you have to promise you’ll do three random acts of kindness after you leave. Local sponsors pay for the gym. If you’re not from Portland, they’ve got free workout videos on their web site, music playlists, sports news, and more for you to enjoy.
When our kids were upper grade school they squirreled all over the place – including climbing up the doorway frames and doing flips onto the couch. My sister suggested these were gymnastic moves. So we signed the kids up for a gymnastics class and the rest was history: both kids LOVED it. The kids had dabbled in the usual kids sports, but neither of them liked the competition/stress felt in traditional sports. The gymnastics classes were held in a place called The Children’s Gym, and focused on learning, not competition. Both kids developed self-confidence, body awareness, and no fear when having their head below their body (such as Continue reading →
On a walk through our neighborhood yesterday, I saw a cute wooden box, and inside it was a little free library of books! If you like little things, and you like to read, you might like the idea of installing a little free library near your house for the neighbors to enjoy.
The mission of the Little Free Library:
To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations
To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world – more than Andrew Carnegie–and then more.
8-year-old Leanna Morris didn’t think it was fair that World War II Veteran Charles Mowbray, who volunteers at her grade school sharing his stories, never received the medals he rightfully earned. So she did something about it.
Take a look at the whole story and CBS News video here.
What’s old is new again: homeowners in Scotland have insulated their home with wool off the backs of the sheep from their farm. They also have incorporated rocks found in their farmland fields for stonework, and wood harvested from their acreage in their home as well. Add to that triple glazed windows, under floor heating by ground–source heat pump, water from a borehole, and renewable energy from a wind turbine, and you get a pretty sustainable home. Their working farmhouse also doubles as a guesthouse where they serve meals from ingredients either grown from their farm or others nearby.
Voice Talent and co-owner of the Hughes/Taylor audio production company.
Encouraging thought leaders (those with innovative and sometimes odd, simple, practical ideas) through Better Ideas Now.
Creating Free fashion, frugal fun through Swap Positive.