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green clean

I have been having trouble with some mildew in the shower and needed a refresher course on how to handle it friendly to the environment style. I did a little research and came up with this…

Mold Remover

Vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner; use it straight for tough jobs, or dilute it with water. Tea-tree oil is a natural fungicide and can help disinfect surfaces — mix 2 teaspoons with 2 cups water. To whiten stained tiles or grout, use a mixture of 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup water. All of these solutions can be sprayed onto a surface, allowed to dry, then wiped with a damp cloth.

Tub and Tile Cleaner

Vinegar works well on soap scum and mineral deposits, but rinse thoroughly, as it can corrode some fixtures and etch glaze on tiles. You can also try tea tree oil — 2 drops tea tree oil with 1 cup water — in a spray bottle. A natural antiseptic and fungicide, tea tree oil costs more than vinegar but will kill most types of mold and help prevent growth; as with all concentrated oils, it should be used with caution, as it can trigger allergic reactions if it comes into contact with skin.

I stumbled upon these great natural carpet stain remover tips as well…

Pour a small amount of soda water onto a fresh carpet spill, and blot with a towel. Don’t rub, as you may mat the fibers. If the stain is set, try hydrogen peroxide: Pour some onto a clean, white cloth, then press cloth to carpet. Wait about 15 minutes, blot with a clean cloth. There should be no need to rinse.

I am going super green style in 2010!

-Cara

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Human Rights Campaign

This week the New York State Senate has voted against marriage equality for same-sex couples. I think the majority of constituents were not expecting the vote to turn out this way. Human Rights Campaign quickly put together this petition to elected Senate officials.

Sign this petition so New York leaders can hear your voices

Sign this petition – and make sure the New York leaders who supported this bill know they did the right thing.

HRC will deliver these petitions to New York’s governor, state Senators who supported the bill, and leaders who have championed it from the beginning. The petition reads:

“I’m outraged that marriage equality did not pass in New York, but I’m not going to stop fighting until marriage equality is the law of the land, in New York and across the country. I thank New York’s leaders who fought for this bill.

Listen, am I of the gay persuasion? Sure, who isn’t a little bit really. ;-] Do I believe in the actual institution of marriage? Yes, as far as the business end is concerned. I mean the part where is you receive the same fresh benefits as “heterosexuals” do from the that government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The emotional, spiritual side of a marriage I think you can have without an official certificate of marriage. This is a no brainer.  You may call the commitment ceremony anything you want government, just give everyone the same benefits.

Fair is fair.

-Cara

martha stewart

Martha chats with Robert Kenner and Joel Salatin about the behavior and impact of the commercial food industry.

That is right I said it, as someone who will be enjoying a delightful, sure to be delicious, vegan Thanksgiving feast at our friend Joanna’s abode today and has had the guilty pleasure of being a stalker of all things Stewart for many a year, this is great news. I know her daughter Alexis is a vegetarian and has helped Martha to see the light that fur is not cool, but still, the classic Martha Turkey Day blow up…vegetarian? That my friend is revolutionary if you wrap your mind around the whole picture.

I have heard about Food Inc as well. It looks like an amazing movie and sounds like a great Christmas (or Yule, Chanukah, Kwanza, Three Kings Day, Day of Ashura, Holiday…) gift! :] I will definitely check it out.

I hope at some point to be the person that does not have to keep watching these types of movies, videos, etc to remember why everything we choose to do is so important.  I am very tired of how people can not see what is right in front of them or choose to not be inconvenienced.  This show with Martha Stewart promoting this film, Food Inc is inspiring to me as I do not expect someone in Martha’s position to promote something so risky. This coming from someone that was previously set up for a fall just to be taught a lesson…a lesson it seems she thankfully did not learn.

Martha Stewart is a rebel!

-Cara

My Mom in Miami Pregnant With Me

Here is a Care2 petition that targets the U.S. Congress and is sponsored by the SEIU.

Through the process known as “gender rating,” insurers can charge women higher premiums. This process is not only discriminatory, it is illegal in 10 states! On top of pricing disparities, insurance companies have found other ways to make money at the expense of American women. For example, many insurers refuse to cover “elective” procedures… like giving birth! Others consider domestic violence and rape victims to have a “pre-existing condition” and deny them coverage. The list goes on, but the trend is crystal clear. These are not isolated incidents but policies put in place by the insurance companies to maximize profits.

When it comes to health care, women in America deserve to be protected from these outrageous policies! Sign the petition to Congress urging them pass a health insurance reform bill that forbids insurance companies from discriminating against women.

————————
Are you serious??? I mean that is crazy. I know plenty of men who work in the blue collar field that get damaged much more than me on the day to day, and they do not pay more than the rest. These insurance companies make enough money on the people paying in who never get sick, they do not need to hike up the prices for women, for what reason because we are the ones birthing these little monsters trying to make an extra buck. Do these people not have mothers…don’t women pay enough to the world as it is? I mean my mom certainly has! :]
It is like how these car rental places, Hertz for example, charge more for the car insurance to people who reside in Brooklyn, than for those who live in Manhattan. This is based on statistics that show a higher accident rate for drivers in Brooklyn. I mean really? If Brooklyn was a race Hertz would be a racist.  I said it.
If these health insurance companies are going to be anti-chic. then I am not down.  If you are a woman or care about at least one woman in your realm please send an email (or call/write your local congress representative and tell them) and let Congress know that this is not cool.
-Cara

That’s cool. That is a lot of crosses that they are still adding to… This Judith Broder is a true heroine.

Below is a bit about the organization according to the organization. :] It seems to be a pretty fresh site for a niche market.

-Cara

About The Purpose Prize [According to encore.org]

Launched in 2006 as the first Baby Boomers turned 60, The Purpose Prize is a major initiative investing in a new generation of social innovators – individuals in the second half of life who are marshaling their accumulated experience to tackle some of America’s most pressing problems.

Unlike any other major national award or fellowship, The Purpose Prize challenges prevailing perceptions by investing significantly in accomplished social innovators over the age of 60. Each year, up to six people who have demonstrated uncommon vision, determination and entrepreneurialism in addressing community, national and international problems win $100,000 each. A second group of innovators wins $10,000 each, and dozens more are named Purpose Prize Fellows.

All are making extraordinary contributions to society in their encore careers. Nominations for the 2009 Purpose Prize are open through March 5, 2009. For more information or to nominate someone (including yourself), go to purposeprize.org.

Encore.org is published by Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank that is leading the call to engage millions of experienced individuals in becoming a force for social change. Civic Ventures focuses on creating pathways to encore careers that provide continued income doing work that is personally fulfilling and helps address some of society’s biggest challenges.

Conakry, Guinea Sept. 28, 2009

A photo given to The New York Times shows some of the dead after an opposition rally in Conakry, Guinea, on Sept. 28, 2009.

On Monday, 28th of September, the military gunned down civilians attending a peaceful pro-democracy rally in the West African country of Guinea. Over one hundred and fifty people were killed and women were stripped and raped in the streets.

The Guinean people are crying out for democracy and firm pressure is needed from the international community to ensure military rule is brought to an end, more innocent people do not get killed, and violence does not spread to other fragile democracies in the region.

If we can push the African and European Unions to apply targeted sanctions on the ruling elite, this could be the quickest way to get the military to step down, with out hurting the Guinean people. Sign the petition below and spread the word – and it will be delivered to the EU and AU leadership this week:

Sign Here

To learn more, read the email below:

———————————–
Here’s the original Avaaz email:

Dear friends,

Last week, over 150 civilians were killed when the military opened fire on a peaceful pro-democracy rally in the West African country of Guinea. Women were raped and people were bayoneted on the streets as they tried to escape — a terrifying message to a nation crying out to elect a democratic, civilian government for the first time.

In spite of the international community’s condemnation of the violence and calls for the regime to allow elections, the junta is clinging to power, warning ominously that the army is acting beyond the chain of command. The tense situation threatens to spiral into inter-factional fighting or a counter-coup, which would likely see violence spill over and destabilize the whole region.

We need to act fast. The international community must send a clear message that unless the regime agrees to step down and allow a peaceful democratic transition, they will face immediate, tightly-targeted sanctions. The African and European Unions have discussed invoking travel sanctions on the ruling elite, who love to fly and shop: this could be the best chance to have quick impact, without hurting Guinea’s people — who desperately need our help. We’ll deliver this campaign to European and African leaders before they meet later this month — click the link below to sign the petition and forward this email:

Sign Here

The military ruler of Guinea, Capitan Moussa Dadis Camara, seized power in a military coup last year. He had agreed to step aside and allow for democratic elections next year — but after months of tension, recently reneged on that promise. The people of Guinea have suffered over 50 years of brutal and corrupt dictatorships. Tens of thousands of civilians who attended last week’s rally were clamouring for an end to military rule and opposing his candidacy in elections.

The violence against civilians was brutal. A human rights watch witness stated: “I saw the Red Berets [an elite unit within the military] catch some of the women who were trying to flee, rip off their clothes, and stick their hands in their private parts. Others beat the women, including on their genitals… the women were crying out.”

Firm action is needed not just to make clear that we reject the violent repression of people anywhere who stand up to demand democratic and accountable government, but because what happens in Guinea will affect dozens of other fledgling democracies across Africa, where would-be dictators are closely watching the response from the international community. Years have been spent establishing a fragile peace in neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia. If Guinea blows, they too could be at risk.

An international inquiry is needed into the violence and the army must return to barracks. But a week after the massacre, opposition leaders remain in military detention, and Capitan Camara is shirking responsibility for the violence, blaming the opposition and banning all public ‘subversive’ meetings — sending a clear signal that he isn’t going step aside easily or bend to initial international declarations.

The regional body, Economic Community of West African States, has nominated a negotiator for Guinea. But any talks must be backed up by clear international pressure — otherwise the mineral-rich regime could hold on, ruling through the biggest army in the region. A policy of targeted AU and EU travel bans, affecting the leadership personally, could be pivotal — not only could it help halt more bloodshed, it could start to lay the foundation for a democratic transition.

Sign Here

Guinea’s people desperately need international help and solidarity today. Let’s stand with them, send a clear message to the Guinean military and forces across Africa who seek to rule by the gun that the time for repressive military rule is over. Sign the petition and send it on to family and friends:

Sign Here

With hope,

Alice, Luis, Benjamin, Ricken, Graziela, Paula, Pascal, Iain and the whole Avaaz team.

More information:

Guinea massacre tolls put at 157, BBC, 30 September
http://www.avaaz.org/en/guinea_stop_the_crackdown

Human Rights Watch witnesses from the rally:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/09/29/guinea-stop-violent-attacks-demonstrators

Capitan Moussa Dadis Camara says army is out of control:
http://www.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/118/article_5312.asp

ECOWAS negotiator nominated:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a36d9e74-af56-11de-ba1c-00144feabdc0.html

Violence in Guinea threaten the whole region:
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/richard-moncrieff-repression-and-violence-are-a-danger-to-the-whole-region-1795166.html

Guinea’s Capital Fades Into a Ghost Town After Soldiers’ Rampage, New York Times, 30 September
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/world/africa/30guinea.html

Guinea’s military leader banned all gatherings and demonstrations until further notice, AP, 30 September
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/world/africa/30guinea.html

Guinea asks Russia to block UNSC sanctions
http://www.moneybiz.co.za/africa/africa.asp?story=445a8159-3639-4b5a-adb1-c1face112425

African Union statement on Guinean massacre
http://allafrica.com/stories/200909290925.html
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FairTradeCertifiedCoffee

I forget sometimes how important buying fair trade is. I don’t want small children working, picking my cocoa beans to survive, and possibly being abused at the same time. I want kids to be kids, to play, laugh and just be. I want a responsible world where people who have the power to make a huge difference do just that. We have the power to, in astronomical numbers, change how companies operate in this world. We can support fair trade products and if they don’t carry them in your local store, ask them to. We live in a world where distributors can get you anything you’d like. It is not much more money to buy fair trade.  I would rather pay more and buy fair trade chocolate than to pay a cheaper price to support a company that allows families to not receive a fair wage (i.e. – contributing to the poverty of cocoa farmers) and where children have to work for a living instead of just living.

You can take a minute to take action by sending a letter through Green America to Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury, http://www.greenamericatoday.org/takeaction/cadbury/.  Here is a bit from Green America about what is going on with Todd and Cadbury.

England’s leading chocolate bar, Cadbury Dairy Milk, has announced plans to begin using Fair Trade cocoa in summer 2009. The significance of this fantastic news is that Cadbury is the first major chocolate brand to go Fair Trade with one of its main product lines, one of the goals Green America has been striving towards. Cadbury’s announcement proves what Green America has been saying for years: it is viable for a major chocolate bar to go Fair Trade without passing a significant cost increase to consumers. Congratulations on this important victory to all of you who have taken action by buying a Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate bar or writing a letter to bring us to this moment!

The deal, which will bring the Fair Trade label to 15% of the chocolate sold in England, is welcomed by Green America and our allies on both sides of the Atlantic. Increasing the amount of chocolate sold on the Fair Trade market is an important step to improve the lives of farmers around the world.

That doesn’t mean that Cadbury is now a model of sustainability. Here in the US, Cadbury’s chocolates are not Fair Trade Certified™.

Learn more about Cadbury from Green America’s Responsible Shopper.

By contrast, Green Business Network™ members in the confectionery industry like Sweet Earth Chocolates, Equal Exchange, Alter Eco, and Divine have been pioneering Fair Trade and sustainable practices for decades, and are 100% Fair Trade.

As we all know, it is critical to write companies to pressure them to improve their performance on human rights and the environment. But it is just as important to thank companies when they make a change for the better, so that company executives can bring an outpouring of positive feedback to their boards, shareholders, and employees to sustain their new, responsible practices and promote more change.

Please join Green America and Fair Trade advocacy organizations around the world in generating as many letters as possible to:

* congratulate Cadbury on the Fair Trade certification of their Dairy Milk bar in the UK

* ask Cadbury, Hershey (Cadbury’s US manufacturer) and Green and Black’s Organic (owned by Cadbury) to expand their commitment to Fair Trade in the United States by introducing more Fair Trade Certified products.

Then, commit to seeking out Fair Trade chocolate for special occasions, such as Easter eggs from Green Business leaders like Sweet Earth Organic and Divine Chocolate, instead of buying Cadbury’s Crème Egg.

Here is the form letter below. You may alter it to say what you want as well. This is the link where you are able to send and alter said letter.

Subject: Thank you for your fair trade commitment!

Dear Todd Stitzer, CEO, Cadbury:

As a conscious consumer and as a member of Green America, I would like to congratulate Cadbury on your plans to earn Fair Trade certification for the Dairy Milk bar in the United Kingdom. Thanks to your company for taking the leadership role among major chocolate brands in earning Fair Trade certification for an iconic chocolate bar with wide distribution and broad public recognition.

Through your leadership, Cadbury will transform the lives of cocoa farmers and their families, while contributing to a higher standard for ethical sourcing among major chocolate brands. Grassroots activists have been pressing major chocolate brands for years to become Fair Trade Certified. I regularly purchase chocolate from companies that offer Fair Trade Certified products in the United States because with each pound of Fair Trade cocoa purchased a fair deal is made with small-scale farmers in Ghana and other cocoa-producing countries. I am appalled at the existence of abusive child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa and do not want to buy chocolate picked by one of the hundreds of thousands of children working under “the worst forms of child labor,” as the US State Department reported. I choose to support companies that source Fair Trade because I believe that farmers should earn a price for their cocoa that allows them to meet their basic needs and have the right to participate in democratic organizations to decide the use of community development funds. Cadbury’s Fair Trade certification is a significant leap forward in resolving these issues and is a landmark for corporate social responsibility.

I look forward to the day that I will be able to buy Fair Trade Certified products from Cadbury in the United States. I am pleased that Cadbury Green and Black’s Organic has one Fair Trade bar and I encourage Cadbury to work with Hershey as your US licensee to extend Fair Trade certification to your entire range of Cadbury and Green & Black’s products.

Families in my community seek out Fair Trade Certified chocolate for special occasions like Easter. Expanding Cadbury’s commitment to Fair Trade in the United States by introducing more Fair Trade Certified products, such as Cadbury Creme Easter Eggs, Mini Eggs, Dairy Milk, and multiple types of Green and Black’s bars would give families in my community a reason to purchase more of Cadbury’s products.

I hope that Cadbury will join with communities like mine across the US to denounce forced and child labor, support small farmers and expand the selection of Fair Trade Certified products available in the United States.

Sincerely,
Your Name
Your City and State

I make the commitment to only buy fair trade, organic chocolate.

I said it!

-Cara

the market nyc

I know all my stalkers like to know when they can catch a glance of me from a safe distance of 20 to 30 feet, well tomorrow is your lucky day!  Marine and I will be selling our cute, handmade, organic, soft shirts at The Market NYC for the first time. This all courtesy of our green little company, “be nice“. If you would like to learn more about it, you can on the “be niceblog!

Hope to see some non-crazy peeps there as well.

:]

-Cara

mountaintop-removal-fly-over-19

Green Americans and allies have been calling on the federal government for years to stop destructive mountaintop removal mining practices. Thanks to the thousands of people who have spoken up, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now taking a stronger stance on permits for this destructive form of mining. The EPA recently reviewed 79 permits for mountain top removal operations submitted by the Army Corps of Engineers and found that all of them would likely violate the Clean Water Act.

The permits are now being revised by the Army Corps of Engineers for re-submission. Coal companies are going to be using all their influence to get these permits approved. We need you to join us today and ask the EPA to stand firm on mountaintop removal mining. Together, we can make sure that the EPA has the support it needs to stand strong against the coal industry.

And, together we can encourage the EPA to go even further, and move to end all mountaintop removal mining, preserving communities from this threat for years to come.

Take Action Now!

-Cara

OK kids, this is the last day of Rachel Maddow’s coverage of, “The Truth About The Lies About ACORN” on MSNBC.

Sept. 29: “Who’s Next?”

Listen people the revolution is happening, it is time. This is a very important time in our history, we need to find a balance, we need to get along and take care of each other…all of us. It is not OK for some to have and for others to have not. When there are large media publicized tragedies that happen like a hurricane, a tornado, a tsunami, people all around the world come together to help each other. These tragic stories are fine for the media to cover as their is not the fear of a monetary or power loss to anyone. They are tragedies happening all around us that are trying to be seen through this mass media haze…you need to look and see.

The one thing I know is when I do the right thing, my life is better. I want that better life for everyone. I don’t want people to have to continually fight for what’s right, I just want people to do right so they to can have a better life like the rest of us.

-Cara

ACORN

I am out of town right now, so I am a little behind in ACORN the third day post! I also hove quite a few comments to review, post, and respond too in regards to these ACORN posts, so all those who may think I am ignoring or not publishing their comments hold tight. ;]

Alright enough talk, here is segment 3 of Rachel Maddow’s coverage of, “The Truth About The Lies About ACORN” on MSNBC.

Sept. 28: “GOP seeks wedge issue in ACORN”

I want to make it clear that I get that there are people that work for or have worked for ACORN that are not good, just like there are people who work for Fox are not evil (like the janitors, security guards…A JOKE!!!!)

I say lets make a plan to help fix ACORN and Rupert Murdoch and that FOX News gang. Who’s in?

-Cara

acorn

The ACORN saga continues on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow

Sept. 25: “How did ACORN become a target?”

To follow up on yesterday’s post, Rachel pulls out the big guns on the US government which have contracts with organizations who have been or are in the midst of being prosecuted for various crimes.  One corporation is even under investigation for murder (well 4 of their employees). These and some other great points are expressed in this next video.

Right in front of our very eyes.

-Cara

I speak for myself.

I have thought about writing about ACORN before, but thought this can’t go on for long and maybe I should keep what I think to myself. Today I feel different. What is going on right in front of everyone is crazy, but no one is looking, not really letting what is happening register. This world is going to implode on itself if people don’t wake up out of this fog we seem to have gotten lost in.

People I care about are being let go, losing their jobs, where they have worked really hard for very little monetary gain. I honestly have never worked at a place where I truly believe people are working more than they are wasting away on their super social networking sites, tweeting, pinging, blogging, and just passing time till they can leave.

People are registered to vote, whose voices are now being heard, their presence being felt. Families getting homes and keeping homes. People less worried about where they are going to live, having time to breath, to think, to be more aware of what is going on around them. Having time to make a difference. In any organization there are problems, especially when you are busy fighting the good fight, so why not help ACORN fix these problems and make ACORN better. What is the point of destroying them? It is important to think about why is this really happening, and who this is happening too. It is much bigger than ACORN.

I just discovered these videos today on the ACORN web site (or should I say I finally decided to watch them…) and am super impressed. It is crazy, a woman reporter, on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow sees the big picture and saying something…on mass media. Listen, if you know me, you know I am no fan of mass media, this is an important moment. I will stop going on about this and give you the link…

Day One – September 24th, 2009: “The Media Fails ACORN” [There is an ad in the beginning of the video, sorry about that, just mute it. ]

Rachel Maddow

This is the time to see what is going on and do something about it. Go volunteer at ACORN. Go read a book. Go do something selfless for someone else. Start doing something different and see the change.

That’s right I said it.

-Cara

Guess what I am doing tomorrow…

the-human

Human Countdown: Climate Wake Up Call

On Sunday,  September 20th, 2009, people of all walks of life will come together in New York’s Central Park for a bold creative action to tell world leaders that the TIME TO ACT is RUNNING OUT. More than 2,000 people will form a moving human sculpture of our world in a race against time—a massive, living Earth and Hourglass to be picked up by the media worldwide.

On the cusp of the UN climate summit, our Human Countdown will urgently call for a fair, ambitious, and binding new climate treaty, and launch global actions for Climate Week NYC and the Tck Tck Tck Global Climate Wake Up Call.

We will assemble in two groups. The first group forms the living Earth and convenes at 9am in the morning to rehearse the movements. All others come at 1pm to form the hourglass. We will perform the Human Countdown together at mid-afternoon, hear from notable national and international speakers, and conclude by 4pm.

We need a global climate treaty. This is the time, this is the place to make history – we need YOU to join the HUMAN Countdown! All are welcome!

The goal is to show our leaders that time is running out to act on global warming. Video of the image we create will be broadcast the next night at The Age of Stupid global film premiere and delivered to world leaders.

Come to the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park (Southern end of central park by 6th Ave) this Sunday at 12.30pm.

Click here to RSVP [I found all this stuff thanks to AVAAZ:

http://www.avaaz.org/new_york_climate_action

While action on climate is always urgent, this is an especially important moment for public action. This December in Copenhagen, world leaders will meet to negotiate a new global treaty to avert a climate catastrophe.

This is going to be awesome.

-Cara

Hoffer

“We have rudiments of reverence for the human body, but we consider as nothing the rape of the human mind.” —Eric Hoffer

That my friends is very true. Especially when it comes to to what some of us choose to do for a living or for fun for that matter (like watching the boob tube for hours on end).

Eric Hoffer, the author of this quote, was an American social writer and philosopher who published ten books, a newspaper column and truly lived his life. Born in the Bronx on July 25, 1902, the son of Knut and Elsa Hoffer, immigrants from Alsace, by five he could read in both German and English.

When he was age five, his mother fell down a flight of stairs with Eric in her arms. Hoffer went blind for unknown medical reasons two years later, but later in life he said he thought it might have been due to trauma.

“I lost my sight at the age of seven. Two years before, my mother and I fell down a flight of stairs. She did not recover and died in that second year after the fall. I lost my sight and for a time my memory”.

After his mother’s death he was raised by a live-in relative or servant, a German woman named Martha. His eyesight inexplicably returned when he was 15. Fearing he would again go blind, he seized upon the opportunity to read as much as he could. His eyesight remained, but Hoffer never abandoned his habit of voracious reading.

Hoffer was a young man when his father, a cabinetmaker, died.  Sensing that warm Los Angeles was the best place for a poor man, Hoffer took a bus there in 1920 and spent the next 10 years on Los Angeles’ skid row, reading, writing, and working odd jobs.

In 1931, he attempted suicide by means of drinking oxalic acid, but the attempt failed…he could not bring himself to swallow the poison. This experience inspired a new determination to live more adventurously. He left skid row and became a migrant worker. Following the harvests along the length of California, he collected library cards for each town near the fields where he worked and, living by preference, “between the books and the brothels.”

He ended up in the mountains, where he had gone in search of gold. He remained snowed in for the entire winter. While trapped, he read the “Essays” by Michel de Montaigne. Montaigne’s book left its mark on Hoffer and influence his life and future writings.

Hoffer lived in San Francisco by 1941 and became a longshoreman on the docks of The Embarcadero. It was there he felt at home and finally settled down. He continued reading voraciously and soon began to write while earning a living loading and unloading ships. He continued this work until he retired at age 65. Hoffer considered his best work to be “The True Believer“, a landmark explanation of fanaticism and mass movements.

In retirement Hoffer continued his robust life of the mind, thinking and writing alone, in an apartment near San Francisco’s waterfront, until his death at 80 years old.

Make sure whatever it is you do for a living, you are truly living.

-Cara

Trash_Can_Beach

I was on vacation in Surf City, North Carolina a week ago and it was awesome. It was me, my crazy family (parents, aunt, grandparents, cousins, no sisters, nieces, nephews, brother-in-laws or brother this year…they came earlier to spend time with my parents…smart…) and Marine. That part was well what you would expect…well, maybe more than you’d expect, but not more than I expected. :] Anyway, the house was right on the beach, as in the stairs from the back porch end up in sand. It was gorgeous weather, the ocean was perfect for riding the waves for hours and hours (thanks to the season and Hurricane Bill), drinks were flowing and there was nowhere to be. It is what life should always be like.

The part that was not so fresh is the walks on the beach. In just a few feet of walking I ended up picking up quite a few pieces of garbage including plastics bags, candy bar wrappers, water bottles, tons of water bottle caps, chip bags, sun glasses, broken toys and more smoked cigarettes than you could imagine. I could not tell what was from people on the beach or beached from the ocean, but I was amazed with how much ended up in my hands in such a little amount of time. There are a plethora of houses with stairs leading to the beach, but only one out of maybe every 30 to 35 had a garbage can on the end of them. I think that it is crazy to have beaches with no place for them to throw away their refuse. Listen, the majority of Americans or any humans for that matter, are not going to be responsible and keep their garbage till they see the next trash can or at the very least some of that garbage is going to end up wherever they beach themselves, even if they have their own bags. You all know what I am talking about. I think it is important that in all areas we have places for people to put their garbage, so it doesn’t end up hurting animals or the world (as much). It is not that hard a task and also a way to do good. I think I will send a letter to some authority in Surf City and see what they think about placing some public garbage cans on the beach or reaching out to an environmentalist, ocean lover about setting up some program.

Please don’t litter.

-Cara

benice shirt

be nice” my sweet store co-made with Marine Boudeau is having its first sale. We’re offering fresh deals on original, handmade, organic tees. This is the last of our first collection…one day they will be worth millions!!! :]

Get them while you still can.

I said it!

Cara Reynolds
Co-Founder Of Be Nice

I went to go see this movie, “The Cove” last Thursday night at the Angelika Theater (if you happen to live in NYC). If not, go here to see if it is playing in a theater near you. You may also request it to show at your local theaters by clicking here.  It is an amazingly, awesome movie. I am not one to handle any animals being abused on screen, real or fake. I really can’t handle it, but this movie is something that people need to go see, and if I didn’t leave, you can handle it. I won’t go on and on, but if you can see it do.

We can all make some sort of difference everyday for good and in turn the world becomes a better place to exist in.

Do something that means something.

-Cara

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an amazing organization. We need to get people to stop destroying these defenseless marine mammals.

Do this awesome (and simple) thing to help people to become more aware of what is going on.

See Below!

Speak Out Now to Protect Whales in the Pacific Northwest

Stop Dangerous Sonar

The Navy is about to begin five years of sonar training that could harass or injure marine mammals 650,000 times. Tell our government to put protections in place now!

Stop Dangerous Sonar

Dear World,

We only have a few days left to demand better protections for whales and dolphins that will soon be facing Navy sonar in the Pacific Northwest.

The Navy is about to launch five years of sonar training in some of the nation’s richest marine habitat, including the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary — home to 29 different species of marine mammals.

Click here and tell the National Marine Fisheries Service to put protections in place that could save these animals from harassment, injury or even death.

Your official comment must be submitted by next Monday, August 10.

The Fisheries Service has proposed a rule that would allow the Navy “to take” — harass or injure — marine mammals 130,000 times during each year of the sonar training.

That is a total of 650,000 acoustic assaults on whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals.

The Navy’s mid-frequency sonar systems are designed to detect enemy submarines. Its warships deploy underwater speakers that blast the ocean with noise in excess of 235 decibels — a sonic barrage thousands of times more powerful than a jet engine at takeoff.

That barrage of noise can disrupt biologically critical activities like feeding, navigating and breeding. And the Navy itself has admitted that sonar can even kill whales.

At risk in the Pacific Northwest: blue whales, gray whales, beaked whales, harbor porpoises and the very last endangered Southern Resident killer whales — only 83 of them left! — plus dozens of other marine mammal species.

These whales should not have to suffer needless injury or harassment for the sake of military practice.

The Fisheries Service must bar or limit the Navy from operating dangerous sonar in the most sensitive habitats, like the Olympic Marine Sanctuary.

Common-sense precautions like this will not compromise military training or readiness.

Click here now and tell the Fisheries Service to put safeguards in place that will reduce the harassment and injury of tens of thousands of marine mammals over the next five years.

Please make your voice heard by Monday. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Frances
Frances Beinecke
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

Here is some more on this…and yes there will be more to come!

We can do anything!!!

-Cara

My friend Jessika is participating on Sunday, September 13, 2009, in the 19th Annual Komen New York City Race for the Cure (5K run/walk), held by the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She herself lost her mother to cancer. If you would like to support her, her team and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, here is the link.

Race for the cure.

-Cara

Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry Leaves)

Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry Leaves)

I started a juice fast today. Well, today to start the juice fast I am only eating raw fruits and veggies and then tomorrow will begin the all juice fast.  I will get more into it in a later post. This particular post I will focus on one of the many teas I can drink to replace my million cup a day coffee habit. I am not only scared for me, but honestly, I am a little afraid for the world. The first tea I started today with is an organic raspberry leaf, so to make it more interesting I have done some research on said tea.  I can say for sure, it does not taste nasty…or bad for that matter, which is good.  :]

Species Rubus idaeus, family Rosacaea, raspberry is a relative of the rose, famous for vitamin C in the rose hip. Raspberry leaves (and fruit) are rich in citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, citrate, malate and tartarate of iron, potassium and calcium, calcium and potassium chloride, sulphate and phosphate, pectin, fragrine (an alkaloid that tones the tissues), a volatile oil, vitamins A, B, C, E, and fructose. The action is astringent, tonic, refrigerant, parturient, hemostatic, anti-septic, anti-abortient, anti-gonorrheal, anti-leucorrheal and anti-malarial.

If you grow your own raspberries or live where they grow wild you should harvest the raspberry leaves in spring or mid-summer for maximum potency. Use them freshly picked, but if drying them for storage, do so away from light. They dry nicely spread thinly on a cotton sheet hung hammock fashion from the ceiling, according to Norma Whitehead.

For a nice cup of tea using bulk herbs, pour one cup boiling water over a teaspoon of dried leaves and let it steep at least 15 minutes. Raspberry leaves are abundant in potassium (441 ppm), calcium (121 ppm) and magnesium (93 ppm), it is also rich in all important trace minerals such as manganese (.52 ppm), zinc (.35 ppm), iron (.04 ppm) and chromium (.02 ppm). Raspberry leaf tea is a gentle, soothing, nourishing drink – morning, noon and night. Most prefer to take Red raspberry leaves in a tea. It can be drank warm or cold depending on what you like. You can also find it in capsule form.

Red raspberry leaves have been used for many years dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. It has also been widely used by and Native American women. Some of the illness they used red raspberry leaves to treat included the flu, gum disease, rubella, upset stomach, hangovers, diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, menstrual problems, and inflammation.

It is also said to tone the uterus and provide many vitamins and minerals to the body. They recommend drinking one cup of the red raspberry leaf tea daily during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and then increase to two or three cups a day during the last three months. Some say not to use in the first trimester if you have a history of miscarriage it is always best to consult your doctor before starting any type of herbs. Red raspberry tea with red clover (one or more cups daily for several months) promotes fertility in men and women, prevents post-partum depression and hypertension, and with blessed thistle, increases breast- milk production. Remember again, it is always best to consult your doctor before starting any type of herbs.

The red raspberry leaves may change the way the body absorbs medications so if you take any other medicines take the red raspberry at least two hours before hand.

Red raspberry leaves have also been used for a mouth rinse to treat sore throats, thrushes in your mouth (a yeast infection) or canker sores and drinking raspberry tea can soothe the pain they cause.

Raspberry tea reduces the blood flow in females who bleed heavily during their menstrual cycle. It also helps relieve cramps. Later in life, during menopause, it can support the adrenal glands as they try to compensate for the reduced functioning of the ovaries. To regulate a menstrual cycle drink two to three cups of the red raspberry leaf tea a day. After two or three months the menstrual cycle should be right on schedule.

Red raspberry leaves can also be used on the skin as an astringent to relieve irritated skin and it is good for people suffering from acne. It also helps the tissue become firmer and tightens the skin’s upper layers.

Red raspberry leaves have also been found to lower blood sugars in people with diabetes. If taken in large does the red raspberry leaves may cause blood sugar levels to drop too low.

When using the red raspberry leaf to treat diarrhea you will need to drink six cups a day. If the diarrhea continues you should call the doctor.

If you want to treat a cold or flu try drinking only red raspberry leaf tea until the symptoms are gone. Then start back on raw fruits and vegetables. It is important to not eat anything else while fasting on the red raspberry leaf tea or the symptoms of the cold or flu will return.

Men whose bodies have cut down on testosterone production can drink it to help aid adrenal gland performance. It can also help with bed-wetting by toning pelvic muscles.

I read somewhere that it is good in a popsicle form, but I have yet to try that.

That is a lot of good stuff.

-Cara

I want to put together a simple, user friendly tool to get the information constituents (you, citizens of the United States) need to contact and influence the people (politicians) who are suppose to be representing the needs, desires, and welfare of the people. People seem to be resigned to politicians being corrupt and only fulfilling the desires of the rich. Money is not what gives them power, it is knowledge and others refusal to use their own. It is important that we think…all the time. Just because something is legal, does not make it right and just because something is illegal, does not make it wrong. Think for yourself and say what you think, even if it seems preposterous. The more we do that, the more we see the truth and the stronger we get. One person saying no to all this does make a difference, even if everyone around you is still saying yes. Do what is right, no matter what the media shows you. The majority of people given the chance to do the  right thing, do what’s right.  Power to the People!

First off, to find out who your Congresspeople are you usually need your nine digit, super zip code (5 + 4). If you do not know yours off the top of your head you can go to the USPS Zip Code Lookup page and find out.

To find out who your US Senators are (there are two Senators per state), see the Senators-by-State list (of the Senators of the 111th Congress at the time I wrote this) at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. You can also look this information up at the Project Vote-Smart Elected Official Biographical Information Database at http://www.votesmart.org.

To find out who your US Representative (Congressperson) is in the US House of Representatives (you have just one – there is one Representative per Congressional district) visit WriteRep at https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml, which will allow you to look up your legislator by ZIP code (5+4 zip) and send them a message.

There is also the site Congress Merge, http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/index.htm, which is the all encompassing online congressional directory.

State Representatives can be located here, http://www.votesmart.org/official_state.php and last but not least, your Local Representative can be found here, http://www.votesmart.org/official_local.php.

Tell them what you think, what you would like to see change, happen, etc. I think this is a good start.

Now go make a difference.

-Cara

Sicko…

You should check it out. I really think this one will reach a wider audience…if we can somehow get the people who need to see this film to see it. You know what I’m saying!

See more here. Do something about it here.

Be more than they expect you to be.

-Cara

When I was hanging out with my friend Joanna today she told me about this article she read this weekend on how sonar is killing, damaging, and/or terrorizing whales, dolphins and other marine animals caught within its range, so I did a little research and found out she wasn’t lying!

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Whales and other marine mammals rely on their hearing for life’s most basic functions, such as orientation and communication. Sound is how they find food, find friends, find a mate, and find their way through the world every day.

…whether it’s the sound of airguns used in oil exploration or subs and ships emitting sonar. Man made sound waves can drown out the noises that marine mammals rely on for their very survival, causing serious injury and even death.”

I had no idea, sometimes I wonder how something so big goes unnoticed in America. Seriously, how without having a TV do I know everything there is to know about Jon and Kate, who is gay on American Idol, and what Britney is up to, but nothing about how for years these poor animals have been and are being tortured. I can’t handle even 20 seconds of hearing the piercing sound of an ambulance screaming from outside, while I sit a couple of floors up inside an office building.  People can be so uncool and unthinking. I have seen many beached whale stories on the news previous to the killing of my tv,  and frankly I do not remember any talk of it being related to sonar. I said it!

You can help out and do something by urging the Obama administration to reject a last minute Bush administration rule that would barrage whales along the Eastern Seaboard, the Gulf of Mexico, California and Hawaii with Navy sonar. Please do so by clicking here.

Still saving the whales.

-Cara

Jung

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

– Carl Jung

I like this quote. I founds  it on this blog, Reach the Sky.  I stumbled upon this particular blog, because somehow someone came from there to here. I like it when I discover things this way.

Let me start with saying I only know of Jung and not so much about him, so I did some quick research to make sure he wasn’t a crazy megalomaniac, or a human slave trader or slayer, etc. It seems he was none of these things. He was a white, Swiss psychiatrist turned philosopher. He was way into alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts. His most notable ideas include the concept of psychological archetypes, the collective unconscious and synchronicity. This is cool because I like the quote and am now interested in what this Jung may have to say. My mind has been in need of something new to absorb…

Anyway, back to the quote, I think the heart he speaks of is the soul or part of the collective unconsciousness and through connecting to that collective unconscious, we begin to change the thought process of the world.  Our energy begins to shift. People or the individual I should say do not realize the power they have to change the world just through their mind/soul/heart. To see the world just as it is in front of you is an unrealistic vision, only a part of the whole. The reality of the world/universe/existence is more than we can see physically, but not metaphysically….that’s right I said it.

Awaken yourself.

-Cara

Nerds Are Cool

Nerds Are Cool

I remember back in the good old days of this blog I’d do a lot of eco-shopping entries. I’ve since been trying to shave down what I already have. I have always been a pack rat and love to buy stuff. If it wasn’t for the fact that each time I move I am more lazy than obsessed with hording stuff, I’d be one of those guys, you know on Clean Sweep or Cops.  See lazy sometimes is good. I donate stuff to the Salvation Army, or those clothes boxes sprinkled throughout NYC, or drag stuff to swap meets in Queens, or bring them to my job and leave them on a counter outside my office, eBay, etc… Someone, somewhere wants my stuff.

I do have a point to all this. I now find I need to do some shopping for a new backpack. I may document this journey further, but for now I just wanted to share some resources I am using to research said bag. By the way, for those interested, my perfect bag would be an eco, fair trade, non sweatshop, sustainable, long lasting, locally made, recycled, durable, solar energy source, super fresh, comfortable, user friendly, big when it needs to be back pack. I am sure I am missing other specs, but you get my point.

For company ratings on social and environmental issues, see Co-op America’s sweatshops.org.  The Fair Trade Federation also lists companies committed to “fair wages and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide.”  If they meet these guidelines I have completed part one of this journey.

OK, let me get started, my backpack is almost in pieces.

-Cara

Kinda…

"i" on News

Sorry to everyone I could only find  this video with annoying ads. I try to avoid this whenever possible.

Kill your MySpace. Delete your profile.

I said it.

-Cara

whole earth

Last night I was watching a movie I found somewhere, somehow called, “Ecological Design: Inventing the Future” [1994]. We have known a lot of eco stuff for along time, now we need more action.  I challenge you to find this movie, watch it and be creative with a cool eco-design. That’s right I said it, a challenge.

One super fresh topic covered in the film was the Whole Earth Catalog. The Whole Earth Catalog was published regularly from 1968 to 1972, the founder, Stewart Brand. According to the catalog, “Whole Earth eschewed politics and pushed grassroots direct power—tools and skills. At a time when New Age hippies were deploring the intellectual world of arid abstractions, Whole Earth pushed science, intellectual endeavor, and new technology as well as old.”

To check out some of the older catalogs online, click here.

Technology and ecological design are awesome.

-Cara

Do not fear. There is a way to avoid the assassin…at least if you live in the Northeast.

Here is a cool link for the seasonal fruits and veggies in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also use this interactive map to see what’s fresh in any area, by month.

Eat fresh.

-Cara

New York Governor David Paterson—the sponsor of the marriage bill currently before the legislature—delivered poignant remarks to the thousands recently assembled in midtown Manhattan. I like this guy.

patterson-video

The New York State Assembly recently passed the marriage equality bill which now heads to the state senate. I think it’s time for marriage equality to come to New York, so I sent my state senator an e-mail through the Human Rights Campaign.

They’ve made it super simple to send a personal message to legislators. With the scare tactics being used by our opponents, we need senators to hear from as many supporters of equality as possible.

This issue is very important to me, and taking action will only take a millisecond. Please join me in writing to your senator today.

Click here:

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/nysenatemarriage/step1

Fair is fair.

-Cara

too much

Here’s what is on my mind…who is the person that will invent a Facebook-like social network and use it only for good, sustainable stuff and not unleash a fafillion marketing widgets, gadgets, capsules, snippets, modules, minis, badges, webjits, flakes, games, programs, pop-ups and gutter ads for unsustainable crap on the masses? …and no it’s not me, I’m busy!

I killed most all of my social web 2.0 drama like LinkedIn. I figured why am I part of a group called Linked In when all I really want to do is get off the grid. That whole scene is not my deal. I also killed my MySpace. Listen people…Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp…really? If you don’t get that, do some research. I don’t want to be any part of Fox News and all those brothers’ drama. Friendster, what is the point? I slowly killed most of them.

Here is my dilemma, the Facebook still has a hold on me. I think it may be because a lot of people that I had lost contact with and who were a significant part of my life found me on the book of face, more than on any of the other social network sites. It is nice to know all these people are easy to get a hold of, you are reminded whose Birthday it is (see Tony), you can check out what new pictures they have up, what drama they are up to, ETC!!! You know to be able to be a welcomed voyeur of people’s life…that’s good stuff.  :]

So who wants to invent the book of face for good?

-Cara

watching you

According to Scroogle,

Google is asking webmasters who use AdSense,  to update their privacy policy and warn of Google’s new tracking system.

[The DoubleClick DART cookie is used by Google in the ads served on publisher websites displaying AdSense for content ads. When users visit an AdSense publisher’s website and either view or click on an ad, a cookie may be dropped on that end user’s browser. The data gathered from these cookies will be used to help AdSense publishers better serve and manage the ads on their site(s) and across the web.]

If you see any big sites with AdSense (“Ads by Google” — JavaScript required) that have not updated their policy by Google’s 2009-04-08 deadline,

[The posted privacy policy should include the following information about Google and the DoubleClick DART cookie:

  • Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on your site.
  • Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and other sites on the Internet.
  • Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.]

email that site’s owner. If they ignore you, scroogle@lavabit.com wants the URL of that site.   We plan to compile a list !

We might ask Google to pull these AdSense accounts if the list gets long enough. If that doesn’t work, some privacy activists may decide to complain to the FTC.

More information:    Link1 Link2 Link3 Link4 Link5

Fear not soldiers there is ccleaner, a fantastical tool that will annihilate cookies and a whole lot more.

I like my privacy.

-Cara

liquid_soap

Here’s  a simple trick for all users of hand soap, dish soap, and all other liquid soaps. When you get to the bottom of the soap vessel and think you are all out of your precious cleaning elixir, this is when you add a little hot water to the remaining soap and voila, you’ll get at least a few more days of washing. Good times.

Waste not, want not.

-Cara

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