These little ones are defying expectations with stellar ideas.Â Recently, there was the news of a 9 year-old in Singapore who’s fluent in six programming languages and created a successful iPhone application.Â
Now meet 12-year-old Max Wallack who won a design contest by creating a yurt-like dome home with a built-in bed made ofÂ plastic, wire, and packing peanuts.Â The idea allows for cheap housing for the homeless, as well as addressing the problem of increasing landfills.
Gotta love innovation.
Pay it forward with Time Banking, an egalitarian concept where communities offer services to each other in exchange for time dollars, not real dollars. For instance, I build you a basic website, which takes me 6 hours. In exchange, I’m able to use that 6 hour credit in exchange for services some else offers. Perhaps, I need someone to babysit my brother for 3 hours, take me to grocery store for 1 hour, and landscape the front yard for 2 hours.
Time banks draw on a community’s resources byÂ listing the services every member can offer.Â When in need of something, members log-in to the Time Bank’s website to find someone offering those services.Â It’s an incredibly easy system that can reduce financial limitations and is inclusive to all members of society that have something to offer.
Given the economic climate, I’m curious to see if we’ll see an increase in Time Banks and other forms of alternative currencies.
To learn more about Time Banking, go to TimeBanks.org.Â Below are a few articles recently written about them.
Detroit Free Press – Time banks pay off for community
San Francisco Chronicle – Sweat Equity:In this East Oakland community, time really is money
The Jerusalem Press – There’s no time to lose
Interesting concept. I’d definitely like to try Laughter Yoga. I know that I’m certainly prone to the contagion of laughter. Anyone else in San Antonio curious?
Google’s hosting a competition for great ideas that can benefit the lives of millions. The more you help, the better your chances of winning. Find out more here. The deadline is October 20, 2008.
There’s a connection betweenÂ being able to find the good and being optimistic.Â Optimists are usually in high spirits.Â Laughter is one of the ingredients of that condition.Â This made me laugh, so I thought I’d share.
The book she’s reading from is Thank you and You’re Welcome by Kanye West and j. SaKiya Sandifer.Â SaKiya’s mission is to be a spark to those who want to create a positive change in their lives.Â Being a friend of his, I can personally attest to the fact that he is definitely a spark and will make you think during every single interaction with him.Â His first book is actually entitled Think Think Think and Think Again.Â Both are worthwhile reads that are certain to be of inspiration to you on some level or another.
The UN established Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as part of the Millennium Declaration adopted in 189 nations and signed by 147 state and government heads in 2000. Those eight goals are as follows:
- Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
- Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
- Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
- Goal 5: Improve maternal health
- Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
- Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
One company that understands the roles of corporate social responsibility and social enterprise is working to address a few of those MDGs. The name is Vestergaard Frandsen and they offer several innovative life-saving and quality-of-life-enhancing products that would make any social entrepreneur or human rights activist proud.
The product I fancy most at the moment is the LifeStraw, available for individual or family use. LifeStraw Personal filters a minimum of 700 liters, while the LifeStraw Family filters a minimum of 15,000 liters of water. It would take 40 faucet-mount Brita filters to treat the amount of water just one LifeStraw Family can. And how much is it? $15, half of the cost of one Brita filter. Awesome.
At any given moment, about half of the world’s poor are suffering from waterborne disease, of which over 6,000 – mainly children – die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water.
Today, more than one billion people of the world’s population are without access to safe drinking water, causing lack of safe water supply to rob women and young girls of dignity, literacy and time.
Safe water interventions have vast potential to transform the lives of millions of people. Water filtration tools not only provide safe drinking water but also have a positive health impact on the most vulnerable populations, including young children, pregnant women and those with debilitated immune systems.
The slowing economy is hurting a lot of people’s pockets.Â Food prices are rising and wages aren’t.Â Where’s the relief?Â
Well, I’m glad you asked.Â Â I just discovered a site called Angel Food Ministries that will provide relief for many for as long as they can.Â For $30, you can order a medium-sized box of food valued at about $65.Â The drop occurs only once a month, with different order and pick-up times for different parts of the country.Â The drawback is that you have to order the food 2 weeks before you pick it up, but if it’ll save you 50%, I’d have to say it’s worth it.Â
Just type in your zip code to locate the closestÂ hosting siteÂ to you–usually a church–and place your order directly with them.
Here’s next month’s menu.Â Thirty bucks gets you:
Unfortunately, this doesn’tÂ at all work with myÂ pescatarian/vegan/”healthy” diet.Â But maybe it works for you.
My last trip to New York provided me with the opportunity to see a film I’ve been interested in seeing for over four months and the opportunity to speak with the subject of the film, biotect Michael Reynolds.Â On Tuesday, April 1st at 9 pm est/pst, the Sundance Channel willÂ begin its second season of The Green premiering that film,Â The Garbage Warrior, whichÂ introducesÂ viewers to Reynolds and his brilliant homes, earthships.Â
Before watching Garbage Warrior, I was already enthralled with the idea of earthships.Â I was certain that I wanted one and became an informal spokesperson for these houses, which are completely self-sustaining.Â They produce their own electricity, their own heat, contain and treat both water and sewage, and render the perfect atmosphere for food production.Â They’ll survive 30-below-zero winters, earthquakes, and hurricanes.Â Seriously, they’re wonderful and necessary.Â The film traces Reynold’s journey to getting the Sustainable Development Testing Site Act passed in New Mexico which allows for the testing of sustainable homebuilding technologies.Â
After seeing this film, more than ever, I know that I need to get a piece of land and build one of these homes.Â I urge you to watch this film, screening on Sundance tonight at 9:40 pm e/p; Friday, April 4th at 10:40 am e/p; and Sunday, April 6th at 3:40 pm e/p.Â Garbage Warrior is also available for viewing OnDemand on the Sundance Channel.