Twilight Earth

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by Wendy Gabriel

In honor of Earth Week, I decided to find out how spring looks to some of my favorite sites (and people) around the web. These are some amazing photos they were generous enough to share with me.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb 

Adam Shake is a Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Simple Earth Media and founded Twilight Earth and Eco Tech Daily. He is an environmental writer, advocate, entrepreneur, speaker and Washington DC based activist. His photos of cherry blossoms in Washington Dc are some of my favorite. [more]

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard. ~Standing Bear

Alison Kerr is an American from Scotland who lives with her family in a leafy suburb in North East Kansas, within the Kansas City metro. She writes about our connections with nature and with each other and ways to grow greener kids, home, garden, and community at Loving Nature’s Garden. Alison kindly sent me this photo of her gorgeous red tulips. [more]

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Carole Brown is a Conservation Biologist with a passion for Ecosystem Gardening – giving a little back to wildlife by creating welcoming habitats in our gardens, conserving natural resources, and choosing sustainable landscaping practices. Carole has worked as a wildlife habitat landscaper for almost twenty years, designing, installing and maintaining Ecosystem Gardens for wildlife for homeowners, businesses, and other property managers. She is a consultant, educator, and author of Ecosystem Gardening. Avid birder, butterfly watcher, and lover of all wildlife. Carole is also an awesome photographer with an eye for nature. [more]

Marghanita Hughes is a children’s book author, illustrator and the creator of the award winning Little Humbugs. It was while observing her children revelling in the awesome wilderness of their new surroundings in British Columbia that the idea for the Little Humbugs was conceived. Marghanita is passionate about encouraging our children’s interest in the guardianship of The Earth we share. She strongly believes that children can influence change. Her Mission is to deliver this positive message to them through the delightful characters in her enchanting stories. Marghanita shares a Little Humbug and her beloved peach blossoms. [more]

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~Author Unknown

Melissa Hincha-Ownby is a lifelong writer. Her writing career started at 13 when she wrote a weekly column in her small town’s newspaper. For the past three years, Melissa has focused on blogging and other online writing venues. She is the Business Blogger at the Mother Nature Network and the owner of Raising Them Green, a blog dedicated to providing parents information to help them raise eco-conscious children. Melissa shared a photo of her two children taken by their Grandpa.

Take some time today to connect with nature. Take a walk, notice a budding leaf, marvel at a bird in flight and share the wonder and magic of the outdoors with a child.

Bethe Almeras is an award-winning author, web producer, and eLearning designer. A gifted speaker and trainer, Bethe prides herself on being a kid at heart and sharing the benefits of play with others. Bethe is The Grass Stain Guru and graciously provided this wonderful photo of a redwinged blackbird. [more]

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~e.e. cummings

How does spring look in your corner of the world?

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by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Being green isn’t about the things you buy, it’s about choice that you make every day. On Earth Day this year make a commitment to do something that helps the earth every day.

A few articles for Earth Day:

Some great links for Earth Day crafts and other ideas for children:

  • Kaboose.com has a gallery of Recycled Crafts, directions for an Eggshell Planter, an Egg Carton Bug Mobile, a Tin Can Herb Garden and much more.
  • For Earth Day, Babybee-the smallest member of the Little Humbugs is raising awareness for Our Pollinators. Download your own FREE Help Save Our Pollinators activity sheets from the Little Humbugs.

Events in the Fargo Moorhead Area:

  • Red River Zoo’s “Party for the Planet”: Free admission to the Zoo, Saturday, April 24th from noon to 4:00 p.m. Family activities include, crafting bagel bird feeders, making a toad abode, recycled papermaking, supermarket sweep and animal observation skills.
  • Get Your “Can” on the Bus: April 19-24 Get Your “Can” on the Bus Metro Area Transit; Ride a Metro Area Transit bus during Earth Week, for the cost of one empty aluminum can. For bus route information, call (701) 232-7500 or go online at matbus.com.
  • Waste Transformation Art Exhibition: April 19-25 Waste Transformation Art Exhibition at the Moorhead Public Library. This art exhibition is made from materials that would otherwise enter the waste stream.

For a full listing of Earth Week events, including the Party for the Planet and Valley Green Expo, please visit www.valleyearthweek.com.

Some other Earth Week activities you can do this week or anytime:

  • Plant a tree or natural habitat garden.
  • Pick up some litter in and around your neighborhood.
  • Reduce your consumption of energy, water and over packaged products.
  • Start composting.
  • Take a walk and enjoy the natural world around you.
  • Show your support for Mother Earth by becoming a member of the Sierra Club.

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, they are 1.3 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet.

 The Sierra Club has a special offer now through Earth Day 2010, you can join for $15. Your gift will help support efforts to protect our wildlands and wildlife, keep our air and water free from pollution, stem global warming and promote a clean energy future.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

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human activity

Guest Article by Adam Shake

My brother once said, “If our family had a family crest, it would be a skinny guy standing on a soapbox, fist in the air and yelling into a bullhorn.” Yup, that’s the Shake Men. Ready to mix it up at the slightest provocation of a dissenting opinion. Ready to espouse upon an idea and even more than ready to defend an argument. The problem is, the Shake Men don’t see eye to eye on all subjects, which makes for some VERY interesting family get-togethers!

This being said, I’m a little flummoxed at my current state of nervousness, given the opportunity to Guest Post for Wendy.  You see, my bio says things like writer, activist, environmental advocate, member of professional business sustainability panels and Co-Founder of an online media company with seven environmental websites and some of the worlds best writers. It’s full of accolades and highfalutin verbiage that really serve no other purpose but convince people that I might, kinda, know what I’m talking about. To me though, it speaks of my passion.

So why am I nervous? Because to me, Wendy, and her zeal to make a difference for her girls, her family and herself, are what inspire me. It’s Wendy (and people like her) who keep me going, keep me passionate and make we want to make the world a better place. Because that’s what environmentalism is really all about, isn’t it? Making the world a better place for our children and theirs? So if I write an article for Wendy, it’s a little different than writing an article for some big, huge website with millions of readers. It’s different than being interviewed on the radio. It’s different than speaking at a conference. Wendy is a friend, and this, is personal.

But I digress. What I really want to talk about is community and what draws us together, and how our environment is a catalyst for what I’m finding to be, a warm, vibrant and caring group of people.

Just a few years ago, we were called hippies. But now we’re wearing suites and ties to work while taking the Metro train to our jobs on Pennsylvania Avenue. A few years ago, we were called TreeHuggers, and now we are proud to wear that label. A few years ago, we were protecting spotted owls and the loggers were mad. Now we are protecting whole swaths of forest so that they can act as carbon sinks to absorb excess Co2 and lessen the impact of Global Warming. Yes, a few years ago, we were sitting in trees to keep the trees from being cut down. Now we’re sitting in trees to keep mountain tops from being blow off to extract the coal in what is one of the most devastating acts to our environmental and human health. Yes, we’ve gone mainstream, and in doing so, we’ve made connections and communities with people who care about everything from corals dying from ocean acidification to children dying desertification.

You are part of this community. You may have a cause, an ideal, an area of land, an ethos, even an animal that you think is worth fighting for. But whether you care about Acid rain, Bio-fuel or Coal, Diesel Hybrids, Energy or High Fructose Corn Syrup, we are a family. A family who cares. A family united in one single cause, creating a better world for our children and theirs.

My message to you is this. When people start to care as much about others as they care about themselves, they will start to care about the environment. Because the environment is what care for us all.

We must move forward. Our community must demand that the health of our planet be placed above the profits of Corporations. Only then, will we gain the one fundamental freedom of which we are all entitled to by virtue of birth – the freedom to live. To Breath. To Drink. To Eat. Without fear of sickness or death.

Keep up the good fight and Alter the Eco!

Thank you Wendy, for allowing me the honor of adding to your wonderful site. Thank you also for being a friend to our lovely planet, your great community and to myself.

Editor’s Note: I am elated to have Adam Shake, the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Simple Earth Media and founder of Twilight Earth and EcoTech Daily, bring his point of view to My Green Side. Not only is Adam a noted environmental writer, advocate, entrepreneur, speaker and Washington DC-based activist; he is my friend.

Cartoon courtesy of  Seppo.net

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Christmas is almost upon us and if you’re like me you haven’t yet completed your holiday shopping. I’ve compiled a list of some awesome eco-friendly gifts and some links to some other wonderful Holiday Gift Guides to make your life a little easier and put a smile on the face of your loved ones.

Books:

ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine: A Food Lover’s Road Map to Losing ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary MedicineWeight, Preventing Disease, and Getting Really Healthy by John La Puma and Rebecca Powell Marx

Practically Green: Your Guide to Ecofriendly Decision-Making by Micaela Preston

Smart Mama’s Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child’s Toxic Chemical Exposure by Jennifer Taggart

Food IncDVD:

Food Inc.

Starring: Eric Schlosser, Director: Robert Kenner, Rating: PG

This is a powerful film that anyone who eats should watch!

Gift Basket:

Fair Trade Mixer Gift BaskeEqual Exchange Fair Trade Mixer Basket: This fair trade gift includes a variety of Equal Exchange products in a fairly traded kaisa grass basket imported by Ten Thousand Villages from Dhaka Handicrafts, a non-profit that works to improve the lives of children and rural families in Bangladesh. This would be a great holiday gift idea – one that truly gives back.

The Fair Trade Mixer Basket is on sale for $47 until Dec 15th. Also find other fair trade gifts that support small-scale farmers, ranging from $27-$75. Order online and get 10% off your order and receive free shipping on orders over $75. Use coupon code: giftme10 during checkout. Coupon expires 12/31/09. www.equalexchange.coop.

For Her:

Reclaimed pottery necklacesReclaimed Pottery Necklaces

These pretty pink and blue necklaces are handmade from the broken remnants of 1960s-era Willow dishes. Also know as “Willow Ware,” this china was produced throughout the 1900s and is highly sought after by collectors for the beautiful, detailed images telling an ancient Chinese love story.

A lovely link to the past, the china is salvaged from the Pennsylvania Amish Country in an effort to help the environment and protect wildlife by removing this hazard. Each piece still maintains the original Willow pattern and is finished with sterling silver wire. Handmade in Pennsylvania by artist Laura Bergman. Includes a card detailing the story of the china.

Secret Garden Lunch Kit

This lovely little lunchbox set includes:Secret Garden Lunch Kit

  • 1 handmade, machine-washable bag
  • 5 machine-washable napkins, so you don’t have to wash them every day!
  • 1 pair of eclectic utensils
  • flap closure secured with a vintage button
  • 1 Lock & Lock lunchbox (for more information: Lock & Lock)

Between the disposable cutlery, bags and napkins, packing a lunch can be pretty wasteful. It doesn’t have to be! And GlueandGlitter has constructed the bag and napkins from vintage linens and organic hemp.

For Him:

Recycled Tire Inner Tube Men’s WalletRecycled tire inner tube men's wallet

Good-looking, tough, practical, good for the earth and El Salvadorian artisans. If the rubber was strong enough for a car or truck, it’ll surely be able to carry your cash and plastic.

Description: 6 credit card slots and full length paper money compartment.

For the Kids:

Jasmine the Butterfly Girl DollLittle Humbugs

The Little Humbugs are based on the engaging book series that involves children on a quest to help The Little Humbugs protect the Natural World.

Designed and created by award winning children’s author and illustrator Marghanita Hughes this engaging collection of Butterfly Girl Fairies and Dragonfly Boys will delight and Lucy the Bird Keepercaptivate a generation of nature loving children.

  • Butterfly Girl Dolls
  • Childrens Books
  • Dragonfly Boy
  • Personal Care
  • Sleepover Kit
  • Felt Bead Kit
  • Gemstone Collection
  • Butterfly Girl Birthdays
  • Kids Gardening
  • Prints

Other People’s Fabulous Green Gift Guides:

As I was compiling my Green Shopping Guide for this Holiday Season, I came across a number of really wonderful guides. Here are a few of my favorites:

2009 Holiday Gift Guide: From Love Earth Always, a fabulous downloadable guide containing high quality products from online retailers with fair trade Earth-friendly products.

A Few of RYD’s Favorite Things: Green Gift Guide 2009: Our friends at Recycle Your Day have compiled their first official eco friendly gift guide and it’s fabulous!

A Great Big List of Other People’s Best Green Gift Guides: Twilight Earth brings you the Best of the Best Green Gift Guides, by Jennifer Kaplan, author of Greening Your Small Business.

Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Guide ‘09: Mambo Sprouts have gathered up a bunch of eco-savvy goodies and have broken it down into categories to make shopping easier for you – like Babies & Tots, Learn & Play Naturally, Foodies & Cooks, Gifts That Give Back, and many more.

Gifts to Green the Earth: Loving Nature’s Garden has compiled a list of gifts which make our homes, families, communities and planet a better, and more sustainable, place, a greener Earth.

Stocking stuffers for sustainable foodies: Robin Shreeves at Mother Nature Network brings us an assortment of small gifts that your foodie will love – all under $20.

The Ultimate Meaningful Gift Guide: Gifts of Efficiency from Energy Circle: This wonderful guide brings you some really fabulous gifts and stocking stuffers.

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by Wendy Gabriel

Editors Note: I was thrilled to first interview Adam Shake in March of 2009. I felt it Adam Shakewould be great to catch up with him again since there have been a lot of exciting changes going on in his world.

Adam Shake is a Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Simple Earth Media and founded Twilight Earth and Eco Tech Daily. He is an environmental writer, advocate, entrepreneur, speaker and Washington DC based activist. In addition to many of his accomplishments, he is most proud of having risked arrest at dirty coal powered power plants and the work he has done to raise money for homeless kitchens and environmental non-profits. He spent over a decade in the U.S. Army and has worked with Homeland Security and the Defense Industry. When not working on Pennsylvania Avenue, he can be found in the woods with his Wife and Rhodesian Ridgeback, kayaking, sailing or on the Appalachian Trail. Adam is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and is an active participant in a number of environmental and social media clubs and organizations.

You can find Adam on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and Digg.

There have been a lot of exciting changes for you during the past few months including the creation of the online media company, Simple Earth Media. What makes Simple Earth Media different from other environmental blog networks?

That’s a great question. I think it’s important to let people know the differences between a website and a network. There are some really great environmental websites out there like Mother Nature Network, Treehugger and Planet Green. These are single sites that put out a huge amount of original content on a day to day basis. Then there are Environmental “Networks.” Networks have a number of websites under one company.” Simple Earth Media is one of those.

I think the biggest (and best) difference between us and other networks is that each one of our websites started out as a strong and popular site, with its own loyal readers, community members and social media followers, before joining the network. Put simply, we didn’t just create a bunch of new websites, or take some start-up sites and put them together. We also didn’t take a huge infusion of cash and start this company up from scratch. Simple Earth Media, and all of its sites were created organically.

Where other websites have one social media identity, we have 6 facebook pages, 6 twitter accounts, a podcast site that interviews everyone from environmental writers, CEO’s of sustainably conscious companies and environmental hero’s like the Cousteau’s and Ed Begley Jr.. and a social media presence that spans the globe. This means that as a group we are reaching out to hundreds of thousands of people across the Internet. That’s why our tagline is “New Media Making a Difference.”

You are very passionate about the Climate Change debate especially as it relates to coal energy. What would you tell people who still believe Clean Coal is a possibility?

It’s important to understand that “Clean Coal” is not a thing, it’s a concept. It’s not something that you can hold in your hand. What it really is, is a marketing ploy paid for by Big Coal. Back in the 1940’s and 50’s, there were people who went on record saying that everything from Asbestos to Cigarettes were actually good for you. These people were paid by the Asbestos and Cigarette lobbies. We’ve come a long way since then, but “Clean Coal” is only more of the same.

What the term Clean Coal really means, is that Big Coal wants to take the CO2 that comes out the top of the power plant stacks, and bury it in the ground instead. This sounds good in theory, until you realize what it takes to do that. First, it takes 3 times as much coal to make this happen, for the same amount of electricity. You see, it’s coal that would power this process. This means that Big Coal orders would go up 300 percent.

Not only does this mean that the average consumer could end up having their utility bills possibly triple, but there would be three times the environmental devastation. The fact is, all the easy coal has been taken. I mean, we wouldn’t be ripping the tops off of mountains and dumping the fill in valley streams and rivers, if there were easy and available seems of coal running near the surface like there were 40 years ago.

Clean Coal is a sham, and does nothing but hurt the consumer, hurt the environment, and make coal companies even richer.

Sean Daily recently did a wonderful interview with you on Green Talk Radio. During the interview you mentioned that you were a people hugger not a treehugger. Can you explain that a little?

I recently heard a parent say “My kids keep telling me that I should do more to save the environment. I tell them that when they are working, they can save the environment.” My response to him was “Instead of doing the right thing for the environment, how about doing the right thing for your kids?”

We did a disservice to ourselves until about a decade ago. For a long time, environmentalism was more about saving animals and plants than it was about saving people. The common consensus was that “Those treehuggers care more about the spotted owl than they do about people.” It hit its head about 10 years ago when “Treehuggers” chained themselves to trees to keep the loggers from chopping them down and ruining the habitat of the owls.”

Since then though, more and more of us are saying that environmentalism is about saving ourselves more than it is about saving the environment. We need clean air, water and soil to survive. By protecting those things, we protect ourselves.

When you look ahead at where we are headed, especially in the area of Climate Change, what gives you the most hope for our future?

David Suzuki, the famous Canadian environmentalist recently berated himself, saying “I’m a complete failure. I’ve been fighting the fight for over 30 years, I’ve started a foundation, I’ve been on the radio and television for over 30 years, and we are in worse shape now than when I started.”

I watched David say this during an interview, and I was torn between getting choked up and wanting to scream at him “We may be worse off now than 30 years ago, but how much MORE worse off would we be if you had not done what you did?!”

I look at history and I see people like Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt, each of them by themselves didn’t solve our problems of environment desecration and over consumption, but together, they started the movement. Now we have people like Cousteau’s, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCapro, Ed Bagely Jr, and Mariel Hemingway all using their star power to further sustainability. There are thousands of people just like my business partner Sean and I. There are writers (just like you), journalists, owners of businesses and people who make it their life’s work to protect their children and children’s children. There are billions of people who are starting to realize that it’s not about the name on the outside of your shopping bag or purse, but about whats in it. It’s not about the size of your car, but about how far it can get you on the least amount of gas. This is what gives me hope. Billions of us working together, to bring positive change to a planet in peril.

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by Wendy Gabriel

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Twilight Earth and I was recently honored to become one of their contributing writers. Twilight Earth is dedicated to saving the Environment through shared News, Discussion, Advocacy and Activism and is all about clean Air, Water and Soil, three basic human rights that are essential to our survival.

So here’s the big news of the day courtesy of Simple Earth Media:

Sean Daily, CEO of Green Living Ideas, Inc. and Adam Shake, founder of Twilight Earth, have teamed up to create online environmental media company Simple Earth Media.

A group of the Web’s leading environmental blogs, podcasts, and social media outposts Simple Earth Mediatoday announced that they have combined to form a single environmental publishing and social media powerhouse. The resulting new entity, named Simple Earth Media, includes top environmental media and publishing entities such as Green Living Ideas, Blue Living Ideas, Twilight Earth, GreenTalk Radio, EcoTech Daily, and Natural Papa.

Simple Earth Media’s brand mission is to create a compelling, organic, educational network of environmental online venues that engage an ever-growing audience concerned with sustainable lifestyle habits and business practices.

“Bringing the Green Living Ideas and Twilight Earth site networks together was a natural fit all around,” said Sean Daily, Simple Earth Media’s CEO and President. Daily continued, “Adam and I share a very similar outlook and perspective, not only on the type of editorial content that is necessary and relevant for the future of humanity and the planet, but also in regards to the types of companies we want to work with as sponsors and advertisers supporting our network. We are also really fortunate to have a combined staff of the best writers in the business.”

In addition to the sizeable daily web traffic and newsletter subscribers of the constituent sites, the combined social media audience and following of the Simple Earth Media network is unprecedented, totaling over 50,000 Twitter followers in addition to tens of thousands more friends and subscribers on FaceBook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms — making it one of the largest online environmental social media communities in the world.

The Simple Earth Media family of websites and audio/video podcasts, cover the topics that conscious consumers are most concerned with, including sustainable living tips and ideas, alternative energy and alternative fuel vehicles, water, ocean, and marine life conservation, clean tech, environmental news, and natural health and parenting topics.

Our success is measured on the change that we make in helping to protect and nurture our environment, our families and our health,” says Adam Shake, founder of Twilight Earth. “It’s not about saving the environment, it’s about saving ourselves. Clean air, water and soil are basic human rights. We’ve got to continue to fight for those rights.”

Simple Earth Media employs some of the Web’s best-known and most highly-regarded environmental writers, including Derek Markham, Jennifer Lance, Ariel Schwartz, Susan Kraemer, Scott James, Wendy Gabriel and numerous others. The company’s tagline is “New Media Making a Difference.”

As a family of environmental websites, Simple Earth Media can better assist you in finding the information you’re looking for, to help educate you on the changing world you live in. As always, we continue to offer our support to you, our readers, as we continue to grow.

Here’s to working together in a much bigger way, and to making positive change to our planet and its inhabitants!

Go to Simple Earth Media to find out more about this exciting new powerhouse.

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by Wendy Gabriel

The results are in from our Buck for Charity Drive!

Our Buck for Charity Drive asked you to vote for your two favorite charities Natural worldout of a list of five that we provided, and then asked you to donate $1.00 into a general pool, with the two charities with the highest vote counts splitting the money.

Thank you all who participated

This was a great experience and My Green Side was honored to be involved.

Thank you my amazing readers. You were wonderfully generous and thoughtful!

Huge thanks to the two amazings guys who facilitated this whole party: Adam Shake at Twilight Earth and David Quilty at The Good Human.

Thanks also to all the other writers who participated. It was great working with all of you: The Grass Stain Guru, Lighter Footstep, The Smart Mama, A Little Greener Every Day, Fake Plastic Fish, Allies Answers, and Natural Papa.

The Results

The total amount of donations received is $653.00! This is actually a lot of money considering that we only asked each person to donate $1.00, and the money that you donated will be happily received by Sustainable Harvest with 27% of the votes and Water for People with 24% of the votes!

The runner up’s are:

Environmental Working Group received 21% of the votes

Healthy Child Healthy World received 15% of the votes and

Kiva received 13% of the votes

The environment needs to be saved, and together we can do it. ~Rachelle Strauss

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As writers, we know that part of good stewardship is sharing information, but Save the World!even the most intelligent among us can not make change without DOING something.

So The Good Human & Twilight Earth, along with The Grass Stain Guru, Lighter Footstep, My Green Side, The Smart Mama, A Little Greener Every Day, Fake Plastic Fish, Allies Answers, and Natural Papa have teamed up to carry our message with one united strong voice. The message is that there are great organizations out there which are suffering in this economic downturn through decreased donations…and they need our help! So we have decided to give you, our readers, a voice and a choice. We have decided to take on a very simple fundraising mission, and we are asking you to donate just $1.00.

A single dollar; that’s all.

Who cannot afford a buck even in these times? We know you can spare a dollar to help out our fellow humans!

But how do we all decide which charities to give 100% of all monies raised to? Well, we are going to put it to a vote and let you guys decide. The 10 websites participating have chosen 5 charities for all donors to vote for, and we are going to let you guys choose which two of them will receive the all monies donated.

Our purpose in doing this is three-fold

  • It gives YOU a voice. As loyal readers and stewards of our environment, we want to offer you the opportunity to make a difference without breaking the bank.
  • It gives the two charities with the most votes some much appreciated funds to continue their mission
  • It allows all of us an opportunity to connect as a community of like-minded people working for the common good of ourselves, our families and our planet.

If the community of folks who care about our planet cannot come together to rise up to a challenge, who will? That is why we are asking you for a $1 donation. While $1 may seem insignificant all by itself, by pooling our resources together we really can make a difference in these tough economic times. $1 is less than the price of a candy bar and can usually be found under the seat cushions of your couch. Won’t you help 2 of these charities with your $1 donation? (Now, if you want to give more, please – feel free. We won’t stop you! And by all means, send this to everyone you know so we can raise even more!)

Clicking below will take you to the poll and a Paypal donation link asking you to choose which of the 5 charities your favorite is. We ask that you please donate a dollar to the charity pool if you are going to vote, and know that even if your absolute favorite does not finish first or second, all the money donated will be going to worthwhile causes. If everyone we know who reads our sites, our Twitter feeds, our Facebook sites, etc. donates just $1, imagine the impact we can have as a group. And please, spread the word!

The 5 charities that we’ve selected are Healthy Child Healthy World, Environmental Working Group, Sustainable Harvest, Kiva and Water for People.

Voting is now closed for this campaign. Thanks to all of you who participated!

Times are tough and our collective might can really help them out. The results will be tallied two weeks from today, and we will write another article detailing the amounts and the two charities who garnered the most votes and will be receiving the money collected. It’s only $1, so please donate!

Please take a moment to vote for your favorite and to donate just a single dollar to these charities.

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by Wendy Gabriel

Derek Markham is a father, freelance writer, and Twitter addict. He covers Derek Markhamenvironmental and natural parenting topics for a number of green blogs, including Natural Papa, Twilight Earth, Blue Living Ideas, Green Living Ideas, and the Green Options Media network. For the last 10 years, he’s worked in the natural foods industry, most recently as the general manager of a food co-op.

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

I’m a big bicycling advocate and commute by bike as much as possible. I have a trailer for hauling groceries and running errands, and we’ve always tried to live within biking distance of our community. We buy only organically grown food, shop exclusively at our local food co-op and farmer’s market, and have been CSA farm members the last couple of years as well as having our own garden. We use only eco-friendly soaps and cleaners in our house, and love to go thrifting instead of buying new. Our family is also working toward establishing an off-grid homestead, with the hope of establishing an intentional eco-community.

 

You are such a wonderful and prolific writer. What is your favorite green topic to write about?

My favorite topics are probably homebirth and homeschooling, which I don’t write about nearly often enough. I try to balance writing about my favorites with the topics in demand at the blogs I write for. I also enjoy writing about natural foods, seasonal recipes and health topics.

 

I really enjoyed the interview you did for Green Talk Radio’s Green Blogger Series. You explain natural fatherhood in a wonderful way. Could you give us a little overview of what being a natural father means to you?

To me, a natural father is one who makes the effort to instill in his kids a sense of reverence for, and a love of, our natural world, while taking the time to connect with them on a deep level; a dad who balances the needs of making a living with the needs of his family and takes the steps necessary to be present with them, no matter what the sacrifice. I’ve been fortunate to be intimately involved with all of my kid’s births, which is an important part of fatherhood, in my eyes. I also believe that dads can and should play a bigger role in the education of their children.

 

With Father’s Day fast approaching, what would be your perfect eco-friendly Father’s Day gift?

I’d be very happy with a gift basket filled with organic Fair Trade coffee, some organic dark chocolate, and gift certificate for a massage. I am also a big fan of green gadgets and bikes, so perhaps a solar powered battery charger for my LED bike lights would also fit the bill.

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By Wendy Gabriel

Today I am honored to have a guest post on Twilight Earth’s Twilight Earthsite.

Adam Shake, the founder of Twilight Earth, has been instrumental in my journey of environmental discovery. He has also become a friend. I really can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a wonderful writer, a passionate environmentalist and he even wrote a post  to promote The Greek: Christopher Gabriel from Blog Harbor, Live on WDAY – Thursday and Friday.

Twilight Earth’s other mainstay, Derek Markham, has also been a source of wonderful environmental news and discussion. His list of Environmental Clichés I Agree With line up exactly with everything I believe to be true.

Twilight Earth is dedicated to saving the Environment through shared News, Discussion, Advocacy and Activism, I am thrilled to be part of that shared discussion today.

Please take a moment to read: Let’s Make a Healthier World for Our Children.

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