Teach her how to fish, she eats for a lifetime. This year’s Blog Action Day theme is about poverty. When I last checked the site over 10,000 bloggers had signed up to participate reaching over 11 million readers worldwide. Last year’s theme was on the environment and I wrote Rock. Paper. Scissors. How Do We All Win? on the topic of the environment and cutting down on paper usage.
How does one break the cycle of poverty? As an entrepreneur, I’m a strong supporter of those who try to make a difference by creating products and solutions that help their local, national, or global community. All ideas are not created equal, but the people behind them are the ones who can cultivate them into something life changing or learn from their failures, pick themselves up and help others on their paths to create something great.
Whether entrepreneurial drive is innate or learned one may never know, but we do know that it can be cultivated and nurtured by the right people, resources, and support. It can also be squashed and abused by people who feel threatened by the passion behind the ideas.
I have heard several of my favorite bloggers mentioned Kiva.org in the past and I thought it was a really neat concept. So for this year’s Blog Action Day, I’ve decided to donate $100 to a Kiva project. However, it looks like I’ll have to wait because all of their projects are currently funded!
Kiva is a site that enables people to give/lend money to entrepreneurs in third world countries who are trying to make a difference in their poverty stricken communities. You can contribute money towards a small loan for an entrepreneur to help him/her get started or purchase some supplies. It’s called micro-lending.
Giving someone the means to try something entrepreneurial to build up their self esteem and add value to their community, is priceless. Giving them the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship first hand from the school of hard knocks is contributing to their life education.
So take a look around you and be grateful for what you have despite the challenging economic times ahead for all of us. If you are reading this blog post, chances are that you are not sitting in a hut somewhere without electricity wondering where your next meal might come from.
Encouraging ideas, creativity, and entrepreneurship is the way we will see ourselves through this downturn. Investing in good people with the entrepreneurial spirit is a fabulous thing to do. Check out Kiva.org and when an entrepreneur and her project surface that you find interesting, consider lending her a few bucks to help her make a difference!
If you haven’t heard, they are already signing up people for Blog Action Day 2008 and the topic this year will be on Poverty. If you are a blogger and have thoughts to share on the topic of poverty, go sign up now! The only requirement is that you do a post on October 15, 2008 on the topic of poverty. I posted last year for Blog Action Day and the topic was the environment.
My post last year was called Rock. Paper. Scissors. How Do We All Win? I wrote about ways we could reduce the amount of paper we use by cutting down the paper we receive. Since last year, I called up and cancelled several of the catalogues that we randomly received, made sure we were getting e-statements instead of paper statements, etc. We have drastically reduced the amount of unnecessary mail we get, but we still get things that I haven’t figured out how to stop getting! But I’ll keep on trying.
Check it out, sign up, and share your entrepreneurial and parent related thoughts about poverty!
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the amount of paper we use and come in contact with from newspapers, magazines, bank/credit card/mutual fund statements, printed paper, kids crafts, etc. I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time but either didn’t have the time or wasn’t sure how to approach the topic but after writing a first draft down on October 5, 2007, I happened upon a post called What Have You Done Lately? by Lorelle on WordPress the very next day! Her post led me to Blog Action Day, and I though ‘Holy Trees Batman,’ this is why I am supposed to write this post despite my Bloggo Fears that people will think I’m nuts or possibly a Tree Hugger! And now because of Blog Action Day I have found the reason to do this post today, October 15, 2007.
I was motivated to write this post because I have been attempting to clean up my home office and the paper shuffling has been at an all time maximum. I like to make space and get a sense of openness before embarking on a strategic thinking endeavor…which I am in the process of doing regarding the future direction of Babble Soft. Boy do I wish we lived near a beach…because something about sitting under a huge umbrella, staring at the ocean, and listening to the waves with a margarita in my hand would really help get my thinking juices flowing!
I have seen some things written about reducing the amount of paper used in office environments such as:
But I haven’t seen much written about how each of us as individuals can help reduce the amount of paper products we come in contact with on a daily basis. I did see a post made by Tim Sanders called Redesign your reading life where he discusses ideas on how to reduce the amount of paper by changing how you read.
But what I’m proposing is slightly different. I have been looking at the things we don’t necessarily read and/or need to have a hard copy of. So here’s what I’ve decided to do, and I took action on the day I wrote the first draft of this post back on October 5.
I finally called Pottery Barn and told them to take me OFF their catalogue mailing list for their pottery barn baby and PB teen catalogues. I think I ordered one thing from them a few years ago and then somehow got on their catalogue mailing list. Every time I would get them I thought to myself I really ought to tell them to quit sending these to me, but I was always in the middle of something or I said to myself ‘oh, I’ll do it later’ and immediately put them into our recycle bin.
Now it’s great to recycle but what if I hadn’t even gotten those catalogues to begin with for the last few years? Would some trees have been allowed to continue growing? Would the additional oxygen they breathed into the environment have had an affect on our heated discussions on global warming? Would we have Cooler Heads?
Since I’m not a scientist and don’t play one on TV, I really have no proof indicating that this tree saving would happen but my gut tells me that reducing the amount of paper we receive can’t hurt. Also common sense tells me that record amounts of rain and 100 degree temperatures being more common than not here in Texas this past year are probably an indicator of something.
It took me literally less than 2 minutes to call Pottery Barn, give them the codes on the catalogues and they removed me. And you know what? She actually THANKED me for calling them to let her know! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised because I was half expecting her to ask me why I wanted to be removed, try to convince me to continue receiving them, and/or convince me to order something. Isn’t it funny how our assumptions of how we think something will happen might actually subconsciously dissuade us from taking immediate action?
So I’d like to challenge all of you to do something to reduce the amount of paper in your lives. If you share in the comments what you did that might give others more reason to examine their paper-filled life. If you are a blogger, I encourage you to post about this on your blog (please don’t feel like you have to link back to this post – I’m not writing about this for links) and let’s see if each of us making one small step to reduce the paper in our home lives can make a difference over time.
Canceling the catalogues to Pottery Barn was just the beginning, I still have a long way to go, and I’ll either update this blog or post about my progress in future posts. Here are some other ideas:
Change statements (financial, bank, etc.) to e-statements if possible
Cancel subscriptions to magazines you no longer read
Encourage places like pre-schools and private schools to send you receipts by email if they can
Ask people who want to fax you something to scan and email it to you instead and then save it instead of printing it if possible
Ask the post office if they can quit sending those coupon pages, fliers, etc. that you never use. I have no idea if it’s possible to have them quit sending bulk mail, but I guess it can’t hurt to ask.
If anyone has any other ideas, please share them! If any of you have already posted on this topic, please let me know and I’ll update this post to refer to it.
One small action could quite possibly lead to a phenomenal reaction! How will we ever know if we don’t try….
I, along with thousands of bloggers around the world, will be writing a post related to the environment on October 15, 2007. Check out the Blog Action Day site and see how you can get involved. They have even created a nice video about it on YouTube: