Posts tagged ‘tara stafford’

How YOU Can Help Fight the Gulf Oil Leak

We’ve all heard the news of the continued failure of BP AND the US government to stop the geyser of oil erupting out of the Gulf. What can WE do?

Sign this petition asking Congress to invest in clean energy and STOP plans for more offshore drilling.

These photos are horrifying, yet they beautifully depict the magnitude of the problem. I hope they inspire all of us to do more to stop this problem.

If you really want to make an impact, you can volunteer. The United Way of South Mississippi is organizing volunteers, and you can find more info here.

Another innovative way to soak up the oil is for all of us to get our hair cut and send it to the Gulf!  Seriously, you can organize a hair cutting event or ask your local barber to send their hair scraps to the gulf.  Check out this video to learn about what people are doing.

Thank you for reading, and if you have more ideas for how we can address this problem, please comment.

Tara

May 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Education – Pay Now or Pay Later!

Late last week in our home state of California, thousands and thousands of students, teachers, faculty, administrators and frustrated citizens took to the streets all across the state to protest California’s massive proposed cuts to education.

Unfortunately I was unable to participate because I was going to a school board meeting in Burbank. I was going to lend support to an advocacy team that I help organize who was there to protest their own district’s proposed cuts. Both on the macro level and the micro, a lot of advocacy happened that day, but there is still much to be done between now and when budgets are finalized in June.

Check out this great video by CSU Fullerton students about the downtown LA protests.

Though I try, I can’t understand why education is not the obvious funding priority. Frederick Douglass put it best – “it’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Our economy, and many of us, are broken right now. Our decision makers have to make cuts somewhere, but by cutting education funding, they are ensuring that this mess will continue for decades to come as our population becomes less and less competitive in a global market.

In light of this, I know many people are targeting their frustrations at their local school boards and administrators. Yes, they have some decision making power, but the real responsibility for the future of education in California and any other state lies with our state government.

Right now California schools receive about $8500 in funds per pupil from the state. In the Governor’s proposed 2010-11 budget, per pupil spending would drop to about $7400. That’s over 10%. Assume that means quality will also drop by at least that much. California’s dropout rate is already at 24%.

**More info on the proposed state budget here**

Our public schools across the country are in crisis, and unlike our economy which may bounce back in a couple years, the students affected by these cuts will suffer the repercussions the rest of their lives.

What we need to do is make sure our state legislators know that if they want to keep their jobs, they need to minimize cuts to education and not use Prop 98 funds to close the deficit.   Find your state legislators here, then give them a call and let them know that.  Let them know that education is the foundation upon which we build our future and if they make these cuts, our house will fall.

March 10, 2010 at 2:39 am Leave a comment

How to be Green


Green Lifestyle

Oh, the green lifestyle. Hippies, tree-huggers, liberals – we all get a bad rap for caring about the planet, but let me just say I am SO glad that green is more mainstream. It only makes sense. Living a green lifestyle helps you save money, and it preserves this beautiful Earth. So without further adieu, here are some handy-dandy ways to be green.

SHOPPING: Want some cool, original stuff that also helps people out? Check out http://www.overstock.com/Worldstock/6/store.html for some green shopping. They have clothes, jewelery, purses, shoes, all made by people in countries with extreme poverty. This is a great way to not only define your sense of style, but know that the shirt you’re buying is going to feed a family in Thailand for the next week.

FILMMAKERS! Make your production green and of course save money! http://www.film.ca.gov/GreenFilmmaking/index.html will give you all the resources you need to make sure everything from your catering to your wardrobe is Earth-friendly. And did I mention save money? Use that money for some dope special effects. Also check out the Environmental Media Association at http://www.ema-online.org/for_productions.php for more info about how to produce your film or project in a more green way.

NEED A JOB???? Get a green job! Not only do you make money, but you save the Earth! Super-hero status all the way. http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/businessconnections.main <—- all the info and resources you need for green job-hunting. Here’s one more for good luck http://www.greenjobs.com/public/index.aspx

And here, just because I think it’s cool, are some entrepreneurs who are making being green their business. A great read. http://www.inc.com/magazine/20061101/green50_intro.html

Stay tuned for more tips, and especially those of you looking for jobs, I GOT THE HOOK UP! Well, I just have some great resources, but will be sharing them in the next post, next week. Until then – stay green 🙂

March 3, 2010 at 4:06 am Leave a comment

Turn the Water Off!

Check out our new video.  We make water conservation SEXXAYYY!!!  Then read below for more info on why and how you should slow your use of h2o!

Part 1 of our water-saving series.

Water is abundant on our planet, it is abundant in our bodies, however the availability of fresh drinking water is not all that abundant. As an American you don’t always have to worry about having access to clean water, yes maybe you worry about the water bill but what if there was no possibility of even HAVING a water bill??

Imagine walking to a well everyday and bringing water back in a bucket on top of your head. I couldn’t do it. Thank God I have plumbing and can take a shower whenever I please. Thinking about this makes me wonder about the people who don’t have this luxury. Feels like I should do something. I should conserve the water I use, be efficient with it, and advocate policies and procedures for helping people without clean, fresh water to gain access to clean, fresh water. Let’s conserve water. Time for some water-saving tips.

Haiti needs a new system for water. Read this article in the NY Times about it.

1. Buy some water conserving products for your household

  1. Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning.
  2. Verify that your home is leak-free, because many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
  3. Repair dripping faucets. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year which will add to the cost of water and sewer utilities, or strain your septic system.
  4. Wash vegetables with a bowl underneath, then use the water from the bowel to water plants.
  5. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
  6. Take shorter showers. Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs.
  7. Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only 1/3 full. Stopper tub before turning water. The initial burst of cold water can be warmed by adding hot water later.
  8. Don’t let water run while shaving or washing your face. Or, you can brush your teeth first while waiting for water to get hot, then wash or shave.
  9. Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  10. Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or properly set the water level for the size of load you are using.
  11. When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.
  12. Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.
  13. Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or by using the defrost setting on your microwave.
  14. Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste instead of using a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals also can add 50% to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to malfunctions and maintenance problems.

According to Charity Water: “Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war… Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of unsafe water.  Of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% are children under 5 years old.”

In other words… turn the water off!

February 17, 2010 at 6:16 am Leave a comment


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