We want you to share your ECO-Effect Actions with us. If you are a minor, you need to get adult permission first. Everyone can share ideas, not just parents and kids with permission . . . schools, businesses, communities, anyone who wants to share how they have made a difference – ECHO your ideas and we’ll ECHO them to others.
NOTE: We will edit the blogs before posting them to ensure protection for our minors.
In the 1980's I created the topic of "kids and money" and in the following years I have written 26 books and founded the Children's Financial Network to promote financial literacy. Along with teaching families to become money savvy, I have also, always, stressed the importance of sharing and giving of one's self in order to be "Citizens of the Community."
In a time of crisis, such as the devastating after-effects of hurricane Sandy, we are reminded of the inherent good of the American people. So many have been directly effected by losing their homes or their livelihood or even a loved one. The rest of us who have been fortunate enough to escape unharmed or perhaps inconvenienced, have, once again, seen compassion in action. This is also a time of introspection.
All around us we see our first responders risking their lives to help strangers in crisis. Neighbors are helping neighbors. Government agencies begin to assess damages and to offer assistance to those that have been displaced. Charitable organizations step up to the task of offering aid. Citizens rush to donate to those charities. Even politicians put their differences aside in order to get work done.
I am one of the fortunate who has only been inconvenienced with the loss of utilities. As the storm began to move into my neighborhood, I found myself alone in the dark - listening to the rain pour down and the trees brush against my home. I was afraid for my safety and my property, but my overwhelming concern was for my family - my kids and my grandkids - and for everyone else being touched by this storm.
I was able to get to a friend's home for comfort and safety. Eventually, I was able to contact my family and was assured that everyone was OK.
So many others were less fortunate. Just in my community, one family was left homeless after a fire destroyed their home. In another tragedy, a couple was killed when a tree fell on their car - leaving behind two young children who were also in the car.
I am an advocate of teaching our kids about budgeting their allowance, and as part of that education I teach that a portion of the weekly allowance be set aside for charity. This week I proudly watched my friend's son, who upon learning of the neighborhood tragedies, rushed to get his container filled with the charity money from his allowance. Before I understood where he had disappeared to, I heard - "Mom, we have to take my charity money and give it to that family whose house burned down." He followed up with, "Where are they going to live? We have to help them."
I know that charitable giving will always be a part of this young man's life. The lessons and habits we learn when we are young shape who we become as adults. Teach your children to be givers - also teach by example. Remember that giving can be more than donating money, you can also donate your time, clothing and even household items. Be sure to get your family involved.
That generous young man is right - "We have to help." We should all do what we can to help our neighbors. We can make a real difference.(read more...)
Trees are an important part of our natural landscape. They help reduce soil erosion and help moderate the climate. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to clean the air we breathe. Forests provide a habitat for many species of animals and plants.
Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has greatly increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Use of fossil fuel has produced about three-quarters of the increase in carbon dioxide from human activity. This is the basis of climate change.
Climate change is having an effect on our forests. Scientists had predicted that trees would migrate to higher latitudes and elevations as regional temperatures warm. According to a study that analyzed decades of data this migration is not happening. The U.S. Forest Service examined 92 tree species over 31 states.
More than half of the species of the Eastern U.S. are not adapting to the changing climate as quickly or consistently as expected. According to a Duke University study, this poses a real risk for the survival of the tree species.
Surprisingly, 59 percent of the species showed signs that their geographic ranges were actually contracting. Only 21 percent seem to be shifting northward as expected. About 16 percent are creeping southward.
We are all citizens of the planet and we need to do our part to combat the increase in greenhouse gases and global warming. Remember - “Reuse, Recycle and Reduce” your waste are my “three R's” of being Eco-friendly in my book ECO Effect – the Greening of Moneytm. Be an example for your kids. Teach your kids. Partner with your kids. Save our trees and forests – save our planet.(read more...)
Just outside of Arlington, Oregon, stands the recently opened Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, the nation's largest of its kind. 235,000 homes will be powered with the environmentally sound electricity from this site.
Construction of this wind farm brought more than 400 jobs - 45 of which will be continuing full-time jobs. There will also be agricultural jobs on the site's farmland. The turbines were American built and installed by American workers so this is truly a green / green accomplishment making both ecological and economic sense.
According to experts, power generated at the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm will prevent about 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted per year. This is about the same as the emissions from 260,000 cars being taken off the road.
Wind power – the clean energy solution of the future – is here. Saving the planet while creating jobs is truly an ECO-EFFECTtm.(read more...)
Global warming is effecting the ocean's inhabitants and will be noticeable by 2040. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] says that there will be “winners and losers” but “there will be changes.” The study looked at changing temperatures and habitat areas in the Pacific Ocean by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to heat the atmosphere at the current rate. The major culprit is the use of fossil fuels including oil, coal and natural gas.
Sharks, blue whales and some turtles will be among the losers. Sea birds and tuna are more likely to be among the winners.
Sea birds, which would see their habitat expand more than 20 percent, would increase in numbers. Blue whales and sharks would see their habitat shrink due to warming ocean water. Decreasing food supply would have real consequences for these threatened species.
Our continued reliance on the fossil fuels has to be tamed. The changes in numbers will be far reaching into our food chain. There will be economic hardship as commercial fishing will be forced to adapt. Wake up world! It's time to take responsibility for climate change and work to make a difference.
Move to fuel efficient autos and curtail unnecessary driving. Use public transportation and car pool when possible. Make your home more efficient with updated appliances, insulation and compact flourescent light bulbs. We all have to do our part.(read more...)