MOGO Blogroll: Fake Plastic Fish

Do you find yourself haunted by the amount of plastic in your life? Has it become a nemesis? Perhaps it’s the addiction you can’t shake, promising yourself that this is the last piece of Tupperware, that next time you’ll remember to bring your reusable bags to the store, that you’re really going to switch to refillable pens….

Recently I discovered a cool blog called Fake Plastic Fish.  The founder, Beth Terry, uses her blog to chronicle her efforts to stop buying new plastic and to educate and inspire others to reduce their own plastics use. In addition to plastics-related news stories and an ongoing tally and analysis of her plastics use, Terry also has a great list of the plastic-free changes she’s made. Last year she also led the “Take Back the Filter” campaign to convince Clorox (which owns Brita in the U.S.) to start recycling some of its water filter cartridges.

FPF also has a plethora of useful websites and other resources, and Terry uses really clear categories for tagging her posts. I also like that Terry shows an awareness of the impacts of plastics not just on people and the planet, but on animals, too.

The Big Green Purse blog recently did an interesting interview with Terry about her blog and about plastics.

I felt pretty proud of my plastics use…until I looked around FPF. It’s definitely a good tool to help me remember that I can always to more to do less with plastics.

~ Marsha

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WebSpotlight: JackNorrisRD.com

veganstirfryWhen it comes to nutrition and health information, vegans have to be extra careful — not because it’s more difficult to eat healthfully on a plant-based diet than with an omni diet (because it’s usually actually easier) — but because many people who want to justify their poor eating choices will look for any excuse to dismiss the health benefits of a vegan diet.

Additionally, for vegan advocates who want to spread the good word about the many positive reasons to go veg, it can sometimes be tempting to spread information that hasn’t been properly verified, or to exaggerate health claims a little bit — not through any desire to intentionally deceive, but because of a deep passion for people, animals and the planet.

With a news media that regularly prints health and nutrition stories that contradict each other, that focus on a tiny detail rather than the larger context, and that mislead and sensationalize, it’s important to have veg health information you can feel confident is accurate and credible.

That’s one reason I’m really excited that Jack Norris, Registered Dietician and President of Vegan Outreach (one of my all-time favorite non-profit groups) has started his own blog with “news for vegan advocates and those eating plant-based diets.” Vegan Outreach (VO) is well-known for working hard to ensure that their information is accurate and credible; many of their quotes and statistics come from industry sources. As part of VO, Jack has a website, VeganHealth.org, which provides great information for those interested in the health aspects of a vegan diet. Now Jack’s blog will provide more frequent health information, analyze recent research, and answer questions. His blog has just started, but already he has tackled a great question — one that many people have asked me: “How can I get plant protein without soy?”

If you’re interested in or concerned about vegan health, be sure to bookmark this blog or subscribe to his RSS feed.

~ Marsha

Thanks to Vegan.com for the heads up.

43 Ways to Stop Child Trafficking Globally and Locally

smilinggirlRecently I did a (late) post for Human Trafficking Awareness Day about resources (mainly videos) to help educate and empower us to help stop human trafficking.  Activist Diana Scimone, who has a blog and an organization focused on stopping child trafficking, left a comment, sharing about her work.

I visited her site and wanted to share with you that she has a great list: 43 Ways to Stop Child Trafficking on the left side of her blog. In addition to lots of suggestions (read, view, learn, organize, act), the list offers helpful and relevant resources.

The list includes:

I did the suggestion to use a web search engine to look for my city and phrases like “human trafficking” or “child trafficking” and discovered stories such as this recent one about Portland being a “hot market in the modern slave trade.” And, as I mentioned before, the City Club of Portland is sponsoring a series on Human Trafficking. Here are the next several topics/dates planned:

Thursday, February 26 – Dr. Kathryn Farr speaks about how wars promote human trafficking.
Thursday, March 26 – Local nonprofits share their experiences.
Wednesday, April 22 – Human Trafficking Task Force.
Thursday, May 28 – Dr. Bill Hillar speaks about global perspectives and how that effects local problems, and what we can do to help.

With 27 million slaves worldwide and tens of thousands being trafficked in the U.S., it can seem like an overwhelming and despairing task to stop the trafficking of humans, but there are at least 43 ways that you can start to make a positive difference.

~ Marsha

WebSpotlight: FlavorVegan

Looking for some tasty vegan recipes to try? Our own Portland MOGO member Chelsea L. has started her own blog, FlavorVegan, to promote and celebrate “flavor — in food and in life.”

Recent tasty recipes include sugar cookies, pumpkin pie with an almond crust, blueberry bundt cake and Soyrizo empanadas. Yum!

And Chelsea definitely knows her recipes, as she’s a recipe developer for Bob’s Red Mill (so if you’ve tried some of their mixes, you’ve probably tried one of the recipes she’s created).

~ Marsha

Image courtesy of FlavorVegan.

Follow the One Dollar Diet Project

More than 1 billion people live on $1 or less a day. A colleague of mine (and fellow IHE grad) Christopher Greenslate, and his partner Kerri — both social studies teachers — have embarked on a project to each eat on a food budget of $1/day.  As they say in their first post:

“When we first started talking about doing this, we didn’t really have an agenda, or any developed sense of why we wanted to do it. It  just seemed like an interesting challenge; one that would force us to see things differently.

“We are interested in many of the strands related to this experiment; food choices, consumerism, waste, poverty, social psychology, etc., and this experience may provide insights that could help us better understand and teach about a variety of concerns.”

Here’s their Day 1 Totals:

Breakfast: 1 cup cooked oatmeal – $0.06

Lunch: PB and J sandwich on homemade bread – $0.36,  2cups popped popcorn with salt – $0.07

Dinner: 2 Bean and Rice Burritos – $0.42 ( Beans – $0.07, Rice -$0.11, Tortillas – $0.05ea., small strips of Lettuce – $0.07, 1 TBSP taco sauce – $0.12)

Dessert: 1TBSP Peanut butter – $0.05

Total: $0.96

Follow their journey on the One Dollar Diet Project.

~ Marsha

Blogroll: Sociological Images

When exploring issues related to human rights, the environment, animal protection, and culture, images can be a powerful tool — the whole “a picture paints a thousand words” concept. People sometimes may not want to listen to your words, but they may better respond to what they can see with their own eyes. Likewise, we can learn a lot more about ourselves and our values from how we respond to and what we notice (or don’t notice) in images.

There is a terrific blog that’s in my RSS feeds list that posts images, videos and graphs, along with occasional commentary “for use in sociology (and related) classes.” Sociological Images: Seeing is Believing focuses on numerous topics related to culture, from the way men, women and people from different ethnic groups are portrayed, to body image issues to violence to consumerism to politics. Many of the images and videos are from ads, and examples from a variety of decades and countries are represented. Recent posts that have caught my eye include one about “ethnic” fashion, and one exploring gender roles from The Bee Movie,

Posts are organized by topic (look for the “select tag” drop down menu), so that browsers can see all the posts related to issues of interest — everything from objectification to race and ethnicity to health to animals/nature to children/youth. Some of the images are pretty explicit, so don’t browse this at work or when younger kids are around.

There are some really amazing and horrifying examples here — great conversation starters, eye openers and arrgghhh! inducers. Check it out.

~ Marsha