confessions of an earth hour sceptic II

According to best estimates by the organisers, Saturday 29 March 2014 the people of 152 nations and 7000 cities will turn off their lights for one hour to prove the world can unite to tackle climate change.

Neither Earth Hour nor any other clever social marketing initiative have made inroads into the rate of destruction of the environment thus far. Earth Hour has raised awareness, but so far, the awareness hasn’t translated into environmental benefits. Many people including reputable scientists believe that we have passed the point of no return and that it is now a question of damage control rather than the opportunity to maintain what we have or even to turn this ship around. Nobody likes bad news and people are clinging to hope.  Earth Hour gives hope because it brings people together and signals good will. 

This year, Earth Hour is trying to take the initiative further than in previous years adopting crowd funding and an extensive network of partner organisations to help turn this year’s Earth Hour from a ‘moment into a movement’. [Read more…]

Eat Less. Care More. Feel Good! How?

Eat Less. Care More. Feel Good! How?

Go Meat Free for a Week! Why?

Can you believe that with an average consumption of 111.5kg per hear per annum Australia is ranked in the top three biggest meat-eating countries in the world per capita? I guess you can – Australians love their meat in all shapes and forms, be it on the BBQ, in a pie or on a Pizza! Nine out of 10 Australians don’t eat enough vegetables, yet when it comes to meat, Australians eat more than double the world average of 41.9kg per person.

This massive consumption of meat apparently compromises our health, and with global meat production predicted to double within six years in line with the growth of the middle classes, we know for a fact, it also raises serious concerns about long-term sustainability of the planet and animal welfare[Read more…]

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day!

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For the past 103 years, women worldwide come together on 8 March to celebrate their achievements and reflect on what remains to be done. This year is no different.

International Women’s Day is a good day to take stock of women’s affairs.

 

Did you realise that currently:

  • women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half the world’s food, and yet earn only 10 % of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property?
  • women make up 70% of the worlds 1.3 billion people who live in poverty?
  • women over the age of 15 in the least developed countries are twice as likely to be illiterate than men.

The solution? Social investment in girls. [Read more…]

A few Valentine’s Day facts

A few Valentine’s Day facts

vcm_s_kf_repr_640x448Given that Valentine’s Day is more and more entrenched on the global calender, here are a few bits and pieces of information to put the day (that is a lot more than just a day to get a date with a potential or existing loved one) into context.

How much we spend on love: [Read more…]

Valentine’s Day gifts that don’t cost the world…

Valentine’s Day gifts that don’t cost the world…

We all want to love and be loved and that’s one of the reasons why the notion of Valentine’s Day is spreading around Valentine's Daythe world – as well as the assistance from corporate marketing teams who don’t miss an opportunity to increase product sales, of course.

Let’s take this opportunity and embrace this special day for lovers from all walks of life and co-opt the agenda for a green and sustainable Valentine’s Day, and at the same time  do our bit to spread the love.  Surely love and sustainable living is compatible!

Here are a few ideas for a loved up Valentine’s Day: [Read more…]

World Kindness Day is here!

IMG_0590There are a million days for this and that – some go, some stay – the time is right for the World Kindness movement to catch our imagination and help us live up to our fullest kindness potential.

The World Kindness Day is very close to my heart and appeals to me for many reasons BUT first and foremost because my mother was born on 13 November and she also passed away on 13 November. It makes this day very special to me and I couldn’t think of a nicer association than World Kindness Day where many, many people in the world commit acts of kindness.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Random acts of kindness have long been on my wishlist for all sorts of occasions and are included on the alternative Christmas presents and here is a long list of kindness ideas produced by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in case you require inspiration.
  • A kindness checklist divided into Kindness to yourself; Kindness to Others and Kindness to Earth. It is proposed that we all keep a a checklist of the monthly acts of kindness in the three categories as a way of raising our awareness about kindness .
  • Cross species kindness between a blind dog called Bak and a goose named Button, a story so touching it might bring a tears to your eyes!

And last but not least, here are a few quotes and poetry about kindness by people from different spheres of life:

Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Mark Twain, ( 1835 – 1910) Author and Humorist

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), Comedic Actor, Filmmaker, Writer

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. Henry James (1843-1916), Author

Life is mostly froth and bubble; Two things stand like stone: Kindness in another’s trouble, Courage in our own. Adam Lindsay [Lionel Gordon] Gordon (1833-1870) Poet

Please take a moment to let me know your kindness ideas and let’s keep the kindness momentum going :)

Think before you eat and help save our environment!

Who cares about World Environment Day ? I do! And it seems that each year there are more and more people who care about positive environmental action.  Here are a few facts followed by the low down of some of my favorite initiatives for World Environment Day 2013.

What is Environment Day about?

The motto for this year’s UN World Environment Day is THINK EAT SAVE – an anti-food and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint by making you more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make.

We are all invited to raise awareness and take action and nothing is more pertinent and unifying than food – we all need to eat and drink to live each and every day.

a well stocked delicatessen in NYC

a well stocked delicatessen in NYC

Why is food important to the environment?

[Read more…]

Governments and Corporate Sustainability – a Rudderless Ship?

Governments and Corporate Sustainability – a Rudderless Ship?

Sustainability ‘Made in Germany’ – Way to Go!

1572-3Following the global financial crisis there was a widespread desire to emerge from it with economic reform that would meet the true needs of society. Gone were the days when sustainability thinking was the domain of marginalised environmentalists. It was a wake-up call which required affected governments to bail out companies to prevent financial ruin – setting new terms and conditions for the financial industry in the process.

[Read more…]

Mission Driven Fundraising & Social Marketing Campaigns

Mission Driven Fundraising & Social Marketing Campaigns

Mission driven fundraising refers to fundraising that is designed and implemented to promote the organisational mission. There are many misaligned fundraising initiatives solely focused on raising money and completely detached from the organisational mission – a topic for another time.

When fundraising and mission merge positive results are almost guaranteed – provided a good social marketing campaign is part of the strategy – no fundraising  strategy can succeed if not enough people know about it – no matter how good it is.

Fundraising Overheads

Fundraising consumes an enormous amount of resources – money and time, often up to half of what is being raised. There has been much public discussion about the acceptable level of expenditure for fundraising campaigns as these resources, on the face of it, compete or are taken away from service delivery resources.

Headlines like “Charity Spends More on Fundraising than Research” don’t inspire public faith in charitable organisations and are regularly reported in the media. [Read more…]

Valentine’s Day – it’s about love, isn’t it?

Valentine’s Day – it’s about love, isn’t it?

20130209-081937.jpgDid you know that Saint Valentine’s Day is said to derive from a christian tradition involving a Pope in 500 AD?

These days, Valentine’s Day has become a symbol for consumerism with ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts for him and her and ‘experiences’ at varying costs being promoted relentlessly weeks before the occasion. I resent the commercialisation of such a precious gift: the love and affection between two lovers. And that is why I am making the case for no Valentine’s Day or slow Valentine’s Day – borrowing from the slow cooking movement -and it goes like this: [Read more…]