If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change. - Michael Jackson

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Welcome to my blog! Firstly, feel free to look around. Check out my FairTrade Shop of the Moment and vote in my poll - the Shop of the Moment is located in the right hand column.
If you have a passion for the environment and social justice, please subscribe by typing your email address below. You won't get any spam - just occasional updates on how to change the world. If you have a Google Account, please follow this blog.
Also, please tell others about this blog. It means a lot to a thirteen year old blogger, and you never know - it might just change the world...

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Friday, December 30, 2011

What Will 2012 Bring?

Christmas is over for another year, and now our (somewhat tired) eyes turn towards the dawn of 2012. What new challenges lie over the horizon? What new friends will we make, what will we achieve? What will we be defeated by, and what will we overcome? What will we change in our world, with a fresh start and a clean slate before us?
The answers to these questions will not be known until 2012 is upon us. Even then, we must strive to be our best, dou our best, show our best - for only then can we make a true difference.
So, today, if you haven't already, I ask you to create a New Years Resolution.
Perhaps you will vow to drive less, take public transport more and reduce carbon emissions.
Perhaps you will vow to only buy FairTrade chocolate and coffee, and take a stand against slave labour.
Perhaps you will vow to volunteer at a local charity or petshelter and help others around you.
Perhaps you will vow to take shorter showers and never buy bottled water, save Earth's resources.
Perhaps you will vow to always remember your green bags when you go shopping, and save waste.
Perhaps you will vow to sponsor an underprivileged child, an endangered species.
Perhaps you will vow to donate to a charity once a month, once every six months.
Perhaps you will just vow to be a better person, a better friend.
Whatever your New Years Resolution challenges you to do, please share it with us. Comment on this post - what is your resolution and how will you keep it?
So, everyone, let us embrace the New Year, dig deep, and Be The Change in 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The tree is decorated, the lights are shining, the lists are being finished. Christmas is just around the corner, and in the rush before the big day we often forget what is most important, who is most important.
The people you know, and love. Family and friends whose lives you are about to change with a new pair of socks.
And the people you may never meet, but you can change their lives too.
Actually, scratch that. I'm too busy. I am not going to click here, or here, or here to change an impoverished family's life - not my problem, is it?
So, everybody, ask yourself - can I make time to help someone survive in a Third World country? Can I make the time to give fresh water to an impoverished community? Can I make time to feed a family, educate a child? 
If you say you can make the time, you can. Commit to change, and you will make a difference in the world - from home, and often for less than you expected. Don't give up things to change - just change for change! Buy FairTrade chocolate instead of slave made, buy an Oxfam gift instead of some socks. It's not hard, you know - you just have to commit. Don't forget, you can swap things on your kilometre long shopping list for palm oil free alternatives - save the tigers and orangutans! - at this site.
So, in case I don't post again before the big day, have a safe, happy, and very merry Christmas this year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Save The Tigers

We all have favourite animals. The cute, the funny, the clever... and the beautiful. One of my favourite animals is the tiger, because of its beauty and its courage. 
I love everything about the tiger, from the cute cub that makes you go 'Awww...' to the beautiful, majestic creature that will live forever...
Wait - live forever? No way - not if humans have any say about it.

With less than 3200 tigers - of all breeds - left in the wild, tigers are one of the fastest disappearing species in the world. Already many subspecies have gone extinct.
Now, I want you to scroll through these pictures, and think to yourself:
Do I Want Them To Die?

If we ignore this problem, simply go on with our lives, this whole species will just... disappear. Gone forever - it won't come back.

So, I want to save the tigers, because if I don't, nobody will. But how do I go about saving a whole species?
Easy. Here's some ideas...

Fundraise. As a school, as a business, as a community. Sell cakes, chocolate, anything!
Only eat palm oil free food, or at least try to cut back on your intake so tigers have a home.
Raise awareness! Posters. Emails. Facebook. YouTube. Blogs. Forums. Businesses.

Tell somebody. Its too big a problem to tackle by yourself!
Help everyone you can. It is only when we work together that we can save the tigers!
Encourage your friends to help. Its fun and makes you feel good.

Today. Now. That's when to start. Don't delay, don't procrastinate.
Information is important. Load your mind before taking action.
Get together to design, plan and make a difference.
Everyone has a talent - use yours! Are you musical? Put on a show! Artist? Paint!
Receivers of your raised funds - who will you support?
Sponsors - get local businesses behind you to make a huge difference.

Because they need YOU.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Hard Time To Go Palm Oil Free

With 12 days to Christmas, preparations for many celebrations are already underway. Shopping lists being planned, invitations and arrangements being made. It is, perhaps, the hardest time to focus on buying palm oil free products.
Perhaps that is a challenge. Yes, it is. I am challenging you - how clever can you be? How many items on your kilometre long shopping list can you substitute for a more sustainable option?
It's up to you. It's up to me. Orangutans are dying, and we are the only ones who can change it.
Go on, take up the challenge. To help you, I am sending you straight to a list of palm-oil free products - just click here. Most of the work is done for you!
A lot of people will have seen this video on TV - if you have, or if you haven't, watch it again. Then say 'awww', read the rest of the post and forget all about it - or take action.

To go straight to the home of the Humane Society International, follow this link: http://www.hsi.org.au/
For a slightly old, but nonetheless interesting blog, follow this link: http://naturehealer.blogspot.com/
For school project worthy information on orangutans and how you can help, click here.
If you want to learn about orangutans, sponsoring orangutans or just learn about abused animals, visit this site.
For all things orangutan, visit the home of orangutans - not Indonesia, but this site: http://www.orangutan.org.au/
To truly take action and save a real species, follow this link: http://savetheorangutan.org/splash.html
To take action and sign an online petition against palm oil - and for tigers and orangutans - click here.
For information about palm oil, all animals and great zoos, visit this site: http://www.zoo.org.au/PalmOil
And the home of all things relating to animal conservation and rights: http://wwf.org.au/
For those who have Facebook, simply Like the Don't Palm Us Off Page to help make a difference.

If you have time, also check out some of my older palm oil based posts - Say No To Palm Oil and Primates Helping Primates.
I am aware that this is a long post - my apologies, and also my thanks if you have struggled through the whole thing.
Please leave a comment telling me what you changed on your Christmas shopping list.

Don't turn your back on orangutans.
If you can't help them, nobody can.
Do your bit - today.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cherish Friendship

As Christmas draws closer and schools break up for the holidays (yay!) we have to cherish friendship more than ever. I missed Friendship Day this year, which was celebrated on the 7th of August, but hey - shouldn't we celebrate friendship every day?
Click here for a site filled with everything that cries friends - quotes, photos, songs, monitored chatrooms and forums, and even a link to inspire your next piece of writing.

So celebrate one of the best things in the world - friendship.

Leave a comment telling me your favourite friendship quote and what you look for in a friend.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

World Cookie Day!

Today, December 4, is World Cookie Day. Why not celebrate it by whipping up a batch of delicious snacks for friends or family? And with Christmas around the corner, you can make candy cane, bell and Christmas tree shaped cookies to celebrate the season!
It is time to celebrate how lucky you are. Maybe you could sell cookies for charity? Or just enhoy time with family.
Unless you have a few favourite recipes up your sleeve, click here to browse heaps of cookie recipes. If you choose cookies with chocolate in them, use FairTrade chocolate!
Celebrate Christmas, cookies and your friends sometime this 
week... that's a challenge!

Oh, and Mum - if we make cookies anytime soon, I bags licking the bowl! xox Emma

Friday, December 2, 2011

International Day of Persons With Disabilities

Hello again, my amazing readers, and my apologies for a third post today. I am sure that you are sick of me, but this post must be written. So, here goes... bear with me here.

Tomorrow, 3rd of December, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Yes, that is quite a mouthful, so if I have to type it again I will call it the IDPD, if that's all right with you. :-) For more information on this annual day, click here.
So tomorrow, remember those who aren't as lucky as you...and respect them. Respect them, for many of them are stronger than us all!
Actually, on second thoughts, always respect people with disabilities. No - don't treat them any differently to anyone else, respect EVERYBODY!
Cheers - enjoy your weekend everybody!

Welcome To The Christmas Season!

Welcome To The 2011 Christmas Season!

Yes, I know - how has it crept up on us when shops have been selling baubles and tinsel and Christmas trees since August? But however it has crept on us, it is here. The month of gift giving and  planning, Mum's Christmas pudding (yessss!!!) and turkey. The month we have all been counting down to (well, I have, anyway). The month school ends for the year! Yay!
Anyway, in most families I know there is a frantic rush for presents towards the end - looking for that something that is 'simply perfect, you know just perfect' or that something that 'he'll simply love..'
Well, this Christmas buy a FairTrade gift that will be simply perfect, and he'll simply love.
I have cheated a bit, I admit. Browsing the best site in the world, Google, I found two gorgeous online shops that stock FairTrade prezzies...and I am going to make them both the FairTrade Shop of The Moment (see the right hand coloumn on my blog, if you are recieving this by email) as well as another one I think you should consider.
For my much appreciated readers that are reading this via email, I will post links to the sites right here and now.

  1. Gifts From The Village - a great site. Just looking around the site, I saw lots of cute gifts that will be perfect for that someone you need to buy a gift for...
  2. Ethical Gifts - an amazing site filled with some of the coolest things I have seen all year. Definitely check it out!
  3. Oxfam - yes, I know most of have heard of it, but maybe it is time to seriously consider buying a life changing gift. For those who haven't heard of it, you buy things for impoverished families... a goat, a cow, an education. Choose your price range and change a life! Check it out as soon as you have finished reading this post! If you don't fancy the first Oxfam link, which takes you to Oxfam Unwrapped, then click here for adorable FairTrade gifts from all over the world.
My opinion: Buying gifts from Oxfam will make the person you give it to really good - and you'll feel good too. There is just something about giving a impoverished family a way to gain income. Ethical Gifts... well, all I can say is wow. It's a beautiful site, and there isn't something on the site I wouldn't want. They are all FairTrade - and did I mention beautiful??? And, lastly, Gifts From The Village. First of all, I love the layout of the site. It makes shopping for the cute gifts fun and easy. Secondly... the gifts are really, really cool.

I read in a magazine that one extended family pooled the money they previously used on Kris Kringle gifts and bought presents for people in Third World Countries instead, through Oxfam. Maybe something to think about....?

Make The Most Of What You Have

I know we all want the latest toys and appliances (yes, I would like an iPod Touch!) but sometimes the toys that absorb the most memories are the ones we make ourselves.
Great. Craft stuff. Draw up a shopping list, grab loads of money and hit the shops.
Wait! That isn't what this blog is about. This blog (I hope) is about justice for all and a clean, sustainable future.
So use what you have and make the most of it! Let's face it - if you are looking at this post, then you have access to a computer, and that makes you so, so lucky. Perhaps you don't know how lucky you are. I don't think I can quite comprehend how lucky I am. 
Anyway, open your fridge. Go on! Open it! Too engrossed in this post? I'm flattered. Now go open your fridge. Take a good look around.
What do most of us see? Milk bottles, perhaps cartons. Meat? Cheese? Lettuce and mayo for school lunches? Leftovers from last nights tea, the night before or (gasp!) last week.
Well, I don't know how to make toys out of mayonnaise, but if you are feeling creative, go for your life.
Milk bottles, though, make excellent toys. And for those readers who are perhaps beyond toys, this site I am about to give you has ideas from fishing floats to gardening things, from igloos to gardening things, from measuring cups to gardening things... There is a lot of gardening ideas! As well as a few toys. The ball catchers are a great idea - I think they would be fun to decorate and then even more fun to use!
So click here when you are almost out of milk. It saves the world and money.
You have lots of materials to make what you want, so milk it for all it's worth!
I know this is a long post already, but I have a bit more to add. Nesquik, Milo, Coffee and Tuna cans (among others) make great drums. Yep, true story. Got little kids? I mean, more little than me? Three, four, even five year olds? Go crazy!

You Will Need:
  • Any sized tin, rinsed and cleaned with the label removed. Empty, no lid needed.
  • White paper if the sides of your tin aren't flat - or newspaper for a funky look!
  • Paint (white if you aren't using paper, as well as a few different colours) or stickers, crayons, pencils, stamps... anything you want to decorate your drum
  • Tissue paper (coloured)
  • Elastic band or hair tie
  • Greaseproof baking paper
  • Craft glue
What To Do:
  1. If you are using paper, glue it around the edge of the tin. Allow to dry.
  2. When the glue is dried, decorate your drum - be creative!
  3. Wipe glue all over the piece of baking paper and stretch over the top of the drum, folding down at the sides. The glue not being used will help to tighten your drum's skin.
  4. Do the same with the coloured tissue paper and put over the top of the baking paper.
  5. In case the glue doesn't hold, strap the tissue paper down with an elastic band or hair tie.
  6. Wait for all glue and/or paint to dry, then make some music!
If this method doesn't work for you, you can do the same thing, but instead of using tissue paper and baking paper use a balloon stretched tight, and not glued. Another great thing about these drums (don't read this kids) is that they all make different sounds depending on their size - so you can never really have two of the same. Perhaps you could make a whole drum set... and a high hat out of a tin's lid? I don't know - you work something out! :-)

Sorry for the long post everyone - it may have been a bit boring, but hey! I hope you think of it when you are about to throw out a pet food can or milk bottle. Make memories and save the world!