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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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Terry Fox

I have five minutes to write a blog post, and I'm being timed. So I shall cheat, and not write a blog post at all.
But here is a video for you to watch, if you can spare an hour. I watched it at school, and it is incredibly inspiring. It just puts everything into perspective. 
*If you are viewing this by email, you can watch the video here.*


Now I hope this touches you as much as it touched me. The Terry Fox Foundation website is here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Rice...And It's Free.

QUICK NOTE! For those receiving my latest post by email, you may have been a bit confused. This is because videos don't show up on the emails. Or at least they don't on the email server I use. Anyway, you can watch the video from the post on this site, or direct from this link. Just remember it's about bullying. Okay. We good? Good. On to today's post...


This is a bowl of rice. Well, technically it's just a lot of pixels, but we won't go into the technical stuff. So for right here, right now, it's a bowl of rice. A bowl that will be filled, ten grains by ten grains, for every question that is answered correctly in an online quiz. A bowl that, when filled, will be given to somebody in a Third World country who needs food.
And it's up to your next door neighbour to fill it.
Oh wait.
It's not up to your neighbour. 
Nothing on this site is up to your neighbour.
This, that, everything is up to you.
Not clear enough? I'll say it again.
You. Y - O - U. YOU.
Not your neighbor. Not your friend. Not your parent. Not your sister. Not your partner. Not your goldfish.
You.
Once more, for luck?
Everything I talk about on this website is up to you. YOU.
You're probably thinking "Big responsibility here. It's not just me on this earth, why do I have to do it all?"
The answer is - because together, we are stronger.
Let's look at this a different way. Back to the rice - remember? The bowl of rice? To feed the hungry? Yeah, that. Back to that.

In 2011, statistics showed that over 30% of the world's population had access to the internet.
That's over two billion people.
Now, let's say that every one of those 2,000,000,000+ people went on to this online quiz that fed the hungry.
And let's say they all answered one question.
That's over twenty billion grains of rice donated to the hungry - in just one day.
Next, let's say that everybody took about five minutes to answer 10 questions. 
That's over two hundred billion grains of rice donated to the hungry - in just one day. 
Okay, now let's say that everybody spent five minutes to answer 10 questions, every day of the year.
Now at this point my calculator brain stopped working, so if google my maths skills are correct, then that is over seven hundred and thirty billion grains of rice donated to the hungry - in just one year.

Now that should be enough maths for a year. It should be enough maths to convince you that together, if we all answer a few questions, we can make a big difference.

Why are you still reading?!
Go to http://freerice.com/ now!





Friday, September 14, 2012

Can Someone Explain This To Me?

Why is it okay to bully people to the point of depression? Why is it okay to bully people across the internet? Why is it okay to bully anyone, anywhere at anytime? 
Could someone please explain this to me?

Give me a word document and ask for a rant about animal abuse, and I'll give you a few pages. 
Give me a word document and ask for a rant about racism, and I'll give you almost ten.
But give me a word document and ask for a rant about bullying or mental health and I'll give you not only a novel, but an entire series with prequels and prologues and a side series just because I can.

I. Just. Don't. Get. It.
But I am not going to turn this blog post into a full on rant, because there will be another time and place for that. Perhaps.

So I am going to wrap this post up with a short video that I beg you to watch. It will take less than twelve minutes of your life, and it is so inspiring that is worth it. Set aside some time to watch it start to finish. :)



By the way, mark this in your diary! Mental Health Week is from the 7th to 13th of October, and Mental Health Day is the 10th. So stay tuned, everyone! <3


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Positive Thinking Day


Today is Positive Thinking Day!
Now, I know you've probably gone the whole day before knowing this, but don't be so negative. It will come around again next year! :)

How about some quotes about optimism to round off Positive Thinking Day 2012? No? Okay, then maybe you'd like to visit the official Positive Thinking Day website or choose a Positive Thinking e-card to send to someone you know.

"The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." ~ Winston Churchill

"A man is but a product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

"Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?" ~ Unknown

"I don't think of all the misery, but  of all the beauty that still remains." ~ Anne Frank

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence." ~ Helen Keller

"Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats." ~ Voltaire

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." ~ W. Clement Stone

That's all the quotes I'll post today, but if you want those and many, many more besides, click here or here.
So today, or tomorrow, or next week, or next month, I want you to take up the challenge. Make your glass half full.





Housework Post :)

Welcome to my Housework post! :)
It's basically going to be a boring entry refreshing what's what on my blog and how to make your way around it :)

1. Subscribing/Following
Yes, there IS a difference between subscribing and following. I won't go into detail, but if you have a Blogger account of your own, you can follow me. If you don't you can't.
Subscribing, however, anyone can do. A subscriber will get all posts emailed to them within 12 hours of updating.This way you can stay up to date without having to come to this site every day :)
How do you subscribe? It's easy! Just go to the home page of my blog and find the white bar under the description. Enter your email and hit enter - and you're done! It's a quick, easy way to stay updated on special days, events and ways to get involved.

2. The Sidebar
The sidebar is like a biscuit tin. It is vaguely rectangular and holds all sorts of different goodies.
The sidebar for my blog is on the right hand side. 

What's in the sidebar? Everything and anything! Just to name a few, the Be The Change sidebar includes...

  • Quotes and pictures that I find inspiring :)
  • Games that help feed the hungry with each right answer
  • World Wildlife Fund updates
  • Countdowns
  • Blog Archive
  • The Ethical Shop of the Moment
  • Links, links and more links.
So sorry for the boring post, but some things needed to be said! Thank you for reading, and please subscribe and check out the sidebar! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

R U OK? Day


Hello everybody! :)
It hasn't been very long since my last post, but tomorrow is a pretty important day.
If you've been a long term subscriber to this blog, you may have read this post when R U OK? Day came around last year.

So, what exactly is R U OK? Day?
R U OK? Day is a day to check up on the people around you. A day to make sure they're coping, they're happy, they're okay. 

What do we do on R U OK? Day?
It's simple! Just ask a friend, family member or peer a quick question. 'R U OK?' You can ask them in anyway you want - in person, by phone, by social networking services, even by sending them a cute e-card

How is this supposed to help people?
In today's world, you would be surprised at the number of people who hide their problems, troubles, fears and insecurities behind a fake smile. And you'd be even more surprised at how many people fall for it, day in, day out. When you're feeling down or upset or even coping with depression or suicidal thoughts, it's really, really important to know somebody cares. And those three little words, 'R U OK?' can actually mean a whole lot - because they show somebody is looking out for you.

So, tomorrow, the 13th of September, ask people if they're okay. It could mean more than you think.


For more information, videos, newsletters, how to get further involved and how to donate visit this site :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

World Suicide Awareness Day

Once upon a time there was a person. This person laughed, and smiled, and danced, and talked. This person told jokes, and told stories, and everyone liked them.
Then they waved goodbye to their friends and said goodnight to their family, and became alone in the darkness of the night.
You see, this person wasn't as happy, nor as carefree, as everyone thought. This person was dying on the inside, being eaten by depression that stole all light from the world.
This person self-harmed every night and covered the scars with sleeves and clothing, and nobody ever knew something was amiss.
Until they took their own life.
And when this person took their own life, the world began to care. 
'You were beautiful,' they said. 
'You were amazing,' they said. 
'You were perfect,' they said.
'I loved you,' they said.
And what could have been avoided, if these things were said when they still could be heard?
***
Today, the 10th of September, is World Suicide Awareness Day. People all over the world are wearing yellow, writing love on their wrists, and speaking out for those who have ever thought of, attempted or succeeded in taking their own life.

Suicide is a horrible, horrible thing, and I think sometimes it is a topic people avoid discussing. I don't think this is a good thing. The facts need to be out there, and society needs to do something about it.
Here are some shockingly real facts...

  • There were 2,133 deaths from suicide registered in Australia 2009
  • Suicide accounts for more deaths in Australia than transport accidents.
  • In 2009, suicide represented 19% of all male deaths in Australia, and 15.9% of female deaths in Australia
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men under 44 and women under 44
  • Men in Australia are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.
  • Indigenous people are four times more likely to die by suicide than non-indigenous people.
  • More people die from suicide in Australia than from skin cancer.
  • It is estimated that 250 people in Australia make a suicide plan everyday.
  • It is also estimated that over 1000 people in Australia think of suicide every day.
  • Mental health disorders (especially depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of suicide cases.
  • In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. 
  • Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years in some countries, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 years age group.
  • Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide.
  • 55% of global suicides are by people aged between 15 and 44 years
  • For every death by suicide, it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt suicide.
  • That's 180 attempts per day.
  • That's more than one attempt in Australia - every 10 minutes.
  • It is estimated that in Australia, there are six deaths by suicide a day - or one every four hours.
  • Youth suicide is increasing at the greatest rate.
  • Every year, almost one million people die from suicide.
  • Every 40 seconds there is one death due to suicide.
With these statistics, suicide seems like a killer from outer space, a villain in a story, a key character in a horror movie. But it's not.
Suicide is real. It's happening, everywhere, all the time. 
And the bright side? Surely there can't be a bright side...
There is.
The bright side is... YOU can help. Yep, little old you. You can save lives.

You can save lives by doing 
 b
i


t
h
i
n
g
s, like STARTING A CAMPAIGN or HOSTING AN EVENT.

Or, you can save lives by doing
little
things, 
like ASKING IF SOMEBODY IS OKAY or COMPLIMENTING SOMEONE.

Because, it just takes three words to convince somebody you care.
"Are 
you
 okay?"

And after all, 
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.


For suicide hotlines, information services and helpful links, click here.


~change a life today.~

Friday, August 17, 2012

Take A Step!



Do you remember this post? About taking a step for FairTrade?
To be honest, I forgot I ever wrote it... until the video it contained was brought to my attention again. For those who didn't see it, here it is:


So, what step will you take to change the lives of people in Third World countries? What effort will you make? What difference will you make? For more info visit here or, to register your step, click here. 


~ Thank you Jesse and Bek! :)


Sidebar Additions

You might notice that with my return to this blog, I've added some nice, flash new widgets to my sidebar!
Don't freak out. They're not telling you that you're the 1,000,000th visitor or that you've won a new iPad - they're telling you about two cool sites that feed the hungry.

The first is www.freerice.com 
Some of you may have heard of it. It's a fun quiz that tests your vocabulary. 
Choose from almost 20 subjects under the headings of English, Humanities, Maths, Sciences, Chemistry, Languages, Geography and Test Preparation.
So, you play this test and learn your subject - and for every answer you get right, the site will donate ten grains of rice to families living in poverty.
Don't ask me why they don't just give the rice to the people anyway...But try it!
Teacher? Student? Just someone with some spare time?
Play FreeRice and make a change to those living with almost nothing.

The second widget is about this site.
It's also operated by the World Food Programme, and it's also a quiz.
However, instead of testing your vocabulary, this game will test what you know about hunger.
Which region has the greatest number of hungry people? Which is the No. 1 health risk in the world?
Know the answer to those questions? Then take the quiz! Don't know the answer to those questions? Then take the quiz!
Win or lose, if you take the quiz, the World Food Programme will donate a warm meal to a child living in hunger!
I repeat: Win or lose, if you take the quiz, the World Food Programme will donate a warm meal to a child living in hunger!

So click these links, check out my sidebar, tell a friend and make a real difference to those who are living in poverty.

I'm Back!

Hello everyone!
Please accept my apologies - I haven't made a post for over a month!
But sometimes things like this happen. Things get in the way, we rush, we run out of time, we forget about things...
I think we all have those things in our life that we think we should do, that we know we should do - but we don't do.

Change is like this too.
Things won't change unless YOU make them happen. Change won't happen by itself. You have to put aside the time, you have to make an effort, you have to commit. 
You can't sit back and count on other people to change things.

"It's the thought that counts," so they say. 
But is it?
Will thinking about the environment change it? Will thinking about speaking out for human rights make the world a better place? Will thinking about a bully make the victim feel better?
No. It won't. 
Because at the end of the day, your life, the world, you'll be measured by your actions, not your thoughts.
So don't delay the moment any longer.
Step forward, speak out, make a change.
Take action.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Organ and Tissue Donation

This is a short post about becoming an organ and tissue donor.
And I don't mean donating these...


I mean something much, much more important. I mean donating life


Did you know that since 1965, 30 000 Australians have had life-saving organ transplants?
Did you know that approximately 1800 Australians are waiting for an organ transplant? Many of these are children.
Did you know that, in Australia, a person is 10 times more likely to need an organ transplant than become a donor?



Tissue donations improve lives. Organ donations save lives.


Are you interested in saving lives after your death? Find out more here, here or even here. For more statistics, click here. Oh, and especially click here if you are interested in becoming a donor. 





Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Royal Society For The Blind

In the late 19th century, one man's idea became a reality - and since then, the Royal Society for the Blind have been helping vision impaired children and adults all throughout South Australia.
This company is not for profit, surviving only through the kindness of volunteers and donors. Now, let me tell you a story.

On the 16th June, Rachael Leahcar auditioned for the Voice Australia.You may notice that there is something different about her name - its a palindrome. Although it is a stage name, Rachael has something else different about her. She is legally blind, suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a disease which means that her remaining vision - less than 10% - will degenerate over the next few years, leaving her completely blind.Well, over night Rachael became a national sensation. Here is a video of the eighteen year old's audition, "La Vie En Rose."


Rachael is now performing under the coaching of her lifelong idol, Delta Goodrem, and is in the top four of Team Delta.Despite losing 90% of her eyesight early in life, Rachael never stopped chasing her dreams. Soon she will have no vision at all, but she still remains positive. She explains that the Royal Society for the Blind changed her life. As well as a client to the company, Rachael is also an ambassador.

You can change people's lives too. Click here to donate to the RSB, here to go to Rachael's YouTube channel for covers of more songs, here for the RSB homepage, and here to learn more about the Voice Australia.




To keep Rachael in the competition, and to vote her through to the semi finals and a step closer to a recording contract, SMS "Rachael" to 19955999, call 1902 55 95 08, vote on Facebook or download her latest performance, Someone to Watch Over Me, off iTunes (worth two votes).

Remember ~ never stop chasing your dreams. <3





Sunday, May 6, 2012

Palm Oil Petition








Do you care about the survival of orangutans and tigers? If you do, sign the following petition on the widget. The petition is made by an animal welfare site, and aims to make a new law - that makes it compulsory to label palm oil on products clearly
if you care, take a stand. Take two minutes to type in your name, email address and maybe a comment. Then sign, and you know you have made a difference!




To learn more about palm oil, try this site.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I'm Back - Just in Time for FairTrade Fortnight!


I'm sorry - I haven't blogged in almost 5 months, if you can believe it. Oops. Anyway, I'm back! How was everybody's New Year?
A bit late to be talking about New Year, though. We're already in May! And tomorrow, the 5th of May, marks the start of the worldwide FairTrade Fortnight.
The FairTrade fortnight starts on the 5th May and ends on the 20th. In the middle is World FairTrade Day - celebrated on the 12th May.
During the next two weeks, try to take some time to eat, drink or buy FairTrade. Try to celebrate the idea behind the FairTrade organisation - justice and equality for all.
Before you (yes, YOU!) go anywhere, do anything or even read the rest of this post, register a Step for World FairTrade Day here.
When you click that link, you will be taken to a site full of FairTrade information. Click the big blue rectangle that says "Add Your Step" pick a step from the drop-down menu, eg. "Talked about FairTrade", 'Bought a FairTrade product."
The site wants 1.5 million steps, to symbolise the amount of people the FairTrade organisation aims to work with this year. Add a step. They need you to show your support and show you care. So far they have 500,000 steps. Join the walk. Make a difference. Register YOUR steps in less than two minutes. Do it. Now.



Watch this short video and learn why you should take a step to support the producers in Third World Countries.



To read more about the FairTrade fortnight and day, click here or here. Think about buying yourself or a friend a FairTrade gift - to find a good online store, use this directory or the links list on this blog.

Most of all, SPREAD THE WORD and SPREAD THE FAIRTRADE LIFESTYLE!