Saturday, November 15, 2014

Best in Crowdfunding: November 2014

Of all the Crowdfunding posts I've written, this month is by far my favorite. In fact, this may be the first time that I'll actually back each of the projects I feature in a Best in Crowdfunding post. They're all that good.

The Simply Co. - 3 Ingredient Laundry Detergent 

I'm in the habit of seeking out blogs with similar themes and values as my own. That's how I came across Trash is for Tossers. Blogger Lauren documents steps she takes in her own life to eliminate waste and live sustainably. Some of her posts include recipes for homemade household cleaners. When her readers started asking where they could find similar products, Lauren decided to launch The Simply Co. Her first product is a three-ingredient laundry detergent. It's vegan, biodegradable, and basically awesome.
Campaign Goal: $10,000
Deadline: November 28
Platform: Kickstarter

Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma

Forced to Flee is a book that will be a compilation of original artwork by young Burmese refugees. Here in Buffalo, we have a large population of refugees, and a significant portion of them are Burmese. I have found that refugees can contribute a great deal to a community, and that they have incredible stories to tell. The artwork from this project is inspiring, and 100% of proceeds from the book will go to Burmese youth leadership programs.
Campaign Goal: $12,000
Deadline: November 24
Platform: Kickstarter

Artwork from Forced to Flee

Handmade Beauty Box

For Christmas last year, my nearest and dearest received baskets of all-natural bath and beauty products, hand-made by me. When I was making things like bath bombs and body butter bars, I discovered that I liked some of the homemade products even more than store-bought alternatives. Making bath products at home is a great way to eliminate unnecessary packaging waste, be positive that you know exactly what's in the products you use on your body, and it can save you loads of money too. One of my favorite online resources for bath product ingredients and tutorials is Bramble Berry. Subscribers to their Handmade Beauty Box will receive all of the ingredients and the instructions for a different complete DIY bath or beauty product each month. I can't wait to see what the first project will be!
Campaign Goal: $3,000
Deadline: November 21
Platform: Kickstarter

Lily Cup Compact

This thing is cool. It took me a LONG time to even warm up to the idea of menstrual cups. I admit, I was grossed out. After years of being closed-minded, I finally realized that they help to keep lots of waste of out landfills and waterways, keep unwanted chemicals away from my most sensitive and important body parts, are way more inconspicuous and convenient than tampons, and can help save money. I tried out a few cups and determined that they may not be the best fit for me, but this is making me reconsider. The material is softer and more flexible than other cups, and the design is much more convenient. If you're sick of dealing with the hassle of tampons and pads, I suggest you check out the Lily Cup. Even if you're a skeptic, as I was, I strongly encourage you to at least watch the video below. It may convince you.
Campaign Goal: $7,800
Deadline: November 23
Platform: Kickstarter

Fables by Barrie

When I started to learn about ugly side of fast fashion, I began seeking out ethical fashion brands. Thankfully, there are lots of great brands out there making ethical pants, dresses, shirts, sweaters, socks, and more. The one item I struggled to find was a bathing suit that I wouldn't feel guilty spending money on. Fables by Barrie is a swimwear brand manufactured in the U.S. All of their products are sweatshop-free, and vegan. I adore the retro-inspired designs. I actually purchased a bikini for myself and am really happy with how well it fits, and the quality of the product.

Unfortunately, Barrie's designs are being copied and the brand is losing business to cheap knockoffs. The designer, Barrie Kaufman has decided to confront the threat in a really unique way. She understands that owning a high-quality, ethically manufactured swimsuit can be cost prohibitive, so she wants to give women an opportunity make their own swimwear, rather than spending money on fast fashion or brands who rip off hardworking entrepreneurs. To that end, she has created #FablesByUs, which will be a book and web video series that will teach readers how to create their own swimwear. The book will include sewing patterns and instructions, and the videos will offer instructions as well as beauty tips and other fun tidbits from Barrie herself. It's a creative way to inspire people to avoid fast fashion and get creative!
Campaign Goal: $35,000
Deadline: ?
Platform: GoFundMe

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You Can Recycle That: Wine Corks

I drink wine. You drink wine. We all drink wine. In fact, 892 million gallons of wine were consumed in the United States in 2013. That's an average of 2.82 gallons per American. GALLONS. There are about 13 billion natural corks finding their way to landfills around the planet every year.

Surprisingly, the demand for cork is not threatening the natural cork forests. On the contrary, cork forests are being sustainably maintained in a way that is actually good for the environment! That's because cork trees aren't cut down. The bark is harvested from the trees every 9 years or so, and the trees themselves can live up to 300 years! The forests support high levels of biodiversity including some endangered species, and they absorb millions of tons of carbon every year. Natural cork is a sustainable and renewable material. The problem lies in the disposal of wine corks. Natural cork is an organic material, but it is impermeable, so it doesn't biodegrade very quickly. That means it will sit in the land fill for a really long time.

The most important thing to do is be more selective about the wine you purchase. Natural cork is a way better option than synthetic corks and metal screw tops, which don't biodegrade and are harder to recycle. Next time you're shopping for wine, look for the "Real Cork Inside" acorn on the label.

Once you've finished drinking your wine, hang onto the corks instead of tossing them into the trash. There are plenty of options for recycling them.

Here's a video of a wonderful TEDx talk given by Patrick Spencer, executive director of the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance (CFCA). He speaks about why it's important to maintain natural cork forests.

The CFCA has created the Cork ReHarvest campaign and partnered with a variety of companies to recycle used wine corks and turn them into a variety of products. You can drop your corks off at any Whole Foods location. If you don't live near a WF, here is a list of collection sites.

ReCORK is another company that recycles used wine corks. The cork they collect is used to manufacture shoes for the SOLE brand. Find a cork collection site near you using their location finder.

You can also ship your used wine corks to Yemm & Hart, a materials manufacturer that actually pays 1/2 cent per cork. The minimum package weight requirement is 15 lbs, so this option is probably best for groups of wine drinkers or businesses that go through large quantities of wine. But maybe you can package up 15 lbs of wine corks on your own. No judgement!

You can even compost your natural corks. As I mentioned, they won't biodegrade quickly, so you may want to cut them up into small pieces before you toss them into your compost pile. Try giving your corks a quick whir in the food processor to break them down. Having bits of cork in the soil will actually help to retain water for your plants!

And if you're crafty, there is no shortage of cork craft ideas on Pinterest!

If you want to support cork recycling even further, you can purchase products that are made out of used wine corks. When you purchase one of these products, you are supporting the maintenance of natural cork forests and keeping wine corks out of the landfill.

Further Reading

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Father's Day Gift Guide for Eco Dads!

My Dad is impossible to shop for. He is a man who appreciates what he has and doesn't want or feel he needs more material possessions than what he already has. Which is lovely in theory, but really hard when I want give him a gift he'll appreciate! I've spent a lot of time searching the internet for the perfect dad gift. To save you the time of doing the same, I'm listing my top choices here.

Conscious Step Socks
These are not your typical boring dad socks. The ethically manufactured socks come in some really great colors and patterns, each supporting a different cause. Make your go-to fathers day gift more meaningful and get a few pairs for Dad!

Conscious Steps Socks support a number of great causes.

Electric Mower
A lot of us associate Dads with lawn mowers. That's probably because most of our fathers seem to enjoy mowing the lawn! Instead of a gas-powered mower, be better to the planet and give your father or husband an electric mower. I've done some research and this one has a great review rating. I was surprised by how affordable it actually is!

Elvis & Kresse
Don't go for the same old boring leather wallet for Dad. Elvis & Kresse makes all of their products out of decommissioned fire hoses. Not only do these wallets (or iPad cases, handbags, belts, keychains, etc.) keep waste out of landfills, but I like to think that each one played a part in saving someone's life.

Billfold wallet from Elvis & Kresse

Kobo eReaders
This device is perfect for anyone who prefers the convenience of ereaders but still wants to support their local independent book store. When you purchase a Kobo in person, a portion of the sales from each ebook you read on it will automatically go to the store where it was originally purchased.

Solar Grill Light
Dinner time in the summer often came after sunset for my family, and Dad was always forced to grill with a flashlight. Save your Dad the trouble with this grill lamp. It's solar powered, weather proof, and adjustable.

Sole Rebels
Sole Rebels is still one of my favorite shoe brands. They're the only WFTO Fair Trade footwear company on the planet, which is great news for the people who make the materials and manufacture the shoes. They also make a line of strictly vegan shoes.

These Sole Rebels boat shoes are vegan, carbon neutral, and fair trade!

Need some more gift ideas for your Dad, brother, baby daddy, husband, etc? Check out my "Green Gifts For Him" board on Pinterest. It comes in handy for Father's Day, birthdays, Christmas, etc!

Follow Rachel Gottlieb's board Green Gifts for Him on Pinterest.

And of course I had to make a "Dads" playlist! Take a listen to some of my favorite father tunes. Happy Fathers Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Guide for Earth Mamas

While you take some time this weekend to honor the mothers in your life, remember to honor our Mother Earth, and all mothers of the world. You can do that by giving gifts that are earth-friendly and fair trade. Here are some suggestions.

For Valentine's Day, I wrote about why it's important to shop ethically for flowers and chocolates. If you had those in mind for mom this year, check out that post from February.

Organic Bouquet offers flowers that are fair trade and organically grown.

Bangle bracelets from Alex & Ani are hugely popular right now. You've probably seen them on a few wrists, but did you know that they're made in America out of recycled materials? This bracelet features a flower and the word "Mom" so every time she puts it on, she'll know you think she's wonderful.

Mom bangle bracelet from Alex & Ani
Mom bangle bracelet from Alex & Ani

A really great online marketplace to shop for moms is SERRV. They are "a nonprofit organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide." They sell a wide array of items that would make great Mother's Day gifts, such as housewares and apparel. My mother and I both adore scarves, and SERRV has a great selection of beautiful ones.

Painted Silk Scarf from SERRV

There are also some wonderful options for the new or expecting mothers in your life. Alicia Silverstone's latest book, The Kind Mama is a guide for anyone who wants to have a naturally healthy pregnancy. I'm a fan of her blog, The Kind Life, and have heard great things about the book. Another really thoughtful and unique idea is a package of pre or post natal yoga classes! Here in Buffalo, Yoga Parkside offers a series of those as well as Mommy and Baby classes.

The Kind Mama by Alicia Silverstone

Some moms can be really hard to shop for. If yours is like mine, she has everything she needs! If you want to do something meaningful for the woman who does everything for you, give to someone else in honor of her. Heifer International is a wonderful organization whose important work is helping to reduce hunger and poverty in developing countries. They provide farm animals and other resources to women and families, empowering them to create a sustainable source of income and to overcome hunger. This year, if you give the gift a goat or share of a goat to a struggling mother in southern Zimbabwe, your donation will be matched to make twice the impact.

Gift a gift to empower mothers around the world through Heifer International!

For more gift ideas for Mothers Day, check out my Pinterest Board, below!

Follow Rachel Gottlieb's board Mother's Day for Earth Mamas on Pinterest.

Here are some of my favorite musical tributes to moms!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

4 Disposable Things to Stop Throwing Away

Happy Earth Day! Today we should all remember why it's so important to protect our natural environment. In keeping with that theme, I wanted to share some of my recent discoveries that can help us to protect our environment by keeping a lot of unnecessary waste out of landfills. And they'll probably help you save some money, too!

There are some items we all use on a regular basis that we assume have to be thrown away. Here are four household items that I was throwing away every day too, until I discovered these awesome reusable alternatives. Once you try them, you'll never go back!

1. Produce Bulk Bags

The average American uses between 300-700 plastic bags in one year. That is a lot of plastic, but I have a feeling that figure doesn't even include the bags we all pack our produce in while we're shopping. You know the ones. You want to buy 4 apples, so you grab one of those clear plastic bags off one of the rolls scattered around the produce section. Then you fill another one with bananas, and another with carrots, and so on. If you use five per week, that's 260 plastic bags already, NOT including the grocery bags they get packed in after you check out! I always bring my reusable shopping bags to get groceries, but I was still using plastic produce bags in stores, until I purchased a set of reusable produce bags. I have this set of bags from Flip & Tumble, and I'm really pleased with them. When you start shopping with reusable bags, remember to tell the cashier the tare weight of your bags so they aren't factored into the weight of your items. The tare weight per bag from my set is .4 oz. For bulk items like nuts or rice, I bring clean mason jars!

2. Cotton Balls/Rounds

I was in the habit of using cotton rounds twice daily with facial toner. A short blog post by my friend led me to realize that there were reusable alternatives available. These reusable cotton rounds are made out of organic bamboo and cotton fleece, and they're just what I needed. I got in touch with the seller on Etsy, and she was very accommodating and pleasant to work with! I purchased 20 reusable organic rounds for less than $12, including shipping. I've been using them for about three months now and actually prefer them to the disposable ones.

These are my reusable cotton rounds.
The cotton rounds I used before always shredded into bits of cotton, or stretched and thinned out before I was done using them. These keep their shape, and are easy to wash. I toss them in a delicates bag and throw them in with the regular laundry. There are a few things I wouldn't want to use these for, such as nail polish remover, but they've helped me to eliminate another disposable item from my routine, which I love.

3. Plastic Wrap

This stuff seems like something that's hard to live without. If you're like me, you use it every time you have leftovers, or you have cut cheese or vegetables you want to keep fresh. It's hard to imagine how people ever got along without plastic wrap! Unfortunately, it's really wasteful, and it's not exactly cheap! I've discovered an alternative that keeps food fresh. It's a bees-wax coated cloth, that holds shape when folded around a piece of food or over a bowl, and it's washable! The two brands of beeswax wrap products that I've found are Abeego and Bee's Wrap. If you're feeling ambitious, you can even try making your own beeswax cloth wraps at home. Here's a great tutorial. The wax wraps can help you eliminate plastic sandwich bags and aluminum foil from your kitchen, too!

4. Paper Towels

Paper towels are ubiquitous in most households. We use them as napkins, to wipe up messes, for household cleaning, and so much more. Americans use over 13 billion pounds of paper towels EVERY YEAR! That's a lot of trees cut down, a lot of waste in landfills, and a lot of dollars spent! After purchasing a pack of paper towels earlier this year, I was overwhelmed by guilt,  so I decided that they would be the last paper towels I ever bought. Since I ran out earlier this month, I haven't missed having paper towels on hand. For spills and cleaning, there are plenty of eco-friendly sponges available. I also read a lot about using flour sack towels to replace other functions of paper towels. They're a perfect replacement for paper napkins, and they can also be used to absorb moisture in refrigerator crisper drawers, and even for draining grease when you're cooking. These are the towels that I purchased and so far they've been great. They're pretty big, so you could easily cut them into smaller sizes, as this blogger suggests. I might tackle that task when I'm more comfortable using the sewing machine I recently inherited! I'm relieved to not be burdened by the guilt I felt every time I purchased a pack of paper towels, and happy with the replacements I found.

Ready to eliminate even more disposable items from your home? 
Try replacing your dryer sheets with wool dryer balls, replacing your toilet paper with family cloth, and making your own disinfecting wipes and cloth mopping pads! The Earth will thank you. Happy Earth Day!

Further reading

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Best in Crowdfunding: March 2014

Here is the latest batch of Crowdfunding projects I've selected from the plethora of projects around the internet. I'm really starting to enjoy the "hunt" while I seek out what I find to be the projects and campaigns most worthy of my consideration (and hard-earned funds!)


Fast fashion is a global system that is causing social injustices for garment industry workers, catastrophic levels of pollution, and a throw-away culture. Convertible apparel is one trend that can help to reduce the negative effects of fast fashion on our planet. One convertible wardrobe piece can replace multiple pieces, meaning you can wear it more and buy less. When they're made ethically, using eco friendly fabrics and dyes, their environmental impact almost vanishes. Convertible apparel is also super fun, trendy, and seriously cool. The KooShoo Journey Shawl is a piece that can be worn a dozen different ways. It's beautifully hand-dyed in the world's only solar-powered dye house. And it's lovely.
Campaign Goal: $10,000
Deadline: April 3
Platform: Kickstarter

The KooShoo Journey Shawl

8th Annual Small Press Book Fair

The Small Press Book Fair has become one of my favorite annual events in Buffalo. It's a really unique show and sale unlike anything I've encountered. It takes place in the Karpeles Manuscript Library, the perfect setting for an event focused around the art of the printed word. Every year, I'm blown away by the exquisite craftsmanship that goes into the work presented. I've always been absolutely delighted by what's available for purchase at the small press book fair, and have never gone home empty-handed. This year, the creators of the event are seeking a little help to fund equipment rentals, guest speakers, and other costs. Contributors will receive small press artwork when they make a pledge. Be sure to attend the Small Press Book Fair on April 5 and 6. Admission is free!
Campaign Goal: $2,000
Deadline: April 4
Platform: Kickstarter

Open Source Bee Hives

I want this. I've said numerous times that once I own my own home, the first thing I want to do is get bee hives. Bees are so crucial to healthy global food systems, and to our survival as a species. The rate at which bees colonies are dieing is really alarming to me, so I'm relieved to see people working to save them. This campaign will fund the development of a system that will monitor bee colonies and track things like air quality, temperature, pesticide presence, and colony size. Creators hope to use the data gathered from the hives to determine what is causing the loss of bee colonies around the globe. The hives themselves are gorgeous to look at. If you're not ready to purchase and maintain a beehive, you can still get some wonderful rewards for contributing to the campaign, like fair trade honey, or the files to build your own hive.
Campaign Goal: $20,000
Deadline: April 4
Platform: IndieGoGo

That Bites

"That Bites" is a documentary film being created by a really talented film maker who suffers from severe food allergies. His name is Jack and he's only twelve years old. Jack hopes to help people understand the severity of food allergies and he's using his passion for amateur film making to do it. Jack also hopes to raise money for Food Allergy Research & Education (F.A.R.E.) This kid seems really smart and driven, and I can't wait to see the end product of his hard work.
Campaign Goal: $5,400
Deadline: April 16
Platform: Kickstarter

KNO Clothing

I'm pleased to see another t-shirt company moving to a manufacturing process that doesn't exploit workers. KNO will manufacture their shirts in the United States using premium, eco-friendly, American-made materials. Like Buffalo's own You and Who t-shirt company, KNO donates a shirt to someone in need for every shirt sold, as well as funds to organizations helping homeless around the country. It's definitely not a bad thing to see more than one t-shirt company following this model!
Campaign Goal: $10,000
Deadline: April4
Platform: Kickstarter

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day to You and the Planet!

While some may view it as strictly a commercial holiday, Valentine's Day is a great excuse to do something nice for someone you love. Unfortunately, a lot of the traditional V-day gifts aren't so great for the planet, or the people on it. Thankfully, there are plenty of options that are better for the environment and don't exploit workers!


About 78% of all cut flowers purchased in the U.S. actually come from Ecuador and Columbia. Workers, including children, earn minuscule wages, sometimes working 80 hours per week, while being exposed to harsh chemicals. Those chemicals are used to grow the flowers and to keep them looking good while they're transported to the U.S. They're extremely hazardous both to the workers and to the planet!  Organic Bouquet has flowers that are grown organically, without the the use of any harsh chemicals. They provide their farmers with healthy working conditions and fair wages. And their arrangements are beautiful! Both FTD Go Green and 1-800-FLOWERS also offer a range of fair trade certified bouquet options.

Organic Bouquet offers flowers that are fair trade and organic!


The candy industry is another big offender of crimes against the environment and human rights. More than 75% of the world's cocoa is grown in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Like the cut flower farmers, workers on cocoa farms have to endure dangerous working conditions and are paid next to nothing for their labor. The only way to protect both workers (including children) and the planet is to purchase only chocolate that is labeled fair trade and organic. That doesn't mean your options are limited! There are loads of ethical chocolates on the market. Some of my favorites include Taza ChocolateEndangered Species Chocolate, and Dagoba. For more brands, check out this list of ethical chocolate manufacturers.

If you've already got the basics covered, but you're still looking for an eco-friendly gift for your Valentine, here are some really great ideas:

Ms. Betty's Original Bad-Ass Soy Candles - These candles come in glass containers featuring messages like "Be Mine (For the Night)" and "Blow Me (A Big Fat Kiss.)" They're made with soy and the heavy glass containers are reusable. You can choose from scents such as citrus and chili pepper or spearmint and eucalyptus. So cheeky!

Ms. Betty's Original Bad-Ass Soy Candles

A Subscription of Paris Letters - There's no city more romantic than Paris. If you can't be there, you can still get a lovely hand-painted letter from Paris every month! A subscription makes a totally unique and wonderfully romantic gift for your Valentine. (Or check out Paris Letters, the book!)

DaDa Underwear Subscription - This is a really fun gift idea for the man in your life. A membership in the DaDa Quarterly Underwear Club will get your dude a new pair of skivvies every three months. These aren't just your run-of-the-mill undies either. They're luxury underwear made from eco-friendly fabrics like bamboo, seaweed, or organic cotton. Choose from a variety of styles and fabrics when you order.

Do Amore - If you're planning to pop the question this V-day, make sure you do it with a conflict-free diamond! Your engagement ring should be a symbol of love, not war. Do Amore takes that concept one step further. Not only are their diamonds conflict-free, the company also guarantees that each ring is made using at least 80% recycled precious metals. Every purchase of a Do Amore ring provides a lifetime of clean water for two people, by funding wells. Celebrating the love of two people while giving a better life to two more? Now THAT'S romantic!

If you're single this Valentine's Day, there are even some planet-happy ways to treat yourself. Take another look at my post about recycling unwanted adult toys, and finding greener toys to have fun with!

Looking for a few more ways to be earth friendly this holiday? Here's a look at my Eco-Friendly Valentine's Day Pinterest board! It's loaded with ethical Valentine ideas like vegan dessert recipes, jewelry that gives back, and eco-friendly lingerie. There are great romantic gift and date suggestions for Valentine's Day, and every day of the year. Enjoy!

Follow Rachel Gottlieb's board Valentines Day - Earth-friendly romance! on Pinterest.

p.s. Need a soundtrack for your special day? Here's a playlist of some of my favorite love songs!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Best in Crowdfunding: February 2014

I've found some more really incredible products and campaigns that are currently seeking crowdfunding. If you have any crowdfunding projects you'd like to see featured, please submit them for future posts!


I personally am not a coffee drinker, but this is still a project I can get behind. The international coffee industry is mindboggling. With the millions (billions?) of people who drink coffee everyday, you'd think that coffee farmers could earn a decent living. Unfortunately, within the current system, there are too many stops between the coffee farmer and the consumer to make it a lucrative trade for the farmers. There are a number of fair trade coffee companies springing up trying to remedy the situation, but this project takes it a step farther. Bonaverde has developed a machine that will allow users to roast and process their own coffee from raw beans. They can purchase the beans directly from the farmers, skipping all of the middlemen that usually come in between. This shorter process will enable farmers to ask for a fair price for their product, while also getting better prices for consumers. It's a win-win for both parties. Bonaverde is also setting up an online interface that will connect users directly with the farmers, providing a market place for the buying and selling of raw coffee beans. I was surprised by how affordable the machine is. It seems like a no brainer for any conscientious coffee lover. Check out the video below.
Campaign Goal: $50,000
Deadline: Feb 14
Platform: IndieGoGo

Heatworks Model 1

Tankless water heaters work by instantly heating the water when the faucet is turned on, rather than keeping a large tank of water hot all the time. It's easy to understand why these heaters are more energy efficient than traditional hot water tanks. But they're still pretty expensive, and the options and requirements one has to understand before purchasing and installing such a tank are pretty overwhelming. The Heatworks Model 1 is relatively inexpensive. It uses state-of the art water heating technologies and apparently it can fit in just about any home. Check out the video for more info.
Campaign Goal: $125,000
Deadline: Feb 16
Platform: Kickstarter

Keepod Unite

Here's a fascinating little USB device that will house an entire operating system. The idea is to give people access to personal computing capabilities without forcing them to buy a computer or learn how to use multiple systems. Creators of the device hope to launch a pilot program in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Sponsoring the device for someone in Mathare is very affordable ($17) and the Keepods are also available to backers. Backers also have the option to get five and give five. These devices could be great tools for empowering people here in our own communities, so I love that option!
Campaign Goal: $38,000
Deadline: Feb 14
Platform: IndieGoGo

Keepod software could be life-changing for people without access to their own computers!

The Love Mark

This one is super fun and, if you're looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gesture, super timely. (Even if you're not into V-day, it's still pretty great.) The LoveMark will be an architectural monument to the best thing in the world: Love. Funders will have a cube inscribed with their personal love message. The cubes will be used to build the monument itself. Take a look, because the design is really gorgeous. Obviously the message of love is a positive one, and art is a wonderful tool for inspiring people to be better to one another. But if that wasn't enough, the creators of this project are going to donate a portion of the funds to charity. The best part about the project is that the creators haven't chosen a location to build the monument yet. It's up to the contributors to suggest locations and then vote! How great would it be to see this awesome structure built right here in Buffalo? It could be the BuffaLoveMark! So I hope my fellow BuffaLovers will contribute and suggest a building location right here in the Queen City. Check out the video below for details about this project.
Campaign Goal: $175,000
Deadline: Feb 15
Platform: IndieGoGo

Friday, January 17, 2014

It's my 30th Birthday!

I'm 30! I know it's a milestone, but I'm donating my big day to something that needs the attention even more than I do.

What I REALLY want you to pay attention to today is rhino poaching. I've had the absolute pleasure of meeting and interacting with some rhinos in person and was instantly enamored with them. It breaks my heart to know that if poaching continues at the rate it's happening now, these gorgeous animals will be completely gone from this planet in just a few short years. In 2013, more than 946 rhinos were poached for their horns, making it the deadliest year on record for rhinos. Time is running out fast!

With that in mind, I set up this donation page. I'm asking you to please take a look and consider donating to Save the Rhino International, an organization working to protect rhinos in the wild.

I'm asking you, my cherished friends and family to please PLEASE take a moment to look at some of the information I've posted below about rhino poaching, and donate what you can to my campaign. I'm so lucky to already have your love and support, and it's proven to be all I need to be really really happy in this life. What I really want you to give me for my birthday this year is this gift for these animals.

If you need more incentive than knowing that you're contributing to rhino conservation, Crowdrise is offering each donor a chance to win some really great prizes just for donating. If you donate at least $24, you'll be entered to win an iPad Mini, which I hear is pretty groovy. Click here for a look at the rest of the prizes you'll have a chance at winning just by donating to this very worthy cause.

Other Ways to Help

Besides financial support, I think the most important thing that you can give to the effort to save the rhino is a voice. The more information about what is happening in Africa spreads, the more support the effort will have. So please, share this and other videos about rhino poaching with your friends and family. Write to local politicians, sign petitions, and do more research on your own.

Spread the word, and please don't forget to donate. Thank you for already making this birthday so great!

Rhino Poaching Info

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Further Reading