Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Meet Annie Fikes, our New Public Relations and Events Intern

By Annie Fikes

Today is my second day as Plant With Purpose's summer Public Relations and Events intern. I'm a little nervous but mostly am incredibly excited and feeling very blessed to work and learn here this summer! Last Memorial Day, Scott Sabin spoke at the Palomar Christian Conference Center about Plant With Purpose and their mission to empower people to solve problems facing humans and the environment simultaneously.

In the past, I’ve been involved in both human aid and environmental advocacy organizations. I have usually seen these two types of missions presented as separate goals with different ends. Sometimes I even felt as though a choice had to be made between the “people-loving” side of me and the “nature-loving” one. Plant With Purpose’s ideas about how human and environmental well-being interact and are mutually dependent seemed so obvious to me after Scott presented them! It makes so much sense to me to use God’s beautiful creation respectfully to empower His people. Upon my return home, I researched Plant With Purpose and read about their efforts and actions across the world and their summer internships. It didn’t take me very long to decide that that was what I wanted to do this summer.

I see public relations as important because communicating with media outlets and donors is what allows Plant With Purpose to continue to function, and because media attention in newspapers and blogs spreads around the ideas that attracted me here in the first place. I’m very excited to help Plant With Purpose show people how they are loving God, people, and the planet.

Plant With Purpose Villages are OK Despite a 6.5 Earthquake Near Oaxaca

As you may have heard, there was a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit near Oaxaca this morning. We heard from our Oaxaca Program Director Luis Castellanos Lopez and thankfully he reported that the staff and their families are well with no property damages. Although we haven't heard directly from all of the communities we work with, the government reports no deaths or damages.

Luis also said that they have received heavy rains from tropical storm Alex. They have saturated the sewage systems and have led to flooding around the city. Our office was flooded for awhile, but the damages were minimal.

Please pray for protection for the communities we work with in Oaxaca against the downpours and that they would be spared from any after shocks from today’s earthquake. As always, thank you for your prayers and support!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

To Dominican Republic and Beyond!

By Corbyn Small
I am particularly excited and especially busy this week as I prepare to lead a group of individuals on a Vision Trip to see some of our programs first hand! In six days I will be heading to the Dominican Republic with a group from the Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe. They are going to learn more about how Plant With Purpose works and how they can return to the U.S. as stronger advocates to their friends and families about how Plant With Purpose's Dominican program is making a difference for so many.
I would appreciate your prayer and support, as we will be gone from July 5th-12th. It's going to be hot, sticky, and loaded with insects that love the sweet nectar of my blood, but I am so excited to meet my Dominican co-workers, learn so much more about our programs in the country where Plant With Purpose was founded, and hear wonderful testimonies from farmers who are providing better lives for their families. I wanted to share one of those testimonies with you now and I can't wait to share more upon my return!
~~~~~
Cristiana Polo Luis and her husband, Milciades Medina, have four growing children to support. Through the help of Plant With Purpose, Cristiana has seen her and her family’s lives transformed! Cristiana owns a small clothing business that has been greatly improved through Plant With Purpose. In 2005 Plant With Purpose first began helping Cristiana with a loan, and since then she has increased her income, finished building her home, and has seen her children’s lives improved immensely. Plant With Purpose also helps Basima (the community where Cristiana and Milciades live) as a whole, and has helped the community construct a new drinking water aqueduct and plant a variety of trees in reforestation efforts.
Cristiana and her family have received great benefits from Plant With Purpose materially as well as spiritually. Cristiana now prays that Plant With Purpose continues helping the community and that God strengthens her and her community spiritually. Plant With Purpose also has supplied her local church with much needed Bible study materials.
Cristiana says, “Thanks to Plant With Purpose my family is more fulfilled, I finished building my house, and my business is much larger!”
~~~~~
Some things we'd love you to join us in prayer for:
  • safe travels to Santo Domingo and north into Piedra Blanca
  • great group dynamic, open minds, flexibility and celebration of cultural differences
  • continued growth and blessings for each of the communities we will visit: Basima, El Café, La Represa, Los Arroyones
  • a growing understanding of God's grace, love, and the work He is doing in the hearts of the Dominican staff and farmers, as well as in our own hearts as we visit.
~~~~~

Corbyn Small serves as Plant With Purpose’s Outreach Coordinator. He cultivates relationships with donors, churches, artists and musicians to generate interest and enthusiasm for Plant With Purpose’s life-changing programs. He is also responsible for the volunteer and intern opportunities in the Plant With Purpose office. corbyn@plantwithpurpose.org

Monday, June 28, 2010

Plant With Purpose in Christianity Today

Plant With Purpose is featured in the July issue of Christianity Today! In Executive Director Scott Sabin's article, "Whole Earth Evangelism", Scott explains how "Creation care is part and parcel of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment."
Click here to check out the article. Happy reading!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Midyear's Resolution

by Corbyn Small
So, at the beginning of the year I told myself, 'this year I am going to ride my bike to work on a regular basis instead of driving.' After all, it's only ten miles to work and there is a pretty decent bike route. Well, about a week into the new year I 'biffed' it and went over my handlebars on a bad patch of road. Five months and a health insurance deductible later, we blogged about San Diego's Bike to Work Day on May 21st to encourage everyone to 'saddle up' and bike to work. We were really excited about a majority of our Plant With Purpose office getting on the saddle and saving some gas... Well, here's the bit that is actually really exciting, out of that Bike to Work Day, Aly Lewis (our grant writer) and I have made, and held to, commitments to riding our bikes to work 2-3 days a week. In the last month we have biked a combined 352 miles and saved over $50 at the pump.
As you might expect, the last month has been great! I have kicked my three-cups-a-day coffee addiction, I am feeling healthier, more active, and saving money. Aly has also been enjoying her scenic rides through Mission Bay Park and is excited to pedal her fitness routine into high gear. She has also committed to giving up sodas, which I'll be sure to hold her accountable to. Biking to work has been great so far, but I know the challenge is really going to come when the sun starts disappearing earlier and earlier. Summer is going to end and the days of sunshine till 8:30 pm are going to be gone... so I'll need you folks to hold me accountable. On many of my recent bikes to work I have calculated that if I succeed at riding three days a week I will be saving $504 a year in gas! I haven't had the time to calculate the cost savings associated with putting 3,000 miles less on my car per year, but I am confident I will come up with a solid number to keep my motivation up. $10 dollars a week in savings doesn't seem like that much in gas savings, but over the course of a year... it really racks up some pretty savings.
Thanks for letting me share!
Here's a couple of avid bike riders who use their means of transportation to do some serious hauling in Burundi.
~~~~~

Corbyn Small serves as Plant With Purpose’s Outreach Coordinator. He cultivates relationships with donors, churches, artists and musicians to generate interest and enthusiasm for Plant With Purpose’s life-changing programs. He is also responsible for the volunteer and intern opportunities in the Plant With Purpose office. corbyn@plantwithpurpose.org

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Save the Date for the 2010 Planting Hope Gala

Please save the date for Plant With Purpose’s biggest fundraising event of the year! Join us on Saturday, October 9th at 6:00 p.m. at the La Jolla Marriott for an inspiring evening at the 2010 Planting Hope Gala dinner and auction. The event will include exciting silent and live auctions, an IPAD raffle, an exceptional dinner, and an opportunity to help the rural poor and learn more about Plant With Purpose. This year will be particularly critical as we raise funds and awareness for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Please visit our gala web page to preview photos and descriptions of our impressive auction items: http://www.plantwithpurpose.org/page/73/gala.html.

Guests will have the opportunity to register online in early August.

Please contact Kate McElhinney at kate@plantwithpurpose.org if you are interested in donating an auction item or volunteering at the event.

We hope to see you there!

Here is a sneak peek at some of this year's items:

* Just the Two of Us A $100 gift certificate to Arterra Restaurant

*Fore! A complimentary round of golf for 4 people at La Costa Resort and Spa

*A Gardner's Paradise A beautiful succulent arrangement by Courtyard Pottery, along with gardening tools, a $25 gift certificate, and a book on succulents

*Cheers! 4 wine tasting coupons each good for 2 guests at Orfila Vineyards

*Fun on Wheels 2 gift certificates to free skating parties at Skateworld

*Bon Appétit! A chef's tasting for 4 at Market Restaurant & Bar

*Girl's Day Out Lunch for 4 at the Zodiac, makeovers, and 4 $50 gift certificates at Neiman Marcus

* Ensenada Getaway 4 days and 3 nights at a beautiful condo in Ensenada, Mexico

*Vancouver Getaway A one week stay at a 2-bedroom condo in Living Shangri-La, Vancouver, Canada

*Come Sail Away An afternoon sail on San Diego Bay for up to 5 guests with Plant With Purpose Executive Director, Scott Sabin

*Paella for your Pleasure A paella dinner with a cooking demo for 8 people with Chef Fri Reyes

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Village Spotlight: Panasawan, Thailand

Did you know that every reoccurring donation toward one of Plant With Purpose's programs will be matched? So, if you sponsor a village for $30 per month, that amount is instantly doubled to be $60 per month for an entire year! When you sign up to become a monthly donor, you'll help Plant With Purpose sustain community‑based efforts that improve the lives of rural farmers.
Want to make a world of difference with your monthly donation? Consider partnering with the village of Panasawan in Northern Thailand as they join with Plant With Purpose to overcome poverty and transform their lives.
The village of Panasawan is rich in vibrant colors and culture, yet it is plagued with extreme poverty, environmental destruction, and the despair of a displaced and disregarded people. Most of the villagers belong to the Lahu hill tribe. Many older members do not even speak Thai, while the younger generation is forced to seek work in neighboring cities just to keep the family afloat. Plant With Purpose’s innovative, integrated program in Panasawan provides the community with relevant and sustainable options that address issues of poverty, lack of citizenship and related rights, and the loss of access to and degradation of forests and fields. By sponsoring this village, you will empower the people of Panasawan to transform their lives and lands, restore their dignity, and learn to thrive. To learn more about Panasawan or to sponsor this village, click here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Transformation in Tanzania!

Plant With Purpose programs officer, Sarah Ferry, recently returned from a visit to our programs in Tanzania and Burundi. Those of us in the US office had the privilege of hearing about her trip today as she shared her beautiful photos and encouraging testimonies.
Here is one story of transformation from Sarah’s visit to the village of Komolyongoe in Tanzania:
Elli Masia joined the Plant With Purpose Village Community Banking (VICOBA) group in 2007. She is 57 years old and lives in the community of Komolyongoe. Elli has been involved with bio-intensive agriculture (double dug raised vegetable beds), which has increased her vegetable production and created surplus for her family to eat as well as sell.
Through VICOBA Elli has received loans to send her children to school and loans to improve her business. She received a business loan of $38 and bought feed for her chickens. After their growth she was able to sell 12 chicks for approximately $8 each. After repaying her loan she had made a profit of $58. She then received a second loan for $115 that she used to purchase more chickens and a calf. When the calf grows into a bull she will be able to sell it for $380.
Elli says it is not only her income improving, but also her diet has improved greatly because she is now able to buy more diverse foods and is able to grow more at home. She has also reinvested the income from her vegetables into her livestock to keep her business growing.
She is grateful for the economic security she has experienced since joining the VICOBA group. With her savings, she is able to handle any problems that may arise. She no longer has to depend on neighbors or family for support, and never has a problem sending her children to school.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vote for Plant With Purpose in the Humanity Calls Tournament!

There are only two days left in the Humanity Calls Tournament, and we need your help! Please consider voting for our organization in the “Humanity Calls Tournament”, which is another fun and easy way for you to help us raise money for our programs.

We have 159 votes so far and our standing is 32 out of 145 nonprofits. At the tournament’s close, the top 30 voted nonprofits will share in the proceeds of the tournament cash pool, which is over $50,000. Help us bump up our ranking to be one of the top 30 nonprofits by voting for Plant With Purpose! Our goal is to have 200 votes by the end of the day on Tuesday.

Here is how it works:

1. Click here to enter the Humanity Calls website.

2. Click the yellow “New User Sign Up” button.

3. Create a free account.

4. Once your profile is set up, click the yellow “Browse” button and find Plant With Purpose.

You get one free vote just for signing up! Consider allocating 1 vote to Plant With Purpose, and then consider donating more, ($10 = 5 votes.)

Thank you to all of you who have already voted! Because of your support, Plant With Purpose has already raised $150 in direct donations which will go toward improving the lives of the rural poor through reforestation efforts, economic opportunities, and spiritual transformation.

If you have already voted for Plant With Purpose but still want to contribute, please consider donating directly to the tournament cash pool, which earns 10 votes for each $10 donated, or by referring friends via Twitter, Facebook, email, or the Humanity Calls widget, which earns 1 vote for each friend referred and registered.

Thank you for helping us spread the word about Plant With Purpose and partnering with us to heal lives and landscapes among the rural poor.

-The Plant With Purpose Staff

Friday, June 18, 2010

Give a Meaningful Gift this Father’s Day

Looking for a last minute gift for Dad this Sunday? Instead of the traditional tie or watch present why not honor your father with a meaningful gift that will change the life of a community?

Plant With Purpose works with rural agricultural farmers in some of the poorest and most remote places that don't have access to savings and credit from banks. Through Plant With Purpose, men and women are able to get small loans to start new businesses or grow their current one. What this means for the poorest people is the ability to increase their income and provide better for their families.

This year, consider donating the $30 you would have spent on a tie rack to empowering the poor and helping them to build a better future for their families. Here is where what you can do. Make a donation at www.plantwithpurpose.org and then email Corbyn Small at corbyn@plantwithpurpose.org. We will send you a high resolution pdf that you can print off, fold up, jot a note on, and pass along to your dad to say thanks and “Happy Father's Day”. If you want to make a larger donation of $100 or more, you can click here and donate. Otherwise click here to give another amount, then email Corbyn and we will make sure that your donation goes toward micro credit loans from the general donation page.

Thanks, and Happy Father’s Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tune in to KPRZ Tomorrow Morning to Hear Scott Speak!

Calling all San Diegans! Plant With Purpose will be on the air waves tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. on KPRZ 1210 AM. Scott will be discussing Plant With Purpose’s holistic approach to community development, particularly emphasizing how we work with the rural poor to help them transform their lives spiritually.

You can tune in by turning to the 1210 AM dial on the radio, stream it live from www.KPRZ.com, or get the iPhone / Blackberry app. on the Marketplace Transformation website and listen in on your phone.

Marketplace Transformation, (www.MarketplaceTransformation.org) co-hosted by Mike Melacce, John Wheeler, and Tom Le Vine, is a radio program designed to challenge Christians in the workplace to embrace a “Kingdom Calling” approach to their work. The hosts work to encourage, equip, and empower the believer through the radio, the internet, and all other avenues so that the Holy Spirit can be unleashed in new and amazing ways in the marketplace through listeners.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow AM, and let us know what you think!

Scott Sabin with KPRZ co-host John Wheeler.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oaxaca Wednesday: Churches Effect Change

Equipping local churches to better serve and minister to their communities is an integral aspect of Plant With Purpose’s transformational work in Oaxaca, Mexico—and in all of our programs around the globe. By working together with rural churches and communities, Plant With Purpose has initiated programs designed to strengthen families and help individuals, especially children, grow in their faith and develop a strong sense of community. Part of this plan includes facilitating integrated Biblical teachings and Bible studies as well as creating community-wide events called “Festival of Values,” which offers an opportunity to share Biblical principles and the love of Christ with schools and communities.

Children participate in a “Festival of Values” event

Another way Plant With Purpose encourages communities to grow spiritually is through a new initiative called “Church, Community, and Change.” This curriculum focuses on empowering the local church to be an agent of positive change in the community. This integrative project utilizes servant leaders and equips the church to effectively minister to the surrounding community. The project was met with such enthusiasm in the first village where it was implemented that an additional village has asked to join the project!
We have been wonderfully surprised and greatly encouraged by the eagerness of church leaders to serve their communities. These indispensable and compassionate leaders have demonstrated an incredible hunger to lead and serve. Their sacrificial leadership has been a blessing to both the Plant With Purpose staff and the communities they serve. Additionally, we have been encouraged by the communities’ overwhelming response and desire to partner with Plant With Purpose. The role of the local church has been indispensable to our work, and we are encouraged by the diversity of denominations eager to partner with us to transform lives, hearts, and communities.

Community members of Loma Ardilla (above) put the roof on their new church building (below). The building project was initiated when their membership increased after joining with Plant With Purpose to reach their community.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Upcoming Event! Del Mar Fair!

by Corbyn Small
This is just a quick blog to let you all know that for the first time ever Plant With Purpose is going to be represented at the Del Mar Fair! This Saturday, June 19th, Plant With Purpose is going to have a table at the Flower and Garden Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. We are looking forward to seeing lots of people and sharing the story of Plant With Purpose's work to a whole new crowd! There will be great interns and volunteers helping me to staff our table so please come by and say hi if you visit the fair on Saturday!

The Flower and Garden show has a tremendous focus on providing information and resources about living sustainably and being good stewards of our resources here in San Diego. The first 1,000 people through the O'brien Gates Saturday morning will receive a water conservation bag from Save Our Water. It is a beautiful setting where you can come, learn lots, and enjoy the company of like minded conservationists. It will be a perfect audience to share the Plant With Purpose's holistic mission as people consider how they can also make a difference in the lives of the rural farmers that we work with internationally. If you've never been to the Del Mar Fair, this is something you HAVE to check out! So please stop on by! Click here to visit the EnviroFair webpage

2010 San Diego County Fair admission

  • Adults, $13.00
  • Ages 62 and older, $7.00
  • Ages 6-12, $7.00 (free on Tuesdays)
  • Ages 5 and younger, free
Here is a look at the days schedule:
~~~~~
Corbyn Small serves as Plant With Purpose’s Outreach Coordinator. He cultivates relationships with donors, churches, artists and musicians to generate interest and enthusiasm for Plant With Purpose’s life-changing programs.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Invite Friends to Our Facebook Cause for a Chance to Win a Tee!

Are you looking for a way to support Plant With Purpose but can't necessarily make a donation? Here's your chance to help us grow our cause! We are having a contest to see who can invite the most friends on Facebook to join our Cause page.

As a reward, WE ARE GIVING AWAY FIVE NEW PLANT WITH PURPOSE T-SHIRTS to the top 5 people who invite the most friends. You can be one of the first to sport these new tees designed by our friends at Jedidiah. (Check out the tees here: http://plantwithpurpose.blogspot.com/2010/06/new-plant-with-purpose-shirt-is-here.html. We have men's and women's sizes.)

We just hit our goal of over 5,000 members and we know we can blow right past that and on to 6,000+! Here's how to take a shot at winning the newest Plant With Purpose tee:

1. Invite as many friends as you can to join Plant With Purpose's Cause page (75 per day) in the next 7 days. The contest ends Monday, June 21st. If you aren’t a part of our Cause page yet click here.

2. Tally how many friends you invited over the week and email your total tally to plantwithpurpose@gmail.com. Emails must be received by 3 p.m. on the 21st. (Any tie breakers will go to the person who got the most people to join our cause!)

3. If you invited the most friends we will email you telling you that you won and asking you to please give us your mailing address and shirt size!

Thanks to all of our current 5,007 members for following our cause and being a part of empowering rural farmers all around the world. We hope you participate in our contest and help us spread the word! We have raised over $12,000 dollars through our Facebook Cause page through generous donations and people making b-day wishes for Plant With Purpose. If you have a birthday coming up, consider setting a fundraising goal asking your friends and family to donate to Plant With Purpose instead of buying you presents.

Thanks!

-The Plant With Purpose staff

Our awesome new t-shirt designed by Jedidiah!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Students Play With Purpose—and Raise nearly $500!

by Aly Lewis
If the thought of being blindsided by a math test leaves you quaking in your sneakers, imagine that same teacher running at you full force, not with a Scantron and #2 pencil, but with a flag and a football. Oh, and

did I mention the screaming?

That’s exactly what happened when Emily Small’s courageous students at Albert Einstein Academy Charter Middle School challenged their teachers to a flag football game last Wednesday night, all in the name of raising money and awareness for Plant With Purpose’s transformational programs worldwide.

Students suited up in war paint (Plant With Purpose temporary tattoos) and kicked off to their opponents. The teachers stepped up to the challenge, demonstrating their athletic prowess—and effective scare tactics—as they bobbed and weaved across the field.

For the halftime show, the students performed skits that illustrated Plant With Purpose’s work of empowering poor families to restore their land and improve their livelihoods, allowing families to stay together and giving them hope for the future. The students also held a raffle and sold food to benefit Plant With Purpose. And they really did their research: the menu included rice and beans, just as they serve in Oaxaca, Mexico, and grilled veggies like in Tanzania—and might I add they were delicious!

Ultimately, the teachers ended up winning the game, but the students were the real winners as they brought in a victory for Plant With Purpose by raising nearly $500 and spreading the word about our work! The initiative, creativity, and heart of these 6-8th grade students certainly impressed me. Thank you to Mrs. Small and her Root (ed) students for supporting Plant With Purpose!

Here are some more photos from the event:

Our awesome announcer shows off his Plant With Purpose tattoos.

The students and teachers give it their all in the game.

The students and Mrs. Small call out the raffle winners.

Yum yum! Oaxacan rice and beans and Tanzanian veggies!

Dedicated Root (ed) students.

The students serving their delicious food. Man, that is a lot of beans!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You’re Invited!

Are you interested in learning more about our recovery efforts in Haiti? If so, Plant With Purpose would like to invite you to attend a Haiti Recovery Update Conference Call hosted by Scott Sabin, Executive Director of Plant With Purpose, on Tuesday, June 15th, at Noon PST / 3:00 p.m. EST.

As we approach the 5 month anniversary of the tragic earthquake in Haiti, Plant With Purpose remains dedicated to helping the 67 villages where we work in long-term recovery efforts. As you know, though historically a sustainable development organization, we have expanded our post-earthquake role in Haiti to include aid efforts that promote long-term growth and prosperity, including our Cash for Work program and food and seed distribution. Since January 12th, we've raised nearly $1 million to help in these efforts thanks to your support!

This brief call will include:

• an overview of our long-term recovery programs

• an update on our progress

• our strategy for preparing for the hurricane season

• information on how you can get more involved

• a chance for you to ask questions during a Q & A

This call is a great way to remain in the loop and stay connected to our vital work in Haiti. Although this call is telephone based only, you can still view photos of our work in Haiti by becoming our fan on Facebook, finding the “Haiti Recovery Call” photo album, and following along during the presentation.

Please click here to register. You will then receive the dial in information via email.

The first 30 people to sign up for this call will receive a free copy of Scott's new book, Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God's People! Click here to learn more about this book.

We hope you can join us on this important call!

-The Plant With Purpose Staff

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Burundi Update

The polls are in: elections are upon us. People all over the country are boasting their “I voted” stickers and tuning in to the election results. But for many of our friends and partners in countries around the world, elections are a time of uncertainty and even fear—and not just fear that the opposing party will sweep the primaries.
Burundi is undergoing an election season that will have serious implications for the country’s future. 2005 signaled the end of a brutal civil war, and this year's elections are hoped to solidify the transition to democracy started by those peace agreements.
Thus far, the process has been tumultuous. Local elections took place on May 24th, which members of the opposition quickly rejected with fraud allegations. The opposition has also called for new polls as well as the resignation of the electoral independent commission before the presidential elections scheduled for June 28th. On May 31st five presidential candidates from the opposition officially withdrew from the race, and only one opposition candidate remains. There is a climate of fear over which road this process is going to take. We invite you to join us as we pray for God's intervention, and that the elections would be free, fair, and peaceful.
As Burundi seeks to recover from a history of violent ethnic conflict, we are encouraged by the restoration and reconciliation that is taking place in the communities where we work. Community projects, such as planting cassava fields, bring together people who were on both sides of the conflict to achieve project goals.
The governor of the Rutana province, Madame Marceline, is very excited by Plant With Purpose’s practical approach to reconciliation. She said, “Cassava has no color, it has no ethnicity. But as the people work together side by side in the fields, they learn to care about one another. This has done more for reconciliation than many of the official government programs.”
Madame Marceline (standing), greeting the farmers.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Addicted to Plastic

This last Saturday, June 5th, was World Environment Day. World Environment Day is a day to celebrate and advocate for positive, environmental action. Here at Plant With Purpose, we like to think that every day is environment day.
Not only do we work with rural farmers in developing countries to restore and replenish the local environments that they depend on, we do our best to adopt as many eco-friendly lifestyle choices as we can here in the United States. In honor of World Environment Day, we’d like to share a post by guest blogger and former intern, Jimmy Lee, on his journey to decrease his environmental impact by limiting his use of plastic water bottles.
Addicted to Plastic by Jimmy Lee
I have a confession to make: I’m a serial water bottle user. And I’m talking about those 20oz bottles, which my family loves to purchase. It’s wasteful I know, and I’m embarrassed to admit our addiction. Did you know that in 2007, plastic bottle contributed to over 12% of landfill waste generated in the US1, and almost 70% of recyclable plastic water bottles are never recycled2? I’m embarrassed to say, we’ve become part of the statistics and not the solution. So why the serial water bottle use? Convenience. Habit. Which are probably the same reasons that many other serial water bottle users give. However, I’m proud to say, I’ve recently begun a process of change for a more sustainable and environmental friendly method of water consumption for my family. First of all, I’ve began using a reusable water bottle which I fill up with water whenever I can (water fountain at the gym, water cooler at the office...) thus decreasing my water bottle usage at home. I take my trusty water bottle everywhere I go now, which has not only decreased my water bottle usage but has also allowed me to have a healthier lifestyle by avoiding sugary sodas and juices during lunch. Second, I’ve begun boiling tap water for drinking purposes at home. To get rid of the tap water taste, I sometimes add a bit of barley tea before cooling it, which is perfect for the San Diego summer. Third, by not only purchasing less water from stores, our family now prefers to buy water sold in bigger containers. Although I don’t think my family will ever be able to phase out the habit of purchasing water, we can definitely try our best to decrease the consumption of plastic bottles as much as possible.
For fun (well, my definition of fun), I’ve gone ahead and calculated the amount of plastic bottles I would be saving if I could go completely bottle-less: Let’s say that I would consume an average of ten 20oz plastic bottles each week, and each 20oz plastic bottle is about 24 grams in weight3. That would mean that I would generate about 240g of plastic per week and about 87.6kg of plastic per year, which is about 1.2 more than my weight. If I don’t change my ways, I would be consuming more than my body-weight in plastic bottles each year!
Statistics aside, I’m thankful for being in a part of the world where safe and fresh water is readily available to my family. And also thankful that Plant With Purpose works in many countries where people may not have readily available access to fresh water like we do. If you want to find out more about the various water sanitation and water management projects that Plant With Purpose has been involved with in other countries, please check out our Outreach Coordinator’s blog post from International World Water Day this past March: http://plantwithpurpose.blogspot.com/2010/03/today-is-world-water-day.html 1 Container Recycling Institute 2 State of CA - Department of Conservation 3 Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Football Fundraising Fun

by Corbyn
Get your pom-poms and your megaphones out, it's time for the first ever Plant With Purpose Flag Football Fundraiser! Albert Einstein Academy Charter Middle School is hosting a teachers versus students football game to raise money for Plant With Purpose. This Wednesday the 9th, at 5:30pm, come support the class's hard work and creativity!
You may remember 'Florestaval' last December where students from Emily Small's 6th grade class at AEACMS put on an amazing show and raised over $680 dollars for Plant With Purpose's programs. Well, a semester later there is a whole new batch of enthusiastic students
who have been learning all semester about each of the countries Plant With Purpose works in and what it looks like to treat root causes rather than symptoms when it comes to alleviating poverty. They are ready to throw a Football Fundraiser like you wouldn't believe! There will be a raffle, food and drinks donated by generous local businesses, and even some skits and a video at halftime to get the audience even more pumped up about seeing these students' passion to make a difference!
After the Florestaval event last year, Emily shared her own eagerness for Plant With Purpose, and why she teaches this specific curriculum to two of her 6th-8th grade classes, "My students are learning about deforestation and soil degradation, as well as looking into the solutions that Plant With Purpose has been doing to help the rural poor for so long now. Plant With Purpose is helping them become global citizens, aware of the world around them and passionate about making a positive impact." These classes are aptly titled Root(ed).
Join me, other Plant With Purpose staff, and San Diego parents and teachers as we cheer on and support the students of Albert Einstein Academy, and please forgive me when I say that I most definitely will be 'root'ing for the students to pull out a win against their teachers!
Albert Einstein Academy
3035 Ash Street
San Diego, CA 92102-1718 (619) 795-1190
~~~~~
Corbyn Small serves as Plant With Purpose’s Outreach Coordinator. He cultivates relationships with donors, churches, artists and musicians to generate interest and enthusiasm for Plant With Purpose’s life-changing programs.

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