Blog Action Day: Poverty and the Environment

13 by Samantha Tackeff

Today is Blog Action Day! Today bloggers unite to raise awareness about one issue: poverty.

Globally, poverty is inextricably linked with the environment. There are many green things you can do combat poverty by considering the environment as well. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but five quick ways to get started.

1. Read, Read, Read! In addition to traditional forms of media such as books, newspapers and magazines, *Blogs* (like this one, and the ones on our blogroll) are fantastic ways to get updated on current issues. On our blog you can learn about products and ideas that make can make a huge difference to some of the poorest people on the globe, such as the Q drum, and the Solar Ice Maker.

2. Think Locally: Poverty is not just a *global issue*, but a *local* one as well. Make the switch to buying local. Increasingly, local business owners and farmers are struggling to make ends meet as they are losing sales to large corporations (who can offer cheaper prices due to purchasing power). The important part is that when you invest this way in the community, more of the dollars spent will stay in the community. Local products also reduce the number of trucks on the road, and shopping locally increases your connection with your community.

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3.Give: There are so many worthy causes that need the funding to attack rampant world poverty, and often philanthropy is reduced during times of economic instability. If you do not have the resources to give (or even if you do), consider making a micro-loan. Micro-credit, although not the cure-all, assists the poor with very small loans to help those who would not qualify for a typical bank. In 2006, Mohammed Yunus and the Grameen Bank (which he founded) were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the development of this successful micro-credit loan. There are a few major organizations involved in this: check out Kiva, and this post for a summary about what they do from fellow blogger Max Gladwell.

4. Engage in Social Entrepreneurship. This practice is recognizing a social issue (in our case poverty and environmental issues), and using entrepreneurial skills to create social change. There are some excellent models to learn about and participate in. Ashoka is one organization that has been in the foreground of social entrepreneurship, creating a network of global social entrepreneurs and providing a framework for making social change, and then actually going into the field and implementing these community changing projects.

5. Demand Legislation: Environmental legislation is not just intended to protect land, but the people who both live on and in reliance on the land. In the U.S. it will take a bi-partisan effort to protect the environment. Making this issue an integral part of every political campaign is necessary to protect our landscape for our future. Issues as important as poverty and the environment are as important as we make them to be as citizens. Ask questions, identify candidates views, and hold everyone accountable.

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  • http://www.dosomegreen.wordpress.com dosomegreen

    Thanks so much for these ideas! We are always looking for information to expand thinking on the environment and how environmentalism is a human and animal rights issue as well. Please feel free to link to your blog from ours and keep expanding the awareness.

  • http://www.guruofsales.com Alex

    Great post, Thank you for sharing, I myself wrote about it here: http://www.guruofsales.com/general/427/fight-poverty-its-blog-action-day-today and got a huge respond from readers and other bloggers. Would you please honor us and share your thoughts by leaving a comment on our post? I am trying to come up with something new tomorrow and I will include and encourage readers to visit your blog back so we can all unite to fight poverty.

  • http://haiku-poems-blog.blogspot.com/ kouji haiku

    cool.

    for my part, i turn to sites like freerice (rice donation), kiva (microfinance), and goodsearch (donation per search), as ways to help alleviate poverty online. i also put up their banners on my blog. :)

    saw this post via the blog action day site. it’s great that you’re participating. :)

  • http://ccfinthefield.blogspot.com/ David Hylton

    This is a great post, and you bring up some excellent points. Please check out the blogging we did at Christian Children’s Fund on Blog Action Day: http://ccfinthefield.blogspot.com/

  • http://kivab4b.org Kacie

    Hey, my name is Kacie and I’m part of the KivaB4B.org team. I wanted to leave a comment about KivaB4B to make you aware of a great opportunity. KivaB4B is contributing $10,000 to support Blog Action Day. KivaB4B is a new partnership between Kiva and Advanta Bank that lets you double the loans you make through Kiva, up to $200/ month. It’s a very cool program. Check it out at KivaB4B.org. There’s also a very unique affiliate program they offer to blogs and other sites. There’s a description on the blog, http://b4bcommunity.org/2008/08/the-kiva-affiliate-program-hel.html

    Have a great day!

    Kacie

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  • http://www.friedbeef.com Friedbeef

    Great post, I also participated in this intiative. I espcially agree with what you said about thinking local. After all, charity begins at home :)

  • sharon

    Great points to bring up. Also enjoyed your green blog. You do seem to be paying attention to our world. You’ve taught me sonmething.

    wiser now…
    Sharon
    http://dreamingaloudallowed.blogspot.com

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