Video: What really happens to the plastic you throw away

Video: What really happens to the plastic you throw away

We’ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away? Emma Bryce created a video showing the life cycles of three different plastic bottles, and the dangers they present to our world.

Help the WWF save critically endangered species by tweeting emojis #EndangeredEmoji

Help the WWF save critically endangered species by tweeting emojis #EndangeredEmoji

The WWF launched a really cool emoji-based campaign to help support their mission to protect precious species and their habitats. The launch of the campaign, which will be run on Twitter, is in honour of Endangered Species Day on Friday May 15th.

Did you know that the WWF has identified 50 endangered species and that 17 are listed as CRITICAL.

The idea for the #EndangeredEmoji campaign was sparked by the discovery that 17 characters in the emoji alphabet represent endangered species. WWF is wants to use the popularity of these characters and turn them into donations. Emoji have been used over 202 million times on Twitter since they were introduced in April 2014. The number is increasing daily. Just like the increased risk to these endangered species.

What is really cool about this campaign is that it is raising money, but it is also raising awareness. I believe that awareness is key when working to create any kind of change. If people don’t know that something is an issue, they won’t care about it and if they don’t care about it, they won’t be moved to take action.

Here’s how the #EndangeredEmoji campain works:

  1. #EndangeredEmoji will be run through the official @WWF Twitter account and at http://endangeredemoji.com.
  2. WWF will tweet an image showing all 17 Endangered Emoji. To take part in the campaign all twitter users need to do is retweet the image.
  3. For every Endangered Emoji the user then tweets, WWF will add the local currency equivalent of €0.10 (about 15 cents Canadian) to a voluntary monthly donation.
  4. At the end of each month, users will receive a summary of their Endangered Emoji use and can then choose how much to donate.

The emoji alphabet, the standardized set of digital pictograph characters used in communication globally, contain the following characters which represent endangered species:

Spider monkey
Giant panda
Asian elephant
Galapagos penguin
Antiguan Racer snake
Bactrian camel
Tiger
Sumatran tiger
Green turtle
Amur leopard
Siamese crocodile
Bluefin tuna
Blue whale
Western gray whale
African wild dog
Lemur leaf frog
Maui’s dolphin

Ready. Set. Tweet. #EndangeredEmoji

You can learn more about this campaign and the endangered species at http://wwf.panda.org and http://endangeredemoji.com

introduction

 

#WithStrongGirls An Empowerment Movement from ONE

#WithStrongGirls An Empowerment Movement from ONE

Today ONE launched their new campaign, #WithStrongGirls. It is all about empowerment and the belief that if we empower women in developing communities, they will be able to sustain themselves and break the cycle of poverty.

To give a really big voice to #WithStrongGirls, ONE brought together nine of the most talented female singers from seven countries in Africa. The song is called Strong Girl! and it’s about the importance of standing strong with girls and women everywhere.

I LOVE this video because it shows what can happen when girls are empowered. Remember, girls are just as strong as anyone. One of my favourite parts in this video is when singer Blessing says, “You’re wonderful, loving and strong. Nothing is stronger than a woman’s worth. I’m the piece of the puzzle that’s missing, baby.” I love that. It says that women and are amazing and nothing is stronger than them.

This year is the Year Of Empowerment for Free The Children as well. I firmly believe that it is so important that people can sustain themselves and take care of themselves when they have what they need. The best way that you can empower somebody is to provide them with the tools and resources for them to create their own change. We are most empowered when we are able to change what we need.

Strong girls and empowerment. SO important.

Here’s how you can get involved and support #WithStrongGirls.

1. You can share the “Strong Girls” Music video with your friends on social media.

2. Share your #Strengthie (pose for a selfie and look strong) to show how strong you are. Post it on social media and tag people to ask them to show their #Strengthie too. Show everyone how strong you really are. Remember, we are stronger together.

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3. Visit ONE.org for more information and ways to take action.

I want to leave you today with a quote, an African proverb, that inspires my journey as a change-maker.

AfricanProverb 2

 

10 Of The Greatest Recycling Ideas Found This Week

10 Of The Greatest Recycling Ideas Found This Week

We all know that recycling stuff helps the planet, but turning what is potential garbage into new and useful items is fun and creative, too! These are the 10 best I’ve found this week, and I love looking for recycling projects, so if you’ve done one, let me know in the comments!

Bike parts turned into a chandelier

creative-diy-repurposing-reusing-upcycling-2-1-2

creative-diy-repurposing-reusing-upcycling-2-1-1__605

Unused computers turned into a mailbox

1

Shipping crates into a shelf

2

Bottles turned into a hat rack

3

An unused skateboard is now a swing

4 (2)

 

Where else would you find an old bike? The bathroom!

5

 

An older boat into a sofa

6

 

Luggage turns into a medicine cabinet (bonus points for keeping the tag on!)

7

 

Another old boat into a great lounge area by the sea

8

 

A piano into a book shelf? I like the sound of that!

9

We Day Seattle and ByStander Revolution #standkind

We Day Seattle and ByStander Revolution #standkind

We Day Seattle was awesome. At every We Day there are always a few moments that stand out as extra special for me. In Seattle it was sharing the We Day stage with my co-host, Lily Collins. Lily is an actor (Love Rosie, Mirror Mirror and Mortal Instruments), but more importantly, she is a true supporter of acceptance and equality. She’s an Ambassador for ByStander Revolution, a social movement to take the power out of bullying.

Love is love Sq

Bystander Revolution was founded in 2014 by author and parent MacKenzie Bezos to create a source of direct, peer-to-peer advice about practical things individuals can do to help defuse bullying. The ultimate goal is the discussion and spread of simple habits of leadership, kindness, and inclusion.

The new campaign from ByStander Revolution, #standkind, encourages spreading compliments around through social media. Kindness is contagious and a compliment is one of the easiest ways to pass it on. Stand kind over social media, make someone’s day, then sit back and watch the chain reaction.

LillyCollage

Photo Credits: Left: My dad, Middle: Vito Amati

Join Me And Make Earth Day Every Day!

Join Me And Make Earth Day Every Day!

I’m honoured to be featured by Earth Day’s Very Green People (VGPs), along with The Water Brothers from TVO’s Eco-Adventurers who are cleaning their commute on Earth Day 2015 and committing to make Earth Day Every Day.

In 1992, our original Earth Flag campaign collected signatures from 500,000 people and the mosaic flag traveled to the Earth Summit in Rio, when the first international agreement on climate change was signed.

Looking ahead to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year, Earth Day Canada’s 2015 goal is to collect one million signatures – especially those from children and youth, whose future depends on our collective action today!

I signed it, and you should, too! Here’s how your school can contribute to the 2015 Earth Flag, to design your piece of the Earth Flag and launching your Earth Flag Campaign.

Dog Hates To Eat Alone, Just Like Most Of Us.

Dog Hates To Eat Alone, Just Like Most Of Us.

Jeannine S recently rescued an little dog who has an even cuter message for us all She hates to eat alone. The dog will carry her doggy dish over to her new roommate Clyde so they can enjoy eating together. For those of us in school, maybe we should use this as an example, and sit beside someone eating alone during lunch. One ‘Hello’ can change everything.

Craig Kielburger and I sharing about Free The Children and how WE Go Further with Ford

Craig Kielburger and I sharing about Free The Children and how WE Go Further with Ford

Craig Kielburger and I spent some time with Ford sharing the story and inspiration of Free The Children and how WE all Go Further to create change.

A version of this is airing as a commercial on Fox during New Girl, Bones and The Following for the next couple of weeks.

Celebrating 20 years of Free The Children

Celebrating 20 years of Free The Children

Whenever I encounter people who are skeptics or people that are surprised at my passion, interest and my age, I think about my friend, Craig Kielburger. 20 years ago, today, on April 19, 1995 Craig was searching through the newspaper for the comic section on a Saturday morning when he stumbled across an article that would change the way he looked at the world forever.

It was the story of Iqbal Masih. When Iqbal was 4 years old, he was sold into child labour. For 6 years, he was chained to a carpet weaving loom until one day, he miraculously escaped. He began to speak out against child labour. He told anyone and everyone who would listen about the hundreds, thousands of children like him. Every time he spoke out, carpet sales went down. People couldn’t ignore him anymore. He started receiving invitations to talk about child labour. He even spoke at the United Nations! But one day, when Iqbal was riding his bike in his hometown, he was shot and killed. Iqbal was 12 years old when he died. The same age Craig was at the time, the same age I am now.

iqbal

Craig tore the article out of the paper and brought it to his class. He asked his teacher if he could read the article and what he had learned about child labour so far. He said, “I don’t know much about child labour but I know it’s wrong. Who wants to join me to stop it?” Eleven hands slowly went up. They called their organization “The 12 12-Year-Olds”. But…they had to change the name when one of them turned 13!

Today is a very special day to a lot of people. Today is the 20th anniversary of Free The Children, the name Craig now called his organization. Today, Free The Children has grown to a network of 8.3 million young people from 8,500 schools dedicated to freeing the cycle of poverty and freeing young people from the thought that they are powerless to change the world. Free The Children has now built over 650 schools, has donated over $16 Million to healthcare, has given over 1 Million people in developing communities clean water for life and so much more. And, they have just reached a huge milestone last month with their 50th We Day across Canada, The US and The UK.

So, Craig’s story teaches, I and hundreds of thousands of others are NEVER too young to change the world. People need to recognize that no matter your age, you CAN change the world. In my journey as a changemaker, I have learned that one small action can turn into something bigger than you EVER imagined. Craig and his brother Marc have shown me that.

I want to share with you 5 more things that I have learned from Craig and Marc – my friends, role models and mentors – over the past few years.

1. Education is important. Craig recently told me to learn as many languages as I can. He said that it will help when you start to travel and get to know people later on in life.

2. When you first step onto a stage, take a deep breath, look around the audience and take it all in. Craig told me this before I got on the We Day stage for the very first time. I was nervous and excited and to this day, I still remember that first time speaking in front of a large audience.

3. Always shine the brightest light on your team and support system. Marc and Craig always show gratitude to all of the people that support them – their teams at Free The Children, Me to We and We Day, volunteers, sponsors, donors and students. These people are a big reason why Free The Children continues to grow bigger than anyone would ever think.

4. Give thanks to your teachers and parents. Marc and Craig talk often about the support and encouragement that they got from their teachers and parents over the years. It was (and is) one of the most important things to them.

5. When you find that you can’t do something alone, call a Minga. I really love a story that Marc shares about a Minga. A Minga is a community working together to accomplish something. When Marc and Craig were in Ecuador trying to build a school, they realized they didn’t have enough time as they were leaving soon. The leader of the community saw this and called all the people in the village to help build the school. And they did it. They worked together as a team and accomplished something awesome!

To Craig and Marc, thank you SO much for all the work that you do. You have made us all know that we are never too young to change the world, to do it together, be creative, there are so many more things but if I kept writing, this would be a VERY long blog post. You have helped so many developing communities and have given them education, clean water, healthcare, food and income. You have given them the tools and resources to keep sustaining themselves with these necessities to make it on their own. You have given young people a voice and made them realize that we are not powerless to change the world. And on a very personal note, thank you for believing in me and sharing your journey with me. I’m proud to be Free the Children Ambassador and a Me to We Speaker. But most importantly, I’m very honoured to call you my friends.

If you want to learn more about Free The Children and the amazing work that they do, you can go to freethechildren.com for more information.

ftc20

Waste Free Lunch #LetsBeLitterFree

Waste Free Lunch #LetsBeLitterFree
Waste Free Lunch #LetsBeLitterFree

My motto, “little things add up to make a big difference,” came from my passion for the environment. I have always wanted to help the environment be clean and healthy for everyone, it makes the world a better place.

Recently, my school has joined a growing movement of schools that have taken a big step toward reducing waste at school by introducing Boomerang or Waste Free Lunch policies.

So, why are Waste Free Lunches such a big deal? I found some facts to demonstrate the impact that your lunch might have on the environment:

FACT: Plastic takes about 450 years just to START to decompose. That means that every single piece of plastic that has ever been made has not even started to decompose.

FACT: The average student throws away 67 pounds of garbage every year from their lunch! (By the way, that weighs even more than I do!)

FACT: 100 MILLION pieces of lunchtime trash gets thrown away EVERY 24 HOURS!

 Those are some pretty big numbers. Numbers I can hardly wrap my head around. I recently did a schoolyard cleanup with some friends and we collected 8 bags of garbage from one yard! I have to tell you that most of the garbage that we collected was from lunch – plastic baggies, wrappers and packaging. But here’s the thing – we CAN do something about this.

Are you with me? Are you ready to commit to reducing your lunch waste?

Here are my tips for Waste Free Lunches. (By the way, these are for school OR office)

 

  1. Waste Free Lunches start at the grocery store. Say “no” to plastic and use reusable bags or none at all. In the produce section for example, you don’t need to put your apples in a plastic bag and pick out produce with less packaging.

WFL Grocery

 

  1. While you’re shopping, keep in mind the quantity and packaging of the food you’re buying. Buy large sizes to pack for lunch in your containers. This way you create less overall waste and it costs less money.

 

WFL Chips

 

  1. Know the difference between trash, recycle and compost. Make sure that your apple cores, banana peels and napkins go into the compost or green bin and not in the garbage. If you don’t have compost or green bins at school – boomerang them and bring them home.

 

  1. Make room in your kitchen to keep all of your Waste Free Lunch stuff. Reusable containers in different sizes and colours, a thermos for hot lunches, utensils.

 

WFL Drawer

 

  1. I recently found a new addition to my Waste Free Lunch – Funkins resusable napkins. I use them, bring them home and throw them in the laundry. I love these because I can use them as napkins and placemats. As a placemat they’re great because they keep my lunch away from any germs that might be on my desk at school and it also keeps my desk clean. They come in a lot of different patterns and colours and that’s cool too. (Check mine out in the photos below.)

WFL Example

WFL Lunchables

 

  1. Bake more, buy less. Not only is it fun to bake, but it also reduces waste and most of the time, what you bake is healthier than what you buy.
  1. Plan ahead and pack a bunch of things for lunch at the beginning of the week so that it’s easy. Keep your containers filled with snacks so that you just grab a few and toss them in your lunch bag in the morning.

WFL Packed

 

Do you have tips to share about your own Waste Free Lunch? Let me know, I’d love to know what you and your school is doing. Tell me in the comments below or share your photos and tips on social media with the hashtag #LetsBeLitterFree. I’ll be sharing more of mine on Twitter and Instagram @ThatHannahAlper on both.

I am taking part in the Funkins blog campaign. While I have received compensation as part of my affiliation with this program, my opinions and ideas are all mine.