Give what you can:
A few recent stories in the news about Haiti touched my heart. In late January, the American Red Cross received an envelope containing $14.64. This may seem like a small amount but this donation brought tears to the eyes of the American Red Cross staff (and mine too!) because the money was from a homeless shelter (see links for the article). Though it is not known who donated (the donation was collected from a pastor who visited the shelter, and the people at the shelter did not leave their names), this story made me teary eyed because the people at the homeless shelter have so little themselves but gave as much as they could since they wanted to help. This story reminded me to give what you can and do what you can; every little bit helps.
Do what you can and what you love doing to help raise funds:
Another news article that I read was about a child in Britain who wanted to raise money for Haiti, so he rode his bike around a park for donations. He had hoped to raise a few hundred dollars but ended up raising over $240,000!
This story totally inspired me because though he is young, he wanted to help, and he raised money doing something he could do and loved doing. I thought that was awesome! Choosing to do something doesn’t have to be anything complex, like if you love and are good at baking, then have a bake sale and give the proceeds to your favorite organization!
You can donate directly:
Many great charities and non-profits are accepting donations for Haiti and other social and environmental issues. For a list of some organizations that are donating to Haiti, and also a list of a few other environmental and social non-profits and organizations please see the links section below
Some grocery stores are accepting funds for Haiti and also accept donations for other causes too. In most cases you can donate any amount, or you can donate a set amount (like $1, $3, or $5), depends on the store. Ask the information counter at your favorite local food store if they donate, and if they don’t, then suggest that they do!
Start spring cleaning early and instead of tossing things in the trash, donate them to shelters or give them to charities. Or if you have time, hold a yard sale and then donate part or all of the money made!
Donate skin care, soap, and cosmetic supplies:
During spring cleaning, have you’ve found things like carrier oils, essential oils, or natural aromatherapy products that you have but never used? Or maybe you have some used or unused soaps? Check out the links below for organizations that accept aromatherapy supplies (including one that is donating to Haiti and will use the supplies there) or soaps (including ones that are used! They are rebatched and sterilized, and sent to poor countries).
Buy only what you need and less of what you want, and donate the rest:
I am an environmentalist but I admit I like shopping and trying new things (I am a book fiend and I love crafting and trying new plant ingredients!). But in the last few years I have been trying to only buy things that I know I’ll use (so things aren’t sitting in my home getting dusty), and no longer ‘impulse shop’ like I did when I was younger (helps that I am on a budget!). One great tip if you are on a budget and want to donate is instead of buying a ‘want’ (so buy only ‘needs’), donate part or all of what you were going to spend on the ‘want’ to an organization or problem you care about.
Support green or socially aware companies:
Though I suggested buying less ‘wants’ above; sometimes you have to indulge yourself a little! Why not pamper yourself, be green, and donate at the same time? Buy from companies that donate part or all of their proceeds of products to social and green issues. Many companies will either donate a percentage of all sales on a certain day, month, or will donate yearly, or they may donate all or part of the proceeds from a specific item. My skin care and mineral makeup company (Earth Alkemie) donates all of the proceeds of special products to different organizations, and other anb mall vendors also donate too (such as Nature’s Gift!). Right now I am trying to raise money for Haiti with the sale of my Hope body oil, so pamper your skin, be green, and support Haiti all at the same time!
Change for change!
One quick and easy way to raise some funds for eco and social issues is to start a ‘change jar’. Take an empty jar and each time you buy something, dump your loose change in it (coins, but can be dollars too). Loose change really adds up, and your change can help bring on a change in other people’s lives!
Volunteer your time:
If you have an hour or two to spare each week, volunteer at your favorite organization. Many local groups need your help: like the Humane Society. Or if you can invest more time, and have skills in building things, try Habitat For Humanity.
Or help your family, friends, and loved ones with something they need help with. Do the grocery shopping for a sick relative or friend. Tutor someone in one of your hobbies or something you excel in.
Spread the word:
If you are budget conscious and short on time, then help by just spreading the word and talking to people about things you care about. Blog about it, write an article for your local paper or favorite website (if they accept submissions from readers), or talk to your family, neighbors, and friends about the issues. Help by inspiring others to give what they can. Don’t underestimate the power of the written word, and the power of compassion.
Link to the news story of Baltimore’s homeless who donated money to the American Red Cross.
This is story of the British boy who raised more than $240,000 for Haiti by riding his bike.
Donate to Haiti and other places:
Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund:
American Red Cross:
Doctors Without Borders:
Habitat For Humanity. Help build homes for people all over the world, including Haiti. Donate or volunteer!
Earth Alkemie (my company!) is currently donating all proceeds from the sale of Hope body oil to Haiti (in the future, I will be regularly donating proceeds from the sales of products to other social and green issues too!)
Environmental and other social organizations:
Humane Society. Help save animals!
National Park Foundation is the official non-profit chartered by Congress to help preserve and protect the National Parks. NPF is a great organization, I interned there many years ago as a research assistant.
The Climate Project is a non-profit started by former Vice President Al Gore to help raise awareness and educate people about climate change.
Donate cosmetics, soaps, or aromatherapy supplies:
The United Aromatherapy Effort provides stress relief to relief workers and also troops. They accept donations of massage oil blends, carrier oils, natural cosmetic products, and essential oils. UAF was formed after 9-11, has supported relief workers during other crises like Hurricane Katrina, and is currently accepting supplies/donations for Haiti.
Two organizations that accept soaps (used or new) that they clean/sterilize and form into new bars for people in poor countries.
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. Her all natural, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup company, Earth Alkemie, just opened!
Link to Earth Alkemie:
For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog. http://solarkatecoblogspot.com
If you have any questions on Eco Living please feel free to contact Li at: