Archive for : D.I.Y.

Drink Up with First Lady Michelle Obama

January is Healthy Living Month here at Repair the World. Stop by all month long for interviews with our favorite health-focused organizations, inspiring stories, and tips to change your life while changing the world.

Maybe you have heard of Michelle Obama’s (a.k.a. FLOTUS) Let’s Move! campaign, that is helping to raise a generation of healthier, more physically active kids? Maybe you’ve seen Beyonce’s official Let’s Move! dance video?

But do you know about Drink Up? If not, fill up your water bottles and get reading drinking. Drink Up is Mrs. Obama’s newest healthy living initiative that promotes more water consumption (not soda or fruit juices – clean pure water) as a way of getting energized and refreshed.

Are you a big fan of hydration? Slightly obsessed with your Klean Kanteen? Or just interested in adding more H2O to your diet? Join the Drink Up movement! Instagram a photo of yourself drinking a tall cold glass of the good stuff and tag #DrinkH20, and you’ll be added to the photo gallery of water drinkers across the country. Meanwhile, check out this great video that explains why you – and everyone – should drink up:

How To: Start a Healthy Living Club at Work or School

January is Healthy Living Month here at Repair the World. Stop by all month long for interviews with our favorite health-focused organizations, inspiring stories, and tips to change your life while changing the world.

With January quickly ticking by, maybe your resolutions to get or stay healthy in 2014 have fallen by the wayside. Fortunately, you have all the tools you need: your coworkers or classmates! Find a few likeminded people at work or school and start a DIY Healthy Living Club.

Together, you’ll motivate yourselves and one another to keep up with your healthy living resolutions and begin good habits now – before Passover’s matzo ball and brisket-fest kicks into high gear. Here’s how:

Start a Weekly Yoga Club. Have a coworker or classmate who is a budding yogi? Enlist them in leading your group in a weekly, 30 minute yoga class at the beginning of the day, at lunchtime, or before everyone goes home. If you have the group but need a teacher, seek out a yoga student who is training for his or her teaching certification. They need to rack up instruction hours and will likely be willing to lead you for cheap or even free.

Schedule Walking Meet Ups. Spending all day at your desk or in classes is ironically exhausting, and not great for your overall health. Pick a time to meet up with your coworkers or classmates for a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood or quad. The sunshine and fresh air will make everyone more productive.

Host a Healthy Lunch Potluck. Once a week, schedule a healthy lunch potluck where everyone brings something wholesome and nutritious to share for lunch. Set ground rules in advance with the group – like no refined white flour or sugar, or all vegetarian, or whatever makes sense for your group.

Hold Water Cooler Contests. Help encourage water drinking at the office by holding a contest. Hang a chart near the water cooler with everyone’s name on it and give everyone a reusable water bottle. Have them put a check by their name every time they fill up their water bottle. The person with the most checks at the end of the week wins a prize – and the hydration admiration of their peers.

Plan a Weekend Excursion. If you really like your coworkers or classmates, schedule a hike or basketball game for the weekend. Aside from being fun, it will be the talk of Monday morning.

What are your healthy living tips for the office or at school? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @repairtheworld.

Season of Giving: Five Ways to “Give Differently” This Year

Each winter, everyone seems to get into the giving spirit – which is great! There are a ton of ways to make the world a better place – like making an end-of-year donation to an organization you care about, volunteering at a soup kitchen.

But maybe you’re in the mood to change things up and do something different? If so, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 unconventional ways to give in this season of giving.

 Donate Your Old Phone. MTV Act and DoSomething.org are running an awesome campaign to let you donate your own cell phone and help survivors of domestic abuse.

Get Swabbed. Help save a life – all by getting your cheek swabbed and getting signed up for a bone marrow donation registry. Find out how at Gift of Life or Swab a Cheek.

Donate Your Hair. Got lovely long tresses? There are lots of organizations that let you donate your locks to make wigs for cancer patients, and other people experiencing medical hair loss. Check out these organizations to get started.

Write Someone’s BubbeCheck out Reach Out America’s pen pal program to connect with an elderly person as a pen pal. Make a new friend and make their day – and yours!

Donate Your Artistic (or Volunteering) Talent. Life Beat’s Hearts & Voices program organizes artists to perform for people living with AIDS in healthcare facilities throughout New York City. Got talent to share? Volunteer to play, sing, dance, or perform. Or, volunteer to help set up and run the events – no musical skills required.

Got another untraditional way to give? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @repairtheworld!

DIY Summer – Eco-Friendly Projects for Everyone

Summer is almost here, and what better way to celebrate the year’s most outdoorsy season than with digging into a do-it-yourself eco-friendly project or activity? Whether you’re gaga for gardening, tempted by travel, bonkers for books, or just feeling adventurous, here are seven ways to get your hands dirty while making a sustainable impact:

  • Build a garden. Got a backyard, a patio, a sunny window, or a kitchen counter with a little extra space? Flex your green thumb by building a garden and enjoy fresh, organically-grown herbs or vegetables all summer.
  • Learn to can (finally). You know you’ve thought about it before – learning to preserve summer’s seasonal produce that is. Whether it’s making your own sauerkraut, canning tomatoes, or simmering down freshly picked fruit for jam (best smell ever!), now’s the time! Learn how to can fresh food safely, and get to preserving.
  • Read green. When the summer gets too hot too handle, cool down by picking out and leafing through a stack of books at an eco-friendly library.
  • Road trip sustainably. Got summer road trip plans, but want to stay as green as possible along the way? Check out Ethical Ocean’s tips to avoid leaving a large carbon footprint along the way. Bonus points: offset the carbon footprint for the miles you drive, and contact non-profit organizations in a couple of cities you plan to visit, and offer to come in for a day (or week) to volunteer en route.
  • Knit a green hat for winter. Love to knit, or learning how? Make sure the yarn you use is made from organic or recycled fibers and natural dyes.
  • Clean grean. This summer, wipe your cabinets clean of all those bottles of unsustainable cleansers, soaps, and bleaches. Restock with homemade, environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
  • Ditch plastic in your kitchen. Stock up on reusable produce and grain bags to bring with you to the market or grocery store. Can’t seem to remember to bring them? Stuff them inside larger tote bags and and hang them on your door knob, so they’re the last thing you see on the way out the door.

How are you DIY greening your summer plans? Let us know by tweeting @repairtheworld.

Spotlight On: Agahozo Shalom’s Nature Park in Rwanda

This essay was originally published on the blog Rwanda on the Wing by Agahozo Shalom Youth Volunteer, Jared Cole. The Agahozo Shalom Youth Village is a Repair the World grantee-partner organization doing amazing work in Rwanda.

Murakaza neza ku Parike Y’Umutungo Kamere W’Agahozo! What in the world does that mean? It means that you are about to enter a brand new nature park. This will be the first of several posts about a special project: a student club has adopted a piece of land and turned it into the Parike Y’Umutungo Kamere W’Agahozo.

The name translates to Agahozo-Shalom Nature Park. At the very top of the hill we call home, which is part of ASYV’s property, the Environment Club envisioned a place where people could protect and enjoy trees. The park features a 600 meter trail that surrounds the 1.72 hectare (4.26 acres) natural area. The mix of trees, tall grasses, and wildflowers provide a glimpse of what wild Rwanda looks like.
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DIY Video: Raising Funds to Repair the World

Whether you’re starting a new non-profit, or organizing a service project for school, sometimes it feels like the only thing standing in the way of doing world changing work is finding the funds to make it happen. But fundraising doesn’t have to be a barrier – with a bit of know how and a shift in perspective, you can move your fundraising goals to the next level.

Check out this video from Do Something U where Shining Hope for Communities founder, Jessica Posner, shares advice on how to overcome the fear of asking people for donations and get the support you need.

Repair Interview: A Superhero Unmasked

Superheroes Anonymous began in 2007 when Ben Goldman saw a flyer in a comic book shop, which advertised a meeting for real-life superheroes. He and Chaim Lazaros, who were then Columbia University film students, had been searching for a project and decided to do a documentary about average people who put on costumes and perform service around their respective communities — whether it is keeping the streets clean, patrolling to ensure safety or reaching out to homeless people. They found many of these real life “superheroes” on the Internet through their Myspace profiles.

The pair convened the “superheroes” in New York’s Time Square in 2007, which also marked the founding of Goldman and Lazaros’ group, Superheroes Anonymous. And it was at this meeting that Lazaros, now 26 years old, first appeared as his superhero alter ego, “Life” though in his unmasked day-to-day activities, works at a nonprofit and lives in Harlem.
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