Friday, May 4, 2012

Palm Oil - All the truth about it

Unfortunately, palm oil is still hidden in a lot of conventional products of the daily life, mainly in food, body care products and cosmetics. What maybe is less known: Sometimes it is even used as a bio fuel! And many well-known companies are involved in this unethical and environmentally disastrous business, as it is mentioned in this Greenpeace article!

But why do I say "unfortunately"? I will explain this in few words and sum up some interesting sources for more information.

  1. Rainforests disappear through the cultivation of palm oil: Countries in which palm oil plantations take a relevant part of the economical market - mainly it is planted in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua Neuguinea and in Columbia - often do this in the middle of their rainforests after deforesting the areals. There are few biotopes in the world where the biodiversity of the fauna and flora is so enormous. Through the tropical deforestation, many animals and also plants lose their biotope. A lot of them already are really seldom; for example the Sumatra tiger and elephants become much endangered species because of this! Not to forget the orangutans of Borneo
  2. People who live or lived in the rainforests lose their livelihood: The ground now utilized for palm oil (this is of course also true for the plantation outside the rainforests once used by the inhabitants to earn their livelihoods) cannot anymore be used by the locals so they are even more pushed into their poverty or must suffer from hunger. Also, the deforestation of rainforest territories for the sake of the palm oil plantations highly influences the water resources of the region. 
  3. The destruction of the rainforests has big impacts on the environment and especially the climate! Beside the role of all forests to take the CO2 from the atmosphere, the rainforest additionally plays an important role in the regulation of the global climate. So in the long term, the disappearance of each hectar rainforest redounds to the increase of the climate warming!
Here is a fact sheet of the palm oil problem

Surely you will agree with me this is a shocking truth. But: As consuments, we can all do something about it: By renouncing products which contain palm oil (and probably not buying products from companies known as selling products with palm oil, especially if they purchase it from certain countries)!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Achieve goals more successfully is possible!

Surely you know the situation: In a Champagner-sparkling mood you made plenty of "well-intentioned" New Year's resolutions that finally never will be realised. Why is it so? And how can this be changed and the goal setting process be optimized?

  • One reason can be that this resolutions weren't concrete enough, or you don't have thought enough about how the realisation could take seriously place. In that case, the solution lays in defining the purpose more concretely and making some concrete plans for it.
  • In the previous planning, when you have listed all you want to achieve within a certain period, it is also decisive to prioritize. What is primarily important to you or has to be done first (for example if one goal is dependant from the development in another area), what second etc.
  • Or you have a big plan regarding the goals you set, but haven't considered that realisation would cost so much time and / or energy. Than it is better to divide this goal into smaller steps and intermediate objectives.
  • But also extern conditions can hinder you from following your goals, such as situations or people. This is a question of self organization: If you plan concrete times to work on your (great or intermediate) objectives, where you can concentrate on these without being disturbed or interrupted, you will be surprised how much more you will achieve and approach your goals.
  • Last: Be consequent! The time you have arranged to spend it with working towards your objectives in life should be reserved for this. Inform your regular surrounding that you need this time for your important project (regardless if it is to make more sport or the preparation for a professional changement, etc.), cut off the phone and logout from your preferred social media websites during this time so you can concentrate on your individual project.
  • After terminating an intermediate goal, reward yourself for what you already achieved!
I wish you all the best and good success with realising your personal dreams (not only for 2012)!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

London riots 2011 - my two cents

You surely still remember the London riots in the beginning of this month. Shocking pictures were showed on the TV screen and in the internet.

Questions of how it could occur, and how people can carry so much hate in their hearts that is expressed in such a violent and destructive way, might have come into your mind. Myself, I think about this when I see such things.

I think, there must be a very big portion of frustration and desperation to react like this. They might feel that they don't have or aren't given a perspective in their lives, neither professional nor personal. They might feel not accepted or even isolated in society so they see this as the only way to receive some attention from it.

But instead of doing something about the roots of such despaired reactions, it seems, the only thing the government do is to increase the police assignment for the time of the riots and start a relief fund for the store owners who have experienced a damage! (And what about the damage for the private owners of houses etc.?)

In my opinion, this will not change something about the roots of such civil disturbances and social desperation. What would prevent it, is to give the actors a perspective, organise an education so they could find a job, and start social projects to improve their integration in the society. Such things...

As long as this basis of social and financial security of each person is not given, and as long as there are persons who don't experience any tolerance and acceptance within the society, it is only a matter of time until a new riot in a European or whatever city will take place. Like it had already arrived in Paris 2005.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Make money on Twitter with Sponsored Tweets

SponsoredTweets referral badge

I have tried different possibilities to earn some money in the internet and on homepages over time. One is Google Adsense which is also integrated in this blog, another (more profitable, but also more time consuming) are review campaigns from sides like the former Trigami on which I occasionally participated in my German blog. There are other possibilities to make money online with different sorts of advertisement too, such as special affiliate programmes and so on.

But these are not the only occasions. Who - for instance - do not has a homepage or blog (of course also who has and wants to make a little more) also can earn fast some money with Twitter. If you have a Twitter account, you are able to make cash with Sponsored Tweets. You only need to sign up first.

Myself, I already had an account at this website, because I once used the Magpie Advertising Network. As Magpie has consolidated with Sponsored Tweets, all had been transferred to this side and I now can participate on the tweet campaigns offered to me by the advertisers there. What I find comfortable is that I can login via my Twitter account so that I only need my Twitter password and no supplementary.

The first step was to fill in the indications in "my account". There I also can state up to 10 tags which match the items I twitter and from which I want to be offered campaigns to tweet.

Then I can look for new campaigns at "opportunities". If there are some, they are announced in the list "open". After reading the information, I decide and choose the opp I want to take, write the tweet with the stated link and click on the right button. The tweet will firstly be announced as "pending" until it has been verified by the advertiser. Sometimes the post appears on the profile soon after it has been consigned, sometimes at a later time. When it is posted (this goes automatically), I can see at the "complete" list how many clicks it has received. You will see: It's very easy to make!

Payment is regularly done per click and can be ordered via the "withdraw" button up to a total balance of 50.00$. The per click income is paid out 30 days after the posting and is visible as "pending" during this time. The ordered amount will be transmitted to the Paypal account stated. If you (like me) do not are from the United States, Paypal will then transfer the Dollar amount to your own currency.

If there are any questions or problems occuring, I always can click the "feedback" link on the left to ask for help or give my feedback. It can be posted online or sent as private feedback via email. In the latter case, the answer will also arrive by email. In my opinion, the service and support is very great! My questions regularly had been answered within 10 minutes in a friendly manner, but it never took more than half an hour.

Although I of course cannot become rich of that, I think it is a good possibility to gain some pocket money "by the way" and without to make too much for it. And additionally, I - and my followers too - occasionally learn to know interesting websites, shops or special offers.

Here are some examples from campaigns I completed:

YouGoSocial - a new social network
Book my best - a worldwide hotel price comparison website
TweetBig: A marketing service to get more follower on Twitter
A site to create and manage a blogging network and community
Digital Science Fiction - a short story collection available as ebook
An offer for coloured contact lenses, unter other for Halloween

You want to try this too? So don't hesitate to sign up! There is absolutely no risk.

Tips to optimize your success in making money online with that:

  • Enable "clickwatch" in your account indications (it normally is activated).
  • Try to receive retweets of the sponsored tweets from your followers.
  • Choose campaigns which fit really good to the items you normally twitter.
  • Write the tweet in your own, pregnant words. Make your readers curious with the text so that they will look further by clicking the link.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Send Seeds for Food

... to help people in Algerian refugee camps and in South India seeding fruits and vegetables for their own food needs.

This UN-project "Seeds for Food" has been created in 2005 by the Belgian Prof. Dr. Willem van Cotthem. Initially, there was a project where refugees (mainly nomads and fishermen) in Algerian refugee camps in the Sahara desert had been taught in making small gardens with the means given to plant fruits and vegetables to feed their families. There had been found techniques to save enough of the rare water for the seeding.

Today, in addition to the named project for the refugees in Algeria who mainly live since more than 30 years in this camps, the project "Seeds for Food" also supports people from the social organization SCAD in the South Indian region Tamil Nadu with seeds.

But the only problem is: Seeds are in general too expensive for this people. So the fundraising campaign "Seeds for Food" has been initiated. They don't ask for money - they ask for seeds so this people could plant them to grow their fresh natural food.

Now in the spring and summer season (from March until August) especially seeds for tropical fruits - like bell peppers, avocados, papayas, melons, pumpkins and eggplants - are required.
In autumn and winter (from September to February) indeed there is the time for vegetables, for example salad, carrots, onions, beetroots and parsleys.

To prepare the seeds you have for shipping, separate them - like you regularly always do it when preparing them for eating - first from the fruit or vegetables, lay them on a dish to let them dry, and then push them in an envelope on which you have indicated the name of the fruit or vegetable seeds. Finally send them to the address on the homepage of the project (see the link above). You can also collect the seeds with others and then send them all together to eventually save shipping costs.

This shows that everyone can act with his or her own means to help to fight the hunger in the world. Do you know other projects like this? So you can state them in a comment if you like it to become more common.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How I may save the world

In my last post, I stated why it is so important to save the environment of this planet, and to use the resources of it in a responsible way. Also I mentioned some possibilities to take action for this matter.

Today, I want to say what I personally do for it in my daily life, how I integrate this in my consuming habits, and what actions I consider to be good for the environment. This will not be a complete list, but I hope it will inspire and inform you.

1. Since a certain time (more than a year) I particularly look for Bio products especially in the sections of cosmetic products (shower and hair care, skin cream etc.) and of nutrition. In Germany there are a couple of brands and logos which garantee such a quality.

Bio products only contain natural ingredients from ecological cultivation. This means under other that the crops are totally free of chemical fertilizers. And of course they all are free of any non-natural additives, preserving agents or flavours. So the risk of allergical reactions also is minimized with such products!

On the other hand, the pollution through genetically modified plants is minimized (I think it is actually utopistic to assume 0% genetic engineering, because it isn't possible to avoid that the genetically modified grains reach a Bio field through wind and weather - at least unless genetically modified plants are not prohibited completely).

Often, their ingredients have shorter transportation ways (another important environmental aspect!). Unfortunately, I remarked sometimes that the last is not automatically standard in such products. In reality, it can occur that Bio products contain ingredients from far away which could also be provided from regional sources.

Another aspect is that this products generally are made without being tested in cruel animal experiments.

2. Additionally, I buy from time to time certain products which are traded fairly. I regularly do so for example with coffees and teas, but also with sugar and sometimes chocolate (as I love savouring it and wouldn't like to surrender it). By now there are different brands for fair trade articles.

3. I often use the public transport means to travel from A to B, and I usually build car pools (I don't own a car myself and I don't need it). For travels within my country, I only use means of terrestrial transport and don't fly. Because the short distance flights are the most pollutioning ones regarding the kerosine blowed into the air.

4. I cut my electric devices off when I don't use them. Notice that without doing so, the Stand By modus also consumes electric energy! In the same way, I only lighten rooms I actually am in and need the light (why lightening a room or spot in full daytime, when I am able to read or work with the daylight?).

5. Before opening a window in winter, I turn off the radiator. Also, it is better to open the window for a short time completely than to tilt it for a longer period.

6. Last but not least, to save the environment and to spend the energy more economically, it is recommended to think about a good insulation of your house so that no warmth and energy get wasted.

You see that it is not so complicated to act eco-friendly. In fact, often the "little" actions make the difference and great results. So let's begin with it now!

Have you other ideas for a responsible and more environmental consuming and living customs?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

World Earth Day

If you have the Google site as welcome page in your internet browser, you should have noticed that today the 22th of April is the international Earth Day.

This day was created in 1970 in the United States and since then takes place all years at the same date to remind people the importance of environmental matters which in all cases are global. For that, there are a lot of actions and events made then, informations are provided, and also discussions about different environmental topics and helpful ideas to turn the development of the environment and the climate of the earth have been started then (well, I hope not only then - I hope the ideas will be carried in the daily life and the future too).

As we all live on this planet (and I hope we would be able for a long time further) it is something that concerns us all - not only this or that region. For this reason it is essential that every country at this giant blue ball - and every single person - takes his or her responsiblity to save the environment and climate. There are many possibilities to do so, and every little step is a step toward this goal.

On this occasion, I especially want to refer the American readers to the actual Climate Petition to your Congress. Please sign it numerously so that them can see that this is especially important for you!

Instead of listing now a couple of ideas for a better world, I'll first ask you - the reader: What would you do, or have already done, for the environment and the climate of this planet? Which are your suggestions to live in a manner that minimizes (or even prevent it completely, if possible) the damage of the environment, to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and to avoid toxic materials etc. What do you think about BIO articles (nutrition, cosmetics etc.) in the supermarket? And also: Do you share the opinion that atomic energy in long term should be replaced by "green" energies (like solar, wind and water energy)?

I am very interested in your answers. I guess I will take this topic on with the one or other aspect from time to time.