August 27, 2013

Reusable Bags Are Saving Lives And Building Community Spirit...

Toting a reusable bag to the grocery store or pharmacy has become more commonplace in the past few years.  In some communities, plastic bags have even been banned from some markets to strong-arm patrons into the habit of bringing their own bags to the market.

I have written before about Whole Foods and their global initiatives that provide financial assistance to third world countries.  Well, they also dole out a helping hand close to home, too.  Every couple of months they offer two or three local charities for their Whole Foods shoppers to select from.  Here's how it works.  You have the option of taking a ten cent per bag credit toward your grocery bill or you can select from that month's preselected groups, and give your credit directly to a worthwhile organization.

After months of handing my credits off to cancer funds, animal rescues, and our local food pantry, it occurred to me that Target and other grocery stores were offering a similar credit, but not the option to donate to a local cause.  Can you imagine how much money could be easily filtered into our own communities if Trader Joe's, Target, and other local grocery stores put forth a program similar to Whole Foods?

I am going to make the effort to drop my idea into the suggestion boxes of my favorite stores that already give reusable bag credits, and hopefully they will jump on the philanthropic bandwagon.  While five and ten cents may not seem like much, it is the collective efforts of a community that make a significant difference to the recipients of our local non-profit organizations.

Pass this along to friends, family, and your Facebook and Twitter followers.  Let's see how many of our favorite businesses we can influence to implement a similar program!

August 21, 2013

Nicely Said, Christopher Ashton Kutcher...

Born Christopher Ashton Kutcher in the middle of America, we now know this heavy hitting fancy pants actor simply as Ashton Kutcher.  We loved him in Punk'd, we loved it when he hooked up with the foxy Demi Moore, and we have happily followed his television and movie career for nearly two decades.

Last week, Kutcher received a Teen Choice Award.  He began his acceptance speech by joking about being the old dude in the room.  He then did something that this writer thought was pretty frickin' cool.  He imparted some wisdom upon his youthful audience that we rarely see from our Hollywood celebs.  He conveyed the importance of hard work, the idea that smart is sexy, and empowered his onlookers to create their destiny rather than exist in the proverbial box that has been set forth for them by others.

The speech was, by far, among the most brilliant I have heard in a very long time. I would encourage you to pass it along to any teen or young adult in your life.  I am aware that the wisdom of life experience is oftentimes not received by our youth in the well-intentioned manner that parents intend. Occasionally causing friction, inaudible comments, and rampant eye rolling.  Somehow, Kutcher managed with his cool guy swagger to soften the message, and hit a home run as someone to emulate in a world where a healthy work ethic and smarts are not always seen as sexy.

Well done, Chris...