10 Ways to Support Charity Through Social Media

This post is a collaboration between Mashable’s Summer of Social Good charitable fundraiser and Max Gladwell‘s “10 Ways” series. The post is being simultaneously published across more than 100 blogs.

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Social media is about connecting people and providing the tools necessary to have a conversation. That global conversation is an extremely powerful platform for spreading information and awareness about social causes and issues. That’s one of the reasons charities can benefit so greatly from being active on social media channels. But you can also do a lot to help your favorite charity or causes you are passionate about through social media.
Below is a list of 10 ways you can use social media to show your support for issues that are important to you. If you can think of any other ways to help charities via social web tools, please add them in the comments. If you’d like to retweet this post or take the conversation to Twitter or FriendFeed, please use the hashtag #10Ways.

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10 Ridiculous Wastes of Packaging Materials and How to Stop It

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Over-packaging seems to be the norm in our excessive society but too much packaging causes problems for the consumer, as well as the planet.  It’s frustrating to tear through huge boxes filled with endless packaging foam to finally unwrap the tiny iPod you’ve been waiting on – getting rid of all that waste is an entirely new battle, not to mention all the unnecessary space required during shipping for too much packaging.  We’ve gathered some of the most ridiculous examples of over-packaging and included a few ways you can help diminish the excess.

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First Eco-President – Inauguration 2009 Anything but Green

The 2009 presidential inauguration is a historical event that promises an unprecedented turn out – not only is Barack Obama the first African-American to take charge of the White House, he also aspires to be the greenest president in American history…but just how green with this eco-Presidential inauguration be?

The National Mall 2 days before inauguration 2009.  Photo by AnyaLogic
The National Mall 2 days before Inauguration 2009. Photo by AnyaLogic

We’ll probably never know the exact number attending Obama’s inauguration.  The largest recorded turnout was Lyndon B. Johnson’s inauguration in 1963 with 1.2 million in attendance, but the Park Service stopped official head counts in 1995.  Most officials are estimating a similar turnout for January 20, 2009 – but there have been rumors of as many as 4 to 5 million showing up for the event.

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Obama’s #1 Priority – What Will a ‘New Energy Economy’ Bring?

We can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective.”

Taken from Newsweek’s special “How He Did It, 2008” behind-the-scenes election report, the above quote makes it clear that Barack Obama understands the scale of his ‘new energy economy‘ campaign promises – but will he deliver? Can the US become a leader in climate change control?

Can Obama save our planet from the crapper?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWW8u5p-DVE[/youtube]

The New Energy For America Plan

Photo by d70focus
Photo by d70focus

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Should You Have Some Beef with Your Beef?

 

Where’s the beef?

It’s not down on the farm these days, alas. The healthy, natural beef of years gone by is almost extinct. It has been driven out by cheap beef, raised on gigantic feedlots, fattened on corn. The problem is: corn isn’t healthy for cows, and raising beef this way ultimately isn’t healthy for us either. Here are some things to watch out for and ways to be more healthy when it comes to your beef-related choices.

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The Tyranny of King Corn (part 1)

We’ve all heard by now that corn-based ethanol has turned out to be a bad idea.

  • Corn is energy intensive to grow, gobbling up fossil-fuels at every stage of production, from transporting seeds to fertilizing the fields (with petrochemical fertilizers) to final harvest.
  • Corn is also a spectacularly water-intensive crop.
  • The ethanol production stage consumes more fossil fuels and water.
  • Once it finally reaches your gas tank, ethanol burns around 30% less efficiently than gasoline (meaning your per-mile cost is actually 30% more than you think it is).
  • Estimates of how much actual energy we get out of the process range from barely breaking even to around 20 percent more than the input energy.
  • And of course, every step of the process spews CO2 into the atmosphere.

It’s been almost a year since The New York Times editorialized on the subject:

The economics of corn ethanol have never made much sense. Rather than importing cheap Brazilian ethanol made from sugar cane, the United States slaps a tariff of 54 cents a gallon on ethanol from Brazil. Then the government provides a tax break of 51 cents a gallon to American ethanol producers — on top of the generous subsidies that corn growers already receive under the farm program.

And unlike our inefficient corn-based ethanol, that Brazilian product actually yields 370% of the energy put into it.

So, why are we doing this? What possible calculus could convince us to even consider corn ethanol?

Corn is big business – and big agribusiness hires the best lobbyists.

Here, the return on investment is spectacular: plant a few tens of millions of dollars in seed money in the form of campaign contributions to senators and members of Congress, and reap billions of dollars in federal farm subsidies.

And for agribusiness, corn is king.

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