My first exposure to the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation wasn’t random but was a pleasant, heartwarming and serendipitous surprise. My involvement in social and environmental justice education basically planted me in this tranquil San Diego downtown cafe and bookstore called EcoVerse: Jing Si Books & Cafe. Upon entering, I felt a calming effect. Perhaps, it was the warm smiles? The beautiful artwork? The zen decor? The smell of freshly brewed tea? The soft music? Whatever the reason, I felt at home.
My original intention was to use their knowledgable staff and inspirational learning space for an upcoming “Zero-Waste Living-Party” to promote the sustainable lifestyle in our community. Then, in the future, I had hoped to plan other educational events there. I had no idea what else this experience had in store for me.
Pure. Authentic. Inspiration.
What inspired me
"Tzu Chi’s core values in disaster relief included a deep respect for the environment and an emphasis on personal connections."
Inspired by children.
Designed for children.
Developed by children.
Benefits the world.
This global non-profit organization (501c3) embodies KIDS leadership, opinions and direction. The KIDS, toddlers to teens, lead the way toward peace. This is what makes KIDS FOR PEACE different than any other NGO. The motto – “KINDNESS MATTERS” is indisputable and is strengthened by participation in the Annual Great Kindness Challenge. The byline – “Uplifting our world through LOVE and ACTION” is encouraging and hopeful. The guiding principles – “The Peace Pledge” was created in 2006 by the kid members of the first chapter after they were asked these fundamental questions:
“What does peace mean to you?”
“What do you want our world to look like?”
“What can you do to create the world you wish to see?”
“What do you want to pledge yourself to?”
Read More »
LEVI’S <Made of Progress>
Imagine the possibilities for business. Rather than take, companies give. Rather than follow, companies lead. Innovative businesses lead the way to a sustainable future just by changing their thinking about manufacturing and production processes. Levi’s did and look at them continuing to build their legacy with jeans made of garbage and clothing made with virtually no water. This is an example of a company staying competitive and cornering their market using corporate social responsibility values. Let’s support them, as conscious consumers, in their admirable and risk-taking <Made of Progress> venture.
Levi’s Brand + will.i.am = EKOCYCLE
"Waste is only waste if we waste it."
"Waste is only waste if we waste it."
Waste < Less. These jeans are made of garbage.
Read More »
Jamie Reinhardt currently works at the Governance and Accountability Institute in NYC, New York. She is working as a Global Reporting Initiative report analyst and exploring different trends in GRI reports from S&P 500 companies. As an MBA-candidate at Baruch College, Jamie is the president of the Sustainable Business Club, which is Baruch’s Net Impact chapter. Previously, she worked for the Center for Creative Leadership on the Latin American Intern Initiative and for an international shipping company in operations and logistics. She hopes to combine her past and present experiences to make a real difference in the future with regards to sustainability in the corporate environment.
New York’s Stone Barns Farm and Restaurant … Worth a visit!
As part of my work this summer on a sustainable development project, I visited a farm called Stone Barns outside of NYC. Stone Barns is an education center for food and agriculture, as well as
a working farm. A colleague and I took a train that runs along the Hudson River up to the farm’s location in Pocantico, NY. It’s hard to believe that only 25 miles outside of Manhattan you can find such a pristine natural setting.
Driving up to the entrance of Stone Barns is beautiful. The green rolling pastures are laid out in front of you and the main structure is a barn made out of stone, hence the name. The main building is gorgeous. It looks like original old stone, but the structure is well kept and has been updated so that it is very modern inside. There is a large open courtyard in the middle which was full of school children at the time we were there, since a huge part of their mission is to teach young kids where their food actually comes from. My colleague told me a story about how one of her friend’s children refused to eat carrots from a farmers market since they were dirty and “from the ground”. The child wanted to go get the “clean” carrots from the store. I’m pretty sure I had similar feelings when I was a child which only shows how important Stone Barns’ mission to educate children, really is.
"There is a disconnect that exists between the food we eat and its origins that needs to change in order for us all to live sustainable and healthy lifestyles."
Things I Carry: Connection is the first but not necessarily the most important
Connection to people, organization and knowledge
My iPhone and iPad Mini offer me a way to connect on many levels. First, I can communicate traditionally with a phone call, quickly with a text or virtually with social media forums. Then, I can keep track of appointments and to do’s. Next, I can document with photos. Last, I can read, research and revel.
Nourishment for my mind and body
I carry a refillable water bottle, tea, sweetener and some snacks. My favorite tea is Egyptian Licorice Mint by Yogi (introduced to me by a dear friend) with a drop of SweetLeaf Stevia. The snack is either a Clif Bar or something a bit sweeter like Australian black licorice or Endangered Species organic chocolate.
Relaxation for peace of mind
Music is a must. Either Pandora or predesigned iTunes song lists. Also, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones that can drown out all the hustle and bustle. Sometimes, it’s valuable to recharge and music seems to set the mood.Read More »