For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week.

Friday Finds 11.6.15

1. Emma Watson interviews Malala Yousafzai. It’s as incredible as it sounds. 

2. Important life lessons to live by.  

3. A reminder that the world isn’t a bad place. 

4. Costume of the year?


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 10.16.15

1. A heartwarming story about a rooster. 

2. Are these the water bottles of the future?

3. Shoes that grow. It’s such a simple concept, yet has such a huge impact.

4. The direct effect laughter has on our health. (Watch this if you need a good laugh)


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Monday Motivation

Because Mondays are hard and sometimes we need a little inspiration…Create-A-Life-That-Feels-Good-On-The-Inside

With the popularity of social media, it is easy to get caught up in how you present yourself on the outside. It’s easy to make life look perfect when you slap a filter on it. And it is easy to compare yourself with others and forget that everything projected on social media is only a projection of what people want you to see. So rather than worrying about how you’re life looks on the outside, spend that time productively focusing on what truly makes you happy.


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Inspiring Instagrams: Accounts That Are Making An Impact All Over The World

While there are many superficial aspects surrounding Instagram and social media, both are powerful ways to reach an enormous audience and spread awareness. I’ve gathered a cornucopia of accounts that are currently inspiring me. What I love about all of these accounts is that they don’t just present you with problems, but rather solutions and an outlet to get involved. They spread awareness in a positive and unique way. Check em’ out, stir up some awareness, donate if/when possible, and get ready to get inspired.

National Geographic (@natgeo): “Life is an adventure—enjoy the ride and the world through the eyes of the National Geographic photographers.”

I learn something new about world cultures, animals, and the environment every day from the National Geographic Instagram feed. It brings attention to environmental causes, human rights issues, and endangered species while posting breathtaking images from remote locations around the world. But this feed not only spreads awareness to global issues, but also shows you what people and charities are doing to solve these problems.

Charity Water (@charitywater): “We’re bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in need around the world.”

Of all the charity Instagram’s I’ve checked out, Charity water is my favorite. Charity Water brings clean, safe drinking water to people around the world. Their Instagram does a great job of showing their incredible impact while also teaching you about the importance of clean water access. Their feed shows how your donations directly impact people’s lives.

National Wildlife Foundation (@nationalwildlife): “Home of #wildlifeselfies — a series of silly and close-up wildlife photos. Working to inspire people to protect wildlife and enjoy the outdoors.”

If you don’t think this account is adorable, then I question whether or not you have a soul.  Cute animals, funny captions, what more does an Instagram account need? The feed is also peppered with tips on how you can do your part to support their mission to protect wildlife and enjoy the great outdoors.

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Before this fundraiser, Fatima had exhausted her financial resources in the struggle against bonded labor to the point where she feared that she'd be unable to pay her own medical bills. Thanks to everyone who donated over the past 72 hours, she now has nearly $2 million to continue her organization's fight against bonded labor. (To fully visualize this impact, it should be realized that the purchasing power of a dollar in Pakistan is about 5x greater than in the United States.) This is an absolutely transformational amount of money. Fatima is meeting with the board of the BLLF to plan a major expansion of their efforts, and she wanted me to pass along this statement: "From BLLF and from all of the bonded labourers, thank you. Thank you to everyone who has opened their hearts and donated to our cause. I struggle to find the words, I don't think I have the words to tell you how grateful we are. You have donated for freedom, for rehabilitation and we are indebted. Thank you so much. The prayers of every labourer are with you and they will always hold you in their hearts. Our responsibility now is to honour what you have trusted us with, and we will. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we want to build a real freedom center in Lahore, here we can work on not just releasing families but rehabilitation. We want workers to be treated with the rights they deserve as citizens. Pakistan faces a lot of challenges, and we want industry to thrive in Pakistan, but the labourers must be free. You cannot make people work by beating and chaining them. I believe that the day the owners understand me, that the day the worker is happy, the profits will be greater. Labour rights need to be regulated, owners have the right to make profit but not through abuse, and deprivation. That is not an industry, that is slavery. This is a big step for labourers that this has received so much attention, and that their voices have reached a global stage and we are being heard. With this we hope to end bonded labour in Pakistan."

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

Humans of New York (@humansofny): “New York City, one story at a time.”

On this account, photographer Brandon Stanton captures photos of people on the streets of New York and asks them questions about themselves to generate a caption for the photo. Whether the stories are happy, sad, funny, or inspirational, it generates a sense of community and support that reminds you of the good in the world.

Although most pictures are taken in New York, Stanton’s recent trip to Pakistan has helped raised over $2 million for an activist who is trying to end slavery in the brick making industry. This is an issue prior to HONY, I knew nothing about. Check out this article to learn more about how HONY changes lives.

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Keep it positive! 💕

A post shared by KELLI PEASE ★ HAPPINESS TIPS (@happsters) on

Happsters (@happsters): “to create, dream & spread happiness. Science of Happiness graduate.”

Need a pick me up? Check out the Happsters. This account is committed to spreading happiness, which is surely a worthwhile cause.  This account posts inspirational quotes daily. I like to screenshot my favorites and save them for a rainy day. If you like my Monday Motivation posts, then this account will be right up your alley.

What inspiring accounts do you follow on Instagram? I love hearing about what inspires others so feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section below.


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Monday Motivation

Because Mondays are hard and sometimes we need a little inspiration…

Monday Motivation 8.3.15

Big life goals can be overwhelming. There is no question about it. But rather than trying to tackle everything in one day, avoid getting discouraged by breaking your goals into manageable tasks. Some days may be more productive than others, but if you do something,big or small, for yourself, then the day is a success.


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Ireland Goes Green

You may have noticed I was completely MIA for the first week or so in July (and if you didn’t notice maybe you should pay a wee bit more attention to my blog *wink wink*). Well, guess what? I was in Ireland (and subsequently  recovering from jet lag)! My friend and I drove around Ireland for a week and stopped at Dublin, Galway and Cork. We saw gorgeous green landscapes, explored castles, and ate one too many potatoes.

50 shades of green

50 shades of green

Green as far as the eye can see...

Green as far as the eye can see

Last year when I went to Iceland, I wrote a post about Icelanders’ socially conscious efforts. When I went to Ireland I was equally inspired by their environmental effort. Here are some of Ireland’s green initiative:

Biking

Public bike rentals were introduced to Dublin in 2009 and since there has been a big push to encourage riding bikes. Last year there was a 14% jump in the number of cyclist in Dublin. In the coming years Dublin hopes to continue to increase bikes use and further reduce their carbon footprint. And while Dublin is no Amsterdam or Copenhagen, one day it could be.

Now to a U.S citizen, bikers in Ireland seem nuts. These bikers are literally risking their lives for the environment. With the combination of narrow roads and fast drivers, willingly biking on the street seemed downright crazy to a foreign tourist. In the US people slow down and go around bikers. Even if they’re riding on the shoulder, we normally make an effort to avoid them. Not the case is Ireland! Bikers are given about 3 inches of space and no courtesy slow down. I can imagine that almost getting hit is just a regular old day over there. In the name of the environment I guess?

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This road shouldn’t be able to fit two cars and a biker, yet somehow it does.

ATMs

One of the more surprising Irish eco-friendly initiative were the ATMs. After you take out money the ATM makes you think long and hard about whether or not you really need a receipt. Apparently receipt litter became a big enough problem that in 2007 a protocol was developed to reduce the amount of ATM receipts that ended up on streets and sidewalks. The protocol includes:

  • receipts are only available when customers request one
  • an on screen message helps create awareness of receipts’ environmental impact
  • under each ATM there is a trashcan to throw unwanted receipts in

It may seem like a small step, but I’ll admit I didn’t see any receipts on the street. _MG_1857

Wind Turbines

It is Ireland’s goal to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. In 2013 47% of Ireland’s renewable energy came from wind. The biggest issue that surrounds wind turbines is the impact they have on the visual landscape and consequently tourism. Although I thought it was cool to see the turbines, I can understand the concern.While it may not be feasible to power the entire island with wind, it’s a step in the right direction. So whether or not more wind turbines pop up, Ireland is committed to decreasing their carbon footprint.

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Malas, Mantras, and Meditation

A little over a year ago I started doing yoga. Since starting my journey with yoga I have noticed many of the physical benefits, but also some of the mental ones. Yoga was my first introduction to mindfulness and meditation. I began to find there were times when I craved that peaceful, clear mind, everything is good in the world feeling you get after yoga. So I made it my new year’s resolution this year to meditate more often hoping to bring that post shavasana feeling to my daily life. I read numerous articles about the health benefits of meditation, but I quickly realized that sitting and doing nothing was a little harder than I originally thought…

I began trying different variations. Guided meditations have been a great introduction to the practice. The guides give you a focus and help me concentrate on the present moment rather than what I want to eat for lunch tomorrow, why didn’t my boss respond to my email, will I have time to work out later, what was the name of that book I wanted to read, or is that new crossbody bag I’ve been ogling is worth the $$$… You know, the “important” stuff. _MG_2149While my meditation practice has improved from constant fidgeting to being able to sit still for five minutes, I’ve looked for other techniques to broaden my experience. I read about using mala beads for meditation and was immediately intrigued by the idea. It felt like the right step between a guided meditation and sitting in silence. Mala beads, which are very similar to prayer beads, help you keep count of mantra repetitions. There are 108 beads on every mala and you repeat your mantra once for every bead. There are many different beliefs that explain the importance of the number 108. Here are a few:

  • 108 multiplied by the diameter of the sun equals the distance between the earth and sun and the same thing goes for the Earth’s relationship with the moon (mind.blown.)
  • 108 is said to refer to the number of Hindu deities
  • 108 is the number of energy lines converging to form the heart chakra

If you’d like to learn more about 108, click here. _MG_2154 The biggest challenge I’ve come across while using mala beads instead of guided meditations is that in a guided meditation you are given a point of focus or mantra and while using mala beads you have to come up with your own. A mantra is a word or sentence that is repeated during meditation. Often times a mantra focuses on an intention. Picking a mantra is a very personal choice. I’m still playing around and finding what works for me. I’ve even gone as far as using hakuna matata – it does mean no worries. But finding the perfect mantra isn’t something you should worry about. That pretty much defeats the purpose. For starters you can check out this list, Google mantra inspiration, or simply use “Om”. _MG_2150 Once I decided I wanted to incorporate mala beads into my practice, the first step was to find the perfect mala. I knew I wanted to find one that was meaningful and could serve as a reminder of my intentions. I ended up buying one from Blooming Lotus Jewelry for a variety of reason. I will admit that these pieces are on the pricey side, but I justified the price knowing that I would have and use it for many years to come. There was also an inner force in me saying, “Annie you paid this much money, now you better use it!”.

I liked that the products are hand made out of high quality materials. I also love that each set has a special meaning and the sales give back to charity. 5% of every sale goes to support the Kid for Cancer to help children who are battling cancer. Also, keep an eye out in October for limited edition breast cancer awareness bracelets that donate a portion of the sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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I decided to buy the free spirit necklace from the wanderlust and adventure collection, which is made up of the following:

  • Amazonite= helps to develop intuition and communication; emits soothing energy to help diminish worry, fear and anger; helps to balance mood
  • Onyx= balances, grounds and absorbs negativity while letting through positive vibrations; increases concentration, stimulates thinking and logic and encourages better decision making
  • Aquamarine= a vital tool in cleansing and clearing the water element (symbol of our emotions and feelings); clears away toxicity and brings inner peace; maintains a connection between the heart and throat chakra so you can speak your heart
  • Sandalwood= promotes humility and its scent (which is amazing!) is believed to aid alertness during meditation

_MG_2163 I feel in love with the meaning of each stone in this set. Wearing my mala as a necklace also serves as a reminder of my intentions. Everyone will be drawn to different types of stones depending on your desired intention. Meditating with mantras and mala beads is only one of many ways to practice. Besides using mantras you could focus on breath, music, an object, or mental visualization. And there really is no right or wrong way to meditate. What technique works the best for you?


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Monday Motivation

Because Mondays are hard and sometimes we need a little inspiration…wait-until-youre-ready-hugh-laurie-quotes-sayings-picturesIf you’re feeling 99.9% about a decision, don’t let that .1% hold you back. Don’t waste time with the woulda, coulda, shouldas and just go for it! When you look back chances are you will regret the things you didn’t do.