Although the idea of helping those in need or supporting a cause is nice, it can sometimes be difficult to come up with the cash to make a charitable donation. Fortunately, there are other ways to support a charitable cause than by writing a sizable check. In fact, most charities and nonprofits are more than happy for other modes of support like clothing donations or vehicle donations, volunteer hours, etc. By thinking outside of the box, you can make a big difference. To help get the ideas rolling, here are three great ways to give back.
1. Offer Your Time
Most charitable organizations could really benefit from an extra pair of hands to help with their cause. Find something that you are truly passionate about and get involved – you would be surprised at how many opportunities there are for volunteering. Consider feeding the homeless one evening during the week, caring for animals at a local rescue, visiting with the elderly at your neighborhood’s nursing home, or answering calls at a crisis hotline. Every little bit that you can do will go a long way in changing the lives of others.
2. Join or Start a Fundraiser
You may not be able to offer the huge donation that you’d like to make to your favorite charity, but when you team up with others to support your cause, you can make a much bigger impact. There are a number of online sources that make it possible to raise funds by asking friends and family to help your cause through e-mail and social media platforms like Facebook. If everyone chips in just a little bit, the dollars will add up quickly. You can also do an online search for upcoming fundraising events that you can join such as a 5k walk/run, a charity auction, a fundraising gala, etc.
Instead of dealing with the hassle of a garage sale or simply discarding your unwanted items, why not donate them to charity? It’s easy to bag up your old clothes, books, toys, etc. and drop them off at your local Goodwill store. Another idea is to clean out your pantry and donate unwanted, nonperishable food items to a food bank. Many charitable organizations would also be happy to accept a car donation. Old cars and boats can be sold by the charity, auctioned off, or given to someone less fortunate. You may even consider donating any of these items to a family at your church, your child’s school, or in your neighborhood that is in need.
You don’t have to be rich or famous to give back. By thinking creatively, you can make a big difference in the world.
Jillian Johnson is a professional content marketing writer and blogger who writes about a variety of topics. To read more writing by Jillian, follow her @MissWritey.
Many a nature enthusiast enjoys seeing wildlife in their own back yard. To this end, many set up bird feeders and other devices to lure animals to their homes. While this is fine and dandy, and does not necessarily have a negative impact on the environment, there are a few things you should be aware of in order to make sure you’re not doing more harm than good.
The biggest concern when it comes to bird feeders is the spread of diseases. Because feeders are feeding grounds for multiple birds, they are also breeding grounds for diseases. Avian pox, eye diseases, bacterial infections, and parasites can all run rampant at feeders if left unchecked. Here are a few tips for keeping your feeder disease free.
In order to become effective at something, you have to make it a habit. Cleaning your feeder on a regular basis goes a long way to preventing diseases. Infected birds can have trouble swallowing seeds. This leads to them dropping seeds that are now infected due to contact. If other birds pick up these seeds, they will get infected as well. In order to prevent this, simply keep your feeder clean of excess seed and faecal matter.
Every week or two, depending on how much your feeder is used, clean feeder trays with warm soapy water, or a light bleach mixture. Hummingbird feeders should be washed every time you refill them, which will probably be once or twice a week. Not only does this promote good hygiene, but washing it every time makes it part of your routine, making it less likely you’ll forget.
Rake the ground beneath your feeders so that excess food and waste does not accumulate. This will also reduce the number of rodents attracted to the feeder area. If you notice sickly birds around your feeder, take it down for a week or two in order to give the birds a chance to disperse. This way you can be sure that you’re not aiding in the spread of diseases.
It is a good practice to move your feeder occasionally as well so that waste doesn’t build up in one area. It is also important to make sure that your birds have plenty of space in which to feed. The more crowded conditions are, the more likely sick birds will infect healthy ones. So make sure that there is plenty of room for your birds. Add more feeders if necessary and strategically place them throughout your yard.
Birds need a varied diet just like everyone else. Providing seed and prepared nectar is great, but fostering a natural environment that grows needed dietary elements is even better. Supplement your bird feeders with nectar-producing plants that are native to your area. Find out what the local birds need in their diet and which plants provide those items. This will also attract a greater variety of birds to your lawn and promote a beautiful, natural landscape.
If you use a packaged seed, look closely at the ingredients. Some companies till get away with putting harmful pesticides in their products for birds and fish. Make sure the food you are providing is safe for consumption. By providing a variety of food sources, you give more opportunities for birds to obtain what they need to stay healthy. Planting items that attract certain bugs such as caterpillars will also add protein to their diet. If your landscape is varied and healthy, your avian visitors will be as well.
Ernie Allison is a bird geek who loves the outdoors. He spends most of the spring and summer outside, and most of the fall and winter writing about being outside. This year, he’s doing what he can to track migration patterns, so he’ll be staring at his hummingbird feeders even more than usual.
Depending on the country they are held in, they can be built indoors with artificial snow and ice, or held outside in the real thing. Either way the experience is the same. Nothing is more exhilarating than going to a snow show and racing down a snow slide, throwing snowballs or building snowmen. Often at winter carnivals, there is also ice sculpting. Nothing is more exciting to children and adults than seeing a larger than life ice creation.
If the snow show is held in a country with lots of snow, such as Canada, guests can count on playing with the real thing. However, even if the show is held indoors, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. Although the snow is artificial at some snow shows, professional artisans make it come to life by creating different styles and themes. They can also incorporate local elements like regional celebrities and famous landmarks.
The snow itself at an indoor snow show is prepared hourly to ensure the quality and enjoyment for guests. As well, it is climate controlled so it feels fresh. The enjoyment people get from snow shows is second to none, particularly if they live in a hot country and never get to see or feel snow close up. Although people who deal with snow for most of the year tend to have a love hate relationship with it, they can’t wait to go to a snow festival either.
Every year there is several snow shows held around the world. They include a variety of winter activities, and carving ice sculptures is often one of them.
Canadian Snow Days at Banff National Park
One of Canada’s many snow shows is their annual month-long festival held in Banff, Alberta. During this action packed month, visitors enjoy fun-filled activities that include, skiing, snowboarding and ball hockey. Every year they also have an International Ice Carving Competition Weekend. This is where professional ice sculptors from around the world compete to build one-of-a-kind ice sculptures, out of ice taken directly from the shores of Lake Louise.
Dubai Snow Show
Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, a country known for high temperatures year round, has the largest snow park in the world. It’s so breath-taking and magical that thousands of visitors go there every year. While they’re there, guests enjoy tonnes of winter fun. Some of which include tobogganing and throwing snowballs. It’s always surprising to find a snow show in such a climate as this.
Snow Show in Sapporo Japan
Japan’s snow festival is held annually for one week in February, and is one of the country’s most popular events. Their snow show is famous for its extravagant large and small ice sculptures. The larger ones measure over 15 meters high and 25 meters wide, and are kept lit during the day. Along with the hundreds of smaller statues, the Japanese snow show also includes numerous events and concerts that include many of the sculptures as the stage.
Ice sculpting artisans spend hours, or days, and sometimes even weeks to create these mesmerizing works of art exhibited at snow shows. It’s actually more like a performance because they take a plain, boring block of ice and turn it into an artistic wonder. Although it seems magical, sculpting ice for a snow show takes a lot of work. Ice is a very changeable and volatile medium to work with. Only people who can master both the artistic and scientific aspects of ice, while respecting it at the same time, can carry it through its transformation. Once the artificial ice is created, snow sculptors have to use different tools to work with it. At the beginning stage, a large hoist is often needed to move it around. Later, a chainsaw is generally used to rough out the ice form. After this is complete, artists use irons and chisels to complete their piece of artwork.
Snow shows around the world attract millions of people every year. It doesn’t matter where or when they take place; whether it’s indoors or out. They’re always guaranteed to draw crowds in by the masses. People of all ages, but especially children love snow and the beauty of ice sculptures.
This article was written by Karl Cubias, on behalf of ISA Attractions.
New £3.6 Million Update
For architects working on the London Zoo, animal welfare takes precedence over the creation of a stylish architectural statement. The area of the tiger enclosure has been greatly increased, and the structural elements are virtually invisible. Indeed, this renovated Tiger Territory is five times the size of its predecessor, built in the 1970s.
The enclosure is currently home to a pair of endangered Sumatran tigers, Jae Jae and Melati. Jae Jae is five years old, and was born in the San Francisco Zoo. He has been described as “charming with an outgoing personality”. Meanwhile, Melati, his mate, was born four years ago in the Perth Zoo. Zookeepers have said that she is “an intelligent cat – never jumping in paws first”. Apparently she also likes to chuff in her mate’s direction when she thinks the keepers can’t hear her.
The tiger enclosure is covered by a net canopy made from 3mm steel cable threads. Four black metal poles have been used to create peaks in the netting, up to 20 m tall. This creates a shape similar to a circus tent roof, except less symmetrical. The Tiger Territory covers an area of approximately 2500 sqm, and there are plenty of large trees for the tigers to climb.
There are also tall wooden feeding poles, which have a series of pulleys attached. These are used to pull the chunks of meat up, so that the tigers have to climb up if they want to get fed. Climbing is an intrinsic aspect of a tiger’s animal nature. “They like to observe their terrain from a towering vantage point, so we’ve given them a habitat that lets them do exactly that – with a view out over Regent’s Park,” says the zoo’s project manager.
Innovation and Obstacles
The redesign project was complicated by the fact that due to the overall limited space of the zoo, some existing structures had to be incorporated into the tiger enclosure. These structures included a viewing platform intended for sea lions, which was built in the 1960s, and a Victorian stork and ostrich house. The sea lion platform has now been converted into a viewing stand for visitors wishing to get up close and personal with the tigers. The ostrich house, meanwhile, has been transformed into a den for the stripy pair. Their den also includes heated rocks in case Jae Jae and Melati require some soothing treatment for their muscles after an exhausting day of climbing trees.
Grace Matthews is a London-based lifestyle blogger who prefers to don her overalls when getting her hands dirty!
New to aid climbing? Here’s a roundabout of useful aid climbing resources to get you started. Let’s start with the definition of aid climbing according to Wiki.
Aid climbing is a style of climbing in which standing on or pulling oneself up via devices attached to fixed or placed protection is used …
Aid Climbing on YouTube
In this SuperTopo how to big wall climb article, Chris McNamara shows the basic technique for moving efficiently move up the piece while aid climbing.
Other blogs on aid climbing
Some time ago, we ran an article on basic aid climbing technique. We introduced aid climbing with a little breakdown of what it is all about and with a couple of videos.
Peak Cavern is an impressive limestone cavern located in Castleton, the Peak District. Often referred to as ‘The Devil’s Arse’ it is a major tourist attraction as well as being the perfect opportunity for a bit of aid climbing!
Aid Climbing, Free Climbing, and Free Soloing · Alli Rainey. Learn what the differences are between three of the most common styles of rock climbing. Styles covered include aid climbing, free climbing, and free solo climbing.
The safest method of rock climbing is aid climbing. Equipment is used for all handholds and all footholds, meaning that the climber is assisted every step of the way. When rock climbing first began, this method allowed for ascents that were …
Aid Climbing Equipment
Essential Traditional Climbing Equipment · GriGri · Rigorous Rock Climbing – Mazes for Kids · All About Aiders — Essential Aid Climbing Equipment
Essential Traditional Climbing Equipment · Your Personal Aid Climbing Gear — Essential Aid Climbing Equipment
Aid climbing is a style of climbing where the climber actually uses protection to hang from and pull on to climb harder sections of rock…
In actual fact by the earlier part of the twentieth century its popularity in the United Kingdom had waned somewhat. However with the advent of the Second World War and the contact it brought with service personnel from the United States and Canada, who still celebrated the event, it underwent a revival that has continued to this day.
Mothering Sunday still remains on the calendar of certain Canadian Anglican churches, especially those with a strong English connection.
But right though it is that we should set aside a day to honour the mother who brought us into the world and who fed and clothed us, and nurtured us lovingly throughout our childhood years, this should not mean that the debt of gratitude we owe should be forgotten at other times.
There is nothing more natural than motherhood
For most of us a little bit of every day should be forever Mother’s Day. But it is on Mother’s Day proper that we buy and give gifts, and as that date approaches we commit ourselves to the decision as to what is the most appropriate token of our love and appreciation to offer.
There is nothing more natural than motherhood. As such it makes perfect sense now more than at any other time, when considering what to buy, that we should give ample thought to some natural, ethical gift ideas.
Bathroom products containing natural oils and free from harmful chemicals are an attractive option for a Mother’s Day gift. Containing flower extracts and herbs and spices, they inspire us back to nature and away from the grim commercialism of the mass produced offerings that adorn the shelves of our supermarkets.
Another of the more exciting ethical presents is the Bath Melt Gift Box, manufactured from cocoa butter and pure essential oils. Made by a qualified aromatherapist, these products are produced only from the most natural ethically sourced ingredients.
These and so many other natural gifts that are available to offer us a more practical option than flowers when remembering that unique and special person in our lives. With a little imagination Mother’s Day presents us with the ideal opportunity to demonstrate our love for Mother and for the planet.
When blue hair dye was first created it was part of ancient art, created with indigo from the plant True Indigo. From these simple beginnings, it didn’t take long for it to find its way on to the fashion scene. Over the years, blue hair colour has certainly made an impact on the industry and with even more different shades available it has become extremely popular. Allowing all scenes to be unique, blue hair dye is worn by goths, emos, skaters, individuals on the mainstream scene and even royalty, with the impact it has had on the fashion scene definitely iconic, which is why people can’t get enough of it.
The first time blue hair dye was used as a fashion statement was in the 18th century. Charles Fox, an English politician, was a fashionable ‘macaroni’ when he was younger, who tinted his hair with blue powder, starting off a fashion trend that would eventually have a massive impact. Between 1913 and 1914 the trend truly started, firstly in Paris and then spreading to other major cities such as London. After this in 1924, Monsieur Antoine, a celebrity hairdresser, dyed his dog’s fur blue, which then influenced Lady Elsie De Wolfe Mendl and started a massive craze.
Even royalty have used blue hair dye to change their look. After the Second World War mature woman would cover their grey hair with a blue tint and the Queen Mother was one of these ladies. More recently, in 2007, incredible designers such as Marc Jacobs and Duckie Brown dyed their model’s hair blue to give them a punk look. This was what really got people interested in the shade and after these models were spotted with such insane hair, celebrities and audiences began to follow the trend more.
In 2011, blue hair dye was worn by many celebrities, including Katy Perry, Demi Lovato and Kate Bosworth, which has ensured that blue hair dye has remained extremely popular. Another thing about this colour is there are now many more shades that it comes in, allowing individuals to create their own look with it. From the brightest colours to bold dark shades, its diversity is one of the reasons why it has remained so popular. Over the years, blue hair colour has slowly had its influence on the fashion scene and now it has definitely achieved what it needed; people across the globe are trying to achieve this look and with bright colour extremely popular in the fashion industry they won’t be stopping for a while yet.
Laura Watson from Blue Banana is someone who loves writing about fashion, especially all emo and alternative clothing ranges. A music nut, she also loves writing about hair dye, tattooing and piercing as well.
The beloved umbrella is a priceless accessory. If it had not been for the Chinese, we would all be walking round like drowned rats – not a good look when you are about to step into a fancy restaurant.
The umbrella was initially a paper parasol used for sun shade, but the Chinese decided to take it to the next level by adding a wax coating onto the paper so it could be used as a shield from the rain as well. The 16th century was the time when the umbrella was first seen in Western society, but it was only considered appropriate for females to have one. However, this was soon to change as the Persian writer Jonas Hanway would be seen for thirty years carrying an umbrella leading to them often being referred to as ‘Hanways’.
One of the first shops to sell an umbrella to this day still stands on Oxford Street in London. It was opened in 1830 and called James Smith and Sons. Umbrellas were made from wood or even whale bone and the umbrella were covered with a waxy material.
Later, in 1852, Samuel Fox was to invent the steel ribbon design for the umbrella. He was the founder of the English Steel Company and he said that he had invented this to use up extra farthingale stays which were steel stays used in women’s corsets that were also manufactured by his company.
Thinking a little more about the structure of the umbrella, there are many other uses even after its day has been and gone;
- Firstly, we would all feel a little better walking home late at night with an umbrella. If we were attacked, it could be a very good self-defence weapon.
- Having troubles with a leak? If you turn a brolly upside down and hang it below the leak, it is sure to collect every last drop of water.
- Some use an umbrella as a kind of makeshift walking stick, while a vintage umbrella can also be part of the décor for the hallway at home. It can really bring character to the space.
- Fancy having a go at golf? Why not use your old umbrella as a practice putter in the garden or office?
Everyone would agree, these maybe aren’t the greatest of ideas. Maybe it’s best to leave the umbrella to do what it does best – keeping us dry when the rain comes.
Paige Green is writing on behalf of www.marquee-vision.co.uk
Typically a rope is “static”, meaning it will not stretch or distort during the use for which it is intended. Ropes used for rescue operations, or accessing caves, need to be rigid as any flexibility will only serve to complicate the nature of the operation at hand. Not so the climbing rope, which is “dynamic”, meaning that it will stretch under the impact of a heavy load so as to absorb the energy needed to arrest a person who is in free fall without causing such a drastic impact as to injure them.
Dynamic climbing ropes will normally use a kernmantle construction, having a kern of long twisted fibres at the centre with a braided outer sheath which is of mantle. The kern provides most of the rope’s strength whilst the mantle acts to protect the kern and defines the handling properties of the rope, limiting its stretch and ensuring its strength under the weight of the climber.
The use of ropes for climbing actually dates back to prehistoric times, although it is believed that in the earliest instances at least the “ropes” would actually have comprised simple lengths of naturally occurring plant fibre or vines. However purpose-made two ply rope itself has been discovered which is thought to date back some 17,000 years.
Production of rope with tools is thought to date back in the first instance to Ancient Egypt. There is evidence of it too in China, and in the Middle Ages rope making became an established industry throughout Western Europe.
Specialist suppliers of modern climbing ropes
Modern climbing ropes are designed and manufactured by specialist suppliers such as Mammut and Beal. Needless to say they are made to perfect scientific specifications and are available in a variety of forms and quantities to satisfy most climbing needs. Rope is usually provided either on a reel or in a pack, and although supremely functional will also be lightweight and portable, made with the comfort of the already heavily laden climber firmly in mind. Thus the concept of biggest is best is not always applicable where climbing ropes are concerned, and it is recognised that the convenience of the climber calls for a product that is not going to occupy too much room on the person of the user.
For years, the high street was the centre of the universe for the shopping world. If you wanted to buy some food, a new sofa or some clothes then you took a wander to your nearest high street and started to browse. Then came the supermarkets, however, and we all started to shop at Tesco or Sainsbury’s, ignoring the local high street as if it didn’t exist. Well, now, they’ve got even more competition and you don’t even need to leave the house to shop. With the growth and popularity of the internet, families can do all their grocery shopping and all their clothes shopping and anything else that takes their fancy online. It’s had a big impact
Shopping, Shopping Everywhere But Not a Till in Sight
So, nowadays, instead of queuing at a checkout and waiting your turn until you can pass over your cash, you click on a little button and you’re done. It’s great: all the hassle of buying has gone in an instant, you can just choose what you want, click done and wait until it’s delivered. Yet there are pitfalls attached, of course. Every activity that you complete on the internet has its potential problems from unexpected crashes and timeouts to security leaks. Having your credit card details stolen is not a good experience and before you know it, they could have racked up an almighty bill. So be careful. Check every site that you spend money on and make sure that they are secure. Card companies provide accreditation to sites that pass their test, so look out for the padlock sign to ensure your money is in safe hands.
The Lights are On but Nobodies Home
It’s a great idea that you’re going to sit at home and wait for your parcel to get to you. With a lot of supermarkets, they offer delivery times early in the morning and in the evening, so you can make sure you’re at home when they come. Otherwise, you face the merry go round of delivery times. A lot of companies offer delivery times in slots of 3 hours or half a day. Online retailers tend to be a lot better than the gas companies and others, but they still have to be worked around. If you are at home during the day, then you have no problem: you just continue your everyday routine and wait for the delivery men to arrive. If you are usually at work, however, then you may experience some difficulties.
A lot of people work around this by having packages delivered to their place of work: they can then carry them home afterwards. This isn’t an option for some, however, so they need to work around it. Being able to choose your own schedule is a start and then you need to make sure there is someone at home. Otherwise, finding a trusting neighbour or relative to pick up the parcel for you is an option. If it does get delivered when you are not home, then you often have to pick it up from the company’s warehouse.
All I Want for Christmas
When it comes to gifts, then you have a huge selection and choice online. From birthday and Easter presents to personalized gifts, you can choose pretty much anything and have it delivered directly to the recipient. This can really come in handy if you live a long way away from your friend or family member.
One event that you may need help with is at Christmas time. Secret Santa ideas are hard to come by: you can’t exactly ask your friends, can you? So get online and check out your options.