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Announcement: How Your Dots Make a Difference

May 10, 2010

Welcome to a new world of edotting!  We’ve created an incentive program that transforms the dots you earned to $ that make a difference locally and globally!

It’s simple–here’s the quick look:

First, check in on the edot site, enter your “thing” and watch the dots add up!

  • When you reach 250 dots, edot will pay for you to plant a tree (either real or virtual) through the Arbor Foundation.
  • When you earn 500 dots, we will donate to your choice of one of the three micro-enterprise loans that edot is funding (see below).
  • At 750 dots, you’ll earn a water bottle that supports a sustainable cause.
  • 1000 dots?  Edot will make a contribution to the nonprofit of your choice.

Here’s a detailed view of how it works:

250 dots–we’ll email you and ask if you want an actual tree to plant yourself or an ecard that states that a tree has been planted on your behalf.  We’re partnering with the Arbor Foundation to make this happen.

500 dots–for now, we’re funding through three organizations:  Kiva, World Vision Micro, and Vittana.  When you hit 500 dots, you can choose which edot sponsored project will receive a contribution from you, and edot will make the donation on your behalf.  As a community of individuals, we’ll be funding a lot of micro-enterprise projects and helping make a difference around the world!

750 dots–you know from our focus on Water Wednesday that we care deeply about water as a resource.  You’ll receive a water themed reusable water bottle when you reach this benchmark.

1000 dots–this is where it gets personal.  You choose the organization, and edot will send a contribution based on the ratio of funds we have raised and how many active edotters we have.  The gift will go to your organization of choice, we’ll do a Twitter/Facebook shout out, and it will all be done in your name.

Yes..this is cool, exciting, and makes a huge difference!  But we need your help:

1. Spread the word.  The more edotters we have, the more enticing we are to grantors and foundations.  With your help, we can grow quickly.

2. Check in on edot!  Do your thing and see what other people are doing.  You’ll be inspired, we promise!

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TapIt!

April 28, 2010
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“Water Wednesday” is the perfect day to introduce one of our new partners.  TapIt  is a brilliant concept that started in New York a few years ago to solve a very simple problem.  You have a water bottle, you want to eco-reuse, but where do you refill it?  Some stores are “ok” with you walking in and asking to fill up your water bottle, but TapIt came up with an ingenious way to take all of the “could be” awkwardness out of the situation.

Businesses that support TapIt have a sticker in their window so you know you can go in and fill up.  Any walker, runner, cyclist, and every day person can appreciate this concept.  But where are the official TapIt sites?  The TapIt website has a map, and there’s even an iPhone app to guide you as well.

At edot, we LOVE this.  In fact, we love it so much we’ve given TapIt “dot” value on our drop down menu under “eco-reuse.” We’re using resources that already exist, hydrating, and protecting the planet at the same time.  What’s not to love?  Current TapIt communities can be found here.  While edot is a global program, we’re home-based in Seattle, and you can bet we’re going to help TapIt settle into this area as soon as possible!

Our Earth Day News: We’re Going Nonprofit!

April 22, 2010
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Click here to go to edot's homepage!

We want to begin this post with huge thank you–to all of our edotters for joining us in a cause that we feel is so important.  We know that every “one thing” we do makes a global impact, but it takes people like you who care enough to share what you are doing with the world to prove that point.

Edot was founded one month ago, and on that day we started with 112 Facebook Fans. People started using the site immediately..even in our beta state.  Thank you.  Because of you, we are moving forward and aiming for global usage.

That being said, our team behind the scenes is an awesome group of socially cool people, and we came to a collective decision this week that Every Day One Thing will be a non profit organization. In the world of social media, that’s a very important distinction, and we want the message to be loud and clear that we are working on the project to make a difference in the world.  By using edot and racking up to points, so are you!

So what’s next for the site?  One small update has already occurred, and two major ones are brewing.  In the spirit of nonprofitness, we would love your input, so please feel free to add comments here.

1. What’s your number? Yesterday we changed your personal page to give you an update as to how many “things” you’ve done and how many points you’ve earned.

2. Comments! We’re working on adding the ability for you to be able to dialogue with people when they have posted their “thing!” If someone does something really cool (like one of our edotters who made 150 sandwiches for a homeless shelter in his area), you’ll have the ability to comment on that.

3. Categories and points.  Next week will be our first official category week!  We’re going to open a discussion on this blog about what categories we could/should add, and ideas on how we are assigning the point values.

So what do the points mean?  As our user base grows, we will have more people making a statement each time they do just “one thing.”  That’s leverage, folks.  For businesses, city governments, schools, local non profits. Without sharing anyone’s personal data, we’ll have numbers associated with how much you care about a particular cause.  That’s exciting!

This is your site…we want to use a bit of a wiki-approach to make it better and help it grow.  Thank you for joining us and please help spread the word that Every Day, One Thing really matters!

More inspiring edotters!

April 13, 2010
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We have some great Facebook Fans and Twitter followers who are posting awesome tips–Here’s just a few that have rocked our world and inspired us at edot!

  • How to keep Meatless Monday fun (just follow spinfan)!
  • Check out the picture of  the beauty of patio gardening for really “local” flavor.
  • What’s going solar? GreenieWeenie can tell you!
  • Other than yumminess, what’s so great about homemade bread? Savvy Brown knows.
  • How about Safemancsp who has done 35 things on the edot site and racked up 130 points!

We also have a Facebook Fan who reminded us how our little ones see our efforts and interpret them:

“Yesterday I took a walk with my 2 little ones and my 3-year-old daughter said, ‘Mommy, some people litter. They should recycle instead of trashing the ground. We recycle.’ I hope I have officially instilled in her what our earth means to all of us and how she can have a positive effect on it.”  Now that is inspiring parenting!

Stay tuned for more tips this week…and even a few surprise freebies to make your edotting even more fun!

Upcycling. What is it, how do you do it, and how it benefits our world.

April 7, 2010

Upcycling. Sounds like recycling, doesn’t it? The several people I asked about this word today actually thought it meant the same as recycling. And it doesn’t. It’s a fairly new term, first credited in its use by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH in 1994 [1] during an interview he gave about the process of European waste systems.  “Recycling” said Pilz, “I call it downcycling. They smash bricks, they smash everything. What we need is upcycling where old products are given more value not less.”

More value. Let’s think about that for a second. How often do you throw away plastic shopping bags, old clothes, or anything else that you’re “done with” without giving it a second thought? Fairly often. Because you think, as we’ve been trained to think, that once an objects intended use is complete that it no longer has value. But what many of us don’t realize is that in this day and age we just can’t afford to throw things away – neither our wallets, nor our environment can afford that kind of waste.

There are some really cool and innovative ways for us to upcycle rather than throw away.  Take, for instance, one of the fans on our Facebook site. Just today she posted a link for us on how she is in the process of making a plarn bag out of old grocery store bags. For those of you not in the know, these plastic bags ARE harmful to our environment. In a National Geographic article in 2003, journalist John Roach notes that plastic shopping bags make up “80 percent of the grocery and convenience store market since they were introduced a quarter century ago”. These single use bags are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and will take approximately 1,000 years to biodegrade.

In this day and age we have the smarts, the know-how, and a duty to make our world a better place. Since knowing is half the battle, we’ve started a list for you on how you can upcycle at home using things you would normally throw away.

  1. Shopping bags. Make a plarn bag, like our fan Christina Brady. Want to see how it’s done?  Check out this YouTube tutorial.
  2. Large glass bottles and jars make great planters, gift containers, and a lot more. See this great list of ideas for the ones that work for you.
  3. Yogurt containers. This is a great craft project for kids. Turn the containers into mini albums. Here’s a really cool video from CreativityPrompt.com that shows how to make this. (This video has some really great music, too!)
  4. Cardboard. You can make furniture from cardboard. No, really, you can.
  5. Old clothing. This, too, can be upcycled. Another Facebook fan, Sarah Bates, bought a sweater at a second-hand store, and used all the yarn to make her own shopping bag. See her pic below.

By upcycling, we generate less garbage, thereby minimizing our impact on the environment. Through upcycling we save money where we normally would have spent it. There are hundreds of ways to upcycle what you’re about to throw away. We want to hear your ideas. Did you make something? We want to know about it. And remember, you can earn points at EveryDayOneThing for your creations.
References
Thornton Kay, Salvo in Germany – Reiner Pilz, p14 SalvoNEWS No99 11 October 1994 [1]

Twinspiration

March 30, 2010

Today, a Twitter follower of ours shared her blog post about natural cleaning products for the home. We completely agree that green cleaning is something to be proud of – that’s why it’s one of the choices for earning points at Every Day One Thing.

While we’re still adding categories to the Edot site, it’s still possible to earn green cleaning points while using natural products. Here are some great ideas for natural green cleaning with products you probably already have at home.

Vinegar:

Vinegar naturally cleans like an all-purpose cleaner. Mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in a new store bought spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home. Yes, we know that vinegar smells bad right off the bat, but the smell does dissipate quickly and it cleans incredibly well.

  • Bathroom – Clean the bathtub, toilet, sink, and countertops. Use pure vinegar in the toilet bowl to get rid of rings.
  • Kitchen – Clean the stovetop, appliances, countertops, and floor.
  • Laundry Room – Use vinegar as a natural fabric softener.  Vinegar removes traces laundry detergent very effectively which is a plus if you have sensitive skin.

Olive Oil/Lemon Juice combo:

These two ingredients combined make an amazing natural furniture polish that leaves an incredible finish and amazing scent.

In an empty spray bottle, mix together 1 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice. Shake bottle well. Apply a small portion to a reusable cleaning cloth. Spray cloth (or directly onto furniture) and polish evenly. Use a separate cloth to dry. Remember to shake bottle prior to each use.

Looking for more great natural green cleaning tips? Watch for posts from our e-dotters at Every Day One Thing, on our Facebook Fan Page, or just follow us on Twitter.

Many thanks to our inspiring green tweeter, Savvy Brown Blog.

Jump Start: Meatless Monday!

March 26, 2010
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This post is being written in advance so you can plan ahead…start your
edot week next week with a “meatless meal” one thing!  Every heard of Meatless Monday?  I ran across this program a while back and was impressed with an initiative that covers both health and environmental benefits.

At edot, our team is committed to helping you find ways you can do one thing each day that makes a significant difference in your community and globally.  Meatless Monday is a great way to take a stand and show that we’re adding up.

Want to see how?  Here’s what the Treehugger website has to say about Meatless Monday:

If we all just commit to one day a week without eating meat, the effect will be great over the course of the year:

  • Our greenhouse gas emission reductions equal US switching from a car with average fuel efficiency (that’s about 22 mpg for the entire fleet) to a high efficiency car such as the Toyota Prius (50 mpg).
  • We will save about 1 ton of water, enough to fill up the bathtub 22 times per week
  • If everyone in the US did this, we’d collectively save about 12 billion gallons of gasoline

I’m in!  Who’s with me?  Score all of your meatless meals on edot on Monday and we’ll see how our community does as a group!  Spread the word!

Additional Resources

Epicurious provides a quick resource of great vegetarian meals

Top 1 Meatless Monday Moments highlights several well known authors and resources, including Michael Pollan and Food Inc.

The Guardian writes about the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Goop Newsletter Gweneth Paltrow writes about Meatless Mondays

There are so many great resources out there–we invite you to share some of your favorites and inspire fellow edotters!