Calling all workout fanatics (including the tree huggers, crunchy mamas, and climate change fanatics).
It’s time to use those muscles for the Earth
So I’m a marathoner. Which, among other things, means that I love punishing myself with grueling pre-dawn runs (4:45, anyone?), sprints up hills to increase my splits, and reading way, way too much about what kind of gear will help me to kill my next race.
I also desperately hate treadmills.
And while I know I’m not alone in this hatred, I also know that small cities could be powered by all of the treadmill runners, cycle spinners, and stair climbers out there.
Given that climate change is upon us, that’s not a bad idea.
Enter your ability to save the world, save your waistline, and stop climate change all at the same time. Yep, that’s right my friends, now our pipe dreams of turning our muscle power into electrical power are coming true – and you, you fantastic world-changer, you can do this at home, right now – no cape needed.
That’s right – here at Aina we don’t just talk about issues, we give you meaningful, hands-on action you can take to change the world, today. We’re giving you this fantastic project to help stop climate change and reduce your carbon footprint – all with an accredited nonprofit. Before we get there, let’s get some facts on climate change so you can wow your friends at the next dinner party (and understand why this project is so important).
YOUR ISSUE: Climate Change
Climate Change is one of the biggest, hottest (ha!), and most controversial topics of our generation. It’s been researched to death, but yes. It’s very complicated. So to help you have some facts on hand, here’s an easy infographic:
Climate Change was once debated in scientific circles – no longer. Indeed, 98% of all researchers in ALL scientific fields believe that human-caused global warming is a fact. In the past few decades, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has done some amazing modeling and forecasting and have been able to forecast with extreme accuracy warming as correlated to human fossil fuel emissions. My favorite book on this is Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus. He lays out all of the facts (with all of the research), as well as gives practical action to help. If you’ve ever doubted climate change, read this book – it is our duty as citizens to be informed about actions that impact our futures.
Climate Change Facts
A few of the facts that might be the most important in your life – 2/3 of the great barrier reef has been destroyed by bleaching (which happens as the ocean temperatures rise). So that trip to Australia that you’ve always put off for when you had more money? Kiss goodbye to the fun snorkeling there. Likewise, Arctic sea ice has shrunk by 4% since 1979 – and soon the North Pole will be completely ice-free. Good for shipping, bad for everyone else. Say goodbye to your Arctic vacay to see the polar bears, because they won’t be around much longer.
Current estimates are that the temperature will rise between 2 and 6 degrees celsius (that’s 3.6 to 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 – how much depends on how quickly we curb our emissions. These increased temperatures will lead to decreases of 3%-10% in global GDP – meaning the difference between healthy economies and global depressions. Yes. It is seriously that important.
YOUR ORGANIZATION: The Rainforest Connection
But now we dance with joy!! Because the fantastic news is that you can do something about it, right now, from home. Yep, you – because we are SO not fans of doom and gloom here at Aina, we are women of action and we’re out to save this world. Enter this project – and the fantastic organization of The Rainforest Connection.
Started in 2014, this innovative group of scrappy professionals realized that deforestation of the rainforest was one of the biggest drivers of climate change – and found that they could do something about it. Rainforest Connection takes old phones, wipes them clean, reprograms them, and fits them with solar panels. Then they send it to rainforests that are being illegally logged (a HUGE problem in rainforest areas) and – get this – IT LISTENS FOR THE SOUND OF CHAINSAWS. Is that not the coolest idea ever?? If it hears them, it alerts local agencies so they can bust on in with the authority and take down those poachers. Upcycling and stopping climate change at the same time – win. win.
To date of this writing, The Rainforest Connection has monitored 26,000 hectares of rainforest and sequestered 6.2 million tons of carbon dioxide. They are so very awesome – and you can help them too. Keep reading for a fantastic at-home project that you can do to fight climate change, and learn more about The Rainforest Connection here.
- Retro-Style Bike Headlight Generator
- Adaptaplug Socket Cable
- 1/4″ Grommets
- Small Bicycle Saddle Bag
- Micro USB Adaptaplug
- Medium Grip Clip
- 1000uF 35V Radial Lead Electrolytic Capacitor
- Silicon Bridge Rectifier, 400V 1.5A
- Waterproof Project Box
- +5V Fixed-Voltage Regulator
- Cable Ties
- Insulated Ring Tongue Lugs
- Screws, Bolts, Washers, Nuts
- Non-Insulated Ring Tongue Lugs
- Hookup Wire
- Wire Stripper
- Soldering Iron and Solder
- Drill and Bits
- Note: Some of these links may include affiliate links :)[/one_half_last]
Given that 81% of all power in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels, each and every time we turn on a light or plug in our phones we are throwing more carbon into the atmosphere. For those of us trying to live the carbon neutral life, that makes our cell phone love hard. So, my fellow crafty warriors, let’s pull out our toolkit and find a better way to power those phones.
Step 1: Human Powered Phone Charger
Yep, that’s right – use the above materials, push up those Rosie the Riveter sleeves, and make your bike into a climate change champion fighter. This project is SO COOL, it’s completely doable by the average crafty person (and even non-crafters – honestly, you can DO this!), and it has awesome output.
Follow along on the complete video tutorial for this project – and if you’re a reader, get the full step-by-step instructions here. We think that it’s even better that this project comes from Make Magazine. If you’re a maker or creator or crafter, you need to be following this youtube channel and magazine – they are fantastic!
Step 2: Listen to the Rainforest
Our partner accredited nonprofit organization, The Rainforest Connection, not only helps save the rainforest, but they also help you actually connect to the rainforest itself. How do they do that? By providing an AMAZING app where you can listen, in real time, to the rainforest you’re helping. How. Rad. Get it on iTunes or Google Play and start being a part of the solution, today.
This is the perfect project to do with teens or your workout buddies. It not only teaches crafty skills, it also starts that conversation about why taking care of our planet is so important. Maybe, even, we could do Step 1 and Step 2 together – listen to that rainforest while making your phone charger. On your phone. Possibly while biking. Hey, worldchangers can dream, right?
Have you joined our community yet? Join our Facebook Group and get a weekly project to help you make tomorrow better – plus tips, tricks, and all of the fun things to support you in living a meaningful life. Surround yourself with people that care about the world and take action to show it! Become a part of the Aina Ohana.
MEET YOUR MAKER: Make Magazine
Since 2005 Make Magazine has been the premier outlet for the makers movement and promoting maker projects. They have 1,000s of online projects, a fantastic YouTube Channel, and a bi-monthly magazine that gives all of us creatives way, way too many good ideas. We’re so happy to share them with you – if you’re of the crafty type, you should get to know them better and visit the Makers Faire closest to you.
Love this global warming project and want more action to take just like it? We have two perfect projects for you:
- Breathing Forests is a fantastic project for younger children and those with green thumbs!
- Climate Change Champ is perfect for those of you that want to get really involved with Rainforest Connection
And we have SO MANY MORE!! Be sure to check out all of our Crafting for Charity eBooks – it’s a one-stop-shop for the perfect project for you.
GET CONNECTED TO AINA
Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a female-led company that transforms women into world changers. Join the movement of DIY World Change and get our accredited projects, leadership coaching, and nonprofit consulting – email us and tell us how you want to change the world. We’ll help you get there.