Over the past decade, It’s become clear that global climate change is real. No only that, but it’s now upon us.
This scares the pants off of me.
I spent my college years studying global climate change and renewable resources. And back then, there was still some debate as to whether it was actually happening. We debated whether it was caused by human actions. These debates are no longer (keep reading for more on that), and it’s apparent that global climate change really is happening. And while I pledged to dedicate my life to this, slowly…life creeped in.
I got married. I had babies. I had all the things. And I sat on the sidelines and almost died of frustration, watching the world march towards this terrible point. And because my other degree was in economics, I wanted so much to stop this economic depression that global climate change will cause. But…I was occupied with running my day-to-day life. And while I am so, so happy with my life right now, I feel like there could have been something more I could have done during that time.
If only I’d known how.
Enter our Spark Pillar.
Because life has taught me that we must have balance. Even more – we must be women that are supported by the fundamental pillars of life. And one of the pillars that is so crucial to every woman is their Spark Pillar.
The Spark is the idea that lights you up inside. It is that slow burn that causes you hours of pondering. You know that light in your brain that you can’t turn off? It’s your Spark speaking to you.
Your Spark is that most amazing, most glorious, and most unique joy that has been put inside of you to bring heaven to earth.
For the past fifteen years, Global Climate Change has been my spark.
I chose the vocation of motherhood for about a decade. And while it was a beautiful vocation, it was a time-consuming vocation. And it was a ridiculously, incredibly hard vocation. But it was the vocation that seemed right at the time (and that mostly chose me). Now I can say that I am content that I chose this path.
But I was missing my Spark, my light.
I remember laying on the floor in Hawaii (where we lived for a time), feeling the Earth cry to me, whispering “you need to do something to help me.” And I cried tears of frustration because I couldn’t DO anything about it.
Oh, I tried. Indeed, I took part-time contracts in the places and communities that seemed to need me the most. I served on boards of directors in every community in which we have lived. I recycled and reduced and reused and taught my children to love the Earth. And I called all of the environmental nonprofits that I could think of to offer my help.
They all told me they just wanted my money.
So…I gave money. But over the years, I realized that money wasn’t enough. I’ve realized that the Spark that was put inside of me was put there for a reason. I realized that I, like most women, feel an almost incoherent demand to go and fix that one thing that is their Spark. Through research and reading I realized that all of the Superwomen throughout the ages have been the ones that have answered that Spark Pillar call.
It’s time to Become Superwomen.
Because this is so, so important, we here at Aina have developed our own course to take you through to become that Superwoman. To help you find that Spark, grow it in your life, and balance it with joy, laughter, and dancing with all of the other parts of life that must be. We are so, so excited to announce this – and we hope you’ll join us.
If you, like me, have the Spark of global climate change, I want you to keep reading for a fantastic way to get involved with an accredited nonprofit organization. Our Aina crew has dedicated years to finding phenomenal, high-impact nonprofits that pass our strict accreditation process – and developing at-home projects that you can do with them. Projects that do not involved just giving money. Projects that grow that Spark inside of you.
And this global climate change project is one of my absolute favorites.
If, however, global climate change is not your Spark, I want you to email me. I want you to put aside your fears that you’ll never be able to live that meaningful life that you dreamed of when you were little. I want you to take ahold of your birthright and answer that call – because you, my friend, were given that Spark for a reason. And the world needs you.
I personally know how hard it is. That is why I started this socially responsible company. It is our job to help you on this path. I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me when a new phenomenal woman discovers her Spark through our help. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to work together to find the perfect project that sings to her soul and makes her take off in flight. It is amazing and awe-inspiring.
And I want you to have a part of that too.
So email me. I answer literally every single email I get, personally. Talking to women is what I do (just ask my posse or my children – I am not happier than in those moments). Take that leap of faith and become that superwoman that lives inside of you.
And if you, like me, Spark with Global Climate Change, keep reading for a fantastic project that you can do, today, to light that spark.
One of our core principles here at Aina is that 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 global climate change with one of Aina’s Accredited Nonprofits. Before we get there, let’s talk a few fast facts on Global Climate Change so you can wow your friends at the next dinner party (and understand why this project is so important).
YOUR ISSUE: Global Climate Change
Global 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:
Global 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 global climate change, read this book – it is our duty as citizens to be informed about actions that impact our futures.
Global 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.
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. Increased temperatures will lead to decreases of 3%-10% in global GDP. This difference is the difference between healthy economies and global depressions. Yes. It is seriously that important.
YOUR ORGANIZATION: The Rainforest Connection
Ok ladies, it’s time to stop being morose and start dancing 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 global 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 global 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 how you can get involved, and learn more about The Rainforest Connection here.
Step 1: Get Informed
The first step to nurturing your Spark is to get informed on the issue. Dedicate 20 minutes every day to spending time on learning all you can about global climate change. Read books (check out our Pinterest for suggestions), go to websites, and read up on the accredited nonprofits we support. Just make a pledge to set aside 20 minutes every day to joyfully, finally, live your Spark.
Step 2: Get Connected
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.
Start by listening to their rainforest sounds. Then read up on what they do. Find out who is on their Board of Directors – check them out on Linkedin. Do you have any kind of connection to them? If so, reach out. If not, reach out! Open that dialogue, you’d be surprised to see where it takes you.
Step 3: Get Involved
One of the things we love best about The Rainforest Connection is that they have an open call for volunteers to suggest ideas to help them. Some ideas:
→Offer to answer and funnel their emails. Act as one of their personal assistants, for free. Every organization needs this, and most of us have these basic skills. You will be doing them a huge favor.
→Offer to organize any and all of their volunteers. Volunteer management is SO HARD and takes a good deal of dedication, so if you have this skill set, let them know.
→Send them an open email with your skills and ask what they need. Many times professional services, computer skills, or writing skills are highly prized by organizations.
So send them an email with your ideas and see where it takes you.
Step 4: Be Flexible
Sometimes your first stop won’t be your last. If the Rainforest Connection can’t find a spot for you, keep looking around until you find one that can. Often these connections and research takes you down paths to new opportunities and organizations that need what you have to offer – and that speak to your Spark even more. Be open to the possibility of whatever is presented to you.
Step 5: Become a Board Member
By joining the Board of Directors you can make some of the biggest impacts on your Spark . Often nonprofits look to their volunteers to find new Board members – hence the “Get Involved” Step 3! Once they know you, they’ll know how passionate and dedicated you are. Your dedication and passion will be the most highly prized qualities as a working board member.
Is all of this slightly intimidating? If so, contact me and we’ll help you down this path! As I’ve worked in this field for over 15 years, I know how daunting it can be. Believe me, I have few tricks up my sleeves to get you to living your Spark. We don’t want you to have to reinvent the wheel, because we’ve made all of the mistakes out there. We’d love to chat and shine light onto your Spark.
Do you love this global climate change project and want more action to take just like it? We have two other global climate change projects for you:
→Breathing Forests is a fantastic project for younger children and those with green thumbs.
→Powerful Pedals is a fantastic project for teenagers and workout fanatics.
And we have SO MANY MORE!! Be sure to check out all of our Crafting for Charity eBooks – they are a great one-stop-shop to help you find 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.