Women’s Labor Rights: It May Be Less About Rights and More About Psychology

We’re all about labor rights here at March on Blair Mountain, and we’re especially all about women’s labor rights. It should be obvious by now that women’s labor rights have made major, major strides forward in the last couple of years, which is awesome!

However, there’s still a ways to go. The data still suggests that women earn less than men and are significantly underrepresented at the executive level, especially in large corporations. Up until recently, we assumed that was caused by remnants of oppressive policies and regulations, but an enlightening study has recently shown that it may be much more about psychology than policy. (more…)

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Let’s Get the Definitions Out of the Way: What Is environmental Justice?

With all the stuff we write about here (or plan to write about), we really need to get some of the definitions out of the way. I think this is important.

First, it’s important because, like with any serious academic or political discourse, we all need to be on the same page in order to start a real, legitimate, productive dialog. It’s only when we can agree on terms that we can come to any kind of understanding.

Secondly, after talking with many of you via email and in person, it’s come to my attention that there’s been a bit of confusion over what environmental justice actually means. Like, what do those words actually mean? Where does that term come from? Who uses it? Why do we use it as a context in which to talk about the things we’re talking about? (more…)

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How to Organize a Protest

How to organize a protest

Demonstrations and protests help get your message across to the audience and the protest target. It’s important, however, to be prepared and organize your protest, so that all can go as effectively and efficiently as possible.

When organizing a protest, it’s crucial that one plans the event a few weeks before. Have some family and friends help you, and then decide on time and place that works for everyone. When place and time are agreed upon, the message needs to be discussed as well.

About two weeks before the event, hand out emails or posters physically by hand with your message displayed on them. This will help others become aware of the problem before any protesting even begins.  It’s important to gather your supporters together and have them become part of the process as well. They can choose what jobs they’d be interesting doing in part of the protesting process.

Don’t forget to obtain a local permit at your city hall so you can protest. It is free! Also, always keep a copy of your permit with you at the protest just in case people have issues with your location of protest. When you have most of the details figured out, send out a press release to attract more people to the protest to witness or participate.

Make signs with slogan and sayings that are catchy. If you can, make some songs or sing some relevant songs to your cause. Use a megaphone, drum, or whistles to get your music and point across.

On the actual day of the event, carpool with others in the protest to avoid unnecessary clutter at the protest scene, and also to be environmentally friendly. I personally use a big 7 passenger car, and it’s a car I got for under $5000, so it was a pretty easy decision. Be sure to arrive early or on exactly on time as media usually shows up earlier on the scenes. Try to schedule your protest early enough in the day so that a camera crew has time to attend your event and make it back in time to edit the video for the evening news.

Sunday newspaper is the most-read, while Saturday’s is the least-read. A Saturday protest will likely be covered in the Sunday newspaper, which will be read by a larger audience, while coverage of a Friday protest will appear in Saturday’s paper and reach a much smaller audience.

 Nominate someone in your protest group as the spokesman and someone whom the media can get a hold of easily.

Write down all the people and press that are supporting your cause and hindering it. The ones who help move the cause forward will be vital for next protests and further exploring of the problem. They may be needed for another protest event or rally soon.

Protests generate media coverage for your issue, while expressing your position to the audience of your protests. Because protests sometimes upset the ‘other’ side, it’s best to resolve any issues politely before organizing a protest. However, there are going to be times when you can’t resolve the situation amicably, and a protest is an important tool to help get your message out.

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Environmentally Friendly Hunting Practices

After years upon years of a tug of war debate, it seems as though hunters and environmentalist have finally come to an understanding. It has become evident that hunting can actually be beneficial to our environment when it is done under controlled circumstances with rigid rules set in place. There are a few simple things that hunters need to do in order to participate in environmentally friendly hunting practices. It is also important to note that the intent behind setting up environmentally friendly hunting practices is simply create a balance between the world of hunters and conservationists.

The first thing that all hunters must do to ensure that they are keeping in line with environmentally friendly hunting practices will be to take obtain a legal hunting license for each type of animal they intend to hunt. Most states require a brief questionnaire be filled out and a small fee be paid in order to receive a hunting license. This license will ensure that the hunter is going to follow the laws set forth by the state to protect the animals and the environment. I’m sure that most hunters will agree that it is far easier to follow a set of guidelines rather than be fined or even jailed for violating the agreed upon terms.

It is super important for hunters to hunt only within the areas that are designated as open terrain. This is necessary to prevent damage to the environment and to protect non hunting species and their habitats. The area that is designated for hunting is usually rather large and there is really no reason for the hunter to stray outside of that area. To remain true to the environmentally friendly hunting practices a hunter should be respectful of the balance that is being struck by creating these parameters.

The most important thing that a hunter can do to be environmentally friendly is to only hunt the animals that are overpopulating the designated hunting area and only during their specific hunting seasons. As mentioned before there is a balance that can be obtained by allowing the hunting of specific species, during specific times and in specific areas. The hunting of other species can set off a chain reaction and may ultimately lead to an imbalance causing loss of habitat, environmental damage and potentially loss of important animal populations.

When hunting, it is so important to use effective means of capturing and killing the animals to make the process as quick and as cruelty free as possible. Unfortunately there is no way for a hunter to avoid hurting the animals, but the most environmentally friendly thing to do is make it quick and clean. A skilled hunter will surely know the proper way to do this and will be prepared for the hunt.

As another small tip, make sure everything else you do is also environmentally conscious. Drive a greener car to the hunting grounds instead of a giant truck. If you’re a lady, wear lipstick, eyeliner  and mascara that has not been tested on animals. Even something as small as mascara makes a difference. You get the idea.

Lastly, but no less important than the other elements mentioned is the necessity to leave no trace of your hunting behind unless you choose to leave the animal bodies to return to the earth. Hunters need to be sure that any and all debris that is shed by their weapons or any other gear is collect to be properly disposed of. It is also important to limit the damage that may be done to the environment by not cutting down greenery or trees. The main goal is to leave the land in the same condition you found it in upon beginning your hunting trip.

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5 Awesome Solar Powered Gadgets

It seems like many technology companies are trying to create a market for solar powered gadgets by creating some really awesome and useful products that appeal to many consumers. This is exciting to me since solar energy is a free and unlimited power source that is the best thing for our environment. Take a look at some of the cool and innovative gadgets that use solar power as an energy source and that are redefining our ideas of how solar energy can be used.

Solar Powered Mobile Device Charger: We are now able to charge nearly any mobile device by using a solar powered charger. Using a solar power to charge mobile devices is so easy and it is a great way to help ease some of the consumption on power grids. All you have to do is find a sunny spot to set up the charger and plug in your phone, tablet or mp3 player with a compatible USB cord. Many solar powered charges are able to give most mobile devices a battery boost of up to 65%, so you are going to get a longer charge out of it.

Solar Powered Instruments: This may not be something you typically think of when you think of solar powered gadgets. But, believe it or not, it’s right around the corner. Several new start-ups are working hard on digital pianos, violins and drum machines that are powered by the sun. Pretty cool!

Solar Powered Mailbox: I am sure that all of us at some point or another have tried to find a friend’s house at night only to drive in circles because the house number is not visible on the house or the mailbox. A really cool and unique solution to this issue is a solar powered mailbox. These mailboxes soak up all of those juicy rays of sun all day long and are able to use that energy to illuminate the address numbers in LED lights on each side of the mailbox. The digits on these mailboxes is so bright that they can even be seen for up to 50 miles away and for up to 40 hours without needing to be recharged.

Self-Energy Converting Sunglasses: These solar powered sunglasses definitely put a new spin on the concept of charging your gadgets without the use of electricity. The lenses in these glasses are essentially mini solar panels that soak up all the sun’s rays when you are out and about and then convert it into a cheap and free high energy source. There is a small power jack installed on the back of the frames that allows you to use the solar energy you’ve collected to charge your portable devices. It’s a crazy concept, but it totally works and you can’t get much more eco-friendly than this!

Sharp Solar Hybrid Cell Phone: We’ve moved beyond just using solar energy to charge phone batteries and have made the great leap to harnessing solar energy to power an actual cell phone. Sharp has recently released the Solar Hybrid SH6230C and it is a phone unlike any other. There are solar panels that encase the phone that soak up the sun and the output will generate enough power to use the phone for talk time. The phone also uses solar power to power the 5 megapixel camera and illuminate the 2.9 inch LCD screen.

Casio G Shock Solar Watch: Casio has introduced a line of awesome watches that uses solar power technology in two very important ways. There is an internal solar panel that converts weak illumination into electric power for visibility in nearly any environment or lighting. The rechargeable battery of the watch is also powered by thermal energy and holds a charge for a very long time. They battery is able to recharge due to solar panels that are hidden beneath the surface of the watch face.

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How Running and Biking Help the Environment

It is becoming increasingly necessary for all of us to start making some changes for our planet before it is too late. A perfect and practical place to start is by trying to decrease our carbon footprint by limiting the use of cars for transportation. The easiest and most practical solution is for those of us that are able bodied to use a bicycle or our own two feet to get us from place to place. Biking and running more often rather than hopping in our cars will have such a positive impact on our planet and allow us to correct some of the damage that has already been done. I’m sure after seeing what the simple act of biking or running can do for our planet, you will think twice about grabbing your car keys next time you need to leave.

No air pollution: it is no secret that cars are without a doubt environmentally hazardous due to the large amount of pollutants that are emitted into the atmosphere. It is estimated that 80% of the carbon monoxide and 55% of nitrogen oxide in the atmosphere comes directly from cars and trucks that run on gas and diesel fuel. Running (especially if you have the right shoes) and biking do not contribute to the pollution level at all for obvious reasons and if more people went the carless route our planet would be much better off.

No Nonrenewable Fuels Burned: Each day millions of barrels of oil are used to operate both gas and diesel vehicles, which adds up easily to billions of gallons each year. The petroleum that is mined to support our oil consumption is not a renewable resource and will be gone well before we are able to function as a society without it. Running or biking eliminate the need for gas and diesel and in the long run will stretch the petroleum supply.

Better for Short Trips: Contrary to what many people think, short trips in a car actually waste more gas and create more pollutants than longer car trips do. Scientists are finding that nearly 15 pounds of pollution can be saved if drivers opt to use another means of getting around for short trips. Running and biking are perfect for short trips, not to mention you get to sneak in a workout at the same time. Just make sure you get some great tennis shoes!

Reducing the Parking Problem: Parking lots are an environmental issue that is easily overlooked, but should be counted in just as much as the use of fuel and pollution. There is an increase in cars which calls for more and more parking lots to accommodate them. The need for more parking lots means that more plant and animals have to lose their habitats to make way for them. Many trees are cut down to make way for parking lots and when that happens we are decreasing the amount of oxygen released into the environment on top of all the other damage being done. The chemicals used to pour parking lots are one of the biggest causes for global warming due to the toxins that are released into the air when the asphalt gets hot. These toxins not only cause global warming but also kill off surrounding vegetation.  If more people were to run or bike to get around it limit the amount of vehicles and ultimately limit the need for more parking lots.

Reduces Water Pollution: It is well known, but easily forgotten that every type of car or truck leaks brake fluid, anti-freeze, transmission fluid as well as other toxins that will eventually find their way into our oceans, rivers and lakes. The toxins that run off into our waterways have devastating and long last effects on our planet. These toxins are known to kill off vital plant and animal life as well as polluting some drinkable water systems. The use of a bike or the decision to run again will decrease the amount of damage that is done to our planet.

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Why Electric Cars are Essential to Saving the Environment

The time has come to make some serious changes for the sake of our planet. One of the ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint is to make the shift from conventional cars to electric cars. There are so many environmental benefits to driving an electric car and each will help halt some of the most detrimental damage from continuing to occur. Here are just a few of the most important reason to consider using an electric car.

No Direct Pollution: Electric cars are an awesome alternative source of transportation since they use battery power only. No gas, diesel or any other type of fossil fuel is needed to operate the car. They are the only vehicle that has zero carbon emissions. The very small amount of emissions that are released by electric cars comes directly from the original source of electricity and has little impact on the environment.

Potentially Clean Energy: There are many ways to charge the battery of an electric car and there is actually a way to have a car the releases zero emissions. This is possible by using a local power grid that’s supply is drawn from a combination of wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power. The battery used for the car is as clean as the power grid it used to charge. This is another reason for us to move toward alternative power sources on a wider scale. We could nearly wipe out the most toxic of emissions this way.

Battery Replacement: Electric cars are battery operated and eventually that battery will need to be replaced, much like a regular car. The difference between the batteries makes all the difference in the impact that is has on the environment. A conventional car battery is made of lead and acid, both of which are much more hazardous to our environment than the lithium or nickel based battery of an electric car. The battery in an electric car lasts just about as long as a regular car battery, so it definitely seems like the comparable replacement for conventional cars, especially when you add all of the planet and resource saving abilities.

Reduction of Toxic Fluids: Most electric cars have low or no need for many of the toxic fluids that conventional cars require to operate, such as motor oil, gasoline or anti-freeze. These pollutants often end up in our waterways and cause devastating effects on plant and animal life. When we eliminate the run off of these pollutants we are saving our biggest natural resource – water.

They look cool! Okay; I’m probably biased on this one. I’m an electric car owner and a photographer. And lately, I’ve been grabbing my camera and my Nikon lens and snapping photos of my sweet ride. I just think it’s awesome. That’s it!

Reduce the Use of Non Renewable Resources: Electric cars do not require the use of any gas or diesel fuel at all, which is wonderful considering that we are rapidly depleting our petroleum supply. It is estimated that we currently use millions of gallons of oil every single day to fuel just our conventional cars. Once we use up these resources they are gone forever and then we will be left to scramble for an alternative source to replace it. Why take that risk if the answer to preserving a valuable resource is fully functional, practical and readily available?

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