Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Go WWOOFing.

Amazingly enough, this has nothing to do with barking dogs, or stereo equipment. The International WWOOF Association is an organizes "world-wide opportunities on organic farms." In exchange for volunteer work on a farm, WWOOFers get free room and board, training on organic farming, and an experience they'll never forget. Interested?

* There are a wide variety of farms. "WWOOF hosts are mainly pursuing a simple, sustainable, lifestyle. Many are practising Permaculture or Bio-dynamic growing methods. Some farms are commercial producers, whether full or part time; others are alternative co-operatives or communities."

* There are numerous locations all over the world. You can visit and volunteer in countries like China, Ghana, Mexico Turkey, and many others. And there are farms all over the US and the EU.

* There are opportunities for WWOOF hosts. If you run an organic farm, consider hosting WWOOFers. You meet interesting people and get some extra hands to help with labor.

The WWOOF website has much more information including an FAQ, a WWOOF history, and everything else you need to plan your trip. It's a great way to be of service, see someplace new, and learn an awful lot. Have fun farming!

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." - Albert Pike

Monday, April 17, 2006

Be an activist.

As I wrote that title, I realized that you probably already are an activist. I mean, you're reading So what can I do so you're clearly on the lookout for ways to make our world a better place. Maybe you recycle. Perhaps you donate life. Or ride transit. Or click every day. See, you are already an activist!

Here are resources you can use to broaden the things you do that will make our lives better:

* Alice Dreger's Top Ten Tips for Doing Activism in Academia. This is a wonderful resource for folks in academe. You may also want to check out her recent post on The Bioethics Forum.

* Elizabeth May's How to be an activist. She works for the Sierra Club so she writes with an eye to environmental issues. But her advice can be more broadly applied.

* The Activist's Handbook from is "a pretty good practical introduction to being politically active."

* The United Methodist Church provides these tips on How to be an Activist taken from

So what can I do is filled with other resources you can use to make a positive difference in your world. Remember you don't have to do all of the things on this list. Start with one or two, the ones you feel most comfortable with. Then move on from there. 'Activism' is not a bad word. Neither is 'protest'. Some may want to march on Washington. Others may want to write a letter to their newspaper or senator. Still others may want to volunteer in their community. Many will do all three and then some. Those of us who understand that we have the power to change our world must figure how to make those words and actions relevant in our own lives. It's part of being the best person one can be.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Ghandi