Facebook Charity Apps: (Lil) Green Patch and others


Facebook has quite a few apps (applications for the non-initiated, or perhaps non-inundated) that can be entertaining, and even help by minute increments to improve our world.

The precept of “(Lil) Green Patch” is that users of the app can help fight global warming. It works like this: the Facebook user “builds a Green Patch” with online friends, and the application shows a running count of the square feet of rainforest saved by everyone as they use the application.  Sponsors contribute the money which, minus expenses, is turned over to conservation groups like the Nature Conservancy.

A blogger named Ashley noted in Oct. ’08,  “The problem with this app [“(Lil) Green Patch”] is that all the plants have Caucasian faces. It’s so exclusionary. People have asked for plants with brown and black faces, but the developers refuse!”

I agree there could be more diversity in the faces to reflect a true global community, and wonder if the developers could really be so naive and uncaring as to refuse this reasonable request?

As of today, January 24, 2009, (Lil) Green Patch reported 5,811,857 monthly active users, and 96,124,167 Sq ft of rainforest saved, which is a little over 2,206 acres, or not quite 3.5 square miles.  (I apparently was responsible for 5 Sq ft of this territory as my “Personal Rainforest Saved, through tending my own little green patch.

Regarding other charity apps on Facebook, Green-writer Jennifer Kaplan on the website Ecopreneurist notes that Charity Navigator reveals that only seven out of over twenty–or about a third–were given 4-star ratings:

While I’ve enjoyed the fun of a virtual green patch, I think my time on Facebook will shift during 2009.


Published in: on January 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Ghost in the Machine, Big Brother, and Paperless Offices

It’s curious, I had sent a message to my circle of friends with adolescent and teen age kids, attaching a white paper I’d discovered about kids’ usage of social networking sites and related privacy issues.  I’m attaching it here Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks, in case anyone’s interested.  The funny thing was, I’d bc’d all these friends on my message, and cc’d myself at another email account…a Gmail account, which I prefer to my funky old Hotmail.  When I looked at the message I’d sent myself later from the Gmail account, I saw my message with a bizarre line attached (see italics)…

I hope this email finds you well.  I came across this information and thought I’d disseminate it to some friends and family with children who are inevitably affected by the phenomenon of social networking sites.   Take a glance through it!

See what you’re getting into…before you go there See it!

I’m not a big fan of these taglines, or whatever they’re called, being appended to my messages.  I’ll need to keep an eye out to see if Gmail does that as well. Another thing that’s been bubbling to the surface in my attention recently is the concept of the Paperless Office.  The daughter of two inveterate packrats and intellectuals who sprout clippings and nest in paper like skin sheds cells daily, it’s a mind-boggling concept for me.  I own and never got around to using a Palm for managing my calendar.  There’s something comforting to me about the old fashioned little notebook, where you can stick in some postage-stamps, return address labels, and maybe a coupon for a great new deli restaurant to try on your lunch hour.  Or your dry-cleaning receipt.  It’s a concept I’ll be mulling over.  If any readers crop up, I’d be glad for the feedback in how you manage the balance between paperless and hard copy.  But here’s a good argument for paperless.  If you’re half-way decent at organizing (allowing you to retrieve what you’ve filed digitally), paperless can help you make some sound decisions about what’s worth keeping.  Here’s Argument A.  Letter template for window envelope This is a scan of something I’ve been shuffling around my home office for probably 7 or more years.  It was an 8 1/2 x 11″ page acrylic or clear something page, showing a template for a letter set-up, allowing the copy to align in a window envelope.  Pretty useful?  Not.  I never had need for it…and it was only until I scanned it that I realized how irrelevant and probably obsolete it was.  Anything I would ever need like that (for future marketing purposes?) would be available online anyway. But I’m still tumbling the idea of scanned vs. hard copy photos around in my quest for simplicity.  I’ll work on that.

Published in: on August 23, 2007 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment