New bank Account Morally Monitors Your Purchases

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Aspiration financial firm is a B-corporatoin that wants to help people “vote with their wallets”. It’s incredibly hard for individuals to stay up to date on the damage that large organizations do despite that a lot of people care. Consumers want to punish companies for some of their actions from United kicking people off airplanes to Shell lying about climate change. This means there’s an opportunity for Aspiration to help people divert money from companies that make the world worse, and the company is growing as a result.

Called Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), the program analyzes not one, but thousands of data points to generate two scores for companies: The “People” score gauges how well companies treat their employees and communities, and the “Planet” score assesses companies’ sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Every time an Aspiration customer swipes the debit card associated with their account to make a payment toward a company, that company’s Planet and People scores are funneled into the customer’s personalized AIM score, which reflects the positive (or negative) impact of where they shop.

“People have been hungering for this exact kind of information,” Cherny says. “We see this in our customers, we see this in all these surveys that are coming out about how younger people especially, but consumers overall, are thinking about how a company behaves and how its products are created as they make decisions on where to buy. But until now, they haven’t really had the information to be able to do so.”

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A Bold, Bodacious Beard Club

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Beards are wonderful. I say this not has a biased individual who has a beard, but has a person who understands that beards are more than they seem. In the province of Newfoundland there is a beard club that spends their time making the world a better place. The best part of beard club is that you must tell everybody about, and that anybody is welcome – no beard even needed!

“Instead of paying dues or anything, like a lot of groups do, how about we give back to the community? And one of the great ways, especially with [Hai’s] history with Project Kindness, is volunteering,” he said.

“So once a month we’re gonna get together, do some volunteering, do some volunteering on our own. It’s just a great way to give back to the community.”

Group members share some beard-care tips amongst themselves, and are hopeful the trend expands further.

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The Trump Forest

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There’s a new forest growing and it’s spreading over the entire world – and you can help spread it. Trump Forest is more of an idea than a physical place, but it’s all about the physical. President Trump’s ignorance around climate change is apparent and will have disastrous impacts on the planet. As a result of this some enterprising New Zealanders decided to grow resistance to Trump – literally. The idea is to plant as many trees as needed to counteract Trump’s ignorance.

Trump Forest’s tagline is “where ignorance grows trees.” The original plan was to plant a tree for every time President Trump said the words “climate change,” but it quickly became apparent that this wouldn’t grow a forest: Trump has long refused to say the words, and, last week, the U.S. Department of Energy was barred from using the phrase “climate change,” along with “emissions reduction” and “Paris Agreement.”

Human civilization currently emits about 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. To avoid extreme climate change, where the average global temperature would rise by 4°C, emissions need to be reduced to 22 gigatons (or 22 billion tons) by 2050.

Researchers at Oxford University estimate that, if pursued at scale, reforestation and afforestation could sequester as much as 5.5 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. So while planting trees is not enough to reverse climate change, it is a low-cost and effective act of resistance when coupled with other climate action efforts.

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Get Rewarded for Supporting Civil Disobedience

If your idea to change the world is creative enough then you could get $250,000 from LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Technically, it’ll be from MIT Media Lab with money from Hoffman. The Lab and Hoffman teamed up to ensure that creative civil resistance in the USA doesn’t die under the Trump presidency. With the increased pressure on American institutions to buckle under corporate influence right from the top (think Rex Tillerson) the need for people standing up is needed now more than ever before. This prize for civil disobedience is designed to get people engaged and thinking in new ways to stand up for human and legal rights.

“We wanted to see if we could identify very creative and principled disobedience,” says Ito. “I talked to a lot of students, and some of them had started saying, this nonviolence stuff doesn’t work anymore, or those days of Gandhi are over. And some people threatened to engage in disobedience that I felt was sort of reckless.”

The aim of the award is to help someone make further progress. “My hope is that we support a person in the middle of their career and help provide coaching, support, and visibility to help him or her be more effective,” says Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab. “We hope we’re not just rewarding what they’ve already achieved.”

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What You Can do Now to Mitigate Climate Change

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You probably feel overwhelmed by the seemingly infinite ways that climate change alters the planet and your life. Thankfully, you don’t need to sit ideally by and watch the world get too hot. You can start making a difference today by just monitoring what you do and where you get stuff from. Over at Digg they have compiled simple things that you can start doing today to begin mitigating your impact on the planet.

Think About How You Travel

According to the EPA, in 2014 transportation accounted for just over a quarter of all US greenhouse gas emissions. Granted, not all of that can be chalked up to you jumping in your car and driving to work. In addition to personal automobiles there are also planes and trucks contributing to the problem. A 2016 MIT study found that if every car owner went out en masse and bought an electric vehicle the amount of transportation greenhouse gas emissions would drop by around 30 percent.

Of course, not everyone can just go out and buy an electric vehicle. But there’s still plenty you can do. You can drive more efficiently, make sure your tires are properly inflated, carpool, take public transportation, start riding a bicycle to places.

According to the EPA, just trying to find some way to drive two less days per week will reduce your annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2 tons annually. That’s a 12 percent reduction in your own personal greenhouse gas emissions right there.

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