savingeveryonelse


So excited!!
December 12, 2010, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Sustainable Living

My Mom took me to Bring’s Recycling today, a giant store of materials left over from tearing down buildings and the like, and we got the supplies to build a chicken coop.

I can’t believe she agreed to it, and I’m even more surprised by how cheap it was – 30 bucks. We still need to get the locks, so we don’t have any racoon-burglers. But still, that’s only another 5 bucks. What’s even better, is that chickens are cheap to maintain too. Especially if you have your own garden. They need straw for bedding, and you can either give them some chicken comercial feed, or let them be free range and feed them grain, left over kitchen scraps (greens and fruit), and an occasional calcium supplement… It’s just so easy. And they’re so easy to take care of… from what I’ve read, at least. Change the bedding every other day, easy. Just sweep it into the compost bin.

So, what I know about chickens I’ve learned from my Granny, and from the book The Urban Homestead, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. It’s legit – she and he lists their sources in the back.

So here’s  a summary of the section on chickens, if you want to have fresh eggs every morning:

  • If you let your chickens free range in your garden and yard, they will fertilize the ground for you (chicken poop is the second best compost fertilizer, next to rabbits), eat weeds, and eat bugs. They even lay eggs!!
  • Three eggs a week per chicken is average.
  • Chickens pasture-raised can live as long as 30 years.
  • You only need a rooster to have chicks.
  • You can get chicks at a feed store, a local farm or breeder, at a local animal shelter, or order them online.
  • Make sure to have them sexed – this way you know you’re getting only hens. Chickens have pecking orders, or a social hierchy, so if you do get a rooster, only get one or face the horrors of a fowl war.
  • Only get chickens that are active, alert, bright-eyed, and clean plumage. Most importantly, their butts should be  clean. DO NOT get sickly chickens – they are highly susceptible to diseases if they aren’t already sick. Even if the chicken is clean, but it’s surrounding aren’t, walk away immediately. Don’t bring home parasites or diseases.
  • Chickens are social. Never have only one. 3 to 6 hens is typical for a city flock, but if you live in a place, like say Eugene, you might have to check with your local laws and regulations. Eugene only allows two chickens per household.
  • Chicks are complicated – they need to be constantly warm, housed in a brooder, and fed special food. This is why I’m starting with adult hens, but when we move to a house with a bigger yard, I want to get a rooster and breed. My point is, it may be fun to raise the chicks, or maybe you want the short-cut like me. Either’s fine. Keep in mind, chickens don’t start laying eggs until they’re about 6 months old.
  • The hen house is essentially “a box with a wood, dirt, or concrete floor, a bar for roosting, and a nesting box or two for laying. Hens share nesting boxes, so one box per four hens is sufficient” (Paraphrased). You need about 4 square feet per hen if you let them out to play each day. If not, you need about 10 square feet per hen. Make sure it is easy to open and access for cleaning. Shouldn’t be drafty during the winter, but cross-ventilated for the summer. Unless you live in a southern climate, insulate the chicken house too. Make sure your house is secure – racoons can eat a chicken through chicken wire, and unlock latches and the like. Get a padlock, and make sure your henhouse is sealed from chicken predators.
  • Chickens eat greens, grains, scratch, fruit, weeds. Chickens NEED grit, and calcium. If you don’t give them a comercial feed, just let them get grit out of your yard and give them constant access to some, and grind up the chickens eggshells VERY FINELY for calcium supplements (if the chickens recognize the eggs they might eat their own).
  • Don’t leave them out at night.
  • Change the bedding/Clean the coop every couple of days.
  • Chickens don’t make much noise – Roosters are incredibly loud.
  • Chickens do not get along with cats or dogs.

Well, good luck with your chikitas!!

  • For water, the book suggests getting a poultry fountain. It can’t be perched on, pooped in, or knocked over.
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Bycicle Network
December 9, 2010, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Sustainable Living

As a new act towards a self-sustainable country, the United States Secretary of Transportation has officially anounced the beginnings of a network of bycicle paths across the entire country. Read more here:

http://eartheasy.com/blog/2010/11/interstate-bicycling-system-takes-shape/



Some statistics on DV… And How To Help.
December 4, 2010, 3:48 pm
Filed under: domestic violence
  • One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • 3 million women are physically abused by their boyfriend or husband each year.
  • As many as 6 million MEN are VICTIMS of domestic violence each year. As many as 6 million women are victims of dometic violence each year. Yet , the legally reported statistics state that 85% of domestic violence victims are women. For whatever their reasons are, domestic violence against men is one of the least reported crimes in America.
  • Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Women of ALL RACES are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.
  • Domestic violence affects people regardless of income. However, people with lower annual income (below $25K) are at a 3-times higher risk of intimate partner violence than people with higher annual income (over $50K). Those with less resources are MORE LIKELY to report incidents of violence.
  • Nearly 2.2 MILLION people called a domestic violence crisis or hot line in 2004 to escape crisis situations, seek advice, or assist someone they thought might be victims. That was 2004, and it’s only been escalating since then. How bad is it now?
  • Studies show that access to shelter services leads to a 60-70% reduction in occurence and severity of repeated abuse during the next 3-12 months, compared to women who did not access shelter. Shelter services led to greater reduction in severe repeated abuse than seeking court or law enforcement protection, or moving to a new location did. And what happens to the women and men abused by POLICE OFFICERS?
  • More than three women are murdered each day by their intimate partners in the USA.
  • More than one man each day is murdered by his intimate partner in the US.
  • About HALF of all female victims of intimate violence report an injury of some type, and about 20 percent of them seek medical assistance. 37% of women who sought treatment in emergency rooms for violence-related injuries in 1994 were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Approximately one in five female high school students REPORTS being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. How many aren’t reporting it?
  • One in FIVE teens in a serious relationship reports having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner. 14% of teens report their boyfriend or girlfriend threatened to harm them or themselves to avoid a breakup. Many studies indicate that as a dating relationship becomes more serious, the potential for and nature of violent behavior also ESCALATES.
  • Date rape accounts for almost 70% of sexual assaults reported by adolescent and college age women; 38% of those women are between 14 and 17 years old.
  • In a national survey of American families, 50% of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children.
  • Between 3.3 – 10 million CHILDREN witness some form of domestic violence annually
  • Individuals who are CONTROLLING of their partners are much more likely to also be physically assaultive, and this holds equally for both male and female perpetrators.
  • Societal norms SUPPORT female-perpetrated abuse in the home.
  • Men and women engage in overall equal levels of abuse and control, such as diminishing the partner’s self-esteem, isolation and jealousy, using children and economic abuse; however, men engage in higher levels of sexual coercion and can more easily intimidate physically.
  • Three in four women (76%) who reported they had been raped and/or physically assaulted since age 18 said that an INTIMATE PARTNER committed the assault.
  • Annually in the United States, 503,485 women are stalked by an intimate partner.
  • On average, 21% of female victims and 10% of male victims of nonfatal partner violence contact an outside agency for assistance. Of those females and males contacting an outside agency, 45% contact a private agency.
  • On average, only 70% of nonfatal partner violence is reported to law enforcement.
  • Of those not reporting, 41% of male and 27% of female victims stated victimization being a private/personal matter as a reason for not reporting.
  • 15% of women feared reprisal.
  • 12% of all victims wished to protect the offender
  • And 6% of all victims believed police would do nothing.
  • Annually, 18 people die in Oregon as a result of domestic violence. These victims include men, women, and children.
  • At least 1 in 10 Oregon women between the ages of 20-55 (more than 85,000 women) have been physically or sexually assaulted by a current or former intimate partner in the preceding five years. Children witnessed 33% of those assaults.
  • 1 in 6 Oregon women has been the victim of rape. More than 50% of rape victims are under 17 years old.
  • Requests for shelter that Oregon programs were unable to meet rose from 14,739 in 2007 to 19,996 in 2008. This is a 36% increase. These figures may include duplication if survivors called more than one shelter. However, the increase in calls for help that cannot be met due to lack of resources remains significant.
  • 16 lives were taken by domestic violence in Washington County in the last 10 months.
  • Some people don’t know they’re allowed to say no.
  • Most people believe women are the ONLY victims of domestic violence, and that men can’t be abused by their wife, girlfriend, partner, or male partner. This is a lie. Men are equally abused. Domestic violence occurs in forms other than physical abuse, but men are also physically abused by intimate partners.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1,200 deaths and two million injuries to women from domestic/dating violence each year.
  •  The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that, on average, four or five women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends each day in this country. 
  • More than 15 million children in the United States are exposed to parental domestic violence.
  • Nearly one in four teens report being victimized through technology, and nearly one in two who are in relationships report being controlled, threatened, and pressured to do things they did not want to do.

Look at all of that, and tell me there’s nothing wrong with it.

Now, what can we do about it? What can I do about it? What am I doing about it right now?

Well, I guess the most important thing you can do, is if you know someone who suffers, or has suffered, from domestic violence, help them in any way you can. Even if it’s just being a safe place for them to go to, or someone to call.

Ways to help:

  • The easiest and most impersonal way to help is to donate. Check out my links, or my sources at the bottom of this page for places that take your money.
  • Some shelters take donations like Goodwill does, because many victims are forced to leave everything but the clothes on their back when they leave their partner. Some have been forced to leave their kids even.
  • Talking about is the easiest, and in a way makes the most impact. Make people around you aware that it is wrong, it is real, and it happens way too much and how they can help too.
  • And if you see it happen, don’t just watch.
  • Host a fundraising event – another form of donating. If you don’t have the money, getting your SCHOOL or your WORK involved, or just a whole bunch of friends or teachers to help. For fundraising information, I’ll post about that later after a little more research. But be creative!
  • Volunteer. I’m not exactly sure on how to get information about how and where to volunteer. Most places say you need to be 16 unless you have a parent chaperone, BUT see about getting a work shadow or internship if you wanna sneak around that annoying little rule. Or some places will let you unnoficially volunteer, but it’s rare because it’s a liability they don’t need. If you’re in Oregon, it will be easier. Use the internet to find a place to help out.
  • Become an advocate. Check out the websites in my sources for places to become an advocate. Advocates essentially learn about domestic violence, then teach other people about it.
  • Become a direct supporter by joining a chat room, a hotline, or a penpal service even, to help survivors and victims by just letting them know someone cares.
  • If you’re a medical/legal official (Doctor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, lawyer, etc.) do some pro-bono work.
  • If you’re a guy, the most important thing you can do is be a rolemodel. Show your peers, your elders, and the people younger than you (even if you’re just a teenager) what respect and honor is. Show them to respect women. Show them to respect men.
  • At your school start a club or something of the like that focuses on teaching your fellow students about healthy relationships – and I mean more than just using protection and saying no, I mean what the signs of an abusive relationship are, fun but safe dates to do, the dangers of internet dating, and what a healthy relationship looks like and how to have one. This is ESPECIALLY important in middle school – don’t wait till High School to do this.
  • If you’re a guy, take a vocal stand. Men speaking out can have a powerful effect in helping change social norms that support and perpetuate abuse.
  • If you’re a guy, act as a role model to a child who lacks a positive male figure in his life. A male mentor and friend can provide consistent support, and even help the child make a safety plan.
  • Take a leadership role in civic organizations, such as sports clubs, churches, and neighborhood associations, and speak out against domestic violence.
  • Try out the action kit at http://endabuse.org/section/action_center/. The download is safe, uses Adobe reader on your browser. I haven’t checked out the entire kit yet, but it looks legit.
  • One of the reasons it’s so hard to get out of the relationship is because the victim has no financial resources. Helping by providing jobs or training or financial counseling, etc., to the victims will help immensely.
  • If you’re a teenager, get involved at your school by having a teacher help you start a workshop for healthy relationships. Check out thesafespace.org for ideas.
  • Voting. Be active in the legislation that helps prosecute and prevent domestic violence.
  • EVEN IF YOU’RE UNDER 18 you can help change laws too. Check out this page http://www.thesafespace.org/take-action/take-action-by-changing-laws/.
  • Now this might sound stupid to some people, but it actually does help. Expressing Domestic Violence through art mediums, including poetry and other written formats. Posting these on sites like fictionpress.com, fanfiction.net, deviantart.com, blog sites, livejournal.com gets them known publicly online. Then send them to school newspapers, local newspapers, magazines, chicken soup for the soul, and other such places. Any questions or need some help, or just someone to tell about your idea or whatever, email me. 
  • Have a “live art” performance at a local college, or high school or theater even. Plays, musicals, expressionist moving models, dancing, etc.
  • Reach out to local newspapers and tv stations, or non-local, and get your story told or get the word out.
  • EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT 18, get involved in your community by starting a conference at a local college or something, and have workshops educating about domestic violence.
  • Start a grassroots campaign in your community, using technology available on the internet and resources, you can do it.
  • This is another strange but free, easy one that ANYONE can do, and you can do it everyday. Switch your SEARCH ENGINE. Yes, switch to http://www.breakthecycle.prodege.com/. Everytime you search using this engine, three cents is donated to Break The Cycles Domestic Violence relief funds.
  • Host a party, like a Valentines Anytime party. Charge admission, request donations, and make the theme love in healthy relationships. If you’re under 18, hold one at your local school. Or at your work, teen or adult. Or at your home. Ask a local theater to sponsor you, even. Or a local resteraunt to have a “happy hour” where ___% of the proceeds is donated to ___ domestic violence charity. For some extra help, check out http://www.breakthecycle.org/valentines-anytime.
  • Become a Break The Cycle Youth Professional at http://www.breakthecycle.org/content/young-professionals. From what I understand, this is only for Los Angeles and DC area.
  • Join HOPE on Break The Cycle at http://www.breakthecycle.org/hope. It’s only 10 bucks a year, and they give you a whole lot of extra help in getting involved.
  • Again only in LA, you can become an email correspondent with Break the Cycle at http://www.breakthecycle.org/help-services-volunteers.
  • Use the kit here http://www.breakthecycle.org/spread-the-word at Break the Cycle, set up an information table at your church, gym, school, college, or community center. Mall even!
  • Spread the word online, darlings. Post blogs, journals, email people, everyone, you know.
  • An interesting art project I saw at a local support center was the names and stories of domestic homicide in the last year here in Oregon, on small pieces of paper, taped onto cutouts of silhouettes, hung up on the hallway. They stretched on, and on, and I cried while I read each and every one of them. Hang one of these displays up at a local gallery, school, playground, park, church, or anything.

I hope all of this helps, I’m working on getting my game plan set up so I can get involved too. I’ll tell you what works and what doesn’t when I find out! I’ll do more research later, but for now I’ve got to study.

Au revoir, mon cherie.

Sources:
http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic
http://www.silcom.com/~paladin/madv/mencando.html
http://endabuse.org/
IF YOU’RE UNDER  18 I HIGHLY SUGGEST: http://www.thesafespace.org/
http://www.breakthecycle.org/



Causes I’m working for!

Causes I’m Working For:

Domestic Violence
Children in need (including those currently suffering from abuse, or homeless, or teenagers who just feel like no one listens)
Children’s rights (for example, 14 year olds should be aloud to volunteer without parental permission and supervision)
Education System
Soldiers/Veterans Aid
Self-Sufficient Economy
Better Food for America

Why?

Because my mom suffered over fourteen years of domestic violence at the hand of my father, and I couldn’t stop it, and sometimes I still hate her for not stopping it even though I know she couldn’t.

Because I know someone who is being sexually abused, because I was, because I’ve been homeless and wondering where the food money’s coming from, and I’ve felt completely and utterly alone and like no one would listen to me, and I know EVERY teenager out there has felt that their ideas don’t matter until they graduate high school, even if their idea is one of the best things to ever grace the human mind.

Because I feel stupid every day I sit in class, and learn absolutely nothing, and wish with all my heart that I could be one of those kids who graduates from MIT, or Tokyo U at age 15, because I know, if I had had the opportunities, and worked hard enough, that I’m smart enough to have done it.

And because it’s an absolute disgrace to the American people, a gross abuse of power and of our soldiers, disturbing, disgusting, and revolting that active soldiers make as little as 2400 a month, no matter how many family members their supporting, or how many hours their working, or how often they’re putting their lives on the line to save us, and that every night an estimated 170,000 veterans go to sleep without a home each night.

So now that you know what I’m working for, and why, send me an email telling me what you think needs to be fixed, and why, or offer your support.

This blog will tell you exactly how to make a difference RIGHT NOW (without donating if you can’t afford it (like me)), and no matter how old you are or how much time you have.