Saturday, September 19, 2009

September Donations (and related Books)

I recently read the book "Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money" by Woody Tash. This book is all about investing in sustainable agriculture and food companies as if good and healthy food matters. It's an inspiring and fairly dense book which outlines the principles of the Slow Money Alliance. As soon as I finished reading the book, I signed up to become a member of this organization. It makes so much sense to invest in the earth without which we cannot survive on this planet. It's so sad to read about farmers struggling to get by and the big corporations taking over everything. Irresponsible farming and other malpractices are destroying valuable topsoil that takes hundreds of years to build up. Drastic times call for drastic measures. I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in socially responsible investing.

One of my other favorite books of the year is a book called "The Better World Handbook," which I picked up at the Luther College bookstore. One of the authors, Brett Johnson, is a professor there (along with my dear husband). It is a great tool for coming up with more and more ways to make the world a better place. It is specifically geared toward people like me who work full time and probably don't feel like they have the time to really make a difference. But we do! Every little thing matters. From transportation to eating, there are good choices and not so great choices. The one area that I've been wanting to do more with is "money." We've kind of settled for the default options that come with work and the city in which we live. For various reasons, this is not a great time for us to make a bunch of financial changes, but I wanted to do something! So, this month, I tried microlending for the first time. I went to and signed up to lend a certain amount of money to Afi Katako in Togo. She is essentially the village cook and needed a loan of $875 to buy more supplies to meet an increasing demand. She is now fully funded and is on a 17 month repayment plan. What an awesome concept!

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

-Chinese Proverb

Note: Farmer image courtesy of Hans Thoursie at stock.xchng.

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