Beware of dem super bugz!
More awesome photos from TNC reminding us why we protect nature!
Install the pungle.me app and give back to great causes like TNC for free every time you shop online!
American’s and Social Change. Cool infographic.
Install the pungle.me app and give back to great causes for free every time you shop online!
Here’s a recent update video from Charity: Water. People getting clean water for the first time in their lives.. that’s pretty cool, yah? We think so!
Install the pungle.me app and give back to great causes for free every time you shop online!
Every time you shop online at one of Pungle’s affiliate stores, the…
Lucky me! I had the privilege of sitting down with Becky Straw, Co-Founder of The Adventure Project, for some happy hour in down town Seattle while she was here visiting. We got to talking and her passion to give back was contagious to say the least. I asked her if she’d answer some questions we’d received from our fans. Well, here they are!
What are “Social Ventures” and why are they important?
I consider a social venture to be an organization with a compassionate heart and a business brain. The goal of any social venture is to help as many people as effectively as possible. By using business models you can achieve two purposes; save lives and provide jobs.
Over one billion people survive on less than $1.25 per day. That’s a crazy number, really. We need to start thinking smarter about how we invest our aid dollars. By channeling our funds into social ventures that are achieving phenomenal results, I believe we can end extreme poverty in our lifetime, and save millions of kids lives in the process.
Is this more than just throwing money at a problem (ie. How does it really make a difference)?
Much more. Unlike aid relief, where you’re trying to distribute as much water or food as possible during an emergency, social ventures are focused on measuring impact and building a model that can sustain itself.
Social ventures looks at a problem and say, “If half of all rural farmers in Africa have children who go hungry – then those farmers are not producing enough eat, let alone sell in local markets.” Then they go about designing and building the most effective and affordable irrigation pump. They hire sales reps to sell the pumps to farmers throughout Kenya, and then monitor and evaluate the impact that pump has on the farmers kids, their livestock, and her business.
In essence we’re looking at smart technology that can transform the poor into profitable entrepreneurs. The irrigation pump, for example, can increase a farmer’s crop yield 1,000%. It’s remarkable. And it makes you want to support a business model to get a pump into the hands of every farmer on the planet.
Why are you personally so passionate about what you do?
I’ve worked and traveled through some of the scarcest villages in Africa, India and Haiti. And I just don’t think it’s fair that a mother’s baby dies because she can’t afford nourishing food, can’t find clean water, or gain access to essential medicines. Millions of children die each year from something entirely preventable. That doesn’t seem right to me.
I’m passionate because I’ve seen solutions that work. And I believe that if we all threw a little money into wise social ventures, we would create a better world. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Becky Straw is a champion. That’s all there really is to say about that. You can learn more about her and The Adventure Project here.
If you haven’t downloaded the pungle.me app yet, head over to the site and get to it! It’s the easiest way to support good causes for free when you shop online.
Photo Credit: Esther Havens
Speaking of feedback, we recently heard from OREO. This is no ordinary cat, but one of royal heritage. So, here you have it, an exclusive interview with Oreo himself.
Thanks to David Piner from Something Awful for stepping aside to let Oreo paw the keyboard and enlighten us all.
What say you of this Social Good nonsense? Is it indeed nonsense? Or is there some value there?
As a cat, it’s hard to understand a world without Social Good because without the care of others I could not survive. A pet is often fed food and water from their owners because being domesticated within a house makes it impossible for pets like us to find our food ourselves and years of domestication has made many of us evolve into being incapable of defending ourselves or hunting for our own food. So if clean water, fresh food, medical care, and other things were not given to us we would be incapable of surviving.
For many humans out there, due to the conditions that the world is in, there is no way for them to get the bare necessities as well. Supplying these communities with things that they’re incapable of obtaining on their own is a way of sharing things such as water, food, medical care to those less fortunate. In turn, not only do you increase the health, happiness, and well being of the world but you also increase the number of possible responsible pet owners who could help take care of kitty cats and puppy dogs in the future (and help out even more humans while they’re at it).
Potable Water seems to be a worthy cause, what are your thoughts on the matter?
If we consider that less than 1 in 4 people have a clean drinking supply in a large swath of Africa then we have to think that it must be a worthy cause. As a cat I require someone to often refill my water bowl because without it I would obviously not feel very good and that water needs to be clean enough that I don’t get sick. Which is why I have one of those neat water bowls that keep the water circulating and has a filter built into it. However, a lot of people in the world obviously don’t have that and safe drinking water is not available to them.
So obviously, it’s important to provide that safe drinking water to others in the world and, when possible, help through education and science, to make sure they can keep a healthy supply of fresh drinking water. Much like my water bowl, we need to share filtration packs, clean water, and technology to help make sure that they don’t get sick whenever their mouths get dry.
What is your current pc game of choice? (don’t deny it, we all know cats live vicariously through their masters’ pc gaming experiences)
Many would somehow expect a cat to say World of Warcraft but this kitty cat is not mainstream and also doesn’t let their “master” hog all of the computer time. My game of choice is Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines which I have replayed over and over. The main reason is because you get to play as a vampire and sometimes I often feel like the soul inside of me is that of a vampire. It’s kind of like I am a vampire stuck in a cat’s body. So I can play this game and let the vampire inside of me live vicariously through my actions on the keyboard.
Although, I think that keyboards need to be designed to be more pet friendly. I walk over there and then sit on it and then put my paws on it but then it doesn’t do much but keep making the character run in circles but I somehow also think that is how vampires probably actually are, just a bunch of people who run around in circles in trench coats and then I feel a bit sad inside to think that I’m like a puppy dog who just wants to chase it’s tail.
Lastly, you’re not really named after a cookie are you? There must be some deeper meaning for a cat of your sophistication.
I’m actually named after Count Chocula’s (who is my great, great granddad) distant cousin, The Viscount Oreoes of Mount Chocula, Lord of Milk and Chocolate and of His other Sugary Confections and Syrups. Many people ask this question, but few know of my royal heritage. It’s quite alright, but the answer is no, I am not named after “Oreos” but more accurately one might think that Oreos were named after me!
Thank you for you time in interviewing me. If you don’t mind, some random object moved in my peripheral vision way too fast and I must now chase it until I’m tired.
Well, what can I say other than I’m pleased that I now know a cat related to Count Chocula. That, my friends, is an honor.
If you haven’t downloaded the pungle.me app yet, head over to the site and get to it!
We’ve been getting a lot of great feedback on the site lately, so I decided to ask one of our biggest supporters if he’d answer some questions that a lot of people seem to have. This, is Drew DePriest.
Thanks to Twitter, we’ve had the chance to get to know Drew. He’s been a big supporter of pungle from the beginning. It’s not every day you find such a loyal supporter, and I wanted everyone to have the chance to hear directly from him. So, here you go.
What do you do for work? Where do you live? And how awesome is it having an infant terrorize your house?
I work for Automated Logic, a company that designs, installs and services building automation systems. My day-to-day centers around auditing the energy usage of commercial buildings and recommending ways for our clients to save TONS of money. Seriously. Tons. You can also find me heading up our quality program as well as rocking Photoshop and Powerpoint for some marketing and presentation stuff. Want to blow an engineer’s mind? Show him/her the “clone stamp” in Photoshop. They’ll think it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever seen.
And if by “awesome” you mean “exhausting yet incredibly rewarding,” then yes - it’s awesome having an infant to terrorize my house. My kid is a blast to be around during the day but absolutely despises sleep. As such, no one else in our house sleeps much. You’d be surprised at how well the human body can still function near exhaustion, and that’s without Jessie Spano levels of caffeine pills.
Give us some insight into the importance of clean/renewable energy, from an industry engineer’s perspective.
Aside from the seemingly obvious philosophy that recognizes a finite resource of energy (in our case, oil) will eventually run out, especially given exponentially increasing demand, there are other factors that play into the importance of renewables. From a corporate standpoint, the honest truth is that the green movement truly is a financial one more than anything. Inefficiently-run electrical and mechanical systems of a building can cause a company to lose tens of thousands of dollars a year in operating costs. Clean tech and renewable alternatives, especially when coupled with best operational practices, can not only help to reduce the greater reliance on oil, but also save a building owner financially in the long run. It’s one of the greatest, most challenging cultural shifts our generation will encounter, and I only hope we can find better, more efficient renewable energy solutions before it’s too late. Pungle-backed organizations like Carbonfund understand this mission more than anyone and are doing great things to make it a reality every day.
How did you come across pungle.me and what do you think about what we’re doing?
Behold, the power of social media. Earlier this spring, Madeline and I started following each other on “the Twitter.” From there, I started using “the Anvil” to jump to sites like Amazon and iTunes so you guys could do your thing with helping the greater good while I was jamming out to some new tunes and fresh threads. I think the idea is absolutely genius and incredibly refreshing. You guys are like my favorite indie band that hasn’t blown up yet - I’m proud to say I knew you “way back when” and continue to share the Pungle love with as many people as possible.
Why do you feel it’s important to pro-actively support social good?
The very framework on which the social web exists and succeeds relies on trust and good intentions. In a way, supporting social good and the causes that Pungle champions proves that this collaborative, engaging model truly does work. It’s great to see a direct ,positive result stemming from the online activity to which we’re all now hopelessly addicted.
You mentioned recently to us that you’d like to see more pungle swag, what kind of swag? (we’re all about the awesome swag)
As a graphic tee connoisseur, I’d love to see more fun designs like the high-five on a super comfortable American Apparel shirt. Hoodies would be great, as well. On the less realistic end of the spectrum, you could probably push a lot of “Pungle: The Flamethrower” units as well.
If you have any questions for Drew or just want to say what’s up, you can find him on Twitter @illinidrew or you can email him at drew.depriest [at] gmail [dot] com.
If you haven’t set up your bookmarklet yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Its super easy, and there is even a video to help you. Go to the Shop Tool, set up the stores and cause you want, and drag that buster up to your bookmark bar.
If you can’t do that….well….
This is the hot buzz word on top social media industry sites like Mashable and Huffington Post, but what does social good mean? Social good is active partaking in improving communities. Take a look at how social good functions in 3 different applications:
Social Good Enterprise
A social good business integrates their product, core values or business structure to support social responsibility. Tom’s shoes is a great example of a successful integration of social good as a core value. With their “one for one” goal, Tom’s created a marketplace that gives the customer the opportunity to do good with their purchase. pungle.me is structured similarly to integrate social good into online shopping.
Social Good Organization
A social good organization is a group or a non-profit who’s purpose is to support specific human needs or innovations. Thousands of non-profits fall into this category, from charity:water to pungle’s empowerment cause: TAP (The Adventure Project).
Individual Social Good
Individual social good can include anything from tweeting, blogging for social good, donating money or time or even altering buying habits. Many people gain a sense of worth when they contribute their time to assist in social good projects. Ultimately, social good is the active partaking in improving communities.
The problem with social good
The problem with trying to define social good is that it has no qualified meaning. Unlike “organic” which has been determined by the FDA, social good can be used or misused freely.