Friday, July 6, 2012



Sunday, December 12, 2010


Hi Everyone

The Blog has moved to a new blog which contains all the original stories and even more information about "ideas that work".

Plese visit, bookmark and follow this new blog - what IS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Repurposed Parking Meters Collect Donations for Homeless

The city of Montreal has turned its retired mechanical parking meters (or Parco Dons)  in to piggy banks designed to collect loose change in order to help the city’s homeless population. The meters were first installed in the downtown borough of Ville-Marie in 2007, and since its inception, the program has raised $23,000 for the cause.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NY helps 45,000 low income homes get insulated

New York expects to help more than 45,000 low-income households by blowing in insulation, sealing air leaks and installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances for free.

This program is expected to create  14,000 jobs statewide as demand for contractors rises.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Device Helps Paralyzed Walk

Amanda Boxtel hasn’t walked since a skiing accident left her paralyzed nearly two decades ago.
In the video below, she stands and walks for the first time in 18 years using eLegs, a 45-pound wearable robotic exoskeleton aimed at getting paraplegics out of their wheelchairs and onto their feet. It’s an amazing sight.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

San Francisco Health Clinic to Care for Uninsured

After Barbara Quinn, a 72-year-old registered nurse, retired from the Castro-Mission Health Center last year, she considered various volunteer opportunities until she realized she couldn't imagine doing anything that didn't involve nursing. So she teamed up with Clinic by the Bay, a free clinic that opens today to serve uninsured residents in the Excelsior and Outer Mission neighborhoods and parts of Daly City

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hilton Foundation to End Homelessness in L.A.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation today announced $13 million in grants to fund key  a campaign to end homelessness in L.A. The grants includes:
  • $9 million toward the creation of 2,500 new permanent supportive housing units;

  • $3.6 million to identify and house 4,500 of the most vulnerable people on the streets;
  • $330,000 for an innovative pilot program to ease the transition into housing; and
  • $200,000 to engage faith leaders and communities in the campaign.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stimulus dollars for weatherization create thousands of jobs in New York

New York expects to help more than 45,000 low-income households by blowing in insulation, sealing air leaks and installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances for free.

This program is expected to create  14,000 jobs statewide as demand for contractors rises.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sharing Baby Food Saved My Sanity

This is a story of a woman who wanted to make healthy food for her baby, and also wanted to sleep. She formed a group of like minded parent who each made a big batch of one kind of food and shared it with the group. This idea works for baby food, soup, casseroles, you name it. If anyone in the Santa Rosa area wants to try this, I'm in.
How do you create and host a local babyfood exchange?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rooftop to Tabletop: Urban Farming Spreads Roots

Eighteen feet above Chicago’s honking city traffic, Mike Repkin stands in a plot of buckwheat, delicate white flowers waving about his waist as an elevated train clatters past at eye level. From this unusual spot, Repkin is farming.

He grows great leafy bunches of kale and chard, stalks of wheat and oats, chubby potatoes, sweet strawberries, and even deep-rooted rhubarb. He grows Jerusalem artichokes for diabetics at the nearby community center and basil to sell at the farmer’s market across the street.

Monday, November 29, 2010

In California, Carports That Can Generate Electricity

So far, solar carports have been installed at some 75 elementary, high school and community college campuses in California, the majority of them in the San Francisco area. 

Roofs made of solar panels are altering vistas and promoting a philosophy of green thinking among the young. Yet the primary driver of the solar roofs is economic.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Car Share Service - Rent Your Car for extra $$

GetAround is a basic idea -- most of our cars aren't in use during the day. We use them to drive to work, and then they just sit there until the work day is over. What if someone else could be using them when we don't need them? GetAround provides you with a keyless entry system for your car. You can then register it on their site so that someone who needs wheels nearby can find it, and rent it from you. It's sort of like a hybrid of Rentalic and ZipCar.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Insurance Companies Required to Spend More on Patient Care

In 2011 health insurers will have to follow a new set of rules that details how much money they must spend on patients' medical care, according to guidelines the Obama administration released Monday.

The rules are part of the health care reform law, which mandates that insurers spend a minimum of 85 percent of the premiums that they take in on patient care rather than administrative costs or profit (insurers who sell to small groups and individuals will spend a minimum of 80%).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giants Delivered A Solar-Powered World Series

The San Francisco Giants are one of the first teams in the country to play in a stadium partially powered by renewable energy.

When Game 1 of the World Series started in San Francisco’s AT&T Park, the hometown Giants took the field in a stadium that boasts solar panels and was recognized in April for energy efficiency and sustainability by the U.S. Green Building Council. Their opponents, the Texas Rangers, regularly recycle everything from infield grass clippings to cardboard and office paper, according to

Thursday, November 25, 2010

16 People Receive Kidneys Just Before Thanksgiving

Sixteen people received kidneys in the world's largest paired kidney exchange ever accomplished.  Georgetown University Hospital coordinated 32 operations, most involving people from Maryland.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, 16 people gave a rare gift to 16 others and nearly all met for the first time that day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Help Your Neighborhood Go Solar

Everyone want to add solar panels to their house but they are too expensive for many families. 1 Block Off the Grid (1BOG) is helping people like Michael Martinez use group purchasing power to reduce these costs, assisting neighborhoods all across the US to band together and go solar.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do-It-Yourself: Winter Break Camp Co-ops

The original article promotes a summer camp co-op, but since the kids will be out of school over the Winter Break this idea may just save a few of the Moms out there.

If you are looking for ways to save on childcare and day camp over the holiday, consider forming Holiday Camp Co-op through  By creating your own day camp with other parents in your neighborhood, you can be certain that the care will be affordable, trustworthy, and provide unique learning experiences for your child.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Builders of Hope - rebuilding homes, neighborhoods and lives

This story has it all, saving older houses from demolition, reducing waste at landfills, creating "green" homes, providing affordable housing and giving the homeless and recently incarcerated folks a job.

Watch the video, read the article and be inspired.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cities offer homeless free storage

Last Thanksgiving, Phillip Black says most of his belongings were thrown away by the police.
Police told Black they mistook the bags in a Whole Foods shopping cart for trash. "I couldn't even enjoy my Thanksgiving," he says.

Finding a place to safely leave possessions is one of many challenges homeless people face each day, homeless advocates say. Some cities, including Portland, Ore., St. Petersburg, Fla., New York, San Francisco and Chicago are trying to help people in Black's situation by offering free storage space to the homeless.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

23 yr old Invents Solar Fridge

Proving once again that the best ideas are often the simplest, 23-year-old student/inventor/entrepreneur Emily Cummins has designed a brilliant portable solar-powered refrigerator that works based upon the principle of evaporation. Employing a combination of conduction and convection, the refrigerator requires no electricity and can be made from commonly available materials like cardboard, sand, and recycled metal.

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