Earth Day Purpose and Celebrations

Earth Day comes around every year on April 22 but the history and idea behind the day is not commonly discussed. The concept for Earth Day was for the nation to focus on the environment for one day. Founder Gaylord Nelson was a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. After seeing the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara and being ruled by the student anti-war movement, he related the public needed to be aware of the air and water pollution they were contributing.  Nelson worked until the next year

Earth Day Network states that “on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.” Learn more about Earth Day.

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Colorful Seasons of Kelly Ingram Park

May 1963, Kelly Ingram Park held organized protests and boycotts as a part of the Children’s Crusade of Birmingham. In response to these protests, law enforcement officers used fire hoses and dogs to stop the protesters. This event in history was broadcasted internationally, turning people’s attention to the endless fight for racial equality. Kelly Ingram Park holds the hearts, blood and lives of many who took a stand for justice everywhere that day. The park historically stands across the street from the Civil Rights Institute with statues and memorials decorating the acre. It’s spring colors are as vibrant today as they were then in a field of black, white, and red.

 

“Coffee-coffee-coffee, is a saying. It’s a funny, desperate cry for caffeine.”

Here in Birmingham, coffee seems to run through the city’s veins like it runs through the fictional veins of Lorelai Gilmore. If you’re looking for a place to study, catch up with a friend, or fuel your day, we’ve got you covered. Here are five unique coffee shops in Birmingham, AL.

1. seeds coffee company, 174 Oxmoor Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209

Seeds is has an industrial-rustic chic and laid-back atmosphere that’s always buzzing with studious college students and twenty-somethings.

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Three Inexpensive Nights Out In Birmingham

You deserve a night out. If you are a college student like me, you are probably juggling six or more classes, an internship for academic credit and a paid full-time job just to pay your rent. Because of all these things, you have the right to treat yourself every once and a while. The issue often tends to be that, though you may want a night out, you cannot afford to spend a lot of money. That is where I come in. Having lived in the city of Birmingham my whole life, I knew quite a few spots that can help you save a few bucks while enjoying what the city has to offer. Here is a short list of three different locations in Birmingham on the cheap. You can find directions to each location by clicking on the venue name in the list.

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Buy a gift, change a life

WC logo

Just about everyone likes to receive a special gift.

With WorldCrafts, the Fair Trade division of the Woman’s Missionary Union, giving a special gift can feel as good as getting one.

“Our goal is to develop sustainable, Fair Trade businesses among impoverished people across the world,” said Emily Swader, the Marketing Strategist for WorldCrafts. ”Through purchasing WorldCrafts products, you can really change the life of someone.”

The organization started in 1996 with only one artisan group from Bangkla, Thailand. Today, WorldCrafts works with more than 60 artisan groups in 30 countries – offering dignity and eternal hope to each individual in every group.

“Everything we have is handmade,” Swader said. Each product also comes with a card with the maker’s picture and story on it.

But in a world that seems to be Fair Trade-crazed, what exactly makes WorldCrafts different?

“What sets WorldCrafts apart is that we are not only interested in people having that sustainable living income, we’re interested in them having eternal hope,” Swader said.

And because the WMU’s national headquarters are located here in Birmingham down Highway 280, local shoppers don’t even have to leave the city limits to change the life of a person thousands of miles away.

Mary Holland Novkov received a set of wooden coasters from WorldCrafts as a hostess gift from an in-town friend.

“They are a really great conversation starter,” Novkov said. “Every time people come over they ask about them and I get to explain their story.”

With several product categories including home décor, stationary and women’s accessories, similar stories from all over the world are waiting to be told.

The most popular items from WorldCrafts include nativities from around the world, ethnic jewelry and scarves made out of recycled sari’s from India.

From left to right, popular WorldCrafts products include a nativity scene (Jerusalem — Bethlehem Carvers, $39.99), a stationary set (India — Ergon Handicrafts, $14.99) and a scarf (India — Village Artisans, $34.99).

WorldCrafts products are mainly available for purchase online, through catalogue or locally at the gift shop located at the WMU’s national headquarters.

Individuals and churches are also encouraged to host WorldCrafts parties where guests can pick up catalogues of items available for purchase and learn more about WorldCrafts’ mission. Free party ideas and themes can be found on the WorldCrafts website.

“Thousands of parties are hosted every year,” Swader said.

For more information about hosting a WorldCrafts party or about how to purchase WorldCrafts merchandise, visit http://worldcrafts.org/.

By Sarah Anne Elliott
Photos courtesy of WorldCrafts