Nov 7: Money Matters for Kids

Money MattersMoney Matters for Kids: Earn it, Save it, Spend it, Share It! Traveling Exhibit and Workbook Launch * Nov. 7, 10 AM
It is never too early to teach our children to be financially literate.  When we start young, we can be wise savers, careful spenders and smart consumers!  Through a sponsorship grant by Citi Foundation, Museo Pambata presents a traveling exhibit and workbook on financial literacy for children. The traveling exhibit and workbook feature information, puzzles, games and ways to understand money and how significant it is in our lives. Similarly, a box of activity cards which comes with the workbook provide ideas for a child to further inquire about the meaning of money in their lives.

One Thing You Should Do Now to Combat Climate Change

Three words. Reduce plastic waste.

I was shocked to learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of over 3.5 million tons of plastic spanning 10 million square miles.  80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources, and 20% from ships at sea.

It’s a horrifying twist to the saying “Don’t shit in your own backyard.”

Charles Moore, the sailor who discovered the Northern Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, warns that unless consumers cut back on their use of disposable plastics, this plastic soup would double in size over the next decade.

Plastic has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives.  At the moment, it’s virtually impossible to spend a single day without touching the stuff. However it IS possible to avoid creating MORE plastic waste. Here are just 2 actions that you and your family can start implementing TODAY.

1. Ditch the straw
Think of how many thousands of plastic straws you have used, wasted and thrown away. Did you know that it takes centuries for each one to biodegrade! The next time you dine outside, do think twice before accepting that straw. For those operating food joints, make that paradigm shift: makes straws an option, not the default.

2. Bag the Bag

Seriously, do you really need that plastic bag when you buy something at the local 7-11 or Ministop?

Let’s try to reduce our habit of using plastic bags when we don’t need them.

I discovered this pocket bag at the check-out counter of my favourite shopping centre – Daiso (aka the $2 store). I usually have it folded into a tiny square and tucked into my bag organizer. I whip it out whenever I grab a bite at 7-11, buy office supplies, pay a visit to the Library, use my umbrella on a rainy day… etc etc.
We are now also taking a conscious effort to reduce our collection of plastic bags when buying groceries. Those cloth bag giveaways at trade fairs & bazaars are discovering a second life.
It’s Blog Action Day today, focusing on Climate Change. How exactly does the reduction of plastic relate to tackling climate change? Everything is interconnected — manufacturing plastic depends on consuming oil so the indiscrimate use of plastic literally fuels global warming. Getting rid of them (plastic) in incinerators also adds a little bit more to the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere.

As our family has found,  it’s not that hard to make that shift to a greener life. Just take it one plastic bag/straw at a time and make the world a better, cleaner place.


1.  How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Save the World by Tony Juniper

2.  Save Cash and Save the Planet by Andrea Smith and Nicola Baird

The Kids Say: You Can Vote However You Want

Tired of the endless back and forth of the two parties?  Confused as to whom to vote for?  The talented kids of Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy have broken down their key arguments and set them down to music.   Their key message: 

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like

So on Nov 4th,  be sure you go out and Don’t Vote.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Muddles should teach Middles

Today’s youtube surfing session yield a treasure of a clip which was written and produced for Word Alive International Outreach.  Parents would do well to share this with their toddlers.

Got a college-bound teen?  Share this:

Start them young on the path of financial literacy so that they don’t make the bad decisions which lead to debt snowballs.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Severn Suzuki: The Little Girl who Roared

When we were still little, more often than not, we were told that we were too young, too idealistic, too [fill in the blanks] to deal with the harshness of the real world. But then again… if not now, then when? We were also taught not to speak unless spoken too… that adults knew what was best.

I admire the parents of Severn for fostering her environmental and social awareness and raising her to be unafraid to speak her mind. In her speech at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, she blasted the adults, telling them bluntly: “In school you teach us not to fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share, not be greedy. Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do? You grownups say you love us, but I challenge you, please, to make your actions reflect your words.” She was only 12.

10 year later, a slightly disillusioned Severn told Time Magazine that “as a young adult, I’m learning that as we have to make choices—education, career, lifestyle—life gets more and more complicated. We are beginning to feel pressure to produce and be successful. We are learning a shortsighted way of looking at the future, focusing on four-year government terms and quarterly business reports. We are taught that economic growth is progress, but we aren’t taught how to pursue a happy, healthy or sustainable way of living. And we are learning that what we wanted for our future when we were 12 was idealistic and naive.”

Can one person make a huge difference? Maybe not. But collectively, maybe we can. I agree that we each have to make an conscious effort to remain connected to the natural world. “Real environmental change depends on us. We can’t wait for our leaders. We have to focus on what our own responsibilities are and how we can make the change happen.

Be the change that you want to see in the world.  Teach your children to be the same.

Related posts:

Love Mother Earth and save money too

We are what we do. Be the change you want to see.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Money Make-Over: Personal Finance 101

Financial literacy is, unfortunately, something which is not taught in most schools. How many of us have graduated from high school or college without knowing how to make a budget, balance a checkbook or plan for retirement?

Before you sign the back of that pre-approved credit card or sign the dotted line of that insurance policy, learn the basics of personal finance. Attend PERSONAL FINANCE 101 featuring lifestyle trainer Chinkee Tan and Personal Finance Coach & Educator J. Randell Tiongson.

The sessions cost P150 but you can attend for free if you register directly through,, or

Chinkee Tan is the best-selling author of Till Debt to Us Part & a Lifestyle Trainer. He is one of the most sought after speakers in the country todayand have helped thousands of individuals to put their lives in order. Chinkee’s no-nonsense and practical approach in personal finances has made him a favorite speaker and trainer in the country today.

J. Randell Tiongson is a Personal Finance Coach and Educator and writes a bi-monthly column at the Business Mirror and a contributor for Moneysense Magazine. He is also a Training specialist and the co-founder of, the country’s premiere personal finance on-line forum. He has been in the financial services industry for over 2 decades and has been featured in numerous seminars, television shows and conferences. He is a Director for the Registered Financial Planning Institute and the President and COO of Personal Finance Advisers Philippines Corp.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Love Mother Earth and save money too!

If there is anything positive that came out of the continuing debate on the rising cost of power, it is that the general populace is increasingly aware that our natural resources are finite. It took a major shock to the wallet to do it but at least now more and more people are actively taking money-saving steps to reduce, re-use and re-cycle.

There are many ways that little changes in our daily routines can impact the environment in a big way if only more of us can do them now. Here are just a few:

  • Turn that faucet off! So much water is wasted whenever we leave the faucet while brushing our teeth. Be aware of the amount of water you use.
  • Check your water and electricity meters today. Make sure that all leaks are plugged and that your electric meters are working properly.
  • Buy energy savers. Replace old bulbs with CFLs.
  • Skip the plastic bags. Stuff that newly bought blouse into your uberbag. Reuse the ubiquitous bags you get from the grocery stores.
  • Clean your filters. Have your airconditioners serviced on a regular basis to get rid of the city grime. An oil change will ensure your car runs more efficiently, emitting less pollution while saving you money.
  • Invest in power strips for your computer and other electronic devices. Don’t just leave them on standby, switch them off when you go out. You will not only save money on your utility bills, you’ll leave a smaller footprint on the environment.
  • Love coffee? If you must buy a cuppa (instead of brewing your own in the office) and intend on drinking it in the restau, ask for it to be brewed in a mug. P.S. Bring your own mug to Starbucks and get a small cash rebate. =)

Anyone with more ideas? Please share!

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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