Not only is November the GEEKED month (we were born in November 2012), it is also a great month for you to feel new and improved – a 2.0 version of yourself let’s say. Isn’t that January (with all the New Year’s resolutions), you ask? Well, not exactly… I am not talking about the 5:2 diets, life-changing programmes and better job lists. No, I’m talking about the month when you have the opportunity to do good things for others.
During November each year, men all over the world grow fabulous moustaches, or “Mo’s” as they are known, to raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and men’s mental health.
‘Movember challenges men to grow a moustache for the 30-days of November, thereby changing their appearance and the face of men’s health. Through their growing efforts they raise awareness for the often ignored issues of men’s health, by prompting conversations wherever they go. Another crucial part of being a Mo Bro is to raise funds for men’s health. Men donate their face, and much like taking part in a run or a walk for charity, ask their family and friends to sponsor their efforts.’
‘But what if I can’t grow a Mo?’ I hear you asking… No problem at all! You see, Movember is not just for men, it is in fact a global charity and women play a big role in it. The women of Movember, a.k.a Mo Sistas, can help by supporting and encouraging the men in their lives to get involved, by signing up at Movember.com, and participating in fund raising and awareness themselves. ‘Essentially, Mo Sistas do everything that Mo Bros do, without a Mo’.
So Mo Bros and Sistas if for the life of you, you can’t grow a Mo – or indeed you don’t want to- here are some ideas of how you can still help:
– During the month of November why not host a fabulous Mo party?
Invite friends and family and charge an entrance fee. Then decorate your venue (it can be your living room) with moustaches, make moustache shaped cakes, pizzas, sandwiches. Invent your own Mo cocktail and just have a really good time. Obviously everyone should wear a real or fake moustache! Take pictures have a ball.
– Do a bake sale in your office, uni, pet centre, local garden…
If you can bake your cakes or decorate them with a moustache theme great, but that’s not essential. Sell as many cakes as you can and talk to people about Movember.
– Get together with artists and make a November auction
Well this needn’t be too fancy or daunting. Last year I asked our friend Patrick Wray if he would like to help me raise some funds for Movember and he kindly made a few special edition Moustache inspired T-shirts which we sold to our friends and family. All profits were then donated to Movember.
So just use your imagination, raise some dough and help our Bros by donating the money you raised directly to Movember.
November Vegan Month
No, I’m not asking you to become a vegan for a whole month. If you want to or you already are, well then, good on you! But here are a few things anyone can do this Vegan month:
No one as far as we are aware chooses to eat meat or fish to harm animals. No one is in favour of the suffering these animals go through in order for us to enjoy that really tasty medium rare steak with a fried egg on top, or that oh so yummy cheesy peperoni pizza. The fact of the matter is that most of us don’t know, or choose not to know, what really goes on in the factory farming business because life is already too complicated and the last thing we need is to add to our worries by being concerned about where our food comes from.
In western civilization, dogs and cats are pets and most times are treated as well as children with many taking the role of a child in a household. We love our pets, we protect them, care for them and wouldn’t allow any harm to come to them. And it is with this in mind that Jonathan Safran Foer asks the reader to consider how they would feel if they knew that their beloved dog was living in a confined wire cage only big enough for the dog to stand, but so small that he can’t move sideways, can’t get up on 2 legs and with his nails grown around the wires of the bottom of the cage, making any movement extremely uncomfortable and painful. Then Foer asks the reader to imagine that their dog is force fed antibiotics and other proteins to grow abnormally fast, the dog is forced to defecate where he eats and when he is big enough for consumption, he is killed in the most inhumane ways you could have imagined. Not great, huh? Well this is what happens every single day to millions of chickens, turkeys, cattle and pigs. All this just for the sake of variety and choice of food that we have grown so accustomed to.
This type of treatment of animals for the sake of big industries–like food and cosmetics–is a disgrace. So please, consider doing one or more of the following things this month:
– Read Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals – this book won’t try to turn you into a fundamentalist vegan/vegetarian but it will open your eyes to some of the ways one might consume meat and fish more responsibly
– If you are a meat eater, do Stella McCartney Meat-free Mondays where you have one day a week when you don’t eat meat
– If you love meat and can’t imagine living without it, find out where your local farmer is, get to know them and support them by buying from them instead of giving your money to factory farming companies.
– If you are a vegetarian, try the same thing but with all animal-sourced products. Have one day a week when you don’t eat anything with dairy, eggs or honey etc.
– Buy only cruelty free products. Most cosmetics are tested on animals, bunnies, mice, monkeys etc. The product is injected into them, rubbed on their skin and eyes, or forcibly fed to them. They live an extremely painful life and go through horrible deaths. This needn’t happen, there have been many other ways developed to test new products in labs without having to test them on animals. Some companies already do that, why shouldn’t others do it too? In the UK, a new law was approved so that it is illegal for companies to test on animals, nevertheless some companies still buy products from other countries where they can legally test on animals.
So try this for a change, use only products that have been produced by companies who have been approved by PETA and have the leaping bunny on the package. Do your research and find out if your favourite perfume is cruelty free and consider changing if not. In the UK for instance, you can buy many cosmetics and make up products from Superdrug: all of their products are safe. You can also get all your cleaning products and cosmetics from Sainsbury’s. Original Source do amazing shower gels (oh so fresh and fruity) and they too are cruelty free. Lush is a must on your list of cruelty free shops. But beware of Bodyshop for example, they do not test on animals and are against it but are owned by L’Oreal who DOES test on animals.
– Donate some money to animal charities of your choice.
– And last if you are willing to, why not go Vegan for the month?
Or you can also have Tofurkey this Thanksgiving
Do some of these things and see where they take you. You might feel at the end of the month that this is not for you, or you might just realise that actually you can live with these changes long-term!
November and the tiny woolly hats
Innocent Smoothies are lovely people. Their company’s motto is to make the world a happier place and they do that by sharing funny, inspiring and cute messages on all of their packages and providing us with delicious juices made from 100% fruit that help us to be healthier. Not only that, but every November they get people take part in the Big Knit where thousands of tiny woolly hats are knitted and then put on top Innocent Smoothies bottles and sold to the public. Every behatted bottle sold raises money for Age UK, helping to save the lives of elderly people during the winter.
Get involved by knitting your own tiny woolly hats or by buying smoothies this November. There are tons of things you can do with the woolly hats you purchase. For example:
– Xmas tree decorations
– a Woolly Hat made of many tiny woolly hats
– a necklace with a woolly hat
– a garland of woolly hats
Find out more on the Big Knit website.
So, as you can see, there are loads of things you can do to help and remember, all of this counts as extra points for when you sit down to write to Santa about your Xmas list. He will sure be pleased to know you have been such a good character and that you have in you the will to change the world by being funny, welcoming and cosy 🙂
Plus you give more people and creatures reasons to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Have a great November!