Earthwatch Institute and All That Follows


But before I get ahead of myself about tonight, let me tell you about my past…

Last Summer, at the end of June and the beginning of July, to be exact, I spent 14 days in Cape Town, South Africa. I had one of the best experiences of my traveling life. This is definitely up there with the day, I met the dazzling E! in Prague, the 15 days I spent traveling around Italy, and the 10 days my cousin and I traveled around Honduras.

I was in Cape Town, to do volunteer work for an organization called the Earthwatch Institute. Thanks to my generous full-time job, I was awarded a full paid trip to any of Earthwatch’s expeditions around the world. I had my heart set on the South African Penguins Expedition and I’m so glad I went.

At the time of the trip, the world was engulfed in World Cup mania. I should know since I sat at my work desk glued to watching televised games most of the day.  Getting to Cape Town during the time was amazing and the city was just alive in ways I’ve never experienced. I do believe that Cape Town would have been alive anyway, but it was really alive thanks to all of the travelers.

I spent the two weeks completely on Robben Island. The Island is known for its political prison that housed Nelson Mandela and a few others, but it is also known for it’s two-legged little penguin friends who mate and breed on the Island.  While soccer teams and tourists all came to the Island by 30-minute boat rides several times a day, me and my three volunteering friends, our team leader and a student leader walked around the island counting, weighing, measuring and holding penguin chicks. Adult penguins are kind of mean and I learned that with several bite attempts and claw marks. Regardless, walking around the Island and being surrounded by nature and a beauty that I can’t describe accurately is something that I will take with me to my last day on this planet.

Needless to say, I came back from that trip in love with Cape Town, but more of an environmentalist than before and completely in love with the mission of the Earthwatch Institute and an even stronger feeling of wanting to help save people of the world.  I’m a hot mess!

Now, back to the present…

My full-time paycheck job has a relationship with Earthawatch Institute and in addition to having four employees a year travel on Earthwatch expeditions, my company sponsors their New York City Spring fundraising event. I’ve been able to attend the events in the past, but this year, after being invited to attend a planning meeting with my boss and representatives from Earthwatch, I was invited to join their Junior Board and I agreed.

Over the past three or four months, I have been helping to create a fun, hip event for young patrons. It’s been fun! I’ve enjoyed all of this and am looking forward to TONIGHT, the event, “A Journey Through the Forests.”  The speaker for the evening is Dr. Margaret Lowman, a leading scientist for the science of canopy ecology. She has received sponsorship from Earthwatch and will give us information and details about her research and experience conducting these studies.

While I’m excited for the evening and to help raise money for this organization that I firmly believe in, I am also excited that S2 Stationery and Design is donating to the silent auction. How cool is that? Pretty cool!

Not only am I representing my full-time job who is helping to raise money for Earthwatch Institute, but I, as an individual am also helping to raise money.  I firmly believe in giving back. Every business, whether big or small, one employee or 100+, should give back in ways that are relevant to their business type and their community.

I have always been an active volunteer in my community, but in the last two years, I’ve become even more involved and an activist.  I’ve found my way into a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, am the volunteer coordinator at my full-time job and am looking at ways to become involved in more volunteer programs individually. My belief in helping the larger community has always steered me in certain directions and it’s something that steers how I conduct business for S2 Stationery and Design. It is a given that I not only help others doing what I do, but that I also taken respectful approaches to how I do business and how I create my work for the good of the planet.

Being able to say that I am helping an organization that is committed to not just helping the planet, but sharing the experience with others to then have a larger impact gets my vote 100% and more.  Social responsibility is never just at the hands of some, it’s at the hands of all that live on this planet and call this planet home.  In addition to donating a service and some S2 goodies to Earthwatch Institute, I also canceled my hosting plan with Godaddy for my website (under service now) and switched my cell phone company from Verizon Wireless to Credo (who uses Sprint).  Godaddy lost me when I read that horrible article about the President of the company killing the elephant (regardless of the situation, I don’t want to hear about how the elephant was ruining homes and crops. Humans have done this to animals and themselves forever and it’s not balanced nor right) and Credo won me over when I learned that Verizon gave money to Republican Candidates that are trying to put an end to funding for Planned Parenthood.

In this day and age, where news can be found anywhere and almost immediately, it pays to make sure you’re doing your best at all times.  I realize we are not perfect and we’re not ever going to be able to live up to the standards of everyone, but we can live up to our own standards and practice in genuine, good will.

Regardless of cost, quality, loyalty, and any other reason why a buyer may use or purchase a particular brand, our culture does care about social issues. At the same time, it should be approached honestly, opening and sincerely.  We are an overly aware society and the fastest way to lose credibility as a business is to stop caring or to think that social good is a trend. It is not.

S2 Stationery and Design is a product of a lot of things – my imagination, my inspiration, my AMAZINGLY AMAZING FRIENDS and FAMILY, my ethnic background, my culture, my love for travel, cultural exploration, words, color, design, and my desire to do good. I use all of these for one true and genuine effect.

In order to be a better person, I need to practice being a good person. I’m never going to be 100% good, but I’m always going to work toward doing what can be done to be good and to fight the good fight, not just for myself, but for the sake of everyone that calls this planet home as well.


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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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