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Be A Solar Champion & Earn $$$’s June 20, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, People, Sustainable Living.
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IMGP1097bDo you have friends, family, or social media clout in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, MA, MD, NY, or NJ?

Want to raise awareness about renewable energy, inspire others to be a part of the solar revolution, AND make some extra cash?

(Hint:  The correct answer is “YES!!!”)

If you persuade friends, family, or network acquaintances living in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, or New Jersey to go solar, your friends will get $500 off the cost of their solar system and you’ll receive $500 for each referral.

Sungevity will also donate $250 to Green America to support clean energy.


Here’s how it works:

Sign up at Sungevity.  Then send information to family and friends in the states where Sungevity solar leasing is available:

AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, MA, MD, NY, or NJ.

• Every person that you help go solar will receive a $500 discount off the lease of their system, and you’ll receive a $500 referral fee.  Plus Sungevity will donate $250 to Green America.

That’s a triple win!  For more information, visit Sungevity.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Using Zebras As A Marketing Tool June 20, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
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We receive travel brochures to places of interest around the globe from National Geographic Expeditions, Alumni Adventures, Sierra Club, and the Trust for Historic Preservation.

These “fund raising” brochures outline enticing sea and land expeditions, rail travel through Europe, and trips around the globe on private jets (which, in case you’re wondering, is NOT a budget friendly way to travel).


We are not on these mailing lists because we are world travelers (we aren’t), or because we have heavily stamped passports (we don’t), but because we contributed money to a “good cause” and someone concluded (incorrectly, as it turns out) that we have money set aside for global travel adventures.

When we receive travelogues describing trips across the sands of the Sahara on camels, cruising around South Pacific islands, or hiking the Scottish Highlands, I flip through the glossy pages to see where they are going, how much the trip costs, and how many zebras they photographed to market the trip.

I kid you not about the zebras.

In the last National Geographic Expeditions catalog, zebras topped the list of wild animals appearing on its pages, with polar bears, whales, and camels as distant runners up.

Even trips to our nation’s capital use zebras as marketing mascots, despite the fact that visitors are not apt to see zebras wandering about the Mall, grazing on grass at the base of the Washington Monument, or kicking up their heels on the front lawn of the White House.

Visitors to D.C. can see zebra stripes behind bars ~ at the National Zoo.

No matter how inviting the destinations, we have never signed up for one of these trips because the cost exceeds our (non-existent) travel budget.

And that’s okay with us.

Instead of making reservations, getting malaria shots, packing, hanging out in airports, dodging airport security, lugging suitcases around in foul weather, exchanging currency, dealing with Montezuma’s Revenge, and negotiating unexpected travel nightmares (such as being grounded due to the unscheduled eruption of a “dormant” volcano), we enjoy armchair adventures via PBS, the Travel Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic.

As an added bonus, many of these shows feature zebras.  (Only some of which get consumed by hungry lions.)

One of the most ambitious travelogue trips I’ve seen ~ Around the World by Private Jet ~ boasted an itinerary spanning 24 days and thousands of miles.


Scheduled stops:  Washington D.C. (to see the zebras!); Lima, Peru; Machu Picchu; Easter Island; Samoa (east of Java); The Great Barrier Reef, Australia; Angkor, Cambodia; Chengdu, China; Tibet; the Taj Mahal, India; Tanzania; Luxor, Egypt; Cairo, Egypt (to see ancient pyramids and the Sphinx); and Marrakesh, Morocco.

Wow!  That is some itinerary.


The cost for this excursion ~ $64,950 per person, double occupancy.  (Add  $8,350 if you want a single room.)

Without the single supplement, it’s a budget-busting $2,706.25 per person, per day.  Until, that is, you read the fine print for Day 8:

Depart for Australia and lose a day crossing the International Date Line.

Exactly!  It’s 23 days of travel for $64,950, or $2,823.91 per person, per day.

We plan to stick to armchair travels ~ at least until my novel, Zelda the Zany Zebra, reaches number one on the New York Times Bestseller List.

How can it miss?

It’s got a zebra as a built-in marketing tool!


Aah . . . that’s better!

Imagine, if you will, that a rich uncle (you didn’t even know about) left you $64,950 in his will.

Ponder the possibilities . . . how would you spend it?

Happy Spending!