An MBA with a focus on sustainability

Screen capture image from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute website:

I had the pleasure of watching this video on MSNBC today, and wanted to share it with you. The news feature profiles a couple who invested their entire retirement to start an MBA program (accredited!) that has a focus on sustainability. And their dream is working – their graduate students work at huge corporations. Imagining the impact this could potentially have on our future, it is inspiring and exciting. Let’s all hope it catches on.

Learn more about the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.

Watch the video.

Social habits of apes


My husband and I love watching National Geographic–such interesting programming. Last night we caught a program about unlikely animal friendships–a lioness adopted a fawn, an elephant befriended a dog, a cat wrestled affectionately with a crow (a 4 year friendship), a hippopotamus and a turtle, and an orangutan and her doggy pal. I was so excited to see these odd pairings, but even more interested to learn about the docile, sweet nature of the Orangutan. 

What I didn’t know about this adorable member of the great ape family was that for the majority of its history, the orangutan had no natural predators other than man (who didn’t come around until relatively recently). Because of this, the behaviors that some might consider “natural” to all animals such as selfishness and violence are not as prevalent here as they are in other animals. Orangutans are sweet, non-violent vegetarians, who are often solitary dwellers. Very generous indeed, after being given a treat the animal will often break off half of it and share it with you. Where food is plentiful they are highly social and open creatures.  In many cases it is indicated that with increased social interaction, the orangutan has developed in both its communicative abilities and its creation and use of tools (such as fly-swatters, leafy toilet paper, “gloves,” and umbrellas, and modifying sticks to pry open fruits).  The orangutan’s development varies by region, which has indicated that each group has developed it own evolving culture. 

So why is this on the Be Nice. blog? Besides the cuteness factor of young orangutans–which is always worthwhile–I find this so interesting because there are many people out there who believe it is natural to be mean, callous, selfish, defensive, and rude. But these orangutans illustrate that with a different set of environmental variables, the presence of these characteristics is largely non-existent. What an encouraging notion for us human beings!

But trying to change our environment can be tricky and is a daunting task. Why not approach the change from a different angle? Start with ourselves. In a world brimming with negative variables, the acts of being patient, generous, kind, and considerate would do wonders to counteract  unpleasant energies. Eventually, we would see our perceptions change. Other people would (sometimes subconsciously) feel this change and respond just as nicely. As the effects of our individual efforts spread through our communities, the possibility of changing our social atmosphere would seem more achievable and should begin to occur naturally. The connection between our actions and greater societal change is reciprocal. In seeing our environment change, we are encouraged to continue our benevolent and positive actions and interactions. Soon enough, we just might find that our historically unpleasant experiences and interactions have been transformed and have produced tangible widespread results in our surroundings. 


On another note, as the orangutan’s major predator is man, I’m listing a link below to an organization that addresses their plight (and near-extinction). If you feel so inclined, do take action:

Gicky but good

I was thinking about good-doing. There are endless ways to do good things. But then I thought of things I don’t necessarily want to do because they seem gicky (gross + icky) to me. So, selfishly I shall post them here for you brave souls that can handle big needles and big surgery and for those of you with all your vaccinations who love the outdoors and being all generous and stuff (me, well, I do a few of them, but I hate hate hate needles! Eeek!).

Give blood.

Give plasma.

Give bone marrow.

Become an organ donor

Donate your body to science.

Adopt a highway (I don’t want to imagine what people find doing that job).

Keep a community or personal garden (I personally love to play around in the dirt, but I imagine my sister might not be such a fan).

And here are some not so gicky, but I thought of them while writing….

Offer your skills and expertise.

Donate your hair to locks of love.

Give your undivided attention. (To your children, lover, friend, neighbor, or relative.)

Volunteer in your community. (A great resource for this is

  • senior citizens home
  • youth programs
  • local co-op
  • food bank
  • homeless shelter
  • animal shelter
  • community center
  • run for city counsel or go to the meetings  

Give your time.

Don’t have time? Donate your money, clothes, old dishes, food and unused appliances.

I bet each of you already do some of these things, so pat-pat-pat yourself on the back!


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (, 2008-2009.

Be Nice. to the environment and yourselves

There are a lot of ways to be nice to people. And we’ve heard a lot about being nice to the planet. Here’s one unavoidable reason we need to start thinking about our waste and our purchases that contribute to it:

“Our Oceans Are Turning Into Plastic. Are We?”  is an article that tells of the numerous ways plastic is in our bodies and in our food supply. There is an island in the Pacific made of floating plastic twice the size of Texas and growing. Tiny confetti-sized pieces of plastic float around (more numerous than the plankton the fish eat in oceans) and are eaten by fish, which are in turn eaten by humans. These little plastic pieces disrupt our endocrine and reproductive cycles (among many other things).  It’s a long (and depressing) article, but worth the read (spread the word forward too!!!!).

Once you’re done reading, do the whole world a favor and:

  1. Buy some canvas re-usable grocery bags,  & keep them in the car to use them for shopping. They make carrying groceries easier actually and you often get a 5 cent credit for each bag you use.
  2. Buy reusable glass containers (Anchor brand makes some) instead of plastic reusable.
  3. Look in your pantry and grocery list and cease buying individually wrapped food items. Dole out the servings yourself into reusable packaging! It’s easy and saves a lot of packaging that will be around 3 times as long as we will.
  4. Check out the Green Bag Lady  site and you can learn how to make your own bag or win a bag in a giveaway–and you can donate old fabric for the making of more bags!

Thanks for reading!


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (, 2008-2009.