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The GOODEST: Our Favorite Things to Learn and Do This Past Week

You can learn about so many things on the internet, but how much more powerful would it be if you could also DO after you learned stuff? From freestyle rapping to starting your own compost, we have things for you to learn and do from this past week.

Let's Learn First:

Build a Better Home with These Alternative Construction Methods

Homes are no longer designed, nor built, to shelter generations of a family. Carpenters refer to 2x4s as “sticks” or “toothpicks” for a reason.

Luckily, there are alternatives.

A DO Suggestion? Help build homes abroad for communities in need with United Planet.

Bus Stop Light Therapy Panels Brighten Up the Winter Doldrums

An energy company in northern Sweden is working to make the winter doldrums a little brighter.

A DO Suggestion? To help those with winter doldrums or something more serious, volunteer on a help hotline, or Mental Health America can connect you to a center in need of extra clerical help.

Freestyle Rap Battles Could Boost Student Creativity

How do freestyle aficianados come up with such creative rhymes so quickly? It turns out that the energy that goes into freestyling fires up the synapses in your brain in pretty unique ways.

A DO Suggestion? Start your own freestyle rap battle.

This Low-Cost Camera Could Help Save Lives

Bounce Imaging has created a bouncing, ball-shaped camera that's designed to get into dangerous places so people don't have to.

A DO Suggestion? Create your own pinhole camera.

Bikeshares and Liability: Answering the Sharing Economy's Legal Questions

As the sharing economy continues to grow, questions about regulation, liability, and the economic value of ownership are cropping up.

A DO Suggestion? Participate in a bike share.

One Fix for Rural Indian Girls’ Drop-Out Rate: Access to Affordable Feminine Hygiene

Ameet Mehta and Dhirendra Singh were in India in 2011 to distribute need and performance based scholarships through the VIDYA Foundation when they noticed girls’ high drop-out rates. By way of explanation, they were told that the girls had “become women.”

A DO Suggestion? Mentor a young girl in your area. Volunteer with The Society for Girls.

Designing Healthy Doctors: Physicians Take Care of Us, But Who's Taking Care of Them?

Not only are physicians at higher risk for burnout, depression, and substance abuse, but your doctor is six times more likely to commit suicide than you are.

A DO Suggestion? Give your doctor some TLC. Write him a letter of appreciation or send him a gift basket.

Six Ways to Build a Better Urban Garden

Growing our own food, when done by many people, is part of the solution to some of society’s most pernicious problems. But are the gardens that are sprouting up throughout our cities and counties built to last?

A DO Suggestion? Help build a community garden.

Curbside Composting Gains Steam in Portland, Maine

Residents in Portland, Maine, have one less reason to waste food.

A DO Suggestion? Start your own compost.

Tell Them I Built This: With Design Thinking, High Schoolers Reimagine Chicken Coops

In a county dominated by industrial poultry farming, we asked the students, "What's another way to look at it?"

A DO Suggestion? Come up with a design for a chicken coop.

In a Fashion-First, H&M Offers Clothing Recycling for Customers

Whether an effort to redeem their tarnished reputation, or just good marketing, the Swedish-based company has come up with a Global Clothes Collecting Initiative.

A DO Suggestion? Participate in a clothing swap with friends.

After-school 2.0: How Technology Can Create a Learning Community

I have been noodling ideas on how to use technology to facilitate after-school community—privately and safely—for even younger kids and their parents.

A DO Suggestion? Come up with ways you can incorporate technology into schools and pitch them to a local school board meeting. Are you a web developer or graphic designer? Lend your skills to a local school.

Virtual Pet Therapy: Technology Lets Hospitalized Kids Play With Cats

Pet therapy in hospitals helps boost health, but for some young cancer patients with weakened immune systems, it's not an option.

A DO Suggestion? Volunteer at a local Children's Hospital or animal shelter.

Infographic: The Least and Most Corrupt Governments Around the World

In some countries, people face extortion in schools, hospitals, and other public offices. In others, corruption takes more subtle forms…

A DO Suggestion? Provoke government accountability through POGO.

Gift Guide: These Fair Trade Gifts Give Back

The best gifts are ones that tell a story. This holiday season is the perfect time to think about how you can make every gift more meaningful.

A DO Suggestion? Only purchase fair trade items as gifts this holiday season, or make your own.

Now, Let's DO:

Vote for a School You Think Deserves $50,000

This year more than 2,500 schools were nominated but only 7 will receive a grant. It’s up to you to determine which schools do.

GOOD Maker Challenge: Win a Trip to Live, Work, and Create in L.A. with GOOD

This winter, GOOD is opening up our office to welcome one ambitious creative entrepreneur on the verge of launching his or her passion project. Submit a short proposal about your project and you could win a trip to Los Angeles to work in the GOOD offices for a week.

We Put a Lot of Thought into Water So You Don't Have To

Most water filters on the market were composed of up to 60 percent petroleum-based plastic that almost always ended up in landfills. Back a project that reinvents the water filter so that it is more sustainable. Back Soma

Be Part of a Global Participatory Film Project for 12/12/12 "One Day on Earth"

A global call for submissions for people to capture "What you have and What you need". All submissions must be filmed or taped on 12/12/2012.

Let's Get In On This: Bloomberg Wants To Do Something Cool With New York's Phone Booths

Bloomberg is challenging New Yorkers to help redesign the phone booths.

Explore This: What Does the World Need from You?

Submit an idea by December 12th for how you would spend $500 to answer that question.

Make Gifts With Your Hands This Season

Brooklyn Assembly Kits is now making beautiful handcrafted DIY kits. This holiday season, slow down and make something by hand for your friends.

Share: What is Your Definition of Happiness?

Illustration by Jessica De Jesus. Original Image via (cc) Flickr user Fora do Eixo.

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