I learned a new word recently: slacktivism.
A conjunction of the words slacker and activism, it refers to the growing trend of supporting a cause online - posting a status, clicking on a link, sharing a video - rather than more substantive efforts that make a difference to the cause. In general, slacktivism is viewed dimly; status updaters might feel good about promoting an idea or charity, but actual results are negligible. (One exception, in my opinion: you can never play too much freerice.com, the vocabulary game that donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme to end hunger for every answer you get right. Your boss might disagree with me though.)
This week you have excellent opportunities to shoot for more than slacktivism, to get engaged and really do something - that's right, it' s time to go out and eat!
Tomorrow night, March 29, marks the 18th annual Dining Out For Life. Formed in 1991 in Philadelphia, the event now runs in 55 cities throughout North America, and raises money to help those living with HIV and AIDS.
Money raised by regional events stays in those regions; in the past 17 years, B.C.'s Dining Out for Life has raised more than $3 million. Money raised benefits Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful.
While HIV and AIDS are not hitting the headlines the way they were 15 years ago, the immune deficiency conditions are still impacting lives. About 18,000 British Columbians are currently living with HIV/AIDS. Friends For Life (friendsforlife. ca) provides holistic support services to people living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses, while A Loving Spoonful (alovingspoonful.org) provides free, nutritious meals to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Metro Vancouver.
To offer your support, all you have to do is dine out for breakfast, lunch or dinner at any of the 200 participating restaurants from Whistler to White Rock and across the Fraser Valley; 25 per cent of your food bill will support the cause.
In North Vancouver, visit Burgoo Bistro on Lonsdale; Hurricane Grill; Queen's Cross Pub; Thai House - North Van; Altitudes Bistro or The Observatory on Grouse Mountain; or Fishworks. In West Vancouver, dine at Amici Restaurant; Beachside Forno; or Mangia E Bevi Ristorante .
Sponsor Stella Artois will also donate $1 from every bottle of beer sold.
View the complete list of participating restaurants at www.diningoutforlife.ca.
On Saturday, there's another way to eat and get active.
Earth Hour - the global initiative to send a message for action on climate change - takes place Saturday, March 31 at 8: 30 p.m.
The Lobby restaurant in the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier will host a candlelight, low-impact dinner.
In addition to the regular menu the restaurant will offer a special, environmentally conscious Earth Hour Local B.C. Sushi Platter composed of albacore tuna and sockeye salmon sashimi, spot prawn nigiri, Dungeness crab and cucumber inside-out roll with mango and tobiko, all served alongside organic greens with baby shrimp, fresh lemon, and sesame soya vinaigrette for $19.95. The special Earth Hour feature will be available throughout the evening from 5 p.m., and from 8: 30 to 9: 30, the restaurant will be turning off all nonessential lights and enjoying a candlelight experience. For more information visit pinnaclepierhotel.com, or call 6049738000.