Celebrate Earth Day with an Environmental Film!

April 22, 2010 · Filed Under Environment, Events, Food, Pop Culture

The Tribeca Film Festival premieres on April 23, 2010 in my neck of the woods, and reading previews and promotional materials about the festival and its offerings has gotten me very excited about film – and specifically about environmental films.

Food Inc

If you are going to be in Manhattan during the next week and a half, then you might want to check out one of the two environmentally-themed documentaries being screened at the Festival:

  • Climate of Change (2009) – From the producers of An Inconenient Truth comes a new story about 13-year-olds protesting the use of plastic in India, “hillbillies” campaigning against strip-mining in Appalachia, and a host of other eco-activists around the world.  Directed by Brian Hill.  Narrated by Tilda Swinton.
  • Into Eternity (2010) – Danish writer/director Michael Madsen explores the symbolism, significant, and potential consequences of a subterranean tomb being constructed by the people of Finland to house 300,000 tons of nuclear waste.

Of course, checking out an environmental film does not required a plane ticket to New York City – or even a movie ticket or cable television.  PBS will be broadcasting Food, Inc. – a great documentary about corporate farming in America – as part of its POV (“Documentaries with a Point of View”) series through the end of April.  Check your local listings for dates and times.  PBS will also be streaming Food, Inc. in its entirety through April 29th via this link.

The Inspirational Side of FRESH Food: The Movie

April 15, 2010 · Filed Under Environment, Events, Food, Guest Posts, Health, News

The movie Food Inc. has gained increasing press and viewers that documents the serious jeopardy our food system has fallen into over the past three decades. With vast industrialization, synthetic ingredients have replaced what our Grandparents used to call ‘food’. Now as much as I love learning the facts, I also love positive and inspiring messages, which is where I hope the movie FRESH comes into play!

They are hosting Farm to Table dinners across the Nation with a free movie ticket to the showing. Not a bad deal for a meal, a speaker, and a movie all for only the price of the meal!

Here is an example of one City’s events (Minneapolis, MN). Click through to find events for a City near you!

I would like to invite all of you to also attend an event and the screening so we can see how the different cities took on the challenge of fresh Farm to Table dinners! Feel free to post your thoughts on the dinner, the speaker, and the movie as well. I am excited to attend a dinner, speaking event, and the screening over the next two weeks so for those of you unable to attend, I will be happy to share how it all went!

Here is a little snippet about FRESH the movie:

“FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.”

Joel Salatin, a personal hero and any ‘soil’ farmer’s advocate will also be speaking at several events and is featured in the movie, just as a little teaser.

Cheers to taking a healthy dose of reality, responsibility, and re-engaging with that simple yet vital thing called f-o-o-d. See you at the screening!

Get your Run On for Water

April 13, 2010 · Filed Under Environment, Events, Guest Posts, Health, News

What: The 6km Run for Water http://liveearth.org/en/run. 6 km is the average distance women and children walk to get water every day in many countries around the World. The event will have a run/walk as well as concerts and water education activities.

Children Water Race

When: April 18th, 2010

Where: Worldwide, literally runs on every continent.

Who: You!

Find a run/walk in your local community and moving this weekend! After the winter months, its nice to get outside, and what better way than to participate in a global fundraiser for our most scarce resource, water?

The event is also hosting awareness activities, resources online, and the option to donate directly to various water fundraisers worldwide. There are also several celebrity athletes that have signed up and other contributing their time, talents, and resources.

So if you are looking for a way to participate in something meaningful around Earth Day, this may be something fun to join!

Earth Hour 2010

March 25, 2010 · Filed Under Environment, Events
Earth Hour 2010

Earth Hour 2010 is coming this weekend, on March 27th, 2010 at 8:30 pm your local time. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is asking everyone throughout the world to make a statement and turn off their non-essential electrical items for 1 hour. Whether it be you as an individual, businesses or the government, we all need to take action to show that we want to make a difference and reduce our energy use.

Take a look at last year’s successful Earth Hour and this video of this year’s upcoming event.

Join In

Check out WWF’s Earth Hour 2010 website to see how you can join in to help get the word out about this years event.   You can also do your part by getting the word out.  Send messages to everybody you know to let them know about this years event or get involved in your own community.

Regardless of whether you spread the word, do your part and join in by turning off all your electronic devices throughout your home.

Share

Please share whether you will be participating and what you will be doing this Earth Hour to make a difference.

Sustainable Olympics? Hog(green)wash

February 26, 2010 · Filed Under Environment, Events, News

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics & Paralympics have been under intense scrutiny, not due to questionable medals or poor refereeing, but for sustainability. Great Britain has been a vocal force among other parties, stating that Vancouver did not do enough in terms of sustainability. They promise that their upcoming Summer Olympics will be the most sustainable games yet. Is all of this just a public relations stunt or was Vancouver actually trying to make an effort during difficult economic times?

According to the Vancouver Olympics Committee, sustainability was a key consideration in the design and planning of the Olympics. You can actually follow their efforts via the Sustainability Reports they have consistently published. As the first Games to formally include this as not only a concern, but translate it into tangible action, their efforts are notable.  The organizers of the Games have a portion of the Vancouver 2010 site dedicated to sustainability, including a sustainability star program for companies and/or organizations, as well as videos and tips on how to be eco-friendly while at the Olympics. Do the medals look a little funny this year? They are actually made from electronic waste, not too shabby if you ask me.

The Sustainability Stars program focuses on three key areas:

  • Economic Benefit
  • Environmental Stewardship & Impact
  • Social Inclusion & Responsibility

Organizations’ efforts must include at least 2 of the 3 focal areas, produce a measurable outcome, and relate to the 2010 Winter Games. The submittals were then judged by a jury of government partners, corporate sponsors, external experts, and VANOC representatives.

Coke, who is working to become carbon neutral, was one of the company’s highlighted. Their efforts included new coolers and vending machines that reduced emissions by 5,600 metric tons, compostable food containers, recycling centers, and team uniforms made from recycled plastic. Their goal is to divert 95% of all waste from landfills, an incredibly high and difficult goal to achieve at a large-scale event with varied levels of eco-awareness. Although you may not drink Coke or agree with their global supply chain, the reduced impact on the environment through these actions is measurable and exciting.

Perhaps my favorite eco-effort of the games is the Power Smart Village by BC Hydro. They have a human-powered dance floor and an expression wall that looks like spray paint, but is actually transmitted through infrared technology. They also host a Home of the Future series that highlights futuristic eco-inventions. As a power company, their most significant contribution has been the reduction in energy used and the increase in renewable energy sources. It is estimated that these games will emit 1/10th of the CO2 emissions from power generation than previous Winter Games. This will make it the lowest CO2 Games contributor in modern history.

With large-scale design and accountability efforts such as these, it’s difficult to criticize their efforts. The Olympics and Paralympics require an extensive built-environment and land manipulation to take place. This along with the influx in population make it difficult to create a No Impact Games. If we are able to take what we have learned from Vancouver’s efforts and multiply them in the Games to come, eco-smart design will become the center of the Olympics and it will hopefully spread to our athletic facilities worldwide.

The Olympics and Paralympics truly are natural homes for sustainability. The Games are about Countries coming together and competing for the honor of being a true Olympian. If we can take this competitive, yet team-oriented mindset and apply it to our innovation efforts imagine the future Games. The Vancouver Games are not an example of large-scale greenwashing, they are developing the foundation for long-term change toward eco-friendly games. Hopefully Great Britain rises well to the challenge they have set up for themselves. We can all look forward to a healthy competition for winning the “green Games” title into the future.

2010 CES Electronics Show Going Green

January 7, 2010 · Filed Under Events, Technology
Sustainable Planet

The 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is running from January 7th – 10th.  The show is taking steps to make sure almost every part is as eco-friendly as possible.

Some of the main highlights of how they are going green include:

  • Green Exhibits and Conference: CES will be feature a huge exhibit of green products called Sustainable Planet.
  • Environmental Investments: Investing more than $100,000 to local environmental groups within Las Vegas.
  • Carbon Neutral Air Travel: They are using EarthEra to offset all air travel to the conference.
  • Eco-friendly Booths: The show is offering an eco-friendly package to participants that features recycled and environmentally friendly materials for the display.
  • Recycling: Making recycling available throughout the conference, using recycled products where available and making sure to recycle over 50% of all waste generated from the show.

There are many more things the show is doing to be eco-friendly and it’s a step that more shows and conferences should be taking to lessen their environmental impact.

Every year CNet does a ‘Best of’ awards in several categories including Green Tech.  I will keep everybody updated with the results.

Earth Day 2009

April 15, 2009 · Filed Under Environment, Events

Earth Day 2009 is just one week away and it gives us all a chance to become more aware and gain appreciation for our environment. Many countries celebrate this day on April 22nd every year and has been a tradition for many years now.

Earth Day
Photo by johhlegear.

The first Earth day was on April 22nd, 1970, in a time when there was great concern for overpopulation and it’s effects on our environment. Over 20 million Americans participated on this first Earth day in an effort to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. This day also represents the start of the first true environmental movement in America. It also gave a huge boost for recycling and made it a worldwide effort by the 1990′s. Earth day continues to grow every year and Earth Day 2007 was the largest ever, with over a billion people participating.

Earth day really seems to fall on a nice time of year, especially for us here on the east coast. The weather is just starting to warm up and it’s a perfect time to really make an impact on our environment. There are so many efforts going on throughout America along with events starting this week and ending late next week. Check out Earth Day Network to find out more information on where you can find an event going on in your neighbor hood or to see steps you can take to make a difference.

Not everybody is completely supportive of Earth Day. Some environmentalist feel that Earth Day does not make a huge impact and that larger changes need to be made before really environmental change can occur. I do partially agree with this side in that sectors like the oil industry are completely outdated and need to lesson their influence on our country and renewable energy needs to take place. On top of that, more needs to be done than just buying an organic cotton t-shirt to make ourselves feel we are doing good. We need to make drastic changes in our lives and put more pressure on the government to stop supporting industries that are hurting our environment and support more sustainable ones.

In my opinion, Earth day should be every day. It is only one day of the year ( sometimes a week ) and we need to take action all year round to ensure that we are living sustainable and more environmentally friendly lives. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t celebrate in the festivities and help out around your community, just try to do the same all year round.

Earth Day should still be a day of learning and an opportunity to educate others about living a more sustainable lifestyle and appreciating our environment. Please share what kinds of things you are doing during Earth Day 2009.

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