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In 1992, at the age of 12, Cullis-Suzuki raised money with members of ECO, to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro where she was applauded for a speech to the delegates. She graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a B.Sc. in ecology and evolutionary biology. After Yale, she spent two years traveling. In early 2002, she helped launch an Internet-based think tank called The Skyfish Project. The Skyfish Project disbanded in 2004 as Cullis-Suzuki turned her focus back to school and enrolled in a graduate course in the University of Victoria to study ethnobotany.
A unique combination of children’s culture and a profound commitment to the environment, Eco-Agents is the leading environmental organization for children in Norway. This distinctively Norwegian phenomenon has now existed for 15 years. The group’s aim is to “stimulate children’s interest and love for nature, and to make them realize that the way we live our lives has influence on the environment.”
A group of Rhode Island middle school students recently one a President’s Environmental Yourth Award for a project called T.G.I.F. – Turn Grease Into Fuel. The kids tackled the problem of global warming by first convincing local residents to create grease collection receptacles where waste cooking oil could be collected. The waste oil was then transferred to a biodiesel refinery where it was recycled into biofuel. So far, the project has collected over 36,000 gallons of waste oil and produced 30,000 gallons of biofuel a year, eliminating 600,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions to the air. The students have donated 4,000 gallons of biofuel to local charities and helped 40 families with emergency heating assistance.
Hat Tip: advancedbiofuelsusa.info
What do Cameron Diaz and Grover from Sesame Street have in common besides freakishly large smiles? A love of trees:
Adam Gardner of the band, Guster, speaks about what he and the band are doing to do their part to help the environment, and about REVERB, the company he created to help other musicians go green.
The 5 Gyres Project is the first comprehensive study of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Beginning January 18, 2010, the project will travel thousands of miles across the North and South Atlantic oceans, collecting ocean samples to study plastic accumulation, as well as examining fish for possible plastic ingestion and toxins in their tissues. These expeditions will help further our understanding of the impact of plastic waste on the world’s oceans. Visit http://5gyres.org/ for more information (the site includes a What’s Happening Now blog).
What do you call an art museum with no walls and no actual art on display? The Greenmuseum was created by a group of environmental artists as forum for presenting and discussing a variety of environmental art around the planet. Instead of establishing one big museum filled with art, the site offers “many tiny boxes (monitors) that encourage visitors to go out to experience art in the context of their own communities and ecosystems.” Enter here.
photo: Vince Alongi
If you were walking down the street and you saw a plastic bag lightly tumbling in the breeze, would you stop to pick it up?
If you’d been with us aboard the Baylis, you would without question.
Welcome to the Derick M Baylis, a 65-foot auxiliary-powered sailing research vessel, a Prius at sea.
Chartered by Sealife Conservation, its mission is to inspire conservation of the Oceans by fostering awareness of the marine environment through research and education. On board, a mixture of open minds: a fifth grader and an ocean activist, college students and college grads, dads and daughters. The most obvious commonality is the desire to experience and learn.
Would you step out of your way to pick up that Styrofoam cup in the park?
A day aboard the Baylis would provide you with more than one reason to do it.
The Baylis has just left its slip and nets are manned on both the port and starboard sides. A candy wrapper is the first catch of the day, small, but certainly there’s not a thought of throwing it back. A simple standard has been set: if you see it, call it out, and it will get hauled in. During the trip to the sea, other debris is collected. The experience is underscored by living sea lions basking on a buoy, pelicans flying overhead, and twenty or so dolphin close enough that you can
hear them breathing and slapping the water. A drifting patch of kelp is hoisted on board and the passengers comb through the leaves looking for life’s beginning stages taking refuge in the safe haven. Tiny crabs and other little creatures are placed in beakers so they can be studied.
A torrent of plastic and other trash is impacting their lives, so while the ocean is where most of earth’s life begins, it seems to be our least-respected resource.
If you were strolling on the beach, would you salvage that plastic cup half buried in the sand?
If you knew the crew of the Baylis, absolutely, you would.
The Billabong seaplane rendezvous with the Baylis off the SoCal coast.
On board are three incredible, big-wave riders. Mike Parsons, Grant “Twiggy” Baker and Greg Long don’t look like the hell men they really are as they board the sailboat from a dinghy, calm and clearly intrigued. Each of them has surfed the largest waves in the world with that same studied character.
They understand the ocean and it’s contents. Around the globe, they have seen pristine beaches turn into dumps and witnessed a bounty of plastic bags and bottles mixed with syringes. They watch as the Baylis nets its own collection of discarded objects, using GPS to note the location.
Would you stop a boat to pick up a floating water bottle?
At this point you know the answer is yes. A manned net on the starboard side misses a plastic bottle and suddenly the boat is turning around to gather it – a 65-foot boat on a turnabout for a single water bottle. There are no complaints, only interest in the brand and where it is from. The 180-degree turn for the bobbing plastic makes a point – for if we can stop trash like this from ever leaving the land, it will never find its way to the ocean’s garbage dumps.
That plastic bag, tumbling in the breeze?
Are you going to pick it up?
There was a point in my life when I would have answered, “no.” Or perhaps I wouldn’t have answered the question at all. Today I find myself stuffing plastic bags in my wetsuit sleeve while surfing. There are funny looks from the others in the line -up until I explain that, to a turtle, a plastic bag looks just like a jellyfish. Suddenly, they understand.
Back aboard the Baylis: A chunk of Styrofoam is netted (the little foam balls that break-off are easily mistaken for food by fish and sea birds). A silver Mylar happy birthday balloon is scooped off the surface to a chorus of hilarious, helium-inspired cheers. Things change. I’ve changed. Anything is possible.
Steve Lawrence, greenlandoceanblue
**All unattributed photos by Steve & Madison
MyAbodo is an interactive eco-game designed primarily for kids that lets you build your own home and see how your choices impact the environment. To play, just click on the image above. You can also see houses created by others. The Tools section targets adults and includes project guides and a project planner.
Lily, a 5th-grader at Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools’ Great Seneca Creek Elementary School, talks about attending a LEED-Gold school.* For more information, visit www.buildgreenschools.org.
*The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
The Earthship Internship Program is open to anyone with an interest in sustainability and a willingness to work hard. People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Accepted interns will have the opportunity to learn Earthship building concepts and techniques while working full time alongside the Earthship contruction crew for approximately one month.
More information about Earthship Internships here.
On the road for the fifth year in a row, The Big Green Bus is a vegetable-oil powered classroom on wheels manned by 15 Dartmouth University students who’re helping promote climate change awareness and action. The bus is outfitted with solar panels and an interior made entirely of sustainable materials. You can follow the Big Green Bus at thebiggreenbus.org. While you’re there, check to see when they plan to be in your neighborhood.
So far, 54 RelightNY teams have: adopted 609 NYC buildings, changed 111,283 bulbs, eliminated 21,811,468 lbs of CO2 emissions, saved New York City $5,497,380.20 in energy costs.*
(*estimate for lifetime savings per bulb based on 3 hours per day usage in New York.)
Light bulb photo: Originally uploaded by purplemattfish
Artist Katie Holten’s Tree Museum is comprised of 100 specially-chosen trees between 138th Street and Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx, each of which has a story to tell if you dial the number at its base. Tree No. 45, a Little Leaf Linden, has a story told by Patricia Foody, a 95-year-old Bronxite, who remembers her dad bringing her for a walk to the Concourse to visit his brother’s tree in just this location—it was one of the original maples, and many of them had plaques for soldiers who had died in World War I.
You can view each of the tree locations here at Google Maps.
Hat Tip: bldgblog.blogspot.com.
Produced by EPA’s Region 9 Office in 1993, this book provides an introduction into why we need the ozone layer, the causes of ozone depletion, and some of the actions the world is taking to correct the problem. We hope you enjoy joining our intrepid reporter Farley on the trail of the missing ozone!
For a PDF version, visit epa.gov.
Changing Tides, is a soap opera produced by Alleyne Regis to educate Micronesians about issues like contraception, AIDS, and the South Pacific’s imperiled ecosystems. Between 80 and 90 percent of listeners said they’ve learned something about health; 32 percent have stopped littering; and 19 percent quit eating sea turtle eggs. Regis, who has produced educational soaps all over the world, is now working with the nonprofit Population Media Center on a new soap set to air in nine eastern Caribbean countries. He’ll be tackling tough environmental issues: deforestation in the area is on the rise, and the coral reef is suffering due to overfishing and chemical dumping. “Emotion is important,” he says. “It is the key to changing attitudes.”
Food, Inc. (Magnolia Pictures)
Director: Robert Kenner
Cast: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser
Plot: An unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry.
Just one post today. Put aside an hour and a half (we know, impossible) and watch the film. It’s called, HOME. The aim of the filmmakers is to reach the widest possible audience and to convince us all of our individual and collective responsibility towards the planet. For this purpose, HOME is free. A patron, the PPR Group, made this possible. EuropaCorp, the distributor, also pledged not to make any profit because it is a non-profit film.
HOME can also be viewed via the official website:
PPR is proud to support HOME
HOME is a carbon offset movie
Namaste: Scarlett Wallingford
Since the age of 10, Tayler McGillis has collected and recycled more than 23,000 pounds of aluminum from roadside trash, old homes and other sources. The Toluca, Illinois resident has thus been able to raise more than $18,000 for local charities including Habitat for Humanity. Tayler has also turned an abandoned coal mine into a wildlife preserve and designed and built a project to stop lake erosion. What’s more, he and a team of volunteers have walked and cleaned up more than 400 miles of local highways.
Hat Tip: epa.state.il.us
These days, New Zealand students are busy cleaning up Mother Earth. Over 600 Kiwi schools are involved in a program called, Enviroschools, in which every classroom has compost and paper recycling bins. Classes sponsor dolphins, design eco buildings on computers, and stock bird feeders they’ve built. There are “wheels days” for bikes and scooters, designed to promote exercise and take more cars off the road. According to officials, Enviroschools students don’t just learn about the environment; they do something about it. Details here.
Sunjay Tyle, a 15 year-old senior at Pittsford Mendon High School in Rochester, New York, has been working on an alternative energy project with Professor J.H. David Wu at the University of Rochester since he was nine and has created a new method for directly converting cellulose into ethanol. Sunjay also blogs about the environment, alternative energy, transportation, and other topics for Mother Nature Network.
Hat Tip: businessweek.com
Kids vs Global Warming is a non profit organization founded and led by Alec Loorz, who is now 14 years old. “We are a group of kids that educate other kids about the science of global warming and empower them to take action. Through educational presentations, community activism projects, action teams, and hands on demonstrations, we teach youth that they have a voice, and that they can do something about global warming.”
The problem with over-packaging is twofold: it wastes raw materials, and most of it ends up in our already overburdened landfill systems. A lot of packaging is made of plastic, too, meaning it will be around forever.
What can do to fight over-packaging? Start by voting with your purchases. Tell companies what you think. Recycle your packaging. Buy in bulk. And when possible, buy used. For more information on the subject, click here.
Colin Carlson directs a climate change organization called the Cool Coventry Club, a service project to educate people about global warming and encourage energy conservation at individual, business and governmental levels. He also works with businesses to develop “energy action plans.” He is a Nestle Very Best In Youth winner and a recent winner of a Do Something Plum Grant, which he is using to produce climate change information booklets he created for Coventry’s second grade public school students. Born on Harry Potter’s birthday, twelve year-old Colin is currently a student at the University of Connecticut.
Hat Tip: nytimes & photographer Shana Sureck
The ocean is the birthplace of life on earth. But it’s in trouble. Here’re just two of many reasons why:
(1) A recent National Academy of Sciences study estimates that the oil running off our streets and driveways and ultimately flowing into the oceans is equal to an Exxon Valdez oil spill – 10.9 million gallons – every eight months.
(2) Over half of the world’s original coastal marshes and mangrove forests are now developed as industrial parks, residential areas and farms.
(3) More than 2.8 billion gallons of industrial waste water per day are discharged directly into U.S. ocean waters, excluding electric utilities and offshore oil and gas effluents. Heavy metals released from industry, such as mercury and lead, are often found in marine life, including many of those often consumed by humans.
What can you do about these and other problems affecting our oceans? For starters, visit see-the-sea.org.
Mollie created her own blog and letter-writing campaign as a way to help polar bears gain protection on the Endangered Species list. After reading at school about the plight of the polar bear, Mollie and some friends created “Save the bears!” posters and marched around the playground. Many of her peers taunted the girls, saying their march was accomplishing very little, and later that evening, Mollie realized they were right. She decided to take more concrete action and started a blog, where she posted statements such as “Polar bears like to swim, but they can’t swim forever!”, referring to the dire consequences of melting Arctic ice. She also asked people to write letters to the Fish and Wildlife Service supporting the polar bear’s inclusion on the Endangered Species list, and collected 171 letters. When the Alaska Wilderness League learned of Mollie’s work, they asked her to speak at an Arctic rally on Capitol Hill, where she shared the stage with Senators John Kerry and Bernie Sanders – and stood on a box in order to reach the microphone.
Hat tip: barronprize.org/
Summer Oakes, who is known as “the world’s first eco-model, is a tireless advocate for environmental issues, and she is unapologetic about using her assets “to make a difference.” She has a degree in environmental science and entomology from Cornell University, is a Udall environmental scholar, and has just published a book, Style, Naturally, the Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty. “Everything I work on in modeling is about partnering with environmentally sound companies,” said Oakes, who was named a “Global Citizen” by Vanity Fair in 2007.
Hat tip: vancouversun.com
Students will be encouraged to find solutions to global warming with the launch of a new environmental school curriculum in Melbourne.
The Living in 2030: An Experiment in Survival is a new school curriculum in Melbourne, Australia that invites students to imagine a world 20 years from now where environmental solutions have not yet been found to pressing issues including global warming. Students must then find solutions to the problems.
Steve Cook, principal at Williamstown High School – which has tested the education resource – said students had responded with optimism and creativity to the program.
“The work produced by our students involved in this program is characterized by their creativity, passion for the environment and a real desire to make a difference.”
For details, click here.
Make 18 minutes and 16 seconds. When you’re sure you can spare them, watch the following video – Monday’s only post. Don’t let anything or anyone interrupt you.
Inspired by a first-grade teacher who taught that people in Africa had difficulty getting clean water and access to wells, six year-old Ryan Hreljac, made a deal with his parents. A year after performing extra chores and doing a little fundraising, he had amassed $2,000 and in January, 1999, a well was built at the Angolo Primary School in northern Uganda.
Ten years later, Ryan’s work continues through the Ryan’s Well Foundation which has so far built 502 wells in sixteen countries serving a total of 621,712 people.
Habitat Heroes creator is Australian mom, Sharon Lowe, who conceived the idea when she had trouble finding a child-friendly ecology website for her seven year old daughter. “The core of Habitat Heroes was formed around values my husband and I wish to instill in our children,” Lowe said. “(The site) unites children into a global force of Super Heroes, teaching them that everyone can make a difference.” Hat tip to www.rolemommy.com
In 2007, a blog called “Fishes Feed Us,” was created by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc., and hosted by One Ocean, as a way for youth in New York City and the Indo-Pacific Region to exchange views about the fish crisis, telling their stories from the “fishes’ perspective” as well as from their own viewpoints. Here is some of what they had to say:
One day we will have to go to a museum to see a fish because we are eating up our ocean’s supply too fast, too soon. (Sameena – New York City)
Since the big commercial fishing vessels started coming into our local waters, there are fewer fish, and more pollution. If we can barely survive now, how are the future generations going to? (Francine – Malaysia)
I wish some groups would help fishers’ children so that they could go to school. It is every child’s right to be educated. (Angelica – New York City)
Boom! Everything seemed to stop. Then I saw fishes floating. Dead. With one dynamite explosion, the reefs, our home, were completely demolished. (Kristine – Philippines)
Education is the key. If people understand the human consequences of losing the world’s fish stocks, they will try and help stop the depletion. (Jasmine – New York City)
Plastic is a problem but so is paper:
1. Plastic bags require 40% less energy to produce than paper bags.
2. Paper bags produce 80% more solid waste than plastic and due to modern landfill techniques, don’t biodegrade much faster than their polyethylene counterparts.
3. It takes less energy to recycle a plastic bag than paper.
4. Plastic bags weigh less and take up less landfill space than their paper counterparts.
5. Paper bag manufacturing creates more air and water pollution than plastic bags.
Solution? Purchase reusable cloth bags and use them.
Hat Tip to http://www.greendaily.com
These commercials were produced for MTV in 1990. Time flies, the situation remains pretty much the same.
When he was nine, Alex Lin had co-created a community service team called Westerly Innovations Network (WIN) and it seemed fitting to motivate his team to tackle E-Waste. Alex’s leadership and dedication contributed to a slew of amazing accomplishments including a recycling drive which collected 21,000 pounds of E-Waste and the creation of a permanent E-Waste receptacle in town, which has collected more than 60,000 pounds of waste. Alex recently helped build an Internet café in Cameroon, and is now setting up a pilot system for providing refurbished computers to international youth through the United Nation’s Environment Program and launching a Bridging Divides program with U.S. businesses and schools.
When Erica Fernandez found out that a liquefied natural gas facility was proposed for the coast of Oxnard and Malibu with a 36-inch pipeline routed through low-income neighborhoods, she was outraged. She worked in concert with the Sierra Club and Latino No on LNG group to mobilize the youth and Latino voice in protests and public meetings. She organized weekly protests at the BHP Billiton offices in Oxnard, met regularly with community members, marched through neighborhoods that would be most impacted, reached out to the media, and brought more than 250 high school students to a critical rally. Her passionate testimony at the California State Lands Commission meeting was quoted in news articles, and helped convince the Commission to vote to deny the project.
To learn more about the Brower Youth Awards, visit http://broweryouthawards.org/article.php?list=type&type=12.
The Big Green Purse is encouraging a million women to shift at least $1,000 of money they already spend for an initial $1 billion Big Green Purse impact. Want to join? Click here.
NOTE: Big Green Purse is the brainchild of Diane MacEachern who is believes that “the fastest, easiest, most direct route to a clean and healthy environment is tyo shift our spending to environmentally-safe, socially responsible products and services.”
Australia – Gran Barrera de Coral = Great Barrier Reef, originally uploaded by felmar73 – Regreso = Return.
Leading experts at the 2009 Aspen Environment Forum called ocean acidification caused by high levels of CO2 emissions a “planet changer”, and predicted that all coral in the ocean would be in danger of dying off by mid-century if we continued to burn fossil fuel at our current rate. Too much is unknown about possible cascade effects on climate change due to acidification, as well as any ripple effects on other marine ecosystems due to loss of coral reefs worldwide.
Hat tip to planetsave.com.
* Biomes are defined as “the world’s major communities, classified according to the predominant vegetation and characterized by adaptations of organisms to that particular environment”
Twearth Day is Project Green Jungle’s Earth Day Event. For six days, they’ll be utilizing Twitter in real time from the jungles of Costa Rica with water quality updates from the Sixaola River and species and biodiversity surveys from the Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve.
We discovered this website a few days ago. Colin, its founder, explains its purpose far better than we can:
“Hi, my name is Colin. I am 10 years old and in the 5th grade. I love geology (any science really), history, the ocean, anything about WW II, Civil War or Revolutionary War, my friends and my family. My favorite music is from Jack Johnson, Ziggy and Bob Marley, John Butler Trio, Ben Taylor, James Hunter, and anything from the 80′s (that bums my mom out).
My mom helped me put this web site together because I am so angry about what is happening to our planet. Pollution and waste! What I hope is that kids will read what I write and start thinking about what they can do in their community to help keep the earth clean.
Keep visiting my web site and I promise to keep giving you cool things to read, and cool web sites to check out. Thanks! Also check out my blog at: ecosavvykid.blogspot.com.”