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Friday’s Focus? Seven videos from the past. How past? A year maybe. Maybe more. Maybe less. In any event, it’s the day before Christmas and you probably have lots of time to devote to old videos. So go. Enjoy.
This trailer for Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, features his dog and his grandmother.
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.
According to historian J.R. McNeil, an American mechanical engineer named Thomas Midgley, Jr., had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history. Until fate had its say.
In today’s on the on-the-go society, we remain big fans of mankind’s earliest form of transportation – walking. It reduces air pollution and traffic congestion, improves health and fitness for individuals in the community, and it gives you newfound appreciation for an environment you might otherwise speed right through. For a sampler of the many things you’ll find when you’re out for a walk in America, check out this amazing stop-motion, time-lapse video.
Always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to reuse garbage, we stumbled upon the works of Tim Noble and Sue Webster – two contemporary artists who have managed to cast trash in a whole new light. Literally.
Can kids really change the future of the planet? A bunch of Australian youngsters reckon they can – in just five minutes a day. See if you’re up to their challenge.
What do Cameron Diaz and Grover from Sesame Street have in common besides freakishly large smiles? A love of trees:
Filmed over nearly three years, the documentary ‘WASTE LAND’ follows artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home in Brooklyn to the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores” – or self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both dignity and despair as the catadores begin to re-imagine their lives. The film provides stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.
“Humor is merely tragedy standing on its head with its pants torn.” This Irwin Cobb quote is the context for this Friday’s Focus: Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise: 7 whimsical views of the BP Oil Spill. The last one’s the best. Ha ha ha.
Hat Tip: Kiko
Built by Japan’s Eagar Co., Ltd., D+ropop* is the world’s most ecologically friendly robot. Made from recycled materials (primarily corrugated cardboard), D+ropop is relatively inexpensive (a little over $5000 USD), light in weight, and performs a variety of customizable routines in its role as a robotic store mannequin.
* ‘D’ as in D-type cardboard; ‘ro’ as in robot; ‘pop’ as in point-of-purchase.
Hat Tip: .plasticpals
In a world of cheesy ideas, this one is actually pretty clever – a pizza box that transforms into 4 cardboard serving trays and a box for leftovers.
A zero-emissions, no-pollution public transportation system? Following the lead of several cities in Europe, DecoBike has rolled out fantastic bike-sharing programs in several cities around the U.S., including Denver, Minneapolis, and Miami. Check out the video for details.
We begin this Friday’s Focus on Eco-Friendly Weddings with a video about how to be a ‘green’ wedding guest:
The plastic bag monster (a.k.a. a passionately creative high school student from Santa Monica) testifies at a 2008 Santa Monica city council meeting.
In 2006, Tesco launched a multimillion pound TV campaign to get people to use fewer plastic bags when they shop. Here’s one of their commercials:
One of the most promising areas of alternative energy development is in algae, specifically Microalgae. These single-celled photosynthesizers. make fats that can be converted into biodiesel or jet fuel in relatively few steps. On January 14 of this year, the U.S. Department of Energy announced an investment of $44 million to help commercialize the development of algae-based fuels. Here’s a brief overview of this very interesting fuel source:
Daryl Hannah was driving a veggie-powered car way back in 2003. Here she is, talking with – OMG – is that Bill-oh?!?
Neil Young’s LincVolt, General Session “The Toy Show” on June 5, JavaOne 2009 San Francisco, originally uploaded by yuichi.sakuraba
Neil Young’s electric-powered Lincvolt gets over 100mpg.
Biomass energy is another extremely promising alt-fuel. Biomass is essentially organic material obtained mainly from plants and animals, including wood, leaves of plants, agricultural wastes, organic wastes, waste paper, and wastes from food processing industries. Ultimately it is believed that biomass has the potential to supply 15 times more energy than that produced from the wind and the sun. The best thing about it – it’s everywhere and completely renewable. There are several successful biomass energy projects already up and running, like this one at Middlebury College.
Composer and MacDowell Fellow Brian Amador’s newest multi-media, pan-Latin musical suite is about a favorite topic – food! Performed by Latin roots ensemble Sol y Canto, composer Brian Amador’s multi-media, pan-Latin musical suite, Sabor y Memoria, “stretches the boundaries of the concert experience in exciting ways: Fan-generated content – stories, recipes, and giant projected photos – will be part of each performance, and the work supports a wide variety of opportunities for community engagement through partnering with local restaurants, community organizations, and farmers markets.
Hugo’s (Studio City and West Hollywood, California) is one of our favorite restaurants because (1) the food’s amazing and (2) the owners are “committed to sustainability: a comprehensive program of sustaining the environment, natural resources, profitability, our workforce and community. The following are notes from their menu:
• We start from scratch with whole, vital ingredients, making an effort to preserve freshness and quality throughout the cooking process.
• We have eliminated gluten from our cooking, except for obvious wheat-based products (bread, tortillas, and some pancakes & pastries), by substituting rice or potato flour, Tamari Soy Sauce, and Bragg Liquid Aminos.
• We continue to add to the variety of organic products we use.
We exclusively use:
• Organic coffee, tea, herbal infusions, grains, beans, ketchup, mustard, sugar, soy milk, rice milk and tofu.
• Vegan pasta made here with organic semolina and flax seed.
• Organic free-range eggs grown locally.
• Hormone and antibiotic-free steaks and hamburgers, from pasture-grazed cattle.
• California fresh chicken.
• Zero trans-fats for deep frying.
• Seafood from sustainable sources, harvested in a manner that does not harm the environment. We proudly follow the guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
• Filtered water for drinking, all beverages, ice and cooking. We have bottled water available; however we encourage you to take advantage of our free filtered and sparkling water. Recent reports on bottled water have indicated that transporting bottles and bottle waste negatively affect the environment.
The following “Hugo’s Pasta Mama” clip is from one of our favorite television shows — Food Channel’s, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”
Newsflash: more and more people are getting their news from the internet than ever before, and that goes for green news too. green.tv is the broadband TV channel for environmental news and independent films from a range of environmental organizations and independent filmmakers. If you’ve only got two minutes to catch up on all the latest in green news, this is the place.
We’ve never seen it, but it does sound interesting. “Sizzle” is both a documentary and a mocumentary addressing the issue of climate change. Scientist-turned-filmmaker Dr. Randy Olson was a fan of An Inconvenient Truth, but asked “Where are the scientists?” So he set out to make his own documentary about global warming featuring actual scientists. The trailer:
Friday’s Focus is Whimsical Eco-Products. Warning: most of these items cannot be purchased. But hey, who cares. They’re off the drawing board and that beats products that are just percolating or lounging around on hard drives. So, behold the human-powered ferris wheel and the “Winglet” and the Eco Brolly and the mossy bathmat and the hammock made from seat belts and the coffee and tea straws and the bunny made of cigarette butts. Awesome!
What does living green mean to you? SuperNews from Current TV has a go at going green.
VW doesn’t want you to think green. They want you to think blue.* Their Bik-e has a range of 12.5 miles, a top speed of 12.5 mph, and folds into a disc shape to fit in a car’s spare tire compartment.
* For the explanation and a detailed look at VW’s impressive new ecologically friendly “bike”, watch this:
This Friday’s Focus is Recycling. It begins with a demonstration of wearable art created from plastic bags:
So not true, Mr. Gallagher. Reverse vending machines automate beverage container recycling by “re-consuming” cans and bottles and refunding the deposit to the consumer – instantly. They’ve been around for years overseas… let’s hope we start seeing more of them pop up in the U.S.
The DustBot Project “is aimed at designing, developing, testing and demonstrating a system for improving the management of urban hygiene based on a network of autonomous and cooperating robots, embedded in an Ambient Intelligence infrastructure.”
The Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach is an enviromental-song cycle, available at better digital music stores worldwide (no plastic CD case required).
This disturbing video shows the Brydes whale who died after becoming stranded on a Cairns beach. The post-mortem found that the whales stomach was tightly packed with six square metres of plastic – much of it plastic checkout bags. The antidote to the revulsion you’re bound to feel is a visit to one of the following: http://www.seashepherd.org, www.savethewhales.org, and/or http://www.savethewhalesagain.com.