Archive for September, 2009

Festival of Earth Cultures

Photo by Karimian (via Flickr)

Photo by Karimian (via Flickr)

 In Saturday, I headed over to the Festival of Earth Cultures that took place at Historic Pisgah Village in Highland Park. The event, which was organized by equitableroots, aimed to provide people of modest means with information about affordable, organic, and locally grown food.

Equitableroots is a program under Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge & Services (W.O.RK.S.) and is a partner of South Central Farmers (you may remember hearing about them in the news because of actress Daryl Hannah’s involvement with them).

Through community partnerships, equitableroots promotes health and well-being in communities that often do not have access to nutritious food options but have fast food restaurants at every other corner in their neighborhood.

The day long event, gave people an opportunity to learn about organic produce through activities such as gardening and food sampling. They also learned about farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA).


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Recycling makes sense (and sometimes dollars)

cents and dollarsSome people are motivated simply by knowing they are helping the environment by recycling beverage containers curbside, others require financial motivation to recycle, and still others recycle because of financial necessity.

In California, each time we purchase a beverage in a plastic or aluminum container, we are charged a 5-cent California Redemption Value (CRV) at the cash register.  It’s the state’s way of motivating individuals to return the empty container, instead of throwing it in the trash, where it is likely to wind up in a landfill.  If the container is larger, the CRV is 10 cents.

People who expand the scope of collecting recyclables beyond their own bottles and cans and then redeem the containers for CRV may make enough to consider it a stream of revenue that helps make ends meet, particularly during this recession.

I recently spoke with a woman, who by collecting bottles and cans on the CSUN campus, adds $7 to $10 a day to her income.  A young man attending Moorpark College collects enough to cover the cost of filling his car’s gas tank.

An interesting point, however, is that it’s possible to redeem more than the 5-cent CRV, because some recycling centers pay scrap value on aluminum cans, as well. This may amount to several pennies more per can. That doesn’t sound like much when recycling a six-pack or two, but it can really add up as the amount recycled grows, so consider checking out a couple of places before redeeming plastic and aluminum beverage containers.

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Adding Diversity to the Environmental Movement

recyclingBeing “green” has always been associated with a certain group of people — they are often affluent, educated, middle-age Caucasians. Because of this many believe people of color are simply not interested in environmental issues– this is not true.

Many people of color recycle and reduce their energy and water consumptions, the difference is that they do it out of necessity.

The number of people of color who have voluntarily decided to get involved with environmental issues is small, but it is on the rise. This is particularly promising since people of color are most affected by environmental injustices.

A project housed at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) by the name of The Multicultural Environmental Leadership Development Initiative (MELDI) aims to increase diversity in environmental organizations as well as the environmental movement. The group provides mentoring and internships for students hoping to start a career in the environmental field. Check out their site for more info.

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A gentle nudge for seedling greenies

earth911-header-logoMany apartment landlords  in the Los Angeles area do not provide a recycling option for tenants. For those who need a little nudge to get just a little greener and keep cans and plastic bottles out of landfills, here’s a link to to help locate a recycling center in your area.

Not sure how and where to store recyclables in an apartment? Here’s a tip to get started:  After rinsing out the contents from cans and bottles place them in a container under the kitchen sink, or in a covered basket in your kitchen or by the front door.  When the container is full, put it in your car and take it to a recycling center on a day you’re running errands, or as you’re driving to or from work or school.

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No Impact Man

No Impact Man Film PosterWent to see the documentary film “No Impact Man” and loved it. The documentary follows Colin Beaven, a writer anblogger, who along with his family, embark on a project that rids them of any thing that has a negative impact on the environment.

It is particularly difficult for Beaven’s wife, Michelle, who is a self-professed shopaholic. At times, their little girl, Isabella, seemed more on board with the project especially when she helps to do the laundry in their bathtub.

The documentary is a fast paced film that condenses their one year commitment into an hour and a half. The film also shows the negative reaction that their project causes among the environmental community. Their argument is that Beaven’s crazy project reflects negatively on them.

In the end, the family learns that they can’t do everything on their own. The film ends with a message to get involved with organizations that are trying to help the enviroment.

If you are Eco-conscious or just curious, you definitely need to watch it. Check out the trailer below and make sure to check your listings because the film is on limited release. 


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