The SSC E&W Team encourages our community to recognize the alienating influence of convenience-addiction and over-consumption. We challenge the conventionality that causes us to make unconscious choices in our daily lives - like accepting privatized bottled water, plastic bags, disposable coffee cups and Styrofoam containers, throwing out leftover edible foods, using disposable dishware, and keeping our electronics plugged in after use - actions that disregard the health of ourselves, our neighbors and our environment by polluting the Earth, air and waterways. When we demand waste elimination and energy off the grid, we get ourselves off the grid to become visionary about the world we desire.
Over the weekend, I worked at Silver Lake Jubilee basically as the ‘garbage police’ helping people throw their trash away into one of three bins: landfill, recycling, and compost. This year they achieved 90% diversion rate from the landfill.
They also had compostable containers for food and compostable utensils. People were so surprised they could throw all their trash in the compost bin!
On a side note: they had some amazing food there! I had a mango saffron sorbet ice cream sandwich with brioche cookie, and sweet potato fries with hummus and sesame seeds!
This weekend I will be working at Silver Lake Jubilee in LA, a family-geared, eclectic music festival. They’re being green by not allowing plastic water bottles to be sold at the event and food vendors won’t be allowed to use Styrofoam or plastic bags. They’re also hoping to achieve a 90% landfill diversion rate through recycling and/or using compostable dishware. I’ll be on the crew helping sort through the trash to make sure we achieve that 90% diversion rate. Last year they got 80% diversion =]
I thought I’d share something cool I learned about in my Sustainable Planning class last night:
Apparently there are these new roads that capture the weight of cars as they run and convert that to energy. According to Andy Hamilton, the founder of WalkSanDiego, if we converted 15% of the nation’s streets to these energy-capturing streets, we could provide all the energy needs for the U.S.
When you put it that way it doesn’t sound like we use a lot of energy, but then when you think about all the cars that are on the nation’s streets daily and all the heat they give off… that’s a lot!
Bottom line for me is, though it sounds cool, these are still roads and they do still encourage cars, which wouldn’t be the best way to go when we’re trying to encourage alternative modes of transportation such as walking or cycling.
Another thing Hamilton said that really resonated with me is that instead of saying cars are bad, walking is good, we can look at alternative modes of transportation as a way of giving people MORE choices so they are not forced to always use their car.
As Americans continue to struggle with outrageous, unstable gas prices, oil companies continue to benefit from them.
Exxon Mobile announced Thursday a first-quarter profit of $10.6 billion — a 69% increase from last year, and a number so astronomical, Exxon executives felt the need to issue defensive statements before the announcement.1 Also unveiling massive earnings were Shell ($6.3 billion, up 30%), ConocoPhillips ($3 billion, up 44%), and of course, BP (7.1 Billion, up 16%). In all, the five largest oil companies have reaped nearly $1 trillion in profits in the last 10 years.
But more outrageous than jaw-dropping oil company profits, is the fact that our government actually rewards these companies with even more of our money for maintaining this disastrous system - to the tune of $4 billion a year in tax credits and subsidies. It’s time for that to end.
Tell Congress: End oil subsidies.
(read more and sign the petition at CREDO Action)
300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds
via the Post Carbon Institute
What we know about the atmosphere from Professor Keeling (The Keeling Curve) is that air mixes, which means pollution abroad is pollution at home, CO2 rise abroad is a CO2 rise in the entire atmosphere. This article shows the hazardous health and atmospheric impacts coal plants in China are causing and another reason we need to demand and invest in clean and renewable energy sources.