Green Festival Coming to Washington DC in October

Green Festival

If you’ve been looking for a weekend getaway and you also want to immerse yourself in learning about living an eco friendly lifestyle, then you won’t want to miss the Green Festival. The next Green Festival is coming to Washington D.C. for the weekend of October 23rd and 24th, and I’m really excited to say that I’ll be there! If you’re not in the DC area, the event will be coming to San Francisco November 6-7.

Here’s an “in-a-nutshell” rundown of the Green Festival; what it is, who’s behind it, and what you can expect to get from it.

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Movie Review: No Impact Man

No Impact ManI recently watched a documentary about a guy named Colin Beavan, a.k.a. “No Impact Man.” Basically, the film documents a pretty extreme year-long experiment during which Colin, his wife Michelle, and their daughter Isabella try to reduce their environmental impact to zero. What did I think about it? Well, it was definitely entertaining, thanks in large part to the (very understandable) resistance from Michelle. After all, I’m sure when she said her wedding vows she never imagined that “for better or for worse” would include a lifestyle full of challenges like raising a small child with no electricity or toilet paper. C’mon. A woman has limits.

Besides being entertaining, the film was also pretty inspiring. If you’ve been wanting to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly, you’ll probably come away from the film admiring the Beavan’s efforts and feeling like you’re ready to ride your bike to the nearest farmer’s market and buy some seeds to plant a new garden in the back yard.

Most of us, however (myself included), being the typical, average, garbage-producing, resource-consuming, ozone-depleting, convenience-driven humans that we are, may come away from it a little glazed over. Overwhelmed, perhaps. The film really opened my eyes to the unending ways that my life impacts the environment.

This is where i found the real value in “No Impact Man.” It makes you think. It’s really easy to overlook all the little ways we impact the environment in our daily lives. It’s much too easy to get too busy or distracted, or rushed, or whatever it is that keeps us from taking that extra 5 seconds to think about our actions and choices, and their consequences. If you find yourself in that boat, you’re definitely not alone. “No Impact Man” rocked my boat a little bit. But that’s a good thing. There will be some positive changes coming from it soon, but that’s another post.

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Today: August 21 is “Earth Overshoot Day”

Today is a very important day for our little blue and green marble. So important, it’s been given a name – a name that  many of us have never even heard of. Today, August 21st, 2010 is “Earth Overshoot Day” (a.k.a. Ecological Debt Day). What exactly does that mean? Well, basically it means we’ve pretty much used up all the resources that the Earth can give us for this year. Yep. Shut her down, we’re done. No more resources to go ’round. Apparently we’re no better at sticking to an ecological budget than we are at minding the national debt. No big surprise there.

Did you even know there was an ecological budget? I didn’t get the memo, and I’m not sure what my allowance was for the year but I’m pretty sure I blew it just like the majority of my fellow Earth-Dwellers. So, let’s take a look at this whole Earth Overshoot, Ecological Debt ball of wax, learn something from it, and see what we can do about it. I don’t know ’bout you but I think it’d kind of suck if I woke up in the morning and the planet had been closed due to lack of resources. I bet your Mama never told ya there’d be days like this… Continue reading

Meet Jack Johnson: Surfer, Singer, Songwriter, Environmentalist

Jack JohnsonMy husband and I are huge fans of Jack Johnson and we recently got a chance to see him in concert at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater for his “To The Sea” tour. Jack is one of my favorites not only because his music is awesome, toe-tapping, sing-along goodness; but also because he does what he can to help the environment and encourages others to do the same. While he’s on tour, he makes a major effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the tour itself, and also educates his fans about environmental issues.

So, for those of you who don’t know Jack, I’d like to introduce you to him, his music, and his organization called “All At Once.”

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5 Mobile Apps That Make Eco Friendly Living Easier

Seems that just about everyone these days has an iPhone, or iPod Touch, or some other can’t-live-without-it hand held gadget. I suspect that if our species continues at this rate, our evolution will include the growth of a third (and possibly fourth) hand just to keep up with all these gadgets we can no longer leave the house without! Well, if you have one of these hi-tech growths attached to your hand, then you also have a valuable resource for living a more eco friendly life. There are some pretty handy apps you can download that will help make green living a little easier and more convenient. Here are 5 of them worth a look. Continue reading

What You Can Do To Help Clean Up Oil Spills

Oil Spill on Beach Recently, it’s been impossible to watch the news or pick up a newspaper without being reminded of the huge mess of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. When I see an environmental disaster like that, it sometimes seems too big for me to do anything about. I’m not the type of person who will drop everything and hop a flight to the beach to help clean up tar balls. Those folks have my respect and gratitude. But a lot of us, while sympathetic to the issues and willing to contribute, don’t see an easy way to make a positive impact. Well, I recently found a really simple way to contribute to the oil spill clean-up efforts. I was also amazed to learn how quickly oil can be cleaned up with hair. Yep, I said hair. Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to shave your head. Curious? Read on…this is fascinating.

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Your Guilt-Free Guide to Green(er) Living