Envirovents Green Events

Blogging about green events around the world!

Free Farm Food in Colorado

This weekend, and for Thanksgiving, a very unique event is happening in Platteville, Colorado.  A family owned farm is giving away free food for two whole days to give thanks to the local community for supporting them for so many years.  This is the kind of thing that makes supporting local farming all the more beneficial.  Not only are they constantly providing a great local service, but they’re community oriented with events on their farm.  Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) are always coming up with great ideas like this to get the community involved.

If you want to learn more about their event, go to www.millerfarms.net.  For info about CSAs to purchase your own local farm fresh produce delivered to you, go to Local Harvest

Solfest 2008 Wrapup

Solfest 2008

Solfest 2008

Like mentioned in the last post, Solfest 2008 was just recentt. I travelled up using their carpool from spaceshare.com. I used SpaceShare last year too, both times with great results. Not only does it save money and pollution, but it allows some company on the long trip and get a good connection for someone to hang out with at the festival.

Anyway, the festival itself was great and I had a lot of fun. I was able to volunteer in exchange for admission and camping for the entire weekend. I was mainly focussed on workshops this year, since I had nothing to purchase and was there to learn and socialize. I attended 2 workshops based on structure and functions of eco-communities. I also attended one on EcoPreneuring (eco entrepreneuring), which I found to be quite refreshing. I’m an eco entrepreneur, but I find that the information available for entrepreneurs starting ventures for social good. Another workshop was about future economies and sustainability, which I also found refreshing. A lot of it is geared strictly for profits, and many entrepreneurs in society do not focus any effort towards sustainability and the planet. There were a lot of other great workshops throughout the weekend, but I found the event more about the connections and ideas presented.
The weather was a bit hot, but a gorgeous weekend nevertheless.

If you missed the event this year, mark your calendars for next year, you definitely need to check it out once. If you’re in another part of the country, they have an equivalent event in Wisconsin which is twice as big and run on wind power, and I have heard there are other smaller events like this one, scattered all over the world.

For more photos, visit our Photo Album

Greensumption

Now this isn’t an event, but from time to time Envirovents wants to notify the public of something great we found. A friend sent this over and I think it’s a great piece of work.

Check out Greensumption on Youtube.

It’s a cleverly made piece that sums up what Envirovents thinks about a lot of green business. We all need to be more aware of what we are doing, especially when we believe we are telling everyone we’re being more environmentally friendly by simply buying a Prius. A Prius will move us slowly in the right direction, but very slowly. I’m actually amazed when people try to argue with me that their Prius is better than my car. Not only did I buy mine used, but it still gets about 38mpg highway, sometimes as much as 42mpg! I’m looking to sell my car soon, giving public transportation a shot. I hardly drive my car anyway because it’s faster and easier to take the train. The fact that we all need to own our own vehicles is pretty ridiculous. It”s the urbanization that created it. If we really need to, we should be driving around in very small vehicles the size of golf carts, which can be loaded onto other transport to take us to another city, then roam around in those. Unfortunately that doesn’t make enough money or feed the ego, so we’re lead to believe that bigger and better is the way to go.

Solfest, Powered by the Sun

It’s been a little while since the last post, but for good reason.   Lack of funding.  Being green is not such a great market to be in unless you’re selling green products, energy, or housing.  While the green economy is increasing, there is still little money to be made in the rest of the green industry.  Many green companies are non-profit and aren’t doing what they are to make a profit.  Those who are making a profit, are still not looking to reap in gobs of money to pay for their fancy lifestyles, which they don’t have.  Funding comes mostly from grants, because when the economy is in a lull, less people donate or put up funding for causes.  Other capital can be raised by Venture Capital, but a majority of them are looking for high profit companies to invest in, not some company trying to do something good for the environment and just be financially sustainable.  So this post is just to say that green is still struggling a bit, but we’re all still hopeful and chugging along, even if it’s slowly.   Envirovents has been on hold for a re-strategizing before official launch.  We think it will be for the better, as now we know what we’re in for.  We’ll be posting an event that we are hosting very soon. We hope that will be the catalyst for official launch.

Green events have also slumped a bit recently, mostly because events happen closer to Earth Day.  I do receive new event notifications quite often, but not very many are standing out right now. Solfest in Hopland, California is coming this weekend.  I’ll be there for sure because it’s one of the largest festivals of the year. I went last year and had a great time, learned a lot, and met some great people.  I highly recommend checking it out, or at least stopping by the Solar Living Institute at some time.  The facility is one of the best examples of sustainable living and showing how you can still have a luxurious facility without giving up anything at all.  The place looks like a resort, but everything has been carefully created through sustainable design and materials.  They even have small tablets which describe how they were designed and what they give to the land, people, and animals.  On top of that, their solar array is actually powering  the facility as well as nearby homes.  It is one of the largest arrays in northern California, with 10 Killowatts of solar and 3 Kilowatts of wind power.  Check out their website for more details.

SF Bay Area Gets Public Transport Upgrade

Yes, I realize this is not an event, but how do you get to your events?  We here at Envirovents noticed that some “green” events don’t even mention forms of nearby public transportation.  Very odd considering that green-minded individuals are more likely to use public transportation.

Anyway, for those of you living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, you’ll be glad to here that one of the major problems of the transit systems has been solved! They finally created a single pass that covers all forms of transit throughout the bay area.  I have personally been waiting for this, as many of my travels involve switching from one transit system to the next, which don’t always offer purchase transfers.  Well, the wait is over, because they are now accepting their new “Translink” cards, which allow you to make a payment to a single card, that you swipe to use on any transit system.  Not only does this reduce your time for purchasing tickets at the station (if you have a card and put a balance on your card in advance), but it allows them to give more directed frequent rider discounts, carrying coins around from your change given, makes transfers much smoother, and makes it easier on everyone for not dealing with the differnces between ticketing systems and tickets. Also, an added benefit of less paper used for paper tickets. Yes, it looks like the cards are made out of plastic, but maybe they can make them out of recycled plastic? Anyone want to call them up and make a suggestion?

On top of public transport, we also notice the lack of carpooling suggestions in events.  Therefore, we’ve been creating an events guide to prevent event planners from forgetting these important details. Plus, we are starting to integrate carpooling directly into the each event! No guarantee on this one, as it’s quite an undertaking and we may just try to partner up with another website.

2008 World Environment Day

The 2008 World Environment Day was hosted in Wellington, New Zealand this year, and the North American version was hosted in Chicago. The Chicago Botanic Garden was chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) .  Check out the website and information that was provided, as well as check out the offical explanation and links over at Wikipedia for the 2008 World Environment Day.

The day is much like Earth Day, but more focused on celebrating and drawing attention to the initiatives and resources which improve energy, conservation, and everything else that reduces carbon emissions.

We decided not to write much here, as we didn’t find any “good” posts about events happenning, but the above links provide so much information and very nicely laid out, so check them out!  If you know of any good posts, please send them in and we will publish them! Make sure they allow us linking to them, as many publications require you contact them first. We prefer links to blogs anyway, as we much rather promote grassroots, green organizations and people!

Netsquared Conference 2008

Netsquared 2008

Last week there was an event of a different color than green. The 2008 Netsquared Conference at the Cisco campus, brought together social entrepreneurs from all over the United States for a “mashup challenge.” The projects ranged from political, to humanitarian, to environmental, to a combination thereof. The challenge, was a peer voting for the best “mashup” internet project. A mashup is any project which combines, aggregates, or builds upon pre-existing services across the internet. An example, which won 2nd place, was from KnowMore.org. They built an extension into the Firefox internet browser which allows you to see loads of information about the companies you are browsing from search engines to the company’s own website!
When you visit a company’s website, an uninstrusive notification window pops up to let you know their ratings and a link to see more information. Also, when searching on google, little icons will pop up next to the searches, which include color-coded ratings. The ratings are for corporate responsibility, environmental impact, business practices, and much more. This project is a “mashup” because of their integration with search engines and browsers which already exist. They didn’t re-invent the wheel, but instead made it that much better.

There are several other organizations building similar projects, namely another project at Netsquared, Greenerone.com. They provide green ratings for products while you shop. You can compare products and see their energy saving or green specs as you browse. I guarantee you will see a lot more of these rating systems in the very near future. I have seen more than a handful popping up around the internet.

The event itself brought together speakers from organizations like Wikipedia, a live internet feed with Second Life, and a “hack room” for those that need programming help from fellow innovators.

The future of the internet revolves around the concepts brought to Netsquared, as many of you may notice the applications and widgets that are being built into websites and software to make them much more powerful. A great example of this, is a winner from last year’s Netsquared Conference, call Freecycle. If you’re green minded, you’ve defintely heard of them, and Netsquared gave them the funding and publicity needed to make them into the giant they are now.

I can honestly say that this event was the best event I have ever been to. The energy of the event and the people involved, were some of the most passionate, caring, innovative, and collaborative people I have ever met.
Please make sure to stop by the top 21 projects and the other projects listed and support them in any way you can. These projects are running on very small budgets and mostly volunteers. These non-profit organizations survive on donations and grants, so every bit helps.