Envirovents Green Events

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Archive for California

San Francisco Green Festival 2009

Green Festival 2009The long weekend of events has come to a close for Green Festival 2009.  This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday delivered a plethora of green products, services, speakers, and parties.

Many of the products were similar to prior years, but a few new additions popped up and stood out from the crowd. One was a individual garden bed greenhouse from SunPod.  Eco-friendly vegetable ink dry erase markers from AusPen made their mark. And Taylor’s Tonics Chai Cola stood out as the most unique and attractive booth (see picture). There were many more additions, but these stood out to me.

Taylor's Tonic Chai Cola

Taylor's Tonic Chai Cola

This year’s speakers were very similar to previous years, but all of the talks I attended were very informative and inspiring. Amy Goodman spoke about the need for public television as an alternative to the mainstream media. As well as alternative approaches to standing up for your own rights, such as how The Yes Men , as well as a Utah student who posed as a bidder to save thousands of acres of public land from development and shine light on a faulty auction. Paul Stamets made a powerful presentation about the power of mushrooms to solve global problems. And many many others gave inspiring messages about how to make the world a better place. Even the Mayor of San Francisco showed up and gave a brief speech.Green Festival Speakers

Instead of describing each talk due to the incredible number of talks, you can purchase any of the speeches on the Green Festival website.

At the end of each day, the festivities continued at after parties throughout San Francisco. There were at least 5 different after parties over the three days.

Lastly, if you did not make it to the event, or wanted to review anything you saw, definitely check out the Green Festival Website for a very detailed account.

If you would like to see photos of the event, please see them here.

As always, if you need event publicity, calendar submittals, photography,  a website, or graphic design, please see the Services section on Envirovents.

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Weeds Taking Over At Harvest Festival 2009

Harvest Festival 2009 SebastopolThis past Saturday in Sebastopol, California, the 11th annual Harvest Festival brought information, politics, and music together in harmony. Well, not quite, but close. There are many Harvest Festivals across the United States around this time of year. They are held at a different time of the season, depending on the approximate time of harvesting crops in the area. The festivals are used to celebrate the time of harvest, as well as provide information about the harvest.

The festival in Sebastopol was a bit different than a typical Harvest Festival.  This time of year was harvesting time for medical Marijuana in northern California. The event centered around the use of medical Marijuana and legalizing Marijuana. It has always been a hot topic of debate, and this event proves that enough people are interested in seeing it legalized.

Whether you are for or against legalization or medical use, I suggest you attend an event like this to gather information from both sides of the argument. It may just make you think different about what you may hear from the news media or friends.

To get information similar to information presented at the event, try visiting www.westcoastleaf.com, a newspaper publication which attended the event.

350 Climate Change Event and Global Warming in Plain English

As a continuation of the last post about a political figure, a message was sent to globa political leaders by the organization 350.org, a group formed from StepItUp.org. 350.org event

What message? A message of change in environmental policy. As the world faces climate change as a global crisis, 350.org has presented a campaign to unite the world behind a simple number, 350. To garner attention to the growing carbon emissions causing global climate problems. I won’t bore you with the details, but 350 is the maximum parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere our earth can sustain at any given time. Today, we’re almost 40 parts per million above that limit. So 350.org has set out to join people together to show their support, and hopefully garner attention of world leaders to make changes in the world to address the problem.

The event itself brought thousands of people, a very large “350” spelled out by human bodies, and even political figures in support of global warming changes in politics. The event occurred all over the world in much the same way. See the 350.org website for all the details of the events around the world, as many of them were filmed and photographed.

That is the simple explanation of the event, but what does it mean to you?

As far as I see it, our society is split between believing whether or not climate change is actually a problem. Many scientists have come to the conclusion that is true and that humans are the cause. Unfortunately, that does nothing for the average citizen, which may have access to the information, but does not know or understand the data enough to make an informed decision. The global climate is an extremely complex system with many variables. The complexity makes it very difficult for anyone to know what is really happening in our atmosphere, even the experts. Therefore the average person either does not understanding the science or does not believe the scientists are correct. There are scientists on both sides of the coin making their conclusions, so it’s easy to make an argument either way.

350.org Event 2

So instead, I present you with a different viewpoint. Instead of focusing on the expansive topic of world climate, think for a minute on a small scale. If you take a small amount of water, such as a pond or stream, and you pollute it with toxins, it becomes undrinkable. On a larger scale, it works in exactly the same way. There is plenty of information and data confirming the pollution of our water supplies, leaving our planet with less than %10 of clean water resources remaining. That fact has been proven humans were the cause. So think about the same thing for the air we breathe. If we pollute the air with toxins in a small area, the air is no longer breathable. Again, enlarge the area (the atmosphere) and you will get the same result.

The simple fact of the matter, is the water and air are being polluted and killing many animals, including humans. I say forget about climate change and concentrate on something factual that everyone can understand. Add pollution and eventually you will become affected by it.

When everyone is focused on a belief of scientific data, there will be believers on both sides. But when you face the facts that are simple for everyone to understand, it is difficult to ignore.

The EcoCity World Summit Came to San Francisco This Year!

Eco City World Summit

This past weekend was the EcoCity World Summit, hosted in San Francisco, California from April 21st through the 26th. On hand were top city officials, planners, designers, and futurists from around the world. San Francisco was lucky enough to be chosen for this years conference. Previous years were held in India, China, Brazil, etc.

I was lucky enough to attend this great venue and meet some of the top thinkers on sustainability and cities of the future. The speakers are carefully selected by their impacts and research into the future of cities and sustainability. Speakers ranged from local Professors, to developers, to government officials, to world leaders in sustainability. The sessions covered topics ranging from transportation, to energy, to panning, to ecology. 

A friend of mine, Scott Fossel, an “eco-futurist” with two future projects which will help excellerate green living and business, happened to be moderating one of the sessions. I’m glad I stopped by to see him speak, as I enjoyed that panel of speakers. This may be due to my personal interests, but I believe they did a great job of engaging the audience more than other speakers I heard, a successful practice I have found to make a speech have more appeal. The panel was made up of Jeff Stein, Board of Trustees Chair, Cosanti Foundation, Arcosanti, Arizona; Liz Walker, Ecovillage at Ithaca, Ithaca, New York; and Gus Yates, Eco City World Summithydrologist and founder of Car-free City USA, Berkeley, California. Liz Walker brought a great perspective of first hand experience into Eco Cities, as she has helped create and live in one for several decades. Her experiences learned from Ithaca and knowledge gained from talking with other eco-villages like hers, gave great insight into the challenges we’ll face into creating new Eco Cities. Gus Yates brought a funny demonstration of how cities of the future can be designed to utilize shade and light throughout the year, purely by their orientation and shape of the buildings. From this semi-circle shape, they also create a much easier positioning for car-free cities and utilizing the central space for community endeavors.

A session which I missed and wish I could have made it to, was the keynote address by Jamie Lerne, the former Mayor of Curitiba, Brazil and co-founder of IPPUC (Institute of Urban Planning and Research of Curitiba). I have heard about what Jamie has done for the city of Curitiba and his amazing futuristic concepts about city planning. If you haven’t heard of Jamie, definitely look him up. He is a true futurist and carries successful programs under his belt, transforming a small city into a thriving city revolving around creative ideas in sustainability. 

Luckily, I didn’t really miss Jamie’s keynote address, as most of the presentations are available for free on their website! With that said, I have to note that the conference came with a lofty entrance fee, which the average person can’t really afford. The conference is geared towards leaders around the world, many of which may have the funds for such an event, but not all are so lucky to throw down a large sum of money. The diverse backgrounds of the speakers, as well as the international networking gained, might justify the cost. Also, there were breakout sessions in another venue across the street, which were not blocked from outside visitors to take a gander. This, with the free recordings of the sessions posted on their website, maybe the cost is justified to keep the venue from being over-packed with local activists wanting to get their voice heard.

Besides the cost, I also noticed that they did not go very far to be green in their event practices. Yes there was using compost able materials, recycling, organic food, and directions on how to public transportation to get there, but it all just seemed a little lackluster. I could be very wrong though, as maybe I’m seeing and reading about too many events which push the boundaries of being super green!

In my opinion as well as many in the green industry, we should try to look at the positives these people and events are bringing to the world, rather than scrutinizing the minor details. Most world populations have not been built in a sustainable matter and we should be praising those who have to go out of their way to take a stand against the non-sustainable practices, try their best to find more sustainable solutions, and bring about the future of cities and mankind. Here’s a toast to all those trying to make the future a better place! Keep up the good work and ignore the petty hacks. Leaders are always scrutinized the most, no matter how much they try to do the right thing. The future is unwritten and we’re certainly not perfect creatures.

Like always, feel free to cross-post this blog around the Internet, as long as you give credit!

Going Green in Palo Alto, CA

Silicon Valley is Going Green with clean technology experts, investors, and entrepreneurs. These gurus of green are meeting in Palo Alto, California once per month to provide innovative insight into the developing and cutting edge marketplace.

The group, “Going Green,” meets once per month and focuses on discussing real world ecological and sustainable development issues while developing new products, services and companies to address real world issues. A panel of experts in the field discuss their expertise and how to excel in the clean tech industry. Each panel includes investors, funders, entrepreneurs, and innovators making a strong impact in the industry, often owners of leading organizations.

This month’s speaker is Jon Bonanno, President and Co-Founder of Principle Power, Inc., a renewable energy power producing company. In the past, Mr. Bonanno founded such companies as Interbill, Solid Streaming, and ViaMoviles, all large competitors in the global marketplace. Jon was also an early Angel investor in Earth Class Mail, Sierra Nevada Solar and the first investor in Cool Earth Solar, at which he has served on the Board of Directors and as a Commercial Advisor.

He was recently elected by his peers to chair the Cleantech Investment Committee for the Keiretsu Forum Angel Network, the world?s largest angel investing organization. Mr. Bonanno is a member of ACORE (American Counsel on Renewable Energy) and the New Energy Congress and a sponsor of EasyConnect, a Berkeley-based mobility and transportation study group.

If you would like to attend this month’s meeting, it will be held at DLA Piper, at 2000 University Avenue, in Palo Alto, California on March 24, 2008 at 6:30pm. The meetings take place one per month on the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, visit http://green.meetup.com/224/