Envirovents Green Events

Blogging about green events around the world!

Archive for green

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.

Advertisements

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.

Oceana Benefit Honors Two-term San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown

Will Brown Receives Award From Oceana

Jim Simon, Executive Vice President, Oceana and Courtney Sakai SeniorPublic Relations, Oceana with honoree, Willie Brown, Jr.

Last night, October 23, 2009, Oceana, the world’s leading ocean conservation organization, hosted a special benefit dinner in San Francisco to honor the city’s former Mayor and long-time California Statesman, Willie Brown, Jr.  Oceana presented an award to Willie for his nearly half-century commitment to public service. Willie has paved the way for many civil services to flourish in California.

The night’s reception dinner was set amongst a gorgeous sunset and ocean view of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, which was a telling reminder of the beauty in nature onto which the event was shedding light.

Benefit Dinner

Hostesses Lea Haratani Speaks To Dinner Guests

Lea Haratani of Oceana opened the evening with a few quotes and facts to set the mood for the evening. Her dedication to conservation was clear, as she excitedly explained how “we live in a time where there is a major global crisis and we have the tools and knowledge…to turn it around in only ten to fifteen years.”

Jim Simon, Executive Vice President of Oceana, announced and presented the award to Willie Brown. Mr. Brown returned the favor of his award, with a thank you to “non-profits, volunteers, and citizens who present critical information for people and their representatives to make more informed choices” that will lead to a better future. This is something heard amongst many local policy officials and non-profits alike.  It is up to the citizens to take charge of their own communities by forming groups and organizations to study the problems, as well as letting their representatives know how they feel and present them the information. Oceana, among countless other non-profits, paves the way to getting that information in the hands of citizens and elected officials. Oceana’s website presents a whole slew of facts, statistics, problems, and solutions.

Jim Simon seemed to have all of the facts and statistics memorized, as he continued the evening with a great speech. His energy for solving problems was very clear.

Jim says “the good news is it’s not complicated to fix….the solutions already exist, and ocean conservation is where we can already notice results within three to five years:  such as when we regulate commercial fishing to prevent over-harvesting, the fish populations return to normal.” He continued enthusiastically “it’s one of the most important problems that we can actually solve!”

Jim said the solutions can be broken down into four easy steps. “One, protect the habitat. Two, stop pollution. Three, set and enforce quotas and regulations. And four, stop subsidizing commercial fishing. ” That puts it as easy-to-follow as you can get.

Last in the roundup of speakers, came John Aiken, Director of the Palo Alto Zoo, who spoke about his insights into ocean conservation from a land-based perspective. How our impacts on land directly contribute to problems in the ocean, and vice versa.  An entire ecosystem can be affected by only a single species depletion.

As an addition to the night’s speakers, a fun fashion (or trashion) show of creative and “trashy” clothes were sported by Haute Trash.

Haute Trash

Alastair Boone models Haute Trash fashion made from a raft abandoned in the Columbia River.

Each outfit, made from real trash (yes, something someone would throw in the garbage) was accompanied by humorous puns and satires by the announcer. They sure know how to make trash and recycling a whole lot of fun! We need people like them to shine some light on our problems with some fun and humorous ways to get us moving in the positive direction.

With that, I will end this blog with Haute Trash’s great closing quote. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the pollution.”

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.