Happy Earth Day 2018

Happy Earth Day 2018!

“In our obscurity, in all this vastness,
there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere
to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the onl world known so far to harbor life.

There is no where else, at least in the near future,
to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet.

Like it or not, for the moment,
the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is humbling, and
character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the
folly of human conceits than this distant image.

To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more
kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish
the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

– Carl Sagan

“I want to know my ancestors–all of them.
I want to be a good, strong link in the chain of generations.
I want to protect my children and the children
of ages to come.
We, who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos,
we’ve begun to learn the story of our origins–star stuff
contemplating the evolution of matter, tracing that long path by which it arrived
at consciousness.
We and the other living things on this planet carry a legacy of cosmic evolution
spanning billions of years.
If we take that knowledge to heart,
if we come to know and love nature as it really is,
then we will surely be remembered by our descendents as good,
strong links in the chain of life.
And our children will continue this sacred searching,
seeing for us as we have seen for those who came before,
discovering wonders yet undreamt of…in the cosmos.”
– Neil DeGrasse-Tyson

(Quoted from Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey S1:E13 Unafraid of the Dark)

Drawdown EcoChallenge

The Drawdown EcoChallenge is a fun and social way to learn about and take action on the 100 climate solutions featured in the seminal work of Paul Hawken “Drawdown.”

From April 4-25, individuals and teams from around the world will take part in simple daily activities to reduce their carbon footprints and delve into the world’s most substantive solutions to global warming. At the end of the Challenge, the teams with the most points will win great prizes, including copies of Drawdown and a one-hour video session with Paul Hawken!

The EcoChallenges are broken down into these sections (with an added note of current participants):

LAND USE (1260)

ELECTRICITY GENERATION (1751)

FOOD (3156)

WOMEN AND GIRLS (1392)

BUILDINGS AND CITIES (1598)

TRANSPORT (1814)

MATERIALS (2094)

Executive Director of Drawdown, Hawken states “All of life is comprised of self-organizing systems and the Drawdown EcoChallenge is exactly that—people coming together to share, learn, support, imagine, and innovate for a better world. We are honored to be a part of this significant and brilliant initiative.”

Visit http://www.drawdown.org/ecochallenge for more information!

Net-zero Nottingham Homes

A pilot project to turn 10 homes in Nottingham into net-zero emission properties without residents even moving out is nearing completion.

Developer Melius Homes and social landlord Nottingham City Homes have worked together on the scheme, with UK solar manufacturer Viridian Solar providing photovoltaic roofing.

The upgrades also include better insulated outside walls and upgraded heating systems.

After the refurbishment, tenants will pay an energy services fee instead of paying for gas and electricity.

With this guaranteed additional income, to which savings on planned maintenance costs are added, the landlord can borrow enough money to fund the upfront costs.

The goal is to drive better economies of scale so the work can be completed at an attractive price requiring no government support.

Stuart Elmes, CEO of Viridian Solar, said: “The opportunity it offers to completely regenerate whole areas of our towns and cities, increasing the value of property and improving the comfort of tenants, all financed by energy savings is amazing.”

The 10 homes in Nottingham are a pilot study, with an option to extend the programme to 400 more.

Parachutes for the Planet

To raise awareness of people living sustainable lives and affected by climate change, Mother Earth Project is encouraging individuals, schools, and communities around the world to create PARACHUTES FOR THE PLANET!

So why go with parachutes? Saving the environment is vital to our health, safety and future, and parachutes are a metaphor for this process. Parachutes are safety nets and when held by groups during demonstrations or collectively displayed in large numbers, they transform into powerful messages of strength, hope and communal determination.

In the 1990s, thousands of HIV/AIDS Quilts (blankets) were exhibited in Washington, DC, to bring attention to a disease that was previously not understood. The result of this exhibition was dramatic – people became more aware and governments began to fund research to find a cure. Using artwork and text displayed on parachutes, the Mother Earth Project hopes to accomplish similar goals for saving the environment.

Display your parachute in your local community to raise awareness about sustainability (for example your school, company, city government, neighborhood, or on your car). Also, please encourage two other schools/clubs to create a parachute, as spreading awareness is the central theme of this project!

Litterati

Litterati, created by Jeff Kirschner, is a global community that’s crowdsource-cleaning the planet, from students in South Africa to activists in Italy, and neighbors across the US. They’re designing a mobile app that identifies, maps, and collects the litter that we pick up as a community, collecting a ton of data in the process, helping businesses and communities identify the root of the problem and drive change.
Upon the request of early users of the app, Kirschner has launched a kickstart campaign for Litterati!
Among these changes include:
1. Groups: Understand Combined Impact (“Our most requested feature. Schools, environmental groups, scout troops, and companies, they all want to understand their combined impact to drive change for their communities.”)
2. Maps: Measure Actions Locally (“In-app maps will provide the ability to search, browse, and filter by location or brand, so that anyone can map and measure their impact while understanding more about the litter in their neighborhood.”
3. Data Analysis Tools: Drive Bigger Change (“The community has already picked up nearly 1,000,000 pieces and we want to put that data to work. These additional layers of information, like retail locations, trash can placement, even weather and topography, will help us make more informed decisions and take effective action.”)
Change is happening! Check out their app and kickstarter to get involved:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/litterati/litterati-join-the-community-thats-cleaning-the-pl
CEF FFT: Creating a greater awareness around how we treat our community environment is a great place to start in spreading awareness of the impact we have on the planet!

EcoCoin

 

EcoCoin is described as a platform for ecologic and economic experimentation. They welcome entrepreneurs and innovators to build their applications and environmental solutions using the EcoCoin network. They invite you to join them on their social networks to discuss new ideas such as working on:

  • System for rewarding good behavior such as recycling
  • Experimental Economy
  • Charity Donation Drive
  • Eco Marketplace
  • Crowd Sourcing Ecological Projects
  • Marketplace for Environmental Related Jobs

Visit their website http://www.ecocoin.us for more information!

Mental Health and Climate

Here is an excerpt from the 2017 APA Mental Health on Climate white-paper:

MENTAL HEALTH
The ability to process information and make decisions
without being disabled by extreme emotional responses is
threatened by climate change. Some emotional response is
normal, and even negative emotions are a necessary part of
a fulfilling life. In the extreme case, however, they can interfere
with our ability to think rationally, plan our behavior, and
consider alternative actions. An extreme weather event can
be a source of trauma, and the experience can cause
disabling emotions. More subtle and indirect effects of
climate change can add stress to people’s lives in varying
degrees. Whether experienced indirectly or directly, stressors
to our climate translate into impaired mental health that can
result in depression and anxiety (USGCRP, 2016). Although
everyone is able to cope with a certain amount of stress,
the accumulated effects of compound stress can tip a
person from mentally healthy to mentally ill. Even uncertainty
can be a source of stress and a risk factor for psychological
distress (Greco & Roger, 2003). People can be negatively
affected by hearing about the negative experiences of
others, and by fears—founded or unfounded—about their
own potential vulnerability.
PHYSICAL HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH
Compromised physical health can be a source of stress
that threatens psychological well-being. Conversely, mental
health problems can also threaten physical health, for
example, by changing patterns of sleep, eating, or exercise
and by reducing immune system function.
COMMUNITY HEALTH
Although residents’ mental and physical health affect
communities, the impacts of climate on community health
can have a particularly strong effect on community fabric
and interpersonal relationships. Altered environmental
conditions due to climate change can shift the opportunities
people have for social interaction, the ways in which they
relate to each other, and their connections to the
natural world.

Link to article: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/mental-health-climate.pdf

The Climate Mobilization

Why join the mobilization?

Well, the planet is warming and its okay to be afraid. Climate change threatens the collapse of civilization within this century. Confronting this crisis is the great moral imperative of our time.

The Climate Mobilization is a grassroots movement which demands a government-led mobilization to restore a safe climate;  calls for full employment and fair, shared sacrifice; demands a rapid transformation of our energy and agriculture systems; and calls on politicians to pledge to mobilize.

Visit their site www.theclimatemobilization.org to learn more and get involved!

(Photo is adapted from The Climate Mobilization “Blueprint for a Climate Emergency Movement”)

The Need to GROW

The team at Earth Conscious Films aims to raise awareness to issues like our broken food system.  This same team helped bring together the documentary “GMO OMG” and now has a new documentary film “The Need to GROW” which is still being funded. They are passionate about this project because virtually every environmental condition can be mitigated with healthy soils together with the decentralizing and localizing of our food system. Spreading awareness will have a huge part to play in ensuring we protect the environment for future generations to continue growing a healthy food supply. That is why this film holds great importance.

Visit http://www.theneedtogrow.com/ for more information and their sizzle reel for the film which is now needing funding for their post-production. Support their cause by helping fund their project: https://www.gofundme.com/theneedtogrow also follow them and their story on IG @TheNeedToGrow

If some 70% of the Earth’s topsoil crucial for growing food is gone, we’ve got to do something about it as a world!

Surfrider Foundation

With roughly 80 chapters in 10 regions around the globe, the Surfrider Foundation has a blueprint for success that transforms passion into protection, which is mobilized in local communities, all across the U.S..  Their network campaigns for the ocean as issues arise and proactively works on programs to help keep beaches healthy. Whether it is for clean water, the ecology and environment of the beach, erosion, rising sea levels, the impacts of development, to keep the ocean’s clean and safe for the next generation…there are lots of reasons volunteers are showing up to make a difference in their local communities.

Visit their website www.surfrider.org to find your local chapter and get involved!