Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

Germany’s Green Energy Plan: “Laboratory of ‘Green Growth’”

In an article published on May 9th, Christian Schwägerl brings attention to the new Energy Plan being put forward by Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Merkel said the Fukushima disaster “has forever changed the way we define risk in Germany” and has now committed that country to a path that, if successful, would mean that by 2030 green electricity would be the dominant source of power for German factories and households.

 
Given that Ms. Merkel is from the “conservative” side of Germany’s political spectrum, this is especially astounding and heartening news!

 
Below are a couple of quotes from the article, which is well worth reading in its entirety. (Thank you to Paul ray for bringing this to my attention.)

 

“In mid-March, Merkel stunned the German public and other governments by announcing an accelerated phasing out of all 17 German nuclear reactors as an immediate reaction to the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The chancellor now says she wants to slash the use of coal, speed up approvals for renewable energy investments, and reduce CO2 emissions drastically. That means that the 81 million Germans living between the North Sea and the Alps are supposed to cover their huge energy needs from wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass within a few decades.

 

… That makes Germany the world’s most important laboratory of “green growth.” No other country belonging to the G20 club of economic powers has a comparable agenda.”

 
What will it take to get every country’s leader to take a stand like this one? Yep. It will take the united vast collective will of humanity standing up and saying, “We aren’t going along with business as usual! We refuse to be manipulated into continuing on the path to collapse. We choose to live for the future of all life, not just for a selfish moment of wealth for a few.”

 
What a time to be alive! Together we are exploring what it means to self-generate the turning toward a Just, Thriving and Sustainable Future!

Community-based Solutions for a Sustainable Planet

Two Years Grow logoHave you ever found yourself…

* Tossing an empty water bottle into the blue bin and wondering if recycling is truly the most environmentally friendly solution available for plastic containers?

* Picking that lone edible tomato off the vine in your garden, feeling defeated about growing your own food?

* Reading yet another email from a friend soliciting money for a walk-a-thon, concerned that too many organizations are working on way too many different things to significantly move the needle on any one of them?

* Feeling that what you’re doing to save the earth isn’t enough?

* Wondering how to make a real difference on the planet?

We certainly have. And after pondering these thoughts for a long while, we decided that we wanted to devote our lives to finding effective solutions for a sustainable planet.

Our mission is to identify and simplify the implementation of the most effective, sustainable solutions for communities to grow food locally and efficiently convert discarded material into useful resources.

There are already so many organizations and volumes of disparate information informing us on how to best care take the planet. We don’t need new solutions that no one uses; we need to actually use the solutions that already exist.

We are researching the most sustainable solutions. We will distill their implementation process down to easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, empowering communities worldwide to implement them in ways that are both ecologically friendly and profitable. We are identifying solutions that make people’s lives easier and don’t feel like a burden, that we’ll all be motivated to implement without guilt or legislation – ones that will “stick” and have a significant long-term impact.

For example, locally grown food is fresher and more nutrient rich, free of harmful chemicals, and creates a proven positive net effect on the local economy, as well as a heightened sense of well-being from communities being more involved in the process of food-growing. Innovative technologies provide excellent opportunities to reuse waste materials to grow food, preventing them from taking up space in landfills.

To learn about what’s working firsthand, we’re traveling the world. We began our journey on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2010, and will continue with our mission for the next two years. Along the way, we’re sharing our discoveries on TwoYearsGrow.com.

We are committed to bringing sustainable solutions to the world for growing food and managing waste, making a measurable difference by December 21, 2012.

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Organization:  Two Years Grow
Authors:  Rion Beauregard and Eleanor Blattel
Website:  http://twoyearsgrow.com

Sailing Beyond Knowledge: Exploring uncharted waters, unfolding an evolving humanity

Sailing Beyond Knowledge

Organization: Sailing Beyond Knowledge
Find us on: Podomatic and Facebook

An exciting portal to navigate humanity

Sailing uncharted waters, we bring to you the last voices of Gaia! Sailing Beyond Knowledge is a community portal created to explore the evolving consciousness of humanity. In it, we have discussions with visionaries, ecologists, travelers, indigenous people, shamans, healers, artists, writers & creative individuals from all walks of life around the world.

Sailing Beyond Knowledge is a venue to learn about interesting adventures and stories from people that we meet on our sailing voyages, circumnavigating Central and South America & various island communities. Our goal is to bring to you people who want to share valuable insights captured while navigating through chaotic times and mapping a new sustainable future for humanity, as we make a transition from dependence to independence, community & self sustainability in balance with Earth.

Hosted from the ocean by a passionate & competent environmentalist

Carlita is an Environmental Biologist, Artist & Qigong practitioner who has interviewed, met and been inspired by some of the most powerful speakers, movers and shakers in environmental & humanitarian issues, scientists, eco-warriors, earth healers, rainforest experts, sustainability engineers and human rights campaigners such as Rex Wyler, the founder of Greenpeace, Nick Gordon, George Monbiot, John Pilger & many more.

She is the founder of several international environmental not-for-profit organizations and is currently working on myriad sustainability projects in Central America, but in this particular project, Carlita is leading during her sailing voyages. In addition to this, Carlita has taught environmental education and created recycling projects with rural indigenous people in Guatemala. Lastly, she is a regular participant at the European and World Social Forums, has been a Greenpeace activist and continues to dedicate her life’s work to sustainability, human rights and the preservation of biodiversity on planet earth.

Students sail high-tech pirate ship in reality TV show with a mission

Organization: Ketch My Drift
Website: http://www.ketchmydrift.com
Email:
jim@cineclipse.com
Author:
Jim Rizor

Ketch My Drift follows the story of eight college students who will take to the high seas on a high-tech pirate ship for unique semesters of “be the change.” Selected applicants will sail to exotic locations where they will explore the local scene, assess social and sustainability issues, and create action plans to serve for the betterment of all. Our professors will set dynamic challenges in every episode that result in practical innovations. Our students will work with young people from around the world to join hands in lifting awareness and hope.

Ketch My Drift is also an educational competition.  Grades will be performance based in unique and perilous environments where creative and dynamic, hands-on solutions are needed for environmental and humanitarian problems.  Contest is designed to find the most “Green Philanthropic Adventurer.” The highest GPA wins a college scholarship for $100,000.

I.D.E.A.S.–Educating, empowering and engaging communities in environmental sustainability

Organization: I.D.E.A.S. (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions)
Website: http://www.facebook.com/IDEASforUs
Email: ideasforus411@gmail.com
Author: Chris Castro

Student activists Chris Castro and Hank Harding had searched for a club that suited their ‘green’ needs, but never found what they were looking for.

So they started their own.

Castro and Harding, both environmental studies majors at the University of Central Florida, wanted a club that not only walked the talk but was active as well. The friends decided to start their own club—Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions, better known as I.D.E.A.S.

I.D.E.A.S. is a national non-profit organization founded to educate, empower and engage students in environmental sustainability by offering innovative solutions through research (R&D), action and environmental awareness.

With a focus in outreach, I.D.E.A.S. provides service learning and volunteer opportunities through hands-on, action based practices which focus on environmental education, stewardship and conservation. In addition, we perform scientific research in advanced biofuels, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

As a proactive organization, we provide the initiatives that link peers with issues affecting our local environment and surrounding communities.

Currently, we have ten chapters across the United States, and we continue to expand.

Chapters

University of Central Florida (UCF)
Florida International University (FIU)
University of Miami (UM)
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)
University of Florida (UF)
Washington, D.C.
Penn State University (PSU)
Texas Tech University (TTU)
University of Huston (UH)
Coral Reef High School (CRHS)

Leaders

Chris Castro
Henry Harding
Viktor El-Saieh
Sydney Smith
Sebastian Church
Samantha Ruiz
Meg Ryan
Dave Oswald
Zak Marimon
Tina Bechtold
Doug Middleton
Brandon Chase
Arturo Romero
Rio Tazewell
Adam Zabowski
Marta de Tuya

Throughout our two and one-half years, we’ve been a family. We’ve won a National Best Campaign of the Year award; placed eighth in the nation, in a field of 1200, for Clean Energy Advocacy; generated over 2700 members; partnered with federal, state and county government, as well as private, public and non-profit sectors; educated K-12 students; cleaned more than ten types of ecosystems weekly; participated in energy competitions; held clean energy bike rallies; created community gardens; and created solutions for issues we face on a daily basis.

This team of proactive leaders has changed communities across the United States, and we strive to expand this movement as far as possible.

Please join us in making the changes we need to see.

MiniMonos: Fun-filled virtual world inspires kids to sustainable real-world action

Organization: MiniMonos
Website: http://www.minimonos.com
Author:
Jonathan Collins

The children on MiniMonos are showing adults how it’s done when it comes to real-world action. MiniMonos—a virtual world for kids focused on sustainability, generosity, community and fun—has become a creative incubator for child-instigated green initiatives.

Sustainability isn’t ‘taught’ on MiniMonos; it’s normalized. Kids quickly realize that if they don’t clean the lagoon, the fish don’t come back. If they don’t do their recycling, their tree houses get messy. These concepts are in-built, not preached—and the kids pick them up and run with them.

One of the kids, on his own initiative, started Pick-up Trash Fridays, through which other children have visited a recycling centre, cleaned up their school, and are regularly picking up trash. Another member picked up over 1,800 cigarette butts from her local beach.

MiniMonos was created so that children have an online place to explore without the constant pressure to buy stuff–a place that embodies core values like sustainability and generosity, without turning those values into a boring lecture.

Last month, MiniMonos held a Green Halloween competition, again initiated by one of the child members. The ‘spooky season’, which is often a high time for consumerism, is a catalyst to explore how recycling can be applied to real-life situations relevant to children. What will they come up with for the holidays?

To find out more about MiniMonos visit www.minimonos.com.

Filterpure Filters bring clean water to the underserved

Organization: FilterPure filters
Website: http://filterpurefilters.org/
Email:
info@filterpurefilters.org
Author: Lisa Ballantine

FilterPure is an innovative, patent pending, water purification technology that is completely sustainable and effective in developing countries. The system is based on the silver-infused ceramic water filtration process invented about 200 years ago to combat the outbreak of cholera in England. Since then the technology has been improved upon and advanced, and even now ceramic pot filters (CPF) are widely used to solve the issue of unsafe drinking water in developing nations.

FilterPure is a U.S. tax-exempt, non-profit organization committed to providing clean, safe drinking water to the under-served populations of the developing world. Our strategy is to implement local and sustainable enterprises that manufacture and distribute effective, appropriate point-of-use CPF for home use. FilterPure is developing a program based upon strategies of affordable water filtration, sustainable enterprise, and local education. The solution is designed to be replicated worldwide.

FilterPure serves the Dominican Republic and Haiti

Currently, FilterPure has two active projects on the island of Hispaniola, one each in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic project, called AguaPure, was initiated in 2006, and since then has distributed more than 25,000 filters to Dominican families, enabling at least 150,000 people to gain access to potable drinking water. AguaPure began their project using a commonly accepted technology. Through consistent testing, AguaPure realized early on that the filter technology needed improvement. Working together with an international, commercial water purification expert, AguaPure re-engineered the filter to achieve at least a 99.9 percent microbiological effectiveness rate and a life of five years.

AguaPure has worked alongside organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization and Save the Children to bring higher levels of success in water programs. AguaPure has also been studied by PUCMM, a local university. PUCMM found, after only one month of use, 100 percent of the people using the filter were benefiting from improved health. AguaPure has been operating without the support of grant funds for two years, and shows every possibility of being completely sustainable.

Haiti

FilterPure Response in Haiti

With our Dominican factory so close to the epicenter of the earthquake, FilterPure had a unique opportunity to respond to the needs of the Haitian people. Filterpure was present in Haiti, distributing much needed filters only days after the disaster. Since that time we have distributed more than 2500 filters into the areas of most need, and have built a facility in Jacmel, with an organization called Wine to Water. They will begin production in the next month. We feel that a simple solution for the water of Haiti is critical at this time.

For more on the Haiti project, see this CNN report.

The FilterPure technology is simple, sustainable

The Solution

The technology of the water filter is simple, effective, and, sustainable. A round-bottom ceramic pot is made from a mixture of clay, a combustible material (sawdust or rice husks), and colloidal silver. The colloidal silver is a naturally occurring anti-bacterial which improves the bacteria removal rate for the filter. First, the clay and combustible are sieved through fine mesh screens, then mixed together with a measured amount of silver and water until a homogeneous mixture is formed. The mixture is made into a filter using a filter press. It is kiln fired, burning out the combustible material and leaving micro pores coated with the silver to clean and disinfect the water. During the firing process, about one-half inch of charcoal is produced within the filter to improve taste and color. The filter, which is designed with a rim, is placed on a five gallon plastic storage bucket with a spigot at the bottom for dispensing. The effective useful life of the filter is at least five years.

The FilterPure CPF has consistently performed at a rate of 99.9 percent removal for bacteria and pathogens in the field over the past four years. The filter can support a family of six for at least five years, and the cost per filtration unit is approximately thirty dollars. The overall cost to clean a family’s critical water supply is less than two cents per day per family.

Ceramic water filtration is considered to be one of the most promising options for treating drinking water at the household level in developing countries. FilterPure has gained knowledge and active support from a number of sources and is now poised to build the infrastructure necessary to meet its goals of improved human survival rates, better quality of life, reduced poverty through employment, and communities educated about water health and disease prevention.

Please support us in our mission to deliver this safe water solution to those who are greatly under served.

Filter Pure is recognized as a US 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.

Listen and learn from the voices of sustainability at EarthSayers.tv

Organization: EarthSayers
Website: http://www.earthsayers.tv
Author:
Ruth Ann Barrett

Increasing Sustainability Awareness

Our mission is to increase sustainability awareness especially among our citizens who are using the Web to search out the people and knowledge necessary to effect change and to do so quickly enough, the theme of Four Years.Go.

Finding Our Leaders

The pioneers, game changers and leaders of sustainability are buried in a sea of information and are hard to find, hard to hear. We find them, review for relevancy and quality, call out the individuals speaking, and categorize the programs using a taxonomy or system created especially for sustainability.

Focusing on Sustainability Content

A small band of people, sparked by an idea to put to use video aggregation in the service of sustainability, created the website, EarthSayers.tv, and continue to grow the site by adding quality content daily and extending the “find-ability” of these voices through Twitter (@EarthSayer); blogging (Sustainability Advocate); and special collections on the site organized around topics within sustainability such as renewable energy, the oceans, ecotourism, and indigenous cultures.

Hearing from Our Leaders

Find the speeches, interviews, documentaries, movie trailers, event coverage, and performances of over six hundred sustainability advocates; learn from them, and, most importantly, be motivated to make the necessary changes in your life at home, work and in your community for a “sustainable, just, and fulfilling presence on this planet by February 14, 2014.” You are not alone, but you are part of a sustainability movement. Give voice to your ideas and actions–become an EarthSayer.

Who we are

EarthSayers.tv was founded by Ruth Ann Barrett with the commitment and skills of Geoff Clevenger, developer; Rose Cassano, designer and illustrator; and Dr. JoAnne O’Brien-Levin, creator of the Content Map, a sustainability taxonomy.

The Four Years.Go video is in the EarthSayers collection at http://bit.ly/ciqknG.

Put your hoes down; Bay Area farm celebrates harvest and community

On Saturday, October 3, 2010, I attended Full Belly Farm’s annual Hoes Down festival at their beautiful farm in Capay Valley, CA. What a magical day. The sun was shining all over the polyculture farm, the pigs were eating muck, and delicious, responsibly-raised hamburgers were grilling. Children of all ages were everywhere: weaving baskets, running through the fields, exploring the hay maze structure. There was no end to the delectable food options; I walked around wishing I had five stomachs to fill instead of just one, small, generally vegetarian stomach. There were bike-powered smoothies, crunchy seaweed snacks, grilled oysters with garlic and butter, and fruit of all sorts.

This was a day of celebration, when local residents and not-so-local fans of the farm came together to celebrate the harvest. It also marks the seasonal transition into lower production that October brings on a farm like Full Belly. Many camp overnight at the farm and wake up in the morning to a hot or cold community breakfast and more workshops.

What I loved most about being at the farm for this event was how thoughtfully every aspect had been planned. There was little guilt or worry in attending. We used reusable dishes for the food. There was recycling, composting, and very little landfill (if any). Attendees short on cash got more at a solar powered ATM. There were plenty of opportunities to spend responsibly on locally produced products at various booths. Water containers were positioned all over the farm so we could fill our canteens on this seriously hot fall day. Old and young delighted in the horse-drawn carriage that ferried them from the parking lot to the festival. The organizers at Full Belly thought of everything. Participants chose from dozens of workshops throughout the day, where they learned skills ranging from herbal medicine to beekeeping to how to raise temperamental chickens. There were discussions on eating seasonally and on the leading role women are taking in the food movement.

For those of us who live in the city, this day was a special way to support the amazing people who grow our food. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the changing of the seasons, an occurrence that is easy to forget in sunny California. Thank you to all those at Full Belly Farms who put together this beautiful, inspiring day of dancing, music, food and fun. I’ll see you next year!

Photos by Janet Frishberg.

Blog Action Day: Working together to solve the water crisis

Organization: Water.org
Website: http://water.org
Author:
Erin Swanson

It’s easy to glaze over when hearing vague, general phrases like “the global water crisis.” So what? you might think. What is being done? What can I do?

We are thrilled to share some good news as millions on the web rally to talk about all things water for Blog Action Day. We’re not waiting on a magic cure to help those without clean water or a toilet. The solutions are simple and cost-effective. And Water.org has been delivering these solutions in sustainable ways for 20 years. For only $25, Water.org can bring someone access to clean water for life.

Why blog about water today?

Water projects in the developing world have disturbingly high failure rates. For example, in Africa, it is more than 50 percent. Through the past few decades, well-intentioned groups and organizations have appeared in poor communities, wanting to help them get clean water for the first time. Unfortunately, this has too frequently resulted in more harm than good, disillusionment, and confusion for everyone involved.

We all want to make a difference. We all want to make the greatest impact — with our lives, our time, and our money. It is all limited and valuable, after all.

But here is where the opportunity lies. We can be intentional with all the things we have to offer and learn from others’ mistakes.

This is precisely the vision that motivated our co-founder Gary White to start Water.org. Through his travels in the developing world and experience as an engineer, he was convinced there was a better way to help those in need in practical, sustainable ways.

The good news: Solutions to water crisis are simple and cost-effective

Here, we find the good news. Solutions to the water and sanitation crisis are simple and cost-effective. And by creating a model that focuses on a holistic approach to helping people get water and a toilet for the first time, sustainability can be achieved.

What does this look like? Over the past 20 years, we’ve learned that it is through a combination of high-quality, local partner, community ownership, locally available technology, and integrated projects involving sanitation and health and hygiene education that make the most impact—for the long term.

Transformation does not come with the flip of a switch. It is only with hard work, dedication, and empowerment of those in need of the solutions. These forces help to drive Water.org’s programming. Gary said it best: “”People on both ends–the poor and the powerful–must believe that the poor can meet their own needs. I know I do; I’ve seen it over and over again first-hand. This is why I believe every person can have access to safe drinking water in my lifetime.”

Be part of something big today

And so, today on Blog Action Day, we invite you to be a part of something big. We invite you to make an impact that lasts a lifetime. Because it’s not just about a well. It’s about what is best for those we’re trying to help. It’s about lifelong change. It’s about a holistic view and approach that allows those we’re trying to help thrive and take control of their situation so they can break the cycle of poverty.

We’re honored to be working beside you.

Erin Swanson
Water.org

P.S. For only $25, Water.org can bring someone access to clean water for life: http://donate.water.org

P.P.S. Donate your voice for Blog Action Day! Here is a resource page with good photos, video, facts, and quotes to get you started on your blog post, Facebook note, or status update: . Thanks for joining us!


The Switch: Educating and Inspiring Individuals to Make the Switch to Sustainable Living and Whole-Earth Consciousness

Organization: The Switch
Website: http://www.theswitch101010.com
Author: Paula Orozco
Contact: info@theswitch101010.com

The Switch is an environmental initiative which will join 350.org’s campaign on 10/10/10 with screenings of environmental documentaries to educate and inspire individuals to make the switch to sustainable living and whole-Earth consciousness.

The Switch’s mission is to increase awareness and inspire action through screening events of today’s most powerful environmental documentaries, followed by notable guest speakers and group discussions. By featuring these moving films from around the world, we weave threads of hope and collaboration. Through our yearly initiative we aim to create a venue through which the public can gain awareness and engage in dialogue intended to facilitate social action.

Three environmental documentaries will be screened simultaneously at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 10, 2010:

Themes explored in the documentaries include global warming, over-reliance on oil, over-consumption, clean energy, indigenous rights, personal responsibility and global society.

All proceeds from the screenings on 10/10/10 benefit the following three organizations:

This year’s events are a launch for The Switch’s yearly initiatives including NYC’s own environmental film festival on 11/11/11. Fundraisers will also be held throughout the year. Yearly initiatives will continue to expand through development of partnerships for educational environmental film programs in NY and NJ schools and via community organizations.

350.org’s Global Work Party day: 10/10/10 is a global day of action in response to the climate crisis with over 1,400 groups from over 100 countries taking action to raise awareness and to send a pointed political message to leaders: if we can get to work, you can get to work too-on the legislation and the treaties that will make all our work easier in the long run.

Climate Crisis Fact: 350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide—measured in “Parts Per Million” in our atmosphere. 350 PPM—it’s the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.

Sacred Passage & The Way of Nature offers awareness training, wilderness rites of passage and sacred site protection

Blue logoOrganization: Sacred Passage & The Way of Nature
Website: http://www.sacredpassage.com
Author: Bud Wilson

People protect what they love

Sacred Passage and The Way of Nature, provides awareness training and wilderness rites of passage to help modern day humans rediscover their love for the natural world. Through our work, individuals receive what we call an “Earth Empowerment,” thus energizing and inspiring their commitment to the Four Years.Go. initiative.

Sacred Passage gently guides people to rediscover authentic connection with the natural world. Nature sensing and mindfulness practice in pristine wilderness open pathways for the transformational healing power of Nature. Sacred site preservation is a key focus of our work.

John P. Milton on The Value of Solo Time in Nature – 2 of 4

Why settle for virtual reality?

We learn from and in nature. The Way of Nature features “Sensing Exercises” to reconnect with our environment through smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight, movement, balance, thought and energy. This is the best antidote for “nature deficit disorder.”

Imagine recapturing the wonder and awe you experienced as a child in nature. Rediscover joyful balance and harmony through the direct experience of a non-dual unification of inner and outer nature as one continuum. Learn more about this concept in this two-and-a-half minute video with John P. Milton.

John P. Milton on Ecological Spirituality – 4 of 4

Immerse yourself in pristine wilderness

Direct immersion in pristine wilderness provides opportunities for individuals to genuinely relax, be present and open their hearts to the beauty and mystery of our natural world.

Discover deep ecology

Through a set of 12 simple, yet powerful principles, supported by numerous experiential practices, people are gently guided to cut through their perception of separation. This inaccurate perception of separation denies the principles of deep ecology, which informs us that everything is interdependent and interconnected. In the video below, John explains how “Our spiritual traditions have to shift … to give people that experience of all life as family.”

Sacred Land Trust Appeal

Protect sacred sites

As the developed world and our technological societies continue to hit the wall environmentally, it is increasingly important to protect Sacred Sites throughout the entire world. We must not only protect them but we must “re-learn” how to relate to them. At this very moment, The Way of Nature is facing a challenge from developers and a potential gold mining operation. We must raise funds to preserve and protect the southeastern border of our Gaia Sanctuary and Sacred Land Trust in the Sangre de Christo Mountains of Colorado. You can help us NOW – Contact: sunshine@indra.com or wayofnature@cox.net.

We invite you to view the following eight minute appeal from John P. Milton and supporters.

Any help that you can give to us in the protection of this land will play a major role in bringing our culture back into balance and harmony with the rest of life. – John P. Milton

Take the Northwest Earth Institute EcoChallenge

Organization: Northwest Earth Institute
Website: http://www.ecochallenge.org
Author:
Kerry Lyles

The Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) invites you to register for the 2010 EcoChallenge—a two week event aimed at inspiring people to take action on sustainability issues. The EcoChallenge promotes sustainable living and the power of taking one step toward a healthy, vibrant future. The EcoChallenge will take place October 1-15. Registration is now open.

“The Northwest Earth Institute is committed to inspiring change and teaching people how to make smart, sustainable choices,” said Mike Mercer, Executive Director of the Northwest Earth Institute. “The EcoChallenge is a great opportunity for us to show people how to form new habits with the earth in mind. Making changes in your life can be simple. We are challenging people to change one small habit that, collectively and over time, will have a major impact.”

Participants in the EcoChallenge commit to making one lifestyle change that promotes sustainability. Challengers can choose from the following categories: water conservation, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, waste reduction and sustainable food choices.

Organizations, community groups, neighborhoods and groups of friends are welcome to create a team and participate in the EcoChallenge together–individuals are also welcome!

Please see www.ecochallenge.org for more information!

Question of the Week: How are these three key issues appearing together in your life now?

How are these three key issues appearing together in your life now? Join the discussion by commenting below.

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Legacy Center builds backyard solutions for a sustainable future

Organization: The Legacy Center Inc
Website: http://www.extremegivers.com
Author:
Dr. Lori Todd

In July, an intrepid group of visionaries, part of the Legacy Center’s Leadership Program, built a groundbreaking model for backyard sustainability in Asheville, NC. The Legacy Center project, an outdoor sanctuary where abundant food and water is produced, is a “living laboratory” that will demonstrate the interconnection of all life and teach people creative ways to sustain their families and communities. Using methods that support a healthy, vibrant, and constantly renewing planet, the project planners hope not only to make a profound difference in the Asheville community but to build a  model other communities can bring home to their neighborhoods and tangibly shift the cycle of harm of our planet.

The project leaders stand for love and freedom in the world and believe that the cycle of environmental degradation on our planet will be reversed when people feel loved and know that they are truly free. This can create a new culture of people who are connected to their planet and each other and begins in our local communities, where circles of connection between humans, their resources, and the whole web of life are understood and strong.

Project Site Description

The Ashevillage Institute is an eco-urban education center that promotes sustainable solutions in action. Ashevillage Institute is host to educational programs and a demonstration site that models ecological design for backyard resilience, namely integrated water and food systems. The site provides a space for community members to learn about aquaculture, permaculture, and environmentally friendly techniques they can use on their property no matter how big or small.

Project Specifications

The project was completed by enrolling everyone involved in donating all supplies and labor.

Completed project serves multiple functions

In addition to providing a sanctuary and source for food and water to the community, the project serves as a model for the Asheville area and to other communities and provides the following.

For information on other Legacy Leadership projects, visit our website at http://www.thelegacycenter.com.