November 27, 2011

Emily’s crusade against plastics

So, Polly’s post about the Chris Jordan and the Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean makes me want to never use anything plastic ever again.

I feel really inspired by a fellow student’s crusade against plastics.  Seventeen-year-old Emily Chartrand from British Columbia, Canada is working with Team Jordan on their Midway project as a student outreach ambassador.  She’s the president of Plastic Free Penticton Secondary School (amazing!) and a founding member of Plastic Free Penticton. She and her sister have operated their own successful small business for eight years, and the proceeds from their operation have helped fund working holidays to Mexico — where they worked with the families who live off the Puerto Vallarta garbage dump.

She’s available to speak to schools and organizations, and she has a blog.  I like what she says here a lot:

I know that being this actively involved in a cause while so young will not be easy. I have already faced many hard times that made me consider stopping everything I do but I now better understand that this is way too important to me and the world. I’m in this forever. I promise you all that! So as I go continue on my journey please keep checking back on my blog. I’m going to have some very interesting stories about travelling elsewhere to speak about plastic pollution!

You can keep up with Plastic Free Penticton on Facebook.  So do it!

November 7, 2011

Dancing about climate

The comedian Martin Mull once coined the expression,”Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”  

I wonder what he’d say about this new dance piece by Donovan & Calderón, THE CLIMATE CHRONICLES, opening this week in New York City:

Abstract, funny, and bizarre, THE CLIMATE CHRONICLES is an ensemble-created performance that exposes four questionably qualified American climatologists as they swim through the world of climate change. Will they crumble under the pressure as their personal lives seep into their professional bubble?

Sean Donovan and Sebastián Calderón Bentin, the minds behind the piece, “appropriate the surreal and absurd elements of everyday life using them as raw material for new performance work, allowing them to challenge their own theatrical conventions while reflecting on social and political responsibilities as part of a global community.”

They have collaborated previously on a piece in Panama City and at Galapagos Art Space and The Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX). 

I’m intrigued to see how their work develops over time… 

The show runs from November 10th-19th at Saint Marks Church on 2nd Avenue and 10th Street in Manhattan, a longtime home for avant-garde dance and poetry.

October 12, 2011

Amazing young people win The Barron Prize 2011


The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is a national award that acknowledges the contributions of people 18 and under to make a better world.  The winners get some $ and also more publicity for their projects – they totally deserve it!  This year, 11 prizes were given out and the projects that these teenagers, tweens, and younger kids have created are awe-inspiring.  Some of the projects are environmental, some raise funds for different communities.  I’ll stick to the environmental ones and if you wanna learn more about all of them, just check out the Barron Prize website.

Those Girl Scouts I told you about before, Rhiannon and Madi, won for the campaign they started to get Girl Scouts to stop using palm oil in their cookies.  Speaking of which — around the time the Barron Prizes were announced, the GSUSA (the leadership of the Girl Scouts) promised to try to eliminate palm oil from all Girl Scout cookies by 2015.  Can you believe it?  They did it!  GSUSA said they’re also going to do things in the meantime to make up for using of palm oil, like buying Green Palm certificates, which reward palm oil plantations that do things right (i.e. not destroying orangutan habitats, duh) so the suppliers will do things right and not ruin rainforests.  Congrats you guys!  Eye of the tiger, or, um, orangutan!

The other environmental projects that got the Barron Prize this year: Rujul from New Jersey (age 16) raises money to build wells in India so villagers can have clean fresh water.  Jonny from Illinois (age 15) designed and developed a new kind of windshield for school buses that makes them more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient.   Eric and Christina from Colorado (ages 11 and 13) developed an education project to teach people about the dangers of the harmful gas radon.  Olivia from New York (age 11) drew bird pictures to raise money for the Audubon Society and other groups working on saving wildlife after the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast. 

Pretty impressive, huh?  And this is what they’re doing in their spare time after their homework is finished.  It makes me wonder how people can watch TV at all.  I mean, I know that’s preachy, but srsly…  I really love FRINGE but at least I’m trying to do something with Earth Ambassadors.  Even if one out of every 20 people were doing something amazing, the world would be so different.

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    "The Next Forever" is a song from The Great Immensity. The footage was taken on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal by videographer David Ford. Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman.
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