Last friday, I volunteered at the Solar-Powered Film Series hosted by Solar One and Green Edge NYC. I found out about this event from Green Edge NYC (specifically Patricia Curry). It was great to meet up with people doing great work in New York regarding sustainability and community outreach! Thanks should go out to both organizations who put on a great series!
This night’s film was The Garden, about a group of urban farmers in L.A. who started their 14 acre garden after the riots in 1992. They go through some hardship starting in 2004 when they have to fight to prevent eviction.
It was an emotional film! It was frustrating how unsympathetic to farming the people trying to get the land were. The community went through several legal difficulties during their fight. I felt worked up about protecting the plants and the relationship that the people developed with the plants, more than the human interests involved. So many of the trees they planted were producing fruit and took many years to reach that point, and the community gained so much from their relationship with the land. But if you watch the film, you will see what happened. The film also brings to the fore the reality that many groups are constantly in conflict with each other because of things like land and development. There are many ways that things could have gone, and the film documents this journey.
Here is a video/slideshow that I made from the pictures and video I took of the events:
Continue reading →
So I just started a 6 month internship as the Associate Director at Energy Liberty. Here is our website so you can check it out: http://www.energyliberty.org
We are a new nonprofit aiming to make low-income communities more competitive for the new emerging green job sector. Two of the Energy Liberty programs will be focused on workforce development and helping homeowners in receiving energy audits for their house. Our vision is to empower low-income communities with the tools needed to excel in the emerging ‘green’ job sector.
Check out our website to read more about our programs!
The Senate is in a position to pass a climate change bill aimed at the energy industry. There are some things that were changed through much of the politicking going on, and it is unsure whether the bill would be successful at doing much in the way of reducing emissions.
Here are a few opinions:
Whichever method is chosen, something should be done soon. If cap-and-trade policy is less effective than taxing carbon, then we will find out and should be flexible to adapt our policy.
We WILL NOT get things right the first time around! We cannot expect to! Policy should not be written and left stagnant anyway! But we can’t afford to argue back and forth about which policy will work better. That would take way too long to make anything happen.
We are missing the point by debating over what type of policy would work better. We should be open and flexible while ensuring that whatever policy is implemented is as strong as it can be, predicts any abuses, and doesn’t have any loopholes.
Continue reading →
We all have a friend who is one. An electricity-hog. A 45-minute-showerer. The drive-to-the-gym-so-I-can-run-in-place kind of person. The most common of these types of habits among young adults today seems to be the excessive bad computing habits, like leaving a computer on when it isn’t being used (especially overnight) and printing things that don’t need to be printed.
Computing and printing habits are some of the toughest to break in our culture of excessive everything (perhaps not as tough as that of food, but still tough).
GreenPrint is a computer software company trying to battle these habits by giving the user more control over what gets sent to the printer. (NYT article and gadgetwise blog) There is also a corporate edition that could really make a difference in the workplace.
However, as useful as GreenPrint may be, it is not really getting at the heart of the issue. There might be less paper being used for each specific print job, but the number of print jobs might even increase because people feel they can print more often since they have been saving up “printing credits.”
Instead of printing something to look at for a few days, hours, minutes, whatever, there has to be a change in judging what is necessary to print or just a better way of having a copy in your hands (perhaps e-ink? E-ink is the technology that is used in Amazon’s Kindles and Sony’s Reader as well as other reading devices).
What really needs to happen is the change in mentality of users. Much like the ideas that Michael Pollan promotes regarding food portion sizes, the solution might not be to force the shaving of fractions of what is being used, but to fundamentally change what we think is an acceptable level of use.
Ever thought that maybe the energy expended to shake your booty at a dance club could be converted to useful electricity?
I haven’t been clubbing in a long time, but when I do it is usually a good workout, mostly from the bouncing around. Piezoelectric energy allows mechanical stress to generate electric potential. The panels put in a dance floor, or any flooring actually, generate electricity whenever the weight of a person pushed the floor down.
Here is a video that explains this concept:
Continue reading →