27 December 2008

Flashback: The Crying Indian TV Commercial (1971)

"The ad, which featured Native American actor Iron Eyes Cody,
"The Crying Indian," first aired on Earth Day in 1971.
Created by ad agency Marstellar, Inc., the campaign used the line, "People Start Pollution. People can stop it." The ad became one of the most memorable and successful campaigns in advertising history and was named one of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th Century by Ad Age Magazine."
Source: here

25 December 2008

A greener option for 'On the Green'


Written by Rhea Yablon Kennedy

Just about the time the Washington City Paper featured a story about how the Sunday Post could slim down, Gallaudet started its own paper-saving endeavor. The concept was simple: print less On the Green to be more "green."

By way of a little background, On the Green (a.k.a. OTG) is a campus newsletter published every two weeks during the Gallaudet school year. It has appeared in the mailboxes of faculty, staff, and administration (with additional copies available in the Alumni House, the JSAC, and the Visitor's Center) for longer than I've been alive. When I joined the Public Relations staff, I knew my main responsibilities would include writing and shooting photos for that inimitable communiqué. Working with the rest of the PR team, I did this dutifully for two years, and put mailing labels on the three boxes full of OTGs that arrived twice a month for distribution to the campus.

After 50-odd sessions of labeling about 1,500 of these things, I got to thinking. Mostly, I thought: this is a lot of paper! Why not give people a paper-free option? It wasn't just me thinking this way, I should point out. I definitely had some hints about the paper used for OTG and other publications.

My first reaction was perhaps a little too much. In November 2007, I saw to it that OTG would go completely paperless. It was all online, all at once, with nothing but a PDF version to print for the hard copy enthusiasts. From the beginning, I heard laments about missing the 11-by-17-inch glossy paper, which let the campus get its news like people have for hundreds of years. "I want something I can hold in my hands," the stalwarts said. "I don't want to squint at a screen." We got the strong message that we should go back to paper, and so we did—for everyone… until this December.

As a sort of experiment, we offered a paperless option to the campus starting December 10. Subtly advertised in the Daily Digest, it wasn't obtrusive. And it didn't threaten any sweeping change of readership paradigm. Responses did come in, though, and within the first two days we were able to eliminate 25 paper copies of OTG. That's four to six ledger-sized sheets saved per person every two weeks. A few departments have told me they're surveying their readers, and will get back to us with a final slimmed-down count soon.

In addition to this, we'll put fewer copies of the newsletter at Campus Activities, and keep track of how many people really take.

If we offer the paperless option again at the start of the spring semester, I'm sure we'll see even more interest. So that's a small but solid step toward making Kendall Green more green. If 118 pounds of recycled newspaper can save a tree, we'll be well on our way to a thankful grove by next holiday season.

What can you do? If you work at Gallaudet or know someone who does, tell them they can go paperless with OTG. They can just email public.relations[at]gallaudet.edu with a request to be removed from the mailing list. Daily Digest will announce when a new OTG is available to read online.

23 December 2008

1% of effort for a global cause!

written by EcoDeaf contributor, Shay Bertling
“1% for the planet is a growing global movement of 1044 companies that donate 1% of their sales to a network of 1,674 environmental organizations worldwide.”

This fantastic venture is about recognizing that industry and ecology are connected, realizing the positive effects of connecting businesses and consumers through philanthropy. Instead of businesses greedily trying to come up with ways to profit off of everything, including new greening ideas, this site helps incorporate all well-meaning businesses into a commission with the intent to improve Mother Earth. 

1% may not seem like much, but because businesses are supposed to create profit in order to keep running and these businesses are willing to donate a percentage of their money to a worthy, non-profit cause, it is actually a considerate act. The participation of these businesses will help spread awareness and hopefully prompt other organizations/businesses/et cetera to join up and do the same. 

If you’d like to contribute to the betterment of environmental activism and/or spread of awareness, but don’t have the time or connections to create an effect, the simple act of donating to worthy causes will, at the very least, further your effort in terms of your money helping the cause continue to perform its samartarian and philanthropic activities.

Refer to onepercentfortheplanet.org for further information.

20 December 2008

Awareness, Responsibility & Freedom

Video produced by treesofone, thank you for allowing EcoDeaf to post this wonderful video about the importance of compassion and love for all!

Eco-conscious Traveling

written by Shay Bertling

I’ve been dreaming about travel since the first time I saw a picture of Greece, particularly a small town built into the craggy hills of the island, adorned with bright blue doors. 

But all that jet-setting isn’t very green, and I’d hate to promote tourism in places that are heavily impacted, environmentally, by careless tourists. 

Here are 10 tips for eco-conscious travels:

1. Choose locally owned tour operators who hire local workers

2. Make an effort to understand local politics and history

3. Learn basic phrases of the language to help cultural conservation

4. Bring refillable water bottles

5. Be respectful of the price for local handicrafts when bartering

6. Bring your batteries, plastic bottles and other recyclables home with you

7. Walk or take public transportation whenever possible

8. Frequent local restaurants and businesses, eschew the franchises!

9. Research ecotourism certifications for outfitters and lodging

10. Engage in carbon offsetting options for travel.

When appreciating local scenery and environments, be very aware of how you may be impacting the area, and treat it as if you were a guest (which you are!).

18 December 2008

why bother eating organic?

Written by EcoDeaf contributor, Shay Bertling

Part of the responsibility that comes with being conscious of our ability to affect worldwide systems is that of answering to the one need we all have in common next to maybe a clean change of underwear every couple days (or weeks, for some.) Well, plenty of people go about their lives without owning a pair of knickers, but I hope you get the point anyway. Comfort is a common state that everyone has sought out at one point in their lives or another, and one way we can directly enhace the quality of our lives is by quite literally putting our money where our mouth is.

Yeah, I’m talking about food.

We are all directly responsible for our ecological impact by the things that we put in our mouth in the same way the car is responsible for the fuel that it requires, we are but yet motor vehicles of a different design with more flexible fuel options. The thing is that, because the number of mouths needing to be fed have grown in count at a rate maybe faster than our reflexes have allowed us to accomodate for (estimated at 6.7 billion in November 2008) but certainly fast enough for people to recognize the opportunity of turning a quick dime. The catch? Turning a blind eye on ethics.

In effect, we’ve managed to catapult ourselves in a direction that goes against the grain of natural processes, as we tinker with our chemistry sets in search of the slightest advantage to put us ahead of the cycle of life that surrounds us, injecting the earth in consequence with our carefully crafted, but entirely unnatural and invasive, species of genetically modified vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, tobacco, the list goes on. 

We’ve even gone so far as to “protect” these valuable crops by dousing them with pesticides and fertilizers that not only do much to speed their growth but also plenty to stunt our own as the toxic renmants of these processes build up in our systems, throwing them out of alignment and accelerating the worldwide rate of disease, discomfort, and deprivation. Even impoverished people across the world are rejecting our rations for fear of disrupting the harmony of the natural systems that make their homes the unique places that they are. And what of the great lengths we take to sell these products to people far and wide, further straining our global capacity to sustain life as we pump more pollution into the air from the tailpipes and smokestacks of the trucks, boats, planes, that ship these items somewhere across the horizon where they could likely rot and be wasted anyway?

If you don’t see what I’m trying to get at by now, then you shouldn’t be allowed to operate heavy machinery. Get real, support local organic crops. And this is one place you can start: http://www.organicconsumers.org/

15 December 2008

Hand-Build an Earth Sheltered House For $5,000

Written by Susan Kraemer
"Total expenditure? $5,000. Tools? A chisel, a chainsaw and a hammer. Building expertise?"

Simon Dale says:

“My experience is only having a go at one similar house 2yrs before and a bit of mucking around in-between. This kind of building is accessible to anyone. My main relevant skills were being able bodied, having self belief and perseverance and a mate or two to give a lift now and again.”

Want to see more pictures and read the article
on how Simon Dale built the low impact homemade house?
Click here

13 December 2008

Women's Snowshoe Retreat

(click on photos to enlarge)

p.s.  I can personally vouch for the absolute fun, merriment, breathtaking views and making lovely friends from this wonderful women's snowshoe retreat.  Although I can't make it this year, I hope you all will consider going!  It's a steal at $169 for 4 nights of lodgings and delicious meals you'll love after all day of being out with mother nature!

07 December 2008

EcoDeaf in NADmag!

(click on photos to enlarge/to read)

p.s. Although this issue came out July/August, as a green NAD member, I specifically requested that I receive no paper mailings from NAD.  This morning, I found this magazine in my roomate's stash and finally read it for myself!  This article put a big smile on my face! Kudos to Elizabeth Sorkin and her wonderful writing, and Jessica Thurber for the awesome green design!

p.s.s. The first photo of Summer, myself and Shira was taken at an organic fast food restaurant called O'Naturals in Portland, Maine. We loved their organic wraps and soup!  Fast food and organics need not be oxymorons :)  That very same day, after filling ourselves with wonderful organic foods and hiking around Mackworth Island, the home of Governor Baxter School for the Deaf and one of the nation's best bird watching sites, EcoDeaf was born!

p.s.s. The second photo is of Summer Crider holding up the EcoDeaf mast at the Polar Bear plunge last year - click here to go to the photos and vlogs from last year, and to learn about the upcoming Polar Bear plunge on January 10th!

04 December 2008

The Problem With ... Shallow Disposal Systems

(closed captioned)

"This DVD looks at the real life challenges and successes experienced by three different communities faced with polluted drinking water supplies and a totally unexpected source of contamination."
From: http://Public.resource.org

To Public Resource, thank you very much for closed captioning and sharing this YouTube video!

02 December 2008

Why Boycott Black Friday?

Black Friday is the shopping-spree holiday that happens on the day after Thanksgiving. Shoppers would go to malls and outlet stores to line up before the doors open around 5am. Most shoppers want things like new televisions, cell phones, video games, GPS gadgets, clothes, and etc. The sale discounts sound so good for themselves and for Christmas gifts that they would fight and trample over each other to grab what they want before the stores run out of stocks of those things.

There are groups of people who boycott Black Friday. These green activists have proclaimed the new holiday Buy Nothing Day. And they buy nothing, all day. The idea was started by a group of people of Adbusters back in 1996. There are different reasons on why people boycott Black Friday. Some people think the idea of consumerism is just plainly ridiculous. Some are concerned with the human rights abuses of overseas sweatshops. Others are concerned about how our money-spending affects our environment and climate change. For instance, most televisions and clothes are made in other countries like China or India. It takes a large carbon footprint and a lot of pollution to get those manufactured things shipped across the oceans to sell them in retail stores in America, which is why most environmentalists want to see those things made locally, not overseas. Having appliances, clothes, and other things made locally would bring more jobs for Americans and it would tremendously reduce the negative impacts on our environment.

What does this (Buy Nothing Day) have to do with climate change? Anne Polansky is glad you asked. Read her thought-provoking post here at Happy Buy Nothing Day .

On Black Friday November 27th 2008, an employee was trampled to death by shoppers at Wal-Mart. Read more here: New York Times

Help slow down climate change by not shopping on Black Friday.
Every year on the day after Thanksgiving.

Shop less and live more!

(and save lives, too)

(picture source: here )

30 November 2008

Take the Polar Bear Plunge!

The National Polar Bear Plunge, on January 10, 2009.

Who says fighting global warming can’t be fun? You're invited to join us all on Saturday, January 10th for a quick plunge in freezing water as part of the National Polar Bear Plunge. Never done something like this before? Don’t fret - it is loads of fun, a real peak life experience. 

You know how serious the situation is. EcoDeaf has made great strides nationally through our advocacy and educational efforts, including last year's 30+ Deaf/ASL folks jumping into the Chesapeake Bay (click here to go to last year's vlog!)!

We need your help to keep the momentum going. Please join us in making our Polar Bear Plunge a great event, and raising awareness – and money – to step up our fight against global warming. Take the plunge with me, or support others who are with your pledges – and let your friends and family members know, and encourage them to jump as well!

We look forward to sharing a brisk, climate-saving dip with you and a celebratory cup of hot chocolate on January 10th!

Find your plunge location at www.keepwintercold.org


28 November 2008

HVAC Filters - Washable & Reuseable

by EcoDeaf contributor, Katherine

For last four years I have been using disposable filter. In wintertime, it is recommended to replace filter monthly. Today I went to the store to get a new filter, I discovered there is now a eco-friendly washable, reusable filter! It is called WEB (washable electrostatic filter). It lasts for 10 years and would save us 120 disposable paper filters! Isn't it amazing?

I got mine from Home Depot - a bargain, considering they're reusable (saves you trip to the store to buy more filters, and saves money over time)!  Check your local hardware store - they might carry those!

By EcoDeaf contributor, Katherine

27 November 2008

Use Lemons for Cleaning?

picture: here

Lemons are useful for eco-friendly cleaning and other purposes.
For example, lemons are great as ant deterrents.

Visit Handy Lemon Tips for 24 tips
on how to use lemons for multiple uses.

24 November 2008

Happy Tofurkey Day for Vegans/Vegetarians!
(Picture retrieved from: http://www.tofurky.com )

Top Green Thanksgiving Day Tips

1. Know your guests
For most families, tradition sets the precedent for who shares the Thanksgiving meal and a clever Evite can set the tone for a truly special event.  Make sure you determine any special food needs your guests might have. Are they vegan? Vegetarian? Pescetarian? Do they have food allergies? Timeline: Two weeks out.

2. Plan your meal
Write down your selections, then make a shopping list, separating it into items that you can shop for in advance, and those you need to buy the day before. If you want a heritage and/or organic turkey, make sure you get your order in before they sell out. Timeline: Two weeks out.

3. Shop for your staples and non-perishable items
Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to hit up your local farmers' market for organic, locally-sourced produce. Since these traditional recipes typically rely on food that's in season, you can pretty much find everything you need in the way of root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams) as well as specialty items like honey or even beeswax candles to adorn your table. Timeline: One week out.

4. Clean house
Using non-toxic cleaners can make your house sparkle without chemicals. Run out of sink or tub scrub? Mix up some baking soda and water (here's a recipe we like). Wondering how to get your windows squeaky clean? Try vinegar and newspaper.  Timeline: The day before.

5. Decorate lightly
Eschew the traditional wreath in favor of one made from living, organically grown succulents and cacti. Recycle old wrapping paper or the funny pages and cut them into snowflakes to put in the window or hang from thread over your table. Make your table arrangements from organic flowers, or collect bouquets from your yard or neighborhood (adding herbs like rosemary and lavender make for gorgeous, fragrant bouquets).  Timeline: The day before.

Curiosity piqued?  For the remaining 5 tips, including the Big Day, click here!  

Source: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/go-green/thanksgiving-day/thanksgiving-day-tips.html

EcoDeaf's Suggestion:
Google to find more Go Green Tips
for Thanksgiving day.
Enjoy! Have fun! Be Safe!

21 November 2008

Let's Precycle!

What is Precycling?

(A woman shopping at Unpackaged, a shop in London. Photograph: Frank Baron/Guardian)

"Recycling is good, but precycling - cutting out packaging in the first place and buying only what you need - is better. Tanis Taylor tried it for a month..." Read more: Waste Not, Want Not

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provides good hints on how to precycle: Let's Precycle!

How to Start Precycling?
  • bring traveling coffee mug
  • bring tote bags for grocery
  • bring empty jars for bulk items
  • bring spork for eating food
  • read local newspaper articles on the internet
Do you have an idea or suggestion on precycling that you would like to share with us? Leave a comment.

18 November 2008

The Green Festival Experience

Thank you, EcoDeaf, for posting the Green Festival event on your website over the summer.

The Green Festival experience was a whirlwind and magical journey that I will never forget. It was rather spontaneous, hectic, and all the last minute plans were done through synchronicity. I found out about the Green Festival event when I was volunteering at Camp Mark Seven. J.J. who I worked with at the camp encouraged me to sign up for it and so I did.

When the Green Festival weekend was approaching, I almost forgot about it. I made the last minute request to have that weekend off from work. Then I drove down from Buffalo, New York to Washington D.C. with my housemate Mike on Friday evening. We stayed at Hilltop Hostel on the first night then we couchsurfed at a friend's house on the second night that we met through www.couchsurfing.com. I would highly recommend Hilltop Hostel if you are planning to stay in Washington D.C. Wonderful services and people, too. In the morning, we took the metro train, which was right around the corner from Hilltop Hostel, from Takoma Station to the Mount Vernon Square/7th Street–Convention Center. It was a nice green feeling that we curbed our emissions by not using the car at all as we hopped on metro trains, a bus, and a cab during the whole weekend.

The first day at Green Festival was exciting. I did not have the time to look at different tables on that day. Mike went off taking notes from different presentations. During the afternoon, I volunteered by collecting recyclable items placed in bio-degradable bags and I brought the bags to the back room where items were sorted out in categories by other volunteers. The festival was very crowded with eco-friendly people. I was feeling exhausted by the end of the day, but I felt spiritually great after traveling to Washington D.C. and volunteering at the Green Festival, too.

During those two days at the Green Festival, I listened to Madeline Kunin, Amy Goodman, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Carolyn Casey. I was inspired by all of those speakers. I was really impressed with the ASL interpreters. They did wonderful jobs during those presentations. Thank you, interpreters!

It was nice to meet old and new deaf friends from Washington, D.C. and it was a pleasure to sign with each of you. I thought it was awesome to see a group of people from Green Gallaudet volunteering at the Green Festival on Saturday evening. That was amazing and I would like to join them next time. Also, it was great to meet down to earth and caring people and drummers from www.onecommonunity.com , too.

Was the Green Festival an 'earth-riching' experience? Absolutely!

Anthony Brucato

11 November 2008

GreenFestival in San Francisco

November 14-16

This weekend at the Concourse (8th and Brannon) in San Francisco, the sixth annual Green Festival will showcase the best of the green economy. Learn about renewable energy, organics, Fair Trade, sweatshop-free clothing, recycling, and more, as you browse the booths of hundreds of green businesses, and sample snacks from the vegetarian and organic food court.

Also, we will be offering ASL interpretation for our Friday night party, "Word to the [Earth] Mother," featuring Chuck D, Mutabaruka, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jahi, Crew Grrl Order, Drew Dellinger. On Saturday, we will have roaming interpreters available throughout the day, and on Sunday, we have a full day of ASL-interpreted main-stage speakers, including Amy Goodman, Van Jones, and Winona LaDuke.

Any questions, please write to andrew@coopamerica.org, and visit www.greenfestivals.org for more information.

22 October 2008

Deaf Retreat in Peru - Video

(click on right corner of the video screen to turn captions on!!!)

We are now offering the upcoming Deaf Retreat (Nov 10-23) at a discounted rate of only $1000! That includes 13 days, seven ceremonies, and all food and housing accommodations. It's not too late! If you are feeling a major need to clear out some debilitating energies fast, or just want to shake up your world, jump on a plane and come on out! Spontaneity is living!

We have also set up some promotions that will last until mid-July, 2009. This includes ALL extra courses (jungle survival, plant identification, weight release, spiritual life coaching, Spanish and sign language tutoring) free of charge! We also have some major group discounts...check out the website for more info (www.infinitelightperu.com)

14 October 2008

Autumn Weekend Getaway

There is a two-night retreat happening this weekend beginning on Friday, October 17th at 5pm til Sunday, October 19th at 2pm in Knoxville, MD (near the Potomac River).

This retreat will include a variety of activities such as: yoga, meditation, nature walks, organic meals, evening bonfire, and bathing in a soothing hot tub.
The website for the retreat place is: www.bluemtnretreat.com.
There are few spots left if you'd like to join. It will cost $160 per person for the two nights.

Please contact casadetullis@yahoo.com and WhiteStarYoga@aol.com if you are interested.
Come nurture your health, vitality & happiness through inspired learning.

Thanks to Beverly Hanyzewski for informing Ecodeaf of this.

25 September 2008

Upcoming Deaf Yoga Retreat

"Investigating your Soul's True Nature"

October 17 - 19, 2008
Weekend Yoga Retreat ~ Sivananda Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, NY

The DeafYoga Foundation is excited to announce a Weekend Yoga Intensive for the Deaf Community and its members. We are honored to offer this event at the beautiful and serene Sivananda Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne, New York. This intensive will be guided by Lila Lolling, Jamie Yost, Sarada Devi and Srinivasan. Come and explore the deeper meaning and essence of Yoga within this beautiful Yoga monastery.

This intensive yoga retreat will encourage you to go "within." This retreat will be focused on investigating your True Nature and connecting to the Divine Essence that is woven within all of life. We will follow the Ashram schedule as well as offer ASL presented asana classes and lectures. 

Retreat base cost:  $165 including meals, lodging and classes.  Additional donations appreciated.

For more information, click here to go directly to DeafYoga's site.

To read Allison Kaftan's testimonal about a past DeafYoga retreat, click here

16 September 2008

Gallaudet Swim Team Goes Green

Gallaudet Swim Teams Contribute to Delaware Seashore State Park Clean-up Project

Gallaudet men's and women's swim team recently assisted the Surfrider Foundation in its efforts to clean up Delaware Seashore State Park. The September 7 project was part of Surfrider's successful environmental awareness campaign.

"We are delighted to help Surfrider and local citizens reduce beach litter, promote recycling, and educate about coastal wildlife," said William Snape, the head swim coach at Gallaudet and a lawyer with the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity.

Federally threatened species such as the piping plover benefit from healthy beaches, as do other species protected under the Endangered Species Act, such as the endangered roseate tern, the threatened beach tiger beetle, and the threatened sea beach amaranth, he said. Snape and the Center for Biological Diversity have advocated for the Atlantic piping plover - a migratory sandy-colored bird with yellow-orange legs and a black ring around its neck - and other imperiled species for over a decade.

The Endangered Species Act is an important tool in protecting declining beach wildlife, particularly now, as global warming increases the chances of beach erosion, acidifies the ocean water, and changes the composition of coastal ecosystems. The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves, and beaches for all people. It has partnered with the Center for Biological Diversity on many endangered species and habitat issues.

"Our team was excited to spend some time in the surf, protecting the beach and catching some waves," said Gallaudet senior Scott Cohen, an avid surfer and conservationist from Hawaii.

Posted: 17 Sep 2008 on http://news.gallaudet.edu/?id=13840

Thanks, Raylene for the tip!

Colleen Shaw - Deaf Reiki Master

Welcome!!! I would like to share with you about my little background and how I entered the world of holistic healing. I have worked in the field of education and mental health for 23 years, until an unexpected circumstances led me to change my career which I have discovered the wonderful world of Reiki. I truly had enjoyed a deep interest in the mysteries of the universe and the untapped inner powers. During the years, I have been practicing and learning about energetic healing techniques, metaphysics and spirituality through various training workshops and classes as the result of earning my certifications in Usui, Karuna, Lightarian, Kundailin, Shamballa Healing, Kundalini Gold Reiki - Reiki Master/Teacher and Healing with Sekhem-Seichim-Reiki I and II. Also, I have joined as a member of a professional organization, International Association of Reiki Professionals in which I have a certificate. Now, you ask what is Reiki?

Reiki is a natural healing method that heals at all levels: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. The word Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words: Rei and Ki. Rei means spiritual intelligence or supernatural force; Ki means life energy. In the Western world Reiki is mostly described as Universal life force energy. Reiki is practiced by people from all over the world and is being incorporated in hospitals, as well as in scientific research.

Let me offer an explanation of what is Reiki treatment like. The Reiki treatment is a simple but powerful process, big time! The healing energy is channeled by the Reiki practitioner and goes to the places in the body where healing is most needed. It is important to realize that these healing energies go to the source of the problem and not just the symptoms. Reiki treatments do not have negative side effects, it is a completely safe and natural way of treating disease.

Interested in learning more about Colleen and Reiki?  Click here to go to her website!  Colleen is Deaf and fluent in ASL.

15 September 2008

Green Your Home 101 - this Saturday!

in Washington, DC
Volunteer ASL interpreters scheduled!
Cost: $20 prior to workshop date, $25 at the door
Limit 20 people per class

Green Your Home 101 – Saturday, September 20, 10am to 11am
You've heard all about the many steps you should be taking to make your home more eco-friendly, but where to start? If you’re feeling overloaded by all the information that is out there and you're wondering how to get started, this is the course for you. During the workshop you will:

-Learn the impact that many of your daily activities have on your health and the environment (and your wallet!)
-Identify key contributors to indoor air pollution
-Walk out with easy steps you can take to make your home healthier and more eco-friendly
-Get additional resources to make the transition easier!

TO REGISTER:  All Green Living Classes and Seminars will be held at Greater Goods - 1626 U Street NW.  Registration is required. Please email classes (at) greatergoods.com.

Classes are presented by Anca Novacovici

Anca Novacovici is the founder and president of Eco-Coach, Inc., an environmental sustainability consultancy that provides services and tools to help businesses and individuals decrease their environmental footprint. She has led "greening" workshops, conducted green business audits, and helped with implementing more environmentally-friendly processes for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to smaller businesses and individuals. Anca is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professional and is on the Board of the Green Building Institute.

For future classes at Greater Goods, check here!

14 September 2008

"NEED" by Peter Cook

This poem, "NEED" created by Deaf poet Peter Cook and hearing poet, Kenny Lerner. This was created in their usual creative places: hotels on the road. This is is about a minute long. Please pass it around as the election is around the corner.

Many thanks for this sharing this video link, Anthony!

29 August 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Vote Obama/Biden

8/27/08 Press Release from www.lcv.org :

The League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States because of his record-setting plans for a clean energy future and his proven record as an environmental champion. As the party conventions highlight the differences between Senators Obama and McCain, LCV presents the Top Ten Energy and Enviromental reasons why every American should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden on November 4:

10. Look to the future: Senator Obama offers the most comprehensive energy plan of any Presidential nominee in history, it will end our dependence on foreign oil and create as many as 5,000,000 jobs. Senator McCain’s plan continues the Bush Administration’s policy of appeasement to Big Oil, does nothing to reduce our dependence on oil, and isn’t as good as Paris Hilton’s.

9. You pollute, you pay: Obama and Biden support plan to make polluters pay for pollution credits and to clean up toxic waste. McCain wants us to foot the bill for clean-up and to give polluters billions in tax breaks and subsidies.

8. Keeping us healthy: Obama and Biden have fought to keep our air and water clean. McCain has voted against clean water ten times and voted six times to make it harder for states and the EPA to keep our air clean.

7. Listening to the scientists: The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that America must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Obama’s plan will reach that goal. McCain’s plan falls far short.

6. The record speaks for itself: Senator Barack Obama earned a lifetime environmental voting score of 86%. Senator Biden earned an 83%. Senator John McCain earned a 24% score.

5. Decisions are made by those who show up: In the last two years, John McCain missed EVERY SINGLE major vote on energy. One vital 2007 bill, to move billions of dollars in tax credits from the oil industry to wind, solar and other clean energy sources, failed by one vote: John McCain’s. Obama and Biden, also running for President, voted for it.

4. Saving money at the pump: Obama proposes to double the fuel efficiency of our cars in 18 years, reducing our oil consumption by at least 35% or 10 millions barrels per day. McCain voted against increasing fuel efficiency in 2003 and 2005. He missed the 2007 vote. Presumably, he ran out of gas.

3. We’re not alone: For more than 20 years, Joe Biden has been at the forefront of the fight against global warming. In 1986, he offered the first Senate bill to fight global warming pollution. Since then, he has been the Senate’s strongest voice for making America the international leader in reducing global warming pollution and exporting clean technology.

2. Higher standards: To create millions of new jobs, we must boost production of renewable electricity. Obama plans create 25% of our electricity from clean energy by 2025. McCain opposes any national renewable energy standard.

1. Judge him by his friends: Senator McCain accepted more than $2 million from the oil and gas industry, more than half of that since he changed his position on offshore drilling last month. His forthcoming plan to open America’s playgrounds and sandboxes to drilling is expected to net another $1.2 million.

Photo source, click here.

27 August 2008

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

A diet with meat is responsible for producing in a year the same amount of greenhouse gases as driving a mid-sized car 4,758 kilometres (2,956 miles).

But the food a vegetarian consumes in 12 months is responsible for generating the same emissions as driving 2,427 kilometres.

The calculations are based on emissions of greenhouse gases, including methane produced by the animals themselves, as well as emissions from food production including manufacturing feed and fertiliser and the use of farmland.

Going vegan -- giving up meat and dairy products -- would cut the emissions released in making what you eat more than seven-fold, to the equivalent of driving 629 kilometres.

And if it is all organic, your food footprint is almost a 17th of that of a meat-eater -- the equivalent of driving 281 kilometres.

Switching to organic farming can cut emissions dramatically, "but what counts is the way we feed ourselves ... production and consumption first and foremost of beef and milk must be cut drastically," the study said.

For the picture, go here

Hat tip to Berman!

12 August 2008

Peak Oil and the President: An Energy Plan I Can Vote For

By Chris Heuer

Here’s a joke about America’s Energy Plan for you: A guy walks into a bar filled with average Americans and randomly asks them if they’ve ever heard of global warming (and the potentially serious impact it could have on future generations of human beings all over the world).

Of course,” almost everyone replies. “I saw An Inconvenient Truth! I know all about…

Have you ever heard of peak oil?” the guy asks, interrupting them all.

Practically nobody has, and that’s the joke.

If you don’t get it, don’t feel bad. As recently as last April I wouldn’t have gotten it either. Oil has been around my whole life. I have never had any reason to question its presence or potential absence. Yes, there were dim and then more urgent warnings in the background, but these were always related to pollution, to environmental devastation. And after all, I’ve seen An Inconvenient Truth too.

I never thought that worldwide oil production might peak in my lifetime. I never thought about what would happen if it did peak and then remained flat while worldwide demand for it continued to rise. And I certainly never thought about what might happen if worldwide production entered terminal decline in the midst of that overwhelming demand.

Then a friend of mine told me what peak oil was all about, and I haven’t been able to look at anything in the same way since. I can’t look at the furniture in my living room without trying to calculate how much oil went into its manufacture and transport. My bookcase, for example, is made out of the wood of an old barn (I recycled and did my part to save the environment, yay me!) but how much gas did the carpenter burn driving out to the site of that old barn to load the two by fours into the back of his pickup truck? How much electricity did he burn cutting the wood with his table saw? My television, this laptop, how many barrels of oil? My easy chair, my front door, its lock, my son’s plastic swing, the light bulb glowing in my lamp? The entire townhouse I live in, the city I live in?

How much oil?

I’m from Wisconsin, land of row upon row of corn green and wheat yellow in the summer. How much diesel (derived from oil) to power the tractors to plow and harvest the fields? How much more to transport the kernels and grain to the trucks and boats and planes that take it all over the world?

How much mass starvation if oil hits three hundred, four hundred, or five hundred dollars a barrel? You can maybe put a solar panel on the roof of a tractor’s cab to run some of the air conditioning, or the radio, but can that solar panel drag a plow? How much oil goes into the production of a solar panel, anyway? Or a wind turbine? How much oil to mine the metal that makes a propeller blade?

I’m not an energy expert, so I need to know the answers to these questions. Because there are things that I just don’t get. John McCain wants to build nuclear power plants. Barack Obama wants to temporarily tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down gas prices. How much oil does it take to mine and transport an ounce, a pound, a ton of uranium? If you release a million barrels of oil from the Reserve, how many barrels of oil does it take to fill it back up again, especially if (and probably when) gas prices go back up a few months or a year from now?

I don’t know if this is going to amount to much, but I’m not going to vote for the guy who can’t or won’t answer this stuff. And for what it’s worth, I’m going to tell my wife and everyone else I know not to vote for him, either. I want both candidates to discuss their views on peak oil on public television. I want them both to tell me what they plan to do if the peak is five years off, twenty, or if it occurred five years ago. “America is addicted to oil” doesn’t cut it anymore… that’s like saying human beings breathe oxygen and water is wet. “I’ll get America off foreign oil in ten years” isn’t good enough for me either. I don’t care if oil isn’t going to entirely vanish tomorrow. I want a president who plans—and acts—as if it will.

Did you know, for example, that algae holds great promise as a third generation biofuel? What do our candidates think about that, and how will they scale up production beyond a few demonstration plants? Does either candidate have a plan for creating hydrogen production facilities that run on renewable power? How about installing an infrastructure to transport and store hydrogen so our cars and trucks and tractors can run on it… without relying on petroleum? How do we rebuild our electric grid so that plugging in our hybrids five years from now doesn’t black out an area the size of Los Angeles?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. But my President has to. If the era of cheap and easy oil is over, the political era of cheap and easy promises is over, as well.

Originally posted on DeafDC.com, reposted here with author's permission.  © Copyrighted material. This article cannot be copied, reproduced or redistributed without the express written consent of the author.

Photo added by EcoDeaf from here.

Waste Not, Want Not

Jennifer Henry, a deaf blogger in West Virginia shares tips and advice on how to shed the current label of the "throw-away generation" and return to our grandma's generation of "waste not, want not generation".

Read her Waste Not, Want Not online article starting on page 14 on a new & awesomely cool magazine, Kiss-Fist, created and assembled together with Deaf and CODA contributors!

Also do visit Jennifer's blog which covers topics from surprise turtle visitors and hissy fits over tinkerbell sheets.... curiosity piqued yet?  :)

Hat tip to Raylene!

10 August 2008

Deaf Yoga Week in DC Metro Area

DeafYoga Foundation presents....
"Yoga Week" @ Gallaudet University

Mon Sept 8 - Fri Sept 12

(click on photo to enlarge)

and Sivanada DeafYoga Workshops & Asana Classes 
in Frederick, MD on Sept 13
and Greenbelt, MD on Sept 14

(click on photo to enlarge)

All classes are taught in ASL.
All classes are free.  Donations are appreciated at the door.

For more information, visit:

Inquires?  Please contact:

Thanks to Lila Lolling, founder of DeafYoga for sharing this information!

25 July 2008

Earth-friendly Weddings

If you try to live the green life, why stop on your wedding day?

Or - if you want to start living the green life, but not sure when or how to start, start on your wedding day!

EcoDeaf reader Anthony, shares the link to an article that has some hints, insights, and weblinks on how to make weddings go greener, too.

The Buffalo News
Monday, July 21, 2008

Planning an Earth-friendly wedding
By Jane Kwiatkowski

image credit: http://z.about.com/d/weddings/1/0/S/4/RohdiumfingerprintWeddingBands.jpg

22 July 2008

College students create a new lifestyle

Washington Post Express, Look Out
Friday, 2008.07.18, Page 35


More colleges are offering eco-friendly dorms and programs.

This fall, students at Sara Lawrence College's Warren Green hall will be composting together, monitoring their electricity usage and drying their laundry on a clothesline. They will share appliances, cooking and shopping to reduce waste and energy, and use as little electric lighting as possible.

Read the entire story at:


shared by an EcoDeaf reader

21 July 2008

Fall Events!

Yes, it's still summer!

But we'll start posting autumn events so you can mark your calendars!

E-mail EcoDeaf (ecodeaf @ gmail.com) if you have more events you'd like posted.

Washington, DC/MD/VA

31st Annual Takoma Park Folk Festival, Sept. 14, 2008
Takoma Park Folk Festival
Saturday, September 14th


DC Green Festival
Saturday & Sunday, November 8th and 9th

11 July 2008

Planet Green

KJ Balogun shares...

If you get information and/or inspiration from the television, here is a channel that offers information on green living.  

The Discovery network has Planet Green
If you want to know which channel it is on in your area, check this out: 


KJ Balogun shares that even though the video streaming online is not accessible, the television show itself is captioned...

"Very interesting stuff which includes information on which celebrities are green conscious, and the ideas are amazing there.  For example, I caught Cindy Crawford commenting that she wants to do research before switching to gasoline cars with Electric Cars or Hybrids (Prius) because she had to spend nearly $100  just to fill up.   Jay Leno said, "If you do not believe in Al Gore's Global Warming information, then believe in Self-Sufficiency.  I don't see why we can't do things for ourselves." 

KJ has also contacted Discovery Channel inquiring about making online video streaming captioned and encourages you all to do the same if you want to see online videos captioned!


If you'd like to see Discovery's other shows centered on green living check out an earlier EcoDeaf post: Discovery Home Channel Green Shows

Children and Nature

"I Remember"

I remember looking forward to high snow so I won't have to go to school. I remember cold summer mornings and beautiful sunrises.  I remember watching lightning show during spring and summer nights. I remember watching big people picking up snow and throw them as if they were football. I remember seeing snow taller than my father and it sure looked like north pole. 
I remember going to beach in New York, and waves were always lively. I enjoyed watching my uncles diving through the waves and come out of the water with smile. I remember seeing humpback whales dancing in open ocean when I was on a small boat with other Deaf children in Massachusetts. I remember building boys' club in the woods behind a project housing. I remember recesses at elementary and middle schools where we kids would get to play football, basketball, soccer, tag, races, riding on swings,hide-n-seek and many other games we could invent. I remember riding on rolling skates in winter, slipping on ice, and landing on sharp icicle with my left hand (still have this scar). I remember looking forward to summer so I could ride my bike everyday and developing tricks like riding bike on one wheel up the huge hill, and boy, it sure was a challenge, and in the end of the day, I made it.

KJ Balogun

Still, I wonder if those experience do have impact on my health, on spirit, emotion, and psyche levels. Apparently, we haven't seen evidences in scientific approach until now. Generally, people are starting to look in that direction to see if there's any influences from nature toward our children, let's find out:

I found this website after submitting my previous article on National Legislative Forum on Parks and Recreation, The National Environment Education Foundation website. This caught my eye:

For the full article from National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), click here:  Children and Nature Initiative

“Evidence suggests that children and adults benefit so much from contact with nature that land conservation can now be viewed as a public health strategy.” [1]
- Howard Frumkin, MD, Dr.PH, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health/ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, CDC
- Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

Our children may be the first generation ever at risk of having a shorter lifespan than their parents [2]. Sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity have contributed greatly to the numerous health problems plaguing today’s children. Chronic conditions such as childhood obesity, asthma, and attention-deficit disorder have all increased over the past few decades [3]. These chronic conditions may lead to pulmonary, cardiovascular, and mental health problems in adulthood. Outdoor activity in the natural environment has taken a back seat to television, video games, the computer, and a demanding schoolwork schedule. Today’s youth are losing the contact with the natural environment that is extremely beneficial for their health and well-being.

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages children to have unstructured, free play not only for their physical development, but also for their emotional, social, and cognitive development as well [4]. Key scientific evidence has shown that being outdoors:

  1. increases a child’s physical activity [5];
  2. reduces stress[6];
  3. aids in childhood development [4];
  4. is a coping tool for children with attention disorders such as attention-deficit disorder [7];
  5. and contains restorative and therapeutic properties [8].
The National Environmental Education Foundation joins the movement to reconnect children with nature. We encourage parents and caregivers to get your children out into the natural environment. Together we can teach them how to protect the environment and their health.

[1] Frumkin H & Louv R (2007). Land Trust Alliance Special Anniversary Report.
[2] Ludwig, DS (2007). New England Journal of Medicine, 357(23): 2325-27.
[3] Perrin JM, Bloom SR & Gortmaker SL (2007). JAMA, 297(24): 2755-59.
[4] American Academy of Pediatricians- Clinical Report. Ginsburg KR, et al (2007). Pediatrics, 119(1): 182-191.
[5] American Academy of Pediatricians – Position Statement. Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, and Council on School Health (2006). Pediatrics, 117(5): 1834-42.
[6] Wells NM & Evans GW (2003). Environment and Behavior, 35(3): 311-330.
[7] Kuo FE & Taylor AF (2004). American Journal of Public Health, 94(9): 1580-86.
[8] Ulrich RS (1984). Science, 224(4647): 420–421.

KJ Balogun, thanks for sharing!

06 July 2008

National Legislative Forum on Parks and Recreation

by KJ Balogun, EcoDeaf contributor

In March 17 - 20, 2009, there will be National Legislative Forum on Parks and Recreation at Grand Hyatt Washington, in Washington DC.

What it is similar to the Eco-Deaf, & Green Festival's philosophy: "Advance national policies that promote health through physical activity, reconnect children with nature and protect open space for recreation. We need to educate ourselves and our national leaders about the importance of parks and recreation in our communities."

Surely many of us would immediately agree with the topic, however I would still like to introduce you to brief ideas of what National Recreation and Park Association wants us to realize:

NRPA believes that parks and recreation can improve the physical and mental health of every person, and that parks and recreation should be an essential public service of every community in America.

Here are the highlights of the bills:

For parks and public lands, NRPA supports federal investments and national policies that encourage acquistion and development of parks, public lands, and recreation resources from the local to national level that are available to all Americans for use and enjoyment.

Bill: Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF): Interior Appropriations–National Park Service

While The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) state assistance program is a matching federal grant program administered by the National Park Service (NPS) that has funded over 40,000 park and recreation projects in the 40 year life-span of the program, the President (Bush) has recommended terminating the LWCF state assistance program in the past three years. The President's 2009 budget once again calls for zero funding for the stateside LWCF grants, and in fact, goes further in requesting that administrative funding to provide oversight be stripped from the program.

Not limiting to lands, NRPA supports in promoting Health, Physical Activity and Recreation: A physically active lifestyle is a critical strategy for disease prevention and health promotion for all people. Public parks and recreation facilities offer low and no-cost opportunities to all Americans of every age, ability and income level to increase their daily physical activity and prevent chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as generally improve mental and physical health.

Bill: Healthy Lifestyle and Prevention America Act (HeLP): Legislation S. 1342 and HR 2633
The HeLP Act seeks to improve the health of Americans and reduce health care costs by reorienting the nation's health care system towards prevention, wellness and self-care. This legislation would convene a task force on childhood obesity and establish a National Advisory Committee on Community Sports Programs for Individuals with Disabilities. It would provide employer and employee tax credits for fees paid to athletic or fitness facilities on behalf of employees, provide for the development of a tool to measure community barriers to participating in physical activity, and provide grants for the development of model communities of play.

Bill: Personal Health Investment Act (PHIT): Legislation—HR 245
This bill would expand pre-tax medical spending accounts to include exercise class registrations, sports league fees, fees charged by recreation centers, and money spent on essential equipment to participate in such programs. Fees charged to participate in healthy lifestyle programs (such as Weight Watchers or Smoke Enders) could also be paid for using pre-tax funds. If this bill were to become law, individuals would be able to allocate up to $1,000 as a tax deductible medical expense.

Finally, but not the least of the other bills, aren't we concern about our oldest education system for our children? Many of us would grow up seeing less and less information on environment, and we do to our earth on daily basis. How many of us know that this country consume most trees to create papers in the world? How many of us know that Nigeria is the sixth-largest producer of oil in the world and one of the main suppliers of oil to American customers.
Yet even though the West African nation is awash in oil money, much of its population is destitute? How many of us know that we can actually stop depending on oil and convert all our cars into electricity, solar motor, or wind motor, and through that change, we will be able to become independent of oil greed and addiction? Now wouldn't we want to educate our children to be able to create a better tomorrow? If you say yes, then here's the bill:

Bill: No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI): Legislation—HR 3036 and S.1981
The No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI), introduced in 2007 in the House as HR 3036 and in the Senate as S.1981, would enable the states to create plans to develop environmental literacy in students; provide funding for teacher training in environmental education; and provide funding to develop state and national capacity in environmental education. This legislation contains no new federal mandates or testing requirements. Public park and recreation agencies and other governmental entities would be authorized as eligible partners. The environmental education components of NCLI are expected be included in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also called No Child Left Behind.

In conclusion, I hope this gives you a clear idea of what NRPA's role is, and this would be a great benefit for the deaf leaders and communities across this nation.

Peace be with you. :-)

National Legislative Forum on National Parks and Recreation
Documenting The Paradox of Oil, Poverty in Nigeria