27 January 2008

Earth Hour


Who: YOU! Everyone around the world

What: http://www.earthhour.org/

When: March 29, 2008, 8pm your local time

Where: In your own home and/or workplace

Why: To create AWARENESS about energy consumption

On March 29th, 2008 at 8pm local time Earth Hour will commence ALL AROUND


Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a POWERFUL MESSAGE about the need for action on global warming.

Be part of making Earth Hour 2008 a huge, global success by telling your friends and family. Remember, every single light makes a statement and makes a difference.

Last year, on 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney (Australia) businesses turned off their lights for one hour ­Earth Hour. This massive collective effort reduced Sydney's energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for one hour.



24 January 2008

2008 Eco-Events!

Curious what is happening around the country? There are many eco-related events, maybe some are near you! If you come across an interesting event, send information to ecodeaf@gmail.com.

Check out this post often to see which events you can go to with your friends. Do report back to ecodeaf and share what you saw!

Greener Gadgets Conference

For more information: www.greenergadgets.com
New York City February 1, 2008

S(eco)nd Conference
For more information: www.secondtradeshow.com
Las Vegas, NV February 12-14, 2008
Las Vegas Convention Center

16th Annual Environmental Film Festival
For more information: dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org
Washington DC March 11-22, 2008

Green Festival
For more information: www.greenfestivals.org
Seattle April 12-13, 2008
Washington State Convention & Trade Center

Chicago May 17-18, 2008
Chicago's Navy Pier

Green Expo
For more information: www.gogreenexpo.com
New York City April 26 & 27, 2008

Green Business Conference
For more information: www.coopamerica.biz
Chicago May 14-16, 2008

ATHGO International Symposia
University of California, Los Angles (UCLA)
February 27-March 1, 2008

Application deadline: February 15, 2008

From February 27-March 1, 2008 a diverse group of 300 students and young entrepreneurs will convene at UCLA’s Tom Bradley International Hall for ATHGO’s Fifth Annual Global Forum titled “Global Warming: Changes YOUR Attitude! Not the Weather.” The four-day practicum based event will focus on the most pressing environmental issues concerning Global Warming and Climate Change. Participants will discuss and explore the effects of Global Warming, its effects and implications, various solutions and the impediments to systemic change.

The Forum will commence with Al Gore's Climate Project presentation. Participants will find out the causes, consequences and ramifications of global warming from world class scientists. Diplomats will address the issue of political will required to pursue various legislative and regulatory changes in their countries, and representatives from international institutions will address the efforts that the international community is pursuing, including the challenges and obstacles associated with establishing consensus amongst the developing and developed world. Senior executives from the private sector will outline the latest technological innovations, from alternative energy products to more environmentally friendly solutions, and the influence that incentives and other regulatory requirements have had in redefining basic business models and modes of operation, regardless of industry.

ATHGO International Symposia
United Nations Headquarters, New York
April 23-25, 2008

Application deadline: April 11, 2008

The long misunderstood concept of global governance is gaining more visibility in the 21st century partly due to changes in power distribution of many nations (e.g. unification of European continent), increase in the number of international institutions (e.g. financial – regional development banks; judicial – courts and tribunals), swelling of high-profile international treaties (i.e. in trade, environment, against terrorism) and ultimately the rapid infiltration of technology into almost all aspects of governance and operation. From the surface, the current affairs and realities appear to lead people to common governing systems and exchange.

EarthVision Summit: Actions for a Healthy Planet
For more information: www.thesca.org/earthvision_summit/
Washington D.C. April 24-27, 2008

The Student Conservation Association invites you to sign up now to attend EarthVision: Actions for a Healthy Planet and make your voice heard and your environmental views count as the 2008 national election approaches.

EarthVision, on April 24 - 27, 2008, in Washington DC, is your chance to join forces with other young conservation leaders from around the nation, craft new solutions to key environmental issues, and launch action-oriented conservation strategies to support our planet.

21 January 2008

The Greenest Home in DC area

In this ASL vlog, you will see the eco-home of Mike Tidwell, the director of Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), his corn-burning home heating stove, a solar food cooker, rain barrels that catch rooftop runoff, photovoltaic barbeque grill than runs on corn kernels, solar hot water system, hybrid cars, and short snippets of gReEn Deaf folks who came by!

WARNING: This vlog was filmed on a borrowed camcorder which was set at "night-vision", thus the reason why about 25 minutes of outdoor footage had to be deleted due to being too "white". We kept just a few clips of the outdoor section for this vlog, and we apologize for subjecting your eyes to the brief, albeit washed out clips, especially at the end with the Deaf folks signing to the camera. Rats!

Check out previous posts about this event and Mike's eco-home:

Special thanks to Sara and Heather, Gallaudet students majoring in interpreting who came by to volunteer their services!

14 January 2008

Composting in the city...

Want to learn how to compost?
In this ASL vlog, Jody shows how you can turn your food trash into DIRT!!

One of the best things for the environment is to create more dirt... instead of losing nutrients that the earth needs to the landfills, do it in your backyard.
No backyard? Even flower boxes outside your apartment window will do... or anyplace that needs soil, the flowers, trees, and worms will thank you. Let's give back to the earth!

For more information about how to compost if you live in the city, you can borrow from your local library: "Urban/Suburban Composter: The complete guide to backyard, balcony, and apartment composting" by Mark Cullen and Lorraine Johnson.
Or buy the book and pass it around to friends.
For general backyard composting- "Backyard composting" by Harmonious Technologies is a good how-to book.

13 January 2008

More Ways to Gauge the Greenness of the Presidential Candidates

by raychelle

Grist.org is another excellent source to go to for information on our presidential candidates' green ways. Although they have not yet endorsed or ranked the candidates' greenness like the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) did, they provide a comparison chart of all candidates' stance on climate and energy.

Grist also teamed up with Outside magazine to interview presidential contenders about green issues, as well as include fact sheets, their platforms, and voting records.

Grist's Comparison Chart

Grist's Quick and Dirty Rundown on each Candidate

12 January 2008

Sara at the Body Shop

Ever want to shop at a green body products store and chat with a deaf consultant at the same time?

Sara is a deaf consultant with the Body Shop at Home.

She explains why she joined the Body Shop team:

I love their natural products and I strongly support the company's core values: Against Animal Testing, Support Community Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights, and Protect Our Planet. Products are 100% Vegetarian. All bottles are made from recycled plastic. All papers are printed by using a certified green printer (using vegetable-oil based inks). "The Body Shop is committed to supporting environmentally responsible materials and technologies by promoting the use of renewable sources and sustainable raw ingredients." So, this store is GREEN! =)

Sara's link: http://www.thebodyshopathome.com/web/scalatrava

09 January 2008

Which Presidential Candidate to Vote For?

by Raychelle

Being a voter in this climate isn't easy. Presidential candidates are trained in rhetoric, and they know what to say to get on our good side. Personally, I like someone who's straight up with me. But that's not how you become President in this society today.

What to do? I want a Green President, but not at the expense of other equally important issues for me such as health care (Michael Moore's Sicko!), Deaf community rights, taxes, marriage for same-sex couples, abortion, the war and education.

To save my time researching which presidential candidate is the best advocate for the environment, I go to the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) website (www.lcv.org). LCV is an organization that "advocates for sound environmental policies and pro-environmental candidates who have stated they will adopt and implement such policies. LCV is the independent political voice for the environment."

Since 1996, over 80% of their endorsed candidates have gone on to win their political positions.

LCV developed a voter's guide for 2008: LCV Voter Guide They base their evaluation of each candidate on their actual performance in Congress or in their state and their responses to LCV's presidential questionnaire, with some quotes from them on the environment. So far, LCV has not yet endorsed a Presidential Candidate.

The following Presidential Candidates never responded to LCV's questionnaire, and do not have a voting record (action speaks louder than words), however LCV summarizes their views on the environment in their guide for those of you want to read more about them.

R - Governor Mike Huckabee - N/A
R - Governor Mitt Romney - N/A
R- Mayor Rudy Giuliani - N/A

Here's the LCV Lifetime Score for each candidate, 0 for the worst, and 100 for the best. Asteriks indicate that they did not return LCV's Presidential Candidate Questionnaire. For those that filled out the questionnaire, you can read their answers at the LCV site.

R- Senator John McCain - 26
R - Representative Ron Paul - 30*
D- Senator John Edwards - 59
D - Governor Bill Richardson - 82
D- Senator Hillary Clinton - 90
D- Representative Dennis Kucinich - 92*
D- Senator Barack Obama - 96

For more information, go visit the League of Conservation Voters site! Their information was certainly helpful, at least for me.

08 January 2008

Brave EcoDeaf members jump into the Chesapeake Bay!

Watch this vlog where EcoDeaf members plunge in the Chesapeake Bay!
This event was hosted by CCAN (Chesapeake Climate Action Network) on December 9, 2007.
On the CCAN website, you can also view different Polar Bear Plunges in the United States.

Other participants involved were:
Gallaudet students, faculty, and staff,
Maryland School for the Deaf students and their teachers,
Viable Technologies,
and other local deaf/signing members.

Approximately 30-45 deaf people, so it was successful and we helped make history!

07 January 2008

The 2008 Elections: John McCain

image: (http://image.guardian.co.uk)

John McCain For President
by Dina Raevsky

With the Iowa Caucus behind us and the storm building its momentum as the New Hampshire primary approaches us, many of us debate about the presidential elect candidate to vote for. Nonetheless, most of us are still not strong supporters of one specific candidate. Perplexed by the polls, and the myriad of candidates in both the Republican and Democractic avenues, many of us start our loyalty with one brand of candidate and switch to another by the time January 1st had passed by.

I admit I was guilty of that. As a New Yorker, my vote went to Giuliani automatically. After all, I saw the towers collapse and the reaction by our mayor to build our city again. The more time I spent doing my research on each candidate, I came to the final conclusion of voting for senator John McCain. Before you jump at me hollering accusations at McCain's resignation from Gallaudet board and his staunch support of Jane K. Fernandes, do not forget that he joined the board in the first place, for his interest in the deaf community was paramount.

I could ramble about his experience, despite his age, independence of political ties, successful endeavors, and so forth, however, this site's sole interest is our ailing environment. In this, I can assure you, McCain shines.

According to various environmental organization polls, McCain is considered a favorite. For instance, McCain received an endorsement of Republicans for Environmental Protection. Not only did he vote against drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), he has been pursuing climate change legislation since 2003 and was the very first senator to speak up about our environment in the congress. According to EarthMagazine and Newsmax.com, McCain was the one to hold hearings in the senate with his co-patriot Senator Lieberman (who, by the way, crossed party lines and endorsed McCain publically) and passed a global warming legislation, which by far, was the very first senate action that meant business about saving our ailing environment. Additionally, McCain championed the protection of Grand Canyon. What is more, On The Issues website indicates that McCain has an ongoing committment to conserve open space, clean water and air. Additional goals that McCain carries are battery-powered government vehicles, and biofuel advancement.

On a personal level, McCain admits that he feels that he is not doing enough for the environment, despite the fact that his family moved from a large home into a condominum, to save energy, and his daughter drives a Prius. He is aiming to do more for the environment around him.

Please feel free to add any comments, questions, or even debunk some of my comments in a tactful manner, endorsing McCain or other candidates that you feel strongly about as environmental champions that are also great in other areas. Just remember, New Hampshire primary is coming near and if you have not registered to vote yet, go on www.congress.org and scroll to the bottom to download and print voting registeration forms. For Maryland state residents, two changes have occured: the date of our primary has been moved to February 12th and those that are 17 years-old but becoming 18 of age by November 4th are eligible to vote. So come on, come all!

03 January 2008

Eco-conscious and DO-IT-YOURSELF! Websites

an EcoDeaf reader has shared this smorgasbord of websites that may interest us...
"The reason I like to make my own things is because it helps reduce waste. One may not think buying 1 plastic ketchup bottle is bad for the environment because 500 other people are doing the same thing, therefore 500 plastic ketchup bottles end up either in the landfill or in a recycling box (remember, it takes a lot of energy to recycle.) So why not make your own ketchup? Same thing goes for deodorant, laundry detergent, toothpaste, etc. Instead of buying plastic razors then throwing them out once they turn dull, why not splurge on a nice straight razor you will keep forever? Another thing that drives me batty is seeing people pick up their dog waste with a plastic bag. Where does that plastic bag end up? In a landfill somewhere, of course! Why not make your own dog compost?

Its important for people to realize how much waste they generate and if they made more of their own things, there will be less waste and less support for major corporations (many of them are not eco-friendly.) The fun thing in all this is you have control over what you put in whatever you're making and you save money!"


1001 uses for Vinegar: http://www.vinegartips.com/
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: http://www.safecosmetics.org/companies/signers.cfm
Make your own toothpaste: http://www.glenbrookfarm.com/make_your_own_toothpaste.htm
Organic Gardening: http://www.organicgardening.com/
Homemade Cleaners: http://www.mormonchic.com/dealdiva/homemade_cleaners.asp
The Vinegar Institute: http://www.versatilevinegar.org/
Homemade Laundry Detergent: http://www.virtuowl.com/soda%20page%20a.htm
Reusable Bags: http://www.reusablebags.com/
Dog Waste Composter: http://www.plantea.com/dog-waste-compost.htm
Cinnamon Oil Kills Mosquitoes: http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/cinnamonoil.htm
Natural Cosmetics: http://allnaturalcosmetics.com/index.php
Make your own things: http://www.make-stuff.com/formulas/index.htmlRecycled Glass products: http://www.greenglass.com/
How to use a straight razor: http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/1972-03-01/How-To-Use-A-Straight-Razor.aspx
Bright your teeth naturally: http://www.carefair.com/skincare/Naturally_Brighten_Teeth_1777.html
Make your own bath powder: http://www.make-stuff.com/formulas/powder.html
Natural Hair Care: http://aubrey-organics.com/
Facts about Plastic: http://www.watoxics.org/homes-and-gardens/fastfacts/fastfacts-pvc
Make your own pads: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=18462.0
How safe are your cosmetics: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/splash.php?URI=%2Findex.php
Green Tips: http://www.thegreenguide.com/
Say no to plastic bags: http://www.noplasticbags.org.au/home/default.aspx
To-Go Ware: http://www.to-goware.com/store/cart.php
Green Home Living: http://www.greenhome.com/info/magazine/001/howtoxic.html
Non-Disposable Homestead Life: http://www.manytracks.com/Homesteading/Disposables.htm
Composting 101: http://www.composting101.com/
Menstrual Cup: http://www.keeper.com/
Diva Cup: http://www.divacup.com/
Green Home Building: http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/cob.htm
Stainless Steel Water Bottles: http://www.kleankanteen.com/2products/klean-kanteen-27oz.html
Make your own ketchup: http://www.pickyourown.org/ketchup.htm
Green Home: http://www.greenhome.com/
Organic Skin products: http://www.lavera.com/products.php?p=products&parent=1000014
Homemade Diaper Wipes: http://www.grizzlybird.net/2006/05/natural-homemade-diaper-wipes.html
Make your own deodorant: http://community.livejournal.com/naturalliving/2654454.html
iGo Green (iVillage): http://www.ivillage.com/green?nlcid=pb|06-25-2007|

02 January 2008

Mike's Eco-Home

Mike's eco-home...Ya gotta be rich to do it? Eco-homes have to be somewhere in the woods? It's too hard?

No, Mike says. He bought a two-story bunaglow built in 1915 close to the Takoma Park metro in MD. With an home-equity loan of $7,500, he was able to convert his home within six months to a nearly 100% energy free home. Sometimes, his home produces more electricity than he needs, and he sells the surplus to Pepco's distribution system!

- 1.5 kilowatt photovoltaic system (partially installed by author): $3396
-CO2-neutral corn-burning stove: $2400
-Solar hot-water system (used): $1,000
-High-efficiency refrigerator: $750
-20 compact fluorescent light bulbs: $140
TOTAL: $7686

-$7500 ten-year home equity loan at 7% interest rate. Monthly payment: $87.
-Monthly energy savings: $57.
-Final cost of converting our house almost entirely to renewable energy: $1 per day (until loan is paid off.)"

For Mike's story on how he converted his home to an eco-home: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/pages/page.cfm?page_id=47

Washington Post article on Mike and his place:

Tour an Eco-Home and Eat Solar-baked Cookies!

Remember him? Mike, the director of Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) planned and hosted the Dec. 8th Polar Bear Plunge in Annapolis that many of us went to.

Come visit Maryland's only 95% renewable energy household on Saturday, January 19th, 1-5pm at Mike Tidwell's Takoma Park home.

"Come see solar panels! View electric, biodiesel, and hybrid cars firsthand! Eat solar-baked cookies and barbequed veggie burgers from a grill that burns corn kernels! Learn how to landscape your yard with native plants! Buy wind power certificates and energy-saving light bulbs! Test drive a tofu-powered lawn mower! And more!"

Sponsored by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) and Chesapeake Native Nursery. Free admission to all ages. To REGISTER, and for more information about the tour: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/getinvolved/event_detail.cfm?id=195

More in the next post about this awesome house...