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 )