27 May 2009

Fear the cul-de-sac

"Forget pollution, deforestation and species extinction.
What we really need to worry about are ... cul-de-sacs"

Why oppose cul-de-sacs?
View the Built to Last video and find out.

I like this Built to Last video because I support the growth of new urbanism and sustainable living. I did not realize how important it was until after I moved to the west side of Buffalo for graduate school. For many years, I lived in the suburbs or within the cities but too far away from stores and popular avenues to walk or bike there. In the west side of Buffalo, I enjoy getting anywhere without a car easily. If I choose not to catch the NFTA-Metro bus, I can walk or bike to the food stores, post office, cafes, pubs, parks, libraries, and visit friends. When I stayed at my parents' house to dog sit for one week, I realized that everything was much further away. It was very hard to get around on my feet and bike that I had to drive to the super market to get my food. After dog sitting, I went back to the west side of Buffalo with more appreciation of the neighborhood.

Support the growth of sustainable neighborhoods to reduce urban sprawls.

Forget cul-de-sacs!

Thank you Mother Nature Network for sharing the Built to Last video.
Much Eco-preciated!

26 May 2009

Willia May Wille on Bananas

Willia May Wille refers to Tonya Zavasta's book "BEAUTIFUL ON RAW, unCOOKED CREATIONS" and discusses the benefits of bananas. She also shares a smoothie recipe at the end.


Tonya Zavasta wrote in her book: BEAUTIFUL ON RAW, unCOOKED CREATIONS about bananas.

Bananas probably originated in Malaysia some 4,000 years ago. The army of Alexander the Great found them in India as early as 327 B.C. Arabian traders took them to Africa, where the Portuguese discovered them in the 15th century. Bananas appeared in seacoast towns of the United States in the 19th century. Until refrigeration was available, they could not be transported inland.

Dr. Douglas N. Graham, author of Nutrition and Athletic Performance and a consultant to professional athletes, considers bananas to be one of the world's finest foods for providing energy. The carbohydrates in bananas are of both simple and complex forms. The complex carbohydrate yields its fuel slowly, thus providing a lasting energy source. He believes that "there is no fruit which will encourage the muscles to refuel themselves more rapidly than bananas." For athletes, his recommendation is ten to fifteen bananas per day. Dr. Graham is so enthusiastic about bananas that each time I re-read his book I start including more bananas in my diet; however, I never was able to eat more than two per day.

Bananas are rich in potassium, which aids in cardiovascular health and helps to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the usually high salt content in the American diet. Slowing calcium loss can slow the rate that bones thin and weaken.

Bananas can replenish the body's stores of potassium, one of the most important electrolytes, which helps regulate heart function as well as fluid balance after a bout of diarrhea.

Bananas contains vitamin C, one of the strongest defenses against many forms of cancer, including lung, pancreatic, cervical, breast, bladder and stomach. They provide about two grams of cholesterol-reducing fiber. Bananas are nearly perfect. Try to buy organic in the health food stores and eat them only when there are covered with dark spots, an indication that they are fully ripe.



In a blender, add:
2 bananas
1 cup apple juice
1 cup cherries, pitted
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 vanilla bean
Blend until smooth

14 May 2009

Chicago Green Festival -- This Weekend! Two Free Tickets!

Green Festival is coming to  Chicago, the weekend of May  16  and  17 

Come learn about sustainability, reducing your carbon footprint, recycling, organics, avoiding sweatshops, socially responsible investing, and more.  You'll find hundreds of green businesses offering everything from recycled elephant-dung paper to organic hemp clothing to solar roofing tiles.
Main stage speakers will all be ASL-interpreted, with  a few additional interpreters on-site for smaller tasks, as availability permits 
On the main stage:
Amy Goodman
Jim Hightower
Greg Palast
John Perkins
Alice Waters
Paul Stamets
Ron Reagan, Jr.
Dr. Stuart Pimm
Mike Farrell
Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn
Medea Benjamin
Special for  Chicago Green Festival,  we have ten free Green Festival tickets to the Deaf community.  The first ten EcoDeaf readers to write to me (andrew@greenamericatoday.org) can claim these free tickets (limit two per person). 
To learn more about Green Festival, visit the Web site (www.greenfestivals.org), or see what one visitor to the DC Green Festival had to say about his experience last fall by reading this EcoDeaf post: EcoDeaf: The Green Festival Experience

See you there!

Contributing to the Creation of a “Greener” RID

Submitted by RID Region Representatives; Rebekah Barkowitz, Lisa Schaefermeyer, Kelly Flores, Amie Seiberlich and Jonathan Webb

The concept of “going green is one that is gaining more global momentum. While the term is used most frequently when discussing energy, renewable resources and recycling, in its broadest sense, it can also mean efficient use of existing resources. And in order for existing resources to be used in the most efficient fashion – whether they are people, money, collective intelligence and/or policies and procedures, those that consume these resources must know exactly what is at their disposal.

RID has grown to more than 14,000 members in its brief 45 year history. What was once an organization governed by a handful of members is now an organization that seeks to actively incorporate the voices of as many of these members as possible in the decision making process. What was once an organization working to make do with one paid position and an office housed by the Deaf community, first at NAD and later at Gallaudet University, is now an organization housed in its own building and run by both national office staff and the national board of directors. It is critical to ensuring that RID remains “green” – and makes the most efficient use of the resources at its disposal.

Those in the national office and on the board of directors continually work to improve the efficiency of this relationship. The board realizes, however, that this relationship could be even more “green” if members had more information about how the national office and board work in tandem to provide support to members. This relationship is often talked about in associations as the difference between “governance” and “operations.”

Generally speaking, the board of directors is responsible for the governance of the organization and the national office is responsible for the operations. It may be helpful to think about governance as the “big picture” – governance includes ensuring that RID remains faithful to its guiding documents (philosophy, mission, goal and diversity statements) and compliant with relevant federal and state laws and regulations. Governance also includes setting the organization’s priorities and course and helping to shape its strategies, plans and decisions. Through interaction with members, the board keeps one foot in the here and now, yet looks forward to meeting the future needs of the association. Members of the board are certified members of the association who volunteer their time toward the governance of the organization.

The operations side of RID is the purview of those in the national office, under the direction of the executive director, Clay Nettles. Operations can be thought of as the daily functions that keep the organization on its feet. The nuts and bolts of testing, certification, finance, membership, publications, communications and education all fall under the operations of RID. The staff working in the national office are experts in the field of association management and function in a paid capacity.

Looking at the relationship between the national office and the board of directors, one can see that the leaders elected to the board guide those in the national office to carry out the will of membership in creating it’s ideal vision for RID. The work done at the national office – or the operations of RID is accomplished only through constant communication between the board and the national office staff.

One of the ways in which the will of the membership is carried out, that serves as a framework for continual communication, is through the establishment of our Strategic Plan. Much has been shared over the past year about RID’s Strategic Plan. What is important in terms of running a “green” or efficient organization is that there is a broad understanding that this is one of the resources at our disposal. The strategic plan is a statement of the big picture, or governance, as laid out by the board of directors with input from the national office. And, it also serves as a template for operations so that the staff in the national office can put the big picture into everyday practice.

For example, one of the Strategic Challenges outlined in the March 2008 President’s column of the VIEWS is to “Clearly define membership, voting and credential categories while addressing the underlying membership and certification connected issues.” This strategic challenge was crafted in response to member concerns at the 2007 RID National Conference Business meeting. The board of directors established a task force – the Strategic Challenges Bylaws Review Task Force (SCBRTF) – as a means to begin accomplishing this big picture challenge. The SCBRTF is currently in the process of gathering member feedback on their initial work, and with 14,000+ members this is no small feat! Once the member input process is complete, the task force will finalize their recommendations; these recommendations will go back to the board and the membership for final review. Recommendations that are adopted will then go to the national office – or the operations side of the organization. The national office staff will then take these adopted recommendations and work on the logistics of putting them into place.

In order to keep RID running efficiently, or in a “green” manner, the board of directors and the national office work closely in this manner to ensure that each corner of the garden is cared for in a meticulous manner. Members of RID, through the board, plant the seeds, programs and ideas that will take root and grow; members of the national office tend to these programs to ensure that they continue to grow in a healthy, upright manner.

So What Can Members Do to Contribute to a “Greener” RID?

Keep informed – read the region reports on the RID Web site, the monthly
RID e-NEWS, and the quarterly copies of the VIEWS,

Participate - in local and state events and meetings,

Communicate – with members of the interpreting and Deaf communities
about the vision for the organization and then with leaders about making
that vision a reality,

Spread the word – about how the organization functions, and

Encourage – others to contribute to an efficient and “green” RID!

With member support, RID can continue to function at peak efficiency and ensure support of its 14,000 plus members.

The Views,
Spring 2009,
Vol. 26, #2
, p. 40-41

Thank you, the Views, for the permission to post this article on EcoDeaf.

12 May 2009

Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - in ASL by Rev. Jill Lestina!

Rev. Jill Lestina talks about the Four Agreements written by Don Miguel Ruiz.  Her vlogs/blogs are full of wisdom, love, and sharing happiness.  Visit her blog here.


Jill attempts to explain in ASL about an ancient Toltec wisdom, "The Four Agreements", that offer powerful tools which can transform your lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love.

A hat tip and bow to Grant Laird Jr. who informed us of Rev. Lestina's vlogs!

11 May 2009

The Views is Going Green!

“Going green.” It seems to be the trendy thing to say and to do these days to be more responsible in conservation efforts. Even the President, Barack Obama, is encouraging individuals and businesses to think energy efficiency in every manner possible from power and fuel to recycling and planting.

Well, we at RID have decided to get VIEWS in line with the “going green” effort that is taking momentum in our country. As a result, we are happy to report that we have altered our printing process to ensure that we are now, starting with this current issue, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

So, what does VIEWS being FSC certified mean, other than the logo that appears at the bottom of this page? Plain and simple, FSC sets high standards that ensures forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable way. In 1994, FSC’s members approved an international set of Principles and Criteria that define FSC’s threshold for responsible forestry practices worldwide. These standards support biodiversity, reduce chemical use, protect streamsides, conserve old growth, ensure protection of high conservation value forests, give stakeholders a voice, and ensure long-term timber supplies.

According to the recent FSC Prospectus, “the investment made to develop and apply FSC standards over the past decade is paying off in conservation benefits, such as protection of wildlife habitats, improved water quality, sustained availability of timber resources, and increased recognition that forestry can be practiced sustainably. FSC standards have been applied on more than 170 million acres of actively managed forests in more than 60 countries as of Spring 2006, and growing steadily.”

By ensuring our print production is FSC certified, we are contributing to FSC’s mission, which is to promote and enhance well-managed forests through credible certification that is environmentally responsible, socially acceptable and economically viable.

This spring issue is dedicated to Earth Day, April 22, 2009, and is a commitment that all future issues will strive to be published in a “green” and earth-friendly manner.

You can learn more about the FSC by visiting http://www.fscus.org/. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

Clay Nettles M.A., M.S.
RID Executive Director
Clay Nettles,


8,338 lbs. of paper made with 25% post consumer recycled fiber saves…

7,212 lbs. wood; A total of 25 trees that supply enough oxygen for 13 people annually.

9,120 gal. water; Enough water to take 530 eight-minute showers.

17mln. BTUs energy; Enough energy to power an average American household for 70 days.

2,197 lbs. emissions; Carbon sequestered by 26 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

1,171 lbs. solid waste; A total of 40 thirty-two gallon garbage cans of waste.

The Views
Spring 2009, Vol. 26, #2
, p. 7.

Thank you RID Views for the permission to post this article on EcoDeaf.

05 May 2009

50+ Benefits (Advantages) of Bicycling!

There Are More Than Fifty Good Reasons For Bicycle Commuting, Recreational Bicycling and Creating a Strong Bike Culture In General.

Some Benefits of Bicycling are:

#4) Bikes increase mobility for those who don't want to drive motor vehicles.

#6) Bicycling is the most energy efficient form of transportation ever invented.

#10) Biking is therapeutic for the mind and spirit -- is fun and can make you happy.

) Allows the rider to appreciate the more of the nuances of the natural and built environment around them.

Reduces air pollution -- bicyclist emit few poisonous gases. A four mile bicycle trip keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe.

) Reduces road kill and saves animals.

#51) Bike Commuting is a license to dress weird and still feel smug.

See the Full List of Bike Commuting Benefits here

The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation. IBF is funded by private donation. Contributions are always welcome and are U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Source: www.ibike.org

"Ride a bike, my friends!!"

Thank you International Bicycle Funds for sharing the benefits of bike commuting!