Last spring, when snow was still on the ground in sad little clumps, I began some conversations with Lucy Blake and Steve Frisch about Sierra Business Council’s beginnings, goals and the perspective they will bring to their 20th Anniversary Conference, Peak Innovation at Lake Tahoe’s Granlibakken October 8-10, 2014.
Bill McKibben describes Tzeporah Berman as ‘a modern environmental hero.’ I like to think of her as a radical pragmatist. “This Crazy Time” is an autobiographical memoir of an effective eco-campaigner who has spent the past 18 years evolving from a student practicing civil disobedience to a key negotiator, leveraging vital policies and agreements with global corporations, government and environmental allies. Berman has been recognized by Utne Reader as one of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World. This spring she assumed Greenpeace International’s co-head of the climate and energy campaign.
I was invited by EcoMaven Alex Steele to participate in U2’s Green Team–Seattle was the 5th city on the concert tour to implement an on ground crew to encourage recycling and educate on green initiatives designed to reduce the U2 tour carbon footprint. Effect Partners, a Minneapolis, Minnesota company that is occupying the unique space of turning intentions into actions, orchestrated the U2 Green Team effort. Other Effect Partners projects include making recycled plastic shirts for the Black-Eyed Peas, “So Much to Save” initiative for the Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson’s “All at Once” encouraging individual action. Bono and U2 were even better than the real thing.
Net Impact and Colorado University Leeds School of Business with sponsor Ball Corporation created a sustainability competition this spring, awarding $12k in prizes.
Over 60 teams from prominent US colleges and universities tried to solve this problem: how can municipal recycling collection be increased? University of Washington Foster School of Business students answered this challenge by designing a mobile application which maps recycling locations and motivates users by showing where nearby recycling bins are located, adding facebook and geocaching quests and then completing the Loop with partnerships and mobile advertising. Their Loop mobile phone application took first prize, $7,200 and the bragging rights over the likes of University of Southern California’s Mendoza School of Business (2nd Place), DePaul University (3rd place) and other competitors including, USC, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Kansas, University of Virginia.
In January 2006 I interviewed Julia Butterfly at the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival in Nevada City, California. I walked away from this interview with hope and commitment to change that I still carry today, so this Earth Day, I’d like to revisit Julia Butterfly and her inspiring words.
For many, working near where they live is a long standing dream. Waving goodbye to commutes and starting one’s own enterprise is not something to be taken on by the faint of heart.
Bridging the gap between desires and knowledge, Sierra Commons is offering a six-week business course to help aspiring entrepreneurs launch new businesses in Nevada County, a scenic Sierra Nevada Gold Rush town. This course could become a model, contributing to developing, walkable, sustainable communities with local support services in many regions. Learn more about building local, living economies here
Spent some time yesterday learning about a new directory designed to bring the Pacific Northwest’s green education programs into a single, comprehensive online directory. Designed to let students interested in green careers learn about both careers and program options, EcoWiz.net is the brainchild of a team of professionals, all working in the sustainability space (more on this later).