EcoPop Pick: Sustainable Media Happy Hour


Our annual party for greenies at SXSW is back! Presented by TriplePundit and yours truly, this year’s event is gonna rock. We booked the coolest new bar in Austin, Clive Bar and our sponsors Applied Materials, Cree and GreenMBA will make sure the drinks keep coming. Our friends at Cree will be giving away some LED lightbulbs (they last 10x longer than compact fluorescent!) and blissmo has stepped up to provide a gourmet food truck (TBD) for a little nosh. So swing by for a free drink and to connect with like minded folks. RSVP HERE.

EcoPop Pick: SXSW 2011 Green

Everyone has their varying traditions at SXSW: BBQ at the Salt Lick, drinks at the Driskill, avoiding the Mashable Party…but the one we all share is the Great Dump.  No, it’s not a symptom of SXSW SARS.  The Great Dump is what happens after you receive your swag bag and dump out all the glossy brochures on the ground or at your hotel room, either way ending up in the trash. So the really big green news at the 25th SXSW Festival this year is their adoption of SXswag, a digital replacement of all those brochures. I’m really impressed SXSW is making this move and can’t wait to see how attendees respond.

Another new initiative is the SXSW Green Zone, Powered by Nokia.  Located at the corner of 7th and Red River Street, the Green Zone will feature a water re-filling station, a solar charging area to keep your mobile devices energized, a recycling transfer center servicing sections of the central downtown area via human-powered transport and information about the sustainability efforts of Nokia, SXSW, and the City of Austin. Very awesome but the big bummer is it’s only up for film & music, March 16 to 19.  Hello Nokia–what’s up with dissing the techies?!

A few green events at SXSW:

Drive a Chevy Volt

Charged up for SXSW? Reserve your spot to drive the all-electric Chevy Volt at the Catch A Chevy stop on Trinity and 3rd from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every day during SXSW.

Go Green Save Green Film Panel

Saturday March 12
3:30pm
Austin Convention Center
Room 13AB

Filmmakers are increasingly attending to issues related to sustainability and are “greening” their productions. While there is a lot of “green-wash” out there, there are models of sustainable production that cut through myths and uncertainties. Using “The Code of Best Practices in Sustainable Filmmaking” published in 2009 (sustainablefilmmaking.org), we will provide insight and inspiration through actual case studies to show you how going greens not only saves the environment but also saves you money.

Big Brother Goes Green: Surveillance For Sustainable Forests

Saturday March 12
5:00pm
Austin Convention Center
Room 9ABC

Can repurposed surveillance technology bring people together to protect their forests? Combining physical and virtual worlds, Real-Time Video Interactive Systems for Sustainability (RTiVISS) offer participants a way to remotely monitor natural environments for forest protection. Collaboratively developed by artists, activists and technologists, these new systems strengthen environmental awareness through “the emotion of real-time”. This presentation will showcase the design and technology of specific RTiVISS instances such as “Play with Fire”, “B-wind!”, and “Hug@ree”. It will also be a case study of what happens when tinkerers, open-source coders, and new media artists work together for a better world.

Energy Hub Launch Party

Sunday March 13
7:30pm
Paradise
401 E 6th St.

Join us to celebrate the launch of the EnergyHub home energy management system! Get hands-on product demos, chat with EnergyHub designers, and enjoy drinks on us. Tweet us @EnergyHub!

Goodbye Oil: Accelerating the Electric Car

Monday March 14
9:30 am
Austin Convention Center
Room 6AB

Join leaders of the electric car movement to debate how online organizing, culture jamming, and social influence can turn electric cars into cultural icons. The only way to break our addiction to oil is to stop driving cars that use it. In 2011, mass-market electric cars will, for the first time, become a real option for everyday drivers. But common misperceptions, old habits, and powerful interests could prevent electric cars from breaking through to the mainstream.

Three Undiscovered Companies Leading the Green Movement

Monday March 14
11:00am
Austin Convention Center
Room 6AB

The United States consumes more energy than it produces and is the second biggest emitter of CO2 in the world (behind China). If the United States truly chooses to become a greener country, then major improvements in our infrastructure (buildings and transportation) will have to be made. The green movement in the United States has yet to reach a tipping point. Companies either do not know how to lower their energy consumption and carbon footprint, or they are not implementing the projects fast enough. Fortunately, there are signs that we are now more green than ever. This panel will highlight three companies that you probably haven’t heard of that are implementing green strategies. You don’t want to miss learning about how these innovative companies got started and what they’re doing to make our country a greener place to live.

Cleantech: The Interactive Community & the Next Great Industry

Monday March 14
12:30pm
Austin Convention Center
Room 6AB

Every major forecast from McKinsey to The Gates Foundation points to cleantech as the Next Great Industry. It seems obvious, yet how many of us in the interactive community have deep knowledge and involvement in this sector? Our prediction and hope is that that will change in the next 3-5 years. This session will discuss the current growth of the cleantech sector, its implications for the interactive community and vice versa, the optimal scenarios for impact, and the ways we can start thinking about this industry now. We’ll dive into the current role of data and developers, the importance of mapping & the Internet of Things, and look at case studies from GE & IBM to TerraPower. We’ll also follow up on some of the principles in the SXSW 2010 keynotes of Valerie Casey & Bruce Sterling such as systems thinking in the interactive community, high-impact development, and our role in social & environmental change. Quoting the “Environmental Leader” blog on cleantech: “As our colleague, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has explained, new industries founded on new technology platforms tend to be complex and expensive at first, as it takes the combined efforts of an organized group of highly skilled people to commercialize a breakthrough.” They’re talking about us, so let’s get involved.

Internet Activism: Vegan Bloggers Take over the World

Monday March 14
3:30pm
Austin Convention Center
Room 5ABC

A surge of vegan bloggers has been using the internet to make change in the way people think about animals through new forms of activism. VeganMoFo (the vegan month of food) and worldwide Vegan Bakesales to raise money for causes and promote veganism are just some of the ways that we are breaking out of the stereotypes of the past and creating a revolution. Learn creative ways to promote your message and engage your community on and off the web and more about food activism and using your culinary skills to promote compassion.

The Sustainable Media Happy Hour

Monday March 14
7:00pm
Clive Bar
609 Davis St.

Our annual party for greenies at SXSW is back! Presented by TriplePundit and yours truly, this year’s event is gonna rock. We booked the coolest new bar in Austin, Clive Bar and our sponsors Applied Materials, Cree and GreenMBA will make sure the drinks keep coming. Our friends at Cree will be giving away some LED lightbulbs (they last 10x longer than compact fluorescent!) and blissmo has stepped up to provide a gourmet food truck (TBD) for a little nosh. So swing by for a free drink and to connect with like minded folks.

Keynote: Blake Mycoskie

Tuesday March 15
2:00pm
Austin Convention Center
Ballroom

In this visionary talk, Blake Mycoskie shows you how to succeed in a new era of relentless competition and heightened social awareness. Why is philanthropy your best competitive advantage? How do you make money and do good simultaneously? How are the two acts intertwined? At TOMS — a self-sustaining, for-profit company — the act of giving is the cornerstone of its business model, integral to its financial success. In a behind-the-scenes look at how it all works, Mycoskie shares counterintuitive ideas (“In tough times, give more!”) that you can apply to your own business. His bold, winning strategies are proven, and have been talked about by Bill Clinton, the Obama administration, and the hundreds of thousands of customers that have joined the TOMS Movement by buying a pair of shoes. Inspired, inspiring and most of all practical, Mycoskie presents a new direction for business, offering TOMS as his prime case study. After hearing him speak, you too will know why giving just makes sense.

Techies Can Save the World, Why Aren’t They?

Tuesday March 15
3:30pm
Austin Convention Center
Room 6AB

Techies are plugged in. We’re cutting edge. So, why aren’t we more green? Why aren’t we the ones using our special power to save the world? Are we too busy working on the next hot i-phone app? Do we not care? Are we just avoiding the guilt over our higher than average personal electrical requirements? Maybe the environmental movement just isn’t our battle to fight. Their ‘triple bottom line’ lingo sounds like a foreign language. And it doesn’t sound much like PHP. A kick-ass panel made up of a rare breed of successful environmentally and socially focused tech pioneers provide insights, examples and practical inspiration for techies, bloggers, entrepreneurs and web-business people who are looking to do a world of good. Our expert panel includes founders from major web based businesses, founders of the new generation of successful social and environmental start-up ventures, and major VC’s who are all focused on the triple bottom line – making a bunch of money while doing something positive for the environment and society. A well respected news media editor at the intersection of green and technology will moderate this panel of innovators. Come ask our panel how you can be the change you want to see!

Sony’s Sustainable Style

It’s easy even for a greenie to get caught up in the shiny pretty world of tech gadgetry goodness and not think about what happens to your old laptop after you’ve upgraded to a new one.  The ugly truth is it probably ended up in a landfill. The U.S. EPA reports that in 2007, 157 million computer products were discarded (CPUs, monitors, notebooks, keyboards, mice, printers, faxes, and copiers). Only 18% were recycled. Worse yet, only 10% of cell phones were recycled. Considering how dependent we’re becoming on technology and how often we replace it, e waste is a growing problem.


Consumer awareness is a crucial step in solving the issue and so is corporate social responsibility which is  why I was excited to see this storefront recently at a Sony Style store in San Diego. Of course I had to check it out. Yep, modern green fonts get me every time. I discovered that Sony has launched a new electronics recycling program called EcoTrade.  Products eligible for recycling include laptops, cameras, camcorders, digital books, game systems, MP3 players and mobile phones.  Two things make this a really cool program:

1. They accept Sony and non-Sony products.

2. You receive credit to use toward the purchase of a new Sony product.

3. You receive credit to use toward the purchase of a new Sony product. Thought that deserved to be written 2x. Hello! They are giving you money!

By the way, if you’re in the market for a new laptop, I recommend the VAIO W series made partially from recycled CDs cuz that’s just crazy cool. Turns out Sony has a long history of environmental initiatives. The Sony Take Back Recycling Program was the first national recycling initiative to involve both a major electronics manufacturer and a national waste management company. On their green website, Sony’s stated goal is to collect a pound of electronics for every pound it produces. They’ve collected 27.1 million pounds so far.  They also have a goal to reach a zero environmental footprint by 2050. I like a company with a plan. Definitely makes me feel better about replacing my clunker of a laptop!







EcoPop Pick: Climate Rally

Your guide to the coolest eco events
that you must attend, support or at least tweet:


The Official Why:

On Sunday, April 25, Earth Day Network will organize a massive climate rally on The National Mall to demand Congress pass strong legislation. The Climate Rally will include notable speakers Reverend Jesse Jackson, film director, James Cameron, AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, Olympic gold medalist, Billy Demong, producer, Trudie Styler, author, Margaret Atwood, NFL player and television personality, Dhani Jones, environmental photographer Sebastian Copeland and many more. The Climate Rally will also feature live music from Sting, John Legend, The Roots, Jimmy Cliff, Passion Pit, Bob Weir, Willie Colón, Joss Stone, Robert Randolph, Patrick Stump, Mavis Staples, Booker T, Honor Society and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.

The EcoPop Why:

No offense to all the other U.S. Earth Day events but this is the Big One. This is the event where your voice will be heard by the people who need to hear it. This is the biggest single event focused on demanding Congress pass strong climate legislation.  This is where Sting will be.

Lordy, lordy Earth Day’s 40 but it’s not wearing black and complaining about being Over the Hill. It’s marching right up to the Hill and demanding that it get it’s act together.  Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman are unveiling the long awaited and often stalled climate bill on Monday, the 26th, the day after the Climate Rally.  Don’tcha think it will help the cause if they can point to massive public support demonstrated at the Climate Rally? I do!  Don’t live in DC? You have no excuse. The Earth Day Network is sponsoring free buses from New York City, Philadephia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Charleston WV, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Baltimore. RSVP here. Don’t live on the East Coast? Ok, you have an excuse. Sorta. But come on, it’s nice in DC! I promise. We have a new plastic bag tax in place (which lowered bag use from 22 million to 3 million bags in one freaking month!),  gay marriage is legal and Top Chef is shooting here this very minute! You might run into Padma!

If you really, truly can’t make it then you can support the cause by helping Earth Day Network achieve a Billion Acts of Green. At the core of Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary program is the Billion Acts of Green campaign. That goal is to show that millions of us are committed to saving the planet through actions big and small.  You simply go to the site and write one line starting with “I will…” and then what you are committed to doing. Mine is “I will call my Senator to support the climate bill.” Done. I love being counted! (I don’t live in DC anymore so I actually have a Senator…sorry, didn’t mean to rub in it guys and gals).

So pack your organic snacks and reusable water bottle and let’s show climate change deniers we know how to rock and rally. See you on the Mall!


EcoPop Planner Earth Day 2010

There are 8 kachillion earth day events (as there should be) so I can’t possibly list them all.  Check out Earth Day Network for a great database of Earth Day events all over the world. For this special Earth Day EcoPop Planner I’m just listing a few of my favs:


Earth Day Food & Wine Festival

April 16-18, 2010

Central Coast, CA

The Earth Day Food & Wine Festival is a weekend celebration of sustainably produced, award-winning food and wine grown on California’s scenic Central Coast. Enjoy the feature event on Saturday, April 17  and join us for barrel tastings, cooking demonstrations, live music, and vineyard tours throughout the weekend. Organized by the Central Coast Vineyard Team, a local non-profit dedicated to sustainable winegrowing since 1994, the event’s proceeds support research, education, and farmworker outreach.



Earth Day LA & Earth Day on the Promenade

April 17, 2010

Santa Monica, CA

Come celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with thousands of people on Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade. At this carbon-neutral festival experience live music by the rockin’ moms of Mamapalooza!, learn about current environmental issues, resources and solutions from the more than 60 fascinating eco-exhibits & product displays.


Earth Day Fair 2010

April 18, 2010

San Diego, CA

Our annual EarthFair in Balboa Park is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. EarthFair 2010 will be our 20th anniversary – the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day! Each year, the EarthFair draws around 70,000 visitors. Produced by 400 volunteers, EarthFair features more than 350 exhibitors, special theme areas, a Food Pavilion, a special Kids’ Activity Area, three entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the eARTh Gallery art show, and the Cleaner Car Concourse.


Earth Day New York

April 22, 2010

New York City, New York

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Earth Day New York today announced a special commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day to be held in Times Square on Thursday, April 22nd. The public event will run from 11am to 2pm and feature messages from local, national and international environmental activists, business leaders, government officials and musical guests who are committed to environmental action. The event will take place in the newly created pedestrian plazas in Times Square on Broadway between 45th and 46th streets. As part of the celebration, the public plaza between 42nd and 43rd streets will host information booths on a variety of environmental issues.


Kokua Festival

April 23-24, 2010

Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaii’s own Jack Johnson is proud to host the 6th Kokua Festival and share the stage with Ziggy Marley and the legendary Taj Mahal & The Hula Blues Band on Earth Day weekend – Friday, April 23rd and Saturday, April 24th –  at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to full band performances by Jack Johnson and Taj Mahal & The Hula Blues Band, and a solo acoustic set by Ziggy Marley, this year’s incredible line-up will be rounded out by ukulele extraordinaire, Jake Shimabukuro, and Maui-based songstress, Anuhea.

All proceeds from the festival go to the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Jack and Kim Johnson in 2003 to support environmental education programs in the schools and communities of Hawaii. The funds raised from the Kokua Festival will be used to further support school recycling on Oahu, sponsor field trips, and grow ‘AINA In Schools, a farm-to-school program. The foundation has also expanded its community outreach with their Simplify the Holidays campaign and the new Plastic Free Hawaii coalition.


Climate Rally

April 25, 2010

Washington, DC

On Sunday, April 25, Earth Day Network will organize a massive climate rally on The National Mall to demand Congress pass strong legislation. The Climate Rally will include notable speakers Reverend Jesse Jackson, film director, James Cameron, AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, Olympic gold medalist, Billy Demong, producer, Trudie Styler, author, Margaret Atwood, NFL player and television personality, Dhani Jones, environmental photographer Sebastian Copeland and many more. The Climate Rally will also feature live music from Sting, John Legend, The Roots, Jimmy Cliff, Passion Pit, Bob Weir, Willie Colón, Joss Stone, Robert Randolph, Patrick Stump, Mavis Staples, Booker T, Honor Society and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.

EcoPop Planner April 2010

Your guide to the coolest eco events
that you must attend, support or at least tweet:

Green Festival

April 10-11, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

Join us at the nation’s premier sustainability event, where you will see the best in green. Enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. Shop in our unique marketplace of more than 350 eco-friendly businesses—everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to Fair Trade gifts and beautiful kitchen tiles made from renewable resources.

The EcoPop Why:

Co-sponsored by Global Exchange and Green America, Green Festival really is the grand dame of all the green festivals and has the serious green cred to back it up.  For one thing, Green Festival is the only green event that screens exhibitors for their commitment to sustainability, ecological balance and social justice using Green America’s green business standards. Green Festival also offsets 100% of its electricity emissions with clean, renewable energy.  Organizers claim that this San Francisco event will be unlike anything they’ve done before.  There’s a Fair Trade Pavilion, Green Design Pavilion, Eco Fashion Show and a Green Careers & Education Pavilion—good idea for these crazy economic times.  Of course the real fun is in the Green Marketplace where you can shop for a fab eco birthday present for me. Yes, I’m an Aries.  A few things on my list: EarthLust water bottle, a Jinky’s skirt made from recycled saris,  and anything from jonano.  Thanks!



Fast Company: Innovation Uncensored Conference

April 21, 2010

New York, NY

The Official Why:

Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored event embodies the ethos of our brand and represents the culmination of our work throughout the year. Innovation is at the core of everything we do. Every day on our website and in each issue of the magazine, we explore innovative groundbreaking business solutions across every industry.

With this event, we give attendees live access to top business visionaries and the companies to watch, with the goal to learn from and to be inspired by their practices and insight.

The event itself is a great conversation/debate starter, but the greater value is in taking attendees inside these stellar companies and teaching them something they don’t know: surprising stats, smart techniques, best practices. Because in the end, we have an ulterior motive: inspiring attendees to lead their companies to make next year’s Most Innovative Companies List.

The EcoPop Why:

First of all, this is one of my favorite magazines. I tear more pages out of it and re-tweet their articles more than any other.  When it comes down to it, we’ve got to innovate our way out of this environmental mess and a few of the companies doing it are featured in Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies list like Good GuideFirst Solar, PG & E and Walmart. Yes, Walmart.  Speaking of, Walmart’s SVP of Sustainability, Matt Kistler will be featured on a panel with Jeffrey Hollender, Chief Inspired Protagonist of Seventh Generation about Sustainable Capitalism.  Please dear God, somebody videotape that.

 

 

Earth Day

April 22, 2010

Planet Earth

The Official Why:

It’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day people! I’ll be listing EcoPop picks in a special Earth Day post. Stay tuned!

 

Social Enterprise Summit

April 28-30, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

A new sector is emerging with the primary purpose of addressing social, environmental and economic challenges of our time. The growth of social enterprise has the potential to be a defining innovation of this century. Don’t miss this international forum advocating for increased social impact through social enterprise. Join over 600 social entrepreneurs in San Francisco to learn, grow, be inspired, make new connections from around the globe and become part of this expanding movement.

The EcoPop Why:

First of all, what is social enterprise?  According to Wikipedia, “social enterprises are social mission driven organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. The movement includes both non-profits that use business models to pursue their mission and for-profits whose primary purposes are social. Their aim – to accomplish targets that are social and or environmental as well as financial – is often referred to as the triple bottom line.”  Hot damn, turns out EcoPop is a social enterprise! Organized by the Social Enterprise Alliance, the summit is packed with panels and case studies for non-profits, entrepreneurs and investors.  A few sessions that caught my eye include a case study on the DC Central Kitchen and a panel titled “Engaging all Sectors-Can systems thinking help us gain traction?” If you saw Valerie Casey’s keynote at SXSWi, then you know she seems to think so. The session is moderated by Alan Webber, founding editor of Fast Company Magazine (considering I’m a Fast Company groupie, that pretty much makes him Mick Jagger in my book) and focuses on how “blowing up old categories and embracing systems thinking can lead to the development of sustainable solutions that deliver real results in addressing deep-seated social, economic, and environmental problems.” Let me just say (Beavis & Butt-head style),  that when it comes to old categories and mental models,  I like to blow things up.

GreenNet 2010

April 29, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

GreenNet is a one-day conference examining how the tools created in the Internet, computing and IT revolutions will be crucial for fighting climate change. Whether you’re in a corporation looking to learn about best Green IT practices or you’re an entrepreneur looking for your next venture, GreenNet in San Francisco is a must-attend event that will allow you to take away the best ideas, contacts and thinkers in this space.

The EcoPop Why:

Hello, Jerry Brown is speaking! JERRY BROWN!  Brown is the current Attorney General of California, former Mayor of Oakland (I hella ♥ Oakland) and former governor of California (in his 30s) who is now running for governor of California again at the ripe age of 71.  Brown has a solid green agenda and has always supported renewable energy.

Other notable speakers include Bill Weihl, Google’s Green Energy Czar and  Bill Mckibben who will be leading a conversation about how 350.org’s social media campaign empowered people to fight climate change.  It certainly inspired me to march around in the rain.

To put it simply, this is a conference that both Ford and Greenpeace attending. That’s either crazy or genius.  I’m thinking crazy genius.


Ferdinand’s Ball

April 29, 2010

Louisville, Kentucky

The Official Why:

Ferdinand’s Ball is a fundraiser created in honor of Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby Winner sent to slaughter in Japan after making millions while racing and becoming horse of the year. Join celebrities, athletes and community leaders at this elaborate red carpet gala in Ferdinand’s honor, where we will raise awareness and funds so that legacies like Ferdinand can retire in peace and with dignity on a beautiful farm in Georgetown, Kentucky.

The EcoPop Why:

This kick-off to Derby weekend gala benefits Old Friends, a farm that provides a dignified retirement to thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end.  I learned about the event from Beth Doane, founder of Rain Tees who is also one of the organizers and a lover of animals. The organizers don’t mention on their site how they feel about the sport of horse racing but I’ll tell you what I think: it stinks. I’ve never been able to watch an animal perform for humans whether it’s a “sport” or a circus but the industry certainly won’t end tomorrow so this is a great trot in the right direction toward treating these animals humanely.   The event itself features live music, gourmet food, open bar and the presentation of the Ferdinand Award.


EcoPop Pick: Cree SXSW Happy Hour

Cree SXSW Sustainable Media Happy Hour

The Official Why:

There’s nothing official, just totally biased because I’m one of the organizers. See below.

The EcoPop Why:

This is THE place to be if you wan to meet up with green minded folks at SXSW. Take a break from geeking out over Google earth and geek out over the real earth.  Co-hosted by TriplePundit and EcoPop.tv means there’s a focus on green media but the happy hour is open to non-profits, social entrepreneurs, issues bloggers, clean techies, environmental filmmakers and as we like to lovingly say, “anyone who gives a damn.”

The exciting news is that Cree LED signed up to sponsor the event so there’s free beer while supplies last and If you’re thinking we paired up with Cree just for the sponsorship dough, think again. With the help of their social media guru, Ginny Skalski, Cree is using the power of social media to educate people about the benefits of energy effecient LED lighting (LEDs last much longer than CFLs and also don’t contain mercury) and we love that! If you’re a loyal EcoPop viewer you might have noticed that right on the homepage, I state “EcoPop is not ‘how to’ TV. It is not preachy, compost this, recycle that, change your freaking light bulb (although you should) TV.” I’d like to elaborate–I’m all for changing light bulbs–but as a content creator, I’m less interested in the how and more interested in the why. Cree provides the why.

They also provide the light. The Cree Lighting the LED Revolution site is an interactive LED makeover playground. Who doesn’t have a totally depressing and horrible lighting situation somewhere in their home or office? I do and it’s called the living room. On their site, people can upload photos of the their dim dining rooms and enter a chance to win Cree recessed lighting. I can’t explain it, either it’s the voyeur in me or the fact that I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone in my lighting woes but I really enjoy clicking through their “cries for help” photos. I’m hoping they include “after” photos at some point for a complete “before and after” experience. One makeover at a time, Cree is proving that the LED lighting Revolution has begun.

Last but certainly not least, we’re giving out eco goodies provided by our amazing gift bag sponsors:  TheEcoLuxeLife, Hail Merry, Josie Maran Cosmetics, Honest Tea, FilterForGood & Brita, Joyful Bath Co., and Herbalogic.

RSVP here and I’ll see you there!!

EcoPop Planner March 2010

Your guide to the coolest eco events
that you must attend, support or at least tweet:


Global Green USA Pre-Oscar Party

March 3, 2010

Los Angeles, CA

The Official Why:

Founded in 1994 by activist and philanthropist Diane Meyer Simon, Global Green is the American Arm of Green Cross International (GCI), which was created by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future by reconnecting humanity with the environment. Global Green is working to address some of the greatest challenges facing humanity. In the United States our work is primarily focused on stemming global climate change by creating green buildings and cities. The Global Green Pre-Oscar Party benefits Global Green’s national initiatives to fight climate change by creating healthy, green homes, school and communities.

The EcoPop Why:

Their party tagline might be “Greener Cities for a Cooler Planet” but this party is hot, hot, hot! Celebrities galore including James Cameron who is getting all kinds of eco buzz over his hit film Avatar.  James Cameron himself has been calling Avatar a catalyst for environmental action saying he now wants to “use the spotlight that’s been put on him by Avatar’s success to bring attention to environmental causes.”

Music by Camp Freddy & friends, Benji & Joel Madden of Good Charlotte and Mia Maestro will make sure you can’t hear a dang thing anyone is actually saying about global warming but that’s ok cuz this party is about rocking, not talking.  Best news yet–I’ll be there with some of my fellow Project Green Search girls working the green scene in eco couture! Party organizers promise:  eco friendly décor, celebrity arrivals in eco friendly automobiles, bicycles and carpool, organic hors d’oeuvres, no disposable glasses or dishes and eco product gift bags.

For libations, Global Green USA has chosen 360 Organic Vodka as their vodka sponsor. Calling themselves the “world’s first eco-friendly flavored vodka series” they offer up crazy flavors like cola and double chocolate. Too bad they didn’t call themselves 350 vodka and hook up with 350.org‘s 350 Day of Action because I certainly could’ve used a drink after marching in the rain for hours but I digress. Organic cuisine provided by Honey at the Avalon and wine by  Newton Vineyard, a sustainable winery in St. Helena, CA.  Pretty cool after all!

Historic Green “Spring Greening”

March 9-19, 2010

New Orleans, LA

The Official Why:

Historic Green serves to transform and revitalize communities through education and charitable activities that integrate sustainable design and heritage conservation practices.  During the previous “Spring Greening” events in March 2008 & 2009, Historic Green and businesses  contributed more than $250,000 worth of volunteer labor to 12 various projects. Now in its third year, the Historic Green event “Spring Greening“ continues to focus on sustainability and preservation techniques to combine the concepts of green design construction and historic restoration.

As one of the most devastated parts of New Orleans ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Holy Cross in the Lower 9th Ward is being rebuilt and restored sustainably, with the help of young professionals and student volunteers in the construction industry. More than 85 percent of this area’s homes are listed on the National Historic Registry. Holy Cross has aims to be carbon neutral by the year 2020 and climate neutral by 2030. Nowhere else in the world, perhaps, is this more possible than the Lower Ninth Ward.

The EcoPop Why:

Sure you could spend Spring Break in Daytona Beach or Cancun but the only green you’ll see  there is the money spent on cheap flip flops and bad margaritas, plus you probably won’t remember it anyway!  Open to college students, young professionals, skilled professionals, retirees, community members and anyone who can work a shovel or a paintbrush, Historic Green’s Spring Greening event is an opportunity to do some green good.  The projects this year include:

-Construct a new LEED Platinum facility to house the new offices of the Center for Sustainable Engagement & Development (CSED)
-Partner with Lower Ninth homeowners to green their properties: weatherization, radiant barriers, widespread installation of compact fluorescent lamps
-Continue renovations of the Lower 9th Ward Village
-Design and install demonstration rain gardens throughout the Lower Ninth Ward
-Restore a tupelo cypress ecosystem at Bayou Bienvenue and ”green up” public spaces around the Bayou



Cree LED Revolution Green Media Happy Hour

March 15, 2010 (#ecomonday on Twitter!)

SXSW

Austin, TX

The Official Why:

There’s nothing official, just totally biased because I’m one of the organizers. See below.

The EcoPop Why:

This is THE place to be if you wan to meet up with green minded folks at SXSW. Take a break from geeking out over Google earth and geek out over the real earth.  Co-hosted by TriplePundit and EcoPop.tv means there’s a focus on green media but the happy hour is open to non-profits, social entrepreneurs, issues bloggers, clean techies, environmental filmmakers and as we like to lovingly say, “anyone who gives a damn.”

The exciting news is that Cree LED signed up to sponsor the event so there’s free beer while supplies last and If you’re thinking we paired up with Cree just for the sponsorship dough, think again. With the help of their social media guru, Ginny Skalski, Cree is using the power of social media to educate people about the benefits of energy effecient LED lighting and we love that! If you’re a loyal EcoPop viewer you might have noticed that right on the homepage, I state “EcoPop is not ‘how to’ TV. It is not preachy, compost this, recycle that, change your freaking light bulb (although you should) TV.” I’d like to elaborate–I’m all for changing light bulbs–but as a content creator, I’m less interested in the how and more interested in the why. Cree provides the why.

They also provide the light. The Cree Lighting the LED Revolution site is an interactive LED makeover playground. Who doesn’t have a totally depressing and horrible lighting situation somewhere in their home or office? I do and it’s called the living room. On their site, people can upload photos of the their dim dining rooms and enter a chance to win Cree recessed lighting. I can’t explain it, either it’s the voyeur in me or the fact that I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone in my lighting woes but I really enjoy clicking through their “cries for help” photos. I’m hoping they include “after” photos at some point for a complete “before and after” experience. One makeover at a time, Cree is proving that the LED lighting Revolution has begun.

Last but certainly not least, we’re giving out eco goodies provided by our amazing gift bag sponsors:  TheEcoLuxeLife, Hail Merry, Josie Maran Cosmetics, Honest Tea, FilterForGood & Brita, Joyful Bath Co., and Herbalogic.

RSVP here and I’ll see you there!!

Environmental Film Festival

March 16-28, 2010

Washington, DC

The Official Why:

As we enter a new decade of the 21st century, the Environmental Film Festival comes of age, marking 18 eventful years in Washington, D.C. with our biggest and most ambitious Festival yet. This year the Festival is proud to present 155 diverse and thought-provoking films, including 66 Washington, D.C., United States and World premieres, that celebrate the wonder of the natural world and illuminate the growing challenges to life on earth.

The 2010 Festival explores the vital connections between food and the environment. What we eat is essential to our health and well being; how food is produced and transported to our tables affects the condition of our planet. Additional films address the environmental implications of such diverse subjects as the current natural gas drilling boom, mountaintop removal and the mysterious disappearance of frogs, while others point to the success of businesses that are adopting green practices and stimulating the growth of clean, renewable energy.

The EcoPop Why:

An entire festival dedicated to environmental films? I’m in heaven! And it’s in my backyard! The only thing I’m bummed about is that I’ll be out of town and miss the festival launch party, March 10th which advertises open bar, hors d’oeuvres, music, raffles and special guest speaker Nora Pouillon, founder of Restaurant Nora, the nation’s first certified organic restaurant….did you catch that people? The nation’s first certified organic restaurant was in DC–not California, not New York. DC. Thank you.

Anyway, a few films on my must see list: 

Nora! (of course) profiles Washington restaurateur, Nora Pouillon, founder of my FAVORITE restaurant.

HomeGrown spotlights an urban family farm in Pasadena, California.

Who Killed Crassostrea Virginica? investigates the decline of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

GasLand, an award-winner from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, will screen on the Festival’s opening night with filmmaker Josh Fox in attendance.

Green, a stylized exploration of the effects of deforestation on an orangutan and winner of Grand Teton award at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

Oh and here’s the super mega amazing part:  most screenings are free!


Earth Hour

March 27, 8:30pm

Global

The Official Why:

On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. In the U.S. where we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, Earth Hour sends a clear message that Americans care about this issue and want to turn the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation.

The EcoPop Why:

This is so easy people. You don’t even leave your house.  All you do is turn off your lights for an hour. Even you with energy efficient LED lights, turn ‘em off!  Does turning off your lights for an hour make an actual impact on global warming? Heck no. But that’s not the point. Earth Hour is about sending a powerful visual message to world leaders that you are “voting for action with your light switch.”  Symbolic events can be very effective at galvanizing public opinion and fostering social change. WWF started Earth Hour because climate change is one of the greatest threats facing wildlife and nature….remember polar bears?  Set your clock, gather your candles, pour your organic wine and enjoy an hour of mood lighting for the earth.






EcoPop Pick: Green Wedding Showcase

Your guide to the coolest eco events
that you must attend, support or at least tweet:


Title

February 21, 2010     College Park, MD


The Official Why:

Weddings have a huge environmental and financial impact – and the larger the event, the more punch they pack. Considering there are more than 2 million weddings in the U.S. each year, the power of a wedding to change the world is significant. A green wedding is simply a wedding for which the couple has made choices that limit the negative impact to the planet. It can be a little or a lot, because every aspect of your Big Day can be greener – from the invites to the flowers to the make-up – even your napkin choices can help save the planet! The Mid Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase is on a mission to make weddings and other special events both magical and eco-friendly. We have a passion for saving the planet. One step at a time.


The EcoPop Why:

It’s clear that these people are the real deal. There are lots of events and trade shows out there cashing in on green but run by people who don’t know the difference between biodynamic and biodegradable. These folks do.  Besides being an insanely convenient way for brides to discover local green wedding resources, the event itself is super green:  no paper tickets, posters or programs, energy offset by Carbon Fund and all organic/local food.

One thing is for sure, you will be hydrated: local favorite, Honest Tea is providing cold samples of  Honest Ade and Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company is making sure everyone stays caffeinated. But, if you find wedding planning overwhelming in general, you might need something stronger. Eco-Bar and Square One organic vodka are mixing the cocktails which you can enjoy while watching the Aveda Institute Eco Fashion Show. Hello, slam dunk anyone? You know how much I loved being a hemp bride at The Green Festival,  but there’s alot more out there when in comes to eco wedding dresses which you’ll see up close on the runway.  All dresses in the show are made of eco friendly fabrics, recycled or vintage. All jewelry in the show is made of fair trade or recycled stones and recycled metals and materials.

I’m also super excited to check out the exhibitors and say hello to my friends from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation who are offering their stunning Bayfront LEED certified headquarters as a special event location–who knew?! Definitely a must attend event for the modern green bride who appreciates style and substance.


EcoPop Planner February 2010

Your guide to the coolest eco events
that you must attend, support or at least tweet:


San Francisco Ocean Film Festival

February 3-7, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

The San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, North America’s premier cinemaquatic© event explores the beauty, mystery and excitement of the seven seas.  With a reputation as the largest and most diverse festival of its kind, the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival features more than 50 documentaries, animations, narratives and other traditional and experimental genre on topics including sharks and marine wildlife, surfing, kayaking and ocean adventures, environmental issues, island culture and more. Every year, SFOFF produces an acclaimed festival of ocean-themed films from all over the world that are largely unavailable to the general public. Themes range from marine science and industry to sports and adventure. The films are intended not only to entertain the audience but, more importantly, to educate and encourage active participation in ocean conservation.

The EcoPop Why:

For the first time, the Festival is being presented by Aquarium of the Bay, The Bay Institute and the National Marine Sanctuaries – three organizations with strong environmental and conservation-focused messages. Before I lived on the Chesapeake Bay, I lived on the SF Bay and before that Santa Monica Bay (what can I say, I like Bays) so I know first hand how fragile and important these ecosystems are.  By partnering with these organizations, the SFOFF is drawing attention to the local restoration of the SF Bay but the festival also has global appeal.  Screening this year is The Cove, a documentary about  dolphin activist Ric O’Barry and his team as they launch  a covert operation to uncover the illegal practice in Japan of capturing thousands of wild dolphins for theme parks and slaughtering the imperfect ones for food. I love how the festival also programs films about how people enjoy the ocean. From surfing to sailing, there are several films that celebrate our love for water to remind us how connected we are to the big blue.

State of Green Business Forum

February 4, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

The one-day information-packed event coincides with the release of GreenBiz.com’s “State of Green Business 2010,” the acclaimed annual status report on corporate environmental trends and progress. Green Business is the economic story that has all eyes on it. From innovative new technologies that improve operational efficiencies, to marketing practices that are thriving in an age of radical transparency, the green business landscape is rapidly evolving. And in spite of tough economic times, forward-looking companies are leveraging green and sustainable practices to gain a competitive advantage, and are preparing for better times ahead.

The EcoPop Why:

In between screenings at the SF Ocean Film Festival, pop over to the PG&E Auditorium for a panel on “Green Marketing in the Age of Radical Transparency.”  Greenwashing is alive and well but it’s more and more challenging for companies to get away with it.  It’s difficult not to roll your eyes when you hear about Walmart going green but their ambitious plan to rate the sustainability of all consumer goods and reward the manufacturers of those goods with contracts and better shelf placement has the potential to have massive global impact on sustainable business practices. With speakers representing varying agendas, it’s bound to be an exciting conversation.

The Green Shows

February 14-17, 2010

New York, NY

The Official Why:

The GreenShows is the only premiere fashion event exclusively committed to eco- friendly, ethically sound, fair-trade fashion during New York Fashion Week. This 4- day event will feature a selection of eco-conscious fashion designers who have been given the opportunity, support and resources to show their collection under one roof. The GreenShows will follow a rigorous path, from top to bottom, to make sure the production is 100% environmentally friendly and energy efficient. From the runway to the lighting, the design team will use recycled, recyclable, and compostable material to create a beautiful and resource conscious layout as a backdrop to the collections. The GreenShows is the venue of choice to showcase the Fall/Winter 2010 collections from 10 eco-minded and global designers: Samantha Pleet, Gary Harvey, House Of Organic/Ekovaruhuset, Willian, deux fm, Joann Berman, Popomomo, Thieves by Sonja den Elzen, Vaute Couture, and C. Marchuska.

The EcoPop Why:

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with some love for sustainable fashion.  Deux fm’s motto, “love, think, eco, chic” says it all.   The 4 day event is presented by lifestyle partners: 311 E11: Village Green–a premier boutique collection of condominium residences targeted to be the first LEED-Gold certified building in the East Village; and Weleda, pioneers of organic and Biodynamic® skincare. Eco-conscious makeup and hair provided by DEX New York and John Masters Organics. I’ve shot with John Masters and he is  such a sweetheart.   If you haven’t visited his Soho salon, you must and while you indulge in a shiatsu scalp & hair treatment you might just get a doggy kiss from his sweet golden retriever Maya.  Of course it wouldn’t be a rocking green event without some green vodka to warm up the crowd.  Cold River Vodka is a handcrafted, estate grown potato vodka from Maine that is Gluten Free and has been rated “The Best American Vodka”. They are the only “Ground to Glass” distillery in North America and their Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg, ME is committed to green-friendly practices and sustainable agriculture.  Lastly, if you don’t have any eco couture to wear to the shows, at least cover up your un-organic, pesticide-soaked frock with Vaute Couture’s electric blue vegan coat. It is downright darlin’ and all net profits of the sale go to Farm Sanctuary.


Greener Gadget Conference

February 25, 2010

New York, NY

The Official Why:

he Greener Gadgets Conference tackles all of the issues surrounding energy efficiency and sustainable design, from innovative advances in packaging and product manufacturing to end-of-life recycling solutions. It also highlights ways in which electronics make a major impact by utilizing renewable energy in developing nations. The conference closes out with the incredibly popular Greener Gadgets Design Competition, highlighting a new class of sustainable product concepts, from those that create their own energy to those that minimize the need for any electricity at all.

The EcoPop Why:

Solar-powered back-packs? That’s for the local science fair.  This is where you get to see super innovative crazy mind-blowing green technology concepts that will tickle your inner geek even if you don’t think you have one.  The winner of the 2009 Design Competition was Tweet-A-Watt, a power meter that tweets your energy usage so your followers can see if you really walk the green talk after all.  DIY kits to build your own Tweet-A-Watt are now available for purchase.  You can vote on the 50 finalists for this year’s competition online and see the announcement of the winner at the conference.

Play Green Festival

February 26, 2010

Berkeley, CA

The Official Why:

The Bay Area’s premier eco-experiential event, where you’ll experience and learn how to play, live and work a greener lifestyle will be held at the Pauley Ball Room on the UC Berkeley campus. Join thousands of UC Berkeley students, campus and community supporters as they touch, taste, feel, experience and learn about the latest products, fashions, technology, services, sounds, cuisine and career opportunities from the very best local and national eco-friendly companies. Hosted by Cal Recreational Sports, admission to the ultimate eco-experiential festival is free.

The Ecopop Why:

Look, Berkeley knows green. The University of California, Berkeley, is one of only 15 colleges in the country to have earned the top score for environmentally friendly policies by The Princeton Review.  For the event itself, they haven’t published the schedule yet or the list of exhibitors but knowing Berkeley it’s unlikely to disappoint.

Maui Whale Festival

February 6-March 6

Maui, Hawaii

The Official Why:

Maui Whale Festival is an “umbrella” name for a series of fun-filled whale-themed events hosted on Maui by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation during the month of February. Most events are free or of low cost and open to the public. They draw together visitors and Maui residents of all ages, and offer opportunities to enjoy live music and local culture while learning about whales and the environment.

The EcoPop Why:

It’s not like you really need a reason to go to Maui in the bitter cold month of February but supporting the Pacific Whale Foundations is certainly a good one.  Their mission is to promote appreciation, understanding and protection of whales, dolphins, coral reefs and the planet’s oceans. Every year humpback whales leave their feeding grounds off Alaska and migrate to warmer climates for the winter with the majority picking Maui’s warm clear water  as their ocean playground. I like the way they think.  Due to illegal whaling, net entanglement and pollution, they are listed on the endangered species list. The festival hopes to spread awareness about the humpback’s plight and also celebrate its beauty.  They’ve scheduled all kinds of events including a 2 day symposium, “Watching Whales, Saving Whales,” a whale count and their signature event on February 20th, “Whale Day.” The event itself is committed to being a green event and appropriately only serving sustainable seafood approved by Seafood Watch.


EcoPop Planner January 2010

Your guide to the coolest eco events
that you must attend, support or at least tweet:

 

Choose Clean Water Conference: A Campaign for the Chesapeake and all of its Waters

January 10-12, 2010

Washington, DC

The Official Why:

2010 will be a critical year for Bay restoration.  The conference will reflect upon President Obama’s historic Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay restoration, the approaching deadline for federal Bay clean-up and the pending re-authorization of the Chesapeake Bay Program in Congress. Through ten workshops and multiple plenary sessions, we will focus on the most pressing issues facing the Chesapeake Bay Restoration effort, including: the role of agriculture in restoring clean water to the Bay, the need for more stringent stormwater policies in Bay states, the connection between land use and water quality, implementing the Obama Executive Order, and what to expect on the Bay-wide Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The conference will also highlight the Coalition’s 2010 policy priorities.

The Ecopop Why:

The Chesapeake Bay is a big ass deal whether you live anywhere near it but especially if you live near it and more than 16.6 million people do. First of all, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It is an incredibly complex ecosystem that includes important habitats and food webs like those yummy crabs and oysters we love so much but it is in a bad, bad, very bad state of health.  The oyster population has declined dramatically since the late 1970s due to a combination of over-harvesting, disease, pollution and natural predators. Today, the oyster population stands at about 2 percent of historic levels. The Bay supports 3,600 species of plant and animal life including my favorite bird the osprey and if I don’t hear the beautiful osprey call when I’m sailing in Annapolis I’ll be pissed.

According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2008 State of the Bay Report the Bay’s health rates a 28 out of 100 (a “pristine” Bay circa. 1600). At its worst in the early 1980s, the Bay would have scored a 23. A “saved Bay” would score a 70.  I’m blonde but I can subtract so that means we’ve got 42 points to go which is less then the 63 points Michael Jordan scored in a playoff game against the Boston Celtics in 1986. So let’s harness our inner Jordan and think of 2010 as our  “most points in one game” year for the Chesapeake!

The New Green Economy Conference: Aligning Science, Education, Markets

January 20-22, 2010

Washington, DC

The Official Why:

Marking a decade of history, The National Council for Science and The Environment’s signature national conference will engage leading thinkers and doers from a diversity of disciplines, sectors, and perspectives in a structured conversation about the meaning of the green economy and how investment in green education, research and jobs can help solve both the economic and environmental crises. The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) is a national non-partisan organization with a mission to improve the scientific basis for environmental decision making.

The Ecopop Why:

I admit workshops titled “Draft National Standard for Evaluation Green Technologies, Climate Mitigation Strategies, Products and Services Using LCA-Based Environmental Performance Assessment” scare me but they probably aren’t expecting alot of TV producers to show up at that one.  It seems like a really comprehensive conference covering many sectors so there might just be something for everyone. They did land eco superstars Van Jones and Paul Hawken to speak so you know at least you’ll be inspired.

Clean-Tech Investor Summit: Fostering Innovation & Investment Opportunities in Clean Technologies

January 20-21, 2010

Palm Springs, CA

The Official Why:

Held each winter in Palm Springs, CA, the event brings together leading investors, Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs, and service providers for two days of high-level presentations, conversations, and networking. Attendance is capped at 500 registrants to guarantee the optimum networking experience. The event has become widely recognized as the premier event for active investors and other stakeholders to network with major corporations and emerging clean-tech companies.

The Ecopop Why:

Palm Springs in winter, hello.  DC and most of the country are just c-c-cold! Record temps and record snow everywhere  so hanging out with rich guys in Palm Springs sounds pretty good.  Ok, investors-love em, or hate em-they fund things that we need like clean tech. What is clean tech? Clean technology includes the renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), information technology, green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, lighting, and many other appliances that are now more energy efficient. It is a means to create electricity and fuels with a smaller environmental footprint. And it is the need to make green buildings both more energy efficient and environmentally benign.  Overall, I’m sure there are way too many power point presentations for my taste but could be interesting to learn about all the cutting edge technology and which companies have cutting edge financing.

Sundance Film Festival 2010: This is the renewed rebellion. This is Sundance, reminded.

January 21-31, 2010

Park City, Utah

The Official Why:

The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent film, held each January in and around Park City, Utah. Presenting approximately 120 dramatic and documentary feature-length films in seven distinct categories and between 60 and 80 short films each year, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades.

The Ecopop Why:

Simply put, Sundance is the convergence of cool for 10 days. It’s where art and activism meet in eco-friendly snow boots. Yes, there is some Hollywood fakery and VIP parties you can’t get into, but the ideas presented at Sundance through film, art and music and yes, even corporate sponsorship reach the world through the media and have a big impact.  At it’s core, Sundance is a little film festival started by a man immensely dedicated to environmental issues. Robert Redford has been fighting on behalf of the wilderness since the early 70s. He is a founding member of the Natural Resources Defense Council and works tirelessly on issues of conservation, renewable energy and clean air and water. He founded Sundance Preserve and the Redford Center to further these causes.  He has used the powerful medium of film to spread awareness and has made sure his festival is as green as it can be by programming films with environmental messages and partnering with sponsors who are incorporating earth friendly practices into their business model.

At the festival this year is the world premiere of GASLAND (directed by Josh Fox):  A cross-country odyssey uncovers toxic streams, dying livestock, flammable sinks and weakening health among rural citizens on the front lines of the natural gas drilling craze.

Timberland serves as the Official Footwear and Outerwear Sponsor of the festival and provides jackets and earth-friendly boots to the 300 filmmakers as well as the Festival’s programming team. Festival goers will get a sneak peek at Timberland’s new Earthkeepers line of boots made with recycled materials and when they aren’t in a film screening they can go online and join the Earthkeepers movement.

Sundance has also partnered with FilterForGood a joint project by Brita (headquartered in Oakland–my old hood!) and Nalgene to help reduce bottled water waste by providing FilterForGood bottles and filtered water to attendees. Basically Nalgene supplies the reusable water bottles and Brita supplies the water for a perfect match made in reusable water bottle heaven. They also urge folks to sign a pledge to reduce their amount of plastic bottle waste. Considering there are about 50,000 attendees at Sundance Film Festival that’s an impressive feat.

Go Green Expo: The nation’s premier eco-friendly event

January 22-24, 2010

Los Angeles, CA

The Official Why:

To learn how green alternatives can positively change the way you impact the environment. Each of our small changes make a big impact.

The Ecopop Why:

LA babycakes. Yes, I have a weakness for sunny places–never mind you’ll be in the LA Convention Center the whole time.  Basically the point of going to the green expo is the chance to check out lots of cool green things at once and hear speakers (yes, Mariel Hemingway and Ed Begley, Jr will be there).  If I was going, I’d hit the Conscious Clothing booth to see up close their crazy gorgeous hemp bridal gowns. A stop at the Golden Path Alchemy booth would  be a must too because their Abundance Pumpkin Peel is insane and founder Ashley Beckman is incredibly knowledgeable and super sweet. Last but not least, I’m dying to check out the Let It Bee jewelry line.  Sales of these super cute necklaces and bracelets help support research for Colony Collapse Disorder which causes the disappearance of bee colonies, threatening the pollination of our agriculture and food supply chain. How brilliant is that? Overall, a good event for a good price.