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.