Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Five Top Earth Day Selections from the Web

In honor of Earth Day, I decided to put together some web highlights that I felt were original and creative approaches to dealing with the environment and sustainability, a topic which unfortunately can be cheapened with easy solutions, like changing your lightbulbs and buying hemp t-shirts. Not that there's anything wrong with these, but the overall message that needs to be conveyed is that we need to do more. We need to do 10 things, not 1 thing, if we really care about the planet. So here are Carrie's top 5, please let me know what you think and feel free to addd...
1. The Women on the Web, the new women's web site currently in beta focuses on current events and women's issues, and offers a celebrity editorial lineup including Candice Bergen, Marlo Thomas, Leslie Stahl, Whoopi Goldberg, and others, features a cartoon essay by Jane Wagner that offers a refreshing look at some serious problems. Check it out!

2. With the same humor and humanity he exuded in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore spells out 15 ways we can address climate change, from buying a hybrid car to inventing a hotter brand name for global warming. First, though, comes a hilarious set of stories from The New Gore, who turns out to be a stand-up comedian. The former Vice President has plenty of joke material, and he's funnier than you've ever seen him. Then he gets down to grittier matters with a list of actions ordinary people can take to stem the tide of global warming. His message: Doing something is easier than you think. This is from February 2006, at the annual TED conference in Monterey.

3. Michael Pollen's "Why Bother" in the Sunday magazine Green Issue of The New York Times, offers fresh insights into why we should bother to take steps now to help avoid the calamities of global warming, but also affirms our tendency to do the easiest thing and why we have to resist. He uses the metaphor of gardening to get us back to our "roots," so to speak, and discusses everything from photosynthesis to Wendell Berry, to cheap energy consumption. "The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world," he states.

4. The Sundance Channel Eco Biz site features some great videos, including a new one profiling Mark Spellun, editor of Plenty magazine, that covers all issues green. The video highlights how the magazine is put together and what issues they focus on.

5. Also from Plenty: "Spring is HERE and in honor of Earth Day, Jessica Tzerman shared a roundup of Plenty’s favorite “green gear” picks for the season. Need a new umbrella to stay dry in April showers but don’t want it to end up in a landfill when the umbrella inevitably breaks or gets lost? Try the biodegradable Brelli. When it’s nice out, a set of reusable, stackable lunch carriers keeps your picnic on the green and narrow. Just make sure to remember Ella Vickers’ recycled sail tote when you’re grocery shopping. Looking for other ways to take advantage of the sunshine on a Saturday afternoon? Why not break in a pair of Simple’s new eco-sneaks with a walk in the park. You can even catch up on phone time with Iqua’s new solar-powered Bluetooth headset—the first-ever—while you’re out there. Or if you’re feeling active, grab a few friends and a fair trade football or basketball. And as long as you’re out and about smelling the flowers, snag a bloom or two (with permission, of course) to bring home with you. With Ron Gilad’s VaseMakers, you can turn any can, jar, or cup into a receptacle worthy of any flower’s power.

Happy reading, viewing, and recycling, and Happy Earth Day!

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