I’m live tweeting from the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA all weekend. You can follow along at @vanlenning, @Ecolocalizer or get the ecolocalizer Twitter widget Box.
Founder Kenny Ausubel coined the word bioneers in 1990 to describe “an emerging culture of social and scientific innovators who are mimicking nature’s operating instructions to serve human ends while enriching the web of life.”
Of course I’ll be following up with a report back of the most inspiring and exciting ideas and projects.
You can also see the Bioneers keynote speakers streamed live Saturday and Sunday morning.
Check out some past videos on the Bioneers Youtube Channel. Here’s Brock Dolman from Bioneers 2009 speaking about water & conservation, appropriate for today’s Blog Action Day theme. Dolman is a watershed and permaculture expert at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center‘s WATER Institute.
In a beautiful and rare moment of political agreement, all the parties of Marin have lined up in support of Measure T. The measure would require the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) to seek voter approval before spending up to $30 million on a proposed desalination plant in San Rafael, a costly, energy intensive mega-project.
Desalination plants are notorious for turning out to be much more expensive that proponents promise. To give just one example, Continue reading »
I just got a call from Christina Bertea of Greywater Action to tell me about their awesome event called Water Works that is happening every Saturday and Sunday in September. I had a chance last spring to sit in on one of their greywater training workshops for a laundry-to-landscape system and wrote an article on it. It got my curiosity bones jumping, so I’m definitely going to check this out.
From the announcement:
Water Works is an effort to make sustainability appealing by showing that it can be attractive, whimsical, intriguing, and just plain fun affordable as well. Water Works has artists and tinkerers weigh in on the water conservation question and has lots of functional exhibits to show for it, plus lots of activities for kids too.
Join 6 dynamic artist-designers as they rethink our daily relationship to water: personal hygiene, appliances and graywater, gardening and landscaping, recreation, food production, waste management, rainwater storage and management.
Every Saturday and Sunday in September: 11am -6pm at 5809 Ayala Avenue in North Oakland.
9.18 DL WEST MARRIN “Hydro-mimicry & Changing Our Perceptions of Water” 3PM
9.19 BETSY DAMON (Keepers of the Waters) “Water Revealed” 3PM
preceded by ANKA DRAUGELATES, “Ocean Music”
9.25 ELDER & BERTEA “Water Works and Future Think” 4PM
9.26 GIL FRIEND, JANE BYRD, AURORA MAHASSINE, MARTIN BERMUDEZ 4PM
“UrbanArchitecture and EcoSystems Surfaces”
Check out the blog to learn more
During this week leading up to the Spring Equinox, find your balance with a mix of cultural, artistic, political, and relaxing events.
Once in a while a week comes along when a handful of worthy events conspire to share the same time slot, leaving one with no other alternative than to toss a coin to determine which one to attend. This week it seems Thursday is that night.
Every day is Earth Day: We’ll start with two eco-related events on Thursday. The first is the premier of a fascinating 4-part series called “Ecology Emerges” by Shaping San Francisco that kicks-off at the Humanist Hall Thursday night at 7:30pm. The series gives an overview of the development of ecology activism in the Bay Area over the past 50 years based on a collection of 23 oral histories gathered by local historian Chris Carlsson.
The second is Rainforest Action Network’s 25th Anniversary Kick-off Celebration from 7:00pm – 10:30pm at Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill on Lakeside Drive.
Speaking in Tongues: Alternatively, you can appreciate diversity and explore multi-lingualism with the free Diversity Film Series. This week’s showing is Speaking in Tongues, which follows the stories of four San Francisco public schoolchildren enrolled in Chinese and Spanish language-immersion programs while grappling with the debate over bilingual education. It from 7-9:00pm at Wildwood School Auditorium in Piedmont. Finally, the Oakland Food Policy Council‘s meets from 5-7:30 Thursday at City Hall. On the meeting’s agenda is a review of the outline of OFPC’s first “Strategic Plan for Transforming the Oakland Food System”. Continue reading »
Last week I attended parts of the first and last days of Greywater Action’s Installation Course. My role there was simply to observe and to report, but I am definitely hooked on the greywater movement now. You can read the story on Oakland Local.
And a movement it is. Advocates for water conservation & efficiency, rainwater capture from roofs and pavement, permeable surfaces, and greywater systems are all around us in the guise of landscapers, plumbers, contractors, cafe and other business owners, urban farmers, and regular citizens, etc. They are the advanced guard and avant garde of building a sustainable water culture.
And with the change in CA’s plumbing code allowing for wider use of greywater systems, the underground is coming into the light of day. Greywater and rainwater harvesting are quickly becoming recognized as an important strategies in long-term water conservation planning.
My current water conservation repertoire is decent, albeit limited. Developing an awareness of my water use was the first step, which was perhaps motivated by simple curiosity. Where does my water come from? Where does it go? The answers to those questions depended on where I lived. Then I started hearing reports of local water battles and when I moved to California of the shortage in rainfall and therefore snowpack that has led to drought. Add to that my exposure when traveling abroad to communities that either lacked access to fresh, clean water or fighting against privatization or theft of local water.
I gained a much deeper appreciation of water for the precious resource it is. Continue reading »
I’ll leave others to review Avatar and Night at the Museum 2–here are my recommendations of the best documentary films I saw over the past year. Yes, call me a docu-geek, I probably watch more documentaries than other genres (thank you netflix!)–though animated cartoons come a close second! If you’re wondering why “The Yes Men Fix the World” isn’t on here–I just haven’t had a chance to see it, though I’m a big fan. Most have links to the official sites with trailers for viewing.
1)Planet Earth BBC Series: I know I’m a bit tardy with this one, but I only recently came across it–then I was addicted for a while. What a gorgeous, awesome, mysterious globe we live on! Nearly every scene is stunning. My favorite? The birds of paradise. No, wait, the cute polar bear cubs and awesome whales. No, actually it’s the zombie ants whose brains get taken over by viruses and then dissolved. True story. I sometimes suspect that this is what has happened to me.
Continue reading »