A movie that came out late 2010, Carbon Nation, discusses the role American can have in the renewable energy sector to reduce the carbon footprint. Whether you are believer in man induced global warming or not, it makes a compelling case for why renewable energy is a good move for the United States to invest in.
This non-partisan documentary provides compelling evidence that dealing with climate change can boost the economy, increase national & energy security and promote health and a clean environment.
The movie can be purchased via DVD or downloaded through all the various online movie retailers.
Other short videos and movies on renewabale energy that are also recommended;
Many companies in the beginning of the New Year purchase new electronic equipment. It is important to discard e-waste appropriately by using e-waste vendors that are certified by the Basel Action Network e-Stewards program. This system of certification is an independent audit that ensures recyclers do not throw e-waste into landfills and to only send to developing countries that have responsible and safe means of destruction and disposal.
There was a responsible electronics recycling act (HR 2284/ S. 1270) that was introduced in Congress in June of 2011. This Act would prevent the export of non-functional or shredded electronic scrap to developing countries and make it illegal to dump electronics into the landfill. It has been passed down to the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment but as of today, the status is unknown.
Two great videos on the issues of e-waste;
Story of Electronics: Produced by the same organization as the Story of Stuff. An easy 20 minute video on where electronics go once they have no use.
60 Minutes Wasteland: First aired in 2009 and again in 2010, this gripping and telling investigative reporting on e-waste issues in China.
Go to eco-officiency’s website to learn about recommended places to recycle or donate unwanted computers and electronics.
Dive! is a documentary by filmmaker Jeremy Seifert about dumpster diving for perfectly good food.
The 45-minute documentary follows Seifert and his friends as they explore the alleys and backstreets Los Angeles
grocery stores in search of good food tossed away by Trader Joes, Safeway, Whole Foods, Vons and others. These stores throw away good food usually the day before an expiration date. Often these expiration dates are suggestions and does not necessarily mean that the food is bad. In fact, as you see in this movie whole dumpsters are being filled with good, fresh and expensive food.
The Department of Agriculture estimated in 1996 that recovering just 5 percent of the food that is wasted could feed four million people a day; recovering 25 percent would feed 20 million people. Today we recover less than 2.5 percent. While individual Americans throw away a large percentage of that after buying the food and bringing it home to their refrigerator, a frightening amount ends up being tossed by grocery stores before it can be purchased.
And why isn’t it being given to homeless shelters or food banks? Well some of it is but it all depends on the store’s procedures and if they have someone who comes and picks it up. Ideally, it would be best if these companies would offer this service to take this food to the shelters or food banks directly.
Another good book on the subject of food waste is American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half Of Its Food and What you Can do About it, by Jonathon Bloom.
Recently at the Boulder Film Festival the movie, Bag It! was presented. A very entertaining, funny and delightful film about how plastic affects our life. Featuring Jeb based in Telluride, a normal guy, just trying to find out the answers about plastic and how it affects our environment, community, oceans and health. It provides excellent statistics and information about how plastic gets consumed in our daily life. You can purchase the DVD online or go to their ‘Showings’ page to see when it will be coming to your area.
They also have a ‘Take Action’ page of specific actions you can take to eliminate plastic from your life.
No Impact Man is a story about Colin Beavan who decides for one year to eliminate his personal impact and change he and his family’s lifestyle to be more green. They makes some hard sacrifices such as giving up electricity for 6 months, no elevators, toilet paper or cars. The first reaction seems extreme, but through his chronicles you realize that humans have a great capacity for adjustment. His wife, Michelle, initially struggled although she was supportive of the project. At the end you clearly see she is happier, they have improved communications and really became a convert for the lifestyle.
Another great chronicle of how living life sustainably doesn’t have to be hard, it is just different. A big payoff is the money savings but more than that you see a family who enjoys each other and life again.