Greener Good has been busy creating a new show called Greener Good What Is and Greener Good How To. The show will feature how to do something or what something is in each short 6 to 12-minute episode. Here is a preview of our upcoming show.
This week two Oregon filmmakers will debut a documentary they made about farmers dedicated to sustainably-grown produce and grains and the challenges they faced. The film Gaining Ground is a joint work by Elaine Velazquez and Barbara Bernstein that premieres this week in Northwest Portland, Or.
“This is the food documentary that not only explores the problems of our food system but through personal stories shows what we can do to seek solutions,” states a release about the film.
The filmmakers shed light on the experiences of urban farmer activists against the landscape of Richmond California's inner city, the daily lives and struggle of a small family farm in rural Oregon, and a large farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley as it transitions from grass seed to organic grains.
“From farms in Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley to underserved communities of color in Richmond, California, Gaining Ground reveals the tenacity and courage of these diverse urban and rural farmers, committed to serving and empowering their communities,” states the release.
Bernstein, who produced the film in collaboration with the director Velazquez, said in an email that the pair have long been interested in food as a social justice issue. As they worked on the film they discovered “how powerful food issues are in highlighting the connections between the concerns of diverse rural and urban communities” she said.
The Portland premiere of Gaining Ground will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sep. 30, at Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Avenue in Northwest Portland. The film will be shown again at the same time on Thursday, Oct. 1. There will be panel discussions with the filmmakers and farmers featured in the film on both nights.
Tickets can be purchased online and at the door. Cost of admission is on a sliding scale from $7 to $10.
Working at a library has introduced me to many different books. Just the other day, as I was cataloging new books for our middle school, a shiny non-fiction book caught my eye. That book is listed here and is what helped create this post; it was about the water we use and the importance of our water usage. I flipped through it and realized how important water usage really was. I feel that many people know there is something wrong but don’t want to face the reality of it. The truth is we need to pay attention and start helping nature just as it has helped us.
I love this planet and I want to help protect it in any way possible. This is why I decided to share this list with everyone. There are plenty of books that bring our attention to important issues in our world and try to teach us how we can help. These books can help increase our environmental awareness as well as our effort to undo damage caused to our environment. After all, the least we could do is help the land we stand on. We wouldn’t be alive without it.
The Giving Tree
By: Shel Silverstein
There are plenty of children’s books that have a strong message to share. Many of these messages may go unnoticed due to the ages targeted. There are plenty of books I read when I was young and completely fell in love with. Now that I have reread them as an adult I have come to understand what the book was trying to tell me. One of these stories I have found to hold great insight into our effects on nature is The Giving Tree. At first it may seem like a sad story about a boy and a tree, however, when read carefully, one can spot a deeper meaning behind the story. The boy represents humanity and the tree clearly represents nature. When seen in this light, it is clear what our effects have been on the environment. This is a great book to teach kids how they should care for the planet and why. It’s also a pretty good book for adults to learn the same lesson.
By: Dr. Seuss
A famous and well-loved tale is The Lorax. As I mentioned before, many people may overlook the deeper meaning in a children’s book for exactly the reason that it was written for children. The Lorax, however, is a very bold and clear book that makes a statement on our treatment of nature. It is a good, short book that identifies the damage done to our planet. This book doesn’t fail to give a reason why the damage is being done in the first place. It makes us question our character as well as the fact that we need to open up our eyes and start noticing the damage done.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
--Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Just a Dream
By: Chris Van Allsburg
Another great read is Just a Dream. What I like best about this book is the realistic viewpoint portrayed by the main character at the beginning of the book. As much as we would like to say that we are environmentally aware, there are still plenty of people, including ourselves, that don’t really see the severity of our environmental problems. We like to downplay what is going on like the boy in this book. That is what makes this book great though, it not only helps reveal the reality of our effects on nature to the main character. It also helps reveal that reality to the reader.
By: Carl Hiassen
Hoot is a great book that shows the importance of helping our environment and its animals. It is especially great for kids since they are still at an age where they might not realize how they can help. It shows that speaking out for the creatures of this planet is important. It also opens our minds to the fact that we can make a difference and that we should try to make a difference when we run into an issue that should be stopped.
The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods
By: Julia Butterfly Hill
The Legacy of Luna brings awareness to the dangers that the Redwoods are, and have been, facing. This book helps teach what tragedies can result from the loss of our trees and shows the dedication of a bold woman who refused to see them taken down. Reading this book can help inspire one to take action to save the environment. Everyone can make a difference and this book proves that.
Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts about How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products
By: Stephen Leahy
If there is one thing that humans don’t realize could become a major problem, it is the use of water. Your Water Footprint brings the importance of this issue into perspective. It seems that water is abundant and that we will never run out, however, this book helps show how much water is available as well as how much is used. We need to be careful with our water usage and if it isn’t obvious, reading this book may help reveal the real facts of our water usage and the effects this could have on everyone.
The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery
By: Sandra Markle
A problem that has been growing over time is the decline of honey bees. This may not seem like a big deal but it can greatly affect us. Without honeybees, many food sources would become scarce. The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees helps explain the decline as well as efforts that are being made to save the bees. It also explains different possible causes that are causing this rapid decline of bee colonies and once we understand the problem, we may find ways to help prevent it.
The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World
By Andrew C. Revkin
Global warming has been brought up throughout the years. It has been mentioned enough times that people don’t seem as concerned as they may have been about it before. The North Pole Was Here follows a New York Times reporter on a trip to the North Pole where scientists are attempting to figure out the causes of Arctic warming. Since the Arctic is so far from populated areas, many of us may not realize how this can affect us. This book reminds us of all the damage being caused to our planet everywhere and the effects that global warming is causing, even in places far away from society where they can affect Arctic animals as well as us.
By: Joy Williams
Many of us are aware of increased environmental damage. However, there are plenty of people that don’t realize the severity of these problems. Others may just turn their backs on these issues. Ill Nature does a great job at reminding all its readers that something needs to be done to save this planet from ourselves. At times this book seems critical and harsh but we can’t escape the reality of all the damage done and stand idly by while everything falls apart. That is why this book is great, especially where motivation and inspiration are concerned. This book grasps the attention of its readers by brutally revealing the effects of environmental damage.
Going, Going, Gone? Animals and Plants on the Brink of Extinction and How You Can Help
By: Malcolm Tait
I feel this title says it all. This is a great resource to use when trying to think of ways to help endangered animals. It has an extensive list and each page has a variety of ways in which you can help. This is important for everyone to know. Endangered animals need help and everyone should step in and help wherever possible. We need to remember that we share this planet with a multitude of other creatures and that much of the damage and lowered numbers of animals is caused by us. Books like this are a necessity. When animals go extinct, it can have a large impact on the habitat in which they used to reside and that can in turn have an impact on humanity. We can’t ignore the declining numbers of endangered animals.
That concludes this book list. I know there are plenty of other books that help increase our environmental awareness. I would love to learn about some others. If there are any suggestions please let me know.
Angela's Sacred Heart is a film about the innocence of a young woman who is influenced by peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol at a party and ends up in a difficult situation. I think the film says a lot about the importance of communication in our society and how improving our communication with each other can lead to better lives for all. There is an underlying message of how imbibing judgement altering substances can create havoc in one's life. Teaching our youth to create their life their way could go a long way in keeping our young adults from harm and especially protect the safety of young women.
I had great fun filming and taking photos behind the scenes. All of the props you see in the photos were staged by the production stylist and no drugs or alcohol were consumed during the filming. In fact everyone had a great time creating something artistic with such a great message. Here are a couple of photos from the set and a behind the scenes roll.
When you first think of WALL-E, you probably think of a light children’s film about a cute robot.
The 2008 Pixar film's genius is a moving story about a solitary robot named WALL-E marooned on Earth to clean up the planet, which has become too toxic for humans to inhabit. WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-Class) himself is that hero robot who has survived over 700 years by recycling. By gathering up pieces of useful garbage and storing it in his garbage-truck home, Wall-E always manages to have spare parts that he can use to repair himself. He chances upon a fellow robot, EVE, and falls in love at first sight. What follows is a story of romance and adventure aboard the Axiom, where humans are obese due to extreme laziness.
While it captures your attention with its amiable characters and astounding animation, the film is dispersed with subtext aplenty. It addresses issues like consumerism, corporatism, nostalgia, environmental problems, waste management, the immense impact humans have on the Earth, and risks to human civilization and its home planet.
The film itself is a kind of masterpiece of recycling, with a satirical take on humanity and where we are headed as individuals. It talks of real issues that the world, and especially densely populated areas, are dealing with today – and even more so in the future. Katherine Ellison asserts that “Americans produce nearly 400 million tons of solid waste per year but recycle less than a third of it, according to a recent Columbia University study.” Landfills are filling up so quickly that the UK may run out of needed space by the year 2017.
WALL-E is a movie with so much heart and soul. Despite being an animated film, the chemistry between WALL-E and EVE is endearing and induces tears. The message of living within one’s means and caring for Mother Earth, our first home, is deeply rooted into one’s mind.
It is of no surprise that WALL-E won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing at the 81st Academy Awards. One of 2008’s biggest hits both with children and adults, it is a must watch for anyone who loves movies and the environment.