Polar Ice Melting Faster Than Expected

NBC Nightly News featured a story on how fast the world’s ice sheets are melting, attributing the cause to climate change. 344 billion metric tons of ice are melting in Antarctica and Greenland each year – that is the weight of more than 1 million Empire State Buildings. The melting accounts for 20% of sea level rise in the last decade.

James Balog from Chasing Ice, Documentary Film winner of the 2012 EMA Awards, discussed how many of the world’s major cities are on the coasts, and even small changes in sea level rise could displace millions of people in the next couple centuries.

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New Sweater-izer App Benefits EMA and Carter’s Kids

Join the charitable movement this holiday season by Sweater-izing For A Cause” to support School Play Spaces & Gardens, a joint program of Carter’s Kids & EMA. Through this partnership with Fun is the Answer and Carter’s Kids, we are building customized playgrounds and edible gardens to promote fitness, healthy living and self-esteem of children at low income schools, all with a sense of humor.

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Jason Mraz Performs 93 Million Miles on the Rooftop of Ed Begley Jr.’s House

As part of Climate Reality Project’s 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report, Jason Mraz and Mona Tavacoli give us a glimpse of the ways (EMA Board Member) Ed Begley Jr. is living the green life while performing 93 Million Miles from the rooftop of Ed’s house.

 

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Oprah Winfrey Jumping into the Organics Business

The great and powerful O is going deep into the other big O – organics. According to filings for the US Patent and Trademark Organization, several applications for “Oprah’s Organics” were filed late last month. The filings are to use the name for bath soaps, sunscreen, massage oils, and hair products, as well as for organic salad dressings and frozen vegetables, soups, beverages and snack dips. Applications for “Oprah’s Farm” for a beverage and catering service and “Oprah’s Harvest” were also submitted.

This is important for a number of reasons. For one, Oprah’s reach is massive, and for her to be able to spread the gospel of organic products to those who otherwise would be shut off from the organic world is a great thing.

Oprah will be making products that come straight from her farm in Maui.  Continue reading

Roger Ebert on Chasing Ice

Originally posted by Roger Ebert on the Sun Times

Esteemed film critic Roger Ebert has some incredibly powerful things to say about the 2012 EMA Awards Best Documentary Film winner, Chasing Ice.

There have been several mass extinctions during the unsettled history of planet Earth, but mankind is the first species with the intelligence to observe one in its early stages. “Chasing Ice” documents the melting of glaciers, sometimes at startling speed over a short time, and it links this activity to global warming with an opening montage of flood and drought. No one who survived Hurricane Sandy and its subsequent blizzard will require such a montage.

But let’s say you already accept the reality of climate change. Or that you don’t. Either way, “Chasing Ice” by Jeff Orlowski is heart-stopping in its coverage of the brave and risky attempt by a scientist named James Balog and his team of researchers on the Extreme Ice Survey, where “extreme” refers to their efforts almost more than to the ice. At a time when warnings of global warming were being dismissed by broadcast blabbermouths as “junk science,” the science here is based on actual observation of the results as they happen. When opponents of the theory of evolution say (incorrectly) that no one has ever seen evolution happening, scientists are seeing climate change happening right now — and with alarming speed. Here is a film for skeptics who say “we don’t have enough information.”

James Balog has photographed many stories and films for National Geographic, often about endangered species. This time he bit off more than most people would be terrified to chew. During repeated expeditions to Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and Montana, his team took stop-motion cameras, anchored them in place, and shielded them from violent winter weather. Some were destroyed, and they returned with improved installations, using ingenious methods to match up camera locations in a constantly evolving ice-scape of blinding white.

The Extreme Ice Survey has been collecting the results since 2007. The images in this film are mostly three years old, but definitive. We see glaciers retreating from ice mountains to expose the rock they rest on. One glacier loses the height in ice of the Empire State Building. We join a team of Balog’s scientists as they hunker down inside anchored tents and wait days to film in real time an event they know is about to happen: The “calving” of an iceberg as a large chunk breaks off into the sea. I believe I saw some of this same footage on the news, but this film provides the context, and an idea of the scale I didn’t get on TV: The chunk that breaks off is the size of lower Manhattan! Continue reading

Upcycling: Turn Old Phones Into Book Ends

We found this stylish upcycle project on A Beautiful Mess. Not only do the old phones make great book ends, they are also a fun conversation starter for the under six crowd who are growing up in a world without landlines and will probably have no idea what they are.

See below for step-by-step instructions.

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5 Simple Things You Can Do Right Now to Start Living Green

Starting an eco-friendly lifestyle can be intimidating. There’s so much information out there and so much to accomplish, yet the good thing about going green is that every little bit counts! Turning off the lights when leaving a room – that’s green! Buying organic – that’s green too! Gold stars for everyone.

Here are a few very simple action items that can start you on your path towards a green lifestyle. Try to work these into your daily routine and before you know it, you won’t even think twice about any of them – it’ll be second nature.

1. Reusable Bags. Stock pile a collection and keep them in various places (hall closet, trunk of your car, in your garage, etc.) so you’ll never forget to bring them with you. And don’t just use them at the supermarket – take reusable bags to the farmer’s market, the book store, the hardware store – basically any place where you can save a plastic or paper bag by bringing your reusable one. And don’t forget to give your reusable bags a regular washing.

2. Recycle, Upcycle, Donate. These days, recycling goes far beyond just bottles and cans. Many cities have set up intricate recycling systems and can take most forms of plastic, paper, or glass. This includes things like the packaging your latest gadget came in, take-out containers, cereal boxes, and everything in between.

Donate things like clothes, furniture, and toys. It’ll save energy and resources – new ones won’t have to be made!

Upcycle! Upcycling involves taking old things and repurposing them as crafty new things. Like this, this, and this. Are you a lover of DIY projects? If so, upcycling is your jam. Continue reading