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Planet U and the New Green University

by: Heather on 03/05/2008
Posted in: Activism

The following story is reprinted with permission from E - The Environmental Magazine, and features Michael M'Gonigle, author of Planet U.

Major Green Initiatives are Sweeping College Campuses

There's a new green force on college campuses, says E - The Environmental Magazine in its March/April 2008 cover story. In "Cleaner, Greener U.," E examines the many facets of the new campus environmental movement that's being compared to the passionate anti-war and equal rights activism of the 1960s.

"Climate change is our generation's civil rights movement," says Brianna Cayo Cotter, communications director for the Energy Action Coalition, which backed PowerShift 2007 at the University of Maryland last November. Drawing over 5,500 students, the event was the largest gathering of college students ever assembled to talk about solutions to global warming, a weekend of non-stop workshops, speakers and rallies. "We're at a crucial moment in history," Cotter said. "Climate change is an issue that's already impacting us, from the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains to the wildfires in California. We get that the steps taken today will end up being the future for tomorrow."

She is not alone in her enthusiasm. The green movement has become a force to be reckoned with on campuses, says E. Students are demanding changes -­ energy conservation, waste reduction, sustainable course offerings, organic food choices, and real climate legislation from Congress beyond the campus confines. So far, 497 school presidents have signed the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, which commits them to implementing a plan to go "carbon neutral" within two years of signing.

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by: Heather on 02/25/2008
Posted in: Activism

Ethan Smith, author of Building an Ark: 101 Solutions to Animal Suffering gave an inspiring presentation on the weekend here on Gabriola Island, where he covered a host of practical ideas for everyone to heed the call to compassionate arms. Thanks Ethan - it was lovely to have you here!

Ethan's presentation dovetails well with this week's edition …

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BC Carbon Tax

by: Heather on 02/20/2008
Posted in: Activism

BC has just become the second Canadian province (after Quebec) to adopt a carbon tax. According to the CBC, "carbon-based fuels -- including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, coal and home heating fuel -- will be taxed at $10 per tonne of greenhouse gases generated, starting July 1, 2008. That will translate into a new 2.4 cents per litre …

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Ethical treats for Valentine's Day

by: Heather on 02/06/2008
Posted in: Activism

Planning on buying sweets for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day? Make sure that you choose an ethical treat by consulting The Better World Shopping Guide before you head to the shops. Better yet, wrap up a copy of the Shopping Guide to accompany that organic, fair-traded chocolate!

The Better World Shopping Guide

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Dan Chiras spearheads efforts to rebuild Greensburg, Kansas

by: Heather on 02/04/2008
Posted in: Activism

This just in from Dan Chiras, author of The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy and EcoKids, and co-author of The Natural Plaster Book and Superbia!:

NSP Author/Green Building Expert Dan Chiras Leads Design-Build Team to Rebuild Greensburg, Kansas

On January 14, 2008, author and green building expert Dan Chiras led a team of green home designers and builders from Denver, Colorado to meet with residents of Greensburg, Kansas to discuss ways they can assist in the green rebuilding of the town.

Greensburg, Kansas, a community of 1,000 people, was nearly completely destroyed on May 4, 2007 by one of the most powerful tornados ever witnessed in the United States -- one of the consequences of global climate change.

"The tornado leveled 95% of the buildings and killed ten residents in this small community in the western part of the state," Chiras noted. "Homes, businesses, schools, and churches were demolished by the storm. The devastation is almost unimaginable."

Soon after the tragedy, though, the town's citizens rallied behind the idea of rebuilding the town green, creating the nation's first green town. Their vision calls energy-efficient buildings powered by renewable energy, including wind and solar energy, both of which are abundant in the sunny wind-swept plains of western Kansas.

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