Did you know about the Green Festival?

I recently learned of the upcoming Green Festival to be held in Seattle March 28-29, and immediately signed up to volunteer! I'm completely excited, and not just because of the free organic cotton t-shirt I'll apparently get. What a fantastic opportunity to contribute to a great cause, meet a ton of people passionate about sustainability and green solutions, and absorb a lot of great information. The Green Festival will also be held in Denver (May 2-3), Chicago (May 16-17), Washington DC (Oct 10-11), and San Francisco (Nov 13-15) - check it out if you're in or near these cities!

Green Festivals are a joint venture between Green America, a leading national green economy organization, and Global Exchange, a leading international human rights organization. They are “parties with a purpose” – weekend long events that showcase the green economy, celebrate what’s working in communities, and help and motivate people, businesses and government to take the next steps towards creating more sustainable communities.

Each Green Festival is an amazing two day event centered around educating and celebrating sustainable economy, ecological balance, and social justice. There will apparently be over 150 speakers, how-to-workshops, green films, interactive activities, locally harvested vegetarian food, an organic beer and wine garden (you know where to find me...), and over 350 green business exhibitors at each festival. According to greenfestivals.org, Green Festival "is the largest sustainability event in the world and continues to grow year after year" with 30,000-40,000 people in attendance at each Festival!

At the first Green Festival in Seattle last year, 97% of all event refuse was diverted from the landfill, making the event a "practice what we preach" enterprise... but how much refuse was collected and subsequently diverted?

* Total waste collected: 16, 369 lbs
* Reusable content: 15, 839 lbs
* Total waste to landfill (3%): 530 lbs

Imagine that the next time you're about to toss that bottle, can, or newspaper... toss it right into the recycling bin instead - it's just as easy!

The Leap From Intention to Action

From a thought-provoking discussion I just had last week, I’ve been pondering the following for days: “Taking the step from intention to action involves crossing a very large chasm.” Often, people want to make the “right” choice in a given situation, but suffer from analysis paralysis in trying to determine exactly what the right choice is. In most situations we all know what the right choice is but, often, we eschew the “right” choice for taking the path of least resistance because it is easiest. However, what if the ”right“ choice becomes simply, the easy choice? I am passionate about many things, but at the top of my list reside two things that are intrinsically connected: the environment (our global health) and wellness (our personal health). It’s now time to take the easy choices in both.

After reading the following recent article: Climate change could be even worse than feared, it became a no-brainer for me to take action in the form of starting this blog as a way to discuss, learn, and educate myself and others about issues that are important on both a personal and global level. The article reminds us that it has been just over a year since the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its landmark report warning of rising sea levels, expanding deserts, more intense storms and the extinction of up to 30 percent of plant and animal species by 2050 if average global temperatures continue to rise. However, while this prediction was alarming enough, “recent climate studies suggest that report significantly underestimates the potential severity of global warming over the next 100 years. Greenhouse gas emissions have grown by an average of 3.5 percent a year from 2000 to 2007, more than three times the 0.9 percent growth rate in the 1990s.”

This is a dramatic call to action for all of us. Choosing to act at a personal, familial, and local level to protect the well-being of ourselves and that of those around us, extending outwards to the rest of the world, is an easy choice to make. We all have a voice; it’s an easy choice to use them, in whatever way we can. In the words of William James, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” Rather than bury our heads in the sand at this dire forecast, we must acknowledge that each one of us can do something, each day, to alter the current trajectory of events.

I look forward to embarking on this exciting journey to discovery and action and I invite you to join me... I welcome your comments, thoughts, and inspirations.