Filed under: General, Green education | Tags: Berkeley Project, BMUN Sustainability, Claremont Canyon Conservancy, community events, community service, UC Berkeley, volunteering
Hello everyone. I’m sorry for not posting in a while. With the Thanksgiving vacation this week, and finals approaching, I have been a bit lax in keeping up with the blog. Today I wanted to let you know about a really great community service day that Berkeley Model United Nations members participated in on November 15th, 2008. It’s called the Berkeley Project and is a community-wide volunteer day in which thousands of people are dispersed to tons of locations across the East Bay for projects ranging from gardening and landscaping to mural decoration and public works projects. The project is in its third year, having been pioneered in 2006 by two Berkeley undergraduate students – read the story here.
Our group of 15 volunteers was assigned to a site in the Berkeley Hills called the Claremont Canyon Conservancy. It’s a beautiful area, which I had never had the pleasure of visiting before, and we were lucky to have a beautiful sunny day in which to work. We split into small groups with some other volunteers, and were working on landscaping projects – mostly removing an invasive weed called the French broom which is displacing many locally growing plants in certain areas of the canyon. (Check out a really big one that Rachel removed to the left!) Some of us also reseeded a cleared area with California native plants. And in this picture below, we are spreading out bark across a hillside to prevent erosion.
We had a great time! I’ve included a few of the best pictures from the event here. For those of you living in or near the Bay Area, I encourage you to consider participating in the Berkeley Project day that’s happening in the spring of 2009. They haven’t set a date yet, but check back on their website for more details next year.
Here’s one last image that our media editor and photographer Francis put together.
Filed under: Event Planning, Green education | Tags: education, GreenFest, San Francisco, sustainability
I spent a day this weekend attending GreenFest in San Francisco. If you’ve never heard of these amazing festivals that are being held in major cities around the U.S., you should try to check one out! If you’ve already missed one that’s been held locally, there’s always next year.
What is it: It’s the largest sustainability (“green consumer-living event”) event of the year , and San Francisco’s is the largest in the nation. It’s been done in SF for about 7 years now, and from what I hear, this one was by far the largest!
Who is there: Virtually every company, organization, non-profit, and vendor in the Bay Area who has anything to do with producing or selling green products (whether they’re sustainably made and harvested foods, energy-efficient appliances, etc), educating the public about sustainability in the home and your local community, showcasing programs and initiatives that are aiming to implement sustainable practices throughout the world, and helping people become healthier – “socially, economically and environmentally.” And of course any citizen or nearby resident who is interested in eating delicious sustainable food, listening to live music, learning more about ways to help the environment, and more!
Like BMUN, the GreenFest is also working to become waste-neutral. They had staff on-hand at every trash facility helping visitors of the conference determine which bin (compost, recycling, or “landfill”) each of your waste items should go into. Even more impressively, the GreenFest offsets one-hundred percent of its electricity emissions with renewable energy sources.
It was an inspiring thing to see so many people come together to learn and educate others about a common cause – sustainability for now, and the future.
Were you there? I’d love to hear about your experience – just leave a comment below!
Filed under: General | Tags: berkeley model united nations, going green, stumble, StumbleUpon, sustainability
It appears that our website is starting to pick up in traffic so I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge StumbleUpon – a cool website that links you to related websites to explore the vast scope of the world wide web. So, for example, if you’re reading about water bottles and their impact on the environment, and then click on StumbleUpon, you might link up to my recent blog posting on water bottles! Pretty neat.
If you’re new to this site, check out the About section to find out more about the Berkeley Model United Nations, and what we’re doing to promote sustainability within our club on the UC Berkeley campus. Thanks for visiting!
“Greenwashing.” Here’s a word most of you may not have heard, but you’ve definitely all seen it, and maybe even been influenced by it! Any guesses?
Here’s a definition, provided by SourceWatch.org: “The unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, industry, government, politician or NGO to create a pro-environmental image, or to sell a product or policy.”
Ever seen those car commercials that try to sell you an SUV because it’s “green”? Or the billboards that have green leaves around the edges but don’t tell you much about what they’re actually selling? Or the magazine ad of a tree who is hugging a person for drinking from an “eco-shaped” water bottle?
These are all examples of companies trying to sell you their products based on a false presentation of their company as an environmental leader.
But as the definition explains, greenwashing is not just limited to companies trying to sell you a product. An NGO or politician can just as easily “greenwash” a presentation or speech to try to sell you a policy that may not be as “green” as it sounds initially.
Their claims may or may not be true – but the most important thing is that you recognize greenwashing for what it is! Don’t be sold because a product or policy comes wrapped in a green label and says “eco-friendly.” Find out what the company or organization’s claims mean – do the research, find out for yourself! This is the single best way to prevent greenwashing from taking advantage of you!
Have any of you out there reading my post seen or heard a good example of greenwashing recently? If so, I’d love to hear about it! To check out some more examples, also take a look at the GreenWashingIndex.