Archive for the ‘Green News’ Category

[Guest post from James O’Shea, representive of maacenter, Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center.]

In recent years there has been a great deal of national attention focused on the improvement of industrial environmental standards. Even as we attempt to rebuild our economy, we seem to be focused on not only restoring industry, but also using this as an opportunity to do it in a way that is not environmentally destructive. This provides us the opportunity to improve all aspects of these industries, including the workplace hazards among workers and the health hazards affecting members of the surrounding communities that were all too common.

What many people may fail to realize is that not only does the health of our planet depend on improved environmental standards, but our health may as well. Health complications of industry can essentially be divided into two categories, both direct and indirect.

Direct health conditions which have arisen as a result of the burning of fossil fuels, for instant, are increased asthmas rates in areas with high smog indices. Even mild cases of asthma can deteriorate overall respiratory capacity over time and leave breathing seriously diminished if the quality of the air people breathe is unimproved. Release of chlorofluorocarbons into the atmosphere has shown to lower  our filtered sunlight, increasing ultraviolet light exposure. Ultraviolet light has been conclusively link to skin cancer. Perhaps it is no surprise then that skin cancer incidence in countries like South Africa and Australia, where the atmosphere is most diminished, is much higher than other areas of the earth.

Indirect health consequences include those which can be attributed to antiquated industrial infrastructure, including toxin exposure among workers. Oil refinery workers, for instance, are shown to have a much higher chance of developing mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, than those in cleaner industries. While asbestos was banned for most uses in the late 1970s several of these refineries and factories are still using pre-ban equipment which is exposing workers to harmful asbestos fibers.

We see then, that there is a clear advantage to implementation of cleaner, more sustainable energy policies and environmental attitudes, not only for the health or our planet and our posterity, but that of world’s population even today. 

June 3, 2009

Written by James O’Shea, representative of maacenter, the web’s leading organization for relevant and authoritative information regarding asbestos and health complications associated with asbestos exposure. Our organization is staffed entirely by writers and other developers who recognize the importance of building awareness in the fight against cancer.


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So, the reason why I haven’t been able to post lately is because I got signed onto a project for DC’s 10th annual Artomatic, titled “The Green Message” by Michel Heitstuman, CEO of On The Fly DC. Artomatic gathers hundreds of local artists to an unfinished commercial building to display their work. Michel Heitstuman had the idea to display what people are doing in their daily lives to live a little more simply, or environmental conscious. To do this, I collaborated with my two friends who are in video productions and went around DC to film ordinary people. Our three simple questions were “What are you doing currently that makes DC a little greener?”, “What do you think you could do to be even a little more greener?” and “What would your green message be to the world?”. We got great responses and even had some people really thinking hard.

Now this “green living” topic is a pretty large topic. Artomatic continues on for 6 weeks, therefore we will have (hopefully) 6 topics…For the first week we concentrated on food. How to eat sustainable, green and healthy. We spent time at the Dupont and Penn Quarter farmer’s markets downtown and spoke with farmers, consumers and organizers. The most important point the farmers stated was for the consumer to get to know their farmer and where their good is coming from: ask questions, taste their product. The only way you will understand what you are eating if you understand where it comes from. Their other important point was to continue to shop at the farmers market. I just learned that 80-90 cents of every dollar farmers get to keep from selling their produce at the market…that is a lot more than the farmer from Costa Rica who only gets 10 cents while the rest goes to the middle man, or huge corporations in the US. 

So come check out what these guys have to say, as well as the average person on DC streets. It is a fun and interesting video with facts and beautiful images at the end. You will also be allowed to write down your green message to the world at the exhibit, which is located on the second floor in the corner. Go to Artomatic.org for more info on time and such. Check us out on Twitter: TheGreenMessage and soon enough we will have TheGreenMessage.com website up and running for you to post your Green Message online! It is a way to rethink the way we are all living and provide messages to others. 

What is your Green Message??

Below is the print out excerpt explaining The Green Message: 




The Green Message at Artomatic

The Green Message at Artomatic

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That’s right, he is coming! If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to either the Round House Theatre this Friday, May 15th in Bethesda, MD or Saturday at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, Pollen will be there! He will be giving a lecture on his most recent book, In Defense of Food; An Eater’s Manifesto: how to get back to the roots of consuming food. He states in his book that now a days, Americans are “consuming edible food-like substances” and how the more “we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become”. That is our whole idea of what healthy is, is determined by what food corporations state on their packaging labels – “Low-Fat”, “All Natural”, “Low-Carb”: when in reality it is packed with processed substances and chemicals we can’t even pronounce. Simple stated, Pollen’s manifesto is: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” I am extremely excited to see Pollen in action, after I read both his books. They are very inspiring for anyone: the person who wants to loose weight, be healthy or just be green with what they consume. Check his books out and his website: Michael Pollen and the links to the events: 

Politics & Prose

Baltimore Green Works 

Will update about the lecture soon! 

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Speaking of voting with your dollar, I learned about this great activist group called Carrotmob. They came up with a way to advocate companies to become a little more green with the incentive that they will get more money in return. How? Well, as they say, companies will do ANYTHING FOR MONEY. Right? So they had the idea to get businesses to compete to see who could put up the highest percentage of their income for one day to reducing their carbon footprint. In return, Carrotmob would gather a mob of people to come purchase products at their store. Check out the video on their website (which if anything is a hilarious, entertaining music video) giving an example of how it worked. Out of 23 liquor stores in a San Francisco neighborhood, the highest bidder said they would give 22% of the income they made that day to making their store more energy efficient. So, Carrotmob got the attention of hundreds of people to come out that day to buy what they needed and if not, at least donate some goods to a local shelter. Its like 3 birds with one stone; 1. reduce carbon footprint, 2. income to their business, and 3. helping out the hungry… WOW! So, the result? On an average good day, the store says they get around $3,000, in a couple hours they managed to have an income of $9,000! They said that this was enough money to complete a whole energy retrofit to their store and reduce their energy bills as well as carbon footprint! It is a win-win-win situation for everyone!

So I am hoping this type of activist will continue and spread throughout the world. Creating more green actions for all. I will be keeping my eye out on them and update hopefully soon! LETS MOB!

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There are many things that interested me; photography, design, food, friends, going out: A typical 22 year old life style, right? Well yes, but I will be letting you know what I, as well as you, at any age can do to slightly reduce your impact on the environment. I am not here to critize, judge or yell, but to inform and to let the world (local area of Rockville, MD especially) that it is possible to green through your personal daily life.

In these economic hard times, wouldn’t you want to see your surrounding community thriving off your money rather than seeing it go under? Support your local grocery stores, hardware stores, cleaners, farmer, clothing boutique and so on. It will be your money being returned in your surrounding area, which will lead to a better, thriving city for you to enjoy.

My first word of advice to start realizing what your community has to offer is to pick up the local paper, check out the neighborhood news at your local grocery store: what the hell is going on in your community??? The good thing about this day in age is the abundant amount of information on the internet (I became to realize how beneficial this is from living in the stone age in Buenos Aires) that gives you an exclusive look into your community.

An outdoor concert this weekend? Farmers market the second week of May? A local crafts fair with local venders? A wine tasting?? (My favorite) These are all a few amazing, fun things you can do that I KNOW are and will be this summer in the surrounding area – if not downtown Rockville, perhaps, Olney, Gaithersburg or continue our way downtown through Bethesda and Friendship heights to of course D.C., which will be hard NOT to find out what’s going on there. 

What I will be researching are mostly my interests, but also plainly what is going on in this area through these categories: 

~Arts & Entertainment: Local and green events 

~Night Life: Who says you can’t be green when going out??

~Food & Restaurants: Eat Local, Eat Organic

~Businesses & Shopping: How to be a social, economic and environmental conscious shopper

~Home: Tips to make your home greener

~Green News from resources like http://www.coopamerica.com

~Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: USE LESS!

~Green Deign: What is happening in the green design world??

Now of course, I will try as hard to find out each of these categories the most GREEN possible, but I believe it is important to become engage with your local community what ever that may be, enjoy the things you love around you, near you, to put money back into your neighborhood.


My Friend Sarah and I at Butler's Orchard 2007

My Friend Sarah and I at Butler's Orchard 2007


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