Tag Archives: environment

How to teach kids to care for the planet, Earth Day and everyday!

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At T4CI, we celebrate Earth Day everyday, and we hope you do too.  Often, however, the question arises, “How do we teach our children about how to take care of the earth? After all, it is their responsibility too.”

We put together a few tips to help.  Check ’em out. (And remember to share, too!)

And that’s the way it is: T4CI salutes Walter Cronkite

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Walter Cronkite

On this day in 1981, Walter Cronkite, did his final sign off as the anchor for CBS news.  He had held the post since 1962, and is as iconic as the news he covered.

As ‘the most trusted man in America’, he reported many events from 1937 to 1981, including:

  • bombings in World War II
  • the Nuremberg trials
  • combat in the Vietnam War
  • the Dawson’s Field hijackings
  • Watergate
  • the Iran Hostage Crisis
  • and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr., and Beatles musician John Lennon.

He was also known for his extensive coverage of the U.S. space program, from Project Mercury to the Moon landings to the Space Shuttle. He was the only non-NASA recipient of a Moon-rock award.

That’s what most people remember… yet, there is so much more. Cronkite was passionate about environmental issues and sustainability, long before it was cool to be.

An avid sailor, Cronkite became an advocate of the conservation of rivers, lakes, bays, and seas. He kept a framed photo over his desk of the earth rising as seen from the moon, to keep reminding himself to help protect the planet.

Cronkite had CBS Reports investigate two environmental catastrophes that occurred that year in 1969: the Santa Barbara oil spill  and the Cuyahoga River fire in Ohio. And the old reporter saw the future:  “The North American continent seemed ringed by oil slicks off Alaska, off Nova Scotia, off Florida, and most dramatically, in the Gulf Coast off Louisiana,” he said. And that changed the way the news covered the environment.

CBS News producer Ron Bonn recalled precisely when Cronkite put the network on the front line of the fight:

 It was New Year’s Day, 1970, and Walter walked into the Broadcast Center and said, ‘goddamnit, we’ve got to get on this environmental story.'”

When Walter said ‘goddamnit,’ things happened.”

Cronkite and Bonn launched “Can the World Be Saved?” news segments in the spring of 1970. Pollution, over-population and even climate change were stories that became major news as a result. And Cronkite shared his judgments openly: to make change, we had to demand it.

Cronkite’s insisted CBS News played a major role in publicizing the first Earth Day in the United States, on April 22, 1970 which included  CBS News Special Report anchored by the veteran journalist.

Even after his retirement on this day in 1981, he was outspoken for the planet.

In 2004, he wrote an op-ed that criticized then President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address:

(Bush) spoke of the nation’s problems and the dangers it faces, particularly in regard to national security, but he gave no indication that he recognizes the dangers of global warming.

Surely it has been brought to his attention that scientists are increasingly alarmed over the rapidity with which the world’s environment is being poisoned by the refuse of human endeavor. Climate change and the extinction of species are the focus of their deep concern. They warn that there is no time to spare: Unless we begin a major effort by the end of this century, further efforts will be too late…

…The politicians seeking office, including the president seeking reelection, are unlikely to give the environment the attention it deserves unless the people demand it. And the people aren’t going to demand it unless somebody brings the problem, and particularly its urgency, to their attention.

The media has a responsibility on their shoulders whose importance cannot be exaggerated: to give the story of our deteriorating environment the attention it needs to alert the population to action. That action would demand that governments – city, state and national – generate and enforce the laws that can at least begin the immense job of cleaning up our lands, our seas and our air so that living things, including humans, shall not perish from the Earth.

One must wonder, what the “most trusted man in America,” who died in 2009, would think about today’s news coverage and it’s impact on the planet he loved.

What do you think?  What would he encourage his viewers to do?

Black History Month: Honoring Beverly Wright

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T4CI is saluting some of the most influential African-American environmentalists and sustainability professionals during Black History Month.

Today we honor Beverly Wright.

Dr. Beverly Wright is a professor of Sociology and the founding director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ). For nearly two decades, she has been a leading scholar and advocate in the environmental justice arena. She has created a unique center, formerly at Xavier University, and currently at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. The DSCEJ is one of the few community/university partnerships that addresses environmental and health inequities in the Lower Mississippi River Industrial Corridor, the area commonly referred to as Cancer Alley.

Since Hurricane Katrina, much of the work at the DSCEJ has focused on research, policy, and community outreach, assistance, and education of displaced African-American residents of New Orleans. Dr. Wright has been an advocate of the safe return of residents, addressing the critical issues of health and environmental restoration and monitoring fairness as it relates to standards of clean up. The center has been a resource to the community providing education, training, and job placement to displaced citizens of New Orleans.

 

Who painted the White House green?

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It’s President’s Day. Not only can we enjoy a federally-mandated day off from work, but we can also take time to reflect on the leaders of the United States.

By the nature of their position, the POTUS has a platform to work to help the world in so many ways, including environmental and sustainable issues.

While some many not believe such issues are important to Americans – and the world, others have become a champion.  Here are some of the most pro-active presidents when it comes to a greener world:

Not so much love to the earth on Valentine’s Day

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 As much as we love the sentiment of Valentine’s Day, we don’t think you would love the outcome of the holiday, when it comes to the environmental impact.

Take a look at this infographic to see what can happen when you take the traditional route to showing your love.  (And share it with your friends!)

Instead, show your love to the earth as well by

  • choosing fair trade flowers and chocolates
  • getting things locally
  • giving vintage jewelry (it’s hip too!)
  • and honoring others with a donation in their name

Check out http://t4ci.org/sponsored to find a wonderful charity where your donation will help the world.

Nobody’s Fool: Paul Newman

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Today is Paul Newman’s birthday.  The legendary Academy Award-winning actor not only made an impact on the screen, but as a leader in corporate responsibility and the environment (among many other causes).

Before it was popular for celebrities to be activists, Newman was making a stand – even as one of the attendees of the first Earth Day celebration in 1970.

He  was committed to helping make the world a better place. To carry on his philanthropic legacy, Newman’s Own Foundation donates all net royalties and profits after taxes it receives from the sale of Newman’s Own products to charity. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $300 million to thousands of charities around the world, including many environmental causes.

Newman disputed the widespread idea that the only purpose of a business was to maximize profit.

“If they are very, very fortunate to have a profitable business, why would they object to making an investment in the community? I don’t look at it as philanthropy.I look at those dollars as investments in the community that allows them to function.”

His daughter, Nell, worked with her father to create Newman’s Own Organics in 1992, which supports organic agriculture by actually growing the industry and funds organizations with the profits. She, in turn, also founded her own foundation with a focus on environmental causes and education.

So on what would be his 92 birthday, we also wanted to share some of T4CI staff picks for you to watch:

  • The Color of Money
  • Slap Shot
  • Cars
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • The Hustler

What’s your favorite Paul Newman movie, and why? Please share in the comments section.

Creativity through activism

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Can sustainability be artistic?  Of course!  And since January is National Creativity Month, it’s time to highlight a few of our creative projects.

Imagine powerful art experiences when it comes to healthy food systems. That’s what AgArts does.  After all, artists have always been deeply inspired by nature, but now the passion of the food movement gives this enthusiasm tremendous relevance. At the same time, creative aspects of food-related activities are enjoying new recognition and value as sustainable agriculture encourages a more personal relationship with food sources.  And they cover all forms of art: from symphonies to photography exhibits, from plays to books.

Change Food uses the popular TEDx-style talks for “Changing the Way We Eat”, which creates awareness and begins a dialogue about innovative sustainable food and farming ideas. The event, which began in 2014, is complemented by a full menu of related networking and education events including post event Adventures, videos of all talks, discussion guides/teaching materials to go with videos of the talks,  and salons that address needs within the food movement.

How can we accelerate change in the food movement? Root Solutions addresses this through decision science, a collection of scientific disciplines aimed at understanding cognition, decision-making, and behavior.  Working on a training manual to help environmental organizations and practitioner have access to powerful tools which tap into what motivates and matters to people to effect positive change in the environmental movement.

And remember:

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” — Albert Einstein

Please pass on this post to someone you think would be interested.

Earth 2017 – and your resolutions

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As more people are turning to a greener lifestyle, many are making new year’s resolutions to become more earth-friendly for 2017 and beyond.

And there are plenty of ways to make green part of your lifestyle – without a lot of effort.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • When it comes to seafood, look for sustainable.
    The U.S. loves its seafood, and is one of the top consumers of seafood in the world, especially when it comes to canned tuna fish.  That means, where we buy our seafood (supermarkets) makes a huge difference to the livelihood of those who work in this industry and the health of our oceans. Today, 15 of the top 20 North American retailers have made commitments to buy and sell sustainable seafood.  The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions is working hard to make sure these stores keep their commitment. And CeDePesca focuses on working with fisheries and fisherman. But you have a role to play too, by making the choice to only purchase ocean-friendly seafood.
  • Join a CSA or plant a co-operative organic vegetable garden.
    Make this the year that you decide to eat the freshest, healthiest, most local produce you can. You can either join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and get your produce from a local farmer, including The Food Commons model, or you can go a step further and grow your own! Planting a vegetable garden will fill your kitchen with yummy produce and cut down on the carbon emissions from transporting the vegetables you normally buy. Check out The Farmscape Foundation for more ideas.
  • Choose environmentally responsible restaurants.
    Approximately 30 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from food systems. Yet by choosing places to eat where they are committed to the environment, can help reduce our carbon footprint. ZeroFoodprint is helping lead the charge.

T4CI provides support to these organizations and many more. Check out all our projects at http://t4ci.org/sponsored.