I wanted to share some great posts over at BlogHer that are about giving. And giving.
Karen Walrond has posted a great guide to 5 Great Ways to Use Your Photographs as Holiday Gifts. I can attest that making photo books from your digital photos is now mega-easy, and always goes over well...especially with grandparent-ly types. You may not have kids yourself, but you've probably taken pictures of your nieces and nephews, and nothing says you can't be the one providing great family shots. Used to be this was Apple's brilliant idea as part of iPhoto (and still is), but everyone is doing it now. I was in Walgreens the other day and noticed they had a machine to make a photo book.
Karen goes beyond the photo book, though and suggests four other creative photo ideas. I did not know there were digital photo frames that could be remotely updated via email...sounds totally intriguing.
But if you're looking for a way to give back, more than give, check out Siel's post: Make Your Town's Thanksgiving Celebrations Eco-Ethical. What I love about Siel's post is that it does encourage us all to look past the wonderful opportunities there are to give and give back online...and I do think it's wonderful...and to see what might be going on in our own local communities. What local merchants can you frequent? What local charities can you support? What local people in need can your good intentions serve?
This holiday season is likely to be like last holiday season...more thoughtful, more frugal, more mindful.
I think both of these posts got my mind heading down that path with their helpful, practical, inspiring advice.
The Bioneers Conference is an annual event that brings together smart people talking about important things...like sustainability and social justice...the things you probably care about if you read this blog.
Thanks to the conference and Ustream, you can follow along live starting today and throughout the weekend.
I'm speaking on a panel tomorrow at 4:30PM about social media and sustainability.
I hope you'll tune in, and you can check out more about the entire schedule here.
The Green Shows (which need a better web site!) are a series of individual shows that are going to happen twice a year during NYC Fashion Week, and featuring green designers. Green can mean different things, so there are vegan designers and designers using "ethically produced" wool.
Either way, sounds like a very cool concept, and I particularly like this quote from the organizer the The Green Shows promote "fashion that happens to be green". That aligns exactly with my oft-repeated contention that outliers like me will pay more and settle for less function (which in the case of fashion is beauty and style) in order to satisfy our ethics, but most people don't want to pay more and get less.
Anyway, something to keep an eye on (and some designers to keep an eye on if I ever get the kind of moolah to buy designer!)
There's no doubt that there is something inherently consumptive about 1500 people traveling to a big city and shacking up in a big hotel and being on their laptops and mobiles and Flipcams all day...not to mention eating, drinking and generally making trouble.
I hope Jes's post makes the point that big things are awesome (like the fact that Michelin is offsetting 200 tons of CO2...the approximate burden our conference creates) but that small things matter to. Like providing our 50-page conference brochure in an online-only format that we encourage people not to print if they can possibly avoid it. Or going with buffets instead of box lunches like we had last year, so to avoid all that packaging.
There's always further to go, but I'm proud of what we are improving each year to be greener and yet greener. This year we had and awesome Green Team helping us, so check them out!
In my long, checkered past there is quite a bit of of the starving artist theatre person. I never got to attend the Tony Awards in person, but I try to watch them religiously every year. I used to have the time, inclination, and close family relative in NYC that justified a substantial trip to NYC every year, so most years, long after I moved back to California from NYC, I had seen many of the nominated shows. I, on occasion, even personally knew some of the nominees. I knew them back when, of course, when we were all younger and more struggly.
Over the course of time my trips to NYC have become quick 2-3 day jaunts leaving little time for theatre-going. Even a 6-day trip last week was so packed with business and work functions that I couldn't carve out the time.
Sadly I haven't seen a single nominated show or performer this year. But I'm watching anyway.
Which is why I was glad to get a note from the National Resources Defense Council about them. Seems the NRDC has been trying to help Broadway theatres in general get in on the sustainability act, and this year the Tony Awards got some attention. Being someone who puts on events, I know exactly how challenging it can be, so what does that mean exactly?
Well, here's what the NRDC told me:
First of all, there's a Broadway Green Alliance. The BGA is an "industry-wide initiative to educate, motivate and inspire the theater community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices and reduce our carbon footprint."
So, continuing that work and applying it directly to the 2009 Tony Awards seems like a no-brainer, and it gives them a chance to bring their activities to a larger audience.
According to the BGA and NRDC, the Tony Awards's first-ever greening effort incorporates the use of renewable certificated to offset the electricity of radio City Music Hall, enhanced recycling efforts and wider use of environmentally-friendly materials. Results include (and not how they got corporate sponsorship to help them achieve their goals...it's the modern way to get anything done...appeal to a company Corporate Social Responsibility mission!):
GDF SUEZ Energy Resources donated Green-e certified wind power Renewable Energy Certificates to support the generation of renewable energy during the week preceding the Tony Awards and for the telecast itself
Lipton Tea made it possible for the 2009 Tony Awards edition of Playbill to be printed on paper with 30% post-consumer recycled content
Applica Consumer Products, Inc. donated 500 Clear2Go reusable water bottles with replaceable filters for event guests
Goodmart donated 2,200 energy-efficient cold cathode light bulbs for the event gift bags. As part of the BGA’s greening effort, this bulb type is now typical of those being used to light Broadway theatre roof signs and marquees
Hybrid vehicles are being provided for presenter and performer transportation
Recycling bins are being provided at Radio City concession stands for plastic bottles and in production offices for plastics and paper waste.
Radio City Music Hall has taken a number of steps towards reducing environmental impacts at their venue, including: a comprehensive energy analysis of the facility performed by Energy Analytics, resulting in an enhanced energy efficiency plan; recent installation of efficient lighting; and restrooms have been retrofitted with low-flow toilets and faucets and feature post-consumer recycled content tissue products
The Red Carpet is made from 100% recycled material with 49% post consumer content
The production/management company for the Tony Awards is using paper with 60% post-consumer recycled content
The public relations office has posted all press materials online and, when needed, will print out all press materials on 100% recycled content paper
Banners for the show were printed on non-PVC plastics and will be reused or recycled after event.
I love that they're reporting the post-consumer recycled content % of the red carpet itself!
Broadway is an institution, and one that dates back a century. The buildings in which Broadway plays are mostly old buildings, the traditions are long-time traditions. If Broadway, as an "industry", can step up and go green...what excuse do any of us have?
Tonight I'll be settling down to watch actors I've never seen collect awards for shows I didn't get to attend...and checking out how the new-fangled red carpet looks :)