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Gen Y, Food

by : Dan Stafford
Thursday April 17, 2008 - 05:50

Upon watching "Gen Y," ( http://www.sundancechannel.com/film... , air date 04/22/2008 at 9pm Eastern & Pacific, run time 30 minutes) my first reaction was to want to defend my own generation and the one before - and it shames me to say that. It’s not that my generation or the previous one haven’t thought of environmentalism, because most of us have, just not on the scale or with the commitment Gen Y presents. At least, not yet. What I wish my first reaction had been, and what my second reaction was, way to go, Gen Y! I wish I were able to make half the changes and commitment these younger people are doing. All I can do is keep trying to "notch up the green" in my own life and do my best to help spread the word.

Continuing with the "Big Ideas For A Small Planet" theme of using three examples to illustrate concepts, Gen Y gets into green concerts, with the band Guster and the business that helps bands tour green, Reverb, ( http://www.reverbrock.org ) and shows all the ways that bands can either create a lot of pollution on tour, or offset and reduce that as much as possible. From biodiesel-powered bus fleets to wind-energy offset purchases to local food backstage to recycling waste at the venue, this company and these bands, well, rock! You’d be surprised at some of the band names on the roster of "greened" concerts, and pleasantly so. This is a trend that I am happy to support and promote, because it raises the visibility of going green in a very public way.

Next up, we have the subject of sustainable weddings, led by a beautiful young couple who put a lot of time, effort, and consideration into making their wedding as Earth-friendly as possible, while still keeping it elegant and stylish. Their accomplishments were myriad and subtle, and must be seen to be believed. The next couple I know planning a wedding, I am going to be after them to watch this video, I’m telling you! They might not do everything these two did, but it sure will get them thinking, and who knows, they might just come up with some new ideas of their own. Wedding planners, get your TV on this channel on the 22nd, and get your notepads ready to write!

Finally, we move into green college campuses, with the Pitzer College ( http://www.pitzer.edu/ ) campus re-design that incorporates renewable energy such as wind and solar power, and sustainable dormitories with a LEED Gold Standard sustainable architecture award featuring full water management, automated energy management, and sustainable materials. The scope of the campus makeover really shows what is possible, and how pleasant and comfortable sustainable living can be.

The film almost made me wish I were Gen Y, so I could get in on the action! Still, I think it’s an inspiration for me to see so much hope for the future, and so much incentive to keep working on greening my own life and educating everyone who’ll lend me an ear.

If you really want to get some hope in your heart, tune in to Gen Y on the 22nd. I double-dog dare you!


Moving on, we have "Food." ( http://www.sundancechannel.com/film... , air date 04/29/2008, 9pm Eastern & Pacific, run time 30 minutes. ) Food gets into what agriculture used to be, what it is, and what it can be. This one is near and dear to my heart, because I’m actually trying this on a small scale at home with some organic gardening, but these folk really shine.

Starting off we have Amy’s Kitchen, ( http://www.amyskitchen.com/ ) an all-organic operation that mass-produces ready-made organic meals. Amy’s kitchen is conceived of and owned by a couple who named it after their first-born daughter. Simply put, when Amy’s mother was pregnant with Amy, she didn’t want to be ingesting all kinds of pesticide residues and passing that on to her child. She started struggling at home with making up organic meals, and the result was a highly successful business that makes it as easy to eat organic as it is to buy TV dinners, and supports thousands of acres of organic agriculture. You can see clearly how much these people care about the sustainability and quality of their operations and product, and it is a real inspiration.

Next, we get into "school gardening," with a teenager on a Zuni reservation who got fed up with being fed bad food. "Alex" got the whole school talking, so his teacher asked him to come up with a solution - and the result is a jewel of local-food sustainable agriculture, right on school grounds! Kids are actually eager to go to school here, and eagerly participate in raising their own lunches in a completely organic fashion - and the program has promise to spread across the country in the future. These kids have a lot to teach all of us, and I would love to shake Alex’s hand. Way to go, young man!

Finally, we cap the evening off with a nightcap - of organic, family-produced "biodynamic" wines. Here we have a family-owned vinyard that uses about half their land to produce grapes, and the other half to clean and recycle water, attract beneficial insects and wildlife that eat pests, and compost all the organic byproduct produced by their operations. These practices will improve and sustain soil fertility, water quality, and bio-diversity while making wonderful-tasting and very pure wines we can all enjoy.

By the end of this one, I was hungry for my own little organic garden to come to fruition, and spring has only barely sprung! I simply can not over-state the importance of the information in this film, or the hope it gives. You can FEEL the health and wholesomeness in this thirty minutes right in your own living room, and deep down in your bones.

If you watch no other environmental film this year, watch this one - because agriculture and the way it is done is one of the largest environmental impactors there is. What these people are doing is every bit as important as combating global warming, and a LOT tastier. I can tell you from experience that organic foods, if they do nothing else, TASTE much, much better than inorganic. Most of us know this, but here are the back stories that can give us all hope and incentive.

All the best,

Dan Stafford Publisher - The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy & Hydrogen Journal http://www.whizzyrds.com/Windblog.html



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