From East coast to West coast-My second Earth Day event

Washington State University- Roots & Shoots 3rd annual Earth Day Celebration at Springfest. While there had been Earth Day events in the past, they were much smaller and poorly attended. Through collaboration and hard work, the WSU R&S group incorporated a large Earth Day fair in conjunction with the already established Springfest event, put on by the Student Entertainment Board. Now each year they get their message out to a large group of students who may not have otherwise attended. This year, there was about 20 informational tables with topics ranging from solar cooking to raptor rehabilitation. Giveaways included reusable grocery bags, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and composting kits. I thank the Environmental Task Force and R&S for inviting me back to my alma mater. It was a pleasure to give a presentation along side Solo Green and then help at this event. It was so much fun!

Action Idea to help Chimpanzees

The recent undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States has been constantly on my mind. Just today I had a great idea: Light a candle and donate a dollar in support of retiring Chimpanzees from research.

In your community or on your college campus you can host a table that hands out candles to individuals for a dollar donation. If possible have them light it and set it in the same area. After time you will have a nice memorial in recognition of Chimpanzees that are forced to live their lives confined in research labs. By involving others you can create a huge impact and raise money to donate to the cause. For background information and a suggested recipient of donations please click on the links below.

http://www.hsus.org/animals_in_research/animals_in_research_news/undercover_investigation_reveals_chimpanzee_abuse.html

http://www.hsus.org/animals_in_research/animals_in_research_news/dr_jane_goodalls_statement.html

http://www.chimphaven.org/about-mission.cfm

http://www.janegoodall.org/chimp_guardian/default.asp

Helping a local cause in a fun way

There are many opportunities on the internet to join national competitions to earn recognition or funding for local efforts. One such that I recently learned about was zootoo.com. While catching up with the Washington State University Roots & Shoots group, I learned that they have been working very hard to try and help a local sanctuary called Orphan Acres win a makeover from zootoo.com. They need to accrue as many points as possible during the last 2 months of the contest. The top 20 organizations nominated will be able to proceed to the next round of judging by zootoo advisors who will travel to each site and see the conditions first hand. The vice president said that this would be an amazing turn of events for the owner Brent who has such a great need. Club members volunteer on the weekends but are trying to find new ways to help out more.

Right now the R&S group has helped push Orphan Acres from #59 to #36 in very little time.

If you are interested in learning more you can go to http://www.zootoo.com/shelters/zip83872_orphanacresinc and join the group. I think you may have to create a zootoo account. Once you have joined you can help accumulate points through activities on the website like posting picture reviews or uploading photos of your pet.

I am sure there are more contests out there to help people, animals, or the environment. Feel free to respond and share some links with me!

Thanks.

Eco Art

Today I was looking through the website www.ctgreenscence.com and came across an Eco Art Exhibition at Eastern Connecticut State University. It is a collaboration of eight artists who transformed recycled materials into works of art. The description points out that ” the common thread in this exhibit is the art’s ability to function as gentle forms of ‘protest’ art, what we interpret as beautifully packaged political statements.”

I wanted to post this because I am already thinking about plans for Earth Day and this would be a great idea to “put in the back pocket” until the event planning actually begins. I encourage each of you to look around your community from time to time and take note of future project possibilities. In some cases planning this far in advance can really pay off.

My regret lately is that I didn’t plan an event like this prior to the holidays. I read a statisitc last week that said between Halloween and New Year’s, we throw away over 900,000 tons of garbage each week! This includes packages from food, decorations, dinner party tableware, and wrapping paper. Yikes!

Check back next week for my post on specific eco-friendly ideas that decrease the burden on mother earth.

Special Report

I read this ariticle and just had to share it…..

How our economy is killing the Earth

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg20026786.000-special-report-how-the-economy-is-killing-the-earth.html

This is a pivotal topic. Any comments?

Another movie that might set back efforts to end puppy mills

Many of you have probably seen the trailer to the new movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua. I admit it looks cute, but does anyone recall what happened after the movie 101 Dalmatians? People went crazy and all of a sudden there was a huge push for Dalmatian puppies. Sadly many people don’t realize that there are consequences to purchasing a puppy just because Hollywood creates a spotlight on the purebred pups.

Does anyone think of the mothers and whether or not they have healthy happy homes? Unfortunately the truth has been uncovered by many organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA. They have tracked shipment paperwork all the way back to puppy mill operations, where the dogs are money makers, not loving pets. These dogs are kept in horrible conditions and often caged like rabbits. They are barking and running circles in their cages due to boredom and lack of social interaction. The owner’s main goal is to breed each dog every heat cycle year after year in order to make money by selling the puppies to pet stores. To read the facts please visit: http://www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/get_the_facts_on_puppy_mills

The pet overpopulation crisis is something else to consider. Countless mix breed dogs living in shelters across the nation are much less likely to find homes and their lives are cut much too short only to make room for dozens more. Please educate others about this problem and do not fund commercial breeders by purchasing puppies from pet stores. Consider adopting your next pet from your local humane society and make sure they are spayed or neutered.

Peace Day 2008!

Hey everyone, Roots & Shoots Day of Peace was a great success all around the world! Congratulations! Here are some highights from the weekend.

Katia and I at the United Nations in 15 naughts of wind!

Katia and I with the Peace Bell made out of old weapons, “May peace prevail on earth!”

The United Nations New York City

Myself with Peace Dove and Dr. Jane in the background at St. Catherine’s Park

National Office Ladies: Claire, Katherine and I

Mi amigo, Christian and I

Don’t forget to share your Roots & Shoots Day of Peace experience with us! Submit a Project Report and send your photos, with completed release forms, to peacedoves@janegoodall.org!