More than two years ago, the first Girl Effect video swept the web, making a powerful case for the importance of girls’ education in solving global poverty. This week, The Girl Effect is back with an even more powerful sequel, which premiered at the Clinton Global Initiative summit in New York City. Watch, internalize and pass along — it’s important.
Posts Tagged ‘activism’
Activism meets comedy, or what Texas has to do with Velcro.
In 1977, at the height of the 70′s environmental movement, an unlikely invention took hold: The first plastic bag (no, not that plastic bag) was introduced as an alternative to paper bags. Today, according to the EPA, it accounts for 4 out of every 5 bags handed out in grocery stores and, scarier yet, only about 1% of the 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags consumed annually around the world are ever recycled. The rest end up in landfills and, most tragically, in the world’s oceans, where they wreak devastating havoc on marine life — from entangling seabirds and marine animals to ending up in their guts upon being eaten by mistake, with gruesome consequences. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch near Hawaii, a Texas-sized gyre of marine litter, would take a week to cross by boat, and plastic bags account for much of its composition.
Long story short, while most of us know plastic bags are dreadful, we don’t necessarily realize how dreadful. And while dry stats have their place, they’re no way to move people to change behavior. Enter The Bag Monster — the ingenious creation of activist and entrepreneur Andy Keller. Keller, who masterminded the popular reusable ChicoBag, had been going around farmers markets for years, carrying around 500-700 plastic bags to tangibly raise awareness about the number of plastic bags the average American uses yearly. Then, one day, he decided to attach the bags to a jumpsuit with Velcro and wear them. The Bag Monster was born.
This summer, to support the California Bill, AB 1998 for the ban of all plastic bags in California, The Bag Monster went on a monthlong tour across the US, starting in San Francisco and ending in Fairfield, Connecticut.
What makes The Bag Monster work is that it takes a serious environmental problem but doesn’t make it grave, bends it through a prism of satire, and delivers palpable awareness in an organic, non-preachy way.
So what can you do? It’s simple, really. Pledge to eliminate plastic bags and — why stop there? — other single-use items from your life. A good place to start may be our roundup of 7 ways to have more by owning less, as well as this recent HuffPo piece on kicking the plastic habit.
10,000 buzzing pixels, the real source of your breakfast, and what electron microscopes have to do with art.
Albert Einstein once remarked that if bees were to disappear, mankind would perish in just a few years. And yet honeybees are disappearing — at alarming rates, and for reasons scientists don’t fully understand. From climate change to cell phone towers, a range of manmade and environmental factors are contributing to the extinction of a brilliant, intelligent civilization responsible for everything from one of the world’s most ancient medicinal products to the foundation of swarm theory to the creation of other-worldly petal nests.
Today, we look at three different homages to bees, their socio-environmental significance, and the plight for their conservation.
Plan Bee aims to campaign against the use of bee-killing pesticides and to inspire people to help bees in their own gardens.
DENNIS VANENGELSDORP: A PLEA FOR BEES
Apiarist Dennis vanEngelsdorp studies colony collapse disorder — the disturbing worldwide epidemic wiping out worker bees and Western honeybees, resulting in the demise of entire colonies of the gentle, fascinating creature. But this is no tragedy we can observe from a bystander perspective — bees and their work are surprisingly integral to our entire food system, from the breakfast you ate this morning to large-scale agricultural economy.
One in three bites of food we eat is directly or indirectly pollinated by honeybees.” ~ Dennis vanEngelsdorp
There are more species of bees than mammals and birds combined.” ~ Dennis vanEngelsdorp
For more on colony collapse disorder, check out the fascinating documentary Vanishing of the Bees, which follows two commercial beekeepers as they struggle to keep their bees healthy and alive, then offers ways for you to make your own living space, be it urban or countryside, more bee-friendly.
From photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher comes BEE — an incredibly artful, thoughtful exploration of the beautiful complexity of bees and the larger natural patterns it bespeaks. Fisher blends the immaculate scientific precision of electron microscope imaging with the aesthetic sensibility of art photography to produce 128 pages of breathtaking revelation that expands the boundaries of how we think about these remarkable creatures and nature at large.
The first time I looked at a bee’s eye magnified I was amazed to see a field of hexagons, just like honeycomb. I wondered, is this a coincidence or a clue? Is it simply that hexagons are ubiquitous in nature, or is there a deeper correspondence between the structure of the bee’s vision and the structure she builds – in other words, similar frequencies being expressed in similar form? This got me pondering on the connection between vision and action at a more abstract, metaphoric level. Is there a parallel kind of encoding relevant to humanity? At a refined level of our own nature, does our deeper capacity to see and to do correspond with an intrinsic structuring?” ~ Rose-Lynn Fisher
Images via NPR
BEE came out last week and is without a doubt one of the most visually stunning, conceptually ambitious photography books of the year.