Preliminary results of our oceans shows alarming amount of plastic debris

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There’s a race taking place and it doesn’t result in ribbons or plaques. It’s the “Race for Water Odyssey”. Sponsored by the Race for Water Foundation, this 300 day voyage, which will travel over 40,000 nautical miles, will create the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the ocean by visiting island beaches situated in the 5 “gyres” (trash vortexes)..

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First Arab Youth Orchestra Founder to Speak

Editors Note:   The following article is geared towards a local event. But the message is an important one for all of us who long for peace in this world.

Zuhal Sultan, founder of Natl. Youth Orchestra of Iraq, photo courtesy of Euphrates instituteMost Americans’ perception of Iraq is of a war-­torn country, a place filled with terrorism and unrest. Iraq is rarely described as a peaceful nation filled with music. Yet one young woman – Zuhal Sultan – has dedicated herself to creating just that in a very tangible way.

Next month, Sultan will speak in Redding, California, and tell the story of how music brought some measure of peace to her homeland.

Sultan is the founder and Artistic Director of National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. The orchestra – made up of 43 Arabs, Muslims and Christians (male and female) ages 14 to 29 – is the first successful youth orchestra in the Arab world.

To learn more about this amazing young woman and the barrier-crossing, peace-building orchestra she created, click here.

Homelessness Workshop Opens a Larger Dialogue

Editors Note:    Although this story is local to northern California, the issues are so widespread and important, they’re relevant to just about every community. Perhaps there’s useful information that can benefit yours.

Homeless man

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, in 2014. 578,424 people were homeless in our country. Almost 136,000 of those were children under 18.

Some cities have taken on homelessness and are being successful. Over the past five years, Fresno has reduced homelessness by 50 percent. Over the past 10 years, Salt Lake City has seen homelessness drop sigsignificantly. It recently announced it had successfully ended chronic veteran homelessness as well.

Redding (California) Councilwoman Kristen Schreder is passionate about finding real solutions to homelessness. On Thursday, July 16th, around 60 participants attended a workshop she hosted to brainstorm ideas that could provide answers and a clear path towards reducing our homeless population. Continue reading

Make Art, Not Landfill: Recology’s Artist in Residence Program Turns 25

Carnival Masks by Dana Albany are featured in the Recology exhibit

Carnival Masks by Dana Albany – made of wood, recycled paint and objects found at the landfill – were featured in a Recology exhibit at San Francisco Airport in 2013

25 years is an amazing anniversary to reach, but even more so for anything related to art made from landfill waste. If that statement doesn’t make sense to you, you don’t know about Recology and/or its Artist in Residence program, which turns 25 this year.

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Search engine makes large strides planting trees in Africa

Drought in Africa

Deforestation and drought are issues that have become global problems. Nowhere is it more obvious than in Africa. Decades of drought have devastated parts of Burkina Faso, a country tucked between Nigeria, Mali, Senegal and Guinea in western Africa. Without water, neither people nor plants or animals have been able to survive, turning more and more of this once-fertile land into desert. Famine, disease and violent conflict have been just some of the overwhelming consequences.

But a special tree-planting method is allowing new trees to grow and survive. Continue reading

Paul McCartney and the Meatless Monday movement

Going meatless isn’t anything new. Vegetarians have been doing it for ages. But with the growing concern about greenhouse gasses and a correlation to this factory farm animal waste and methane production, the Center for Biological Diversity has been encouraging people to observe Meatless Monday with their Take Extinction off Your Plate campaign.

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You’re Never Too Old to Live Your Dream!

Editor’s note:       The following is not a “green” story. But perhaps the stories within it will touch and inspire you to reach out and capture the dream that you’ve always dreamed about.

Jack Kilpatrick, one of the Flying Octegenarians, whose living his dream in his '80's' photo by Debra Atlas

Jack Kilpatrick (left), one of the Flying octogenarians, whose living his dream in his ’80’s’ photo by Debra Atlas

Life can get in the way of achieving our dreams. After a certain point, or age, many of us figure it’s too late to grasp that brass ring. But after speaking to a few octogenarian pilots at a FAA Safety Team (FAAST) training seminar I attended this past weekend, I’d say age doesn’t have to be a stumbling block.

While the large majority of the pilot attendees were over 55, many were over 65. Five were 80+, and most of them were still flying.

Click here to learn what these older pilots had to say about how and why they went after their dreams and how they’re still thrilling among those wide blue skies.

Benefit Corporations: What they can mean to your business future and your bottom line

This article originally appeared on USGreenChamber.com

Do you think business should be about more than making profit? You’re not alone. Many corporate CEO’s feel the same way.

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An exciting option became available in 2007 when the non-profit B Lab introduced the Benefit corporations business certification. B Corps were designed for for-profit entities wanting to focus on social issues and the environment along with profit. This certification was created by three young successful entrepreneurs who, says Bryan Welch, CEO of B corporation Ogden Publications, “decided to revolutionize businesses in a non-pretentious, serious way.”

B corps fit in-between the legal structure of a C corp and a 501c3, says Chaz Berman, CEO of Growers Secret, a San Francisco B corp that produces top quality organic fertilizer products. Continue reading

New technology effective at filtering ocean plastics without harming sea life

Plastic recovered from our ocean's gyres

Plastic recovered from our ocean’s gyres

The plastic pollution in our oceans is a killing our marine life. Sea birds, seals and other marine animals and mammals are turning up dead with lots of plastic in their stomachs that they mistook for food. The problem is that so much of this plastic is small fragments, making it extremely difficult to simply scoop up and recover.

Of the more than 200 billion pounds of plastic the world produces each year, about 10 percent ends up in the ocean Plastic constitutes 90 percent of all trash floating in the world’s oceans, with estimates that every square mile of the ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. In some areas, the amount of plastic outweighs the amount of plankton by a ratio of six to one.

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One man makes a difference for the health and well-being of Florida marine life

Artificial Mangrove System by Lee Shepard, IntraCoastal Eco Systems

These artificial mangrove systems are providing critical cover for fish in Florida to survive and thrive

Just listened to this podcast about Lee Shepard of IntraCoastal Eco Systems.. He’s created an artificial mangrove root system that helps shelter spawning and juvenile fish so that they can survive predators.

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