Monday, November 17, 2008

San Franscico Green Festival

We just barely pulled in the drive from our really great trip to the Greenest city! This is not really a straw bale specific posting- but I thought it might be a good place to process a bit of all that I learned. What I wanted to specifically gain from the conference I didn't- but I still came away with having learned a ton!
I went to the festival/conference hoping to gain insights into how I might enhance the recycling program at the school but only came away with a website to check out on that topic. However, San Franscico is an inspiration to the rest of the world for its "Waste Recovery." On every corner there are three separate bins labeled: recycling, composting, and landfill (not trash...landfill!) And people there get fined if they are not recycling! How cool :)
Anyway, back to the Green Festival... The meat of what I learned was that there are two parts to being responsible citizens of the world. One is the environment (recycling and decreasing our carbon footprint) and the second is about social responsibility (making sure the people making the products we buy are taken care of). The idea that I am taking away from the conference is that "How you spend your money is how you tell the world how you want it to be." If you're ok with giving your money to companies like Wal-mart or Exxon, then your ok with the world being a place that pollutes the environment or supports child labor in the production of clothing or chocolate, etc. So much information... good information... daunting information... I have to remember that we can only do so much at a time and to not become overwhelmed. Baby steps.
Some great websites: -clearly lists the 10 best and worst companies on the planet. -great way to get to know how favorite brands/companies and how they rank environmentally and socially -learn what faretrade is and do holiday shopping that leaves you feeling good about the gifts you've bought b/c you know that the people who've made the products received a living wage in safe working conditions