Category Archives: Movies

Midway. Message from the Gyre

I’m about to ruin your holiday spirit. If you are easily offended, I highly recommend against watching this video, or at least watch it in privacy of your home.

I learned about this video while taking an Arkansas Earth Institute discussion course called A World of Health: Connecting People, Place and Planet. The six-session course explored the connections between human health and the environment, and how we can sustain both. I learned a lot from the course, both good and bad. Our love affair with plastic and its impact on the environment are astounding. This video illustrates one of the consequences of our love affair.

Chris Jordan photographed rotting carcasses of baby albatrosses filled with plastic. These birds nest on Midway Atoll and are being fed plastic by their parents, who find floating plastic in the middle of the ocean and mistake it for food. The photographs are a part of an ongoing arts and media project called Midway Journey, which has its own website.

As we head into the final weekend before Christmas, let’s be mindful of our consumption and its impact on the environment.

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The Story of Bottled Water

Annie Leonard does it again, this time with bottled water!

I can’t begin to tell you how much I dislike bottled water. Sure, there are times when they are convenient or even necessary. But, other than in very rare occasions when I have no choice but to drink bottled water, I stay away from them.

Arkansas is blessed with clean drinking water. Central Arkansas is especially fortunate to have such clean and tasty drinking water. Why would I pay more money to drink water that may be less safe? Why would I pay to have more garbage at home?

I say we ditch bottled water and drink tap in our reusable water bottles. Now, can we toast to that?

Thursday To-Do: Free Screening of The Natural State of America at La Lucha Space

Join La Lucha Space for the screening of a great documentary written and produced by Dr. Brian C. Campbell with the University of Central Arkansas, tonight at 7 p.m. at La Lucha Space (2035 Prince Street) in Conway.

In the 1970’s, a small group of residents in the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas organized and successfully halted the U.S. Forest Service’s planned aerial applications of herbicides. Now the group battles their rural electric cooperative to protect the region’s organic farms, wells, springs, and the Buffalo River, the only National River in the United States, from being contaminated by herbicides once again. The documentary follows their battle.

View the trailer at: http://www.vimeo.com/16957928. For more information about the screening, click here.

Save the Date! La Lucha Space to Screen The Natural State of America

Join La Lucha Space for the screening of a great documentary written and produced by Dr. Brian C. Campbell with the University of Central Arkansas, Thursday, December 9 at 7 p.m. at La Lucha Space in Conway.

In the 1970’s, a small group of residents in the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas organized and successfully halted the U.S. Forest Service’s planned aerial applications of herbicides. Now the group battles their rural electric cooperative to protect the region’s organic farms, wells, springs, and the Buffalo River, the only National River in the United States, from being contaminated by herbicides once again. The documentary follows their battle.

View the trailer at: http://www.vimeo.com/16957928. For more information about the screening, click here.

The Story of Stuff

With holiay shopping season in full swing, I think it’s a good idea to remind ourselves where our stuff come from and where they go. The Story of Stuff is a short but informative video about production, consumption, and disposal of stuff. It is such an amazing video and deserves to be uploaded every so often, especially this time of the year. Enjoy!

Just Say NO to Paper! Dry Your Hands with Washcloths

After watching the film No Impact Man and reading Colin Bevan’s book by the same title, I became inspired to make additional changes in my life to reduce my environmental footprint. I overcame my fear of biking on a busy street to get to work. I also started carrying washcloths so that I wouldn’t have to use trees or energy to dry my hands.

Think it’s easy to switch from paper towels to washcloths? Think again. I found myself forgetting to take it with me every time I went to the bathroom.

Beavan writes in his book that it takes about a month for a person to form a new habit. I agree. Now that I’ve been carrying washcloths for about a month, I rarely leave home without one.

So, just say NO to paper and electricity. Dry your hands with washcloths!

Bike to Work – My Story

Eddy got a new job this year. Since he began his new job, he has been biking to work. His new workplace is located less than a mile from our house, making the bike commute very easy for him. Lack of hills and back roads also make the commute easy and safe.

I, on the other hand, work 2.9 miles away from where I live. Several steep hills make my bike commute a bit tougher. More importantly, there is a 1.4-mile stretch of the commute where I have no choice but to to bike on a busy street. This makes the commute a bit scary.

A bus runs to my workplace, so I’ve taken it on days that I have no off-site meeting. But after seeing the film No Impact Man, I decided to overcome my fear of biking on a busy street and bike to work.

Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, decided to live one year without motorized transportation. That means no elevator, no subway, no car, and no plane. He wanted to go a year without train rides, but his mother, combined with Christmas, forced him to relent.

Colin biked everywhere in New York City. If No Impact Man can bike on busy New York City streets and survive, surely I can bike on one busy street in Little Rock and survive.

But before I ventured out on the street, Eddy and I embarked on making my bike commute as safe as possible. He helped me select bright bike lights, for both front and back, to make myself visible to drivers. We mapped out the shortest and safest route for me to bike to work and tested the route on a slow Sunday.

Next Monday, wearing bright clothes and a helmet, I biked to work. Guess what? It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be to bike on a busy street. In fact, I found out that most drivers on this particular street were very accommodating to me.

Since then, I’ve been biking to work on days that I have no off-site meeting. I enjoy it tremendously. During the 20 minutes it takes for me to bike to work, I get in workout AND personal time.

I’m very fortunate that my workplace has a shower and is understanding of bike commute. One day, when I had to go home in a hurry but was on my bike, my co-workers were quick to offer me rides.

Sure, there are some busy streets in Little Rock that I will never bike out of fear that I may be hurt. Drivers harass me from time to time. But so far, I’ve been enjoying biking to work, thanks to my workplace and Eddy who helped make my commute safe.

If you have ever considered biking to work, try to find out if it’s possible. I learned firsthand that what appeared impossible only appeared that way because I feared it. Now that I lost the fear, biking to work is not only possible but enjoyable.

So, let’s not unnecessarily fear commuting on bike. Take safety precautions and bike to work!