Archive for August, 2009

Outside Lands Day 3 – Give, Take and Green

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

It’s still relatively early here out the third day of Outside Lands, people either circulating with cups or beer or coffee (or both). We’re taking a slight music break to check out some of the tents, behind the scenes offerings, and offer other general musings about the festival.

We checked out a local SF band Big Light early today – 1) to check out a local band and 2) because they played at the Solar Stage (completely powered by solar like last year). Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of the stages powered by solar? They actually used solar on a larger scale for OL uno but they had power issues which apparently turned into economic issues this year.

Behind the scenes, most people think that a lot of drinking and eating goes on, which is true but people like Ice Cream Man sits in his ice cream van and just gives out ice cream – free. Why does he do it? He wants to just give something simple like ice cream (we downed a few Cherry Garcias while we talked with him) just to promote community and show people that you can simply give stuff away without expecting anything in return. Ice Cream Man hits the festival circuit but we’re more impressed when he hits various childrens’ hospitals and gives out free ice cream to sick kids. Now that’s a wonderful dessert. (more…)

Outside Lands – Day 2 – Bands and Sustainability

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Live from Outside Lands day two (Green posse in tow), today we focus on some of the artists. After all, for most people Outside Lands remains about the music. But unlike many festivals or shows Outside Lands offers a significant numbers of bands and singers who either have some direct social justice, environmental or artistic causes that they support or create.

Pearljam, who rocked us (despite poor Eddie Veder’s scratchy throat) last night has been offsetting their tours since 2006. The social and environmentally minded rockers fight corporate monopolies, create and cover songs with social and environmental angles (no surprise that they they covered Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” among other tunes last night), and donate even donate their bank to alt energy projects.

Tonight, another powerhouse in the sustainable movement the Dave Matthews Band hits the main stage. These band helped start a project called the Bama Green Project which maintains a partnership between Reverb and IZSTYLE, and encompasses various environmental efforts that the band commits to while on the road, in the studio and at home. The DMB and the Bama Green Project works on educating DMB fans around the world about how to take simple and positive environmental actions.  It’s good to know that we have some help in this educational environmental thing.

It’s not all about the big bands, smaller bands such as Blind Pilot, who toured the West Coast twice now on their bicycles, Lila Downs (who unfortunately canceled at the last minute) creates education funds for women down in Oaxaca Mexico), and West Indian Girl did their last tour with a bio diesel RV.

Hopefully, Outside Lands and other festivals will invite more bands with a social and environmental conscience. Sure the music is important but it doesn’t mean that the bands can’t do something good for someone or something else as well.

Back to work as the music continues…..

Live From the First Day of Outside Lands

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Before the onslaught of crowds hit Golden Gate Park for Pearljam tonight, I, along with other Green minions checked out the Ouside Lands Green scene just as West Indian Girl hit one of the numerous stages.

Don’t say that we didn’t warn you but those who are short on cash should consider the Global Inheritance sponsored recycle booth in the Eco Lands section. They offered a similar booth last year but not many people seemed aware of it. The deal here is that anyone who wants nifty Outside Lands shirt (for free) just needs to bring 75 empty cans or bottles to the booth. For 250 bottles you can snag a pair of Loomstate organic jeans and 150 gets a recycled record vinyl clock. Those not as inspired can get some Fuel TV sunscreen (and boy is sunscreen mandatory today) for just eight bottles. (more…)

Two to Tango – All Electric, Way Fast, But Pricey

Monday, August 17th, 2009

small  electric car

It was a one in 20 chance encounter.  I felt like a paparazzi who got a chance to spy a celebrity but in this instance my camera caught a shot of the Tango, the car that makes look the Smart Car look like a Lincoln Continental.  Only about 10-20 Tangos exists which makes the sighting more special. Actually my neighbor (a solar guy who already drives an EV-4) had the thing in his driveway in the Lower Haight and a crowd of passersby, tourists, and green auto enthusiasts formed around this electric only car.

As they say, looks can be deceiving. My neighbor said that the Tango can beat a Tesla in terms of acceleration. The Tango can accelerate from zero to over 130 mph in one gear. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. We say Zoom to that.

Don’t think that just because this little guy is small that it isn’t safe. Okay, relatively safe. It contains a crash tested roll cage (like they use for race cars). More importantly is comfort. You’d think that anyone sitting in the back would be subjected to eating their knees but the back seat allows more room than one might guess with the running boards for legroom. (more…)

Documentary Movie The Cove – Shallow Water. Deep Secret.

Monday, August 10th, 2009

A seemingly paranoid, ex-dolphin trainer slowly drives through a foreign land while being pursued by police and other locals may appear to be the start of a riveting spy thriller and in some cases that’s exactly what this film is but instead of drawing from the mind of Robert Ludlum, this situation comes from a real life deep dark cover up. Four years in the making, The Cove, surrounds the slaughter of thousands of dolphins in Taiji, Japan instantly thrusts viewers into a sort of Flipper espionage that not only rivets the audience but sends them on an emotional and educational rollercoaster.

The Cove refers to a sea inlet of the coast of Taiji where on the surface the town seems to embrace dolphins but in reality some of the local politicos as well as a handful of fisherman keep the dolphin slaughter a secret to not only most locals but the rest of Japan as well. (more…)

Social Networking and High Tech at Inman Connect 2009

Friday, August 7th, 2009

inman connect fotoIt’s kind of exciting to be around some of the top bloggers, social media giants, and computer media gurus at the 2009 Inman Connect. It would be silly to search for significant Green aspects within this conference, but the as they say it’s about people, planet, profit. Of course, the real estate industry here remains about profit but much of the new innovation deals with people.

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Mt. Whitney Water and Pollution

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

It’s not that Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the Lower 48, needs any more publicity. After all, about 30,000 hikers annually make the trek up to the thin air of 14, 496 feet. People who secure even a day use wilderness permit (not much fun making the ascent in one day) through the Mt. Whitney lottery system often feel better than if they had won a state run lottery where they actually win money.

On a recent (this past week) stroll up into the thin air of Mt. Whitney my hiking buddies and I discovered some things. While most hikers have courtesy and smarts to be as conscious as possible toward environmental stewardship it always happens where a few conventionally grown apples ruin it for everyone else. Case in point being at the last reliable water source (High Camp Tarn) before the final push up the 99 switchbacks to reach the summit what did we spy? A dazzling reflection of the various peaks? Yes. A plethora of discarded Mountain House packages resting on the floor of the tarn. You bet. Not only did these packages tarnish the beauty of the scenic watering hole but even forgetting esthetics, who wants to drink water from a polluted lake before a major climb? (more…)