Agrivoltaics, Viking-style, plus 12 years after “The Story of Stuff.” The Plastic Health Summit, and Exxpedition.com
Agrivoltaics, Viking-Style, 12 Years After “The Story of Stuff”, Plastic Health Summit, Exxpedition.com
THE STORY OF STUFF, 12 YEARS ON
Way back in 2007-2008, when I was just a fledgling adult and the internet was but a small part of the media UNIVERSE, I happened across a film short called, “The Story of Stuff.” It blew my hair back. It changed the way I saw the world. It also angered me into sustainable action.
The Story of Stuff was conceived of by activist-turned-filmmaker Annie Leonard after she became obsessed with her stuff. Where it came from, what became of its packaging and all the other waste that went in to producing and shipping it. She developed a passion for reforming the world’s industrial systems, thanks to her fascination with garbage.
The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.
Twelve years later, I revisited “The Story of Stuff” to see if it’s held up over time. It has. In fact it’s even more relevant today, for two reasons. First because we’re twelve years farther down the road of our “one-off,” disposable consumer society, and two, thanks to Amazon and COVID-19, more people are having more stuff individually packaged and delivered to their homes than ever before.
“The Story of Stuff” is a must see. It will infuriate, inspire and invigorate you. And it’s what I like to call the gateway drug to a whole slew of fantastic offerings on The Story of Stuff website. That little movie has spawned a movement. The Story of Stuff organization has developed
award-winning animated movies which have garnered more than 50 million online views around the world and encouraged viewers to support hundreds of environmental projects and campaigns with their time, energy and money. And it’s an online community of over one million, too.
DEEPER DIVE: YouTube, Story of Stuff Project
PLASTIC HEALTH SUMMIT
Just last month, The Climate Daily reported on a ferocious advocacy group with the memorable name, Plastic Soup Foundation. It was founded in 2011 to stop the plastic tsunami as soon as possible. In 2019, the folks at Plastic Soup held the Plastic Health Summit. It was so popular, they schemed to repeat the feat, only to meet defeat at the hands of COVID. This year, though, the plan is to do it again.
Plastic Soup Foundation, in coordination with the Plastic Health Coalition – a group of over a dozen scientists and organizations taking action to reverse the deleterious effects of plastic on the climate — is hosting the second Plastic Health Summit. The conference is definitely scheduled for October 21, 2021, and tentatively scheduled for the Theater Amsterdam in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Speakers and presenters will be announced shortly. If they’re anything like the lineup from 2019, it’s going to be a powerful series of presentations.
And why does the Plastic Health Summit matter? Because the potential negative health effects of plastics are a major cause for concern. Not just for us, but for an increasing number of scientists and organizations as well.
The Summit’s theme this year is One Health. It’s based on the firm belief that environmental and human health are intimately connected. More and more news stories arise each week about the amount of microplastics found in all types of bodies of water and subsequently in marine life. The Climate Daily will report as often as possible on natural marine solutions too.
DEEPER DIVE: Plastic Health Coalition, Plastic Health Summit
Back in March, The Climate Daily brought you the story of how plummeting cranberry prices and the country’s ongoing trade wars have America’s cranberry industry eyeing a possible new savior: solar power.
We told you of how Michael Wainio, a fourth-generation cranberry farmer in Massachusetts, is working with developer NextSun Energy and had installed roughly 27,000 solar panels over about 60 acres of active bogs across three farms in Carver, MA near Cape Cod. And of how in Massachusetts, cranberry growers and their solar partners are hoping to take advantage of a new renewable energy incentive meant to encourage the development of “agrivoltaics,” the term coined for “dual use” solar and agriculture projects.
Well Sweden and the Netherlands, normally leaders in sustainability and alternative energy, must have been listening because. Following America’s lead, Swedish energy firm Vattenfall recently received permitting to build a solar farm on a farm in Almere, east of Amsterdam.
It’s a pilot program called, “Symbizon,” and is targeted to last four years. The panels would be installed in alternate rows, with the rows in between made available for organic crops to grow.
Why does this matter to us? Because Vattenfall’s innovation is in that it installs double-sided solar panels. Double-sided solar panels allow the panels to catch light reflected from the soil, crops and adjacent rows. and use it to generate solar power.
Way to catch up, Vikings! Oh, and despite my America First bias, according to the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the idea ofthe concept originated back in the early 1980s and is attributed to its founder Adolf Goetzberger and Armin Zastrow, his colleague.
DEEPER DIVE: Tampa Bay Journal, HeberGementWebs, CNBC
CLIMATE WARRIORS– EXXPEDITION.COM
This girl-power story features EXXPEDITION, led by ocean advocate and skipper Emily Penn. Founded in 2014 to shift the way people feel, think and act by building a global network of multidisciplinary women who can contribute to world-class scientific studies, explore solutions, and use their unique skill sets to tackle the problem from all angles, it runs pioneering all-female voyages that explore the impact of and solutions to plastic and toxic pollution in our ocean. Its sailing research expeditions at sea and virtually voyages on land investigate the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution.
Since 2014, EXXPEDITION has run expeditions all over the world. Previous scientific research highlighted the endemic nature of microplastics within our ocean environments globally. It’s focus now is to advance a better understanding of the plastics issue as a whole and to work with individuals and industry to pinpoint solutions and policy at a global level by addressing knowledge-gaps and delivering evidence to inform effective solutions.
Starting in 2021, Exxpedition.com now features virtual voyages. eXXpedition Virtual Voyages will give guest crew an in-depth understanding of the true impact of the plastics issue, forge and deepen relationships within the eXXpedition global community, develop solutions-based thinking and result in a plan for how each participant can apply their superpower to solve the problem. Additionally, the voyages deliver the sessions on a watch schedule to allow multinational crew to observe, which gives a broader perspective and understanding about the issues that need to be solved at a global level.
DEEPER DIVE: Exxpedition.com, Forbes, NatGeo, CBC.ca