The last post got me thinking about this documentary I saw recently.
I just moved back to NYC from Seagrove and I am also grappling with what Green is, especially from a real estate development/urban planning perspective. I know about LEED certification and urban planning techniques in use in the U.S., but I am more interested in what needs to be done on a global level to produce some kind of sustainability.
So, I was initially drawn to watch the documentary in the theater because of the hypnotic imagery in the trailer and because i knew it would touch on urban development. I also got the sense that a new visual language was being explored. The landscape shot, generally a summary of the natural environment, became a framing of an alternate reality, sometimes frightening. It was easy to watch this film and be outraged or disappointed in the job we have done as land stewards. But, as time passed I was fascinated by psychology of the locations I was seeing. They seemed like a projection of internal space, a very human attempt to materialize a nightmare, like madness, desolation, or loss. But the spaces are enormous, like the collective psyche of a whole population suffering from the same disturbance. It took many years to create these landscapes and I don’t know if I believe that human consciousness is going to develop so significantly in the next few years that we will stop making more of them.
Most of the doc is set in China. A country just hitting its stride in a massive industrial revolution. The only thing to compare it to would be the U.S. industrial revolution BUT theirs is fuled by oil and much more sophisticaed technology. I don’t want to blunt the impact of what you will see by giving you a plot summary, so suffice to say i was left with the feeling that we can recycle our asses off for the next 50 years but China is going to be a nuclear bomb going off in slow motion. The last post pointed out how much less consumption per person China has, but this film really sets out the staggering scale of the environmental impact of Chinese manufacturing.
As far as documentaries go it is well crafted. The loose structure follows Edward Burtynsky, acclaimed international photographer as he captures the effects of China’s industrial revolution. This is not “An inconvenient Truth.” It is probably the least aggressive and preachy doc I have seen in a while. If you want to see global environmental change and be left to make up your own mind, check it out. You also may want to think about how long the United States is going to be THE super power. China is just ramping up and we have been sitting on our couches for a while now.
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We will have a blue bag program in Walton county, provided free by the county. The target date for the arrival of the bags is June first. The blue bag program is very simple and effective. Currently Walton County has what is called a dirty murf program for recycling. Under this system prisoners open the trash bags that collection trucks bring in from all over the county. These prisoners then separate salvageable recyclable materials. I say salvageable because a great deal of recyclable materials are no longer usable once they are mixed in with other garbage. Under the blue bag program residents will rinse their recyclable materials and separate them from other garbage. They will then put the blue bags out with their regular trash. Trash collection will pick up both blue bags and regular trash with the same truck. The blue bags will then be separated out at the waste facility in Defuniak. By separating recyclables into blue bags the amount of recyclable materials recovered greatly increases. The blue bags will be strong enough that they will not tear in the garbage trucks, and they are also recyclable.
I am going to lay out the progression of how we reached this point. Jenifer Kuntz and I (Arix Zalace) held an event in the beginning of this year in Gulf Place. We showed the film An Inconvenient Truth, and had speakers from Waste Management and CHELCO/AEC come to discuss our current waste and electricity situation. At this event Christina Scally approached Jen with some of her own suggestions, one of which was a blue bag program for Walton county. I presented the idea to commissioner Meadows, who then set up a meeting for us to discuss the topic. Here are the players present at this meeting: Cindy Meadows (County Commissioner), Ronnie Bell (County Administrator), Rory Cassedy (Governmental Affairs Manager for Waste Management), Lyle Seigler (Public Works Director), Claire Bannerman, Jennifer Kuntz, and Arix Zalace. The first meeting got the ball rolling as far as what direction this was heading, and any research needed. Jen and I just attended our second meeting with Commissioner Meadows, Lyle, Claire, Rusty Floyd (Solid Waste Manager), and Ken Little (Public Information Officer). The decision was made to start a blue bag program for all of Walton County. The target date set by Lyle for the production of the bags was June first. Printed on each bag will be Walton County’s logo and and a list of what materials can be put in them.
Jen and I want everyone to know how helpful the people mentioned above have been in moving this issue forward, and quite frankly making it happen. A special thanks goes out to Commissioner Meadows.
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Following is a letter written to Microsoft Corporation regarding recycling of e-products. The purpose of writing the letter and sharing it on this blog is two-fold. My objectives are to raise awareness among individuals about the issues of e-waste and mobilize corporations to adopt business practices that protect our environment. To Microsoft’s credit, they currently support a program called MAR (Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher), in partnership with TechSoup, that offers software to eligible computer refurbishers. Also, due to environmental concerns, they have phased out PVC in their packaging.
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