One of the magical things about being an entertainer is the great things you can do for worthy causes. It’s as if they are one, because they are. Artist of all kinds touch our senses and remind us of what’s of essence. That’s what Sting, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Bruce Springsteen and other star performers did at Carnegie Hall several days ago for the Rainforest Fund’s 21st birthday.
The New yorK performance is significant because it showcases a cause many of us around the globe are seeking… a more sustainable, cerebral and spiritual connection with the environment. California I was once told wasn’t just a place, but a state of mind… like being in a New York state of mind. So too is being green…it’s also an emotional state tuned to the rhythm and rhyme of the planet. Hearing that beat we can dance into a better understanding of how to best utilize the renewable power of the sun, sea, wind and waves.
The event was produced by Sting’s wife Trudie Styler to support the Rainforest Foundation. Rainforests provide essential ecological benefits to all of humankind. They are also home to a vast number of cultures and societies who have lived close to the natural world for millennia.The Rainforest Foundation was the first international nonprofit to support indigenous peoples as a strategy for promoting social justice and halting the destruction of tropical forests worldwide.
A new generation of Ecotourism professionals
Ecotourism icon Megan Epler Wood was recently named a Fellow with the Institute at the Golden Gate. In that role as well as others she is on a mission to help inspire a new generation of ecotourism professionals. Megan Epler Wood founded The International Ecotourism Society in 1990, the first and largest ecotourism NGO in the world and was its president for 12 years. Under her leadership, TIES developed a membership program in over 100 countries, publications, workshops and stakeholder meetings that reached tens of thousands, and an international communications program that reached millions.
Epler Wood has been a keynote speaker at events in over a dozen countries. She has lectured at Harvard, Duke, Columbia Business School, and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University in the U.K. She was the lead ecotourism lecturer at George Washington University from 1995-2000. Megan lectured on ecotourism planning as a tool in economic development at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain in April 2008.
LISTEN to her recent interview with QuestPointnTheMix.com.
See the VIDEO Conversations with Eco Innovators
Sustainable green eco solar organic living now
Leslie & Alden Adkins show how
That’s probably the best way to describe the Inverness Valley Inn located in the beautiful West Marin town of Inverness California. Only minutes away from Point Reyes National Seashore and Limontour Beach, the Inverness Valley Inn is a gem that sits on 15 acres. The owners
Leslie and Alden Adkins are an excellent example of what going green is all about. After meeting with them for about 15 minutes I felt as if I was on the set of a remake of the hit TV sitcom Green Acres. But as Alden states so eloquently, “Leslie is to the world ecology what Zsa Zsa Gabor was to the world of cosmetics.” Leslie has an extensive background as an ecology professional and Alden was a New York, DC and San Francisco lawyer before they changed their lives to become stewards of this wonderful inn. Oh yeah there’s no Arnold the pig there but there is Coco the Icelandic sheep who’s matriarch to a mixed species crew of animals whose job is to graze daily and keep the grounds groomed. Children of all the types are dazzled by the animals’ unified efforts and unique personalities.
Coco and Crew
Inverness Valley Inn Overview
One of the first things Leslie and Alden did when they purchased the Inverness Vally Inn over three years ago was to install a 10 kilowatt solar system which now supplies power to more than half of the property. They are also considering the creation of a community garden so locals can grown their own vegetables, and allowing guests to volunteer their time if they’d like to get their hands in the earth. Leslie and Alden have been successful at creating an eco friendly inn that’s cut energy consumption and provides wonderful tranquility to urban and suburban guests who may have forgotten just how reinvigorating nature can be.
Video of Megan Epler Wood from the Institute at the Golden Gate series “Conversations with Eco Innovators”
MEGAN EPLER WOOD
EplerWood International was launched in January 2003, by Megan Epler Wood, founder and past president of The International Ecotourism Society, to advise private business, government, international development projects, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions on the development of sustainable tourism and ecotourism in developing countries.
EplerWood International provides market-based approaches to sustainable tourism development in response to a rising global demand for sustainable tourism projects that would meet economic development needs.
LISTEN to Megan Epler Woods’s insightful interview with Richard Andrews Click here
It’s the sort of project people dream of when they wax idealistic about carbon offsets: In northern Argentina – where sun is plentiful – solar-powered ovens could generate carbon offsets, and thus funds, for rural communities. The ovens are made locally with polished aluminum to better catch the sun’s rays, and are 100 percent solar powered, which means locals don’t need firewood or gas to cook. By reducing the use of wood and fossil fuels, the ovens reduce emissions. Now, the EcoAndina Foundation, which helped develop the ovens, is hoping to verify those reductions in order to get the locals carbon credits that they can sell photo courtesy ecoandinaIn northern Argentina, EcoAndina is giving villages solar powered ovens, heaters and water heaters. Now the villages hope to turn their emissions reduction into income by selling verified carbon offsets.
Since EcoAndina began working in the region 20 years ago, it has distributed solar-powered ovens, heaters, and hot water heaters to hundreds of residents and schools. In addition to reducing emissions, the units help stave off the desertification of the region by reducing the need for wood. According to Silvia Rojo, president of EcoAndina, the collection of local wood and shrubs for firewood has led to serious desertification, the loss of species, and damage to watersheds.
EcoAndina, working with the UN Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility, coined the term “solar village” for villages that have received training on the use and development of solar technologies and widely adopted solar options. “It is a category that gives the community a higher standing and fills it with pride, because the residents are recognized for using clean technologies,” Rojo says. The goal is to transform 30 villages into solar villages and, eventually, to install a solar generator to supply electricity to all of Jujuy province. If it works, it would be the first in Latin America, although similar projects are being pursued in Brazil and Chile.
—Inter Press Service, 12/13
Sustainable “Green Travel” in Effect
Listen here> Interview with Danielle Weiss Planeterra – GAP ADVENTURES
PERU STREETKIDS PROJECT
House of the People of the Sun: Planeterra travels to Peru to visit with the street children of Cusco.
Planeterra established the Peru Streetkids Project to give back to the people in the communities where so many travellers visit every year to explore the Inca Trail and Machu Pichu during their travels through South America. Planeterra, with the help of Gap Adventures and hundreds of travellers, have raised over $100,000 USD to purchase a permanent home for the street children of Cusco, Peru & their families.
Travelers can incorporate a visit to this project during their travels to Peru on our Project Machu Pichu voluntour.