BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit Coming to Monterey

The BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit will feature an exhibit by National Geographic photographer David Doubliet. Photo: Galapagos Sea Lion © David Doubilet

Monterey, California, is a lovely seaside community with a world-class aquarium. It’s long been a vacation destination for ocean enthusiasts. And now, it is the new, permanent setting for the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit.

If you’re planning to be in Northern California August 24–29, consider attending the festival to see the year’s leading films about the wonders of the ocean, to hear lectures and panel discussions by leading ocean researchers, to view an ecstatically beautiful photo exhibit by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, and to participate in other exciting events.

Film Festival

It’s hard to say what’s the greatest highlight of the six-day event. But the BLUE Ocean Film Festival has to be among them. Inaugurated last year in Savannah, Georgia, the festival is a global event that attracts filmmakers, photographers, scientists, and, of course, the public. Last year’s Best of the Festival film, The Cove, went on to win a 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

This year’s films are equally exciting, with 350 entrants vying for top honors. Finalist Films will be shown at six venues around the city, and the remaining films can be viewed through a film library during the event. You can find a complete listing of the Finalist Films and Honorable Mentions on the Festival website.

If you’ll be bringing children with you or have a specific interest in films for kids, be sure to check out the five finalists in the Children’s Programming category.

Disneynature Oceans

The opening film at the Festival is Disneynature’s Oceans, which debuted on Earth Day (April 22) earlier this year. This event has limited seating and will be introduced by Disneynature’s executive vice president Jean-Francois Camilleri. Following is a description of the film from the BLUE Ocean website:

Nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and OCEANS boldly chronicles the mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud dive deep into the very waters that sustain all of mankind—exploring the harsh reality and the amazing creatures that live within. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan and featuring spectacular never-before-seen imagery captured by the latest underwater technologies, OCEANS offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea in a powerful motion picture that unfolds on April 22, 2010. For more information, visit disney.com/oceans or become a fan on Facebook.

Conservation Summit

Photo: "Stingray and Clouds" © David Doubilet

BLUE Ocean is also a Conservation Summit, hosting leading scientists, explorers, filmmakers, photographers, and environmentalists. For the full lineup of events, go to the Conservation Schedule. Here are a few of the many offerings —

Wednesday, August 25

“Aliens of the Deep: Presented by Dr. Bruce Robison. Join veteran ocean explorer and MBARI Senior Scientist for a visual journey into the ocean depths and discussion about the amazing alien creatures that have been discovered recently.”

Thursday, August 26

“Gulf Oil Spill: Tragedy to Turning Point. Roundtable panel discussion presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau.”

“Eco-Tourism: Exploitation or Salvation? Panel discussion: Join conservation leaders, whale shark researchers and ecotourism experts in a discussion of the pros and cons of whale shark ecotourism. Will it be a tale of sustainable, well-managed ecotourism-or that of a precarious balance upset by overzealous commercial exploitation? Moderated by Shari Sant Plummer; Panelists: Dr. Sylvia Earle, Rafael de la Parra, Dr. Rachel Graham, Wallace J. Nichols”

“Key Note Presentation: David Doubilet” National Geographic photographer

Friday, August 27

“Forum on Climate Change. Panel Discussion. Moderated by Meg Caldwell; Panelists Jim Barry, Rob Dunbar, Lisa Sautoni, Jim Steele”

“The Value of Forage Species in the Sea. Presented by Geoff Shester. It’s the little things that matter. Forage species like sardines, anchovies, squid, herring and krill form the base of the ocean food web and in the face of increasing stresses on the ocean are ever more critical to maintaining the health and resilience of ocean food webs. Changes in the abundance of these small fish affects everything from whales to seabirds to the fishing and restaurant industries. This panel will discuss the latest science & policy approaches to managing forage species at ecologically sustainable levels.”

Saturday, August 28

“Multimedia at Museums. Presented by Katie Snider. Tips and techniques for producing videos that can hold the attention span of a 12 year old and keep the integrity of the science.”

“My Father, The Captain: My Life with Jacques Cousteau. Presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau. Join Jean-Michel Cousteau in an intimate conversation with insights from his book and a glimpse at his upcoming documentary by the same title.”

Sunday, August 29

“Making Waves Forum. Moderated by Mike Sutton. Join a panel of veteran filmmakers and policy advocates in a thought provoking discussion on effectively leveraging the power of film to help protect the ocean and the life within.”

Ocean Photography

Photo: Lemon Sharks - Bahamas © David Doubilet

Festival participants will be treated to an incredibly beautiful exhibit of ocean photographs by renowned National Geographic photographer David Doubilet. Examples of Doubilet’s work are included in this post.

In addition, festival-goers will be able to see entrants in a photo contest in which they were asked to interpret the story of the ocean in just 12 shots. The winner will be announced during the festival.

Festival Passes

Two categories of festival passes are available for purchase at various levels: Community Festival Passes and Industry Conference Passes. A single day Community Festival Pass costs only $45. If you plan to attend, be sure to check out the various pass options and rates on the Festival website.

For More Information

Whether you want information about volunteer opportunities, lodging, or venue locations, the place to check is the official BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit website.

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

Take Action – Remove Toxic Flame Retardants from Kids’ Products

Children in California are exposed to a huge burden of flame-retardant chemicals. Photo: © Suprijono Suharjoto - Fotolia.com

In California, babies and young children are exposed to toxic flame-retardant chemicals in their clothing, sheets, and other materials nearly every minute of every day. Healthy Child Healthy World has launched a campaign urging citizens to send faxes TODAY to Governor Schwarzenegger and other government officials with a strong message in favor of SB 772. According to Christopher Gavigan, CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, the bill would “exempt baby and juvenile products from California’s regulations that create a de facto mandate for the use of toxic fire retardant chemicals.”

On the surface, fire retardants in children’s clothing, bedding, strollers, infant carriers, changing tables, cribs, high chairs, and other products sound like a good idea. We all want children to be protected from flames. But Gavigan points out the flaws in this reasoning:

Children's bedding sold in California must contain flame retardants, which are potentially hazardous. Photo: © Thomas Perkins - Fotolia.com

Children's bedding sold in California must contain flame retardants, which are potentially hazardous. Photo: © Thomas Perkins - Fotolia.com

There is no clear data showing that using these chemicals saves lives, and a growing body of research suggests that exposure to fire retardants is dangerous to the health of our children. Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission scientists cited studies linking fire retardant exposure to cancer, birth defects, reproductive problems, thyroid disorders, hyperactivity, learning disabilities and a plethora of other health concerns.

A study published last year in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that Californians have twice the concentration of the flame retardant penta-BDE in their blood as people who live elsewhere in the United States due to the continued, and long-lasting presence of these chemicals in baby products and other home furnishings.

There is no evidence that a single baby‘s life has been saved by California’s regulation, which is why the Consumer Product Safety Commission has decided not to regulate baby products against fire. Given the stark budget realities, it makes no sense for the State to be spending its limited resources to regulate a product for which there is no known risk.

Worse yet, chemical lobbyists are trying to convince the California legislature to require even more products to carry these same toxic fire retardants. (Don’t the lobbyists care about children’s health?) We must not stand back and watch this happen. The health and well-being of California’s children is at stake. And this is one cause of ill health that’s totally preventable.

How to Help

The most powerful effort you can make to sway the opinions of Governor Schwarzenegger and California legislators is to write a personal letter telling why this bill is important. Gavigan urges concerned citizens to use his words above as the basis of your letters. Or, before you write, visit the Healthy Child Healthy World website to read more in-depth information about this topic.

If you are a Californian, your letter will be especially meaningful to the Governor and your legislators. If you live elsewhere, your thoughtful, information-filled letter may still be helpful. (Can’t hurt.) Write about the regulations in your own state or country. Let everyone know that we don’t need to overload our kids with chemicals to keep them safe from fire. We end up trading protection from a rare problem for a universal threat to all young children. That’s not a good bargain.

Gavigan invites you to fax your letters to the following:

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

1. Attn: Bismarck Obando, External Affairs Secretary #: 916-324-6358

2. Cabinet #: 916-323-0918

3. Chief of Staff #: 916-323-9991

4. Communications #: 916-324-6357

5. Constituent Affairs #: 916-445-4633

6. Attn: Linda Adams, Secretary CalEPA #: 916-324-0908

7. Attn: Maziar Movassaghl, Department of Toxic Substances Control #: 916-324-3158

This is a critically important opportunity to protect millions of California’s children from the potentially harmful effects of unnecessary chemicals.

Don’t have access to a fax machine? Fax from your laptop or desktop computer with this free online fax service.

I live in Iowa, but I’ll be faxing letters in support of SB 772. I’ll also spread the word to my family and friends. Will you join me?

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

San Ramon Eco-Festival – “Good, Green Fun for Everyone”

Update 8/23/09: Festival organizer, Robert Jacobs, reports that the San Ramon Eco-Festival has been postponed, with the intention of rescheduling. If you would like more details, please contact Robert at rjacobs@eco-festivals.org. — Publisher


Want to learn how to live an eco-friendly life and have a great time doing it? You can do both by attending the first annual San Ramon, California, Eco-Festival. This family friendly event will be held at Bishop Ranch Civic Center on August 29 and 30, 2009.

The event will be open Saturday, August 29, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, August 30, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eco-Festivals, sponsor of the event, aims to help people “live simple and cost-effective green lifestyles.”

“Today, average citizens are eager to minimize their impact on our planet,” said Robert Jacobs, Executive Director, Eco-Festivals, Inc. “The San Ramon Eco-Festival will provide a simple blueprint for sustainable living that demonstrates going green can be easy and fun.”

The free program will feature celebrities known for their environmental advocacy. Watch for Living with Ed stars Ed Begley Jr., and his wife, Rachelle Carson-Begley; Red, Hot & Green host, Nicole Facciuto; Outer Spaces host, Susie Coelho; and other HGTV notables.

Ed Begley and Rachelle Carson-Begley. Photo Courtesy:

Ed Begley and Rachelle Carson-Begley. Photo Courtesy: Eco-Festivals, Inc.

Robert Craymer — the designer behind the elite, backstage, eco-greenrooms at the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Young Hollywood Awards, the Sundance Film Festival, the Bravo A-List Awards, and Al Gore’s LiveEarth concerts — will be instrumental in designing the festival.

“The City of San Ramon is excited to welcome this groundbreaking event to help our local and Bay Area residents and business community experience the positive impact of a green lifestyle,” said H. Abram Wilson, Mayor, San Ramon, California. “The San Ramon Eco-Festival will offer attendees the tools to become more environmentally conscious in a fun and inspiring atmosphere.”

The presence of several different zones at the Eco-Festival offer will provide visitors a wide variety of entertainment options related to eco-living. Highlights include the following, according to a press release by Eco-Festival:

  • Main Stage: Listen to the sounds of well-known environmentalist rock band U2 through cover band Zoo Station, and additional performances by Bay Area talent.

    Zoo-Station will cover U2 songs at the EcoFestival. Photo Courtesy:

    Zoo-Station will cover U2 songs at the Eco-Festival. Photo Courtesy: Eco-Festivals, Inc.

  • Meet the Experts: Learn about different green industries as experts share their knowledge in sessions designed to raise environmental awareness and provide take-home tips.
  • Kids Zone: Play sustainable carnival games, ride solar/bio-fuel-powered rides and enjoy performances by the country’s most famous children’s acts, such as nationally acclaimed PBS children’s performer SteveSongs, as well as the Happy Birds (featured on “The Tonight Show”).
  • Food Court: Experience the future of organic dining while testing the latest tools for eco-friendly cooking, cleaning, and disposal.
  • Vendor Village: Browse the latest sustainable goods and services for the home, garden and office.
  • Fashion Show: View chic, stylish fashions showcasing clothing, jewelry and beauty products made from organic materials.
  • Auto Zone: Discover the latest innovations in electric cars, hybrids and sustainable car care that don’t sacrifice quality or style.
  • Career Zone: Learn how to make sustainability a full-time career at the on-site job fair.

Vendors and other providers who would like to participate in the event or partner with Eco-Festivals, Inc., should contact sponsorship@eco-festivals.org or exhibits@eco-festivals.org. For more information please visit www.eco-festivals.org.

Eco-Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit organization seeking 501(c)(3) status that aims to educate everyday people on how to incorporate environmentally-friendly practices into everyday life and live a green lifestyle. Eco-Festival events are designed to engage consumers of all ages through interactive entertainment and exhibitions that make learning how to minimize harm to our environment fun.

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living

Conserving Water, a Sinkful at a Time

Don't waste the water going down your drain — capture it for watering plants. Photo: © Dev- Fotolia.com

Water shortages in California are contributing to a drought that could end farming in California’s rich agricultural areas by the end of this century, according to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. And farms aren’t alone in the danger zone. Cities, too, are facing disaster, if we don’t slow global warming, Chu said in a February 4 interview in the L.A. Times.

But, slowing global warming is a long-term process that requires efforts on a global, or at least a national, scale. What can Californians — or any other drought-affected people — do about the water shortage right now, on a local level?

One suggestion is to reuse the waste water generated by showering, washing clothes, and using the sink. These sources of waste water are called greywater, and though you won’t want to drink it, you can easily reuse it to water some of your plants and trees.

Although soapy water is bad for rivers and streams, it’s actually good for watering plants, according to The Natural Home Building Source, which offers plans for greywater treatment systems.

“From an environmental standpoint,” their website says, “the main reason for greywater reuse is to actually reuse the soaps, skin particles, shampoo, and hair conditioner as plant fertilizer, keeping them out of waterways. Phosphate rich soaps and mild cleaning chemicals in your wastewater are considered pollutants because they accelerate algae growth in the waterways, which in turn leads to oxygen depletiion for fish and other marine life.”

Hands-on Workshop in L.A.

But how do you capture greywater in a manner that’s convenient and doesn’t make a mess? If you’ll be in Los Angeles this Wednesday, you can find out at a Greywater Workshop at the GOOD Space on Melrose.

The workshop includes a hands-on demonstration, which will prepare attendees to collect and reuse greywater from their homes. Presenter Erik Knudsen will also explain other strategies for conserving greywater, cutting your water bill, and saving freshwater resources.

Water conservation starts in your own sink. Photo: © Orlando Florin Rosu - Fotolia.com

The following agenda for Wednesday’s workshop is quoted from the GOOD website:

  • “How to hack your plumbing
  • How to create a greywater surge tank for your washing machine
  • Greywater compatible detergents
  • Choosing the best plants for greywater
  • Creating mulch basins
  • Greywater dos and don’ts
  • Water conservation and efficiency”

You’ll also see the following notice — worth paying attention to — as well as the date/time/location information for the workshop:

“It just so happens that much of what we’ll be demonstrating is illegal under current plumbing codes. But codes be damned! We’ll show you how to be a discreet and responsible greywater outlaw.

Erik Knutzen’s Greywater Workshop
Wednesday, May 27
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
GOOD Space, 6824 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles CA 90038
RSVP here.”

Resources

What about the rest of us, who won’t be at the Los Angeles workshop? The GOOD site recommends the following books for do-it-yourselfers:

I can testify to the excellence of Dam Nation, as I purchased a copy from Change of State Performance Project, the acting troupe that presented Take This House (And Float It Away), in Iowa City last month. Among a number of excellent and well-written articles, you’ll find drawings that show how to adapt your plumbing to divert greywater to an outdoor storage container. So, if you can’t get to the workshop, you can still learn what you need to do to conserve and reuse greywater at home.

Of course, greywater is only one source of water you might capture. Watch this website for a future post about how we will be collecting our rainwater for reuse here in Iowa City. But be sure to check your local regulations; you may be surprised to learn that capturing rainwater is illegal in some locations.

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)


SIP Global to Host Green Trade Show and Conference

“We believe the answer for a better future relies on the availability of environmentally friendly products for everyone’s everyday use…. A real shift in the current situation will only occur when manufacturers worldwide understand how important it is — and how profitable it can be — to invest in new products and technologies that will improve and protect our environmental condition.” — Julio Marchi, SIP Global – The Green Foundation

BPGL spoke by phone with Julio Marchi, CEO of SIP Global – The Green Foundation. We wanted to know about SIP Global’s upcoming conference, as well as what the foundation is doing to further green products.

MARCHI: Understanding the meaning of “SIP” almost defines our whole organization. SIP stands for Solutions, Ideas, and Products. Our goal is to bring more “green” solutions, ideas, and products to the consumer market. We are here because we believe many organizations treat this idea of the environment with a lot of heart, but don’t understand the business requirements involved behind the creation of a new product (especially a green product), or the challenges involved in bringing green products to the consumer market.

Julio Marchi, CEO, SIP Global — The Green Solution

Julio Marchi, CEO, SIP Global — The Green Foundation

I’ve been speaking with many people (inventors, green business owners, manufacturers, etc.), and the majority of them have similar impressions: They love all the ideas of other organizations, but nobody appears to have anything like our message. We are businessmen. In my other life, what I do is international business. The gentleman at my side is Mr. Bernie Chow. He has an extensive engineering and manufacturing background and is also an international business consultant. We have a lot of members and supporters all over the world: here in the USA, in Mexico, Brazil, China, and even in Europe.

We understand what it takes from product conception to development, from development to production, and from production all the way to the consumer market. What we do is to communicate with all those layers, bringing to them the means to make something great. Sometimes, we are able to assist with investment; other times, what is missing is a network of contacts. Most of the time, we provide professional services or consulting. But the most important aspect of what we do is that we talk business, getting down to the dollar amount up front and helping tweak it to make the budget work.

You have to believe me when I say that it is a real challenge for green products. For example, there are certain products in the marketplace nowadays that are green, but the questions on the business investors’ minds are, “Will they last?” “Will they succeed against other, similar, non-green products?” “Are they profitable?” Because questions like those are yet unanswered, most companies don’t have real incentive to manufacture green products. It costs too much just to develop and manufacture them, and the sales results are not easily estimated. The green market is new, and there is no previous history to be analyzed.

BPGL: What are the repercussions of that?

MARCHI: The manufacturers stick with products that are not green friendly just because they are sure to make money. This green market is something that’s still on the edge of their motivation. Everyone wants to jump into new opportunities and get there first, but the world is now different. Even the global economic chaos contributes negatively to their final decision. Investors now are saying, “Okay, it sounds like a great opportunity, but we don’t know exactly what’s going on and how risky it could be.” Then nothing happens.

What we do is jump in between those layers, interconnecting them with a very well-defined working plan, especially designed for the referenced product and its market. We bring more professionalism to the whole process and make it easy for the businesses to get funded. By the end, we also interact with the marketing promotions and sales, making sure the product gets the proper attention in the media.

BPGL: How is SIP Global able to help green businesses?

MARCHI: We are a nonprofit organization. Besides the services we offer, we also raise funds for all those strategies and requirements. We work with money that we collect. We match some funds to product design and research, but most of our budget is planned to go to the media and promotion. To finance new developments and final production, there are always other means we can use, depending on each case.

BPGL: Where do these funds come from?

MARCHI: Some will come from venture capitalists, and others will be donations from the general public or institutions. Venture capitalists can invest in some specific green projects, as they prefer. We are also working to obtain grants from the government, as they are offering it for green businesses now. However, we have very well-defined programs that allow us to join efforts with developers, manufacturers, and distributors of environmentally friendly products. Those programs have a limited business participation level involved, and we get compensated when results are achieved. This way we can reinvest the funds in other projects. There is more information on line about this.

BPGL: How do people with business ideas locate your foundation and find out about you?

sip-global-three-logo

MARCHI: We use the Internet and try to promote the foundation as much as possible. We have promotions going out using different technologies, and we count on support from affiliated websites. We also go on line, search for green businesses and introduce ourselves. But, nothing is better than the face-to-face approach, and for that we have the Trade Show. One of the goals of the event is to drive attention to what we’re doing. There’s no more conversation behind the computer; it’s now face to face and a place for people to go and see what’s going on. We bring all those people together, and they come in to mingle, and to create this layer of communication between those who are developing, investing, promoting, buying and selling.

BPGL: You’re connecting inventors, investors, manufacturing companies, marketers, and salespeople. That’s sounds like a unique and helpful service.

MARCHI: We’re trying to combine everyone’s efforts. We understand that at the moment, everybody is looking for every dime. However, there’s opportunity for people to make some money while still helping the environment, and we need to maximize it. I’m very motivated about green, and I love to do something that touches my heart. But I’m not an activist, I’m a businessman.

BPGL: Besides connecting people by being “another layer,” what else does SIP Global do?

MARCHI: We do certifications and qualifications, consulting, research. We deal with all the marketing campaigns requirements. We do a lot of things. Actually, we try to keep the scope simple, but when you get down to action, there is no simplicity.

I’d love to bring up many practical examples, but for several reasons I can’t disclose anything in detail at this point. However, there is one particular case I can use as an example of how the “business angle” can be an obstacle even when the invention or product is absolutely fantastic.

A gentleman has developed a new product that can cut energy costs (and consumption) with absolutely no harm to the environment, even at the disposal level. For many years, he worked hard and faced uncountable challenges to develop his invention. Then, when he was almost ready to get down to business, a big company found a similar product — not as good or as green as his — and they invested a lot of money in it (the product is on the market now, and its campaigns are worldwide).

The fact is, this big company will not drop the other product until they get their investment back with a great profit margin, even while knowing that a better one is available — so the inventor just lost the wave. It gets even worse: To guarantee the profitability of their investment, the big company is working hard in the background to slow down this inventor’s business, putting their own interests in front of his opportunities. Again, it’s a business, and in the end, it’s the dollar amount that counts [for them].

Nevertheless, we are finding new avenues for this gentleman and his product, and we will be there with him until we are sure he has succeeded!

This gentleman said, and I’m quoting him, “Julio, do you know how many organizations in the last 10 years I’ve been invited to get in, to talk, to hear, to listen to what I say?” I told him what I imagined, and he told me, “Julio, do you know how many of those organizations I still communicate with? None.”

I asked, “Why?”

“Because, they don’t have the method, they don’t understand from my point of view, what is required for me — as a new technology development — to get my product on the market. They know about the concepts, but they don’t know about the application of the business in this market. But you guys do, and that is exactly what is missing right now.”

BPGL: What other kinds of problems do green businesses face today?

MARCHI: Right now, there’s a lot of confusion about the message, about what’s green. There’s a lot of confusion about quality of products. There are many new companies just popping up with great, fantastic ideas, but with no reputation at all. Now, you might ask, How can they get any kind of finance? How can they get any kind of support? How can they promote any kind of guarantee that they will succeed? They don’t have a marketing plan. They don’t have a business strategy, because they don’t understand it. They are developers with a different mind. In this market right now, there’s a lot of confusion, a lot of miscommunication, and absolutely no networking.

I go on line, and I research every day for as long as I can. I go to Google, Yahoo, MSN, looking for all the key words. I have a huge set of notepads here, where I put my notes about every website that I visit. As far as I can see, in my own analysis, they are all promoting almost the same thing, but using completely different speeches, and that’s what scares me. If you have too many people saying the same thing in so many different ways, the listener just stops listening, and the message gets lost.

BPGL: With so much “chatter,” it begins to sound like birds chirping.

MARCHI: Absolutely. You don’t know who’s right, who’s wrong. You don’t know who’s best, who’s the worst. You don’t have any kind of comparison. You don’t have any kind of statistical support. I think everybody’s doing their jobs, but not combining efforts. So we are trying to help them network their ideas, combining efforts to get recognition and better support.

Another thing SIP Global does is “certification.” At the Trade Show, we will launch a new green seal that covers from the manufacturer level — if the manufacturer is green — through usage and all the way up to product disposal. We are creating a visual system that makes it so easy for anyone to just look at the seal and identify all those levels of preservation. We call it PROGENF: Product Guaranteed Environmentally Friendly.

I’ve been an ISO 9001 and 9002-certified agent for many years. We have supporters that used to work at UL (Underwriter Laboratories), so we know exactly how those certifications work. We need to create some kind of single and effective message for the consumer. The goals are to guarantee that green products are really GREEN and to educate the consumer about that.

BPGL: How do you plan to spread this message to the consumer? As you say, there are so many competing messages on the Internet and in the general public.

MARCHI: Wrong messages can be overcome by right approaches. One of the goals of this Trade Show, actually, is to bring in educators to discuss, “How can we promote the green idea to children and the school, so they can bring the message back home?” We cannot force an adult to simply change. I cannot just take a person of 40 or 50 years old with a lot of problems on their mind and with a lot of things to take care of day by day, and tell them that they just have to change all their concepts of life because the planet needs some green action. They will listen to the message. They’ll say, “Makes sense for me,” but they are adults, and an adult world is not that flexible. We are all adults and we all know that. It’s difficult to change our daily operational status.

But if you bring this to the children, talking about one or two projects, about ideas, about solutions, and you educate the new generations, they will also bring the message back home. We are trying to bring together some key individuals from the Department of Education here in California to discuss how they think it could be done and find out their impressions. If we don’t assure that “environmental preservation” becomes a natural behavior in our society, we will be solving old problems today and facing new problems tomorrow.

Finally, we have plans for massive institutional campaigns in the near future. Our preferred media are TV, radio and cinema.

BPGL: As I understand it, you’re also helping companies to become sustainable.

MARCHI: We’re trying to see all the opportunities and work together. There’s not a chance that you alone, myself alone, or someone else alone will do anything. We need to join efforts. We need to put our ideas on the table without being afraid that somebody else will steal them.

We ask, “What can I do to help you move forward with your project? How can we make this green and profitable, so you can invest in it, you can make some money, and you can reinvest the money in something else?” For that reason, we have the Business Incubator project. It is not enough to simply support and promote existing businesses, we also need to assure that new ones will rise and shine.

BPGL: Tell us a bit about the conference you have planned in September. Can anyone attend?

MARCHI: Not all the conferences and workshops will be open to everybody, but the Trade Show Exhibition Hall will be open to the public, to families. One of the things we want to do is show consumers that they might already have access to certain products that are environmentally friendly, but they might not know about it. Making these introductions is important. We think, if everyone can do a little bit each day, we can do a lot in a very short time.

The biggest problem we see is that green products are not on TV. They’re not on the radio. They are not on the first accessible shelves in the stores. So nobody knows they can buy green and keep the same quality and even save money. We need to make sure this changes!

GLOBAL GREEN INTERNATIONAL TRADE SHOW AND CONVENTION

sip-global-logo

Are you a green inventor? An investor? A business owner? An educator? Or an environmentally conscious consumer, trying to improve your family’s sustainability? If you fit any of these categories, SIP Global’s upcoming Trade Show has events and information targeted just for you.

What: Global Green International Trade Show and Convention
Sponsor: SIP Global – The Green Foundation
Where: Ontario Convention Center, Ontario, California
When: Sept. 2-5, 2009

The four-day event includes workshops, seminars, and an exhibition hall. Learn more about How to Exhibit on the Conference website.

Pre-registration is required for all conference events except the Exhibitors’ Hall, which will be open to the public during Exhibitors’ Hours. Cost to the general public is $10 without a Visitors Pass. But you can get a FREE Visitors Pass on the website.

WORKSHOPS

  • How to be Green and Still Profitable: Companies can save money and preserve the environment at the same time
  • Green Education: Bringing the subject to school classrooms, stimulating youngsters to discuss the theme with their parents and bringing the environmental concept to family homes and future generations
  • Building Green: An overview about new technologies and products for the building industry that are environmentally friendly and innovative
  • Recycling and Reusing: A series of discussions about recycling techniques and how to extend the lives of certain products and items

SEMINARS

  • PROGENF: The definitive GREEN SEAL that will revolutionize the industry and market.
  • Global Green On-line: The new approach to using the Internet to promote and sell environmentally friendly products. The Global Green On-line is working in conjunction with PROGENF to enhance the penetration of quality and competitive Solutions, Ideas and Products to the market.
  • Make it GREEN, from A to Z: How PROGENF, SIP Global – The Green Foundation, some government entities, and other institutions are addressing preservation efforts on an industrial level.
  • Automotive: How some inventive minds have found creative and innovative solutions to convert high consumption vehicles to eco-friendly machines.
  • Energy Conservation: It is important to economize energy and minimize the need for energy generation, but it is also possible to smart utilize energy.

Check the Trade Show and Convention website for full details.

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)