Is it possible to laugh and help the planet at the same time?

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Change, Film, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition OKC | Posted on 07-06-2011

0

YERT_Film_Poster_Final_small_60

Mark Dixon and Ben Evans shout out a resounding “Yes,” and they show you how they’re doing it in YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip, a documentary screening not once, but twice, at Oklahoma City’s deadCENTER Film Festival this week. For screening locations and times click here.

The tagline describes the film like this:

50 states. 1 year. Zero waste. Three friends on an environmental road trip across America in search of extraordinary innovators tackling humanity’s greatest crises.

That intriguing sound bite and the film’s trailer convinced me that not only did I need to see this film, but that it’d be cool to find out more about this project straight from the filmmakers. Lucky for us Okies, Dixon, one of the filmmakers, will be on hand Fri., June 10, from 4-6 p.m. at Elemental Coffee, 815 N. Hudson, in downtown Oklahoma City, to discuss the making of the film, which won the Audience Award at the Yale Environmental Film Festival. The informal Meet & Greet is organized by Transition OKC a program of Sustainable OKC. Coffee and snacks will be available to purchase from Elemental Coffee. yert

Giveaway alert.

First ten people at the Meet & Greet win a reusable YERT ChicoBag, and Dixon will also be giving away two copies of Better World Shopping Guide by Ellis Jones.

Advance chat.

As a lead-in to the screenings and Meet & Greet, I got to do a little early Q&A with Dixon and his colleague, Ben Evans, producers and directors of the film, and am featuring part one of that email interview here. Stay tuned for more.

YERT_EFFY__Photo_by_Rich_Press_L

Photo credit: Rich Press

Q: How did the idea for this project develop – specifically from inception (the germ of the idea) – to actual “We’re going to make this happen” implementation? And what or who do you credit – in addition to yourselves — for encouraging, supporting, making the idea reality?

Group answer.

All three of us were really starting to get worried about the state of the planet and not feeling like we were doing enough about it in our respective careers. A video road trip to explore sustainability seemed like an interesting way to educate ourselves and others about all kinds of encouraging solutions to the urgent environmental problems facing humanity, a good way to discover hidden pockets hope and inspiration and share them quickly and widely. We weren’t sure what we’d find in all the nooks and crannies of the country, but we were determined to have fun finding it.

Ben’s more personal take.

I credit my mother for instilling in me a strong sense of environmental concern and a general interest in creative solutions to repairing humanity’s relationship with the planet. When she died from cancer in 2004, it really lit a fire under me to start living my beliefs more fully and focusing my life on issues of lasting importance. I’d been an actor in New York and Los Angeles for a number of years and had started kicking around ideas for a bunch of different environmental endeavors with a creative bent. I packed up my life in New York and co-created YERT with Mark as a way to marry my love of creative entertainment and performance with my long-standing concern for environmental issues. I really wanted to stop worrying and start doing something about the problems.

Mark’s more personal take.

I was a newbie to the environmental movement and was struggling to understand where I fit into a world faced with so many troubling ecological symptoms. I quit my job in an attempt to re-direct my life and lifestyle, but it wasn’t until halfway through a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat that the idea for a national road trip documentary project dropped into my head. I quickly checked the idea with friends and family (all of whom were very supportive– particularly my parents), and that’s when Ben jumped at the opportunity to help shape the adventure in its early form. A year later, after intensive planning, preparation and a few videos under our belts, we embarked on Your Environmental Road Trip – YERT.

Q: With all the environmental films and documentaries that seem to be hitting the market almost every day, why did you decide this project was worth pursuing?

A: There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there in traditional environmental organizations and films, and many of these issues have become needlessly politicized. We wanted to cut through all that with humor, visiting with regular people on the street, and by turning ourselves into guinea pigs on the trip. Really the project is an effort to personalize these issues in a way that can reach out to people who, for whatever reason, aren’t part of the conversation yet.

Q: When did you start and end the project and how old were you when you started?

A: It’s been almost five years from the first germ of the idea to the premiere. The idea germinated in summer 2006 and we prepped for a year before leaving on the trip in July 2007. The film premiered in April 2011. At the start of the trip on July 4, 2007, Mark was 32,  Ben was 37, and Julie was 38.

Q: How did you fund your trip and the year off for traveling and exploring?

A: We basically pooled our savings and begged friends and family for contributions. Ben and Julie had been working as stage actors in New York City and Mark had been working in Silicon Valley saving for a house and grad school in California at the time, so that provided the bulk of the funding. We’re all pretty much broke at this point, but hopefully screening at great festivals like deadCENTER will help start to change that.

More insider YERT scoop to come so check back soon.

– Posted by Shauna Lawyer Struby. This post originally appeared on Thinklady.

Join the local evolution

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Change, Community, Events, Food and Drink, Locavore, Sustainable OKC, Transition OKC | Posted on 20-04-2011

0

evolve no shadowSix Oklahoma City chefs, restaurants and caterers are creating tasty local food as part of Sustainable OKC’s EVOLVE juried art exhibition and fundraiser at Oklahoma City’s first juried Local Food Challenge this Saturday, April 23, 7 p.m. at Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO), 706 W. Sheridan on historic film row in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Local Food Challenge is organized by Transition OKC, a program of Sustainable OKC. The art exhibition will explore sustainability, resilience and community and proceeds from the event will benefit Sustainable OKC and IAO.

Food Challenge contestants will be judged by a panel of food industry professionals as they compete for a $500 juried prize. Guests enjoying the art exhibition will also have the opportunity to sample the local food creations and vote for the contestant they feel deserves the People’s Choice award via raffle tickets.

Follow the EVOLVE / Local Food Challenge on Facebook, buy $25 tickets (or individual sponsorships!) online at Sustainable OKC’s website here or at IAO, 706 W. Sheridan, or at the door the night of the event.

It’s all about local art – local food – local fun!

Art exhibition jurors (awarding a $500 grand prize to the winning piece)

  • Randy Marks, Groundwork
  • Stephen Kovash, Istvan Gallery

Local Food Challenge contestants

  • 105Degrees
  • Chef Kurt Fleischfresser
  • Chef Kamala Gamble
  • Prairie Gypsies
  • Chef Ryan Parrott
  • The Wedge Pizzeria

Local Food Challenge Jurors

  • Gail Vines, Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria
  • Chef Jonathon Stranger, Ludivine
  • Linda Trippe, The Lady Chef

+ YOU vote for the People’s Choice Award

$1 raffle ticket = 1 vote / vote as many times as you like

Music

thespyfm.com

Tickets

  • $25 @ the door or online @ www.sustainableokc.org 
  • or at IAO, 706 W. Sheridan, Oklahoma City
  • or at the door the night of the event
Technorati Tags: ,,,,,sustainable okc,transition okc

One local food meal = one step toward reducing foreign oil dependence

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Change, Community, Conservation, Consumption, Energy, Food and Drink, Local Economy, Locavore, Oklahoma City, Peak Oil, Resiliency, Shauna Lawyer Struby, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition OKC | Posted on 14-04-2011

0

Slide14

A couple of weeks ago Transition OKC helped host a Local Food Meet and Greet. The Meet and Greet provided a host of folks passionate about growing a local food system the opportunity to network and get to know each other better. It was enthusiastically and well-attended, with more than 110 people coming on a sunny Saturday afternoon to IAO Gallery in Oklahoma City to nosh on locally produced food, wine and do a little “speed meeting.”

The event was organized by the “Going Locavore Group,” a loosely organized and growing grassroots coalition (or alliance) of several Oklahoma City organizations focused on catalyzing and transitioning our food system to a healthier, more sustainable and resilient one – and one strategy for doing so is to localize it. The team organizing the event was for the most part all-volunteer, and although we were scrambling up until the last minute to put all the details in place – we pulled it off – a total team effort if there ever was one. If you have any interest in networking with this group, or want more info, email us at localfoodokc@gmail.com

As one of the volunteers working on this event, part of my task was to put together a slide show about the reasons for transitioning to eating local food, and to provide a high-level overview of some of the initiatives in other states focused on growing regional and local food systems. As we researched, we discovered coalitions in New York City and Vermont have aggressive strategic plans for regional and localized food sheds and the body of work on this topic is growing exponentially — encouraging.

Above you’ll find one of the slides from the presentation and I’ll be sharing more of these in the coming days. Eventually will put the whole presentation online at ThinkLady and here on Fresh Greens as well Transition OKC’s website so if it is useful in any way to other local food efforts, it’s available for anyone to use and adapt.

In the meantime, given the high price of gas these days, the fact the era of cheap, easy-to-produce oil is over, and the growing production decline in one of the U.S.’s major suppliers of oil – Mexico — thought this slide might be a good one to start with. It illustrates one way we can begin to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports. Ebullient and grateful hat tip to Barbara Kingsolver and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, for helping us imagine a different way of eating in the world.

Imagine abundant local food. Imagine the jobs it will create and the ways it will strengthen our local economy. Envision the health it will bring to our school kids, our communities, the resilience it will give our communities. Imagine how much we can reduce our country’s oil addiction if we eat not just one, but two local food meals a week, three, five, etc. Imagine. And then try it. I think you’ll like it.

If you’d like info on how to get started eating locally head over to Transition OKC’s website where we have a page full of local food resources.

– post by Shauna Struby, this post originally appeared on ThinkLady 

EVOLVE presents The Local Food Challenge

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Food and Drink, Locavore, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition OKC | Posted on 07-04-2011

0

Local Restaurants & Caterers Compete as part of EVOLVE Art Show

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lindsay Vidrine

405-802-5572

(Oklahoma City) April 7, 2011 – Sustainable OKC and Transition OKC are pleased to announce a Local Food Challenge on Sat., April 23 at 7 p.m. The challenge takes place at Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) as part of EVOLVE, a juried art exhibit and collaborative fundraiser exploring sustainability, resilience & community. The fundraiser will benefit Sustainable OKC and IAO, and the local food challenge is organized by Transition OKC, a program of a Sustainable OKC.

Local Food Challenge participants include Chef Kurt Fleischfresser, Chef Kamala Gamble, Chef Ryan Parrott, Prairie Gypsies, The Wedge and 105Degrees. Contestants will be tasked with creating a signature appetizer or non-dessert finger food using as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible.

Three prizes will be awarded, including the People’s Choice, a $500 juried grand prize and a runner-up prize of dinner for two at Living Kitchen Farm & Dairy. Judges for the challenge will be Carol Smaglinski of the Oklahoma Gazette, Chef Jonathon Stranger of Ludivine and caterer Linda Trippe.

Tickets for the EVOLVE art exhibit and local food challenge are $25 and can be purchased at www.sustainableokc.org. Sponsorships are also available online. 

Sustainable OKC is a non-profit, grassroots organization working at the crossroads of business, environment, and social justice in Oklahoma City. For more information visit www.sustainableokc.org or the community blog at freshgreens.typepad.com.  Event and community information are also shared through Facebook.com/SustainableOKC and Twitter.com/SustainableOKC.

Transition OKC is part of an internationally renowned movement and offers an ongoing slate of free or low-cost educational workshops, film screenings and events focused on catalyzing Oklahoma City’s transition to more sustainable, resilient communities. For more info visit www.goinglocalokc.org.

###

Wayne Coyne’s house in the news and other assorted green stuff

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Food and Drink, Home and Garden, Locavore, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition Movement | Posted on 21-02-2010

0

twitter3 We’re still in the Fresh Greens reorg phase. Yes we’re slow, a little like a turtle, but since the turtle symbolizes perseverance, patience and ancient wisdom, we’re hoping this will turn out to be a useful thing.

A few months ago Sustainable OKC joined the Twitter universe and you can follow us here. Our top ten tweets from the last few months:

  1. RT @TheGreenBuff: SustainableOKC workshop Feb 27 teaches how to start yr raised bed garden. Sign up @ http://ow.ly/18HC6.
  2. Wayne Coyne’s trippy house in OKC is not so weird, on Treehugger http://ow.ly/18TDa.
  3. Right on London! RT @transitiontowns: 2,012 community food growing spaces in London: funding for London food projects: http://bit.ly/5a6g1V.
  4. RT @OKAgritourism: Early birds will get a spot in Strawbale Construction Workshop @ Turtle Rock Farm, June 6-12. Space limtd.
  5. Training 4 Transition wrkshp to org your community to make Energy Transition Plans, on April 10,11. Details coming @ http://ow.ly/16tdk.
  6. RT @TheOilDrum: WSJ reports The Next Crisis: Prepare for Peak Oil. http://bit.ly/c03AYa.
  7. RT @transitionus: How to Start a Buy Local Campaign (PDF): http://bit.ly/ahQcDG.
  8. A certain number of number of deaths caused by dioxins released from incinerators are considered acceptable. http://bit.ly/6o82G1.
  9. RT @OKAgritourism: TGI Locavore Friday, Earth Elements Market & Bakery, makin’ the season bright wi/yummy OK food. http://bit.ly/4NOkHR.
  10. RT @sejorg: RT @theCIRESwire: New rprt: Climate chng acclrating beyond expectations, urgent emissions reductions reqrd. http://bit.ly/7sOsne.

Keep on reeling in the green world

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Change, Consumption, Current Affairs, Energy, Environment, Farming, Film, Food and Drink, Home and Garden, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition Town | Posted on 11-09-2009

2

Sustainable OKC, the Cimarron Chapter of Sierra Club, and Slow Food OKC are sponsoring a film series, “Sustainability on Film,” at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Wed., Sept 15 – Sun., Sept 20, with a panel discussion following the Sunday film.

The films highlight a complex array of the challenges facing us. Film Curator Brian Hearn describes the series:

As our economic, social and environmental activities become increasingly integrated on a global scale, the human species faces unprecedented challenges. In the wake of the groundbreaking documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” filmmakers have been examining the complex issues facing our species and planet: climate change, dwindling natural resources, population growth, economic crises and political conflict. Along the way humans are finding innovative, simple solutions from growing their own food, to green building, to developing new forms of renewable energy. These films explore how we meet our needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

Films

Wed., Sept. 16 – “Fresh” & “Food for Thought”

Thurs., Sept. 17 – “The Great Squeeze: Surviving the Human Project” & “Greening in the Heartland”

Fri., Sept 18 – “The Greening of Southie” and “Food, Inc.”

Sat., Sept. 19 – “The Garden” and “No Impact Man

Sun., Sept. 20 – “Earth Days

Join us Sunday after the final screening for a panel discussion, “Sustainability in Oklahoma: Where Do We Go from Here?” with local experts on how Oklahomans are dealing with the global issue of sustainability. Panelists for the discussion following Sunday’s film:

Bruce Edwards, Director, Urban Harvest at the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank

Kenneth Fitzsimmons, architect, U.S. Green Building Council, Oklahoma Chapter

Stephanie Jordan, Sierra Club Conservation Committee / Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Oklahoma

Jim Roth, attorney and Chair of the Alternative “Green” Energy practice group, Phillips Murrah P.C.

Shauna Lawyer Struby, Sustainable OKC / Transition Town OKC

Jonathan Willner, Professor of Economics, Oklahoma City University

Complete listing of films, screening times and summaries of each film available here.

Freshening Up

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Change, Lindsay Vidrine, Sustainable OKC | Posted on 31-07-2009

0

by Lindsay Vidrine


This blog and its host, Sustainable OKC, are all about fresh thinking and ideas that move our community forward in a sustainable way. With that in mind, the SOKC board thought it was time to rejuvenate our logo. We aimed to communicate that our organization is fresh and vibrant, with a logo that is thoughtful, yet open to individual interpretation. 


We’re excited to unveil a new look for Sustainable OKC:

Sokc_final

This clean, bold design will set the tone for other updates to our marketing materials and website in the coming months. We hope you appreciate the minimal, modern approach as much as we do. 


If you’re interested in helping evolve SOKC’s brand by providing time or expertise to update our website, please email me. From the board to the members we are all volunteers, but together we can propel Sustainable OKC forward in innovative and exciting ways.