Our buddy Justin, who appeared in episodes 9 and 10 is forming an expedition. While pursuing graduate studies, Justin and some friends conceived of an idea to do a Field Trip to discover ecological brilliance in the American West. We wish them luck on their journey.
Unemployment is high, stocks are down, and people are cynical, but successful entrepreneurs often launch innovative ideas in the middle of a downturn. Some friends of mine in Portland have started a green business powered by bikes. Portland Pedal Power has partnered with retailers, restaurants, and CSAs to deliver food to your door via bike. Besides delivery, PPP also does marketing and mobile signage for local businesses. They also have a slick website to boot so check them out if you’re in Portland.
Is it any surprise that the best environmental rapper in the game is a kid. Kids have the most to lose if we don’t start getting our green acts together. Lil Peppi is a young rapper from Florida who has been sponsored by the Captain Planet Foundation. He is bringing a green message to the youth of Florida. Meanwhile, I”m in Miami Beach and I can’t find a recycling bin anywhere. I am enjoying the sun and surf here, but I miss the bay area consciousness already.
Recently built an instructional product based around the music video for Wordsmithin’. The learning module teaches GRE words but would also work for students learning SAT words.
I built the project for my Instructional Theory class at SFSU. The idea is that the product would be a stand-alone learning website that users could visit again and again in order to improve their vocabulary. File this under “Rapper” and not “Green.”
The irony of any website purporting to be “green” is that just by its sheer existence, the site is using energy and creating carbon. The images and code that make up any site are housed and mirrored in server farms that require energy to run the hard drives and hardware as well as fans for ventilation and cooling.
One half of the energy delivered to a PC is lost as heat. Meanwhile, 50 million tons of e-waste is produced yearly worldwide. Information Technology energy usage is increasing 15% percent annually and as computers become more common in developing world, this trend isn’t likely to flatten.
So how can we do our part to be efficient?
First off, turn off your computer when you’re not using it… like at night. This helps you save power and can protect you from viruses that lurk at night. You can do your virus scan and backups during the day. Also, don’t use screensavers… they require a lot of processing power, thus using a lot of energy.
Old batteries take forever to charge, they lose their charge quickly and they use a lot of energy. If your laptop battery is worn out, get a new one. A plugged in computer still uses power even when it is off. Get an energy efficient power strip… such as a Smart Strip, which will turn off your peripherals when you turn off your computer. Old ones can use power just by being plugged in.
Speakers use as much power when they are playing music as when they are just on and silent. Turn them off when you are not using them. You can also use a Kill A Watt device to find out how much energy your appliances are actually using.
One of DJ Spooky’s latest projects involved traveling to Antarctica to use the ice, wildlife, footsteps and other sounds to construct an album and multimedia performance. Using ambient sound as source material is older than using vinyl samples, but Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica is a multimedia performance that comes at a key time in the life of the icy continent. As my homie Joe Block once said about one of my raps, “I woudn’t go bumping it in my car or nothin’”, but I have to hand it to a real hip-hop icon for doing his part for the struggle.
March madness is over and our beloved Spartans came up short. As we bleed green, we can no longer blame basketball, or ski season, or classes for being derelict in our duty to update Greenrapper.com.
What has been on my head has also been on my mind. I got a lot of sheet for wearing my Gilligan style MSU hat circa 1996 to the tournament watching party in San Francisco this week. I hid my ancient head gear even though it is a perfectly good hat. After the semifinal game, I went home and watched this amazing video called “The Story of Stuff” and started to rethink my embarrassment. Though the Story of Stuff might be great for kids, it is also a great reminder for us adults who get wrapped up in our own champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Check it out!