Greetings from our New Orleans Green Building Resource Center
Spill, Baby, Spill
It's Day 66 of Louisiana's oil disaster, and the rapidly expanding destruction of our coastal communities and wetlands, and first tropical storm threat in the Gulf, has all of us on edge. Global Green made a trip to Grand Isle earlier this week (my first since the disaster began), and I am sad to report that the situation is even more disturbing than I'd imagined. As tragic as it was to see the numerous birds, dolphins, fish and crabs in distress, and the dozens of fishermen just sitting on the dock with nothing to do, paid by BP, it was equally shocking to see how hostile government officials were to the public even viewing the destruction, much less chipping in to clean up the mess. When we walked onto the beach, sheriff's deputies descended upon us with sirens blaring and lights flashing on their brand new ATVs, and the first words out of their mouths were "turn off that camera." They went on to state that we would be arrested if we walked over the boom along the beach, that the entire beach was a "crime scene," and acknowledged that BP was paying for all of the cleanup and monitoring of this - their- crime scene - including the new ATVs. Contrast this reception to the beaches of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, where tourists are being welcomed and some even allowed to help in the cleanup. Employees of several private contractors hired by BP either refused to talk to us, ordered us not to talk to employees under their supervision, or admitted that they had been told that they would be fired if they even revealed what company employed them. This apparent "private martial law" is not the America that I thought we lived in. Despite the hostility, below is a link to the YouTube video of our trip, the second of our ongoing series documenting the disaster and its effects.
~ Beth Galante, Director
The Latest News on Oil Spill Response from our Global Green USA Blog
Read our staff blog, updated by our New Orleans staff, as well as Global Green USA President, Matt Petersen. Please read about our experience and efforts regarding the BP oil spill distaster currently unfolding in the Gulf: Learn More
For video of our recent visit to Grand Isle with Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols, please see here: Grand Isle.
Hands Across The Sand:
No to Offshore Oil Drilling, Yes to Clean Energy
We've been inundated with heartbreaking images of oil covered birds and devastated fishermen struggling in the wake of the BP oil disaster. While officials are working to clean up the mess, we need to work to make sure this never happens again. On June 26th join thousands across the country to draw a line in the sand against offshore oil drilling.
At the event we'll join hands and unite to end our addiction to oil. We'll call on President Obama to move America beyond oil over the next two decades. Join this national day of action and send a powerful message, with hundreds of events happening across the country on the same day.
Attend Hands Across the Sand to protect our oceans, beaches, and wildlife from more offshore drilling!
Hands Across The Sand:
No to Offshore Oil Drilling, Yes to Clean Energy
Saturday, June 26th, 2010 at 11 am
'The Fly', on the river behind Audubon Park, New Orleans, LA (MAP)
For more information, please contact Darryl Malek-Wiley or Jill Mastrototaro at (504) 861-4835
To RSVP, please click here.
FREE SOLUTIONS TO THE GULF OIL SPILL – IN A SUNDANCE MOVIE?
A group of well known musicians and actors are preparing to convene in the city most affected by the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster to show their support for solutions to the oil situation. While in New Orleans, they will attend the first ever free public screening of the Sundance Award Winning, NY Times Critics’ Pick movie FUEL at Canal Place Cinemas on June 28th at 7pm and participate in a peaceful march through the French Quarter and human aerial art project at 3pm on June 29th. The two days of events is designed to bring international attention and local dialogue to viable solutions to the oil spill, including greener forms of energy.
Attendees include actor Peter Fonda, actress Amy Smart, singer songwriter Jason Mraz, as well as a host of oil spill clean up experts such as Dr. Randall von Wedel, developer of the Cytosol bioremediation process and heads of NGO’s including Louisiana Environmental Action Network and Sea Shepherd, and FUEL film creator and Louisiana native Josh Tickell.
Fonda and the team behind the movie FUEL are rallying over a thousand people to come to New Orleans to attend the film screening at Canal Place and march for clean energy. The group is expected to peacefully march through the French Quarter on June 29th and then stop in front of St. Louis Cathedral where they will form letters, which will be photographed from above by aerial artist John Quigley who has done such “human art” projects all over the world. In a symbolic gesture, those gathered will then walk around the French Quarter picking up trash.
More information on the FUEL film and its upcoming free public events in New Orleans can be found at TheFuelFilm.com send RSVP for the New Orleans Fuel Screening by clicking here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Build It Back Green's Green-It-Yourself Series: June 29th
Summer is officially here and we know ya'll are sweatin' it out in the Big Easy.
This month we'll discuss HVAC systems, fans and air-conditioning window units, offering tips on how to recognize energy efficient models and how to improve the efficiency of existing models. Most importantly guest speaker Mike Bowen of HumbleHG, LLC will discuss how to save money by installing the appropriate system for your home and or apartment.
Tuesday, June 29th
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Good Work Network
1824 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA
Build It Back Green events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information on greening your home, visit our Green Building Resource Center at 841 Carondelet Street, and for more information on this and past events, see our website here: http://globalgreen.org/bibg/calendar/.
Thank you to all of you who have reached out to us and want to take action in response to the environmental catastrophe caused by the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Global Green has compiled a list of organizations that are working on response to the spill and wanted to share it with you:
Global Green USA www.globalgreen.org
Louisiana Bucket Brigade www.labucketbrigade.org
Gulf Restoration Network www.healthygulf.org
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana www.crcl.org/
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation www.saveourlake.org
Hands On New Orleans www.handsonneworleans.org
Volunteer Louisiana www.volunteerlouisiana.gov
Audubon Action Center www.audubonaction.org
State of Louisiana Emergency Response http://emergency.louisiana.gov/training.html
Matter of Trust-Hair donations www.matteroftrust.org
Food Co-Op Sizzlin' Summer Auction
Join our friends at the New Orleans Food Co-op for a live auction fundraiser to support our soon to be opened cooperative grocery store.
Two weeks ago construction began on the New Orleans Healing Center at 2372 St. Claude, which includes the build-out of Louisiana' s only cooperative grocery store. We plan to open in early 2011, and will provide a much needed service to New Orleans: healthy, affordable groceries!
Saturday, June 26th
Big Top at 1638 Clio Street
New Orleans, LA
Enjoy a live auction featuring celebrity auctioneer, John Calhoun, live music by the Auctioneers, and of course free food. This is a great opportunity to support the opening of a community-owned grocery AND hot deals on a wonderful selection of local art and gift certificates from great restaurants and other local businesses. Doors and pre-auction viewing begin at 6 p.m. with the auction starting at 7:30 p.m. sharp!
Entry: $10/ $5 for co-op members. This event will also be a great opportunity to support the co-op by becoming a member. For more info e-mail email@example.com. or visit our website at http://www.nolafoodcoop.org
From the Ground: BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence
Dr. Riki Ott for the Huffington Post, June 2010
Orange Beach, Alabama -- While President Obama insists that the federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP's spill in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP -- not our president -- controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say things are out of control in the gulf.
Even worse, as my latest week of adventures illustrate, BP is using federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability.
For example, while flying on a small plane from New Orleans to Orange Beach, the pilot suddenly exclaimed, "Look at that!" The thin red line marking the federal flight restrictions of 3,000 feet over the oiled Gulf region had just jumped to include the coastal barrier islands off Alabama.
"There's only one reason for that," the pilot said. "BP doesn't want the media taking pictures of oil on the beaches. You should see the oil that's about six miles off the coast," he said grimly. We looked down at the wavy orange boom surrounding the islands below us. The pilot shook his head. "There's no way those booms are going to stop what's offshore from hitting those beaches."
BP knows this as well -- boom can only deflect oil under the calmest of sea conditions, not barricade it -- so they have stepped up their already aggressive effort to control what the public sees.
At the same time I was en route to Orange Beach, Clint Guidry with the Louisiana Shrimp Association and Dean Blanchard, who owns the largest shrimp processor in Louisiana, were in Grand Isle taking Anderson Cooper out in a small boat to see the oiled beaches. The U.S. Coast Guard held up the boat for 20 minutes - an intimidation tactic intended to stop the cameras from recording BP's damage. Luckily for Cooper and the viewing public, Dean Blanchard is not easily intimidated.
Please read on. here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/from-the-ground-bp-censor_b_608724.html
Reducing Our Dependance on Oil
Say No to Plastic: Use your own canvas bags, reusable water bottles, and try to buy as many things as possible in aluminum, glass, or paper packages, and reuse glass jars for storage. Already have more glass jars than you know what to do with? In New Orleans, the Hollygrove Market is now accepting jars for their farmers/cooks to use. Also, consider the plastic packaging on the goods you buy. Next time you go to the market, swap out individually wrapped slices of cheese for one big block, or buy items in bulk using reusable containers.
Make a Fashion Statement: Every day fabric staples like polyester and nylon are made from petroleum. Opt for natural based fibers like hemp, organic cotton, and bamboo, or visit a local consignment or thrift shop to give gently-used clothes a second life.
Clean Up Your Act: Most mainstream products (including dish soap) often are made with petroleum by-products. Seek out cleaners made from certifiable natural products, or even better make your own: vinegar, lemon, baking soda, and borax can handle many household chores!
Take the Road (or Sidewalk) Less Traveled: Much of the oil we use goes into getting us around. Take alternative transportation whenever possible. Bike, walk, take the trolley or ride the bus! When you do drive, make sure your tires are correctly inflated and your car is tuned up to maximize fuel efficiency. Much of the oil we use also goes to getting the stuff we buy to us--cut down and support the local economy by purchasing goods made nearby.
Eat Your Vegetables: The production of one pound of meat uses eight-times the amount of fossil fuels required to produce one pound of plant protein. Consider eliminating meat from your diet one or two days per week—researchers have found that cutting meat consumption by 20% is equivalent to switching from a standard sedan to a hybrid. Support your local farmers and reduce you dependence on oil by stocking up on lots of fresh, local produce this summer.
Volunteer in New Orleans
There are many ways you can make a difference in our community. For more information, please contact John Dorsey at 504-525-2121 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our New Orleans Office will still consider your design submissions for a region-specific GG tee shirt.
Have a message to share about sustainability on the Gulf Coast? Our disappearing wetlands? The tragedy unfolding in the Gulf? Global Green's New Orleans Office would like to see what you have to say.
Please submit your artwork and ideas to Heidi Jensen at email@example.com - we'll reward the person who submits the selected design with a free energy audit and other surprise gifts from our grateful New Orleans office.
Your support makes the difference!
Please consider becoming a part of rebuilding a more sustainable Gulf Coast with your membership support here: Support the Gulf Coast