Tag Archives: Eco-Friendly

A Contaminated Democracy (That’s Fracked Up!)


Typically film sequels only instigate eye-rolls from moviegoers, but I solemnly swear that “Gasland Part II” is worth viewing. The prequel “Gasland” invited viewers to join filmmaker Josh Fox as he educated himself about the natural gas industry’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of gas extraction – and in the process, he exposed the environmental repercussions associated with it. In the follow-up film, Fox drills into the gas industry again by documenting how natural gas companies are taking advantage of property owners, threatening and propelling them into financial ruins. Continue reading


I came to Italy for the food…



Just Kidding!…well, kinda.

My name is Max Lippitt, I am a Junior at Michigan State University, and I live about an hour south of the school in a town called Bloomfield Hills.  I used to be a Finance major, but then this summer I led a two month long hiking trip  out west for a group 10th graders, and had a realization that I hated finance and instead wanted to do something with the environment. So as soon as I got home, I changed my major from Finance to Economics and Environmental Sustainability. My goal is to help business become more profitable while becoming more environmentally friendly.

I am OBSESSED with movies, in another life I will go to film school. I play tennis and racquetball, and frequent the local concert scene around Detroit. I also have been cooking my whole life and I was lucky enough to work as a chef at a local restaurant last year.  The food here is so good, I love it.

Ever since I knew what Studying Abroad was, I wanted to do it.  My parents have been coming to Italy my entire life on vacations (while leaving my brother and I at home), so I was pretty familiar with the country and decided Rome was the place to be.  The two weeks I have been here and been two of the most fun, eventful, exciting, weeks of my entire life, and I cannot wait to see what the next 12(?) bring me…

The Climate Change Denial Machine

index  “The Koch Brothers & Their Amazing Climate Change Denial Machine” is short, three-and-a-half minute-long film made by the Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham. The footage used is part of his longer, 55 minute long documentary “The Billionaires’ Tea Party” (2011).
A good example of visually effective use of animation techniques, this short film details the effort of Charles and David Koch, oil barons that spent millions to influence American public opinion, undermining the belief in global warming and trying to prevent any legislation targeting climate change that could result in a threat to their profits.
By financing bogus scientific studies and funding complacent Think Tanks and Front Groups (including but not limited to Women groups and Senior Groups), the public is lead to believe that global warming and the threats it entails are only a theory and not a fact. The truth is that those that argue against climate change are a small minority, but their coordination and funding are such that they have been able to influence opinion and legislation, thus safeguarding the interests of influential but largely anonymous energy oligarchs.
Produced by Larrikin films, the director’s own Production Company, whose name refers to irreverence toward authority and disregard for the norms of propriety”, the film was mainly distributed through the web.
In my opinion, this documentary does a very effective job of portraying the dangerous sides of corporate takeover of democracy, as well as warning the public against the content of mainstream, often interest-group-funded, media.
Some useful links to watch the film and learn more:

“Affluenza”: The True “Common Cold” Among the World’s Most Affluent (Samantha Lucci)

Affluenza articles

In the 1997 PBS documentary film Affluenza, producer John de Graaf comments on the current state of the United States’ consumer culture, focusing on shopping malls as the center of society’s materialism. From the film’s perspective, our communities’ excessive rates of consumption signify a growing epidemic–a contagious and inflammatory disease called “affluenza.” The film approaches the discussion of the epidemic using both comedy and drama to emphasize the absurd nature of our current consumer habits. It points out that Americans alone account for nearly half of the world’s hazardous waste while using up almost a third of its resources, alone. Americans make up only about five percent of the world population.  Continue reading

Weaving Spiders Come Not Here: Or Maybe They Do! (Caely Hibbits)

Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 10.45.15 PMBohemian Grove is a giant campground in Monte Rio, California that belongs to a private men’s club based out of San Francisco, that dates back to the 1870’s.  They are known as the Bohemian Club.  Every year they get together with some of the most powerful men in the world, their membership includes government officials, (even U.S presidents) business leaders, artists, musicians, media executives, and many more.  Members are allowed to invite guests to the main event but guests are subject to a screening process.  When the club is not hosting events, members can organize personal events and bring family and friends.  They still dictate that all female guests and minors be off the property by 9 or 10pm.   No woman has ever been given full membership, but they have given four women honorary status.

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The Safe Agua Water System (Marisa Beirne)


Water is considered a colorless, transparent, odorless, and tasteless liquid. This being said it could be considered the most valuable substance to a human. Water is used for cooking, cleaning, drinking, and so much more! Knowing how important water is to humans it is crazy to think that in places such as the campamentos (informal communities) of Santiago, Chile water is unbelievable hard to attain and considered a luxury! Men, women, and children of all ages have to carry large buckets of water far distances just to get water for basic needs! This does not only take a huge amount of strength but also time and energy.

The “Safe Agua Water System” project is very realistic as well effective in promoting positive social change. Faculty and students at the Design Matters Program at the Art Center College of Design teamed together with Chilean NGO Un Techo para Mi País to create a safe water system that allows thousands of people to easily attain water for their homes! Continue reading

LifeStraw (Abbe Bernard)

54In these third world countries, waterborne viruses are a huge contributor to death.  Around 6,000 people die each and every day, because they are consuming unsafe water.  Nearly one in five children’s death is in results of diarrhea, which kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles together.
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LENY PROJECT: Fashion Meets the Environment: Mardi Vartabedian

“ At a time when the future of our planet is not only in question but in urgency to react, we must act quickly & together”.  From the inspiring words of the fashion designer, Mariel Gamboa, who launched the fashion project, LENY, with hope to mobilize the fashion industry to become active roles in the world’s seeking environment.
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EcoChic Fashions

EcoChic Fashions is a collective that encourages designers to use eco-friendly materials in creating their clothing.  It was founded in Hong Kong by Greener 2 Greener, (http://www.green2greener.com/) an initiative that promotes sustainable living.  Their main goal is to put designers and fashion houses in contact with textile makers that work with sustainable materials.  In order to spread the message EcoChic hosts sustainable fashion shows annually in both Europe and Asia.  They give people an opportunity to see that wearing sustainable fabrics is just as fashionable as anything!

If you want to learn more you can visit the EcoChic Fashions website at http://www.ecochicfashions.com/index.html

Food Inc. – Lily Huber

After seeing this documentary in 2009 when it came out in theaters, I can honestly say I have never thought of food in the same way. The film covers the topic of corporate farming in America and all the secrets within this huge powerful monopoly. Every aspect of the agricultural business is examined and it contains amazing footage of the truth behind what we see on store shelves. I’ve seen many different types of food investigation videos but this film just really stuck with me.

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