Ask Eartha: Where to get your daily dose of environmental news
January 17, 2015
I am always looking for new ways to get inspired and get involved in my community's environmental issues. Can you give me some insight into ways that I can become more informed of the hot-topic issues, and ways that I can begin to give back? — Carolyn M., Keystone
I'm glad to hear that you are interested in learning more about the environmental issues plaguing the Earth and becoming more involved in your community. By staying current on sustainability issues, we can all make more informed decisions in order to have a positive influence on the local environment. You can stay up to date with the natural world, both locally and globally, in a variety of ways.
Social media has become the go-to source for news and information on a global scale. For example, Twitter, Facebook and Feedly can be great tools to grab pertinent information in small and easy-to-digest bites. Just make sure you know who to follow because not all sources are created equally. High Country Conservation Center is on Facebook and Twitter and is a great local resource for all things environmental. Some of my other favorites are 350.org, Mother Jones and Climate Central. All of these organizations post intriguing and informing Facebook posts about the latest happenings. On Twitter, @USDA the United States Department of Agriculture and @NRDC the Natural Resource Defense Coalition help me to keep up with environmental policy and changes in our natural world.
It's also nice to have environmental news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for e-newsletters such as ones offered by HC3, environmentcolorado.org or the Environmental News Network at enn.com. These organizations send out regular updates on what is going on in the world and in Colorado on the sustainability front. Even on the busiest of days you can give the headlines a quick scan for new developments in your area of interest. Treehugger.com is one of the world's most-referenced enviroblogs, with well-written articles that span a variety of environmental topics, making it a great read over breakfast.
You can also begin to get your whole family more informed and active, too. I recommend incorporating current eco-topics into the home. If you see an article in the paper, discuss it with everyone over dinner or in the car. How about a pizza and documentary night? Netflix and YouTube offer a variety of documentaries. Some of the Steward family favorites are "Gasland," "Food Inc.," "Tiny: A Story about Living Small" and "GMO OMG." Want to get the little ones interested in environmental topics, too? Check out kids' movies and books with environmental themes. Try watching "FernGully" or "Wall-E," or read "The Lorax" with them.
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Attend local events, classes and workshops in Summit County that will let you get involved in the latest environmental movements. Personally, I am getting excited for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival happening on Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Tickets are just $15 in advance, and you can get them at highcountryconservation.org or by calling (970) 668-5703, or you can get them the night of the event for $20 at the door. Proceeds support two local nonprofits, the Continental Divide Land Trust and the High Country Conservation Center. The film festival will touch on some hot-button environmental topics with a variety of enlightening films. "Backyard" highlights the health and environmental damage that fracking can cause. "Snows on the Nile" discusses climate change through the lens of an adventure in the Rwenzori Mountains and its glaciers, some of the only tropical glaciers remaining on Earth. The festival also includes a number of kid-friendly films, and kids' admission is free. So this is another great way to get the whole family involved.
By participating in charitable events, you are having an indirect impact in your community. At events like these you will be able to make face-to-face connections with the board and staff of these organizations and work with them to figure out how you can be of service.
Good luck in your quest, and I hope to see you at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Saturday!
Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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