Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Recycling Containers that WORK!

My friend Nancy Morrison - who's been the recycling guru for Pierce County Solid Waste in Washington State for years and years - shared some info with me recently. She said, "you've got to check out the CLEARCYCLE recycling containers. They really work at fairs and festivals and other events because the bags are clear and the tops have holes in the shape of the recyclable item." I did. And it's amazing. When people at - what's called - "away from home events" see the clear bag and the OBVIOUS holes for recycling... they DO IT. They recycle. That's what we want. There are huge advantages to the clear bag. People realize that ONLY recyclables go into that container, because they can see inside. These containers work even BETTER if you put the CycleMax Recycling Container NEXT TO a trash container. I loved this collection system so much... I purchased a set of the CycleMax containers myself. They're going to travel with my theater show... everywhere I go. By the way... I don't get any money for endorsing this system. I just really really like it and think it can make our public events must more sustainable and make recycling easier.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's OFFICIAL...Steve Trash Green Magic Set release in February 2009

Well it's official. The first GREEN MAGIC SET... EVER...officially created, designed, and babied into existence by ME and my wife Dianne... will be released by the green toy company IMAGIPLAY in February 2009. I'll get to be in the booth at Toy Fair performing tricks from the magic set for Toy Buyers and the media. Each magic trick included in the set - there are three - has a green theme and is manufactured in a green fashion. The box is a solid wood and all the tricks are made from sustainably harvested wood with water based non-VOC paints. It's been a huge amount of work to get it done, but I'm excited. Sometime in late February... you'll be able to buy them online. Each OFFICIAL STEVE TRASH GREEN MAGIC SET is 29.95. We're hoping to get them placed in places like Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Whole Foods Markets, and more... we'll see. If your favorite local green store carries stuff for kids please have them contact to get their order in. Hey... if I'm in your town... I might just show up to teach kids that buy the set... the tricks. You never know.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Big Green Year!

I know that the economy is in the tank and things are challenging for many people around the planet right now... but I've just returned from the RECYCLING SUMMIT in Point Clear Alabama and wow was it refreshing. It's amazing how businesses have caught on to the concept that stuff that is recycled is cheaper to manufacture and that cost savings is driving the recycling market right now. There were only a few curbside recycling programs twenty years ago... guess what? There are just under 9000 US curbside recycling programs in operation today. There is much movement on the business side of recycling these days. In the coming months... watch for the Coca-Cola Recycles campaign. They've made a committment to try and help get recycled content they can put it in their drink bottles and cans. That's pretty exciting right? I like it. When business gets on board... things really start to happen. Woohoo!

Financial Crisis Government Fundraising

You know things are bad in the financial market when cities resort to renting street signs out :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

We Can Solve It

We can solve it. Moving the globe towards a sustainable future has always been one of my favorite things to work on. It actually makes complete sense to me... nature has no waste... all systems are closed. Build economic systems that work with ecologic systems and you've really got something exciting to build on. I'm going to plug in another COMPACT FLEURESCENT light bulb in my office right now.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kids First Endorsement

Great News! Our video KIDS MAKING BETTER CHOICES has been officially endorsed by the national kid friendly vetting organization KIDS FIRST. We received the news yesterday. It's an honor to be endorsed by yet another national organization... particularly a kid oriented one. We hope endorsement will get the word out to more kids that making good eating and exercise choices can be fun and magical. Much more information to come.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Iffy Mart

For years I have shot pictures of funny stuff I've seen on the road as I travel. There's never been any particular reason to capture the images...just that they make me laugh or smile. I was recently doing a show for the kids at Madison Cross Roads and saw this gas station/quick stop type store. I screeched on the brakes and flipped my big, huge, white, van around in the parking lot to take a picture of the IFFY MART. Maybe they'll have the beverages and cigarettes you want... maybe they won't. It's kinda iffy. Hope it makes you smile.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life as a Journeyman Entertainer

Most people believe that showbiz and entertainment are about the stars and buzzworthy people they see on Showbiz Tonight or Entertainment Tonight or the cover of People Magazine... but the truth is... MOST professional entertainers go through their lives making a good living and never being recognized by the "star maker/star breaker machine". I call these folks Journeymen. I'm one of them. We all make good livings. Live comfortably. We have cars... a mortgage... a lot of other people... but our job involves entertaining people and making them forget their troubles for a little while. Over the years, I've been fortunate enough to share a dressing room with some special journeymen and journeywomen... and the Big Star World will probably never know about any of us. We do our thing and hope we left our mark and a couple of happy smiles on peoples faces when we're done. Besides... we all wear underwear when we get out of our limos. :) Peace.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kids Making Better Choices Release Date Set

After completing or KIDS MAKING BETTER CHOICES video back in April... we finally have a release date. The 30 minute video - which teaches better eating and exercise choices for kids using magic tricks and slapstick comedy - is scheduled to mail to Alabama Primary Schools on Thursday August 21, 2008. There are cross correlated study guides and downloadable pdfs on my web

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Steve Trash Eco-Magic Tricks

Some exciting news appears to be on the horizon for Concrete Dream Inc. - the official name of my entertainment company. I recently had an excellent conversation with the president of a really cool toy company. They manufacture fun toys for kids in a sustainable manner. In effect, they use sustainably harvested wood, water based paints, and all their manufacturing practices are designed to reduce the carbon footprint of the process of actually making the toys. If all goes well we'll begin licensing some Steve Trash Eco-Magic Tricks soon and have a couple to offer by Toy Fair in NY in February. Keep your fingers crossed I've never found a company before that I believed would truly walk the talk, but I think these folks are the real deal. Steve :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Garbage Art

For years now I've been fascinated by... garbage. You know the stuff people throw away. No really, ever since I was a kid I'd travel around my neighborhood and look through stuff other people had thrown away. I would always find something wonderful. Sometimes it would be a cool steamer trunk or a velvet Elvis painting or a broken secret decoder ring. I never knew what would turn up. This fascination with other peoples trash lead me to the development of the worlds only eco-magic show done almost completely with found objects. Not only did I create magic tricks, but sometimes... I'd build garbage sculpture/garbage art with the stuff I'd found. Recently there was a festival in my home town - to honor Sam Philips the founder of Sun Records. Sam recorded many many famous singers - Carl Perkins and Elvis to name a few. A friend asked me to create a guitar art piece for the celebration. I used many many bottle caps, a piece of cool rusty tin from a barn and an enourmous amount polyurethane that had turned brown with age. I like the way it came out. What do you think? Peace & Recyclage S.T. :)

Frog Pond Style

I live in Frog Pond, Alabama. It's in the northwestern part of the state - Franklin County to be exact. It's smack dab in the middle of...well nothing. I'm surrounded by hills and trees and more trees and more hills. I have not always lived here. In fact, I have lived and traveled all over the world. I've lived in New York City, Los Angeles, California, and even spent a few crazy months living in Miami. I've worked all over the world too - Japan, Canada, Australia, Greenland... all sorts of cool places... but I love Frog Pond. I have room to stretch out and think. My stuff is there. I get to hang out with my dogs and family. Life is good in Frog Pond. I hope you have your own Frog Pond... a place you can go to find peace and harmony and help you make great choices with your life. Even if this harmonious place is only in your mind... it's good to have it. Peace & Recyclage - S.T.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Working for a living

Let me say right off the bat that I've done many many jobs in my lifetime. Some of them stunk and some of them were okay. I've delivered drugs...for a pharmacy. I've delivered auto parts. I've washed dishes in a southern style home cooking restaurant. I've swept the floor in a factory. I've even been a temporary secretary at 55 Water Street in the famous financial district of NYC. Even with all that uninspiring career experience, there are days that I start to look only at the downside of my life as a touring entertainer. Each day - especially when you're on tour by yourself - can be a real personal challenge. In most cases I'm in a town that I've never been in. I'm in a venue that I've never played in. There is no one in that town that knows me. They don't care if I'm sick. They don't care if I locked my keys in the van. They don't care if someone just sideswiped my van. They don't care if I haven't had one day off in over 27 days. They don't care if I have another 476 miles to drive and I'm already really really tired. They don't care about anything having to do with me. There is a real sense of isolation that can set in when you travel alone. The worst part is... it feels like there is no one else in the world looking out for you. This type of thinking can be very mentally very taxing and it will get to you over time. But these feelings can be emeliarated when I actually get to do what I came there for. The show! It's why I love show business. I love to make people happy. I love to hear kids cheering. I love to hear Moms and Dads laughing out loud at something I said. Their happiness... makes me happy. I guess it's why I put up with the other part. The good part is way better than the bad part. Hope your life is like that too.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Photo of no unauthorized Photography Sign

I often wonder how much of what we become - in life - is in our own personal biological chemistry - ie our DNA - and how much we actually choose for ourselves. My grandfather was a ad man, professional photographer, poet, and gun collector. He lived in Dallas, Texas almost his whole life. I'm sure that his life has had a real effect on mine... although we spent very very little time together. Now it's totally amazing to me, but I seem to be constitutionally incapable of NOT WORKING on something creative and artistic. It seems to be the thing that I chase the most... maybe I chase fame and fortune more, but I don't think so. The passion that gets me up in the morning is to tell a new story or to device something that will make people laugh, or to create something that has never existed before, or to express something that is hidden from the world and can only be revealed through my vision and expression. I suppose everyone feels this way. I don't know. I haven't met everyone yet. So here's my contribution for today... a photo of a sign dictating that no photos be taken! Cheers. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kids Making Better Choices on YOUTUBE

My company CONCRETE DREAM INC. recently received a grant to conceive, write, produce, and edit a video that might help kids make better eating and exercise choices. Kids today face many very serious health issues, and they need good quality information presented in an inspiring and fun way. This is exactly what I tried to do with KIDS MAKING BETTER CHOICES. I wrote the script with as many slapstick jokes and magic tricks as I could weave through it. I also wanted Mom's and Dad's to be able to share the video freely. KIDS MAKING BETTER CHOICES was created under a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE which allows people to copy and share the entire video legally - as long as the sharer gives credit to the copyright holders, does not change the content, and shares, but doesn't sell the content. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. The video was created and produced through a grant from the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, Inc. and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. To make it easier for people to see and share... we've uploaded it in tiny little bite sized pieces to YOUTUBE. You might want to check them out. It's our sincere desire that kids everywhere live happy and healthy lives. Maybe this video will help them a little.

2007 Outstanding RC&D Project Award Winner

Any career is going to have ups and downs. Last week was a real up for me. I was awarded the 2007 OUTSTANDING RC&D PROJECT AWARD by The Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, Inc. In 2007 the Northwest Alabama RC&D Council sent me to selected Alabama schools with my TRASH & RECYCLE SCHOOL SHOW to share magic and ideas about Reducing Reusing and Recycling. The kids were great and I hope we made a difference in the way they see their relationship to the natural world around them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Media Riot & Jakprints

I'm getting ready to print some Steve Trash stickers with my NEW printer Jakprints. I met them at SXSW in Austin, TX. I wanted something really cool and new, but just couldn't seem to get the design right. Dianne - my wife - tried to update an old logo for me, but it just wasn't working. So I e-mailed some more cool folks I met at the SXSW festival - Media Riot. After two or three pretty good attempts... they came through with a GREAT sticker design - based on a pretty recent studio photo of me taken by Patrick Hood. I really really love it. I hope we can get Jakprints - a green printer - to print them really soon. In fact I may even go for some T-shirts too. I wonder if I met any t-shirt people at SXSW?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cartoon Steve Trash

Last year I finally incorporated my business. It's now called Concrete Dream Inc. I think it's a good name. It sounds both solid and ethereal all at the same time. It's kind of yen and yang. Kind of Salt and Pepper. Kind of sweet and sour. I like it. The most hilarious part is that once the name Concrete Dream Inc was listed, I started getting mail for "all my concrete/construction firm needs". I can get you a REAL bargain on mortar mix and gravel... anytime you need it just have your people call my people. Anyway, thinking of myself as a corporation has actually helped me a lot. It allows me to look at creative projects in a different way. I can step out of myself a little better. It's been really good. In fact, it's been great. Over the next few months we're going to be developing and pitching many Steve Trash - Rockin' Eco Hero concepts & projects. In fact, we've worked up a cartoon version of Steve Trash... it's currently called Steve Trek. Pretty cool huh? Basically an animated Steve Trash travels around in a magic trash can. The rest is a secret... you'll have to wait and see if the show gets picked up. Stay tuned. In the meantime... how thick do you want this slurry... it's drying fast.

Ernie Kovacs

Back in the mid 1980's... technically... last century... I moved to NYC to become a famous entertainer. Well actually I moved there because that's where my girlfriend Pam wanted to move, but that's a totally different story. Anyway, we lived in Greenwich Village/The Village in Manhattan on Spring Street. It was quite an experience to drive all the way to New York City jammed packed into a tiny Ford Escort with everything we owned - including cats - from the mean streets of Florence, Alabama only to arrive at our 5 story walk up apartment... get out of the car and there's a guy standing there peeing on the sidewalk. Hey cool... Welcome to New York... make a note... it's okay to pee on the sidewalk. Actually it's NOT okay to pee on the sidewalk, but that also is a different story. Anyway... I had a few bucks in my pocket when I arrived and spent the first few months in my new home walking around the streets of New York. I would just wander around and see what I could see. One day, I stumbled on to the Museum of Broadcasting. It was magic. I went inside and there was an exhibit about a guy named Ernie Kovacs. I'd never heard of him. Apparently, he was a tv guy in the 50's... so I sat down and watched reels of his stuff. I was blown away. I kept looking around at the other people in the museum trying to see if they thought he was as hilarious as I did. He was so silly and funny and at the same time what he was doing contained some real substance and art. That day I became an instant Ernie Kovacs fan. I have in some ways, tried to be as much like him professionally as I can be... mostly because... my life feels sometimes like his tv show KOVACSLAND - scattered, silly, funny, but mostly never makes any sense. I wish I'd gotten to meet him. God Bless You Ernie Kovacs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why I Recycle

Recycling is messy. Recycling is not very convenient. Recycling takes more time than just throwing that yucky old garbage out in the dumpster.

That’s all true. But here’s why I recycle anyway.

1. Recycling reduces wasted landfill space. The landfill is the place where ALL your garbage goes when the garbage truck picks it up and it leaves your house. It’s a place where the co-mingled waste of the planet’s people just sits around taking up space. No one can build a house on that land. No one can put a farm there. No one can turn it into a wildlife preserve. No one can open a Krispy Kreme donut shop there. And that’s silly, because land is valuable and filling land with trash... wastes that excellent space. Why waste valuable land? Recycling reduces wasted space.

2. Recycling saves energy. It takes so much more energy to make a new aluminum can than it does to take the recycled materials of an old can and transform them into a new can. In fact, producing an aluminum can from recycled materials saves 95% of the energy that would have been used to produce a can from virgin/raw materials . Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep your TV running for a whole three hours. Recycling a glass container? Same thing... recycling one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for 4 hours. Cool huh? Recycling saves energy.

3. Recycling reduces pollution.
Making stuff creates pollution. We’ve got to make and use stuff. And and I’m really okay with that. So the smart thing to do is choose a way to create stuff while making less pollution. Recycling does this really well. Paper made from recycled paper makes 95% less air pollution. And glass that is made of recycled materials creates 50% less water pollution. That sounds like the way to go to me.

4. Recycling conserves natural resources. A resource is anything that can be used. The earth is round. That means you can start at one side and as long as you “keep moving in a straight line, you’ll get back to the same place you started. The earth is not infinite. It doesn’t keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny. Neither do our natural resources. We have plenty of natural resources on this planet, but ONLY if we use them wisely. Using something only once is very NOT wise. In fact it’s a really poor use of natural resources. Using a resource over and over and over is the best use. That’s exactly what recycling works. It’s using a resource over and over again. Besides, nature is already recycling our air. Nature is already recycling our water. Nature is already recycling all organic stuff like; plants, trees, animals, humans. It’s all turned back into earth that other living things use for food. Recycling is simply people doing what nature is already doing. Did you know the we use over 65 BILLION aluminum soda cans every year? And every one of them could be recycled. There is no limit to the number of times an aluminum can can be melted down and used over again. Did you know that, every year enough paper is thrown away (not recycled) to build a wall from New York City to Los Angeles, California? Or did you know that, one ton of recycled steel (the kind of container your dog’s food comes in) saves 2,500 pounds of the raw ore, 1000 pounds of coal, and 40 pounds of limestone? Recycling sounds like a great way to conserve resources to me.

Recycling IS messy. Recycling IS NOT very convenient. Recycling DOES take more time than just pitching the yucky old garbage out. But, it reduces wasted landfill space. It saves energy. It reduces pollution. And it conserves natural resources.

So that’s why I recycle. I hope you will too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Free Green Magic Book

I self published a book of 22 magic tricks that illustrate ecological principles over 10 years ago. We were offered a deal with a national kid book publisher, but the terms of the agreement were not very good... so we just did it ourselves. My wife Dianne created the drawings... magic books MUST have good drawings or it's too difficult to understand what you're supposed to be doing. The book is called THE MAGIC OF ECOLOGY. It's a really good resource for primary school teachers trying to share eco-principles with their students - grades 1-5 - in fun ways. It's free in pdf form and can be down loaded here. Steve Trash Resources It's being shared under a Creative Commons license - which allows copying, sharing, duplicating, yelling at, dancing around, calling unflattering names, but NO selling. Please pass the word. I'd love for kids everywhere to get just a little bit greener and to be a little more magical.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Michael Eisner & Steve Trash entertainment impresarios

So I decided to go to a party that the creators of THE ALL FOR NOTS - a webisode docu/comedy about a touring indie rock/pop band invited me to. I'm still in Austin at the SXSW festival and figured... hey they're nice folks, I should go... so I went. I was standing around at the party and there in the corner was a very tall guy - I'd say at least 6.3 or 6.4 - that looked exactly like Michael Eisner the founder of VUGURU - a new media entertainment firm and the Ex-boss at Disney. I'm a fan of his business book WORK IN PROGRESS. In fact, most of the magic tricks I've learned over the years and most of the business concepts I've learned, most of the green/environmental concepts I've grown to embrace and share with the world, have all come from books. I'm a book worm. I read really really slowly, because I'm dyslexic... so I guess I'm a slow worm... but that's another story. So I walk over to this guy and sure enough. It was Michael Eisner and he is producing THE ALL FOR NOTS and was super nice and let me have my picture made with him. Pretty cool huh? The rest of the party was really fun. I hope THE ALL FOR NOTS is a huge success, because it will pave the way for other digital media success stories. Maybe Steve Trash will be one of them.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sandra Bullock in DFW & a book

Well... I haven't even gotten to SXSW Film Festival yet, and I've had my first really cool film related experience. I had a layover in Dallas at DFW... on my way to Austin. The plane was delayed so I pulled out Blake Snyders' screenwriting technique book SAVE THE CAT. As I'm reading page 93 - which features the film MISS CONGENIALITY starring Sandra Bullock - as a great example of a high concept/logline. It also features a picture of her in the book to illustrate the point clearly- I look up from her picture. I actually see her. There's Sandra Bullock sitting across from me in the terminal at the airport! My head made that weird wobbly noggin shaking noise that you see on cartoons... because I am staring at a star... who is also the picture I'm staring at in a book. It was too weird... so at the risk of making a scene... I very very quietly wandered over and asked her to sign her picture in the book. She did and she was very nice about it. In a way my head is still making that wabby noggin noise... come to think of it... that may be normal for my head.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

George Lindsey Film Festival featured Billy Bob

The Shoals Alabama - my home community - played host to the incredibly talented TRIPLE THREAT OF ENTERTAINMENT - actor, writer, director - Billy Bob Thornton this past weekend at the UNA/George Lindsey Film Festival. Billy Bob, Lucas Black, and Natalie Canerday shared stories about the making of the now classic movie - Sling Blade. The movie was written, directed, and it starred Billy Bob Thornton. The event at the Shoals Theater included clips from the film and then the cast shared stories about the making of the movie and its subsequent effect on their careers. It was a really enjoyable evening hearing the stories and seeing that Billy Bob seems to be a regular guy and he's also really funny! No green content to the evening, but a great evening anyway.

I'm headed to Austin, Texas tomorrow for the SXSW film festival. I had so much fun last year that it actually turned out to be the highlight of my year. I'm told there will be a very large green component to SXSW this year. They're very serious about integrating sustainability into the SXSW events and screenings. Should be fun to see what they do.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Generation Green

Recently an article ran on the AP wire GENERATION GREEN - KIDS ENLIST HELP OF PARENTS TO SAVE THE PLANET - written by Leanne Italie. Green Generation is a cool new moniker for kids that are passionate about all things green... ie recycling, carbon footprint reduction, bio-degradable materials, etc., but from my perspective it's a hollow moniker if green kids only focus on the outside environment. Don't get me wrong. I live in an earthbirmed house. I recycle passionately. I compost. I use an on-demand gas water heater in my home. For crying out loud - I created an entire magic show with trash!

But your body is also an environment... as is the local community you live in. Treating your body with respect is being green. Treating your neighbors with respect is being green. We can't separate our bodies from our communities or from the global world around us. So three cheers for Generation Green... just don't forget to eat your spinach. S. T.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Honda goes for Zero Landfill in Alabama

My home is in Alabama. I live in beautiful downtown Frog Pond, Alabama - population 76 when I'm not home - and recently I saw an ad for Honda Manufacturing of Alabama that touted it's Zero Landfill initiative. If I understand this correctly, Honda Manufacturing in Alabama will build close to 300,000 cars and no waste will go to the landfill. I assume most of the waste is recycled and what's left over is converted to non-polluting energy. If this is really true, I'm really impressed. Not only does Honda build great cars, but they're doing it in a smart green way right here in Alabama. Way to go Honda! I'm filled with a great deal of hope for the green-ness of our future. When big companies truly understand that we must create an economy that works WITH the natural world and not AGAINST it. We will all win. Woohoo!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Part of my mission as Steve Trash is to empower kids to be the best they can be. I'm really really happy to announce that the Alabama Association of RC&D Councils - that's Resource Conservation & Development - will underwrite the cost of a 30 minute video for kids ages 6-12 years old called KIDS MAKING BETTER CHOICES. In this video we'll teach kids better exercise and eating choices they can make to live healthier and happier lives. We can't all go out and be great if we aren't healthy... this video aims to help kids make better a big hurrah for the Alabama RC&D's. Way to go. We'll be shooting the fun, funny, and magical video over the course of the next month or so. Stay tuned. It will be made available to ALL Alabama primary schools. Woohoo!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Steve Trash finally arrives in blogosphere

Well it's about time, but I've finally decided to add a BLOG to my web site. 2008 looks like it's going to be a fabulously green and magical year. I have a real interest in both of these... so I'm going to put my two cents in.
Steve :)