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.