2013 EARTH DAY ( MONTH ) DIGITAL DISPLAY
FILMS & LECTURES
Free access to video taped lectures at UCLA, Yale, Stanford, UC Berkly and Carnegie Mellon on topics like global population growth, climate change and energy policy, sustainable living, environmental politic and law and renewable energy and alternative fuels.
Click on the big screen in the movie room for short environmental movies for children (although adults may find some of the material interesting as well). The movie room is part of a larger award winning site developed by the California Energy Commission. The site provides other good sources for teachers and parents.
Short movies and more. With straight forward simplicity, activist Annie Leonard makes her messages of consumerism and a just and ecologically healthy world accessible to children and adults alike. The 20 minute “Story of Stuff”, which launched the site back in 2007, is just one of several short films to be found on the movies tab. Interview with Stephen Colbert is good for a few laughs.
The Highland Park Library offers a wide range of environmental films and documentaries like “The Future of Food” and “Bag It”, new thrillers: “Civil Action”, old thrillers: “China Syndrome”, the informative: “Burning the Future”, the inspirational:“Koyaanisqatsi” and much, much more. Share your online ratings with other Highland Park residents by posting a review.
Games, Calculators & Fun
The challenge is to find the best combination of policy choices to end global hunger. Players at junior high / high school level will be introduced to policy making and the issues relevant to global hunger: climate change, biofuel mandate, agricultural development and foreign aid. Developed by ActionAid, an anti-poverty agency.
My Sust House suite of games allows children age approx. 8 to 14 to explore ways to build a sustainable environment, a sustainable house and a sustainable town. Developed in the UK, the majority of material is universal. Some tangential cultural references (such as pounds instead of dollars) should not unduly interfere with game play. Developed by sust.org in partnership with Architecture + DesignScotland and the Scottish Government.
This game was developed by New Zealand’s energy company as an educational tool for students and the public. Players attempt to balance competing needs for best outcomes. Topics covered include electricity generation, environmental impact, supply and demand, tourism, energy efficiency, budgeting and local body rates, buying and selling on a fluctuating market, coal and gas prospecting and extraction and much more.
The Great Green Web Game tests players’ knowledge of how consumer choices affect the environment. This is a quiz game developed by the Union of Concerned Scientists which is mainly aimed at North American consumers.
The World Wildlife Federation’s calculator allows users to estimate how many planet Earths are needed to support lifestyle choices as well as information on how to reduce our footprint upon the Earth.
Educational, Inspirational and Informational Websites
“Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement.”
PBS fun, interactive website introduces younger children to sustainability concepts.
Union of Concerned Scientists site addresses topics that include global warming, clean vehicles, clean energy, nuclear power, food and agriculture as well as the role of science in addressing environmental problems.
The Energy and Sustainability section of Scientific American provides a clearing house of sustainability related news and information from a range of sources including Reuters, Earth Talk, Fast Company and Climatewire. Children and parents will find opportunities for participation in the world of science and scientific experimentation via the “Education” and “Citizen Science” tabs, some of which are related to environmental and sustainability study.
This web source which explains a range of alternative sources at a level designated for children will prove helpful to many adults as well.
The award-winning EcoKids web site is an interactive environmental web site for children, their families, and educators in Canada and around the world. It offers topical information about the environment through interactive, fun, educational games and activities that utilize participants' willingness to learn.
Art inspires and there is much to be found here -- from artists all around the globe. One needn’t stay in the art section of GreenMuze, however to get in a green groove as innovation, commentary and controversy abound throughout this website.
How To & Local Resources
Learn about our own city’s plan for sustainable development. The Highland Park Community Sustainability Strategic Plan (8/23/10) was developed in keeping with our city’s commitment to sustainable development and practices. Mayor Michael Belsky signed the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement on 4/25/05. Highland Park is one of 55 Illinois cities and 1060 cities nationally that signed the agreement following the establishment of the Kyoto Protocol.
The City of Highland Park’s Greenways Brochure provides a map of current greenway paths for pedestrian and bike friendly travel along with pedestrian rights and responsibilities and tips for safe biking. This is just the beginning of city efforts to help provide for more sustainable transportation in Highland Park. The approved Bike –Walk 2030 Plan can be viewed (here)
The farmers markets in Ravinia and Highwood are close enough to bike to. Locations and market times are listed here.
The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County offers Information on how and where to recycle locally.
Chicago Center for Green Technology offers classes for professionals and non professional development in fields of sustainable technology. Tours are also offered to view the Platinum LEED certified facility.
Tips for pesticide-free “lush” lawns as well as eco-friendly grass alternatives.
Seven secrets of high-yield vegetable gardens can be found on this page of the Organic Gardening website. Browse further for extensive information on gardening the organic way.
Car fuel efficiency information including tips, calculators the government’s picks for better environmental choices when purchasing new automobiles. Additional discussion on cars and sustainability can be found here and here.