Category Archives: Environment

Finding Your Own Path to Activism

Over the past two weeks, since the Presidential Inauguration, everyone I know is unsettled. No matter who they voted for. Perhaps that is the upside of the upset. Perhaps this is what we needed. Even though it doesn’t feel good or satisfying, perhaps these benefits are worth it?

  • To be clear about how we feel on the issues.
  • To dialogue with those we disagree with.
  • For more people to take action to support what’s important to them.
  • For people to share their money in support of the causes they care about.
  • To be reminded that our point of view isn’t the only point of view.
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By Chad A. Stevens, milesfrommaybe Productions. From the film Overburden about Lorelei Scarbro who became a community organizer in the campaign to build an industrial wind farm along the ridges of mountain whose coal mine killed her husband.

I’ve used my work as a teacher, writer, and now as a marketing strategist to support the causes–and the people and businesses–I believe in.

I worked in Superfund clean up as a US EPA contractor because I believe in clean air and water and healthy ecosystems for people, for living things, and for the future of the planet.

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By Chad A. Stevens, milesfrommaybe Productions. From the documentary flm Overburden. Nonviolent protest on Coal River Mountain on a mountaintop removal preparation site.

I managed chemistry laboratories and taught environmental science at a State University training the future scientists, policy-makers, and planners that will lead us to problem-solving in future generations.

I worked in special education for little pay for years because I believe in the impact public school can have on the lives of special needs children.

I write about theater, music, the arts, environmental innovation, and buying local and supporting local businesses because I believe in their value–for myself, for my family, and for our communities.

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Bellingham Theatre Guild’s 2015 production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

My writing, my communication, and how I approach them are my activism. Perhaps all that’s going on in the world right now is a sign. A sign that its time to wake up, look outside ourselves, and find our own activism.

If we don’t hear the call, we just might lose the freedoms we’ve been taking for granted, the privileges given to us by the activists who came before us. Those activists were every day people. Writers, lawyers, teachers, cooks, students, parents, preachers, nurses, policemen, and even politicians. They are us and we are them.

3684396632_34a663e190_zAnother upside: the action is not hard to find anymore. Don’t be overwhelmed. Choose your cause and pledge to yourself to do some small things. Now and from now on. Add your voice. We can do little alone, but together we are mighty.

Here are seven articles I’ve written so far in 2017 in support of the arts and human rights. Take a look, appreciate the arts, the environment, the rights you enjoy. Then find your activism and get involved.

Mount Baker Theatre Resident Ghost Judy is Blushing in Anticipation of The Irish Rovers and We Banjo 3 at Whatcomtalk.com

Resident Ghost Judy Can’t Wait for Mount Baker Theatre Education Shows at Whatcomtalk.com

Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival Explores Critical Issues at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Art, Nature, History, and Fun at Whatcom Museum in Bellingham at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Celebrate the Tribute Act at Mount Baker Theater at Whatcomtalk.com

Join Whatcom County’s Vibrant Poetry Scene at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Appreciating the Poetry of Whatcom County at WhatcomTalk.com

 

Writing About Film: Pickford Film Center’s Doctober

 

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From the documentary film “Yarn” about artist creating new ways to bring an ancient art to the world.

I’ve always been drawn to film. As a kid in my pajamas, hugging my blanket, I would watch The Magical World of Walt Disney on Sunday night TV. My love of the non-fiction version of the art form, documentary film, may have started with Jacques Cousteau and Wild Wild World of Animals. But that love expanded to include documentaries on a variety of subjects ranging from the environment to comedy to music.

Watching a documentary is like reading the encyclopedia of a subject but with an incredible story arc that sucks you in. You don’t have to suspend reality because it is reality.

It was my pleasure to write about an annual film festival held in the Bellingham community, Pickford Film Center’s Doctober for WhatcomTalk.com. More than 50 documentaries from across the globe are brought to our independent theater and screened throughout the month of October.

Be sure to check out my article and see their extraordinary films this month and every October.

Be Powerful by Saving Energy

Energy conservation has always been important to me. It started with dad reminding me to turn off the light when I left the room and then extended gradually to every aspect of my daily life. I wrote last fall about how excited I was to get solar at my home. I also wrote about a movement in Whatcom County to get more solar on other people’s homes and businesses.

Energy Prize Drawing WinnerMy Whatcom County community is taking energy conservation to a whole other level. We’re competing for the Georgetown University Energy Prize of $5 million dollars toward energy-saving improvements in our community. I was excited to do my part to get the word out by writing an article for WhatcomTalk.com. Please do check it out and see what easy things you can do to save energy and help the environment.

Green Options for the End

Green Burial CaissonSome might call me morbid for wanting to think about my funeral well before I’m gone, but I would disagree. I’m just a planner. Organizing those details in advance calms any anxiety I might have had about such a big unknown. I also want to make it as easy as possible for the people I’ll leave behind.

Death is really a part of the life process, even if our society tends to pretend that death is something to ignore until it gets here, and then pay a whole bunch of money to bury chemicals and a fancy box, getting through and over it as quickly and quietly as possible. A lonely process.

When I heard about green burial options and that there was a company in my community specializing in it, I was more than intrigued. It was actually a delight to interview Brian Flowers of Moles Farewell Tributes for my article at WhatcomTalk.com.

Knowing that there are other ways, other options, in-line with my environmental ideals has been a comfort, and made thinking about the end a whole lot less scary.

High School Science Rules

I first discovered biology at the age of six in the farm drainage ditch that ran behind my lower Michigan home. That’s when and where I decided I would pursue science. High school science classes convinced me that I was on the right path and solidified my path through college. Although I don’t work in a lab or collect field data these days, environmental science is still a part of my daily life. I live, teach, and write about science as much as I can.

Science Olympiad Team LeadersIt was a joy to interview an intelligent, articulate, confident, resourceful bunch of Sehome High School students for my most recent article for WhatcomTalk.com about their participation in Science Olympiad. My old friend Mark Toney is their student adviser and my good friend Laural Ringler suggested I write about them. Whenever you can, support your local science experiences in any form. It makes a huge difference in their lives that echoes well beyond the event itself.

Pacific Northwest Leads the Way in Green Building

I really enjoyed writing this article about Dan Welch of [bundle]Dan Welch bundle green roof and his award-winning ultra-green home. There’s something to be admired when someone lives their values every day, going off the grid in an environmentally-conscious way in order to test the limits of possibility and inspire others. Check out my article for WhatcomTalk.com to find out how one family is living in an experiment every day.

Creativity and Conservation: A Winning Combination

My craftsman home built in 1928 has 15 years-worth of recycled, reused, or repurposed building materials, fixtures, and hardware sprinkled throughout it. All of those materials came from the RE Store just a few blocks away. That resource has saved me literally thousands of dollars over the years and kept hundreds of thousands of pounds of used, discarded, and vintage building materials out of the landfill. atlas tacks cabinet

So it was a pleasure to write this article for WhatcomTalk.com about the RE Store’s REvision Division. Their creative furniture designers take materials no one wants and makes them into beautiful, useful pieces of furniture. Check out the article to find out how you can get the perfect piece for your home.reclaimed ipe and steel z-chair.jpg