Tag Archives: sustainable practices

Earthfest Provides Free Resources to Teachers

EarthFest Provides Free Resources To Teachers

Teachers are desperately in need of assistance, especially during these tough economic times with budget cuts, fewer resources and larger class sizes. That’s why it’s important to get the word out about some exciting opportunities to assist educators, both personally and in the classroom.

Arizona teachers can apply for one of two full-tuition scholarships being offered by University of Phoenix and/or $5,000 in funding for environmental programs in their school, classroom or community through an EarthFest Education Grant made possible by STMicroelectronics.

Valley Forward Association has partnered with University of Phoenix to offer two full-tuition scholarships to Arizona K-12 teachers in an effort to expand its environmental education outreach. Each scholarship will allow a prospective student the opportunity to obtain a Master of Arts in Education (MAED) degree.

The purpose of the scholarship program is to provide educational opportunities to local teachers who have demonstrated sustainable practices in their classroom and want to continue to make a difference in their community. The scholarship application deadline is Oct. 22 and recipients will be announced by Nov. 12. To obtain a copy of University of Phoenix’s Valley Forward Scholarship application, teachers can visit valleyforward.org or phoenix.edu/scholarships.

In addition, Valley Forward recently announced $5,000 in grant funding for teachers in the 2010-11 school year to support projects that enhance awareness of and interest in environmental sustainability. It is the fourth consecutive year STMicroelectronics has funded this program.

Projects should focus on such topics as: energy, water, air quality, transportation, land planning, plants and animals or waste management. The deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 10. Applications may be mailed or emailed to info@valleyforward.org and projects must be completed by May 1, 2011.

These and other opportunities were offered in conjunction with the sixth annual EarthFest Educators Night, presented in partnership with Intel Corporation and the Helios Education Foundation. To learn more about what resources are available, visit: Environmental Education Directory.

Why does it matter? Because if we expose kids of all ages to ways they can contribute to a healthier environment, it helps ensure a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Tony Tiedemann

Phoenix-Based Company Takes Sustainability Global

Tiedemann Globe is putting a new spin on the adage “from rags to riches” in its commitment to sustainability.

The company sells and exports used clothing and industrial wiping rags in the hopes of cashing in on some green – green energy, that is. Tiedemann Globe recycles about 30 million pounds of used goods and clothing annually, in addition to spreading sustainable energy practices worldwide.

“We can make a difference; that’s what I believe in,” says Tony Tiedemann, founder and president of Phoenix-based Tiedemann Globe. “We’re not going to wait for the government to tell us what we can or can’t do. I think we can make changes now.”

Tiedemann Globe’s vintage finds are sold worldwide through several venues. TheRagHouse, an ebay.com store, sells vintage clothing in bulk, at Tiedemann Family Thrift and Vintage store, at 755 W. Baseline Road in Tempe, Ariz., and in Nairobi, Kenya, shoppers can buy used clothing.

If clothes can’t be sold, they are torn up and turned into industrial wiping rags.

“We even take it a step further. Clothing that’s no good for the wiping rags gets mutilated by other companies for padding of trunks of cars or the inside of pet bedding,” says Tiedemann.

It’s rare to have an item of clothing enter Tiedemann Globe that cannot be turned into a useable product. The company has 8 percent to 10 percent waste, but is striving to become a zero waste facility within the next two years.

The commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there. Tiedemann Globe is helping citizens of Third World countries adopt sustainable practices that will help advance their quality of life. The Clean Energy Foundation, part of Tiedemann Globe, is introducing green practices to citizens in Kenyan villages.

Tiedemann Globe has sold used clothing in Kenya for almost 18 years, which made it the ideal location to start green education because the company already had infrastructure in place and Kenya has a great need for green education.

“There’s a huge demand (in Kenya). These people don’t even have a place to put their human waste, which is crazy to think about. So that’s why we started there,” says Tiedemann.

The Clean Energy Foundation has set up solar panels, water filtration and biogas conversion centers in rural Kenya with the goal of raising Kenyans’ quality of life. Biogas filtration centers turn waste into energy, while solar panels power schools and other buildings.

“Our primary purpose of providing the power is for light and specifically for education. Statistics show if the women are educated in society, everything else gets elevated and that’s our goal,” he adds.

Tiedemann has plans for the rest of the world, too. The company recently started a solar project in Rocky Point, Mexico, but Tiedemann is looking to another form of energy to power the world in the future.

“Eventually I think hydrogen’s the way. I know that a lot of people will argue that. But eventually I believe that we will get there. It’s the most abundant element out there and we’ve got to use it,” Tiedemann says.

As for how he plans to stay green in Phoenix, Tiedemann drives a natural gas car and the company’s forklifts run on propane. Tiedemann says he wants to see the green sector of Tiedemann Globe grow to become the biggest part of the company in the near future.

Tiedemann’s advice for companies that want to become more eco-friendly is to get help and don’t think too big.

“There are tons of companies out there that can help set up an infrastructure (to go green),” he says. “The bottom line is just to start small. Start and keep progressing as much as you can.”

@tiedemannglobe
www.tiedemannglobe.com

Environmental Media Awards

Environmental Media Awards — Celebrities Helping The Green Cause

I’ll admit, I have a guilty pleasure — celebrity gossip.

Though personal opinions about celebrities vary, it’s difficult to argue the fact that they have an amazing platform to send a message. The nonprofit Environmental Media Association has been been trying to place environmentalism into the mainstream since the association launched in 1989.

The association hosts the Environmental Media Awards, “the only program solely devoted to celebrating the entertainment industry’s environmental efforts,” as stated on its Web site. “The annual EMA Awards honor film and television personalities, productions, musicians and musical tours that convey environmental messages in the most creative and influential ways.”

The 20th anniversary Environmental Media Awards took place on Oct. 25, and an assortment of high-profile guests came to support the green cause. I came across the information about the EMA Awards while indulging my guilty pleasure of perusing the entertainment section of MSN. Several popular actors, musicians, etc., were walking the appropriately chosen green carpet at the event that honors the entertainment industry’s environmental achievements.

Categories for the awards ranged from feature film to documentary, as well as special honors that were given to people who have “gone above and beyond to help the environment both professionally and personally.” This year those honors went to Sir Richard Branson, Centropolis Entertainment, the National Geographic Society and singer Jason Mraz.

Winners in the various categories included: The Lazy Environmentalists: The Lazy Family/The Lazy Pet Groomer in the reality program category; Food, Inc. and The Cove for documentaries; and Disneynature EARTH in the feature film category.

In addition to the EMA Awards, the association also hosts the EMA Green Seal Awards that honors productions and corporate entertainment offices that go green ‘behind the scenes.’ Throughout the year, the association works with writers, directors and producers to integrate environmental messages into film and television productions. Events with a sustainable message are also held year-round with the help of celebrities’ familiar faces bringing it to the attention of the media and public.

Certain aspects of celebrity surely aren’t to be desired. However, taking a public stance in helping the environment and becoming involved with associations like this one are positive causes those in the entertainment industry can bring to the attention of the public. Communicating information about sustainable practices is a necessary component to make the changes we need for a greener future.

http://www.ema-online.org