Those recyclable, reusable tote bags, forgotten in your pantry, are the bags that can bear the burden!” –LGBG

A little less than a year ago, Live Green Be Green by PMD United set out to assist Lori Robinson and Africa Inside in her magnificent effort to eliminate the plastic pollution that affects many African Nations. We are happy to say that we have concluded this first project with great success.  Through the combined efforts of LGBG, Africa Inside, and Pati Arsenau’s class at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School located in Blufton South Carolina, enough bags were collected as incentives for the Samburu Women of Northern Kenya’s cleanup effort.

Handing Out Bags

Handing Out Bags

 We have hundreds more women for this than we expected. –Shivani Bhalia 

Women came in droves with the deadly plastic that they eagerly collected from the countryside, to offer in exchange for the totes.  It is truly amazing to see how such a small, and often-overlooked item, can make such a monumental impact on the lives of these women.  Samburu women, for now, will no longer have to travel with thin, mangled, unsustainable plastic bags, that most certainly would make their way to the precious fields and grasslands. They can now go to the markets with confidence that their staples (sugar, flour, spices) will return home with them safely and securely.  Just as importantly, the impact that this effort has on the environment is tremendous. Any reduction in plastic that makes its way to the countryside means less plastic for the precious wildlife to come in contact with and for an all around more aesthetically beautiful country.

We, at Live Green Be Green, have learned so much from this project and could not have done it without the wonderful people in our communities.  This project went from zero to sixty almost over night.  Right from the start, we received major support from friends, family, friends of family and strangers who got wind.  We received support from religious groups, senior centers and even a lobby firm!  Much to our surprise, we had major companies such as target and Wegman’s join the effort.  To all of you, we say thank you and we look forward to working with you in the very near future

Samburu Collection (women cleaning).Samburu Collection (Little Girl)

 

Samburu Collection (Women Plastic)

We have already begun working with Lori on what will be the largest bag collection effort ever!  It is set to take place in Kenya, in August of this year.  No matter where you are in the world, if you would like to participate please contact Patrick Halligan or Lori Robinson.

We also invite you to watch this youtube video a past collection executed by Lori and Africa Inside.

Everytime I’ve done this project, I’m touched by the enthusiastic response to our shopping totes from America.  And I am motivated to re-evaluate how much I take for granted here in my country. –Lori Robinson 
Orthographic map of Africa

Orthographic map of Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We here at LGBG would like to take this opportunity to update our readers and supporters on Africa Inside’s project to eliminate plastic bag pollution from the African countryside.  This program is the brainchild of Lori Robinson, Africa Adventures Specialist for the Jane Goodall Institute.  Lori has dedicated considerable time and effort to promote conservation through the development of programs to educate Africans about the protection of its most precious resources, wildlife and environmental.

LGBG is proud to sponsor and partner with Lori and Africa Inside to rid the African countryside of discarded plastic bags, which kill wildlife when ingested out of  curiosity, clog rivers and streams, get caught up in trees and bushes and release toxins when burned.  Lori’s “bag exchange” program has been successful as a simple and effective solution to plastic bag pollution.  For every 25 bags picked up from the countryside and turned in on exchange days, each individual receives a sturdy reusable tote from America, which are very popular and sought after by African citizens.  We have been working diligently to get donations of reusable bags, as well as funds to ship the bags to Lori.  We thank you for your support to date, and we urge you to continue to help Africa Inside advance this wonderful cause.

Africa Inside’s next plastic litter cleanup will take place in Samburu, Kenya in August 2013.  We still are still collecting bags and financial donations to ensure the success of this project.  For information on how you can help, please visit the Africa Inside website at http://africainside.org/globalconservation/one-wordplastics/ or contact us here at LGBG.com.  Africa Inside is supported by the Creative Visions Foundation, a publicly supported 501(c)3.  Upon receipt of donations, each contributor will receive the necessary receipt for tax deductions.

Once again, LGBG thanks you for your support to date for Africa Inside’s mission.  To support such a wonderful cause is to live green be green.

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International Women's Day

International Women’s Day (Photo credit: Tapio Kaisla Photography)

Today is International Women’s Day, and LGBG is proud to celebrate this day and to salute women all over the world for their hard work and accomplishments to improve the world.

International Women’s Day (IWD) was first celebrated in 1911 in four European countries.  It originally commemorated working rights protests of female garment workers.  While these protests actually began on March 7, 1857, the movement became more organized in 1908, where on March 8th, more than 15,000 women marched in New York City, “demanding better pay, voting rights and an end to child labor”.  In the ensuing years, IWD observances took place on varying days in March.  In reaction to a horrific fire at the Triangle Waist Company building in New York City on March 25, 1911 in which 146 women (mostly immigrants) were killed, a movement was organized to bring attention to the inhuman working conditions of female industrial workers.  This effort led to the creation of the Factory Investigation Commission and the passage of laws that mandated “safety standards, minimum wage, unemployment benefits and financial support for aging workers”.  In 1975, the United Nations designated March 8th as the official day of observance for International Women’s Day.  Over the years, IWD observances have evolved to include observance of  advances of women in human rights and discussions of the ongoing challenges women face in all areas of life, including, but not limited to, politics, education, labor and health.

LGBG is especially proud to salute two organizations recently spotlighted on its site.  First up is No Water-No Life, directed by photographer Alison Jones.  NWNL is a globally focused project that employs photography to document the availability of fresh water resources, raises public awareness and provides education to stakeholders to foster partnerships globally.  With a profound understanding and beautifully conveyed message that water is the key to life, NWNL is a dynamic force and important asset to the green movement.

Our second IWD salute goes out to Africa Inside, directed by Lori Robinson.  This project promotes wildlife conservation and environmental protection in Africa.  LGBG is proud to partner with Africa Inside on its program to eliminate pollution by plastic bags in Africa.  With its exchange program, African citizens receive a reusable shopping tote for every 25 bags retrieved from the countryside.  To date, this exchange program has been an overwhelming success in not only cleaning up the countryside, but also in educating the citizens on the value of their natural resources and the need to protect them.

LGBG congratulates women globally for their tireless work to make our world a better place to live.  We thank you and wish you a Happy International Women’s Day!

Sources for this article:

1.  http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Tech-Culture/2013/0308/What-is-International-Women-s-Day-video.
2.  http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-Issues/2012/0308/International-Women-s-Day-How-it-s-celebrated-around-the-globe/Asia-Pacific?nav=638983-csm_article-promoLink.
3.  http://nowater-nolife.org/index.html.
4.  http://africainside.org/.

 

This month, LGBG is proud to present and salute Africa Inside.  This project is headed by Lori Robinson, Africa Adventures Specialist for the Jane Goodall Institute.  Lori’s unbridled passion and commitment to wildlife and natural conservation in Africa have been the guiding forces for her successful conservation work in Africa.

Lori’s remarkable journey to create Africa Inside began with a “life long passion to nature and animals.”  While on an assignment in Africa as a fashion model in 1984, Lori realized  that her deepening connection to nature and animals happened easier in Africa.  From that point on, she has remained committed to helping others identify that passion, namely,”the Africa inside of you.” 

Over the years, Lori has dedicated her time to promote conservation through the development of programs to educate Africans about wildlife conservation and environmental protection.  Lori cited the need for such programs based on the recognition of significant facts about local African citizens:

  • They have no positive direct experience with wildlife.
  • They have no emotional attachment to wildlife.
  • They receive no benefit from the animals.

Consequently, the locals had to be taught to have compassion for wildlife.  Thus, her Africa Inside program teaches children to be wildlife heroes.  The success of this program with the African locals’ increased awareness of the value of their land and wildlife and the desire to protect these precious resources speak loudly of Lori’s insight on the need for the younger generation to be the targeted group to educate to effect the needed changes in attitude toward the wildlife and the environment.

A second noteworthy project undertaken by Africa Inside is the  elimination of pollution by plastic bags.  This project brings attention to the danger of discarded plastic bags in Africa because they cause death to the animals who ingest them out of curiosity.  They clog rivers and streams, as well as get caught in bushes, grasses and trees, and they release toxins into the environment when they are burned with garbage.  To address the issue of the negative impact of plastic bags on the continent of Africa, Africa Inside developed an effective solution to the plastic bag pollution problem.  They organized an exchange whereby a reusable canvas shopping tote from America is given to anyone who has cleaned up 25 plastic bags from the African countryside.  This exchange has been overwhelmingly successful.  At one point, an exchange removed 320,000 bags from the “plastic pollution cycle.”

At LGBG, we are fascinated by Africa Inside’s success with this simple solution to such a large problem and with the overall success to date.  We feel that this is a very special project, and we are eager to get involved to ensure its continued success.  Africa Inside’s next plastic litter cleanup will take place in Samburu, Kenya in August 2013.  The program needs cloth shopping toes and financial contributions.  All contributions are welcome, and no amount is too small.  Please go to the Africa Inside website at http://africainside.org/globalconservation/one-wordplastics to see how to contribute or contact us at LGBG for more information on how to get involved in this wonderful project.

Africa Inside truly is a remarkable organization.  Driven by a passion for animal life and nature, this organization has maintained focus on solutions to real problems without getting bogged down in bureaucratic entanglements and intricacies.  This organization serves as an example of the difference that can be made when passion for a cause is combined with commitment, problem-solving abilities and tenacity.  Africa Inside– we are proud to salute you as an example of how to live green, be green.

Plastic bags are dangerous to wildlife.

Plastic bags are dangerous to wildlife.

In keeping with our mission to educate, inform and share all things green, LGBG is proud to recognize organizations that we feel are employing exceptional and unique approaches to accomplish their goals.  This week, we salute No Water – No Life (NWNL).  LGBG would like to thank Alison Jones, photographer and project director  for taking the time to share information with us about this very special organization.

NWNL is a very special project that uses photography, scientific research and stakeholder knowledge to raise public awareness on the importance of freshwater resources, the potential dangers associated with water degradation and the opportunities to manage these resources.  This organization is exceptional and noteworthy because of its unique approach to its mission.  NWNL has adopted a simplistic primary focus, namely watersheds.  It then uses beautiful and intriguing photography and videography to illustrate its premises.  We all know that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and NWNL’s pictures prove this point.

This project has cleverly selected six case study watersheds that document “current universal threats to freshwater systems,” and with the employment of photographers, scientists and interns, the team works to develop solutions to existing problems relative to water.  The background of the individuals involved in these projects range from natural resource management, conservation biology, restoration ecology, forest ecology, environmental education and conservation photography and videography.  To date, the NWNL teams have conducted 15 expeditions in the United States and Africa, with 5 more to go.

The NWNL team maintains the highest ethical standards in its research and photography practices, ensuring that the welfare of the ecosystems are maintained.  The photographers go to extreme lengths to respect the “rights, customs and values” of the stakeholders in the watersheds visited.  Also, whether on expeditions or within their offices, they strive to cover their carbon emissions.

LGBG invites you to visit the No Water – No Life website at http://nowater-nolife.org/index.html to learn about this organization and to peruse its stunning photographs which convey to the viewer the feeling that protection of the world’s watersheds is indeed a worthy cause.

No Water – No Life is a globally focused project that documents the availability of freshwater resources, raises public awareness and provides education to stakeholders through publications, lectures and exhibits to foster partnerships globally.  With the understanding that water is the key to life, NWNL truly is a dynamic force and a wonderful asset to our journey to live green, be green.

Photograph of Raritan River, copyright Alison M. Jones

Sources for this Article:
1.  Interview with Alison Jones, project director
2.  http://nowater-nolife.org/index.html