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Artists Bill of Rights

Being Green - Virtually

Hi Folks:

Yes, it’s Saturday and I usually do my ‘Being Green‘ posts on Fridays, but we had family visiting and between you and me I’d rather run around with a 2-year old at the park than sit in front of a computer screen.  There, my secret is out, and I can expect my offical ‘geek’ status to be revoked.  Oh well…

So, last Thursday (August 5) was the ‘Global Green Expo‘, a virtual tradeshow that lasted roughly eight hours and featured virtual booths, webinars, speakers and more on the topics of being green, sustainability and corporate responsibility.  Before someone raises their virtual hand and exclaims that computers aren’t ‘green’ in and of themselves, yes, I’ll concede that point.  Computers, from their manufacturer to their use to their disposal as ‘e-waste’ pose their share of toxic challenges.  However, it’s also true that computers aren’t going away anytime soon, and more and more people are transiting from stationary desktop units to web-enabled cell phones and tablet computers; if nothing else, less material is used in their construction.  Anyway, I’m not here to debate that point.  Even people like Dr. David Suzuki have lamented that his job of raising awareness on environmental issues requires him to travel in airplanes and make use of the  television/radio/ internet airwaves, but it’s a cost he accepts.

I don’t know the number of participants in Thursday’s virtual expo, but I imagine it was in the thousands if not more.  Compared to the environmental impact of having thousands of people travel physically to a given location for an event, I should think that the environmental footprint of a virtual tradeshow is minimal by comparison.  We are, after all, making use of equipment that is already in existence.  I’ve ‘attended’ a few virtual expos like this one on topics like the environment, photography and others, and while there are some things that obviously can’t be experienced without physically being there, I definitely believe they have their purpose.  Add to that the growing number of free webinars, virtual conference calls and the like and there is a huge amount of information available on any given topic.  Taken en masse, it’s something that is literally changing both the world in which we live and the way we interact with our world.  It’s a subject that people like Michael Wesch and his students at Kansas State University look at very seriously.

So, if you’re wondering what the point of all of this is, in my defense I can only say that my great-nephew and his parents have gone back home and although I had a great time I feel the need to sleep for at least a week to recover.  I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to the organizers, presenters and sponsors of the Global Green Expo.  The videos are available until November if, like me, you didn’t get to see all of the ones that caught your interest.

Okay, the links for this week include:

Okay, that’s it for now. Before I sign off for this week I wanted to point to the new ‘BLOG WITH INTEGRITY‘ badge on the left side of our page. Basically it’s a self-enforced commitment that says Marcia and I take what we write seriously (and sometimes playfully), that we appreciate both our sources and you, our readers, and that we’ll continue to treat everyone with respect and integrity. It’s the way we live our lives.

Take care,
Mike.

P.S.  No matter who you are, this will make you proud to be alive: Students Helping Students

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