1

Top 100 Must-See Documentaries for People Who Want to Change the World

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

From sustainability to the education system to protests against the Vietnam War, there’s a documentary here to interest everyone.

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people following the collapse of the Soviet Union, which led to a cut in oil imports and food.

Fall and Winter ($5)

This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face.

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward 

Credit: Films for Action

A feature length documentary by Peter Joseph that presents the case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.

The Crisis of Civilization

Credit: Films for Action

A dark comedy remix mash-up bonanza about the end of industrial civilization. featuring clowns, car crashes, explosions, super heroes, and xylophones and much, much more.

The Evolution of Ecological Consciousness 

Credit: Films for Action

Permaculture designer Andrew Faust gives us an inspiring and heady narrative about the evolution of all life and human consciousness on Mother Earth.

Plutocracy: Political Repression In The U.S.A. 

Credit: Films for Action

Plutocracy is the first documentary to comprehensively examine early American history through the lens of class.

The War You Don’t See

Credit: Films for Action

A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq.

Edible City: Grow the Revolution

Credit: Films for Action

Edible City tells the stories of the pioneers who are digging their hands into the dirt, working to transform their communities and do something truly revolutionary: grow local food systems that are socially just, environmentally sound, economically viable and resilient to climate change and market collapse.

Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy 

Credit: Films for Action

This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the “graveyard of social movements”, the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and escalation of neocon policies under Obama, the insufficiency of mere voting as a path to reform, and differing conceptions of democracy itself.

Peace, Propaganda And The Promised Land 

Credit: Films for Action

Provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Canary Effect: Kill the Indian, Save the Man

Credit: Films for Action

Delving deeply into the often misunderstood and frequently over looked historic realities of the American Indian, The Canary Effect follows the terrifying and horrific abuses instilled upon the Indigenous people of North America, and details the genocidal practices of the US government and its continuing affects on present day Indian country.

Disruption

Credit: Films for Action

The film enlarges the issue beyond climate impacts and makes a compelling call for bold action that is strong enough to tip the balance to build a clean energy future.

Inequality For All ($4)

Credit: Films for Action

A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class, INEQUALITY FOR ALL features Robert Reich—professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member—as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy.

2012: Time For Change

Credit: Films for Action

Presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom.

First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture 

Credit: Films for Action

FIRST EARTH is a documentary about the movement towards a massive paradigm shift for shelter — building healthy houses in the old ways, out of the very earth itself, and living together like in the old days, by recreating villages.

For The Next 7 Generations

Credit: Films for Action

In 2004, thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering, where they decided to form an alliance: The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. This is their story.

Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class 

Credit: Films for Action

Based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television’s beginnings to today’s sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and daytime talk shows.

Can We Do It Ourselves? 

Credit: Films for Action

“Can We Do It Ourselves?” asks if it is time to start pushing for a democratic, cooperative way of doing business, showing case studies of businesses who are surviving as democracies within our capitalist system.

A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity 

Credit: Films for Action

A feature-length documentary that follows a community in Australia who came together to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises.

Prout: Economic Democracy in Practice 

Credit: Films for Action

Economics of Prout covers the basic economic principles of Prout, which offers a viable alternative to the materialistic, anti human philosophies of Capitalism and Communism.

Affluenza

Credit: Films for Action

A groundbreaking film that diagnoses a serious social disease – caused by consumerism, commercialism and rampant materialism – that is having a devastating impact on our families, communities, and the environment.

The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News 

Credit: Films for Action

Utilizing a systematic model based on massive empirical research, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky reveal the manner in which the news media are so subordinated to corporate and conservative interests that their function can only be described as that of “elite propaganda.”

Breaking The Taboo

Credit: Films for Action

Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.

The Nature of Cities

Credit: Films for Action

Follows the journey of Professor Timothy Beatley as he explores urban projects around the world, representing the new green movement that hopes to move our urban environments beyond sustainability to a regenerative way of living.

The Take: Occupy, Resist, Produce

Credit: Films for Action

Takes a look at the dramatic economic collapse that occurred in Argentina and writes a radical economic manifesto for the 21st century.

Anima Mundi: Permaculture, Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Soul of the World 

Credit: Films for Action

It provides a realistic alternative for our future sustainability, a gentler way that treads lightly on our Mother Earth.

Legalize Democracy

Credit: Films for Action

A documentary film by Dennis Trainor, Jr. about a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution so that Corporations are not considered people, and money is not considered speech.

The Secret of Oz

Credit: Films for Action

Explores an economic solution to the debt crisis facing the U.S. by taking a look at the book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

The Yes Men Fix The World

Credit: Films for Action

A screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world’s most outrageous pranks.

Gasland 

Credit: Films for Action

When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination.

SEE THE OTHER MUST-SEE DOCUMENTARIES HERE…

Read more great articles at True Activist.




Solar-Powered Floating Farm Could Produce 20 Tons Of Vegetables Daily

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

The future of agriculture is here with what’s being called a Smart Floating Farm, designed by Forward Thinking Architecture, that could produce 8,000 tons of vegetables annually. The concept was selected as one of the Winners of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award 2016 (SEA) in the category of Lifestyle and Culture.

The modular floating farms are not a reality yet but the concept behind it is sustainable and highly necessary with the rapidly growing human population and the equally declining access to natural resources.

As the move away from traditional farming on land, there have been a number of farm concepts, such as vertical hydroponic gardening, that have taken off in urban settings to create a more sustainable future. The Smart Floating Farm (SFF) is joining the ranks in replacing land farms and its high crop yield could make it a serious contender for what comes next in food production.

Credit: Forward Thinking Architecture

Inspired by Chinese floating fish farms, these vegetable farms take food to the next level connecting 200×350 meters units that are rectangular and can attach to other modules via walkways. The farms harvest sunlight and rainwater to care for the crops and even desalinate the ocean water underneath it to be as independently viable as possible.

The people behind the design clarified, however, that the farms are “not meant to solve all of humanity’s hunger problems or to replace existing traditional agriculture. The driver behind the project is to open a new initiative which can be complementary and compatible with other existing production methods in order to help reduce food risk associated problems in different areas of the globe.”

The units are composed of three levels, the first of which is a rooftop photovoltaic power plant that features skylights, solar panels, rainwater collectors, wind turbines and wave energy converter systems. The middle level is where the greenhouse would exist, which would be complete with automated hydroponics and microclimate control for crop cultivation. The bottom level would house fish farms, a slaughterhouse, wave barriers and protection, a desalination plant and a package facility.

Credit: Forward Thinking Architecture

The hydroponics would make the greenhouse free from soil, pesticides, reliance on precipitation or fertile land, all of which are critical reasons to turn away from traditional farming. The shift away from traditional farming has been brought on by a number of other factors as well. Less availability of open spaces in ideal locations for farming is a major reason, but also climate change, drought, and harm to wildlife and natural resources has caused those working in innovation to question what the future of farming could look like. Turning to waterways is great because there is no shortage of ocean for farms to be set up on and it could make local farming and food supply more available to people living on coasts or even large lakes.

This design would be virtually automatic and require little human intervention to keep running throughout the year. What types of produce and fish would be grown in the farms depends on what’s needed in that particular region, but the firm developed a chart for the possible combinations of crops it could produce with the farms.

What are your thoughts on these floating farms? Please share, like, and comment on this article!


This article (Solar-Powered Floating Farm Could Produce 20 Tons Of Vegetables Daily) is a free and open-source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Read more great articles at True Activist.




Immigrant Designer Goes From Homeless To Wealthy, Then Sells Everything To Help Others

Credit: Roberto Vascon/Facebook

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

It’s likely that you haven’t heard of Roberto Vascon, a Brazilian purse designer who had a tough upbringing and went from rags to riches—twice.

Vascon grew up in Raposos, a poverty-stricken small town in Brazil, where he never attended school and started working from a young age to support his family because his father was an alcoholic. When he was older, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where his situation actually worsened. Though he secured a job washing cars to survive, he said that he was starving for several months and lived on benches. 

Once he saved enough money to move to New York City, it seemed that he had finally caught a break and would be able to achieve the American dream by arriving in one of the most prosperous cities in the world. However, to Vascon’s dismay, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“In Brazil, I had to deal with the same level of poverty I dealt with in NYC – but in America, it is a lot colder and it snows so my situation got substantially worse,” says Roberto in a Portuguese interview. “I was hungry, tired, homesick, freezing, and I asked God to take me back to Brazil. I told God if he helped me to survive, I would help a lot of people.”

Credit: Roberto Vascon/Facebook

On the same night that he made this promise to God, he said he had strange dream that changed his life dramatically. In the dream, thousands of birds were landing in trees and dropping purses to the ground. Though most would take this at face value and simply deem it an odd dream, Vascon took this as a sign and ran with it. With a newfound purpose, he spent the next day collecting cans, turning them in for $80, purchasing sewing supplies and leather, and making 12 purses. The purses were the same design he had seen in the dream.

By fate or coincidence, a woman approached him while he was selling the purses in Central Park. That woman ended up being Nancy H., the fashion editor from the New York Times. When Nancy heard his story, she swiftly bought all 12 purses and insisted Vascon spend more time with her so she could write a piece on him and his purses.

Vascon became a success overnight. He earned enough money to start seven stores in America and return to Brazil to buy a house for his mother. The millionaire was living well until his birthday arrived and no one called him to wish a happy birthday. This caused Vascon to question everything yet again, and he turned to God once more.

He said in prayer, “Remember that night I told you I would return everything? I guess now is the time.”

Credit: Roberto Vascon/Facebook

He took this endeavor to heart and wound up selling everything he owned, including his stores and business, to travel the world—128 countries, to be exact—and learn about a variety of cultures and help people. He would help in any way he could, by feeding the poor and homeless and paying for a student’s college tuition.

Credit: Roberto Vascon/Facebook

After he sold his last possession, he returned to the United States and found himself sleeping on benches in NYC once again. As luck would have it, a few days later another journalist approached him when she realized who he was. She wrote a piece about him and two days later he received an offer from a store wishing to partner with him. He has now rebuilt his business, still makes beautiful purses from exotic materials, and helps others anonymously as a way of giving back to the community that built him up twice.

What are your thoughts on this story? Please share, like, and comment on this article!


This article (Immigrant Designer Goes From Homeless To Wealthy, Then Sells Everything To Help Others) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Read more great articles at True Activist.




10 Life Lessons To Learn Now That Typically Take A Lifetime

By Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

Humans are inundated every single day with a plethora of information and advice on self-improvement. While trends about what the best diet is and how to more easily make money change regularly, there are a few lessons that are timeless and can change your life for the better no matter what stage of life you’re in. Below are the top 10 best changesyou can make and lessons you can learn to ensure that you lead a happy, healthy life as your best self.

1. The less you care about what others think, the happier you will be.

People often say that you shouldn’t care what others think, but how many of us actually listen to that advice? While it can be helpful to care about the thoughts of others, such as your boss’s opinion on the professionalism of your work clothes, caring too much about others’ opinions can keep you so far removed from who you truly are. Let go of what others think of you and focus on what’s important for you.

2. Show gratitude.

Gratitude is key to staying happy, whether it’s allowing yourself to feel gratitude for the small, nice things in life, or showing others that you appreciate their role in your life. Showing others that you are thankful for their presence makes them happy in turn and keeps the good vibes flowing.

3. Actions speak louder than words.

This phrase gets thrown around a lot, but how often do we actually act on it? It’s one thing to promise your spouse that you’ll contribute more to the housework, and a completely different thing to actually do what you’ve promised. To reinforce what you have said, you must always follow up with actions that are meaningful and hold true to your words.

4. Work hard—but not too hard.

Work hard, play hard… But don’t do too much of either. While working hard is generally beneficial for all aspects of your life, focusing too much time on one thing, even if it’s your job, can significantly detract from the other areas of your life that also need attention. Take a breath every once in awhile and take a step back from work.

5. Live for yourself.

This goes hand-in-hand with not caring what others think, but it’s an essential extension of that idea. Living for yourself means not allowing other people’s advice cut through what you believe to be right and true for your life path. Follow your dreams with such fervor that you are able to block out the noise of others’ objections.

6. Failures are lessons in disguise.

This is such an important lesson to learn, even if it takes failing to remember it every single time. Being afraid to fail is what keeps us from pursuing so many things in life, but if we remember that failing is simply a part of the learning process to figuring out what works then it seems much less scary. Don’t be afraid to go after something because you think you aren’t “ready” and might fail; be excited to see what the faults in your plan are and to improve upon them as they occur.

7. Live with no regrets.

Living with regrets keeps us in the past and prevents us from moving forward. This can be as small as wishing we hadn’t gotten a certain haircut or as large as wishing we hadn’t broken up with our “true love.” No matter what the regret is, it’s holding you back and the mental energy spent on wishing we could change our past could just as easily be used in deciding how to better our futures.

8. Live in the moment.

Today, this is called “being mindful.” Mindfulness is the natural extension of the practice of meditation, which encourages humans to take a moment to relax, focus on only the physicality of our bodies, and release ourselves from all the tension and stress we are experiencing by trying to do a million things at once. Living in the moment is essential to our well-beings, as we spend way too much time wishing we could change the past or worrying about the future.

9. If we threw all of our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s too, we would take all of ours back.

It’s never actually helpful to tell someone that their situation could be much worse, so instead let’s pretend that you’re able to exchange your problems with someone else’s. The fact of the matter is that whether that person has less or more problems than you, they are just as draining and horrible as yours because we spend all our time consumed by wishing things were better or solved. Instead of dwelling on what’s wrong in your life, be grateful that you have the mental and physical capacity to handle whatever life throws at you.

10. Procrastination will be the death of you.

While procrastination will not literally kill you (at least, it’s not likely), the practice of procrastination could very well internally kill you. It might seem like it’s easier to put things off until the last minute rather than work hard, but the fact of the matter is that we spend so much time worrying about that task that we’re putting off that we are losing ourselves to the task and the stress surrounding it. Add this to the fact that we are actually procrastinating on dozens of tasks at a time and you might realize that you never actually have time for yourself to do fun things or relax. Do things in a timely manner and you may just be able to revive yourself.

True Activist / Report a typo

Read more great articles at True Activist.




Here Are 5 Amazing Ways People Are Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims

Credit: Good News Network

By Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

Tropical Storm Harvey has ravaged through southeast Texas for the past week, submerging inland areas of the state in dozens of feet of water from continuous rains and a lack of infrastructure to support the major flooding taking place. While the death toll has risen to 30 and shelters for both animals and humans have become overcrowded with those seeking refuge, there are still aid workers outside working diligently to rescue as many people and animals as possible.

These rescuers come in many forms, whether that’s through popular websites like Airbnb or airlines like Southwest, but they all share the same goal: to save victims from the torrential downpour and prevent the death toll from rising. Here are 5 ways that people are aiding victims in the best way they can.

5. KHOU Reporter Helps Rescue Truck Driver At The Last Moment

While some have chastised reporters and news crews for merely standing by while people clearly needing help walk by, one reporter from local station KHOU 11, Brandi Smith, helped to secure a rescue for a truck driver stuck in water. It’s unclear how long the truck driver had been sitting there, but it seems that he and his big rig were submerged in nearly 16 feet of water by the time Smith noticed him and flagged down a sheriff with a boat.

Though it may seem as if it would be easy for the truck driver to merely get out of the truck and swim to safety, the current of the flood is much stronger than it looks and getting out of the truck to swim could have lead to his death. In fact, when Smith flagged down the sheriffs, who were headed somewhere else and would have passed up the truck driver, the rescuer said that last year a driver was stuck in the exact same predicament and wound up drowning. Thanks to Smith, this driver did not face the same fate.

4. Beer Company Stopped Brewing Beer So It Could Send Out Emergency Canned Water

Credit: Good News Network

The beer company Anheuser-Busch temporarily stopped brewing beer so that it could provide canned drinking water to victims in this emergency situation. The company has already shipped 50,000 cans to Red Cross Centers and evacuation points in Louisiana, where the storm has migrated to.

“Throughout the year, we periodically pause beer production at our Cartersville, Georgia brewery to produce emergency canned drinking water so we are ready to help out communities across the country in times of crisis. Putting our production and logistics strengths to work by providing safe, clean drinking water is the best way we can help in these situations,” brewmaster Sarah Schilling said in a statement, according to FOX 5 News.

3. Social Media Users Helped Alert Rescuers To Dire Situation At A Nursing Home

Credit: Trudy Lampson

When storms hit and people are alerted in advance of this situation, most are able to evacuate in a timely manner before they are unable to flee. For some, however, evacuating is easier said than done and that’s how 18 senior citizens found themselves in waist-deep water with no signs of rescue on the way. The residents had been told not to evacuate since the home had never succumb to flooding, but the building was no match for Hurricane Harvey.

The photo was originally sent to Timothy McIntosh from mother-in-law  Trudy Lampson, the owner of the nursing home. She said that despite the dire situation they were in and several calls for help, no one appeared to be arriving to save them.

Within hours of McIntosh posting the photo on Twitter, the photo was shared thousands of times and it’s viral nature captured the attention of the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, who sent boats and helicopters to rescue the seniors. Most of them were in wheelchairs or needed oxygen tanks, making evacuation without aid impossible.

2. Southwest Airlines Rescued Hundreds Of Evacuees For Free

Credit: Airlines Inform

While there’s still a major argument to be made in favor of airlines gouging their prices while increasing the seating in their aircraft, Southwest Airlines did the right thing in this emergency situation and provided transportation for evacuees this past week. Houston Hobby Airport had closed the airport to all non-emergency aircraft on Sunday, leaving hundreds stranded, but Southwest received special clearance from the FAA to rescue evacuees. They were able to load up 5 Boeing 575s with over 500 victims and took them to Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport.

1. Airbnb Is Allowing Users To Offer Their House To Evacuees For Free

 

 

 

Credit: AirBnB 

Airbnb changed their rules in service in order to allow nearby but safe residents in Texas to offer their homes for free on the site. Normally there is a required fee associated with each booking, meaning each user must charge a certain price so that Airbnb can make money off of it, but they have allowed that “price” to be placed at $0 for those extending their homes to victims.

This isn’t the first time that the site has changed their rules of service to benefit victims of tragedies; in the past, they have waived their service fees for Hurricane Matthew evacuees, refugees fleeing Syria, and those displaced by the Barcelona attacks.

True Activist / Report a typo

Read more great articles at True Activist.




Beer Pizza And Coffee Flour Among Newest Inventions To Reduce Food Waste

Credit: Coffee Flour Lab/Instagram

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

Food waste is a huge issue not just because of the implications it has on the economy that wastes money on food that will be thrown out but because of its massive effect on climate change and the environment. When food goes continuously wasted, it means that the areas that grow or produce the food may be making more money, but also that their land is being unnecessarily ravaged to produce more and more crops for industries that will later just dispose of the food.

While it’s already difficult for agricultural areas to keep up with the demands of a growing world population, add the perpetual food waste that coincides with this growth and you have a problem that requires fast solutions. This issue contributes to climate change in a number of ways, first by the increasing demand on lands that leads to desertification and last by increasing the amount of waste in landfills.

As nations struggle to come up with ways to combat this ever-growing food waste, startup companies are developing innovative solutions, some of which were presented at a conference in Milan earlier this month called Seeds and Chips. Thankfully, some of these solutions are not only practical but also very cool, and will hopefully draw in both consumers and businesses.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama spoke at the conference and pointed to innovation as a key for combatting climate change, saying that it would help achieve “a sustainable food future,” which includes reducing the hunger crises facing parts of the world today.

“Part of this is also going to be wasting less food… especially when nearly 800 million men, women and children worldwide face the injustice of chronic hunger and malnutrition,” he added.

One idea that gained a lot of attention is Coffee Flour, which uses the cherry that’s extracted and discarded by the billions each year from harvesting coffee beans and turns it into flour. This invention is huge, because as the coffee industry becomes increasingly unstable and continues to ruin more lands as small growers expand their farms. Coffee Flour offers a solution by using the cherries to make flour, which can increase sustainability, reduce cherries that build up in streams and leads to greenhouse gases, support workers at the bottom of the coffee industry, and exponentially increase jobs to supply this new market with product. Watch the video below to find out how they’re doing it and why it’s awesome.

Another innovation that is taking off comes in the form of flour as well, but this time it’s made from beer—kind of. The company, called RISE, is a startup in Brooklyn that uses spent barley, a by-product of beer production, and turning it into flour that takes on the aroma and taste of the original brew. They locally source the spent grains, which have a great fiber and protein content, while being low in calories, and intend to sell the flour in bulk to bakeries and other places that need flour for their food, such as pizza joints.

Credit: RISE Products/Instagram

One huge issue that the food industry faces today is the short shelf-life of fruits, which often travel across the world for days after being harvested just to arrive at the facility where it will be sold and not eaten for many days after the purchase date. Rotting produce makes up a large portion of what goes to the landfills everyday, and a simple solution is to find a way to prolong the shelf life of produce so that less is thrown away, which is exactly what Emiliano Gentilini has accomplished with his all-natural pesticide, Demetra. Italian biotechnology start-up Green Code, Demetra is made up exclusively of plant extracts and used post-harvest on fruit. It considerably extends the shelf-life of fruits by breaking down the onset of diseases and rot by up to 90%. With the treatment, you can also store the fruit at higher temps and cut energy consumption and emissions of pollutants associated with cold storage by up to 30% and 50%, respectively.

Credit: Winnow Solutions

Winnow takes on a more general approach to cutting food waste by working with commercial chefs to help determine just how much of each product is disposed of on a daily basis using a smart scale and a tablet. Chefs weigh what they are throwing away everyday, which is recorded and used to develop detailed reports of what chefs can cut out by ordering less when it comes to ordering inventory. Instead of aiming to take care of the waste after it has been discarded, Winnow aims at making sure the waste never happens. Overall, they say they’ve helped businesses cut 8% of food costs and reduce half of all food waste.

These solutions are awesome and are living proof that ideas about how to cut food waste and better the world in general are still out there, untapped, and coming to life each year. Visit the different websites for these companies (linked above when mentioned) to find out how you can buy their products or where they source from.

True Activist / Report a typo

Read more great articles at True Activist.




Canadian Schools Promote ‘Litterless Lunches’ To Reduce Waste And Increase Health

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

While many food corporations continue to encourage consumers to gobble up as many products as possible, most of which become a part of the landfill within the year, some institutions are beginning to shy away from this wasteful practice despite its convenience.

When Canadian schools began to track how much waste their students were producing just by bringing disposable items to school (such as napkins, lunch bags, and all packaging surrounding processed food items), they found that each child was adding 67 pounds to the landfill each school year. That means that a simple class of 25 students would produce 1,625 pounds of waste just in lunch trash.

The schools sought to change this and decided to open up a dialogue with parents and students about employing waste-free practices when packing lunches at home.

Tara Smith-Arnsdorf, a mother living in Toronto who co-founded the blog PAREdown with Katelin Leblond, has been packing waste-free lunches for her daughter for three years now. She does this by wrapping sandwiches in cloth napkins that can be washed afterwards and using metal containers to pack snacks and other items. For soup and other liquids, she sends a metal thermos with her daughter to school.

Heather Loney of the Upper Grand District School Board in Ontario told the National Post,

“The goal of the litterless lunch is to help reduce greenhouse gases that are produced during the manufacturing and transport of all that food packaging,” she said. “It can also help your pocketbook. Some of those packaged foods are not as nutritionally strong as just buying whole foods. Also, they can be more expensive.”

This is something that people everywhere can learn from, as trash in the world is only growing because people choose convenience over the environment. Though the process of ridding yourself of easy, disposable items may seem daunting, there are plenty of resources online to get you started on your journey of living waste-free. Trash is for Tossers is a great website by Lauren Singer, a young woman who lives a zero-waste lifestyle in New York City. She even has YouTube videos about how to make your own products, which can save money and eliminate a ton of waste.

The schools in participating Canadian school districts provide parents with similar information on how best to reduce the waste inside of their child’s lunches. The tips and tricks are helpful for parents and are creating environmentally-conscious young minds that will hopefully transform the way the environment is treated in the future.

What are your thoughts on going waste-free? Please share, like, and comment on this article!


This article (Canadian Schools Promote ‘Litterless Lunches’ To Reduce Waste And Increase Health) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Read more great articles at True Activist.




Trump’s Inauguration to Be Followed by 1.5 Million Women Marching for Human Rights on January 21

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

Both men and women are invited to attend and march, but the marches happening around the globe are a part of the Women’s March centered in Washington D.C. that will take place on January 21st. Following Donald Trump’s inauguration and on his first full day of being President of the United States, approximately 1.5 million people will gather in over 600 marches around the world to show unity over human rights advocacy.

At the hub of the marches in D.C., over 200,000 people have RSVP’d to participate in the march and more than 1,200 bus permits were requested for parking at RFK Stadium—which is more than 6 times the amount of requests for Inauguration Day. For January 20th’s inauguration, only 200 permits were requested. To put that into perspective, over 3,000 buses registered for a permit for President Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

The aim of the march is multi-faceted but all pro-human rights, and the organizers are calling not just on women but on anyone that is a defender of human rights. According to the website, women’s rights are human rights and that defending the most marginalized of all groups around the world is an effort to defend all of the groups. The website reads, 

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.”

Credit: Erika Schultz

The march itself will show not only Trump but leaders everywhere that injustices against humans will not be tolerated nor will they occur without a fight. This message of unity will be heard across all continents and be evidence of the progression that many people want to move towards, not away from.

Since the march is so inclusive, some white women are expressing a hesitancy in joining the movement because it appears to be driven by race. People of all races and genders are welcome as a display of solidarity in protest and to feel excluded from the event is actually anti-productive for such a strong movement.

Some of the biggest marches outside of D.C. are set to take place in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Denver, San Francisco, and a few other metropolises around the United States. They are referred to as sister marches because of their affiliation with the march in D.C. and the agreement on purpose.

 If you are interested in joining a march near you, find out here where the closest one is taking place this Saturday.

What are your thoughts on these marches? Please share, like, and comment on this article!


This article (Trump’s Inauguration To Be Followed By 1.5 Million Women Marching For Human Rights) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and True Activist.

Read more great articles at True Activist.




Study Links Prejudice Against Minorities With Low IQ, But Finds A Surprising Twist

Credit: Social Psych Online

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reinforced the notion that low IQ, an indicator of intelligence, is linked with prejudice against minority groups but furthered the conversation of prejudice with a surprising find.

Previous studies have confirmed that conservative social beliefs and prejudice against minorities—specifically those that have no control over their status, such as race, gender, or sexual orientation—is linked with having a low IQ. This idea among psychologists was so concrete that some even suggested that researchers should take into account cognitive ability when conducting studies on ideologies and prejudice.

While people with a lower IQ tend to be biased against people with liberal beliefs or minority groups that have no power over their status, researchers in a new study found that prejudice also extends to those with a high IQ but in a different way. Apparently, people with a higher IQ tend to be prejudiced against those with conservative values, such as religious fundamentalists. In a nutshell:

“People dislike people who are different from them,” study authors Mark Brandt and Jarret Crawford told Broadly. “Derogating people with different worldviews can help people maintain the validity of their own world view.”

Though the researchers put it plainly, there is a bit more to the story when it comes to how prejudice affects those along the IQ spectrum. For example, those with a low IQ typically saw the other groups as being distinctly different from them, making it easier to distance themselves from them and from the problems those groups faced daily.

A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reinforced the notion that low IQ, an indicator of intelligence, is linked with prejudice against minority groups but furthered the conversation of prejudice with a surprising find.

Previous studies have confirmed that conservative social beliefs and prejudice against minorities—specifically those that have no control over their status, such as race, gender, or sexual orientation—is linked with having a low IQ. This idea among psychologists was so concrete that some even suggested that researchers should take into account cognitive ability when conducting studies on ideologies and prejudice.

While people with a lower IQ tend to be biased against people with liberal beliefs or minority groups that have no power over their status, researchers in a new study found that prejudice also extends to those with a high IQ but in a different way. Apparently, people with a higher IQ tend to be prejudiced against those with conservative values, such as religious fundamentalists. In a nutshell:

“People dislike people who are different from them,” study authors Mark Brandt and Jarret Crawford told Broadly. “Derogating people with different worldviews can help people maintain the validity of their own world view.”

Though the researchers put it plainly, there is a bit more to the story when it comes to how prejudice affects those along the IQ spectrum. For example, those with a low IQ typically saw the other groups as being distinctly different from them, making it easier to distance themselves from them and from the problems those groups faced daily.

Read more great articles at True Activist.