Love Mother Earth Like You Do On Earth Day Everyday

April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

For forty-one years, we’ve been celebrating Earth Day. And what started as a celebration, is now a cause. Now more than ever, with climate change at our doorstep, we need to take the idea of Earth Day, and truly act on it – not just for a day, but for the entire year.

We can’t say “Happy Earth Day” and move on to the next big thing tomorrow. It’s not a slogan or a holiday; it’s a reminder that the earth can’t be taken for granted. Its resources are finite and we can not selfishly beat it to death and leave it for the next generation to clean up. This is especially true today.

So what can we do? If we can all work together the end result can be revolutionary. Why not us? Why can’t we be the ones to solve this?

The vision would be a world where environmental sustainability and responsibility is the norm on a personal, corporate and government level. Everyone is on the same page, working together as best we can to solve this. There is no debate, just a commitment.

So, let’s operate together on a few different levels, starting today:

* First, change our own habits and inspire others to do the same. Measure your carbon footprint and do whatever you can do to decrease it. Understanding and minimizing your carbon footprint is easy and makes a huge difference with little sacrifice. Inspire your family and your company to do the same. Here’s a start: Join Gretchen Bleiler’s 21 Day Reusable Challenge. It’s a fun way to kick your dependency on single-use plastics. It starts today, so try it: www.21dayreusablechallenge.com

* Make your purchase power work for the greater good. If you work for a consumer products company, ask them if they’re committed to running a sustainable business, working with like-minded partners and producing products that are environmentally-responsible. But also, are they leveraging their corporate weight to influence policy?

And as a consumer, purchase smart. Do your homework about which companies are doing it the right way and focus your buying power accordingly. Soon, companies will realize that green products are good business. Use the Good Guide before you shop: www.goodguide.com

* Find out what your Congressmen and Senators’ stances are on the environment; make sure they know that anything less than a commitment to clean energy legislation is unacceptable. Our elected officials have the biggest lever in terms of climate solutions and their opinions are shaped by their constituencies. Our dependence on oil and coal is why we’re in the mess and our local, state and federal officials have the power to shift budgets and priorities to make clean energy a reality. But they won’t do it if they don’t hear from us and understand that it’s good for them politically to support it. Send them a letter now and use your power at the voting booth as soon as you can.

* Teach the children. If there is one thing we do, let’s make sure the next generation is smarter than we are. Start now to teach kids about their connection with the environment and inspire them to solve climate change, so it’s second nature for our future leaders and corporate executives.

And we hope you will continue to support POW so we can mobilize together, as a united winter sports community fighting climate change on as many fronts as it takes. We need your support, and we’ll make a difference together.

Written by Chris Steinkamp
Executive Director, Protect Our Winters


POW Collaborating with Alliance for Climate Education to Teach High Schools Students about Climate Change

April 20, 2011

After months of planning, Hot Planet/Cool Athletes finally kicked off during the X-Games in January and has continued to visit schools, reaching over 3,000 students so far.

Hot Planet/Cool Athletes is a collaboration between POW and Alliance For Climate Education (ACE) and provides pro snow sports athletes with a platform talk to high school students about climate change. The multi-media in-school assembly highlights the athlete’s achievements and personal stories about the impact of climate change on winter sports and delivers a message for students to take action in their own lives. Check out a recent ESPN article about the program Here.

So far, athletes including Gretchen Bleiler, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Seth Wescott, Nate Holland, Ralph Backstrom, Nick Visconti, Mike Wilson, Iris Lazzareschi and Moss Halladay have visited local schools. This is just the beginning! If you want us to visit your school, just email us.

Thank you to our corporate partners – helping us influence and inspire the next generation of climate leaders: The North Face, Clif Bar Family Foundation, The Quicksilver Foundation,
Teton Gravity Research, Whole Foods Market/Highland Dr.


Americans Fasting in Protest of Budget Cuts

April 12, 2011

A movement has begun across America in silent protest against the proposed Budget Cuts. According to HungerFast.org over 30,000 people have joined the non-violent collective voice to bring attention to what these budget cuts really mean: last week’s budget agreement—now public—contains cuts to critical programs but does little to make corporations and the rich pay their fair share. More than half of the $38 billion in cuts target education, labor, and health programs.

Republicans are pushing a new round of proposals to abolish Medicare and make far deeper cuts to education, nutrition, health care, and other essential programs—while giving even bigger tax breaks to millionaires and corporations.

The following is a quick video demonstrating the nationwide collaboration of disdain for such budget cuts:

 


Free Teleconference For Women Wanting More from Life

April 7, 2011

If you’re a female and have been looking for a little help in connecting with your highest potential, check out a free teleconference going on this Saturday at 9:30 am Pacific Time.

According to Feminine Power Global Community, this teleconference is for us ladies for a specific purpose…”Something big is happening for us as women. We’re on the brink of an evolutionary shift with the potential to alter the course of history. Millions of us around the world are feeling a calling to reclaim the feminine, and in so doing, to awaken our authentic power to co-create the future of our lives and shape the future of our world.

You may be experiencing it as an impulse to evolve yourself, to realize the potential of your creative gifts and talents and to make your greatest contribution. You may yearn for deeper experiences of love, intimacy and connection and feel a longing to come more fully alive. You may even intuitively sense that you have a unique purpose and a critical role to play in shaping the future of our world. And you may well be right.”

I signed up. What’s to lose? A global collaboration of positive female energy can’t do anything but assist in moving forward. Here’s to achieving our highest potential!


Inspiring Video of Jody Williams at Women’s TED Conference on Working Together for Change

March 24, 2011

5 Examples of Positive Collaboration in the Wake of the Tragedy in Japan

March 16, 2011

Sometimes it is hard to think of the positive in such horrific circumstances as what is facing the nation of Japan right now. But it is often in the darkest moments of life that we see the brightest capabilities of kindness and love.

Here are five beautiful examples of how the Japanese are working together in the face of adversity.

1. A Japanese phrase that locals are saying over and over again to each other are the serene words “stay calm”.

2. When a reporter asked if aid had started pouring in yet, the response was, “No, but the people are helping each other from the bottom up, rather than waiting for help from the top down.”

3. A story of store owner has surfaced of the business man offering up his merchandise for those in need. A line of people with their own carts congregated outside the store, moving along in an orderly fashion to accept the donation. The store owner explained he was giving away all that he had. (He had moved everything outside to give the people access.) There was no greed being shown. The citizens, in turn, took only what they needed, making sure the people behind them would have some of the goods when it came their turn. Another example of sharing: a story of people being served enough Raman Noodles for four, and instead of taking it for themselves, split it with two more, making it a meal for six.

4. Reports show there has been little — to no — looting.

5. The level of mutual compassion and patience is being shown in great magnitude with the working together when waiting in lines — oftentimes for hours on end.


A Collaborative Tool for Loved Ones to Find One Another in Japan

March 12, 2011

I would like to take a moment and express my deepest sympathy for the tragic reality that Japan is facing now. I have no doubt that with time the Japanese — with the help of other countries — will rebuild the areas of destruction ravaged by the earthquakes and tsunami waves…although this will never replace the devastation of losing a loved one.

As communication is in its basic form at the moment, a site has been created in the spirit of reuniting those separated in the disaster.

Please pass on the information and website link for Japan Person Finder.


Mountain Rider’s Alliance Project Manager Explaining New Ski Area in the Works

March 9, 2011

I’ve mentioned Mountain Rider’s Alliance before: they are the embodiment of collaboration in the ski community. Based on core beliefs that support ski towns, the riders and the environment, MRA is a voice for all of those that love playing in the mountains with boards strapped to their feet.

Looking at restoring an old ski area in Alaska, MRA is working with locals on the Kenai Peninsula to create a positive winter sports resource. Check out the following video of MRA project manager, Dave Scanlan, discussing the proposed ski area.


3rd Annual Clements International Youth Exchange Scholarship Looking for Entries by May 13, 2011

March 1, 2011

As a kid, I had always dreamed of living in a foreign country. Europe to be precise. In my mind, this was the land of expert skiers. I wanted to be skiing the same mountains they did.

The day I found out I had received the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship, I went weak in the knees. Literally. I fell to the solid pavement of my driveway reading the sentence beginning with “Congratulations!” Tears of joy fell from my face as I realized my dream of living abroad as a teenager was coming to reality. Little did I know how much that year in Bavaria would effect my life. Every aspect of my life has been touched because of my year living with my German family, the Johnens. My love life is better: Germany is where I finally fell for my husband. My business sense is expanded: I believe it is easier for me to think outside the box because of living in a foreign culture. My life is richer: I’ve experienced not only the U.S. and German cultures, but being an exchange student also prepared me for my life in Argentina — an amazing experience that has enriched my life with many lifelong relationships.

So, it is safe to say I am a big proponent of youth exchange programs, especially scholarships.

Clements International, an insurance carrier for expats, is accepting applications for their third annual Expat Youth Scholarship. A unique contest exclusively for expat students who spend their childhoods moving between different countries and cultures, the 2011 Expat Youth Scholarship is open to students ages 12-18 of any nationality who have resided in a foreign country for at least two consecutive years. For this year’s theme, they ask participants to create a video explaining their favorite thing about their host country and its culture. The entry deadline is May 13, 2011.

A total of $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded to six students in the following categories:

Category One (Ages 12 – 15):

1st Place $3,000
2nd Place $1,500
3rd Place $500

Category Two (Ages 16 – 18):

1st Place $3,000
2nd Place $1,500
3rd Place $500

According to Clements International President, Chris Beck, “We’re so excited to offer the Expat Youth Scholarship again this year with a new twist. Incorporating online video and Facebook voting will really make this scholarship contest an interactive experience for everyone involved, including participants, expats, supporters and viewers around the world.”

Hoping to get a global input, this year everyone gets a chance to help determine the winners. A Judges Panel consisting of individuals representing the expatriate community will determine the top 12 video entries, which will be posted on the Expat Youth Scholarship Facebook page under the “Links” tab. During the month of August, members of the Expat Youth Scholarship fan page will be able to vote for their favorites using the “Like” feature. Voting (i.e. “liking”) will end on August 31. The total number of fan “Likes” will determine the top three winners in each age category.

What a great example of collaboration!

Visit ExpatYouthScholarship.com for more information.


Mountain Rider’s Alliance Presenting Project in Alaska

February 25, 2011

Mountain Rider’s Alliance to present Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project

Mountain Rider’s Alliance Project Manager, Dave Scanlan, outlined a proposal for the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project at the Girdwood Library last night, Thursday, February 24th, 2011.  With over 50 locals in attendance, there was a question and answer session afterward, with a lot of proactive community feedback.

Manitoba Mountain is located at Mile 49 on the Seward Highway at the site of the Historic Manitoba Ski Area and the Glacier Ski Lodge that operated from 1941 to 1959. The earliest recorded history of skiing on the Kenai Peninsula was in 1790. Anchorage is located 90 minutes away and there is a population base of 325,000 within a three-hour drive. At a base elevation of 1,250 feet, this region of the Chugach Mountains receives an estimated 350-550 inches of snow annually.

Manitoba Ski Area is a MRA pilot project designed to be small on infrastructure and big on mountain. The proposed lifts are surface tows designed to give riders supreme access to and from world class high angle backcountry terrain, while at the same time providing excellent beginner, intermediate, and advanced inbounds skiing experience.

Additional plans include creating and maintaining Nordic, snow shoe, snow machine, and dogsled trail systems through the historic mining sites of the Summit Lake Recreation Corridor, helping to support the year round operation of Summit Lake Lodge.

“One of the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project’s primary goals is to bring economic stability to the communities of Hope, Sunrise, Moose Pass, and Cooper Landing by creating a centrally located destination to create local jobs and foster additional private sector economic activity by redeveloping the downhill, and Nordic ski opportunities in the Summit Lake Recreation Corridor,” states Project Manager Dave Scanlan.

Both wind and hydro energy creation opportunities exist in the area. The State of Alaska has set an ambitious goal to supply 50% of the state’s energy from renewables by 2025. This goal has been laid out in the new House Bill 306, passed in June 2010.

MRA is an emerging group of like-minded global ski and outdoor enthusiasts dedicated to sustainable, low impact ski centers with an emphasis on the community, environment and skiing. More information about the MRA is available at their website. MRA will be offering reasonably priced investment shares to both the local and global ski communities to help fund the revival of Manitoba Mountain.

“We have entered the preliminary stages of the permitting process and while we expect this to be a lengthy multi-year process, we are fully committed. We will be hosting many public outreach meetings to solicit the public’s comments and ideas to assist us in sculpting the best possible facility with community involvement,” said Scanlan.

Mountain Rider’s Alliance has forged partnerships with many respected organizations that share the same values. Some of these partners include Protect Our Winters, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Sustentator, High Fives and Ski Duck.


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