Burning River Fest: The Preeminent Environmental Festival—July 21 and July 22
By Marissa DeSantis
Good cheer, good cause and good beer are all on the docket at the 2012 Burning River Fest at the historic Coast Guard Station on Cleveland’s Whiskey Island on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22. This year’s fest, presented by Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) and with an expected attendance of around 8,000 people, will feature 28 musical acts on multiple stages, a new feature called the Corporate Boat Float and guest appearances by some of the most dynamic and inspiring personalities in the environmental community.
On Saturday, former U.S. Senator George Voinovich will be in attendance to collect The Burning River Foundation’s inaugural Outstanding Environmental Leadership Award. Throughout his career, Voinovich advocated for the Great Lakes and introduced bipartisan federal legislation to fund their protection. He also famously introduced the legislation into U.S. Congress that became the Great Lakes Compact, prescribing the sustainable use and conservation of Great Lakes’ freshwater resources. Voinovich’s tireless work through the Senate’s Appropriations Committee and Environment and Public Works Committee defined him as an environmental leader.
Also in attendance will be Marcus Eriksen, who has documented, researched and informed the public about the plastic trash forced by currents to collect in the oceans’ five gyres. His own Five Gyres Institute, in collaboration with Dr. Sherri “Sam” Mason of SUNY Fredonia, earned a 2011 Burning River Foundation Fresh Ideas for Freshwater Grant (FIF Grant) to survey, for the first time, the plastic waste collecting in our Great Lakes. Eriksen will be on hand to oversee and advise participating corporations in the onsite construction of their boats made from recycled materials in the fest’s inaugural Corporate Boat Float, presented in concert with Cathi Lehn and Nancy Hughes, the developers of the annual Great Lake Erie Boat Float.
Along with advancing freshwater initiatives, The Burning River Foundation is invested in the preservation and redevelopment of Whiskey Island’s Historic Coast Guard Station. Originally built in 1940, the station fell into disuse and disrepair in the 1970s. Now a city property, the Coast Guard Station serves as a striking backdrop to Burning River Fest’s main stage. Its location provides spectacular views of downtown Cleveland, making it a property that The Burning River Foundation and other local organizations strive to spotlight and develop. Supported by the city to lead re-development, Ohio City, Incorporated will display the latest architectural renderings and development plans for the space.
The diverse lineup of 28 musical acts, including the best of local and regional talent ranging from neo-folk to rock to soul and blues, include: Bethesda, Shivering Timbers, Zach and the Bright Lights, Honeybucket, Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers, Fifty Amp Fuse, and Revolution Brass Band, plus a rumored performance of the infamous “Burning River Chant” by Kristine Jackson. Bands will occupy three stages throughout the weekend, creating the soundtrack to one of the fest’s biggest draws—beer.
GLBC will serve their handcrafted lagers and ales including cult-favorite Christmas Ale. In fact, The Burning River Fest is the only place to get freshly brewed Christmas Ale out of season, making it a hugely anticipated highlight. GLBC’s newest seasonal, The Wright Pils, will also be poured, as well as their Burning River Pale Ale, named after the very event that inspired a new level of eco-consciousness in America and the name of The Burning River Foundation and Fest. The beers will be served out of GLBC-branded compostable corn cups and students from Baldwin Wallace College will be on hand to help the fest’s patrons separate their recyclable and compostable waste, in pursuit of a 90 percent-plus waste diversion goal.
The Burning River Fest prides itself on providing attendees with fresh, all-natural and locally produced food and beverages. All food vendors are required to use sustainable ingredients and materials. Confirmed vendors include Mitchell’s Ice Cream, Ohio City Pasta and Whole Foods.
Burning River Fest’s Eco-Partners will occupy booths on Whiskey Island, highlighting their achievements in sustainability in fun, interactive and educational ways. Leading the way will be the foundation’s 2011 FIF Grant recipients who with funds raised at last year’s fest have been developing curriculum for Cleveland schools, leading research projects and demonstrating water conserving and purifying green infrastructure.
New to this year’s fest is the VIP lounge. Guests can purchase a pre-sale VIP pass for $100 until July 15 or for $125 during regular ticket sales from July 16 to July 20. Guests also have the option of purchasing a Burning River Fest Fundraiser Package, which includes 20 one-day passes plus one VIP ticket for the fundraiser’s use, for $160 presale or $200 during regular ticket sales. The VIP pass includes expedited entry to Burning River Fest, plus access to the fest’s new VIP lounge featuring complimentary GLBC bottled beer and appetizers, private restrooms and the opportunity to meet Burning River Fest’s esteemed guests.
The Burning River Fest is above all a fundraiser, with a clear emphasis on the “fun.” Join fellow Northeast Ohioans at the Burning River Fest and help grow the preeminent environmental festival dedicated to the protection of the Great Lakes—it’s a good time for a good cause.
For more information and to purchase tickets please click here.
The Burning River Foundation is dedicated to improving, maintaining and celebrating the vitality of our regional freshwater resources. Our vision is to establish Northeast Ohio as the recognized environmental leader dedicated to the sustainability of its high quality freshwater resources.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie
Of all the plastic we've ever produced, only 9% has been recycled. So what happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years?
Triangle of Mistruths<p>The myth created around plastic recycling has been one of simplicity. We look for the familiar triangle arrows, then pop the waste in the recycling bin so it can be reused.</p><p>But the true purpose of those triangles has been misunderstood by the general public ever since their invention in the 1980s.</p><p>These triangles were actually created by the plastics industry and, according to a report provided to them in July 1993, <a href="https://www.npr.org/transcripts/912150085" target="_blank">were creating "unrealistic expectations"</a> about what could be recycled. But they decided to keep using the codes.</p><p>Which is why many people still believe that these triangular symbols (also known as a <a href="https://sustainablepackaging.org/101-resin-identification-codes/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">resin identifier code</a> or RIC) means something is recyclable.</p><p>But according to the American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM) – which controls the RIC system – the numbered triangles "<a href="https://www.astm.org/Standards/D7611.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">are not recycle codes</a>." In fact, they weren't created for the general public at all. They were made for the post-consumer plastic industry.</p><p>In other words, the symbols make it easier to sort the different types of plastics, some of which cannot be recycled – <a href="https://www.ecobin.com.au/understand-recycling-codes/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">depending on the recycling facility</a>.</p><p>"Unfortunately, just placing your plastic into the recycling bin doesn't mean it will get recycled," says Lara Camilla Pinho. She is an architect and lecturer at the UWA School of Design who is researching novel uses of plastic waste.</p><p>"The recycling system is complicated and often dictated by market demand. Not all plastic is recyclable. We cannot recycle plastic bags or straws for example."</p>
Behind the Scenes<p>So, what makes recycling plastics so difficult?</p><p>"Essentially, there are two types of plastics – thermoplastics and thermosets. While thermoplastics can be re-melted and re-molded, thermosets contain cross-linked polymers that cannot be separated meaning they cannot be recycled," says Lara.</p><p>"Even thermoplastics have a limit to the amount of times we can recycle them, as each time they are recycled they downgrade in quality."</p><p>Even when plastics are recyclable, it is <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/13/war-on-plastic-waste-faces-setback-as-cost-of-recycled-material-soars" target="_blank">often more costly</a> than simply making new plastics.</p>
Sugar, Seaweed and Mushrooms<p>If the conventional recycling system isn't working, what else can we do with all the plastic we've created?</p><p>Lara is looking for ways to add value to recycled plastics such as using it in the design and development of architectural products. She hopes to use these architectural products to help underserved communities that are disproportionately affected by plastic waste.</p><p>In addition to recycling, we also need to find ways to reduce our use of virgin petroleum-based plastics.</p><p>Bioplastic is one such product that has been getting a lot of hype over the last few years. And although they're better than petroleum-based plastics, bioplastics also come with their own <a href="https://phys.org/news/2017-12-truth-bioplastics.html" target="_blank">set of challenges</a>.</p><p>"There are already a lot of bio-based alternatives to plastic, such as bagasse – a byproduct of sugar cane processing," says Lara.</p><p><a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-mycelium-revolution-is-upon-us/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mycelium</a>, a type of fungi we most often associate with mushrooms, are also providing an interesting plastic alternative.</p><p>"In the field of architecture, mycelium is starting to be used as an alternative to plastic insulation, but also as compostable packaging and bricks," says Lara.</p><p>"The bricks take around five days to make and are strong, durable, water resistant and compostable at the end of their use."</p><p><a href="https://www.arup.com/news-and-events/hyfi-reinvents-the-brick" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Hy-Fi Tower</a>, created by <a href="http://www.thelivingnewyork.com/living_about.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Living</a>, is an example of a building made from these bricks.</p><p>And finally, there's seaweed.</p><p>"[Seaweed is] cheap and can reproduce itself quickly without fertilizers. In architecture, there is use for seaweed as an alternative to plastic insulation but also as cladding," says Lara.</p>
More Money, More Problems<p>While all these alternatives are great, the main cause of our plastic dilemma is not scientific or technological, but economic.</p><p>As long as it remains <a href="https://engineering.mit.edu/engage/ask-an-engineer/why-is-it-cheaper-to-make-new-plastic-bottles-than-to-recycle-old-ones/" target="_blank">cheaper to create new plastics</a> from fossil fuels rather than from bioplastics or from recycling, we're going to be stuck with plastic garbage islands floating in our oceans.</p><p>The true cost to our health and our environment has yet to be included in the equation. But once it is, maybe that is when the real shift will happen.</p>
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The Truth About CBD Product Potency<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2ODMyNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDc2NTg1N30.OAm3iOTO_pKZLXi7KdJ7n0DGOFMdOmIYuG4ArGooFC4/img.jpg?width=980" id="d657c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ee016a81b29caa699b9185b64ce345d6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
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Towards the end of the final presidential debate of the 2020 election season, the moderator asked both candidates how they would address both the climate crisis and job growth, leading to a nearly 12-minute discussion where Donald Trump did not acknowledge that the climate is changing and Joe Biden called the climate crisis an existential threat.
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By Zheng Chen and Darren H. S. Tan
As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels. Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing. And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems.