YERTpod23: Bioneering Change in California and Beyond

Dear YERTians,

(We’re headed to Washington DC soon (3/29-4/6), and want to know what you’re eager to see! Politicians? National non-profits? Maybe even watch us try to meet with President Bush? We need to get started on our DC focus, but we need your input, so send it along today! …And now for the rest of the show…)

Welcome to California, the motherland for the mother lode of Mother Earthly events. We knew that we’d be frustrated by the screamin’ YERT schedule while we tried to take in all the green mother-ness in the state, so we did our best to bring the state to us: we went to a couple of conferences. Our first conference was Bioneers, and we were blown away…

The place was filled with creative, intelligent people motivated to change the world. If you’ve never heard of Bioneers, then just imagine a group of pioneering innovators in fields spanning biology, technology, spirituality, sociology, and everything in between. Bioneers are working hard to bring out the best in humanity and make it stick.

We caught up with one of the folks working to make things stick: Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder of Global Exchange and Code Pink, who connected the dots between oil, the environment, and—wouldn’t you know it—peace! Amazing what you can do with a few extra billion dollars. We were also delighted to meet Kristin Rothballer, who once worked in development for the Bioneers Conference, and is now the Managing Director of Green For All. The brainchild of Van Jones and Majora Carter, Green For All is working to bring the green revolution to people of all socio-economic backgrounds—not just the Prius driving elite.

One of the most incredible discoveries (at least for a YERTian) was a one-stop shop for all eco explorers: the Ecology Center in Berkeley has a phone number that anybody can call to get any eco-question answered: 510-548-2220 x233. The service is free—you just have to pay for the call to the 510 area code. Now if that doesn’t motivate you to explore a new eco-alternative, I don’t know what will. Give ‘em a call!

With Change,

Julie, Ben, and Mark (Your YERT Team)

P.S. And now for Breadcrumbs! If you want to learn more about the topics in this video, check out these resources:

Green For All – We met Kristin Rothballer, Managing Director of Green For All. Knowing the talent that Kristin brought to Bioneers, you can rest assured that Green for All is going to make incredible positive waves in this country. From their website… “Green for All has a simple but ambitious mission: to help build a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.” That’s all based on the premise that “a national effort to curb global warming and oil dependence can simultaneously create good jobs, safer streets and healthier communities.”

Ecology Center (and Hotline!) – Amy Kiser, Development Director for the Ecology Center (in Berkeley), gave us the rundown. While we are ticked by their eco-hotline, they also provide a variety of other community services that they can describe best: “We address the public need for non-commercial information about ecologically-sensitive practices and the numerous toxic threats to society and the environment. In addition to our Environmental Resource Center, we provide direct services including Berkeley’s residential curbside recycling pickup, the three Berkeley Farmers’ Markets, the Farm Fresh Choice food justice program, Terrain magazine, the EcoHouse demonstration site, and a wide range of fiscally-sponsored projects.” – We were entertained by Adam Burkett, Web Designer for When he pulled out his leaf business card, however, we knew that we had a magic man on our hands. He’s currently helping make magic at WiserEarth, too… which is essentially a community networking website devoted to social change.

ChicoBag – Meet ChicoBag before they became a YERT sponsor! We caught up with Founder Andy Keller, who shared the scoop on ChicoBag’s birth. We still think it is the ultimate re-usable bag, but you can decide for yourself… We’ll be offering official YERT-branded ChicoBags for you to buy in the next month or so. Stay tuned!

Medea Benjamin has made a name for herself as the Co-Founder of Global Exchange and Code Pink. You’ve probably seen her on TV singing for social change in a pink shirt. We can’t get enough of her, and we always like to find folks who can eloquently connect the dots between war and sustainability. Also, if you haven’t heard, Global Exchange (among other things) runs fair trade stores in SF, Berkeley, and Portland, OR.

Conscious Goods Alliance – This bus tour is spreading the word about a variety of eco products. We enjoyed the fact that they’re also on a road trip of sorts, though you can never replace Rachel (the Car) Carson. The website explains it well: “The companies that make up the Conscious Goods Alliance follow a Triple Bottom Line approach, a business philosophy that partners with, and is committed to, the social and ecological bottom line in equal partnership with traditional bottom line financial returns.” Catch a list of their partners, including Theo Chocolate, here.


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