New YERT DVD Now Shipping from First Run Features

Dear YERTians,

Planning on arguing about climate change with your friends and relatives this holiday season?

Try a little humor…

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Save 35% for a Limited Time

“YERT – Your Environmental Road Trip”

Feature Film on DVD

Just in time to diffuse vicious climate debates during the holidays! The new YERT feature film DVD’s are printed, on sale, and ready to ship from our distributor, First Run Features. We don’t generally advocate buying stuff, but we simply can’t help ourselves in this case. Even if you already own a copy of the YERT film, you won’t want to miss all the updates and extras in this edition. This brand new DVD includes a fresh cut of the YERT feature film (with a special new section about the climate change activism at, not to mention lots of mostly un-released DVD extras: filmmaker commentary, outtakes, shorts, subtitles, and deleted scenes. And for an added boost of inspiration, it includes a spiritually-oriented short film featuring quotes from environmental leaders across the country. We’ve combed through our all-time favorite footage and put the best of it on this DVD.

Click through the “BUY NOW FROM FIRST RUN FEATURES” button to help us get a referral fee…

We also get a percentage of other films you purchase on the First Run site– if you click through our link. Thanks!
(NOTE: Film is ~113 minutes. This DVD is not licensed for public screenings or library use.)

To purchase a public/academic/institutional screening or library license, please click here.

Until next time,
Mark, Ben, and Julie

P.S. Many of you have been asking about Netflix and iTunes and other “video on demand” options. We’re working on it, and we hope to have an update for you about that soon! Just not quite yet. Stay tuned…

Our work is supported in-part by public screening licenses.

Click here to host a screening!

YERT on the road again: Toronto and Los Angeles!

Dear YERTians,

We’ve been burning a bit of midnight oil lately to deliver all of the YERT materials to First Run in preparation for the release of our official DVD with them in December. We dug up lots of great DVD extras for you, not to mention a filmmaker commentary track jam packed with behind-the-scenes info. We’re super excited about this release, so stay tuned for more details!

In the meantime, we have two big screening events coming up…

Screening TOMORROW at Planet in Focus Film Festival (Toronto)
YERT’s Director, Ben Evans, is currently on a bus heading to Toronto for tomorrow’s (10/10) screening of YERT at the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival: 1pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West Toronto, ON M5V 3X5). YERT is part of their educational track, so the 70 minute version of our film will be screened for an auditorium full of students (one of our favorite audiences for Q&A)– but the general public is also encouraged to attend. You can purchase tickets online here.

We are also eager to meet up with international distribution partners (representing regions outside the U.S. and Canada). If you know of anybody like that who will be attending, please have them call or e-mail Ben to meet up: +1-917-657-7253 or He’ll be in Toronto through the duration of the festival.

Screening MONDAY at 2012 AASHE Conference (Los Angeles)

YERT’s Producer, Mark Dixon, is looking forward to a brief but connection-filled visit to Los Angeles to screen at the 2012 AASHE conference (AASHE = Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education). We’ll be screening the 60 minute educational cut of YERT, starting at 2:50pm in room 411 at the LA Convention Center (not open to the public). We’re hoping to give college sustainability coordinators a taste of the YERT film– enough that they’ll want to bring it home for a screening on their campuses! Please share the news with anybody you think might be at the conference, and hopefully we’ll see you there! (And if you’d like to bring YERT to your school, buying a license just takes a few clicks. Visit our screenings page for more details.)

YERTfully Yours,
Ben, Mark, and Julie

Our work is supported in-part by public screening licenses.

Click here to host a screening!

Last chance to help YERT get onto Netflix!

Dear YERTians,

We wanted to send one more friendly reminder to add YERT to your DVD queue on Netflix. As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, our feature film, “YERT – Your Environmental Road Trip”, is up for consideration by Netflix, and we need your help RIGHT NOW to get them to carry us!

Add YERT to your Netflix DVD queue before Oct. 1!

It’s basically like a popularity contest. If a lot of people (like you) to add YERT to their Netflix DVD queue (not considered for streaming just yet), then they’re more likely to include us on their service. And if we get a LOT a LOT a LOT of people to add us, then they might even give us a monetary advance on our film.


Basically you just need to search for “YERT” and we should pop up. Then add us to your DVD queue. (A nice BONUS is that if you keep us there and enough people do this, you’ll get to see our spankin’ new official release of the film as soon as it’s out for FREE as part of your Netflix subscription.)

And while you’re there, if you want to give us a sweet rating and/or a review, please go for it! We have four beautiful ratings last we checked, but we can always use more. It all helps, and we truly appreciate every single one of your efforts to show your support.

Please add YERT to your Netflix DVD queue! WOOT!

We’re trying to get as many queue sign-ups as humanly possible by OCTOBER 1st, so please tell your friends and family, and queue us up to help the planet! 🙂

Ben, Mark, and Julie

Our work is supported in-part by public screening licenses.

Click here to host a screening!

YERT Film SIGNS with Distributor: First Run Features!

Dear YERTians,

We’ve reached a new milestone with the YERT film project.

We are thrilled to announce that we have signed with a distributor, First Run Features. The YERT film will be sitting in good company– some notable films on First Run’s list include: Dive!, Crude, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, and Martin Scorcese’s Surviving Progress. We’d like to offer special thanks to Circus Road Films for pulling the deal together, and we’re already working on a fall release schedule for DVD (with fun extras!) and Video-on-Demand (VOD).

Here’s a little more information from First Run’s website:

“First Run Features was founded in 1979 by a group of filmmakers to advance the distribution of independent film. Under the leadership of the late independent film pioneer, Fran Spielman, First Run Features quickly gained a reputation for its controversial catalog of daring independent fiction and non-fiction films. First Run remains one of the largest independent theatrical and home video distributors in the United States, releasing around 12 films a year in theaters nationwide and about 40 DVDs annually. In addition, First Run has an educational/non-theatrical division, and it also licenses its titles to television and cable outlets and through internet platforms.” –

We’ll share more information with you as it becomes available, particularly as we learn when and where you will be able to watch the YERT film online, offline, and everywhere in-between. In the meantime, we’re really excited to be setting up more college, community, and theatrical screenings through the fall, winter, and beyond– all over the world, and we’d love for you to host a screening near you soon! We all need the YERT message to reach far and wide this election season, and we need your help to make that happen. Set up a screening right now here.

Until next time,
Ben, Mark, and Julie

Our work is supported in-part by public screening licenses.

Click here to host a screening!

August Update for YERT

Dear YERTians,

We know it is almost over, but HAPPY SUMMER! We’ve been a little quiet this season, but the YERTy activity continues and we have lots of goodies to share with you. First off, however, we’d like to take a moment to consider some heavy news about this summer’s extreme heat. We promise the rest of the news will make you smile!

SPECIAL NOTE TO OUR SUPPORTERS: Bill McKibben recently wrote a heart-and-mind-wrenching article about climate change for Rolling Stone Magazine, and we urge all of our friends and supporters to read the article, take it to heart, and consider sharing it with those they love. It is titled Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math, and you can grab the link here. We can make and watch eco-oriented movies all day long. We can even take action in our personal lives, neighborhoods, and local and national governments. We encourage ALL of that. And yes the science still indicates that unless we ALL do ALL of that– and make sure it is enough to shift some major cultural norms and supporting legislation– then the problems will only grow worse. Alas, science isn’t prone to be cheery when confronted by insufficient action on a global scale. There is no time like today to take an extra step or two (or five) to give our descendants a planet that we, and they, can be proud to cherish.

And now on to the YERTy news!!

  • YERT is on IMDB! (Can you vote for us?)
  • Official Selection at 2012 AASHE Conference (Los Angeles)
  • Official Selection at Planet in Focus Film Festival (Toronto)
  • Building Earthships and Other Summer Adventures
  • Recent YERT Reviews
  • Next Steps with Distribution
  • Official Screening/Festival/Award Count

YERT is on IMDB! (Can you vote for us?)
We finally took the plunge and paid a little money to update YERT’s official profile on (IMDB is basically a handy database of movies, and a repository of ratings and reviews). And that’s where we need your help! We’re currently rated “8.9/10 by 24 users.” That’s good, but many of the films in our domain have over 100 ratings, and we’re hoping to reach that goal. Would you be willing to quickly log-in and give us a rating? And if you want to go the extra mile, you can leave a lovely review our film. And if you have no time, just give it the ol’ Facebook “like.” It’ll take you five seconds. Here’s our IMDB page again:

Official Selection at 2012 AASHE Conference (Los Angeles)

YERT had an un-official screening for attendees of this sustainability conference last year, but this year we received the OFFICIAL stamp of approval and acceptance by AASHE: the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. It is basically the premiere conference for university-level sustainability coordinators and green-activated students to learn about the latest tools and trends they can use to make their campuses greener. We’ll be screening the new 58-minute “educational cut” of the YERT film on Oct. 15 starting at 2:50pm in Room 411 of the LA Convention Center, and YERT Producer Mark Dixon will be there in-person for the event. Please share the news with anybody you think might be at the conference, and hopefully we’ll see you there! (And if you’d like to bring YERT to your school, buying a license just takes a few clicks. Visit our screenings page for more details.)

Official Selection at Planet in Focus Film Festival (Toronto)
Our latest film festival acceptance came from a top environmental film festival in Canada, the “Planet in Focus: Toronto International Environmental Film & Video Festival!” This festival puts us in good company, as PiF has previously screened films like Revenge of the Electric Car, Urban Roots, Queen of the Sun, Bag It, and Dive. We’re hoping that the 2012 festival will help us get a foothold with some international distribution options– and we’ll certainly let you know if that happens. To that end, YERT Director Ben Evans will be attending the festival and getting to know everybody he possibly can!

Building Earthships and Other Summer Adventures
Ben had a whole smattering of screenings and Q&A’s in upstate NY this summer, while Julie was performing two plays at Merry Go Round playhouse in Auburn, NY. Auburn (x5), Ithaca, Syracuse, Cortland, Homer, and the Loquacious Locavores all showed enthusiastic support for the YERT film with various screenings. The Evans clan reconnected with some old friends (like EcoVillage Ithaca’s Liz Walker and Sustainable Tompkins’ Gay Nicholson) and made some wonderful new YERTian friends including Fingerlakes Bioneer Nick Vaczek, fierce YERT supporters Kristen Aust, Bill Hecht, the homesteading Sara & Greg Holden near Auburn, and two couples building earthships in upstate NY. Ben & Bailey headed up near Watertown for a day to help Anthony & Melissa Cronk pound tires for their earthship and got to see the incredible progress that Chad and Courtney DeVoe are making on their “Freeville Earthship” just outside of Ithaca. Not a bad way to spend a month or two… Now back in Louisville, Ben and YERT co-editor Scott Irick have embarked on a mission to build Louisville’s first Earthship and are working with community leaders to find the best place to build. Until then, they’ll be outfitting Ben’s garage with a bottle/can wall and a Will Allen style aquaculture system – like in the YERT film.

Mark and his wife Christie drove up to Huntington, VT to get their hands dirty for a week on a real-live Earthship build known as the “Ecclesiastes Project.” After paying $100 for the privilege of working for free, they found themselves pounding tires along-side Earthship creator Michael Reynolds, building can walls, moving concrete, leveling dirt, and generally using their bodies in unusually punishing ways. The pair came away with blistered hands, sore muscles, and a wealth of experience (and photos) that will help them realize their dream of building an Earthship near their current home in Pittsburgh. And for those of you wondering, “Why all this fuss about Earththips?,” we encourage you to check out this summary: “Ecological Impact of Earthships.” After a too-short week in construction mode, Mark and Christie took refuge at Mark’s brother’s Meadowhawk Homestead, also in Vermont, where they healed while soaking up the natural tranquility of lovingly cultivated chickens, bees, goats, and mushroom logs, not to mention a massive garden and its nutritious, delicious bounty! (If you’d like to visit Meadowhawk yourself, you can via (And if you’d like to work on an Earthship yourself, check out this page for upcoming projects.)

Recent YERT Review
Our latest film review is a fun one from a guy named Bill Arceneaux. Here’s a blurb from the full text that you can find here:

“YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip” features three individuals who put shame to my Earth saving attempt. See, they spent a year on the road, going through all 50 states of this country, documenting people and organizations dedicated to ecological progress and anything/everything green. Along the way, they cut down on their personal trash, gauged electricity use and lived out of a hybrid – man do I feel lazy.

Next Steps with Distribution
While we’re thrilled that the YERT film has been screened 162 times in the last year, not to mention all the other real and virtual “thumbs-up” we’ve gotten along the way, that is all just the beginning phase of our ever-evolving distribution strategy. With the help of our rep, Circus Road Films, we’re actively pursuing opportunities for distribution with several different companies in the industry, particularly in the DVD and VOD (video-on-demand) arenas. At some point we’d love to get onto Netflix, particularly if we can do it on favorable terms (stay tuned for ways to help with that!) After that, we’ll be looking at international markets while we pursue outreach to as many colleges, universities, and libraries we possibly can. If you’d like to help us with our outreach, we could use a few volunteers. Just contact and let us know you want to help!

Official Screening/Festival/Award Count

We have experienced an extraordinary year of community and festival screenings, not to mention a few awards. We thought we’d share the details with all of you so that you can know what your support has enabled us to do during the past 5 years. Most of all, THANK YOU for helping our little film get this far!

Total Registered Screenings: 162
Total Festival ACCEPTANCES: 26
Total Festival Awards: 10
Countless New Relationships and Ideas: Priceless 😉

  • Audience Award, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
  • Audience Award, Environmental Film Festival at Yale
  • Best Environmental Documentary, DocuFest Atlanta
  • Chris Award, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
  • Hon. Mention, Best Documentary Director, Cincinnati Film Festival
  • Best Environmental Film, Southern Appalachian Int’l Film Festival
  • Best Documentary Feature, Costa Rica International Film Festival
  • Best Regional Documentary Feature, Cincinnati Film Festival
  • Hon. Mention, Best Documentary Feature, Cincinnati Film Festival
  • Hon. Mention, Best Feature Film, REEL EARTH Environmental Film Festival
  • “YERT – Your Environmental Road Trip” is an official Selection at 26 film festivals, including the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, Planet in Focus International Film Festival, Dallas VideoFest, Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY), Southern Appalachian International Film Festival, Costa Rica International Film Festival, DocuFest Atlanta, Take One Action Film Festival, Charlotte Film Festival, EcoFocus Film Festival, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, Twin Cities Film Festival, Orlando Film Festival, Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, deadCENTER Film Festival, Cincinnati Film Festival, Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival, Route 66 Film Festival, Building Change Film Festival, REEL EARTH Environmental Film Festival, FiLUMS International Film Festival, Oneota Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival, and the St. Louis International Film Festival.

    That’s all for our late summer update. If you’ve been up to some fun and/or green activities and/or reflections this summer, please send them our way. We might just share them with the whole YERT family in upcoming newsletters. And don’t forget to check out the latest latest news at our Facebook page.

    Enjoy your August!

    YERTfully Yours,
    Ben, Mark, and Julie

    P.S. We can’t help but mention that YERT editor, Scott Irick, has also been on an Earthship building tear this summer, working on three different Earthships over three weeks, and we hear might try out the Earthship Academy if he free up the time. Way to go, Scott!

    Our work is supported by DVD sales and screenings.
    Click here to buy the YERT Film on DVD!

    Click here to host a screening!

    A Special KY Derby Poem + 5 Free YERT DVDs (w/ Screening Purchase)

    YERT E-mail Header
    Get 5 free YERT DVDs with every YERT Screening Purchase Through 5/5!

    Dear YERTians,

    We had a wonderful burst of 28 screenings during “Earth Month” in April, with dozens more coming up this summer. Thank you for spreading the word!

    We also wanted to send out one more reminder just in case you forgot. Climate Impacts Day is this weekend on May 5, and to help celebrate, YERT is offering five (5!) free DVD’s with every screening license purchased through May 5.

    Click here to buy a YERT screening and receive five additional free YERT DVD’s!

    To assist with the celebration, YERT Director Ben Evans wrote a little poem. And if you don’t know, May 5 is not just Climate Impacts Day, but Kentucky Derby Day, too! Enjoy the poem…

    The Race to Save the Race (Bet on the right HORSE)

    ‘Tis the day of The Derby
    A day to take pause
    Connecting the dots

    All over the planet
    We’re gathering now
    Forming one ROUSING SERMON
    To tell the world how

    Climate chaos results
    From man’s carbon addiction
    And our PROSPECTIVE Earth
    Faces quite the affliction

    The floods and the droughts
    And the storms we’ve been feeling
    Are part of a trend
    And humanity’s reeling

    From icebergs to TRINNIBERG
    All berg’s are affected
    As the polar ice melts and
    Less sunlight’s reflected

    Huge infernos MARK VALES
    KI-lling wildlife and trees
    While big oil and big coal say
    I’LL HAVE ANOTHER, please

    Deniers quote “science” from
    Hacks, quacks, or GEMOLOGISTs
    ‘Cause they just can’t refute
    The world’s best climatologists

    NASA’s climate Godfather
    Says we need to take action
    No matter the bother

    With our atmosphere’s carbon
    It’s time to get wiser
    Sub-350 ppm’s
    The great OPTIMIZER

    And he says hesitation
    Doesn’t BODEMEISTER well
    For our civilization

    Ask the dinosaur, dodo,
    Or fierce SABERCAT
    Extinction’s forever
    Can’t argue with that

    DADDY LONG LEGS are creepy
    But creepier still
    Is the DULLAHAN coming
    If we don’t find the will

    Yet, year after year
    Politicians keep balking
    At fixing the problem
    So now we’re DONE TALKING

    It’s time to TAKE CHARGE
    INDY-pendent of “leaders”
    Face the ALPHA task first
    (For all you Greek readers)

    So wear a big dot
    On your world-UNION RAGS
    Share this global LIAISON
    With pix, tweets, and tags

    The science is clear
    It’s steep odds that we’re facing
    In this race for our lives
    So it’s time to get racing

    The future of Earth
    Could be hotter than Hell
    So each day we take action

    -Poem by Ben Evans

    So let these words be an inspiration to you on Climate Impacts Day. Connect the dots with vigor and creativity, and most of all… lots of fun!

    YERTfully Yours,
    Ben, Mark, and Julie

    P.S. In the picture below (click on it for a glorious close-up) Ben is getting ready for Climate Impacts Day on 5/5 – same day as the Kentucky Derby. Louisville’s 350 group is planning some great Derby fun, so if you’re in the Louisville area, visit (or this Louisville link) to find out more about the Louisville event and join in the excitement.

    —Ben wearing his special climate-activated Kentucky Derby hat—

    SPECIAL OFFER DETAILS: All standard screening licenses purchased from between the dates of March 30, 2012 and May 5, 2012 will have five additional free YERT film DVD’s included with the purchase – for a total of six (6) DVD’s. Actual screening date may occur at any time, even after May 5, so long as the purchase is made during the special offer period.

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    Fran Korten at Yes! Magazine likes YERT!

    A lovely endorsement from Fran Korten, Publisher, YES! Magazine: “A big ‘YES!’ to Mark, Ben, and Julie, who have given us the road trip for our century — a roaring tour of some of the best solutions for a warming planet, spiked with funky humor and charming humility.”

    Yes! Magazine had a big influence on YERT, bringing a positive and practical vision of the future into focus. If you haven’t yet, please check out .

    News from the Frontiers of Planet Friendliness!

    Dear YERTians,

    We have an Earth Day/Week/Month special for you today: an exciting snapshot of cool ideas from frontiers of the green movement as introduced to us on our West Coast Tour (more or less). People couldn’t help but tell us all about the cool things they’ve heard about, and we want to share the highlights with you…

    News from the Frontiers of Planet Friendliness!

    • Friend and YERT interviewee Wallace J. Nichols encouraged us all to give away blue marbles as a “thank you” to eco-friendly people around us. You can order them here:
    • Author Michael Shuman shares a clever tip for creating a self-directed IRA that lets you invest your retirement savings locally.
    • I hear that the 2012 International Permaculture Conference/Convergence will be held in Cuba, but I can’t find much online about it. Let me know!
    • Perennial Plate is a great road-trip and food themed web video series that has some solid green sensibilities.
    • Portland-based Depave group is working to replace pavement with soil and real-live plants!
    • Mark Lakeman of CityRepair is working to build public spaces for and by people.
    • The Transpartisan Alliance is working to bring people together in spite of political differences. Indeed, to find better solutions because of our diverse views. Video here.
    • A friendly viewer at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival encouraged us to check out David Blume’s book “Alcohol Can Be A Gas.” We’ll be checking it out to see the latest news about biofuels.
    • gives moviegoers a clever way to bring movies to their local theaters– pulled by the crowd! Kind of like Kickstarter for movies.
    • Impact Dashboard is being developed by Google and the Sundance Foundation to help measure the impact a film is having. Little intro video here.
    • Khan Academy is educating people about all sorts of things online for free. Check out Khan’s TED talk.
    • The Grange movement. Have you heard of it? I hear they’re making a comeback. Kind of like a farmer’s support group– and there are chapters (and Grange Halls) all around the country.
    • Fate of the World is a computer game that allows players to try to avoid catastrophic climate change. Find other “Games for Change” at an annual festival here.
    • A fun thing to do with your community: host an UNtalent show. Demonstrate your lack of talent shamelessly and for the benefit of others.
    • Watch video together with friends online with Xmobb – J says you can log in via Facebook. And you can set up a little film festival with social elements.
    • We were encouraged to check out the latest attempt, and possible success, at cold fusion. Here’s a related Wired article.
    • Tata Motors appears to be preparing to launch a car that runs on compressed air.
    • Interested in creating an ecovillage or sustainable community? This book might help: Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian.
    • Blu Homes makes awesome green homes– pre-fabricated. Check out their Breeze House design as an example.

    We know that there isn’t always a ton of good news to share during Earth Day/Week/Month, so hopefully these will give you some food for thought and a little inspiration to share with those you love. Don’t forget that we’re also posting almost daily to our Facebook page if you want more updates.

    Happy Earth Day!

    Mark, Ben, and Julie

    Our work is supported by DVD sales and screenings.
    Click here to buy the YERT Film on DVD!

    Click here to host a screening!