Southern California environment news and trends

5 things worth seeing at this year's Green Festival in downtown LA

Avais Dinga/Courtesy of OrganicWorks PR

This weekend's Green Festival in downtown Los Angeles will bring over 300 vendors, over 100 speakers and a variety of other events to the Los Angeles Convention Center.  It runs from Saturday at 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. Sunday. 

Organizers expect over 30,000 attendees, over 8,000 more than last year. Regional Director Laurie Kaufman tells KPCC the event is aimed at those who are green conscious (and "green-curious") from all political backgrounds. “[It's] fun, it's smart, it tastes good and it's a way to broaden your community,” she said. 

So what should you be mindful of at this year's gathering of the planetary and ecologically conscious? A few highlights:

1. Eco-celebs

“Hollywood’s positive impact is also integral to this movement,” said Erin Brunner by email. Brunner is a senior account executive at Organicworks PR, handling public relations for the Green Festivals nationally. “The celebrity element is also much higher here – we have an all-star lineup in each of the cities, but the LA Festival draws big names of celebrities inspired by the environment.”

Read More...

Apple to work with critics on pollution audits

Mercer 18124

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

It was announced this week that the same environmental organization that charged Apple’s Chinese production partners with poor pollution practices is going to be working with the digital hardware maker to audit operations at one of the company’s suppliers.

Historically, Apple was not been forthcoming with their manufacturing partners. This new agreement will mark the first time the company has ever revealed the names of those partners, making it easier for environmental organizations to track the sustainability (or lack thereof) in the process. In this case, an unnamed maker of printed circuit boards will be the focus of an environmental review slated to start in “the next few weeks,” according to CNET.

“We are happy Apple is now opening its door,” said Shen Xunan, a project officer at the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs in Beijing to Business Week. After the organization criticized Apple last fall for working with suppliers who endangered public health through pollution, the company has made a very public effort to remedy the situation. Apple has yet to comment on the any of their environmental efforts outside of information provided on the company’s website.

Read More...

Nature, animals are endangered species in the world of children’s books

Mercer 10485

Getty Images

There are fewer animals in children's books than ever.

In the same week that the Guardian reports on a recent UK study showing that boys are closing the gap on girls in reading, a more sobering story has emerged detailing how animals and natural settings are fading from the books they read.

As reported in USA Today, researchers from several universities referenced more than 8,000 images from 296 Caldecott Medal-winning children’s picture books, all released between 1938 and 2008. Categorizing between natural settings, like a forest or jungle, and built environments, such as a school or office, you can likely guess what they discovered.

By 2008, images of natural environments had decreased to just 25 percent, while built environments were the primary setting for 55 percent of the images. Pictures of both wild and domesticated animals reduced drastically over the years as well.

Read More...