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Gabriel Avenna

Gabriel Avenna wears many hats, but all of them are green. As the environmental education director for NextAid, Mr. Avenna spearheads the 'Green Scene' section of the NextAid website, bringing current news and information into focus for the general public to appreciate and attain a more ecologically sensitive awareness.

Gabriel sits on the steering committee for the Coalition for a Sustainable Africa and helps consult on operations and decision making policies to include environmentally friendly adherence. Working for the past 4 years at Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale, Mr. Avenna teaches organic gardening and is a mentor to the Green Ambassador after school program.

Mr. Avenna also provides freelance consulting services in areas of organic gardening, composting and home/office recycling system implementation.

Email Gabriel at gabrielavenna [at]nextaid[dot]org


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Evolving environmental content presented monthly by NextAid's Environmental Education Director Gabriel Avenna

Sustainable Africa News

With Eye on Sustainability, US-Based Coalition of Non-Profits Tackles Poverty, Disease in Africa
By: Tawanda Kanhema, posted on 10-24-10 on Investigative Africa
In a bid to reform the way independent non-profits function and increase the role of non-state actors in spearheading developmental programs in Africa, a consortium of mostly California-based non-governmental organizations under the banner Coalition for a Sustainable Africa (CSAFRICA), is setting out to change this prevailing perception. Stephan McGuire, President of CSAfrica states, “African communities cannot wait for foreign aid from large NGOs or from the West,” adding, “CSAFRICA had identified the need to create self-sustainable communities to prevent relapse into dependency.”
Read entire article here

Turning Energy Savings in London into Solar for Africa
By: Sami Grover, posted on 11-05-10 on Tree Hugger
Developed as a partnership between UK communications agency Wieden Kennedy London, and solar development charity Solar Aid, the Off-On program encourages employees to save energy, and it funnels the resulting savings into funding for a solar installation at a children's home in Nairobi, Kenya. By reducing their office's energy consumption by just 10% over the year, Wieden + Kennedy will save enough money to light up 4 classrooms and a kitchen (in Kenya) with solar panels.
Read entire article here

Africa Must Feed itself
By: Dr. Akin Adesina, Dr. Wangari Maathai and Dr. Graça Machel, posted on 10-18-10 on Huffington Post
Africa still has 300 million people living on less than $1.25 per day - nearly as many people as are living in the entire United States of America. The vast majority are smallholder farmers, about 70% of whom are women. Africa's average staple crop yield is still less than one ton per hectare, compared to a global average of 5 tons per hectare. For millions of farmers in Africa, accessing basic technologies to help them raise food production is a major challenge. Leaders have failed to urgently prioritize the challenges facing poor farmers in Africa. Leaders must act on their behalf.
Read entire article here

Illegal Fishing Endangers Freshwater Fish in Malawi
By: David McKenzie and Brent Swails, posted on 10-27-10 on CNN
A recent comprehensive study by the Intentional Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found 21 percent of freshwater fish in Africa are threatened with extinction, putting the livelihoods of millions of people at risk.The report highlighted Lake Malawi and said loss of species was particularly serious because so many people rely on the fish for food.
Read entire article here

Aquaculture Provides Hope for Sustainable Supply of Fish
By: Cam McGrath, posted on 10-18-10 on All Africa
Combine the experience of Africa's leading freshwater fish producer with that of one of Asia's fastest-growing mariculture sectors. Fisheries experts in Egypt and Vietnam hope it will lead to a robust aquaculture industry that utilises both river and sea to feed growing populations and generate export revenues. Egypt boasts the largest aquaculture industry in Africa, accounting for four out of every five fish farmed on the continent.
Read entire article here



Green Tips: Reduce Your Footprint

1. Stop Junk Mail from filling up your mailbox. Subscribe to Green Dimes, a company that puts a stop to junk mail coming to your mailbox. http://www.greendimes.com/

2. Change your search engine either to save energy, or to benefit your favorite charity. Check out www.blackle.com as an alternative search engine. Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. Or, check out Good Search http://www.goodsearch.com/ which lets you register any school or non-profit organization of your choice, and every search you perform through Good Search, a penny is donated to your selected recipient.

3. Curb your plastic water bottles consumption. Did you know that only 3% of all plastics are actually recyclable. That’s right. Even though they have the recycling triangles on them, only the #'s 1 and #'s 2 are actually recyclable.

Also, did you know that the plastic debris currently floating in the Mid-Pacific Gyre, the swirling mass of ocean northwest of Hawaii, where all the Pacific waters currents converge, is as large (or larger) than the state of Texas? And the the ratio of plastic to plankton is currently 30:1... that’s right !! There are 30 times more plastic that oxygen generating = plankton in the Pacific Ocean.

So choose a better alternative for your drinking water. Reusable, stainless steel water bottles. There are a number of companies offering these stylish and sustainable hydration essentials.

Check out Klean Kanteens at: http://www.kleankanteen.com/
Or Sigg at: http://www.mysigg.com/index.asp?Category=3&PageAction=VIEWCATS
Or EcoUsable at: http://www.ecousable.com/

4. Use a durable canvas bag (or other re-usable shopping bag) instead of paper or plastic. Buy a few and remember to take them with you when you go to the market. Even if you forget to bring them every once in a while, at least you will drastically reduce the number of paper and plastic bags that you use.



Green Sites

Treehugger treehugger.com
World Changing worldchanging.com
Grist www.grist.org
Plenty Magazine www.plentymag.com
Union of Concerned Scientists www.ucsusa.org
Co-Op America www.coopamerica.org
The Green Belt Movement www.greenbeltmovement.org/
Co-Op America www.coopamerica.org



Green TV

Discovery Channel: Planet Earth Guide

Sundance Channel: The Green



Green Film

The Future of Food www.thefutureoffood.com
The Future of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.


An Inconvenient Truth climatecrisis.com
From director Davis Guggenheim comes the Sundance Film Festival hit, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, which offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man's fervent crusade to halt global warming's deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. In this eye-opening and poignant portrait of Gore and his "traveling global warming show," Gore also proves himself to be one of the most misunderstood characters in modern American public life. Here he is seen as never before in the media - funny, engaging, open and downright on fire about getting the surprisingly stirring truth about what he calls our "planetary emergency" out to ordinary citizens before it's too late.


11th Hour www.11thhourfilm.com
"So, we find ourselves on the brink. It's clear humans have had a devastating impact on our planet's ecological web of life. Because we've waited, because we've turned our backs on nature's warning signs, and because our political and corporate leaders have consistently ignored the overwhelming scientific evidence, the challenges we face are that much more difficult... What will guide this massive change? And does nature hold the answers we need to help restore our planet's resources, protect our atmosphere, and therefore help all life survive? — Leonardo DiCaprio

Excerpted (Vanity Fair May 2007) from the film The 11th Hour, a documentary created by Leonardo DiCaprio; directed by Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners; the film, to be released later this year by Tree Media Group and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Read more at www.leonardodicaprio.org


The Corporation www.thecorporation.com
Winner of 26 International Awards! 10 Audience Choice Awards including the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, The Corporation explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Taking its status as a legal "person" to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics - including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore - plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.



Recommended Reading

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America
by Thomas L. Friedman

Cradle to Cradle
by William McDonough info

Introduction to Permaculture
by Bill Mollison info

The Art of Natural Building
by Joseph Kennedy, Michael G. Smith, Catherine Wanek info

Gaviotas, A Village to Reinvent the World
by Alan Weisman info

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands
by Brad Lancaster info

The End of Poverty
by Jeffrey Sachs info

Dead Aid
by Dambisa Moyo info



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