Tag Archives: Sustainability Week

Inciting local businesses to change: Carrot Mob at Shakespeare’s

In a boycott, everyone loses. In a Carrot Mob, everyone WINS! That’s the basic premise of today’s Carrot Mob at Shakespeare’s, part of Sustain Mizzou’s Sustainability Week.

Sustain Mizzou is challenging YOU to join the Carrot Mob campaign TODAY.

Print this flier, take it to Shake's, and 15% of their sales will go back into energy efficiency updates. Since commercial buildings use a significant amount of total U.S. energy, this is a small step toward a HUGE collective impact.

It’s a party, not a protest! On April 26th join us at the yummiest event of MU’s Sustainability Week to chow down and save the planet, all in one bite (or gulp). Here’s the deal: you buy pizza or beer, then Shakespeare’s will take 15% of the money from your purchase and re-invest it in an energy audit and energy efficiency retrofits at the store. Here’s the catch: for your money to count you’ll need a super-secret code from Sustain Mizzou. You’ll be able to find us at Earth Day, on Lowry Mall during Sustainability Week (April 23-27), on Facebook, and prancing around Columbia in carrot costumes.

Traditionally mobs have formed to protest businesses with bad practices, but this Carrotmob campaign will be the opposite of a boycott: we’ll party at Shake’s to bring more customers to a local company with good practices!

So grab some friends, track us down, and join the Carrotmob! You’ll have never felt so good about stuffing your face.

Dumpster Diving, Oral History and Food Insecurity

During Sustainability Week, join Sustain Mizzou on Thursday, April 26 at 6 p.m. in Strickland 204 to hear a keynote talk by Rachel Vaughn, an expert on food insecurity and oral history.

Rachel Vaughn holds a PhD in American Studies, and graduate certificate in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies from the University of Kansas. She is currently the 2011-2012 Visiting Fellow in the Oklahoma State University Gender & Women’s Studies Program, where she teaches courses in Gender Studies, Foodways and Transnational Women’s Studies. She is the author of the essay, “‘Pretty Little Rags and Bones’: Popular Representations of Dumpster Diners and a Politics of Clean”—part of a forthcoming collection, American Dirt.

In light of current trends to address the question of real food and what to eat—for instance, the work of Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, Carlo Petrini, Jaimie Oliver, and Alice Waters—comes a broader question of the politics of such constructions of food as it revolutionizes contemporary food discourses. Situating my oral history research with dumpster divers of varying food security levels, I explore how the space of the dumpster and the act of diving work as alternative forms of cultural knowledge about food, albeit marginalized, socially unacceptable forms; necessitating an expansion in thinking of what might be considered commons public spaces, and what/where gets currently constructed as real food or real food sources. Ultimately, I ask how the labels ‘real,’ or by default ‘un-real’, ‘edible’ or ‘inedible’ might effect people of varying food in/securities, given the current food systems we eat within in the US.

As the UN suggests, if we fundamentally see food as a human right not a privilege based on access to special resources, popular US food movements need to continue reaching out to broader, economically limited actors to effect necessary large-scale paradigm shifts. I do not intend to offer ‘counter’ prescriptions by way of the dumpster; however, I maintain it is crucial to pay attention to the complex ways in which people of varying food securities arrive at, resist, or otherwise address questions of food accessibility and security. This is particularly of import in a historical moment of intensified international concern over food systems, increasing emergency food dependence, and intensified systemic food waste ‘re-discovery,’ such as the work of Jonathan Bloom or Tristram Stuart.

Is your life too plastic? “Bag It” film screening next week.

Missouri River Relief, Sustain Mizzou and the Missouri River Communities Network will host a free screening of the award winning film “Bag It” on Monday, April 23rd at 7 p.m. in Strickland 204 on the MU Campus.

Try going a day without plastic.  Plastic is everywhere and infiltrates our lives in unimaginable and frightening ways.  Most of what we eat and drink, and the products we purchase, are packaged and wrapped in petroleum plastic – a material designed to last forever, yet used for products that most people use once and throw away.

In this touching and often funny film, we follow “everyman” Jeb Berrier, who is admittedly not a tree hugger, as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic as it relates to our throw-away mentality, our culture of convenience, our over-consumption of unnecessary, disposable products and packaging – things that we use one time and then, without another thought, throw away.

But where is away? Away is overflowing landfills, clogged rivers, islands of trash in our oceans and even our very own toxic bodies. We see how our “crazy-for-plastic” world has finally caught up to us and what we can do about it.

The average American uses about 500 plastic bags each year, for about 12 minutes each. This single-use mentality for plastics has contributed to the formation of a floating island of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean. The North Pacific Gyre is an area roughly twice the size of Texas, some say as big as the United States.

Featuring interviews with scientists and experts from around the world, Bag It is a first-person documentary in the style of Michael Moore, asking how we can incorporate healthy, more environmentally friendly practices into our lives, our cultures, and our communities.

“I didn’t expect a movie about plastic bags to change my life in such a deep and profound way.  Gripping, funny, intelligent, and sure to change your life.”

–  Louie Psihoyos, Director of The Cove

This free and open to the public screening is brought to you by Missouri River Relief, Sustain Mizzou & Missouri River Communities Network.  Please join us on Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m. to learn more about how plastic affects our world and what we can do about it as we kick-off Sustainability Week.  If you don’t do anything else on Earth Day this April, come see this film and bring a friend.

Fore more information about plastic in our environment and its effects, check out Melanie Cheney’s blog, Plastic Soup News.