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Earth Day at 40

Mindful Metropolis features an assessment of 40 Years of Earth Day by Jacob Wheeler, looking at the event’s growth along with the environmental movement – and where both stand now, following the disappointment of last December’s climate summit in Copenhagen.

He talks to local grassroots groups including Green Dot Environmental, which (with Conscious Planet Media) is sponsoring a Green Living Expo at the Humboldt Park boathouse this Saturday; Faith In Place, which works with local congregations, and includes among its credits assistance with the first solar-powered mosque in the nation; No Foam Chicago, which is trying to get CPS to stop using harmful styrofoam (300,000 trays a day) for school lunches; and Climate Cycle, which installs solar panels in local schools, which currently spend more on energy than on books or computers.

There’s also an interview with Colin Beavan, author of No Impact Man, about his year-long effort to radically minimize his family’s carbon footprint.  The project grew out of his feelings of frustration and powerlessness over government’s failure to respond to the environmental crisis, and involved “a process of me waking up to the possibility that I can make a difference,” Beavan says.

He reports that what seemed like sacrifices had unexpected rewards.  “I found that if I transported myself by bicycle, I got more fit; if I ate local food by farmers who I trusted, I ended up being healthier; by cutting out TV, we spent more time together as a family, and the list goes on.”

“No Impact Man,” the film, will be screened Friday night at 5 p.m., opening Earth, Wine and Fire, an evening of locally-produced food, wine, and beer, a silent auction, and dancing to salsa at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Center to benefit the Notebart Center and the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

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