Happy New (Challenging) Year 2017 and Let’s Get Involved

January 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Happy New Year to all and continued prosperity!

With the new leadership in the U.S., 2017 promises to be a challenging one for those of us in the pro-environment industry, here and abroad.  With the elections past and a new president in office, many of us feel disillusioned, angry, and even scared with the looming specter of the new administration’s upcoming four years.  But even if you say and believe “He’s not My president,” like it or not he actually is for now – but there is always something we can do as citizens to not feel so disenfranchised.  We can be part of the solution (or at least the opposition)!

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

Joseph Velazquez in Atlanta for the The March for Social Justice and Women. Photo by Hilary Bradford, Atlanta, 2017.

Even if you were not particularly politically active in the past, as I have been, for me this is the time for our collective similar-minded community to speak up and contribute our thoughts and actions.  We can voice our opinions and fight for a just, open, healthy, pro-environment and all-embracing peaceful community – on a small scale for all of our people and places, and on a grand scale for the future health of our planet.  Even if you voted for Trump for a host of other reasons, it must be clear that his policies on the environment and energy are dire, at best and to say the least.

Earlier this month two of our family members participated in The March for Social Justice and Women, which had an attendance of about 60,000 here in Atlanta and 3,000,000 globally.  On February 16 Aramis and I are planning to attend the Climate & Health Meeting: How the Climate Crisis Affects Public Health from The Climate Reality Project in partnership with the American Public Health Association, Harvard Global Health Institute, the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment, and Dr. Howard Frumkin, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health at the Carter Center.  Originally scheduled as a 3-day conference, it was unexpectedly cancelled earlier this month:

The Climate & Health Meeting is being held following the abrupt cancellation of a major climate change-public health conference planned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin told The Washington Post that the CDC’s event was called off preemptively in an attempt to avoid any entanglements with the then-incoming Trump Administration, which has nominated several climate deniers to key cabinet positions relating to the environment and already has ordered science-based government agencies to cease the release of important public information and put a freeze on Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts that could, according to the Post, “affect everything from state-led climate research to localized efforts to improve air and water quality to environmental justice projects aimed at helping poor communities.” ~ The Climate Reality Project

And we are keeping our eyes open for more information on the 2017 People’s Climate March on Washington just announced two days ago for April 29:

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

A steering committee of more than two dozen organizations is organizing the event. It is supported by the major national environmental groups and an array of social justice, religious, and labor groups, ranging from the Hip Hop Caucus to the Franciscan Action Network to the BlueGreen Alliance. More than 100 groups have endorsed the march. ~ InsideClimateNews

Climate reality is just that – science-based and real, here to stay.  Preaching to the choir here, we all know how climate change affects so many aspects of our lives, and we believe that designing with nature by incorporating plants on, over, and within our built environment can ameliorate at least our own neighborhoods and urban heat islands.  Greening buildings and creating green infrastructure is what we all do in some form or another – it’s our industry, so let’s get involved!

In the past many have devoted their time and effort to promoting Earth Hour, March 25; Earth Month, April; or specifically Earth Day, April 22.  But these events are meant to serve as reminders that our planet should be revered and protected every day of the year, not just sometimes.

So what can we do?  Beyond writing and calling your state senators and representatives, why not join or see what The Climate Reality Project, Earth HourEarth MonthEarth Day and these other organizations are doing, too: 350.orgNRDCAvaaz, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, EARTHJUSTICEGreen AmericaGreenpeace, Scientists’ March on Washington, ACORE, WWF, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and of course Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, our own North American industry association, among so many others!

Of course, we would love to have you join/follow us our social media networks, too, to voice your opinion within our specific industry: Greenroofs.com Network on LinkedIn; Facebook; Twitter; GreenroofsTV Channel on YouTubePinterest; and our eNewsletters.

Earlier this month on January 18 both NASA and NOAA announced that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded (since 1880), to the indifference of climate-deniers.  Previously, 2015 held the title of Warmest Global Year on Record.

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

In the past I have always believed in supporting our U.S. presidents – at least having respect for the Office of the President, but for me currently there is very little to respect in the persona of Donald Trump.  But with enough voices and actions, perhaps we can create some change and at least make his tenure palatable.

And to this effect, we hope you join us for our 4th biennial 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit starting on April 9 through April 30. With a distinguished Advisory Group for 2017 and easier and more socially interactive online platforms, come network with us along with a host of fellow influencers from around the world, and bring your voice to the global table.

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

Here’s to peace, love, happiness, thriving business, and action for all in 2017!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher

Celebrate Earth Month with Greenroofs.com! Enter the “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall” 2016 Photo Contest

April 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm

April is Earth Month, a 30-day emphasis on our planet, sustainability, and how we can make the world a better place, and April 22 is the 46th year we celebrate Earth Day.  Earth Day Network is the global organizer behind Earth Day and creates tools and resources for you to get involved with Earth Day in your community, and there are tons of activities planned across the world.

“Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Photo Contest

Read “10 Tips to Celebrate Earth Month!” from the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net via ISF.

April is also World Landscape Architecture Month, an international celebration of landscape architecture, and my own background.  Join us as we showcase environmental design and fight environmental apathy by highlighting some fantastic, endearing, earth-healing landscapes on roofs and walls.

Celebrate Greenroofs & Walls with our Earth Month Photo Contest

In celebration, once again Greenroofs.com is happy to announce our “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Month Photo Contest for 2016#lovetheearthcontest

 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Photo Contest

Although we started this feature annually in 2010, we switched to featuring it biennially in off years of our biennial Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture due to time overlapping, and we hope you join in.

The Essentials:

Submit your favorite picture on our special Facebook Contest tab of a beautiful greenroof or greenwall project by noon Eastern Time on Earth Day, April 22 – one entry per email.

Enter a caption for your photo including its name and location – tell us how it is a living example of loving the Earth and worthy of being an example of forward-thinking sustainable design.

Tell people to vote for you/yours – one vote per person.  Share it on social media with #lovetheearthcontest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Start voting for your favorite on Facebook at 12:01 pm Earth Day through the end of Earth Month, at 11:59 pm – one vote per entry on Facebook.

Decided purely by the most number of votes, the winner will be announced on May 1, 2016 and receive a whopping $100 Amazon.com Gift Card – just a small token of our esteem – but you’ll get some publicity, too!

More Info:

The mission of the “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Month Photo Contest is to create interest in all kinds, styles, and sizes of beautiful living architecture and highlight some outstanding designs.  It’s designed to be quick and simple, and is basically a popularity contest among our international readership, so promote, promote, promote.

What kinds of projects are eligible?  

Any and all types of real greenroofs or walls are eligible, any place on Earth, old or new. Most importantly, no concepts or Photoshopping will be accepted!

“Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Photo Contest

The beautiful & popular 2014 Photo Contest winning entry: Green Wall in Israel by Asaf C.

Once voting is open, you can see all of the submitted projects on our Facebook page before voting for your favorite – and see who’s winning!

What do I have to do to enter the contest or vote?

Then, click here and follow the directions to submit your photo.  You’ve got just over two weeks to enter, and then you’ll have until April 30 to rally your friends, family, and colleagues to vote for your submission.

Does it have to be “my” project or just one of my favorites?

The contest is open to everyone, not just the roof/wall owner or the designers of record.  But you must be the sole owner of the copyright of any image submitted.  Didn’t take the photo yourself?  Make sure you contact the source and check for any copyright issues and get it in writing.

How do people vote?

Once open on April 22 at 12:01 pm, click on the View Gallery tab and click on the photo you want to vote for. Use #lovetheearthcontest on social media.

“Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Photo ContestHow do I win?

The photo with the most votes will be announced as the winner.

What do I get if “my” project wins?

The winner will have “their” project highlighted on Greenroofs.com as an upcoming Greenroof or Greenwall Project of the Week, and receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card to spend on your favorite Spring project!

“Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Photo Contest

Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Click here to see the Official Rules.

If you’re not already a fan of Greenroofs.com, we invite you to Like Us and stay connected.

Let’s honor Earth Month by participating in our “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Month Photo Contest for 2016 with our living architecture community to help inspire awareness of and appreciation for our Earth’s environment!

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall,

~ Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher

Happy Earth Day! The Winner of the 2014 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Day Photo Contest is…

April 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

With a whopping 729 votes, the project receiving the highest number of total votes and winner of the 2014 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Day Photo Contest is…

2014greenroofsontop-photocontest-winner

ASAF COHEN, who submitted the “Great Greenwall in Israel” project.  Congratulations!

 

2014PhotoContestWinner-AsafCohenAs soon as we receive additional project information from Asaf, we will highlight this project as our highly popular “Project of the Week.”

And, Asaf will now receive a $100 gift card from Amazon.com as a small token of our appreciation for entering the 2014 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Day Photo Contest and celebrating the living architecture of greenroofs and greenwalls – and, of course, Earth Day itself.

In total, we received 14 entries – not including the two we submitted for samples – the Musée du quai Branly greenwall in Paris and the California Academy of Sciences  living roof in San Francisco, which, by the way, both received votes anyway.  This was a very international offering, just like our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database itself, with entries from Israel, Spain, Taiwan, Panama, USA (Rochester, NY; Durham, NC; New York City, NY (2); Alaska; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; and Cincinnati, OH), Brazil, and India.

2014EarthDayGreenwallIsrael

The beautiful & popular 2014 Photo Contest winning entry: Green Wall in Israel by Asaf C.

It’s interesting that the first year we include greenwalls in the photo contest that a greenwall project wins!  Not only that, but the second entry, with another huge number of votes at 452, is also a greenwall – the stunning vertical garden in Zaragoza Spain.

Here are the final voting stats:

2014PhotoContestWinner-FinalStats

Way to get your friends and colleagues behind you, Israel and Spain – that’s the power of social media!

2014’s submissions were so varied and all are truly awesome.  Some we already have in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database, like the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) Green WallThe Republik Building/ Xero Flor America HQ Green Roof, and the Empire State Building (see: Empire State Building, 30th Floor West with the entry photo; Empire State Building, 21st Floor East & West, and Empire State Building, 25th Floor Northwest).  And, we hope to add all of the new projects to our Projects Database so we can all learn more about each.

Thank you to everyone who entered a project and voted for their favorites on our Facebook page.  Happy Earth Day and beyond!

2014EarthDayForeverYoga

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall ~ Linda V.

Get Your Photos Ready for the 2014 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Day Photo Contest!

March 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm

After a one-year hiatus – still busy with with our second Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture – we are happy to announce our “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Day Photo Contest for 2014!

Submit your favorite pictures of beautiful projects by Earth Day and receive a whopping $100 – a small token of our esteem.

2014LovetheEarthPlantARoofOrWallPhotoContest

Inaugurated in 2010, we wanted to find a fun way to get our readers involved in honoring Earth Day, so we started the (almost) annual “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest!  But now we’ve added living walls to the mix.

Earth Day is April 22, and This Year’s Theme is Green Cities

Marking what many believe is the beginning of the modern environmental movement, Earth Day was created by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970.  Now in its 44th year, Earth Day promotes ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as encourages awareness of our growing ecological problems.

EarthDayNetwork2014

Earth Day Network is the global organizer behind Earth Day and creates tools and resources for you to get involved with Earth Day in your community:

“Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. From San Francisco to San Juan, Beijing to Brussels, Moscow to Marrakesh, people plant trees, clean up their communities, contact their elected officials, and more—all on behalf of the environment.

Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever. Earth Day 2014 will seek to do just that through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future. Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.” ~ Earth Day Network

GreenEarthCities

Celebrate Greenroofs & Walls with our Earth Day Photo Contest

All around the globe, people are gearing up to green their cities and communities for Earth Day.  Well, we do that every day with building and promoting living architecture, so why not get some exposure for your favorite project?

The mission of the “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall!” Earth Day Photo Contest is to create interest in all kinds, styles, and sizes of beautiful living architecture and highlight some outstanding designs.  It’s designed to be quick and simple, and basically is a popularity contest among our international readership.  Any and all types of greenroofs or walls are eligible, any place on Earth.

All you have to do is submit a photo (or two) and tell your friends and colleagues vote for your favorite photo! We’ll be keeping everyone updated on the number of votes for each project on our Facebook page.

Each planted roof or wall needs to visually epitomize its relationship to our planet – it needs to show us that it’s a living example of loving the Earth – in other words, don’t just send a close-up of pretty flowers!  Show it in context with its site.

Yes, it has to be a gorgeous photo of a spectacular greenroof or greenwall, but remember that this is a popularity contest, too!

The contest is open to everyone, not just the roof owner or the designers of record.  And voting is open to everyone, so tell your friends to vote for your submission.

What do I have to do to enter the contest or vote?

Like us on Facebook first and then follow the directions to submit your photo(s).  We are finalizing the set-up, so start gathering your pics now and watch for an update post next week.  Check out previous winners here.

GreenEarth

Join Greenroofs.com by sharing your awesome photos of greenroofs and walls with our community to help inspire awareness of and appreciation for our Earth’s environment – and maybe get $100 to spend on your favorite Spring project!

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.