Category Archives: Earth Day

Organic Mechanic Biofuel Adventures Covered in the News

The following links are interesting to follow the progression and see some roots over the years.

1) In 2004 Earth Tribe begins promoting the benefits of alternative energy sources and goes traveling in a vegetable oil powered bus. Here we present the details of project to the Ethics Forum at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. Thanks for all the help Professor Berkich! Presenting for the Maryland Gazette on the East Coast (although you need a free account here to read the whole story.)

2) Taking a group of activists from Houston to New York in 2005 via a vegetable oil bus ride. “The guy said, ‘Yeah, we got a bus that runs on vegetable oil.’ And I just wasn’t sure I could believe it.”

3) The Organic Mechanic opens a shop in Corpus Christi, TX interview, 2006. Some thought provoking questions about Vegetable Oil as Fuel are discussed.

There are other articles, interviews, and video clips, however the links have thus broken.

Thank you everyone who has helped along the way. Onward, to make a bigger impact, to serve green energy to the people, and make some more headlines!

Smart Energy Technology:

Environmentally Conscious Movie Spotlight: Bio-Dome

Released in 1996, Bio-Dome attempted to bring an eco-conscious attitude to the forefront of the burned out minds of teenage boys everywhere through use of crass humor and wild fantasy (such as the fact that not one but two attractive and intelligent women could actually be interested in the lead characters Bud and Doyle). If there was not an environmental back plot this flick would be classified, like many other movies starring Pauly Shore or Stephen Baldwin, as a “stoner” movie but because there is an effort to include a fantastic moral message, the bad acting and terrible script take a back seat in this review.

The plot is simple — A couple of unattractive, lame guys with a generally cavalier attitude about the planet miraculously manage to date environmentally stringent and beautiful women then through a course of predictably moronic twists, somehow become locked inside, destroy and subsequently end up saving an entire, working eco-system.

Does this concept sound a bit far fetched? Remove the idiot character factor and that leaves us with a sealed, working eco-system. This notion is one that dates back to the early 1800’s when a British physician discovered that plants could grow under glass. It would be fair to assume that Nathaniel Ward would be proud to learn his findings were used as fodder for a comedy which is the basis for why this movie will get a positive review here.

Some concepts discussed in the movie are recycling, land clean up (litter is discussed several times) and an appreciation for Earth Day. The movie is not a motion picture epic but holds a slight bit of predictable humor while it promotes bettering the environment. That is a notion we should all support so I give this movie 2 out of five “green” leaves.

Smart Energy Technology:

Artist Spotlight: Victoria Case of Victoria Case Art Designs

Victoria Case is an Illustrator based in Las Vegas, but to say she is simply an Illustrator would grossly undervalue her work. I was more than excited to interview Victoria as I have personal experience with her creative hand, having bought a blank inside card, her new zine and a custom drawn 5×7 portrait. As an avid reader of her blog and frequent visitor to her online storefront I was thrilled to read she was championing an effort to go green through her use of materials and immediately requested an interview. Her concern for the planet has existed for many years and she was excited to share how she is making a difference through her efforts.

Can you tell us a little about what it is you do?

I create what would be considered “old school” artwork- I draw with an ink pen and color pencils on basic white paper.

What inspires you as an artist?

I love to illustrate the silliness of people and animals and life in general. My kids honestly are the best source for pure humor- they come up with the funniest things. Plus for a bonus- I live in Las Vegas- Sin City- so there is an array of inspiration here, as I’m sure you can imagine.

What is the creative process behind your art? How does an idea take shape?

I am a compulsive list maker and my daily activities are written out each morning so that I don’t get sidetracked. I am drawing by 7 am and don’t usually quit until 5 pm. Then it’s family time. After the kids have gone off to bed – back to drawing until the late hours of the night. I start with rough drafts of an idea in pencil and once I’m happy with the set-up and placement- I’ll ink, erase the pencils marks and do my most favorite part….color.

I carry paper and pen always, so whenever or wherever I have an idea I can quickly jot it down- whether it be a few words or a quick rough sketch. From those sketches- I’ll decide whether it should be an illustration or a note card.

If I could give everyone in the world a coloring book and crayons, I would. It’s amazing just how relaxing it is, your breathing becomes very rhythmic, your muscles relax and it’s I guess, spiritual- to create something. If you don’t believe me, grab a coloring book and crayons and sit by yourself at a table for awhile.

How long have you selling your art?

A little over 20 years. Although my online retail has only been for six of those years.

Do you remember the feeling of your first sale? How has that feeling changed after selling so many items?

Yes! My first sale was exhilarating and full of stomach butterflies. Each and every sale after that one feels exactly the same way. It is overwhelming to me when someone actually likes my work enough to purchase it. It’s the highest compliment someone can give. *smile*

What mediums have you changed over to become more Earth friendly?

I have been on the search for eco-friendly inks and pencils. I have always used recycled and/or earth friendly paper.

I also collect and re-use cardboard whenever I can find it for shipping my work. And I prefer working by natural sunlight.

How do you feel that recycled paper holds up in comparison to other papers you have used in the past?

I used to find working with recycled paper quite challenging. It always seemed to have a dingy quality to it and I would find specks and spots within the grain. Even more disheartening, it was the most expensive choice. The recycled paper that is sold today is very vibrant, smooth and although it may still have a higher price, it is always well worth the few pennies.

What does the Green Movement mean to you?

Standing up and taking responsibility for our environment/planet by educating ourselves and others and actively participating in it’s preservation. Most importantly, demanding LOUDLY to government officials and corporations for change.

When did you first become interested in living and working green?

I’d have to say that it really became a focus for me in the late 70’s early 80’s with the “Earth Day” movement. Recycling became mandatory where I lived and I bought a “compact” car. With time, I became more informed about the world around me and my impact on an every day basis- from what I purchased to what I threw away and my choices on how I live my life. Some decisions have come with no choice- for instance, due to allergies – I have to live mostly organic.

What inspires you to take care of our planet?

I could not state that I’m a loving and nurturing parent to my kids and not take care of the surroundings that will sustain them. When I look into my children’s eyes I see my grandchildren, and their children, and generations ahead. How could I not be inspired? It’s just the right thing to do.

Has any one green practice become second nature, something you personally do every day?

Recycling of our plastics, cans, glass and newspapers. It’s a habit to carry items out to the bins.

What green practice do you recommend readers try?

We all shop. So, I would highly recommend that everyone use cloth tote/grocery bags instead of paper or plastic.

Is there an eco-friendly product you use that you would recommend?

The Strathmore paper company has a wonderful selection of recycled papers and a new Wind Power Series paper that is eco-friendly.

As an independent artist what is your greatest challenge?

Time management.

What has been your greatest success to date?

I have had many fantastic opportunity’s over the years, but one that stands out in my mind, is an opportunity a few years back to work with Ted Bergman. He was the writer on Sanford & Son, Three’s Company, All in The Family (just to name a few). He had written a hilarious play called “Whoops”, and hired me to create the playbill artwork. Such a funny man and writer.

What is your advice to a fellow artisan who is new to their industry?

Be passionate about your work. Have patience. Practice every day.

Do you have an online presence where your work can be viewed?

I have a website
A little shop on Etsy
and I sell periodically on eBay: vcad001
My blog

Smart Energy Technology:

Green Apple Festival

Last month’s Earth Day Celebration known as the Green Apple Festival was a ground-breaking success. On April 22, 2008 the Green Apple Festival officially became the largest Earth Day commemoration in America attracting an estimated crowd of 200,000. Celebrities, Athletes, and Musical legends from all categories as well as generations attended the Green Apple Festival to show their support in making our planet a better place to live. The festival was held on April 18 thru April 20, 2008 in eight major cities across the country to bring environmental awareness to the masses. These cities include Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Washington DC, New York City, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Each festival had an array of musical performances from some of the most popular artists currently on the billboard charts. The musical performances in the festivals were used as a powerful tool to motivate and inspire others to be proactive in the environment. Activists made influential yet thought provoking speeches to encourage the continual effort required to make a significant impact on the world’s environmental state.

The sponsors and venues of the festival made major strides in displaying their environmental commitment. Chase and other financial institutions associated with JPMorgan Chase joined other eco-conscious businesses to help fund the festivals in each city. Over 90 well-known companies such as SoyJoy, FedEx, and IBM participated with 68 environmental non-profit organizations to produce the Green Apple Festival. Festival founder Peter Shapiro praises Chase’s dedication to the Green Apple Festival. They were the biggest financial and creative participant in the celebration this year. The institution has committed to impact the environment in a more positive manner. Pledging to increase efforts in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to 20% and construct new Chase branches with (LEED) Silver certification. Each venue at the Green Apple Festival used recyclable and non-toxic products to conduct their business. The venues supplied Green Apple Festival Guides (printed on recyclable paper, of course) to every attendee. The Green Apple Festival Guides contained valuable green living tips. The guides help educate people on how they can make small changes in their lives which impact the environment in a positive way. The supplies provided to the venues included order forms to purchase the same type of environmentally friendly products for their daily operations. The Green Apple Festival was held not only to change the habits of the average individual but the habits of major businesses and venues also.

Some of the highlights of the festival includes Edward Norton’s speech on environmental issues, a performance of the legendary members of the band Grateful Dead alongside Tommy Lee, and the appearance of Ziggy Marley. The Green Apple Festival was such a monumental success that the founder Peter Shapiro has scheduled the celebration for next year. So, if you missed the Green Apple Festival this year do not worry. It will be held in a major city near you next Earth Day Weekend starting April 19, 2009. The Green Apple Festival is an ingenious method to spread environmental awareness in America.

Smart Energy Technology: