Community, Connections and Creativity Save the Sea

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Community, Connections and Creativity Can Save the Sea

We just need one self-less act at a time, then pay it forward. Here’s a story that will put a smile on your face. The Powderhound Preview & Fundraiser, Pine Mountain Sports 19th annual welcome to winter party, played to a full house at the Tower Theater in downtown Bend, OR on November 14, 2018. The Powderhound Preview & Fundraiser is a ski film festival that’s comprised entirely of  films and slideshows created by local skiers and snowboarders. This event is a stellar example of connection and support for our Bend community. This year there is an after-story that demonstrates the “snowball effect” of generosity, caring and self-less acts – one of the key “blue life” choices we celebrate in the THE QUEST FOR BLUE PLANET SUPER HEROES. You are going to love this story!

Some Background: Dan McGarigle, owner of Pine Mountain Sports and his team work tirelessly to gather schwag and raffle prizes enough to generate new records for both of the fundraising portions this year. Dan shares, “According to our audience, it was another great show. Personally, I think it was the best collection of films to date. Together, we raised over $13,500 for Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) and Deschutes Co. Search and Rescue (S&R). Additionally, via Pine’s Community Ambassador program we raised local awareness and over $49,000 for Family Access Network. To date Powderhound has now raised over $100,000 for COTA and S&R. Pines Community Ambassador Program, in just 3 years has raised an additional $100,000 to help those in need.The Powderhound has grown to be the event we always knew it could be and this has been made possible by the community of photographers and film makers willing to share their works while helping those here in Central Oregon.”

The core and heart of Powderhound comes from a passion shared by every one of their filmmakers. This year, Julia Alvarado was the youngest to ever have a film in the show in all of its 19 years. At age 10, she submitted her entry, one that connected snow, snowballs and saving the ocean. We wrote about her in an earlier article. (see her film here)

The moment Julia’s film concluded the entire audience of close to 500 people sprang to their feet and gave her a standing ovation. Dan had coordinated with local Interstate Bank to provide Julia with a $100 gift card in gratitude for the message of hope for the ocean – and the environment – that she shared.

So what does a 10 year old girl do with $100? Well, this young lady bought the domain name for “snowball saves the sea” and returned to her school Green Team on November 28 to donate the remaining amount to that club. Talk about a self-less act that pays it forward. In the same spirit that Pine Mountain Sports gives to the community – and gave to Julia – Julia gave back. She lives the philosophy that is the “snowball effect our “Blue Life” actions generate.

No choice or action is too small. When we connect, share our creativity and open our solutions to the community we all win. Especially our environment, our oceans. Start YOUR Blue Life “snowball effect” today! Share it with a young person this holiday season.

Michael Franti: Blue Life Soul

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After attending every concert that Michael Franti shared with us in Bend, OR there was no escaping his magic. Music, heart, soul (SoulRocker), passion, love, caring, self-less, fun and the magic of connecting people – that’s Michael Franti. But that is just the tip of the iceberg of his vision for what he can accomplish in life. On November 21 we saw Michael’s “Stay Human” documentary in the unique venue that was the Unitarian Universal Fellowship in Bend. The very philosophy and mission of that church resonated perfectly with the message we all experienced in the film. From his “Do It For the Love” project to his deeply felt empathy for our human condition and the power of love, Michael also has created a message that supports what we believe in – “Blue Life” choices.

In our quest to empower a tribe of the youngest among us to be the stewards of our environment and our ocean it is heart-warming to discover someone with the following of Michael Franti has invested his time and talent into inspiring youth.

In a book that naturally engages children in exploring the question of where our plastic waste goes, Michael presents a story all of us need to hear. The title is the question, “Where in the world is away?” (Get your copy here)

Readers journey with Little Lee and Little Lou as they attempt to find a place to throw their juice bottle Away. Only to encounter Mo the Crow, who helps them discover that AWAY, is really just SOMEWHERE ELSE and flies them through the wondrous world of recycling. The book is magically illustrated by Ben Hodson, the recycling themed, Where in The World is Away?, is Michael Franti’s second children’s book (What I Be, 2006).

The holiday season is upon us – I can think of few other gifts with more love (for each other and for our planet) woven in. You can get your package here.

We at BLUE LIFE CONNECTIONS have one mission: Inspire the next generation of Ocean (land, air, earth) stewards to use their expertise and talents and energy to save us – to save the Oceans.  Important to our belief that our youngest generation can provide the hope, optimism and innovation to save us is the same message that Michael Franti showcases in his documentary, Stay Human.

The best way to understand the film, Stay Human,  is to watch Michael introduce it. This small sample is powerful in its own way. If you have a chance to see it in a small venue with Michael there to answer questions and “talk story,” you will be changed. I certainly was.

Order your book-shirt package now


Thanksgiving Ideas – Holiday Hope

Tags: , Blue Life Choices, Mindful-Selfless, Plastic Pollution No comments
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Beginning with the plastic wrapped around your turkey, the holiday season could be a plastic disaster or an opportunity to create new traditions.

There are a lot of things we can do to reduce plastic waste.  We may not manage “zero waste”, a lifestyle where an individual doesn’t produce any trash at all, doesn’t send anything to landfills and doesn’t throw anything into trashcans. But transitioning toward such a lifestyle multiplied by millions of us – that will make an impact. Taking some time to reduce plastic build a habit through small steps with some easy things you can do on a daily basis to reduce plastic waste:

1. Refuse and avoid the use of plastics. For example, in restaurants, kindly ask the waiter to serve your beverage with no straw. In stores, if you are buying small things that can fit into your bag easily or that you can carry, refuse the plastic bag. If there is redundant plastic wrapping that isn’t necessary, but inescapable – mention it kindly. Putting that idea into the mind of others can start a domino effect of habit change.

2. Carry your own reusable water bottle. Fun fact: a lot of coffee shops will actually allow us to refill my bottle for free.

3. Bring your own shopping bag. Re-purpose any old tote bag as a shopping bag. Keep them in your car so you are always prepared for spontaneous shopping – not just at the grocery store.

4. Bring your own coffee cups.  Some coffee shops will reward customers with reusable cups by giving discounts.

5. Avoid unnecessary food packaging. It’s easy to bring along a few cotton net bags made for carrying produce – instead of several plastic bags each trip. There are many options to choose instead of plastic wrap. This is a great time re-think “stocking stuffers.” 

6. Swap your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush. Toothbrushes are among the top 10 items found in beach cleanups.

7. Be a mindful consumer. Consumerism is one of the biggest contributing factors to current plastic pollution. Most products (think toys and packaging) are covered in unnecessary plastic. You can always shop second-hand to minimize the waste and save money.

8. Spread the word! Be inspired by the youngest generation of “NO Single Use Plastic” and ocean stewards – we love this video!

Snowball Saves the Sea: Skiers Kick-off Avalanche

Tags: , Blue Life Choices, Mindful-Selfless, Schools, Solution Strategies No comments
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Last night we were part of the exuberant “pray for snow” crowd at the 19th annual “Powder Hound Preview and Fundraiser” hosted by Pine Mountain Sports and fueled by the heart and energy of Danny McGarigle. It is always an event that makes us proud to be part of the Bend community and in awe of the power of a “village” to raise funds for local non profits. It was obvious that setting a goal, writing it down, is part of this event’s success. Always a great reminder of the power of writing and reflecting on our dreams and goals. 

It is that power we hope to inspire and develop among the young people who use our Blue Life Journal for Kids at home or at school. Whether they are encouraged to write about gratitude, creating an amazing day and making daily “Blue Life” choices with family, a class or a club, the impact is huge.

A great example of that impact was experienced by the full-house audience at the Tower Theater in Bend last night at the Powder Hound event. Julia A., age 10, was one of the earliest to use the Blue Life Journal for Kids. Being a member of the “Green Team” for 4th graders last year at High Lakes Elementary inspired her natural love for the outdoors from the snow to the rivers and the ocean. She decided to enter a short film in the Powder Hound in order to share her idea for a solution. You can watch her film Snowball Saves the Sea by clicking here.

The evening was full of great and entertaining films created by filmmakers both novice and professional. But when Julia’s film played a unique thing happened. The crowd of almost 500 gave out a huge cheer – and leaped to their feet for a standing ovation. That only happened once the entire night. Why did it happen for Julia’s film?

We think it is because we are all worried about the environment and particularly the ocean. Watching a film made by a member of the future generation of ocean stewards gave us all hope. Rather than a bleak summary of how things are, Julia posed a “snowball” of a solution.

But Wait! There’s MORE!

Working with Julia as she created her film, I became inspired to include her in one of the chapters of the book that begins (Chapters 1 and 2) in the Blue Life Journal for Kids. Each month we will be adding additional chapters to that book, Kate Buffet and the Deep Blue Sea, inspired by real kids doing real life work. Julia inspired the character Kristy in Chapter 3, A Surprise on the Mountain.

Sponsor Solutions

Here in Bend, OR we are ready to work with all the schools we can while reaching out to schools in FL, CA, HI and more. If you would like to learn how to bring the program to a grade 4-8 class or club (or simply to your own home) you can learn more here.