My fascination with pollinators began with the film my brother Rhett produced, Pollinators in Peril. The film introduced me to the serious challenges pollinators are facing and their ongoing steep decline. I couldn’t have imagined 15 years later the pollinators’ plight would have gotten so much worse — but it has.
My first step to facing this challenge was to start in my backyard by keeping beehives and planting pollinator friendly flowers. I’d be helping the bee population, as well as enjoying their honey and a healthy bumper crop of fruits and veggies! Our garden is completely organic and received the Wildlife Habitat certification. I planted clover, a favorite treat of the honey bee, and thought my bees were healthy. One day my beekeeper Cassandra Lawson informed me my bees had encapsulated their pollen within the hive. She placed and currently maintains over 20 hives around Atlanta and had never witnessed this before. Cassandra and her apiary friends diagnosed the problem as resulting from the pollen being so full of chemicals from my neighbors’ yards it was a desperate measure to limit the colony’s exposure to toxins. Sadly, all my bees perished. (more…)
Maureen Greenwood with the UN Foundation, Carol Larson, President of the Packard Foundation, Tamara Kreinin, Director of Population and Reproductive Health at the Packard Foundation at the Africa Union awaiting Melinda Gates speech and panel discussion.
Last month over 3,000 attendees came together for the Gates Institute’s third International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference addressed the right of women to take control of their bodies, their lives and the lives of their families for better health outcomes, better quality of life and a better future, by advocating for access to reproductive health care and options for contraception for all who want it. By empowering women with these critical resources they can make decisions about spacing, timing and the number of children they will have. The Gates hosted the International Conference on Family Planning in the UK, July, 2012 and invested 1 billion dollars, encouraging other donations totaling about 4 billion dollars. Their mission is to raise enough money to fund the unmet contraception and family planning need of 120 million women before the year 2020. Their plan is called FP2020 and you can visit the website to see updates and their incredible progress. Melinda Gates is such an inspiration to me, she is very dedicated to supplying family planning and voluntary contraception which will save millions of lives. (more…)
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle
Rutherford Seydel, partner at law firm Davis, Pickren, Seydel & Sneed LLP, and Laura Turner Seydel, chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation, spend the majority of their waking hours working to make the world a healthier place for future generations, including their three children. Their creative eco-efforts begin at their home, EcoManor, the first LEED-certified Gold residence in the Southeast, and extend out into the business world and various community involvements.
Q: What are some creative ways business people can incorporate sustainability in their business? (more…)
I am excited to share that the Turner Foundation has been working to advance improvements in the Georgia solar market through policy reform. This effort is already paying off. Yesterday afternoon, we won an important victory when the Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) made public a new proposed agreement with Georgia Power Co. In the new stipulation, Georgia Power dropped its proposed solar tax after experiencing overwhelming Commission and staff disapproval. (more…)
Karen I. Bremer, executive director, Georgia Restaurant Association; Jeff Clark, CONSERVE program director, National Restaurant Association; Laura Turner Seydel; Abbey Patterson, executive director, Atlanta Recycles
I recently gave an interview to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) on Zero Waste Zones, a sustainability program first launched here in Atlanta. I chaired the original zero-waste committee and am thrilled that it has been adopted by the NRA. (more…)
Recycling is often the first step for many in discovering sustainable lifestyle choices. Recycling is so important, an individual or a single family can divert massive amounts of waste from landfills and give materials new life. Imagine, what an entire company could do. The single largest day for recycling is right around the corner. America Recycles Day (ARD), a program of Keep America Beautiful (KAB), has several exciting programs you can take part in. I am particularly excited about the Recycling at Work initiative. Recycling at Work offers you a 10-step action plan, discounts on recycling bins and other valuable tools to start and expand your workplace recycling program. All your company has to do is take the pledge at the Recycling at Work website and use their helpful tools and resources. (more…)
We all understand that cleaner, healthier air is better for us. No one knows that better than Starr Braswell, a young mother from Douglasville. Her 2-year-old son suffers from severe asthma, has visited the emergency room more than 60 times and has been hospitalized 13 times.
Last week, I had the honor of co-hosting Sir Jonathon Porritt at Georgia Tech to speak about his new book The World We Made. Jonathon is a pioneer in sustainability development and an advisor to The Prince of Wales, he has been closely involved in developing sustainability strategies for companies. He is also a former director of Friends of the Earth, founder and director of Forum for the Future, an eminent commentator, author and broadcaster.
I first met Jonathon at The Global Summit for the Travel and Tourism Council in Abu Dhabi earlier this year where we were both speakers. However, I first became familiar with him when my father published his book Save The Earth in 1991 and have long since been an admirer. He has been a major global influence in sustainability, technology and politics. (more…)
Also posted in Clean Air, Clean Water, Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, Events, Politics, Pollution, Recycling, Resource Scarcity, Travel, Wildlife, Wind, World
The International Women’s Earth & Climate Summit will take place on September 20 – 23, 2013 in New York. The Summit will bring together 100 global women leaders including grassroots activists, economists, scientists, businesswomen, Indigenous leaders, policy-makers, faith leaders, culture shapers for 3.5 days to help further a women’s climate action agenda. (more…)
This article is originally published in Southern Seasons magazine Early Fall 2013 issue
I believe that no matter what your faith, we all have a moral obligation to leave this planet a better place for our kids and future generations by acting as good stewards of the Earth’s resources.
Thankfully, there’s a growing movement among religious organizations who are putting scriptures into action when it comes to more sustainable practices and guiding principles. (more…)