Two sustainable surfing events from Grain Surfboards – in York, Maine and Encinitas, California

If you’ve been following the evolution in surfing then you know it’s going green, big time. There are movies, controversies, and several surfboard companies. Grain surfboards is one of the leaders, their bio:

Began in the basement of a home minutes from the waves in York Beach, Maine. Mike LaVecchia combined his love of board sports with a passion for traditional wooden boat-building techniques to create works of art for riding waves. Brad Anderson joined as co-owner shortly after and, with the help of some friends, Grain has grown into a full-fledged surfboard manufacturer. Stated simply, we’re committed to building, promoting and riding surfboards that have less impact on the environment and more impact on your surfing. The Grain tradition includes reducing the impact of surfboard production by using locally harvested, sustainable-yield wood products, creatively reducing or reusing any waste left over, and developing techniques for employing greener materials.

 

A wooden surfboard from Grain Surfboards. (image: Facebook)

Another huge element to this green revolution is the DIY movement, something that’s been in surfing since the beginning. While in the past that meant finding lighter foam materials and stiffer chemical compounds, today that means recycling everything. From the wood in an old skateboard, to the surfboard you broke in half, or even trash found on the beach. Combine these two movements, green surfboards and DIY, and you know just what these two events from Grain surfboards are about.   Continue reading Two sustainable surfing events from Grain Surfboards – in York, Maine and Encinitas, California

Environmentalist, and wealthy cofounder of Burt’s Bees, fights to create America’s next National Park

Burt’s Bees cofounder Roxanne Quimby wants to hand the government a new national park in northern Maine—election-year politics and residents’ NIMBYism be damned. Brian Kevin investigates the boldest conservation plan in decades.

Technically, this Idaho-shaped chunk of land, which contains a 30-mile stretch of the International Appalachian Trail, is known as the East Branch Sanctuary. But around Millinocket it’s simply referred to as “Quimby’s land.” The self-made millionaire owns it, along with 119,000 acres of other timber-company lands that she started buying up back in 2000, when Burt’s Bees was raking in about $23 million a year. Her plan was to give the property to the National Park Service, thereby galvanizing other donations that would eventually establish a 3.2-million-acre wilderness in the last great undeveloped region east of the Rockies.

But the campaign stalled out of the gate. Public land is a tough sell in northern Maine, where residents are accustomed to hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and cutting timber. Many didn’t cotton to the rhetoric of a wealthy environmentalist; others feared that the proposed park would spell the end of the region’s struggling paper mills.

But a dozen years and a few hundred Ban Roxanne bumper stickers later, Quimby is back with more practical ambitions. Last spring she announced plans for a dramatically reduced 74,000-acre Maine Woods National Park just east of Katahdin, carved entirely from her own property. And thanks to better diplomacy and a new emphasis on economic benefit, Quimby is beginning to win hearts and minds.

 

The uncut storyThe Fight to Create America’s Newest National Park

 

 

Continue reading Environmentalist, and wealthy cofounder of Burt’s Bees, fights to create America’s next National Park

iPads for every kindergartener – early results show a positive trend

This is the nation’s first public school district to give every kindergartener an iPad. And the implementation was done very carefully, with the research component built in from the start, not added as an after-thought.

This fall, the district randomly selected 8 of its 16 kindergarten classes to receive iPads. There’s been ongoing professional development to help the teachers incorporate the devices into literacy instruction.

In December, iPads were rolled out to the rest of the classes. Assessments of all students’ literacy were made at the beginning of the year and again in December. The initial assessments and research has focused on literacy skills, but the researchers are also looking at how iPads might affect numeracy skills as well.

Of the assessments that were made, the results all trended positive, with students in the group that received iPads at the beginning of the school year performing better on average than students in the comparison group. However, the differences between these two groups were not statistically significant, except in one area. That is, students with the iPads exhibited a substantial increase in their scores on the Hearing and Recording Sounds in Words (HWSIW) test, a test of a student’s phonetical awareness, assessing their ability to make the sound and letter connection.

via Hack Education