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August 4, 2008
I spent a day of this past weekend at a nearby amusement park. Though summer trips to parks across the country for an afternoon of sunburn, screaming your head off on the coasters, and eating sticky funnel cake are a grand, old American tradition, it's pretty easy to see that amusement parks aren't very green. Noticing the garbage cans full of disposable plastic products and the massive amounts of energy required to power coasters and rides made me wonder what green initiatives amusement parks had to offer. The answer: very few.
Hershey Park leads the pack with one 30,000 kW-per-year-producing wind turbine and solar panel combination, which was donated by a renewable energy company. Busch Gardens and Sea World offer grant money to conservation groups. Disneyland's train runs on biodiesel, but the company said that they could not do green initiatives that might ruin the magical make-believe of the park. "Our culture is that we want to be very careful about those pieces that we put on stage, and we don't want to take that feel of the show away from the guests," said Frank Dela Vara of Disneyland Environmental Affairs. Universal Studios Hollywood offered free parking to clean vehicles on Earth Day only. Extensive Googling turns up nothing about green initiatives from Six Flags, Knott's Berry Farm, Cedar Point, or Dollywood.
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August 1, 2008
With her bulging biceps, perfectly applied mascara, and "don't mess with me" look, Rosie the Riveter—the girl next door who could build a tank and totally beat you up—was a cultural icon of World War II, encouraging women to take to the factories and help their country. In the fight against climate change, the Canary Project is looking for a similarly powerful image to motivate us to act in eco-conscious ways. The Green Patriot Posters project is commissioning posters from artists that address the small things ordinary citizens can do to halt climate change. So, will we soon see images of Rosie the Recycler? Charlotte the CFL Bulb-Changer? Brandon the Bicycle Commuter?
The Green Patriot Posters project is beginning its campaign with a series of bus posters in Cleveland, Ohio, designed by local artist Michael Beirut. As the title implies, they address the tie between loving your planet and loving your country. The sides of the Cleveland buses read: "This bus is an assault vehicle in the fight against global warming. Be a green patriot," with a green silhouette of a rifle-toting Revolutionary War minuteman. More posters will roll out in selected cities in the upcoming months, and the project also plans to sponsor an online competition for amateurs to submit their own posters in September.