Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: "YERT"

At this moment (of writing), I am drinking some sugar free mix out of a used Powerade bottle. Normally, I would just dump the bottle into the recycling can and wait until the 2nd or 4th Saturday of the month to bring it to the local recycling center. But tonight, I have cut out the middle man and recycled something myself.

"YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip" features three individuals who put shame to my Earth saving attempt. See, they spent a year on the road, going through all 50 states of this country, documenting people and organizations dedicated to ecological progress and anything/everything green. Along the way, they cut down on their personal trash, gauged electricity use and lived out of a hybrid - man do I feel lazy.

The trio's road trip is very enlightening, and at times emotional. At one point, they visit a man who has lost his family and friends due to his unwillingness to allow coal companies to work on his land. If they were to do so, the results would be quite drastic; removal of soil that prevents forests from coming back, black drinking water, cancer and other illnesses for residents, etc. The C in coal stands for "clean"? Doesn't look like it. For this man to continue living on his land is a last stand and a statement that far too FEW of us are making.

But, luckily, there are MANY in this country that are showing us a future worth fighting for. Like the guy who makes products out of trash. Or the company that builds Earth Ships - life supporting, carbon zero housing. How about the Solar Roadways project, that looks to change the electrical grid by making roads that collect solar energy? And community currencies like Berk Shares and Ithaca Hours?  These are but a few of the exciting things going on RIGHT NOW in America. "YERT" is at its best when covering these little known gems.

So, should I feel bad that I've only contributed little while this trio has done and exposed so much? Probably not. "YERT" is not looking to shame you, but rather to inspire you. If that inspiration leads you to reusing plastic bottles, wasting less water or riding your bike more often, then all the better. No need to become a hippie overnight. Now, with your permission, I'd like to finish my drink.

4/5 *'s

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