Each week in our e-newsletter, we share the art, media, campaigns, and information that inspires us at the Alliance in our work for Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness. We hope you enjoy these recommendations, facts, and campaigns below. You can find a full archive of our newsletters with more written about these recommendations on our blog page under the Newsletters category.

We welcome your suggestions, creations and submissions at info@afors.org. They may be shared in our e-Newsletter, social media, website, blogs, presentations and possible publications.

A special thanks to each of the contributors for their generosity in sharing their creative works. We hope you will follow the links provided to learn more about these creators and support their work. 

Contents

Art

Black and white line painting of two figures in an embrace, with a small red heart overlapping the two figures.
"Unconditional Love" by Ellen Schillace, www.ellenschillace.org
Skin of Dust
By James Lenfestey
Flying over the great knobby spine of the country,
rising up snow-capped and drifting,
I see her skin of dust.
 
And for the ten or twenty minutes
it takes to pass over, I can believe
in the curvature below, that it is
natural, growing and sloughing
as it always has, like the old reptiles.
 
 
James Lenfestey, from Earth in Anger: 25 Poems of Love and Despair (Red Dragonfly Press, © 2012) 
Drawing of an angel on the pavement where George Floyd died, at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Terry Gips.

Homesick

FACE IT
By Marc Shillace
What was
Was what it was
 
What could have been
Obviously
Could not have been
Or it would have been.
 
What is
Is only for a moment
 
ONCE WE WERE PREY
By James Lenfestey
Spooked like
horses, glass-eyed
at some sharp sound,
bolting toward the heedless cliff.
 
Once we slept in trees
where snakes uncoiled toward us
from a higher branch.
 
Now we are predators,
and nothing living we find
can frighten us, but
 
carpenter ants, termites,
angry bees, and the sun
rising every morning
 
James Lenfestey from his Earth in Anger: 25 Poems of Love and Despair (Red Dragonfly Press, © 2012)
Mathematician Katherine Johnson drawn as a cat
"Caterine Johnson" by Helen Glover
Special thanks to Alliance Intern Helen Glover for her whimsical yet significant ode to the African-American scientist who did the hand calculations to send astronauts into space.
 
 
Vital Balance
By Roslye Ultan
Surrounded in an electromagnetic field of energy
 
I stretch my arms up high and hold my breath
Releasing a flow of air bending down
 
In repeated pattern the flow of air expands
Each breath measured to master relationships
 
Between a physical, mindful and spiritual
Interplay of movement and meditation
 
Painting of a green field with colorful flowers in the foreground, gold-painted buildings in the background, and a bright blue sky.
Lighter Footprint by Tracy Marie Oliver
When we work together, we are an amazing species.
 
 
 
A cartoon showing a shark labeled "climate change" hunting a fish labeled "racism", chasing a fish labeled "pandemic", chasing Uncle Sam.
Special thanks to Disney Imagineer Chris Runco
Photo of a sunrise over a lake

Good afternoon from the lake

Special thanks to Craig Neal for photo and quote:
“Poetry is an operation capable of changing the world, and poetic activity is revolutionary by nature, it’s also a spiritual exercise and a method of internal liberation.”
~Octavio Paz in his book The Boy and Lyre
Special thanks to Alliance Intern Helen Glover for her piece for International Tiger Day
A comic showing a duck wearing a red baseball cap labeled "unvaxxed" swimming unware while a shark labeled "Delta Variant" swims toward it from under the water.
Sitting Duck
Thanks to Cartoonist J. D. Crowe
Photograph of a tall grass prairie with purple, yellow, and white flowers on a sunny day.
Tall Grass Prairie
Submitted by Cary Richman
Drawing of a bee hive in front of a collection of colorful flowers, honeycomb, and honeybees.
Special thanks to Alliance Intern Helen Glover for her World Honeybee Day artwork

The Thief at the Door

The thief at the door
Is knocking
But deaf ears respond
Excuses mount
Tethered to fatally flawed notions
That altruism will work
That consumption will be voluntarily eschewed
That an equitable Earth is in store for anyone…
Comic: Two crows perch on the arm of a scarecrow while they look at a man spraying pesticides on a field of corn. One of the crows points to the man and says "Psst! That one's the real scarecrow."
by Rohan Chakravarty, greenhumour.com
Photo of Mingus Mill in the Greta Smoky Mountains. A channel of running water runs underneath wooden beams.
Alliance Intern Brock Munsterteiger’s photo of Mingus Mill, the largest gristmill in the Great Smoky Mountains.
A photograph of a Native American person placed on the wall of a small building as a mural. On the person's face is written the words: "I am the change, industrialization, pollution, drought, water, air, earth, fake snow, co2.
I Am the Change
Chip is a photographer, public artist, activist and physician who’s worked on the Navajo nation since 1987. He coordinates the Painted Desert Project – which manifests as a constellation of murals across the Navajo Nation painted by artists from all over the rez & world. He’s a member of the Justseeds Artists Co-operative. Photo by Kit Kercheval.

Campaigns

On April 27, 2021 we asked our members to join our partners at the American
Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and take 30 seconds to sign on to a letter by April 30 asking the US Department of Agriculture to support regenerative agriculture to address the climate crisis.

The USDA requested public input on how to best implement President Biden’s
Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. The ASBC
worked with a diverse group of influential stakeholders to develop a set of recommendations on how the USDA can best achieve its climate goal.

On May 11th, 2021 we asked our members to sign a petition urging Congress to support the Green Infrastructure and Jobs Plan to create a clean energy future and sustaining jobs.

On May 18, 2021 we asked our supporters to tell their members of Congress to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. Oceana provided an easy and simple email template for contacting members of Congress.

On May 25th, 2021 we asked our supporters to sign the petition from Change.org to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.  The US House has passed the Act but the Senate has not yet acted on it. The Act addresses a wide range of measures to stop unjust police brutality and discrimination.
On June 1, 2021, as part of Generation Restoration and for World Environment Day, we asked our members to make a pledge with the UN to take action on ecosystem restoration and share it. The official broadcast for the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration can be watched on or after June 4-5, 2021. 
On June 8th, 2021 we asked our members to send an email with the Environmental Defense Fund to the EPA asking to restore state leadership on vehicle pollution regulation.
 
During its time in power, the Trump Administration implemented a policy with the EPA that prohibited states from creating their own car-emission standards. While it may be difficult to make substantial changes, many states are eager to self-impose emissions standards stricter than the federal one, which could be critical in helping the shift towards cleaner vehicles. To do so, the EPA must revoke its Trump-Era policies.

On June 15, 2021 we asked our members to sign the petition asking President Biden to stop the Line 3 Pipeline.

When President Joe Biden took office, he kept his promise to revoke the permit for TC Energy’s Keystone pipeline thanks to pressure from environmental groups. But now, Enbridge Energy’s Pipeline 3 project poses another threat. The pipeline, which they are currently constructing, would carry corrosive Canadian tar sands oil across lakes, rivers and tribal lands in northern MN. It would violate tribal treaty rights, threaten eco-systems and contribute to the climate crisis.

On June 22, 2021 we asked our members to call their senators and ask them to support the For the People Act, or S1, for new voting rights policies. The bill had passed through the House, but was not meeting enough support in the Senate until Sentator Joe Manchin proposed a revised bill with some compromises. We wrote a blog piece about S1 and why the Alliance supports it, which we linked in our newsletter.

In the afternoon on June 22, the Senate held a vote on whether to consider the bill and allow debates about it. With no Republican support in the Senate, the bill did not meet the 60 vote requirement, and was voted to not be considered further. 

On June 29th, 2021 we asked our members to take a minute to call or email their US senators to voice their support for the infrastructure plan compromise. In addition, we asked our members to take a moment to send a message to Congress that reiterates the commitment needed for a more comprehensive plan.

You can read more background and the Alliance’s stance on our blog post about the Infrastructure Plan.

On July 6th, 2021 we asked our members to email congress with Equal Access to Abortion Everywhere to support the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021.

We need to assure every woman’s right to choose, which is essential for health and social and economic equality.

On July 14th, 2021 we asked our members to submit a comment to the EPA with Earth Justice by July 30th on how to best keep lead out of drinking water.

Millions of people across the country drink water that passes through lead pipes, putting countless communities at risk of lead contamination along the way. We need tougher rules to keep lead out of our drinking water and until July 30 the Environmental Protection Agency is asking for community input on the best way to do just that. 

On July 20th, 2021, we asked our members to urge their members of congress to co-sponsor the Stop Child Hunger Act and the Summer Meals Act. 

Feeding America estimates that this year, in part due to the pandemic, 13 million kids may face food insecurity. This is exacerbated over the summer when young people are no longer provided meals through their school. Congress needs to act now to ensure these kids don’t go hungry. Both bills will provide food to kids in low-income families.

 
The filibuster has been around almost as long as the US, but in recent history its increasingly frequent usage has brought countless legislative items from both parties grinding to a halt in the Senate. Now, on the brink of passing several crucial bills protecting voting rights, it has become clear that the filibuster must be abolished. 
On August 3rd, 2021 we asked our members to pledge to support the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate Action Plan so that we can work towards a future with fewer wildfires.
 

Throughout the US, more than three million acres have been burned by wildfires this year while Canada slowly approaches that same figure. This destroys valuable land and engulfs cities from Seattle to Philadelphia in smoke. Climate change is the primary driver, bringing warmer, drier summers that drastically increase wildfire risk. Without focusing on mitigating climate change, the danger will mount. Fortunately, organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council are leading the way on climate action.

On August 10th, 2021 we asked our members to sign the Human Rights Campaign’s petition telling lawmakers to support transgender rights across the country.
 
This year, we saw Laurel Hubbard, the first ever openly transgender woman compete in the Olympics. We also saw Quinn, a Canadian women’s soccer player, become the first
transgender person to medal. Both events are historic and serve as a beacon of hope for the transgender community – but unfortunately, back here in the US, anti-transgender
legislation is mounting in state legislatures across the country. We need to make sure that transgender rights are protected, and you can do so by adding your name to the
Human Rights Campaign’s petition to send a message to lawmakers and back the transgender community.

With your support, Congress passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill providing $550 billion for internet, roadway, airport, and climate mitigation projects.

But we also need to support our social infrastructure. On August 17th, 2021 we asked our members to contact your Senators and tell them to write legislation for the $3.5 trillion social policy budget framework for universal Pre-K, child care, housing affordability, clean energy development and reduced carbon emissions.

On August 24th, 2021 we asked our members to consider joining the large-scale protest of the Line 3 pipeline at the Minnesota State Capitol on August 25th, 2021.
 
The protest may be over, but you can still take action against the construction of Line 3. Visit stopline3.org to find out how you can help.
On August 31st, 2021 we asked our members to urge their Senators to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
 
On August 24, 2021, the U.S. House passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The legislation now moves to the Senate. Take action to urge your Senators to support this vital update to our nation’s laws protecting the freedom to vote.

On September 7th, 2021 we asked our members to take action on the Texas bill banning abortion in the state after six weeks. 

Texas has just passed Senate Bill 8 which would ban abortion after six weeks of a pregnancy—before most people are aware they are pregnant. It’s the most extreme abortion ban in the US and allows anyone to sue an abortion provider or anyone who helps someone obtain an abortion.

It is critical that Congress pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (S. 1975/H.R. 3755), which would enable health care providers to deliver abortion services without medically unnecessary limitations that do not significantly advance patient health or the safety of abortion, or make abortion more difficult to access. Source: JCPA

Take action by signing the petition on Change.org to fight the law and sending a TX Planned Parenthood message to Governor Abbott.

On September 14, 2021 we asked our members to send a message to the Biden Administration with Power to the Patients to stop unexpected medical bills.

It’s our right to see upfront prices from hospitals, but nearly 95% of hospitals continue to hide them, making it difficult for patients to prevent surprise medical bills. Tell the Biden Administration today to stop unexpected medical bills with Power to the Patients.

Music

Sustainability Facts

Sustainable Living Tips

What to Watch

Greta Thunberg - A Year to Save the World

Greta Thunberg - A Year to Save the World

The streaming Hulu documentary, Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World follows her year calling world leaders to action.

Seaspiracy

Seaspiracy

After watching this Netflix documentary, you'll never see our oceans, the seafood industry, the fish shrimp and other seafood products you may eat, our governments, and even nonprofit" dolphin safe" and "sustainable seafood" labels the same again.

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

This powerful, just-released Amazon Prime 10-part American historical drama by Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins explores the violent roots of racism and imagines an alternate history where the escape route for slaves is a literal underground network of train tunnels.

Tomorrow

Some environmental documentaries are heavy on problems and light on solutions, but Tomorrow is an upbeat, globetrotting search for everyday sustainability innovators, urban gardeners and renewable energy enthusiasts. Available on streaming services and their website.

Happy

The documentary Happy (on Amazon Prime) explores the mechanisms and complexities inherent in our emotions from multiple diverse global perspectives.

Boiling Point

This docu-series from BET premiered in February and explores ways to affect positive change in relation to police reform.

Disrupt and Dismantle

A new six-part investigative documentary series from BET "about the recurring injustice black people face in America and how we can rally our community to affect positive change."

6 Days in May

A WCCO production premiering May 28th, 2021 that recounts what happened the 6 days following George Floyd's murder in May 2020 from WCCO's own reporters who covered the story.

Title Card: Actualizing Equity in Environmental and Climate Justice: Exploring a Just Transition in Minnesota

Actualizing Equity in Environmental and Climate Justice

Check out the Alliance TC's one hour 20 minute video, featuring our very first intern, Sam Grant, now head of MN350.org and former Board member Robert Blake. Envisioned by the Climate Justice Alliance, Just Transition is a framework focused on building economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative one.

LN3: Seven Teachings of the Anishinaabe In Resistance

Watch this 38 minute documentary to learn more about the efforts behind stopping Line Three and the ambitious undertaking to stop fossil fuel expansion and encourage real energy security.

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Check out the Netflix Docuseries "Dirty Money", season 2, episode 4: Dirty Gold. Behind the huge quantities of gold flowing into the United States each year lies a tangled web of money laundering, illegal mining and environmental destruction.

Before the Flood

Check out the 2016 90 minute National Geographic documentary Before The Flood following Leonardo DiCaprio's activism on climate and possible solutions. Available on Disney+.

Kiss the Ground

A 2020 Netflix Documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson and featuring many more big names from the entertainment industry. It explores the"new, old approach" of regenerative agriculture and its interconnected solutions to the problems raised by the planet's water supply and climate change.

US Youth Poet Laureate, Alexandra Huynh on CBS This Morning

Huynh has powerful messages about equality, climate change and her Vietnamese identity, as well as the importance of uplifting the voices of others. The 19 year old is a rising freshman at Stanford where she'll be studying engineering because she wants to create a world of sustainability from the ground up.

You Gotta Meet Misha featuring Alliance President Terry Gips

Enjoy this fun, impromptu 17 minute interview of AlliancePresident Terry Gips by colorful Misha Estrin for his show,You Gotta Meet Misha broadcast, discussing the latest developments with sustainability and the Alliance.

The title card for The Turning Point, with the text: A film by Steve Cutts, Music by Wantaways. It shows a grey scene with an elephant sitting on a bench at a bus stop reading the newspaper, surrounded by litter on the ground.

The Turning Point

Creative, compelling, haunting and harrowing. A depiction of reversed roles in which humanity is at stake in the all too familiar precarious world of affluenza, environmental destruction and climate change.

The title card for "headspace: Guide to Meditation, a Netflix Original Series." It shows an animated pink figure reaching it's hands upward, surrounded by colorful squiggles, lines, and shapes.

headspace: Guide to Meditation

Netflix's Headspace Guide to Meditation offers 20 minute episodes that explain and examine the benefits of meditation and specific ways you can jump start a practice tailored to your specific needs, presented in amazing animation. 

A banner showing the top of a document, with the words "vinyl chloride, carried to the brain, and circulation of blood to" visible in a faded typeface. "Confidential" is stamped in the top left corner in red. "Trade Secrets: a Moyers Report" is stamped in the top right corner.

Trade Secrets

A two-hour PBS special report from 2001 on how chemical companies have collaborated to keep from American workers and the American public the full truth about the impact of chemicals on health and safety.

Forks Over Knives film poster, showing a hand gripping a fork.

Forks over Knives

Forks over Knives examines the personal health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet as a means to mitigate and reverse health complications and disease. It exposes industry ties to food science and healthcare while relying on data-driven facts for easy life changes you can make today