19 Sep 2011

Gray is Green at AARP Life@50+ Event

AARP is holding its Life@50+ event this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Gray is Green’s Kath Schomaker and Dan Peerless are there. If you are there too, you must come visit the Gray is Green booth #2155.

“We may be a ‘young’ project, but we’re going to be strutting our stuff,” Dan quips, “much as the three heritage turkeys we are raffling off are wont to do.”

“The famously flavorful heritage breeds were driven from the market in the early 1960s by the industrially-bred Broad-Breasted White, and by the 1990s were nearly extinct,” Dan explains. “But joining with organizations like the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Slow Food, we are hoping to spread awareness of these ‘precious traditional farm animals’ and spur demand for their delicious meat.”

“Don’t be fooled by the heft of the turkeys commonly sold in grocery stores,” adds Kath. “They’ve got nothing on the heritage breeds’ terrific flavor.” Heritage breeds are also respected for their superior biological diversity, in stark contrast to the narrow genetic base of the Broad-Breasted White which renders it far more vulnerable to disease.

“The industrially-bred birds can’t mate naturally either, and they can barely walk,” according to Kath, adding with a smile, “If you ask me, the old birds have it hands down.”

Dan and Kath will be talking with passersby about a couple of Gray is Green’s core initiatives. Ask Kath about the Clean Air Promise campaign. As reported here and here, Kath went town to town in Ohio and Pennsylvania to get people thinking about the value of clean air and how important it is that there are safeguards in place. Thanks to her initiative, the campaign now is working with a couple of Mayors in Ohio on Mayoral Proclamations supporting the Clean Air Promise. Follow Kath’s lead, and get your town involved; you can find a good model proclamation here.

If home-based action is what you are looking for, ask Dan about the new Smarter Living Earth Aid partnership. Whether it’s cooling the milk or heating the house, every day we have no choice but to use energy and every month we get the bill for doing so. Never the same, but predictably high in summer and just as often in winter, our energy bills bulk up over time and eat into our savings.

Yet gaining control of energy outlays isn’t necessarily easy–we see the costs long after we actually used the power. And understanding what’s listed on your energy bill is often not a straightforward task.

“That’s what makes the Earth Aid program so incredible,” Dan lights up. “It allows you to track your energy, gas, and water consumption over time and gives you practical ‘ways to save’ so you can get a real handle on your bills.”

What’s more, the Earth Aid program offers great “rewards” beyone the cash you are saving on your energy bill–everything from money-off energy-efficient home appliances to healthy soups.

“It’s also free and easy to join, safe and totally private which I know will matter a lot to those attending the AARP event,” Dan says. “But what I really like about this program is that when you sign up with us, you will be joining the NRDC Smarter Living Group. The 50+ crowd is not afraid of a little friendly competition I figure. With all the “downsizers” in our ranks, we’ll show who can use resources most wisely.”

Earth Aid soon will be adding a mapping tool so you can see how you are doing relative to your neighbors, to your group, your city, other cities, and states. “It’s like a game,” Dan says, “only with reward points for making progress.”

If you are at Life@50+ this week, the Gray is Green team can help you set up your own Earth Aid account. Or do it yourself right now at Smarterliving.earthaid.net.” To get the most out of the Earth Aid program, check out this simple guide: Earth Aid 101.


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