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Potpourri from a Purple Soul

Green Living Project in Venice, CA with Sebastian Roche

Green Living Project in Venice, CA with Sebastian Roche

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Art, Purple
On Thursday evening, July 30, we took a drive up to Venice, CA, to Equator Books, for an evening on sustainability in South America.

Green Living Project is a production/marketing company that documents sustainability programs worldwide. This event was the South America Kick-off event, premiering the new presentations from the team's trip to Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. Some of the sponsors of the event were National Geographic Adventure, REI, Timberland, Gregory and Keen Footwear. Rob Holmes is the founder (and I believe President as well) of GLP. He narrated the evening, along with Sebastian Roche (Jerry Jacks, GH) who was the evening's host. Sebastian is the celebrity spokesman for GLP.

The event showed seven multi-media presentations on the GLP crew's travels across South America, capturing the projects within each country that are promoting sustainability. Sebastian was included on the leg of the tour that went to Ecuador.









The presentations started off with the GLP crew arriving in Brazil at the Cristalino Jungle Lodge. The lodge buildings are built with energy efficient and sustainable products, and they grow their own food in an organic garden. The area is also home to many rare bird species. There is a a large look-out tower on the grounds - which is something like 150 feet in the air - giving an amazing view of the rainforest. On one of the days, the crew took a plane ride over the jungle, giving them the ability to capture arial footage of the area. They spoke with many of the locals who are teaching the children about sustainability, and preserving the landscape, including redeveloping the farmland instead of destroying more of the forest.



From Brazil, the GLP crew went to Peru. They documented the Mountain Lodges of Peru and their programs, such as increasing the income of the small villages around Machu Picchu, and using tourism as a way of support. (Such as selling jars of organic jams and preserves, selling cooking herbs and spices, and dying and weaving textiles) They also visited Yanapana, which is an organization that helps the local businesses develop their services, and teaches the local children how they can help and make a difference. After a long boat-ride up the Rio Madre, they spoke with some of the locals from the Amazon Conservation Association about the destruction of the area due to mining and logging, and it's affects on the research they are doing at the Biological station with the animal species of the region.

One of the highlights was a presentation on a 74-year old man who harvested Brazil Nuts by hand. He had been working in the industry since he was a young boy of 10 years old, and was in amazing physical shape - which is a necessity in being able to navigate the forest without injury. He had raised 12 children, and 20+ (I can't remember the exact amount) grandchildren. He spoke of how harvesting the nuts encourages the locals to not cut down the trees, as larger established trees equal better production. I found this presentation to be particularly interesting.

From Peru, the GLP went to Ecuador, where Sebastian met up with the team in the city of Quito. They went to the Maquipucuna Lodge and Reserve. One of the research projects discussed was the cataloging of insects - in particular moths. They spoke of the poaching of orchids, and how the locals are establishing a nursery to help rebuild the species. They visited a lodge on the top of a mountain - which encouraged eco-tourism. The photos in the presentation of the spectacular views were awe-inspiring. There was a visit to the large organic gardens, where one of the local crops of the area is shade-grown coffee. The GLP team then visited the Yachana Foundation, which houses a lodge and a technical high school. Yachana Lodge (in which Sebastian got the best room they joked) is reinvesting in the region through it's programs in education for the poor, developing healthcare, and various conservation projects.

The group then went to Tierra Del Volcan - which is near the largest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi. Tierra Del Volcan make the most of eco-tourism in the area by offering a variety of activities, such as horseback riding, hiking, zip-lining, mountain climbing and mountain biking. The building are made from local sustainable materials such as straw, wood, bamboo and adobe.



From there, the last stop was down on the coast of Ecuador, in Puerto Lopez. The presentation showed the GLP group with Equilibrio Azul, which is an organization that works to conserve the marine life in Ecuador. Two of their key projects are documenting sharks and endangered sea turtles and their effects on and by the ecosystems.

After the presentations, Sebastian and Rob ran the raffles, giving away a number of great prizes to those who answered correctly questions from the presentations. The event was catered by Whole Foods, and beer was donated by Fat Tire Ale. The first 100 people attending received a ticket upon entrance, and the evening concluded with gift packs given to those holding the tickets, which included a wonderful gear pack by Gregory and socks by Keen Footwear.



There was a good attendance - seemed like a packed house, and although the crowd was loud at times throughout the presentations, most seemed genuinely interested in the travelogue. It was a fun educational evening, and it was great to speak to Sebastian following the presentations, and to meet his beautiful fiance Stephanie.

It was announced that GLP will be touring the country with this event over the next few months. For more information on Green Living Project, and to see if they will be having an event near you, please visit their website at http://www.greenlivingproject.com.


Here are some additional photos - sorry they are dark as the room had low-light:







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