Green Grid Radio

Engaging and transformative reporting on the environment, energy, and sustainability


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S5E1: Coffee: Trouble Brewing?

Coffee is the second most traded global commodity after oil, employing millions of people to produce the 2 billion cups consumed around the world every day. But from production in developing countries, to global trade, to consumption in developed countries, the industry is plagued with some dirty secrets.

In this collaborative piece, Green Grid Radio and Making Contact team up to explore the lesser-known environmental and social justice costs of your morning coffee habit.

Jennifer Dunn reports from Colombia as she learns how Colombia’s small-scale coffee farmers are struggling to protect their crops and salvage their livelihoods. Mallory Smith hears from both sides of an ugly split in the fair trade movement, a movement which was first borne out of the desire to improve the lives of those who grow our coffee, but which some say has been co-opted by people with a different vision. And Laura Flynn decides to find out what happens to our little K-cups – those convenient single-cup brewing pods which seem like a miracle of modernity – once we throw them away.

Hosted by Mallory Smith and George Lavender. Contributing producers: Jennifer Dunn, Laura Flynn, Mallory Smith.

Featuring:

Coffee farmers Jairo Martinez, Mariana Cruz, Suzana Angarita

Jeff Goldman, former executive director of Fairtrade Resource Network

Jeff Chean, Principal and Chief Coffee Guy Groundwork Coffee

John Hazen, single-cup coffee machine owner

Rebecca Jewell, recycling program manager for Davis Street Transfer Station

Music:

Pensacola Twilight, Lee Rosevere

Cafetero, Christian Martinez

Grand Caravan, Blue Dot Sessions

Them Never Love No Bans, Hot Fire

La Boite a Sons – Contest Contributions, various artists

 

For more information:

Fair Trade Lite: Fair Trade USA moves away from worker co-ops

Hijacked Organic, Limited Local, Faulty Fair Trade

Roundup on Fair Trade USA/FLO Split

A Brewing Problem

Your Coffee Pods’ Dirty Secret

Kill the K-cup (video)

 

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S4E8: Biome

I was born with a disease called cystic fibrosis (CF), the number one genetic killer of children in the United States. The most serious complication of the disease, which affects about 70,000 people worldwide, is the vicious cycle of chronic infection, inflammation and scarring in the lungs caused by defective chloride ion channels in the cell membrane.

Metaphorically speaking, the planet is diseased too. But while I can stand up and talk about my experience, the environment speaks to us in a language that is often incomprehensible to those who don’t study science. It speaks in a set of symptoms, signs that grow louder and clearer by the year.

In Biome, you’ll hear two stories that may not seem to have anything to do with each other. But be patient. I’ll walk you through a story of DNA and destruction, of colonization and conservation, of the body and the biome.

This piece was produced as part of The Senior Reflection in Biology.  Music used:

The Album Leaf – Blank Pages, A Day in the Life, Perro, Summer Fog, Shine

The American Dollar – Anything You Synthesize

This Will Destroy You – I Believe in Your Victory

Maneli Jamal – Us Against them

Antoine Dufour & Tommy Gauthier – Solitude

Josh Woodward – Together On Our Own

 


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S4E1: Tipis, Trash, Homs and Urchins

A diver monitoring kelp forest growth. Photo by David Witting / NOAA.

A diver monitoring kelp forest growth. Photo by David Witting / NOAA.

We’re excited to kick off our fourth season of environmental storytelling with an unconventional glance backwards — this first episode is a compilation of the sounds of our summers.

Adam reflects on going to camp for the first time, Citlalli learns how much harder it is to throw out a tea bag in Germany than in the United States, Diane describes visiting an ice cream shop in pre-war Syria, and Mallory goes for a dive with volunteers reclaiming a kelp forest from some prickly invaders.

Waste bins in Germany. Photo by Diane Wu.

So many waste options in Germany! Photo by Diane Wu.

Listen here:

Enjoy!! Stay tuned for upcoming episodes on turning boozy byproducts into fuel, first-hand reporting from the COP19 climate talks, and elementary school eavesdropping to hear what kids have to say about the health of the planet.

Voices include ReCharge 2013 delegates, Matthew Eastman, Dominic Coccia, Nolan Rutschilling, Jamila Tull, Richard Shelton, Michael Grubert, Tara Sulzer, Founder of Creative Facilitations Stephanie Pollack, KT Donohue, Heather Coleman, LA Waterkeeper’s Brian Meux, and Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation’s Tom Ford.  Music from Ian D. Marksjunior85Damien Jurado, Peter Swift, Damscray, and The Jayhawks.


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S2E7: A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank

Green Grid Radio returned to a local focus this past Thursday. “A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank” featured Dr. Tanja Srebotnjak of the Ecologic Institute, who joined us to speak a bit about some of the San Mateo office’s recent work in the Bay Area. This included discussion of the Sustainable San Mateo 2012 Indicators Report and a recent project on Senior Health in San Mateo. As we think about communities and large populations aging in the future, how might we improve resource efficiency? Do seniors need to have to have their Oldsmobile in their driveway for weekly trips to the store, or can we introduce interventions like car-sharing or taxi services to reduce the hassle of vehicle ownership, encourage the sharing economy, and improve the social lives of folks? This was merely one topic we discussed this week. Matt Chalmers of UC Davis Law School, panelist extraordinaire, also joined us to hammer home the importance of many sectors (government, nonprofits like Ecologic and academia, and industry) working together to solve our sustainability challenges.

S2E7: A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank

Ecologic has written up an even more comprehensive description of the episode. Thanks for the support and promotion!

Listen here: