Posts Tagged ‘Edward Norton’

Mission Blue

Photo: Eva Schuster, sxc.hu

In a little over a week I am traveling to the Galapagos Islands with the leading green focused tour provider, Ecoventura. I have been so intrigued by the islands for so long, and am truly looking forward to exploring in a responsive and responsible way.

The Galapagos Islands were recently the location of an amazing leap forward for ocean protection around the world. A much larger ship than the one I’ll be on (we’ll only have 20 passengers) took several celebrities and leading marine scientists (including Sylvia Earle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Glenn Close, Elizabeth Banks, Steve Case, Ted Waitt, Bill Joy, Jackson Browne, Damien Rice, Chevy Chase, Jean-Michel Cousteau and 30 of the world’s leading marine scientists) for a think tank excursion that turned into huge action. Mission Blue (committed to preserving enough “Hope Spots” in the seas to “restore the blue heart of the planet” was the uniting force behind this great conluence of inspiration and commitemtns (financial and otherwise).

The full story is found here on the TED Blog. Give a read–it will inspire you.

This is Our Moment

Martin Luther King, Jr—Day of Service

Today is MLK Day, and it has also become our national Day of Service. It is a day to honor the Right Reverend by embodying what he held above all else—people reaching out to others. The theme of the movement is “MAKE IT A DAY ON, NOT A DAY OFF”

Doctor King said so many notable things in his addresses to crowds, including: “We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service relationship to humanity.”

Celebrity “Ambassadors of Service” like Usher, Bob Weir, Edward Norton, and many others are helping get the word out that today is a day to get busy. Need something to do? The website for the day: www.mlkday.gov has an easy feature where you enter your zip code and can find listings of volunteer projects needing your heart and hands today.

With Haiti sitting so heavily on our spirits, it is important not to succumb to charity burnout. People are giving and giving and giving, money and prayer and meditation and volunteer effort. As the saying goes, Nobody ever grew poor from giving.

World Savers

world-savers-awardMonday was the World Savers Congress in New York, at the very green and sunny Morgan Library. A few hundred folks from the travel industry gathered to acknowledge the hard work of travel trade companies that are guided by sustainability and have strong commitments to sustainability. These companies, large and small, as well as other philanthropic corporations, make changes (sometimes by making waves) in communities around the globe. From providing shoes (the über-hip Blake Mycoskie from Tom’s Shoes) to creating recycling programs where there were none to carbon-offsetting to changing out single-size shampoo and conditioner bottles in hotels to decrease waste.

There was a great array of represented companies from giants like Ritz-Carlton and Accor (with its eleventy-seven million hotel rooms worldwide) to hospitality companies with only 20 rooms in the African bush. A few keynote celebs presented: Wyclef Jean about how tourism can help Haiti (Yele Haiti), Mandy Moore on her work with Five & Alive, and Edward Norton who gave a bit of a dressing down about how the people in the room were committed to changing the world, but not enough, and certainly not enough to yet influence all of our readers/customers/clients to do the right thing for the global community.

A preview of Ken Burns’ new muti-part extravaganza on America’s National Parks (debuting this weekend on PBS) was shown, and, like all Burns project, was extraordinary. Talk about leaving no stone unturned…and his attention to detail (and facility with calling up every little detail when speaking to us) is a thing to behold.

There are panels and assemblies throughout the day such as “The Economics of Doing Good,” “The Bottom Line–Why Responsible Travel Matters,” and “The Ripple Effect: The Travel Industry’s Power to Ignite Change.”

It is good to learn about the increasing establishment of “CSR” officers and employees–tasked with Corporate Social Responsibility. Customers expect the travel industry to be invested in community and eco-health, and the companies are stepping up and being accountable. The title of this whole day has been “The Power of Travel in Challenging Times” and it is great to see so many of us taking that responsibility quite seriously. There was a great current thrumming, both spoken and unspoken, through us as we claimed the reality that the billions of dollars generated by tourism and the unequaled life experiences when people travel (and subsequently awaken a sense of stewardship for the places they visit) helps to instigate protection for environments and art, culture and success of local communities. It tips the scales, balancing out at least a portion of the poverty, pollution, conflict, and disease we sometimes find there.