San Francisco Green Film Festival March 2011

Give Flowers That Give Back this Valentine's Day

Worn out at Work?

Postal Service Goes Green

nature conserve

friendship bag

SAN FRANCISCO GREEN
FILM FESTIVAL MARCH 2011

The San Francisco Green Film Festival will launch March 3-6, 2011 and will be the first-ever festival of its kind on the West Coast presenting inspiring programs and discussions that link films and media arts with environmental advocacy and activism. For more information please visit: www.sfgreenfilmfest.org

The Festival will include screenings of over 60 premieres from around the globe and kicks off with an Opening Night Green Carpet Gala on Thursday, March 3rd at the beautiful LEED-certified Bently Reserve (formerly the City's U.S. Federal Reserve).

In celebration of the Opening Night's "plastic pollution theme," the Festival will screen the Bay Area premiere of the award-winning film BAG IT, in partnership with Berkeley's Plastic Pollution Coalition.

"San Francisco is universally regarded as an epicenter of both the global Green Movement and as an activist and issue conscious film community," says Rachel Caplan, the Festival Founder and Director. "This amazingly diverse city has many film festivals but none that directly and solely addresses these issues and audiences, The San Francisco Green Film Festival grew out of the need to fill that void."

Festival screenings and events will take place at the Landmark Theatres Embarcadero Center Cinema and the Bently Reserve. These venues, in close proximity to each other, will create a dynamic hub at the Embarcadero, with an exceptional inaugural line-up including Bay Area premieres of award winners and audience favorites from the world's top film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, SxSW and Toronto.

"We are proud of the world-class quality of films premiering at our inaugural festival with highlights including a live satellite feed Q&A with iconic writer and environmentalist Margaret Atwood, and the West Coast premiere of a new feature documentary by Werner Herzog," says Caplan. "We are also thrilled that many internationally renowned filmmakers will be in attendance to screen their latest work and speak to Festival audiences including Fredrik Gertten, Sweden's pre-eminent documentarian and investigative journalist and director of BANANAS!* and acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Huaqing Jin, director of Heavy Metal (the U.S. premiere)."

Other programming highlights include: National Geographic Explorer, Jon Bowermaster's SOLA: Louisiana Water Stories - a topical film about personal stories focusing on water resources in South Louisiana and touching on the recent BP oil spill's effect; Locally based husband and wife documentarians Steven and Ann Dunsky's newest film Butterflies & Bulldozers about the global dilemma of economic growth versus species preservation seen through the fight over San Bruno Mountain; and the entertaining Back to the Garden, a time-lapse view of back-to-the-land "hippies"- living off-grid, insulated and isolated from mainstream culture and their moving personal stories of non-conformity and political activism-with lots of freedom but little cash.

The Festival is also an official part of the United Nations International Year of Forests 2011 and will be hosting content-related films and discussions to reinforce the message that forests are vital to the survival and well being of people everywhere.

The Festival's Closing Night film, German Director Carl A. Fechner's The 4th Revolution: Energy Autonomy, is deemed "...the most inspirational, solutions-based environmental film out there" by the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Festival Program information and the schedule will be available at www.sfgreenfilmfest.org.

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Give Flowers that Give Back this Valentine’s Day

Organic Bouquet is the largest online provider of eco-friendly and organic gifts, and each purchase helps to improve the life of a flower farm worker, their family and the local floral community. A mission-based company focusing on environmental, social and economic sustainability, Organic Bouquet provides workers in underdeveloped countries everything from zero-interest loans, childcare, healthcare, education, environmental protection, supplies and more.

At the website, you’ll find a variety of Valentine’s gift options, from the world’s tallest roses to charity flowers for the love in your life. Looking for more than just flowers? Organic Bouquet also offers a wide selection of recycled handbags and clutches, as well as unique recycled silver jewelry and other eco-friendly gifts.

Visit www.OrganicBouquest.com for details, information, special offers, and gift options.

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Worn out at Work?
Twelve Common Workplace Behaviors That Drain Everyone’s Energy—and How to Purge Them in 2011

The source of your exhaustion might not be the tasks you’re doing or the hours you’re working—it may be the actions of the people laboring beside you in the “salt mines.” Jon Gordon identifies twelve draining behaviors to watch out for—and explains what you can do to counteract them and create a more nourishing workplace in 2011.

If you’re like most people, 2010 was a long, exhausting year at your workplace. You’re tired, depleted, and quite frankly just done with “business as usual.” You’re laying the blame for your fatigue squarely at the feet of the increased responsibilities and long hours you faced. But according to Jon Gordon, author of Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture, you might be wrong. He insists that working hard—when done with a good attitude in the right environment—can actually be quite invigorating.

In other words, what’s wearing you out at work might not BE the work.

“Most people wrongly assume that their tasks and responsibilities are what’s grinding them down,” explains Gordon, author of the newly released book titled Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture.“ However, while ‘work’ is a convenient scapegoat, the real culprit is often the negativity of the people you work with and for, their constant complaining, and the pessimistic culture that is now the norm in a lot of workplaces.”

The fact is, many of us work in a world of drainers. And what, exactly, is a drainer? Gordon says the term can describe anyone in the workplace—a boss, coworker, employee, or client—who sucks the life and energy right out of you.

No one sets out to be a drainer, of course. It’s just that some people regularly (and inadvertently) exhibit energy-draining behaviors. What’s worse, many bosses allow them to continue—or are themselves guilty of practicing these behaviors. And over time, the entire culture becomes poisoned.

Don’t fret, though: Gordon promises that if managers are able to identify the offending behaviors and fix them, they’ll be able to spend more time nourishing their companies’ cultures—which will, in turn, make employees happier and more productive, thus increasing the bottom line.

In Soup—written in a fun business fable format (much like his Wall Street Journal and international bestseller, The Energy Bus, and several other titles)—Gordon lays out the ingredients that make up a nourishing culture, instead of a draining one.

Read on for Gordon’s top five draining behaviors (presented in a what-not-to-do format), as well as tips for how you can make a change for the better in each of these situations this New Year:

1. The Energy Vampire Attack

DON’T: Let negativity become your go-to response. There’s nothing more draining than a boss or coworker who is constantly negative. Gordon calls these folks “energy vampires.” They are never happy, rarely supportive, and constantly nay-saying any and all ideas and suggestions that aren’t their own. According to them, you might as well give up before you start.

DO: Respond constructively when someone offers up an idea. Even if you know more about a particular project, have more experience than the rest of your team, or are positive that the suggestions others are making are off the mark, hear them out. Let employees and coworkers know that when they come to you with their ideas, they’ll be heard with an open mind and received with respect. Insist that everyone else practice positivity as well. While negativity squelches creativity and initiative, an encouraging attitude will keep creative juices flowing and encourage constructive dialogue.

“As pessimism rises, performance decreases,” Gordon explains. “You have to encourage optimism and guard against pessimism, or your team will suffer.”

2. The Out-of-Control Complain Train

DON’T: Give in to the temptation to whine. It’s a well-known phenomenon that can have catastrophic consequences: One person’s complaint resonates with someone else, who then proceeds to add grievances to the pile, which prompts yet another individual to throw in her two (negative) cents…and so on. Before you know it, everyone is complaining, and any work that gets done thereafter is marred by a bad attitude.

DO: Push for solutions. The next time a water-cooler conversation threatens to barrel out of control into Complaint Central, step in and ask the complainees how they would make things better. Better yet, take a cue from Gordon’s bestselling book The No Complaining Rule and ban complaints altogether. It’s tough love for sure—but it will also create and sustain a positive culture.

“When you boil things down, complaints are just noise and nothing more—but each one does represent an opportunity to turn something negative into something positive,” Gordon points out. “Turn your employees from problem-sharers to problem-solvers—it’ll make an unbelievable difference in your office’s atmosphere!”

3. The Vicious Voicemail (or Email)

DON’T: Leave critical or harsh messages on voicemail or send them to an email inbox. Nine times out of ten, these critiques seem much more vehement and condemnatory than they actually are. Plus, any communication you send via electronic methods can potentially last forever. Not only could your words come back to haunt you, they’ll also be a constant reminder to your coworker or employee of his or her supposed shortcomings.

DO: Suck it up and conduct the tough talks in person. If you need to have a stern talk with someone, or if you need to talk through a conflict or problem, do it in person if at all possible. You’ll be able to ensure that your words and tone aren’t misinterpreted, and you’ll be able to immediately have a constructive dialogue with the other person. By talking about ways to improve, you can end the conversation on a positive and encouraging note.

4. The Loaded Monday Morning Inbox

DON’T: Overwhelm your team with a mountain of emails before the week is underway. If you’re finishing up your own to-do list late on a Friday night, or if you’re simply trying to get a jumpstart on the week ahead, it can be tempting to dish out the details and to-dos as you think of them. After all, if you wait ’til Monday morning, you might forget to tell those who need to know! However, coming in to an inbox of fifty-seven new messages is draining and makes folks feel like they’re fighting an uphill battle from the start.

DO: Boil down and bundle your communication as considerately as possible. Inevitably, people are going to be working late and sending emails over the weekend—in today’s business culture, it’s unavoidable! However, there are a few things you can do to make “You’ve Got Mail!” less stressful and more efficient for the recipient. Be sure to flag any urgent emails so that your teammates know which tasks to tackle first—and include as many details as possible so that 1) you won’t forget them, and 2) the recipient can get started as quickly as possible. If you can, combine as many of the tasks and questions as you can into one document.

“One email as opposed to ten separate ones is a lot less intimidating,” reminds Gordon. “And if you do fire off a multitude of messages in a moment of panic, a quick note acknowledging the unusual volume can change everything!”

5. The Busy Bee Bamboozle

DON’T: Confuse activity with progress. You know the person. She’s always soooo busy but doesn’t ever seem to meet deadlines or get anything done. When teams are being formed, people secretly hope she isn’t assigned to theirs. She’s living proof of the fact that just because your day is full of things to do doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting them done.

DO: Set goals and hold yourself and your employees accountable for results. These results should be ones that matter and that are visible and valuable to your team. It can be helpful to transition over to a day-to-day plan that will help everyone stay on the right track. Most importantly, don’t put your team in situations where the lines are blurred. If the goals are crystal clear, they’ll be easier to accomplish.

If some of these behaviors sound all too familiar, don’t despair. The cusp between the year that’s just passed and the one that’s to come is the perfect time to take stock of what’s making your culture less than nourishing—and resolve to make it better.

“It’s important for managers to acknowledge that it’s been a tough twelve months and that you understand why folks are feeling drained and depleted,” concludes Gordon. “Above all, tell them that you are willing and eager to help alleviate some of that stress! A little acknowledgment can go a long way toward a brighter, more productive, and much more energized 2011.”

About the Author:

Jon Gordon is a consultant, keynote speaker, and the international bestselling author of Soup, The Energy Bus, The No Complaining Rule, and Training Camp, all from Wiley. He and his books have been featured on CNN and on NBC’s Today show, as well as in Forbes, Fast Company, O, The Oprah Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Jon’s principles have been put to the test by NFL football teams and Fortune 500 companies alike. He has worked with such clients as the Atlanta Falcons, the PGA Tour, Northwestern Mutual, JPMorgan Chase, and Publix Supermarkets. A graduate of Cornell University, he holds a master’s degree in teaching and works with numerous businesses, professional sports teams, schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations. www.JonGordon.com

About the Book:

Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture (Wiley, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-4704878-4-6, $22.95, www.Soup11.com) is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797.

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POSTAL SERVICE GOES GREEN

Lean Green Teams helped the Postal Service reduce energy, water, solid waste to landfills and petroleum fuel use, saving the agency more than $5 million in 2010. They also helped the Postal Service recycle more than 222,000 tons of material — an increase of nearly 8,000 tons over the prior year — which generated $13 million in revenue, and saved an additional $9.1 million in landfill fees.

“Across the country, postal employees are participating in more than 80 cross-functional Lean Green Teams that are producing significant results in energy reduction and resource conservation,” said Emil Dzuray, acting Chief Sustainability Officer.

Lean Green Teams build on the Postal Service’s efforts to create a culture of conservation and on its long history of environmental and socially responsible leadership. The teams are helping mesh low-cost and no-cost sustainable practices with performance management systems to help the Postal Service meet the following reduction goals by 2015:

• facility energy use 30 percent

• water use 10 percent

• petroleum fuel use 20 percent

• landfill waste 50 percent.

The Postal Service is on track to achieve these goals, according to Dzuray, and plans to deploy Lean Green Teams nationwide by 2012.

“With nearly 32,000 facilities, a presence in every community, and the largest civilian fleet in the nation, we know how important our efforts are to make a positive impact on the environment,” Dzuray added. “Our employee green teams are an important part of building a conservation culture and reducing our carbon footprint.”

As part of its green efforts, the Postal Service buys sustainable materials and works to reduce the amount of consumables it buys. The agency first developed a “buy green” policy more than 12 years ago, and has a goal to reduce spending on consumables 30 percent by 2020. In 2009, its consumables spending decreased 16 percent from the previous year. Additionally, the Postal Service is working to increase the percentage of environmentally preferable products it buys by 50 percent by 2015. These are products that are bio-based, have recycled content, are eco-labeled and are energy and water efficient.

The Postal Service is the only mailing and shipping company in the world whose shipping supplies and postage products have earned Cradle to Cradle CertificationCM, meaning they are designed with materials that are safe for human health and the environment. The agency has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle, 10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate Action Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo, and the Postal Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year.

For more information about the Postal Service’s sustainability initiatives, visit usps.com/green and the green newsroom.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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