Second Thoughts On Second Life: Second Life Goes Green!

September 2nd, 2009  |  Published in Real Life in Second Life, SL Entrepreneur Magazine

By Compe Lockwood
Polar bears in peril, solar energy for cooking, recycling the planet. This is “Show Me the Green: An Exposition of Green and Sustainable Practices.” And this is a very ambitious rooftop.

Held on top of the Museum of the African-American Experience, The Green and Sustainable Expo ran last month with a broad goal – to  save the earth. “We want to bring knowledge and information on ‘going green’ to the demographic of Second Life,” says event co-organizer, Luchenpur Darwin. “To help accomplish our goals, we [he and  co-organizer Prissy Price in collaboration with museum owner-curator, Winn Wellman] wanted as many exhibitors from the widest variety as possible.” They got it.

There are exhibitions and advertisements ranging from turning off dripping water facets to abolishing the military. It’s an elaborate exchange of ideas in a come and see environment.
Representing AfricaLive, and in African dress, Tamsin Barzane sits by a display of food products for sale. “I’m representing an African urban market setting,” she explains. “It’s common for African women to ‘set up shop’ in vacant lots. It illustrates efficient land use and saves money too.”

She went on to explain at the impromptu onlooker presentation: “Africans by necessity have learned and used conservation methods for suppressing the use of land and water. They can contribute our ‘version of greenness’ to the West.” The Dark Continent can enlighten us.
Tamsin’s exhibit fair next-door neighbor is Windy Schor, representing – a real life network of educators interested in wind production and use. Ms. Schor is gone with the wind – in a good way. “We study the wind, and maintain rich databases here in Second Life which can be used in Real Life.”

Her display also demonstrates solar cooking and how it works. It gave me insight into the practicality of catching rays for hotdogs.

While some vendors promote products for increasing solar heat, others talk about minimizing it. HeatSaver, a key exhibitor at the event, displayed the company’s thermal shades, claiming a reduction of 26 degrees in temperature after installed in one Michigan home.

Moving down the line, I am greeted by vendors promoting earth friendly products and small home repairs that make big differences. Fixing one dripping faucet (one drop per second) can save 2,700 gallons of water a year.

Of course this is Second Life, so naturally it is imperative to chat with polar bears. They did not actually audibly converse since polar bears can’t talk (they can’t read newspapers either but these two did – again, this is Second Life).  At the Expo, bear-human communications was via note card. Their message is global warming. And they don’t like it. Because “Oursarge” (French for ‘wise bear”) and company live near the Arctic. And according to the ‘bear facts’ suggested by sponsor Public Policy Virginia, their world’s temperature is rising almost twice as fast as anywhere else on earth. The short story is that the polar bear’s world is melting and with it so goes its food and habitat.

Every venue has a story, addresses an issue, and in most cases offers solutions. All are compelling, some are controversial.  Code Pink is here, demanding the U.S. military cease to exist – because they use a lot of oil, among other things.

Some green remedies use good ol’ common sense, things like turning off running water while shaving or brushing teeth. Having a daily ‘designated’ coffee cup or drinking glass instead of using a different one every time you pour a drink. After seeing this display, I hung my real world head in shame as I gazed at 5 real world used coffee cups on my real world desk. It won’t happen in my real world again.

The Go Green Expo doesn’t just sight problems but offers answers and where to find them. And I was pleasantly surprised to learn that going green can save green – bucks. Many earth friendly products such as solar heating, windmills, and insulation – while installation costs may by high – can save money in the long run. Saving energy is the goal but saving money doesn’t hurt either.

Event participants included:
Action Avatar Center, Metabody, Amon Palens’ Solar Panels, Crescendo Design, Saminaka – Tamsin Barzane, Energy Teachers.Org, HeatSaver, Team Future Green, PPV, JS Saltwater, Green Lantern Core, Peak Oil, HumanBe, Africa Live.

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