Watch Before the Flood Right Now

When I started this website about good news I never thought I would be mentioning Leonardo DiCaprio, but here we are. The award winning actor teamed up with Fisher Stevens to create a really good documentary about the state of climate change. The documentary weaves together the historical context we find ourselves in and how the current power structures (economic and political) contribute to the ongoing issues around climate change. Change is happening faster than predicted and the documentary encourages us to act even faster.

It’s a good documentary that paints a dreary picture but not without hope for saving the future.

Here’s the trailer in case you need more convincing.

A Video Series That’s Fighting Obesity

The obesity problem in North America keeps growing larger and it’s within all of our interests to ensure that we trim the fat. An online video series directed at kids is making a difference. The Adventure to Fitness series educates kids about animals, geography, and other fun things while keeping kids moving. This is really great because any parent or teacher can use the series to bring more activity and learning into a kid’s day.

According to Dr. Jenny Delfin, the Adventure to Fitness medical advisor and a cardiologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, the program’s effectiveness stems from how well the videos engage with each child. Kids retain the valuable lifestyle lessons without even realizing it because of their physical, mental and emotional connection to what they’re watching. And 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise each day goes a long way.

The Adventure to Fitness program is currently being used in more than 22,000 schools and 100,000 classrooms worldwide, according to the company website, providing a strong recess alternative for rainy days and the winter months. Some of the schools utilize the videos as a component of after-school programming, giving kids an additional opportunity to jump around, work up a sweat and have a great time before they head home. Teachers and parents alike have found the videos to be an effective tool to help high-energy kids focus in the classroom.

Read more.

Using Drones in Nifty Ways

Toronto Skyline Porn from Ryan Emond on Vimeo.

Remote controlled drones are pretty neat! Sure, the military industrial complex uses them to murder people, but that’s just one way to use the technology. Artists and companies are finding ways to use the technology in nice friendly ways. In Toronto (like other jurisdictions) there are growing concerns about regulations and applications about the drones. Fortunately, the conversation between drone operators and the general public is going well!

Interestingly enough, Toronto Reference Library leads the way in its adoption and popularization of new technologies, drones included. (Take a look at this awesome drone’s eye view of the library tour!) Just a couple of weeks ago, 10,000 people gathered at Toronto Reference Library for Toronto Mini Maker Faire, where X4 Drones flew some smaller aircrafts from its impressive drones fleet. It’s hard to think of a better way to normalize drones than seeing them fly right in the library, one of the most well-known and accessible public spaces in the city.

Read more.

Watch Sustainability Illustrated

Alex Magnin is an illustrator who likes making the world a better place and over the last six months he’s been illustrating sustainability. The video above is about explaining sustainability with science and is a good example of what the sort of videos he illustrates. The videos are 4-7 minuets in length and make for a good quick and informative break.

I have been working as a sustainability advisor for almost 10 years (with the international non-profit The Natural Step) and have seen first-hand the power of innovative sustainability practices to transform lives, businesses, and communities for the better.
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As an artist and an illustrator, I have also witnessed the power of illustrations and multimedia to help people understand and learn more effectively. So I decided to combine my skills and share, through animated illustration, what I have learned about sustainability over years of helping businesses and communities become more successful, sustainable, and resilient.

Read more here.
Watch all the videos here.