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Alexandra Magaard // 16 January 2015 // #GoingGreen

Good day everyone, and happy 2015! I hope you all had a festive holiday season and a smooth slide into the New Year :) First, here is a link to the official video of the Going Green Finale at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Berlin. This video encompasses the event, student presentations and a general summary of the project. You also can find a link on the Going Green Facebook page. Thank you to the member of the Going Green team for making it!

Next, I wanted to provide you all with a glimpse into the United States’ current environmental controversy, the Keystone Pipeline XL. Here are some basic facts: The Keystone Pipeline XL was originally proposed in 2008. It is a 1,179-mile (1,987km) pipeline extending from Hardisty, Albert (Canada) down through the United States to Steele City, Nebraska. The project is designed to strengthen and support the United States’ and Canadian crude oil production. The Keystone pipeline is predominately supported by the Republican Party (A recent study by CNN found 80 percent of Republicans are in favor of it, in contrast to only 39 percent of Democrats) who cite that this project would create jobs and help the United States grow less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. While the Democratic Party, President Obama’s political party opposes the pipeline claiming that it will increase the threat of climate change while damaging local environments.

A map of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Source: http://keystone-xl.com/about/the-keystone-xl-oil-pipeline-project/

Last Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in favor of the pipeline. This ruling allows the Keystone XL pipeline to run through the state. Since then the GOP (Grand Old Party, also known as the Republican party), who presently controls the House of Representatives (one branch of the United States’ legislative body), voted to approve the pipeline in a 266-153 ballot. However President Obama is against this project, stating that it will increase greenhouse gases and potentially harm local ecosystems throughout its construction, and he threatens to veto the bill. That would mean that the President would block this legislation from becoming a law by refusing to sign it. The United State’s legislature can only overcome the Presidential veto with a two-thirds majority vote. However, Obama has not veto-ed yet, which makes it again a fresh debate. The CNN poll also uncovered that 57 percent of Americans are in favor of this bill and 28 percent are opposed (the other 15 percent is of no opinion)…I guess we will have to wait and see what happens!

The Keystone Pipeline XL, photo source: The British Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30737766

If you are interested in reading more about the pipeline, below is a link to the New York Time’s coverage of it. Enjoy! http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/k/keystone_pipeline/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier That’s all for now, and I will continue to state in 2015: as the going gets tough, the tough go green. Alex  


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.
 
Alexandra Magaard // 22 January 2015 //  #GoingGreen

Hi everyone! Congratulations are in order, because our very own award winning team from the Gymnasium Alsdorf has won yet another prize. The team just received the RWE Climate Protection Award (Klimatschutzpreis RWE). The prize merits them 2000 Euros, and together with the 750 Euros that the team already won through Going Green, they are now able to provide their school with water fountains and dispensers that the school was not previously able to pay for. What a great way to spend their earnings! Congratulations again to the Gymnasium Alsdorf and great work! If anyone is interested in reading further about the prize-winning team, here are two recent articles. http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/de/289390/rwe-deutschland-ag/presse/pressemitteilung/?pmid=4012314 http://www.aachener-zeitung.de/lokales/nordkreis/projektgruppe-des-dalton-gymnasiums-erhaelt-rwe-klimaschutzpreis-1.981007 And in honor of the Gymnasium Alsdorf, when the going gets tough, the tough go green! Alex


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.

 

 
Alexandra Magaard // 28 January 2015 //  #GoingGreen

Guten tag liebe Schülerinnen und Schüler! I hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant end to a cold January (at least it has been chilly in Washington, D.C.!). I want to discuss the latest United States and India talks on climate change, or what “The Guardian” calls, “a key moment as major economies begin to deliver on the promises made in Lima to fight climate change.” President Obama recently embarked on a three-day visit to India (his second overall visit to the nation!), and Climate Change was at the top of his agenda. India is the third-largest carbon polluter in the world (after the People’s Republic of China and the United States).

Traffic in Mumbai, India on December 5, 2014. Source: The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/15/us-india-joint-climate-change-action

Unfortunately the visit ended with little specific action, but President Obama and Prime Minister Modi did set a list of goals to expand green energy and lower green gas emissions. India agreed to increase efforts to combat climate change with targets for higher levels of solar power and energy efficiency in the next two years. As well, India officially agreed to reduce its production of “hydrofluorocarbons” (HFCs). HFCs are commonly referred to as, “super greenhouse gases” and are 3,830 times more potent than CO2. The United States Environmental Protection Agency deems these gases to have a very high global warming potential (GWP) relative to other greenhouse gases.

President Obama and Prime Minister Modi of India on January 25, Source: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/a-new-chapter-for-america-and-india.html?_r=0

These talks signal increased cooperation and efforts by the two countries to go green. Hopefully this will only continue, and perhaps, one day, both President Obama and Prime Minister Modi will even say: when the going gets tough, the tough go green! Alex


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.
 
^1 Alexandra Magaard // 13 December 2014 // #GoingGreen

LIMA.-300x180.jpegThis picture is the "Plenary Panel" at the Conference on December 8, 2014. Photo Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/10/lima-climate-talks-on-track-for-record-carbon-footprint

Hi everyone! I have just a couple of updates before the holidays. First, I offer my congratulations to all of the winners of the Going Green 2014 competitions! It was wonderful to see that there was such a large turnout at the final events in Berlin and Dusseldorf. You all worked so hard on your projects - well done! Secondly, this past week has been an important one for international environmental policy. It was the United Nationals Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. The event officially took place from the first of December until yesterday, the 12th.

The event is the 20th yearly session of Conference of the Parties (COP 20) from the United Nation's 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). It gathered representatives from 195 countries in Lima, Peru to outline a blueprint for the next milestone agreement on climate change, and the policy from this past week in Peru will later be finalized at the United Nation's next summit in Paris, France in 2015. Feel free to check out updates on the Conference from the United Nation's official website, and I am sure you all, like me, are looking forward to the upcoming Paris summit as well :) Lastly, I want to inform you all that this is the final blog post for the month of December. I will begin posting again in the second week of January, with a weekly post on Environmental activity worldwide and in particular, the United States. Until then, I wish everyone a happy holidays, einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr and as always to remember: when the going gets tough, the tough go green. Alex


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.

 

 

 
Alexandra Magaard // 13 December 2014 //  #GoingGreen 

Hi everyone! I just wanted to remind everyone about the two project events taking place this week. The Going-Green 2014 team is excited to welcome everyone to our final events in Dusseldorf tomorrow and in Berlin this Friday. We have been thoroughly impressed with everyone's hard work this school year and as well, everyone's project submissions. As well, I wanted to mention our "most popular award contest" (conducted on our Facebook page) for the last time. Voting closes at 6pm tomorrow. Make sure you support your favorite ideas! We are looking forward to seeing you all soon, and until then, when the going gets tough, the tough go green. Alex


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.

 

Picture of Alexandra Magaard
by Alexandra Magaard - 25 November 2014
 
Alexandra Magaard // 25 November 2014 //  #GoingGreen 

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is staying warm this November. I just wanted to provide a couple of project updates. First, I would like to announce the Project’s “most popular award contest.” It will be on our Facebook page later this week and is worth watching out for! Secondly, thanks to any and all of the Project’s participants. The Going Green team has been thoroughly impressed with everyone’s contributions, and we are very interested to learn about how all these projects were implemented in the schools. We can tell everyone worked very hard on his or her projects, and vielen dank to all who helped make Going Green a huge success. We owe the project’s accomplishments to your involvement and thoughtful presence. Thank you to all the students, teachers, Experts of the Week and anyone who simply engaged in the project (even if that means reading one blog post). We could not have done it without you! We look forward to seeing you at the final events in Berlin and again, please keep an eye out for the “most popular award contest” on Facebook. It should be exciting. We plan to keep this blog in the future, so everyone can stay updated with how the projects panned out. There also will be opportunity for guests post and please let us know if you may be interested. In the meantime, thank you again for all your hard work, and when the going gets tough, the tough go green! Alex


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.

 

 
Alexandra Magaard // 10 November 2014 // #GoingGreen 

The Conference is in Aichi-Nagoya Japan.

The Conference is in Aichi-Nagoya Japan. 

Pictured: One of the first meetings today for UNESCO Youth. Source: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco-world-conference-on-esd-2014/resources/photo-gallery-youth-conference/

Good morning everyone! I hope you had a pleasant weekend. This week is a special week. The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is taking place from today until Wednesday. It is the final event to commemorate the conclusion of the United Nation’s Decade for Education and Sustainable Development that began in 2005, and it also is a milestone for assessing for the future.  

I believe, it might be of interest to everyone that the first UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development occurred in 2009 in Bonn, Germany. The Conference was made through the collaboration of UNESCO, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Commission for UNESCO. This year’s Conference has four goals: to celebrate the “Decade of Action,” to reorient education to build a better future for all (reassess what is an adequate education for sustainable development is), accelerate action for sustainable development and set the agenda for ESD beyond 2014. The Conference kicked off last night with a celebratory opening ceremony. The UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and his Imperial Highness, the Crown Prince of Japan both spoke, and the opening ceremony’s keynote speaker was Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.

Princess Lalla Hasna greeting the Japanese government. Photo source: http://www.maroc.ma/en

She said: “To think and act for the sake of the environment - in the broadest sense of the term - means to be fully aware that the planet is not only a precious legacy, but that it also implies a tremendous responsibility for us in terms of preserving the interests of future generations.” It was a well-regarded keynote address. If you are interested in reading further about the conference, please click on the link provided below! http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco-world-conference-on-esd-2014/ I wish you all a successful week, and I think of the UNESCO conference today when claiming: when the going gets tough, the tough go green. Alex P.S. Please remember to follow us on Facebook !


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.

 

 
Alexandra Magaard // 05 November 2014 // #Experts #GoingGreen 

Shari Wilson

 

Shari Wilson

Hi everyone!

I hope that you are having a lovely week. I thought I would spice things up in the blog.  Since this week’s expert, Shari Wilson, has already been introduced, I would like to provide a bit of information about some great environmental activism taking place in Shari’s home base of Kansas City!

One of the most prominent environmental organizations in Kansas City is called, “Bridging the Gap”.

Photo Source: www.bridgingthegap.org

Bridging the Gap works to connect the “environment, economy and community” of Kansas City. Since the organization’s beginning in 1992, it has established 20 recycling centers, won the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Air Excellence Award for Give Green Things” (for sustainable education and outreach) and planted thousands of trees throughout the Kansas City area.  Bridging the Gap also carries out specific programs like, “Green business Network KC” (a network for sustainability in the workplace), “Keep KansasCity Beautiful” and a water conservation program called, “WaterWorks!”

Here is a link to Bridging the Gap’s website:

https://www.bridgingthegap.org/

I think that Bridging the Gap is a great example of grassroots environmentalism, and I hope that Shari will echo my thoughts that that sustainability should always start local.

Have a great week, everyone! Viel Erfolg :)

When the going gets tough, the tough go green.


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.

 

 
Alexandra Magaard // 31 October 2014 // #GoingGreen 

Dear Going-Green 2014 participants,

The project and I are excited to present our new official Facebook platform! The platform will allow you to check the latest news on sustainability, communicate with participants from other groups and to share your ideas and thoughts.

We’ll be sure to let you know if something green is going on in the world or if any problems are in need of your green ideas. Feel free to be inspired for your own projects and use the chance to share your thoughts.

We will also post information on our current experts who you can then contact on the Moodle platform. Do not hesitate to ask what you always wanted to know about a sustainable lifestyle. Our experts are happy to share their knowledge with you!

You want to present what you found out while working on your project? You want to inspire others? Great! Post your ideas and findings and invite friends and other participants to support you or to hear about their opinion.

Join us here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Going-Green-Project-2014/743892859024455 and give us a thumbs up.

We’re excited to offer you another platform to “go green,”

and we look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

your Going-Green 2014 Team


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.
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by Alexandra Magaard - 26 September 2014
 
Alexandra Magaard // 26 September 2014 // #GoingGreen

Hi Everyone,

Now that we are coming to the end of the third, official week for the “Going Green 2014” Project, I would like to highlight some recent additions to the Moodle Site.

We have three classrooms seeking discussions from the Moodle Site and a number of students getting involved on the Moodle site – here is a quick update.

The schools are from Leipzig, Germany, called the “BIP Kreativitätsgymnasium,” from Neubrandenburg, Germany, called “Albert-Einstein Gymnasium,” and from Oranienburg, Germany, called the “Louise-Henriette Gymnasium.”

The Albert-Einstein Gymnasium would like to engage in a cross-cultural dialog, in hopes of fresh perspectives. The “Louise-Henriette Gymnasium” would like to discuss their results, ideas and experience regarding environmental reform.  This classroom is also interested in current issues – what is namely “cool” among teenagers.

I encourage you to contact any or all of these groups if you are interested.

Our Moodle page has new entries from students, who are also interested in a cross-cultural exchange.

Three 8th grade boys in Germany wonder what the American style of recycling consists of.  They are interested in trading daily recycling habits.

Three girls would like to discuss preventative measures for sustainability.

Three other boys from Germany would like to discuss the impeding dangers of the Greenhouse Gas effect, and two other students would like to exchange perspectives and also brainstorm preventative measures.

Feel free to contact the students and begin the discussions!

Thank you to all of the Going Green Classrooms who have gotten involved so far, and I wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

When the going gets tough, the tough go green.

Alex


Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.

 

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