We look forward to having you on board. Email us at greenlightnetwork (at) gmail (dot) com

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Important invitation

(Press Relase from Rights Action Group)
Local environmental lobbyists The Rights Action Group (RAG) will host a special 'Helltuh Smelta' event on Monday June 5, World Envrionment Day. Not to be left out of the football fever sweeping the nation, the smelter warriors are asking all concerned citizens on World Environment Day to come out and defend the goal of the citizens who have spoken out against the building of the smelters in Trinidad. The red card event which will take place in the Back Studio at the CCA7 facility on Fernandes compound in Laventille, will feature presentations from RAG, high school students, updates from the affected communities of the south-western peninsula as well as performances and visual presentations. RAG will also speak to the issue of alternative forms of development that are clean and sustainable and do not involve a haemorrhaging of our natural resources. RAG is also calling on all citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to plant trees on World Environment Day as a direct action response to the very alarming trend of clearing of prime and potential agricultural land for the construction of concrete jungles, in a time when the nation's food importation bill is in the billions. RAG was established by a group of concerned citizens around the country in solidarity with the communities of the south-western peninsula protesting against the imposition of aluminium smelters. Admission to this event is free. Kick off time is 6.45pm. For further information, please call 718-0480.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

DVDs now available

Dear Greenlights,

First, thank you to those who turned out to Monday's meeting (22 May, 2006). Copies of the DVD (approx 15 mins in length) containing the three videos produced by Greenlight members are now available.

1. A - Z of Aluminium Smelters (Elspeth Duncan)
2. Use Your Voice (Dem Chirren Productions)
3. Please Stand (E. Duncan)
These videos, ranging from the 'artistic and symbolic' to the 'realistic', revolve around the core theme of the proposed aluminium smelters and aim to raise awareness around the issue. As such, we are asking that everyone who gets a DVD makes at least two copies which they will then give to others ... who will then make at least two copies and pass those on ... and so on and so on and so on. We also welcome donations of blank DVD-R discs.

For your free copy of the DVD compilation,
please contact Greenlight Network using the e-mail link on the sidebar.

At this meeting we also started discussing THE SOURCE, a series of upcoming environmental concerts/artistic events, to be held on the first Saturday of every month this year (in the first instance). Stay tuned for more on this innovative Greenlight venture as plans unfold.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Baby white tipped dove

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photo: Elspeth Duncan
God loved the birds and invented trees.
Man loved the birds and invented cages.
- Jacques Deval -

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A tulip kiss from Canada

Photo: Shereen Ali

Dear Greenlights,

The above photo was sent to us today by our second Canadian member, Shereen Ali, along with the request to "send tulip kisses for all."

A little about Shereen: she is a writer and graphic artist living in Edmonton, Canada. She is also a volunteer for CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wildnerness Society) and has been involved in The Great Human Race, an annual charity race for all kinds of charities. When she thinks about the kinds of projects she can get into as an international Greenlight member, she envisions simple things like planting flowers in barren areas (she planted the tulip in the photo above), conserving energy, building massive 'Minshallesque' puppets to act out green themes ... and she also suggests having activities like short story competitions for children - with the 'winners' being featured on our Greenlight website. Speaking of websites, she points us the website of environmentalist David Suzuki, who won the Order of Canada for his work in environmentalism. If you check out the site, note the Nature Challenge, which outlines ten very simple ways to make a positive change and conserve Nature. (There's even more that can be added to such a list). The good thing is, as we hopefully all know, contributing to positive change does not have to include dramatic, large scale efforts requiring masses of money and the support of big corporations in order to be effective. The smallest actions done by simple, everyday people like us can have tremendous impact, especially when we are sincere and consistent with it.

Recap of meeting: Mon 8 May, 2006

An ironic sign at the garbage-ridden site of the mangrove clean-up project

Dear Greenlights,

Yesterday’s meeting was held successfully at our headquarters, 21 Lyndon Street, Curepe, from 6 – 8 p.m. There was a good turnout.

After preliminary discussions about the first stage of the R.E.B.I.R.T.H. project (Sat 6th May 2006), we viewed the video footage from the day and came up with ideas for a series of 30 sec – 1 minute awareness videos. Some of the footage sent simple but powerful messages:


- a large crab in the water trying its best to eat a heavy piece of plastic (“I live on a diet of plastic because that’s all there is to eat in the swamp now.”)
- a dead cayman floating belly up in the water with a massive fly playing on its belly, surrounded by floating waste (leaves, plastic and other objects), whilst some men peacefully fish with their net cast in the floating debris

The edited pieces will be unleashed on the public in a variety of ways, alerting regular citizens and corporate bodies to the harsh realities of their casual tossing of rubbish and bottles in drains, etc. Blue Waters and Coca-Cola were starring.

We closed the meeting by discussing ways in which we can improve our R.E.B.I.R.T.H. operations and came up with the following:
1. Start earlier (when its cooler): 6 – 9 a.m.
2. Bring a cooler with chilled bottles of (sponsored) water for the crew
3. Have a bucket for unscrewed bottle caps, one person with the task of unscrewing the caps and emptying the bucket into the bags afterwards (this will speed things up)
4. Request a police officer
5. Ask each person to invite at least one friend to accompany them, have small teams of people and offer a prize for the team that collects the most bags of plastic bottles
6. Print t-shirts with our logo and tagline (healing our inner and outer environments), as well as our website address. These t-shirts will be worn at Greenlight activities such as the R.E.B.I.R.T.H. mangrove project
7. Have a small fee of only $5 to be paid by members attending meetings – to cover new gloves, which are just under $5 a pair. If members want to give more at a meeting, that’s up to them. All money collected will go towards Greenlight projects.
8. Later down the line we will erect signs in the mangrove. One member suggested CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS (seeing that it is a cremation site and a place where Hindus worship and place their offerings … in the midst of rubbish. This should not be so). Another suggestion was LEAVE ON A CLEAN NOTE (referring to people who have been liming there, as well as those who are cremated there). We will also arrange later down the line for the Council to provide garbage bag disposal units (for people who lime there) and a large dumpster for them to place their garbage in (to be cleared on a regular basis by the Council). When the place is looking clean and ‘rebirthed’, people should be less likely to see it as a garbage dump. (We are not being na├»ve – just thinking positively).
9. Go to companies in person (requests for funding) rather than merely sending in letters
10. The next clean up will take place this coming Saturday: 13th May, 2006. Those interested in attending are asked to let Glen know (645-0157) and to meet at his house on the day at 6:00 a.m. (time of departure) to head down to the site in convoy. The clean up will finish at 9:00 a.m.

Those of you who were there on Saturday must be wondering if we will be cleaning up the entire mangrove. This is physically impossible for us to do, given the vast amount of garbage dumped there. We ultimately hope to increase the size of our crew, have a clean up about 2 Saturday’s a month (understanding that not everyone can make it every time), focus on picking up the plastics (for recycling) and organize for the Chaguanas Council or some other authority to handle the cleaning up of other types of waste: the styrotex, old fridges, tyres, paper/cardboard, dead animals, etc.

How long this will take is anyone’s guess, but by the end of it, it should be looking like the sacred space it is supposed to be. If you know of people who want to assist, please let them know and get in touch.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A very quick update

Just three of the many plastic bags filled with plastic waste gathered today by Greenlights.
The mangrove looks on in the background.

Dear Greenlights,

This is a very quick update:
1. We welcome Shereen, our third international member (second member from Canada)

2. A generous Thank You to the Greenlights who turned up today and endured scorching sun to help clean up the mangrove in our R.E.B.I.R.T.H. project. What we collected felt like a lot … yet it was an iota of the unbelievable mounds of rubbish existing at that site (cremation site in Felicity, Chaguanas). However, our toiling was not in vain. Surely there are parts of the mangrove breathing more freely now! You can see a few of the many photos from the day here. Click on the photos if you want to read the explanations.
3. Our next meeting will be on Monday 8th May, 2006 at Glen’s house: 21 Lyndon Street, Curepe, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. We will be recapping today’s events and discussing upcoming projects.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Our 2nd international member ... from Canada

The following is a message to the Greenlights from Jayme Gianola, our second international member. Along with her message, she sent two photos of High Park in Toronto, "one of Toronto's beautiful downtown green spaces." Over to you, Jayme.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photo: Jayme Gianola

Thanks for your invitation to join!

I'm a yoga teacher and writer living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I've been involved in various environmental causes over the past several years. City dwellers are faced with different types of environmental issues: preservation of green space, waste disposal and recycling, and the prevention of suburban sprawl. Being an environmentalist in the city can mean different things to different people. For me, it means biking or using public transit instead of an automobile (I don't own a car), recycling and composting, volunteering to clean up and do gardening in the local park, and speaking out on issues that affect the environment in our province (the placement of new landfills, development in environmentally sensitive areas, etc.). It also means adopting simplicity as a lifestyle, cultivating compassion and awareness for all the city's inhabitants, and being aware of how individual actions can affect the whole.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about the Greenlights and finding ways to get involved!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photo: Jayme Gianola