Posts within ‘Festivals’

Eric and Mike: Earthkeepers, or Not?

Earthkeeper Annabelle Gurwitch intercepted Eric and Mike on Main Street at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. They were in Park City to see the screening of Eric’s film, (500) Days of Summer. You be the judge, are these guys Earthkeepers or not?

Earthkeepers Get “The Cove” Scoop at Sundance

Earthkeeper Annabelle Gurwitch caught up with Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Sevens, the director and producer, respectively of The Cove, a documentary that debuted at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT.

The film chronicles the fascination with dolphins and a tragic epidemic that has threatened their existence and become a multi-billion dollar industry.

It’s the Middle of the Sundance Film Festival Journey

What a long, great week it’s been. The 2009 Sundance Film Festival has hit the midway point and as of 24 hours ago, and we have a new president here in the United States. With all of the activity and excitement of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival already swirling around in my psyche, yesterday’s inauguration managed to double the amps of amazement. At Sundance we’ve been asking people to tell us about how they’re making changes in their lives that serve to lessen their environmental impact. There exists a common thread among the folks we’ve been speaking with, who by the way, are graciously giving us their time to engage in these meaningful conversations.

That common theme is a sense of responsibility. Nearly every person that we’ve talked to about Earthkeeping has an understanding of the need to be accountable for their actions when it comes to the environment. They have a sense of responsibility that results from what appears to be an intrinsic awareness of how the choices they make in their daily lives impact their environment – on both a local and global scale. That’s been the most refreshing aspect of this Sundance experience. And when I consider that our new President here in the United States has issued a call for every citizen to accept responsibility for his or her actions, it’s good to know that we’re not starting from scratch. 

In his inauguration address yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “…each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.” This was a description of the current state of affairs as they relate to the environment and climate change. Later on during his speech while we was eloquently painting the image, with broad strokes, that depicts his vision for hope, he went on to say, “We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” Towards the end of his speech, Obama explained that “while our challenges may be new and the instruments with which we meet them may be new…What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.”

To many, this is the starting line of a journey for people with a renewed and inspired sense of responsibility. And the skeptics could say, things might change but it won’t be long before we revert back to our normal behaviors of high impact and consumption. But to me, after having the opportunity to engage citizens from around the globe in a dialogue about Earthkeeping I’ve come to the realization that this isn’t the starting line. We’ve already begun to take accountability. It’s not ground zero, and that element is where the roots of hope for a reversal of climate change have taken hold.

There is no better example of this than the film that will close the Sundance Film Festival this Friday night. It’s called Earth Days and it was directed by Robert Stone. Geoffrey Gilmore, the director of the Festival, describes Earth Days in the 2009 Film Guide this way, Director Robert Stone concocts an inspiring and hopeful work in Earth Days, a feature documentary that recounts the history of the modern environmental movement from its beginnings nearly four decades ago. Environmental activism really began with the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, and precipitated an unexpected and galvanizing effect on the national psyche.

Told through the eyes of nine very divergent witnesses. . .Earth Days is a visually stunning, globe-spanning chronicle of watershed events and consciousness-changing realizations that prompted a new awareness: the post–World War II American dream of a future world created by scientific progress, new technology, and economic expansion was rapidly changing into a nightmare.

To the twenty million Americans who demanded change and political action to protect the environment on that first Earth Day, the urgency and scale of the current crisis would have seemed extreme and alarmist. Earth Days is a truly cogent and powerful depiction of the awakening of the world to environmental reality by a dedicated and skilled filmmaker; ignoring its message could imperil us all!

Earth Days is one of those films that reinforce that common thread that we’re seeing among Festival goers this week – the shared sense of responsibility for the environment and the impact we have on it. It reinforces the notion that in this time of hope we can be proud of the fact that we have a staunch historical perspective and broad range of experiences from which we can draw as we continue our journey towards the goal to becoming an environmentally sustainable global community.  Yes, it’s been a long, great week in Sundance, and I’m glad they saved what could be the best film, for last.

Yours in Earthkeeping,

Earthkeeper Observations at Sundance Film Festival


Hello Earthkeepers!

No Impact Man co-directors, Laura Gabbert and Justin ScheinIt’s the dawn of day three at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. We’ve had an action packed two days so far. Our Earthkeeper woman-on-the-street reporter, Annabelle Gurwitch, has been talking non-stop with festival goers, film makers and celebrities and they’ve revealed some fascinating ideas and insights on everything from climate change to recycling. They’ve even shared their thoughts with us a few of the films that address topic and issues related to the environment, including “No Impact Man” (co directors Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein are pictured above) and “The Cove”. That’s not all. The people we’ve been speaking with have commented on an expansive range of ideas and practices that address how they reduce their environmental impact.


Egyptian Theater, Main St., Park City, UT

As a first-time Sundance attendee, I’ve found the crowds to be only slightly overwhelming. But one has to consider that, while I may be rookie Sundance Film Festivalgoer, I am a veteran visitor to Park City. Thus I’m not used to seeing the volume of foot and automobile traffic that comes with the Festival. I’m not a star gazer but I am an observer. So after finally coming to terms with the fact that on this particular trip to one of my favorite ski destination in the world, the only boots I’ll be wearing on the snow are my Earthkeepers, I made some Earthkeeper observations while strolling the snow-plowed pavement of Park City’s Main Street…

1) The streets, sidewalks and venues at the Sundance Festival are very clean. Not only are people are using the recycling bins and garbage receptacles (of which there are many and they’re all visibly well placed), the bins and cans are emptied with incredible frequency. Therefore we’re not seeing overflowing bins surrounded by litter on the grounds.

2) We’re on the precipice of seeing more people using reusable water bottles than disposable ones. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of disposable water bottles here but the Festival has taken some pretty radical steps to minimize the circulation of the throw away-plastic water bottles. For example, you can’t buy water at the festival venues but the very kind volunteers will give you directions to the nearest water fountain. And the water refilling stations, located throughout the Festival, have been very well received by folks who are drinking from their reusable water bottles.

3) The use of Styrofoam food containers appears to be minimal here in Park City and the Park City Recycling Center recycles it with enthusiasm. (Yes, I did give up Festival time to visit the Park City Recycling Center. How’s that for Earthkeeping?) I was disheartened on my first morning in town when we found this great breakfast joint with Heuvos Rancheros to die for and just as I was telling my co-worker how wonderful it was that we found a great place to eat breakfast during our stay, the waitress emerged from the kitchen with a take out order packaged in none other than a Styrofoam container. Oh well, I shouldn’t eat eggs every day anyway.

Annabelle Gurwitch & Christie BrinkleySoon, we’ll be posting the video we’ve been shooting here at the festival. I’m heading over to Main Street right now to see what other Earthkeeping actions I can observe…and yes, maybe I’ll do a little stargazing….the celebrities we’ve met so far have been very helpful. At left, Christie Brinkley shares organic gardening tips with Annabelle.
Yours in Earthkeeping,

The Hunt is on for Spike Lee’s Water Bottle

Greetings Earthkeepers from Day 1 at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT.  It’s been an exciting few hours so far.  Check out Earthkeeper Annabelle Gurwitch in the video below to get a glimpse of what we’re up to and what to expect over the next 10 days.

Up With Sundance! Down With Styrofoam!

Hello Earthkeepers – I’m Margaret, one of the Earthkeeper Bloggers attending the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.  I’m excited to be here in Park City, Utah to join our Earthkeeper woman-on-the-street reporter, Annabelle Gurwitch, in a journey to find out what Earthkeeping means to the festival attendees and participants.

I arrived in Park City late yesterday afternoon with a feeling of intrigue. I’ve been to Park City many times but never during the Festival. The hotel lobby was packed with folks involved with the 10-day event, which actually doesn’t officially begin until tonight. Through the throng of people buzzing around, I was psyched to see one of the hundreds of Earthkeeper recycling bins in a hallway adjacent to the lobby. These bins are stationed around the many festival venues, including all of the theaters in which the incredible 2009 roster of festival films will be screened over the next ten days.

For me, the couple of days I spend here in Park City are all about Earthkeepers. I’m eager to see how the operations team that is responsible for putting on a large scale, long term event such as the Sundance Film Festival approach sustainability and accountability for the event’s environmental footprint. And, I can’t wait to talk with festival attendees to discuss their views of the state of the environment and what Earthkeepers and Earthkeeping means to them. And we’re going to head over the Park City recycling center to see how they’re set up to deal with the increased volume of recycled materials that they’re forecasting as a result of the tens of thousands of folks who will be embarking on their town during the next ten days.

The Festival is very committed to the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). That was evident when they handed us reusable water bottles as we entered a pre-festival sponsorship meeting. That was a welcomed gesture for me as I was still grappling with the use of Styrofoam cups that were being used to dispense coffee and tea on my flights from Boston to Salt Lake.  Let’s just say, the airline hasn’t heard the last word from me on the Styrofoam cup thing.

Back to more pleasant thoughts. It’s 7:15 a.m. in Park City, UT as I type this. The mountains are snow capped and the rising sun is signaling what is slated to be a beautiful day. After a cup of coffee (in my reusable mug), I’m going to scout some locations for us to film Earthkeepers in action over the next couple of days. Tonight Annabelle and I will finalize our plans for capturing some fun, engaging Earthkeeper moments here at Sundance. Stay tuned to and if you have any Earthkeeper questions you’d like us to ask festival goers, post them here in our comments section and we’ll do our best to get them out on the street to the Sundance Film Festival population.

Yours in Earthkeeping,
Margaret Morey-Reuner
Senior Manager of Values Marketing, Timberland

Earthkeepers to Engage at 2009 Sundance Film Festival


Earthkeepers are stepping out at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival – literally and figuratively! Timberland is the Official Footwear and Outerwear of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival taking place January 15 – 25 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The footwear we’re providing to the Festival filmmakers and programming team members is — you guessed it – the Earthkeepers™ boots, which contain recycled materials and are fully waterproof. That’s the literal step.


The figurative step is the face to face dialogue on Earthkeeping that we’re going have with festival attendees as they, and we, soak up the energy and excitement of Sundance. It’s all going to be on video that will be posted right here at during the coming weeks.


In addition to our woman on the street interviews, featuring Annabelle Gurwitch of “Fired” fame, we will also be chronicling the Festival’s earthkeeping efforts – including their amped up recycling program and their robust public transportation system that’s designed to encourage the use of the official Festival busses as well as walking from venue to venue in order to alleviate road congestion and smog emissions in Park City.


So if you’re headed to the Festival and you see this woman… 

… be prepared to engage in a conversation on Earthkeeping. Be prepared to tell her, where would you want to be planted, if you were a tree; and who you would want to water you … get ready to tell her what you do in your everyday life to minimize your footprint … and don’t be surprised if she asks you where Mother Nature lives … it’s all good and it’s all going to be right here on  See you in Park City!

Earthkeepers DNA – Amazing and Then Some

I’m not sure, but there must be an ingredient that is specific to the DNA of an Earthkeeper. I think it’s an inherent element that represents a combination of drive, creativity and some level of entrepreneurialism or risk taking, all enveloped in a passion for the environment. And, it’s those very special people, who recognize that they possess the Earthkeeping gene, who truly amaze me. They have that, “ah ha!” moment and then put it into meaningful action. When I hear stories about these types of people, an inspirational admiration for the individual and their ideas always permeates my psyche.

Take 23-year old Elizabeth Redmond ( as an example of someone who definitely has the Earthkeepers DNA. Elizabeth is a self-described, “designtrepreneur” who is inspired by the fusion of human energy transfer and renewable energy. Now, on it’s own, that inspiration is amazing but when you consider how  Elizabeth translated her inspiration into a phenomenal idea and is now dedicated to putting that idea into action, amazing becomes somewhat of an understatement. 

Feeding her inspiration, Elizabeth set out to design interfaces that generate electricity from the human body as part of her undergraduate thesis work at the University of Michigan. That work led to her brainchild called the POWERleap. It was her “Ah ha” moment. It happened two and a half years ago, and it’s been the driving force behind everything she’s done since.

POWERleap is a flooring system that generates electricity from human movement through high foot-traffic areas. It’s also a concept that is meant to engage people to take responsibility for generating some of the electricity they use every day. Imagine the next time you take a jog through your local park in the evening. You’re running around a looped jogging path that is installed with the POWERleap technology. Every step you take creates energy that is repurposed to the nearby lights that illuminate your path around the track. Now that’s Earthkeeping! It’s engaging, inspiring and provocative.

Elizabeth has a busy summer planned in an effort to bring POWERleap to life in a powerful and meaningful way. She’s already met with the 2016 Olympic committee that’s vying to get Chicago named as the host city ( Tomorrow night, June 17, she’s going to be on the Sundance Channel’s, “Big Ideas for a Small Planet” and later this summer she’s participating in a renewable energy think tank in San Francisco. You can follow Elizabeth, armed with her Earthkeepers DNA, in her efforts to bring POWERleap to life in a powerful, meaningful way at In the spirit of Earthkeepers, I think you’ll agree…Elizabeth’s is an amazing story, and then some.

Margaret Morey-Reuner
Senior Manager
Values Marketing
The Timberland Company