Posts Tagged ‘environment’

I was recently made aware of a video by my friend Margi, it’s called “The Hidden Cost of Cashmere”. This video is short and extremely effective, outlining all of the issues that hit the rest of the world, when we (consumers) demand something that doesn’t replenish by itself.

This video made me remember a longer more in depth documentary that I saw in one of my film classes in Chicago years ago. It’s called “Ilha das flores” or “Island of Flowers”. Again, this documentary explains how complex we’ve made our world with modern inventions and conveniences.

Of course, we’re not going to stop buying sweaters when it’s cold or flip flops when its hot but I hope that this will make you think twice about buying 4 different colors because they’ll match your other clothes better.  Does matching your clothes mean more to you than the lives of others or the environment? Ask yourself that when you make your next shopping trip.  And please, watch one or both of these videos.

“The Hidden Cost of Cashmere”

“Ilha das flores” (yes it’s subtitled, I wouldn’t do that to ya!)

Part 1

Part 2

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I am…slowly… reaching the age where my friends have steady jobs in the careers in which they’ve received degrees, and therefore, buying homes. Now, I know that the economy this past year hasn’t been well…stellar, but none-the-less we’re not renting anymore. I have been trying to hint to my friends’ parents that are re-modeling or building or just moving that there are some great new options that will reduce their heating bill (Midwest) and air conditioning bill (far west) but they’re just too old to grasp the idea of change. So, I’m forced to look to MY friends, who, in all honesty, are my best bet in getting this message across.

Green Roofs are the wave of the housing future! Don’t you laugh at me, but a green roof is when you lay grass on your roof. Think about it, when you go to lay on your lawn on a hot summer day, it’s always cool, right? RIGHT. And it has a thick layer of insulation- dirt, right? RIGHT. So why is it so far fetched to put grass on your roof at home? IT’S NOT. Here are the reasons why :

**Pink Panther insulation wasn’t around for the Vikings of Newfoundland, so they used Grass to keep in the the kind of air they wanted, depending on the season.

**If you have a way to get up to the roof, it can be another garden! Grow veggies on your roof and you don’t have to run to the grocery store for that Onion he forgot to buy on the way home from work.

**In areas of the world where it rains a lot, it is your natural gutter. It absorbs the water and therefore you don’t have run-off.

**You’re giving back to the environment! Mother Earth gives you so much, how long has it been since you’ve given her a mothers day gift? you’re doing good by filtering pollutants and CO2 out of the air.

Besides from all of the above, it’s actually really cool aesthetically speaking. I was recently on vacation in Door County Wisconsin. There is a Swedish restaurant nearby in Sister Bay and it has a green roof, it even has goats grazing on it! You don’t have to do that, but it’s cool, huh?

These roofs can be colorful too. You don’t dye them with food or hair coloring, you plant flowers! If you intersperse different kinds that bloom at different times of the year, I guarantee your house will be the house that all the neighbors envy.


  1. School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University; Singapore
  2. The great city of Chicago
  3. Hundertwasser’s Waldspirale, Austria
  4. The city of Baltimore
  5. Al Johnson’s Restaurant, Sister Bay, Wisconsin
  6. My new city- Minneapolis

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We decided to start this blog because we were bored which yes, sounds a tiny bit lame.  The truth is we met while working in television and while we are eternally grateful to be working neither of us is particularly huge fans of the content we produce.  In order to keep our creative minds relevant we decided to start a blog where we shall post all things interesting to us.

Our goal, is to expand our minds with Art, Culture, Music, Film, Philanthropy and whatever else peaks our interests. That being said, we also want to assist you in doing the same, and if we post something that does just that for you, we encourage you to explore that even more. We guarantee that we’ve only scratched the surface, when you dig deeper, you can personalize it to your needs and likes, and in time it will help make your life better and more fulfilling.

Also on our page you will find interviews with interesting musicians, artists, educators, comedians, inventors, activists, and anyone we find interesting who we believe is actively contributing to society and is taking risks, trying something new.

As always we, at Against the Grain, are completely open to suggestions of persons that you, the fans, find interesting and think would be a great addition.

Please enjoy responsibly

Jessi Derfler and Elizabeth Koopman

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