BAND FEATURE: YELLOW RED SPARKS

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BAND FEATURE: YELLOW RED SPARKS

BY MADDY ROUTON

Photographs by Patrick Gonzalez

This year, Ecochella has the pleasure of introducing you to another extremely talented up-and-coming duo from Los Angeles, the folksy superstars behind Yellow Red Sparks. With soft-spoken charm and their own brand of cinematic folk, Yellow Red Sparks wooed the Ecochella team in an instant, auditioning with a minimalistic set in a tiny concrete room in UCLA's Schoenberg Music Building. Their music has a way of establishing connection, transfixing you while songwriter Joshua Hanson croons his love-sick ballads to the engrossed but energetic strumming of Sara Lynn's upright bass. Their songs are intimate and powerful, captivating in their lyricism. We can't wait for them to grace our stage with their hauntingly beautiful melodies at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center on May 1 at 4:30 pm.

"In an instant, Yellow Red Sparks captivates, pulls us close, and invites us to see the world through the center of their songwriter, Joshua Hanson. He possesses a staggering ability to take seemingly normal circumstances, rewrite them with an honest and wistful beauty, and turn them into vivid scenes as told through a unique brand of cinematic folk. Supported by Sara Lynn (upright bass, vocals), the California-based duo effectively finds a way to take Hanson’s songs of heartache and make us want to fall in loveTheir self-titled debut album was produced by Ted Hutt (Old Crow Medicine Show, Gaslight Anthem, Lucero), mixed by Grammy award winner, Ryan Hewitt (Avett Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and mastered by multi-Grammy award winner, Brian Lucey (The Shins, Sigur Ros, Black Keys)."

Happiness comes in a box [official video]

FinD out more about yellow red sparks:

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@UTDOOR CHELLA'15: DAN WARD YOGA, PURE BARRE, & MORE!

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@UTDOOR CHELLA'15: DAN WARD YOGA, PURE BARRE, & MORE!

BY MADDY ROUTON

Header image courtesy of New Leaf Club

Last year, I was fortunate enough to teach an incredibly enjoyable free-flowing Vinyasa yoga class with lively and energetic students in the lush garden of Sunset Rec, jiving with the pedal-powered music floating all around us. This year, with all the running-around I'll be doing, I'm excited to say that Ecochella is keeping the yoga tradition alive with some fantastic local teachers. Bring some comfy clothes and get ready to limber up (for all the dancing you'll be doing, duh) with these yogis and yoginis!

1. DAN WARD YOGA: 6-7 PM

Images courtesy of http://danwardyoga.com/

Images courtesy of http://danwardyoga.com/

Images courtesy of http://danwardyoga.com/

Images courtesy of http://danwardyoga.com/

GOING BY THE NICKNAME "DANWARDDOG," DAN WARD HAS A FUN AND ENERGETIC TEACHING STYLE PERFECTLY SUITED TO OUR PEDAL-TASTIC FESTIVAL!

"In his youth, Dan loved running in a pack in the neighborhood, playing free the tree, ghost in the graveyard and, above all, football. He also ran in a BMX gang whose main goal, aside from shredding the trails behind the high school, was to hit the white hen for candy and soda. In high school, he suffered a severe reaction when bitten by the acting bug and was confused for awhile, thinking he was Deniro or something. This reaction persisted and he subsequently matriculated to the theatre school at Depaul University ultimately earning a BFA in acting. The first class on his first day of college, drum roll please, yoga! And he hated it. Well, actually, the reaction was a bit more mixed. Perhaps the challenges were a bit too intense for him at the time. But the seed was planted. After graduating, Dan moved to Santa Monica, California with his girlfriend, now wife, Lesley. It wasn’t but a few weeks into residing in Oceanside that Dan discovered Bryan Kest’s power yoga class. It was what he liked to call a “lifequake“. Bryan’s intense style of vinyasa changed dan’s life. Now with four beautiful daughters and 10,000 hugs later, Dan realized teaching yoga would be a dream!"

- DAN WARD YOGA.COM

...ADDED PERK! REJUICE WILL BE GIVING OUT FREE JUICE SAMPLES TO DAN WARD'S ATTENDEES!

Image courtesy of http://www.rejuice-california.com/

Image courtesy of http://www.rejuice-california.com/

Rejuice is an organic beverage and vegan food cafe specializing in organic & vegan juice, smoothies and food.

"We use local and organically certified produce; every beverage is cold pressed and hand crafted by our master juicer, Ron Anthony. We offer customized cleanses and nutritional advice as well as our juice delivery and refillable bottle exchange program. Quality, consistency and attention to detail are just a few of the many things that set us apart from other juice bars."

- REJUICE FOUNDER ELISABETH RÖHM

2. PURE BARRE: 4-5 PM

Image courtesy of http://purebarre.com/

Image courtesy of http://purebarre.com/

Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body.

"In just 55 minutes you will achieve a full-body workout concentrating on the areas women struggle with the most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. The Pure Barre technique is low-impact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscles without bulk. The technique works to defy gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up! The concentration involved while taking Pure Barre allows you to block "life" out for the hour, creating the mental benefits similarly obtained by the practice of yoga or meditation. A transformed body and a clear head in just one hour—it doesn't get much better than this."

- PURE BARRE.COM

3. KATIE ZELLER YOGA

Images courtesy of https://instagram.com/katiezelleryoga/

Images courtesy of https://instagram.com/katiezelleryoga/

Images courtesy of https://instagram.com/katiezelleryoga/

Images courtesy of https://instagram.com/katiezelleryoga/

On top of being a yoga goddess, Katie Zeller is a busy UCLA student, working as UCLA Farmer's Market Manager, Event Sustainability Specialist at UCLA Recreation, and an active voice in E3, the host organization for Ecochella. She is a beautiful person inside and out, and a close friend to all of us here at Ecochella. We are so excited to have her graceful teaching and gentle presence at our event this year!

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BAND FEATURE: ROBOPOPE

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BAND FEATURE: ROBOPOPE

BY MADDY ROUTON

Header image by Owen Emerson; Body images by Maddy Routon

We just announced our lineup, and we're excited to start introducing you to the amazing bands we'll have at this year's ECOCHELLA! First in our hearts (and more importantly in our schedule) is RoboPope, a student band at UCLA whose talent is matched only by the indelible wit of its members, Dominic Delzompo and Donnie Laudicina. With that in mind, it seemed only fitting that they introduce themselves...

 

"RoboPope is a thirty dollar McDonald’s receipt from 11:30 pm on a Tuesday and an angry hive of bees covered in paint and the intersection of dreamscape and hardwood floors and the straw of the Capri Sun given to the middle school lacrosse player that grew up to be presidential candidate John Kerry. RoboPope is Dom and Donnie. RoboPope is releasing an EP in the very near future. RoboPope is on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter at @robopopemusic."

- The men behind the horse masks

 

RoboPope is a two-piece band that plays dreamy guitar music. Their songs are about everyday, relatable subjects like daddy issues, Lord of the Rings, and bootleg alcohol. The stage is their stable. Come see them open our festival in the chillest of ways on May 1 at 4 pm.

For a sneak peek at their mesmerizing soundscape, come out to their show at The Wilde Thistle next Saturday, April 11 at 8 pm. 

WATCH ROBOPOPE @ THE WILDE THISTLE

SATURDAY APRIL 11 AT 8 PM

3456 Motor Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90034

 

LURK ROBOPOPE ON THE INTERNET:

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"Forest Bathing": The Art of Nature's Calming Chemistry

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"Forest Bathing": The Art of Nature's Calming Chemistry

BY LEAH JOANNA HOWITT

Mental health is a big topic on the UCLA campus this year. It is a very complicated subject, and one interesting aspect could lie in a connection to nature. Spending time in nature is now being seen as a possible form of preventative medicine, proven to decrease stress, depression, and anxiety.

Honestly, when I first read an article about a study explaining the links between nature and better health, I was not very intrigued. Not because I didn't agree, but because I thought that it was just common sense. I didn't understand why anyone would need to research it, or treat it like some kind of revelation. However, I never stopped to ask myself, "Why?" 

We are beginning to learn that there are evolutionary and physiological mechanisms behind the benefits tied to spending time in nature. This scientific evidence is especially relevant now, because in 2007 more than half the world’s population lived in urban rather than rural environments for the first time. People living in urban areas have been shown to have higher levels of anxiety and depression than those in more rural areas. This seems pretty sensible, but there may be another reason: an answer for why nature is crucial to the very core of our personal health and development.

(Source: http://fractalenlightenment.com/16617/life/walk-in-the-forest-to-heal-oneself)

One hypothesis is that in urban environments there is a constant drain on our minds because we have to pay attention to so many stimuli. It’s not just the fact that we are continuously multitasking, but that none of the stimuli are natural for our brains, and thus require at least some level of focus. On the other hand, our mind is automatically drawn to interesting views in nature, or even just natural features like trees. We evolved in these settings, and survived longer if we noticed and remembered our environment, so we are programmed to notice and thrive in the natural world. Being outside invokes something called ‘involuntary attention.’ We don't even have to like it to get the benefits! Just being able to ease the constant multitasking and stimulus bombardment can provide cognitive and mental health boosts.

This is not to say that it’s ‘easy’ to be outside and in nature, and that it’s the solution to all mental health problems. Nature is beautiful, but it can also be frightening and intense. Natural disasters destroy in a matter of seconds and sea levels are rising as communities sink. However, the marked decrease of stress in people who spend more time in nature does seem to make sense, because it’s evolutionarily natural for us to the live this way. It is, in a sense, still our "safe space." 

Amazon Basin (Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zaidbs/10738469735/)

In fact, after my first year of college, I decided to take time off from school partly because of anxiety. During my year away from school, I completed a semester with an outdoor school in the Amazon basin. It was the most rigorous three months I have ever experienced, with the oppressive heat, thick brush, tropical storms, swarms of bugs, and lack of ever being inside, with air conditioner (or at least a chair with some back support!). Yet, it was also the three months with the lowest anxiety I have ever experienced. The tasks felt natural, and the goal was simple- just to live day to day, as compared to the many little stressors of daily life and school we must constantly juggle.

(Source: http://www.luminearth.com/2012/04/15/shinrin-yoku-forest-bathing/)

In Japan, they have already performed a study on people who took part in ‘Shinrin-yoku,’ which means ‘forest bathing,’ or soaking up the forest atmosphere. These people exhibited a significant decrease in levels of cortisol, the hormone our bodies produce when we are stressed. In this way, it is possible that nature could be a form of preventative medicine, altering our body chemistry in subtle ways that can result in an overall better wellbeing. 

So, 'chellers, I challenge you: this week, take a moment to absorb your surroundings and breathe in the view. It never hurts to give yourself a five-minute break to just be - we don't necessarily have to ‘forest bathe’ to get the benefits!

Find out more about Shinrin-Yoku here:

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A Galactic Shift in Perspective

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A Galactic Shift in Perspective

BY NATALIE LYNNE QUEALLY

It’s no secret that the planet is suffering under the weight of seven billion humans. At the start of the Industrial Revolution, we set in motion a massive flux of CO2, an important greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are not inherently bad—they trap heat on the planet, and without them we would freeze! But like so many other good things (In-N-Out, Oreos, Netflix), you can definitely have too much of it. Increasing CO2 causes a rise in global temperature, and an average temperature increase of even a few degrees can have massive consequences for us, including more severe climatic events like flooding, heat waves, wildfires, and higher intensity storms in the United States alone (U.S. Global Change Research Program).

Source:   Joe Wolf

Source: Joe Wolf

Aside from climate change, humans are causing massive problems for the planet because there are just so many of us. We’re all after the same resources—water, crops, timber, fossil fuels—and we’re using them at a rate that can’t be sustained for much longer. This has resulted in ugly things like habitat loss, extinctions, water shortage, and pollution. With so many problems knocking at our door, it’s really hard to try to find a course of action that can actually improve the current situation, let alone one that people can agree on.

In the meantime, one man is suggesting an approach that’s out of this world… literally. How do we tackle global issues? Send people to space.

…This is a joke, right?

Surprisingly, it’s not.

In 2004, business magnate and billionaire Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceflight company. For the small price of $200,000, patrons will eventually fly just above the atmosphere. Some people who have already signed on include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Justin Bieber, and Stephen Hawking. The first flights were planned to occur in 2009, but the technology hasn’t quite caught up with the idea yet, and flight dates are consistently pushed further and further back for safety reasons.

Source:   Jeff Foust

Source: Jeff Foust

So how does Justin Bieber in a spaceship relate to our fragile planet’s many problems?  Well, simply put, seeing the Earth from space results in a well-documented, fundamental shift in perspective called the Overview Effect. Experienced by many astronauts over the years, the Overview Effect may result in “a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment” (NASA).

Could we come together just by shifting our perspective? Branson’s plan may seem far-fetched and wildly expensive, but maybe we need something extreme to get people to finally understand that our lifestyle is threatening our only conceivable home in the galaxy. Is viewing the globe as a whole rather than in parts, as a solitary planet blooming with life while surrounded by black nothingness, something that could inspire creativity, resourcefulness, and concern in global solutions? Maybe it’s time to reassess your perspective—how do you view planet Earth?

https://vimeo.com/55073825

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ECOCHELLA ART EXHIBITION: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

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ECOCHELLA ART EXHIBITION: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

BY THE ECOCHELLA TEAM

Ecochella is now accepting art and design submissions to be exhibited at our festival, MAY 1, 2015!

Work must relate to the environment/nature/sustainable/earth themes in some way, but how this is done is up to the artist. Accepted media includes but is not limited to: installation, sculpture, interactive work, video, and projection. Space in the grass, table space and screen space is available, so please submit work that can be displayed in one of these ways. We have space available to accommodate large-scale projects. We want to populate the festival with the amazing work of young LA artists and designers! This is a great opportunity to exhibit work in a unique setting and prizes will be awarded to the fan favorite works.

If you are interested, please complete this form by February 17th at 11:59PM. 

 

FORM LINK: http://goo.gl/Vbll1h

Please email shaas@media.ucla.edu with any questions.

Ecochella is a 100% bike-powered, eco-friendly concert put on entirely by UCLA students. The aim of this concert is to demonstrate methods of alternative energy, and to provide a fun, entertaining venue to increase awareness about sustainability, clean energy, and the environment. We also aim to support the local LA music and arts scene. The event is full of music, dancing, food, and good vibes. Come hang out May 1st at Sunset Rec. 

Best,
The Ecochella Team

WWW.ECOCHELLA.ORG

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Wet World: Annenberg Space for Photography's Take on Coastal Climate Communities

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Wet World: Annenberg Space for Photography's Take on Coastal Climate Communities

BY LEAH JOANNA HOWITT

I love the water: the way it moves, the pure deep colors, the mind-bending vastness of it. In my mind, the solution for anything really is salt water; whether it be through ‘sweat, tears, or the sea’ (Karen Blixen).

Last week however, I learned about the deadly power of water. A friend and I visited one of our favorite museums, The Annenberg Space for Photography. The current exhibit is called “Sink or Swim: Designing for Sea Change,” and tells the story of communities that are organizing to going create resilient solutions in the face of inevitably rising sea levels.

It’s easy to think of oceans as indestructible; they are so huge, so intangible. Seemingly our last frontier, oceans are gigantic and terrifying mysteries that hold so many answers and open up so many new questions. Yet the addition of excess CO2 into our fragile atmosphere has caused vast changes in our ecosystems, combining a rise in temperature with melting ice caps and glaciers, extreme weather over our oceans, and sea level rise lapping at our coasts. All of these changes are contributing to an overall increase in our sea levels, along with more frequent and powerful storms and hurricanes that gain energy from warmer water.

The “Sink or Swim” exhibit focused on coastal communities, which are particularly vulnerable to these effects. Communities like these are far from unusual; in fact, close to 40 percent of the world’s populations live within 100 kilometers of the coast.

One of the most at-risk populations can be found in Bangladesh, a small country about the size of Louisiana but with a population close to that of Russia. The Annenberg exhibit had an astonishing array of photos taken here, depicting compelling scenes of people walking to school or work waist-deep in water.

Photograph by Jonas Bendiksen, Annenberg Space for Photography

Photograph by Jonas Bendiksen, Annenberg Space for Photography

Scientists predict that by the year 2050, rising sea levels will flow over about 17 percent of the land, forcing 18 million people away from their home. In the face of these harsh statistics, people in Bangladesh are making innovative architectural changes. For example, the organization Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha has built floating schools that can rise with the water. Sangstha is finding ways to work with the water, potentially saving many lives while also preserving the bond Bangladesh has with the coastal ecosystem that has sustained its people for generations. The water was here before humans, but if we respect it, we will not be completely at its mercy.

"Floating School" by Jonas Bendiksen, Annenberg Space for Photography

The Annenberg exhibit specialized in highlighting these acts of perseverance, rather than sinking into the desperate and terrifying facts surrounding climate change. Yet, despite these innovations, the facts I saw were still extremely disheartening. Even if climate change could be stabilized today, sea level will rise for the next 100 years. Most of the photographs were shocking, especially those of destruction caused by hurricanes. A frustrating aspect of the exhibit was that no advice was given on what visitors could do to help after they left. After doing some research when I got home, it seems that minor contributions definitely help. For example, reducing personal waste is important because garbage buried in landfills produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas. What do you do to mitigate your carbon footprint?

Submerged roller coaster after Hurricane Sandy. Photograph by Stephen Wilkes

For those interested in seeing the exhibit firsthand, it is located close by, off Santa Monica Blvd. The museum is free, and is open Wednesday through Sunday: Annenberg Space for Photography - 2000 Avenue of the Stars Los Angeles, CA 90067

 

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Room For Growth

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Room For Growth

BY NATALIE LYNNE QUEALLY

 

I really love plants. They look good, quite often they taste good, and they’re pretty great at producing oxygen. It’s nice having them around, and I'm a huge proponent of putting more plants in the city. That's why one of my favorite trends cropping up in cities everywhere is the installation of green roofs. So what are they and what’s the big deal?

A green roof is pretty much what it sounds like—instead of being a flat, empty, hot space, the roof has vegetative cover instead. Besides looking fantastic, having green roofs in our cities has so many benefits I can’t believe they’re not everywhere.

First of all, there’s this thing called the “urban heat island effect.” Basically, all of our developed surfaces are drier and less permeable than natural landscapes, resulting in a temperature increase in cities as compared to neighboring rural areas. This effect necessitates higher energy usage for temperature control in buildings, which increases CO2 and other emissions from power plants. It also makes it just plain hot for us. That’s where green roofs come in. Installing one will reduce the temperature on the roof's surface, as well as inside the building, by absorbing heat and providing insulation, therefore lowering the energy bill.

But there’s more to them than just temperature regulation; green roofs provide many services for us and the other residents of our planet. They can reduce storm-water runoff through retaining and cleaning it, and improve air quality through intercepting airborne pollutants and filtering noxious gases. They also provide habitat for other organisms. With green roofs we have the chance to welcome birds, insects, and plants back into our cities.

Ultimately, these roofs are environmentally friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and versatile. There is no set type of green roof, so they can be as simple as a lawn or as complex as a mini park, complete with grasses, shrubs and trees. The Getty Center has a great example of a green roof well suited to the dry Los Angeles climate.

Image by Natalie Lynn Queally

Although green roofs may have a higher cost upfront, they pay for themselves down the line—both economically and in ways that can’t be measured as easily. I think it’s time for us city-dwellers to mend our relationship with the environment, and this is a cool way to start.

Read about the urban heat island effect and mitigation here http://www.epa.gov/heatisland/mitigation/index.htm

Read about the function and benefit of green roofs here http://www.greenroofs.org

And for more inspiring examples of plants in cities around the world, check out http://urbangreens.tumblr.com

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Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition Campaigns for Safer Streets

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Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition Campaigns for Safer Streets

BY LEAH JOANNA HOWITT

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”

- H.G. WELLS

Sustainability is not just an environmental concept. It is a concept that encourages decisions that maintain a healthy balance between economics, politics, popular culture, and ecology. This balance would ideally allow both natural and engineered systems within our planet to endure, and even thrive, indefinitely. Actions starting in areas as simple as personal wellness can make an impact.

Switching from driving to biking can have multiple ripple effects down various pathways that are all headed toward a sustainable way of living. The average persons loses about 13 pounds in the first year of riding to work, and can save over $500 in medical costs (Bikes Make Life Better 2015). This, in turn, allows more economic spending on projects like sustainability. The switch to biking would also improve air quality. In fact, if everyone who lived within five miles of work switched to biking just one day a week, almost five million tons of global warming pollution would be eliminated (Environmental Defense Fund).

One way UCLA students and faculty could encourage a switch to biking would be to support the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition’s current efforts to implement a more thorough system of bike lanes in Westwood. A better network of bike lanes would encourage more people to start biking because they institute a higher level of safety and respect. You can sign the petition on their website, http://la-bike.org/ridewestwood, or email Councilmen Koretz. A draft of a possible email is as follows:

To: paul.koretz@lacity.org, jay.greenstein@lacity.org, joan.pelico@lacity.org
Bcc: alek@la-bike.org
Dear Councilmember Koretz,
People who bicycle on Westwood Blvd. are looking to you for leadership in implementing bicycle facilities that will improve riding conditions in your district. In response to your concerns about congestion and safety, we urge your support for this alternative plan proposed by Ryan Snyder Associates and supported by the UCLA Bicycle Coalition and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
The Remove Nothing Plan will have no affect on traffic flow but will add bike lanes where they fit, enhanced sharrows, and additional signage that will undoubtedly improve conditions for the most vulnerable users of the road. Please work with LADOT to implement this strategy as quickly as possible.
Sincerely,
Name
Address

The Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition’s current plan does not remove any current vehicle lanes, thus not affecting the flow of traffic at all, especially during crucial rush hour times. The fight for a bike lane on Westwood Blvd. is part of their more comprehensive proposal, the 2010 Bike Plan, which can be read HERE. This Bike Plan is meant to connect a larger system of bike paths and routes. It was passed in March 2011, and the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition is currently working on its implementation.

As John F. Kennedy said, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.

 

Header image by Dodo (Flickr)

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Seeking Connection in a Detached World: How Mindfulness Leads to Sustainability

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Seeking Connection in a Detached World: How Mindfulness Leads to Sustainability

BY LEAH JOANNA HOWITT

It’s not unusual for me to go through an entire day, or week even, where I am constantly thinking about what is going to happen next. What to study, what to apply for, who to call, what I need to buy. It’s an endless stream of information and people and events and textbooks and calculus and sociology – it’s overwhelming. Often, the easiest way to deal with this barrage is to constantly push worries farther and farther away and keep barreling toward the future. As college students, I feel that we are especially susceptible to getting caught up in this kind of bubble.

Mindfulness is a way to counter this stressful path of living in constant apprehension of the future. It can be as simple as awareness of the present moment, or concentration on a focal activity such as breathing or walking. Part of mindfulness is also an acceptance of what is currently happening, and to express an acknowledgement for it, though this may be uncomfortable and counterintuitive at times.

Although the two may not seem connected, mindfulness can help us become more sustainable in several ways. In the modern world it is becoming increasingly difficult to pay attention to our natural surroundings. Nature is fading quickly from everyday awareness as most of us live in this shell of a manufactured world. We are usually protected from natural events like storms, we sleep under roofs that hide sunrises, and many drive home or are inside during sunsets. As a result, we lose the rhythm of the natural world, and it’s easy to stop noticing the present passing of each day. If we are not connected to the natural world in everyday life, it is harder to be motivated to pursue sustainable activities like not eating red meat, or biking, because we are not as connected to the systems these activities would benefit. Mindfulness encourages taking time to notice and breathe in natural rhythms, which can lead to both increased psychological and physical wellness, while also encouraging support for sustainable pursuits.

In other ways, the connection between mindfulness and sustainability is slightly less obvious. Being aware in the present moment can have an impact in the smallest yet helpful ways of thinking, such as turning off lights when leaving a room, or paying attention to how long a shower is taking. Even being mindful while shopping for products like shampoo or conditioner can make a difference, so that less harmful for the environment goods are purchased on impulse.

UCLA students and faculty can get more involved in mindfulness through online or in-person classes at the UCLA Mindfulness Research Awareness Center. There are student discounts, and different ways to get involved, such as volunteering at workshops. In addition, anyone is welcome to join free 25-minute drop-in meditation sessions hosted every day on or around campus:

Monday, 12:30 pm, Ronald Reagan Hospital, Meditation Room (#1109)
Tuesday, 12:30 pm, Luskin Public Affairs building, Room 3343
Tuesday, 5:15 pm, John Wooden Center West, Counseling & Psychological Services Conference Room 1412
Wednesday, 12:30 pm, Powell Library, 2nd floor lobby
Thursday, 12:30 pm, Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater

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Becoming a Bike- Friendly LA Comes at a Surprising Cost

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Becoming a Bike- Friendly LA Comes at a Surprising Cost

By Grace Aleman

Lately, more and more people have taken to biking as a method of transportation, hobby, or sport - which is great! Biking is an eco-friendly, healthy, and fun alternative to commuting by car or other endurance sports like running. Unfortunately, with the recent influx of bikers on the streets of Los Angeles there has also been an increase in hit and run collisions between bikers and automobiles. A recent LA Times article discussed this upward trend in collisions and noted that from 2002 to 2012, hit and run collisions increased by 42%. This totalled 661 hit and run collisions in 2012 in Los Angeles County alone. Los Angeles has, however, been consistently adding bike lanes in an attempt to meet the needs of the growing number of bikers. Despite this effort, many streets still lack bike lanes, and some streets even lack an adequate shoulder for bikers to safely ride in near traffic. Ideally, all streets should have bike lanes, and until Los Angeles is able to mimic the bike-friendly atmosphere of places like Davis, California and Portland, Oregon, here are here are some biking tips from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration to help keep you safe!

  1. Wear a Helmet: Though wearing helmet doesn’t automatically make you safe and indestructible, it will protect your brain (a rather important body part) if you should get in a collision.
  2. Stay visible: Wearing bright colors during the day, and using lights at night will make you more visible to cars and keep them from accidentally getting too close to you. Staying visible also means only biking where cars can see you. Riding in cars’ blind spots is almost a guaranteed way to get hit by a car.
  3. Obey traffic laws: Though bikes are not cars, they are still subject to the same laws as cars. This means that you should always ride in the same direction as traffic, obey traffic lights, stop at stop signs, use hand signals to indicate turns, and all other rules of the roads. By following the traffic laws, you are less likely to make an unexpected maneuver and surprise a driver which could result in a collision.
  4. Be alert: Watch cars to ensure you are staying out of their way. Additionally, be on the look out for cracks, potholes, people getting out of cars, and anything else that might cause you to fall off your bike.
  5. Be predictable: Potentially the MOST important of any of these bike tips. Being predictable means biking in a straight line so that cars are able to predict where you will be. Weaving in and out of cars or spontaneously changing directions can cause drivers to get confused making you more likely to get in a collision.

Happy biking and stay safe!

Read More at the LA Times

Check out more bike safety tips!

 

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ECOCHELLA 2015 LEADERSHIP APPLICATIONS!

Keep an eye out for upcoming applications! This is a great way to be a part of Ecochella's planning and event team. The following positions will be available:

  • Music Committee (2 positions available)
  • Engineering Committee (2-3 positions available)
  • Sustainability Fair Committee (2-3 positions available)
  • Publicity/Artistic Committee - Blog Contributor (3 Positions Available)

We look forward to hearing from you!

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