(Newsday ExploreLI) Trying to reduce energy use and take personal responsibility for your own carbon footprint has become a hot topic in recent years, but the big problem of sustainable living is how to find businesses that share that interest.
A new organization, Locally Long Island, is trying to do just that, by showcasing businesses selling organic items and encouraging the public to buy more locally.
“When people talk about a more sustainable vision, it’s difficult sometimes to get into those networks,” says Melissa Boo, founder of the group. “Right now, it’s word-of-mouth. The goal is to get that information together.”
To that end, Locally Long Island is holding a Thursday night film series showcasing well-known and regarded films on sustainability issues, and holding talks afterward by those experienced in the field.
“We really want to target people who are curious and have questions,” says Boo.
Thursday’s screening, “Farming the Future: Farm Life on Long Island,” for instance, is a 2005 documentary by Greenlawn resident and Emmy-winning producer Ron Rudaitis about the disappearing farming community on the East End of Long Island.
“We featured farms that were just hanging on in 2005,” says Rudaitis, and are no longer there.
“Farming the Future: Farm Life on Long Island” features Willie Nelson and William Baldwin and examines farm life on Long Island, including its slow disappearance as land is sold to developers. Guest speaker will be Lawrence Foglia of Fox Hollow Farm, a sustainable farm and community- supported agriculture program in South Huntington.
“Save Our Land, Save Our Towns” — A documentary follows newspaper reporter Tom Hylton as he examines the coast-to-coast cost of suburban sprawl and urban blight. Guest speaker is Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island, an organization that focuses on smart growth.
“Gasland” — Filmmaker Josh Fox’s documentary focuses on the politics and perils of fracking. Guest speakers are Marriele Robinson of Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities, and Eric Weltman from Washington, D.C., advocacy group Food & Water Watch.
“I Am” — Tom Shadyac, director of films “Bruce Almighty” and “The Nutty Professor,” takes on the philosophical question of what is wrong with our world and how to make it better. He interviews some of the big thinkers of our generations, including Noam Chomsky and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Guest speaker is Arthur Dobrin from the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island.
“An Inconvenient Truth” — The 2005 documentary by Davis Guggenheim on former Vice President Al Gore’s crusade to bring the term “global warming” to the country’s vernacular. Guest speaker is Jeanne Brunson from Climate Reality Project, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group founded by Gore.
“In Transition 2.0” — A documentary highlighting people in needy communities who are working outside the existing social structure to better their world. The film also highlights community power stations, growing food in unlikely places and keeping businesses small and local. Guest speaker is Melissa Boo of Locally Long Island.
“No Impact Man” — A New York City family embarks on a quest to live one year without having a net impact on the environment. Guest speakers are Amy Peters of Sustainable Sea Cliff Co-Op (a food co-op), Mary Callanan of Three Castles Gardens (a farm that grows in season and organically) and Annetta Vitale, who calls her homestead Reed Channel Farm.
Winter Movie Series
WHEN | WHERE 6:30 p.m. Thursdays through April 24 at the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, 38 Old Country Rd., Garden City
INFO 516-741-7304, locallylongisland.com
ADMISSION $15 ($12 students), includes light supper of soup prepared by Sweet to Lick Bakery of Williston Park, a partially organic business.