RI Nature Video Festival and Compost Conference Coming to RIC


About 11 years ago, I started making nature videos and putting them up on YouTube.  I started out videotaping Fowler’s Toad tadpoles and their breeding cycle and development, but pretty soon I was videoing every type of animal I could find in Providence, mostly filming in the North Burial Ground.   After a few years, I became curious to know other nature video makers in Rhode island and what they were filming.  So, with the help of the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI), an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, I started the RI Nature Video Festival. I scoured the internet and sent requests to everyone I could find making nature videos in in Rhode Island asking for submissions to the festival.  I found a treasure trove, and on a cold and grey day in February 2015, about 100 people showed up at RISD and it has since become an annual event.

Over the years, Rhode Island naturalists and videographers have provided videos taken in every possible way, from microscopy to drones, and the range of creatures we have seen is immense, from microbes to whales.  Eventually, we started letting the audience vote on the “best of show” videos and awarded prizes, placing all the videos online after the show and holding the vote over the internet so that even people who were unable to attend the show at RIC were able to see all the videos and vote for their favorites.

The next RI Nature Video Festival will be held on Sunday, February 25 at 2 PM in William Gaige Hall on the Rhode Island College campus. The show is free, and in addition to more than an hour of resplendent RI nature videos all made by Rhode Islanders, of backyard birds, ducks, butterflies, coyotes and more, there will be a question and answer session with the video makers and a reception with hot cocoa and cookies.  It is organized by the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, The Environment Council of Rhode Island, The RIC Environmental Club, the RIC Film Studies Program, and the Ocean State Film Society.

Says Bruce Campbell, RISD Instructor ,”It’s been quite heartening to see the DYI movement in our country. I have been creating all kinds of fulfilling things and experiences recently, which have indeed felt more significant than the usual commercial fare typical of a consumer. I’ve had a submission for every one of Greg’s RI Nature Video Festivals, thanks to developing video skills in order to be able to teach a double assignment of classes at RISD during the pandemic. Doubly serendipitous was the grand attractor of watching backyard nature when the pandemic afforded the time to notice and the closeting of humans seemed to double the non-human beings involved. Attending the festivals is a highlight of winter social activity. Super special to watch social humans watching social animal behavior! A reminder of the great potential of interbeing life provides.”

The Festival is a great way to be out in nature but away from a cold winter day.  While the show is free, and walk ins are welcomed, registration is encouraged as it helps the organizers be more prepared.

Registration for the RI Nature Video Festival  (FREE): www.tinyurl.com/2024RINVF

Food waste producing institutions generating more than 2 tons a week, i.e. supermarkets, food manufacturers, etc. are required to separate their organics and arrange for them to be composted.  It is estimated that 16% of all garbage going to the landfill could be diverted by composting or anaerobic digestion.


RIC Hosts RI Compost Conference and Trade Show in March

Hunger stalks the land, there is nowhere to safely throw the trash, and the deterioration of the climate threatens civilization.   Big scary issues, and sometimes here in little Rhody we think there is nothing we can do to make a difference.  But there is one topic that unites all of these issues and provides some real answers for moving forward.  A comprehensive systemic approach to managing food recovery and disposal gets food that is still good, but about to be thrown away, into the hands of people who need food, reduces the waste going into our rapidly filling landfill, creates soil amendments that help our neighbors grow food, puts carbon into the soil, and dramatically reduces methane leaking from the landfill, while creating jobs and value in the community.  The RI Compost Conference and Trade Show on March 14 at Rhode Island College addresses what is going on in Rhode Island around all of these issues, and ways to be part of the solutions.

Started 15 years ago in a partnership between Southside Community Land Trust and the Environment Council of Rhode Island, it has grown into an amazing annual event with all aspects of food recovery and reuse represented in workshops, policy discussions, and exhibitions.  From solving practical residential problems like how to recycle better (talk to RI Resource Recovery Corporation staff in person) to learning more about policy issues (How is DEM is planning to use food recovery and composting to help meet our climate goals under Act on Climate?) Frankly, everyone involved in the RI food recovery and reuse world is there.

Recovering Wasted Food will be there to talk about all that is happening to get food that is not being used into the hands of people who are hungry (and LOTS of people in RI are hungry).  Want to find a business that will pick up food scraps or learn to compost at home?  Those folks will be there.  Want help getting your school or your kid’s school to quit wasting food and start composting?  Come talk to the RI School Recycling Project.  They will all be there.   Think the legislature needs to take action?
There will be a legislative roundtable with plenty of time for questions and comments.

The RI Compost Conference and Trade Show is being put on through a partnership between the RI College Office of Sustainability, The RI College Environmental Club, 11th Hour racing, The RI Food Policy Council, and ProsperityForRI.com.  It will be held in Donovan Dining Hall beginning at 8:30 AM on Thursday March 14.  There will be a breakfast, a morning plenary, 8 workshops, lunch, a trade show with at least 15 local exhibitors, an opportunity to inform DEM about their climate and compost programs, and a panel of legislators talking about what is going on in the compost realm up on Smith Hill.  Tickets are $40.  Discounts are available for school groups.  Questions can be directed to Greg Gerritt gerritt@mindspring.com  or Jim Murphy jmurphy2@ric.edu

Registration: http://tinyurl.com/CompostConferenceSignUpLink


Greg Gerritt is an activist, writer, and forest gnome. He writes mostly about how ecological healing and economic justice are the keys to neighborhood prosperity. His writing can be found on his blog ProsperityForRI.com.