Sustainable Energy

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Contribute to the Vegan Bus Zine!

Posted by on 24 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: Art, Humane Education, Sustainable Energy, Veganism

The Vegan Bus is pleased to announce the next phase of our education and outreach efforts – THE VEGAN BUS ZINE!

As we travel from town to town and from event to event we would like to hand out literature that will help open hearts and minds to the benefits of veganism and sustainable living. I have long believed that the best way to do this is artistically. Art is a direct transmission of ideas that can exceed the limits of language. A picture can tell a thousand words, and an artistic image can do even more. And words themselves are of course more powerful when they are crafted together artistically. This is why we are choosing to create zines rather than mere pamphlets and brochures, which sound rather hum drum to me.


We envision the Vegan Bus as a tribal community, made up of a core group of members who travel with the bus as well as a network of members who support us in our efforts. The Zine project will rely on contributions from artists and writers who believe in what we do. We are now officially asking for contributions of all sorts. We do not want to stifle creative possibilities by stating what we will publish, but here are some guidelines for the types of art and writing we would like to include:

Personal Stories
How did you become vegan? How do you try to limit your impact on the planet’s resources? How does your garden grow? Metaphors and surrealism are welcome.

We are looking for well-written articles about veganism and animal rights. We have an abolitionist approach and believe that the main thrust of the AR movement should be towards converting people to veganism, so keep that in mind. We also would like to feature articles about sustainable living – solar and wind energy, alternative fuels, organic agriculture, etc.

Photographs, paintings, woodblock prints, collage, anything that will reproduce well in black and white. We may have color cover art as well. Themes that address veganism, animal rights, sustainability, or even the existential angst that capitalism and materialism brings about. The art can be uplifting or confrontational. Comic strips would be really great too!

Vegan Recipes:
Part of helping people move towards veganism is helping them find alternatives to their meat-centric diets. We want the zine to give them the tools, and recipes are a big part of that. We would like recipes that are delicious but also that are easy to make and don’t have ingredients non-vegans aren’t familiar with. Bonus points if the recipe uses ingredients that are inexpensive so that people living on low income can easily prepare them.

DIY Instructions:
We would like to include at least one DIY project in each issue. Things that can help people live sustainably. Examples would be solar cookers, solar dehydrators, worm compost, clothing, etc. Written instruction along with photos or diagrams would be great.

The zine will be used to help raise money and therefore we can not pay for contributions. If you are looking for money then you probably aren’t in line with our mission anyway… However, we will give each person whose contributions are used several copies of the zine they are published in. If your art makes the cover, we will give you a Vegan Bus tee shirt along with 50 copies of the zine!

We want to give the zine out for free so that the most people can benefit from it. It will be an ongoing project with many issues, and hopefully larger and larger print runs as we go. The way we hope to do this is to offer advertising in the zine. This can often be a slippery slope, but we feel there are plenty of companies who are providing services that are in line with our ethics and ambitions who will be willing to advertise. We will also of course feature ads from non-profit organizations. If you fall into one of the above categories and are interested in advertising please contact us about rates.

We are hoping to have the first issue published by the end of August. We would like to have a sample with content to take to potential advertisers by mid August. We are asking for contributions as soon as possible. If you are interested in contributing please contact us!

Vegan Bus in PV Sustain Art Contest

Posted by on 27 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: Art, Sustainable Energy

I recently entered The Vegan Bus in a contest to try to win a $5000 grant to have solar panels put on the bus. The contest was sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network which

is a formalization of many informal networks of sustainability experts in the area which acts as a vehicle to bridge the gap between practitioners and researchers in the area of sustainable development, with an initial emphasis on sustainable land use and energy use.

The contest was for art that has a sustainable theme…

what does sustainability in the Pioneer Valley look like, sound like, feel like? How can it be represented? Is it best articulated through a device, or through dance, music, film, sculpture, or two-dimensional design?

My proposal concerned the Vegan Bus being an artwork in process, and the addition of solar technology would enable us to educate about that technology all over the Pioneer Valley. According to myself…

I believe it will take vast acts of imagination to transform our civilizations to conscious and sustainable ones. It is the mission of the artist to help people transcend their traditions and evolutionary inertias. The concept of The Vegan Bus came to me when I had the epiphany that I was dreaming too small. I realized that the world needed a vehicle of transformation. An artistic statement on wheels that would attract people by its very nature and leave them with something to think about. An artwork they could admire from the outside, or climb aboard and engage. Added to that a group of performers and activists to convey the Sustainable Message in a variety of ways.

Out of 20 entries I was chosen as one of the semi-finalists, which meant I had to go give a 10 minute talk about the work and answer questions from the 10 “celebrity judges”. These included John Majercak from the Center for Ecological Technology (CET) and the ReStore, Monte Belmonte from the River and Hillary Price, the cartoonist of Rhymes with Orange fame. The event was held at the Academy of Music. I was the third to present and got a little stage fright once the bright lights hit my eyes, but overall I did a fair job at stating my case and was the only artist to garner applause for one of my comments (about artists collaborating on sustainability projects).

I did not end up winning although I did get insider info that I was one of the top three that the judges ended up choosing between. The artist who won was Jane Beatrice Wegscheider with her project “A Table Set Forever“. That was one of my favorite entries, along with an ambitious project by an 18 year old young man named RJ Magoon.

This project has really helped me to focus my thoughts a bit, as well as getting a better understanding of what we will need to do to install solar photovoltaics on the bus. I am ready to do some grant writing and soliciting of sponsorships! I am really happy this opportunity came along and that artists are thinking about sustainability issues.

Check out The Vegan Bus Solar Installation proposal on the PV Sustain web site.

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