Monthly Archives: October 2012

Meet the board – Bet Muth, MBA

Bet Muth, MA, MBA, certified yoga instructor and organizational consultant

Roots.  My family moved from Baltimore to the Bay Area when I was 14, and I’ve lived most of my life in the East Bay since then.  The Girl Scouts introduced me to camping and I still love hiking in the East Bay Regional Parks.  I’ve studied and taught many mind-body practices, including Qi Gong, Tai Chi, energy-based bodywork, and currently Kundalini Yoga.

What got me going in conservation.  As a student at the University of Creation Spirituality, I was surprised to hear Matthew Fox say:  “Make no mistake about it, the most urgent issue of our time is the environment.”  Studying the New Cosmology enabled me to see and feel that everything in the Universe is connected.  I became a facilitator of the Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium.  A journey to the rainforest in Ecuador solidified my commitment to action on behalf of our planet.

Weed with smilesHow I met Green Sangha.  Attending the Environmental Forum of Marin’s 18-week Master Class, I teamed up with some classmates to start the Marin Food Scrap Recycling Task Force.  Our work in the Zero Waste movement made me aware of Green Sangha’s Rethinking Plastics campaign, and when I moved back to the East Bay I joined the local chapter.

What I like about Green Sangha.  Inspiring Awakened Action!  Being part of a community of citizen activists dedicated to restoring our sense of oneness.

What’s got me excited.  I’m very keen on Mindful Activism Training and the Low Carbon Diet groups.  I also hope to expand Green Sangha’s membership base.

Throw it away?

Land Wilson (children’s environmental book author and product-take-back activist) just sent me a poster:

our society has reached a point
where the effort necessary to
extract oil from the ground

is considered to be less effort than what it takes
to just wash the spoon when you’re done with it.
What if we actually took care of things, instead of throwing them away?  Thich Nhat Hanh gives us an idea. In The Miracle of Mindfulness, he says: “I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath” (1976, p. 61).   What is the benefit of such an approach?  “Mindfulness is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves,” Hanh says, “the miracle which can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness” (p. 14). Is it possible that the litter and waste we see all dispersed around us are simply outward expressions of the inward dispersal that afflicts so many of us in an over-busy, over-hurried, over-crowded world?

Of course, we must remember that some effort went into the making of the stainless steel spoon, and that washing it requires water and energy, too.  Has anyone tried to prepare an LCA (life-cycle analysis) on these two divergent paths of material use?  It’s hard to imagine that throwing things away can be more resourceful than re-using.  That, however, is the argument now being promoted by “Bag the Ban” when it comes to grocery bags!

Perhaps you have some thoughts on this group’s contention that reusable bags cost more energy and use more resources than throw-away plastics!  If so, please write me:
Meanwhile, I’m using my reusable bag, my reusable spoon . . .  my reusable everything. 

Going solar with Green Sangha

Solar energy is going mainstream, and not a minute too soon!  Alternative energies are not only a big part of our energy future, as President Obama reminded listeners in the first election debate, they are the only way to ensure that we have a future.

Oakland-based Sungevity will donate $750 to Green Sangha every time they install solar panels on a member’s house.  Members will also receive a $750 rebate!  In three minutes, you can get started.  Just click here to get a quote for your home.

Sungevity founder Danny Kennedy has worked on climate and energy issues for more than two decades and was named 2011 “Innovator of the Year” by PBS.   Kennedy founded Sungevity in 2007 to create a more  accessible way for American households to go solar.   He has just published the Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy – and Our Planet – from Dirty Energy, with a foreword by General Wesley Clark.

Kennedy urges businesspeople, policymakers and homeowners to come together to combat “King CONG” – the dirty-energy lobby of Coal, Oil, Nuclear and Gas.  “There is in fact a clear economic imperative for clean energy now, and despite myths and misperceptions,  solar power is already at work creating jobs, saving American households on their utility costs and securing both our workforce and our borders from the ills of dirty energy,” Kennedy says.  “The sun’s reliability, coupled with recent manufacturing efficiencies in our industry, make solar energy a more affordable, cleaner and safer way to power our lives.  It’s not the energy source of the future, it’s the energy source of now.”

Join us in a wave of solar energy installations, using the beautiful power of the sun to power our lives.  Here comes the sun!

Savor Marin

A yummy event with Environmental Forum of Marin (EFM)
Saturday, October 13, 5:00–7:00 p.m
Corte Madera Community Center, 498 Tamalpais Drive
Tickets:  $25 per person on line; $30 at the door.

SAVOR MARIN is a festive afternoon of savoring the seasonal bounty from the fields of Marin County.  We will enjoy local produce, cheeses, wine and beer.  EFM is one of the premier environmental education organizations in Marin County, and Green Sangha members have been students, speakers, and leaders in the Forum.
Wild Onion Catering is creating the afternoon’s fare.  Farms providing the seasonal bounty include Marin Sun Farms, Gospel Flat Farm, Fresh Run Farm, La Tercera, Redhill Farms, Star Route Farms.
Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery and Phyllis Faber, co-founder of Environmental Forum and MALT, will headline a short program highlighting the work of the Forum and its role in preserving the vibrant agricultural production of Marin County.
A raffle of delicious prizes in on the menu as well.
For more information, or to register online, go to:

Plastics conference 2013


Thu Mar 7, 7-9 pm, Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship Hall              Sat Mar 16, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, Lafayette Public Library

Register for Saturday conference here or call (510) 532-6574

“We may not think about them often,” says the American Chemistry Council, “but versatile plastics inspire countless innovations that help make life better, healthier and safer every day.”  In this view, plastics provide cheap, hygienic, lightweight, and convenient materials for our growing economy.  But plastics are turning out to be anything but convenient.

 In 2010, American manufacturers produced over 51 million tons of plastic.  That same year, American households threw away (not recycling) over half that amount.  What are the costs and effects of this kind of waste in our daily lives?  What can you personally do to protect the environment and your health?

Join us for a comprehensive review of research on plastic in the oceans, plastic toxicity, the costs of disposability, and ways that we each can shift to more life-sustaining materials.  Local leaders in health, conservation, and resource recovery will describe issues and solutions to the plague of plastic pollution.

For students, teachers, business managers and owners, civic leaders, citizen activists, and anyone interested in sustainable living.

Thursday, March 7, 7-9 pm.   Introduction & film night.  $10 suggested donation.  Contact or call (510) 532-6574 to register.

  • Film shorts:  The Story of Bottled Water (Annie Leonard); Midway Island cleanup (Chris Jordan); We Can Recycle Plastic (Mike Biddle); and more
  • Where:  Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar Street (at Bonita Avenue)

Saturday, March 16, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.   Conference fee:  $30 pre-registration by Mar 1; $40 after Mar 1 and at the door ($10 discount for Green Sangha members & students with current ID).  Register here.

  • A brief history of plastics.  Susan Freinkel, author of Plastic:  A Toxic Love Story
  • The oil-plastic connection.  Joe Mueller, MS, biology instructor
  • Marine litter.  Chris Pincetich, PhD, marine toxicologist
  • Plastics in our bodies.  Marion Guyer, MD, MBA
  • What we can do.  Beth Terry, author, Plastic Free
  • Plus!  Opening meditation and mindful movement break with Gerry Swan

WhereLafayette Public Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

Refreshments:  Light, earth-friendly snacks will be provided at registration (9:00-9:30 am).  BYO lunch!  We will provide coffee and beverages.  (BYO mug if you can.)

Reservations:  (510) 532-6574 or write

Co-sponsors   ° Clean Water Action  ° Generation Green  ° Sea Turtle Restoration Project

Endorsed by ECOlunchboxes, Lafayette; Jules Thin Crust Pizza, Danville