Author Archives: Alejandro Saldana

Alejandro’s Project Finalized

Here’s a short clip of the project I’ll be presenting next Wednesday, May 3rd. Here are the first four scenes out of eleven scenes from my play. The play explores the psychological impact of climate change on us, the main character reverses this psychological impact on him with different techniques and methods that can help reduce our impact on the environment, including; carbon neutral neighborhoods, recycling and renewable energy, to name a few.

Scene 1: The introduction to the problem

[Everything is dark and all of the sudden the narrator starts to talk, as he starts to talk the light slowly start to shine more and more on stage, pointing at the character. At this time the character is facing a computer and giving his back to the audience]

[Introduce audio about typing keyboards]

Scene 2: Student sees video

[The video starts playing on the projector that’s on top of the character, so the audience can see what he is seeing. The video is about extreme climate events caused by climate change.]

Scene 3: Student Assimilates video

[After the video is done the character grabs his head and shakes it like in disbelief of what he has seen. Then the lights start to dim, till it is all dark and quiet]

Scene 4: Arrival of first friend

[One of his friends enters the room, a light will then point at the friend, and we will be illuminated until he walks on stage. Also as soon as the light shines on the friend when he enters the room, so will a weak light pointing at the main character. Once the friends enter the stage, the whole stage will be illuminated.]

[His friend makes eye contact with the main character and at that moment the friend pulls out a can of beer, at which same time there is an audio that resembles a party.]

[The depressed main character shakes his head, rejecting his friend idea. And asks his friend to leave, by pointing to the exit of the stage. The friend looks confused and rejected but follows his friends desire and exits the stage. Once he exits the stage the light stops following him. But one other light still remains on the main character.]

 

 

 

Alejandro’s interview

I interviewed Jeffrey Recker, a student here at the University of Iowa. He gave me a better insight an understanding on the life of a college student, but also if environmental conditions such as global warming, food waste, plastic waste, etc have an impact on his life. As a student it’s sometime’s easy to say “why doesn’t the University change this or that to minimize the carbon foot print he have, or how can they make things more sustainable”, Jeff helped me understand why it is hard for this changes to happen. Jeff gave me a better understanding as to how average students see and react to climate change, we went into detail as to how he chooses what food to eat, if he is aware of what he eats, the possible impact an “ecodistrict” or green building can have on campus. I have recorded the interview for future use and might consider a second interview as a follow up with more questions about how do average college students think and deal with some of the questions we all have regarding climate change and possible “solutions”.

Outline draft for Alejandro’s Project

 

Part I of film:

  • The first part of the film takes around 50% of the story
  • During this first part, the character will see many videos on internet regarding extreme weather events tied to climate change. Such events include, wide-scale flooding, landslides, heat, drought and wildfires
  • Videos will be shown of people’s reaction to the aftermath, to which the character will react in disbelief of what is happening or clips from news articles giving more information of the aftermath
  • While the videos are playing and after the videos are done playing, the character will show signs/symptoms of mental disorders such as; depression, stress, PTSD
  • Some scenes with signs/symptoms include the character sitting in a dark room (almost no light), you can see him from behind and the only audio is someone crying and asking himself why? Why it happened to me? (Reflects depression)
  • PTSD/Trauma scenes: The character makes in the middle of the night screaming and sweating, you can see that he is not having a good time
  • Stress scene: ** not sure yet on how to show stress in the most effective way **
  • It is important to note that also during these part of the film there will be a couple of times where you can see the character eating, his diet is not the best, too much fast food and processed food and too little fruits and vegetables

 

Mental disorders shown during the short film:

  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • PTSD

 

Part II of film:

  • The second part takes the other final 50% of the story
  • This shows a more positive environment, the character starts to watch videos on internet regarding news on current climate change initiatives ( planting trees on India, renewable energy, etc)
  • The character’s behavior will change progressively:
  • He’s eating habits will change (moving more towards a plant-based diet), he will no longer experience nor show the mental disorders symptoms, as he did on the first part of the film
  • He will also start to develop a bond or relationship with earth (mother nature), this means some scenes will include the character meditating, hiking, try to grow indoor plants, etc
  • Im still working on a closing statement, something that is short and effectively causes a reaction a reaction on the viewer

 

There is research that shows that mental health can be affected by climate change, climate change causes extreme weather events, and most people are not prepared for this types of events. An example of these is the farmers in India, when they lose crops due to droughts or flooding a lot of them are in shock, experience depression and some go as far as committing suicide. Furthermore due to mass production of food the environment is taking a toll on the environment, as demand for food increases, food companies are always looking for a way to make food last longer, grow faster and have off-season food all year round. Unhealthy eating can lead to physical as well as physiological diseases/problems, healthy eating can help with these diseases and sometimes can even reverse the effects of such disease. Healthy/organic environment can reduce effects of climate change, and while changing our eating habits from a high carb, protein or fat diet to a plant based one we will not only heal the environment but also our own health, there is a direct relationship between a sick environment and sick people, if we take a look 60 years ago, the environment was “healthier”, there was not as many hurricanes, flooding, droughts, temperature change.

Upcoming Interview

Jeffrey Recker, an average college student at the university of iowa, will be my first interview for my project. He is double majoring in computer science and economics, I will interview him to get a better understanding of the daily habits a busy college student like Jeff goes through. I have prepared a set of questions, about 5-6, to help me get more information for my project, since I will be doing a short clip i need some information coming from a person’s own personal experience(daily life). I am currently working on finding my second and third person to inverview, I want one of those to also be a college student but with a completely different habit and way of living than that of Jeff. This will allow me to better understand the type of life people live now a days. The third person I was thinking in interviewing would be an expert on Nutrition or Enviornment, such as an Enviornmental Scientist or Sustainability professor.

Alejandro Saldana’s Project Idea

I was thinking in doing a short film/clip, that told the story of the same person but seen from two different perspectives. The story would start with a person doing routine things, like getting up from bed, showering their teeth, eating, going to class, etc. but the background and scenery would be a dark and sad one. The person shown in this story would always show signs of exhaustion, unhappiness and just living life in a “cruise mode” without enjoying it. What would come next would be this same person’s environment slowly changing because of this person’s habits, like changing a slice of pizza, pop and fries for vegetables, fruits and fish (healthier food in general), this would cause a ripple/domino effect on the person’s life. This person would slowly show on the story to begin developing a bond with his nature side, and as this person’s connection to nature and a healthier life increases the video scenery changes to one full of color, hope and happiness, the scenery would reflect that persons energy, way of thinking. This shows that a healthy mind and body can do a lot to change a way a person see’s the world, and interacts with this, this in turn reflects the world, the person is a metaphor for life and the way in which we are treating today’s world. Not having a strong relationship nor caring about nature affects the world(person) and by reconnecting with nature both the world and the person will slowly start to heal. Also if some explanations seems weird, its my bad, my English is not that good.

Turning Deadly Poop Into Fertile Soil

Due to lack of a proper sanitation system Haiti is fighting the worst CHOLERA epidemic in modern History. “Since 2006 a non-profit organization called SOIL has been transforming human waste into resources in Haiti. Through the use of ecological sanitation, SOIL is working to create a revolutionary business model for providing access to safe, dignified sanitation that produces rich, organic compost as a natural resource for Haiti’s badly-depleted soils, while also creating economic opportunities in some of the world’s most under-resourced communities”.

This ecological sanitation is a game changer, this is one of the most organic fertilizers, there are no chemicals added and is rich in nutrients and minerals, this is what allows plants to grow healthy and stronger. It also adds organic matter to the soil which may improve soil structure, aeration, soil moisture-holding capacity, and water infiltration. Plants that grow in a rich soil environment are stronger than those plants that grow in a soil full of fertilizers made in labs by humans, that have added chemicals and therefore need insecticidal because a plant needs more than NPK( Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) to be strong, and this manure fertilizer provides more of the nutrients that the plants and the soils needs.

For more details please see the following video, courtesy of AJ+:

Turning Deadly Poop Into Fertile Soil

Haiti is fighting cholera by turning human poop into rich fertilizer.

Posted by AJ+ on Sunday, February 26, 2017

How a German Startup Is Making the ‘Magic of Light’ Affordable in Developing Countries

An interesting post from Sustainable Brands looks at how a German Startup called Mobisol, is helping poor people in developing countries, have affordable and renewable energy. This is already changing people’s life, like Beatrice Akyoo and her children’s life.

Here is a short clip:

Beatrice Akyoo doesn’t need to spend as much money lighting her home, and her children have more time for homework without inhaling the nasty fumes from kerosene lamps. She also earns extra income by charging her neighbors’ mobile phones.

“I am proud to own my personal electricity source,” she says. “At night, my family now has clean and bright lights – and we can even power a refrigerator.”

It may not sound like much to those in the West, but some two billion people around the world don’t have a reliable electricity source to meet their daily energy needs. In the 90 percent of households in rural Tanzania, Kenya or Rwanda that don’t have electricity, they use kerosene lamps, batteries or – if they’re very wealthy – a generator.