What Green Can Be

We have all heard the phrase… reduce, repurpose, reuse, recycle.

Those are the four R's of being green. But it's hard to know your impact or whether you're having one. This is a story about how one small town is encouraging green building and the beautiful results that can occur when we decide together to go green. What Green Can Be... one little town, one big idea. . . a timely idea applicable to Anytown, USA! Watch the trailer (click 'play' above). - preview also available on FilmsforAction.org.

  • A brief history of the environmental movement, from the 13th century to modern times. 
  • Big and small ways each of us can live green... for the joy of it!
  • Local architects, interior designers,  town representatives, and a few of our elves.
  • Previously unreleased historical Earth Day footage by documentarian Christopher Speeth. 
  • 20 minutes total run time, DVD format - easy to incorporate into classroom settings.

Want This Movie?

Want to support us in our storytelling? Contact us to find out how you can arrange a screening or own "What Green Can BE" on DVD.Spread the word! #whatgreencanbe

What They're Saying...

  • "Thank you for sharing this! I enjoyed watching it a lot! An amazing story from Burlingame!"  — viewer comment
  • "Very nicely done. A beautiful message - and a beautiful home!" — viewer comment
  • "I loved the movie. Go Elfenworks!! Creativity is your middle name!" — viewer comment
  • "What a marvelous film! I learned so much watching it! This should be sent to all the local elementary, middle & high schools. The kids would love to see their town & I think would take ownership of the idea of perpetuating the idea of Burlingame being GREEN!"  — viewer comment

Film Team

Written, produced and directed by Lauren Speeth. Edited by Janice Rivera.  Historic Earth Day Footage courtesy Christopher Speeth. Cinematography: Kelly Madsen, Janice Rivera, Tim Schaller, Lauren Speeth. Photography: Lauren Speeth.  Score and original music: Josh Workman.  Graphics: Mike Dalling, Kelly Madsen .  For full credits, see film ending.  Copyright © 2013 Elfenworks Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 

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A Word to Teachers

You can easily incorporate What Green Can Be into the classroom, adding case studies that also teach architecture, math, sustainability, or science. Great for educators at all levels.  Science teachers, consider how easily you can incorporate green ideas into math questions, using examples like these:

Q: You enjoy the local club house, but it isn't very warm in winter.  You want to make a case for some more insulation.  If you estimate that the uninsulated attic costs an extra $15/month "out the window,"  for the six months a year in which it gets very cold, how much is that uninsulated attic costing, every year?

ANSWER: Not having insulation in your attic is costing you an extra $____/year.

Q. If you think the club house can buy and install insulation in its attic for $420 how many years would it take for the insulation to pay for itself?

ANSWER: It would take _____ years for the insulation to pay for itself

You are in charge of a small school. Your job is to decide what sort of appliance to buy. You know that new refrigerators last twenty years. Your refrigerator needs replacing and you can choose between a new inefficient refrigerator at $355 and a new efficient refrigerator at $475 with a $20 rebate on "smart appliances" and that saves $4/month over the less efficient model.

Q: How much of a difference are you actually paying between the two refrigerators?

ANSWER: The difference is $___

Q: How much would you save, every year, with a more efficient model?

ANSWER: You would save $___ per month, twelve months, so $____ per year

Q: How much would you have gained, over the 20 years, by choosing the more efficient model?

ANSWER: You would have gained $___ per year but spent $__ difference, so the total is ____

Q: What will you decide?  Discuss in class.

Teachers, we'd love to hear from you about how we might make What Green Can Be a strong, accessible teaching resource!