Good People Good Work
Step Right Up to See the Sustainable Living Roadshow!      
Welcome, eco-minded viewers, to this week’s edition of Good People, Good Works, featuring the Sustainable Living Roadshow, a non-profit group made up of eco-advocates and entertainers that help communities learn strategies for sustainable living.

Step right up and play our games. A sustainable planet, we can proclaim, a carnival, much more conscious than before. Have great fun and learn some more about what you can do to help the Earth. Take the steps towards a healthy re-birth!

My name is Zach Carson; I'm the director of an organization called, “The Sustainable Living Roadshow.” We're a group that travels across the country setting up off-the-grid eco-festivals. So we believe that learning about sustainability should be something to be celebrated, to be enjoyed, a change that we need to embrace. So we try to use fun, the concepts of the old-time circus, to really spread messages, tools and information to local communities on ways that they can empower themselves to really shift their behaviors and their lifestyles to one of more sustainable ways.

Mr. Carson holds a bachelor of science degree in ecological design, sustainable development and environmental education from the University of Vermont, USA. He is a dedicated individual who is deeply committed to constructively changing our world.

We’ve been on the road since about 2006, all over the US, throughout West Africa. We’ve toured over 200,000 miles now. We use all bio-diesel. We try to tour zero waste; all of our events are off –the-grid so they’re all run on solar or bio-fuel generators. And this last tour has been about three-and-a-half months, setting up a festival every weekend across the country.

Here we go, heading towards the Sustainable Living Roadshow zone. Check it out. This is where the activism, non-profits, our friends, our people (are)…

What are the Roadshow’s primary productions and attractions?

Every weekend it’s different. We go to existing festivals and set up eco- villages, we use music festivals a lot, because they seem to have become one of the center points of American culture, especially among the youth. Trends seem to go from there; music seems to go from there, and those have always been tools for creating change.

So we bring in solar-powered stages, and offer full days of workshops, everything from an overview of bio-diesel, how to start a community garden, organizing on your college campus, to overview of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). We have carnival games that have eco-themes, like “Toss out fossil fuels” where you throw bean bags at oil derricks, coal factories and gas pumps and out pops solar panels, windmills, and barrels of bio-fuel.

We bring out massage therapists, acupuncturists, and nutritional consultants. We have markets for conscious corporations and we represent, sample and sell their goods. So it's quite a big set up, it can be up to 30,000 square feet. And when we go to colleges, we set up those same things.

But everywhere we go, we try to create a platform for the local community to showcase what resources they have. So, six months out we'll do research and we'll find all the green businesses, the non-profits, the healing artists, the food cooperatives, the activists, and we'll invite them into the platform. So they can come together, and it can be a platform of community teaching community, rather than us coming and saying, "We are here to save you.”

It’s like actually all those resources that we are presenting are in your community, and you have them available. It’s not really a lack of resources, of tools, to change the world. It's just a matter of people willing to embrace those resources.

How did this champion of sustainable lifestyles decide to start a traveling show to inform people about greener ways to live?

I happened to go to Costa Rica, where I met a crew of people who had just driven from California down to Costa Rica on two buses that ran on vegetable oil. And they were teaching farmers all along the way about the dangers of pesticides and the benefits of organic (foods). And they were like beautiful people, they were friends, they were travelers from all over the world.

And at the time I'd just received all of this research and information on fossil fuels. And I came home and I was like, what an incredible way to live your life, traveling with friends. And not just being a tourist, but being an active participant in the community process and spreading knowledge. And so I changed my thesis from that of studying fossil fuels to, “Using cross country bio-fuel bus tours as a means of changing the collective consciousness of the country on sustainability issues.”

So is that how you came up with the unique idea of a road show, by seeing that example?

That was how I came up with it, and then I spent 25,000 miles driving across the country doing interviews and going to festivals . And four months later my bus broke down in Northern California, and that same weekend Julia Butterfly Hill, who sat in the Redwood tree for over two years, she was launching a tour in a vegetable-oil- powered bus across the country. And it was the weekend I got there, and I went to the event and that weekend I met the two people who are my business partners today, who had started the concepts of the Sustainable Living Roadshow.

Thus far, the Roadshow has participated in over 200 events and tours around the world, including the Spring 2011 Right2Know Tour.

One thing we just did is the Right2Know March. I was on the steering committee for the March and we did 320 miles from New York to Washington, DC. And it's opened my eyes to a lot of issues that are going on in this country that relate to GMOs, (genetically modified organisms) but systemically relate to the bigger picture of the uprisings that we see globally going on of corporate entities taking advantage of Earth's resources for their own good. So I think one of the things that we can all do is start to vote with our dollar.

A growing body of evidence points to disastrous health outcomes from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), such as premature aging, immune dysfunction, cancer, multiple organ damage and reproductive disorders. Examples of crops that have been genetically modified include soy, corn, and papayas.

With the GMO issue, we found through a lot of studies that eight out of 10 people will choose the non-GMO (food) if it's labeled, over the GMO (food). If we’re successful in passing mandatory (GMO) labeling in California, we will give consumers a voice. And one of the strongest things we can do as people is use that voice and choose not to spend that money, because when we stop spending that money, those companies go out of business.

And that’s one way we can create change, is find out what companies are really doing well, what companies are giving back, what companies are not animal testing, what companies are not using GMOs, what companies have corporate social responsibility initiatives that give back.

While on the road, how many people make up the Sustainable Living Roadshow team?

This tour right now, we have 25 people on the road for three-and-a-half months, living together. We did another tour in the spring in California where we had 14 people. I'd say we’ve worked with thousands of people. We have college students that intern with us throughout the year. We have advisors; it's been a 100% volunteer effort.

So, the people that work with us are passionate about the concept of creating change on national levels and local levels. So it's not just the kind of 9-to-5 people that we get working with us, it's the people who feel a calling to have their voice heard.

What kind of diet do you think is the most sustainable and why?

So eating locally and vegetarianism is reducing our impact. And (eating) vegetarian is probably one of the best things we can do for the planet and our communities. (And vegan even better) And vegan even better.

Do you incorporate that in your road show? Promoting the vegan or a vegetarian diet?

Yes, we hand out information from PETA. We only eat vegetarian on the road. We cook and source from local farmers as we go, so we feed our crew with all local and organic food. And we find food vendors from the local communities when we have events that subscribe to those same philosophies.

Before the Sustainable Living Roadshow moves on to its next destination, Zach Carson has a message for our viewers in the US, particularly California, where during the November 2012 elections, voters in the state will decide on a ballot initiative, or proposed law, that will require all food manufacturers to clearly label products containing GMO ingredients.

(There is) a petition that goes to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the website is It’s really important that everyone goes out there and signs this petition, as well as in California, that people support this ballot initiative. I think that’s going to be a really big step. If we get in California, California being one of the largest economies and the largest food producers in the country, companies won’t have the ability to label food just in California. So, it’s going to really shift behavior on a national scale.

And right now, with the whole occupation movement, I just encourage people to go out and have a voice. Express yourself in peaceful, beautiful and artistic ways. Be one to represent the change. Just embody it and try your hardest to live the way you want to see the world.

Zach Carson, our accolades to you, and the Sustainable Living Roadshow staff members and volunteers for your steadfast, praiseworthy work. May the Roadshow continue to travel far and wide, using informative games and performances as well as fun and laughter to promote sustainable living in communities around the world.

For more information on the Sustainable Living Roadshow, please visit

Gentle viewers, we’ve enjoyed your company today on Good People, Good Works. May we soon see true peace on Earth as our hearts so desire.

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